Tuesday, January 31, 2012


eat another mini mounds bar and listen to the trio from madama butterfly.

this version is 2008.

Ten.Gerald Powers, Mezzo-sop. Ryu-Kyung Kim and Bar. Shouvik Mondle in Fresno Grand Opera's Madama Butterfly production.

"La stanza!!"

I love it how Pinkerton is such a lout even here.

"Sharpless, v'aspetto per via."

In other words, I'll wait for you in the car (literally, out in the road).

Motherfucker lol.

I liked this (nice set design) but I've definitely heard more impassioned singers work this little jewel.

I remember my old opera buff friend--how much he despised poor Giacomo.

Maybe it's a gay thang.

I love the ridiculous over-emotionality of the music.

what's not to like?

weird to think this is Nagasaki which will later be nuked.

"Don't Worry Bill, Satan Will Make Your Day 'Interesting'"

I just now called my Mom and was playing her the Etta James song covered by Cyndi Lauper.

After it was done playing, we began speaking admiringly of the song and something very weird happened.

My heart is beating very fast right now and I'm laughing, but I'm also more than a little terrified.

My mom said my voice had suddenly altered and she couldn't bear to listen to it. This has never happened before. She thought it was something to do with the phone I was using malfunctioning.

And I said, "What does it sound like?" And she said she "couldn't explain."


Well, I want to say it was "her voice," but I know it wasn't. It was like hearing a sick demon parody of her voice.

She can't speak two sentences at once and have them both be perfectly clear. That's impossible. Not even those throat singers can do that.

I instantly got a chilled-to-the-bone feeling.

It did not sound like a phone malfunction. It sounded like that fucking voice from The Exorcist.

I'm so weirded out I already forget what it said, but it was something sarcastic.

It wasn't a sentence she had previously spoken or a sentence she subsequently spoke or her present sentence giving feedback.

I think the voice said something scabrous about "Can I get my voice in here edge-wise." Something fucking creepy like that. I'm not hallucinating. I don't have auditory hallucinations nor visual ones (once I had one a few years ago--visual--but I knew it wasn't real even as it was happening).

It was a completely different sentence spoken very clearly except in that movie "demon voice."

I kept asking my mom if she was playing a trick or if one of my brothers was on the phone but she said she could see the only brother in the house and he was definitely not on the phone.

This was fucking weird.

We agreed we'd best hang up for now and talk later tonight.

I wanted to get off the phone right away.

I had been admitting to my mom I got out of the house and admitting guilt I had not stopped in to see her, but I said I knew she had been sleeping at the time and I was weirded out just being out of the house.

So did my guilt somehow create a "demon voice?" Was this a sick ventriloquism of my conscience?

I wonder if she was hearing me in that demon voice too?

Satan, get the fuck out of my house and telephone.

I'm not THAT fuckin bored.

Just now I picked up the phone and listened with the hairs on my neck standing up. I said "Who's there?"

I'm happy to report no demon voice answered.

Won't I have fun making that repair services call.

"Dear phone service provider, I have a demon in my dial tone..."

Really, this is how the experience made me feel.


i woke up

i woke up and the house is too quiet. whenever the house is too quiet, i think there's a murderer in it somewhere. i turn all the corners carefully. usually dru is posted like a sphinx somewhere with his eye on my door waiting for me to wake up. he's reclaimed my third floor study for the winter, since it's too cold up there and i refuse to lug the space heater up all those steps. i do miss the view of the susquehanna river and the cityscape that lights up so pretty in winter when the trees allow me a view of our little twinkling capital.

the trees blow and the lights shake and the eyes mistakenly think they're blurry. maybe it's your eyelashes.

i don't know what to do with this day. this night. i finished reading a book in the bathtub this morning. it applied a poultice to the world in a way that was false and pleasant. as most successful novels do.

i suppose i should just start with sugar and go from there. i think half of my alcoholism was my craving for sugar. i wish i had a thrift store or a dollar store within walking distance. instead i have a ridiculously overpriced pharmacy/store, bars, a liquor store, and an assortment of weirdly formed little restaurants and specialty shops that mostly close by the time i wake up (the latter).

i could go look at trees and houses, i suppose, but i would need my camera to do that and not look like some crazy derelict--to have a raison d'etre to be on the streets of this small town.

i really should call Steelton a village. it was a town when the steel mill was so active, so far back in the last century. now that the mill has shrunk down to nothing and most of its buildings lie in rusty desuetude, this feels much more like a village again.

it was once the Village of Baldwin.

and, like daffyd, i feel like the "only gay in the village."

when Lee's at work as now.

i'm sure at least one of my cats will shortly do something vile and disgusting and that should give me busy work.

or i'll start wondering about looking this or that up and my houseparent Google will take over.

i am a strange child being raised by search engines.

a strange child whose hair is gray.

now i'm going to go eat a miniature mounds bar and the world will suddenly seem brighter.

sugar makes the world brighter.

i think sugar makes the world brighter than sex.

sugar is like a star you put inside your body. like sex when you're younger. like art.

oh the different forms of combustion. COLLECT THEM ALL.

i must be truly old.

sing "at last" by etta or someone here.

cyndi lauper.

to fall asleep and wake up two hundred years older.

the addict's usual fate.

all addicts are rip van winkle.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Flickr Promotes Good Will

I forgot that even though I haven't been able to spare the money to renew my Flickr since forever, that I can still post stuff there.


It will only show your 200 most recent photos, collages, whatever.

But today I posted a dozen things for the first time in like forever and a photographer posted "Muy buena!" on my one thingie and I went and looked at his stuff and it's fabulous.

This was Claudio Fleitas. Every photo of his I looked at held different attractions for me.

I could see why he has 60 comments praising each pic and a slew of favoritings.

I want to start photographing again.

I've been such an amateur and I don't expect that to change but even amateurs get lucky photos and that's the fun of it all.

I really haven't photographed either Malkin or Dru in the way that they deserve.

I feel guilty. Like a horrible parent neglecting school photos as the years fly past.

But since I almost exclusively stay in the house and will be photographing in the house, I need to dust lol!

That camera picks up everything!

That will be my statement about abandonment of an art: "I gave up photography because I couldn't handle all the dusting."

i like capitalism just fine

I like capitalistic games  but I prefer making Vroom Vroom sounds

YouTube is Sapping My Will to Live

I wish I wouldn't have made a bet with Lee the other night. I suddenly said out of my television mind, apropos of some piece of shit movie or show we were watching, "I bet there are like ten thousand more YouTube videos of snakes eating mammals and other reptiles eating mammals than all the musicals and art and other gestures of compassion and empathy and all that good shit."

Something like that anyway.

And even just looking for pretty clips of koi the other night, I stumbled upon the arrowana clips.

Arrowanas eating live mice swimming for their lives at the surface of a large aquarium, rabbits being eating by arrowanas, ducks.

Posters claiming a blood rabbit baby was "killed by a cat" or "run over by a lawnmower" when you can smell bloody murder.

These things usually have at least 100,000 views or more.

I deliberately labeled one of my videos one time "Shark Eating Cat." It's my cat Dru wearing a foam shark mask so it looks as though he's being eaten by a very fake shark. I'm very proud of all the dislikes which outweigh the likes. Fuck you for even looking for that.

Today somehow I ended up on a video of Chinese torture clips--eight minutes of beheadings and the death of a thousand cuts. Stills mostly but often mass beheadings with the heads lying next to the bodies. I watched the whole fucking thing and only THEN clicked dislike.

I don't know why I watched it all. Stomach test?

It really made me hate humanity and feel totally hopeless for about an hour.

It did put my own problems in perspective, if that counts for anything. But it also gave me a death wish (not a fully sincere one).

And I thought are we going to be able to avoid chaos like this as the population increases in proportion to our resources? Because many times that was China's problem--and that resulted in the sense that life was cheap and there were no second chances to be given.

But then they ate babies too. Into the twentieth century. China. That was mostly starvation but some of it probably came out of their hideous infanticide.

