June 30, 2006

bush government hides truth

(photo by dronepop)

Upcoming Show:

Saturday JULY 8, 2006, 4pm, outside at Lamont Park, Mt. Pleasant, Wasington, D.C. Lamont Park is on the corner of Lamont and Mt. Pleasant Street, across from Marx Cafe.


The Foreign Press at myspace

* autoantonyms.
Millionaires are tumbling down the stairs

Edward Dugmore (1915-1996), Untitled 15-P

-- by lewis macadams jr.

No texture but in the absolute innocence
of the absolute defeat
No virtue but in the blood innocence
the man who walks down from
the giant stone breaking his head,
his neck, all over slate faces
must be crushed, to rise as spirit
Christ was only a loan,
but the man, the textures, the final
non-bargain laughingly struck
the blackout. Wind

- by lewis macadams jr.

for Phoebe

Traffic is backed up in my head
a houseboat, a trailer with linoleum floors
flung down on the turnpike.
We are all weatherbound
and the eastbound lane
has grown over with your old friends
Our exit is the Avenue of the Land
(That was the city
and we didn't like it or care)
Right there, on the streets
is calamity. Face it.
You are in your own car
you call it freedom
My opaque care is battling.
Spells are being set on it from above.

-- by Gregory Corso

is Life
It flows thru
the death of me
like a river
of becoming
the sea

Freedom, Revolt, and Love
-- by Frank Stanford

They caught them.
They were sitting at a table in the kitchen.
It was early.
They had on bathrobes.
They were drinking coffee and smiling.
She had one of his cigarillos in her fingers.
She had her legs tucked up under her in the chair.
They saw them through the window.
She thought of them stepping out of a bath
And him wrapping cloth around her.
He thought of her walking up in a small white building,
He thought of stones settling into the ground.
Then they were gone.
Then they came in through the back.
Her cat ran out.
The house was near the road.
She didn't like the cat going out.
They stayed at the table.
The others were out of breath.
The man and the woman reached across the table.
They were afraid, they smiled.
The other poured themselves the last of the coffee.
Burning their tongues.
The man and the woman looked at them.
They didn't say anything.
The man and the woman moved closer to each other,
The round table between them.
The stove was still on and burned the empty pot.
She started to get up.
One of them shot her.
She leaned over the table like a schoolgirl doing her lessons.
She thought about being beside him, being asleep.
They took her long gray socks
Put them over the barrel of a rifle
And shot him.
He went back in his chair, holding himself.
She told him hers didn't hurt much,
Like in the fall when everything you touch
Makes a spark.
He thought about her getting up in the dark
Wrapping a quilt around herself.
And standing in the doorway.
She asked the men if they shot them again
Not to hurt their faces.
One of them lit him one of his cigarettes.
He thought what it would be like
Being children together.
He was dead before he finished it.
She asked them could she take it out of his mouth.
So it wouldn't burn his lips.
She reached over and touched his hair.
She thought about him walking through the dark singing.
She died on the table like that,
Smoke coming out of his mouth.

June 29, 2006

I can practically see your face
And another revolutionary falls from grace

simen johan

* Custerfuck Nation:

"The energy debate around the US has taken a definite turn this spring, since oil prices stepped back up to the $70 zone, but the thinking around these issues has only gotten worse. That's because there is only one idea dominating the public discussion: how to keep our cars running by other means, at all costs.

"We're certainly hearing more about energy from government and business. President Bush made the 'addicted to oil' confession in January. Chevron and British Petroleum (or Beyond Petroleum, as BP wishfully styles itself) have both run ad campaigns acknowledging the oil-and-gas crunch, and the mainstream media has joined the campaign to pimp for bio-fuels. But all the talk is driven by the assumption that we will keep running WalMart, Disney World, and the interstate highway system just like we do now, only with other 'alternative' liquid fuels.
"The reason for this collective failure of imagination seems pretty obvious: the older generations are hopelessly vested and invested in the hard 'assets' of suburbia, which they feel they cannot walk away from; and the younger generation is too demoralized by the fear that they will never be vested in any assets (while many seek refuge from thinking at all in the electronic sensory distractions of video games and Ipods, or else in irony and other forms of manufactured alienation).

"If I was a kid now, I'd find a lot more to rebel against than what we faced in the 1960s: the draft and the insipid program of Levittown. I'd rebel against a generation of adults selling the future for obscene pay packages. I'd rebel against everything from the mendacious nonsense of Rem Koolhaas to the profligate stupidity of Nascar. I'd want to eat Donald Trump for lunch (and set free the wolverine that lives on his head.) I'd utterly reject the false commoditized reality and set out to discover the world. I'd get busy building a society with a plausible future (and be real excited about it).

"Sometimes I wonder if we just enjoy lying to ourselves. Sometimes I think: if this nation could somehow harness the energy in all the smoke it blows up its own ass, we'd all be able to drive to heaven in Cadillac Escalades."

* Joe Conason:

"All the slanders and all the maneuvers are performed for political expedience, not national security. In pursuit of Karl Rove’s electoral strategy, the Republicans will spend a trillion dollars and squander thousands of American lives, tens of thousands of Iraqi lives and the prestige of the United States. There is only one thing they won’t do. They will not speak honestly about the war, because the truth cannot accommodate their crude partisan rhetoric. The unfortunate reality is that President Bush has no 'plan for victory.' On some days, he cannot foresee removing American troops during his presidency and says that withdrawal will be a decision for 'future presidents' to make. On other days, he contemplates removing two-thirds of our combat brigades there by the end of next year. On some days, his ambassador to Baghdad discusses amnesty for the insurgents with the Iraqi government and other negotiable items. On other days, those difficult subjects are utterly taboo. He has no plan, because the invasion of Iraq didn’t proceed according to the expectations of the White House and the Pentagon. The Bush war cabinet had formulated a sketchy plan at the outset, with vague, implausible notions of how postwar Iraq would be pacified, rebuilt and governed."
"While the Bush administration has no plan, the government of Iraq seems to be considering a negotiated peace. Iraqi officials have been talking with representatives of the Sunni rebels, in the hope of convincing them to lay down their weapons and engage in democratic politics."
"When Bush visited Baghdad for a few hours on June 13, Iraqi Vice President Tariq al Hashimi, a Sunni leader, urged him to set a date for ending the occupation. The Iraqi president, Kurdish leader Jalal Talabani, who has been talking directly with insurgent representatives, said he supported Hashimi’s request.

"Polls in both countries show substantial agreement between the peoples of Iraq and the United States on ending the occupation. Seventy percent of Iraqis wish that foreign troops would leave their country by the end of next year, and nearly 60% of Americans want our troops home by then, or sooner. But no matter what the Iraqis may want and no matter what the American generals may recommend, don’t expect Bush to 'cut and run'—or at least not until after November."

* Operating Instructions from Steve Kilbey (The Church). [via]

* "Most people don’t have a sense of humor in the first place. So if they find themselves laughing at the end of the experience, they are almost distrustful of themselves—like, what happened to me? Today, for instance, on the tragedy side we could easily be talking about the hideous effect of Hurricane Katrina on New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, or we could be talking about the Iraq war. But we can go out tonight and hear a great jazz band. We could spend a night with friends, laughing and drinking and toasting and saying how wonderful life is. Simultaneously, we all know that we’re enshrouded in tragedy, lies, and all kinds of evil. Torture, for God’s sake! And heaps of evil beyond what we can contemplate, and yet life is wonderful for those of us who haven’t been directly affected. So we walk around balancing the two all the time. I, for one, am not giving in. I am not going to walk around in tears all day long. I still want to have a good day if I can.

"In my poems, I try—God knows, probably unsuccessfully—to bring that home. There’s a poem in my last book, 'A Clean Hit,' where suddenly a bomb falls out of the sky and blows up this person’s house. And all of the neighbors come running down and they’re saying, 'What the hell happened?' The guy whose house got bombed says, 'Well, I voted for this president. They shouldn’t be targeting me.' They’re all trying to figure out what they did and what they didn’t do that could have caused this bomb to drop. Some of them think it’s a mistake. They say, 'It happens all the time. Those reports pass through so many hands, by the time they reach the top somebody has gotten the address wrong.' So you can still have fun with the horror." -- James Tate

June 28, 2006

distance is up static is down

Lucas Samaras, untitled work for Allan Kaprow, 2006.

Allan Kaprow's death this spring at age seventy-eight, a profound loss by any measure, is all the more impropitious given the recent upsurge of interest in his work and the growing awareness of his contemporary relevance. While his happenings gained widespread notoriety in artistic circles and mass culture alike during the '60s and '70s, his evolving critical writings and activities both then and in later years resonate strongly within the context of today's vital considerations of performance and spectatorship, aesthetics and politics, and private experience in an age of spectacularized commerce. [from artforum]

-- by klipschutz

I was just walking down the street
and there stood Gregory Corso,
looking just like Gregory Corso --
to a T the spitting image
of himself.
(He was, in fact, spitting.)
I congratulated myself on such fine luck
my very first day in San Francisco,
and pushed on.

