Monday, July 25, 2011

Amuse Thy Selves In My Absence

The Call Of The Vines

the cave and vines of Vieux Chevrol, Neac, France
Here is where I will be for the next week or so. Away from computers, television...I will have a radio. This evening, I take a train to Libourne and then a short drive to Chateau Vieux Chevrol which is in Neac. This is the Lalande Pomerol area, we are on the border of the Pomerol and St. Emilion regions. If you are at all knowledgable about the Bordeaux wine region, Vieux Chevrol is a short bike ride from the famous Petrus vineyards.
I have been working with Vieux Chevrol for the last 9 years. The cultivation is totally dependent on the conditions each year. To insure the integrity and unique character of the wines, they are subject to very strict rules, no fertilization and no watering. The personality of the particular wine is derived from the composition of the soil it is grown on. The sugar content of the grapes is determined by the rainfall and the amount of sun each season.
Then it becomes a matter of technique. Mixing of varieties, aging time in barrels, the amount of oak tannin derived from the barrel process. Vieux Chevrol is a very natural product. Part of the technique is the tradition of cultivation. The operations are all done by hand, and I am proud to say that I am one of the hands. 
I was there in May for l'empamphrage, to trim the vines. Usually if it is necessary, around the 14th of July, there is a second operation called the Vendange Verte, the green harvest. The excess bunches of green immature grapes are cut away and the foliage is trimmed to insure good light and air circulation.
This year, because of the early spring, a heat wave and drought like weather, it was unsure if the Vendange Verte would be necessary...Then I got an email asking if I could start tomorrow morning!
I don't think that any of the other folks I normally work with were able to do this at such short notice, so it will be a small crew for 21 hectares of vines. I think I will be gone for almost 2 weeks. 
I hope I can take pictures. I hope the rest of the world stays relatively calm while I am gone.
A bientot, mes amies......
my world for the next 2 weeks

Sunday, July 24, 2011

a small island off the coast of futility

Protect Yourself...

On the morning of 22 February 1933, the people of Berlin woke to their Reichstag in flames, burning to the ground. To this day no one is certain who set the fire that destroyed the Reichstag, but Hitler knew who he would blame: The Communists. 

Within hours the Nazi press said that theReichstag fire had been set by the Communist. The fire itself was intended to act as a signal for Communist cells all across Germany to rise up and revolt, the Nazis claimed. That “families of police officers and government officals to be used as human shields” and “…for the destruction of all cultural values to occur—just as it had in Russia.” Once Hitler had successfully invented a Communist threat he used it swiftly and efficiently to crush any who opposed him. Within 24 hours of the fire, freedom of the press, expression and public assembly were suspended. Newspapers were banned, people were routinely arrested or shot. Barbarism quickly began to masquerade itself as official decree. Days after the fire thousands of Communists, all who had been labeled “enemies to the state” were arrested, interrogated and jailed. Many of them would later be sent to fledgling concentration camps. Radical and violent changes rippled all across Germany, and yet Hitler had justified them all in the name of public safety by using the West’s fear of Communism.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

degrees of separation

Last Saturday, July 27th, a group of 18 like minded progressive friends had a sponsored picnic at River Forks Park in Roseburg, Oregon. The peaceful picnic was attacked and broken up by an organized group of self identified American Freedom Party Tea Baggers who called the picnickers communists and claimed they were breaking up a communist gathering that was infiltrating their community. The picnickers were all area residents and when they left, with out being provoked into retaliating, they were pursued to the home of one of the organizers and the harassment continued. 
The Tea Bag group was trying to create an incident and had brought along a video cameras to record their version of the events. They were obviously trying to get a reaction which they could film and then twist into their narrative of left wing "thuggishness" which is one of the oldest fascist brownshirt tactics.
No one was hurt, though the owner of the house tried to stop the Tea Baggers from coming into her driveway and was physically threatened by a driver who acted as if he was going to run her down. 
Where did the Tea Bag activists get the inspiration and the misinformation that led them to put their ideas into motion in this series of violent acts? They chanted, "Van Jones, Van Jones" as if this was a kind of condemnation, a sort of mantra that somehow justified their little act of domestic terrorism. The video above was posted on The American Freedom Party website. It shows how they tried to create a narrative out of their violent actions which somehow in their twisted logic justifies their clearly antisocial and criminal behavior. The video is from the Tea Party perspective and the ensuing violent events were not included in their official video.
But, now a week later, we are dealing with another act of Right Wing inspired criminal violence. The chain of deluded logic and demented self righteous reasoning which led to 32 year year old Anders Behring Breiviks' demented fugue of violence in Norway. At this point in time, the victims from the bombing and subsequent shooting rampage on Utoya Island number over 90 people dead and many more injured.
Breivick claims links with ultra right groups through out the world including the USA. He claims to be a conservative Christian and a Mason interested in hunting and body building. He owns a farming company and the purchase of the chemicals used to make the bomb which was quite like the bomb used in Oklahoma City is now being documented to a series of purchases he made in February of this year.
The  TeaBag Junior Fascist idiots in Oregon who acted on their demented misinformed beliefs, the murderers of doctors and the bombers of abortion clinics, Anders Behring Breivick...what is the degree of separation between these people? Can you explain it to me?

