Monthly Archives: May 2011

Little Boxes #48

(by Uno Moralez, 2010)

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Tea With Chris: The Many Revenges

Tea With Chris is a roundup of recommended links, posted every Friday. Here are a few of our favourite things from the Internet this week.

Chris: I’m in New York City. During my first and only previous visit, I crossed paths with St. Vincent after emerging from the subway in Manhattan. I wanted to say hi, maybe tell her she’d been great in Toronto the week before, but it was the hottest day of the year and I was a sweaty stranger who had just seen a dead-looking person trapped beneath an overturned van, so I shambled on uptown in silence. At least I can shout out Annie Clark on the internet, such as for this clip from last week, where she covers Big Black in  world-destroying fashion.

Marginalia!

Carl: Rock’n’roll pioneer Bill Hayley’s widow and children finally speak about his sad diminuendo. Her undying love for her very difficult husband kept her quiet all these years – but she eventually realized that her silence was muting his reputation and erasing his history. Michael Hall’s piece from Texas Monthly rocks – must I say it? – right around the clock.

For three weeks I’ve been meaning to write something about my dear friend Sean Dixon‘s excellent new book, The Many Revenges of Kip Flynn. I wanted to discuss it in the context of Torontopia and Toronto-dystopia, of which it is probably the best example in fiction, and I wanted to talk about the way that it colour-saturated my mental image of certain city locations, and the rich ways in which the real biographical facts about Sean that I know shine through cracks in its architecture. But then I discovered that, minus the bio-friendship aspect (which was always a little indulgent), that my post had already been written, by Amy Lavender Harris, who is far more qualified to write it than I am, being an expert on the ways Toronto has been rendered and transfigured in prose and poetry through the years. Her essay more than merits your attention. It should convince you how much the book does.

Speaking of friends and books, it was very enjoyable to see the Los Angeles Times this week call our friends Sheila Heti and Misha Glouberman‘s forthcoming collaboration The Chairs Are Where the People Go ” intelligent, quirky, charming, hard to classify … a sign of health in the publishing industry. It shows that there is a willingness to take risks – and maybe even have some fun.”

Enough logrolling. I leave you with the time that Pere Ubu was mistaken for children’s music. Was it the name?

Margaux: I came across this hilarious and painful Edmund White book review “In Love with Duras”  about the French filmmaker and novelist Marguerite Duras. It’s also kind about the one-time French president François Mitterrand (and the good and the bad things things he and Duras did during the World War 2). I lost track of what book it was talking about – it includes the line “he was finally shot by a madman in 1993 – fortunately for everyone” – but I sure do now have a better sense of Marguerite Duras and how she sometimes made fiction a little bit safer than real life.

We miss you William O. Douglas (1898 –1980), U.S. Supreme Court Justice, he who declared, “Trees have standing.” Justice Douglas famously argued that “inanimate objects” should have standing to sue in court (thanks to Chris Randle!):

The critical question of “standing” would be simplified and also put neatly in focus if we fashioned a federal rule that allowed environmental issues to be litigated before federal agencies or federal courts in the name of the inanimate object about to be despoiled, defaced, or invaded by roads and bulldozers and where injury is the subject of public outrage. Contemporary public concern for protecting nature’s ecological equilibrium should lead to the conferral of standing upon environmental objects to sue for their own preservation.
 
Inanimate objects are sometimes parties in litigation. A ship has a legal personality, a fiction found useful for maritime purposes. The corporation sole — a creature of ecclesiastical law — is an acceptable adversary and large fortunes ride on its cases…. So it should be as respects valleys, alpine meadows, rivers, lakes, estuaries, beaches, ridges, groves of trees, swampland, or even air that feels the destructive pressures of modern technology and modern life. The river, for example, is the living symbol of all the life it sustains or nourishes — fish, aquatic insects, water ouzels, otter, fisher, deer, elk, bear, and all other animals, including man, who are dependent on it or who enjoy it for its sight, its sound, or its life. The river as plaintiff speaks for the ecological unit of life that is part of it.

