Back in 1994 Stuart Coupe sent me a C-90 cassette dub which contained a rare interview with Lester Bangs. It was conducted by his friend Sue Mathews on 13th of May 1980 as part of ABC Radio Series on Music Writers. I transcribed side one of the tape, and published it in my fanzine 'Loser Friendly' (Vol 2 1995). Years later I placed the transcript on-line, later adding the audio. Since then, it has been downloaded thousands of times and linked up on several sites/blogs. In 2009, Sue Mathews contacted me and informed me the cassette copy I had was the only surviving copy. In recalling the interview, Mathews mentioned: "Lester was a great person to meet, by the way, just as you'd imagine from his writing. A very generous and thoughtful interviewee, with no ego at all. I ran into him in the post office in Chelsea (NY) a year or so later, and we had a coffee nearby - he was that kind of guy". Audio & transcript HERE
For Marc! (Thanx Dray!)
Asking random New Yorkers with headphones on what song they are listening to.
Tracklist: 1 The Bee Gees: More Than A Woman 2 Fenix TX: Abba Zabba 3 Eminem: Not Afraid 4 Keni Burke: Keep Rising to the Top 5 Beyonce: Smash Into You 6 LCD Soundsystem: Dance Yrself Clean 7 The Black Keys: Too Afraid To Love You 8 Kanye West: Blame Game 9 Kinky: Mas 10 Lil Wayne: Lollipop 11 Oasis: What's the Story Morning Glory 12 Frank Sinatra: The Best Is Yet To Come 13 Korn: Counting on Me1 14 Britney Spears: How I Roll 15 Panic! At the Disco: From A Mountain In The Middle Of The Cabins 16 Kid Cudi: Day 'n' Night 17 Bob Marley: Buffalo Solider 18 Wiz Khalifa: Black & Yellow 19 Big Punisher: Still Not A Player 20 NPR2 21 Tub Ring: No One Wants To Play 22 Lady Gaga: Just Dance
What is it like to have God like surgical powers, yet to struggle against your own humanity? What is it like to try and save a life, and yet to fail? This film follows brain surgeon Henry Marsh as he openly confronts the dilemmas of the doctor patient relationship on his latest mission to Ukraine.
Henry is one of London's foremost brain surgeons, but despite being a pioneer in his field he stills rides an old pushbike to work and worries himself sick about the damage he can inflict on his patients. "When push comes to shove we can afford to lose an arm or a leg, but I am operating on people's thoughts and feelings...and if something goes wrong I can destroy that person's character ......forever".
Driven by the need to help others where he can, Henry has been going out to Kyiv for over 15 years to help improve upon the medieval brain surgery he witnessed there during his first visit in 1992. Today the patients see him as the great saviour from the West, desperate parents want him to save their child, and his Ukrainian colleague Igor Kurilets sees him as a guru and a benefactor. But for all the direct satisfaction he gets from going, Henry also sees grossly misdiagnosed patients, children who he can't save, and a lack of equipment and trained supporting staff. "It's like selling your soul to the devil, but what can you do? My son had a brain tumour as a baby and I was desperate for someone to help me. I simply can't walk away from that need in others".
It is this dilemma however, a dilemma of his own making that is what's so interesting about Henry, what lets his troubled and compassionate humanity through, and what is the universal theme at the centre of the film; the struggle to do good things in a selfish and flawed world.
"Henry, Henry why do you worry so much?" Igor often exclaims. Things are simpler for Igor because he has only one goal ahead of him; the creation of Ukraine's first independent neurosurgical clinic. Looking at a famous Kozak painting on his wall at home Igor exclaims that "Kozaks are the heroes of Ukraine...and a brain surgeon is just like a Kozak. It is an adventure - and I love it!"
Devoted to his patients, he has to work within the logistical and political constraints such a maverick career choice presents him with. Instead of an expensive medical drill for boring into patient's skulls, Igor has bought a cordless Bosch handyman drill from the local market; and because he needed rooms to rent for his independent clinic he has found a temporary refuge in the KGB hospital, the very place which for years housed people who tried to persecute him and Henry for working outside of the State system.
