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One Hundred Tales of Wonder & Woe

January 31, 2013

This is it, the One Hundredth Post on this blog. You may celebrate the occasion as you see fit. Some bloglets:

Here is a review of Bruno Latour’s new book in LARB. It’s a pretty good review, but the really interesting thing is that the book has only just this fall been published in French and the English translation will not be out until later this year. This is unusual, and I take it as a sign that with An Inquiry Into Modes of Existence Latour may finally get his due in the wider intellectual world. According to the reviewer this has already happened in France, where he had been relatively neglected. Get ready for Latourmania! The introduction and first chapter can be read here. Of late, my mode of existence has been a troubled one. One thing that has sustained me, that has given me something to look forward to, is the impending publication of this book.

–I strongly recommend this post by Justin Erik Halldór Smith, a profession of his faith. His citation of the Pixies led me  to listen to them again for the first time in too long, which is reason enough to be grateful. But beyond that it is a delight to see someone discuss religion in way that everyone would if the Devil hadn’t so confused the world with his tricks and traps and banana peels, in the way that everyone would if they knew it was alive and about being alive. I don’t profess as he does, chiefly because the word “God” has not taken root in me in such a way to deeply resonate. For me, “God” is mostly just good for sport, like any fallen divinity or inherent irony. But that is of no great importance. I give this post a Right On. And then there is this follow-up, which quotes a lot of Emerson, as a lot of Emerson should be quoted.

–For the people of Charlottesville: I have finally found a local source of Mallomars. Harris Teeter is selling them, and they are on sale for, I think, another five days. Do not accept any other brand of marshmallow chocolate cookie. I am now on the lookout for Tim Tams, the classic cookies of Australia.

–Recent movies watched: John Ford’s Young Mr. Lincoln is terrific, I am going to watch it again and may write something further. Turn Me On, Dammit! is a Norwegian film about a horny teenage girl and as such I doubt it will soon be topped. Simple, neatly observed, winning. Roger Corman’s Gas-s-s-s came out in 1970, and will forever remain in 1970. That is it’s charm. Zany counterculture movie about the world after everyone over the age of 25 has been killed off by the chemical warfare gas of the title, contains what stoned people think of as social commentary. Surprising well-made, unsurprisingly bizarre. Mister Lonely is my least favorite Harmony Korine movie, or it was until I saw it again the other night. I might have to re-evaluate. There is a lot of glory in it. Two objections: 1) By setting it in places other than the American wastelands of misspent youth Korine lost contact with the material that fuels his greatest work, his primal source, with resultant loss of energy and focus. 2) There are repeated gestures toward ideas, ideas relating to the subject of celebrity impersonation, that are not as easy to ignore as one would like. If this is a movie about celebrity and impersonation and identity then it is a bad movie. Fortunately, we do not have to see it that way. Or we can see it that way and not care that it is a bad movie, concerning ourselves only with it’s wonders, beauties, and imaginative triumphs. Of which there are a great many. A movie that shows you what you have not seen before is a movie to see.

— Music on play: A Trip To Marineville, by the Swell Maps. Like the Pixies, it’s been too long. Underwater, underground, undercover, jamming about midget submarines, Brits like they’re lost in Cleveland.

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