Rupert The Fuck

July 20, 2011) Wendi Deng (in pink), wife of mogul Rupert (The Fuck) Murdoch, attacks a man who had attacked her husband with a pie during a parliamentary hearing over the ‘News of the World’ hacking scandal.
If you are a little concerned if perhaps the source of the news you are reading is Murdoch tainted, for all of you Firefox users, there is a Murdock Alert extension, which will tell you if the source of the "news" is Murdoch based.
If you are a Google Chrome user and you simply don't want to to have to deal with Murdoch based "news", you can install the Murdoch Block extension and be done with Rupert The Fuck all together.

Color Me Obsessed

Here's a sequence from Buster Keaton's 1921 23 minute long short called The Play House.  If you look closely, except for the last scene with the stage manager and the workmen, every character in the piece is Buster. He wrote, acted and directed the film, as well as inventing the technique that enabled this sequence to be created in the camera with no special effects. The biggest asset was his camera man and his metronome sense of timing. Cameras at the time were hand cranked. They devised a system which allowed the same piece of film to be isolated by light proof "shutters", so that the same roll of film could be exposed in strips. At one point, there are nine Keatons on stage at the same time, so the film was exposed in 9 segmented strips. This required perfect timing by Keaton as he performed the synchronized parts that had to be flawlessly in synch with the previously exposed portion of the film. The little act where he dances a duet with himself is amazing enough, but almost unbelievable when you realize he performed the routine twice.
He also plays all of the characters in the audience, the little kid, the old lady, the society dame, the old geezer all shot the same way.
Still the ultimate hero of the piece is the cameraman, the human metronome, Elgin Lessley. One slip up by anyone, on any take, would ruin the strip of film and all of the previous work.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Just Kids

I was fed up with Rock. I hated the music on the radio. The 1970's had turned into a swamp of vapid commercial drivel.  Motown had become a souless commercial monster and slick Philadelphia R&B like the Delphonics and Teddy Prendergast was oozing out of the speakers like puddles of treacle. On the other hand, I liked so much jazz...I had discovered Sun Ra, Carla Bley, Pharoah Saunders, Sonny Sharrock...Mahavishnu, and Larry Coryell. I tried to play reggae on guitar. Of course there was a lot of music that might be considered rock, but was outside of the mainstream.  I was from Detroit. I played rock in a band as a teen. Detroit music was dangerous. The Stooges were still around, but The MC5 had crashed and burned. Hell, Wayne Kramer was in prison. I liked Frank Zappa, Captain Beefheart, John Cale, Roxy Music and then of course, Brian Eno...but for the most part, it was arid synth driven pablum that poured out of the radio. Toto didn't interest or excite me in the least. I was an art student working for a railroad in a city with no soul. I had to explode, or else!
Then I started to become aware of something called Punk. Loud, obnoxious noise. Bad attitude with three chords badly played, now to me, that was what rock was supposed to be about. I really loved The Ramones and saw them at a sleazy short lived club in Oregon, Ohio. 
I had a friend who was a DJ for the little University Radio Station and sometimes I would go and visit him when he was doing his show. One afternoon, I found a promo copy of Horses, a record by someone I had heard of, Patti Smith. Then I saw that it had been produced by John Cale. The cover had been defiled by a music "critic", who found that it wasn't at all like a Kiss record, so I just had to steal it.
When I got it home, I put it on loud. I was floored, poetry like Rimbaud, free form, three chords with bad attitude. You could smell the sweat from the vinyl...A light went off in my little brain. "I could do that". I got to see and meet Patti a few times when she played in Detroit and in Ohio. I watched a Busby Berkely Movie with her in a hotel room in Detroit...I guess I was kind of a groupie..but more like a friend. The video above is from that period, that inspired me to write this post. 1976 from the British Pop Program, The Old Grey Whistle Test. My wife told me she saw Patti in Paris on the same tour.
Three years later, I was doing that. I was living in The East Village drawing, painting, writing and playing rock music and somehow never really finding time to sleep.
I have to thank Patti Smith for giving me the inspiration to have a dream and act on it. I can't imagine what my life would be if I hadn't. 
I just finished, Just Kids, Patti's very tender book about her relationship with the artist/photographer, Robert Mapplethorpe. It sort of covers her life as a child, moving to New York in the 60's and her meeting with Mapplethorpe. He took the portrait that is the cover of Horses. The book finishes with Mapplethorpe's early death from AIDS. I could not recommend reading this book more highly. It's a unique psychic portrait of a time and destiny, but more than that, belief in a dream, in the power of art, and a confirmation that believing in a dream is the biggest step to realizing it. Take my word for it.
this could be the last time
maybe the last time
Baybee the last time
I don't know...
Oh no, no, no, no, noooooo
Last time baybee the last time no no...
no no no no noooooooo

