Inspired by all those Technoids in "Modulations", I got
a haircut today. I'd become shaggy, it's a bit overdue,
but I requested "short" this time instead of the usual "trim".
There's the temptation to shave what remains...
I could then get some Doc Martens and pass for a "skin".
Here's something good
for you Journal Junkies. I enjoy these Diaries (like Slate does)
where they put up people's entries who're not on-line
journalistas. They have a whole different flavor.
Speaking of "Slate", here's the latter half of their
"The Week/The Spin" blurb on the Swissair 111 crash:
The early spins: 1) It's terrorism,
just like TWA 800. 2) It's mechanical failure, just like
TWA 800. 3) We'll endure years of fruitless
investigation and conspiracy theories and still never
know, just like TWA 800.
Semantic precision: Unlike TWA Flight 800, Swissair
Flight 111 was in fact a crash. TWA 800 (like the
Challenger) exploded mid-flight and its
pieces fell into the ocean, ie those flying
machines did NOT crash - listen for incorrect
usage of the word by the media. Also, are you getting
tired of the rhetorical expression "at the end of the
A fundamental rule of mine:
The First is the Best.
In the popular culture,
this means sequels and remakes are always
suspect, usually dismissible out of hand. (I'm
thinking specifically of films here, but the
broader generalizations are usually true.)
Another way to say it (actually it should be
sung) is, "The original is still the
The (Larry) Josephson Corollary
to this rule: New Is Worse. What this means
to you is, if you're intrigued by the hype
surrounding one of the many remakes which fill
our current cinema, don't bother - life's
too short to waste it having crap flung at you.
Instead, seek out the original at your video
store. An even more gratifying strategy is
to read the book, instead - that is, if it's
a film based on an existing book. Don't
read a book based on a successful film,
however - it's just another remake,
in a different form. And while I'm mentioning
books, be aware of the way the Rule applies to
them - an author's first work is usually his best.
There are exceptions to this rule - unlike a lot
of writers, truly great authors have the potential
for more than one good novel - and they can
get better as they age. But they can also get
Something else I did yesterday was hang around the back
of the old Ferry Building on the Embarcadero at the end
of Market Street, watching the ferries from Larkspur and
Sausalito come and go. A bunch of people were fishing
there, in the bright sunshine, with real long poles - never
saw 'em catch any, and I wouldn't want to eat anything they
caught there - the bay water smelled of petroleum products.
Still it was fun "Sitting [on my bicycle] on the Dock of
the Bay," and I recalled the time in October 1975 the day
after T and I arrived. Compelled by the Pacific I walked
from our Tenderloin hotel (the "Gaylord", on Jones)
to Fisherman's Wharf where I bought a loaf of sourdough
bread. Then I strolled along the Embarcadero until I found
an unused, abandoned dock, which I walked out to the end of.
As I sat munching and musing on that overcast day, a
hemisphere of gulls gathered, some hovering at about the
same distance in the air, others alighting on the water
forming a mass before me. Yes, eventually I became full of
bread, so I tore up the rest in hunks which I tossed out to
the now-cawing birds. Then I walked back into the City.
(A couple days later I was on a Greyhound heading east, almost
broke. I returned to my parents' house after three days
"on the dog" with total in-pocket cash of a penny and a dime.)
In an onerous move symptomatic of web-commercialization, the Internet
Movie Database has been assimilated by Amazon.com.