May 31, 2009
May 30, 2009
Marketing Initiative Spearheading by Essąn Dragone & Enid Darius.
May 28, 2009
THE BOAT THAT ROCKED (August 2009)
It's rare that a movie explodes off the screen with not only flames, but heart & heat. Of course, today, with the latest slickest 3D technology, anything is possible. And it is brave & commendable that director Richard Curtis chose, as the newest venture into 3D filmmaking, not a swashbuckling space-pirate CGI travesty or animated inside-jokathon, but a more intimate drama of lost ambition & repressed desire. There are no aliens or superheros, altho there is still plenty coming off of the screen into the IMAX hall & scaring the bejesus out of the most Jaws III-weathered 3D fans.
The Boat That Rocked, which will be the first movie about gays in Iowa since their supreme court ruling in favor of legalized same-sex marriage, this movie seems oddly timely. However, it has been years in the making, suffering rewrite after rewrite & finally landing on the desk of Hollywood outsider Richard Curtis. It marks a marked departure from his only other film, Love Actually (2003), which wound together many different love stories with wit & Christmas miraculousness. The characters in The Boat That Rocked have difficulty exposing their emotions at first, love as a concept seen on television & heard on classic rock stations, but never visiting the small Fire Station in Annis, Iowa.
Like Brokeback Mountain, this movie's predecessor in many ways, The Boat That Rocked scrapes away at the surface of the latent homosexuality in a classic American archetype: the patriotic firefighter drama. With 3D glasses at select IMAX cinemas, I can say it more than scrapes the surface. Having mastered & redefined difficult roles like Hamlet, Benedict & Harry Potter's Professor Gilderoy Lockhard, one would think Kenneth Branagh would put his career into cruise control & milk his successes. But his decision to keep taking controversial challenging roles like Fireman Dormandy in The Boat That Rocked shows he's still got it. Is there anything this veteran actor cannot do? Dormandy's repressed urges are written all across Branagh's chiseled firefighter face, the ways his eyes linger on the asses of his coworkers as they shower together at the Annis Fire Station. The authenticity of Branagh's weird little facial ticks & impeccable Iowan accent make us momentarily forget that this is a huge 3D fiction. Branagh is known as one of history's most intense method actors; he spent years walking around pretending to be Prince Hal & Hamlet. Due to this movie's delayed schedule & setbacks, many real small towns in Iowa have gotten to know too well Fireman Dormandy, actually rescuing cats from trees & casting homoerotic glances at policemen.
After a slow first hour, where we get to know the different bachelors in the Fire Station & their lovable dalmatian Santorum,-- (Philip Seymore Hoffman is notable as Fire Chief Count, adding imperceptible variation on the same roll he plays in every movie) -- the plot shifts into high gear when the Annis City Hall is struck by a freakish lightning storm. You might want to bring your Ray Bans to put over your 3D-glasses for the realistic & terrifying fire at City Hall. (It is rumored this scene alone went a million dollars over budget.) Fireman Dormandy & his partner Fireman Twatt (played by Jack Davenport, last seen as Norrington in the Pirates of the Carribean franchise) are trapped together in the mayor's office with the inferno raging at every exit. The smoke that would normally asphyxiate them now acts as a cloak of protection allowing them to utter what they never before could. But words are inadequate after decades of repression, & with death inevitable, what follows is the hugest flaming fuckfest ever seen in cinema. The last few minutes of Dormandy & Twatt's lives, in this movie, are blown out into the last thirty-five minutes of the film. The Greatful Dead's "Dark Star" fills our auricular sensations. Branagh & Davenport's bodies become each other & then become the fire in a 3D light show which makes the end of 2001: A Space Oddysey look like Alf: Season Two. "Sit down, you're rocking the boat!" yells Fireman Dormandy at the titular moment. "Sit down... on me!"
The Boat That Rocked is Rated R for obscenities, adult content, & one of the longest hottest gay sex scenes ever imaginable. Opens August 28th, 2009, in theaters everywhere.
