Saturday, September 30, 2006

Do you speak Nadsat?

appy polly loggy - apology
baboochka - old woman
baddiwad - bad
banda - band
bezoomny - mad
biblio - library
bitva - battle
Bog - God
bolnoy - sick
bolshy - big, great
brat, bratty - brother
bratchny - bastard
britva - razor
brooko - belly
brosay - to throw
bugatty - rich
cal - feces
cancer - cigarette
cantora - office
carman - pocket
chai - tea
charles, charlie - chaplain
chasha - cup
chasso - guard
cheena - woman
cheest - to wash
chelloveck - person, man, follow
chepooka - nonsense
choodessny - wonderful
chumble - to mumble
clop - beak
collocoll - bell
crack - to break up or "bust"
crark - to yowl?
crast - to rob or steal; robbery
creech - to shout or scream
cutter - money
dama - lady
ded - old man
deng - money
devotchka - girl
dobby - good
dook - trace, ghost
domy - house
dorogoy - dear, valuable
dratsing - fighting
drencrom - drug
droog - friend (ie: my droogies)
dung - to defecate
dva - two

there's more here.

Friday, September 29, 2006

I do not belong to the cult of sneaker fetishists...

But if you do, then this book is probably for you. Enjoy.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

A Brilliant Housing Solution...

Many of you will have already seen this, but I just keep coming back to the ultra retro-futuristic Loft Cube as a brilliant and aesthetically pleasing housing solution. Designed by a German architect, Werner Aisslinger, the cubes are affordable and can be plunked down just about anywhere. They can accomodate up to 40 square feet of living space and can be fully cosumized. I like the placement in this photo - on top of a tall city building. Best views in town. What a fantastic new real estate market: sell rooftop plots for a fraction of the cost of a standard housing unit. Then sell these cozy little love nests as the ultimate pied a l'air. Then you can sell the proud cube-owners one of these. Of course the Loft Cube can go just about anywhere. A perfect beach house, mountain retreat, floating home, build your own utopian communityyou name it. I'm rarely nuts about pushing products but here we have a definite exception.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Ex-Deities Anonymous...

The gods are only as powerful as our belief in them. In other words, there must be many, many out of work gods roaming the universe, cursing their once-beloved immortality as they watch us invent new girly-man gods to meet our techno-consumerist agenda.

I picture these ex-deities gathering outside of cosmic coffee shops, shuffling about in their old cool god-gear, trying not to look defeated, trying not to slip back into the old echoey voice and lightning bolt routine. It's a struggle. It's even worse to have to listen to that peon drama-queen Santa Claus bitch and moan at the lectern about his annual re-deification and the ensuing leagues of pajama-footed dropouts who calously withdraw their belief in him. Indeed, the gods must be crazy, but believe-you-me, it's our fault that they are...

Belief is our power, and it is sacred so watch where you put it. And worst of all, don't forget about it or just leave it lying around, for it is at the end of the day the only thing that separates you from the bricks in the walls and the void in the cosmos.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Lens face...

We no longer see the world through our own eyes but through the lens of a camera. We have trained ourselves to see the world cinematically.

Our definition of life and how to live it has become more and more movie-like. This is neither bad nor good, or I should say it has the potential to be both. If life is increasingly based on movies, I guess the question is which movies are you watching? What cinematic reality are you summoning? Pre-cinema life on earth was about facing up to reality and doing your part. No complaints. There was really no other option, save for a few scholars and artists and royals. In the last hundred years many cultures have shifted towards the more cinematic "create your reality" modality. Choose your part and if you don't like it, change it. If the setting bothers you switch the channel. If your wheels aren't sexy, pimp them. What a shock this would be to our great great grandparents! Once they grasped the concept, would they approve of how we are using our cinematic minds?

Monday, September 25, 2006

The Pros and Cons of Bullfighting...

