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May 28, 2003

The Matrix Vs Liz Phair

I was one of the people referred to in this article who were holding out for Liz to find her way back to the Exile in Guyville brilliance of yester-year.

Man, what happens to people?

Posted by at 03:07 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

TV Movie History

"If some tinhorn terrorist wants me, tell him to come and get me! I'll be at home! Waiting for the bastard!"

Blegh!

Posted by at 01:58 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 27, 2003

The Brown Bunny

Is everyone as excited about the prospect of seeing The Brown Bunny as I am?

As a fan of Buffalo 66, I can't believe Gallo's follow-up could be that bad. A graphic blow-job for an ending ain't exactly designed to please, but could it not be part of a larger statement being made, perhaps one only a few french critics were able to grasp?

Ok, so it doesn't bode well.

If it really does just suck, the people at Superbike sound like they'll be pissed.

Posted by at 07:12 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

Crappy Erotica

Finally got around to reading some of nerve's bad erotica contest just now. The winner, "Bill", with his piece, "untitled", is truly our rightful champ. But I also think the first runner-up had something pretty serious going on.

Sure, as erotica, it's awful. But as entertainment, it's absolutely first-rate. It will make you wonder, "Who are all these people?", and, "Where do they live?" and "What do they do with their time?" and also, "Are they trying to turn me on, or just win top prize in Nerve's Bad-Erotica Writing contest?"

I give this competition twelve out of a possible twelve stars!

Next year, I'm submitting!

(via the ubiquitous adampsyche)

Posted by at 01:42 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

May 26, 2003

D/Blogging Contest Part III

Hello again.

Amazing to me, and probably only me, about this blogging-thingy, is how I post something, forget what I've said, remember it, think: "Oh My God!!! What was I saying?@!", frantically re-read what's been written, spot ten stupid typos, erase three extraneous paragraphs, consider that the few who do read this page most likely never visit after things have been fixed, if indeed they're ever fixed - because that's just not the way life works, is it, Andrew? - and also, lately, I consider how this contest has pushed me to the wall.

Seriously, the experience of realizing how unproof-readable what I've been writing is is just the absolute worst and I hate it. I really don't think it's at all fair that d's allowed to have a proof-reader on staff (I'm only saying). And while on this subject, two days ago, I actually sat, desperate to produce something-anything, and typed: "On How To Recover From Believing In Meat Trees In Public," convinced this title held some secret promise. My opening line: "People rarely ask me what it's like having a blog, as I get the sense they can generally tell," had me sitting there, waiting to see where it would go.

Stumbling across these two sentences a few minutes ago, it struck me their finest quality was their incompletion. I'm not asking you to imagine what I was going through at the time, no-no. I only ask you appreciate that though it could have go on from there, it would have been terrible, and I saw this in time.

Perhaps this is what they call growth. Or wait-- what am I saying here?

I can't believe it though. Not only am I in the race-- I'm in first place!! I mean, why isn't everybody hugging me right now?!

Um... Hello?

Posted by at 10:21 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

MEK

Not sure how worrisome all this is, but it sure doesn't sound too promising.

(via blogdex)

Posted by at 09:09 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Upsidedown Maps

I can grasp the idea 'it needn't be a Eurocentric world', and I think Upsidedown maps are the result of a fantabulous type of near-objective-thinking that - when it pays off - makes great things happen.

hobodyer.jpg

But the above image is - let's face it - too bottom-heavy.

Some might say it's just the cropping, but I think composition is the real issue here, and I'm afraid I'm siding with the Europeans. So - a big, phoney-faced 'Sorry guys' goes out to all the 'non-Westerns' in the house.

Your issues with the Magnetic North sure have made for one crappy-looking map!

Posted by at 08:06 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Silver Lake

Does everybody love Vic Chesnutt?

The good news is, he's back.

I regard West of Rome, Little, Drunk, and Is The Actor Happy?, to be as fine a combination of albums as has ever been produced. Yet while I was also taken with The Salesman and Bernadette, and About to Choke, I have to say that Left To His Own Devices, Merriment, and the Wide Spread Panic-stuff never did much for me.

With Silver Lake, he's in fine form again - he might be better than ever. His suicidey songs, for instance, feel more refined, and perhaps more overtly sincere than they've felt in years:

"i'm a cheap, spent shell
and a biohazard
grind me up then mail me away
maybe transmogrified
i'll be satisfied
that finally at long last i'm harmless."

And he can still make a happy melody, even out of a song like Fa-la-la which seems to take place entirely in hospital. Sultan, So Mighty, about an eunuch who serves as confidant to the women who go with the ladies' men, is as superb a song as anything Chesnutt's ever crafted, as is the number that features the chorus "Stay inside", which repeats until it sounds like the most under-celebrated rock n'roll sentiment of our time. Band Camp, a nostalgic little one off, I'm Through, (the stellar suicidey-song that kicks off the album,) and Girls Say, which charts the attitudinal differences between the sexes, (and offers a hilariously inflected, "Why you wanna be a bitch?") make this a positively rich offering, free of any of the filler-tunes that have crept on to even his finest past-recordings.