Ironies such as these abound in revolutionary Kyiv, and through patients such as Marian Dolishny we intimately witness life in this topsy-turvy land. Marian is very poor and is from a small town in Western Ukraine. His religious faith helps him cope with a brain tumour which is causing him severe epilepsy, but he knows that it will ultimately kill him.
Marian has been told that his tumour is inoperable in Ukraine, but Henry believes he can save him. To do so Marian must be awake throughout the entire operation however, and this surreal set of circumstances give rise to a dramatic, humorous and unforgettable 15 minute scene filmed with three cameras inside the operating theatre.
Shot over two chaotic weeks in the 2007 Ukrainian winter, the film establishes each of our characters at home, follows Henry and Marian to Kyiv, and then sees Henry work through the endless clinics of desperately ill people Igor wants him to treat. In some harrowing scenes we feel Henry's frustration as he agonises over who he can and can't save, yet we are also with him as he sets out to save Marian's life.
The emotional climax of the film is a journey to the South West of the country where Henry visits the mother of a young girl he tried to save by bringing her to England some years ago. Haunted by the failure to save her life, he shares a very emotional meal with Katya, and then visits the beautiful country cemetery where Tanya is buried. With nothing but the wind and the crows around him he confronts what it means to fail, but ultimately leaves us all feeling redeemed because of his ongoing willingness to try and help others where he can.
Dubinator - G-Day
Subsistence - Biodub
Not The Fool - Reboot Remix - Marc Antona
The Swell - Marko Furstenberg, Reference
Microcosmos - Re-Drum
Awakening - Fingers In The Noise remix - 44Mind
New Dimention - DJ Disse
Horizons - Kostas Soubils
Koalips - Meson
I’m happy to be with you and also on account of the new actuality I have decided and especially during this afternoon’s meeting of the executive committee to be with you alone and not at a dais with other people.
I just want to repeat what I’ve said and through messages given yesterday, the ethics committee has reached its decisions. I have no right to comment on it. I was even myself not in my privileged position. I repeat what I said: I regret what has happened in last days and weeks, it has done great damage to FIFA, but is also a great disappointment. For football fans, I’m speaking to football fans.
Today had meeting of executive committee, I am not giving you a lot of details. Our press department, documents will be distributed. But there have been one or two points that I want to inform you.
The executive committee of FIFA was very pleased to receive the report of the football association regarding allegations made on 10 May made by Lord David Triesman at House of Commons against four executive committee members, and we were happy that we can confirm there are no elements in this report which would even prompt any proceedings. But for the sake of transparency, FIFA and the F.A. agreed that a comprehensive summary of this report would be published and the summary can be read on FIFA.com/link. Happy also that we have not received any evidence from the Sunday Times or from any announced whistleblower with regards to allegations made against two other members of executive committee, therefore the same, what shall we do with elements in report? Nothing.
And World Cup 2022 is not touched by that, so is the World Cup 2018.
Concerning executive committee one or other information of importance, Japan will organized FIFA Club World Cup in December. We are happy after having been two years in United Arab Emirates, now back in Japan. Violá.
Then makes the same announcement in French.
We were in Conmebol in Conacaf, said to executive committee at 50-year anniversary of Concacaf I offered project elements that will be realized through structure of Goal project. These two things will be taken over by Goal institution and then will be presented to executive committee. In light of 50 years of Concacaf, that’s the way it works.
One important decision, Bosnia accepted change in statutes, therefore the ban is lifted and will be able to play as of June 3 in national and club competitions. We also settled problems with Brunei. And Indonesia can go on playing to June 30.
Now ready to take your questions, would insist again on the fact that this morning I went to four meetings of four confederations: UEFA, Conmebol, Oceania and Concacaf and invited everyone to show unity and solidarity concerning FIFA’s future.
