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Author Topic: This would be a good time to BUY LEONARD COHEN ALBUMS
Ken Burch
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posted 05 March 2006 04:48 AM      Profile for Ken Burch     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Leonard Cohen's former business manager was found guilty by default of stealing most of his retirement savings. Instead of the $9.6 million dollars Leonard thought he had to retire on, he only has, according to the CBC report about $150,000 left.

http://www.cbc.ca/story/arts/national/2006/03/03/cohen-finance.html

This was an unspeakable thing to do to the greatest Canadian songwriter of all-time and one of the most eloquent poets the world has ever known.

Tomorrow, I'm going to order some more of his cd's, in order to help, in a small way, recoup the damage that was done. I strongly urge anyone who has ever been moved by the music of Leonard Cohen, and who has the means to do so, to do the same.

Do right by the man. Show the poet the respect he deserves.

[ 05 March 2006: Message edited by: Ken Burch ]


From: A seedy truckstop on the Information Superhighway | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 05 March 2006 09:12 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I don't understand how this can be. If he has won a court judgement, how can she just ... not respond?

He does seem to have recovered something from a co-defendant.


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Boom Boom
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posted 05 March 2006 09:15 AM      Profile for Boom Boom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Holy cow. What an awful story.

Is there some guarantee in place that Cohen will in fact receive royalties from his albums now?

I love the guy, have all his albums, including most of them on vinyl, some on cassette, and since about 1990 on CD.

I wish there could be some kind of grand concert with Cohen and his early inspiration Suzanne Verdal who according to a documentary on CBC two weeks ago is living on a very meagre income. I wouldn't want the man to push himself too hard, he's 71. I'm going to dig up all my Cohen stuff today to see what I have. Some books lying around somewhere as well.

edited to add: I had the wrong "Suzanne" so I corrected my post. I thought the grand concert as a means mostly for Suzanne to raise much-needed income, and also for Cohen to thank folks for continuing to buy his albums. I don't have any info on whether Cohen needs additional income or if his balance of $150,000 can sustain him, or what his expenses are. Losing savings of $9million is quite a loss for anyone.

[ 05 March 2006: Message edited by: Boom Boom ]


From: Make the rich pay! | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 05 March 2006 09:17 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Once I have $150,000 in retirement savings, I'll contribute.

I mean, I think it's terrible that he was screwed over and everything, but how is it that I'm supposed to feel bad that someone no longer has 9 million bucks to retire on? Nobody I know has 9 million bucks to retire on!


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
anne cameron
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posted 05 March 2006 09:21 AM      Profile for anne cameron     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
And OAP and CPP.

I think I'm on side with Michelle on this one.


From: tahsis, british columbia | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 05 March 2006 09:42 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Well, there's no reason that poor people should be contributing - that anyone who doesn't admire him should, for that matter.

But that doesn't make people's concern for what has happened wrong or trivial.

And there is something wrong - or certainly not socialist - with leaping from the observation that many people are poor to the conclusion that everyone must be made poor, or it's a good thing that someone has been impoverished.

It isn't. Cohen didn't invent capitalism, and for so long as capitalism is the system we live in, it is fallacious to expect socialists to make themselves martyrs to a system they oppose. That is the argument of the right wing: if you're a socialist, you can't keep any of the benefits of this society, nyah nyah.

Screw that. Fight for change, but martyrdom is falling for the other guys' logic and values. Or it's an egotistical waste of time.

Oppose conspicuous consumption, yes. And I doubt that anyone needs 9 million, although I don't really care. But a 71-yr-old with $150,000 is facing some tough times, and if he has ended up there because someone stole his legal earnings, then that is wrong.

I'm not convinced, mind you, that that is all he has, but the situation is wrong.

And I'm never going to argue that everyone should be poor. Some people should definitely NOT be earning what they are, but socialism does not seek to impoverish anyone or to crab anyone's spirits.

And socialists - my kind, anyway - don't rejoice in theft or deceit or humiliation.


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Michelle
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posted 05 March 2006 09:44 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I'm not saying anyone should be poor. I'm just saying that I'm not crying because someone doesn't have 9 million for retirement. Hardly anyone does.

And I did say that I thought it was rotten that this happened to him, and it's for the reason you state - those were his legal earnings and shouldn't have been stolen from him.

Also, I think this is a pretty rotten way to characterize my post above:

quote:
And there is something wrong - or certainly not socialist - with leaping from the observation that many people are poor to the conclusion that everyone must be made poor, or it's a good thing that someone has been impoverished.

Unless, of course, you weren't referring to my post with that statement, in which case, you were just arguing a straw man.

[ 05 March 2006: Message edited by: Michelle ]


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Boom Boom
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posted 05 March 2006 09:51 AM      Profile for Boom Boom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
My feeling is that Cohen is a Canadian icon, is known worldwide, and will not lack for creature comforts. Nevertheless, he was screwed out of $9million of his own money, and that's a crime. He's one of our cultural greats, and I don't begrudge him one second of any riches he has coming his way - as far as I'm concerned, he's earned it all.
From: Make the rich pay! | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 05 March 2006 09:58 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
My post was not aimed at any other individual post.

I made the standard statement I always make in these situations, partly anticipating the mockery that is likely to appear from baiters and contrarians. It is a statement of faith.


