Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Spooky-girls, Sea-monsters

Bloodroot by Adela Leibowitz

Some of these paintings are fun, some are so-so. I like the 06-07 series, specifically The Purple Room, which reminds me very much of the set design and costumes in Ingmar Bergman's Cries and Whispers.

Album Review: Papercuts- Can't Go Back

I have not made a sincere post on the Molly in quite a while and in doing so I wish I could take the time to do so by not producing some minutiae on some awesome book I read, or my trite review of the new Batman movie. Instead I would like to introduce you to a band I had somehow downloaded onto my itunes months ago but have yet to really give them a listen. Papercuts is Jason Robert Quever among other special guests. Quever hails from San Francisco and his 2007 album Can't Go Back delivers pop perfection. Can't Go Back, much like Quever's moniker creates tiny fragments of emotional scars into the listener. There is a certain formulaic matter of song writing going on here, three and a half minute pop/country songs with melodies that tend to stick with you hours after you're finished with the album.

Papercuts records for Gnomosong along with Jana Hunter, Feathers and Vetiver all sort of artists with a similar aesthetic. I'm only hyping this record a year after it came out because I was amazed that I hadn't paid attention to it despite Papercuts name. If you are interested or bored with your current music selection I suggest this beautiful yet simple pop record for what I deem intoxicating summertime listening.

Recommended tracks:
Dear Employee Free download
John Brown

Flying Swings - Old Orchard Beach, Maine
What is your favorite amusement ride?

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Had To Cry Today

It is not often that I am moved to tears by a song, but I was today in Dunkin Donuts over an everything bagel with cream cheese. The song I am referring to is, of course, the fourth track on Scott Walker's solo debut, Scott, which is a cover of the sub-2:00 masterpiece penned by Tim Hardin, "Lady Came From Baltimore":

The lady came from Baltimore, all she wore was lace
She didn't know that I was poor, she never saw my place
Am G F C
I was there to steal her money, to take her rings and run
And then I fell in love with the lady and got away with none

The lady's name was Susan Moore, her daddy read the law
She didn't know that I was poor and lived outside the law
Her daddy said I was a thief and didn't marry her for love
But I was Susan's true belief and married her for love
Am G F C
I was there to steal her money, to take her rings and run
And then I fell in love with the lady and got away with none

The house she lived in had a wall to keep the robbers out
She never stopped to think at all that that's what I'm about
Am G F C
I was there to steal her money, to take her rings and run
And then I fell in love with the lady and got away with none.

Eclipsing the Hardin version released the same year by a great deal, Walker's performance is nothing short of breathtaking. Highly recommended listening.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Summer People, Summer Not

"Summer People" by Ernest Hemingway.

Browsing through a collection of Hemingway short stories for "Ten Indians," I chanced upon the hitherto overlooked (by me) story "Summer People." As chance and luck would have it, "Summer People" is, like "Ten Indians," a Nick Adams story about girls and the manly art of emotional repression.

Lazy summer nights seem to bring out the worst in callow existentialists and young Nick is no exception. Over the course of one gloriously indifferent evening, Nick shows off his diving skills, holds his breath, muses on the sensual possibilities of fucking a mermaid, decides he must be the best swimmer in Michigan, and for a shallow coup de grace screws his friend Odgar's girlfriend in an apple orchard - afterwards they eat fried chicken and pie.

Favorite passages:

"What are we going to do tomorrow?" Odgar said, his voice becoming husky, near to Kate again.
"Oh, hell, let's not talk about tomorrow," Nick said. "Let's talk about my mermaid."

"We're through with your mermaid."

"All right," Nick said. "You and Odgar go and talk. I'm going to think about her."

"You're immoral, Wemedge. You're disgustingly immoral."

"No, I'm not. I'm honest." Then lying with his eyes shut, he said, "Don't bother me. I'm thinking about her."


"Is it good this way?" he said.
"I love it. I love it. I love it. Oh, come, Wemedge. Please come. Come, come. Please, Wemedge. Please, please, Wemedge."
"There it is," Nick said.

He was suddenly conscious of the blanket rough against his bare body.

"Was I bad, Wemedge?" Kate said.

"No, you were good," Nick said. His mind was working very hard and clear. He saw everything very sharp and clear. "I'm hungry," he said

Wonderfully blunt and unadorned, "Summer People" is a deceptively kind portrayal of erotic self-absorption. Indifference, whether feigned or genuine, disappears when Nick immerses himself in the sensual world, returning only when he comes up for air and in an act of authorial benevolence that transcends forgiveness or affection, Hemingway abstains from any judgment or defense.

