wNaked News
In which my articles, poems and random thoughts will appear. See also my website at stewalbert.com


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wSaturday, March 26, 2005


My central website is http://hometown.aol.com/stewa/stew. For information on Stew Albert's new book --"Who The Hell Is Stew Albert?" go to http://www.redhen.org/stewalbert.htm or Amazon.com. If you want a signed copy get in touch with me at stewa@aol.com Most of my movie reviews written during the period of my Hep C chemotherapy appear at: http://www.emptymirrorbooks.com/thirdpage/stewreviews.html Thank you Third Page
----------

Slap Leather

Corporal Punishment
was demoted to Private,
when kids started shooting teachers.
Discipline went to Hell
nobody is learning why God created America
in seven days
but NRA leader has a plan.
for promoting scholarly atmosphere,
Operation Earp
arming teachers with gravitas and 357 Magnums,
"Hey Cutup Kid, go for your gun, make my day."

A few classroom shootouts
in dark age nation,
teaching children
an exemplary lesson.

------------
Day In The Life -- Hammond came by. We had a fine talk on Dylan's memoir Chronicles Part 1. We both really like the opening evocation of Greenwich Village circa 1960 and its vibrant folk music energized bohemian culture. It was a mighty wind blowing in those days and its influence was profound and of course Bob Dylan who came to NYC from the North Country of Minnesota, looking for Woody Guthrie helped build it. The middle part of the book turns boring, it's about a millionaire song writer, who is alienated from his art, his legend and himself and it's kind of drag to see it and read it. The poor little rich guy's yacht even breaks loose from its moorings and sinks. Bob ought to come clean and admit his role in creating the myth which he came to despise.

---
The Station Agent -- A dwarf in New Jersey inherits a station master's house in a town called Newfoundland. He hopes to escape all the prying eyes and cruel remarks of onlookers that have been the story of his life. Instead he finds a very friendly Puerto Rican guy who sells hot dogs and coffee and a woman artist who, when she isn't suicidally mourning the death of her son and her husband's departure, is also very hungry for friendship. Throw in a sexy blond librarian with a crush on the dwarf and a charming black girl Public School kid and you have the making of a real community for a guy who has had only one friend in his entire life. This indie film is very short on plot and fantastic on characters, acting and placing cameras in just the right places. Directed by Thomas McCarthy and staring Peter Drinklage, this is a very unusual film because nothing phony ever happens.
----------
Stew's In The News -- Here a fast breaking story from KBOOs website

10:00 pm: TALKING EARTH
4/4 – It’s pledge drive, and Stew Albert joins us to share poetry, help us pitch, and tease us a little about his autobiography: Who the HELL is Stew Albert. We’ll also touch bases with Jeff Goldsmith, San Francisco poet and impresario, who is bringing a haiku slam to Portland on April 13. All to encourage you to support KBOO and Talking Earth. Barbara LaMorticella hosts.


posted by stew at 9:52 AM


wFriday, March 25, 2005


My central website is http://hometown.aol.com/stewa/stew. For information on Stew Albert's new book --"Who The Hell Is Stew Albert?" go to http://www.redhen.org/stewalbert.htm or Amazon.com. If you want a signed copy get in touch with me at stewa@aol.com Most of my movie reviews written during the period of my Hep C chemotherapy appear at: http://www.emptymirrorbooks.com/thirdpage/stewreviews.html Thank you Third Page
----------

Hunger Project

Christian crazies
in grief
over vegetative Terri
sent to bed without her dinner.

How many kids on the rez
fill their empty stomachs
with dope and booze?

Tom DeLay never claiming:
first they came for the Indians
then they came for me.

