Thursday, August 30, 2012

Todestrieb

THE DEATH OF THE FLY

WITH eagerness he drinks the treach'rous potion,

Nor stops to rest, by the first taste misled;
Sweet is the draught, but soon all power of motion

He finds has from his tender members fled;
No longer has he strength to plume his wing,
No longer strength to raise his head, poor thing!
E'en in enjoyment's hour his life he loses,
His little foot to bear his weight refuses;
So on he sips, and ere his draught is o'er,
Death veils his thousand eyes for evermore.
- Goethe (1810)

Monday, August 27, 2012

Remembering Neil Armstrong

One small step for man...

It's 4 in the morning July in '69
Me and my sister, we crept down like shadows
They're bringing the moon Right down to our sitting room
Static and silence and a monochrome vision

They're dancing around Slow puppets silver ground
And the world is watching with joy
We hear a voice from above and it's history
And we stayed awake all night

And something is said And the whole room laughs aloud
Me and my sister looking on like shadows
The end of an age as we watched them walk in a glow
Lost in space, but I don't know where it is

They're dancing around Slow puppets silver ground
And the stars and stripes in the sand
We hear a voice from above and it's history
And we stayed awake all night

They're dancing around It sends a shiver down my spine
And I run to look in the sky and I half expect to hear them asking to come down
Oh, will they fly or will they fall
To be excited by a long late night
-The Sundays, "Monochrome"

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Protecting the Hays Code Audience - Beauty Through the "Limit" of Form


Resolved, That those things which are included in the following list shall not appear in pictures produced by the members of this Association, irrespective of the manner in which they are treated:

Pointed profanity – by either title or lip – this includes the words "God," "Lord," "Jesus," "Christ" (unless they be used reverently in connection with proper religious ceremonies), "hell," "damn," "Gawd," and every other profane and vulgar expression however it may be spelled;
Any licentious or suggestive nudity-in fact or in silhouette; and any lecherous or licentious notice thereof by other characters in the picture;
The illegal traffic in drugs;
Any inference of sex perversion;
White slavery;
Miscegenation (sex relationships between the white and black races);
Sex hygiene and venereal diseases;
Scenes of actual childbirth – in fact or in silhouette;
Children's sex organs;
Ridicule of the clergy;
Willful offense to any nation, race or creed;

And be it further resolved, That special care be exercised in the manner in which the following subjects are treated, to the end that vulgarity and suggestiveness may be eliminated and that good taste may be emphasized:

The use of the flag;
International relations (avoiding picturizing in an unfavorable light another country's religion, history, institutions, prominent people, and citizenry);
Arson;
The use of firearms;
Theft, robbery, safe-cracking, and dynamiting of trains, mines, buildings, etc. (having in mind the effect which a too-detailed description of these may have upon the moron);
Brutality and possible gruesomeness;
Technique of committing murder by whatever method;
Methods of smuggling;
Third-degree methods;
Actual hangings or electrocutions as legal punishment for crime;
Sympathy for criminals;
Attitude toward public characters and institutions;
Sedition;
Apparent cruelty to children and animals;
Branding of people or animals;
The sale of women, or of a woman selling her virtue;
Rape or attempted rape;
First-night scenes;
Man and woman in bed together;
Deliberate seduction of girls;
The institution of marriage;
Surgical operations;
The use of drugs;
Titles or scenes having to do with law enforcement or law-enforcing officers;
Excessive or lustful kissing, particularly when one character or the other is a "heavy."

The Motion Picture Production Code was the set of industry moral censorship guidelines that governed the production of most United States motion pictures released by major studios from 1930 to 1968. It is also popularly known as the Hays Code, after Hollywood's chief censor of the time, Will H. Hays.

The Motion Pictures Producers and Distributors Association (MPPDA), which later became the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), adopted the code in 1930, began enforcing it in 1934, and abandoned it in 1968, in favor of the subsequent MPAA film rating system. The Production Code spelled out what was acceptable and what was unacceptable content for motion pictures produced for a public audience in the United States. The office enforcing it was popularly called the Hays Office in reference to Hays, and also later the Breen Office, named after its first administrator, Joseph Breen, who took over from Hays in 1934.


--

By the late 1960s, enforcement had become impossible and the Production Code was abandoned entirely. The MPAA began working on a rating system, under which film restrictions would lessen. The MPAA film rating system went into effect on November 1, 1968, with four ratings: G, M, R, and X and Geoffrey Shurlock stepped down from his post.[48] In 1969, the Swedish film I Am Curious (Yellow), directed by Vilgot Sjöman, was initially banned in the U.S. for its frank depiction of sexuality; however, this was overturned by the Supreme Court.

