Saturday, January 31, 2004

Queen of the Night. (via Mysterium)

Alpha Everyman. (via Rebecca Blood)

Styrogami. (via Tofu Hut, who says: "This is simultaneously a triumph of the human spirit and one of the saddest things I've ever seen.")
I too have cats, but i won't let you see them.
Pronounces "Ziegen Bock" with a TS.
I don't want to read your Long Poem.
Then of course if you allow Yugoslavian Heavy Metal, then Laibach trumps them all.
The Top 500 Heavy Metal Songs of All Time, Martin Popoff. Which made me start my own list...

1."Purple Haze", Jimi Hendrix
2."Immigrant Song", Led Zeppelin
3."Sober", Tool
4."Eighteen", Alice Cooper
5."War Pigs", Black Sabbath
6."Aqualung", Jethro Tull
7."The Pusher", Steppenwolf
8."Hymn 42", Jethro Tull
9."Dazed and Confused", Led Zeppelin
10."Dreamer Deceiver", Judas Priest
11."Paranoid", Black Sabbath
12."Unforgiven", Metallica
13."No One Like You", Scorpions
14."Dream On", Aerosmith
15."Cult of Personality", Living Color
16."Rainbow in the Dark", Dio
17."Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love", Van Halen
18."Closer to the Heart", Rush
19."Godzilla", Blue Oyster Cult
20."Stranglehold", Ted Nugent
   "The Lineaments of Gratified Desire"

He retired to the sea.
There he found what he needed:
a surf-screen to shine his thoughts on,
a solitude wide and dark enough and seamless;
rocks to build the theater physical.

Only the gulls saw stone pile upon stone,
like the identical days of his stone exile
converging to a point just short of the sun
the round irregular walls.
He said the tower would give him a place to write
in the peace he'd sacrificed everything for,
but his typewriter's mute, and the tower continues to rise.


Art is a refutation and an antidote to simple materialism. However, consumerism can effortlessly co-opt it, unless the artist takes care to control the post-production life of his work. His greatest enemy then is not rejection but uncritical admiration; a willingness to remain, in ignorance of the person who made it, at the superficial level of textures. This would be like illiterates buying books for their covers, --except of course people do that also, don't they?-- a denial that art has meaning beyond its sensual qualities. (And Moby Dick can be read as a fish story --i don't mean just paintings)
   An artist of mass produced objects (like xoxes or texts) can consciously choose to have a limited audience. This is in fact the usual route (it fits right in with society's pluralistic atomism). Or you could make them by hand and give them only to your friends. (The primitive/amateur/child/mad artist's way) Or you could include your autobiography and a detailed commentary (art school does this with students before they visit a museum--if ever). Or you could make art with several levels of meaning....the top one, almost a cliché... (Shakespeare)

Friday, January 30, 2004

"Cryptome is attacked several times a day, like many other sites, nearly always by rogue bots, or bots set by default to siphon everything, including deep links, until a new user learns to trim the wide mouth suck. WGet and Webdup are the worst offenders, but not the only ones, because they come ready to siphon everything until reconfigured. Hog bots suck thousands of files in a session before pole-axed. Prime offenders also are the ravenous searching and indexing engines, which 24/7 roam the web repeatedly gobbling the same files, or trashing with 304s for files already indexed. Because these pigs shutout other readers, Cryptome blocks any address which downloads more than 100 files per session, and that often requires blocking an entire domain for providers which assign a random address per session." --Cryptome (via Dumb Monkeys)
A different Anagram Maker than the one on my links, which is currently limiting itself to six letters. --So now i know An End to Evil is actually "Vote Laden In", "Deviant Noel", or "Vend Toenail", depending on your taste. Also, we can stop using Blogosphere now: Ogre Help Sob.

Big Brother Under the Bumper. (via Indymedia)

"From Greg Costikan, a humourful, totalitarian vision of hardware as it might be.

