Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Back In The Day...


The above photo is a mural I painted in a kitchen in the early 80's. It was 14'x 5'...and usually shocked my vistors.

I am doing some major re-organization. We are putting some books and cd's into storage in a back closet and trying to make room for office area...and just general spring cleaning. Okay, pre-winter cleaning.

I hve a lot of paperwork and Stagg and I are in the middle of adjusting stuff. Marriage stuff so I need some office space. So...I've been going through our archives, photo albums, and letters and sheesh all kinds of stuff. I found some of these old photo cpopes made from slides. Do uyou remember slides? Artists generally used to record their work on slides to present to galleries for shows or grants or project proposals. Now everything is digital. So...I thought I'd post a few paintings from the old days...if you are inclined, you can click on the images and they are easier to see details.

"CONSPIRACY" 1987. Oil on paper. 2 1/2 'x 31/2'. I sold this one for $75. I wonder if the family who bought it still has it?

"LEGEND", a large folding screen 8'x8'. I love making folding screens. It's my favourite format for making a painting. This one was on industrial doors and it's oil on board. 1992. This screen is on big industrial wheels. I put a lot of the folding screens on wheels.

"ANITA AND THE MOST UNFORGETABLE WOMEN" another folding screen...14'x5' oil on canvases. I usually hinged my screens with piano hinges. They are large and industrial strength yet not bulky. I still own this painting, or rather my daughter has this one. I was inspired by my good friends and an old Revlon advert that had hands opening a champagne bottle. The original ad had such an allusion to hand jobs and spurting moisture...who could resist sampling such an image? One of the many things I love about rap (and hip hop) is the sampling...as a visual artist who uses a lot of collage...sampling in rap is a natural relative.

I still own this painting. It's in a storage unit...with a bunch of other stuff...original film on 16mm...slides, books. This one is a screen painted on both sides with encaustic. Encaustic is paint you can mix by using oil paints (I've used crayons too) with bees wax. It smells gorgeous...and it is a good use for those old 70's electric frying pans. I used to put water half way then use an assortment of soup cans and lay in the bees wax and oil paint. Fun...but also kind of high maintenance in order to make sure you ge an image. Sometimes people who use encaustic manage a cartoony effect, the paint wants to solidify so quickly. It's challenge to get details but it is fun!

This is the flip side of the painting above. See....again the idea that music was part of my concepts. I loved the idea of a A-side and a B-side to a painting and the 3-dimentional screen format really is satisfying and cool in that way. I am going to pick up some of those doors you can find in hardware stores. They are made out of masonite (or hardboard) and make perfect sections for folding screens. The two photos above are representing a screen that is called "CAKE AND RAIN" and is 4'x6'.

Well, this one is particularily difficult to see here. This painting is called "THE SWAN, THE BANDIT AND THE RESURRECTION". I painted this in 1986 after I had read the novel Blood Meridian for the first time, and a conspiracy book called Holy Blood Holy Grail. I was always fascinated with the Hermetic Tradition,/li>, Nicolas Pisarro, and the phrase "et arcadia ego" and how these connected in art work, and in Shakespeare and many Renasaince works. This is one of my favourite paintings and I also believe I still have it...but it's not really that audience friendly. The coloours are testing. This too is a folding screen but instead of attaching the canvases to each other...I attached them to a pillar in the gallery. It is also large at 14'x10'. I don't know hwo well you can see details, but there is swan on the right that morphs into a root of ginger. On the left is a kind of tomb (I said I was into Pisarro remember heh ) and the "bandit" is a reference to one of my favourite cartoons, Johnny Quest. You might be able to see the little dog and his bandit mask in the left panel near the bottom right.

"CHOPSTICK" oil on canvas, 5'x7'. I have no idea what happened to this painting...lost in the shuffle, likely...

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Harvest 51 by Steve Warbasse


Harvest 51 from Steve Warbasse on Vimeo.

Harvest 51 is a documentary made by my friend Steve Warbasse. I've known Steve for about ten years, through an online bookclub, and he always surprises me with his experience and talent. This film features his parents last harvest on their famly farm. It is 20 minutes long but I hope visitors will take the time to watch...it's a part of our community we often forget about...Thanks Steve!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

" What Global Warming? It's Freezing Here." Dylan


We got a bunch of magazines from a friend for our collages...and I've been catching up on the ones I haven't read. I posted something about Bob Dylan's SUV ad last year and found this story about the idea in Rolling Stone Nov. 2007.

Bob Dylan's New Ride: How Dylan ended up in Cadillac's new Escalade commercial.

Bob Dylan is driving an Escalade down a dusty desert highway. He stops at a crossroads, steps out and contemplates his options. In a voiceover, the singer aks,s "What's life without the occasional detour?" The question, from a new Cadillac commercial, is an appropriate one for Dylan, whose recent detours have included an appearance on Dharma and Greg and an ad for Victoria's Secret. "What is it specifically that appeals to Bob about these thngs is unknown, " says a source close to Dylan. "He has a history of saying yes to things you wouldn't expect."

The Cadilllac ad, which also promotes Dylan's XM show Theme Time Radio Home, came about when Dylan began putting together the October 24th episode, which had a Cadillac theme-and includes songs like Dizzy Gillespie's "Swing Low, Sweet Cadillac." XM suggested Cadillac sponsor the show, and Dylan (who has owned several Caddies over the years) agreed. "It hearkens back to classic radio, where it was always "Buick presents the blah-blah show." says the Dylan source. "It immediately appealed to Bob." When Cadillac's ad agency, Modernista, heard Dylan was also willing to appear in a TV ad, it constructed a simple script. Dylan had requirements: he wouldn't speak on camera, he would wear his own clothes, and he didn't want his music to be used. The agency considered using Depeche Mode's "Personal Jesus" before settling on the atmospheric 1999 track "Held" by Smog.

The spot was shot on a broiling day in the California desert. "It's a 120 degrees, and he's wearing black pants, black coat, a hat, gloves, and he wasn't sweating at all." says scriptwriter Dave Weist. "And he wanted no air conditioning. As soon as the doors would open, the whole crew would basically just fall out. He would just kind of casually walk out like 'Hey, what's the problem, man'?"



