Saturday, December 31, 2011

Twenty Twelve

I feel sort of giddy that it's actually going to be 2012. I grew up hearing about the opportunities the energy of this year was going to offer. Not apocalypse but "a time of great change". My friend sharona, an astrologer on the west coast, says this year is like a door that we can open to make changes and those changes...whether "good" or "bad" will be supported. When I was a little kid and my family spoke with reverence about this year...it seemed so far away.

Are you up to anything fun tonight? My friend Tricia is coming over for martinis and I am looking forward to seeing her.


Happy new year!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

OMG!



Another movie I am very excited about seeing! By one of my favourite directors!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Man Down



I LOVE LOVE LOVE this song "Man Down" by Rhianna. She has some parents and people angry because of the violence depicted in the lyrics. Of course it was okay for Bob Marley or Eric Clapton to sing a powerful ballad about revenge or murder. Strong angry repentant women storytelllers? Dangerous! Go goddesses!

Rhianna on Twitter page, insisting upon her “freedom to make art” and telling parents it is up to them, not the music industry, to raise their kids.

“The music industry isn’t exactly Parents R Us!” she tweeted.

“We have the freedom to make art, LET US! It’s your job to make sure they don’t turn out like us.”

In another tweet, she said: “I’m a 23-year-old rockstar with NO KIDS! What’s up with everybody wanting me to be a parent? I’m just a girl, I can only be your/our voice!”


Friday, December 23, 2011

The Artist




I just wrote a friend how I was wondering what kinds of movies are coming out ...and I really had not felt super excited about seeing a new movie in quite a long time. Listen, I am excited about the Dragon Tattoo movie, and Sherlock Holmes, and Mission Impossible...but I mean really excited. Excited like the kinds of movies that might inspire you to think about life. Like anticipating a Scorcese or Fellini movie. I used to get so excited to see a new Fellini movie. I really haven't been very excited to see a movie since "The Matrix" which had so much word of mouth and buzz.

Now here comes a movie...in black and white with no dialogue...and the trailer alone gets my eyes watering and my heart jumping. I can not believe someone has the guts to make a silent movie in black and white. I am so stoked for this movie! The director is a fellow who has made delightful spy movie spoofs in the past.

When I look at the trailer for "The Artist" I am filled with the memories of going to see Marx Brothers movies or Fellini's "Cassanova" at the Plaza Theatre in Calgary. I think The Plaza still shows movies. One of my oldest friends was the projectionist (he became a labour leader for projectionists since those days). The first movie I took my daughter to was at The Plaza (she was a newborn but I took her in a snugglie to "Wizard of Oz" which of course she slept through).

It just feels so cool to anticipate seeing this movie! Would you go see a silent black and white film?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Houseguest


We have a little houseguest. He's a hamster that needs a bit of tlc for a couple of days. Hes very cute but very shy.

I am watching the 4 part series Fabric Of The Cosmos ala marathon tonight. I love the host, Brian Greenes, books which this mini series has been adapted. A quiet night. Stagg is at work. We are both working on the 25th so I don't even think we'll get a tree. we're either at work or sleeping. Not much else....back to my physics series...yummy!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Sqweegel


This is one of the creepiest characters and episodes from CSI. I was so frightened watching this episode a couple years ago I had to turn all the lights on. And then phoned my daughter who was also watching it. Ann Margeret was also in this episode.The serial killer wore total pvc suit and was "unforensic" ot able to find any evidence of who he was except for the nicknames "Sqweegel" and "Ian Moore" (I am no one). This episode was so popular and so good that fans are hoping the writers will create more episodes of "Sqweegel". Here is a behind-the-scenes video.

