Friday, July 27, 2012

Friday Afternoon: "It's a Hard World to Get a Break In.."

The Animals on Hullabaloo!
It's a hard world to get a break in

All the good things have been taken
But girl there are ways to make certain things pay
Though I'm dressed in these rags, I'll wear sable some day

Hear what I say
I'm gonna ride the serpent
No more time spent sweatin' rent
Hear my command
It ain't no use, I'm breakin' loose,
Holdin' me down, stick around

But baby (baby)
Remember (remember)
It's my life and I'll do what I want
It's my mind and I'll think what I want
Show me I'm wrong, hurt me sometime
But some day I'll treat you real fine

There'll be women and their fortunes
Who just want to mother orphans
Are you gonna cry
When I'm squeezing them dry?
Taking all I can get
No regrets

When I ... openly lie
And live on their money
Believe me honey, that money
Can you believe, I ain't no saint
No complaints

So girl go out
Any doubt

And baby (baby)
Remember (remember)
It's my life and I'll do what I want
It's my mind and I'll think what I want
Show me I'm wrong, hurt me sometime
But some day I'll treat you real fine

(It's my life and I'll do what I want) Don't push me
(It's my mind and I'll think what I want) It's my life
(It's my life and I'll do what I want) And I can do what I want
(It's my mind and I'll think what I want) You can't tell me
(It's my life and I'll do what I want)

Everybody Knows (This is Nowhere)

"La-la-la, la-la-la-la, everybody knows, everybody knows....."

Was that Neil's dog? Further research required.
Joel Bernstein: "The photo was in fact taken somewhere in Topanga Canyon by freelance photographer Frank Bez. He [Frank Bez] remembered Neil specifically telling him that it was taken in Topanga Canyon around September 1968."

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Golem XIV

GOLEM Teaser from GOLEM on Vimeo.

Teaser for animated short GOLEM, based on the short story GOLEM XIV by Stanislaw Lem.


Film by Patrick Mccue, Tobias Wiesner
Voice - Cyrena Dunbar
Music - Cliff Martinez
Sound Design - Gavin Little/
Title Design - Melanie Lukhaup/ luftmasche

More on Lem's story here

Sunday, July 22, 2012

N----R: The Documentary Rejected (Banned) by Facebook

The continuing economic downturn pushes further back the memory of that exciting election evening in 2008 when the U.S. -- and the world -- seemed to recognize  that a major page had been turned in our history with the election of Senator Barack Hussein Obama as the first African American as  President. In the ensuing months, there were many debates regarding whether the nation has reached a new "post-racial" era. Nevertheless, politics, and the challenging economic scene seem to suggest that an election does not a post-racial era make. Therefore,  it is with great interest and curiosity that we accepted an invitation to attend a screening of Thea St. Omer's documentary, Nigger, which may well represent the most loaded (well, as indicated in the film, there is at least one other lulu one can think of) word in the American idiom.

The film is a series of talking head shots, of individuals of all races and ages, who are interviewed by director St. Omer about their thoughts and reactions to "the N word" as it is more commonly referred. In conversation with the director at the screening at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, she noted how the film's title prevented it from appearing on the ubiquitous Facebook.

The film is a brief and challenging documentary that addresses the word that appears first to have been used as a weapon, part of the semiotics of control of African Americans, but which has now been re-appropriated as a badge of -- if not honor -- fellowship and identity in the younger African American community. Even appropriated --as both the film and members of the audience agreed-- by non-Black suburban kids who identify with the creativity, fellowship, and urban cool of hip-hop culture.

Although it appears that academics are among the individuals interviewed in the film, their comments are all personal and revelatory under director St. Omer's careful probing. And that's just what makes "Nigger: The documentary that Facebook Rejected" unique: it is a documentary from the heart, no academic disquisitions or distanced, philosophical critiques or analyses of the evolution or linguistics of this most loaded word. The film gives it to you straight from the gut, take it or leave it, with the only alternative remaining for the viewer to figure out where they, too, stand in the new American culture, post racial or not. The only hesitation that I had regarding the director's ambitious and admirable short-film effort, is the fact that, having been filmed in 2005 and 2006, there is an unexplored dimension here, inasmuch as one can think about the  interviews in terms of "BO and "AO" - Before and After President Obama. This may be a quibble, and is not intended as a criticism, as much as it is the thought that the film may in fact have further resonance if a sequel were attempted, kind of like Michael Apted's "Up" series, but observing the meaning of the word in a post-racial, post-Obama context.

None of this is meant to take anything away from the director's worthy effort. She is continuing in her efforts to bring this documentary to a wider audience. However, as an example of the complex nature of this evolution, director St. Omer has been working hard at obtaining funding to make the film more available to audiences. It appears that it is an uphill climb. Visit the film's website for more information on the film and the Kickstarter campaign here

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Future Imperfekt

What happened to the Future?

As a lad in the 1960s, I read Arthur C. Clarke's Profiles of the Future  and was most impressed by the concluding chart that listed his predictions of technologies to come. Some were right on target (Lunar Landings, although he overshot slightly, predicting the 1970s), personal radio (i.e., cell phones, 1980s though not becoming truly widespread, virtually ubiquitous, until decades later), global library (e.g., the internet/wikipedia)..etc.

An interesting website reviewed the evolution of  Clarke's prognostications of the future over subsequent editions of the book, but I was always fascinated with the original edition, as a youth, in the dramatically evolving years, socially and technologically, of the 1960s and 1970s... intelligent animals, robots, planetary reminded me of Donald Fagen's I.G.Y. which offered a vision of a cool, Kennedy-esque, future, leisure "and spandex jackets for everyone."

A recent article also took our dreams of the future to task, discussing why some issues, with so much seeming potential, never came ot fruition. Sadly, does it all come down to "The Market" ?  More here

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

News: Bob Dylan's "Tempest" Due Out September 11

Columbia Records announced today that Bob Dylan’s new studio album, Tempest, will be released on September 11, 2012. Featuring ten new and original Bob Dylan songs, the release of Tempest coincides with the 50th Anniversary of the artist’s eponymous debut album, which was released by Columbia in 1962.

More here

Monday, July 9, 2012

Reality Bites: Das Capital Ideas

Dr. Nouriel Roubini on the arrival of the predicted "perfect storm"of stalling growth in the U.S., debt troubles in Europe, a slowdown in emerging markets, particularly China, and military conflict in Iran - would come together to create a storm for the global economy in 2013. The perfect storm is unfolding details here

Capitalism and its discontents: The more it rots the more it thrives. Slavoj Zizek here

Zizek in The Guardian: Love, Hegel and What Zizek Won't Do and Can''t Abide 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