Personal Jesus by Depeche Mode.

Held by Smog.

#1 Rolling Stone
#2 Rolling Stone

Friday, October 24, 2008

A little prayer for Jennifer Hudson

Very sad news, Jennifer Hudson's family in Chicago, her mother and brother, have been killed.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

"I seek in painting" Cezanne


An interesting article on young "geniuses" versus "late bloomers" is in The New Yorker

Prodigies like Picasso, Galenson argues, rarely engage in that kind of open-ended exploration. They tend to be “conceptual,” Galenson says, in the sense that they start with a clear idea of where they want to go, and then they execute it. “I can hardly understand the importance given to the word ‘research,’ ” Picasso once said in an interview with the artist Marius de Zayas. “In my opinion, to search means nothing in painting. To find is the thing.” He continued, “The several manners I have used in my art must not be considered as an evolution or as steps toward an unknown ideal of painting. . . . I have never made trials or experiments.”
But late bloomers, Galenson says, tend to work the other way around. Their approach is experimental. “Their goals are imprecise, so their procedure is tentative and incremental,” Galenson writes in “Old Masters and Young Geniuses,” and he goes on:

The imprecision of their goals means that these artists rarely feel they have succeeded, and their careers are consequently often dominated by the pursuit of a single objective. These artists repeat themselves, painting the same subject many times, and gradually changing its treatment in an experimental process of trial and error. Each work leads to the next, and none is generally privileged over others, so experimental painters rarely make specific preparatory sketches or plans for a painting. They consider the production of a painting as a process of searching, in which they aim to discover the image in the course of making it; they typically believe that learning is a more important goal than making finished paintings. Experimental artists build their skills gradually over the course of their careers, improving their work slowly over long periods. These artists are perfectionists and are typically plagued by frustration at their inability to achieve their goal.

Where Picasso wanted to find, not search, Cézanne said the opposite: “I seek in painting.”

Galenson’s idea that creativity can be divided into these types—conceptual and experimental—has a number of important implications. For example, we sometimes think of late bloomers as late starters. They don’t realize they’re good at something until they’re fifty, so of course they achieve late in life. But that’s not quite right. Cézanne was painting almost as early as Picasso was. We also sometimes think of them as artists who are discovered late; the world is just slow to appreciate their gifts. In both cases, the assumption is that the prodigy and the late bloomer are fundamentally the same, and that late blooming is simply genius under conditions of market failure. What Galenson’s argument suggests is something else—that late bloomers bloom late because they simply aren’t much good until late in their careers.

All these qualities of his inner vision were continually hampered and obstructed by Cézanne’s incapacity to give sufficient verisimilitude to the personae of his drama,” the great English art critic Roger Fry wrote of the early Cézanne. “With all his rare endowments, he happened to lack the comparatively common gift of illustration, the gift that any draughtsman for the illustrated papers learns in a school of commercial art; whereas, to realize such visions as Cézanne’s required this gift in high degree.” In other words, the young Cézanne couldn’t draw.

But such rich, complex, and conflicting natures as Cézanne’s require a long period of fermentation.” Cézanne was trying something so elusive that he couldn’t master it until he’d spent decades practicing.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Gal Pal Day!!!



I am so excited. A friend has rented a car and we are doing a make over of her apartment!

She's coming to pick me up today...use the computer...we need to print out maps...hello! Girls! And so I've got some cheese and crackers, some coffee and ...in Vegas my sis Tiff Stagg and I went grocery and booze shopping for our rooms. By the time everyone left Vegas Stagg and I had adopted massive amounts of food, chips, crackers, cookies, champagne, vodka, bottle of wine, Mikes hard lemonade, beer. All Canadian travelling supplies for hotel hosting. So...we managed to drink all the left over booze and most of the food. I had bought an outrageous sized container of yogurt ( a lot of people don't know I am addicted to yogurt...plain with maple syrup). I mean massive...about a gallon of yogurt, organic no bad hormones...it was heavenly...we bought a cooler too...and I ate all the yogurt! I came back to the room one morning(I was in casino having coffee and playing "Wizard of Oz" slot machine) around 9 a.m. to find Stagg in his robe with a bottle of wine between his legs trying to open it with his keys. We drank everything except the Oldcastle beer. (we cleaned up the Heinekens).


Anyways...I am posting a picture of my sister's "cookie spoons". We never landed up eating them and I packed them in my suitcase. So sorry The Underground Baker you didn't get to eat them...but they will make a perfect snack to serve by this hostess today.

I hardly ever get girl time or know many chicks around here...so I am so excited for tday. We are going to take stuff to recycling and donations...she also has a pile of magazines (which we use for collage) and then we are off to Ikea, Lowes, Pottery Barn and BEYOND! I am all decked out with intense red lipstick, in a purple Hard Rock velvet embossed t-shirt and have some sneakers (we might have some heavy lifting) and Stella McCartney jeans which make my ass look great. I am so looking forwaard to this, I have to try not to be needy when she gets here. By needy I mean showing her all my scrapbooks, the art stored under the bed and my aromatherapy collection. (It's her birthday in a couple of days so in the picture above is a little "something something" for her with a Patti Smith postcard from Rock and Roll Hall of Fame)...I'm totally gonna scare her aren't I heh heh...

Okay, so here is a close up of the "cookie spoons". They are shortbread shaped like a spoon and then dipped in chocolate. a dippers delight with a dark chocolate coating no artificail preservatives free of trans fat and hydrogenate oils YUM...guilt free treats! We just need to remember to save one for Stagg!

Off to shopping therapy....

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Hero


Check out the percussion and lyrics on this one by NAS (ft. Keri HIlson)

My lawyers only see the Billboard charts as winning
Forgetting - Nas the only true rebel since the beginning
Still in musical prison, in jail for the flow
Try telling Bob Dylan, Bruce, or Billy Joel
They can't sing what's in their soul
So untitled it is
I never change nothin'
But people remember this
If Nas can't say it, think about these talented kids
With new ideas being told what they can and can't spit
I can't sit and watch it
So, shit, I'ma drop it
Like it or not
You ain't gotta cop it
I'm a hustler in the studio
Cups of Don Julio
No matter what the CD called
I'm unbeatable, y'all

Monday, October 20, 2008

Consilience: Turner Prize and Nick Cave!


