Sunday, July 31, 2005

sorry, forbesie...

...but while I think your Best of the Web (Blogs That Matter) issue has done its homework in the Literary category (including favorites Blog of a Bookslut, Maud Newton, and The Elegant Variation), the Music category is just plain ol' weak.

While I'm no Forbes (believe me - ask my bank account), I'm going to give my own nod to the hard-working folks at the right under Music (including Brooklyn Vegan who was kind enough to call attention to the Escapegrace mix posts last week) and say thanks.

These articles in the Chicago Tribune and The Boston Globe are better references to some of the excellent mp3 blogs out there.

not so down low

I had my first celebrity sighting yesterday. (I'm not counting seeing Joseph Marcell - who's listed as "Geoffrey Butler" on the IMDB entry for The Prince of Bel-Air. Could that possibly have been his character's name?) As I was shopping for ink and CD-Rs at Office Depot, I was witness to Joaquin Phoenix (soon to be Johnny Cash in Walk the Line) getting sort of freaky with his blonde companion in an office chair parked in the front of the store. Hmm...discreet.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

literary stallion

Slate argues that Owen Wilson may be the ink in Wes Anderson's pen.

Owen Wilson has always been taken lightly. The shaggy blond hair, the slightly dazed stare, and his careless, surfer-dude mien make him easy to underestimate, both in terms of acting talent and brains. Yet, there's something wolfish about Wilson, a sharp-edged intelligence gleaming underneath the chilled-out Texas veneer.

Friday, July 29, 2005

go ask ogre

Jolene Siana appears tonight at Ghetto Gloss to promote her book, Go Ask Ogre: Letters from a Deathrock Cutter, a collection of letters she wrote over the course of three teenage years to the front man for Skinny Puppy.

it was a dark and stormy night

The annual Bulwer-Lytton prizes for literary parody (i.e. bad writing) are out. And the winner is...

As he stared at her ample bosom, he daydreamed of the dual Stromberg carburetors in his vintage Triumph Spitfire, highly functional yet pleasingly formed, perched prominently on top of the intake manifold, aching for experienced hands, the small knurled caps of the oil dampeners begging to be inspected and adjusted as described in chapter seven of the shop manual.

Dan McKay
Fargo, ND

Winners of other categories include Bryan Semrow (Oshkosh, WI) for Adventure:

Captain Burton stood at the bow of his massive sailing ship, his weathered face resembling improperly cured leather that wouldn't even be used to make a coat or something.

Shelby Leung (Australia) for Children's Lit:

The woods were all a-twitter with rumors that the Seven Dwarves were planning a live reunion after their attempted solo careers had dismally sputtered into Z-list oblivion and it was all just a matter of meeting a ten-page list of outlandish demands (including 700-threadcount Egyptian cotton bedsheets, lots of white lilies and a separate trailer for the magic talking mirror) to get the Princess Formerly Known As Snow White on board.

Jay Dardenne (Baton Rouge, LA) for Vile Puns:

Falcon was her name and she was quite the bird of prey, sashaying past her adolescent admirers from one anchor store to another, past the kiosks where earrings longed to lie upon her lobes and sunglasses hoped to nestle on her nose, seemingly the beginning of a beautiful friendship with whomsoever caught the eye of the mall tease, Falcon.

Other categories include Historical Fiction, Romance, Purple Prose, Western, Detective, Fantasy Fiction, and Bulwer-Lytton's famous line: It was a dark and stormy night...

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

this week's netflix

Premonition a.k.a. Yogen: This creepy Japanese film is based on the anime classic Kyofu Shinbun ("Newspaper of Terror"), which gives you a general feel for the plot. A man sees an article in a newspaper of his daughter's death in a car accident minutes before it happens. He is then plagued by newspaper premonitions (a boogeyman newspaper appears out of nowhere) of other larger-scale deaths. Apparently, he is not alone in having this particular affliction, and video footage discovered of another victim results in some of the more disturbing, and typically Japanese horror-style, images. While I was watching this film, the neighbors were throwing a gigantic house party, so I was thankful for the subtitles.

