W. Kandinsky: "There are no 'musts' in art." T.S. Eliot: "There is no freedom in art." Dostoievski character, after the ancient Middle East epigram: "Everything is permitted." (R-rated weblog. Since one has been advised there is no Literature anymore, or even literature, only writing, one proceeds on the premise that this weblog qualifies as not-meaningless, since it is, or appears to be, a form of "writing." Image: Banksy.)
Friday, November 30, 2007
Authorized Tsipi Keller Biographical Note
We discovered this evening that Ms. Keller carries a small pair of scissors in her flip-top cigarette boxes which she uses to extinguish her cigarettes; she typically smokes (when in public) in short non-consecutive shifts in an authorized smoking area, cleanly cutting off the ash after each shift and depositing the shortened cigarette back in the box for a second or third use, until it's so short it's not worth lighting up. This is the first time in recorded history, we should think, that a human being has done this.
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Claude Simon, Windmills, Flipflopping
Monday, November 26, 2007
CIA's Vast Network of Spies
"Over the whole course of the cold war, the CIA had controlled precisely three agents who were able to provide secrets of lasting value on the Soviet military threat, and all of them had been arrested and executed."
Report of CIA Malfeasance
"For eight years, from 1986 to 1994, the senior CIA officers responsible for these reports [on Soviet military assets] had known that some of their sources were controlled by Russian intelligence. The agency knowingly gave the White House information manipulated by Moscow--and deliberately concealed the fact. To reveal that it had been delivering misinformation and disinformation would have been too embarrassing. Ninety-five of these tainted reports warped American perceptions of the major military and political developments in Moscow. Eleven of the reports went directly to Presidents Reagan, Bush and Clinton."
Sunday, November 25, 2007
"When Rusk [i.e., future Secretary of State Dean Rusk] tried to organize a Burmese-language unit for [the intelligence section of] the army [in 1941], 'we looked around the United States for a native Burman . . . . We finally found one and we looked him up and he was in an insane asylum. Well, we fished him out of the insane asylum and made a Burmese language instructor out of him.' "
Friday, November 23, 2007
Report of Reagan Lying to the American People
Report of Attempted Murder
"Helms [i.e., Richard Helms, Director of the Central Intelligence Agency of the United States] tossed one over the White House wall that day [January 4, 1975], telling Kissinger that [former U.S. Attorney General] Bobby Kennedy had personally managed the assassination plots against Castro."
Thursday, November 22, 2007
A Toast to the Age of Web Logging
Time Check II
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
A Sorry Circus Called the CIA
THIS JUST IN: Vegetable curry dish over rice, a glass of water and, later at home, a slice of apple pie with a distinct taste of preservatives, euh.
Gravity's Rainbow and the CIA
IMPORTANT UPDATE: Baked skinless chicken breasts, french fries, steamed broccoli florets, St. Pauli Girl NA.
Stamp: 12:59 AM (I indicate the time because it irritates me that the time stamp that automatically accompanies each post is inaccurate.)
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Closing Up Shop
IMPORTANT NOTE: For dinner tonight, baked (farm-bred) salmon fillets (which I greatly prefer to wild salmon), rice, asparagus, and a bottle of Sam Adams lager. For dessert, three jelly-filled, vanilla-coated soft cookies which have given me heartburn.
Time Stamp: 12:36 AM
Monday, November 19, 2007
Antidote to Aging
> 1) Listening to rock music at 60 is a very cool and natural thing to
> do...think of the Stones out on tour rockin the house EVERY night.
> McCartney at 64 turning out great music\
> SO don't stop listening...as a matter of fact "CRANK IT UP"
> 2) Music is a direct link to your life...you hear a song, you remember
> things, you remember a lot of things...and it can be wonderful. That
> is why I love listening to Brian Wilson songs...super happy, super
> simple time in my life...Innocence, girls on the beach, surfing,trying
> to get those girls on the beach, it just doesn't get any better)
> I see him in concert every chance I can and he is terrific...the love
> that comes from the audience towards Brain is incredible...almost
> shocking. You can tell that he feels it...IT IS ALL GOOD...so listen
> to your music...sweet,sweet music
> I could and sometimes sit in the great room at Camp Conor for hours
> enjoying "my music", drinking some wine AND smoking a great cigar...
> 3)I don't think time is running out for us...if we take care of
> ourselves...mentally and physically...get out there and run set a
> damn goal(mini-marathan) and do it...JUST DO IT.
