Moi

LIKE:

  • Classical Music, esp. Beethoven, Brahms, Bruckner, Debussy, Sibelius, Gershwin, Ravel (big lush stuff, in other words)
  • Works: Debussy’s La Mer, Sibelius symphonies 4 & 5, Sibelius Violin Concerto, Brahms symphonies (all), Bruckner Symphony No. 8, Ravel Daphnis et Chloe (esp. Rosenthal 1959), Berlioz Symphonie fantastique, Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 5 and Symphony No. 3, many more
  • Music conductors: Furtwangler, Celibidache, Stokowski, many more
  • Classical music artists: Too many
  • Brazilian music: MPB (musica popular brasileira) from 30’s to present, bossa nova, some samba, some forro
  • Favorite singer of all time, period: Elis Regina (1945-1982)
  • Other musical favorites: Cuban/traditional salsa; some lounge retro, some prog rock, jazz (just about everything except “free jazz” type stuff, but do appreciate Eric Dolphy), bluegrass, old country, old pre-war blues and some post-war blues, black gospel, 60s and 70s soul and funk, some cajun and zydeco, lots and lots of Frank, Louis, and Ella
  • Jazz Artists: Thelonius Monk, Duke Ellington, Django Reinhardt
  • Bluesmen: Robert Johnson, Barbecue Bob, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Bo Carter, many more
  • Other musical heroes: Tito Puente, Connee Boswell, Celia Cruz, Carlos Gardel, Frank Sinatra (OK, I already said so), Ella Fitzgerald (ditto), Gal Costa, Baden Powell, Benny Goodman, Elvis Presley, Stan Kenton, Dizzy Gillespie, Curtis Mayfield, Al Green, ad infinitum.
  • TV Shows: Northern Exposure, The Simpsons, The Prisoner (60s), PBS documentaries (Frontline, American Experience, Vietnam: A Television History, The Gate of Heavenly Peace, etc.), The Honeymooners, Seinfeld, The Avengers (with Diana Rigg as Miss Emma Peel, of course), Monty Python’s Flying Circus, The Family Guy, Kolchak: The Night Stalker (’70s), Cosmos (Carl Sagan)
  • Films (too many, thousands): The Passion of Joan of Arc (Dreyer, 1928; arguably the greatest film ever made), Ikiru and The Seven Samurai (Kurosawa, 1952 and 1954), The Rules of the Game (Renoir, 1939), All Quiet on the Western Front (Milestone, 1930), Eyes Wide Shut (Kubrick, 1999), The Red Shoes (Powell/Pressburger, 1948), His Girl Friday (Hawks, 1940), The Wild Bunch (Peckinpah, 1969), Apocalypse Now, and on and on
  • Film Actors and Actresses (here are just a few who gave some of the greatest screen performances of the last century): W.C. Fields, John Barrymore, Robert Ryan, Dirk Bogarde, Carole Lombard, Maria Falconetti, Toshiro Mifune, Jimmy Stewart, Al Pacino, William Holden, Lee Marvin, many more to add
  • Film directors: Luis Bunuel (my fave), Akira Kurosawa, Orson Welles, Alain Resnais, Jean Renoir, Kenji Mizoguchi, Buster Keaton, Carl Dreyer, Ingmar Bergman
  • Guilty Pleasures: ’70s car chase (Vanishing Point, The Driver, The Cannonball Run) and some exploitation films (The Switchblade Sisters), Hong Kong crime and action films, Busby Berkeley’s The Gang’s All Here (a twisted masterwork), etc.
  • Musical motion pictures (No, I’m not gay–not that there’s anything wrong with that!): The Young Girls of Rochefort, Singin’ in the Rain, The Band Wagon, The Gang’s All Here, 42nd St., Dreamgirls
