Lately I’ve been diving back into the world of Michael Mann, culminating in his masterpiece Heat. I want to comment on that film at some point, but I’m still collecting ideas, putting my thoughts together. I have also been watching the show Luck, which was on HBO a couple years back. It’s a show that centers around a racetrack and the personalities that surround are a part of that world. Mann was a producer and director of the pilot. The show was created by David Milch who is one of the most interesting minds and greatest writers in television. Deadwood, a show he created, is one of the high-water marks of television for me. It is as close to Shakespeare as we are likely to see in our time. I think anyone that wants to understand our country should visit that show. Anyway, while looking up information on Luck, I found this interview with both Milch and Mann. It is short but fascinating.
I mentioned the other day that riding home from a gig I heard a great podcast about Allen Ginsberg. Kevin “Shinyribs” Russell was playing it in his car. Above is a link to the podcast series, Thanks For Giving A Damn by Otis Gibbs, and the podcast we listened to is Episode 115. If you scroll down you see that Kevin is interviewed for this podcast series as well. I’ve actually only heard the one, but I imagine if the others are anything like it they are quite interesting. The Ginsberg podcast featured Ben Schafer telling what it was like to be an assistant for Ginsberg. The link above is with iTunes, but the podcasts are free.
One of the best books I’ve read in recent years is S.C. Gwynne’s Empire of the Summer Moon. This book is an account of the Comanche Indian Wars that took place in Texas and the surrounding areas. It was a book that was incredibly informative while also being an absolute page turner. I just saw that Gwynne has a a new book out. This book is an account of Stonewall Jackson called Rebel Yell: The Violence, Passion, and Redemption of Stonewall Jackson. If it is anything like his last book then it is simply a must read as far as I’m concerned.
Here is a link to Gwynne’s website to learn more about the book:
To close out the week the above link is an article of 15 great quote by Kurt Vonnegut over at the A.V. Club. Vonnegut has long been one of my heroes. A sample:
4. “There’s only one rule that I know of, babies—God damn it, you’ve got to be kind.”
This line from God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater comes as part of a baptismal speech the protagonist says he’s planning for his neighbors’ twins: “Hello, babies. Welcome to Earth. It’s hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It’s round and wet and crowded. At the outside, babies, you’ve got about a hundred years here. There’s only one rule that I know of, babies—God damn it, you’ve got to be kind.” It’s an odd speech to make over a couple of infants, but it’s playful, sweet, yet keenly precise in its summation of everything a new addition to the planet should need to know. By narrowing down all his advice for the future down to a few simple words, Vonnegut emphasizes what’s most important in life. At the same time, he lets his frustration with all the people who obviously don’t get it leak through just a little