Saturday, November 08, 2008
ACT (Aesthetically Claimed Thing): Lloyd Charmers, Darker Than Blue
Thursday, November 06, 2008
ACT (Aesthetically Claimed Thing): Jeff Wall, Basin in Rome 1, 2005. On display at the VAG through January, along with several other pictures I've only ever seen in reproduction, including War Game, 2007 (qv. numerous previous entries). I spent fifteen or twenty minutes with Basin, which tells me that art isn't for everybody, but it is for everyone. And inexhaustible.

Jurassic Park (& Jasper Johns) Author Michael Crichton Dies

...of embarrassment.

Via L., via Best of Local Internets Buy and Sell:

"Seeking a sexual tyrannosaur for a romp in the park - w4m

I am a very career-focused, attractive, 5'9, 120lb woman who is seeking a man who is willing to fulfill my ultimate sexual fantasy. I am an executive with a very successful corporation that keeps me very busy and I sometimes have difficulty finding men who share similar interests to my own in the bedroom.

Nothing turns me on more then Jurassic Park themed role play. You must be the animatronic dinosaur, and I must be the helpless child (Tim or Lex) stuck in the park at your mercy.

You will growl mechanically into my ear and stare threateningly. I will feign panic and search for the flash light in the back seat of the visitor jeep. You will sniff at the window slowly and then release a robotic roar into the night air. I scream for Alan Grant, but your over sized robot jaws come crashing down through the overhead window, pinning me to the floor.

I cannot stress this enough however, you must play as a ROBOTIC dinosaur. This is very specific, my interest lie entirely in animatronic dinosaurs, not real ones. I thought I should mention this as there have been unfortunate miscommunications in the past, leading to performances that have left me without an orgasm.

Other situations could include you being the dilophasaurus and spitting in my face and then going for my jugular. Or you could be the ill and moaning triceratops, and I would be Ellie Sadler, digging through your stool to find the source of the ailment. More or less any scene from the film involving a mechanical dinosaur interacting with a human will do fine.

I don't like wasting my time, so make sure you do your homework and watch the film and make sure you can fully embrace the mindset of an animatronic dinosaur. I am an incredibly sexual person and I would make it a blockbuster night that you would never forget."

Ballard's bookstores and cupcake cafes pinch out southwest of town. Past Archie McPhee's red blinking neon sign, low-rise residential slides past in the twilight.

The locks' $5 parking is deserted, save for an idling police cruiser, interior light on. An illuminated cop does paperwork, occasionally sipping from a thermos or flask.

Huge masses of disturbed black air linger over Lynnwood. (The sense of looking deep into Mordor).

The Ship Canal's smooth surface flecked with raindrops. Wet salt-smell in the air.

The rail bridge's elevated trestle descends through the falling dark, silently at first, then settles, creaking and groaning, into place.

A ragged line of seagulls flies fast and low upstream.

Rain, heavier now.
Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The World-Eater

Via Jamie Tolagson:

"Dan Dunlap (AKA Dragon Dan), cartoonist and Bolen Books employee, shows off his Hallowe'en costume for the cameras.

He worked the floor in it on Hallowe'en day, stopping occasionally to have his photo taken with starry eyed kids. It's all cardboard and he made the whole thing in one night.

I thought he should have had little popcorn balls in his pocket that had been painted with food colouring to resemble planets, so he could snack on worlds throughout the day."

Via the New Yorker's George Packer:

"In The Audacity of Hope [Obama] quotes the investor Warren Buffett—who’s since become a[] supporter and adviser—saying something similar in a comment about his fellow billionaires:
They have this idea that it’s “their money” and they deserve to keep every penny of it. What they don’t factor in is all the public investment that lets us live the way we do. Take me as an example. I happen to have a talent for allocating capital. But my ability to use that talent is completely dependent on the society I was born into. If I’d been born into a tribe of hunters, this talent of mine would be pretty worthless. I can’t run very fast. I’m not particularly strong. I’d probably end up as some wild animal’s dinner. But I was lucky enough to be born into a time and place where society values my talent, and gave me a good education to develop that talent, and set up the laws and the financial system to let me do what I love doing—and make a lot of money doing it. The least I can do is help pay for all that.
What this suggests isn’t socialism, but wisdom."

