- Middlebrow is over and we're going to watch Sleepy E's The Way of the Puck. (Watch for it coming to a theater near you soon.) We would have started earlier, but the weather is nice and the porch is inviting.
- It is neighborhood cleanup time and we've finally thrown some things out, including the now deceased Speed Queen (q.v.). Two guys in a robins egg blue 1976 F150 have picked her up and hauled her away. She wasn't even out there for 2 hours. What they will do with her, an utterly destroyed 1972 washing machine, God only knows. Perhaps art.
Issue 57: here's an equivocator that could swear in both the scales against either scale
Thursday, June 30, 2005
The Way of the Puck and Neighborhood Clean Up
If I got into a tub it would be overflowing
Courtesy of X-Mission
- Outside down by an Italian ice cart a woman sits at a table sobbing. She looks homeless and no one around her pays her any attention.
- Over in the corner, two business men are in the corner negotiating some contract. They are arguing the finer points.
- A homeless guy in a trucker hat and torn jeans asks for a cup of hot water. They accomodate him.
- A pair of teens in matching stoner clothes (one with rasta hat, one with wanna-be dredlocks) order cheese danishes and ice coffees. They have stoner eyes.
"This is the symphony that Schubert never fini...."
I am not really sure what I thought of Life Aquatic. The obscure construction of fatherhood in it didn't make any sense to me, although I can see that the Bill Murray character seemed to be desiring and detesting the role. In many ways he seemed to be a watered-down Royal Tennenbaum. I guess I just don't get the point. What is it about? Abandonment? Having no father? Seeking adventure? A ten-year old boy's fantasy life come true? (Replete with people carrying guns and all). I'm going to riff on that idea for a while, I think. The whole movie was a kid's fantasy; maybe that is why it is so incoherent.
One question, however, why was it made patently obvious that SZ could not be Owen Wilson's character's father? (Remember the conversation between the two women: "He shoots blanks"--a result of too many years of diving.) Is Anderson just hitting on that need to be a part of something theme again? Man, I feel incoherent just thinking about the movie.
The puzzling question struck a chord in the movie. There are all these relationships gone sideways in the film: the pregnant Jane getting involved with Ned; Zissou himself not really being the father of Ned; the marriage of Zissou and Eleanor and her other marriage with the half-gay Alistair; Klaus's son-like relationship to Zissou and his probable biological fatherhood of Ned. Even reading the statement of these relationships is difficult. Suffice it to say that somehow these people are connected and need each other and at the same time they are their own worst enemies. Ultimately they all end up hurting each other in one way or another (and Ned even ends up dead), yet at the same time they all end up needing each other.
I'm not really making much sense on this issue, I think, because the movie itself doesn't make sense of it. In fact, in many ways it is utter non-sense. I mean what kind of oceanographer knows pretty much nothing about marine biology? Zissou constantly coins names for critters (which Eleanor or Jane correct), and does things that seem to have no purpose (like requiring everyone to carry a gun.) This is the nature of the boyhood fantasy I spoke of in the response at Dr. Writes--it makes no sense and is childlike in its non-sense.At the same time, however, one can say all the non-sense does make a certain amount of sense. Take the guns, for example. Even though it seems arbitrary and boyish to require everyone to carry a gun, that very gun is what rescues them in the long run. I guess what I am saying is like the relationships in the movie, the logic in this movie is also sideways: hey you need to carry a gun because you never know when you will be fighting pirates! That's the same logic I used when I was 9 and carried a big rock in my pocket because you never knew. You just never knew. I don't know what I never knew, but I was sure-as-hell prepared to face whatever it was with my rock if it ever came about.
My rock, however, never came in useful. That is a key difference and is the fantasy feature of this movie. The fantasy are fulfilled here, the wonder is excited (the conclusion of spotting the leopard shark shows that), but the lives in this movie are never fulfilled. They are empty lives, at best, and fraught with loss.The movie like the lives portrayed in it are unfinished. Because of their nature to just make shit up as they go along the characters here never really find what they are looking for.
Tuesday, June 28, 2005
Ah well, during this time I've been able to listen to The Growing Pains of Adrian Mole on BBC7. This is a radio rendition of the books by Sue Townsend. Mole is an interesting character: hugely over dramatic like kids are at that age, but not unbelievable. At first he is a perfectly naive narrator, unable to really comprehend what is going on around him (such as his parent's various affairs). In his mid to later teen years (the subject of "Growing Pains") he has adopted the guise of a "existential nihilist." It is amusing, however, how much that guise slips even in the narration of the diary and how the naive-side pops right back out.
