Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

That Jeff Koons feeling

Jed Perl opposes Jeff Koons:

The sculptures and paintings of this fifty-nine-year-old artist are so meticulously, mechanically polished and groomed that they rebuff any attempt to look at them, much less feel anything about them.

But four paragraphs later:

Koons knows how to capitalize on the guilty pleasure that the museumgoing public takes in all his mixed messages. He knows how to leave people feeling simultaneously ironical, erudite, silly, sophisticated, and bemused.

Does Koons make people feel things, or does he not?  Or are irony, erudition, silliness, sophistication, and bemusement feelings that don’t count as feelings?

Jed Perl writes well but I find his judgment strange.  About Jeff Koons I have no opinion.  But I remember his name because of the piece he wrote about Francis Bacon, which seems to suggest that people like Bacon not because of anything in the paintings, but because the artist sports a biography and attitude that appeals to mushy-minded would-be avant-gardists.  “The Bacon mystique,” Perl writes, “is not grounded in his paintings so much as in a glamorous list of extenuating circumstances.”

To me this makes no sense.  I went to a small museum which was showing some of Bacon’s paintings and I was knocked over by them.  Whoa, what is that?  I had no idea who he was, or whether he was glamorous, or whether it was cool to like him.

I think it’s OK to say (as Perl also does, later in that piece) that Bacon is a stupid painter and only people who are stupid about painting like his paintings.  But it’s crazy to deny that people actually do like Bacon’s paintings, as such, not just the idea of Bacon’s paintings, or the idea of being the kind of person who likes Bacon’s paintings.

nprmusic: This gosh darn butterfly almost crushed this woman’s…


This gosh darn butterfly almost crushed this woman’s hopes and dreams… 

September 17, 2014

September 17, 2014

I barely exist.  Well, perhaps to you I barely exist, but for me, I am the star of my own world. I just don’t have the resources to make a proper appearance, or become the person you think I should be. I’m a songwriter as well as a writer, and yet, I don’t have a record deal nor a relationship with a publisher.  Still, I can create something, make something that can be admired if you allow me that pleasure. I have the tendency, or some say the talent to choose the wrong type of woman.  The one’s that make me purr, are usually married, and married to powerful men.  I guess I want a taste of that power by being with their women.   To taste what they have tasted, even though it’s a by-product of their power, their position, it is still a high for me to get close to it.  There is something in my DNA, that makes me want to throw a punch before thinking it through.  I don’t consider myself a vicious man, but once I taste their blood, it is like wine to my senses.  I once read that there are no accidents or coincidences, that every gesture or thought is pre-planned.  If I was meant to be rich, successful, and I guess happy, then it would happen.

I have been told that “You’ve got a million-dollar talent son, but a ten-cent brain.” The problem is that I need the attention before anything else. I can’t stand being ignored, or not to be the focus of attention.  It’s always a shock to me, when people don’t respond to me right away.  Everything I do or see is an extension of me.  I take a walk down Waverly Drive, and I see the architecture, the road signs, and even the trees as objects that should have a relationship with me. I find it odd that a thing can exist without me thinking about that thing.  As I try to finish my memoir “I Am Not Ashamed, ” I find myself in a deep sea of doubt, and that, to be honest with you, leave me scared.  I wrote a song called “Angel of Death, ” which confronts my fear of not being around.  “Can you truthfully say/With your dying breath/That you’re ready to meet/The Angel of Death. ”

My taste for married women came from the feeling that I’m alive and here at the moment. I don’t like to think about the next day, or even the next minute. When you get to it, I just want to be famous and admired - and the love or lust from a married woman brings that intensity in life.  My girlfriend’s husband Franchot, threw a punch at me the other night, he missed, and I broke his cheek bone.  It felt good to do that.  On the other hand, I won the battle, but I may have lost the war.  It felt right at that moment, but now people are beginning to doubt me or even worse, not caring at all.  There is only so much pain to go around, and I can’t be seen as the pain giver, because people will be tired of me.  And then what?  “Just a deck of cards and a jug of wine/And a woman’s lies makes a life like mine/Oh the day we met, I went astray/I started rolling down that lost highway. ”

Week three

Happy with yesterday evening's Wordsworth lecture for LTCM - I am getting a better handle on how to use the time (I only lecture once a week, for seventy-five minutes, and the other class meeting is in smaller-group seminars taught by advanced doctoral students). "Preface to Lyrical Ballads," a few pages of John Hollander's delightful discussion of accentual-syllabic verse in English from Rhyme's Reason, some thoughts on "The Idiot Boy" and a bit of Geoffrey Hartman at the end: it was fun.