  • Books: Don Quixote (Cervantes), Of Human Bondage (W. Somerset Maugham), The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Mark Twain), Das Kapital (Marx), Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte), Great Expectations (Dickens), A Clockwork Orange (Anthony Burgess), The Jungle (Upton Sinclair), Animal Farm (George Orwell), Hiroshima (John Hersey), Slaughterhouse-Five (Kurt Vonnegut), Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (Hunter S. Thompson), Adolf Hitler (John Toland), The 900 Days (Harrison Salisbury), Enemy at the Gates: The Battle for Stalingrad (William Craig), The Fatal Shore (Robert Hughes), Spy Catcher (Peter Wright), Good Night, Sweet Prince (Gene Fowler), Minutes of the Last Meeting (Gene Fowler), Christmas Story (H.L. Mencken), Centennial (James Michener), Free Speech For Me But Not For Thee (Nat Hentoff), Anti-Intellectualism in American Life (Richard Hofstadter), And the Band Played On (Randy Shilts), Fast Food Nation (Eric Schlosser), Lolita (Nabokov), The Catcher in the Rye (Salinger), This is Orson Welles (Peter Bogdanovich), The Name Above the Title (Frank Capra), Invisible Man (Ralph Ellison), Groucho Harpo Chico and Sometimes Zeppo (Joe Adamson), The Aquarian Conspiracy (Marilyn Ferguson), Night (Elie Wiesel), Faces of the Enemy (Sam Keen), The Waste Makers (Vance Packard), Lying: Moral Choice in Public and Private Life (Sissela Bok), The Bridges of Madison County (Robert James Waller), Stranger From the Depths (Gerry Turner; a childhood favorite), McElligot’s Pool (Dr. Seuss; the first book that expanded my mind about the interconnectness of things), etc.
  • People who still read books (Harlequin Romance-type readers not included)
  • Cats
  • Kroger Pure Mountain Spring Water
  • Tom’s of Maine natural non-fluoridated toothpaste
  • Wine (Cab, Pinot, Merlot, Shiraz; dark reds mostly)
  • Beer (just about anything except Molson)
  • Hershey almond bars (I will defend these simple tasty bricks against any snobby Euro choc any day)
  • The new Lay’s potato chips made with sunflower oil (now it’s really hard to eat just one, alas)
  • Tea (black or green, not all that fruit-flavored and frou-frou herbal crap)
  • A homemade pizza made by one of my sons; those hard-working lads have become masters of the pizza oven
  • Blogs, especially music ones
  • Favorite music blog: Loronix (his English postings may be fractured, but his selection of old, long-out-of-print Brazilian LPs is second-to-none)
  • Age of Empires; an immersive computer game that gets down to the nitty gritty of what civilization building is all about
  • Museums; old-school ones like the Art Institute of Chicago and the Field Museum of Natural History, not all the new and refurbed ones with all the pandering, imagination-killing Fisher-Price-looking kiddie-arcade displays (which half the time are not in order because the kids broke them).
  • Astronomy
  • Old talk shows like The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, Jack Paar, Steve Allen, The Dick Cavett Show, etc. They had class and intelligence and better, more articulate guests compared to today’s mediocre pickings
  • The Constitution, the rule of law, adherence to international treaties and to the Geneva Convention and human rights/no-torture clauses that some dictatorial rulers think they can ignore.
  • John Edwards, the only presidential candidate with a bold and workable solution to the nation’s disastrous health-care system
  • The USA; which is why I hate to see it being run into the ground
  • Canada, the Scandanavian countries, etc., for trying to shed dog-eat-dog barbarity from their democratic social order
  • The Portuguese language; there is nothing more beautiful sung
  • The Rocky Mountains and other spectacular western venues
  • Cycling (daily and hard)
  • Bike racks on buses (hooray for TARC)
  • Old, musty downtown second-hand bookstores (almost all gone)
  • Our Maytag washer and dryer (14 years and still running)
  • My 1987 Sony CD player (19 years and still running; they definitely don’t make ’em like they used to)
  • Body surfing
  • Making wild monkey love
  • Women who smile at me (It’s really not so hard to do)