Iris: Now, this is a horror movie. Based on biographies of English writer Iris Murdoch, the film alternates between Kate Winslet as iconoclastic young Iris and Judi Dench as the older Iris, dying a slow, painful death from Alzheimer's. Please, please let this not be my fate. It is a well-acted film, and it made me look forward to director Richard Eyre's adaptation of Notes on a Scandal (based on Zoe Heller's book published in the U.S. as What Was She Thinking?), also starring Judi Dench and Cate Blanchett.

Summer TV sucks, so I've turned to Netflix for my boob tube fix. (It wouldn't be fair if I didn't admit my growing penchant for three summer shows: The Cut, Rock Star: INXS, and The Inside, featuring crazy gore and Katie Finneran as the best wise-cracking dame the small screen has seen for some time. She even smokes.)

Dead Like Me, Pilot Episode: I liked this quirky show about a sullen teen who is killed by a toiletseat-meteor and becomes a grim reaper, but how do I really know if all the first disc gave me was the pilot? C'mon, people.

Carnivale, Season 1, Episodes 1 & 2: Slightly supernatural goings-on and old-time religion in 1930s California? Why didn't anyone tell me? This is like the fun, outlandish TV version of my dissertation. Awesome.

Six Feet Under, Season 1, Episodes 1-3: I can't believe it took me this long to get on the SFU bandwagon, but I'm perched on the hay with my feet swinging in the breeze. So far, so good. I even like Peter Krause, which I didn't think was possible after We Don't Live Here Anymore.

dance me in

"Dance Me In" from the Sons & Daughters' album Repulsion Box just played on the radio and rocked me enough that I ran to the KCRW site to find out who was playing. You can listen to a clip here and watch the full video here. They're at the Mercury Lounge in NYC on September 2nd and the Henry Fonda Theatre in LA on September 13th & 14th. said the gramophone has their track "Medicine" and lonesome music has "Hunt." Update: largehearted boy has the full track of "Dance Me In."

"On the night of a scorching summer solstice, it's not surprising that the mandolin player Ailidh Lennon and the singer Adele Bethel are wearing off-the-shoulder tops, though that's not what you would normally expect from their stripped-down take on psychobilly, the long-lost punk'n'roll genre." - The Independent

"Where's your head at? There's nobody like Sons and Daughters...Their threatening punk country may have the bite of the White Stripes or PJ Harvey, but their intensity and charisma are singular." - Guardian Unlimited

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

how to please your ears

The Little Gray Book Lecture Series is now available for download or podcast. I was there for "Secrets of Secret Agents" and it comes highly recommended.

world peace through TM

Boing Boing and Guruphiliac cover David's Lynch's newest project (even newer than The Daily Report you can find to your right): a massive transcendental meditation program for kids designed to bring about world peace.

"I want to raise $7 billion dollars. People laugh at $7 billion but it would stay in a bank account and the interest would be enough to keep things going on a permanent basis," Lynch told Reuters in an interview on Wednesday.

"I would like to find some very wealthy individuals who saw the truth of this and said 'I want to do something for the world which is meaningful'. This is a way to bring real peace to earth. Real peace isn't just the absence of war. It is the absence of negativity," he said.

Lynch did not say why his program needs $7 billion rather than, say, $10 billion or $1 billion.

MC Geoff

A guy named Baba Brinkman has created a rap version of The Canterbury Tales. He strikes an Eminem pose on his home page. While Chaucer was always a man of the people, I'm going to take the stodgy academic stance and admit that I fear something is lost in bringing the Tales to the masses in quite this way. The lyrics below are from The Wife of Bath's Tale. You can listen to a clip here.

