Friday, January 28, 2011

Egypt



If you have any interest in what is currently occurring in Egypt, watch the Al Jazeera live stream. The footage is absolutely riveting.

http://english.aljazeera.net/watch_now/

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The King Of Carrot Flowers



I originally read this headline at 5am and dismissed it as a beautiful dream. It was real.

"After years of shying away from public appearances, Neutral Milk Hotel's Jeff Mangum has been slowly returning to the spotlight over the past year. Just yesterday, he announced two more shows as part of the Portishead-curated ATP I'll Be Your Mirror festival in Asbury Park, New Jersey. And according to Mangum's friend and spokesman Ben Goldberg, head of the Ba Da Bing label, there's going to be more shows scheduled in the future.

Goldberg sent over a statement today, saying that Mangum is "planning some additional performances to start in the fall of 2011. The goal will be to play more American shows, as well as get over to Europe." He also mentioned that "I spoke with Jeff and he is quite honored and excited to be playing ATP." Mangum isn't the only one who's excited."

via Pitchfork

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Tragedy Of The Food Writer

Every creative writing class on the face of the planet will teach you the two universally accepted tips to becoming an acclaimed writer: write what you know and suffer.

The first is rather self explanatory, prompting the young impressionable writer to scavenge his past in hopes of unearthing a personal anecdote worth half a motif. This very same anecdote will be mentioned to the writer's friends between cigarette drags and doing coke lines off of Bob Dylan records. However, the friends will inevitable dislike the tale, claiming that the preceding story hasn't awarded the writer the monotonous cliche at the climax of the plot. This type of negative feedback prompts the writer to take some acid, stare at a white wall, and think up a completely ludicrous story about a talking wildebeest. This is called fiction, and those same pretentious friends now love it. After being read aloud in class, the professor turns to the young writer and compliments him on, "Crafting a brilliant commentary on the forgotten dead of the equally forgotten Korean war. Also, the part about the chimney sweep was just sublime." The writer doesn't understand, but instead of raising objection, he just nods, basking in the all too fleeting glory, knowing very well, that in the morning the euphoric rush will be gone. The proverbial clock strikes midnight, and the writer reverts from a literary genius back into a lonely grad student. Well, at least there's still alcohol.

The second universal lesson is that of suffering. The writer is from a normal family: dad has a steady job, mother is a mediocre cook, and his sister is currently weighing up the options of med school or moving in with her boyfriend named Chad. This infuriates the writer to no end; he wishes that his father was killed in Vietnam, his mother, a secret heroin addict, and his sister is actually a man named Chad. Seeking to understand the truth of the human condition, the writer travels to the far reaches of the world, seeking out the horror stories no one was the courage to mention, the tragedies that fail to make the nightly news cast. After months, the writer accepts his failure, moves back home, and get a part time job calling out bingo numbers in a retirement home. The writer leaves work everyday with tears in his eyes. Striving to emulate his critically acclaimed peers, the writer tries drinking himself to death, stealing morphine from his pharmacy friends, and nonchalantly stating that the scars covering his wrists are from a construction accident. In reality, the writer enjoys milkshakes and walking his dog.

Unable to undergo the metamorphosis into a true writer, our protagonist turns to food to drown his sorrows. However, as fate would have it, the inspiration he finds in ravioli, sushi, and the beautiful art that is the burrito, is something he could not simply shy away from. No acid, no Zoloft, just a fork and an empty stomach.

On assignment, the writer enters a restaurant and begins to study his fellow patrons. Examining their faces, the writer comes to the grand realization that they are all miserable people who exist in a facade of happiness, and more often than not drink too much cheap vodka and cry themselves to sleep. Not caring, the writer takes another bite.

Monday, January 17, 2011

There Is A Title In Here Somewhere

A dead pony occupies my dream.
Night after night, it effortlessly prances,
Darting from one end of eternal existence to other.
I try to place the expression on the beast,
Some describe it as peace, others say panic.
Maybe its hatred, maybe its fleeting joy.

Ever so often the pony will encounter two knights dueling.
One is dressed in a white garb, the other clothed in black.
The pony doesn't know why,
but it feels that the knights are fighting over its very existence.
Unable to dictate the outcome,
the pony flees.

Reaching the end of eternity,
the pony wants to jump into the expanding abyss.
It believes this will set it free.
However, the pony cannot move,
anchored to the ground,
by an orange sky.

Monday, January 10, 2011

If This Is True...



I am very happy.

