September 2013 Archives

Last Days of Summer (2013) - Part 3/3

» This page is PART THREE, continued from » Part Two. This entry was split into THREE pages in order to adhere to principles of web site optimization. Here you go...

Thelma & Louise | directed by Ridley ScottSpeaking of Thelma & Louise...

» The Counselor | the Cormac & Ridley Tag Team

I should probably mention that The Counselor comes out October 25. I might have to get in shape to go see that.

I am curious about Cormac's ability to adapt his obvious skill in writing the novel ..

.. into the theater of cinema, non-adaptively. Cormac is known to set before his dinner guests literary plates that are rich, but not easily digestable. So I wonder if some will choke on his challenging cinematic story.

With Ridley directing. Lots of talent there. All the top leading men in one film. Most promising.

I'm also curious as to how Mr. Cormac will play his story .. cuz he is not mainstream. [ Tolstoy talks about ordinariness as being » "most terrible." ]

The Film school kids, back when I was dating the Film school girl, used to rail on Spielberg .. for being so 'commercial' .. as tho he had sold out.

Raiders of the Lost Ark is one of my all-time favorites. I even love the ride at Disneyland. How could these Film school students say such a thing?

Bukowski expresses a similar sentiment. Certainly Cormac understands the nuances of commercial success .. but at his age (and Ridley's age) ..

Cormac McCarthy.. I would expect that they are more interested in making a definitive parting statement .. than winning popular acclaim.

So it might be a few decades before viewers can say, "Oh, I see what he was saying."

(Certainly they have assembled the talent to make whatever statement they like.)

[ Even Einstein said » "To punish me for my contempt for authority, fate made me an authority myself." ]

Stendhal (1783-1842) is famous for saying at the publication of » Le Rouge et Le Noir (1830, which met with harsh reviews) » "Dudes! It will take you 50 years to figure out what I'm saying."

The critics of Stendhal's day were pissing on his novel out in front of his house (figuratively speaking).

And sure 'nuf, come 1880, Stendhals writings experienced a resurgence of interest.

No, Stendhal did not live long enough to see his novel appreciated .. a novel now considered one of the best. Ever. Of all time. In any language.

For me, Cormac's writing has that same prophetic quality. Or at least something that feels similar.

Give Cormac 50 years and I think you will find that his writing wears well. Remarkably well. Time will tell.

But you neednt wait 50 years .. in order to learn the lesson that Cormac teaches » "There is NO LIMIT .. to the depravity that some will embrace. Here, let me show you what I mean."

Many of his other titles have been made in to film. Why not this one?

Anyway, I also took note of what Ridley said about Cormac's art »

"I think he writes the truth. Cormac is a writer's writer. Reading this script -- it was so fast and precise and crystal clear. It's like there's a series of cogs in a very clever clock. The cogs start to engage and -- a good word is dread. "

There is a guy painting the house here (the inside). Several days now. I made him coffee and asked if he was planning on seeing Ridley's new movie.

"What else has he done?" he asked.

When I got to Blade Runner, he said, "Blade Runner? That's like the best movie ever. A cult classic." He went on about what he liked about it. Eerily prophetic. So I told him the story about my furniture crafting friend.

The painter is also a fan of Anne Rice .. having read several of her titles. He particularly liked Lestat.

Mr. Scott has assembled for himself a cast consisting of some serious testosterone, no? The chemistry with the girls must be inflammatory. Downright combustible. Very sexy cast.

Katie Holmes at Gravity PremiereI also saw » Gravity .. with Sandra Bullock and George Clooney. (And that's pretty much it, cast-wise.)

Definitely a film you want to see AT the theater .. on a BIG screen (.. bigger the better). Unlike any other movie I have seen.

Very cool. Strong reviews. Katie liked it.

Stays with you. Very cool the way it shifts your perspective to satellite-orbiting heights.

While the idea of floating alone out in the darkness of space forever .. can be terrifying to some ..

.. I later found myself thinking about how George made those "figure-8's" out in space .. sort of the diagram of an orbital electron .. around Sandra and the space station.

And how very amazingly cool, in real life, that must be. Boner city. He was thinking out loud » "That reminds of the time...".