Q: Evan White/Reuters: Last night ally Jack Warner told me that you should be stopped. Some reaction to statement.
A: Stopped? … I have no, reaction.
Q: From CCTV: Everyone knows is time for change and reform. What will you do for FIFA in next four years.
A: Thank you for your question. Just come back to ideas I’ve developed for the future exposed to executive committee today. One of these items on the agenda, there is one, zero tolerance. Zero tolerance on the field, referee is there with all his assistants, a group of six, even seven coming to the field to control a match. And zero tolerance outside the field of play. Means we have to reinforce the ethic committee to professionalize the committee to have professionalism. To look to our image and also need a new communication, a new tool and to have a better understanding with the you, the media, everybody in the media. Something we have to do. And more than that what we have to do in the congress to get a unity in solidarity and to look forward for next four years. Will not be an easy task together we can do it. Sure have been confirmed in meetings this morning, will be the same. We go together for the good of the game, for the fans and for the perception of our game in our society. Can play a major part not only on field of play, but outside the field of play.
Q: Brazil journalist: Some governments also asking that election be postponed?
A: If the want to intervene in FIFA organization something wrong. Think FIFA strong enough to build inside FIFA. Sure congress will show its unity and will solve their problems if there are any in the congress.
Q: Saudi newspaper: Media today talking about a crisis. Is it a crisis?
A: If somebody would describe to me a crisis? What is a crisis. If you see the Champions League you would applaud. We are only in some difficulties. And will be solved inside our family.
Q: Mr. Warner released details of and email from Mr. Valke saying that Qatar bought the World Cup. Can you give your backing to Mr. Valke. Is he becoming too politicized?
A: I will not answer this question. I am the president of FIFA, you cannot question me.
Outburst in the audience.
Blatter: I accepted to have a press conference with you alone here. I respect you, please respect me. If you ask for a question ask for the mic. We are not in a bazaar here, we are in FIFA House.
Q: You said a few minutes ago, that for Concacaf you offered two goal projects. Can you do that?
A: The FIFA president can do even more, but be approved by executive committee and the committee approved that. Certainly I can do that.
Q: BBC News: Now that two members suspended pending bribe investigation. Can you see why now there are calls to postpone Wednesday election.
A: If somebody wants to change something in the election or in the congress of Wednesday these are the members of FIFA this cannot be done by executive committee any authorities outside of FIFA, only the congress itself can do it with three-quarters of majority can change agenda.
Q: Reuters: How do you feel personally that Mr. Bin Hammam has pulled out of challenge of your presidency and now standing alone.
A: You should ask him why he pulled out. Personally I was prepared to go into an election process with another candidate and then the congress would have decided. Now the situation has changed.
Q: Sky Sports News: Say to those who want re-election for 2022 and you are a major problem for FIFA to change you should leave?
A: Two questions. Which one you want me to answer? Again bring back to congress of FIFA decide if I am a valid or nonvalid candidate and they have their say.
Q: Do you believe Qatar bid was clean?
A: I believe that the decision which we took for World Cup 2022 was done exactly clean in the same pattern and again say what I said at beginning of press conference there is no issue for the World Cup 2022.
Q: Norway journalist: FIFA reputation at lowest ever. How did it happen on your watch.
A: I tried to have the FIFA reputation at highest possible way. We are in a game, in this game will tell you there is a lot of gambling and not only on the field of play. Have to say at beginning of FIFA when I entered 36 years ago. We have no problems, until 1998, this was the modest FIFA. Now are a comfortable FIFA and because we are too comfortable and being in a game all the little devils can enter the game.
Q: African magazine: To say season of long knives in football would be an understatement. A situation where member of exco turned against themselves, how will you be able to sit in meetings and move forward after all that has happened.
A: If force, energy and moral. Repeat what said several times. I have not chosen members of executive committee. Are delegated by confederations. I have to deal with personalities that are there. Try to do best out of it. If we have now instruments to go into wrongdoing as we’ve proven in November and not later than yesterday. Something has changed in FIFA and will try to change more in future. I cannot change members of my government, not up to me.
