T Nation

Poetry, Books, Movies, Ideas - Discussion

I’m merely bored and wanted to share this with fellow memebers and hopefully invoke a discussion of some kind. Hell, the discussion doesn’t have to related to this stuff at all…

Any favorite poets/musicians/artists?

Read any good books recently?

Watch any thought-provoking movies?

-Nate

Talk To Strangers
Saul Williams

Nah, I wasn’t raised at gun-point and I’ve read too many books. To distract me from the mirror when unhappy with my looks. And I ain’t got proper diction for the makings of a thug, though I grew up in the ghetto and my niggas all sold drugs. And though that may validate me for a spot on MTV or get me all the airplay that my bank account would need, I was hoping to invest in a lesson that I learned when I thought this fool would jump me just because it was my turn.

I went to an open space, 'cause I knew he wouldn’t do it if somebody there could see him or somebody else might prove it. And maybe, in your mind, it may seem I got punked out. 'Cause I walked a narrow path and then went and changed my route. But that openness exposed me to a truth I couldn’t find in the clenched fist of my ego or confines of my mind, or the hippness of my swagger, or the swagger in my step, or the scowl of my grimace, or the meanness of my rep. 'Cause we represent a truth, son, the changes by the hour. And, when you open to it, vulnerability is power. And in that shifting form you’ll find a truth that doesn’t change. And that truth’s living proof of the fact that God is strange.

Talk to strangers, when family fails and friends lead you astray, when Buddha laughs, and Jesus weeps, and it turns out God is gay. 'Cause angels and messiahs, love, can come in many forms: in the hallways of your projects, or the fat girl in your dorm. And when you finally take the time to see what they’re about and, perhaps, you find them lonely or their wisdom trips you out, you’ll find the spot where cycles end, You’re back where you began. But come this time around, you’ll have someone to hold your hand who prays for you, who’s there for you, who sends you love and light, exposes you to parts of you that you once tried to fight. But come this time around you’ll choose to walk a different path. You’ll embrace what you turned away and cry at what you laughed. 'Cause that’s the only way we’re gonna make it through this storm, where ignorance is common sense and senselessness the norm. And flags wave high above the truth and the two never touch. And stolen goods are overpriced. And freedom costs too much. And no one seems to recognize the symbols come to life: the bitten apple on the screen. And Jesus had a wife. And she was his messiah, like that stranger may be yours, who holds the subtle knife that carves through worlds like magic doors. And that’s what I’ve been looking for, the bridge from then to now. 'Was watching BET, like , “What the fuck, son? This is foul”. But that square box don’t represent the sphere that we live in. The earth is not a flat screen. I ain’t trying to fit in. But this ain’t for the underground. This, here, is for the sun. A seed a stranger gave to me and planted on my tongue. And, when I look at you, I know I’m not the only one. As a great man once said, “There’s nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come.”

As for me, I’m taking a break away from fiction for awhile. Over the past few months I’ve read:

Me Talk Pretty One Day : David Sedaris

Haunted: Chuck Palahniuk

The Wanting Seed: Anthony Burgess

Catch-22: Joseph Heller

Currently, I’m about half-way through “The World is Flat” by Thomas Friedman.

It’s very interesting so far, and I’m starting to realize how much I’ve been taking for granted (not thinking about the origin of thought) technologically speaking.

-Nate

Right now I am reading the chronicles of Narnia. I am on the third book it is the best. For kid?s books they are awesome.

Nate,
I’ve heard of Saul Williams and that piece definitely piqued my interest!
Didn’t he just do an album with an electronic artist? I might be confusing him with someone else. I’m a huge William Burroughs fan, primarily his theories and not his gay stuff. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

I just re-read “Rise and Fall of the Third Reich” by William Shirer and I’m currently tackling an anthology of Emma Goldman’s “Mother Earth” magazine as well as “Thus Spake Zarathustra” by the Man.
I just can’t get enough of Nietszche! Note: one has to listen to Wagner, Emperor, or old Naglfar while reading him…it reinforces the themes.

Top writers/thinkers: Nietszche, Burroughs, Mikhail Bakunin, Jefferson, Carl Jung, Errico Malatesta, Baron Julius Evola, Ronnie James Dio, Ice Cube.

[quote]Nate Green wrote:
As for me, I’m taking a break away from fiction for awhile. Over the past few months I’ve read:

Me Talk Pretty One Day : David Sedaris

Haunted: Chuck Palahniuk

The Wanting Seed: Anthony Burgess

Catch-22: Joseph Heller

Currently, I’m about half-way through “The World is Flat” by Thomas Friedman.

