How Barb Taub Crashed a Wedding – Meet the Author – April 12, 2016

Hello Everyone … a couple of weeks ago one of my favourite writers and friend, Barb Taub announced she was going to publish the third book of her series Null City and wrote a brief post about it promising that I’d have something more to say about her work  the next day.  Well, the best laid plans as they say … between one thing and another I never got around to that second post … but I was able to get a letter off at last to Barb asking her to be my guest over here at the Library and I also challenged her to write a haiku … here’s her reply!

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Thank you so much for inviting me to your blog today, Georgia! Of course, you know that I’m a huge fan of your poetry, but most especially your haiku. But when you challenged me to write one, I panicked. How could something so spare and elegant be so difficult?

Here it is. My very first haiku ever, because I crashed a wedding my first night back in India.

we are such old friends,

watching strangers dance. they smile,

reaching. we whirl with new friends.


So, yes, I crashed a wedding my first night in India.

It all started because my friend Janine and I decided to push our luck. Having actually managed to meet up with our old University roommate Jaya in the middle of India the year before, we just had to see if lightning could strike again. This time, Janine and I were meeting first at the Mumbai Airport. Only, because of this tragic annual event we have up north (winter), both our flights were delayed. I’d been travelling from Scotland for over eighteen hours, much of that time spent sitting on the ground as the plane was repeatedly de-iced.

One thing about international flights is that they feed you. This is not necessarily a good thing. Shortly after our flight took off, the attendants began distributing the meal. I think they had approximately two meals that were vegetarian, but by the time they reached my section back in steerage, they were offering passengers a choice of beef stew. (The choice was to take it or to leave it.) They repeated the meal offer two more times over the course of the flight, but the menu didn’t vary. By the third pass, the attendants didn’t even pretend to hand out the trays. A woman across the aisle from me had brought along one of those big discount bags of gummy candy, and when she passed it around, she got a standing ovation.

We were all tired and hungry when the flight landed in Mumbai. Luckily, I’d been to India before so I knew how to line up before passport control. Or, more precisely, how not to line up. There is, of course, nothing remotely resembling an actual line. You just get in the middle of the crowd and eventually you’re pushed up to the front. As American voices behind me protested bitterly that people were not waiting their turn and it was so not fair, I blindly held out my paperwork to the agent, agreed that yes, Madam’s passport was very full and yes, Madam did go lots of places, and no, Madam didn’t know that they would need several pristine pages for their stampage, and yes, Madam would most certainly see that she had more pages next time. Behind me, the other Americans were still looking for lines to wait in, and still complaining about it. Lots. I wondered if I could convince anyone that I was Canadian.

The Mumbai Airport is in two very separate locations (Domestic and International), which have to be navigated Indian style. The usual soldier with the usual honking huge gun waved me toward signs for Domestic transfers, and at last I ended up at a roped-off group of chairs randomly placed in the middle of the airport terminal. Eventually, a young woman in a quasi sari/uniform outfit came over and told the group gathered there to follow her for the buses to the Domestic terminal. In the UK, that would work perfectly. Baby ducklings following their mother couldn’t fall into queue more precisely. Even in the US, travellers would lope along in a rough follow-the-leader line.

But this was India. The rest of the people in the chair circle leaped to their feet and surged for the doors at a dead run. Uniform Lady made a good show of trying to keep up with them, but somehow I lost her in the general melee. Men in suits, grandmothers in saris, mothers in embroidered salwar kameez (holding babies and clutching children’s hands), and one severely jet-lagged old American lady—we all trotted through the terminal, along corridors, down stairs, out the doors and over to the bus at the curb.

The Mumbai Domestic Terminal, including a lit up guy holding a giant tire. Of course.

The Mumbai Domestic Terminal, including a lit-up guy holding a giant tire. Of course.

People tossed their suitcases into the luggage section under the bus and pushed aboard, sweeping me with them. When it became obvious that there were not enough seats for the entire crowd, Uniform Lady reappeared and began ordering people off the bus. This caused delays as they remonstrated with her. (Since I’ve seen entire Indian families travelling on one motor bike, and witnessed many trucks so full of people that those hanging onto the back were only being kept from certain death by the grip of the inside passengers, I could understand why people were shocked at being asked to give up their perfectly safe bus aisle perches. But Uniform Lady was adamant, so we all waited through even further delays as all the luggage was removed from the under-bus compartments so the refugees could retrieve their luggage and put it on the next bus, already waiting just behind. Uniform Lady walked our bus aisle, evicting two other passengers pretending to have seats at the rear, and at last waved us away.

