Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Antoni-ennui

Earlier today, Dizzyhead Dennis let us post some of his thoughts on the passing of yet another cinematic titan. Now Dennis shares some further Antonioni musings with Slate—but remember,
you read his controversial "Antonioni upstaged Bergman" meme (not included in the new obit) here first!

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And here's Tim Lucas, editor of the invaluable and addictive Video Watchdog, with some words for Antonioni—and for someone else:

Today, I send a loving genuflection halfway around the world today to one of my favorite filmmakers, Eric Rohmer—who recently turned 87—in the hopes that he can keep his name out of the headlines for awhile.


(Thanks to Dizzyhead John)

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What is going on??

This just in: Antonioni has died, age 94. (And I swear L'Avventura wasn't on my Netflix queue...)

(Via Dizzyhead Dennis)

Update: NYT obit.

UPDATE: Dizzyhead Dennis says, "It's weird—Antonioni has sort of become more fashionable than Bergman, and now in death, he's kind of upstaging him."

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Powerful Goodness!

Michelle Hlubinka—an old YH alum—has a delightful essay on "The Datebook" in Everyday Objects: Things We Think With (edited by Sherry Turkle and newly published by MIT). Toward the beginning of the piece, she reproduces a page from Benjamin Franklin's planner.

THE MORNING.
Question. What good shall I do this day?
5—6—7
Rise, wash, and address Powerful Goodness!
Contrive day's business, and take the resolution
of the day;
prosecute the present study, and breakfast.
8—9—10—11
Work

NOON.
12—1
Read, or overlook my accounts, and dine.
2—3—4—5
Work

EVENING.
Question. What good have I done today?
6—7—8—9
Put things in their places. Supper. Music or diversion, or conversatioon. Examination of the day.

NIGHT
10—11—12—1—2—2—4
Sleep.


Pretty inspiring, eh? Now I must get some work done!

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But first, here's a link to Jenny D on Salvinia molesta...

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Have any Dizzyheads watched Simon Schama's show, The Story of Art?

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Monday, July 30, 2007

Psycho-obscurism

Remember B. Kite's pangaea-caliber lede for his Rivette piece? Here's Atkinson's appropriately mammoth-sized kickoff to his Bergman obit.

Another thunder lizard falls – over a half-century after what has come to be known as "the art film" emerged onto postwar American screens, the Greatest Generation (semi-irony siren, please) takes another hit with the passing of an 89-year-old Ingmar Bergman, at once a dinosaur, a one-man New Wave, a mammoth formal influence, a pioneering pop existentialist, a despot in his own nation of cinematic currency, an unexploitable navel-focused artiste who did not bow to the world’s entertainment will but instead made it bow to him, an unestimable provider of cultural fuel to the rise of college-educated counter culture between 1959 and 1980, and, let’s face it, an astonishingly adventurous sensibility that embraced virtually every stripe of expression available to him, from melodrama to the world’s most overt symbolism to gritty realism to epic pageant, farce and avant-garde psycho-obscurism.

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Symphony space — The books of Three

Remember Paul Collins's great Believer piece on Don Miff? Paul writes:

It is difficult to get very far into Don Miff without suddenly holding the book very gingerly, examining the binding for radioactive scorch marks or other signs of time travel, and then finally exclaiming—“What the hell is this?”

A Believer reader has pointed out that this hard-to-find oddity is now available for free download at the Internet Archive.

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Yesterday I wrote up (but didn't post) a note about Three Percent, the nifty new blog that's part of Open Letter, a publishing venture with a focus on international lit (run by friend and former Dalkey Archivist Chad over at the University of Rochester). As I was copying the URL in order to post a moment ago, I noticed that today's 3P takes the PTSNBN to task!

Anyway! It's all coincidence! I'm just going to add the site to the links margin! That's all for now!

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Pure pop for now, people

Team Knucklehead—the tunesmiths behind the contagious New-York Ghost theme song—has four new toe-tappers up at its site. Valentine's Day is over (per Billy Bragg), but that doesn't mean you can't enjoy "My Baby's Valentine," sure to already be a smash hit in some alternate universe.

(Members of Team Knucklehead and Psychic Envelopes refuse to answer questions pertaining to the existence of a rare collaboration between the two groups, circa the early ’90s, a/k/a the last century.)

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Minty green writer's room—captured!

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The Uncertain, the uncanny

I was going to post something about this Times story set in Uncertain, Texas...then saw that Ingmar Bergman passed away.

What's the uncanny part? Well, at 12:15 this morning...I finished watching Cries and Whispers.

Footnote: The night before Saul Bellow died, I was at a wake, chatting about Saul Bellow.

Update: More magical thinking here.

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Sunday, July 29, 2007

Domino dancing

1. Memories of Pop With a Shotgun: Fab Four, Howard Stern, David Thomson, and more.

2. Great Onion piece: "Earthquake Sets Japan Back to 2147." Sample line: "The prime minister said that the greatest effort would be exerted on rebuilding the Procross Buster Quasigravitic Lensing Frame, the motive force behind Japan's automated network of roads, aerobuildings, and levitation canals."

3. Nice pic of a jar of rubber cement!

4. Levi weighs in on the ouroboros and more (NSFW!)...

5. Rachel in the Times on a two-person abstinence society at Harvard. The piece contains the classic line: "He redirects his attention toward his fajitas."

(Accidentally double-clicking that last word got me: "A dish consisting of strips of marinated meat, poultry, or vegetables that are grilled over an open fire and served in a tortilla, usually with spicy condiments. Often used in the plural.")

6. This NYT headline today led me to my first iTunes purchase in a while—does anyone remember this?

"April Wine" now appears right before "Arcade Fire" on my iTunes. There's a line in French toward the end of the song; what if all Canadian groups had to include a line in French in every song (or a song entirely in French, à la the Arcade Fire's "Une Année Sans Lumiére," on every album)?

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Friday, July 27, 2007

Spinning on that Dizzies edge


The Psychic Envelopes planned to record a special song for the season ("Minor Crush of Summer," a complement to "Winter Losses"), but it's not really coming together. As a stopgap, they offer this scruffy (read: unforgivably sloppy) cover of a Cure song, perfect for summer downloading!

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Another day, another...Dizzies Press Release

I'm reading again—?!?—with Lore Segal and Lynne Tillman:


BOMB Magazine’s 100th issue is now on newsstands! Join us for an evening of readings and festivities as we celebrate the summer and 26 years of publishing original poetry and fiction!

PARK LIT
August 1st
6:30pm
Tompkins Square Park
Central area, entrance: 7th St. btw Aves. A & B

Look no further than BOMB for your summer literary fix with a night of free magazine giveaways, subscription raffles, and readings by three talented readers:


Ed Park is a founding editor of The Believer and the former editor of the PTSNBNLS. His first novel, Personal Days, will be published by Random House in 2008.

