| contact: drbenway at priest dot com
| blogging since Oct '01
This is Gordon Osse's blog.
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"He who does not at some time, with definite determination consent to the terribleness of life, or even exalt in it, never takes possession of the inexpressible fullness of the power of our existence."
all faces followers of
All colors, beams of
-- Akhenaton, "Hymn to the Sun"
Opt your children out of Pentagon harassment
WHO I WORK FOR: Mount Hope Wholesale
Wholesale nuts, grains, fruits and spices (and more) shipped from Cottonwood AZ
(Tell them you heard about them on Gordon's blog!)
WHAT I'VE SEEN LATELY:
(r) = re-viewing
God Told Me To (1976, Cohen)
Whispering City (1947, Otsep)
Times and Winds (2006, Erdem)
Dirty Money (Un flic) (1972, Melville)
10th District Court (2004, Depardon)
RFK Must Die: The Assassination of Bobby Kennedy (2007, O'Sullivan)
The Furies (1950, Mann)
In a Lonely Place (1950, Ray)(r)
The Adjuster (1991, Egoyan)(r)
Mad Men The Buddha of Suburbia Intelligence (2006, Haddock) Family Guy
SUGGESTED VIEWING: The Power of Nightmares: The Rise of the Politics of Fear (2004, Curtis) [available for streaming/download here]
For more than 50 years, rancher Waldo Wilcox kept most outsiders off his land and the secret under wraps: a string of ancient settlements thousands of years old in near perfect condition.
Hidden deep inside eastern Utah's nearly inaccessible Book Cliffs region, 130 miles southeast of Salt Lake City, the prehistoric villages run for 12 miles along Range Creek, where Wilcox guarded hundreds of rock art panels, cliffside granaries, pit houses and rock shelters, some exposing mummified remains of long-ago inhabitants.
The sites were occupied for at least 3,000 years until they were abandoned more than 1,000 years ago, when the Fremont people mysteriously vanished. The Fremont, a collection of hunter-gatherers and farmers, preceded more modern American Indian tribes on the Colorado Plateau.
What sets this ancient site apart from other, better-known ones in Utah, Arizona or Colorado is that it's been left virtually untouched, with arrowheads and pottery shards still covering the ground in places.
Few escape the ghost network of detention facilities, which range from massive prison camps such as that at Guantanamo Bay to naval vessels in the Indian Ocean, so accounts of life inside the new gulag are rare.
One of the most harrowing stories concerns a Syrian-born Canadian, Maher Arar, who was arrested by US authorities in late 2002 during a stopover in New York, on suspicion of terrorist activities.
After several days of questioning, the 34-year-old IT specialist was flown to Jordan, where the CIA passed him on to local security officials. He was repeatedly assaulted in Jordan before being driven to Syria, where he was kept in solitary confinement in a 6ft by 3ft cell for several months and repeatedly beaten with cables. All charges were dropped on his release. Arar said last week that he was 'trying to rebuild [his] life'. 'I never did anything to make me a suspect. I could not believe they would send me back to Syria, but they did,' he said. 'They sent me back to be tortured.'
Shami Chakrabarti, 35 Human rights advocate Shami Chakrabarti sees herself, 'to some extent, as a recovering lawyer'. Since becoming director of Liberty 10 months ago, she has sought to communicate her belief that human rights are not merely the business of lawyers, but central to a healthy society's values and sense of self-identity. Trained at the LSE before being called to the Bar, Chakrabarti worked for five and a half years at the Home Office. She combines a commitment to human rights with an appreciation of the difficulty of the decisions sometimes faced by governments. 'It's too easy in this job to feel like a professional teenager, pointing out what's wrong, what I'm against,' she says. She cites 'being a mother' as one reason why she cares so much about human rights, and adds that motherhood has given her a greater confidence. 'I'm not sure I'd have put myself forward for this job if it hadn't been for that sense of empowerment.' Appalled by widespread beliefs (as seen, for example, in attitudes surrounding the Soham case) that human rights are somehow at odds with child protection - or indeed, counter terrorism - she is determined to persuade us that, on the contrary, they are vital to both. Beyond that, she says, she has 'no grand plan. But persuading people of that is an awesome task, and also a privilege'.