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unionist
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posted 05 March 2006 10:11 AM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Boom Boom:
My feeling is that Cohen is a Canadian icon, is known worldwide, and will not lack for creature comforts. Nevertheless, he was screwed out of $9million of his own money, and that's a crime. He's one of our cultural greats, and I don't begrudge him one second of any riches he has coming his way - as far as I'm concerned, he's earned it all.

Well, that's the way I see it too. Leonard Cohen brought joy and sadness and reflection to so many, and I'm sure every penny of his money was a portion of the money that millions of people enthusiastically handed over to partake of his genius. Very different way of making money from some parasitic "shareholder" or a gambler on the stock market. And given how he got screwed out of his money without even noticing for many years, he obviously knew and cared nothing about the nuances of high finance.

I don't know whether a massive "Buy Cohen" movement is the appropriate way to correct this injustice, but I would never begrudge him what he earned with his own hands, head, and heart.


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Boom Boom
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posted 05 March 2006 10:53 AM      Profile for Boom Boom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by skdadl:
My post was not aimed at any other individual post.

I made the standard statement I always make in these situations, partly anticipating the mockery that is likely to appear from baiters and contrarians. It is a statement of faith.


FWIW, I agree with most of what you've said.


From: Make the rich pay! | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
Catchfire
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posted 05 March 2006 01:02 PM      Profile for Catchfire   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
No one demanded that we should all donate our savings to Leonard for his tough times, which makes the statements about pension plans and retirement funds quite disingenuous. Someone gets robbed of their life's savings and they get chastised for whinging? I'd like to have $150 000 to retire on tooalthough at 72 with more than a decade left of comfortable living, that ain't muchbut that doesn't endear me to advise M. Cohen to toughen up.

The thread merely stated that if you enjoy Leonard Cohen, he could really use some help right now, so maybe you could pick up an album of his right now. (Frankly, it's something you should all be doing anyway, but that's just my opinion. The man is magic.) If you don't like Leonard, don't buy it. Fine. It's just more than a little cold-hearted to discard the fact that he was robbed of the compensation for his life's work by someone he loved and trusted. Especially because he has the whopping sum of $150 000. It's smacks of pettiness and narrow-mindedness.


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Screaming Lord Byron
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posted 05 March 2006 01:05 PM      Profile for Screaming Lord Byron     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I think Cohen is worth a comfortable retirement, given what he has given us, but I understand Michelle's point. Consider it patronage, in the older, more honest sense.

I've been listening to The Future a lot recently, and I marvel at his ability with a line, the breadth of scope combined with that directness of delivery - Leonard Cohen is easily one of the finest songwriters in the history of the song itself. He should be cherished, and I think it would be a good time for as many of us as possible to go out and buy a couple of discs from his back catalogue as Ken says*. Let's pay some patronage while it can do some good.


*Except for 'Death of a Ladies Man'. That's just lousy.


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skdadl
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posted 05 March 2006 01:15 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I admire Cohen as a writer ... sometimes.

As it happens, I have some problems with his music. There have been times ... but way in the past. Mostly I find his image as a bard kind of depressing, but that's probably just personal. Well, no: it's not. There are sexual politics in there somewhere.

But there would be. He is a man of his generation and culture. And it is very late in the day for him to have the rug pulled out from under him.


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Michelle
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posted 05 March 2006 01:25 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Catchfire:
Someone gets robbed of their life's savings and they get chastised for whinging?

Where did that happen? I didn't see that.


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
candle
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posted 05 March 2006 01:38 PM      Profile for candle     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Boom Boom:

Cohen and his early inspiration Suzanne Vega


I think you have the wrong Suzanne. Surely, you don't mean the New York singer songwriter of "May Name is Luka" and "Tom's Diner".

As for Cohen, while his former manager and lawyer screwed him out of funds - there is an action against him by his former financial adviser who claims Cohen and Cohen's current lawyer blackmailed him to try and recover some funds from him by placing blame on him. This would be accomplished by Cohen saying he had to do a concert tour with the implication being that his financial adviser cost him losses which cause the financial advsiser to lose business with other artists. AFAIK, that matter is still before the courts.

I do feel bad that Cohen fell in with a bad manager (and former lover). I don't think he is whinging in any way. But Michelle brings up a good point - why should people who have no or meagre savings be expected to ante up to help out someone who has $150,000 in life savings, probably has multi millionaire friends who would ensure that he would never go out, and who could probably raise money really fast by doing a collection of songs or a couple of shows. I don't mind helping out Victoria Williams or Vic Chestnutt or Petra Haden (artists with smaller followings whose illnesses nearly bankrupted them).

Having said of all that, the original suggestion is good. If you are a fan of Cohen and you have been downloading his albums for free - go out and buy the damn things.


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Catchfire
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posted 05 March 2006 01:54 PM      Profile for Catchfire   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Well Michelle, I characterize someone who unjustly complains without having suffered significant injury as a whinger. Leonard Cohen is complaining that he lost his life savings. You accuse him of not having anything to complain about, since he has $150 000 in savings. Thus, you argue that his complaining outweighs the damage he has suffered; thus, you are accusing him of what I would characterize as whinging. I disagree with your characterization. Is that clear? What was it that you thought you were doing?
From: On the heather | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
unionist
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posted 05 March 2006 02:02 PM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by candle:


I think you have the wrong Suzanne. Surely, you don't mean the New York singer songwriter of "May Name is Luka" and "Tom's Diner".


