Thursday, January 31, 2013

The NYC Mayoral Phone App

Yes, the inauguration of the President is over, with the only remaining question being whether Senator Chuck Schumer was correct in blowing a gasket over Beyonce's lip-syncha performance of the National Anthem.  The Presidential election itself seems but a dim memory. With the benefit of hindsight -- was there really any doubt?

Now, once again, NYC is in the throes of the gestational phase of it's own Mayoral election. The days of Mayor Mike dwindle down to a precious few, Ed Koch is in and out of the hospital, and the candidates, of every shape, size, race, ethnic background, and orientation stampede to and fro on the hustings, seeking to be The One.

After a few days of watching the parade of candidates on NY1, NY's 24/7 cable news channel (long may you run) in addition to the general campaign coverage on the Road to City Hall, hosted by the brilliant, though occasionally pandering, Errol Louis, is it possible that we are already on the verge of Campaign Exhaustion?

Mayor Mike is slowly letting go, although no doubt, if he could change his mind (and ours), he would remain as forever as Part Time Mayor. But who, who out there, will measure up, now that we have been pounded by the Bloomberg billions and media machine for a score of years. Who could possibly fill the role held formerly by Rudy (who entered the pantheon only after 9/11) and now Mickey "Blumberg" (as the Grocer Candidate "Johnny Cats" has referred to him)?  Sure, in many ways, things have become better, but whether it was due to the rising tide of the American economy through the 2008 crash, or the genius of our Mayor, that will be for historians to decide.

But for now, the bottom line remains that NY Needs a New Mayor (Even if it is "Anyone But Mike")... but who, who, who do you love?  Either of the Bills? Either of the Johns? Chris? Tomanoots? Or any of the other candidates, great and small, battling their way from obscurity to Gracie Mansion?

I think we may need a Phone App to figure that out. Something that will mash together the attributes, talents, panache, passion, and Heart of all of the greats and near greats, those who were elected Mayor in the past, and perhaps those who ran, and are running now. One that will factor in all of the above, and that will delete their failings and foibles, and generate a potential candidate.

The passion and inventiveness of the late Norman Mailer (minus the assault charges); the concern for the well-being of New Yorkers of our current Mayor without the overweening know-it-all-ness and out and out arrogance that Big Money clearly brings; the awesome rags-to-riches immigrant success tale of John Catsimitidis, but with a little more clarity of thought and expression; the other American dream of Comptroller John Liu, but with a little more attention to Advanced Accounting and Finance Law 101, at least on the campaign trail. The out-there humor and joyful combativeness with the press of Ed Koch, with a less unrestrained ego......

All of that is plugged into the app..and the most likely candidate, declared or undeclared, will be.........

You get the idea...
--Anthony Napoli, Deep in the Heart of Brooklyn

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Screwdriver: New track from the Artist Known Now and 4ever as Prince


Screwdriver, a rocking, driving new track from Prince. This is the official lyric track. Great stuff. Check it out. Minnesota produces some amazing talent. And dig the cool style.

From The Guardian, the following notes on the recent activity from Prince, including his new backup band, 3rd Eye Girl:
"A week or so ago a mysterious new YouTube account was created under the name 3rdEyeGirl. The name matches a Twitter handle started at the beginning of the month that features the following bio: "International Art Thief. Everything you think is true. Underground. Soon to be above." Across both platforms a number of brand new recordings from Prince have started to emerge, which is a bit odd considering Prince is notoriously anti-YouTube and is known for blocking unauthorised recordings (he once angered Radiohead by blocking live footage of him covering the band's Creep at Coachella).

So are these authorised accounts? 3rdEyeGirl are rumoured to be Prince's new backing band (guitarist Donna Grantis, drummer Hannah Ford and bassist Ida Nielsen)..."

And more goodies here from Prince Vault
http://www.princevault.com/index.php/Screw_Driver

Friday, January 25, 2013

Remembering Nam June Paik (July 20, 1932-January 29, 2006)



One of the highlights of a daily walk from the DeKalb Avenue station at Flatbush Avenue Extension and Willoughby Street up to Court Street is the lobby of a Metrotech Building that features the late video artist Nam June Paik's videowall.

Paik (July 20, 1932 – January 29, 2006) was a Korean American artist who worked with a variety of media and is considered to be the first video artist. He is credited with an early usage (1974) of the term "electronic super highway" in application to telecommunications. He was an early member of the Fluxus art movement and among many other works, projects and experiments was known for his collaboration with cellist Charlotte Moorman, known for topless performances, and Paik's construciotn of a TV monitor bra for the avant garde artist.

