Wednesday, February 28, 2007
Yes, that's right, the Washington Post. A publication that actually has a crease in the middle that you have to unfold in order to read it. Presumably, the op-ed doesn't contain a sidebar enumerating her top 10 favorite cures for dysentery.
Read the op-ed here.
Fortuna has chosen a particularly choice quotation for today's Biblical Wednesday. We are blessed with a passage from the New Testament, the Acts of the Apostle, to be precise. It is, in many ways, the Only Built 4 Cuban Linx of the Christian texts (or should I say Only Built 4 Cuban Linx is the Acts of the Apostle of the Wu-Gambino collective?) in that its narrative is the most cinematic and visceral.
Here, we do not have the incessant drone of St. Paul, firing off his bulls and letters to various gentiles like the Epheisians, or Gallatians, and most odiously, to the Corinthians (twice!), hectoring us about the risen Christ and all that. No, this book, much like a Hollywood blockbuster, is instead a sequel to the Gospel of Luke, expounding on how, after Jesus got capped, the Apostle-mafia brought the ruckus to the Roman Empire. This is the book Michael Bay would have written if he ever decided to go biblical. And the following quotation captures the action-packed, ghetto-fabulous flavor of this book; specifically how a Saint (I think it is Paul) gets into a rumble with some disrespecting, playa-hating Grecians:
And he spake boldly in the name of the Lord Jesus, and disputed against the Grecians: but they went about to slay him. Acts 9:29.
Tuesday, February 27, 2007
Pretty interesting article. Read it here. [Hat-tip to Metafilter]
Monday, February 26, 2007
A reader of the magazine Gramaphone reported that after attempting to play one of Hatto's recordings in his computer, his I-Tunes program identified the CD as an album recorded by Laszlo Simon, a Hungarian pianist. After listening to both, a critic from the magazine discovered that the recordings were identical. After further investigations, it has turned out that every single album she released since 1989 were rip-offs of recordings made by less established and younger performers. And this from a pianist once called "the greatest living pianist almost no one has heard of."
To read more, read here.
The Gramophone Magazine Expose is here.
[Hat-tip to Arts and Letters Daily]
Top 7 Jews Who Tried to Be Goyim
7. Karl Marx
6. Benjamin Disraeli
5. Mustafa Kemal Ataturk
4. Bob Irsay
3. Arthur Hays Sulzberger
2. Bob Dylan
1. George Allen
For more, click here.
Strange but true. The article is here. [Hat-tip to Metafilter].
Sharpton's reaction to the news is here.
Sunday, February 25, 2007
The blog is here.
Saturday, February 24, 2007
As all of you have heard by now, I made Pound Cake. Here is a photograph for those who did not have an opportunity to taste such this apotheosis of sensory delectation.
On a lighter note, Conan O'Brien has a conversation with Cornell professor and Bread expert Steven Kaplan. I can't make a direct link, but just click on the link "Bread Expert" to see the segment. [Hat-tip to Metafilter]
The clip is here.
Read here for Professor Kaplan's review of several baguettes.
And of course, the most impressive perk about Gore's come-back is that he is now on a first name basis with Ludacris. (So, does he call him Cris or Luda?).
Read it here.
Thursday, February 22, 2007
The blog post about this is here.
Addendum: The New York Times has an article about the "hunt" here.
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
From Exodus 19:25:
So Moses went down unto the people, and spake unto them.
Despite being a "foreign" film, it was also infected with the Hollywood obsession with close-up. At least 80% of the shots were close-ups, with the average shot length probably less than 3 seconds. Occasionally there would be a painterly establishing shot of either Mexican or Moroccan desert, or some clouds to mix it up a bit, but more often than not the film consisted of silent heads staring mutely into the camera, occasionally emoting via a grimace or a lone tear trickling down a cheek, and uttering a quiet moan of despair. There was hardly ever a medium shot of people interacting with each other or their environment, allowing the viewer the time to look around and focus on something he would want to focus on, rather than having the director immediately cut to a close-up and compel the viewer to focus on what he wanted to focus on.