Friday, December 16, 2011

If There Is No Fighting, It's Just Ice Skating



"By a practice I am going to mean any coherent and complex form of socially established cooperative human activity through which goods internal to that form of activity are realized in the course of trying to achieve those standards of excellence which are appropriate to, and partially definitive of, that form of activity, with the result that human powers to achieve excellence, and human conceptions of the ends and goods involved, are systematically extended." Alasdair MacIntyre

Hockey without fighting is just skating? No really though, we think of hockey as having sanctioned fighting like boxing. The thing is, usually actual fist fighting doesn't happen in hockey until kids are well over 12. When I heard about this fight among 9 year olds after a hockey game I was really surprised. then I thought, hey maybe this game wasn't in North America. And I was right it's in Russia. I don't know anything about the customs of kids games in Russia but I know a fair bit about hockey games in Canada and the States for youth. Fighting is not tolerated. Nor is parental verbal abuse. Especially in Canada. Kids play hockey for fun. The fighting kicks in around the time of hormones. And kids having less influences from positive role models. Not the fighting players...but the players who make bad decisions during games.

In the above video what happens is that the kids start insulting each other...then fists fly.

And this is often what happens in professional hockey. Almost always in professional hockey, when a fight occurs its after one of the players has done something wrong. By wrong it could be a wrong play, a rule break, she wasn't caught by refs at a bad play...but often it is something really morally or gameship unacceptable. The fight happens after a bit of back and forth during the game till it escalates. There is ussualy a moral imperative and a "good versus bad ". It's part of the game and part of keeping up good gameship in the game of hockey.

I know, its a bit of a contradiction but there it is.

With children emphasis on the game is fun. Fun. No verbal abuse, no name-calling, no insulting players. The junior games are monitored and refereed and coached way before insults or rude words surface. Way before a fight would surface.

Hockey really is one of the more beautiful sports. Sports is the marriage of art and war. And hockey is the marriage of ice skating and boxing. Like many martial practices or artistic practices there is attainment of knowledge seemingly outside the actual practice. Part of being both an artist or a hockey player is going through the experience and gaining life skills. We teach kids tolerance and kindness during junoir hockey in the hopes that when they become grown ups they will choose their battles. After all, just like real life there are going to be bad people or people with poor social and game skills. Part of the idea of 10,000 hours or the philosophy of virtue (Alistair MacIntyre) is that we gain experience and tact and judgemental skills during our apprenticeship and practices.

The fight among 9 year old hockey players means we need to work harder at making sure children get those precious years of fun and play while attaining social and game skills so they can be ready for real life or grown up games.

Shit Disturber, R.I.P.



"There is, especially in the American media, a deep belief that insincerity is better than no sincerity at all."

"One reason to be a decided antiracist is the plain fact that 'race' is a construct with no scientific validity. DNA can tell you who you are, but not what you are."

"A melancholy lesson of advancing years is the realisation that you can't make old friends."

All above quotes of Christopher Hitchens.

In my world, being a shit disturber is a compliment. The term is used a lot in Canada and I think maybe trickled over from UK. It's kind of a 60's slash punk term and Hitchens was a royal shit disturber. He liked to get his brain wrenching with any kind of status quo. Question authority. Like him or not. Agree with him or not...he could set up a frame for a discussion. I feel like I've been reading his opinions and arguments all my life. He was a regular guest on Bill Maher's shows and he will be sorely missed because he brought humour, cutting social criticism and UK swag to so many discussions and magazines.


Pointed threats, they bluff with scorn
Suicide remarks are torn
From the fool’s gold mouthpiece the hollow horn
Plays wasted words, proves to warn
That he not busy being born is busy dying.
—Bob Dylan, “It’s Alright, Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)”

Related Links:

1) From NPR
2) Hitchens on Nietzsche for Vanity Fair
3) A Hitchens friend remembers

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Radio



New Barry White? I love this new video and song by 50Cent. I always have on WGCI in the car. I am now super familiar with the djs and programming. I also have landed up driving all kinds of places in the past couple months. Really starting to get a sense of direction in Chicago...

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A Painting Being Made By Peter Josyph


This is a photo I took in Knoxville of Cormac McCarthy's family house back in 2007. Yes, I was sneaking around on this property...and I was nervous and took some silly photos. I was visiting a few friendsfrom my online bookclub, with a fabulous guy Wes who took me on a literary tour of McCarthy's world in Knoxville. This house burned down a couple years ago.


