| 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]
Added some new links at left, including 2 online film magazines: Bright Lights Journal which covers all kinds of films, and Kinoeye, a more scholarly site with in-depth articles on European films; the current issue focusses on classic Polish film directors, including articles on Polanski's obsession with body parts and the influence of artist and writer Bruno Schulz on the Quay Brothers
I try to portray the incomprehensible as non-human, unlike America, where you anthromorphosize inanimate objects through human intentions, but I think this can be true of human beings as well. Ultimately, the Other - anyone who is not us - remains incomprehensible no matter how much we try to communicate - and we should try to communicate with the Other. This concept is valid because we are surrounded by the Other: the incomprehensible humans and incomprehensible actions human beings take.
I don't necessarily see the apocalypse as a negative or a tragic conclusion. It's not despair. It's the culmination of a certain trajectory that may lead to a new beginning where we can acknowledge that the Other remains inscrutable. We can devise new systems for coexistence with the Other. I don't know what that future would look like, but I don't portray it as misery.
He also has the dubious honor of having one of his films remade by Hollywood. Which means you won't be able to find a Region 1 DVD of Pulse, though a Region 3/NTSC version is cheap and easy to find, for those with region-free players.
If you don't know his work, I suggest starting with Seance (Korei), a very spooky psychic/ghost story with a nice wedge of sociological resonance to boot.
My favorite of his films is still the first one I saw, Cure (Kyua), which takes an Aum Shin Rikyo vibe and splices it to a Chandleresque police procedural and ends up in a queasily existential Twilight Zone.
Kurosawa takes a special interest in subverting genre and narrative expectations, BTW -- not always successfully IMHO (Doppelganger).
But his vision is unique.
I'm still trying to figure out how his fascination with Robert Aldrich (Kiss Me Deadly, Attack!, The Big Knife) (whom he reverently alludes to in several DVD interviews) informs his style (Kurosawa certainly takes noir elements somewhere they've never gone before).
Review of the Survival Research Laboratories DVD from Bright Lights Journal
The group's performances are the ultimate DIY creations, from the crude posters that recall punk rock's hand-scrawled ads to the robots themselves, which can vary from small automatons with knives attached; to a 20-foot accusatory metal "finger"; to sinister anthropomorphic creations mixing metal and fur; to vast, creaking contraptions that slam through brick walls, incinerate other robots and objects with flamethrowers, or mow down anything in their path. Names like "Throwbot", "Sprinkler from Hell", "Rabot", and "Mr. Satan"> show the group’s sense of playfulness around these computer-controlled 'bots. These creatures — they must be called that — have a maniacal quality but also quasi-human aspects that give a strange poignancy to their activities, a quality recognized in the black-comic titles of the pieces: Bitter Message of Hopeless Grief, A Scenic Harvest from the Kingdom of Pain, The Pleasures of Uninhibited Excess, and the hilarious The Delusions of Expediency: How to Avoid Responsibility for Social Disintegration by Acting Without Principle Under the Pretense of Utility. The titles are like inverted moral messages from the Victorian era, an idea borne out by the florid nihilism of the events themselves; they also satirically echo the inspirational sloganeering of communist societies, e.g., "Red" China's Strive to Complete and Surpass the Production Responsibility of 12 Million Tons of Steel!
As we speak, American over flights of Iranian soil are taking place, using pilotless drones and other, more sophisticated, capabilities.
The violation of a sovereign nation's airspace is an act of war in and of itself. But the war with Iran has gone far beyond the intelligence-gathering phase.
President Bush has taken advantage of the sweeping powers granted to him in the aftermath of 11 September 2001, to wage a global war against terror and to initiate several covert offensive operations inside Iran.
The most visible of these is the CIA-backed actions recently undertaken by the Mujahadeen el-Khalq, or MEK, an Iranian opposition group, once run by Saddam Hussein's dreaded intelligence services, but now working exclusively for the CIA's Directorate of Operations.
