31 December 2009

Happy New Years

I've been busy. Holidays require focus and stamina.
Thank God they're not over yet.
So lift a glass with Ava here, and all the best for a new year.
Thank God the old one's over.


24 December 2009

Merry Christmas!

As we hang our stockings by the fire with care, we hope that yours will be filled with whatever your hearts desire.

23 December 2009

From my treatment for Stripped

Vic sucks his Marlboro light as if it were a straw filled with some life-giving elixir instead of a mere cigarette, with a furious desperation that turns it into ash in just a few hard drags.
He sits at his desk, immobile except for lighting, smoking and putting out cigarettes, his eyes flickering from monitor to monitor. Nine monitors on the wall opposite him make up a grainy black-and-white mosaic of the sectors of the club: the parking lot, the front door, the back door where the deliveries, dancers and cash go in and out, the dressing room. The VIP room.
- Honey, says Nada, you really got to cut down on the cigs.
- Got the patch, what else do you want me to do?
His eyes skip from monitor to monitor.
- How’s it going?
Nada shrugs.
- Not good, not bad.
- You keeping your eye on that bartender?
- Yes, she says over his question.
- Edgardo’s crew’s coming in later, you remember?
She nods. She remembers. She knew before he asked, just as she’s already calculated the take at the door and can project, in her head, the likely profit for the evening, and for the week.
- Jesus fuck. Where’s Andre? Look at the corner there – that’s Melody, right?
Nada examines the smeared shadows on the monitor: the chair back, the pair of hands gripping its sides, a head bobbing up and down.
- I told them not to grind the guys longer than six seconds. That’s the legal limit, right?

Nada nods, equally intent on the closed circuit images.
- That’s already longer than six. Who’s she with?
- Some guy who thinks he’s a high roller.
- I’m taking care of this.
He hauls his bulk out of the cushioned leather chair.
- Sure you don’t want me to?
- I said I’ll do it.

22 December 2009

9' 79" by Thierry Marignac

I’m B.J. I fly like a bullet. I break records the way Casanova broke virgins. One hundred twenty five meters, hard core.
“Another fifty pounds, you’d be Mike Tyson.”
And Charlie busts out his worst fake smile.
But he’s right. I’m like a pack of dynamite.
I’m a bomb.
I tear down the track like a 440 Chevy peeling out.
Never give Charlie the last word.
I blurt, “But I’d rather be a Colt .45. That’s more like me.”
“Exactly. Come see.”
I put on my shirt. I climb in the Jeep. Charlie pulls out. We’re two hundred clicks from Toronto, in the woods. I’m just about the only one training in the camp. There’s only a couple of Soviet runners, competing in the 400, and their coach. I don’t like the shitty commies, but they fill up Charlie’s tubes, the tubes that matter for me. Me, the phenom.
And the commies are better than American faggots.
I’m going to make myself a Golden Boy, and they’re going to help me. . .
This stadium’s my turf. They’ll eat the dust flying off my spikes. Stay at your momma’s place, Carlito. Go back to college. Otherwise, you’re going to eat shit behind me.
Way behind me.

(from Marignac's story about the sprinter Ben Johnson, in

Le pays où la mort est moins chère)

translation (c) me

image via

Rita Hayworth & Fred Astaire

Astaire's biographers said he was smitten by Miss Hayworth. It shows.
Well, really: who wouldn't be?

More Cheer From Mr. Larkin

Philip Larkin

I work all day, and get half-drunk at night.
Waking at four to soundless dark, I stare.
In time the curtain-edges will grow light.
Till then I see what's really always there:
Unresting death, a whole day nearer now,
Making all thought impossible but how
And where and when I shall myself die.
Arid interrogation: yet the dread
Of dying, and being dead,

Flashes afresh to hold and horrify.

The mind blanks at the glare. Not in remorse
-- The good not done, the love not given, time
Torn off unused -- nor wretchedly because
An only life can take so long to climb
Clear of its wrong beginnings, and may never;
But at the total emptiness for ever,
The sure extinction that we travel to
And shall be lost in always. Not to be here,
Not to be anywhere,
And soon; nothing more terrible, nothing more true.

This is a special way of being afraid
No trick dispels. Religion used to try,
That vast moth-eaten musical brocade
Created to pretend we never die,
And specious stuff that says No rational being
Can fear a thing it will not feel, not seeing
That this is what we fear -- no sight, no sound,
No touch or taste or smell, nothing to think with,
Nothing to love or link with,
The anaesthetic from which none come round.

And so it stays just on the edge of vision,
A small unfocused blur, a standing chill
That slows each impulse down to indecision.
Most things may never happen: this one will,
And realisation of it rages out
In furnace-fear when we are caught without
People or drink. Courage is no good:
It means not scaring others. Being brave
Lets no one off the grave.
Death is no different whined at than withstood.

Slowly light strengthens, and the room takes shape.
It stands plain as a wardrobe, what we know,
Have always known, know that we can't escape,
Yet can't accept. One side will have to go.
Meanwhile telephones crouch, getting ready to ring
In locked-up offices, and all the uncaring
Intricate rented world begins to rouse.
The sky is white as clay, with no sun.
Work has to be done.
Postmen like doctors go from house to house.

