==pla|\|ing lakes==

a forest called Simmer Down, wrapped in plastic
bloghome | 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." -- Rilke

        the powering,
                the Widening,
                all faces followers of

                All colors, beams of
                woven thread,
                the Skin

                alight that
                warms itself
                with life.

-- Akhenaton, "Hymn to the Sun"

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(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

The Power of Nightmares: The Rise of the Politics of Fear (2004, Curtis) [available for streaming/download here]

(r) = re-reading

The Blonde - Duane Swierczynski

Swansea Terminal - Robert Lewis


vaccine - v/a [hot flush]

skin diagram - david tagg

microcastle - deerhunter

saturdays=youth - m83

the serpent in quicksilver - harold budd

index of metal - fausto romitelli

Rocket to Russia - Ramones

and then one day it was over - elian

monsoon point - amelia cuni & ali gromer khan

set or performance - richard chartier

the world that was surrounded by a deep forest and warm light - ryonkt

cocoon materia aurora

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Monday, October 28, 2002

Juan Rulfo's photographs

The library had the new book of Juan Rulfo's photographs of Mexico, from the same period as his famous Pedro Paramo

wood s lot posted about the new edition of Rulfo's seminal magical realism text with photos by Josephine Sacabo (scroll down to 10/24), so I checked out his photos, which are gorgeous black and white prints (compared to Adams and Weston in the accompanying essays), often transparent and surreal at the same time.

I never read One Hundred Years of Solitude or any other Latin American MR books, but somehow I'm intrigued by this.

I visited Palenque back in '87, and it was way past surreal.

8:40 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Interesting astronomy pic today: a sat shot of the Richat Structure in Mauritania (Sahara)

Not the result of a meteor or a volcanic explosion, their best guess is erosion -- but that seems a stretch to me. It's 50km (about 31 miles) across.

What do you think? (After midnight ET, I guess the pic will be here.)

8:17 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Sunday, October 27, 2002

Funny account of Oxford Union debate over file sharing including Hilary Rosen [drudge]
Hilary Rosen asks "Put up your hand if you download and burn music" (most hands go up). She then asks "Keep you hand up if you buy more music because of it" (many stay up). She gets worried and immediately asks some different and confusing set of people to put their hands up, causing everyone to look miffed, and everyone putting their hand down)

One of the proposition reading out several verses of "Thank you for the music" by Abba. We got the point after the first verse, but we then stated to wonder if he had permission from the rights holder, or was he simply claiming "fair use"?

The proposition trying to defend the vast profits they make on many CDs sales, and trying to make themselves look philanthropic about many of the artists they take on

11:26 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Wednesday, October 23, 2002

Eminently sensible Janis Ian on downloads and the music industry
The recording industry says downloading music from the Internet is ruining our business, destroying sales and costing artists such as me money.

Costing me money?

I don't pretend to be an expert on intellectual property law, but I do know one thing: If a record executive says he will make me more money, I'd immediately protect my wallet.


On the first day I posted downloadable music, my merchandise sales tripled, and they have stayed that way ever since. I'm not about to become a zillionaire as a result, but I am making more money. At a time when radio playlists are tighter and any kind of exposure is hard to come by, 365,000 copies of my work now will be heard. Even if only 3f those people come to concerts or buy my CDs, I've gained about 10,000 new fans this year.

2:39 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Here I am once again, suckered into checking out some animation when it comes to video.
As always, Miyazaki turns his back on the simple stories of good and evil that make up most animation. What interests him isn't conflict, but harmony. In Spirited Away, it's not all about right and wrong, but about sickness and health.

Yubaba may be wicked, but she has her reasons, and she keeps her promises. Yubaba is a fond--too fond--mother. And she keeps a cool head when an immense and vile customer disrupts the bathhouse. The spa is hard work, almost slave labor, for Chihiro. And yet it's a place of cleansing and healing--at a hefty price-- for spirits polluted by contact with human beings.
Usually I can't really sit with these films, even though I can appreciate the artistry (I tried Princess Mononoke too, couldn't stick with it). Maybe this will be different.

The premise alone is more interesting than most movies provide.

12:19 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

4-H Clubs adapt well to changing times, membership triples in Washington State [u]
Welcome to 4-H, a seeming anachronism that has remained so flexible that it is now the largest youth organization in the United States.

Its farming focus has evolved into programs centered on computers, rockets, baby-sitting or clubs that combine old and new interests the way this one does. Members of the Colonial Critters do hands-on work with crafts, cooking and with animal breeds brought to this country by colonists -- but many use the Internet for research.

No matter what the topic, the goal is the same: Raise the next crop of leaders by teaching children how to achieve and how to use each other's gifts.

Two decades ago, when raising swine had gone the way of home canning for most of us, 4-H membership hovered between 25,000 and 30,000 in Washington state. Today, it's tripled to 86,000, and 67 percent of the members live in urban areas.

