Thursday, November 23, 2006

Dada on the DVD


And here is where de debbil come to visit Ivan:

"I am a reasonal bloke. Just came to offer you some advice. No, don't tremble so. Okay, I look a little like Mr. Spock, but I'm getting some work done. Nifty threads, no? Got them from Old Navy.
"You're always going out to work only to find that that's when your best ideas come.
"Then you quit your job only to find that your ideas--poof--they're gone.
"So you go back to work, same syndrome. You are getting your best ideas again but you're so busy working
you can't commit them to paper.

"And then, on the radio, as you're doing your deliveries you hear a guy with some real ideas.
Like Jack White and his sister Meg, doing the nihilist raga:

I'm gonna fight 'em all
A seven nation army couldn't hold me back
They're gonna rip it off
Taking their time behind my back
And I' m talking to myself at night, cause I can't forget
Back and forth through my mind behind a cigarette
And the feeling coming from behind my eyes says leave it alone...
And the song that you hear from me is come back home..

"Yeah, yeah, isn't that the way you feel, exactly?
Don't you wish you'd written something like that, Bunky?

"So you quit your job again, and what comes out? Nuttin'.
"I got a plan for you, an arrangement.(Pulls roll of foolscap out of ample Old Navy pocket).
"If you'll just look at this standard form, carefully, and sign right there...

One of my correspondents, a stone Satanist and a published one, says somewhere that God hates us.
Otherwise, why would he treat us so, give us such terrible hangovers, family anxieties, car accidents, wars, exploding people, famine?

My hellishly handsome friend, really good-looking despite the modified Mr. Spock ears, says all I have to do is sign on the blank line and it can all be fixed. No more rejection, failure, pain, just strawberry fields forever--that is, I suppose, until Scrooge comes to collect.

How attractive the Dr. Faustus theme.

How many of us has it led astray.

In the opening stanzas of Goethe's Faust, the first few pages may as well be the first few seconds of your life.
It is that compelling; the dialogue of the gods over your birth, the drumroll, the actual birth.
And then the story of your life as you go to-- the Devil?

A man is born, he marries, he has children, he suffers and he dies. It is somehow touched upon in the White Stripes song:

Don't want to hear about it
Every single one's got a story to tell
From the queen of England to the hounds of hell
And if I catch you coming back this way, I'm gonna serve it to you.
I't's not what you want to hear, but that's what I'll do...

And the feeling from my bones says find a home.

My Ukrainian poet says it more poetically, perhaps:

There is no illusion here but plain belonging
Even if you listen to the sand whispering in the pines
Even if you look into the green eyes of chlorophyll..

But Jack White of the White Stripes band gives you some pretty cool Dada on the DVD:

I'm going to Wichita
Far from this opera forever more
I'm going to work the straw
Make the sweat drip from every pore
And I'm bleeding and I'm bleeding , right becfore my Lord
And when I finish my song, I ain't gonna sing no more
And the feeling coming from my bones says find a home

I'm going to Wichita...

But wait, wait.

Didn't Dada Jack say something about bleeding right before his Lord?

The Stanley Kubrik Monolith thing?

Dear God, this is getting to be a religious column


ivan said...

Sorry again, guys.
Seems I am either fighting Blogger and his absolute refusal in following instructions, or it's my alcoholism, which also refuses to follow instructions.
I have somehow deleted my last posting of my play, The Fire in Bradford, along with Josie's wonderful comments and my notes her continuing, highly readable travelogues about Vancover and its environs.
This is what happens when you blog drunks, folks!

(Apologia par mi bloggus sum)

EA Monroe said...

Good evening, Ivan. This is a fine intermission! Well sung. I'm not too good at following instructions either!

Josie said...

Ivan, I came home from work tonight, sat down and fell asleep. So I haven't been doing any blogging.

Ah yes, family anxieties.

Oh goodness...


ivan said...

Got a chuckle out of "not following
Dat ole John Barleycorn!
Intrigued to find in your comment on Josie's fine blog that your family tree has all sorts of branches. After I married, I produced a veritable triad.
"Troikas are lucky," my mother used to say.
"You grandkids are troikas, three ethnic groups.
My kids are lucky.
I guess I was trying to breed out the gloomy Slav. LOL.

ivan said...