21 December 2009


Persephone, by Rex Dupain

17 December 2009

How to Swoop Mad Fly Russian Models

My girl looks like her, probably for the same reasons -- a mix of the Mediterranean and the North. I'd post her real picture, but you know, that's too much like bragging and the dawggies are already circling around as it is.

This is just to say that I got mine.

But for those of you who don't, here are 12 tips for dating Slavics via the G Manifesto

I’m lushin Russian women, via satellite I’m watchin
I dare a n-gga say he want to battle me, I’ll crush ya
Even blind girls rush next to Hammera and scream out
“Oh my gosh, get the camera

~ Slick Rick (w/Rae), Frozen
These Russian Models (FTV, FYI) are mad, mad fly and I’ve been running into them (so to speak) more and more on the international scene. The distinguishing feature about Russian women is they are women in every inch. They dress for men, they expect gentlemen to be gentlemen, and they don’t take any bullshit. Unlike other haute couture model types, these enigmatic girls have a unique modus operadi that I dig. Or maybe it’s the sinister accent. Maybe it’s the ice cold attitude.

So cold I need theraflu,
I’m so high I need parachutes,
I’m error proof, I’m never spooked,
and my suit, heaven blue.

Let me share with you some personal maxims I live by when swooping these krutay dorogaya’s… check the technique so you can come correct:
• You have to have G appeal. Scratch that, you have to be G… 24/7
• Always be a polite and well-mannered G. Real Russian women dislike men being rude and ill-bred.
• You are intimidated by nothing. Fearless. (Russian woman do not tolerate weesh suckas.)
Illicit substances are a bonus.
Thick bankrolls & pockets stuffed like Thanksgiving; ability to flash cash like Coltrane brass, but not sweatin’ it like trendsetting it. (side note: don’t count $$ in front of them — cream on the inside, clean on the outside.)
Grits. Keep it pugilistic (or ballistic, in the case of my .38 snubby), ie. Must be able to kick-ass in a fight, because with girls this fly it’s gonna go down (frequently) with douchebags attempting to cramp your style.
• You have to be able to drink like a man, as in, you have to be able drink more vodka than a Russian Grizzly bear (and still be able to handle yourself). Zapoi.
• Russians, much like the French, have an admiration for outlaws, mafioso types and G’s.
• Your greatest strength is also your greatest weakness.
• Stay unpredictable (but thinking of a Master Plan, like Chilly Tee said, gotta keep ahead, gotta keep my head).
• Don’t supplicate (I’m not even sure that word exists in Russian vocabulary).
• Aggressive, yet mellow and cool.
They look at me as that cat that know how to box, know about glocks, know about runnin’ from cops and switchin’ up spots.
High Heels and Dirty Deals
~ Tafari
aka The Poster Boy
aka Fly Fresh to Def
aka Xoroshen Ochen

And now --- music!

Da, motherfuckers. Da.

One for S

16 December 2009

Happy Birthday, Joe!

If you're wondering what connects Don Menza, Percy Grainger and Igor Stravinsky, I'll tell you: They're all currently on my son Joe's hit list. He is a man of obsessive and grand enthusiasms. These are his right now.

He has the gift of being absolutely himself, of being comfortable in his own skin. Even the onslaught of high school hasn't made much of a dent in that.

He's a gifted musician and artist -- the kind of person who will happily spend all Saturday night composing music for the sheer joy (and occasional frustration) of it.

And I'm lucky to hear every note.

14 December 2009





Where would you rather you live or work?

My point is not that Nazi architects were great. Or even particularly good. It's more that even the Nazis were not capable of producing the eye-searing, soul-destroying fuckshit buildings that surround us like oozing zombie wallpaper: ugly,hungrily sucking every twitching fiber of life they can find. Beige sinkholes draining the last bit of goodness out of existence.

Like a lot of items in American life, we have taken the initial Nazi impulse and refined it to a stupefying perfection. The Autobahn has become the Interstate. Meth doled out to Panzer commanders has become the meth trafficked all across the country, to truck drivers, nurses, and factory workers in small towns. (And with the tank commanders, a lot of meth heads started tweaking to stay awake at their grinding jobs -- not for three day debauches of sex orgies.) The abject worship of the military and police.

I suppose someone could make a case that these strip malls strewn around represent "vitality" and "entrepreneurship" and happy chaos. They'd be wrong. It's simply greed, the valuation of money above anything else -- common sense, functionality, intelligent design all go by the way side. Note that I don't even introduce the notion of "beauty" -- a word that has become richly fruity and suspect even to the arts establishment, let alone some contractor trying to flip a property for a quick buck.

Self Portrait

Self Potratit by Horvath

13 December 2009

Do you suffer from RDS?

