Friday, January 29, 2010
If you like Fever Ray, check out Karin Dreijer-Andersson in the group The Knife. The Swedish brother-sister duo has created a 90-minute Electro-Opera based on Charles Darwin's The Origin of Species.
You can listen to the whole thing on NPR Music.
You'd think they'd make this into some little, handy-dandy put-in-your-pocket size rather than expecting you to remember the extensive number of plants in this heavy tome.
For those of you who like to
Thursday, January 28, 2010
If you look to the right of the blog, just above the FOLLOWERS, I have a new section of links entitled FRIENDS: this is a list of blogs that I try to the best of my ability to check daily. Granted I could have just left the links in my Blog List or on my Google Reader, but typically everyday from 9 to 5 I'm at work, and I'll go to my List or my Reader and the porn will keep me from being able to go through and find my friends' blogs. Hence the new section.
If I had a computer with Internet at home, it wouldn't be such a big deal, and someday that will be the case, but this is simply to make it easier to check up on some of y'all. I'm sure as I read blogs daily I will be adding to this, so if you don't see your link and you feel like it should be there, don't be upset - I'm just really, really tired, and have overlooked someone.
Have you had your Daily Squee today?
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
UPDATE: I'd forgotten that I meant to read only a couple of books by a particular author who had written several, so this is the last Chinua Achebe book I'm going to read for a while; though, honestly, except for Things Fall Apart and The Arrow of God, I've begun to chill in my appreciation.
Coming up next: Fermin.
It seems that after doing three scenes with Corbin Fisher, Jamie/Devin Moss may not be with that company much longer - which is sad, he's never looked better. However, the Corbin Fisher models seem to be having a hard time taking his dick, and to be quite honest, I'd like to see Jamie/Devin bottom some more. And to be even more honest, I wish he'd start doing some bareback porn, but that is highly unlikely, and is probably for the best: when he hung out with Boo, Ms. Bigcock was rather freaked out by me being poz. Some people just can't deal.
Well, whatever happens, I hope he continues to performs.
When I was a senior in high school, I spent almost every morning
So, yeah, in the morning rather than making myself an open target in the halls of Muhlenberg North High School, I hung out with friends in the moments before first period choir practice. I played the piano, and they sang along - that is until, Mr. Band Director got tired of the Andrew Lloyd Webber songbook and told me to get out. It was time for me to get to drama class anyway.
Drama class wasn't much better than the hallway (or lunchtime for that matter) - I loved Drama class (even if I had to listen to this little Ms. Know-It-All constantly blathering on about how Richard Gere was gay because he loved to gerbil) and I loved my teacher, but she was clueless and eventually I was cast as the effeminate intellectual which I was totally NOT ok with. I couldn't become the role because I was made fun of constantly for being the type. And eventually when performing and people began to laugh, which they were supposed to - being attacked by ants at a picnic is afterall funny - I hated every moment of it.
It wasn't until the next production in which I was behind the scenes that I truly began to fall in love with the theater. So much so, that when I went to college, I went as a theater performance major in lighting design. My work-study was the theater department, and the Carrick Theater crawlspace was home.
So, this introduction is to tell you that I love Marc Acito, whose books (How I Paid For College and its sequel Attack of the Theater People) are about not simply the theater, but theater people, theater life, the love of theater - he IS in book form what Almodovar's All About My Mother is on film.
Attack of the Theater People is the continuing adventures of Edward Zannie who at the beginning of this very funny, very quick read (quick because of funny) is kicked of Julliard for being "too jazz hands." Here's the blurb on the back:
It is 1986, and aspiring actor Edward Zannie has been kicked out of drama school for being "too jazz hands for Julliard." Mortified, Edward heads out into the urban jungle of eighties New York City and finally lands a job as a "party motivator" who gets thirteen-year-olds to hand at bar mitzvahs and charms businesspeople as a "stealth guest" at corporate events. When he accidentally gets caught up in insider trading with a handsome stockbroker named Chad, only the help of his crew from How I Paid for College can rescue him from a stretch in Club Fed.
