▸ Bob Dylan performing “Things Have Changed”, music video 2000, directed by Curtis Hanson, song written for his film “Wonder Boys” 2000
▸ Bob Dylan performing “Things Have Changed”, music video 2000, directed by Curtis Hanson, song written for his film “Wonder Boys” 2000
… as the aging goddess of standup comedy
(Scene 27 – The Romance in Carbon Dating.)
ANGERONA MARKSALOT: (steps from mark to edge of stage-front, one hand shading eyes, speaks to director sitting 7 rows back in the empty-darkened theater seats) So, my motivation here, again, is what?
DIRECTOR BILL: Like your namesake, the Roman Goddess Angerona, you’re alleviating pain and sorrow. Here, by beginning with a short backstory of who you are by indicating who you aren’t.
AM: By saying that I am not related to either Groucho, or Karl, Marx, the 20th-century American, and 19th-century German, social humorists?
AM: I am, instead, descended from the great marking pen inventor A. Lot Marks who gave the world a felt-tipped pen that would leave A. Lot of Marks on a-lot-of-stuff, so permanently that the Smithsonian is now burying its important, Marks-A-Lot-ted records deep beneath the Mall in Washington.
DB: That’s it. Then, almost as a linking afterthought, you work in the cherry trees that line the Tidal Basin in Washington, given to the U.S. in 1912 by the City of Tokyo, a gift to which the U.S. responded 33 years later with the uniquely American presents of “Little Boy” and “Little Boy, II — The Boom Continues.”
AM: So my personal story becomes, then, just one girl’s journey within the larger story of the 20th-century social holocaust?
DB: Yes. And then we explode a block of 25 seats in the balcony, as Special Forces troops storm the auditorium and take out the terrorists, and other collateral casualties, in the first six rows of main floor seating.
AM: Which is why I’m dressed in a Kevlar toga?
DB: With a Kevlar butt-plug. You know, so …
AM: … I’m ready for the 20th-century social holocaust, theater after-party?
AM: Okay. But the connection from all that, then, back to my namesake? I guess I’m not really seeing the link. How am I a modern version of the goddess of calm that, after the anger storm abates, brings the alleviation of pain and sorrow?
DB: (turns to writer in the 8th row, 3 seats closer to the aisle) Maybe YouRipADeez can help with that. Rip?
WILLIAM HELMSTEAD “YOURIPADEEZ” LORDE: (sends text “later” to OnFrigidTipToes, a senior at William Taft High, and closes phone, looking up) Yeah, sure. Uh — it’s like the story of the 13 wise men and a girl from Joliet named Tremble Blow, made into the breakout movie of the Crony Brothers — “Shake, Rattle and Blow — There Is No Country For Old Rock Men.”
(Rip pauses for 5 beats that fill the space around the darkened theater seats with the beating silence of the central universal question, finally given voice by Angerona.)
AM: Sorry. I have no idea what the fuck you’re saying.
RIP: (recovering) Sure. It was just a passing reference to events that might have happened in a parallel universe.
AM: A parallel universe that’s parallel to what?
RIP: Good question. If this, or any, universe is, in fact, infinite, how could there then be another universe occurring in-parallel to it?
AM: Are you asking me a rhetorical question about the rhetorical question that you are posing as an answer to my question? Or is what you’re saying, now, as tortured in its absence of meaning, as what you are saying in the play?
DB: Maybe this would be a good place for a break.
AM: Maybe this would be a good place to break this fucktard’s head, wide open. You know, and have a look inside, in the chance that someone may have left the instruction sheet for the play’s assembly.
(Suddenly a lone spotlight in the bar above the stage goes out in a flash of light that begins white hot, then runs through the colors of the spectrum, ending in a deep purple-blue like the color of velvet popular with European royalty for centuries, as everyone looks up in frozen-wonder, and Stagehand Rack enters stage-left.)
SR: (stops stage-front, scans the awestruck faces) Wow. This is like that scene in “Flight of the Avatar” where Captain Clerk’s pants fall down and everyone on the bridge is suddenly transfixed by the music coming from the speaker in his penis.
AM: (comes to, looks at Rack) What?
SR: To be, or not to be, transfixed — that is the step-back question, now.
