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Tuesday, February 29, 2000
e-prime

i was reading about barbara kruger today (via the nubbin!) and i was thinking the hegemonic "is of identity," elucidated upon at length by RAW, really helps inform her work. like how her piece on "ciphers of identity," when politicized, can take the form of a provocative statement like "all violence is the illustration of a pathetic stereotype."

there's something to be said about the clouded haze of the"is of ambiguity," though, too, i think.

Monday, February 28, 2000
i saw wonder boys in skokie yesterday, about a world weary writer/professor who realizes he lacks all too much autonomy in his everyday life. wishing to be one way, he instead acts another.

by externalizing the source of his well-being (through his book in progress, an aldulterous relationship, drugs), the means never quite allow him any sense of fulfillment.

paralleling his travails is a seemingly troubled student of his who lacks structure in his life except for a morbid fascination with hollywood suicides and a flair for fiction.

together, through a series of screwball mishaps involving a gun, dead dog, marilyn monroe's wedding jacket, a stolen car and lots of weed, they break through confining social mores and scrape out a measure of autonomy and enlightenment for themselves. the movie reminds us all that a book deal and a loving relationship are all you can hang your hat on in life.

squarely in the tradition of suburban melodrama see also: the ice storm, happiness, rushmore, metroland, american beauty, magnolia. influences: john cassavetes, douglas sirk.

Sunday, February 27, 2000
jah jah warriors!

P.O.D. rap-metal christian rockers. they did a track on any given sunday, oliver stone's fin de siècle take on the NFL.

Saturday, February 26, 2000
hey, i'm going to see the flaming lips at a frat bar up on addison tonight. it should be cool, it's like a pre-tour concert for their new album, the soft bulletin, heavily promoted by warner bros.

here are some other indie-pop/rock bands and their latest efforts.

tastefully melodic, (un)sentimental, ironic music. check your local listings.

Friday, February 25, 2000
prepucal lament*

I wish i had a foreskin
to peel back and reveal
the bulbous head of Glans
where, if i could, i'd kneel

Before a sunken treasure
ensconced within a hood
a tiny one-eyed monster
pulsating with my blood

Alas, it lies there naked
exposed to the sun
weathering the merciless elements
nerves raw as i run

(chorus)
Oh! Circumsicion!
where hast thou taken me?
dried and dessicated
far from the Pangaean sea

Moist, warm enclosure
like a mother to me
you were taken away in childhood
never again to see

Primogenital longing
whithered over the years
i had to endure the ridicule
while fighting back the tears

*note: i was thinking this kind of goes along with dylan's "stuck inside of mobile with the memphis blues again"

Thursday, February 24, 2000
birth caul by alan moore

The birth caul, gradually unfolded, is a fragile tatter, a lost map to be restored with these faint tracings, lines as thin and tentative as veins. The flaking membrane charts a monstrous and forgotten continent, each vivid splash of motherhood an archipelago. It is a crumpled and mismanged postcard from a vanished state, it's message in an antique hand not readily deciphered. The birth caul documents a personal Atlantis, a pre-verbal dreamtime, a naive shamanic state rich with abandoned totems; unremembered dance and fire; the florid signatures of mediaeval demons half-apparent through the strange-attractor loops of scribbled chalk upon a playground wall. A dark without a doll.

Wednesday, February 23, 2000
minus man - a small gem of a film in the tradition of jim thompson, a hard-drinking writer.

He was drunk, bitterly nostalgic, and undervalued - the classic "lost" American writer.

some other hard-drinking writers i know of:

  • charles bukowski - presiding booze-hound laureate
  • dorothy parker - Three be the things I shall never attain: Envy, content, and sufficient champagne.
  • jack london - "lover, fighter, and onetime hobo" and a "hard-drinking womanizer."

Tuesday, February 22, 2000
i thought i'd weigh in a couple worthy presidential candidates i saw on c-span the other day.

  • heather harder - mother, businesswoman, educator and author
  • jim taylor - waiter, temp worker, massage therapist, band road manager, writer, filmmaker, and has worked the grill at McDonald's

write 'em in!

Monday, February 21, 2000
The telephone rang once, and then again, and again. She took a couple of deep breaths. “Okay, okay, okay.”
     “What’s the matter?”
     “It’s my husband, he always...”
     “What?”
     “Checks up on me.”
     The phone stopped ringing. She sat for awhile, her fingers digging into her temples.
     “You should have picked up, told him what’s going on.”
     “Yeah right. Told him I’ve been doing it all day with a traveling encyclopedia salesman straight out of college.”
     “Harvard.”
     “Really! God, what was I thinking?”
     He leaned over and massaged her neck. “Besides, what’s a marriage without honesty?”
     She let his pointy fingers work for a minute and then sat back against the headboard. “Get dressed, he’s going to be home pretty soon.”

****

His skinny mobile arms picked through the clothes on the floor and emerged with a little red bow tie and the tight fitting grey suit she had ripped off him earlier that morning. “I’ve slept with Pee-Wee,” she said to no one in particular.

****

He rummaged through his backpack. “I don’t mean to pry, but how often do you do this? I can come back you know.”
     “That won’t be necessary. How much for the bound leather set with gold leaf?”
     He chuckled. “Guilty conscience?”
     “How much?”
     “The micro or macro edition?”
     “Both”
     “Five hundred seventy-eight dollars and eighty-eight cents. It comes with a CD-ROM by the way.”
     “Great. I’ll write a check.”

****

He was standing by the window.
     “Are you crazy! Get away from the window, he’ll see you!”
     He was waving. “Too late now.” He turned his head towards her. Two mechanical pencils were sticking out of his nostrils and he was squinting down on two pennies in either eye. Abraham Lincoln was facing out.
     “Do you think this is funny?” she asked. Her voice had risen an octave.
     The phone rang. He unsquinted his eyes and the pennies fell out.
     “You better pick that up,” he said.
     The phone rang again. He pulled a gun from his blazer and pointed it at her face. “Pick it up.”
     “Who the hell are you?”
     “Just a crazy guy from the postoffice. Now pick up the phone, your husband wants to talk to you.”

Sunday, February 21, 2000
rider on the storm

As north German Christian Democrats gathered last night in the industrial town of Wolfenbüttel to discuss the scandal-ridden party's plight, it was not the powerful regional leaders that took the limelight but a former East German physicist with a craggy face and childlike grin.

Angela Merkel, CDU general secretary, has emerged as the most powerful force for change in a party paralysed by revelations of law-breaking, secret bank accounts and deception under the 16-year chancellorship of Helmut Kohl.

When Wolfgang Schäuble, the party leader who himself was ensnared in the web of allegations, finally quit this week, Ms Merkel, 45, emerged as an early favourite to succeed him. She would be everything leaders of the centre-right CDU are usually not: young, female, direct and from the east.

Saturday, February 19, 2000
i was just thinking it'd be cool to have an olympics in africa. i would totally go.

oh yeah, and a vacation in odessa.

have you ever seen 'black cat, white cat'? it's hilarious!

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