Recommended for aficionados of summer nights, swimming underwater and the simple eroticism of an e.e. cummings poem.

What the end could look like -

Moose + Sprinklers = Glorious Awkward Mammal Fun!

Oodles of sprinkler fun:

Holy Ground

Badassery, thy name is Peckinpah.

The ante has been upped.

Sally Who?

Best performance by an actress in a supporting role in a film I watched recently: Sally Hawkins.

Despite being given little to do in Woody Allen's Cassandra's Dream but provide a sweet and unwordly counterpoint to Hayley Atwell's sexpot classassin, Ms. Hawkins turns in a lovely, quietly memorable performance.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

"Satan laughing spreads his wings..."

"Angels are partisans not of Good, but of divine creation. The Devil, on the other hand, denies all rational meaning in God's world. World domination, as everyone knows, is divided between demons and angels. But the good of the world does not require the latter to gain precedence over the former; all it needs is a certain equilibrium of power. If there is too much uncontested meaning on earth (the reign of the angels), man collapses under the burden; if the world loses all its meaning (the reign of the demons), life is every bit as impossible." - Milan Kundera

In Milan Kundera's novel The Book of Laughter & Forgetting, he not surprisingly deals much with the idea of laughter and its meaning. According to Kundera, the Devil invented laughter: "Laughter is the province of the Devil. It has a certain malice to it (things have turned out differently from the way they tried to seem), but a certain beneficent relief as well (things are looser than they seemed, we have greater latitude in living with them, their gravity does not oppress us)." In light of this, the Devil is thus both a liberator and a tempter. He is a singularity of abyssal irony, something we all find in ourselves but could never become completely. He both repels and attracts; he is a she and she is an it. As Max Von Sydow reminds us in The Exorcist, "Satan is a liar and a cheat." But does he ever lie about that?

Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight, The Joker, so superbly played by the late Heath Ledger*, is none other than a modern take on this Devil character, i.e. humanity's absolute Other. Unabashedly unified in his chaotic whimsy, he is also lacking the strength of restraint and the power of compassion, the stuff angels are made of. The choice to have The Joker tell two completely different stories about how he got his scars shows how completely inhuman he is; for him, there is no past and no future. His seductive qualities lie in his complete immersion in the moment, in the act of orgasm, of complete and singular fulfillment of desire above all.

Batman, on the other hand, is very human. He needs the rich, kung-fu-chopping Bruce Wayne to exist (as all the imitators make painfully obvious). Furthermore, if Bruce Wayne ceased to e
xist, Batman would surely descend into the world of The Joker. "Absolute power corrupts absolutely." Alfred burning Rachel's note, ensuring that Bruce will never know the truth about himself, has secured Batman's reality as a role and nothing more. While Bruce Wayne's reserves about being Batman are deeply human, his choice to persist as Batman is divine. The twist is his status as an anti-hero, but even this is no more than par for the saviour course; after all, Jesus being crucified was part of God's plan, and his being part-God was just as critical.

To withdraw from Theology and move over to Idealism: Gotham City is nothing less than the jumbled mind of Man**, disconnected from its destructive instincts and irrationally but ignorantly bound to a superficial order of things. In Gotham, you basically have The Joker as Chaos, Batman as Jesus, and People as People in all their near-sighted, vain, but ultimately endearingly graceful glory. Chance is the absolute reality these people must face, and it is their attitudes towards it that define them: The Joker laughs at it and does what he can to master it for his own amusement, Batman gravely looks it in the eye and does what he can to combat its destructive downswings, and People are largely trapped in its ebb and flow. Indeed, The Joker and Batman are apart from Chance while People are caught in its gears, perhaps even constitute it. Within the sphere of Chance, The Joker's anarchic machinations create the necessity*** for Batman, and without either, Gotham wouldn't be Gotham and humans wouldn't be humans.

Bullshite analysis aside, I loved this movie. The performances were explosive and the plot sizzled with relentless excitement. I think Harvey Dent was an extremely interesting sub-plot and I think his necessity to the story is fascinating. In reality, he saves Batman and is the hero Gotham needed, albeit thanks to a white lie. Harvey Dent "falls" because he cannot fathom The Joker; he cannot account for his existence. He naively believes that evil is evil and evil is not him, thus with blind good conscience he makes it his goal to eradicate it. One devastating twist of fate, however, leaves him a shell of a human who, like Anton Chigurh, begins tragically to worship the amorality of Chance in order to quench the often seemingly unquenchable thirst for justice in a world where The Joker not only exists, but thrives. Also, it is probably his cleft chin, but he continually reminded of the Father in Troll 2 (!).

