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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in
Will Turner's LiveJournal:
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|Thursday, November 19th, 2009|
|Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid
In early spring 1978 I found myself down on Galveston Island, where I met a beautiful woman and fell madly in love. We had a magical, crazy summer together, and when she left me in August to move back to Boston I was crushed.
By Fall I ended up in NYC, hanging out in the Punk World of CBGBs and Max’s Kansas City. Winter was brutal that year, and although I had gone to NYC thinking I would wander up to Boston and look for my lost love, I actually auditioned for Blondie as replacement lead guitarist. I did get to attend the Nova Convention that fall, and met Allen Ginsburg and William Burroughs, and Ed Sanders and Robert Anton Wilson, Patty Smith reading her poetry in a small church, and Tim Leary, sort of. All other stories.
The Snow piled way high and I finally had enough of Manhatten Crazytown, so I headed back to Texas. I somehow got sidelined out to Portland Oregon for a month in the Spring, but by May I was back in Houston, playing lead guitar in a very intellectual Punk band and working for a civil engineering firm in the Houston Heights.
I had been a library obsessive all my life (even more so now), and I would often spend my off time in the downtown public library, memorizing the sum total of mankind’s knowledge base, or just reading through the thousand magazines they take. In May I read a review, in The New York Review Of Books I believe, of a new work being published called Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid by Douglas Hofstadter. The review was so intriguing, the subject so close to my personal interests of art, music, math and neurological functions. I went out to the local bookshop and bought it the day it came out.
Oh, and what a book! It truly captivated my imagination, took over my world. Every page a new concept, a major revelation, a novel way of seeing our fascinating world.
I was never a good fit for the Punk scene, because I’ve never known boredom, never got the sneer down. I have been fascinated with the fine detail, the minutia of this mad world we inhabit since I was born, never lost my naivety, my innocent view of the chaos inherent in our culture and civilization.
The book won the non-fiction Pulitzer Prize in 1980, but most people had a hard time making the leaps necessary to follow Hofstadter’s convoluted and playful logic.
Not me. I had found my muse, and the waves of inspiration washed across my life. I’ve owned and lost at least four copies of this book over the decades, always hoping that the people that ended up with my copies were as inspired as me.
And I still recommend it to all readers fascinated with that magical leap of intuition.
|Sunday, May 17th, 2009|
|Sunday, April 19th, 2009|
|"Picturing the psychology of the future is what it's all been about." - Ballard
The English Writer and Essayist J.G. Ballard passed away this morning. I have been a fan of his writing for decades, and his intensely psychological world-view has informed my own understanding of reality to an amazing degree.
Those of you who have followed my Live Journal scribbles over the years might remember my month’s long posting of seemingly endless photos of my personal library, comprised of several thousand books, including, among certain other collectibles, a small but essential assortment of Ballard’s early works.
He was a great man, lived an astonishing life, and had much to say about the human condition and our ill-conceived attempts to fit into it.
He brought much understanding to those prepared to accept knowledge of the uneasy world we occupy, those inconvenient truths we so often deny.
The world has lost a great man. He will be personally missed.
“Ballard was one of my favorite writers ever and his thinking about culture, art, science, technology, and human behavior had a massive influence on me. He will be missed greatly.” – David Pescovitz
|Friday, March 6th, 2009|
|Friday, January 9th, 2009|
|Sunday, January 4th, 2009|
For reasons, still dimly self-understood at best, I am headed to Rice University Village to indulge in the exquisite lunch buffet at Shiva Indian Restaurant.
Well, not exactly “dimly understood,” since I am hungry this Sunday morn and Shiva is my fave restaurant.
I suppose I was trying to conceive some profound rationale, perhaps an auspicious date for attribution, roaming about deep within my subconscious to explain, my years spent studying Buddhism and Hinduism and all things Oriental.
I will try to elucidate upon my motivations when I return, as I must depart before the severe weather front moves across Space City during the noon hour.
Oh, and not least because I am now quite hungry after contemplating that wonderful food awaiting.
