Incidental Acts of Spontaneous Cerebral Violence

Monday, January 31, 2005

It might be wise to avoid any presents wrapped completely in white

Happy 82nd, Norman Mailer.

Mailer on A Man in Full:
"At certain points, reading the work can even be said to resemble the act of making love to a three-hundred-pound woman. Once she gets on top, it's over. Fall in love, or be asphyxiated."
And my hometown:
"New York is one of the capitals of the world and Los Angeles is a constellation of plastic, San Francisco is a lady, Boston has become Urban Renewal, Philadelphia and Baltimore and Washington blink like dull diamonds in the smog of Eastern Megalopolis, and New Orleans is unremarkable past the French Quarter. Detroit is a one-trade town, Pittsburgh has lost its golden triangle, St Louis has become the golden arch of the corporation, and nights in Kansas City close early. The oil depletion allowance makes Houston and Dallas naught but checkerboards for this sort of game. But Chicago is a great American city. Perhaps it is the last of the great American cities."
Whether expressed through admiration or revulsion, we must concede his importance as the final link to a bygone age and style.

Sunday, January 30, 2005

It was just one of those days

Pick a song, any song:

Blue skies
Smiling at me
Nothing but blue skies
Do I see

I can see clearly now, the rain is gone,
I can see all obstacles in my way
Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind
It’s gonna be a bright, bright sun-shiny day.

Summer nights and my radio
Well that's all we need, baby. Don'tcha know?
We celebrate when the gang's all here
Ah, hot summer nights, that's my time of the year!

Morning has broken, like the first morning
Blackbird has spoken, like the first bird
Praise for the singing, praise for the morning
Praise for the springing fresh from the world

Summer breeze makes me feel fine
Blowing through the jasmine in my mind
Summer breeze makes me feel fine
Blowing through the jasmine in my mind


Friday, January 28, 2005

Why does this all sound so familiar?

Getting Higher but Sinking Lower

Ben Brantley's take on Hurlyburly:
For the pharmaceutically fried denizens of the squalid Hollywood Hills house in which Mr. Rabe's 1984 drama takes place, drugs and alcohol are way beyond recreational status. They're what generate thought and action, love and hate, security and anxiety, often in such a blurred succession of responses that it's hard to distinguish among them.

Hedonists is not exactly the word for these folks, who cling to the margins of the film industry. Even high, they're low. But thanks to a terrific cast that parks its vanity in the wings - directed by Scott Elliott and led by Ethan Hawke, Josh Hamilton and Parker Posey - theatergoers are likely to experience a heady buzz of excitement and clarity that fades only in the last quarter of this three-hour production and that any of the desperate characters onstage would kill for.
. . .
These jerks are drawn, by performers and playwright, with such fine-grained artistry and accuracy that they are compulsively watchable, giving the lie to the theory that you have to like characters to be engaged by them. What the show brings out so well is the fractured consciousnesses of people whose moods are determined by their most recent forms of self-medication. Halfway through this production, it occurred to me that "Hurlyburly" may be the smartest, and certainly the least sentimental, play ever written about life on drugs.

The speech of these coke-snorting, dope-toking, tequilla-swilling characters is circular, repetitive and shot through with abrupt shifts in attitude. Yet - and this is a crucial yet - we are always aware of an aching emotional and intellectual restlessness, fed by a need for clarity, to use one of Eddie's favorite words, in a muddled, superficial environment.

The characters may be victims of the psychobabble, spiritual mantras and film jargon of the world they inhabit. But they are also perversely struggling to penetrate their self-induced haze. The production is propelled throughout by a sense of thwarted energy and a crippled quest for substance.
I may have to fly in just for this. Or perhaps I'll simply sit on my couch for a while.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

It's going to be one hell of a party this year

Thursday, January 13, 2005

While I'd normally be offended (o.k., maybe not), West Wing was damn good last night

It appears that gmail lost my invitation.

And to think that I was planning on sending them some Golden Globes gossip on Sunday. Now, in the name of friendship and loyalty, it's all going to Star.

Who woulda thunk it? From Carl Spackler to Cinematic Icon

Anthony Lane deconstructs "The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou" in this week's New Yorker:
It is heartening to reflect that the best of Bill Murray may be yet to come. These days he is a wiser and a madder man; his ennui has lost any trace of a pose, and he sits around (for a tall guy, he can look oddly squat, verging on the shrunken) as if wearing an invisible T-shirt that says “I Told You So.”
And, please, do not overlook Bill's tour-de-force performance in the best film of 1998.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Sickos, Sickos Everywhere (and not a drop to drink)

This was the most viewed article in 2004, beating out:

Ron Suskind's profile of Dubya the Messiah (#2)

Tony Scott's 'Fahrenheit 9/11' review (#4)

Frank Rich's post-election moral values refutation (#5)

The front-page dissection of Condoleezza Rice's aluminum tube deception (#7)


The Times' endorsement of John Kerry (#9)

Unfortunately, I'm not all that surprised.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Save me a spot on the next Celebrity Fit Club

Just when my post-holiday diet (30" jeans were feeling a bit tight) was progressing swimmingly, our sadistic office manager decides to stock our kitchen with fucking Double Stufs.

Ugh . . . 2 days, 13 cookies . . . and counting . . .

Thursday, January 06, 2005

The blogging equivalent of the electric defibrillator

This temporarily awoke me from my indefinite new year's coma.

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