A lot of the executions were because of Maoism and earlier inflexible ideologies. So nothing to do with starvation.

What got me started down this dark trail was seeing an image by chance on the net of a woman buried up to her chest. This was somewhere in the Middle East. I guessed maybe Pakistan.

So I ended up reading about horrible atrocities committed against women. I already knew about the "honor killings" (horrible name for something despicable beyond words).

I don't know if it's only the Sharia side of Islam that does these horrible things. One clip was a beautiful young woman being stoned to death in a city street that CNN aired in 2007. She was probably nineteen years old. It made me sick to my stomach.

And there were just hundreds of clips like this. Five women buried alive in Pakistan.

No wonder Houllebecq went after fundamentalist Islam with both fists in some of his books. He called it one of the most worrisome elements in the world today.

And then many intellectuals vilified him as being careless. Or whatever adjective they used.

I was always divided on our militant insertions into Iraq and Afghanistan, but part of me realized that because of all that horror many would have greater chances at freedom and survival.

Being dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century is now the norm rather than the exception.

Seeing the domino effect of all these revolutions in that part of the world is a cheering thing.

I think if my head was open to everything that was happening in the world on any given day it would probably explode.

Not that you can't find pictures of heads exploding if you go to YouTube.

There are probably a shitload.

Once I watched that one horrible video YouTube instantly begin throwing up tiny inset pics of things like guys whose heads had been run over by tanks.

Thanks a lot.

this probably won't work as an animation on blogger. though it is, darnit.

count backwards...


Omigosh! I Can Animate for Tumblr Now!

That site has easy as pie animations.

I'm sure they won't work on blogger but these .gifs do work on Tumblr.

I can animate my Cheezburger LOLs now. Coooool.

Here are a few. I think I like the "Incoming!" Kitteh best: Some animations. I'm so excited with possibilities, especially with text in pics too!



Please Excuse My Spelling

The Human Stain (2003)

I had always wanted to see this movie but it was only tonight that I finally did.

I thought it was very well written and impeccably acted.

The screenplay was written by Nicholas Meyer.

It's an adaptation of a novel by Philip Roth.

The central character is black, but was born able to "pass" for white in an age when there was (unfortunately) a great incentive to do so.

This scene really got me.

Just that single word, the accusation: "Murderer."

That's the whole movie right there.

The person he becomes, he becomes by murdering someone else who was meant to exist.

And of course he's also "murdering" his own mother by disowning her.

This is like Imitation of Life (my Mom's favorite movie) revisited.

The critics who lambasted it either had a problem with "miscasting" and "believability" with regard to Hopkins and/or Kidman.

Some critics cited a problem with the p.c. controversy at the beginning which jump-starts the whole chain of events. They felt that cheapened the movie.

I guess I could see the argument about the overall shape of the movie, that if you pull back too far things start to fall apart.

But I just focused on the individual scenes, and there were so many powerful, well-written ones that I found the movie satisfying overall.

To be honest, I think I avoided this movie at the time precisely because I felt it was silly to see Anthony Hopkins playing a black character. If I'm honest. Because I felt that was such a Hollywood thing to do and that they should have found an unknown actor who did look like a black man who could pass for white and help audiences past the "suspension of disbelief" better than Hopkins could.

Joyce Appleby, Author of The Relentless Revolution

I loved this interview and love this historian.

She jogged my memory on so much and then also taught me so much.

So glad to see Brian Lamb is still around and doing such a great job (as ever).

I think this interview is a year old. The book came out in 2010.

But it will be relevant for many years to come.

I found it fascinating that she doesn't consider capitalism as an "inevitable development" of history.

And yet considering the way she speaks about its implacable spread, I wonder why doesn't consider it so.

I guess she has a great deal of imagination, to be able to imagine a contrary scenario (or any number of contrary scenarios).

If you see an idea occurring independently in more than one location I would tend to think the idea is inevitable (or exceedingly probably anyway).

Of course, if you can show that every strain of capitalism only exists because of a radiation effect, then I might agree.

I was surprised the book only had twelve reviews on Amazon and ranked at nearly 300,000.

But the book did come out about two years ago, so that's probably a respectable showing.

Here are two notable mini-reviews.

I'm sure the author received much more thoughtful reviews from scholars in her own discipline (and from economists).

From Publishers Weekly

Arguing that capitalism is a cultural—rather than purely economic—phenomenon, Appleby (Liberalism and Republicanism in the Historical Imagination) traces its trajectory through European, American, and Asian successes and setbacks, its unhappy experiments in colonization, the world wars, and into contemporary India and China. She narrates the rise of capitalism as a process of accretion, starting with Dutch agricultural innovations that were adopted and improved upon by the British. This set England on the path to controlling famine and, ultimately, freed capital and labor for trade. Appleby turns Marxism on its head as she proposes that the new social relations introduced in England as a result of converting common land into freeholds were the consequence, not the cause, of the transformation in English farming. If this sounds like breathless global time travel, it is still a laudable effort at demonstrating that there was nothing inevitable about the rise of capitalism. Both scholarly and accessible, this book unpacks a complex web of seemingly unrelated events; its dazzling achievements are tarnished only by multiple misnomers: there is no city called Calico in India (there's a Calicut) and no language called Hindu (it's Hindi). (Jan.)

From Booklist

Historian Appleby traces capitalism (a system based on individual investments in the production of marketable goods) from early industrialization to the present global economy. She explores the benchmarks in capitalism’s ascent, looking at how this system transformed politics while churning up practices, thoughts, values and ideals that had long prevailed within the cocoon of custom. It changed the way people thought and planned, and the author shows how different societies respond to its challenges up to the twenty-first century and the world recession of 2008–09. She explains that the 2008 financial crisis was caused by the era of deregulation from the late 1970s to 1999, while vast sums of money circulated through global markets and the growth in financial assets outpaced real economic activity. Appleby concludes that since capitalism is a set of practices and institutions that permits billions of people to pursue their interests in the marketplace, it is highly likely that panics and bubbles will occur again. This is an excellent book. --Mary Whaley

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Betty Broderick

Betty Broderick is one of those rare murderers for whom I feel a twinge of empathy.

These are usually women who have been abandoned and driven crazy by former husbands. I mean men who appear to have done this not unintentionally, but with a callous disregard which is tantamount to intent.

I remember when this case blew up so huge in the media and everybody seemed divided over what was the correct punishment for Broderick, who drove over to her ex-husband's house before sunrise one morning and pumped a few bullets in him and a few into his new trophy wife.

Then she pulled the phone cord out and left.

It would be very strange if her husband truly said, "You got me!" as his last words and held his palms out before him in a conciliatory "Go away, you killed me!" gesture. That's how he died according to Betty Broderick's testimony in court.

That reminds me of Quilty's death in that Nabokov novel.

I think she was lying though. And that was when she was testifying, when she was actually on the stand. I don't believe Dan Broderick said those words. That's a corny line, what a cartoon character says when he's shot. Who would actually say that if they'd just been shot full of holes and were lying there bleeding to death? Maybe he really said, "Oh God! Please call an ambulance!"

But Betty wouldn't admit that to the court, would she? It might make her look a lot less like a victim.

Admittedly, Dan Broderick wouldn't have been shouting out "Why?" as his last word.

Because he knew exactly why.

Betty Broderick had just been served the bazillionth set of legal papers (these were part of the custody war) and something in the tone of the papers had sent Broderick completely over the edge.

She had left countless threatening and humiliating messages on her ex's answering machine directed at him and his wife, and would even use very foul language to describe her kids' father to them on the phone (while she knew she was being recorded). Even when the kids would cry and beg her to stop using those words, she persisted.

Clearly, Broderick had become Medea. While she never fully sacrificed her children, she sacrificed their mental well-being--and it's possible she could have gone that next step if she had thought that would have hurt her ex more.

People who do the sorts of things Betty Broderick did often do go that extra step and kill children--when they find they have no other way to truly make the one who scorned them suffer.

