Friday, December 17, 2010

great anthropomorphism!!!

greetings, my sweet little tenders!  the snow is falling - as is intended for the winter season - and i am pleased by its soft blanketing of the farm land across the road from the window through which i am staring.

in the spirit of december being magic again, it seems a good time to discuss anthropomorphism in animals.  you know, what with rudolph talking and all.

anthropomorphism, according to our faithful wikipedia, is a term coined in the mid 1700s.  it was used to refer to any attribution of human characteristics (or characteristics assumed or believed by some to belong only to humans - which is a good point to bear in mind, sweet ones) to animals or non-living things, phenomena, material states and objects or abstract concepts. most cultures possess a long-standing fable tradition [think aesop] with anthropomorphised animals as characters that can stand as commonly recognised types of human behavior.

yann martel's 'beatrice and virgil'
we do not trust humans inherently.  we are given to bouts of dishonesty, war, murder, rape.  animals, we trust them.  they open their mouths and speak what may appear to be a great truth, such as the final words of the great stag in gustav flaubert's the legend of st julian the hospitaller, "accursed! accursed! accursed! thou shalt murder thy father and thy mother!" - and they carry the weight of a prophet.  the strength of which can change a man from a ruthless animal killer to a saint. seriously.

but are animals innocent?  no, they most certainly are not.  apes are known to gang up on and ruthlessly murder their peers for no good reason. animals also lie, deceive, murder and rape.  animals can be evil, plain and pure - but would we call them evil or simply adhering to their nature? we tend to excuse them for their overwhelming grace and majesty.  at least, i do.   why does our nature haunt us whereas the nature of animals enchants us?  i don't have this answer.  nor do i require one.  i love those fuzzy buggers, big and small.

let's talk about some good examples of anthropomorphism:

george saunder's fox 8, obviously. again, if you don't have this rare-to-find story [changed my life kind of story] please don't hesitate to contact me and i will send you a copy no problem.  it needs to be read and spread!

one of my most beloved of aesop's fables is the story of the fox and the crow - a tale that warns against vanity.  we sure could take a tip from mister fox.

my dearest friend, the cat lady of parkdale regularly gives sensitive and omniscient voices to cats on her blog, cats of parkdale.

well. you all know by now that i have a deep love and respect for joanna newsom as both a musician and lyricist.  so does her near-ten-minute work of genius monkey and bear [song] succeed, yet again, in drawing from me a sort of blissful chill upon hearing it. the lyrics are right here, to further your sense of overwhelm. please take the time, little tenders.  this is a beauty.

another contemporary example would be roald dahl's [1970] fantastic mr. fox. it is rare that a book meets its film counterpart and they find themselves eye-to-eye, as equals.  but the film, directed by the most excellent auteur and autodidact [alliteration!] wes anderson [of steve zissou/rushmore/royal tenenbaum fame] is, in my most humble of opinions, equal to the book.

let's also listen to a bittersweet tale of unrequited love in tom wait's fish and bird.

let us not forget felix salten's bambi, about which i have already blogged.

i would be remiss if i didn't mention disney's robin hood. robin hood and maid marion are red foxes!  it's just the best bloody traditionally animated film ever made.  don't argue with me.  i've got proof.

beatrice and virgil, a painful and heart-wrenching novel written by canadian author yann martel.

in all of the aforementioned films/novels, there is a common trope: one cannot trust a human.  the misanthropic sentiment encourages me to believe that the creators of these animal-characters also believe in the enduring beauty and trustworthiness of our fur-laden earth-sharers.

what wouldn't you give to wrap your arms around a majestic stag?  to feel the nuzzle of a red fox into your neck?  to burrow your body under the weighty arm of a great lion?  to trace your fingertips in the creases of a beautiful full grown african elephant

now consider what you wouldn't give to hear them whisper their secrets to you?

Saturday, November 20, 2010

great hangover!

a word to the wise: always write when you are hungover.

thank you to the alpine-skier-balkan-swede for ushering me back into the fold with your mighty arm and knowing gaze.  you were the still force in the thumping pulse of the dance floor.  you tilted your head, reached out that mighty arm and beckoned me forth with your tree fingers.  you, waiting patiently, rested that magnificent hand on my back and gently urged me back into the circle of dancing kin. your eyes smiled and whispered,  "be happy, small one.  you have found your people once more."

