Saturday, February 5, 2011

My week in media: Jan. 31 - Feb. 5

Allow me to take you back---to the days before the blizzard, to before the media overload on my days off from work, to the desert. This desert is dry and wide, and in this desert, characters' consciousnesses expand and go underground, to a lair in which the deformed people live. El Topo (the mole) wants to free these people, but will the town understand? 

El Topo, often called the first of the Midnight Movies, has this loose plot, but the thrust of the movie is the symbolism. Everything is symbolic. A nude boy (and later, a foxy tour guide) rides on the back of El Topo's horse, accompanying him on duels with desert gun masters. Did Alejandro Jodorowsky (director, lead actor, writer, etc. of El Topo, also responsible for the insane Holy Mountain, also responsible for being a bad mf'r from Chile, like this guy) merely throw together suggestive images and scenes for the audience to unpack, as it might seem, or is everything in El Topo, all of the Christian symbolism, intended? I'll give the mastermind the benefit of the doubt; the content is deliberate and intentional. On the other hand, there are a lot of random pools of blood, the kind that looks like fruit punch, inexplicable nudes, and weighty gun battles. Take some acid, smoke weed, find out for yourself. Or watch it in pieces on the treadmill as I did.

J.D. Salinger is back in the news again with a biography called J.D. Salinger: A Life. Turned me on to the idea of finishing his small bibliography. Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour: An Introduction had this reputation in my head for being the weakest of his work, but even if that's true, it's still a killer collection. The first story takes place in a limo and later in Seymour and Buddy Glass's apartment. Salinger uses dialogue to overcome the lack of action and restricted setting, and the Maiden of Honor is a character for the ages---imposing and arrogant. Seymour: An Introduction is also narrated by Buddy. Buddy takes his time, often stepping away from the page to sleep or do something else, to (imagine that!) introduce the reader to Seymour. Think stream-of-consciousness, the Beats, investigation of the purposes of writing, and the role of the reader. He ends by describing Seymour's physical appearance. It's tough but worth it.

Not much happening on the music front. I took up the task of listening to iTunes songs last played 2005-2009, and so I've been revisiting stuff. Here's the new Cold Cave track.

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