Her name is Suzanne Verdal

... and the CBC TV item was quite interesting when it aired recently.


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candle
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posted 05 March 2006 02:10 PM      Profile for candle     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Catchfire:
Well Michelle, I characterize someone who unjustly complains without having suffered significant injury as a whinger. Leonard Cohen is complaining that he lost his life savings. You accuse him of not having anything to complain about, since he has $150 000 in savings. Thus, you argue that his complaining outweighs the damage he has suffered; thus, you are accusing him of what I would characterize as whinging. I disagree with your characterization. Is that clear? What was it that you thought you were doing?

I just reread the thread and none of Michelle's post talk about Cohen unjustly complaining. Michelle just said that it is difficult to ask people to contribute to Cohen's retirement fund when most people don't even have $150,000. She even said she felt bad for Cohen. Nowhere did she say Cohen didn't have a legitimate complain. And it wasn't even Cohen she was talking about. It was people who wanted to have a charity drive for Cohen when there are others who need the money much more than he does.


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Boom Boom
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posted 05 March 2006 02:28 PM      Profile for Boom Boom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Originally posted by candle:
I think you have the wrong Suzanne.

Yup. My bad. I'll go back and make the correction.


From: Make the rich pay! | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
Cartman
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posted 05 March 2006 02:33 PM      Profile for Cartman        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Michelle:
Once I have $150,000 in retirement savings, I'll contribute.
I mean, I think it's terrible that he was screwed over and everything, but how is it that I'm supposed to feel bad that someone no longer has 9 million bucks to retire on? Nobody I know has 9 million bucks to retire on!

If you do not like the fella's music etc., then you should not contribute by purchasing a cd as a charitable act. And, of course, you should certainly not feel bad that he does not have $9 million on which to reitre. You might just feel bad, because, as you have suggested, a person was wronged.

But, there is also something symbolic here that we are all missing. This guy is more than just some pop music star, he is a cultural symbol of Canada as well. When he is wronged, it is felt by many others. IMO, the fragile status of the bald eagle contains more symbolism than say the Puritan tiger beetle (which is extinct). It was a sad day in Canada when Trudeau died, though the paper shows me many Canadians die every day and under much more difficult circumstances. Many USians were quite bothered by the slow deterioration and ultimate death of Ronald Reagan, though many USians suffer from Alzheimers every day. Simply put, we are more than purely materal, practical creatures, we are creatures of symbols as well. Indeed, we are using symbols right now to communicate.


From: Bring back Audra!!!!! | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged
Catchfire
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posted 05 March 2006 02:48 PM      Profile for Catchfire   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Actually, candle, Michelle said that she doesn't feel bad: "how is it that I'm supposed to feel bad that someone no longer has 9 million bucks to retire on?"

I drew the conclusion that having "9 million dollars to retire on" used in this manner was implicitly pejorative. As if, had Cohen lost only $500 000, it would be okay to feel bad for him. The clear implication here is that 9 million dollars is too much for one person to have, and hence, if he loses it, tough nuts. The second clear implication is that since Cohen has $150 000 still in his coffers, and that many people don't, we shouldn't care about his problems. As I said above, the logic in this accusation is that Cohen has little to complain about, hence whinging.

But, whatever. If you don't like his music, don't buy it. I certainly won't be donating any money to his retirement fund, but if I didn't already have several albums, and almost all of his literature portfolio, I would buy one or two works. As far as I'm concerned, Beautiful Losers is essential for any Canadian. I certianly don't want to extend this already tiresome argument about to what extent certain posters were criticizing Cohenat least in terms of his lawsuits, and not his worth as an artist.


From: On the heather | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
candle
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posted 05 March 2006 03:16 PM      Profile for candle     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Catchfire:
Actually, candle, Michelle said that she doesn't feel bad: "how is it that I'm supposed to feel bad that someone no longer has 9 million bucks to retire on?"

It would be nice if you had printed Michelle's whole sentence rather than leaving out:

"I mean, I think it's terrible that he was screwed over and everything, but"


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Ross J. Peterson
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posted 05 March 2006 03:25 PM      Profile for Ross J. Peterson     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
skdadl posted: -=-
quote:
I admire Cohen as a writer ... sometimes.
As it happens, I have some problems with his music. There have been times ... but way in the past. Mostly I find his image as a bard kind of depressing, but that's probably just personal. Well, no: it's not. There are sexual politics in there somewhere.

I too have problems with his . . let me call it lyrics. The guy makes some poets I know horribly jealous of his success. But to go to the point of sneering about him losing millions in a public venue . . well seeing one local do just that put me off.

Just accept that, though I listen to him on cheap cassettes I picked up for a couple bucks each (probably as much as Boom Boom listens to him), something balks at the headspace Leonard is (successfully) creating. Despite his public persona, there is something so un-zen about the mood and the values he plays with it makes me mad.

Milton Acorn (deceased) is a poet for whom I would have joined a public subscription at the drop of a hat.

