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Friday, March 04, 2005

Scary words: "Your work on the proofs are now done." Better than, "Listen, Balzac-boy, that's it."

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"Truth does not lead to fortune, and the populace grants neither ambassadorships, university chairs nor pensions."

--Rousseau, On The Social Contract (trans. Peter Gay)

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If one argues that (for example) 'serious composition' should wither away if the paying audience is insufficien to support it, one ties value to the market; if one argues that it should be subsidized despite its unpopularity, one courts elitism. Third way?

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aesthetician <---> philosophically informed critic <---> aesthete

"scholar"?

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Saw item in Time while waiting for haircut about software for some children's toy that allows you to draw soundwaves and hear them played back, sounded as though there were some cheapo Pro Tools/graphic notation possibilities here; cf. Pixelvision; forgot to note down name of product; note to self to find the issue.

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Thursday eve. after haircut; missed an aesthetics lecture (Dominic Lopes) that I had written down b/c I was watching Office Space in my...office; Fri.: planned to go to UCLA for David Chalmers talks (one Matrix-based), realized it wasn't until next Fri., watched Chabrol, The Flower of Evil, visited Bree at her mom's, came home to grade papers, became too despondent to get out of the house for Mizoguchi; Sat., woke up much too early, drove to an organic cafe on a part of Melrose I never visit to grade more papers, ran into Bree's family's friend Taylor, was invited to dinner party Sun.; waited for used annex of nearby metaphysical bookstore The Bohdi Tree* to open, picked up Fassbinder's interviews, Nicole Brossard, Daydream Mechanics (practically the only unexpected book of poetry in the section), Bernard Williams, Ethics and the Limits of Philosophy, Peter Wollen, Readings and Writings (Verso, 1982 -- don't think I've ever seen this book before), visited Bree at sister's, took walk around neighborhood, attempted to find pencil sharpener in last remaining typewriter ribbon supply/repair shop in greater Los Angeles, did get out this time for Mizoguchi dbl. feature (first films of his I've seen -- in competition with another Japanese series at LACMA). Today will probably involve more grading, email cleanup, exotic meatloaves at Taylor's, Ross Lipman shorts at the behest of John Shaw, who did the soundtrack to one.

*Crowley on rare-book shelves; side of L.A. I rarely consider.

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[Wanted to quote from Brian Skyrms' The Evolution of the Social Contract, but I must have left it at school. Watch this space.]

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Somewhere along the line, Philip Kaufman's Quills (which didn't push the 'the mad are the sane' line quite as hard as I'd feared), and about 1/2 hr of Mrs. Skeffington (1944, Vincent Sherman [should look him up in Sarris]:

"Was our wedding on the front page?"
"No. It was in the business section."

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Wish Kaiser Chiefs' "I Predict a Riot" was about 15% more exciting; like the chorus, lyrics, but there's something too-creamy about the production (similar to a sound I've settled for myself at times).

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Rec'd a Sharpie'd CDR advance of upcoming Go-Betweens, Oceans Apart, which turned out to contain all of two songs, and then two more with silences and messed up indices, and then live versions of "People Say" and "The Wrong Road" from a bonus disc -- then got a proper advance later in the week, w/ no explanation. First impression is that the gap in invention between RF and GM contines to widen (in favor of the former). "Born to a family...a family of workers."

Meanwhile, I doubt I'll ever hear this.

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Body-as-polis (Plato); polis-as-body (Rousseau) -- much depends on the direction of this metaphor.

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"My God, it takes more to produce fascism than the contempt a clever young man feels for his sluggish cousin."

--Fassbinder, commenting on a Cahiers review of Chabrol's Les Cousins.

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