Tuesday, October 02, 2007

So, Will Los Angeles Black Out on October 20th...or Watt?




...that's a clip from one of my favorite films, Phillip Glass' called "Koyaanisqatsi" (slathered with the Strokes' "Reptilia")...the flick holds a message that goes with the thrust of what I'm about to say...I don't know if you've heard about this but it appears that the powers that are in my fair city are taking a proactive stab at conserving energy...but it might be a day late and a dollar short...


"Led by Supervisor Yvonne B. Burke and City Councilwoman Wendy Greuel, the proposed effort asks Angelenos to simultaneously go dark between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 20, as San Franciscans do the same. Local officials are expected to vote on the plan next week.

At the original event in Sydney, Australia, in March, 2.2 million people cut the lights, causing a 10% drop in electricity use. The so-called Earth Hour reduced 25 tons of carbon dioxide, equivalent to taking nearly 49,000 cars off the road for 60 minutes...


Although officials still are finalizing which public buildings will join in the voluntary blackout, possible candidates include City Hall, the county Hall of Administration, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, DWP headquarters, the Port of Los Angeles and the multicolored pylons at Los Angeles International Airport.

"I think it will have a big visual impact," Katona said."
(here's the rest in the LA Times)


...okay, I'll bite, I said to myself when I heard this on talk radio earlier...I'll do my part but I wonder if those millions of single-serve commuters will step up to the plate for 60 minutes to see if they can make a difference...I'm skeptical as it'll take place during Prime Time on a Saturday...and if there's one thing that Angelenos can't deal with, it's an inconvenience to their party plans and intra-city travel habits...they didn't back in 2000 and I don't think even the spike in fuel prices will make 'em curb their power-sponging ways...and I said as much during that last heatwave.

...I bike around this town all the time and take notice of all the wasting of natural resources, primarily water, that goes into making what's essentially a desert by the sea look like some side street art-deco utopia...well at least in the parts where the the "ghetto birds" don't fly too often...don't get me wrong, I hope the proposal gets pushed through and everyone chips in, but I'm familiar enough enough with my fellow citizens and how a lot of them would rather sweep the whole conservation thing under the rug...until it gets unbearable and we get what we got in 2000...when I ride the commuter bus and trains in the morning, it's rare that I see car poolers...even now...so pardon me if the tongue in my cheek hinders my speech...


...ah well, a positive anything beats a negative nothing...I'm no Ed Begley, Jr but I'll give it a whirl just the same even if the proposal doesn't get approved because it's high time for us all to think about alternatives...on many fronts..."ain't nobody gonna shite, shave or bathe until some changes are made!" as my granny used to say when she got fed up with feckless proles, talkin' loud and saying nothing...it all reminds me of a piece I wrote a while back which I closed like so: "... The word "Koyaanisqatsi" is a Hopi Indian noun for "life out of balance; crazy life; life in turmoil; life disintegrating; a state of life that calls for another way of living"...I still stand by that line of thought ... if you live in the area, why don't you do your part on October 20th, yo?...

Labels: , , , , ,

Monday, October 01, 2007

Check It: "Ich Bin Nackt"...mit Stereo Total























...a few things for those who read me on the regs: if you've been doing so lately, you'd know that my MacBook's been on the fritz and I took it in to the AppleStore where it is now being turned B.A.D.,"bigger and deffer", as LL Cool J woulda put it back in the day...I've grown so used to that thing that it's been kind of weird sliding back into my old rhythms, like going to the magazine stand down the street and copping that week's New Yorker and actually sitting down to read it cover to cover with a couple of ciggies and double espressos...for years that was a part of my Saturday regiment and it was refreshing to return to this weekend...


...another thing about me you might've picked up is that I loves my music and you'd be hard pressed to catch me anywhere without tunage in some configuration on my person...but there's just so much of it out there...and doing what I do, I get turned on to so much chaff that it's hard to keep up with the stuff that rises...so, I don't get in a twist when I get told where the bear shites in the buckwheat, if something's good. Case in point, this last Saturday, I wanted to check out the second season of Weeds (as you know, I do my TV shows by seasons in one sitting)...but realized that the copies that were brought to me from Europe were configured for a program that I had on my Mac...which is in the shop...so I said fuggit, called over to Penny Lane and shot down to the video store to rent 'em...while searching for the discs on the shelving, I hear in between tunes on my headphones (I'm still blasting Greg Sage & Wipers Is This Real? Box-- again, if you check me, are another band to seek out nice 'n quick-like...I'm not too proud to say that a girlfriend hipped me to 'em...there's a grip of good sound out there that gets drowned out by the white noise of mediocre scheiße that the suits try to soft sell/shovel into the collective earholes of the record-buying public like we're being fattened up for foi gras...but there's more than one way to cook a goose...




















...I'm one of that hard-headed lot who has a habit of absorbing his data and thinks for himself, son...so it took a few seconds for my ears to perk up when I heard this cut from Stereo Total blaring out of the speakers and ask the horn-rimmed, tatted up art-schooler behind the counter for some 411 and he hips me...I turn him onto a new wave group from Deutschland I thought he'd like called Ideal...a tune called, ironically, Berlin which he did vibe on, so a little barting-of-beats took place...



...when I got home, I continued to strayed away from the "Off the grid" game plan for a bit and did a little research (because I gotta know once my curiosity's piqued) and found out a little more about Stereo Total...turns out that the group's based in Berlin, a city I tend to visit in the next couple of months, and are comprised of members from all over Europe among them, vocalist/guitarist/drummer Françoise Cactus from France and vocalist/guitarist/keyboardist Brezel Göring who's from Germany...their debut set, Oh Ah! dropped a-decade-and-change ago, picking up where groups like Kraftwerk, Giorgio Moroder and The Sea and Cake had gone before...which is a good thing...so, I keep digging around and although I see the album and tour with the Octopus Project mentioned in a music eZine with a penchant for grandiloquent exposition of musical minutia, I moved on and find a few cuts of theirs on MOG where apparently people have been blabbin' about the group since April of this year...you can't catch 'em all, boyo so let's not stand on ceremony with the "you read it here first" bit-- here's a video for Ich Bin Der Stricherjunge...the slice that caught my attention whilst looking for my flicks...I'd heard it before but didn't know where at the time...





...clearly, I'm sold on Stereo Total and will submit that this is definitely an electro-pop band worth checking out...the dude at the counter told me that I'd just missed a show of theirs in LA by about a month...(which I saw in the aformentioned eZine)...based on his description of how the band members played and built a rapport with the audience on the stage-- he told me that they hung out with the audience before blowing shit up on stage, smoking fags and kickin'it...it let me know that if they've been at it this long and they're still doing that sort of shite, they're lifers or will be around for a minute or two more, at least...they've got something to say that's worth saying and they're doing it the old fashioned way...

...if you like early LPs from Stereolab, or that Daft Punk drift, this group won't do you wrong...these fuckers have the sack-and-temerity to take a stab at a Serge Gainsbourg cut...and nail its ass to the floorboards...they get propers from over here...as stated above, my MacBook's tucked up and I'm not writing this piece on my PC but these YouTubes are proper..."ooh, shocking"...check their video for Ich Bin Nackt (I Am Naked) from their Do the Bambi LP (cover above)...