I've uploaded a third short illuminated poetry pdf-book to Scribd.com. Saga of Jenny is a quasi-narrative two-part, fourteen-stanza nonsense rhyming poem. This is, like, one of my favorite poems. It was originally published on this weblog HERE, but this illuminated pdf has a much more beautiful layout. I'm working on a larger collection of these rhyming poems from the last few years, Prophecy & Doggerel, but since it won't be available for awhile, I'm putting up these samplers - Saga of Jenny, for instance, will be spread across fewer pages in the full book, but look more or less like this. Toggle to full-screen with the little button on the upper-right-hand corner. (Also, F11, at least in firefox, makes the browser window full-screen.)
Saga of Jenny - S. Sandrigon ONE DOLLAR (they wouldn't let me sell it for 75¢). Support the cause of illuminated nonsense poetry!
May 27, 2009
Premiering, today--, hello readers--, I would like to spearhead the initiative for a new segment called Three Years Ago. We never properly celebrated that this website weblog has been posting for more than three years. So as an extended anniversary party, I'll be RE-POSTING from the exact past, EXACTLY TO THE MINUTE THREE YEARS LATER, the post I had posted three years ago. This post from May 27th, 2006, at 3:51pm, was simply called "List".
2) Snow in May.
3) The 1976 elections.
4) Neil Diamond’s "Soulimon".
5) What Hawthorne thought of Melville.
6) A googly during a Sticky Wicket.
7) The deleted ending of Dr. Strangelove.
8) Popcorn cooked over a fire.
9) When, during the last Calvin & Hobbes anthology, Rosalyn (the babysitter) beats Calvin at Calvinball.
10) David Byrne dancing with a lamp.
11) White tea with steamed rice milk.
12) Turquoise found in the hills of the Nevada desert.
13) New York hipster drone music played at deafening volumes on the Hurdy-Gurdy.
14) Good flan.
15) Lily Langtree.
16) The names of Al Franken’s books.
17) Half Moon Lake in Desolation Wilderness.
18) Petzl Headlamps worn at inappropriate times.
19) J.D. Salinger’s longevity.
20) People who smile to themselves at you.
21) Joan Baez singing both parts of conversational songs.
22) Jokes about Sven & Ollie.
23) People who are humble about having read all of Edmund Spenser’s The Faerie Queen.
24) Sexagenarians who think The Man Who Wasn't There is the best Cohen Brothers movie.
25) Poor students who would prefer to spend more than $50 on a bottle of good tequila.
26) Mimosa’s Witnesses.
27) My friend who said she saw Wagner’s Siegfried on acid with her father.
28) John Denver’s Greatest Hits, Volume Three.
29) Children who use the word “obtuse.”
30) Life-long vegetarians.
31) Tan M&Ms in a wine glass.
32) Toughannock Falls.
33) The first few chapters of First Chronicles.
35) When Elizabeth Bishop interrupts & corrects herself in her own poem.
36) Seeing an old friend in a new light.
37) Having a large number of dimes.
38) Jokes about what’s black, white, and/or red.
39) Corn Lily.
40) Shakespeare’s Troilus & Cressida.
41) Butterbeer & Firewhiskey.
42) Caleb Burhans.
43) Merlot drinkers.
44) People who take black & white photos on digital cameras.
45) Jimmy Buffet’s Jamaica Mistaica.
46) Reading Robert Burns out loud with an American accent.
47) Christmas caroling on Halloween.
48) The one who gets to play 4’33” during a John Cage Music Circus.
49) David Bowie as Andy Warhol in Basquiat.
50) Eskimo women chanting.
