Culture

expand 3 April 2013

The Early Bird Gets The Mexican Breakfast

Veeeery early in the morning, facing a long drive from Austin to east Texas, we stopped in to Ciscos for a hearty breakfast. We ordered tres Migas and stiff cups of coffee. Our only other company were four cops either starting or finishing their day.

expand 18 December 2012

TO CONFESS PRESS ONE

The 'Line to the Lord' is a confession by automated pay-per-minute phone service.

The brainchild of Camille Hautier, a self-declared Catholic, The Line does not offer absolution for sins - that only a priest can provide. Rather, she says, "The idea is to confess sins which are not capital sins, but minor sins, directly to God".

Whether God is at the end of the line may be a matter of faith. Callers don't get the option of talking to a person, but instead are offered "an atmosphere of piety and reflection" where they can listen to prayer and music, and of course record a confession.

The softly spoken male voice on the line offers touch-tone options: "For advice on confessing, press one. To listen to some confessions, press three." And he warns, "In case of serious or mortal sins it is indispensable to confide in a priest".

You can have a listen to a recorded confession here. Even with rusty French it's very intriguing.

expand 25 October 2012

A Boy, A Girl, A Car, A Gun

Redheaded Peckerwood, by Christian Patterson is a ‘subjective documentary photography’ of the 1958 killing spree by Charles Starkweather, and accompanied by Caril Ann Fugate. (These same events inspired Terence Malick’s film 'Badlands'.)

Patterson followed their trail, visiting all of the places that they had stopped, hunted through civic archives and newspapers, and tracked down people somehow involved in the events.

Some photographs are of actual settings and evidence, some archival elements, reproductions of artifacts, others are symbolic. Every image charged with meaning, draped in murder.

Reproductions of receipts, letters, and a poem folded in one of the victim’s pockets require you to interact and unfold, and feeling as though you are handling interstitial evidence.

Two short and exquisitely deft texts by Luc Sante and Karen Irvine are tucked alone in a pink pamphlet. Each helps to put the events in historical and cultural perspective (Bonnie and Clyde, “Gun Crazy” and Ike), and add detail and dimension to the fugitive’s lives (Starkweather’s speech impediment, severe myopia, and bowleggedness). Both do an excellent job of putting words to the head-tripping experience of the book.

As Irvine says, “It is an interpretation of history that operates like memory and gives the past a life in the present.”

Though the topic is disturbing, the experience of having the past pull forward to your present is something you should give a try.

expand 20 June 2012

Runners, Word.

The runner's "high" has been scientifically proven. Look it up. So halt all your petty issues with human nature and science, lace up a pair of Brooks and get "high"! Errr... get FIT!

In honor of such an endeavor we asked fellow addict, and our favorite radio DJ (not to mention one of the world's most influential), KEXP's John Richards, what his favorite songs to run to are. His choices below should be good for at least a 5 miler.

Run Loserboy Run!