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Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Pretty ace-looking one-day conference on "Poetry, Pedagogy, and Alternative Internationalisms" at UCLA Friday; familiar names are Lew, Spahr, Buuck, Nowak, all giving papers during the day and readings in the late afternoon. Will try to hit as much as I can.

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Courtesy Angeleno-to-be Bob Massey via betternoise, here's a modest collection of '78s ripped to mp3. Just for starters, consider Billy Murray's 1914 "Fido is a Hot Dog Now". After three listens, I can't make out whether he's suggesting that his dog has been ground up for meat, is among the damned, or both. "He won't get cold feet at that/there's too much mustard where he's at."

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A urinal in China.
The Urinals in China.

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I'm as likely to link to SpicyParis as I am to CampusWatch, but I was interested to learn that the Red, Hot, and Blue-d up version of Cole Porter's "I Love Paris" in the current (sorta banned?) Carl's Jr. commercial is sung by LA's own Eleni Mandell (and produced by one Rob Lopez). I like it: The tempo and generic references shift every eight bars or so, a nice way of underscoring the song's major-to-minor shift. And if it funds a couple more albums of Mandell's Polly-Jean-meets-Tom-Waits-for-a-late-afternoon-drink-at-the-Brown-Derby originals, great -- though it's also another broadcast-rights payday for a TPA estate.

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Rented the once-banned La Petite Soldat, which I'd somehow never seen. (Of pre-'68 features, before the filmography gets completely confusing, that leaves Une femme mairee and Made In U.S.A..) For the first hour, I wanted to say, ah, "politics" here functions merely formally, as "crime" does in Breathless, and this is the way JLG spoke at the time ("I could just as well have invented a story based on the theft of Sophia Loren's jewels. But why not choose something current?"), but by the end I'm not so sure. "Torture is so monotonous and sad, I'll hardly speak of it," before a lengthy sequence of same, graphic for the time. Mainly struck, though, by the number of these early films where the middle third revolves around a drawn-out two-people-in-an-apartment sequence (three in A Woman is a Woman, though this one doesn't have the wit of Breathless or the visual brilliance of Contempt. Not his peppiest flick -- could have used a dance number.

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I think I've compared blog comment-fields to poetics pornography before, but the ones attached to Sillimans' are more like a group snuff-film. Became almost upset enough to enter the fray re some recent inanity around Clark Coolidge, thought better just in time.

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