...I love an enemble that doesn't take itself too seriously but can actually play their fucking instruments, make their ideas felt, get shit done-- and still aren't afraid to experiment which stokes the flames of the jazz-lover in me too-- I likes it all, son...you can get a free download of "Patty Hearst" from the band's label Disko B for free right here on one of the label's landing pages; which I think is uber-cool of 'em...blowin' shite up...gettin' things done...righteous, son...here's another vid from the new album called "Plastic"...kinda Ramones...kinda Bomb the Twist...kinda "Orgiastic"...kinda nice...find this band, if you haven't already...

Labels: , , , , , ,

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Monkey Man...Thy Name is Lieberman...

















...this piece was written earlier in the morning...take your time, follow all the linkage and see where the rabbit hole goes...

...man, I'm getting tired of waking up mornings with my skin leaking...I should stop sleeping with talk radio on but that shite's like crack...I bolted up out of REM sleep this morning while subconsciously absorbing the Bill Press Show when I heard about the Senate's overwhelming support of separating Iraq into three regions...why do I care, you ask?

...ever since Joe Lieberman (pictured above in a pic that looks like he's about to swap spit with the POTUS) dropped the "Going Independent-bomb" back in February, because of the DNC's stance on sending another 21,500 troops into the combat, he's turned into a sabre-rattling arse; began acting like a hand puppet/ mouthpiece for the GOP...something along the lines of Willie Tyler and Lester or, better still, Wayland Flowers and Madame (pictured below with some of the dancers who used to appear with them on those old episodes of solid Gold back in the day)...







...I get a little dispeptic every time I see/ hear him deliver one of those tight-lipped, terse-mandibled "Joe-mentum", stay the course speeches cheerleading towards the right on why it would behoove us to keep shoveling our dough down that Mesopotamian money-hole...he too had a role in last nights terror-sweat and according to the verbiage I found in the LA Times...


"The White House reacted tersely, noting that the measure conditions the policy change on the agreement of Iraqis. "The amendment recognizes that Iraqis will be the ones that make decisions about their political future," National Security Council spokesman Gordon Johndroe said in a statement. 'It also reiterates the importance of bottom-up reconciliation.'In the Senate, Biden's proposal has attracted far more Republican support than any previous Democratic plan, but it will have no practical effect unless it pressures the president or Iraqis to change course. Senate Democrats last week failed three times to overcome GOP filibusters of measures designed to more forcefully change the course of U.S. policy in Iraq, including two that would have mandated a withdrawal."




...I still try to retain a modicum of optimism, though, while ignorning what sometimes seems to hang over my shoulders like a cloud of impending doom and gloom...a little hope, if you like..especially when I read news stories that begin like this:


"An Oregon judge on Wednesday ruled that two provisions of the Patriot Act violated the U.S. Constitution's protection against unlawful searches and seizures." ...continued on Reuters...now that's a little good news, ain't it?

...maybe the worm will turn and more of us will get the proverbial zap on their heads before the culmination of the 2008 election cycle...but, as I've said before in one of many of my self-styled Letters to Americans... I won't hold my breath, either...

Labels: , , , , , , , , , ,

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

What Would JFK Have to Say...?


...I've ranted on here before about my views on how the American public does itself a disservice when they don't demand better from their media outlets but lately it's become plainer to see that that is not a one way street that the American braintrust travels on...I posted a link to this for one of my readers elsewhere...I'll admit that the images can get a little ham-handed but I was shooting for the President's vox for this post...too, I thought I'd slap it on here because, to be honest, I think these words from JFK bear repeating...especially in lieu of what's been taking place on the world stage for the last couple days...press play and read along...






JFK speech 1961


"Ladies and gentlemen,

the very word 'secrecy' is repugnant in a free and open society. And we are, as a people, inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths and to secret proceedings. We decided long ago, that the dangers of excessive and unwarranted concealment of pertinent facts, far outweighed the dangers which are cited to justify it.

Even today there is little value in opposing the threat of a closed society by imitating it's arbitrary restrictions. Even today there is little value in ensuring the survival of our nation if our traditions do not survive with it.
And there is very grave danger that an announced need for increased security will be seized upon by those anxious to expand it's meaning to the very limits of official censorship and concealment.

That I do not intend to permit to the extent that it's in my control and no official of my administration, whether his rank is high or low, civilian or military, should interpret my words here tonight as an excuse to censor the news, to stifle descent, to cover up our mistakes or to withhold from the press and the public the facts they deserve to know.

For we are opposed, around the world, by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy that relies primarily on covert means for expanding it's sphere of influence on infiltration instead of invasion, on subversion instead of elections, on intimidation instead of free choice, on guerrillas by night instead of armies by day. It is a system which has conscripted vast human and material resources into the building of a tightly-nit, highly-efficient machine that combines military, diplomatic, intelligence, economic, scientific and political operations. It's preparations are concealed, not published. It's mistakes are buried, not headlined. It's descent is silenced, not praised. No expenditure is questioned, no rumor is printed, no secret is revealed.

No president should fear public scrutiny of his program. For from that scrutiny comes understanding, and from that understanding comes support or opposition, and both are necessary. I am not asking your newspapers to support an administration, but I am asking your help in the tremendous task of informing and alerting the American people, for I have complete confidence - - in the response and dedication of our citizens, whenever they are fully informed.

I could not only stifle controversy among your readers, I welcome it. This administration intends to be candor about it's errors, for as a wise man once said: 'An error doesn't become a mistake, until you refuse to correct it'. We intend to accept full responsibility for our errors and we would expect you to point them out when we miss them. Without debate, without criticism no administration and no country can succeed and no republic can survive. That is why the Athenian lawmaker Solon decreed a crime for any citizen to shrink from controversy. And that is why our press was protected by the first amendment. The only business in America specifically protected by the constitution. Not primarily to amuse and entertain, not to emphasize the trivial and the sentimental, not to simply give the public what it wants, but to inform, to arouse, to reflect, to state our dangers and our opportunities, to indicate our crisis and our choices, to lead, mold, educate, and sometimes even anger public opinion.

This means great coverage and analysis of international news, for it is no longer far away and foreign, but close-at-hand and local. It means greater attention to improve understanding of the news as well as improved transmission and it means finally that government, at all levels, must meet it's obligation to provide you with the fullest possible information outside to narrowest limits of national security.

And so it is to the printing press, to the recorder of man's deeds, the keeper of his conscious, the carrier of his news that we look for strength and assistance.

Confident that with your help man will be what he was born to be: free and independent."

...amen, Mr. President...CP, out...

Labels: , , ,

Monday, September 24, 2007

Janeane Garofalo: Still One of My Favorite Broads...


























...a decade and change before Disney dropped Ratatouille I was into Janeane Garofalo...I think I started falling for her in Reality Bites when she played Vickie-- a chick with convictions; stood for what she believed in...and still knew who in the hell Willona Woods from Good Times was...since I've moved to California, I've run into some of the cast from that particular film while doing the writing thing-- like Ethan "crustache" Hawke (in still below with co-star Janeane ) and even Matt "the forehead" Dillon but Garofalo's the one I've always wanted to have a sit down with and shoot the shite about current affairs and books...hell, she even pulled off a cameo at the end of Pulp Fiction...