Troubleshooter: How much is two plus two?
PDC: What is your security clearance, Citizen user?
Troubleshooter: Red, friend PDC!
PDC: Two plus two equals a number between three and six.
Troubleshooter: What?
PDC: You are not cleared for greater precision at this time... "
--Boing Boing

390.000 Jedi. (via Fark)

10th Anniversary Edition of the Dictionary of Planned Languages.

I only just found out about this: Wendell Berry's response to 9-11.

"I first met Garth Marenghi at the 1987 Edinburgh Festival Fringe, after the infamous "DarkFist" poetry reading at which he was beaten to a bloody pulp by Clive Barker after an argument about how many pairs of shoes could be made from the average human skin." --thatwhichfalls on Metafilter thread
Melanie writes:
   "Welcome to one of the most exciting Oscar races in years! I'm on a high this morning, and it's not just because the Academy gave its blessing(s) to the likes of Charlize Theron (MONSTER), Johnny Depp (PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: THE CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL), Sean Penn and Tim Robbins (MYSTIC RIVER; leading status for the former, supporting for the latter), Alec Baldwin (THE COOLER), and a handful of nominations to the wonderful IN AMERICA: Samantha Morton (Best Actress), Djimon Hounsou (Best Supporting Actress), Jim Sheridan, Kirsten Sheridan and Naomi Sheridan (Best Original Screenplay), but because Keisha Castle-Hughes, reportedly only 11 years old (but maybe closer to 13), is in the Best Actress race for the wonderful New Zealand film, WHALE RIDER. This is a beautiful thing because WHALE RIDER's U.S. distributor Newmarket (which was never affected by the temporary ban on screeners) actually campaigned for Hughes as a supporting player, even though she clearly carries (carried) the movie. This is a good instance of voters being able to sort through all the studio maneuvers and make up their own mind. To clarify, Castle-Hughes is, to the best of my knowledge, the youngest ever nominee in her category. (Castle-Hughes makes the Best Actress race interesting, but Theron still sits in catbird seat.) Likewise, voters weren't fooled by the execs at Focus Features attempts to peg Scarlett Johansson as a supporting player in Sofia Coppola's LOST IN TRANSLATION. Johansson, as the surrogate for writer-director Coppola, was clearly too integral to TRANSLATION to be 'demoted' just to score an easy nomination. The thinking being that if Johansson were campaigned for 'Best Supporting' for LOST IN TRANSLATION, she would still have a shot at 'Best Actress' for GIRL WITH A PEARL EARRING--by campaigning in two categories, instead of one, she would be less likely to split her own votes. Somehow, the strategy backfired and Johansson was not nominated in either category. Still, Johansson is only 19 or so and she's already well on her way to major movie stardom. The good news is that Sofia Coppola is now in rarefied company, as she is not only the third woman ever nominated for Best Director, and, as well, the first American woman so honored, she's also a triple-threat as she's also a co-producer of the Best Picture nominee, in addition to being in the running for her (Original) screenplay. (The Best Original Screenplay contest is a toughie, pitting two strong sentimental candidates--Coppola and the Sheridan clan--against one another.) Likewise, a sigh of relief as GIRL's cinematographer Eduardo Serra picks up a nod. Also, a thumbs up to the Academy for nominating THE LAST SAMURAI's Ken Watanabe for Best Supporting Actor (as the titular character). SAMURAI has taken a bit of a beating in this country, but a nomination for Watanabe is a good thing, in the absence of a nomination for SAMURAI star Tom Cruise (good, but apparently not good enough). SAMURAI also picked up nominations for Art Direction, Costumes and Sound Mixing. Four Oscar nominations is a definite plus; btw, designer Ngila Dickson is nominated for both SAMURAI and LORD OF THE RINGS.

