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Member since: Sat Nov 30, 2013, 04:06 AM
Number of posts: 2,225

Journal Archives

British documentary: The Mad World of Donald Trump

Josephine Baker "Two Loves"

Bravenak's OP "Eight Things Bernie Sanders' Supporters Need to Stop Saying to Black People" hidden.

No. No. No. No. No. Unacceptable.

Poe's "The Raven" read by Garrison Keillor.

Spooky stories for Halloween.

Never Sleep Again: Your Ten Best Stories of Absolute Terror.

So fun and scary!

I feel like apologizing for some of my fellow white persons' ridiculous comments today.

Demanding to be educated about this or that and then not listening, insisting that this whole race thing is blown out of proportion, the constant defensiveness, hostility and condescension. It's too much. Me, me, me, my feelings, my opinions, my definitions of words, my experience, me, me, me. This is very embarrassing. Stop it, noisy white persons. Use your brains, not your ego. This is what I've felt like doing all day:

The dark funeral feast in "Against the Grain" -- Halloween inspiration.

A bowl of persimmons and plums sits on my table, the orange and dark purple colors making me think of Halloween, and also of the meal in Joris-Karl Huysmans' "Against the Grain":

"In the dining room, hung in black and opening on the transformed garden with its ash-powdered walks, its little pool now bordered with basalt and filled with ink, its clumps of cypresses and pines, the dinner had been served on a table draped in black, adorned with baskets of violets and scabiouses, lit by candelabras from which green flames blazed, and by chandeliers from which wax tapers flared. ... Out of black-edged plates they had drunk turtle soup and eaten Russian rye bread, ripe Turkish olives, caviar, smoked Frankfort black pudding, game with sauces that were the color of licorice and blacking, truffle gravy, chocolate cream, puddings, nectarines, grape preserves, mulberries and black-heart cherries; they had sipped, out of dark glasses, wine from Limagne, Roussillon, Tenedos, Val de Penas and Porto, and after the coffee and walnut brandy, had partaken of kvas and porter and stout."

Has anyone ever planned a black-and-orange Halloween meal, or something of that sort? I'll bet Martha Stewart has. I bought these instant noodles (squid ink yakisoba and curry udon) because I've never seen Halloween-themed noodles before and I am a sucker.

The Young Turks: Conservatives Pout About Obamacare Ruling

May 29, 1913, Paris: first performance of Stravinsky's "The Rite of Spring"

Ballet performed by Diaghilev's Ballet Russes, choreographed by Vaslav Nijinsky.

From Richard Buckle's "Diaghilev":

"At the very beginning of the introduction there was a woodwind solo so weird that even the music critics could not agree between them what instrument it was playing. ... The snatches of melody, Russian, Oriental or chorale-like, and the steady rhythmic passages, for which it was easiest for Nijinsky to arrange dances, were interrupted by terrifying arpeggios, squawks, shrieks and glissandos, intended to represent spurts of growth, vegetable birth-pangs, convulsions of nature or the explosion of sap, and I doubt whether Nijinsky tried to find a parallel for those in human movement. Of course, there were young people -- artists, students and 'fans' -- who were prepared to align themselves with Diaghilev on his boldest charges into battle against the old guard. Counting on their support, he had given them free tickets -- standing passes. it was the presence of these bloodthirsty enthusiasts in the middle of the elegant occupants of the boxes which was partly responsible for the battle which took place in the theatre on 29 May. ... The smart audience in tails and tulle, diamonds and ospreys, was interspersed with the suits and bandeaux of the aesthetic crowd. The latter would applaud novelty simply to show their contempt for the people in the boxes. ... Innumerable shades of snobbery, super-snobbery and inverted snobbery were represented.

"The theatre seemed to be shaken by an earthquake. It seemed to shudder. People shouted insults, howled and whistled, drowning the music. There was slapping and even punching. ... Diaghilev had ordained a pause between the two scenes; during this the lights were turned up and police were called in to eject the most violent demonstrators; but no sooner had the curtain risen on the trembling group of girls in Part II, with their in-pointed toes, their bent knees and their right fists supporting their sideways-bent heads, than a voice called out, 'Un docteur!' then another, 'Un dentiste!', followed by a third with 'Deux dentistes!' A lady slapped the face face of a man in a neighboring box, gentlemen challenged each other to duels, Comtesse Rene de Pourtales declared that she was sixty years old and that nobody had dared to try to make a fool of her before, ... and Carl van Vechten, the Paris music critic of the New York Times, became conscious that a young man standing behind him was, out of excitement, drumming with his fists on top of his head.

Stravinsky: "After the performance we were excited, angry, disgusted, and ... happy. I went with Diaghilev and Nijinsky to a restaurant. So far from weeping and reciting Pushkin in the Bois de Boulogne as the legend is (spread by Cocteau), Diaghilev's only comment was: 'Exactly what I wanted.' He certainly looked contented. No one could have been quicker to understand the publicity value and he immediately understood the good thing that had happened in that respect. Quite probably he had already thought about the possibility of such a scandal when I first played him the score, months before, in the east ground room of the Grand Hotel in Venice."

I'm haunted by a lullaby in the movie I saw yesterday, "The Night of the Hunter" (1955)

A dark Depression-era story. The river scenes after the children run away from the wolf-in-sheep's-clothing-pycho-killer, their parents and the other adults of the town too foolish or weak to help them, they journey out into the wide world as orphans. Floating down the river under the stars, the river shimmering with moonlight, the sounds of night animals in the darkness, it reminds me of an illustration from a children's book of fairy tales. The little girl sings and we know her family members are the flies in the lullaby:

Once upon a time there was a pretty fly,
He had a pretty wife, this pretty fly.
But one day she flew away, flew away.
She had two pretty children,
But one night these two pretty children flew away, flew away,
Into the sky,
Into the moon.

Has anyone else seen something haunting lately?
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