It is bitter irony that the CIA is using a group still labelled as a terrorist organisation, a group trained in the art of explosive assassination by the same intelligence units of the former regime of Saddam Hussein, who are slaughtering American soldiers in Iraq today, to carry out remote bombings in Iran of the sort that the Bush administration condemns on a daily basis inside Iraq.
Perhaps the adage of "one man's freedom fighter is another man's terrorist" has finally been embraced by the White House, exposing as utter hypocrisy the entire underlying notions governing the ongoing global war on terror.
But the CIA-backed campaign of MEK terror bombings in Iran are not the only action ongoing against Iran.
Mr Weinstein believes that some senior officers are so heavily involved in a culture of intolerance - and the rest are so blase about what is going on - that the entire academy leadership should be replaced.
A Yale Divinity School report and a liberal group, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, cite many examples of alleged abusive behaviour by evangelicals.
Examples include placing "Passion of the Christ" flyers on every place-setting in the mess hall to frogmarching cadets who fail to attend chapel into their barracks.
Given their content and their reach, it’s likely that Christian broadcasters have helped drive phenomena that have recently confounded much of the public and the mainstream media — including the surge in “value voters” and the drive to sustain Terri Schiavo’s life, a story that was incubated in evangelical media three years before it hit the mainstream. Nor has evangelical media’s influence escaped the notice of those who stroll the halls of power. They’ve been courted by the likes of Rupert Murdoch, Mel Gibson, and George W. Bush. All the while, they’ve remained hidden in plain sight — a powerful but largely unnoticed force shaping American politics and culture.
Hunter’s manuscript pages were themselves manic, bristling works of art designed to turn the long, tedious job of writing, editing, polishing, and retyping a manuscript into a task worth staying up for. They were typed on the IBM Selectric or written longhand in his distinctive, exclamatory script on various kinds of custom letterhead. Never on boring blank pages. Sometimes he used stationery from the Woody Creek Rod and Gun Club (Hunter Stockton Thompson, Executive Director), or the Gonzo Fist. Sometimes it came from pilfered sources, like:
CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20515
Then there was his homemade photocopied stationery, which combined lurid photos, tabloid headlines, and other media detritus that struck his fancy. Where they came from I never found out, and I never asked why, but for weeks at a time all the pages arriving at the office were typed under a letterhead that said:
VULTURES ATTACK FUNERAL AND EAT THE CORPSE!
or CONFIDENTIAL OPEN AT ONCE FROZEN SEMEN
MAN SUCKED THROUGH 11-INCH WATER PIPE
FORGET THE SHRIMP, HONEY, I’M COMING HOME WITH THE CRABS
What Hunter is justly celebrated for, among his other virtues, is his authorial voice, his truest creation, as powerful and unique a voice as exists in American letters. But this instrument, as his editors knew, existed only on paper. Those poor souls who booked him for public speaking gigs found that out soon enough. But Hunter’s authorial voice was perhaps at its purest and most potent in the memos and marked-up manuscript pages that came through the wires late at night and were waiting for us in neat little piles in the fax machine.
Burrowing into the ether fog of well-rehearsed self-pity Straightening the guise of that good son Who does not know if it was Tues. or Mon. The architecture of my dirty grief rose towering like the city.
A couple print magazines that are worth a look: Arthur (the Guardian calls it "American counterculture's answer to the New Yorker") & Dream (focussing on psychedelic "& beyond" music) [via boing boing & Arthur's blog]
The new issue of Dream has an interview with Robert Wyatt and his partner Alfreda Benge and the second part of a Terry Riley interview, as well as a companion CD with material from Piano Magic, Mushroom and Testbild! among others.
Arthur's current issue features an in-depth intrerview with Sri Lankan/Brit singer/MC M.I.A., Peter Lamborn Wilson on US secessionist movements and Erik Davis (Techgnosis) on 2 NoCal organically grown bohemian enclaves (or "unintentional communities" -- see boing boing for post with excerpt).
