The Fascinations came close to mainstream success on many an occasion, but were never quite able to capture it in the United States. In the early 60’s they were primed to cut a record for Motown but that was scuttled when founding member Martha Reeves left and formed Martha & The Vandellas. Later they were signed by Curtis Mayfield, who wrote and produced “Girls Are Out To Get You” for his newly formed Mayfield label. While it was a hit in the UK it peaked at #92 on the Billboard charts and in 1969 they called it quits.
LINDA LINDA LINDA directed by Nobuhiro Yamashita (2005)
The climactic scene from Nobuhiro Yamashita’s extraordinary 2005 film, an amazing underrated gem. After hearing about it from Chris Wells a few years ago I managed to find the soundtrack which included some amazing atmospheric instrumental pieces by James Iha as well a few tracks from Paran Maum (the band the girls form in the film) which so blew me away I decided I had to see the film immediately.
LINDA, LINDA, LINDA might be a fairly conventional coming of age film in other hands; girls start a band, can they come together in time to play the talent show? However, under Nobuhiro Yamashita’s direction it’s surprisingly thoughtful, sensitive, and moving. The film patiently earns your investment in the girls. So successful is he that even today watching this scene, in which they finally step on stage to play a cover of ‘Linda, Linda’ by the Japanese punk band The Blue Hearts, entirely out of context I still found it heart stopping and exhilarating.
Leipäjuusto or Juustoleipä a Finnish ‘bread cheese’. Similar to Halloumi you can grill it but rather than melting it simply becomes soft and a little crispy on the outside. In Finland it’s often made from reindeer milk but now it’s available in the United States from Carr Valley Cheese in Wisconsin. You can eat it warm or cold, spread jelly on it, or dunk it in coffee.
“Riding on a city bus along the route that you have taken from your job, from the movies, from a hundred Chinese meals, with the same late sun going down over the same peeling buildings and the same hot smell of water in the aftershower air, can be, in the wake of a catastrophe, either a surrealistic nightmare of the ordinary or a plunge into the warm waters of beautiful routine. I watched, among the forty hot, plain people, a mother brush her daughter’s hair into ponytails wrapped kindly and tight with pink elastic bolos, and by the time I pulled the bell cord for the Terrace stop, I knew that everything would be all right, and that soon, very soon, I was going to be able to cry.”
An excerpt from the article in the Fall 2011 Data Issue of Good Magazine, which is in turn an excerpt from the book ‘The Chairs are Where People Go’ by Sheila Heti and Misha Glouberman:
Misha speaks in fully formed paragraphs, I was surprised to discover. On some occasions he would say something, then say to me, “Don’t put that in,” and then I would say, “But that’s the best part,” and I would do it anyway.
It was on one such occasion when I discovered that Misha believes you can put a price on a human life. Here is the conversation we had.
Sheila: I always get really pissed off when someone sees me running for the elevator and they don’t hold it. I always hold it because I’m a nice guy.
Misha: I definitely don’t think you should hold elevators doors for people and I don’t think you’re actually being nice. I think you’re trying to be nice, but here’s the thing: You’re in a building with, say, four elevators, and you’ve got this one person running for the one you’re in. If you hold the door them, you’re saving them maybe the 30 seconds it will take to wait for the next elevator, and that’s the part that’s nice. But what’s not nice is this: You’re delaying the elevator by maybe five seconds. For those five seconds, the elevator isn’t moving at all, so it’s just wasted elevator time. That affects other people. There might be other people on the same elevator with you, and it’s not up to you to decide on their behalf to delay them. Similarly, there are people waiting on other floors for that elevator, and you’re slowing them down, too. So the math is this…you’re adding a 30-second convenience for one person, but you’re creating a five-second inconvenience for: yourself, everyone in the elevator with you, and all the people waiting on other floors. If the total number of people in that case is more than six— which I think it usually is—then then the total amount of time you’re wasting is more than the amount of time you’re saving for that one person.
It’s different from a holding a door for someone, because that’s just an act of selflessness; you’re only inconveniencing yourself a little bit to create extra convenience for another person. So as a nice guy, you can still do that.
“Everything contains some
silence. Noise gets
its zest from the
of rest angled
in it. An hour
of city holds maybe
a minute of these
remnants of a time
when silence reigned,
compact and dangerous
as a shark. Sometimes
a bit of a tail
or fin can still
be sensed in parks.”