Amoeblog

North Asia

Posted by Eric Brightwell, June 27, 2008 07:53pm | Post a Comment


While trying to beat the heat, I often think of what far-off cold places I'd like to go before the world turns to desert. North Asia is high on my list for sheer obscurity. Even the designation "north Asia" sounds like something that never gets said. I think that my first awareness of North Asia as a place came with playing Risk (aka La Conquête du Monde) when my conquering cavalry rode triumphantly into Yakutsk, Irkutsk and Kamchatka. It's expensive to fly there, they almost all love throat-singing, the curiously named Jew's Harp and occasionally stumble across frozen mega-fauna. Beyond that, I know more about the member Planets of the Federation than the little-known nations of North Asia... (in Ying Yang Twins voice) at least til now.
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(If interested, there are similar entries about Caucasia, Eastern Europe and South Asia.)

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The Altay (also known as Altai or Altayans ) people are a nomadic Turkic people who've settled in the Altai Republic (and neighboring Altai Krai).

 

According to the website waytorussia.net:

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سكر بنات Sukkar banat Caramel dir. Nadine Labaki.

Posted by Eric Brightwell, June 15, 2008 06:23pm | Post a Comment

In a Beirut beauty salon, the lives of five women from different backgrounds interweave as they share, support, confide in and bicker with each other. The “caramel” of the title refers to the candy, which they use as a depilatory. My guess is that it's supposed to be some kind of metaphor for tearing away secrets or something.

Labaki's video for Nancy Ajram's "Akhasmak, Ah"

First, Rima (the spittin’ image of Jerri Blank from Strangers With Candy) is a secret Sapphist, which is primarily conveyed through her enjoyment of washing a woman’s long tresses. Nisrine, a bride-to-be, isn’t a virgin but is marrying a traditional Muslim who expects her to be, so she goes to the doctor to get surgery. Jamale is an aging former television actress whose attempts to seem young (from taping her eyes up to staining maxi pads with red nail polish) come across as so shrilly hysterical that she earns unintentional laughs instead of sympathy as she competes, in vain, against younger, prettier women. Layale (played by the writer/director) is bitchy and snobbish and she stubbornly pursues an affair with a married man, going to amazing lengths to please him, even though he continually blows her off except for their brief romps in her car. Rose is a seamstress who gains the attractions of an dapper, older American whose suits she tailors. He asks her out but she chooses to devote all of her energy and time to her senile sister -- who was a voice to which nails-on-chalkboard is preferable. The message seems to be that women have to turn to each other, not men, no matter how stupidly they behave.  And, girl, men have no idea what they go through.

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Communities of Los Angeles County

Posted by Eric Brightwell, June 15, 2008 04:16pm | Post a Comment
And here's a survey for the Los Angeles County communities. Vote for whichever communities you'd like to see me visit and blog about. With each blog comes a hand drawn map courtesy of Pendersleigh & Sons Cartography.

And remember, Eric's Blog gives you a voice!

Click Here to take survey





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Follow Eric's Blog and check out more episodes of California Fool's Gold

Los Angeles Neighborhoods -- Survey SAYS!

Posted by Eric Brightwell, June 13, 2008 07:55pm | Post a Comment
Dear readers,

I've created a survey that I'd like you, if you have a second, to fill out. I want to know which Los Angeles neighborhood(s) you'd like me, your ersatz Huell Howser, to visit (and blog about) next. Just click on the link below and I'll go to which ever neighborhood receives the most votes... maybe it'll be your hood! And each map means a new Pendersleigh & Sons Cartography map!

Click Here to take survey




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Follow Eric's Blog and check out more episodes of California Fool's Gold

20th Anniversay of the Second Summer of Love -- Madchester and the Baggy Explosion

Posted by Eric Brightwell, June 12, 2008 09:00pm | Post a Comment

The Second Summer of Love

It was 20 years ago today (well, this coming summer, which is just around the corner) that what was known as The Second Summer of Love occurred. England's youth fell in love with Ecstasy, which they combined with a taste for Chicago House Music and the results made history. As is often the case, the fashions of 20 years ago (in this case, the 1960s) became fashionable again. Tye dye and peace symbols abounded on teens around the world. Thousands of people started attending massive Acid House raves. A feeling of pacifistic and environmental optimism swept much of the planet (or maybe that was just my teenage outlook). The Factory label's Hacienda nightclub featured DJs and bands which mixed disco, house, hip-hop, electro and indie rock. Soon, other northern clubs followed their lead, such as Boardwalk, Devilles, Isadora's, Konspiracy, House, Soundgardens, Man Alive, The International, Bugsy's and The Osbourne Club. And the hooliganish Casuals tuned in and begat Acid Casuals.

Madchester, So Much to Answer For

Half a world away in Columbia MO, I used to listen to KCOU, which would play lots of Acid House and Belgian New Beat. It was the first contemporary music that I was into as it was happening. My parents only played soul, bluegrass, jazz and classical records. Then I discovered the Doors, T Rex and the Beatles through the radio. And after discovering College Radio, a new world opened up. I would dance (in private) on the hearth in the living room to these strange, new sounds and hope that my mother wouldn't ask what the hell that stuff was all about because I couldn't really explain its hold on me, although it's debt to my beloved Kraftwerk was evident. Our exchange student, Alexis Poul, found an Acid House button at JFK which was, of course, a smiley face with the words "acid" and "house" printed on them. Alexis told me that all anyone listened to in France was house music. And when I went there, in '89, it was true. Even the buses played house.

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