Wednesday, June 22, 2016

LSP x 2

Why has Lumpy Space Princess been so ignored during the last few seasons of Adventure Time? ~ seasons clearly taking a perverse pleasure in putting Finn the Human and Jake the Dog further and further away from places, characters, and situations which made the show something beyond oddball: community, the adoration of quirks and uniqueness which comes of friendship, Finn’s love life, Jake’s new fatherhood, Marceline, Tree Trunks, Princess Bubblegum. The recent seasons have been pretty much all oddball. Few of the major characters surrounding Finn and Jake have been featured. What has been featured are curious figures we have never seen before (or will see again): James Baxter the Happy Horse, a large tree, the forever screeching Earl of Lemongrab, Finn’s hat, the Great Bird Man (not Chris Anderson), and a place called Puhoy. Almost no members of the Candy Kingdom or its many lovely princesses. And no LSP.

She's the funniest and dearest character on a very funny and dear show. With her pale-purple and lumpy body and star-implanted forehead, her Valley Girl personality and voice, she loves to eat almost as much as she hates her parents. She is lonely and needy and always cute. And very obsessed with her ex-boyfriend Brad.

Whom we meet in “Trouble in Lumpy Space,” where LSP accidentally bites Jake’s leg, causing him to turn into Lumpy Jake. So Finn must save him as LSP and her BFF Melissa only care about making it to the weekly Promcoming Dance.

My favorite episode in the series is “The Monster”: LSP runs away from home, joins a pack of wolves (who at last figure out she’s not a wolf and try to eat her), escapes the pack, finds a tiny village with lots of crops, eats all the crops and so is proclaimed a monster by the tiny villagers, sees the light and returns home.

Lucky parents.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Summer Place

Fauré and Bonnard.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Every day is. . .

"I've believed all my life that children have more to teach adults than the other way around. The person who has never dealt with children is a spiritual cripple. It is children who not only open our hearts but our minds as well. It is only through them, only in seeing the world through their eyes, that we know what beauty and innocence are. How quickly we destroy their vision of the world! How quickly we transform them into the image of us shortsighted, miserable, faithless adults!" -- Henry Miller

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Every Tuesday Morning

The Great Black Hope, every Tuesday in the White House:

Easily the strongest and most complex American fiction film on the corporate-vampire cesspool from which 9/11 was born, there's not a chance in hell that Stephen Gaghan and George Clooney's Syriana (2005) would be considered for production in the Land of the Drone Killer, a one-eyed land where fascist midgets such as Christopher Nolan, Kathryn Bigelow, Beau Willimon (ooh la la), Seth MacFarlane, D.B. Weiss and David Benioff stand tall. George Clooney (George Clooney!) now begs for financing. And the immensely talented (and brave) Stephen Gaghan? Hasn't made a movie since.

From the Golden Age of Bush/Cheney, Syriana.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Belated 90th

Steve Allen, Burt Lancaster, Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Ron Carter, Tony Williams and lots of smoking: "All Blues" from 1964.

Miles at 90.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

The Murder Pimp

Wall Street house nigger Barack Obama committed his latest act of Aggressive War by assassinating Taliban Emir Mullah Akhtar Mansour -- incinerating him not with one drone strike, but with four.

Thomas Gaist with a deep and brilliant two-part analysis of the murder.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

In the Land of the Pygmies

The dead, of course, cannot defend themselves against the exploitation of their lives and activities for utterly rotten purposes. Inevitably, President Barack Obama took the occasion of Ali’s death to present an unsuspecting public with another example of his almost supernaturally sinister hypocrisy and cant.

In a statement, Obama asserted that Ali “stood up when it was hard; spoke out when others wouldn’t. His fight outside the ring would cost him his title and his public standing. It would earn him enemies on the left and the right, make him reviled, and nearly send him to jail. But Ali stood his ground. And his victory helped us get used to the America we recognize today.”

As though Obama, the ideal president for spies, policemen and investment bankers, would know anything about “standing up” and “speaking out” when there might be a price to pay. Has this individual ever taken a single step, twitched so much as a muscle, without ensuring himself well ahead of time that it would find approval with the powers that be?