Thursday, November 18, 2010

great recovery!!!

hello my little tenders!
i've missed you terribly.
this cozy little home of ours was temporarily lost to the world.
but we are back!
most of the photos i posted are no longer active links, but that's okay, we can move on from this with open eyes and open hearts.

the world is still beautiful.
there is still joy.
let's hold hands across the wide universe!
there is joy!
we are here!

Monday, October 25, 2010

this is obscene

so.  i used to think that kate bush was my spirit guide.  then i thought that maybe christopher walken better filled those shoes, what with his wicked skills and whatnot.  but now i know the truth. the two have joined forces.  they have combined their valiant, reeling virtuosity to become one writhing, swaying fist of energy deep in my soul.  kate bush tenderly embraces a nude christopher walken - and i feel it surge within me.  my spirit guides are in love.  imagine if there was a tender red fox at their feet?  spirit guide collective.

and now, a snippet from dave egger's a heartbreaking work of staggering genius:

     there's too many of them, of us.  too many, too similar.  what are they all doing here?  all this standing, all this standing, sitting, talking.  there isn't even a pool table, darts, anything.  just this loitering, lolling, this drinking of beer in thick glasses -
     i've risked everything for this?
     something needs to happen.  something huge.  the taking over of something, a building, a city, a country.  we should all be armed and taking over small countries.  or rioting.  or no: an orgy.  there should be an orgy.
     all these people - we should close the doors and dim the lights and be naked together ... that would make it all worthwhile, that would justify everything.  we could move the table, bring in some couches, mattresses, pillows, towels, stuffed animals...
     but this - this is obscene.  how dare we be standing around, talking about nothing, not running in one huge mass people, running at something, something huge, knocking it over?  why do we all bother coming out, gathering here in numbers like this, without starting fires, tearing things down?  how dare we not lock the doors and replace the white bulbs with red and commence with the massive orgy, the joyous mingling of a thousand arms, legs, breasts?
     we are wasting this.
     what could we possibly be talking about?


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

poet mutation

while i conjure up some beautiful things to share with you, my little tenders, i ask of you to take ten minutes [just ten minutes alone!] to soak up every dazzling little drop of this opus - sawdust and diamonds by joanna newsom.  this song will be a survivor.  this song is a warrior.  it changed my life and i hope it moves you deeply.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

great jokes, guy

yesterday my 6-year-old nephew took it upon himself to create his own jokes.  how did he do this?  free association, people.  this kid is a joke-savant.  i took the liberty of writing these little gems down - i'm sure they won't seem as brilliant as they did from the mouth of a 6-year-old.  but use your imaginations, little tenders.

Q: what did bailey [his puppy] say to gracie [our recently departed 14-year-old doberman]?
A: can i borrow your tongue?

Q: what did the picture say to the tree? [this one is remarkable]
A: can i please be your branch?  [what? right?]

Q: what did the door say to the ketchup?
A: can i borrow your handle?

Q: what did the eyeball say to the brown [he means the iris]?
A: can i go to the eyebrow and you can take my spot?

Q: why did my mommy not got any toilet paper?
A: because she hasn't got any eyes!

Q: what did the cow say to the lobster [surf'n'turf, obviously]?
A: can i please borrow your snappies? [said while making snappy motions with hands]

joke-savant.  i rest my case.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

great hair and bone harp

hello, my little tenders!  we haven't been intimate for some time now.  it's time.

given my propensity to get distracted for lengths of time by great top-20 hits like your love is my drug, i thought it would be prudent to temper my love for ke$ha with my love for murder ballads.

murder ballads originate from the old countries of england, scotland and scandinavia.   typical themes are jealousy, adultery or evil-plain-and-pure. they are written/sung in the traditional ballad form, telling a sympathetic story of either a murtherer or the murther'd.   the murder is often true, but sometimes mythic - although i choose to believe they are all true because legitimate musicians [and all other artists] are soothsayers and they tell cogent stories about all things real and honest and true.

