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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]
Stephen King reviewsLunar Park, the recent Bret Easton Ellis book inspired by King's work
I'm not quite a Bret Easton Ellis virgin. I read American Psycho just to see what all the bellowing was about, and thought it was bad fiction by a good writer, the sort of hectoring narrative you can't wait to get away from at a party, delivered by a guy who's backed you into a corner and keeps telling repetitive anecdotes while his drink dribbles slowly onto your shirt.
Lunar Park is nothing like that. I got no sense that Ellis has any real grounding in American horror fiction (I'm pretty sure he's read Shirley Jackson, Ray Bradbury, and, of course...me), but he's clearly seen enough movies to know what works and what to avoid. Surely it will be the only work of mainstream American fiction to be reviewed in Fangoria magazine this year. Think of it as...I don't know...John Cheever writes The Shining. If that turns your stomach, fine; many of the critics who've reviewed Lunar Park have stuck it in the literary microwave and given it about four hours on high. If it sounds interesting, however, maybe you're with the group who finds the book a strange triumph.
Bradley Thayer, a retired apple farmer from Okanogan, Wash., traveled 7,500 miles to get his torn knee ligament fixed, and says he paid a third of what it would have cost him in a U.S. hospital. And that included air fare to Bombay.
Thayer, 60, had no health insurance when he fell and injured himself while summering in British Columbia. He says his U.S. doctors told him he would have to wait six months for surgery and pay bills totaling $35,000. So he joined a rising tide of American and European patients heading to India, Thailand and Singapore for top-class orthopedic surgery, plastic surgery, infertility treatment and cardiology that come much cheaper than in the West.
Texas-born businessman Robert Carson, 46, says he pulled out of hip replacement surgery the evening before it was scheduled in a Bangkok hospital.
A TV program about a new treatment — hip resurfacing — convinced him the procedure was less invasive and promised more mobility since the bone was shaved and not cut as in a traditional hip replacement. The procedure is not offered in Thailand. Three days later he was in Bombay and being operated on by Dr. Ameet Pispati, a British-trained pioneer of the procedure.
"I'd come back in a minute even if costs were equal to the U.S.," he said. "I would come because of the personal care."
He had found his American doctors stingy with information, whereas "the doctor here was very communicative. He told me what could go wrong and what he's done before," said Carson. "And it's not because I'm a foreigner; other Indians also received equal personal care."
Many doctors give their patients their home and cell-phone numbers and encourage them to call with questions.
The absence of long waiting lists also draws patients.
Cindy Sheehan, the "Peace Mom" who led anti-war protests near President Bush's Texas ranch last month, was virtually unknown a year ago. The U.S. body count in Iraq hadn't hit 1,000 and a solid majority thought the war was just. The anti-war movement seemed dead.
As activists converge this weekend on Washington, D.C., for what they hope will be the biggest anti-war demonstration since before the invasion of Iraq, a majority now tells pollsters the war was a mistake and wants the troops home.
Bush's approval rating is as low as President Johnson's before the Vietnam War hijacked his presidency. More than 1,900 U.S. soldiers have died in Iraq, among them Sheehan's son, Casey. The government's initial response to Hurricane Katrina, criticized as sluggish and ineffective, fueled more opposition to the war, organizers say.
"People are reflecting on the Bush administration's callous response to the hurricane and asking what's all the money and material and people doing in Iraq when it could have been used to prepare here," says Bill Dobbs, spokesman for United for Peace and Justice, a sponsor of this weekend's Washington events.
Organizers expect more than 100,000 people for a march around the White House on Saturday. Sheehan is scheduled to speak. Rallies by war supporters are expected along the route.
It's been available as a DVD set since Tuesday, with material they won't have on PBS. But if you don't buy it, it will no doubt be essential viewing for anyone interested in pop music, the 60s, or American reality.
The two-part film, which focuses on the singer-songwriter's life and music from 1961-66, includes never-seen performance footage and interviews with artists and musicians whose lives intertwined with Dylan's during that time. Dylan talks openly and extensively about this critical period in his career, detailing the journey from his hometown of Hibbing, Minnesota, to Greenwich Village, New York, where he became the center of a musical and cultural upheaval, the effects of which are still felt today.
For the first time, The Bob Dylan Archives has made available rare treasures from its film, tape and stills collection, including footage from Murray Lerner's film Festival documenting performances at the 1963, 1964 and 1965 Newport Folk Festivals, previously unreleased outtakes from D.A. Pennebaker's famed 1967 documentary Don't Look Back, and interviews with Allen Ginsberg, Pete Seeger, Joan Baez, Maria Muldaur, and many others. In anticipation of the film, members of Dylan's worldwide community of fans also contributed rarities from their own collections.
