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December 19, 2005

come on guys

Reading groups, readings, breakdowns of book sales all tell the same story: when women stop reading, the novel will be dead.

Novelist Ian McEwan in The Guardian.

philip pullman

Pullman refined his own storytelling gifts orally, by recounting versions of the Iliad and the Odyssey to his middle-school students. He estimates that he's told each epic at least thirty times. Indeed, he once caused a scene in a restaurant when he was retelling the Odyssey to his son Tom, then about five years old. "Every time we went out to dinner, I’d tell it to him in serialized form while we waited for our food to come," he said. "I'd just gotten to the part where Odysseus has come back home in disguise as an old beggar. Penelope has taken Odysseus's old bow down and told the suitors that she'll marry whoever can string it. They all try, but none of them can do it. Then Odysseus picks it up, and he feels it all over — to make sure it's still good, which it is — and then in one move he strings it. Of course, we know what's going to happen next — he's going to use it to kill the suitors — but just before that he plucks it just once, to hear the tone. Tom was so taken with the tension of the moment that he bit a piece out of his water glass. The waitress, who was coming toward us with our food, saw him do it, and she was so startled that she dropped her tray. There was food everywhere! It was chaos."

Laura Miller on Philip Pullman in The New Yorker.

December 13, 2005

miranda july

Go here and listen to Miranda July's "Chinese Fruit."

John Perry Barlow in Tripping

It was obvious to me that all of the separateness I ordinarily perceived was, in fact, an artifact of cultural conditioning, and was indeed less "real" than what I was supposedly hallucinating. At that moment, I knew that I was, for the first time, experiencing things as they are, utterly continuous. There is no discontinuity. There is not one thing and another thing. It is all the same thing, The Holy Thing.

John Perry Barlow's narrative in Tripping: An Anthology of True-Life Psychedelic Adventures by Charles Hayes

December 9, 2005

how to read Zippy

I advise a 12-hour-a-day TV viewing regimen!!

Understanding Zippy (how to read the never intentionally obscure comic strip).

dean reed - who he

I was walking with my interpreter across Red Square where I was attending the Moscow International Film Festival when we came across a mob of people reaching for autographs.
"Who's that?" I asked.
"Dean Reed." replied my interpreter.
"Who's Dean Reed?"
"You don't know who Dean Reed is?! Why he's the most famous American in the whole world!"
Tom Hanks is planning to make a film about Dean Reed, AKA Red Elvis, the Colorado-born "love singer" who wowed Latin America and the Soviet bloc from the 60s to the 80s.

December 6, 2005

heave ho


heave ho
Originally uploaded by dmansouri.

December 2, 2005

ketjak

UbuWeb Ethnopoetics: Ketjak -- The Ramayana Monkey Dance

Performed by more than 200 men seated in tight concentric circles around a small central space reserved for the chief protagonists, the ketjak (loosely called "Monkey Chant") was first recorded in Bali by David Lewiston and released by Nonesuch Records in 1969. As a spectacular and alternative performance mode, it has had a germinal influence on western performance and poetics since then.

December 1, 2005

I want cheese

I had a dream where Mr. Squirrel ate a huge cake.
I had a dream where a chicken was washing dishes.
I had a dream about a beach . . . Never mind, it’s a secret!

Statements from the repertoire of a talking doll for sale in Japan, marketed as a "healing partner" for the elderly.