...this lady is probably why I dig on brainy brunette broads with big mouths who wear pointy glasses and usually have something to say...Garofalo's been burned at the stake for speaking her mind but she didn't just step off the stage at open mic night in the Bryn Mawr student union...she's got some big ideas that she uses her comedic chops to convey...she's earned her mumpin' bones first doing stand up, then acting and now, a mixture of the two...


...when it's all said and done, I think a lot of people will say they were down from the beginning...like those fuckers who say they liked the Buzzcocks long before Ghost World came out...I used to love her and Sam Seder's talk show on Air America...then it got pulled...but it was funny and I was one of the early bloggers on that show's hell raising earlier threads (BlayznSddlz, son)...check my girl out tearing Faux News' Brian Kilmeade a new one a couple of years ago, the February before the war in Iraq was initiated and, well, you see what we've wrought...Peaches...





...here she is speaking on one of my favorite HBO series: Rome...



...here she is calling Bill Maher out...a couple of nights ago for toe-ing the line on the low-low...



...later, breaking down Directive 17 and the "Mission Accomplished" ethos on another segment in that same show...see, put her in an environment, not in the middle of a gaggle of brainwashed brownshirts on Fox hell bent on shouting her down but one that's open to new ideas, alternate ways of thinking and she's 'bout it-'bout it...go' on, girl...



...and, finally, my favorite from this appearance...how Colin Powell, somebody I actually HAVE met... could've changed history...and didn't!!!...

Labels: , , , ,

Thursday, September 13, 2007

...On Livin' Large, Slingin' Slang...and Not Sleepin'




















...(this was written about 4:45 AM this morning)...my eyeballs popped open an hour before the alarm went off for some reason...and I'm rested...almost TOO rested...sheiße, son...what I'm feeling is akin to what Andrew "Large" Largeman felt like when he was walking through LAX on meds while taking a trip back home to Jersey in the film Garden State...been there before...all of this reminded me of when I covered that flick as a favor for a journo friend who wanted to go out of town with her boyfriend that week, she called me at my day gig making "purty-please-with-sugar-on-top" sounds, so I caved and went over to the Fox Lot to check the last screener as that weekend I'd have to interview Zach Braff and there's nothing worse than talking to talent about their film that you never got a chance to see (did it once in the salad days and didn't care for the feeling, I recall thinking I was going to get called on the carpet but I never was)...
















...the piece I ended up doing was on Natalie Portman as the Garden State junket went off without a hitch and I hooked my homebiscuit up with her out-of-state booty call...I even got pointed to some tunage that I ordinarily wouldn't have checked at the time as I didn't really vibe on the Shins' stuff at the time. Zach's use of the tune "New Slang" during his directorial debut on the film pulled my coat...which brings me back to right now, 6AM, staring at the ceiling; smoking cigarettes and watching Captain Kangaroo as it were...which is when I'd be getting up ordinarily...damn, there goes the alarm clock...back on schedule, I guess...every now and again I'll just wake up of the middle of the night/ early morning when all of a sudden a thread of thought takes hold and I just start writing something...this has been one of them...and now, time to make the donuts...

Labels: , , , ,

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Blerd Part 2: The Coke Bottles and The Buddha...





.

















...Om namaha, Shivaya...that's a Buddhist chant that loosely means: Greetings to the person/ soul that I am capable of becoming...I recite it sometimes while I'm looking in the mirror shaving...I've been using it a lot lately...that gig I went to downtown last week was a bust...they didn't think I was "the material" for working in a law firm...so I continued ghost writing in one of my cafes and the guy I'm penning it for is digging on the direction I'm taking it which is cool...but I need more loot than this to keep the rain off my head while I wait for those people back in New York to get it together...






















...So I wrote and wrote and re-wrote and edited all day yesterday and, just before the sun went down, I got a call with an offer for another gig over at one of the major studios to expedite this Web-related project which, although won't last as long as the law firm editing gig, would pay a grip more $crilla than I would've if I were working with that fancy-pantsed lot down in the finance district...a couple of minutes ago I got the call back and ...I'm in there, son! I start on Monday...The ladies who interviewed me were much more laid back than those two twitchy tossers with the sticks in their keysters and we got right down to brass tacks without all of that alpha male posturing...it was refreshing...I just shot on over to the lot and acted like myself, no fuss no muss (and yes, I wore the Blerd glasses again)...

...Om namaha, Shivaya...things work themselves out...I think once I finish re-reading James Baldwin's Giovanni's Room, love to backtrack on the classics, I'll do a re-read of another fave: Hermann Hesse's Siddhārtha which follows the life of Siddhārtha Gautama, the Brahmin Prince who eventually rescinded the cordoned life of luxury after witnessing how his subjects really lived outside the castle walls which led him on a journey that would ultimately take him to the the Sri MahaBodhi, the great Bhodi Tree which, after reaching Enlightenment, The Awakened One sat in front of for a week, while staring at it in unblinking gratitude...the temple that's there now was built much later...it's all good...I don't claim to be a Buddhist by any stretch but I definitely do dig on some of the messages and try to apply them in everyday life as much as I can...I've been cool with The Enlightened One's story for a minute...and have stated as much... the latter has helped me wriggle through a truckload of scrapes while as I work on solving my Saṃsāra...Om namah, Shivaya...that's word...it's funny how things get resolved on their own...work themselves out...and they all eventually do...don't they?

Vunde gurunam caranaravinde Sandarsita, svatma.
Sukhavabodhe
nihsreyase
Jangalikayamane
, Sansara, halahala
Moha santyai


Hala hala...

Ahahu purusakaram sankha Cakrasi.
Ahahu purusakaram sankha Cakrasi.
Dharinam, dharinam sahasra Sirasam.
Dharinam, dharinam sahasra Sirasam.
Vande...
Om shanti.
Om shanti.

Shanti, shanti.
Shantay.

Om...


"...I worship the gurus lotus feet.
Awakening the happiness of the self revealed.
Beyond comparison, working like the jungle Physician.
To pacify loss of consciousness from the Poison of existence.
In the form of a man up to the shoulders.
Holding a conch, discus and sword.
Thousand headed, white. I bow respectfully...

Peace..."


Labels: , , , ,

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

The Heatwave's Wrath: Squeezin' My Mind Grapes...



























...it's been crazy hot for the past week and change...which started me thinking about global warming and how it seems to be getting hotter and drier every year...a couple of days ago, tens of thousands of LA County area residents were sitting in the dark and over the weekend, this elderly couple in Studio City died from complications due to the heat...that was a bummer to hear...what a way to go...I was listening to a talk radio show and one of the hostesses mentioned that she was out of it because the power was out in portions of the Hills as well...a single crocodile tear ran down my cheek, like Iron Eyes Cody on the side of a littered highway as I thought..."poor baby...don't you have one of those platinum covered generators that David Cross was talking about on his It's Not Funny album?" Heat makes me cynical and snippy as hell if you haven't figured that out yet...I'd forgotten about being back in the south and how that humidity made you want to choke people...but, still, I'm buggin' out...I'M BUGGIN' OUT!!!


