Laced with the inspried zaniness of classic American musical comedy, Attack of the Theater People matches the big hair of the eighties with an even bigger heart.
So, remember, read How I Paid For College first and THEN Attack of the Theater People. Then also stop whatever it is you are doing and go watch All About My Mother. And then possibly Get Real because Acito's Paula = Get Real's Linda.
And when you finish all your assignments, check out The Gospel According to Marc. :)
From the L.A. Times:
Voters in Oregon OK tax hikes for some
Corporations and wealthy families are targeted to help ease the state's budget crisis.
By Kim Murphy January 27, 2010
Facing a budget crunch that threatened to close schools early, lay off teachers and slash healthcare benefits, Oregon voters ended two decades of tax scrimping Tuesday by approving higher taxes on corporations and wealthy families.
The two ballot measures passed handily in a referendum watched closely around the country as a signal of whether voters are ready to approve targeted tax hikes to bail out cash-starved state treasuries.
Oregon voters since 1990 have limited property taxes, rejected sales taxes and vetoed across-the-board income taxes. But with 87% of the ballots counted, the measure to raise income taxes on households earning more than $250,000 a year, and individuals earning more than $125,000, was winning with 54.1%. A second measure to raise the state's corporate income tax was ahead with 53.6%.
Business leaders had fought the measures, arguing that they would drive away entrepreneurs and force struggling businesses to slash jobs.
The two measures would raise more than $700 million to help close a gap in the state budget that at one point reached $4 billion.
Kevin Looper, who ran the campaign to pass the measures, said the vote was a signal that predictions of a general conservative retrenchment following the Republican victory in this month's Senate race in Massachusetts were premature.
"I think this is firmly a progressive, populist moment. It just takes leaders to stand up and say what we're about, and make sure things are clear to voters," he said. "Because when the choice gets made clear like that, voters will almost always make the right decision."
Looper said the credit goes to Democratic leaders in the Legislature, who passed the tax increases against nearly unanimous Republican opposition.
"It was an amazingly courageous thing for the Legislature to say, 'We're going to both protect schools and make a case for tax fairness by keeping the burden off middle-class families,' " he said.
Opponents gathered signatures to force the referendum.
Supporters, backed by public employee unions, raised $6.8 million, compared with $4.6 million by opponents who relied on the banking industry and business groups. Final financial reports have yet to be filed.
"The biggest issue is we were substantially outspent by the public employee unions. They were able to double, and more than that, the money we were spending on the broadcast media, and were able to get that much more of their message out," said Pat McCormick, spokesman for Oregonians Against Job-Killing Taxes.
Poor, lil Oregonians Against Job-Killing Taxes! WAHHHHHHH! Would you like some cheese with your whine?
And Gov. Beshear, fuck revenue from gambling: follow Oregon's lead. This is the way to go!
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
I've been watching some really good movies lately. Last night The Brothers Bloom; a couple of weeks ago Long Life, Happiness and Prosperity starring Sandra Oh; last week the documentary Outrage. This (Le Grand Voyage) I watched sometime last week.
I've always loved the idea of a pilgrimage. Hiking the AT is one of those, but to be able to make the journey from Paris to Mecca to touch the Kaaba, though I think I would have to at least pretend to be Muslim.
Also in Le Grand Voyage, Réda played by Nicolas Cazalé is a wondrous sight to behold. (As is Rachel Weisz and Adrian Brody in The Brothers Bloom. I used to think that Rachel Weisz was the Kate Winslet you got for movies when you couldn't get Kate Winslet; now I love her equally.)
In looking for pictures of Cazalé, I've found that he starred in a film called Three Dancing Slaves, which mixedreviews.net called "a homoerotic haven, for one...especially for those with a penchant for Bel Ami boys, metrosexual posturing and European sensibilities."
Europa Editions are typically very beautiful paperback editions of books originally published in Europe and popular enough that they come to America.
First biography of Kentucky women's rights activist published since 1921.