A buddy of mine has these great videos of him making a painting of Cormac McCarthy's house: Peter Josyph is a New York artist and film maker who did this painting for our bookclub and I think this video archive is just a wonderful thing. Check it out! See how two very different people had such different responses to a visual imspiration as this house. ha ha. Okay okay, Peter's is obviously way more cool!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Some Billy


Aw, cute, Billy Bragg on a Canadian kids show...I used to sing this song to my nephew Nathan. One trip to tofino and this record was very popular I would get up early in the morning and let my sister and brother-in-law sleep in and I would take Nathan in a snuggly pack to the beach and watch eagles feed in the seaweed and sing this to him.


A concerty version....

I love both these Billy's and they are both from the British punk scene and same era.



No surprise Billy Idol became a big star, his face was made for music videos and he is so gorgeous! At the time of Idol's early rock videos they were super inventive and now they seem so cute. We used to love waiting for one of his sexy videos to be shown on Much Music or MTV.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Must See!


Just got word that Adam Ant is on his way to Chicago. I've got to go!!!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Stacking Lifting Stocking

well, I did manage to think about if I was gonna get a tree or decorate...and yes, I am going to decorate next week. Stagg is going to find some decorations in the attic. We also had our Festivus decorations in the basement at our old place so they survived. I've been lifting and stacking 30 pound bags of cat food and cat litter and flats of tins of cat food for the past couple days. I am so out of shape I thought I would't make it but can you say "core"? I MUST get back into yoga or else! Not much else going on. I love the people I've been working with this week. Two of the women are just wonderful. One I call "movie buff". she describes everyone as a movie person they look like. when she described one of the guys as "michael J Pollard" I did a double take. That was for sure a movie buff observation so esoteric. I love hearing about the other staffs dogs and cats and retiles etc. Everyone has pets that works here. (well except me) Thats it for now. On a tear with the crock pot. Threw in all organic chicken and bones with tiny potatoes )no TINY potatoes) and vegies and organic chicken stock and just let it simmer. Stagg's got dozens of soups and stews for work now. Thats all for now folks...

Friday, December 09, 2011

Night Shift

Stagg and i are working two different night shifts so he'll be gone when I get home tonight. We still don't know if he'll be picked up full time. Cross your fingers. We've filled up the fridge and he has meals ready for several days. The crock pot has already been a terrific addition. We made an awesome stew last night with stuff I grabbed at Trader Joes like stew beef, peas, potatoes organic beef stock. My new location is in our old neighbourhood right next to our old Trader Joes! So it is super convenient. I will just get groceries on my way home every day. Zowie! Thats about it for now...my new location is really new. Brand new store , not even open yet...so I got some extra hours helping unpack stock...which I LOVE DOING! And so no dogs yet but probably be grooming by next week. So its been a fun couple days. The people I work with are so cool and nice so thats really great too. Later...

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Welcome To The 1950's


I've been at Tricia's for a week and just got back. Um...Stagg hadn't been to the grocery store. He made odd bits of food with potatoes and cabbage and rice we had kicking around. The thing is...when he came to Kenosha for the funeral the other day I thought he looked very very thin. I had no idea he was on the cabbage soup diet. If anyone didn't need to lose weight it's Stagg.

Now coincidently on the way back into town I stopped for groceries and I saw a lovely crock pot at Target. I've never owned a crock pot before bit thought it might be a way for Stagg to make some meals.

I got him to spend an hour chopping onions and celery and so now he has a prep for recipes. Its just as much trouble to chop a lot of onions as one...and then store them in the fridge till you make a bunch of soups etc. He walked through an informal chili recipe with me last night ....and this morning...the chili looks pretty good.


If you have any groovy and wholesome crock pot recipes lay them down!

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Cool Brother, R.I.P.



The only thing I can make any sense over this sudden loss is that Jim Morrison and Kurt Cobain must have needed a bodyguard.

