Thursday, April 30, 2009

Talkin' Sam Beckett Blues

I haven't had a chance to pick up the new Bob Dylan album; so I don't yet know what sort of horrors Bob has in store for us. I understand, however, that there's some stuff about being sick set to Mexican music. You can derive from that what you will.

In the meantime, I thought I'd channel Bob a bit, see what I could pick up. I put on a denim jacket, slung my guitar around my neck, and walked around strumming E minor and talking through my nose long enough that I received the following transmission. Warning: objects in the mirror are closer than they appear.

QUARTER TO HELL

Down in the bunker
It's cold and it's clean
You know what you need and you say what you mean
You're thanking the gods for an artesian well
'Cause up on the surface it's a quarter to hell

Mistakes were made
By someone or other
Maybe the president or maybe his brother
But the oceans are swimming with a poisonous gel
And the topside winds blow a quarter to hell

Every day is like winter
With the snow ten feet deep
You can't stay awake and you can't fall asleep
Like to open a window and breathe fresh a spell
But the air is like kerosene dripping in hell

There's pictures of yesterday
Fading out in their frames
All your friends and your places have forgotten their names
And the maps are all useless when you're locked in a cell
Drawn up by architects on retainer to hell

Memory's a parlour trick
That changes each day
You think that you got it when it just slips away
Was it dream or it real? There's no way to tell
When you're watching the clock at a quarter to hell

It's too late to repent
It's too late to regret
You can't get it back
And you can't get it yet
You can't count the minutes
That's gone or to come
All you have now is here
And that's better than some


I guess you keep going
What else can you do?
The rough patch'll pass in a century or two
Till then keep listening for a clear, piercing bell
That signals the time is a quarter past hell

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Oh dear God...

Sorry, but this is must-watch, even though you can feel yourself becoming stupider as you listen to this tool. Chu's laugh is priceless; like he's thinking: "Oh yeah, Obama warned me I'd have to deal with these mouth-breathers...."

Monday, April 20, 2009

ghosts

You can't shake 'em. Sometimes, it seems like everything belongs to the past. Recedes into sepia. And you begin to count how many people who shaped you have disappeared. How do you go forward? What should you do with the time ahead? Should you move on or cling and cherish? Can you do both? Living in the present with a head full of shadows, as though cast by drifting smoke.

I think of my parents' generation who lived through that godawful war, so much...unbelievable...loss, yet they carried on. That sadness though, it clung to the plastic and pastel and finned cars and sweet music. Like the black line thrown by a flashbulb, just a fraction behind, and somewhere in the eyes of old photographs lies a hidden darkness.

It takes a lifetime to recognize it. And then--ha! surprise!--it's too late to say: I understand. I get it.

And you wouldn't anyway. You'd just know. Because that's the way they got through it. You'd just sit quietly, joke, talk about the weather.

There'll be blue birds over
The white cliffs of Dover
Tomorrow, just you wait and see

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Doors and Windows into the Past


We went to Pompeii in the morning, arrived around 9:30. The sky was clear, but there was a bit of haze, so there were good shadows and colors but also good detail as there wasn't too much contrast. I didn't have any particular idea in mind when I was shooting, and it wasn't until I got home that I realized I'd kind of instinctually used doors and windows to frame one another, and, along with the detail afforded by the G10, I ended up pretty pleased with the results. I'm still working on cropping, optimizing, and printing the photos, but I'm kind of hoping I can make some kind of series out of it. Anyway, here's a few of the Pompeii shots. It's a weirdly magical place, both beautiful and tragic. I wouldn't want to be alone there at night.









Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Images from Rome

I'm working through a wealth of images from Italy--it's literally a photographer's paradise. (And let's take a moment to extend our heartfelt sympathy to the lovely people of Italy at this very difficult time.) It's going to take me awhile before I'll get the best of the Italy pictures together, but here's a handful just from Rome. All were taken with the fabulous Canon G10. If you click on the image, you can see it in greater detail.













Monday, April 6, 2009

A Simple Wish for Theatre

I have, indeed, a simple wish for theatre.

I wish that each season, every artistic director would take a deep breath and program at least one play that truly scares the Holy Fucking Shit out of them. Not some "safe" dangerous play that's a little controversial or has a bit of nudity or a naughty word or two. Something brand new, raw and newly hatched, or seldom produced, obscure and bizarre--something so far out on the edge, so utterly dangerous and subversive and deep into the ozone that they wake up in cold sweats night after night, thinking: This could be it. This one could lose my theatre.

Just one. Even as a late night or a single performance.

Once a year, I want every theatre to sufficiently give a damn to roll the big dice. And, when the lights come up, I want audiences to sit paralyzed in their seats, afraid to move. And I want it to become as much a tradition as Dickens at Christmas. What? You didn't do a dangerous show this year? What the hell's wrong with you? Pussy.

Is that really so fucking much to ask?

Quote of the Day

Sure, we're doomed, and Bob Dylan's new album will kill us all, but he still earns the quote of the day. It may sound simple, but you have to have been there to know it:

Inspiration is hard to come by. You have to take it where you find it.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Back from Italia...

...and still getting my sea legs, adjusting to a bunch of changes, news, weirdness. In the meantime, I have a wealth of pictures. I'm sure there's more to come, but here's a taste. The G10 performed magnificently.