Saturday, March 21, 2009

p.s.  Hey.  The writer and distinguished local Alan commandeers this space today in order to share the work and illuminate the surroundings of the Indian writer Arun Kolatkar, someone whose extraordinary poetry I personally was unfamiliar with before now.  Perhaps you were blank like me or already a reader, but please spend some of your weekend exploring Alan's terrific post, and, of course, do try to share your thoughts about it in the comments arena so he'll know that his generous efforts mattered.  Thanks, Alan, and thanks in advance to any or all of you for your attention.  Otherwise, how's it?  Me: I wound up being overtaken by another monster headache yesterday that pretty much fucked my plans, now I'm feeling a bit dazed and vague in the aftermath.  I don't know if I'm getting a change of seasons allergy reaction or what, but it sucks.  Assuming my head leaves me alone, I've got a lot of work and other stuff to do this weekend.  If any of it leads anywhere interesting, I'll tell you on Monday.  For now, expect some spaciness from me today, and my apologies.  **  Esther Planas, Hey!  I'll likely be going to LA right when the Paris 'Jerk' shows end, so around the middle of the month, and I'll probably be there for a couple of weeks, so that's my time frame.  Can you come before the 15th or after May 2nd or 3rd maybe?  **  Heliotrope, Thanks, man.  I like the idea of ghost pixels and code and the whole 'Neuromancer' dream, but I don't know.  Maybe that ghost who screwed up my post caused or is my headache.  Yikes.  Your nephew just sounds so great. Just hearing about him and what he's doing warms me up.  I hate being put on the spot too, believe me, but as long as you don't sit in the first couple of rows, the magicians basically leave you alone.  Or they do as long as you're not a beautiful woman.  Are you going to the semi-finals or finals?  Damn France for depriving me of all of that.  How did it go at the vet with Kaya?  **  The Dreadful Flying Glove, Toop played at the electronic music festival here.  I didn't get to go that night, though, naturally.  No problem on the needing of sleep.  I'm not much good today anyway.  Very cool if the music files get here.  Kind of you and much needed.  **  Alan, Thank you personally once again for today. It's a beautiful thing.  Awesome that HTMLGiant rated your shelf, and with a haut no less.  And you have 'Project for a Revolution in New York' on your shelf, you tasteful fellow.  I wish I'd thought of that title.  It's one of the titles I most covet.  No, I used jpegs a fair amount with 'The Sluts' and 'God Jr.', but my old laptop died, so everything from that era is on discs now.  When I started 'The Sluts', I had a laptop but not the internet.  That 'scrapbook' is a mix of analogue and digital. As is the 'God Jr.' one, since I used video game strategy guide books a lot in building it.  In its very earliest incarnation, the only surviving piece of that being the exchange of faxes chapter, 'The Sluts' was going to be a very differently built novel, always spinning around Brad and Brian, and always about technology's dispersal and disguising of 'the truth' or whatever, but more about video, phone, photography, faxes, letters, and vehicles like that.  **  Bernard Welt, That class sounds totally incredible, and I wish I could monitor it.  I'm sure I can come up with a bunch of suggestions, although my brain is way too worn away today to try to use it wisely.  But expect things.  **  David Ehrenstein, Well, there's no way you'd get something in the States like the anti-Pope roundtable on 'Le Grand Journal'.  America doesn't have shows like that, or they're so marginal that their swerves have no great value.  The French aren't afraid of giving and hearing opinions, and that includes heated and over-emotional ones.  They thrive on debate.  I mean, that whole ridiculous fuss about Obama's 'hurtful' joke on Leno is so fucking American.  In France, people don't sit around waiting for their enemies to make bloopers they can then spin into 'news'.  You don't have that US atmosphere where everyone's terrified to just relax and shoot the shit in public, where anything anyone says without exercising excessive self-censorship and caution is considered potentially suicidal.  When you live over here where intellectual disagreements are considered one of the forms of education, the media in America just seems so incredibly childish and neurotic and obscurantist and savage.  Anyway, yeah, Crowe was very good in 'The Insider', it's true.  A brilliant film.  **  NB, Ooh, you're into particle physics.  That's so interesting.  Even though I ultimately know very little about it, I was fascinated by particle physics for a while and studying it in order to think about structure in fiction.  The great artist Charles Ray, who's a close friend of mine, is deeply into particle physics, and it's key to how he thinks about sculpture, and hearing him talk about that a lot, and the uses of negative and positive space, which might be connected to astro-physics, which he's also into, and how space works in visual art, etc., really influenced my ideas about the build and effect of narrative, and so it's cool to see you mention that.  The Chelsea life sounds ace, noise aside.  That part will sink in and become an invisible thing soon.  It's weird how that works.  **   Jax, Oh, okay, about the purpose of the 'Jordan' pin down.  Totally understand.  Very cool that you got to read a Cuaron script.  'Y Tu Mama Tambien' is great, and I actually love his Harry Potter film.  It's the ace in that series' hand.  Oh, yeah, you mean as a reaction to the media crap re: the Austrian guy.  Yeah, that's a potential sympathy builder, yeah, I can see that.  I wasn't factoring that in.  This weekend for me?  If my head behaves, I have to work Gisele's suggestions and additions and revisions into the 'Jerk' script, and thusly rewrite it to a degree, but she and I are totally on the same wavelength, so it shouldn't be too hard.  Novel writing, of course.  I'll go see some art, I think, maybe a movie.  Nothing all that huge planned at the moment.  What about you?  **  Paul Curran, Yeah, it's the devices and the communication modes that interest me too, always looking for new tweaks for the fiction partly.  The sun sure is nice.  It's still a cold sun over here, but I'll take it.  **  Tonyoneill, For a while, they gave these ghost hunting tours of this long closed movie theater on Hollywood Blvd.  I can't remember its name, but I'm sure you saw it.  Kind of near Las Palmas.  Anyway, they gave you recording devices and diving rods and stuff and turned you loose in the theater, and of course nothing interesting turned up, and the paranormal host woman, seeing we'd gotten nothing, suddenly started 'channeling' a supposed dead little girl in a squeaky child voice and everything. It was outrageously ridiculous.  But it's true that if she hadn't done her wacky acting bit, I might have thought I'd wasted my money.  On Paris, it's possible I might get back here on June 4th.  If so, I'd love to see you on the 5th. Let me try to get the dates nailed down.  As ever, nothing but all the luck in the world on the novel finishing.  **  Stan_cz, Yeah, you nailed Sarkozy.  The Left in France is getting pretty interesting.  I just put together a future post about that.  There's this young Communist guy, Olivier Besancenot, who I admire a ton, who's put together this new political party The Anti-Capitalist Party and is really mobilizing people and trying to unite the oppressed young people in the suburbs with the Leftist students and organizers, and it's very exciting, and creating alarm on the Right.  We'll see.  I don't know the answer to your question about the unions and 'officials'.  I'll try to find out.  The Adjani of today is a living advertisement against excessive cosmetic surgery.  She's rather scary looking, and is almost always photographed with heavy filters, which is partly why she's a figure in my novel.   **  Bill, I'll go check out the crackle box.  Sounds fascinating.  Thanks, man.  **  Katsim, Oh, good, you got that sorted.  Where exactly are you staying then?  Near me?  Cool.  Oh, can you remind me of your dates again as I'm in the process of arranging the 'Jerk' ticket stuff, and my brain is very fuzzy today.  **  Squeaky, Squeaky, for goodness sake!  Hey, man!  It's so stellar to see you.  