NORMAN BALL's poems and essays have appeared in Light Quarterly, Asia Times, Counterpunch, The Berkeley Poetry Review, Rattle, Liberty, Foreign Policy Journal, Global Research and elsewhere. He has a new poetry collection Serpentrope from White Violet Press and his book on TV Culture, Between River & Rock: How I Resolved Television in Six Easy Payments is available from Giant Steps Press with a viewable excerpt at the Museum of American Poetics.
Prior essay collections, How Can We Make Your Power More Comfortable? (2010) and The Frantic Force (2011), both widely available on the web, are published by Del Sol Press and Petroglyph Books, respectively. His recent play SIDES: A Civil War Musical (Inspired by The Red Badge of Courage) is currently being produced for TV by Last Tango Productions, LLC. His recent book on TV culture
Wikileaks’ Julian Assange noted that the East German secret police employed ten percent of the population as informants. The genius of Facebook is that it's an emoticon-besotted surveillance apparatus through which friends rat out friends routinely.
We should have more thinking in our writing, even if it slows the normal process of reading to a useful crawl. Intellectual death has already claimed the distracted reader. May vital writers and their dwindling audiences always remain one paragraph ahead of the goon squad.
Scott Walker is succeeding, devilishly well, at keeping himself to himself. Each release finds him more withheld to the point where the solipsism on Bish Bosch becomes deafening. We’re still here Scott, some of us anyway, and we are not all store-room dummies.
In an era when the Stones relentlessly seek to extend, exploit and parlay their accrued fame (as do legions of lesser legacy acts), David Bowie, ever the brave contrarian, is doing his level best to open the shutters on a fresh new day.