December 31, 2010

The most atrocious thing I've read this year goes hands down to The Ladies' Monthly. The comments just extend the atrociousness.


December 21, 2010

Rereading Baudelaire's Les Fleurs du mal . It's been a while, but Les Fleurs holds that special position for me of being one of the first books of poetry that actually resonated or did anything for me. I first read it while an exchange student at the Lycée de Fumel in France. Everytime I go back to it, it opens up something new for me.


December 16, 2010

Hideki Matsui is coming to the A's.

He's another in the long list of past their prime sluggers to wear the Athletics jersey: think Mike Piazza or Frank Thomas. A single veteran with some (declining) stats isn't enough to build a team around, especially on a one-year contract.

How many rebuilding years can Oakland stand?


December 14, 2010

Nicolas Bourriaud, The Radicant (Lukas & Sternberg, 2009).

The three sections of this book are informed by Bourriaud's reading of three figures: Victor Segalen, Marcel Duchamp and Louis Althusser. Bourriaud critiques the post-modernist period for falling into an identity politics that played more to tokenism and marginalization than creating a system for inclusion and evaluation. His answer draws on the plant world: artists need to root (even if temporarily) in other cultures and translate the new culture into their modus operandi. That he thinks cultural translation is a new idea is odd considering his in depth discussion of Modernism's problems (Pound, for one thought we could draw on just more than European traditions). He even points to Duchamp in New York as an example of the "semionaut" artist he is championing.



December 3, 2010

1. Had a good Chengdu plan, but that got back-burnered and switched to a week in sleepy-sleeps Inner Mongolia, where I plan to actually sleep (been insomniacking lately) and to have a solid chunk of time to focus on writing.

Abraham Smith, Hank (Action Books, 2010)
Sawako Nakayasu, hurry home honey (Burning Deck, 2009)
Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Coney Island
Uncle Walt's, Leaves of Grass

2. Recently, relistening to a lot of bands like Husker Du, Fugazi, Neutral Milk Hotel, and their ilk.

3. My US credit card has decided that, even though I live in China and they send my invoices to Beijing, the fact that I tried to use my card in China is suspect. They denied my attempt to use the card and sent the transaction to the fraud department. This has been nothing but a headache.