Sunday, November 03, 2002

Hi Pandas!


The philosophical underpinnings of "Spirited Away" (not "Swept Away," silly!) are more sophisticated than those of "Harry Potter," and here's why.

In "Spirited Away" (the awesome new Japanese animated girl-power fantasy movie), almost none of the characters are purely good or bad. The duality of good and bad is treated differently, maybe because in real life, no one is purely good or bad. Everyone is, however, self-interested.

This doesn't mean the movie is more fun than "Harry Potter." I really dig the black-and-white morality in those books. And, come to think of it, things aren't always so clear in Harry's world, either. Like Snape, or that blasted cat.


I was at Amoeba today and I heard a pop song so complete, so cute, so smart and ecstatic, it brought happy tears of amazement to my eyes, and I had to hold my head in my hands and shake it and go, "Oh, oh oh...."

Actually, there were two in a row. One is called "Love So Pure," and the other is called "True Asia." They are by Puffy (a.k.a. Puffy AmiYumi). "True Asia" should really be called "True ELO." It is a tribute to ELO, and it is about pandas.

Pandas are the mascot of Immaculate Heart, my all-girls' junior high and high school. This school taught me to be a crazy romantic weirdo, even though they tried to pretend they were really tight-ass Catholics. They try to sanitize their history, but we Pandas know the truth, Ruth!

So, anyway, you could say the song is a tribute to ELO and Immaculate Heart weirdos like Debbie Urlik, the housewife-comedian; Maggie (my sis!) the poet and self-described "witch"; Elexa the bellydancer; Halle, the burlesque goddess; Vanessa, the brilliant clothing-optional actress; Kristy, the documentary filmmaker, Ione, the painter. And especially Corita, the graphic artist/activist/ex-nun/aesthetic soul of Immaculate Heart.

Corita said stuff like, "We can create life without war," and made lithographs of Beatles song lyrics, such as "Love is here to stay/And that's enough."

She also said, "No man is a watermelon." But I beg to differ. I have met one or two, and they were sweet and delicious.


John Davidson figured out the song reference up top. So here's your haikus, Kid J. I had to write two--one serious, one funny:

alcoholic ohio,

summer nightswimming:

john d. understands.

* * *

he's john davidson.

he's guided by the voices.

that's incredible!

(har har!)

The song is called "Storm Vibrations." The beautiful lyrics are at the bottom. Check it.


I must be procrastinating again. I made a list in "Listmania" on Amazon. I guess now I'm a Listmaniac. It's a Listmaniac Attack! Gak! Hold me back! Have a snack!


Today I went to yoga, and the teacher read a little from "The Velveteen Rabbit," which is about a toy that wants to become real. It's about "realness," really, which is not something to be defined, but something to be felt from within.

The bunny asks the Skin Horse how to become real.

"'Real isn't how you are made,' said the Skin Horse. 'It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but really loves you, then you become Real.'

'Does it hurt to be Real?'


It hurts a lot to be real. But I disagree with the book to an extent: I don't think you become real passively, by being loved by someone else. I think you become Real by loving other people, and yourself, and really working at softening your heart.

George Harrison's (totally hot) 24-year-old son said something smart about pain. He was talking about his father getting stabbed and dying, and he said, "You can experience only as much joy as you have had sorrow. Sorrow is like the hollowing out of a wooden block, and joy is what fills it up. The more sorrow you've had, the deeper the joy you can experience."

Love and snacks,


"Storm Vibrations"

(from Guided By Voices' "Universal Truths and Cycles")

Does she blend well?

Your choice, I mean?

Your angel baby monkey girl

The gift of smiles and love production

Her sunshine mind

Her storm cloud eyes

Blending colors into brown

Confusing emotions - deliberately

Does it hurt you?

To love, I mean?

And all the creases in your brow?

The red bed spread?

The storm vibrations?

The starless nights?

The shattered screen?

Allowing pain to enter

Let your guard/God down obviously

I will try to find you

No matter where you may go

It will try to find you

No matter who you may know

Does it hurt you?

To love, I mean?

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