January 26, 2006

dizzy dizzy people rush by me at the speed of thought

Intreegue, by dronepop

* Arcane law could get Bush impeached:

"So I was cruising around Daily Kos the other day, and came across this diary, raising a point of parliamentary arcana. I just had to look into it.

"NOTE: Sec. 603. Inception of impeachment proceedings in the House. This refers to Jefferson's Manual-the House uses it as a supplement to its standing rules.>>
In the House there are various methods of setting an impeachment in motion:
[...] by charges transmitted from the legislature of a State (III, 2469)."

"The diary linked back to another blog, where the idea apparently originated. And to be perfectly honest with you, this read at first like just another fringe-y, kooked-out misreading of procedure. But I just happen to have an old copy of Jefferson's Manual here on the desk, and sure enough, that's just what it says. The legislature of any state or territory may transmit charges to the Congress and recommend impeachment.

"Now, to be sure, there is nothing that forces the House of Representatives -- still the sole body capable of adopting actual articles of impeachment -- to act on such charges. In fact, you can be assured that they'd do everything in their power to avoid doing so.

"But what a story it'd make! A little known constitutional procedure that has lain dormant for decades, never before used against a president, and pitting the duly elected and sworn legislature of a state against a federal Congress sitting on its hands and refusing to act!"

* Interview of Lars Von Trier. excerpt:

MERIN: Do you hate America?

VON TRIER: Not at all. It would be stupid to hate part of the world. I’ve met some Americans that I like very much, and some I don’t. But that’s the same anywhere. In my part of the world—Denmark and Sweden—there’re people who treasure anything American. They think if it’s American, it’s good—they want American cars or whatever. I’m not like that. It’s difficult to describe my feelings, but I treasure America very much.
MERIN: Do you start your writing process with a specific idea?

VON TRIER: These two films were inspired by literature—and I started with their endings.

MERIN: What literature?

VON TRIER: For Dogville, it was Pirate Jenny’s song about a girl working in a small hotel who imagines a ship that bombards the tow to rescue her from the poor life she has, and they ask her who’s going to die, and she says “everybody.”

For Manderlay, it’s The Story of O, about a masochistic girl who’s treated extremely badly and likes it. Masochism is this little vocation.

Then, it’s about a situation in the Caribbean where slaves were freed by law, but went back to their former master asking to be slaves again. He refused—because of the law—and they killed him. This story, I believe, has nothing to do with masochism, but with the fact that they’d nothing to eat, no way to survive and had been better off under the system of slavery. It’s ironic.
MERIN: You’ve said you find locations like the Rockies and South very exciting and exotic. Why have you distilled their reality into a barebones set?

VON TRIER: After writing Dogville, I was looking for a fulfilling way to do the film. I thought it might not really be America—there’s even a David Bowie song called 'This is not America.' It’s not America. I think that’s easy to see—since the set is a black floor.

It’s also that you, as a spectator, should work, too. I believe spectator co-work isn’t as difficult as we might think. When you’re a child you live in wonderful houses that don’t exist—under a chair is your wonderful house that you see and live in. I don’t think that’s difficult, but it’s something you benefit from.

I thought of Brecht’s work—which isn’t exactly the same as this, but requires stylized settings. My mother was crazy for Brecht and dragged me to the theater to see his plays. I’m always looking for ideas that I believe are good for film.

I believe it’s is time for something like the black floor—since we can now present any fantasy on computers. After seeing Lord of the Rings all summer, I thought there must be another way of doing this—because I truly believe a dragon is more frightening if you don’t see it. Which is why most horror films are made in darkness, right? In the first Alien, we were really scared because the monster was so small and you never see it. The more you see it, the less frightening it is. This is equivalent to that.

Also, I’m trying to zoom in on actors, on characters. I can’t explain exactly why I made the choice, but I’m happy with it.

* "In an ever-changing, incomprehensible world the masses had reached the point where they would, at the same time, believe everything and nothing, think that everything was possible and that nothing was true. ... Mass propaganda discovered that its audience was ready at all times to believe the worst, no matter how absurd, and did not particularly object to being deceived because it held every statement to be a lie anyhow. The totalitarian mass leaders based their propaganda on the correct psychological assumption that, under such conditions, one could make people believe the most fantastic statements one day, and trust that if the next day they were given irrefutable proof of their falsehood, they would take refuge in cynicism; instead of deserting the leaders who had lied to them, they would protest that they had known all along that the statement was a lie and would admire the leaders for their superior tactical cleverness." -- Hannah Arendt, The Origins Of Totalitarianism [via]

* 1969 Bowie video for space oddity.

* In DC? Saturday's DCAC show is plugged on page E23 of today's Express. check it out. the write-up is online here.


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