October 26, 2004

I'd like to invite you to a taste of my chalice

* From a 1988 Paris Review interview of philip levine:

Do you feel a split between your life as a political person and your life as a poet?

I'm cowardly. I should stop paying my taxes. I know that the government in Washington is full of terrible people with terrible plans. They will murder people here and abroad to gain more power. Those who have dominated our country most of my adult life are interested in maintaining an empire, subjugating other people, enslaving them if need be, and finally killing those who protest so that wealthy and powerful americans can go on enjoying their advantages over others. I'm not going to do a thing about it. I'm not a man of action. It finally comes down to that. I'm not so profoundly moral that I can often overcome my fears of prison or torture or exile or poverty. I'm a contemplative person who goes in the corner and writes. What can we do? I guess we can hang and encourage each other, dig in, protest in every peaceful way possible and hope that things are better than they seem. We can describe ourselves as horribly racist people, which we are, as imperialists, which we have been and are, but we can also see ourselves as bountiful, gracious, full of wit, courage, resourcefulness. I still believe in this country, that it can fulfill the destiny Blake and Whitman envisioned. I still believe in american poetry.

* John Peel has passed away. RIP to one of the greats.

"Born 1939 in the Wirral, John Robert Parker Ravenscroft adopted the surname Peel during his pirate radio days. Since then he has become a broadcasting legend, promoting acts as diverse as The Smiths, Pulp and Jimi Hendrix. He helped introduce the nation to drum 'n' bass and hip hop, but is perhaps most notorious for giving his listeners in 1970s their first taste of punk.

"However, Peel's love of music's cutting edge has put him on a collision course with the Radio 1 management and fellow DJs alike. He famously called the mainstream output of the BBC's pop music station as "incredibly predictable porridge". His hatred of "mediocrity" did not stop with just the playlist. Peel held Radio 1's stars such as Tony Blackburn and "Diddy" David Hamilton in equally low regard.

"In the studio, Peel was just as willing to break the rules. One of Radio 1's only fans of punk, he became the first DJ to play a record twice in a row. Peel, now a holder of the OBE, hosts a late-night show three times a week. His straightforward style, and occasional blunders, have seen him voted Melody Maker's top DJ 11 times in a row."

* Great Tom Tomorrow cartoon.

* the smoking gun shows that the mafia supports bush/cheney.


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