More rumbling from the audience.
Blatter: I have asked for respect, I was respectful to you. …
Blatter walks off the stage as others try to ask questions. One more
Q: This is a press conference, and I thought is for asking questions. There are so many more people here who want to ask questions.
A: I have answered the questions and I thank you for your attendance.
Q: Said about ethics committed
A: I will not go into discussions with people who like to create problems. Just want to tell you one thing. You can laugh, that’s an attitude. So is respect. I have learned this in my life also as a journalist. When said is finished, then I said thank you...
A Chinese media, Chaoxian.com.cn, reported on Thursday that North Korea's Chosun Central TV recently released the survey result of a 'Happiness Index (Gross National Happiness) of each nation,' which was conducted in North Korea.
According to the index, the happiest country in the world is China and North Korea is ranked no. 2. Interestingly, South Korea is ranked No.152 and the U.S. ranks last at No.203.
Chaoxian.com.cn sarcastically commented that "North Korea gladly gave the no. 1 spot to China and North Korea itself ranked no. 2. North Korea must be the happiest country in the universe."
China scored 100 points and was selected as the country where the happiest people live in and North Korea with 98 points, ranked at no. 2.
The top five rankings include Cuba (no. 3, 93 points), Iran (no.4, 88 points), and Venezuela (no.5, 85 points). South Korea, with 18 points, was placed at no.152 and the U.S. ranked no. 203 with its score not marked.
Free North Korea Broadcast, a South Korea based broadcast, commented that the North Koreans who are completely brainwashed, repeatedly proclaim "We are the happiest people in the world. I will trust ‘the General’ and always follow him only."
Some readers said the ranking is wrong as it seems to survey only those people who do not know the world. Therefore, precisely speaking, the happiness index of North Korea should be not no. 2 but no. 1 in their survey. Some even commented that the those who voted were not the common people but those who held power and authority in the government of North Korea.
Many Chinese have voiced their comments on the survey. Some of them include:
This happiness index refers to the government officials' happiness index in every country. - Leshanman
I seriously doubt on the authenticity of this rank and the IQ of the North Korean people. - taiyangfan
It's a good joke! - zengfugui
(China）is the first? Maybe it means the last? Why USA ranks 203? - bond99
Hehe, Talk sheer nonsense ... - xiaoxia
There is a minus before the rank number. It's actually - 100. - yueselansha
Kim Jong Il is a real sycophant today. - baimaojin
@'International Business Times'
The onetime Nixon operative has created the most profitable propaganda machine in history. Inside America's Unfair and Imbalanced Network
At the Fox News holiday party the year the network overtook archrival CNN in the cable ratings, tipsy employees were herded down to the basement of a Midtown bar in New York. As they gathered around a television mounted high on the wall, an image flashed to life, glowing bright in the darkened tavern: the MSNBC logo. A chorus of boos erupted among the Fox faithful. The CNN logo followed, and the catcalls multiplied. Then a third slide appeared, with a telling twist. In place of the logo for Fox News was a beneficent visage: the face of the network’s founder. The man known to his fiercest loyalists simply as "the Chairman" – Roger Ailes.
“It was as though we were looking at Mao,” recalls Charlie Reina, a former Fox News producer. The Foxistas went wild. They let the dogs out. Woof! Woof! Woof! Even those who disliked the way Ailes runs his network joined in the display of fealty, given the culture of intimidation at Fox News. “It’s like the Soviet Union or China: People are always looking over their shoulders,” says a former executive with the network’s parent, News Corp. “There are people who turn people in.”
The key to decoding Fox News isn’t Bill O’Reilly or Sean Hannity. It isn’t even News Corp. chief Rupert Murdoch. To understand what drives Fox News, and what its true purpose is, you must first understand Chairman Ailes. “He is Fox News,” says Jane Hall, a decade-long Fox commentator who defected over Ailes’ embrace of the fear-mongering Glenn Beck. “It’s his vision. It’s a reflection of him.”
