Archive for July, 2005

Jul 23 2005

“Joni” by Robot Underground

Published by Brian under mp3, film, music

Cottonmouth and I briefly joined forces with Molly Michaud (aka Patient Griselda) to form Robot Underground. We recorded a couple tracks, including “Joni, an Art School Tragedy.”I wrote the music, and Cotton’s wife Sarah (working as F-Stop) wrote the lyrics. Sometimes in 2002, Robot Underground performed live at a benefit show at Mikey’s Gyros in downtown Moscow, Idaho. Sarah was there with her video camera, and we have a fairly crappy video you can stream on our acidplanet page. Cotton posted various MP3s here, where he writes, “DJ Funken Wagnalls and Cottonmouth MC have been making alternative hip hop since Y2K, often with underground collaborators including F-Stop, Patient Griselda, J. Johnston, Didier Legien, Gesaba, and more. Formerly Robot Underground, and always Anything Goes School of Liberal Arts, the duo has managed to maintain output in the face of bonechilling adversity.”

No responses yet

Jul 17 2005

Ezra Pound

Published by Brian under philosophy, essay, poetry, reviews

review by Brian Charles Clark

Ezra Pound: Early Writings
edited by Ira B. Nadel
Publisher: Penguin, 2005

Ezra Pound, Early WritingsEzra Pound was the godfather of the modernists. James Joyce, the reigning Titan, said that “Nothing could be more true than to say we all owe a great deal to” Pound: “I most of all.” Unlike T.S. Elliot, who is better remembered for his poetry than his criticism, it was Pound’s critical faculties that made him such a seminal influence among his peers. Like some omnipresent deity from Olympus (apparently a mountain near Pound’s birthplace in Hailey, Idaho), he had his fingers in everything and everybody’s business as a kind of jovial dictator and boss vivant.

Collected here are some of the early works of the mature Pound. No juvenilia sullies the mix of poetry and prose. As a poet Pound was always interested in translation—from the Anglo-Saxon, the Chinese, and other languages—and the surprising discord and serendipitous harmonies to be heard when poetry crosses borders. So here we get Pound’s wonderful “Seafarer,” one of the oldest poems in the English language, rendered in modernist (if not exactly “modern”) English, and “Liu Ch’e,” “a wet leaf that clings to the threshold” separating the placid, nature-loving philosophy of Chinese poetry and the speed-obsessed futurism of the early twentieth century. Continue Reading »

No responses yet

Jul 06 2005

Conversation in the Cathedral

Published by Brian under fiction, reviews

review by Brian Charles Clark

Conversation in the Cathedral
by Mario Vargas Llosa
Publisher: Rayo, 2005

Conversation in the CathedralManuel Odría ruled Peru from 1948 until 1956. His dictatorship was deeply corrupt. His Minister of Internal Affairs, for instance, ran a brothel. That the cabron in charge of internal affairs should run a prostitution ring is, like a death-row guard named Mort, almost unbearably ironic. In this case, it’s true. Politicians and industrialists performed perverse acts and whispered state secrets to the prostitutes, giving the Minster, and Odría, leverage on all sorts of situations and people.

Mario Vargas Llosa’s sweeping novel is a history of Peru and Latin American dictatorships told in a Joycean late-1960s conversation in a bar known as The Cathedral. Santiago is the son of an influential politician who, like so many idealistic young people in the ’60s, has rejected his father’s corrupt if pragmatic world. Santiago is a minor editorial-page journalist. One afternoon, at the insistence of his wife, he goes in search of the family dog. Dogs were being picked up as strays, even if they weren’t, because the dogcatchers got paid per animal. At the pound Santiago runs into his father’s now-aging chauffeur, Ambrosio. Continue Reading »

No responses yet

Jul 06 2005

The Anarchist in the Library

review by Brian Charles Clark


The Anarchist in the Library is Vaidhyanathan’s second book on copyright and intellectual property (IP) after his 2003 Copyrights and Copywrongs. Where the earlier book was a straightforward and lively history of this area of law and culture, in The Anarchist in the Library Vaidhyanathan tries to put a socio-philosophical spin on the same material to achieve an apocalyptic excitement. For a number of reasons, it doesn’t work.

Vaidhyanathan tries to cram all the complex issues surrounding copyright and IP, which include those of music downloading and sampling, software and media “piracy,” print publishing, control of libraries (as in the Patriot Act), control of computer networks as well as the little publicized area of IP in science (genomics, pharmaceuticals, and so on), inside two buckets: the totalitarian “controllers” and the free-for-all “anarchists.” The alleged “clash” between the two buckets, Vaidhyanathan claims, is “crashing the system” and “hacking the real world.” Continue Reading »

No responses yet

Jul 01 2005

The Cuckoo Unenclosed

Published by Brian under creative commons, mp3, music

The Cuckoo UnenclosedFunkendub just finished a remix of Lisa DeBenedictis’s song “The Cuckoo.” You can find the remix here — and check out ccmixter, a somewhat cool site for musicians interested in keeping the creative commons unenclosed. “The Cuckoo Unenclosed” is a moody ambient downtempo tune using bits and pieces of the incredible and delicious music available for remix at ccmixter. And once a remix is posted there, that too becomes available for remix. May the circle remain unbroken.

No responses yet