Saturday, June 25, 2005
Cranky caller redux
I'm emailing you because you linked (back in April?) to a story on Boinboing.net about a woman's cranky voice mail - complaining to the theater company about not posting the time of TWELFTH NIGHT.
You also remixed it in Garageband, which was funny, and which inspired me.
The original is there, plus a binhexed copy of my remix.
I don't have a blog, so I'm just leaving it on my web page - if you want to link to my file sharing page, that would be good.
If not, it's no big deal.
The residency had not gone well so far. The students seemed worn out or beaten down and hadn't expressed interest in poetry of any kind, cowboy or otherwise. Even the sky over Jeffrey City looked depressed, as if it were hanging on and hoping for a better day. (27)The students he is teaching are a practical lot, mostly, and are similar to other students he has taught:
One of the bigger, tougher boys looked hard at me and said, "Are you famous?"He was trying to get across the power of senses and the power of extraordinary actions, so he asked them to go out and lick at tree
"I want to know if you're famous."
We'd had a lesson eaqrlier in the week on oxymorons, those paired opposites, like "burning ice," "jumbo shrimp," and "compassionate conservative." I thought I'd make a joke and let myself off the hook at the same time, so I said, "'famous poet' is an oxymoron."
"Oxymoron, my ass," the boy said. "No bullshit. Are you famous or not? 'Cause if you're not, I got no time to be out licking trees."
You're not like us is what he meant. And if you're not famous--i.e., rich--then we dont' have to be like you. (24-25)
I kind of see the tree licking as a metaphor for poetry itself, in this case. The student didn't see the value in something bizzare like tree licking, and sure as hell didn't see the value of words laid out on the page in a strange fashion. Ultimately, it seems, the idea of poetry is not seen as a new way of perceiving, but as a strange activity done by people who "live far away in big cities, or are dead" (27).
Even the cowboy poetry that folks in the towns he visits
I would argue that those folks who don't paint their barns in the West
I am making an anology with poetry and painting a barn here. By that I mean that poetry is not mere decoration, but is vital to our lives. How is it vital? Well I won't proclaim any sort of grand expertise other than just living, but poetry gives us a way of looking at something in different ways. It also gives us a method of expressing something that is difficult to express. A life without poetry, in other words, is a unpainted barn exposed to the elements. Ultimately it will decay faster and become useless.
Marianne Moore puts it like this:
I, too, dislike it: there are things that are important beyond
all this fiddle.
Reading it, however, with a perfect contempt for it, one
it after all, a place for the genuine.
Hands that can grasp, eyes
that can dilate, hair that can rise
if it must, these things are important not because a
high-sounding interpretation can be put upon them but because
useful. When they become so derivative as to become
the same thing may be said for all of us, that we
do not admire what
we cannot understand: the bat
holding on upside down or in quest of something to
eat, elephants pushing, a wild horse taking a roll, a tireless
a tree, the immovable critic twitching his skin like a horse
that feels a flea, the base-
ball fan, the statistician... (Poetry 1-21)
'Son, make your life go here. Here's where the peoples is. Them mountains is for animals and savages.'
This morning I woke to find that for whatever reason the Blogger was now not liking my template. Bascially it was putting the latest entry's title in the proper spot and then putting the entry itself way down the page just below the side bar box. I didn't really want to dig into the style sheet for the page and I could see nothing wrong in the HTML code for the template, so I just decided to bag that craptastic, thrown-together template, and go for something new. (I also temporarily replaced the template with Blogger's most simple one, as Cordelia noted, since that white space annoyed me so. Apparantly the font size on that one was really big for the sight impared.)
At first I looked around the web for ready-made templates (my how lazy I have become), but seeing nothing I liked and feeling shame at the thought of using someone else's stuff, I decided to buckle down and learn all the stupid little tags that Blogger uses. The result is before you. It uses fan-damn-dancy cascading style sheet stuff and hoot-tooting layers rather than the tables I usually use.
The green and leafy scheme is meant to contrast the hot and stony front end It is analogous to how I see Utah: hot, rough-cut red-rock desert contrasted with wet and verdant mountains. That's what summer is all about here in the the marrow of the world.
