Sunday, October 29, 2006

Delicate Activity

I bought a new kettle over the weekend (cobalt blue). I am quite pleased with it. My original intention of course was to visit friends in New York City, attend the Procession of the Ghouls, and see Absolute Wilson. However, this never materialized primarily due to the manic weather we've been having. That's probably why I'm listening to The Associates right now. So many missed opportunities. Life pushes on-- oh yes, it is a force, regardless of morailty. How with the truth bear all this out. How will we appear to our children? Is there a future for us? Is there a future for them? I won't trouble you with these questions, it used to be a lot worse, you know. I remember being terribly depressed in Seventh grade-- to the extent that I'd sit and talk to no one for hours at a time. It took a while for me to realize that perhaps my methods were obsolete or just not appropritate for certain kinds of survival. What circumstances could provoke such a reaction? An overly sensitive child, someone who's interior life was sped up so much that he could barely bring himself to speak, because that would mean slowing down. High standards let to frustration, intolerance and incomprehension in equal degrees. It was barely rational and less than plesant. Childhood trauma, you ask? Perhaps. So many schisms early on in life, its hard to communicate, to come to the realization of what actually occurred. Its best to start with primary memories-- the moments in time one can recall immediately. The break from an early education at a private Montessori school to the sharp coldness of public school. I feel as though I've spent most of my life recovering from that break. There was a very definiate change that I am certainly still recovering from-- if I ever shall, I do not know. I think it is good to instill a child with the ability for him or her to think independently. This has to be an absolutely essential goal.

I could go on, however this is only a place for cursory remarks and not an essay-- at least not yet.

Please note: 50 years of Janus Films is currently playing at the Brattle Theatre in Harvard Square. Monday is Nic Roeg's film Walkabout, perhaps one of the greatest coming of age films ever made. Tuesday night is Masaki Kobayashi's Kwaidan -- what better way to spend your Halloween? My only other suggestion of course is The Haunted Looking Glass-- a first rate collection of classic ghost stories.


Friday, October 27, 2006

Soft Verdict - The Struggle for Pleasure

Soft Verdict "the Struggle for Pleasure"


I'll be on the air next Friday.


recent articles

Sy Hersh at McGill. [Montreal Mirror] While you're at it you might as well check out Rick Trembles' Motion Picture Purgatory on Kenneth Anger and Raf Katigback's Disko Akimbo. The only other item that had my attention at the moment is Jonathan Rosenbaum's review of the movie "Death of a President".

Thursday, October 26, 2006

recent articles

Come to Canada to see "Death of A Presdient". John Humphrys emphasizes the need for good grammar in the Telegraph UK. Jack Schofield gives DAB and other digital formats a good kicking in the Guardian UK. Anthony Tommasini laments the downfall of Tower Records and its classical music section in the New York Times.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

recent articles

The Washington Post weighs in on Deval Patrick. A Grocery Industry Conference in Toronto assesses the modern diet [CBC].
From the Guardian UK:
Julie Bindel explains why rape laws are still inadequate. Ohio may indeed go Democrat. Nicky Wire talks to Alexis Petridis about the joys of C86. Also discussion a new music show on the BBC. A tribute to Serge Gainsbourg at the Barbican. Adrian Searle looks at a collection of contemporary Eurpoean photography.

AVMotional 03

full details AVmotional.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

recent articles

Easing of media rules challenged [AP] - Women Turning Down Harvard's Offers [Inside Higher Ed]- Awards putting critical faculties to sleep [Guardian UK]

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Absolute Wilson

The new documentary Absolute Wilson directed by Katharina Otto-Bernstein. It won a Teddy Award earlier this year. It is a look at the life and work of the artist Robert Wilson.

Theatrical Trailer: Quicktime or WMV

Opens Theatrically in New York
on October 27, 2006
at Lincoln Plaza Cinemas

New York Times article of October 22, 2006 by Sylviane Gold

Deutsche Welle report

A biography by Katharina Otto-Bernstein about Robert Wilson is also available.

More information here:

German Films

design museum

Robert Wilson's 14 Stations at Mass MoCA.