It is a remarkable commentary on the putrid state of the media and public intellectual life in America that Obama can make such an astounding statement without anyone calling him to order. The US president praises Ali for being prepared to go to jail—this from the relentless, vindictive persecutor of Chelsea Manning, Julian Assange and Edward Snowden! Dead and buried opponents of imperialist war are so much less threatening!

“Muhammad Ali shook up the world. And the world is better for it,” asserted Obama, the dispatcher of drone strikes that terrorize entire populations, the presider over “kill lists” that spell incineration for men, women and children in various parts of the globe.

One element of Obama’s statement did ring true: his obvious astonishment at Ali’s willingness to sacrifice career and income for principles. This speaks to a wider and genuinely disturbing problem: how is it possible that we are forced to look back to the 1960s for examples of political courage of this kind?

The United States has been at war with the rest of the world for a quarter-century. During that time, innumerable athletes, actors, musicians, artists, scientists and others have received honors at the hands of Bill Clinton, Bush and Obama, each president guilty of policies leading to the death of hundreds of thousands of human beings or more. Not a soul, as far as the public is aware, has turned down an award, spoken out at the White House or generally repudiated honors from one of these blood-soaked administrations.
-- David Walsh

Sunday, June 5, 2016


Compare this man (and his time) with the 21st-century BrandLetes who've stuffed their mouths full of cash while keeping them shut tight as the US devolved into the corporate totalitarian war state it so proudly is today. Beyond his heroic stance -- throwing away his heavyweight title and risking years in prison -- to not participate in the US genocide in Southeast Asia, Ali died without ever allowing his beautiful image to be used in a piece of market pimpery.

Man and King: 1942 - 2016.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

They Wear a Yellow Ribbon

Paul Craig Roberts:
It is extraordinary to see the confidence that many Americans place in their military’s ability. After 15 years the US has been unable to defeat a few lightly armed Taliban, and after 13 years the situation in Iraq remains out of control. This is not very reassuring for the prospect of taking on Russia, much less the strategic alliance between Russia and China. The US could not even defeat China, a Third World country at the time, in Korea 60 years ago.
Americans need to pay attention to the fact that “their” government is a collection of crazed stupid fools likely to bring vaporization to the United States and all of Europe.
Russian weapons systems are far superior to American ones. American weapons are produced by private companies for the purpose of making vast profits. The capability of the weapons is not the main concern. There are endless cost overruns that raise the price of US weapons into outer space.
The F-35 fighter, which is less capable than the F-15 it is supposed to replace, costs between $148 million and $337 million per fighter, depending on whether it is an Air Force, Marine Corps, or Navy model.  A helmet for a F-35 pilot costs $400,000, more than a high end Ferrari. (Washington forces or bribes hapless Denmark into purchasing useless and costly F-35s.)
It is entirely possible that the world is being led to destruction by nothing more than the greed of the US military-security complex. Delighted that the reckless and stupid Obama regime has resurrected the Cold War, thus providing a more convincing “enemy” than the hoax terrorist one, the “Russian threat” has been restored to its 20th century role of providing a justification for bleeding the American taxpayer, social services, and the US economy dry in behalf of profits for armament manufacturers.
However, this time Washington’s rhetoric accompanying the revived Cold War is far more reckless and dangerous, as are Washington’s actions, than during the real Cold War. Previous US presidents worked to defuse tensions. The Obama regime has inflated tensions with lies and reckless provocations, which makes it far more likely that the new Cold War will turn hot. If Killary gains the White House, the world is unlikely to survive her first term.
All of America’s wars except the first—the war for independence—were wars for Empire. Keep that fact in mind as you hear the Memorial Day bloviations about the brave men and women who served our country in its times of peril. The United States has never been in peril, but Washington has delivered peril to numerous other countries in its pursuit of hegemony over others.
Today for the first time in its history the US faces peril as a result of Washington’s attempts to assert hegemony over Russia and China.
Russia and China are not impressed by Washington’s arrogance, hubris, and stupidity. Moreover, these two countries are not the native American Plains Indians, who were starved into submission by the Union Army’s slaughter of the buffalo.
They are not the tired Spain of 1898 from whom Washington stole Cuba and the Philippines and called the theft a “liberation.”
They are not small Japan whose limited resources were spread over the vastness of the Pacific and Asia.
They are not Germany already defeated by the Red Army before Washington came to the war.
They are not Grenada, Panama, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, or the various Latin American countries that General Smedley Butler said the US Marines made safe for “the United Fruit Company” and “some lousy bank investment.”
An insouciant American population preoccupied with selfies and delusions of military prowess, while its crazed government picks a fight with Russia and China, has no future.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