And there's a kind of affirmation on In My Way, Yes that will be music to the ears of those who have adored Chesnutt, and sensed deep-down (perhaps rightly) they appreciated him more than he could appreciate himself. "Do you think you make a difference? I say yes, in my life, yes," and then, "I never thought I'd have a life like this, I never dreamed I'd be alive", and the way it sounds, you hear all about his love for life.

I got the sense he had a good time making this album, which hopefully means he'll go right ahead and crank out another.

vic_chesnutt.jpg

For me, the question is, Do I deserve Vic Chesnutt? And the answer seems to be - not really. So, best appreciate him as much as I can while he's around - there just aren't many voices out there as golden as his.

Posted by at 11:57 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

James Baldwin

"You must put your self in the skin of a man who is wearing the uniform of his country, is a candidate for death in its defense, and who is called a 'nigger' by his comrades-in-arms and his officers; who is almost always given the hardest, ugliest, most menial work to do; who knows that the white GI has informed the Europeans that he is subhuman (so much for the American male's sexual security); who does not dance at the USO and does not drink at the same bars white soldiers drink in; and who watches German prisoners of war being treated by Americans with more human dignity than he has ever received at their hands. And who, at the same time, as a human being, is far freer in a strange land than he has ever been at home. Home! The very word begins to have a despairing and diabolical ring. You must consider what happens to this citizen, after all he has endured, when he returns-home: search, in his shoes, for a job, for a place to live; ride, in his skin, on segregated buses; see, with his eyes, the signs saying 'White' and 'Coloured,' and especially the signs that say 'White Ladies' and 'Colored Women'; look into the eyes of his wife; look into the eyes of his son; listen, with his ears, to political speeches, North and South; imagine yourself being told to 'wait.' And all this is happening in the richest and freest country in the world, and in the middle of the twentieth century. The subtle and deadly change of heart that might occur in you would be involved with the realization that a civilization is not destroyed by wicked people; it is not necessary that people be wicked but only that they be spineless."

-James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time

If I had my way, everyone on this earth would read at least one book by James Baldwin. For many, it would not be a very transformative experience. Sadly, the people for whom his writing is most pertinent are those who cannot read at all. Which is part of the reason God invented audio-books. If you want to do a good deed, buy a tape of James Baldwin for the illiterate bigot in your hood. Baldwin will sneak in under their radar, cut the wires, down the force-field, and lead the troops to the Palace wall. He will then single-handedly fill the moat, burn the bell-tower, and behead the king, and all this while you just sit back and watch.

There's a question as to whether he was more exceptional as an essayist, or novelist, that I have no idea about. Having read a bit of both, I'm struck by how novel-like his essays are, and the inverse seems equally true. The narrators of his fiction, frequently gay, black, poor, and born in the 1920s, (and always coping with the genius of their sinful eloquence) have often hardened in their minds into prodigious arguers. They're faced - blitzed - on a moment-to-moment basis, with the vitriol of those who would happily cast them into the flames of hell. So there is this patience to their tirades, this hope that ignorance will one day succumb to the intimacy if for no reason other than salvation.

In his essay Down at the Cross: Letter From a Region In My Mind in The Fire Next Time, Baldwin writes about having dinner with The Honorable Elijah Muhammad, and the pleasantries and undertones of the meal, raked over by the lucidity of the author's thought-process, find such a sensical place in the context of his thesis you forget, temporarily, you're not just reading fiction. You forget that Baldwin, in this case, is not playing the narrator of an imagining, but authoring his own experience, in order to articulate the essence of a world-view.

Though his essays have floored me, there's a vulnerable place he transports himself as a novelist I haven't found in his non-fiction, which only makes sense, I guess. For instance, from Tell Me How Long The Train's Been Gone:

"When things go wrong, the good Lord knows they go wrong; one can find oneself in trouble so deep and so bizarre that one knows one can never get out of it; and it doesn't help at all, as the years swagger brutally by, to recognize that much of one's trouble is produced by the really unreadable and unpredictable convolutions of one's own character. I've sat, sometimes, really helpless and terrified before my own, watching it spread danger and wonder all over my landscape-and not only my own. It is a terrible feeling. One learns, at such moments, not merely how little we know, but how little whatever we know is able to help us. But sometimes things go right. And these moments, humiliatingly enough, don't seem to have anything to do with one's character at all."

A statement like this leads me to wonder: How'd he manage to cultivate such an outright gorgeous form of humility?

My guess is it must have started with the smile:

baldwin.jpg

Beyond that, I'm all outta ideas.

Posted by at 11:18 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 25, 2003

Allow me...

... to set the record straight on this.

People who peel labels off their beer bottles are not sexually frustrated.

They find in their fidgeting a joyously meditative trance that enables them to tap into an other-worldliness not found at your everyday local pub.