It’s very interesting so far, and I’m starting to realize how much I’ve been taking for granted (not thinking about the origin of thought) technologically speaking.

-Nate[/quote]

Dude, are you relying soley on Target’s book inventory? Not that it’s a bad thing, I just remember seeing all those titles the last time I was there.

Here’s what I’ve been reading…

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (In preparation for the Book 4 Movie)

Harry Potter Half-blood Prince

Shooter, Autobiography of a Top Ranked Marine Sniper by Jack Coughlin

The Finishing School, Earning the Navy SEAL Trident by Dick Couch

As far as movies go, this summer has been a bit of a downer except for Batman Begins and Wedding Crashers. WC was fucking hilarious.

As far as DVD’s go, the GF and I have been watching episodes of “Family Guy” and I enjoyed the film “Sideways” quite a bit.

As far as poets go, I’ve been listening to Public Enemy a lot, so I’d say Chuck D is the poet I’ve been paying attention to most as of late.

GAINER

[quote]battlelust wrote:
Nate,
I’ve heard of Saul Williams and that piece definitely piqued my interest!
Didn’t he just do an album with an electronic artist? I might be confusing him with someone else. I’m a huge William Burroughs fan, primarily his theories and not his gay stuff. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

I just re-read “Rise and Fall of the Third Reich” by William Shirer and I’m currently tackling an anthology of Emma Goldman’s “Mother Earth” magazine as well as “Thus Spake Zarathustra” by the Man.
I just can’t get enough of Nietszche! Note: one has to listen to Wagner, Emperor, or old Naglfar while reading him…it reinforces the themes.

Top writers/thinkers: Nietszche, Burroughs, Mikhail Bakunin, Jefferson, Carl Jung, Errico Malatesta, Baron Julius Evola, Ronnie James Dio, Ice Cube.
[/quote]

Did you just write Ice Cube?

Haha…

As for the Saul Williams collaboration with electronica, I haven’t heard anything about it, thought that doesn’t mean it’s not true.

If you liked the excerpt above, you should check out his self-titled cd.

I’ve read a few issues of Mother Earth and enjoyed it quite thoroughly.

-Nate

[quote]elevationgain wrote:

Dude, are you relying soley on Target’s book inventory? Not that it’s a bad thing, I just remember seeing all those titles the last time I was there.

Here’s what I’ve been reading…

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (In preparation for the Book 4 Movie)

Harry Potter Half-blood Prince

GAINER[/quote]

I haven’t read any Harry Potter although I hear it’s extremely well-written. I do believe, however, that it is also sold at Target.

I’m with you on the Family Guy DVD’s also. The new episodes are funny, but seem like they’re trying too hard at times.

I still haven’t seen Sideways all the way through, either. I always go into it with good intentions, but always seem to get distracted.

-Nate

Yeah Sideways is kinda dark. I enjoy how the story takes place in the fantastic Santa Barbara wine country (I used to live up that way), but the story itself delves into some of the worst behaviors human beings are capable of. And Miles is delisciously fucking pathetic, Giamati did some of his best work in this film.

So, long story short, beautiful scenery contrasted by uncomfortable, badly behaved characters with little to no integrity… Probably becuase they were wasted the entire trip…

Good Times

GAINER.

If you’re interested in Asian cinema, there are several amazing films I’ve seen recently…

Won Kar-Wai

Chungking Express
Days of Being Wild
In the Mood for Love
2046

Zhang Yimou

Hero (get the Chinese release, it’s much better)
House of Flying Daggers (same thing, both American releases are very messed up)
Raise the Red Lantern
Shanghai Triad

Chen Kaige

The Emperor and the Assassin
Farewell My Concubine

Chen Kaige’s films are by far the most moving, but everything these three directors touch is gold. The Emperor and the Assassin would be my #1 pick. If you didn’t understand Hero, watch this movie and it will all make sense. It’s the same event in history, minus all the flashiness and the kung fu. It’s a very long movie (both of his films that I listed are nearly 3 hours), but I can only think of maybe a dozen movies that are worth a 3 hour investment, and these are two of them.

Wong Kar-Wai’s movies are very different. Days of Being Wild, In the Mood for Love, and 2046 form a trilogy. Make sure when you watch 2046 that you can give it your full attention, or you will get lost.