Yeah, I saw about that show you curated.  At Exile, right?  I guess someone sent me something about it.  Wait.  I found a link.  Everyone, the blog's fine friend and occasionally MIA distinguished local Squeaky aka the artist D-L Alvarez has curated an exhibition in Berlin called 'Psychometry' at the great art space Exile, and I highly recommend checking it out if you're in Berlin, or, if not, checking it out from afar right here.  You good?  Any chance for an update on everything to do with you?  **  Wolf, I'm sure the ghosts are going to give you a wide berth after that.  That was gorgeous.  Yeah, I said it again: gorgeous.  I find objectivity an enormously interesting discipline that has saved my ass and work any number of times, which isn't to say I believe in it.  Reality, I don't even know what means, I guess.  Wednesday, cool.  Just hit me up as soon as you're ready for me.  I'll be juiced.  **  JW Veldhoen, I'm going to try to find the Jeff Wall note somewhere.  Yeah, for me, my new novel is pretty overstuffed and baroque, but it might just seem thicker than usual to anyone else.  Weirdness.  Mine, I mean.  **  Steevee, Well, that's fantastic news on the new actor!  On any number of fronts.  Yeah, great, man.  **   Misanthrope, Yeah, that's cool, but Maher and O'Reilly are way over ... there.  I'm talking about a show as watched here as, I don't know, 'CSI' or 'AI' is in the States where you've got the French equivalents of everyone from Simon Cowell to Kanye West to Tom Hanks to Joan Didion to Biden to whoever sitting around a table trashing and discussing the Pope's statements about condoms with no holds barred.  It just would never happen in the US.  Hm, see, I don't think I buy the 'Eureka moment' thing.  That supposes that he was an unrepentant sadist who found his heart in his daughter's plaintive words.  I don't buy that.  To me, he could as easily have figured out he had no shot at winning and cut his losses like a cornered sociopath would.  The 'Eureka moment' idea just seems a real media construct to me.  But I don't know nothing.  I guess the 'finding his heart' thing seems too neatly narrative for real life to me.  I think CB did his job well in the 'Batman' movies.  I think in the newest one, frankly, that awful fake voice they had him do when he was Batman kind of obscured his performance a bit, and I think maybe people unconsciously felt like that was his mistake when of course he was just doing what he was hired to do.  What are you up to this weekend?  What's the latest on the job thing and the doctor thing, if those aren't painful subjects?  And writing?  **  Chris, Hey.  Oh, I don't come to NYC until the end of May, so, like, in two months.  So we should have some time to make a perfect plan.  How was the band rehearsal or playing session?  **  SYpHA_69, I too like the idea that anything could happen or be real, and I find that exciting as hell.  I guess for me the ghost and the UFO and things like that just seem constructs dating from pre-technological human imaginations, and they seem more romantic and nostalgic to me than anything.  I guess I'm more into wiping the slate clean of those images when I think about the unexplained or something.  The SPD is going to be me posting some images, and everyone will be asked to write something inspired by one or more of those images, and the SPD will be what results.  It was Steven Trull's idea, and Mbuitron added a further focus to the idea.  I'll be announcing it quite soon, and you'll see.  **  Craig, Big ugh on the crappy work day.  My archives are open to the public, but you have to make an appointment, I think.  Most of my scrapbooks and other stuff are not open to the public because they're kind of delicate and in danger of getting fucked up due to my lazy choice of using rubber cement when putting them together.  Those require special permission either from the library or an institution or from me, I think, and I think you're supervised when looking at them.  Anyway, if you ever want to see my archives, just let me know.  **  Justin, The blog form sounds very interesting.  How do you think you'll realize that on the page?  I mean, I guess you could make the novel an online project with a 'real' 'blog', if you want.  I'm super curious, obviously.  'Vampire' murders?  I haven't heard about those.  I'll search for news. Hey, have a really good weekend, man.  **  Shai Biscuits,  What's the deal on the cleaning up of Pride activities?  Who wants to do that?  That's a stupid and ugly and undoable idea.  I wish they'd get rid of the traditional stuff altogether like the official parade-like parade followed by getting plastered in the bars and figure out what a great celebration would be like from scratch.  What or who is Lucas Luhrman?  I'm getting a visual crossfade of George Lucas and Baz Luhrman, and that can't be what you mean.  I think if we could reverse time and start the world over against along anarchist principles, it's conceivable that kids might want to cruise parks, if there even were parks, but otherwise I'd guess either Cata was pulling your leg or Duvert was pulling his.  **  Mark, Current artists I can think of who've worked with the paranormal with at least a certain seriousness would be Kelley, yeah, and Susan Hiller, whose work is largely concerned with it, and Bruce Nauman and Louise Bourgeois and Tony Oursler a bit, and definitely David Askevold who collaborated with Mike Kelley and heavily influenced Mike's interest in the paranormal.  Yeah, I figured the guy in the video was the guy on the street.  Little Richard, ha ha, yeah.  I'll go check that transfusion link thing pronto.  Thanks, man.  **  Jeff, Hey, man!  Yeah, I'm with you on the life after death thing.  I do find the stuff around paranormal fun.  That was beautiful and amazing: your recounting of the Buddhist belief.  **  Armando, Yeah, with the camera/sister, give it a little bit of time.  That seems like the best and maybe only way to go.  And you need to get some sleep, my friend.  Eventually your body will just zonk out, and you'll get it, but I hope it's soon.  Toys?  In what sense?  I mean, do video games count, 'cos I'm huge on them?  But, like, if you mean things, object-like toys?  Gosh, I can't think of any real toys that I have or that I actually play with and don't just have sitting on a shelf.  In LA, I have some action figures and stuff from, like 'Buffy' and movies/shows I like, but they're still in their boxes.  What about you?  **  Oscar B., Mm, I don't think I believed the weird post infection thing was paranormal.  Maybe I wanted to just a little.  I've had a couple of things happen in my life that were completely unexplainable where the paranormal seemed the obvious explanation, but I can't quite let go and believe the basic premise of ghosts and stuff like that.  One time I had a reading from a psychic, and she completely freaked me out by telling me there was someone who had died who was always with me, around me, could be seen by her standing next to me, and that it was someone who'd meant a lot to me, and me to him, and so on, and then she described the spirit, and it looked exactly like my friend George Miles down to details and things that seemed way beyond random or that could possibly have been the result of guess work, and that really fucked with my head, and I had this weird war with myself about trying to believe it, but I just couldn't.  But I realized how vulnerable I am to the kind of wishing to believe that makes people believe in those things.  The videos you're working on sound great, of course.  Are you still working on the comic too?  Have an excellent weekend, okay?  **  Slatted Light, God, that was fantastic.  I hope you don't mind this ... Everyone, you owe it to yourselves to read Slatted Light's comment on ghosts at the bottom of yesterday's lower Comments section, if you missed it.  You don't mind, do you?  Reading that after just causing myself to think about George was very emotional.  I don't know if that's something I should think or say.  'Mercy of that magnitude divine'.  Yeah, David, amazing.  I'm kind of wrecked.  It's good.  I have to leave it at that, and I'll come back to it.  Thanks.  **   So I hope you all enjoy what Alan has made for us this weekend, and please do think aloud about it, if you will or care to.  Have the weekends of your dreams or something like that, and I'll see you on Monday.