Thursday, July 21, 2011


The first public screening of a film took place in 1895, when the Lumiere brothers hired a basement on the Rue des Capucines in Paris to show La Sortie des Ouvriers de l'Usine Lumiere. That was the same year that Buster Keaton was born in Piqua, Kansas. Three years later, as Keatons parents were performing their Vaudeville routine on stage in a theater in Kansas, the door burst open with a hysterical man screaming "Cyclone! Cyclone! Hit for cover!"
At that moment, Buster was sitting in his nightgown in the dusty middle of unpaved Main Street some four blocks away… Just as his parents were scrambling in the front door, the vast vacuum of the tornado’s eye had sucked him bodily right out of the second-story window. Before Joe and Myra were halfway up the stairs, their son was sailing high over trees and houses, too amazed to be afraid, and then coasting down a slow-relaxing ramp of air to land gently in the very centre of an empty street.
Perhaps this was the very genesis of the genius of Keaton. He grew up on stage with his parents, learning how to take the knocks, be flung about as a prop, all of the physical skills that he fearlessly learned to exploit as he grew as a performer and most important, to never smile, to never blink an eye, the dead pan face. The ultimate face of the most fascinating man on the planet, the mask of the tragic clown.
Keaton, as he matured became one of the most innovative and memorable film artists in history. His work as a brilliantly unique comic actor is unquestioned, but as a director, he is ranked as one of the top 7 in the history of Cinema. In our world of special effects and computer stunts, his artistry is manically heroic to the point of sheer insanity. A gag was worth it if he survived a carefully plotted house falling on him, a real canon on a railroad car with trajectories that plotted out on paper, but in real life? Well the gag worked, he was still alive and never cracked a smile.
Beckett and Keaton in 1964
In the year 1949, Keaton made a short called, The Lovable Cheat about a man who waits endlessly for the return of his partner, who was called interestingly enough, Godot. The connection with Samuel Beckett seems so natural. The tragic stoic clown. The ultimate human prop as a the perfect medium for the existential craft of Beckett. It is almost tragic in itself that it wasn't until a year before Keaton died that Beckett approached him to act in his 1964 short silent experimental movie, Film.
In Film, the camera follows Keaton through the streets from behind so that the audience never sees his face. People in front gasp in horror as they catch sight of him. The character eventually reaches the apartment where he lives and goes inside. He shoos his cat and dog from the room and covers up the goldfish bowl. The camera finally traps Keaton into looking into the lens and two points of view are revealed: Keaton’s look of sheer anguish (at being seen) and the camera’s (transformed into Keaton’s alter ego) look of intent curiosity. Asked what Film is about, Beckett said:
“It’s about a man trying to escape from perception of all kinds — from all perceivers — even divine perceivers… But he can’t escape from self-perception. It is an idea from Bishop Berkeley, the Irish philosopher and idealist, ‘To be is to be perceived’. The man who desires to cease to be must cease to be perceived. If being is being perceived, to cease being is to cease to be perceived.”
The first European screening of Film took place at the 1965 Venice Film Festival. At 75 years old Keaton received a standing ovation and was visibly moved. Fighting back tears he told a correspondent, “This is the first time I’ve been invited to a film festival, but I hope it won’t be the last.” Sadly, it was. Plaudite, amici, comedia finita est.


And this song is dedicated to The Republican Congressman from the pathetic State of Florida, Alan West, who in the same day called Obama supporters a threat to the gene pool and then rather bitchily attacked Florida Democrat Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz for her criticism of his support of the Cut, Cap and Balance Tea Party approach to the debt ceiling which would seriously increase the costs of Medicare for his own constituents. West fired off a rather snotty tirade in a letter which among other things called Wasserman Schultz "vile, unprofessional and despicable" that "she wasn't a lady" and to "shut the heck up". This wasn't the first time that West went off on a rampage against Wasserman Schultz. He has regularly used his column in Miami Mike's Wheels On The Road biker magazine to express his misogynistic hate filled views.
So, here is Ben l'Oncle Soul channeling Otis in his brilliant cover of Cee Lo Green's hit with Gnarls Barkely, Crazy! Ben is a great young Parisian musician who just signed with Motown....

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

technical difficulties, please stand by....
big thunderstorms, the power and internet goes on and off...
lots of rain!

Meanwhile, feel free to peruse this link to Republican Florida Congressman
Alan Wests favorite magazine. He is a regular contributor.
You might gain some small insight into the basis of his on going
Female Problem....


