Odds & Ends

Odds & ends. When I was growing up, in Hollywood, in the sixties, and as a young boy in the late fifties, it was a given that people came *to* Hollywood (and by extension, LA) and that it was a city of domestic immigrants. They came to be in 'movies'. The general career arc was from aspiring young actress and actor, to second career that usually began around the age of thirty -- maybe a bit more for the men. That second career for woman was (this became the joke) beauty school, massage school, or they got into real estate. For men it was move to places like Lake Havasu or often not even that far....just the further ends of the San Fernando Valley, to start up a small business in sporting … [Read more...]

Consuming Culture, Consuming Education

Several related topics rattling around in my head today. Let me start with a nice piece by my friend Rita Valencia....http://www.timesquotidian.com/2012/06/07/go-ask-alice-i-think-shell-know/ I've never liked nor trusted Sellars. The reason has to do with this brie & chablis network of rich people culture he rambles through, with his cuteness and faux enfant terrible persona. The truth is, what Sellars does (and he's hardly alone) is to create the right variety of kitsch, tricked out in high culture drag, and calibrates it perfectly so as not to offend anyone or actually say anything. I am immediately reminded of Marina Abramovich, who also has built a franchise on emtpy posturing...with … [Read more...]

Theatrical Forensics

I lived in Poland for almost eight years, so thats possibly why I find this such an intelligent look at the space and architecture of "oldtown" Warsaw: http://nastybrutalistandshort.blogspot.no/2011/07/reconstruction-time-again.html I also link this because its germane to several other topics I intend to discuss. All of them related, in the broad sense, to theatre and writing. I realized today, after adding several links to the blog roll at the right, that I dont have a single blog pertaining to theatre linked over there. I can't say for sure this isn't just my negligence, but I have a suspicion whatever good ones are out there, are not in English. But I digress... Something stopped … [Read more...]

intimidation, harassment, snitch jacketing, imprisonment, and murder — ‘your’ FBI.

This story contains a few interesting elements, besides the obvious fact that the US government has continued, through the FBI and now Homeland Security, to spy on and terrorize US dissidents-- or perceived dissidents. What is so painfully obvious though, is just how cretinous these folks are. http://www.greenisthenewred.com/blog/fbi-domestic-terrorism-training-anarchists-eco/6199/ The final sentence is really to the point. The FBI, and state authority, CREATE threats. They do it overtly, but they also do it through the indoctrination of their agents. (A high percentage of Mormons in the FBI is kinda interesting). COINTELPRO (counter intelligence programs) is a piece of history … [Read more...]

Wal Mart culture jamming

My friend Polsby sent me this: http://www.countrycalifornia.com/local-man-arrested-for-merchandise-tampering-at-area-walmart/ So, consider this my small show of support.... … [Read more...]

Authority, Fear, the Performance of Compliance, and Death Valley Days.

Mike Elk tries to ask a question and congressional staffers snatch the mic from him, and a room accepts this Orwellian police state drama because, well, it IS an orwellian police state. People are trained to take the side of authority. The training is very effective. Elk was trying to ask a question of Honeywell CEO David Cote. http://usw7-669.com/story/honeywell-continuing-deceive-workers-and-community Obama is scheduled to give a speech today at Honeywell's corporate headquarters in Minneapolis. Honeywell....longtime favorite for the US state dept, and Pentagon. … [Read more...]

Death from Above

I would argue Greenwald is essential reading now. http://www.salon.com/2012/05/30/how_extremism_is_normalized/ So, speaking of narratives, this one is certainly part of that arc of police state mediation. The welcoming arms of the US populace is very strange. Of course, there are huge numbers not welcoming. https://wwws.whitehouse.gov/petitions/#!/petition/create-do-not-kill-list/HwqFwRtG and here..... Chris Floyd's tasty critique http://www.chris-floyd.com/component/content/article/1-latest-news/2247-hymns-to-the-violence-the-nyts-love-letter-to-obamas-murder-racket.html#comment-543013573 and this, related, summary of the new Kill-Prez and his change that can drone-bomb … [Read more...]

narrative interruptus

One of the things I noticed while teaching at the film school in Lodz, was that students watched shows on their computers. They watched them, series anyway, in seasonal form. In other words if The Wire was making the rounds at the dorm, it was on a disc with the first two seasons. This allowed the sense of expanded narrative. Obviously, the old network formula, a stand alone one hour show, no longer seemed very compelling. Now of course most network TV is so awful as to be unwatchable anyway, but there was a new wave of cable material that defied the old formula; Boardwalk Empire and Breaking Bad, and The Sopranos, et al. Putting aside for a second the relative value of any of these shows, … [Read more...]