When things are investigated, knowledge is extended. When knowledge is extended, the will becomes sincere. When the will is sincere, the mind is correct. When the mind is correct, the self is cultivated. -- Confucius
Politically correct ideals are garbage: true wisdom comes from decades of deep thought and neutral observation. Only a so-called sociopath could ascertain wisdom from this crazy world in a neutral way. Cool thoughts- uncorrupted by modern politics, social norms, or societal ideals- are required for wisdom. Questioning everything, and going against the grain on all universally accepted norms is the path to true intelligence. The Gods notice this.

12/10/10

The Doors: Enter Profits, Exit Truth

I used to like Oliver Stone. His movie JFK was fascinating, and held true with the two books it was based upon: On the Trail of the Assassins by Jim Garrison (the prosecutor involved) and Crossfire: the Plot that Killed Kennedy by Jim Marrs. It was a movie and stuff had to be left out and summarized, but was still highly accurate. I also liked his movie  The Doors- entertaining with an excellent soundtrack; illustrating a rock icon well. LikED is the key word here.

I tried years ago to read the book about the Doors by their old drummer, but ended up pitching it due to poor writing and an obvious seething towards the singer. It was more of a diatribe than a balanced history. Now recently, I read a newer book about the singer written by Stephen Davis. While his writing style is not my cup of tea, and I see no point in the frequent use of expletives- even when not for quoting- it was still a very thorough and somewhat balanced book. I question the author's orientation though, as his incessant gushing about Jim the Celtic God, the Dionysus, ad nauseum, is just a little overboard. He also makes the point about a hundred times that Morrison was most likely bisexual. A sickening thought that bore mentioning, but needn't have been repeated throughout the book. Having said that, the book was a very thorough biography that was just plain interesting.

After finishing it, I was truly disturbed about how Jim died. The conspiracies were well debunked, and the awful truth was laid out. In a nutshell, Jim died from bleeding out through his nose and mouth. (The oft-repeated statement that he died of heart failure is true I suppose, since your heart will fail if you bleed to death.) Why he died in a tub, and why no one called an ambulance for him even though he was obviously about to die all the day before, are matters I will not re-explain here. In the end it is sickening that any human would be treated that way, and the actions of his so-called girlfriend after his death speak volumes about her. The fact that he had no grave marker whatsoever for fifteen years also indicates his value to his heirs.

Another aftereffect of the book was that I realized the movie was just so wrong in so many places. I considered discarding my formerly favorite flick. It wasn't right. I finally watched it once more, taking notes this time. I couldn't resist writing in a few memorable quotes, ostensibly from Jim's old poems. I also noted twenty egregious errors in the movie. Much more than time compressions or character embellishments, these were items that were just plain wrong. Mr. Stone got carried away, away from the truth. (want the list? email me; i don't care to add it here.)

Perhaps the reason for all the errors are the two main people he seemed to consult to make the movie: the old drummer, who hated Jim; and, an obsessed fan who has been established as an attention craving liar. He credits the drummer's book at the end, and even gave a bit part to the crazed fan, while writing in all her fantastic claims (which she has no evidence of, and everyone who knew Jim disputes vehemently). So the movie is more or less this woman's fantasy realized: her fable was made into a major movie. In her own book, she admits her entire tale may have been a hallucination. Stone missed that line it seems...if he read her book at all. So the movie became a vehicle for her imagined claims.

I also have issue with two things in the film. One was an omission. Jim was beaten by cops on six occasions, and threatened by other cops numerous times. He was also framed twice and there was evidence the feds planned to have him killed. So omitting all this was careless, especially since the New Haven concert was portrayed in the movie. He was arrested onstage in the middle of this concert for telling the crowd about the cop who maced him backstage for no reason. Then the cops drug him outside and beat him very badly and severely, while a Time photographer took photos. It was on the cover of Time in 1968. But Stone chose to completely omit this beating or any implication the cops did anything but arrest him politely. This omission was just not right.

The other issue I have is with the next to last scene where Jim died. The movie makes it appear that he passed peacefully while bathing, and Pam found him the next morning. It is a fact that Pam's parents- the right-holders to the music- told Stone they wouldn't allow any music or words of Jim's to be used in the movie unless he agreed not to implicate their daughter in any way in Jim's death. In this case, Stone should have just dropped the death scene and skipped to the cemetery scene, showing his grave. Pooh-poohing his death is disgraceful and beyond inaccurate. Please do not buy this movie.

I went ahead and threw away the movie I had wasted $5. on years ago.

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If you want the music, poetry, or books, only buy the bare minimum- the 'best of' and rehashes are repeated tracks/poems for more profits to the wrong people. I also suggest obtaining just one of each, preferably used and not new- to avoid more undue profiteering. Here is a list of all original Doors and Morrison materials available:

They only made six albums:
The Doors -1967
Strange Days -1967
Waiting For the Sun -1968
Soft Parade -1969
Morrison Hotel -1970
L.A. Woman -1971
(also random bootleg live recordings from 05/65 to 12/12/70. between the live and compilation stuff, there are nearly a hundred Doors albums out there now!)
[avoid the numerous compilation albums and one shit piece, 'an american prayer' which is Jim reciting poems with jazz music overdubbing: garbage]

His poems can be bought in three books:
The Lords and the New Creatures -1988?
Wilderness: the Lost Writings of Jim Morrison -1989
The American Night -1990 [not to be confused with 'an american prayer'] 

There are also three good videos made by/about the Doors:
Dance on Fire -1985
Feast of Friends
When You're Strange


A very few books about him are remotely accurate. Try these:
Jim Morrison- Life-Death-Legend -by Stephen Davis
The Doors on the Road -by Greg Shaw and David Dalton
A Feast of Friends -by Frank Lisciandro


The band made two more albums after he died, as a trio without Jim. Then later two of the original Doors- less the drummer- made a new band called "The Doors of the 21st Century" with the Cult's old singer and a new drummer. This band was basically sued out of existence by their former drummer. Don't buy their works either.