Lore Segal is the winner of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters Award, the Harold U. Ribalow Prize, and the Carl Sandburg Award for Fiction. She is the author of the novels Other People’s Houses and Her First American (both available from The New Press), and several books for children. She lives in New York City.

Lynne Tillman is the author of four novels, three collections of short stories, one collection of essays, and two nonfiction books. Tillman's novel, No Lease on Life, was a New York Times Notable Book of 1998 and a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Her novel, American Genius: A Comedy, was published by Soft Skull Press last year.

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Also next week: Dizzyhead Douglas reads at Rocketship Comics in Brooklyn on August 3.

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Thursday, July 26, 2007

Superbad...and Super Bad Brad

One word review of new Michael Cera filmSuperbad: Supergood. (Thanks to Lady BIB.)

Must...stop...watching...this:



(Via Very Short List)

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Dizzies Press Release for Bay Area Dizzyheads

Wholphin 4 Debut Screening at Mezzanine
Presented by SF360 Film+Club
Tuesday, July 31st

Mezzanine 444 Jesse St., San Francisco
Doors open at 7pm, program starts at 7:30 pm.
Running time: 90 min.

Complimentary Damrak and Agavero cocktails and tasting from 7-8 pm. Tickets are $8 at the door or $5 if reserved in advance by emailing info@sf360.org.
Must be 21+ to attend.

Join us as the San Francisco Film Society's 360 Film Club presents Wholphin.

The program will include shorts from the new issue of Wholphin, including Andrew Zuckerman and Alex Vlack's High Falls, starring Maggie Gyllenhaal and Peter Sarsgaard; Heavy Metal Jr., a documentary featuring a band of Scottish 9-year-olds performing their song, "Satan Rocks," at the county fair; an excerpt from Lynn Hershman Leeson's hybrid documentary-essay film, Strange Culture, in which artist and professor, Steve Kurtz, is falsely accused of bioterrorism; Olivo Barbieri's mind-blowing aerial video footage that makes Las Vegas look like a toy model; Eagle vs. Shark director, Taika Waititi's, directorial debut; and more.

After the screening, visit the displays of headless flies, strange creatures from the deep, disturbing bacteriaphage, and alcoholic bees.

SF360 Film+Club is a monthly series taking movies out of the theater and putting them in the club. For more information, www.sffs.org.


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Attention Potter fans!


Time to re-read this poem by friend Jane: "THE ONLY CONFIRMED CAST MEMBER IS OOK THE OWL, WHO HAS BEEN TAPPED TO PLAY THE SNOWY WHITE OWL WHO DELIVERS MAIL FOR HARRY"

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Norwegian good

Via Complete Review, a look at a 1984 Norwegian novel (as yet unenglished) by Lars Saabye Christensen entitled Beatles:

Beatles is narrated by Kim Karlsen, and it's the story of him and his three buddies, Gunnar, Ola, and Seb—and, yes, they occasionally like to think of themselves as the Fab Four. They were born in 1951, and the story starts with the first wave of Beatlemania in Norway, in the spring of 1965. Each chapter takes a different Beatle song (or, near the end, post-Beatles solo song) as its title and theme—all the way through the winter of 1972—, but Christensen doesn't go completely overboard with this. It sounds—and, at first, looks—a bit too simple and obvious, but it's only a loose structure: this is a story of teenage years in Norway in the late 1960s, with music playing a big but not overwhelming role. (The Beatles are idolised, but don't always hit the right note: surprisingly often the lads are disappointed by the newest song— though practically each new single and album is a major event for them.)

I like the idea of chapters named after song titles (à la Special Topics in Calamity Physics' organizing scheme).

(Here's what Dizzyhead Darren had to say about a previous LSB novel, in the PTSNBN...oops, looks like I used the exact same headline that I did for this post! Curiously, I didn't know then that LSB had written a book called Beatles.)

Dizzyhead challenge: Name ten books (fiction or non-) which use Beatles titles!

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In a Huff

Levi's back from vacation, with some delightful posts, including this one about names. On a recent viewing of Double Indemnity:

And that name: Walter Neff. He was Walter Huff in Cain's novel, but the name was changed for the movie, and now it's perfect. The sound and the feel of it are just right for a guy who thinks just a little too highly of himself and is willing to be unscrupulous--but who is, ultimately, just another patsy in the hands of someone who instantly saw through him and had even fewer scruples than he did.

It makes a nice companion piece to Robert Cohen's article on naming in the upcoming (Aug.) Believer, "The Untragic Death of Henry Gladfelter." (I won't say too much more about issue #46 till it hits the stands, but fans of HBO's The Wire should note that Nick Hornby conducts a long and interesting interview with show creator David Simon.)

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"I guess the train's lost"

Are you excited for The Darjeeling Limited?

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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

More Dizzies Newsfeeds™ for Wednesday, July 25

Via Levi: The New York Sun has excerpted Luc Sante's "Commerce," which will appear in toto in the forthcoming book New York Calling (U. Chicago).

Once after leaving the World, a club on 2nd Street, I was riding in a taxi with J and R. Rounding a corner, we saw a mutual acquaintance, using a car hanger, breaking into a parked car. We knew he did things like that, but none of us had ever seen him in action. It was like watching a nature documentary—or better: It was exactly like looking out the window and seeing an egret building its nest.

(Here's what Jenny D had to say about it.)

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Beatles covers galore at Moistworks.

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Walking the cat


Dizzyhead Devin and wife Kathy and feline Nietzsche—avatarized!

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Dizzies Newsfeeds™ for Wednesday, July 25

Named for the Arabic word whose triliteral root - ayn, jeem, meem - holds such antithetical meanings as to clarify and elucidate and to make ambiguous and foreign, "I'jaam" follows the prison diaries of Furat, a young poet who keeps a record of his dreams and nightmares during his incarceration in Baghdad. Already jailed for writing off the official script, Furat takes precautions: He obscures the meaning of his words by leaving off the diacritical dots that distinguish about half of the letters in the Arabic alphabet from one another.

Two memos bracket the narrative: One acknowledges the discovery of Furat's manuscript and assigns the task of deciphering it; the other reports back on the task's completion. Whether by accident or design, the second memo leaves readers to puzzle over the liberties taken in the translation and interpretation of the text that lies before it. Meaning in "I'jaam" is forcefully unstable, and the recuperation of Furat's writing is deliberately, creatively left open to question.

—"A ruined manuscript, a broken country and the cryptic missives of a young man from Baghdad," in The Daily Star (Lebanon), by Kaelen Wilson-Goldie (who worked, long, long ago, at the PTSNBN)

I am always attracted to words like manuscript and cryptic, aren't you?