...this heat-induced train of thought brought me to all the latest talks of infrastructure and the lack thereof, as most of our resources are being poured into that Mesopotamian black hole...there's people out there who think that things like taking care of bridges, interstates, the power grid and other functions that have been taken care of by government agencies with our tax dollars, should be privatized (done by businesses who'd no doubt be in it to earn a profit and would half-ass it up to ensure they'd be needed in the future)...that dog don't hunt...look at what's been wrought whenever market-driven corporate enterprises have been used as a stop-gap solution...like, say, all those war profiteers we hear about all the time...oh, they're out there...I met one in the library a couple of weeks ago, this old, Elmer Fudd-lookin' cat dressed like somebody's hayseed grandpa and though he was nice enough (a trifle TOO interested in what I was doing for my trastes, you'd never think he had his fingers crossed in hopes that we'd cross the border and go into the Persian theater...which would be a windfall for his little company-- a very high creep-out factor, there. I've been going elsewhere ever since...was kind of afraid to even bring it up here considering the political climate...but that's another story for another time...

"In the summer of 2000 a drought in the North West states reduced the amount of hydroelectric power that was available to California, though at no point during the crisis was California's sum of [actual electric-generating capacity]+[out of state supply] less than demand. Rather, California's energy reserves were low enough that during peak hours the private industry which owned power-generating plants could effectively hold the State hostage by shutting down their plants for "maintenance" in order to manipulate supply and demand. These critical shutdowns often occurred for no other reason than to force California's electricity grid managers into a position where they would be forced to purchase electricity from other suppliers who could charge astronomical rates. Even though these rates were semi-regulated, the companies (which included Enron and Reliant Energy) controlled the supply of natural gas as well."**


























...I was on the east coast during the California Energy Crisis during the summer of 2000...when the Golden State, strapped for electricity, got fleeced out of hundreds of millions of dollars by out-of-state energy concerns like Enron...I followed the story as it unfolded from the other side of the country and thought to myself...somebody's head is gonna roll..turns out, it would be Gray Davis' dome that would be politically severed...he was voted out of office and ushered in the rule of "Der Governator"...although the energy market was predominantly privatized already, there were laws in place that kept these private holdings from running roughshod over the consuming public, deregulation ceded guard duty of the proverbial hen house to the foxes; some thought that the corporate price gauging would've never been able to take place if California hadn't unanimously loosened up on restrictive Energy laws a few years from both sides of the aisle prior under the administration of Governor Pete Wilson (R) who was long gone by the time the lights went out in 2000...crooks like Ken Lay had found an open window, climbed a ladder, scuttled inside like the slimeball he is and then kicked the ladder away...

"Utilities were precluded from entering into longer-term agreement that would have allowed them to hedge their energy purchases and mitigate day-to-day swings in prices due to tranisent supply disruptions and demand spikes from hot weather. Then, in 2000, wholesale prices were deregulated, but retail prices were regulated for the incumbents as part of a deal with the regulator, allowing the incumbent utilities to recover the cost of assets that would be stranded as a result of greater competition, based on the expectation that "frozen" would remain higher than wholesale prices. This assumption remained true from April 1998 through May 2000. Energy deregulation put the three companies that distribute electricity into a tough situation. Energy deregulation policy froze or capped the existing price of energy that the three energy deliveries could charge. Deregulating the producers of energy did not lower the cost of energy. Deregulation did not encourage new producers to create more power and drive down prices. Instead, with increasing demand for electricity, the producers of energy charged more for electricity. The producers used moments of spike energy production to inflate the price of energy [5]. In January 2001, energy producers began shutting down plants to increase prices"**

..."Recession", says the wind...how soon we forget...or have we really...times are a lot tougher now than they were seven years ago. I was reminded of this a few weeks ago when Wal Mart announced that their earnings were in a down turn and shortly after that The Dow dropped 200 points which got my and the finance sector's skin leaking...the Fed has since infused tens of billions of cash into the market to offset that little hiccup but it can't keep doing that forever...not with the bloated deficit that somebody's going to have to pay the vigorish on at some point...we're tapped out, gentle reader...as a nation we're too broke to shop at fucking Wal-Mart, it seems...streams of finance are drying up all over the place...except for that 1% of people who are living like the cotton is high...the people that mainstream media outlets must be talking about and to but those of us knee-deep in the shite know better-- the first part of the 20s might've been "roaring" with finance sector exuberance ...but it limped into the 30s... ...whimpering



...I can't call it...this heat is crazy-making and when I don't get my rest, my mind tends to race: the heat got me thinking of natural disasters which got me thinking of the Dust Bowl which lead to images of the setting in John Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath, then the Great Depression and what led to it..then economics and the situation that we're in right now; the eminent housing/ real estate bust all of which brings me back to where I live and the heat wave...see the logic?...as I type this, there's still 25,000 plus people still sitting in the dark all over the Southland-- 400,000 people's power has been disturbed at some point in the past week and based on the transitive laws of nature and probability, if it doesn't cool down soon, my card's gonna get pulled too... The thing is, they were predicting rain last week at one point....I even recall waking up on one of those sultry nights, my arms bear hugging a fan under the windows and hearing thunder; seeing lightning bolts...but the water never came so I thought I'd bitch about it a little, like I am now...I'll try to keep doing the right thing, however, no matter how far up the mercury rises...it could be worse going for a brother, to quote the godfather of Macroeconomics, John Maynard Keynes, "In the long run, we are all dead"...quite...I wonder if that ever entered the minds of those two oldsters just before they expired...

**quotes from wikipedia for brevity...

Labels: , , ,

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Mind Over Matter...with Mammoth Hunting...


























...I've been getting in touch with my inner cave man while sitting in the stultifying heat that's been hovering over town like a veil of hostility...it's brutal, my A.C.'s non existent, so I've been working out of library and at cafes but today, its so fucking hot, that I don't feel like moving...so I laid in bed for a couple of hours listening to ethereal sounds like the ones found on the Greek electro-composer Vangelis' Themes album while reading The Mammoth Hunters by Jean M. Auel...tunes like "Chung Kuo" capture the mood...




The book, the third in her Earth's Children series, is set on the coasts and steppes of the pre-historic European continent during the 10,000 year interstitial (warming trend in the climate) that occurred during the last Ice Age (that ended about 25,000 years ago). It follows the young girl, Ayla who, after being adopted by a clan of Neanderthals as an orphaned child, is raised, taught to be a medicine woman, forcibly inseminated by a Neanderthal man who despises her for being Homo Sapien and then gets handed her bearskin wrap and cast out of their cave for learning to use weapons; hunt (which women of the clan were not allowed to do). She got the hook for pretty much exemplifying traits that would eventually put our species at the top of the evolutionary food chain, heralding the end of the less adaptive Neanderthaler model-- there's a great scenario in Clan of the Cave Bear (the first in the series that was turned into a film starring Daryl Hannah back in the 80s) where she accidentally ingests a double dose of some prehistoric peyote and sees the future, the modern age...the film's ok, I guess but it doesn't do the book one iota of justice...but I'm looking back with jaded, post Matrix/ iMax eyeballs...