On Gifts For Grace
-- by Bernadette Mayer

I saw a great teapot
I wanted to get you this stupendous
100% cotton royal blue and black checked shirt,
There was a red and black striped one too
Then I saw these boots at a place called Chuckles
They laced up to about two inches above your ankles
All leather and in red, black or purple
It was hard to have no money today
I won't even speak about the possible flowers and kinds of lingerie
All linen and silk with not-yet-perfumed laces
Brilliant enough for any of the Graces
Full of luxury, grace notes, prosperousness and charm
But I can only praise you with this poem—
Its being is the same as the meaning of your name

Unusual Figures
-- by Barbara Guest

A person stands in the doorway. Someone
else goes to greet him.
They establish a calendar of meetings,
apricot color.
Once they arrived together
in a cab
of electricity,
cool heat, desert air.
The author attaches herself
to those figures
peculiar to her asking.
They are needed by the pageant of creativity!
The usual height and
dots of activeness.
Is it from the basket shrub?
Lightness of feet,
circle of grey, of green overlap.
What language
do they speak?

June 27, 2006

is it just lazy rain

Jim Melchert, Feathers of the Phoenix (Red), 2004

* Is Iraq Vietnam in reverse? excerpt:

"In Vietnam, the United States entered a divided country with a simmering civil war and left behind a nasty tyranny. In Iraq, the US has unseated a nasty tyranny but may leave behind a simmering civil war that could lead to a divided country. In Vietnam, fearing a nuclear clash with the Soviet Union or a confrontation with China, the US slid in slowly: first sending technical advisers, then undertaking search and destroy missions, and ultimately engaging in a full-throttle war. In Iraq, the US began full throttle, switched to search and destroy, and is now seriously debating whether to begin sliding out. In Vietnam, America was fighting to uproot communism. Now, it's fighting to plant democracy.

"By this logic, the situation in Iraq today should be compared to the winter of 1966, when the US was about a year into major troop deployments in Vietnam. In 1966, America had a bit more than 150,000 troops engaged; now the US has just under that number. In both cases, about 2,500 soldiers had already died in action. This week, the Senate has held its first major hearings on the war since serious fighting began. The same thing happened regarding Vietnam in February of 1966. And it is these 1966 hearings-in particular the testimony of George F. Kennan, the framer of America's Cold War 'containment' policy-which offer vital insight into the current situation in Mesopotamia.
"So perhaps it's no coincidence that the Iraq War looks like Vietnam in reverse-it may have to do with where the two conflicts fell in this peculiarly American cycle of idealism and realism. The realists were still powerful when the Vietnam War began, but were absent when the country invaded Iraq. Now, though, voices of caution are starting to reassert themselves, and the idealists are losing sway, as people recognize the costs of the current war."

* The New Yorker on the new Timothy Leary biography. excerpt:

"But the seeds of destruction were already planted. Leary had been arrested in 1965, in Laredo, Texas, on federal marijuana charges. At the trial, he asserted his First Amendment right to the free exercise of religion, an argument that the judge, Ben Connally, the brother of John Connally, the governor of Texas, undoubtedly took into account in handing down a thirty-year sentence. Still, the trial was good for publicity. Greenfield says that in the hundred and eight days after the verdict the Times ran eighty-one articles about LSD.

"Leary remained free on appeal, but, meanwhile, the activities at Millbrook had attracted the attention of local law enforcement. Leary’s chief nemesis there was the assistant district attorney for Dutchess County, G. Gordon Liddy, who staged a raid on the house, and had Leary arrested on marijuana-possession charges. Then, in 1968, Leary was pulled over while driving through Laguna Beach and, along with his wife and children, arrested again after drugs were found in the car. Leary’s son, Jack, was so stoned that he took off his clothes in the booking room and started masturbating. When he was shown what his son was doing, Leary laughed. Rosemary was sentenced to six months, Jack was ordered to undergo psychiatric observation, and Leary got one to ten for possession of marijuana.

"He was sent to the California Men’s Colony Prison in San Luis Obispo, and this is where the story turns completely Alice in Wonderland. Assisted by the Weathermen, Leary escapes from prison and is taken to a safe house, where he meets with the kingpins of the radical underground—Bernardine Dohrn, Bill Ayers, Mark Rudd. With their help, he and Rosemary (in violation of her probation) are smuggled out of the country and flown to Algiers, where Leary is the house guest of Eldridge Cleaver, the Black Panthers’ minister of defense. Cleaver would seem to be Leary’s type, since his book 'Soul on Ice' contains such sentences as 'The quest for the Apocalyptic Fusion will find optimal conditions only in a Classless Society, the absence of classes being the sine qua non for the existence of a Unitary Society in which the Unitary Sexual Image can be achieved' and (to explain why white women want black men) 'What wets the Ultrafeminine’s juice is that she is allured and tortured by the secret, intuitive knowledge that he, her psychic bridegroom, can blaze through the wall of her ice, plumb her psychic depths, test of the oil of her soul, melt the iceberg of her brain, touch her inner sanctum, detonate the bomb of her orgasm, and bring her sweet release.' But, alas, the visionaries do not get along.

"Though the Panthers hold a press conference in New York to announce that Leary, formerly contemptuous of politics, has joined the revolution—Leary’s new slogan: 'Shoot to Live / Aim for Life'—Cleaver is eager to get him out of Algeria, an Islamic country not exactly soft on drugs. He begins to harass Leary and his wife, and they manage to get to Switzerland. There Leary meets a high-flying international arms dealer named Michel Hauchard, who agrees to protect him in exchange for thirty per cent of the royalties from books that Leary agrees to write, and then has Leary arrested, on the theory that he is more likely to produce the books in jail, where there is less to distract him. Thanks to his wife’s exertions, Leary is released after a month in solitary, but she leaves him. He takes up with a Swiss girl, and begins using heroin, then meets a jet-setter named Joanna Harcourt-Smith Tamabacopoulos D’Amecourt, who becomes his new consort.

"Leary’s visa is expiring, so he and Joanna seek refuge in Austria, where Leary issues a statement that Austria 'for us personally and I think for the world at large exists as a beacon of compassion and freedom.' (Half of all Nazi concentration-camp guards were from Austria.) It is not clear that Austria feels equally warmly about Leary, and, after Leary’s son-in-law shows up, a plan is hatched to go to Afghanistan, where there are friends among the hashish suppliers. Leary flies to Kabul—it is now January, 1973—and is immediately busted. The son-in-law, it turns out, had set him up. Leary is flown to Los Angeles in the custody of an agent of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics and remanded to Folsom Prison, where he is put in the cell next to Charles Manson’s. King Kong meets Godzilla.

"The rest is bathos. The United States Supreme Court had thrown out the Laredo conviction, but Leary clearly faced major jail time. He met the problem head on: he coöperated fully with the authorities and informed on all his old associates, including his lawyers and his former wife Rosemary, who had gone underground. Leary also wrote articles for National Review, William F. Buckley’s magazine, in which he attacked John Lennon and Bob Dylan ('plastic protest songs to a barbiturate beat'), in order to demonstrate that he was rehabilitated. When he was released, in 1976, he was placed in the Witness Protection Program. He eventually made his way to Los Angeles, where he thrived in a B-list Hollywood social scene. Larry Flynt, the publisher of Hustler, was a friend, and Leary became a regular contributor to the magazine. He was also a welcome guest at the Playboy Mansion, and he went on the road “debating” his former adversary Gordon Liddy. His new promotion was space migration. He fell out of touch with his son; his daughter committed suicide, in 1990. He died, of prostate cancer, in 1996."

* "When the punk thing came along and I heard my friends saying, I hate these people with the pins in their ears. I said, Thank God, something got their attention." -- Neil Young

June 26, 2006

traveling light gonna speed through the night

between something and nothing, by dronepop.

* Top ten conservative idiots. excerpt:

7. Dick Cheney

"The beauty of this whole labor camp idea is that it could be used as an effective tool against all kinds of troublemakers, not just illegal immigrants. Take Steven Howards, for example, who was arrested in the presence of Dick Cheney at an economic summit in Vail, Colorado, last week. What kind of mischief was Howards up to? According to the Secret Service, he 'wasn't acting like the other folks in the area,' and 'his behavior and demeanor wasn't quite right.'

"The Secret Service declined to describe how the other folks in the area were acting, nor did they explain what 'wasn't quite right' about Howards' demeanor. Nonetheless, according to the Vail Daily News, 'officials are reviewing possible federal charges.' Send him to the labor camps, I say! We can't have people going around acting differently when the vice president is in town. (Especially not the executive directors of established non-profit environmental organizations.)

"But the good news is that Dick Cheney won't end up out of pocket while taking part in these distressing appearances where people occasionally act differently near him. This week he's going to be in Grand Island, Nebraska, to raise money for Adrian Smith, the Republican nominee for the 3rd Congressional District race, where taxpayers will be footing the bill for his security. Likewise, he was in Nashville last month for an event which raised a quarter of a million dollars 'toward Republicans' efforts in the 2006 mid-term elections, along with campaigns to get out the vote.' Taxpayers had to shell out for that one too.

"But if you're a taxpayer who's concerned that Dick Cheney is taking your hard earned cash in order to raise money for Republican candidates and would like to show up at one of these events and let him know, be careful - apparently the First Amendment doesn't cover people who aren't 'acting like other folks in the area' these days."

* The Rude Pundit: Why Bill O'Reilly Ought To Be Sodomized With a Microphone, Part 1841 (With a Side Note on the Need To Drop a Nude Laura Ingraham in the Middle of Taliban Territory). excerpt:

"Here's a question Bill O'Reilly actually asked Laura Ingraham on his Fox 'News' show this week: 'Do you think Howard Dean helps the enemy?' This was followed by O'Reilly asking Ingraham if she thinks Jack Murtha and Jimmy Carter help the enemy. And how are these fine American men 'helping the enemy?'