I'm so torn about this bloodsport it's ridiculous. If I was a politician I would be hogtied and dragged through the streets for all of my flip-flopping on the subject. Who wants to see a beautiful, defenseless animal that is peaceful by nature be cadged into a frenzy and then slowly, brutally murdered while others cheer? I do... Or rather, I want to embrace the pageantry, the conflict, and the brutality - the metaphorical suffering - without owning up to the actual suffering. The way I see it, a world in which bullfighting exists as a bold comment on civilization is far more compelling, agitating, and complete as a span of culture, than one without. I suppose I'm a lefty progressive at heart, but I can't stomach a world in which frustrated liberals systematically defang the planet as if their agenda, their template for reality, was so much better.

What I'd really like to see is a level playing field and a more metaphorical death in the sport. Something closer to sumo wrestling, where the matador's job is to stay in a small ring while being sized up by a procession of successively more terrifying animals of all sorts: capibaras, maribous, spider monkeys, giraffes, dogs, baby elefants, baby cobras, zebras, bulls, crocodiles, silverback gorrillas, manta rays, tigers, and of course, the most dangerous animal of all hippopotamuses. That would be something to see.

("Corrida" by Lisa Alisa - read her refreshingly clear take here.)

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Designing Penguin...

"When Penguin was founded in 1935 with the radical concept of producing inexpensive paperback editions of high quality books, it adopted an equally progressive approach to typography and cover design. Under Jan Tschichold in the 1940s and Germano Facetti in the 1960s, Penguin became an exemplar of book design.

Returning to London from a weekend at the Devon home of the crime writer Agatha Christie in 1934, the publisher Allen Lane scoured Exeter Station for something to read. All he could find were reprints of 19th century novels and Lane decided to found a publishing house to produce good quality paperbacks sold at sixpence each, the same price as a packet of cigarettes.

Lane’s secretary suggested Penguin as a “dignified, but flippant” name for the company and the office junior Edward Young was sent to sketch the penguins at London Zoo as its logotype. Young was then asked to design the covers of the first set of ten paperbacks to be published in summer 1935 including Ariel and A Farewell to Arms. Considering illustrated book covers to be trashy, Lane insisted on his following a simple horizontal grid for Penguin’s jackets in colours that signified the genre of each book: orange for fiction, green for crime, and blue for biography.

The rigorous application of colour, grid and typography in those early paperbacks instilled Penguin with a commitment to design from the start. The company then strengthened its design ethos under the direction of the German typographer Jan Tschichold (1902-1974) during the 1940s and the Italian art director Germano Facetti (1926-) in the 1960s."

(Image/article taken from British Design Museum website. Rest of article here.)

Saturday, September 23, 2006


"Blind and unwavering indiscipline at all times
constitutes the real strength of all free men."
-Alfred Jarry

(Valencia, 1933 by Henri Cartier-Bresson, collection of WM Hunt)

Friday, September 22, 2006

We the Peepholes...

Click on the picture. You can then drag the resulting image off the page and use it to skulk around the internets and in doing so will keep yourselfs hidden form onlookers whilst you are looking on them! Power to the peepholes!

Thursday, September 21, 2006


If you come face to face with an uncaged tiger there is only one sound you want to hear. Prusten. This rattling chuffing or snorting sound signifies a friendly greeting from one tiger to another. In other words, "Hi, I respect you, and I'm not going to kill you." Captive tigers have been known on rare occasions to use prusten with their keepers as a sign of affection. On the other end of the spectrum, a threatened tiger, one that is making up its mind about who you are, sounds like this.

Chances are, if you come face to face with a tiger, prusten will not be on the menu. The same can not be said for you. In fact, tigers always kill in silence, so your ears' final meal will probably go something like this.

("Rosie and Friends" by Paul Gachot)

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

The Endless Summer Gunpowder Tea Concoction...

I've been off coffee for months. But slowly and inevitably, caffeine will slither its way back into your life, crafty bugger. Lately, perhaps in some unconscious aversion to the end of summer, I've taken to making tall, fat pitchers of iced tea. At first it was green tea, because, well, it's supposed to be good for you, and not all that caffeinated. But Christ! Maybe I'm getting the wrong brand or something, but that stuff tastes like sewer run off. Then it was ginseng tea which initially has its benefits but it seems a little too psychoactive to down regularly. I've made the switch to the infinitely more tasty and aromatic classic: Earl Grey. If that gunpowdery bergamot scent doesn't whisk you away to the White Cliffs of Dover, well you're incurable I'm afraid. But tea can be bitter. So here's the recipe:

1/2 liter of freshly made good earl grey tea
1/3-1/2 liter of Orangina (to taste)
1/3 liter of San Pellegrino or seltzer
juice of 1 lemon
juice of 1 lime
fresh mint
three drops of Tobasco sauce.

