Monday, June 25, 2012

just some dad faves

Recent hits from Dad.

He was very proud to show me his homemade violin shoulder rest. Rubber bands and a $1.50 self-massage implement from Daiso:

He threw this away after a few days of use. Onto version 2.0.
 Here he is enjoying the fruits of his labor:

It improved his posture but not his playing.
Dad showing me the card he keeps in his wallet to remind himself of the things he has in his life. Best encouragement: Mom. Best kids: Dr. R., Dr. A., Dr. [Bananarchist; he considers a juris doctor a doctor]. Five brothers. Google Translate, Wikipedia, Baidu, FNN and assorted sheet music websites [Dad loves learning via the Internet]. A photo of Mom eating soup.

Just looking at the card gives him this happy, wistful feeling.
He left a cup of tomatoes on my desk with the label "Cancer Cancellation." The second word did not all fit on one line:

I had to go to the dentist for an operation. My parents drove me there and picked me up after it was over. Dad said, "I have a gift for you!" Then he gave me this $3.99 toy boat they had bought at Walgreens. He said, "If Whitney Houston was my friend, she wouldn't have died, because I would have given her bath toys to distract herself with." This was the week after Whitney Houston drowned in a bath tub:

Afterward, we had soup from the hot bar at Safeway and they drove me to World Market and I bought a stool.
And this is not a Dad fave, but here is an arrangement of my plush toys that M. left for me to discover in my living room one morning:

The horse head is from my brother. The vulva is a costume.

Friday, June 22, 2012

pet - kick

Friday roundup. YouTube videos that I have watched today.

Technotronic, "Pump Up the Jam."  Athletic stomp-dancing woman in green spandex and fanny pack demanding somewhat forcefully that the jam be pumped up, against a mesmerizing kaleidoscope of rotating peace signs, fluorescent-colored angular shapes, and a transcription of green eggs and ham-esque lyrics.

Neil Young, "Heart of Gold." Start crying around :01, when he hits the first of the pulsing E minors. The modulations from minor to major - on "live," "miner," and "expressions" - just slay. If you notice the music thrums along at Em when he sings "keeps me searching for a" for twice as long as any previous appearance of that chord, which gives that line tension and momentum until you get to that cracked wheat voice saying "haaaarrd a go-old," with its harsh American tongue-curling "r" sound on "heart" and dropped consonants on both "heart" and "of."  God. I attempted suicide by heartbreak listening to this song on repeat this morning.

Vengaboys, "We Like to Party (The Vengabus)."  Because Neil Young and minor chords are damp sweaters on a foggy soul, this was next. There's an official video for this late-1990s dance hit that shows everything you expect it to - a bus - the VENGABUS - and people - young FATLESS people - who like to party - WE LIKE TO PARTY - but I prefer this version instead. If you get past the first thirty seconds (showing the lyrics in rainbow script font), you get to somebody's Microsoft Paint interpretation of this song, showing two black stick figures "partying" against a muted rainbow fade, around multicolored music notes (with the stems attached in all the wrong places). Just imagining some insomniac (screenname PiNKLaDyApPPlesYeY) making this image and posting it to YouTube - because WHY? WE LIKE TO PARTY and SHARE OUR TERRIBLE ART WITH EVERYBODY - fills me with giggles.

Then it was onto two '90s hits where gibberish substitutes for words.  First, Spice Girls, "Wannabe." "I really really really wanna zig-a-zig ah." Indeed!

Then Wrekx-n-Effect, "Rump Shaker."  "All I wanna do is in my zoom zoom zoom and a-boom boom." Sir, you give voice to my heart.

Finally, Guns 'n' Roses, "Welcome to the Jungle." Best listened to while going through a box of correspondence between malpractice defendant and his clients in the underlying action, singing along to "You know where you are? You're in the jungle, baby, you're gonna DIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!"

Today, X. taught me a new technique for disagreeing with an unpredictable irrational person with power over you, that she referred to as "pet, kick." Very simple. Pet until their egos purr. Then kick. No kicking without petting first. Also referred to as "roses before thorns." But  "pet, kick" has more poetry. Practice it. Pet. Kick. Pet. Pet. Pet. Kick. 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

"Oh, have it?"

Loved this unnecessary snark at the end of a New York Times article about vegetarian/vegan diets and athletes:

In related news, I read all of the posts in the Well section of the Times because mental space occupied in recent months by calculations about my health/fitness/body can be measured by the cubic shit ton.  Imagine a rococo room where every curlicue represents a tangent about fats in almonds, VO2 maxes, Yasso 800s, nerve impingement, and the invariable Huffington Post slideshow on the ten meditation techniques that will give you runny bowels.  It's all so tangent there is no curve. 
There is no empty space, just invisible Google searches for "mouse lemurs."
This is what happens to your brain when you turn 31 and your body revolts, both in the transitive and intransitive sense.

Sorry, once-readers, if I remember how to string together a post that is not esoteric and irrelevant I will return with something properly considered and enlightening yet tender and laffy.  Until then:

The heart wants what it wants.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

the price we pay for the prices we pay

I do not regard myself as having opted out of the agony and anxiety that plague men and women who are slaves to lives they did not choose and denizens of communities they hate. I think especially of the citizens of the great industrial and commercial towns -- New York, London, Bombay, and my own Manchester.  "In the sweat of thy brow shall thou earn bread": the Book of Genesis says it best.  The maintenance of a complex society depends increasingly on routine work, work with no zest or creativity. The things we eat, clothes we wear, places where we live become increasingly standardized, because standardization is the price we pay for the prices we are able to pay.
Not sure about the sentimentality for a bygone idyllic natural state this implies but I like how neatly the phrase in bold summarizes a sociopolitical analysis.

Otherwise I found this article by the author about "A Clockwork Orange" somewhat disagreeable, but only because libertarians have made me associate fictional narratives of personal freedom with xenophobia and racism.

In the New Yorker article, Burgess quotes "Bishop Blougram's Apology": "We called the chess-board white,--we call it black."  Did you know? Clockwork Orange was supposed to have a happy ending, which would have called the chess-board white:
The 21st chapter was omitted from the editions published in the United States prior to 1986. In the introduction to the updated American text (these newer editions include the missing 21st chapter), Burgess explains that when he first brought the book to an American publisher, he was told that U.S. audiences would never go for the final chapter, in which Alex sees the error of his ways, decides he has lost all energy for and thrill from violence and resolves to turn his life around (a slow-ripening but classic moment of metanoia—the moment at which one's protagonist realises that everything he thought he knew was wrong). 
But it was more credibly black:
At the American publisher's insistence, Burgess allowed their editors to cut the redeeming final chapter from the U.S. version, so that the tale would end on a darker note, with Alex succumbing to his violent, reckless nature—an ending which the publisher insisted would be 'more realistic' and appealing to a U.S. audience. The film adaptation, directed by Stanley Kubrick, is based on the American edition of the book (which Burgess considered to be "badly flawed"). Kubrick called Chapter 21 "an extra chapter" and claimed that he had not read the original version until he had virtually finished the screenplay, and that he had never given serious consideration to using it. In Kubrick's opinion, the final chapter was unconvincing and inconsistent with the book.
Horrorshow! Ha ha ha ha ha