Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Why the eclipse was a bust

I don't know whether to be in awe, or just pissed off. 

We had over 80% of the eclipse today, but I assumed it wouldn't amount to much. I was told it wouldn't be very dramatic where we lived, no blackness descending at mid-morning. Nothing much to see. I did go outside at "eclipse time" and was freaked out by the dimmer-switch on the sun as it hung mutely in a muted blue sky. 

The light was just - wrong. It wasn't darker or dimmer or anything I can describe, just wrong. Everything looked weird, as if the sun's light was filtered through a huge chunk of amber, or maybe five million tons of lemon jell-o. I noticed the shadows didn't look right. They definitely didn't. Look. Right. 

I went back inside the house, freaked out, thinking it was just my slightly wonky perception kicking in. God knows it has happened before. But I felt uneasy all day - what IS this, anyway? Why can't I leave this alone? There was nothing to see, was there? I'm not an observatory kind of person, I don't stand on hilltops with weird glasses on. But I kept looking on news web sites to get some good footage, and got nothing, basically. One eclipse is exactly like another, with NASA yapping on and on and on. 

The only interesting parts were interviews with people in crowds who would suddenly sort of disappear as a blanket of shadow dropped over their faces. The strange stuff with light - darkness at the break of noon - it was all a little too much. It was hard to watch, even on TV. I found it more disturbing than awesome. 

The experience I had in the morning kept replaying, except now I wished I hadn't been such a coward and had stayed out there for a while. I could have filmed it, couldn't I? Probably, yes. I might have even captured that bizarrely muted light. But oddly enough, though I take video of everything that interests me, it didn't even cross my mind.

Then I'm on some Facebook page - Dan Rather's news page or something, almost irrelevant! - and I discover that those weird shadows that disturbed me so much are actually a "thing". Tiny spaces through tree leaves function as pinhole cameras, resulting in thousands (millions!) of crescents of light cast on the ground: actual images of the eclipse, happening in real time. All sorts of people have posted photos of this - ordinary people, not photographers, just walking down the street or looking in their back yard. 

Which I could have done, also, but didn't, because I did not know there was anything there to look at! Or looked right at it, and did not understand. I had to resort to someone else's YouTube footage to make these gifs.

So you see, folks, you were supposed to look DOWN, not up! But there was almost nothing on TV or anywhere else about what the eclipse would do to the natural world.  People mentioned how cold it was, how street lights came on, etc., but mostly the focus was on astronomy and people yelling "There it goes, look at that, whoo-hoo!".

Darkness at the break of noon. In spite of my practically missing the whole thing, it had a very creepy effect on me. This leaf-camera thing - who knew? I could have been out there taking video of the whole thing! The weird, fuzzy, double-vision look of the shadows on the ground now make sense to me, but I didn't understand what I was seeing, didn't expect it, so I missed it. One could miss an entire lifetime that way, not noticing, or being afraid of the only stuff that really matters.

Monday, August 21, 2017

A off-series devoted to the sex


magictr | July 28, 2017 | Art | 0 Comments

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Romain Duris – 9th Francophone Film Festival of Angoul√™me – Day 6 August 27, 2016. © Coadic Guirec / Bestimage

Interview uncovery of the actor !

Each year, the magazine Les Inrockuptibles features a off-series devoted to the sex. If it is, Stoya is on the cover, the word is also given to the actor Romain Duris. This time, it is not directly a question of a film, but of his work, in Pulp, that brings together his erotic drawings. Sex, he thinks what Roman ?

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Responding in all candor and coolness, daring and discreet actor explains why he likes to draw the body and desire : “I am full of life, I don’t think being an obsessed sexual but I have a lot of desires. So as soon as I draw people kissing, it speaks to me.” He also adds love to draw breasts : “I love the volumes, the shadows, the light, the dark, the contrasts.”

Of course, he also talks about nudity in film, this does not pose any problem if it is to serve the film and the credibility of the story : in Tony Gatlif, “he filmed the life, a purity”, in Cedric Klapisch, which diverts an argument while filming a couple power naked in the streets of Paris : “I’m not going to say to him : ‘I can keep my underpants APC ?'” Romain Duris is fun to think that there should be a preparation before : “Ha ha, but no ! Get naked, it is simply letting go. We are all naked, must stop. The nudity, this is not serious. After that, it’s great that we could play with it. Disapproval, it is sublime that it might be a dream.”

In cinema, naked or not, you’ll find Romain Duris in the thriller black River, in the face of Vincent Cassel, starting in the month of January. Soon, the dad of Luigi will appear in the science-fiction film In the fog with Olga Kurylenko, and All The Money in the World, with Michelle Williams.

(NOTE: I do not own any of this material, but respectfully reproduce it here because it is so damn hilarious! A sort of salute to Google translation. It is from a bizarre quasi-entertainment site called Stopru:


The Animated Trump

Thursday, August 17, 2017

No excuses possible for Trump now


One of the better commentaries on the Trump fiasco. But ask yourself this: when does it stop?