To sum it up, the film was extremely didactic. First, its preaching about the unfairness of the current immigration regime or America's morbid obsession over terrorism and foreigners was cliche. The issues were already decided by the director (e.g. border guards and American tourists are jerks) without presenting any countervailing facts or ideas to allow viewer to decide the question for himself. Moreover, despite its "gritty" "verite" cinetamatography, the editing's reliance on montage was pure varnished Hollywood, leading the viewer along so nothing was shown besides the particular object or facial expression the director wanted us to see, and therefore ineluctably imposing on the viewer specific conclusions about the characters and issues that the film raises.
Don't get me wrong, I love montage as much as the next person, when used correctly. (e.g. Passion of Joan of Arc, Battleship Potemkin, Godfather), but it shouldn't be used in such a didactic manner.
Anyway, for Best Films of 2006, I would go with Cache (even though it was made in 2005), which spoke far more persuasively about issues of both race and immigration than Babel. However, since it technically is a 2005 film (though not released "widely" in American until 2006), and considering how dreary the film landscape was this year, I would say the best film of 2006 that I have seen so far is:
Casino Royale. (as pure a film as a good kung-fu flick).
Monday, February 19, 2007
The op-ed is here.
Sunday, February 18, 2007
"I had certainly assumed the Web was surfeited with more than enough material, but evidently many others beside myself find the partisan polarization of the blogosphere numbingly predictable and its prose too often slapdash, fragmentary or drearily prolix."
Paglia's fairly bizarre politically, but I do love this description of Barack Obama:
"I love the way Barack Obama has nimbly upstaged the ponderous Hillary machine. It's a Bette Davis/Joan Crawford bitch fest! But Obama's effusive gusts of generalities irritate me; it's all sizzle and no steak right now. He needs seasoning: 2012 may be his year."
And, the piece de resistance: her eulogy to Anna Nicole Smith:
"Never mind the pills -- which put Smith into a hypnotic, seductive Candy Darling haze. The real problem was that the broad, Technicolor comedic films in which Smith might have thrived are no longer made -- except in Bollywood. The declining, glamorous studio system that created Monroe and her imitator Mansfield is long gone. Smith had genuine talent but no place to put it. Oddly, with her aimless hejira over, she has attained permanent star status in the pictorial dynasty of doomed blond sex symbols. We're sure to go mad with the dogged omnipresence of her story, but Anna Nicole is here to stay." [NB. She isn't sarcastic].
The full article is here.
The thought popped in my head just now because I was debating whether I was going to watch Pickpocket. But, it is already quarter to eleven, and I'm thinking of going to sleep soon. Anyways, French cinema is sort of like Hollywood... there hasn't been a really great French film since au hasard Balthazar (a year later, Godard released Week-End, his last good movie, and I don't like Truffaut, Chabrol, Rohmer, or Resnais that much). Except, instead of heading straight to gutter like Hollywood, it kind of got stuck high up in the drainage pipe, getting stagnant, turgid, and coated with a thin film of algae and scum.
Of course, Jean-Pierre Melville is the exception to the rule. (Le Samourai was awesome).
Great French Films:
La Regle du Jeu (1937)
Bob Le Flambeur (1955)
Au hasard Balthazar (1966)
Bande a part (1964)
Saturday, February 17, 2007
I read this article in Slate about Fox's new satirical news show, "The 1/2 Hour News Hour." I don't know what to say. The show differs from Comedy Central's "Daily Show" in numerous ways. These include:
1. A fair and balanced viewpoint.
2. The use of a canned laugh track
3. A conservative viewpoint. (See #1).
4. The use of a male AND female anchor (thus being more progressive).
5. Dispensing with humor.
Thursday, February 15, 2007
Google News, a web service that indexes articles from various newspapers and magazines, contains links to the web versions of these publications. The Belgian Court has found that these web links to the articles, when made without the express permission of these publications, constitute copyright infringement.
Currently pending is a similar suit in the French Court, filed against Google by Agence France-Presse. Since the Belgian legal system is so similar to the French system, it now appears likely that Google will also lose their French case. Furthermore, since Belgium is a member of the European Union, this precedent can also spread throughout the EU.
