Saturday, November 17, 2007

I invent nothing, I rediscover.

Auguste Rodin (French, 1840–1917)

Speaking of The Thinker, Rodin illuminated his aesthetic: "What makes my Thinker think is that he thinks not only with his brain, with his knitted brow, his distended nostrils and compressed lips, but with every muscle of his arms, back, and legs, with his clenched fist and gripping toes."

The Thinker

Rodin Museum Philadelphia, PA

The Age of Bronze

"The artist must create a spark before he can make a fire and before art is born, the artist must be ready to be consumed by the fire of his own creation."

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Time Well Spent

POEME SYMPHONIQUE for 100 Metronomes

The Score

Ligeti"Poeme Symphonique" (for 100 metronomes) requires, as its primary condition for performance, 100 metronomes. Their acquisition may be accomplished in several ways. For example, they may be borrowed from one or more music instrument firms. (When the pertinent special shops are not to be found on the spot, it is recommended that inquiry be made to this end at so-called music dealers). For the purpose of attaining the desired result (i.e., the permission to borrow), some comments may be useful with regard to the value of the advertising to the firm, gained through its readiness to loan. In this connection one may offer to print the name(s) of the firm(s) on the concert poster, in the programme book or on a placard to be placed on the stage, or one or another combination of the listed possibilities. If necessary, the announcement may take the form of verbal communication, either by itself or as a means of following up the printed announcement.

Another way to bring about the acquisition of the metronomes is the insert advertisements in the newspapers. In this case all private persons will be invited to be so generous as to make temporarily available the metronomes in their possession for use in the performance. In cities which have their own music schools*, this request can be made directly to the teaching staff or the student body, with the assistance of the customary media of communication. In the two last-named instances it is recommended that the owners of the required instruments be asked to put some means of identification on them, to prevent their being misplaced or mixed up. This can be achieved, for example, through the obligatory affixing of the owner's name by means of a suitable strip of paper**.

MetronomeShould it happen that a Maecenas makes it possible to borrow the metronomes for the purpose of performance, his name- after consultation with the person in question- shall be made public.*** The composition is provided with a passe-partout dedication: on each occasion the work is dedicated to the person (or persons) who have helped to bring about the performance through the contribution of instruments, by any means whatsoever, whether it be executive council of a city, one or more of the music schools****, one or more businesses, one or more private persons. If a patron can be found who will remove once for all the financial hindrances to the performability of the work by buying the necessary metronomes and guaranteeing the transportation costs which arise from time to time, "Poeme Symphonique" will be dedicated from then on to him alone.

In particular, the following instructions for performance are to be carried out:
1) It is preferred that pyramid-shaped metronomes be employed.
2) The work is performed by 10 players under the leadership of a conductor. Each player operates 10 metronomes.
3) The metronomes must be brought onto the stage with a completely run-down clockwork (that is, in an unwound condition). It is expedient that they be placed on suitable resonators. Loudspeakers, distributed throughout the concert hall, can serve to raise the dynamic level. It is recommended that each of the 10 groups of 10 metronomes be arranged about a microphone which is connected to an appropriated loudspeaker*****. The distance between the metronome-group and the microphonem as well as the regulation level of the allocated loudspeaker******, are to be differently set in order to achieve the proper effects of closeness and distance.
4) At a sign from the conductor the players wind up the metronomes. Following this, the speeds of the pendulums are set: within each group they must be different for each instrument.

"Poeme Symphonique" may be performed in two versions:
1) All metronomes are wound equally tightly. In this version the chosen metronome numbers (oscillation speeds) wholly determine the time it will take for the several metronomes to run down: those which swing faster will run down faster, the others more slowly.
2) The several metronomes of a group are wound unequally: the first of the 10 metronomes the tightest, the second a little less, the tenth, the least tightly. Care must be taken, however, that the winding and the regulation of the speeds of the several metronomes are carried out completely independently of each other. Thus the metronome in each group which has been most lightly wound must not be the fastest or the slowest in its oscillation.

The conductor arranges with the players beforehand the method and the degree of winding. The performance may be considered ideal, if a) in the first version all the metronomes -and- b) in the second version the first metronome of each group is (are) completely wound.