Dominic Cooper, 25 Actor TV roles in Band of Brothers and Down to Earth got Dominic Cooper noticed, as did his Puck in A Midsummer Night's Dream. Then Nicholas Hytner gave him major roles in two of the National Theatre's most important productions. Those who saw His Dark Materials, or Alan Bennett's History Boys, know this was no gamble - Cooper is one of our most talented young actors. The next Jude Law?
Chiwetel Ejiofor, 27 Actor Chiwetel Ejiofor's versatility impresses almost as much as his talent. Electrifying on film, in Dirty Pretty Things and Love Actually , he's equally accomplished on the stage, TV and radio. Now heading for Hollywood to work on a science fiction script for Buffy the Vampire Slayer's Joss Whedon, Ejiofor's prospects are excellent - he's even been suggested as the first black James Bond.
Helen Walsh, 26 Author At 23, Helen Walsh wrote her first book, Brass, at the kitchen table of her mum's house while coming off antidepressants. The shocking, fearless honesty of the book, which drew on her experiences and studies of drug addiction and the sexual subcultures of Liverpool and Barcelona, saw Walsh compared to Irvine Welsh. An original and compelling writer.
These are people of the moment, but I doubt we'll remember many of them in 25 years (even if you're English)...
Ejiofor was quite good in Dirty Pretty Things, the only one of the sampling above I've heard of.
Director Christopher Nolan made the list too, though the Insomnia re-make (I liked the Norwegian original with Stellan Skarsgård much better) and his apparent involvement in the Batman franchise are disappointing after the wollop of Memento, one of the best films of recent years.
The former looks particularly interesting for bloggers, since you can store pages that might suffer "link rot". Though -- as Amy Gahran mentions on her Contentious blog -- it's in beta and may well be a subscriber service eventually.
Wells has received insufficient credit as a writer of rhythmic, incantatory prose, long-breath paragraphs to cut against his tight journalistic reportage. The War of the Worlds makes the journey from sensationalist incident to moral parable. Wells predicts an era when fiction and documentary will be inseparable.
I always thought Wells was a lot of fun to read, and clearly a visionary.
The text is available online in several places, though if I had the bucks, I'd love to have this and some of the other Folio Society editions (they seem to run aound $35, not bad considering the apparent quality of the books, and they have introductory discount offers).
Naturally the possible abuses of such a device are manifold, but I think the use of very mild electrical stimulation for medical and therapeutic purposes should be pursued, along with color and sound therapy.
Canadians vote on Monday, and analysts claim the election is too close to call, with the possibility of the newly reconstituted Conservative Party beating the governing Liberals. It is not an exaggeration to suggest that this would be much like Canadians electing as their government J?rg Haider's Freedom Party (there are direct connections in that they share a major backer). Although they have appropriated the name and much of the membership of the old Progressive Conservative Party (which was bad enough but had its good points and wasn't a radical party), the new Conservative Party will be a party entirely devoted to the interests of big business, and will clearly be anti-human rights and anti-immigration, and in favor of destroying or significantly weakening every single social program that doesn't benefit the rich.
On May 30, members of the performance art collective Critical Art Ensemble were subpoenaed by the FBI. The FBI is planning to indict Steve Kurtz, a member of CAE before a grand jury on June 15, on unknown charges. CAE is under investigation for their use of scientific equipment to produce art projects that question the relationship between commerce, politics and biotechnology. Critical Art Ensemble have been producing performances and theory that merge political realities with technology and theater since 1987. Thus far eight subpoenas have been issued to: Adele Henderson, Chair of the Art Department at UB; Andrew Johnson, Professor of Art at UB; Paul Vanouse, Professor of Art at UB; Beatriz da Costa, Professor of Art at UCI; Steven Barnes, FSU; Dorian Burr, Beverly Schlee and Claire Pentecost.
You can add your name to a protest letter at the first link above.
If you do travel any distance, you'll need to plan and improvise, and that requires a brain. In animals that don't travel far - spiders, for instance - the brain can be tiny. In the small brains of birds that navigate over long distances, one finds bits sensitive to the Earth's magnetic fields. In animals like us, who roam great physical, social and symbolic distances, the brain must be big enough to map the changing world, provide a sense of control, and adapt to those changes. Otherwise we'd leave a scatter of lost selves babbling in the dust beside the road.
