Before anything else I want to throw in a plug for "The Savage Eye", the Joseph Strick/Haskell Wexler film recently shown at LACMA. I had seen one of the other films before, "Interviews with My Lai Veterans" (1970), an extremely intense 20 minute short of inter-cut interviews with 5 men who participated in the massacre of an entire village in Vietnam two years before. It was VERY appropriate for our present time, as I could tell by the audible reaction of the kids around me who came to see "The Savage Eye" or "Muscle Beach" and were taken by surprise. I had seen parts of "Muscle Beach" (1948), which is basically just 15 minutes of the weightlifters and acrobats at the old Muscle Beach near the Ocean Park Pier. But the whole short includes narration done in the form of a very silly song, which explained to me why our local ukelele chanteuse Janet Klein was next to me with her old man.
"The Savage Eye" (1960) was just over an hour long and a wonderful surprise. The plot is simply a divorcee getting off a plane at LAX (down the stairs then, natch) and wandering around the city in a kind of hazy despair, with one of those dry 1950s beatnik stream-of-consciousness soundtracks. But this plot is just an excuse for the stream of moving images. There are very few actors in this film; the crew (including again Haskell Wexler, who later did "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" and "In the Heat of the Night") just plunges into the streets. If you ever wondered what LA was like in 1959, THIS IS IT. They went everywhere with an obvious affection for the city, from the roller derby to a hair salon to a faith healing to a New Year's party on Hollywood Boulevard, and yes, the Second Street Tunnel is in there too, and the tallest thing on the skyline is the aerial atop the Richfield Building. I see that this film is on DVD, so you will all have an opportunity to see it soon as I will quickly get a copy. But as I try to convince many of you (to no avail) the big screen is best!
Okay, so it's Thanksgiving in the USA (and overseas). Many turkeys are in danger (thanks, Geri):
Turkeys Feel the Vibes Before Facing the Music
as are some other birds...see the enclosed cartoon (thanks, Aunt Nona).
And what about this...yeeeecccchhhh!
Turkey & Gravy Soda on the Table for Thanksgiving
Okay, into the screed head-first; especially during the holidays, I hate to hear stories about people getting hung up at the airport, especially over BS:
A Scholar Confronts 'Ugly Face of America'
TORONTO -- Muzaffar Iqbal, a Canadian professor, recalls his stomach tightening as a U.S. immigration officer took his passport, bearing stamps from Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Kazakhstan, and ran it through a scanner last December. Then the man said: "Come with me, sir."
Especially when morons have their own private jets:
Mr. President, You're No Moses
by Robert Scheer
It takes stunning arrogance for a President to invade an oil-rich,
politically strategic country on the basis of demonstrable lies, put
his favorite companies in control of its economic future, create a
puppet regime to do his bidding and then claim, as George Bush did
last week in a speech, that this is all a bold exercise in spreading
But they gave our Prez a warm welcome on his English holiday:
U.S. Wants Ban on British Protests during Bush Visit
By Kim Sengupta
US and UK Officials Dread Presidential Trip
Ewen MacAskill and Julian Borger
Bush to Keep Distance from Protests on London Trip
The Brits like George so much they chased him down with cellphones (thanks, Miles),
and then put the reports up on the Internet:
Not that the English are without any faults:
Artist Becomes Human Breakfast
But who's to tell anyone what art is all about?
Hanging Corpse Admired as Sculpture on Campus
Okay, I know we see a lot of those "send a letter to the congress" sites, and yes, they do work (these clowns need to be flooded with demands), but here's a way you can pick from a large list of issues and let them know which ones tickle your fancy (or blow you apart with rage)(thanks, Josh):
GO TO http://cflweb.org/congress_merge_.htm. AND SEND A LETTER NOW.
Hey, what's all this about George Soros and George Bush?
Well anyway, let's move along from London to Miami. A bunch of people got clubbed down there...but you didn't see it on FOX:
Click the following to access the sent link:
USATODAY.com - Demonstrators, police clash during free trade talks*
He Respected the Badge, But `Not in Miami'
By Jim Defede
Now they're keeping a closer eye on you, if you dare go mingle with such rabble:
F.B.I. Scrutinizes Antiwar Rallies
By Eric Lichtblau
New York Times
And it's just the beginning:
Patriot Act Expansion Moves Through Congress
By Jim Lobe
Here in California we've got other problems, like the paranoia about "Blade Runner" in our future:
Meanwhile: In California, science fiction meets political reality
By Brent Staples
But we're getting some things right again in our state:
E-Votes Must Leave a Paper Trail
By Kim Zetter
We're still playing it smarter than our masters in Washington:
U.S. Fails to Gain Exemption on Ozone-Harming Chemical
The Associated Press
Yeah, American democracy is spreading around the world:
The evangelicals who like to giftwrap Islamophobia
The world's largest children's Christmas project has a toxic agenda
Sunday November 09 2003
It's a Christmas thing, spreading democracy:
Senator Byrd: US Syria Bill Could Lead to an Invasion
Agence France Presse
Yep, spreading democracy:
** Iran's nuke programme threatens Israel **
The head of Israel's Mossad intelligence agency said on Monday Iran's nuclear programme had become, for the first time, a threat to Israel's very survival.
And we can't decide how to spread democracy:
** Europe proposes weak IAEA Iran resolution-diplomats **
Europe and the United States were still at odds on Monday over what to do about Irans secret nuclear programme, said diplomats familiar with the wording of a new U.N. resolution drafted by France, Britain and Germany.
