[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dkYZ6rbPU2M] Improv Everywhere brings music and mayhem to a Los Angeles shopping mall. Their performance and the food court go oh-so oddly together.
Category: The Arts
Mutual of Yamaha
I took the day off from work (a rather rare action), for a family day. I’m out of town on business two days this week and another two days next week, and then my wife will be away for three weeks at a church workshop. Who ever said that only kids go to summer camp?
I also used the time to buy and set up a Yamaha YDP-213 electronic piano, from Music & Arts Center. My daughter and I have both committed to learn to play the piano.
Couple weeks back, my daughter and I discovered cute egg pet plant Nyokki on one of the Japanese retail Websites. We almost ordered one, if not for shipping that would have cost more than the […]
Funerary Relief Bust Lament
I took my daughter and her friend downtown today, hoping to catch some remnant of the National Cherry Blossom Festival. But there was none. Day before, my daughter and I braved the steady (and pelting rain) for a few short hours. We gave up on the parade, but managed to shop the merchandise along Pennsylvania Ave. I bought her a kimono jacket and trinkets.
But, today, cars rather than merchants filled Pennsylvania Ave. So we continued the walk up 12th Street to the National Mall. For young girls the mall means someplace to shop, so I explained the difference of this Mall. I have yet to break my daughter of calling the Washington Monument, which flanks one end of the Mall, the “big pointy thing”.
Stoning ‘Philosopher’s Stone’
While traveling this month, I started reading J.K. Rowlings’ Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, with the shameful, Americanized title. The book is properly known in the UK as Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Given the Potter series’ popularity (six books and four movies), I had high expectations of the bestseller, but lowered them upon reading.
Coming from Northern Maine, where remain cultural ties to Canada and Britain, I quickly picked up on the mishmash of very British references. I’d say that Rowlings includes just about every magical or ghoulish creature known on the British Isles. The book borrows heavily from literary consciousness. The lacking originality, of plopping together concepts and creatures familiar to many generations of Britons, is astounding—unless her originality is humor. I take the book to be farcical, humorous in its plopping together so many creatures steeped in British cultural heritage.
See, Now It’s a Lifestyle Debate
I warned that a Brokeback Mountain loss would lead to a lifestyle accusation. Arthur Spiegelman writes for Reuters: “The victory for Crash suggested Oscar voters were more comfortable with a tale that exploited the seamy underbelly of racial conflict in contemporary Los Angeles than with a heartbreaking tale of love between two married men…
“No overtly gay love story has ever won a best picture award and, as of Monday morning, none has. The big question going into the Oscars was whether Hollywood, often in the forefront of social issues, would break another taboo”.
Today, my daughter and I hauled off to the University of Maryland, College Park, for a Storm Watchers presentation. The NOAA meteorologist making the presentation grew up in Southern Maine—Biddeford, to be exact.
Mmmm, I wonder how many meteorologists are from Maine. It’s hard to grow up there and not be interested in weather. With no exaggeration, weather changes about every 15 minutes in the summer, from clear skies to breezy and cloudy skies to tree-ripping thunderstorms. Upways in Northern Maine, rapid winter temperature shifts are common. I’ve seen 45-degree Celsius shifts (that’s 80 degrees Fahrenheit) from plus five to minus 40 in less than 12 hours. That’s no exaggeration.
My 11-year old daughter loves to doodle, and since getting back on Windows XP she will doodle in Windows Live Messenger and send her art as instant messages to me. It’s her way of interacting with dad when he’s working late, as I did tonight. Probably she wants to make some point about working late, too.
My Favorite Poem
Ladies, please substitute woman where appropriate.
I’m sure Rudyard wouldn’t mind.
No Direction Forward
I recorded the PBS special on Bob Dylan, “No Direction Home” and finished the first part last night. The film left me with a sense of loss about the state of American culture.
Dylan started making music at a time of counterculture poetry and song, the Greenwich Village crowd, that still had some lifeblood even through the early 1980s. My question: Where is the interest in arts for arts sake today? I recognize this isn’t exactly a new problem. The term counterculture is explanation enough for a longstanding problem.
Journalist’s Trust is Inviolate
This week, I saw the movie “Shattered Glass” on cable for the second time in a week. The film unravels the deceptions of Stephen Glass, the former New Republic writer who made up quotes and even whole stories. If I correctly recall, the magazine found problems with 27 of the 41 stories he wrote while working there.
The film got me to thinking a whole lot about ethics, the temptations journalists sometime encounter and dangerous deceptions. When a reporter for CNET News.com I worked out of a home office for four years, which meant only modest supervision. If I had ever wanted to fabricate anything, probably no one would have noticed. I never did, of course, or else you wouldn’t be reading this post.