(Via Complete Review)

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From Jane Dark's Sugarhigh:

[O]ne way to understand [Transformers] is as a sort of measuring device displaying the necessary distance of fantasy at which the events in question can be screened. Or as a particular registration of the certainty that this one day in history is to be the Rosetta Stone of American cultural imagery for the foreseeable future.

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Jacques-rivette.com posts "Track One" of B. Kite's Rivette opus, originally seen in the pages of Cinema Scope. How's this for a beginning? I love how it's one huge, continent-sized sentence...

When a submerged continent rises suddenly to the surface, and one is able to visit territories that had been relegated to the fabulous by their previous inaccessibility, and trace continuities and significant ruptures between what had seemed isolated promontories, when there are new languages to learn and histories to uncover in urban centers still impossibly vibrant with life despite their decades of undercover existence, that, you may say, is a hell of a thing, and one steps out onto ground still redolent of fish and spackled with seaweed with excitement and apprehension, not least at the fact of one's own inevitable inadequacy as explorer, at a time when one stays close to home, keeping company with the cats, so seldom finding new neighborhoods, let alone new worlds.

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The ultimate Potter-spotting post?

Seen Reading spots Potter readers in Toronto.

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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Sweeney awed!

Congratulations to Team Dizzies member Rob and his new bride Andrea, who tied the knot today — T.D.M. Matt has the details of this happy event up at Termite Art!

Matt's footage will put a smile on your face:

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A man, a plan, a canal: Avatar



That's Arlo Ogg's Simpsons avatar (as a kid). She also redid mine for me—the hair is more realistic.



Here's Dizzyhead Sarah:



Potterwatch: Only one person spotted with HP&TDH today.

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Dizzies Newsfeeds™ for Tuesday, July 24

Very funny: Over at Termite Art, Team Dizzies member Matt interviews David Wain, Paul Rudd, and Ken Marino at SXSW, talking about The Ten.



And T.D.M. Rob is reading a volume of Proust a year.

Over at the NBCC's Critical Mass, Lindsay Waters makes me blush.

Note to self: Are my library books due today?!

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Monday, July 23, 2007

Dizzies Newsfeeds™ for Monday, July 23

I keep saying "woah" while reading this piece on Sontag by Eliot Weinberger.

It is a Hollywood cliché that a beautiful actress needs an element of ugliness to become a great star, and one might say that a genius needs an element of stupidity, or something wrong, to become a great imaginative writer. Sartre certainly had his. But Sontag seems to have had nothing stupid about her at all. Arguably the most important American literary figure or force of the last forty years, she may ultimately belong more to literary history than to literature.

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Our "Title Bouts" are over, but that doesn't mean we can't enjoy a recent submission from the great Poundstone. Dig in!



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"It’s sort of like a surrealist game."
—Alison Bechdel on web research (what a beautiful way of thinking about it! I am always playing surrealist games these days!)

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Love this poem: My old teacher Bruce Smith's "Devotion: Baseball" is featured in the summer issue of Poetry.

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Dizzies press release — 826 on 8/26

826NYC and The Bowery Presents return to the Beacon Theatre with an all-star evening of music, comedy, and storytelling


CELEBRATED SONGWRITERS, WRITERS, AND COMEDIANS COME TOGETHER FOR AN UNFORGETTABLE NIGHT OF LITERATURE-MEETS-MUSIC TO RAISE MONEY FOR 826NYC, A CHILDREN’S WRITING CENTER IN BROOKLYN, NEW YORK.


IN WHICH: A.C. NEWMAN sings alone. GRIZZLY BEAR is a band. FEIST reads from a book. JIM JAMES croons. SARAH VOWELL speaks. DEMETRI MARTIN hosts.

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The Beacon Theatre
Sunday, August 26, 7:00 PM
2124 Broadway (between 74th and 75th Streets), New York
Tickets: Balcony $35, Loge $45 Orchestra $50
Tickets available through Ticketmaster: www.ticketmaster.com, www.bowerypresents.com, www.beacontheatrenyc.com, or (212) 307-4111
On sale Friday, July 20 at 10AM
All proceeds go toward 826NYC’s free programming for children

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Brooklyn, NY July 20, 2007— 826NYC and The Bowery Presents present REVENGE OF THE BOOK EATERS, a one-night-only event that brings together celebrated comedians, writers, and indie-rock songwriters for a rare evening of intimate performances, including FEIST, A.C. NEWMAN (of The New Pornographers), JIM JAMES (of My Morning Jacket), GRIZZLY BEAR, SARAH VOWELL (best-selling author and This American Life contributor), and DEMETRI MARTIN (Daily Show regular, comedy superstar), that promises once and for all to try to settle the debate: words or music — which is better?


The evening will benefit 826NYC, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting students ages 6 to 18 with their creative and expository writing skills, and to helping teachers inspire their students to write.


This event, which is named after a story by an 826NYC student, is a follow-up to last year’s much-heralded event and six-city tour by the same name. Last year, the New York show sold out the Beacon Theatre in less than one day. At that show, Jon Stewart told jokes about his baby, David Byrne performed a country music set, Sufjan Stevens joined him for a duet, Sarah Vowell and Eric Bogosian acted out diary entries of a real-life explorer of the American West, John Hodgman hosted, and Dave Eggers doled out hugs. The deluge of local and national press coverage all agreed on one thing—that Revenge of the Book Eaters was a unique and awe-inspiring synthesis of the literary, comedy, and music communities in support of 826NYC's similarly innovative programming for kids.


This year’s show promises to pick up where last year’s left off, focusing on unique, memorable performances, all raising money for charity.



About the performers:


Feist is the stage name for Toronto-based musician Leslie Feist, whose recent album The Reminder has been universally lauded since its release in May. After damaging her vocal cords singing in a punk band as a teenager, Feist began a long string of collaborations in her 20s that included her performing with the electro-punk vixen Peaches, and joining the Toronto band Broken Social Scene. In 2004, her breakthrough solo album, Let It Die, won two Juno awards and landed on numerous “Best of Year” lists, paving the way for “The Reminder,” her follow-up, which prompted the New York Times to proclaim, “this album should transform Feist from the darling of the indie-rock circuit to a full-fledged star, and do it without compromises.” The Reminder was voted “Best New Music” by Pitchfork and was recently nominated for the Polaris Music Prize.


A.C. Newman is the primary songwriter and front man for the Vancouver-born indie pop band The New Pornographers. In 2004, he released the widely-acclaimed album The Slow Wonder, his first solo effort. Upon hearing it, Spin magazine requested that “pop genius Carl Newman” be “required by law to release a new album every month.” Last year he fled Canada for Brooklyn, to work on Challengers, The New Pornographers’ latest album, out on Matador on August 21st.