Marcus Whale said...

Hey Dennis, did you ever see this Canadian movie called "Childstar", kind of extraordinary sections where the child-star's movie is in a really fractured state, and there's these awesomely offputting voiceovers, over the hilariously cliched acting. Then the all sorts of strange stuff that happens afterwards, I love all that corrupted purity stuff. Anyway, its just on television at the moment, and I guess i'm enjoying it. First successful submission mid-week, which is nice, fun Melbourne journal called Going Down Swinging in May. More strange things though, a language teacher at my old school on gaydar messages me, i think. Or a language teacher with similar dimensions, and a nearly identical bottom half of his face. Intrigues me how that sort of thing strips away that incredibly formalised teacher-student relationship. God that website is sleazy, though i guess i shouldn't be surprised. Marcus.

DavidEhrenstein said...

You're absolutely right about the baroque childishness of America. Megan McCain attempts to start a serious discussion about the Republican party and Laura Ingraham calls her fat.

The two days later she sasys she never called her fat.

All this gets fed into a press obsession with Jessica Simpson allegedly looking fat. This fatness (real or imagined) is seen as more important than the fact that Jessica Simpson is devoid of talent.

It never ends.

stan_cz said...

Hey Dennis,

interesting, this new political party in France you're talking about. I look forward to your post on that subject.

And re. the childishness of America, boy oh boy are you right. I just made the mistake of turning on CNN today and all they talked about was Obama's "inappropriate" joke about Special Olympics on Leno. It's just so fucking sad how public discourse has degenerated into a media-controlled orgy of idiocy.

Re. Isabelle Adjani, whew, I just googled her contemporary look and you are right, she does look scary. One of those sad cases where a beautiful young woman is unable to come to terms with the natural process of aging and transforms herself into a breathing Halloween mask.

Chris said...

Yeah - I thought next week made no sense - I'm a bit out of my mind - the post today is something I will spend time with later - I have cousin living in India for the next couple of years - so I am saving money to get there - band is changing for the better - was initially doing mostly cover tunes, have begun just to play and cull material form that and am also writing little bits and having other members write bits and pieces - I'm allowing it to take some time - also because I have no gigs set up at the moment - trying to hook up with other playing situations with other people as well - things seem fertile. I'm disappointed you're not here next week - but I get excited easy. ever listen to the Yeah Yeah Yeahs? So much better then the white stripes, a dismal duo in my mind, yeahs similar idea, the stripped down thing, but better and from Brooklyn. They are somewhat uneven, but just go their new one - enjoying it at the moment, it's already being dismissed as too electronic, but seems a bit more diverse, which can never be a bad thing - Their song down boy and the video - I thought was great - have a great weekend.


david said...