A question for other people who have seen The Dark Knight: Does The Joker intentionally mix up the addresses of where Dent and Rachel are being held or is he mistaken? If it's totally his show as it seems, how did Ramirez enter the fold? Was it a mob set-up that The Joker happened to privy to, or did he author it?

** - I apologize for this sexist lapse. I only use it for rhetorical effect as well as appropriateness. Come on, those German assholes were straight-up misogynists.
*** - I say necessity in terms of Freedom being the ultimate goal of human endeavor. The Joker seems free, but of course he is not, being slave to his whim and endless desire.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

I Forgive You

Fuck due process. In lieu of an investigation, the groundswell of critical acclaim and public goodwill attached to anything Dark Knight has effectively absolved Christian Bale of any wrongdoing in his maternal assault case and even subtly shifted blame to the alleged victim. Mr. Bale has-been-through-a-lot and how dare his mother and sister not only demand money from him but also badmouth his dear sweet wife. Appalling. Only Mr. Bale's heroic sense of honor and self-control kept him from righteously murdering the pair right on the spot.

This whole sad story reminded me of an incident in my own life involving Christian Bale, a mother (my own), and assault (imagined). As a child I was always an outspoken critic of any and all musicals and would confidently denounce any musical (unseen) as complete trash. One day as I sat watching a VHS copy of Newsies for the fiftieth or so time, my mother walked in and casually remarked that it was odd that I enjoyed THAT musical so much. She left me alone and there, on the living room floor, I felt for the first time in my young life the embarrassed shame of the hypocrite exposed. Things have never been the same between us.

Newsies? I finished the movie and though it's probably been more than a decade since I've seen it, I still regard it with the same nostalgic fondness as I do The Rocketeer (check the Richmond Public Library slip - #122 monopolized their copy in the early '90s). In retrospect, Newsies is not only a musical but also a not especially good musical. Even the film's star, Christian Bale, is wryly embarrassed by his role; apparently he signed on to the project before it was a musical and 17 year old actors yearning to be taken seriously aren't proud of singing and dancing in period costume. For all of these flaws, what made Newsies great?
  1. Gang violence - turn of the century newsboys were a violent lot. Who doesn't like a good dance off ending in a throw down street brawl? My first cinematic exposure to brass knuckles being put to use. Disney!
  2. That girl who kinda looks like Jennifer Connelly - lead newsie Jack Kelly runs his game on his best friend's smoking hot sister. Admirable stuff.
  3. Burlesque shows - newsies barely older than me spent their evenings hanging out backstage at racy variety shows where hookers swung around on giant swings over the audience. I sat on the living room floor watching live action musicals.
  4. Cool nicknames - Spot, Crutchy, Boots, Mush, Specs, Dutchy. At the time I was going by "Josh."
  5. Disgustingly catchy tunes - a YouTube comment that fails to cite a source claims that Christian Bale says he still has "Santa Fe" (below) stuck in his head sixteen years later. I feel the same way.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Performance, Androgyny, Orgasm, Death

David Bowie is perhaps most well known for his ability to genre-hop, but to me what is actually most interesting about him is his discernible, but not entirely explicable, continuity. Like Dylan, people constantly try to peg him as this, that, or neither, but in reality, he's an entertainer, and any other insights into who lurks behind the curtain are doomed to fabrication (as is your own life). This does not, however, nullify or erase the fact that these men are devastatingly insightful, both possessing a terrific grasp of irony as well as a grand capacity for manipulation (albeit benign enough).

The following clip is from the 1973 D.A. Pennebaker documentary Ziggy Stardust & The Spiders From Mars. Essentially a very straightforward concert video (as straightforward as the final show on one of the most legendary tours ever can be), Ziggy is a nice counterpoint to Dont Look Back, which shows a rambunctious Dylan alternately reveling in and tiring of being under the lens constantly. Bowie, on the other hand, very calmly sits smoking backstage as his make-up artist meticulously puts on his face. Just about the only quip we get from a placid and focused Bowie is a sharp "You're just a girl, what do you know about make-up," directed at someone named Angie who very briefly appears backstage. Indeed, there is a chanteuse-like calm and gravity to Bowie (the '70s?) in this film that contrasts well with the wit, anxiety, and "boyish impetuosity" (what movie!?) we see Dylan (the '60s?) constantly exuding in Dont Look Back mostly off- and backstage.