Ailes runs the most profitable – and therefore least accountable – head of the News Corp. hydra. Fox News reaped an estimated profit of $816 million last year – nearly a fifth of Murdoch’s global haul. The cable channel’s earnings rivaled those of News Corp.’s entire film division, which includes 20th Century Fox, and helped offset a slump at Murdoch’s beloved newspapers unit, which took a $3 billion write-down after acquiring The Wall Street Journal. With its bare-bones newsgathering operation – Fox News has one-third the staff and 30 fewer bureaus than CNN – Ailes generates profit margins above 50 percent. Nearly half comes from advertising, and the rest is dues from cable companies. Fox News now reaches 100 million households, attracting more viewers than all other cable-news outlets combined, and Ailes aims for his network to “throw off a billion in profits...”
'It is German for "fist" which is a symbol for revolution which is what we thought we were part of ... and maybe we were too :) Also it is the name of a work by Goethe where a man sells his soul to obtain what he longs for...and this what we were doing : selling our souls to the music industry in order to do the music we wanted to.'
I will be catching both the Faust gig as part of the International Jazz Fest here in Melbourne and also the talk with J-HP the following day where I hope to at least present J-HP with an 'Exile On Moan Street' badge as I know he is reader of this blog. The talk is free but bookings are essential.
Peter Saville and and Howard Wakefield of design studio ParrisWakefield have collaborated on the artwork of a new compilation of music by Joy Division and New Order called TOTAL, due for release on June 6 from Rhino...
Endeavouring to capture the essence of both Joy Division and New Order, Saville and Wakefield agreed that the Helvetica Heavy Italic used on the cover of New Order's Technique album, perfectly conveyed the band's graphic look, and also that, typographically speaking, Joy Division was predominantly uppercase. So for the cover of this new compilation, the pair decided to merge the two and set the word TOTAL in italicised upper case Helvetica Heavy.
Originally the word TOTAL, as below, was set to appear as large as possible so it fitted on the front cover. However the band decided there was too much white space.
"The 'O' was the sexiest letter," says Wakefield, "with the overlapping letter-forms alluding to the sleeve of New Order's Technique album and also to the band's 1989 single, Run 2. Funnily enough 'O' is also the only letter to appear in New Order, Joy Division and TOTAL." Wakefield decided to zoom in the 'O' and let the other letters wrap around the fold out CD insert. The letters also appear to wrap around from the back cover and the jewel case spine too. Gavin Lucas @'CreativeReview'
Suboxone (hint: the fish) was hidden in this coloring book
Mike Barrett, a corrections officer, ripped open an envelope in the mail room at the Maine Correctional Center here and eyed something suspicious: a Father’s Day card, sent a month early. He carefully felt the card and slit it open, looking for a substance that has made mail call here a different experience of late.
Mr. Barrett and other prison officials nationwide are searching their facilities, mail and visitors for Suboxone, a drug used as a treatment for opiate addiction that has become coveted as contraband. Innovative smugglers have turned crushed Suboxone pills into a paste and spread it under stamps or over children’s artwork, including pages from a princess coloring book found in a New Jersey jail.
The drug also comes in thin strips, which dissolve under the tongue, that smugglers have tucked behind envelope seams and stamps.
“It’s become a crisis in here, to be honest with you,” said Maj. Francine Breton, administrator of the Cumberland County Jail in Portland, Me. “It’s the drug of choice right now.”
Law enforcement officials say that Suboxone, which is prescribed to treat addiction to heroin and powerful painkillers like oxycodone, has become a drug of abuse in its own right, resulting in prison smuggling efforts from New Mexico to Maine. Addicts buy it on the street when they cannot find or afford their drug of choice, to stave off the sickness that comes with withdrawal. But some people are also taking it for the high they say it provides.