I recommend the Chronicles of Aishe, properly anticlimactic, recently concluded at Mr Quill's All Forgotten Bulgarious Blog. It starts with a startling story about one of his thirteen-year-old students running away:
A week ago, Aishe told her parents she was going to a Green School Camp for the break, stole her mother's purse, and disappeared. The rumor is that she went to a nearby village and married a boy. With that, it seems that my involvement in her life, however cursory it was, has come to an end. Don't think that I'm saying that if I had pushed her harder and somehow turned her into an exemplary English student, something else might have happened. [...] This is all assuming that the rumor is true and that she doesn't show up in school again next week.We'd all been waiting in suspense for updates, & today the cliff-hanger gets unhung:
In fact, mere hours after writing the original Aishe entry, I ran into Aishe herself at the Popovo train station. I had been discussing her with Sevi who told me that she had not actually gotten married as the rumor was suggesting at the time. She had told her mother that she was going to the green camp, received money to pay for it, and then had stolen her mother's purse and disappeared. It turns out she had arranged to stay at the home of a woman in a nearby village where they spent the week drinking away the money she had acquired.I like the analysis:
At first the meeting struck me as distinctly bizarre. Do kids really run off on benders with random older women? In conversation with Mister Olaf Mary, however, I was reminded that drinking with older kids at the train station is actually pretty standard teenage behavior.Now that she's a regular character on your website, we expect CONTINUING ADVENTURES. Also from Bulgarity, on May 24th, Mr Anton, a friend of Mr Quill's & his translator, celebrated:
I would like to inform all the readers who do not speak & read Bulgarian that today is The Day of Bulgarian Script and Culture - the day of the saints Cyril and Methodius who are Bulgarians.If you are still unaware of these saints I present you a simple example: You legally read The Holy Bible in English namely due to these Bulgarian brothers. Bearing in mind that the computer was invented by Bulgarian - Jonh Atanassov, as well as the first plane bombing was done by Bulgarians - no wonder why Miss Utah is Bulgarian too!A step aside from these facts I proudly present the students and teachers from Ivan Vasov School in Varna, where I teach English.And, daresay: "It's all Greek to me" is a good and vivid expression!
May 26, 2009
Mayor Boris Johnson is a big proponent of "cycle super highways," a plan that would increase the number of bicycle-only lanes in London. On one of the rides specifically intended to scope out possible super highway routes, the mayor and two transport ministers were nearly killed by a truck driver. The footage was caught on CCTV.
In other news about mayors, the dialog below occurred recently at a bar on Mission Street.(Originally posted at Carfree USA here.)
Me: Did you hear about Berkeley's mayor? He gave up his car.
Other: Pssht. He's only carfree three days per week and only from 9-5, while his wife is away in her car.
This is related to an earlier post about the mayor of Berkeley going carfree. I want to cite a proper source for the information, but I can't find one. The Bay Area has a rumor mill. Currently the rumor is that mayor Tom Bates received a lot of publicity for "going carfree" when all he did was sell his old car. Can anyone back this up? Have I been spun?
May 25, 2009
A local Alaskan won the 2009 World Beard & Mustache Championships! God Bless America, we can compete on the global beard stage!
From the Anchorage Daily News:
[David] Traver was among 300 competitors from around the globe who converged here over the weekend for the 2009 World Beard and Moustache Championships. His beard, dyed several colors and woven into the shape of a snowshoe, beat out more than 140 others to become the coolest beard in the world. He took home a commemorative gold pan and a salmon fishing trip. [...]Sadly, Travers is now going to shave it off. The next championship will be held in Trondheim, Norway, in 2011.
Along with his overall title, Traver took first in the freestyle beard competition, a category that's been dominated by Germany since the contest began in the early '90s.
"They have never lost in full beard freestyle, but not yesterday. Yesterday is the first time they got knocked off," he said. "They were humble, and you have to respect that."
Outdoing the Germans in the category for avant-garde whiskers took ingenuity, he said. Plus, they were getting predictable.
With his beard stylist, Ledjha Carson, Traver months ago started brainstorming a beard shape that was "out of the box," he said. They considered eagle wings, moose antlers and a sled dog team before settling on the snowshoe. It took Carson 90 minutes to weave it the day of the competition.