The same thing is happening elsewhere in the U.S., where 4-H reports nearly 7 million members.
More fool me -- I thought 4-H was still about marching pet sows to the county fair.

I think Kevin Phillips said something about the importance of clubs and associations in American democracy in Arrogant Capital....

This is a great example.

1:01 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Tuesday, October 22, 2002

Frida opens (finally) on Friday
Because any film about Kahlo is just as much about Rivera -- if the couple were alive today, they'd be daily gossip fodder for the New York Post's Page Six -- "Frida" belongs just as much to Molina as it does to Hayek.

Calling their relationship complicated doesn't even begin to explain it: Rivera cheated on Kahlo shamelessly, including a devastating affair with her sister, Cristina. Why she stayed with him was unfathomable: Fat, brash and selfish, he reminded her of a toad, she often said.

But Molina's portrayal of the muralist is so vivid, it helps explain the mystery of their bond. He was her mentor, then her colleague. He was her friend, then her lover. He was fascinating and dynamic, and he understood her in a way no one else had, or ever would.

Hayek's portrayal of Kahlo is just as powerful. You don't feel like you're watching an actress recreating the key events of a famous person's history; you feel like you're watching the artist come to life before you.

It's not just that Hayek bears a great physical resemblance to Kahlo, complete with the trademark unibrow (though she stopped short of an obvious mustache).

Hayek brings such infectious joy and breathless energy to the role, such palpable drama and pathos, she's positively magnetic. It's a performance that will change her career.
What a neat cast -- Salma Hayek as Kahlo, Alfred Molina as Rivera, Hayek's husband (and co-writer on the script) Edward Norton as Nelson Rockefeller, Antonio Banderas as David Siqueiros, Ashley Judd as photographer Tina Modotti.

If all you can you remember of Kahlo is Melanie Griffith reading Hayden Herrera's biography (with a different cover, a self-portrait) in Something Wild here's some more info.

Quite a lady quite an artist. She's still so controversial (she died in 1954), it took years for a film to be made about her. Communist, bisexual, fiercely proud of her Mexican heritage, she lived in pain much of her life and had many surgeries after a car accident. Some have said she became addicted to surgery (I forget the medical term for this).

Georgia O'Keefe thought she was the best female artist of the 20th century.

Yet none of this conveys her uniqueness, even at this distance (I've only read articles about her), I can tell.

4:28 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Monday, October 21, 2002

Well, now I can relax

Universe to collapse in only 10-20 billion years

Forget that early retirement.

10:36 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Bob Crane, meet Kenneth Anger

CSM's David Sterritt boosts Auto Focus

This paragraph is interesting:
Crane seemed born to play the affable Hogan, projecting clean-cut sincerity with every flash of his charming smile. Behind the scenes he was a tad more complicated, though, fretting about his career and thumbing girlie magazines when his wife and kids weren't looking.
Um, how many guys does that describe? But perhaps this makes a point in a unintentional way. Crane was an everyman who stumbled onto the perfect TV role for his limited talents -- the Hogan of Hogan's Heroes, itself an oddly popular, anomalous take on a cartoonish Nazi POW camp. There's a subterranean sinister banality to superficially yet relentlessly upbeat 60s sitcoms, which suits the occult-glam of Nazi regalia in a way that's hard to pinpoint. Has anyone analyzed the weird popularity of this show?

For me, Kenneth Anger epitomizes the fitful Janus-face of iconized beauty shared by Hollywood and the Nazi elite. The fallen kitschiness of Himmler's Aryan-blonde Knights Templar fantasies (Anger had a collection of Nazi regalia he sold to Keith Richards in the early 80s) mirroring the precocious MGM-lush ode to idealized masculinity Scorpio Rising & the pop icons acting out Satanic devotions in Invocation of my Demon Brother, and the decidedly anti-glamorous Hollywood Babylon books.

Perhaps Bob Crane got caught in that space between icon and regular guy that Hollywood exploits (perhaps definitively) so well, and got hit with the orgone blowback from his little dirty movies.

Everyone's gone to the movies
Now we're alone at last

3:13 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

OK, last film post for now

Nice long piece on visionary filmmaker Godfrey Reggio and the new third installment in his trilogy, Naqoyqatsi (Life as War)

He's had support from the likes of Georgia O'Keefe, Francis Coppola, and Steven Soderbergh (whose profits from Erin Brockovich helped finance Naqoyqatsi).