Wordsworth and Coleridge, Lyrical Ballads (1802): “Preface” (95-115), “The Thorn” (and Wordsworth’s note on 199-200), “We Are Seven,” “The Idiot Boy,” “Lines Written a few miles above Tintern Abbey,” “Hart-Leap Well,” “‘Strange fits of passion,’” “‘She dwelt among th’ untrodden ways,’” “‘A slumber did my spirit seal,” “Lucy Gray,” “‘Three years she grew in sun and shower’”

Geoffrey H. Hartman, Wordsworth’s Poetry, 1787-1814 (1964; Cambridge, MA and London: Harvard University Press, 1987), 141-162
Paul De Man, “Time and History in Wordsworth,” Diacritics 17:4 (1987): 4-17

Here is the first assignment, due in seminar this week:

1. Choose a favorite stanza of “The Thorn” and type it up in your assignment. Then read it out loud and mark in boldface where you think the stresses fall in each line.

We will talk about this in lecture Tuesday, and I’ll give you a supplementary handout, but a good deal of English poetry doesn’t fall into clear and easy feet: you don’t need to identify a specific meter or mark iambs and trochees and spondees as per our Virgil/Milton discussion last week, just start to get the feel for the rhythm of the lines.

2. How many lines are in the stanza, and what is the pattern of the rhyme scheme?

Use letters A, B, etc.: a Shakespearean sonnet in this system would be ABAB CDCD EFEF GG, while a Petrarchan sonnet would be ABBA ABBA with the last six lines – the “sestet” following the “octave” – generally following the pattern either CDECDE or CDCCDC.

3. How would you describe the diction of the poem (vocabulary, turns of phrase, habits of speech and style)? How would you describe the voice of the poem’s speaker?

4. In Wordsworth’s own note to “The Thorn,” he gives a detailed description of the character who speaks the poem. How does this affect your reading of the poem? Would the poem stand more effectively on its own without it, or does the note augment and amplify aspects of the poem as we have it? What does Hartman say about this narrator, and do you agree with his assessment? If not, why not?

5. One stanza that provoked mirth in some readers is XVII (ll. 177-187). What is inappropriate or embarrassing about the language here? Why does Wordworth court the risk of becoming ludicrous here and elsewhere in the poem? How does this relate to the defense of repetition he offers in his note to the poem?

6. Why might Hartman call “The Thorn” “Wordsworth’s most experimental poem” (140) and “one of the strangest poems in Lyrical Ballads” (146)? You can give a few quotations from his discussion or offer your own thoughts and speculations; it will be valuable if you can step outside his terminology and argument and offer your own account of why this should be so.

7. Write three to five separate assertions about “The Thorn” that you are willing to stand by. They can range from description (the kind of thing you wrote in answer to the first question above) to argument (making a case about the effects or meaning of some choice Wordsworth has made, as Hartman and De Man often do). Mark each with an A or a D depending on where you see it falling – you can mark it D/A if you feel that it falls equally under the two headings.

gurafiku: Japanese Advertising: Tokyo Tower Aquarium. Shiro…


Japanese Advertising: Tokyo Tower Aquarium. Shiro Shita Saori. 2011

Love this film. it’s my life story. so sexy

Love this film. it’s my life story. so sexy

Ken Kesey

Ken-Kesey-007One of the great Promethean spirits of the counterculture.