For instance, last night, while peeling a label from a particularly cold bottle of Pale Ale, I entertained a momentary day-dream (mid-evening-dream?) that Wayne Gretzky and that annoying kid from the "I-see-dead-people" movie were coming at me on a golf cart, in a ghost town, with demons in their eyes. They were more than apparently intent on giving my ass a royal beating, but there was no point in running, as the fantasy lay in the knowledge I'd slip into Matrix-mode and do a half-dozen or so body-flips, upper-cuts and roundhouses, leaving them strewn in pieces about the town's central intersection.

There simply isn't any sexual dimension to this type of beer-bottle-peeling, and I whole-heartedly refuse to hear from anyone who says there is.

Also, anyone wishing to question my masculinity (requiring 'Matrix-mode' to take out two culturally-iconic symbols of weaklingdom) would do well to consider the day-dream's bloodless, CGI-texture, and to keep in mind that when I pulled the heart out of that kid-actor, he seemed to realize he was crying - and wasn't acting - all in the same breath. So that I'd transformed him in some way that he needed, and appreciated, even.

Were I a skilled-enough techie, I'd seal off all opportunity for comment on this post, forcing you to keep your depraved notions about violent-fantasy and sexual-repression to yourselves. But seeing as how I don't know HTML from a hollowed out blade of grass, I have no choice but to endure your petty insinuations and insults.

So go to town now, if you feel you must.

Posted by at 08:05 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Losers and Snoozers

The OffSprig's latest album is called Chinese Democracy (You Snooze You Lose). I see Axl's face the moment he learns of it. "No! Nooo!!!!! NOOOOOOO!!!!! They can't do this to me!! They can't-- it's mine!!! NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!

"Wimper, wimper, sniff-sniff."

He's had it, "CHINESE DEMOCRACY", for 8 long years now, and he's talked about it - about having 'it' - a lot. While I understand it makes him feel smart knowing he was able to come up with it himself, it's too bad he wasn't able to manage any of those song-thingies to go along with the cover-concept. He did know, though, that there'd be a picture of him inside the front flap where he looked older, wrinklier, but also more oiled up, and just as angry as ever!

He was this close.

And now, the world is laughing. Izzy, Slash and all his ex-girlfriends are laughing. His die-hard fans are going into their garages and taking down their posters in shame. He's been beaten to the punch by a band of chumps-- the Nickelback of yesteryear.

So it's: Way to go OffSprig! Had you not made the single-most rank contribution to music in the 1990s, it might not feel so difficult acknowledging you'd actually done something funny! But you did make that contribution, and it was, as I recall, the rankest of them all, so I'm having a very hard time seeing "You Snooze You Lose" - in and of itself - as evidence of wit.

In a word, I'm conflicted. Axl left himself wide open to something like this, but Jesus - not from them.

It's just the situation itself that gets to me - the whole fact that it even exists is discomfiting enough! The nuances of it, these two entities at war out there, denigrating one another, lawsuits repressed, non-intellectual, virtually non-existent property thieved to thwart the ego of a former Rock-God, and fuel the comeback of an act who should by now - at the very least - be gone forever.

And always the question: How will it ever end?

Posted by at 08:01 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

#33

It used to surprise me what I knew. Like I'd be able to list off the directors of a significantly high portion of, say, Kevin Bacon movies, without realizing I even knew his filmography. And even that! How did I ever come to know the filmography of a guy like Kevin Bacon? I mean, what's wrong with me?!

Nowadays, I go out with the youngsters, and I rest easy with the knowledge that I know absolutely nothing. It started, I think, with that band GOB. After they came out with that first hit of theirs, I threw in the towel. I just couldn't seem to find it in myself to keep track anymore after that.

Which is why, for me, Darva Conger has become a name I can really get behind. As in, "I used to Darva, but then I got Congered, and now I don't any mo'."

So far, it's ok. No one's asked me what it means, as it seems self-explanatory enough. It's a kind of onomatopoeia for the half-forgotten-never-should've-been-remembered-in-the-first-place-type person. The type who, if they were remembered for any period of time, were never remembered for anything resembling a memorable reason.

Conger?

Posted by at 07:58 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 22, 2003

May 22nd

On this day in history - among other things - the first atlas was published, Lincoln patented a buoying device, Hitler and Mussolini signed the "Pact of Steel," Robert Zimmerman was Bar Mitzvahed, Susan Lucci lost her daytime Emmy for the 16th time, and the worst logo ever was unveiled in the city of Toronto:

10003006.jpg

Seriously, what's worse than this? And how can we reasonably expect victory from anybody wearing it?

I won't take this opportunity to try to pin the blame on ol' faithful. I have too many other things to do at the moment, but that aside, the logic'd probably break down if I thought about it.

(And incidentally, I expect full points for the way "logic'd" rolled off your tongue just now.)

Posted by at 12:49 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

May 20, 2003

D/Blogging Contest, Part II

Ok, I can't hurry myself anymore. Things get too dumb. I might still reach my intended goal of 45 posts for the month of May, (which I consider to be a t.k.o. for me,) but I will not post the 178 somethings I have accumulated on my harddrive over the last few months. I will not post these somethings on the eve of the 31st, starting at 9:45 pm, in a final blitz to out-do Maggo and the master - though I shouldn't say "I will not", for this is not a promise, but a guess.