   The most nominated movie is THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RETURN OF THE KING, with 11--that's two less than the first installment, but it ultimately won't matter, as this is the movie to beat. It¹s unfortunate, however, that Sean Astin was shut out of the Best Supporting Actor race, because his performance is solid and his character is the very embodiment of what Best Supporting is all about (also shut out: cinematographer Andrew Lesnie, who won an Oscar for the first RINGS movie). The second most nominated movie is MASTER AND COMMANDER; THE FAR SIDE OF THE WORLD, although the movie was shut out in the acting categories, which may or may not be a bad thing depending on one's tolerance for Russell Crowe...mine (tolerance, that is) is on the low-end of the scale, so I'm frankly relieved. With all due respect to Penn, Depp, Bill Murray, Jude Law (COLD MOUNTAIN), and Ben Kingsley (HOUSE OF SAND AND FOG and a previous winner for 1982's GANDHI), my favorite performance by a leading actor was IN AMERICA's Paddy Considine (as a man who could 'act' almost anything, but wouldn¹t allow himself to 'feel' too terribly much). Considine just never generated the kind ink as others associated with the movie...too bad. I also want to go on record as being very big on both Jack Black in SCHOOL OF ROCK and Will Ferrell in ELF, two wonderful comedic performances that deserved a second look (at least Black got a Globe nomination). Ditto Jamie Lee Curtis in FREAKY FRIDAY (who lost the token comic actress slot to Diane Keaton in the more conventionally middle-of-the-road SOMETHING'S GOTTA GIVE). Still, any year in which Johnny Depp gets nominated for something as outrageous as PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN's Captain Jack Sparrow (described by the actor as a cross between Keith Richards and Pepe LePew) is a good year, indeed. And to say Depp is overdue is an understatement, witness EDWARD SCISSORHANDS, WHAT'S EATING GILBERT GRAPE, ED WOOD, and DONNIE BRASCO.

   A big disappointment for Miramax has to be the lukewarm reception for COLD MOUNTAIN. Granted, the movie still ended up scads of noms--seven?--most notably for Jude Law and Renee Zellweger (the Best Supporting Actress front runner), but the shut-outs for Best Picture, Director (previous winner Anthony Minghella, 1996's THE ENGLISH PATIENT) Actress (last year's winner for THE HOURS, Nicole Kidman) and even Best Adapted Screenplay are what reverberate. Likewise, there were high hopes at Miramax for THE STATION AGENT, but that was all for naught. Still, Miramax is one of the studios behind MASTER AND COMMANDER, so that has to count for something; last year, Miramax and/or its founders, the brothers Bob and Harvey Weinstein, were responsible outright, or in-part, for four of the Best Picture nominations: CHICAGO (the big winner), THE HOURS, GANGS OF NEW YORK and the second LORD OF THE RINGS installment: THE TWO TOWERS (for which the brothers received courtesy credits for executive producing, or somesuch). The one picture--last Œgo-round--for which they could lay no claim was THE PIANIST.

   The five Best Picture nominees are LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RETURN OF THE KING, MASTER AND COMMANDER: THE FAR SIDE OF THE WORLD, LOST IN TRANSLATION (four nominations), MYSTIC RIVER (six nominations including Best Director [Clint Eastwood] and Best Supporting Actress (previous winner Marcia Hay Harden), and SEABISCUIT, with seven nominations, but, unfortunately, nothing in the Best Director category for Gary Ross (who was compensated, however, with a nod for Best Adapted Screenplay).

   Another heavily hyped feature that failed to score major nominations was Tim Burton's BIG FISH, the most surprising omission being Albert Finney for Best Supporting Actor. This one is hard to figure, given the Academy's predilection for honoring more mature thespians in the Best Supporting Actor category. Still, this one looks to be a fight to the finish between Baldwin and Robbins. Besides those two, and Watanabe and Hounsou, the fifth nominee is Benicio De Toro, a previous winner for 2000's TRAFFIC.

