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

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