I’m thrilled to announce that a concert film of me performing my comic monologue The Mathematics of Change is now available on DVD! Directed by my brother Jake, filmed by famed cinematographer Hiro Narita, and with beautiful music by Marco d’Ambrosio, the Math movie captures me in the lofty confines of the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI) in Berkeley. You can see the trailer, watch clips, check out videos of interviews I did with MSRI mathematicians — oh yes, and also buy the DVD! — here.
The concert film of Red Diaper Baby, beautifully directed by Doug Pray for the Sundance Channel, is now available as a direct download from Amazon! You can either buy it or rent it (for a week) — either way … wow!! I mean, it all feels so 21st-century (among other centuries)!
In his autobiography, Ben Franklin tells how, as a young man, he carried rolls of paper to his printshop in a wheelbarrow. The point — as with so many of his actions — was self-publicity: He made sure to do the wheelbarrowing when the streets were full of potential customers, so they could see what a hard worker he was. (It must not have been much fun to be one of Franklin’s competitors: When someone else in Philadelphia put out an almanac, the next edition of Ben’s own famous almanac printed a supposed prediction of the exact date of his rival’s death.)
Today I might have cut a Willy Lomanesque figure as I rolled a big suitcase up Shattuck Ave. during a steamy Berkeley afternoon. But in my own fevered imagination I was a latter-day Franklin, as the suitcase was carrying boxes of my Red Diaper Baby DVD from a storage unit to my downtown office for (that lovely word!) fulfillment of various orders. As the grandson of a successful store-to-store hardware salesman who also happened to be a communist, I feel a special pride in “moving units” of my communist coming-of-age story (directed by the great documentarian Doug Pray). And as a guy who looks like Ben, I feel proud to be a small-businessowner.
Progressive entrepreneurs of the world, unite! You have nothing to lose but your bootstraps.
For the next couple of weeks, in a burst of irrational midsummer exuberance, I’m offering DVD’s of my Red Diaper Baby concert film for only $14.95 each — $10 off the usual price. Would Karl Marx approve? I imagine so.
To get to my online store, click here.
In experimenting with these little video podcasts, I feel I might be able to offer the viewer a sense of my daily life — only with less editing, and in greater definition than how I actually see things. This installment is made up of footage from June 2, when — in a rare display of social-butterfly-osity — I went to two parties, on both sides of the San Francisco Bay.
First was a gathering honoring my pal Ethan Canin, one of our great writers (start, perhaps, with The Palace Thief, his collection of “long stories”). Daniel Handler (aka Lemony Snicket) was there, being mordantly witty as always (and no, I’m not going to look up “mordant” — I’m just going to assume it really means what I think it means!). Next was what turned out to be a lovely event at Saul’s Deli in Berkeley: a “DVD release party” for the concert film of my Red Diaper Baby monologue.
The Saul’s screening was so much fun that we’re doing another one — tomorrow (Tues., July 28), actually, at 8 p.m. This time we’ll be watching Haiku Tunnel, the narrative film that I did with my brother Jacob (and many, many other wonderful people). Amazingly, Haiku got into Sundance and then was distributed by Sony Classics. Now it will attain its most natural state: accompanying matzoh brie. (There will be a $10 suggested donation, to help us make our new movie, Love & Taxes.)
Anyhow, here’s the video podcast:
The just-out issue of Tikkun magazine has a lovely mini-review of the Red Diaper Baby DVD — available exclusively on my website’s online store (isn’t it cool how a child of Communists can evolve into a perpetual hawker of his own commodities?) — in their “Tikkun Recommends” section (you have to scroll down a bit):
Red Diaper Baby (available at joshkornbluth.com) is Josh Kornbluth’s hilarious rendition of his own process of freeing himself from the pathologies of his communist parents. It is obsessed with sex, politics, and neuroses. You can’t help but love Kornbluth by the time it is over, and you can’t help but learn a lot about growing up in America in the 1960s.
I’m guessing my still-Communist mom will enjoy the last sentence somewhat more than the first — but I love the whole thing, perhaps even pathologically so.
I’m thrilled to announce that my website has been treated to a fabulous makeover, through the genius of designer Joe Pignati. Please check it out — and give me your feedback, pro and con, by clicking on the “comments” link below this blog entry. We’ll keep amending and tinkering the site based on what we hear back from visitors.
And please also check out my brand-new online store — which you can reach through my website, or by clicking here. You will find there — available for the first time — the fantastic concert-film DVD of my monologue Red Diaper Baby, along with the Red Diaper Baby book (which contains the text of that piece plus two others, Haiku Tunnel and The Mathematics of Change). If you buy both the DVD and the book, we’ll throw in a complimentary mini-canister of baby powder (a product that features prominently in Red Diaper Baby).
We’re going to be having kind of a release party for the brand-spanking-new Red Diaper Baby DVD — a concert film directed by the great Doug Pray. It’ll be at Saul’s Deli in Berkeley on June 2 at 8 p.m. You can call in advance (510-848-DELI) and make dinner reservations, or just show up for the screening. (There will be free popcorn — not sure whether kosher or not, depends on whether they’ll be using cloven kernels.) I’ll introduce the film, then take questions afterwards. I think it will be fun!!