Tuesday, May 31, 2005

It's like launchcast, only without skipping...

Itunes is consolodating and set on random. That means that it's playing whatever, and I can't skip. It's out of my control!

green day - brain stew
interpol - say hello to the angels
the decembrists - leslie anne devine
pinback - starfish
oingo boing - weird science
crooked fingers - there's a blue light

that is all

I had some brilliant plan...

...of what to write here last night, but I fell asleep instead. I don't remember what it was.

So it's my job to make sure that people get served. Sometimes the money's even okay. The summer is what it always is here, and I'm fighting. Today I learned how to run another register, which makes something like a dozen throughout my sordid little job history.

My brother has an ipod and I have itunes and I want to have a car. Bandana Matt is still illegal, and until he gets his documents in order, he's not allowed off the ranch. I speak in idiocy when it's this late and I've been working all day, but at least I'm even trying to post.

Today was Katie's birthday, and she's sixteen. Thanks to NC law, however, you won't have to stay off the roads until September. Pete decided to usher her into the world of nigh-adulthood by signing her card 'eat my ass - Pete.' Ah, maturity.

Once again I got her a pair of books for the occassion, one she can appreciate now, and one (hopefully) later. No Rushdie this year... probably because of the rush in ye olde barnes and noble.

So I give up. Tomorrow maybe I'll do something more clever, as I have the day off.

Welcome to the US of A, Malcovsky.

First thing I bought with my work money: the soft bulletin

MUSIC: jet by day: worldwide

Friday, May 27, 2005

okay. We're back.

I told the blogger authorities that my blog is dead and no one cares, and by the time they responded, it was back.

Hey, look at this. stupidity, it seems, is worldwide.

And I pirated an Alan Partridge and I bought tiny little pads on which to write orders. I have an apron. I get tips.

word for the day is austensibly.

MUSIC: juliana hatfield: cool rock boy

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

what the hell...

...is going on with my blog?

MUSIC: casiotone for the painfully alone: secretest crush

Someone stole the mops,

then they trained me for waitering, then half the kitchen staff quit. I've got a good feeling.

And speaking of good feelings, here's what my joint horoscope is with myself.

"Robin Hood had his band of Merry Men, and right now, so should you (although more diverse, of course). You're not robbing anyone either -- instead, you're all about having good times, and you and your friend aren't shy about spreading the wealth (of fun), either. Well, you can't party forever ... things have to wind down at some point, don't they? No way! Keep it going. When you start feeling sleepy, don't stop the proceedings. Just switch gears -- throw an old-fashioned slumber party instead."

So it seems I'm really spreading on the joy hanging out with my good friend... and that friend and I shared a name... Me!

Cara's winning. She's probably already a better sailor than you, and odds are if you're a regular reader of my work here, she's probably cuter, too... so at least attempt to prove your superiority in guessing songs on my playlist based on tiny, tiny lyric quotations.

Oh, and I was wrong about that digital camera working now. I am accursed.

MUSIC: the arcade fire: I'm sleeping in a submarine

PS-I know I'll have to justify that cuteness statement to some of my cuter readers. Let me just say that I operate under the assumption that most (probably not by a large margin) of my readers are dudes, and therefore, from my heterosexual perspective, she'd automatically be cuter than you. So that's why odds are she's cuter than you. at least that's all I'm saying about it here and now. this hole is deep enough.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

take two

all my loyal fans will recall the old contest. Well, that one was swept, if you'll recall, by the lovely Miss Traci White. The songs from that one, however, were drawn from a single MP3 CD. So now I shall repeat the competition with my actual computer and therefore my actual playlists at my finger tips.

The rules, once again, are:

Step 1: Get your playlist together, put it on random, and play.
Step 2: Pick your favorite lines from the first 15 songs that play.
Step 3: Post and let everyone you know guess what song the lines come from.
Step 4: Underline the songs when someone guesses correctly. Mine have ***.

1 *** Jess *** Yeah Yeah Yeahs -Pin
"things are feeling thin..."
2 ***Cara*** Galaxie 500 - when will you come home
"...watching TV all alone, watching Kojak on my own..."
"and you're trying to show it but you can't have it"
4 ***Jess*** sleater-kinney - god is a number
"answer me with industry"
5 *** Cara *** Ben Folds Five - Kate
"her mix tape's a masterpiece"
"I know a puppy who walked from Kentucky. Made to East Virginia by dawn. He had seventeen ideas in his head"
"do something pretty while you can, don't be a fool."
8 *** Cara *** Weezer - The Sweater Song
"watch me unravel..."
9 *** Cara *** Doors - People are Strange (Bonus points for guessing it was the Echo and the Bunnymen cover.)
"streets are uneven when you're down"
"Her eyes are dark just like mocha java; she turns my insides into molten lava."
11 ***Jess*** eels - last stop: this town
"they don't know how to let you in and I can't let you out."
"I'm sleeping today so I can wake in your arms tonight."
"maybe ice capades or maybe even charades"
"and I'm leery, loaded up" (these lyrics are awful and incomprehensible)
"my mirror's reflection is you looking coquet and smirking"

and good luck. To us.

