Tag Archives: Luc Sante

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