1. DAMN! Azealia Banks does it again. I love hearing my town’s accent on her tongue, all the “awns” and “oars” in her rhymes are like tiny valentines in my ear’s hearts. 

     
     

  2. Thoughts on Flight

    DAMN, GRAVITY’S ILL! by AE Paulino

    The opening scene to Robert Zemeckis’ Flight leads up to a commercial flight plane crash, an event that results in the deaths of 6 people on board (two of them flight crew)—The actions of the flight captain, Whip Whittaker, played by Denzel Washington, were exclusively responsible for the surviving of 96 souls under such an uncontrollable situation. 

    Some may argue that with such a traumatic opening the viewer may be left numb for the rest of the film, finding the following sequences of plot a bit melodramatic by comparison. But Flight in fact, shows us two crashes. The first is very literal and as briefly mentioned above, opens the film. The second crash is slower and figurative. The host of the internal wreck is none other than the protagonist, our hero, Capt. Whittaker. An alcoholic, one who was hungover the morning of and then slightly inebriated while saving the lives of his passengers and flight crew. Whittaker is made an instant hero but we know that he’s not wholly in the clear. As he dives deeper and deeper into his impulse and excess, momentarily stalling here, gliding for a few seconds there but over all his situation, like that of the plane he miraculously landed, is nearly all but beyond his control—Whether it happens with relative safety or not, he will crash, inevitably so.

    This film was not about aviation or the politics of the Commercial Flight Industry, it was not about alcoholism, or any substance abuse, not about God or any spiritual-existential awakening; though a bit of all these can be found in Flight; at its core, the film is about control. The film was about the human condition and tendency for control. Whittaker does whatever he can to conceal his drinking problem, which has long since been out of hand, he lies to both others and himself, he “chooses” to drink. His descend is often painful to watch, precisely due to the heroic presentation of the emergency crash landing. We, as viewers, want him to live up to the stature of the hero he is being embraced as, thus, its difficult to watch him grab that bottle of Ketel One or hug his son against his will, or rally against the close ones who are trying to extend, not only a hand but arm, shoulder and if need be, back to be carried on.

    As best he can, Whittaker tries to maneuver his alcoholism—And despite that the flight crash was highly suggestive of being the result of mechanical, not pilot, negligence, Whittaker could still face serious consequences if his drinking problem leaked into the public’s eye. Six people died, perhaps without the presence of alcohol, the unfortunate accident could have produced zero mortalities. But even under such stress or maybe because of it, Whittaker toggles on and off the wagon, the film therein maintains its initial anxiety. Watching Whittaker for as long as you do on screen, you know what’s coming, you can see it right before you like a swelling map, growing as you fall toward to it, face first—But the moment itself is continually interrupted. 

    A lie is a tension, like when a muscle is tense it feels tight and maybe heavy. More so, a lie is like a catapult, held down by a weak constraint, its only a matter of time before it snaps and the truth gets launched into the free air. If the lie were instead like the object launched by the catapult then we should say it can soar but only for so long until gravity catches up to it. When that happens we can quote Jay-Z’s closing line from the last verse of Fallin’ "…fight and you’ll never survive; run and you’ll never escape so just fall for Grace." 

     
  3. These little creeps are back! They’re the current subject in the chapter I’m reading. I never thought of them as sociable robots but that’s exactly what they are. I think its summed up best when the dude in the demo advises locking the toy in a dark drawer to keep it quiet but at the risk of facing feelings of guilt afterwards. “If the future isn’t now then I don’t know when it’ll be”  

     
     
  4. Recording static video 10/30/2012

     
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  6. As Sandy’s aftermath is assessed, the damages gauged can be recounted as a clear morning bell, tolling up against the “modern” design of northeastern coastal cities and their need to adapt, now more than ever, to these yearly tropical storms. Urban and suburban restructuring is more than overdue. Its no sense in repairing if next year, we’ll just be at the mercy of nature again. Our current cities aren’t a match and never will be perhaps, yet new ideas should be considered to enforce a sturdier bulwark than has been presently observed. 

