Thursday, September 16, 2010

Oh, hai

I may not be so good at posting for a week or two...but we'll see. Just so everyone reading this blog with bated breath (you may or may not exist) knows, it's gonna get a little bit sporadic, but only for a little bit. Soon you'll be happy and postmodern once again! For now, enjoy this classic picture of Italo Calvino:

Dude, yr so crazy!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Fragile Happy Things

Today, HaPomo salutes a veritable Renaissance man of postmodernism. With a literary oeuvre that encompasses novels, short stories, poems, a band biography, screenplays, TV scripts, songs, liner notes, graphic novels, and more, it has to be Neil Fucking Gaiman.

What's not to love about him? There's his amazingly British voice, which is just a short distance away from being Alan Rickman's voice. There's the fact that he's affianced to Amanda Palmer, and wrote the text to a photobook about her many deaths. There are his other collaborators, who include Terry Pratchett, Kim Newman, Tori Amos, Roger Avary, and Charles Vess. Did I mention that he wrote the English dub of Princess fucking Mononoke?

Yes, Mr. Gaiman's done it all and gone back to do it again. He's on Twitter. Did you know that he directed a short film starring Bill Nighy? He's so eclectically accomplished, he's like the George Plimpton of literature. He even knows how to talk to girls at parties, and wrote an educational short story on the subject! So in his honor, let's live life the Neil Gaiman way: by wearing black and telling stories.

Oh, and did I mention the "wrote the greatest graphic novel series of all time" thing?

Monday, September 6, 2010

Welcome To Happy Times

Labor Day is over, and now that E.L. Doctorow is here, things probably aren't going well for the American worker. But Doctorow (to really hit you over the head with his archetypal nature, we'll call him Postmodern Author) does have an entry in the distinguished canon of Books I Read While Working at the Zoo Snackbar, and whatever you might say about Postmodern Author's work, I much preferred Ragtime to cleaning out the popcorn machine, in its patronizing way. Besides, he's the only postmodernist to hit Broadway, and that's something. (So far, I can't get any takers for "Giles Goat-Boy: The Musical," even with goat costumes by Julie Taymor.) Most of what I know about Postmodern Author beyond that, and a few terrifically awkward sex scenes, has slipped away with the passing years. But E.L. seems happy enough with that, and I'm not going to argue.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Happy (Cinematic) Postmodernists: A Short Film About Happy

Oh, Polish director Krzysztof Kieślowski, aren't you a roguish fellow! You gaze down on the ethically challenged citizens of Warsaw, draw subtle analogies between their lives and the Ten Commandments, and then grin whilst a cigarette juts out of your coyly pursed mouth. Aren't you just a cheeky little auteur!

And hey, prior to your 1996 death, you were one of the greatest living filmmakers. So although your films may have tended toward depressing subject matter (like grief! Loneliness! Capital punishment!), you should still get a smoking/smiling break every now and then.

And that's a lesson everyone can use. Including a reclusive ex-judge played by Jean-Louis Trintignant. Or you, dear reader!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

More Die of Happiness

Saul Bellow is really, truly, and terrifyingly happy. I can only assume that this means that a lifetime of picaresque adventuring has finally allowed him to find the Precious. Why else would this mighty midwesterner leave the idyllic banks of the St. Lawrence in Lachine for the staunchly Tim-Hortons-and-poutine-free city of Chicago? It wasn't in pursuit of the Pulitzer, or even the Nobel Prize. Why would he read an Ayn Rand novel, much less have it sitting on his desk in plain sight in this photo? Yes, I'm pretty sure the only plausible explanation for a smile that large and maniacal is that Saul Bellow has finally found the Ring. Anyone who gets married 5 times is obviously looking for something of the sort.

Confidential to Saul: I promise I'll finish The Adventures of Augie March someday! Until then!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Modernist, er, Monday: Se hace camino al sonreír

Antonio Machado does not smile. Here he is chillin' in a hat, resolutely not smiling. OK, you say, but maybe it was just a bad day. Maybe he was just crossing the Pyrenees on foot and half-dead that day. I wouldn't smile about that.

But here's the thing. He's marrying his beloved child/French-student-bride in this picture, and he's STILL NOT SMILING. It's basically the happiest day of his life, and he just can't turn up the corners of his mouth to express that. Even Ian Curtis smiled when he got married, Antonio, or at least he tried really hard. She's only 16, and she's certainly not going to die of consumption two years later. So why so sad?

Luckily, when the Spanish government put an engraving of Machado on a postage stamp, they added just a little smile, even though it doesn't seem to be based on any actual photos of him. Let's hope that wherever Machado is now, he can manage at least that. I think he's earned it.