Monday, May 28, 2012

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Facebook Pushback Continues

Facebook is People! in the NY Observer here

Jaron Lanier on the hidden costs of free technologies here

Williamsburg, Brooklyn's Best Emerging Artists Fest

Starts today, Wednesday May 23 @ Brooklyn Bowl - ELECTRONIC STAGE -10:00 Zambri; 9:00 Caged Animals;
8:00 AIMES
Spike Hill - SONGWRITERS STAGE - 11:40 Grace Weber; 10:50 Robin Bacior ; 10:00 Stephie Coplan & the Pedestrians;
9:10 Merrily & The Poison Orchard; 8:20 Mal Blum; 7:30 The Sneaky Mister

Full schedule for the B.E.A.F. here

The Deli: Magazine of Emerging NYC Bands, current issue here

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Cannes: Filmmakers Unchained

Attendees at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival were treated to tantalizing glimpses of footage (extended trailers) of upcoming films. Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master (possibly a fictionalized version of L Ron Hubbard), David O Russell's The Silver Linings Playbook and Quentin Tarantino's Django were three anticipated films that were given the teaser treatment.

Tarantino's Django has garnered plenty of interest, starring Christoph Walz, Jamie Foxx and Leonardo DiCaprio in an Old South, slave era drama. DITHOB previously offered a glimpse of portions of the script back when - script here and casting notes here

Also, a curious film, Antiviral, by Brandon Cronenberg fils of director David here

More details on Cannes 2012 here

Friday, May 18, 2012

Turkish Heritage Celebration at Brooklyn Borough Hall

Photos by Tony Napoli for Deep in the Heart of Brooklyn
Last night, at Brooklyn Borough Hall, Borough President Marty Markowitz and Turkish Consul General M. Levent Biligen hosted an evening of food and entertainment at Borough Hall's annual Turkish Cultural Celebration. Brooklyn has a wonderful, vibrant and growing Turkish American community. Entertainment was provided by the Mehter, Ottoman Military Band, the Ankara Greater Municipality Folk Dance Group and the New York Gypsy All-Stars. It was a lovely spring Thursday evening.  Passing through on the way home after a long day at work and workout at NYSC, I couldn't help but linger to witness the dramatic music and march of the Ottoman band, the wonderful costumes and friendly crowds. A couple of European tourists stopped me and asked "Does this type of event always happen in Brooklyn?" Happily, it does. Marty Markowitz does it again: Brooklyn's biggest booster -- and showman extraordinaire.

-Anthony Napoli

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Within You Without You

The Human Disaster of Unemployment by Dean Baker and Kevin Hassett: "We all understand how the human costs can be so high. For many people, their very identity is their occupation. Few events rival the emotional strain of job loss."

"It seems clear that neither political party was prepared to deal with the crisis of long-term unemployment. In spite of the severity of the downturn, there was a general expectation that the economy would bounce back, as it had after previous downturns." Full article here 

Thursday, May 10, 2012

NY Magazine: Has Facebook Peaked?

NY Magazine's profile of Mark Zuckerberg, from tech brat to CEO and Titan of Industry is great reading. And the sidebar on the future of Facebook, exploring the question of whether it has peaked or not, feels like must reading. While the energy and pop celebration prompted by the Accidental Billionaire and its companion piece, David Fincher's film The Social Network may have moved its Founder beyond the saturation point, Facebook as an entity is far from finished.

Full article here

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

R.I.P.: Maurice Sendak, 83, Author, "Where the Wild Things Are"

Above: "Let the Wild Rumpus Begin"

Mr. Sendak, noted and pioneering author and illustrator of modern childrens' literature, died yesterday at his home in Danbury, CT, of complications from a stroke.

On Sendak's classic, Where the Wild Things Are, published in 1963 here

On Mr. Sendak's life and work, including his 50 year life partnership with the late Dr. Eugene Glynn, a psychoanalyst, here

New York Times slide show on the author here

Monday, May 7, 2012

Tomorrow Never Knows: Say No More

The Beatles "Tomorrow Never Knows" from REVOLVER . Featured on last night's episode of Mad Men, it serves to re/introduce psychedelia to the 21st century mainstream.