in the old world versions, supernatural retribution often occurs in the form of hauntings or animals. an example of this would be "the bonny swans"[here performed by loreena mckennitt, who is awesome],  where the murthering sister is brought to justice by a harp that is fashioned from the drowned sister's hair and bone [a miller mistook the drowned woman for a swan]. the harp - haunted by the spirit of the drowned sister - sings the song of her unfortunate dispatch for all to hear and thusly gives up the ghost to her jealous sister.  another version of this would be "the twa sisters" [this version done by the  always illustrious tom waits].  every version is so haunting and desperately sad.

the murder ballad often ends with a moral or a plea to not follow in the footsteps of said murderer or unwitting victim.  although this is not a murder ballad, the house of the rising sun is an american folk song and exemplifies the moralistic code at the end of the song that most murder ballads possess: "oh mother tell your children / not to do what i have done / spend your lives in sin and misery / in the house of the rising sun"  [also, eric burdon, lead singer for the animals, is a phenomenal and i love him].

the rocket reminded me today that there are new murder ballads being written.  for example, there is a breathtaking murder balled entitled "molten light" by a remarkably gifted canadian musician/artist chad vangaalen.  written and animated by vangaalen himself, this song tells the chilling tale of a woman who returns from neverwhere to avenge her murder, committed by two bastard brothers [they ripped out her heart and ate it by candlelight].  there is some serious supernatural retribution going on here.  it's really important to watch this video for full effect. both the song and the animation feel reminiscent of scandinavian mythology, but i have nothing to back that up other than my own projections.

so, here are some murder ballads to get you started, my little tenders.

lead belly's version of "where did you sleep last night?" is one of my personal favourites.

nick cave and pj harvey do a remarkable arrangement of "henry lee".  this is also one of the sexiest videos i've ever seen. so very libidinous.  provocative.

the carter family [i love maybelle] always wins my heart here with "john hardy was a desperate little man".

molly o'day does a great "poor ellen smith".  i love an old-timey hillbilly tune.

Monday, September 27, 2010

one person dance party

so.  when it is 11.30pm on a saturday night and you have barricaded yourself in a small room with no windows and you are struggling to complete a manuscript that has a deadline burning holes in the back of your head, and you have just cleared the worst of that terrible head cold that's been going around, and you have a wild load of energy just aching to be expended - what do you do?

you have a one person dance party.
with headphones on.
in the dark.
to this song.

and it will bring you great joy.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

great silence

silence. the absence of sound or noise. the state of silentness.  muteness.  absence or omission of mention, comment or expressed concern.  the state of being forgotten.  to hush, to quell, to muzzle, to gag. fear the silence. enjoy the silence. silencio [this is among my top-whatever remarkable moments in film - from david lynch's mulholland drive]

there are times that require - above all else - silence.  silence is a great bringer of epiphany.  silence also carries with it the capacity to find peace, forgiveness, answers, and beautiful nothing.  sometimes it brings us divine inspiration, while at other times it may bring unspeakable sadness.

and also - in silence, we can look at photographs of beautiful, majestic, proud animals.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

great cop out

hello my little tenders. your dear narrator has been busy in real life and i haven't had the time to find great things for you.  so i thought i'd do an undeserved "best-of" post - also known as a total cop out.  here are my favourite posts thus far. that is to say, the posts i had the most fun writing. and there you have it.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

great rain

when you work in a building that is, in essence, made of clapboard, siding, garage doors and the dreams of an older brother and your shared father - the sound of the rain on the rooftop is like that of the hammering, impatient finger-drums of the gods.

we are here!
the world is alive, even while we die within it!
give up your ghosts, my little tenders, there is much still to do!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

great dance craze

while listening to patti smith's 1975 epic length poem-song horses on my way to work, i found myself wondering, what is this watusi she keeps referring to?  well now i know.

the watusi was the penultimate of dance crazes in the 60s.  by penultimate i mean second-most popular.  the most popular was the *yawn* twist. and what can i tell you about the watusi?

the watusi derives its name from the batutsi tribe of rwanda.  i don't know why.

what else can i tell you?  this dance is awesome!

do the watusi, little tenders!  i know i will be doing it from hereon in.

