Sunday, November 29, 2020

Sunday Papers: Franz Kafka

“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet."

On the turntable:  McCoy Tyner, "Atlantis"

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Oh, the Places You Won't Go!

I do not miss the tourist hordes,

Don't miss the way their voices roar

I do miss them with their cases

I do not miss them filling spaces

Things are so much quieter today

I do not miss them at all I say!

On the turntable:  Grateful Dead, "Trouper’s Club, Los Angeles, 3/25/66 "

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Sunday Papers: Ernest Hemingway

"A continent ages quickly once we come. The natives live in harmony with it. But the foreigner destroys, cuts down the trees, drains the water, so that the water supply is altered, and in a short time the soil, once the sod is turned under, is cropped out and, next, it starts to blow away as it has blown away in every old country. [...] The earth gets tired of being exploited."

On the turntable:  Miles Davis, "Live in New York"

Thursday, November 19, 2020




Beneath a slate gray sky,
Trees flaunt their colors 
As if in defiance.

Heaven. Earth. Man.
Towering ikebana,
In a trio of cedars
On the turntable: Grateful Dead, "1973-11-11Winterland"

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

The Imbibing Bibliophile



The Imbibing Bibliophile has been a feature here for the past four years, where I have paired drinks with the books I was reading at the time.  Upon reaching the 100th post, I decided to give the series its own home.  All the old posts have been copied over, and the count has continued (albeit slowly in this year of the virus.)


Please follow the link here at The Imbibing Bibliophile.

On the turntable:  Jimi Hendrix, "Baggy's Rehearsal Sessions"

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Sunday Papers: P.L (?)

"Art is a transfer of intimacy."

On the turntable:  Mount Eerie, "Singers" 

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Twenty-four shames a Second


I used this idle year to enroll myself in autodidactic film school.  As I cycle chronologically through films and directors, it dawns on me that the history of cinema is like childhood.  First you see, then you speak. 

It is obvious too why (with a few notable exceptions), the Hollywood film is a dead medium.  I've often felt that film as art began to spiral in the late 1970s.  Jaws created the blockbuster, and Star Wars was an exercise in developing tie-in merchandise rather than in writing good dialogue.  Then Heaven's Gate destroyed forever the director as auteur.  The freedom that filmmakers had been given in the late '60s was taken away, with the money men now making creative decisions sans any sort of creativity.  

The history of film is one of generational innovation.  First was film itself, then in the 1930s came sound.  Color followed in the '50s, then the freewheeling storytelling and technique of the '70s.  Digital animation in the 1990s revolutionized (and in my opinion dumbed down) the presentation of image.  

And since then?  Nothing.  We skipped a cycle about a decade ago, and are meant to be satisfied with a rehash of anniversary reissues (with the usual cosmetic surgery of improved definition and sound),  as a palate cleanse after the junk food violence that is supposed to entertain us. 

Roll credits.


On the turntable:  Ennio Morricone, "The Best of Ennio Morricone"      


Sunday, November 08, 2020

Sunday Papers: Oscar Wilde

"America is the only country that went from barbarism to decadence without civilization in between."
On the turntable:  The Mountain Goats, "Heretic Pride"


Wednesday, November 04, 2020

Faster than the Speed of Thought


Technology is moving to quickly for the inevitable changes in human ethics.  Historically large technological changes brought about an accompanying shift in human consciousness.  Technology is accelerating the rate of information to the point that we are now choking on it.  Forget about ethics then, we no longer have the time in which to process things, to just take an idea and sit and think about it.  Before you can make an informed decision, you're being led to the next, and the next. No wonder the world is so shallow.  Nothing seems fully thought out anymore.      


On the turntable:  Laibach, "The Satanic Rock Opera"


Sunday, November 01, 2020

Sunday Papers: Norman Mailer

"Politics quarantines one from history; most of the people who nourish themselves in the political life are in the game not to make history but to be diverted from the history which is being made."

On the turntable: Jimi Hendrix, "1969-06-22 Newport Pop Festival"