Koyaanisqatsi is one of my favorite films, and the Glass score is my favorite of his work (I'm not that big a fan really). Yet I never got around to Powaaqatsi. The new one sounds pretty cool.
Naqoyqatsi features some of the ideas that fueled Koyaanisqatsi and Powaqqatsi: wordless images of man's ongoing struggle with technology and industrialization, set to Philip Glass' hypnotic music. (The first two films were released on DVD last month.) But from there, the new work departs greatly. In Naqoyqatsi, Reggio used almost all archival or "found" images instead of shooting locations -- taking images and "degrading" them by digitally manipulating them to make a commentary about how man appears to be losing the war. Man, as he puts it, is no longer a master of technology; he has become technology, and nowhere is that more clear than in the power of the image.

"The image itself is the location," Reggio says. "The task of this film was to deal with the evil demon of images."

They come hurtling at the viewer sometimes at lightning speed, sometimes camped out, staring back at the viewer, challenging. Reggio breaks the film down into three "movements": "Numerica.com," a series of metamorphoses including the natural to the supernatural; "Circus Maximus," in which life becomes one big game; and "Rocketship 20th Century," where the film's theme of civilized violence suggests a world so advanced that language can no longer explain it.
This article delves into Reggio himself in some detail.

1:40 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

New Shohei Imamura film Warm Water Under a Red Bridge
(Akai hashi no shita no nurui mizu) Getting up toward 80, Japanese master Shohei imamura continues his exploration of desire and quirky sex: a man in search of treasure instead finds a woman whose orgasms are accompanied by prolonged geysers of water that make the fish swim and the birds sing. (Yep.) Poetic and sometimes deadpan hilarious. With the great everyman actor, the lanky Koji Yakusho ("Shall We Dance"; "Charisma").

I knew I remembered that name. He directed Ballad of Narayama back in '83. What a killer film. Gorgeous, devastating; Japanese fatalist Buddhism -- and animistic adoration of nature despite its impassivity -- at it's most seductive.

This new one sounds um lighter. It's his first since '89's Black Rain, apparently. Wait, I guess not.

1:25 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Wow. Adam Sandler in a movie compared to Tati's Mon Oncle

Another booster for Punch-Drunk Love
From those first moments of "Punch-Drunk Love," you'll know you're in for an aggressive portrait of disconnection and externalized inner chaos that will either disturb or annoy the shit out of you. It's a comedy about OCD with OCD. For me, it's the 32-year-old director's best picture. Why? Because I can cite you a half-dozen influences or parallel bits of art and it still won't give you a clean picture of what Anderson does, not with Sandler's persona, but with Sandler himself. This performance is frightening, spot on, utterly haunted. Oscar? Don't laugh. Won't happen, but it's not unworthy.

1:09 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Short interview with Ade Blackburn of Liverpool's Clinic

Have to check them out.

1:00 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Sunday, October 20, 2002

About Bloody Time file

Hanes to market tag-less t-shirts

6:25 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

The new Kevin Baker historical novel Paradise Alley -- like Martin Scorsese's upcoming film Gangs of New York -- brings the Civil War draft (and race and religious) riot of New York alive
Everyone feels the tension in the air, the static electricity ready to ignite social unrest in a city already charged by strikes and uncontrolled inflation. City government flees, sensing the impending explosion, leaving 2,300 policemen -- almost all Irish -- to deal with whatever trouble may come from their fellow Irishmen.

Meanwhile, the city's 6,000 firemen, also Irish, serve on a collection of viciously competitive teams. (Sometimes, men from five or six different fire houses fight for hours over an available hydrant while the building they've come to save burns to the ground.)

When the city's toxic fumes of resentment and fear finally ignite, it's a ghastly conflagration, captured here in all its consuming savagery. Baker's extraordinary talent -- even beyond his capacity to uncover such a mountain of grisly detail -- is his ability to organize this chaos and dramatize it in a way that's sensible to us.
You could buy your way out of the draft with $300, and there were fears of freed slaves thronging to the North, competing with the newly immigrant Catholic Irish for jobs.

4:48 PM - [Link] - Comments ()


I noticed the titles of the 3 books I'm reading, as they lay on their sides: Forbidden Truth - Unholy Alliance - Distraction.

I'm creating my reality, though it sure seems like it's creating me sometimes.

3:59 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Diphtheria bacteria create a toxin that destroys some brain tumors; some patients live for over a year instead of weeks

Somehow this reminds me of Norman Spinrad's story "Carcinoma Angels" from the 60s (It was in the first Dangerous Visions anthology, which was very good). Though it ends sadly, and this is a hopeful news item.

Isn't it great that you can search for an obscure story and find the text immediately (sometimes anyway)?

Maybe I'll pick up a copy of DV.

3:33 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

I have a good feeling about Igby Goes Down

It's one of those films I can sense might be worth seeing from the press it gets, and the casting. It's got a main character played by an actor I wouldn't ordinarily think twice about watching (Kieran Culkin), whose performance sounds just right. The rest of the cast is well-known and talented (Susan Sarandon, Bill Pullman, Jeff Goldblum, Claire Danes), but not in the marquee-showy way of top-heavy footballs like Red Dragon (though I'll watch it for Fiennes playing a psycho anyway, when it's on tape).

