Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Mermaid by Insu Fenkl

I didn't realize that the Starbuks logo had been changed a couple of times, here is a cool article on the mermaid...

"This simultaneous attraction to and fear of female sexuality as the underlying logic behind the mermaid is actually confirmed by other mythological half-humans. The male counterpart to the mermaid, the triton, lacks the mermaid's mystery and seductiveness; he is actually a sort of aquatic satyr (a kind of male nymphomaniac). Other prominent half-man and half-animal figures, including the Minotaur (with a bull's head) and the centaur (with a horse's body and so also its genitalia) all exaggerate masculine phallic power while the mermaid represents and amplifies what men fundamentally lack. It is only the holiest of masculine figures like Christ who are both born of the figurative mermaid and maintain a direct symbolic connection to their aquatic origins. (Even the Buddha shows such a connection, since he is the son of Maya, who is associated with the moon. Many representations of the Buddha include webbed fingers as one of his divine markings.)"

"The truth one learns from the mermaid/siren is that patriarchy, especially the Judeo-Christian variety, is a relative latecomer in human history. The new religions could not, and can not, ever overwrite the undercurrents of the more ancient traditions that preceded them, regardless of how concerted their efforts to do so.

And so the Starbucks logo is a brilliant piece of design, which, oddly enough, resonates with much of what I've discussed above. The original logo made quite explicit that Starbucks was using the lure of female sexuality to draw the customer to their coffee, but now you can see that the coffee is linked to the double lure of ultimate wisdom and the pleasures of the flesh. The name of the company, about which there is relatively little deep inquiry, actually makes the connection even more interesting."

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Cheer Up, It Might Not Be Too Late...

So you go to watcha comedy show to cheer up...but this interview was fairly depressing on Bill Maher the other night. Sachs does say there are some things we could do...especially if we stopped spending moeny on war...

Meanwhile Bush and Hillary Clinton want to invade the only democratic country in the middle east do these people study history at all?

"I want the Iranians to know that if I'm the president, we will attack Iran," Clinton said. "In the next 10 years, during which they might foolishly consider launching an attack on Israel, we would be able to totally obliterate them."

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Building a Story and Character.

I've been busy editing a documentary and messing around...and came across the above footage. This idea was written as a script and the actors memorized their parts, but I changed my vision later and re-worked things and never editied the film. Yesterday, I thought since I had never edited it before, I would do a quick knock up of ideas and editing from the found footage. This is what I chose...

I wrote this and filmed it a few years ago. I am very lucky one of my best friends is an actor and she lets me put her into all kinds of predicaments and stories. She and I have done comedy improv back in the 90's and she's been in several film productions of mine. She is a very good sport.

...this vignette became like a workshop and it isn't complete...but it was a stepping stone for me to create a character based on this woman that my friend Anita plays. (you can see Anita out of character in these videos just relaxing)

I've written a long script, feature length actually, that came out of this "sketch video" above. It bears almost no resemblance to this "sketch" and the larger character is much more developed and not very much like the glimpse we see here...but still. I have a soft spot for this bot of film because it became a sketch for making a much more complex set of characters and plot.

I suppose I probably shouldn't even share this video except I think it is sort of interesting. And funny. As visitors here know I love goddesses and mythology. I love anthropology...and Shakespeare and in several little ways I can see these things unconsciously and consciously worked out in this video. There is the pre-amble...the exercise of the female character speaking out who? Herself? Formulating what she knows by speaking aloud. She encounters evil...and I was exercising the idea of fact the character in the later story built out of this has the last name "Percy". I have written into my long script a "green world" but here the green world is represented in the autumn outdoors...the rebirth is occurring when the plants are shedding.

Anyways I decided to post this video because it represents something about the writing process and inspires me to remember how much I love the collaborative work of film...and how ideas are exercised and worked out and explored in art work.

Why Don't Modern Poems Rhyme?

An excellent article at Slate Magazine by Robert Pinsky. Frequently asked questions about the business of verse.

For writers or anyone interested in how 8 out of 10 readers being female has affected is another excellent article.
and interview with literary agent Nat Sobel, who "discovered" Richard Russo and James Ellroy.

But for first fiction, which is really the future generations of writers, it has become a real problem for publishers because they don't have the large list of independent booksellers that they can appeal to. I forget what the percentage of sales is today from the independents, but it goes down every year. I think that's affecting first fiction, particularly short story collections. I love the short story. I love the form. But who's going to take on a short story collection today? Damn few. I think that's influencing the market—the market is feeding on itself.

Friday, April 25, 2008

A Walk On The Don River, Parts 1 &2.