My mom used to take me to the Hayden planetarium there in New York .. where they would turn down the lights to very dark, and show high definition images of the stars and galaxies on the curved ceiling there.

I must say, it definitely gets going the imagination of a little guy. We wrote to NASA and they sent us photos of the astronauts. Large photos. Very cool.

To be honest, tho, I am not really crazy about the idea .. of the ship I use to get home catching fire .. every time I need to go home. Feel me?

"Oh, you mean that your Porsche catches on fire every time you go home? Uh, I think I'll just ride with Bob. Thanks, anyway."

The intensity of Gravity reminded me of (surprisingly enough) of » The Terminator (with Arnold) .. in that the distress of the relentless threats can be emotionally fatiguing.

Like maybe you want to go home and lie down .. and think about Newton and apples.

While there to see Gravity, I also saw some previews, of which » Out of the Furnace .. looked most interesting. It sports a surprising number of Academy Award winners and nominees (6). Lots of talent.

Woody Harrelson looks to be in rare form, natural-born mountain man. Eddie Vedder did the soundtrack. I am always impressed by his work.

And Casey Affleck. Wow. At first it seemed like he might be getting acting roles because of his brother. But now, it seems he has gone beyond Ben. He is in there with the big boys and holding his own.

He seems like one of those people (like the Dog) who everybody likes. Don't you just hate people like that? =)

I read somewhere that actors, as a group, tend to have more testosterone than any other. Certainly a believable statistic.

Edward Snowden celebrated in Boston as a hero» Mr. Edward Snowden

I would like to send a quick shout-out to Edward Snowden .. and say that I was thinking of him the other day ..

.. that, while he is there in Russia, he should look into conducting a comparative study ..

.. of Dostoevsky's » Notes from Underground (120 pgs) .. and/with Daniel Kahneman's » Thinking, Fast and Slow (420 pgs).

Because, if I am not mistaken .. both books seem to be saying a similar thing .. certainly heading in the same general direction. And then apply this comparison to the way governments govern (sometimes irrationally).

Residing there in Russia, after having lived here in the States .. gives you an international perspective. An authoritative platform from which to speak .. beyond what a tourist can glean in a mere week or 10-day visit ..

.. a nice perch from which to share your ideas and insights .. on things beyond even the NSA. (Putin said » "No NSA shit.") Your views on cultural differences could be fascinating ..

.. especially if you can get out into the smaller villiages and explore and meet people there.

Notes from Underground (1864) by Fyodor Dostoevsky (1821-1881) | Cover art by Theodore Gericault (1791-1824)Because we-the-people are desperate for fresh ideas that do not included a financial-nuclear winter (.. or worse).

Friedman concurs. I'm sure Hemingway would, too.

Does Friedman's data-point, his insight from abroad (distant perspective) suggest, or even confirm, that the slide contines?

Notice that Notes from Underground was first translated and published in English in 1918 .. after World War 1 had been raging for a few years ..

.. some 50 years after the novel was originally written ..

.. as tho English-speaking peoples were suddenly looking for answers better than what they were getting from their leaders at the time.

» Dostoevsky Anticipates Kahneman?

Kahneman's book (2011, from the book's own inside-flap) » "challenges the rational model of judgment and decision-making."

While the Russian's 'gateway' novel (1864, also taken from the inside-flap) is » "an assertion of man's essentially irrational nature."

Question: Does Dostoevsky (the artist) foreshadow Kahneman (the scientist)? .. in the way similar to how Jonah presents Proust (1871-1922) in » Proust was a Neuroscientist?

Last Days of Summer (2013) - Part 2/3

» This page is PART TWO, continued from » Part One. This entry was split into THREE pages in order to adhere to principles of web site optimization. Here you go...

And Jesse was a Navy seal .. just like those guys in the Captain Phillips movie. Go Jesse! =)

JD Salinger (1919-2010)» Conspiracy Theories & Salinger

Speaking of conspiracy theories .. the movie on Salinger is coming out any day now ..

.. about the guy who wrote Catcher in the Rye, which features a conspiracy theory all its own.

