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"It's not for you to know, but for you to weep and wonder/When the death of your civilization precedes you."

--Neko Case

"The insane are always mere guests on earth, eternal strangers carrying around broken decalogues that they cannot read."

— F. Scott Fitzgerald

"We are accidents/Waiting to happen."

--Radiohead

Archive

Mar
2nd
Sun
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Genesis 19:32: “Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father.”
What a brilliantly horrific portrait of an apocalypse.
Lucas van Leyden, Lot and his Daughters (c.1521)

Genesis 19:32: “Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father.”

What a brilliantly horrific portrait of an apocalypse.

Lucas van Leyden, Lot and his Daughters (c.1521)

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"Let [Samuel Pickwick] set a precedent for us as we make our own way through a world grown pudgy with abundantly accessible information: broadened intellectual meandering can help us live sociably, Pickwickianly, through our teeming digital surplus; it can, in turn, move us beyond the isolated malevolence of the small-minded. Such a victory of the kindly amateurs over the trolls, if it is to occur, may be slow, but it must happen. We simply need more Pickwicks."
—Adam Colman, “The Pickwick Papers (review),” The Believer, June 2013.

"Let [Samuel Pickwick] set a precedent for us as we make our own way through a world grown pudgy with abundantly accessible information: broadened intellectual meandering can help us live sociably, Pickwickianly, through our teeming digital surplus; it can, in turn, move us beyond the isolated malevolence of the small-minded. Such a victory of the kindly amateurs over the trolls, if it is to occur, may be slow, but it must happen. We simply need more Pickwicks."

—Adam Colman, “The Pickwick Papers (review),” The Believer, June 2013.

Feb
25th
Tue
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Socrates taught Plato and Plato taught Aristotle and Aristotle taught/Alexander the Great, who founded a city that would house the most/voluminous library of the ancient world—until it was burned, until/forgetting came back into vogue. The great minds come down through the/years like monkeys descending from high branches. Always, a leopard is/waiting to greet them—in the tall grass, among the magnetic berries, in the/place they should have checked.
— "Diminution," Charles Rafferty, The New Yorker, Feb. 17/24, 2014.
Feb
22nd
Sat
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They have never known hunger or want, the people of this country. It has been two generations since they knew anything close to it, and even then it was like a voice in a distant room. They think they have known sadness, but their sadness is that of a child who has spilled his ice cream on the grass at a birthday party. There is no … how is the English? … attenuation in them. They spill each other’s blood with great vigor.
— Stephen King, 'Salem's Lot (1975)
Feb
16th
Sun
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Once you’ve finished a novel, what happened in it is of little importance and soon forgotten. What matters are the possibilities and ideas that the novel’s imaginary plot communicates to us and infuses us with.
— Javier Marias
Jan
29th
Wed
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When all of us can listen to every piece of music that was ever written, at any time, from anywhere that we want, how can we hear anything?

What happens is we cease becoming adventurers and we cease becoming participants and subjects in this grand experiment of art, and we simply become consumers and really good commodity experts. When we have the entire gamut for our consumption, we just go to those things that we like the easiest. And that’s the problem. It’s hard to listen all the way through a three-minute song when we know that with the flick of a finger, we can pull up something that might be slightly better for our current mood.

That’s the crisis. It’s the opposite crisis of Messiaen, where they’ve got three battered instruments and they have to make something to fill the emptiness of their days — days when they can hear nothing. Now we can hear everything, but we can’t make the time to be urgent about hearing anything.

Richard Powers, interviewed for Powells.com
Jan
25th
Sat
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"The heart is not like a box that gets filled up; it expands in size the more you love. I’m different from you. This doesn’t make me love you any less. It actually makes me love you even more."
—Samantha (Scarlett Johansson), Her.

"The heart is not like a box that gets filled up; it expands in size the more you love. I’m different from you. This doesn’t make me love you any less. It actually makes me love you even more."