Pattern pleases us, rewards a mind seduced and yet exhausted by complexity. We crave pattern, and find it all around us, in petals, sand dunes, pine cones, contrails. Our buildings, our symphonies, our clothing, our societies - all declare patterns. Even our actions: habits, rules, codes of honor, sports, traditions - we have many names for patterns of conduct. They reassure us that life is orderly.
Lecturing to a rapt audience of 20 like-minded Christians after a hard day in the field, Russ McGlenn, a self-styled amateur archaeologist and palaeontologist and head of Adventure Safaris, said: "Heavenly Father, we thank You for the evidence of a catastrophic flood event. We thank You for the time to study Your creation. Heavenly Father, we thank You for the evidence of a catastrophic flood event."
Mr McGlenn was admittedly preaching to the converted but his success at strengthening their beliefs and faith was undeniable.
"It's just dumb to believe that everything came from one kind of bang or fish or something," said Katy Carlson, 13, one of the youngest on the dig.
For 31-year-old Toronto musician Andrew Downing, the show has become a cozy, Sunday-morning ritual he shares with his partner. "We drink coffee and watch this semi-mindless soap opera."
That Corrie attracts many twenty- and thirty-something fans, he says, is no surprise. "The people I know who watch the show are sort of creative types who like old movies and weird recordings -- stuff that's kind of outside of the mainstream."
And while the hippies had Woodstock, Corrie fans have pings or pingfests -- regionally-based events that revolve around drinks and all-things Coronation Street. The term "ping" was first coined by a Canadian in a Corrie Internet chat room in the early 1990s, according to 58-year-old Nova Scotia fan Mike Shacklock. Fans of the show traditionally sent each other "cyber pints" as signs of affection, and one day a spelling miscue gave birth to a new tradition.
But many Canadian fans remain disgruntled with one aspect of CBC's scheduling. Events such as the Olympics have consistently interrupted the soap's broadcasting schedule, and the CBC has fallen more than six months behind Britain's Corrie episodes.
Registration might be required, and I'm not posting my email, so here'e the short article:
Inquisition wasn't quite as bad as people think, says Pope
By Bruce Johnston in Rome (Filed: 16/06/2004)
The Vatican sought to play down the terrors of the Inquisition yesterday, claiming that far fewer people were tortured and executed for heresy than was popularly believed.
The reassessment by Church historians was seized on by the Pope to qualify the apology he made for the Inquisition during the Church's millennium celebrations.
The research emerged from a conference of scholars convened in 1998 to help the Pope assess the impact of the Inquisition, which often used brutal methods to suppress alleged witchcraft and doctrinal unorthodoxy.
Church officials said that statistics and other data demolished myths about the Inquisition, including that torture and executions were commonly used.
"For the first time we studied the Inquisition in its entirety, from its beginnings to the 19th century," said Agostino Borromeo, a professor of history of Catholic and other Christian confessions at Rome's Sapienza University. Prof Borromeo said that while there were some 125,000 trials of suspected heretics in Spain, research found that about one per cent of the defendants were executed, far fewer than commonly believed. Many of the burnings at the stake were carried out by civil rather than religious tribunals.
Yesterday, the Pope reiterated his mea culpa but stressed that actions which had "disfigured the face of the Church" had to be viewed in their historical context.
Empathy has become big business, according to consultancy Harding & Yorke, which claims to be able to measure every aspect of the emotional interaction between customer and company. If a company wants its employees to sound warmer or more natural, it turns to the likes of Bob Hughes at Harding & Yorke. Delight your customers and they'll be back, is his watchword: empathy makes money. Defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as "the power of identifying oneself mentally with (and so fully comprehending) a person", empathy has become an important skill in the labour market. This intrigues social theorist Andr? Gorz, who argues that while the assembly line represented "the total and entirely repressive domination of the worker's personality", what is now required is the "total mobilisation of that personality".
The demand for emotional labour is driven firstly by the growth of the service economy. Companies are increasingly competing to provide a certain type of emotional experience along with their product, be it a mobile phone or an insurance policy. Where once muscle power was crucial to employment for millions of manual workers, its modern-day equivalent is emotional empathy and the ability to strike up a rapport with another human being quickly.
Another kind of emotional labour is increasingly in demand in response to the changing structure of organisations. Clearly defined hierarchical bureaucracies have given way to much flatter, more fluid organisations. And as the lines of authority become less clear, much more falls to the individual employee to negotiate, influence and persuade. This is often called the "relationship economy", and what makes it particularly hard work is that it requires skills of empathy, intuition, persuasion, even manipulation, for which there is little preparation in an educational system focused on analytical skills.