And from his steel prison the knight was brought

To the Queen, who said, “boy, you’re in a tight spot.
Your guilt is certain, but your life is not.
Your head might head right to the chopping block,
Or you might just walk, and get clemency,
If you can tell me what women need.
Answer me what it is every woman’s tendency
To want, and I’ll suspend sentencing.
Now let your penance bring you some cheer;
Come here again after one year,
And then I want to hear from you some clear
Response. Now, I suggest you run, dear.”

Here's a slightly less modern translation from the Middle English:

The queen thanked the king with all her might;
And, after this, thus spake she to the knight,
When that she saw her time upon a day.
"Thou standest yet," quoth she, "in such array,
That of thy life yet hast thou no surety;
I grant thee life, if thou canst tell to me
What thing is it that women most desiren:
Beware, and keep thy neck-bone from the iron
And if thou canst not tell it me anon,
Yet will I give thee leave for to gon
A twelvemonth and a day, to seek and lear
An answer suffisant in this mattere.
And surety will I have, ere that thou pace,
Thy body for to yielden in this place."

And, finally, the original:

The queene thanketh the kyng with al hir myght,
And after this thus spak she to the knyght,
Whan that she saugh hir tyme, upon a day,
"Thou standest yet," quod she, "in swich array
That of thy lyf yet hastow no suretee.
I grante thee lyf, if thou kanst tellen me
What thyng is it that wommen moost desiren.
Be war and keep thy nekke-boon from iren!
And if thou kanst nat tellen it anon,
Yet shal I yeve thee leve for to gon
A twelf-month and a day to seche and leere
An answere suffisant in this mateere;
And suretee wol I han, er that thou pace,
Thy body for to yelden in this place."

On another note, even British computers are afraid of The Wife of Bath's libido.

Monday, July 25, 2005

what's the cut of this writer's jib?

In response to Rick Moody's proposal, in the Atlantic fiction issue, to add new questions to the writing workshop format, Rake's Progress suggests some new questions of his own:

3. What would it hurt to add a boy wizard to the narrative? Also: Is there anything about this story that the addition of a convoluted biblical conspiracy wouldn’t help?

11. Does this writer think s/he’s better than you?

12. How many characters here can you “cast” as famous actors? Is that number really high enough?

13. If this story languishes in a slush pile, is that solid evidence that the terrorists have won?

Sunday, July 24, 2005

mix post: imitation edition

Last week's mix post edition was a little hostile, so I thought that this week I would salute musicians honoring other musicians in a spirit of peace and reconciliation. Samuel Johnson may have said, "Almost all absurdity of conduct arises from the imitation of those whom we cannot resemble," but sometimes the genius is in the attempt - or in the knowledge that you'll never sound like Nina Simone, so don't bother trying.

Ignition (R. Kelly) - Bonnie "Prince" Billy

Up the Junction (Squeeze) - The Decemberists

My Old Kentucky Blog has a dozen more Decemberists covers, including Morrissey, Kate Bush, Cheap Trick, and others. You can also listen to the Coverville podcast of Squeeze covers for more "Up the Junction."

I Feel Love (Donna Summer) - Cobra Verde

Thirteen (Big Star) - Kind of Like Spitting

KOLS also covers GZA, Yo La Tengo, and The Karl Hendricks Trio here. This week, said the gramophone posts the original.

To Love Somebody (The Bee Gees) - Billy Corgan

I Just Don't Know What to Do With Myself (Dusty Springfield) - White Stripes (Live @ Glastonbury)

You Keep Me Hangin' On (The Supremes) - Holly Palmer

Wonderwall (Oasis) - Ryan Adams

I Wanna Be Your Dog (Iggy & The Stooges) - Joan Jett

If you like this, you'll love this.

I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man (Prince) - My Morning Jacket

Just Like Heaven (The Cure) - Dinosaur Jr.

