Category Archives: chris randle

Tea With Chris: Sous les pavés, le thé

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

Carl: Well, I’m sure we’ll talk more about this in five years, or else when Mad Men deals with it, but it’s been 45 years since May ’68, and that deserves a little somethin’ somethin’. Enjoy Bomblog’s roundup of soixante-huitarded materials, including René Viénet’s detourned kung-fu action movie Can Dialectics Break Bricks? Then read David Graeber smashing some masonry with a Baffler essay that goes from the Bastille to Occupy and the Debt Jubilee via May ’68, A Practical Utopian’s Guide to the Coming CollapseAnd Rhizome does a “cavalier” interview with Situationist historian McKenzie Wark.

And speaking of movements that bowl over the essential logic of their social foundations: My new favourite podcast, Hardcore History with Dan Carlin, has a four-hour episode on the Anabaptist rebellion and the siege of Munster during the Protestant Reformation that makes fascinating listening, especially if you remember the parts of Greil Marcus’s Lipstick Traces about John of Leyden (not to be confused with John Lyden, unless you’re Greil Marcus of course).

The second (or millionth) time as farce: Radical feminism as horror villain in this ace Jezebel find.

By contrast, extraordinary clear-minded feminism from former kidnap victim Elizabeth Smart. I hope the women who were freed from sexual captivity in Cleveland this week get the chance to speak to her.

This story by a writer who tracked down the cast members of Harmony Korine and Larry Clark’s Kids twenty years later turned out to be one of the most compelling and moving things about chosen families, fame and loss.

I’ve never been as big a fan of webcomic artist Allie Brosh as many are, but her autobiographical post this week about depression is among the more powerful and illuminating things you could read on the subject. Many will identify. Many others might grasp for the first time how unhelpful it can be to say, “Why can’t you just make your fish alive again?”

But if we could make things alive again, I would like to nominate Taylor Mead.

Finally, it’s ridiculous how excited I am that friend of B2TW and scarily drily funny comedian David Heti has a podcast. I haven’t had a chance to listen to I Have a Problem, With David Heti yet and I am still recommending it to you. That’s excitertainment.

Chris: I’m deep into preparations for the Toronto Comic Arts Festival, so all I have for you this week is a looped Nate Dogg / Kyary mashup, which if not revolutionary will at least annoy any patriarchal figures around.

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Little Boxes #139: The Revenge of Foreshortening

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(from Space Ace #1, writer unknown and art by Fred Guardineer, 1952)

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Tea With Chris: Dead Stars

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

Margaux: Here is a video of Agnes Varda and Susan Sontag being “interviewed” by Newsweek film critic Jack Kroll. Jack Kroll seems to insist on the position of being the devil’s advocate in opposition to whatever position Varda and Sontage happen to be in by their nature of existing – a position he seems to be taking both in defense of an imagined and offended American audience, and in condescension to one. Sometimes in playing the devil’s advocate,  you  help to make the devil real. (link thanks to movie maker Elisabeth Subrin)

Speaking of intellectual superstars – Janelle Monáe and Erykah Badu.

Speaking of men

Speaking of ghosts – I mean stars – here’s an image taken 600 years after the death of an unstable progenitor star.

Chris: Somebody built a brutalist edifice for nuns to live inside and then decided, you know what, that’s not quite unnerving enough, we’ll have to call it “Motherhouse.”

“What a ridiculous clusterfuck of totally uncool jokers.”

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Little Boxes #138: Never Mind the Whys

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(source unknown, creators unknown, date spookily unknown)

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Tea With Chris: Led Every Life

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

Chris: Half of this book is murals created by Sun Ra, half is photographs of Ra himself in Afrofuturist garb, another extra 10% or so is the introduction by Glenn Ligon, and I want to see all of them.

He may have written better songs (certainly more successful ones), but I can’t think of a finer document of George Jones’ voice than this early performance, recorded not long after he chose to abandon rockabilly. It was one of the few auspicious personal decisions he’d make for a long time. R.I.P. to a man who, as Carl put it elsewhere, “never seemed to know much peace.”

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Little Boxes #137: Indignities

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(from 2001: A Space Odyssey #9, by Jack Kirby, 1977)

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Tea With Chris: Robin’s Egg Blue

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

Chris: As a Brad Paisley fan who took part in the rampant mockery of his fascinatingly ill-advised single “Accidental Racist,” I feel like I should mention Jody Rosen and Eric Weisbard’s attempts to figure out where the country star was coming from.

“It’s 2009. I should be getting over it by now, and I’m trying, I really am, but then my third book, Hell Is Other Parents, a collection of personal essays, is published with a pink cover and placed in the parenting section. Prior to publication, I try changing the color to robin’s egg blue, the classification to memoir, and the title to Screwing in the Marital Bed, the title of one of the essays, which I think better encapsulates the thrust of the book. I am told, for the third time, that I have no say in the matter.”

