Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Movies and Reeking Abortions

I’ve never thought much of the Academy Awards. They miss the better movies and give the gold to tripe and cheap artifice. Most notable in that category this year was that any award would go to “There Will Be Blood.” I’ve seen some pieces of shit in my time which lack any redeeming merit whatsoever but it’s been a very long time since I have seen such a floater come down the river of dreck and then get gaffed in the abdomen to release such a wave of toxic fumes such as would make the most seasoned pathologist retch as if death sat on his shoulders with Tom Green’s skin on his back.

If you like seeing someone do Al Pacino on the third night of a non-sleeping Coke jag then you’ll like Day’s work. If your idea of fun is moving old upright pianos up and down spiral staircases then you’ll like Day’s work even more and you’ll love the plot. The pointless scene at the end makes the thought of climbing up a dead winos ass to take a nap sound like a good idea as long as you can miss this scene. That’s Hollywood.

Juno was run of the mill but probably make it’s point with all the proper modern day Donna Reed families who have no clue about the real world and like it when people talk as if they got their start on some version of The Real World.

No Country for Old Men was a good thriller but it’s nowhere near as good as Fargo was. Bardem was good at what he did but it was not a Lecter moment.

Eastern Promises was a better movie than any of these and Viggo Mortensen was the best actor. I didn’t see La Vie En Rose but I would have given the award to Cate Blanchett regardless. I don’t care about the rest of whatever awards there were and under no circumstances am I ever going to watch a movie about a singing barber that cuts people’s throats.

Here are some movies that were as good as the few good ones that I didn’t mention and far better than the rest. They are from different years and they didn’t win much of anything and they’re just some movies I saw recently and if you like enjoyable films you will like these. They are in no particular order of greatness.

“The Station Agent”- a jewel of a film... just beautiful, mostly because of Peter Dinklage but everyone shined in this effort. Also “Death at a Funeral” also because of Peter Dinklage but also a fantastic cast of fine British actors. It’s a funny film.

“Spiral”- is a mesmerizing indie film that will genuinely make you jump. This is one fine and tense piece of film-making. I don’t review films. I recommend them or ...otherwise. But if I did review films I could spend a lot of time on this one. See it.

“Lars and the Real Girl”- You’ve NEVER seen anything like this. Maybe it was too sweet a la the world we wished we knew but you won’t forget it.

“Hot Rod” is one of the best stupid movies I have ever seen. If it doesn’t make you laugh then you’re too uptight and probably think you belong at a better table than the one they made you sit at and they probably made you sit there for just that reason.

“Sleuth” with Michael Caine and Jude Law. The usual people didn’t like this remake and that’s probably why I did. It’s not that it was any kind of masterpiece. It was just a lot of fun to watch these two work together; forget about any of the other features you might find important. In a way it was like “White Sands” which I also watched again recently. Who cares what the movie was about or whether there might have been a retarded script girl on the set when you can watch all of these great actors do their thing?

“Croupier”- Clive Owen at his best. This was not a bad way to spend a couple of hours.

“Across the Universe”- I loved it. I know the critics didn’t but they can’t enjoy movies unless they’ve got some old guy driving a tractor by the side of the road for what feels like about three weeks in a two hour movie or they’re watching “There will be Blood.”

“The Thirteenth Floor” was one of the best movies I’ve ever seen. If you like strange sci-fi, altered reality a la Philip K. Dick this DOES NOT disappointment. A great movie.

“The Air I Breathe”- it didn’t accomplish what I thought they were trying to do but it’s worth it just to see Brendan Fraser in this role along with a lot of other fine actors.

“Into the Wild”- very well done.

Well, that’s a few movies for you that are all better than what the Academy puked all over. I couldn’t help myself, I went over to FoxNews and read about the after parties and who was where and doing what to who and if I ever wind up some place like that behaving like these people and being written about in such a combination senile/juvenile manner, I would like to ask any decent person to please kill me. Don’t stop with me though.

I’ll close with some quotes that my friend Don sent me from his hideaway in France. I’ll be going down to visit him in May and let him regale me with tales about the good old days of rock and roll. Enjoy...

Duke Ellington:

"Music is my mistress, and she plays second fiddle to no one."

Jack Daney:

"One of the perks of being an unemployed musician is that you get to play much less bad music."

Aldous Huxley:

"After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music."

Igor Stravinsky:

"Music is, by its very nature, essentially powerless to express anything at all. Music expresses itself."

George Bernard Shaw:

"Hell is full of musical amateurs."

Panama Francis:

"The drummer drives. Everybody else rides!"

Dizzy Gillespie: (on playing the trumpet)

"Some days you get up and put the horn to your chops and it sounds pretty good and you win. Some days you try and nothing works and the horn wins. This goes on and on and then you die and the horn wins."

Ornette Coleman:

"Jazz is the only music in which the same note can be played night after night but differently each time."

Shelly Manne: (on defining jazz musicians)

"We never play anything the same way once."