Thanks to said the gramophone, Vinyl Mine, Womenfolk (who often have cover editions), aurgasm, Brooklyn Vegan, redcandycane, Glide Magazine, Bradley's Almanac

Former editions: Impatience. Intergalactic. Loquacity. Flammable. Aggression.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

heat miser

I'm melting faster than that popsicle that drowned Union Square, so I'm just going to point to other places on this fine world wide web of ours that I found entertaining:

  • TMFTML creates his own bit of found art to make a biting comment on everyday heroes and the guts it takes to make them.
Guy on cell: ...I'm fine, really. It was not a good time to come to London, though. The police are all running around looking worried. I should be back in New York in a few days.
--Duane Reade, Broadway & 84th, 7/21

Man on cell: Yeah baby, yeah, I'm still in London. Yeah, I'll be back on Wednesday, baby.
-- West 4th & Jane, 7/6
  • Bookslut links to the "My Favorite Word" project. When the humidity clears, maybe I'll be able to remember mine. Update: I just posted an entry for "badinage." Told ya I'd remember.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Trying out Blogger's new photo feature

there won't be any rocking here

I'm sure Smoosh's appearance in The Believer has caught them up in the hate parade, but I've got to say thanks to the tween sisters for making me realize how much my mouth likes to say the word "smoosh" - try it.

7 words you can't say in kindergarten

If I ever have kids, I am so gonna teach 'em how to curse. This Torkington family video may be NSFW, but if you teach kindergarten (especially in the newly discovered "Midwest"), maybe you should watch it at work. With the volume up real loud.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

bungalow blues

When I left L.A. in 1998 (before returning earlier this year), I moved out of an adorable bungalow in Silverlake for which I was paying a whopping $600. According to, which provides detailed rental property statistics for the L.A. area, the average cost for a similar apartment has almost tripled since then. Super.

jane {a murder}

I was at school with accomplished poet and all-around nice person Maggie Nelson, so I'm pleased to see her book, Jane {a murder}, receiving some well-deserved attention. Chekhov's Mistress details reading Maggie's "book of poetry and book of true-crime" based on the murder of her aunt Jane in 1969.

Jane works so well because the poetry itself is nearly invisible. So much contemporary poetry tends to be too self-conscious to let its meaning work on you, but Maggie Nelson's poems manage to both fluidly pull us through the story and stand alone - they are purposeful and poignant with no pretense. Indeed, I would classify Jane {a murder} as a page-turner.

There's an interview with Maggie at Small Spiral Notebook and a profile at Soft Skull. New York's loss is L.A.'s gain: she now teaches at CalArts.

Monday, July 18, 2005

escapegrace - "ewan mcgregor"

The Onion a.v. club takes a look at some tribute songs to celebrities, judging them by whether they portray the subject accurately and where they fall on the continuum between flattering and creepy. I was reminded of how much I used to love to hear King Missile's John S. Hall threaten Martin Scorcese with his gratitude.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

the darker corners of paradise

Boing Boing points us to Mike Davis's latest: "Does the Road to the Future End at Dubai?"

Multibillionaire Sheik Mo -- as he's affectionately known to Dubai's expats -- not only collects thoroughbreds (the world's largest stable) and super-yachts (the 525-foot-long Project Platinum which has its own submarine and flight deck), but also seems to have imprinted Robert Venturi's cult Learning from Las Vegas in the same way that more pious Moslems have memorized The Quran. (One of the Sheik's proudest achievements, by the way, is to have introduced gated communities to Arabia.)

mix post: aggression edition

A hot L.A. Thanksgiving circa 1995. I'd had about enough of not paying my bills on cocktail tips and adjunct teaching. The family guilt managed to travel 3,000 miles to find me. My boyfriend at the time was not getting it - not getting my disdain for holidays, not getting that I needed him to be friendly and forthcoming with our dinner hosts, not getting the ice he was sent to pick up from whatever supermarket was open. The inevitable argument finally erupted when we dragged our sorry excuse for a pretense back to the car after dinner. When the tape player kicked in with the ignition - The Muffs, if I remember correctly - he turned to me and sneered, "You know what your problem is?? You listen to too much angry music!"
M., wherever you are, this one's for you.

