Sunday, May 31, 2009

Book Review: The Glass Bees

I don't know what to think about this. I didn't really know anything about Junger before picking this up. He was a veteran (for Germany) of the First World War, and was an opponent of Hitler...from the right! The protagonist (Richard), of the novel seems to be a vehicle for Junger to express his own dissatisfaction with modernity, a dissatisfaction that is almost comically conservative (or would be if it wasn't so terribly frightening). He constantly bemoans the death of traditional, noble warfare on horseback. His desperate longing for the cavalry borders on the homoerotic. Reminiscent of nazi journals talking about how they long to "take the bit of authority in their mouths".

Basically everything in this book is absolutely fucking terrifying, and not in the way it was intended. The Glass Bees reads like a sort of parody of Ayn Rand individualism. Discussing his admiration for a compatriots suicide, Richard says, "...In one single moment he was able to illustrate and accomplish something which most of our circle took a lifetime to do. If a person of strength and good will who draws his nourishment from the past isn't able to find firm ground under his feet in the present, he is doomed to impotence. If he strives for the impossible, he must destroy himself"...I think I'm going to vomit.

Do like to jerk off while reading the Fountainhead, and feel that your noble individualism is being constantly crushed by society's mechanization? This creepy book is just what the doctor ordered.

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Michael Ian Black: My Custom Van

I just read this, it's pretty funny.

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It isn't worth buying or anything, but if you find yourself in the bookstore with a few minutes to spare, read some of it.

With articles like, "Letters to the first girl I ever fingered", "Using the Socratic Method to Determine What it Would Take for Me to Voluntarily Eat Dog Shit for the Rest of My Life"

I really enjoyed this excerpt from his invitation to a Taco Party:

"Here's the way the day breaks down: Fucking show up at noon. Eat fucking tacos until you either boot or pass the fuck out or both...You want to swim? You can fucking swin all you want. Guess what the pool is filled with? Did you fucking guess guacamole? Wrong fucker. its filled with water because YOU CAN'T FUCKING SWIM IN GUACAMOLE!!!!...Maybe you like chopped green onion drizzled in olive oil. Hey, fucking dicknose ass-cheeks shithead - I WILL HAVE CHOPPED GREEN ONIONS DRIZZLED IN OLIVE OIL!!!" it goes on like this.

I found a piture of annie in her natural habitat

I'm going to really get Adam and Brian...

This looks like a bag of potatoes, but when you open it up....






THERE IS A FAKE CAT INSIDE!!!

its literally called: the "Funny Cat in the Bag Gag".

Here are some other hilarious gags.



http://www.gagworks.com/zoom/zm_GW0118.jpg


This little number is called the # 2 pen.


and the "piece of resistance". Spray poop!

AH!

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Let met tell you about my trip home

I left a hotel in Rome at 4:00 AM. We took a shuttle to the airport and flew to Frankfurt. We flew right past Matt Lowe!



http://api.ning.com/files/2OK0bvQ54gO4HUwBKo-uZMVqebNu3UYwZoFKqteEMJs_/GodzillaVsPlane.jpg

Frankfurt was a nightmare. maybe its my shit to work out, but it makes me very uncomfortable whenever Germans in uniform yell at me to get on a bus.
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I tried to sleep on the plane by taking 2 ambien, but I just got really really confused. They served us something that they said wasn't chicken pot pie, but I'm pretty sure it was chicken with a pie crust...it was terrible.


http://www.ballooningaround.co.uk/images/fancy_dress_costumes/tweety_pie.jpg + http://intelligenttravel.typepad.com/photos/uncategorized/2008/06/09/strawberry_rhubarb_pie.jpg = http://bestuff.com/images/images_of_stuff/210x600/fake-plastic-vomit-56097.jpg

We almost missed our connecting flight in Boston,


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When we got in, I had the aiport taxi drop me off at the Guilty Pleasures show.

Guilty Pleasures show last night

Concert of the year.

Kevin took this classic shot of Wiley performing for his adoring fans in the (outdoor) basement of 9 Tucker Street.