I love it it when a crossover between artists appears in science, music, education, awards shows or other media like movies.

For me, it is this kind of consilience between branches of study or professions that helps audiences open their minds to the meeting between crafts, technology, mixed medias. music and visual arts.

Singer/songwriter Nick Cave will announce this year's Turner Prize winner.
The Bad Seeds frontman follows in the footsteps of Madonna and actor Dennis Hopper in presenting the contemporary art award.

Nick Cave is a great example of consilience and public image because he has written a novel, has written an excellent screenplay (for The Proposition) and he has written the soundtrack for film adaptation of Cormac McCArthy's novel, The Road.

I hope Nick Cave can introduce contemporary art to just a few new people...even one person becoming interested or open minded about visual arts is exciting to me.

This year's Turner prize nominees are Polish-born Goshka Macuga, Runa Islam, who was born in Bangladesh, Cathy Wilkes, from Glasgow and Londoner Mark Leckey.

Installation by Runa Islam.

Goshka Macuga
Objects in Relation, 2007

Thanks to A Blow About Nowt for the heads up!

RELATED LINKS:
1) No painters on Turner award list
2) American version of Turner
3) Tate Museum Turner exhibit.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

His Name Is Bruce...And I Love Him!

Power Animal


"If there is such a thing as karma, let's hope Sarah Palin comes back as a wolf that gets shot at from a plane"Bill Maher

Last year, 172 scientists signed a letter to Palin, expressing concern about the lack of science behind the state's wolf-killing operation. According to the scientists, state officials set population objectives for moose and caribou based on "unattainable, unsustainable historically high populations." As a result, the "inadequately designed predator control programs" threatened the long-term health of both the ungulate and wolf populations. The scientists concluded with a plea to Palin to consider the conservation of wolves and bears "on an equal basis with the goal of producing more ungulates for hunters." Salon Magazine

RELATED LINKS:
Aerial Wolf Gunning 101
SF Chronicle
Wolf Management In Alaska with an Historic Perspective
Defenders of wildlife
Brief history of wolf control in Alaska

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Friday, October 17, 2008

Around The Way Girl


This video is a shout out for mutual fan of LL Cool J, Traces O A Stream, hey ya.

Monday, October 13, 2008

SEXY ARTISTS ELOPE CHASED BY PAPARATZI


We did it!

Yep. We are in Las Vegas and we got hooked up in the chapel where Bon Jovi and Aaron Neville got married. Elvis walked me down the aisle. We've been having an amazing time with some family and friends hanging out and doing casino hopping. My sister met us from Vancouver, my daughter from Toronto, Mister Anchovy, Tuffy P, Anita, B, Jill and Scott all in the same hotel. Yesterday we hung out at the Hard Rock casino and got a cabana and partied like rock stars.

We've got tons of photos and I am having trouble with uploading them but probably Mister Anchovy will have some and I'll keep trying. Stagg looked amazing...I am so lucky and we had such a lot of fun and are so happy. We've been laughing and running around Vegas like silly monkeys. If Danny or Dar and Nancy see this...we haven't told anyone yet...not even Stagg's parents...it's been really hard to keep the elopement a secret...but we are sending out letters today for a party in Chicago.

I'll try to get pictures up in the next few days (I'll send wedding stuff to e-mails...not online) but the hotel computers are a little finicky...and besides...the swimming pool is calling our names ...time to lounge and walk the Las Vegas Strip.

Big hugs to every one!!!! We love you!!!!

WISH YOU WERE HERE

Cut. Super. Mindblowing.


Bloody cast members of the excellent Shot In Bombay. I watched this one afternoon with some snacks and tucked into blankets. It was so much fun and I fell in love with many of the cast and crew in this documentary. I knew nothing about the history of the film they were making or the flamboyant star, who was often hours late for his scenes. Sunjay Dutt is a popular Indian movie star who was also charged with weapons violations and the documentary follows his legal case (spanning over 15 years, or more!) and the movie Shootout At Lokhandwala a crime action film directed by Apoorva Lakhia. Directed by Liz Mermin about the making of Shootout At Lokhandwala which is based upon the real-life gunbattle between gangsters and Mumbai Police. Mermin was asked to make the documentary because the Indian film industry has often been misrepresented by Western media...or at least many Indian film makers felt it has been in the past. I am definately going to check for more of Mermin's docs as she really did an awesome job on this one. For two hours, I was hooked.

Remember "shottas" is Jamaican term for ganstas? Well "goondas" is Indian term for gangstas.

I loved Apoorva Lakia as he was directing, he would often yell out when a scene was to his liking "Cut. Super. Mindblowing." It was great...I've walked around lately saying just those words...when I buy groceries etc. At one point he says "Cut. Blasting. It blasts the mind." He is a young hip seeming guy and I can't wait to see his newest movie Mission Istaanbul.

The doc engages many of the crew and some of the interviews are pretty cool. One actor says...

"This is Indian cinema.
You don't go for logical.
You go for emotions."

Beautiful!

I also enjoyed watching the actor, Vivek Oberoi, primp and talk about his character the gangster, Maya. He is super charismatic and he is going to be in Mission Istaanbul so I am looking forward to seeing more of his work. He's got a real vibe I like, and he's easy on the eyes!

Documentary directed by Liz Mermin about the making of Shootout At Lokhandwala which is based upon the real-life gunbattle between gangsters and Mumbai Police. Mermin was asked to make the documentary because the Indian film industry has often been misrepresented by Western media...or at least many Indian film makers felt it has been in the past.

I really like this clip because it captures in a minute or so exactly the technical things I enjoyed in this documentary. I liked some of the technical workings and I lied the two guys talking at the end on how to deliver lines. See, how they throw one character on the bookshelves, then go back, saw the shelves in the middle. Film him being thrown again. Really fun stuff!

Related Links:

Official site for Shootout At Lokhandwala.
Very good review and general background.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

The Garden of Eden



Anthony created "The Garden of Eden" as part of an experimental documentary film class at San Francisco State University in Spring 2008 where he recently graduated with a BA in Cinema.