Jim James is the singer-guitarist and songwriter for the popular Louisville-based rock band My Morning Jacket. His voice has been described as an ethereal, reverb-drenched falsetto, and he cites The Muppet Show as one of his biggest musical influences. Known especially for live performances, he leads My Morning Jacket through American backcountry to arena rock with ease. He has been featured on albums by Bright Eyes, M. Ward, and Bobby Bare, Jr., and was awarded an Esky for Best Songwriter in Esquire’s 2006 Esky Music Issue.


Grizzly Bear are masters of the magical, haunting melody, crafting their songs from start to finish with meticulous instrumentation and arrangements. The young Brooklyn quartet’s most recent album, 2006’s Yellow House, received mass critical acclaim, was ranked as one of the top ten albums of the year by the New York Times, Pitchfork, and numerous other publications, and has been widely recognized as an understated masterpiece.


Demetri Martin is a comedian, actor, musician, and writer. He is a contributor to The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, where he appears as their Resident Trendspotter and Youth Correspondent. He was a writer for Late Night With Conan O’Brien, and he has had two one-hour specials on Comedy Central: Comedy Central Presents Demetri Martin and Demetri Martin. Person. In 2003, he was awarded the Perrier Award at the Edinburgh International Fringe Festival. Entertainment Weekly named him one of the 25 Funniest People in America. He is currently working on two films: Will (Dreamworks) and Moon People (Columbia Pictures).


Sarah Vowell has turned her gimlet eye—and razor-sharp tongue—toward everything from her father’s homemade (and life-size) cannon and her obsession with the Godfather films, to the New Hampshire primary and her Cherokee ancestors’ forced march on the Trail of Tears. Vowell is best known for her monologues and documentaries for public radio’s This American Life. A contributing editor for the program since 1996, she has been a staple of TAL’s popular live shows around the country, for which The New York Times has commended her “funny querulous voice and shrewd comic delivery.” Her most recent book, Assassination Vacation, was a New York Times Best-seller.

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2046 Update

Regarding an earlier post, Dizzyhead Pete writes in:

I just watched MINORITY REPORT again and one of the years mentioned in the movie (I think as the inception date of Pre-Crime, but I can't be sure) is 2046.

A couple weeks ago, Dizzyhead Jorge mentioned he'd seen 2046 on sale at Duane Reade. Tonight, I saw it there, too—$9.99! (Next to copies of Labyrinth and The Neverending Story!)

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(My aforementioned L.A. Times piece is now available, complete and uncut!)

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Sunday, July 22, 2007

George Bush — Potter census

"George Bush? A bookworm? In a crummy apartment?"

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Last night: Counted six people reading or carrying Harry Potter on the subway.

Today: Four people reading it in Riverside Park

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Dizzies Newsfeeds™ for Sunday, July 22

From the L.A. Times: "Wolk's close reading of the drawing style of Jaime Hernandez is a work of art in itself." (N.B., Wolk's Reading Comics features his great piece on Dave Sim's Cerebus, originally seen in ye olde Believer.) (There's a nice review in the Globe and Mail, too.)

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In other graphic novel news—also in the LAT: I take a look at a g.n. that (alas) misses the mark. (UPDATE: Link fixed.)

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"Korean emotional blitzkrieg": Atkinson on Bong Joon-ho's The Host.

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Saturday, July 21, 2007

Dizzies Newsfeeds™ for Saturday, July 21 Featuring BOLDFACE Technology

1. Attractive columnette: F. Gwynplaine MacIntyre's "Curiosities," in Fantasy & Science Fiction. Did you know that H.G. Wells wrote a quasi-sequel to War of the Worlds?

Gradually, Davis becomes convinced that the Martians have begun a second, subtler campaign to conquer Earth: this time the Martians are modulating the cosmic rays that bombard Earth, in a manner calculated to cause gradual mutations in humanity's genome, so that humans will eventually evolve into Martians.

I can't believe how short this feature is—the current one is just three brief paragraphs long, barely filling its page. Very Borgesian, no?

2. Robert Silverberg (in Asimov's) on deciphering cuneiform:

Quickly he found clusters of repeated words, the most frequent of which was a seven-letter group that he suspected meant “king.” In Old Persian that word was “khsheihioh,” and by lining up the characters he arrived at guesses for seven letters. Then, finding what seemed to be a royal name at the proper place in the formula, he matched the letters he had already identified against the name of a known king—Xerxes, “Khshershe” in Persian—and then tested his growing list of letters against the name of Xerxes’ father, Darius—“Darheush.” Bit by bit, by trial and error, he was able to claim identification of twenty-nine of the forty-two Class I characters by 1803. Although it turned out that he was wrong about some of these, he had provided entry into the mysteries of Class I cuneiform.

3. Somehow this seems related: Are you good at checkers? (Via NYT's "Champion at Checkers That Cannot Lose to People"—robotic headline, eh?—and Jenny D)

4. From a Times review of the show Kill Point (via Jane):

Cali is street-smart, but he is also a bit eccentric, a stickler for correct grammar and syntax who grows more doctrinaire under pressure. When a subordinate asks: “How do you want me to prioritize that? Is that important or not?” Cali snarls, “There are so many things wrong with the construction of that sentence, I can’t even stand to look at you.”

5. I think this Cali character would approve of the language in Jeff Tweedy's assessment of Grizzly Bear (from tomorrow's NYT):
I read a lot about this band but resisted based on the snide expression on a couple of their faces in a magazine. I can't get past those first impressions easily. There's so much music to listen to, so you narrow it down any way you can. I've missed out on a lot of stuff (probably based on arbitrary facial displeasure).

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Friday, July 20, 2007

Collective psychosis...begin!


Via Hua: My avatar gets photocopied and goes on tour...

Via Devin: What do you think about these new Jason Schwartzman tunes (recording as "Coconut Records")?

Via Maud: How to Start a Book Collection? Where to begin?!

And via Jenny: Have you heard of Photosynth? This will have you climbing the walls!

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Album title of the year? Over at Paper Thin Walls, you can listen to Hallelujah the Hills' Collective Psychosis Begone.

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Thursday, July 19, 2007

Cracklescape

"By placing a microphone in a hermetically sealed bottle, Holterbach captured the elegant jettison of stones and sand from a unique perspective: the claustrophobic confines of a glass vessel." —"Glass Bottom Notes," Christopher R. Weingarten

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Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Forever now

Dizzyhead Hua put together the virtual catalogue of essays for the Asian American International Film Festival. I've contributed this interview with Gina Kim, director of Never Forever.

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Reading Comics, Thinking about Harry


Dizzyhead Douglas's new book, Reading Comics, is a must for anyone (Chrita? Singer?) who takes the medium seriously—for example, now I'm going to be hyperconscious that I use "medium" instead of "genre" when talking about comics!