After Suboxone strips were discovered in two letters, the Cumberland County Jail set a new rule in March that all inmate mail must arrive in white envelopes. That way, Major Breton said, officials can detect the orange tint of the strips when they hold an envelope up to the light.
The jail also rips the stamps off every piece of mail before delivery because senders were putting a paste made of crushed Suboxone pills on the back of stamps for inmates to lick off...
The Australian actress Cate Blanchett has been criticised for appearing in a television advertisement calling for the introduction of a carbon tax.
One leading opposition politician said the Oscar-winning actress did not understand the cost-of-living concerns of ordinary Australians.
She has been a strong advocate of steps to reduce Australian emissions.
Senator Barnaby Joyce said she should stick to acting, but the government and the Greens have rallied behind her.
It has been dubbed the Cate debate, and centres on the Oscar-winning actress's support for the government's controversial new carbon tax, which is bitterly opposed by the conservative opposition.
She features briefly in a new television campaign urging Australians to "Say Yes" to a tax on carbon.
Opponents of the carbon tax say it will increase the cost of living for ordinary Australians.
Mr Joyce, of the National Party, said the multi-millionaire star had no idea what it was like for working families struggling with rising costs.
One right-wing tabloid called her a morally vain Hollywood star trying to justify her great good fortune by preaching to the rest of Australia about climate change.
She has been the driving force behind what has been called the greening of the Sydney Theatre Company, where she is an artistic director. Her mansion in Sydney is fitted with solar panels.
The attacks on Cate Blanchett also reveal an instinctive suspicion of people in Australia perceived to be part of a cultural or educational elite - especially by the populist right.
The movie star, who has been backed by the government and the Australian Greens, has not responded publicly to the criticism. Nick Bryant @'BBC'
Meanwhile Murdoch's stable continues its attacks on anything to do with climate change...oh and Bill Leak WTF?
This is about our children's world and our legacy to them and if we could just get the Gina and Twiggy's of this world to actually pay for the damage they are causing this continent and the world...
A group of Saudi women who launched a counter-campaign on Facebook this week to press for maintaining a long-standing ban on female car driving in the Gulf Kingdom accused the social network of blocking their page.
A female activist in the campaign said the page had been partially blocked several times over the past few days before it completely disappeared from Facebook on Saturday, according to local newspapers.
“We all are surprised at Facebook’s decision to cancel our page for no reason…we have not committed any mistake or violated the network’s rules…we just expressed our opinion which is against allowing women to drive cars,” Anbakum newspaper quoted an unnamed activist as saying.
“Our campaign entitled ‘I don’t want to drive….I want my rights’, is intended to press for the development of a public transport system for women and to respond to that campaign which is demanding a removal of the ban on driving….we wonder who will benefit from abolishing these female voices which are only expressing their views and calling for a pioneer national project.”
Newspapers last week said nearly 1,000 Saudi women signed a letter on Facebook, to be presented later to King Abdullah, appealing for him not to lift the ban on female driving in the conservative Moslem country.
The letter branded women pressing for an end to the ban as “weird” and said their campaigns to lift the ban and defiant driving by some women are more serious than protests, the papers said.
Sharq Arabic language daily said the statement was in response to a campaign launched by women on Facebook to defy a ban on female driving.
The campaign has already drawn a backlash from men, who threatened to use their headgears to confront women driving cars.
“The 1,000 women said they intend to present the letter signed by them to the Monarch to express their objection to women driving cars..…they affirmed that the recent demands and flagrant defiant actions by some women represent only a minority of the country’s women and that millions of women are opposed to lifting the ban.”
Musicians and friends have been paying tribute to the poet and hip-hop pioneer Gil Scott-Heron, who has died at the age of 62.
Eminem, Talib Kweli and Snoop Dogg were among the rappers who acknowledged his influence after hearing the news.
Public Enemy member Chuck D said on Twitter: "We do what we do and how we do because of you."
Wu-Tang Clan's Ghostface Killah wrote: "Salute Gil Scott-Heron for his wisdom and poetry! May he rest in paradise."