Just to share, apropos of nothing: this real barfly poet, Gilbert Langevin was materially supported by contributors at the grassroots here in Montreal. I find his stuff real depressing.

It seems he would (this is secondhand, merely an anecdote, don't inscribe it in the history books, please) drink any dough given him. So his patrons gave their contributions to his girlfriend and she would hold the money till the next rent payment was due. First a bookseller told me this. Then I started hearing it from women who GL tried to pick up in bars. On and on.

Well, Cohen tried to cultivate that persona in a way. So did a couple other less literary types in Montreal. Maybe it was a growth industry on Crescent Street and St. Denis -- I the family man would be the last to know. But folks, Leonard went to H.S. in a friggin chauffered limousine.

But so what. We could spread scandal about Cline Dion I suppose, though her rags to riches story made the pulps at the level of bestseller.

Yes, I agree with skdadl. But I can't read her mind and I'm sometimes less conscionable. I think Cohen became popular because daddy's connections helped him land the first Columbia Records contract plus he was in the headspace of a form of decadence (sort of like Janice Joplin, only virile and male) that is and was even less threatening to the Establishment than the Beats = people like Ginsberg, Kerouac and Burroughs.

I keep getting back to Boom Boom. I think you are okay liking Cohen. My friends do too. I'd merely like to share a few other poets with you.

One other point: I think it's fine for normal, mentally balanced socialists to balk at contributing to the pension fund of a guy who grew up with a silver spoon in his mouth and who had all the breaks. I personally know a poet with two kids who cannot afford the next meal at the end of last and next month so I have decided to help him out in a few ways that are not humiliating for either one of us. And if this guy ever becomes famous, I will not praise him to the sky. I'll probably tell you what a real a-h he can be at times. Forget the cultural symbols. We should be discussing human beings who, IMHO, are so damn poetic in their lives it could drive the imagination wild.


From: writer-editor-translator: 'a sus ordenes' | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 05 March 2006 03:33 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Oh, well. I have to object to some of that, Ross.

I don't care how Cohen grew up. A couple of his novels are great books, and that is just all there is to it.

And my detached, rational mind tells me that he is a great troubador as well, whether I like the songs or not.

To tell the other stories that you believe are important, Ross, you do not need to be tearing down the reputation of a fine poet who happened to succeed. Comparisons are odious.


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Frustrated Mess
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posted 05 March 2006 03:40 PM      Profile for Frustrated Mess   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
If I, if I have been unkind,
I hope that you can just let it go by.
If I, if I have been untrue
I hope you know it was never to you.

--Leonard Cohen,
Bird on a Wire.


From: doom without the gloom | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 05 March 2006 03:42 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by candle:
It would be nice if you had printed Michelle's whole sentence rather than leaving out:

"I mean, I think it's terrible that he was screwed over and everything, but"


Exactly.


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 05 March 2006 03:49 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Catchfire:
Well Michelle, I characterize someone who unjustly complains without having suffered significant injury as a whinger.

Well, self-conscious Amielian Britishisms like "whinging" aside, I would characterize someone who did that the same way. However, I didn't see anyone claiming that Leonard Cohen was complaining, so I wasn't responding to that. I also didn't say that he hasn't suffered significant injury. I was responding to the idea that ordinary folks, most of whom don't have even $150,000 to their name, should come together and donate to someone's retirement because they lost nine million dollars.

quote:
Leonard Cohen is complaining that he lost his life savings. You accuse him of not having anything to complain about, since he has $150 000 in savings.

Where did I say he has nothing to complain about? I most certainly did not say that. I said that ordinary folks without $150,000 to their names (and I'm betting that would be a lot of people on babble, which are the people that the original post was appealing to) might not feel inclined to donate to someone because they lost nine million dollars.

quote:
Thus, you argue that his complaining outweighs the damage he has suffered;

No I didn't. Maybe read my posts for comprehension and you'll figure that out. I never said anywhere that he was complaining. In fact, for all I know, maybe he never complained about it to anyone beyond rightfully suing the person who robbed him. For all I know, maybe he counts himself lucky to have at least $150,000. I never said he was "whinging".

quote:
Is that clear? What was it that you thought you were doing?

Yeah, it's clear that you didn't read my post very well. And what I thought I was doing was addressing people who were capable of reading comprehension.

quote:
Originally posted by Cartman:
You might just feel bad, because, as you have suggested, a person was wronged.

Yeah, and I said I did. So what's your problem?

[ 05 March 2006: Message edited by: Michelle ]


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Ross J. Peterson
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posted 05 March 2006 03:52 PM      Profile for Ross J. Peterson     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
skdadl wrote:
quote:
To tell the other stories that you believe are important, Ross, you do not need to be tearing down the reputation of a fine poet

I have no defense. My post was in-conscionable. But yes, there is a rub. I listen or read a poet over and over, or hear a song. Suppose, and it is often true, that I don't do the 'artist's bio in print' number on the author before absorbing myself in the text-music-delivery. But something tells me "this is untrue, this is fake."

Here I am describing an esthetic judgment on a personal level. (One could do the same thing with Picasso, for example, and the position of women in his oeuvre.) Well, despite your denial, your earlier post at least hints at a similarity to you and I balking at 'some of' Cohen.

Then I find out about him and his contemporaries. For me at least, and not for Boom Boom, it fits a pattern.