I dig the premise (or one of the premises): That the Golden Age of comics is...right now.

Largehearted Boy has his soundtrack and many useful links up. And here's a great interview our own Chrita conducted with him a while back.

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I talked to Scott Timberg of the L.A. Times about what makes the Harry Potter books so appealing to adults. (I'm wedged between Lee Siegel and Laura Miller.)

So, Park, continued, we have the kind of fantasy people typically harbor: "I am special, I come from great, even legendary forebears, everyone is concerned with my well-being / life, and perhaps even secretly worships me."

Just for fun, here are my previous musings on the Potteriad—film reviews (from the PTSNBN) of the Chamber and Goblet adaptations.

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Tuesday, July 17, 2007

"I know it’s tempting to stay and meet these blonde women"

Over at the Poetry Foundation, Dizzyhead Rachel looks into the strange success of Rumi.

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Atkinson: " I don’t think I’ll live long enough to see and read everything I already have."

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The five-paragraph essay

Best new form?

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Monday, July 16, 2007

Dizzies Newsfeeds™ for Monday, July 16

Light blogging till at least midweek—?!

1. Dizzyhead John, the brains behind Team Knucklehead and the "Theme From the New-York Ghost," alerts us to a free download of The Format's new album, Dog Problems. Today's the last day!

2. Dizzyhead Devin has posted the text to his talk, "Hotter Than a Crotch," which he delivered at the recent Dylan symposium in Minneapolis (and which was mentioned in Time magazine). Here's how it starts:

In November of 1972, Bob Dylan went to Durango, Mexico to play a small part in Sam Peckinpah’s Western Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid. The production was cursed by all the expected crises, but there was one element on the set that no one saw coming. Peckinpah’s biographer, David Weddle, writes that, “The topsoil of Durango was permeated with animal manure that dried up, blew around with the fine silicone dust, and lodged in people’s lungs, causing chronic pulmonary infections.” One of the film’s stars, James Coburn, said that in Durango, “It was really cold and damp, there was wind, and a thousand years of horseshit floating around in the air.”
3. "TUNING FORK SCREECH PUTS OUT 24-INCH FLAME; FUTURE FIREMEN TO STAY HOME, SAYS SCIENTIST." In other words, Paul Collins rules!

4. Any further thoughts on the Ouroboros? Discussing ouroboric films with Dizzyhead Dennis, it seems that there is some crossover to another favorite motif/symbol/thingy—the Möbius Strip! Dennis asks if Lost Highway counts as one or the other, as it "opens—and ends—with someone saying "Dick Laurent is dead" into an intercom and it turns out the speaker and listener are the same person..."

Jawbone's recent comment reminded me of this nifty review by Angela Starita from the PTSNBN:

But despite a jacket photo of the jowly Manganelli facing down a Pinocchio doll, Centuria is a wonderful read for its endlessly inventive send-ups of narrative conventions. Manganelli's "novels" telescope time so that his characters end where they started, like the ouroborous of the subtitle—an ancient symbol of renewal showing a snake that bites its tail.

UPDATE: From Dizzyhead Stubes, responding to our challenge (as "JMS"):

Perhaps of some small interest, my solution (if it counts as such) to your question #3 was, like your friend Izzy’s, orthographically derived, tho not a misreading. I merely noticed the similarity of the two words (then again, it was late—maybe my eyes were crossing). But I didn’t know the Sante passage, per se. Also interesting that Sante was on the verge of realizing a wonderful… something--not quite sure it qualifies as a pun--when he compared the coil of the outerboroughs to the Ouroboros, but missed his chance. Ah, well…


5. Also via Dennis, from Anna Karina's Sweater, this amazing look at two precursors to "2046" (the room/year of Wong Kar-wai's titular film)—can Dizzyheads think of more?

6. Team Dizzies members are encouraged to post—I'm hoping Sweeney will link to a Buffalo mixtape in the making...?! Singer will interview himself? Izzy will post a picture of the Colonel disemboweling a Michael Pollan book? Hua will do a dance? Arlo will post her avatar? Chrita?

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Sunday, July 15, 2007

Bowled over!

My avatar—spotted at my old "stomping grounds"?


(Thanks to BIB!)

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Saturday, July 14, 2007

Ouroboros update

A reader writes in: "I can beat that Great Expectations thing—in high school, we were not only introduced to Romeo and Juliet through West Side Story, we were introduced to WSS thru the novelisation of the film."

* * *

"What is time? It is a snake that eats its own tail . . . "
—Vonnegut, Breakfast of Champions

* * *

BONUS QUESTION ANSWERED:



NEW BONUS QUESTION:

Who wrote this?

Technically, the circle which the present corollary [a short story of the author's] describes (its last sentence existing implicitly before its first one) belongs to the same serpent-biting-its-tail type as the circular structure of the fourth chapter in [another book of the author's] (or, for that matter, Finnegans Wake, which it preceded).

This is the final round, all shall be revealed next week!

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Fangs for the memories

My latest Astral Weeks column is up at the L.A. Times. This month I cover Liz Williams's Detective Inspector Chen novels and David Wellington's fangfest 13 Bullets.

But enough about me: Dizzyhead Hua rhapsodizes over a single LCD Soundsystem song over at Slate, and the Oxford American features two Dizzyhead contributions: Devin McKinney on William Bradford Huie and Andy "Citizen Truth" Selsberg on what it means to eat like a man. (And still seen on the stands recently: The first part of B. Kite's "Rivette-iad," in Cinema Scope.)

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Friday, July 13, 2007

Crews control

Izzy wrote, in response to Pete's post:

Somehow I saw "ouroboros" as "outer boroughs," having missed the original post, and read this entire quote as if Scully had gotten a map of Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and the Bronx (with a big gap in the middle, I guess?) on her back.

And Izzzzz has (unwittingly?) answered question #3:
It was not until well into the twentieth century that the far reaches of Queens, southeast Brooklyn, the north Bronx, and Staten Island were fully urbanized, and at that point the cylce had to return to Manhattan. In this way, the heraldic emblem of the city has changed from the image of a thermometer to the image of the worm Ouroboros, its tail forever in its mouth.
—Luc Sante, Low Life

(NB, this quote contains a clue to the BONUS QUESTION!)

* * *

Answer to ouroboric question #1:



(Unfortunately I can't find a bigger image — it's Harry Crews's novel A FEAST OF SNAKES. It's the only Crews I've read...I read it for the cover!)

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The Connections: Poetic champions compose

Levi's got a great post today on Van Morrison, Tolstoy, and the art of joy.