When we arrived at the Domestic Terminal, there was no sign of our flight to Vadodara (a small airport relatively near Jaya’s home in Gujarat). There was also no sign of my friend Janine, whose plane was supposed to be there well before mine. She’d left for the Washington DC airport more than thirty hours earlier, just ahead of the blizzard closing airports across the east coast.

It’s safe to say that we were not the two sharpest knives in the travel drawer that night. But we didn’t have to be, because we know exactly how to find each other in foreign countries in the middle of the night. I went to the only open coffee bar and ordered for two. [NOTE: for you amateurs out there, do NOT try this at home. You’ll need someone you’ve known for the better part of four decades, so that you know exactly how they will think.] Janine arrived at the Domestic terminal and headed straight for the coffee bar.

But we still had a problem. The crowd was nervously watching the departure gates, and when they finally put up the sign for the Vadodara flight, all surged forward, waiting for the gate to open. And waiting. And waiting. A woman in front of us cautioned that all the people pushing in from the sides would attempt to cut us off, and suggested that we form our own blockade. We waited some more. Eventually, the Vadodara sign was taken down, and the blockade strategist wandered off. Still we waited.

Finally, the sign went back up and the departure gate attendant asked everyone to present ticket and passport. It was the last word he got in before the crowd surged through the gates en masse. The attendant shrugged and turned away. Our passenger group rushed the doors only to find…more buses. Although there were several airplanes next to the terminal, apparently getting to our plane would require transportation. After people filled the bus, extra passengers were removed, and the driver was satisfied that all had seats, the bus finally moved away from the terminal. First it drove for some distance straight out, then circled a roundabout to drive for several blocks back, passing the airport terminal where we had boarded the bus, and continuing on in the opposite direction. At another roundabout, it turned around again and headed back to the airport terminal.

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We still don’t know why we were on this bus.

As we slowed to a stop before a plane parked right outside the terminal, Janine whispered to me, “This is where we got on, isn’t it?”

Of course it was. We boarded the plane parked just across from the departure gate. As far as we could tell, we had just taken half an hour to board, ride, and depart from buses that took us across the street.

The flight itself was only about half an hour, but the crew served a full meal. Racing down the aisle, attendants dealt each passenger a tray with a speed that a Las Vegas dealer would envy. Each tray held a surprisingly delicious breakfast that was not even a little bit beef stew. But before even the fastest eater could have finished, they were back to collect the trays, tell us to fasten seat-belts, and prepare for landing.

Neither Janine nor I could figure out how long we’d been travelling at this point. But it didn’t matter because at the open end of the tiny airport, we saw Jaya waving. We were back in India and that could only mean one thing. It was time to eat. After a huge and blessedly beef-stewless meal, we headed out for a walk in the nearby town park. We weren’t sure if we were hallucinating from the sleep deprivation and jet-lag, but we saw what looked like Cinderella’s carriage (if Cindy had been REALLY into neon). Gorgeously dressed guests, beautiful horses, a full marching band, and women with gigantic light fixtures were all milling around.

“Wedding,” Jaya said. Sure enough, a young man dressed like a prince was soon seated in the carriage and it was drawn slowly through the streets, the band playing, and the women with the giant light fixtures now balanced on their heads leading the way. They didn’t get far before a tune that everyone seemed to know started up.

Wedding-Crashers-Rule76-T-ShirtsA group of gorgeously dressed women—wedding guests and bridal party—all began to dance in an expanding circle. “It’s called the garba,” Jaya explained. “Here in Gujarat, you can’t help dancing it.” Even as we watched, women approached me and asked me to join them. Ignoring my protests, they pulled me in. Somehow, only hours into our India trip, I’d crashed a wedding.

Luckily, the movie Wedding Crashers had been in the oldie selections on the plane coming over. I’d watched it in between refusing beef stew, so I already knew the rules of wedding crashing (as listed here).

