Saturday, September 04, 2004


Posted by Hello

(via chromewaves)

Wednesday, September 01, 2004


Posted by Hello

By a strange coincidence two recent pop cultural artifacts have recently hit the streets that update the work of 14th century visionary Dante Alighieri to a modern sensibility. The first is a record I've been looking forward to for some time, Mike Watt's new CD the secondman's middle stand. Watt's previous record, Contemplating the Engine Room, was a moving elegy both to his Navy father and his fallen Minutemen comrade D. Boon and introduced me to the work of Nels Cline, a guitarist of singular skill and imagination. The new CD, inspired by Dante's Inferno, transforms the hellride of Watt's own painful near death experience, his surgery and determined recovery into what can only be called *cringe* a rock opera. He replaces Cline's guitar with the B3 organ of Pete Mazich, which gives the piece a dramatic lower end that suits both Watt's spiel and his bass rumblings. It's an emotional catharsis, but if you've never heard Watt, the place to start is still Double Nickels on the Dime.

The second Dante "cover" is the new Gary Panter high end art object/comic book Jimbo In Purgatory. Panter was the first great exponent of punk rock style underground comix. He did many flyers for the early L.A. punk scene and his 1979 Rozz Tox manifesto argues that the avant guard is obsolete. He said artists should aesthetically infiltrate the mass media and ignore the elitist gallery scene--his then close pal Matt Groening seemed to take his advice. Philip K. Dick wore one of Panter's t-shirts promoting the manifesto. Later in the 80s, he did covers for Art Spiegelman's RAW and designed sets and characters for Pee Wee's Playhouse. His main continuing character over the years has been the ratty Jimbo, a goofy cartoon Hamlet existing in a postnuclear wasteland. Not really a storyteller, Panter has never been concerned with typical panel narration and prefers to blow up the narrative into fragments and pieces. He sees the page as a whole unit, so it's not surprising that he references Geo. Herriman, Jack Kirby, 60s poster art and religious iconography. Not bad, but still a little too pretentious and pricy for my liking. I'd rather be reading Jim Woodring.

Tuesday, August 31, 2004


Posted by Hello

A waitress at a NY strip club sizes up the Republican Delegates while Pat Robertson's Republican representative in Virginia resigns amid allegations that he cruised the net for gay sex.

(Some of the above via the recently returned Fimoculous, a blog to aspire to. Image from the NO RNC poster project)

Monday, August 30, 2004

REPORT by Donald Barthelme

I spoke to him then about the war. I said the same things people always say when they speak against the war. I said that the war was wrong. I said that large countries should not burn down small countries. I said that the government had made a series of errors. I said that these errors once small and forgivable were now immense and unforgivable. I said that the government was attempting to conceal its original errors under layers of new errors. I said that the government was sick with error, giddy with it. I said that ten thousand of our soldiers had already been killed in pursuit of the government's errors. I said that tens of thousands of the enemy's soldiers and civilians had been killed because of various errors, ours and, theirs. I said that we are responsible for errors made in our name. I said that the government should not be allowed to make additional errors.

"Yes, yes," the chief engineer said, "there is doubtless much truth in what you say, but we can't possibly lose the war, can we? And stopping is losing, isn't it? The war regarded as a process, stopping regarded as an abort? We don't know how to lose a war. That skill is not among our skills. Our array smashes their array, that is what we know. That is the process. That is what is.

(via and the p-list)