...at any rate, girlfriend has a death curse thrown her way and is shunned by the Neanderthals, so she leaves her half-breed baby with her sister (the birth-daughter of the woman who took her in) and strikes out on her own. She eventually finds a small, isolated cave far away from the clan on the coast and at the edge of the continental steppes...the valley of the horses, as it were which the second book was named. Alone in the valley, her survival skills kick in ( the same instincts that she was told never to pursue but, like ornery humans chicks tend to be, did so anyhow). She starts to hoard food and hunt in preparation for the rapidly approaching winter. Too, she domesticates a foal , which had never been considered or attempted, after capturing its mother in a pit trap for meat...she did so not to make it a pack animal but to have some other living thing around...for company and unconditional friendship. Later, she learns to speak words again -- Neanderthals spoke with sign language and grunts-- by a man named Jondolar who she nurses back to health after he's mauled by the mate of a cave lion she raised-- don't ask, get the book, son...

...when Jondolar's health is back up to snuff, he urges Ayla to continue on with him as before the cave lion attack (!) he was on his journey back to his homelands which lie far away, across a mile high glacier (!!), in the north...she grudgingly acquiesces because she's fallen for a man of "the Others" (what the people who raised her called homo sapiens, people like us)...the second book ends with the two fording a river on horses (again, don't ask) and crossing paths with a tribe of people who called themselves Mamutoi...Mammoth Hunters...that's the book I'm reading again right now to keep my mind off the sweltering sump...cool schieße, if told by a scribe with the expository minerals and Auel, although sometimes long-in-the-tooth with her prose, has got the hazel nuts to pull it off-- and as an added bonus, the frosty descriptions of Ayla's chilled environment has helped suspend my imagination and get my mind off of this drawer-drenching humidity that has precipitated into a body-shaped sweat-angel that has my back glued to the sheets on my bed...(I started typing this with the MacBook on my stomach, BTW)...


























...I've always liked books like this, where man's (in this case, woman's) wits are taken to task by the forces of nature from Sterling North's Rascal to the dogs 'n cat in The Incredible Journey to Jack London's To Build a Fire (and Call of the Wild ) on up to The Sex Lives of Cannibals : Adrift in the Equatorial Pacific (a super-funny book by J. Marten Troost that should be checked)...I've even slogged it through Moby Dick as a kid, after several attempts at getting through it, to learn about whaling...it's all literary gravy...if you were to ask me, I'd probably encapsulate my thoughts with a cliche of that variety...still, the scenarios inferred in the telling of all those tales made me wonder what I'd do in similar circumstances...



..."You know, ironically enough, back home my dentist's last name was Spalding"...I cackled like a hyena goofed out on skunk weed 'n whippets when Tom Hanks dead-panned that line in Castaway to "Wilson" the volley ball that his character got chatty with while stranded on an island in the far reaches of the Pacific Rim...look at him in that picture, engrossed in a full on back-and-forth with a fuggin' volley ball...good stuff, Shecky...yeah, I'm one of those eight people who actually liked that film...I think I'm jazzed on these kind of books because they speak to something that I've always wondered about: were we to lose all of these electronic/ solar/ gas operated accoutrements that our animal-pelt-wearing pre-historic ancestors managed to survive without for a couple of millennia while packs of hungry beasts chased 'em first around and eventually out of the Serengeti's Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania, would we, modern man, make it? You know, with the furry, fanged and ferocious calling all the shots out on the desolate plains of a cold, cruel world...Doubtful...judging from that YouTube of that Teen Miss South Carolina contestant that's making the rounds recently, I'd wager that a huge swath of the current human population would not be here for long...bear food, I call 'em because people like that are the ones you'd hear about walking stupidly into the forest for a picnic...at night...but what do I know?...I'm sittin' here thinking about hunting woolly mammoths and walking across a sky high sheet of bluish-white glacial ice...I might be selling some other kind of crazy when I say it but I do feel a few degrees cooler...that means it's working, I guess...time to put Ayla and the mammoths down and start punching up some more of that book that I'm writing...laters...

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Peter Fonda & Ben Foster Get Mean: 3:10 to Yuma (Q&A)


















As stated in an earlier post, I got to participate in roundtables with some of the cast of James Mangold's forthcoming western remake of 3:10 to Yuma over at the Regent Beverly Wilshire last week...I posted the session with Russell Crowe and Christian Bale already......and now I will throw on what went down with Peter Fonda and Ben Foster (pictured below)...Peter came in first and we all got rolling and Foster came in a bit later...I don't know if you remember Ben from Six Feet Under or X-Men...but when you see him in Yuma, you'll know who was in command every time the cameras were on Charlie Prince, the hard-ass he plays in the film...he rocked that joint...so did Peter but for different reasons...check it...


Q: So which was it that made you go for the role in this film, the genre or the character?

Peter Fonda: First genre, then character. I'd seen the original 3:10 to Yuma and I didn't have to audition for the part-- I had to prove myself. Which, I guess, is a form of an audition. And I knew a great deal about westerns. I knew that Jim Mangold had not shot a western before but, also, I felt that Cop Land had a bit of a western rhythm to it. For me, a western is a wonderful way of telling a story about us now, without letting anybody know you're doing it. So, getting into that saddle was great because I got to be a part of that-- I did have to prove to Mangold that I wasn't too laconic. [laughs] ...but I still got to play it down and back. And I believe when you're playing a character that's, underneath, low and slow and less intense, you can create more danger with it. And my character, although not in the original motion picture, [helps develop] the character of Ben Wade very well. And, you know, I play the stone-cold killer, so I'm on the same side of the coin [as Ben Wade] but different coins. So, saddling up, I can ride like the wind-- I hate (acting on) horses, no problem, I love westerns. Motorcycles, well, Easy Rider was a western but the motorcycle I rode was more like a phallic symbol-- a horse really doesn't get there...what a horse does to a cowboy is put him right on the ground. A motorcycle does too, bike riding on the road-- it was a pleasure to saddle up for Jim Mangold, director that I really appreciated, and thought I would appreciate, whose work I really appreciated and now I appreciate it more. He was a man of great integrity on the set and, uh--- does that cover the question? [laughs]

Q: You mentioned that a western speaks to how we are now. Could you expound a little bit more on that?

PF: ...it's easy to address these character conflicts, whether its conflicted stuff inside one character or conflicts between two different characters without telling you that you're looking at what's happening today. Now, there's mayhem in the streets today, in Iraq. I mean there, mayhem in the streets of Baghdad, isn't there? So, in a way, we're looking at people who are stone-cold killers, the man who just joined me, Ben Foster, a stone-cold killer [introducing Foster who walks in and takes a seat beside Fonda]...serial killers, I think we've got some over there on both sides of that coin but, that way, we discuss these ethics and problems in today's view and yet with yesterday's viewpoint. And that awares an audience that that's happening which is taken up with the story. But it's entertaining, its later on that you think "that does apply" [to what's going on in the world today]...Ben's heard me say that westerns and science fiction films, really good ones, can also discuss the present but in a disguised way, that truly discusses what's going on in an hour of our lives.

