Saturday, December 4, 2010


Nightlife. . .

written & arranged by John Zorn
in collaboration w/ a cast of characters

On golden LP: elektra/nonesuch


Sweetheart reminded me of this favorite cartoon I like stapled onto a post in my tool room. My father drew cartoons who taught me and I taught my son and I still draw and have my weekly favorites from magazines and elsewhere. Few, for me, top this one out of an old New Yorker.

If you can read the cartoonist's name — I can't — please drop me a line.

I'd like he or she to be credited.

coda: answer received from our good friend Annie in Canada:
the artist is Mike Twohy. Thank you Annie.

the new yorker

Dear G—

On a rain day this week I sat down again and watched Jan Wiener (1920-2010) in the film FIGHTER (2001) with Sweetheart this time. I figured I owed it to the man and his recent passing, your dear friend, and for us to watch this fascinating journey and story together. Curiously, while never once drifting in my respect and actual honor for JW, it's Arnost Lustig who holds up finer for me as a man and all-around individual. There is something festering in JW — no doubt his past — yet AL also had a brutal past and seems to have healed himself with a bit more humility, patience and an almost unbelievable sweetness for his often difficult friend.

The film is also deeply moving for its historical understanding and revelation. The filmmaker (Amir Bar-Lev) has an elegant and deft touch at voice-over while using impeccable choreography for the landscape, story and reasoning. There is both poetry (breadth and beauty) and terrible madness throughout the film.

Watching Jan Wiener at work, in his homeland and surroundings (Slovenia, Italy etc), one is quite taken with his tenacity at finding his way. It's a Holocaust film with two elder survivors of Hitler's invasion of Czechoslovakia
backtracking in a half-century later. One stayed-put and took it on the chin, the other fought his way through an underground, and some would say became a spy, even a traitor, not a partisan. I say hold judgment and let the film and all individuals speak.

We are witnessing or suffering in current wars and perhaps via WikiLeaks fueled and stymied and surrounded by deceit — so much so we know wars never end.