From Where Do It Come

I’ve always been interested in appropriation. I have this idea that as an author - authority - I am endorsed to create my own version. It’s strange though when you realise where ideas are formed.

Just performed a next-level mishmash. I thought that 21 Grams was a novel written by Jonathan Carroll (and it had a different title and that’s why I can’t find it).

I also thought he wrote Babel, a book about a museum with a talking dog. These are both movies by screenwriter Guillermo Arriaga. Jonathan Carroll wrote Outside the Dog Museum, which is a book a about a museum with a talking dog. I even remember where I read it: in a tent at Splashy Fen in 1995 (yes, I was 15 at a weekend-away music festival, and I was reading in a tent haha).

I am so sure I read it .. (in a tent, at Splashy Fen, in 1995) and now I find out that it was a scriptwriter’s script and the movie was in 2003. But .. Carroll wrote Outside the Dog Museum. And this is why I can’t find 21 Grams the book. And Babel was written by Guillermo Arriaga…. (He also wrote Amores Perros).

And in all this

Embarrassingly the structure and concept - accident, heart transplant, haunting, guilt - is the same as my .. debut novel Emily Green and Me (which I did not realise) because I thought I never watched 21 Grams (or Babel because I thought I read the book) ….

This here IS A FASCINATING READ- Guillermo Arriaga takes his kids to set to see violence (read the article to find out why), and this is the conversation he has with this daughter:

“Why are they making such a horrible film?”

“My love,” I answered, “I wrote this film.”

“Why did you write that?”

“Because that’s what I have inside my heart.”

She stared at me for a while. “What a horrible heart you must have,” she said.

21 Grams Trailer

Meanders & Musics

Genetically, we’re predisposed to do the same things. Problem is, it’s really difficult to be self-aware enough to truly see this. We operate under inside a veil of our own selves. That’s why relationships - and good relationships - are so important. And I think rare to find. The other person can see you. I think sometimes as a fiction writer, it’s really fucking difficult to see yourself and what you do wrong or say or even what you do right, because the construed reality is so easy to .. pretend on.

For work at the moment (this is not a segue, this is a subject change), I am listening to musicians to find someone to score 23 minutes of footage. Tough work, but someone MUST do it and it is I. :) Oh! And I made burride this weekend. I think it was good, though I am not sure. But it was fun to make and a fun dinner.

This is a bunny. I reckon this bunny bites.

This one below
protector bunny.

Music, I am rebuilding my iTunes (new computer). First three albums I put on: Pink Floyd Dark Side of the Moon, Pixies Surfer Rosa and Nicolas Jaar. Here is a Nicolas Jaar collaboration.

The singer is Scout Larue, whose surname is Willis, which makes her Demi and Bruce’s kid. (Demi Moore is probably a terrifying mother. She also strikes me as needy - but how do we possibly know anything about people we don’t know?)

She got the Willis chin it seems.


What are these children doing?

Follow the trail

This a documentary:

Called Streetwise.

The intro is incredible. It seems Willie Nelson was involved: maybe this has something to do with how the edit and music are so finely tuned. The overall beauty is in its time frame. The demeanour of the kids is fascinating - we (me, South African) saw America through a movie filter. But the affected posture and the tone of the kids’ voices is not affected. It just seems so to me. Near the beginning, there is a shot of a kid on rollerskates in the abandoned hotel they live in - it’s perfect. It’s also real *, not an articulated metaphor, i.e. it’s not even a metaphor. This is 1983. Do you think Kids pulls from it? I think so. Also, Larry Clark. So gross.

(*) obviously nothing filmed is real, but for this very moment let’s skip that part and say that this is a documentation of something that is (present tense) happening.

The person behind the documentary is Mary Ellen Mark. Do you know who Mary Ellen Mark is? Yeah you do. She took this photo :)

Amanda and her cousin Amy, Valdese, North Carolina, 1990”

Maybe my algorithms are turned on again? Or one of the social media companies bought another one of each other? My FB feed suggested the Streetwise doccie. Isn’t it sad that coincidences are now … logical codes organised and written by someone, as in a person. No divine intervention. Also, no more ‘missed connections’ as a narrative device, but that’s for another conversation.

