Posts tagged culture!
Posts tagged culture!
Warren Ellis talking about Thomas Pynchon’s Against the Day is fun times, at least if you’re in the mood to read about Pynchon (here’s Wikipedia on the Dunbar Number). I haven’t read that one, but Pynchon’s work is just kinda fun to read about, or to just hear people try to describe…? I have Bleeding Edge, his new one, sitting on my desk— I thought Inherent Vice was a fun time (especially if you went through a Raymond Chandler phase at age 10), and Edge sounded like it had a similar vibe (though my gut says 60’s California > early-00’s New York, but… that may just be a function of being old enough to remember the early-00’s).
Wes Anderson’s Worlds by Michael Chabon.
As our final episode of NO RESERVATIONS approaches, I’ve been asked to write a top ten list of personal favorites. That’s hard to do. It’s been a mixed bag—and deliberately so. Travel and food shows necessarily tell more or less the same story: somebody goes someplace, eats and drinks a lot of stuff, comes to some kind of conclusion (rightly or wrongly) then goes home. My partners and I—a rotating band of cinematographers, producers, editors and post production people—have worked very hard over the years to mess with, expand, undermine and subvert that basic narrative and the conventions that go with it. Sometimes we succeeded.
In this video, legendary writer Gay Talese gives a tour of his underground office, explains his writing process, and reflects on why he became a “man of record.” Watch the video, and click-through for more on Talese and his “subterranean think tank.”
Been buying a lot of books lately, more than is reasonable considering how little energy I have for reading more, when I come home. Thought I could at least write about my compulsive consumption, what I’ve bought lately, maybe shame myself into reading more. (Also, get myself typing so I could write other stuff tonight).
Let’s see, there’s comics on the ground— those usually get read while I’m trying to sleep. A few “graphic novels”/collections— Baby’s in Black is a true story about the Beatles; I usually have zero interest in fiction about the Beatles, but that one’s a love story set in Germany about Stu Sutcliffe— the art’s lovely. There’s the new nonfiction Eddie Campbell book, the Lovely Horrible Stuff— the best of all comic pleasures, a “what is ____ thinking about lately” purchase. Campbell’s usually a contender for my favorite comic at the end of any year, if he has a comic out. There’s a Chew in the other corner— the second volume; I’d seen the first volume, oh, 6-7 months ago. It didn’t blow my socks off but it was cute and I thought what the heck, give it another try. It’s about a guy who solves crimes by eating things, which I relate to because I also eat things.
There’s Tales from the Goon Squad— that’s a big award winning literary novel. I’ve heard wildly different things actually— people who’ve hated it, just despised the fuck out of it, people who’ve liked it a great deal. Most everything else is pretty trashy so that was probably a “I read too much trash” guilt buy.
There’s two crime novels. The Song is You: I’ve heard great things about Megan Abbott for a while and that was an impulse buy from Book Soup, a LA period history crime novel; Phillip Kerr, Quiet Flame— that was another impulse buy; post WWII German guy solving mysteries; other than Kerr’s reputation, i don’t remember what triggered the impulse. Plus: Angelmaker— that’s John Le Carre’s son, Nick Harkaway, writing a trashy-sounding pulp fantasy that sounds like it treats London crime mythology as a mythology…? I read a Paul Di Filippo review of that, that made that sound fun; that sounded like it had the cornball things that I’m into all smooshed together.
That’s on top of a book of Harlan Ellison screenplays— he’s selling books through Cafe Press now. That one has the Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea screenplay over which Harlan famously broke another human being’s pelvis. And then in the top-right, Jonathan Lethem’s recent critical books, the one about Fear of Music and the one about John Carpenter’s They Live. I’ve read a couple chapters of the They Live book and that is scarily in my wheelhouse— it’s a super-close examination of something a-little-silly that would normally totally elude that kind of writing, so… yeah, I’d say that’s unbelievably attuned to my interests.
There’s an Elmore Leonard crime novel floating around here unfinished— Tishimongo Blues-- I’ve read so much Leonard that even if I never finish it, I feel like I’ll have read it, you know? And then, The Passage— which is sort of a serious novelist writing a Stephen King novel—I started reading that ages ago, and was really enjoying it but got really busy and had to put it down right after the psychic vampire monster people showed up. But I really want to get back to that. And Margaret Atwood, her book the Blind Assassin— that’s around here too; that gets raved about so much; I’m a decent amount into it— done with the first “Book” of it— I’m a little worried I have the story figured out but I hear it’s got a lot of twists to it.
“Pan Macmillan’s Don DeLillo book series, published by Picador in 2011, has won a Yellow Pencil for Book Front Covers design at the D&AD Awards held this week. The Don DeLillo series covers were designed by illustrator Noma Bar at Dutch Uncle, London, with art direction by It’s Nice That and INT Works." (via)
(via supervillain). Oh man, Harlan Ellison— I took a drive late last year after having lived here for years, and made a pilgrimage and drove by his home (aka the Lost Aztec Temple of Mars). It’s in this pretty part off Mulholland, surrounded by these very pleasant California homes, and from the outside, it’s as ornate as it’d always sounded— gargoyles, snake carvings, multi-armed Aztec gods on the exterior walls. I took a photo from my car like a tourist, but it doesn’t show how neat the garage area is. He doesn’t give tours because of course he fucking doesn’t but… I’d sure go on that tour.