-----
Day In The Life -- I signed on to be a member of a Hepatitis C lobby group called HCCAP Activist Resource Center. Check out their site http://hepcchallenge.org/resourcecenter1.htm --They seem just what the liver doctor ordered. There are two separate Yippie film projects on the stove. I was phone interviewed from NYC for one of them and a friend of mine, Michael S, in LA, will come here soon to do a filmed interview. Old Yippies never die, they just fade to black.
-----
We watched "Of Love and Shadows," staring Antonio Banderas and Jennifer Connelly, and based on a novel by Isabel Allende. This film tells the story of a magazine writer and a photographer who risk their lives, investigating the crimes of the Pinochet fascist regime in Chile. Of course being beautiful and very sexy they also fall in love. This presents some problems since the woman is engaged to a sexy officer in the Chilean army. The film is great on catching the terrifying atmosphere of those horrific times and indeed reminded me in some ways of Bush's America where, in the name of a war on terror, torture goes on and many "good" Americans make excuses or look the other way. The screen play adaptation is by my old political pal Don Freed who does a fine job evoking fascist terror but unfortunately does not do as well with plot motivation. Characters living in a very dangerous world sometimes do things for the most superficial reasons.


posted by stew at 8:49 AM


wThursday, March 24, 2005


My central website is http://hometown.aol.com/stewa/stew.
For information on Stew Albert's new book --"Who The Hell Is Stew Albert?" go to http://www.redhen.org/stewalbert.htm or Amazon.com. If you want a signed copy get in touch with me at stewa@aol.com
Most of my movie reviews written during the period of my Hep C chemotherapy appear at: http://www.emptymirrorbooks.com/thirdpage/stewreviews.html
Thank you Third Page
-------------------

Warpath 2

North Country rez
without jobs or hope
way too
out of the way
for casino capers
but plenty of booze to kill pain and pride
good climate
for mad dreams of murder
how else would the kid
get his picture in the paper?

Don't ask Bush
he's too busy untying Terri
from a train track
of mercy.

----

Day In The Life--I am working on a book about Hep C and its peculiarly hellish method of cure, that includes the weekly injecting of Interferon and the daily swallowing of 6 Ribavirin pills. I have edited my day to day blogs of my experiences of Chemo and done some other writing and editing. But for the moment I am stuck because I have discovered that whether or not I'm cured provides the frame of the book, it will shape its tone, feelings and ideas. Whether it's thumbs up or down, the finding will provide me with a sense of literary direction and motivation. I'll be happy or pissed but in any case I'll know what the story is and how to tell it. And if you don't think it's a big story please consider that Hepatitis C, which can go undetected for decades and be quite deadly infects nearly five times as many people as the HIV virus in the United States and it's spreading in some developing countries at an even more frightening rate. More than half of the estimated 4 million people who have Hep C in the US don't even know about it. And it's is the leading cause of liver transplants. Hep C is a gigantic story and soon I believe, I will know how to tell it.
---
If you have cable and On Demand check out the Nano feature. It offers a changing list of short features cinema ranging in length from a few minutes to a half an hour. They tend to absurdism and can be didactic but many of them are funny and a great way to kill time when nothing else is on.


posted by stew at 8:13 AM


wWednesday, March 23, 2005


My central website is http://hometown.aol.com/stewa/stew.
For information on Stew Albert's new book --"Who The Hell Is Stew Albert?" go to http://www.redhen.org/stewalbert.htm or Amazon.com. If you want a signed copy get in touch with me at stewa@aol.com
Most of my movie reviews written during the period of my Hep C chemotherapy appear at: http://www.emptymirrorbooks.com/thirdpage/stewreviews.html
Thank you Third Page
-------------------

Warpath

An Indian kid
with a blazing gun,
a blood lust
taking vengance against life,
how contemporary his favorite web site
in a world where everyone
except Canadians
experiencing fascist nuts
weird fantasies
of power and deliverance,
come one, come all to nice Nazism
where Blacks and Browns and Bows & Arrows
are always welcome
as long as they hate Jews
and agree
not to marry each other.

