January 30, 2007

The moon is a light bulb breaking

Kiki Smith., Come Away from Her (after Lewis Carroll), 2003

* Froomkin: The Unraveling of Dick Cheney. excerpt:

"While Dick Cheney undoubtedly remains the most powerful vice president this nation has ever seen, it's becoming increasingly unclear whether anyone outside the White House believes a word he says.

"Inside the West Wing, Cheney's influence remains considerable. In fact, nothing better explains Bush's perplexing plan to send more troops to Iraq than Cheney's neoconservative conviction that showing the world that we have the 'stomach for the fight' is the most important thing -- even if it isn't accomplishing the things we're supposed to be fighting for. Even if it's backfiring horribly.

"But as his astonishing interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer laid bare last week, Cheney is increasingly out of touch with reality. He seems to think that by asserting things that are simply untrue, he can make others believe they are so."
"Meanwhile, the trial of Cheney's former chief of staff Scooter Libby is exposing to public view the vice president's role as master-manipulator of misinformation and vindictive retaliator-in-chief -- once again, indifferent to the truth. (For example, Cheney ordered his staff to lie to reporters about the contents of a highly classified National Intelligence Estimate.)

"And former aide Cathie Martin's testimony on Friday validated the most cynical conspiracy theories about how Cheney manipulates the press."

* From an interview of Gerard Malanga. excerpt:

Interviewer: You do see yourself primarily as a poet.

Malanga: I started writing poetry when I was sixteen and was published, at eighteen or nineteen. In 1967 my first book was actually a collaboration for a screen test that I had done. That was my first big book. And I had two tiny books that came out that year also. But when I went to work with Andy Warhol my identity was already established. I had already appeared in a number of very prestigious magazines. Poetry for me was a way of entering into a secret language. That's what I felt at the age of sixteen and seventeen. It was a thought that struck me like lightning. I've never stopped writing. Strangely, there have always been spells when I didn't write, moments that were a regenerative process, I wasn't writing because it enabled me to see more clearly. I was also taking photographs at the time so these were activities that meshed to a certain degree. I've always thought of poetry as an introverted process whereas photography has always been an extroverted process. But they both involve the eye to a certain extent -- both the inner eye and the outer eye. I enjoy the process when I'm involved in it.

Interviewer: Have the Factory Years affected your subsequent work? Have you managed to get free of that reputation over the last forty years?

Malanga: It's been positive and negative. My new collection is called No Respect. The poetry mafia in New York have not been very kind to me because, I think, of my connection with Andy. Jealousy. I don't get grants, awards, fellowships. I try. But there's something amiss there. I love writing. It doesn't affect me writing. I still write. That's my love. It's what I do. I can step outside of myself and look at myself. My poetry has suffered because I became famous. I don't say that out of bitterness. But it has. In terms of getting it out there. You've got to make allies.

Interviewer: How does the present cultural scene compare with the 60s?

Malanga: What I'm thinking about is how quickly change is happening now. This is the digital age. Back in the 60s we were in the analogue age. Store fronts are disappearing that I've lived with for ever. I've lost my Chinese laundry! The Arts scene is in some sort of weird state at the moment. They don't know where they're going now. My friend had a musical which closed last year and I was photographing DJs. I was getting the animated ones. Alec Empire and others. Wonderfully talented people. Alchemists with sound. Things are happening so rapidly and some of is good, some bad. Hollywood is shit at the moment. The poetry is ok -- it's always a tradition with a sub culture attached to it. I'm constantly amazed. The sixties were so different. In retrospect it was a very well paced but quiet time at a certain level. Things were nurtured and developed and evolved. But now that doesn't happen. I don't know how that affects the arts world. Art has become commerce. Big Business. Andy would love that.

* Clever New Radiant Storm King video.

* Bonnie Prince Billy BBC Sessions.


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