Thursday, February 21, 2008

Piaf exposition

"Life stories do not make neat dramatic packages. They tend to meander, digress and accelerate in fits and starts while making little sense - at least the kind of sense that can be gracefully compressed into two hours of screen time." (Sandra Hall, Reviewer; The Sydney Morning Herald, July 7, 2007)

shoot me shoot me again shoot me my pain is facile, gregarious, musical

kill my pain kill my someone lost my open wounded voice

please destroy this tambourine that shakes my soul

first listen to this combination of pleading and exuberant rally

fill your empty heart with vibrations eminating from my broken life

like thunder, like green mountain gales and rainy streets

like barstool orgasms and filet mignon blood running on a white plate

like craziness and wholeness and blessed ruin tamping the powder into the canon

explosions you can't understand that blow your lonely waif of sin to hell and back again

pills and liquor and virtue lost inside this broken vessel

put to song like noble soaring perfect brave soldiers gone to die

Monday, February 11, 2008

Oranges film wrangle

"‘That was the day I stopped believing in the wild ardour of things. Perhaps in love … the love in books and films … that tells us to abandon our lives and plans all for one brief touch of Venus… The world just seems too fragile a place for it … Perhaps it’s just we who are too fragile.’

This is the wife talking in Todd Haynes’ Far from Heaven (2002), (a reworking of Douglas Sirk’s All that Heaven Allows, 1955), to her black gardener with whom a tender forbidden love is developing, as her husband descends into a hell of homosexual guilt. Haynes stays with Sirk’s post-war New England suburbia, and it seems a delicious perversity that at a time of almost unlimited technical and narrative possibility he’s chosen to work within this tight 1950s’ frame. The film is artificial and exultant, but so cruelly truthful it made me feel sick and afraid for three days. It’s completely airless. The décor in the family home is so dominating that the place starts to look like a prison in which the husband and son’s lives are shaped by the furniture. Watching the confused prejudices, aspirations and ludicrous taboos and hypocrisies is equivalent to listening to a long, bad joke. The auburns and oranges, the wife’s flame hair and the autumn leaves, produce an over-heated nostalgia, which becomes sickeningly suffocating. No amount of gorgeous hue can dispel the sadness of observing recurrent, wilful human error." (Rebecca Warren; frieze magazine, Issue 103 November-December 2006)

shattered glass, phone calls burning out over wireless connections, blood flowing from my arm into the vile for examination, my first ekg, an hour huddled in the closet after hearing gunshots at 2am in lebam, mortal sin vs mortality sincerity, an eclipse orphaned off to write its hangnail memoirs on the drip of moonlight fallen down her stairs, puffy perch fried deep in gras englais, villian cooper tire burns in the finer details of the photograph, pluralism in rural america, evey's hot turkey sandwich with stuffing and gravy, millstones throw me into the swollen river of time, graduates fill their pencil shavings with floating mantles of recognition.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Hunter says it all

from dailykos:

The Wonderful World of Cheney
by Hunter
Fri Feb 08, 2008 at 01:55:03 PM PST
Cheney spoke yesterday at CPAC, the conference for people for whom reality is just an illusion foisted upon them by a cold and liberal universe. (The universe, you see, is full of dark matter called Librons, which in addition to keeping the universe from flying apart like Ann Coulter in front of a television camera, have the unfortunate side effect of inverting perceptions of reality for all but the most trained Randian observers. Oh, and Scientologists.) I'm supposed to say, at this point, something like "you can't make this up", but of course you can make this stuff up. It's easy to make it up. That's the whole point.
Some highlights...

"As conservatives, we believe in a government that takes up a smaller share of the national income, that treats tax dollars with respect and restraint. And we believe in a government that keeps to its limits under the Constitution, never expanding beyond the consent of the governed. "
And then, he farted candy and rainbows. And all the little woodland creatures came out from under the floorboards to help sew him a magnificent new dress for the ball.

"The United States is a country that takes human rights seriously. We do not torture -- it's against our laws and against our values. We're proud of our country and what it stands for. [...]
America is a fair and a decent country. (Applause.) President Bush has made it clear, both publicly and privately, that our duty to uphold the laws and standards of this nation admit no exceptions in wartime. As he put it, "We are in a fight for our principles, and our first responsibility is, live by them."

And at that point, the Constitution Fairy sprinkled her magic Constitution dust over the land, and all the tapes of the CIA torturing prisoners magically erased themselves, and the waterboarded detainees became un-waterboarded, and the vast program of illegal domestic espionage -- so critical to our national security that President George Constitution Bush has threatened to veto all FISA legislation, for all time, unless everyone involved gets retroactive amnesty for their illegal acts -- suddenly became Constitutional.

"To prevail in the long run, we have to remove the conditions that inspire such blind, prideful hatred that drove 19 men to get into airplanes and come kill us. And so the President made the decision: We wouldn't just remove the Taliban and Saddam Hussein and let other dictators rise in their place."

Because one of the lesser known Articles of the Constitution is that no mention of 9/11 by an administration official may take place without a possibly hallucinatory-drug-induced conflation of it and Saddam Hussein. And Shrek. Shrek was also there.

I like it. Reality as practiced by a man who can't tell the difference between a grown man standing next to him and a tiny, barely-flight-capable bird. It's not so much a CPAC speech as it is "NAMBLA for the mind." It's a comic book speech, delivered by a comic book man to a comic book audience. Cheney doesn't believe in merely denying reality, he believes in pinning it down, attaching electrodes to it, then just clubbing it to death for fun.

The thing is, it'd be easy to ascribe behavior like this to mental illness, presuming he really believes any of the things he says. But it's not clear he does. In all likelihood, he knows fully well how ridiculous it all sounds, but in an audience hand-picked for their willingness to accept any premise, no matter how ridiculous, in order to feel good about their own bigotries, nobody will ever call him out on it.

It's interesting, because once again one would think it would be a key component of rational public discourse for people to, indeed, call him out on his happy, camouflage-colored delusions. But it's somehow off-limits, in the press, to point out when a public official is an unmitigated, reality-sodomizing liar. Haircuts and pantsuits: fair game. Pointing out that "a smaller share of the national income" means "a larger share", that "restrained" spending means "more" spending, that "keeping to the limits of the Constitution" means breaking those limits, that "no torture" means "torture", and that "9/11" means anything else he wants it to mean at any moment in time: pointing those things out are uncouth activities to be delegated to people like Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, Keith Olbermann, and a handful of crazy, uncivilized blogs.

And we're reduced to just making fun of it, because really -- what else are you going to do? How do you refute something that's self-refuting?

Go figure.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Nurturance in technicolor

you scratched a line into those burning sands
in your hands the line is echoed, as you well know
their suffering, invisible to you
is suffering no less and in time will show
your version of reality we all witness in silence
to stoke your ego trip down rusty rails
apologies for feeding that fire are given now
this song in color wheel is churning compassion
how left behind my windows carve the scene
eliptical in nature, coming around, ali is dancing
telling all is future, now and past
letting light contain this essential movement
i knew you then i know you now and yet
the distance will be vast and wild, and that is an improvement

"Differentiation is the process of becoming distinct or unique. It’s about finding a niche in which you can thrive different from the competition’s niche.

It’s the same process businesspeople know so well: If three restaurants open in the same small town, each has to specialize in order to survive. One advertises Mexican cuisine. Another becomes known for preparing seafood. A third features omelets.

Your kids have to learn to differentiate in just the same way. Some combination of built-in strengths and praise and support leads each to discover a way to shine uneclipsed by a sister’s or a brother’s success." (Dr. Benjamin Garber)