to spot a mad cow
– Thanks for the tip, Warren.
Walking through the subway the other day, I spotted my first “Kucinich for
President” campaign button. I don't expect to see too many of those. It might
be a collector's item in several years.
The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same
Walking on 42nd Street the other day, I noticed the gargantuan lighted marquee
of the McDonald's across the street from the New Victory Theatre. That marquee
reminded me very much of the marquees that adorned the huge first-run movie
theaters that lined the block and later morphed into peep shows in earlier
I flashed back to the night I walked my high school girlfriend (only briefly)
Darcell along 42nd Street on our way to see Marvin Gaye at Radio City Music
Hall. Hustlers swarmed the sidewalks. You could still
take in a Hollywood film on that block then, but it seemed that every
other marquee hawked a porno film with a title that spoofed the Hollywood
In one fell swoop, Disney changed all that. Seemingly overnight, the peep
shows, video sellers and head shops were boarded shut with massive slabs of
plywood painted in red, orange, green, blue, or purple. They lifted one building
and moved it several blocks on train tracks. Anheuser Busch ran a spoof ad
campaign for one of their beers: a mock evangelist warned against the evils
of “Amsterdamned fluids...” Another group placed messages of peace and positivity
on the dormant marquees. The reconstruction and repositioning of 42nd Street
Through all of its incarnations, the lights have been the visual signature of those
few blocks. The technology has changed, and the lights are brighter now. Things
tend to look more plastic these days, too, but the essence isn't much different
from when Times Square and 42nd Street became lighted spectacles several generations
Phew... all that from looking at a big flashing marquee.
A Trip up North
We had an oh-so-homey delicious meal at my Sister-in-Law Rhonda's place in
Putnam Valley yesterday. Her place is full of pictures, and has the nicest
tree. Denise and Rhonda's Mom made the angel that tops Rhonda's tree. Rhonda
added the starry halo.
A dirty window, a stranger's imagination and tunnel
lights add to the train ride
Point of arrival
Back seat near Bear Mtn
Almost done with Burning
Chrome – I'm most of the way through “Dogfight,” then
the title story is left. I might finish tonight. This is a great collection
of short stories, and shows other dimensions of Gibson's
far is “New Rose Hotel.” It reads like a long poem, like a love letter, and
also like someone's internal monologue as they imagine having a conversation
they can never really have.
Another favorite of mine is “The Gernsback Continuum.” So cool – right after
I start digging into semiotics, comes this bit from the story:
If you want a classier explanation, I'd say you saw a semiotic ghost.
All these contactee stories are framed in a kind of sci-fi imagery that permeates
our culture... They're semiotic phantoms, bits of deep cultural imagery that
have split off and taken a life of their own, like the Jules Verne airships
that those old Kansas farmers were always seeing. But you saw a different
kind of ghost, that's all. That plane was part of the mass unconscious, once.
picked up on that, somehow. The important thing is not to worry about it...
The prescribed antidote is a bit amusing.
So this is Christmas
And what have you done?
Another year over
And a new one just begun
And so this is Christmas
I hope you have fun
The near and the dear one
The old and the young.
A very Merry Christmas
And a Happy New Year
Let's hope it's a good one
Without any fear
- John Lennon