I read the condescending remarks about voice phenomena in the Skeptic's Notebook. These people shouldn't call themselves skeptics. That implies a questioning mindset. Most so called skeptics are debunkers. They've already made up their minds.
However, I do think there's an element of suggestibility, even coaching at work here. If you have a text of what you're supposed to be hearing in front of you, your mind accomodates the desired perception. I personally have difficulty picking words and phrases out of all that white noise.

SYpHA_69 said...
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Bernard Welt said...

Sypha_69: This is Colin Wilson's account of the situation, you know. I don't mean to controversialize, but this representation of himself is a literary invention.
In reality, he wasn't especially well trained in the sciences; he just had more of a prejudice toward rationalism than against it, and that's the case with most people who convert to supernatural beliefs. When he represents that he simply encountered a lot of cases and facts that swayed him, as if it were a matter of simply weighing evidence, that is (as many people have said not only of Wilson but of other supernaturalists), pretty darn disingenuous, since he's aware that in each instance, there are practically no matters of fact, and overwhelmingly matters of interpretation. And on top of that, talking up supernaturalism really sort of is how he made his literary reputation and his living.
In case you're wondering, the notion of Wilson cultivating an image of himself as some kind of skeptic won over by the evidence irritates because it's precisely the kind of smug, self-justifying publicity put forth by evangelicals and Catholic hierarchy in the US all the time. I like his writing and all, but he's a good writer partly because he has a very active imagination.
It's a very different matter with someone like Charles Fort, who was more of a species of investigative reporter and didn't claim to be able to judge causes of anomalous events.

wolf said...

ALAN... What an incredible day,

This is great poetry, so much richer and denser and more complex than it seems at first. He might be trying to remove the sacred or bring it back down to our common human ground, but in doing so i feel he actually displaces and reinforces it... Or makes it related to a non-specific form of sacred, detached from the anthropomorphic figures of indian gods.
Somehow the routine holiness is not truly holy anymore in the stones and places and actions repeated mindlessly too often and by too many (which sucks 'casue that's what worship and cult is, many repeating actions often..), but it appears through what looks like a threat to it. Like the bitch and her pups, or the bus travel and the description of its almost-tediousness.
I love people who have no time for bullshit in interview.
And who wonder how "Hypathia" is pronouced... (hīpatēə)

Agent Cooper : ..oh boy, more "gorgeous".. i just can't help it, man! it runs in my veins! and you know who's to blame..
And as for hitting you up as soon as i'm ready for you, come on dude, we agreed we'd just be friends.. you know it just wouldn't work between us.. sorry... but we'll have coffee ok? Don't be sad coop. It's just the way life goes. Haha man, you know what, i might prepare you that crazy meal i promised you ages ago..
That's pretty cool about the Grand Journal on the pope.. though to be fair you can shit on the pope in France, no one really gives a fuck. But yeah that's a really nice program.. is Denisot still presenting it? Oh, speaking of which, when do they broadcast Le Vrai Journal now? I tried to catch it round noon on a sunday last time i was at my dad's and it wasn't on.. have they changed/cut it? Say it aint so...

oh SHIT. i've just scored the best WordVerification ever:
"PREGLYPH"... yesss!!!

SYpHA_69 said...
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Bernard Welt said...

Well, you know, Sypha_69, I hear what you're saying, but you are talking about subjective experiences, and: 1) the fact that one has a subjective experience is no evidence that it is grounded in some external reality (hallucination is pretty common and pretty easy to induce, and even the Catholic Church says that some people who believe gods and angels are talking to them are hearing things); and 2) actually, mystical experiences are pretty easy to fake, especially by professional writers, filmmakers, or fakers. There aren't really, really good ghost moves because the filmmakers have had extraordinary spiritual experiences; they're just really good at making spooky movies.

For example, the uncanny experience Dennis was talking about--of the psychic who saw a spirit hovering near him--is just what really good professional psychics are good at doing. "Cold reading" has astonishing results sometimes, but when we go back and look at a video record of a cold reading, it turns out that there were all sorts obvious cues and false starts that the informant doesn't remember.

Bernard Welt said...

Actually, I forgot what I was starting out to say (my own version of mystical experience): You know, Sypha_69, if you want to induce some experiences of the transcendent (without drugs), some things that work for some people are meditation (though it takes a long time, which is one reason some people go for the drugs instead). I actually think keeping a dream journal helps--it doesn't always occur to people that recalling your dreams can help break down the tyranny of the rational, and cause you to recognize the subjective elements in your perception of experience.
Another is a synchronicity notebook. You may have done this already: You just make a note of every single coincidence you notice. If you hear a word for the first time, and then hear it three times the next day (as seems to happen a lot), you note it down; if a friend calls just when you're thinking of him, note it down. A lot of people who try this for just a week or so find it changes their whole outlook on reality. Arthur Koestler and Carl Jung suggest it; and J. W. Dunne talks about it in "An Experiment with Time."

DavidEhrenstein said...

Latest FaBlog: Pass the Butter

SYpHA_69 said...
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Jeff said...
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Dynomoose said...

What a beautiful post!
I may try making that puran poli!

1 cup Maida
1 pinch Turmeric Powder
1 pinch Salt
2 tsp Ghee
Water enough to make dough
6 tbsp Oil
Oil / Ghee for frying
Inner Filling
1 1/2 cup Jaggery
1 1/4 cup Bengal Gram Dal
1/4 tsp Cardamom Powder


* Blend the ghee and masala with the maida. Using water make a soft smooth dough.
* Leave under a wet cloth for 40-50 minutes. Knead again.
* Put in the 6 tbsps oil and knead till completely absorbed. Cover and leave aside for 4 hours.
* Put the dal in the cooker till one whistle. Drain the water.
* Grind to a paste and with the jaggery and cardamom powder. The filling should not be watery.
* Make small balls of the filling. Divide the dough into small balls and flatten them.
* Place one ball of filling on the dough and cover and seal up the filling.
* Carefully roll out the dough into thick puris making sure the filling does not come out.
* Fry on a tawa pouring ghee around it. Cook on both sides. Puran Poli is ready to be served.