Thursday, June 23, 2005
Experiments with Persitence of Vision or The Well Digger's Ass
You will also note a new composition at the top: "A Year and a Day." It is a video composition this time and consists of all the pictures that were on my PowerBook accompanied by a driving The Arcade Fire song. The PowerBook is a year old now and has quite a few pictures in it. I was fiddling with iMovie again, and wondered what would happen if I used stop motion timing to mostly non-stop motion pictures. The results are interesting. The "slide show" plays backwards and forwards--going forward halfway and then backwards. What I find interesting is that it seems to be a different set of pictures backwards. Fetching A!
Wednesday, June 22, 2005
"Why wouldst thou be a breeder of sinners?"
"No," I said nonchalauntly, dodging a 5 year old who was headed for my plate of hors d'oerves and mug of wine.
"I don't see how people can have children. They are so demanding and self-centered. And look what they have to look forward too!" She then proceeded to launch into a diatribe wondering how people could have children in our day and age what with all the problems and the horrible nature of humanity and the horrible decline that the world is going into.
I felt a bit slack-jawed after her rant and all I could think to say was "Oh I think I can see the appeal in having children." There was a tense moment then and luckilly my interlocutor was pulled away by another acquiatance.
Monday, June 20, 2005
"Your own personal Jesus."
Sunday, June 19, 2005
What a story the cat must have.
And when we got home out in front of the house was the street light from over the street neatly placed on the parking strip. Across the street were the remnants of the pole: it was snapped in 3 places. With the light part on our side was a branch. At first we thought it was from our tree, but on further inspection we saw that it was from the tree nearest to where the light stood. A few moments of CSI and we determined the the light pole had been taken out by someone who was very drunk late last night (the branch had just slightly begun to wilt.) It must have been a spectacular sound. The Sugar Cam looks at that very spot, but I think the foliage blocs its way now. Anyone see anything?
We'll have on-the-scene pictures of the snapped pole and camping on the noon news.
UPDATE: apparently the light pole was hit by a geriatric who became distracted and went off the road. The person was not hurt, but one assume the person was driving a big old-person's car.
Wednesday, June 15, 2005
"I don't know," I responded wanting to move on from the subject. "I don't know."
Tuesday, June 14, 2005
Can anyone really explain the infield fly rule?
If you had a mascot what would it be and what would you name him? What would you name yon Stinger's beast?
I think my mascot would be a vicious panther and his name would be Q.T. McWhiskers. (And you thought I was going to say a wookie, didn't you?)
I felt compelled to write about the incident. As I mentioned in the entry itself, I also felt repulsed by the idea. Ultimately I wrote about it because I am seriously wondering what the hell the response was all about. I was hasty in writing about it, and am glad I was, because not 20 minutes later, the whole event had slipped out of my attention, and only reading it here reminded me of it again.
Monday, June 13, 2005
Shock and Awe
The visit just happened moments ago, and I was friendly and inquisitive and happy to see her, as she was me, but now I just feel unsettled, distracted and am thinking far too much about what could have been etc. etc. etc, and what I did wrong and what was wrong and what was right and the future and about love and...well you get the picture. And all this from someone I thought I was over with years ago.
What the hell is up with that?
Sunday, June 12, 2005
"I said let's have a beat"
In this album, however, I found someone more interesting than Bobby Byrd (or even Maceo Parker, who I know a lot more about): Myra Barnes. Barnes was in Brown's troup and had two hit songs "Super Good" (a direct response to Brown's "Super Bad") and "The Message from the Soul Sisters" which has the funkiest piano riff I've heard in a long time. I know it has been sampled somewhere, but I just can't place it.
Saturday, June 11, 2005
There is a movie is this.
Friday, June 10, 2005
Terrible Blue Oyster Cult Reference
Assertively Unhip and Middlebrow fear the Stinger.
See other pictures at you know where.
Thursday, June 09, 2005
Wincing levels at maximum!
Wait three beats.
Wednesday, June 08, 2005
Don't worry! The True Hollywood story of Wookie Rage will be out sooner later.
Monday, June 06, 2005
"Am I only dreaming? Is this burning an eternal flame?"