But for those of you who might have missed the movie, here’s how I applied those rules:


DNWHiPNote: If you’d like to hear more about our travels through India, please check out Do Not Wash Hands in Plates, the story of three women eating our way across India in search of adventure, elephants, temples, palaces, western toilets, monkeys, the perfect paratha…and the kindness of Indian strangers..


 

And for urban fantasy fans, my new book Round Trip Fare is now available.

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[click on image for preview and reviews from Amazon]

Warden Carey Parker’s to-do list is already long enough: find her brother and sister, rescue her roommate, save Null City, and castrate her ex-boyfriend. Preferably with a dull-edged garden tool. A rusty one.

And then there is… him. For the past two months, a dark stranger has persistently edged his way onto the mental game board behind her eyelids. Well, whatever trouble he’s selling, Carey Parker is not buying.

Carey knows superpowers suck, her own included. From childhood she’s only had two options. She can take the Metro train to Null City and a normal life. After one day there, imps become baristas, and hell-hounds become poodles. Demons settle down, join the PTA, and worry about their taxes. Or she can master the powers of her warrior gift and fight a war she can’t win, in a world where she never learned how to lose.

Round Trip Fare RWA Contest Finalist 2015

She just has a few details to work out first. Her parents have been killed, her brother and sister targeted, and the newest leader of the angels trying to destroy Null City might be the one person she loves most in the world. And her sexy new partner’s gift lets him predict deaths. Hers.

It just would have been nice if someone told her the angels were all on the other side.


  • TITLE: Round Trip Fare
  • Genre: Urban Fantasy (okay and there is humour, romance, a sentient train, a great dog, and bunch of other stuff—but Amazon only gives you a couple of words to pick genre, so…)
  • Series: Null City [NOTE: prequel One Way Fare is now available FREE from Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble and Kobo, and the Amazon UK kindle version directly from Barb) but this book works as standalone.
  • Release date: 7 April, 2016

Contact & Buy Links

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Blog | Facebook | Twitter: @barbtaub | Goodreads


 

Barb pix 300 dpiBarb Taub:

In halcyon days BC (before children), Barb wrote a humour column for several Midwest newspapers. With the arrival of Child #4, she veered toward the dark side and an HR career. Following a daring daytime escape to England, she’s lived in a medieval castle and a hobbit house with her prince-of-a-guy and the World’s Most Spoiled AussieDog. Now all her days are Saturdays, and she spends them travelling around the world, plus consulting with her daughter on Marvel heroes, Null City, and translating from British to American.

I’d like to thank Barb for the great post which I hope you’ve all enjoyed as much as I have … and if you haven’t done so yet, this is the time to pick up one of her books … take it from me, they’re a great read!  Ciao, Bastet.

 

V for Vendetta – Thoughts – April 3, 2016

Vforvendettamov.jpg

The other evening I decided to watch “V for Vendetta” and admit that I was more enchanted once again by the exquisite use of the English language used by our hero, V rather than with the story of the movie (based on the 1988 Vertigo Comics limited series of the same name by Alan Moore and David Lloyd) Here is just one of his first soliloquies,his introduction of himself to Evey.

Here is the extract of this first introductory speech given by V to Evey:

Evey: Who are you?
V. : Who? Who is but the form following the function of what and what I am is a man in a mask.
Evey: Well I can see that.
V. : Of course you can, I’m not questioning your powers of observation, I’m merely remarking upon the paradox of asking a masked man who he is.
Evey: Oh, right.
V. : But on this most auspicious of nights, permit me then, in lieu of the more commonplace soubriquet, to suggest the character of this dramatis persona. Voila! In view humble vaudevillian veteran, cast vicariously as both victim and villain by the vicissitudes of fate. This visage, no mere veneer of vanity, is a vestige of the “vox populi” now vacant, vanished. However, this valorous visitation of a bygone vexation stands vivified, and has vowed to vanquish these venal and virulent vermin, van guarding vice and vouchsafing the violently vicious and voracious violation of volition.
The only verdict is vengeance; a vendetta, held as a votive not in vain, for the value and veracity of such shall one day vindicate the vigilant and the virtuous.
Verily this vichyssoise of verbiage veers most verbose, so let me simply add that it’s my very good honour to meet you and you may call me V.
Evey: Are you like a crazy person?
V. : I’m quite sure they will say so.