Plus the director's name is Burr Steers. That counts for a lot in a way I can't explain.

Finally, it's a satire. You can find physical comedy (admittedly done poorly a lot of the time) a lot easier, and it's just not interesting to me unless it's done really well by someone with heart. Satires that are well-written I roll over for in a heartbeat.

Hope I like it after all that...

1:59 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Saturday, October 19, 2002

A list of the "25 most influential ambient albums" by the folks who produce the Echoes show

I see Steve Roach and Robert Rich were among the judges, which is fine. But this is an idiosyncratic list, as GraceNoteX on NerveNet mentioned. I would put Discreet Music ahead of Airports, at least for myself. And I think I got No Pussyfooting even before DM.

Plus something or other by Satie would be essential, I would think.

But of course this could go on forever...

11:57 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

"There are very practical ways in which people can empower themselves, and there is nothing irrational in seeking such aids"

New NYC store sporting the latest in anti-terror wear

The guy in the picture just looks so hapless.

Do I need to say it?

2:46 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Friday, October 18, 2002

Lost World sighting

Bird with apparent 14-foot wingspan sighted in Alaska

3:36 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Engaging interview with Paul Schrader, director of the new Bob Crane biopic Auto Focus

Of the 9 films mentioned as his best in later years, Affliction was the only one that worked even partially for me. Though as the article says, he has at least been holding to a vision of sorts, unlike many others. And the short and sweet David Thomson piece on it sure makes Auto Focus sound worth a look.

3:27 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Dull tip

Benzocaine drop "revolutionizes condoms"

2:55 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Thursday, October 17, 2002

Nick Tosches' In the Hand of Dante sounds intriguing

I've heard good things about him, and his Dean Martin bio has been praised to high heaven, but I've never gotten around to it. One of those authors, well, you're either on his wavelength and love him or else he's a talented but self-important bore. Or so it seems.

11:29 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

On Travis Hugh Culley's The Immortal Class: Bike Messengers and the Cult of Human Power
Even in the motion-blurred realities of rolling endlessly between towering Chicago office buildings, the author squints hard to make impassioned observations about that world of glass giants, flustered receptionists, parking garages and traffic jams. He's not just scanning the cityscape for the travesties of the corporate world and the cultural and environmental toxicity of "car culture." Culley's also looking for "instances of incredible beauty, stories of human struggle, great ideas and religious highs."

11:12 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Tech columnist annalee newitz "will not blog" but likes LiveJournal

I checked out LJ when blogger started acting up back in the day (last summer), along with several other blogging sites, but nothing worked for me. I ended up here when my brother decided to try his hand at the idea.

I like the idea of LJ, but since blogging is my main creative outlet (so to speak) and I'm pretty reclusive on- and offline, it wasn't for me. But if you're looking for the community experience, it seems to be their forté.

11:04 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Wednesday, October 16, 2002

bOINGbOING suggested Dismuke for streaming audio of music from the 20s and 30s and I checked it out the other day -- very nice, well-programmed with excellent quality sound for the age of the music

Can't get into their site right now, though I seem to be in one of those pockets of void right now -- my call-managing software is offline too.

Here's the link to the 365.com station page. There's realAudio at the home page too, though I couldn't get it to work the one time I tried.

10:52 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Nice bunch of free mp3s on label pages listed on Alex's watchlist

K, Ryko, darla, kranky, Matador, mille plateaux . . .

And this blog got listed on there somehow too . . .

At least some of these are samples I realized later.

2nd update:
Labels were updating too often, so Alex sent this link instead:

Thanks Alex!

3:04 AM - [Link] - Comments ()


Weak intellectual copyright laws seem to be a key to the success of developing economies -- like say, the US in the 19th century. . .
The global debate over intellectual property rights - patents, copyrights and trademarks - is focused mainly on forward-looking industries such as computer software, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology. But Americans can look back to the 19th-century experience in book publishing, for example, to understand the developing world's viewpoint.

Back then, U.S. law offered copyright protection - but only to its own citizens and residents. The works of English authors were copied with abandon and sold cheaply to an American public hungry for books.

This so irritated Dickens - whose "A Christmas Carol" sold for 6 cents a copy in America, considerably less than in England - that he toured the United States in 1842, urging the adoption of international copyright protection in the long-term interest of American authors and publishers.

Such appeals proved unpersuasive until 1891, when the United States had a thriving literary culture and a book industry that wanted its own protections abroad. Congress then passed a copyright act extending protection to foreign works in return for similar treatment for American authors overseas.