The next Republican Presidential Candidate Debate is scheduled for tonight as an online TeaBag sponsored Twitter event...I don't think I am being too liberally snarky by predicting that the use and the abuse of Twitter as a forum for Conservative politicians to "express" themselves will only hasten to make the Twitter brand become obsolete before its natural lifespan.
The next  "debate" will be on August 20th at Iowa State University in Ames. The last affair on June 14th was a relatively civil affair that contained itself to primarily bashing Barack Obama. The candidates tried to retain a non aggressive stance with each other...none the less, the over the edge, utterly crazy, facts be fucked stylings of Michelle Bachmann was the bright and shiny moving object that caught the feeding frenzy attention span of the flash mob that the Republican Party seems to think is their base.
So, now, everyone is piling on poor little Michelle. It seems that Mee Paw Pawlenty was the one who dropped the item of Michelle's debilitating migraines into the discussion. Rove of course, who is still searching for the perfect guy in a leather jacket, a tight ass and cowboy boots,
(Rick Perry? Fuggedaboutit)
Rove jumped right on the Migraine issue and is pushing it...Of course, it doesn't help Bachmann that Rove is onto Marcus...both of these dude's gaydar has shorted out and jamming each others (now that's a very ugly image, excuse me, but I had to go there)....Marcus? He's a doctor...Right? At least he plays one on TV and he doesn't seem to have any real credentials, outside of a non-accredited certificate from an on line diploma mill. I guess that is all you need in Minnesota to legally fuck up peoples minds and prescribe massive doses of pain killing medication for his little wifey's problem. Right?
Then there is the anti-what ever candidate, Herman Cain. Who has his own mini-Enron debacle to hide, but I guess as long as he can keep bashing Muslims and Mormons (sorry, Mitt)....well, he might still get invited to the big PIE FIGHT....
I really have to thank crooksandliars for the Stooges pie fight video linkage!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Me No Crazeee.....

Michelle Bachmann, testifyin' in front of her people predicting that the world will end in 2008.
Admit it, the correct adjective is frikin' SPOOKY!
And now, that mean old Karl Rove is talkin about her killer migraines and the medication that Good ol' Doc. Marcus "prescribes" for her....

Monday, July 18, 2011

It's A Soaraway Life

Beneath the video is a link for this morning news about the discovery in a storeroom at Scotland Yard of a bag of evidence that had been "lost" for years that contained the records of thousands of phone hacking  investigations. The discovery of the bag is what led to the resignation of John Yates.
Since then, things have seem to have really hotted up. The whistle blowing reporter, Sean Hoare, who broke the story was found dead at this home, as reported in the Guardian later today.
Then, another curious detail has emerged. The personal computer of Rebecca Brooks was found in a trash bin in an underground car park in Chelsea. It had not been reported stolen, but after it was found, her husband tried to retrieve it from the police. Read the latest about this in another article from todays' Guardian. This seems to be getting rather interesting as Jude Law and David Beckham have both filed complaints against the Murdoch Organization in the United States for personal info hacking which occurred there.

And get a whiff of the latest....
NYTimes July 18th, 2011

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Your Daily Duchamp

Marcel Duchamp photographed by man ray
Notes on the Large Glass or The Bride Stripped Bare By Her Bachelors, Even.                         

Within this schematic and utterly mechanical operation, Duchamp envisioned frustrating sexual drama, an endless, self-generating cycle of lust perpetually doomed to frustration. The Bride’s ‘blank desire (with a touch of malice)’ activates the subservient Bachelors. The sparks from her desire-magneto set up the two-stroke internal combustion process that powers her magical blossoming.
She accepts the Bachelors’ splashes, then blossoms, entering the last state before fulfillment.
But fulfillment never comes; she remains ‘forever lovely and unravished, eternally between desire and possession.’
sometime it's better if you don't understand....

Lettuce Spray...

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye are as graves which appear not, and the men that walk over them are not aware of them. Luke 11:44

For a self appointed moralist, espousing traditional "family values" and morality, if judged only by his actions and influences, it would appear that Eric Cantor is in reality suffused utterly by the spirit of Satan. Hypocrisy personified, his every intention and every action are motivated by pure evil lusts for money and power. He is a heartless, soulless, Godless corpse that hasn’t stopped breathing yet.
In his latest clash with Obama earlier this week, Cantor brazenly said that the exchange for the Democrats' concessions on spending cuts was the Republicans even discussing voting for a debt ceiling increase. “What I don’t think the White House understands is how difficult it is for fiscal conservatives to say they’re going to vote to pay for a debt ceiling increase,” he said.

But Cantor led the Republican charge to raise the debt ceiling under Bush, five times, in 02, 03, 04, 06, 07. 

