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spherical
  • 311154.1030
    In the lumbering dark age of film (1982 - ?), few films managed to capture the zeitgeist of its local era by looking backwards better than Donnie Darko (consider the compression in Blue Velvet, a then present-day eighties resembling the fifties). Darko portals a tough audience during Halloween 2001 with North America at its unconscious peak 1988.  New wave music flooded teenpocalypse Donnie managed to teleport brooding audiences back to 1988 with a mixture of vernacular and desire (anybody remember Star Search?). Rip-roaring through Reagan aftermath teenage angst, Kelly throws us bullies, cellar doors, Halloween, bunnies, vandalism, psychotherapy, self-help, portals, Smurf theory (begun in costume: notice the pizza dinner's outfits on the kids - they're Smurfs), second-stage Stephen King and a collage of 80's existential blockbusterisms: E.T. through The Abyss. Even strange little details like the chyron "Recorded Earlier" on the Presidential debates offer compass heading to the procedings. The detail pile-on is infectious and pretty carefully woven. Unlike Linklater's anthropological-sociological overnight Dazed and Confused, Kelly knows how to organize references through visual overlapping. Skeletized with metaphorical parallelism, Donnie's key stroke is to hide its time-travel as a function of cinematic convention. Many, many pages have been spent uncovering Donnie's details (here is Dan Kois's attempt Everything You Wanted To Ask About Donnie Darko But Were Afraid To Ask), but these inquiries look only at the nouns, the liminal pieces, none go into the metaphysical suggestion that gives the film its stand-alone gravity. At the film's release, somatic thinkers like Elvis Mitchell misperceived Kelly explicitly - he read it as Hughes (John) meets Marquez (Gabriel Garcia), but the chaos in metaphors of nature and body isn't the thing, the metaphors are optic.  Donnie isn't merely an eighties retro fable, it's about a specific type of travel. What gives Donnie's portals their meaning, their substance, is their direct relationship with celluloid's continuous time-travel. The film is a time-portal for every audience member, the way Donnie uses his to navigate fate for 28 days. Kelly makes this clear by showing us three scenes inexorably linked, the bathroom scenes and the movie theater scene. In the bathroom scenes, Frank stands behind, or within a clear, film-like surface that wobbles as Donnie touches it, and bleeds light when Donnie stabs it (the metaphor gets its reality dose: the light that screams from Frank's eye is the projector's bulb). Get it? Donnies somehow awakened inside a film, trying to stab his way out; he might be cinema's first character conceived to be semi-conscious inside celluloid (outside of Bugs's, Mickey's, Daffy's and all animation radical fourth wall breaking). To counterpoint the bathroom lesson is the Aero movie theater scene (its name goes with the fallen plane engine), which stars Frank as well, and involves Donnie's second lesson in time-travel displayed on a movie screen that portals. Now instead of standing on other sides of the celluloid, they face it, proving Kelly animates, or progresses his metaphors. The double-feature even has a subtle aside using Scorsese's martyr-opus, Last Temptation of Christ as a second feature, unseen. That film ends with a rising son blitzed into a light show that can only be considered celluloid abstraction (it's pure analog optic). Scorsese blends his Jesus with light just as Kelly does, only Kelly makes him aware of his dimension. His prison. And his release into light: he's laughing not suffering. He gets the joke. Once you really put the two films in the double-feature together, or spot what the engine goes through before it gobbles Donnie (or a million other clues), you see what Kelly's getting at.

     

    Gretchen replaces the film screen between Donnie and Frank.

  • 311151.0809

    "If the world were completely symmetrical at a fundamental level, equal amounts of matter and antimatter would have been created in the Big Bang and would then have gone on to annihilate each other, with the result that the only thing left in the universe would be radiation. Moreover, this asymmetry implies that the laws of physics would be different if the arrow of time were reversed. This might be an explanation of what is (to a physicist, at least) a strange anomaly in the fabric of the universe, namely that it is possible to travel in any direction in the dimensions of space, but only one direction in the dimension of time. Measuring the electric dipole moment, then, is the sort of thing that really floats physicists' boats. The question is, how to do it?"

    from the latest Economist, "Particle physics : Not pear-shaped" which reveals the sphere of atomic structures.

