Monday, November 21, 2011


I saw the British film, Weekend, over the weekend and was genuinely impressed. A little bit "mumblecore" and a little bit (or a lot bit) "queer," it ends up transcending both of those categories to become a really sweet and accessible (if unconventional) love story. The performances are fantastic, the music is good, the visual choices are spot on. Here's the trailer:

Friday, November 18, 2011

Bradley and White

Footage from the Charles Bradley concert in Manchester a few days ago:

We were just to the left of the camera man, so close you can hear my voice.

For some reason, I want to put Bradley together with Curtis White, author of The Barbaric Heart, even thought the two (the first, a black soul musician from Brooklyn, the second, a white English professor in Illinois -- couldn't be further apart in most ways.

Yet here's Bradley:

"I tried so hard to make it in America / a land of milk and honey / a land supposed to be built with love / it takes love and understanding / to live and let live."

And White: "The mark that we leave upon the world will not be the mark of brute force clothed in the false virtues of the barbarian but the mark of the ultimate realist, making our own world, demanding the impossible, and calling it Beautiful."

White helps us to understand; Bradley shows us how to love -- and to live.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Rediscovering Mr. White

I am rereading The Barbaric Heart, which I first blogged about back in 2009, and am finding it as consistently brilliant, lapidary, and insightful as I did back then. (You can read an excerpt here.) The man speaks truth. Now we have to listen.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

We are the One Percent

"There were more pictures of heroin addicts on the tour than I expected."

My friend and noted sourpuss Harry Cheadle tours the Tribeca lofts to hilarous effect.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Importance of Idleness

Check out my essay about not working so much at The Rumpus. It's here.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Stories That Make Us Pause

"Stories that make us a pause a little, that's what I guess I'm advocating for today. But not in a cheesy, joyful, easy embrace of life way. Life isn't beautiful, but it can be a warped miracle, if we pay attention."

A great essay by Peter Orner about the short story via The Rumpus.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Try A Little Tenderness

A couple of poetry fragments:

"You wanted to hear the part where the poet speaks

of love & passion...Any nakedness, the first time I saw it then,
was still wonder. Even now, as you read it to yourself, it tells 
         you tenderness
is possible, is in the world, though earlier you said otherwise."

"So I am proud only of the days we passed in undivided tenderness

when you sit drawing, or making books, stapled, 
        with messages to the world...
or coloring a man with fire coming out of his beard.
Or we sit at a table, with small tea carefully poured;
so we pass our time together, calm and delighted."

The first is from a poem called "
Tenderness," by the remarkable Terrance Hayes. The second from, "For My Son, Noah, Ten Years Old," by Robert Bly.