But, since I am not in Belgium, and since I laugh at Belgian Copyright laws, I shall link you, my readers, to this article here.
Addendum: The name of the Belgian newpaper publisher is Copiepresse. [Hat-tip to Superelectric.]
Karen Bush, a lawyer for the Office gave three reasons for the denial: laws barring the creation of "scandalous" trademarks, prohibitions against "false associations," and the lack of consent from either Sen. Barack Obama and Osama Bin Laden to use their names. A copy of the rejection letter can be found here. [Courtesy of The Smoking Gun].
Mr. Batlle has said that the denial of the trademark will not deter him, and that he will forge forward (sans trademark) in producing T-shirts, mugs, and various other forms of knick knacks and kitsch with this cheeky image emblazoned on them.
Mr. Batlle's website is here.
Hat-tip to New York Times, their article is here.
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
And the other company of them that gave thanks went over against them, and I after them, and the half of the people upon the wall, from beyond the tower of the furnaces even unto the broad wall;
And from above the gate of E'phra-im, and above the old gate, and above the fish gate, and the tower of Ha-nan'e-el, and the tower of Me'ah, even unto the sheep gate: and they stood still in the prison gate.
Clearly, as we read these words, the Lord is asking us: which gate shall our thanks reverberate in? The prison gate, the fish gate, or the sheep gate? O Fortuna, upon which tower should we direct our supplications?
Saturday, February 10, 2007
The term "Chocolate City" was first used by Washington, D.C. DJs during the 1970s because of DC's black majority. The term though was popularized by the funk band, Parliament, when they used it as a title for their 1975 album.
The Wikipedia entry on Chocolate City is here.
A post about the term "Chocolate City," and Charles Nagin use of the term to describe New Orleans is here.
Friday, February 09, 2007
Anyway, the primary difference between Korean fried chicken and Southern fried is that the Korean version is fried in two steps--cooked once and then left to sit for a while, and then cooked again to finish it, which apparently results in a thinner, crackly crust. This is of course in sharp contrast with the thicker, crunchy crust you get from the Southern style, which requires a longer cooking time, and hence tends to result in a greasier chicken.
To read more about Korean Fried Chicken in Korea, a blog post about the subject can be read here.
(N.B. Photo by The Daily Kimchi)
Thursday, February 08, 2007
A biography about Hanuman's life and exploits can be found here.
PS: An avatar is an earthly embodiment of a god. Other famous avatars include Krishna, Jesus Christ, and the illusionist David Copperfield.
Wednesday, February 07, 2007
However, with so much wisdom parceled out in nice, tidy chunks of verse, I must rhetorically ask myself, which quotation should I quote? I have decided to rely on Fortuna, the third greatest of deities (behind both the Father and the Hindu monkey god Rama, but just beating out the Holy Spirit), and will randomly open the bible and place my finger on the verse. So without further ado, this week's verse, 1 Corinthians 1:32:
"Now the sons of Ke-tu'rah, Abraham's concubine: she bare Zim'ran, and Jok'shan, and Me'dan, and Mid'i-an, and Ish'bak, and Shu'ah. And the sons of Jok'shan; She'ba, and De'dan."
Can't you feel your spiritual quotient rising?
Tuesday, February 06, 2007
The rest of the article is here.
Monday, February 05, 2007
The article continues by forcefully arguing that there have been articulate African Americans prior to the advent of Barack Obama, and that indeed, even some of the past black presidential candidates, including Al Sharpton, could qualify as being "articulate." It concludes by stating that perhaps subtle bigotry and racial condescension exists in America, which is, of course, obviously absurd. After all, this is Black History Month, isn't it? How can bigotry exist when an entire MONTH is dedicated to black history?
The article is here.
Sunday, February 04, 2007
To learn more about the chicken, read it here.
Thursday, February 01, 2007
The article also has several transcripts of the Internet conversations, where it appears that the person posing as a minor actively flirts with the suspects and seems to initiate a date where they can meet.
FYI: The author of the article thinks the show has crossed "journalistic lines."
Read it here.