   Besides Astin, some of the other Best Supporting Actor casualties are Peter Sarsgaard (SHATTERED GLASS), and, forgive me, Eugene Levy for A MIGHTY WIND. Levy's strange 1960's music-scene burn-out was funny, touching and scary even though WIND, like other mock-documentaries from Christopher Guest (WAITING FOR GUFFMAN and BEST IN SHOW) is/was an acquirred taste. Levy's profile was heightened by an award from the New York film critics and a scene stealing turn in the Steve Martin-Queen Latifah vehicle BRINGING DOWN THE HOUSE. Maybe he, like Johansson, split votes. The upside is that A MIGHTY WIND's lovely 'A Kiss at the End of a Rainbow,' the moving tune at the heart of the movie is up for Best Song . Yippee! That's just another item that makes my day! Now, I've got to figure out a way to see PIECES OF APRIL, featuring Best Supporting Actress nominee Patricia Clarkson, which I just missed during its Dallas engagement. I'm hoping the indie film gets rereleased. I¹ve also got to track down Brazil's CITY OF GOD, and will be making a beeline to see Best Animated Feature nominee THE TRIPLETS OF BELLVILLE, now that it is finally opening here (though it'll be an uphill climb, so to speak, to topple frontrunner FINDING NEMO, which is also up for a writing award, and two others)."
The Blog Sabbatical, i promise like a Christmas; instead of presents i will gift myself with absence. The same letdown. I return to it after half a day, chastened. It's my alibi for when i leave out something important (i'll have time then to really say it right) & (alas) for all the quillets, also.

01 25 04

   "Five Foo Fighters"

You weren't allowed to sit down
'cause that meant you were goofing off,
and nobody goofs off on the job
for very long.

Most of my energy went into fighting gravity.
After lunch i was like a sapling on a hillside
threatened with winds, slippage, rain runoff.
I swayed but i stood.

The radio played seven songs over and over:
i got to know them quite well.
I learned to blank out the lyrics
and add my own words.

When i went home i tried to remember
the songs i'd written that day.
It was like looking for firewood
in a snowstorm.

Today i heard one of those songs,
and felt the meaning i'd carved on its bark
those intolerable days, if not the exact phrases:


Travelling is my only drunkenness.

How to be an elitist without snobbery: whatever your specialty, call it a birth defect.

Dilemma of the modern artist--invent a new language to tell the truth and no one can understand it. The next dilemma--everyone speaks a different language and starts to collect into sub-sub-subcultures. And ours--people have forgotten what language is for.

This is the late twentieth century so i believe in magic and i believe in chemicals and most of my insights will fall between the two because both half-truth languages are too small for them and my metaphors walk on air or they don't go anywhere and what else is new?

"I was shipwrecked before I got aboard." --Sterling Hatden

Very likely the best minds of my generation are in prison. That would account for a lot of things...

Thursday, January 29, 2004

Does the State of the Union Address qualify as a "bullshit-related program activity"?

November 3, 2004.

Pakistan's next. (via Disinformation)

Director's Cut. (via Boing Boing)

Thor Heyerdahl has written his memoirs.

Bring it on. (via Where We're Bound)

The Tyrant's Tales.

Vulnavia of the Picts. (via Poor Clio)

Organ Donor Trainee.

Forget piracy--worry about pirates.

"I would like to apologize for referring to George W. Bush as a "deserter." What I meant to say is that George W. Bush is a deserter, an election thief, a drunk driver, a WMD liar and a functional illiterate. And he poops his pants. In fact, he shot a man in Tucson "just to watch him die." " --Michael Moore
"Also, why waste all this scary bioengineering on fish when you could introduce it into the wild by breeding the GlowRoach?
First of all, much easier to kill, and what a quick and easy way to spruce up the ghetto. Hey, if you do a handstand in your kitchen it's like a Lazer Floyd show." --Dong Resin

No more sky burial?

Remembering Nissim Ezekiel.
(via Under the Fire Star)

   "Bridge Over Wobbled Trotters"

A populace that never goes outside. The channels they tune into, variously describe it as sunny, gray, threatening, or blizzardous. This occasions numerous arguments among the few who are weather aficionados. I walk in & out of these arguments like a pigeon at a crosswalk. The roof cracks; soon we will know who is lying.

01 29 04
"[Sound of vehicle, a humvee I guess, in the background]
Female voice: I am really tired I haven’t slept well last night. Ooh look…can you hold on to my [some weapon or other] while I take a picture of this.
[Sound of snoring]
Female voice: Is sergeant (so-and-so) still sleeping? He had a tough night.