12:59 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Monday, October 14, 2002

How slashdot survived and kind of prospered

9:57 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Laurie Anderson on NPR talking about performing after 9/11, writing about New York for the Encyclopedia Britannica, and her stockbroker brother's request [page] [RealAudio]

3:05 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Portland (OR)-based electronica label IsDiff spotlights local talent -- and offers streaming and downloads of at least some artists

I'd be willing to pony up a few bucks for high-quality downloads -- they should make that an option.

3:25 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

New York's Gogol Bordello goes on tour
Gogol Bordello shows are wooly New York legend, a mix of surrealist cabaret theatrics and anarchic rock antics. Crazy stories abound -- about the drunken Latvian prime minister slumped on stage, about late-night, plate-smashing, table-dancing debauchery, about hot candle wax guzzled along with copious vodka rations. The Gotham hype surrounding Gogol Bordello's stage show has reached such a fever pitch, Hutz won't discuss it anymore.

"I'm not gonna tell you anything about it," the singer says in pungent Slavic English. "All I tell you is that it will be approximately like circumcision, baptizing and a wedding at same time. It's a Gypsy secret."

3:10 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

New memoir trend: sex worker lit

3:04 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Mostly positive review of Moonlight Mile -- which I'd otherwise stay miles away from -- spotlighting Jake Gyllenhaal's (Donnie Darko) performance

2:58 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Single-parent prostitute is newest comic superhero
Of the many wonderful things about The Pro, the most startling and refreshing are its politics. For a change a prostitute is the smarter, morally superior and stronger of the lot--without coming anywhere near the hooker-with-a-heart-of-gold clich?. Plus she's hilariously nasty, venomously pissed off and sports a behind you could bounce a quarter off.
Not um for kids.

2:48 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Johannesburg brings Tuscany to South Africa -- complete with artificial sky
There is, after all, a long history of attempts to recreate nostalgic European fantasy landscapes in Africa. Evelyn Waugh wrote that on his trip to Kenya in 1931, everyone he encountered seemed to be trying to recreate the vanishing lifestyle of the English country squirearchy, with local tribesmen conscripted into the role of the peasantry.
But supposedly the trend is moving away from vestigial neo-colonialism in SA architecture.

2:26 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Architects and community (and the Robin Hood Foundation) come together to create an inspired and inspiring new library out of a school gymnasium in Queens
When it was finally done, and the paper was pulled back, I had a faculty meeting and said, "OK, all you skeptics, come downstairs with me." I opened the library doors, and they just stood outside. They didn't want to come in. It was almost as if they felt they were entering sacred space. "Just come in," I said, whispering. And they were amazed. They had their mouths wide open, speechless. "We had no idea this was going on inside that wall," one teacher said.

2:16 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

"...that nice dominatrix I was telling you about."

Mistress Morgana mainstreams S & M

1:38 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Nice little article on Fark founder Drew Curtis

1:24 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Sunday, October 13, 2002

Glad once again that I don't have XP on my PC: Service Pack 1

Hope I can get W2K when I get another PC, unless I get a Mac. . .

10:06 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Art exhibit explores "art and ideas on the fringes of intellectual property law" to show how copyright restrictions kill art [u]

4:02 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Kickball is back -- in organized adult leagues

Which is nice -- people having fun playing games without the heavy manners of pro games or even Little League (which some parents have been taking way too seriously lately).

But there's something about "adult organized" kickball which is like say, the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame -- it used to be essential to their enjoyment that they weren't something adults would touch with a ten-foot pole.

But at least people are having fun without feeling guilty -- no small feat these days.

Now if we could just get adults to stop playing army. . .

2:42 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Sorry Opera users!

I'm aware this site looked funky before in Opera, the links area especially. Now the archive tag completely fucks up the links area, disappearing the links etc.

We're working on it, but I'm leaving up the archives because it's important to have access I think.

For now use Mozilla/Netscape/IE please. I'll announce when we have this at least semi-compliant.

Now I understand a bit of what web designers have to deal with. Bleah...

2:04 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Saturday, October 12, 2002

Tomorrow's Gleason biopic on CBS might be decent, shows some shadow

I was never a fan of The Honeymooners (landmark though it was), though I thought he was excellent in The Hustler and Nothing in Common.

The film stars Brad Garrett -- who is a foot taller than Gleason -- and only covers his life up to the his most famous role as Ralph Kramden.

11:20 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Relevant lyrics

Warning sign, warning sign,
I see it but I pay it no mind.
Hear my voice, hear my voice,
It's saying something and it's not very nice.
Pay attention, pay attention,
I'm talking to you and I hope you're concentrating
I've got money now, I've got money now,
C'mon baby, c'mon baby.