My guess is, I won't be able to go through with this devastating strategy, because, in spite of what I've said I care too much about quality.

In the last few weeks, I have posted SPAM, linked to a very unfunny game that enables you to punch a decent, tolerable enough young-adult like Britney Spears. I have pilfered video games from brother I King, mischaracterized friends of mine, and I have defended Herbal Essences' Ad Campaign. I reviewed a film I couldn't sit through, and I reviewed Identity.

Forgive me Father, for soiling the pristine pages of the month of May. Forgive me for believing in Meat Trees. And please help me, Father, to find the light again.

Way to go, d/blog! You out-posted me handily, your quality never wavered, and you're on the verge of tripling your output from the previous month of May!

You'll get no prize from me though, you corpulent sack of shit.

Posted by at 01:38 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

May 19, 2003

Meat Trees

Given that this is the news of the day, (or three days ago, as it were) I'm tempted to try and write about it. But I think I have to let it sink in for a few days first. Right now, I just keep waiting for someone to explain to me that it's April Fool's Day or something.

(Thank-you, Teddy.)

Posted by at 05:55 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

Scandal Fatigue

I agree with the first few paragraphs of what Huffington says here. The rest of it is okay too, though it fails to hit home, mainly for the reasons given in the first few paragraphs.

At once mind-boggling, and nothing new.

Posted by at 02:43 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 16, 2003

Anna Game

I agree with king that there's something going on with this game.

Oddly hypnotic. And addictive. So be careful.

Posted by at 05:29 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

A Piss-Poor Film Review

Well, yesterday I saw the movie that everyone's been talking about. That's right, I saw Identity. (ba-da-boom!)

It is not a very good film, so I won't spend any time thinking about it. I read once that if you want to write a great movie, you limit the number of coincidences to one. This film has about fifteen in the first five minutes, and then it piles a few more on for good-measure in the last act. It feels like a successful spoof of a thriller until it gets about two thirds of the way in, then it goes a little Usual-Suspecty, and becomes, I guess, semi-half-decent?

On the plus side, it contains one of my favourite lines of dialogue in recent memory, which I plan on turning into a tee-shirt to wear on my morning jogs: "Whores don't deserve a second chance". (I'm sorry if this is more offensive than funny - if you'd seen the film you'd laugh.)

An aside to all this, which I very much wish I could communicate more fully, has to do with the projectionist. You know how when you go see a movie these days, they show that slide-show of questions and answers and various advertisements before the lights go down? Well, the screen went to black after these ads were through, and we were treated to one of the more awful compilations of commercials and previews I'd seen in recent memory-- a testament to the suckiness of Identity's demographic. The new Johnny Depp movie, Pirates of the Caribbean, made me think that not only is Depp sucking it, but in need of a lobotomy. There were about six others, none of which I can remember.

Then the movie started, and as it did, the slide show of commercials came back up on the screen. This created a series of dizzying super-impositions over the film's opening montage sequence, (about the trial of a serial-killer with several identities). With every fade to black, and flicker of lightning, an image of the latest Honda Accura on a mountain top would filter through in perfect clarity. Occasionally, only part of the screen would darken, an actor's name would appear, and with it, a product shot: Ray Liotta, coupled effectively with an image of deodorant, etc.. It prompted e to say-- "it's the future of movies!"

It was great. It lasted for about four minutes, was easily the most entertaining part of the film, and rendered the whole flick absolutely cost-free. (In fact, the usher accidentally gave us three free passes instead of two, so it turns out we made money watching this dung).

And you can't beat that!

Posted by at 01:05 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Big Wheelin' It Up

daraghand3.jpg

Ok, one last one. This is the one I meant to post first, but it wasn't located until this morning. It's sort of famous in the family.

(All photos taken by Dad.)

Posted by at 11:20 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

May 15, 2003

Me and D, circa '78 - New Brunswick

daraghand.jpg

Posted by at 11:52 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

boo-yeah!

daraghand2.jpg

Posted by at 11:49 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Invisible Horizons

My sister - who in the past I have referred to as the Beaners - has built herself a website. Oh sure, there're only a dozen or so pics there - so far - and she's had it for two whole months! - but remember, you heard about her site here first, and from me.

She's just returned from her stay in Japan, and I am now going to spend the rest of my day with her, allowing Maggo (who has dared to venture out of his den of transparent concrete and enter our competition) to over-take me in second place.

If, that is, he wants it bad enough.