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Serpent's tale

Dizzyhead Pete (Cf. comment in earlier post by Hannah):

Will the wonders of the Internet nexer cease? I remember there being an episode involving a tattoo of the ouroboros, but I couldn't remember who went under the needle: Mulder or Scully (was sort of holding out hope that Scully wasn't a lower-back-tat kind of girl). It turns out it was indeed Scully (no word on whether it was in 'bullseye territory'), and there's a whole website devoted to that very episode, entitled "Never Again."
Seems Scully got the tattoo -- surprise! -- b/c she was having an existential crisis, frustrated at her life's seeming lack of progression. Reading over the summary, it seems like this particular episode was a bit of a writers' joke in that the show had clearly always revolved around Mulder, w/ Scully merely playing straight-(wo)man. Here -- for maybe the first time -- the episode concerned mainly her, with the tattoo being the literal representation of the writers' own frustration at her being slightly one-dimensional up 'til then.
Whoa. Sorry. Maybe I'm reading way too much into a show I liked in high school. Maybe they just thought the symbol was cool, which it is.

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Captain avatar


My Simpsons avatar? (Make yours here.)

(Via Electricity and Fruit)

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Thursday, July 12, 2007

Hissing to be clever


Lots of good stuff sprouting from that ouroboros post. Some questions remain unanswered: #1, 3, and 7, to be exact!

Does anyone know anything about an X-Files episode entitled "The Ouroboros"? (I wasn't an avid viewer, alas.)

* * *

BONUS ROUND: Name the Scottish fantasist who is the author of a book with ouroboros in the title!

* * *

MORE ON THE OUROBOROS: I forgot about this until I searched "Gaddis + Ouroboros."

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Against the Ray

The first run of the 1994 London Everyman Press edition of Lolita replaced John Ray Jr.'s foreword with one from Martin Amis. —Leland de la Durantaye, Style Is Matter

Unrelated question: Did the author John Wray (né Henderson) choose his surname as a tribute to "John Ray"? (Or Fay Wray? Or both?)

I like how Leland's name resembles that of Paul Delalande (a philosophical writer of VN's invention).

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The Palmer at the end of the mind

PKD mania, from BoingBoing (courtesy PL'O)—

According to PKD, Three Stigmata "was completely crazy, just insane; not about insanity, it is insanity."

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Culturebox

Those Driftwood Singers have a few chants of the Ainu up—weirdly recommended!

Also today: Park Slopers, hear Ben Greenman read from his new book, A Circle Is a Balloon and Compass Both, at your local Barnes & Noble.

Things get rolling at 7:30.

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Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Snakedrill

Any ideas for cinematic ourobori? Erasing.com tracks down two this year: Pirates of the Caribbean 3 and Transformers.

I would include Alfonso Cuaron's Great Expectations—based on Dickens, but then the basis of a separate novelization (I am pretty sure? Perhaps just a condensation. I will investigate.)

While we're talking about the ouroboros—can someone name:

1) A Florida writer's novel with an ouroboric cover (and ouro-influenced title)?
2) A mega-novel which has the ouroboros for a frontispiece?
3) The thing about New York that Luc Sante compares to the ouroboros?
4) The fairly recent movie where Nicolas Cage's character talks about the ouroboros?
5) A brand of car that sounds like ouroboros backward, sorta?
6) The author of a novel from the '80s, entitled The Ouroboros?
7) The near-spelling of ouroboros in The Blood in The Red White and Blue?

????!!!!

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End zone

The Dizzies is something of a DeLillo-Worship Zone...but what do people think of James Wood's take on Falling Man? Here's Jenny D's post, with a long quote from Wood, who quotes DeLillo at length, plus comments from Lee and from Parkus Grammaticus.

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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Getting MUGGY out there —

The inimitable MUG isn't too impressed with a new restaurant—and we chuckled at this image of a pair of post-apocalyptic diners:

Some of the food is passably good: the churrasco is properly tender and the monkfish is allowed to speak for itself. But the beef and the monkfish (entrees average $26) are in a small minority. The biggest tell is what the kitchen sends out as paella. A grim, desiccated wasteland of overcooked fish, even the father and son in Cormac McCarthy's The Road might toss this mess aside. No restaurant that truly loved seafood would do this to the crustaceans and mollusks, which were, after all, victims, not conspirators in the felony.
* * *

Anyone following the Prydain string below might like Levi's latest musings on children's lit, over at I've Been Reading Lately.

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I like Mike —

This just in: The one and only Michael Atkinson has entered the blogosphere — hold on to your hats!

La Vie en Rose is such an accomplished biopic in its way that I never want to hear Edith Piaf again.

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Caring is creepy —

Ms. Curry handled the bigger backstage interviews with her customary “Today” program flummery (“Why do you care so much?” she asked Trudie Styler) and invasions of personal space, poking her finger in Al Gore’s chest and slapping Sting with her script. (Perhaps as a precaution, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg of New York held his taped interview with Ms. Curry at the far other end of a long park bench.) —NYT


(Technical note: I'm having trouble typing in titles for posts in the title field...anyone else?)

Monday, July 09, 2007

Too late to stop now

I can't remember how I came across this blog—but it's fun if you're a Van Morrison fan: Patrick Maginty runs down his favorite VM albums, starting (I think?) with #36...he's down to #3. And he isn't just listing them, but writing full-fledged appreciations...(Earlier, he ran down his top 100 VM songs.)

* * *

Over at the Poetry Foundation, Ron Regé, Jr. has an electrifying version of a Kenneth Patchen poem. (Did you know that he's the drummer for the excellent Lavender Diamond?!)

* * *

Get rich quick scheme:
1) Find the cutest kitten
2) Buy/acquire it
3) Turn it into a cat model (for cat food, etc.)
4) = $$!

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Dizzies Newsfeeds™ for Monday

Jonathan Coe's new novel will focus on mothers and daughters....The parts of Adolfo Bioy Casares's diaries focusing on his friend Borges have been published, and the TLS has an in-depth look (with several significant reservations)....(I like that the TLS will review things that aren't even in English)....We agree with Nick Owchar at Jacket Copy re the final chapter of the Potteriad: "It is exciting that a book can still stir the kind of frantic energy typical in Dumas’ day"....Over at Slate, Dizzyhead Hua on the rap "beef" in the YouTube era....Not sure we agree with this take on The Sopranos vs. The Novel....The Sopranos is surely not as good as Lost???....What say you, Dizzyheads?....Devin has a new "Pop" post up—including this controversial gem:

Fab Revelation #537
That virtually the whole of Oasis's worthy career sprang from a single tight and polished tap of pop musicality: "And Your Bird Can Sing." And that as well as Oasis have done what they've done over their 15-year career, the Beatles not only did it better but did it in two minutes.
And via Pinky's Paperhaus, this photo of Faulkner's legendary wall outline for A Fable:

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Sunday, July 08, 2007

Dizzies Newsfeeds™ for Sunday

In the Times, we read about the mapinguary, a mythical creature of Brazil:

In some areas, the creature is said to have two eyes, while in other accounts it has only one, like the Cyclops of Greek mythology. Some tell of a gaping, stinking mouth in the monster’s belly through which it consumes humans unfortunate enough to cross its path.

