a universe in which one of the big lawn rally's speakers yells that the Democratic Party no longer is in the business of "promoting equality and fairness for all"; in which a Hillary supporter with two poodles shouts, "Howard Dean is a leftist freak!"; in which a man exhibits a sign that reads "At least slaves were counted as 3/5ths a Citizen" and shows Dean whipping handcuffed people; and in which Larry Sinclair, the Minnesota man who took to YouTube to allege that Barack Obama had oral sex with him in the back of a limousine in 1999, is one of the belles of the ball.
t's easy to sink into despair here. Standing and watching all these Democrats chat up Sinclair-
"Would you rather have a president who had an affair [Bill Clinton] or one who was a murderer [Obama]?"
Saturday, May 31, 2008
Jones is something of a phenomenon. His huge website, EVERYONE WHO'S ANYONE IN ADULT TRADE PUBLISHING, NEWSPAPERS, MAGAZINES, BROADCASTING AND TINSELTOWN, TOO: A Writer's Guide to The All-Pervasive Propaganda Network (get it here), is a unique and astounding overview of the publishing and film industries, full of valuable information, startling correspondence, wry wit, and Jones' philosophy of writerly existence. He tracks the history of his novel Ginny Good here and now offers a free audio version of the book, filled with production atmosphere. It's a terrific listen (some of which will be in the new edition of the review). Check it out.
Wie falls 7 strokes back at Ladies German Open
If aliens are watching us, surely they've concluded that our species is totally bonkers.
These states were warned and re-warned, Do this and your vote doesn't count. They did it anyway. Now they come forward acting morally superior, as if they did nothing wrong but everybody else is out to get them.
Donna Brazile, an uncommitted superdelegate on the committee, got it right. She said her momma taught her to play by the rules. And if you change the rules in the middle or at the end of the game, it's called cheating.
By MICHAEL SHERMER
In 1996, the New York University physicist and mathematician Alan Sokal put an end to this intellectual masturbation by performing one of the greatest hoaxes in academic history. Mr. Sokal penned a nonsensical article entitled "Transgressing the Boundaries: Toward a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity," chockablock full of postmodern phrases and deconstructionist tropes interspersed with scientific jargon, and submitted it to the journal Social Text, one of two leading publications frequented by fashionably obtuse academics.
Mr. Sokal's article was accepted for publication (as "real," whatever that means in postmodernism) and, upon release, Mr. Sokal announced it was all a hoax — and did so, deliciously, in the chief competitor of Social Text, the journal Dissent. Mr. Sokal called it a nonsense parody
Then things began to change. As we reached more complicated material, requiring more homework, a few guys lagged behind more than usual. Eventually some quit and some decided to move back a class. Their spots were filled by women: moreover, by women who had played piano before and we "brushing up" old skills. This evolution continued so that today I am the only original man left in the class. Now we have four, three students with prior piano experience and me -- and the former "top dog" is now the slowest learner in the class. In fact, I struggle to keep up.
However, I struggle because I put so few hours into practice. This term especially has seen many other demands on my time, especially getting the new review out and the Finale class. Taking three classes was too much, really. I won't do that again unless it's a class I absolutely need. I hope this summer to put more hours into piano and not feel like I'm such a drag on the class. What was fun has become work. Moreover, my desire is not to become a piano player in any public sense. I am learning piano in order to compose, not to play, though of course they are related. But the composer-player can be slower than the performing-player. In the end, the computer can play it "right" ha ha.
I've thought of dropping the class and may yet. I have signed up for summer, so we'll see how it goes. I have no desire to struggle through a class that isn't fun. I'm also taking another strategy to learn some things on my own with DVD material, so we'll see how that goes, too. I definitely will keep taking my theory class. But the piano playing, we'll have to see.
Another issue is that in class we learn mostly songs I have no desire to play in the first place. I'd be more motivated if we were learning boogie woogie or blues. In fact, last week we had one jazzy song, in swing time, and I excelled. All these former piano players had a hard time getting the swing feel down, and I got it right away (having heard it for so long, I suppose). So with the right material, I was "top dog" again. I don't need to be top dog. I just need to have more fun, like I did in the beginning.
All this may resolve itself once I'm not so busy. We'll see.
Friday, May 30, 2008
Even though it was written over 100 years ago, Bertrand Russell's
Marriage and Morals still makes more sense to me than other arguments about the nature of this institution.
In brief, Russell argues that marriage as an institution exists for the rearing of children, not for the sexual convenience of adults. Therefore, to get married, the bride would have to prove she is pregnant. Shotgun weddings would be the only ones allowed!
One could expand this to include adoptions. The book got him barred from entering the U.S. for a lecture tour. And we'd create another institutional, legal arrangement for "consenting adults" who are not raising children, which would have nothing to do with sexual orientation.
Talk about being ahead of your time!