If anyone knows when this is coming to the Boston area, please let me know.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Penguin Cafe Orchestra - Numbers 1-4

South Bank Show 1987

Also check - Perpetuum Mobile for more.

-- Expect some of this tonight-- amongst others.

Please listen.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

July Skies - "off the cuff" - premium gifts

A special signed CD of "Where the Days Go" - tune in to wzbc October 20th from 7-10pm (1900-2200) EST for details.

Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet

Danièle Huillet passed away recently. Obituaries: [Guardian UK] [Scotsman] [New York Times]

Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet statement at the Venice Film Festival.

Andy Rector's Kino Slang bloghas an excellent series of words and images about her.

Jonathan Rosenbaum in Senses of Cinema: Intense Materialism: Too Soon, Too Late.

A look at the book Landscapes of Resistance
The German Films of Danièle Huillet and Jean-Marie Straub
by Barton Byg.

articles of note

The most timely piece I've seen today concerns local political machinations is this piece by Joan Vennochi, Columnist for the Boston Globe. When politics trumps law its hard to be optimistic.

30 underappreciated books [Guardian UK]

The Greatest Film Composer of All Time? [Salon]
(too bad the Toru Takemitsu compilation referred to is out of print)

Arthur Marwick - Obituary [Guardian UK] [Scotsman] [Telegraph UK]- British Historian - His book "The Sixties" is one of the best histories of Counterculture during the 1960s to early 1970s.
For more information see:
The Sixties in Great Britain

The Second Law

Locus Solus (Map)

Emotion Washes Over Me

You can only sit and wonder about such things for so long. The world continues to shift around you. I feel all this emotion wash over me this morning. I don't know why my body reacts the way it does. Again, perhaps, its this imposition of warmth and meaning. The strong sense that there is so much to be done. My mind is still preoccupied with other thoughts, this I shouldn't focus on. Things, identites that need resolution. A quick way out? (The quick, neat, job - a Les Disques Du Crepuscule Western) Foreign makers. I keep my eye on the world, what little I know of it. I know there are other ways. I work simultaneously for benefit and loss-- unknowing the inertia consumes me. It only travels so far. There is laughter, of course and other private awakenings. I constantly seek connection and warmth to no avail. The only thing left, as the story goes, is to keep on moving. The struggle continues.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Comedy's release

The man behind this site tipped me off to this edited version of Armando Iannucci's Tate Britain lecture. Its an excellent look at the state of comedy today (on both sides of the Atlantic) and how it fills a significant gap. The key quote regarding the gap is that: "This has come about for three reasons: politicians have stopped speaking to us properly, the media has stopped examining their actions in anything like a forensic way, and broadcast culture has become so watered down, so scared of fact, that people are less inclined to turn to anything other than entertainment for information." His lecture significantly discusses the anarchic spirit of comedy and the reason its presence is so widely felt in modern society.

Armando Iannucci is a comedy writer who has worked on such shows for British Television as The Day Today and I'm Alan Partridge. You can find his CV here. He occasionally writes articles for the Guardian UK and the Daily Telegraph. Some time last year one of his Guardian UK columns tipped me off to the genius that is Sean Lock and his amazing television programme15 Storeys High.

Monday, October 16, 2006

environmental - food blogs and articles of note

A few favorites:

US Food Policy

Accidental Hedonist

Tree Hugger

from Red Tomato

good reads:

Diet for a Dead Planet by Christopher D. Cook.
and of course Diet for a Small Planet by Frances Moore Lappé.

Focus on Elizabeth May in NYT.

Three Voices: What Fair Trade Means to Farmers
New England Speakers Tour Oct 23-28, 2006

Monday, Oct 23 Burlington, VT

Tuesday, Oct 24 Tufts University, Medford, MA
Fair Trade Banana Banquet, Haley House, Roxbury, MA

Wednesday, Oct 25 Smith College, Amherst, MA

Thursday, Oct 26 Harvard University, Boston, MA

Friday, Oct 27 Putney, VT

”A banana farmer from Ecuador, a watermelon and vegetable farmer from Georgia, and an apple grower from New England may seem worlds apart, but they share common challenges as small farmers trying to make it in a global food system.