20160918 16:44 (756 words)
▸ George Ezra performing: a) “Budapest” (00:30), and b) “Blame It On Me” (05:15) — in studio 2014, from “Wanted on Voyage” 2014
▸ The Head and the Heart performing: a) “City of Angels”; and b) “Rhythm & Blues” — in studio 2016, from “Signs of Life” 2016
▸ Adele performing: a) “Crazy For You”; b) “Right as Rain”; and c) “Hometown Glory” — live 2008, from “19” 2008
… life in California’s ego-free zone
(flying busker in silver lamé, KT Tunstall, playing air guitar on the video of “All or Nothing” *)
Before being originally settled by the continental migrant-descendants of human cargo originally shipped across the Atlantic from Europe and Africa on cruise ships with few staterooms, banquet meals, happy hours or evening floor shows, the city of “water, wealth, contentment, health” was, of course, settled by people who were the descendants from earlier long-distance walkers who crossed the old-timey northern land and ice bridges that still occasionally connected the magma-floated and now drifting Gon’d Wanalands — even if it took a few hundred years more for the long-distance-walker kids to fully participate in purchasing their own franchises for democratically controlling the free will of the people.
LITTLE WOLF HANDSOME FEATHER: (incredulous) So you’re saying $3 million is a good price to determine a local election in the Bad Lands of North Dakota?
MR. BILL FROM AMERI-FRACK: Oh, yeah. It’s a steal. If this were California you’d be paying five, ten times that. You know, it’s still mostly prairie, here. And until prairie dogs can agree long enough on anything to hire legal representation, there just won’t be that many potential voters.
LWHF: You actually think that one day prairie dogs will have the right to vote?
MBFAF: Sure. Once the science of political-business-science can figure out how to deliver prairie dog voters.
LWHF: Why does that come first?
MBFAF: Democracy only works when some people are free to determine how other people vote.
In the 1870s of California’s Central Valley, however, determining how other people voted was more complicated. No tv ads. No sound bites on a tv evening news that’s read today like used-car journalists who are selling as much information characterization as possible in a 20-second spot. No computer-generated mailing lists. No means of tapping in to the trillions in hidden assets buried in coffee cans in the backyards of offshore banks. And no way to show, using computer graphics, definitive proof that your opponent is the alien spawn of travelers from a distant galaxy who “hate America for its free-dom.”
Back in 1870, with more people standing in front of the curtain than behind it, the “don’t vote for alien spawn” strategy was still just a political-action-committee dream waiting to be realized. In Modest-O — a town where a hundred years later hometown boy George Lucas would immortalize cruising in the 1960s on the town’s “American Graffiti” version of 10th and 11th Streets — humility was still something people could wear in public without the threat of being stoned.
MAYOR WILKINS: (writing letter) Dear Mr. Ralston: Just a note to let you know that the founding fathers of our fine community would like to call the town “Ralston” in your honor, as a way of thanking both you, and your Bank of California, for support.
WILLIAM CHAPMAN RALSTON: (writing letter) Dear Mr. Mayor: Thank you for your kind letter. To have your town named for me would be an honor I am, however, too humble to accept. As with other customers here at the Bank of California, we are only too glad to realize our humble part in using the money entrusted to us by others, to provide the investments necessary to help people realize their futures. That through diligence and perseverance our customers succeed in that endeavor, is the best return possible on our investment as it honors the very idea of social stability through shared wealth, that we in the financial system are working hard to keep alive.
CUSTODIAN IN MAYOR’S OFFICE: (holding broom handle, reads letter on desktop; mutters to self in Spanish) Oh, muy modesto.
20160902 17:10 (621 words)
▸ * KT Tunstall performing: -a) “All or Nothing”; and -b) “The Healer”, both from the EP “Golden State” 2016
▸ Winstersleep performing: -a) “Santa Fe”; and -b) “Territory”, both from “The Great Detachment” 2016
… on a song of time and place, with help from 3 dumbwaiters
(photo from Complete Lift Company)
1) The door to dumbwaiter no. 1 rolls slowly, up and back. Like a chicken that stiffly elevates her bulk at 4:15 a.m. in the third week of July, waking from a peaceful sleep. Then yawns and fluffs the feathers of her nest-head butt before waddling to the toilet in a corner of the coop.