Blood on Our Hands (Justice Remix) - Death from Above 1979

Touch My Evil - Lydia Lunch

Bitch - Rinocerose

Tumbling Walls Buried Me in the Debris with ESG - Liars

I Hate Music - The Mad

You Are A Riot - This Microwave World

Shut Shut Up - Emperor X

Fuck Forever - Babyshambles

...and for old times' sake:

Nothing - The Muffs

Via something I learned today, Fluxblog, Brooklyn Vegan, *sixeyes, banana nutrament, last night an mp3 saved my wife

Former editions: Impatience. Intergalactic. Loquacity. Flammable.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

the swingin' seventies

I was browsing through the LA Public Library catalog - looking for something I never found - when I came across a "handbook for coping with sexism in the study of language, literature, and the mass media" published in 1976 by the LA City Schools called Role:Your Own. Now if you roll your own within 25 feet of a designated school area, they take you out back and have you shot.

Two years earlier, the LA school system published a guide to "teaching the speculative literature of science fiction and the supernatural" called Far Out.

you should have seen sartre's headshots

You've probably heard about the dust-up across the pond over Radio 4's philosopher popularity contest, in which Karl Marx emerged as big man on campus. The Economist and others couldn't believe David Hume wouldn't kick Karl's ass. (Hume came in second, ahead of Wittgenstein, Nietzsche, Plato, Kant, St. Thomas Aquinas, Socrates, Aristotle, and Karl Popper. Uh, Karl who?) The Guardian thinks this may be a symptom of the dumbing down of high culture - the contest itself, not Marx's diamond tiara. Today in The Independent, Camille Paglia puts forth her list of the top 10 female philosophers.

I feel women in general are less comfortable than men in inhabiting a highly austere, cold, analytical space, such as the one which philosophy involves. Women as a whole - and there are obvious exceptions - are more drawn to practical, personal matters. It is not that they inherently lack a talent or aptitude for philosophy or higher mathematics, but rather that they are more unwilling than men to devote their lives to a frigid space from which the natural and the human have been eliminated.

It has become tiresome to constantly blame every blip in women's lives on sexism and discrimination by men. Today's lack of major female philosophers is not due to lack of talent but to the collapse of philosophy. Philosophy as traditionally practised may be a dead genre. This is the age of the internet in which we are constantly flooded by information in fragments. Each person at the computer is embarked on a quest for and fabrication of his or her identity.

Thanks to A Fool in the Forest for the Paglia link & SI for the Economist rundown

they just want to go to a party with karen O

I've been toying with the idea of writing about the songs I post here at Escapegrace, but I've been stymied by my discomfort with the lexicon of rock criticism (even with some help). Now, Jason Cherkis has published a big Shame Shame for all the lit folks who think just because they can write, they can write about music. Somewhere Rick Moody is licking his wounds.

Moody’s lines slap at you like annoying, wet children blubbering for attention. You can swat kids away. But you can’t get rid of Moody’s rockist clich├ęs so easily; they’re so rampant as to suggest a fetish.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

where is the next joseph n. welch?

This morning, over at David Lynch's daily weather report, he remarks on the blue sky, the sunshine, etc. and then pointedly asks, "Where is the next Joseph N. Welch?"

Welch was the Special Counsel for the Army who asked Joe McCarthy during his witchhunt, "Have you no sense of decency sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?"