Not listed on amazon US yet (it's an English book), you can pre-order it from amazon canada.
I don't find many graphic novels etc. that I like, but the ones that I do (anything by R. Crumb, Chris Ware and Daniel Clowes for instance) I like a lot; now McSweeney's Quarterly has published a Chris Ware-edited comics issue that looks wonderful
About 2 percent of India's more than 1 billion people are Christians, most of them Catholics.
In Kerala, a state on the southwestern coast with one of the largest concentrations of Christians in India, churches often receive intentions from overseas. The Masses are conducted in Malayalam, the native language.
While most requests are made via mail or personally through traveling clergymen, a significant number arrive via e-mail.
In Kerala's churches, memorial and thanksgiving prayers conducted for local residents are said for a donation of 40 rupees (90 cents), whereas a prayer request from the United States typically comes with $5, the Indian priests say.
Bishop Sebastian Adayanthrath, the auxiliary bishop of the Ernakulam-Angamaly diocese in Cochin, a port town in Kerala, said his diocese received an average of 350 Mass intentions a month from overseas. Most were passed to needy priests.
In Kerala, where priests earn $45 a month, the money is a welcome supplement, Adayanthrath said.
It's not so much about the future, as about now being so weird. A phrase I always bring up here is William Gibson's "the future is already here, it's just unevenly distributed..." That's what 9/11 was about: we are faced with a world arrayed against the values that have been fostered as THE future. There are so many futures, and we need to think about that. The way to heal from 9/11, to me, is to think of America's place in the world and really create some kind of bridge between how we live and how the rest of the world lives. Hip hop at this point is the global medium, and so is house music, techno, jazz. These are all African American based musics that have evolved to become like universal languages. Pop culture is a mirror, and I'm just part of the reflection process.
I have to confess I don't listen to his work much, but he's a vital figure.
A good time to die -- accidentally at least -- in southern AZ this summer: a death industry conglomerate is offering free services (not "receptacles" though) for anyone who dies under the age of 18, or any age if it's accidental
I hope the Pentagon gets its ass sued off: after denying Gulf War Syndrome for over 10 years, a new study by the Pentagon concludes that unknown thousands of Gulf War I vets were exposed to chemicals that could make them sick
How do the people who hide this stuff sleep at night? Of course they knew it all along...
Sorry about all the political posts. Just can't help myself.
The Bush administration has proved itself to be an insular group of inept, dishonest and dangerous CEO's of the corporation known as America. They have become very bad for business and the Board of Directors is now taking action. Make no mistake, the CIA works for "The Board" - Wall Street and big money. The long-term (very corrupt and unethical) agenda of the Board, in the face of multiple worsening global crises, was intended to proceed far beyond the initially destructive war in Iraq, toward an effective reconstruction and a strategic response to Peak Oil. But the neocons have stalled at the ugly stage: killing hundreds of thousands of people; destroying Iraq's industrial and cultural infrastructure as their own bombs and other people's RPGs blow everything up; getting caught running torture camps; and making the whole world intensely dislike America.
These jerks are doing real damage to their masters' interests.
But (not surprisingly) Tenet and the CIA were and remain much better at covert operations and planning ahead than the Bush administration ever was. Tenet and Pavitt actually prepared and left a clear, irrefutable and incriminating paper trail which not only proves that they had shunned and refused to endorse the documents, the CIA also did not support the nuke charges and warned Bush not to use them.
It was the greatest career move in the history of entertainment -- simple, audacious, revolutionary. Washed up as a movie actor, spun desert dry over the years on television, he had secured a West Coast daytime talk show, Ask the Governor, from 1956 to 1974. But he was vigorous and amiable still, and advertisers could imagine a bigger audience. He could learn lines overnight; even when he forgot them, he spoke naturally in movie-ese. Only occasionally did he confuse camera right and camera left, and his double-take recovery was an unfailing delight. His walk across the White House lawn, his cupping of a deaf ear to catch questions, his humble "Well..." -- these strokes became epic. Babies had them down flat. And so, he made is a nationwide series in which, for eight years, he played Mr. President -- That's Me!, amassing more camera time than anyone else in the Actors' Guild and deftly feeding the lines and situations of Warner Borthers in the 1940s back into world affairs.