In other words, they become monsters.

It's strange how fatalistic Dan Broderick was about his increasingly unstable ex. He hadn't had the security system repaired after Betty had damaged it when she rammed her vehicle into the front of his new house. This is why the victims never heard her enter the dwelling on the morning they were murdered.

By all accounts and by all evidence, he could play serious legal hardball and wasn't afraid to be Mr. Not So Nice Guy. He left his wife to replace her with a younger version of her. Since he couldn't roll back her odometer, he simply got a flashy new car.And the new bride showed no evidence of any empathy whatsoever for what Dan's ex was going through, which was clearly hell.

But that's not the entirety of his malfeasance.

He did pull a number of maneuvers in which he bankrolled about three-quarters of a million dollars by siphoning these off as "loans" to his brother (totally transparent sneak move). So these assets were not counted in the divorce settlement as they should have been.

He made sure she lost her house when almost any woman would have been entitled to keep the same. But Broderick had the misfortune of being divorced by a very powerful, rather devious attorney.

But let's be realistic. These are material things. This is money. And what ultimately happened is that lives were snuffed out. Children lost a parent. Both Dan Broderick and his new wife were stolen from all the people who loved them.

I think there were two problems here. Betty Broderick was mentally ill and refused to let go. And Dan Broderick decided the only way to handle his ex was to play cruel hardball. Neither of these facts necessarily had to lead to murder. This isn't necessarily a recipe for tragedy.

It was Betty Broderick's own actions which led to her losing custody of her children. You can't terrorize your kids, and constantly attack your ex vicariously through your children, and think a judge is going to think you're a trustworthy parent.

Dan Broderick was a powerful and well-regarded and well-connected attorney and it really looks like Betty Broderick's allegations are correct: that he schmoozed and she got treated unfairly and judges let him slide at every turn of this messy divorce.

Or maybe I'm exaggerating. If Betty had been able to focus more on what was best for her, instead of constantly trying to make her ex's life hell, she probably could have done much better in court.

But she didn't really give a damn about court. She was addicted to making Dan suffer. It had become like a drug to her.

She would leave messages saying that she was going to tell everyone what a drunk and what a worthless human being he had been "every year of his life."

So why want him back? And if she would have said she didn't want him back, then what the hell was she doing stalking him and his wife?

Most troubling of all are documents (never allowed into trial) that both Dan Broderick and his new wife had admitted they intended to drive Betty insane and they counted on her committing suicide. Well, this was alleged by Betty Broderick's attorney in the Aphrodite Jones documentary on Investigation Discovery, anyway. I haven't seen those "documents." Has anyone other than her attorney? I wonder if these might not have been flip, offhand comments scribbled in a notepad somewhere when someone's patience had worn thin. Possibly a bad joke someone made? (I was going to say "dashed off in an email" but I'm certain this was pre-internet.)

Her first trial ended in a hung jury. First, five jurors were refusing and wanted to acquit. Finally, they got it down to only two refusing to convict, but this pair wouldn't budge.

One of these two was interviewed and said if Dan Broderick had pulled the sort of things on him he had pulled with Betty Broderick, he would have been dead in a much shorter time than it took Betty to kill him. It's surprising to me that this was said by a man. I always thought women were more likely to see her as completely justified. Maybe I'm falling for stereotypes. Or maybe anyone who went through a similar situation with a messy breakup still deals with issues of buried rage.

Maybe Betty Broderick did what many people going through messy breakups once thought of doing, before they came back to sanity in the nick of time.

The individual who said this seemed like a pretty rational man. Scary, huh?

But let's come back to reality. It just means there was a creepy juror sitting on the case. Nobody should be advocating for murder.

That's part of the disturbing nature of this case. It seems to rattle so many people, to scramble our sense of clear judgment. Because we see the genuine pain and distress of Broderick. We see the wall that went up and how she drove herself crazy by running at that wall. Again and again.

But. I don't condone what she did.

Taking their father from her children, putting her children through hell, and the act of murder itself are unforgivable things. The one exception to justify murder would have been if these two were trying to physically murder her.

Even if you believe the allegation that Dan and his new wife were trying to drive Betty Broderick insane and have her commit suicide, that's still not the same thing as having your life threatened. It's not a physical threat. You can simply avoid them. There's no evidence that any physical threats were ever made against Betty Broderick. Dan didn't drive his vehicle into Betty's house. It was the other way around.

Yes, she did lose the original house she shared with Dan in the legal battles. But she still ended up with a very nice house and a ridiculously large monthly alimony payment, large even by today's standards.

So the "poor little bankrupt Betty" act really doesn't wash when you look at the facts.

You have to be responsible for your own mind, even when it's sick. Even if it's sick because of human cruelty. Even if this is because of psychological torture, which might have occurred here.

I say "might have occurred." But the truth is I don't really believe it. I think the real torture for Betty was that Dan stopped loving her. And that tortured her everyday and she couldn't get past it.

She shot both of them for a reason. She didn't just shoot Dan. She was trying to unwrite what life had written. Murder doesn't even do that. Which is why Betty Broderick is still mentally anguished. Killing them didn't even give her any release, any feeling of peace. If you hear her speak today, you can see she's still miserable.

People react in so many different ways to abandonment. People heal at different rates. If only this woman could have chosen to get mental health treatment (or even been forced--as she was once, but she signed herself out immediately after the required 72 hours) her life and that of her children would be so much better today.

Today, stalking behavior is taken much more seriously. But in the year that these murders occurred, there were fewer laws in place and people didn't recognize the patterns as readily.

I know Broderick's acts can't be defended using the insanity defense, since she clearly was not legally insane.

But I do believe she was insane in the medical sense when she committed her act. Perhaps a majority of murderers (or close to a majority) are. It won't affect the prosecution and it's almost seen as incidental today. The world is full of crazy people. Some of them kill and some of them don't.

The simple fact is she should have walked away. She should have medicated herself, committed herself. Anything other than what she did.

Yes, her husband baited her horribly.

Had he been a decent person, he would have tried to make her life more tolerable, even if he felt he had to leave her.

But when I hear Betty Broderick speak, in those hateful answering machine messages and elsewhere, she often sounds like the worst stereotypical, violent male predator.

This makes me wonder if maybe she initially fell in love with Dan Broderick because they were so alike.  

I know many people think Dan Broderick was an arrogant prick and maybe he was. He's not here to defend himself or his choices. We don't really know what went on in that marriage. It does appear he looked at his marriage after the breakup as only another contract, another legal battle, another chance to prove his competency.

One wonders if he could have tried to have a more human response to Betty's pain. Or would that have just been sending her mixed messages and giving her false hope for a reconciliation?

I believe Betty Broderick is still insane.

I suspect she's had many people bolstering her own insane arguments about why she was ultimately justified in what she did.

Some of these people might be advocates for abused women or feminist thinkers who might be trading on Broderick's story to add interest to whatever they're writing or whatever cause they're espousing.

But allowing Broderick to continually self-justify and to refuse to look at the true nature of her act is ultimately to do her a great disservice as a human being.

I understand exactly why the parole board said what they said to her when refusing her request. I feel it's unfortunate they set the next hearing at the maximum allowable amount (fifteen years, when Broderick will be well into her seventies). Because she could have a breakthrough next year and begin to truly understand what she has done and what she has forever undone.

It's horrible to see a human being become a killer because they loved someone in a very honest and trusting way. It's like that classic Raymond Carver story, "What We Talk about When We Talk about Love." That's basically this story being told one afternoon over cocktails, deeply troubling some couples with its mordant truth value.

I suppose Medea was the exact same story. The only difference is Broderick didn't physically sacrifice her children--she did it emotionally and spiritually.

Aphrodite Jones, in her recent documentary on Broderick, included commentary by a journalist who summed up Broderick's situation today best: "She feels that if she just tells you every single horrible thing he did to her, every unjust and cruel act perpetrated against her by her ex and his new wife, she can somehow make you understand that what she did to those two people was justified." (I'm paraphrasing).

