Monday, November 30, 2009

Film Corps...

How many emerging nation's mythologies and identities are wrapped up in the ideals and aesthetics of Hollywood? Too many.

I imagine a widespread and forward-looking international organization, The Film Corps, similar to the Peace Corps in its reach, but with a different agenda. The mission is simple and critical to open global dialog...

To allow nations to explore their own cultural identities, tell their own stories, document their troubles and to interpret the tools and technologies available in the media realms however they see fit.

The Film Corps would assist developing nations in establishing vital and economically viable centers for film, photography, and media making. Members of the Film Corps would serve their planet in the cause of peace and cultural communications by teaching and creating exhibition opportunities for film and photography in developing countries. Schools would teach the basic skills of media making while other branches would build venues and help mount exhibitions that would foster the growth of local cinema and photography. Teachers would encourage participants to forget American tropes and cliches and to find their own ways to relate stories through media.

Who's in?

Friday, November 20, 2009

It's called work for a reason...

Every now and again I look at my life, I see what I don't have, and what others around me do, and I get sad. But then I go down to the hole I dug beneath the tool shed and taser the Bangladeshi child laborers I've got making me balloons and I feel, you know, it's not so bad.

(Photo by Pavel Rahman/AP, thanks Augusta)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Strangers with candy...

I just can't stop looking at this photograph (click it to see larger). What a long way we've come... By the way, I don't believe that Obama's deep bow in Japan was a sign of weakness. If the most powerful man in the world wants to buck tradition and show respect according to his own body language, I say let him. The president is a dad, a husband, a basketball loving dude, a civic professional. His behavior is true to these realities that define him. I'm not sure what his costume is in this picture though. Thoroughly-modern-president-at-a-corny-photo-op, maybe?

(photo by Jewel Samad, AFP)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Why the rush?

Once you've confirmed your preferences, life can get to be a very blurry ride. Can you remember the murkier stuff that predates your preferences? Worth a revisit perhaps...

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Everything ecstatic...

Realizing the importance of those occasional, profound moments of clarity and empowerment from earlier times. They always involved an intuitive awareness, an infinite presence, a power that could be tapped into beyond whatever shitty circumstances were in front of me. I wanted these were blissful moments of cosmic connection to go on forever. I realize now that these experiences were glimpses through cracks in my ego. I realize that this power is love, and the trick is to share it, grow it, give it away on 2nd Ave., eat it, sleep it, shit it out in rainbow colors all over each other. OK, I realize how this sounds, but how do you express these things? How do you bridge the awareness of something eternal with the need to function in a day? How do you weave cosmic light into terrestrial mud?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Rote by numbers...

Since Sarah's taking the GRE's as I write this, thought this might be a good time to announce my new standardized test - the GAZ's. It's a different kind of test, one that asks takers to demonstrate their core behavior and beliefs through performing tasks.


1) Make the person sitting on your left laugh. Make the person on your right cry.

2) Dance with vigor and abandon for the next 100 people you encounter.

2) Secretly instigate a public riot and then be the one to peacefully calm all parties and engage them in meaningful dialog.

3) Strangle a turkey to death and eat it.

4) Recall the worst thing you've done to someone. Do it again, only this time see and understand the consequences of your actions and attempt to put them right.

5) Here is $100,000 cash. How will you spend it? You have one hour.

6) Speak every word you utter into a megaphone for one week. What will you say?

and so on...

Hell people, what are we testing when we take the SAT's or the GRE's or LSAT's or whatever? How can such rote challenges possibly get us out of the mess we're in?

(Russian Army Test)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


n. mettuh-moo-sli - Writing, from a muddy mind, that wants to mean something but doesn't. It just sits there soaking in its own milk getting soggier and soggier.

(skull cake source)

Monday, November 09, 2009

Jaws of life...

On August 2, 1943, Lieutenant John F. Kennedy's boat, the PT-109, was taking part in a nighttime patrol near New Georgia in the Solomon Islands when it was rammed by the Japanese destroyer Amagiri. Kennedy was thrown across the deck, injuring his already-troubled back. Nonetheless, the 26 year-old Naval commander (an ace on the Harvard Varsity Swim Team) gathered his men from the sinking ship and together they swam furiously in the dark for any land they could find.

Throughout this swim JFK shouldered a badly-burned crewman through miles of rough seas, clenching a strap from the man's life jacket in his Kennedy teeth. He found an uninhabited island where he could leave the wounded man and the rest his crew, then swam to a second island, Naru, to summon help. Here, Kennedy encountered two "natives" who spoke no English, so he carved a message into a coconut shell and gave it to the natives to deliver to the PT base at Rendova. He then swam back to the first island where he and his men lived off of coconuts for six days before they were rescued.

This deserted island shelter was called Plum Pudding Island, and later, Kennedy Island. As you can see, it is really a tiny spec, the stuff of New Yorker cartoons. One wonders what those six days were like.

JFK later had the coconut shell encased in wood and plastic and used it as a paperweight on his famous "Resolute" desk in the Oval Office.

The message on the shell reads:


Did JFK use his super-teeth to carve this SOS?
Only history knows...

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Fela on a rainy night in Calabar...

just another wanker in a mirage...