Quotes from Mr. Paik:
  • "Our life is half natural and half technological. Half-and-half is good. You cannot deny that high-tech is progress. We need it for jobs. Yet if you make only high-tech, you make war. So we must have a strong human element to keep modesty and natural life."
  • "Skin has become inadequate in interfacing with reality. Technology has become the body's new membrane of existence."
  • "The future is now."
  • "The only way to win a race is to run alone."
  • "There is no rewind button for life."
  • "When too perfect, lieber Gott böse. [G-d is evil] "
Mr. Paik's studio here




Yahoo! It's Official-- The NY Times: The Windiest Spot in NYC is...

Montague and Court Street! You always knew it...

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Coda: Anti-DIscrimination Legislation for Unemployed Job Applicants Passes in the NY City Council

The bill, sponsored by Councilmen Leroy Comrie and Vincent Gentile, and supported by Councilwomen Debi  Rose and Speaker Quinn, passed today in a vote in the Council. Details here 

NYC Legislation Prohibits Discrimination Against the Unemployed in Hiring

Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Councilman Vincent Gentile, sponsor of the bill, and Councilman Leroy Comrie at the Council Chamber, where the groundbreaking, landmark legislation against discrimination against the unemployed in hiring, is set to be voted on today. (Photo by William Alatriste)

Today, the New York City Council is expected to overwhelming pass legislation providing a private cause of action for those unlawfully discriminated against on the basis of being unemployed – the first law of its kind in the nation.

Intro 814-A will prohibit employers from using a person’s employment status in a hiring decision and from posting job advertisements that require applicants to be currently employed. The bill has the strong support of City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn and Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer as well as the National Employment Law Project, which is a national advocacy organization for employment rights of lower-wage workers. “Employers who weed out candidates simply because they are unemployed has become the new face of employment discrimination,” Councilman Vincent J. Gentile said. “If you are otherwise qualified, being unemployed should not prevent you from securing a job. This important piece of legislation will effectively end this perverse Catch-22 that has served only to deepen our unemployment crisis in New York City.”

Under the groundbreaking legislation, it will be illegal for an employer to base a hiring decision on an applicant’s unemployment without a substantially job-related reason for doing so. It will also be illegal for employers to post in job advertisements that current employment is a job requirement, or that unemployed applicants will not be considered for the position.

“If you are otherwise qualified, how does being unemployed make you ineligible for a job?,” Councilman Gentile asked. “Is a dentist somehow more qualified for a job as a bank teller than an out-of-work bank teller simply because the dentist is currently employed!? This bill will stop the phenomenon of discrimination against the unemployed before it becomes the next crisis.”

Yesterday, City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn stated, “Imagine spending every day and night for months upon months upon months looking for a job – only to be told ‘don’t even bother… unemployed need not apply.’ We cannot – and will not – allow New Yorkers who are qualified and ready to work have the door of opportunity slammed in their faces. The long-term unemployed face some of the greatest challenges in their job searches. Tomorrow, we will vote to remove one obstacle they simply should not have to face.” “

Discrimination against the unemployed is unacceptable, especially at a time when the jobless rate in our City hovers around 9%,” said Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer. “A review of job postings by my office uncovered dozens of examples of New York City job listings that required candidates to be currently employed--and it is clear that New York’s hopes for economic recovery are undermined when a person can’t find work for reasons outside their control. I am proud to stand with my colleagues today in support of legislation that protects unemployed people against such damaging discrimination.”

At 9.4%, New York City’s unemployment rate far exceeds both the national average and the New York State average. More than half of unemployed New Yorkers were actively seeking work for more than six months and nearly a third were still actively looking for work after searching for more than a year.

Intro 814-A will be voted on at today’s Stated Council meeting and is expected to pass overwhelmingly, despite opposition by the Mayor.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 1929-1968

Born: January 15, 1929, Atlanta
Died: April 4, 1968, St. Joseph's Hospital
Man of faith, courage and vision. Nobel prize winner. A towering, pivotal figure in American life, society and politics.

I had the good fortune to be able to visit the King Center in Atlanta, Georgia this past summer and where the photos below were taken. A moving and eye opening experience.

“Only in the darkness can you see the stars.”
― Martin Luther King Jr.

“Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”
― Martin Luther King Jr.

“A man who won't die for something is not fit to live.”
― Martin Luther King Jr., The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Intelligence plus character-that is the goal of true education.”
― Martin Luther King Jr.

“Everybody can be great...because anybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”
― Martin Luther King Jr.

“Those who are not looking for happiness are the most likely to find it, because those who are searching forget that the surest way to be happy is to seek happiness for others.”
― Martin Luther King Jr.

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
― Martin Luther King Jr.

“No one really knows why they are alive until they know what they'd die for.”
― Martin Luther King Jr.

“If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as a Michaelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, 'Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.”
― Martin Luther King Jr.

“Forgiveness is not an occasional act, it is a constant attitude.”
― Martin Luther King Jr.









Friday, January 18, 2013

Harmony Korine's 'Spring Breakers': Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, and James Franco Wants to Help

Harmony Korine, director of Gummo, Julien Donkey-Boy, Mister Lonely, among others, and the writer of Kids, has a film set for March release, Spring Breakers, featuring Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Benson, and Rachel Korine as Naughty Girls on the go,who end up in the clink after their spring break partying goes over the top, and James Franco, as an even Naughtier Boy, all tricked out in gold fronts and cornrows, who springs them from the hoosegow and takes them under his wing. Check out the newly released trailer above.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Sun Sun Sun Here It Comes

In the grey misery of an (un) employment office in Madrid, the despair of unemployed men and women of all ages and ethnicities is relieved when a flash mob of young musicians breaks out into a charming chamber music version of Here Comes the Sun. What's the difference between those serving the unemployed and the unemployed themselves? Nothing but a damn job. Employment, real, imaginative, administrative, clerical, imaginary, featherbedding, functional, something anything it's time to open the world's coffers of wealth, sovereign and personal, inherited and ventured, and make work so people can be productive and participate in the economy. We need social invention and experimentation like the WPA etc not the culture of austerity. Forget the isms, government and corporations and individuals of wealth must work to find solutions, to "raise all boats" and offer hope and optimism for the advancement of humanity. Not an advancement of only the oligarchs, plutocrats and "people who tell computers what to do" in the sad and cynical assessment of Marc Andreesen. If the "99%" or whatever figure you put on it can only share in the despair of an impoverished and hopeless future, where the developed countries are dragged back down through the centuries of social progress, it would appear doubtful that anyone will be able to enjoy the years to come. For now, we can all find a little hope that music and art can inspire the human spirit when much else seems to fail --Anthony Napoli at Deep in the Heart of Brooklyn

Saturday, January 12, 2013

'Abandoned Daughter, Lost Daughter': Angelica Schatz at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art

The work of Angelica Schatz (1897-1975) is appearing in what promises to be a powerful exhibit at the Tel Aviv of Art Museum.
Born in Sofia, Bulgaria she was the "lost daughter" of Boris Schatz, founder of
Bezalel. (Bezalel was an early 20th century art school in Jerusalem based on the concept of the Russian arts and crafts school and workshop. Its motto was "art is the bud, craft is the fruit.") The exhibition unfolds her tragic character,her oeuvre and her fascinating correspondence with her father, from whom she was separated at an early age. Most of the paintings from her recently discovered estate were restored at the Museum's restoration laboratories.

The Tel Aviv Museum of Art's website here

An in-depth article from Haaretz here

The exhibition continues through June 1.
Below "Portrait of Yehudit Shorer" by Angelica Schatz from the Tel Aviv Museum exhibition.

Friday, January 11, 2013

The Selection of Jack Lew, Citibank's Shadow and The Jack Lew Signature Generator

G-d bless America, land of freedom, guns and distraction. The hubub concerning the selection of White House Chief of Staff Jacob (Jack) Lew as US Treasury Secretary replacing Timothy Geitner initially became more concerned with his loopy, unrecognizable signature, than with what the country could expect from this ostensibly low-key managager, organizationally capable, but who was portrayed as more government than Wall Street insider. Today, of course,  the Washington Post has now reported that in fact Lew was at Citibank during the critical 2006-2008 period when the bank nearly exploded. And he wasn't just there, he was Treasury secretary nominee Jack Lew has spent most of his career in government, but during the financial crisis, he was embedded inside one of the country’s biggest banks as it nearly imploded.

