Monday, December 30, 2013

The Shadows Take Form: Afrofuturism at the Studio Museum of Harlem


Mark Dery wrote about Afrofuturism in his seminal essay Black to the Future which included interviews with Greg Tate and Samuel Delaney. Afrofuturism is an emergent literary and cultural aesthetic that combines elements of science fiction, historical fictionfantasy,Afrocentricity, and magic realism with non-Western cosmologies in order to critique not only the present-day dilemmas of people of color, but also to revise, interrogate, and re-examine the historical events of the past. First coined by Mark Dery in 1993, Afrofuturism addresses themes and concerns of theAfrican Diaspora through a technoculture and science fiction lens. Afrofuturism encompasses a range of mediums and artists who have a shared interest in envisioning black futures that stem from Afrodiasporic experiences. Examples of seminal afrofuturistic works include the novels ofSamuel R. Delany and Octavia Butler; the canvases of Jean-Michel Basquiat and the photography of Renée Cox; and the explicitly extraterrestrial mythology of Parliament-Funkadelic, and Sun Ra.

The exhibit at the Studio Museum of Harlem further pushes open the star gates to provide a wider visual sense of the Afrofuturist ethic which had more been defined by the literary work of Octavia Butler and Samuel Delaney, and musically, to the work of Sun Ra and his Arkestra and of course George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic. (Note: Aside from authors Delaney and Butler, I would also include the novels of Ishmael Reed which, while seeming more satiric/mojo/parody actually dwell in an alternative universe where reality is its own best parody. Witness especially The Freelance Pallbearers, where Nazarene apprentice Bukka Doopeyduck foments rebellion in the nation of Harry Sam. I would love to see a director attempt to bring that to the screen.)

The Studio Museum show presents the multimedia work of international artists ranging from those who have unwittingly dipped a toe in the Afrofuturist ethos to those who gave jumped in and been fully baptized. It's an interesting and dynamic show; I did find much of the multimedia video and film presentations more compelling (John Akomfrah and Khaled Hafez) although the scope and volume of the show provide much food for thought ( hopefully not soylent green.)

The show continues through March 14, 2014. Recommended.

The Studio Museum of Harlem website appears here http://www.studiomuseum.org/exhibition/

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

The Bear and the New Years Tree

Gary Shteyngart in that central Christmas Day literary spot on the NY Times op Ed page writing on the "most unknowable time of the year" http://nyti.ms/1e9ISxj

Monday, December 23, 2013

Amnesty for Jailed Billionaire, Two Musicians of Pussy Riot ; Greenpeace Activists Next

Maria Alyokhina and Nadia Tolokonnikova were released under an amnesty allowing early release from a two-year sentence after a protest against President Vladimir Putin. In addition to the amnesty, Putin unexpectedly pardoned Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the Russian former oil tycoon who is widely seen by Kremlin critics and Western politicians as a political prisoner. Critics of the leader of the Russian Federation assert that this is a publicity move in advance of the upcomoing Sochi Olympics Games.

More here



Sunday, December 22, 2013

Brian McFadden on "Santa's Intelligence Task Force" in the NY Times

Sleigh bells ring - who ain't listening? As Santa Obama flies off in his drone-powered sleigh, the elves address critical issues. O little town of Washington how still we see thee lie. 
-Deep in the Heart of Brooklyn

The Fashion World of Jean-Paul Gaultier at the Brooklyn Museum

As 2013 draws to a close, DITHOB catching up with events that time, work, family and obligation had pushed out of reach. A fantastic contemporary exhibit that, while interesting in its examination of  Monsieur Gaultier's amazingly creative work, also explores the frontiers of the display of art and fashion in the Future.



Interactive faces, created by high-definition audiovisual projections on mannequins in the "Odyssey" section of the Jean Paul Gaultier exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum. Production and staging by Denis Marleau and Stephanie Jasmin of UBU/Companie de creation of Montreal, Jolicoeur International of Quebec.

At the Brooklyn Museum through February 23, 2014.


Saturday, December 14, 2013

Paul Simon: Recalling Days of Miracle and Wonder


Paul Simon writing in the NY Times recalls how the spirit of Nelson Mandela infused the music of “Graceland” and his tours with South African musicians.

"In a sense, the most amazing thing about Mr. Mandela is that he is not a fiction. He actually lived in our lifetime. The qualities he embodied — dignity, compassion, mercy and forgiveness — hark back to a morality we’ve come to idealize and long for in our leaders today."

Full article: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/14/arts/music/paul-simon-on-mandelas-role-in-graceland.html. 

"You can call me Al" Paul Simon from Graceland http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uq-gYOrU8bA&sns=em

Monday, December 9, 2013

No One Left Behind: Homeless in NY

Homeless in NY:Thru a Child's Eyes- today an epic front page piece by Andrea Elliott in the NY Times. Yet another example of what makes the Times The Times... 


"It makes me feel like there’s something going on out there,” says the 11-year-old girl, never one for patience. This child of New York is always running before she walks. She likes being first — the first to be born, the first to go to school, the first to make the honor roll.