King Goshawk (38)

cuchulain thumbA Comedy of Loves

kiameku: Vedovamazzei Kyoto River 2004 table, scotch tape


Kyoto River
table, scotch tape

September 16, 2014

September 16, 2014

I was obsessing over Korla Pandit, both the man and his music, when walking towards the Central Library in Los Angeles.  I looked up at the Standard Hotel to hopefully get a glance of someone up there.  Usually when I’m on the street level, I don’t see a thing.  But I saw a sole man, looking at the view of downtown from the roof.  I immediately thought if he was going to jump.  When I went into the library and began working on my memoir, I read on Facebook that a man jumped from the pool/roof area of the Standard Hotel just now. I felt bad, because I thought maybe that guy up there picked up on my thoughts about jumping.  But to be honest, I often think about that, while walking around downtown, due to the tall buildings, one is always aware that someone can topple over the roof or their window, and hit you while you’re strolling along the boulevard.  When I read the responses to that post, regarding the unfortunate soul who jumped, most didn't comment on his suicide, but more to the fact that it is unsafe to walk around the downtown area.   One person mentioned that a bowling ball almost hit him while he walked past a ten story building.  Whoever had that bowling ball, used it to keep their window open, for air I guess.

Nevertheless, I went back to my writing, and thinking about Korla Pandit.  I find him fascinating, because one, I love the sound of the organ.  Pandit was an incredible musician, and myself being attracted to visually stimulating people, found him magnificent.  He used to have a show called “Korla Pandit’s Adventures in Music” that was broadcasted every week day on the Los Angeles TV station KTLA.  He never spoke, but looked dreamily into the camera while performing his music.  Each episode was 15 minutes long.   He looked like he came from somewhere exotic, such as India.  He had a white turbine and usually wore a tuxedo.   One story I heard was that he was born in New Delhi to a Brahmin priest and a French opera singer who traveled from England to India.  Eventually the family made it to the United States.

At the time he was doing his weekday TV series, he also did the music for the radio drama series “Chandu the Magician.” The main character Frank Chandler (“Chandu”) had the ability to teleport, astral project, mesmerize, as well as project illusions.  He learned the secrets of the occult from the Yogis in India.  In many ways, Korla looked like Chandu the Magician.   Chandler after learning the secrets of the occult was told by his Yogi teacher to “Go forth in the youth and strength and conquer the evil that threatens Mankind.”

As one knows, evil is everywhere.  Kierkegaard has commented that “Since boredom advances and boredom is the root of all evil, no wonder, then, that the world goes backwards, that evil spreads.” If one can lose oneself into an exotic world, then I feel that there is hope to at the very least, force evil back into the Pandora’s box.  By instinct, I feel Korla brings Eastern wisdom into the Western world, or at least he did so when he did his 15 minute television show.  Not saying a word, and looking into the camera, and playing his organ, he speaks with great volume.   Yet, even with my slight knowledge of Korla Pandit and Chandu the Magician, I couldn't save the man on the top of the Standard Hotel.   To do good, one needs to be a professional.

flapper-style: From the book Sündiges Berlin: Di zwanziger…


From the book Sündiges Berlin: Di zwanziger Jahre: Sex, Raush, Untergang, available here on Amazon. [Sinful Berlin. The Twenties: Sex, noise, doom.]

It took more than one man to change my name to Shanghai Lily.”

Iain Raynor, Laser-cut Ucello, detail, 2014

Iain Raynor, Laser-cut Ucello, detail, 2014

garabating: Gregory Manchess


Gregory Manchess

les-sources-du-nil: Frank Hurley (1885-1962) Unidentified…


Frank Hurley (1885-1962)

Unidentified Landscape, Antarctic, circa 1910


Radium Age: Context (6)

hamilton beware"Beware! A Warning to Suffragists"

Rose City

I’ll be a guest at Rose City Comic Con September 20-21st, mostly at booth #1217/1233, signing at the Dark Horse booth #701 on Sunday at 1 pm. Come say hi!

If you get a copy of Bad Houses I will draw an owl in it. Unless you tell me not to.


ageofdestruction: no sleep: Solar corona, photographed by SOHO,…


no sleep: Solar corona, photographed by SOHO, March 1999.

Slice of the solar corona containing a solar flare, photographed 29 times. Each successive image is rotated about 12 degrees around the centre of the Sun. This was supposed to demonstrate something which I can no longer recall.