Join us for this rare opportunity to hear three real-life farmers from three very different farms talk about their struggles to stay on the land, their experiences in the market, and the impact of consumer support for fair trade and family farms. The program will tour New England Oct. 22-28, 2006, and is presented by Oke USA and Red Tomato, with support from Equal Exchange.

Celebrate this ‘fair trade fruit salad’ with fresh fruit tastings, fair trade chocolate fondue, tossed together with the provocative and inspiring stories of three farmers.”

Friday, October 13, 2006

Recent Articles (Vinyl, Wobby, Comedy, Volvo)

Success with Vinyl[Telegraph UK]

Starbucks Gets Wobbly[in these times]

Iraqi Comedy [Seattle Times]

Volvo Estates are the Best[Ananova]

Thursday, October 12, 2006

on the air in one week - watch this space - wzbc 90.3 fm

My show is postponed until next week due to the broadcast of a sporting event. However, stay tuned next week as the station will be in the midst of its fundraiser. Watch this space as well, I will post photos of the special premium items I've managed to acquire for your listening pleasure.


Monday, October 09, 2006

in the living room

October 9, 2006 - 5:12pm
in the living room at 86 B--

I hope to conduct this without further interruption. If I am interrupted, the problem will most likely come from me and not the other way around. Lately, my diet has not been particularly good. It certainly is not on the same page as others'. Of course that's a silly mistake to make. Its always this and never that, every one conducting themselves in a hopefully appropriate manner. The argument for and against superlatives. That's the shocking place I'm at right now. What could be better? That's exactly right, exactly it. I've started reading Jill Tweedie's book about Sexual Desire-- my understanding, at least from the introduction, is that relationships should not be predicated on a need but rather the simple result that each person be happy. This is no small task. Individuals have so much to offer and so much to be. One can only get around another 'I' so much. Psychological states and self-defense mechanisms are the trick. In themselves - it is, oh I want to say it is a confrontational technique. For me so many conditions have to be met before there is any kind of true, meaningful dialogue, and even then, people can change their minds. Sometimes it is incredibly easy and other times, the struggle just isn't worth it. I want to move forward, I want to eliminate these sad preoccupations. I need to find the direction, the proper vessel for all these ideas and concepts I have arranged here. The proper medium is out there. Perhaps this is it. I have been waiting too long, postponing or dissuading myself from any kind of creation-- acting from the assumption that investing myself in a good constructive meaningful relationship is the key. I know it is more than that, It is forever a changing cycle of discovery and wonder. I wish I weren't taken to task now for so many things. I punish myself so much for the littlest of things, another kind of worry to blot out the rest can only lead to further questions and anxiety. I attempt to sit still but I am forever curious. I hope, as I have always tried to justify, my so-called 'distractions', so-called time spent doing 'nothing' will actually add up to something. All these hours spent observing human life-- looking for ways out, something that I can square with my foolish ideals. (interruption)

Thursday, October 05, 2006

She Doesn't Live Here Anymore - new Jay Jay Johanson

On the air this Friday night 7-10pm EST(1800-2200) 90.3fm WZBC - also online.