MUSIC: architecture in helsinki: scissors paper rock

Friday, May 20, 2005

crooked rain,

crooked rain.

Say something encouraging.

I would like to thank George Lucas for finally delivering a star wars movie. Despite popular rumor he hasn't directed a star wars film since 1977, and he hasn't been involved in making one for at least 20 years. So thanks a lot, big guy. Wookies rule.

To all my homies on the far east side, can we hear a word or two about how this prodigy thing went off.

To my other homies, I'll have money and a car sometime in the nearish future, promise.

To all my homies: speaking of car, should I opt for Bandana Matt for $12 or Nameless Caprice for $13.50. For that price, the third option would be to buy both and join them in some horrendous breaking-the-laws-of-nature sort of way.

To all the girls I... eh, forget it, that is a new level of lame, even for me. I apologize. Sepuku is clearly my only option for this shame.

MUSIC: the rain AND casiotone for the painfully alone

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

I thought...

...we were beyond this, but clearly I was wrong.

I ate at a place yesterday that did not serve french fries. It did not serve potatoes fried in the french style, even. It served freedom fries. Seriously. On the menu, right under the big-ass eagle and the american flag.

This restuarant has two locations: myrtle beach and high point.

I don't know what to say beyond that.

And if you actually looked at the pictures I put up from the weekend, I'm really, really sorry. I did discover that my digital camera, shitty though it is, has not fully died. Pictures of a depressing quality will ensue.

All the better to wow you in a month or so when I get my photo lab time in.

MUSIC: tenacious d: karate

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Inappropriately named cities, take one.

High Point.

Geographically middle of the road with an elevation of squat, High Point is the former furniture capital of the world. It sports a putt putt and a walmart and is not all together a delightful center of culture and entertainment.

MUSIC: the tv guide channel

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Diagnosis: Gout


music: the pixies: dig for fire

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Okay, I know...

...everyone's seen this by now, but for the love of god and all that is holy...

Further idiocy. It seems that nearby Haywood County has drawn national attention. A local preacher apparently drove people out of his church when they expressed an intention to not vote for Dubya. Now apparently there's national attention about this, and it's hurting tourism in the area so badly that the local government is stepping in. By the way, tourism in Haywood county...?

And the weather man explained why it was hotter in some places today by saying "It was hotter there today because there must have been some... some hotter weather there." JTFC!

music: beulah: calm go the wild seas
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Tuesday, May 10, 2005

It's 12:21, time for...

...my breakfast of champions. That's right, three cups of coffee and lots of aspirin. But at least I have the luxery of having english-language TV on to be ignored in the background.

The good news is that my 'give me a job' cleaning up of myself has been successful. I will wait the hell out of some tables and I'll be working with Pete and Shleeve. Note that none of the things in that last sentence are described in either a positive or negative way. Time will tell.

But on the plus side I am pirating in high style all up in this internet. And I have a dryer I can use.

MUSIC: mary prankster: art fag bastard

Monday, May 09, 2005

I got a haircut, now give me a job! Posted by Hello

pop quiz hot shot

you thought you were going to see a movie. When it turns out that it's sold out you find yourself in a bar. You have a beer and a sandwich. someone offers you most of their drink and offers to buy you one. What do you do?

In flight entertainment: Ray, Lemony Snickett, Hotel Rwanda, Six Feet Under, the Simpsons, Massive Attack Album.

Fly US Air.

MUSIC: owls: everyone is my friend

Saturday, May 07, 2005

...leaving on a prague train... don't know when i'll be back again... Posted by Hello

Living and dying in a Red Psalm world

History must answer to man. As a statement of philosophical import it is unimpeachable, but as the topic of an essay it is, at first glance, frighteningly vague. It strikes one, at first, as being akin to having as a topic Life, the Universe, and Everything. Naturally the phrase is meant to indicate something terrifically broad and not the Douglas Adams novel of the same name. Despite the overwhelming nature of the assigned task, however, it is best to simply get to it.

The first issue to be considered is the fact that this class is on Eastern European Cinema. There is a limiting influence imposed on the broad bounds of the assignment already. History must answer to man in the context of Eastern European Cinema. What that means, exactly, will take further examination. One could, if desperate or simply procrastinating, type that essay prompt into a search engine on the internet. Say a student finds himself idly looking around amazon.com for potential Christmas gifts when he suddenly remembers this essay topic. Typing in “history must answer to man,” he finds that it is a book by Graham Petrie on Hungarian Cinema. Eureka! Here’s a connection.

