July 23, 2007

snow scenes level lonely bastards


Stephen Shore, Mineral Wells, Texas June, 1972

A quote that I like very much... comes close to explaining my attitude about taking photographs.... "Chinese poetry rarely trespasses beyond the bounds of actuality... the great Chinese poets accept the world exactly as they find it in all its terms and with profound simplicity... they seldom talk about one thing in terms of another; but are able enough and sure enough as artists to make the ultimately exact terms become the beautiful terms." --Stephen Shore

* Top ten conservative idiots. excerpt:

1. George W. Bush

"The key judgments of the new National Intelligence estimate were released last week. In a nutshell, Al Qaeda has apparently 'regenerated key elements of its Homeland attack capability' and will 'leverage the contacts and capabilities' it has gained since the U.S. invaded Iraq. That's Al Qaeda in Pakistan, by the way, since according to Baghdad reporter Michael Ware "al-Qaeda would be lucky to make up 3 percent of the insurgency" in Iraq.

"But pay no attention to all that! Our Great Leader thinks that a resurgent Al Qaeda outside of Iraq is nothing to worry about, and announced last week that, 'Al-Qaida would have been a heck of a lot stronger today had we not stayed on the offensive.' Er, right. And maybe if you'd gone on the offensive against Osama Bin Laden instead of instead Saddam Hussein, it would all be over by now.

"So to the few remaining Bush supporters out there: given the fact that George W. Bush seems to have failed to prevent Al Qaeda from regaining strength, which of the following do you think represents reality?

"a) The president has spent five years pursuing wrong-headed policies which have directly damaged our national security, weakened our defense capability, and threatened our safety, or

"b) The world works like the Dukes of Hazzard, where the U.S. plays bumbling but lovable Roscoe P. Coltrane who week after week manages to show up just as those terroristic Dukes are getting away.

"I mean, do you really think that George W. Bush is doing the absolute best job he can, but those pesky terrorists are always just one step ahead of him? If you honestly don't believe Commander Guy bears any responsibility for making the world a more dangerous place, fair enough - but in that case you must believe that try as he might, he simply isn't quite as competent as the terrorists. Either way, don't we deserve a president who'll be more competent than the terrorists? Could we at least try to rise to that level, for fuck's sake?"

* Condi Rice, another fading star. excerpt:

"I remember the heady days for Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

"About 2 1/2 years ago, when she was new in office, I accompanied her on her first trip around the world, with stops in India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, South Korea, Japan and China. Crowds gathered to see her limousine drive past; people whistled, waved and cheered. Interviewers routinely asked her whether she was planning to run for president. One TV reporter in India told her she was 'arguably the most powerful woman in the world.' She chuckled but did not exactly agree -- or disagree.

"How things change.

"A few months ago, she decided to write an opinion piece about Lebanon. She enlisted John Chambers, chief executive officer of Cisco Systems as a co-author, and they wrote about public/private partnerships and how they might be of use in rebuilding Lebanon after last summer's war. No one would publish it.

"Think about that. Every one of the major newspapers approached refused to publish an essay by the secretary of state. Price Floyd, who was the State Department's director of media affairs until recently, recalls that it was sent to the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times and perhaps other papers before the department finally tried a foreign publication, the Financial Times of London, which also turned it down.

"As a last-ditch strategy, the State Department briefly considered translating the article into Arabic and trying a Lebanese paper. But finally they just gave up. 'I kept hearing the same thing: 'There's no news in this.'' Floyd said. The piece, he said, was littered with glowing references to President Bush's wise leadership. 'It read like a campaign document.'"

* From a Paris Review interview of Robert Creeley:

INTERVIEWER: What do you think is the effect of hallucinatory drugs on the creative process?

CREELEY: Terrific! That’s at least what I’d like to say. I think a lot, and at times I can box myself in with all the rationale of army logistics. It can get to be a hopeless log jam. So anyhow the LSD just wiped that out—and fears and tentativenesses and senses of getting lost or of being endlessly separated from the world, all that just went. I can’t claim perhaps so simply that writing was thereby opened but I do know the past year has felt a very active one in consequence. The thing is, it’s information—extraordinary and deeply relieving information.

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