The Neil, as he was called by just about everyone, was a Marine. Just exactly how cool was he? He had tattoos. He wore combat boots and five fingers shoes. He got his sister, my friend Tricia, her first iPhone and kept upgrading them. He was one cool brother. He had just got his concealed weapons permit and was planning to branch out from security to personal security. He drove a bad ass truck. He worked at a gentlemans club and took care of the dancers like they were family. He was the life of the party and he laughed loud and hearty. He was huge, larger than life at 6'5". He had a massive love of travel and seeing the world especially if the weather was balmy and there were palm trees. He could quote The Simpsons on a dime. Knowing The Simpsons is a sign of great mental health and well-being. He loved movies and was a source of useless information which made for great conversation. His favourite movie was The Big Lebowski. Almost all of his clothes were black and glamorous styling...and when they weren't they were black with skull and pirate motifs, which of course is also glamorous! He was a foodie getting his parents to try new foods they never imagined they would begin to love. He did it all and he lived so large and to the fullest: sky diving, scuba diving, gun savvy, knife collecting, massive hat wearing, camping, hunting. He really was the best version of the American spirit we see in movies and literature. Only for real. He seized the day.

He's going to be interned on Saturday in his five fingered sports shoes with two pounds of Reeses Peanut Butter Cups. Semper Fi!

"You make me smile like the sun
Fall outta bed
Sing like a bird
Dizzy in my head
Spin like a record
Crazy on a Sunday night

You make me dance like a fool
Forget how to breathe
Shine like gold
Buzz like a bee
Just the thought of you can drive me wild
Oh, you make me smile"

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Friend


I am at my friend Tricias place...everyone is totally gutted. Her brother and his dog both passed away yesterday morning in a terrible car crash. We spend so much time with Tricia and her family they are our family. Just raw shock. I'll write something proper about him in a bit...just wanted to put this wonderful photo of him here...

Monday, November 28, 2011

Flat

Oh this is so hard to even type. We are gutted. We've lost a friend. I can't write about it right now...I am so sick thinking about their family, our friend...we are in shock. No words. I just want to hug my friend. Tonight...meditation and breathing...

Stag Is The New Owl

How many hipsters does it take to change a lightbulb?

The number is really obscure; you probably haven't heard of it.


Deer heads and stags have been trendy for about 10 years now...but sometimes these trends get second booms. We saw a lot of stags this weekend. Tricia and I did a lot of second hand shopping. We saw this vest with Illinois sillouette and Lincoln sillouette and thought how funny! Then the front of it had all these hilarious buttons and badges...no no really look closer...

We did a big double take. The vest was $50 and would have been funny to buy except then Stagg might actually wear it, so no way!

When we got on a streetcar Saturday night as we went bar hopping...I thought shit, is this a film set? Is this a casting call for people who all dress in ironic retro wear and look about 22? Its like everyone on the streetcar had bought at the exact same store the exact uniform of hip urban bored ness. Its been decades since anyone could even attempt to find something rare or different in music and art. Any band you think you've discovered and fell upon, trust me they have a following of millions....there is no mysterious artist or musician out there, no surprise actor or movement, no unique music or alternative style. the alternative and folk is long dead and popularized within seconds. "Obscure" or "authentic" is all always everywhere for everyone...but even this sight on the Toronto streetcar was a surprise. I actually felt a little embarrassed for all the people who wish they were special and unique and knew cool unheard of music...those days are long gone...

There are two words I've always tried to avoid using. I have tried to not have them in my vocabulary and hope to have them not insert themselves into a pattern of thinking. These two words are discovery and progress. I simply do not believe there is any such thingas progress. Period. Or discovery. I think the human brain has the illusion of progress because it can't see the whole picture. I also think discovery is an illusion of the brain of someone who hasn't seen we just find things already in existence we don't discover them.

In practicing meditation and meeting many people over the years who begin meditating they often go through a phase. Well, many phases are found in "aspirants" f meditation. One phase is feeling special or unique. The idea that we are individuals is very strong part of what may surface when you begin meditating for the first time. We start to see that often our culture has programmmed in us the idea that we are original or different than others. Meditation begins to confront that philosophy.

I have had several friends who were in AA. AA had some very similar concepts and phases as meditation. One is a sort of aspirant when they first practice AA. AA had a adage or concept called "terminal uniqueness." In meditation the concept of terminal uniqueness is part of the ego. The ego thinks it can discover a new band. Or be "authentic" and find rare music and art and literature in order to represent it's own specialness. The ego will resist meditation and group settings "to do it alone".