Remember remember the fifth of November
Gunpowder, treason and plot.
I know of no reason why gunpowder, treason
Should ever be forgot…

I’ve watched this film several times, and though I admit I’d not want to take up arms as V or Evey have done, I wonder;   in the face of the tyranny described in the world in the story … would it be right to sit back and allow freedom to be trampled upon so that we might feel safe. I don’t think it likely we’ll have to face quite a dictatorship again (oh so very Hitleriana). I’m more inclined to think we’ll find ourselves in a Huxleyan distopia or one of its variations as we are manipulated by social networks into a virtual corner … but one never knows. One thing we may be sure of though is, that history has shown us, time and again, that tyranny is the most common form of human government. I’ve seen nothing to reassure me that that has changed so sooner or later it will be so again and what will we do?

Round Trip Fare – A New Release by Barb Taub – March 23, 2016

Hello World!

For all of you Barb Taub fans I’ve got news!  A new sequel to her Null City urban fantasy series is scheduled for release on April 7th 2016!

 

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The title of the book is Round Trip Fare:

Is it wrong that shooting people is just so much easier than making decisions? Carey wonders— and not for the first time. But the Agency claims this will be an easy one. A quick pickup of a missing teen and she won’t even have to shoot anybody. Probably. 

Carey knows superpowers suck, her own included. From childhood she’s only had two options. She can take the Metro train to Null City and a normal life. After one day there, imps become baristas, and hellhounds become poodles. Demons settle down, join the PTA, and worry about their taxes. Or she can master the powers of her warrior gift and fight a war she can’t win, in a world where she never learned how to lose. 

And then there is… him. For the past two months, a dark stranger has persistently edged his way onto the mental game board behind her eyelids. Well, whatever trouble he’s selling, Carey Parker is not buying. Her to-do list is already long enough: find her brother and sister, rescue her roommate, save Null City, and castrate her ex-boyfriend. Preferably with a dull-edged garden tool. A rusty one.

She just has a few details to work out first. Her parents have been killed, her brother and sister targeted, and the newest leader of the angels trying to destroy Null City might be the one person she loves most in the world. And her sexy new partner’s gift lets him predict deaths. Hers.

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More about my favourite author tomorrow but in the meantime, why not take peek at her blog … if you really need a pick me up, that’s the place to go!  Here’s just a taste of why I love her … An American learns to eat in England!

 

 

Tears in Rain – Blade Runner revisited – January 8, 2015

rain Wolfgang Suschitzky - Charing Cross Road, London, 1937

Rain by Wolfgang Suschitzky-Charing Cross Road, London, 1937

Reading various pieces today written by my fellow writers for Magpie Tales using the above photo as prompt, my mind kept returning to the famous scene from “Blade Runner” ‘Tears in the Rain’.  I still get tears in my eyes every time I watch that scene, though I can’t say how many times I’ve seen it. However, it  doesn’t affect me quite the same way though if I just read it.  A great write without a doubt, but without seeing Rutger Hauer (Roy Batty) save Harrison Ford (Deckard) just as Deckard’s hand gives way, the whole monologue loses it’s poignancy.

This scene grabs the listener, because here we feel and understand our own human need to pass the testimony of our life when life leaves us.  Throughout the film the Nexus replicants  give us a feeling of horror … they’re in a word creepy, inhuman objects that imitate humans too closely they’re soulless objects (not to mention they do some pretty dastardly dos).  At no time do we really sympathize, identify or understand them –  we’re prevented from doing so due to theirr destructive violent anger.  In fact except for the saving grace of the replicant Rachel, we might feel inclined to agree with inspector Harry Bryant that replicants are little more than “skinjobs” (- certainly inhuman robots).

Then, Rutger Hauer (Roy Batty) saves Harrison Ford (Deckard) demonstrating through his death monologue that he is as human as Deckard himself. That scene shows us that the replicants are the abused by-product of a soulless science born in a society incapable of understanding what the replicants, whom they live with in fear and horror, are.  Science here hasn’t imitated life, it’s created life – and Roy Batty has a soul, like it or not.

