The frequency of opiates is a special oscillation of ultra sound

“Anything that can be done chemically can be done in other ways…what is missed in withdrawal is a certain frequency

[…]

The frequency of opiates turned out to be a special oscillation of ultra sound. The frequency was quite as habit-forming as morphine but could be gradually shut off over a period of several months resulting in a painless cure […] The discovery that the effects of morphine can be produced by a sound frequency led to realization that the effects of any drug can be so produced and frequency therapy came to supplant drug therapy.”

The Job: Interviews with William S. Burroughs, Daniel Odier.

Psycho 60/98

WARNING: This film contains flashing images.

“Psycho” (1960) by Alfred Hitchcock and “Psycho” (1998) by Gus Van Sant collide in a frame-by-frame editing that assaults the eyeballs and assassinates the normative consciousness of the viewer. The footage seem to penetrate us, as though it was a knife or a threatening phantasmagorical entity. The fast succession of single frames and extremely short audio files produce afterimages and aftersounds—entoptic and endaural phenomena—creating a film that does not happen on the screen, but in our brain cells.

*Just a technical note for those interested on how things are made, this film consist just of both shower scenes fragmented in frames; the odd frames are the shower scene from the Hitchcock movie and the even frames are the shower scene from the Van Sant remake. No image or sound effects of any kind, just the frames. Sense-destructive cinema, enjoy! :)

To construct out of the raw material of organic sound an elaborate intellectual pleasure

“For music is an intellectual or a sensual pleasure according to the temperament of him who hears it. And, by-the-bye, with the exception of the fine extravaganza on that subject in Twelfth Night, I do not recollect more than one thing said adequately on the subject of music in all literature; it is a passage in the Religio Medici of Sir T. Brown, and though chiefly remarkable for its sublimity, has also a philosophic value, inasmuch as it points to the true theory of musical effects. The mistake of most people is to suppose that it is by the ear they communicate with music, and therefore that they are purely passive to its effects. But this is not so; it is by the reaction of the mind upon the notices of the ear (the matter coming by the senses, the form from the mind) that the pleasure is constructed, and therefore it is that people of equally good ear differ so much in this point from one another. Now, opium, by greatly increasing the activity of the mind, generally increases, of necessity, that particular mode of its activity by which we are able to construct out of the raw material of organic sound an elaborate intellectual pleasure. But, says a friend, a succession of musical sounds is to me like a collection of Arabic characters; I can attach no ideas to them. Ideas! my good sir? There is no occasion for them; all that class of ideas which can be available in such a case has a language of representative feelings. But this is a subject foreign to my present purposes; it is sufficient to say that a chorus, &c., of elaborate harmony displayed before me, as in a piece of arras work, the whole of my past life—not as if recalled by an act of memory, but as if present and incarnated in the music; no longer painful to dwell upon; but the detail of its incidents removed or blended in some hazy abstraction, and its passions exalted, spiritualized, and sublimed. All this was to be had for five shillings. And over and above the music of the stage and the orchestra, I had all around me, in the intervals of the performance, the music of the Italian language talked by Italian women—for the gallery was usually crowded with Italians—and I listened with a pleasure such as that with which Weld the traveller lay and listened, in Canada, to the sweet laughter of Indian women; for the less you understand of a language, the more sensible you are to the melody or harshness of its sounds. For such a purpose, therefore, it was an advantage to me that I was a poor Italian scholar, reading it but little, and not speaking it at all, nor understanding a tenth part of what I heard spoken.

(…)

Yet, in candour, I will admit that markets and theatres are not the appropriate haunts of the opium-eater when in the divinest state incident to his enjoyment. In that state, crowds become an oppression to him; music even, too sensual and gross. He naturally seeks solitude and silence, as indispensable conditions of those trances, or profoundest reveries, which are the crown and consummation of what opium can do for human nature.”

Confessions of an English Opium-Eater, Thomas De Quincey.

Most men are disguised by sobriety

“It is most absurdly said, in popular language, of any man that he is disguised in liquor; for, on the contrary, most men are disguised by sobriety, and it is when they are drinking (as some old gentleman says in Athenæus), that men εαυτους εμφανιζουσιν οιτινες εισιν—display themselves in their true complexion of character, which surely is not disguising themselves.”

Confessions of an English Opium-Eater, Thomas De Quincey.

Lover Come Back (1961)


I don’t know if I prefer this one or Pillow talk, but in this one there’s a scientist who invents a fabulous product which is a tasty candy that gets you drunk as a skunk. Curiously, in both films there’re gags about Hudson being gay, which is quite astonishing.

Seconds (1966)


When a film starts like this, it must be good (Saul Bass, of course). A paranoia, a dystopian history about who we are and who we would like to be. And, like all good science fiction films, with a lot of reflections between the lines.