And, because I am an eternal clown, I leave you with three words:
“Shiva Las Vegas”
|Friday, January 2nd, 2009|
|“Nobody Reads Anymore” – Steve Jobs
Hmmm… thought it best to get in at least one journal entry for 2008, so, before the new year – what?
It’s Already New Year’s Day?
Oh, Bloody Hell!
I missed it! Damnation Personified!
Still, one mustn’t grumble…
And come to think of it, 2008 wasn’t, after all, that most definitive and consummate Year Of Years upon which we might hang our Highest Hopes and Most Somber of Expectations.
Yes- we managed to elect Barack Obama, but what about Sarah Palin, so worthy of a footnote*.
*I hereby declare 2009 the Official Year of the cyclical return of the obligatory footnote, wherein every printed page, whether given over to true fiction or some twisted and helplessly spun version of truth (i.e. our modern variant known colloquially as “non-fiction”), or even the feverishly dissimilar forms of modern poetry, shall each and all meet the minimum requirements of extra knowledge inconveniently provided/shared with/inflicted upon said reader, and not imprisoned in some tortured and obscure gulag at the rear of the book**, but made available at the bottom of each page, in a font size even more unreadable than the already compromised main text, scaled down to accommodate the copious and excessive footnotes already threatening to replace the actual text with full pages of self-reflexive joy.
** I attribute this hiding away of the embarrassing footnotes, this thoroughly dreadful shunting away of the problem child of additional supplied information to the rural rehab asylum situated in the countryside at the rear of the volume, to that mindless hack T.S Eliot, who in his infinite “wisdom,” placed the copious notes he gathered to explicate the labyrinthine complexity of his lyrical trifle THE WASTELAND to the end of the poem, firing the first shot in The Revolution that finally held sway in the early sixties, a seeming Golden Age when every Lit Professor in America preached the One And True Literary Gospel According to T.S.E., Ol’ Possum himself, wherein all footnotes should henceforth be hidden away from sight, fenced and stored safely away from all but the most persistent of searchers, those neurotic individuals compelled by OCD to insure the information stored away isn’t, after all, essential to the beloved Author’s essential argument. And, no doubt owing to the crypto-fascist nature attributed to our Right Reverend Eliot, who understood that banishing the unwanted into out of the way ghettos was the first logical step towards a more “Final Solution,” a brighter and more logical world, one not cluttered with any footnote afterthoughts, of endless library shelves sagging with the combined weight of a bewildering variety of literacy bound in volumes, their chief, possibly only, similarity being their entirety of footnote-free pages.
Which is an unfortunately roundabout and circuitous course toward my actual subject, now somehow buried deep within/beneath these endlessly inane footnotes footnotes, as it were: Steve Jobs, and how he has managed to piss me off so completely of late. But first, let’s cast a quick glance back to the inevitable backstory on this one.
Having spent any time at all on Earth during the last nine or so months, you, my humble reader, no doubt have opened up Amazon.com to find the front page completely taken over by CEO Jeff Bezos’ hard sell marketing of their electronic book reader, the Kindle. And while an amazing amount of actual media has been made available in this format, the Critics, those lovable fuzzy balls of personified goodness and impartial wisdom, have been much less than kind in pointing out a variety of shortcomings inherent in the Kindle’s initial software, prompting Bezos to suggest the Kindle platform would be opened to third-party software designed to improve upon the concept. True American sentiment, competition having always inspired towards a conceptually superior mousetrap.
However, when Steve Jobs (Mr MacWorld Apple Dude CEO and Intergalactic Overlord) was asked if his company (insert trademarked red, yellow or green edible pome fruit sobriquet, not to be confused with The Beatles Record Company) would consider developing alternative software for the Kindle, he immediately declined, explaining, and I quote: “People Don’t Read Anymore.”
What? Excuse me? Uh, Mr Jobs, may I call you Steve? No? O-kay… Mr Jobs, do you REALLY think people don’t READ anymore?
