Sunday, April 30, 2006

Literally at the buzzer, as if it were a magic trick, Kobe Bean Bryant swished a little pull-up jumper to snatch the victory away from the Phoenix Suns, in what turned out to be one of the most exciting Lakers games I’ve ever witnessed. They unbelievably recovered from a deficit in the final seconds of regulation by Smush Parker’s sweet three-pointer, followed by a deft steal by Parker, which left Steve Nash whining to the refs. In overtime the back-and-forth scoring kept the difference to a minimum, but at the most crucial moment, with only seconds left to play, the Lakers managed to get a jump ball, which led to Kobe’s clutch shot.

I screamed so loud the windows cracked. I jumped out of my chair like it had caught on fire and I’m still riding the high of watching Phil Jackson’s team pull a win out of pure heart, precision, luck, and determination. To watch the postgame interviews you can click here.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Love is Awsome

by Tyler Stout
- illustration for a magazine called faesthetic

I’m busily scribbling an academic assault on postcolonial theory for my African Lit. class, based squarely on my research involving the existential primacy of the individual. To be clear: up in the Ivory Tower, this is not a particularly popular stance to take. Thankfully, my professor in this class is cool and open to opposing ideas because he is both smart and curious. But generally speaking, despite the ubiquitous rhetoric of "intellectual freedom" bandied about, I have found that many academic-types have a rather rigid system of beliefs and those beliefs are not very inclusive. Aside from the way they continually make me feel bad for being born a white male (which I don't recall having a choice over), they assume that anyone who refuses to accept the liberal-fascist notion of white men = oppressors, or white men = destroyers of culture, is either too privileged to acknowledge responsibility, or too ignorant to be taken seriously.

I suppose they have a point. White people are the worst.

Anyway, here’s a devastatingly accurate quote about love from the novel I’m working with, Devil on the Cross:

“The forest of the heart is never cleared of all its trees.”

If you're so inclined, you can find out more about postcolonial theory here and here.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Two illustrations by Yuko Shimizu

top - from PLANSPONSOR (October 2005)
bottom - from San Francisco Magazine (August 2005)

Shimizu is based out of NYC, but she's from Japan and she has a ton of great work that you can check out here.

Update from Lakerland: Game Three of the playoffs is tonight, at home. The series is tied 1-1, but it looks like Los Angeles is set to obliterate that miserable Arizona team. My heart awaits their victory.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Ein Kupferblech

Max Ernst

If you click on the following title you can read this cool article called “In Defense of Those Dudes Who Dress Up Like Stormtroopers” by Peter Hartlaub.

Or you can click here and enter your birthday into the Age Gauge to get a list of useless facts.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Proposition Player

installation piece by Matthew Ritchie

Ritchie is a classically-trained artist whose eclectic vision incorporates elements of chemistry, physics, math, astronomy, and even paleontology. Plus, he illustrated a super cool book called The Father Costume, written by Ben Marcus. You can also go here to see his internet project.

Tonight the Lakers play game two of the playoffs. They're down one game, but word on the street is: Kobe's gonna light it up. I sure hope so.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Thanks to La Femme I found this site called HEL LOOKS, which is basically a collection of fashion photographs taken on the streets and in the clubs of Helsinki, Finland:

Sunday, April 23, 2006

C.S.P. displays the agony of filmmaking as he sits on our makeshift dolly with his face in his hands. Crouched beside him, A.M.P. attempts to console the poor cinematographer.

I took this picture 7 years ago, in the Spring of 1999, while I was in film school at UNLV. We were shooting a very cool short film called Toner Burn for my Writer/Director buddy J.S.F.

This particular location was just outside a giant storage facility in Vegas - a place that, at the time, also doubled as a rave club called The Candy Factory.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

A man died and went to heaven.

As he stood in front of St. Peter at the Pearly Gates, he saw a huge wall of clocks behind him. He asked, "What are all those clocks?"

St. Peter answered, "Those are Lie-Clocks. Everyone on Earth has a Lie-Clock. Every time you lie the hands on your clock move."

"Oh," said the man, "Whose clock is that?"

