DMX sings about Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

J’oublie a quelle age j’ai entendu la musique, la voix de DMX pour la premiere fois.  Mais, je sais que j’ai aimee sa voix.  It’s so distinctive.  I didn’t follow his career closely but he was so corny-good in Romeo Must Die (Andrzej Bartkowiak, 2000).

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I’d like to think he and Aaliyah will meet again soon in one form or energy or another…parce qu’il est mort.  Il avait 50 ans, juste 50.
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Are you old enough to remember, “y’all gonna make me lose my mind, up in here?”  (here’s the unedited version).  Peniel E. Joseph’s opinion piece for CNN reminds me how indebted to American hip-hop is Korean hip-hop (particularly old school YG Family of Jinusean and 1tym days) when he writes, “Appearing on the scene less than three years after the deaths of Tupac Shakur and the Notorious BIG, DMX and his Ruff Ryders Crew took hip-hop and American popular culture by storm and, for a time, he emerged as perhaps the most versatile rapper-actor-entertainer in the industry.”

 

Et maintenant, here he is singing “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”:

Knee pads Would Have Been Good

“Come, pray with me.”

Those words spoken like a plea but also an instruction.

My first impression of my tutor were not what I had in mind.  I had pictured a gentleman of forty-ish years of age, a receding hairline, and bathed in the scent of a spice market.  Instead, when I entered the chapel on the university’s auxillary campus, I was greeted by a woman of possibly sixty-ish years of age with a full head of dark hair and misted in an aromatic halo of vanilla and peaches.  She reached for my right shoulder, put a hand behind my back, and guided me towards the pews.

“Come, pray with me, we have much work to do,” she said as she pulled me down into a kneeling position to her left.

“Excuse me, but I thought I was here for a fencing lesson,” I said in case she had mistaken me for someone else.

“Oh, you are, but we must take care of the calling first.”

When I remained as stiff as a board and hadn’t brought my hands together as she had done, she sighed and explained that “the calling” was a sort of warm-up exercise to help clear the mind…because “meditation takes too long” and “time is wasting away.”

I’d partaken in meditative rituals in the past and didn’t think they took any longer than warming up muscles for aerobic or anaerobic activities, but I also didn’t want her first impression of me to be one of recalcitrance, so I followed her lead the best I could.  She sank onto the footrest, I sank onto the footrest;  she put her hands together, fingers interlaced, I put my hands together with fingers interlaced; she told me to repeat after her, I repeated after her.

“Dear Maker of the Stars, Father and Mother of late night cravings for starch, hold the curtains back for our footwork and labors, so we may channel your restlessness and unwavering search for stillness.  May your sweat be our sweat, may your swiftness be our swiftness, may the light of your pain be the shadow of our victory.”

She continued for several minutes more.  By the time we were done and she helped me stand up, my feet had fallen asleep and I really wished I’d packed knee pads in my bag.

numb

It’s all a Work in Progress

Preparing for life
preparing for death
there’s a gestation period
and a steadily dying,
that is if your end doesn’t come
instantaneously
courtesy of a gravity-stricken tree branch
a semi-tractor trailer
or the perpetual sleep;
it’s all a work in progress.

— yiqi 4 April 2021 6:44 pm

The above poem was inspired by the film The Savages (Tamara Jenkins, 2007).

Sauvages2_  Sauvages_

Although I’d seen many Laura Linney films when The Savages was released, I was never interested in seeing it until the weekend.  She’s fantastic as is Philip Seymour Hoffman.  The premise, how adult children make choices that nobody likes making in regards to one’s parents, didn’t appeal to me then.  Not that it does now, but I’m older now and can intellectually relate to the situations presented in the film.  I also think about life and death differently.  Death isn’t a get-out-of-Dodge card; it’s the culmination of a biological process that begins the moment you’re born.

Pic creds: IMDB

Robert De Niro said once

After that Collateral revisit, of course I had to experience Heat (Michael Mann, 1995) again.

Heat

A very specific line of dialogue inspired this poem:

Robert De Niro said once

and he’s said many words
many memorable words
over the years
wearing boxing gloves
driving a taxi
sliding into pin-stripe attire
of Al Capone
and there was this line
that takes impermanence
to the max,
i mean,
would you be able to walk away
from everything that quickly
if you had to?

– yiqi 28 March 2021 10:37 pm

“A guy told me one time: don’t let yourself get attached to anything you are not willing to walk out on in thirty seconds flat if you feel the heat around the corner.”

Originally posted at my tumblr.

Watch the scene:

Annie is you okay?

I rewatched Michael Mann‘s exquisitely directed thriller Collateral (2004) tonight after not having seen it since it came out in theatres.

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I’d forgotten how good Tom Cruise was in this film, and that Jada Pinkett Smith, Mark Ruffalo, Peter Berg, Javier Bardem were in it.  Not to mention that Jason Statham was in the opening scene (credited as “airport man”) and Debi Mazar played a taxi rider in one very short scene.

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CLT5

The final couple of sequences of the film features a frantic Jamie Foxx calling Jada Pinkett Smith (who plays Annie, a US district attorney), trying to give her a vital piece of narrative information.  The whole time he’s saying her name, “Annie, Annie, listen to me, Annie,” I kept thinking, Annie is you okay?  Yep, just like the Michael Jackson song.

I also enjoyed immensely the incorporation of Audioslave’s “Shadow of the Sun” and Paul Oakenfold’s “Ready, Steady, Go.”

According to one of the making-of featurettes, Michael Mann had Jamie Foxx get comfortable driving fast on a race track so that when it came time for his character to drive his cab really fast, it would feel more natural to him and not feel like acting.

If it’s been a while since you’ve watched this film, do yourself a favor and watch it again.

Pic creds: IMDB