The Bayou on Chime Street burned down from what i’m reading. This very much bums me out. It was one of the very first places that i ever went into a bar, aside from Mariner’s Inn in Hammond. The only reference that i can make to it is that would allow anyone to place it in a larger context is that it was used in the film sex, lies, & videotape but it was something else for me. It was a college bar, but it used to seem somewhat dodgy to my youthful eyes. It the late ’80s it was one of the few places i knew that would play “college rock” like they sold at the record shop a block over Paradise Records (which shut down last year.) My friend Mike would even go sell plasma at the blood bank up the street when he used to live nearby. I’d drive all of the way from Hammond to play pool there sometimes, and many of the other Hammond exiles who wandered to Baton Rouge found a home there. It was more of a symbol for me than an actual hangout, so it’s burning has affected me strangely. No, i haven’t bothered to look at what might remain.
Speaking of local stuff, I checked out the tabloid photos of Britney Spears drinking underage and doing the bump with some guys at a local bar, Extra Innings in Hammond. (Yes, we bought groceries today.) While i don’t doubt the events took place and Extra Innings was one of those frat bars i could never stomach going in, i must point out that it’s a sports bar. While dancing may take place, and there’s definite underage drinking (like any college bar,) i would bet hard money that there’s no bars in Hammond, Louisiana that have velvet ropes for people wanting to go in, like the ones in the tabloid. Someone may have seen Britney there, but those photos were probably not taken in Hammond.
I’m in a panic download state. Until we have two incomes again, i cannot afford to keep myself in music, so i’m now downloading things that i don’t even want, and because the RIAA is being so mean, i’m burning it all, instead of listening and deleting. Bastards. I only used to do this in large scale with artists that were long dead, and their royalties probably never go to the families, like those early country blues and ragtime artists.
We went to the (corporate) bookstore today, and i was unable to resist a magazine that had “Uncut presents PUNK” across the top. When Q did it, it took no willpower to resist, as I have learned to hate the letter Q, but Uncut still carries some credibility for my low standards. Little did i know that i was buying the NME reprints! I hadn’t seen these on the shelves before, and i’m not certain that i would have ought them if i knew what they were, as i still plan to subscribe one day to Rock’s Back Pages. Nonetheless, i’m impressed.
It’s odd to see that the writings actually live up to the testimonials i’ve read about them. It’s inspiring to see how many mistakes different writers made (and the one that leaps to mind is one guy trashing the Buzzcocks’s “Orgasm Addict”,) but they are still left in the mix, and not playing much on revising their own history.
The Germans were brilliant in adopting the pretzel as an object of protest. I’ve been meaning to write that for weeks, but it works quite well, right up there with the wooden shoes of the Dutch used to stick in machinery in the origin of the word sabotage.
I found this piece from Bush Watch, who i’m relying upon for accurate translation (and Babelfish confirms it.) The translation: “Washington – It was Condoleezza Rice, White House foreign affairs advisor to Bush, who helped her boss get out of an embarrassing situation. In a discussion between presidents George W. Bush, 55, (USA) and Fernando Henrique Cardoso, 71, (Brazil), Bush had astonished his colleague with the question: ‘Do you have blacks, too?’ While the Brazilian showed surprise over the Bush question, Rice, 47, cleared Bush up: “Mr. President, Brazil has probably more blacks than the USA. Some say it is the country with the most blacks outside of Africa.” Brazil president Cardoso judged afterwards: With reference to Latin America, Bush is ‘still in training.'” Yet more evidence that Dubya is clearly unqualified for the job, not that we didn’t have enough.
It was also amusing to have Dubya tell the Germans that Saddam Hussein must go because he’s a dictator who has gassed his own people, in the name of racial purity. That was a nice little diplomatic faux pas. Don’t worry, Georgie. Even the U.S. dosed its own unknowing citizens with biological weapons.
It has been pointed out that the weapons treaty that Bush signed with Putin actually helps terrorists, because this stupid administration wants to put nukes into storage instead of destroying them. Russia’s oing to be forced to do that to, to keep at a level closer to the U.S., but unfortunately, they do not have the same security for making sure that they stay in storage. Some will get lost in the shuffle, sold by corrupt officials in an unstable economy.
Lou is sure that there is a connection between the shoe bomber and David Blaine. I meant to post that almost a week ago.
Fuck the RIAA. To go after Audiogalaxy is just malicious, as it’s one file-sharing site that actually does try to keep a lot of songs off of their site. Admittedly, i have taken advantage of the free mp3s lately, because money’s tight, but i have still been buying records that i already had copies of through mp3, and last summer, i spent enough money on CDs to earn a hell of a lot of good karma, considering that i delete much of what is downloaded. It enrages me to read what is posted on the RIAA site (which i do not care to link to,) because even the language that they use is misleading and inflammatory.
It’s been a time to watch movies. “Attack of the Clones” we watched Saturday in Hammond. I don’t really care whether it’s a good movie. It was everything it needed to be as a Star Wars film for me. Wooden acting? There was acting in this film? I didn’t notice.