JW Veldhoen said...

"...within the partial view of experiencing them, vindicates the idea of a haunting."

I love you David Rylance.

I gave my nephew a broken toy kaleidoscope today at the Natural History Museum. We talk a lot about eating cheeks. I lied about Roosevelt not being on Mount Rushmore. I said that Obama would be on it in a hundred years, and they'd sandblast Roosevelt off, and that the museum was made out of the animals that Teddy liked to kill.

The dioramas in that building are near the most psychotic thing in New York. I always find museums of Anthropology difficult, to say the least, but the MNH is the worst; sponsored as it was with the help of George Eastman, and Jacob Riis, and the great white hunter himself. The fat Dutchman on his horse, at the head of the museum, looking out onto the wilderness edge, a terrified Indian woman in tow. The equine pose, the ghost of a horse, the unmade monument to Ludovico Sforza. A certain blue sky makes the allusion vivid. The strongman is so STRONG. He is a force to conceptually outlast death, a field of immanence.


If I had a hundred years I wouldn't have time to cut up the ideology wrapped up in the ideography. The hall of Northwest Indians is a whole chapter. We walked backwards from the Big Bang, upwards. I walk uphill all museums, you're supposed to take an elevator to the top, but I read books backwards, and I am left-handed, and want to make use of a "muddied sign". Philosophy and Physics both tell me that the horizon of purity is the event, as soon as the sign is clean, it'll blow-up. A particle splits into its phantom duo, as I and not I mirror their destruction across a boundary. The partiality of view does vindicate the idea of haunting, absolutely.

alan said...


Thanks again for hosting my day.

"When I started 'The Sluts', I had a laptop but not the internet." That blows my mind. But, now that I think about it, those review sites must not have even existed when you started it.

OK, I hate talking about politics here, but.... You're calling Besancenot "communist," but he's made it quite clear recently, to anyone not already aware, that he's no such thing. I mean, as you know, he just liquidated the LCR (Ligue Communiste Revolutionaire), which was misnamed in the first place, into the NPA (Nouveau Parti Anti-capitaliste). But (or therefore) he isn't really "anti-capitalist" either. He doesn't even claim to be trying to overturn capitalism. He says all he wants to do is turn back the clock 30 years to the old French welfare state, when what's needed is exactly the stuff he's decided to stop even paying lip service to: revolution, workers' power, socialism. That may seem utopian to many people, though probably a lot less so than than it did six months ago (and in five years, who knows?). But I would say what's really utopian, as in impossible, is reforming the capitalist state to serve the interests of the working class.

I won't pretend to be an expert in French politics, but I do follow the press of the tendency I support, which has a section in France. Here's something they published on the 2007 election, if you're interested: French Election: No Choice for Workers. The more recent articles have not been translated, unfortunately: June 2008: Down with the racist roundups!, September 2008: The "Che" of Besancenot, February 2009: Besancenot's NPA.

Jax said...

Alan – at last, poetry that doesn't do my head in. I'd never heard of Kolatkar, but the extracts here seem to me wonderfully accessible: maybe that's what you mean when you say the poem speaks directly to you in a way that isn't easy to analyse? Maybe, sometimes, it's just that simple? The interview with the guy himself also seems to suggest that – it's like, he himself really can't see what the interview's making such a big deal about, with all those predictably irrelevant questions.

I also really liked that personal ad.

Dennis, what you said to Misa re Fritsi's too neat a narrative for real life? Yeah, I do see what you mean (even that name's like a cliché) and I also would feel that, was it not for the fact he had to know he was going down for a long time anyway, since he'd already pleaded guilty to rape/ incest/ false imprisonment / whatever. The only thing he was holding out on, if memory serves me correctly, was a charge of murder with regard to not seeking medical help for one of the kids who subsequently died: it was on this that he changed his plea to guilty. So yeah, maybe I am putting my own spin on why – I think it's cos I really believe there was a bond between him and his daughter, initially a non-consensual one maybe and maybe a one-sided bond, but I have this highly romanticised theory which won't leave me that he was only holding out on the murder charge plea so that he could see her one more time, albeit in court. Like, I could see myself doing that, you know? Like something out of a bad gay porn pot-boiler, maybe, but I do this with these kind of court cases. Do you? Does anyone else? I'm sure I'm not alone. So, anyway, when he changed his plea after saw the film of her testimony, my own personal construct over it fell to bits. Thus, true to my over-romanticising nature, the 'Eureka' moment ending interpretation sorta kept me happy. But obviously it's not the whole story – it never is, eh? Deep down, I kind of feel there was a massive complicity between father, mother and daughter going on, at some level that nine of them could admit never mind articulate. Maybe that was what he caught a glimpse of in her eyes? Some kind of realisation on her part? I dunno – it's fascinating. I know nothing either. Like Slatted_Light's ghosts: I just glimpse something there, something else. It could happily be all in my own head of course...

Talking of heads, hope your headaches stayed away enough to let you get your stuff done, pal. Are these allergy-related? Can you take anything for 'em?