Pour the hot tea over a handful of ice cubes at the bottom of a good sized heat resistant pitcher. Toss in all the other stuff. Stirr. Refrigerate. Drink.

Can also toss in some cranberry juice (or grenadine, or Campari) for color and sweetness. But not too sweet. You aren't running lemonade stand. Taste the gunpowder. If it's going to sit in your cooler for more than a day or two, take out the mint, it gets nasty.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Lightning melts crucifix from her neck...

“Anya was bathing, and I was sitting under a tree when it started to rain,” Marina says.

Only in Russia...

(Untitled painting by the amazing Cornelius Volker)


Monday, September 18, 2006

Instant aphorisms #1...

"It's probably important for misunderstood people not to misunderstand those they believe are misunderstanding them."
-- SBW 9/17/06

(Painting by Ric Hall and Ron Schmitt)

Sunday, September 17, 2006

The Fall of Man...

After much consideration, I find it mathematically unlikely that we are all equal. However, if you are in the business of running countries filled with hundreds of millions of people, I can see that it saves plenty of headaches to suggest that we all start out that way. If this vague elitism is offensive to you, then allow me to direct your attention over to the heartwarming comments of celebrated art critic Robert Hughes...

After publicly denouncing the occupants of a car that smashed into his as "lowlife scum," the critic's critics had a field day denouncing Hughes' unrestrained elitism. He came back at them with his guns drawn: "I am, after all, a cultural critic, and my main job is to distinguish the good from the second rate... I prefer the good to the bad, the articulate to the mumbling, the aesthetically-developed to the merely primitive, and full to partial consciousness..."

Then, in a text book case of not knowing when to stop, Hughes goes on to say, "I don't think stupid or ill-read people are as good to be with as wise and fully literate ones. Consequently, most of the human race doesn't matter much to me, outside the normal and necessary frame of courtesy and the obligation to respect human rights. I see no reason to squirm around apologizing for this." Not exactly Dale Carnegie material. Doesn't this kind of talk feels like the karmically cliched set up to a nasty fall?

(source: The Week)
("Leap into the Void" by Yves Klein)

Saturday, September 16, 2006

False idols...

We are surrounded by tiny cracks through which we can see entire universes. But you gotta be careful not to get too hung up on these. Up until last night I would have said that refrigerator magnets are among the most depressing items there are on Earth - especially those that come as freebies from roofers, pizza delivery joints, real estate couples, and the like. I can't say exactly why I was drawn to the CAL-COAST HOME PIPING magnet late last night. There is a world of information there: a mysterious address in Brea California, another in a town I've never heard of, a declaration that they are a drug free work place, various union logos, plenty of industrial clip art, and a general sense of strenuous activity and cold-beer-at-the-end-of-a-long-day accomplishments. I was so comforted by the world this magnet (that's been on our refrigerator for at least two years) opened up to me, I considered, for a moment, seriously starting a refrigerator magnet collection. I've since come to my senses and have decided instead to purge this fleeting obsession here in cyberland. Embarrassing, slightly, but necessary.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Choose your poison...

Consciousness can be painful. But a hangover is no picnic either. It's very rare that I have more than a glass of wine or two, but last night the conversation seemed to demand Malbec like a Hummer demands super unleaded. It should go without saying that I love our friends from overseas dearly, and that I truly admire their frank, and generally well-informed analysis of life in America. We need these perspectives. But, last night, as the corks were popping and the facts became sloppy, I was secretly reminded of something my brother once said: "Beware of the all-knowing European." In fact, I don't think it was the alcohol at all that's got my head tied in such knots this morning. I think it was getting stuck in the passionate crossfire of unfettered expressionism channeled through English as a second language.