Al Cohn: (his definition of a gentleman)

"Someone who knows how to play the bagpipes, and doesn't."

Vido Musso:

"Music is a very hard instrument."

Zoot Sims: (talking about the Don Ellis band)

"The only tune they play in 4/4 is 'Take Five!'"

Chet Baker:

"If I could play like Wynton (Marsalis), I wouldn't play like Wynton."

Clark Terry:

"I'm too old to pimp, and too young to die, so I'm just gon' keep playin'."

Herbie Hancock:

"A great teacher is one who realizes that he himself is also a student and whose goal is not dictate the answers, but to stimulate his students' creativity enough so that they go out and find the answers themselves."

Jack Daney:

"To be a musician is a curse. To NOT be one is even worse."

Gustav Mahler: (to Bruno Walter who had stopped to admire mountain scenery in Austria)

"Don't bother to look, I've composed all this already."

Xavier Cugat:

"I would rather play Chiquita Banana and have my swimming pool than play Bach and starve."

Jean Sibelius: (explaining why he rarely invited musicians to his home)

"[Musicians] talk of nothing but money and jobs. Give me businessmen every time. They really are interested in music and art."

Kirke Mecham: (on his life as a composer)

"Only become a musician if there is absolutely no other way you can make a living."

Niccoló Paganini:

"I am not handsome, but when women hear me play, they come crawling to my feet."

Nathaniel Hawthorne:

"What is the voice of song, when the world lacks the ear of taste?"

Victor Borge: (playing to a half-filled house in Flint, Michigan)

"Flint must be an extremely wealthy town: I see that each of you bought two or three seats."

Oscar Wilde:

"If one hears bad music it is one's duty to drown it by one's conversation."

Mel Brooks:

"Critics can't even make music by rubbing their back legs together."

William F. Buckley, Jr.:

"Life can't be all bad when for ten dollars you can buy all the Beethoven sonatas and listen to them for ten years."

Oscar Levant: (explaining his way out of a speeding ticket)

"You can't possibly hear the last movement of Beethoven's Seventh and go slow."

Mark Twain:

"Wagner's music is better than it sounds."

James Gibbons Hunekar:

"Berlioz says nothing in his music, but he says it magnificently."

Walter Damrosch: (on Aaron Copland)

"If a young man at the age of twenty-three can write a symphony like that, in five years he will be ready to commit murder."

Sergei Prokofiev:

"There are still so many beautiful things to be said in C major."

Dimitri Mitropolous:

"I never use a score when conducting my orchestra. Does a lion tamer enter a cage with a book on how to tame a lion?"

Arturo Toscanini: (to a trumpet player)

"God tells me how the music should sound, but you stand in the way."

Bruno Walter: (at his first rehearsal with an American orchestra, on seeing the players reaching for their instruments)

"Already too loud!"

Frederic Chopin:

"I really don't know whether any place contains more pianists than Paris, or whether you can find more asses and virtuosos anywhere."

Bob Hope: (on comedienne Phyllis Diller)

"When she started to play, Steinway himself came down personally and rubbed his name off the piano."

Richard Strauss:

"Never look at the trombones, it only encourages them."

Claude Debussy:

"In opera, there is always too much singing."

Giacchino Rossini:

"Oh how wonderful, really wonderful opera would be if there were no singers!"

Bing Crosby:

"I think popular music in this country is one of the few things in the twentieth century that has made giant strides in reverse."

Frank Zappa: (on his rock symphony debuted by the Los Angeles Philharmonic)

"A ponderous orchestral absurdity."

Tony Bennett:

"The bottom line of any country is, what did we contribute to the world? We contributed Louis Armstrong."

Groucho Marx:

"Opera is, when someone gets stabbed, instead of bleeding, they sing."

Frank Zappa: (when asked by Zubin Mehta if he enjoyed the LA Philharmonic concert)

"Do you realize you put two synthesizer players out of work?"

Visible sings: Color Ball by Les Visible♫ You Take My Breath Away ♫
'You Take My Breath Away' is track no. 12 of 12 on Visible's 2007 album 'Color Ball'

Color Ball by Les Visible

Thursday, February 21, 2008

'sup Dawg? Welcome to Dog World

The world is a strange place. It looks ordinary and predictable to many people. They get up out of their beds from one dream and pass directly into another one and they eat and drink and go to work. They drink in the neighborhood bar and watch TV in their homes. Most of whatever happens is much like anything that happened before. Experiences are new the first few times you have them and then a personal style and routine evolves and you improve up to the level you are willing to accept at the point where you don’t want what you are doing to impinge on your own enjoyment. This condition of self-interest is greater in some and... depending on the level of materialism in the culture... relatively greater in everyone.

Pursuing sex; preparing, serving and eating food... waiting on others... waiting on yourself... Some are born to service and some are born to be served... or think they are. The headphones go on. The cell-phone beckons. The new emerging minds fiddle with the buttons at the bus stops and walking down the street. It’s what’s happening. Nothing else is happening. The mind needs entertainment. The mind cannot be still. It’s quicksilver on a pane of glass. It takes work to train it. Screw that.