Other expository points:
  • Both men look great with a cigarette.
  • Bowie wrote a song about Dylan in 1971. Dylan never reciprocated (unless "Ballad Of A Thin Man" somehow proves that Dylan is as sagacious [and bitter] as he sometimes seems).
  • Dylan's given name was Robert Allen Zimmerman. Bowie's given name was David Robert Jones. Both men (obviously) changed their last names, however Bowie didn't change his until 1966, one year before his first record was to be released on Decca, the reason being he did not want to be mixed up with the Monkee.
SO, this clip is of Bowie performing an English version of Jacques Brel's "La Mort," or as Bowie re-named it, "My Death." Bowie was fond of covering the songs of his peers (1973's raucous Pin-Ups is all covers), but the only one that charted was his jaunty version of the Jagger/Richards song, "Let's Spend The Night Together," which appears on Aladdin Sane (released the same fucking year). THIS cover, however, I think is his most captivating, not simply as a song or cover, but as a performance. And considering the fact that he subsequently announces that night, to the surprise of his band, that it would be the last show they would ever play, it takes on new meaning.

Final point: Performers always like to leave certain lyrics to the audience. Not only does it bring performer and audience together, but it strokes the performer's ego like a lubricated fist or finger. That being said, I think both realities are intensified here at the close of the song, when the audience claims to be that bitch in front of the door behind which lies his death. Just saying.

"The guy is sort of splayed into the windshield."

Bob Novak is, was, and always will be, in actuality, a jackass.

Dream, Dream, Dream

A haunting clip from Ingmar Bergman's Hour of the Wolf:

Can anyone think of another director or specific film that focuses on dream sequences. I've been poking around but there's a lot of mediocre dream movies and literature to sift through.

Oh, Please

John McCain tells Maryland Republicans "I know how to win wars." Which ones? I'm sure we're all very grateful for Mr. McCain's service over the years but this is like Sergio Garcia saying "I know how to win majors*."

*for non golf fans, Sergio Garcia is a Spanish golfer who despite playing in many majors over the years - and acquitting himself exceptionally well in several - has never actually won one.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Permanent Truth is Passe

I rarely if ever read The Wall Street Journal but I thought that today's Why Jesse Jackson Hates Obama was an interesting editorial.

In unrelated news, I enjoy this painting by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner.

Panama Girls, 1910

Monday, July 21, 2008


Television is a totally wasted resource.

In other news, Al Gore dares all the assholes in the world to stop being assholes: What A Bloody Communist

Strange Resolution

I'm sure you've been up all night wondering what happened with the alleged LSD cookie fiasco. Well, here's the whole bizarre story.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

200 Days on the Molly Aida

In commemoration of a dubiously important milestone (our 200th post), here is a clip of Fitzcarraldo's infamous dinner aboard the Molly Aida for which our lovely little blog is named.

Much appreciation to all the posters, readers, and posterreaders who make Dinner on the Molly so swell.

Crazy Love

***Major Dark Knight plot spoilers in this post - fair warning***

Some quick thoughts on The Dark Knight:

A morbid pall has settled over Gotham City. Death, both literal and figurative, is everywhere in The Dark Knight and in a twisted bit of irony, the man who emerges as the city's most ruthless killer is also its most vibrant citizen. Heath Ledger's Joker, in juxtaposition to Bale's ascetic vigilante, is relentlessly, breathtakingly, unapologetically alive.

Whereas Bruce Wayne hides his humanity behind Batman's cowl and hoarse whisper, the Joker gleefully accentuates his hideous Chelsea grin with garish make-up, and enthusiastically re-imagines the origin of his scars at every opportunity. In a city where both heroes and villains are studiously discreet, the Joker wears his heart on his sleeve and wonders aloud why no one else has the courage to do the same.

"It's simple - kill the Batman," the Joker advises Gotham's criminal elite when they complain. Remove the obstacle that stands between you and your goal. Advance confidently in the direction of your dreams. Be all you can be. He not busy being born is busy dying....

And poor Bruce Wayne, more than any mobster, he wants Batman gone forever.