My weekend involves/d seeing loads of family – my own today, cos my niece plays saxamaphone in her school orchestra and they're accompanying local choirs up here today, so gonna join me mum and sister in the enthusiastic audience for that. And Tom's, yesterday - his mum's back home, having recovered from major bowel surgery, so we visited, took her out in her wheelchair for a walk then I spent an hour playing hide and seek with my 3 year-old niece while the grown-ups (Tom and his sister) got some quality mum-centric time. She had such a good time she pissed herself – the niece, not the mum I mean. She declared me her best friend which was oddly touching. I dunno, it's weird – she always refers to me as 'Robbie's friend' (Robbie was the dog we had to get destroyed) and I kinda admire her prioritising. I'm enjoying being around dogs and children much more than adults right now.

Anyone seen David Simon and Ed Burns (no, the other Ed Burns) 'Generation KIll' mini-series? I'm at ep 3....wonderful stuff!

Wow that was a long and rambly post

erik said...

I want people to always dress like that maruti kid! hihihii.

stan_cz said...

By the way Dennis, did I mention how much I loved "The Tenant"? It boggles my mind how overlooked this movie is. It's the zenith of Polanski's truly perverse art, and he's certainly cinema's greatest pervert since Hitchcock. The overall mood of the film, the atmosphere it creates and the mindscapes it goes through is quite amazing.

DavidEhrenstein said...

I've always found the spectacle of Polanski throwing himself out of the window a second time, truly amazing.

And Isabelle Adjani is trul weird in it in a way suggesting that we're looking at the real Isabelle.

Jeff said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
DavidEhrenstein said...

Latest FaBlog: Fait Diver -- We Know Where You Live.

katsim said...

hey Dennis, just a flying visit.. the nights we're in Paris are 7th, 8th, 9th April. I'm not sure of the address of the hotel place off the top of my head, I picked somewhere that didn't have awful reviews and seemed fairly central. Are the trains/buses easy to use from the airport into the city?

stan_cz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pisycaca said...


Wow, this is an extraordinary post. Great job! I didn't know Kolatkar's work either. Interesting to know English was not his mother tongue.


Hope you could do all you had planned for this weekend.

Take care,


Oscar B. said...

Hi, I suppose that I am interested in paranormal phenomena because I don't position towards them. I can decide whether to believe in them or not, and my decision ( or someone else's) decision is what I find most interesting.

I am tired now, I'v been working on the video all day...I'm not sure whether is good or bad, it's definitely very experimental so, I can't really compare it to anything I've done before.
Yes, I am carrying on with the comic too, I hope to get a few chapters done by the end of the coming week.

"Baroque childishness" is a perfect way of describing America! I've only been there a few times, but it didn't take me long to notice that...

I've just finished seeing " What's eating Gilbert Grape" on TV, I hadn't seen it for years...Leonardo DI Caprio is absolutely gorgeous in it, isn't he?
I remember being very fond of this film when I was like 14 or something.

Not much else from me, I'll see you again tomorrow, goodnight


*Alan, the poetry and the photos are very beautiful, thank you so much.

Chilly Jay Chill said...

Alan - Thank you for this extraordinary post. I'd never heard of "Jejuri," but the sample poems (and interview, etc) really spun my head around. His use of stripped-down language to express such complicated thoughts and emotions reminded me a bit of Dennis's verse. I've ordered the book and can't wait to read the rest. One of the most exciting things I've come across in a while. Great blog you have, too.

Stan - Big fan of "The Tenant" here as well. Polanski in drag at the end climbing those steps is both hilarious and terrifying. First time I saw, I had to watch the end with the lights on.

Dennis - Been MIA around here due to work and trying to carve out some time for the novel. Loved your scrapbook post from the new novel. Never kept a scrapbook as a resource for any of my work, but thinking that should change for some upcoming projects. Also loved the Tobin Sprout mix you made. I dug his work with GBV but never followed his solo material.

Did you know Beckett was set to translate "120 Days of Sodom" but then WWII intervened and the prpject was nixed? Thought you might appreciate Beckett's brief appraisal of the book:

"The obscenity of surface is indescribable. Nothing could be less pornographical. It fills me with a kind of metaphysical ecstasy. The composition is extraordinary, as rigorous as Dante’s."

steevee said...

Have you been to the New York record store Rockit Scientist? They specialize in psych and prog and have a large Spirit section. However, at the moment, it consists entirely of bootlegs and recordings from the mid '70s on. I looked for the albums you recommended but didn't find any. However, I did get a used copy of Todd Rundgren's THE HERMIT OF MINK HOLLOW.

I'd hoped to talk to the new actor today, but he's shooting a film and we wound up playing phone tag. Anyway, I'm going to try to touch base tomorrow evening and set a date for the shoot. I've E-mailed the cameraman about the casting change and our current plans to shoot the last week of May.

Ignacio said...

as always theres great stuff here when i return.

i did some unselfish things (though by mentioning this i remove some of their glory from the aetherosphere but that's ok).

was there ever a real book called 'god my enemy'? i heard about this somewhere and it made me laugh.

meanwhile my news is: the novel is floating around a bit but i'm feeling sort of cold now about it because

i had an ultravivid dream and wrote it down in longhand as rough draft of a short story but now i think it may be the start of a new novel.........i started reading a lot of shit for 'research' but yesterday it hit me that i should just make everything up.

i did however find out about the country of abkhazia......located on the black sea. this knowledge is completely useless

Ignacio said...

abkhazia doesnt sound like that great a place to visit

but one night heavily narcotized i dreamed the word 'lavash' which i discovered later is some kind of persian bread

but the black sea's all fucked up

tender prey said...

Alan - absolutely beautiful post today. Kolatkar's work is completely unfamiliar to me and I loved the poems. Also the combination with the found image's is exquisite. What an incredible intense and beautiful looking guy too.