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Left to right, Larry, Sterling, Wiley, Chris

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Friday, May 29, 2009

I went

to Pompeii today and saw a miniature nude Zeus that look shockingly like Danny. Really. Alie agreed.

Also, HAPPY MATT WIETERS DAY!!!!!

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For those of you who don't care more about the Orioles than you've ever cared about anything. Matt Wieters is the most highly touted prospect in the last...50 years maybe? And he is starting for the Orioles in about 20 minutes. I cannot watch it, cause I'm in a hotel in Rome.

But the blogosphere is abuzz

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Ravello

I was here tonight
http://media-cdn.tripadvisor.com/media/photo-s/00/11/54/4c/ravello-villa-cimbrone.jpg

http://www.sonestaviaggi.it/book/foto_localita/1784532957Ravello.jpg

AMALFI

I thought that Amalfi would be really resort-y and ritzy, but it wasn't it was the coolest place ever.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/01/Amalfi_Piazza_del_Duomo_Italy_2.JPG

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Book Review: Zeno's Conscience

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This was a remarkable book.

Written in 1923, the narrator/ confessor has been asked by his Doctor to write down the story of his life in order to "cure" him. It's basically a psychoanalytical autobiographical fiction. Its self-reflective post-script decodes the mental mechinations of the book's protagnist by describing his Dr's interpretation of the book, casting doubt on the veracity of his accounts, reminding the reader of the subjectivity and perhaps intentionally dishonesty/ cognitive dissonance of the descriptions.

This may be a bit too heavy handed, by Svevo ends his novel with a few journal entries driven by "contemporary" (1920's) psychoanalysis. He writes over the backdrop of the opening shots of the first world war. He is a hypochondriac who modern science insists has no physical disease, he is a German Austrian living in Trieste which has been absorbed by the unification of Italy, he is both the last man of the 19th century and the first man of the 20th. Presciently, the last page presages atomic holocaust, suggesting that a rebirth through fire is necessary to the success of man.

This quote sums up Zeno's philosophy, "Natural law does not entitle us to happines, but rather it prescribes wretchedness and sorrow. When something edible is elft behind, from all directions parasites, they are quickly generated. Soon the prey is barely sufficiant, and immediately afterwards it no longer suffices at all. For nature doesn't do sums, it experiments. When food no longer suffices, then consumers must diminish through death preceeded by pain; thus equilibrium, for a moment, is reestablished. Why complain? And yet everyone does complain. Those who have had none of the prey die, cying out against injustice, and those who had a share feel that they deserved more. Why don't they die, and line, in silence...The only admissible cry is that of the triumphant, the victor". (368-369).

Capri

I no longer fear hell, because I've been to Capri.

Capri is really beautiful, but it was the yuppiest worst place ever, we only spent like 4 hours there. It was almost 100 degrees, it felt like this
http://www.wide-eyed.org/images/articles/cafire10.jpg

Its full of awful people and they try to charge you money for everything. We went to the blue grotto, which would be super awesome, but they charge you 10 euro to get there, then 10 euro to go on the tour, which lasts like 1.5 minutes while some Guido huckster sings Dean Martin songs even though your whole family wants him to shut the fuck up so you can just look around the damn grotto in piece.

So this is what it looked like
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But it was ruined by these guys:
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The only time I ever want to see another Italian on a boat is if he is arriving at Ellis Island in a 3+ hour movie that exists as an allegory for the American experience.

Whatever, we got back and I read and we went to eat the best Pizza I've ever had in my life

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/a3/Eq_it-na_pizza-margherita_sep2005_sml.jpg/800px-Eq_it-na_pizza-margherita_sep2005_sml.jpg

And I drank some limoncello.

I think Matt was our chef, here he is:


http://www.roadsideamerica.com/attract/images/in/INSHIbaker_wilkinson1.jpg

Book Review: Gomorroh

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I'm paraphrasing, but there is a line that, ' everything in southern Italy is beautiful, as long as you keep looking at the sky;. This chilling book by Roberto Saviano was one of the first to publicize the massive power and ruthlessness of The Comorra, an Italian crime syndicate for larger than the more famous Sicilian Mafia.

