I bought my brother the dvd We Jam Econo as present; the story of the American punk-band The Minutemen – d. boon, mike watt & george hurley – plus three complete live sets: http://www.theminutemen.com/. I just came back from his house where we watched 2 of the live sets – I admit I already watched the documentary yesterday (and afterwards ran off to an Oorbeek-rehearsal – where the idea was to spend time with F.). Well, what shall I say… It’s fucking awesome? It is. And I get into such a good mood from watching & listening to the Minutemen.

Discussing it with my brother – how we both like this band, and why. I know them through him. He says he doesn’t really remember how he got into it then, around 1985, 1986 – how friends of his who were into punk and the Dead Kennedy’s didn’t ‘get’ the Minutemen. That he probably would not have liked it himself had he not gotten into listening to jazz (Coltrane, Ayler, Cecil Taylor) through me.

The Minutemen are ‘real’ punk – in the sense that punk is about doing it yourself, making your own thing, creating something which is real and you, not copying anything – so also not copying other punk bands. Discovering. And not wanting to be like somebody else. And it always sounds that such is the way the music of the Minutemen was made: this is us and we play bass, drums and guitar – and each of us plays in their own style and it magically comes together. This is how you play together.

& I love their songs – they are so bare-bones and ‘simple’. You hear what the building blocks are and how they click. It is simple, but well, complex in the interlocking and succession of simple elements – mike watt’s baselines, geoff hurley’s crazy drumming (not at all how a punk drummer ‘should’ drum), boon’s piercing & funky guitarbits.

& it is such a joy to see them perform live on a dvd & see d. boon jumping on stage. (Needless to say, I have never seen them live – yes, later on I say mike watt a few times with george hurley and I guess Eliott Sharpe, and also with dos – but never the Minutemen).

In the States the Minutemen seem to be sort of legendary by now, it seems. I have the feeling they’re not so big in Europe. Allright even 2 other Oorbeek-members knew the Minutemen (Maarten because he knows them all, Serge because of the Raymond Pettibon-connection), but generally you see people staring at you with a face like “who’re you talking about? – the Minutemen?”

mike watt btw is here: http://www.hootpage.com/.

en,free publicity,music | December 14, 2006 | 23:37 | Comments Off on Minutemen |


A typewritten letter by Thomas Pynchon, scanned, at the British Telegraph, concerning some plagiarism-allegations against Ian McEwan:


en,pynchon,Uncategorized | December 12, 2006 | 0:29 | Comments Off on Pardon? |

A historic day…

Today is a historic day for the Netherlands –– no not because the timetables of all the trains have changed (first time since 1970 they say). Since today the Dutch public television does not broadcast an analogue signal.

I guess nobody has noticed.

I mean, who has a television with an old-fashioned antenna? Do they actually still produce tevees with antenna’s in the West?

Well, I have such a tevee. About 10 years old now. And I was very happy with it this year. In Kanne I can receive ARD, La Deux, België 1, Canvas on antenna, I even get a scrambled pay-channel (!) — and well, I could receive Nederland 1, 2 and 3 till yesterday.

I wonder what will happen with those frequencies. Are they free to use? Could you set-up an illegal station… no public channel that can be bothered? Well, in the Netherlands pirate television has not been around since the early eighties. (And well, who has a tevee with an antenna? You could start a pirate channel, but no-one will be watching).

Progression of technology leaves many unused possibilities behind. There’s only snow now…

en,software | December 11, 2006 | 22:31 | Comments (3) |

0 / 0.00

Natuurlijk het is prachtig weer, vandaag & gisteren ook. Ik heb geen enkele zin om te fietsen. Het seizoen is voorbij. Ik herinner me alle tochtjes & wegen.

cycling,nl | December 10, 2006 | 16:16 | Comments (2) |

How to read ATD…

Here’s a wonderful description of one reader (& Pynchonwiki-member) and his reading set-up, with laptop + paper notebook: http://www.frontier.iarc.uaf.edu/~cswingle/?p=47.

