Angela tore 3 recipes from Shape Magazine (which they got from a restaurant called Candle 79) for Thanksgiving Dinner. We supped on
Butternut squash-chestnut soup w/ carmelized pears, Roasted Beet, Fennel & Fig Salad with fresh cranberry-sage dressing,
Silken Tofu Spinach, Ashley’s famous stuffing, sweet Potato Pie and wine by Charles Shaw. Wine by Charles Shaw.
As I was looking through the gallery of art (or photoshopping) in the wake of the police brutality at UC Davis, I came across this photograph. The first thing I thought was ‘This is the kind of yoga photograph my friend Patrick might take.’ Then I noticed that the photographer in the bottom left corner WAS indeed my friend Patrick Haley. Patrick moved to Bangkok recently and has been trying to stay afloat there as a photographer, getting work, in the wake of the flooding, where he can find it. He was extremely upset by the photograph. You should be, I said. He hadn’t seen the video of the pepper-spraying cop. He said that the Thai people were sensitive and that it was uncool (he actually used the phrase fucked up) to use the yoga master’s practice in this way. I assured him that his yogi was in good company — the pepper-spraying cop has been shown attacking everything that peace-loving people deem sacred from The Declaration of Indepedence to Gahndi and Bambi. Still, his reservations made me think about it. Was it it my American tunnel-vision urging me to say Bully and Right On? Or was it my belief as an Artist that little is sacred in comparison to the kind of just and peaceful world the cop violated when he attacked peaceful demonstrators?
Another question altogether is whether or not this sort of lampoon inches us toward real change. As I was reading Flaubert today, he described in the aftermath of the 1848 revolution in France posted depictions of the deposed king as a pastry cook, an acrobat, a dog, or a leech.  Things were looking good for France, a new more just republic was declared by the poet Lamartine, soon to be overthrown by another Napolean. We make cartoons to vilify what we we hate (the violence used to enforce an unjust system), but I wonder if making something abominable seem funny takes away the horror-value. I’m sure there are Americans out there who applaud the cops for getting tough with the bearded hoolligans asking for free education… So the question is what sort of art or action is necessary to change those minds? Does every single one of them have to lose her job, his pension, or his house to see that people are suffering?
The other day at Berkeley 70-year old former Poet Laureate Robert Hass was beaten by police. This was not just a case of one rogue officer losing control in a tense situation. We also witnessed the cowardly officer Lt. John PIke pepper-spray a group of students who were just sitting in on a campus quad. He’s on his way to becomming the most-clowned cop in history. We clearly need to change the way we police ourselves. The irony of this whole thing is that we hired these people to beat us. What kind of crazy system is that? And whose idea was it for the cops to dress like nazi storm troopers?
I want to give Hass kudos for his bravery, but anyone familiar with his poetry already knows the content of his character. In his 1996 book Sun Under Wood for example he wrote a very intimate poem about his mother being institutionalized for alcoholism. She was so careless of herself taht I could see her breast, the brown nipple, when she leaned forward. I didn’t want to look, and looked, and looked away. It takes tremendous courage to write something like this. I have a special affinty for Hass becuase when he came to San Diego to read poetry in 1997 with June Jordan and Sandra Cisneros he bought a copy of my novel The Sub, which I was selling from a blanket on the grass outside. Let’s raise our glass to Robert Hass, poet.
Still reading Sentimental Education by Gustav Flaubert. It’s really good, and seems strangely modern even though penned in 1869. I started trying to read a little about him and the context the book came out of — the French revolution of 1848.
I came across a letter to those figuratively conjoined twins, the Goncourt Brothers.
G. Flaubert, Friend of Franklin and Marat; factionist and anarchist of the first order, and for twenty years a disorganiser of despotism on two hemispheres!!!
I love this signature, even though I don’t quite understand it. I mean what’s a “factionist?” And what does he mean by “the first order?” Are there second order anarchists? His point is made clear though when he calls himself a “disorganiser of despotism.”That is so great.
If you get a chance check out these far out movies by Alejandro Jodorowski. Holy Mountain, Sante Sangre (INstant Netflix) and Fando & Lis. The Fando DVD included a decent documentary about director Jodorowski and his role as therapist So imagine how stoked I was to watch this interview with him on one of my favorite websites Dangerous Minds. Richard Metzger, editor of Dangerous Minds, asked the 82-year old director what he thought of the Occupy movements around the world.
I see late evolution. I see mutation. Revolution can do nothing. You take out a power; they put in another power. French revolution—failure. Mexican Revolution– failure. Russian Revolution– failure. Revolution is not the thing, we need to change our minds. If we don’t change our minds, we will kill the planet. That is reality. – Alejandro Jodorowski
I’ve been buying books more regularly for the past couple of years, and picking up extra copies of my favorites. Originally I thought I would give them as presents or even barter for luxuries (bunches of kale, soy lattes from Cafe Moto, gig entry, bottles of wine…) Since I’m unemployed, however, I thought it might be prudent to sell them. Hence THE $5 BOOK SALE. I’m offering my novel THE SUB and about 40 other books including We Rock So You Don’t Have To, Anna Karenina, Against History, Against Leviathan, Stewart Home’s Slow Death, Barry Graham’s Before and 5 books by Irvine Welsh!
Still reading Flaubert’s Sentimental Education. Of course, as a writer, he floats above all his characters, sees through their folly, and refuses to let the reader know what he really thinks. And for this he was called a great realist. In this scene, Deslauriers, the lawyer who wants to run a magazine speaks passionately, though Flaubert, the artist, is above giving any the last word.
…this nation of serfs has a mania for being governed. But not a single form of government is legitimate, for all their eternal principles. …Why should the sovereignty of the people be more sacred than the divine right of kings? They are both of them fictions! Let’s have no more metaphysics, no more ghosts. You don’t need dogma to keep the streets clean! I suppose I’ll be told that I’m trying to overthrow society. Well, what of it? Where would be the harm? Because its a pretty sight, your society is. 
wrote in my Book of Books that “one book leads to another” though I cannot explain why I picked up Gustave Flaubert’s Sentimental Education (1869) after Capote’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1958). Especially 25 years after reading Madame Bovaryin college. I have to say I’m loving it. The grand river of detail Flaubert provides seems to be stimulating my neurons like water coursing the rocks of a narrow rapid. Though I don’t agree with this character’s sentiment about the mob (Standing against top-down decision making with Rouseeau who said The populace is never corrupted, but often tricked, and only then does it appear to want what is bad) I find the speech illustrative of my own exaltation.
I don’t want any of your hiedeous realty! What do you mean by reality, anyway? Some see black, some see blue, and the mob see wrong. There’s nothing less natural than Michaelangelo, and nothing more powerful. The cult of external truth reveals the vulgarity of our times; and if things go on this way, art is going to become a sort of bad joke inferior to religion in poetry and inferior to politics in interest. You’ll never attain the purpose of art – yes, its purpose! – which is to give us an impersonal sense of exaltaion, with petty works, however carefully they’re produced. Sentimental Education 53