L. K.Lapinski

She’s Had a Pretty Good Nocturnal Run

At Dunkin’ Donuts
She said matter-of-factly

“I haven’t had a nightmare
In 17 years”

She’s 22

Share the Wealth with Laura Katherine Lapinski:
The Films of Wes Anderson

Laura Lapinski, a graduate student in psychology at SIUE, is doing her Share the Wealth on film director Wes Anderson this Saturday. For those interested in joining us, here’s some background from Laura…

Wes Anderson is an American film writer and director. I find him truly unique and remarkable. His individual style is exclusive for a few reasons. One main difference is the cinematography style Anderson uses. To move from scene to scene, he transitions by actually moving the camera directly into the next scene. Its a simple thing yet so original. Wes Anderson movies are aggressively quirky. This is my one of my favorite things about them. The aesthetic involved in each film is similar and unmistakable. The films somehow give off a vintage and modern vibe at the same time.

To me the absolute best thing about Wes Andersons films are the characters. All of the protagonists and most of the supporting characters in any given Wes film are a work of genius. Every one being a specifically strange yet endearing person. These characters are so special and you can’t help but wish they were real and you could track them down. I have been asked many times how to categorize a Wes Anderson film and the truth is I can’t. They are simply in a caliber all their own. In my book, each film could fall into at least two or more genres. Below I have included some suggestions with examples of themes for perusing. You could choose to check one or multiple out before October although I highly recommend watching them all at some point in your life.

Join us
Saturday 7 October
Potluck dinner begins at 6:00 p.m.
Laura begins sharing at 6:45
At the home of Fatima
Richmond Heights

Laura’s Recommendations
Moonrise Kingdom: Easily his most romantic film, yet in a very nontraditional way. Young lovers. (romance, comedy, drama) Absolutely wonderful 10/10

Fantastic Mr. Fox: His adaptation of the famous Ronald Dahl book. Uses stop-motion animation with George Clooney and Meryl Streep holding down title roles. (a comedy, romance) Just amazing 10/10

The Grand Budapest Hotel: My all time favorite. Might be his funniest film and involves a plethora of shenanigans. Lead character is one of the best ever created. (comedy mainly) Truly Grand 10/10

Rushmore: His first main film. About a 15 year old boy at a private school. Absolutely hilarious and Max Fisher (the student) should go down in history. (comedy mainly) Beautiful 10/10

Royal Tennenbaums/ The Darjeeling Limited: These two films are family dysfunction at its finest. Darjeeling is his darkest film involving some heavier than usual topics but in a beautiful way. (drama, comedy) 10/10

The Life Aquatic: Wes’ own version of Jacque Cousteau. Follows an ocean researcher on his quest of revenge against a beast of the sea. Wonderful 10/10

War Isn’t Over

Dear Laura

Last night I was reading Frances Fitzgerald’s Fire in the Lake:
The Vietnamese and the Americans in Vietnam

This afternoon I listened to a playlist I made
Of songs from the Vietnam War era

(Or, as the Vietnamese call it
The American War)

One of the songs I first heard in 1975
John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)”

I decided to see if there were any YouTubes of this song
Sure enough they’re are

Like this one
Which makes me think of your aspirations

To be trained in psychology
So as to be able to help those who’ve been traumatized

Which makes me think too of Thich Nhat Hanh’s teaching
Which you’ve seen in both my books:

“Do not avoid contact with suffering
or close your eyes before suffering…”

Thanks for accompanying me in 2016
And sharing almost 100 blog posts without missing a day

Sempre la Curiosità

When you honor the ordinary by your photographs
When you circulate your current motifs
When you take a prophetic stand
Sic crescit gloria mundi

Arousing Enthusiasm: Allen the Talker

for Laura Lapinski,
who makes me laugh while lunching at Medina Grill,
walking around the CWE, and hanging out in Left Bank Books

There’s 15 to 20 Allen Ginsberg poems I’ve loved, and shared with friends over the years. Examples: Cosmopolitan Greetings, War Profit Litany, Yiddishe Kopf, Yes and It’s Hopeless. Sure, I acknowledge that Ginsberg’s poetic influence has been world-wide, and I do reread Howl from time to time. But I esteem him even more for being a talker! This is principally because of one book, Spontaneous Mind: Selected Interviews 1958-1996. What follows are some excerpts which have informed, encouraged, challenged, and delighted me.