  • 311136.1218

    Endeavour is the second to last shuttle, and without a planned passenger payload program, represents a halt to the human part of the U.S.'s dominant space program. Coming up next, see: drones in space. This max'ed out, potentially 34 day final mission for Endeavour, can be viewed on NASA's HD and web channels. Live feeds of the earth below are continuous, when available. Daily mission highlights can be seen at 10PM EST. Three spacewalks are planned. On last night's highlights: three cremwmbers had already visited ISS via the Soyuz, and all of them commented on how different the ride is. One of them discussed the intuitive design of the cabin.

  • 311122.1204

  • 31192.2246

    U.C. Berkeley's Physicist Muller, a longtime critic of global warming assessments, presents his new findings and admits the models he questioned appear to be accurate. Link is to LA Times.

    an op-ed wondering if humans are veering past paradox

  • 31166.2200

    The real Inception is a glitch in google

    .

     

  • 31156.1329

    PENDELTON, Ore., June 25 (AP) -- Nine bright saucer-like objects flying at "incredible speed" at 10,000 feet altitude were reported here today by Kenneth Arnold, a Boise, Idaho, pilot who said he could not hazard a guess as to what they were.

    Arnold, a United States Forest Service employee engaged in searching for a missing plane, said he sighted the mysterious objects yesterday at 3 P.M. They were flying between Mount Rainier and Mount Adams, in Washington state, he said, and appeared to weave in and out of formation. Arnold said he clocked and estimated their speed at 1,200 miles an hour.

     

  • 31141.1555

    "It is our despair at the textural inadequacies of

    language that drives us to heighten the structural ones toward"

    From the back cover:

    "THE SUN HAS GROWN DEADLY...

    THE WORLD HAS GONE MAD, SOCIETY HAS

    PERISHED, SAVAGERY RULES

    OVER ALL. ALL THAT WAS KNOWN 

    IS OVER, ALL THAT WAS FAMILIAR IS

    STRANGE AND TERRIBLE. TODAY

    AND YESTERDAY COLLIDE WITH TOMORROW.

    IN THESE DYING DAYS OF EARTH, 
    A YOUNG DRIFTER ENTERS THE CITY"

     

    The book William Gibson wrote an introduction for and admitted he didn't understand. If Cormac McCarthyism has a counterpart in science-fiction, it is Dhalgren, the most absurdly accurate 'apocalypse' set in some form of earth, in a time-frame no one is exactly sure about. And hallucinations occur sometimes in words that no longer exist (you'll have to read it to see what I mean). It might be a work that outlives us and tells future generations what we really knew about the decay of knowledge and the oral histories that will travel along our children's, children's children. Memories barely of the beginings of the end: "the riot began with a murder, some say it was a plane that crashed. No one really knows. That was the time of fear." The hero is an amnesiac who is labelled "The Kid" and enters the soon to be mythic city of Bellona, only now its inhabitants live mostly in memories, and whatever fragments of life can be scraped by on - temporarily, since cities have no purpose except to store mass memories and here, there are few being made. Just living from cans, having sex, and fighting and sometimes group socialization. Oh, wait, it sounds like our present day cities, only without electricity, cars, running water... Maybe the memories will have meaning. The following chapter-heading paragraphs transition to third-person immediately afterwards.

    "2  It is not that I have no past. Rather, it continually fragments on the terrible and vivid ephemera of now. In the long country, cut with rain, somehow there is nowhere to begin. Loping and limping in the ruts, it would be easier not to think about what she did (was done to her, done to her, done), trying instead to reconstruct what it is at a distance. Oh, but it would not be so terrible had one calf not borne (if I'd look close, it would have been a chain of tiny wounds with moments of flesh between; I've done that myself with a swipe in a garden past a rose) that scratch.

    II   Here I am and am no I. The circle in all, this change changing in winteress, a dawn circle with an image of, the autumn change with a change of mist. Mistake two pictures, one and another. No. Only in seasons of shortlight, only on dead afternoons. I will not be sick again. I will not. You are here.

    ..How can I say that that is my prize possession? (They do not fade, neither those buildings or these.) Rather what we know as real is burned away at invisible heat. What we are concerned with is more insubstantial. I do not know. It is as simple as that. For the hundreth time, I do not know and cannot remember. I do not want to be sick again. I do not want to be sick."

     

  • 31140.1732

  • 31118.0656

    No history of American gaming is complete without an overview of the pool table: The Chicago Billiard Museum.