> I am back in the gym almost everyday lifting weights and I really
> enjoy it...it is basic survival at our age
> 4)Age is all in the mind...I am really convinced of that fact...I can
> do ANYTHING I use to be able to do and better...that is why I want to
> get and stay on great physical strength. Not being able to defend
> Louise in a bad situation on a city street would not make me a happy
> camper...so do it for Betty if nothing else.
> 5)Professional drummer...I will make you a bet...if you took the next
> year and REALLY and I mean REALLY got back into the drums...you would
> be playing professionally somewhere after that year...you read about
> it EVERYDAY...it all comes from the heart.You can do anything you want
> to do...ANYTHING...that is one thing that age should have taught all
> of us.This thing called life is gone in a damn second...I still cannot
> believe that we have lost Conor...I live with that every minute of
> everyday. SO get up off the couch go buy some sticks and a drum pad
> and get your ass in gear. Hell, you put in a solid year of practice
> and I will get you a job playing with someone...you and Chris could
> start a band...
> If you REALLY want it make it happen...actually that is my favorite
> Mariah Carey song 'Make it Happen" if you don't have it go buy it and
> REALLY listen to what she is saying
> It's all up to you..."old man"
The Merriment of Office Life
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Tsipi Keller Novel Grips One's Mind
Still thinking about Monsieur Bruno. Aging--how to deal with it? what to think of it? Aging for me, at 59, is above all else a feeling of irritation. They say "Nothing comes into a person's life as more of a surprise than old age," and I'm afraid this is true. That's a line from a film I rented, can't remember which. The thought that one is on the downhill side of the hill, it's irritating; that time is running out, it's irritating, mainly because one can't do anything about it. There's a mild sense of loss of control. One is caught in a very slowly closing vise. Now you mentioned aging of the limbic system in Bruno, and I've been thinking about that off and on since the moment I read it. The major source of happiness (as opposed to ecstasy) in my life has been, for the past twenty years, listening to home-made tapes of rock music while sitting in the Square and watching the world go by. But I've stopped doing it. It's as if making the transition from normalcy to happiness is a chore, something in me doesn't want to make the transition. And the happiness was intense, there were Saturdays (I only did it on the weekends) when I would listen for two hours or more, in summer and (wearing insulated boots and a heavy coat and hat) winter. Your novel makes me wonder if it isn't aging of the limbic system that is responsible for the sense of resistance I feel when I think about picking up the walkman and going into the Square to enjoy what I used to enjoy. Or maybe I'm just bored with it. The few times I've listened in the past five years, it's worked, the happiness was as intense as ever. But I've stopped doing it. Maybe the brain stem is not what it used to be. I think the reluctance to listen is partly the result of a feeling that it's ridiculous for a man about to turn 60 (unthinkable!) to be finding so much enjoyment in rock music. But classical music just isn't the same. Samuel Johnson didn't like any kind of music: "It gives me no new ideas and prevents me from contemplating my own." Like you, I have a deep love of silence. I'm reading a thin book of poems by David Ignatow on aging, Shadowing the Ground, and it's awful, which is a shame, and bizarre, because his Selected Poems is one of the best books of poetry I've ever read. Perhaps I don't listen to my tapes because I don't need as much happiness now? I don't know, but a really huge thing has drifted out of my life. And I'm content to let it go. Happiness from listening to funk--been there, done that. And perhaps a deeper reason I don't listen is because subconsciously I am infuriated that I didn't become a professional drummer. Time is running out, one is walking downhill, one is irritated. Fear doesn't come into the picture, it's just this constant low-level irritation framing one's consciousness, filtering one's vision. You want to push at the air and push aging away . . . .
Anyway, thanks again for sending me the Bruno typescript, and you gentleman copied on this email, keep your eye out for the publication of this work in 2008 or 2009, on Amazon, by Tsipi Keller via Sputen Duyvil (sp?) Press.
Hope this finds you well.
On the Inevitable Path
Saturday, November 17, 2007
Alex Perez: Scab Writer - Promo #1 - Hi Hollywood
The Cruel Economics of the WGA Writers Strike
Cruel Development Reversed
Friday, November 16, 2007
Cryptic Comment Clarified
Your Hallmark-card illustration was truly LOL funny. For Betty too. It's the guy being down on one knee that cracked me up. And wouldn't you know it, I came across a reference to you in a Mickey Spillane novel I was reading yesterday:
"A covey of important-looking joes stood on the outside of the circle impatient to speak to Deamer, yet unwilling to offend the press by breaking up the party."