(by Jerome Leroy, via)

He went to the doctor who examined him briefly, then asked:
- What's the color of the sky?
- White, doctor.
- For how long?
- Forever.
- C'mon. No way.
- Yes.
- You have an explanation for this?
- The absence of color is a reflection of the soul.
- So you're white?
- Yeah.
- Like snow? Like a new-born lamb?
- No -- white like anguish. White like fear, sin, nothingness. White like death.

He got a prescription, but came back a few days later.
- So the sky's still white?
- Still.
- You've come down with it, my friend.
- Oh yeah?
- Yes. Classic. You've been in The Spectacle too long. RDS.
- What?
- Rigaut-Drieu Syndrome. An illness for the end of the world. My colleage Michel Bouna also calls it alexthemia. He diagnosed it in Life Unnamed.
- Symptoms?
- Not having "words to describe it", finding yourself in the horrible situation where it seems like you have to participate in the system that's killing you. An untenable paradox. Finally, you'd have to say you're in a high-risk group.
- Is there hope? A cure?
- To write. To write some more. To write always. But I don't guarantee anything.

More about the surrealist poet, Jacques Rigaut

More about the writer, Pierre Drieu de la Rochelle (but beware, it's shabby and imbalanced, but has some links and titles)

(my translation from M. Leroy's infinitely better original in French)

image via

Francophones: il faut que vous lisiez Le pays òu la mort est moin chére

Eleven short stories.

Eleven shots right in the jaw. Eleven wake up calls. Violent, intense, lyrical, the subjects range from steroid martyr Ben Johnson to bitter officers curdling with jealousy. 9'79" in particular is like a long thumping riff on hunger, ambition, and the limits of the flesh.

Other characters in other stories howl into full blooded life: petty theives, scheming military officers, playing their roles in Belgrade, Vilnius and a shadowy, muscular Paris far removed from postcard clichés.

You'll enjoy this book even if, like me, you've got a handle on French but aren't necessarily fluent.

(Plus, she says it's good, and she has impeccable taste.)

Publisher's web site

Available from:


The French Amazon

11 December 2009

09 December 2009

poor and rich

Pic of Nicole Richie and Lindsay Lohan from The Awl.

decline and fall

Picture number one: jobless man and wife at bean harvest, late 1930s.

Image via
Picture number two, anonymous shopper at Walmart, from the site, People of Walmart.

Now, you tell me: who's number one? The guy in the tent, one step up from the soup kitchen? Or the guy with the "I'm Number One" t-shirt?

08 December 2009

Geography lesson

I guess, as a native, Zizek would know, but it seems . . . lacking.
Plus, it doesn't at all look like the Mason-Dixon line -- y'know, the one that divides the US North and South.

Sylvie Vartran

Her parents were from Armenia and Hungary, which seems to prove that being French can be an existential condition.

Sunny Phillip Larkin Explains It All

This Be the Verse

They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
  They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
  And add some extra, just for you.

But they were fucked up in their turn
  By fools in old-style hats and coats,
Who half the time were soppy-stern
  And half at one another's throats.

Man hands on misery to man.
  It deepens like a coastal shelf.
Get out as early as you can,
  And don't have any kids yourself.

Out of the past

"Using techniques she picked up with the Miami Forensic Imaging Bureau, photographer Angela Strassheim captures black and white bloodstains. After a violent incident at the college where she taught, the Manhattan-based photographer began researching crime scenes and convincing new residents, some oblivious to the unpeaceful past, to let her photograph their homes. Sprayed down with “Blue Star,” hidden spatters and streaks of blood are illuminated and captured through long exposure photographs"

I've often walked into rooms and felt . . .not blood on the walls, necessarily, but traces of things that may have happened.


03 December 2009

John Waters on Christmas

I talk to people about how you can’t ignore Christmas. You can love it, you can hate it, but you can’t ignore it. I love it without irony, but I understand why some people hate it. It’s a financial burden, it’s an emotional burden, it’s a decorating burden. But it’s a happy time for criminals and a happy time for people who are attracted to elderly men who are overweight and wear velvet. It’s a time for perversion.

Giving gifts is incredibly difficult. The smarter you are, the easier it is to find a gift for you, because you have interests. And if you’re really smart, you tell people what you want and they get it for you. If you leave it up to people who you know are going to get you bad gifts, that’s your own stupid fault. Basically, a lot of the time people want to be told what to get you, because then they don’t have to worry if you’ll like it. But the best kind of presents are when someone you know collects something, and you find something that they never even knew existed. That’s the top present, even if it costs a nickle. It’s just finding something that they want that they didn’t know existed.
 I'm suddenly feeling better about Christmas.


Anouk Aimee


Photo by William Klein


Photo by Mark Sink

I'm shocked. Shocked!

"We started our research seeking men in their twenties who had never consumed pornography. We couldn't find any," says Simon Louis Lajeunesse, a postdoctoral student and professor at the School of Social Work.

Canadian researchers studying the effects of porn encountered that obstacle. Still, they say it doesn't seem to damage people.

Of course, they can't really make a comparison with guys who haven't watched porn, because they apparently don't exist.

Read the article.

01 December 2009

Put the Blame on Mame

Rita Hayworth's "clothed striptease" directed by King Vidor.