How I Met Your Mother

De las telecomedias americanas de los últimos años, no hay ninguna que haya visto tantas veces como How I Met Your Mother. Cuando menciono mi amor por esta serie, me suelo encontrar con dos tipos de respuestas opuestas: quienes la han seguido y saben de qué estoy hablando, y quienes no la han visto jamás (o han visto algún episodio suelto en castellano) y la tienen por una especie de subproducto a la estela de Friends. He de decir que, hasta hace tres o cuatro años, yo me encontraba en esa segunda categoría, craso error.

Personalmente, había visto uno o dos episodios sueltos de How I Met Your Mother —o mejor dicho Cómo conocí a vuestra madre, ya que los vi doblados— pillados de casualidad haciendo zapping en casa de mis padres. De entrada, era una telecomedia de tantas, sin mucha gracia ni demasiada enjundia. El caso es que tengo la costumbre de comer viendo series y no tengo televisión desde hace tiempo, así que en algún momento que no tenía gran cosa que ver se me ocurrió darle una oportunidad y empecé a verla desde el principio, en versión original.

Aunque los primeros episodios no son especialmente brillantes y el planteamiento inicial es el típico de cientos de telecomedias: chico conoce chica y hay algo que los ‘separa’, hay ya de entrada algo que la aleja del producto medio televisivo, y es una inversión de papeles. La mujer romántica soltera al borde de los 30 obsesionada por encontrar marido es él (Ted), mientras que el hombre desenfadado que se niega a comprometerse es ella (Robin). No obstante, esto de por sí no es especialmente interesante, ya que, a pesar de invertir los papeles genéricos, sigue jugando con la misma historia de siempre. Sin embargo, tras ver los cuatro episodios siguientes más por inercia que por verdadero interés, llegó Ok Awesome, el episodio que para mí marcó un antes y un después.

En Ok Awesome, Robin conoce de casualidad al dueño de Ok, el club de moda en Nueva York, y la pone en lista para entrar esa noche. Robin invita a sus amigos, los otros cuatro protagonistas de la serie: Ted, Barney, Lily y Marshall. Ted y Barney aceptan la invitación, pero Lily y Marshall tienen otros planes.

Aquí debo hacer un inciso para explicar que Lily y Marshall son una pareja más cerca de los 30 que de los 20 que acaba de decidir casarse, por lo que Lily está preocupada con el tema de pasar de la postadolescencia a la edad adulta. Al principio del episodio, Lily tiene una conversación con una compañera de trabajo de su edad que le explica el fantástico fin de semana que ha pasado con su marido en un hotelito romántico, mientras ella lo único que ha hecho es salir y beber hasta prácticamente caer redonda. Lily se siente avergonzada, cree que ya es hora de dejar de hacer ciertas cosas, por lo que convence a Marshall de dejar de salir, beber, etc. y optar por un estilo de vida más maduro.

Robin, Ted y Barney se van al club y Lily y Marshall se quedan en casa cenando con dos parejas de lo más aburrido que solo hablan de vinos, quesos, niños, hipotecas y Norah Jones. Por un lado, tenemos lo que ‘estás haciendo y se supone que no deberías hacer’: el techno, el ligoteo, el alcohol… y por otro ‘esto es lo que deberías ser/hacer’. En un momento dado, Marshall no soporta más la cena, la vida ‘adulta’, y se escapa al club sin que lo vea nadie saltando por la ventana del cuarto de baño.

Tras una serie de escenas que muestran de manera bastante sencilla y clara lo que es una noche en un club (tanto lo bueno como lo malo), Marshall termina tomando éxtasis (no se dice explícitamente, no olvidemos que esto es una telecomedia americana para todos los públicos). Mientras, Lily descubre que Marshall se ha escapado y se va furiosa a buscarlo a la discoteca. Cuando finalmente lo encuentra, Marshall está bailando como un loco en el medio de la pista, y aquí llega el punto de inflexión. En lugar de suceder lo de siempre, lo que todos prevemos en una serie de este tipo (bronca con tres chistes malos y moraleja de tres al cuarto), Lily y Marshall se miran, se sonríen y sin mediar palabra se dan el lote en medio de la pista de baile.

He ahí mi What the fuck? (me encanta esta expresión, y aquí la digo como sorpresa positiva) personal con How I Met Your Mother. Resulta que no solo hay un personaje que se droga sin ningún tipo de consecuencia negativa, algo ya de por sí bastante inaudito en una serie de televisión, sino que la conclusión, dicha incluso en un momento en boca de Robin con otras palabras, es que ser adulto no es ‘madurar’ para hacer lo que se espera de ti, es ser libre de hacer lo que te venga en gana.

Después de este episodio, me tragué las cuatro o cinco temporadas que había en aquel momento compulsivamente y descubrí todo lo que hace que How I Met Your Mother no sea un subproducto de Friends, sino algo que la supera con creces en todos los frentes, desde su estructura fragmentaria y sus juegos con la memoria (toda la serie es un flashback) hasta su falta de prejuicios y moralejas al enfrentarse a ciertos temas.

