howl

Five stars out of five.

This puts many of the other films about the Beats to shame. Make sure you Don’t… Miss… This one, if you’re a fan.

Well, okay. I’m a big Ginsberg fan. I loved James Franco’s portrayal/characterization. It’s very believable, in a lot of ways. Even if it was only because I wanted to believe it. Everything was well researched and thoughtfully put together.

It had a clear point of view about Ginsberg – I liked that. Maybe they gilded the lily, somewhat – but so what? Ginsberg stands up to it. He deserves to be romanticized.

What comes through, though, is: self assurance; belief in self; an inspired authority about writing; and a human quality.

The film itself is quite an achievement. Filmed on a shoestring budget, it captures the mood and flavor of the times and subject. It distills things down to a few essential events, ideas and elements. It incorporates courtroom drama, ‘interviews with Ginsberg’, ‘flashbacks’ and animation – all very effectively, masterfully. Great stuff for film buffs and students. And hey. It’s just a really good, fun movie.

If you’re interested in writing, you’ll want to see this. Listen to the commentary, too! Virtually every bit of dialogue was culled from interviews and court records.

The court scenes – kind of unbelievable! But it wasn’t so long ago. Coming out of the McCarthy era and the repressed Fifties, the uproar and trial over the publication of Howl was a game-changing watershed in American law and free speech.

Advertisements

Yes! I do recommend that you join Goodreads.     http://www.goodreads.com/

Share your thoughts about books; find out what your friends are reading; follow and find out what your favorite authors have to say.

I started getting particularly enthused when a Facebook friend invited me to join (even though I was already a member.) I accepted the Facebook application (one of my very few) and soon I started getting emails about what some of my other Facebook friends were reading. Nice!

I’m a writer that has trouble knowing what to write about. I’ve found this to be a great motivator!!!

//

poetmcgonagall said: “….you must get up at an incredibly early hour, given the time difference.”

me:  Thanks for your remarks about my early rising. It made me think a bit about my habits.
No, I’m not an early riser – I hadn’t gone to bed yet. I tend to go through several days of sleeping a lot and then a day or two of not much. In the summer I tend to work more and sleep less.

Another interesting note about people who work at night: several years ago I heard  an interview on public radio with either a monk or someone who had done a study of night-dwellers.

In it they talked about the monks’ habits of praying/chanting in the wee hours of the night. It seems that at that hour, there was a better, more clear connection with the cosmos. How wonderful! and something that I’ve found to be true, re: my own connection with the muse. I don’t necessarily make a point of it or recommend it.

However, neither do I try too hard to resist the calling, if it happens at that hour. I’ve learned to trust myself. Particularly as my blogging has begun to blossom into something that gives me real spiritual sustenance.

I take note of my level of excitement and concentration. If I’m becoming too excited, then I may not heed the call, if it will interfere with a period when I really need sleep. If I’m well rested and don’t have too many pressing demands the next day, I may proceed.

And if I’ve been working for hours on something, then consequences be damned – I will try to finish it before quitting. I feel that it’s important to sustain the level of thought. I think it makes for more integrated, better writing.

If it’s an email I may give it a period of gestation to see if I want to send it, as is; change it; set it aside; or honor my own clarity, beliefs and expressive impulse by following through and sending it. If it’s something on my blog, I will usually just post it.

With thanks to my friend poetmcgonagall!

check out his blog “Beautiful Railway Bridge of the Silvery Tay” here

I published 2 short little poem-ditties yesterday.

Wow, 47 views yesterday. Plus 4 comments. That’s doing pretty good, for me. It’s very gratifying. And oh! this lovely weather in Seattle! Finally.

My best day ever was 82 views. One guy viewed and liked a bunch of my posts, and I’d just posted some pictures of rhododendrons that people really liked. It’s so gratifying to find creative outlets of expression. I’ve really learned a lot from my blog.

One thing I’ve learned is how “image conscious” we as a species are becoming. I started posting pictures with anything I published, knowing that it attracted interest from people.

The net result? Many days I’d have maybe 10 views. I’d check my administrator’s page, and see that they’d come to my blog via Google image search. That meant that they may not have even read anything – they were just searching for images. Ugh!

So I’ve made a resolve to read and write more. This week the local Seattle Times carrier stopped by my place with an offer of 10 weeks for $20. Wow! That’s a pretty good deal. I couldn’t pass that up, and it fit in with my resolve to do more reading and get more in touch with current events. One thing I miss about not having a TV for these last 2-3 years is that I’ve gotten behind on things.

“Journalism without a moral position is impossible. Every journalist is a moralist. It’s absolutely unavoidable. A journalist is someone who looks at the world and the way it works, someone who takes a close look at things every day and reports what she sees, someone who represents the world, the event, for others. She cannot do her work without judging what she sees.”    – a quote from Marguerite Duras (b. 1914), French author, filmmaker. Outside: Selected Writings, foreword (1984)    – as seen on Quotes @ dictionary.com

This quotation jibes with my own beliefs and point of view. For me, it speaks to the human condition – in the parade of life, there are no spectators.

Speaking of opinions, I think that not enough people have ’em. Too often what passes for an opinion is merely a cliche or others’ rehashed ideas. What am I trying to say? Think for yourself and don’t accept other people’s ideas wholesale. Practice critical thinking. There is no patent on ideas.

I’m unable to categorize my “about this blog” page, on which I also talk about one’s muse, art, writing and social commentary.

Working in the suburbs one day shortly before the second invasion of Iraq (2003), I experienced a feeling of dread. I had been active in the SGI-USA (Buddhist) Victory Over Violence campaign, visiting kids down at the Youth Detention Center. I thought about what the Reverend there had said about the government cutting services. I got to read this poem and a couple others for some of the kids. I think I read “Seattle Rain” and/or “Diggle Rhyme”. They kinda looked at me like I was crazy but you never know what’s going to get through to somebody.

I had been journaling a lot and had gotten so much out of it, including the muse for poetry. I had become more articulate; I thought of new original ideas concepts of my own; and I actually had something to say. Wow. That was a good feeling.

I suggested that they try their hand at journaling, too.

*
*

quiet down at juvy
things are quiet nowdays
down at juvenile hall
“they’re giving ’em more little nice things to do, but even so…
they’re cutting down on the numbers
cutting down on funding”

“you can feel the quiet”
what does it mean?

war;  the horror!
is it locked in
like a laser-guided missile?

Do you have to ask?
All that money!
All those lives!

it’s all about to come down
like heavy dope on the street

people around the world are saying “No!”

and civil disobedience  – people are going to jail
“I don’t agree with your war!”

at the White House, Laura Bush cancels poets
because what’s going on is
“a violation of the most sacred values
of poets through the ages”

out in the suburbs
even a crow chatters its complaint
but things are quiet down in juvy