SoundwaveThe ideal manner of performance is the obligatory one. Non-ideal performances are only permitted if weighty reasons are present which force the occurrence of a deviation from the ideal performance, such as the playing of a shortened version of the work. In this unwelcome case the conductor must set, with the performers, the number of turns for (1) all the metronomes or (2) the first of each group, according to whether the first or second version is being played. The winding-up and the regulation of the oscillation speeds (the setting of the metronome number) must be done ceremoniously and formally. At the conclusion of this preparatory activity comes a motionless silence of 2-6 minutes, the length of which is to be left to the discretion of the conductor. At a sign from the conductor*******, all the metronomes are set in motion by the players. To carry out this action as quickly as possible, it is recommended that several fingers of each hand be used at the same time. With a sufficient amount of practise, the performers will find that they can set 4 to 6 instruments in motion simultaneously. As soon as the metronomes have been started in this fashion, the players absent themselves as quietly as possible******** from the stage, led by the conductor, leaving the metronomes to their own devices.

"Poeme Symphonique" is considered as ended when the last metronome has run down. It is up to the conductor to decide when the last metronome has run down. It is up to the conductor to decide the duration of the pause, before he leads the players back on to the stage to receive the thanks due from the public.

*resp., colleges of music
**It is recommended that the use of fountain pen or ball-point pen be prescribed.
***See in this connection the paragraph on the music instrument firms.
****resp., colleges of music
*****or group of loudspeakers
******resp., group of loudspeakers
********Suitable footwear is requested.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

"Dr. Livingstone, I presume"

Dr. Livingstone

10 November 1871 – "Dr. Livingstone, I presume?" - Journalist and explorer Henry Morton Stanley located missing missionary and explorer David Livingstone (pictured) in Ujiji, near Lake Tanganyika in present-day Tanzania.

Monday, September 10, 2007

"Impetuous! Homeric!"

Barry FitzgeraldMichaleen Oge Flynn

"Is this a courting or a donnybrook? Have the good manners not to hit the man until he's your husband and entitled to hit you back."

"When I drink whiskey, I drink whiskey; and when I drink water, I drink water."

"No patty-fingers, if you please. The proprieties at all times. Hold on to your hats."

Friday, September 7, 2007

World Cup 2007

Irish Justice!20 Nations - 48 Matches - 44 Days! The 2007 Rugby World Cup is kicking off today in France! The eight quarter-finalists from the 2003 event automatically qualified and twelve further nations have qualified over the last three years, including tournament newcomer Portugal. Rugby powerhouse France will surely set the right atmosphere for the games. The brackets are in order and the teams are rearing to go! It is set up to be a brilliant tournament! Come on, Ireland!

Irish Rugby
Ireland, Ireland,
Together standing tall
Shoulder to shoulder
We'll answer Ireland's call

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Buona Notte, Luciano Pavarotti (1935-2007)

Above all, I am an opera singer.
This is how people will remember me.

"But no one ever mistook the voice of Luciano Pavarotti. There was the warm, enveloping sound: a classic Italian tenor voice, yes, but touched with a bit of husky baritonal darkness, which made Mr. Pavarotti’s flights into his gleaming upper range seem all the more miraculous." - Anthony Tommasini (NY Times)

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Thus Began The Terror...

September 1793 marked the beginning of the Reign of Terror during the French Revolution.

The Terror
"The streets of Paris, strewed with the carcases of the mangled victims, are become so familiar to the sight, that they are passed by and trod on without any particular notice. The mob think no more of killing a fellow-creature, who is not even an object of suspicion, than wanton boys would of killing a cat or a dog".

NunsAs a member of Les Six, French composer Francis Poulenc was a member of the 1920s Parisian avante-garde. His famous opera Dialogues des Carmélites was set against the backdrop of The Terror. The tragic opera traces the martyrdom of sixteen Carmélites that refused to dissolve their convent. Poulenc wrote a beautiful and soaring score that often challenged his listeners. For example, he used percussion effects to inspire fear, most unforgettably in the slicing, terminal sounds of the guillotine at opera's end. In 1902, the nuns were declared Venerable, the first step towards Sainthood.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Fields of Dreams

The Field of Dreams

Old Trafford

Manchester United FC
The Red Devils
Manchester, England
Capacity = 76,212

Exiles Ground

Madejski Stadium

London Irish Rugby FC
The Exiles
Reading, England
Capacity = 24,161

Aker Stadion

Aker Stadion

Molde Fotballklubb
Molde, Norway
Capacity = 11,167

Monday, September 3, 2007


Aphex Twin
"I'm just some irritating, lying, ginger kid from Cornwall who should have been locked up in some youth detention centre. I just managed to escape and blag it into music." - Richard David James

Friday, August 31, 2007

Goodbye England's Rose

The People's Princess

Jerusalem by William Blake

And did those feet in ancient time
Walk upon England's mountains green?
And was the holy Lamb of God
On England's pleasant pastures seen?