Image credit: NASA/SOHO. Animation: AgeOfDestruction.

Case of the Mondays [via]

Case of the Mondays [via]

jskulloz: Animal want likezzzz


Animal want likezzzz

September 15, 2014

September 15, 2014

“A great many people have come up to me and asked how I manage to get so much work done and still keep looking so dissipated. “ I have always been known to friends and foes to be the go-to-guy with respect of having a martini always near me.  In all seriousness, “I know I’m drinking myself to a slow death, but then I’m in no hurry.” I have trouble sleeping at night, so I find having a chilled glass of martini at the bedside helps me sleep better. If I wake up in the middle of the night, I just reached the cooler, and take another sip, and I’m off to dream land, where I try to imagine my life as a memoir.  Which also keeps me up at nights, because I’m so damn busy remembering every little incident that went through my world from age 1 to 20.  Youth is significant, but the memory of youth is much more important.  Luckily there have been major changes in the world of writing, one that “the biggest obstacle to professional writing is the necessity for changing a typewriter ribbon.” With the miracle machine, the laptop, I don’t have to worry about that.  Now I can write till my fingers run off to the side, where the martini glass resides. 

My life changed when I found out that I’m a distant relative of Gilles de Rais, perhaps the first serial killer on record.  The Frenchman was alleged to killing up to 600 children from 1432 to the spring of 1433.  I personally don’t believe the number is that high, more likely 200.  Nevertheless, being related to such a brute (although a refined one, according to historians) hasn’t helped me much.   The dark cloud that follows me, I think came from my distant relative.  I try to think and behave like François de La Rochefoucauld, who seemed to be a reasonable gentleman of nobility.   I bear that in mind while writing my memoirs and sipping my drink.   He wrote that “true love is like ghosts, which everyone talks about and few have seen.” I had a dream the other night that I was on an island, and I came upon a sophisticated party, full of beautiful woman - one of them actually looked like Louise Brooks.  When I approached her, it was like I wasn’t there.  She didn’t acknowledge me, and I had the feeling that either I wasn’t there, or she wasn’t there as well.  In fact, the whole party appeared to be projected from someone’s dreams, but clearly to me, it wasn’t from my dream. 

“There is is only one kind of love, but there are a thousand imitations.” So perhaps my dream the other night was my experience of falling in love, but the girl didn’t even exist.  Can one love just an idea of being in love?  The other part of the dream that I remember quite clearly is when I heard someone from the party saying “Why don’t you get out of that wet coat and into a dry martini?”  At that moment, I woke up and reached for my chilled martini.

dvdp: 140914 diversity, freedom – objects of illusion  


140914 diversity, freedom - objects of illusion  

looseunderscoreconnections: some things hurt more much more…


some things hurt more much more than dust and moths

It’s the last fortnight of & the last episode of loose_connections - thirty minutes of rumble and fuss, cheap audio vérité and inexpert processing.

This episode includes the recreational recitation of numbers, curious things made out of  aimless loops and washing machine cycles, the time it takes to wait for the delivery of a coffee, cheap thumping, generous and woozy pieces of a hit, traffic & crowds [inevitably] but surprisingly no birdsong to speak of.

/ // / /  // / // / // /  / // / / // / / // / / // / / / / / / / // // // / // / / // // / /  / / / / / / /    /    /

loose_connections is a half hour content solution cut and pasted into something-like existence by Jimmy Kipple Sound for the soon-to-cease; goodnight sweet Prince.

//// / /  / / / /// // // / / // // //// /// / /// / // / / ///  / / // / / / // / // /  / / / ////  / // // // / ///

TRANSMISSION DATES : Wednesday 17/09 & 24/09 @ 12:00 BST / Saturday 20/09 & 27/09 @ 08:30 BST

visual-poetry: »american psycho« by mimi cabell and jason…


»american psycho« by mimi cabell and jason huff

this book was made by sending the entire text of bret easton ellis’ american psycho between two gmail accounts page by page. we saved the relational ads for each page and added them back into the text as footnotes. in total, we collected over 800 relevant ads for the book. the constellations of footnoted ads throughout these pages retell the story of american psycho in absence of the original text. this retelling reveals gmail’s unpredictable insensitivity to violence, racism, and sex. it serves as a blurry portrait of an algorithm that exists in our everyday communication simultaneously forming a new portrait of the lead character, patrick bateman.

