Monday, October 31, 2005

"I Need Direction To Perfection"

This National Novel Writing business is going to kill my time. Well, well, whatevs. Linkage? Ran into a trophy mp3 blog out there. Nearly had it shot and stuffed and sent back to my jungle-ranch, but cameras are the new guns, right? So, instead, I took a picture, and you might like to, too. PolloxNiner has some great stuff, including a more-than-sideways glance at an amazing Jens Lekman song. PN appears to be either from NY City, or, possibly, a life-size studio replica of that world-eating town. Plus, blogwise, I should mention Absenter, which has some of the most consistently excellent photography that I've ever seen out there. The archives are deep, too, better than a sandbox. Beautiful, and both sites in my links, now. Linked in my sights?

Party on the week-end, spin the bottle, plenty of open-mouthed kissing. Where were the girls? Male-on-male is cool if you're gay, but I forgot my Darkness Visible eyeliner at home. Also my halloween costume, because I don't believe in glorifying the sulphur-titted lord of the underworld by dressing as one of his horned underlings. But enough about Paul Martin. Boom! Right, that's a bit harsh, I'm sorry. But I was reading the newspapers over the week-end, and got all angry. Stupid politics. Most people say I'm a softie, you know, a bit of a necromantic, but that's just the girls talking foolish talk. Girls are so silly.

Speaking of which, I went picture-taking-driving-walking with one last night. Most regular readers ("Latvia, Laos, Chad, Peru / We need their help, or else we're through") of this site will know her as The Girlfriend. And she pointed out that eminent pic in the top-left corner, as a camera pov par excellence. What an eye. What an eye, girl. I've never really hung around an industrial park before, but this make twice with her, if you count that enormous detour we took off Whyte Ave where we saw that winter-graveyard for old hammerhead cranes. That was a good ride.

Reading: Back in university, back in the classics, I don't even want to be anywhere else. One of the reasons I love the U is this environment. You know what I mean. Where is one supposed to get the motivation to read Dickens these days? Let me tell you, your professor will motivate you. And if he doesn't, his grading system will. But the academic atmosphere seeps into the non-academic, you know? And I start thinking and I contemplate reading Proust again—not that I've ever read the soft-faced M'sieu Proust—I just love the titles of his volumes, French and English. And I start reading poetry again, consistently, and names like Hopkins, Tennyson, Donne, Canning, Emily Brontë, Christina Rossetti, Christopher Smart, Vaughn and Milton appear in the top of the margin. Few of them are quantifiably better than the others. Each has his or her specific and unmatched virtues. Most of all I return to Herbert. The clarity and intelligence, and the harmony between those two virtues, of his verse is unmatched, I believe, in all of English poetic literature. He's a combination of Donne and Hopkins, unmatched by either. Perhaps only the anonymous writer of the medieval lyric so clearly expresses the unity of thought and emotion in physical imagery: "Western wind, when will thou blow / That the small rain down can rain? / Christ, that my love were in my arms, / And I in my bed again." There are no hesitant pauses in Herbert's poetry, unless it be deliberate hesitation, therefore not hesitation at all, but art, and deliberate meaning. There are no vague nouns or diaphonous verbs in the poetry of George Herbert. There are no rootless lines. His book of poetry was named and structured after a church (The Temple). Each poem has its architectural place in the book. Like a cathedral, the poetry is made to evoke admiration toward God ("A verse may find him who a sermon flies"). Therefore, Herbert would probably not appreciate my lavish praise of him or his verse, and, indeed, the parts of himself which he exposed in his verse (and there is great deal of the man carefully inserted into his lines) are put there not to catch our heart's eye with a heavy chime of emotion, but to direct the reader's attention to a similar path to God. Herbert shows that he himself is not important, not in his skill, nor in his experience, but that the experience is what is paramount. Because all men have crises of spiritual drought and heart's depair. And all men may climb out of those dark times—like Herbert, after much struggle, could climb—if they, like Herbert, seek not themselves or their own path, but let their dear desires go. Godsake, that's a hard path, George. That's a damn hard path. But thank-you for writing. Once upon a time, Herbert wrote, "The eyes have one language everywhere". This book is written in that universal language. The Temple + George Herbert

Listening: There is no contest, The Killers are so far the greatest band of the decade (Franz Ferdinand, I'd give you Best Name if it wasn't for Clap Your Hands Say Yeah! or even controller.controller—that lowercase spelling and punctuation kills me everytime). Despite this, the previously-thought-senseless lyric, "I've got soul, but I'm not a soldier", semi-ruined "All These Things That I've Done" for me. That is, until I finally saw the video. This is the best video I've seen all year. First few seconds, I didn't realize they were poking fun at themselves, and merely thought it was bizarre that the film editor hadn't noticed the way the images appeared onscreen. But the way that Brandon Flowers falls slapstick into that puddle, the way the men retreat one step as the women advance a single step, the way each member of the band tries on that undersized burro, well, I don't mind that chorus anymore, I plain love it. They're timid men inside themselves, you see (I finally see), overdressed, tiny-hearted, and know it, too. They wish they were enormous coyboys, apocalyptic, but facts are facts, and burroes aren't horses, and this video, metaphorically, is my ever-loving life. I thought this song was cynical, but now I see it's sincere like I never knew. Plus, that oriental girl is gorgeous. From the back of my broken hand, take a look at "All These Things That I've Done" + The Killers.

There was this story I read when I was a little tyke, all about Greenland. How the king of Norway heard news that the land had been abandoned to the worship of Thor. How brave men were sent to Greenland to find out the truth, and every night they were nearly eaten by grim wolves. How these brave men found only abandoned villages and starving cattle. How not one soul was ever found, only the pagan hammer of Thor inscribed on a single silver cup. Well, not as good a song as The Killers' single (some would slay me, there), and not as intelligent a video, but still blazingly good and with tons of LOTR eye-candy, is Ladytron's enormous single. The director of this video must have read the same story I did, I swear. The video is all frost-giants and living mountains. Magicians or explorers struggle comfortably in a storm. And there is good music, and perverse lyrics. For some reason, I love the camera angles, the change and sweep and stutter of the point-of-view. What beautiful pictures. The "Media" section on their website holds the second of my two favourite videos this year, "Destroy Everything You Touch" + Ladytron

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