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| 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]
John Cleese from The Pythons on how it started and The Paradox:
There was a real sense of discovery. It's like you want to be a painter: however, the paints haven't arrived, there's not much you can do. Then suddenly one day the paints turn up and you start dabbing around and you're excited by all the possibilities. When we joined The Frost Report it was very much we were the young ones, we didn't know anything, we had no track record, and of course we should shut up and listen to the more experienced people, that was fine. But then, as you start doing it that way, a bit of you says, "Oh, what a shame they wouldn't let us do that." As you get more confident that you could make something different work, then the frustration builds up in you. Nothing terrible. We're talking about year of The Frost Report before I was allowed to do The 1948 Show. I was tremendously lucky. It wouldn't ahve happened without Frost. He invited me to be on The Frost Report and asked me to put The 1948 Show together with Tim [Brooke-Taylor]. Unbelievable, I could have spent four years pottering around doing little bits here and little bits there before I would have had an opportunity like it. And the strangest thing I think about Python is how few people tried to copy it. When you think of most of show business, if anything is successful, people immediately begin to copy it, but there was something about Python that had the immediate reverse effect. It was very successful and nobody tried to copy it. Maybe we just became too famous. Hugh Laurie has told me that they'd start writing something and they'd say. "Oh, that's too much like Python," and they'd just drop it. That is a paradox and I don't understand it.
Recording industry executive Andy Gershon sees opportunity in the online file-sharing networks that most of his rivals decry as havens for music pirates. As president of V2 Records, home to such established acts as The White Stripes and Moby, Gershon mines such Internet distribution channels for new fans and revenues.
"The cat is so far out of the bag and so far gone that it's pointless to keep fighting it," Gershon said. "I might as well make as many people fans of our music, whether they illegally download it or not."
A number of mostly independent recording artists and labels have experimented with and embraced the freewheeling digital distribution that the Internet affords. And many worry that a victory by major recording companies in a landmark file-sharing case now before the U.S. Supreme Court could short-circuit the very technologies that they believe are making a more level playing field of the music business.
I read this interview (the translation is a little stiff, but well worth the read) with William Engdahl about the story behind the Ukrainian manouver, and I highly recommend checking the other links xymphora provides to online articles, as well as this one on GM foods
He's written a (perhaps THE) book on oil and Anglo-American foreign policy over the last century.
Haderer's book is the first to be banned in Greece for more than 20 years, and he is the first artist to fall prey of the European arrest warrant system since it was introduced in June 2002.
Yesterday in Vienna, a group of prominent writers and poets called a press conference to draw attention to the plight of Haderer, an Austrian, whose case they claim is crucial to the freedom of international artists.
"It is unbelievable that a person can write a book in his home country and be condemned and threatened with imprisonment by another," said Nikki Conrad, a human rights expert who organised yesterday's press conference. "But he is not going to just sit back and accept this injustice. He is prepared to take this to the European court of human rights. When Gerhard first got the summons he thought it was a joke. But now he is starting to get a bit nervous."
Mr Conrad added that a 1,000-signature petition of international artists, signed by people including the Nobel prize winner Elfriede Jelinek, would be delivered to the EU within the next two weeks.
And perhaps this event above all others - of a nervous phalanx of US marines forcing its way across a prayer ground on one of the holiest, most joyous days in the Islamic calendar, an itching trigger away from a Somalian-style dogfight of their own making - is the one that encapsulates everything that has gone wrong with the global war against terror. The US army came to Afghanistan as liberators and now are feared as governors, judges and jailers. How many US marines know what James Madison, an architect of the US constitution, wrote in 1788? Reflecting on the War of Independence in which Americans were arbitrarily arrested and detained without trial by British forces, Madison concluded that the "accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive and judiciary, in the same hands may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny."
Despite initial scepticism that hardcore Chinese gamblers would appreciate such features, the Las Vegas-style gambling experience has proved popular with low-rolling mainlanders. "I prefer the Sands because the ceilings are higher and it's cleaner than the Lisboa," said Ms. Li, a retired cement factory worker who had arrived on the bus from Guangzhou with plans to bet a substantial part of her small monthly pension on the Asian Princess slot machine. "The showgirls are a bit noisy, but otherwise it is a good way to relax. Life would be boring otherwise."
At first sight, it may seem strange that Macau's casino industry has thrived since the territory was handed over from Portugal to the nominally communist government in Beijing. But the mix of authoritarian politics and liberal capitalist economics has created the ideal environment for a gambling boom. Broken Tooth Ju and several other mobsters have been locked up, the gang wars are no longer on the streets, and Mr Ho's monopoly has been broken by foreign competition.