"She wanted it right. She was very meticulous," he said. "But my neck is still stiff."
Traver, who is 43 and works as a driver for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, got into facial hair competition locally about 10 years ago with the Mr. Fur Face competition during Fur Rendezvous. After that, he got involved with the South Central Alaska Beard and Moustache Club, which bid to bring the international championships to Anchorage this year -- beating out Liechtenstein. He dedicated his win to his father, David Traver, who died in September.
Traver enjoys being immersed in the beard-positive environment of the competition, he said.
More from itwaslost's Department of Beards here.
May 24, 2009
I've been spending the last few days configuring my new phone, which is futuristic by my standards, but embarrassingly old-tech to people who have fancier blackberries or iphones than me. It's completely sidetracked me from the other important projects I was getting done this week, like putting pretty pictures next to my poetry. I'll chronicle my reactions in list form.
-The reason the e-mail didn't work was because they thought I had a different kind of handheld device than the one they sent me.Now I'm caught up with 2006 technology I'm ready to PENETRATE THE PHONE-O-SPHERE. This probably doesn't mean I'll be more reliable & easier to get in touch with tho.
-They charged me sixty dollars in twelve hours by accident, because they hadn't activated the unlimited data plan we requested yet.
-The people at tech help are kind & patient, but they do tend to always assume the costumer is doing something stupid.
-The Google Maps application on this phone has a new tool called "Google Latitude". Have you ever heard of this? It's like the Marauder's Map in Harry Potter, where you can see where everyone is in the castle. So you can add "friends", & see where their phone is, or I guess, wherever they last logged into Google Maps. Is this the future? Wives will always know when their husbands are leaving their mistress's houses because they'll see the little dot moving around on the map. Not hiding from anyone myself, it doesn't bother me. And it shows my blip way over on Prince Street, so it would be hard for a stalker to use it very accurately. Plus, I tend to often leave my phone at home, & am a flaky phoney any way. You can never track me! So far Mr Mary is my only friend, his blip in Santa Fe, soon our blips will be reunited on a plane to Bucharest. Anyone else want to be my marauder's map friend?
-I also like that I can use my facebook application to set up my address book, so the friend profiles are linked with the info, & their facebook picture comes up when people call.
May 22, 2009
I feel like I don't have the clearance to write about Star Trek, like you have to actually know something or everything about the history of the franchise to evaluate the new version. But as an uninitiated, I have a few complaints. I should start by saying that this movie seemed to have real soul, a soul of its own, which is rare for the re-hashing of an old brand. But what was with turning James Kirk into James Dean? All of his recklessness always being rewarded & vindicated was irritating. But also an out-of-date dumb American trope which didn't work in this context. Is that what we want the morals of our movies to be, that if you're destined to be the captain of the Enterprise, you can swagger, cheat, & punch your way to the top deck, then absolve yourself by saving the day? Won't somebody think of the children!
So if Kirk seemed like a Bush-ian frat boy, it was unfair to put the whiny young Spok next to old Leonard Nimoy's gravitas. Nimoy, these days, is also a photographer specializing in large women (pictured to the left.) And my third & final complaint is that I wish, even when action sequences are completely artificial, that they could at least hold the camera still for a few seconds to get some grounding. Like when Kirk & Sulu are fighting off those goons &
Sulu is doing some nifty sword-play, the camera was shaking all over & the editor chopped it up into a complete mess. Even in the new Star Wars they let us see some light saber duels with some actual correography. Here ends my rant. It's a pretty good movie & the visuals are often beautiful. I even got the feeling they could make some pretty good sequels.
