13 August 2006
Complacencies, coffee, oranges, and cockatoos dissipating the holy hush of ancient sacrifice
I managed to find some web recipes for my ingredients but I didn’t get enough chiles; I got one poblano in Camden. The last cab ride I had in DC was with an Ethiopian driver on the way to Meskerem; I have taken to Silver Spring for Ethiopian plus they have groceries that enable you to wrap everything you eat for four days in injera.
The ‘other’ significance of ChiPs to poetic rhythm is its occurrence in the list-verse tangent of the Black Flag song ‘TV Party’ and Emelio Estevez’s (can I work Cheech Marin and Jimmy Smits into this thread?) a capella version in the movie Repo Man: after polysyllabic shows are listed (Fantasy Island, Different Strokes, Fall Guy) there’s something both humourous and stylistically revelatory to the monosyllabic “ChiPs.” As the thing perceived, “CHiPs” functions within the rhythm and image-presentation sort of like a geometric point that both exists in space and doesn’t, because the phenomenon envisaged by the tableau is that of people who cannot bear collectivity without the presence of meaningless diversions, and Chips represents both such a meaningless diversion and a cultural product that transmits absolute meaning to the characters depicted. I have attempted to minimize blogging about the nostalgia for the passive.
I remember the debate at the recognition of the new digital potential of TV. Gore said give all the public airways away to the communications giants and McCain said, well give the people some things as long as there’s at least ten law enforcement channels. I don’t watch cop shows, which is unrelated to my perception of policemen, except that policemen often watch cop shows. I used to visit an ex-cop who would watch the one with Shatner and it was a way for him to connect with the glorious narrative that got him into that business which was in turn a conduit to his youth, which he would joke about, but cop shows have a logic all their own which is not empirical, especially the docu ones, since all cop show writers reference other shows rather than anything that happens in real life.
Goebbels would have used cop shows to display the inherent criminality of individuals in contrast to the just state, and I don’t pay attention to whether that’s what they have on the tube now. I have a fictional character who is a coroner, and apparently those CSI shows have a lot of coroners, and once in a hostel I tried to get the TV viewers to describe the coroners on those shows, but it didn’t help much.
I didn’t see Manderlay in the theater, but it should arrive tomorrow by one of those mail-services: von Trier’s Dogville is an experience of America culled from American TV and film (since I don’t think von Trier has ever been to the US). It’s amazing how Europeans love to talk about how the American South is, but the people who do the talking never actually visit it. Abroad, the American South represents the Red States that steer the world’s superpower away from policies more like theirs, which in the case of von Trier's Dogville brings forth a neurotic mythology that vacillates from infantile to Brechtian, but is still one of the best films or the best of the last few years.
Dogville is a departure from the New Social Realism style that his own Dogme helped spawn, in favor of a cinematic method that imitates a auteur, Tarantino, who learned about humanity from watching TV.
You can live ten lifetimes in NJ and be vague about it: there’s no public square, which I suppose is why everyone comes here because they left places where the public squares were used for executions.