Tuesday, September 27, 2005

The Oliy Grave

President Calls for Less Driving to Conserve Gas - New York Times

This link is for today's headliner at New York Times. In the gas-guzzling economy of the USA who would ever predicted that it;s president would be forced to ask its people to conserve their petrol? Especially a president whose whole policy and self-interest is dictated by commercial oil industries. I guess it just proves that Mother Nature can humble her most ardent opponents.

I've been watching a recording of last night's much-hyped Dylan film by Scorcese. It's received a lot of flack in some quarters and clearly avoids material and subjects which Dylan's management have not approved. Still, I find it an intruiging record of the times which initially created and later surrounded him. It is less about the man himself and a chronicle of the era.

The music aside, Dylan was essentially a poet. Most fascinating is a clip of Allen Ginsberg bemoaning the fact that the baton of the art had passed to a new generation. By strange co-incidence, Sunday in London also saw a "Poetry Olympics" (Pot) event at the Royal Albert Hall to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the now immortalised event featuring Ginsberg and others.

Maybe I'm jaded, but it seems the old-timers stole the show and could equally have stood under a banner saying "No Direction Home". Most of the newer poets could more aptly have gathered under a banner saying "No Direction To Go". Highlights were Adian Mitchell, Micheal Horowitz (the organiser) and a fascinating unique finale featuring Jerry Hall and Pete Townsend.

With spoken word on the mind, I took time off yesterday to listen to a couple of recordings which had been waiting for the right mood. These were also by a couple of old timers - former "yippie" Paul Krassner and former "Oz" editor Felix Dennis. Both had their moments, but were by and large disappointing. So it seems not all the old-timers have that much to say these days.


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