("Garter Snake, Wine Bottle, and Wall Street Journal, 1984" by Deborah Norfleet)

Thursday, September 14, 2006

You're pushing too hard...

Ease up there little man. Use less force, Luke. It's gonna blow if you keep this up. You may be making it work, but the rivets are rattling. Where's the breeze? Where's the skip in your step? Where's that little bell on your tricycle? Sure, it's impressive what you're doing, but you know something? We can feel the pain. We sense something being forced. All the labor in the world can't measure up to half an hour of pure, mad, inspired, joyful expression. You're dried up. You've been juicing that lime for months and all that's left is green powder. Gun powder. Be careful little man. Get liquid before the sparks start flying.

("Child with a Toy Hand Grenade in Central Park, 1962" by Diane Arbus)

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

F'd up...

Count every "F"
in the following text:


How many?

Are you sure?

If you've counted any less than 6 you are wrong.
(Look at the picture for a hint.)

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Acomoclitists in history...

Many of us grow up not really knowing what's going on in people's pants, particularly when it comes to the other sex. I can personally recall some very confusing/edifying trips to various art and natural history museums in the New York area. Of course the nethers you see in 16th Century tempra paintings were all smooth and featureless as a shoulder or a calf.

It has been argued that John Ruskin, the famous 19th C British author, artist, and art critic, was accustomed only to the hairless nudes portrayed unrealistically in art, never having seen a naked woman before his wedding night. He was allegedly so shocked by his discovery of his wife Effie's pubic hair that he rejected her, and the marriage was later legally annulled. He is supposed to have thought his wife was freakish and deformed.

What a maroon. Thankfully, due to the loosening of starched collars and social mores, us men have a much better sense of what's going on down there in the 21st C. A toast to progress!

("La Naissance de Venus" by Eugène Emmanuel Amaury-Duval)

Monday, September 11, 2006

Reality 2.0...

Objective reality is out. So mid-20th Century. I mean what is it? I dare you to define it. What's hot folks... and I mean really pan-popping greasefire hot, like backfat bacon in a Louisiana kitchen, is cinematic reality.

After a hundred plus years of moviegoing, moviemaking and all the other audio/visual technology that's followed in suit, after a century of hypnotic cinematic gazing, we have altered our relationship to reality forever. Our cinematic imagination is a thick lens through which we perceive the world around us. It has become a primary filter through which chaos passes and becomes packaged into tight palpable narratives. For many of us, life is only experienced when it is primed and ready to prickle and stimulate all those fresh dangling bushes of film-fed synapses and nerve endings that have grown wild in our minds. What does this mean? Personally, I think its good. Evolutionary. Our brains are moving on to their next phase and being able to process and imitate our outer and inner realities (for what is cinema but an imitation of life and dreams?) We are becoming more godlike, closer to the creative source. Sure this development probably won't make it any easier to fill out your tax forms or send rocket ships into space. Or will it? Stay tuned.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Fur, War, Meat...

You see more fur coats when it's 55 degree Beverly Hills, than you do when it's 10 degrees in New York. My favorite is when you see a lady duck-stepping her way down the street in her fur coat with a microscopic lap-dog tucked under her arm. The look on the shivering chihuahua's face always seems to say: Am I next? It's not a bad idea: fur wearers must eventually don their pet pelts as a debt of respect to the animal kingdom.

Wait, that's it! I don't have a problem with fur as long as the wearer did the killing. Same goes for war. The wagers must be required to make the first kills with their bare hands - to taste murder and especially its aftertaste - one week before the actual war can begin. FDR understood the permanence of blood on a leader's hands. "I have seen war," he said in 1936. "I have seen men coughing out their gassed lungs. I have see children starving. I have seen the agony of mothers and wives. I hate war." While I'm on this jag, the same must be said for carnivores (of which I am one). It's just a little too easy to keep throwing those jaundiced chicken breasts on the bar-b-que straight out of the styrofoam package. To pat those ground bulls into tidy burgers. Meat tastes good, and some argue it's good for you (in limited doses). But really, unless you take direct responsibility for the slaughter, you're just adding to mankind's staggering insult to life and championing denial as the foundation of civilization. Hey, Mea culpa. Youa culpa?