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Little Boxes #136: Infantino

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(cover of The Flash #139, by Carmine Infantino, 1963)

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Little Boxes #135: Iron

NPG 6476; Margaret Hilda Thatcher (nÈe Roberts), Baroness Thatcher by Gerald Scarfe

(caricature of the former Margaret Hilda Roberts by Gerald Scarfe, 1983)

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Tea With Chris: The Avant-Garde Detective

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

Margaux: Sad to hear about Roger Ebert. I always like reading his sincere reviews and was always impressed when he changed his mind about a movie – sometimes, years later. It’s a pretty rare trait for a critic, or for ANYONE, to say so easily that their first impression of a work might have been wrong or shortsighted. An easy man to like.

The HBO show Enlightened by Laura Dern and Mike White is really good. And is being cancelled – while other shows blossom like tumors on the televisions.

Speaking of shows that got cancelled. I was directed (by curator Tom McCormack) to ‘s video Art Tape: Live With / Think About – a 3 minute video of jovial art appreciation/justification  that opens with a clip from Law & Order: Criminal Intent.  The clip has two police detectives, played by Vincent D’Onofrio and Kathryn Erbe, standing together in a museum, presumably lead to the dirty side of the museum for a murder investigation. When questioned by his partner about what in the world could be redeeming about the art they were seeing, Vincent D’Onofrio explained he wouldn’t necessarily want to live with it, but he would like to think about it. If you haven’t watched Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Vincent D’Onofrio plays a murder detective that drags murder confessions out of people, not by threats or violence, but by making his subjects extremely uncomfortable. The avant garde detective.

Watching that video lead me not to more art, but to more Law & Order: Criminal Intent. I turned one episode on and half an hour later I was looking at Patti Smith’s beautiful face. And I was, what!?  So, yes! you can go to the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto right now to see Patti Smith’s exhibition Camera Solo, or you can go to Law & Order: Criminal Intent. Patti Smith must like that 3 minute video, or the avant garde detective, as much as I do.

Speaking of the AGO, ran into Carl and Chris there recently for the not-to-be-missed opening of Amy Lam and Jon McCurley’s Life of a Craphead Retrospective, an exhibition about all of the work they will ever make. Placards have never felt so true. The show is downstairs in the Education Gallery. The Education wing is always FREE.

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Also at the AGO tonight (April 5) – Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller opening – FREE. 

& a performance by Barbara Hammer – also AGO – NOT FREE.

followed up at TIFF Lightbox tomorrow night (April 6) by a screening of Barbara Hammer’s first feature-length film Nitrate Kisses. The wonderful Alexandra Tigchelaar (Sasha) will be interviewing her live after.

Who else is in the world? – here is everyone

Speaking of the world – Amelia Earhart on marriage

Speaking of leaving the world – a video on astronauts having to come to terms with the perspective developed after having seen Earth from really, really far away. Astronaut Edgar Mitchell on trying to make sense of his feelings – “There was nothing in the science books, nothing in the religious literature that I looked at. So i went to the local university and asked them to help me understand what I saw.” (thanks to Jean Marshall)

Chris: The most heartwarming thing I saw in the past week (aside from those photos of the racist EMT crying) was Danzig’s pro-gay-equality tweet. Henry…

If you never have, this would be a perfect weekend to watch Beyond the Valley of the Dolls:

Carl: In 20 short minutes, the Fits – the Vancouver “vaudeville duet” of Veda Hille and Patsy Klein – render all music equal and potentially infinite. This leg of the journey covers The Ladybug’s Picnic to The Sex Pistols, with stopovers at The Simpsons’ musical of Planet of the Apes (“I hate every ape I see, from chimpan-A to chimpan-Z”) blended with This Monkey’s Gone to Heaven, Springtime for Hitler blended with a Sound of Music medley, the Star Trek theme (now with lyrics!) and the greatest Electric Company ballad ever (“lower-case n”). Play it loud, we’re geeks and we’re proud.

RIP to Roger Ebert. One friend pointed out his elegant 2007 evisceration of Conrad Black. Another the humanity of his 2003 review of Bad Boys II (no kidding), which reminds me a bit of something Margaux would do.

RIP Maurice Silcoff, at 104. “He was one of the last remaining figures of a unique movement in Canadian history: The Jewish labour movement.” With sympathies to his granddaughter Mireille, a writer we know.

Let’s all go to the Getty Research Institute and look at Harry Smith’s stuff!

William Gaddis’s letters: “if you are a writer, they don’t want to buy and print yr writing, but rather a picture and what you eat for breakfast, &c. But then good God! that’s what the book’s about— It’s difficult not to strike a pose, for being ‘eccentric’ enough to try to get across that: What do they want of the man that they didn’t find in the work?”

Legendary California broadcaster Art Laboe on the birth of rock’n’roll and how to kiss on the radio.

Sixty people wish erstwhile jazz/improv enfant terrible John Zorn a happy 60th birthday, including many fellow musicians and composers, poets (“the imagination must keep track of the flesh responding … a slow progression/ it must be beautiful and it can’t be free”), curators, critics, directors, producers and artists and one Yoko Ono.

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