Friday, July 28, 2006

Mad World

After watching both versions of Donnie Darko, I really do like the original better than the Director's Cut. The latter spells everything out, becoming completely unsubtle and losing intrigue.

But thankfully, keeping this song:

Tears For Fears
Mad World

All around me are familiar faces
Worn out places, worn out faces
Bright and early for their daily races
Going nowhere, going nowhere
And their tears are filling up their glasses
No expression, no expression
Hide my head I want to drown my sorrow
No tomorrow, no tomorrow
And I find it kind of funny
I find it kind of sad
The dreams in which I'm dying
Are the best I've ever had
I find it hard to tell you
I find it hard to take
When people run in circles
It's a very, very
Mad World

Click here for the Gary Jules version from the film

Things that bring me joy

A few of my current favorite things, recommended:


1. Wisdom - Brian Jonestown Massacre. This song is just incredible - so good that I don't even care about the lyrics. A jam that doesn't overextend its welcome at 4.5 minutes, Wisdom has a slightly retro groove, dragged into modern day with a driving beat.

Other songs in heavy rotation:

You Were the Last High
Get Off
Love is the New Feel Awful
We Used to be Friends
Not if You Were the Last Junkie on Earth (Heroin is so Passe)

All by The Dandy Warhols - all great.


All from the CD "Little Plastic Castles" by Ani DiFranco

But it's Wisdom I keep coming back to . . .such a great driving song. With 5500 miles added in just 2 months, my car's getting a lot of Wisdom these days.


Donnie Darko - The Director's Cut

It just came out on DVD and makes a nice companion for the original. Longer, a little bit too convoluted, this version barely hit theaters around here in 2004's re-release. We had to drive 45 minutes to find a theater playing it. This version has a great documentary about the film's rise to cult phenom status in England and the US called "They Made Me Do It, Too" where UK fans discuss the film's many metaphors and potential meanings, including religious symbolism and Donnie as a modern day Jesus archetype.

Hedwig & The Angry Inch

After a lull, HaTAI is back on. The bittersweet, hard-rocking story of one man's. . .woman's. .
person's quest for fulfillment, wholeness and his/her 'other half,' Hedwig is one of the most creative rock musicals ever made. Coincidentally, there's some speculation that Hedwig also parallels the Christ story, from visual cues and symbolism.

Match Point

Woody Allen's return to mystery, some say an updated version of his classic Crimes and Misdemeanors, doesn't look for or offer easy answers. But it's worth viewing a few times.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

On understanding and using your will

" We like to lie to ourselves a lot about why we do things, because often our true purpose isn’t very nice or noble and doesn’t fit the ideal image we have of ourselves. You can’t know what your will is if you lie to yourself. There should always be at least one person with whom you are completely open and painfully honest, and that person should be you.

Give yourself permission to be imperfect, and realize that if what you see when you look inside isn’t very pretty — well, that too is your will. Besides, nobody else has to know your ugly, secret truths if you don’t want them to — and everybody else has their horrid little secrets. It’s called being human. Cut yourself some slack. It goes good on crackers.

By determining what your will is, you bring it into the light where you can examine it. Perhaps you’ll find that what you are willing is not what you really want, and you are now in a position to change it. Or perhaps you’ll find that you don’t want to change it, but you can accomplish it in a better way. Sometimes you’ll realize that when you thought you were being good, your were actually being bad — or the other way around. Or that your action won’t actually accomplish your true will, but is a mistake no matter how you look at it. Even if you are about to do something nasty, by knowing what you’re really up to you can at least do it well and minimize the consequences for yourself and innocent bystanders. If you’re going to do something, whether saintly or despicable, do it right. Step one is to know what you’re trying to do.

“Do what thou wilst shall be the whole of the law” means to live on purpose, and doing that lets you live better than you can if you just stumble your way through."

Click for the rest of the essay

In other news: the sun rose today

Fresh from today's HuffPo --

According to a CBS/NY Times Poll, six in ten Americans say world leaders do not respect President Bush. The poll highlights the public's wariness over the increasing violence and chances for peace in the middle east.

Between this poll and that of England recently, all I've got to offer is a resounding "Duh!" Dig in the spurs and call me Trigger: this is news?

Maybe the news is some of us are finally waking up to what others of us knew long ago. You can't respect someone who doesn't respect anything, including themselves.

Aside from his being inarticulate, mean-spirited, disdainful of average, hardworking people, full of false bravado and penny swagger, having the lowest job creation record since Herbert Freaking Hoover, looting the treasury, destroying as many social programs as he can find, signing orders that poison our waters, air and selves, agreeing to raise student loan interest rates, vetoing stem cell research, promoting the financial rape of senior citizens through Medicare D, creating a war that's so FUBAR even Generals don't approve of it, pandering to his rightwing religious fanatic base time and time again and letting New Orleans die a slow, painful televised death...

What's not to respect?

