tweet of the day

Punishment

“She took a hammer and smashed my game. Hard, all to bits. It was a punishment.” He sat in the backseat, strapped in, his face to the window. Then his eyes met mine through the rearview mirror. He saw something, a flinch, a startle, maybe. “I deserved it,” he said.  “Really I did.”

Another day, they were laughing. They could have been brothers, the two cutups. We drove past a stand of trees and then it was quiet in the car. “Have you been to that graveyard?” Asking me, this time. I had no idea a cemetery was in that neighorhood, hidden somewhere amid well-tended yards and fine, old houses.

“There’s a little boy’s grave. I go when I’m riding my bike. He died a long time ago, but somebody leaves teddy bears. And cookies and things. On the boy’s birthday? There are always cookies. I don’t touch them.” I asked why he went there. “I like to,” he said. “And it just makes me really sad.” I held my eyes steady, steely straight ahead. I kept clearing my throat. Finally I said all I could say, “It makes me sad too. It’s nice of you to think about him. You know, you are such a good kid.”

We haven’t laid eyes on him in years. But I still can see him, sitting at the grave of a long gone boy. The living keeping  company with the dead.

Farewell, Ben Gazzara (1930-2012)

Ben Gazzara died this afternoon, on the anniversary of the death of John Cassavetes on February 3, 1989.

R.I.P. Don Cornelius (1936-2012)

Don Cornelius checked himself out, it would appear.

See him here — doin’ it to death — with Mary Wilson in the Soul Train line dance.

“It’s killing that is very distant but also very personal,” says anthropologist Neta Bar. “I would even say intimate.”

Chris Kyle is the deadliest sniper in U.S. military history. He was deployed to Iraq in 2003, and killed 255 people in six years.

A crowd had come out to greet them. Through the scope he saw a woman, with a child close by, approaching his troops. She had a grenade ready to detonate in her hand.

“This was the first time I was going to have to kill someone. I didn’t know whether I was going to be able to do it, man, woman or whatever,” he says.

“You’re running everything through your mind. This is a woman, first of all. Second of all, am I clear to do this, is this right, is it justified? And after I do this, am I going to be fried back home? Are the lawyers going to come after me saying, ‘You killed a woman, you’re going to prison’?”

But he didn’t have much time to debate these questions.

“She made the decision for me, it was either my fellow Americans die or I take her out.”

He pulled the trigger.

(via the browser)

Now what?

2011 was the ninth-warmest year on record:

The finding continues a trend in which nine of the 10 warmest years in the modern meteorological record have occurred since the year 2000.

It’s a Girl!

It’s a Girl! is a documentary about the systematic killing and suppression of girls in South Asia and around the world.

In India, China and many other parts of the world today, girls are killed, aborted and abandoned simply because they are girls. The United Nations estimates as many as 200 million girls are missing in the world today because of this so-called “gendercide”.

Girls who survive infancy are often subject to neglect, and many grow up to face extreme violence and even death at the hands of their own husbands or other family members.

The war against girls is rooted in centuries-old tradition and sustained by deeply ingrained cultural dynamics which, in combination with government policies, accelerate the elimination of girls.

Speechless.

(via kottke)

Daddy’s Plane

My daddy went to work at the aircraft firm of Chance Vought in 1935, I think, when he was nineteen or so. Jobs were hard to come by, but he was smart and mechanically inclined and he had a high school degree.

When the US entered WWII, my daddy was exempted from the draft on account of his working in a ‘critical industry’. Vought’s biggest customer was the US Navy.

After the war, Vought’s military contracts must have dwindled. Or maybe moving operations inland seemed like a good idea. Anyway, the company transferred 1300 key personnel from Connecticut to the right-to-work state of Texas. It was the biggest-ever US corporate move at that time. A Hollywood film inspired by the move even went into pre-production, and Spencer Tracy was said to have been cast. I imagine my mother in a Katharine Hepburn role.

The F4U Corsair (1940-1952) was Vought’s triumph.

The Japanese are said to have called the plane Whistling Death.

from the moderated comments

It’s a fantastic dicovery, it’s mean that another species other than human that can understand permenantly the concept of death! But, it’s cruel, the poor gorilla is sad and because he understand it too well, he is experiencing the same desperate feeling that us when we face death … where’s the ethic ? I hope they confort him well … and that he can be a happy gorilla! :\

from the spam

“I didn’t attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying that I approved of it.” — Mark Twain.

How do I feel about this car?

I am posting this post

because to now I have posted 1964 posts. So this will be 1965. And that was a beautiful year. I was just old enough to know that I wanted to be a grown-up woman. In 1965.

At least one of those grown-up women in the movies. Or to have a hit record.

RIP Ken Russell (1927-2011)

It’s a trailer, so it is crude and brash and obvious and fails to convey the delicacy and elegiac tone of the film, but here it is: the trailer for Savage Messiah (1972), possibly my favorite of the late Ken Russell‘s theatrical releases.

Question

Do you think I’m to blame for the death of Natalie Wood? Should I be worried the LAPD are re-opening the case?

things to see in Rome when you think you’ve seen it all

Being that I’m on a moratorium against photographs on my own blog, I’ll break my sight-silence (sitence?) to show you some things you might otherwise not know about:

Read more

tweet of the day

Werner Herzog, Into the Abyss

The paradox of this film is that it is both unremittingly bleak and rigorously humane.

A.O. Scott

(via kottke and stellar)

Safety is Serious

Are you being too safe or are you not being too safe enough?*


*Trick question: You’re already dead.

Venetian Vampires

A Manuscript called “De Masticatione Mortuorum, Latin for “The Chewing Dead,” offered helpful tips for those facing the walking (or chewing) dead, and prescribed practical treatments such as the aforementioned brick-in-mouth.

More on the art & gothic psychogeography of Venice.

Andy Rooney tweets from Stellar

Mike Monteiro:

“This waiting room is uncomfortable. And why does Heaven have old magazines? And why is there a chair reserved for Larry King? I’m hungry.”

Trelvix:

Tito Rooney will read from a prepared statement.

Tim Siedell:

Earlier this week, Andy Rooney had gone to the doctor complaining about shortness of breath and email and thumbtacks.

Nina Bargiel:

Andy Rooney may have died, but Yelp commenters will make sure his legacy lives on.

Matt:

(AP) Andy Rooney dead at 92 after a long battle with pretty much everything.

Matt:

Didja ever noti

Mike Morrow:

WHATEVER YOU DO DON’T RETIRE

MC Thumbtack:

Did you ever wonder if retirement could kill you?

MC Thumbtack:

When I write my twitter retrospective it will be called The Hypocrisy of Death Jokes and Outrage.

Mike Monteiro:

“…and these graves. Do they have to be so narrow? I like a little wiggle room. And why always SIX feet? Why not seven? Or six and a half?”

Ask a Mortician

via Jezebel

All Hallows (I Saw Nick Drake)

Robyn Hitchcock. “I Saw Nick Drake.”

I saw him pass right through this place.

And we’re in bloom.

The Murder of Van Gogh

60 Minutes did a segment on the possibility that, contrary to historical assumption, Vincent Van
Gogh was murdered
, or shot accidentally, rather than committed suicide. You can watch the second segment below the fold.

Read more

Here’s to the crazy ones

Steve Jobs version of the the Think Different ad that never aired.

headline of the day

Beetles Die During Sex With Beer Bottles

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