"See, if Howard Dean was sending cologne bottles filled with anthrax to Osama Bin Laden and Jack Murtha was selling Kalashnikovs on the streets of Basra and Jimmy Carter was teaching the Taliban how to better fuck captured enemy asses 'Deliverance'-style (it all has to do with a technique more suited to donkeys than goats), well, then we'd have somethin' to talk about. But here's the nutzoid rantings of O'Reilly on what treason Jimmy Carter has wrought: 'He signs the torture ad along with the reverends, and the torture ad, as I told the reverend, shows up in the Arab press.'

"And then Ingraham, not to be topped in her self-immolating hatred of Democratic ex-Presidents, slithered, 'Nobel Prize-winner criticizing the United States', like, torture policy, which of course, as you pointed out, we do not have a torture policy in the United States.' How dare a Nobel Peace Prize winner agitate for, say, peace and justice. They should all be like Henry Kissinger or Yasser Arafat, hardcore motherfuckers who'll wave a white hankie with one hand and drive the other fist up the asses of refugees and/or children and be damned proud that they took their Nobel Peace Prizes while advocating mass murder.

"No, no, Murtha, Dean, and Carter are vile fuckers, as is the Red Cross. No, really, according to O'Reilly, the International Red Cross 'I submit is the reason that the three Al-Qaeda suspects committed suicide, because International Red Cross told the Americans you've got to give them privacy and tape up the window and they did. And you take up the window, you can't see in. They can go hang themselves.' That's right. According to O'Reilly, who, of course, has recently said he'd run Iraq with all the vicious force of Saddam Hussein, the reason why the Gitmo detainees offed themselves was because no one could watch them do it.

"Watching O'Reilly and Ingraham 'discuss' what they consider the fine line between dissent and treason (if by 'fine line,' you mean 'no line') is a little like watching a pair of scorpions about to fuck. Male and female scorpions extend their pincers and lock together, pulling back and forth. It's a kind of dance wherein the male drops a packet o' sperm that the female will get hooked into into her scorpion cooter. It's kind of cool and sick at the same time, and, despite whatever scientific observations can be made, you just end up feeling disgusted and sad at the end."

* "War is, at first, the hope that one will be better off; next, the expectation that the other fellow will be worse off; then, the satisfaction that he isn't any better off; and, finally, the surprise at everyone's being worse off. How is the world ruled and how do wars start? Diplomats tell lies to journalists and then believe what they read." - Karl Kraus (1874-1936)

* A brilliant goal.

June 23, 2006

Let the products sell themselves
Fuck advertising commercial psychology

Tom McGrath, Sprinkler City, 2006

World Cup Soccer (2)
--by allan james saywell

Written while filled with elation
over Aussie victory in June 2006

American soccer team say-
All the money in the world
Will win many wars
But will not win soccer match

The Past is the Present
-- by Marianne Moore

If external action is effete
and rhyme is outmoded,
I shall revert to you,
Habakkuk, as when in a Bible class
the teacher was speaking of unrhymed verse.
He said - and I think I repeat his exact words -
"Hebrew poetry is prose
with a sort of heightened consciousness." Ecstasy affords
the occasion and expediency determines the form.

I Am in Need of Music
-- by Elizabeth Bishop

I am in need of music that would flow
Over my fretful, feeling fingertips,
Over my bitter-tainted, trembling lips,
With melody, deep, clear, and liquid-slow.
Oh, for the healing swaying, old and low,
Of some song sung to rest the tired dead,
A song to fall like water on my head,
And over quivering limbs, dream flushed to glow!

There is a magic made by melody:
A spell of rest, and quiet breath, and cool
Heart, that sinks through fading colors deep
To the subaqueous stillness of the sea,
And floats forever in a moon-green pool,
Held in the arms of rhythm and of sleep.

What Can We Do?
-- by Charles Bukowski

at their best, there is gentleness in Humanity.
some understanding and, at times, acts of
but all in all it is a mass, a glob that doesn't
have too much.
it is like a large animal deep in sleep and
almost nothing can awaken it.
when activated it's best at brutality,
selfishness, unjust judgments, murder

By their works
-- by Bill Hicok

Who cleaned up the Last Supper?
These would be my people.
Maybe hung over, wanting
desperately a better job,
standing with rags
in hand as the window
beckons with hills
of yellow grass. In Da Vinci,
the blue robed apostle
gesturing at Christ
is saying, give Him the check.
What a mess they've made
of their faith. My God
would put a busboy
on earth to roam
among the waiters
and remind them to share
their tips. The woman
who finished one
half eaten olive
and scooped the rest
into her pockets,
walked her tiny pride home
to children who looked
at her smile and saw
the salvation of a meal.
All that week
at work she ignored
customers who talked
of Rome and silk
and crucifixions,
though she couldn't stop
thinking of this man
who said thank you
each time she filled
His glass.

June 21, 2006

I'm on the pavement thinking about the government

photo by silver juice?

* Joe Conason. excerpt:

"Sometime before the Fourth of July, the Senate will vote on a constitutional amendment to prohibit the physical desecration of the American flag. The House of Representatives already has passed the same legislation by the required two-thirds margin, and enough state legislatures would vote for the amendment to assure its approval.

"So the final bulwark against this historic assault on freedom of speech consists of 34 senators with enough courage to stand up for the substance of the nation’s ideals and to resist transforming the beloved symbol of those ideals into an authoritarian fetish. That is the real danger to the flag, whose spirit the Republican majority is desecrating with a cynical partisan zeal.
"Irony abounds in the congressional theater of the absurd, where prevailing opinion equates 'support for our troops in Iraq' with a determination to keep them in peril indefinitely, and demonstrates 'respect for marriage and families' by barring gay couples from the affirmation of those institutions. (Speaking of irony, the prime House sponsor of the flag amendment was none other than Randy 'Duke' Cunningham, the former California congressman and self-styled super-patriot now serving a long prison term for corruption.)

"It will be especially weird next fall, however, to hear the Republicans attack brave Democrats who dared to vote against the flag amendment as unpatriotic and unfit to sit in the Senate. Those same Republicans expect to elect McConnell, who has always opposed the amendment, as their new leader next year.
"Like so many resolutions and acts of Congress, this misguided amendment is a 'solution' without a problem. But unlike many of the stupid things that politicians do, this one is important. It is a statement of contempt for the First Amendment and a dangerous step toward further restrictions on speech and expression."

* Deadspin reader discusses Chris Berman. excerpt:

"I used to be a writer at TRL and became very good friends with [TRL host] Damien [Fahey]. A few years back we went to the MLB All-Star Game in Chicago because he was hosting the Celebrity Softball game. While there, we went to a players’ party at a 'cool' lounge place; there were pretty much no players there. We tried to go to the bar to get a drink and saw this crowd of super hot women surrounding someone. As we got closer, it was this giant beast of a man wearing a Hawaiian shirt; that man … you guessed it, Chris Berman. We had finally found the said 'players.' I remember the room was pretty cold, and yet somehow this guy was sweating like Patrick Ewing at the free throw line in crunch time. The guy was talking up all these chicks, sweating like he just raced for the cure and there were no other guys with him. I went up to Boomer and said.

ME: 'Hey man, I’m a big fan. Looks like you’ve got your hands full.'
CB: (points finger at girls) 'I could go home with any one of these girls.'
ME: 'Um, okay.'
CB: 'You guys wish you could be where I’m sitting, because the view is (looks around at the women) GOOOOOD!' (laughter)

"End of conversation.

"Damien and I were in total shock. Babe Ruth could have walked in for an exclusive interview with him, and this guy was more interested in what color the carpet was underneath the leather. We kept laughing about it throughout the weekend, and even after that, whenever we saw him on ESPN. He just seems like the kind of guy that would smoke at a salad bar."

* From a Neil Gaiman interview of Lou Reed. excerpt:

Gaiman: "You've said in the past that you started out wanting to try and bring the sensibility of the novel to the rock 'n roll single..."

Reed: "That was always the idea behind it. There are certain kinds of songs you write that are just fun songs -- the lyric really can't survive without the music. But for most of what I do, the idea behind it was to try and bring a novelist's eye to it, and, within the framework of rock and roll, to try to have that lyric there so somebody who enjoys being engaged on that level could have that and have the rock and roll too.

"Sometimes some songs take years to get right. You do it and you just know it's not right and you can't get it right so you leave it. I think you can only do your best with it and sometimes your best isn't good enough. At which point you have to give it a rest. Because then you start doing really strange things to it. And when it starts going that far astray it's time to go away from it."
Gaiman: "In the article on Vaclav Havel, you talk about the Lou Reed persona as something separate from you. Is that how you perceive it?"

Reed: "Well, it's something I use to keep a distance. Put it that way. But I would say it got out of control, and I've been deconstructing it. Which is really kinda funny, Neil, because I can go from this leather-jacketed street guy from New York, and then I show up and the next thing I hear is 'What are you talking about? This guy looks like an English Professor.' It's actually hilarious."

Gaiman: "Do they want to see you still shooting up on stage? Or in make-up? Or in shades and leather?"