And to call themselves fiscal conservatives is a joke. Reckless and corrupt Republican financial policy created this destroyed economy, and which Cantor helped legislate during his first six years in Congress. I highly recommend reading Ten Inconvenient Truths About The Debt Ceiling.

So here’s a rundown of some of Eric’s greatest hits.

Cantor’s response to the tornado that destroyed Joplin, Missouri was memorably deplorable. The monster tornado touched down on Sunday afternoon of May 22 at 5:41. While actual human beings were mobilizing aid to the area, Cantor was scheming how to manipulate the situation to political advantage. On Monday he said that if Congress passed an emergency bill for Joplin the money would have to be funded by spending cuts. His remarks were made while many were yet unaccounted and the death toll had yet to reach its height. People who had been buried in their shattered homes were dying while he was devising and delivering his rhetoric. That is stone cold evil.
From this article in ‘Last year the Wall Street Journal reported that Cantor, the No. 2 Republican in the House, had between $1000 and $15000 invested in ProShares Trust Ultrashort 20+ Year Treasury EFT. The fund aggressively “shorts” long-term U.S. Treasury bonds, meaning that it performs well when U.S. debt is undesirable. (A short is when the trader hopes to profit from the decline in the value of an asset.)'

If the economy tanks, Cantor pockets a windfall. The investment is all the more appalling when you consider that the Cantors lives quite comfortably. In 2009, Eric's wife, Diana Cantor, was running a branch of the wealth management division of Emigrant Bank, the recipient of 267 million dollars of the federal bank bailout. Meanwhile, the congressman played a key role in the 700 billion dollar bill getting passed.

Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you. James 5:1.

At a town hall meeting on September 24, 2009, Cantor said about health care: “Health care, in this building, has now made it so that we cannot seem to get anything else done. We’ve got burning issues out there in this country. First and foremost is the fact that Americans want to see job security return, they want to see economic security return. But somehow we’re unable to deliver on that because of the intransigence on the majority’s part on even discussing ways for us to agree on health care.” 

In 2011 the burning issues for Republicans are spending cuts and providing the wealthy with continued tax relief. And in discussing the debt ceiling, Republicans are the intransigent ones, refusing to even consider raising taxes so much as one penny.

Beware ye the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. Luke 12:1

At that same town hall meeting a woman asked Cantor what her very close relative with tumors in her stomach that needed immediate treatment and had no insurance was supposed to do for health care. Eric responded: “I guess I would ask what the situation is in terms of income eligibility and the existing programs that are out there. Because if we look at the uninsured right now, there is probably 23 or 24 percent of the uninsured that is already eligible for an existing government program. Beyond that, I know that there are programs, that there are charitable organizations, there are hospitals here who do provide charity care.”

And now, less than two years later, he is working with furious passion to eliminate those programs and more.

Cantor once said: “The use of obscenity…should not and cannot be tolerated. As a parent, I share the concerns of many regarding the level of offensive television and radio programs that are transmitted into our homes. The recent violations that have occurred disgusted not only me, but damage our society.”
In February of 2009, Cantor’s office released this unbelievable, profanity laced, failed attempt at a union bashing videoI posted the video in the following post. I found the video in reality, to be a great satirical promotion for the real good That the AFSCME, The Public Workers Union does for us every day. Cantor, in his misguided and utter lack of self awareness, thought he was making a funny about Union/Mafioso corruption mixed with more than just a little ethnic stereotyping.

That’s just arrogant, mental illness hypocrisy from a foul, wicked sociopathic psychotic personality...a man Kurt Vonnegut would have referred to as a classic PP.
From Mr. Vonnegut:
"There is a tragic flaw in our Constitution, in our society and I don't know what can be done to fix it. This is it: Mainly Nut Cases want to go into politics and become president."
"I myself feel that our country, for whose Constitution I fought a just war, might as well have been invaded by Martians and body snatchers. Sometimes I wish it had been. What has happened, though, is that it has been raken over by the means of the sleaziest, low-comedy, Keystone Copes-style coup d'etat imaginable.  And now those in charge of the federal government are upper crust C students who know no history or geography, plus not so closeted white supremacists, aka "Christians", and plus, most fighteningly, psychopathic personalities, or 'PPs.'"
Vonnegut wrote this during the high idiocy of the Bush years, but we are still dealing with the PPs who are trying to regain utter and complete control without regard for the havoc they are wreaking on the planet, our lives, our society for their own narcissistic psychopathic personal denial of their connection with reality. 
Cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Matthew 24:51

Saturday, July 16, 2011

You Need Us More Than We Need You...Just Fuckin' Sayin...