Scott-Heron, often called the Godfather of Rap, died in a New York hospital.
His material spanned soul, jazz, blues and the spoken word. His 1970s work heavily influenced the US hip-hop and rap scenes.
His work had a strong political element, and one of his most famous pieces was The Revolution Will Not Be Televised.
Eminem wrote on Twitter: "RIP Gil Scott-Heron. He influenced all of hip-hop."
Cee Lo Green paid tribute to "the god Gil Scott", while Talib Kweli said he "completely influenced me as an artist".
Politically outspoken rapper Michael Franti said Scott-Heron's talent was his ability to "make us think about the world in a different way".
He would make listeners "laugh hysterically about the ironies of American culture, anger at the hypocrisy of our political system, all to a beat that kept us on the dance floor, with a voice and flow that kept you waiting with anticipation for the next phrase".
Richard Russell, who produced and released Scott-Heron's final album I'm New Here in 2010, described him as "a master lyricist, singer, orator, and keyboard player".
"Gil was not perfect in his own life," Russell wrote. "But neither is anyone else. And he judged no-one.
"He had a fierce intelligence, and a way with words which was untouchable; an incredible sense of humour and a gentleness and humanity that was unique to him.
"Gil shunned all the trappings of fame and success. He could have had all those things. But he was greater than that."
The musician's publisher Jamie Byng remembered him as "a giant of a man, a truly inspirational figure whom I loved like a father and a brother".
Scott-Heron infected people who encountered him with his "singularity of vision, his charismatic personality, his moral beauty and his willingness to take his fellow travellers through the full range of emotions", Byng wrote.
"Throughout a magnificent musical career, he helped people again and again, with his willingness and ability to articulate deep truths, through his eloquent attacks on injustices and by his enormous compassion for people's pain.
"Hundreds of thousands of people saw Gil perform live over the decades, always with remarkable bands, and few came away untouched by his magnetism, humility, biting wit and warmth of spirit."
Lemn Sissay, a friend of Scott-Heron's who produced a documentary on his work, told the BBC he was "a polymath" who "spoke crucially of the issues of his people".
"In the late 60 and early 70s, black poets were the news-givers, because their stories were not covered in truth in the mainstream media," he said.
In late May of this year Terrence Malick will release his fifth feature film, titled The Tree of Life. The trailer indicates that it has all the hallmarks of Malick’s aesthetic vision and directorial practice—foremost stunning cinematography, meditative voiceovers, and a plot structure perhaps best described as lyrical rather than traditionally dramatic. Moreover, while it’s obviously risky to judge the content of a film from a two-minute trailer The Tree of Life also appears to be of a piece thematically with Malick’s other films.
After all, via a voiceover spoken by Jessica Chastain (as the mother of the young boy who is the film’s protagonist) we are given this claim: “There are two ways through life, the way of nature and the way of grace.” This and early press about the film that summarizes it as an account of the “loss of innocence” of a young boy growing up in ‘50s America suggest that the film contemplates an essential divide in human nature between the pragmatic necessity for survival and a kind of original state of wonder.
This will hardly come as a surprise to enthusiasts of Malick’s work. Indeed, I will argue that even though Malick’s films are set in profoundly different times and places—ranging, for example, from early 17th century America to the Pacific theater of the second world war—taken all together they present essentially the same story; or more specifically, they are installments of a career-long fascination with the archetypal narrative of a transformation from a state of innocence to one of experience. For again and again Malick’s films rehearse, in ways both literal and figurative, one of the oldest and most abiding stories in myth and literature: the expulsion of human beings from a kind of paradise, an expulsion that in Malick’s work is emblematic of humanity’s painful estrangement from a state of transcendent union with the larger world and, indeed, with the cosmos.