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Perspective is important...

9/11 was horrible. There's nothing anyone can say or do that will detract from the brutal ending those people met and the psychological impact it had on the rest of us. But this photo puts that day into another, less popular perspective. It was not the total apocalypse that so many tightly cropped images and film clips would have those of us who were not there believe it was. Here in Thomas Hoepker's excellent photograph, we see a calm gathering at the Brooklyn shore, an almost idyllic end of summer scene, were it not for the plumes of ash rising from downtown Manhattan. Their relaxed demeanor is shocking to us at first glance, but recalling that day, don't you remember how comforting and conversational people were? Yes, there were freak outs and emotional outbursts, but there was also awe and shock and nervous laughter and the quiet that accompanies history in the making and people with cats to feed and people who missed it on TV and went about their isolated business. I think of all the people who said that nothing would ever be the same again. I think of those who blamed 9/11 for things those events could not possibly have influenced. The nightmare of the cropped photos became an excuse and a catapult for so many conjurings and agendas. If there had been no cameras in Manhattan that day would we be where we are now?

Friday, September 08, 2006

Harvest of the dreamers...

A successful producer was telling me what he'd heard about a director I like very much who has fallen out of favor recently. "He's a dreamer," was the word around town. I knew right away that this was code for "he has impractical ideas," which also could translate as "we don't get him." I'm not naive when it comes to the way Hollywood works, but this struck me as particularly sad, especially because I think this director has so much more to say.

Did you know we invented a machine that can record dreams? It's true. Over one hundred years ago. It's called the movie camera. Because these things were expensive, this potent mythmaking technology became industrialized very quickly. Our instinct to explore our dreams was immediately stunted by economic reality. The dreams that would be captured on film had to be ok'd by committee. The dreams had to be popular ones. If they were too weird or too scary or too sexy or too anything another scissor-wielding committee would block their passage. The players in the dreams grew powerful as did the dream backers. Agendas were hatched, profits were made, formulas revealed themselves. The actual stuff of dreams, to which this technology had such rare access, was sidelined to a very large degree.

Eventually, some brave souls set out on their own, found independent backers, and began to put the technology to its "proper" use. But again, economics ruled the roost. Creatives could dream but getting them down on film and out to the people would most likely kill you. Then new technology arrived. Almost anyone can afford it. But the dreams have been obscured, overshadowed. The new cameras are largely used to make porn and cheap imitations of the big budget movies. But still there is hope. The dreamers are getting ahold of the equipment and using their skills to find ways of getting their dreams out. These new methods may lack the singularity and the public splendor of theatergoing, and for now that's a problem. A two inch iPod screen held in a jostling sweaty paw does not necessarily do a great service to unleashing the power of dreams. Interesting times though. Hats off to all the functional dreamers.

(Check out Jason's new video for Clinic called "Harvest.")

(photo by Joel Sternfeld )

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Felt like it...

Old Felt felt he had felt felt before, but he never felt felt that felt like that felt felt. Felt felt felt should be felt only if it felt like felt, which felt entirely reasonable to the rest of the Felt family. Except for Felt Jr. who felt that felt felt like felt all the time.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Brain Chatter...

After a long day of problem solving, sentence crafting, media exposure, day dreaming, stressing, planning, preparing mental scripts, vigorous exercise, and navigating the treacherous stingray infested airwaves of Los Angeles, one simply wants to go to sleep for seven or eight hours. But where the body craves sonambulance, the brain seems to think that a dark room and a fluffy pillow are cues to strike up the entire band. I won't call them voices. That would raise some eyebrows. But the lately the lights-out "chatter" has been especially chatty. Keep in mind the body falls asleep, but the brain, even in a dream state, yammers on and on, going over and over details of the day, the day to come, old memories, new memories, shopping lists, bills, long strings of numbers, moral conundrums, crossword puzzle clues, movie lines, news stories, dinner conversation, wishes, needs, fantasies, failings, fears, fallout, philosophical questions, funny moments, faxes, phone calls, family affairs, filibustering endlessly in overlapping snippets of syntax. It would be exactly like sleeping with three or four televisions on in the room at high volume. Beneath the words, deeper in the brain, is the sense that one is picking at old emotional knots as tight as the laces on a figure skate. Of course, the words and the emotions are constantly shifting, but what glues it all together is the constant friendly ring of tinnitus. A chorus of shrill electronic mosquitoes holding high notes eternally. The effect upon waking is a feeling of profound exhaustion, that quickly fades as the new day begins. Where does my optimism come from?