Mr. Lynch celebrates Bastille Day.

the mother of invention

When I recently drove cross-country in a rental truck, I was perplexed as to how I would survive 3000 miles with only a radio. Clearly, I would not. What's a girl to do? I began to look into ways I could feed my music need, and I was quite surprised at the lack of solutions to this problem. The first possibility was to use a cassette device that plugged into the tapedeck on one end and a Walkman or MP3 player on the other, thus connecting the portable device to the car speakers. This would have worked if I had a tapedeck. No such luck. Of course, I could just have loaded my boombox up with batteries, but from previous cross-country experience, I knew that would involve hundreds of dollars in Ds. My next and only option was to power up said boombox using the truck as a battery through the magic of a cigarette lighter adapter. This worked quite well, but there was obviously a need for some new technology. This vehicular music innovation would still not have solved my problem, but it is good news for the future: a car stereo with a USB port and SD slot.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

this week's netflix

In the Realms of the Unreal: This remarkable documentary tells the story of Henry Darger, a reclusive janitor who created the tale of the Vivian Girls, a troupe of prepubescent fighters who wage war with the world Darger avoided. He wrote what might be the longest novel ever and painted scenes from the novel by the yard, work that now can be found in museums and galleries around the world. The film uses Darger's autobiography and the story of the Vivian Girls, accompanied by subtle animation of the illustrated portions of the tale, to reveal the nuances of Darger's life. I am sure there are many viewers who would find this film terribly depressing, but I saw it as a testament to the imagination. If this world isn't working out for you, you can always create another world to suit you better.

Deadwood, Season 1, Final 2 Episodes: Dear HBO: Please, please release the second season. I'll be good, I promise. I'll clean my room and I'll do my homework and I'll be kind to animals. Please. Please. Must. have. more.

Ponette: In France, the cutest little girl in the world loses her mother in a car accident. As she grieves, she struggles with the idea of a God that would do such a thing. The world of children is realistically evoked, as when a young Jewish campmate makes Ponette go through a series of trials so that she, too, can be chosen by God.

The Wire, Season 1, Episodes 1-3: This HBO series was repeatedly suggested to me as methadone for my Deadwood jones, and I have to say that I'm not totally feelin' it, but I'll go back for more. I think it may require more immersion in the storyline, plus I was left at the end of episode 3 with the "Daniels is dirty" hook.

The United States of Leland: Let's pause for a moment and consider this cast: Don Cheadle, Ryan Gosling, Kevin Spacey, Lena Olin, Martin Donovan, Jena Malone, Chris Klein, Michelle Williams, Ann Magnuson, Sherilyn Fenn, and Kerry Washington. When you see a cast like that and can't recall the film ever being released, you know something went horribly wrong. Leland (Gosling) is a "detached" teenager whose empathy for the world's ills drives him to murder and a juvenile detention center, where he meets up with Cheadle as a flawed teacher. The film is really not all that bad, and Ryan Gosling and Don Cheadle are actually quite good. I'm beginning to tire of Jena Malone's penchant for playing the same damn character in every indie film she can get her hands on, and in the end, Chris Klein's character does something that cannot be rationalized as feasible anyway you look at it.

Monday, July 11, 2005

love and measles

"Love and measles are diseases of youth. Once you have them, you are never bothered again. Fortunate so. Otherwise little enough would be accomplished in the world." - Don Ryan, Angel's Flight (1927)

knuckle sandwich

Once upon a time, bully Norman Mailer found occasion to sucker-punch quipster Gore Vidal, to which Mr. Vidal replied,
"Words fail Norman Mailer, yet again."

Over at Yankee Pot Roast, Whit Coppedge speculates on Mr. Mailer's inner struggle in the car on the way home.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

so it's almost like reading a book then, oprah?

Tod Goldberg rips into Oprah's advice for fans slogging their way through the Faulkner trilogy.

revolt against traditional channels of distribution

More and more, Wil Wheaton appears to be a cool cat. In a recent Slashdot interview, he urges artists not to "participate in the soul-crushing aspects of the entertainment industry":