Thursday, May 29, 2008
But guess what? I like the softer "up stroke" basic strum sound better. So I think I'm going back to the way I played it in high school and let it go at that. For one, it doesn't destroy my fingernail, which is kept short in this style. I can learn songs with the same tablature. I like the sound better. My way or the highway, even though I seldom run into banjo players who play this ancient (?) way. I did find one old-timey book that had a chapter on "up stroke" banjo, so there were old-timers who did it. It's just the first style I learned and I like its softer sound better. There's no accounting for taste.
This decided, I want to learn a whole mess of new banjo songs this summer, using all this wonderful frailing material I gathered this time around. As if I had nothing else to do.
Hyperlink cinema is a term coined by author Alissa Quart, who used the term in her review of the film Happy Endings (2005) for the film journal Film Comment in 2005. Noted film critic Roger Ebert popularized the term when reviewing the film Syriana. These films are not hypermedia and do not have actual hyperlinks, but are multilinear in a more metaphorical sense.
In describing Happy Endings, Quart considers captions acting as footnotes and split screen as elements of hyperlink cinema and notes the influence of the World Wide Web and multitasking. Playing with time and character's personal history, plot twists, interwoven storylines between multiple characters, jumping between the beginning and end (flashback and flashforward) are also elements. Roger Ebert further describes hyperlink cinema as films where the characters or action reside in separate stories, but a connection or influence between those disparate stories is slowly revealed to the audience; illustrated in Mexican director Alejandro González Iñárritu's films Amores Perros (2000), 21 Grams (2003), and Babel (2006).
Quart suggests that director Robert Altman created the structure for the genre and demonstrated its usefulness for combining interlocking stories in his films Nashville (1975) and Short Cuts (1993). She also considers the television series 24 and Alan Rudolph’s film Welcome to L.A. (1976) as early prototypes. Crash (2004) is an example of the genre, as are Altman's The Player (1992), Steven Soderbergh's Traffic (2000), City of God (2002), Syriana (2005), and Nine Lives (2005). Reference
This, is seems to me, is hyperdrama with a passive audience. Lost here, completely lost, is a basic tenet of hyperdrama: the choices of the individual audience member define the dramatic experience. This is hyperdrama filtered through the traditional control of the artist. It's a fascinating genre in its own right, surely, but here one sees the easier application of hyperdrama's dramaturgy to computer games: in a game, the audience member is interactive by definition. When watching stories, audiences apparently still prefer to be passive, spoon fed while sitting in the dark, and artists prefer to be the ones doing the spooning.
Hyperlink film has more in common with traditional dramaturgy than with hyperdrama.
But I admit hyperdrama on film/video is a bit cumbersome. See for yourself by navigating through a short hyperdrama story with your own choices of what to see. This is hyperdrama.
Yesterday I asked the question, Who still reads William Saroyan? Well, I do. Here Comes, There Goes, You Know Who remains a favorite literary biography. Time to re-read it, in fact. I like Saroyan's ego and arrogance, his style, his flamboyant literary recklessness. He is never boring. He is an example of "the performing self," as good a literary showman as Mailer.
The video project is the silent comedy. I have a draft of the script. I'll rewrite it as soon as my grades are in.
The writing project is the Cold War novel. I hope to finish a draft. But writing is back burner for the first time. It's always been front burner. But this summer, music and video moves forward ahead of writing.
I think I can get considerable work done in all three areas. I'm best when multi-tasking and busy. Yard work and adventures with the dog will get me out of the office for necessary breaks. It's shaping up to be a great summer.
As long as the tornado season doesn't move to Oregon, or the gods decide to have their way with me, etc. etc. etc. One can't be sure about anything these days.
But I go on the assumption it will be a great summer. If it isn't, it isn't.
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
a politician is an arse
upon which everyone has sat
except a man
--e. e. cummings
"I don't want to encourage them." (A 90+ year old woman explaining to me why she stopped voting in her 70s.)
By JONATHAN YARDLEY
I posted about lying with statistics earlier. I don't think any primary polls are an accurate reflection of what may or may not happen in the general election for either candidate.
As HC gets more desperate, it gets more surreal. I think this is going to end up being uglier than I imagined earlier. Her exaggerations get greater every day, and her husband is no better. They appear to be on a crusade. Delusions of grandeur, victims of conspiracies, ala Nixon. I never thought we'd see another politician like Nixon but boy was I wrong.
Saturday's DNC meeting may become a zoo. The Republicans must be loving all this.
From CBS News’ Fernando Suarez:
HBO has its new movie on the Florida ballot count in the last Prez election.
There's obviously a movie brewing here as well. I'm more interested in a more serious dramatic look at HC's character, however, the way Stone looked at Nixon. The more I observe her, the more HC reminds me of a Nixon. Nixon was a master of the innuendo. So is HC.
