Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

Open Thread: A Book, A Movie, And A Song III

My taste in literature, film, and music is rather eclectic (for that matter, as is my taste in near anything). I can’t always explain ‘WHY’ I like something…sometimes it just ‘FEELS‘ right. Music and Art especially resonate with me in such a manner…not anything that can really be put to words, just a sense. Something that my untrained ear or my untrained eye picks up on subconsciously…something that just strikes a chord in me.

The following selections fall into that category, I do not know exactly WHY I like them…they just FEEL right to me. I am fully aware, though, that just like my love of the smell of the salt marsh, of paper mill, and of gasoline…not everyone agrees with my tastes.

So, lemme know your thoughts. What are the books, movies, and songs that just FEEL right to you?


Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, by Robert Pirsig. I first read ZatAoMM in my early teens and have revisited the book several times over the years. It is the type book that speaks to me in a different way each time I read it. As I have aged, I hear new messages in it…feel new emotions. It is not a difficult read, really rather an easy one…but, there is much contained in the simple words. It is one of my ‘comfort books’…just as some turn to foods, I have long turned to words on bound pages when my mind needs soothing.

The City of Lost Children I first saw City of Lost Children in the wee hours after a long night of partying. Despite my physical need to crash…my mind was held rapt by the film. It is very Terry Gilliam’esque…a dark carnival of dreams and nightmares with a fairy-tale-like quality. The movie stars Ron Perlman, whom you may know from Name of The Rose or Hellboy (or, for the TV viewers out there, Beauty and The Beast) and his unique nature is very well suited to his role. This film also opened my eyes to world of foreign film…and remains my favorite of the genre.

The Avett Brothers– November Blue

I have a friend who attended ECU a few years back and, as a fellow live music lover, he began draggin’ me down to NC every time The Avett Brothers were playing. After the first show, little ‘dragging’ was required, I would hit the road with a quickness. Later, they began playing shows up here VA as well and I made sure to attend when able. They have a loyal fan base and very much play to the crowd. It is obvious they love what they do, and they put on a helluva show. I’ve not seen them in well over a year now…but, from what I hear they are finally getting some well-deserved recognition.



  1. HappyinVT

    Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance,

    for his birthday (the first while they were together which she said required a most fabulous gift).  Karen gave him a motorcycle.  Oh well…

    Paper mills stink, by the way.  You know when you’re getting close to Monroe, LA by the smell.  But I like the smell of mowed grass.

  2. spacemanspiff

    I’m dead serious too.

    Calvin and Hobbes

    I remember getting into Calvinball in the 5th grade. My first piece was the Revenge of the Babysat collection.

    calvin&hobbes Pictures, Images and Photos

    Genius man.

    Ever since then everytime I have a change in my life or need to clear my head I subconciously would reach for Calvin and Hobbes. I have a “open the book and stick my nose close to the spine and inhale” habit. Just transports me to somewhere else.

    Bob Marley/ The Beatles

    I’ve been listening to them and being told how awesome they are since I can remeber. I was indoctrinated but in a totally positive way. Since these sounds have always been part of the soundtrack of my life it is easy to feel comfortable whenever listening to the sweeeeeet music.

    I listen to a lot of spanish music as well but that’s a whole other world.

    Bob marley beatles Pictures, Images and Photos

    Dumb and Dumber

    My dad has always been a hard working man. He has to “think” a lot during the day and always told me he didn’t got to the movies to “think”.

    HA! While I’m not a big an extremist as him when I just want to chill the fuck out I sit down to watch Harry and Lloyd make fools of themselves.

    dumb and dumber gif Pictures, Images and Photos

  3. lojasmo…  For all you Pirsig fans.

    Book:  “The Road” By Cormack McCarthy.  Won a Pulitzer.  I got it because the trailer for the  movie looked so fucking great.

    Movie:  “A Serious Man” by Ethan and Joel Cohen.  Absolutely the blackest and funniest black comedy I have ever seen.

    Song:  Tie between “Willie the King” and “All Will Be Well” both by Dan wilson (formerly of the bands Semisonic, and Trip Shakespeare)

  4. It’s easy to come up with a song. There are lots of relatively unknown singers out there. I’m a blues lover, so here’s a blues singer. I first became aware of her while I was in the Memphis area. That’s her home base. She’s on the road a lot, but when she’s in town she does gigs at a few different blues clubs in Memphis. Generally a club in the mid-town area.

    I’ll take the easy way out on a book and a movie by offering a movie based on a book I liked. Killshot was a book written by Elmore Leonard, one of my favorite writers. His earlier books were almost all set in southeast Michigan, which is where I grew up. I knew the streets he wrote about and the people on those streets. His characters and their dialogue were always familiar.

    The book was turned into a movie starring Mickey Rourke as the bad guy. He did a great job in the part. So did the ever gorgeous Diane Lane in one of the other lead roles.

