Is the Tall Man Happy?

is_the_man_who_is_tall_happy_an_animated_conversation_with_noam_chomsky

Driector Michel Gondry (“Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”) is currently flummoxing viewers with his persistently inventive “Mood Indigo.” But of all his blazingly original creations, the 2013 documentary “Is the Tall Man Happy: An Animated Conversation with Noam Chomsky” might be his most densely wonderful work. Gondry and the indispensable linguist and social critic Chomsky have a wide-ranging chat. But instead of filming the discussion, Gondry animates it (beautifully and strangely). The result is simultaneously light and trippy, heavy and profound – and consistently mesmerizing.

Additional Golden Rules

golden rule

The original Golden Rule — “treat others as you wish to be treated” — sounds fantastic in theory, but isn’t really possible to apply practically, as evidenced by the lives each of us lead. Or maybe it is being applied and is difficult to recognize. Maybe how people wish to be treated is “horribly,” which explains all the reciprocal cruelty and malice that comprises standard treatment.

Perhaps the Golden Rule is just too darned complicated, too nuanced, an ongoing invitation to misinterpretation. We need something simpler. More concrete. Less subjective.

Like these.

 

1) Be an encourager, not a discourager.

2) Make love — with everyone.

3) Be generous — with everything.

 

Maybe we should stop trying to treat others as we wish to be treated. Maybe it’s more important simply to be an encouraging, loving, generous person.

. . . → Read More: Additional Golden Rules

Brandon Wardell

young brandon wardell

Remarkable comedic talent in young people is easy to spot. It presents itself insistently and clearly. What the precocious possessor of the talent will do with it — develop it or let it wither — is hard to predict (as demonstrated by our previous comedy New Discoveries). In the case of DC-raised, Los Angeles-based comedian Brandon Wardell, 22, we have a hunch that he’s going to be making people laugh for a long time. Already, he’s a fine joke writer and a confident orator, with flashes of conceptual brilliance that recall Bo Burnham, another young man intent on doing his own thing. We sense in Brandon Wardell a nascent artistry, a growing acceptance of his comic individuality. It should be an interesting journey to watch.

Poem: A Brief Autobiography

clitboys_1

I was a punk rocker. A real one. Original Midwestern Hardcore Punk Thrash

loud and fast and angry enough to convey the depths of agony

residing in our adolescent breasts, the unspeakable (only screamable) pain

of being trapped like a bear in a sharp leg clamp,

tortured by the knowledge that we were ensnared in a system

we wouldn’t choose except under the threat of torture, and maybe not even then.

Not having a choice: “I want to have high ideals, I want to love mankind,

trust my fellow man, be loving true and kind – but everyone tells me ‘No!’ Everyone tells me

‘No such thing!’” That’s what upset us so in those naïve days before

we figured out how it’s all arranged.

 

For a minute or some decades of my life I learned

to play the game, the same one I . . . → Read More: Poem: A Brief Autobiography

Poem: If One Could Add the Entirety

Godhead of the light

If one could add the entirety

of what we can see

and what we can’t –

the supplicant on a rant,

the matter dark, unknowable,

a bitterness that’s stowable –

what we would have to examine

are children wrenched by famine,

a panoply of catastrophes,

like man-made war, and disease.

 

We would also deign to look

at an ancient antiquated book

imparting wisdom, dispensing lessons,

doling out her meager blessings

to those who care to think

that knowing God demands a link

to better angels, vibes much higher,

illuminated by your fire,

the one that burns within

where there’s no hell and there’s no sin.

When you glow the healing starts

proving science doth love the arts.

 

We know the good resides all ‘round,

that humble plots are sacred ground,

that if you focus on the light

you’ll develop . . . → Read More: Poem: If One Could Add the Entirety

Poem: The Difference

malnourished children

The difference ‘tween him and he

appears at first randomly

in mutations rare

results unfair

blessing him with ignorance

cursing he with intelligence.

 

 

If a plan there be

we fail to see

what force of kindness

manufactured blindess

to that which pulses like the breast

of pigeondoves and marmosets.

The one who looks not like you

the blackdykewopniggajew

heshehim your sisterbrother

emerging from a wombless mother

the difference ‘tween us and it

disappears when tightly knit.

Poem: Changeable

cute chamelon

Chameleons are cute

what with their changing colors and all that

adorableness ready-made for advertising campaigns

but when hunting they are less charming

more like their brutish brethren that merely slither

unblinking and expressionless

the toughest poker pedant to take

an oath

Hippocratic or otherwise

you would not find the same cute chameleon quite so cute

in a marketing cute kind of way

if you saw the lizard with a beetle in its mouth

not yet dead but vaguely aware that the insistent crushing pressure upon its abdomen

means among other less important things that this is the end

and please let it come soon and let the pain

this pain

this excruciating pain of jaws pinching into my middle

my guts and viscera starting to ooze

let it end

the three arms that aren’t trapped I flail about

summoning and being forsaken

in . . . → Read More: Poem: Changeable

Poem: Minor Miracles

it's all miraculous

Looking at the sun and hearing the yellowrumped warblers

I realized conclusively today that all of this

Everything is a miracle

All this Life

Please begin enumerating counting to 300 billion and perhaps

When you reach the end of your Time here

On yes this miracle of the galaxy

You will know the truth like birds know the tops of trees

And all the fighting and hurting over nothing made to seem like everything

Will cease and then disappear

When all of us minor miracles that comprise the larger miracle

Realize conclusively that we are One and

What we are is miraculous

Poem: Tubular Tubers

failed magician

Tubular tubers must propagate rumors

of doves in distress emitting foul humors.

Now what would inspire this rank impropriety,

this cunning indictment besmirching society?

 

A rift is the answer, a chasm, a cleft,

a cleaving, a shearing, a conscience bereft

of feeling and thoughts of the popular kind,

the ones that come straight out of sapien’s mind.

 

Potatoes and ginger can’t talk to the birds

despite the conspiracies you might have heard

spread yonder and far by agents of gloom

whose trickiest trick is to make you assume

that magic exists and compassion reigns.

All that we’re asking is please use your brains,

the ones that God gave you to figure stuff out,

to fill in the blanks and erase all the doubt.

 

See what you must and say what you claim,

then slowly repent and demonstrate shame

. . . → Read More: Poem: Tubular Tubers

Poem: How Can it Be?

a perplexed thinker

How can it be

You might wonder in a quiet moment set aside willfully to focus on will,

on what you will do and what you won’t and how it always is what you will it to be – yes,

during one of those appointments with your soul you might wonder

How can it be?

How can it be that I am simultaneously the most irrelevant and most important

creature in the entire galaxy, if not the universe and beyond?

How can it be that the assemblage of energy and chemicals and vibrations that I call Me

is of supreme importance when matters of personal convenience or comfort are at hand, yet

strangely invisible and uncounted when issues of piquantly more comprehensive concern are decided upon?

 

The universe is curved. Time has ended for some of the stars in our telescopes. We go on.

And . . . → Read More: Poem: How Can it Be?