Zhang Yimou is probably the best-known Chinese director in the US. Hero and House of Flying Daggers are the two movies he’s usually associated with, but if you can find Shanghai Triad, you’re in for a treat. There’s no kung fu in this movie. It’s about gangsters in 1930s Shanghai. This is a fantastic film, as are all his films I’ve seen. And Gong Li is gorgeous (she’s also in The Emperor and the Assassin, Farewell My Concubine, and 2046), and an amazing actress as always.

I can’t get the “wallet” scebe out of my head. Hilarious.

[quote]elevationgain wrote:
Yeah Sideways is kinda dark. I enjoy how the story takes place in the fantastic Santa Barbara wine country (I used to live up that way), but the story itself delves into some of the worst behaviors human beings are capable of. And Miles is delisciously fucking pathetic, Giamati did some of his best work in this film.

So, long story short, beautiful scenery contrasted by uncomfortable, badly behaved characters with little to no integrity… Probably becuase they were wasted the entire trip…

Good Times

GAINER.[/quote]

[quote]OneEye wrote:
If you’re interested in Asian cinema, there are several amazing films I’ve seen recently…

Won Kar-Wai

Chungking Express
Days of Being Wild
In the Mood for Love
2046

Zhang Yimou

Hero (get the Chinese release, it’s much better)
House of Flying Daggers (same thing, both American releases are very messed up)
Raise the Red Lantern
Shanghai Triad

Chen Kaige

The Emperor and the Assassin
Farewell My Concubine

Chen Kaige’s films are by far the most moving, but everything these three directors touch is gold. The Emperor and the Assassin would be my #1 pick. If you didn’t understand Hero, watch this movie and it will all make sense. It’s the same event in history, minus all the flashiness and the kung fu. It’s a very long movie (both of his films that I listed are nearly 3 hours), but I can only think of maybe a dozen movies that are worth a 3 hour investment, and these are two of them.

Wong Kar-Wai’s movies are very different. Days of Being Wild, In the Mood for Love, and 2046 form a trilogy. Make sure when you watch 2046 that you can give it your full attention, or you will get lost.

Zhang Yimou is probably the best-known Chinese director in the US. Hero and House of Flying Daggers are the two movies he’s usually associated with, but if you can find Shanghai Triad, you’re in for a treat. There’s no kung fu in this movie. It’s about gangsters in 1930s Shanghai. This is a fantastic film, as are all his films I’ve seen. And Gong Li is gorgeous (she’s also in The Emperor and the Assassin, Farewell My Concubine, and 2046), and an amazing actress as always.[/quote]

Those are some great suggestions. I’ve seen House of Daggers (American Version), but will have to check some of these out.

Thanks!

-Nate

Currently Reading:

–Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World.

–What’s the Matter with Kansas.

Some recent reads that I enjoyed…

–Callgirl, Jeannette Angell (excellent book)
–Hey Rube, Hunter S. Thompson
–Lolita, Nabakov
–Reading Lolita in Tehran, Nafasi
–Russia and Ukraine: Fraternal Rivalry, Lievin
–The Know-it-all
–There are Jews in my House
–Swimming to Antartica

Some other favorites…

-The Overcoat, Gogol
-Underground Man, Doestovesky
-Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Thompson
-The Wu-Tang Manual: Enter the 36 Chambers, Volume One,RZA
-Fahrenheit 451
-1984
-and my all time favorite, The Catcher in the Rye

Music…(from the recently played section of my iPod)

WuTang
Palomar
L-7
Nirvana
Tupac
Biggie
Madreblu (Italian)
La Pina (Italian)
Alanis Morriestte
Bratmobile
Jovanatti (Italian)
Rage Against the Machine
Peaches
Detsi (Russian)

Poets? Not into poetry, unless you count the lyrics from the music I listed above.

DVD’s…

Once apon a Time in China, the trilogy
Brat (Russian)
Scary Movie, 1 & 2
Supersize Me
Team America
Maria Full of Grace
Lost in Translation
Tokyo Girls (documentary)

Agreed on House of Flying Daggers and Hero…

…I have to admit that I think that Chuck Palahniuk may be the worst author in the history of the universe. I know some people love him, but I just don’t see it.

[quote]IL Cazzo wrote:

…I have to admit that I think that Chuck Palahniuk may be the worst author in the history of the universe. I know some people love him, but I just don’t see it.[/quote]

That’s a bold statement, my friend. However, everyone is entitled to their opinion.

How did you come to this conclusion, though? Which books did you read? What aspect of his writing don’t you care for?

