18 September 2006

Words have changed a lot

In that fandango, no shoes, no essence...

Felix Machucho: I have an uncle named Altanasio Teoba Dominguez. He played the jarana, composed verses and decimas. He was a poet and sang the decima with music. An artist is good because of his echo.

Maria Asunción Baxin: When I was a girl, only the rich had shoes. The poor couldn't afford them and danced barefoot on the 'tarina.' Back then there was an appreciation of the music together with what the feet were saying.

Feliciano Escribano: I have verses for confronting the other singers; it's just that when I learned there was a lot of the old singers of verses. I learned how to sing verses from a poet. I would buy what were called a 'chain of verses' from him. I work selling oranges in Santiago. All I take are a thousand and I go from house to house with a cart.

Leoncia Teguna: I can't remember what year I was born. Last year I turned eighty. Eighty years old and I don't have a single enemy, not at all.

Salvador Tome: Singing the fandangos used to be dangerous and it still is in those places down by the Sehualca. It's dangerous when someone who doesn't like you hears you singing well. It's certain that there will be bullets, machetazos, or a knifing.

Bertha Llanos: In the present day, words have changed a lot because there is so much education. People used to speak materially, but now things are different.

From Alex Dempster's narrative of Son Jarocho players at the Mexic-Art Museum, Austin.

17 September 2006

Through the airplanes

I thought that by floating an itinerary here I would get good suggestions, and Andy's suggestion of St. Louis' City Museum did not disappoint.

I tried to do pretty much all the outdoor climbing it entailed, which involved going throught those two airplanes pictured, which I climbed right to left as the picture shows. I got to the end of that top tube, which leads downward into a staircase, and not being a kid I couldn't turn around in the tube to go down feet first, and going down head first didn't seem to be worth it from a risk management standpoint, so I flipped over and crawled on my back to the right. It doesn't feel great on the knees but you don't feel it later. Once you place your trust in the engineering, being held up by nothing but wire mesh is exhilarating. I must have looked pretty funny up there.

Also notable is that when I see families sightseeing together, invariably either the parents or the kids get bored. I like to go wherever I want (having none for now), hang with my nephews when I feel like it, and watch the people cut their museum visits short for the kids or act bored and fork out big bucks in giddy-kiddie places. But here families really have a lot of fun together and bond. The secret is that all the adults act like little kids, which the kids love.

11 September 2006

07 September 2006

Review: Cinema

Was stressed out for of couple of reasons and I’ve been waiting for La Moustache to come to South Jersey, so tonight was movie night.

La Moustache: If you’ve read a review, then you know the basic premise: a guy shaves off his mustache, his wife doesn’t notice, hijinx ensues. I thought, what a great idea for a movie, and let’s face it, I would watch Emmanuelle Devos and Mathieu Amalric read the phone book together. When Arnaud Desplechin shoots those two, one of them is neurotic but functional and the other is a total mess, and they seem to switch off; here they both played off someone else who was a mess. The other Amalric-is-a-literary-type vehicle worth checking out is Assayas’ ‘Late August, Early September.’

When the opening credits rolled I thought, do I really need to see the actual movie? Well, it does utilize ambiguity to milk all the psychodrama out of that comic premise. I’ve been watching Antonioni’s ‘Eros Is Sick’ trilogy and it is a sort of cartoon version of La Notte, and it’s in color, and the third act is in Hong Kong, as I didn’t know if Devos was allowed to leave Paris.

The other funny thing is they used Philip Glass music, which is unusual in a comedy. Usually you hear his music in a movie and you wait for the world to go out of balance, or Mishima to kill himself, the Maoists to repress the Dalai Lama, or John Heard to tell off a pol in Mont St Michel, but here a Glass score is played for laughs.

So this is Ian’s Summer Pick, tho I can’t remember if I saw something else that was good this summer.

Wicker Man: Saw about twenty minutes in the middle, as I only had one choice for my filler until Changing Times, piece of crap, but it does draw you in. I don’t have cable, but it’s the kind of movie people seem to watch when they have cable. I find horror movies to be the most ideological, and LaBute seems to be grandstanding about something here, but I don’t know or care what.

Changing Times: Catherine Deneuve’s first line is her complimenting her son for shaving off his goatee, so already they forfeited what has proved to be a winning dramatic concept.. Once I went to this theater and paid to see Charles Durning play the governor (O Brother Where Art Thou?) and snuck in to see Charles Durning play the mayor (State and Main).

SPOILER ALERT The times they are a-changing. END OF SPOILER ALERT Never thought much of Téchiné, here he creates a lot of characters and gives them two acts of development but with this amount of characters it gets up to 108 minutes. Worth seeing for the acting, though.

SPOILER ALERT France and Morocco are one happy dysfunctional family but the Yanks are gunning down the Iraqis END OF SPOILER ALERT

Factotum: The good news is that now that Mickey Roarke and Matt Dillon have both played Charles Bukowski in essentially the same movie, the chances of Tim Allen playing Bukowski are lessened.

04 September 2006

Imagine it. Discover it. (TM)

I was reading about how in Kansas City, you can live, work, eat, and conduct your social existence all within the headquarters of Hallmark Cards. I don’t know what the occupancy rate of this place is but someone decided this is what people wanted.

Here you don’t need to write poems, because Hallmark already has poems for every occasion and emotion! And what verbal contrivance of ironic detachment can rival the stated fact that you live and work in the Hallmark Cards HQ? What purer commentary on the myth of America? But keep the poems coming, folks, please.

03 September 2006

02 September 2006

Consumerism without consequence

The most unintentionally funny line of 2005, cinematic or otherwise, would appear to be (spoiler alert) from the special features of the recently released DVD version of Žižek!, where Barry Nolan of CN8 Boston’s TV talker Nightbeat interrupts a Žižek rant with ‘You’re kind of Dennis Leary... from Slovenia!!’

So you see why it’s good to hold off on your year-end awards until the following autumn.

I don’t know what it means: I know that Leary is a comedian who may have a tough parent schtick that may be relatively lacking in implicit irony of totalitarianism metaphors, or a coffee monologue (looking on his Amazon page now), though there’s probably someone who really IS the Slovenian Denis Leary who’s not amused.

01 September 2006

Ten gallon line

I hypothesize that the Cowboy Hat Threshold is 100 miles West of the Mississippi irrespective of the curvature of the river.

The Route 44 Missouri Cowboy Hat Threshold relates to the 19th Century migration of abolitionist Irish and Germans (who moved West on a latitudinal straight line and elect the Carnahans and Gephardt) to St. Louis that led to the state voting in 1860 to join the Union and the farming communities further west that supported the Dixie militia that were sent there on the order of Governor Claiborne Fox Johnson after the Union started tapping the state arsenal. Somewhere between Suburban St. Louis and Majority Whip Roy Blount’s Ozark district, which Ashcroft lost the primary for in 1972, it is time to take off the Cardinals cap and don the Stetson.

I like to wear a cowboy hat when it’s sunny, but only in places where the old-timers wear them.