John Lennon wrote the song in January 1966, with lyrics adapted from the book The Psychedelic Experience: A Manual Based on the Tibetan Book of the Dead by Timothy Leary, Richard Alpert, and Ralph Metzner, which in turn was adapted from the Tibetan Book of the Dead. Although Peter Brown believed that Lennon's source for the lyric was the Tibetan Book of the Dead itself, which, he said, Lennon read whilst consuming LSD, George Harrison later stated that the idea for the lyrics came from Leary's, Alpert's and Metzner's book. and Paul McCartney confirmed this, stating that he and Lennon had visited the newly opened Indica bookshop — Lennon was looking for a copy of The Portable Nietzsche — and Lennon had found a copy of The Psychedelic Experience that contained the lines: "When in doubt, relax, turn off your mind, float downstream".

Origins of the title:

When The Beatles returned to London after their first visit to America in early 1964 they were interviewed by David Coleman of BBC Television. The interview included the following:

Interviewer: "Now, Ringo, I hear you were manhandled at the Embassy Ball. Is this right?"
Ringo: "Not really. Someone just cut a bit of my hair, you see."
Interviewer: "Let's have a look. You seem to have got plenty left."
Ringo: (turns head) "Can you see the difference? It's longer, this side."
Interviewer: "What happened exactly?"
Ringo: "I don't know. I was just talking, having an interview (exaggerated voice). Just like I am NOW!"
(John and Paul begin lifting locks of his hair, pretending to cut it)
Ringo: "I was talking away and I looked 'round, and there was about 400 people just smiling. So, you know — what can you say?"
John: "What can you say?"
Ringo: "Tomorrow never knows."
(John laughs)

On the recording and effects:
Lennon first played the song to Brian Epstein, George Martin and the other Beatles at Epstein's house at 24 Chapel Street, Belgravia

The 19-year-old Geoff Emerick was promoted to replace Norman Smith as engineer on the first session for the Revolver album. This started at 8 pm on 6 April 1966, in Studio Three at Abbey Road. Lennon told producer Martin that he wanted to sound like a hundred chanting Tibetan monks, which left Martin the difficult task of trying to find the effect by using the basic equipment they had. Lennon's suggestion was that he be suspended from a rope and—after being given a good push—he would sing as he spun around the microphone. This idea was rejected by Martin, but when asked by Lennon about it, he would only reply with, "We're looking into it." Emerick finally came up with the idea of wiring Lennon's vocal through a Leslie rotating speaker, thus obtaining the desired effect without the need of a rope. Emerick made a connector to break into the electronic circuitry of the cabinet and then re-recorded the vocal as it came out of the revolving speaker.

More here

Post Script from DITHOB: Mad Men must be raking in Big Coin from its own adverts given that last night's show featured the above Beatles' classic and last week, one from the Beach Boys. Coupled with Zoubi Zoubi Zou from earlier this season, which made  its way onto the 30 Rock live episode last week, along with Mad Man in Chief Jon Hamm (in blackface no less),  this show is clearly onto something, as the 21st century revisits the end of the Post-War/Post-Boom era, and the World Tries to find new moorings in a world without tethers that appears to be in free fall.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Sound of My Voice

Directed by Zal Batmanglij, with a cast including Christopher Denham, Nicole Vicius, Brit Marling, Avery Pohl,  and Richard Wharton, the film plays with science fictional elements, like "He" and "She" from the Heaven's Gate cult, by exploring the claims of a young woman that she is a time traveler from the future. A young couple explore, first with skepticism, then drawn in, as viewers wonder if she is really from another time or they have been lured into the web of a deep and disturbing cult and for what purpose? 

Now playing in NYC and other cities, the producers offer the first 12 minutes of the film as a preview.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

"The Year of Dreaming Dangerously" and On the Politics of Lost Causes: Slavoj Zizek on the Occupy Movement -- Quo Vadis ?

Missed Slavoj Zizek at the NY Public Library speaking last week in advance of his new book, The Year of Dreaming Dangerously, published later this year by Verso Books. Happily, an article also appeared by SZ last week in The Guardian on the Occupy Movement. While Zizek is a popular philosopher, he is probably (I would hope) first to acknowledge that his own ruminations and conceptualizing are subject to argument and counter arguments. As I walked out on Court Street to sense the zeitgeist of the Professional and Working Classes while the Occupy Movement was brawling with NYPD and marching on the Williamsburg Bridge, in Times Square, Washington Square, and Lower Manhattan, as well as around the world, the zeitgeist, of course, was one of quiet rectitude. My daughter, who works in midtown reported the streets were filled with protestors and cops in heavy riot gear.  Just as the OWS movement seems to function in its own vacuum, so do the middle and professional working classes, glad to have and to hold onto our day jobs, we all function at unconscious cross purposes, OWS and the working folk, each seeking our own form of survival. Meanwhile, we stare into a mirror that we may mistake for the abyss.  That is why Zizek seems such an important social and political critic, mashing up psychoanalysis and political economy. If Zizek did not exist, on May Day, 2012, it would be necessary to invent him.