Darth Vader voice: Being on military convoy is a serious situation, always wear your seat belts, maintain speed and distance. And always stay alert." --Salam Pax, listening to American military radio
from a "bio" for Atticus Review:

"M.H. is a victim of a rare and acute form of synesthesia in which all imaginary beings, however uncouth, are plain, tangible, and ordinary, while the world of things as they are appears a preposterous put-on."

'Ah, not being sundered,/ not through such a little partition/ excluded from the star-measure./ Innerness, what is it?/ If not heightened sky,/ scattered through with birds and deep/ from winds of hometurning.' --Rilke (1925)

The peace after making art--a diamond that's clear; and the peace after working hard (physically)--that's a diamond that's opaque. I wouldn't have one less than the other. But it's not these i love--they are what lets me love.

When i drove back from Fort Worth with practically no brakes, it seemed as though more people were driving across the road than along it. That's perception.

How could i not love living, when there are poets and painters and musicians to be discovered?

If a reckoning could be made, i might find that altogether i have one hour of inspiration in a year. The rest? an ordinary life--with the vanity of having been otherwise.

All our small but near worries, looming large, block any possible concern for the rest of the world's woe. Why not, you say. --Having heard it before, so many times. And one who cares, is always having to meet the same opponent, not in argument so much as inertial resistance. In these words, instead of new ones, repeated, you may measure the grip of the status quo, and its lack of freedom, of creativity, of life's renewal,--that doesn't even bother to change its lies across a span of generations, and doesn't need to. For we are not rationalists, susceptible to the finality of a logical refutation. We are clay in the system's hands, who seldom get a chance to pass through fire, by its solicitude; we are eager to confide our weakness, fearing spiritual ambition as we fear cancer, and all too clever to rationalize and cover up, reflexively, --so that your friends and family would be blind to your addiction, your creeping disease or creeping madness, unless you called attention to it --and for what? For a ghost called Happiness. Often only a name for the pain that is old and grown familiar, never seen anymore, as it might have been in the beginning a terror, now terrible to do without.

Those whom i really ought to be addressing with my art of political angst, all i know of them is their dirty license plates at eye level as they roar past me: caught in the grip of the need to pass an old car, no matter how fast it is going.

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Gary Panter's Blog. (via Elsewhere)

   "Bilge Challenge Sonnet using Donne's Rhymewords"

When some internal circuitry did blow
And nevermore to audit or arise
The Finnish tax man sat, infinities
(Now neatly summed) hovered only to go
And elsewhere tenanted manshapes to o'erthrow.

But those beside him bound by tyrannies
Of rule & clock, could not but let their eyes
Flick across this Calvary of his woe:
Assuming he was in a diligent space.

So two days passed. Where cubicles abound,
Is neither joy, nor novelty, nor grace,
Yet sometimes truth... A neighbor trod his ground
With too much load, & one on top bonked good
The poor temp's nog, which promptly spurted blood.

01 24 04

What bothers me most about jail is how quickly i get used to it--i can't sustain my outrage. For i've been trained to this place, engraved with the rules upon my early years--and in fact it's freedom i can never get used to... I thought i had a thirst for freedom, but it was only the desperate longing to escape. I have to acquire a taste for freedom; at first i don't even like it.
   And i want to be a liberator...

If the rules matter don't say it's not a game. And the hunt, too, was once made into a game. But not only. Shall i demand, every chess match must be for blood? --Someone's.

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

   star cold are her deep
relentings with rainy light
   and i am thousand
times used as this whisperer

see how a long morning goes

01 27 04

   red drop planeted
story here feel across soft
   from an hour not
mud will be what can darkly
tell him through secret windturn

01 27 04
   plumlike dream snow you
have asked to wander over

   as sleepless as steel

why let my songs steaming off
fall all the year and for love

01 27 04 fridge magnet tanka

Heaven & Hell are for artists only. But they have trouble believing in purgatory.