Consider the phrase "not as far as I know." If someone asked me, did HC murder a competing classmate in law school and then successfully cover it up to look like an accidental drowning? There's a spectrum of answers available to me: That's preposterous! Or, No. Or, Not as far as I know.
Nixon used the latter all the time because it's double-edged and admits the possibility of truth. It says, well, I could see that happening but I have no evidence that it did.
Hence HC, when asked if Obama was a Muslim, said "Not as far as I know," feeding all the racist doubts that he is (indeed, in WVa, exit polls revealed that a shocking number of voters believed he is). (Of course, that this should even matter at all is another issue and example of prejudice.) HC, like Nixon, uses innuendo to political gain with great skill.
Democratic National Committee rules require that the two states lose at least half of their convention delegates for holding elections too early, the party's legal experts wrote in a 38-page memo.
DUJIANGYAN, China — Bereaved parents whose children were crushed to death in their classrooms during the earthquake in Sichuan Province have turned mourning ceremonies into protests in recent days, forcing officials to address growing political repercussions over shoddy construction of public schools.
On Friday morning, Joe Biden gave us an example of a leading national politician exhibiting decency and class. Later in the day, Hillary Clinton gave us an example of something else.
I'm a tad concerned about our music section. Our editor has been busy doing other things, with the result that the last several issues have seen a drop in the usual quality of the section. I may have to replace the editor. We'll see what comes in this time, and I'll decide.
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Otherwise a quiet time, prior to the avalanche of term projects coming my way in an hour.
I look forward to seeing JUNO again. Only seen it once, though I've read the script a couple times. Their take-home final is an essay on its dramatic structure.
Found a great site for studying complex extended chords.
More than any other factor, it has been Barack Obama’s grasp of the central place of Internet-driven social networking that has propelled his campaign for the Democratic nomination into a seemingly unassailable lead over Hillary Clinton. Her campaign has been so 20th-century. His has been of the century we’re in.
This cultural failure has been devastating for Clinton.
Obama has promised to appoint a chief technology officer, to open up government via the Web
What does it take to make a government actually work for the benefit of its citizens?
Children in Katrina trailers may face lifelong ailments
BAY ST. LOUIS, MISS. (AP) -- The anguish of Hurricane Katrina should have ended for Gina Bouffanie and her daughter when they left their FEMA trailer. But with each hospital visit and each labored breath her child takes, the young mother fears it has just begun.
"It's just the sickness. I can't get rid of it. It just keeps coming back," said Bouffanie, 27, who was pregnant with her now 15-month-old daughter, Lexi, while living in the trailer. "I'm just like, `Oh God, I wish like this would stop.' If I had known it would get her sick, I wouldn't have stayed in the trailer for so long."
octors cannot conclusively link her asthma to the trailer. But they fear she is among tens of thousands of youngsters who may face lifelong health problems because the temporary housing supplied by the Federal Emergency Management Agency contained formaldehyde fumes up to five times the safe level.
A photo from yesterday's trip out the gorge.
Only 2 weeks left in the term. Tomorrow is my big day, final feedback on their script projects collected today. In class today I show JUNO. Thursday, my marketing lecture. Next week, more videos to show. So it's downhill except for the full day of reading tomorrow.
2 weeks left in my Finale and piano classes, too. Actually a makeup in piano for the class missed last week. But in 3 weeks, grades will be in, and the summer will begin in earnest in all ways except, of course, weather, which probably still will suck. Oregon O Oregon!
Yesterday I finished my Kate Mann video interview edit, looks decent. I'm going to put her "Cowboys Are My Weakness" song on YouTube (have permission), do it today I suppose.
I'm looking forward to a busy, productive summer.
Monday, May 26, 2008
Sydney Pollack dies of cancer at age 73
Triple Crown contender Big Brown has missed two days of training with a left hoof injury, trainer Rick Dutrow jnr said Sunday.
Made tremendous progress on the upcoming summer Oregon Literary Review, so I can see making the deadline for the first time. Still a lot of video editing to do, however, so we'll see. But I put in some hours and feel better about where I am with it.
Took an afternoon break yesterday to drive out the gorge via back roads to check out the wildflowers around Rowena Crest, between Hood River and The Dalles, one of our favorite spots. Had lunch in Hood River and it seemed to have twice as many restaurants as last year at this time.
Maybe today I'll start the vid editing for OLR. And maybe not ha ha. First things first. Breakfast!
Sunday, May 25, 2008
Saturday, May 24, 2008
By Camille Paglia
Right now, Hillary is in Godzilla mode, refusing to accept Barack Obama's looming nomination and threatening to tie the Democratic party in legal knots until the August convention and beyond.
Those who think she will withdraw gracefully in a few weeks are living in cloud cuckoo land. The Clintons are ruthless scrappers who will lock their bulldog teeth in any bloody towel.
Sexism has nothing to do with it.