Tag Archives: Georges Bataille

Tea With Chris: The Story of a Hurricane

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: This song has been in my head all day. Maybe ’cause this movie is coming out. Good song for the Great Gatsby.

Carl: Linda Besner makes a stab on Hazlitt at imagining how to get people to like poetry as much as they like paintings – give it a gallery, she says. Personally I think this “singing and/or shouting it over guitars and/or turntables” plan is still a good one. People don’t like paintings that much, either.

Toronto’s Tamara Faith Berger and North Carolina’s Kate Zambreno met in NYC to talk about libertines, Sasha Grey, Bataille and lovable assholes. The Believer has a transcription.

Disasters are stories of climate and class. I hope you and your loved ones are all safe and your power is back on. That said, I don’t think it is entirely a terrible thing that well-off northerners are beginning to experience the kinds of crises that have been year-in-year-out routine for poor southern coastal communities. Not if we then start to get the idea that we should do something about it.

If you need help convincing any American friends that they should not vote for Romney, or (maybe more likely) that they should vote at all, this video made by animators from the Simpsons might be a big help:

I don’t think that I think Romney’s Mormonism should have any bearing on how people vote. But I do find the Latter Day Saints pretty fascinating. The best thing I read all week was Mike Davis’s piece about Mormonism’s repressed communist roots. and I’m looking forward to Slate’s story about the complicated experience people having being intellectuals in the LDS.

Okay, everyone, hold hands, shut your eyes tight and see you on the other side of Tuesday.

Chris: Michelle Dean laments the disappearance of witchy wickedness, the kind that frightens all the right men: “Our emblematic witch is Hermione Granger, who performs all the magic and takes none of the credit from Harry Potter. She is self-effacing and noble and never in any real danger of contamination by the dark…Which is only a shame if you think of this: just as the truly threatening witch has gone out of style, the people who most want to control women are out in force.”

Further to the Atlantic piece on disasters and class in Carl’s tea, a response that focuses on how persistent and pervasive these gulfs are: “the city that never sleeps can stay up 24/7 thanks to nocturnal bodega owners and overnight transit workers.”

I’m warily optimistic that Romney will lose on Tuesday, and elating allaying that would be, but if he doesn’t, here’s where pop music might go afterwards.

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Filed under carl wilson, chris randle, linkblogging, margaux williamson

Tea With Chris: Mysteriously Enormous

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 covering the Toronto International Film Festival for the first time right now, and it feels a little like this:

So brevity is better. Via batarde, the only television appearance Georges Bataille ever made:

A D.C. consulting firm is building an unpopulated “test city” in the New Mexico desert.

When he’s hosting the long-running Toronto lecture series Trampoline Hall, our friend Misha Glouberman begins every night with a perpetually witty spiel about how to ask good questions. The New York Times just published a written version of it: “Pay attention to your mental images as the question is occurring to you. When you picture yourself asking the question, are you mysteriously enormous? Are you made of gold? These are signs that you may possibly have a bad question.”

A Luc Sante essay devoted to his uncontrollable library is obviously going to be great, but his nuanced speculation on the physical medium’s future surprised me; he praises Google’s systematic digitization of literature and seems curious about the various e-readers, yet remains eloquently concerned for printed matter: “Many books are screwy, a great many are dull, some are irredeemable, and there are way too many of them, probably, in the world. I hate all the fetishistic twaddle about books promoted by the chain stores and the book clubs, which make books seem as cozy and unthreatening as teacups, instead of the often disputatious and sometimes frightening things they are…I realize that books are not the entire world, even if they sometimes seem to contain it. But I need the stupid things.”

Carl: This book seems screwy, dull, disputatious and the entire world all at once. Of the recent spate of “things” books, though, maybe the most intriguing: The idea that there was once a popular genre of “it narratives” related by inanimate objects, body parts and animals is so delightful; the prose in which it seems to be told looks much less so on quick perusal but I am willing to give it a more slow-paced chance: The Things Things Say is a cool title.

On a similar level this video is too long & not as funny as it wishes but I agree so much with its thesis that I can’t help but endorse it.

Best music journalism on the web of late: Geeta Dayal’s extensive piece on German performance/noise artist and synth-pop (Tangerine Dream, Cluster/Kluster) innovator Conrad Schnitzler; and two less-than-reverent considerations of the intersections of music with 9/11: Maura Johnston and Chris Weingarten’s list of the worst Sept. 11 response songs (which nervily includes both “Empire State of Mind” and a Xiu Xiu song – agreed, and I love Xiu Xiu – along with the usual suspects, – though I would stand up for Alan Jackson’s “Where Were You” despite the wince-worthy Iraq/Iran line, for turning to Christian love as opposed to biblical vengeance as the value it wants to defend); and Hua Hsu’s subtle memoir about how he had an overdue record review that day, which ends up being a sidelong meditation on several virtues that can bring you through trials more reliably than the recent American predilection for demonstrative emotion.

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Filed under carl wilson, chris randle, linkblogging, margaux williamson