But all accounts agree that the creature is tall, seven feet or more when it stands on two legs, that it emits a strong, extremely disagreeable odor, and that it has thick, matted fur, which covers a carapace that makes it all but impervious to bullets and arrows.

“The only way you can kill a mapinguary is by shooting at its head,” said Domingos Parintintin, a tribal leader in Amazonas State. “But that is hard to do because it has the power to make you dizzy and turn day into night. So the best thing to do if you see one is climb a tree and hide.”


Possible new Dizzies mascot? Artists, please send your renderings of the mapinguary to thedizziesATgmailDOTcom!

Other news....At The Fanzine, Ben Strong writes about non-doped cyclist Greg LeMond: "He knows that his “clean” achievements, which once appeared superhuman, now look mortal."....The Guardian has some nice words about Nick Hornby's jumbo Polysyllabic Spree book....Levi at I've Been Reading Lately has the best possible Lloyd Alexander obit (see also the comments in our previous post—and vote for your favorite children's fantasy series!)....Five-string serenade: Wonderful Paul Collins post on John Philip Sousa's literary output....Dennis on Danny Boyle and Sunshine.....Now I need to sit down and read stuff—maybe here?


(Image via Boing Boing.)

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Saturday, July 07, 2007

Dizzies Newsfeeds™ for Saturday

We didn't know Ozzy was a "Taipei personality"!

TAIPEI (Reuters) - After 14 failed attempts at joining the United Nations using media campaigns and presidential appeals, Taiwan is turning to a local goth-style rock band backed by Ozzy Osbourne in its quest for membership to the world body....The band, named ChthoniC, will travel to at least 80 cities in four countries by the end of the year, supported in part by the Taiwan government, which is providing pro-U.N. literature and a slogan-painted truck.

(Via Jane)

Also....missed this Lloyd Alexander obit in the NYT.....reminded to look after reading this new one in the Guardian....Chronicles of Prydain vs. Chronicles of Narnia — who would win???

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To serve mankind



Dizzyhead Devin writes on...tennis?! (over at friend Tim Joyce's new racket-raising site).

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Friday, July 06, 2007

Light posting...

...today. Here's a link to Moistworks, where a nice Richard Thompson song awaits, a real toe-tapper....Levi's been doing some great American history–related posts....Steve Burt on o.g. Alexander Pope....The menu at the International House of Breece D'J Pancakes could use some more suggestions...And Manohla Dargis hearts Colma: The Musical....(Here's our take from last July)....One last thing: I had a crazy dream involving the very first short story ever written. Do you know it? It was "A Short-Story of England," by Mr. Charles Dickens, written in 1893 and consisting primarily of charts and numbers!

Thank you for subscribing to Dizzies Newsfeeds™!

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Thursday, July 05, 2007

Dizzies Newsfeeds™ for Thursday

Mollie on stamps!...New Ghost!....At Hua's place, Dave Tompkins has some Frampton-vocoder madness....In the latest Cinema Scope, Dennis talks to Abel Ferrara! Jessica gets (so to speak) Knocked Up!.....And now it's time to get really overheated with some "Soul Raga Cookin'," circa 1969, by a group called—The Believers! (Via the invaluable Office Naps)

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Thursday joke

What if there were a restaurant where you could order a stack of Breece D'J Pancakes, a Michael Hamburger, and a [we need one more for this to be a joke].

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Fish are jumping...

Via Light Reading:

Dr. Sulak said, the jumping must not be for reproductive reasons. And since they have no freshwater predators but occasional alligators, it is probably not an escape response.

Might they jump for joy?

Doubtful, Dr. Sulak said.

His guess is that sturgeon jump to let other sturgeon know they have found a good spot to hang out. They seem to gather mainly within six short, narrow stretches of the Suwannee where there are deep holes, so they do not have to waste energy fighting the current. They fast and relax all summer, basically “just going to the spa for several months,” Dr. Sulak said.

They can use the rest....

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Return of the ninja

"Who knew 1880s Russia was so ninja-tastic?" asked Jane in a review of Boris Akunin's The Death of Achilles.

Check it out:

Italian police have arrested a Russian "ninja" who had been spreading fear across farmlands in the north of the country.

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Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Bowling for foie gras

Brit in...Buffalo?



[Photo by Adrian Kinloch.]

At Umamimart, Dizzyhead Hua turns out to be a great food writer and illustrator.


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Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Black Monday


Depending on what happens to the Buffalo Sabres franchise in the coming seasons, this past Monday, July 2, may end up as the most infamous day in their history. On the first day of free agency, the team lost their two captains, Chris Drury and Daniel Briere. Briere led the team with 95 points, while Drury was the leader on special teams and scored what seemed like every clutch goal. During a press conference held yesterday, GM Darcy Regier and President Larry Quinn tried to assuage the fans that the team isn't falling apart, and attempted to deflect blame for the departures. Briere's contract was huge, signing with the Philadelphia Flyers for 8 years and $52 Million. It would have been almost impossible to retain him considering the Sabres limited room under the salary cap, although it may have been possible to lock him into a more reasonable long-term deal if they started negotiations before the start of this past season.

The Drury deal is where a lot of confusion is arising. He signed with the New York Rangers for 5 years and $35.25 million. Regier and Quinn claim they were ready to match that offer, but that Drury simply wanted to go to NYC, as it was the team he cheered for as a kid. But now the Buffalo News is reporting that the Sabres had a deal in place for Drury last fall, for a four-year deal worth $21.5 million. But according to the News, the Sabres management never followed up on the negotiations, and never provided him a contract to sign. Essentially they're accused of being wildly incompetent and/or arrogant.

All of this is hard to swallow after such a phenomenal season, and hopefully Regier and Quinn will have a reasonable answer to these allegations. Otherwise the entire organization comes off looking like a pack of (nicely tanned) idiots.

At least the Bills signed veiny Pro Bowl punter Brian Moorman to an extension. That's exciting.

The truth is out there

And yet again, Buffalo sports fans like me pay with a stake through the heart. "Wide Right" and Brett Hull's skate in the crease weren't enough. Three more losing Super Bowls and Frank Wycheck's illegal forward pass (some call it the "Music City Miracle") weren't enough. Brad Park's slap shot in overtime of Game 7 of the 1983 Adams Division finals wasn't enough. Blowing a 14-3 halftime lead over the Chargers in the 1980 AFC playoffs wasn't enough. Leading the Hurricanes 20 minutes from the 2006 Stanley Cup finals and falling short wasn't enough. Coincidence or vast anti-Buffalo sports conspiracy? You decide.

