Our Nation’s Keepers

Today is California’s primary election for 2014, including on its ballot a surreal motley of aspirational elects and quaint jesters. You’ll find the indispensable republican businessmen competing for Governor against such hopefuls as a poet, a golf course operator, a ‘psychologist/farmer,’ and a security guard.

The following quotes have been copied verbatim from the list of priorities submitted to elections officials by the candidates: Continue reading

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One Another

© Alisa Resnik

© Alisa Resnik

Books have always been comfortable camouflage for me. A novel in your pocket is a superpower; pull it out and you’re transformed from awkward misfit to contented savant. The same goes for a notebook and pen and don’t get me started on the glorious refuge of a host’s bookshelf while waiting for the third glass of wine to kick in at a party.

I’d always thought this façade was unique to book people, or perhaps artists too, who could shield themselves in their sketch pads. But then I met my friend Alisa Resnik. She started carrying a camera not so much out of a love for photography (although that was there, profoundly) but because it was so deeply agonizing for her to interact with humanity. The camera calmed her social neuroses and was a way to connect. “I would never describe myself as a photographer,” she wrote to me. “I just see the camera as an instrument that lets me communicate with people.”

Continue reading

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R.I.P. Mike Dineen

Mike Dineen in Earth

Mike Dineen in Earth

Mike Dineen passed away last Thursday. In productions I was involved in, Mike played the judge in Earth in Paris and Amsterdam, and 3 in the Châteaudun performance of Part 2 of Three Parts — the first public performance of a piece I’d written.

Mike you were sharp and funny and with a touch for the beautiful. You understood how to move people. Thank you for having moved me, and been a part of my life.

— Adrian

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Bach’s Squiggle

At the top of the frontispiece of Bach’s infamous series of pieces for keyboard in all 24 keys, C major through B minor, revolutionary in its day and widely credited as being the beginning of Equal Temperament — a system of tuning which allows one to play pieces in remote accidental rich keys without sounding rubbish and thus the foundation of the Western Classical Tradition — Das Wohltemperirte Clavier or Well Tempered Clavier, there is a large and apparently uncharacteristically whimsical squiggle:

bach squiggle

There is also quite a hefty squiggle at the bottom but it is to the squiggle at the top that I wish to draw the attention of the reader.  Continue reading

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MING-MAO-QING

Reading over China-related notes (poking at As Big As The Sky), some interesting connections suggested themselves among the papers paving my study floor.

1. In Ming dynasty China, a bill proclaiming legally stipulated punishments:

  • 80 blows for striking another so as to cause internal bleeding
  • 80 blows for throwing dung at the head of another
  • 100 blows for stuffing dung into the nose or mouth of another

2. Under the leadership of Mao Zedong, during the Cultural Revolution:

In schools and some workplaces people were required to eat yì kŭ fàn 億苦飯 (recalling bitterness meal), made of tree leaves or chaffs mixed with horse dung or dirt, as part of the ritualistic practice of remembering the past. Not surprising, the meal had a terrible taste Continue reading

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Buddhist nomad in action!

Quinn Comendant, immersing himself in another project.

Quinn Comendant, immersing himself in another project.

Keen readers of the Running Eye Blog might have noticed the occasional contribution from Quinn Comendant, the wandering coder from Chico who has taken part in exceptional projects in … well, in just about everywhere. Beijing, Paris, Berlin, Greece, Turkey, London, California, etc. etc. etc..

Recent years have seen him embark on a wide-ranging spiritual quest that involves a strain of Buddhism, a thirst for meditation, and a perplexing guru. Even though Quinn is mostly preoccupied by these ephemeral pursuits, happily he still has time for the occasional cultural lark (see his above-pictured starring role as the mutant mime Loupe) or an applause-worthy political engagement.

Falling into the latter category is his recent involvement in a hack-a-thon in Mexico meant to develop technology that solves issues of migration in Latin America. The life of a migrant is particularly horrible; as Quinn notes, “things are fucked up here: the government has acknowledged more than 27,000 people are disappeared, 60% of women on some routes are raped.”

Continue reading

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CACATOR CAVE MALUM

DSCN0152-fweb

In ancient Roman households Continue reading

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Moko & Loupe London screening

The inimitable Tim Vincent-Smith and the incogitable Quinn Comendant star in … here’s the trailer:

To be screened in London for one night only! With live music from s i n k and special guests Alabaster DePlume and Timothy Victor’s Folk Orchestra.

MOKO & LOUPE LONDON SCREENING
Saturday 30 November, 8.30pm
Tea House Theatre, 139 Vauxhall Walk, London SE11 5HL
ALL DETAILS TO BE FOUND BY CLICKING HERE!

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Bookstore Kitchen Quips

What’s the difference between a bagel and a Robbe-Grillet novel?
Once you’ve finished a bagel, the hole in the middle’s gone!

What’s the difference between a hot dog and a Burroughs novel?
If you cut up a hot dog, it doesn’t really work any more.

What’s the difference between a blueberry muffin and 50 Shades of Grey?
You can’t leave a blueberry muffin in the bathroom.

for the Shakespeare & Sons book-n-bagel store, Berlin.
Find Shakes on facebook

shakesbooknbagelstore

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Cannibalism & Killer Fairies

tink2

Killer psychopath bent on revenge or sassy rascal with a heart of gold?

When you have small children, you consume a lot of children’s entertainment. And, sometimes you consume the same bit of entertainment over and over again. Forty-seven viewings of Cars, Good Night Gorilla read so many times the spine is in shreds, the tune to Baby Beluga welded so deeply into the synapses that fantasies of strangling Raffi haunt your waking hours.

After a while, it’s natural that a few narrative inconsistencies or plot peculiarities begin to stand out. Take Tinker Bell. In the original Disney version of Peter Pan (1953), she is a jealous sprite who twice tries to have Wendy killed, once by getting the Lost Boys to shoot her out of the sky, once by helping Captain Hook plant a bomb in her temporary tree home. Yet, in the Disney Fairies incarnation, [Tinker Bell (2008), The Lost Treasure (2009), The Great Fairy Rescue (2010), etc.], which are prequels to Peter Pan and feature the ‘birth’ of Tinker Bell, she is so syrupy that you begin to wonder what event will eventually transform her into the blood-thirsty fairy that wants Wendy dead. Do all her fairy friends get massacred before Tinker Bell’s eyes, only for her to be rescued from the flesh-spattered carnage by Peter Pan, which creates a mix of repressed trauma and unhealthy emotional dependency that manifests itself with murderous inclinations? Continue reading

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