Monday, September 13, 2010

great sad face

i might be late to the game, but nothing passes the evening like 18 pages of sad don draper.  and don't judge me too harshly for this one, little tenders.  your loving narrator is always looking for great things.  some things are less great than others.

i don't have cable, so i don't really know what has happened on mad men since the end of season two.  but apparently, don draper cries.  and now the sad don draper blog exists and has provided me with a few ha's.

also, christina hendricks [who plays the jane russell-esque sexually exploited secretary on the show] is wicked hot and her junk is perfectly proportioned.  i still can't figure out why i wasn't born in the 30s so i could have been an asshole in the 50s and 60s.  oh right, because i'm not a man with mother issues and an unwarranted sense of entitlement.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

they ne spared not her throtes

today is the day i talk about birdsong.  this is going to be an ongoing project, as there is much to be said about birdsong and i am certainly no expert.
arthur rackham's "the twa corbies" 1919

birdsong, also known as bird vocalization, includes both the calls and the songs of birds.  for the sake of poetry, i'll also include conversation and literary magic to that definition.

bird vocalizations are categorized into 5 different "voices". [i got this info from wikipedia] the first is song, simply.  the second is companion calling; a short vocalization made between mates, parent and young, or members of a flock to maintain contact when out of visual range.  juvenile begging is a strident, loud vocalization often made by young to a parent when begging for food. intraspecific aggression [warning: this link is of two birds fighting. not for sensitive eyes] can consist of loud, alarmed-sounding vocalizations or of energetic song, and may be heard when members of the same species behave aggressively toward each other. and lastly, alarm calls may be heard when birds are startled, frightened, or terrified for their lives, and can take many forms. mobbing is one example of alarm, while a high-pitched alarm call is another.

not to be mistaken for sirens, birds like the nightingale are known, poetically, to sing themselves to death. as quoted by our dear 14th century english maverick geoffrey chaucer in his dream vision poem the book of the duchess [this link contains the piece in its entirety, complete with middle english glossary! i highly recommend it], "they ne spared not her throtes" [they didn't spare their throats].  did you die a little at the lusty, desperate beauty of that?  i know i did.

kate bush recorded the sounds of a blackbird singing and then recorded herself imitating those very sounds with the throat of her own singing.  thus making both she and the blackbird remarkable creatures.  listen to the piece here.

there is also a gentleman by the name of jarbas agnelli who took a photograph of birds on a telephone wires and then composed music according to their placement on the wires.  please watch and listen to this beautiful thing here.

you should also read this lovely poem, the twa corbies.  this link shows several variations of the poem and all of them are beautiful and sad and eerie.  i really love the two carrion birds discussing what to eat.  i also love the illustration of the birds by arthur rackham. stunning-creepy.

i will be adding to this entry as i learn more about fantastical birds and their songs!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

great pre-preface

so i've just opened the glorious front cover of dave eggers' brilliant novel a heartbreaking work of staggering genius.  i've been itching to get at this book for quite some time now and today is the today.  here's how great it is. [it should be noted that i have barely made a dent in the preface].

the opening page says :
this was uncalled for.

next page pre-preface says:
first of all:
i am tired!
i am true of heart!
second of all:
you are tired! 
you are true of heart!

dave egger's is the mastermind behind the mcsweeney's publishing empire.  mcsweeney's is the quarterly that published one of the most beautiful and lovely short fiction's i've ever read: fox 8, by george saunders.  [aside: you cannot find this story anywhere online.  if you want to read it, please contact me and i'll scan you a copy].

dave eggers is also the lovely bugger who wrote you shall know our velocity! - an excellent work of postmodern fiction and i recommend it to anyone interested in dipping their toes into the postmodern pool.

that's all i've got for now, little tenders.  i do, however, plan to discuss the joys of birdsong to you in the very near future!

fox 8

Friday, September 3, 2010

great bildungsroman

1923 1st ed. english print, felix salten, bambi
oh hi, little tenders.  it's going to be a day full of rain and i just love it.  what sounds!

before i get started, i wanted to let you know that there is a new theme for the art of the letter - animals!  join the group, get addresses of friends and strangers and send them something in the mail!  art, craft, photo, cd's, tapes, presents, letters!