Having found the book, and having read the book, however, are two different things. But there must be some logic behind the assignment if someone could write a whole book under that title about the films of just one Eastern European country. So this hypothetical student must then ask himself “why would Graham Petrie call his book about Hungarian films that?”

Well, perhaps, hypothetical student, there is a great deal about the portrayal and reaction to the history of Hungary found in the works of Hungarian filmmakers.

“Yes, but perhaps it was originally called ‘Hungarian movies plain and simple’ and his editor made up that ‘history’ thing on a whim because he thought it would sell more books.”

We’re going to have to assume that hypothesis is simply wrong or we’ll never get anywhere. Now, if we examine my theory, perhaps we can find a Hungarian filmmaker who deals with and confronts Hungarian history in his films. Of course we can, Miklos Jancso. Here is a filmmaker whose film Red Psalm is about revolution and Socialism and involves all kinds of symbolic acts that cannot actually happen. Yes, my imaginary friend, I think we have a topic.

According to Istvan Nemeskurty, one can look at Jancso’s films in order of their chronological occurrence rather than shooting date and have a fairly consistent portrait of the past one hundred and fifty years of Hungarian history. “In fact,” Nemeskurty points out, “even the heroes of all the films seem one person: a young man about twenty or thirty years of age who appears again and again, almost continuing, perfecting his previous life” (Nemeskurty 20). The Round Up takes place around eighteen forty-eight, Red Psalm, which will be discussed more thoroughly, takes place at the end of the nineteenth century, The Red and the White takes place in World War One, and Silence and Cry takes place in the closing hours of World War Two.

Most of Jancso‘s films are fairly heavily concerned with Hungary and Hungarians as they cope with larger world events, most especially with the relationship between Hungary and Russia. Red Psalm, however, does not deal with this particular relationship. Set in the eighteen nineties, Red Psalm is about a pasant uprising against the Hapsburg empire. The peasants are socialists, reflecting Jancso’s personal opinions, and the story that is portrayed, though certainly not factual, still serves as a comment on history: making history answer to man.

The peasants first rise against the local authorities, singing and refusing to give their grain over to the constables. The soldiers move to take the grain by force, but are shamed into giving up their weapons by the women of the revolutionary group. Seeing that the soldiers have been shamed the the point of neutrality, the men of the group attempt to convince them to join, but only one is willing to listen. He joins in with one of the peasant dances, but soon other soldiers drive him away. He throws down his pistol in disgust and an officer picks it up and shoots one of the peasant women with it. When the cadet moves to her aid, he too is shot and killed.
Immediately thereafter he is brought back to life by the very peasant woman he had been trying to help, and the balance is kept for the time being.

So here we are not very far into the film, and we already have the living dead. Or at least a miracle. Clearly not an actual historical film. But it is an example of Jancso making history answer him. This cadet being killed and resurrected is not factual, nor is the audience intended to think it is. Rather, it shows the keeping of the peace for the time being in a way which cannot be literally believed but can express more clearly that a factual representation.

Perhaps the most stunning example of Jancso making history subordinate to his point is in a scene which opens with all the peasants and the soldiers dancing together. By this time the rising has grown to include hundreds of peasants, and they have been brought into direct conflict with the whole army. So we see a massive dance; all is frivolous and jolly. Then there is a bugle call and all the soldiers walk away from dance and surround the dancing peasants. They aim their guns at the peasants and fire on command until every peasant has fallen down dead.

The statement here is about the power of conflicting loyalty and allegiance, and it is one of the most powerful scenes in the film. It is, however, also symbolic. As powerful a message as this scene is, it is not the final message, and so Jancso’s peasants reappear in the next scene, bound and separated between those that wish to recant and live, and those who would rather die. This is two times that Jancso has had characters resurrected in Red Psalm, the second time being a mass resurrection. Surely this must detract from the meaning of the death. By now the audience must be convinced that no death is meaningful because death is not real in Jancso’s world within this film. But the deaths are not there to torment an audience with the end of a beloved character, they are in this film to make history, in a fashion, answer to man, which has been the goal of all of Jancso’s, and it could be added all of Hungary’s films.

The film Red Psalm ends with the peasants who will not recant being executed. One of the recantors tries to get his fellows who will not to recant, and the guitar player who has only sang and played throughout the film to this point stabs him. the guitar player is himself shot by an officer, and the other peasants are executed thereafter. The film ends with a shot of their blood stained bodies and the image of one of the peasant women rising to shoot down the celebrating soldiers.