"Even her name, Dasani, speaks of a certain reach. The bottled water had come to Brooklyn’s bodegas just before she was born, catching the fancy of her mother, who could not afford such indulgences. It hinted at a different, upwardly mobile clientele, a set of newcomers who over the next decade would transform the borough."

Friday, December 6, 2013

"Hold a Dollar Bill Up to a Mirror": Slow Growth, No Growth, Inequality and Social Mobility and What Still Needs to Be Done

"Hold a dollar bill up to a mirror/
 And I'll show you something funny/
 It's only a fast buck, but..../
 It's so hard to make that kind of money.."
--Fast Buck Freddy, Jefferson Starship

Following the 2007-2008 financial meltdown, we appear to have reached a new stasis, where the market is booming, unemployment is somewhat stagnant, having not rebounded substantially BEYOND 2008 levels, and household income is shrinking. Wonkblog provides the basis and Larry Summers provides the analysis of why things may not get better without more forceful involvement in monetary and fiscal policy.

As Ezra Klein and Evan Soltas's morning policy news primer Wonkbook/Wonkblog report, in recent speeches, both President Obama and Congressman Paul Ryan have adressed the issues of inequality and social mobility. Both men are quick to say that growth is necessary to reduce both inequality and poverty. But weak growth is no longer the central economic problem obsessing American politics. It's no longer treated as a crisis. No one on either side of the aisle believes new policy is politically possible. Washington has become used to these kinds of numbers and resigned to its inability to do anything about them. 

"Meanwhile, the economic profession is beginning to wonder whether slow growth is, for the United States, the new normal. That was the subject of Larry Summers's searing speech before the International Monetary Fund, and it's the subject of Tyler Cowen's work on "The Great Stagnation," and it's the subject of Brad DeLong's 9,000-word piece on whether "growth is getting harder".

Krugman: Secular Stagnation here

Larry Summers Explains It All – and it ain’t so good
Here’s what Summers said: The Fed’s job, most of the time, is pretty simple. Its main job is to set the federal funds interest rate, which ripples out and raises or lowers other rates on everything from mortgages to credit cards to business loans; economists and journalists tend to refer to the Fed as raising or lowering “the interest rate” rather than just the funds rate to reflect its wider influence on the whole economy. If the Fed wants to know what interest rate we should have at a given time, it can just plug the unemployment rate and the inflation rate* into an equation, which will spit out what the fed funds rate should be. Couldn’t be easier. The problem is that when inflation is low and unemployment is high, the interest rate that equation spits out is sometimes negative.

And the Fed can’t have negative interest rates; that’d mean peoples’ bank accounts would start losing dollars over time. If that were to happen, everyone would just start doing transactions in cash, which doesn’t decay like that over time. So what the Fed can do — and does do — is promise to keep interest rates at 0 for a very long time.

The hope is that doing that has similar effects to having negative rates, and will get the economy back to normal, where we can have positive rates again. But that approach only works if, when times are good, the interest rate we want is positive. For most of history to date, that’s been true. But Summers argues that it could be that the rate we want is negative. If that’s true, then keeping rates at zero indefinitely won’t get us where we need to be. We need to take much more drastic action.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Musings for a Sunday in Late Autumn

It's December first in Brooklyn/Steam still rattling the pipes/Leaves just a memory, like Santa in the Macy's
Thanksgiving Day Parade/But wait, rosebuds still red as spring on the bush out back/Of course! It's December  1st in Brooklyn...
--Anthony Napoli
Deep in the Heart of Brooklyn 

December roses in Flatbush

Saturday, November 30, 2013

A Brief Epistle from Alex Battles

The ever intriguing Alex Battles has overcome greater odds than website failure no doubt, so the King of Brooklyn Country, author of Hong Kong Collision and so many tunes about love - unrequited and otherwise -- and of course beer and other libations as well as telenovelas   has sent out a missive to his legion of fans worldwide. Until his website returns Deep in the Heart of Brooklyn is delighted to post it below:
 
"I will be singing the songs of Frank Sinatra on his birthday, December 12, 2013, at The Jalopy Theatre. I'll be backed by the groovy rhythms of The Bob Windows Quartet, featuring Lou Dyanamo on saxophone, Calloway St. Clair on piano, Diana Fontana on bass, and Maxwell Danger on drums. It would be wonderful to see you there. (Tickets. Event invite.)
 
Many of you know LJ Lindhurst as the artist who painted the Johnny Cash Birthday Bash banner. I'm delighted to serve as curator on her upcoming show "The Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, & God" opening at Littlefield on December 14, 2013. 
 
On New Year's Day, I will master the ceremonies of Hank-O-Rama X at the Rodeo Bar. The Lonesome Prairie Dogs' dynamite celebration of Hank Williams has assuaged hangovers annually since 2005. I am excited to take part once again.
 
The Johnny Cash 82nd Birthday Bash will return to the Bell House for two nights this year, on February 28, 2014 and March 1, 2014. Tickets will go on sale soon. Check the Bell House website and Twitter feed for updates.
 
I put a bunch of my music back onto iTunes, including the original master of Goodbye AlmiraFatback-Spo-Dee-O-Dee, Vol. 1, and Ev'rything's OK, Alex Battles. You will enjoy them.
 
