David Lynch and Trancendental Meditation

Last weekend when we were in Portsmouth, I picked up a copy of the new David Lynch book from RiverRun. It seemed vaguely inspirational, and I just sucked up the fact that proceeds go toward his foundation that encourages the teaching of Transcendental Meditation in schools.

The book is about a lot of things, and while it is primarily about Lynch’s experience with TM, and there is no small amount of proselytizing, I still didn’t feel like it was a hard sell. I mean, with sentences like “I call that depression and anger the Suffocating Rubber Clown Suit of Negativity,” we’re safely out of Deepak Chopra territory. At first blush, it doesn’t make sense that the same guy who made Wild at Heart meditates. He actually addresses the incongruity of the violence of his films and all the peace and bliss talk of TM, though I don’t totally buy the explanation.

But really, the TM actually makes Lynch make a lot of sense. I don’t know a ton about TM, besides that it’s something of a pay-per-enlightenment cult. But I know that part of the schtick is that it’s about meditating to get in touch with this deep well of ideas inside you, and to let them ideas bubble up, and the content of them is actually not so important*. I think this goes a long way to account for his filmmaking style, which is often very rich, evocative, original, fecund, though the actual content is somewhat inscrutable.

*Buy me a beer sometime and I’ll tell you about how I know anything about TM

PS: I think Wild at Heart is the suckiest of his movies that I’ve seen.

Daily Dispatch, 17 Jan 2007

Things have been somewhat low-key lately, and I have not had much energy for blogging or printing, though I hear the call of the metal from the basement; it is saying “press me into paper”. Soon. Soon. (Speaking of which, does anybody have a good recommendation on where to get high quality papers in the Boston area (besides Bob Slate and Paper Source; I already know them and what they have)?)

Relax! Have a beer.We had an OK long weekend, but I feel like I’ve little to show for it, except for finally taking down all our Christmas decorations. The tree that we bought from the boy scouts in Arlington really lasted, though it smelled strangely like urine from the moment we got it home.

We did have a nice little relaxing and romantic day trip to Portsmouth on Saturday afternoon, and found a nice antiques store where they had this huge square dining room table which really inspired me to get a really huge square dining room table. I keep thinking about it. We haven’t been to Portsmouth since probably last summer when we went with Trixie and The Villain, and there’s a surprising amount of building that’s done. RiverRun books moved to Congress St, and in their old location is SecondRun, for their used books.

We finished reading (aloud) Popism, the gossipy book by Andy Warhol and Pat Hackett about Warhol’s 60′s scene. The story ends badly, with a big “the party’s over” thud, but it’s overall a fun read. It was a good choice for a Terri & Ezra read-aloud, because it’s written in a very oral style– I’m guessing it was dictated by Andy to Pat Hackett. Maybe more on it later.

The Onion Cellar @ the ART

As suspected, it was a Dresden Dolls show interrupted by bits of sort-of-theater. Next time, I’m just going to an actual Dresden Dolls show.

I had a litany of complaints about how bad some of the theater bits were, but who wants to read that? Especially since I got the sense that some of the people involved knew how bad it was, and were doing what they could with the material. I sympathize. I’ve been there. (I’m thinking “Andy”, Marco. At least people didn’t pay to see that (did they?)). And at least there was a cash bar open through the performance. I suspect Amanda agrees, too.

So, the music was great at least. (Yeah, I’ve never gotten around to seeing them live before, shame on me. The albums sound so close to live, though, and do I really want to wade through a sea of sensitive arty suburban teenagers in pancake makeup just to get the live experience? Not especially.) Amanda’s voice sounded shot at times. They also seemed to be trying to see if they could throw each other off. Sometimes, unfortunately, it worked, and someone would crack up, or yell at the other one. But a lot of times it created a really great tension, like where they’d really stretch out the empty spaces (one of the reasons they’re great musicians is that they really know how to play with the empty spaces). I was not too surprised to read in todays DD email to hear that they’re taking a “band break” and Brian now has his own MySpace page (Amanda has had hers for a while). Oh, oh.