If only Joe Pesci could do a voice over for a pro Union Ad...
Maybe America would finally get it!
This video was sent around in 2009 by Eric Cantor as his idea of a joke!
He thought perhaps that he was making a funny about linking the Unions and the Mafia and perhaps a little ethnic stereotyping? 
But, Eric, you are so fucking naive...I think this video should go viral. It makes the point about Unions fighting the deregulation crapola that little weasely fucks like Cantor are trying to shove down our throats, for their own personal gain.  It does it with style and in the language most Americans truly understand, except for little naive lilly white elitist jerks like Cantor.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Doctor Renaud, Mister Renard

One of those great songs that gets in your head. Another one of France's great modern poets. Renaud has had a career dating back to the 70's. Somehow a man who carrys on the tradition of Georges Brassens with a more than a touch of Gainsbourgh could be a rocker who also performs traditional French Bretagne Folk.
This was the hit from the same period he wrote the great anti war post 9/11 piece Manhattan/Kabuol which he performed with Axel Redd....Dr. Renaud/Mr.Reynard is the autobiographical poetic evocation of his darkness and his brilliance. You want the translation? I will try:

Like Gainsbourg and Gainsbarre, There's the Fox and Renaud
Renaud drinks only water, Renard runs on Ricard
One side white, one side black, one is just ugly or beautiful
half angel half bitch, that's what we see...
Doctor Renaud, Mister Renard
Fox is a hellish drinker, Renaud is as sober as a aparrow, but
when Renaud gets in his sack he collapses in the gutter with Renard
Renaud is afraid of firecrackers that will go off if he lets the idiot Pig, the Fox who is ready to ignite and explode in the skull of Dr. Renaud, Mr. Renard....
Renauds job is to write nice little stories to deceive the audiences and amuse the urchins
 but with the cutting edge of his pen
Reynard has only bad words, bad thoughts inspired by paranoia and cockroaches
Doctor Renaud, Mister Renard
Renaud suffers all the barbaric ills of the world, he carries them like a cross on his back
The biggest injustices  only makes the disillusioned Fox laugh. He mocks this mess
The world may soon end, but Renard would rather rejoice
Doctor Renaud, Mister Renard
Renaud chose the guitar and poetry as his ridiculous weapons to castigate the bastards
The Fox is full of anarchist ideals, he spits on all and mocks all honest commitments
Doctor Renaud Mister Renard
Renaud should be praised because his love in all its glory
is as tender as a lamb for every single story.
The Fox loves all the flesh and only has one night adventures
with cannons and crates,. The Fox is quite the little pervert.
Doctor Renaud, Mister Renard, Doctor Renaud, Mister Renard
When they both turned 50, there was only despair, the Fox takes control of Renaud.
Today, he lost his love, the beautiful Domino. She left the villain Renard.
But she will always love Renaud
Doctor Renaud, Mister Renard, Doctor Renaud, Mister Renard

This is a plug for the best anti gun blog out there!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

C'est le Quatorze!

New Blog Template

I am considering possible new formats for thebrainpolice.
I quite fancy this, but I need your input.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Malfunctioning Milibot

Actual footage from the June 30th BBC Interview with British Labour Party official Ed Miliband regarding the general strike occurring in Great Britain. Proof that politics can actually cause brain damage. If only American Politicians could learn to use language with such concise  style. Then again, perhaps not, then we might actually understand what they are trying to say.
I kinda like the bit where he says that these strikes are wrong at a time when negotiations are still going on, but that the government has acted in reckless and provocative manner, and that both sides should put aside the rhetoric and get around the negotiation table again.

Joyner's Dream

I just finished reading the first novel by Sylvia Tyson, Joyner's Dream. If the name of the author seems familiar it is because Sylvia has been a part of the musical heritage of our time. She was half of the influential folk duo, Ian and Sylvia and wrote some classic songs, such as You Were On My Mind.
Sylvia is a truly Canadian artist and has performed for years as part of the group Quartette. Her novel, Joyner's Dream is a grand musical saga of a family history that covers more than two centuries and takes from pre Victorian England to our present era in Toronto. It is a family journal that is passed from generation to generation. The cast includes highway men, titled English nobility, jazz musicians, petty thieves, card sharks, a B Movie Hollywood Blond and a violin named Old Nick which is the thread of the family, the music that sustains the characters and helps them to rise above their flaws....
I don't want to give the plot away. It is like a 19th century saga in its scope. But the authors point of view makes it more Kesey than Dickens (I mean that as a real compliment). I will say that I was instantly drawn into the pages and finished the 419 page book in a fevered state. I truly enjoyed it and highly recommend it to anyone interested in music and history.
Sylvia also released a cd called Joyner\s Dream : The Kingsfold Suite which documents the music in the book. The music reflects the musical eras of the Joyner Family. She composed the music. Here is a link for the cd and mp3 download which allows you to sample the songs. The cd has been released in the USA, but the book has so far been released in Canada and the UK, but you can order it and peruse the pages if you click on this widget. 