Yep. Duh, indeed.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Olberpornn of the, month

In honor of Keith's appearance on Leno tonight (great lavender tie!) here's another totally drool-worthy pic. Through the magic of TIVO, I can watch the Leno segment over and over again. Not for sheerly shallow reasons, either: he was really quite witty and quippy off the cuff, as usual. When asked if he'd ever run into O'Reilly, Keith said "Well, he can't go out during daylight hours." Hee.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Well, the Brits certainly get it

A recent polling of British citizens exposes many opened eyes, The Daily Telegraph reports:

"More than two thirds who offered an opinion said America is essentially an imperial power seeking world domination. And 81 per cent of those who took a view said President George W. Bush hypocritically championed democracy as a cover for the pursuit of American self-interests."

No, really. Ya think?!

It would appear obvious. Means, motive, opportunity...

First the means laid bare in the PNAC documents of the late 90's.

And then the motives, both legion and obvious: greed, hegemony, control of oil, flow of American dollars into defense contractors pockets (not coincidentally, many said pockets also worn in the halls of government)...

Finally, the opportunity, as also disclosed by the - online and readily available for your reading pleasure - PNAC documents. Requiring only a "Pearl Harbor like incident" to rally the American public...

We'll leave you to decide what exactly brought that event to fruition.

And yet, still...those who support the war in Iraq do so with nearly stunning naivete and willful blindness, citing 9-11, dismissing challenges to the rightness of our overturning a country, murdering innocent people by summoning one question: Do you think the world is a better place without Saddam Hussein?

It's a silly question. What's more: they know it is.

Smug smile in place, they search your eyes after having thrown down this oft-repeated, inane gauntlet, waiting for the chance to jump on your answer and expose the terrorist-lover they're convinced lurks right below your surface.

Iraq is arguably not better in many ways. However, that's not our right to determine, as only Iraqis can adequately make such a judgment. But the world?

I truly think not. Terrorism has tripled across the globe since 2003, according to our own US figures. And even a child could find correlation between our own American aggression and increases in other countries. As we've boasted for many a decade, America leads the free world. If our actions are violent, our concern for human lives, suffering and dignity negligible as displayed by our willing acceptance of policies in places like Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo, is it really any wonder the rest of the world follows suit?

As for Iraq, from that same article:

"Terrorist incidents in Iraq also dramatically increased, from 22 attacks to 198, or nine times the previous year's total. . ."

It grows increasingly difficult not to suspect our American water, mostly of the bottled variety these days, isn't tainted with happy pills. What else to explain how otherwise intelligent people still try to make arguments connecting Saddam with 9-11, or attempt to justify our own bloodlust and heinousness by bumper-sticker slogans like: The world is a better place without Saddam.

The world would also be a much, much better place without America leading the path for acts of wanton aggression, torture and endless war.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Silence of the hams

Biggest downside to library blogging? By the time I'm ready to put thoughts to screen, I've long lost whatever passion drove that need and desire for expression. So here I sit in a comfy, if sterile, public environment surrounded by fellow city denizens with nothing to write about. Nothing pressing, anyway. Add to that pressures of getting work done first, and the craziness of life lately, and you get one dead blog.

Two ways to rectify this situation: get a home computer or quit blogging. Since writing's always helped during stress and this is beyond any doubt the most stressful time I can recall. . .

Plus I miss working at home from time to time.

Love the furor over Bush's swearing. Really, I do. Not so much because it's truly a mountain made from a molehill, or because he's yet again a huge embarrassment to this country. Mostly because he showed his true colors for the camera: talking with a big old mouth full of food, spewing expletives and peanuts in equal measure.

Bravo. Well played. He looked less the leader of the free world and more the star of a Gerber commercial. All that lacked was the high chair and bib.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Captain Jack's latest outing - needs Captain Morgan

Blame it on midnight. Blame it on sleepiness, sadness, crabby kids and a tight schedule. Whatever you do, though, don't blame it on Depp.

To say I've eagerly awaited Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest is like saying a nun's slightly interested in Heaven. Or a Pirate maybe wants a bit o' treasure, Matey. Like my best friend - known to play her two foot talking Captain Jack doll into the telephone - Johnny Depp's Captain Jack Sparrow hits my own high notes.

Sadly, the second Disney installment left no lingering melody.

Packed-in with a Pirate-lovin' midnight movie crowd Thursday at Regal Cobblestone, awash in anticipation and surrounded by folks dressed like Captain Jack, the stage was set for an awesome moviegoing experience - the first on our respective blocks, even.

But the plot was convoluted, elements gimmicky and some completely needless save for setting-up the third and final installment. Aside from a few great action sequences -- swordplay atop a spinning water wheel left everyone breathless -- the movie lacked the easy charm, character development and impressive style of the first.

Speaking of, the second film owes a greater debt of gratitude to Depp for his incredible, indelible Captain Jack. He's got even better lines this time (though the voice seemed slightly different) and his heart's just as conflicted and cowardly as ever. Scenes with him sparkle. Which leaves a huge absence in storylines to which he's not tethered: Will and dad Bootstrap Bill's watery reunion comes to mind.

All pettiness aside, I've parted with $28.00 on far, far less entertaining items. For a super summer spectacular that's as twisty and enjoyable as its namesake, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest is certain to be the movie event of this summer.

If nothing else, go for Jack, love.

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