"That's Mother Theresa’s clock. The hands have never moved, indicating that she never told a lie."

"Incredible," said the man. "And whose clock is that one?"

St. Peter responded, "That's Abraham Lincoln's clock. The hands have moved twice, telling us that he told only two lies in his entire life."

"Where's President Bush’s clock?" asked the man.

"Bush's clock is in Jesus' office. He's using it as a ceiling fan."

Friday, April 21, 2006

From the symmetrical photography of Kazuhiko Kawahara
(July 2003)

Kawahara is an architect in Osaka, Japan who also does innovative photo manipulation. You can see more here.

I found another interesting thing to do in NYC this summer:

The Moscow Cats Theatre - described as, “the only entertainment of its kind in the world - features non-stop action by a troop of talented felines performing original and astounding acrobatic feats, integrated into a non-verbal, colorful and fun-filled family show.”

You can investigate this strange cat show further by going here.

And lastly, you can click here to watch a brief interview where Ali G. asks Noam Chomsky, “How many words does you know?”

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

But mostly I'm a hypocrite
I sing songs about the deficit
But when I sell out and leave Omaha, what will I get?
A mansion house and a rabbit fur coat.

- from the song "Rabbit Fur Coat" by Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins (pictured above)

As far as I can tell, singer-songwriter Jenny Lewis was born in Las Vegas - that place I called home for a long time. Maybe that’s why I dig her so much. Or maybe it’s because she was a child actor and I subconsciously remember seeing her on Golden Girls when I was 9 years old. Or maybe I’m impressed with her band Rilo Kiley, a soft but bold outfit who cuts records for Saddle Creek - an Indie label just down the street. Or maybe I like her simply because of her featured vocals on one of my all-time favorite albums, the masterful Give Up by The Postal Service. No matter the origin of my admiration, the fact is that her three month old, pseudo-solo album, put out by the other Indie label down the street, Team Love, is like a fantastic collection of short stories set to music. She writes songs like most writers wish they could write prose: it’s lyrical and narrative at the same time. Not to mention, her voice is like a warm bath on a cold night in a room filled with strawberry scented candles. I implore anyone interested in beautiful things to check out what Jenny Lewis does; I'm fairly certain you won't be disappointed.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

In Bed

by Australian-born sculptor Ron Mueck

Mueck is now a London-based model maker and puppeteer, maybe best known for his work on the film Labyrinth. You can see more of his Life Casting work here, courtesy of C.S.P.

Super great news from Ohio: The Pulitzer Prize in Fiction was announced yesterday, and Lee Martin, Director of the creative writing program at OSU, was named a finalist for his novel The Bright Forever. This couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy - over the last few months he has gone out of his way to be encouraging, to make me feel like an important writer and an asset to their department. I’m really looking forward to working with him.

In local news: I returned to that drivethru I mentioned a few weeks ago. When I got to the window I saw the same fella who was there before, but this time when I asked him, "How are you today?" he said, "Thankful."

Sunday, April 16, 2006

simulated particle decay from the Higgs boson
done by the ATLAS detector

First predicted in 1963 by the British physicist Peter Higgs, after a walk in the Scottish mountains, the Higgs boson is now commonly referred to as The God Particle.

This is how physicist Simon Hands explains it:

"The Higgs boson is an undiscovered elementary particle, thought to be a vital piece of the closely fitting jigsaw of particle physics. Like all particles, it has wave properties akin to those ripples on the surface of a pond which has been disturbed; indeed, only when the ripples travel as a well defined group is it sensible to speak of a particle at all. In quantum language the analogue of the water surface which carries the waves is called a field. Each type of particle has its own corresponding field….We believe the Higgs field is responsible for endowing virtually all the matter we know about with mass."

In 1993, the UK Science Minister, William Waldegrave, challenged physicists to produce an answer that would fit on one page to the question 'What is the Higgs boson, and why do we want to find it?' You can go here and read a few of the responses.

You can read more about the Higgs boson here, here, and here.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

diagram of a bird brain

Scientists have argued for decades over whether wild creatures, including birds, show genuine intelligence.

