Wednesday, September 8th, 2010
At Pink Tentacle, a plethora of Japanese posters from the 1800's with public health themes. Above is a sign from the 1860's by Utagawa Yoshimori, showing what foods can safely be eaten by a measles patient. (Thanks for the link, SEK.)
(And cool, I just found out that the genre of woodcut printing of which these are examples is called ukiyo-e, which translates as "Pictures of the Floating World".)
Tuesday, September 7th, 2010
Coming the last week of September, a movie of Howl -- the trailer looks very promising. And available right now, a graphic novel of the poem, by Eric Drooker -- Drooker worked on an animated sequence for the film, and had previously collaborated with Ginsberg on the book Illuminated Poems.
Monday, September 6th, 2010
John and I have our first track playing on the radio! Tune in to Henry Musikar's always-great music rotation at KCUF and you will (every so often) hear our cover of Gillian Welch's "Revelator." Here is the track if you don't want to wait:
Sunday, September 5th, 2010
53 years ago, on September 5th, 1957, Jack Kerouac published On the Road -- by the time I came along to get my bit of inspiration from it, the book had become a key piece of history and of national consciousness already; imagine what a thing it must have been in 1957! Here is Jack on the Steve Allen Show in 1959, answering some questions, speaking about Dean, reading the final paragraph of his book:
We spent a few days in Virginia this past week, our end-of-summer vacation. Some pictures from our travels are at the Family Album.
Armaments in Alexandria
Tuesday, August 31st, 2010
Saramago (in Pontiero's translation):
The blind man had categorically stated that he could see, if you'll excuse that verb again, a thick, uniform white color, as if he had plunged his eyes into a milky sea. A white amaurosis, apart from being etymologically a contradiction, would also be a neurological possibility, since the brain, which would be unable to perceive the images, forms, and colors of reality, would likewise be incapable, in a manner of speaking, of being covered in white, a continuous white, like a white painting without tonalities, the colors, forms and images which reality itself might present to someone with normal vision, however difficult it may be to speak, with any accuracy, of normal vision.
Borges (and guess how excited I am to find the Seven Nights lectures online! At least one of them...):
...People picture the blind man enclosed in a world of black. There is a verse of Shakespeare's which would justify this impression: Looking on darkness which the blind do see; if we understand "darkness" to mean "black," this verse of Shakespeare's is mistaken.
One of the colors which the blind (in any case this blind man) are strangers to is black; another is red. "Le rouge et le noir" are colors we miss. For me, who was used to sleeping in total darkness, it was a great deal of trouble trying to sleep in this world of fog, a greenish fog or blue, vaguely luminous, which is the world of blindness.
At Cat and Girl, Dorothy offers some Metaphors, Cheap! Plus, for only slightly more money than the metaphors, you can purchase Volume III of Cat and Girl's (and Grrl's, and Boy's, and Bad Decision Dinosaur's) insights. Order now and get your copy personalized.
(And on the webcomix tip, today's Scenes from a Multiverse is hilarious and a bit Borgesian, if you read it the right way.)
Sunday, August 29th, 2010
Marc at the Wooster Collective announces a new collaborative book on urban art, Trespass: a History of Uncommissioned Urban Art. You can leaf through a sample of the book at Taschen.
Update: The launch party is Tuesday evening, September 28th, in Soho.
This is not to say that the point of the hard way is that we must be heroic. The attitude of "heroism" is based upon the assumption that we are bad, impure, that we are not worthy, are not ready for spiritual understanding. We must reform ourselves, be different from what we are. For instance, if we are middle class Americans, we must give up our jobs or drop our of college, move out of our suburban homes, let our hair grow, perhaps try drugs. If we are hippies, we must give up drugs, cut our hair short, throw away our torn jeans. We think that we are special, that we are turning away from temptation. We become vegetarians and we become this and that. There are so many things to become. We think our path is spiritual because it is literally against the flow of what we used to be, but it is merely the way of false heroism, and the only one who is heroic in this way is ego.
-- Chögyam Trungpa,
Cutting through Spiritual Materialism
Thursday, August 26th, 2010
Some stunning shots of Russia and its people, from the first decade of the 20th Century, at boston.com's Big Picture. The photographer is Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii:
The pictures were taken before the advent of color film, using three exposures through different filters -- this absolutely blows me away. The Library of Congress has more information about Prokudin-Gorskii's method.
Prokudin-Gorskii riding on the Murmansk rail outside Petrozavodsk: 1910
(Also: Gizmodo has some of the very earliest color motion pictures, from 1922!)
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Check out Ellen's writing at Patch.com.