Friday, March 31, 2006

What to say about Matthew Barney? Drawing Restraint 9 was visually and acoustically stunning (though the operatic howling almost drove me mad, Bjork's soundtrack almost overshadowed the movie), and everything else was inexplicable. The narrative was curiously and comfortingly linear, with Bjork and Barney arriving onboard separately and being bathed, clothed, adorned and shaved for an elaborate wedding ritual below-deck on the Nisshin Maru, while the whaling ship operates 'normally' above. Normal meaning that the whalers create a huge Vaseline sculpture on the deck by pouring liquid jelly into a mold. Everything is going well, below and above-deck, and then a storm hits the ship. The sculpture melts and fills the lower deck and the Occidental Tourists unite in love, hacking each other's lower bodies to pieces. Their lower bodies turn into whale tails (fins?) and they end by feeding each other delicate pieces of their own flesh. There were also rocky spines, mermaid-like oyster divers, children singing, priests and shrimp in cement...

I found everything to be ornate and shockingly beautiful, and much more delicate (if vats of petroleum jelly and floating bits of human flesh can be delicate) than the Cremaster visuals. I think the ideas of life and death, creation and destruction were not meant to be subtle, but there was a stark quietness to everything in the movie that lent
Drawing Restraint a sense of deep sensitivity and tranquility. Could have used a few more floating testicles, phallic imagery and bees, though.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

I just took an "Are you normal?" quiz. Apparently I'm 47% normal:

Wonderful eccentric:
You've earned the title of wonderful eccentric, and while you're not a wild, gun slinging maverick, you certainly like to follow your own way. Of course, you probably don't think of yourself as eccentric. As Einstein might say, "It's all relative."

Lame. Of course, I did just buy this hat.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

How much do you love the end of Reality Bites? Winona is not a good actress, but Ethan Hawke was luminous. His mojo lasted until 1999. Singles is on right now, vs. my bed.

p.s. My font is brown in Eddie Vedder's honour.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

I went to the Bring Em Home concert for peace last night, and the music was pretty great. Though when Rufus sang Hallelujah, I wished it was Jeff Buckley instead, like every time I hear that song. P.S. What do serious neoliberal kids have against dancing? Fischerspooner and Peaches were wasted on that crowd, they would have loved 3 hours of Bright Eyes. Annoying.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

before coming undone

Two guys on the train sang 'She's Come Undone' tonight, complete with acoustic guitar and portable drum set; one of the guys came and sat down beside me while singing. They actually started singing 'Smoke on the Water', then stopped and serenaded me with The Guess Who. Have you ever listened to the lyrics of that song? (useful horn section version of the song with lyrics below)

I'm pretty sure it's about suicide. Thanks, guys.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Since today is Obvious yet Irrelevant Day, as well as well as look-like-the-Cryptkeeper-or-Eddie-from-Iron-Maiden-day (see previous post):

God, who cares.

I drank coffee too late last night and couldn't/can't sleep. And now it's 4:26am and I'm in the danger zone (remember from when you would stay up all night studying? Past 4am means that no alarm in the world is going to wake you up the next morning). So far, I've read two chapters, realized it was antisocial sleepover (with myself) behaviour, and started uncontrollably watching the following movies:

1. Sense and Sensibility. My favourite movie, not likely to help me sleep.
2. The Shaft. A horribly campy movie about a possessed elevator shaft in the Millenium Building, an analog of the Empire State Building, but then it turned out that the elevator was being experimented on by a rogue Army Intelligence dude who was working on AI and built a computer chip melded with human tissue. Naomi Watts was in it, inexplicably, not a high point for her.

3. Stigmata (on now). Hoorah! I love the cheesy soundtrack to this movie, billy corgan did it...

Oh irony of ironies, Lindsay Wagner and her Sleep Number bed commercial is on tv. I think my sleep number is 48. There are a lot of life insurance, don't leave your family with your funeral bills commercials on this late at night, I feel bad for the old people they're targeting, it seems cold-blooded to take advantage of the fact that they don't sleep much.

This has been super fun, sleepover, but tomorrow I'll be moping around the office, cranky and overcaffeinated. I kind of miss all-nighters, I haven't had one or stayed up this late (and been home) since I left school. No regrets, because I don't want to be reading Plato. Right now, Gabriel Bryne is a dashingly haunted priest, and that's as complicated as it's going to get at 4:36am.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

"We believe we are the first to record neural activity from a monkey doing a somersault"

So says a scientist at the University of Washington in Seattle. Apparently when a monkey is free to tumble, sets of neurons controlling opposing muscle groups are both active throughout many movements. Understanding this may be vital in creating a muscle-stimulating prosthesis to restore movement to a limb paralysed by nerve damage.
How can we use this technology to suck billions of dollars away from domestic matters and social programs and make it a crucial aspect of the war on terror? Remote-controlled 'stealth' sharks, of course (always a good idea to 'train' one-ton killing machines for advanced counterintelligence)

Engineers funded by the U.S. military have created a neural implant designed to enable a shark's brain signals to be manipulated remotely, controlling the animal's movements. For spy purposes. This is a fact (, and needs little tweaking to make this into the premise of a blockbuster Michael Bay movie (I don't know how they'll top the genius of Deep Blue Sea, though). In the film, the implant must degrade/go haywire. Either...

1. the sharks become sentient, as the implant degrading causes irregular growth (not cancer, but increased intelligence) in brain matter. They will turn against us.
2. the malfunctioning implant will reverse the direction of the mind-control beam (?), allowing them to control us. We will be forced to raise the sea level to flood our low-lying areas. They will eat us. The people in high elevations will survive, the rest of the movie will be like an Appalachian Mad Max.
3. half the spy sharks go over to the other side and sell Pentagon secrets to Iraqi insurgents, and the other half develops a conscience and realize that the war against terrorism must be fought by all patriotic Americans, humans and sharks alike. Even if it means fighting your brothers. The rest of the movie will be like North and South.

Rise up against the man, shark-brethren!

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Why watch the Oscars?

There's a Law & Order Marathon on all night. Jon Stewart should be entertaining, even though he's bloated with self-love. Even though it will be cringe-worthy to see Jack Nicholson stumble onto the stage to give another one of his doddering friends an honorary award for longevity, I do love the clench-jawed clapping of the losers, and the cameras always pan to them when they're names are not called. I would like to see Ang Lee win an Oscar, though I thought the Brokeback sheep were criminally overlooked in the best supporting actor (not gender or species specific) category. Animals are often part of the landscape of a movie, and provide a foil for the characters, e.g. Would Ennis have been as endearing if he hadn't carried a baby lamb on his shoulders across the river? Even though he did leave them to be attacked by wolves, it was to have hot sex (wow) with Jack. Understandable. Arianna Huffington called George Clooney the Karl Rove of the 2006 Oscars, but he's so pretty and suave. He should win the Channeling Cary Grant award/Best recovery after extreme weight gain award. Jordan Catalano could learn something from him.
Well, have a beer and a bowl of chili, our Superbowl is about to start...