My first memory of Ozzy Osbourne? I was 10, and visiting an uncle in Echols, Kentucky. We were in the basement of his mother's house watching MTV and there was Ozzy done up as some deranged looking (more so than usual) werewolf. I think I started crying.
Sunday, January 24, 2010
I have not been keeping up with Obama's weekly addresses but I had to see this one. A couple of friends had told me about the Supreme Court decision addressing the corporate finance of campaigns, so hopefully Obama can get this through.
Here's more at Daily Kos
One friend also told me about Sotomayor's call to review Corporate Law. This I'm definitely for: after the Civil War laws were passed to extend rights to the newly freed slaves, however, the Supreme Court gave that personhood first to corporations rather than the new Americans. Corporations became persons before African Americans.
However, my faith in Democrats to pass or change anything is more along these lines:
5 Jokes About The Apparent Eagerness Of Certain Democratic Members Of Congress To Abandon Health Care Reform In Light Of Scott Brown’s Electoral Victory
Saturday, January 23, 2010
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Girls at War is a collection of short stories written by Achebe between 1952 and 1972, covering his years at University College, Ibadan up through the years of war for Biafran independence. The last two stories of the collection "Sugar Baby" and "Girls At War" are from 1972 and deal specifically with the deprivations and degradations of that war.
"Girls at War" is the story of Reginald Nwankwo, Ministry of Justice, who through three meetings with a particular girl, describes the change from fervent Revolutionary focus to fervent desire for survival. Nwankwo meets a young girl (all women are called "girls" throughout the story) at a checkpoint who does a thorough search of his vehicle. He can tell that she is a young woman "whose devotion had simply and without self-rightousness convicted him of gross levity. What were her words? We are doing the work you asked us to do." Two years later he meets her again, but this time she is a "kept" woman in expensive high heels, a wig, and a lowcut dress. However, much of the Nwankwo's interactions with "Gladys," as she calls herself, seem rather onesided and projected: her words, he claims, are full of levels of meaning, but he neither asks nor does she offer. Nwankwo projects a whole life onto her and after sleeping with her decides that he would have been better off with a prostitute; however, by the next day he decides to try and save her.
1. After reading a couple of long novels (Amateur Barbarians was 400 pages), short stories were a welcomed respite. And these were mostly very VERY short stories, most were only 4 or 5 pages.
2. I love Achebe's writing. I think he excels at longer novels better, but most of the stories were at least rather good. My favorites were "The Madman" and "Dead Men's Path."
3. Achebe is at his best when he is describing the conflict between two ideals: the past and the present, traditional culture and the colonizing culture, men and women, the city and the country. Many of the stories cover these dichotomies.
4. For sheer entertainment, dive in and swim. Almost all of these, except for "Civil Peace" which seemed almost like a Greek tragedy (check out the chorus of thieves) were really well-told stories.
5. Still, Africa = good.
1. I love short stories: I think Achebe is better at a longer format.
2. Many of the stories, I wish were longer.
3. I felt I was missing some sort of context, and kept referring to my memories of Things Fall Apart and Arrow of God to give each story a greater definition. This may be my issue, but it left me feeling like I was looking through a warped window.
4. I very rarely like Achebe's women. Throughout "Girls at War," the girls in question aren't taken very seriously, and if they are not devoted revolutionaries, they are prostitutes using their bodies to survive. I don't have a problem with the latter, but Nwankwo (if not Achebe) does. Regardless, most of Achebe's women seem cruel, followers or excessively vindictive.
5. The last two stories "Sugar Baby" and "Girls at War" were written, I think, specifically for this collection which was originally published in 1972. As such, I don't think the author had enough time between writing and the events written about to give the stories much flesh. As such, they seem kind of hurried and somewhat ridiculous.
Having said that, I fully acknowledge that Chinua Achebe is a Nobel Peace Price winner for literature, so understand that these are simply my opinions and perceptions. I also realize that I definitely need to readup some more on the Nigerian Civil War about which I know very little.
Mbanta - where Onkonkwo moves after killing Ikemefuna in Things Fall Apart