Security forces could employ the weapon to overcome resistance without resorting to force, their paramount aim. But experts warn that the effects of prolonged exposure are unknown.
The army employed the new device, which it dubbed "The Scream," at a recent violent demonstration by Palestinians and Jewish sympathizers against Israel's West Bank separation barrier.
Protesters covered their ears and grabbed their heads, overcome by dizziness and nausea, after the vehicle-mounted device began sending out bursts of audible, but not loud, sound at intervals of about 10 seconds. An Associated Press photographer at the scene said that even after he covered his ears, he continued to hear the sound ringing in his head.
A military official said the device emits a special frequency that targets the inner ear. Exposure for several minutes at close range could cause auditory damage, but the noise is too intolerable for people to remain in the area for that long, he said.
Ubuweb, the sound/visual art archive many are so fond of, has ceased updating -- though it will be archived on a university site permanently
If you haven't visited this site, it's a wealth of downloads and streams of what they call "avant-garde materials".
It's great it's being preserved, but too bad it won't grow.
Some of the artists represented: Cornelius Cardew, John Cage, Marshall McLuhan, Guy Debord, Bruce Connor, Kurt Schwitters, Ogden Nash, William S Burroughs, George Maciunas, Kenneth Anger and the Tape-beatles.
My friend Jeph Jerman is going on tour this week starting in Boulder CO on Thursday the 9th
I've been waiting til I can talk about his music in some kind of coherent way, but I'm too scattered and enervated.
Suffice to say his work varies from sound art using found objects with an emphasis on their persussive possibilities to free jazz. He's mentioned John Cage and Albert Ayler many times, but he listens to all kinds of music -- and especially when there isn't music (check out his sound diary).
Jeph's been a member of the City of Worms and Animist Orchestra ensembles, as well as many other collaborations.
He'll be performing this time in duets with 2 musicians I haven't heard, and they may each do solo sets beforehand depending.
Here's the itinerary:
june 9th (with tim barnes) boulder museum of contemporary art 1750 13th st. boulder co
june 10th (with tim barnes) + gallery 2350 lawrence st. denver co
june 16th (with paul hoskin) gallery 1412 1412 18th ave. seattle wa
june 17th (with paul hoskin) the mark 407 columbia olympia wa
june 18th (with paul hoskin) astoria visual arts (AVA) gallery 160 10th st. astoria or
june 19th (with paul hoskin) FIX gallery 811 e. burnside portland or
On last year's tour of the eastern US, Jeph stopped at WFMU and performed live: go here and scroll halfway down.
Paul Hoskin is a founder of the Seattle Improvised Music Festival and plays the baritone sax and contrabass clarinet. Samples of his music are on this page.
If you like the music I refer to here, I think you'll find these shows stimulating, challenging and entertaining.
Jeph also has a new solo album coming out soon on fargone records, Lithiary, which he may have copies of on the tour. He sells CD-Rs and tapes direct from his website too. Jeph has done many field recordings and has some of them up for sale too, including sounds of the area we live in (the central AZ desert, ghost towns).
If you make one of the shows, tell Jeph you heard about it through Gordon's blog. That'll be a nice little kick for me.
During more than 50 years of acting in films, theater and television she played everything from Brecht's "Mother Courage" to the mother superior of a convent, and from an aging ballerina to the Prime Minister Golda Meir of Israel, and repeatedly won praise for her work. Arthur Penn, who directed her award-winning Broadway performances in "Two for the Seesaw" and "The Miracle Worker," both by William Gibson, put it this way: "More happens in her face in 10 seconds than happens in most women's faces in 10 years."
Nicholas Johnson, whose Big Dead Place site I learned about a while back, has finally published his book of the same name, which no doubt exudes the same noirish aroma, expanding on the singular distillation of medieval indentured purgatory that is Antarctica for the working class there