Let me just add, not to tear down Cohen, maybe to tear down my own self-image, that his relation to women in his songs is something that, for me, is mostly mythic, mostly contrived, mostly testosterone self-deceived.

L.C.'s place in the canon is assured. I'm not motivated by anything much more than giving a push to the position of poets on the order of Milton Acorn. Who knows, maybe we as Canadians, North Americans, Anglophones even, will discover there are important writers there who were eclipsed by the Leonard Cohens. And it might be better for all of us.

I told you I don't follow a narrow ethic of reputation. I'd say the same thing, btw, to his face and buy him a drink (edited to not express any prejudice toward the guy).


From: writer-editor-translator: 'a sus ordenes' | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged
Boom Boom
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posted 05 March 2006 03:56 PM      Profile for Boom Boom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Originally posted by Ross J. Peterson:
I keep getting back to Boom Boom. I think you are okay liking Cohen. My friends do too. I'd merely like to share a few other poets with you.

I have a fine collection of Canadian poetry. Quit trying to read things into my posts that aren't there.

[ 05 March 2006: Message edited by: Boom Boom ]


From: Make the rich pay! | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
Catchfire
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posted 05 March 2006 04:10 PM      Profile for Catchfire   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Whatever Michelle. If you can't stand by what your words implied (and I clearly was not the only one who felt that way, based on your terse responses to others who also called you on your pettiness) then there's no sense in arguing. If you do feel bad (BTW: Saying "It's terrible that" followed by "How can I feel bad" = "I don't feel bad." Nowhere did you say you felt bad. Got it? Nowhere. I left it out for brevity, not to "fool" you. We're still in the same thread after all...) then that's great. If you think he was wronged, and has a case, great. I'm not sure where you're idea that someone was advocating a donation when the thread says in quite clear capital letters "BUY LEONARD COHEN ALBUMS" but when you buy an album, you get an album. The artist benefits. Period. This does not constitute "a donation."

You were clearly criticizing Cohen for having the chutzpah (hey! Why don't you insult my use of hebrew! If I had known that the more accurate word "whinging" would have offended you so much, I wouldn't have done it. Thanks for being so classy!) to ask for his hard-earned 9 million dollars back, and the rest of us for thinking he had a case. I called you disingenuous. You were, and continue to be so, though it seems you've shifted your opinion slightly (ie "I don't feel bad" --> "I feel bad.") Without putting words in anyone's mouth, there are at least three posters on this thread who felt the same way. Either we're all illiterate idiots, or you were unclear (at best. Small and narrow-minded at worst.)

So before you get you're back up so quickly next time, maybe you should think as to why your curt post garnered the responses it did. I'll admit being a little hotter around the collar than usual because this involves an artist whose work I greatly respect, and feel extremely bad for his predicament, despite being several millions short of nine. That said, it's difficult to see why you're so up in arms about it, but then again, I have received similar snappy attacks from you in the past on all manner of subjects. So I suppose I should have expected it.


From: On the heather | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
Screaming Lord Byron
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posted 05 March 2006 04:15 PM      Profile for Screaming Lord Byron     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by skdadl:
I admire Cohen as a writer ... sometimes.

As it happens, I have some problems with his music. There have been times ... but way in the past. Mostly I find his image as a bard kind of depressing, but that's probably just personal. Well, no: it's not. There are sexual politics in there somewhere.

But there would be. He is a man of his generation and culture. And it is very late in the day for him to have the rug pulled out from under him.


I had forgotten that. There is a bit of sexism in his earlier work.


From: Calgary | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 05 March 2006 04:17 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Catchfire:
You were clearly criticizing Cohen for having the chutzpah (hey! Why don't you insult my use of hebrew! If I had known that the more accurate word "whinging" would have offended you so much, I wouldn't have done it. Thanks for being so classy!) to ask for his hard-earned 9 million dollars back, and the rest of us for thinking he had a case.

Actually, no I wasn't. Candle's post clearly tells you how I meant my post. I think he has every right to get his 9 million dollars back from the person who stole it from him.

And as for pettiness, I think it's pretty petty of you to insist that you know exactly what I was thinking when I wrote my post, even after it's been explained to you by more than one person that you're mistaken. If a post can be taken more than one way (and obviously it can be since people on this thread have taken it both ways) you'd think you could be charitable enough to accept the explanation I gave. Instead, you choose to believe I'm some uncharitable miser who hates Leonard Cohen and hates everyone who might have a dime more than I have, despite my long history on babble of not having that attitude at all.

You don't like me? Great. I don't like you much either. Take my posts any way you want, and spin them with any lies you think will stick. But expect to be called out on it whenever you smear me and lie about my intentions.

[ 05 March 2006: Message edited by: Michelle ]


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Ken Burch
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posted 05 March 2006 04:22 PM      Profile for Ken Burch     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
First of all, as I should have pointed out, this thread was my idea and mine alone. Leonard Cohen would not be asking other people to bail him out.

And yes, there are others who have it much worse.
And they need help more urgently.

My idea here was that a poet should have a value in society, should have a certain level of respect, and that, when an artists who made such a difference in other people's lives is disrespected in such a direct and blatant way,
society had some responsibility to restore some of what was taken away.