And that's exactly what she did at her parole board hearing and that's why she was (understandably) denied.

Is Betty Broderick a threat to anyone other than herself anymore?

Probably not.

Is she insane? I believe she is still completely insane. I mean she has no control over her own mind or that idee fixe she has that Dan (and his new wife) made her do it.

That's the insanity. That she felt like a puppet even as she premeditated and did this heinous act.

She has never believed that she was responsible for the murder. Somehow, Dan nefariously drove her to do this against her will. Or that's what I'm honestly convinced this woman believes.

I mean I believe that she believes what she says about Dan still persecuting her from beyond the grave with his connections and powerful friends. Those people have probably all long buried this story in their minds and forgotten about Betty Broderick. But she hasn't forgotten about them. She's still there. In that year. In that nightmare. In that bedroom trying to reason with him by putting bullets into him.

Which is so sad. But I guess it protects her from the knowledge of what she actually did. Maybe she can't survive knowing the truth. I've seen other murderers like that. They simply create the truth they can live with. In a sense, we all do this, even those of us who are non-murderers.

I don't think for a moment it's an act. Because as an act it's not self-serving at all. The act that would serve her would be contrition, false or otherwise. But she can't go there. She's still fighting a dead man.

I kept thinking how ironic this situation is. Because you just know if Betty Broderick had been a stone-cold sociopath and not a woman driven insane by betrayed love, she would have surely been paroled after that recent hearing.

Because parole boards are only too ready to be flattered by people who know just what to say in any given circumstance.

Had Broderick been such a creature, she would have aced that hearing.

But sociopaths don't turn themselves in, either. And Broderick turned herself in the very day she committed these murders.

Probably because she didn't know what to to. Her entire reason for existing (revenge) had ceased once her great antagonist was dead. Her universe was probably spinning. I bet it felt like the Death of God to her.

And then she found her champions and advocates and she fell almost gleefully into her victim narrative.

At her trail, she'd go from genuine sobbing, tearful testimony to weird little gleeful smiles when she made hateful jibes at her dead antagonist. It was creepy and pathetic.

It was so clear she was insane.

Just not legally insane.

If the prosecution had not managed to get so much defense material quashed in the second trial, she might very well have ended up with a hung jury or been acquitted there too.

I suspect Betty Broderick is in two prisons.

One is made out of cinderblocks and bars.

But I suspect the one from which she may never be paroled is actually flesh and bone, memories and emotions she can't wash clean. And this while her children have gone from elementary school age to full adulthood.

I hope they have found a peace somewhere beyond this.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

48 Love Poems


From the album Lycanthropy.

Get it?

He's Patrick Wolf. Lycanthropy.

Wink wink nudge nudge.

Fetch Ends?


Britney Spears Speaking Japanese

Speaking Japanese with an Alabama accent.

I think they just tricked her into phonetically saying "Come on me" in English, really.

I mean if you listen closely.

Cam Gigandet

I saw Cam Gigandet today (yet again) in a movie.

He's everywhere.

He's very cute with his striptease in Burlesque and today it was Priest, which I'm hoping Catholics like since it's one of the few movies in which Catholic characters kick ass and try to save the world.

And then of course there's Twilight.

Hence this.

I Went to the D.M.V.

I think I should write a novel about going to the D.M.V. Maybe 128 pages. I was there about 7 minutes so that should fill up 128 pages. I mean if you heard the panic in my head.

I got rid of a license plate that no longer has a car.

Then Lee took me to a bigger thrift store and we both had fun. He found the best kid's book (pop-up Halloween) as he always does and I found some good books worth a lot more than the store realizes they are worth. I usually do that.

I bought James Frey's drug memoir Oprah Book Club book just because I needed something to read while Lee went in Walmart. And I read about the first twenty pages of that because it's such a quick read. He writes sentences that are five words long and all very common words.

The style suits the subject matter (being nearly dead because of a dozen addictions at once) and I like the book so far.

Later, I'll want to know which parts he lied about that got Oprah so mad at him for a while.

But not as mad (I don't think) as she got at Jonathan Frantzen but that was snobbery and not just lying, and snobbery is usually much worse than lying unless the lying's about something like murder or causes someone to die or lose their ego.

I love the cover of Frey's book.

It is iconic. Or something. Maybe something.

It brings home the idea that addictions are like candy. And they are.

Oh, we also went into a dollar store. And I got pretty solar lights for the front yard that were a buck apiece!

And in the book section I found a small book by Francesca Lia Block that I never read before (love her!) and a collection of short stories (hardcover) by an author I don't know but who looks promising by the blurb (he allegedly writes like a bunch of other authors I love).

I've been wanting a good collection of good short fiction to read. These are excellent in a hot bathtub--one to three stories per sitting.

Goodness Gracious. Another Cheezburger FP.

see more Lolcats and funny pictures, and check out our Socially Awkward Penguin lolz!

This dude just hit the main Cheezburger front page.

I'm sure I'll get the usual voting division for those who don't like even the slightest blue tinge to the kitteh front page lol.



That's three (main) front pages in two days.

I wonder how many people hate me now (or hate me MORE).

Uh oh.

O. Henry

O.Henry coined the phrase "banana republic."

I just learned that last night.

I'd probably read everything he wrote by the time I was twenty-one (he's such a fun, gimmicky writer).

But I've also probably forgotten eighty percent of what I've read by him.

Or the writer who went by the name of Saki (similar tricks).

The Most Interesting Cat in the World

may well be fashion diva (err...box diva) Maru.

This is the kitteh from Japan who has dominated YouTube for years now.

If you don't believe me, just search her name on YouTube. Her videos routinely get more views than those of many human celebrities.

And I made the frontest of front pages again today (yay! two days in a row!) with this one of Maru being a little offputtingly snobby.

funny pictures - i don't follo fashion  fashion follo meh
see more Lolcats and funny pictures, and check out our Socially Awkward Penguin lolz!

I Was Forced into R.L.

My computer was apparently going nuts far below the surface.

Because when I finally allowed it to auto-fix or whatever it's called, it ran for like 14 hours.

There was a problem with a quarter of a million files.

Those files had to be modified and then an equal number of "unused files" had to be changed, deleted something.

So I'm only getting back online the next day.

I had another computer to use but I didn't feel like freezing my ass off up there or dragging the space heater up those stairs.

So I just experienced real life a bit. Scary. lol

Friday, January 27, 2012

Why is Google Itself Looking for My "Implantosaur?"


Also, I saw my Implantosaur caption was featured on this site: Thanks for having me!

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little weird?

It might sound a little weird, but I practice diving into my cat.

Teh Cheezburger Haz Bin Beri-Beri Gud to Meh

Fanks, Cheezburger.


I just made the frontest of the front pages (main page) with a caption that is...wait for it...not a kitteh!

It's a bunneh.

Bunnehs give me an attack of the kyoots.

My mom was just remembering last night how much I wanted a bunny but never got one. What was she doing? Teasing me?!?

Oh well, my friend Steph moved in the neighborhood later and she had lots of bunnehs, so I got to play with hers.

funny pictures - i gave up smoking.  but i took up bunnies.
see more Lolcats and funny pictures, and check out our Socially Awkward Penguin lolz!


We were lying in bed.

I was under the blanket and you were not. This is ordinary. This is normal. This is good.

My mind a robot. A bee a robot. Language a robot. Keep calm. These things come in threes, come in waves,let them wash over.

Language bee. Death bee. Together bee.

I asked you when you think you first realized death existed, which is not the same thing as the first time you actually realized death existed.

But it's a placeholder.

You were very late in noticing death.

This worried me at first. Then I was jealous.

I was half your age when I started to think about death.

Probably you are wrong. Probably you knew much earlier. But probably you were indifferent in that survivalist way of yours.

Do you think it's people talking about death or more seeing it? I mean the thing that makes it real to a child.