Reed: "It depends what time they tagged into me. Some people are forever in the Velvet Underground thing, or the Transformer thing, or the Rock and Roll Animal thing -- someplace around there. They'd like it to still be that. But I was only passing through."
my thoughts keep on turning to Bobby Peru

Rainer Fetting, Queensborough Bridge, 1993

Hemingway Dines on Boiled Shrimp and Beer
-- by Campbell McGrath

I'm the original two-hearted brawler.
I gnaw the scrawny heads from prawns,
pummel those mute, translucent crustaceans,
wingless hummingbirds, salt-water spawned.
As the Catalonians do, I eat the eyes at once.
My brawny palms flatten their mainstays.
I pop the shells with my thumbs, then crunch.

Just watch me as I swagger and sprawl,
spice-mad and sated, then dabble in lager
before I go strolling for stronger waters
down to Sloppy Joe's. My stride as I stagger
shivers the islands, my fingers troll a thousand keys.
My appetite shakes the rock of the nation.
The force of my miction makes the mighty Gulf Stream.

-- by Hart Crane

We make our meek adjustments,
Contented with such random consolations
As the wind deposits
In slithered and too ample pockets.

For we can still love the world, who find
A famished kitten on the step, and know
Recesses for it from the fury of the street,
Or warm torn elbow coverts.

We will sidestep, and to the final smirk
Dally the doom of that inevitable thumb
That slowly chafes its puckered index toward us,
Facing the dull squint with what innocence
And what surprise!

And yet these fine collapses are not lies
More than the pirouettes of any pliant cane;
Our obsequies are, in a way, no enterprise.
We can evade you, and all else but the heart:
What blame to us if the heart live on.

The game enforces smirks; but we have seen
The moon in lonely alleys make
A grail of laughter of an empty ash can,
And through all sound of gaiety and quest
Have heard a kitten in the wilderness.

Scrambled Eggs and Whiskey
-- by Hayden Carruth

Scrambled eggs and whiskey
in the false-dawn light. Chicago,
a sweet town, bleak, God knows,
but sweet. Sometimes. And
weren't we fine tonight?
When Hank set up that limping
treble roll behind me
my horn just growled and I
thought my heart would burst.
And Brad M. pressing with the
soft stick and Joe-Anne
singing low. Here we are now
in the White Tower, leaning
on one another, too tired
to go home. But don't say a word,
don't tell a soul, they wouldn't
understand, they couldn't, never
in a million years, how fine,
how magnificent we were
in that old club tonight.

June 20, 2006

I know sometimes I must get out in the light

Liz Hickok, Bay Bridge, 2005

Hickok: "This project consists of photographs and video, which depict various San Francisco landscapes. I make the landscapes by constructing scale models of the architectural elements which I use to make molds. I then cast the buildings in Jell-O. Similar to making a movie set, I add backdrops, which I often paint, and elements such as mountains or trees, and then I dramatically light the scenes from the back or underneath. The Jell-O sculptures quickly decay, leaving the photographs and video as the remains."

* From Harper's July 2006

-- Percentage change in anverage U.S. gas prices in 2005: +80

-- Number of times that President Bush's 'signing statements' have exempted his administration from provisions of new laws: 750

-- Total number of times for all other presidents since Washington: 568

-- Number of books that Art Garfunkel has read since June 1968, according to a comprehensive list on his website: 948 [seems low, no?]

-- Size, in inches, of Panasonic's new top-of-the-line plasma TV: 103

* Molly Ivans. excerpt:

"Meanwhile, the entire Department of Homeland Security is beginning to look like a Republican playground. According to The New York Times, over 90 former officials at DHS or the White House Office of Homeland Security are now 'executives, consultants or lobbyists for companies that collectively do billions of dollars’ worth of domestic security business.' Now isn’t that a dainty dish to set before the king?

"Can Republicans run anything right? Where is the CEO administration that was supposed to straighten out government? It may be that Bush deserves credit for having initially opposed a DHS, knowing that Republicans would make a giant new federal agency. But he later changed his mind and supported the thing. The rest of us thought we were getting an agency that would provide homeland security, but what an endless saga of misspent money, stupid decisions, waste, fraud, abuse and political logrolling—and still no port protection.

"It seems to me there is a direct connection between the Republicans’ inability to run anything governmental ('Heckuva job, Brownie'") and the fact that they don’t believe in government. The simplest purposes of government have long been defined for us—to form a more perfect union, establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity. It is, or should be, a benign enterprise, making life better for citizens.

"I carry no special brief for government—many years of studying the Texas Legislature will disenchant anyone. But if you are put in charge of government, the least you can do is run it well. Bill Clinton took government seriously—he was interested in how to make it work better, interested in government policy. Clinton declared the era of Big Government over and indeed pruned the federal structure and finished with a surplus. Bush is giving us fat, bloated, inefficient, corrupt government, all of it running on a huge deficit—not counting the expense and growing body count in Iraq. As the man said: '2,500 is just a number.'"

* Dust Congress fav Gena Rowlands had a birthday yesterday. As your present to her, watch A Women Under the Influence soon. An excerpt from a 1999 interview:

"When Gena Rowlands acts, it's like watching someone jump off a skyscraper and land on both feet unharmed. The riskier the performance, the more effortless it seems. Witness three of her favorite roles: the mad housewife in A Woman Under the Influence (1974), the stumbling-drunk actress in Opening Night (1977), and the gun-toting moll in 1980's Gloria."
"It's no coincidence that each of the three films was written and directed by her husband, John Cassavetes, who is considered the godfather of U.S. independent cinema. Starting with A Child Is Waiting (1963) and ending with Love Streams (1984), their mutual-inspiration society was one of the great collaborations in film history."
Everyone loves your performance in A Woman Under the Influence—

Rowlands: That's my favorite. We rented a little house in Hollywood and shot the entire thing there. We had the luxury of time. Without that pressure, it releases a lot of things in you. John would seldom answer a question about a character. He would say, 'I've given it to you. You own it now.'

Was there anything you did in that film that surprised you?

Rowlands: The parts where I get mad and go "Pffft!" and stick my thumb up in the air. I didn't plan that. I never plan anything physical. I had never done it before or since. John laughed very hard after I did that.

Did you base her on anybody?

Rowlands: Not in particular. But you base everything on people you know. [For that role], I remembered junior high school, [when] I would go to my best friend's house. Her mother was always pleasant, but classical music would be pounding through the house. Now that was very unusual when I was growing up. There was some strange tension in that house that did turn out very badly years later. I couldn't put my finger on it. I just knew there was something terribly wrong.
Something happier, then: Tell me about one particularly special day in your life as an actress.

Rowlands: It was when A Woman Under the Influence played at the New York Film Festival. It would be hard to top that. It was one of the most extraordinary nights of my life. We worked so hard on that movie. 'Who wants to see a movie about a crazy middle-aged woman?' was the general attitude we had to contend with. And then for it to be so well received was thrilling. For weeks afterward, every time I'd walk down the street, someone would come up to me and say things like 'That's my mother.' I began to think that behind every third door in America, someone is going crazy. But it was just wonderful that people were personal about it. That's what you always hope for when you do a movie.

* Warren Jabali spoke to Bob Nastanovich at the recent Sonic Youth show in DC:

Warren Jabali to Bob Nastanovich: "Seems like only yesterday that the Silver Jews were calling Sonic Youth's answering machine and playing tunes into it."

Bob: "Oh man yeah I remember that number by heart, 212-xxx-xxx. I should call it right now."

(Dials number with cellphone, gets answering machine)

Bob: "Hi, this is Bob and I think you might be living where Sonic Youth used to live years ago, this was their number, hope all is well."

June 19, 2006

shine out in the wild kindness

Dock Ellis, by James Blagden

* The Illustrated History of Recreational Drugs and Sports. excerpt:

1970 - Pittsburgh Pirates’ pitcher Dock Ellis throws a no-hitter while tripping on LSD.

"The ball was small sometimes, the ball was large sometimes, sometimes I saw the catcher, sometimes I didn’t. Sometimes I tried to stare the hitter down and throw while I was looking at him. I chewed my gum until it turned to powder. They say I had about three to four fielding chances. I remember diving out of the way of a ball I thought was a line drive. I jumped, but the ball wasn’t hit hard and never reached me."
1982 - When N.L. East favorite Montreal Expos finish third, team president John McHale blames cocaine: "We felt we should’ve won in ‘82. When we all woke up to what was going on, we found there were at least eight players on our club who were into this thing." Rookie All-Star Tim Raines, the only user publicly identified says, "I had it in little gram bottles that I kept in my pocket…when I carried it in my pocket, I’d go in head first."
1985 - Curtis Strong, a Pittsburgh caterer, drug dealer, and friend to baseball players is tried on 16 counts of distributing cocaine in Pittsburgh from June 1980 to May 1984.

Players Lonnie Smith, Keith Hernandez, Lee Lacey, Enos Cabell, Rod Scurry, Dale Berra, Dave Parker, John Milner, Jeff Leonard, Tim Raines, Al Holland, Lee Mazilli and mascot Kevin Koch, known to keep cocaine in his beak as 'Pirate Parrot,' are listed as government witnesses and granted immunity.

Parker tells the court he had made it possible for his "primary supplier" to get into the Pirates’ clubhouse at Three Rivers Stadium and to fly on the same plane with the Pirates when they traveled to other cities to deliver drugs.

Hernandez tells the court: cocaine was "the devil within me." He recalls using cocaine, including playing a game high.