My website should be up and running again by the end of the week. I updated something I shouldn't have. I think there was PHP involved. Oops! In the meantime, there's always twitterfacebookinstagram, and most importantly, Calvin & Hobbes.
 
Take care and have a wonderful day.
Ab

--Deep in the Heart ofBrooklyn 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Channel This: Groundbreaking Bob Dylan "Like a Rolling Stone" Interactive Video

Listen up all you Princes and Pretty People: Bob Dylan's official website just released "Like a Rolling Stone" like you've never seen it before -- everywhere and on every channel at once. This is a fun one. Link here

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Anonymous: Contemporary Tibetan Art-"if you meet the visionary on the road.."



Mona Lisa by Dedron 2012

Anonymous: Contemporary Tibetan Art at the Samuel Dorsky Museum at the State University of New York at New Paltz seems to endeavor to bridge the chasm between the pop theocracy that the west seems to adore about Tibetan Buddhism and the complications faced by the remote mountain nation in its conflicts not only with the People's Republic of China but also with the encroaching modernization and consumer culture that no country no matter how remote can escape. This fine exhibit combines contemporary artists using traditional forms to view the present, and modern techniques to view the past. Anonymous offers Colorful, challenging and philosophical insights into a culture whose modern artistic expression is much less known in the West and whose cultural conflicts and ironies we prefer to take in the bite size pieces. Like a Zen koan these contemporary artists explore their culture as natives and as expats with a nuanced eye that shows that truths that seem to make no sense may be the most revealing expressions of all. The show is curated by Rachel Pereira Weingeist and is largely drawn from the private collection of Shelley and Donald Rubin whose art holdings serve as the heart of New York City's Rubin Museum of Art. The Dorsky Museum at SUNY-New Paltz never ceases to amaze. Through December 15, 2013.

-Tony Napoli

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Say It Ain't So: Corgis-- An Endangered Breed


Guinevere, in repose, contemplating the future of the Breed.


The New York Post reports that "The Queen of England’s favorite breed of dog was placed on Britain’s Kennel Club’s “at watch” list — and could soon become endangered, the organization warns. Only 241 Pembroke Welsh corgis are registered with the club this year and, unless that number spikes to 300 by January, the pups will be placed on a “vulnerable native breeds” list, the club claims." Full article fro mthe NY Post here

Friday, November 1, 2013

Ain't No Stopping Him Now: Bill deBlasio in the Bronx

Bill deBlasio is touching New Yorkers in their hopes and in their hearts. As reported in Politicker, he wowed Halloween crowds in the Bronx in a pre-election visit. The NY Times endorsed Mr. deBlasion while in recent profile of Joe Lhota, suggested that he has deep managerial and technocratic skills that Mr. deBlasio does not. Given the recent failures to achieve full liftoff of the Affordable Health Care Act, there are no doubt concerns that Mr. deBlasio could mirror President Obama in his popularity and campaigning acumen, but also in his weakness with legislators and seemingly limited executive ability. However, this might be a false fear. Given Mr. deBlasio's experience on the City Council, his extremely strong organization, his efforts as Public Advocate, his energy and contacts at all levels of government and in the community,and in business, and the political capital resulting from a Big Win in a predominently Democratic city, absent a major crisis, he has the potential to successfully take the reins of New York City government in hand, hire a strong team, and get grounded, while beginning to press for some of his initiatives. If he can also make some inroads -- somehow -- into job creation and homelessness, while continuing current efforts to maintain safe streets address stop and frisk, while making gradual education improvements, it could truly be a Brand New Day and a next step in a remarkable evolution for the former NYU student activist. First it will be up to the voters -- and then up to our Next Mayor. Full article from by Jill Colvin from Politcker here

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Behold the Man: Zizek on Ideology

He hates the celebrity that is imposed upon him -- summed up in labels like "the rock star philosopher" and "Elvis of cultural theory" --- but like a high speed car crash you can't watch but can't look away. When I saw Slavoj Zizek at the CUNY Grad Center last year he is an electrifying mass of brilliant- on -his -feet social and political critique delivered in a haze of tics and lisps. Now Zizek has starred in his second film with director Sophie Fiennes in which he analyzes and discusses ideology through the interpretation of popular film. It opens Friday in NYC and other locations. See the trailer below. Dilettantes Like Me interested in Cultural theory and critique- -ya gotta love the guy.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6kB3d9qZZhs&sns=em



NYC Mayoral Race: Getting Down to the Wire

WHAT WOULD LHOTA DO? Running things, it ain't easy (especially when it comes to campaigns) NY TIMES article here Bill deBlasio: Blending Politics, Idealism..and more Politics NY TIMES article here