------------

Day In The Life -- I continue to get pro and con e-mail (and a boost in web site visits) on the Terri - Vegetable Nation matter. It seems her husband is greatly hated by those who are opposed to letting her die. He is accused of all manner of evil -- the worst husband who ever lived. I don't think he would be subjecting himself to such rage (it might even get dangerous for him) if he wasn't motivated by a continuing love of his wife and her dignity. After all, we are dealing with the forced feeding of a vegetative bulimic. Does anyone doubt what her opinion would be, if she could still have one?
---
Double Impact --If you like Jean-Claude Van Damme, you'll love this film because it gives you two Jean-Claudes. Yep, the Karate muscleman appears as twins. Their parents are murdered when they are still in baby carriages by evil Hong Kong and British capitalists and the fates decree that they are brought up in very separate parts of the world and become distinctly different individuals. Although not exactly filled with brotherly love, they reunite, to avenge their parents and take e back their stolen inheritance. The fight scenes are rugged but lack the beauty and imagination of Chinese Kung Fu. The film is awkwardly edited (super choppy) but villains Cory Everson and Bolo Ye (of many sadistic roles) are fun. I enjoyed seeing former women's body building champ Ms Everson, who certainly looks substantial in leather.


posted by stew at 8:12 AM


wTuesday, March 22, 2005


My central website is http://hometown.aol.com/stewa/stew.
For information on Stew Albert's new book --"Who The Hell Is Stew Albert?" go to http://www.redhen.org/stewalbert.htm or Amazon.com. If you want a signed copy get in touch with me at stewa@aol.com
Most of my movie reviews written during the period of my Hep C chemotherapy appear at: http://www.emptymirrorbooks.com/thirdpage/stewreviews.html
Thank you Third Page
-------------------

Wiz

Closing my eyes again
at 4 am
all things on the inside
are
shades of mysterious green,
an emerald city fog
covering all malignancy

I wonder how long the Wizard
will allow me his jewels
of diversion.

---
Day In The Life -- I wrote a poem -- Vegetable Nation which went up on my blog and also appeared in CounterPunch. It's about the Terri Shiavo spectacle and as usual I have a harsh opinion of George Bush and the Christian right wing. I received more e-mails for this poem than almost anything I have ever posted online and I had a large boost in visits to my web site. Most of the mail was very favorable but I also got a number of critical e-mails. I am very suspicious of a few of the critical notes. They have the same themes -- how they don't usually support right to life causes, how they are feminists etc, and then they turn their heat on the life destroying liberals and Democrats. It is a standard right wing tactic in their organized letter writing campaigns for the writers to disguise their views and make them sound more moderate than they really are. Supposedly, when they take a right wing position, just this one time, we will take their views much more seriously.

---------
We saw The Last Starfighter. Let's go back to the 1980s when a young guy who lives in a trailer park and spends his time playing video games and who doesn't get a loan to go to college, could still dream of one day getting out of the park and perhaps maybe even saving the universe. Our hero breaks a record in a distant planet's video war game and winds up on a distant planet as the last Starfighter taking on all the forces of evil, domination and slavery. The young man certainly has excellent hand eye coordination. This is a consistently well made and straight forward film. My favorite moment occurs when the war hero gets to land his wonderful space ship right in the middle of his trailer park hometown.


posted by stew at 9:56 AM


wMonday, March 21, 2005


My central website is http://hometown.aol.com/stewa/stew.
For information on Stew Albert's new book --"Who The Hell Is Stew Albert?" go to http://www.redhen.org/stewalbert.htm or Amazon.com. If you want a signed copy get in touch with me at stewa@aol.com
Most of my movie reviews written during the period of my Hep C chemotherapy appear at: http://www.emptymirrorbooks.com/thirdpage/stewreviews.html
Thank you Third Page
-------------------

Vegetable Nation

Republicans love Americans
turned to vegetables,
on their lies and fake news.
fighting vigorously,
human lettuce must live,

Bush rushing to the White House,
he even concluded a vacation
for signing on
to Terri's right to stare blankly forever,

getting away from the stink
of executed corpses
of thinking humans
he left rotting in Texas graveyards,

pushing vegetative rights,
Republican should take Terri to lunch
invite her to birthday parties
remarry her and give her children,

Vegetable Nation growing up
in the White House's secret garden,
Farmer Dubya
bringing in the sheaves.