jason huff/mimi cabell nyc 2012

here you can download the pdf for free


(via Farm Pop: On Farmers’ Daughters – Modern Farmer)

(via Farm Pop: On Farmers’ Daughters - Modern Farmer)

Austenian aphorism

Up today in the graduate seminar is a favorite novel of mine, Elizabeth Inchbald's A Simple Story. It is not really a legitimate mode of academic argument, but it's always interesting to see where Austen saw certain techniques in action - here's a passage that always catches my attention:
Not to admire Miss Fenton was impossible--to find a fault in her person or sentiments was equally impossible--and yet to love her, was very unlikely.

That serenity of mind which kept her features in a continual placid form, though enchanting at the first glance, upon a second, or third, fatigued the sight for a want of variety; and to have seen her distorted with rage, convulsed with mirth, or in deep dejection had been to her advantage.
Also up: Terry Castle's chapter “Masquerade and Utopia II: Inchbald’s ‘A Simple Story,’” from Masquerade and Civilization: The Carnivalesque in Eighteenth-Century English Culture and Fiction (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1986), 290-330; and Marcie Frank's essay “Melodrama and the Politics of Literary Form in Elizabeth Inchbald,” forthcoming in Eighteenth-Century Fiction.

Unintended consequences

Via GeekPress, an interesting and non-melodramatic account of how information from 23andMe genetic testing drove a rift through one family.

Code-X (28)

samsungCutting Edge

LATF Hipster (30)

selfieSelfie Hipsters.

Jean Renoir

jean-renoir-04His films assume a state of undoing.

The latest error arises from Facebook’s auto-suggest…

The latest error arises from Facebook’s auto-suggest tagging feature, which is causing anyone who starts writing ‘grandma’ to be presented with a link to pioneering hip hop DJ Grandmaster Flash. (via Grandmas keep accidentally tagging themselves as Grandmaster Flash on Facebook - Lists - Weird News - The Independent)

September 14, 2014

September 14, 2014

There is something so honorable about taking a stand in life, no matter what happens.   I don’t normally pray, but first thing in the morning, even before a cup of coffee, I knell in front of my full length mirror and silently repeat to myself:

“I believe that to have a friend,
A man must be one.

That all men are created equal
And that everyone has within himself
The power to make this a better world.

That God put the firewood there
But that every man
Must gather and light it himself.

In being prepared
Physically, mentally, and morally
To fight when necessary
For that which is right.

That a man should make the most
Of what equipment he has.

That 'This government,
Of the people, by the people
And for the people'
Shall live always.

That men should live by
The rule of what is best
For the greatest number. ”

Many years ago, a bad man did a very bad thing to my father, and ever since then I swore that I wouldn’t allow evil to come upon my house nor my neighbors.  Usually around 9:00 PM at night, I go to my closet and get an outfit that resembles a Texas Ranger uniform, and with the cloth, from my father’s leather vest, I made a mask to go with the outfit.  I carried a pistol, but I swore to myself that I would never use it to take another’s life.  If anything, I would use it to signal help, or at the very least shoot a weapon out of the villain’s hand.  Sometimes I have missed, and I shot a finger or two off, but alas, it was a miscalculation of taking the wrong aim.  Nevertheless I use only silver bullets, to remind myself that life is precious and not to be thrown away.

Also as much as possible I want to use perfect grammar and precise speech devoid of slang.  If one is going to bring justice to the area, one has to set high standards, in case there are any children who are following my career or my duties as a fellow citizen. Therefore I don’t smoke or drink.  I enter into the night, because I embrace the darkness that surrounds the area. It is usually in the darkness where bad men do evil things, but for me I want to take the night back, and bring it to its natural poetic beautiful soul. I tend not to soil myself in such a fashion where I refuse to drink alcohol or eat fatty foods, but instead I think water to purify my damaged soul.