Well, you got your beauty sleep, Josie.
And the wonderful result of that sleep: your blog on ahem! famous Canadians.
I am afraid these days that I am only famous at Simpson't Gravel Pit, where they have all the bush parties.
Ah well. A man can use a little gravel!

H.E.Eigler said...

Great post Ivan - The White Stripes are among my CD collection and I love 'em.

And My Grandfather (who is a religious man) says "Beer is proof that God loves us."

Josie said...

Ivan, you know, I almost added your name to the list, but then I thought... oh, I'd better not. I was impressed that the zipper(!) was invented by a Canadian. I knew the telephone was, but the zipper... who knew.


ivan said...

Welcome back.
If you like White Stripes you are
schmartchick--something I've known for a long time.
I swear that in "Seven Nations Army" I hear a lot of Dostoevsky, the Underground Man and all that.
I am so jealous of Jack White!
I think he's still in his late twenties and he writes stuff like that...Maybe it's his sister Meg on drums dreaming up apocalyptic songs...There's just the two of them and they make up a band.
...They've got to have a bass player though, how else to get that Inner Sanctum beat?
White Stripes was the only musical group to ever perform on the wildly popular Jon Stewart DAILY SHOW; nobody else can get in.

I see by your blog you will be multiplying...Three months pregnant now?
Ah, still working and writing though.



ivan said...

I spent a lot of time at the Edison Museum in Florida. Lots of way-out mutant trees, besides eternal lightbulbs.
I think old Tom was trying to grow some sort of exotic banana.
I dasn't broach on the other invention. LOL

ivan said...




ivan said...

Thanks, whomever.

Josie said...

Ivan, you're too funny.

It's going to snow here tomorrow.



ivan said...

You guys must have the patience of Job.
Over here, it's near tropical.
Sun out. Highs of ten Celsius (Double and add thirty, that's 50 degrees American!).
Not bad for F-N-D, i.e., Friggin -Near- December.

I do have a scene in my play, however, where little balls of familiar substance rain upon the poor professor from the ceiling, above which somebody had bathed an incontinent infant, forgot what he was doing, left the bathtub and its horriblce contents to flow over and down upon poor professor's head.
Not for nothing was clownish Willie Safer calling the prof a craphead.

The unsettled weather, however has given me a sudden case of flu-like symptoms that can't be explained as just another hangover.
Thank god I got sick when flush, and I don't mean the overhead toilet.
I can finally afford to be sick.
Not too long ago, I had to fight with Oscar of Sesame Street for bunk space.

EA Monroe said...

Good morning, Ivan. I'm glad to see you back on the air. Did you figure out what happened?

We're having temps in the 70s. It's humid and damp this morning and the sun's trying to shine. Perfect weather for me.

I've got to use the next two days to work on those edit/rewrites for the book. And try to think up something interesting for the blog.

ivan said...

Good morning Liz,

Gee,what a nice way to start the day. Get a good morning from Liz Monroe.
I am at an advanced age, but somehow still think I'm bulletproof, not taking care to dress properly in the coolig weather and drinking up everything--and I mean everything-- in the house.
Suddenly coughing and dropping oysters.

Bought a chicken, baked the mother, had dinnner, made chicken soup, lots of carrots cabbage, Bok Choi, new potatoes, garlic, made sure I heated the soup in the oven and not stovetop--get heartburn with stovetop method--and ate the whole pot of chicken soup.
My former mother-in-law was right.
Chicken soup will knock anything you've got!
So we're kind of patched up this morning...couldn't have been all that sick-- Friday night the TV is full of people snogging and in full colour!
I am starting to date my TV, and that's not good.
My last dutchess left a drip to my whistle, so once doctored, twice shy.
Well, one sure way to have lots of dates is to get something published in the Toronto Star, biggest paper in the continent.

Last time it happened the phone wouldn't stop ringing and the college had re-hired me.

Nice work if you can get it.