Q: You've directed a couple of westerns, why do you think the genre's fallen out of favor with the wider audience that it once held? Because its tough to even get them off the ground today.

PF: You know what, I don't think westerns have necessarily fallen out of favor with the audiences. I don't think that the filmakers are delivering as good a western as possible. But then you look at Unforgiven, you know, what a cool wester that was...Dances with Wolves...It's not as dead as you think but the big studios don't talk about them because they don't know how to sell them. And they make them, unfortunately, I think for the film makers, for a lesser budget which means you have to do more, for less.

Q: Would you agree also that the calibre of actors that were around when westerns were in the heyday aren't really around as much? We don't have a lot of Waynes or Jimmy Stewarts.

PF: You'd be surprised at what we've got going in terms of actors-- its writers and studios that aren't quite sure about the idiom. But I do know what you mean about, "where are the Randolph Scotts, the Joe McRays and the Gary Coopers...wow, you know, and John Wayne, a terribly under-rated actor-- he was a great actor, I knew where he had to go [inside] to get his characters. And I like Cooper's idea that if you know what you're doing, then you don't have to act. I thought that was very cool. And the western character is a romantic thing but there can be the good/ bad guy romantic thing and there could be the bad/ bad guy romantic thing. [In 3:10 to Yuma] here, you've got I'm a bad/ bad guy, you think I'm good because I'm a Pinkerton protecting the stage coach, whereas Charlie Prince [Ben Foster] is a really bad/ bad guy [laughs]...take it away Ben...




















Q: Ben, the writers said that you added a lot to your role that wasn't on the page...do you think so?

Ben Foster: Well, that's very generous. I completely disagree, I mean, I read the script and Charlie started showing up. And it was just re-reading and re-reading and re-reading and the picture becomes a little clearer. And then I just started isolating what he cared about most and what he was willing to do for that. Preparing for it was as simple as going through archival photographs-- western outlaws seemed, to me, like rock stars. And Arianne Phillips, our amazing costume designer, has a rock 'n roll background, so it was very easy to go down that path. I found a very similar leather jacket from that time in a museum, white leather and that, to me, was sort of a glam rock approach. Next were some [wild life] documentaries on wild cats and [watching] how they deal with their prey and...then just listening to the horse. It's amazing how the environment [that you're shooting in] will teach you about the role. It's not so much about constructing it and developing it and saying "look what I made". It's more like "I don't know what this is but I'm after it and...it's over here. I don't know, I don't want you to go "here's this weirdo actor bullshit" [laughs] But that's what it is.

Q: After you wrapped, did you have a hard time leaving behind the Charlie Prince that had grown inside?

BF: He was a terrible character, man. I've said this before but I certainly don't know exactly what I'm doing, when I'm going in-- you're kind of in the dark, in the swamp and you're finding your way....And when you're done with the job, you definitely track some mud into the house. I mean, I'm not going home with this guy every day, so, yeah, it does take some time...I was happy to not kill anybody for a while.

Fonda: I would watch him all day long [with his pistols], drawing them, putting them away [reholstering], twirling them, cross-drawing them...and it's that kind of practice that makes you feel comfortable with it. Because, as Mangold said, in earlier times it was an extension of your arm. I believe that it's also an extension of your character-- how you use it...or don't use it.

Q: Peter, did you have a particular scene that was your favorite...or the most fun to do?

***SPOILER ALERT...SPOILER ALERT...SPOILER ALERT...SPOILER ALERT...SPOILER ALERT....***

PF: Wow, you know, I don't think about it as "fun". I think, fulfilling, maybe interesting, and I try to make every day that I go to [location] work for me that way...I would've liked to have been in that last scene in Contention because that was incredibly cool action-- this is me as the audience watching it -- in the back of my mind the film maker's like "hmmm, THAT was tasty" but then, the actor inside goes "I got to play a very tasty character too." So, I can't say one way or the other if it was a "fun" scene or...It was a very difficult shoot. I always bitched about the cold but as soon as I hear "action" -- what cold? As soon as "cut"-- aahhh bitchbitch, moanmoan, bitch. So, there wasn't a "fun" moment for me, work is what I have the pleasure of doing. I get paid for it. How many people go to work loving what they have to do? If there's money in the bank and film in the camera, what time do you want me there? If there's no film in the camera and not a lot of money in the bank-- when you see me, I'll be there. So, that love, that I have, is for the work-- any particular moment or day, some are more fun than others, some are more difficult than others but I always got to work.

Q: Was there a difference for you in the reception you got for doing Ulee's Gold as opposed to, say, how Captain America was received?


















PF: Well, you know, what's interesting about Ulee's Gold was that all the press said "what a remarkably understated performance that was" and I was like, "where the hell were they when I did Easy Rider?" [laughs] "what an understated role"...as Captain America it was like [in stoner voice]: "Wow. Far out, man...that's beautiful. Here, try some of this." [laughs] and then the last line, the most imperative line of the film, which I loved: "you know what Billy? We blew it"-- I threw that away, now that's an understated performance! [laughs] Ulee Jackson, I got to go places with that, I didn't know where it was going to take me but wow, "understated?" Where were they for Easy Rider?

3:10 to Yuma opens nationally on Friday, September 7th.....


Labels: , , ,

Friday, August 31, 2007

Taking Too Long: The Weight of Waiting...and Wipers!!!





















...just bust the groove on that tune...whenever I feel like its taking too long for me to get my creative grind on, I have to remind myself of dudes like Greg Sage, Sam Henry and Dave Koupal who formed Wipers back in 1978...look in their eyes in that grainy-ass picture...young and hungry...I'm hip, son... even though they cut a couple of influential records that a grip of Seattle grunge scene machers would appropriate and use as a springboard for their respective sounds, Wipers really didn't get any dap from the world at large until Nirvana covered a couple of their cuts from their debut LP-- a decade and change later...



















...that's not the first time I've heard such things, artists like Fela Anikulapo Kuti, Woody Guthrie and Ornette Coleman and their struggles to be heard, immediately come to mind...sometimes you're gonna have to be in it to win it-- and the only people who believe in you IS you...patience is virtuous and all that but, conversely, he who hesitates is lost...in short, don't forget to follow your heart and be ready when the opportunity avails itself...listen to the little guy/ chick inside...I spoke about Sage et al back in June and am steeled when I think of stories such as theirs and artists like the ones above, I get pumped up; the weight of waiting becomes a little lighter ...and although I've got "miles to go before I rest"...I know I can bear it...solid, son...

Labels: , , ,

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Blerd: Would YOU Hire this Guy???

























...so I got another editing offer downtown that'd last a few months...but first I had to go down there and take a bunch of tests...find synonyms for words like arbitrate...expedite...ameliorate...words I use all the time...then the grammar test (even when I didn't have the English skills, I learned at an early age that the best way to figure these out-- utter them aloud...there's always three clunky sentences, two of which just look dumb on the screen...that fourth one, the one that sounds like a butler in a P.G. Wodehouse book is the keeper...it works for me like a charm)...t'was a joke of an examination-- I sailed through the typing test and finished the boilerplate letter-- never seen the word committee used so fekkin' often-- I finished it about a half hour early so they left me in a room by meself...to my own devices...