Sadly (for me anyway, one somewhat unaccustomed to having to admit to such shortcomings), Mr J is most likely in a better place to evaluate “people’s” reading habits, and lack thereof, than I, an inveterate and unrepentant word obsessive/book fetishist, and I defer to his dismal appraisal of the Common Man’s reading habits.
No, what pisses me off about this is Jobs being so utterly pragmatic and coldly realistic in his assessment of our collective humanity -done deal, accept/submit, no implied criticism suggested, get on with it.
But I digress. I believe I began this directionless rant with dear Sarah, our moose-busting Maverick Governor from the Upper One State, she who reads, you know, all the magazines, and feels Catcher In The Rye should be tossed atop the massive burning pile of all the mandatory Government-collected Korans, you betcha. Oh, and while we’re listing things to be tossed onto said bonfire, Ms Palin would most likely include Olbermann and Katy Couric.
So maybe Steve Jobs was thinking of Sarah Palin when he made his dismal assessment of our shared literacy. And just maybe Ms Palin is considering Mr Jobs as a possible Vice Presidential choice for her inevitable 2012 Campaign.
Or, as she calls him, Steve the Computer Guy.
Because if it is in fact true, that the “people” AREN’T reading anymore, then she is no doubt our next inevitable President.
God Bless America.
|Monday, December 10th, 2007|
|Emily Dickinson's Birthday - December 10
There's a certain slant of light,
On winter afternoons,
That oppresses, like the weight
Of cathedral tunes.
Heavenly hurt it gives us;
We can find no scar,
But internal difference
Where the meanings are.
None may teach it anything,
'Tis the seal, despair,-
An imperial affliction
Sent us of the air.
When it comes, the landscape listens,
Shadows hold their breath;
When it goes, 't is like the distance
On the look of death.
|Thursday, August 30th, 2007|
| What is the most unlucky day for Dyslexics?
|Sunday, June 3rd, 2007|
|Spirited Away Tonight!
The wonderful Japanese animated classic is showing on Turner Classic Movies tonight at 8:45 Central.
|Friday, June 1st, 2007|
|My Home Studio...
Been preoccupied for a while, lost in my home studio recording some of my recently composed music and songs. I hope to have time soon to return to the fold, but until then I have a few photos of my workspace.( Read more...Collapse )
|Tuesday, April 17th, 2007|
|A Sad Time...
The young shooter at Virginia Tech has been identified as a creative writing student and poet. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if there is some type of backlash against the already beleaguered poetry and creative writing community.
This intensely sad event could end up justifying the ignorant anti-intellectual hatred so many common people have against writers and all those obsessed with words and thoughts. The fifties were a time of extreme anti-intellectualism, where everyone was coerced into conforming to an extroverted model, with any form of introversion and preoccupation with “ideas” seen as somehow un-American.
Rather than opening a national discussion on the casual availability of lethal weapons, most Americans will prefer to just blame the abstract “ideas” that drove this young man to commit this otherwise senseless act.
A sad time for poets and writers indeed...
|Monday, April 9th, 2007|
|Par - TAY!
Our friend Al is throwing a little party, and it’s still sort of a secret thing, although now that The Police, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Kanye West have had a punch-out to see who headlines out in the backyard, well, word is bound to get around.
Oh, and did I mention Korn, Duran Duran and Roger Waters?
Al Gore is putting together LIVE EARTH, a seven-city, twenty-four hour concert for the environment, to be held on July 7th.
The biggest hitch so far is that when they applied for a permit to hold the US portion on The Mall in Washington DC, the heavily Republican leaning National Parks Service (Courtesy of the Interior Department, headed by Bush appointee and friend Dirk Kempthorne) refused, claiming some other as yet unnamed prior application already has the spot.
Who knows how this will play out, but Al Gore already has Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Republican Senator Olympia Snow introducing a resolution allowing the concert to be held on the west lawn of the Capitol.
This is growing insanely huge extremely fast. Since I started typing Rihanna, Joss Stone, and the too-wonderful-for-words Corinne Bailey Rae have signed on. And with four months til showtime Al’s Big Event could end up what You Tube is to Viral Videos.