Yes, carry on the fight for socialism. But have a care for the poet, for all the poets, as well.


From: A seedy truckstop on the Information Superhighway | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
Ross J. Peterson
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posted 05 March 2006 04:24 PM      Profile for Ross J. Peterson     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Boom Bomm, you are up in arms at me. Catchfire is up in arms against Michelle.

"Fuck you" is a bit strong, though. Like you think I was assuming you are this or that on some literary scale.

Putting it straight, Boom Boom, I find that Leonard Cohen 'works' at a visceral level. I choose not to deal with him as a Canadian icon. The only assumption (excuse, two actually) I am making is that for you he also works at a v-level and that you just like the guy as a song-writer and poet.

Saying 'fuck you' . . . takes me aback. Where are you coming from. You think I'm being condescending? No. We just don't agree.

Where does this sh*t about disagreements mean that babblers are treating others like ignorant fools? I'd rather you call me that and then educate me than to say what you did as if I were putting you down.

I think Leonard Cohen is good at what he does. After doing a double-take, he does not do the same thing for me as for you. Are you saying "f-y" (for some reason I simply cannot divine) to any- and everybody who is not on your wavelength?

Please add a word or two.


From: writer-editor-translator: 'a sus ordenes' | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged
rici
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posted 05 March 2006 04:38 PM      Profile for rici     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Word.

quote:
Ring the bells that still can ring. They are few and far between. Forget your perfect offering.

That is the hang-up; that you're going to work this thing out... We've forgotten the central myth of our culture which is the expulsion from the Garden of Eden. This situation does not admit of solution, of perfection. This is not the place where you make things perfect, not your marriage nor your work nor anything, not your love of God nor you love of family or country.

The thing is imperfect, and, worse -- there is a crack in everything that you can put together -- physical objects, mental objects, constructions of any kind. But, that's where the light gets in; and, that's where the resurrection is; ... that's where the repentance is. It is with the confrontation with the brokenness of the thing.

-- Leonard Cohen speaking of his poem Anthem



From: Lima, Per | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
Frustrated Mess
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posted 05 March 2006 04:40 PM      Profile for Frustrated Mess   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 

[ 05 March 2006: Message edited by: Frustrated Mess ]


From: doom without the gloom | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
rasmus
malcontent
Babbler # 621

posted 05 March 2006 04:41 PM      Profile for rasmus   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I'm a big fan of Leonard Cohen's. I consider him a finer, deeper lyricist than Dylan, for example.

That being said (O! how I love the nominative absolute) I come down more or less with Michelle on this one.

It's one thing to feel terrible that Cohen was robbed in this way, especially at his age, and to empathize with him. It's another thing to say we should pitch in to help make him rich again. I think those two are quite independent. I don't think saying that we shouldn't help make him rich again is tantamount to envy, resentment, disrespet for Cohen, or spitting on the role of poets.

I do admire the grace and directness with which Cohen has spoken about these problems in the media.


From: Fortune favours the bold | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 05 March 2006 04:43 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Ross, not to speak for Boom Boom, but my impression when I read that snippet of yours that he quoted was that you were implying that he needed to broaden his horizons beyond Cohen and that you could introduce him to other poets. Maybe you didn't mean it that way, but it sounded kind of presumptuous, like he isn't familiar already with the poets you mention, or others.

You're right, this thread is getting snippy and I know I've contributed to it. I just felt like I've been attacked for stuff I never said. I would never insist that everyone has to be as poor as I am, nor would I believe that it was okay for someone to steal an artist's life savings. It's as rasmus says: saying that I don't particularly feel the need to make him rich again doesn't mean that I don't feel bad that he was robbed. They're not mutually exclusive.


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Ross J. Peterson
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posted 05 March 2006 04:54 PM      Profile for Ross J. Peterson     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Thanks Michelle. I had no idea that my mention of another babbler right in the midst of my rant would be integrated in that way into the stream of my text.

My apologies, Boom Boom, for any such implication.

I have problems relating to the way that a literary canon adopts some and leaves others in the dust. At times, it looks like a grand conspiracy to me.

A person I met, a humble musician working in an assembly job, just reads stuff. Another friend, a bookseller, says if it doesn't grab her in the first 30 pages, she drops a book (unless its a long volume reputed to carry more than the intro).

Neither person is much influenced by what one is 'supposed to like.' Both persons can sustain some of the most stimulating discussion about poetry and books I am amazed.

If it floats your boat, as somebody posted on babble recently, why not?


From: writer-editor-translator: 'a sus ordenes' | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged
Boom Boom
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posted 05 March 2006 04:59 PM      Profile for Boom Boom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Originally posted by Ross J. Peterson:
My apologies, Boom Boom, for any such implication.


Apology accepted. I'll go back and erase the "FY".


From: Make the rich pay! | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
anne cameron
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posted 05 March 2006 04:59 PM      Profile for anne cameron     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Perhaps I'm reading too much into things, or perhaps the mix has become a tad murky with people telling people to fuck off and other people saying some people said what I can't find any reason to think they said and...

so maybe I'm six yards off base but it seems to me the guys are much more accepting of LC's total body of work than the women.

With some exceptions I have not been a fan of LC. Helene Rosenthal, a poet who should have been given far more credit than she received once remarked , in conversation, she felt as if LC thought "woman" should be spelled with only four letters, the first one rhyming with the fourth.