Everything else is a rehashed collection or is unpublished and in private ownership by his former friends and collectors. If I left anything out, let me know.

Buy selectively; buy used. Hail the poetic Lizard King.


(c)  james platt

12/6/10

Feds Ruin TV once and for All

The last six and a half years have been interesting. Without television, I didn't realize what I had been missing. When my now ex-wife and I broke up, I did not bother to try and receive tv stations again- nor did I ever make it a priority to try and afford cable or satellite. I not only favored the idea of saving money, I simply was content to enjoy music, reading, exploring rivers and lakes, and of course   dating whenever possible. I got on the internet frequently as well. Looking up bigfoot sightings and reading archaeological treatises were much more interesting than any tv I had ever watched.

Unfortunately, I grew up watching it, wasting a large part of my youth fixed to the tube. My whole family did; it was our entertainment/family time. I also watched it along with the now-ex. When younger, I used to love shows like Project Blue Book, Dragnet, Combat!, old Star Trek, Twilight Zone, Outer Limits, Night Heat, and Incredible Hulk. In later years, I liked watching the new Outer Limits, Star Trek TNG, Passions (i hate soaps, but this one is hilarious), and Frontline. Also of interest were two sports: women's college volleyball and professional cheerleading. When I got my own place though, I just figured I had better ways to spend my time than obsess over tv shows. My gf's accepted it with little qualms.

But now, someone has given us an extra, brand new unopened digital converter box. After hooking it up and receiving a dismal one channel from it, I attached a rabbit ear set to it. (This was a challenge, as it seems that no store sells 300-75 ohm adapters anymore. I had to find a 75-300 ohm adapter at a thrift store and hook it up backwards. Now we get three channels).

The first thing I noticed was the amazing volume of advertisements. How can people stand to watch a show for five minutes, then wait through a few minutes of ridiculous ads, then five of the show, and so on- for a half an hour? Watching one or two hour shows like this is unimaginable to me. Cutting in every few minutes is such a plot ruiner and action slower. Do people get up and wander their homes when these ads come on, every five minutes or so, or do they actually sit there and watch them all? Either sounds tortuous to me.

I also took note of the mundanity of the programming. Same old themes- different titles: Sitcoms. Doctor shows. Lawyer shows. Cop shows. Talent shows. Ad nauseum... One talent show said that Vince Neil was going to be on it, so I waited through all the ads and buildup for nearly an hour. It was the least I could do since he gave me such great masterpieces as Looks That Kill, Knock 'em Dead Kid, Home Sweet Home, Kickstart my Heart, and of course Shout at the Devil. He finally arrived in a rink with his partner- a "professional ice dancer", who looked more like a professional lap dancer to me (that is not a complaint, by the way).

I was shocked to see he had gained a lot of weight and looked like some retired rock star. I guess he is, probably pushing 55 by now. Then I was mortified to see this icon of rebellion looking nervous, not to mention simply not knowing how to skate. It was pitiful, and I felt sorry for him. He probably did not need the money from the appearance, and I am willing to bet he will think twice before excursing on any more talent shows. So far I was not enthralled with tv, as my mom had anticipated.

A few days later, while flipping through the three channel cornucopia, there was 20/20. I used to watch that weekly when I was a teen. It was one of the better news shows, usually. So we stopped the surf and watched it. There was an outrageous report going that sickened me. Why do people watch news shows? Maybe so they can learn disturbing things like this:
A lady's toddler drowns in a backyard pool. The prosecutor takes away her other kid- a six year old boy- and got him to say the mom drowned his sister. By trial, the kid changed his story 13 times on the stand and couldn't even recognize his mom sitting in the room. Before conviction, he was already taken away by the state and adopted to new parents permanently. Before conviction. In the end she was convicted based upon her son's ever-changing tale. Life with no parole for her.

News shows are such a joy to watch.

The thing that really got me though about modern tv, was the digitizing of it. When the govt. forced digitalization of it a while back, I read all about it on the net. It was bemoaned by many as a mega-colossal waste of money: up to 10.6 billion bucks!. Why would the feds blow all that money to make us have digital tv? It better be good, I thought. It is not. At all. In the old days- back when I used to watch it- if the signal was weak or a plane flew over, there was a thunderstorm, whatever- the picture got a little fuzzy. It was still watchable. Now, whenever the signal gets low at all, it simply cuts out. The picture stops or goes away completely. It sucks. This is what the feds spent billions on- so we could all put up with our shows cutting out every whipstitch?

A much better way to spend that money would have been to leave tv alone, and then fund the distribution of wireless internet receivers to every home in the country. If everyone had free internet access, then they would have been much happier than just getting shitty tv reception for the same price. Of course this is the federal gov we are talking about here. Even though tv makes the populace stupid and internet can make them smarter, I am sure this factor is a mere side effect. The feds simply acted stupidly and wasted money, like they always do. One cannot help but wonder what boondoggle waits around the next corner of the unfolding economic collapse. Perhaps all tv's with glass screens will be replaced with LCD and plasma units, at govt. expense.

In the meantime, I plan to read in another room when someone else turns a tv on.


(c)  james platt