The other day I wrote a bit about the Don River here in Toronto and mentioned I took video of a 11 K walk we did, welll here is some footage...

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Gods of A Sort-13 Male Supermodels

Last week I posted a Thursday Thirteen with female supermodels suggesting they might be modern day goddesses. It seems to make sense that I post a list this week with male supermodels I like. Okay, I LOVE some of these guys!

Maybe it's part the photography, but this fellow, the very young and contemproary model Vincent Lacrocq is just cool looking. Plus, he works with a lot of fashion designers I like.

Williams was born in Brooklyn, New York. After getting in some trouble as a youth he enrolled in school and got a job at a pharmaceutical company. Inspired by Janet Jackson's Rhythm Nation 1814, he left school and quit his job against the wishes of his family to pursue a career as a dancer. During a year in which he was intermittently homeless, Williams "pounded the pavement," visiting record labels and dance studios looking for work. He eventually got a job as a background dancer on a music tour, which led to more work appearing as a dancer in videos and on tours, as well as some modeling work.
On his 25th birthday, just days after appearing in an ad campaign, Williams got into a barroom brawl in which an adversary cut his face and neck with a razor. One cut came close to his jugular vein and nearly killed him.

According to Williams, the scar helped to launch his acting career. Within months of the incident, photographers were stopping him on the street, asking him to pose.[5] He began getting more calls to do music videos, which led to some minor work playing a thug in TV shows. in 1996 he appeared in Tupac Shakur's crime drama Bullet and in 1999 he appeared in the music video for Madonna's song "Secret".

Williams played the role of a lifetime as the incredible Omar Little in The Wire.

Djimon Hounsou was born in Cotonou, Benin, to Albertine and Pierre Hounsou. He immigrated to Paris at the age of thirteen with his brother, Edmond.[1] One year before obtaining his college degree he dropped out of school. He lived on the streets for a while until he was discovered by fashion designer Thierry Mugler, who made him a model. Modeling led to Madonna seeing his picture in a magazine and hiring him for her video "Express Yourself" then Janet Jackson video then acting in movies such as Amistad and Phat Girls.

I find Mark Vanderloo interesting because he is capable f looking very different. Isn't it hard to believe those two above are the same man?

Michael Bergin began working in the 90's and has been considered the first male supermodel. He has volunteered for charities with AIDS and anti-drug programs. He used to be seriously involved with Caroline Bessette-Kennedy. I used to think she must have been the luckiest woman ever. Bergin may represent the Greek tragedy in men seeing as he had a tragic love affair. I have always hoped he was okay as he married and had a child. Unfortunately he had a DUI on the anniversary of Caroline Bessette-Kennedy's death...hence why I feel he might remind ous of a Greek Tragedy. I hope he is doing well these days.

Marcus Schenkenberg was a supermodel from the 90's.

Are you even reading anymore? This is probably the most famous pic of Marcus Schenkenberg. Ouch.

Tyson Balou on the runway.

I think Marios Lekkas seems like he is from another era, especially in the pic above.

I have to include Marky Mark not because I liked him especially physically, ...although as an actor I do now...but because this particular picture was on every fridge of my gay friends in Toronto, New York and it's a kind of nostalgia.

(these few pics are a prank to see if my blogpals Malcolm, Asterisk, Mister Anchovy, Stagg and Nicholas read this post or chickened out...seeing as it's got naked men...might have scared away the men Thursday Thirteeners...? hee hee)
Antonio Sabato Jr, Italian, on a bike, yummy!

Hello, not only beautiful but he seems nice! I can't just post one photo of Tyson Beckford. Halleluah!!!

Swoon, one great thing about NY was all the giant ads of Jason. I loved his character and story line in Sex and The City as well, he had heart as well as guns.

Fake ad created for the brilliant tv show Sex and The City Jason will be in the upcoming movie version and I can't wait!

I have to have Nigel Barker...not only was he an awesome model in the 80's for Gualtier and Valentino (I can't find archive photos sorry) but he is a fun judge on America's Next Top, he comes by it honestly, his Shri Lankan mother was a model.

Please leave your web URL in your comment and Supermodels/Visitors will be linked here...1) Puss Reboots 2) Wandering Coyote 3) Live Your Life And Smile 4) Tilly Greene 5) On A Limb With Claudia 6) Fond of Snape 7) The Pink Flamingo 8) Joystory 9) Tinkerbell 10) Send Chocolate 11) Nichtszusagen 12) Cafe At The End of the Universe 13) Random Person 14) Notions on Being 15) Tweetey 16) A Piece of My Mind 17) West Of Mars 18) Crazy Working Mom 19) Pop Culture Dish 20) Shaunie's Happy Place 21) Staggland 22) Teena In Toronto 23) A Blog About Nowt

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Stars Hang With Stars

Pre-Oscar party, 1999. Bob Dylan, Madonna, Chris Rock and Tommy Mottola.