My 600 lb. slide

I can't bring myself to write about this video, although I suppose I should, to put it in context. It looks mean, on the surface of it, to post a video of a massively-obese man falling off a golf cart. But this isn't just any man. (In fact, we're still trying to figure out if it's a man at all.) This is Steven Assanti, self-proclaimed superstar of My 600-lb. Life, and the biggest loser as far as compliance with the weight loss program is concerned. The man is a hurricane of dysfunction on every level, and is as crude and obnoxious a human being as I have ever witnessed, on TV or anywhere else. 

I am ashamed to say that I watched this episode AGAIN the other night, knowing exactly how vile Assanti would be. And I waited for the golf cart scene, waited for it because of his Dad's reaction as he stood there watching. He said something like, "He's fine, he does this all the time." And, in fact, he WAS fine, being extremely well-padded. The fall wasn't so much a fall as a well-timed slide. 

This planned accident ploy was a tried-and-true way for him to score narcotics from the hospital, a worse addiction even than food. The sad thing is that ratings go through the roof whenever they show the Assanti episodes (this was a four-part thing!). I know it's a sideshow, and I should be above all that, and only watch National Geographic Channel like my husband, but damn it, this is fine stuff. First-rate entertainment. It makes you feel so much better about your own life.

I have set Steven's famous slide to a musical score which I hope will enhance the experience for you. And made this little animation from screenshots of one of his rants. He is still very much a presence on YouTube, even after having several of his channels (including the infamous FatBoyGetDown) deleted. He now goes by the name of "K Smith".

Eggy hell: animation

He is a monster, not a man

The Klan

by Alan Arkin and David Arkin, 1951

The countryside was cold and still
There was a cross upon the hill
This cold cross wore a burning hood
To hide its rotten heart of wood

Father I hear the iron sound
Of hoofbeats on the frozen ground

Down from the hills the riders came
Jesus, it was a crying shame
To see the blood upon their whips
And hear the snarling of their lips

Mother I feel a stabbing pain
Blood flows down like a summer rain

Now each one wore a mask of white
To hide his cruel face from sight
and each one sucks a little breath
Out of the empty lungs of death

Sister lift my bloody head
It's so lonesome to be dead

He who travels with the Klan
He is a monster, not a man
Underneath that white disguise
I have looked into his eyes

Brother, will you stand with me
it's not easy to be free

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Make America sane again - PLEASE

I REALLY was not going to start here, because once you start, it's hard to stop. But some things come to mind that are hard to ignore.

"America First" is an alarming slogan, with its Third Reich simplicity and utter self-assurance, as if there is no other way to think. I am ashamed to say that Canadian writers have tiptoed around Trump from the start. One "journalist" wrote, "Hey, guys! You're great already, you don't have to worry about becoming great again!" The placating (shit-eating) tone of it was something you'd use trying to fend off a crouching tiger with a popsicle stick. 

Another "memorable" piece (these were in the Globe and Mail, not the Raccoonville Gazette) claimed that you should not allow a friendship to be compromised just because the other person is a Trump supporter. It was a call for civilized debate rather than argument, an agreement to disagree. This stuck in my throat then, and makes me want to vomit now. Agree to disagree about allying yourself with THIS. This. The piece went on to say you should have a lively discussion about the issues over a bottle of good wine (no, this wasn't satire!), like the literary discussions of old where disagreement was just a spur to yet more - 


The writer concluded that we should look at it this way. America is a "punk country" which has always gone its own way (unlike Canada, which is sitting here trying to figure out why Americans are suddenly aware of our existence). A "punk country" is drawn to a "punk leader", someone who's "sort of out there" but who may match the spirit of the times. So it's OK if your friend has alt-right sentiments lurking beneath his or her Trump fanaticism.


I don't know, maybe my Canadianness is showing through. I am as guilty as anyone of trying to send up Trump and make him look ridiculous (not that it's hard to do). I realize humour makes him a little more bearable, but it also keeps us from doing anything to change the situation. Religion used to be the opiate of the masses. Now it's satire. Satire makes us feel like we have some sort of control over the situation by laughing at the king. 


Not not not not not. We don't. We don't, and we will not. Not until he is OUT of there. 

Monsters of The Outer Limits: Best in Show

This is not the time for this, or maybe it is, with global threats everywhere: climate change, intractible human hatred, an astoundingly stupid leader of the free world, and nuclear war. Like everyone else, I have to cope with all of this every day and try to keep smiling, or at least keep my sanity and preserve and defend my joy in living. 

These aren't really new gifs - you can tell by the cheesy Gifsforum logo in the corner. I didn't want to make new ones, even though they'd be technically of better quality. But since when did The Outer Limits have high-definition picture quality?

Maybe what brought this on was noticing KVOS was running episodes, two back-to-back, on Saturday night. I have been enjoying them immensely. I find that in some ways, this series was much more disturbing than The Twilight Zone, which was more of a psychological drama. This is a good-old-fashioned creature feature thing, but never losing sight of what lurks behind the monsters. Nimoy and Shatner and a host of other soon-to-be famous actors pop up, which is always a joy. As a kid, this series scared me so much that I barely watched it at all.