I heard Keith Richards will be handing out free lines of blow mixed with his deceased Dad’s cremated ashes. Or perhaps just Geritol Shots...
|Saturday, April 7th, 2007|
|Sunday, April 1st, 2007|
|Monday, March 19th, 2007|
‘Tis almost time for our fair sun to cross the equator, returning to the northern hemisphere, the VERNAL EQUINOX, or SPRING, at precisely 00:07 Greenwich Mean Time (Greenwich, England) on Wednesday March 21, 2007.
For NYC it occurs at 8:07 PM EDT (Eastern Daylight Time) on Tuesday March 20.
And so it is appropriate to celebrate the official original Equinoctial Earth Day, on the March equinox (not to be confused with the similarly named Earth Day on April 22, to bring awareness to wide spread environmental degradation).
|Sunday, March 18th, 2007|
|California next Sufjan Stevens 'state' album?
The singer drops clue in interview
(from NME 16.Feb.07 2:47pm )
Sufjan Stevens has hinted that the next state he will tackle in his series of concept albums will be California.
The singer/songwriter has long had plans to make a concept album for each of the US's 50 states. In 2003 he released 'Michigan' and in 2005 the 'Illinois' album.
In an interview with Rafter - an artist on his Asthmatic Kitty label - he asked: "Being a native of the Golden State, do you want to collaborate on a record about California?"
It has previously been speculated that Stevens would also write his next opus about Oregon, Rhode Island or Minnesota.
Meanwhile, Stevens will feature on the forthcoming 'A Tribute To Joni Mitchell' album, performing 'Free Man In Paris'. The collection is set to be released this spring.
|Sunday, March 11th, 2007|
|Last Quarter/Savings Time
.Sunday is the Last Quarter Moon before the New Moon next week, plus the ill-conceived revision of Daylight Savings Time's SPRING FORWARD, or Y2K7, as the IT Crowd at work have called it during their busiest week in years.
|Thursday, March 8th, 2007|
|The moon in the window...
This has been an exceedingly unusual week, starting Monday afternoon with my sworn deposition, two hours of relentless interrogation by a psychopathic lawyer over my part in a car wreck two years ago on Shepherd Drive. It clearly wasn’t my fault, and my insurance company declined the honor of reimbursing the lady that hit me. She sued and I had to tell my side under oath. It was stressful to the extreme.
Today at lunch I went to my storage unit to pick up some more of my musical gear for my home studio post-move, only to discover my storage unit had been broken into. And not only mine; the criminals had robbed over twenty units in the night. Luckily I had gotten most of my most important stuff out yesterday at lunch.
They must have been in a panic-driven hurry, judging by what they did and didn’t take. They stole two large PA speakers, almost new, and at 80 lbs each probably the heaviest objects in the unit. They also stole my reel-to-reel tape recorder, which has been in permanent storage since the last magnetic tape manufacturer closed down, driving the cost of tape into the hundreds of dollars per reel. They failed to take the remote control unit, the only way of running the recorder. They also left my last new roll of half-inch tape, now worth more than the recorder.
They also decided it just wasn’t kosher to take my beautiful jazz guitar (worth several times the stuff they did take), and it was most decent of them to leave my vintage Sunn guitar amp (Jimi Hendrix/The Who 1966), another valuable vintage collectable.
I suspect they were either spooked and fled before completing the job, or they were so winded by the time they got the large speakers down the stairs that they had to break for a beer.
So, my total loss, best guess, was perhaps $600-800, but considering what they left behind I feel very lucky. My big-body jazz guitar was the big prize, and fate left it in my care. For now...
Reminds me of the Japanese hermit Zen monk Ryokan, who discovered his hut had been robbed, and composed a haiku to commemorate the occasion:
Left it behind-
The moon in the window
I am very lucky to have the material things I possess. In a certain sense all are borrowed, ownership being such a questionable conceptual claim, and if some leave my sphere I would guess they were no longer part of my path.