Anthony Massung's "The Garden of Eden" is an animated short that tells the story of the fall of Man and the rise of agriculture in human history. It is a Daniel Quinn-inspired documentary (though animated) that interweaves Biblical folklore with actual history. This is Anthony's first major production to receive public distribution.

Feminist Icons: Will The Real One Please Stand Up


Suffragettes, circa 1913.

Rosie O'Donnell photo David Shankbone.

Isadora Duncan, photo by Arnold Genthe, 1915-1918 tour.

Michelle Obama

Margeret Thatcher (on left side of photo) :)

Betty Freidan, 1966.

Betty Freidan, 1995.

Oprah middle American female.

Madonna as sexual initiator and dominatrix. And a woman with many seuxal partners: the favoured term for such a woman "promiscuous".

Madonna "girl on girl".

Andrea Dorkin, 1986. Anti-pornography activist.

Gov. Sarah Palin

Gloria Steinem undercover as a Playboy bunny, researching her expose.

Gloria Steinem

The other day I posted about some feminists and I probably should have said "feminists icons" so I wanted to amend this by posting these photos above. I don't think there is much of a difference between being an icon for women or being a feminist but I am willing to add the concept of such here. Although there were only a couple of comments in that blog post...I was surprised that they didn't seem to understand that we don't always have to "like" who is an icon...but rather going beyond our lies and dislikes is a great way to learn.

The massive unprofessional response in political or media coverage: mostly petty and superficial name-calling to Sarah Palin has been a source of feminist concern for me. I say...take any politicians down for their policies and ethics...but the media attention has rarely been critically savvy. When a journalist is writing that Palin is "an insult to women" I believe that is a pile of crap. It is a pile of crap because her leadership responsibilities are not dependant on whether some bloke,/li> working for Rupert Murdoch thinks she is an insult to women or not. I think Matt Taibbi in Rolling Stone is much closer to the truth that she might be an insult to Americans. (via conspicuous consumption culture?)

The fact is, some women feel Palin represents them. Palin's greatest appeal is that she understands and can articulate the insults thrown at her...and many many women and men...know that attitude of superiority and entitlement as a practice of insult in their daily lives.

As a woman...Palin has heard the insults all before:

"Hick, backwards, uninformed, not right for the job, not equipped for the job, dumb, pagent queen, doesn't read, stupid, redneck, bad mother, bimbo, the list of petty attacks is legion and Plain has worked her way through them without losing a beat...often with good comebacks. Or at the very least directly calling the "entitled" person out, like Katie Couric."

My point was not to say she isn't stupid or annoying or even an extremeist. My point in my previous post was that like it or not...she is a feminist icon.

For me, feminism isn't in one package...and I think we are seeing such a revolving set of female images in the last hundred years as something that supports this changing perception.

If we posted pictures of suffragettes and then Betty Frieden and Gloria Steinem and Madonna and Palin and looked at them and said...these are all feminist icons...it might be confusing and interesting.

In the political struggle for womens rights we have many icons and images. What the suffragettes claimed as rights have been added to in following generations. The struggles of women in a previous generation to me are not the same as any struggles I have fought as a woman. I grew up with equal rights, with laws allowing for pro-choice, for voting, with equality in household matters, with rights for lesbians etc.

Where I experienced feminist struggles was not in these issues but in fighting to wear what I wanted without being called a slut. For dating and staying single for a much longer time period in my youth. For changing my name for myself spiritually, not for a man. For rejecting when men put their conversation and social powers before women. These aren't always "legal" struggles...what women are often dealing with in the last twenty years is subtle social status, defending our clothing, our sexual practices or lifestyle on a much more intimate level.

Prostitution is now "sex workers", for example.

Marriage includes same sex.

The most public struggle for many women has been that of the single mum...who has and often still is...the so-called bane of society. I don't mean those parents who are divorced and sharing custody or payments. That is not a single parent. I could probably write several posts about my experience as a single mum. It would not be an exageration to say that people despised my situation, often they never were afraid to say to my face what they thoght of my morals or lifestyle. Worse the children at school would bully a single mums child so I was often negotiating with other parents to teach their children tolerance.

Another sexist hot topic is any woman who has strong opinions. Our society often condemns women who speak out about their feelings or hold unusual or unpopular ideals, a good example is Sarah Palin's style and opinions for many liberals.

Another struggle has been the public discussion of whether women can work outside the home and adequately be "hands on parents" (this is now an ethical struggle for all genders including gay couples!)

Sarah Palin is a feminist icon in the same way Andrea Dorkin is: they exist politically at the extremes of womens issues. And they are both difficult to understand for conservative mainstream citizens.

Whether we "like" Palin is not the issue of the recognition that she is in a role of becoming a feminist icon. Madonna did it without us hardly realizing it. So did Oprah.

Madonna isn't just a feminist icon because she has good business savvy. (although that is a part of her persona and career history) She is an icon because she has stood the test of time of first being a "ditsy disco dance pop star"...to a major artist. She is an icon because she had continued to write music that touched people emotionally and politically, while she changed her image nd experimented with sexual personas in the public eye. Personas of women "roles" as sexual objects, as whores, as motherly, as career, as dominatrix, and especially a sexually demanding female.

These may not be landslide political or legal issues...but they are profound intimate personal issues of freedom for many women and gays. The history of political allegiance between womens rights and gays and lesbians is important to remember.

People have dismissed Oprah's audiences and programs as "soap operas" "sensationailism" and "materialistic" for years...but she has a huge following and dialogue with many women who do not feel they are represented in public, in society or in their own homes.

We can see in the past few weeks that the majority of media does not respect the "homemaker feminist" or "mother feminist" by the reaction...often melodramatic of Sarah Palin.

I think people have freaked out a little too much.

This is again, not to say, I "like" Palin as a politician or agree with her. But I think she has revealed a part of many female struggles by the backlash against her.