Posted by at 12:06 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

May 14, 2003

On-line Sex Talk

These exchanges arrived in my mailbox this morning, supposedly "actual conversations captured from IRC chat logs". I don't know if this is true, (nor do I care,) but they're pretty funny, I think:

bloodninja: Baby, I been havin a tough night so treat me nice aight?
BritneySpears14: Aight.
bloodninja: Slip out of those pants baby, yeah.
BritneySpears14: I slip out of my pants, just for you, bloodninja.
bloodninja: Oh yeah, aight. Aight, I put on my robe and wizard hat.
BritneySpears14: Oh, I like to play dress up.
bloodninja: Me too baby.
BritneySpears14: I kiss you softly on your chest.
bloodninja: I cast Lvl. 3 Eroticism. You turn into a real beautiful woman.
BritneySpears14: Hey...
bloodninja: I meditate to regain my mana, before casting Lvl. 8 Cock of the Infinite.
BritneySpears14: Funny I still don't see it.
bloodninja: I spend my mana reserves to cast Mighty F*ck of the Beyondness.
BritneySpears14: You are the worst cyber partner ever. This is ridiculous.
bloodninja: Don't f*ck with me bitch, I'm the mightiest sorcerer of the lands.
bloodninja: I steal yo soul and cast Lightning Lvl. 1,000,000 Your body explodes into a fine bloody mist, because you are only a Lvl. 2 Druid.
BritneySpears14: Don't ever message me again you piece of ****.
bloodninja: Robots are trying to drill my brain but my lightning shield inflicts DOA attack, leaving the robots as flaming piles of metal.
bloodninja: King Arthur congratulates me for destroying Dr. Robotnik's evil army of Robot Socialist Republics. The cold war ends. Reagan steals my accomplishments and makes like it was cause of him.
bloodninja: You still there baby? I think it's getting hard now.
bloodninja: Baby?

-

bloodninja: Ok baby, we got to hurry, I don't know how long I can keep it ready for you.
j_gurli3: thats ok. ok i'm a japanese schoolgirl, what r u.
bloodninja: A Rhinocerus. Well, hung like one, thats for sure.
j_gurli3: haha, ok lets go.
j_gurli3: i put my hand through ur hair, and kiss u on the neck.
bloodninja: I stomp the ground, and snort, to alert you that you are in my breeding territory.
j_gurli3: haha, ok, u know that turns me on.
j_gurli3: i start unbuttoning ur shirt.
bloodninja: Rhinoceruses don't wear shirts.
j_gurli3: No, ur not really a Rhinocerus silly, it's just part of the game.
bloodninja: Rhinoceruses don't play games. They f*cking charge your ass.
j_gurli3: stop, cmon be serious.
bloodninja: It doesn't get any more serious than a Rhinocerus about to charge your ass.
bloodninja: I stomp my feet, the dust stirs around my tough skinned feet.
j_gurli3: thats it.
bloodninja: Nostrils flaring, I lower my head. My horn, like some phallic symbol of my potent virility, is the last thing you see as skulls collide and mine remains the victor. You are now a bloody red ragdoll suspended in the air on my mighty horn.
bloodninja: Goddam am I hard now.

-

BritneySpears14: Ok, are you ready?
eminemBNJA: Aight, yeah I'm ready.
BritneySpears14: I like your music Em... Tee hee.
eminemBNJA: huh huh, yeah, I make it for the ladies.
BritneySpears14: Mmm, we like it a lot. Let me show you.
BritneySpears14: I take off your pants, slowly, and massage your muscular physique.
eminemBNJA: Oh I like that Baby. I put on my robe and wizard hat.
BritneySpears14: What the f*ck, I told you not to message me again.
eminemBNJA: Oh ****
BritneySpears14: I swear if you do it one more time I'm gonna report your ISP and say you were sending me kiddie porn you f*ck up.
eminemBNJA: Oh ****
eminemBNJA: damn I gotta write down your names or something.

Posted by at 04:46 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

Cholodenko

I saw High Art, but didn't want to.

I loathed the idea of it: Lesbian heroin-addicted photographic genius-recluse falls for pretty blonde model? Give me a break. But I saw it because everyone kept insisting it was good, and later, no one seemed to hear me when I said it was terrible.

My problem with the movie was that when I saw it, I was living in death-valley, BC, being attacked by strung-out addicts whenever I was in a one-mile-radius of my place. Once, I stepped out of my store-front property at Main and Cordova and a 200 pound Indian woman walking up the street with rage in her eyes started screaming at me "I DO NOT LIKE THE LOOK OF YOU!!" and she sprang at me like a heavy-weight champion, throwing a combination of punches all carefully tailored not to land.

The psychological fall-out from this was nothing short of nerve-shattering.

Everywhere you were in that god-forsaken land, you were only a glance away from violent confrontation. (A friend in the hood told me how to deal with this: You stick your tongue out, role your eyes back in your head, walk like you have a club-foot, make the famous Three's Company fag-wrist-thing, and an extended sound like "Arrrarraf!!", and - if you can do all this convincingly enough - no one will ever fight you.)

Also, at night, I would hear the same thing over and over, "Fuckin'-fuck-shit-bitch-fucker-you don't even know who I am Fuckin'-fucker-shit-bitch," and I would hear it from every muttering passer-by from 7pm on. Sometimes it wouldn't be a mutter but a scream. Often I would be dreaming this, only to wake and find it was real.