Gotham does not need Bruce Wayne the man, only Batman the hero and when the rise of Harvey Dent offers him a way out, Wayne tries to shift the burden of incorruptibly onto Dent's shoulders. As long as Dent is acting as Gotham's white knight, Wayne thinks he is free to make the choice that Batman never could: he can choose his happiness over that of others. It is a completely selfish, wonderfully human act. But after Rachel's murder leaves Dent shattered, Wayne dons his costume and Batman retakes his place as Gotham's savior. This time, freed of his hopes for normalcy, he is - like the Joker - wholly himself.

Absolutes of any kind are kindred spirits and from the other end of the moral spectrum the Joker recognizes the Batman as his match. Both are incorruptible in their own way. Alone with Batman, the Joker earnestly reveals himself to his rival. "I don't want to kill you," and almost tenderly, "you complete me." Coming from Gotham's louche jester this should be another taunting joke, but instead it resonates as an admission of vulnerability and desire - something that Bruce Wayne, burdened by the demands of his alter ego, was never able to sincerely make to anyone.

In the end, it isn't honor or justice that prevents Batman from killing the Joker, but the private admission that in the Joker he sees what he always wished he could have been himself: an idealist who doesn't need a mask.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Watching the World Burn

By this point anything you read about The Dark Knight is bound to be full of spoilers, but if you haven't seen Christopher Nolan's beautiful thriller yet and are looking for some solid, spoiler free previews to whet your appetite, I recommend David M. Halbfinger's March 9 article "Batman's Burden."

A few hours removed from my first viewing, I think that a second viewing might be in order before I write a full review. Suffice to say that Nolan's film is an impressive and ambitious addition to not only the comic book film pantheon but to the crime genre in general - a tightly woven, scarily realistic morality play about the role of chaos in our fair play obsessed culture.

Go see it and we can all talk about it....

Thursday, July 17, 2008


Twinkling goes the ice cream truck
as it travels its distance
of destitute sidewalks,
bearing its freezing escape of delicious
to children whose brows are wet with persistence
and sportly insistence,
whose force is effective in more ways than one
(or less ways than none,
depends on reactions).

"Get what you want, get what you like."

So sings the twinkling, brighter than bright.
But the definite shadow of hunger is greed,
And what you pay for is what you receive.

"What you pay for is what you receive."

So even as hospitals housing misfortune
baffle the howl
the wailing despair,
as midnight taxi cabs jostling, cruising,
searching for desperately feminine fare,
tomorrow is yet still today in disguise
and later is now, but only in time.

"Later is now, but only in time."

Walking past bonekids with cones of all sizes,
I realize I'm limping, shot right in the foot.
I'm told by my head that the bullet was fired
a few lines ago
by a brain embarassed.

A brain embarassed.
Whose? I can't say. Mine, I suppose.
But who is to say if it's mine or no
when I may be nothing but one of its folds?

Feeling my frozenly creamy interior
beginning to ooze out my whistling foot,
I fear my discovery will unearth a truth
hidden deep in the depths of my solitude's roots.
Buried below
>>>> holy
>>>>>>> chord
>>>>>>>>>> changes,
timbres embracing my yearning and pacing
and stumbling running on one-and-a-half legs,
I hobble ahead past ignorant eyes,
blindering mouths,
pastings on faces just lost in escaping,

Now is the time for desire to die.
Now is the time for desire to die.

Wrapped in a tunic of self-doubting spite,
I tunelessly sing back to the twinkling:

"No nothing is free in this world but me.
Nothing is free, nothing but me."

So twinkling goes the ice cream truck
as it travels its distance
of destitute sidewalks,
bearing its freezing escape of delicious
to children whose brows are wet with persistence...

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Burn After Reading Trailer

New Coen brothers movie next fall.

Before we start ...

Browsing through an old notebook (early summer 07) I discovered some scrawled, early morning notes on what I consider to be the finest dream I've ever had:

I'm sitting in the lobby of a college dormitory. It's the first day of fall semester and students are checking in, moving boxes, nervously getting acquainted. I'm sitting with a friend (who?) watching the freshman and discussing which new friendships and relationships will last and which are destined to be forgotten by mid-semester.

The whole scene makes me very, very sad and I wander off by myself and sit on the tile floor. I continue watching the students move in and I notice a girl sitting on the opposite side of the lobby.

Just sitting. All moved in? Bored?

Long, unruly brown hair hides her face. I can only see her mouth; she half smiles and waves me over. I get up and walk towards her. We're both standing now and I reach up to touch her face. She stops my hand but keeps smiling (same half smile).

