Saturday, August 15, 2009
When Vera Williams first noticed
that I was interested
in wild mushrooms,
she told her children
not to touch any of them
because they were all
A few days later
she bought a steak
at Martino’s and
decided to serve it
smothered with mushrooms.
started to cook the mushrooms,
all stopped whatever they
were doing and watched
When she served
they all burst into tears.
- John Cage
Friday, August 14, 2009
Morris Graves introduced Xenia and me to a miniature
island in Puget Sound at Deception Pass.
To get there we traveled from Seattle about
seventy-five miles north and west to Anacortes
Island, then south to the Pass, where
we parked. We walked along a rocky beach
and then across a sandy stretch that was passable
only at low tide to another island,
continuing through some luxuriant woods up a hill
where now and then we had views of the
surrounding waters and distant islands,
until finally we came to a small footbridge that
led to our destination — an island
no larger than, say, a modest home.
This island was carpeted with flowers
and was so situated that all of Deception
Pass was visible from it, just as
though we were in the best seats of an
intimate theatre. While we were
lying there on that bed of flowers,
some other people came across the footbridge.
One of them said to another,
“You come all this way and then when
you get here there’s nothing to see.”
- John Cage
A young woman decides to stay the summer in the house her aunt left her when she died, to try and recoup from a bad divorce, but she doesn't realize that the house is haunted.
But the whole town knows...Not really bad, but it's not really scary and the acting is generally quite stilted. The hearse itself is quite ridiculous and rather superfluous concerning the plot.
Depeche Mode prepares for the 101st and final concert of its massive world tour at the Rose Bowl Stadium, Pasadena, California, while a group of fans who won a contest travel to the concert through the United States on a bus.
Fans of the band will likely be thrilled, but otherwise this documentary is standard stuff.
A boy learns the black arts from an evil sorcerer.
This adaptation of one of the most popular Otfried Preußler children's novels is quite disappointing for fans of the book. Despite all effort the makers have taken strange liberties with the plot and cut most of the black magic and therefore hardly achieve the intensity and suspense we readers so much enjoyed.
Thursday, August 13, 2009
(ph: John Dominis)
I dug up some hog peanuts and boiled
them with butter, salt, and pepper for
Bob Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns.
I was anxious to know what
Jasper Johns would think of them
because I knew he liked boiled peanuts.
I was curious to know
whether he would find a similarity
between boiled peanuts and hog
peanuts. Most people in the
North have no experience at all of
boiled peanuts. People
who’ve had hog peanuts speak
afterwards of the taste of chestnuts and
Jasper Johns said they were very good
but that they didn’t taste
particularly like boiled peanuts.
Then he went down to South
Carolina for a few weeks in November.
When I saw him after
he got back, he said he’d had
boiled peanuts again and that they
tasted very much like hog peanuts.
- John Cage
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
The Willful Child
Once upon a time there was a child who was willful and did not do what his mother wanted. For this reason God was displeased with him and caused him to become ill, and no doctor could help him, and in a short time he lay on his deathbed.
He was lowered into a grave and covered with earth, but his little arm suddenly came forth and reached up, and it didn't help when they put it back in and put fresh earth over it, for the little arm always came out again. So the mother herself had to go to the grave and beat the little arm with a switch, and as soon as she had done that, it withdrew, and the child finally came to rest beneath the earth.
Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm: Grimm's Fairy Tales, No. 117
I meet my pal Gerhard at the pub once every week, have a few pints, chat about music, movies and other topics and generally enjoy the evening. We've been doing this for more than 20 years now, and although our meetings are generally not eventful, there has been the occasional weird encounter or experience.
One night we sitting at the bar, when a young woman returning from the restroom didn't go directly back to the table where her friends were, but came straight towards us at the bar. She asked me whether she could have a sip from my beer!
We were both dumbstruck at such a request. I clearly didn't quite get it, so I asked her whether she wanted me to buy her a drink. She replied she could afford to pay for her own drink, but her friends were having mixed drinks, and all she wanted was just a single sip of beer.
So I obliged, she had her sip and went back to her friends, and everybody lived happily ever after.
Several men, three as a matter of fact, were out
walking one day, and as they were walking along and
talking one of them noticed another man standing on
a hill ahead of them. He turned to his friends and
said, “Why do you think that man is standing up
there on that hill?” One said, “He must be up there
because it’s cooler there and he’s enjoying the
breeze.” He turned to another and repeated his
question, “Why do you think that man’s standing up
there on that hill?” The second said, “Since the
hill is elevated above the rest of the land, he must
be up there in order to see something in the
distance.” And the third said, “He must have lost
his friend and that is why he is standing there
alone on that hill.” After some time walking along,
the men came up the hill and the one who had been
standing there was still there: standing there. They
asked him to say which one was right concerning his
reason for standing where he was standing. ¶ “What
reasons do you have for my standing here?” he asked.
“We have three,” they answered. “First, you are
standing up here because it’s cooler here and you
are enjoying the breeze. Second, since the hill is
elevated above the rest of the land, you are up here
in order to see something in the distance. Third,
you have lost your friend and that is why you are
standing here alone on this hill. We have walked
this way; we never meant to climb this hill; now we
want an answer: Which one of us is right?” ¶ The man
answered, “I just stand.”
- John Cage
A very successful German photographer visits Palermo because he needs to make a clean break from his past.
Incredibly pretentious, utterly boring and in large parts even laughable story about someone nobody would be interested in. The highlight is the personal encounter with Death (yes, played by Dennis Hopper) who ponders about digital photography...
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
When I was in high school I went out, as they say,
for oratory. When the Southern
California Oratorical Contest came around,
the situation was ticklish. L.A. High
had won the contest two years in succession.
If we won the third year, the cup
would stay in the school’s possession
forever. I was chosen to represent
the school and I passed through the
sectional contests and came to the finals,
which were held in the Hollywood Bowl
before an audience of about thirty-five
people. My coach, however,
informed me the day before that my speech
in its written form had gotten a very low
grade from the judges, that in order
to win in the finals, every single
judge would have to give me first place.
I decided that the situation was
hopeless, and that the only thing to
do was to forget about the contest and
just say what I had to say.
Apparently that’s what happened.
The cup still belongs to the school.
- John Cage
Monday, August 10, 2009
is considered a
all the disciples
were very interested
what Ramakrishna would
the fact that a
four-year-old child had
just then committed
that the child
had not sinned,
he had simply
corrected an error;
he had been
born by mistake.
- John Cage
When a police officer is shot arresting a car thief, the police captain uses his skills and contacts to track down the culprits and uncovers a bank heist plan in the process.
I expected a bit more from this day-in-the life of a police captain story. It's not particularly exciting, and even E.G. Robinson seems to wander around a bit tired in this movie.
The Feds try to take down notorious American gangsters John Dillinger, Baby Face Nelson and Pretty Boy Floyd during a booming crime wave in the 1930s.
OK, it's an above-average gangster flic, but not more. It's good to see Johnny Depp playing straight for a cahnge, and he very much carries the whole movie.
On another note: Something felt wrong with this movie, and it took me about a half hour to realize that there was nearly no smoking in this movie (although at the end smoking had a dramaturgic function). I looked it up and there's obviously a smoking ban for such movies. It's quite distressing how history is being re-written and falsified with such ideological issues. This was a movie supposedly depicting the 30s! In that day and age smoking was even allowed in cinemas...