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Friday Pictures – Maruyama Ōkyo (1733 – 1795)


Rabbits


Sitting tiger


Tigers crossing a river (detail)


Skeleton performing zazen


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Little Boxes #47

(from Showcase #4, script by Robert Kanigher and art by Carmine Infantino, 1956)

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Tea With Chris: Crows Keep Company

Tea With Chris is a roundup of recommended links, posted every Friday. Here are a few of our favourite things from the Internet this week:

Chris: Rich Juzwiak, hero of the internet.

Kelli Korducki writes about being a quote-unquote halfie: “I may rock the white priv, but it’s never sat so great.”

Is it weird that I want to know what Terry Riley and Big Boi ate when they were hanging out at Burger King?

Margaux: A masculinist of my own heart, boy uses logic and loopholes to get his legs into a breezy skirt. (thanks to Sheila Heti)

Speaking of Sheila Heti (friend of Back to the World and brilliant interviewer) – Sheila Heti and Ross Simonini from The Believer are hosting the event THE ART OF THE INTERVIEW at the New York Public Library tomorrow (Saturday) from 1 to 3 pm… with Dick Cavett, Lorin Stein, Kenneth Goldsmith, Claudia Dreifus, Simon Rich, etc! Should be great.

Speaking of boys and skirts, poor old Lars Von Trier – holed up in a hotel room somewhere in Cannes as Mel Gibson roams free. Poor old Jodie Foster. Society is weird.

I’m in the woods and the crows keep me company when I go running. This makes me think about them a lot. Here’s a great Ted Talk from Joshua Klein about just that. (thanks to Misha Glouberman)

Colourless food. Awesome. There should at least be a year where there is no food colouring. That would solve a few problems probably and would be a easy year to remember.

I just saw the refreshing and good movie “Bridesmaids”. There was a giant poster outside the movie house, where I saw it, advertising one of its competitors “Something Borrowed” with Kate Hudson. This reminded me of Lynn Crosbie’s hilarious critique of that movie using only the movie’s trailer “(try to tell me that’s not enough!)”.

Carl: I had a favourite Ted Talk this week too, not new but new to me, in which a brain-research scientist gets to examine her own brain in slow motion when she experiences a stroke, and the result basically has her talking like a psychonaut pioneer on LSD or ayahuasca: Apparently one hemisphere of our brain is quite aware that we are all made of energy and there are no real inside-outside boundaries and we are all joined by infinite love. The other side, well, it has language. (Thanks to Buffy Childerhose)

My favourite literary event in Toronto, and therefore in the world, is coming to an end: This week the Scream Literary Festival aka The Scream in High Park announced that this year’s 18th annual event would be the last. I’ve had the thrill of reading on the Scream’s mainstage and the pleasure of being in a bunch of its panels and hosting other events, and it’s always been smart, irreverent and nimble. It will be very sad next summer when it doesn’t happen. But for now, as they say on that link, there’s various kinds of helping hands they could use to shut ‘er down in style, so lend one if you can.

Nancy Updike had a beautiful piece on This American Life last week, about the meetings seemingly everyone in Egypt is having every day to try to plan the future of their society. If you don’t have a war after you have a revolution, this is what you get to do. (I admit it: I like meetings.) It’ll all come down to earth one day or another, of course, but what a spring it must be to be there and to be alive.

Speaking of revolutionaries: Here’s Roseanne. Love, love, love.

That Rapture thing: A bunch of critics pick music to die by.

Among the many nice things I got to do this week, the best was to hear Luc Sante talk about Robert Frank at the Art Gallery of Ontario. This article isn’t quite as wonderful as the talk was, but it’s got the gist.

Bad lipreading: “Party in the USA” -> -> “Black Umbrella (The Right Stuff).” (Thanks to Douglas Wolk)

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Friday Pictures – Sofonisba Anguissola (1532-1625)


Portrait of the artist’s sister Minerva Anguissola



Self Portrait 1554 The book reads: “Sophonisba Angussola virgo seipsam fecit 1554” or Sophonisba Anguissola, a virgin, made this herself in 1554.



Self Portrait 1556 The Latin inscription reads: “Sophonisba Angussola virgo ipsius manu ex speculo depictam Cremonae” or Sophonisba Angussola, virgin of Cremona, has depicted herself with the aid of a mirror.

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Little Boxes #46

(from an unsuccessful Nancy tryout, by Ivan Brunetti, 1994)

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