Friday, April 28, 2017

Is This Real Life?

Simple Pleasures

I just ordered a bunch of new books from the always great WhatTheBook? in Seoul.

Here's hoping they get here before World War III.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

R.I.P. Jonathan Demme

For my money, Silence of the Lambs and Swimming To Cambodia are basically perfect films.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Pride Goeth Before The Yadda Yadda

The Orioles are 13-5.

And I haven't been to my first Samsung Lions game of the year yet here in lurvely Daegu, but there are some national holidays next week so I might be able to rectify that situation.

Here I should  say something about how a great-hitting squad with a shaky starting line-up won't make it very deep into late summer  in one of the better divisions but no, no I shall not.

Friday, April 21, 2017


#waygookconfessions is trending on Twitter ("waygook" being a Korean term for foreinger).

What can I say?  It made me LOL and LOLs are in damn short supply these days.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Radiation and Hellfire

Art Pepper, "Arthur's Blues"

This is my nuclear apocalyptic jam.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Let's Get Weird!

I had two conflicting thoughts when I finished China Mieville's The Last Days of New Paris.  On the one hand, at a mere 200 pages (and surprisingly breezy ones at that) it's nice to know that people new to Mieville can enjoy his weird universe(s) in novella form, as opposed to the slightly overwhelming tomes he's better known for.

On the other hand, while writing something "light" isn't a crime, it also seems like a missed opportunity to really dig into the themes he's working with here -- how the point of difficult art isn't just to obfuscate and confuse, but rather to counter the preening banality of what the Nazis (yes, those Nazis) embodied.

Interesting moments abound, but too much of Last Days feels like a book report on lesser-known Surrealists who've dropped out of the canon of modernism.  It feels like a 700 baggy monster is precisely what's called for here to do justice to both the characters and the larger themes of accessible versus problematic art.

Also, I wish he'd included more plates of art work and done more analysis of them.  That feels like another missed opportunity.

Still, I enjoyed it.  But I'd still suggest one of his shorter but relatively meatier novels, The City & The City, as the best place to start with his important, kaleidoscopic body of work.