Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Eye (I) of the beholder.

aka:   Aye aye of the beholder.
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To hell in a baby carriage:
Sergei Eisenstein: Battleship Potempkin, 1925, Odessa steps.Daniel Pudles: To hell in a baby carriage.
A baby carriage being particularly apt in light of the population dimension.

Is she ... beautiful?
Alek Wek.Alek Wek.Alek Wek.Alek Wek.Alek Wek.Alek Wek.Alek Wek.
... Not exactly.
["See the pretty girl in the mirror there. What mirror? Where?" (West Side Story)]

Ozias Leduc: self-portrait.Will Self.
Will Self published some notes towards his speech for this year's Richard Hillary memorial lecture in The Guardian. Very interesting ... and rekindled my interest in reading 'Umbrella' (which I tried once before and gave up on as careful readers will already know). Interesting enough to merit archiving a copy - the operative objective correlatives being: children who keep us informed (until they don't); and, 'montage' (see Eisenstein above).

Later on I will see if anyone posts a video of his speech.

[Update: No videos were posted and by the look of the Richard Hillary memorial lecture website none will be. I have tried again, several times, to read the thing and have finally given up - again again again. What continues to strike me is the superficiality of this prose (for all of its, also superficial, complexity). I could cite examples but I can't be bothered. In the end I wonder if he is (just) another poser pretending to be serious - a very smart and clever poser mind you, even, at times, entertaining ... but a poser making a living and no more. Done.]

Urban consciousness loses the plot:
Moudakis: Toronto aspirations.Tom Toles: regulating e-cigarettes.

Smoking, correctitude, & cinema:

That every television story has someone in it smoking is no mystery. Is it? We know TV is driven by consumer statistics.

Maybe I should back up a bit. ... Who really cares about smoking? Even with the (essentially nonsense) risk of second-hand smoke factored in. (The real second-hand issue is something else entirely.) At least smoking is a relatively local sin with relatively local effects. I smoke. If that discredits what I think - boo hoo.

Anyway it's not the smoking I am trying to get at here - it's the structure which promotes it. That television is corrupted by commerce is so commonplace and trite as not to matter, not at all.

But since we have here presented Will Self, who calls himself a serious writer (and well may be one though his writing is not for me), then what about sometimes serious cinema? Eisenstein, Godard, Cameron, Bollain. There is gratuitous & pervasive & ubiquitous smoking in almost all films. And this means that everyone associated in their making knows it.

So ... all this smoke to present a tiny, simple question which I could rephrase entirely as" How does brother Bob feel selling Cadillacs? How does he make sense of it? Does he make sense of it? Hasn't slowed me down listening to 'im. Doesn't matter. Forget it.

The point (brought on looking at Tom Toles' cartoon above) is that it's the wrong question.
James Cameron, 'True Lies': The bad guys smoke.James Cameron, 'True Lies': The good guys smoke.James Cameron, 'True Lies': The gizmos have cigarette brands.
Anyone who remembers LSMFT and who watches such dreck as 'True Lies' deserves whatever he gets.

[And for the record I neither think "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder," nor "I don't know nothin'bout art buddi know whuddi like," except referentially.]
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