We might not have gotten the same impression if Rutger Hauer hadn’t decided to cut the original scene without consulting the screen-writer David Peoples or Ridley Scott the evening before shooting the, now famous, scene.

The original read:

“I have known adventures, seen places you people will never see, I’ve been Off-world and back…frontiers! I’ve stood on the back deck of a blinker bound for the Plutition Camps with sweat in my eyes watching the stars fight on the shoulder of Orion. I’ve felt wind in my hair, riding test boats off the black galaxies and seen an attack fleet burn like a match and disappear. I’ve seen it…felt it!”

Hauer felt that the lines were “opera talk” and “hi-tech speech” and didn’t represent his character and had little to do with the rest of the film.  So he, in his words; “put a knife in it” the night before filming.

In an interview with Dan Jolin, Hauer said that these final lines showed that Batty wanted to “make his mark on existence … the replicant in the final scene, by dying, shows Deckard what a real man is made of.”” (Wikipedia)

Both Scott and Peoples insist that the lines were written by Hauer himself but Hauer feels that he only did a little editing .. here are the final lines so we can decide for ourselves:

I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears…in…rain. Time to die.

Tannhäuser Gate isn’t mentioned anywhere in the original script but thanks to this brief monologue it has been used in several Scifi sub-genre  stories.  I just read and though you might be interested in this reference to Tannhäuser Gate:

The name probably derives from Richard Wagner‘s operatic adaption of the legend of the medieval German knight and poet Tannhäuser. Joanne Taylor, in an article discussing film noir and its epistemology, remarks on the relation between Wagner’s opera and Batty’s reference, and suggests that Batty aligns himself with Wagner’s Tannhäuser, a character who has fallen from grace with men and with God. Both, she claims, are characters whose fate is beyond their own control.

Not bad for someone who just cut several lines and added “All those moments will be lost ….”  Rutger Hauer, in rewriting those lines, in my opinion,  gave a new perspective to the whole movie … before that scene the replicants were only cruel, senseless monsters.

Quote of the Day – Virginia Woolf – October 15, 2015

Quote

Today I was preparing my weekly English conversation lesson, I chose to talk about Virginia Woolf and this lovely quote popped up from her essay “A Room of One’s Own” which really impressed me a lot .

For a Pdf copy of the essay follow this LINK

Woody Allen and “Midnight in Paris” – October 5, 2015

For a long time I avoided Woody Allen films … they just seemed so boring to me – perhaps that was to be expected since I’d been raised on Disney and science fiction.

The first Woody Allen I saw was: “Bananas” … and I thereby decided I could do without Woody Allen (I saw it again years later and enjoyed it very much).  The second was “Manhattan” – I was on an Alitalia flight doing the Atlantic crossing from New York to Rome … and fell asleep.

It wasn’t until I saw “The Purple Rose of Cairo” (1985) that I “discovered” Woody Allen.  Since then I’ve seen quite a few of his films which I’ve really enjoyed especially, the aforementioned  “The Purple Rose of Cairo”, “Zelig”, “Radio Days” and now “Midnight in Paris”.

What’s the common denominator of these films … I’d say nostalgia and wanting to be “elsewhere” or someone else.

Midnight in Paris is the story of a Californian screenwriter, Gil Pender who has a prospering career in Hollywood and a beautiful fiancée Inez.  He and his future wife are vacationing in Paris, a trip paid for by Inez’s wealthy conservative parents, who are also accompanying the young people.

We immediately get the impression that he’s doesn’t feel creatively fulfilled with his successful career and would, like many writers, like to publish his first “novel” (the story he’s written is about a man fascinated with memorabilia – which he’s completed but is unsure whether to present it for publication). He keeps throwing around the idea of moving permanently to Paris and write rather in the more stimulating atmosphere of that city rather than return to the Malibu  But Inez who is very materialistic and attached to her way of life, categorically refuses to even consider giving up her comfy life in the U.S. to share the Bohemian existence of a “starving writer’s” life.

