Wednesday, July 30, 2003

After a lengthy table dance interview, with full release, I sat down at the bar to replenish my fluids. The publican was a dense-browed, heavy lipped, thick-necked gentleman who served my drink with menacing detachment. Behind this shark-eyed barkeep was a wall of fame, or at least of photos: a who's who of who's nude here at Tit Time. The Polaroids had been stapled to the wall with care and emblazoned with the dancers' names: Shy-anne, Pebbles, Ginger Snaps, Stormy, Misty, and Dusty. While I sat there, lost in admiration of these sirens of the runway, I was joined by the club's well-worn doorman. He offered to have me buy him a drink, or, failing that, share the one I was drinking. I declined his request for an offer, and introduced myself and my mission. He seemed excited to speak about the town he lived and worked in.

Amy Sedaris, Paul Dinello, and Stephen Colbert, Wigfield: The Can-Do Town That Just May Not (31)

Sunday, July 27, 2003

For example, Las Vegas is the only town in the world whose skyline is made up neither of buildings, like New York, nor of trees, like Wilbraham, Massachusetts, but signs. One can look at Las Vegas from a mile away on Route 91 and see no buildings, no trees, only signs. But such signs! They tower. They revolve, they oscillate, they soar in shapes before which the existing vocabulary of art history is helpless. I can only attempt to supply such names - Boomerang Modern, Palette Curvilinear, Flash Gordon Ming-Alert Spiral, McDonald's Hamburger Parabola, Mint Casino Elliptical, Miami Beach Kidney. Las Vegas' sign makers work so far out beyond the frontiers of conventional studio art that they have no names themselves for the forms they create. Vaughn Cannon, one of the tall, blond Westerners, the builders of places like Las Vegas and Los Angeles, whose eyes seem to have been bleached by the sun, is in the back shop of the Young Electric Sign Company out on East Charleston Boulevard with Herman Boergne, one of his designers, looking at the model thay have prepared for the Lucky Strike Casino sign, and Cannon points to where the two great curving faces meet to form a narrow vertical face and says:

Tom Wolfe, The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby (7)

Wednesday, July 23, 2003

Among the most amazing discoveries at Anyang was a massive burial tomb, some 60 feet square and 40 feet deep, entered by a sloping ramp some 150 feet long. Apparently the pit had been the final resting place for a great king. After his body had been placed in its casket and surrounded by cases of the finest jewels, food, silks, and exquisite bronze sculptures, an entire regiment of soldiers (either faithful followers of the king or hapless prisoners of war), plus horses and chariots and even dogs, were marched down the ramp, lined up around the casket and beheaded.

James Cornell, Where Did They Go?: Lost Cities and Vanished Peoples (44-45)
The link between marijuana and violent crime was first drawn by local law enforcement officials. In a 1917 report, an investigator from the U.S. Department of Agriculture quoted a Texas police captain who said marijuana produces a “lust for blood.” The captain claimed habitual users “become violent, especially when they become angry, and will attack an officer even if a gun is drawn.” He added that they “seem to have no fear,” are “insensible to pain,” and display “abnormal strength,” so that “it will take several men to handle one man.” According to a 1925 account from a U.S. Army botanist, the superintendent of the prison in Yuma, Arizona, having observed inmates who used marijuana, reported that “under its baneful influence reckless men become bloodthirsty, trebly daring and dangerous to an uncontrollable degree.” The botanist also cited an American diplomat in Mexico who said marijuana “causes the smoker to become exceedingly pugnacious and to run amuck without discrimination.”

Jacob Sullum, Saying Yes (200)
A black kid with short hair and a blond beard rode up and piped in “It’s like we’re being told you can be anything in this country but creative, anything but different, and but genuine. We are not forced into slavery. We’re forced into minimum wage and we live in ghettos, left to fight over little pieces that are left for us like rats in a can. That’s why the middle class drives cars and lives in the ’burbs. It’s protection from the dirty and the poor and the people that are different. They put sanctions on the city, man!”

Travis Hugh Culley, The Immortal Class (74-75)

Sunday, July 06, 2003

Pavanes we danced. A pavane is an ideal dance for lovers, because it’s slow, you can flirt or talk without losing your step. My very favorite pavane was “Belle Qie Tient Ma Vie” (the one from The Private Life of Henry VIII, Romeo and Juliet, the Leslie Howard version, and Orlando, both the 1993 version with Tilda Swinton and the 2150 remake with ZoĆ« Barrymore), and it has just begun when Nicholas said: “Thy father will not give consent for me to wed thee.”

Kage Baker, In the Garden of Iden (203)

Like most of the men in Century A, I knew that Sophie was as lusty as a cat in heat. She preferred men to women, but would take women and if she couldn’t get women just about anything would do. I’m not kidding – the stories about her role in the girl-and-pony show at the Legion Hall were common currency back then. I understand that the politicals considered going after her for it, but she hadn’t broken any laws but those of good taste.

Jane Lindskold, “The Big Lie,” in Drakas!, edited by S.M. Stirling (165-65)