Sunday, February 24, 2008

Women and Women First, Aimee Mann, Michael Mann

With apologies to my dear neighborhood feminist bookstore (which I truly love even though they don't stock a lot of what I want to read), check out this short video. Sort of like SNL if they knew enough about the counterculture to spoof it.

Also, the Joni vid that got yanked from YouTube emerges elsewhere. Ah, online video sharing, that hydra-headed foe of the corporate establishment.

Here's a video that won't be yanked because it was put up by the artist herself. She wants to promote her work. (What a concept.) Aimee Mann made 3 short films for the traveling oddball Christmas show which I caught at the Vic in Chicago this year. These films are surprisingly good (and funny), though I guess that should be too surprising given the talented filmmakers that L.A.-based Mann pals around with.

I had a weird moment the other day at lunch. Some guy with a camera and a cellphone came into the store where I was reading and was conducting a call with some filmmakers apparently planning on making a film here in Chicago. Didn't figure out who that was, but he did make reference to the production of Michael Mann's Public Enemies, a Dillinger biopic starring Oscar noms Johnny Depp and Marion Cotillard among other big names to begin shooting here and in Wisconsion in mid-March. Keep those eyes peeled.

Speaking of bookstores, an indie that once gave a struggling young Michael Chabon a job is closing.

Terry Teachout reminds us of that dread disease "Importantitis, Enemy of Art." In a brief meditation on Bernstein and others, he formulates a "First Law of Artistic Dynamics: 'The best way to make a bad work of art is to try to make a great one.'" Seems a timely sermon for Oscar Sunday.

I'm not a pet owner, and this is outside my usual beat, but I was moved by book critic Jonathan Yardley's essay about having to put down a pet:
Our laws permit us to do unto our household animals what we are not permitted to do unto ourselves: take them out of their misery, let them die speedily when they are ready to die -- and grant them, in the words of the most beautiful prayer that I know, "a safe lodging, and a holy rest, and peace at the last." So while Reggie snuggled his head into the crook of my elbow, the veterinarian administered the final dose, and, after three deep sighs, Reggie breathed his last.

Of course it wasn't easy. It's never easy. I've now done it seven times: I've been Lord High Executioner to five dogs and two cats. I did it each time with the deepest regrets and, inevitably, with tears.


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