so, the other day i discovered my father's 1928 first edition english print [!] of felix salten's bambi: a life in the woods [Bambi. Eine Lebensgeschichte aus dem Walde].  being the animal lover that i am, i could have burst with joy.  this first edition has beautiful original prints in it [they look more like stamps than woodcuts, but i'll never complain].

as a young narrator, my favourite movie was disney's bambi.  i know that you hipsters and smart folks are probably sitting several soap boxes high [alliteration!] ready to poo poo me.  but bambi is a classic and i defy you to find any fault in the story of the beautiful young roe buck.  bambi is the definition of bildungsroman.

now, the movie is one thing. but the book.  o the book!  it's just so lovely.  so beautiful.  i can hardly explain to you the bliss one feels when reading about wild forest creatures and the passing of seasons.

before beginning this book, however, i had already become wildly misanthropic. like dian fossey. serious stuff. i've always felt rather loathsome about animal killers.  but this novel is making me think very vile things about we humans and our capacity to injure innocent animals.  why do they do it?  stop it!  animals are beautiful and just because they don't need our gentle touches doesn't mean they don't deserve our honour and respect.

but less about badness and more about joy! read this book!  i will run the risk of copyright infringement and offer you a tasty little snippet of the easy-to-read story.  this is chapter VIII, where a conversation between two leaves takes place on the cusp of a new season:

the leaves were falling from the great oak at the meadow's edge.  they were falling from all the trees.
one branch of the oak reached high above the others and stretched far out over the meadow.  two leaves clung to its very tip.
"it isn't the way it used to be," said one leaf to the other.
"no," the other leaf answered.  "so many of us have fallen off to-night we're almost the only ones left on our branch."
"you never know who's going to go next," said the first leaf.  "even when it was warm and the sun shone, a storm or a cloudburst would come sometimes, and many leaves were torn off, though they were still young.  you never know who's going to go next."
"the sun seldom shines now," sighed the second leaf, "and when it does it gives no warmth.  we must have warmth again."
"can it be true," said the first leaf, "can it really be true, that others come to take our places when we're gone and after them still others, and more and more?"
"it is really true," whispered the second leaf.  "we can't even begin to imagine it, it's beyond our powers."
"it makes me very sad," added the first leaf.
they were silent a while. then the first leaf said quietly to herself,  "why must we fall?..."
the second leaf asked, "what happens to us when we have fallen?"
"we sink down....."
"what is under us?"
the first leaf answered, "i don't know, some say one thing, some another, but nobody knows."
the second leaf asked, "do we feel anything, do we know anything about ourselves when we're down there?"
the first leaf answered, "who knows? not one of all those down there has ever come back to tell us about it."
they were silent again.  then the first leaf said tenderly to the other, "don't worry so much about it, you're trembling."
"that's nothing," the second leaf answered, "i tremble at the least thing now.  i don't feel so sure of my hold as i used to."
"let's not talk any more about such things." said the first leaf.
the other replied, "no, we'll let be.  but - what else shall we talk about?"  she was silent, but when on after a little while, "which of us will go first?"
"there's still plenty of time to worry about that," the other leaf assured her.  "let's remember how beautiful it was, how wonderful, when the sun came out and shone so warmly that we thought we'd burst with life.  do you remember?  and the morning dew, and the mild and splendid nights..."
"now the nights are dreadful," the second leaf complained, "and there is no end to them."
"we shouldn't complain," said the first leaf gently.  "we've outlived many, many others."
"have i changed much?" asked the second leaf shyly but determinedly.
"not in the least," the first leaf assured her. "you only think so because i've got to be so yellow and ugly.  but it's different in your case."
"you're fooling me,"  the second leaf said.
"no, really," the first leaf exclaimed eagerly, "believe me, you're as lovely as the day you were born.  here and there may be a little yellow spot but it's hardly noticeable and only makes you handsomer, believe me.:
"thanks," whispered the second leaf, quite touched.  "i don't believe you, not altogether, but i think you because you're so kind, you've always been so kind to me.  i'm just beginning to understand how kind you are."
"hush," said the other leaf, and kept silent herself for she was too troubled to talk any more.
then they were both silent.  hours passed.
a moist wind blew, cold and hostile, through the tree-tops.
"ah, now," said the second leaf, "i...." then her voice broke off. she was torn from her place and spun down.
winter had come.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

eebo, why can't you be more great?