Some still consider the human mind to be unique, with animals capable of only the simplest mental processes. But a new generation of scientists believe that creatures, including birds, can solve problems by insight and even learn by example, as human children do. Birds can even talk in a meaningful way.

- from an essay entitled Bird Brains by Gareth Huw Davies

My brother and I have been watching David Attenborough’s awsome documentary Life of Birds. Even if you’re not super into ornithology, this series is fascinating. I’m not a “birder” by any means, nor have I ever been particularly interested in birds. I am, however, extremely interested in life forms other than humans: how they work socially, individually, and how they experience and deal with their existence. I love learning about the similarities between them and us, not because I want to anthropomorphize them, but because I think we have a lot more in common than most consider. As I like to remind my students: at the most basic level, we too are just animals.

If you're interested, you can read more about bird intelligence here, here, and here.

Friday, April 14, 2006

If You Are Using Internet Explorer
You Should Stop Right Now!!!!!


Download Firefox For Free
(this program is open source,
i.e. it is free to everyone,
i.e. there is no coyright infringement)

And Start Using It Instead

It Is Five Billion-Trillion Times Better, Quicker, Safer.

Internet Explorer Breeds Horrible Diseases, And Hates Freedom.

There's A Glitch In I.E. That Won't Allow You View This Blog Properly
Nor Allow You To See My Background
(Those Using I.E. Right Now Are Seeing White On The Sides,
But Those Using Firefox Can See A Splendid Menagerie Of Colors,
Exactly As The Author Intended.)

To Sum Up

Firefox : Internet Explorer
Widescreen : Pan-And-Scan
Super Sized : Regular Sized
Lost : Every Other Television Show

Wednesday, April 12, 2006


Ferris Plock

Here are the Top 30 Albums of the Week according to the underground college radio station in Columbus, Ohio:

1 BAND OF HORSES -- Everything All The Time
2 BOY LEAST LIKELY TO -- The Best Party Ever
3 MOGWAI -- Mr. Beast
5 METAL HEARTS -- Socialize
6 CALEXICO -- Garden Ruin
7 LOOSE FUR -- Born Again In The USA
8 BELLE AND SEBASTIAN -- The Life Pursuit
9 MYLO -- Destroy Rock And Roll
10 GRAND NATIONAL -- Kicking The National Habit
11 SHRIFT -- Lost In A Moment
12 GOLDFRAPP -- Supernature
13 MATES OF STATE -- Bring It Back
14 HARD-FI -- Stars Of CCTV
15 FLAMING LIPS -- At War With The Mystics
16 ARCTIC MONKEYS -- Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not
17 YEAH YEAH YEAHS -- Show Your Bones
18 CRIBS -- Mirror Kisses
19 BUILT TO SPILL -- You In Reverse
20 JASON COLLETT -- Idols Of Exile
21 EDITORS -- The Back Room
22 ELECTED -- Sun, Sun, Sun
23 SOUL POSITION -- Things Go Better With RJ And Al
24 PLACEBO -- Meds
25 ISLANDS -- Return To The Sea
26 APPLESEED CAST -- Peregrine
27 GNARLS BARKLEY -- Selections From St. Elsewhere
28 STEREOLAB -- Fab Four Suture
29 NEKO CASE -- Fox Confessor Brings The Flood
30 DESTROYER -- Destroyer's Rubies

You can go here to stream.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Nose Dive On The City

Tullio Crali

If I visit NYC this summer, then I’m definitely going to do this thing called Accomplice: New York, which sounds kinda like that movie The Game, but without David Fincher as the director. It’s being described as equal parts interactive theater, murder mystery, scavenger hunt, and walking tour...a unique new form of entertainment that draws participants into a web of intrigue throughout lower Manhattan. So it’s sorta like Tony and Tina’s Wedding but all over town, and with intrigue. Doesn’t that sound cool?

You can read more about it here, here, and here.

Monday, April 10, 2006


Pavel Kryml

C.S.P. got me interested in this new debate over The Book of Judas. Looks like the Gnostics believed Judas was not a traitor after all. Turns out, he “betrayed” Jesus because Jesus asked him to do it. According to this "newly found" document, Judas was J.C.’s closest buddy. How’s that for spin?

