December 2004 Archives

Dec 20 13:06:00 2004

Purity of Essence

I hope the next time i sit down with an epic, 3.5 hour movie i'll remember o drink something other than Bourbon-assisted eggnog... ... unlike last night, when AnassaDeina and i watched the Director's cut of Bertolucci's The Last Emperor. I feel very tired today. Might also be whatever allergen is in the air.
So i'm sitting there on my bike at the traffic light, still kind of groggy, missing my bed, when a pool cleaner pulls up next to me, on my right, because i'm all the way on the left side of the lane, preparing to turn left. It's a baby pickup, whose bed is full to the the brim with various plastic buckets and pool cleaning implements. On the cab's back window are a couple of bumper stickers. One is some sort of pool-cleaning professional org. The other says, "Save a child's life, close the pool gate."
This being Austin, it's a pretty temperate December day, and the driver's window is open about 30%. Through the open window, the young, blonde-haired driver's tatooed fingers are tapping along with loud, hardcore music. He becomes disenchanted with the song, and it's on to another. This one has an intro:
"And here is the response from Germany."
(another voice)
"This goes out to all of the White Supremacists..."
Then there were lots of German-accented, harshly-screamed lyrics and hardcore music, and about all i could really make out was "... I'm proud of my race..."
More, aggressive finger tappin' from the pool boy.
So i'm sitting there on my bike, listening to the music (because it's so loud that i don't have much of a choice), looking at the chemicals in the back of the truck, and i'm wondering: do White Supremacists feel attracted to careers like pool cleaning, or pest control where they get to use harsh, heavily-toxic chemicals to obliterate impurities?
"Hello Mrs. Johnson. Yes, our $19.95 monthly service guarantees that your pool will be free of Cryptosporidium, E. Coli, Jews, Mongoloids and other inferior organisms."

Posted by johan | Permanent link

Dec 05 07:56:00 2004

I doubt i'd be this brave...

but i think this is awesome:
"Two years ago a South Korean woman reportedly asked a North Korean why President Kim Jong Il was the only fat man in the country, and was detained for several days as a result."
From A CS Monitor story about travel to North Korea.

Posted by johan | Permanent link

Dec 01 00:01:00 2004

the One True Kate

About 99% of the time it's ON, my TV is displaying the PowerBook, PlayStation 2, or a DVD. Yet lo and behold, during that other 1% when it's on PBS, i be yet offended to near the very core of my very being by this bimbo.
I know one person from New Zealand, and i think she's great, and everything i've heard about the place is fantastic. So it's nothing to do with Hayley Westenra's nationality. It is 100% to do with her choice of songs to cover. Specifically, Kate.
There's only one Kate Bush, and there will only ever be one Kate Bush. And no, you can't even come close to Kate's voice singing Kate's music, and FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT'S HOLY, please just DO NOT TRY. Sing along in the shower, or in the car, or even when you have headphones on. But under NO CIRCUMSTANCES should you ever attempt to perform a melody written by Kate, unless she is singing a duet with you.
You're welcome to play her song over the PA while you stand on stage in mute, awed, appreciation. But never, ever, ever, attempt to cover any of her songs. The difference is painful for us to hear, Precious.
The only non-horrendous thing about hearing Hayley Westenra trying (and failing) to cover "Wuthering Heights" is that it causes me such suffering i must immediately listen to many songs of the One True Kate, and hear her so much the better.
Yes, some of her songs are -- from a certain, ascetic standpoint that i no longer recall comprehending -- odd. Perhaps even a tad bit goofy, as so many things from the 1970s were wont to be. But even the goofiest Kate is divine, the most middling Kate is transcendent, and the most divine Kate simply cannot be described. And i can't explain why this is to someone who does not already understand, any better than i could explain the taste of Chocolate or the bliss of that first cup of Coffee to someone who does not appreciate those pleasures.
Perhaps, at last i finally understand what it may be like to be a Fundamentalist, at least of something. So please, please, please, PLEASE, take my word for it, and do not attempt to cover Kate.
(Or i'll have no choice but to research ways of causing PBS' broadcast satellite to burn up in the atmosphere.)


Posted by johan | Permanent link