UNDECIDED:

  • Barack Obama (I just get this weird Manchurian Candidate vibe…)

ME NO LIKE:

  • Drum solos (stops the music cold; perc should stay in the background)
  • bagpipes (oddly, I used to think these were cool)
  • the harpsichord (there was a reason why the piano was invented)
  • The automobile: Now that I’ve been without one for almost a year, I find I still can get most anywhere by bike, bus or footpower, while gaining muscle mass, losing lots of fat, building lungpower and endurance–and thus I can conclude that it is as much to blame for American obesity as bad eating habits. The pollution, sprawl and destruction of the environment is also another reason to junk this outmoded relic of 19th-century technology. Did I mention the thousands of dollars a year saved not paying for overpriced gasoline, car taxes and fees, insurance, parking fees, maintenance and repair?
  • Cell phones (FYI, you will all die of brain tumors from the ionizing radiation directed straight into your underutilized brains); unless you are:
  • One of those detestible, inattentive auto drivers/cell phone users who, under the influence of driving while conversationally intoxicated, takes out an innocent biker, pedestrian or motorist in the process.
  • Cell phone and iPod users walking around in a selfish zombie trance missing out on the possibilities of the world around them
  • Younger and middle-aged men who wear ball caps; they’re almost always jerks
  • American popular culture and society in general in these present times of mediocrity at all levels
  • Most sports (I’m with Chomsky, they’re an opiate of the masses), but I can enjoy basketball and golf. I hate football and ignore “The Stupid Bowl.”
  • Rap/hip hop/what is now misnamed “R&B;” and the general vacuous, unimaginative juvenile nastiness that constitutes musical “artistic” sensibilities nowadays
  • Dumb popular movies such as: Titanic, Independence Day and many more that cheated my imagination, insulted my intelligence and wasted my time
  • The American Idol pseudo-soul wannabee sound-alike, heaven-storming, soulless singing style that infects all of current popular garbage music
  • Third-rate Sinatra wannabees like Michael Buble, Josh Groban and Harry Connick Jr. The only people who support these treacle-meisters are gays and grandmothers.
  • Unfunny comedians of our time: Adam Sandler, Will Ferrell, David Spade, etc.
  • The contemporary contempt for sentimentality and melodrama. I certainly can exhibit jadedness, but increasingly I’m finding cynicism, sarcasm, hipness, toughness, faux-rebelliousness and the nonchalant cool masks that everyone wears today to be more corny than an honest vulnerability and an open heart. We used to be this way, and I’m thinking it was a good thing.
  • Those I call, “the arrogant Living.” That’s most of us, the ones who think that old things are dated or irrelevant and have nothing to teach us. The ones who ignore history. Those who dismiss something because “it was before my time.” The ones who say something is old even before they’ve seen it, heard it, listened to it, thought about it and learned from it. All those who look at the tombstones and think because they breath and stand on two feet that they are superior. Those graves are yours, my fine friends, so don’t get cocky.
  • SUVs, “Hummers” and their arrogant, militant “drivers.” (I wish we could go back to the good old days when a hummer referred to a nice, wholesome all-natural blowjob.)
  • Coffee (actually I love it, but my appreciation is rewarded with nasty bouts of acid reflux)
  • Coffee shops. If you’re already hip, you’ll be hip at a coffee shop as much as anywhere else. If you’re not, a coffee shop will just magnify your un-hipness. Plus, $5 for a coffee is for suckers.
  • Fluoridated water (Don’t just take Gen. Jack D. Ripper’s word for it; fluoride really is a toxic poison—your toothpaste tube even says so.)
  • Hydrogenated oils, high fructose corn syrup and artificial preservatives in our food (you can thank these “cheap” additives for America’s very expensive epidemics of heart attack, obesity, diabetes and cancer).
  • Lunchmeat. Tasty, but laden with nitrates. If they preserve animal flesh, whaddya think they’re doing to your cells?
  • Tattoos on women (sorry they still make a girl look trashy)
  • Piercings anywhere but the ear (nose rings, tongue piercings and the like brand you a reject of the Stone Age with a matching IQ)
  • Trophy wives; you really can’t blame them, but that doesn’t mean I like them
  • Mystery novels; only because I’m jealous and don’t have the imagination to think up and write those kinds of plots myself
  • Shoddy DVD players. I like the technology, but these things barely last a year now; even in more durable ones the CD laser barely lasts a year. Crap.
  • Violent computer games. I’ve played some, and had fun with Grand Theft Auto, but I also feel sick, guilty and queasy about what I have to do to advance in the game. Its effect on young people’s sense of empathy cannot be a good one.
  • Christians of a particular stripe, especially the Southern Baptist variety who attend giant Jesus casino “megachurches” which even further cultivates their exclusivity and denial of reality, and reinforces their tribalism and cult-like and dangerous belief in their God-ordained superiority over all others and Divine Right to force others to submit to their will via un-Constitutional legislation, bullying and jingoistic patriotic wars
  • Gaybashers, haters, and hypocrites who think God ordains and Jesus blesses their wet and sloppy fucking but damns someone elses
  • Animal abusers. Those who pick on the weak and inflict pain and suffering are human scum.
  • Suburban sprawl (and below:)
  • Developers who destroy my Earth, ruin my view, pollute my groundwater, decimate my oxygen-producing trees and make my world uglier and dirtier to build another frivolous mega-mall full of overpriced garbage for bored upper middle-class housewives who don’t need it or deserve it
  • People who say things like “ketchup is a vegetable,” “trees pollute the atmosphere,” “cow farts are responsible for global warming”, or that “the jury is still out on whether humans are having any effect on destroying the ozone layer or on global climate change.” In other words, ignorant things that have been, and are being, said by Republicans.
  • The RIAA: protecting the music industry’s right to continue to screw artists while accusing file-sharers of doing it
  • Feminists (threw a curveball at ya, huh? Now that we’ve all decided again that men are men and women are women and that they have natural differences, there just isn’t very much for these embittered, angry polemicists to do anymore except turn natural flirtation into sexual harassment.)
  • Corporate, oligarchic control of American and world politics
  • CEOs who want to live in and enjoy the fruits of the USA but won’t themselves move to and live in the Third-World countries where they exploit criminally underpaid workers
  • The destruction of a half-century of American international goodwill in a couple of years; it takes a real retard to pull off something like that
  • Rush Limpballs
  • The Project For a New American Century —the folks who have pretty much guaranteed Chinese supremacy in the 21st century by bringing you the next item:
  • The Iraq fiasco
  • Dick Cheney (the real president)
  • The 51 percent of Americans who voted for a baboon for president (twice)
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