Personally, I think he’s one of the best out there right now. His storytelling, wordplay, research, and the way he delves into different sub-cultures is simply breathtaking.

Hunter S. Thompson, though, while I’ve read Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail, Hell’s Angels, The Rum Diary, and Kingdom of Fear, tends to fall on the bottom of my list of talented writers.

Don’t get me wrong. His gonzo style of journalism was groundbreaking and he had his own way of doing things in which I admired. I just could never really get into his writing.

One thing I’ll go out on a limb and say though:

Both Fight Club and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas were excellent adaptations into motion pictures–probably two of the best examples I’ve seen.

-Nate

I love these threads…

I just finished reading The Kite Runner and absolutely loved it. An immediate entry into my list of greatest books, which is saying something considering until recently I was something of a literary snob, basically ignoring anything written after 1975. Lately, however, I’d been determined to find a contemporary author to enjoy, and found one already.

Music wise, the Kaiser Chiefs album is quite good, as is the newest by Hot Hot Heat.

That’s just the latest stuff I’ve been into. If I tried to list my all-time favorites, my fingers would go numb from excessive typing.

i am a self-proclaimed yet well deserved movie critique authority.

in no particular order, some of the most underrated movies i’ve seen…

equilibrium
spring, summmer, fall, winter, and spring
dersu uzala
rope
deadman
in the name of the father
in america
city of god
jeremiah johnson
the machinist
miyamoto musashi
miyamoto musashi: duel at ichijoji temple
miyamoto musashi: duel at ganryu island

and the single greatest thing to ever appear on screen: Band of Brothers!!!

this list is far from exhaustive, and i guarantee that anybody who loves great movies without prejudice will love these.

[quote]leon79 wrote:
I love these threads…

I just finished reading The Kite Runner and absolutely loved it. An immediate entry into my list of greatest books, which is saying something considering until recently I was something of a literary snob, basically ignoring anything written after 1975. Lately, however, I’d been determined to find a contemporary author to enjoy, and found one already.

Music wise, the Kaiser Chiefs album is quite good, as is the newest by Hot Hot Heat.

That’s just the latest stuff I’ve been into. If I tried to list my all-time favorites, my fingers would go numb from excessive typing.[/quote]

I’m glad to hear The Kite Runner was enjoyable. I received it as a gift and was going to start on it in the next month.
I just finished The Hot House, about life in Leonardwood Federal Prison. A very good book. I finished it in under 2 days.
I am currently reading Paradise Alley, a fiction based on the draft riots in New York druing the civil war.

[quote]wufwugy wrote:
i am a self-proclaimed yet well deserved movie critique authority.

in no particular order, some of the most underrated movies i’ve seen…

equilibrium
spring, summmer, fall, winter, and spring
dersu uzala
rope
deadman
in the name of the father
in america
city of god
jeremiah johnson
the machinist
miyamoto musashi
miyamoto musashi: duel at ichijoji temple
miyamoto musashi: duel at ganryu island

and the single greatest thing to ever appear on screen: Band of Brothers!!!

this list is far from exhaustive, and i guarantee that anybody who loves great movies without prejudice will love these.[/quote]

Wow…

And I considered myself somewhat of a movie buff. I’m going to have to check all of those out.

Thanks for the suggestions.

-Nate

[quote]leon79 wrote:
I love these threads…

I just finished reading The Kite Runner and absolutely loved it. An immediate entry into my list of greatest books, which is saying something considering until recently I was something of a literary snob, basically ignoring anything written after 1975. Lately, however, I’d been determined to find a contemporary author to enjoy, and found one already.

Music wise, the Kaiser Chiefs album is quite good, as is the newest by Hot Hot Heat.

That’s just the latest stuff I’ve been into. If I tried to list my all-time favorites, my fingers would go numb from excessive typing.[/quote]

I’ve never read the Kite Runner. I’ll have to check it out.

Anyone seen City of God? Great movie.

-Nate

[quote]Nate Green wrote:
wufwugy wrote:
i am a self-proclaimed yet well deserved movie critique authority.

in no particular order, some of the most underrated movies i’ve seen…

equilibrium
spring, summmer, fall, winter, and spring
dersu uzala
rope
deadman
in the name of the father
in america
city of god
jeremiah johnson
the machinist
miyamoto musashi
miyamoto musashi: duel at ichijoji temple
miyamoto musashi: duel at ganryu island

and the single greatest thing to ever appear on screen: Band of Brothers!!!

this list is far from exhaustive, and i guarantee that anybody who loves great movies without prejudice will love these.