The plot was no suprise. It’s been floating around online for at least three years, and i read one version that was nearly shot-for-shot what was on screen while The Phantom Menace was still in the theaters. As an 8 year old boy, it rocked, and i still want all of the toys (as i was always a sucker for the aliens and robots.)
Commonly acknowledged weak point of film…. Hayden Christensen? He creeped me out as Anakin more than Darth Vader ever did. As a clumsy, sullen teenager with delusions of grandeur, he’s far more unpredictable. He still doesn’t measure up to the over-the-top hysteria of Luke Skywalker in The Empire Strikes Back, when Darth Vader reveals that he’s Luke’s father, i can see the moody twerp becoming a Sith Lord. No, really…
The romance was not so much romantic as sick…. just the way that i would imagine it. Yes, it’s stunted emotionally and is extremely cliched… blah blah blah… Star Wars was made as homage to the Saturday morning serials that Lucas used to watch in cinemas as a kid. It’s a space opera, not avant guarde cinema. It is pulp made to be pulp. Forget anything Joseph Campbell said (although i still believe much of it.) Cliches are archetypes. Was Lucas sublime about it? Naw. However, it’s the greatest of pulp.
“The Others” we watched Saturday night. It’s another one of those “we’re already dead and don’t know it” flicks. Despite how i feel about the movie we watched Sunday night, this movie seemed quite well done to me. It convinced me with the peculiar lighting and stark decor that the house was quite creepy. Nicole Kidman was far better off in this film than she would have been in “Panic Room” (which was quite a disappointment, growing worse as the weeks go by and i realize how little it made an impact with me.) It’s difficult to say anything about it, because i was satisfied, yet don’t want to overpraise it, only to look back and wonder why i was so sloppy.
Sunday night we watched “Vanilla Sky”. It was quite enjoyable to mock Tom Cruise for two hours, and it had a nice little twist, although these twists, like “The Others” are getting to be a little predictable. That aside, when the protagonist is to be an insufferable ass as Tom Cruise, one has to try a lot harder to elicit sympathy for him. Crowe couldn’t do it. It is bad enough in real life when one cannot figure out what Penelope Cruz is doing with a plastic dwarf like Cruise, but in a movie, there’s supposed to be more control of the strange vagaries of the universe. Well, after all, in the reality of the movie, they only met a couple of times, so perhaps i shouldn’t focus on that. Instead, why would anyone give a damn about a spoiled rich kid who breezes through life without a thought as to how his actions affects others? I received the impression that his time spent in the lucid dreaming of cryogenics was somehow supposed to have transformed him, but he was the same person going out as when he came in to my eyes.
Where was the transformation? I have not seen the original film, but i expect that some subtle touches were lost in the translation to the Tom Cruise acting vocabulary. Subtle? Fuck it… the man probably could flatten a mountain range of emotion into a tight palette of self-gratified smirks and self-righteous scowls.
Incidentally, as musical as the movie was, and as much of the music that i liked, much of it was heavy-handed and grating. Of course, the murder/rape scene drowned out by the Monkees “The Porpoise Song” was disturbingly over-the-top enough for me admit that something was going on there, but a lot of the choices seemed more about a single line in the song, or the title, as opposed to the actual meaning of the song. It all left me cold…. it was “Eyes Wide Shut” with a rock and roll soundtrack as far as i was concerned.
This bullshit about the psyche of the American male is making me puke. If Tom Cruise is tapped into the archetype whose shadow that we all fall under, then let the slaughter of the whole gender begin. NOW.
I doubt whether it’s worth listening to the commentary track on the DVD, but i put it on anyway…. (there’s only a couple of hours before these DVS have to go back.) The only thing Crowe’s said that has any resonance for me is creating one’s own iconography. Unfortunaely, mine’s so patchwork and sloppy that it’s dissolving into meaningless chaos. Cameron Crowe tries SO hard though, that his use of these icons is less like epic mythology, and more of the trainspotting of Star Wars. It’s more fun to watch Jango Fett smack his head on the door of the spaceship (spotted it first time without any warning or help!) than imagining the meaning of David Aames’ record collection.
It’s becoming hard to criticize the commentary, because Crowe is such a dork, eager to please and be loved, that the final impact of the film is rendered irrelevant, because i know that he wanted so badly to do well. It’s just painfully indulgent though. Best example: his kid makes an appearance babbling. It’s an overly earnest Kevin Smith without the sarcasm.
One more thing… David Aames is not nearly as disfigured as he thinks he is, and that mask (even if that is a carryover from the original) reminds me of a certain sextoy that a friend of mine used to have nailed to the door of his house.
NASA finally confirms that there’s massive reservoirs of frozen ice beneath the surface of Mars… at least on the Southern Hemisphere.
Jetlagged my foot… Bush was making these nasty comments because he is a thin-skinned snivelling bastard who hides behind his position to keep from answering the tough questions. It’s yet more proof why this man should not be in the Oval Office, representing the American people. Incidentally, i probably would have been grouchier than him, as i don’t deal with jetlag well, but yet again, i am not the president. Why must standards of diplomatic protocol be lowered for this asshole?