The character of Gil Pender is a figure we’ve met often in Woody Allen films (both in female roles as well as roles Allan has interpreted): the shy, insecure intelligent person with a vague ambition of “going somewhere” … without exactly knowing where.  Gil Pender in particular would like to have lived in the glorious past of the roaring twenties.  One evening, Gil while at a party with Inez and her pedantic friend Paul (whom Inez admires very much) and Paul’s wife, drinks too much wine. While the other three decide to go dancing, he decides to go for a quiet walk alone.  During his evening promenade he is approached by a Peugeot Type 176 car whose occupants invite him to come with them to a party and finds himself rubbing elbows with his literary heroes in the Paris of the twenties.

As a point of interest, Allen wrote the screenplay employing a reverse approach – he started with his title “Midnight in Paris” and went from there.  He’d conceived  Gil Pender as a New England intellectual (a Woody Allen alter-ego), until he began taking into consideration Owen Wilson for the part: “I thought Owen would be charming and funny but my fear was that he was not so eastern at all in his persona,” says Allen. Rewriting the scenes he wrote Gil Pender as a Californian, which worked very well.  A. O. Scott of The New York Times commented on Owen Wilson’s success at playing the Woody Allen persona stating that the film is “marvellously romantic” and credibly blends “whimsy and wisdom”.

This was Allen’s first film completely shot on location in Paris … from the first clips of the film, three and a half minutes of “post card” shots of Paris, with that historical great musical piece  “Si tu vois ma mère” by Sidney Bechet  – we know we’re in for magic. And what about the magical aspect of”Midnight in Paris” compared to “The Purple Rose of Cairo”.  The magical events of both films is never explained but are just accepted as being somehow part of reality. David Edelstein, New York, commended this approach, since “the sci-fi wheels and pulleys … tend to suck up so much screen time in time-travel movies.” Edelstein goes on to applaud the film stating that, “this supernatural comedy isn’t just Allen’s best film in more than a decade; it’s the only one that manages to rise above its tidy parable structure and be easy, graceful, and glancingly funny, as if buoyed by its befuddled hero’s enchantment.” (Edelstein, D. “It’s a Good Woody Allen Movie”, New York. Retrieved October 2, 2011.)

© G.s.k. ‘15

A Thin Red Line — June 26, 2015

shooting blind
who will die who will kill
no one knows – they shoot

where is the sense
what makes them better than me
or me better than them

is there an answer
maybe hidden in a bunker
where no grenade explodes

where are we going
where ever have we been
did we ever really live

look around
leaves growing green in spring
life blossoms

the sun warms the earth
filtering through the trees
the wet earth – a sweet perfume

they tell you to shoot
kill your enemy – then weep
when you shoot up a school

fear, envy, blindness
we walk in the shadow of evil
and close our eyes

blinded by blood-red light
we no longer see that we’re one
part of a whole

We are
lost … lost

© G.s.k. ‘15

WITT.
We were a family. How’d it break up and come apart so that now we’re turned against each other, each standing in the other’s light? How’d we lose the good that was given us, let it slip away, scattered, careless? What’s keeping us from reaching out, touching the glory?

The Thin Red Line

 

Some Folk Music from Italy – June 17, 2015

Le mondine were itinerant working women who left their homes in summer to work in  the rice paddies in Northern Italy (work began in the month of June until harvest time) during the 19th and part of the 20th century.

Work conditions were terrible and the pay just enough to barely make the sacrifices worth while.  The women spent long hours during the early season bare-footed and  knee-deep in water transplanting the new rice and endless hours under the sun weeding the plants as they grew.

A famous film all about their life and work starring  entitled “Bitter Rice” came out in 1949 starring Vittorio Gassman and Silvana Mangano.

Movies-Riso Amaro.jpg

le mondine
singing under the hot sun
dreaming of autumn

© G.s.k. ‘15

Sita Sings the Blues…

I’m not sure how many have had the opportunity to watch “Sita Sings the Blues”.  I came across the film years ago and fell in love with it.  It’s a 2008, animated film adaptation of the Ramayana…mixed up with the life of a modern Sita, Nina…a cartoonist who follows her husband, “temporarily” posted  to India, only to be cruelly rejected by him, since he’s met up with another woman and no longer loves Nina. She goes to New York, comes across the Ramayama and recreates in 5 years the story of her life in paralleled with story of the life of Sita.

