Thursday, June 29, 2006

Chris Buzelli is an Illustrator from outside Chicago. He has so many cool pieces, it was hard to choose which ones to showcase. I settled on these five, but if you click his name you can visit his gallery and see more.

Partridge in a Pear Tree
Mascot Studio

Genetic Adjustments
Illumination Magazine

Big Mother
Boston Magazine

Serbin Directory of Illustration no. 24 Promo

What Lies Beneath
Global Custodian Magazine

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Check out this graffiti in Bogotá, Columbia. The artist is Stinkfi2h, member of the Excusado Printsystem Crew:

Monday, June 26, 2006

Oh boy, The Village Voice this week looks to push the envelope. Along similar lines, Oso Raro over at Slaves of Academe has a good article about Gay Pride Weekend.

Since we’re on the subject of Herr Bush, Geekette over at This & That, Ceci Et Cela uncovers these Mexican voodoo dolls:

Sunday, June 25, 2006

"Game is Over"

installation by

And a quote for today, courtesy of CSP:

I'm sick of following my dreams. I'm just going to ask them where they're going and hook up with them later.

- Mitch Hedberg, from Mitch All Together

Friday, June 23, 2006

UPDATE: You must take the next 2 minutes and 43 seconds to watch AMP's reel. It is breathtaking:

Today I’m proud to present a sampling of work by my dear friend, AMP - the man who will be representing Las Vegas in our upcoming four city photoblog, a cinematographer and cameraman with a luscious touch:

Speaking of photoblogs, here is a great one called face hunter, with the premise being: "a man out and about in paris: eye candy for the style hungry."

If you're a hardcore fan of the tv show Lost, here is a blog of real interest: a space dedicated to sharing important clues about the show and about the Hanso Foundation.

PS - One week until I move to Ohio.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

If you are someone who understands and appreciates cinema, who loves inventive, never-before-seen filmic experimentation, someone who drools over hyper-lavish cinematography and screams at the chance to be shocked by the creative moxy of a true auteur, you should stop whatever you're doing, close this window, turn off your computer, and go to the video store right this instant. If you are at work, tell your boss you’ve suddenly come down with the bird flu, if it’s too late or too early for the store to be open in your city, you owe it to yourself to go and stand outside and wait for them to open so you can rent this Russian film:

For the way in which the subtitles are integrated into the landscape of the film - something never done before, to my knowledge - this film is worth watching a dozen times. Not to mention camera-trickery beyond the Wachowski's wildest imagination. Granted, the resolution in Act III is somewhat dubious, but the kind of unbelievable creativity preceding the ending far outweighs whatever criticism one could muster. Seriously, this movie is not just pretty to look at or fun to watch or constantly surprising, it's downright groundbreaking, indisputably - that is, you cannot argue with the fact that this director did things in this film that no one has ever done before, that transcends genre, that elevates the art of filmmaking to a whole other level.

The bar has officially been raised. Click here for the Night Watch (Nochnoi Dozor) official site.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Let's begin today with a poem by one of my all-time favorite poets, Charles Bukowski, about one of my all-time favorite fiction writers:

Carson McCullers

she died of alcoholism
wrapped in a blanket
on a deck chair
on an ocean

all her books of
terrified loneliness

all her books about
the cruelty
of loveless love

were all that was left
of her

as the strolling vacationer
discovered her body

notified the captain

and she was quickly dispatched
to somewhere else
on the ship

as everything
continued just
she had written it

And we can end today here, with some photos taken by filmmaker Mike Figgis at this year’s Cannes Film Festival:

Sarah Seguela

Li Xin

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Yes! Genius filmmaker Michel Gondry finally has a new movie! (the pictures above are part of the publicity) Hopefully it will rock the living daylights, as much as E.S.O.T.S.M. This new one is called The Science of Sleep, and it’s en français, non anglais. Click here to watch the trailer, click here to learn more, and click here to visit the official site.

Click here to look at Ander Monson’s poem “For X and the Origin of Fires” in the new issue of Born Magazine online. I've written about him before, but I have to say again that Monson is one of my favorite contemporary authors for many reasons, especially because he's the kind of writer that shows other writers that it’s ok to do whatever you want, whatever you can imagine. By virtue of his sheer audacity, he gives permission to do the unthinkable. He writes unlike anyone else, as if he is allergic to anything boring, and with such a unique eye. If you haven’t pleasured yourself with his poetry or prose, I highly, highly, highly recommend it. You could also begin to learn more about him here.

Monday, June 19, 2006

"Cloud Gate" (also referred to as "The Bean") is British artist Anish Kapoor's first public outdoor work installed in the United States. It is located in Chicago’s Millennium Park. You can click here to see a photo essay on the construction of "Cloud Gate."

"There are nine different words for the color blue in the Spanish/Maya dictionary but just three Spanish translations, leaving six [blue] butterflies that can be seen only by the Maya, proving that when a language dies six butterflies disappear from the consciousness of the earth."