Anyway, last week I was on an internet trail that went deep into what is known as street photography. Mary Ellen Mark and Diane Arbus were contemporaries. Diane Arbus is (was) the mother of Amy Arbus. Diane took pictures of marginalised people: freaks, look up ‘giant’, circus peoples, the twins below. This picture is smart because we ask ‘are the kids .. something is wrong’? Why do we feel odd when we look at them. (Later, they were the reference for The Shining twins).

Amy was a street photographer who worked for the Village Voice. Madonna etc. A part of New York that LCD Soundsystem lament the passing of.


And The Clash.

Her strength is in the ‘normal’ people (Go-Google). But I’ve included these because:

I found this all curious because of Vinyl (the TV show). I truly wish they wouldn’t do the Requiem tracking-drug-shots - but the back stories that Mick is providing are spot on and really interesting. (Also his son is SO hot.) Do you know that in the pilot (Scorsese’s two hour intro …) the collapse of the night club happened. It’s been criticised for being too ham-fisted, i.e. too conceptually obvious (unfortunately by my very favourite Emily Nussbaum - one mistake in all these years is fine;) , but it’s a legit thing that happened. Which brings us back to the first point: documenting real events is stranger - always - than fiction. The curious creation of fiction - I think - is just a way to organise real life into a narrative that you generally can’t experience inside the actual living of the story.

I haven’t finished my street photography worm trail, but I will next time…. 1908. Ladies posing on the streets of Naw Yark.

Adieu. Stay safe.

Sticky winds & seagulls

I actually like the hadeda. At my apartment in Joburg, a vast lawn, giant trees, flower beds, organic veggie garden, space for kids to play cricket and a resident batch of hadedas. They would leave for ‘work’ at 6 am. Home in the tree at sunset. I’d see them on the light poles, one road up, or outside Constitution Hill, a few roads back. Joburg birds: hustling for a Parktown prawn, out working hard all day, must sleep at night.

Here. Cape Town. Seagulls. Thousands. We live in a leeetle Victorian cottage. They live on the roof of a block of flats parallel. I cannot see the seagulls, but they are the loudest birds in the world ever. They don’t shut up. And it’s discordant. Unharmonious*. And also, they don’t go to work. Sometimes they flit down the road to visit the beach, eat an ice cream, then they come right back to the roof….

  • how lovely that this word is difficult to say, onomatopoeia vibes.

In other news, work. Not easy to come by in CT. Luckily, Jhb still wants me - flies me in for pitches (see how I conflated the entire ad industry there). Want to work here though. So must readjust expectations? I guess, yes, must. Still, after many years of many advertising, my favourite is still above the line.

Am writing various proposals - different applications, diff novel pitches. Anna Peters (2) is en route, hopefully the recipe book comes together as well. Book has been doing well :) good feeling.

MS for Lupus Love Story - SIX YEARS IN NOW. Finally coming together. Definitely I think that writing novels is mostly a personal pursuit. By this I don’t mean .. not for an audience (fuck that, of course it’s for someone) but that if it never gets read, I would still write it BECAUSE I WANT TO.

And so to my birthday. Beware the Ides of March. Nuf said. Tho, nothing bad will happen. haha. It’s a good year. Change started this time last year so that by this time this year I would not be in my giant flat in the Joburg urban jungle of thick dense trees (god I do miss living in a city tree canpoy :( tho) but rather here complaining about the messy cawing of 1000s of seagulls. Who, incidentally, have just gone quiet.

Nope. They’re at it again ;)

Think I will walk down the road and go and get my own ice cream.

The Leftovers

Love seeing how adaptations work out.

Season One of The Leftovers is absolutely fantastic. The Leftovers is a book written by Tom Perrotta. Here is Stephen King’s review.

In the show, they change a few things. In some ways, it’s successful. But, Season Two I suspect is too far south. Not as good - losing nuances, going too heavy on the screen format.

Very importantly, Max Richter does the score. Richter has just released a teaser for his new album ‘Sleep’. Teaser as in a very relaxing lullaby.


Here is the refrain from The Leftovers.

And below a variation (because, this is part of finding adaptations interesting). This version is fuller, more like eating a cake haha.

Perrotta also wrote a short story: Little Children.

Yes, also a very very good movie.

This trailer is way too dramatic - the tension in the film comes from very slow tracking, the sense of heat laying over a public swimming pool, and the claustrophobia of dense suburbia wrapped in trees.

In other news: I will never underestimate Jennifer Aniston (Arniston?) again. That’s two of the hottest men in the cinematic world.

Well done Jen Jen.