And did the Countenance Divine
Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
And was Jerusalem builded here
Among these dark Satanic Mills?

Bring me my Bow of burning gold:
Bring me my Arrows of desire:
Bring me my Spear: O clouds unfold?
Bring me my Chariot of fire.

I will not cease from Mental Fight,
Nor shall my Sword sleep in my hand
Till we have built Jerusalem
In England's green & pleasant Land.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Even In Death...

Cemetary PathEstablished by Napoleon in 1804, Père Lachaise is the largest cemetery in Paris, France. It is located on a sprawling 118 acre hill along the Right Bank within the XXe arrondissement. Many of France's most important artists, composers, novelists, and intellectuals have been buried over there over the last two hundred years, including Honoré de Balzac, Frédéric Chopin, Joseph Fourier, Édith Piaf, and Marcel Proust. The cemetery is also the final resting place for many of France's adopted sons and daughters, including Maria Callas, Jim Morrison, and Oscar Wilde. Each year, Père-Lachaise attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors making it one of the most famous cemeteries in the world.

Noir's StatuePère-Lachaise is the home to many decadent sculptures and tombs. One of the most unusual graves belongs to French journalist Victor Noir (1848-1870). Noir was a hugely popular writer for the pro-revolutionary newspaper La Marseillaise. He dedicated himself to the underclasses, especially France's large Gypsy population, and wrote many pieces in their favor. In 1870, on behalf of politician Paschal Grousset, Noir was sent to meet with Prince Pierre Bonaparte in order to fix the terms of a duel. During negotiations, a violent argument broke out and Bonaparte shot and killed Noir. This resulted in a huge public outcry against Bonaparte and the French government. Noir was so revered that more than one-hundred thousand people joined in his funeral procession.

Noir and FanSculptor Jules Dalou cast an extremely realistic, life-size bronze statue as Noir lay dead on the street. The statue shows Noir in a frock coat and trousers (top button undone) lying flat on his back, with a distinct enlargement in the groin. When a male dies a traumatic death, it is not uncommon for blood to rush to vital organs, including the genitals. Myth says that by placing flowers in the in the tophat after rubbing the groin will aid those seeking love or fertility. As a result of the legend, Noir's statue has become pretty well worn over the years prompting Père Lachaise Cemetary to erect a fence around the site. After heavy protests, the fence was taken down and replaced by a sign that reads:

Any damage caused by graffiti or indecent rubbing will be prosecuted.
Noir and Dita

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

My Hero

Ole Gunnar Solskjær - You are a legend. A true son of Norway. Always a gentleman off the pitch and a predator while on it, you will always be remembered for your class, professionalism, and loyalty to Manchester United and its supporters. Thank you for teaching us what it means to be a Red. Enjoy retirement, Ole. You have earned the rest and you have earned our respect.

Ole Ole Ole!Ole's United Honours
Premier League (6): 1996/97, 1998/99, 1999/00, 2000/01, 2002/03, 2006/07
FA Cup (2): 1999, 2004
UEFA Champions League (1): 1999
Intercontinental Cup (1): 1999
Community Shield (2): 1996, 2003

"Ole is one of the best finishers I have known. We have had a few good natural finishers at the club but he is exceptional."
- Sir Alex Ferguson

Norwegian Dreams
You are my Solskjær
My Ole Solskjær
You make me happy,
When skies are grey.
Oh Alan Shearer,
Was f*cking dearer,
So please don't take my Solskjær away.

Who put the ball in the Germans' net?
Who put the ball in the Germans' net?
Who put the ball in the Germans' net?
Ole Gunnar Solskjær!