Friday, October 25, 2013

The National Insecurity State

Germany and Brazil approach the United Nations to restrain U.S. National Security Agency's surveillance of communications by foreign leaders and governments. If, as Edward Snowden stated in a statement yesterday, "Today, no telephone in America makes a call without leaving a record with the NSA. Today, no Internet transaction enters or leaves America without passing through the NSA's hands" how can it be plausible, if the capability exists that we can track this staggering volume of information, that we would not be tracking this information among other countries, allies as well as enemies? Where rational security efforts begin, and potentially authoritarian surveillance ends, is a debate that will continue as long as the capability exists and the concern for anti-terror and security concerns continues. Snowden states "Our representatives in Congress tell us this is not surveillance. They're wrong." The American government, responsible for the security of its people, would of course beg to differ. The question raised of course is it is clearly not racial profiling if you are gathering everything out there into as wide a net as possible and then sifting it into smaller pails for subsequent study. Keep your friends close but your enemies closer? Still this is not a new issue. Only the technology has changed and the willingness of new generations to surrender privacy. Full article on Edward Snowden and US Senator Diane Feinstein on this issue here Full article from Foreign Policy here

Thursday, October 24, 2013

"The Book of Lamentations"-5

A review of a "new dystopian novel in the classic mode takes the form of a dictionary of madness" masquerading as a review of the DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders). The review, like the book it reviews, dark, brilliant, surreal, and so, so human. 


Vincent van Gogh Corridor in the Asylum (1889) 

 The review in the New Inquiry appears here
--Anthony Napoli

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

It's Our Information: Electronic Frontier Foundation

StopWatching.us is a coalition of more than 100 public advocacy organizations and companies from across the political spectrum who are opposed to the current expansion of mass surveillance in the U.S. by the National Security Agency (NSA) and other intelligence organizations. This video harnesses the voices of celebrities, activists, legal experts, and other prominent figures in speaking out against mass surveillance by the NSA. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is a nonprofit civil liberties law and advocacy center that has been fighting the NSA's unconstitutional spying for years. Learn more at https://eff.org

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Saturday, October 19, 2013

'A Cartoon Long Forsaken by the Public Eye': Richard Hell and the Voidoids


Richard Hell and the Voidoids, Blank Generation, 1976. from the album Blank Generation, fronted by Hell, the Voidoids at this time included the late legendary guitarist Richard Quine, Ivan Julian and Marc Bell. "weeee-oooooh!"

Never forget the inspiration. Brilliant music, rebel style:
"I came back to England determined. I had these images I came back with, it was like Marco Polo or Walter Raleigh. I brought back the image of this distressed, strange thing called Richard Hell. And this phrase, 'the blank generation'. [...] Richard Hell was a definite, 100 percent inspiration, and, in fact, I remember telling the Sex Pistols, 'Write a song like Blank Generation, but write your own bloody version,' and their own version was 'Pretty Vacant'."
--Malcolm McLaren in an interview in Please Kill Me, the Uncensored Oral History of Punk, Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain, Grove Press (1996), p. 199.

Richard Hell live at the Club Chitta Kawasaki Japan

Richard Hell Official Site including writings, news, etc. here Richard Hell, a fellow Libra, turned 64 on October 2.

More here

Nice Wall Street Journal interview with Mr. Hell about his East Village tenement rent controlled apartment with comments on life and why he left performing http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:khsFDl4ZCosJ:online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323936404578581993025822864.html+&cd=4&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

He will be reading from his work
later this fall at the Guggenheim Museum event curated and accompanying the retrospective of the work by Christopher Wool.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Banksy or Not Banksy?

A peculiar image pops up on a lamppost 
Near Kings Highway in Brooklyn
Translation: "and what?



Photo by Tony Napoli

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

New Fed Chief Janet Yellen - Of Brooklyn (Not the Manor) Born and Ready for Business (and Employment Growth)

Now that Janet Yellen is in line for selection as the next Chairperson of the Federal Reserve, with Larry Summers seemingly off-stage in the shadows, it is interesting to first note, as reported by the Office of Councilman Vincent J. Gentile, that she is, first and foremost, a Brooklyn native: Councilman Gentile: “I commend President Obama on his selection of Dr. Janet Yellen to be the first woman to head the Federal Reserve in its 100-year history,” Councilman Vincent J. Gentile said. “She has played a major role in the Fed's efforts to keep interest rates near record lows to support the economy and will take over at a pivotal time for our country. And of course, most importantly, she is from Bay Ridge and a fellow Fort Hamilton High School alum – so we know she'll do a great job! We wish you the best of luck, Dr. Yellen, as you lead the American central bank and work to lift economic growth. Congratulations!” Of equal and further note to her NYC-borouvian pedigree, as Ambrose Evans-Pritchard in the Telegraph observed about Ms. Yellen: "No Fed chief in history has been better qualified. She is a glaring contrast to Alan Greenspan, a political speech writer for Richard Nixon, who never earned a real PhD (it was honorary) or penned an economic paper of depth. "She has pedigree. Her husband is Nobel laureate George Akerlof, the scourge of efficient markets theory. She co-authored "Market for Lemons", the paper that won the prize. "Currently vice-chairman of the Fed, she was a junior governor from 1994 to 1997 under Greenspan, and then president of the San Francisco Fed from 2004 to 2010. She was head of Bill Clinton’s Council of Economic Advisers from 1997 to 1999, when she handled the Asian crisis. You could hardly find a safer pair of hands. "Note that she confronted Greenspan head-on in 1996, pushing for pre-emptive rate rises to choke inflation and wean the economy of cheap credit. She was entirely right to do so. That was the moment when the Fed began to make a series of fatal errors, becoming addicted to ever lower real interest rates. Nobody called her a dove then. "She was on the other side a decade later during those crucial months before the subprime housing crash, quick to sense the danger of a chain reaction through the shadow banking system. Ben Bernanke and the FOMC majority scoffed at worries that the subprime debacle was the tip of an iceberg." ..."The Fed will be looser for longer. The FOMC will continue to print money until the US economy creates enough jobs to reignite wage pressures and inflation, regardless of asset bubbles, or collateral damage along the way." Read Evan-Pritchard's comments in full here And as Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman observed, it would be spite not to appoint Janet Yellen. "First, he says President Obama must now pick Janet Yellen — in his opinion, she is simply the best candidate: "... it’s really, really hard to see how Obama can justify not picking Janet Yellen at this point. Nobody else is as qualified; any other choice would look like spite." Here Read more:

Monday, October 7, 2013

Down to Basics: Alexi Murdoch 'All My Days'

Alexi Murdoch performs 'All My Days.' Studio Q. Monday reflections.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

The Passing of General Giap: Vietnamerica - "Omnipotent gods have burned their hands"


Soundtrack to reflections on the Passing of General Giap: The Stranglers, "Vietnamerica" 1980

General Vo Nguyen Giap, while not as iconic as Ho Chi Minh, was a familiar figure to advocates both for and against the United States' long intervention in Viet Nam. A relentless and charismatic North Vietnamese general whose campaigns drove both France and the United States out of Vietnam, he died on Friday in Hanoi. He was believed to be 102. 

 As Joseph Gregory reported in the New York Times:"The death was reported by several Vietnamese news organizations, including the respected Tuoi Tre Online, which said he had died in an army hospital. "General Giap was among the last survivors of a generation of Communist revolutionaries who in the decades after World War II freed Vietnam of colonial rule and fought a superpower to a stalemate. In his later years, he was a living reminder of a war that was mostly old history to the Vietnamese, many of whom were born after it had ended. "But he had not faded away. He was regarded as an elder statesman whose hard-line views had softened with the cessation of the war that unified Vietnam. He supported economic reform and closer relations with the United States while publicly warning of the spread of Chinese influence and the environmental costs of industrialization. 

 "To his American adversaries, however, from the early 1960s to the mid-1970s, he was perhaps second only to his mentor, Ho Chi Minh, as the face of a tenacious, implacable enemy. And to historians, his willingness to sustain staggering losses against superior American firepower was a large reason the war dragged on as long as it did, costing more than 2.5 million lives — 58,000 of them American — sapping the United States Treasury and Washington’s political will to fight, and bitterly dividing the country in an argument about America’s role in the world that still echoes today.

 "A teacher and journalist with no formal military training, Vo Nguyen Giap (pronounced vo nwin ZHAP) joined a ragtag Communist insurgency in the 1940s and built it into a highly disciplined force that ended an empire and united a nation. "

 Mr. Gregory's complete article in the NY Times  appears here 

As Mr. Giap told the journalist Stanley Karnow in 1990, “We wanted to show the Americans that we were not exhausted, that we could attack their arsenals, communications, elite units, even their headquarters, the brains behind the war.” 

 He added, “We wanted to project the war into the homes of America’s families, because we knew that most of them had nothing against us.”

 DITHOB: General Giap's willingness to sacrifice countless lives, his own people and his adversaries -- reportedly 2.5 million Vietnamese and 58,000 Americans died in the conflict -- in pursuit of independence for his country, suggested a cultural and political divide that it would be difficult for a developed, democratic nation to sustain. But still, we seem to try.

 As the U.S. debates the value, meaning, and obligations of our continuing interventions around the world, we can only reflect upon the impact of what at the time appeared to be a watershed conflict in American history upon General Giap's nation and ours. Where it's gone, what it has meant for Viet Nam and the U.S. and what lessons, if any, if ever are to be learned, particularly as we approach the 40th anniversary of the end of this conflict. Saigon fell on April 30, 1975. 

And just as today the U.S. weighs a total withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2014, as reported in the NY Times. 

--Anthony Napoli

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Squeeze- 'Behind the Chalet': Pulling Mussels (from a shell)

Great song from Squeeze's "Argy Bargy" what a band. Argy Bargy: ar·gy-bar·gy (ärg-bärg) n. pl. ar·gy-bar·gies Chiefly British Slang A lively or disputatious discussion. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- [Scots, reduplication of argie, argument, from argue.]

Friday, September 27, 2013

Hersh til It Hurts: Seymour Hersh on Journalism, Secrecy and the Truth

Veteran investigative journalist Seymour Hersh in The Guardian on secrecy and lies in the Obama administration, the truth sbout the death of Bin Laden and the failures and future of American journalism http://www.theguardian.com/media/media-blog/2013/sep/27/seymour-hersh-obama-nsa-american-media

Monday, September 23, 2013

Unleashing Wonder: 3-D Printers

As DITHOB mentioned a few years back 3-D printing in all of its shoddy glory appears to be the wave of the future, some kind of future anyway, for better or for worse. A.J. Jacobs writing in yesterday's New York Times Sunday Review section takes it an another direction when he engages an engineer to help fabricate an Italian dinner. Madonn', the future is surely unwritten. I wonder if it is palatable. Read the article here As we also wrote earlier, there was recent controversy about the 3-D printers capacity to "print" a handgun. So let's see: 3-D Printers (x pizza + handgun) = Food fight! -Deep in the Heart of Brooklyn

