Saturday, January 14, 2006

Videoh #2: When there's nothing left to burn you have to set yourself on fire

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The Stars are a Canadian wunderband with conections to Broken Social Scene. The song "Your Ex Lover is Dead," was among my favorites of last year. And the associated video (stills above) adds further poingnancy and depth. The video is a clear reference to a shot in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. And seeing the reference played out here seems to add nuance, imbue it with a different shade of meaning. Or connect the song and the film more deeply than if they were independent. The song, like the film, is about the memory of lost loves, the shock, the recollections being all we have. And all that being OK. It's OK. There's nothing to regret. He sings: "I'm not sorry I met you. / I'm not sorry it's over. / I'm not sorry there's nothing to say." She sings: "This scar is a fleck on my porcelein skin/Tried to reach deep but couldn't get in..." We can lay together on this plain of ice. We can gather warmth from each other. We can ignore the cracks spreading, deepening. We can ignore (evade) the plunge for a little while. When we emerge, soaked in icy water, alone, we wont be frozen to the core because the memory keeps a tiny warm ember aglow within us. Something like that. Oh winter! She's a sonofabitch.

*[Update Oct 21, 2007] Hi all you googlers looking for the meaning of this song and stumbling upon this post. Here's the video to look at, and take a look at my blog, it's written in the melancholy, searching spirit of this song:

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The Fat Showwoman of the Apocalypse

Roseanne Barr's take on the impending end of the world:
One of the better things about the world ending is that the diet industry will be going up in flames along with everything else. And also all the really thin women that do yoga and have no body fat, when the food supply dries up, they'll be dead within two weeks. And me, thanks to my large body mass, will be stepping over their skeletal remains and the silicone tit bags and the collagen lips and the pitiful little puddles of Botox as I make my way to Canada to find more food. So I'm trying to get fatter to hump up for Armageddon, which is coming.
No holds barred [Guardian UK]

Still Smoking His Pall Malls

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Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. is still ticking and pecking away at his typewriter. Thank god! Here is an excerpt of an excerpt from his most recent offering, A Man Without a Country, a nice little nugget on writing, offending parentals, and certain imperatives on producing art:
Here is a lesson in creative writing.

First rule: Do not use semicolons. They are transvestite hermaphrodites representing absolutely nothing. All they do is show you've been to college.

And I realise some of you may be having trouble deciding whether I am kidding or not. So from now on I will tell you when I'm kidding.

For instance, join the National Guard or the Marines and teach democracy. I'm kidding.

We are about to be attacked by al-Qaida. Wave flags if you have them. That always seems to scare them away. I'm kidding.

If you want to really hurt your parents, and you don't have the nerve to be gay, the least you can do is go into the arts. I'm not kidding. The arts are not a way to make a living. They are a very human way of making life more bearable. Practising an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven's sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possibly can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something.
Hollow laughter [Guardian UK via Large Hearted Boy]

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Onward Stay Puft Soldier!

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The Army has decided to send additional side armor to their soldiers fighting in Iraq. The picture above shows Maj. Greg Paul donning a full set of said armor. Seeing this makes it clear the many year's delay in getting these suits to our soldiers. I mean c'mon. The Major looks so fucking fat in that suit. What kind of image of democracy are we gonna send? Fuck all. The powers that be were waiting for something more aesthetically pleasing, OBVIOUSLY. But you know, after a few thousand have died for the sanctity of fashion (in the name of democracy), it might well be time, no? Time it is soldiers. Suck 'em up. Suck 'em in. Tuck 'em under. Get ready for your shipment of Spring Break Sumo Fat Suits! Too bad there's no armor protecting the major's supple, pencil thin ankles.

Army Sending Added Armor to Iraq Units [NYT]

Poetic Justice?

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The above picture was taken during a fire drill while I was serving jury duty Downtown today at the decaying, bleached Rubiks Cube AKA the Criminal Courts Building . Yay jury duty! Yay the truly random sampling of Angelenos serving like me or on trial, trying, being cops, working, thousands of us suddenly thrust into the stark, disoriented panic of the city center (after a 13 floor stairwell descent trailing a dour chola-ish evacuee just ahead of me). We were all brought together in the dazing winter sun, Kafkaesque functionaries in a process sometimes referred to as the Justice Sytem. More to come on this later...

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Videoh #1: Antony Is His Own Sister

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Stumbled upon Antony and the Johnsons' video for "You Are My Sister." Technically it's a study in simplicity, Almodóvardian gender fluidity, and feminine glory. But one must wonder if the ambiguous reading of the video is the influence of Antony, knowing that it is his song (in duet with Boy George), he in all his vague gendered glory, that imbues this video with its mystery. The video, simply this: women twirling, all kinds of forlorn and scowling feminine visages. Some have fake eyelashes. All are posessed of gradations of possible drag, but you never know. In any case, Antony's voice lilts and suddenly the phrase in the song that goes, "You are my sister and I love you / make all of your dreams come true.../ the way we laughed / the way we experienced pain / so many memories / there's nothing left to gain from a memory / faces and worlds no one else will ever know..." Suddenly the song is the story of a person and his/her experinece of life with the woman that lives inside. She, always lamenting but always stern and strong, the sister, the mother, the girlfriend that lives in all of us, bostering us against, what? Minor music success? Validation in the press? Tours and albums and duets with Lou Reed and Rufus Wainwright? God forbid, not that! Never ever that!