Despite social problems, Macau's residents are embracing the once-stigmatised casino industry. A few years ago, many local families refused to allow their children to work as dealers. But now, with casino salaries twice as high as the average wage, many young people want such jobs.
For once a DVD combo set worth the money (for fans of comedies of the 30s and 40s): it includes Dinner at Eight, Libeled Lady, Stage Door, Bringing Up Baby, The Philadelphia Story, and To Be or Not to Be
You can get it for $42.89 on amazon, less than $8 a movie. Cheaper on deepdiscountdvd.com, if you can find the page, which I couldn't just now.
The Solipsism blogger ponders the phrase "planing lakes", a reference I found using amazon's A9 search engine, which gives more interesting results than Google in this instance anyway
Speaking of "worlds behind you," I watched What the #$*! Do We Know!? last night and I recommend it as a good introduction to post-religion metaphysics. Ther are many references to quantum physics in the film, but I'm no expert on that subject.
I quite liked Lucrecia Martel's first feature, La Ciénaga, which I just caught up with, along with her award-winning short, Rey Muerto
Not sure about the references I've seen to Buñuel in relation to Martel. Nor the remarks about "black comedy" -- seems very realistic to me -- or decadence -- the movie is far too subtle and empathetic for broad comments like this to do justice to Martel's artistry. Though I've never seen the life of the soon-to-be-ex-middle class of any country portrayed so unflinchingly, the characters don't become so repellent (like in Gummo for instance) you can't feel sympathy for them. I guess the very dry humor is reminiscent of Buñuel, come to think of it, but the sensuality of the light and sound in Martel's work sets her apart.
Ms. Martel credits her family for her becoming a filmmaker. Long siesta hours spent listening to her mother and other women talk about children, husbands and family life impressed her deeply. "In Buenos Aires, where people are more analytical, they speak directly," she said. "But in the provinces, saying something can be a very long journey. Nothing is direct."
Equally compelling were her grandmother's ghost stories about the dead coming back to visit the living. "When I was writing and directing `La Ciénaga,' I tried to keep the rhythm of those conversations and stories in my mind," she said. "They were the kinds of narrative I wanted to capture on film."
It was her father, though, who got her started by bringing home a brand-new video camera when Ms. Martel was a teenager. "I still remember his words," she recalled, making it clear that she considers memory vital to her artistic process. "He told us: `This machine cost as much as a car. So anyone who wants to use it must thoroughly learn the manual.' I recently came across my typed translation of the English-language manual." She added, laughing, "I was obsessed with that video camera."
The camera became her film school. Her six brothers and sisters tolerated her nonstop videotaping. She never tired of capturing seemingly uninteresting moments and then watching them on tape with fascination. It's fair to say that her aesthetic — loopy humor, real-time pacing and an unblinking composition — started here. When her father eventually updated the heavy equipment to a camcorder, Ms. Martel was freed to roam. "For five years," she said, "there's no image of me in family pictures or videos. I was always operating the camera." The other half of her visual style — the restless movement, curiosity and shifting geography — may be traced to those days.
"La Ciénaga" bypasses conventional narrative. Imagine family photographs by someone like Sally Mann mixed with the real-life disintegration of the mother and daughter in David and Albert Maysles's 1985 documentary classic "Grey Gardens," then insert the jumpy visual energy of Harmony Korine's "Gummo," add a meticulous script with the sensibility of David Lynch and you'll have a rough idea of Ms. Martel's accomplishment — as well as some insight into the screenplay's unconventional shape, which seems to have made initial financing in Argentina difficult. [link]
On the other side of the Olympic facility, in the inner sanctum of the world-class basketball hall, the roof is leaking. Buckets, dexterously placed around its carpeted stadium, collect droplets the size of large coins. Across town, on the ancient Marathon route, the drains are clogged. They are also blocked at the multi-million-pound building that served as the press centre during the Games. And, at the rowing centre in Skoinias, the waters have turned stagnant brown. There, officials wonder what to do with a facility now widely decried as an environmental disaster.
One of the smallest nations ever to host the globe's biggest sports event, Greece had hoped the Olympics would transform its citizens' lives as never before. Instead, they are discovering that the 16-day bonanza may have been pure folly. This week, as their government prepares to release a long-awaited bill stipulating the venues' "post-Olympic usage", many are wondering whether staging the Games was little more than an exercise in economic flagellation.
The biggest Olympics ever, and the most expensive in terms of security, the event is believed to have cost about £7 billion, five times more than originally expected. Such a bill, say economists, will take at least two decades to pay off with Greeks as yet unborn footing most of it.