National Poetry Month. Now that we’re out of the embeddable video business, I can point you to what is probably my favorite poetry reading ever. We’re talking ever. When I first heard this 1958 Caedmon reading of Pound’s, where he delivers “Moeurs Contemporaines,” I almost drove off the road at “She is a LADY.” It is freaking priceless. Please listen.
National Poetry Month continues. And I appear to be out of good videos to embed. There’s a lot of people reading poetry, but it’s so hard to slog through and find some good readings. No offense to anybody, obviously. I’m just impressed there are that many people who decided to record themselves reading poetry into a digital camera. So rock on with your literate selves.
Anyway, here’s something I didn’t know that existed. A recording of Yeats reciting “The Lake Isle of Innisfree,” done for the BBC back in 1932.
That site has some great stuff on it, including something even wilder: Tennyson reading “Charge of the Light Brigade” and “Charge of the Heavy Brigade.” “These poems and eight others were recorded on a set of twenty three soft wax cylinders,” the site says. The sound quality’s terrible, but it’s Tennyson. Just damn.
Written by: Joan Sinclair.
Published by: Harry N. Abrams, Inc.
As your Minister of Naughty Bits, I wanted to bring to your attention that the Ministry will be issuing bulletins to keep the public advised of media that deals with the sexy. Because it’s all about the sexy. This is all for your health, so grin and bear it.
This selection takes us across the Pacific to the land of the Risingâ€¦ Sun. In the new book, Pink Box: Inside Japan’s Sex Clubs, Joan Sinclair gives us a tour of the Japanese sex industry, or fuzoku, rarely seen by Westerners. Since the various sex clubs have to be seen to be believed, the book is primarily photographs. This book runs the gamut from the simple pleasures of buying expensive drinks for a little attention at hostess bars to the complex sets and costumes customers can request at image clubs. Any fetish can be indulged–from voyeurism and breast worship to green gel play and messing with an anatomically correct doll. The pictures show the dichotomy of selling fantasies and fetishes with the straightforwardness of ordering sushi and sex workers whose jobs induce more giggles than shame. The book is a little pricy but the glimpse you get into how another culture approaches the most beautiful and natural event money can buy is worth it.
Thanks to all of you for taking time away from the silly Anna Nicole Smith news and Arena Football League season to read my column. It is much appreciated.
The Grammys were mighty boring. I don’t really care two cents about them. They are decided on by people whose musical tastes have no bearing on mine whatsoever. Plus any excuse to not see Don Henley is fine by me. I don’t really care about The Dixie Chicks but I don’t think they deserved to win every single award, especially when Gnarls Barkley clearly had the Single of the Year.
The Single of the Year should go to the song that crosses over and impacts the most people that year. “Crazy” clearly did this. It was on rock, urban and contemporary hit radio stations. It was played in The Gap, hotel lobbies, sports highlight clips, Starbucks and every car driving down the street. During the spring and summer months you could not escape it. Magically, despite the overkill, “Crazy” never wore out its welcome. It never made you throw your hands up in exasperation and scream “Enough already!” This is the trademark of a great pop single and Gnarls Barkley clearly deserved to win this.
The British Library, one of the most highly prized institutions on the planet (and not just because they have my books there), has placed online a digital replica of one of Blake’s notebooks. It lets you flip through the pages and everything. Not every page is transcribed so you can read what’s there, but you do get to see a number of his sketches and drafts of various poems. It and several other digitized books in the same style can be found on their site here. Quite cool.
Sloshing through the swamp of pop culture so you don’t have to. We bring you ideas for how to waste your weekend.
Of course, special thanks go out to Clutch for letting me use their absolutely badass song, “Promoter (of earthbound causes)” as my theme music for this.
BTW, you iTunes subscriber types can nab this feed here.
Or if you want to do something else with it, the feed feed is here.
The inevitable Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories provides a headsup for you literary types who want to fit in better while reading Camus at biker bars and stuff: temporary tattoos for librarians. You can check out the page on Amazon for the images and buy your own. And who wouldn’t want a tat of a winged book with the words “READ OR DIE” beneath it? Freaking genius!
A neat little Instructables how-to on turning a hardcover book into a clock. Not only is it stylish and imaginative, but when people walk into your home and say “Say, I remember those: is that a book?” you can club them to death and then bury them in your basement. A how-to on that will surely follow hard upon.
Bailey sent me over this fun: the latest winner of the annual Wacky Warning Label Contest was found on a washing machine: “Do not put any person in this washer.” Of course, my favorite is still “Cape does not enable user to fly.”
The folks behind the contest now have a book you can buy with 101 of the best examples of why we’ve litigated ourselves to the point where the herd doesn’t get thinned as often as it should. Ah well. The book is called Remove Child Before Folding. Snag your copy here.