20LEgendYouth Clubs
1990-1994 Clausenengen

Senior Clubs

Manchester United

National team

A Tribute to the "Baby-Faced Assassin"

20LEegnd: His Greatest Goals

Monday, August 27, 2007

Romantic Jets To Brazil

The timeless tale of Holly Golightly has been stirring heartstrings since 1958. From Hepburn and Givenchy to Capote and Mancini, Breakfast at Tiffany's is - without a doubt - the most perfect Romance ever filmed. "Simply do not ask me what this is all about, parce que je ne sais pas, mes chers." Fall in love with New York's most quirky socialite all over again... and Cat, too.

Moon RiverMoon River
Moon River, wider than a mile,
I'm crossin' you in style someday.
Oh dream maker, you heartbreaker,
Wherever you're goin', I'm goin' your way.
Two drifters, off to see the world.
There's such a lot of world to see.
We're after the same rainbow's end,
Waitin' round the bend,
My huckleberry friend,
Moon River and me.

Audrey and the Givenchy Dress"I was nothing like her, but I felt I could 'act' Holly. I knew the part would be a challenge, but I wanted it anyway. I always wonder if I risked enough on that one. I should have been a little more outrageous. But at the time, as a new mother, I was about as wild as I could be. If only I were a Method player, huh? But the fact is, I didn't really believe in The Method. I believed in good casting. And I'm still not sure about Holly and me..."
- Audrey Hepburn

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Ford Style

Tom Ford BookTom Ford's designs are the crème de la crème of American fashion. After stepping down as lead designer for Gucci and Yves Saint-Laurent, Ford opened his flagship boutique in Manhattan on 12 April 2007. "It made more sense for me to own it." he said. "If you have the money, why pay someone to give you money?" His brilliant new line already covers Menswear, Beauty, Eyewear, and both Men and Womens' Accessories. While visiting Tom Ford NY, customers can shop for prêt-à-porter suits (from $3000 US) or schedule made-to-order services (from $5000 US) for something a little more special. Ford can already count George Clooney, Brad Pitt, and Joaquin Phoenix amongst his legion of adoring fans. Starting in early 2008, Ford is hoping to launch a Womanswear Collection, as well as new stores in London, Milan, Tokyo, and Los Angeles.

Tom FordFord's Tips

  • Be confident.
  • Button your jacket. It takes 20 pounds off your silhouette.
  • Never button more than one button on a jacket.
  • You can't wear trendy clothes forever. Everyone has to grow up sometime.
  • Know yourself and know what you like. That'll be your signature. Americans have grown too accustomed to being comfortable. I find a different kind of comfort when I know I look good.
  • That being said, Mick Jagger can wear pretty much anything he wants. It's all about your personality.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Jehanne La Pucelle

Captivating, sublime, spiritual - no words can do it justice. This is art that stirs the heart and soul. Make a pilgrimage to New York and witness the Maid of Orléans.
Jules Bastien-Lepage's Joan of Arc

Joan of Arc, 1879
Jules Bastien-Lepage (French, 1848–1884)
Oil on canvas; 100 x 110 in. (254 x 279.4 cm)
On display at The Met.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Préparation de la Vie

Anthony Bourdain is the head chef of Brasserie Les Halles in New York City, host of the Travel Channel's "No Reservations", and the author of various popular cookbooks. He is known just as much for his crude humor and outspoken opinions as he is about his food and brilliant technique. His most recent book, The Les Halles Cookbook, is loaded with French bistro-style recipes, beautiful pictures, and witty observations. Check out the recipe below:

Moules Marinière
4 oz/112 g butter
2 shallots, thinly sliced
2 cups dry white wine
salt and pepper to taste
6 lbs mussels, scrubbed and de-bearded (just before cooking)
4 sprigs of parsley, finely chopped

large pot with lid

Bourdain in the KitchenHeat the butter in a large pot over medium-high heat. Once melted, add the shallots. Cook for 2 minutes until the shallots are soft and just beginning to brown. Add the wine and bring to a boil (cranking up the heat all the way). Season with salt and pepper.

Dump the mussels into the pot, and slap on the cover. Cook just until all the mussels are open all the way (about 10 minutes, no more). Shake the pot, keeping the lid firmly pressed on top, then add the parsley and shake again. (You can toss in an additional knob of whole softened butter at this point, swirling it into the sauce for a nice emulsified, enriching boost) Pour the whole glorious mess into a warm serving bowl and serve.