Here's the classic William Shatner recording of "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds":
And "Star Trekkin'" by The Firm:
Firm - Star Trekkin
May 21, 2009
I've been working on an larger illuminated version of "Prophecy & Doggerel", a collection of all the rhyming poetry that has appeared on this website over the past few years, for the Vanity Presses. I'm trying to create a beautiful pdf file to put up on Scribd, illustrated with artwork from my friends, most of which was also posted sometime on itwaslost.org. To test this Scribd, I just put up our illuminated book "Seven Prayers", illustrated with Olaf Mary Mohammad & Cosmo Wernicky & some very ripe fruit, which will be included in "Prophecy & Doggerel". I recommend the little full-screen toggle button in the upper right-hand corner to see the book better. I'm impressed with the slickness of their pdf viewer. This shit will be downloadable to your fancy Amazon Kindle & soon iPhone book-reading capabilities & the FUTURE of BOOKS.
Look for Prophecy & Doggerel in the coming months! It'll be a grand masterpiece!
Seven Prayers is now FOR SALE. The cheapest they would let me sell it is one dollar, cheaper than a can of coke & MORE BEAUTIFUL by far. Buy it, download it, print it on high quality, re-read it at bedtime to help you fall asleep. If you don't want to pay me a dollar, all of the original illuminations are around this blog somewhere in the archives.
Listen to human-programmed radio! The five mp3s of this radio show can be downloaded here, put them on your iPods & listen to them in your MINI limousines. More TRAUMMUSIK.
May 19, 2009
Success! My first carnivorous plant seen in the wild (in a bog in the mountains outside of Ooty, or Udagamandalam, as it's now known, on one of my many walks with Swami Vyasa Prasad, friend of Steve the Landlord of Santa Fe New Mexico, the Royal City of the Holy Faith of San Francisco de Asis).
May 18, 2009
Today I am very sore, my legs can barely bend, with weird sunburn lines. I'm trying to calculate just how far I walked on Saturday Night & all day Sunday. I'm going to try embedding Google Maps of our walking routes, as I calculate how many miles walked, for posterity & also as an advertisement for URBAN HIKING - Americans don't walk enough, & it is the best way to an explore cities.
May 17, 2009
May 15, 2009
Someone on the facebooks just posted a link to these "worst album covers ever created", including "Let Me Touch Him" & The Handless Organist. (My friend Mr Holden said there's a town in England called Handless & he thought "The Handless Arms" should be their pub name.) Click on her for the link to more.
May 14, 2009
American Martin K. Speckter invented the interrobang in 1962. As the head of an advertising agency, Speckter believed that advertisements would look better if copywriters conveyed surprised rhetorical questions using a single mark. He proposed the concept of a single punctuation mark in an article in the magazine TYPEtalks. Speckter solicited possible names for the new character from readers. Contenders included rhet, exclarotive, and exclamaquest, but he settled on interrobang. He chose the name to reference the punctuation marks that inspired it: interrogatio is Latin for "a rhetorical question" or "cross-examination"; bang is printers' slang for the exclamation point. Graphic treatments for the new mark were also submitted in response to the article.
This mark ؟ was proposed by the French poet Alcanter de Brahm (alias Marcel Bernhardt) at the end of the 19th century. It was in turn taken by Hervé Bazin in his book Plumons l’Oiseau (1966), in which the author proposes several other innovative punctuation marks, such as the doubt point () certitude point (), acclamation point (), authority point (), indignation point (), and love point ().Its form is essentially the same as the late medieval , a percontation point (punctus percontativus), which was used to mark rhetorical questions.
-Patriotism mark-Outgribation point-Incantation point-Galvanic mark-Bloviation point-& for sentences which are neither full-stopped nor ongoing, we propose the quasi-stop.
May 13, 2009
I've devoted several posts to the mystery of why there is no purple on any of the world's national flags. And posted pictures of some of the rare flags that contain purple (like the flag of Tokyo & a bunch from regions in Spain.) Google-searching about purple flags is the most common way that people find this site randomly on the internet, so I will continue to give the public more of what it wants. If I could somehow combine Miss Utah & Michael Jackson's testicles on a purple flag I could create an über-blog post which would be irresistible to even unrelated googling. People googling their ex-girlfriends would find themselves helplessly drawn to this weblog!