Hard to believe there was a time when Bob Dylan was promoted like Britney Spears or Lindsay Lohan helping sell magazines, even TV Guide. I think this cover is from around 1975.

Weird sad funny video of Courtney Love and Madonna...circa 1996.

Sometimes YouTube is so exciting. I was very happy to find the above and following videos. I've been listening to these guys over and over, great to be able to see them play. I got tears in my eyes first time I saw this is hilarious hearing the fans totally freaking saying "oh my god oh my god" so cute! Go Regina and Win!!!!

This one is awesome too...haunting...this kinds of chemistry from performers are what keeps me loving music all music, all musicians it's a beautiful world! I wonder if thereis a soft spot between these bands partly because they both have husband and wife teams in them?

And this is beyond...singing the definitive song of the 80s..."Love Will Tear Us Apart"

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Boring Lazy Me

Greed:Very Low
Gluttony:Very Low
Wrath:Very Low
Envy:Very Low
Lust:Very Low
Pride:Very Low

Discover Your Sins - Click Here

From Tweetey's blog. I guess I better go out and sin tonight...

The Don River and Earth Day

Ever since I moved to Toronto I dreamed of skating and canoeing on the Don River. It is almost inconceivable to imagine that people used to skate on our fine river. This archival photo from 1920 shows how recently we were able to skate on the Don River Valley. The river no longer freezes due to all the pollution. There are three main challenges facing the river clean up. These are a large population, sewage overflow and lack of forest and wetlands around the river area. Every winter chloride and salt form the cars and roads drains and travels to the river. Diversity of fish is compromised except for the white sucker, fathead minnow and blacknose dace who all have adapted to low oxygen in order to survive in the river.

Watercolour of Curling Competition on the Don River 1836. (possibly by John Howard)

Somethings never change. This is a house, on the riverside in 1930, of one of my peeps formerly called "hobos" now commonly called "the homeless". Today on the Don River you will see all kinds of shanty houses and camps where people are living and trying not to be caught and kicked out. I feel so much for these people...they are true revolutionaries, knowingly or not!

Another hobo house, 1930.

Statue of Hermes in front of Hart House, by Staples.

Farmers by Staples.

Convocation Hall by Staples.
One of Toronto's leading artists of the early twentieth century, Owen Staples emigrated to Canada at the age of four. Showing an early inclination for art, Staples completed studies under both Horatio Walker and George Reid at the Art Students' League of Toronto before reaching the age of twenty. He then completed his artistic education under the famous American painter, Thomas Eakins, in Philadelphia (1887-1888). Staples first gained employment as an illustrator for the Toronto Evening Telegram, working there from 1885 to 1908. Thereafter he was appointed the historical painter for the John Ross Robertson Collection, as well as illustrating a number of books, executing commissioned murals, and producing a fine oeuvre of paintings, watercolours and etchings.

Owen Staples painting on the bank of the Don River, 1900.

Prince Edward viaduct under construction, 1918. I took video of this area and it will help put these photos into context, but I won't post the video until later today.
Prisoner of war camp, near the top of the photo, 1944.

Todmorden Mills, 1915.

Todmorden Mills today, started out as a lumber mill in the late 18th century. It grew into a small industrial complex and village before becoming part of East York in the 20th century. Currently the valley site is occupied by a heritage museum, an art gallery, a theatre and a wildflower preserve.

Finally, the rivers of Toronto flow into our majestic lake. For decades many of us lobbied and protested the Gardiner Expressway. It was a highway foolishly built between the city core and the lake, both physically and psychologically separating beach culture from the urban centre. The Gardiner has been at last dismantled and now some out-of-touch business investors want to build a mall and Wal-Mart at the lake near where the Don River ends and the lake begins.

If the design of Wal-Mart stores wasn't bad enough: they take up massive space without the traditional top being designed for apartments and housing of older urban buildings...the store wants 1900 parking spots! Studies show that urban people do not usually shop in these complexes, instead suburban people drive to shop. Do we want to encourage more driving while consuming lakefront property?

Not only do large stores like Wal-Mart and Home Depot not provide living spaces on top of their real estate. A parking lot would compromise wetland and natural meadows and grass specifically on this Toronto lakeshore proposal.

When will people just start enjoying the simple world around them and walk?

In fact...walk away.
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