I See A Darkness

Over the holidays I had the opportunity to briefly act as some kind of malevolent overlord. During my time occupying the demographic of a 8-12 male, I was ridiculed for my ravenous interest in books and unfortunate stutter, because lets be honest here, young children have the monopoly on cruelty. So this new situation would obviously seem like a nice turn of events. Turning the proverbial tables, I could be the bully for once. Except it wasn't uplifting. It was terrible. I had some weak link to power, and it petrified me. I was starring into darkness, and it reminded me how mortal we all are.

I caught a raccoon.

Everyone can see the signs. Torn up grass, disheveled lawn, and a drop in the insect population, these are the bane of every gardener's existence. Oh, the smell is also quite foul. So you set a trap. Yet, the raccoon is crafty, never simply lured by the scent of a turkey leg. Instead, the infamous trickster takes great pleasure in outwitting his human opponents by using his skillful touch to move the food past the lever of doom.

The humans regroup, formulate strategies, and then try again the following night. This time making plans, variations of plans, plans of plans. The morning is met with failure. Again, outwitted by an animal that never completed an SAT, went to college, or landed a stereotypical successful job.

On the third day, someone had the ingenious idea of of making a trail of food leading into the trap. It proved successful. We caught the bastard. He was ours.

The foul beast could chew the bars all night for all I cared. We had caught him. We were superor.

The morning came.

Strolling into the backyard, we were confident, basking in out apparent success, our hubris knew no bounds. Then the little guy looked at us. His eyes, consumed in feelings of despair and fear. Scared to die. In that instant I personified the critter. His name was Billy, his best friend was named Steve, and by being captured he would miss Christmas Day, and by product of association the exchange of gifts with the animal league of secret Santa. The conversations began of how we were going to transport the little guy.

We tried trash bags, dollies, and bicycles, all ineffective. Finally we put a bag over the cage, loaded it into our car, and drove. Twisting and turning as we head up to the coast of California to what the Internet claimed to be a natural habitat. The cage stunk of food, dead fish, and other odors associated with a wild animal. I didn't mind. We were saving this animal from the fears it had already assumed. Sitting in the back of our car, Billy feared death just as much as he feared life.

Reaching a suitably rural environment, my mother and I opened the cage, and the raccoon ran into the wild. However, during his hustle back into the wilderness, Billy climbed a tree and looked back at us. In my mind this was his way of saying thank you. In reality, Billy was probably cursing us out for now forcing him to get a present for the cow. That bitch.

The Heart Of The Sun





I just published a new photo album. As always, I appreciate any feedback.
http://picasaweb.google.com/cjonny21/PlotACourseForTheHeartOfTheSun#

All Shall Be Revealed In The Light Of The Past

In light of recent events, this kind of violent rhetoric needs to stop.

Writing From The Headlines

As most of you know, I am currently working on a screenplay. However, what you may not have realized is that I thought I had a fairly original idea, a clearly fictional commentary on the racial conflict currently underway in this country. Then Sunday happened.

Writing from the headlines is something I have always tried to avoid. Shows like Law and Order and CSI have been very successful from the strategy. Yet, I believe that the technique ultimately limits the breath of a work, and restricts it's ability gracefully age as a peace of art. Yet, real life happens, and then less than 12 hours after I finished a very terrible first draft, I found myself not having written the future, but instead, a very odd variation of it.

Will I alter my plot and rewrite the certain scenes due to recent events? Of course not. Will I be more aware about how my themes and motifs relate to greater world events? Of course.

Monday, January 3, 2011

And The Farmer Continues To Plow

According to Brueghel
when Icarus fell
it was spring
a farmer was ploughing
his field
the whole pageantry
of the year was
awake tingling
near
the edge of the sea
concerned
with itself
sweating in the sun
that melted
the wings' wax
unsignificantly
off the coast
there was
a splash quite unnoticed
this was
Icarus drowning



And with that, I have thrown myself back into writing a full feature screenplay. Yes, that poem is somehow relevant to the plot.

2010 Awards

Best Films Of 2010
1. Black Swan
2. The Social Network
3. Toy Story 3

Best Albums Of 2010
1. The Suburbs - Arcade Fire
2. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy - Kanye West
3. Halcyon Digest - Deerhunter

Best TV Of 2010
1. Mad Men
2. Lost
3. 30 Rock

Best Books Of 2010
1. Tinkers - Paul Harding
2. The Big Short - Michael Lewis
3. Freedom - Jonathan Franzen

Best Games Of 2010
1. Red Dead Redemption
2. Mass Effect 2
3. Bioshock 2: Minerva's Den

Hype Of 2011
1. New Radiohead Album (top of the list for the second year running)
2. Coachella
3. Portal 2