Today, journalism is chores--boring--few personal essays, my forte.
But every so often one lets go a grounder that goes all the way to Chicago, say.
Hm. Been striking out a lot.

Pepper the bastards with copy, I say!

Josie said...

Ivan, the soup sounded wonderful. So... why didn't you invite us?

The snow is moving in today. Soup sounds like a good idea.

Have a great weekend.


EA Monroe said...

You better take some Vitamin C, Ivan!

ivan said...

Yeah, what a selfish bloke!
Should have invited you and Liz and all the other great ladies.
The guys would get beer until they argue viciously, convined all the while they were having a good time.
Well, soup and homemade bread would have settled them down.

From what I've been looking over, Josie, you are certainly multi-talened.
Bet you're a gourmet cook as well!

ivan said...

Vitamin C, yes, Liz.

I chugalugged a whole carton of pure orange juice and all it made me do was think of St.Pete's, Florida, where I had once gone while sick.
"Don't play with this," A Dr. Borow used to say. "You're moving up to serious double pneumonia if you keep drinking atop the penicillin."
I hit a Big Daddy's lounge, was almost arrested for drunk--Southern Prisons!--and escaped after producing my American Newmaper Guild card.
See, trouble is, I was walking.
Nobody walks in St. Petersburg. Especially when he's weaving.
Lord how articulate you become when the (excuse me) Cracker cops
pick you up...Talk your way out of anything!
The next day I was sick again.
Dr. Borow said no more cigerettes.
Good thing I had a wife at the time.
Calmed me down when I threw nicotine fits.
I guess the Florida vitamin c finally cured me.
Looks like I better look for the real thing here.
Ah, we can get Tangelos like baseballs over here now.

kathie said...

Beer? Can there ever be too much? I suppose so, but that first one is damn good.

ivan said...

Your blog is indeed cool.
Raise a Bud to you.


Josie said...

Ivan, that hot soup (and beer...!) is sounding better and better. It's snowing here in Lotusland. Snowing on the geraniums.

It was summer just last week and I was walking around in capris and flip/flops.


ivan said...

Whatever it is, Josie, it's working.
You're a medical type: something in the chicken, some amino acid that fights flu.
I know garlic helps.
But when the beer hits, all at the
same time as the chicken, we might have some conflicting synergies.
Ah well. Always have been conflicted.
Got bombed once to often during World War Two, I suppose.
Crikey, it was noisy!
Found out though, that Guiness was good for you.

Josie said...

Ivan, there was some research done in the States, and apparently there is something in chicken soup that acts as an anti-inflammatory. Even the ancient Egyptians knew about it. Heck, it just tastes good so it's a comfort food.

So is Cherry Garcia ice cream... yum.

The Rolling Stones are in Vancouver tonight, and we're in the middle of a blizzard. Never a dull moment here on the West Coast.


Erik Ivan James said...

It's difficult for this small mind to keep up with you, Ivan. I wander off for awhile, come back to visit, and find myself hurled into another era...or chapter at least. Good work, always.

ivan said...

Thanks for popping back in, Erik.
Thought we'd lost you for a while.

Yeah, the most off-trail topics sometimes gather interest.

You gotta read Josie's blog on anger. We've certainly been where she describes.

Josie said...

Ivan, I removed the anger post. I didn't want to offend a certain individual.... who I know would read it. Sigh.

I did have some wonderful, thoughtful comments from people, though, and I know I touched a common chord.

We're in the middle of a HUGE blizzard in Vancouver. It's beautiful but it's causing havoc. I have to go out today and buy some boots, so that I can go out... Hah.


ivan said...

Avoid cliches, grab the bull by the and let the chips fall by the way, I say!
Your post on anger really opened up something.
Wish I'd copied it in time.
I just wanted to add somewhere that there's the woman in the psychiatrist's office, suffering damnably--and the real nut case that put her there, not suffering at all.
Just wanted to add that men are
passive-aggressive and sometimes a smack in the eye will get someone right off your back.

EA Monroe said...

Darn, Josie! That was a great anger post you had.

Ivan, how's the cold? I seem to be "ghosting" myself today. My computer (or blogger) must've hiccoughed because I know I was only on Bernita's blog once this morning! I could use an extra clone at work though.