Which is to say: people whose lives are ruined by smack do not participate in flowery soft-core bed-side seduction scenes with pretty blonde models, even if they are reclusive geniuses. And as good as Ally Sheedy might have been, the film was flat because it used dope like a door-pass to a gritty reputation, which, by the film's end, felt more like a door-pass to some pristine VIP lounge where Lisa Cholodenko imagined she could one day become a permanent member. I could say this in harsher terms, perhaps with an ill-fated kiddy-porn analogy, but I'll just leave at: Romanticizing smack is for kids.

So, why see Laurel Canyon? I guess, aside from Gena Rowlands, Frances McDormand seems to have the best career of any actress round-town. And in all fairness, this film is not as offensively shallow as High Art, mainly because it isn't as ambitious. It's the story of a Cold Play-like rock band, headed by a sneaky pervert who is both dating his album's producer (McDormand), and hot for her son's uptight scientist girlfriend (Kate Beckinsale). What can I say? It would have made one hell of a porno! But if you're like me, and you want porno with your porno plot-lines, you'll feel totally bored by the end.

Still, a noticeable improvement over High Art.

Way to go, Cholodenko!

Posted by at 03:16 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

VGs

I avoid all news of video games, having once lost, literally, months of my life to Puzzle Bubble, but - having said that - this sounds pretty fuckin' cool.

Posted by at 01:25 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Playing Hitler

I'm sure Robert Carlyle will be a good Hitler. I think a better choice for the role, though, may have been Tilda Swinton. I'm not sure why, but I know the critics would have loved it.

Is it me, or does Carlyle not look more like Swinton-playing-Hitler here than he does Hitler, or even Carlyle-playing-Hitler, for that matter?

Is this all just in my head?

Posted by at 01:14 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

May 13, 2003

Punishing Britney

Play this game!

It will make you feel better.

Posted by at 04:19 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Marijke

This is a place for everyone to say Happy 19th Birthday to Marijke.

She is the coolest kid on the block, and without her, this site would not have redeeming qualities. For instance, awhile back, she explained my name to me, and more recently, she did research to find out the name of the man who saved the world. She has also straightened me out on countless issues, and generally taken on the taxing burden of being /bog's much needed voice of reason.

Ah, Marijke - I'm so glad I know ye.

Will there be cake?

Posted by at 01:12 PM | Comments (21) | TrackBack

Mutante

Mutante and I have been growing apart for years.

I swear, I barely recognize his voice anymore when he calls. And when we talk movies, up is down, down is up, and there's very little room for seeing eye to eye on anything. Used to be we could agree on at least the fundamentals: Fassbinder is Zeus, Cassavetes' Christ, Neil Labute has potential, Scorsese is lost, Spielberg - Satan. But aside from these impossible-to-argue-with truths, lately it seems all the movies I love he hates, and vice versa. Lately, as he's become a Vera-Cruzian celebrity, taking over round-table discussions at film festivals to incite revolution, I'm noticing a real clarity in his thoughts:

"People don't want to see a film, they just want to see the sexuality of the filmmaker up there on the screen. That's all it is for people, I'm convinced. If it's David Lynch, they know there's something about that guy that's just fucked-up by pretty blonde women. They want to see his universe, where the saddest thing that can happen is a pretty blonde girl dies. That's the saddest thing he can think of, because pretty blonde girls should not die, NO - they should live, but society is sick, and innocence tempts evil, and that's the tragedy. They are corrupted, and they die, and there's an angel - then they're gone".

"And now there's this Latino sexuality creeping into things that seems to like, really be menacing him - I'm trying to figure out where it's coming from. His last movie, like the whole end of it was in Spanish." I remember black sexuality creeping into the end of Lost Highway, and I remember Mulholland Drive's "Crying" being performed, in Spanish, or Portuguese - oh, like anyone can tell the difference! - but I had to think about that ending again. I think the switch into Spanish was creepy for me because I don't speak it, and neither did the pretty blonde girl from Deep River Ontario. So there was this alienation and paranoia about what was being said, for me, though not for Mutante.

David Lynch is great, we can all agree. His films are beautifully made. Mutante: "Beautifully made is like the most condescending thing you can say. If you really like a film, you say 'man, this film is so fucking cool' and you shouldn't even be thinking about how it was made'. The thing is, I love that guy's movies, and yes, they are beautifully made, and I love watching them, but after watching Mulholland Drive for the third time I was sitting there just thinking: it makes too much sense-- I'm just bored of his politics."

So I asked it: "What do you think he could do to break that pattern?"

"I don't know, he could change his politics, I guess. That would be interesting."

In fairness to Lynch, I think he tries. Eraser Head. Dune. Elephant Man. The old man who rides the lawnmower.

But there is something to the thrust of the point, observable in Twin Peaks, Lost Highway and Mulholland Drive, that sounds right to me. It'll be interesting to see how Rabbits and Darkened Room flesh out this equation.

