Wednesday, January 11, 2017

The George Michael Playlist: Wham and solo.

Dividing this into faster and slower halves:
1. Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go
2. I'm Your Man (original)
3. Anything She Wants
4. I Want Your Sex
5. Too Funky
6. Freedom 90
7. Careless Whisper
8. Father Figure
9. Somebody To Love (with Queen)
10. Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me (with Elton John)
11. My Baby Just Cares For Me
12. Praying For Time

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Plus and minus of Meryl Streep's Golden Globes speech.

From Meryl Streep's De Mille award acceptance speech at tonight's Golden Globes ceremony:
They gave me three seconds to say this, so: An actor’s only job is to enter the lives of people who are different from us, and let you feel what that feels like. And there were many, many, many powerful performances this year that did exactly that. Breathtaking, compassionate work.
But there was one performance this year that stunned me. It sank its hooks in my heart. Not because it was good; there was nothing good about it. But it was effective and it did its job. It made its intended audience laugh, and show their teeth. It was that moment when the person asking to sit in the most respected seat in our country imitated a disabled reporter. Someone he outranked in privilege, power and the capacity to fight back. It kind of broke my heart when I saw it, and I still can’t get it out of my head, because it wasn’t in a movie. It was real life. And this instinct to humiliate, when it’s modeled by someone in the public platform, by someone powerful, it filters down into everybody’s life, because it kinda gives permission for other people to do the same thing. Disrespect invites disrespect, violence incites violence. And when the powerful use their position to bully others we all lose. O.K., go on with it.--GOOD, because it says something that needs to be said over and over theses next four years.

So Hollywood is crawling with outsiders and foreigners. And if we kick them all out you’ll have nothing to watch but football and mixed martial arts, which are not the arts.--NOT SO GOOD because it's just another example of punching down on Trump voters (the "I don't care! They're stupid!"argument needs to be retired by Industry/Media progressives/neoliberals)  And doing so
( instead of figuring out how to communicate the hurt Trump's policies will cause the people who voted for narrow turn-clock-back reasons) could well be the seed of those voters knee-jerk colluding with legislative attempts to censor film/TV /gaming content.  And, in the short term, more nonsense from personalities like Chuck Woolery and Mark Wahlberg about actors being apolitical (political talk in itself) and mute, except to plug product.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Best (and otherwise) of 2016: Part Two

Here's a slight update from my earlier post as to films/TV.  The third (and definitive) one will appear in early February.

Films (in no specific order):
A Bigger Splash
Manchester By The Sea
Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping
10 Cloverfield Lane
Finding Dory
Love & Friendship
Queen of Katwe
Audrie & Daisy
Into The Inferno
OJ: Made In America (ESPN, but also a limited theatrical release)
Things To Come

Honorable Mention: Allied, Arrival, The Witness, Snowden, The Light Between Oceans, Denial, Maggie's Plan, The Meddler, De Palma, Cafe Society, Free State of Jones, Louder Than Bombs, 20th Century Women, By Sidney Lumet

Misfires: Rules Don't Apply, Batman v Superman Extended, Money Monster, Captain Fantastic, Valley Of Love. Rogue One

Insanely Overrated: Hell Or High Water

Somewhat Overrated: Blood Father, Hitchcock/Truffaut

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Books I've read (or am still reading) from 2016.

Where Am I Now?--Mara Wilson
Altamont--Joel Selvin
Good Vibrations--Mike Love
I Am Brian Wilson--Brian Wilson
BEATLES '66--Steve Turner
Vampire Planet (poetry)--Ron Koertge
My Feelings (poetry)--Nick Flynn
Room 1219: The Life of Fatty Arbuckle, the Mysterious Death of Virginia Rappe, and the Scandal That Changed Hollywood--Greg Merritt
Mothermorphosis (poetry)--mk chavez
Homeward Bound: The Life of Paul Simon--Peter Ames Carlin
Frank: The Voice/Sinatra: The Chairman--James Kaplan
East Hollywood: Memorial To Reason (poetry)--Harry E. Northup

Friday, December 30, 2016

Left behind by Beyond Baroque.

Reposting this from Facebook:
Received a Beyond Baroque fundraising letter which speaks of "the spirit of openness and rebellion inherent in literature and art." Except for the HOLLYWOOD POETRY book, I noticed last spring that my chapbooks were removed from the bookstore (ironic since Scott Wannberg, for whom the store is named, supported poets of all stripes when he worked at Duttons Brentwood). Presumably, my earlier DIY work needed to make way for more saleable exemplars of openness and rebellion. I asked for the chapbooks (excepting those in the BB archives) to be returned; this didn't happen. I do appreciate the times I have attended readings and participated in the past--and how hard people work to continue its existence. But I feel distanced from its current programmng and governing philosophies, and have no further desire to donate.

One more post about poetry rejections.

Names omitted here, primarily to stress the universality of these incidents happening to other poets/writers in their communities.

Years ago, I asked [poet/publisher] about publishing HOLLYWOOD POETRY. It wasn't a fit for her then-imprint--so it would have been given a different one, which meant it was only a novelty item at best. I let the matter drop and for the most part, with a couple of exceptions involving sincere support, things stayed superficially pleasant, I learned I wasn't on the same plane with the poets she coveted and truly cared about. Maybe this wouldn't have hurt so much if she hadn't called me a "fine poet" previously.

Last spring, I blocked [poet/proud MFA graduate/poetry zine editor] from Facebook after being rejected for [Los Angeles literary site].  Essentially, the omitted person was a poetry editor in name only for the site with the real decisions being made by its editor-in-chief--Mr. Omission was there to drum up a lot of people (including the core members of his reading) to send in submissions .  Whether right or wrong, I believe that--after years of his ostensible support--I'm now someone who can't "fit.".

What I learned again: poetry is another strain of show business insincerity: people like what you do until they gather enough stature to decide you don't fit--and they won't stand by your art because they want to impress others. Sure, they may be superficially pleasant, but otherwise, that's all. Thanks to [omitted] for making this clear to me.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Quotation from Chairman Murray.

The POETIX website is now a ghost ship suspended in cyberspace, but it exists to perhaps give future generations some understanding of how the Los Angeles poetry community wanted to present itself within and without its local/regional sphere.

In one of G. Murray Thomas's last reviews, he wrote this manifesto--yet another reiteration of the old "layers of meaning" (i.e. make it opaque and/or amorphous) canard:
In my opinion, all poetry (all art, in fact) needs to be open to interpretation. That is how we bring our own experiences to the poetry, and engage with it emotionally as well as intellectually.

The above is apparently preferable to understanding the poet's experiences and intent inherent in the poem he/she has written.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

No avoiding Trump now.

Mitch McConnell, quoted by the Associated Press, summarizes the mixture of economic despair, pushback against social change and fiery blasts of hate (not counting Hillary's campaign flaws, Russian and FBI interference, etc.) that led to November's election and yesterday's Electoral College rubber stamp:
"Trump was able to convey — oddly enough a message from a billionaire who lives in Manhattan — a genuine concern for people who felt kind of left off, who felt offended by all the political correctness they see around them," he said.