The point is hard to judge. There are several points one could see being made in the film, but the primary one seems to be made by the very existence of the film itself. One can make a film to suit one’s own purposes. Jancso does this beautifully but others may do it more poorly. The strength in history is not inchoate. History becomes important when it is made to answer to man and thereby made comprehensible. The danger therein lies in who history is being made to answer to when a given perspective is presented. Clearly in some cases we get beautiful films about the powers of reconciliation and struggle for class freedom. In some cases we could get something far worse.

There, now, that was not so bad, was it?

“What? Oh. Sorry. I was looking at this sweet DVD.”

You mean to tell me that you didn’t get any of the information from that paper I just wrote. You don’t know anything more about history answering to man than you did before?

“Well, you don’t either. You just made it up off the top of your head. Hell, you’re just typing out this conversation because the paper isn’t long enough.”

Yes, proverbial student, the paper does not meet the minimum word requirement in it’s current state, but I think that it is a strong paper nonetheless. You see, proverbial student, it isn’t about the length of the paper, but rather about the thought that goes into it and how clearly the student understands the material involved. If, in the case of this class, my essay reflects, which I hope it does, the appreciation and intellectual challenges this class has brought to me, then it shouldn’t matter if two hundred or so of the words are the most blatent filler imaginable.

“Hey nameless voice, you’re right.”

God, I hope so.

Friday, May 06, 2005

There will be no open letters.

My brilliant plan will have to fruit another, more cognizant time.

Watch out!

For now, I survived. No sleep.

I said "that was awesome" to two of my pilots after the flight. The third, I told "I mean, you've flown in planes... 7000 feet is bumpy as shit!"

Last song I heard in the Czech Republic: wake me up before you go go.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

"SPAM SPAM SPAM (nadoelo)"

I don't know what that means, but those of you who have been following the nigh-daily adventures in blogdom that are presented here by the fine folks at santoritimes.blogspot may recall an equally inexplicable post title from some time ago. That title was derived from the auto-filler function of IE in the lab in A2 Vinarska, and this one is as well.

So this is it. This will be my last post from Europe for the foreseeable future. It will not be a good one. Today I bid farewell to the Pod and had an amicable first/last meeting with Andrew's brother. I will say goodbye to Tesco wine tonight. I will pack and take down all my shitty prints from the walls of the room. I will no doubt sleep late. I will eat soft sauce for the last time. Tomorrow Tora pizza will be my final Brno meal.

The bus leaves at 5.

The beauty that I'm sure Prague is in the spring will be lost to me, trapped with luggage in the airport for hours. I will again be spending time in godforsaken Frankfurt, just in the airport, just for three hours. America will welcome me with perfunctory customs checks in Charlotte. I'll be in Asheville in time for dinner.

Visit me.

MUSIC: beulah: If We Can Land A Man On The Moon, Surely I Can Win Your Heart

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

which film starring Eddie Murphy...

...and Nick Nolte really sucks and features a villain called the iceman?

That would be Another 48 hours, and it's funny you should ask that, because that's almost exactly how long I'll be in Brno.

The plane tickets arrived today, UPS can eat one, and I will be sitting in the prague airport for nearly twelve hours on Thursday night.

Those of you with ready access to cheddar cheese should remember how lucky you all are. It's totally great.

Gameboy Advance, after lying dormant for months, wastes my time and batteries.

-Friday - get home. hopefully eat something and shower. laundry is good.

-Saturday - get job. have car, possibly bandana matt (comment). laundry

-Sunday - mothers day. call mom, hopefully decembrists. if not, Family Guy.

-Monday - x-rays. not be crippled - doctor. Daily show

-Tuesday - work


I've wasted enough of your time for now. Baron Trenck beckons.

MUSIC: pixies: debaser

Monday, May 02, 2005

Oh, la moats...

Tis gibberish, that, but now you know how to pronounce Olomouc, the town we went to yesterday for to walk and drink.

There was, if I'm not mistaken, a birthday celebration involved.

Apparently, our fair city of Brno was to be the site of a giant protest-cum-fist fight with skin heads and anarchists. Perhaps it would be best to spend May Day elsewhere, methought (that can't be right), and my compatriots were in agreement.

We boarded the train near 11 am and rode in companionable noisiness most of the way to said town. Rather than fascists throwing punches and heavy police presence, we found archery contests and a concert and lots of lounging around in the shade and drinking beer. We partook in the latter.

Needless to say this was the first time I was up before noon since March 19, so I slept like a baby.

Also, needless to say, I had the last laugh.

MUSIC: the reindeer section: grand parade

PS: 5 days

PPS: no ticket.