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


About 2 weeks ago, I posted a video and a link to a series of exercises that Franz Kafka fanatically used thoughout his life. Now at the risk of being labled another kind of fanatic, I am posting another exercise video for a simple core work out called a Burpee. I had to get over my fear of the physical trauma of dropping to do the push up part, but in reality, once you do this a few times, there is nothing to it!
I started doing Burpees last year. Luckily, I have a huge barn to work out in.
This is simply the best all in one routine I have ever used. The first times seem impossible, then after after a few weeks, it seems that every day you can do more. I finally got rid of that pesky wrinkly 61 year old pudge that obscured my artfully antiqued veneered mahogany abs. I still do lots of crunches, 80 to 100, every day, but  I am truly addicted to Burpees! Try a few. Let me know if you think they work for you, us aging idiots appreciate the feed back, but, please, I don't want to hear from your chiropractor, Okay?

Monday, July 11, 2011

Republicans For Voldemort!

In an unprecedented marketing coup, the final episode of the Harry Potter series, The Deathly Hallows part 2 and the first part of the sequel, The Undefeated, will open in American Theaters, on the same day! July 15th! This should certainly liven up a fairly moribund summer movie season.....

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Ma Jolie

Abd al Malik, one of France's great modern poets.
I just saw a live performance of his from June 11, in Fez, Morocco on TV this evening.
Absolutely Brilliant. This song is about violence against women. Honest, hard, tragic, but the truth.

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Drimble Widge and The Vegetations

Peter Cook in the 1967 film Bedazzled.
Dudley Moore wrote the music for the fim.
"you fill me with inertia..."
So Cool....

Le Front Populaire

Between Wars, in a world lurching from the financial crash of 1929, The French elected a leftist coalition government, headed by Leon Blum operating under the banner of Le Front Populaire in 1936.
It was only 75 years ago during this brief window of humanist optimism rallying against the economic despair of the depression, that the ideals and rights we take for granted today began to come into existence. The right of workers to organize, the rights of women to work in factories, things as basic as the 40 hour work week, vacations, the idea of health care, social security, raising the standards of mandatory education from 13 to 14 years and setting higher standards for teachers to qualify were all dreams until this rising of the people took place in France. Indeed, part of the inspiration for Blum and the success he achieved in such a short period was derived from the success of Roosevelt, with the grand national works programs he initiated in the United States which did so much to reinvigorate the nations economy. Indeed the Front Populaire Government under Blum nationalized the arms industry, involved the government in air transport, which was the birth of Air France, nationalized the railroads, creating the present SNCF and petrol and energy. The economic results were immediate and the rise in the national morale was undeniable.
The coalition Front Populaire was not an easy achievement. The various factions, the Communists and the assorted Socialist parties had been bitter ideological enemies for decades. Socialism had been gaining ever since the days of the author Emile Zola in the last decades of the 19th century. His great book, Germinal, did so much to depict the brutal injustice and the repression of the basic humanity of the workers at the expense of the upper classes. He depicted in his intricate, realist novels the struggle of the workers to organize and promoted socialism in popular literature.
These were the posters from the 1930's promoting the idea of a 40 hour work week.
The CGT is still the main Union Body in France today

Spain showed that it could be done. The warring ideologies united in the first real Front Populaire. The Socialist coalition which was brutally suppressed by the Fascist Franco with Nazi assistance in the Spanish Civil War. Many French volunteered to fight in the Spanish War.
The ruling rich found it very convenient as propaganda to use the international aspect of Socialism as a red herring; a threat against the national security and interests. The Communists, by the very nature of the organization of the party was easily portrayed as a foreign dominated behemoth intent on world conquest. It was the rise of Fascism that really empowered the Front Populaire. In fact the greatest opponents of Nazi Germany in France were the Communists and Socialists, just as Hitler saw his biggest threats in the unity and social progress of people under Socialism.
against this, vote communist!