The M rating was changed to GP in 1970 and to the current PG in 1972. In 1984, in response to public complaints regarding the severity of horror elements in PG-rated titles such as Gremlins and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, the PG-13 rating was created as a middle tier between PG and R. In 1990, the X rating was replaced by NC-17, partly because the X rating was not trademarked by the MPAA, whereas pornographic bookstores and theaters were using their own X and XXX symbols to market products.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Civilization's Discontents

Nietzsche, "Genealogy of Morals"
The man who, because of a lack of external enemies and opposition, was forced into an oppressive narrowness and regularity of custom impatiently tore himself apart, persecuted himself, gnawed away at himself, grew upset, and did himself damage—this animal which scraped itself raw against the bars of its cage, which people want to “tame,” this impoverished creature, consumed with longing for the wild, which had to create out of its own self an adventure, a torture chamber, an uncertain and dangerous wilderness—this fool, this yearning and puzzled prisoner, became the inventor of “bad conscience.” But with him was introduced the greatest and weirdest illness, from which humanity up to the present time has not recovered, the suffering of man from man, from himself, a consequence of the forcible separation from his animal past, a leap and, so to speak, a fall into new situations and living conditions, a declaration of war against the old instincts, on which, up to that point, his power, joy, and ability to inspire fear had been based. Let us at once add that, on the other hand, the fact that there was on earth an animal soul turned against itself, taking sides against itself, meant there was something so new, profound, unheard of, enigmatic, contradictory, and full of the future, that with it the picture of the earth was fundamentally changed. In fact, it required divine spectators to appreciate the dramatic performance which then began and whose conclusion is by no means yet in sight—a spectacle too fine, too wonderful, too paradoxical, to be allowed to play itself out senselessly and unobserved on some ridiculous star or other! Since then man has been included among the most unexpected and most thrillingly lucky rolls of the dice in the game played by Heraclitus’ “great child,” whether he’s called Zeus or chance.* For himself he arouses a certain interest, a tension, a hope, almost a certainty, as if something is announcing itself with him, something is preparing itself, as if the human being were not the goal but only a way, an episode, a bridge, a great promise . . .

Monday, August 13, 2012

Saturday, August 11, 2012

The Video Deemed Too Offensive for Republicans... and why they'll lose in 2012


...I guess it must hit too close to home with their real perceptions of the man.

Oh wait, they don't like it because they might get accused of racism if they are seen laughing at black people eating fried chicken and watermelon.

Here's a news flash for you, Republicans, the perception that you are RACISTS is already OUT there. Your hypersensitivity to the subject simply looks like a COVER-UP of your TRUE feelings.

So thicken your skins, Republicans, because the race issue is a lose-lose for you, no matter HOW you react to it (or don't). And let's face it, "Call me Maybe" parodies are topical... especially those containing stereotypical elements.

Calling all Fools

MOTIVES

IF to a girl who loves us truly
Her mother gives instruction duly
In virtue, duty, and what not,--
And if she hearkens ne'er a jot,
But with fresh-strengthen'd longing flies

To meet our kiss that seems to burn,--

Caprice has just as much concerned
As love in her bold enterprise.

But if her mother can succeed
In gaining for her maxims heed,
And softening the girl's heart too,
So that she coyly shuns our view,--
The heart of youth she knows but ill;

For when a maiden is thus stern,

Virtue in truth has less concern
In this, than an inconstant will
- Goethe (1767-9)

Friday, August 10, 2012

Pursuit of the Objet Petit a...

The curse of Apollo, the god of the sun and music, was brought onto him when he insulted the young Eros for playing with bow and arrows.

Apollo was a great warrior and said to him, "What have you to do with warlike weapons, saucy boy? Leave them for hands worthy of them. Behold the conquest I have won by means of them over the vast serpent who stretched his poisonous body over acres of the plain! Be content with your torch, child, and kindle up your flames, as you call them, where you will, but presume not to meddle with my weapons."

The petulant Eros took two arrows, one of gold and one of lead. The gold one was supposed to incite love, while the lead one was supposed to incite hatred. With the leaden shaft, Eros shot the nymph Daphne and with the golden one, he shot Apollo through the heart. Apollo was seized with love for the maiden, Daphne, and she in turn abhorred him. In fact, she spurned her many potential lovers, preferring instead woodland sports and exploring the woods. Her father, Peneus, demanded that she get married so that she may give him grandchildren, as was custom in Greece. However, she begged her father to let her remain unmarried, like Apollo's twin sister, Artemis.