Berra, subject to defense attorney Adam Renfroe Jr.’s questions during cross-examination, tells of drug use as a Pirate:
"Q. Where did you get them [amphetamine pills, or, 'greenies')?
A. From Bill Madlock. You could get them from Willie Stargell.
Q. So Willie Stargell gave you amphetamine pills?
A. Yes."

Lonnie Smith tells the court, "The majority of the time, I hid it on me, had these Playboy socks with pockets in them and I’d stick it in there. I had ways of folding my clothes, 10, 12 pairs of pants in a suitcase. I learned it from a Latin friend in Venezuela. People who wanted to check wouldn’t take the time… We Federal Expressed it back and forth, I Federal Expressed the money, he Federal Expressed the stuff. He would use a phony address for his address. I thought it was kind of creative in a way. He’d send me newspapers from Philadelphia and tape the stuff inside the papers."

In cross-examination, Milner testifies regarding his tenure as a Met: "Willie had the red juice…

Q. Willie who?
A. Mays.
Q. Willie Mays?
A. That’s right, the great one, yes."

Strong is convicted on 11 counts and sentenced to twelve years in federal prison.

* Top Ten conservative idiots. excerpt:

"10. Jack Burkman

"And finally, step forward Jack Burkman, you're the latest addition to our Republican Morals and Values Wall of Shame. GOP strategist Burkman is a true conservative - thinks Ann Coulter is aces, loves the Swiftboat guys, etc. He was also apparently Senate Republican counsel on Alfonse D'Amato's Whitewater Committee, and a big fan of Ken Starr.

"Nonetheless, being an upstanding Republican doesn't stop him from allegedly approaching young ladies on the street and badgering them for a quick threesome. The young lady in question was in Washington D.C. with her friends for the Pride parade. Here's what happened next, according to her MySpace blog (via Wonkette):
afterward, we got a snazzy hotel room at the mayflower downtown. on the way over there, this really hot business man in a pinstriped suit walked past me, said hello, and doubled back. he asked me my name and introduced himself (jack burkman, government relations strategies), asked where i went to school, etc, gave me his card, and asked me to call him. i later texted him and never could get rid of him again. he thought he talked to me on the phone several times, but he never did. i always made kat or kristin be me. he told kristin about how he really enjoyed my outfit (TITS GALORE) and that i was beautiful, etc. by the end of the night (5 am or so), he was offering to pay for our room and give us a thousand dollars if two of us would fuck him. oh, jack burkman. his card is my DC souvenir.'
It is too - she scanned it and put it up on MySpace.

"So if you ever happen to be in D.C. and find yourself accosted by a man who later attempts a thousand dollar booty call via text message, beware - he's probably a spokesman for the Republican party. See you next week!"

* "My mother drew a distinction between achievement and success. She said that achievement is the knowledge that you have studied and worked hard and done the best that is in you. Success is being praised by others, and that's nice, too, but not as important or satisfying. Always aim for achievement and forget about success." -- Helen Hayes

June 16, 2006

good things will happen you're gonna get some

Barnaby Furnas, Deserter 2, 2003

Issues of Genius
-- by Tina Celona

She is competing in a race in which one runs across water in flippers, and sidestrokes with someone else holding on. She is the slowest. Afterwards one tries to buy supper but can only afford U-need-a Biscuits.

She is reading the Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas and learning about genius.

Every morning she gets up to see her husband off, then goes back to bed. She wakes up around lunchtime and eats. Then goes back to bed until dinner. Then goes back to bed.

Her friend writes to tell her that Nietszche said genius is a fiction forged by those who put it on a pedestal so they don’t have to measure themselves with it, and that she (her friend) has decided she does not believe in genius, nor is interested in the question of genius, that she has decided this recently, if not life would be unlivable.

Gertrude Stein has a thing for genius. She has met three geniuses in her lifetime: Alfred Whitehead, Pablo Picasso, and herself. That is pretty few!

Hidden Water
-- by Frank Stanford

A girl was in a wheelchair on her porch
And wasps were swarming in the cornice

She had just washed her hair
When she took it down she combed it

She could see
Just like I could

The one star under the rafter
Quivering like a knife in the creek

She was thin
And she made me think

Of music singing to itself
Like someone putting a dulcimer in a case

And walking off with a stranger
To lie down and drink in the dark

-- by James Schuyler

Past is past, and if one
remembers what one meant
to do and never did, is
not to have thought to do
enough? Like that gather-
ing of one each I
planned, to gather one
of each kind of clover,
daisy, paintbrush that
grew in that field
the cabin stood in and
study them one afternoon
before they wilted. Past
is past. I salute
that various field.

June 15, 2006

sometimes a notion smells like the ocean

Weegee (aka Usher "Arthur" Fellig, 1899–1968), Watermain Burst Uproots Madison Avenue, ca. 1940.

* Joe Conason on Ann Coulter. excerpt:

"Now the hard-drinking, trash-talking, fortysomething bachelorette bills herself as a Christian moralist, in holy battle against the liberal heathens.

"That whiff of brimstone in the air may be only the match she is striking for her next cigarette.

"But her version of 'Christianity' turns out to be a strangely modern and convenient faith, which encourages heaping scorn on bereaved widows, bearing false witness against them on television and publicly gloating over the ill-gotten profits thus attained. Leaving behind the golden rule of the Gospels, she embodies a new rule of gold: You can never be too rich, too thin or too vicious.

"Too vicious, however, is the only way to categorize Coulter’s attempted assassination of the Sept. 11 widows known as the Jersey Girls, whom she accuses of 'enjoying' the horrific deaths of their husbands in the World Trade Center inferno. She harangues them as 'broads,' 'witches' and 'millionaires,' for 'reveling in their status as celebrities' while they are 'lionized on TV and in articles about them.'

"Coming from an energetic publicity seeker like Coulter, who still whines bitterly about her elongated cover shot in Time magazine, this is an exercise in self-parody."
"What is most disturbing about this episode is not that these women can be victimized by a bully like Coulter, or even that the mainstream media, which abandoned traditional standards of fairness years ago, would eagerly assist her. What is most disappointing is the abject dereliction of the prominent politicians who worked so closely with the Jersey Girls.

"John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn.), the Senate sponsors of the bill that created the 9/11 Commission, both believed that an independent investigation was essential for reasons of honor and national security. They both know that they could not have prevailed against the White House—and the Republican congressional leadership—without the help of the widows."
"But that was then, and this is now—and these two pious politicians remain silent in the face of a malevolent attack visited on their erstwhile friends. Both men know that it is a lie to call these women partisans or profiteers. Both know that these women—and the families they helped to lead—brought honor and purpose to a legislative process that is often petty and corrupt.

"Shame on the silent senators. And please, let’s hear no more from either of them for a while about tolerance, respect and decency."

* Prohibition causes Drug violence. excerpt:

"Almost a century ago, the United States plunged into Prohibition, the criminalization of alcohol. Immediately, illicit dealers began supplying bootleg booze in the shadows. Gun battles erupted between rival rum-runners. Prisons were crammed with alcohol offenders. Police and judges were bribed to overlook 'speakeasy' bars. Street gangs and the Mafia grew in that grotesque time.

"After Prohibition was repealed, alcohol became legal under state regulation -- and the wave of alcohol crimes faded.

"Today history is repeating itself, via criminalization of disapproved drugs. Illicit dealers supply banned substances in the shadows. Gun battles erupt between rival operators. Prisons are crammed with narcotics offenders. Police and judges sometimes are bribed to look the other way. Street gangs and the Mafia profit from the lucrative trade. So do Muslim terrorists who control Afghanistan's opium poppies, and Latin American cartels in control of cocaine production. Local American peddlers carry guns, so they won't be robbed of their cash or stash. They sell to children or anyone able to buy. Addicts commit robberies to get money for daily fixes. Impure mixes by amateur suppliers cause overdose deaths.

"U.S. taxpayers spend $69 billion a year on the 'war on drugs' -- including the gigantic cost of arresting, trying or imprisoning 1.6 million Americans annually -- but the war is being lost, because narcotics abuse remains as extensive as ever. The situation is bizarre."
"Legalizing alcohol again in 1933 gradually took gunfire out of the booze business. If America likewise legalized narcotics and regulated them through health agencies, would today's drug murders, police cost and prison expense similarly be eliminated? This newspaper long has called for legalization of marijuana, which is no more harmful than beer. LEAP advocates that step for all narcotics.

"Congress and West Virginia's Legislature should study this question - -- but don't hold your breath while you wait for change, because nearly all politicians brag about being 'tough on drugs.' Thus they guarantee that the narcotics trade will remain in the hands of criminals."

* "We comprehend... that nuclear power is a real danger for mankind, that over-crowding of the planet is the greatest danger of all. We have understood that the destruction of the environment is another enormous danger. But I truly believe that the lack of adequate imagery is a danger of the same magnitude. It is as serious a defect as being without memory. What have we done to our images? What have we done to our embarrassed landscapes? I have said this before and will repeat it again as long as I am able to talk: if we do not develop adequate images we will die out like dinosaurs." -- Werner Herzog

* Video for Sparklehorse's Hammering the Cramps. [thanks karl].

