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Tupac: Resurrection [05 Dec 2005|12:25am]
Watched Tupac: Resurrection tonight. Pretty interesting, especially since I didn't pay much attention to the shootings and the rape charges while they were happening. I was listening to his music then, but I wasn't watching MTV or reading Source.

Probably most entertaining was his lengthy account of being in prison. About the irony and weirdness of serving a perfect family Bill Cosby product like Jell-O in prison. Signing autographs for skinheads. After getting out, going into the studio instead of seeing a therapist "because it's cheaper".

The weirdest part was all the interview segments with Tupac, Dre, and other Death Row people dressed in their California Love video costumes. Remember it? Metal spikey post-apocalypse gear. And also, how much Tabitha Soren was in it. I guess that's because so much of the material came from the MTV archives.

The film itself isn't very tight. They say next to nothing about the circumstances under which he was fatally shot, even though that's the climax that the whole thing is built up to. They show some bullet holes, some bent rims, and a bunch of people lighting candles, and that's about it. There's also way too many aerial shots of random pretty landscapes accompanied by Tupac tracks dispersed throughout. I don't know. I don't think I'm the only one who doesn't really associate Tupac's music with trees and sunsets.

They also only mention a couple of albums by name, and don't go through much trouble to associate the different time periods in the story with the music that was out then. I was expecting a lot more of that. It's definitely a lot more about the person than it is about the music, even though the person himself is always trying to connect everything with the music.

But, there is a lot of good interview footage, reason enough to watch it. I haven't watched all the extras yet, and probably won't, but this old video of a 20 year old Tupac giving a speech at a "Malcolm X Dinner" is something.
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Ashbery, A Wave, The Valve [05 Dec 2005|02:50am]

I happen to be reading A Wave, and The Valve happens to be talking about it, and pointing to where people are talking about it.

The moves of a poem by, say, Ashberry or O'Hara, needn't be understood at the level of content -- which is to say, who cares about O'Hara's proper name dropping or his scene? What matters is following an amazing and playful mind move.

Took the words out of my mouth.

This is not at all my favorite Ashbery book, though. I'll still stand by Flow Chart or Houseboat Days, depending on what day you ask.

The comments at the second link above brushed over Harryette Mullen, so I was going to leave the following comment, but typepad.com seems to be out.

While I am an amateur poet who took a workshop with Harryette Mullen, I disagree with the comment that her audience is just as full of poets as anyone else's. IIRC, she teaches some pretty general courses (1st year comp?), and so probably connects with a different audience that way. Plus, she is the author of lines like "My honeybunch's peepers are nothing like neon. Today's special at Red Lobster is redder than her kisser. If Liquid Paper is white, her racks are institutional beige." (From "Dim Lady", an n+7ish thing on Shakespeare). Her humor and playfulness might get her a different kind of audience, even while she continues doing things that are interesting to the technicians and the amateurs.

I'm a big fan of Ashbery's style and work, but I'm not sure exactly where to jump into the discussion there, so I'll just hang out.

Ashbery cropped up at Werdenfield too. Well, kind of.

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