I think part of the reason why this fascinates me is simply the Rashomon effect: the notion of multiple versions of one story, the inference of an unstable universal truth. Whether or not this will be considered relevant or not, whether this changes the way an entire religious community thinks about and understands their identity or not, it’s still a great little postmodern twist to that ubiquitous little book called the bible.

If you're interested, you can read more about it at:

National Geographic

U.K. Times


Biblical Studies

And here's what Jesuit Father Gerald O'Collins, longtime professor of Christology at Rome's Pontifical Gregorian University has to say about it.

Publicly released excerpts of the translated text can be found here.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Because it is now:

I've decided to share the poem from which this blog gets its name. The author is Sylvia Plath.


They enter as animals from the outer
Space of holly where spikes
Are not thoughts I turn on, like a Yogi,
But greenness, darkness so pure
They freeze and are.

O God, I am not like you
In your vacuous black,
Stars stuck all over, bright stupid confetti.
Eternity bores me,
I never wanted it.

What I love is
The piston in motion ----
My soul dies before it.
And the hooves of the horses,
There merciless churn.

And you, great Stasis ----
What is so great in that!
Is it a tiger this year, this roar at the door?
It is a Christus,
The awful

God-bit in him
Dying to fly and be done with it?
The blood berries are themselves, they are very still.

The hooves will not have it,
In blue distance the pistons hiss.

Saturday, April 08, 2006


Travis Millard

from his fudge factory notebooks

The very definition of the real becomes: that of which it is possible to give an equivalent reproduction.... The real is not only what can be reproduced, but that which is always already reproduced. The hyperreal.
- Jean Baudrillard
from his essay "The Hyperrealism of Simulation" (1983)

What you have to do is enter the fiction of America, enter America as fiction. It is, indeed, on this fictive basis that it dominates the world.
- Jean Baudrillard
from his essay "Astral America" (1988)

Last night, while conversing with some friends, my buddy A.H. handed me a copy of Jean Baudrillard’s Simulacra and Simulation, which I intend to devour just as soon as this bloody semester is over. From the explanation I got last night, and from what I could find out about him on the net (you can go here and here), it seems that Baudrillard and I agree on the fact that there is no such thing as “real” anymore. A.H. says the guy isn’t a philosopher so much as a political, cultural, and economic thinker - which usually turns me off - but regardless of that, I’m interested in further exploring the idea of “the fake” versus “the real.” Especially because I think the whole notion of “reality” is rubbish: it's such a terribly overrated mode of misunderstanding our personal experiences. In short, I think “keeping it real” as the kids love to say, is about the silliest waste of time one could ever attempt to engage in. Quite obviously, there is no “real” in which to keep it. This makes me wonder why our culture tries so hard to push the agenda of being "real” or “honest” when, according to Baudrillard, we are experiencing only a copy of a lost original, therefore we cannot and will not ever know "the real" let alone "the truth" from which we seek to accurately represent ourselves.

I vote for a new movement wherein everyone attempts to be as “fake” as they possibly can. Forget “keeping it real” try “keeping it fake” -- because the only truth is that we’re all fake. Not one of us is real - so why try to be or pretend that we are?

Friday, April 07, 2006



Dave McKean


Just watched McKean's film MirrorMask - written by Neil Gaiman - which I can only describe as the Brothers Quay meets Labyrinth meets Alice in Wonderland meets City of Lost Children meets Santa Sangre. In other words, pretty viewable.

More info on Columbus, Ohio can be found here and here. Note: both Prescott Bush (grandfather of George W.) and Susan Perkins (Miss America 1978) are from Columbus. What that means, I have no idea.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

All is well...novel completed, thesis defended, nothing left for me to do but write a critical paper on existential alienation in Ngugi wa Thiong’o’s Devil on the Cross for African Lit. class. Oh, and teach for three more weeks. And attend a workshop here in June. But then I am officially leaving this place and going here:

I'm super duper excited.

ps - perhaps I will keep this blog alive for a while longer. Updates to come.