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"Telluride and the area surrounding it has had a notable effect on pop culture. The nearby town of Ouray was the inspiration for Galt's Gulch in Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged, and historic Telluride figures prominently in Thomas Pynchon's Against the Day. Modern Telluride is the setting of Raymond H. Ring's 1988 detective novel Telluride Smile."

I'm pretty sure the Greyhound stopped here during my transcontinental trek of 2008 (to/from Portland, OR.)

And I don't have it in me to read more Pynchon just yet, but this came up in other researches:

"The personal honor of the private eye is the genre’s most hallowed convention. He owes nothing to anyone. He is in it only for himself; therefore, he is selfless. In Chandler’s description: “He is a relatively poor man, or he would not be a detective at all. He is a common man, or he could not go among common people. He has a sense of character, or he would not know his job. He will take no man’s money dishonestly and no man’s insolence without a due and dispassionate revenge. He is a lonely man and his pride is that you will treat him as a proud man or be very sorry you ever saw him. . . . The story is his adventure in search of a hidden truth, and it would be no adventure if it did not happen to a man fit for adventure.” The detective in Chandler’s books is Philip Marlowe, a character probably created on the model of Dashiell Hammett’s Sam Spade. (Hammett was a mystery writer Chandler did admire. “Hammett gave murder back to the kind of people that commit it for reasons, not just to provide a corpse,” he said.) Lew Archer is Ross Macdonald’s private eye; Mike Hammer is Mickey Spillane’s. Thomas Pynchon’s is named Larry (Doc) Sportello."

... starting to take more interest in detective fiction.

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By Jacques Tati
- Monsieur Hulot's Holiday
- Mon Oncle
* Playtime (Andy marked it with a star in my notebook)
- Traffic

Buster Keaton
- Steamboat Bill, Jr.
- Sherlock, Jr.
- The Cameraman
- The General

Oson Welles
- Touch of Evil

Stan Brakhage
- Windo Water Baby Moving
- The Dante Quartet
- Mothlight
- Garden of Earthly Delights

Andy is a local cinema guru, and the depth of his knowledge is humbling. Art films are not my specialty .... I've seen almost none of these flicks. Hurm ....

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Turns out the famous filler-copy text has a real history. Ha!

"Contrary to popular belief, Lorem Ipsum is not simply random text. It has roots in a piece of classical Latin literature from 45 BC, making it over 2000 years old. Richard McClintock, a Latin professor at Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia, looked up one of the more obscure Latin words, consectetur, from a Lorem Ipsum passage, and going through the cites of the word in classical literature, discovered the undoubtable source. Lorem Ipsum comes from sections 1.10.32 and 1.10.33 of "de Finibus Bonorum et Malorum" (The Extremes of Good and Evil) by Cicero, written in 45 BC. This book is a treatise on the theory of ethics, very popular during the Renaissance. The first line of Lorem Ipsum, "Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet..", comes from a line in section 1.10.32."

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we came up with a scheme to shoot a documentary about the interface between Southern culture and the martial arts. Basically, we both observed that rednecks absolutely love Karate, and that, despite the weirdness of it, the misappropriation, misunderstandings, and ridiculous malapropisms of it, it made total sense to everyone inside of that subculture.

And it would make sense to you, too, in a strange anthropological sense, when the camera shows you the thousands of kids and teenagers preparing for the Battle of Atlanta, which was and may still be the largest point-sparring tournament in the Southeast. When you see how Chuck Norris is idolized not only as a movie star, but also as a born-again Christian hero, and how dojo masters, regardless of whether they were white or African American, would often evaluate the legitimacy of another dojo master based on his commitment to God and family values.

And there was the self-help aspect of it. How it was very easy to reinterpret Asian philosophy to focus on individual empowerment. Strange since that idea is quite alien to a classically Asian worldview. There are tons of mirrors in Karate dojos, things that sort of reinforce the sense that someone's always watching you. I imagine this is the reason aerobics classes use mirrors. But there's something about the internalization of discipline, of following orders to kick and punch on command, that shows the Totalitarian undercurrent in some martial arts.

General Choi, the founder of Tae Kwon Do, was a soldier in the Japanese army before returning to his native North Korea. There's probably an interesting book to be written there; the founder of a sport that "revived" a practically dead Korean martial art, put together hodgepodge out of Japanese techniques and some things Choi dreamed up himself, returned into the hands of a Communist nation ... but once transmitted through the relatively "peaceful" Korean south, took America by storm in the 80s/90s ... .

Tae Kwon Do isn't very individualistic. You could argue that it even carries the logic of modern mechanization within its teachings -- standardized kicks, standardized punches, standardized units of exercises (20 pushups, 100 jumping jacks, 50 pushups on knuckles only), military-style formations and drills. (Plus lots of techniques based straight lines and curves along regular arcs ... what I understand to be the "modern" contribution of General Choi's teachings; that it could be rapidly taught, reproduced, practiced, and efficiently used in the field.) Shouting is permitted and encouraged, but only at the appropriate times.

Of course it might be hyperbolic to make so much of one sport ... but really it is unique. I mean, compare to baseball, which the Japanese have taken to with similarly militaristic organization. One man on the mound; one man at bat; then soldiers in the background, poised in support of the main drama between single combatants. ... or compare with European football. Totally, totally different.
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I quit smoking the Thursday after Memorial Day, which capped off the end of a weekend full of moving heavy heavy objects from my apartment on DeKalb Ave to my current place on Oakdale Road. The moving was interspersed with copious drinking with M. Castricone, who came to visit that weekend. Now that Labor Day has passed, it's almost been four months without cigarettes. I am proud.

However, much of that time was spent while using the patch. I definitely underestimated how hard it is to transition from "just a little nicotine" to "zero nicotine" .... I've done it before, and it's nowhere near as difficult as stopping the physical act of smoking cigarettes. Still, I feel another knot coming loose as my body tumbles through another psycho/physical transition.

In this short period of time finally without nicotine, my appetite has started to come back after years of perhaps unintentionally using cigarettes as a meal supplement. And I suddenly crave chocolate, of all things. Plus I tend to lose my concentration around midday or in the afternoon and have difficulty concentrating on more than one thing at once.

Chocolate ....
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