June 14, 2006

went deep, further than I could throw

In the past few weeks:

had a justice of the peace wedding May 25, and honeymooned in Lake Placid for a night, then two nights camping in the High Peaks Region (the camera makes my newly-ringed finger look fat)

The Foreign Press had a show at the Black Cat:

(keep an eye here and on The Foreign Press site for additional pics/possibly video)

and, mrs. dust congress and I got ourselves a little (still unnamed) kitten:

now, back to the regularly scheduled programming:

-- by William Carlos Williams

The little sparrows
hop ingenuously
about the pavement
with sharp voices
over those things
that interest them.
But we who are wiser
shut ourselves in
on either hand
and no one knows
whether we think good
or evil.
the old man who goes about
gathering dog-lime
walks in the gutter
without looking up
and his tread
is more majestic than
that of the Episcopal minister
approaching the pulpit
of a Sunday.
These things
astonish me beyond words.

This is Just to Say
-- by William Carlos Williams

I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold

The Lanyard
-- by Billy Collins

The other day I was ricocheting slowly
off the blue walls of this room,
moving as if underwater from typewriter to piano,
from bookshelf to an envelope lying on the floor,
when I found myself in the L section of the dictionary
where my eyes fell upon the word lanyard.

No cookie nibbled by a French novelist
could send one into the past more suddenly—
a past where I sat at a workbench at a camp
by a deep Adirondack lake
learning how to braid long thin plastic strips
into a lanyard, a gift for my mother.

I had never seen anyone use a lanyard
or wear one, if that’s what you did with them,
but that did not keep me from crossing
strand over strand again and again
until I had made a boxy
red and white lanyard for my mother.

She gave me life and milk from her breasts,
and I gave her a lanyard.
She nursed me in many a sick room,
lifted spoons of medicine to my lips,
laid cold face-cloths on my forehead,
and then led me out into the airy light

and taught me to walk and swim,
and I, in turn, presented her with a lanyard.
Here are thousands of meals, she said,
and here is clothing and a good education.
And here is your lanyard, I replied,
which I made with a little help from a counselor.

Here is a breathing body and a beating heart,
strong legs, bones and teeth,
and two clear eyes to read the world, she whispered,
and here, I said, is the lanyard I made at camp.
And here, I wish to say to her now,
is a smaller gift—not the worn truth

that you can never repay your mother,
but the rueful admission that when she took
the two-tone lanyard from my hand,
I was as sure as a boy could be
that this useless, worthless thing I wove
out of boredom would be enough to make us even.

-- by Robert Creeley

I was trying to think of when rightly
to enter the conversation with all
the others talking thoughtfully,
comfortably. There was no occasion
to say that thirty years in the army was
a long time or that very probably the
world is flatter than one thinks. A star
is as far as one's eye can see? My shirt
had broken buttons I had hid with
my tie. Otherwise I was clean and
reasonably dressed. Yet, impatient to
join in, I could hear my voice landing
suddenly on the edge of another's com-
ment, me saying I can't now remember
what, just their saying, "What? What?"

June 13, 2006

can you tell the answer from the ants

garry winogrand, new york city, 1972

* The Rude Pundit: Why Ann Coulter Is a Cunt, Part 2609 of an Endless Series. excerpt:

"There's so much that's fucked up about Ann Coulter and her latest 'book' (if by 'book,' you mean, 'Extended projectile vomiting retched out by a pencil-legged harridan scratching semi-words in her own puke') that it's hard to know where to start. There's the title of the 'book,' Godless, which quite intentionally must exist to make you think, as you walk into your local Barnes and Noble and glance over at the shrieking, howling display of volumes with Ann Coulter's picture on them, 'Goddess.' One might think no human being could be that needy, but, then again, Coulter's gotta compete with your Malkins and your Ingrahams and other conservative fuck dream demi-babes.

"And the Rude Pundit's not gonna get into the whole 'oh, Ann Coulter's wrong about this' argument, 'cause that would mean what she says merits any response other than: Are you really that fucking crazy? No, seriously, are you that...fucking...crazy? What else would you ask someone who writes, as Coulter does in the first chapter, freely available, regarding 'fears' of water shortages: 'Liberals are worried we’re going to run out of something that literally falls from the sky. Here’s an idea: Just wait. It will rain.' Beyond the fact that most of Coulter's arguments seem to stem from understanding liberalism from 20 or 30 years ago, the sentence is breathtakingly, self-evidently stupid."
"But what really pisses the Rude Pundit off is that not only is Coulter a shitty writer and a bugfuck crazed presence any time she is remotely challenged, but she has a bad habit. And that habit, as mentioned before by the Rude Pundit (followed up by Raw Story), is that she appears to like to copy whole sentences from other sources without putting them in as quotes or even citing where she might have 'paraphrased' from."
"The Rude Pundit could end on a high note here. A note where he demonstrates how he's above it all. Fuck that. Sometimes you gotta jump in the gutter and have the slap fight with the whores. Coulter is fond of saying that feminists are ugly, describing one as 'physically repulsive.' Has Coulter taken a look in the mirror lately? She looks like the crazed lingerer at a bar at 3 a.m., desperate for some fat fuck to take her home, beat her, and fuck her face. Bitch has been ridden hard and put away spooge covered, taken out the next day, stiff and sticky, and spit on to be cleaned up for her interviews before using her to wipe Republican asses. Goddamn, time does not treat the nutzoid well. The Rude Pundit wouldn't fuck her if he was given Rush Limbaugh's tiny, diseased prick to fuck her with."

* 70 things you may not know about Leonard Cohen. excerpt:

"23 His big break was meeting the folk singer Judy Collins. He sang Suzanne down the phone to her and she immediately promised to record it.

"24 He was then asked to lunch by John Hammond of Columbia Records, one of rock's greatest talent-spotters: he had signed Bob Dylan, and went on to discover Bruce Springsteen. Hammond asked Cohen to sing some songs in his room at the Chelsea hotel. He played six or seven, and Hammond said: 'You got it.' Cohen never worked out whether he meant he had a contract or merely a gift.

"25 A week later, they were in the studio, with Hammond as producer. Cohen started singing and Hammond said on the intercom: 'Watch out Dylan!'"

"26 The young Cohen's signature tune was Suzanne. He once called it 'journalism,' as the details were drawn from life in Montreal. Suzanne was a friend, Suzanne Verdal, who really did serve him tea and oranges in her loft by the river. Cohen wrote the line 'I touched your perfect body with my mind' because she was married to a friend of his."
"38 When he wrote Bird on a Wire, Cohen felt he hadn't 'finished the carpentry,' but Kris Kristofferson said the first three lines would be his epitaph: 'Like a bird on a wire/ Like a drunk in a midnight choir/ I have tried, in my way, to be free'"
"70 In 1994, Cohen said: 'If you're going to think of yourself in this game, or in this tradition, and you start getting a swelled head about it, then you've really got to think about who you're talking about. You're not just talking about Randy Newman, who's fine, or Bob Dylan, who's sublime, you're talking about King David, Homer, Dante, Milton, Wordsworth, you're talking about the embodiment of our highest possibility. So I don't think it's particularly modest or virtuous to think of oneself as a minor poet. I really do feel the enormous luck I've had in being able to make a living, and to never have had to have written one word that I didn't want to write.

"'But I don't fool myself, I know the game I'm in. When I wrote about Hank Williams 'A hundred floors above me in the tower of song', it's not some kind of inverse modesty. I know where Hank Williams stands in the history of popular song. Your Cheatin' Heart, songs like that, are sublime, in his own tradition, and I feel myself a very minor writer. I've taken a certain territory, and I've tried to maintain it and administrate it with the very best of my capacities. And I will continue to administrate this tiny territory until I'm too weak to do it. But I understand where this territory is.'"

* "The writer is the person who stands outside society, independent of affiliation and independent of influence. The writer is the man or woman who automatically takes a stance against his or her government. There are so many temptations for American writers to become part of the system and part of the structure that now, more than ever, we have to resist. American writers ought to stand and live in the margins, and be more dangerous. Writers in repressive societies are considered dangerous. That's why so many of them are in jail." -- Don DeLillo

June 12, 2006

I'd like to know completely
what others so discretely talk about

green sprial, by dronepop.

* Top ten conservative idiots. excerpt:

"10. Fox News

"And finally, it seems that the stock market hasn't been doing so well recently, but never fear! The folks over at Fox News have figured out a way to get the Dow Jones Industrial Average moving again. It's simple, really: Bomb Iran.

"During the June 5 edition of Your World with Neil Cavuto, Jonathan Hoenig (a member of the Fox News 'Cashin' In' crew) said, 'if you want to see the Dow go up, let's get the bombers in the air and neutralize this Iranian threat.'

"There it is folks: the conservative idiot's economic agenda to get our country moving again. Apparently managing the economy really isn't that difficult. Don't worry about all that complicated liberal mumbo-jumbo about deficits and taxes and regulations and wages and all that. Whenever there's a downturn, just dump a few thousands tons of live ordinance on some brown people halfway around the world, and the Dow will shoot right back up!"

* How we treat our soldiers:

"PFC Judson Parkin received a Purple Heart Medal for his service in Iraq. His first lieutenant wrote about him:

"'He performed his duties in an outstanding manner and never wavered under fire. He upheld the Marine Corps tradition of bravery, risking his life...'

In fact, Parkin was rewarded with seven medals and ribbons in three years of service.
One little problem: right before his deployment to Iraq, they found less than a gram of marijuana in his room. This didn't prevent them from shipping him out, but after he returned...

"As the time passes, his ordeal looks more and more like a quote from Kafka, with endless circling of a bureaucratic machine around and around the same issue, never moving an inch ahead, multiple punishments for the same insignificant crime and growing numbers of official letters confirming the receipt of a complaint, but never bringing any solution.