As I wander into the night, I just have to deal with the idea of revenge, but I do know that this is a fruitless form of activity, because that thirst can never be satisfied.  If you go to that well, you will always find yourself back to that well, trying to drain the last drop at the very bottom.  I did retire once, and found someone else taking up my role or identity. If he followed the above creed or promise, I would be more understanding - but this man or creature decided to take the law into his own hands, by committing massacres one after another. So obviously, I had to go back into the night to clear my name.

After putting on the recording of “William Tell Overture” on the turntable, I approached the mirror again, and slowly put my costume on, knowing that I will never be able to leave my identity as the figure who fights for justice.  I declare to the night and to all those who feel a false sense of security in the nighttime. I’m back.

Osh-Tisch: Princess of Two Spirits (1854-1929)



This week we focus on Osh-Tisch, whose name translates to “Finds Them and Kills Them” in Crow. Osh-Tisch was a biologically male-sexed person who lived as a woman, and was one of the last Crow Nation baté (Two Spirit spiritual leaders) – oh, and you can be sure, she earned her name.

She is also far from the only awesome lady in this story.

Read More

Cake fest

One of the toys I most coveted as a child, though I think in reality baking real cakes in a real oven is preferable!

Quincunciall Lozenges

Oliver Sacks' personal history in libraries (courtesy of Dave Lull), with a call for keeping books on shelves. This piece should be read in its entirety by anyone who loves books - it is heavenly - but I was especially captivated by this bit, for obvious reasons:

But the library I most loved at Oxford was our own library at the Queen’s College. The magnificent library building itself had been designed by Christopher Wren, and beneath this, in an underground maze of heating pipes and shelves, were the vast subterranean holdings of the library. To hold ancient books, incunabula, in my own hands was a new experience for me—I particularly adored Gesner’s Historiae Animalium (1551), richly illustrated with Dürer’s drawing of a rhinoceros and Agassiz’s four-volume work on fossil fishes. It was there, too, that I saw all of Darwin’s works in their original editions, and it was in the stacks that I found and fell in love with all the works of Sir Thomas Browne—his Religio Medici, his Hydrotaphia, and The Garden of Cyrus (The Quincunciall Lozenge). How absurd some of these were, but how magnificent the language! And if Browne’s classical magniloquence became too much at times, one could switch to the lapidary cut-and-thrust of Swift—all of whose works, of course, were there in their original editions. While I had grown up on the nineteenth-century works that my parents favored, it was the catacombs of the Queen’s library that introduced me to seventeenth- and eighteenth-century literature—Johnson, Hume, Pope, and Dryden. All of these books were freely available, not in some special, locked-away rare books enclave, but just sitting on the shelves, as they had done (I imagined) since their original publication. It was in the vaults of the Queen’s College that I really gained a sense of history, and of my own language.
(Note to my mother: make sure you read this one, you will like it in any case but the Willesden public library makes a star appearance!)

“Sleekit things”

Mixed feelings about this piece as a whole (the rhetoric at the end made me laugh!), but this bit of John Lloyd's essay for the FT about his childhood in East Fife strongly reminded me of my Scottish grandfather, an educator, a lover of language and literature and an ardent Scotophile (FT site registration required):
At school, English was taught by two Aberdonians, Alastair Leslie and Alastair Mackie, pouring their enthusiasm into those of us in the thin stream that didn’t leave at 15. Mackie was a poet who followed MacDiarmid’s path, wrote almost wholly in Scots and took us to the medieval Scots poets, especially Dunbar. At nights, after homework corrections, and at weekends, he would teach himself French, German, Italian and Russian so that he could translate Akhmatova, von Eichendorff, Quasimodo and Rimbaud into Scots: imagine what audience there was for that!

Like his master, he was Anglophobic: a poem on Princes Street describes Edinburgh’s central thoroughfare as “chained like a convict tae your English stores”. Another, “Wimbledon”, notes: “The guff o’ Eton in the commentator’s breath/‘Thet woz eh maavellous beck-hend by Bawg [Borg].’”

Mackie’s translation of Osip Mandelstam’s famous Stalin Epigram showed what we lost: the lines describing the dictator’s circle in English – “Around him a crowd of thin-necked henchmen/He plays with the services of these half-men” became – “A clamjanfrie o’ spurtle-neckit heid-bummers/sleekit things, playthings, kiss-my-doups, half men.”