Warning sign of things to come (take it over, take it over)
Someone's talking on my telephone (when we're
older, when we're older)
Hear my voice, move my hair.
I move it around a lot, but I don't care. (what
I remember)

Warning Sign, Warning Sign,
Look at my hair, I like the design.
It's the truth, it's the truth.
Your glassy eyes and your open mouth
Take it easy, take it easy
It's a natural thing and you have to relax,
I've got money now, I've got money now.
C'mon baby, c'mon baby.

Warning sign of things to come (turn me over,
turn me over)
Love is here but I guess it's gone now (hurry up
babe, hurry up babe),
Hear my voice, move my hair.
I move it around a lot, but I don't care.

Do you remember
What it is that you remember
Baby remember
Baby remember.

-- Talking Heads

12:55 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Friday, October 11, 2002

Michael Donaldson (Q-Burns Abstract Message) on re-mixing Eno
Hello friends ....

I do a project called Q-Burns Abstract Message ... have had three CDs released on Astralwerks ... blah blah blah ...

Anyway, I am a huge Eno fan ... have been since I was but a wee tot ... and I've done a bazillion remixes for a bazillion different artists ...

but, personally, I'd never touch Eno.

For one thing, my reverence for his tracks (especially the early vocal works) makes such a task completely daunting ... and also, a major point of remixing is to either improve a work or to help it apply to different contexts (i.e. the dancefloor) which seems a bit pointless to me with regards to Eno.

so ... my opinion : less Eno remixes, more Eno-inspired tracks ....

eh? [via Nerve Net list]

8:25 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Thursday, October 10, 2002

Jeffrey Eugenides, Donna Tartt and Zadie Smith on writing second novels
"I wanted to see if I could top myself," Eugenides confirms. "I made it hard on myself, because my idea for the second novel was to write a large comic epic of a book. There were times when it gave me enough trouble that I thought, Forget this big idea, let's do the small one. But it was like I had seen the enchanted mountain and I couldn't get it out of my head," he laughs. As she explains it, Tartt's desire to do something completely different from The Secret History entailed "starting again at the beginning and learning how to do my work in a completely different way: formally, psychologically, in all respects." Jettisoning the self-conscious pretensions of The Secret History, she focused on developing characterization and narrative. A fusion of the children's adventure genre and Southern gothic -- imagine Harriet the Spy meets Faulkner -- The Little Friend follows a young girl (named Harriet, incidentally) on a quest to solve the mystery of her brother's murder. In her Mississippi backwater town, Harriet is cosseted by a lovingly concocted menagerie of spinster aunts (the remains of a grand old family halfway to ruination). "The Little Friend is a much more symphonic work, with different movements and many different voices," says Tartt. "Very few of the lessons I'd learned in writing The Secret History applied." This meant that "sometimes, at the end of the day, I end up throwing away everything I've done, like Penelope unraveling her day's weaving."

2:53 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Tuesday, October 08, 2002


The Rich Pageant of Rural American Life As Seen On TV

I've had the opportunity recently to see episodes of The Waltons and Little House on the Prairie and I have to say I really enjoy both. The advantage of Little House is that with fewer characters you get to delve more deeply into the rich fantasy life and cultural complexity of the frontier/rural experience. Really get to KNOW the characters and the warp and weft of their existential, crisis-to-crisis lifeflow.

It's a real education, I'll tell you what.

4:00 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Classic Zippy on anime/Japanese culture today

Make sure you check it today, or you'll have to wait a month for the archive to view it -- or for the 2002 Zippy Annual.

1:04 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

After Dawn claims the House of Representatives has allowed a victory for small webcasters

Still seems like a lot of money to me, but anything would be better than no broadcasting at all.

Senate/shrub approval still needed.
Under the new licensing terms, small webcasters whose revenues are less than $250,000, will pay appx. 10 percent of their revenue or 7 percent of their expenses, in licensing fees to RIAA. Whichever figure is higher, that will be used. Also medium-sized webcasters, whose revenue is between $250,000 and $500,000 a year, pay based on their revenue -- 12 percent of their revenue or 7 percent of expenses (again, whichever figure is higher, it will be used). Big webcasters will use the old fixed fee contract.

2:17 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Monday, October 07, 2002

CSM reviews 3 new books of note

2:37 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Fears of a lurch to the American motorized, alienated aesthetic in traditionally more socially-aware and environmentally-minded Holland
Rich in urban and environmental skills, Dutch architects and engineers have shaped civilized cities, doted on mass housing, and tooled well-crafted buildings. Notably tolerant, its citizenry has endorsed "social housing" or low-income rentals -- foreign to market-driven America. From public transport and bicycling, to sustainable space and environmental protection, the virtual island nation has framed standards for the world.

Now, however, some see a shrinking of these urban and social values. In the wake of the conservative election after the murder of far-right candidate Pim Fortuyn, the Dutch worry that market dictates and the move to the right could undo progressive living policies. Some fear that social housing, which once accommodated 70 percent of the population but now is down to 30 percent, could descend still further. Others watch anxiously as suburbanization and motorization expand and new shopping centers spin off the freeway.