  • You want to publish a book? It's easier than ever to create an e-book with free software like Scribus and, and use a service like PayPalDownloads to deliver it.
  • You want to release your music? Garageband will host your files and connect you with people who want to hear you.
  • You have a great idea for a play? There are 99 seat Equity-waiver theaters in every big city in America.
  • Don't want to shop your brilliant short film to myopic studio buyers who are just going to steal your idea anyway? Produce it yourself! Film it on digital video, edit it on your Mac, and create your own DVDs.
  • When you've got a physical product to sell, PayPal will process payments for you and create shipping labels you can print, or you can use a service like Yahoo Shopping to do your fulfillment.
If you've got passion, you believe in yourself, and you're willing to take financial risks, you don't need anyone's permission to release your work. Your success or failure won't be left in the hands of anyone else. You are in charge, and you'll sink or swim based upon your efforts. I'll repeat, as the voice of experience: You do not need the so-called traditional channels of distribution to get your work to an audience, and you'll probably be happier and more successful by not going through those channels.

imitations of kurt loder

  • I have yet another reason to get a job by September: ArthurFest.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

considering books

An opening reception will be held tonight at the Paul Kopeikin Gallery for the exhibition, "Several Artists Consider Books." Some of the work on view is from Abelardo Morell's latest collection, A Book of Books. (Click on the photo to get a better view.)

Friday, July 08, 2005

sweet stamp

Now that waiting in line at the post office is no longer a full-day affair (see: 23rd Street Madison Square Station), I've been having quite a time experimenting with the stamps you can get when you visit the window rather than using the time-saving machines (which offer two choices: toy trucks or flags). I was enjoying the Robert Penn Warren stamps as well as the 20th Century American Choreographers, but nothing can match the cool-ass Buckminster Fuller stamp. It's been out for awhile, but it's new to me.

The stamp artwork is a painting of Fuller by Boris Artzybasheff (1899-1965). The painting, which originally appeared on the cover of Time magazine on Jan. 10, 1964, depicts Fuller's head in the pattern of a geodesic dome. Geodesic domes and a number of his other inventions surround Fuller, including the Dymaxion Car, the 4D Apartment House and several objects and models that reflect the geometric and structural principles he discovered.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

I do not feel obliged to believe...

...that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use (Galileo). Be well, London.

One thing I've noticed while writing a dissertation on alternative religion is that religion & spirituality are on everyone's minds. Let's hope this bodes well. Here's a sampling.

  • Guruphiliac is a blog that goes undercover to scrutinize some of the world's most popular gurus.
  • Often when I tell someone the story of Aimee Semple McPherson, the subject of the latest chapter I'm writing, they suggest a screenplay. For now, they'll have to settle for Richard Rossi's film currently looking for a distributor. It sounds a little preachy, but Ron Howard's father plays Aimee's father James Kennedy and Charlie Chaplin's granddaughter also has a role.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

david lynch says the word sunshine over and over

There is something deliciously absurd about director David Lynch's latest hobby. Every day, he provides us with a weather report from his desk in Los Angeles. The thing is, the weather in L.A. is always the same. Oh sure, he tries to mix it up a little...slightly overcast, fluctuating degrees between 68 and 76...but it's a remarkable exercise in redundancy. I love it.

kelly link freebies

To coincide with the publication of Kelly Link's new short story collection, Magic for Beginners, Small Beer Press is offering her previous collection, Stranger Things Happen, as a free download.
The Spoken Alexandria Project also offers a free audio download of Alex Wilson reading Link's story, "Most of My Friends Are Two-Thirds Water." (Via boing boing via Telltale Weekly)

movies in movietown

There are two mention-worthy film festivals going on right now: Mods & Rockers started Tuesday at The Egyptian, featuring such classics as Rock Around the Clock, Barbarella, The Loved One, and the whimsically-named Can Hieronymus Merkin Ever Forget Mercy Humppe and Find True Happiness?

Meanwhile, LACMA has the Noir of Robert Siodmak, probably most well-known for 1946's The Killers, based on an Ernest Hemingway short story. Ticket price includes admission to the museum.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

playing with jude

Jude Law is only one of the many celebrities you can use as your own personal paperdoll at Paperdoll Heaven.

(No VIP registration required. Via Panopticist.)