Some nice country bread is a nice thing to have on the table, for you and your guests to tear at and mop sauce.

"Vegetarians, and their Hezbollah-like splinter faction, the vegans, are a persistent irritant to any chef worth a damn. To me, life without veal stock, pork fat, sausage, organ meat, demiglace, or even stinky cheese is a life not worth living."

"Meals make the society, hold the fabric together in lots of ways that were charming and interesting and intoxicating to me. The perfect meal, or the best meals, occur in a context that frequently has very little to do with the food itself."

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Tragic Love Trilogy

The DoorsJim Morrison was known to have many lovers, but only Pamela Courson could be called his love. Their stormy lives had all of the makings of a Greek Tragedy - outrageous fights, furious separations, and tearful reunions. Doors Keyboardist, Ray Manzarek, picked three songs that he felt best represented their legendary romance. He wrote, "It's... my trilogy to Jim and Pam, the Romeo and Juliet of California. I love them very much, and miss them very much. But they are together in the ether." Raise a glass of wine to rock's most passionate love story - to a poet and his muse. Cheers.

Lost Little Girl
You're lost little girl
You're lost little girl
You're lost
Tell me who are you?

I think that you know what to do
Impossible? Yes, but it's true
I think that you know what to do, yeah
I'm sure that you know what to do

You're lost little girl
You're lost little girl
You're lost
Tell me who are you?

I think that you know what to do
Impossible? Yes, but it's true
I think that you know what to do, girl
I'm sure that you know what to do

You're lost little girl
You're lost little girl
You're lost.

Unhappy Girl
Unhappy girl,
Left all alone,
Playing solitaire,
Playing warden to your soul
You are locked in a prison of your own

And you can't believe
What it does to me
To see you cryin'.

Unhappy girl,
Tear your web away.
Saw through all your bars
Melt your cell today
You are caught in a prison of your own device.

Unhappy girl,
Fly fast away,
Don't miss your chance
To swim in mystery.
You are dying in a prison of your own

I Can't See Your Face In My Mind Girl
I can't see your face in my mind
I can't see your face in my mind
Carnival dogs
Consume the lines
Can't see your face in my mind

Don't you cry
Baby, please don't cryLove of a Lifetime
And don't look at me
With your eyes
I can't seem to find

the right lie

I can't seem to find
the right lie

Insanity's horse
Adorns the sky
Can't seem to find the right lie

Carnival dogs
Consume the lines
Can't see your face in my mind

Don't you cry
Baby, please don't cry
I won't need your picture
Until we say goodbye

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Hat Rack

FedoraFedora. A word that is synonymous with high fashion, personal style, and the art of living. A proper hat tells the world that you are a man. Cary Grant, Frank Sinatra, and JFK all sported brims above their brows. Yet, the fedora's place on your head has largely been co-opted by the fitted baseball cap. It's time to add some glamor back into your life. So, here is some hat etiquette to get you going in the right direction.

Frank in the StudioHat on:
Department Store
Recording Studio
Crowded Elevator
Diner Counter
Meeting a Male Friend
Walking out the Door

Frank's Mug ShotHat off:
At the Table
In a House
Meeting a Female Friend
Meeting new people

Very NiceWomen:
Whenever and wherever.
Miss Manners says that a lady shouldn't wear a hat when entertaining at her own home, lest it looks like she has someplace better to go.

For more info, check out Classic Style Magazine.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Farvä´l Ingmar Bergman (1918-2007)

The MasterBergman was a visionary of the highest order. His emotionally charged films probed into the darkest and most unexplored recesses of the human soul. A place where we find no quarter from the internecine feuds and solitude that we create all around us. Det Sjunde inseglet (The Seventh Seal), Scener ur ett äktenskap (Scenes From A Marriage), and Nattvardsgästerna (The Communicants) are as devastatingly poignant today as the moment when Bergman's camera encapsulated the human drama. His passing is a heartbreaking loss to the art world.

Ingmar Bergman est mort.
Vive Ingmar Bergman!

To explore his works, visit The Criterion Collection. All of the films published under the Criterion banner represent cinema at its finest.

Also, be sure to visit Strictly Film School, Images Journal, and Bright Lights Film Journal for the best in classic and contemporary film making.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Jules Et Jim

Jules et Jim
"She's a force of nature that manifests itself in cataclysms."