Most interesting however, are the books that Salinger left to be published, beginning 2015. I cannot even imagine what goodies they might contain.

That girl who dropped out of Yale to become his lover/disciple .. said he wrote every day.

He was 53, she » 18. Wow. That's kinda salacious. I dont think either was married at the time, but I'm not sure.

They call it an affair, but it may actually just be two writers shackin' up. No?

Catcher in the Rye was published in 1951. Salinger's last book was published in 1963 (.. same year, coincidently, that Kennedy was killed). Salinger died in 2010. Dude, that's almost 50 years worth of writing.

Must say that I find it 'curious' .. that the Salinger film uses a quote from George Orwell .. to describe Salinger, saying »

» "Writing a book is a horrible exhausting struggle; one would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven by some demon (.. whom one can neither resist nor understand) .. and Salinger had demons."

So .. how will the nation commemorate the JFK anniversary? With an Oliver Stone marathon? Yes, Warner Bros is going to re-release JFK in theaters.

Oh! Looks like Oliver Stone is thinking about doing a biopic on Martin Luther King with Jamie Foxx and Spielberg. I would like to see that, yes. Oliver Stone could really get off the porch on that one.

I went to some Film School classes at USC with the Film School girl .. and in Film School circles, Oliver Stone is known as a master of conveying emotion thru the use of soundtrack and audio and audio effects [.. an angry lion roars! ].

I got respect for Foxx after I saw him in Ray. An impressive performance. He pulled it off.

I was introduced to a sense of the Culture-of-the-JFK-Age (zeitgest) by reading Epstein's bio on Dylan .. which starts about the time that Dylan himself arrived in NYC (in January, 1961) .. only a few years before the shooting.

» World War 1 + 1 Century = 2014 + The Trial of Josef K

Another zeitgeisty anniversary coming up is next year » the 100-year anniversary of World War I. (.. which began in July, 1914) .. the same time (almost to the day) that Kafka started writing » The Trial (.. which Le Monde ranks #3 in their list of the Best Books of the Entire Freaking Century).


Last Days of Summer (2013) - Part 1/3

» The last few days of summer are always full of such nectar. Autumn arrives with the equinox at precisely 1:44 PM Pacific Daylight time on the 21st. (4:44 on East coast).

Wolf howling at the moonShhh. This is the exact instant the sun slips quietly cross the equator ..

.. heading back south, after famously spending the past six months with us here up north.

I like the way that cooler days and brisk nights lend themselves to clear-headed thinking.

And today is the last full moon of the summer. Howling time.

Since the Internet allows me to communicate with, and establish a dialogue with ..

.. people in places such as New Zealand and South Africa (Johannesburg) ..

.. I am now 'conscious' (.. in a way that I was not before) .. that, when our autumn begins, their spring begins.

And day-light here-for-us equals night-time there-for-them (.. on the other side of the world). Everything is opposite. Polar opposites.

I think it is a good thing .. for all the world's creatures to become conscious of others. That our little world is not the whole world. Cooperation being the key.

» Experiencing Life with Those Less Fortunate

Sao Paulo, Brazil | Inequality Demonstrated PhotographicallyI also like the way that the Internet makes research (data mining) SO MUCH EASIER .. than it was back-in-the-day ..

.. when we were limited to the local public library and grandpa's 30-year stash of National Geographics that he kept in boxes up in the attic.

I could never produce a document like the one you are reading right now ..

.. were it not for the Internet, the Web, and especially the hyperlink.

» Conversations with Tolstoy

Some times I feel like Tolstoy is looking over my shoulder .. and he's sportin' serious wood. Boner city. At the possibilities. Just my intuition. Or maybe my imagination.

I can almost hear Tolstoy saying » "Dude, that hyperlink-thing is pretty cool. I coulda really stirred up some serious shit with that. You twenty-first century kids got all the cool toys. It's not fair.

Leo Tolstoy | 1828-1910Tolstoy yells to the rear » "Sophia! Come here! You gotta see this!" =)

[ Update April 4, 2014 - Notice the date on that Samsung commercial » March 2, 2014.

What date was that commercial released?

