Gabriel Dance sends a link to his flash version of the Spanish game “A chave” for interested people to test out. He’s changing some of it as I type and supporting materials will join the game as well so’s you’ll have some idea of the history of what you are playing.
And yes I have knocked down the pin! Twing!
Talented singer, painter and friend, Sylvia Garrard‘s landscape paintings are part of a three person show at Tyndall Galleries from July 13 – August 20. Although I’ve known Sylvia for a while I realize that I’ve not seen more that a few of her wonderful paintings together in one place. I can’t wait to get down and have a good look.
We’re up to 36 films online now including a great one on herbalist and healer Tommy Bass
At the time of his death in 1996, “Tommie” Bass, was probably the most well-known herbalist in the United States. The subject of scholarly and popular books, television features, a front-page essay in the Wall Street Journal, and numerous articles in newspapers and magazines, Tommie Bass lived his entire life in the Ridge and Valley region of Alabama where he devoted himself to “trying to give ease” to the many people who sought his advice.. “Tommie Bass” is a biographical portrait of Mr. Bass, told almost entirely in his own words.
This 1990 video features the exquisite mehndi body painting tradition as it is practiced among Pakistani immigrants living in Queens, New York City. The film follows a mehndi artist, Shenaz Hooda, as she prepares a henna paste and paints intricate designs on the hands and feet of a bride-to-be, while the bride’s friends sing humorous songs mocking the groom and the future in-laws.
A 1988 8mm video documentary about the street children of San Francisco. The video documents the expressive traditions of a group of young runaways who formed an alternative family in an abandoned high school building near Golden Gate Park. Shot in an urban setting with a “one-person crew,” Sadobabies demonstrates small-format, low-budget production.
Going to coffee can result in getting a lot of work done quickly. Not just because I become caffine-charged. Because I meet folks that I need to talk with. Today as I was wondering how to get the mini-conference and discussions about the documentary Occupation: Dreamland going I ran into two of the people that are essential to making that a success.
Occupation: Dreamland is an unflinchingly candid portrait of a squad of American soldiers deployed in the doomed Iraqi city of Falluja during the winter of 2004. A tense and grimly humorous study of the soldiers unfolds as they patrol an environment of low-intensity conflict creeping steadily towards catastrophe. Through the squad’s activities Occupation: Dreamland provides a vital glimpse into the last days of Falluja. The film documents the city’s waning stability before a final series of military assaults began in the spring of 2004 that effectively destroyed it.
Occupation: Dreamland chronicles the escalating tension between its two main characters: the squad and the city. Beholden as they are to differing languages and worldviews the two antagonists collide repeatedly. A distinct sense of unease grows as the chain of misunderstanding and distrust tightens. Daylight patrols on bustling downtown streets turn from casual conversation to brief, confusing firefights while nighttime raids reveal a local populace caught in the middle. The narrative follows a downward spiral of civil destabilization and personal frustration, borne by individuals trapped on both sides.
Filmmakers Garrett Scott and Ian Olds were given access to all operations of the Army’s 82nd Airborne. They lived with the unit 24/7, giving voice to soldiers held under a strict code of authority as they cope with an ambiguous, often lethal environment. The result is a revealing, sometimes surprising look at Army life, operations and the complexity of American war in the 21st century.
First, I ran into Bill Balthrop who is just done being Chairman of Communication Studies and is a specialist in rhetoric and cultural practice. Bill and I will be co-sponsors of the mini-conference. He knows more about all the issues than I ever will and others in his department like Cori Dauber (especially) will make a big difference in the quality of what we can set up. Full steam ahead here!
Ole friend and culture hacker Mark Hosler writes to promote his new anti-commercial Negativland project called “No Business.” Please buy it, he says.
The No Business promotion material reads:
“NO BUSINESS” is not only a term Negativland’s accountant can identify with, but also a tenaciously pure attempt to make new music out of old, or to make old music new, whatever the critics decide this dubious case may be. Critically acclaimed by those same critics in Newsweek, NY Times, Washington Post, Urb, Spin, Blender, Rolling Stone, etc., and with their work now being taught in college courses nation wide, “NO BUSINESS” may be a race with Walt Dizzy to commit legal suicide, or it may be the most thoughtful novelty record you’ve ever heard. But either way, Negativland passes through your consciousness once again, this time with nothing original at all!