...so glad I brought my MacBook along...thought I'd type something up for the blog while I sat in this "testing environment" waiting to be sized up by the suits because this is truly a ridiculous setting...based on what happened a couple of blocks over last week, I though I'd go in with the Blerd (black nerd) glasses...use high English and all that...just lookit that picture above...doesnt' that guy look harmless enough?...let's see where it gets me...I could use two months worth of the cash they're talking about while I ghost write this book for a musician in Atlanta and await the callback for that producing thing...I probably won't get this one...it's going too smoothly...I won't be "black enough" or something equally as simple-minded as that...what can I say?...I'm a sucker for punishment...nah, I could just use the cash, son-- I won't front on that and furthermore-- ruh, roh...I hear 'em coming down the hall...Blerd-boy out....laters...

Labels: ,

Monday, August 27, 2007

...Indian Summer: O' My Brothers...Where Art Ye?

























...being a Southerner, with a father who loved TV shows like Johnny Cash's show on ABC, Hee Haw and listened to C&W when it wasn't hip to be black and reveal as much, my daddy would bump that shite anyway... still a country boy, West Indian roots or no...(grown men are allowed to call their fathers "daddy", where I'm from) so, there's a special place in my heart for bluegrass music...Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs, cats like that...I've seen 'em play... (at an early age I learned to cut through the bullshite of the times and find my funk wherever it was)...























...years later, when I was cutting some tracks (in the same spot they cut "Purple People Eater") in Nashville, I stumbled out the back door of the studio looking for the parking lot at about four in the morning to smoke a butt and I looked across the street to find that we were right across the plaza from the Ryman Auditorium...that big red barn where everybody who was anybody in the old-school country pantheon played (or wished they did)...it was surreal...still, I ran across the street to see if I could peek inside the windows at the back of the building that was facing where I was standing....see the stage where Johnny Cash kicked in the footlights...I couldn't see dick but I was there....


























...by that time the performances at the Ryman had long been moved to some replicated sound stage at a nearby theme park but I knew from pictures that this was the actual, factual...we might drop our accents in college but you can't deny who you are...most southerners-turned city-dwellers don't like to admit that there's any country music that they'd willingly listen to but I'll tell you right here, point blank-- just like jazz, say what you will, there's some phatness from the old school in the genre that should be checked out. It was quite cool rapping with Garrison Keillor in the hallway of the Four Seasons about the history of the Nashville landmark after doing an interview for his (then) new film directed by the late, great Robert Altman...I was reminded of all of this a few days ago when I copped the O Brother Where Art Thou soundtrack from a friend...she couldn't have known what the tunes on that LP would raise inside the depths of me...I'm glad she hooked me up with it because the tunes on that album reminded me of a time when I'd get in the wind at the drop of a hat...playing tunes...traveling...and feeling free...all of which reminds me of an alt rock band called Indian Summer...

...I remember that we did a gig with Indian Summer, who were based down in North Carolina and we'd never met-- just heard about them through the band grapevine...they played a style totally different from the funk-rock-ska that we parlayed but everybody meshed and they performed an original cut called "Land of Plenty" that they cut in a stylee years before DMB became famous for doing tunes similar to it...after that show, we were all prepared for that long schlepp back right after the show (nothing like a ride in a van with eight other guys, all of us soaked in post-performance stank) but the bass player, acknowledging one of those unwritten codes between traveling bands, asked us over to their pad in the Raleigh, Durham area-- a hop, a skip and a jump from where we were...showers 'n shite!...grub!...west-and-wewaxation...the next morning, er, afternoon, we all rose and they took us over to this quarry to swim in its cool waters and drink beer...the scene was more laid back, gulp, back in those days...



















...after that weekend, whenever we played in that area or heard that they were in our neck of the woods in Virginia, we'd try to hook up...when I hear bluegrass songs like "I am a Man of Constant Sorrow" by The Soggy Bottom Boys, I think of the ride back home after that initial meeting. Well rested, having met a couple of stand-up friends, the jade hump-backs of the Appalachian Mountains rolling by as we snaked it on back up Interstate 81, out of North Cacka-lackey and on into Virginia's Shenandoah Valley...past Mount Pilot...through Blacksburg/ Radford...right on back into town...nothing like the countryside in my birth state especially just before autumn arrives...The Indian Summer, it's called...good stuff, son...real good stuff...I could try to make up stories like this but then, I'd be a fraud...I prefer keeping it on the real side and there's not one iota of fiction in the words above...still, I wonder where all those Indian Summer guys are right now...loved their sound...I miss 'em too...

Labels: , , , , ,

Sunday, August 26, 2007

On Brick Top, My Hollywood "Signs" and The Wheel in the Sky...















...see that sign...up close, it's just that...a fekkin' sign comprised of huge letters on a hill but it boggles my dome sometimes at all the drama that takes place in this town just below them when the cameras aren't even rolling...if those letters could talk...I started writing this last week, after a screener while waiting for a bus in front of the Larry Flynt building over on Wilshire and La Cienega, I continued writing on the subway and finished it up when I got to the pad...it was about 12:30 but the adrenaline from realizing that I was almost smoked an hour or so prior was still swirling through my veins...





...I just got in from that 3:10 to Yuma screening and will have to get right back up in a couple of hours in order get to the check in...I should be dead tired after riding around all day...but I'm not...I can't sleep because there's been a rush of adrenaline pumping through me ever since I almost lost my life, ironically, not that far from where I almost became a road burger back in March...but wait, I'm getting ahead of myself...

I've mused on here once or twice about how long was I going to keep "Forrest Gumpin' " my way around this town before I either 1, got my grind on 2, tucked tail and skipped town or 3, buy the farm in some freak accident that involves me, some strangers I met in Venice Beach, a llama, a bottle of Ouzo...and a John Deere woodchipper...these have been a wild and woolly couple of months for me but I've been keeping the lupine lot loping on the lateral by writing, reading and writing some more...But just because you don't see 'em doesn't mean that they're not out to get you....my mother is a staunch believer in signs from the beyond that we all should look for when trying to get on with our lives and although I've been known to say shite like "man, the last time that occurred "X" bad/ good thing happened to me"...if I apply my Vulcan powers of logic, I know that it's a sham...a futile attempt to take control of the steering wheel of fate which is akin to ice skating uphill...you'll get nowhere fast...still things like what I'm about to explain make me think twice...





