I love the shear artistry of Nina Paley’s work…she created an original vibrant and though provoking cartoon, the story line is fantastic and with three strokes of her pen she recreates worlds.  I find it fascinating how she moves from an elaborate, very bright colored “Indian” art style to near stick figures when penning in her American charactures.  The music is a mix of Indian music and  vintage recordings of jazz singer Annette Hanshaw.  And…I’m not the only one to think this is a great film…on Rotten Tomatoes, the film got 0 rotten apples…that’s a 100% positive vote, really a rarity for Rotten Tomatoes!  Audience appeal was a little lower at 86%…not half bad.

To know more about Nina Paley … go visit her blog!  In the meantime, for those who’ve never seen Sita Sings the Blues…here is a link to the YouTube version…though you can watch it in streaming and down load it right Here.

Have a great weekend… Bastet!

 

George Carlin: Preface to – Brain Droppings

book cover from "Brain Droppings"

book cover from “Brain Droppings”

I like George Carlin.  I like him because he’s real people.  I’ve lived most of my life with “believers”.  Nothing wrong with believers per se, and I’m not talking only about religious believers by the way, but political believers, ideological believers, scientific believers  just generally people who somehow always believe that what they believer is “real”… and that’s fine, until they want you to believe what they believe…then problems can begin.  I’ve seen some pretty terrible things happen, thanks to “belief”.

I decided to just lay back and relax today…and  re-read George Carlin’s Brain Droppings… I just had to share his preface with you folks, it’s lovely:

“For a long time, my stand-up material has drawn from three sources. The first is the English language: words, phrases, sayings, and the way we speak. The second source, as with most comedians, has been what I think of as the “little world,” those things we all experience every day: driving, food, pets, relationships, and idle thoughts. The third area is what I call the “big world”: war, politics, race, death, and social issues. Without having actually measured, I would say this book reflects that balance very closely.

The first two areas will speak for themselves, but concerning the “big world,” let me say a few things.

I’m happy to tell you there is very little in this world that I believe in. Listening to the comedians who comment on political, social, and cultural issues, I notice most of their material reflects an underlying belief that somehow things were better once and that with just a little effort we could set them right again. They’re looking for solutions, and rooting for particular results, and I think that necessarily limits the tone and substance of what they say. They’re talented and funny people, but they’re nothing more than cheerleaders attached to a specific, wished-for outcome.

I don’t feel so confined. I frankly don’t give a fuck how it all turns out in this country—or anywhere else, for that matter. I think the human game was up a long time ago (when the high priests and traders took over), and now we’re just playing out the string. And that is, of course, precisely what I find so amusing: the slow circling of the drain by a once promising species, and the sappy, ever-more-desperate belief in this country that there is actually some sort of “American Dream, “ which has merely been misplaced.

The decay and disintegration of this culture is astonishingly amusing if you are emotionally detached from it. I have always viewed it from a safe distance, knowing I don’t belong; it doesn’t include me, it never has. Now matter how you care to define it, I do not identify with the local group. Planet, species, race, nation, state, religion, party, union, club, association, neighborhood improvement committee; I have no interest in any of it. I love and treasure individuals as I meet them, I loathe and despise the groups they identify with and belong to.

So, if you read something in this book that sounds like advocacy of a particular political point of view, please reject the notion. My interest in “issues” is merely to point out how badly we’re doing, not to suggest a way we might do better. Don’t confuse me with those who cling to hope. I enjoy describing how things are, I have no interest how they “ought to be.” And I certainly have no interest in fixing them. I sincerely believe that if you think there’s a solution, you’re part of the problem. My motto: Fuck Hope!

P.S. Lest you wonder, personally, I am a joyful individual with a long, happy marriage and a close and loving family. My career has turned out better than I ever dreamed, and it continues to expand. I am a personal optimist but a skeptic about all else. What may sound to some like anger is really nothing more than sympathetic contempt. I view my species with a combination of wonder and pity, and I root for its destruction. And please don’t confuse my point of view with cynicism; the real cynics are the ones who tell you everything’s gonna be all right.

P.P.S. By the way, if, by some chance, you folks do manage to straighten things out and make everything better, I still don’t wish to be included.”

George Carlin (May 12, 1937 – June 22, 2008)