Archive for March, 2008

Robert Fagles — the man behind Achilles — dies

Saturday, March 29th, 2008

Robert Fagles, the New York Times reports, has died at home in Princeton, N.J., at 74. Cause of death, prostate cancer. Fagles’ translations of “The Iliad,” “The Odyssey” and “The Aeneid” in another time, a “classical” time, would have made him extremely famous. As it was, they sold millions of copies each and made [...]

Deborah Jowitt out at Village Voice

Friday, March 28th, 2008

I heard from Art Scatter friend Tim DuRoche that the Village Voice has let go Deborah Jowitt, its dance critic of 40 years standing, along with film critic Nathan Lee. Confirmation comes from dance critic Elizabeth Zimmer at the Arts Journal. The only other source I could find on the internet was Gawker (sorry), [...]

Gus Van Sant, vaguely artful

Thursday, March 27th, 2008

Gus Van Sant’s “Paranoid Park” has received mostly respectful reviews (see Rotten Tomatoes for a rundown of major reviewing activity on the film) from the nation’s movie critics, though not “glowing” or “excited” reviews. Most of them seem to get what Van Sant is up to — which is to give an atmospheric account of [...]

Hemingway: Last Night in Havana

Wednesday, March 26th, 2008

U.S. policy toward Cuba is depressing.
Fifty years ago there were high hopes in Cuba when Fidel Castro toppled the dictator Batista and ran out the American Mafia. But since then there has been a slow, steady descent into poverty and repression, the combined effect of the U.S. embargo and Castro’s ruthless system of concentration camps, [...]

Surveillance: From Barbed Wire to the Invisible Prison

Sunday, March 23rd, 2008

Go to him now, he calls you, you can’t refuse
When you got nothing, you got nothing to lose
You’re invisible now, you got no secrets
To conceal.
Bob Dylan, “Like a Rolling Stone”

Ubiquitous means being or existing everywhere at once. A novel word for a commonplace idea. We now accept the idea that surveillance is ubiquitous, even though [...]

Friday recap: Week six

Friday, March 21st, 2008

From certain perspectives, it wasn’t a good week at Art Scatter. A knee replacement. A hacking flu. A wheezing bronchial apparatus. Not much fun in there. Still, on the edge of Spring Break — and who doesn’t STILL celebrate Spring Break, even decades past the classes we’re allegedly breaking from? — it was [...]

Ord. 374: Commissioner Leonard and the Audacity of Nope!

Friday, March 21st, 2008

Commissioner Randy Leonard missed the March 19 City Council vote on City Ordinance 374, the measure he sponsored to prohibit the use of duct-tape or other markers on public property as a means of reserving space to view parades. Though he missed the vote, I imagine the Commissioner, aboard the bicycle carrier PSS Tom McCall, [...]

CIA, Harold L. Humes and Harry Mathews

Wednesday, March 19th, 2008

He didn’t tell me much about CIA’s modus operandi that I hadn’t heard already, but I did learn about the generally accepted laws of intelligence organizations. The basic rule is that if something can go wrong, it will. Applied to information from the field as it was read in supervisory offices, this means: “When something [...]

Looking for something that works

Friday, March 14th, 2008

It is impossible to begin to learn that which one thinks one already knows.
– Epictetus
A week ago, I sat in on a lecture by Roger Martin, dean at the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto. The talk, sponsored by the Portland branding/design firm Ziba Design, was in the open atrium/auditorium at the [...]

Al Souza: The Puzzler’s Dilemma

Friday, March 14th, 2008

I’m just trying to do this jig-saw puzzle
Before it rains anymore
- M. Jagger / K. Richards “Jigsaw Puzzle”

Ours is a family of re-puzzlers. Last holiday our sons, both in their mid-twenties, spent two days working through our old puzzles, beginning [...]

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