Evidentemente, es una serie para todos los públicos que no se puede permitir ser explícita, pero ser explícito no es ninguna garantía de que lo que estás haciendo sea mejor o peor, se me ocurren muchos ejemplos de series americanas con dosis de violencia y sexo bastante altas que transmiten ideas más propias de la edad de piedra que del siglo XXI.

La primera temporada de How I Met Your Mother está lejos del nivel de algunas de las siguientes. Por otro lado, es una serie irregular, hay episodios soberbios y otros que simplemente se dejan ver, pero no creo que haya ninguna serie que haya durado ocho temporadas que pueda presumir de ser perfecta, al fin y al cabo, nadie es guapo y listo los siete días de la semana… Quizás es una serie que en ciertos aspectos, aunque solo sea por su nivel de audiencia, entraría dentro del mainstream, pero en cualquier caso sería la serie mainstream donde el house mola más que Norah Jones, donde la mujer perfecta toca el bajo como Kim Gordon y donde Moby es un mero hipster calvo bajito de quien nadie se acordará dentro de 15 años.

Y otro día hablaremos de la lluvia, del tiempo, de la fragmentación, de la deconstrucción, de la percepción, de la memoria, de las slap bets, de Star Wars, de Indiana Jones, del sargento Murtaugh, de Robin Sparkles, de Sven… Y de los bocadillos, especialmente del de bistec marinado que resultó estar mezclado con alguna dr… digo, carne dura. Tic tic tic.

92 Films I Like in Alphabetical Order

This afternoon I wrote this list with 92 films that I like to make a short video.

01. A History of Violence
02. A Simple Plan
03. A Zed & Two Noughts
04. After Hours
05. Alphaville, une étrange aventure de Lemmy Caution
06. Arrebato
07. Back to the Future
08. Barton Fink
09. Blow-Up
10. Body Heat
11. Bubble
12. Buffalo 66
13. Cotton Club
14. Crash
15. Crimes and Misdemeanors
16. Cry Baby
17. Charade
18. Dangerous Liaisons
19. Dead Man
20. Dersu Uzala
21. Die Hard
22. Down by Law
23. Dracula
24. Drive
25. Drowning by Numbers
26. Ed Wood
27. Everyone Says I Love You
28. Exotica
29. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
30. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
31. Fight Club
32. Forgetting Sarah Marshall
33. Godfellas
34. Half Nelson
35. Heathers
36. Hedwig and the Angry Inch
37. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
38. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
39. Kick-Ass
40. L’année dernière à Marienbad
41. L’atalante
42. La pianiste
43. Lars and the Real Girl
44. Leningrad Cowboys Go America
45. Looking for Mr. Goodbar
46. Lost Highway
47. M. Butterfly
48. Manhattan Murder Mystery
49. Match Point
50. My Beautiful Laundrette
51. My Own Private Idaho
52. Mystery Train
53. Night on Earth
54. North by Northwest
55. On connaît la chanson
56. Paris, Texas
57. Peeping Tom
58. Persona
59. Point Break
60. Raiders of the Lost Ark
61. Rashomon
62. Schizopolis
63. Secretary
64. Seven
65. Sex, Lies and Videotapes
66. Simple Men
67. Singing in the Rain
68. Some Like it Hot
69. Splendor In The Grass
70. Star Wars
71. The Adjuster
72. The Age of Innocence
73. The Belly of an Architect
74. The Brown Bunny
75. The Conversation
76. The Cook the Thief His Wife & Her Lover
77. The Empire Strikes Back
78. The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
79. The Last Seduction
80. The Living End
81. The Matrix
82. The Moderns
83. The Pillow Book
84. The Princess Bride
85. The Social Network
86. The Usual Suspects
87. Three Colors: Red
88. Underworld
89. V for Vendetta
90. Velvet Goldmine
91. Walkabout
92. Zodiac

Watchings

Half Nelson (2006)
Ryan Fleck

Lars and the Real Girl (2007)
Craig Gillespie

Sound of Noise (2010)
Ola Simonsson, Johannes Stjärne Nilsson

The Shock Doctrine (2009)
Mat Whitecross, Michael Winterbottom

How I Met Your Mother, Seasons 1-6 (2005-2011)
Carter Bays, Craig Thomas

Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008)
Nicholas Stoller

True Blood, Season 4 (2011)
Allan Ball

The IT Crowd, Seasons 1-4 (2006-2010)
Graham Linehan

Drive (2011)
Nicolas Winding Refn

Fiction and paper on a summer’s day

[just ten, in no particular order]

The Toy Collector, James Gunn.
The Buddha of Suburbia, Hanif Kureishi.
The Monk, Matthew G. Lewis.
Vurt, Jeff Noon.
Tales of the Unexpected, Roald Dahl.
Notes from Underground, Fyodor Dostoyevsky.
On Murder Considered as one of the Fine Arts, Thomas De Quincey.
The Cutting Room, Louise Welsh.
If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler, Italo Calvino.
Leviathan, Paul Auster.