Which doesn't matter; nobody believes Bush anyway:
What the Arabs watch vs. what Bush says
By Ghida Fakhry
I mean, didn't he say there'd be democracy in Afghanistan?
A Scary Afghan Road
By Nicholas D. Kristof
New York Times
Yeah, if our democracy gets us the Governator, what will they get?
High Risks in Afghanistan
New York Times Editorial
Police: Woman Has Hair Done After Killing Husband
Surprise! Americans are more liberal than you thought (thanks again, Josh):
USA Today Poll on Mass. Same-Sex Marraige Decision
That's what democracy is all about: FREEDOM. Take the Mormons, for example (thanks, Jennifer):
(could you post that I need gainful employment as well? I think I might need it)
Journey to the center of the Earth starts in Provo
By Jacqueline Lee NewsNet Staff Writer - 11 Nov 2003
A belief that the earth is hollow and inhabited within has caused a Provo man to plan an expedition to the North Pole and possibly to the earth's interior.
Steve Currey owns an expedition company in Provo. For over forty years he has organized fly-fishing, kayaking, river rafting and trekking trips around the world. Many locations of his trips are exotic and fascinating, but his next destination is something way out of the ordinary.
NEXT DEMOCRATIC HOLIDAY PLEASE!
Santa's Sidekicks Attempt Hold-Up
And I think my gift this Christmas might include a lot of angry cynicism:
Call Me a Bush-Hater
By Molly Ivins
Finally, from the deep, deep South, a letter that will help you Yankees understand what we mean by "Southern Democrat" (thanks, Mrs. Chance):
> > Subject: WOW
> > Why this lifelong Democrat will vote Republican next November.
> > BY ZELL MILLER
> > Monday, November 3, 2003 12:01 a.m. EST
> > If I live and breathe, and if--as Hank Williams used to say--the creek don't
> > rise, in 2004 this Democrat will do something I didn't do in 2000, I will
> > vote for George W. Bush for president.
> > I have come to believe that George Bush is the right man in the right place
> > at the right time. And that's a pretty big mouthful coming from a lifelong
> > Democrat who first voted for Adlai Stevenson in 1952 and has voted for every
> > Democratic presidential candidate the 12 cycles since then. My political
> > history to the contrary, this was the easiest decision I think I've ever
> > made in deciding who to support. For I believe the next five years will
> > determine the kind of world my four grandchildren and four
> > great-grandchildren will live in. I simply cannot entrust that crucial
> > decision to any one of the current group of Democratic presidential
> > candidates.
> > Why George Bush? First, the personal; then, the political. I first got to
> > know George Bush when we served as governors together, and I just plain like
> > the man, a man who feeds his dogs first thing every morning, has Larry
> > Gatlin sing in the White House, and knows what is meant by the term "hitting
> > behind the runner."
> > I am moved by the reverence and tenderness he shows the first lady and the
> > unabashed love he has for his parents and his daughters.
> > I admire this man of faith who has lived that line in that old hymn,
> > "Amazing Grace," "Was blind, but now I see." I like the fact that he's the
> > same on Saturday night as he is on Sunday morning. And I like a man who
> > shows respect for others by starting meetings on time.
> > That's the personal. Now, the political.
> > This is a president who understands the price of freedom. He understands
> > that leaders throughout history often have had to choose between good and
> > evil, tyranny and freedom. And the choice they make can reverberate for
> > generations to come. This is a president who has some Churchill in him and
> > who does not flinch when the going gets tough. This is a president who can
> > make a decision and does not suffer from "paralysis analysis." This is a
> > president who can look America in the eye and say on Iraq, "We're not
> > leaving." And you know he means it.
> > This is also a president who understands that tax cuts are not just
> > something that all taxpayers deserve, but also the best way to curb
> > government spending. It is the best kind of tax reform. If the money never
> > reaches the table, Congress can't gobble it up.
> > I have just described George W. Bush.
> > Believe me, I looked hard at the other choices. And what I saw was that the
> > Democratic candidates who want to be president in the worst way are running
> > for office in the worst way. Look closely, there's not much difference among
> > them. I can't say there's "not a dime's worth of difference" because there's
> > actually billions of dollars' worth of difference among them. Some want to
> > raise our taxes a trillion, while the others want to raise our taxes by
> > several hundred billion. But, make no mistake, they all want to raise our
> > taxes. They also, to varying degrees, want us to quit and get out of Iraq.
> > They don't want us to stay the course in this fight between tyranny and
> > freedom. This is our best chance to change the course of history in the
> > Middle East. So I cannot vote for a candidate who wants us to cut and run
> > with our shirttails at half-mast.
> > I find it hard to believe, but these naive nine have managed to combine the
> > worst feature of the McGovern campaign--the president is a liar and we must
> > have peace at any cost--with the worst feature of the Mondale
> > campaign--watch your wallet, we're going to raise your taxes. George
> > McGovern carried one state in 1972. Walter Mondale carried one state in
> > 1984. Not exactly role models when it comes to how to get elected or, for
> > that matter, how to run a country.
> > So, as I have said, my choice for president was an easy decision. And my own
> > party's candidates made it even easier.
> > Mr. Miller is a Democratic senator from Georgia and the author of "A
> > National Party No More: The Conscience of a Conservative Democrat,"
> > published last month by Stroud & Hall.
Vive le screed!
26 November 2003