I remember really, really digging Run for the Stars but I haven’t read Ellison in years, though I’ve had an itch lately to go through that stuff again. Run for the Stars isn’t super-Ellison-y or probably even very noteworthy— it was part of that war-with-aliens stretch of stories where he was doing his own brand of splashy action spectacles, the most famous of those being Demon with a Glass Hand (the Outer Limits / lawsuit with James Cameron one). I just remember it being very entertaining. I was a member of the Record Club when I was 22 and everything— I had Jeffty is Five on cassette.
The thing I think most about though, the one that stuck with me and that I think about … pretty damn often actually, come to think of it, is the screenplay for the Harlan Ellison Movie— I think it’s in one of those Essential Ellison volumes. Some movie producer said, “Write whatever you want” and he turned in this screenplay for a, like, psychedelic-ish hippie “society is what’s wrong” movie. I really want to re-read that, but I don’t have that in arm’s reach… (I’m a little scared to revisit his stuff because I just feel like… his voice is perfect for me, ages 20-23 in a way that I kind of want to leave intact?) The thing I’m surprised I don’t see more of though is Mefisto in Onyx— that limited edition had those Frank Miller drawings…
(Wait; that’s a lie; the thing I think of most with Ellison is him on Tom Snyder talking about his run-in with Frank Sinatra, when he was playing pool with Peter Falk or whatever— it all went into that Gay Talese story Frank Sinatra Has a Cold; he told the best joke in that episode; in a nutshell: there’s a massive earthquake, and a hotel collapses into rubble; there’s a telephone call from the rubble, and a guy says “Help, help I’m trapped” and the firemen go “Calm down, where are you” and the guy goes, “I’m in room 324.” He told it better, but. I fucking love that joke…)
I don’t know; difficult, messy person, sure, but I’m so grateful to have read that guy when I did… (EDITED: it’s weird sitting here thinking of it how much my idea what a writer’s supposed to be is based on reading that guy at that age…)
By Margaret Atwood
I was looking at Born Again recently, because I’d remembered it having interesting ideas on color, and got curious what happened to Christie “Max” Scheele— one of those names in every other book I read as a kid that I didn’t really know much about, despite her being such a key player for so many of those; looking at her cv, I easily saw more of her work as a kid than any other person! The Man without Fear site did an interview with her just last year:
I colored comics for 20 years, way longer than I ever expected to, being primarily a painter. I was working on my fine art career all along, first creating bodies of work that were gallery-ready, and then beginning to build my exhibition resume and sales track. By the time comics had downsized, Marvel had changed drastically, and coloring went to computer (which I did not want to do, my back/neck already suffering from holding the same position while coloring for so long), I was well on my way. Folks mostly shook their heads when I said that my best bet for employment was to work fulltime on building painting as a business, because it is a very hard business to make a living at, but I was already two thirds of the way there. Now I mentor other artists to teach them how to engage (with a good attitude!) in the whole process of career-building, which is very fun, along with all of my exhibitions and of course, work in my studio. […] Life is great, post comics, because I am doing what I always set out to do.
“went to short dogs house,
they was watching Yo MTV
Yo MTV RAPS first aired:
Aug 6th 1988
Ice Cubes single “today was a good day” released on:
Feb 23 1993
”The Lakers beat the Super
Dates between Yo MTV Raps air date AUGUST 6 1988 and the release of the single FEBRUARY 23 1993 where the Lakers beat the Super Sonics:
Nov 11 1988 114-103
Nov 30 1988 110-106
Apr 4 1989 115-97
Apr 23 1989 121-117
Jan 17 1990 100-90
Feb 28 1990 112-107
Mar 25 1990 116-94
Apr 17 1990 102-101
Jan 18 1991 105-96
Mar 24 1991 113-96
Apr 21 1991 103-100
Jan 20 1992 116-110
Dates of those Laker wins over SuperSonics where it was a clear day with no Smog:
Nov 30 1988
Apr 4 1989
Jan 18 1991
Jan 20 1992
“Got a beep from Kim, and
she can fuck all night”
beepers weren’t adopted by mobile phone companies until the 1990s. Dates left where mobile beepers were availible to public:
Jan 18 1991
Jan 20 1992
Ice Cube starred in the film “Boyz in the hood” that released late Summer of 1991, but was being filmed mid-late 1990 early 1991 and Ice Cube was busy on set filming the movie Jan 18 1991 too busy to be lounging around the streets with no plans. Ladies and Gentlemen..
The ONLY day where:
Yo MTV Raps was on air
It was a clear and smogless day
Beepers were commercially sold
Lakers beat the SuperSonics
and Ice Cube had no events to attend was…
JANUARY 20 1992
National Good Day Day
This man is a fucking scholar for the ages.
Bruce Sterling Closes the 2011 Art+Environment Conference.
“People are going to get over talking about consumerism. There’s sort of a lot of ritualistic condemnations of consumerism, and here, it’s gone, okay? There’s no middle class. There is no mass consumption. It’s an old-fashioned problem; it’s a luxury problem. There’s nobody there to do that for you— it’s an older person’s idea of a problem. The prosperity machine broke years ago— it’s not coming back.”