Somehow the Eno/Byrne track Mea Culpa from My Life in the Bush of Ghosts factors in, but only in the most romantic way.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

The Red and the Blue...

It occurred to me this morning that the origin of "red" and "blue" states could come down to blood. As in: red-blooded Americans vs. the blue bloods. Stretch? Blue states do tend to harbor the old families and their power bases (Texas excluded). Red states do tend to harbor, well, red-blooded Americans - whatever that means.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Up your(s) Aristotle...

Basically, there are two kinds of people... those who know what the words praxis, diegesis, and mimesis mean, and those who do not. Fortunately, after this enlightening post all that will change and there will only be one type of person. Picture the unity! The liberation! But remember freedom is not a license for chaos. With knowledge comes responsibility. Adjustment. Discipline. Anyhow, soon the world will live as one and we'll be fine, I'm sure. Onward!

PRAXIS is a complex activity by which individuals create culture and society, and become critically conscious human beings. It is, according to Aristotle, one of the three basic activities of a free person (the other two are theoria and poiesis). It can roughly be considered the equivalent of "putting an idea into practice." More specifically, it is the process by which a theory or lesson becomes part of lived experience through a cycle of action-reflection-action. Rather than a theory being simply developed at the intellectual level, ideas are tested and experienced in the real world, followed by an opportunity for reflective contemplation and re-evaluation. In this way, abstract concepts are connected with lived reality.

DIEGESIS is the time/space continuum of a fictional world usually a narrative story, play or film. It is the world of the story. The diegesis includes events that are presumed to have occurred and actions and spaces not shown. A frequent distinction is made between diegetic sound and non or extra-diagetic sound in films. All the music in Antonioni's 'Blow Up,' for example, is diegetic, or takes place in the world of the movie through radios, record players, and live performance. Most soundtrack music is non-diegetic, i.e. not heard by the characters in the film, but employed for the benefit of the audience. Another important definition of diegesis has to do with the idea of telling rather than showing, as in the case of a narrator who explains what's going on rather than allowing the action to unfold without guidance (see mimesis). In diegesis, the narrator presents to the audience or the implied readers the actions (and perhaps) thoughts of the characters (including perhaps, but not necessarily, all that dwells within their imagination, their fantasies and dreams).

MIMESIS in its simplest context means "imitation" or "representation" in Greek. It is, in direct contrast to diegesis, the form itself which represents a fictitious reality, unassisted by the explanations of a narrator. It is showing, not telling. Mimesis is thus thought to be a means of perceiving the emotions of the characters on stage or in a book. It can also be the "truth" of the figures as they appear in sculpture or in painting; or the emotions as they are being configured in music, and of their being recognized by the onlooker as part of their human condition. Michael Davis, a translator and commentator of Aristotle writes: "At first glance, mimesis seems to be a stylizing of reality in which the ordinary features of our world are brought into focus by a certain exaggeration, the relationship of the imitation to the object it imitates being something like the relationship of dancing to walking. Imitation always involves selecting something from the continuum of experience, thus giving boundaries to what really has no beginning or end. Mimesis involves a framing of reality that announces that what is contained within the frame is not simply real. Thus the more 'real' the imitation the more fraudulent it becomes."

There you go. Practice using these words in a few sentences. Let their meaning sink in. Get praxismatic!

("Aristotle and Phyllis" 1513 woodcut by Hans Baldung Grien)

Sunday, September 03, 2006

This too shall pass...