I really enjoyed the fragments of discussion around ghosts, the paranormal and the uncanny yesterday and today. Apparently when the telephone was first invented, Alexander Graham Bell actively speculated as to whether it might be possible to use the new technology as a means of communicating with the dead. It's interesting, I like reading about the period in the late 19th century when the dividing lines between the investigation of the paranormal or the occult and the emergence of modern psychology as a discipline were considerably blurred. Up until at least 1920 Freud was still interested in the possibility of thought transference via telepathy. In one way or or another I think those interests inevitably continue to dovetail into one-another. The persistent concept of an unknowable beyond in the human psyche, which registers only through signs and apparitions, is at least analagous to those other dimensions of reality from which spooks and aliens supposedly usher. But yeah I'm freaked out enough by my own mind, body and surroundings. The fact that I can experience dreaming or vivid recall of a past event or travel in my imagination is mind bendingly weird to me already. So much of it seems at base to be a question of re-imagining or interpreting what's already there, but it's a fucking complicated question. Anyway, ugh, I'm feeling very clumsy with words and ideas this evening so I'll leave it at that.

Dennis - was gripped by the scrapbook of source material for the novel in progress. I love especially the imagining around locations and interiors. Rue de Turenne happens to be a location I've haunted a bit myself over the years. Very intrigued to see what a novel by you set (entirely?) in Europe will be like. Are all the characters French? If so does that mean you're having to think very differently about the way you deploy speech characteristics in your writing? Can't wait to be back in Paris this week... see you then,

JW Veldhoen said...

"but the black sea's all fucked up"

That was really beautiful.

'A Night at the Museum', it was called, right? The drab carpets and brass interiors of education, turned to look playful, joyous. 'Natural' history: the failure of white terror over knowledge? Always so much didactic material, junk, flattery. Overcomplicated, stupid and boring. If you drill a little, there are wonderful things in museums, despite having to be in museums, past the vast arcs, and the lies cameramen tell, when told how to, and past the sales pitches.

Dennis, do you like Dave Hickey's writing? I read 'Air Guitar' a few years ago, and while I remember the what and where of reading it, I can't recall much, besides an essay about Flaubert. But I read cover-to-cover a Chicago reprint, of essays called "The Invisible Dragon" today. I need to go over it once or twice more, because there was so much! He's a captivating writer. It takes a little to get over, there were... moments of hesitation for me, like reading 'The Waning of the Middle Ages' without footnotes. Hickey has the effect of cultural criticism at the end of the world, sometimes unannotated, effusive, courageous, maybe a bit solitary, committed to the fused, the inordinate. I like that. His Mapplethorpe essay concerning Portfolio X was great.


This is a new India for me.

JW Veldhoen said...

Get over? I mean... I write too fast. I get exited. It was great!

Misanthrope said...

Alan, What a grand, exhaustive day. "A Low Temple" really spoke to me. When I saw the first pic, I thought Jax was doing a part two to his Mosques. Then I read the headline. There's something so subtle in this poetry and the choice of words that really turns me on. Thanks.

Oscar B., I watch Gilbert Grape every time it's on TV. Even if I'm watching something else, I'll just switch it and watch it. Two weeks or so ago, it was on and my nephew and I watched it. During a close-up of Leo, my nephew turns to me and says, "You what's weird? He's, like, the cutest boy in the movie, but he's the retarded one." Funny what kids find weird, no?

Dennis, Well, that's the thing with this Fritzl case, isn't it? Whether we buy it or not. But he wasn't in danger of the death penalty, was he? Just the same sentences if the trial had gone through and he'd been convicted of all charges, right? Though one report I read said that the court might show some leniency because he pled guilty.

You know, I guess I believe the eureka moment. Maybe because I want to or have to. I need to use my brain more on this one and not my heart. The fact is, he did do it all of a sudden and after or during his daughter's testimony. It could very possibly have been a totally selfish act. But then again... Ah, who knows what's in the hearts of other men, you know? We'll never know about him and this act of his unless he tells us and I have a feeling he'll stick to his story.

Man, we get headaches at the same time all the time. I've had one since Friday that totally just laid me low all weekend. I lay in bed today just wanting to sleep, sleep, sleep, it had me so out of it. What's funny is, I've had worse headaches, but this one, for some reason, just brought me down and seemed to affect my whole body. I'm out of ibuprofen, so it's been Tylenol all weekend, not that it's been much help.

But thanks for asking about the writing. Because something happened the other day that really inspired me about my novel. I was going through some notes and discovered this thick notebook I'd forgotten all about. In it is every note I'd ever written for this novel, typed out and in chronological order, with my song lyrics and everything else tidily arranged. I forgot how fucking organized I used to be. Wow. I mean, I have no fucking excuse whatsoever not to finish the fucker by the end of this year, which is a goal I set for myself at the beginning of 2009.

In the meantime, I updated my blog-story and wrote a poem, a whimsical thing that just 'came' to me and was written in a matter of minutes. I don't think it's very good, but I was just playing with its structure more than anything. Oh, The Hated put it on his blog...hehe.

And I think you - and DavidE - are right about such shows on American TV. Maybe if Politically Incorrect was still on, but that's stretching it a bit. I don't know if a show like that would even interest most Americans. We've become so obsessed with superficial things anymore. And we're so self-absorbed most of the time.

Obviously, the Batman producers/director were trying to show two "sides" of Batman with that voice change. Which is fucking stupid, isn't it? Because really, there's no difference, except that of ideas vs. action. There's that dichotomy between Bruce Wayne and Batman, but his fucking voice isn't different! Duh. Oh, well, Dennis, we'll just have to make our own movie...

And have you seen split dick spoogin?

steevee said...

By the way, are you familiar with the Ghost Box label? They've released about a dozen CDs with great packaging, often alluding to the paranormal and the concept of "hauntology." I'm sure they named themselves after Frank's equipment. They've just released an album by Belbury Poly, which alternates between sounding like '70s Tangerine Dream and the scores to children's educational films of that period.

NB said...