Early work, or later work I find the guy incredibly sexist, and I agree with Helene.

At the same time I think it is absolutely wrong that anyone would pull a stunt which deprives anybody, poet, writer, or bricklayer, of their rightful due. I have twice been screwed by publishers and the frustration cannot be described. Thank all the elder gods and goddesses my current publisher, Harbour, has been absolutely ethical from day one. Can't say the same for Spinsters' Ink or for Press Gang, and I'm not too sure about Raincoast, either. I wish I had the $$$ owed me. I can think of at least four really good places to put it. Maybe six. Or eight.


From: tahsis, british columbia | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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Babbler # 560

posted 05 March 2006 05:00 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Ross J. Peterson:
A person I met, a humble musician working in an assembly job, just reads stuff. Another friend, a bookseller, says if it doesn't grab her in the first 30 pages, she drops a book (unless its a long volume reputed to carry more than the intro).

Yeah, I tend to be like that too. Life's too short to slog through glue.

BTW, there's one Leonard Cohen song that I love, although I tend to love covers of it better than his version. And that's "Hallelujah". Absolutely amazing lyrics. He's definitely a wonderful poet, at least with if that song's any indication. I'm not overly familiar with his other work, though, so I haven't heard the really sexist stuff that people are reporting on.

[ 05 March 2006: Message edited by: Michelle ]


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Boom Boom
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Babbler # 7791

posted 05 March 2006 05:01 PM      Profile for Boom Boom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
oops! duplicate post

[ 05 March 2006: Message edited by: Boom Boom ]


From: Make the rich pay! | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
rici
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2710

posted 05 March 2006 05:05 PM      Profile for rici     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Ross J. Peterson:
I have problems relating to the way that a literary canon adopts some and leaves others in the dust. At times, it looks like a grand conspiracy to me.

Dan Brown's next book: A Midsummer Night's Scheme, or how Opus Dei conspired to canonize William Shakespeare


From: Lima, Per | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 05 March 2006 05:07 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 

From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Catchfire
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Babbler # 4019

posted 05 March 2006 06:03 PM      Profile for Catchfire   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
While I don't disagree with a lot of feminist criticism of Cohen, I consider the usual argument that Cohen idealizes women and doesn't represent them as individuals to be a little superficial. I think that Beautiful Losers for example is one of the first overtly feminist novels in Canada in many ways. As skdadl already mentioned though, the terrain of sexual politics in Cohen is often extremely murky.
From: On the heather | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
Ross J. Peterson
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posted 05 March 2006 06:33 PM      Profile for Ross J. Peterson     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Catchfire posted: -=-
quote:
the terrain of sexual politics in Cohen is often extremely murky

-=- Perhaps less murky after, as you tell us, he wrote

quote:
one of the first overtly feminist novels in Canada

Are we to conclude, Catchfire, that it's just another of those murky marks of genious, providing two contradictory esthetic positions at the same time?

Or what? Cohen evolved? There's something murky here.


From: writer-editor-translator: 'a sus ordenes' | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged
ronb
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posted 06 March 2006 04:13 PM      Profile for ronb     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I never listen to Milton Acorn's records. They were too derivative.

There is a story about George Harrison freaking out in the early 90s when a series of business disasters, largely connected to his film company, apparently left him significantly cash poorer than he had been for most of his post Beatle life. George spent a large chunk of cash on security each year because he was petrified that a deranged fan was going to try to kill him, which is precisely what happened in the last years of his life. Legend has it that this fear is what finally motivated him to participate in the Anthology project - supposedly the most lucrative period of the Beatles career.

All this just to say that, while Mr Cohen doesn't necessarily need $9 million to protect himself from deranged fans, it is no doubt a part of his anxiety.

As for Dylan v. Cohen. Cohen typically spends years writing one song. Dylan typically spends hours. They are two very different artists.


From: gone | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Magoo
guilty-pleasure
Babbler # 3469

posted 06 March 2006 04:21 PM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Assuming his business manager did indeed abscond with his dough: it does seem a bit unlikely that she's held it in trust up to now and can just hand it all back. But surely she couldn't spend 9 million dollars and have nothing to show for it. Either Leonard should be able to recoup some of that cash, or some of what she blew it on. There must be some tangible remnant of it. Certainly enough that he's not down to his last $150,000.

And honestly! Was it that hard to see what Michelle was saying? Geez Louise. I'll consider charity toward the very-well-off once I'm at least as very well off. Meanwhile, my retirement nest-egg still jingles in its little coffee can.


From: `,_,`,_,,_,, | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
rasmus
malcontent
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posted 06 March 2006 04:22 PM      Profile for rasmus   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Yes... hence the very different results. One of the differences being, in my opinion, that Cohen is a finer and deeper lyricist, as I said above. You don't get there without some kind of artistic discipline.
From: Fortune favours the bold | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
'lance
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Babbler # 1064

posted 06 March 2006 04:29 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by ronb:
There is a story about George Harrison freaking out in the early 90s when a series of business disasters, largely connected to his film company, apparently left him significantly cash poorer than he had been for most of his post Beatle life. George spent a large chunk of cash on security each year because he was petrified that a deranged fan was going to try to kill him, which is precisely what happened in the last years of his life.