"What's appalling about war is that it deprives man of his own individual battle."

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Shaken. Not Stirred.

Casino RoyaleJames Bond and the Art of Living. It all started with Ian Fleming's Casino Royale and the following immortal words...

"A dry martini," he said. "One. In a deep champagne goblet."The Vesper

"Oui, monsieur."

"Just a moment. Three measures of Gordon's, one of vodka, half a measure of Kina Lillet. Shake it very well until it's ice-cold, then add a large thin slice of lemon-peel. Got it?"

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

"Merci, monsieur"

Mata HariMata Hari
AKA Margaretha Geertruida Zelle

Born: 7-Aug-1876
Leeuwarden, Netherlands
Died: 15-Oct-1917
Paris, France
Cause of death: Execution

Gender: Female
Occupation: Spy, Dancer

Nationality: France
Executive summary: Framed by the Germans

At her execution, it is rumored that she blew a kiss towards the firing squad. Her head was embalmed and kept in the Museum of Anatomy in Paris, but in 2000, archivists discovered that the head had disappeared when the museum had been relocated. Records dated from 1918 show that the museum also received the rest of the body but none of the remains could later be accounted for...

Monday, August 6, 2007

Arms Are For Hugging The Dandy Warhols

The Dandy WarholsOn The Dandy Warhol's MySpace Page, vocalist/guitarist Courtney Taylor-Taylor occasionally posts one line movie reviews. Sometimes thought provoking, - yet always entertaining - here are his reviews in all their cinematic glory. Rent a movie, grab some popcorn, and spend a "Night at the Movies" with The Dandy Warhols. Enjoy!

Alexander The Great (1956)
Every aspect of this movie is laughable.

All About Eve (1950)
How is it that one can see Bette Davis kick ass in the greatest feat of theatrical writing since Oscar Wilde for less than five bucks?

Arthur (1981)
Ham-fisted does not even begin to describe the dialogue in this visually stunning epic.

Day Of The Jackal (1973)
A no-bullshit European style thriller that is actually thrilling.

Designing Woman (1957)
If you're making a Cary Grant film, don't get Gregory Peck.

Gandhi (1982)
This powerful and compelling story appears to have been filmed for television.

Grizzly Man (2005)
I am horrified at how much of myself I see in this delusional retard who gets eaten by bears.

The Lady In The Water (2006)
The scary thing about this movie is that the funniest parts weren't meant to be funny.

Little Miss Sunshine (2006)
A kinder, gentler Tenenbaums.

Match Point (2005)
If you time it right and sleep through the first half, you will awaken to one of the greatest psycho thrillers of all time.

Once Upon A Time In The West (1968)
Long and boring, but at least it has a stupid ending.

The Silence Tystnaden (1963)
Never have boring and smart looked so sexy together.

Withnail and I (1987)
The English at their Englishy best.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Happy Birthday to Me!


Wednesday, August 1, 2007

More Cider, please.

It is no great shock that Mac users do not have access to as many games as PC users. Sometimes, it takes months (or even years) before a game is ported over to the Mac OS. Emulators, like Parallels, have attempted to sort this out by creating a virtual environment that tricks programs into running on a foreign platform. Although useful, these types of emulators are far from full-proof.

CiderIn order to make a more reliable platform, Transgaming has produced Cider, developed (or distilled) from the GNU/Wine project. Cider (like Winelib) is a wrapper allowing users to run programs and games natively on Intel Macs without any changes in the original source code. This means that new games can be released for Macs and PCs simultaneously without the developers having to make any alterations whatsoever!

A review of Cider in MacWorld can be found Here.

Monday, July 30, 2007

La Môme

Edith Piaf is one of France's finest gift's to music. Yet, her life was marked by the tragedy and anguish that permeated her songs. Piaf's sublime voice had the potential to bring tears to even the most stouthearted of men. The songbird of Paris is the focus of a new movie, called La Vie en Rose (Life in Pink).