"'During Private Parkin's deployment, he was not recommended for promotion because of his past drug abuse,' wrote Major J.R. Jurgensen of the U.S. Marine Corps Office of Legislative Affairs in December 2005 in response to Senator Feinstein request about Parkin's fate.

"Not recommended for promotion? That's punishment number one.

"'His punishment included reduction in rank...' That's punishment number two. '...the recommendation for an Other than Honorable [discharge] (OTH).' And that's punishment number three.

"'If the Marine Corps discharges me as OTH,' wrote Parkin to Jeff Goldstein, his history teacher in high school, 'I will lose ALL my benefits, including the GI Bill and my veteran medical benefits.'

"Scary as it sounds, Parkin prepared for the worst, but he could not imagine that yet another punishment, arguably the most severe one, was in store for him.

"Since September 2005, when his commanding officer at the time, J. M. Odonnell recommended OTH, Parkin was left at Camp Pendelton as a Remain Behind Element (RBE) to wait for a decision made on his behalf.

"In the time period, his papers got lost several times, his chain-of-command officers cannot give him any time frame of the upcoming decision or tell him when his punishment number four will be over, so he spends his days tending to miscellaneous chores -- from gardening to heavy lifting -- and basically rotting away."

"This is unbelievable.

"I can understand the military having rules about the use of drugs and alcohol (and particularly having time and place rules), but this kind of stupidity in our government is harmful. If his infraction was really that serious, they shouldn't have let him go to Iraq."

* "Poetry and painting are done in the same way you make love; it's an exchange of blood, a total embrace--without caution, without any thought of protecting yourself." -- Joan Miro

* World Cup: Czech Republic v. United States 12:00pm

June 8, 2006

I'd like to check out your public protest

Last Call! The Foreign Press and The Caribbean Tonight @ The Black Cat, backstage, 9pm, $7. Hope to see you there!

* From an Interview of David Berman (in Les Rockuptibles):

Q: How did you discover the Stones, what did they represent to you and what do they represent now?

Berman: When I was young, even up to an early teenager, I didn't know that the Rolling Stones and Kiss were two different bands. My confusion was due to the Stones "lips" icon. When it came to rock and roll, I looked the other way. I would not deign to pay attention to the details of all that tastlessness. I was an effete and fearful child.

I can't imagine putting on a Stones album in 2006. I've heard them all. I am through with them like I'm through with eating sour candy or inhaling balloons of nitrous oxide. If I was asked to provide entertainment for a party I would would probably play "Happy" or "Before They Make Me Run". Having said all that, they are the greatest band of any music in any era.

Q: Why did you choose "Cocksucker Blues?" What were the reason and the conditions of this recording, how did You choose the sound of the cover?

Berman: This is from the second of our first two shows, in July 1993. Drag City had a three day 'Drag City Invitational' at the Lounge Ax in Chicago. The lineup was thus. Royal Trux, Pavement, Palace Brothers, Smog, Silver Jews and King Kong. Each night the bands names were drawn out of a hat [on stage] to determine the order of bands. On our second night we were to play last. I wanted to do something risky so I pulled Steve [Malkmus] outside and into a station wagon to hear this song. I played it for him. We played this version of it ten minutes later. I believe Steve was only half paying attention to the cassette and had latched onto this one guitar motif. Bob [the drummer] had never come out to the car to listen to the original, he has only one drum beat anyway, and i'm trying to push the two of them into place with my eyes and no harness at all. I was shocking myself everytime I yelled 'where do i get my ass fucked,' And that was the last show we did as the original three silver jews, or any Silver Jews show up until march of this year.

-- Cocksucker's Blues, from the Drag City Invitational

* The Guardian talks with Medium Cool (a Dust Congress favorite) director Haskell Wexler. excerpt:

"Deep into his ninth decade, the legendary cinematographer and lifelong leftwing activist Haskell Wexler - and for once, that word 'legendary' is not misplaced - shows no signs of slowing down. 'Keeping busy?' I ask after we settle down to breakfast in his well-appointed seaview condo in Santa Monica, with the Pacific below us emerging slowly from the morning mists. 'Oh sure,' he laughs, 'busy enough to drag you all the way across town at eight in the morning.' Wexler looks a good 25 years younger than his advertised 84 years. Slim, with a light beard of wispy white stubble, he puts an interviewer exactly half his age to shame with his morning vitality and volubility."
"Wexler is like a Zelig of the post-second world war American left. Apart from being one of the most innovative cinematographers in Hollywood history (Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, Bound for Glory, In the Heat of the Night), he's been everywhere, done everything, met everyone and won everything - including two Oscars - and he's still busy. He's active in his technicians' union, which he sees as often working against its members' interests, and he's trying to make them rescind the old bylaw, still on the books from the McCarthy years, forbidding membership to anyone 'advocating the forceful overthrow of the United States government.' 'That's the bylaw they used for blacklisting people,' he says, 'and it's time it was done away with.'"
"But it's Medium Cool that is most important, a remarkable, prescient film about a Chicago newsreel cameraman who finds his 'objectivity' is a political trap, especially after his news director starts handing over his raw footage to the cops. Medium Cool contains not only radical politics (few American film-makers ever absorbed Godard so well; the opening sequence of newsmen filming a horrible car crash, then calling an ambulance, could be an out-take from Weekend) but also full-frontal nudity and obscenities, alongside vivid footage of the 'police riot' against anti-war protesters at the Democratic Convention in 1968; it's amazing it was even released."
"The fiercest attention Wexler received came in 1977, when he acted as cameraman for Emile de Antonio's Underground, a surreptitiously-filmed interview with members of the Weather Underground, ex-SDS radicals and bombers who'd been on the lam for five years. 'I was told to go down to Wilshire and La Brea and wait until a red Volkswagen went by, then to walk to a park and there'd be a guy with a red beard waiting on a bench, this dumb, fake beard. All types of clearances to make sure I wasn't being followed. And that went on for a few weeks.' Finally he was taken blindfolded on the floor of a station wagon to the safehouse - 'I could smell the ocean nearby' - and the interviews took place."
"As we're wrapping up, I tell Wexler how much the tranquil pigeon-culture scenes in Medium Cool remind me of Ken Loach's Kes, released the same year. He couldn't be happier. 'I haven't seen his new movie yet, but I worked a couple of days with him on Bread and Roses. Just being around this guy and seeing his quiet way was an inspiration. He suffered here because the US system, the phoney union, did everything not to be nice to him. And hell, anything I did that reminds you of Ken Loach is all right by me!'"

* Jake Shimabukuro plays George Harrison's While My Guitar Gently Weeps on ukelele in Central Park. Beautiful.

June 7, 2006

Of war and peace the truth just twists

Victor Brauner,The Surrealist, 1947

Gimmie Shelter
-- by Bill Knott

The thread or the theme
That holds this tune
Together is the same
One that rips it open--

The initial guitar
Continues splitting
The whole thing apart--
It is the lightning

Which Jagger complains
Of and which he seeks
Shelter from the rains
Of when it breaks--

We ourselves will shut
Our deepest sills against
His common cries but
There is no defense

To keep out that other
One behind him twinned
His starker brother
Whose keening strings skein

Hymns from one more
Murderous composer
Whose cause is war
Who tears down our door--

Shelter/the home
Is made of language--
But music sunders the poem--
Its rift is like a tongue

Trying to compile all
Words into one word--
One Babel whose walls
Fall beneath its standard--

What the fuck did that flag
Say--the opposite
Of peace/of the page
Is what I must write.

I Go Back to May 1937
-- Sharon Olds

I see them standing at the formal gates of their colleges,
I see my father strolling out
under the ochre sandstone arch, the
red tiles glinting like bent
plates of blood behind his head, I
see my mother with a few light books at her hip
standing at the pillar made of tiny bricks with the
wrought-iron gate still open behind her, its
sword-tips black in the May air,
they are about to graduate, they are about to get married,
they are kids, they are dumb, all they know is they are
innocent, they would never hurt anybody.
I want to go up to them and say Stop,
don't do it--she's the wrong woman,
he's the wrong man, you are going to do things
you cannot imagine you would ever do,
you are going to do bad things to children,
you are going to suffer in ways you never heard of,
you are going to want to die. I want to go
up to them there in the late May sunlight and say it,
her hungry pretty blank face turning to me,
her pitiful beautiful untouched body,
his arrogant handsome blind face turning to me,
his pitiful beautiful untouched body,
but I don't do it. I want to live. I
take them up like the male and female
paper dolls and bang them together
at the hips like chips of flint as if to
strike sparks from them, I say
Do what you are going to do, and I will tell about it

See Under:
-- by Joanna Rawson

There's a word for a beggar who fakes being blind.
Another for amnesia about all events underwater.
For the exact center of gravity in a skyscraper.
Without motive, a bullet whittled from ice
utters murder into a toddler's chest.
The sun makes a pool of water around her body
that will evaporate by noon, a shadow
advertising the precise time of death.
There's a word for a cannon fired from a camel's back.
Another for a rain gauge fueled by the sun.
For anything that lasts all night.
The rumor of a violent stormfront
keeps arriving,
but somewhere else.