There was a blight across the land many years old. The silos were empty. The animals were glassy-eyed. The children wandered ghost-like through the streets as though time had stopped. Carriages collided in the dust. The river became a stream, which became a creek, and then a trickle and finally the bed was dry. What caused this time of bleakness was well known throughout the kingdom. Twas a royal blockage brought on by festering nephrolithiases, also known as urolithiases and the renal calculi. In short, the king had a kidney stone.

And for many weeks the king did huff and hanker down and scream in agony. But the stone would not budge. The mightiest doctors in the kingdom came to the castle with their solvents, their probes, their yoga positions, and their lasers. And each treatment was more harrowing and less dignified than the one before. But try as they might, no one could remove the stone from the king's "sword." The skies grew dark as did the king's mood. And when he could huff no more, he lay down on his grand bed and went into the deepest of sleeps.

And it was on this day that from the depths of the furthest forest came a tiny rustle. It was the haggard ancient paramecium pushing its tiny blob-like body through the dead leaves with its tiny, greasy armlets. For years the ancient paramecium had lived under the canopy and in the wet chill of the forest - despite its microscopic size, so ugly was it that nowhere else could it live in peace. But after so many years of shivering under the rocks and detritus an enormous hunger had driven the hideous creature back into the world of men.

Ever so slowly did the paramecium slink its way onto the road. In time a wagon passed and whisked the fetid microbeast away in the crevice of a wooden wheel. Twas the king's codpiece fitter who drove the wagon with such purpose. In all the huffing and hankering down it seems that the king was in need of certain adjustments to his royal attire. The codpiece fitter had worked through the night blocking out the new piece and was racing to the castle to have it fitted. The ride was long and filled with bumps. The dust was tremendous and most irritating to the paramecium's allergies, and so is slowly made its wiggly way into the back of the wagon where it nestled into a warm cloth encampment lined with the most luxurious purple silk. It was not food but at least it was not the forest. The paramecium too fell into the deepest of sleeps.

To be continued...

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Petroleum jelly...

Selfishly I'm happy to see gas prices falling. I'm filling up all the empty jelly jars in the house now, so when it goes back up, well, you know who will be sitting on a gold mine.

While we're on the topic, this is really interesting.

(with deepest apologies to Edward Hopper)

Friday, September 01, 2006

They have colonized my memory...

Welcome to Luddite Fridays, where we sit back, unplug, and let loose about the over-accelerated state of things and the general dehumanization of our existence. It's old news but hey... Pull up a tree stump. Grab a leaf full of rain water and let the kvetching begin... It's fun! Try it!

I have lost the battle. And so have you. Memory was never demarcated as sacred turf and so it has been usurped. The world of markets and mergers and ceaseless electric transaction is too powerful, too noisy, too hungry for psychic territory, and the brain is too involuntarily sponge-like to put up a decent fight.

Our memories may be our own, physically, but how much say do we have in making them in this environment? Can you choose what lives in your memory when you are barraged with flashing lights and synthesizers, ego trips and the olson twins, marketing agendas and breaking news every waking moment of the day? We have become storage vessels for the useless ephemera of our culture - meat-based hard drives onto which hi and low culture inscribe themselves mercilessly. Mental file cabinets emptied and then overstuffed with non-stop junk mail. No chance for organization or review. Personal memories corrupted with inflicted ones. The spindly shoots of art and imagination striving upwards to find some light are violently bent over like broken car antennas crumpled down by the gravity of our situation. The default mode of Elvis. Pop culture, the shining jewel in the crown of frenzied excess, may be fun on the surface but who's monitoring its deep impact? Evidently, It forms a plaque. It clouds the lens. It crosses wires. Jams the systems. All those images. All those commercials. All those carefully contrived moments. The flashes and the brainless compulsions. And we must learn to love it or drown.

Wait. Are these the terms of participation? How'd this happen? Sure I can go live in the woods, but I don't want to. I like the civilized world, but a quick scan of the horizon begs the question: what happened to the civilization part? How do we counter this monster we've created so the whole thing doesn't collapse upon us and crush us all in electrified piles of twisted metal and burning porno mags? And you. Why do you cling so dearly to this crap? Are you afraid of what's underneath it all? Or is this hypnotic state all you've got?