Where she pees and two-square wipes, then thinks, perhaps, of the Starbucks ad from last night’s stream on Tubi. Wondering just how complicated barista math must be to anticipate a customer demand for fresh 20-hour cold-brewed coffee, 20 hours before it happens. Then, following the link-link landscape of that thought, she lingers on the chicken pot a moment longer and imagines a Seattle classroom full of Scandi-blondo chicks at Starbucks’ “Barista U.”
“So, class,” Professor Olafson continues, “the formula for determining a market push 20 hours before it happens is simple. It’s also secret and, having been turned into a software program, is now copyright protected. Since the 20-hour market forecast is a fundamental element of our marketing campaign, which is, in turn, as was decided correctly in ‘Pinkish vs. Hue’ — ‘a pre-delivery characterization of a product that becomes the reality in which that product, then, continues to exist.’
“Or, as summarized later on the Twitter account of the 13th Circuit Court of Appeals: ‘Yo, bitches — what we say is what it is!'”
Heather Jenkins, 19, is recording everything that Prof O says on the “Bean Chip” clipped to the neckband of her sweatshirt. Which is good since she’s thinking of the weekend and driving with “the crew” to the beach at Ocean Shores. Then sitting around an evening campfire while roasting hot dogs, buns, and marshmallows, after dropping E and swimming naked in the surf.
Three rows down in the lecture hall at 111 Kona, RiskAdverse, a.k.a. Frederick Temple James, is actually asleep and dreaming that he’s swimming in the surf with Heather, in a liquid metaphor for a fantasy the knotted boner in his jeans is pushing to become completely literal.
“Come, Monday,” Professor Olafson says louder now in closing, as RiskAdverse’s head abruptly leaves Heather simmering in the surf, “there’ll be a quiz in your discussion groups, where you will be expected to describe in detail Grindstone’s 20-hour forecast algorithm.” He then turns the overhead projector off and glances at the class before turning toward the door.
“So study hard, and play care-ful-ly,” Prof O says. Which is sound advice at Barista U, or at any of the other thousands of employer-driven business universities, that have now become the current-future state of formal education.
(photo from the Conrad Pezula Hotel & Resort Knysna, South Africa)
(sitting on the clubhouse terrace: Elaine, Seminole, the Basker Brothers (Slim and DickHead) — at a table with a view of the 18th green, deep into their 7th round of cocktails)
ELAINE: (looks at hands; sweet) My hands are so, fuck-ing clean.
SEMINOLE: (offhand, passing) Cool, babe. … So, Slim, tell me how you managed to slice and dice the Tenderloin deal?
SLIM: (smiles, smug) Not saying.
DICKHEAD: (in the dying light of big-brother adulation) He says “not saying is the key to all success.”
SEMINOLE: Yeah, I can see that. Mystery as the Queen of Leverage. Wasn’t it that Berkshire Hathaway dude who said “Give me a mystery large enough, and I can move the world?”
ELAINE: (looking at course) I think that was Newton.
DICKHEAD: Actually, it was Bobby Orr, holding up his stick after the Bruins won the Stanley Cup for the first time in 29 years, in 1970.
SLIM: Actually, I think it was NostrilDameOhs, that hot, Greek girl with an incredible, honker nose for prognostication.
ELAINE: (glances at Slim then back at course, casually touching nose)
WAITER JOE: (walks up with tray of refills, begins setting drinks on table) Actually, it was Archimedes, the Greek toga party impresario, in Chapter 14 of “How to Make Your Toe Gaga Produce Returns.” (bounces eyebrows at DickHead)
DICKHEAD: (gives him look that says) Go hand-fuck yourself, waiter boy.
WAITER JOE: (finishes) Gentlemen. (turns and leaves)
ELAINE: (pause; big sigh) I wish my calves were smaller. Like they were when Mom and I just roamed the range, alone and free, before the arrival of the cowpokes.
SEMINOLE: (looks at her) Babe — I thought you liked the cowpoke thing?
ELAINE: (glances at him, back at course) Uh-huh.