Dear Mr. President
-- by Philip Whalen









Respectfully Yours, Philip Whalen 10:III:65

June 6, 2006

the new frontier is not that near

sam gilliam, blue unions

* Rumor or true? Wayne Madsen reports:

"George W. Bush's marital problems have just taken another turn for the worse. Apparently, Mr. Bush has not only engaged in an extra-marital affair with a member of the opposite sex who is also a senior member of his Cabinet, but also a member of the same sex. WMR received the following release this morning from Leola McConnell, Democratic candidate for Governor of Nevada (who has been endorsed by WMR). McConnell is a one-time professional dominatrix.

"'President Bush's speech to the nation Monday. If he doesn't say he's a gay American or at the least a bisexual one then he shouldn't be making one at all. And the notion that it would be in regards to writing bigotry into our nation's Constitution is reprehensible. Too bad it isn't me doing the rebuttal because in 1984, I watched him perform (with the enthusiasm of homosexual male who had done this many times before) a homosexual act on another man, namely Victor Ashe. Victor Ashe is the current Ambassador to the nation of Poland who should also come out like former Governor McGreevey of New Jersey and admit to being a gay American. Other homo-erotic acts were also performed by then private citizen George Bush because I performed one of them on him personally.

"'I am the woman this website (bushssecretlifein84.tripod.com) speaks of that has been posted on the net nearly two years now. None of this would be the business of anyone but President Bush's little ruse to save his failed presidency by using DOMA [Defense of Marriage Act] to divide Americans one from the other has to be exposed as the act of a desperate closeted homosexual man. The only crime in being GLBT is in the hiding. The President needs to come clean with the American people about his own past sexual behavior before he tries to besmirch the humanity of people in search of sincerely committing to the same bonds of matrimony he's afforded. He violated his own vows of monogamy having a homosexual affair with a long time family friend of whom his wife had no knowledge. His hypocrisy seems to know no bounds.

"'I had planned to run for governor of Nevada without going into any of this but his planned nationally televised address to the nation makes it necessary for me to address his attempt at division in as public a way as he picked to try this Bushification of reality regarding same sex marriages.

Leola McConnell
Liberal Democratic candidate for Governor of Nevada"

* Meat Loaf Will Not Be Bullied By Anyone:

"Meat Loaf, Grammy® award-winning musical artist and film actor whose albums have sold over 50 million copies worldwide, has filed suit in Federal Court in Los Angeles against songwriter Jim Steinman and his manager, David Sononberg, to uphold his right to use his album title, 'Bat Out of Hell.' Meat Loaf is preparing to release his much anticipated third installment of one of rock music’s most successful series with 'Bat Out of Hell III: The Monster is Loose.' After 30 years of continuous and extensive use by Meat Loaf of 'Bat Out Of Hell' in record albums, tours, concerts and merchandise, Steinman is making unfounded and baseless claims to this valuable name.

"In 1995, without even consulting Meat Loaf, Steinman filed for a U.S. trademark for the phrase, 'Bat Out Of Hell'” despite the fact that Meat Loaf had used the 'Bat Out of Hell' mark continuously and extensively since 1977. In the application process, Steinman represented to the Patent Trademark Office that he had the exclusive right to the mark and that nobody else used the name – a blatantly false assertion since Meat Loaf for many years before and after 1995 has had sole and exclusive use of the name.

"When plans began to conceptualize 'Bat Out of Hell III,' Steinman was offered a position as producer as well as songwriter. Says 'Bat Out of Hell III' executive producer Winston Simone, 'Along with Jim’s lawyer, we had negotiated by far the best producer agreement that we had ever seen. Unfortunately, Jim decided not to sign the agreement or accept the very substantial advance.'

"Steinman voluntarily removed himself from the making of 'Bat Out of Hell III – the Monster is Loose.' Since then, Steinman, his manager and lawyer, have approached Meat Loaf’s labels, Universal and Virgin, falsely asserting trademark ownership and threatening litigation. According to attorney Miller, 'Meat Loaf will not be bullied by anyone. He will continue to use the title 'Bat Out of Hell' in any way he wants.'"

* "But we are none of us the great murderers of our mind, just simple fools stumbling toward what is expected of us." -- Robert Bingham

* Twofer Tuesday, Mountain Goats:

-- Against Pollution

-- Quito

June 5, 2006

the song says let's be happy, so let's be happy

photo by dave jones.

The Foreign Press will be playing dc's black cat this Thursday (June 8) supporting The Caribbean. Doors @ 9, $7. Come on out!

* Top ten conservative idiots. excerpt:

"2. Karl Zinsmeister

"Say hello to George W. Bush's new domestic policy adviser Karl Zinsmeister, who's only been on the job for five minutes and is already up to his neck in it. The Zpinmeister admitted last week that he 'did something wrong when he took a newspaper profile of himself, altered quotes and text, and then posted it on a Web site without noting the changes,' according to the Washington Post.

"Back in 2004, the Zpinmeister was interviewed by the Syracuse New Times and said, 'People in Washington are morally repugnant, cheating, shifty human beings.' When the article was reprinted on the American Enterprise Institute's website, the quote read as follows: 'I learned in Washington that there is an 'overclass' in this country stocked with cheating, shifty human beings that's just as morally repugnant as our 'underclass.'' How did that happen? Possibly because Karl Zinmeister was, at the time, the editor of the American Enterprise Institute's magazine.

"The Zpinmeister made several other edits to the original article where he felt that there had been 'misunderstandings or truncated notes' - but accidentally forgot to note the changes on the AEI website. How absent-minded of him.

"Don't worry though - as usual, this lack of integrity was once again brushed aside by the White House - according to the Post, press secretary Tony Snow said that 'Zinsmeister erred in making the changes, but he was well-intentioned.' Oh really, Tony? How so? 'This was done not out of animosity; it was an attempt to set the record straight and he did it in an unartful way,' clarified Snowjob.

"So I guess this is just item 127,846 on the Bush administration's list of 'unartful but well-intentioned'" errors.

"One last thing: Back in 2003 Karl Zinsmeister wrote in the National Review, 'many of the journalists observable in this (Iraq) war theater are bursting with knee-jerk suspicions and antagonisms for the warriors all around them. A significant number are whiny and appallingly soft. … I almost wished there would be a very loud explosion very nearby just to shut up their rattling.'

"Looks like Zinsmeister has been getting his wish. The recent deaths of two CBS journalists in Iraq brings the total number of journalists killed in that conflict up to 71, which is two higher than the number of journalists that were killed in all of World War II."

* The Rude Pundit on the top 50 conservative song list that's making its way around:

"John, John J. Miller, Johnny J, JJ, what the fuck ever, you over at the National Review, with your new list of Conservative Rock Songs #51-101, your sequel to the sad cry for help that is the list of 1-50. Listen to the Rude Pundit. It's not that we on the left are saying, as you put it, 'Hands off my rock music, right-wing scum!' No, no, we said that back in the 1980s when the PMRC (led by Tipper Gore, you know) tried to get music like 'Little Red Corvette'" by Prince (in your new list) stigmatized, censored, banned, even, from the airwaves or out of the reach of teenagers, the young consumers whose minds might be influenced in a conservative direction by Prince's 'cautionary tale,' as you say.

"No, no, you see, you can have Mike and the Mechanics, Rush, Extreme, Iron Maiden, Sammy Hagar, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Journey, the Hooters, and P.O.D. Really. Create a conservative radio station of the damned on satellite so you can fuck your wife to the Hooters. Try it. Nothin' says, 'I want some righteous 'tang' like the Hooters.

"Just, you know, back the fuck off on things like, say, the Police and the Dead Kennedys. Believe it or not, liberals kinda hated the Kremlin and Pol Pot, too. We hate all repression. We hate everyone who tries to tell us that liberation, like the kind represented by the fuck rhythms of rock and roll, is to be feared.

"Oh, and shit, yeah, you can't even have Dylan in his born-again period. 'Scuse the Rude Pundit now - he's gotta get mighty stoned to his scratchy vinyl copy of Slow Train Coming."

* Jeff Johnson has an op-ed in the new york times. excerpt:

"Last month, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers rejected a proposal to create a .xxx domain, keeping lovers of Internet pornography in a virtual Stone Age when it comes to quickly locating prurient material. Here are some domains that should be considered next:

".cat The domain of choice for the involuntarily celibate.

".sal For rotund fellows who love pizza and the people who love them.

".wah The preferred suffix for sites that feature copious MPEG's of guitar solos.

".sod For English inebriates who also dabble in landscaping, or, just, you know, mow lawns for booze money. Expect these Web sites to lay fallow during the World Cup.

".ehh For sites that, ehh, never mind.

".wha For scholars of Thomas Pynchon's "V."

".rub For masseuses and masseurs.

".ewe For shepherds only!

".lie For dating Web sites that do not require accurate photos of the individuals who sign up.

".pip For Web sites that, at first glance, appear to be amusing, but really aren't.

".rug Connoisseurs of wigs, toupees, hair plugs and comb-overs belong here.

".gel The Internet home for men who use too much hair-styling product.

".tug Finally, a destination for the millions, if not billions, of tug-of-war aficionados in cyberspace.

".zit Real pimple advice for real teenagers. Sponsored by Snickers and Clearasil."

* "We hate poetry that has a palpable design on us...Poetry should be great and unobtrusive, a thing which enters into one's soul, and does not startle or amaze it with itself, but with its subject." -John Keats, Letter to John Hamilton Reynolds (February 3, 1818), quoted in Letters of John Keats (H.E. Rollins, ed.; 1958), vol. 1. [via]