Amoeblog

David Foster Wallace 1962 - 2008

Posted by Whitmore, September 14, 2008 11:06am | Post a Comment

The novelist, essayist, humorist, and educator, David Foster Wallace, best known for his 1996 novel Infinite Jest, was found dead Friday night at his home in Claremont. His wife, Karen Green, discovered that Wallace had hanged himself when she returned home on Friday, September 12. He was 46.

Wallace won a cult following from the very start of his literary career with his darkly humorous and ironic wit. His first novel was published in 1987, The Broom of the System, but it was his 1996 novel, Infinite Jest, which shot him to the top of the literary world with its sprawling, complex and ambitious nonlinear plot that ran 1,079 pages.  

Wallace was born in Ithaca, New York, Feb. 21, 1962, but was raised in Illinois, where his father taught philosophy at the University of Illinois and his mother taught English at the local community college.

He attended Amherst College, majoring in philosophy before switching his attention to creative writing. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in 1985, turning his senior thesis into the basis for The Broom of the System.

Since 2002, when he was named the first Roy E. Disney professor of creative writing, he had taught at Pomona College.

Don't You Forget About Me, Part 1: The Teen Flicks of John Hughes

Posted by Charles Reece, September 14, 2008 10:24am | Post a Comment
I wish to bring back to mind my past foulness and the carnal corruptions of my soul. This is not because I love them, but that I may love you, my God. [..] In the bitterness of my remembrance, I tread again my most evil ways, so that you may grow sweet to me, O sweetness that never fails, O sweetness happy and enduring, which gathers me together again from that disordered state in which I lay in shattered pieces, wherein, turned away from you, the one, I spent myself upon the many. For in my youth, I burned to get my fill of hellish things. I dared to run wild in different darksome ways of love. My comeliness wasted away. I stank in your eyes, but I was pleasing to myself and I desired to be pleasing to the eyes of men. -- The Depths of Vice from The Sixteenth Year of The Confessions of St. Augustine


I've always been something of a closet Augustinian, believing sin the default human condition. If he would've just left out all that God stuff I'd be more willing to come out of the closet. Nevertheless, his notion that being good is an act of will against wordly temptation seems right to me. In a capitalist democracy, giving in has always been an easier route to material success than acts of resistance.  Obama wouldn't be America's first ("serious") post-racial candidate if the majority thought he'd tackle racial injustice in any substantive manner. One doesn't rise through the business ranks by being an agent of moral change, making the business work better for the employees. The only change that's allowed is that of efficiency, streamlining the workers' output in accordance to the demands of the employer. You don't achieve power by disposing of the cultural rules, but by learning them, incorporating them and making them work for you while you actually work for them.  As Foucault pointed out -- and the Frankfurt School before him -- power is everywhere and nowhere in particular.
 

Since power is theoretically dispersed to the masses in a democratic system where the have-nots will always outnumber the haves, it becomes necessary for mass desire to be manufactured such that the status quo is believed by the people to be their will, and not something being forced upon them from the outside. This keeps things from changing, or not changing, too fast, so that the small ratio of dominant to the dominated can remain fairly static over time. That's why 1984 has never been a wholly convincing metaphor for the modern Western democracy. People would vote out Big Brother if he were seen to symbolically conflict with their democratic and other structuring beliefs ("don't need no outsider telling me what to do"). However, his ideas of control might work if the people can be convinced that those ideas are their own. In fact, Orwellian totalitarianism began when democracy ended, but a more pressing concern for modern democracy is its own despotic fault-line. 

Mix.Tape.101

Posted by Amoebite, September 13, 2008 03:48pm | Post a Comment
 Mix.Tape.101 (excerpted from the Mix.Tape.101 Zine)

Is this some stupid trip down nostalgic lane?
Does my love of mixtapes reveal my age?
Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes.

Mixtapes stood for friendship. Connection. Love. Attention to mixology and art.

When you got a mixtape you could not wait to throw it in the cassette player. Unmarked or a work of art, it didnʼt matter. There was gold in those tapes. There was a message. Sometimes there wasnʼt.

(Didnʼt everyone have a Krazy Mix?) Random songs gleaned from the radio, records, and other cassettes always said at least, listen to this! Inherently it was about the music. Sometimes slow hands pressed "record" too late or too early or there were the random ambient sounds of the TV interrupting Motorhead.

Then there were those tapes given to or received from crushes. Songs with subtle or not so subtle messages would attempt to grab your attention and then your heart.

 

It does sound old to lament the loss of mixtape culture. I think what I miss is the care and attention that friendships used to naturally have. Demands of relationships, bills, and the heavy burden of the future gradually erode the time and space that one can give to friendships. Mixtapes are a sentimental look at a time where what mattered was putting together an awesome tape full of songs and giving it away.

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Heavenly Bodies

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, September 12, 2008 09:45pm | Post a Comment
Miss Ross makes no mistake regarding what she is: a STAR!!!
Diana Ross Workin' Overtime LP promo sticker star shapedELO E.L.O. Electric Light Orchestra promo sticker star shapedDwight Twilley I'm On Fire LP promo sticker star shaped

A little song title tie in for Bob Seger and a solo Saturn piece. After that it's sundown for Los Lobos and sun-up for the Vapors.

Bob Seger the Distance Lp coverBob Seger Shame on the Moon Promo Sricker Moon shapedrings of saturn shaped stickerLos Lobos By the Light Of the Moon shaped stickerLos Lobos By the Light of the Moon Lp coverThe Vapors Turning Japanese rising sun promo sticker
Neil Young Stars & Bars LP promo sticker star shapedStar Search The Winners Album LP promo sticker star shapedSteve Martin LP promo sticker star shaped

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AMOEBA MUSIC WEEKLY HIP-HOP ROUND UP: 09:12:08

Posted by Billyjam, September 12, 2008 04:20pm | Post a Comment
                             Amoeba Music Hollywood Hip-Hop Top FIve 09:12:08
1) The Game LAX (Geffen/Interscope)

2) Young Jeezy The Recession (Def Jam)

3) The Game LAX (deluxe edition) (Geffen/Interscope)

4) GZA Pro Tools (Baby Grande)

5) Lil Wayne Tha Carter III (Cash Money/Universal)

Special thanks to Marques at the Hollywood Amoeba Music for this week's top five hip-hop albums, which includes hometown artist The Game's new album LAX twice. "The number three on the chart version of The Game is the deluxe edition of LAX which has three extra songs on it," notes Marques of the second (more limited pressing) version of the album that also costs a bit more to purchase. Other chart entries include the recently released Young Jeezy album The Recession, Lil Wayne's current hot seller Tha Carter III (sure to be on many year end lists), and the latest from GZA, Pro Tools. Meanwhile GZA's Wu-Tang buddy RZA (who supplies some production on the guest heavy Pro Tools album) will be one of the many performers at the upcoming We The People Music, Arts, and Cultural Festival happening at Los Angeles State Historic Park (1245 N. Spring Street) on Saturday, September 27th. Others scheduled to perform include EPMD (pictured), EPMDFishbone, DJ Premier, Les Claypool, Suicidal Tendencies, Z-Trip, Dilated Peoples, Eeek-A-Mouse, Barrington Levy, Bassnectar, Free The Robots, B-Side Players, Roots of Creation, Markus James, Look Daggers, Tom Morello, and Flying Lotus, whose recent Warp release Los Angeles is one of the best albums of 2008. 

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