100 - 1

"His imperfections flowed from the contagion of the times; his virtues were his own." -- Gibbon
Happy 99th Birthday to the last American President. . .

                                                          * * * * * *

Yes, it is a cold war document. Yes it was written and directed (and scored!) by right-wing loon Bruce Herschensohn (borrowing from Leni Riefenstahl). And yes we have to listen to Gregory Peck's voice.

But it is a great documentary (ignore the part about Dallas): earnest, transcendent, and -- like the man himself -- honorable and very moving. He left behind a more compassionate country (and world). What more can one do?

Friday, May 27, 2016



Tuesday, May 24, 2016


Both singers are dubbed and both are singularly limited as movie actors. (Yet who else could go from playing Tony in West Side Story (1961) to playing -- 30 years later -- Benjamin Horne[!] in Twin Peaks?) And yes we know that Natalie Wood and Richard Beymer hated each other on set. (Wood wanted her then-husband -- and future murderer -- Richard Wagner as Tony.) Plus the movie is not light and funny, nor a showcase for star performers in their best routines. Still. . .

Where did all this go? What happened to it? This quiet and warmth. This full-bodied belief in transcendence, heartbreak, longing. This sense of doom coming not from covens of corporate vampires creating a world frozen in dread, cynicism, and corruption; rather, a tragic forboding arising from the nature of things, as if one is never in so much danger as when happy and/or alive -- that is when the devils seem to have their day, and hawks steal something living from the gambol on the field.

West Side Story can now be seen, almost 60 years on, as a bleeding-heart opera of the Kennedy Years, filled with a faith in endless possibility and joy, undercut by distant drums, it is a movie with a vanished New York City of movement, color, good humor, fellowship, and a loathing of pretension and power at the center of its tender heart. Let it bleed.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Why Not?

This is why not: Andrew Levine with the revolting answer; and Rob Urie on the leading proponent of reactionary violence in the world today.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Rose Hobart

This is what happened to Joseph Cornell: He got his hands on a print of East of Borneo (1931) and became so obsessed with its star that he began chopping away everything which wasn't a beauty shot of Rose Hobart. Left with about 15 minutes of footage, he added several pieces of an eclipse documentary, tinted everything, silenced the sound from both originals, added two Brazilian songs, then projected the work at silent movie speed.

What he accomplished is nothing less than the directorial ravishing of a screen star; and a seriously erotic capturing of her lust. The gaze that masters the movie is Rose Hobart's gleaming blue eyes, a gaze that can change atmospheres, eyes that seem to swim in sperm ~ she's always in a trance state of sexual longing, or perhaps remembering some great fuck. Her looks and body movement suggest nights of quiet landscapes, breasts between the moon, of love and wetness from night 'til dawn.

She is surrounded by pools of sucking water, volcanoes flowing lava, moonlight and rain clouds, bunches of bananas, torches, melting crème inside a cool chalice, erect palm trees, the wick of a flame in swollen close-up. And lots of men: natives, Poobahs, and the very lucky Charles Bickford.

And the ravishment at the center: Hobart's panther-like walk, over it a glaze of passion, promising a woman who would lash around her lover like a storm. Her sleek slenderness. Her beautiful neck, arms, shoulders, and back. Skin that photographs like flesh.

The beauty and lust of a woman immortalized. And Cornell's perfect proof that millions of people in the world will never meet each other.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Galant' Uomo

He was the first.

Mark Lane 1927 - 2016