...I've noticed out here that when you talk to someone you don't know who's been here long enough, especially during a business call with some departmental dogbody (who already hates their gig and wants you to know it). At the end of the call, instead of saying "goodbye", the person says "thanks" but its not like "thank you-thank you" it's stated more like a "sit-and-spin, asshole"...sounds like "Thaay-anks"...with an extra emphasis on the forced second syllable...I fuggin' loathe hearing it...I call it the Hollywood hang-up...which brings me to a hang-up of another stripe...I had a meeting with an IT recruiter downtown today, just before the film, a meet and greet, nothing fancy...so I go down to meet her (forgetting how shitty people drive downtown when they're released from their cubicle cages)...I got turned around in the traffic and tall buildings (about two blocks from the one pictured in the center above) and instead of arriving at the address I was supposed to, I went to the same number in a building one street over-- meatheaded, right? Well here's where the "sign" part kicks in...I'd called the recruiter a few minutes prior...she knew what I looked like (from stuff of mine out there on the internets)...when I get there...she's gone! ...(she called me a half hour later when I'd gotten on a train)...I think I passed her in the hallway after I'd changed back into my riding clothes but by that point I thought, "fuck it...if they're playing games at this stage, who knows what's around the corner?"...so I left; cut my losses and headed west toward Sunset on the Red Line...they called ME!!!...I've always known that I'm not cut out for die korporative Welt and this was another confirmation but a man does what he must whilst he tries to get his creative cheese spread on the Tinsel Town Ritz cracker...I must be walking around with some weird light emanating from behind or, people see a colorized cloud of ominousness hanging over my head like that character in that Stephen King novel who's cursed by an old Gipsy with a piece of funky pastry...duly noted counselor. Stay away from tall buildings and questionable cakes while trying to keep the rain off your head...

Apocryphal: adjective - of a story or statement) of doubtful authenticity, although widely circulated as being true. See spurious...noun/ (used with a sing. or pl. verb) 1. The biblical books included in the Vulgate and accepted in the Roman Catholic and Orthodox canon but considered noncanonical by Protestants because they are not part of the Hebrew Scriptures. 2. Various early Christian writings proposed as additions to the New Testament but rejected by the major canons. 3. apocrypha Writings or statements of questionable authorship or authenticity.

Apocrypha etymology: [Middle English apocripha, not authentic, from Late Latin Apocrypha, the Apocrypha, from Greek Apokrupha, neuter pl. of apokruphos, secret, hidden, from apokruptein, to hide away : apo-, apo- + kruptein, kruph-, to hide.]


...did I ever mention I'm a cyclist? Yeah, a rare breed here in Los Angeles for sure...A lot of people who live here tend to believe that the automobile you're sitting in defines who you are...I'm sorry, I'm not from around here and I've had my fill of shitty car leases, swarthy mechanics and extortionate insurance bills...so I use the MTA, take taxis and am unrepentant about that...deal with it Los Angeles, I'm well aware that many of you driving around in those fancy rides can barely afford them...the jig is up...at any rate, I get to the screener, I lock up outside where I've been doing so for years and go inside, sign in with the outlet I'm covering for and settle in for the shoot 'em up...midway through the film, a blue-blazered security guy comes in and tells me the people in the club next door want me to move my cycle...and have threatened to call the fuzz to have the lock cut and the bike removed...but a sister working the floor that night had interceded because she knew I was in the screening room...good looking out, girlfriend...I made sure to tell her as much...



...apparently the place next door was some new club down on the end of Sunset, close to BH and there was some red carpet thing going on and some celebrities were going to show...I more than likely knew most of the people covering it on the other side of the throngs of people...ain't that about a bitch? Luckily the guard in charge wasn't tripping (I found out later that she's from North Hollywood, so she wasn't fazed by the celeb stuff in the least) and she sorted me out so I could get on with what I was there for...I can still see the smirks on the faces of all those bald-headed schnooks in monkey suits as I rode off...their expressions said it all..."fuck you writer-guy"...I'm sorry...I'm not from around here, partner..so go fuck yourselves...I gave 'em a single-shouldered neck roll and sneer that would've done Snatch's Brick Top Polford one shite's sight better...like I'd just stumbled out of the Drowning Trout, stoked on pints of Irish Fighting Fuel...calm down, son...behave yourself...instead I shot down Sunset toward La Cienega....where I missed an appointment with my maker by about 30 seconds and 200 feet...




















...the intersection where La Cienega crosses Sunset is at the top of one of the steepest inclines on that side of town and offers a splendid vista across West Hollywood that goes clean out to Culver City, sometimes Santa Monica, on a sunny day. On weekend nights it's clogged with traffic too but not on a Monday...I shooshed on down the hill...I got a green at the 7 - Eleven three blocks down, so I kept on truckin' and then I got a red at Sunset so I started braking-- all of a sudden I heard a loud screech behind me as I pulled to a stop. I looked behind, where I'd been just seconds before, in time to see an intoxicated driver careen straight through the intersection I'd just shot by like a two-wheeled bullet and crash into a light post in front of that Seven - E...the signal was still green going in my direction so he'd run a red light, swerved uphill and hit a pole-- a couple of hubcaps kept rolling up the hill like they had better things to do...if I had hung out just a couple of seconds more fucking with those guards back at the night club, talking shite like I might've in the past, back in Manhattan, I would've probably been in that intersection when that dude punched through it...road kill...a sign?

























...I don't know, maybe it was...maybe it wasn't but my ass is definitely circumspect, right about now...I can't call it but I'm certain that all of this shite transpired in the span of five hours the other day and it made me wonder if this town is trying to tell me something...we live our lives going forward with one foot on the accelerator and the other on "fast" so much these days it sometimes makes me think about those necessary pauses that we should take for sanity's sake but never do or think about until it's too fucking late to do anything about it...It'll put a grip into perspective when you get down to brass tacks and realize that tomorrow is promised to nobody...things might have been rough, but not so much that I was ever ready to punch the clock for good...sure it will no doubt get rougher at some point but who fekkin' cares, boyo? ...quiet as I keep it during phone conversations with her, I still don't cotton to my mother's notion that there's signs, signs, everywhere signs but I won't reject it outright, either...seen too much of the inexplicable to do so...she doesn't read as much as I do, but experience teacheth wisdom and all that jazz (she's definitely taught me that the surest way to see whom your true friends are is to call 'em when you're down and out...then the truth arises, sure as you're born)...I still lean more toward Marcus Aurelius' words on Stoicism because when it's all said and done, there's nothing left to say...just get on with it...do it...as cheese-ball as it might seem to some, I've embraced the thrust of this Journey tune from the album above long ago when I was still playing music on the road...the lyrics speak volumes and if you've ever written a tune with year heart on your sleeve and played it for people, you know what I'm talking about...fuck the VH-1-ish video sideshows, every time I hear Steve Perry sing it, I immediately identify with the protagonists' self doubt...there's some truth in there...an innate, inexplicable urge to carry on, despite how dark things appear...I've seen a lot since I started hittin' it and gigging out as a 17-year old university freshman and I haven't encountered any enigmatic burning bushes or talking coyotes out there since I started, either...nope, not one yet...having said all of that, I've learned its best to just push on toward your goals, whatever they are...embrace the challenge...ignore the sucker-ducks, nabobs and nay sayers (they're full of shite, I know I can be sometimes, though this ain't one of 'em)...a positive anything beats a negative nothing and that's word, yo...keep all lines of communication switched on and wide open...but don't forget to get a whiff of those rose blooms up in your face...when you're down, dust yourself off, post haste and get the fuck back up because that which doesn't kill us-- well, you already know the rest...laters...

Labels: , , ,