I think Palin is an extremist politically. I don't like that. In the same way I did not lie Margeret Thatcher in England in the 80's or agree with Andrea Dorkin's anti-pornography theories. I could not understand why people elected Thatcher...she was a dangerous force I think. But now that time has gone by, I have learned more and am older...I can see that despite my dislike of her...she was a powerful feminist icon. Despite my opposition of Dorkin's politics, I have also come to understand that the theories of Dorkin were valuable.

There isn't one package or political issue of feminism. It is a force of many costumes and flavours. The issues surrounding womens voices and politics are much vaster than we could have predicted in the 1970's.

Women need to understand that as a group we have vast issues that we may not share between us but we share as a gender and even beyond gender.

We need to listen to the various branches of womens issues rather than typecast a feminist as someone "who wants to make money, support abortion rights, walk alone at night safely, and have partners who do housework". We are much more diverse than those issues and until we accept the social challenges of our community we will always be stuck fighting over the superficial petty issues. Women bickering over who is a worthy feminist icon isn't a positive political or social action. Women embracing all peoples struggles and opening dialogue is much more survival oriented.

I believe the secret to our potentials lies in acknowledging there isn' t one face to feminist or human rights in general.

Accepting diversity and polarity is a future survival and spiritual principle for healthy community.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Corridors


I love weird urban areas. I like being in buildings when they're locked shut...and I like the areas in a building that are out-of-the-way or ignored. These little moments in video are taken at the Whitney Museum one afternoon when we went to see the Buckminster Fuller exhibit.

STAGG also has a couple of fun videos up at his blog today.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

William The Conqueror: 13 Details About Paul R. Williams


"If I allow the fact that I am a Negro to checkmate my will to do, now, I will inevitably form the habit of being defeated."

"Planning is thinking beforehand how something is to be made or done, and mixing imagination with the product – which in a broad sense makes all of us planners. The only difference is that some people get a license to get paid for thinking and the rest of us just contribute our good thoughts to our fellow man."


1) I've done several Thursday Thirteens on architecture, but the buildings of Paul Williams are ones I have spent the most time actually visiting in the Los Angeles area. Many of his buildings are familiar pop culture icons seen in movies or television, but they are so beautiful with simple elegance when seen in person.

2) In the 1960s Williams was an associate architect in the design of new terminal facilities at Los Angeles International Airport, including the futuristic Theme Building with its flying saucer-shaped restaurant. (photo above)

3) Perino's Restaurant a Los Angeles landmark, was remodeled from a Thriftimart grocery store in the 1950's by Paul Williams.
Williams himself once wrote: “When asked what was my theory of design – that I did so many contemporary buildings yet I shunned the exotic approach – my answer was, conservative designs stay in style longer and are a better investment.”

4) Saks Fifth Avenue, Beverly Hills, 1939. “Since they wanted this store to express the warmth of a fine home, they decided to use a residential architect,” Williams wrote in his journal.

5) Now owned by Barron Hilton, this house was designed in the 1930's and owned by broadcasting pioneer William S. Paley.
Paul Revere Williams was an African-American architect at a time when such a combination wasn’t considered possible. He had been told as a teenager that “a Negro” couldn’t be an architect; he proved otherwise, though it meant riding to job sites in segregated train cars and perfecting the skill of upside-down drawing (so he could sit across the table from clients, rather than lean over them, lest his proximity make them uncomfortable).

6) “He was completely undaunted by racism,” says the architect’s granddaughter, Karen Hudson, who has authored two books on his career and life.

7) Against all odds, Williams designed hundreds of important public buildings and palatial playgrounds for the elite, in the process becoming one of Southern California’s signature 20th-century architects.


8) Best known as the “architect to the stars.” His portfolio of celebrity clients included Sinatra, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, Tyrone Power, Lon Chaney, Bert Lahr and Zsa Zsa Gabor. To this day, Hollywood royalty live in Williams-designed homes in Beverly Hills, Bel Air, San Marino and other communities

9) The Shriner Auditorium once hosted the Emmy Awards and the Oscars.

10) Aaron Lilien Residence, holmby hills, 1946 Slender columns and simplified balconies characterize this modern colonial from Williams’ postwar period.

11) Paul Williams contributed to the building of The Beverly Hills Hotel, which was designed originally by Elmer Grey. From 1947 to 1951, Williams worked on the extensive restoration of the Beverly Hills Hotel, an erstwhile hotspot for the glitterati that had faded from glory under a succession of owners. Williams contributed the designs for a revamped Polo Lounge, the Fountain Coffee Shop, and – as legend has it – the hotel’s signage itself, the smart script familiar to anyone who has ever cruised down Sunset Boulevard. The coffee shop, especially, showcased Williams’ classic Southern California sensibility, gracefully commingling inside and outside with bright colors (green booths, pink tablecloths, matching pink vases) and floor-to-ceiling windows.

12) Lon Chaney house designed by Williams.

13) Were he alive today Williams would be disappointed, (granddaughter) Hudson says, that still very few African-Americans are working as architects. Blacks make up about 5 percent of AIA membership, scarcely more than in Williams’ own time. On the bright side, she says, her famous grandfather saw incredible social change in his lifetime.

“He saw people of his own color moving up, working, progressing, some going to architecture school, and as he saw his own people coming along that made him happy.”


RELATED LINKS:

Overview and photos, this is a fantiastic page of Paul Williams bio.
Via Magazine profile. This short profile really delves into the social challenges Williams overcame.
Wiki page
Paul R. Williams: A Legacy of Style by Karen Hudson

Feminists: Madonna, Oprah and Palin

Even if she disappears from the scene forever after a McCain defeat, Palin will still have made an enormous and lasting contribution to feminism. As I said in my last column, Palin has made the biggest step forward in reshaping the persona of female authority since Madonna danced her dominatrix way through the shattered puritan barricades of the feminist establishment. In 1990, in a highly controversial New York Times op-ed that attacked old-guard feminist ideology, I declared that "Madonna is the future of feminism" -- a prophecy that was ridiculed at the time but that turned out to be quite true. Madonna put pro-sex feminism on the international map.