I think a lot of restrictive thinking...thinking and programming from the kind of economy we have under agriculture in Europe, China, North America...is conducive to this idea of "obscure" and "special". This idea of obscure or unique or alternative feeds into addictive thinking and rigid patterns of behaviour that prevent us from seeing other ways to live and think. I couldn't help but feel a little sad and frightened by this mass manifestation of "obscure" and "authentic" mindset on the Toronto steetcar the other night. This is a kind of reaction to totalitarianism yet...it is just another form of totalitarianism. We want the "old ways" of clothes...a better time, not to be products of machine and economy that keeps us from thinking freely...yet we becme another form of group thinking. We don't want to be a "robot' and that wish is linked to addictive behaviour...and then we become robots in our revolutions.

No programs. No discovery. No progress. Go Occupy Wall Street. Go Occupy Everywhere!









Related Links:

1) Suttree. A novel where the character is a flanuer...but also is trapped in wanting to be "unique" and "authentic". 1979 book review of Suttree.

2) a blog post about terminal uniqueness.

3) "He's wrong... You don't get to do it your way. You don't get to make up your own special rules. We have a name for people like that. Those are people who suffer from terminal uniqueness. You don't get to do it your way." about Charlie Sheen, by Rob Lowe

4) Urban Dictionary on Hipster

5) Ego death at Wiki...and "how to meditate" suggestions at Meditation Oasis

Downtown











Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Death Of The Fringe Suburb

"DRIVE through any number of outer-ring suburbs in America, and you’ll see boarded-up and vacant strip malls, surrounded by vast seas of empty parking spaces. These forlorn monuments to the real estate crash are not going to come back to life, even when the economy recovers. And that’s because the demand for the housing that once supported commercial activity in many exurbs isn’t coming back, either.

By now, nearly five years after the housing crash, most Americans understand that a mortgage meltdown was the catalyst for the Great Recession, facilitated by underregulation of finance and reckless risk-taking. Less understood is the divergence between center cities and inner-ring suburbs on one hand, and the suburban fringe on the other.

It was predominantly the collapse of the car-dependent suburban fringe that caused the mortgage collapse.

In the late 1990s, high-end outer suburbs contained most of the expensive housing in the United States, as measured by price per square foot, according to data I analyzed from the Zillow real estate database. Today, the most expensive housing is in the high-density, pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods of the center city and inner suburbs. Some of the most expensive neighborhoods in their metropolitan areas are Capitol Hill in Seattle; Virginia Highland in Atlanta; German Village in Columbus, Ohio, and Logan Circle in Washington. Considered slums as recently as 30 years ago, they have been transformed by gentrification.

Simply put, there has been a profound structural shift — a reversal of what took place in the 1950s, when drivable suburbs boomed and flourished as center cities emptied and withered."

Whole article here by CHRISTOPHER B. LEINBERGER.

Friday, November 25, 2011

All Nighter




Tricia and I pulled an all nighter and drove to Toronto. I haven't driven quite like that ina long time. Tricia slept a bit I just kept driving and pumping coffee. We got here around 8 a.m.

We spent yesterday with the family and just chilled. Today we're going to Kensignton Market. We stayed up late last night shooting the shit with Jill and Scott. I can't get my picture bigger or rotated right now. Off to enjoy another beautiful day and show Tricia around Toronto!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

4 Years Ago



It just came to my attention that our friends band "The Hamburglars" have been playing for four years. I love this crazy video I shot at one of their first gigs. Please feel free to play this video on your blog or FB page..help make them go viral folks! I really want Rosie to have them on her show! She used to collect "Happy Meals" (maybe she still does...I wonder?) and I think she would love this band. I posted this video to her FB page and her twitter.

Body Modification





Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Another Lynch Moment...



There are so many great tv shows. A lot of writers have said in interviews that they look to Twin Peaks as a huge influence. Shows like United States of Tara, Breaking Bad, Nurse Jackie, True Blood, and all the shows with "kooky characters" have the breakthrough eccentric stylings of script and characters in Twin Peaks to nod towards. Twin Peaks is the godhead of all our unique and lovable tv shows these days...

I absolutely love love love the music and intro to Twin Peaks...it still makes my heart go pitter patter.