He was a hugely successful and evasive president, as blind to disaster iniquity and humiliation as he was to the Constitution...
To paraphrase Gore Vidal, the wisdom and integrity of someone told where to stand and what to say for twenty years were made manifest. The fraudulence of the presidency was revealed so that the office could never quite be honored again.
Lastly, here's a series of links detailing the stellar record of Der Gipper.
Chris Hitchens, who's been among the notables who seem to have um lost their heads post-9/11, now does a 180° and gives The Gipper the props he truly deserves.
One could go on. I only saw him once up close, which happened to be when he got a question he didn't like. Was it true that his staff in the 1980 debates had stolen President Carter's briefing book? (They had.) The famously genial grin turned into a rictus of senile fury: I was looking at a cruel and stupid lizard. His reply was that maybe his staff had, and maybe they hadn't, but what about the leak of the Pentagon Papers? Thus, a secret theft of presidential documents was equated with the public disclosure of needful information. This was a man never short of a cheap jibe or the sort of falsehood that would, however laughable, buy him some time.
The daily amazement quotient continues to bubble over regularly.
Never thought I'd see the day. But it makes sense in a way: the logical conclusion of the apotheosis of the Management Way of Knowledge married to the myth that whatever America does (no matter how morally questionable) is justified by it's self-identification with Democracy and Freedom, fused with apocalyptic and hysterically self-righteous Protestantism in the wake of the "failure of Communism".
We're way past canny Republicans selling short when a Bush is elected; shrubco has actually managed to make people think twice about buying Coke.
A gentleman panhandler. One of the pioneers of Canadian animation. Oscar nominee. Poor beggar. An artist unable to create. God observing the world. Fallen angel. Arrogant. Shy. Broken. Not destroyed.
Ryan, directed by Chris Landreth, hovers between animation and documentary, and defies easy definition. It is based on the life of Ryan Larkin, a Canadian animator who, thirty years ago, at the National Film Board of Canada, produced some of the most influential animated films of his time. Today, Ryan lives on welfare and panhandles for spare change in downtown Montreal. How could such an artistic genius follow this path?
In Ryan we hear the voice of Ryan Larkin and people who have known him, but these voices speak through strange, twisted, broken and disembodied 3D generated characters...people whose appearances are bizarre, humorous or disturbing. These appearances reflect Chris Landreth's personal world of "psychological realism."
A world encapsulated in the words of Anais Nin: "We don't see things as they are. We see things as we are."
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Took nearly a year to gather these -- my now defunct political blog was much stickier this way.
The Internet Archives' NetLabels page is a useful index to online labels featuring mp3/ogg files for glitch/ambient etc. aficionados
Several of these I've posted links to one way or another, like no type and kikapu. Some of these labels offer the files on their webpages. no type does but I can't load them into my downloader from there for some reason. But the file directory for each of their releases at IA has links that do work. Nice to have an alternate place to get them anyway, netlife being what it is.
While highways in the conventional road film serve to fulfill its protagonists' desire for escape, mobility, and freedom, After Hours' confined, small-scale Manhattan road spaces function to exaggerate Paul's stifled and bleak lifestyle. Forming the structure of narrative events, these urban roads pave the way for Paul's adventure downtown, connect the film's transient spaces and subplots, encompass downtown settings foreign to Paul, as well as the geographical and cultural ambiguities, and symbolic and physical roadblocks that Paul encounters, and ultimately provide Paul's escape route. The paradoxical, minimal utilization of automobiles in this road film serves to portray the backwardness in modernity that downtown Manhattan represents to Paul; ostensibly, this absence of automobile luxury is an ironic comment on Paul's difficulties in returning home to his normal capitalist surroundings. Compensating for the absence of automobiles, the character of Paul drives the narrative in this filmic vehicle. Scorsese's theme of uncanny repetitiveness also takes advantage of the small-scale road spaces in After Hours...
New publisher Exact Change looks pretty tasty -- specializing in experimental lit, like the first English translation of Picasso's poetry and the collected works of Kurt Schwitters (whom some may have heard on Brian Eno's "Kurt's Rejoinder") [Literary Saloon, a good blog for booklusters]
Schwitters' Ur Sonata is streamable in RealAudio at the redoubtable Ubuweb, natch.
They have also reissued the works of Denton Welch, a favorite of William Burroughs.