I am reading ATD at stretches of about 10 pages & then make notes in a simple text-editor, plus go through some googling for references.

en,pynchon,reading matter | December 10, 2006 | 15:34 | Comments Off on How to read ATD… |

Against the Day, p. 147-148

“Suppose it were happen to us, in the civilized world. If ‘another form of life’ decided to use humans for similar purposes, and being out on a mission of comparable desperation, as its own resources dwindled, we human beasts would likewise simply be slaughtered one by one, and those still alive obliged to, in some sense, eat their flesh.”
“Sir, that is disgusting.”
“Not literally then … but we do use another, often mortally, with the same disablement of feeling, of conscience … each of us knowing that at some point it will be our own turn. Nowhere to run but into a hostile and lifeless waste.”
“You refer to present world conditions under capitalism and the Trusts.”
“There appears to be little difference. How else could we have come to it?”
“Evolution. Ape evolves to man, well, what’s the next step — human to what? Some compound organism, the American Corporation, for instance, in which even the Supreme Court has recognized legal personhood — a new living species, one that can out-perform most anything an individual can do by himself, no matter how smart or powerful he is.”

en,pynchon,quotations,reading matter | December 10, 2006 | 14:41 | Comments Off on Against the Day, p. 147-148 |

Against the Day, Google “Quaternionist”

Ah well, hit 5, pynchonwiki, ATD. Whereas there really seem to be ‘quaternionists’ in the history of mathematics.

See for instance here: “A prominent quaternionist, P. G. Tait, wrote, “Even Prof. Willard Gibbs must be ranked as one of the retarders of Quaternion progress…” After quoting this remark, M. J Crowe continues, “Gibbs did retard quaternion progress for his … Elements of Vector Analysis marks the beginning of modern vector analysis.” (A History of Vector Analysis (2nd edition, p. 150)) Crowe considers Oliver Heaviside (1850-1925) an independent and nearly simultaneous creator of the modern system.” http://members.aol.com/jeff570/v.html.

How many Pynchonites are visiting these same pages… one wonders….

Or, just at Amazon: “Ever since the Irish mathematician William Rowan Hamilton introduced quaternions in the nineteenth century–a feat he celebrated by carving the founding equations into a stone bridge–mathematicians and engineers have been fascinated by these mathematical objects. Today, they are used in applications as various as describing the geometry of spacetime, guiding the Space Shuttle, and developing computer applications in virtual reality.”

Ah, so that’s what Hamiltonian faith (p.132) refers to…

And it’s all already in the Pynchon-wiki.

en,pynchon | December 10, 2006 | 13:57 | Comments Off on Against the Day, Google “Quaternionist” |

Against the Day p.133

“Another Quest for another damned Magic Crystal. Horsefeathers, I say. Wish I’d known before I signed on. Say, you aren’t one of these sentient Rocksters, are you?”

Mineral consciousness figured even back in that day as a source of jocularity – had they known what was waiting in that category … waiting to move against them, grins would have frozen and chuckles turned to dry-throated coughing.

en,pynchon,quotations,reading matter | December 10, 2006 | 13:16 | Comments Off on Against the Day p.133 |

Against the Day & Google

About every search I ‘throw’ into Google since yesterday, will yield as its 7th or 8th result something with “plays an important role in Against the Day”… sure – I was searching for Icelandic Spar because I’m reading ATD… but still.

Should we imagine that ‘the internet’ reads ATD too?

Uh, well, anyhow, wikipedians read Pynchon — that much is sure: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calcite.)

en,pynchon,reading matter | December 10, 2006 | 13:13 | Comments Off on Against the Day & Google |

Against the Day p.79

“But if you look at the history, modern chemistry only starts coming in to replace alchemy around the same time capitalism really gets going. Strange eh? What do you make of that?” Webb nodded agreeably. ” Maybe capitalism decided it didn’t need the old magic anymore.” An emphasis whose contempt was not meant to escape Merle’s attention. “Why bother, had their own magic, doin just fine, thanks, instead of turning lead into gold, they could take poor people’s sweat and turn it into greenbacks, and save that lead for enforcement purposes.” (ATD p.79)

en,pynchon,quotations,reading matter | December 9, 2006 | 13:39 | Comments Off on Against the Day p.79 |
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