author: David Foster Wallace
average rating: 4.29
book published: 1996
read at: 2014/07/25
date added: 2014/07/28
shelves: fun, own-it, spirit-self
Like all the DFW works I've read, this is, overall, excellent. Some of the pieces in this collection are better than others, but they're all worth reading. Of course the real standout is the title essay, about his week on a cruise ship, which comes at the end of the book and which is probably the most well-known and talked-about piece of non-fiction Wallace ever wrote, and for good reason. It's pure genius and also pure vulnerable and personal truth-telling, in the Herzogian, ecstatic truth sense of truth-telling - because I don't care if he made up parts of the essay or fudged some facts, as some have attested. The point is that it is a porthole (ahem) into how David Foster Wallace thought and lived, how his brain worked and the intricate inner gears of a very smart but disturbed and depressed writer. Furthermore, it's a valuable commentary on the state of the American psyche and how the American psyche deals with need, desire, luxury, consumerism, and marketing. It was written at, I think, about the same time he was finishing up his masterpiece novel Infinite Jest, which deals in a fanciful, fictional, and more extended way with many of these same issues. In short, they both ask the questions: Is constant, in-the-moment pleasure the pursuit that life is about? And what if we supposedly found that, then what? It's also interesting to see that this essay shows DFW using the phrasal tics like "And so but" and the generous use of footnotes and footnotes-within-footnotes that are so integral to the style and feel of Infinite Jest. He had arrived at a formal structure that fit perfectly the way his chattering grey matter operated.
Other stand-out essays in the volume for me are "Getting Away From Already Being Pretty Much Away From It All," about visiting the Illinois State Fair, and his brilliant examination of a great filmmaker, "David Lynch Keeps His Head."
This is my edit of the documentation footage of a live performance by myself and Adam Cooper-Teran in April 2014 at Exploded View in Tucson. The piece is dedicated to the memories of our fathers, who both passed away in the last couple of years.
music video for the song "Mystery Grandma" by Stop Motion Orchestra, from their soon-to-be-released CD.
video by Steev Hise
improvisationally live-cut using Resolume Arena.
Cast: steev hise
author: John Summers
average rating: 4.00
book published: 2014
read at: 2014/06/07
date added: 2014/06/08
shelves: politics, fun, own-it
Took me awhile this time, but the issue does not disappoint. Highlights are the piece by David Graeber about play, the Susan Faludi article on feminism, and the excellent take-down of Vice magazine.
I'm getting ready for another round of shows with Negativland, this time four in Texas:
June 18 at Aurora Picture Show in Houston.
June 19 at Alamo Drafthouse Ritz Theater in Austin
June 20 at Red7 in Austin
June 21 at the Texas Theater in Dallas.
It will be hot and sticky, especially in those flannel plaid shirts we wear. But it will be fun and if you live anywhere near those places, please endeavor to come, and if you know me, please do say hi (preferably after our set when i'm not worrying about something show-related).
I've posted this before but here's a little sampler/trailer of what the shows are like if you haven't seen it already:
I have no explanations for why I've taken so long to blog about this, other than the super boring and tired excuse that I've been super busy, and the slightly more interesting fact that Facebook has thoroughly trained me to not blog much, which is sad.
Anyway, it's been over 6 weeks since this happened, but as February turned to March I was in California to perform with Negativland. We played in Santa Cruz, Los Angeles, and Oakland. It was extremely rewarding, fun, and largely, it seems a success, artistically.
Here is some media about the shows, written/recorded both before and after:
Vice Noisy piece written after the LA show. (this is probably the best one to read)
East Bay Express article about Negativland and the Oakland show.
episode of Jake Fogelnest's podcast in which Peter of Negativland is the guest, the day after the LA show.
episode of Jonathan Ray's podcast, Beating A Pale Horse, in which he interviews me (mostly about other things, but toward the end we talk about Negativland and my involvement).
In short, it was a great time. And we now have 2 other little "mini-tours" booked: June in Texas (Houston, Austin, and Dallas), and end of August in the Northwest (Seattle's Bumbershoot, Portland, and Vancouver, BC)