Thursday, August 22, 2013

91 Centimeters

This is a short animated film that I watched this morning.  At first my thoughts about what the movie meant ran towards whether or not the individual is the center of his or her own universe; that is, did the meteorite knock the man, Henry, out of his world by 91 centimeters or did it knock the world 91 centimeters away from him.  Of course, when I contemplated the role of the psychologist/psychiatrist in the overall narrative, I began to see the movie as a parable for some sort of sudden onset mental illness that Henry is dealing with all alone; thus the relative or I guess absolute indifference of everyone around him.

What do you think?   

Monday, August 19, 2013

An Antechamber of Paradise

Something to ponder

The most interesting thing to me ... was the anecdote related by [Simon] Leys ... about sitting in an Australian café minding his own business while a radio is blaring musical and spoken pap in the background. By chance, the program switched to a Mozart clarinet quartet, for a moment turning the café "into an antechamber of Paradise." People fell silent, there were looks of bafflement, and then, "the the huge relief of all," one customer "stood up, walked straight to the radio," turned the knob to another station, and "restored at once the more congenial noises, which everyone again could comfortably ignore."
Leys describes this event as kind of an epiphany. He is sure that philistinism does not result from the lack of knowledge. The customer who could not abide hearing Mozart's music recognized its beauty. Indeed, he did precisely what he did for that reason. The desire to destroy beauty, according to Leys, applies not just to aesthetics but as much, if not more, to ethics: "The need to bring down to our level, to deface, to deride and debunk any splendor that is towering above us, is probably the saddest urge of human nature."
Ian Buruma, "The Man Who Got It Right." The New York Review of Books, 8/15/2013

Not sure if this is THE quartet mentioned, but it is A Mozart quartet. 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

When I Die...If I Live That Long

Time was, when quoting Ed Abbey would have automatically had you labeled as a "radical."  His particular style of environmentalism and his method of delivery was misinterpreted as a form of "ecoterrorism" and Abbey himself was derided as an eco-terrorist.  He does have a lot to say about the world, civilization, nature and culture and he uses his deadpan brusque style saying it.  There is no doubt that he was a character, the likes of which are becoming fewer and fewer as our civilization becomes more and more homogenized and technobrainwashed.

This is a great clip of Abbey back in the Arches National Park, the land that he loved and worked for so long.  This was 1985.  It would be fascinating, if he was still alive, to hear what he'd have to say about the state of our environment and our supposed leaders of today.  My guess is he would not be thrilled, but he'd be smug knowing that this is all temporary and in the end, nature is going to win.  Sadly he didn't live long enough.


Here are some more Ed Abbey quotes about things:

Anarchism is founded on the observation that since few men are wise enough to rule themselves, even fewer are wise enough to rule others.

No tyranny is so irksome as petty tyranny: the officious demands of policemen, government clerks, and electromechanical gadgets.

Counterpart to the knee-jerk liberal is the new knee-pad conservative, always groveling before the rich and powerful.

The earth is not a mechanism but an organism, a being with its own life and its own reasons, where the support and sustenance of the human animal is incidental. If man in his newfound power and vanity persists in the attempt to remake the planet in his own image, he will succeed only in destroying himself — not the planet. The earth will survive our most ingenious folly.

There are some good things to be said about walking. Not many, but some. Walking takes longer, for example, than any other known form of locomotion except crawling. Thus it stretches time and prolongs life. Life is already too short to waste on speed. I have a friend who's always in a hurry; he never gets anywhere. Walking makes the world much bigger and thus more interesting. You have time to observe the details. The utopian technologists foresee a future for us in which distance is annihilated and anyone can transport himself anywhere, instantly. Big deal, Buckminster. To be everywhere at once is to be nowhere forever, if you ask me.

One final paragraph of advice: do not burn yourselves out. Be as I am — a reluctant enthusiast... a part-time crusader, a half-hearted fanatic. Save the other half of yourselves and your lives for pleasure and adventure. It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it. While you can. While it’s still here. So get out there and hunt and fish and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, climb the mountains, bag the peaks, run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for a while and contemplate the precious stillness, the lovely, mysterious, and awesome space. Enjoy yourselves, keep your brain in your head and your head firmly attached to the body, the body active and alive, and I promise you this much; I promise you this one sweet victory over our enemies, over those desk-bound men and women with their hearts in a safe deposit box, and their eyes hypnotized by desk calculators. I promise you this; You will outlive the bastards.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Robert Anton Wilson Quote

“I’m not an anarchist any longer, because I’ve concluded that anarchism is an impractical ideal. Nowadays, I regard myself as a libertarian. I suppose an anarchist would say, paraphrasing what Marx said about agnostics being “frightened atheists,” that libertarians are simply frightened anarchists. Having just stated the case for the opposition, I will go along and agree with them: yes, I am frightened. I’m a libertarian because I don’t trust the people as much as anarchists do. I want to see government limited as much as possible; I would like to see it reduced back to where it was in Jefferson’s time, or even smaller. But I would not like to see it abolished. I think the average American, if left totally free, would act exactly like Idi Amin. I don’t trust the people any more than I trust the government.” - Robert Anton Wilson

We advocate
[1] guns for those who want them, no guns
forced on those who don't want them (pacfists, Quakers etc.)
[2] drugs for those who want them,
no drugs forced on those who don't want them (Christian Scientists etc.)
[3] an end to Tsarism and a return to constitutional democracy
[4] equal rights for ostriches.

"Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force; like fire, a troublesome servant and a fearful master. Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action."
-- George Washington

A look at new Detroit

via Disinfo

Reality's hidden layers

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

World's 10 Most Mysterious Pictures Ever Taken

10 strange and interesting photos. What do you think? I find the NASA ones pretty damn cool.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Friday, August 2, 2013

Looking At LSD, While Taking LSD

Just got smart to this dude today.  Seems like he's got some pretty interesting things going on.  Plus he lives in San Diego and surfs, so how bad could he be?

and maybe when you're looking at his artwork, if you've got this playing in your earholes it will be some sort of shamanistic/transcendent experience.  Or maybe you just get to hear some cool tunes while looking at cool art.


Thursday, August 1, 2013

A Midsummer Night's Dream

I have always associated Midsummer with the first few days of August, but it is technically a ancient pagan summer solstice celebration, appropriated into St. John's Day among Christians.  Among the rituals is the lighting of bonfires, because it was/is believed that once the sun starts it southward journey again and summer wanes while winter waxes, evil spirits and witches were free again to roam the earth.  The fires were supposed to protect mere mortals from the spirit beings.

"It is at Midsummer that the Holly King, God of the Waning Year, has encountered the Oak King and succeeded in usurping the reign of the year. In Celtic Mythology the Young God withdraws into the Wheel of the Stars and it is here he waits and learn before his rebirth at Winter Solstice. It is the time when Belenus, Belenos - the Sun god, begins to die, fir-branches; Balefires; were kindled to light his downward path, he will return again at the Winter Solstice, when the Yule logs and lit fir-braches will guide His return."

"The passion at Midsummer has escalated from the playfulness of Beltane to a more fervent intensity. Couples who handfasted the year before at Beltane, tend to marry in a more formal handfasting at Midsummer or Lughnasadh. Divination on matters of love are especially powerful Midsummer's eve. In Scandinavian countries, the night before Midsummer, every young girl places a bunch of flowers tied with nine pieces of grass or nine flowers under her pillow, upon which she will sleep and dream of her future husband. In Ireland the young lasses place yarrow under her pillow to dream of her mate.

The moon of Midsummer have a few names one being the Honey Moon, as this is a time when the hives are been rich in honey, which gathered and fermented into a drink known as mead, customarily, drunk at wedding parties. Mead is rumored to be an aphrodisiac; thus we can observe the roots of modern day marriage practices and "honeymoons", in their Pagan soil."

It is from these rituals and myths, among others associated with this holiday, I suppose, that Shakespeare drew inspiration for what is my favorite play of his, "A Midsummer Night's Dream" and the play relies heavily on spirits wandering the earth, meddling in the weddings and love lives of mortals.

One of these spirits, Puck, who is clearly the embodiment of the trickster, is far and away the show stealer.  So, because it is the middle of the summer, I'll leave you with some of my favorite parts of the play involving Puck.  Revel in the language of a true master of the word.

File:Reynolds-Puck.JPGFile:Carl Andersson Puck Midsommarkransen.JPG

 Fairy: Either I mistake your shape and making quite,
Or else you are that shrewd and knavish sprite
Call'd Robin Goodfellow: are not you he
That frights the maidens of the villagery;
Skim milk, and sometimes labour in the quern
And bootless make the breathless housewife churn;
And sometime make the drink to bear no barm;
Mislead night-wanderers, laughing at their harm?
Those that Hobgoblin call you and sweet Puck,
You do their work, and they shall have good luck:
Are not you he?

 PUCK: Thou speak'st aright;
I am that merry wanderer of the night.
I jest to Oberon and make him smile
When I a fat and bean-fed horse beguile,
Neighing in likeness of a filly foal:
And sometime lurk I in a gossip's bowl,
In very likeness of a roasted crab,
And when she drinks, against her lips I bob
And on her wither'd dewlap pour the ale.
The wisest aunt, telling the saddest tale,
Sometime for three-foot stool mistaketh me;
Then slip I from her bum, down topples she,
And 'tailor' cries, and falls into a cough;
And then the whole quire hold their hips and laugh,
And waxen in their mirth and neeze and swear
A merrier hour was never wasted there.
But, room, fairy! here comes Oberon.

(more after the break)

Old Soul with New Wrinkles

Since my last post about the genius that is James Booker, apparently the world has stood up and taken notice.  Although he's never gone out of style for those who love the old New Orleans professors and the musical swamp that is NOLA, there's been somewhat of a revival in interest in the man whom Dr. John has called, "the best black, gay, one-eyed junkie piano genius New Orleans has ever produced” and there is a documentary made about Booker called "Bayou Maharajah: The Tragic Genius of James Booker"


If you get the opportunity, do yourself a favor and check it out, and while you're at it, I also recommend the live album, "Resurrection of the Bayou Maharajah."  Play this clip loud, it'll knock your socks off and then go out and buy the album.