Monday, May 31, 2010
Saturday, May 29, 2010
Dennis Hopper died today. For me it started with Easy Rider, which I saw in 1989. I followed from there; back and forward. Read of his life and struggles, his ideas. "Learning to use the accident".
Gorillaz: Fire Coming Out of the Monkey's Head (Narrated by Dennis Hopper)
Friday, May 28, 2010
Hedwig and the Angry Inch - Origin of Love
Changing genetics is not enough, creating the ultimate postgender human requires changing the brain itself. The gendered human brain could be rewired to fit a postgender blueprint.
"but only the blurring and erosion of biological sex, of the gendering of the brain, and of binary social roles by emerging technologies will enable individuals to access all human potentials and experiences regardless of their born sex or assumed gender."
Yes, the technological means to these bizarre ends are being developed. They have been in the works for a long time, and we are now confronted with material like this which illustrates the postgender goals which have fueled research from the very beginning. Transhumanism has taken old postgender ideas and built upon them with the description of far more advanced technologies.
"trans- or post-humans would at least be able to transcend the limitations of biological sex and would eventually be able to transcend the biological altogether into cybernetic or virtual form."
The fact that we already depend highly on virtual worlds, especially in terms of satisfying sexual desires is also mentioned. Virtual sex is touted as being safer, easier, and more customizable than traditional human relationships. The gender binary is slowly eroding as people blend their sexual identity with avatars of a different gender and often a different species. The ultimate revolution in virtual sex would occur when artificial intelligence could simulate the erotic response of a human, making virtual sex indistinguishable from the real thing.
"But the final liberation from dyadic, gendered, heteronormative relationships will likely come about through use of drugs that suppress pair-bonding impulses."
Why would anyone actually put such bold remarks down in writing? Why is the erosion of dualistic gender being sincerely explored by the scientific establishment? Is there a collective subconscious desire to merge the two sexes into one?
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Urga is a 1991 film by Russian director Nikita Mikhalkov. It is released in North America as Close to Eden. It depicts the friendship between a Russian truck driver and a Mongolian shepherd in Inner Mongolia. The film was an international co-production between companies based in Russia and France.
The Mongolian shepherd Gombo lives in a yurt in Inner Mongolia with his wife, three children, and mother. They are content with their uncomplicated rural lives but Gombo wants to go on having sex with his wife, while she refuses herself in fear of bearing a fourth child, which is against the Chinese law. A Russian truck driver named Sergei is stranded nearby, and finds his way to their house, where he and Gombo become friends despite their language and cultural differences.
Gombo and Sergei go into the nearest city together, where Gombo is supposed to buy contraceptives (condoms). Instead he buys a television set and other such goods, then attempts to buy contraceptives, but decides not to when he realizes everyone at the drugstore is a woman. Sergei, a former army bandsman, sings "Hills of Manchuria" in a nightclub, as the band plays from the sheet music tattooed on his back. He is arrested and then bailed out of jail by Gombo.
Gombo returns home, and along the way stops and takes a nap. He has a strange dream featuring his drunken, horse riding relative as Genghis Khan and his wife as Ghenghis Khan's wife. In the dream both he and Sergei are captured and killed. Gombo wakes and arrives home, with the television, and he and his family watch alternately the President of America speaking and a badly sung variety show. Gombo and his wife go into the fields, bringing the Urga (a long stick with a lasso on the end used to capture animals) which is then stuck into the ground far away in the prairie, a signal that a couple is being intimate. A voice over from Gombo's fourth son concludes the film with the image of a chimney belching smoke into the air in the place where Gombo's Urga was once placed.
Thursday, May 20, 2010
Rez: developed under the codename K-Project, Project Eden, and Vibes, is a rail shooter video game released by Sega in Japan in 2001 for the Dreamcast and PlayStation 2, with a European Dreamcast release and United States PlayStation 2 release in 2002. The game was developed by Sega's United Game Artists division, which contained several former members of the disbanded Team Andromeda, the Sega development team behind the Panzer Dragoon series. It was conceptualized and produced by Tetsuya Mizuguchi. His company, Q Entertainment released a high definition version, Rez HD to the Xbox Live Arcade in 2008
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Sunday, May 16, 2010
Thursday, May 13, 2010
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
The first time I saw this film was in 1993. I was living in Surry Hills in Sydney, Australia. I came home at something like 4am after a night of carousing and turned on the TV as I was not sleepy and there he was. I watched the entire hour totally spellbound. Now you can too.