Sexuality is the basis of every certainty. (And doubting is a kind of chasteness.)

I felt a strange sensation, fever without heat, lightness without movement; i shook with a lost, unnameable emotion strong like a foreign chemical... And yet, it was long my own. I saw it then as fear. As though seen through a telescope reversed, small and far away: the fear of what? only dying. I went on with my business. This is something else to know, for sure. Had i never known i lived?

Nonviolence only has meaning against force that's not routine. --Then what can we use against routine force? How would you stop a tank? At its head. With routine force humans become appendages, mere tools. But there is always one who isn't--isn't there? Can all this violence be part of a natural process??

   Compilation Tape 3-27-88

Current 93: The Pope Held Upside Down
Michelle Shocked: Disoriented
Coil: At the Heart of It All
Function Disorder: After Man
The Blasters: Common Man
Anne Waldman: Oh Oh Plutonium
Throbbing Gristle: Weeping
Patti Smith: God Speed
Patti Smith: Elegie
Patti Smith: Free Money
Patti Smith: Because the Night
Ferron: I Never Was to Africa
Ferron: Proud Crowd/Pride Cried
Talking Heads: Psycho Killer ('77 Version)
Kathy Acker: from The Adult Life of Toulouse Lautrec (rec. 1978)
Charles Bernstein: Wall As (rec. 1980)

Monday, January 26, 2004

Orcinus on AWOL Bush.

Wonderful blog entry from Salam Pax. I wish someone would read it out loud on "Saturday Night Live" or something.

Stores all stripped down to the bare basics: ten executives & one checker.

Got a mole burned off with Liquid Nitrogen. I thought there would be heavy gloves & a pyrex eyedropper, but all the doctor used was a paper cup (smoking like hot coffee) & a Q-tip. While he was doing it i was thinking: There are whole worlds at this temperature.

I see how it will go. We are already lining up for the privilege of dealing with a checkout robot.

While i was trying to track down the origin of the Wombat Pun ("eats, roots, shoots, & leaves") i discovered this one: "Mahatma Gandhi, as you know, walked barefoot most of the time, which produced an impressive set of calluses on his feet. He also ate very little, which made him rather frail and with his odd diet, he suffered from bad breath. This made him a super callused fragile mystic vexed by halitosis." Here.

I understand too perfectly the joy of being a vandal, & that makes me already a compromised sort of architect.

Mutabaruka has a home page.

    "To a Mosquito"

I mashed you against the glass.
Now you hang there, effortlessly,
like a spacewalker or Lucifer falling
and the cars fly behind you
in this raw blue dawn.
Of all the mosquitos here
you must be the largest and most fearsome.
Your delicate rigging is almost intact;
your scales poised, your antennae tuned to skin-seeking.

I don't know why I killed you:
it was more instinct than reason.
Mosquitos feasted on me nightlong,
but you were only trying to get out.
Somehow I have a feeling if I were to take
that tiny bulb of an abdomen and squeeze it
no blood of mine would issue forth.
We were waiting for the early bus together
and you must have been hungry as I.

[from PHOENICIANS (1981)]

Midway between a virgin birth and an abortion.

Without discourse, i can't tell if i'm telling the truth or not. (Sic semper tyrannis)

I think art should be like: sparks from welding (maybe the real action too bright to look at directly), thrown out, superabundantly, with no thought for their home. But what i feel about my own works is more like: messages from another star, that i don't even understand (is that why they're precious to me?) --and my modesty, that i'm never satisfied, is only because they're so nearly perfect...

Without the touch of another, you walk on air.

At times when i have been sick, stoned, or shaken, i thought i came close to understanding the trustlessness of a life like A----'s. But that doesn't give me any more communion with it. I learn a terrible loneliness--and forget, because even myself is not one, when i return to myself. Compared with that, my regular solitude is rich and teeming with shades. Did i curse haunting? when i was sick perhaps. But between life and morbidity there is a chasm, which all talk of death and dying by the lively but mocks. And i think it is the constant listening for this mockery, that makes a person violent. Otherwise they could be content with selfpity.