But, as the wealthy ruling class recovered from the dual trauma of the Depression and the Empowerment of the People, they worked fervidly to destroy the Blum Government. Using fascist propaganda, they funded and encourage the rise of The Nationalist Fascist Political Movements such as Le Croix-de-Feu.
They encouraged thuggery and violence and tried to portray the Socialist Left Coalition as being anti French in the right wing controlled papers such as  Le Figaro, Le Matin and Le Temps, which regularly purported to uncover left wing internationalist plots to take over the government. The Catholic Church was a willing participant in this propaganda war. Le Croix de Feu today has it's descendants in the Front National, the extreme right nationalist party that is "changing' it's image to become more "mainstream". They are still very firmly allied with the Catholic Church. This is the period when the anti Semitism of France came into full flower. Blum was Jewish and anti-semitism was a staple of the far right. The Jewish Internationalist threat wild card was played as it had never been before.
Meanwhile, the corporate heads and the great fortunes of France started to move their capital out of the country. The economy was being sabotaged, not by outside alien influences, but from the top to destroy the power and influence of the workers.
When in fact, Germany did declare war on and invade France, the country was not prepared and more than ready to accept the collaborative anti Semetic Conservative Fascist Regime of Petain. The Petainists tried to blame France's lack of preparation on the workers, but under Blum, the arms industry had worked as never before to arm the country against the perceived Fascist threat. For a short period, the country had been unified as never before. The need to rearm france and the stress put upon this issue is one of the issues that led to the abandonment of some of more radical initiatives by the Blum Government. The arms industry, the industry of the country, the unity and the economy had been destroyed by the wealthy in their attempt to crush the working class's influence. The Jews were libeled and branded as traitors and then deported under the Nazis with an illogical fanatical fervor. 
When the war ended, DeGaulle restored the reforms of the Front Populaire. He had to. The influence and the patriotism of the Socialists and Communists during the war were the backbone of the Resistance.
But he had to crush the influence of the Communists, but even today, the Communist Party is a viable force here in France. May 1, the International Workers Day is a National Holiday. And the
Fete de'l'Humanitie...a big left wing party is celebrated every year. Perhaps, we will see a unifying of the disparate forces on the left in the next election? 
Time for a little musical break, here's the Who at the 1972 Fete de L'Humanitie.

But, why is this history so important? The rise of the workers and the concerted effort of the wealthy to crush them at the expense of the national welfare, economic and morally? Why does this seem so poignant in light of the stance of the American GOP, The Tea Baggers and the rampant racism and anti semitism on the rise in America? Coupled with the faux indignation, the moralist pandering of the religious right, it echoes all too loudly the collaboration of the Catholic Church with the rise of Fascism in France.
In France, this Randian Greed, allowed the nation to sink into anti Semetic Fascism. Something we are still dealing with here 65 years later. The disaster of WW2 seems horrific enough, but the world economic disaster being ignited by the Corporate Monsters, who want to roll back a century of social progress, bring back child labor, destroy the public education system, destroy the unions, deny the poor social services, only for their unbridled augmentation and amassing of power and profits those who control the reins of Right Wing Ideology and Propaganda and are using their manipulative tactics to create a bigger political crisis and panic the population to vote  for them, could easily create a cataclysm that will eclipse anything we have seen before. 
We still are the people, the masses, we still have the power if we  can only figure out how to unite and use it.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Cy Twombly

untitled 1969
In the early 70's, I became aware of an American artist named Cy Twombly. My friend, Joe Strickland gave me a book of American Modern Art and I was immediately drawn into the universe of line, expression, color, words and symbols that Twombly was using at the time to create a visual language unlike any other I had experienced. In the early 70's, Twombly's work evoked a sense of a physics lecture given by Jackson Pollack. The content of the erased words, the repeated gestures and shapes floating on what seemed to be plane that evoked a well used blackboard had the ability to convey meaning and emotion that short circuited conscious perception. 
lepanto panel 4 2001
To me, it was a unique combination of fragments of words, historical associations with color and gesture in a way that a kind of truly conceptual and esthetic graffitti. I was hooked.
A few years late, I was able to see a retrospective of his work at the Whitney Museum in NYC and experience in person the actual paintings. The layers of material, the visceral gesture of the paint strokes and the immediacy of the wet paint allowed to drip and run. All with a deliberate esthetic and attempt to imbue content and meaning. The meaning could be a fragment of poetry, a historical allusion making an emotional connection, like a psychic morse code transmission which is to me what the very best art could ever aspire to do. The Lepanto paintings from 2001, for example, reference the Renaissance Battle of Lepanto. He was a sculpture as well and the quality he brings to the physical objects he created as the same unconscious intelligence. Abstract? Not really, Surrealist? they evoke emotion and associations cunningly referencing unconscious associations. He uses blood, sex, dirt, shit in the work the same way he uses words. Never in an obvious way, but to evoke through asscociation. A coded message, morse code, to be interpreted and decoded by you.
Perhaps it had something to do with his background during the Second World War as an Army Cryptographer. His fascination with words, symbols, codes. 
camino real 2009
Twombly, born in 1928, began painting in the 50's. Though referenced by many movements in modern American art, he remained an outsider and never really sought the spotlight. Perhaps this is part of what made him seem such a volatile figure to critics throughout his career. They either got it or they didn't. He was an influence and a friend to many of the expressionists and pop expressionists like Rauschenberg. He was referred to as pop artist in the hay day of that movement, though he never produced any work that you could identify as "POP".
Twombly died in Rome on Tuesday and his shadow will grow longer across the landscape of modern art as it is reassessed. I am convinced he was one of the most influential creators in his very quiet way.
If you would like to learn more about him, investigatye this gallery and history of Twombly on line.

Monday, July 04, 2011

Feu d'artifice

Here are some fireworks for you. The finale of of one of my very favorite films,
Les Vacances des Mr. Hulot
1953, Jacques Tati.