Monday, November 28, 2016

advice from ernie the cat

 oh for fuck's sake slow down & eat the flowers

Sunday, November 27, 2016


but of course the world is fucked up
that should stop you from having a good time?

Saturday, November 26, 2016

a vision / a dream

last night i dreamt [i don't put much stock in dreams] that we were survivors of the zombie apocalypse & the world didn't turn on human vs. human vs. zombies but human vs. zombies i recall a pivotal moment when we organized for survival we decided to evacuate & cull our resources to stop the endless waves of the undead marching forward eating thru what was our world until we piled sand bags & cinder block walls that stopped them we held the living dead with water cannons that tore in to their rotted flesh as we packed our gear gathered food & water & scrambled in to our vehicles for safer lands that was my dream my vision as the catastrophe winds up

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

quote unquote

You develop an instant global consciousness, a people orientation, an intense dissatisfaction with the state of the world, and a compulsion to do something about it.  From out there on the moon, international politics look so petty.  You want to grab a politician by the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, 'Look at that, you son of a bitch.'

--edgar mitchell, apollo 14 astronaut

Thursday, November 17, 2016

slavoj zizek on the election of trump


Tuesday, November 15, 2016

philosopher richard rorty wrote a book in 1998, achieving our country.  a quote from that book is currently making the rounds on social media via professor at queen's university at ontario, lisa kerr.  rorty was quite prescient in his prediction on the rise of trump, or a person like trump.  here is the quote:

here is an article published by slate about what rorty says happens next.

good luck, america

Sunday, November 13, 2016


*'i'm not giving up & neither should you'

Saturday, November 12, 2016

arrival [2016]

a thoughtful, melancholy sci fi movie about a linguist, played by amy adams, who is recruited by the u.s. government to help translate alien language.  a fascinating glimpse at first contact this flick, directed by denis villeneuve [who is currently filming blade runner 2049, the sequel to the great ridley scott movie blade runner [1982], which has me salivating in anticipation], i applaud villeneuve who steers us thru human conflict without becoming an action film.

rather, this is a think-piece movie on par with other think-piece movies like the aforementioned blade runner and 2001: a space odyssey [1968].  villeneuve keeps the tone muted, the light slatted, the music mournful to tell the story of adams as she learns the aliens' written language.  there is a great beauty in this story, based on a short story by ted chiang, in the theory that language can alter your brain's wiring.  the aliens', heptapods [named so because of their seven radiated appendages], do not live in linear time.  soon adams begins to live in the past, present and future as well.

there is a poignancy in adams' story for she is not an action figure but a woman who finds how to live by her interaction with the heptapods.  the madness of humans is portrayed fairly well as paranoia about why the heptapods arrived on earth.  military build up is inevitable.  interstellar war is threatened.

but like i said this is no action film.  it is the story of a linguist who finds herself as she discovers the purpose of the heptapods visit.  a beautiful movie about language that i can sink my eye teeth into.  still, i couldn't help thinking if the military had contacted a poet for contact.  a poet who is also a linguist and buddhist.  i was thinking of jaan kaplinski.  what would the heptapods make of him who already conceives that time is not linear.

well, instead we are given the grace of amy adams as she works toward connection to another intelligence that is so different than ours but similar to us, too.  she is a wonderful actor.  see how her hands tremble as she prepares to meet our visitors.  she is a delight to watch in this singular role.  and this movie is a balm to our troubled times.  we humans can and do connect, almost successfully.    

Thursday, November 10, 2016

when the times grow dark go to the drive-ins*

*this video i think transcends the song, even if the song is catchy as hell.  it is set at the drive-ins.  and i have developed a crush on the girl at the snack bar whose coy glances at the boy she fancies makes him spill her sodas on the cash register as he is ringing them up.  in short, this video is a piece of americana that is a celebration of being alive.

quote unquote

america i'm putting my queer shoulder to the wheel
--allen ginsberg

if we are living in a horror movie. . .

the man in the back row has a question

what now, & how do we weather the gathering storm?

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

even in the teeth of madness we remember we are human

* * *

we must love each other or die
--w.h. auden

* * *

Yes, She Says

Yes, I survived.
Now I face an
equally serious challenge: to get
on a bus,
to get home.
--ryszard krynicki

Saturday, November 05, 2016

the man from the future [2011]

what a time of abundance this is because instead of hurling myself into the maelstrom of an old fashioned video store to search among a limited number of titles lining the shelves to see a movie i merely flip on the TV switch over to the HDMI cable and browse among -- thousands, tens of thousands? -- of titles via online streaming services.  oh, i am so a 21st C boy!  i still love the hard copy.  i own a smattering of VHS tapes, some long out of print titles, and several hundred DVDs.  i pulled out my copy of barfly [1987] a couple nights ago because i wanted to watch mickey rourke ape the booze poetics of charles bukowksi.  it had been a while since i watched that flick.  been even longer since i hooked up my old VCR.  i have a terrific reading by thom gunn given at the lannan foundation in 1994 on VHS that i like to watch every now and again.