But it is now 18 years later -- the span of an entire generation. The instabilities and diminishments for young women raised in an increasingly shallow media environment have become all too obvious. I had grown up in a vibrant pop culture with glorious women stars of voluptuous sensuality -- above all Elizabeth Taylor, sewn into that silky white slip as the vixen Manhattan call girl of "Butterfield 8." In college, I feasted on foreign films starring sexual sophisticates like Jeanne Moreau, Anouk Aimée and Catherine Deneuve. Sex today, however, has become brittle and superficial. Except for the occasional diverting flash of Lindsay Lohan's borrowed bosom, I see nothing whatever that is worth a second glance. Pro-sex feminism has worked itself out and, like all movements, has degenerated into clichés. And even Madonna, with her skeletal megalomania, looks like a refugee from a horror movie.

The next phase of feminism must circle back and reappropriate the ancient persona of the mother -- without losing career ambition or power of assertion. Betty Friedan, who had first attacked the cult of postwar domesticity, had long warned second-wave feminists such as Gloria Steinem about the damaging exclusion of homemakers from their value system. The animus of liberal feminists toward religion must also end (I am speaking as an atheist). Feminism must reexamine all of its assumptions, including its death grip on abortion, if it wishes to survive.
Camille Paglia at Salon Magazine

I think there are two things going on here with Palin and I think Paglia gets that.

One, she is a political extremist and her experience is too involved in the "good ol boys" posturing politics, for me.

It is those kind of politics that I don't like about Palin and basically that is what liberals don't like as well.

Instead of articulating such...liberals HAVE responded emotionally to her. They have been petty. They have been namecalling and snobbish.

The Democrats instead should focus on the campaign and on communicating why they are the party for people and helpful to economc growth and security and focus on the country.

The second thing going on...is in fact true to what Paglia says. Palin may not be exactly my kind of politican...but she is a huge leap to the mainstream for the emotional imagination of women and feminism.

Palin embodies a formally ignored feminist.


It is also true that the feminist effects of Madonna didn't surface until all those little girls who sang along to "papa don't preach" and "express yourself" started dating and getting into the work force. Those simple childhood passions in music filtered into girls who were raised in macho latino families, in repressive patriarchal suburbs and gave those young women a sense of empowerment.

I think Paglia has missed something though...and that is the power of feminist icon of Oprah. The thing is Oprah has represented and served the "homemaker feminist" for two decades across race and economic incomes.

When Oprah endorsed Obama her ratings dropped massively. She has lost part of her audiences.

What Palin is...is that lost Oprah audience.

Except for her actual politics and policies Palin is representing all kinds of women across the board even upper class women who are liberal...they might be complaining and trashing her right now...but that is because they have worked hard at smoothing out the rough edges via university and Martha Stewart or studying "high culture" like wine, bookclubs, home decorating and art.

People have vastly underestimated how Palin has captured the imagination and she is a force to be reckoned with: it's pure genius.

But don't get me wrong, she is not my cup of tea, I am not a "fan" but I am able to see and uderstand that she is touching lots of people. I also don't think she is stupid. I think she has policies that are so rigid it makes her appear stupid. She is not.

Did you see the Couric stuff?


Now my breakdown of this clip...that has been floating around the internet with jokes is such: Yes, Palin does look dumb when she is asked "what sources for news does she read?" she says ahe reads "um, all of them".

...BUT...see how she catches Couric. She points out that Couric isn't really asking her which papers she gets her news from...
Couric is under polite pretense saying "Alaskans are dumb and don't have newspapers are cut off from culture or public life etc"

Palin has heard it all before. She is aware of the kind of redneck jokes people tell about people in rural areas. (we have Newfie and Polish jokes in Canada) she knows the world thinks remote places like the Appalacians, Alaska, or Wyomming are not considered cosmopolitan or international or worldly: hicks, inbred, stupid, parochial...and Palin recognizes the game Couric is playing.

For me Couric looks like a snob and a "mean girl" in that clip. And Palin is not to be suckered in. She may not have the answers that liberals want to hear but she is well savvy with knowing the point of their questions is to cut her down...not find out who she is...

The thing is...there isn't one kind of feminist. Like women there are all kinds ranging from having beliefs against abortion to being pro-choice, for the death penalty, against it. Palin's presence in mainstream culture is a sign of the varieties of thinking among contemporary culture. Many of the issues that Palin supports are long overdue to be revisited, discussed and argued about within women's society. And within our culture in general. Palins presence and popularity in mainstream culture is also a sign of civil conflict.

Oprah turned down having any politicians on her show for the election. She said she couldn't because she is not neutral...but the interview of the century just might be a future one with Palin and Oprah.

P.S. If you're looking for a hip roast of Sarah Palin, please read the Rolling Stone neo-Hunter S. Thompson article by Matt Taibbi clicking on these yellow letters.

The Economist set up an image of what if the whole world were voiting, click on yellow text.

Shoot Em Up: A Fairytale


I am so glad I own this dvd version because this film is so much fun to watch again and again. In the feild of Sin City and Kill Bill this is operatic violence and comedy. I adore all three of the main actors and their energy and skill works in the same manner that John Woo accomplishes with his actors amid mayhem. Monica Belluci is not only sexy and gorgeous she is funny and is the soul of the story. In a movie where there are not only more bullets, but more guns, than words...we need her centered mothering hooker. When I saw Croupier (if you're going to Vegas, click on yellow text) I said to myself, self, you will attend every movie this man makes in the future. And I have. How wonderful is Clive Owen? He is one of the coolest action stars and draws a viewer in, no matter and especially despite how over-the-top a premise might be.

Paul Giamatti could hardly have just played HOB's John Adams, really? Because here he is far from ethical...he revs us up with his intelligence and wit. He's a hoot as a pudgy-Everready-bunny-villian with the best of them. Although this movie is out to break convention, and it does, partly by casting Giamatti as the bad guy, it still has to give us enough real hard core classic action to compete with it's predecessors/peers ( GODS=John Woo, Noriyuki Abe, Shunichi Nagasaki, Hideo Nakata, Sam Pekinpah, Sergio Leone, John McTieran, Richard Donner, Yimou Zang, Tony Scott)...and does it ever. There were so many action sequences in this film that really were sucessful. My very favourite though was Owen grabbing a rope and falling down a spiral staircase killing off dozens of henchmen. Very cool.