Dennis, I love anything physics/astrophysics related. I guess I'm a science buff in that way. It'd be my dream field, if I was smart enough. But I don't understand any of it. I guess I like it because it's so bizarre and relates to all of us in this strange, abstract, distant sort of way—something we'll never fully grasp like death and love. I don't know. I'm not a scifi fan, at all, except for Vonnegut but that's literature or whatever. So yeah, that's that. Nice to see you have/had an interest in it. That last story I wrote was all about physics, but not. These kids go back in time to sort of be with each other, but quantum physics is all fucked and they can't. Anyway.

So the new facebook has this stupid highlights sidebar, and I just saw a group on there which says if 10,000 people join these two dudes will get it on. Here's the screen. I don't know how to feel about this. I find it pretty stupid. Plus, the dude on the right, no fucking way. Sometimes facebook makes me want to throw all my internet devices away—and I work in the internet field, so that'd be bad.

I haven't written anything all week, even though I tried, everyday. Sort of scattered now, mind going all over the place. I'm hoping next week it will calm down and I can concentrate. Yeah yeah, how is your writing going? I'm so stoked about May. Can't wait to meet you, but just a warning, I am very shy in person so I'll be a social retard, just push me and I'll react.

And oh man, the walls in here are so thin. I heard my neighbor having sex. Horrible, wanted to vomit. And from the bathroom I can hear the other neighbor piss. Lord help me. City life can suck.

Justin said...

The writing can go alot of different ways right now, to be honest though I need to get on the ball and just right something so it'll be out there while the thing is still in peoples mind. The title will more than likely be Punch Face. One thing I've thought about is Literary Terrorism; leaving a copy at random locations.
It was a pretty crappy weekend, I'm just missing someone way too much. But I did adopt an orphaned Flying Squirrel , even though he looks like a rat fetous with a skin deformity lil' Eno is still precious.
Dennis what's your opinion of androgynous/crossdressing boys? Just curious.
Misanthorpe bisected penis was a random word that haqs been in my head the last few days.

Killer Luka said...

yeah India is a fuck hole
...a holy fuck hole, that is.
The poetry is fucking amazing. "Sand-blasted shoulders". \\/|\//

hey I watched the film Milk lastnight; it was very good; sean penn is brilliant but the end rolled down a hill covered in cheese and, as a result, the end became a giant, oozing, crusading cheese ball that distracted from its original and historical signifigance.
The death scene was handled/filmed poorly.
But I love to see good acting and I FUCKING LOVE EMILE HIRSCH.

Killer Luka said...

oh yeah!!!!!!!!
may I speak freely here and attest to the following...
Dennis does indeed think that androgynous/crossdressing boys should be dunked, floated, dried out, flayed, burned and sunk (in that order) - especially if said youth is of the Rodentia order.

Sorry I've had too much juice.

Creative Massacre said...


Thanks for doing that stuff for me, you're the best! Do you think you'd be interested in giving us some future criticism or advice on the script, dialog or whatever? We could use all the help we could get, if we're going to make our July shooting schedule.

How was your weekend? :)

rigby said...

alan - didn't quite float my boat.. but thanks for revealing more.. i've read about his phenomena before but really:
And the sky falls
with a plateglass clatter
around the shatterproof crone
who stands alone.

maybe i'm just missing something

dc - well actually it's a new pc.. a laptop probably under RAM'd and maybe i blame my provider.. or they blame me.. usage etc.. but if your next plane is soo fucking great why don't we go there now?

missy - you badboy.. i'm going to stop posting you shit

rigby said...

dc- oh and by the way i love the 'frank box' post.. i was going to get one for other uses.. but i built my own.. the reason you had posting failure is probably due to the hex i put on you for saying i'm not allowed in

Jeff said...

Been digging Stephen Palke and Wagner Israel Cilio lately.

winter rates said...

thanks for this alan, i shall return and return again

Ignacio said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jeff said...


Have you heard of sleep paralysis? It seems like something you would be interested in.

It ties in with ghosts. I had a sleep paralysis episode yesterday morning. I felt something clinging to my back exhaling fear and it said something like "Where is Jeff?"

Killer Luka said...

continuing my binge
on ghosts,
plague of the beyond, hey slatted light, it aint nothing beyond having relatively good eye sight and staring into a black corner and watching the colors go all funky. The rest is all shit. Stare at the blue of the sky and unreal jellyfish take their form. Ghosts are a rodent brain programmed to make sense of a dark world lit up. It gets intense sometimes. Your lover is dead. Just ask the birds.

Killer Luka said...

also dennis, I finished the entire george miles cycle this aftertoon for the third time. Times have been quite dodgy but your books saw/see seesaw me through this odd time of flatlined transition...that and this holocaust book Alex sent of dolls ...and I am reading Magic Mountain again. All at the same time; all the ghosts are rather loud.
I love you/ dennis.

The Dreadful Flying Glove said...

Alan and DC: Brilliant. Thank you. Such poetry. When language is not so much 'pared down' as poised in space, that's really a place I can get to. No-one would ever say that Gil Evans' orchestration is 'pared' or 'minimal' - neither of them especially 'good' expressions, as far as I'm concerned - and this isn't either of those. With the most engaging, rewarding pieces of minimalist art there seems to be an exchange of richness in one form for richness in another - or something going on that's actually about the recognition of space. Sculptural. With poetry like this, the exact weight of each syllable is like a radiant footfall.

If I still had a beard, I'd probably suck it.

Lovely, light-filled weekend here. Trying to finish off editing and mixing some recordings that have been weighing on my conscience. Spooky when I sat down the other day and realised I was getting the razors and tape out a year to the day that all the tracking had been done. Still, I'm learning chunks of programming Reaktor while I do it, which is rewarding enough.

Whoa. wordver: 'trust'

Nanu said...

I am student doing research about jejuri village & i want to know about its history can anyone provide me old photos of th jejuri village

please send me all photos that are old & related to jejuri