The melody of "True Love Ways," of course, quite pretty and yearning yet peaceful (like all love songs), so let's look at some of the words:
Ok, easy enough--simple meter--simple rhymes, but what odd repetion of words: "why" "by" and "know." Then one is left with the perplexing "true love ways." Which "you" seems to only one to understand. What, you might think, are "true love ways" and what (by implication) do these simple yet mysterious lovers know about them? There is also the implication that this is all going to take some time. All is not happy in Hollywood, in other words (sorry).
Just you know why
why you and I
will by and by
know true love ways
The next verse is a bit easier, perhaps:
Sometimes we'll sighAh the ups and downs of love. We all know about them. The bitter fights on Valentines day. The secret desire for your mate's friends. The desire for someone else. The little complaints representing the bigger issue. The feeling of hopelessness in the absolute need to hold on to someone yet the equally absolute need to pursue something else. ("Don't take my heart don't break my heart, don't throw it away." "I can't stand this indecision/married with a lack of vision/say that you'll never never need it/everybody wants to rule the world. All for freedom and for pleasure/nothing ever lasts forever." (God I am quoting Tears for Fears lyrics again. Forgive me.) The tears of the pain caused one another. The sighs of regret? The sighs of guilt? Or is it a more hopefuly sigh of missing someone? I doubt that.
sometimes we'll cry
and you'll know why
just you and I
know true love ways
Note that in this section instead of the soaring violins, Holly introduces the saxophone. Now I don't need to explain the relationship of the saxophone to sex as a musical analogy. We all know it. It is the instrument of pure lust, if you will, right down to its use in the famous stripper theme that comes to mind to, say, the Benny Hill theme which is good-natured comic libertinism incarnate. In the grammar of music, saxophones are sexy, if not pure sex itself. It is a sex, however, without the "true love ways" that seems to start off the song--that represented by sobbing violins. In other words, I think that Holly is implying the singer's (perhaps his own) infedelities are the cause of all the sighing and the crying here. This, of course, is also true love ways: lovers are often not constant.
The next verse continues this theme in a natural fulfillment of where the song is going in the minor key:
Throughout the daysBut hey, wait a minute, these are good things. What's up with the minor key, Buddy? Yes, yes we know that the expectation for the song is that it will go minor at this point to reach a transition that will make everything all better in the long run. This is where its all supposed to be bad--not with the happy sax/sex in the second verse that is ruining your "true love ways." He, of course, undercuts this weird minor key with an insistent violin rush in the second lines of the verse. "will bring us joys to share/with those who really care." The intensity here emphasizes that these "true loves ways" are not just the simple interaction between the lovers, but a broader aspect of care for others, and a need to have people who understand.
our true love ways
will bring us joys to share
with those who really care
Sometimes we'll sighhas become the refrain, this time not accompanied by the lusty sax, but those true love violins, echoing the sighing and the crying. Suddenly you begin to suspect that Holly gets it; that love is not that easy; that you fuck up; that "true love ways" is a metaphor that love, indeed, is not just the easy little thing that kids think it is, but it is a sort of shared secret that only people who do love each other really understand.
sometimes we'll cry
and you'll know why
just you and I
know true love ways
Wait a minute! Our friend the sax is back in a long extemporaneous interlude. I would note, however, that the soaring violins have somehow repressed the sax. The violins themselves are louder than the sax, and the sax only has ascending descants (or are they called ascents?) to add to the mix. Seemingly the relationship has controlled it. No more philandering for you, Mr. Sax!
Holly then repeats the second verse and the refrain. Has he run out of energy? Nah. The point is in that couple, and he has to emphasize it. That is the resolution of the odd phrase "true love ways."
In all is it a "little help from my friends" kind of strange little love song? What do other have to do with it? Why bring in those others into the simple diad of the lovers?
There is a strange appeal due to its murkiness, don't you think? But isn't that the way of it? Isn't that true love ways?
Wish I knew what you were looking for
Might have known what you would find
Wish I knew what you were looking for
Might have known what you would find
(The Church, "Under the Milky Way.")
Sunday, June 05, 2005
trueloveways.mov (video/quicktime Object)
Friday, June 03, 2005
That's not the only thing that is flaring
Wednesday, June 01, 2005
Match Game 2005!
UPDATE: We have a winner! With her answer of "training bra" Lisa (sorry not Lisa B.) successfully matched our extra-special super guest star Gary Burghoff and wins a lifetime's supply of Turtle Wax* [TM]!
For those who didn't win, we have a fabulous consolation prize!
*That's exactly one can.