In places where blogging is journalism, you can be arrested for posting opinions about the state or the powerful; thus Reporters WIthout Borders' new blogging handbook, available here in English, French, Chinese, Arabic and Persian
The media watchdog said it gives people who want to set up a blog tips on how to do so, how to publicise it, as well as how to establish credibility.
It also offers advice about writing blogs from countries with tough media restrictions, such as Iran and China.
In China as of June 30, all bloggers must be registered with the state.
At first Gloria Goodale's article on the new serial shows -- with a tantalizing name-drop of Twin Peaks (still only the first season on disc!) -- makes it sound like there might actually be something worth watching; but reading further my expectations dropped [disinfo]
Might check out Invasion on Wednesday, I guess -- despite this fake blog ABC has up instead of a website.
It'll all come down to a unique and bracing vision and sustained good writing, as always, with an able cast of course...
Punk: Attitude, Don Letts' excellent film on the punk scene of the late 70s and beyond is really a great tonic for outsiders and iconoclasts of any stripe -- it made me feel better about being myself than anything I can remember
The DVD is a 2-disc set, I just saw the first disc with the feature; disc 2 has over 2 hours of extras, which may well be far less interesting or empowering. But who cares?
Though The Sound of Music, West Side Story, The Day the Earth Stood Still & Executive Suite are unavoidable (for me, only the latter was watchable), I'll remember him best for editing Citizen Kane and directing The Andromeda Strain (one of those movies I can always watch) & The Haunting, that's just me. I have still to see The Set-Up & Born to Kill -- his 2 notable noirs from the 40s -- or Odds Against Tomorrow for that matter. And Blood on the Moon is one of my favorite Westerns and Bob Mitchum movies (with Barbara Bel Geddes!).
Personal anecdote: I actually sat alone in a car for 3 hours (at age 8) because I refused to sit through Sound of Music. Musicals, feh!...
Our job as viewer is to use our most harsh judgmental talents and pigeonhole each character as expediently as we can. We can do this by their dress, their actions, their desires, speech etc, whatever information we are supplied. I believe that The Big Lebowski is essentially a mocking commentary on our own tolerance, or rather intolerance. We can judge Jeff Lebowski "The Dude" on his ability to be a hero or failure noting that either may formulate itself in distinct shapes, sizes or even decades that they are unable to extricate their cultural awareness from. Throughout the entire scope of the film, as 'The Dude' comes across more and more diverse characters, he appears quite strangely nonjudgmental. This includes his landlord Monty and his one-man show dance quintet or Maude Lebowski's bizarre method of artistic endeavor whilst being hoisted across the room totally naked while haphazardly splattering paint on a canvas positioned on the floor. He is unusually accepting of other peoples lifestyles. Perhaps this too is an underlying statement on what it means to be a man: tolerance.
Two Navy helicopter pilots and their crews returned from New Orleans on Aug. 30 expecting to be greeted as lifesavers after ferrying more than 100 hurricane victims to safety. Instead, their superiors chided the pilots...at a meeting the next morning for rescuing civilians when their assignment that day had been to deliver food and water to military installations along the Gulf Coast. While refueling at a Coast Guard landing pad in early evening, Lieutenant Udkow said, he called Pensacola and received permission to continue rescues that evening. According to the pilots and other military officials, they rescued 110 people. The next morning, though, the two crews were called to a meeting with Commander Holdener, who said he told them that while helping civilians was laudable, the lengthy rescue effort was an unacceptable diversion from their main mission of delivering supplies.
Evolving for more than a century, jazz has never been confined by American borders. And the music world is shrinking fast these days, said pianist and composer Jon Jang.
"With technology and globalization, things are moving quicker," said Jang, a 51-year-old Californian.
The foundation of American music has been African-American spirituals, Jang said.
"The greatest music in our country has been created by people who were not from here and were brought here as slaves against their will," he said.
In an increasingly diverse society, he said, much of the great new work will come from people who come from elsewhere but choose to be part of the United States, with varying levels of assimilation into existing American music.
Jang said his own music involves placing Chinese folk songs in the jazz or symphonic worlds.
At Monterey, Jang's seven-piece group will perform what he said is "Chinese music on paper, but it sounds like jazz."
Jang credits Tim Jackson, who took over as festival general manager in 1993, for helping to keep the lineup exciting.
[Twenty-seven-year-old Raymond Kristiansen] is spearheading the use of vlogs in politics, as an active member of the youth wing of Norway's Liberal Party.