You see that, the mere mention of your name inspires respect, is synonymous with respect, and tact. Lucky you. I'm just Rick. My name doesn't mean shit. Can you imagine "a covey of important-looking ricks." Never happen.
Illustration Detail Clarified
The Incomparable Joe Owens
I made your poem into a poster for my wall. You could sell these, and other quotes and poems by RM.
Futility is the dark rich shitty soil
magnificent lilies of achievement
And here’s what I was trying to say the other day but couldn’t articulate it:
If futility is an exercise, then I’m a decathlon champ.
Get back Jo-Jo.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Screenplay Comments X
Also…just a thought, but you have a fairly simple morality tale (bad guy wants to be good, can’t help his true self, which is to be bad), that can tie in with the antagonist that’s hunting him down…you don’t have to kill off Jill until the end (or ever, the choice is yours)…Clive’s actions in killing the husband is the catalyst to his own death, but in finding and saving Jill, he redeems himself…in other words, after meeting and getting to know Jill, there can be real hope for him, but after the bad guys either miss or kill Jill in the middle of the story, Clive turns from redemption and goes on to rampage and vengeance…maybe he wins in the end and kills everybody, but in the aftermath he loses Jill (if you keep her around)…
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Sceenplay Comments IX
I’m glad that you and Betty liked the graphic that corresponds with your poem. I would be honored and delighted to be the illustrator of one of your books---an anthology of poems, short stories, observations, profound tips, sexual fantasies, radical political ideologies, instructions on organizing and starting revolutions, recipes using only condiments, and the psychoanalysis of first reader primer author psyches (if you get my drift). All the art will be unoriginal---in fact it will be stolen. I have been breaking into homes the past 30 years (give or take), stealing refrigerator art. At first it was to furnish the theme for a doctoral thesis linking artistic expression to socio-edu-economic status.
Then it became a hobby, then an obsession, and then an end in and of itself. There is no black market for refrigerator art (I learned), but I will establish the first Museum of refrigerator art and I will call it The Museum of Refrigerator Art. There will be rotating displays of everything from pre-school finger paints to advanced work in oils and pastels by special needs pre-pubescent foster kids. We will also have reciprocation with Refrigerator Art Museums worldwide. Problem with the Third World countries is that there are no refrigerators. So, we’ll be accepting, discarded tires, corrugated boxes, shingles, and there will be a tattoo category. There is a psycho-social commentary that I hope people get and that I hope leads to a full hour interview on the Charlie Rose Show someday and perhaps a Nobel Peace Prize nomination. If not, suicide is always an option and a comforting thought.
My kneeling guy graphic was inspired by your poem. It inspired in me a naive, humble, genuflecting, faithful, eager-to-do-good-deeds-doer, man of faith, in a worshipful, humble, prayerful, vulnerable posture planting the future of his life in SHIT. Pure Shit (capital “P” capital “S”) SHIT, nothing but SHIT (and he doesn’t even know it). God bless him. I love him, don’t you too? Well, you should because you created him and I thank you.
That aside, I’m delighted about your discovery of the “Joe’s” in the work of Mr. Spillane. Your discovery has served to provide me with new hope. I don’t have to be just a “Joe Blow”, “Joe Schmo”, “Average Joe”, etc. Deeply buried and most profoundly in the literature of Mickey Spillane, is my “Real Joe—the Joe who I am, the Joe who I can and shall be—THE JOE WHO IS ME!
Now don’t be so quick to put down your own name, Rick. I think you should go to that art supplies store between Central Square and Harvard Square , and pick up some finger-paints, Crayola Crayons, Yarn, Elmer’s Glue, popsicle sticks, balloons, and an assortment of buttons. Play in these media without self-censorship or self-imposed standards or expectations of results. It’s the journey, it’s the process, it’s the means to an end, not the end to a means that takes you wherever (if you get my drift) you want to go. Do this, and I guarantee that your name will take on deeper meaning—deeper than Mr. Spillane could ever hope to realize.
