I hated Steve Jobs. Now that he’s dead I like him better. Looked snotty to me, but he came up with some nice things. I’m using an iPad right now, trying to master the stiff-finger jabbing action in my lap with the thing leaning in front of a Greek salad on a greasy streaked patio tabletop out of the sun in a breeze that keeps flipping my napkins over and threatening to send them back toward the door from which my food came – delivered to a number on a stick. The number’s gone now. She must have taken it when she placed my trays in front of me. So far, the finger-jabbing is workable if not entirely productive. My problems with Steve Jobs notwithstanding, I dig this pad and carry it everywhere, even when I should know that it makes me look like – what do you call them – a goddamn geek. But I have too much face-breaker in me to ever be mistaken for a geek with an iPad. I annoy geeks because they sense the lout underneath the programmer.
So anyway or anywho as all the wannabe smarties like to say – if someone says anywho to you, just casually punch their front teeth out, understand? Even if it’s me. The use of the word indicates a fractured personality who wants to present itself as innocuous. Anyhow, there’s a thing about iPads and rear-facing cameras, filters, touch screens, Wifi connections, and trying to capture the moment or the under-moment of a place as surface-oriented and deeply mysterious as Los Angeles. You can’t let snobbery and distaste for a personality prevent you from diving into what you identify as bullshit for a nice swim in the same dirty water everyone else is so interested in. Sometimes, for the artist, immersion is essential. You can’t stand on the shoreline watching the swimmers, critiquing their bathing suits and lovely fat rolls. You’ve got to go in and swim around between their legs like a lingering shark looking for easy meat. You can still be a little separated as far as viewpoint, but you must try the water. That’s my theory behind the photo of the parking lot. It was taken on the move from parking spot to Panera Bread, then filtered up, framed and filtered again while trying to control the napkin traffic across my lunch. It’s a little like painting really. Despite the stupidity of the millions of photos uploaded to the hellish quagmire known as Instagram, the digital photo/filter combo just might be vastly superior to the instamatic toy point and shoots that it so cleverly imitates. You know, art’s a funny thing. It crops up in odd places. There’s that photographer – can’t remember his name now – maybe it was William Eggleston… don’t know… but any… who? Anyway, back in the seventies when galleries and museums – if there’s a difference – were all showing black and white photos as art… well this guy throws a bunch of color snapshots into a suitcase, travels to New York, walks into the Museum of Modern Art and demands a showing. He becomes one of the great photo artists of the 20th century and sets off the realization that color photographs can be shown as art. Everyone at the time of course really knew that, but they didn’t act as if they knew it. There’s a huge step in between.
In what appears to be one of the worst cases of literary censorship in modern United States history, Amazon.com has listed a wide range of books as what the company calls ‘adult material.’ It would appear that they have included any title that contains any material related in any way to homosexuality. By being placed on this ‘adult material list’, the books were essentially stripped away from any search results and made very difficult to find by browsing.
The following is from Amazon:
In consideration of our entire customer base, we exclude “adult” material from appearing in some searches and best seller lists. Since these lists are generated using sales ranks, adult materials must also be excluded from that feature.
Candlelight Stories thinks that this represents one of the single most moronic statements ever delivered to the public by a prominent book seller.
The company has announced that this was due to a ‘technical glitch’ but there are very few bloggers who seem to believe that explanation. It would seem that plenty of ‘adult material’ was left available and that this effort was focused largely on non-heterosexual material. This is a terrible thing for a major bookseller to do. It’s a form of book banning. It reeks of ultra-conservative fear of ideas or differing lifestyles. Amazon says it was engaged in an initiative to protect its wide customer base by listing certain books as ‘adult material’ so that they would not appear at the top of search results and possibly offend someone. The complaints of someone who is offended by a book for adults showing up in a list of search results should not be listened to for even a moment. It is a very short step from this kind of censorship to a book burning. This is truly indicative of the danger in primarily relying upon a single online source for books.
It would be advisable to immediately move away from Amazon as a source for books. This kind of behavior, though given a flimsy explanation by the company, tends to indicate a general direction or pattern of behavior in a company. Candlelight Stories is looking into fully disengaging from our relationship with Amazon and will not be offering their products through our site. This blog stands fully opposed to discrimination, censorship or book banning of any kind whatsoever.
Once again, we cannot over-emphasize the importance of moving away from Amazon for book purchases. This is a very serious problem and the company’s explanation is insultingly false.
Here are links to several of the best book sellers on the internet:
Barnes & Noble
It is repose in the light, neither fever nor languor,
on a bed or on a meadow.
It is the friend neither violent nor weak. The friend.
It is the beloved neither tormenting nor tormented. The beloved.
Air and the world not sought. Life.
— Rimbaud, “Vigils”
This film is by Jennifer MacMillan who runs the Invisible Cinema blog where she posts about experimental film and her own poetic interests and observations. She makes many wonderful short films that are the highlight of her blog. She made this one to accompany a poem by Arthur Rimbaud. Beautiful and thought-provoking.