He warned her saying, "Your own face will forbid it." By saying this he meant that she was too beautiful to keep all her potential lovers away forever.

Apollo continually followed her, begging her to stay, but the nymph continued her flight. They were evenly matched in the race until Eros intervened and helped Apollo gain upon Daphne.

Seeing that Apollo was bound to catch her, she called upon her father, "Help me, Peneus! Open the earth to enclose me, or change my form, which has brought me into this danger!"

Suddenly, her skin turned into bark, her hair became leaves, and her arms were transformed into branches. She stopped running as her feet became rooted to the ground. Apollo embraced the branches, but even the branches shrank away from him. Since Apollo could no longer take her as his wife, he vowed to tend her as his tree, and promised that her leaves would decorate the heads of leaders as crowns, and that her leaves were also to be depicted on weapons. Apollo also used his powers of eternal youth and immortality to render her ever green. Since then, the leaves of the Bay laurel tree have never known decay.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Eating Quackers....

THE SHEPHERD'S LAMENT

ON yonder lofty mountain

A thousand times I stand,
And on my staff reclining,

Look down on the smiling land.

My grazing flocks then I follow,

My dog protecting them well;
I find myself in the valley,

But how, I scarcely can tell.

The whole of the meadow is cover'd

With flowers of beauty rare;
I pluck them, but pluck them unknowing

To whom the offering to bear.

In rain and storm and tempest,

I tarry beneath the tree,
But closed remaineth yon portal;

'Tis all but a vision to me.

High over yonder dwelling,

There rises a rainbow gay;
But she from home hath departed

And wander'd far, far away.

Yes, far away bath she wander'd,

Perchance e'en over the sea;
Move onward, ye sheep, then, move onward!

Full sad the shepherd must be.
-Goethe (1803)

Saturday, August 4, 2012

All Rights Belong to the Respective Owners....

My grief no mortals know,

Except the yearning!
Alone, a prey to woe,

All pleasure spurning,
Up tow'rds the sky I throw

A gaze discerning.

He who my love can know

Seems ne'er returning;
With strange and fiery glow

My heart is burning.
My grief no mortals know,

Except the yearning!
-Goethe

00:00 I Robot
06:02 I Wouldn't Want to Be Like You
09:25 Some Other Time
13:31 Breakdown
17:24 Don't Let It Show
21:45 The Voice
28:00 Nucleus/Day After Day (The Show Must Go On)
34:29 Total Eclipse
37:24 Genesis Ch.1. V.32

Sounding Fall River

Thirty licks with a belt; same old tricks on myself.
And I wonder: Does everyone else live this way?
A succession of tests, a triumphant success,
Each time, I'm still in-tact, at the end of the day.

Thirty drops in a glass, keep my temper and pass
With my breath held. You bastards, you lucked out again!
It's not really so bad. There’s still mom, there’s still
Damage to do before they wrest the axe from my hands.

It's no mystery: you should obviously go,
Before I break everything.
You’re always telling me that you're dying to know;
But you’re not really listening.

How do I manage to station myself in harms way,
And only get hit with a ticket for loitering...
That I have no way to pay? And no strength to argue.
My personal demons can scheme with professional care...
Oh, god, they're after me!
If I could shut them out just for a second,
I swear:
I could stop this catastrophe.

Thirty day guarantee,
But they can't have meant me.
After all, I was born to a child-proof world.
No sharp corners, or glass,
Small objects, or plastic bags.
Please, these are death to a delicate girl.

It's no mystery - you should obviously know
That I’ll destroy everything.
So don't go telling me that you're dying to know-
'Cause you’ll get what you're asking for.

And I still manage to station myself in harm's way,
And only get hit with a ticket for loitering,
Stating I came the wrong day.
Now all the demons are screaming, their wages aren't fair.
I've left a secret kept.
If I could shut them up just for a second, I swear:
It’ll look like an accident.
I could be decent yet!
The magnificent end:
I could be president....

Friday, August 3, 2012

Siquen Buscando la Ideal

The Ideal

'twill be no lovely girls of our vignettes
— spoiled fruits our worthless epoch deems divine —
slim slippered feet, hands made for castagnettes,
that shall content this questing heart of mine.


I leave to great Gavarni, bard of blight,
his prattling beauties with their frail appeal.
I cannot find among his roses white
the flaming flower of my red ideal.


I crave, to fill my heart's abyss of death,
thy passion, fair and merciless Macbeth,
whom Aeschylus might not have dreamed in boreal snows;


or thine, great Night, in Bunarroti's South,
tranquilly turning in a monstrous pose
thy bosom fashioned by a Titan's mouth!
- Charles Baudelaire