On Cuba: The Marxist-oriented people said ‘Oh, you shouldn’t be complaining – look at the advances the revolution has made.’ This was true and I said, yes there have been certain advances here, and I’m on your side and that’s why I’m complaining – don’t fuck up your revolution. 535

People are beginning to see, like household, as a tea ceremony. People begin to do kitchen yoga when they’re washing dishes. People begin to sacramentalizing all relationships, because the purpose of art is to sacramentalize life, I think. That’s a reasonable statement that I heard Swami Bhaktivedanta say recently. He said he thought the purpose of art was to bless and make sacred everything, so that people could see it that way. That is, to reveal the feeling in things, so they become more of a ball. 75

An artist by very definition means penetrating into the heart of the universe, i.e., your own heart, going beyond depression or exuberance. 446

[Since the 60s ] [t]here is a permanent change in civilized consciousness so that it includes the notion of one world, fresh planet, the awareness of the fragility of the planet as an ecological unity, the absorption of psychedelic styles in dress and music into the body politic, the sexual liberation movement, the black liberation movement, the women’s liberation movement, all of those slight, affirmative, permanent alterations in all lifestyles. 462

On meditation: you’re aware of your thoughts and you just observe them: acknowledging them, taking a friendly attitude toward them, not participating, just letting them go by. That tends to lead to a kind of equanimity or peacefulness and, at the same time, some sense of observation of the situation around you in a kind of nonjudgmental peacefulness. 482

[Kerouac] also said that psychedelics were creating a race of cretins who couldn’t sign checks or add up their own checkbooks, which was a witty remark and made sense, which, now, everybody also agrees with. 542

[Whitman] said that unless there were an infusion of feeling, of tenderness, of fearlessness, of spirituality, of natural sexuality, of natural delight in each other’s bodies into the hardened materialistic, cynical, life denying, clearly competitive, afraid, scared, armored bodies, there would be no chance for spiritual democracy to take root in America and he defined that tenderness between the citizens as, in his words, an Adhesiveness, a natural tenderness flowing between all citizens, not only men and women but also a tenderness between men and men, as part of our democratic heritage, part of the adhesiveness which would make democracy function; that men could work together not as competitive beasts but as tender lovers and fellows. 242

It’s impossible for French Parisian kids or New York kids to conceive of a blueprint for a new society if they don’t even know where water comes from, if they’ve never seen a tomato grow, if they’ve never milked a cow, if they don’t know how to dispose of their shit, how can they possibly program a human future? It would be all abstract in their heads, like a mathematical equation, and would produce monstrosity. 300

The thing is to get under the students’ skin and arouse enough enthusiasm that they get under their own skin. This means allowing yourself to be yourself in class. My own best teachers were WC Williams, William Burroughs, Gary Snyder, Gregory Corso, and Jack Kerouac. I learned by hanging around with them, from watching their reaction to cars going down the street or a story in the newspaper or TV or a movie image or a sunset or moon eclipse; when you see the intelligence of somebody reacting to the phenomenal world, you learn by imitation. You see beauty and you want to share it. … My best learning was just being myself with them and they giving me permission to be myself and then discovering myself with them – how funny I was. So you’ve got to encourage the student to discover himself and how funny he is and the only way you can do that is by letting yourself be yourself in class which means not teaching, but being there with the students and goofing off with them. The best teaching is done inadvertently. 422

So I try to write during those ‘naked moments’ of epiphany the illumination that comes every day a little bit. Some moment every day, in the bathroom, in bed, in the middle of sex, in the middle of walking down the street, in my head, or not at all. So if it doesn’t come at all, that’s the illumination . . . . So I try to pay attention all the time. The writing itself, the sacred act of writing, when you do anything of this nature, is like prayer. The act of writing being done sacramentally, if pursued over a few minutes, becomes like a meditation experience, which brings on a recall of detailed consciousness that is an approximation of high consciousness. High epiphanous mind. So, in other words, writing is a yoga that invokes Lord mind. And if you get into a writing thing that will take you all day, you get deeper and deeper into your own central consciousness. 258

On being interviewed: If you talk to people as if they were future Buddhas, or present Buddhas, then any bad karma coming out of it will be their problem rather than yours, so you can say anything you want, and you talk on about the highest level possible. 376

I mean, I always had Kerouac in mind when I got on a peace march and I always made sure it was like really straight, pure, surrealist, lamblike, nonviolent, magical, mantric, spiritual politics rather than just marching up and down the street screaming hatred at the president. 288

If you take someone’s photo, more or less close-up, always include the hands. 525

When asked for advice: Look in heart; check out your visions with your friends; be bold and careful at the same time; Mind includes both sides of any argument; balance body, feelings, reason and imagination: ALL 4 working together to make the whole wo/man; read William Blake & Dostoyevsky; listen to old Blues (Leadbelly Ma Rainey & Skip James); learn classical Buddhist-style meditation practice; try everything; “If you see something Horrible, don’t cling to it,” sez Tibetan Lama Dudjon Rinpoche. See Charlie Chaplin Marx Brothers & WC Fields. Read PLATO’s Symposium. Tell your friends everything. Give away all your secrets. “Be wise as serpents and gentles as doves.” Feed everybody. Remember life includes suffering complete change and no ultimate personal identity, neither permanent Self or permanent God. Cheerful! Help everyone! 442

This page is part of my book, Dear Love of Comrades, which you can read here.

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