Honey Travels Back in Time to Belly-Button Hill

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January 31, 2012 · Posted in Notes from Above Ground · Comments Off on Honey Travels Back in Time to Belly-Button Hill 

By Honey van Blossom

(Honey is a Belgian Marxist former strip-tease artiste.)

We live is the era of the Digital Revolution – the age of information. Yet, local, state and federal governmental decision-making may be reaching the apogee of its non-fact-based decision making.  Some politicians decry the possibility human beings contribute to global warming.  One candidate for the job of President claimed homosexuality leads to bestiality.  We have a War Against Drugs that has led to greater real crime, greater addiction, destruction of agricultural land, and a lot of bloodshed.   At least a tenth of our people at any time believe Ronald Reagan served in WWII (because he said so). I had a sobering conversation once with a psychologist who conducted group sessions with people who had been abducted by space aliens.   One of my freshman students at a state university believed the human race is 200 years old.  No one disagreed with her.Because of scientific advances, we can figure out how long people like us — people who have art and music and tell stories and sing songs and know they will die — have been around.  We don’t think we know what it was they thought.

We catch glimpses through the very long tunnel of time of what our more distant ancestors thought.  Muslims slaughter sheep at Ramadan.  You may knock on wood when someone utters something about good fortune.   You may cross your fingers for luck.  You may have a rabbit’s foot for luck, and your children may hunt for Easter eggs.  Some people wear crosses.  The rose is a symbol of the Virgin Mary. Read more

A New Poem By Gerald Nicosia: The Role of the Poet

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January 1, 2012 · Posted in Miscellany · Comments Off on A New Poem By Gerald Nicosia: The Role of the Poet 

Obama a disappointment
Money for wars but not
For the poor, the sick, the kids in school
And corporations calling
All the shots
What chance has the human
Heart got?

The wise man said
“Poetry gives us a place to stand”
But I’d say rather
Poetry keeps
Your heart beating
And blood flowing
And without it
God forbid
The whole place
Called existence
Goes
Black

Rather than
Sit there listening
For the click of
The switch
Better to
Just
Keep
Writing!

The Greatest Music In The World

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January 1, 2012 · Posted in Commentary · Comments Off on The Greatest Music In The World 


Angel Stankhov, left, Lionel Rolfe, right


Theodosii Spassov, left, Mayya Isaeva, center, Lionel Rolfe, right


By LIONEL ROLFE

         While I’m mostly inclined to listen to what is called “classical music,” upon occasion other musical genres have proven enticing and powerful. I grew up with classical music, but along the way a few musicians not necessarily in that category have impinged their way onto my consciousness. I will humbly offer up a few of their names to make my point that what makes music great is not necessarily its genre.

Foremost among them was Giora Feidman, the greatest of the Klezmer musicians. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T0GXlIEIy60). The first time I heard him was in a small synagogue as the result of an invitation by an old friend Marshall Levy, an amateur clarinetist and magician who said I just had to hear Giora. Read more

Christopher Hitchens and the Two Lefts

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January 1, 2012 · Posted in Commentary · Comments Off on Christopher Hitchens and the Two Lefts 

By Leslie Evans

I cannot help but feel deeply the loss of Christopher Hitchens. I never met him. I read a number of his books, many of his articles in Vanity Fair and in the online Slate magazine, and saw a few of his speeches on video. Contrarian though he was, he had become for me, with a few other similar thinkers, a political anchor in a time when the world was sorting itself into new and unexpected categories and many old convictions had become sterile and untenable. Read more

Edendale, Chapter 14

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January 1, 2012 · Posted in Edendale by Phyl M. Noir · Comments Off on Edendale, Chapter 14 

The view from Barnsdale, 1906--Los Angeles Public Library

Over the Grapevine

 By Phyl M. Noir

Hiro smelled water and pines.  Small boats gathered next to houses on the edge of Clearlake.  Beyond them was the expanse of the lake — larger in his imagination than it really was because of the fog.  He parked across the street from a wood house set on posts in the water.

Cyd Bissell wore a turquoise dress.  She came out of the house through a screen door, turned on the porch light, looked down the road for a moment and went back inside the house.   She hadn’t looked across the street: the fog had softened the sound of his van’s engine when he arrived.

Hiro had a limp from the polio he had when he was four years old.  It took him a few minutes to swing his legs out of the van and slide his feet to the pavement.  He pulled the package from the seat next to him and tucked it under his arm.  He walked down the wooden ramp, stood on the porch in front of the door and waited. Read more

Tengo Kawana and Aomame’s Adventures in the World with Two Moons

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January 1, 2012 · Posted in Commentary · Comments Off on Tengo Kawana and Aomame’s Adventures in the World with Two Moons 

1Q84. By Haruki Murakami. Translated from the Japanese by Jay Rubin and Philip Gabriel. Audible audiobook edition: 10-25-2011. Narrated by Allison Hiroto, Marc Vietor, and Mark Boyett. 46 hours and 50 minutes. Paper edition: 944 pages. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, October 25, 2011.

 

By Leslie Evans

I first encountered Haruki Murakami’s work only last year when I “read,” as an audiobook, as I do most fiction, his 1985 novel “Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World.” Literature began as oral storytelling and in our technological age it is to an important degree returning to those roots. It is common in works of fantasy for the conventions of the fantastic world, once established, to be presented  with a strict faux realism to promote the suspension of disbelief. Murakami employs realism generously, but to a different end, long sequences of mundane detail are embedded in a world rich in surreal elements, whose rules and reasons are often never explained. Read more

Honey Speaks Her Piece On Mao & John Dewey

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January 1, 2012 · Posted in Notes from Above Ground · Comments Off on Honey Speaks Her Piece On Mao & John Dewey 


By Honey van Blossom

(Honey is a Belgian Marxist former strip-tease artiste.)

In, “Honey Begins Her Talk on John Dewey,” Boryanabooks, October 1, 2010,  I began my essay on John Dewey’s influence in both American and Chinese utopian city design.

 

In “Honey Talks About Experiments in Urban Design at Llano del Rio,” Boryanabooks, November 1, 2010, I wrote about connections between Llano del Rio, the Jersey Homesteads created under the New Deal and the Maoist planning design of new towns that conserve energy.   Urban Planning student Tammy Williams described the New Jersey utopia in “Honey Gives a Guest A Chance to Talk About a New Jersey Utopia,” Boryanabooks,  December 30, 2010.)

A Conservative website lists Dewey’s Democracy and Education (1916) among the top ten most harmful books in the world – five points more harmful on their scale than Das Kapital.   What’s the most odd thing about right-wing animosity towards John Dewey is that almost no one reads his books anymore.   I was able to get Dewey material out of the CSUN library for two months without anyone asking me to return it.  There was no long list of readers reserving those books. Read more