Then she says, "before we start, touch my lips and whisper 'cigarette'"

A Better Class of Gossip Rag?

In "H-Bloo on A-Rod,"The New Yorker tries to make sense of the Alex Rodriguez/Madonna Kabbalah brainwashing saga, and solicits commentary from several prominent Jewish scholars:

“The true Kabbalists, they fasted, and I think baseball players need their carbs,” he said, and added that Rodriguez’s bronzed complexion seemed incompatible with intense Aramaic study. “If you’re a Kabbalist, you really have no time for the sun.”

Trenchant social analysis or woefully amateurish celebrity reporting? I think the latter. I was impressed with the concept of "soul-mate poaching" but how can you write an A-Rod/Madonna article (even a semi-satirical one) without using the term "affair of the heart?"

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Why the fuck was the fucking movie fucking made?!?!?!?

One Day Late

Happy belated Bastille Day. This is vaguely relevant:

Love the spinning chairs.

Road Review: East-West Road

During the planning phase for a series of recent trips to southeastern Vermont, I consulted a map and discovered that, given the labyrinthine, semi-paved nature of the Vermont highway system, my navigational options were considerable. The obvious route, and the one recommended to me by my destination, was straight up Rt. 30/West River Rd. Readily accessible via other major highways and clearly marked in thick red crimson on the map, Rt. 30 seemed to promise smooth, expedient, riverside travel. My other main options were to stay to the eastern shore of the river on Rice Farm/Quarry Rd. or aim a little higher north and cut across on the thin red line of the practically named East-West Rd.

Intimidated by the jumble of side roads at the beginning of Rice Farm Rd., I chose the more direct looking East-West Rd and found little cause to regret my decision. For five, winding, reasonably well-paved miles, East-West provided a relaxing break from highway travel. With the specter of Interstate 91 and its monotonous vistas looming only a few miles to the east, I was able to appreciate the intimate confines of East-West Rd. While certainly not a scenic route, the heavily wooded country side imparts a cozy feel to the road and as I careened around the blind corners and down the steep grade, I was comforted by the thought that should I crash, I would at least die in the shade.

Unencumbered by the distractions of decent radio reception and the need to pay attention to anything beyond the immediate curves of the road, I thoroughly enjoyed my time on the East-West Rd. Given heavier traffic, the narrow lanes would have been cause for some anxiety but during a few trips to and fro on the East-West Rd., I only saw a handful of other vehicles and the occasional cyclist. The twisting turns and limited visibility mandated slow travel and the unexpected covered bridge marking the western end of the road left me with the sensation that I had just traveled through a tunnel.

While I wouldn't recommend East-West Rd. to anyone seeking an expedient route through southeastern Vermont, it's a charming little road of the type that should be driven at least occasionally, if only to break up the monotony of the region's less personable thoroughfares.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Class or Desperation?

McCain rejects Obama attack on immigration

"McCain rejected the organizers' attempts to cut off audience questioning of him, at one point tossing his microphone to a man so he could pose his query."

Sign of desperation in the face of inevitable failure or daring act of democratic compassion?

Dark Knight on Friday

Stomachaches and nervous dreams.

Is The Dark Knight really The Godfather II of comic book films? Was Heath Ledger's E! True Hollywood Story right - was he the finest actor of his generation? Will Maggie Gyllenhaal make me forget the dull horror of Katie Holmes's Rachel Dawes? Will I find my free small soda coupon in time for this Friday?

I broke down and watched the first six minute teaser - just to see if it was the same as the first few minutes I saw in my dream right before I went blind and had to leave the theater. It wasn't.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