When The Fog
by August Kleinzahler

When the fog burnt off this morning
Outsize JumboTron screens were hanging off the clouds,
Scores of them, huge, acres and acres of screen,
Images trembling,
Pixels the size of wagon wheels, damaged, flickering
Off and on, red, blue and green;
Faces, flags, county fairs — like pointillist cartoons,
Melting away, reconstituting,
A continuously mutating liquid crystal montage:

The old warrior’s frozen grin,
The popped, saffron Star Trek collar,
Critter lipstick,
Kawasaki 704 eyeglasses,
Disembodied, like the Cheshire Cat’s smile,
And there, the golden one, the adored, in silhouette,
Drinking it in behind bulletproof glass;
Crowds, crowds in hats, t-shirts, delirious,
With drumsticks and banners —
Galvanically us,
Us whom we’ve been waiting for,
All of it smearing into vibrating puddles of color,
Then dissolving, like jet exhaust, into the air.

While outside the streets were empty.
Who is to say where everyone has gone?
Only the occasional sound truck, its barked entreaties
Too garbled to make out.
Then quiet.
Two scrub jays making a racket in the honey locust.
Sky darkening as weather gathers off the coast.
Quiet as an abandoned summer playhouse.

MR. OBAMA: What began 21 months ago in the depths of winter cannot end on this autumn night. This victory alone is not the change we seek; it is only the chance for us to make that change.

And that cannot happen if we go back to the way things were. It can't happen without you, without a new spirit of service, a new spirit of sacrifice. So let us summon a new spirit of patriotism, of responsibility where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not only ourselves, but each other.

Let us remember that if this financial crisis taught us anything, it's that we cannot have a thriving Wall Street while Main Street suffers. In this country, we rise or fall as one nation; as one people.

Let's resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for so long. Let's remember that it was a man from [Illinois] who first carried the banner of the Republican Party to the White House -- a party founded on the values of self-reliance and individual liberty and national unity. Those are values we all share. And while the Democratic Party has won a great victory tonight, we do so with a measure of humility and determination to heal the divides that have held back our progress. (Cheers, applause.)

As Lincoln said to a nation far more divided than ours, 'We are not enemies, but friends -- though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection.' And to those Americans whose support I have yet to earn, I may not have won your vote tonight, but I hear your voices, I need your help, and I will be your president too. (Cheers, applause.)
Monday, November 03, 2008

Stan Douglas, Abbott and Cordova, 7 August 1971, 2008

Stan Douglas, Hastings Park, 16 July 1955, 2008

Two new Vancouver-themed photographs, usefully compared with each other. Abbott and Cordova's overt digital manipulation (punched-up lighting; the three figures forming the triangle in the center of the picture that are literally cut-and-pasted into the intersection's deep space) is an aesthetic error, an unneccessary attempt to undercut the naturalism of the figures' gestures and poses by foregrounding them as "elements in a composition." This is a "strategy" that the Metro Pictures crowd tried out in the 1980s, and one that Gregory Crewdson -- the worst living artist-photographer I know -- has built a whole career around. But pictorial representation itself provides plenty of tools to undercut the artifice of representational illusion. Theatrical lighting gels, digital "seams", "the representation of representation," etc. just get in the way. And Douglas knows this. Just look at the man with the shades at the upper left hand corner of Hastings Park. He's a spectator, just one of the crowd, but he's not following the horses, he's watching us watch the photograph. The medium is studying us, like the planet in Lem's Solaris.


RIP: Wallis Warfield Simpson Windsor Helps-English, honorary Team Cat member and ace Pulpfiction rodent eradication specialist (scroll, 22 April 2007). A tiny little talkative cat whose self-image was always Buffy, Boudica, Joan of Arc, & etc. That pink catnip mouse has no idea that it's momentarily going to be chewed and kicked to pieces, though its startled eyes do betray some subconscious awareness of Nemesis looming nearby, clip-clip-clipping her shears. . . .
Sunday, November 02, 2008

Deep Sea? More like Back Lot or Hard Drive. Still pretty impressive, even if it's all just blue-screen magic, the light from the diver's lamp tracing the length of that scarred and muscular hide.

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