20160717 11:25 (290 words)
▸ John Doe performing “Go Baby Go” on video Mar. 2016, provided to YouTube by The Orchard Enterprises, song from “The Westerner” 2016, available from Cool Rock Records and Amazon
▸ The Head and the Heart performing “Cats and Dogs” & “Coeur D’Alene” in studio Jul. 2010, from “The Head and the Heart” 2011
▸ The Lemonheads performing “Rockin Stroll” by Evan Dando, on music video Oct. 2009, from “It’s a Shame About Ray” 1992
▸ The Paper Kites performing “I’m Lying to You Cause I’m Lost”, from “twelvefour” 2015
(photo from antiques.com)
“Wait — not creatively-grammatically correct? As in: ‘After years of toiling in the lumber mill of life, I feel pretty certain that I have now, finally, sawn the light,'” Handle says and turns her head to Weary Dean.
They’re both sitting back in a pair of dark-green enameled Adirondacks, in their underwear with bare legs and feet stretched out on the cool grass of a warm after-nooner May, grass that Weary Dean cut just this morning along a shaded border stretch of the blooming, wildflower meadow at Painful Acres.
“Past-imperfect-creative is a language dog that never gets a chance to run? Like language — or any other thing that’s struck by gravity to this turning ball of darkness mewing toward the light — has never, ever, seen the mewing light of ‘new’?”
Weary Dean shakes his head and smiles, then drains the final quarter of his 12-oz bottle of Wilde Flume, a new craft beer brewed my a group of non-religious “apostles of the true and good” on Forward Street in Rutland.
“One more?” he asks, standing-turning toward the house.
“Sure. And bring the bag of Macy’s Chipped Tortillas?” she asks please-and-pretty.
“Ok. And the ‘Webster’s Collegiate’? You know, in case this is heading in a lost-in-following-the-word-links direction?”
“I’ll shut the fuck up.”
Weary Dean is standing with one hand resting on the picket-fence of the Adirondack chair back, looking at her. Then he turns toward the house. “Like that ever happens, when you’re not dancing through the streets of dreamland.”
“And left-over pizza?”
“I’ll bring the wagon.”
The breeze picks up and rustles the new-leafed oaks that block the late-day sun on this small corner of a world too deep in chaos story to be seen at all, except in sawing out small excerpts of coincidence from the passing seens of time and space.
20160529 09:20 (331 words)
▸ Not Waving But Drowning performing “from/to” from “Any Old Iron” 2008
▸ Ben Howard performing “The Fear” from “Every Kingdom” 2011
▸ Gregory Alan Isakov performing “She Always Takes it Black” from “The Weatherman” 2013
▸ Cat Stevens performing “The Wind” live 1976, from “Teaser and the Firecat” 1971
▸ Vandaveer performing “A Little Time Off Ahead” from “The Wild Mercury” 2016
(photo of George Carlin * b. May 12, 1937 New York, d. June 22, 2008 Santa Monica)
▸ * George Carlin doing “7 Dirty Words” (in part, the bit originally broadcast on WBAI radio in New York 1973, this video possibly from the HBO special “George Carlin: Again!” 1978)
(“View from the Mussel Pier in Amsterdam” by Ludolf Backhuysen 1673, from siftingthepast)
From “Directions on What to Take and What to Leave Behind” — a recently undiscovered pamphlet published for passengers by New World Shipping, London and Amsterdam, 1690.
What to Take.
1) Five photos of family, friends, and other loved or formerly-loved ones.
2) One pot.
3) One pan.
4) One pair of extra socks.
5) Two pairs of drawers, if the drawers are large enough to be used later for cleaning rags. If not, then only one pair is allowed.
6) One good book. (Not necessarily “the” good book, just a book you won’t mind reading-and-rereading five or ten thousand times.)
7) One map to your destination, no larger than a postcard when folded.
8) One postcard, to be mailed back home upon arrival to let the folks back home know you’ve made it across the vast and sometimes angry ocean, thanks to New World Shipping.
What to Leave Behind.
1) Everything that is not essential. Stuff like extra letters in the alphabet you don’t really need (i.e., colo[u]r, hono[u]r, etc.). Learning to live with less, like using shorter words, is absolutely essential to survival in the wilderness. And, really, survival in the wilderness is what this latest episode in the history of h. sapes’ wanderlust via long-distance boat travel, is all about.