I've been practicing meditation since I was 13 years old. I just love hearing David Lynch talk about his experiences and perspectives on meditiation. I need a little Lynch in life all the time...so here is some more!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Friday, November 18, 2011

The Body Artist


I have a dirty dark secret. Michael's Jacksons' surgery never really bothered me. Actually...I "got it" why he made the changes he did. I thought he looked beautiful. I loved how he looked all his life. As a child peer. As a cutie on the cover of "The Wall". I loved him since I was little and thought I was going to marry him...but I also understood the changes he made with his face.

We never landed up seeing the movie "This Is It" until this week. Maybe it was as good a time as any after his doctor was found guilty of manslaughter for killing Jackson. Hear hear.

"This Is It" is one of the best concert movies ever. Maybe concert movie is too strong seeing as he it wasn't really filmed in front of an audience but the several days of rehearsals and sound checks recorded feel very much like a concert. The dancing is utterly beautiful and outstanding. jackson is a true artist with every move he makes. He is mostly reserved going through the marks and lighting rehearsals...but his moves are perfect, powerful, breath taking...even when he is holding back. His voice is gorgeous. And just some of the simplest gestures with his hands holding a coat or shirt and sliding across the stage made me hold my breath. He must have been from another planet...could he really have been human? He is like a flower out of a William gibson novel...his novels where people don't just get their surgery to look younger but to change species. Michael jackson must notbe human, he must not be from this planet. He moves like magic.




Thursday, November 17, 2011

Mr. New York


I've been watching Regis every morning for years and years. I used to get teased about it from my friends. I first saw Regis Philbin in the mornings when I was in New York City in the 80's. I thought the local tv morning show was the best thing. I used to watch it with coffee staying with friends in Manhattan during my "club days". When his show got syndicated in Canada I was so excited and just worked my day around the show.

The opening segment of host chat was live. In the 1980's there were very very few shows of live tv and the excitement of their chit chat being live was huge for me. It just felt so real. Unscripted, and most of the dialogue was about their personal lives. Original reality tv.

I record the show now...but still the best way to watch it is when its on the fly as it happens. I've watched it even if I am working, or on a road trip. I find it online or record it. I am having a very weird feeling that Regis will no longer be on the morning show. It just feels so weird to anticipate this change. At first when he announced he was leaving the program I was pretty upset. I thought he shouldn't. But in the last few weeks I've really enjoyed all the extra interviews and coverage and accolades people have been giving Regis. I'm glad he has gotten to hear people say they appreciate him and to say best wishes. Regis has been on tv more than any other person. He's broken Guinness records with almost 17,000 hours on tv.

Every episode last week I cried. I was a wreck even though there was still a whole other week coming. this week the tone has been more happy and silly and I have hardly cried at all. I sure hope he takes another job. I've always felt watching the show has kept me leveled out. (there has been some study that the amount of eye contact and/or social time between primates in the morning affects their sleep and mood-see chart below from Seth Roberts)

Watching Regis has always been my little taste of New York City. His brusque and crazy manner has reminded me of so many people I have known from there and the general spirit of the city. I'll still watch the show with Kelly Ripa and whoever they hire to co-host with her by next year...but it just won't be the same.

The show coming up tomorrow morning is going to be his last morning hosting position. I've got a box of tissue ready.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A Beautiful Day



I watched the Diane Sawyer interview with Congresswoman Gifford. Wow what an incredible story and her recovery has really been from music. the brain can remember words through music. Above is a really great video of her husband astronaut Mark Kelly giving her a message and greeting before a U2 performance of one of Giffords favourite songs "A Beautiful Day", And Kelly also quotes a David Bowie song. I felt pretty verklempt and thought about my daughter and also a friend of mine who loved Bowie. Michael passed away 20 years ago...but i couldn't help think how much he would have been into this recovery story, and how U2 and Bowie were part of the story and her recovery.
video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

"Optimism is a form of healing. Hope is a form of love" Mark Kelly.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Most Popular Artist In America



From The New Republic, a book review by Jed Perl...