I'm confused. Are you saying that Harrison was killed by a deranged fan?


From: that enchanted place on the top of the Forest | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
rasmus
malcontent
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posted 06 March 2006 04:38 PM      Profile for rasmus   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Mr. Magoo:
Assuming his business manager did indeed abscond with his dough: it does seem a bit unlikely that she's held it in trust up to now and can just hand it all back. But surely she couldn't spend 9 million dollars and have nothing to show for it. Either Leonard should be able to recoup some of that cash, or some of what she blew it on. There must be some tangible remnant of it. Certainly enough that he's not down to his last $150,000.

Unless she was a gambling addict, repaying debts to the mob, throwing endless lavish parties where she bought coke for all the guests, buying haute couture or other big-ticket items with low resale value... etc.


From: Fortune favours the bold | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Magoo
guilty-pleasure
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posted 06 March 2006 04:44 PM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I suppose that's possible. But what are the chances that she has nothing of value? At least on par with the $150K he has now? Some cars, or some property, or something?

Makes me think of that Richard Pryor movie was it Brewster's Millions? where he had to spend millions of dollars yet have nothing to show for it. I could see where that might be hard to do, short of getting your shoes shined and tipping the guy a million.


From: `,_,`,_,,_,, | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
Bacchus
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posted 06 March 2006 04:58 PM      Profile for Bacchus     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Makes me think of that Richard Pryor movie was it Brewster's Millions?

Remember he was only able to do it because he used the money to run in a election (and urge everyone to vote for "none of the above")


From: n/a | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
ronb
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2116

posted 06 March 2006 05:21 PM      Profile for ronb     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
I'm confused. Are you saying that Harrison was killed by a deranged fan?

Almost.

quote:
Yes... hence the very different results. One of the differences being, in my opinion, that Cohen is a finer and deeper lyricist, as I said above. You don't get there without some kind of artistic discipline.

He is certainly the more laboured of the two, that I'll grant. But for all his exertion, Cohen has never achieved a sublime spontaneous violent outburst like Ballad of a Thin Man, for instance. As I said, two different artists. Both unassailably great, in their distinct ways.


From: gone | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
'lance
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Babbler # 1064

posted 06 March 2006 05:39 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by ronb:
Almost.

Right, I'd totally forgotten. Thanks.


From: that enchanted place on the top of the Forest | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
ronb
rabble-rouser
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posted 06 March 2006 05:48 PM      Profile for ronb     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Yeah. A mind for Beatle trivia. It's a gift, and a curse.
From: gone | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
rasmus
malcontent
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posted 06 March 2006 05:54 PM      Profile for rasmus   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Yeah I would say that Dylan is more inspired, even genial. But like many prolific geniuses (Shakespeare, Tagore...) who don't edit themselves much, the peaks are high and the valleys can be very, very deep.
From: Fortune favours the bold | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
'lance
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1064

posted 06 March 2006 06:11 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by ronb:
Yeah. A mind for Beatle trivia. It's a gift, and a curse.

Well an attempted murder isn't exactly trivia, I'd say. If you knew the exact time as well as the exact date, that'd be trivia. Or the name of the aunt John Lennon lived with as a young lad...

... er, is the fact that he lived with an aunt trivia?

Speaking of trivia --

quote:
But for all his exertion, Cohen has never achieved a sublime spontaneous violent outburst like Ballad of a Thin Man, for instance.

was Ballad of a Thin Man aimed at, or inspired by, anyone in particular? Or just a blast at a whole class of trend-spotting journalists/pundits?

[ 06 March 2006: Message edited by: 'lance ]


From: that enchanted place on the top of the Forest | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
ronb
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2116

posted 06 March 2006 06:46 PM      Profile for ronb     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Dylan trivia. No no no. That way madness lies.
From: gone | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
'lance
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1064

posted 06 March 2006 06:55 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Dylan trivia. No no no. That way madness lies.

True. There was that creep who went through Dylan's garbage, for example.

(Where's that confounded "shudder" emoticon when you need it?)

quote:
Yeah I would say that Dylan is more inspired, even genial.

Not sure how you mean "genial" here, rasmus, as it usually doesn't travel in close proximity to "inspired." (Is one sense of the word "of or pertaining to genius"?)

However that may be: to get back to Cohen, in concert he struck me as very gracious, and very funny in a sly deadpan sort of way.

But then he's known for that kind of humour, anyway. At some point in the 1980s, referring to Sony Music's abysmal promotion of his music, he said at an awards show "I have always been touched by the modesty of their interest in my work."


From: that enchanted place on the top of the Forest | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Ken Burch
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posted 06 March 2006 11:40 PM      Profile for Ken Burch     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by 'lance:

I'm confused. Are you saying that Harrison was killed by a deranged fan?


Not exactly, but, in a way, perhaps.

George was stabbed by an intruder, who was "a deranged fan" as it happened. The sane(or would that be "ranged"?)fans tend not to attack their idols. George survived the attack, but developed cancer shortly thereafter, and his widow, Olivia, has said she believes the attack weakened his ability to fight against the cancer.

[ 06 March 2006: Message edited by: Ken Burch ]


From: A seedy truckstop on the Information Superhighway | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged

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