Posts from January 2004
I mislaid my copy of Metal Machine Music a few years ago – possibly I lent it to some so-called “friend” – so I can’t check the sleevenotes to help out (besides I had some weird continental cut-out versions which omitted half of them). What I want to know is, what itunes EQ pre-set should it go on? Metal seems the sensible answer but there isn’t a Metal: Rock? Electronics? Classical??? (MMM “better than Xenakis” – L.Reed) haha Loudness??!!? Maybe I shd take a hint from the famously identical sidelengths, and flatline the knobs.
A new science curriculum proposed in Georgia for high school teachers has been edited to avoid all mentions of the term “evolution.” Republican state school superintendent Kathy Cox backs the changes — it’s a crusade of hers, in fact — and she has described evolution as “a buzzword that causes a lot of negative reactions.”
Now, there are a few states — mainly in the “Bible belt” — that have skirted around the evolution bugbear, but this is ridiculous. These changes will make Georgia the first state to actually remove the word “evolution” from lesson plans after having it in place for years. The plan also conveniently “forgets” about topics such as fossil evidence, the emergence of single-celled organisms, and even the life of Darwin.
All vanished from the curriculum with nary a trace — it’ll be up to Georgia teachers to teach evolution, and there will be no state guidelines in place to even make sure that high school students learn about, say, Gregor Mendel’s pea plant experiments, crucial to understanding how genes make up life to begin with. Truly a tragic state of affairs.
L’IL FLIP – “Game Over”
E. Crunk (Mr. Crunk?) (mr. crunk?) took the words right out of the place I wish my words came from in regards to this track, and also added a fine l’il Flip gif to complete the ensemble; I just thought you folks should know.
Note to Flip & Co. – next time, less Pac-Man, more Contra.
MINE MINE ALL MINE – that’s OK Pete, you can buy me a beer tonight. Do You See readers, please take notes on Sex and the City for me in case I end up drinking the old b33r and missing it eh? Happy weekend all.
I’m off for a week so I am leaving Do You See? in the ever reliable hands of Starry Sarah C (someone should probably tell her this, er…), who has being doing the lion share of this weeks seeing anyhoo. When I return we will see the grand debut of the Freaky Trigger 100 Greatest Films Ever 2003.
Betjeman Beat: this is a piece I wrote in 2000 and had completely forgotten about until today. Rather neatly, it’s also the first archive piece we’re republishing – look for one old bit of FT each week (and new stuff too, of course).
Go Ape Crazy! – a Freaky Trigger article by Anthony Easton exploring the idea ape in myth, film and pop culture. Hopefully FT will be putting up one or two new articles a week from now on, ideally on a Friday so I can go to the pub feeling vaguely satisfied.
I Love Comics: look! see! A tiny seedling board! Will it thrive and grow or be crushed under time’s callous heel? I am mostly posting the link because I want Vic Fluro to post there.
Rewatching The Return of the King with Dr Vick, we both found ourselves wincing and hiding our eyes plenty of times during the Battle of the Pellenor Fields. OK, so self-appointed hardnut intellectuals = mimpy underneath the pose shock horror newsflash, but still, I can generally watch battlescenes and film violence without flinching (it’s boo-monster suspense I find hard). What’s so different here? I mean, given that:
i. I know the story already, and how it turns out,
ii. These are CGI rocks landing on CGI orcs, CGI oliphaunts stomping CGI Rohirrim,
iii. This whole section – like the entire trilogy as filmed by P.Jackson – is chock-a-block with references to other films and/or classic paintings, most massively obviously The Empire Strikes Back, where Luke and the other little flying crafts lassoo and bring down the giant marching elephant-like war vehicles.
But actually i. and iii are the reason ii. doesn’t counteract our emotional connection: knowing the story in fact locks you more deeply into it, it can intensify rather than blas’-ifying (mileage will vary). And I think the very jokiness of the references can intensify, also: on one hand, Star Wars as something to be bearing in mind seems ridiculous bathos – except on the other, this version puts back in all the stuff you realise you allowed to be airbrushed over, that it’s a fairly horrible battle, a story of violent and horrible mass death. So your knowing chuckle turns itself inside out.
(Speaking of sense of ridiculousness as a device for making something stronger, well, I love Simon R, and think he is a good thing and a great man etc, but isn’t what he’s arguing here one of the goofier rock-critical positions you’ve encountered? If the argument is “It’s funny => It’s not serious => It’s not meant”, it breaks down at BOTH of the “=>”s. Also I think a clue to Queen’s sense of themselves from the off can be discovered by, um, reading the name they gave themselves, maybe?)
Two new Mark Wallinger films, currently showing at the Anthony Reynolds Gallery on Gt Marlborough St, should be the cause of much celebration. If they had anything like the effect on me that ‘The One With The Slowed Down Airport Departure Lounge’ or ‘The One Which Goes Around The Circle Line’*, which intrigued and fascinated, then I’d have been all over them.
These new two are nice, interesting. The first is a film of a film of some films, these being a set of family movies, as shown in Berlin’s Jewish Museum, Berlin. Dealing with meaning at a distance, I ended up looking at the unmoving screens and walls around the moving pictures, part of a world outside. There’s nothing wrong with the piece, but it’s forty minutes long and two or three minutes of it is enough to get the idea.
Similarly, upstairs is showing a section of from Zeffirelli’s Jesus of Nazareth, but obscuring virtually the whole screen is a large, black rectangle. The action you see makes a moving border to nothingness, and it only takes a few seconds to have an idea ‘perhaps a wrong idea – of what’s going on on-screen. So, yes, marginalisation, and how we deal with incomplete information.
One of the things I like about a lot of conceptual art is that it hits, you get the idea and then you’re done. One of the things I liked about Mark Wallinger’s work is that much of it would make me want to linger with the work, that it had more to give. By comparison these feel cute, but slight. Ten enjoyable minutes before diving back into Berwick Street.