Quand il me prend dans ses bras
Il me parle tout bas
Je vois la vie en rose
Il me dit des mots d'amour
Des mots de tous les jours
Et ça me fait quelque chose

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Of Obscenity - Garrison Keillor

Northern Europe's Favored SonOne of the benefits of Katrina is how it got Congress to focus on real things: the relief of suffering and devastation and eventually an investigation to learn why Homeland Security stumbled so badly. And to cancel the nonsense for the time being, such as the push to roll back the estate tax, a private bill for the relief of billionaires; and the Broadcast Decency Enforcement Act, a high-water mark of official stupidity that swept through the House and now is lapping at the doors of the Senate.

The BDEA is the anti-Janet-Jackson's-nipple bill that would make broadcasters liable for fines of up to $500,000 for any obscene, indecent or profane material they disseminate. Every congressman who voted for it should have his or her name engraved on a brass plaque on the Monument to Cowardice.

To the CBS network, a half-million is petty cash, but to the manager of a radio station in Lexington, Ky., it may mean extinction. So when you hang that enormous sharp sword over his head, you force him to monitor closely everything uttered, muttered, sung or chanted on his airwaves. It is not possible to do that and still have a wife and children. So the station manager is forced to cut out any programming that is original or that originates live and switch over to syndicated programs that come with a Decency Guarantee. Or else live in fear.

Talk about abuse of government power. Talk about government intruding into the lives of people to no good purpose whatsoever.

This summer, a radio station canceled a radio show of mine because I read a poem that used the word "breast." The poem was far from lascivious or obscene. If you'd read it to your Aunt Esther in Greenville, maybe she would blush faintly. But the word "indecent" can be interpreted so many ways and a Federal Communications Commission hearing would be long and tedious and the show is broadcast on 500 radio stations, so the fine would come to $250 million, or about half the cost of a baseball stadium, which is a lot to pay for freedom of speech, and what boob would want to take those risks? So, here in the land of the free, freedom won by brave men whose speech was salty and whose interest in women was keen, a man cannot say "breast" on the radio. How do these people manage to order Kentucky fried chicken?

The Broadcast Decency Enforcement Act illustrates beautifully why the American people's opinion of Congress is only slightly more favorable than our view of telemarketers and drunken drivers. You need go no farther. Congress can sometimes be so removed from reality that it goes after a mosquito with a chain saw. The word for this is dementia.

I would feel better about the law if Congress held itself to the same high standards and subjected members of Congress who utter obscene, indecent or profane things to the same heavy penalties.

If Sen. Bleaughhh, posing on the Capitol steps with a delegation of 4-H'ers from Cooterville, should slip and fall on his hinder, and land on a hemorrhoid the size of a Concord grape, and suddenly make a vulgar reference to holy excrement and call down God's wrath all in one succinct phrase -- shouldn't there be some recourse for the decent and God-fearing just as there would be if Howard Stern had said it?

What a horrible experience for those 4-H'ers. To travel all the way to Washington and stand in awe at the gaudy splendor of it all and get the chance to shake hands with an actual U.S. senator and suddenly the old fattycakes cuts loose with some ripe language you didn't hear at the prayer breakfast -- bummer!

What rules do we have in place to protect schoolchildren from some old demented Republican walking around exposing his right nipple and saying crude things and waving sparklers? None that I'm aware of. A Congressional Decency Enforcement Act would specifically forbid the waving of genitalia, while either whooping or not, or exposing the mammary glands, either male or female, or exposing the posterior (also known as "mooning"), or referring to the posterior, or to fecal matter, whether chicken, horse, bull or any other species, and a half-million-dollar fine would be a good deterrent, though I'd prefer locking offenders in the stocks and pelting them with offal, dead cats, fish heads and rabbit pellets. I do not think you can ever do enough in behalf of our children.

From September 15, 2005

Friday, July 27, 2007

It's Not Easy Being Green

The most important television show currently running is It's Not Easy Being Green. Originally broadcast on the BBC, INEBG has now been picked up by the Sundance channel as part of their environmentally friendly programming series, called The Green.

Join the Strawbridge family as they trade in life in the big city for the English countryside. Their goal is to have as little impact on the planet (i.e. water, wind, solar power) as possible while still enjoying a modern, comfortable, 21st Century lifestyle. Learn how to take yourself off the grid by creating a grid of your own. This show is superb. Top Marks.


Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Together Again!

The Dudes

Monday, July 23, 2007

Better Be Good

Big Brother

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Good Friends To Have...

Click Here to see what the buzz is about.