Watcher in the Shadows (6)

watcher"You were under the colonel in the war?" I asked.

inexpressibleisland: ‘We also did reference measurements with…


'We also did reference measurements with the portable gravity meter at the gravity reference point at the station. The point is in one of the tunnels, which connect the main station building with garages, power plant, and the sewage system. The absence of any wind and the solid foundation allows precise readings, only the bitter cold – about –45°C made the work difficult.'   - Daniel Steinhage (AWI) and Steen Savstrup (DTU Space), Antarctica

September 13, 2014

September 13, 2014

Triskaidekaphobia is the fear of the number “13.” The composer Arnold Schoenberg had a deep fear of that number, and in fact, died on Friday the 13th.   He was reminded by his friend, mentor, and a fellow composer, Oskar Adler that when he attained the age of 76, and that the numbers 7 + 6 = 13.   At that point, Schoenberg avoided multiples of 13, but never considered adding the digits of his age.  For that whole year, Schoenberg suffered intense fear, in fact, the day he died he was feeling fine, but the thought of “13” made him go to bed, where he was sick, depressed and anxious.   Like his friend Oskar, Arnold was also obsessed with the horoscope.  A dear friend of Schoenberg, Oskar taught the great composer the rudiments of music and played chamber music with him.   As well as being a member of the Society for Private Musical Performances, organized by Schoenberg as a private listening club for the purpose of playing modern music to other composers and those who are fans of the “new,” also gave spiritual advice as well as horoscope readings.

To go to the concerts presented by The Society For Private Musical Performances, you have to join the organization, and it was an attempt to keep out hostile critics who would attack the music or performances.  On the entrance door as read “Critics are forbidden entry.” Also applause was not permitted after the performance of any of the music carried out by the musicians.  To be a member, you have to be interested in modern music and one is there to basically be exposed to the music that was being made in Vienna, 1918.   It was regarded as a success, because the organization gave 353 performances of 154 works in a total of 117 concerts.  Schoenberg, who created the series didn’t allow any of his music to be played for the first two years of the organization.  Instead programs included works by Stravinsky, Bartók, Debussy, Ravel, Webern, Berg, and others.

When Schoenberg moved to Los Angeles to teach music composition at USC, he met a very young woman by the name of Amy Camus, who either came from Brooklyn or as she later claimed, from Callao, Peru.  Nevertheless she wished to study with him, specifically voice.  She had a singing voice that was over four octaves from B2 to C♯7 (approximately 123 to 2270 Hz).  According to the composer Virgil Thomson, her voice is “very low and warm, very high and birdlike”, but nevertheless her range “is very close to four octaves, but is in no way inhuman or outlandish in sound.” This is a viewpoint not shared by Schoenberg.

Camus had a sound that was eerie, and it sounded like it came from another part of the world.  Some would think “Peru,” but it could have been anywhere from Central or South America.  As an European, Schoenberg had never been exposed to such a voice, or a culture that Amy brought to the table.  He was totally intrigued by the range and sound of her voice, but once she filled out the application stating that her birthday was on September 13, he withdraws that application, and claimed to have lost it.  Nevertheless she did find some success, and eventually signed a record contract with Capital Records, where she had numerous hits during the 1950s.

As for Schoenberg, he was offered a chance to do the soundtrack to a Hollywood film.  The studio wanted him to write incidental music as well as a major theme in the film’s beginning and ending credits.  But Schoenberg insisted that if he takes the job, he would need to have complete control not only of the music, but the entire soundtrack of the film, including all dialogue spoken in the movie.  The producers were taken back by his demands, because they have not previously heard such a thing.  Sadly, the studio had to turn him down, and a young Les Baxter was approached and ended doing the music for “Ritual of the Savage.” The film never came out, but it did become a Broadway show, that unfortunately wasn’t much of a financial success. It was reportedly inspired by a book by Raymond Roussel called “Impressions of Africa.” The producers pulled the plug of that show after only 13 performances.