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Autumn Citrus

Lulav and etrog vendors help their customers prepare for Succoth on Avenue J

Friday, September 13, 2013

NYC Mayoral Primary: The View from The Beltway

Kelli Goff at The Root sums it all up: "[T]he outcome of New York City's Democratic primary puts this silly theory about black voter bias to rest once and for all. Black voters are, like other demographics, informed voters, and if you effectively speak to their issues, they will vote for you. If you don't, they won't -- regardless of your skin color." The complete article here http://www.theroot.com/blogs/end-racial-politics-new-york

Bill Thompson Supporter US Representative Charles Rangel on Bill and Dante de Blasio

From CAPITAL NY - Reid Pillifant wrote: Asked if he was surprised by de Blasio's performance among black voters, Rep. Charles Rangel said, "Not after I saw that commercial for de Blasio with his son." I asked Rangel if he thought the ad, which is narrated by de Blasio's 16-year-old son, Dante, was really that effective. "Effective? Hell, it was mind-blowing," he said. "That was the kid that they're looking for in stop-and-search. That is him! Big goddam afro, black kid, he's the one! In other words, the candidate's son." He let out a laugh. "And then the mayor, I don't know--he was so beautiful, in calling Bill de Blasio a racist for exposing his family," he said. "I mean, by having your family, your biracial family, come forward is racist, because they see that you're really Americans, and we don't have time for that, either you're Jewish or Christian or black or white, I don't know." "But I know one thing, de Blasio handled these things so beautifully well, I can understand how people felt very comfortable endorsing him," Rangel said. Article from Capital New York by Reid Pillifant here http://capitalnewyork.com/article/politics/2013/09/8533733/rangel-thompson-supporters-will-hold-strategy-meeting-tonight

Dispensing Wisdom


New York City Subway Chewing Gum Vending Machine
Circa 1960s (?)


Sunday, September 8, 2013

Pre-Primary Days in NYC

As the Democratic (and Republican) primary in NYC approaches, Outgoing Mayor Mike steps in it with his own extremist brand of political commentary,http://nyti.ms/1dQAVjF , while RealClear Politics website reviews the current polling numbers, http://realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2013/other/ny/new_york_city_mayor_democratic_primary-3741.html , for what they are actually worth; and Ford Fessenden's interesting article accompanying the infographic in the Saturday NY Times on the voting blocs among the ethnic enclaves and neighborhoods of New York, in the current primary race and post-Bloombergian political environment may add up to a whole lot of nothing as the proof is in the pudding and it will ultimately be in the magic of the primary election itself, in actually which candidates' voters and how many of them make the effort to get out to the polls to (perhaps for the last time as we will be again using the mechanical voting machines) pull the lever and set the wheels and reels spinning.Whether this will result in a primary Dem run off or simply pave the way for the November election, we will have to see. So it will be up to the voters now to get out there and do their duty. And where it stops no one will know until (hopefully) primary night.

New York New York still a helluva town.

-Tony Napoli
Deep in the Heart of Brooklyn

Monday, September 2, 2013

The Perils and Potentials of "Feeding the Beast"

David Carr writing in the NY Times on the new paradigm in political journalism. Quoting Liz Sidoti, national politics editor for The Associated Press, who says she loves social media’s ability to reach and involve audiences, but she is less fond of what it is doing to the political press corps that is feeding the beast. “I worry that reporters are so busy looking after the bells and whistles that they need to on social media that they are not working as finders of fact, asking the tough questions and doing the analysis,” she told me."

Similarly, Peter Hamby, a journalist who can function in both traditional daily reporting and political analysis and who is comfortable in social media observes 
"that politicians who came of age in the Twitter era — Gov. Chris Christie, Gov. Martin O’Malley, Senator Marco Rubio and others — will have an advantage over Hillary Rodham Clinton, who relies on a command-and-control approach in which information is carefully doled out and any journalistic offenders are disciplined."

“I wonder if the machinery of Clinton-world, the layers of staff and ’90s-era wise men, are prepared to deal with the next generation of Instagramming journalist, social media natives who fetishize authenticity,” he said."

Full article in the NY Times  here http://nyti.ms/17BxRFi


'Gravity' Kills: Trailer from Alphonso Cuaron's Forthcoming Film


Sandra Bullock and George Clooney in Director Cuaron's October release. Space is the Place; The trick is Survival.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Syrian Gambit: Unintended Consequences of Bombing Nerve Gas Manufacturing Facilities

The Associated Press quotes experts on dangerous what ifs of US destruction of chemical weapons plant 
http://apnews.myway.com/article/20130830/DA8G7HS00.html

Seth Borenstein writes "You simply can't safely bomb a chemical weapon storehouse into oblivion, experts say. That's why they say the United States is probably targeting something other than Syria's nerve agents.

"But now there is concern that bombing other sites could accidentally release dangerous chemical weapons that the U.S. military didn't know were there because they've lost track of some of the suspected nerve agents."