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Monday, May 10, 2010
Dont miss this conversation with two New York icons. Patti Smith burst on to the New York punk scene with her 1975 seminal album Horses. A bright flame in music for more than three-decades, she has influenced the likes of REM, The Smiths, and Garbage. She is an acclaimed visual artist and poet, and recipient of a Commander of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres from the French Ministry of Culture. Recently she released a memoir, Just Kids, about her friendship with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe. Jonathan Lethems National Book Critics Circle award-winning novel Motherless Brooklyn, about a detective with Tourette syndrome, had The New York Times crown him as something of a hipster celebrity. Hes also the author of The Fortress of Solitude and, most recently, Chronic City. Together they talk about Just Kids and some of their shared passions along the way the visual arts, literature (of course) and their love for the Chilean writer Roberto Bolaño.
Sunday, May 09, 2010
Friday, May 07, 2010
Thursday, May 06, 2010
Wednesday, May 05, 2010
Tuesday, May 04, 2010
Informal portrait of Leonard Cohen. The film begins with Cohen delivering a comic monologue about his visit to a friend in a Montreal mental hospital. Later he is seen reading poetry to rapt audience and also alone, or relaxing with family and friends, walking the streets of the city, eating in a popular night spot, sleeping in his three-dollar-a-night hotel room, even taking a bath. His poetry readings are principally from “A Spice-box of Earth” and “Flowers for Hitler”. A press conference with Cohen and his friend Irving Layton forms a part of the film.
Filmed and recorded at various locations in 1964, released in 1965 by the National Film Board of Canada. Directed by Donal Brittain and Dan Owen, produced by John Kemeny. Black & white, 44 min.
Morning in the Sub-Basement of Hell
"Holding the instruments of pain I conduct the orchestra of the sun"
The Man Upstairs
Steven "Jesse" Bernstein (December 4, 1950 -- October 22, 1991) was an American underground writer and performance artist who is most famous for his recordings with Sub Pop Records and close relationship with William S. Burroughs. Bernstein's substance abuse issues and mental illness contributed to his provocative local celebrity, though they ultimately culminated in his suicide.
Steven Jesse Bernstein was born in Los Angeles, California. He moved to Seattle, Washington in 1974 where he adopted the moniker Jesse, and began performing and self-publishing chapbooks of his poetry (the first chapbook was Choking On Sixth, 1978). Bernstein would become something of an icon to many in Seattle's underground music scene. Notable fans included Kurt Cobain and Oliver Stone. Bernstein's mental illness was not as alarming as it might have been off the stage, as his drug-reinforced manic episodes were harnessed and channelled into engrossing, often perverse, entertainment. According to one Seattle newspaper, he opened for music acts such as Nirvana, Big Black, Soundgarden, U-Men, and the Crows:
"He read poems from a stage with a live rodent in his mouth, its tail twitching as baseline punctuation. He tried to cut his heart out in order to hold it in his hands and calm it down. He once urinated on a heckler and tended to throw things: beer bottles, manuscripts, drumsticks, his wallet, a sandwich."
The concept for the Bernstein album Prison was for Jesse to do a raw, live performance at Monroe, Washington State Penitentiary Special Offenders unit in 1991. Jesse went with his manager Barbara Buckland, Bruce Pavitt from Sub Pop Records, Grant Alden, then with Seattle's Rocket Magazine, now known as the co-founder of No Depression Magazine, photographer Arthur S. Aubry, and various tech people. None of the session except for the photos taken by Aubry was usable, however, and SubPop later contracted Steve Fisk to finish the project. The album was intended to be produced along the same lines as Johnny Cash's At Folsom Prison, but Fisk later decided to score the recordings with jazz and ambient music. The album was only partially completed when Bernstein committed suicide by stabbing himself in the throat three times with a knife. He was 40 years old when he died -- about a month and a half before his 41st birthday.
Prison was released on April 1, 1992. In 1994, one of these recordings, "Me and Her Outside (No No Man)",was used in the film Natural Born Killers.
I am Secretly an Important Man, a collection of poetry, short stories, and spoken performances, was released in March of 1996 by Zero Hour Publishing.