So, that's two cents from Mutante. Mutante, if you're reading this, and I've misrepresented you, please, just let me have it.

And if you're wondering why I'm posting your two cents here, it's because your two cents are more interesting to me today than my whole jar of pennies. I miss you, man! You have to come back to Canada, for all sorts of obvious reasons.

Posted by at 12:50 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

May 12, 2003

D/Blogging Contest - Part 1

Here's how I take sankeytown down, here's how I do it. Look ~ here it is. It's right here. This here's how I win. I don't have to say a single thing! I can just say nothing. He can never say nothing! He has a readership! He virtually has to say something. But I, I will happily say nothing at all, and do so in such a way that it constitutes a "post", thereby prompting him to produce the high quality stuff we've grown accustomed to.

Ah, the power.

Eventually, as his quantity improves, his quality will slip, and his morale will go with it, and that's when the Klezmer band will hit the Renaissance, if you know what I'm talking about, and I know you know what I'm talking about - I'm talking about taking sankeytown down! ~ you know what I'm talking about! I know you do!

Actually, over the week-end, I was asked to nail down the details of our 'contest.' D said he wanted to bet I couldn't post once a day, and that was it. I kindly reminded him of the other offerings put forth in his comment, and he agreed to go for most overall posts in the month of May. He's up 20 to 15 at last count, but was visibly terrified.

So far, I personally take credit for having forced some gold onto his site, and frankly, don't want to get d/blog fans pissed at me - I hear they can be vicious - so I won't go for much more than, say, 45, as initially threatened. Why, that means this month there'll be at least 46 somethings from the man, who, by the way, it turns out, at three a.m., in a mostly inert room, can really dance.

You know, if we start slipping bad, I'll shut-up. I promise!

Also, I promise to minimize the amount of self-referential shite from now on. For instance, I promise not to mention this stupid contest again until, Thursday.

Posted by at 07:52 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

May 11, 2003

Irreversible

I saw Irreversible a while back. You know, Irreversible, the most ghastly experience you could ask for in a movie? The french one, that uses sub-sonic "white noise" of the sort employed by the US army to quell riots, in conjunction with a camera-man apparently addicted to somersaulting backward until there's something grotesque to zoom in on?

You've heard of it?

It's one of these movies that take place backwards. In this case, it's transparently a device employed to avoid the difficult work of writing a good script. Just take your shitty amateur job and re-order it so the revenge scene preceeds the inciting incident, and Voila ~ instant success!

Now, I find the "woh, so this is like, actually twenty minutes earlier" feeling disorienting in a novel enough way, but unless a film's actually about living life backwards, it can feel a little contrived.

If, however, what you want is to know exactly what it would look like for a person to have their skull bashed in by a fire extinguisher - in real time! - over the course of about forty seconds, with both a strobe light and the most debasing audio accompaniment known to Human-kind, you may have found your movie.

I left after this scene, so I can't say whether or not Irreversible redeemed itself. I can say if you're gonna resolve to make art that makes people feel nauseous, it is not astonishing. It isn't that difficult, or interesting. Don't get me wrong, you impress me, especially the way you get those teeth to fly out, and that nose to collapse, and the brain-like substance to ooze where the eyes used to be. But when my company decides they want their money back, I owe my allegiance to them, not you, and afterward, I don't feel bad.

After all, you apparently aren't a very nice person, and if you think about it, you're pretty full of shit.

Posted by at 07:07 PM | Comments (12) | TrackBack

May 10, 2003

Good Kids

John Wilson makes good sense here.

Could it be I'll have grandkids at ease in the orgies of their grade 9 year? Who banter on about sexual techniques over dinner with their family, and laugh out loud when I haul out the details of what passed for "sex ed" circa 1985?

Even just reading something like this, while it's not new information - and it's a bit jargony and long - it's so well organized, and so chalk full of ideas, I can't help think it'd be accessible at a highschool level. And because I construe Harrington and Wilson both to be talking, basically, about goodness - sexual goodness - but also just about what it means to be understanding and good, I see no harm in having this sort of dialogue with kids.

So, 1) role-playing sex games, 2) a class about what it means to be good, and also, 3) I don't think people should have to stand for the national anthem if they don't want to.

Get all that into the curriculum and ka-boom! No more bullying, the problem's been solved!

Posted by at 06:28 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

May 09, 2003

ABB

This whole 'axis of evil' thang ain't makin' no sense.

(And neither does that pic of Rumsfeld.)

Ah, Rumsfeld, will you ever, finally, piss off?

Posted by at 07:18 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Reality tv

I liked Chomsky: Rebel without a Pause last night (yes, I'm now writing about what I did before the hockey game). He said a few things I didn't know, firstly about Orlando Bosch, who I didn't really know anything about, and secondly about the Cuban Missile Crisis, and specifically about a Russian on a nuclear submarine who refused an order to employ his nukes. According to Chomsky, this info was just released, like in the last few years, and wasn't mentioned anywhere by anyone as per usual. I just googled around about it, but it was one of those things where it was more like a gooooooooooooooogle every time, and the first ten things I checked were so long, and when they proved fruitless I started thinking about how the roommate's getting back in a few minutes with a six pack, and how I'd like to go outside and enjoy what's left of the sun.