Wow…

And I considered myself somewhat of a movie buff. I’m going to have to check all of those out.

Thanks for the suggestions.

-Nate[/quote]

since you expressed interest…

most of these movies are difficult to find. i’ve got netflix and the only one they dont have is Rope.

Equilibrium - Christian Bale in a movie that many say is like The Matrix, but actually it’s very different and just as entertaining and profound similarly to The Matrix.

Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter, and Spring - is a Korean movie/allegory written and directed by a Korean Christian about Buddhism. this movie has the most gorgeous scenery i’ve ever seen on film, and has more value/life lessons than any other movie i’ve seen.

Dersu Uzala - written and directed by the great Japanese Akira Kurosawa about a wilderness man/East Asian in Siberia who is discovered by a Soviet patrol and their lifetime interactions. it has the second greatest scenery i’ve seen on film, and displays some keen insight into mankind by way of Dersu being such a different person than “civilized” man yet so very similar.

Rope - Alfred Hitchcock’s and Jimmy Stewart’s best. Rope’s said to have been a learning movie for Hitchcock but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. it is truly his best. great direction, acting, story, and Rope is about a topic that is hard to find in movies and ends in a fashion that no other movies i’ve seen have. also based on a play based on a true story.

Deadman - Johnny Depp stars in Jim Jarmusch’s black n white “western” about a man who dies (or does he) and is guided to acknowledgement of his death by a Native American named Nobody. this movie has so much of the mystery and ingenuity that i just love. Neil Young is the composer with just his guitar. comparable to the best soundtracks (gladiator, snatch to name a few) but so incredibly different from all other soundtracks. it’s as if Neil was playing his guitar as he watched the movie and that’s what the soundtrack is. the only reserve i have is that for the first fiveish minutes nothing happens, but after watching the movie you’ll understand.

In The Name Of The Father - Daniel Day-Lewis stars in a movie based on a true story about imprisonment of “terrorists” that were known to be innocent by their imprisoners.

In America - no big names here. just an awesome, multi-faceted story.

City of God - about the borough of Rio de Janeiro, City of God, that underwent civil war for 30-40 years and the authorities didn’t involve themselves. based on true events. IMO, the most well done foreign film i’ve seen, besides Dersu.

Jeremiah Johnson - Robert Redford in a “western” in which he becomes a mountainman. Unlike any other movie, other than Dersu Uzala, and im lost for words to describe it except that modern society has nearly forgotten what it’s like to be like what this movie presents.

The Machinist - Christian Bale drops to 120ish pounds to play a man who if he was any skinnier he wouldn’t exist. very creepy the way movies should be. no loud noises, sudden snapshots that make us all jump, but the content and cinematography and utter reality of the main character’s plight lends itself to creepiness viewed little elsewhere. also, the ending makes the scenario to be very, very real and quite profound.

Miyamoto Musashi Trilogy - the original badass and greatest Japanese actor, Toshiro Mifune (Clint Eastwood’s badassery was very much influenced by Mifune), is a man who wants nothing more than to be a Samurai, and it takes six of our hours and half of his lifetime to learn that being a samurai is much different than being teh baddest mofo on teh planet. these three movies have some of the coolest fight scenes of all time. the last fight scene of the trilogy is what myths are made of. anybody who think Ninja are teh complete badasses will repent after watching these movies. for they will understand that a Samurai will eviscerate a Ninja anyday.

and finally, Band of Brothers!!! like i said, Band of Brothers (HBO ten hour mini-series) is the single greatest thing to ever appear on screen. it makes Saving Private Ryan look eight hours too short. it’s about the 101st Airborne (paratroopers), focusing around Easy Company, and what they went through during WW2. the most amazing thing is that it’s based on true events more strictly than any other story i know of, and it still has such an amazing story that you’d think it was made up. i could watch all ten hours over and over and over because it’s that awesome, and i dont like watching serious movies that i really dig twice within a few years. also, real interviews with the remaining survivors/veterans of Easy Company give Band of Brothers its finishing touch. Produced my Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks. AFAIK, they’re doing another HBO mini-series called The Pacific War that may be the only comparable film to Band of Brothers.

i hope you find these movies and Enjoy! also, if you do watch these movies and want more where they came from, im a whore of the best movies ever made that i can find. so just holla.

sheesh, i’ve already thought of a dozen more awesome, underrated movies, but i dont wanna overload anybody…