Boom times in Europe's new global economy have fed the urge for more space for a swelling population of l6 million in l3,000 square miles (the size of Connecticut). Like the sprawling US population, the affluent Dutch display both a real and a perceived need for more living space. Even before the election, privatization and motorization had begun to worry planners.

11:54 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Another sign the end is near: Americans are spurning burgers
...McDonald's stock is already down 60 percent in three years. The golden archetype of reliable meals on the run has seen its same-store sales fall 2.5 percent globally in the second quarter. Revenues at rival Burger King are stagnant. Jack In The Box warns that same-store sales may drop 3 percent.

Experts credit the downturn largely to consumers' boredom with monotonous menus, as well as rise of health-conscious eating. The slow, steady shift in consumer sentiment, say observers, has left McDonald's and its peers with a mandate: Reform, or be deep fried.

A current effort to diversify menus by adding more-sophisticated items marks a significant turning point for the fast-food industry, which has built a food empire, and changed American culture, squarely on the back of burgers and fries.

11:09 AM - [Link] - Comments ()


I'm adding some amazon links here, more to advertise books I like than make any money (I've had some up on the other site for a while and after the first week I don't think anyone's used them at all).

I wanted to add Steve Erickson's Amnesiascope, but it's out of print (naturally). I really like it, and haven't read but one of his other books, finding them far less engaging (Days Between Stations -- no wait, I read American Nomad about the '96 election, it wasn't bad). That seems to be the 2 camps fans of his work fall into, from a comment on the amazon site linked above.

Anywho, Amnesiascope rocks. Henry Miller was an inspiration apparently. The link has used copies for as little as $3.24, and half.com probably has it cheaper.

Here's some:
I love the ashes. I love the endless smoky twilight of Los Angeles. I love walking along Sunset Boulevard past the bistros where the Hollywood trash have to brush the black soot off their salmon linguini in white wine sauce before they can eat it. I love driving across one black ring after another all the way to the sea, through the charred palisades past abandoned houses, listening through the open windows to the phone machines clicking on and off with messages from somewhere east of the Mojave, out of the American blue. I've been in a state of giddiness ever since the riots of ten years ago, when I would take a break from finishing my last book and go up onto the rooftop, watching surround me the first ring of fire from the looting. I still go up there, and the fires still burn. They burn a dead swath between me and the future, stranding me in the present, reducing definitions of love to my continuing gaze across smoldering panoramas as Viv, my little carnal ferret, devours me on her knees. I love having nothing to hope for but the cremation of my dreams; when my dreams are dead the rest of me is alive, all cinder and appetite. Don't expect me to feel bad about this. Don't expect my social conscience to be stricken. My conscience may be touched by my personal betrayals but not my social ones: the fires burn swathes between me and guilt as well. In this particular epoch, when sex is the last subversive act, I'm a guerrilla, spending my conscience in a white stream that douses no fire but its own.
Not sure about sex being the last subversive act, but I love the Ballardian mood, with a richer environment, not so de Chirico-empty-surreal.

3:00 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Sunday, October 06, 2002

A rating of the best public libraries in the US (5-page .pdf) broken down by city/town size [The Virtual Acquisition Shelf and News Desk]

Ohio, Indiana and Utah come out best state-wide.

1:01 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Gary Price directed me to a review of "Reader's Advisory" sites, if you've exhausted amazon's recommended reading

Looks like these are useful sites, though the idea of finding books related to an author or book seems more like what amazon does than these sites, which focus on genres and so forth. But there's lots of good links to lists of award winners, etc.

BookBrowser has a nice page of series listed in chronological order, even if that's not the order in which they were published, which is handy.

Bookspot has many useful-looking links on their home page, though I found several dead or old links clicking at random.

Good links for booksearching anyway.

12:49 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Friday, October 04, 2002

Another take on Dr Phil, this time through his best-selling book, Self Matters: Creating Your Life from the Inside Out
What intrigues me about Dr. Phil is that if you listen to him long enough, you realize that he's propagating nothing less than the tenets of existentialism, a philosophy that cartoonists love to portray as the domain of grim-faced beatniks smoking cigarettes in bistros with rain clouds hovering over their berets.


You won't see the big names and the big words, but the sentiments are all there. Living in this world with assigned roles (he writes) rather than an authentic self drains you of the critical life energy you need for the constructive pursuit of things you truly value. By contrast, once you start living your life with an authentic sense of self, then all of that diverted, otherwise wasted life energy starts speeding you down the highway of your life.