—Greg Sukiennik, ESPN.com the magazine (is that the title?!)

(Thanks to Cousin Andrew)

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Trace elements

How far back can we trace? In African thought, the consensus is that after the seventh generation we can no longer distinguish between history and myth. —J.M. Coetzee, "Diary of a Bad Year"

Autogyro

Dizzyhead Martin has a hilariously erudite post on those posters for gyros:

While more careful inspection reveals that this gal is specifically endorsing “Kronos,” this brand, like all Gyro brands, plays a nearly inaudible second fiddle to the “Gyro as basic foodstuff” declaration. This commercial team-up figures the Gyro as an essential food element rather than a food compound (which is what it is), effectively aligning the Gyro, despite containing a diverse array of ingredients and pre-packaged preparation, with the wholesome appeal and collaborative publicity of the raw and semi-raw materials market. Take milk, for example. Milk the food presents a unified, brandless front. A victory for milk is a victory for all milk brands. Meats have long pursued a similar strategy. Like a battalion of British redcoats, Beef (“it’s what’s for dinner”) and Pork (“the other white meat”), have honorably cast their lots together, launching a single, upright, frontal assault on the American public, whether by choice or because government subsidy mandates it. Gyros have chosen to deal in the same semi-brandless currency. The result is the feeling that one might wait in line to receive a bushel of gyros along with some toilet paper and bread.


Sure, Mulkeen, sure—but doesn't the name Kronos bear further investigation?!

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Dizzies Newsfeeds™ for Tuesday

Friend Leland de la Durantaye's book on Nabokov, Style Is Matter, is out—am excited to get my hands on this....check out the photo on his homepage...Why did he put eggs on his eyes?...Matthew Sharpe reads from Jamestown....This looks like it'll be a fun read: Joyce Carol Oates on this year's The Raw Shark Texts and Remainder, Sebald's Austerlitz (2001), and the Lethem-edited Vintage Book of Amnesia (which came out ages ago)....Speaking of Lethem, has anyone noted how his name invokes Lethe, the river in Greek mythology whose waters cause forgetfulness? I can't remember [rim shot!] if I've seen that anywhere before. [Or no wait, put the rim shot here.]...Also: Dizzyhead Matt goes Kwik-E-Mart krazy!

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Monday, July 02, 2007

Seal vs. Shark

From Mollie's review of a rare theatrical treat:

What followed was a fascinating mix of processional and site-specific theatre, postmodern dance, metatheatrical audience interaction, boldly avant-garde prop use and highly unorthodox storytelling....

"I hope the end will come soon," another spectator ventured. The Seal approached and whispered in my ear, "The play will end when we start the ending." Then he slithered off to crouch inside an overturned wicker table....

Eventually there was a snarling showdown between Shark and Seal, with the Seal, on his belly in the grass, doing most of the snarling (as the Fish ran around, shouting, "Glub! Glub! Glub!"). The younger, startled Shark protested, "You're a Seal! Seals are nice!" "We're not friends yet," the Seal reminded him, and us. "We're still mean friends." Then he raised himself to look the Shark in the eye and growled, "If you don't start being good, I will kill you."

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Dizzies Newsfeeds™

Over at the L.A. Times, Dizzyhead Dennis looks at two of my favorite recent Japanese movies, Linda Linda Linda and (all-time Dizzies fave?) The Taste of Tea. To my great relief, it looks like he enjoyed both of them.

At Salon, (d)Izzy Grinspan's article about the performance art aspect of trashing your wedding dress draws dozens of letters...as did the excerpt from Douglas's new book, Reading Comics: How Graphic Novels Work and What They Mean...(On the other hand, a grand total of five people chimed in on my Ian McEwan review!)....Jenny D has news about her novel, musings on George Herbert's "The Temple," and a preview of an excellent upcoming Luc Sante piece. And at Weekend Stubble, Paul looks at the future of bookselling. (After you get depressed by that, watch the Conchords video on his blog to cheer up.)...In the Times: “We’ve never seen this guy,” Mr. Voorsanger said, speaking of the imaginary client as if he were real—and elusive. “He refuses to see us. He just writes us letters and communicates through e-mails. He said he was enormously moved by Cormac McCarthy’s new book, ‘The Road,’ in which everything is black. Chip Kidd did the cover.”...In the latest Modern Painters I was reading a piece by Mike Atkinson about CGI and was bowled over when he quoted my immortal Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow review...that really was a good movie, wasn't it? I mean for what it was?....A blurb on the front page of the acoustic version of Friday's NYT said A.O. Scott thinks Ratatouille is one of the best portraits of the artist put onscreen—does he say that in the review?!...RIP Edward Yang..."In the age of the iPod, do the Beatles still matter?" Umm...Brian Eno is great....So is Can—in theory! (Via Dennis)....

TECH NOTES: If you double click in the space between two words, both words will be selected.

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Sunday, July 01, 2007

The last stack

From a June 22 e-mail sent by Dizzyhead Jen:

i just realized that the books in my bag right now make for a photo/contest entry:
hack (melissa plaut)
foreskin's lament (shalom auslander)

[Unfortunately, this famed shutterbug is momentarily cameraless!]

* * *

So I will end with this...a new motto?



Thanks to everyone for participating—that was a lot of fun, eh? It wasn't just the juxtapositions that I liked, but the voyeuristic thrill of seeing what books people have in their homes...

I was going to pick a winner, then thought, No, I'll name the top three...but really everyone's a winner!

[Dizzyheads lob digital fruit at editor.]

—FINIS—

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Hannah and her (mind) twisters

Dizzyhead Hannah writes:

A sensationalist news report and the response of the American public! "Civilization and Its Discontents," maybe, or: "City of Quartz."

I was going to do its complement, a different take on the power of motion pictures and the relationship of such images to American society. Alas, the only camera I have is the one on my laptop, which couldn't handle the number of books involved. It would've been the following:

Jonathan Rosenbaum's "Moving Places."
John McPhee's "Coming into the Country."
Nicholson Baker's "Checkpoint."
Jurgen Habermas's "The Inclusion of the Other."
Daniel Paul Schreber's "Memoirs of My Nervous Illness."
William E. Connelly's "Identity/Difference."
Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice."
an ellipsis, and then --
Karl Polanyi's "The Great Transformation."
with an implied colon, i.e., "The Great Transformation" as a chapter heading and what follows as how it is realized --
Andrew Sarris's "The American Cinema."
V.F. Perkins's "Film as Film."
Amos Vogel's "Film as a Subversive Art."
Jack London's "War of the Classes."
J. Hoberman's "The Dream Life."

* * *

Instead, she sends this deliriously compact entry (including one of The Dizzies' favorite poets!):

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Winding down...

A few more from us—


Best novel ever?



A horror story:



...and one more from Idalia...

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