--Anthony Napoli, Deep in the Heart of Brooklyn

Zizek in The Guardian, an excerpt:

"One should avoid the temptation of the narcissism of the lost cause, of admiring the sublime beauty of uprisings doomed to fail. What new positive order should replace the old one the day after, when the sublime enthusiasm of the uprising is over? It is at this crucial point that we encounter the fatal weakness of the protests: they express an authentic rage which is not able to transform itself into a minimal positive program of socio-political change. They express a spirit of revolt without revolution.

"Reacting to the Paris protests of 1968, Lacan said:

"What you aspire to as revolutionaries is a new master. You will get one."

"It seems that Lacan's remark found its target (not only) in the indignados of Spain. Insofar as their protest remains at the level of a hysterical provocation of the master, without a positive program for the new order to replace the old one, it effectively functions as a call for a new master, albeit disavowed.

"We got the first glimpse of this new master in Greece and Italy, and Spain will probably follow. As if ironically answering the lack of expert programs of the protesters, the trend is now to replace politicians in the government with a "neutral" government of depoliticized technocrats (mostly bankers, as in Greece and Italy). Colorful "politicians" are out, grey experts are in. This trend is clearly moving towards a permanent emergency state and the suspension of political democracy."

Read the full article in The Guardian here

Slavoj Zizek's next book, The Year of Dreaming Dangerously here

Current Reading

  • Midnight Rising: John Brown and the Raid that Sparked the Civil War- Tony Horwitz
  • A Sultan in Palermo - Tariq Ali
  • Hitch-22: A Memoir - Christopher Hitchens
  • Negropedia- Patrice Evans
  • Dead Funny: Humor in Nazi Germany - Rudolph Herzog
  • Exile on Main Street - Robert Greenfield
  • Among the Truthers - A Journey Among America's Growing Conspiracist Underworld - Jonathan Kay
  • Paradise Lost - John Milton
  • What Is Your Dangerous Idea? Thinking the Unthinkable - John Brockman
  • Notes from the Edge Times - Daniel Pinchbeck
  • Fringe-ology: How I Can't Explain Away the Unexplainable- Steve Volk
  • Un Juif pour l'exemple (translated as A Jew Must Die )- Jacques Cheesex
  • The God Delusion - Richard Dawkins
  • Pale King - David Foster Wallce
  • David Bowie: Starman bio - Paul Trynka
  • Tobacco Stained Mountain Goat - Andrez Bergen
  • The Future of Nostalgia -Svetlana Boym
  • Living in the End Times - Slavoj ZIzek
  • FIrst as Tragedy Next as Farce - Slavoj Zizek
  • How to Survive a Robot Uprising - Daniel Wilson
  • Where is My Jet Pack? -Daniel Wilson
  • Day of the Oprichniks - Vladimir Sorokin
  • Ice Trilogy - Vladimir Sorokin
  • First Civilizations
  • Oscar Wilde -Andre Maurois
  • The Beats - Harvey Pekar, et al
  • SDS - Harvey Pekar, et al
  • The Unfinished Animal - Theodore Roszak
  • Friends of Eddy Coyle
  • Brooklands -Emily Barton
  • Abraham Lincoln - Vampire Hunter - Seth Grahme-Smith - Entertaining and historical
  • Dictionary of the Khazars - Pavic
  • Sloth-Gilbert Hernandez
  • War and Peace- Leo Tolstoy
  • Charles Addams: An Evilution
  • Life in Ancient Greece
  • Time - Eva Hoffmann
  • Violence - S. Zizek
  • Luba - a graphic novel by Gilbert Hernandez
  • Life in Ancient Egypt
  • Great Apes - Will Self - riveting and disturbing
  • Lost Honor of Katherina Blum - Heinrich Boll - could not put it down
  • Yellow Back Radio Brokedown - Ishmael Reed (author deserving of new wide readership)
  • Living in Ancient Mesopotomia
  • Landscape in Concrete - Jakov Lind - surreal