I forget when I first saw it. Superbowl or maybe the Oscars. But I know it was definitely after I posted this (today's entry, Sept 19, 2013).

I also mention this very same phrase later in this (today's) same entry. (See here for page 2/3 » Korean Coast at Night Otherwordly. Eight paragraphs down from my anchored link.)

And if you are a regular, then you know that my ego is convinced, saying »

» "Dude, you *know* where they got the idea. Heck, you wrote about Korea, using that very phrase. That gives them dibs. Dont you remember the enchanted time that the Korean government showed during your visit there? At that mountaintop 5-star restaurant. With the 6-star view. With the waiters wearing the white gloves. You should be honored."

And certainly, I am.

They open the drapes to this huge curved window .. which takes a while, ya know? And you go, "Wow." And you sit up a little straighter.

Along the lines running parallel to this topic, a part of me seems to just want to keep his head down and do his job (.. laying metaphorical pipe).

Yet another part of me is like, "Come on, we're going to get a trophy for you." And I can't stop them from going. (You know who you are.)

Samsung seems to have named this video » you need to see this. Tho in the video itself they use the word "gotta" (like me) the first two times that the phrase is used.

You gotta see this (by Samsung)You judge for yourself which version (need to or gotta) resonates more naturally.

If nothing else, my ego is entertaining, no?

In Korea, I remember being on a bus, looking down a good 500 feet. No rail or nothing.

If the driver sneezes you are dead. So close to the edge. Heart-pounding close.

But yes, it was worth the white-knuckled drive. Returning seemed a little less life-threatening. Maybe cuz it was dark.

My point » Korea has an exotic lanscape with lots of sharp-steep ridges and valleys. Severe.

I had the same feeling while climbing up the cables at Half Dome (in Yosemite).

Dude, unrelatedly, I have heard that the same gene that gives you red hair is also responsible for ..

.. giving one uncontrollable passions and the sensuous sensitivity that normally comes with uber-healthy hormones. What have you heard?

Red hair. White phone. Blue skies. Very patriotic, no?

end update April 4, 2014, Samsung you-need-to-see-this parallel. ]

"Okay," he says, "show me one more time how you set the hyperlink and I'll introduce you to Sophia."

I show Tolstoy how to set the link. "Do you see those words where I quoted you saying » 21st century kids? Now watch this."

Dreamweaver codes beautifully the link to the words.

Tolstoy likes this. His eyes sparkle at the possibilities.

"Now let me click on those underlined words," says the count, elbowing me out of the way in his eagerness. 

» Twenty-First Century Voice

As he watches the video start, he says, "Very twenty-first century. I can see why you selected this. You *are* a clever writer. You must be that Rad guy that Bukowski keeps raving about."

He watches some more and listens carefully, then says, "This man has a gift for words, himself."

"I *thought* you might like him," I say, "being the bad-ass you were. He certainly has the gift."

lightning bolt strikes empire state bldg nycI listen to some more and add, "He reminds me of Isaiah. Maybe even Jeremiah.

Strong words. He brings the thunder."

The final paragraph of this article uses the word » scalding.

Myself, if I were searching for a word to describe the latter, I might opt for the tactical nuke of » incendiary. All five syllables.

Scalding implies that they could go to the hospital and recover. But incendiary implies a small pile of dry (still warm) dust. Still smoking.

This artist lets you know that there *is* a therapeutic value to calling bullshit on unrighteous bullshit .. especially when you are right.

He certainly appears committed and dedicated to the therapeutic task.

[ Remind me to tell you the story of how Lani used ART (drawing, in particular, for hours at a time) ..

.. to help get herself thru her parents' break up and divorce. She was around 11 at the time (.. her mom told me).

My point » art seems like a healthy outlet .. for rather severe emotional distress.

In a future entry I will show you how pretty much anybody can experience rage .. but why only an artist can turn it into art. (Even if I dont know it yet.) ]

I am reminded here of what Sophy wrote .. in her book » For Writers Only .. in the chapter titled » Audience ..

.. where she writes » Success itself brings loss, an agonizing readjustment of self. (What a sentence. Thanks for writing that book, Sophy. Mui mucho.)

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