Monday, December 31, 2007

Last Picks and Kicks...

Courtney Fortune Band at the (petit) Mount Baker Theatre, January 11, 8 pm

The future of writing - Dasher

Borges Mirror Man

Charles Mingus: Triumph of the Underdog (Shanachie films) This is simply an astounding movie!

Judith Viorst - Necessary Losses (what we leave behind is who we are)

Burroughs Cut-up tapes (y mas)

Be safe tonight.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Amateur Woodworking

Ray McInnis, a friend and old Scot has an amazing project going on his website to trace the history of the Amateur Woodworking Project. Give it a look.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Wonderful Evening

spent re-reading some Borges stories (The South, The Book of Sand) and a wonderful collection of stories, Tales of the Night, by the Danish Writer Peter Hoeg, author of the much acclaimed Smilla's Sense of Snow. That and a little wine was enough.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Forty Days of Rain or the Tale of Two Murakamis

Ryu Murakami's new book, Piercing, is a wonderful touching love story. The two lovers are a man who has a desperate Freudian desire to stab a woman with an ice pick, and a woman who likes to stab her own thigh with a Swiss army knife, and dissolve Halcion into her lover's food/drink and do strange things to them while they sleep. A match made in, well, hell. This is the dark vein of Japanese culture, and brings to mind the films of Takashi Miike, who perhaps voices the implosion of the horror that was nuclear half a century ago, and is now something quite else.

Another Murakami, far better known, & equally strange at times, and particularly in time, Haruki, has put out his tightest novel since South of the Border, West of the Sun. After Dark is is a wonderful book, full of youth at the border of life, and jazz, and love hotels, and Denney's restaurants, and a woman who moves between realms. The entire action takes place in the course of one night, that endlessly mysterious terrain.

Forty days of rain. Build me an ark of books.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Where are books going?

These people have ideas:
Institute for the Future of the Book if:book

if, book call me

Shampoo Planet

Douglas Coupland, the Vancouver writer who I believe actually coined the expression Generation X now has several wonderful literary, word-art youtube videos. Check out one of them below.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Anti-racist books


BOSTON, MA (Dec. 5, 2007) - They definitely are passionate about books, and about social justice. For twenty-three years, the Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Bigotry and Human Rights in North America ( ) has identified books speaking of too-often erased histories and too scantily noticed ideas and strategies for a more humane future. Today the Center announced the 2007 winners:

  • Kenny Fries, The History of My Shoes and the Evolution of Darwin’s Theory (Carroll & Graf)
  • Saidiya Hartman, Lose Your Mother: A Journey Along the Atlantic Slave Route (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
  • The Revolution Will Not Be Funded: Beyond the Non-Profit Industrial Complex, edited by INCITE! Women of Color Against Violence (South End Press)
  • Sara Littlecrow-Russell, The Secret Powers of Naming, (University of Arizona Press)
  • Tina Lopes & Barb Thomas, Dancing on Live Embers: Challenging Racism in Organizations, (Between The Lines)
  • Micki McElya, Clinging to Mammy: The Faithful Slave in Twentieth-Century America, (Harvard University Press)
  • Steven Salaita, Anti-Arab Racism in the US, (Pluto Press)
  • Alex Sanchez, Getting It: A Novel (Simon & Schuster)
  • Chip Smith, The Cost of Privilege: Taking on the System of White Supremacy and Racism, Camino Press)
  • Harriet A. Washington, Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present (Doubleday)

The list is eclectic. “Any one of the winners is a stepping stone to deeper thought and renewed social justice activism,” says Loretta J. Williams, Director of the Center.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


The first film to be (purportedly) constructed entirely out of surveillance videos.

Advancing humankind's most notable achievements.
thanks to Miguel.

All Things Considered

If you are not a thing, beware.

Friday, December 7, 2007


Nice day, sunny, cold wind from the north, that's BC north, friend.
Listening, or rather in and out of listening to a 25th anniversary recording of Terry Riley's in C.
I started out listening and re-reading Poe's Masque of the Red Death which I want to use for a class next quarter and during was thinking about the entire interaction of how music accompanies reading. Obviously a large terrain to explore -- wonder if anyone has worked on it? The effect of Ornette Coleman on reading Murakami for example.
So about an hour or so (how long is this piece anyway?) into in C I was thinking that damn, I'd give just about anything for a slip into F#minor, etc. Which is what I would do as a dadaist among them.
Recent picks (thanks to Cile for making me aware of these):
Danny Schmidt Enjoying the Fall
Antje Duvekot Big Dream Boulevard

Having lots of fun poking around youtube for bands I used to listen to in high school. Also thinking about the cultural effect if youtube went out of business tomorrow. Has anyone archived this stuff, or it simply all things are transient?

Monday, December 3, 2007


Windy and rainy and warm. Reminds me of a Weepies song. What does not change is the will to change (Olson, Kingfishers), the wail of the wind, the spiral of the gene, the hand on the hammer, the plectrum.
Corn, and Grass...the new words of Pollan. A bit over-written, but messages we need to know. Food. Could it be simpler?