"the booke of hunting" 16th century. bad queen! poor stag! 
so i've just discovered that my favourite resource whilst in university [next to the o.e.d.], eebo, does not allow individual trial or membership.  one must have special permission and/or be a student/faculty member of an academic institution.

eebo [early english books online] contains over 125,000 scanned texts, microfilm, blah blah blah from the years 1475 on to approximately 1700.  it is a goldmine of information.  such a wealth of fiction, manifesto, elegy, poetry, trial, image, woodcut - all in plural!  it's a middle/early english boner, guys.  and now that i've officially graduated, i have been denied access!

i know that google image provides an abundance of woodcuts for my viewing pleasure.  i know that google provides many things.  but eebo is specialized. and i am a snob.

eebo, you're great.  i mean, really, really great.  why can you be more great and let me scour your many lovely pages?

Monday, August 30, 2010

what a woman does is open doors

hey guys, remember when i was talking about bluebeard the other day?  well guess what, little tenders? this morning on my merry way to work i was listening to the sweet, sweet warblings of joanna newsom and her 8 minute opus "go long"... but soft!  these lyrics tell a familiar story. and hark! did i hear mention of a blue beard?   lo and behold! this song is about the sad-eyed murtherer and his ill-fated wife!

i love when these things occur.  it's as though one isn't ready to hear the true meaning of a thing until they have the wherewithal to understand it.

 what a joy!

tale of bluebeard illustrated by walter crane, 1875

Friday, August 27, 2010

great rogue apples

talk about joy:

earlier this evening, the rocket and i picked up a giant zucchini and some leeks on the roadside for only two dollars!  then one of my dearest and i borrowed a ladder and a poking/bashing stick from generation x video and picked apples from the rogue apple tree across the street.  seriously, there is a rogue apple tree uptown waterloo.

so, roasted leeks with parmesan cheese and a rogue apple crumble later - i'm so filled with joy.  it is a sad and beautiful world!

also, has anybody seen the results of serious yarn bombing uptown waterloo?

p.s. rumour has it there's a rogue pear tree behind ethel's.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

great blue beard!

hey guys.  boy o boy, do i have  so many wonderful links for you today!  these links give you far more information about the topics/people/events i'm just glossing over. sometimes it's a wikipedia page, sometimes it's a video, sometimes an image. embrace the autodidact in you! learn!  click the links!

i know i've only been blogging about great movies lately - but film is important!  it is one of many beautiful roads we artists travel toward self expression.

catherine breillat is one such artist.  hailing from the capital of sexual self expression [france], this limit-pushing director/writer/professor/novelist is known for her controversial films about sexuality, gender and youth.  have you seen À ma sœur!/fat girl [2001] or une vieille maîtresse/the last mistress [2007]?  [as an aside, asia argento is such a monstrous babe in this film].

so rocket and i watched her most recent film, barbe bleue/bluebeard [2009].  what a beauty this is!  it's based on the "children's story" by famous 17th-century baby-scarer charles perrault. the story/myth itself originates in the late medieval period. more specifically, in the sexy-ugly 15th century - before things got really beautiful again. i personally love the 15th century. it's a really great time for art and the burgeoning english language, post geoffrey chaucer. [that is a link to chaucer's troilus and criseyde.  you can read it in full and for free! you should also read the book of the duchess].

okay.  so historians believe that the real bluebeard was 15th century aristocrat and prolific murtherer of youth, gilles de rais.  brother even fought alongside my fellow lez/drag virtuoso joan of arc!  but he killed so many little chitlins after! i think he was set up by the church because he spent all of his money on a big dramatic play about his life and not on them. he did end up confessing of his own volition. but, in the interest of being sleazy, let's just say he was set up by the church. 