I’ve decided that football games from now on will be a means of self-expression for me. I’ll start out with benign statements like “Defense” or “Get ‘em”, or “C’mon, Ref!”, or “My Mother could have caught that! “ Then I will very craftily and subtly, start to infuse some remarks like you suggested the other day, such as, “ U.S. get out of North America ”. That’s a good one I think for starters for sure. I don’t know what this will become or where it will go and I don’t care. So come with me next time and feed me lines from your socio-edu-eco-politico-historico-psycho-evolutiono agenda and I will be your mouthpiece.
The great thing about yelling obscenities and inappropriate remarks at an IVY League contest is that you can always assert your First Amendment Rights to defend yourself and they have no comeback, so I’ve learned. If they do, you assert your Second Amendment right to pull out your favorite fire-arm and carelessly wield it around in their direction as you remind them that you’re pretty passionate about that First Amendment Right thing and they might want to reconsider. That usually works.
Joe “Where ya goin’ with that gun in your hand” Owens
Overall, I thought it was interesting, kind of an existential Pulp Fiction…
it had a very old-time feel, as if it should be set in the late 50’s or the
early 60’s, which you might want to consider changing it to as it would
add a starker, grittier feel to the piece. Also, it reads to me more like a
stage play than a film script…it’s loaded with dialogue and not much
happening visually that you would need it to be a film…it’s basically
people talking, shooting and driving around…something that can easily
be done on a stage… and I agree with Chris on the title . . . COCKED &
LOADED . . . you want to know what that's about.
Monday, November 12, 2007
Screenplay Comments VII
I had no trouble with Jill leaving with Clive - first
of all, he saves her from her husband, second, he is
handsome and tough and a knight on a white horse...
Screenplay Comments VI
I like Notes [on a Criminal], it's different from the usual crap.
Screenplay Comments V
Don't change the title
It fits the characters and the story
Notes on a criminal (not interested)
Cocked and Loaded (I want to know whats going on in there)
Don't over think it
This was your idea in the first place and it's great
Rock on Bro
Monday, November 5, 2007
Screenplay Comments IV
Distinguished novelist and translator Tsipi
finally had time to finish C&L. I think the
dialogue is great, and so are the characters
- even if familiar from other such movies.
I have trouble believing they'd kill the
mother - not that i know much about the mafia,
but i think Mother is kind of Sacred, no?
I also don't like that Karen is killed - my
own personal proclivity is for them to survive
at the end and drive into sunset (in a kind of
spoof), or, since you also kill Lou at the end,
maybe Clive should also die - a la Bonnie and
Clyde - even if "lucky" is his middle name?
At any rate, I think the screenplay is good
enough to send out as is, these minor points
would/could be ironed out at later point -
hopefully with producer and director who like
it. good luck, hope this is helpful,
Friday, November 2, 2007
Screenplay Comments III (repeat)
I read your screenplay. I couldn't put it down, from start to finish. Reminded me a wee bit of Pulp Fiction.
As you well know, I'm not a literary/theatre/film critic, just a boring old political scientist. So what the hell do I know?
Some brief comments:
I found the enthusiasm of Jill in joining Clive and Lou immediately after the hold-up rather too neat and tidy, lacking credibility. Abused partners of men don't always rush at the opportunity for 'freedom', and may even be totally shocked and distaught if confronted by Clive's shooting of Frank. Asa consequence Jill's character is not well rounded out, not enough emotional ambivalence or trauma?
Lou's departure to the other gang is a bit obscure. He seems to vanish from the script and then appears suddenly later with the Lorettes.
The demise of the two women, Jill and Karen, also seems rather stark, stretching credibility somewhat -- especially in Karen's case. Blown off a roof? And how would such a huge wind have affected Clive's shooting?
I like the final scene, especially as I thought Clive and Lou had finally got their beans. But I think that the sequence of Clive alive and then revealing his gauze dressings (one assumes he was protected by a flak jacket, or were the wounds not fatal?), should be reversed -- wouldn't a more dramatic effect be gained by first showing a close-up of gauze dressings on a man's chest, then panning back slowly, to reveal Clive as the wearer, very much alive, etc?
Just a few thoughts, Rick. What do you think?
Screenplay Comments IV
the handsome Clive, but I think you draw the move much too
sharply, with too little emotional confusion on her part. It would
round out her character if she showed rather more ambivalence
before throwing her lot in with Clive, though this could be
expressed after she'd made the move to actually run off with
him after Frank's killing. Confusing??
a closet international terrorist (though it would have to be a big closet).