2) Your sense of loss. Really — just leave it on the dock, since recent studies have shown that engaging in “regret, and the bottomless pit of looking back” is when most settlers in the wilderness are eaten by bears.
BEAR: (taps settler on shoulder)
SETTLER: (sighs, and turns from looking back) Yes?
20160420 11:43 (280 words)
▸ Sly and Robbie “Boops”
▸ Them Crooked Vultures “Scumbag Blues”
▸ Kathleen Edwards “Back to Me”, and “The Cheapest Key”
▸ Langhorne Slim and the Law “The Way We Move”, and “Changes”
(photo by Vivienne Gucwa from nythroughthelens)
(scene 27 — interior, evening; Day sitting on couch)
DAY: Okay, this is the part that always creeps me the fuck out.
MYSTERY VOICE: And why do you think that is?
DAY: I don’t know. The light is fading and, as usual, I haven’t really done my Night homework.
MV: And so you feel filled with, what — dread?
DAY: Yeah, sure. I have no idea what to expect.
MV: So you think if you were a better student, you might …
DAY: Actually enjoy the night? Sure. Boogie down with the night people. I think I could really dig cruising the streetlight-shadowed boulevards and alleyways, the leafy lanes and deadend-transit mamas. (sits up, starts rocking head) Checkin’ out the shadow peeps. Bumpin’ with the grunge. Mono-gender BITCH-uhs, ev-ree-where! Yeah. I could definitely get my funk top ON!
DAY: (slumps back) No. Who am I kidding. I like the light, man. I mean — why eat in the dark? I like to see what I’m eating.
MV: And what’s eating you?
DAY: That’s it. (pause, looks around) Can we turn the lights on?
MV: Sorry. That’s not what night school is about.
20160417 10:57 (209 words)
▸ The Lumineers performing
– “Submarines”, lyrics and
– “Stubborn Love”, lyrics, by Wesley Schultz and Jeremiah Fraites, from “The Lumineers” 2012
▸ Whetherman performing
– “In the Melody” by Nicholas Williams, from “Seeds for Harvest” 2015, lyrics
▸ Cat Stevens performing
– “Father and Son” live 1971, from “Tea for the Tillerman” 1970
– “Moonlight Mile” 2002, to watch two characters/actors (Gyllenhall and Pompeo) being totally alive)
… one girl’s selfied voyage of self-discovery
(Maliblu, from the ER doctor)
### — Episode 1: “Like Magellan in a Hoodie, Heading West”
(a 22-min, 4K-word tv pilot in 8 scenes, w/cast at end*)
## — Scene 01-A — exterior, day, car [music].
(Erica Adams, struggling actor, sitting in her car, windows up, stopped in L.A. traffic, listening to music on radio; she glances around, gently nodding head, then reaches out and turns music up, closes eyes, begins air dancing; traffic begins to move, guy behind her lays on horn; she opens eyes, looks in rearview mirror and smiles, raises right hand, turned-around, waving fingers at guy in car behind, as she moves slowly forward)
## — Scene 01-B — interior, day, office [music].
(Helen Stoffle, Erica’s agent, sitting at her desk with WiFi headset on, listening to music; looking at calendar on laptop, calls Erica from computer)
(Erica’s car is stopped again as phone rings; she sees caller i.d. on dash display, mutes radio, answers on speaker)
ERICA: Hey, Hel. I’m in the car heading west on Olympic, about ten blocks, or three hours, give or take, in “L.A. traffic time,” from the Bull Fight.
(Helen breath laughs, turns in desk chair and looks out window)
HELEN: The streets are a mess?
ERICA: No. The roads are fine. They’re just full of cars, with people going places. Which isn’t bad, if you think about it. It’s a really good thing for the economy. Which is the only reason I’m doing this at all. I could care less about acting in movies or tv. I just want to help Los Angeles reach its full potential, and become the city it knows that it can be.
ERICA: So I leave a few days early for each audition, and get to spend some quality time, car-strolling through the place I love.
ERICA: Thanks. I like you, too.
HELEN: So give us a call after the Bull Fight’s over?
ERICA: You bet. Olé.
HELEN: Olé, sweetheart.
(both end call)