—Earl Shorris, “The Last Word: Can the World’s Small Languages Be Saved,” Harpers, Aug., 2000

This quote is part of the preamble to The People’s Poetry Language Initiative: A Declaration of Poetic Rights and Values, which begins by stating, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all languages are created equal, endowed by their creators with certain inalienable meanings.” Read more here.

Or watch this terribly clever video:

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Thanks to an organization calling themselves the Academy of Linguistic Awareness, these posters are being plastered around major U.S. cities. Perhaps in everyday life the word "like" has become commonplace enough to go unnoticed, but as a college English instructor I notice the abundant repetition of this word from Freshman students. Many use the word "like" after every single word they utter. Seriously, like, every, like, other, like, word.

So, I'm now being featured at That's cool, but the picture on there isn't the best possible one. Oh well.

Click here to find out two things:
1) Is Peter Greenaway one of the craziest, most imaginative filmmakers alive?
2) Who is Tulse Luper?

Friday, June 16, 2006

Mark Jenkins is a contemporary street artist who creates sculptures using clear packing tape.

Date: 1/9/06
Location: Fairfax, VA

Drop #23
Date: 6/10/05
Location: Rock Creek Park, DC
Babies: 5

Date: 7/15/04
Location: 7th St, NW DC

Drop #11
Date: 5/20/05
Location: 16th St, DC
Babies: 1

I went to the pub, and someone had tagged the following in the bathroom:

Tom Waits for no man.

That's a good one.

This is the future of hippie cars.

Speaking of cars, my Uncle Dan is an award winning racecar driver.

Now if you love the composer Erik Satie, click here to listen to his Pièces pour Guitare. If you don't love him, well, you should consider it.

In closing, I must say that for years I've advocated the idea that our species needs to leave earth and start colonizing other planets. People think I'm mental. Or that I'm too into sci-fi. But maybe now some will start taking the idea seriously since Stephen Hawking recently said, "The survival of the human race depends on its ability to find new homes elsewhere in the universe..." read more here.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Today, I give you this link to watch a very cool speech cut-up of President Bush singing "Sunday Bloody Sunday," and also....I give you two very different French Painters to ogle.

The first is Agnès Boulloche:

Les Masqués

Hibou Tiroir

The Second is Jean-François Larrieu:


Arbre de vie

Arche de Noe

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Shane Black has finally directed a film.

But before I get to that, I have to tell you about this obsession I went through about four years ago. You see, I got hooked on a particular series of pulp novels from the 40s-50s, and I went out of my mind trying to track them down and read them all. The author’s name was Brett Halliday, and the star of his spicy tales went by the name of Mike Shayne. I’m not sure what lured me in, what the gateway drug was, maybe Chandler, maybe Hammett, but there was something particularly interesting to me about the way Halliday wrote noir. I couldn’t get enough. And I always thought those books would make excellent movies.

Enter Shane Black, writer of the Lethal Weapon series, as well as the super cool 80s movie The Monster Squad. Black obviously felt the same way I did about Halliday’s work because he went and turned it into Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, which just came out on DVD. Unfortunately, Black has taken a grip of liberties with the novel he claims to have adapted the script from (Bodies Are Where You Find Them). For one, Mike Shayne isn’t the main character, in fact there isn’t even a character by that name in the entire picture. Also, it takes place in Los Angeles, whereas the novels took place in Florida. There are other glaring discrepancies, but for the most part I think Black smartly captured the essence of Halliday: the signature snarky narrator, the turns upon turns, the quirky characters, the snippy dialogue, the crazy tension. And plus he placed a lot of little insider things throughout, references that only readers of the books would get. All in all, I’m super thankful that someone of Black’s talent has offered up this particular gem. I had a rocking good time watching it, and I look forward to watching the director’s commentary to hear what they have to say about Halliday. To read some reviews for the film click here to head over to Rotten Tomatoes.

So I’m doing research for my new novel, which is set in Peru, and yesterday I came across this fascinating story about a group of people called the Aymara, who live in the Andes. It seems that these folks actually have a reverse concept of time: they think the past is in front of us and the future is already over. Click here to inquire further for yourself.

In poetry news, my former professor Ted Kooser has been replaced by Donald Hall as the U.S. Poet Laureate. Click here to read the NY Times article about it. You know, I’m wondering why the Library of Congress doesn’t just appoint John Ashbery to a lifetime position and be done with it? Come on. Look at the list of former Laureates. Just give it to Ashbery - at least then the position would have a semblance of street cred.

Yesterday I brought up Ricky Gervais and Karl Pilkington. Click here to watch a video of the two of them discussing important sociological and anthropological discoveries. Warning: it is wicked funny.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

I know I’ve written about it before, but if you enjoy happiness and you’re not already a huge fan of the old Ricky Gervais Show on XFM in London, you should get onboard straight away. The two men who created The Office (the original one) did this weekly radio broadcast with their producer, a strange and fascinating man named Karl Pilkington. I bring it up today because I’ve just listened to countless hours of the old shows on my MP3 player while on the highway careening across the Midwest, and I laughed so much my face hurts from laughing. It’s smart, quick-witted, and thoroughly entertaining. You can click here to go to XFM and download the shows for free, or click here to go to Ricky’s site, or here for Karl’s site.

