Tuesday, February 27, 2007
What a movie that is, though. I feel like I want to send him a check or something now. My favorite part is when he has moved to a small town to get a handle on his problems and a couple of fans who have no idea he is living there drive by a guy being attacked by dogs so they help kick the dogs away and then they say "are you Daniel Johnston?" And he says "yeah, do you know who I am?" And then they all start a band. Yes, the world is that small.
Sunday, February 25, 2007
Now, what you can't see in this font is that the "O" in "0ughts" is not an "O" but a zero! That's where the cleverness comes in! What's so wonderful about this name is the way it takes the authenticity of the old-timey word "oughts"--as in "pass me my thirty-ought-six" (which is a kind of gun, I think) and blends it with the endearingly annoying novelty of "'Leet Speak" by using a number(!) in the spelling. Old and new. Hi and low. I can't wait for 2010 now.
Thursday, February 22, 2007
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
Make the most of your day; I'm going outside to build a fog man now.
Thursday, February 15, 2007
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
But instead, it was bad, and here is the main reason: non-diegetic sound. That is, it relies on music and sounds that aren't generated from the action on the screen itself as a substitute for true emotion. The use of non-diegetic sound isn't necessarily why Crash is bad, but it was a big early clue for me that it would be. I mean, when there is a scene, and it it supposed to be an intense interpersonal exchange, and in the background you hear this thick, sludgy layer of synthesized soundtrack, it means that they are trying to manipulate you using something other than whatever dramatic interest and tension they have invested in the characters. It's a cop out, in other words. And they use this all the time in Crash.
Take away the music, and you'd have some pretty boring stuff going on, I think. Really, what is so devastating about the epiphanies experienced by the characters in this movie? Here's a short list:
Shop keeper guy: if you shoot someone's kid, you really should not have done that.
Locksmith: it is so great when your children are not shot by unstable immigrant entrepreneurs.
Matt Dillon, bad cop: women will not like you if you touch them inappropriately.
TV director's wife: even if a cop is a bigot, he might try to save you from a burning car.
Good cop kid: sometimes, when angry strangers reach for their pockets in a violent manner and it is late at night, they are not reaching for guns.
Sandra Bullock: you should not be shallow and materialistic.
TV director: people are bigoted against blacks, and that is partly because some black youths steal cars.
The other cop guy: I'm not sure what he learned.
Ludicris: maybe I don't always live up to my ideals about not stealing from other black people. I should really examine the way I live because I am ashamed of myself.
It's not just the obtuseness of the message that I dislike, but the ham-fisted way the movie uses bizarre coincidence after coincidence, cute children, and a melodramatic soundtrack to make it all come together. Ultimately, I think it was popular because by saying "You need to see Crash," people could tell themselves that they were enlightened on the subject of race. But could any movie about race in America really leave you feeling this good and this hopeful for the possibility that we can all be brought together? Is it that easy?
Wow, that's quite a rant.
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
So things will go as planned on Thursday. Try to show up at rm 711 around 3:00 so you can sign in and get a room assignment. Try to bring four copies of the poems you plan to recite. If you have questions, email me at my school address.
Saturday, February 10, 2007
The professor, George Kalamaras, is someone I wish I could have as like a poetry version of a life coach. Shouldn't there be such a thing? Shouldn't we all have a poetry life coach in our lives that we can touch base with, a person to call at 3AM when you can't write because you're too happy? I wonder how much that would cost.
The last class I had with a workshop in was a creative non-fiction class where your peers would be critiquing your 4,000 word essays, and it could be uncomfortable at times. But poetry is condensed language, and I'm finding that workshop in this current class provides me with condensed anxiety. Maybe anxiety isn't the right word, but it's not far off.
So far, of the five or six poems I've assembled, I think I like two. Of those two, only one probably deserves to be liked. I'm spending today trying to mess with a poem for Monday. It's okay. It starts out clunky, but that doesn't bother me yet.
There is a currency in this town
in a lack of information.
We dole it from card catalogs
rescued out of the old library
while it was being forgotten.
We traffic in this stuff,
where the weird neighbors live,
how garden hoses left under the snow
carry ice to your bathtub,
and who moved your great aunt
from the assisted living center
during the Alzheimer’s wedding.
She was just starting to like it there.
This week, the suicidal teen
gives his mom three hundred dollars
so she can buy a car he won’t worry about.
He asks only for the van in the drive.
Maybe he can get something for it
before she forgets and lets
his brother drive it into the river.
Sunday, February 04, 2007
I grew up liking just college sports, IU basketbll mostly. I think rooting for big professional outfits made as much sense to me as rooting for companies like IBM or 5/3 Bank. I still feel that way; there just doesn't seem to be enough of a relationship between the players and "the people."
But that's different today. So many people have this game on their minds that it does feel like a significant shared experience. So significant, in fact, that I think schools are calling for 2 hr delays tomorrow just so that kids can stay up late to watch the game. At least that's my assumption--I can't think of any other reason for the mass delays.
So anyway, this is fun. I've learned a few things. For example, my ol' lady just told me she heard that the quarterbacks all have 2-way radios in their helmets. I never knew that.
UPDATE: The wife points out that schools are probably delayed so that little Timmy and Sally don't have to wait at the bus stop when it's 0 degrees. I'm not sure that two hours is going to make any discernible difference, but the appearance that matters.
I wonder how the hard core road cyclist I saw today is doing. It's true: I saw a guy zipping by the house in full winter gear. I wanted to run out there and pump my fists at him, but it was too cold. I've ridden road in the twenties and mountain biked in the teens, but this guy was crazy. He didn't even have a balaclava covering his face. I admire the guy because most of my favorite riders are the tough guy Spring Classics riders, these Belgians who ride in the snow in shorts and short sleeve jerseys.