but of course i digress.  after a long day -- week, really -- of some much needed, long overdue, house chores i settled down and flipped open netflix and scanned the titles.  this feature sounded interesting, a brazilian comedy starring the wonderful wagner moura as a brilliant physicist nicknamed zero who is determined to develop a new form of energy.  instead he inadvertently created a time machine.  this time machine deposits zero back to november 22, 1991 at the party where his life changed forever.  the love of his life, helena, played by the gorgeous alinne moraes, publicly humiliates our hero then dumps him for a successful, world famous, modelling career.  sounds like a very mean move, and it is, but the reason for it is adequately explained deeper in the film.  helena dubs our sad sack, hang dog lover 'zero' at this party, a name that sticks to him for the rest of his days.

but now zero has the chance to change the future.  he takes that chance and the results are not what he expected nor wanted.  so he tries again, and there are three zeros at the same point in time and space.  zany.  writer/director claudio torres keeps things light and manic.  moura is delight to watch as he struggles with his selves to create and/or undo the futures he put in motion.  instead of a recursive loop of time where things could repeat forever and ever director torres keeps time linear in order to hold the narrative together.

it works very well.  does zero become a hero?  do cows poop in the pasture?  you know how this flick will end from the start.  the tone is light and the energy high for this is not a dark film.  zero is a likable goofball and helena is worthy of his antics.  this movie is a pleasure to behold and a wonderful discovery to make after a long day of household chores.  

Friday, November 04, 2016

event horizon [1997]

aw, man!  can't we have a sci-fi movie about how the universe -- nature -- is so awesomely complex, weird and beautiful that if we are able to grasp just a sliver of it by our comprehension our collective minds are blown?  instead, we get turds like this movie directed by paul w.s. anderson, who helms the goofy, but enjoyable evil dead franchise.  anderson is a good director, don't let the silliness of his films fool you.  yet, even orson welles couldn't tame this beast of a goofball movie.

i ask myself, why did i watch it.  because it stars kathleen quinlan, laurence fishburne, and sam neill?  yes;  i also i read somewhere that this is an atmospheric gothic horror on par with ridley scott's masterpiece alien [1979].  nope, this flick works as a sequence of jump scares which are plentiful but ineffective.

the macguffin is this, in the year 2040 a deep space ship, the event horizon, disappeared near neptune.  in 2047 its beacon sends a roughened crew of -- soldiers? -- led by fishburne to investigate.  on board is the person who designed the event horizon played by sam neill who explains that the event horizon is driven by a mechanism that can fold spacetime.  its mission was to travel to alpha centauri, our nearest neighboring star system.  using conventional means of propulsion it would take a space faring craft, like the space shuttle, about 165,000 years.  but the event horizon by folding spacetime could travel to alpha centauri about a day.

now, if that ain't good enough to blow your mind get this, an event horizon is the edge of a black hole.  go past it and you are trapped inside the black hole.  your travels in the black hole lead to the singularity, the place where the laws of physics are stretched.  there is a theory that black holes can be wormholes in the universe, a place where spacetime folds upon itself.  that's the idea behind the eponymous ship's propulsion systems.  it creates a worm hole via a black hole so it can traverse really big distances of space. 

instead of exploring the mysteries of black holes and worm holes we are treated to a horror of hell.  because the good ship event horizon didn't travel to alpha centauri.  the ship journeyed to hell.  we glimpse those images brought back from hell.  what do we see?  the usual tripe we get from images of hell, people being tortured, lots of blood and ripped flesh.

that's it.  even the gifted laurence fishburne can't save this film from banality.  i was hoping for at least a scary movie.  i got standard issue jump scares and a bogeyman in the form of sam neill.  the ideas of interstellar travel are wasted on this flick, even if the propulsion got the ship to another dimension called hell.  as a great sage said, hell is other people.  it's my fault, really.  i blame myself.  there is no bad art.  there is only the attention we bring to the products of creation.  i couldn't get past my derision of this film.  scientists, deep space explorers wouldn't behave in a way that would forecast their fall in fear.  really, these men and women are orbiting neptune!  such a feat alone would be marvelous.  the fx are pretty damn good in this movie.  just once i wanted at least one character to look out the window and say, damn!  my mind is blown! 

Wednesday, November 02, 2016

big joy: the adventures of james broughton [2013]

today is all soul's day, dia de los muertos, so what better way to spend the day after halloween than to do some chores then kick back and watch a few flicks.  this is one of those flicks that was broadcast on PBS a few months ago.  i watched it again this evening.

i don't have much to add but say that this documentary about the modesto, ca born, s.f. living poet/filmmaker is a delight.  further are the interviewees that give their memories of broughton who include kevin killian, jim cory and my favorite alex gildzen.

here's the thing about james broughton: his life insisted on pleasure, on joy.  few poets predicate their life, their life's projects, on joy.  broughton was born with a cheerful spirit.  and he lived in an era and locale, the late 20th century bay area, that encouraged delight and experimentation.  he lived at the right time and the right place for his joyful expressions in both film and poetry for love, sex, death and text.

but then again, his time and place can be extended for every one.  there is no good reason why we can't take broughton's example of delight, love and cheerfulness and create art, lives and societies that correspond to them.  i watched this documentary with utter pleasure.  i do not agree with what one talking head said, that marriage is an impediment to creative life that broughton had to break free from.  that may be true for broughton but for me my domestic bohemia is utterly dependent upon my family life.  there is no reason why poetry, domestic life are incompatible.  but that's my thing for james broughton shows us the adventure of life is pretty goddamn amazing and the joy we take in living/creating is worthy of our praise.