I'll see if I show up twice here!

ivan said...

Oh yeah, Liz.
I saw the hiccup on Bernita's post.
You came through fine and pristine here.
Over here, I might as well start singing Janis Joplin's song,

"Somethin's got a hold of me honey
Feels to me like a ball and chain."

Somthing's got a hold of me all right. I think it's a virus that seems to multiply itself like compuer-replicated comments.

Got a box of Vitamin C and a box of beer, but the bastard seems to have a hold of me. Right by the chest.
driving me half nuts. (Speaking of nostalgia, I'm playing with my lego).
Leggo me, virus.
Leggo my lego!

Josie said...

Gosh, Ivan, is that your subtle way of telling me I use a lot of cliches? I wasn't aware... Anyway, I'm not a writer, and I keep forgetting that you're an English professor.

I have saved the "anger" post, if you would like me to e-mail it to you, and also to Liz. I know the person involved reads my blog, and I didn't want to hurt any feelings. It's someone I care about, but the individual may not understand.


ivan said...

No, no no, Josie, I didn't mean your use of cliches.
I was just parodying myself, advising myself to avoid cliches, "grab the bull by the horns", and "let the chips fall where they may."
It was meant as a satire on my own writing. Unfortunately, my keyboard robbed me of a word or two, and it came out all wrong.

We were taught in Media Writing to avoid cliches, but I used them all the time.


EA Monroe said...

You take good care of yourself, Ivan! Get you some of those bright yellow puddle splashers like Josie's!

ivan said...

Thank you Liz.

So far, on health issues, I've had more luck than the Lone Ranger, but I do believe I've been burning the candle at both ends and something had to give. (Egad! about my hackneyed phrases!).

Some new Canadian writer, a doctor, actually, has observed that people who get too much into blogging or My Space--tend to get sick because they get starved for being outside, "out there", in real relationships, like fighting with your wonky cousin, face-to-face. Or planning a really good pickup line on some hapless female.
Keep it real, says the new writer.
...Or you'll get sick.
Ah, I think I've got it all wrong.
I just hope this flu-like thing passes.
Yes. I will invest in boots!


Josie said...

Ivan, my little yellow boots managed to get me to work this morning. This is a deadly storm. Because the snow is fairly wet here, it freezes solid. The whole city is one giant skating rink.


ivan said...

I'd like to be there along with you,with my own yellow boots, but with this flu I've now got I'd be coughing fruitily in my little yellow boots--and not just for wearing yellow boots--they look so much better on a woman!
Something attractive about your photo of the little yellow boots.
I used to have children. There were stories I read them.
"I wish I had duck feet"?

You got duck feet now, Josie.
You can walk home in the snain.

Josie said...

Snain...! I like that. Can I borrow it?

Everyone at works loves my boots. I think I have started a trend.. hah.

Hope you feel better soon.


ivan said...

Thanks Boo.
Feel like um, familiar substance!
But there was enough oomph left to garble a phrase by the weatherman.
I went to school with by the now famous Canadian weatherman,who shall remain nameless.
What a change in one man's personal weather!
D.P used to go around telling people he had an inferiority complex. We'd get so tired of D's Kierkegaardian hang-ups that we'd tell D that his complex was well- grounded. Authentic.
Cruel, we young men, we would watch D drive and tell him he was doing it al wrong and he'd soon be pranging a fire hydrant.
Ah, but that golden complex.
He went on to a master's degree at Northwestern,worked at a Toronto radio station, wherein he was called "dummy", probably from some self-confessed condition--and finally, D. finds himself.
best weatherman in all of Canada.

He might even have groupies!

I kind of like tha Cindarella story.

Had no idea D. would ever get that far when I saw him in Toronto hawking Reader's Digest subscriptions!
Funny things happen in the forest.

Hee Haw.
Well, I never met the wildly funny Don Harron, but I've met Gordie Tapp, who now sells those "soothing massage" electric beds.

I guess when you're in your eighties,you gotta do somethin' to dodge that old coffin. Hee Haw.

(Nice guy, Gordie, by the way).