For Election Day

Inside a barn
Of a sleeping town
There laid a sleeping man
He wore a frown
A stranger woke him
He looked around
Then he spoke
I wrote it down:
He said, “My climbing rope is broken
And I cannot stay awake
Better fix it son; no joking
For the Omega Day is come.”

–Bill Fay, “Omega Day”, from the album Time of the Last Persecution

This morning, I stood on the train behind a woman reading from a Kindle that was affixed to its leather case by a big green rubber band, looped around twice. Of course, seeing a Kindle or any of its cousins on the train isn’t anything to call Grandma about, but there’s a metaphor of some sort tangled up with all the knotted strands of hair in that rubber band. It also happens that I was involved in a discussion of sorts regarding the e-readers last night, and so it all seemed very apropos.

Orwell talks into can, gets face on Kindle

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In the interest of full disclosure, I must admit to having a certain affinity for the 1990s. Having been born just before The Bears Super Bowl, the 1990s were my first full decade of life, and by extension, a period that had significant impact on my cultural consciousness.  While the “Generation X” cut off is typically listed around 1981, personal love affairs with 90s independent cinema (i.e. Soderbergh, Linklater, Smith), an ever expanding appreciation of certain ‘indie rock’ (i.e. Pavement), and a fairly lazy and angst-ridden existence have always led me to feel a kindred spirit, of sorts. Or maybe it’s my addiction to plaid.

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Music video by The Who performing Eminence Front. (C) 1982 Polydor Ltd. (UK) 

[From a gchat exchange on Monday, August 23, between editors; refer here for context; more after the jump:]

 me:  holy shit
how have i never heard eminence front before
 Sent at 7:57 PM on Monday
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By the time of 1989’s release of the album Cloudland, Pere Ubu had been a band for roughly 14 years.  Cloudland was the second album the band had released on the Fontana label, an era that the band’s Ubu Projex* website classifies as its own period.  Cloudland was “an epic journey”, the followup to the less “successful” “clattery heap” of 1988’s The Tenement Year.

The first track on the album is “Breath”.  Here, watch this:

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This one should actually count as Numbers 7, 8, and maybe even 9. A research scientist at the University of Reading in the UK is trying very very hard to get us all killed. His name is Kevin Warwick and he’s profiled in this video from Motherboard TV. What horrible future has he wrought upon us? you ask. Many.

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Here’s an easy one to bring us back from hiatus into semi-hiatus. I came across this slide-show comparing the original cover designs of classic books and more recent repackaging on a website called Flavorwire (that I came across via the NYTimes Book Bench).

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Critics of our postmodern age love to point out that the invention of the popular, portable, personal music systems in the late 1970s contributed to an increasingly fragmented and walled-off social formation.  In a typical “get off my lawn” moment, they neglect the fact that the development of mass transit in the 1800s already underscored this urban fragmentation that had been in full effect for, oh, thousands of years.  All the invention of the iPod and similar devices did was extend the variety that was available to each commuter.  The question is how to put this variety to the service of full sensory effect.  Hence the following Authoritative Running Downhill Guide to Early Morning Elevated or Subway or Surface Train Commute Music:

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Longtime reader(s?) of this blog will know that I have something of a soft spot for films that don’t really give much of a damn about plot or story.  I may be the only person who seriously considers Le Mans (1971, D: Lee Katzin/Steve McQueen; see article on the film here) every time he tries to assemble a top ten list of films in his head.  I am often drawn to films which illuminate action and motion and exteriority.

Luckily for me, the Nightingale Theatre in Chicago programmed a film that could be said to be a spiritual cousin to Le Mans.  This film is entitled Fußball wie noch nie (Football As Never Before) (1970, D: Hellmuth Costard).  It was a privilege to see it, as no prints of the film exist in the USA, and the only way to see it is on a DVD from the Göthe Institute in Boston.  FWNN is a doumentary that centers on George Best (“In the role of a lifetime!”), winger for Manchester United.

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In continuing the trend of spreading the RD seed across the internet, Ted has written a piece for the lovely Fredorrarci’s lovely Sport Is a TV Show blog.  It is about soccer and Gary Cahill.  Enjoy.

More to come in the following days; never you worry.