You weren't sure and really didn't care.

Possibly it was when I became a killer. Possibly it was me as a very small human killing a thing. A bug or something. Or seeing something kill something. Because killing is pretty natural to a child. Or maybe it was an animal I saw attacked in a documentary, where death is considered educational. Like Bambi. "Behave because your mother could die any day." A world of hunters. PBS? Or maybe a cat next to you on the floor where you lived as a small human being, since small human beings live mostly on the floor. Or a cat killed a bug that stopped moving. Or a bug your brother stepped on. Someone on t.v. being graphically murdered. "Why isn't this thing moving anymore?" Put it in your mouth because now it looks like food. Listen to your mother scream.

On t.v., they talk about kids who saw their mom or dad murdered. Or saw the aftermath. When they were two or three years old. Many adult killers think it doesn't matter, since the kid can't explain what he saw to police or himself or anyone else. It's like leaving a dog or cat with a fucked-up mind at the scene of a murder. They're eternal three-year-olds too.

Some killers seem to take delight in leaving images like those trapped in a child's mind.

One mother was stabbed to death and lay on the living room floor for several days while her three year old walked all around her and tracked her blood through the house. He'd go get food that he could reach. He'd vacuum with his toy vacuum cleaner. Vacuum through the bloody carpet and trace her shape like an evidence technician. Spill Bugles from a box onto her body and into her congealed blood soaked into their thick green carpet.

Finally someone opens the front door.

I told you I think what I remember was a circus and an earthquake. On television. News report.

I believe it was an earthquake in Romania (how am I even remembering this?) and my mother tried to explain it to me. Many had died since they were at the circus. Many were small children.

Like Voltaire after the Lisbon earthquake, I had questions.

My mother threw her hands in the air. She was mentally ill and God kept her busy in other ways than explanations, which she found difficult then.

I also remember a woman hanging from a crossbeam. Maybe this was a dream. It was around the same time as the earthquake and circus memory. Maybe it was also on t.v. I remember her hanging there and her head crooked to one side and her expression. I think it might have been a horror show that came on at night.

I remember after I had internalized these images,a weird transference occurred. I began to be afraid of the plastic bottle of laundry detergent in the basement.

The woman on the bottle of Downy in the basement reminded me of the woman who had been hanged or had hung herself. I have no idea why. Maybe she physically resembled. Maybe it was the way the woman on the bottle was swathed, hidden, and peered out mysteriously with a disturbing smile.

I knew she wasn't coming back except as images. I think that was the horror getting through right there.

Our basement was dark and dank with a concrete floor and its cinderblock walls were painted a pale luna moth green.

I think I was four. I remember the terror I'd experience when I saw the bottle. How I'd run upstairs.

She's no longer on the bottle.


Death is laundry.

I suppose that does make a kind of sense. Everyone is forced to do laundry when someone dies.

You told me that this is exactly the sort of thing you'd expect me to say. Since I'm crazy.

Thirteen Poems


       MY LIFE

A long green necklace is bored with life
Sometimes a drumming begins
Begins without explanation
My life
It was so long and green
Oh explanation
Not a reason
Listen Fuckface
Explanations are not reasons


People wearing fuckhead snake masks are indifferent to me
Because they see my fuckhead snake mask


Often i am a cunt
the way our blue morning is a cunt
I don't have a problem
with you or anyone else
Unless you're killing someone
and really who isn't


I go to the Dollar Store
as an Inuit to an ice floe
I once committed infanticide
against myself
Now this old woman bothers me
The old woman I mean me
Long flowing white hair
I scout polar bears constantly
I blog beautiful fishhooks made of bone


I am living in Amerindia
a Paiute ghost milf
who discovered natural crack in a flower
and won't share
Natural crack
I keep it all for myself

I hate you villages who hate me

I walk around the periphery
a ghost spitting bad mojo

on your splendid buffalo

          CLUMSY BEAR

This flower has a clitoris
Many of them do
Push Push Push
I'm tired of my skin
I cut it off in tiny squares with an X-Acto knife
I can't claw it off
I can't spell in your language
Behold my words are flowers
My skin is fuschia sometimes orchid colors
People burn themselves inside a bank
People borrow death from a bank
They get weird loans
I am the ghost of a loan modification specialist
I know where your clitoris is
Push Push Push


I say hurtful things
I swim like an eel
This water is too damn shallow

I blame you

And not the Ocean


I alienate people
And then I cry
Why can't you be another form of crack
Instead of a person
Poets ask, "Are you on crack?"

Nature is my crack

Nature is one Big Crack

          EXIT SIGN

Steely-eyed lambs in the slaughterhouse
I thing I many things I love you
We have determinants

The most memorable blood would be blonde blood

The most memorable blood music

Spit all over my smock now


We have an EXIT sign
No EXIST sign
Quite the opposite
Let me cook you this bloody piece of animal
Don't be afraid
As grasses pretend in wind
We should only pretend
Like the rain
Like the military
What have you done with milk
The unnatural edges
of milk

          WOODY ALLEN

One animal stabs another
Over and over
It's supposed to be funny
SAW number whatever
These relationship movies
They're like Woody Allen movies
This one is
You have to cut your hand off
Or something much worse
Something abstract
Just to get away
And Dr. Phil makes a cameo
in the parody of this movie


surround my psychic nudity
as a cloud of yellow butterflies
I am ecstatic
I am all the paper that ever blew free
the history of the world all at once

pliers taken to a prepuce or clitoris
Your snuff films
Projected on my walls
A murderer I will kirr you

"I hope we are still friends"

"I think of you often"


There is nothing to prove
The yellow bird sings

Outside the world called you are called

Nothing to prove
It has all been proven unproven
You are naked supine
Your ass is in the wind

A yellow bird sings

Thank God I was disproved

Now maybe I'll live

A yellow bird on crack

Thursday, January 26, 2012

More Gotye

That song I posted yesterday by Gotye (and Kimbra) really grew on me, so I was listening to other songs.

And liking a lot of it.

Pop. But great stuff.

Rachel Pointed Me to This Hilarious Thing

I've loved Maurice Sendak for decades.

I've loved Stephen Colbert (especially his innovations in the English language) for more than a decade.

I go around quoting Colbert's character Charles "Chuck" Noblet from Strangers with Candy virtually as often as I quote Amy Sedaris's Jeri Blank from that same show. Probably because I have every episode of that show ever made virtually memorized. I have on my downstairs walls a miniature Jeri Blank shrine that I commissioned by an EBAY craftsperson. The artist glued all manner of little (very realistic looking) fake pills and miniature syringes to the shrine. And there's a little plinth where you can put a devotional candle and burn it to Jeri, who was so "wise." (If evil is wisdom.)

I think Colbert and longtime collaborator Paul Dinello wrote most of those scripts, but don't quote me on that. I might be selling Amy Sedaris short though, and that's the last thing I would want to do to a comedic genius.

So to experience Colbert and Sendak relating to one another is a real treat.

I didn't expect Mr. Sendak to be such a hilarious meanie (at first I thought Colbert worked him up to playing this part but now I think the misantropy is real).

I love it when Maurice outs himself as gay! I suppose I should have known. I do remember a young boy in his one book in drag, and that character is actually facing me when I wake up. It's a poster in which many characters from different Sendak books are all milling about together.

Loved this.

How could Sendak have never heard of "tallywhacker" for penis! lol.

Colbert was the perfect person to interview this curmudgeon with a great sense of humor.

OMG! Only Colbert could have gotten an interview with a child's author to end with an admission to a desire to "kill someone."

Rachel is the poet, visual artist and visionary who blogs at Sephyrus (see blogroll at left to check out her inspiring skies and the inspiring skies of her poetry).

Darwinian Kittehs

I was eating a tuna sandwich earlier today. It was just chunks of hickory-smoked tuna thrown down on some olive oil mayo between two slices of bread. And my younger cat, who has never had tuna to my knowledge, began sniffing the air with that "What is this glorious scent?" expression.