The love story, the baby, the settings were all worth getting this dvd for home and more. It's obvious the director, Michael Davis ( 100 Girls, Monster Man) spent a lot of time working out details of the baby within the action. Having the abandoned baby as part of the conflict was clever enough, but having it tied to Owens back throughout some of the most violent action gave the audience a whole new way to have face time during such action. Really well thought out.


And what good is an awesome headbanging fairytale with out a massive soundtrack? ...again another genre, like the gansta film,(Shottas) that showcases music in a fun adrenaline serving POW!

SOUNDTRACK: (scored by Paul Haslinger)

Switch On, Paul Oakenfeild
Ace of Spades, Motorhead
Landscape, J Marr
Patient Eye, Midnight Moives
Little Landmine, DJ SWamp
Money, Jesca Hoop
Play With Your Pussy, Max Romeo
Think Fast, All Too MUch
Coral Den, Midnight Movies
Killer In The Rain, DJ Swamp
Black Bubblegum, The Dillinger Escape Plan
Zen, Strapping Young Lad

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

FUR


Since this movie was so disliked by many critics I was looking forward to seeing it...how could a movie with Kidman and Downey Jr tank? Well, I can see how...it is slow, clausrophobic, imaginary and supposedly about a real person...but not, artist Diane Arbus. But I rather liked this quirky movie.

The uneasiness of the movie made me feel curious and concerned for the characters. It is almost immediately apparent that a mysterious neighbour who moves upstars for Diane Arbus is imaginary...but it's such a great apartment Robert Downey Jr's character lives in that I became enchanted...and the actor has a hell of a challenge. How to act covered in hair. Or fur. No seriously. While I was watching the movie, all I could think about was...who else on earth beside Stagg and I would watch this movie? Of course, my sister! She would love these recreated fantasy New York apartments. And she would like this strange love story. So I phoned her...and she had already seen it. I said...I asked, I think the neighbour symbolized her secret marriage or something. And my sister was like, "how about it was her." Oh doh! Yes, of course. We see Kidman's character discover her voice in photgraphy and she secretly takes hundreds of photos. At one point her husband develops all the photos and they are only of a hallway. So it becomes clear the friendship and love story with a neighbour is "in Kidman's mind". Yes, I've spoiled the mystery of the movie for you...but I believe if you ever happen to see this movie, you will thank me for this spoiler. It is really cool to see the artist find her voice and self.

I totally want a hair coat now.

“To dispel the growing myth that [Arbus] only took pictures of freaks, she made up a list of elegant people she wanted to photograph…As if to prove her point, she took a remarkable portrait of Gloria Vanderbilt’s sleeping baby son, Anderson Hays Cooper, for a Harper’s Bazaar Valentine issue. In this truly astonishing picture, the infant resembles a flat white death’s head — eyes sealed shut, mouth pursed and moist with saliva. When Gloria Vanderbilt saw the photograph, she forbade Bazaar to publish it, but eventually she changed her mind and this stunning image opened Diane’s retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in 1972.” Patricia Bosworth

Fur Growth


Okay stupid blog post warning. I should be able to post some new stuff and photos in a couple weeks. So far I've got pre-written blog posts for the most part because of busy agendas this past couple of months. I'm trying to visit everyone's blogs though and that gives me a great feeling of "stability" for some reason. This is my hair this past summer...and below is my hair length three years ago. My hair doesn't even hardly grow plus the fact that I bleach the living shit out of it and it always is breaking off and falling out...well here is a comparison. I'm happy to see it's sort of growing. I found this older photo when Canuck Hockey Girl requested one for her blog and she did an fun interview with me. (Check it out...even my old pal Mister Anchovy said he found out stuff he didn't know)

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Why Isn't Obama Ahead By A Landslide?

Two articles written from very different trades...have observed the same flaw in the Democrats campaign.

Liberals are out of touch with people's feelings. (Elizabeth May and Jack Layton should read this too...)

What shapes the consciousness of Americans are two psychodynamic issues:

1) The level of their fear vs. the level of their hope, and the degree to which they feel recognized and respected by those who are seeking their vote. One of the terrible problems with the people who have pushed Obama to present himself as more "centrist" is that they don't understand how their role in pushing the candidate away from his own deepest truths has undermined his campaign and made him appear less authentic and hence less trust-worthy. So lets explore these issues.

The level of fear is never static. Though most of us have been subjected to an intense barrage of messages that tell us that we are surrounded by people who only care about themselves, and a world filled with terrorists who seek to destroy us, and that the only path to safety for ourselves or our country is to dominate and control others before they dominate and control us, we've also been exposed to a different set of experiences in which we've learned to recognize that many people who seem hurtful or scary can sometimes be moved by our acting in a sensitive and caring way toward them, and that love and generosity generate more security than attacks and attempts to manipulate others.

2) Here we get to the second major mistake of the Democrats, liberals and progressives. Their contempt for the American people, manifested in their unwillingness to say clearly what they really believe (e.g. that the war in Iraq is not just a tactical but a moral error, or that a budget that under-funds the needy is an ethical distortion, or that allowing the marketplace to destroy the global environment is a sin not just a question of differences in economic theory) is immediately understood by the rest of the population as elitism and disrespect.

What I learned in my research was that a large group of Americans feel disrespected at work and disrespected in many of the encounters they have with others. They can feel that the Republicans are telling them their own truth—that militarism and self-interest are the key to a good world—but that Democrats are not telling their truth—that love and generosity are the key to a good world—because the Democrats disrespect them so much that they feel that "ordinary Americans" couldn't possibly respond to their message if they told it straight. It is this disrespect that gets triggered by Democrats' caution (they even pick a vice-presidential candidate like Joe Biden who has been hawkish rather than peace- and generosity-oriented whereas the Republicans pick a woman who actually embodies their values). It's not which of these sets of values are better that matters to many people as much as which choice reflects respect for the American people. To the extent that the Dems hide who they are, it's easy to tag them as elitist scum.