Sunday, August 25, 2013

"He Did It in Las Vegas and He Can Do It Here": Bob Dylan's Another Self Portrait

Bob Dylan's "Another Self Portrait" from the Bootleg Series. NPR offers streaming versons of a number of tunes, including a demo of "Went to See the Gypsy" here 

Bob Dylan in 1970, the year he released his 10th studio album, Self Portrait. A new collection, Another Self Portrait (1969-1971), comes out August 27. Photo: John Cohen/Courtesy of the artist 


Saturday, August 24, 2013

The 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington-The Dream- Amazing Strides, Much Yet to Accomplish in Society and in the Hearts of Americans




More on Dr Martin Luther King's "I have a dream" speech here http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_Have_a_Dream

The text of the speech:

I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.

Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.

But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languished in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. And so we've come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.

In a sense we've come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the "unalienable Rights" of "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note, insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked "insufficient funds."

But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. And so, we've come to cash this check, a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice.

We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of Now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God's children.

It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sweltering summer of the Negro's legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. And those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. And there will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.

But there is something that I must say to my people, who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice: In the process of gaining our rightful place, we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again, we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.

The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. And they have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom.

We cannot walk alone.

And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead.

We cannot turn back.

There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, "When will you be satisfied?" We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the negro's basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their self-hood and robbed of their dignity by signs stating: "For Whites Only." We cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until "justice rolls down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream."¹

I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. And some of you have come from areas where your quest -- quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive. Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed.

Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today, my friends.

And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal."

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of "interposition" and "nullification" -- one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; "and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together."2

This is our hope, and this is the faith that I go back to the South with.

With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith, we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

And this will be the day -- this will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with new meaning:

My country 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing.

Land where my fathers died, land of the Pilgrim's pride,

From every mountainside, let freedom ring!

And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true.

And so let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire.

Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York.

Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania.

Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado.

Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California.

But not only that:

Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia.

Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee.

Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi.

From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

And when this happens, and when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual:

                Free at last! Free at last!

                Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!

More on the speech here http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/mlkihaveadream.htm


Friday, August 9, 2013

Jerry Garcia 18 Years On: "I Wash My Hands, in the Muddy Water..."





Jerome John "Jerry" Garcia (August 1, 1942 – August 9, 1995)


Jerry Garcia comprehensive wikipedia bio here

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Coda: Blue Jasmine's Bird of Paradise

Yes, all the excitement and raves, to this viewer, are right on target. Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine is engrossing; Cate Blanchett's performance, while mannered, is riveting. During one scene, when Jasmine moves through the San Francisco apartment of her sister (charmingly and passionately played by the excellent Sally Hawkins), I experienced a sharp shpilkes in my connectigazoid..actually, My Better Half was elbowing me. A background prop, there I suppose to show her sister's declasse sensibility, is a piece of Do It Yourself art work of a Bird of Paradise or the like, and visible at 32 seconds into the above trailer, that MBH had assembled when she was 8 years old. Whether mindful of a particularly memorable, if difficult, period in her family history, she, and we have always kept this in our home. Relegated in recent years to our basement/laundry room area, after it's appearance in Blue Jasmine, natch, it took on a new resonance and, of course, a heightened sense of irony, so we brought it up to our parlor floor, where we are looking for a place to mount it. A photo of our heirloom appears below: 


Birds of Paradise by Judith Tantleff-Napoli, at the time age 8

 Tempus fugit, ars longa...



Coda: Are Billionaire "Citizen Kanes" Good for American Newspapers?

Amazon founder Jeffrey Bezos's $250 million purchase of the Washington Post struck the AMerican newspaper industry like a bolt of lightning. Giving the paper hope for continued solvency, but openong up a myriad of questions about the future of journalism at the Post -- and in the industry at large. Gloria Goodale in the Christian Science Monitor looks at the plusses and minuses resulting from this transaction and whether it will lead to more: " “Clearly we are seeing notable great dailies come into the hands of very wealthy individual owners,” says Mark Jurkowitz of the Pew Research Center. "These are a new class of owners,” points out Mr. Jurkowitz. “They are more unfettered.” In the case of Mr. Bezos, he notes for instance, the Amazon founder and new Globe owner will be able to operate without having to explain his actions to outside shareholders... Gloria Goodale's article here

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

"Citizen Bezos": Amazon's Bezos Buys Washington Post

Amazon's Jeff Bezos gets his "Rosebud," purchases Washington Post for $250 million, saving a venerable American newspaper institution as the era of the American oligarchs rolls on.
Article here in NY Times http://nyti.ms/16qiyLi and Andrew Ross Sorkin in NYT Deal Book here 

Friday, August 2, 2013

Bill Thompson's 24 Hour Campaign Marathon

Photo by Ny Daily News Erin Durkin Bill Thompson and Brooklyn Democratic Leader Frank Seddio contemplate the new day during the mayoral candidate's 24 hour campaign marathon at Bklyn Terminal Mkt

Bill Thompson's 24 hour campaign marathon, as recapped by Erin Durkin in the NY Daily News was a refreshing example of a very human, and honest, form of political theater in a mayoral race that has been just a little bit TOO real.. 

