Viewing: The Desert - View All Posts

PARTY GAMES 



When desert temperatures climb well into the triple digits, Dr. D recommends staying indoors, cranking up the air conditioner, and inventing your own party games for both people and pets.

Following are the names of some of the summertime activities we enjoy here at the Maricopa Cabana:

Boo Ball
Feline Conga Line
Chandler's Got Talent
Scooby Snack Stash House (aka Omar's Coming)
Controlled Demolition
Gilbert Girls Gone Wild
Sparkle Motion
Somnial Pursuit (aka Sassy Tag)
Bobbing for Validation
Carpe DM
False Flag Football
What-What?
Manifest Destiny's Child
Kitty Cat Casting Couch
Rock' Em Sock 'Em Lolcats
Fox in the Hen House
Absinthe Pong
Hide & Critique
Circus Cats
Tent City Tryouts
Mister Plow
Twenty Accusations
Rationalization Roulette
Shadow Assimilation Showdown
Cyberotica Charades
Scrabulous Glossolalia
Sad Libs
Six Degrees of Kenny Dorham
Bi-Polar Express (aka Charlie Sheen Trampoline)
Big Game Hunter
Sagebrush Rebellion (aka Razing Arizona)
Bebop Mall Cops (aka Jazz Judge & Jury)
Redneck Rehab (aka Hillbilly Homeschool)
Selective Abstraction
Confirmation Bias Bingo
Antisocial Media Mogul
Medicine Cabinet Scavenger Hunt
Pin the Blame on the Wealthy

DESERT LIVING 


“I would not sacrifice a single living mesquite tree for any book ever written. One square mile of living desert is worth a hundred 'great books' -
and one brave deed is worth a thousand.”
—Edward Abbey

"Polish comes from the cities; wisdom from the desert."
—William Gibson

"Welcome to the desert of the real."
—Morpheus

THERE'S NO PLACE 


"I don't have any great love for Chicago.
What the hell, a childhood around Douglas Park isn't very memorable.
I left Chicago a long time ago."
—Benny Goodman

"The desert is so pretty, especially at sunset.
And the Mexican food over there is outstanding, you know.
But we wanted to play jazz, so...."
—Art Farmer

"Man, they gave me a key to the city!
Can you imagine, going back to Indiana and getting the key to the city?
That made me feel pretty good."
—Freddie Hubbard

THIS LITTLE LIGHT OF MINE 


On this day in 1885, the Statue of Liberty arrived in the New York Harbor, a gift from the people of France, designed by Frederic Auguste Bartholdi.

The statue became a symbol of hope, welcoming immigrants to the USA.

On her pedestal is inscribed "The New Colossus" by American poet Emma Lazarus:

Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me.
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.


It's interesting to contemplate this sonnet today.

Here in Anglozona, where I make my home, immigration remains a divisive and hotly debated issue as we approach the centennial of our statehood.

The word "immigrant" carries a strong negative connotation around these parts. Apparently, we palefaces forget that we are the aliens. Our claim to this territory is quite recent, and dubious at best.

I don't know the Tohono O'odham or Apache name for the white man's arrival, but I don't believe we were "greeted as liberators."

I do know that the shameless land-grabs of northern Mexico, which our history books disguise with convenient euphemisms (treaty, purchase, Manifest Destiny), are referred to in Mexican texts as The North American Invasion.

Nevertheless, it's 2011, and here we are.

And there stands Lady Liberty, lifting her lamp, welcoming immigrants.

I'm celebrating her anniversary by seeing the movie Green Lantern, which opens today.

It seems fitting.

My favorite comic book from childhood, Green Lantern is an inspirational superhero space opera.

It tells the story of myriad aliens, coming together in teamwork and harmony, heroically using their creative imaginations, strength of will and light to overcome the evil, destructive power of fear.

HAPPY EARTH DAY 



In celebration of EARTH DAY I've posted 3 beautiful videos by the talented Norwegian landscape photographer Terje Sørgjerd.

THE MOUNTAIN features Sørgjerd's stunningly beautiful time lapse photos of the Milky Way, captured earlier this month atop El Teide, the highest mountainpeak in Spain.

Set to music by Italian pianist and composer Ludovico Einaudi ("Nuvole Bianche" from his album Una Mattina), the video offers a view of our earth and heavens like none I've ever seen.

THE AURORA pairs Sørgjerd's images of a brilliant Aurora Borealis display over a national park in Norway with ethereal film music by Lisa Gerrard and Hans Zimmer ("Now We Are Free" from their collaboration on Gladiator).

Gerrard's otherworldly voice, as she sings to God in her invented language, seems to me the perfect sonic complement to the mysterious aurora.

THE MARKET juxtaposes video of the Maeklong and Damnoen Saduak markets in Thailand with Katie Noonan's cover of the Gnarls Barkley hit "Crazy."

I remember the floating markets from my travels in Thailand and Cambodia. It's intriguing to see one of them again through the eyes of a visual artist, especially when accompanied by music with such a fascinating provenance:
  • The piece began as "Nel Cimitero di Tucson," an Italian movie theme created by the Reverberi brothers for a 1968 Spaghetti Western.
  • Half a century later, Gnarls Barkley (the American duo of Danger Mouse and Cee Lo Green) reinvents the piece, adding lyrics and a new hook.
  • Their single "Crazy" becomes a spectacular international hit, spawning over 30,000 downloads in the United Kingdom, placement in popular films, and dozens of other versions by artists all over the world.
  • Australian singer Katie Noonan puts her own spin on the song, and this recording is the version selected by the intrepid photographer from Norway to underscore his colorful footage from Thailand.
Crazy, indeed. Sørgjerd's video speaks volumes, not only about the unique flavors of a traditional Thai market, but about our global marketplace in this increasingly interconnected digital age.
 
Follow Terje Sørgjerd on Twitter.
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