  • 'There Once Lived A Woman Who Tried To Kill Her Neighbor's Baby'-Ludmilla Petrushevskaya - creepy stories - translation feels literarily "thin"
  • Mythologies - William Butler Yeats (re-read again & again)
  • How German Is It ? - Walter Abish
  • The Book of Genesis - illustrated by R. Crumb - visionary
  • "Flags" - an illustrated encyclopedia - wish I could remember all of these. Flag culture
  • Sirens of Titan - Kurt Vonnegut
  • Ubik - Philip K. Dick
  • Nobody's Fool - Richard Russo
  • Hitler's Empire - Mark Mazower
  • Nazi Culture - various authors
  • Master Plan: Himmler 's Scholars and the Holocaust - Heather Pringle
  • Eichmann in Jerusalem - Hannah Arendt
  • Living in Ancient Rome
  • Traveling with Herodotus -R. Kapuszynsky
  • Oblivion - David Foster Wallace - Some of his greatest work
  • Infinite Jest - David Foster Wallace - still wrestling with this great book
  • Netherland - Joseph O'Neill - staggeringly great read
  • Renegade - The Obama Campaign - Richard Wolffe
  • Mount Analogue - Rene Daumal
  • John Brown
  • Anathem - Neal Stephenson - love Stephenson but tough slogging first few chapters
  • 7 Deadly Sins
  • ALEX COX - Alex Cox
  • FIASCO by Thomas Ricks
  • I, Fellini - Charlotte Chandler & Federico Fellini
  • Best of 20th century alternative history fiction
  • Judah P. Benjamin - Eli Evans - Confederacy's Secretary of State & source of the W.C. Field's exclamation
  • Moscow 2042 - Vladimir Voinovich - Pre-1989 curiosity & entertaining sci fi read; love his portrayal of Solzhenitsyn-like character
  • Gomorrah - Roberto Saviano - Mafia without the It-Am sugar coating. Brutal & disturbing
  • The Sack of Rome - Celebrity+Media+Money=Silvio Berlusconi - Alexander Stille
  • Reporting - David Remnick - terrific journalism
  • Fassbinder
  • Indignation - Philip Roth
  • Rome
  • Let's Go Italy! 2008
  • Italian Phrases for Dummies
  • How to Pack
  • Violence - Slavoj Zizek
  • Dali: Painting & Film
  • The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight - Jimmy Breslin
  • The Good Rat - Jimmy Breslin
  • Spook Country - William Gibson
  • A Blue Hand - The Beats in India - Deborah Baker
  • The Metaphysical Club - Louis Menard
  • Coast of Utopia - Tom Stoppard
  • Physics of the Impossible - Dr. Michio Kaku
  • Managing the Unexpected - Weick & Sutcliffe
  • Wait Til The Midnight Hour - Writings on Black Power
  • Yellow Back Radio Brokedown - Ishmael Reed
  • Burning Down the Masters' House - Jayson Blair
  • Howl - Allen Ginsberg
  • Cat's Cradle - Kurt Vonnegut
  • The Palace Thief - Ethan Canin
  • John Adams - David McCullough
  • The Wooden Sea - Jonathan Carroll
  • American Gangster - Mark Jacobson
  • Return of the King - J.R.R. Tolkien
  • Gawker Guide to Becoming King of All Media
  • Jews and Power - Ruth Wisse
  • Youth Without Youth - Mircea Eliade
  • A Team of Rivals - Doris Goodwin
  • Ghost Hunters -William James and the Search for Scientific Proof of Life After Death - Deborah Blum
  • Dream -Re-Imagining Progressive Politics in an Age of Fantasy - Stephen Duncombe
  • Love & Theft - Eric Lott
  • Exit Ghost - Philip Roth
  • Studio A - The Bob Dylan Reader

Current Listening

  • Alexi Murdoch Wait
  • Wilco Summer Teeth
  • Wilco The Album
  • Carmina Burana - Ray Manzarek (& Michael Riesmann)
  • Polyrock - Polyrock
  • 96 Tears - Garland Jeffries
  • Ghost of a Chance Garland Jeffries
  • Yellow Magic Orchestra
  • Mustang Sally Buddy Guy
  • John Lee Hooker
  • Black and White Years
  • Together Through Life - B. Dylan
  • 100 Days 100 Nites - Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings
  • DYLAN: 3 disc Greatest...
  • Glassworks - Philip Glass
  • Wild Palms - Soundtrack -Ryuichi Sakamoto
  • Dinah Washington - Best of..
  • Commander Cody& His Lost Planet Airmen Live at Armadillo