Article here 
http://m.nydailynews.com/news/election/bill-thompson-attempts-24-hour-stump-stops-5-boroughs-article-1.1415435?localLinksEnabled=false


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Weiner's Tale

While Anthony's propensity
To display his immensity
May well be between husband and wife
But when he thinks to be Mayor
He's now more obliged to convey or
Disclose If things can be kept forever under wraps
--Anthony Napoli
Deep in the Heart of Brooklyn
<exeunt the stage, sire>

Ruminations on a Data-Filled Future

All things point to a data- filled future where the preponderance of data generated and collected will be hunted, gathered, crunched, analyzed and projected to create a new substrate and substructure for Modern Life in the near future.

A new blog will serve as a platform for reviewing, understanding, learning about and reflecting on "Big Data Today"--
http://www.bigdatatoday.blogspot.com


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Summer Pleasures: "Blue Jasmine'

Here at DITHOB, the appearance on the horizon of a new film by Woody Allen, himself straight from Avenue K in Midwood, is always cause for interest and curiosity. Mr. Allen's latest will no doubt challenge and provoke audiences, as his forthcoming "Blue Jasmine" opening later this month in NYC, seems to contain and combine grace notes from earlier films - sisters experiencing changes of situations-- and the complications and challenges that ensue. The large and accomplished cast, starring Cate Blanchett, Alec Baldwin, Sally Hawkins, Peter Sarsgaard, Michael Stuhlbarg, Bobby Cannavale,Louis C.K., Andrew Dice Clay, and many others promises to be an interesting ensemble piece driven by drama, social commentary and, one hopes, a bit of humor. For now, we have the trailer. Enjoy.

Friday, July 5, 2013

'Dig If You Will the Picture': The Maistre of Paisley Park


http://www.vmagazine.com/site/content/1262/everlasting-now#!/4

The Purple Wonder, Prince, performing with his new backup band, 3rdEyeGirl, gave a recent interview to V Magazine, touching on music, art, religion and life...:

Back in the Day: “Think about a young person listening to Joni Mitchell for the frst time on vinyl. You know how fun that is?...”

A Cell What? : "I ask how tech-averse he really is; does he have an iPhone? “Are you serious?” he says. “Hell, no.” He mimics a high-voiced woman. “Where is my phone? Can you call my phone? Oh, I can’t find it.”

Princeheads?: "He talks about people who come to his concerts all the time, akin to the Deadheads. “People come to see us fifty times. Well, that’s not just going to see a concert—that’s some other mess going on. This music changes you. These people are not being satisfed elsewhere by musicians, you feel what I’m saying? It’s no disrespect to anyone else, because we’re not checking for them. But we don’t lip synch. We ain’t got time for it. Ain’t no tape up there.”

Our earlier post on his initial rockin' release with 3rdEyeGirl, Screwdriver, here

Full interview from V Magazine here

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

'How long, how long will I slide?": Exploring the 'Otherside'



For everyone stuck at work before, during or following the Independence Day holiday, a bit of pop, mystical reflection from Red Hot Chili Peppers' great video, at once German expressionist and surrealistic, for Otherside, released in 2000.

Monday, June 24, 2013

"You're Standing Here Beside Me/I Love the Passing of Time"



In 2011's "This Must Be The Place", filmmaker Paolo Sorrentino (Il Divo and the forthcoming-in-the-U.S. "Grande Belissima/The Great Beauty)" evinced his fondness for the great Talking Heads tune of the same title (aka Naive Melody). In the film, which is a very joyful and complex work of cinema, Sean Penn's retired rock and roller attends a David Byrne concert where the song is performed live in a lovely string arrangement. I've been smitten by the song again, and found this original video from the time of the release of the album "Speaking in Tongues." The trailer from last year's release here

Friday, June 21, 2013

You Aren't Imagining It: That's A 'Supermoon' This Weekend



The May 2012 supermoon, seen from Gainesville Fla.
(AP Photo/The Gainesville Sun, Matt Stamey)


The moon really will appear larger and brighter than usual this weekend. In fact, this weekend's moon will be the "super moon" of 2013.  This occurs because two key points in the lunar cycle will coincide early Sunday morning -- the moon will both be a full moon and at its closest point to Earth in the 29.5-day cycle.

The perigee -- the name for the point in a lunar cycle when the moon is nearest to Earth -- will occur at 7:11 a.m. Sunday, when the body will be 356,911 kilometers, or 221,774 miles, from Earth. This has been referred to as the "Supermoon"; a phenomenon that happens about every 413 days.

The next time a full moon and perigee coincide so closely isn't until August 2014.

According to NASA,  the best time for viewing is when the moon is on the horizon. Because full moon and perigee coincide Sunday morning (after the moon has set for the day), Saturday night, early Sunday and Sunday evening should all provide big, bright moons. The times to remember, according to the Naval Observatory: Moonrises occur at 7:45 p.m. Saturday and 8:43 p.m. Sunday; moonset is at 5:47 a.m. Sunday.

Full Moon dates and times for NYC for 2013 appear here

A June full moon is commonly called the Mead Moon, Rose Moon, Honey Moon or Strawberry Moon.
More on the names for Full Moons throughout the year 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