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Your government at work. This is an excerpt from a new book about Duke Cunningham, the recently convicted Republican Congressman from San Diego. (I assume it's this book--hat tip to mark)
...even [briber Brent] Wilkes drew a line on what he would do for the congressman. For one thing, Wilkes was totally disgusted by the hot tub Cunningham put on the boat's deck during the autumn and winter. What repelled Wilkes -- and others invited to the parties -- was both the water Cunningham put in the hot tub and the congressman's penchant for using it while naked, even if everybody else at the party was clothed. Cunningham used water siphoned directly from the polluted Potomac River and never changed it out during the season. "Wilkes thought it was unbelievably dirty and joked if you got in there it would leave a dark water line on your chest," said one person familiar with the parties. "The water was so gross that very few people were willing to get into the hot tub other than Duke and his paramour." That was a reference to Cunningham's most frequently seen girlfriend, a flight attendant who lived in Maryland.
One of these parties started at the Capital Grille with Cunningham ordering his usual filet mignon -- very well done -- with iceberg lettuce salad and White Oak. Wilkes used the dinner to update Cunningham on the appropriations he wanted. Cunningham then took the whole group back to the boat where they drank more wine, sitting on white leather sofas while Cunningham told more war stories. Cunningham then took his clothes off and invited all to join him in the polluted hot tub that was hidden from the neighbors by a white tarp. There were no takers.
Missed the Tarantino/Rodriguez double feature Grindhouse, which did so-so box office and now will be split into two films for non-U.S. distribution. The Tarantino segment "Death-Proof" has been selected for Cannes; Robert Rodriguez's "Planet Terror" hasn't been. Salon (prob. subscription-only, sorry) reports on the "Death-Proof" press conference below. The producers have "restored" the film (or padded it out with cut footage, depending on how you see it) and are releasing it in France as "Boulevard de la mort."
Most strange and striking of all was the moment when [producer Harvey] Weinstein moved in to squelch all further discussion of "Grindhouse," and in the process seemed to deliver a slap-down to Kurt Russell. Most of the participants stayed on message most of the time, meaning that Tarantino insisted that the longer, "Boulevard of Death" version of the film is closer to his original intentions. Russell, who plays impressively evil Stuntman Mike, wasn't having it. "I'm sorry for people who won't get the 'Grindhouse' experience," he said. "That's what it was all about for me. So I prefer the shorter version. Now ['Death Proof' and 'Terror Planet'] are gonna go off and stand on their own, and hopefully you'll enjoy them. But in 20 years, you will want the full 'Grindhouse' experience, because there's nothing else like it."Update: Grindhouse is still playing in the theatre in NY (in Times Square of all places) so I checked it out this afternoon. The Tarantino burned brightly and intelligently (though 'twasn't enough premise for a full length, sorry, France), while Rodriguez's "Planet Terror" paid your standard loving tribute to zombie movies, with an increased disgusting gore quotient. Special effects man Tom Savini plays a small acting role in "PT"; his exploding body prosthetics ruined many an '80s film and Rodriguez has aped them and upped them in the present glopfest. Neither "Death-Proof" nor "PT" particularly evoked '70s grindhouse, aside from the scratched and grainy film stock. Tarantino's bit is a sui generis art movie--Hollywood/gender deconstruction via the theme of "muscle cars and the pros who drive them and go psycho"--and the Rodriguez mostly a subtextless homage to '80s slasher films, a genre still chugging along as late as the '90s (Tales of the Crypt: Demon Knight) and the '00s (the Scream franchise). 2002's Cabin Fever (directed by Eli Roth, who also has a bit part in "Death-Proof"), seemed more authentically '70s to me. In any case, everything about the Rodriguez felt familiar. The gore in the Tarantino happens quickly, doesn't linger, and disturbs infinitely more.
Weinstein held his peace at that moment, but a few minutes later, when another eastern European journalist asked why none of the fake trailers from "Grindhouse" are being shown with "Death Proof," he stepped up to the mike. "We had a great time with the whole 'Grindhouse' thing," he began, in the tones of a man not having any fun at all. "Now European audiences will get to see these new movies by Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez, and they'll enjoy them much more [than 'Grindhouse']. You'll see Robert Rodriguez making a true Robert Rodriguez movie, you'll see Quentin making a pure-essence Quentin movie. It's a completely different experience. They will dwarf 'Grindhouse,' trust me."
Game image of some top secret unshareable sort. Square Botero.
Spread the Word Iraq Nam is a Kos diary tracking American troop deaths in Iraq while Bush stonewalls and Congress postures and dithers.
IT HAPPENS EVERY TIME I POST stories of the fallen now: I'm accused of being a 'spammer'.
My blog hosts at Blogger. They have algorithms to detect what they call 'spam blogs' -- those that have too many posts or posts that come in too rapid succession. And as I said, at my blog I post stories of the fallen -- the deaths, the remembrances, the memorials, the funerals.
I always post these at the end of the day, after the news and perspectives. Sometimes I've had up to thirty deaths, remembrances, funerals, etc. to post in a single evening. And so Blogger sees my numerous posts made in rapid succession, and thinks spam.
It then produces the dreaded 'word verification' requirement where it assembles a nonsensical sequence of letters in a graphic that has to be retyped in order to continue. I wouldn't mind so much except sometimes it reaches a point where it just locks me out of my blog altogether -- one time for 5 days.
I've developed ways to deal with it. So my problems with Blogger aren't the point -- this is: 15 dead since Friday, 75 so far this month, 104 last month. And where the deaths were one or two or three at a time now they come in sixes and sevens and eights and nines.
Five years into this insanity, and we are way beyond the point of 'mere' troop casualties.
We are literally spamming their deaths.
found on the Depthcore website: "A Trip to the Park" by David Garvin
Wouldn't mind learning this program, whatever it is. The line quality, overall softness, and obvious ease of creating quirky, subjective "psycho-geometries" appeals. It's not that typical Pixar rendered look, even though it's rendered. The artist here is under 20, and this could be a one-off but somehow it feels newer and fresher to me than say, Torben Giehler, who seems stuck in an old labor-intensive paradigm (hard-edged painting--been there!) but is trying to hip it up, computer it up. This looks like it just happened, but could also be from the game world. (A Katamari Damacy-like screenshot will follow to accentuate the point.)
GIF grid by eyekhan
Based on my MSPaintbrush "Waves" drawing.
Hello to all at artMovingProjects today. This continues the series of remote posts to the "terminal" which are also simultaneously viewable on the larger Internet, as part of the performance work BLOG. Aside from routine schmoozing, much of my time at the opening last night was spent explaining (a) how blogs work, (b) how long I've been doing it (six years, three months), and (c) the purpose of showing the blog in the gallery when it could also be consumed at home. Please see earlier posts for writing on some of these issues.
Zoe Sheehan Saldana (umlaut over the "e" and tilded "n" in Saldana), who is showing in the artMovingProjects main space. In her exhibit "Homegrown" she is growing an edition of 96 tobacco seedlings (Nicotiana tabacum Burley) under indoor lights. A webcam showing the seedlings, refreshed every 30 minutes, is here.
Behind her is BLOG, a performance work consisting of the blog you're reading, situated in the gallery's project space for a month. A couple of posts were made during the opening and those of us standing around the terminal from time to time enjoyed reading the comments. I did not put up any cats (or Katz--see comments) but that could happen at any time.
Some gallerygoers chose to use BLOG to explore sidebar links without returning, read up on global warming, and possibly check email--that's part of the art, I guess, but those actions will not be documented.