Posted by at 06:37 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Herbal Essence

Christina B from St. Augustine, FL is the only person I could find who had an issue with the sexual nature of the Herbal Essence ad campaign. I went looking for complainers - sure they existed and eager to seek them out - so that I could make myself feel better by ridiculing them. Christina calls the ads "offensive and inappropriate" because they are "way too sexual", and asks they be toned down under threat of sanction. "I cannot understand what an simulated orgasm has to do with shampoo!" she states soberly.

Gee... suddenly I feel too bad to ridicule her... I'm guessing she's not personally offended, (because that would just be weird,) but rather, harbours grave concerns about the effects of simulated orgasm on the minds of the impressionable children in her hood. I share her concerns, though I'd argue that adults who squeal with pleasure have a soothing effect on the children, who have been mostly confused by the very grown-up propensity for blowing limbs off people that's taken over the airwaves of late. So, I want to say, Thank-you Herbal Essence, for putting the "simulated orgasm" back in "Shampoo ads".

And keep up the great work!

Posted by at 03:58 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

The Joke Of The Day...

... over at core matrix took a welcomed, surreal turn today.

In other good news, tv will return to his desk job next week, which means the daily articles posted on their site will go back to being decidedly absurd, and the head-fucking comments on this site should (with any luck) return in full force.

Posted by at 11:46 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Bye Bye, Canucks

Apparently hockey died a few weeks back, but I confess the residual Vancouverite in me continued to follow the Canucks right up until the end.

It was a good game - The Canucks were up by two, and I was feeling confident on their behalf, until something went terribly wrong. First, The Wild got a goal. It was a weird goal where the puck came over the crease from behind the net, and was swatted in mid air. Cloutier never got his eyes on it. Not such a big deal - they were still up by one. But then, then, the people who run the dump over at - shit, I should know this - BC Place? - took the wind out of everyone's sail - that's right - they did the unthinkable, and played Bryan Adams.

Why must you do this, BC Place people?

The moment I heard it over the loud speaker, I knew the game was over. I thought: I should write down the name of this song, but my laziness tricked me into believing I'd remember it. It had "rock" in the chorus, and was not "Everywhere I go the kid's wanna...", but it was from the mid-eighties, and was comprised of the standard issue power-chords we all know and loathe. A distinct feature of the song was that it was more about getting rocked by someone, than it was about rocking. I could feel the crowd's collective cringe filtering onto the ice.

Later, when they were down a goal and a penalty and about to go down another goal with some five minutes left in their season, I decided to find the song, hoping I could provide an uplink in my epitaph. But alas, the man has simply made too much crap. A veritable mountain of crap! Has anyone looked at how much crap he's turned out recently? It's shocking! Is he prolific? Is that what's going on? Honestly, I'd still be reading through his lyrics, looking for the little ditty, had I not decided to call off the search in the interests of my health.

If anyone watched the game last night, and happened to take note of this crucial Bryan Adam's-turning-point-moment, and also managed to retain the lyrics from the chorus, I'd love to hear from you.

Somewhere out there, someone knows what I'm talking about.

I just know it.

Posted by at 11:12 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

May 06, 2003

the sad short-term future of /blog

well, Marijke, (the soul of my research & development department,) will be alone in an office with a "dial-up" connection for the next three-to-four weeks, and tv is no longer permitted to spend work-time by the computer (Damn you, SARS!) and I've become busy myself, so my prediction is, in keeping with the trend toward minimalism adopted by bloggers at month ten (that may not exist anywhere but for in my own head,) May will be my shittiest month so far, at least, so far as my already limited blogger-output is concerned.

I urge all parties to come forward and lavish me with inspiring comments, even if they are shitty and retarded like these - and to generally feel free to chat amongst yourselves while I vanish from the face of this page for the next three to six weeks.

It kills me that I'm writing this when it should be effortless to not require any feedback and carry on cranking out crap day out and day in, but I'm fucked if I can find the time, energy, or wherewithal. Goddamn you, blog-- I try so hard to make you a likable place and all you ever do is humiliate me with your blatant disregard for the difference between dashes, commas (and comas), periods, and those adorable semi-colons that try so hard to look natural, but actually, those semi-colons are kind of sweet. And so is your spelling. And sometimes, I gotta say, in the mornings, I go to you to see what you look like, to see if I might find something that puts me in a good mood, something that doesn't make me cringe, or feel sick to my stomach, and even though you mostly suck the bag, yblog, and you're impossible to spell, and you often don't make sense, and you generally always make me a little queasy, every once in a while you're just so cute that I keep coming back for more!

Posted by at 10:05 AM | Comments (20) | TrackBack

May 01, 2003

Dog Island

Wild! (via everlasting blort via taylors today via d via my early childhood.)

Posted by at 12:08 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack