Saturday, March 29, 2008

Saturday Night Main Event

In honor of Earth Hour (don't ask me why) Xiu Xiu perform

Saturday Morning (Journalism) Quarterback

The top five stories worth reading from this past week in worth-reading stories:

This week, Salon asks is fiction a girl thing while guys heart history? And, did comic books create more of a generation gap than rock 'n roll? Meanwhile, the New York Public Library trades naming rights to hedge fund billionaires.

Is Mexico awash in anti-emo violence?!

Amy Goodman (of Democracy Now!) brings us a report on what the government doesn't want you to know about global warming.

In economics this week, we start with yet another Republican Great Depression on the horizon. Are we headed for financial collapse? Is this it partially the consequences of legal bribery? Alternet reports on fair labor standards under attack, as well as the FED and crony capitalism.

Finally this week, the veganizing of Anthony Bourdain.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Saturday Night Main Event

Foreign Born perform

Saturday Morning (Journalism) Quarterback

The top five stories worth reading from this past week in worth-reading stories:

What ever happened to public transportation?

This week marks the fifth Anniversary of the invasion and subsequent occupation of Iraq. The Huffington Post reviews the cost of five years of "war". Salon looks into five years of Iraq lies and delusions, and five years of robbing Iraqi history.

After seven years of Neo-Conservative government, Alternet asks if President Bush have the right to kill civilians, and Buzzflash asks, is "Commander in Chief" a right-wing frame?

In honor of Saint Patrick's Day, the Boston Globe documents South Boston trending from Guinness to green tea.

Finally, in economics this week, The American Prospect wonders if we will we be the first generation not to surpass our parents. The Nation discusses how Iraq spending is a job killer. Salon looks into the crash in Republican economics and The Center for American Progress discusses bailouts for Wall Street, not your street.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


Arthur C. Clark passed away today. Growing up, I used to love watching Arthur C. Clark's Mysterious Universe on TV. Whenever I saw that opening sequence in Sri Lanka of Clarke walking to his telescope and talking about his love of the mysteries of the universe, I always dropped what I was doing and watched for an hour. Usually while drinking OK Soda.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Saturday Night Main Event

The Mountain Goats (whom I saw perform in a lecture hall last night) perform

Saturday Morning (Journalism) Quarterback

The top five stories worth reading from this past week in worth-reading stories:

This week we start with a roundup of stories from our occupations in the Middle East, with US aid to Afghanistan actually aiding insurgents who kill US soldiers. The Pentagon released (though did not publish) an exhaustive study that concluded there is no Al Qaeda-Iraq link!, something less than half of us seem to be aware of. The White House this week refused to close a loophole allowing contractors who work over seas to get away with massive fraud and waste of taxpayer dollars. Finally, The Nation reports on war and the working class.

The New York Times has a Dungeons and Dragons flowchart!

Salon has a great piece on the Americanization of Chinese Food.

In economics this week, Think Progress reminds us that President Bush is delusional. The Financial Times of London brings us a pair of stories on the growing weakness of the dollar, and the FED delaying the economic day of reckoning. The American Prospect reports on the American recession and growing economies. Barbara Ehrenreich pens a great column on the fall of the American consumer, and Alternet wonders if GDP reflects economic health?

Finally this week, professing literature in 2008.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Recommended Reading

Wild Goods – Poems By Denise Newman

In Wild Goods, Denise Newman combines the grotesque and the sublime into a twisted romanticism – her paintings of family and landscape all dotted with things that leave them as uncomfortable pastorals, intentionally imperfect as the sculpture of Matissé.

Newman folds her poems, one into another. A jarring end line becomes a bold and sudden title – a surprising line break makes absolute sense in the dualism of its existence. She comments on parenting with a detachment from the thing itself, from the actual and the signatory. It is sexuality bound to the “other” that the self has already detached from.

These things exist below the immediate surface of Wild Goods, below its deliciously slow rhythm that begs the line forward, and the moments of sudden improvisation and reflection. Her lines begin as a lure, taking a narrative direction before stopping short, rethinking itself or breaking without apology. They are inventive, each carrying itself in a direction congruent with, or sometimes independent of, all the directions surrounding it.

The issues Newman delves into feed this discomforting balance: family and family preying on itself, nature and virginity contextualized by its dirtying and loss. Newman’s marriage of magical realism to Baudelaireian reality cuts a haunted landscape from the construction paper of memory and observation. She explores the failed promise of our own histories. Each poem in Made Flesh, for example, seems a postcard from the self and placed into a time capsule, all at once questioning the frailty of time.