This is not to say, however, that Malick is simply a wistful dreamer offering gorgeous but plaintive encomia to states of lost perfection. Certainly, some features of Malick’s works can support such a view; it’s no accident that words like “Edenic” and “idyllic” proliferate in commentary on the films, especially in reference to the villages of the Powhatan tribe in The New World or the tropical island of the Melanesian people in The Thin Red Line or the vast farm in the Texas panhandle where the better part ofDays of Heaven is set. Each offers, for a time at least, a vision of relative social harmony and human life integrated, however so precariously, with the natural world rather than at odds with it.
What saves Malick’s films from being artfully crafted exercises in nostalgia for prelapsarian perfection, however, is their willingness to recognize that any such vision is not simply fragile but also in a sense delusional—this for two reasons. First, the relationship between the beauty and purity of certain landscapes and the inward states of the characters who move through or inhabit those landscapes is not one of simple correspondence between personal virtue and beneficent environment. In fact, the desire to escape the mundane world and its demands can coincide with a profoundly disturbed, indeed psychopathic, worldview...
The conservative Catholic family lived on a quiet cul-de-sac in Walnut Creek and took pains to observe the traditions of a church racked by social change. Their lives appeared driven by the famous motivational phrase of Saint Ignatius, "Ad majorem Dei gloriam" — for the greater glory of God. It was the same motto that ostensibly guided the Jesuit priest, Donald McGuire, to whom they turned for spiritual guidance.
Then, in 1993, they learned that McGuire had done unthinkable things with their 16-year-old son, Charles, who traveled with him as his personal assistant. The boy and the priest had allegedly looked at pornographic magazines, masturbated, and taken showers together. The family took this devastating news to an esteemed San Francisco priest, Joseph Fessio, who, like McGuire, had once been a teacher at the University of San Francisco.
Fessio runs the Ignatius Press, a Catholic publishing house based in the Sunset District that is the primary English-language publisher of the pope's writings. He and McGuire shared a reputation for doctrinal orthodoxy. McGuire, for his part, was a cleric of worldwide renown, functioning as adviser and confessor to Mother Teresa. While family members considered reporting the abuse to secular authorities, Fessio urged them to stay quiet until he could confer with Jesuit higher-ups.
Confronted with the allegations, McGuire, a famously manipulative man known both for his charm and periodic rages, denied Charles's accusations or made excuses. His Jesuit bosses in Chicago, where McGuire was technically based, ordered him to undergo a residential treatment program at a psychiatric hospital for priests. In about seven months, McGuire was released and returned to active ministry. He continued to prey on other children for the next nine years.
McGuire, who was officially defrocked by the church in 2008, is serving a federal prison sentence stemming from his acts of child molestation. In 2009, SF Weekly published a story revealing his extensive ties to families and institutions in the Bay Area. But not until last month did newly released court documents in a lawsuit against the Jesuits reveal the full extent to which his colleagues and bosses were aware of his highly questionable relationships with teenage boys.
Despite this knowledge, fellow priests did not report McGuire's behavior outside the Church. In California, that silence may, at times, have amounted to a violation of state law, which requires professionals who work with children to immediately report suspected child abuse to police or child welfare workers...
Gil Scott-Heron is frequently called the “godfather of rap,” which is an epithet he doesn’t really care for. In 1968, when he was nineteen, he wrote a satirical spoken-word piece called “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised.” It was released on a very small label in 1970 and was probably heard of more than heard, but it had a following. It is the species of classic that sounds as subversive and intelligent now as it did when it was new, even though some of the references—Spiro Agnew, Natalie Wood, Roy Wilkins, Hooterville—have become dated. By the time Scott-Heron was twenty-three, he had published two novels and a book of poems and recorded three albums, each of which prospered modestly, but “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” made him famous. Scott-Heron calls himself a bluesologist. He is sixty-one, tall and scrawny, and he lives in Harlem, in a ground-floor apartment that he doesn’t often leave. It is long and narrow, and there’s a bedspread covering a sliding glass door to a patio, so no light enters, making the place seem like a monk’s cell or a cave. Once, when I thought he was away, I called to convey a message, and he answered and said, “I’m here. Where else would a caveman be but in his cave?”...