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tom moody

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Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): plural -chies
Etymology: Late Latin entelechia, from Greek entelecheia
1 : the actualization of form-giving cause as contrasted with potential existence
2 : a hypothetical agency not demonstrable by scientific methods that in some vitalist doctrines is considered an inherent regulating and directing force in the development and functioning of an organism



- tom moody 10-01-2004 9:47 am [link] [4 comments]

Debate questions from today's New York Times op-ed page, annotated.

WHAT TO ASK JOHN KERRY (note the Times puts the conservative questions first)

WILLIAM KRISTOL: If you now consider the war in Iraq to have been a mistake, how could you, as president, "ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake"? (Translation: Kristol wants men to die.)

RUTH WEDGWOOD: How could we have guarded against Saddam Hussein's reckless nuclear intentions? (Assumes Saddam was a threat, recently disproven.)

VICTOR DAVIS HANSON: What precise plans do you have to induce positive changes in attitude in Iran, Lebanon and Syria? (Assumes we're the "world's cop.")


MADELEINE K. ALBRIGHT: Since our direction in Iraq is obviously wrong, don't we at least need to change drivers? (Editorial masquerading as a question.)

RICHARD A. CLARKE: Under what circumstances would you authorize military action, including an invasion, to achieve regime change in Iran? (Assumes we're the world's cop.)

ARTHUR M. SCHLESINGER Jr.: What is the relation between your Christianity and that preached by the pope and by mainstream Protestants who oppose preventive war? (Philosophical question no one in the public expects a politician to answer.)
Better questions, please?

- tom moody 9-30-2004 8:35 pm [link] [add a comment]

I came across Wooster Collective: A Celebration of Street Art during my reBlogging stint, and continue to be amazed by the work on the site. A visual feast, inherently post-studio, and an insult to God-given property rights. Here's Isaac "A-Number One" Hayes on a fence in Germany:

Wooster - Isaac

And a couple of architecture-on-architecture renderings from Paris that are merveilleux:

Wooster - Paris 1

Wooster - Paris 2

- tom moody 9-30-2004 7:50 am [link] [add a comment]

More on the train wreck that is Moog, the film. Wendy Carlos must be interview-shy. Switched-on Bach is mentioned in the movie but not her, by name. She deserves more credit (A Clockwork Orange? "Country Lane"? Tron soundtrack? C'mon!). Too much footage makes Moog's instrument look ridiculous. There's an admittedly over the top and laugh out loud funny Schaefer Beer commercial with some knucklehead doing a real ice-arena show stopper on a giant, early, multi-module Moog, climaxing with him quaffing a brew and the tag line "Schaefer: the beer to have when you're having more than one." Keith Emerson still has his two-ton Moog, and you get to see him playing it during a recent "Moog tribute night" at the BB King Theater. But it just sounds like the "Aquatarkus Variations"--nothing particularly new there. Vintage footage of Gershon Kingsley's First Moog Quartet looks as silly as that group was. Rick Wakeman makes the point, during his long-winded, bloke-down-the-pub spiel, that before the Moog, rock keyboardists weren't sexy, but were seen as behind the scenes accompanists for guitar players. But because the Moog was so loud and flashy, suddenly they could hold their own on the stage. Some of the background transition sequence music is nice. It's interesting to watch Moogs being assembled and to hear the inventor talk about them--he's quite the spiritualist, and says he intuitively knows what sounds the circuits will make. He emphasizes the importance of playing live before an audience, and seems to distrust "music made alone to be listened to by people alone," which may be why Spooky's analytical discourse on the sampler leaves him cold. A couple of other notable points: the electronic composer Vladimir Ussachevsky gave much input on the design of the mini-Moog, we learn: specifically, putting the sound generating dials (oscillators) in one rectangular group and the sound-shaping dials (envelope, filter) in another. Herb Deutsch recalls that Ussachevsky recommended not adding a keyboard, because he felt that would encourage playing the instrument in a traditional way, as opposed to discovering new sounds it was capable of, an observation that turned out to be prescient, since most people just used the Moog as a spacy organ.

- tom moody 9-30-2004 7:20 am [link] [2 comments]

Zoller Happy Farm Boy

John Zoller, A Happy Farm Boy in Ohio, 2001, 60 x 72 inches, acrylic and oil enamel on canvas. From the series United States: Color and Learn.

- tom moody 9-29-2004 8:31 am [link] [3 comments]

The film Moog is, I'm sorry to report, not so good. Theremin or even Modulations it's definitely not. Synthesizer inventor Robert Moog is himself a charming and highly intelligent interview subject, but the film unfortunately consists of him being flown around the globe for on-location tete-a-tetes with Musical Bores of the World. DJ Spooky holds forth with his usual spiel about sampling until it dawns on him that Moog is only feigning attention; he abruptly switches tracks and compliments him for all the analog hiphop beats his work indirectly influenced. Rick Wakeman and Bernie Worrell go on, like bad drunks at a party, about how a synthesizer is like a woman who must be coaxed, made to scream, yadda yadda. The live music depicted in the film is uniformly pretentious and blah: Stereolab, Keith Emerson, Luke Vibert and Jean-Jacques Perrey all manage not to shine. The highest spots involve not the keyboard instrument but the Theremin, which Moog got his start building. Solos by Pamelia Kurstin and Moog himself are beautiful and otherworldly--music from thin air, only two controls (pitch and volume), no moving parts, it's the soul of economy and still inherently futuristic. How did we ever lose track of the concept?

- tom moody 9-29-2004 8:24 am [link] [1 comment]

New Dumb Little Painting Timeline

"'Bad' Painting" at the New Museum: Neil Jenney, Joan Brown, etc.

George Condo (right, a painting from 2002), Martin Kippenberger

Early 1990s
John Currin (Moved Over Lady, as opposed to the "hanging out in the Met a lot" stuff he's doing now)
George Condo Joan of Arc

Brian Calvin
Mid to Late 1990s
Laura Owens (don't really like her work, but many curators seem to; also, it isn't little, but it is dumb, I guess), Karen Kilimnick (should have been at MOMA with Currin and Tuymans instead of you-know-who)

Dana Schutz (also not little, and it's debatable how dumb it is), Brian Calvin (left), Ezra Johnson, Emily Miranda, Holly Coulis, Jeffrey Lutonsky

- tom moody 9-29-2004 4:54 am [link] [2 comments]

Your so-called liberal media at work: from a New York Times review of the recent flop The Alamo on DVD:
From Touchstone, the studio that brought you "Pearl Harbor" with a happy ending, here is a bafflingly upbeat version of the battle of the Alamo, the second most famous defeat in American history. Directed by John Lee Hancock ("The Rookie") from a script by himself, Leslie Bohem ("Taken") and Stephen Gaghan ("Traffic"), the film imposes a not-so-subtle 9/11 framework on the action, with the Mexican general Santa Ana (Emilio Echevarrķa) strutting around in peacock military garb like Saddam Hussein.
Saddam, Osama bin Laden, whatever. But wait, there's more Bush propaganda:
The 200 brave men of the Alamo go down with all due spectacle, but then the film tacks on a 30-minute coda in which Houston leads a victorious invasion spurred by the famous words "Remember the Alamo" - presented as 1836's anticipation of President Bush's ground zero speech, "The people who knocked down these buildings will hear all of us soon."
I guess we know who the reviewer, Dave Kehr, is voting for.

- tom moody 9-28-2004 6:15 pm [link] [add a comment]