Watchings

• Arduino The Documentary (2010) [watch]

Dead Set (2008)
Charlie Brooker

Misfits, Season 2 (2010)
Howard Overman

Sherlock, Season 1 (2010)
Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat

Dexter, Season 5 (2010)

Breaking Bad, Seasons 1-3 (2008-2010)
Vince Gilligan

Sons of Anarchy, Season 3 (2010)
Kurt Sutter

How I Met Your Mother, Seasons 1-5 (2005-2010)
Carter Bays and Craig Thomas

The Big Bang Theory, Seasons 1-3 (2007-2010)
Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady

Inmorality

I’ve always been a TV addict, at least in certain sense. Once T. W. Adorno said “I love to go to the movies. What I hate are the images on the screen”, and I could say something similar. I love to watch tv. What I hate are the images on the screen… and the shows… and the stories… and… and… and… In fact, the last time that my TV was switched on was on July, and it wasn’t even me who turned it on.

Anyway, the truth is that I watch a lot of TV, but just TV series. I’ve never been really interested in reality shows, sports, the news, documentaries, etc. I only like TV ‘fiction’ —everything is fiction, of course, but that’s another story.

In the last years, TV series have change a lot, now they are much more explicit, and even daring, but there are some TV series that most people see as quite extreme or ambiguous that in fact are really moralist and reactionary. Take Dexter, for example, in which the hero is a serial killer. This may sound radical for a mainstream TV show, but the truth is that Dexter is an avenger who takes the law into his own hands (a typical topic in American TV series and films). This idea is anything but new, it’s pretty lame and right-winger.

Some friends have discussed with me about Dexter because they don’t agree with me, but in one of the last episodes one of the main characters of the season (a girl who has been brutally raped) make this statement:

“I had imagined a totally different life for myself too. I always did everything by the book, you know? Go, go, go. Never stopped to think. There was high school and college and graduate school… Owen. We were gonna get married at the house that I grew up in. On my wedding day, I tried on the dress, and I looked out the window at the backyard where the aisle was, and I saw everything that that aisle was leading to, babies and matching dinnerware. Sunday barbecues. And I couldn’t breathe. I had to get out of there and find something more. Then everything happened, and I actually thought, this is what I get for trying to live my own life.”

And the moral of the story is… O_O I can’t believe what she is saying! When I watched that episode I remembered another statement from Misfits, a British TV series:

“We’re young. We’re supposed to drink too much. We’re supposed to have bad attitudes and shag each other’s brains out. We are designed to party. This is it. Yeah, so a few of us will overdose or go mental, but Charles Darwin said you can’t make an omelette without breaking a few eggs. And that’s what it’s all about, breaking eggs! And by eggs, I do mean, getting twatted on a cocktail of class As. If you could just see yourselves! It breaks my heart. You’re wearing cardigans! We had it all. We fucked up bigger and better than any generation that came before us. We were so beautiful! We’re screw-ups. I’m a screw-up and I plan to be a screw-up until my late 20s, maybe even my early 30s. And I will shag my own mother before I let her or anyone else take that away from me!”

And the moral of the story is… Misfits is funny, cheeky and politically incorrect, Dexter NO!

Watchings

Fringe, Seasons 1-2 (2008-2010)
J. J. Abrams, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci

• Человек с киноаппаратом / Man with a Movie Camera (1929) [watch]
Dziga Vertov

• Singin’ in the Rain (1952)
Stanley Donen and Gene Kelly

• The Ghost Writer (2010)
Roman Polanski

• El Abecedario de Gilles Deleuze. A de Animal (1988) [watch]

• Some Like It Hot (1959)
Billy Wilder

• Dog Day Afternoon (1975)
Sidney Lumet

Modern political terrorism on a indiscriminate scale

“(…) modern political terrorism on a indiscriminate scale is the monopoly of goverments and is directed at civilian populations.”

“Bakunin claimed that there were three routes of scape from the miseries of life, two of them illusory and one real. The first two were the bottle and the church, ‘debauchery of the body or debauchery of the mind; the third is social revolution’.”

Anarchism: A Very Short Introduction by Colin Ward

El gusto del infinito

“Este señor visible de la naturaleza visible (hablo del hombre) ha querido, pues, crear el paraíso mediante la farmacia, mediante las bebidas fermentadas, tal un maníaco que reemplazara muebles sólidos y jardines reales por decorados pintados en tela y montados sobre bastidores”.

Los paraisos artificiales by Baudelaire