Wednesday, August 4, 2004

Burning thoughts

Heard this commentary about Shambhala Mountain Center's open air crematorium on NPR on the way home. His description of watching the body burn made me wonder what I would feel watching it. I have long been afraid of the dead, of dead bodies, of hard evidence of pain and death.

Media bias

My sister sent me this article from the NYTimes about media bias.

Some selected quotes/links to whet your appetite:

As the movie "Outfoxed" makes clear, Fox News is for all practical purposes a G.O.P. propaganda agency.

In response to some of the G.O.P. scripting which portrayed the Democratic Convention as showing a 'different' side of the party (e.g. John Leo's column) Paul Krugman writes:

Luckily, in this age of the Internet it's possible to bypass the filter. At, you can find transcripts and videos of all the speeches. I'd urge everyone to watch Mr. Kerry and others for yourself, and make your own judgment.

Media watch sites:

The Campaign Desk
Media Matters
The Daily Howler

Other sites I have come across:

Air America Radio
Mother Jones
(just started my subscription, love the July/August issue)

I'll end with a scary/funny poster published in Mother Jones from Micah Wright's Propaganda Remix Project.

Tuesday, August 3, 2004

Lists, perfection, and completion

Siona's (from Nomen est Numen) comment prompted me to finish the Film List (well, it will never be finished but I think it is relatively up to date) and post it. My idea is to keep a running list of the films I see with appropriate links to my posts (since Blogger still doesn't provide acceptable searching capabilities) and to other sites I like that are related to the film. I will put this on the sidebar as a work in progress. If I have the time and inspiration, I will write reviews or impressions of more of the films. Being a perfectionist I strive for completion, or maybe I am a completionist striving for perfection?

Films seen

The Sheltering Sky
March of Penguins (2005) in theater
Amazons 2005 Stony Brook Film Festival
Jesus, Mary and Joey Stony Brook Film Festival
The Life of Mammals, 2002
Rashomon, 1950
L'Eclisse, 1962
Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events, 2004
The Life of Birds, 1998
Border, 1997
Throne of Blood, 1957

Garden State


Love Liza **** [related post]
Spiderman 2 (2004) in theater **
I, Robot (2004) in theater **
Razor's Edge (1994) ***** [related post]
Prisoners of the Mountain (1996) ****
LA Confidential (1997)****
Facing Windows (2003) in theater***** [related post]
About Schmidt (2002) **** [related post]
City of Angels (1998)*** [related post]
In This World (2002) ****
Solaris (2002) ****
Moster's Ball (2001) *****
Il Posto (1961) ****
Claire's Knee (1970) ***
Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004) ***** [related post]
Heat (1995) ****
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004) in theater *****
Smoke (1995) *****
Lumumba (2000) ***** [related post]
The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948) **** [related post]
Wings of Desire (1987) ***** [related post]
The Crying Game (1992) **** [related post]
The Funeral (1984) *** [related post]
Superman: The Movie (1978) ****
Kikujiro (1999) *****
American Splendor (2003) ****
Anger Management (2003) *****
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) in theater***** [Cup of Chicha review]

Monday, August 2, 2004

A little chamber music

Last night we went to a concert that was part of the 2004 Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival entitled Telemann and the Trout. The first piece that was played was an aria from the "Goldberg Variations". Then two pieces by Telemann, Quartet in D minor and Concerto for F major. The final piece was Schubert's "Trout" Quintet. All the musicians were excellent. We didn't have good seats, at least for seeing but the sound was beautiful. The concert is in a old Presbyterian Church quite appropriate for chamber music, small and intimate. Sitting there listening to the harpsichord in the Bach piece, I almost felt a powdered wig on my head. The real reason we were there, though, was for the pianist in the last piece. Joyce Yang is the daughter of a colleague of mine and an exceptional 17 year old young woman. The way she plays... I am not a gifted enough writer to explain. Anyone who is reading this and has a chance to see and hear her, should not miss the opportunity. We have traveled to NYC and to Albany to see her. We are never disappointed.

Sunday, August 1, 2004

Estranged faces missing many-splendored things

I went to zen today. As usual it was hard to go, I used every excuse in my mind, but I still went. While meditating it was hard to concentrate. My inner critic was going on and on about how I will never get anywhere just meditating once a week. I started to make plans about meditating every evening, every morning, but then I stopped. How many times will I do the same thing? How many times will I make grandiose, impossible plans for the seeming purpose of disappointing myself? After the meditation, my teacher lead a discourse and as usual, gave me much to think about. He often quotes poetry during our discussion. Today he quoted Francis Thompson, especially the poem "The Kingdon of God" below.

The Kingdom of God

O WORLD invisible, we view thee,
O world intangible, we touch thee,
O world unknowable, we know thee,
Inapprehensible, we clutch thee!

Does the fish soar to find the ocean,
The eagle plunge to find the air--
That we ask of the stars in motion
If they have rumor of thee there?

Not where the wheeling systems darken,
And our benumbed conceiving soars!--
The drift of pinions, would we hearken,
Beats at our own clay-shuttered doors.

The angels keep their ancient places--
Turn but a stone and start a wing!
'Tis ye, 'tis your estrang├Ęd faces,
That miss the many-splendored thing.

But (when so sad thou canst not sadder)
Cry--and upon thy so sore loss
Shall shine the traffic of Jacob's ladder
Pitched betwixt Heaven and Charing Cross.

Yea, in the night, my Soul, my daughter,
Cry--clinging to Heaven by the hems;
And lo, Christ walking on the water,
Not of Genesareth, but Thames!

by Francis Thompson