“NO BUSINESS” is all about stealing music, file-sharing, the supposed collapse of the music industry and a nice piece of pie. Taking famous and not so famous music from the whole array of show business, Negativland recomposes it all to make a project of thoroughly un-original music and dialog they hope to copyright themselves.
“NO BUSINESS” is in a deluxe 5 x 11 inch die cut sleeve that comes with a laff-a-minute CD tribute to stealing and jamming popular culture, and a 56 page essay about the cultural public domain which isn’t one bit funny, just for contrast. And then, just when you’re getting all serious, there’s a trademarked Copyright Whoopee Cushion included in every package, as well as a “Universally Computer Compatible Video Short~A.” This video, which uses one of Negativland’s old chestnuts of criminal music, “Gimme The Mermaid,” was made working with a now former Disney animator using Disney’s own computers to create it and render it after hours when they weren’t looking!
So, if you are a copyright lawyer, you’ll want to hear this, see this and read this as soon as possible. If you have no respect for music or the music industry, this will confirm your suspicions. Whether you’re going to a party or appearing in court for stealing music, take NO BUSINESS along for the laughs and stitches that will keep them staring at the speakers till it’s over.
Scott and Les Chaffin, who will be supporting Scott by biking beside him, chose this way of honoring the memory of their friend Jay Clark who passed away this May. Jay was diagnosed with stage four bladder cancer in 2000.
Until this morning, all looked fine here using WordPress with authimage removed. A few spam comments were thwarted by the new spam filter and good comments came through. But in the past 2 hours, I’ve been hit by about 500 comment spams. These message have no links in them and are mostly vacuous “love your site” comments. What’s the point?
I am training WordPress to deal with them using the new spam detector. These are mostly annoying, but they are still coming.
authimage may return.
Last night we drove over to Raleigh to hear Orson Scott Card at the Quail Ridge Bookstore. OSC is Tucker’s favorite author, of the moment anyway, and Quail Ridge is one of our favorite bookstores.
OSC is beginning a tour to promote his new book, Magic Street, which features a cast of entirely African-American characters as well as an homage to Midsummer Night’s Dream (he says).
First off, OSC announces that he will not read from the book because, in part, the audiobook version, which is not yet listed for sale, does a much better job than he could possibly do. Instead he will answer questions from the audience. He’s got several amusing answers in the can and as a guy who started as an actor and playwright in Utah, he can make the answers seem fresh and even improvised.
Several newsy items are announced. His extremely popular Ender’s Game is being made into a movie. The announcement that the guy writing the screenplay would be the same guy who wroteTroy was greeted by a level of disappointment that OSC obviously didn’t anticipate. [the Internet Movie Database lists Troy screenwright David Benioff not as the writer, but as the executive producer. Several others including OSC are listed as writers. The director of Troy, Wolfgang Petersen, is listed as the director for Ender's]. OSC explained in various ways what Troy is a fine movie and how it shows how well Benioff and Petersen will understand and do a good job of Ender’s Game. At any rate, the movie isn’t due out til 2007.
In the meantime, OSC thinks that Magic Street might make it out as a movie first. According to him, Queen Latifah [warning Mama and Papas cover playing here] is looking at Magic Street. OSC even wrote one character with Latifah in mind after having had a conversation with her. He is very optimistic that Magic Street will be a movie and went on a bit about that.
He also had a lot to say about what a deal it was to write about/as black characters. Then true to OSC, and other writers, immediately said it wasn’t such a big deal. He did a lot of research, but then he really only talked intently to friends who are from the African-American culture.
OSC gives advice about writing that is teaching writing or not teaching writing. Mostly he rants about the Scarlet Letter for a while. His attitude toward the Scarlet Letter approaches that of a Scientologist’s toward psychiatry although it seems to be more for entertainment purposes. His approach to teaching writing too is highly varied and contradictory. First allow a lot of free writing. Don’t enforce rules. Then teach grammar and spelling. No Great Books. But he needed Great Books to be the writer he is. To be fair to OSC, he has age dependent contingencies for these suggestions. And he’s written a few books on how to write in his time.
Speaking of learning to write. About half the audience came over from the Duke Creative Writer’s Workshop in a big bus. The shoppers were given a choice of going to a Durham Bull’s baseball game or coming to a bookstore to hear OSC. Lots came. They were accompanied by their teachers, fellow WW grads Mimi Herman and Floyd Harris.
Much amusing OSC patter continued for about an hour then the signing began. Long lines with happy people.