Washington Post: "From 2006 to 2008, he worked at Citigroup in two major roles, a notable line in his résumégiven that as Treasury secretary, he would be charged with implementing new rules regulating Wall Street.But Lew did not have just any position at the bank."

"In early 2008, he became a top executive in the Citigroup unit that housed many of the bank’s riskiest operations, including its hedge funds and private equity investments. Massive losses in that unit helped drive Citigroup into the arms of the federal government, which bailed out the bank with $45 billion in taxpayer money that year."

"The group had been under pressure to compete with similar units at other big Wall Street firms and, some analysts say, took on too many risks as it played catch-up."The mismanagement of risk was comprehensive at that organization,” said Simon Johnson, an economist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Details about Lew’s exact responsibilities at Citigroup, where he worked from 2006 to 2008, are scant. He declined to comment for this article." Full article here

Of course, the folk wisdom has it that, despite his "low profile in banking and with Wall Street," his cool, low key negotiating style will help with budget negotiations in Congress.  This all remains to be seen in the weeks ahead.

Most supporters of the President have accepted this selection, despite the recent petition campaign, led by actor/activist Danny Glover, to have Nobel Prize winner and NY Times Columnist Paul Krugman nominated as Treasury Secretary. Krugman has long suggested investment in Americans, rather than austerity, as the jump start the economy requires. That effort, which garnered more than 200,000 signatures, is outlined here (Krugman, likely confirming his Nobel Prize-winning intellect, expressed no interest in the job.) To sign the petition anyway, go here

Time will tell, and if the Citibank questions will create any ruckus during Mr. Lew's appointment hearings with Congress. And certainly, "Then time will tell just who fell/And who’s been left behind/When you go your way and I go mine" here


Speaking of signatures, which is how this essay began, White House Chief of Staff Jacob Lew joked about his poor penmanship (as shown above) after President Obama nominated him for Treasury secretary. Could the greenback, recognized as classic lucre, mazuma, gelt, bucks, benjamins,  around the world, survive the scribble signature of the presumptive Treasury Secretary?

Now Yahoo's engineers have brilliantly developed a system to convert your own scrawl into the Jack Lew bubble script. See for yourself here

G-d bless America...Distractum Ergo Sum

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

NY Post Reports NJ-NY Ferry Crash in Lower Manhattan

Ferry crash dozens injured as Seastreak ferry from Highlands, NJ slams into a lower Manhattan pier details here
http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/manhattan/several_injured_in_ferry_crash_ljGasCq4OatH6k3eyqvpZM

Coda: CNN guests discuss host-guest gunplay

As a follow up to yesterday's discussion of the Piers Morgan Alex Jones debate DITHOB reported that the only logical next step to the Right to Bear Arms is that everyone will carry weapons. That idea makes its way through the Zeitgeist as shown here

» Piers Morgan and Guests Discuss Shooting Alex Jones Alex Jones' Infowars: There's a war on for your mind!
http://www.infowars.com/veiled-threat-piers-morgan-guest-says-shoot-alex-jones/

Sadly, while this may be a sideshow to the Conn. shootings, it is a continuing example of the lunacy and confusion on the issue of guns in America. To quote the Marx Brothers in Duck Soup- "I've got guns, you've got guns, all God's children got guns"

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

In Memoriam: Sol Yurick

Deep in the Heart of Brooklyn has previously recognized the vision and talent of Brooklyn author and resident Sol Yurick. Mr. Yurick died on Saturday, January 5, at age 87, at his home in Prospect Lefferts Gardens from cancer.

Author Jonathan Lethem told the NY Daily News "[His] work meant a tremendous amount to those who lived in the city in the 60s and 70s."  Lethem said "He had a talismanic quality. He was of the street, the place, the milieu that couldn't be understood without a grasp of the everyday."  More from the NY Daily News obit here

Beyond Mr. Yurick's iconic novel (made into a film), "The Warriors", long-time readers of DITHOB might recall that this website was also very taken with Mr. Yurick's obscure but absolutely visionary and prescient book-length essay, published in 1985 by Autonomedia, "Behold Metatron: The Recording Angel."  As I respectfully wrote in 2008, "Behold Metatron is heavy stuff, relentlessly visionary, the material problem seen through a lens of advanced capitalism and electronic philosophy. Picture Wired Magazine crossed with Fortune Magazine but edited by William Blake. Metaphysics, economics, art and intellect of an high order, coalescing into an interpretation of an emerging electronic universe. Forget Al Gore, perhaps Mr. Yurick conceptualized, if not anticipated, the Internet, globalization, the flow of information and data across galaxies of cable and wireless realms, sometimes directed, sometimes chaotic, but always having impact..."

