Saturday, January 22, 2005

Howl, blizzard, comic book movies

I just read Howl. Whew--that was something else. Something else entirely. Even I, in my endless opinions, cannot think of something to compare it to except to say that I can see the beat-ness of it. My favorite part, among many:

"who threw their watches off the roof to cast their ballot for Eternity outside of Time, & alarm clocks fell on their heads every day for the next decade"

I think I like Allen Ginsberg very much; I wish I had something more intelligent to say on the subject of Howl, but I'm still absorbing it. I'll probably re-read it tonight or tomorrow, re-think it.

Listening to Winterlong by the Pixies in honor of...

An honest-to-god blizzard that has just begun. We've been having "blizzard warnings" all day long, so we went to the grocery store to stock up and it was mobbed. I was volunteering at the hospital today and in the emergency department, all the doctors and nurses were frantically digging up flashlights for when (inevitably) the power goes out, and they were preparing for a long and busy night of ice-slippers and car-crashers.

Though I do feel bad for those slippers and crashers, I love this kind of weather. As much as I complain about the cold, gray days of our New England winters, I can't imagine living somewhere without snow and subzero winds. Wusses.

Incidentally, I was thinking today that someone saying "You have excellent taste" is synonymous with saying "You have MY taste." Really, how could it possibly mean something different?--and still one is a compliment and the other is egotistical. Huh.

Listening to Belle and Sebastian's I'm a Cuckoo.

Oh, watching High Fidelity last night, I realized that it was even better than I remembered. My favorite parts were those in the record store--I would watch a sitcom that just took place in that record store, with those three hilarious guys. What's the best line, you ask?

"She's kind of Sheryl Crow-ish crossed with a post-Partridge Family pre-L.A. Law Susan Dey kind of thing, but, you know, uh, black."

I think we rewound and re-watched Dick saying that about five times.

And, since I'm talking about High Fidelity, I feel the need to make a top-five list. (I was just going to make the list be my top five favorite movie quotes, but I could only think of three right away, the best of which is Enid in Ghost World, saying, "I just hate all these extroverted, obnoxious, pseudo-bohemian losers!" (As if to prove her point, a WASPy-looking white kid walks by and says "Are you guys up for some REGGAE tonight?"). Anyway, thinking about Ghost World made me decide to made a different top-five list, one that will permanently put to rest any questions regarding the magnitude of my geekiness.)

Ahem, top five movies based on comic books:

1. American Splendor, because the integration of comic book and documentary and actors was amazing, and the entire movie was indescribable and hilarious and poignant
2. Ghost World, ah, just because
3. Crumb, even though it's about R. Crumb in general, and not one comic in particular
4. X-Men, because Wolverine rocks my socks
5. The Matrix, I know, not based on a comic, but it REALLY has that comic-booky feel, so it's going on the list anyway

And I don't want to spend my night blogging, so goodbye. If you're in New England, drive safely and stay warm!


Blogger Shakeer said...

Howl! That's probably my favorite poem. I read it aloud to my English class a few months ago along with a bongo drum, it was intense. Did you read it out loud? You should try that. Whenever I start reading it, I always end up reciting it out loud and end up short of both breath and saliva.

You have excellent taste in poetry, haha.

And Ghost World is based on a comic? Hah, I didn't know that. Okay, time to focus on the LotR again...

8:10 PM  
Blogger T.C. said...

Yeah, it was pretty amazing. I didn't read the whole thing aloud, but at certain points I did read segments to my sister. That's terrific about your English class--what was the occasion? That's funny, I actually imagined it being read in a really deep, intense voice with drums in the background. I would love to hear him reading it.

It's probably one of my favorite poems as well. I'm one of those people that mocks most poetry but then, with certain just feel a sort of connection. Excluding things like Beowulf, the Odyssey, and Paradise Lost, my favorite poems are Yeats's The Second Coming, Coleridge's Kubla Khan, Blake's The Tyger, e.e. cummings's pity this busy monster,manunkind, and the First Fig and Second Fig poems by Edna St. Vincent Millay. I occasionally post poems I like on this site, but I haven't done that for a while.


11:16 AM  
Blogger Shakeer said...

The occasion: for English, we had to select poets and do a project on them. I did Allen Ginsberg. After the project, we all read and presented one poem by our poet. I did Howl. The drums actually worked out pretty swell even though I'd never really practiced with them. I just hit them at the end of every line or whenever there was some bit of chant-like repition or basically whenever I thought it'd sound cool.

Also, I haven't heard Ginsberg do Howl but I got this Beat Generation CD set from the library that had all sorts of interviews and music clips and poetry readings a few weeks ago. One of them was Ginsberg reading America, which is a great poem as well. It's in the Howl Pocket Poets book I think. He didn't really read it very intense, his voice actually sounded kind of frail. He read it pretty slowly as well. Me though, when I read Howl, I read it extremely fast. It still sounded intense though.

Also, yeah, I never really liked poetry before this year. We just finished our poetry unit in English and now that I've been exposed to a lot of really excellent poetry, I'm starting to really dig poetry in general. Then again, it doesn't seem like your uneasiness with poetry is the result of a lack of exposure. Since you like Ginsberg, cummings, and Yeats, I have a feeling you may like Sylvia Plath and Emily Dickinson as well.

4:22 PM  
Blogger T.C. said...

We're actually doing a similar poetry project in English as well, except our poets all have to be British. Basically, we read everything by that poet and then write a big research paper; separately, we had another project where we had to analyze and present a poem of our choice. For the former, I chose Milton (as you might have guessed) and for the latter, the aforementioned poem The Tyger. (On the Tyger presentation, I rambled quite a lot about the nature of fire and Prometheus and Loki and Satan as a Byronic hero and body imagery to show man's capacity for evil. I got a bad grade.)

I have a similar CD of poets reading their work, with people like Yeats and Walt Whitman, Ezra Pound, Kerouac, etc. I don't think it's the same one as your's, though, because it's not all beat poetry. I actually like the beat poets quite a lot--there are a couple of beat poems I glued into some notebook a long time ago that I'll try to dig up sometime. Have you read Kerouac's American Haikus?

And in case I didn't say this before, it's unbelievably cool that you read Howl to your class--I think I might have been a little shy about doing that.


4:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That sounds like so much fun! I'd do Shakespeare. Which is what I did for our English project, as well. I'd also love Milton and Chaucer, though. But Milton and Chaucer I love. Shakespeare I worship.

- Avital

5:38 PM  

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