10 Things I Do Every Day by Ted Berrigan

wake up
smoke pot
see the cat
love my wife
think of Frank

eat lunch
make noises
sing songs
go out
dig the streets

go home for dinner
read the Post
make pee-pee
two kids

read books
see my friends
get pissed-off
have a Pepsi

Red Shift by Ted Berrigan

Here I am at 8:08 p.m. indefinable ample rhythmic frame
The air is biting, February, fierce arabesques
on the way to tree in winter streetscape
I drink some American poison liquid air which bubbles
and smoke to have character and to lean
In. The streets look for Allen, Frank, or me, Allen
is a movie, Frank disappearing in the air, it's
Heavy with that lightness, heavy on me, I heave
through it, them, as
The Calvados is being sipped on Long island now
twenty years almost ago, and the man smoking
Is looking at the smilingly attentive woman, & telling.
Who would have thought that I'd be here, nothing
wrapped up, nothing buried, everything
Love, children, hundreds of them, money, marriage-
ethics, a politics of grace,
Up in the air, swirling, burning even or still, now
more than ever before?
Not that practically a boy, serious in corduroy car coat
eyes penetrating the winter twilight at 6th
& Bowery in 1961. Not that pretty girl, nineteen, who was
going to have to go, careening into middle-age so,
To burn, & to burn more fiercely than even she could imagine
so to go. Not that painter who from very first meeting
I would never & never will leave alone until we both vanish
into the thin air we signed up for & so demanded
To breathe & who will never leave me, not for sex, nor politics
nor even for stupid permanent estrangement which is
Only our human lot & means nothing. No, not him.
There's a song, "California Dreaming", but no, I won't do that
I am 43. When will I die? I will never die, I will live
To be 110, & I will never go away, & you will never escape from me
who am always & only a ghost, despite this frame, Spirit
Who lives only to nag.
I'm only pronouns, & I am all of them, & I didn't ask for this
You did
I came into your life to change it & it did so & now nothing
will ever change
That, and that's that.
Alone & crowded, unhappy fate, nevertheless
I slip softly into the air
The world's furious song flows through my costume.

"Hell is other people."

I emailed our first newsletter today, and I received a nice reply:
Hi Mike,

Thanks for sending this release my way but it doesn't relate to Trends Magazine's content in any way.


Jenna Lee Dillon
Trends Magazine

This prompted me to investigate her publication further.

I found their website.

"Trends reaches the people who matter."

Do YOU matter???


I think this article should be more descriptive.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Paper-Doll Pop Star

Making fashion pop/pop fashion.

On roule à 160 - Mareva Galanter

"The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side"
-Hunter S. Thompson

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

East Is West and West Is East

Because the company I work for imports its products from China, the Chinese economy is of utmost interest to us.
Incidentally, I've become very familiar with its economy of words, better known as Chinglish.
Some examples:

Here is an article that makes some sense of this phenomenon:

deformed man lavatory

The Olympics are upon us. Brush up on your Chinglish.

Monday, July 7, 2008

"I'll sing a song for you, that's what I'm here to do, to sing for you"

So we all fell in love with Charlotte when we saw Science of Sleep. Does this bolster or hinder that love?

A few things to consider:
1. She didn't write the song. It was written by the Air, Neil Hannon, and Jarvis Cocker.
2. Does her strangely sincere lip-syncing make the song or take away from it?
3. The album it's on is called 5:55.
4. Her dad is a genius.
That's all. Thoughts?

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Choreography Not Included

Holy gallic amateur dance party.

Sylvie Vartan - Garde moi dans ta poche 1965

Saturday, July 5, 2008

So, You Wanna Be Hardcore?

Check out "A Blaze in the North American Sky" by Brandon Stosuy (Stereogum, Pitchfork) in the July/August issue of The Believer. Stosuy provides a brief retrospective on the murder and arson tainted Norwegian black metal scene, explores the distinction between black and death metal, and muses on the sociological importance of the US black metal scene. Compelling stuff.

Or check out this little radio interview.

"We refuse to comment on details but let's just say that we are not normal people."

Disturbing stuff. I'm sticking with R&B.

Hidden Treasure has an amazing online archive of classic comics covers - thousands of titles in horror, romance, sci-fi, superhero and beyond. I found some choice selections in House of Mystery/Secrets, Crime SuspenStories, and Pulp.

A Dream of Human Flight

For years I've had recurring dreams in which I abruptly fall and wake up. Usually the fall is only a few feet, a missed step off a curb or stair, and I'm grateful that I wake up before I hit the ground. Occasionally, however, I find myself at a much greater height, often deliberately stepping out into space from a cliff or building and since the result is always the same as the more modest falls, I find these to be my most disappointing dreams; a chance for flight (imagined) lost.

Recently I had my first successful dream of flight. I had attended a wake (whose I forget) and as my sister was taking the death especially hard, I was asked to bring her home and keep an eye on her. We returned to my parent's home, which had been transformed in the dream from a modest two story farmhouse into a swank, metropolitan high rise penthouse. My distraught sister went to sleep on a couch and I retired to the master suite.