THE LOVE AFFAIR between the intellectuals and the trashmeisters, now more than a hundred years old, has just overtaken the man who is by some measures the most popular painter in America. Thomas Kinkade: The Artist in the Mall is an essay collection that exudes a creepy fascination. While a number of the contributors manage to provide level-headed assessments of Kinkade’s place in the American imagination, I am not remotely convinced that such attention should be lavished on Kinkade’s sugar-drenched Middle America, with its frosted gingerbread domiciles, dew-kissed old-fashioned small-town Main Streets, and farmlands so fertile they look as if they’re on steroids. Alexis L. Boylan, who edited the book, would no doubt protest that the size of Kinkade’s reputation justifies the attention on sociological or cultural grounds, pure and simple. I know that many intellectuals believe we overlook middlebrow tastes at our own risk. But there is a large dose of reverse snobbery threaded through this collection. More than a generation after Pop Art became holy writ, it is rather tiresome to be announcing yet again that we live in a democracy where one person’s treasure is another person’s trailer trash, and that their masterworks are not necessarily inferior to the Picasso’s and Matisse’s in our museums. Many of the contributors to Boylan’s anthology want to devour every last bite of their middlebrow cake, but only after each tasty morsel has been skewered on a highbrow fork. The problem is not that they respect Kincade anthropologically, it is that they respect him as an artist.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Verteran's Day Occupy Chicago

11am - Veteran Memorial Speak Out & March (Wacker & Wabash)
OC joins Veterans for Peace, IVAW and AVAW for a memorial and speak out by veterans of Afghanistan, Iraq and the “Global War on Terror” at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

12 pm - March from Vietnam Veterans Memorial to OC headquarters at Jackson & LaSalle

3-5pm - Community Outreach Meeting at Grace Place (637 S Dearborn)
Outreach is inviting community organizations from all over Chicago to see how we can collaborate on actions, trainings, and events.

3-4:30pm - Teach-in: “Resisting Military Recruitment into U.S. Wars for the 1% - On Veterans Day & Everyday”

4:30-6pm - Teach-in: “Critical Theory, Critical Practice”

5:45pm - Silent March and Candlelight Vigil at Veteran’s Memorial
Silent march will leave Jackson & LaSalle at 5:45pm to the Veteran’s Memorial on Wacker Drive at State Street. Once there, people will be encouraged to say a few words or read a favorite poem or song. We will march to OC's General Assembly at Congress & Michigan before 7 pm.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Right?

Nebraska 1958


When we were on the west coast a few months ago driving around victoria...I slowed down and showed Stagg the theatre where I saw Indiana Jones. I was laughing and like, god, who shows where they saw movies to somone...only me... we also checked out the place where many many times after a movie friends and I would go for coffee and chocolate cake. The place is still there called Pagliacci's and still serves chocolate cake. As we walked around downtown Victoria we talked about how big a deal it was to go to a movie and then out for coffee. I just think back on those days where a movie, some cake and coffee was such a way of life. Seeing and discussing movies was a steady past time and would engage a whole evening. Now you're lucky if you can find anyone over the age of 25 who has even been regularly to a movie theatre within a past year.

One of my top top top favourite albums is Nebraska by Bruce Springsteen. I have spent many irreplace hours staring at a ceiling and listening to that record. The title song is sung from the perspective of one of the most famous spree killers Charles Starkweather. I came across the following videos which are behind the scenes interviews with the stars and set designer of an interpretation of the Starkweather killing spree called Badlands (one of my best memories of seeing a movie). Martin Sheen talks a bit about a review of the movie and how the critic tells people they must stop and go see this movie. I thought, gee how often do you hear a film critic just wowed by a movie these days? How often does someone say just GO see a movie. when was the last time a friend called me up and said i HAD to see a movie. I know one of the last times I called up friends and told them they had to see a movie. It was 1999 and the movie was The Matrix I was so excited I just phoned everyone I knew and said they had to see it in the theatre. (more about that tomorrow...)

Ive always been fascinated by Jack Fisk. Jack Fisk is film art director. I have always been so interested when he works on a movie because the sets and details are always so fastidiously treated. He is the art director on most of David Lynch's movies and all of Terrence Mallicks movies. He worked on Raggedy Man and Carrie. He is also interesting because he has been married to Sissy Spacek for thirty years.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Greece


From the other night on SNL.

Flash


I think these might be the most fave tattoo designs I've ever seen. Brilliant!