In his current New Yorker column, Sasha Frere-Jones gives Arcade Fire the feature treatment.
Wednesday, February 28, 2007
Tuesday, February 27, 2007
In a recent interview with Amanda Petrusich, Tom Waits shared these entries from his notebook:
"In Los Angeles, it's illegal for a man to beat his wife unless he's on the courthouse steps. In Tulsa, it's against the law to open a soda bottle without the supervision of a licensed engineer. In Texas, the Encyclopedia Britannica is banned because it contains the formula for making home brew. In Claradon, Texas, it's illegal to dust any public building with a feather duster. In Washington, it's illegal to paint polka dots on the American flag. There are only two things you can throw out the window of a moving car, legally. Do you know what they are?"
Waits: "Water. And feathers. Everything else you can get in trouble for."
The interview, in its entirety, can be found here.
Vincent fell from our loft-bedroom last night.
It'll be much more informative if he tells the story:
If you've been in our apartment, you know it has a loft bedroom about 10 or s0 feet above the living room floor. There's a ladder made of two by fours leading up to it. The ladder isn't secured. But we'd been using it without any problems since we moved in. That is, until last night.
I had stepped onto the top rung to come down, facing forward with my back to the ladder, when I felt it slip out from under me and fall to the floor. A second later my tailbone came down hard on one of the rungs. I soon found myself sprawled out face-down beside the ladder, groaning, unable to move.
This left Kiko stranded on the loft without a phone to call for help. It didn't help matters much that when I tried to walk a bolt of lightning shot up my back, dropping me instantly.
After fifteen minutes of squirming, I reached the coffee table and felt around for my cell. Once I found it, the flame in my tail burned too bad for me to turn over and throw it up to Kiko. So she rigged one of the paper umbrellas we'd been storing upstairs since the wedding, and lowered it down to me.
Seconds later Jackson shot through the door with Grace in tow. They were followed soon after by a team of EMTs who, helpful though they were, failed to match Jackson's eagerness.
Thanks to a bottle of hydrocodone and some muscle relaxers, I am now in a position to chuckle about all this. So far, I have learned at least two things from this accident: it's foolish not to secure a loft ladder; and Jackson's first name should be Action.
Monday, February 26, 2007
"Roland Barthes posited that when a professional wrestler enters the ring, he's stepping into a role in a grandiloquent drama of suffering, defeat, and justice: "Even hidden in the most squalid Parisian halls, wrestling partakes of the nature of the great solar spectacles, Greek drama and bullfights: in both, a light without shadow generates an emotion without reserve." For a comparable appreciation of the Ultimate Fighting Championship—the interdisciplinary martial-arts league that broadcasts matches regularly by pay-per-view and, irregularly, on the cable channel Spike—we must turn to that noted semiotician from the great state of Arizona, John McCain: "a cockfight, only we're using human beings." The senator definitely beats Barthes for both pithiness and understatement."
from: "Enter the Octagon: The Lovely Spectacle of Ultimate Fighting," by Troy Patterson.
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
Recently, I visited the
Weems’ photographs, especially when placed alongside their accompanying pieces in the context of an exhibit, are visually stunning; they hold their own as fine art. As social commentary, her visual messages are conscience-searing: Weems’ work makes an ethical appeal that goes straight for the jugular.
In this, Weems stands on equal ground with her contemporaries. Over the last year, my wife has helped me to see the power of the work of Barbara Kruger and Cindy Sherman in a new light. Few visual artists working today produce images that are as direct and challenging as Kruger’s and Sherman’s.
Weems’ work often packs a similar punch; but there are some things that seem to set it apart. Weems' responses to injustice typically convey a sense of anger that seems pure and sincere in a way I can trust. Her images seem free of what I would call “subversiveness for subversiveness’ sake”—a symptom that, in my opinion, hinders much modern protest art by compromising the authenticity of its sense of urgency.
Weems is a true cynic. If she’s bitter, she makes her reasons plain and, as I see it, persuasive. Her cultural critiques go beyond self-righteous complacency or mockery. She asks the tough questions with bold renunciation, dismantling the foundations of social stereotypes, racial epithets, and misunderstood American tragedies with the rigor of a new historicist, and the pathos of a skilled artist. The beauty of her work, as I see it, rests in the obvious sense of courage and compassion it conveys. She boldly asks her viewers to rethink their assumptions about
In 2003, Tulane University's Newcomb Gallery commissioned Weems to do a photography-based exhibit commemorating the bicentennial of the Louisianna Purchase. Weems called her entry The Louisianna Project. Among other things, the exhibit gave visual examples of how the city's social elite have marginalized the voice and presence of the largely black lower class: the billboard ad in the above photo shows a group of young black men beside a door that reads, "Board of Directors;" the slogan beneath the men reads, "Here's to the other 9-5." Weems finds it interesting how one of the city's few nods to the black lower class consists of a beer ad. Another set of images featured in the exhibit seems to address one of that class's main malcontents with its elected officials (see below). A recent New Yorker article looks at how these two issues have come to a head in a post-Katrina New Orleans.
If you've ever had moments where you've realized you might be a midnight vulture, a drunken dialer, a has-been, or simply a man or woman who's come into some hard times, Weems is also speaking for you--black, white or otherwise:
Weems is also particularly adept at comitragedy and tragicomedy:
The Louisianna Project and From Here I Saw What Happened And I Cried (the three red photos above are excerpts from the latter) is a dual exhibit of Weems' work that will be at the Hunter until mid April.
Sunday, February 18, 2007
John and Kristine found me shivering on the side of the road.
Maybe you find me to be adorable.
Maybe you can be my new mommy and/or daddy.
there's no 'maybe' to that.
Maybe we can take naps together.
Saturday, February 17, 2007
An axe should not lose weight in his hand.
His garden should smell of rotting apples
And grow a fair amount of nettles.
A man when he talks should not use words that are dear
Or split open a seed to find out what is inside it.
He should not drop a crumb of bread, or spit in the fire
(So at least I was taught in Lithuania).
When he steps on marble stairs,
He may, that boor, try to chip them with his boot
As a reminder that the stairs will not last forever.
Thursday, February 15, 2007
The food was excellent, and in my book, it was the most enjoyable
John Simpson planned the main menue.
worked hard in the kitchen.
It was the most fun Valentines...