—Samantha (Scarlett Johansson), Her.

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Bookends.

Jan
23rd
Thu
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The 101 Films I Watched in 2013

Arranged by year of production, then chronologically by viewing.  My favorites are in boldface.

Metropolis (1927)

The Wizard of Oz (1939)

White Heat (1949)

Killer’s Kiss (1955)

Wild Strawberries (1957)

The Music Room (1958)

Peeping Tom (1960)

Band of Outsiders (1964)

Doctor Who: The Aztecs (1964)

Doctor Who: The Sensorites (1964)

Charlie Is My Darling (1966)

Made in USA (1966)

Doctor Who: The Tomb of the Cybermen (1967)

For a Few Dollars More (1967)

Bonnie and Clyde (1967)

Badlands (1973)

Chinatown (1974)

Jaws (1975)

Doctor Who: The Masque of Mandragora (1976)

Logan’s Run (1976)

The Black Hole (1979)

The Jerk (1979)

The Warriors (1979)

Blow Out (1981)

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)

Satyajit Ray (1985)

Evil Dead II (1987)

Schindler’s List (1993)

Embrace of the Vampire (1995)

L.A. Confidential (1997)

Ingmar Bergman on Life and Work (1998)

City of God (2002)

Confessions of a Dangerous Mind (2002)

Adaptation (2002)

Oldboy (2003)

Elephant (2003)

Shaun of the Dead (2004)

The Squid and the Whale (2005)

The Death of Mr. Lazarescu (2005)

Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room (2005)

Hot Fuzz (2007)

Persepolis (2007)

Atlantic Records: The House That Ahmet Built (2007)

The Hedgehog (2009)

Star Trek (2009)

Big Fan (2009)

Adventureland (2009)

A Cat in Paris (2010)

A Dangerous Method (2011)

The Skin I Live In (2011)

The Kid with a Bike (2011)

Shame (2011)

Project Nim (2011)

Chronicle (2012)

Django Unchained (2012)

Zero Dark Thirty (2012)

This Is 40 (2012)

The Girl (2012)

Silver Linings Playbook (2012)

Sexy Baby (2012)

The Place Beyond the Pines (2012)

Crossfire Hurricane (2012)

Parade’s End (2012)

Under African Skies (2012)

Neil Young Journeys (2012)

Wadjda (2012)

Beware of Mr. Baker (2012)

Mama (2013)

Side Effects (2013)

Groovefest: The Movie (2013)

Iron Man 3 (2013)

Star Trek Into Darkness (2013) *seen three times

Frances Ha (2013)

Man of Steel (2013)

Before Midnight (2013)

World War Z (2013)

This Is the End (2013)

Much Ado about Nothing (2013)

20 Feet from Stardom (2013)

Pacific Rim (2013)

Fill the Void (2013)

The Conjuring (2013)

The Wolverine (2013)

Fruitvale Station (2013)

Elysium (2013)

The World’s End (2013)

We’re the Millers (2013)

Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me (2013)

In a World… (2013)

Blue Jasmine (2013)

Gravity (2013)

The Counselor (2013)

Captain Phillips (2013)

All Is Lost (2013)

Thor: The Dark World (2013)

Doctor Who: The Day of the Doctor (2013) *seen three times

Dallas Buyers Club (2013)

12 Years a Slave (2013)

Out of the Furnace (2013)

The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

Nebraska (2013)

Jan
22nd
Wed
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The first time one hears [“I Want to Hold Your Hand”], it’s impossible to gauge where the melodic line, harmonic construction, vocal revelation and rhythmic impetus are headed: from colloquial opening, to blues turnaround, through a meditative interim that explodes in an outrageous, soaring exclamation—“I can’t hide! I can’t hide!”—in three-part harmony, Ringo slamming away, until it all detonates again.
— Mikal Gilmore, “How the Beatles Took America,” Rolling Stone, Jan. 16, 2014.