April 19, 2004

50 Ways to Love Your Country

To steal a line from Aimee: I love my country, I just think we should see other people. She and I went to Cody's Wednesday night to observe MoveOn.org's standing-room-only discussion of their new book, MoveOn's 50 Ways to Love Your Country: How to Find Your Political Voice and Become a Catalyst for Change. MoveOn co-founder Joan Blades introduced half a dozen authors who took turns reading their essays from the book, and action items included things like starting a political book club and smart petitioning. The question and answer session that followed contained its fair share of grandstanding and contention, perhaps just to prove MoveOn wasn't entirely preaching to the converted, even in the middle of Berkeley. Especially in the middle of Berkeley.

DVD #1 this week was Seijun Suzuki's Tokyo Drifter, guaranteed 214% more comprehensible than the film he made the following year, Branded to Kill, though I love both films equally. Stylishly violent and featuring a lead who can really rock a powder-blue suit, Tokyo Drifter is a yakuza film that follows no rules but its own, a B-movie that transcends the genre. And ladies, don't fall in love with a drifter—he'll break your heart. I learned that from the movie.

DVD #2 was Mozart's opera The Magic Flute as filmed by Ingmar Bergman in 1975 for Swedish television. Josef Köstlinger sings Tamino, the fairy tale prince who sets off on a quest to find Pamina, the Queen of the Night's beautiful daughter, Pamina of course being a princess needing rescuing and of course destined to be his one true love. Mozart's music is pure pleasure to me, and Bergman ensures that each note flows effortlessly throughout the entire performance.

Nice Collective is currently my favorite local designer, as they make clothes that manage to be highly inventive, comfortable, and sexy all at once. They had their annual sample sale Sunday afternoon at SomArts, and I convinced Patrick to come with me by promising him vast riches. It's hard for me not to go a little crazy when confronted with rack after rack of highly desirable (and discounted) clothing, but I hauled an armload into the communal dressing room and tried to keep my wits about me. In the end finance helped to dictate my selections. A simple black ribbed tank with a slash of gold paint down one side. A sheer silk asymmetrical sleeveless top in army green, loosely fastened with visible hooks and eyes. A sleek silver-grey skirt with a contrasting frayed underhem, dangling straps on either side of the waist, and diagonal kickpleats at the back of my knees. Fashion makes me giddy.

Later that evening I made my way out to the cozy Bazaar Cafe to catch sets by Dandeline and Val Esway of Ramona the Pest and Loretta Lynch fame. I discreetly munched a grilled cheese and tomato sandwich while I listened happily and hummed along to the Dandeline songs I knew. I'd never heard Val perform live before and she knocked my socks off, especially when she played a few tunes with some of her Loretta Lynch compatriots. I felt lucky to be there.


Cody's Books
Tokyo Drifter
The Magic Flute
Nice Collective

Posted by nightfall at April 19, 2004 09:59 PM