Denise Newman's ear and wit are on full instrumental display as her practices her craft. War is the backdrop of Wild Goods – it’s incomplete refrain. War’s rejection as a white noise, as something omnipresent and totally unnecessary disarms and unqualifies its existence. It is another failed premise, failed tradition that Newman deftly weaves away.

Wild Goods seeks to balance the ideal and the actual, showing its impossibility. Idealism achieved, Plato tells us, is idealism no longer.


Monday, March 10, 2008

505 Poetry Series #2 TONIGHT!

click to enlarge
photo credit: Flickr user LFL16

505 Poetry Series
Second Monday of the month
Boxcar Playhouse, 505 Natoma St, San Francisco
8 PM
minimum donation $7

March 10, 2008
Poetry by Kenneth Goldsmith
Poetry by Denise Newman
Music by Mark Alburger

Kenneth Goldsmith's writing has been called some of the most exhaustive and beautiful collage work yet produced in poetry by Publishers Weekly. Goldsmith is the author of nine books of poetry, founding editor of the online archive UbuWeb and the editor of I'll Be Your Mirror: The Selected Andy Warhol Interviews, which is the basis for an opera, Trans-Warhol, premiered in Geneva in March of 2007. An hour-long documentary on his work, "sucking on words: Kenneth Goldsmith" premiered at the British Library in 2007.

sucking on words: Kenneth Goldsmith

Denise Newman is the author of Human Forest (Apogee Press) and Wild Goods (Apogee Press), and the translator of The Painted Room (Random House, UK) by the Danish poet, Inger Christensen. Her translation of Azorno, also by Christensen, is forthcoming from New Directions. She is currently writing the libretto for an opera in collaboration with composer Kui Dong. She teaches at the California College of the Arts.

click to enlarge
Mark Alburger is an eclectic composer of postminimal, postpopular, and postcomedic sensibilities. He is the Music Director of Goat Hall Productions / San Francisco Cabaret Opera, Editor-Publisher of 21st-Century Music Journal, Music Critic for Commuter Times, author, musicologist, oboist, pianist, and recording artist.

Alburger will be premiering L.A. Stories, a trilogy of trilogies about work, study, and play - performed with hats, toys, and a multiplicity of digital-audio voices and instruments.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Saturday Night Main Event

St. Vincent (mostly just Annie) perform

Friday, March 07, 2008

Saturday Morning (Journalism) Quarterback

The top five stories worth reading from this past week in worth-reading stories:

We start (or end, as the case may be) this week with Thom Hartmann's review and commentary on Ha-Joon Chang's Bad Samaritans: The Myth of Free Trade and the Secret History of Capitalism.

In a special roundup this week, we take a look at a selection of corporate accountability stories. Should defense contractors count votes? What about the future corporate threat to water? The Federal Government is working against local food movements. The American Prospect looks into why health insurance doesn't work. Should biotech pigs go to market? The Nation looks into the dark history of banana cultivation. Monsanto corp. doesn't want you to know everything to do with your milk. Finally, Buzz Flash delves into a selection of FISA myths.

In economics this week, McNewspaper has an actual story (for once) on the economic state of the union. Alternet reports on the cost, beyond comprehension, of the occupation in Iraq. The Financial Times Of London suggests reform of tax haven abuse. Finally, is middle-class society an owned society?

The horrifying, quasi-fascist story Don Siegelman.

Finally, and most importantly this week, Cryptomundo looks at the evolution of the Yeti over the time.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008


Gary Gygax – inventor of Dungeons and Dragons passed away today. I was a total D&D freak when I was a kid, and even found my old leather bag of multi-sided dice when I was cleaning some storage out this past summer.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Saturday Night Main Event

Against Me performs

Saturday Morning (Journalism) Quarterback

The top five stories worth reading from this past week in worth-reading stories:

This week in environmental news, the Norwegians have finished the Doomsday Seed Vault in the arctic, and Salon has a great story on climate science.

Noam Chomsky weighs in on terrorism and perception.

In economics this week, The American Prospect says President Bush is only half to blame for the economy, Alternet also chimes in. Talking Points Memo wonders why liberals surrender their kids to conservative hostage takers, and the Financial Times Of London reports the dollar has hit a new low. Think Progress reports on the cost of Iraq and its relation to the economy.

Attacks on Barack Obama from both sides this week brought out stories on the myth of the wussy poet and the audacity of hoplessness.

Finally this week, an important story on the dangerous precipice occupied by fascism (the merging of corporate and government interests, by definition) in regards to free speech.

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