I’m excited to announce that all four cities have eagerly signed on to produce the proposed photoblog:

Seattle, WA
Las Vegas, NV
Columbus, OH
New York, NY

At the moment we are in preproduction, with hopes of launching around the first of July, which just so happens to coincide with my move to Columbus. Updates to come as they transpire.

Now then, aside from seeing my brother and his kitty, I am most certainly not happy to be back in the dreary state of Nebraska - where it feels like I took off my happy Ohio suit and put on a sopping wet camelhair jacket that weighs forty stone.

O-well. I'll be eastbound soon enough.

Here is one of many highlights from my recent trip:

The Book Loft is down in the German Village, south of downtown Columbus. It's a sprawling, fun place to knock about for a while, but the overall selection is not necessarily eclectic enough to make my knees weak or my eyes water. Plus, everything they sell is new, which is cool if you're just trying to get a nice copy of something not normally stocked at Borders, like Kelly Link's Magic for Beginners, or Erin Mcgraw’s The Good Life; but for my time, taste, and money, I much prefer the quirky oddities that pop up when scrounging used book stores.

For a taste of the used stuff, I hit Half Price Books on Lane Avenue, just west of OSU campus. Here they have loads of good stuff. I walked away with a copy of Matthew Derby's Super Flat Times (what looks like a very cool collection of strange stories by a former fiction editor at 3rd Bed - one of my favorite literary magazines), also a handsome copy of Dylan's Tarantula, and then a book called The Crooked Man by an Irishman named Philip Davison, which I purchased not knowing anything about the title or the author, simply based on the cool sounding premise.

And that's just two spots. All in all, it looks like Columbus is ripe with bookstores.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Today we being with a Polish artist named Wieslaw Walkuski. Since 1987 he has been in Warsaw creating movie posters like these:

(UPDATE: I apologize for the obnoxious Polish Poster button at the bottoms of each poster. I guess that particular site is uber protective of its work. If you click on the artist's name above you can see these great prints without the annoying copyright thingy.)

If you’re looking for a compendium of Strange & Unusual Dictionaries, click here.

Click here to get a free story writing program - that’s right, it’s a program that writes stories for you. Nothing to it. All you have to do is sit back and enjoy all the money and fame.

Thanks to my brother, today I can offer you the complete transcript of that Chomsky/Foucault debate by clicking here. They discuss Justice vs. Power, you decide.

Oh, and if you aren’t already a fan of Gabriela’s photography over at Beware of the Cat, you should check it out. She lives in Ecuador, so you’ll have to get your Spanish on, but the visuals speak for themselves.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

The Reader

Small Storm

In a Quiet Room

My good friend Classi B brought up an interesting point in the comment section yesterday. Maybe C.S.P. would be willing to open the photoblog forum to include B’s NYC and maybe our friend A.M.P.’s Las Vegas? We could have a four-way battle of beautiful cities on our hands - two on each coast. And another friend of mine wrote me an email where she asked me if readers/viewers could vote, which I think might be a great idea simply because the competitive pressure would force us to bring the pretty.

In case you didn’t know that President Bush's grandfather, Prescott Bush - who is from Columbus, OH - dug up Geronimo's grave and stole his skull to use in who-knows-what-kind of creepy ceremonies at the Yale house of Skull & Bones, you can read a CBS News article about it here.

Something else worth looking at is this video of Noam Chomsky debating Michel Foucault.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Here are three shots from Italian fashion photographer
Eolo Perfido

Now then.

It’s not that I like Columbus; I bloody love it. I can't wait to get situated here.

On the topic of cities that I love, as well as photography I enjoy, here are two people who keep interesting photoblogs of Los Angeles: The Jimson Weed Gazette, and Walking on Scorpions. I recommend both.

On the topic of photoblogs, I’m pretty thrilled to announce that C.S.P. has agreed to begin a joint photoblog with me in July, tentatively titled Seattle vs. Columbus. The concept is: he will shoot his city and I will shoot mine. For those who aren't familiar with his work, he’s an extraordinary photographer; so even if my shots are sub-par it’ll still be a fantastic spot to come and feast on his visuals. Plus, I’m hoping to benefit from the fact that Columbus is just bursting at the seams with gorgeous photo opportunities - examples to come next week.

If you haven't seen it yet, you can click here to watch Paris Hilton's new music video, a blatent rip-off of David Lynch's video for Chris Isaak's song "Wicked Game" - remember that one?

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Today's post comes to you from a little cafe on Michigan Ave. and 3rd Ave. in Columbus, OH. I've not slept for 28 hours. I've driven across Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio. I've consumed thirteen coffees. I encourage you to check out the lion alliance. Here are a couple of the artists involved:

by Peter Watts

by Tim Barber

by Jason Bartell