As Mr. Yurick wrote: "...the old philosopher's stone could convert base metals into gold. now humans, real estate, social relations are converted into electronic signs carried in an electronic plasma. the dream of magical controll has never been exorcised. perhaps, after all, modern capitalism is a great factory for the production of angels."

 More here on Mr. Yurick's vision and talent

--Anthony Napoli, Deep in the Heart of Brooklyn

Heroes: 'The Next Day' --New David Bowie Album



THis is the video from the newly released single by David Bowie, "Where Are We Now?" from the forthcoming album, The Next Day, due March 12, his first new reecorded material in ten years.

On the Piers Morgan - Alex Jones Contretemps

In one of the more hyper-ventilated digressions in the aftermath of the Connecticut school shootings, CNN host Piers Morgan had a face off with Alex Jones, he of the Infowars and Prison Planet websites, who has been calling for the deportation of Morgan based on the British newsman's calls for U.K.-like limitations on the availability of weapons in the U.S.

The passions following the shooting of the school children, are only further inflamed by the mystery as to causes (psychotropic medications?) This has led Jones, among others, to fulminate on the perceived threat to America's Second Amendment, adopted in 1791, and upheld in subsequent Supreme Court decisions, the  Right to Bear Arms.

First off, gimme a break - this Morgan vs. Jones "debate" has all the makings of a scam, an act, both Jones and Morgan ultimately out for publicity, viewers, page visits, what have you - like Andy Kaufman and Jerry Lawler in the ring (no offense to the memory of those two great performers). More media hooplah, where not a lot gets solved, only tossed around, like crap in a monkey cage.

Speaking of which, one suspects Alex Jones is all talk, a fat slob who couldn't defend himself with his fists, so of course he would be the first one to reach for a gun. Piers Morgan is no saint, a Fleet Street hack apparently tied up with the hacking scandal (which Jones through on the table in his conversation with Morgan), and whose Brit accent in the States gives him more journalistic credentials than he probably deserves. But Alex Jones on the other hand for all of the curious aggregatorum in extremis that appears on his blogs, is a paranoid buffoon. As are most of  the pro-gun, anti-democracy whackadoos who need to cuddle with their firearms so they won't be afraid of the dark as they cry for their mommy. And think,  dummies, the State is always going to have more firepower than the individual. Who are you kidding? That's why democracy, consensus and the rule of law need to be strengthened. Jones, who styles himself an American patriot has the temerity to quote Chairman Mao "political power comes out of the barrel of a gun" and uses the tragic attacks on women in India as a justification for weapons in the US -- all ludicrous. A struggle for a civilized society requires education, mutual respect, consensus when possible, patience and compromise, not extremism borne out of ignorance, bigotry and hostility.

And while it would be simple to just wish for a day where battle royales such as this could be replaced by an intelligent dialogue on all sides, all I can think, in this battle, Alex Jones better be careful what he wishes for. After all, in the aftermath of his longed for destruction of the "New World Order" as Jones styles it, everyone no doubt would be armed, even Piers Morgan.  After that, the only solution to any heated disagreement would likely be-- to come out shooting.

-Anthony Napoli, Deep in the Heart of Brooklyn

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Politics Makes Strange Bedfellows - Even in the Same Party

Boehner, Cantor and the Debt vs. Cuts vs. Taxes debate. Speaker John Boehner sees that the Democrats by virtue of the election results are largely in the driver's seat. Majority Leader of the House Eric Cantor does not wish to yield to the Presdient or the Dem minority. Despite GOP claims to the contrary, they voted oppositie to each other in the "Cliff" vote. Is this a GOP palace intrigue?  If Cantor were to somehow become Speaker, would he be able to yield power anymore effectively than Boehner in the face of the threatened unpopular massive cuts that many Republican congresspersons (including recent VP candidate Paul Ryan, who is far to the right on taxes) sought to avoid?

Full article from The Guardian here

In additon, Chris Christie verbally pummels the House speaker over failure to push through House 'Sandy' relief bill. 'That's why people hate Washington DC'  here

NOTE: Given the full fury in play in Congress over taxes, see LINCOLN for the political chicanery, strong arming and political warfare undertaken in an effort to end slavery.

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