Monday, December 20, 2004

This article is for those people who, like me, are very slow in discovering the haunting beauty of Gavin Bryars' album Jesus' Blood Never Failed Me Yet.

I am listening to it now and, God bless the singing of that simple tramp.

Saturday, December 11, 2004

"The United States now confronts a modern edition of Jim Crow. If you are born white, you may aspire to achieve greatness as a liberal, conservative, moderate, independent or otherwise. There are no intellectual no-go zones. But if you are born black, your ambitions will be crushed unless you ape black power brokers."

Racism Finds a Home in White Towers

Friday, December 10, 2004

There is about our house a need. We need some starched crisp frocks to go with all our torn-kneed blue jeans and helmets. We need some soft blond hair to offset those crew cuts. We need a dollhouse to stand firm against our forts and rackets and thousands of baseball cards. We need someone to cry when I get mad—not argue. We need a little one who can kiss without leaving egg or jam or gum. We need a girl.
--George H. W. Bush

Taken from a USA Today article on the need for daughters in society generally, and the lack of them in China specifically.

Thanks to Bevets for bringing my attention to the link.

When life imitates art. I'm picturing a whole bunch of Billy Bob Thornton's:

Bad Santas

Sunday, December 05, 2004

To me, the idea that all beautiful days have to be sunny and warm is like saying that all beautiful songs have to be in major key.

Saturday, December 04, 2004

You know what I'd like to do, I'd like to go into space with a band, have speakers on the outside of our spacecraft, see if we can communicate…Because they're saying that our new program now is to actually find hard evidence of life on other planets. That is the mission and the doctrine of the space program today. And my feeling is that I think that we should communicate through music. We're sending these little things that show the anatomy of man, and our very simple numerical system, and some of our math, and some of our makeup, scientific makeup, but I think we should go out with a group.
--Tom Waits, 1993

Now it's no great revelation that Tom Waits is a strange guy, but despite that, and your official position on the possibility of life on other planets, and whether extra-terrestrials would be hip to Waits, there's something Tom touches on here that I like, that I think will prove one of the defining shortcomings of our own day.

-- I'm going to publish this in bits, so if you are reading this and it doesn't go past this note, it's because I'm typing the rest while you're wondering why it has no ending. The internet shouldn't completely remove our awareness of existing in time. Maybe I'll take this note out later. --

Tom Waits touches on our tendency to listen more to scientists, economists and engineers than poets, pastors, and artists. I'm guessing the average person might say that art and poetry is all well and good for passing the time, but it doesn't ultimately do anything for us. I hope that's not the case, because it isn't true. We need the visionary efforts of artists and scientists, and both fields would do well to be aware of the other.

They say that reading is way down. Not necessarily all reading, which would include books on html and The Idiot's Guide to Whatever Your Thing Is and Dilbert, but specifically, reading literature is down.

Let's fight that trend. I haven't been reading as much either. I have an excuse—I was focused on film for several years—but I could've still made time for books.

So those of us who still read literature or might be inclined to start, let's make up for those who don't or won't or can't. Go read some really good novel or play or poet.

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