jozefsquare: lostandfoundinprague: Prague, late 50’s by…



Prague, late 50’s by R.Vitek 

.. UNREAL | thanks for posting lostandfoundinprague, fantastic photograph ..

harriebette: worlds-cultures: Black and white dance by Yilud…



Black and white dance by Yilud on Flickr.

this is absolutely amazinggg


New NASA Probe Will Study Earth’s Forests in 3-D | NASA The…

New NASA Probe Will Study Earth’s Forests in 3-D | NASA

The Global Ecosystem Dynamics Investigation lidar will reveal the 3-D architecture of forests, as depicted in this artist’s concept. The unprecedented detail of these measurements will provide crucial information about the impact that trees have on the amount of carbon in the atmosphere.
Image Credit:
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

Arnold Schoenberg

SchoenbergHiLo-1935He created a boldly self-contained sound world.

Lun*na Menoh Book Signing and Fashion Show at Kohn Gallery September 20, 2014

ARTBOOK | D.A.P. + Kohn Gallery + Tam Tam Books invite you to join
Lun*na Menoh
For a Fashion Show + Book Signing with authors Lun*na Menoh and Leslie Dick, in celebration of:
Lun*na Menoh: A Ring Around The Collar

Saturday, September 20
5 to 7p.m. 
(fashion show at 5:30p.m. sharp)
Kohn Gallery
1227 N Highland Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90038

September 12, 2014

September 12, 2014

If I have one addiction, it is the sweet addiction of taking two or three baths a day.  In the past, this was not a big deal or a person would barely raise an eyebrow about it - but alas, us citizens of Southern California are experiencing a drought that is severe, and more likely (and we have to be honest here) will kill us.  I can imagine in the near future that visitors will come to visit the landscape, and it will be full of skeletons with their skulls in a dried ditch.  So, there is a certain degree of guilt now when I take a full bath or two (or three).

What I have done is actually put an extra bathtub in my bathroom.  When I either flush my toilet or use the bathroom sink, the water automatically goes into the main bathtub which is made out of fiberglass.  Since I’m the only one who uses the bathtub I’m not concerned if the toilet water is slightly dirty, or if there is some strain of toothpaste from the sink that ends up in the main tub.  The other tub, is used for the evening, and what I do is to transfer the bath water from the original bath to the second tub.  Meanwhile, whenever I walk by the restroom, and of course due to my liquid diet, I need to consistently use the toilet.  So the water supply is reasonably fresh for the main tub.

It is common knowledge that John Russell, 1st Earl Russell (who also served as Prime Minister) invented the bathtub for the full adult body.  Before that, it was the size of a glorified dishpan.  The “modern” bathtub came to the United States as recently as 1842, and it was reported that the tub was made from mahogany lined with lead.  The bathtub for whatever reason was a controversial topic matter, until President Millard Fillmore had one installed in the White House. After that, bathing in a full bathtub became quite popular.  Before 1842, Americans were tended to be dirty.

Since I have a tendency to use the toilet a lot throughout the night, I do have a sizable amount of water in the bathtub. For one, I don’t use shampoo or any type of soap.  Soaking in water should be adequate enough to enable one to be clean.  After I get out of my bath, I use a rubber hose to suck up the water from the tub and put the hose into the second tub.  Similar to the practices of siphoning gas from a car.  Also as a rule I don’t put anything unclean in the water, except perhaps a rubber boat, which I like to play with while taking a bath.

So, with this in mind, I can save water and still enjoy my bath time.  There is nothing like having the music of George Jones in the background, specifically his early recordings around “White Lightning” and enjoying the landscape outside my window, which is basically a field of dirt and rocks.  Once there was vegetation, but alas….

secretcinema1: Color Study for Homage to the Square, c1960s,…


Color Study for Homage to the Square, c1960s, Josef Albers


vadime: by Igor Pavlov


by Igor Pavlov

installator: “… a pair of suspended saber tooth tigers that…


"… a pair of suspended saber tooth tigers that will be on view this month at Mary Boone Gallery as part of her solo exhibition, “Semi-Feral.” Here, a peek behind the scenes." (

The Unconquerable (11)

macinnesThe Eighteenth Day

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