For those immersed in the physical world there is no other world. They don’t see their world as it really is. They see what they want; what they want to have and how they want to appear. This is all there is. What they want is determined by the value given to it within their culture. How they want to appear is determined by the success they can observe in the lives they hear about and what those lives can demand based on who they are ...based on how they appear. They’re going to be eighteen forever.

You can’t tell these people about the archetypes of the animal kingdom. You can’t tell them about dogs and cats. All they see when they look at dogs and cats are dogs and cats. That’s not all that’s happening though. People call each other ‘dawg’ for a reason. They don’t know what that reason is but it makes then feel like they are happening. Somebody called himself Snoop Dog. Dogs are noted for particular behavior and this is the behavior being celebrated by people who call each other ‘dawg’.

Some people like to call women ‘bitches’ and ‘ho’s’ and it never occurs to them that every time they reincarnate it is through a woman. Payback is most certainly a bitch.

People like to roll down the street with a certain kind of movement that is meant to indicate a particular willingness toward and awareness of certain kinds of action and a certain sense of self. In this world it is necessary to call attention to yourself in order to facilitate certain hungers without realizing that attention creates a target; but that’s the point isn’t it?

Dawgs come up against each other in the pursuit of the things that dogs are in pursuit of and shit happens. For some reason, ‘dawgs’ demand respect for being dogs. Of all the things that a person can be that might naturally have a certain respect attached to it they have decided to be dogs.

When a society elevates animal characteristics as a focus of celebration and worship then that society is headed for the pound. Spiritual people talk about animal totems and they get themselves worked up into a state of awe because some shaman can manipulate the lower astral and convince them that there is magic to be had. Nature isn’t amused when the Crown of Creation abdicates in favor of its genitals.

Pimping is seen as possessing ‘cool’. This is the ability to offer a human being as an object for sale and it is present on ‘every’ level of society and seen as a good thing. It’s a good thing to get your price. Pimping is indistinguishable from slavery but it’s a cool slavery. No one sees what’s happening because that’s “not happening”. It’s not cool to call attention to elements in a society that are hot. It’s not cool to point out the problems that materialize in the pursuit of a good time at the expense of anyone and everyone. Commerce depends on the confusion of the people. The stupider you can make a people the more mindless the consumer and therefore the cheaper and more useless can be the articles given for sale.

It’s a good thing to give yourself over to animal pleasure because there are all kinds of things that can be sold as accessories. There is an enormous market for the Dawg life. There is almost no market for existing in a realized state. A realized state doesn’t require very much and the market isn’t interested in that. When the worship of the animal nature comes into the ascendant it is necessary for realized beings to hide in the foliage lest they get torn apart by dogs.

It is a dangerous endeavor to point out to the dogs the destiny of their activities. The most important feature of dog-life is forgetfulness. To be unaware is critical to dog pursuits and there is another large market that manufactures things that make you forget. All of the world’s markets are manufacturing items for dog life. They clothe and feed the dogs. They entertain the dogs with films about dog behavior. They sell music for the dog in you. You dog. That’s what they say when you perform some admirable dog act; “You dog.”

When you can get to be a top dog in Dog World then you can screw every bitch that crosses your path. The good news is that the female of the presently transitive, formerly human are all too willing to be doggie style cum dumpsters. It’s hot. It’s hip and it’s happening until the dog bitches start looking like dogs.

Allegories can be living things. You can be one.

When any culture, due to the possession of temporary wealth, descends into Dog World, other cultures are waiting in the wings with leashes. Cultures rise out of hardship and move toward excess. Excess waddles through the echo of what once was toward the certain destiny of what will be. Exalting the flesh increases the sensory potential for the pain that’s coming.

Through the wreckage of Dog World runs a slender path that dogs cannot see and which is called The Golden Mean. It is the only road that is not crowded. Nothing smells right to the dawgs in this pathway. Nothing smells at all; hardly any reasons to go to the bathroom in a place like that. The whole world is talking about Dog World. The stage is lit and all kinds of dogs are doing tricks while the audience licks themselves and sniffs each other.

The irony of making that bitch scream is lost on the participants. The irony of the whole thing is lost in the reality of the thing which has no reality. Personally I like dogs. But it perplexes me why anyone would want to be one, especially given all of the wonderful things a person can do that a dog can’t do. Well... you’re given what you have to see what you will do with it. If you spend your time watching someone show you how to walk the dog you won’t notice when the dynamic changes. Most people don’t want to hear about this and sooner or later they won’t be able to.

Visible sings: Almost A Capella by Les Visible♫ I'm a New Age Twinkie ♫
'I'm a New Age Twinkie' is track no. 10 of 12 on Visible's 2007 album 'Almost A Capella'

Almost A Capella by Les Visible