Pretty soon he zeroed in on me sitting on my ass, propped up against my headboard by a ridiculous amount of pillows, and was right there at the plate.

The weird thing about Malkin is that he will usually come and investigate my food, but when I try to share the appropriate tidbits he'll just bat them around and then leave them where they lie. Which irks me no end.

But today he gladly accepted the tidbits of tuna proferred, so then I broke off larger chunks and threw them into his bowl and he chowed down.

But the question is, "How did Malkin intuitively know that tuna is something his body wanted?"

I think we have only to think in a Darwinian manner and realize that this means cats once lived in the ocean.

And obviously they were once great tuna hunters. They must have been very successful at bringing down the big game tuna.

I wish I had an illustrator to help me do a small children's book (I visualize it as about twelve or fourteen pages) in which these Tuna-Hunting Cats of the Jurassic (or whatever period that would be) would be shown swimming and hunting alongside ichthyosaurs and plesiosaurs and giant sharks.

I looked to see if I could find any vestiges of webbing between Malkin's claws and I'm happy to say I think I saw those there. (Okay, they were just traces, a soupcon of webbing.)

We have only to wait for the discovery of the fossils of prehistoric swimming cats at this point for verification of my hypothesis, but I'm confident that will happen soon.

I Really Love Joanne Kyger's Poetry

My two favorite Beat poets are the ones who were probably the most loyal to Buddhist practices and lived their lives the closest to Buddhist principles.

I mean Joanne Kyger and her (admitted) mentor Philip Whalen.

I recently returned to her Selected, As Ever (Penguin, 2002).

I'm always finding new things in these poems and almost always reading them completely differently than I did last year or the year before.

The poem I have been living with over the past few days is her "Burning the Baby to Make Him Realer."

This makes me think of Southwell's The Burning Babe (1595).

But that poem's conceit is Christian.

And Kyger's poem's burning babe is actually the one in the Demeter (or Diana, if you prefer) myth.

I don't remember all the particulars, but Demeter for some reason or other takes lodging with a mortal couple. And this couple has a baby or very young child.

In the middle of the night, Demeter decides to reward the mortals for their hospitality by making their child immortal.

She is holding the child out towards the flames of their fireplace when the child's mother awakens and comes into the room. She screams out of fear for her child's well-being. (She has no clue she's doing the Greek version of entertaining angels unaware.)

Demeter becomes irritated then and tells the woman how she has just deprived her son of immortality. And then the goddess flies off to Olympus in a pique of dudgeon.

It's actually one of those frustrating, funny Greek myths, because it's about how humans constantly miss the opportunity to become immortal on account of their shortsightedness.

But that's not the mother's fault! She had no idea. She was a good host and simply didn't understand what was happening. As if the Greek (or Roman) gods ever had to have a good reason for the crazy shit they do!

Kyger's poem starts out with this mythological baby from the Demeter myth, but then midpoem switches over to what seems to be a real child:

Gary says of the blond child
tensely crouching on the porch he's
not human.      :   at 2/12 an unfaltering
icy blue stare in his eyes he DEMANDS
        Both hands before him, uh-oh,
want, want
      & his parents cower
          what is it, what is it you want.

Gary is almost certainly the poet's ex-husband, Gary Snyder. But I'm thinking they might have still been married when this poem (which is early Kyger) was written.

The poem definitely strikes me as Buddhist.

The baby represents the desire/ego in all of us, the eternal child, wanting forever.

The parents are dooming the child with their capitulation, but this is not just a literal account of bad parenting or even only an allegory.

The troubling mote this poem leaves in the mind's eye is of course the other poet stating of the baby that "He's not human."

I take that to mean he's not begun to play the mind games demanded by society to keep the individual ego in place.

In a sense then the child is immortal, not human, but only in the sense that he personally represents the raw, natural forces of desire which are life itself.

The poem ends with the child grabbing virtually everything, trying to fill the hole of its desire: a wake of smashed cookies, crushed lipstick, wet cigarettes/& nervous haste, no joy(.)

Here she's definitely making it clear the "baby's" physical age is irrelevant. These are things adults throw into that hole of desire too.

The last line is a really masterful Buddhist koan and almost a complete poem in its own right--I'm thinking of Whalen's masterful one line poems in this enlightened vein.

She writes, "ripping the morning glories 3 times from the pot."

I really think that's Kyger's way of capturing the three (false in Buddhist practice) tenses of time which humans use to make sense of existence. Past. Present. And future. All traps according to Buddhist belief.

It's definitely a liberating push--she pushes you outside your body with that line.

She and Philip Whalen really end up as almost brother and sister in their poetry.

It's strange to think Kyger separated from a straight male poet (Snyder) and then married her mind (if not her body) to a gay male Buddhist poet.

But it makes sense once you know their respective poetry.

They are both spiritual stalwarts and each's poems reinforce the other's.

It's a quite beautiful congress of souls seeking escape.


A crow calls while our yard
Not yet
He won't
I think because my body is
Not yet
My agony aunt
Who was a remarkable lover
Everyone else's life?
Very expensive
I think
A continual reunion
Isn't a reunion
You are oblivious
This is good
I pull the oblivious
Closer than others
The others
Dear Birds
I (abstractly only) love you
Dear Flock
Your gap of sound
Matters so much
Come close
That green U.F.O. light
Inside the copier
Probably the only thing
I miss
Your blizzards
And court-martials
Orgasmic lies
Faint print of a lover
Grows furry
I watch raptors
Pick up paper tiny bits
They thought alive
I salute
Our snowy birches
Spaces between
Soothe themselves
White on white
Still there for you
As I am
No longer
But hey
Your victorious moss
Cheers me

Lame Joke Moray Eel Says...


Pop Musicians New (to Me, Anyway)

I enjoyed this song by the singer who goes by the name Gotye.

Wouter "Wally" De Backer (born 21 May 1980), also known professionally by his stage name Gotye, is an Australian-Belgian multi-instrumental musician and singer-songwriter.

He has released three studio albums independently and one remix album featuring remixes of tracks from his first two albums. De Backer is also one-third of Melbourne indie-pop band The Basics, who have independently released three studio albums and numerous other titles since 2002.

He has won five ARIA Awards and received a nomination for an MTV EMA for Best Asia and Pacific Act.

At first, I thought that was Katy Perry in this video, but it's New Zealand singer/songwriter Kimbra.

I wish more people would make videos that are as simple (zero budget!!) and as visually interesting as this.

As opposed to that monstrosity of a video I posted earlier today.

Gorgeous singer alert: Graffiti6.

Yet another Rod Stewart. Pure pop. But s'nice.

I'd probably be bored with this song without the cool video and that singer lol.

Because it reminds me of too many other songs.

Okay, it's a boring song. But solid vocals. Give him a better song to sing.

Gotye clearly has a lot more creativity and subtlety going on with that song.

Backstory on Graffiti6: Singer/songwriter Jamie Scott and Producer/Songwriter Tommy D started collaborating in 2008 on material that would become Graffiti6.

Writer/producer/DJ, Tommy (Jay-Z, Kanye West, Kylie Minogue, KT Tunstall) and artist/frontman/songwriter Jamie Scott (of Jamie Scott & The Town who toured with Alicia Keys and Kelly Clarkson previously). The first song they wrote together was “Stare Into the Sun.” The title track was chosen to soundtrack a TV ad campaign for The Sun newspaper.

Sony/ATV Music Publishing submitted the song to The Sun newspaper and they used it for the advertising campaign. The exposure they got from the campaign encouraged Jamie and Tommy to write and record even more music, including “Annie You Save Me,” “Free” and “Stone In My Heart.”

I Didn't Realize

I didn't realize my English friend Rob had a new blog to showcase his original designs here.

Info on where to purchase these should be available there--and a link to Jonesy's (Rob's) Facebook.

I loved everything and thought it was really cool that he silkscreened some kids' drawings that look fabu as shirts!

I'll add Jonesy's Junk to my blogroll at left.