another theory is that bluebeard was conomor the cursed, a 6th century britton king who wasn't quite as interesting as bluebeard or gilles de rais. so blah blah blah. although it should be mentioned that there are some who believe conomor may actually be king mark of tristan and iseult fame.

i choose to believe that bluebeard was this guy! that guy is dominique thomas; the man who played bluebeard in breillat's film.  such a gentle giant, with the saddest eyes. and the little beauty who played marie-catherine?  lola créton. this 17-year-old french nymphet has earned herself a lifetime crush [possible stalker] in your dear narrator.

want to know about bluebeard now?  he's basically a less exonerated version of henry viii in that he murthered[!] his wives by his own hand, kept their dead and drippy bodies in a dingy basement [alliteration city!] and never referred to his desire to divorce/murder/get a new wife as his "great matter". henry was lame.

but for some reason, breillat makes us see bluebeard as endearing, insecure, sad, even loveable. how does one do that? watch. this. film.  

on a side note, there are two little girls who, in a subplot, are reading perrault's story of bluebeard.  they are adorable and perfect.  

last thing - check out 19th century illustrator walter crane's visual interpretation of bluebeard.  so beautiful.  and note the tapestry of the temptation of eve behind the curious petite wife with the little golden key. so great.

that's all i've got for you today, friends.  nice windfall of information, eh?  great.

Monday, August 23, 2010

great snakes.

in 1967,  at the adorable and tender age of 24, fresh-faced documentarian peter adair ventured into the deep south.  really deep, folks.  scrabble creek, west virginia deep.  the documentary is called holy ghost people and should be cherished as an extremely valuable piece of americana.

with only a brief introduction, adair recorded the full length of a meeting for pentecostal, snake-handling, tongue-talking holy rollers.  you've never seen anything like it.  one of the greatest documentaries ever made and true to it's definition - this film merely presents the holy ghosters in their element.  this film is free of judgment.

you will fall in love with the tongue-talking pentecosts.  i most certainly did. and you can watch/download it for absolutely no pennies at all, right here.  i love free shit on the internet, don't you?

okay guys, that's all i've got.  but it's pretty great, right?

Thursday, August 19, 2010


you guys know that the text in black contains links to various great videos and factoids, right?

okay, great.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

great autodidactism.

jean-pierre jeunet's "the city of lost children"
i'm really into this great word/concept this week:  autodidactism.  it means to be self-taught or to engage in self-directed learning.  there are some great autodidacts in history; such as the great artist and polymath leonardo da vinci [i just love that last supper], brilliant writer josé saramago [blindness], woman-fearing/prolific director woody allen, french philosopher rene descartes, bountiful photographer/artist the rocket... the list goes on.

i also wanted to point out that i think it's really important to continue self-education throughout one's life.  what does that mean?  read! listen! observe! engage! interact with your world. there is much still to learn!

so i just wanted to draw your attention to a really fantastic autodidact; monsieur jean-pierre jeunet.  jeunet is the writer and director of such marvelous visual miasma's such as delicatessen, the city of lost children and amelie.  not only are these films simply breathtaking to watch; they also instill in the heart a sense of belonging.  a sense of magic in the world.  that the universe really does conspire to give you want you want.  that there is joy in the world!  and that there is no greater joy in the world than laughter, love, beauty, beauty, beauty and love!

Friday, August 13, 2010

what a great canter.

hey guys, here's a really great video of pictures of icelandic horses performing the unique tölt trot/canter [with a really kitschy scandinavian tune].
and here's some really interesting stuff about icelandic horses from wikipedia: 
  • icelandic horses are long-lived and hardy; in their native country they have few diseases.
  • the icelandic horse displays two gaits in addition to the typical gaits of walk, trot, and canter/gallop, the breed is noted for its ability to perform two additional gaits. the first additional gait is a four-beat lateral ambling gait known as the tölt [as is seen in the above video]. this is known for its explosive acceleration and speed; it is also comfortable and ground-covering.
  • developed from ponies taken to iceland by scandinavian settlers in the 9th and 10th centuries, the breed is mentioned in literature and historical records throughout icelandic history; the first reference to a named horse appears in the 12th century. horses were venerated in norse mythology, a custom brought to Iceland by the country's earliest settlers.