  5. fogiv

    Book: I’ve been reading The Little Prince to Jack Jack at bedtime (and remembering how great it is).  This book has been with me all my life it seems.  Keeps coming back like an old friend.  Nice feeling, that.



    Tigers love pepper.  They hate Cinnamon.

    Song:  Shane Speal, King of the Cigar Box guitar.

  6. Barry Hughart is relatively local for me now, he lives in Tucson, and he wrote three absolutely wonderful, satirical, funny, witty, and amazingly brilliant tales set in a mythical China that never was. Simply the best Middle Kingdom tales you will ever read, outside of Journey To The West or Liang Yusheng’s many Wuxia books. If you haven’t picked up Liang Yusheng’s work, he is very much the father of much of Chinese fantasy films. Tsui Hark adapted his Seven Swords of Mount Heaven  in both a wonderful film, and a brilliant Chinese mini-series that are well worth checking out, and he likewise based his Bride With The White Hair on Romance of the White Haired Maiden.

    The Chinese works are brilliant, but not always translated well, so Barry is great introduction into that mythic China, filled with history, wonder, and humor.

    Movie?  My favorite film of all time: Tampopo. Juzo Itami’s amazing look at food, and the role that food plays in all facets of our life. It is simply the best film on food that I know of. The second place would be Ang Lee’s Eat, Drink, Man, Woman, but Tampopo really is the best. It stars the inimitable Ken Watanabe, and Juzo’s life long love, Nobuko Miyamoto. Funny, sometimes bittersweet, and always with great affection for the subject matter, it is a treat of a film.

    Song? Given the rise folks got out of the first transgendered appointment, I figured I’d pop up a video from Meryn Cadell.

    Meryn hit the scene in the early 90s, and she had such a quirky and fun style that it was hard to not bop your head to her pieces. Meryn and I met when she was crashing on Lea DeLaria’s couch. Before Lea went on to larger things, she was a regular feature in P-Town, and just as she started to get national attention, she was doing shows across colleges. I was lucky enough to be her lighting tech for a few shows, and while on the road she brought along this budding singer-songwriter who was likewise hitting.

    Meryn had a few hits, at least on the college circuit, and she settled down in British Columbia to teach Creative Writing at UBC. Well, save that Meryn settled down not as a she, but he. He came out transgendered in 2004, though he was out to friends for some time before.

    Meryn is still Meryn. No name change, because he’s always had that name, so why change?  He has a great life, teaches, still is involved in LGBT affairs, though slightly differently now, and still the great person that I met years ago. In 2007 his best album Angelfood for Thought was re-issued, and I’mma cheat by popping up a tune from it, because it’s so damn fun.

  7. Book: Neal Stephenson’s System of the World

    Three 1,000-page books.  Isaac Newton and the Royal Society and other figures (Jack Shaftoe) interact in detail with the world of the late 1600 and early 1700s.  Awesome and epic.

    Movie:  Gone in 60 Seconds.  No, not the one with Nicolas Cage.  The original is a 90-minute chase scene.

    Song: “Cold and Snow”.  Keith Lewis – an infosec guru – in his basement.  Have a copy on a computer up north in Canada I still need to retrieve – I’ll share that when I get it back.

  8. dtox

    The book has to be Hard Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, by Haruki Murakami. It’s hard to explain why it feels right. Perhaps it’s the urban alienation at the heart of it (though I don’t personally feel particularly alienated). Murakami’s books in general fill me with wonder.

    Movie is probably the hardest one. There’s Blade Runner, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown… but I think I’ll settle on Silent Running. Joan Baez sings the soundtrack, which obviously helps. It’s a conservationist film, with one man going to extreme lengths to save the last forest (which is already floating in space).


    “It’s coming through a hole in the air,

    from those nights in Tiananmen Square.

    It’s coming from the feel

    that this ain’t exactly real,

    or it’s real, but it ain’t exactly there.

    From the wars against disorder,

    from the sirens night and day,

    from the fires of the homeless,

    from the ashes of the gay:

    Democracy is coming to the U.S.A. ”

    Democracy, Leonard Cohen.

  9. HappyinVT

    I did not, in fact, get my food processor Thursday like I thought I would.  I needed to sign for it but was still at work.  Alas, I tracked it today and it appears to be sitting in front of my front door.  Yay!!

    My hand blender thingy, however, is making a short trip take a long time.  It first went to Masbeth, NY (a 40-minute trip from its original destination).  It left Masbeth just after midnight today on its way to Hartford, CT (an eight-hour trip). It left Hartford at 9:40 this morning and arrived at Shrewsbury, MA ten hours later.  I figure it’s at least 20 hours away given its travel habits thus far.  That puts its arrival at Tuesday or Wednesday.  🙂  Patience isn’t my strong suit.  I’ve got soups and stuff to make.

Comments are closed.