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Joke is 100% on ME

Just paid $2.95 to The Boston Globe for this:


CARCASS OF WHALE RETURNED TO SEA

Author(s): (AP) Date: August 3, 1994 Page: 72 Section: METRO
LUBEC, Maine — The body of a 58-foot minke whale, which apparently drowned after getting caught in fish netting and washed ashore, has been returned to the sea. James Hall, a biologist with the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, said it was not unusual to have at least one whale beach itself or wash up on shore Down East each summer.

Hrmph…and no picture! Should have used NYPL.

A beached humpback whale

A beached humpback whale

I attended a great audio listening event at Union Docs on Sunday night. Local radio producer Josh Gleason curated a selection of radio documentaries made by students at the Salt Institute of Documentary Studies in Portland, Maine.

The pieces were a little heavy on the pathos, in my opinion, but one piece, produced by Molly Menschel really stood out.

Just Another Fish Story is the story of a dead whale that washed ashore in Lubec, Maine. It won the “Best New Artist” award at the Third Coast Festival in Chicago and is fantastic. Take a listen.

Icelandic Santas

When I said 13 mischievous Santas, (Children’s tales tinged with darkness) this is what I meant.

Katz Deli: Tongue and Mustard on Rye, Courtesy Scanwiches

Katz Deli: Tongue and Mustard on Rye, Courtesy Scanwiches

Today has been an excellent day for Adda and the internet, and has inspired Adda and Ardor’s first official theme post, aptly titled The Internet that Giveth #1. More to come, I promise.

First, bigspaceship tipped me off to this hilarious, yet beautiful photography (?) project called Scanwiches. I have no idea who makes it, but from the look of where they get their daily sandwiches (Katz’ Deli, Mooncake, and Cafe Duke) I put them somewhere in the SoHo, LES area. Its such a simple, though messy, idea, but the result is surprisingly engaging. Reminds me of Angela West’s Nature Morte series.

Second
, I was doing research for a piece I am working on for WNYC’s Studio 360 about a certain horror movie show host from the 1960s and I found this, Vintage Audio from Milwaukee TV Horror Show Hosts. The clips are totally weird and even more surreal and silly when disconnected from the video content, but you have to love that a bunch of audiophiles took the time to put them all up here.

I am currently reading I Married a Communist, Roth’s story about the rise and fall of radio star, and communist, Ira Ringold. This passage seemed particularly relevant to the current state of my life, and the economy:

(At this point in the story Ira Ringold is married to former movie star Eve Frame and lives with her in a fancy apartment on West Eleventh street in Manhattan.)

  • Ira retreated to Zinc Town to live not so much close to nature as close to the bone, to live life in the raw, swimming in the mud pond right into November, tramping the woods on snowshoes in coldest winter, or, on rainy days, meandering around in his Jersey car–a used ’39 Chevy coupe–talking to the local dairy farmers and the old zinc miners, whom he tried to get to understand how they were being screwed by the system. He had a fireplace out there where he liked to cook his hot dogs and beans over the coals, even to brew his coffee, all so as to remind himself, after he’d become Iron Rinn and a bit enlarded with money and fame, that he was still nothing than a “working stiff,” a simple man with simple tastes and expectations who during the thirties had ridden the rails and who had got incredibly lucky. About owning the Zinc Town shack, he used to say, “Keeps me in practice being poor. Just in case.”

via The Village Voice

Thank you Robert Brezsny for your hippie wisdom:

LEO [July 23–August 22] I predict that you will go to a thrift store to shop for bargain kitchen items but will instead buy a magic snow globe depicting a dolphin drinking beer from a fountain that’s shaped like a stiletto pump, and when you get this talisman home, you will discover that it gives you the power to hover and cruise a few feet off the ground and even time-travel into the past for brief 10-minute blasts that allow you to change what happened. And if my prediction’s not accurate in every detail, I bet it will nonetheless be metaphorically true.

To Kill A Mocking Bird

To Kill A Mocking Bird

Court 13’s film Glory At Sea has me thinking about children’s stories, particularly those stories that offer a dark, though beautiful, worldview. I find work that is appropriate for children, but smart enough to be enjoyed by adults really interesting and challenging. I would not hesitate to show Glory At Sea to a seven year old, but I also think its one of the most incredible and emotionally deep films I have seen in a long time.

I understand that there is a long history of fantastical children’s stories that are quite sinister (Roald Dahl, Brother’s Grimm, etc.) but I am not so much interested in fantasy stories as those stories that are only touched by darkness. Childhood can be a melancholic time and I find that works of art, film, and literature that address that directly can be breathtaking.

I for one was raised with a very Scandinavian love for the dark side. My parents are realists, first and foremost, but more importantly, Icelanders as a nation subscribe to a whole cast of nefarious mythological characters who are ready to prey on children at any given moment. Think 13 devilish Santa Clauses ready for all sorts of hijinks and one scary mountain giant named Gryla, and you have a good start.

I wanted to get a list started of works (art, film, literature) that fit into this loose category I am trying to define. Comments are strongly encouraged.

THE LIST

Secret of Roan Inish: The only children’s film made by John Sayles. Tells the story of a young Irish girl who tries to bring her family back to the island they left and to find her brother who has gone missing. The whole story is also interwoven with the re-telling of beautiful Irish mythologies about humans and seals. I saw this first when I was 9 and have loved it ever since.

Small Change: One of Truffaut’s masterpieces, tells the story of children and their parents living in a small town in France. One of the best moments comes when an adult says: “I don’t know why children are always portrayed as being happy. They really aren’t, often they are quite sad.”

George Washington: I have to admit that I can’t remember the exact plot of this film, but I remember it being dark, Southern, involving death and being quite amazing. The tagline: “down this twisted road, please watch over my soul and lift me up so gently so as not to touch the ground.”

Amarcord: Fellini’s autobiographical film about growing up in a small town in Italy. Everything that is sad and beautiful about life. Mixed with a bunch of boyish pranks.

The Brother’s Lionheart: This is a book by Astrid Lindgren that my mother read to me in Icelandic. It tells the story of two brothers reunited in the afterlife. The wikipedia entry agrees with me, saying “Many of its themes are unusually dark and heavy for the children’s book genre. Disease, death, tyranny, betrayal and rebellion are some of the dark themes that permeate the story.” I remember being somewhat haunted by the novel as a kid, but loving it nonetheless.

To Kill a Mockingbird: This novel and film really need to no synopsis, but fall perfectly into the category.

The Writer: It’s perhaps unfair to lump this poem by Richard Wilbur in here since I can’t really argue that it was intended for a children’s audience. That said, his use of the metaphor of a bloody and battered starling to describe the sound of his young daughter working on the typewriter made it seem appropriate.

More to come….