At some point during the night I heard scratching and discovered that my parents' dog and cat had both gotten trapped in my room and were trying to get back out. I got up to open the door and discovered that the cat had shit on the floor. Too late. Angrily, I let the animals out, checked on my sister and began to clean up the cat's mess. I carried the cat shit to the master bathroom to flush it away and was astounded to find that the bathroom opened into a massive room with floor to ceiling glass windows on all sides overlooking the town (the setting seems to have been downtown Dover, NH but it had been altered into a bustling metropolis).

There was enough space in the room to run at full speed for some distance and I amused myself by running back and forth before I became self-conscious that someone might be watching me through the windows. I stopped and realized my mother was there and I asked if the glass was tinted. She explained that no, the glass wasn't tinted but that we were too high up for anyone to see. An argument ensued about whether or not we were visible and to prove my point, I walked to a window and without pausing, calmly stepped out into the air.

At this point I fully expected to, as usual, drop a few feet and then wake up, heart pounding. However, this time I fell for several seconds before I gradually slowed and then began to rise. My heart now pounding from excitement, I realized that I was effortlessly, inexplicably, most certainly flying. Argument about tinted glass forgotten, I soared over downtown, changing altitude and speed at will, buzzing a few feet off the ground and then rocketing up to hover several hundred feet above the city. Conditioned by years of film and fantasy, flight was everything I had hoped for and imagined.

Eventually, I returned to the ground where I was obliged to give a press conference. I of course said all the right things, blithely denying any assertions that I was special and assuring the audience that yes, I was prepared to elude the Venus rockets that had been engineered specifically to seek me out and pierce my superhuman heart (not sure when that came up).

"Coach keeps me ready, one in twenty of those things is gonna get you - even me - and you just have to be prepared. I'm not worried."

3:07 am. I woke up. Got a class of water, jotted down some notes, then, exhausted, fell asleep for six dreamless hours.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Ladytron at the Paradise

I went to see Ladytron Monday night (June 30th). It was amazing. Unfortunately I spent $75 on Red Bulls and Vodka so I could dance and possibly get a heart attack. They are currently touring on their new albulm entitled Velocifro. This Liverpoool based electronica band is simply amazing (if your are in the mood to dance and shit). Fortunately enough my friend Amanda bought me a ticket. Phil Chaney (another good friend of mine) lives a few blocks away from Commonwealth Avenue. I was able to sneak him into the concert. The night ended with me asleep in the back of my Mother's Chrysler 300. I advise all of you to take a listen to this band. They have been around for a while. I highly reccomend the album The Witching Hour, it is absoulutely fabulous. Great show, great acoustics. The Paradise is possibly the cleanest club in all of Boston. I love the Middle East(Cambridge), but it is a dive. Give them a listen.

Smoothies and Jeremy Davies

Being both a finicky and a reluctant eater, most of my diet choices are based on either convenience or caprice. My recent relocation has taken me out of walking distance from my preferred burrito and pizza establishments and I've had to adjust accordingly. A winter infatuation with fruit cups paved the way for the reintroduction of fresh and frozen fruit into my life and combined with sudden access to a blender and the urge to eat as many bananas as I can before the bananapocalypse I now take at least one meal a day in smoothie form.

Semi-logical jump: I just wrapped up the fourth season of Lost, which is set on a tropical fruit filled island and guest stars oft gaunt actor Jeremy Davies as physicist Daniel Faraday (left, in Rescue Dawn). I have mixed feelings about Lost after the stellar first two seasons were followed by a flaccid third but Davies was a welcome addition to the cast and brought some much needed energy to season four.

Does Davies have the magic touch? A quick glance at his recent filmography - littered with choice roles in films such as Rescue Dawn, Dogville, and Secretary - seems to suggest that he does. Upon closer scrutiny, even Davies' roles in clunkers like Saving Private Ryan and Million Dollar Hotel provided watchable moments in otherwise iffy films.

"This Davies kid is money. I'm telling you. The numbers don't lie!"

Davies never garners any awards attention or makes any publications' lists of best/sexiest/banged most B-list starlets but is it possible that his presence on screen elevates whatever project he's currently involved with? I wish someone would come up with a way to gauge actor efficiency in much the same way that Hollinger's PER system offers statistical insight into a basketball player's actual value to their team.

Casting directors seem to be a subjective bunch who rely heavily on chance and instinct but I like to imagine them sitting around like GMs in the war room, pounding coffee by the gallon, scrawling on marker boards and pointing to the irrefutable statistical evidence that Jeremy Davies' arsenal of brooding glances and physical tics guarantees big time results no matter the size of the screen.