10:42 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

The latest sign of the media-mainstreaming of reading as a leisure activity (like Oprah's Book Club) is Bookmarks Magazine, which sounds like a blessing for people who don't want to wade through NYTBR etc.
Think of it as the Consumer Reports of reading. Bookmarks, aimed at those "who don't spend they're entire weekends studying review after review," collates reviews of major releases and processes them into a ratings system. Most books receive about a half page of discussion, including a plot synopsis, excerpts from major reviews and a short summary of the rest. Each book then receives a one-to-five star rating. Reductionist, sure, but just because people have more time on their hands doesn't mean they're not still used to easily digestible info-nuggets.


Lots of people like reading, but literati snobbery turns many away from what should be a fun, stress-free activity.
Like with most choices I make, my intuition is my guide to what I read most of the time. But this seems a good choice for people who need a quick overview because they don't read that much.

Clay Risen makes an interesting point that "magazines are increasingly becoming things to be used rather than read."

I need to find a way to get paid for managing people's information diet. . .

10:33 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

MTV buys the rights to Shawn Fanning's life story

He's, what, 23 now? So I guess we can look for this round about 2050, right?

11:44 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

A new survey by The Economist of the best cities to live in
The EIU's study gave each city [out of 130] a 'hardship rating' based on a number of factors including health and safety, culture and environment, and infrastructure.
Best: tie between Melbourne and Vancouver

Worst: Port Moresby, New Guinea

Highest US city: Honolulu (21); Boston (mainland, 28)

Australia has 5 in the top ten. Europe is also well-represented (7 in top ten). Canada has 3.

Wonder where Auckland is?

10:11 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

The daughter of 2 English PhDs bathes with trash
...So, ignore what your parents told you: judge a book by its cover. Buy it. Read it. Because, all in all, pulp has taught me some pretty valuable lessons:

1. Bad boys get all the breaks; bad girls get what's coming to them.

2. A career is fine for a woman, as long as she gets to meet some nice men.

3. You can't solve all the world's problems, so why not have a martini?

4. Life is cruel, the streets are hard and your past will always catch up with you.

5. When all else fails... seduce someone.

1:21 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

"Brain brain brain. What is brain?"

A college student with an IQ of 126 has been catscanned and found to have almost no brain at all (he's hydrocephalic)
The condition is usually fatal in the first months of childhood. When a patient survives, he's almost always seriously retarded. But somehow this student lived a normal life and even graduated from college with honors in math.


But if the brain isn't the place where experiences are stored and analyzed, then what's the brain used for? And if our human intelligence doesn't exist in our brains, where is it? Dr. Rupert Sheldrake is one scientist who rejects the idea that the brain is a warehouse for memories. He thinks it may be more like a radio receiver that can tune into the past like an internal time machine.
No smart comments about the US educational system. . .

1:06 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Thursday, October 03, 2002

Book reviews

Powell's sends me reviews of (mostly new) books every weekday. Here are some reviews I liked of books I'll probably read.

12:52 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Wednesday, October 02, 2002

Heather Havrilesky on Dr Phil and his new solo shot
Dr. Phil may well be the Chauncey Gardiner of the self-improvement circuit. He gets by on his courage of conviction and a distinctly American charm. His mantras have a simple, macho feel to them, combining down-to-earth small talk between good old boys with the tough talk of football coaches and the jocular slang of beer commercials. To a country swimming in distinctly feminine, New Age flavors of self-help, Dr. Phil's red-blooded American male delivery has pulled self-improvement out of the closet. "You either get it or you don't," he tells us, sounding like a hardened old bartender who's seen it all.

2:01 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Russian Buddhist's body said to be without decay 75 years after death

1:34 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Tuesday, October 01, 2002

The CODeDOC Exhibit of software art at the Whitney [Schism Matrix]

Have to look through this, looks interesting. The Camille Utterback piece crashed my PC when I tried to escape it, though (WIN98SE).

1:54 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Some tech projects of note
The Hybrid Nanorod-Polymer Solar Cell, The DriveBy InfoFueling Car and The Handheld DNA Detector, etc.
Managing chip behavior and the Gibsonian nightmare of chip manufacturing
Today's smallest transistors are only 0.1 microns across (about 0.000004 inches), compared with the 0.8- micron transistors on the first Pentium. As transistors become smaller and wires shorter, new behaviors set in. Transistors and wires are already starting to act in ways that classic electronics theory didn't predict. Individual electrons go renegade and tunnel into places they don't belong.

In today's chips that channel a trillion electrons at once, these anomalies are benign. But when tomorrow's chips massage a few hundred electrons here and there, a few loose ones can upset everything. Probability and quantum mechanics will play bigger roles. Future chips will be mostly air, with delicate bridges of silicon and copper spanning chasms of empty space. Sapphire, diamond, and SON (silicon on nothing) buttress the structures as fabricators strive to preserve classical electronics for a few more years. Beyond that, optical or quantum computing may hold sway.

12:18 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

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Rarely has reality needed so much to be imagined. --Chris Marker