I'm not sure if Rob still takes commissions, but he might, so ask him on his blog if you have any requests.

I wonder if his Sasquatch is still available. He did an awesome sasquatch some time back that I think is on his Flickr. And probably his older blog, which is in my blogroll as well (Bumpo's).

My Vote for the Worst Video Ever

I think I would vote for this collaboration between Will.i.am., Jennifer Lopez and Mick Jagger.

I love Fergie, but I think about 834 songs by the Black Eyed Peas are on my list of the all time most annoying songs.

Will.i.am clearly steps up his game with being the worst and moves into the W.P. (Worstest Spot) with this hugely popular piece of crap (8 million hits and counting on Vevo).

"60,364 likes, 10,463 dislikes."

I salute the 10,463 people who can recognize shit when they see/smell/hear it.

My Mom Talks about Her Ducks

My mom was telling me tonight she had pet ducks. When she lived in the house where I grew up. I know she's not senile so I'm sure she's correct. But this must be before my time. I'm trying to imagine my Mom relating to ducks now and having a problem. She said she eventually got them a home on a farm. She's worried they ended up a l'orange. We got on this topic because we were talking about Farm Shows of years past and how they used to have peeps dyed all those colors--which probably sentenced them to an early death since they stopped that practice later.

In the horrible news department, my Mom told me that one of the two albino squirrels that lived in her yard turned up dead on her porch. She has a cat that is a total killer so I have no doubt who the culprit was. Now that squirrel's memory lives on at my YouTube channel. And hopefully other places.

R.I.P. "Blondie."

American Idol 2012

Lee and I have been enjoying the auditions.

This one by a guy with the somewhat preposterous name Phillip Phillips really makes me smile.

And he auditioned in our own Pittsburgh.

I wonder if that was the first time they auditioned contestants there.

I don't remember it happening before but I haven't watched all episodes of all seasons. Not even close.

Harold Budd

Harold Budd is partly responsible for an album I have listened to just a ridiculous number of times, on the player or in my head. I mean his collaboration with the Cocteau Twins, The Moon and the Melodies.

I was looking for more recent work by him.

I have one album of his own compositions which I used to listen to some years back (I misplaced it!) but the album I mentioned above really married the best parts of his compositional gifts to those of my all-time favorite band--if a band can be a constantly changing ensemble as the Cocteaux were.

I've enjoyed Budd's collaborations with Brian Eno. He must be a dream to work with. Because Eno works with him a lot. They must free each other's mind up.

Who does "Juno" remind me of? Debussy? Satie? Definitely seems something that could have been written by a French composer in the late nineteenth century or early twentieth century.

I remember a friend who loved playing Debussy (and hated Cocteau Twins by the way, which horrified me) saying to me one night many years ago while she was doing just that that, "Debussy is pretty much the start of New Age music."

"Transcription by the composer. Mayumi Kameda and Jean-Jacques Balet, piano four hands."

Although, we're obviously miles away from La Mer with Budd's ambient strategies and much more subdued compositions. Debussy's impressionism seems almost shrill in comparison with its dramatic hissy fits. The ocean needs Prozac.

It's interesting to hear this transposed to piano. It's originally scored for 2 flutes, piccolo, 2 oboes, cor anglais, 2 clarinets, 3 bassoons, contrabassoon, 4 horns, 3 trumpets, 2 cornets, 3 trombones, tuba, timpani, bass drum, cymbals, triangle, tamtam, glockenspiel, 2 harps and strings.

The cover for the 1905 edition of La Mer was Hokusai's Great Wave off Kanagawa.

While I was listening to the London Symphony Orchestra's recording (Valery Gergiev conducting) of it just now, I was thinking how the opening harp stands in nicely for piano. Funny how those two instruments seem to be mysterious siblings.

When I hear a composition like Budd's "Juno," I think I can still hear how in places Budd sounds like Debussy in this composition-- with a vastly slowed down tempo.

"Juno" seems such a glorious throwback, almost a denial of the present in its intransigent holding to early 20th century ideas.

Wow. Time is a-flyin!

I had never read more than a few words on Budd and I just went to his Wiki entry and learned he is seventy-five years old. I had no idea.

I loved this: "(Budd) was inspired at an early age by the humming tone caused by wind blown across telephone wires."

I can't believe the article does not even mention his collaborations with the Cocteau Twins. The Cocteau Twins' article, however, mentions him. So much for commutative properties.

It does mention his collaborations with ex-Cocteau Twins member Robin Guthrie (one of the two "main" members) including the score they did together for Greg Araki's Mysterious Skin, a film I loved.

And it says he and Guthrie collaborated again as recently as 2007. Let me see if I can find some YouTube clips for that collaboration.

I found this...

This is wonderful. This is somewhat close to The Moon and the Melodies but feels much more terrestrial. I really need to catch up on Guthrie's post-Cocteau composing and pop musickin'. I'm almost completely ignorant of that. It's like I imagine Liz Fraser was the entire band when I really know it was both of them and others making that music. (But Liz's voice...!!)

I love the way this composition gets in and gets out. The ending really feels like the incompleteness that you just know death is.

That article also says Budd is going to be at the Other Minds festival in March of this year.

He apparently had decided to abandon music in a certain relatively recent period but (fortunate for the rest of us!) rethought this decision. He said he had been living in the desert too long, and I suppose one could read this as metaphor, but I think we're meant interpret that term in a very literal sense. The solo album I mentioned above had a strong "desert" theme. And the article says Budd was raised in the Mojave desert.

It's interesting to me that Budd seems to connect to music through landscape--or seascape. With the latter I mean The Cocteau Twins' Moon and the Melodies. Because that album is so sea-inflected. The titles cue you to think that way (ex, "Sea, Swallow Me") and, as with Debussy's most famous work, you can't help but hear the ocean's expanses and the luminous vicissitudes of the waves in that album's pianos.

Off topic, I was reading an article about chromaticism in music and was reading about what became known as the "Tristan Chord" (after Wagner).

This modernizing innovation in music is explained in a documentary narrated by the wonderful Stephen Fry here.

I love it when Fry refers to it as musical "coitus interruptus."

Gay men are always thinking about sex.

Or is that just men?

I think he's scaring the hell out of his interlocutor.

But that looks like a marvelous documentary.

And when they cut to the opera, that's just a gorgeous slice of music.

Note: someone credits the piano. Don't know if it's accurate but a commenter explained of what you're hearing "That's the Liszt transcription."

I'd believe it.

Now, whenever I hear Liszt's name, I think of that funny Raymond Carver poem, "Music."

I love how this poem seems to anticipate internet strategies for the fame game. And--imagine!--this is before 1996.


Franz Liszt eloped with countess Marie D'Agoult,
Who wrote novels. Polite society washed its hands
of him, and his countess-novelist whore.
Liszt gave her three children, and music.
Then went off with Princess Wittgenstein.
Cosima, Liszt's daughter, married
the conductor, Hans von Bülow.
But Richard Wagner stole her. Took her away
to Bayreuth. Where Liszt showed up one morning.
Long white hair flouncing.
Shaking his fist. Music. Music!
Everybody grew more famous.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

William Forsythe's One Flat Thing, Reproduced (2003)

William Forsythe's One Flat Thing, Reproduced is one of those works of art I return to again and again.

And it never ceases to amaze me in different ways.

It's a strange sensation when you see a work of art that you know is seminal, that's a game changer, but your time hasn't quite realized that yet.

It's fun to watch cusp art go over.

This is one way to compress a novel into less than ten minutes.

But it also makes me think "ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny."

Because these characters are definitely quoting our own primate evolution at every arm-breaking turn.

It Happens to Everyone Today

CRAZY           CAT LADY UNDERGOES A MIDLIFE                              CAREER CHANGE

Richard Brautigan Has a Line about This in a Poem Somewhere

(from the SNOPES site...)

n teh kween

i see a little silhouetto                                         of a cat...  scaramouche! scaramouche!