---------
Day In The Life -- We had a morning gathering at our home for two visiting and very admirable Peruvian women who are activists in family planning and sexual education in their home country. I had a fantastic opportunity to get in a fairly complex converstion with the Peruvians and to do it in Spanish. Proving to Judy, at long last, that all those Spanish words I occasionally utter are not made up in an effort to pretend I am Fidel Castro.
---
I saw the Marx Brothers in their 1932 film, Horse Feathers. It's funny as hell. Groucho is a college president, trying to fix a football game and in this noble effort he is aided by Zeppo, and bootleggers Chico and Harpo. As usual, the verbal and visual gags are endless, made during the height of the great depression, the Marx Brothers certainly knew how to take America's mind off of it troubles. At least for an hour or so.

In listening to the gags and particularly on the misinterpretations of words, I remembered that the Marx's grew up in an immigrant Jewish culture where almost everyone got the words wrong and sounded funny (like the old lady next door to me, Mrs. Kunis) . Some of their most hilarious stuff may have first been heard on an apartment house stoop or over a neighbor's fence.


posted by stew at 8:17 AM


wSunday, March 20, 2005


My central website is http://hometown.aol.com/stewa/stew.
For information on Stew Albert's new book --"Who The Hell Is Stew Albert?" go to http://www.redhen.org/stewalbert.htm or Amazon.com. If you want a signed copy get in touch with me at stewa@aol.com
Most of my movie reviews written during the period of my Hep C chemotherapy appear at: http://www.emptymirrorbooks.com/thirdpage/stewreviews.html
Thank you Third Page
-------------------

River Run

Two years
since shock and awe shucks
set off
the Baghdaddy of all wars

I'm back in the streets
in a small lonely crowd
that's talking to itself,
marching in a one hour circle
shouting "out now"
on deserted streets
listening to echoes
of time images and different space,

it was once a great notion.

--------
Day In the Life -- Judy and I went on a peace march yesterday. I've been marching since 1959 and it's the ongoing background music for our relationship. There were maybe a thousand more old than young people on the march. Portland produced 15,000 just before the war started. Fortunately the rains stopped. I could imagine the march happening with just ten Trotskyists (what a painful thought). The marchers were the inner core's, inner core. For them demonstrating is a routine matter and so they put no creative energy into their effort. I heard no new slogans chanted, saw no interesting costumes and the only good saying on a sign was "stamp out mad cowboy disease." The route took us through the most deserted section of downtown Portland. The most memorable part of the march (Judy spotted it) was the police and their new style. Since mellow former police chief Tom Potter has replaced Vera Katz as Mayor, the black uniform menacing storm troopers had disappeared from view and we were policed by lots of slender cops on bikes wearing yellow vests. True there were a few fat cops on motorcycles but they stayed in the background. The new kinder gentler order hit a crescendo when the march concluded. As we were heading home a smiling cop said, "Good-bye and have a nice day." 46 years of demonstrating and its come to this -- leaving a demo is now like getting off an airplane -- bye-bye.
--
Judy thinks this account is too negative -- "say something positive about the march." OK. The fact that the march happened and that a bunch of us wern't willing to be "good Germans" is a good thing. The fact that similiar marches happened throught the US and all over Europe is a great thing. It's splendid that however reduced, the spirit of resistance still lives. Finally, we are both over 60 and the fact that we could complete the march is a good thing.

---
We saw Kumar and Harold Go to White Castle, think of it as Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure for the reasonably intelligent. It's about a straight laced Korean 20 something and his wild 20 something Indian friend, who get very stoned and go out looking for a special hamburger. It's all about a great spiritual quest for silliness and along the way, it's a lot of fun.
--

In Million Dollar Baby Hilary Swank plays a woman who sees boxing as a personal way out of personal weakness and an oppressive life. In Karate Kid 4 a younger Ms Swank plays a high school girl who sees Karate as a way out of personal weakness and an unhappy life. In both parts Hilary persuades an older man to teach her the art of fighting. I guess Clint Eastwood decided to cast Hillary Swank in that Million Dollar Academy Award role after seeing her Karate Kid performance. Karate did turn out to be her big life changer after all.


posted by stew at 9:25 AM