It's strange in a country where, for the most part, Italian crime is a thing of television (or at least HBO) and film, not something with any real relevance. In Italy, there is no aspect of economy that is not somehow funneled through or affected by organized crime.

This book was promoted as the one to finally scrap away the last vestiges of gloss from the romanticized myth of the Italian gangster, this idea of the Mafiosa as a sort of contemporary feudal lord, combining modern business with medieval and noble attitudes and methods. There is nothing appealing about Saviano's Campagnia, a world where over 3,600 have been murdered by the Comorra since 1980, where girlfriends of mobsters are tortured and killed to send messages, where construction workers are permitted to bleed to death after accidents, for fear of retribution if the boss should get in trouble for unsafe working conditions.

Perhaps contrary to what one might assume, Hollywood is not informed much by the world of the gangster, it is generally the other way around. Mobsters holding their guns sideways, building to scale replicas of Tony Montoya's house, and calling their superiors "Il Padrino", a mistranslation of the American "godfather". The Camorra is a great danger to the culture of Italy, and makes participating in the global economic market (in almost any way), even more ethically questionable than it may have been already.Quote-right

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Last night

We took a bus up a mountain to a small town, It was really scary driving up because you couldnt see the road or the railing, just a cliff dropping onto other villiages millions of miles below. Here's my family and some locals in the bus.

bus3.jpg image by chrisauskick

I ate the best noodles I've ever had in my life, actually.
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Then I got a really bad headache
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I went into the only store in town and tried to make them understand my predicament by gesticulating wildly, making sad faces and grabbing at my head, finally, the chick jumped out and shouted. "ASPIRINA ASPIRINA", and gave me a box of aspirin that had 4 missing for half price, then my head felt better.
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this as the town we were in.

Amalfi, Coast Village

If my good times were a ship at sea, not even matt lowe (pictured here)

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could sink them.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

just ran into an old friend in Praiano

Danny?

homeless.jpg Homeless Guy image by Jagdengel

I'm here right now

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the road did this on the way here

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It gave me a tummy ache

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Saturday, May 23, 2009

Bertrand Russel's autobiography

Included this Liberal Decalogue, that I thought was pretty rad. He wrote it in 1953, when he was 90 million years old, and it's way more valuable than those other ten rules, with their irritating moralizing and constant thining and thouing.

1. do not feel absolutely certain of anything.
2. Do not think it worth while to proceed by concealing evidence, for the evidence is sure to come to light
3. Never try to discourage thinking
4. When you meet with opposition…endeavour to overcome it by argument and not by authority, for a victory dependent on authority is unreal and illusory
5. Have no respect for the authority of others, for there are always contrary authorities to be found
6. Do not use power to suppress opinions you think pernicious, for if you do the opinions will suppress you.
7. Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric
8. Find more pleasure in intelligent dissent than in passive agreement, for, if you value intelligence as you should, the former implies a deeper agreement than the latter.
9. Be scrupulously truthful, even if the truth is inconvenient, for it is more inconvenient when you try to conceal it.
10. Do not feel envious of the happiness of those who live in a fool’s paradise, for only a fool will think that it is happiness. (553-554)
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I'd like to thank Adam

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For introducing me to Jessie Thorn, America's sweetheart.

It

Is super awesome in Rome

at night, the bars are empty, because everyone orders there drinks and then stands out in the middle of the street

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People sit down to dinner with their kids at like 12:30, and the bookstores stay open until 2:00 AM, you can read all night

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at dinner, we ate literally the best food I've ever had and drank Frascati, which made me think about Billy, pictured here, on 5/27/27.
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After the street bar party, I got a slice of pizza and went to bed

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Friday, May 22, 2009

We aren't going to the Vatican

Not after what happened to me the last time we saw the pope.

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We slept in till ten

cause we hadn't slept at all the night before, here I am drinking my morning coffee.

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ITALY

The Flight was a little bumpy

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But we say Matt almost the second we got into rome
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he didn't see us, too busy stepping on turtles...gives new meaning to the word COLISEUM!!! AAAAH!

Here you see the four of us
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Alie had a BIG plate of noodles for dinner
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more to come.