Tuesday, October 03, 2006

James Tiptree, Jr.: The Double Life of Alice B. Sheldon by Julie Phillips

At the end of the summer, I finished reading Julie Phillips's excellent biography of Alice Sheldon's life. I remember being fascinated by some of her late work, stories collected in "Tales of the Quintana Roo", when I was younger. At the time, I didn't know that James Tiptree, Jr. was actually the pen name of Alice B. Sheldon, I only felt that in reading her stories, I connected with a very intelligent mind. Julie Phillips' biography of Alice's fascinating life is recommended to any reader who is excited by a person filled with boundless curiosity. It is certainly not strictly for Science Fiction readers-- the book doesn't get to the actually stories until its final third. Alice did not start writing as Tiptree until she was 51 years old. She was born to an author Mother and an attorney Father, who invested wisely in real estate in Chicago. Her family's wealth led them to go on Safari-- Alice's first Safari took place when she was six years old. The wonder and devastation she saw there marked her life forever. By the time she was 11, she had already traveled extensively in Africa during three different Safaris. This kind of exposure to other parts of the world transformed her experience of 'ordinary' American life. She certainly could not relate to other children her age-- Phillips describes a scene where Alice's elementary school teacher is discussing Africa and cannot get Alice to sit still because she had already been there. Experiences like this provoked her and frustrated her formative years. She was also marked throughout her life by her Mother's success in writing stories for national magazines and books. Alice later went on to join the Women's Army Corps, where she-- taking a little initiative-- ended up in military intelligence by the end of World War Two. This job later became part of a new government agency after the war--the CIA. She stuck with it for three years and then left to pursue writing. Her husband worked for the Agency for the rest of his life. All of these experiences were later drawn upon to create the persona of James Tiptree, Jr. The stories by James Tiptree, Jr. are fascinating as they have an inherent skepticism regarding the nature of human progress. Phillips constantly reminds the reader at the end of most chapters how Alice's memories contributed to the substance of her stories, and how Alice's own reality exposed her larger psychological problems. Alice witnessed first hand how the United States treated women as second class citizens after World War Two. This experience made her cynically view later feminist movements in the 1970s. Throughout her life she was a witness to human violence and cruelty, whether it was in colonial Africa or in the United States of America. All of this fed into her Science Fiction stories. Tiptree was something that started as a joke for her and then became almost an emotional release at times. She was able to correspond with so many fans, publishers and other authors under this persona, that Tiptree literally provided her with a second life. Tiptree was an elaborate game for her; his actions helped her through so many depressive moods. Unfortunately, the game only led so far, by the end of the 1970s Alice was taking numerous prescription drugs and was addicted to Dexadrine (something that started when she worked for the CIA). Her quick mind could only see one way out and she entered into a death pact with her husband. Finally in 1987, she shot her husband as he slept then herself. At that point she could not deal with growing old and losing her sensibilities in a world that grew colder. Julie Phillips new biography illuminates through a thorough study of all of Alice's stories and correspondence the life of a truly remarkable woman.

For a more detailed look at this biography, I highly recommend Carter Scholz's review of it in Bookforum.


The Screwfly Solutionby Raccoona Sheldon

Beam Us Home by James Tiptree, Jr.

The Women Men Don't See by James Tiptree, Jr.

suggested links:

The official site of Julie Phillips regarding the book in question, author interviews, excerpts, praise etc.

The Tiptree Award

Congo Journey - John le Carré writing in the Nation

Fantastic Fiction Uk bio

Publisher of "Her Smoke Rose Up Forever" tachyon

Alice's professor at Sarah Lawrence College and life long friend Rudolf Arnheim

Bioneers by the Bay: Connecting for Change

From the Chelsea Green publishing newsletter:

Eight Chelsea Green authors will speak and lead workshops at the Second Annual Bioneers by the Bay: Connecting for Change conference presented by the Marion Institute on the campus of UMASS Dartmouth, October 20 to 22. Bioneers by the Bay: Connecting for Change is an internationally acclaimed annual gathering of environmental, industry and social justice innovators who have demonstrated visionary and practical models for restoring the Earth and its inhabitants.

Participating CGP Authors
John Abrams, The Company We Keep
Dale Bell and Harry Wiland, Edens Lost & Found
Stephan Harding, Animate Earth
John Lash, Not in His Image
Lynn Margulis, Luminous Fish (Spring 2007 title)
Gunter Pauli, Upsizing and Zeri Fables
Jessica Prentice, Full Moon Feast
Matthew Sleeth, Serve God, Save the Planet
Eric Toensmeier, Edible Forest Gardens and Perennial Vegetables (Spring 2007 title)
Tim Traver, Sippewissett

Recent Articles

Fish farms kill wild salmon, study finds [CBC News] (Full Story)

Infamous French Art Thief to release memoir [CBC News] (Full Story)

Author J.G.Ballard's influence on Music [CBC News] (Full Story)

STEPHEN H. BURRINGTON, A new path for state park system [Boston Globe] (Full Story)