One article is from a spiritual magazine written by RABBI MICHAEL LERNER, he is rabbi of Beyt Tikkun synagogue which conducts High Holiday and Friday night services in San Francisco, and Torah study Saturday mornings in Berkeley. The other is written by JONATHAN HAIDT is Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Virginia

The purity/sanctity foundation is used heavily by the Christian right to condemn hedonism and sexual "deviance," but it can also be harnessed for progressive causes. Sanctity does not have to come from God; the psychology of this system is about overcoming our lower, grasping, carnal selves in order to live in a way that is higher, nobler, and more spiritual. Many liberals criticize the crassness and ugliness that our unrestrained free-market society has created. There is a long tradition of liberal anti-materialism often linked to a reverence for nature. Environmental and animal welfare issues are easily promoted using the language of harm/care, but such appeals might be more effective when supplemented with hints of purity/sanctity.

The authority/respect foundation will be the hardest for Democrats to use. But even as liberal bumper stickers urge us to "question authority" and assert that "dissent is patriotic," Democrats can ask what needs this foundation serves, and then look for other ways to meet them. The authority foundation is all about maintaining social order, so any candidate seen to be "soft on crime" has disqualified himself, for many Americans, from being entrusted with the ultimate authority. Democrats would do well to read Durkheim and think about the quasi-religious importance of the criminal justice system. The miracle of turning individuals into groups can only be performed by groups that impose costs on cheaters and slackers. You can do this the authoritarian way (with strict rules and harsh penalties) or you can do it using the fairness/reciprocity foundation by stressing personal responsibility and the beneficence of the nation towards those who "work hard and play by the rules." But if you don't do it at all—if you seem to tolerate or enable cheaters and slackers -- then you are committing a kind of sacrilege.

If Democrats want to understand what makes people vote Republican, they must first understand the full spectrum of American moral concerns. They should then consider whether they can use more of that spectrum themselves. The Democrats would lose their souls if they ever abandoned their commitment to social justice, but social justice is about getting fair relationships among the parts of the nation. This often divisive struggle among the parts must be balanced by a clear and oft-repeated commitment to guarding the precious coherence of the whole. America lacks the long history, small size, ethnic homogeneity, and soccer mania that holds many other nations together, so our flag, our founding fathers, our military, and our common language take on a moral importance that many liberals find hard to fathom.

Unity is not the great need of the hour, it is the eternal struggle of our immigrant nation. The three Durkheimian foundations of ingroup, authority, and purity are powerful tools in that struggle. Until Democrats understand this point, they will be vulnerable to the seductive but false belief that Americans vote for Republicans primarily because they have been duped into doing so.


RELATED LINKS:

What's The Matter With Liberalism?
Why Isn't Obama Ahead by A Landslide?
What Makes People Vote Republican?

Saturday, October 04, 2008

LL Cool J Rockin With The G.O.A.T.


Good dance song and easy on the eyes...

:)

Say What?

Horace Engdahl is permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy, the body which chooses the Nobel Prize for literature. In an interview with an American journalist this week, he dismissed the writing of the US – the land of Melville, Hemingway and Fitzgerald – as "too isolated, too insular". "They don't translate [foreign books] enough and don't really participate in the big dialogue of literature," he said. "That ignorance is restraining."

American writers were "too sensitive to trends in their own mass culture," he told the Associated Press. "Of course there is powerful literature in all big cultures, but you can't get away from the fact that Europe still is the centre of the literary world."


From The New Republic

Friday, October 03, 2008

Photo For A Special Visitor


Here is a picture I found of Gerry Cheever who used to be a pin up poster for one of my visitors. An anonymous visitor from Cormac McCarthy book club left some cool comments in this post the other day: about hockey in Detroit. Thanks "Penelope" and here is a pic for you of your ol hockey hero.

Some of my hockey heros include Matt Sundin, Doug Gilmore, Daryll Sittler, Wendell Clark, Mark Messier, Stan Smyl, Harold Sneptis, Ptrik Sundstrom, Theron Fleury, Robert Reichel, Pavel Bure, Rocket Richard, Booby Orr.

Any other hockey fans out there? Who are your favourite players? (Um actually...I know Canuck Hockey Girl is a fan...and this is kinda weird...she interviewed me on her blog this week. It was a lot of fun to answer her questions. To read this interview, please click on the yellow text...)

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Sexy Song For Bond


What a combination the glorious Alicia Keyes and guitarist Jack Black. Yummy.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

How A Bob Dylan Song Influenced Design: Thursday Thirteen Edition #108


1) Micahel Graves Kettle might be one of the most definitive designs or motifs from the 1990's but he was associated with an architectural movement in the 1980's, the Memphis Group.

2) Named after the Bob Dylan song Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again, the movement was a reaction against the post-Bauhaus "black box" designs of the 1970s and had a sense of humour that was lacking at the time in design.
Ettore Sottsass, called Memphis design the "New International Style".


3) Humana Tower, Louisville Kentucky, 1985 by Michael Graves.

4) Postmodern architecture was an international style whose first examples are generally cited as being from the 1950s, and which continues to influence present-day architecture. 5) Postmodernity in architecture is generally thought to be heralded by the return of "wit, ornament and reference" to architecture in response to the formalism of the International Style of modernism. As with many cultural movements, some of postmodernism's most pronounced and visible ideas can be seen in architecture. 6) The functional and formalized shapes and spaces of the modernist movement are replaced by unapologetically diverse aesthetics: styles collide, form is adopted for its own sake, and new ways of viewing familiar styles and space abound.

7) Swan and Dolphin Hotel by Michael Graves, Disney World 1991.

8) Article on Micahel Graves here


9) The cabinet shown here is a good example of the "Memphis Group" design...by George Sowden

10) Arata Isozaki designed the Kyoto concert Hall above.


11) 1987-1991 Mudeum for Moderne Kunst in Frankfurt by Hans Hollein.

12) Ettore Sottsass designed the tyoewriter above in 1969, for Olivetti.

13) Sottsass described Memphis in a 1986 Chicago Tribune article: "Memphis is like a very strong drug. You cannot take too much. I don't think anyone should put only Memphis around: It's like eating only cake."

Thursday Thirteen is a blogging activity encouraging bloggers to get to know each other through list-making.