King James Bible Word Count

I was wondering about that and found this online:

According to a word count program that I wrote (I also used wc in Linux in case you don't trust my coding and it came up with the same answer) the King James Bible has 823,156 words.

This is based on a text file of the King James Bible I downloaded just to have a bunch of words around. I don't know if it's a completely accurate text file, but intuitively that number sounds about right.


You must consider different word counts are going to be found by different techniques. For example you can count these words here as different 'example' and example?' by means of punctuation. So I give you my account and my items that are counted at my web site so that you can see my work. The word count that I give is from counting all the words within the verses only and I include the words that use the apostrophe also in the word count. I provide a free download of the King James 1769 Bible ready to do a word count, which has the numbers taken out, the extra words in the Psalms introductions, and the new testament endings and count those words in another link at my site. I only mention my site because there you can see the work that is done to find the counts and provide a Bible ready to do a word count which also excludes the 'Pil-crow" signs which will mess up your word count because programs will count them as words if you do not delete them first. The punctuations are counted also and again you can use my download to do the punctuation counts. By using Microsoft word you can use the Replace with program and it will give you a count for anything that you input within a second...Any questions on these techniques please contact me - love and peace to you Carpus Tertius

Book Chap Verse Words

Genesis 50 1,533 38,262
Exodus 40 1,213 32,685
Leviticus 27 859 24,541
Numbers 36 1,288 32,896
Deut. 34 959 28,352
Joshua 24 658 18,854
Judges 21 618 18,966
Ruth 4 85 2,574
1 Samuel 31 810 25,048
2 Samuel 24 695 20,600
1 Kings 22 816 24,513
2 Kings 25 719 23,517
1 Chro. 29 942 20,365
2 Chro. 36 822 26,069
Ezra 10 280 7,440
Nehemiah 13 406 10,480
Esther 10 167 5,633
Job 42 1,070 18,098
Psalms 150 2,461 42,682
Proverbs 31 915 15,038
Eccl. 12 222 5,579
Song of S. 8 117 2,658
Isaiah 66 1,292 37,036
Jeremiah 52 1,364 42,654
Lam. 5 154 3,411
Ezekiel 48 1,273 39,401
Daniel 12 357 11,602
Hosea 14 197 5,174
Joel 3 73 2,033
Amos 9 146 4,216
Obadiah 1 21 669
Jonah 4 48 1,320
Micah 7 105 3,152
Nahum 3 47 1,284
Habakkuk 3 56 1,475
Zeph. 3 53 1,616
Haggai 2 38 1,130
Zech. 14 211 6,443
Malachi 4 55 1,781
Matthew 28 1,071 23,684
Mark 16 678 15,166
Luke 24 1,151 25,939
John 21 879 19,094
Acts 28 1,007 24,245
Romans 16 433 9,422
1 Cor. 16 437 9,462
2 Cor. 13 257 6065
Gal. 6 149 3,084
Eph. 6 155 3,022
Philip. 4 104 2,183
Colo. 4 95 1,979
1 Thess. 5 89 1,837
2 Thess. 3 47 1,022
1 Tim. 6 113 2,244
2 Tim. 4 83 1,666
Titus 3 46 896
Philemon 1 25 430
Hebrews 13 303 6,897
James 5 108 2,304
1 Peter 5 105 2,476
2 Peter 3 61 1,553
1 John 5 105 2,517
2 John 1 13 298
3 John 1 14 294
Jude 1 25 608
Revelation 22 404 11,995
Totals 1,189 31,102 789,629

68 - The 66 book names word count
186 - New Testament endings word count
1047 - Psalm Introductions word count
789,629 - Words -21,518 words in italics-
790,930 All Totals of All Bible Words

This was also very interesting to me. The word count here differs dramatically.


Probably horrible for you.

Cranberries, almonds, dark chocolate and raisins.

It got a "C+" on one nutritional rating site.

But the tiny little squares of dark chocolate (they're like little microchips) go wonderfully with the almonds.

Wally World stocks this but I think they might be phasing it out.

Anytime I fall in love with something in a store they stop carrying it in a week or two.

I must be cursed.


Yes, I look human.  I've been practicing.

Dan Jaffe

More here.

Cecilia Paredes

A.k.a. Cecilia Paredes Polack.

I was just looking for more on this artist who floated down my dash on Tumblr.

She has a website, but it looks like being featured by Tumblr might have temporarily crashed her website. I got the "bandwidth exceeded" message just now. (I guess it's like that day Perez Hilton was launched when he got 8 million hits in a few hours and he crashed his ISP or something insane like that.)

Everyone else must have been as smitten as I was with these, especially the darkest one.

The artist was born in Peru. Not sure where she lives now.

I'm guessing New York. But that's just speculation.

I bet people argue "art or fashion?" over these.

How Did I Miss this Creepy Onomatopoetic Word?

I was looking up a word's date of origin on dictionary.com and noticed this "teaser entry" over in the sidebar.

I can't remember ever encountering this word.

And it's been around since the 1600s.

It sounds like the sort of word Nabokov would love and use. He was always great with finding obscure words in the English language and using them as if they were everyday currency. That's part of the charm of his style. That it's half lucid and half purple prose, the latter quality probably due to the way he learned the English language.

I'm guessing trilingual Nabokov learned English in true polymath, scholarly eremite fashion. In other words, I'd wager it was intensive and exhaustive but somewhat haphazard, that he probably just swallowed dictionaries whole and thus fell in love with words based on personal preference and with no sense of weightedness, no sense of how valuable that word was as actual currency in the vernacular or even the formal writing sense.

That's a good thing.

I've seen this phenomenon before with weird thinkers, odd scholars, and Nabokov was definitely one of those. Languages were clearly his religion. I wonder how much of his son Dmitri is reflected in the English translation of Invitation to a Beheading? I love that little novel.

I think it's creepy that it's speculated that bleb is a word that was created through onomatopoeia.

But it is sort of close to the conventional sound sometimes used (in animated cartoons, anway) when a bubble bursts.

When I make the sound now, say the word several times, it sounds to me more like drops of water dripping from a ceiling, say in a dank room in an abandoned house, falling into a scuzzy puddle below.

But if the sound of a bubble bursting were magnified, I imagine it might sound something like bleb. How strange that the human ear has such exacting attention for such minuscule sounds. It sort of gives me hope. Though I know it shouldn't.

But a blister popping? Ewww. That's fuckin gross.


Here's the entry.

\ bleb \ , noun;

1. A bubble.
2. Medicine/Medical. A blister or vesicle.


One day, as he was bathing her, a bleb of shampoo had streamed into her eye, and she had kept a hand pressed to it for the rest of the day, quailing away from him whenever he walked past.

-- Kevin Brockmeier, Things That Fall From the Sky

His gaze skims over the computer out the side-yard window, to rest on a fat avocado, a bleb of green light hanging from a branch.

-- Diana Abu-Jaber, Birds of Paradise

Origin: Bleb was first used in the early 1600s. It is considered imitative of a blister itself. It is also related to the Middle English word blob.

Isn't that second sentence much more beautiful than the first one?

It is for me, anyway.

I really like the way that sentence uses the word. It's gorge.

The first sentence doesn't seem to exhibit as much of an ear and visual sense of the word's possiblities--less sprachgefuhl. Although, admittedly the end of that sentence is wonderful: "quailing away from him whenever he walked past." That's D.H. Lawrence-caliber wonderful.

Maybe bleb could be adapted to a different use, could be used in a new sense?

I would suggest that bleb could also function to mean a "really shitty, short blurb that is completely insincere."

Like when a more well-known author is a blurb whore and gives a lesser-known author a blurb like "One of the most promising writers of his generation. A book not to be missed."

That sort of "Fuck You, I'm too important to write a real sentence about your writing" blurb.

I think that could also be a use for bleb.

Usage: "David Sedaris blebbed my fuckin book. Oh well. At least it wasn't Garrison fuckin Keillor."