At a recent campaign event ahead of the elections, the leader of the Liberal Party did a photo-op with a local businessman in Bergen. While the mainstream media gathered around to record sound bites, Kristiansen stood in the background, taping the entire event with his small camcorder.
"I'm from the party, and yet I'm looking at the party," Kristiansen says of his strange middle role. "I see myself as a mix of sort-of archivist, someone trying to capture things immediately.
"I am inside, and I am promoting the party, and if I do decide to put some of this online, it will be to show how the media use our party."
Kristiansen says he is looking for perspectives on politics that will energise a new generation of Norwegian voters.
"Today in Norway, many youth are feeling disillusioned with politics," he Kristiansen. "They feel that politics is all the same. And if I can interview people, put them online, it lowers the barrier."
Which only demonstrates again how bankrupt and philistine Hollywood is: a more powerful director like Spielberg would never have to put up with this shit.
Nothing new here, but a good chance to plug one of my favorite directors.
Also on the same IMDB newspage: Hunter Thompson's suicide note as published in Rolling Stnoe.
And I want to mention that TCM is showing the rarely seen Powell/Pressburger classic The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp on Sunday night at 715PM PT (DVD currently OOP in North America), preceded by their interesting, lowkey propaganda film from the early years of WWII, 49th Parallel, starring Lawrence Olivier, Leslie Howard, Anton Walbrook & Raymond Massey.
The latter has some remarkably uplifiting scenes of a communal Mennonite community in Manitoba you'd never find in an American film.
Blimp is followed by one of Garbo's silent classics (which I haven't seen), Flesh and the Devil, with film icon John Gilbert.
Finally, if you haven't seen them and I don't get around to posting about them, don't miss 2 other rarely shown Powell/Pressburger classics later this month, A Matter of Life and Death (like Blimp starring Roger Livesey, as well as David Niven and Kim Hunter) & Black Narcissus (starring Powell paramour during the filming of Blimp -- at the age of 21 -- Deborah Kerr), a remarkable study of faith and desire. Peeping Tom was Powell's first step beyond his Pressburger collaborations, and is as admired today as it was vilified after its release -- and a much better movie than the other breakthrough classic of homicidal psychosis circa 1960, Psycho.
Great news, just wish it was happening faster, there's so little Ozu available -- even in other regions -- with decent English subtitles and quality prints. I know this is partly because the restorations can't always be easy.
"You can do everything for other countries, but you can't do nothing for your own people," [47-year-old Daniel Edwards] added. "You can go overseas with the military, but you can't get them down here."
The street outside the center, above the floodwaters, smelled of urine and feces, and was choked with dirty diapers, old bottles and garbage.
"They've been teasing us with buses for four days," Edwards said. "They're telling us they're going to come get us one day, and then they don't show up."
Every so often, an armored state police vehicle cruised in front of the convention center with four or five officers in riot gear with automatic weapons. But there was no sign of help from the National Guard.
At one point the crowd began to chant "We want help! We want help!" Later, a woman, screaming, went on the front steps of the convention center and led the crowd in reciting the 23rd Psalm, "The Lord is my shepherd ..."
"We are out here like pure animals," [Isaac] Clark said.
"We've got people dying out here — two babies have died, a woman died, a man died," said Helen Cheek. "We haven't had no food, we haven't had no water, we haven't had nothing. They just brought us here and dropped us."
Tourist Debbie Durso of Washington, Mich., said she asked a police officer for assistance and his response was, '"Go to hell — it's every man for himself.'"
Outside a looted Rite-Aid drugstore, some people were anxious to show they needed what they were taking. A gray-haired man who would not give his name pulled up his T-shirt to show a surgery scar and explained that he needs pads for incontinence.
"I'm a Christian. I feel bad going in there," he said.
Earl Baker carried toothpaste, toothbrushes and deodorant. "Look, I'm only getting necessities," he said. "All of this is personal hygiene. I ain't getting nothing to get drunk or high with."
The president urged a crackdown on the lawlessness.
"I think there ought to be zero tolerance of people breaking the law during an emergency such as this — whether it be looting, or price gouging at the gasoline pump, or taking advantage of charitable giving or insurance fraud," Bush said. "And I've made that clear to our attorney general. The citizens ought to be working together."
Donald Dudley, a 55-year-old New Orleans seafood merchant, complained that when he and other hungry refugees broke into the kitchen of the convention center and tried to prepare food, the National Guard chased them away.
"They pulled guns and told us we had to leave that kitchen or they would blow our damn brains out," he said. "We don't want their help. Give us some vehicles and we'll get ourselves out of here!"