     
  7. GHOSTS IN THE SHELL

    Dean Crouser’s watercolor impression of animal subjects are loose and enlist much of the same effect as a famous nineteenth century French school of painters, who sought the essence of their subjects rather than just a realistic, photographic rendition. Impressionism had its peak of impact between the 1870s - 1880s, but its influence has echoed far into the twentieth century and beyond, reverberating still, in painters such as Dean Crouser.

    Crouser uses watercolors and is inspired by the wildlife of Oregon where he was born and raised, displaying an intimate handling of the familiar acquaintances he must have, so often, come across while camping or fishing. His figurative portrayals are usually set against negative space and respond to a spotlight attention from the viewer, giving clear definition to the nebulous zoological forms represented. The paints are like softened spills of color, or distant fumes, the bulk of which seems  trapped in specific contours, a bear, a raccoon, or buck. As if someone had filled an animal balloon with colored gases and instantly removed the parenthesized rubber, leaving the inner shape intact, for as long as it could last. 

    Its very ghostly, this notion of the inner shape of life. Like loosened apparitions from the solid, slower permanence of a body. And Crouser’s random paint drops that seem neutral, loyal to neither form nor ambiguity; along with the ephemeral quality of the shapes that seem to be dissolving, breaking away like octopus ink underwater— they attest to an undeniable temporariness, one which philosopher’s and spiritualists should find as recognizable as these dear animals are to their documenting artist. What lies within us? Stripped from a physical shell, what of the inner aurora borealis that captures our essence? 

    The beauty of impressionism has always been, for me, the still shot of a moving moment. The rawness, the subtle effects of living light, the freedom of color and the almost translucent transparency of the outdoors—Here, in these paintings by Crouser, we find the environment removed, even the shelter of flesh and body, shaved off, leaving behind only its inherited outline. The eyes seem the most evident bridge between the two, the very soul that transcends between outer and inner. its an intimate snapshot into the Life that temporarily holds itself together, slowly dissolving back into the negative space from which it came. A portrait of the same essence that seemed worth documenting back at the last quarter of the nineteenth century. 

     
  8. THIS DANGER BONE NEEDS MORE THAN TICKLING

    So, many of you have by now seen the posters, billboards, ads in magazines, and are curious as to what the big fuss is all about. However, despite the recent hype, unfortunately, Espolon comes up shy, more than a few points as the tequila it could be. But in its defense, it should be noted that Espolon is an everyday drinking tequila, its not meant to be complex or contemplated. At best, its a mixer’s spirit, as its potential as a base is as inviting as vodka for the ambitious mixologist. Yet, even so, there isn’t any particular segment of flavor that cannot be overpowered by whatever Espolon is mixed with. Its somewhat of a pushover. And though, it should appeal to those who hate the herbal accents of agave, for instance, as found in Herradura—being a slow sipper myself (as opposed to a shot shooting, buzz seeking drinker) I find it kind of lame that anyone would want to drink a spirit and purposely neglect the essential taste that profiles that spirit’s identity.  

     

  9. n n

    FALLING BUT FEELS LIKE FLOATING

    What happens when you think about your girlfriend when she’s not around. When you just saw her a few hours ago when she woke up next to you but you miss her anyway and want more than anything to hear her voice and feel her hands touch you while your hands touch her; to hear her laugh at the secret kind of jokes that only a couple can share in bed. You bring to memory a huge folder full of slides, you load them up to a projector and you watch picture after picture of her smile, her eyebrows, her black lashes, the squinting darkness of her stare, the lines at the corners of her tasty lips, her strong alpha-female jaw and high cheekbones. You want to roll around naked in bed, holding her tight in your arms and feel so good and warm when she looks you in the eyes and a shy moment escapes her face because she’s just as much in love with you as you are with her. You have no name for her, you don’t say babe, boo, sweetheart, darling, sexy, gorgeous, beautiful, or any other word—yet, you feel it, you say it elsewhere by different versions of speech and language. It almost feels like anxiety but a pleasurable kind, if anxiety were just one side of a coin, this feeling would occupy the opposite face. Its definitely a rush, an anticipation but there’s no fear or paranoia, only acceptance and the thrill of falling, back first, from outer space into the open arms of Earth.  

     
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