There is much to decry about the careers of Jim Abrahams and Jerry and David Zucker—chiefly their role in ensuring that parody has surpassed satire as a mode of American humor, which implies some ugly things about our national sense of complacency and self-congratulation—but at their best, which is to say in their stuff with Nielsen, their work had a quick, compulsive taste for absurdity at its most, well, primal. Watching stuff like this as a grown-up is basically a matter of figuring out how hard, and for how long, you're willing to keep up the act of being a reasonably sophisticated adult. It's not funny, it's not funny, it's not funny, and that's why it's so much funnier than it has any right to be.
So the whole premise of this series is basically an acknowledgment that writers are a species universally lacking in charisma, and that for their work to be endurable in a live setting it must be presented by people confident appearing before others... right?
Yes, of course. Not to mention the fact that most writers can't speak at all. They make strange guttural sounds, and that's a tough thing on an audience.
No. The premise is that writers of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry might enjoy and even benefit from having an actor interpret their work, and that actors might enjoy and even benefit from working with texts of these genres—texts that are different from what they usually tackle.
Yesterday evening as I biked past the intersection of Bowery and Houston, a small crowd was assembled around the glowing, neon-toned new Kenny Scharf mural nearing completion where Barry McGee's tag history of NYC was covered in a giant SACE (Dash Snow's tag) last week—apparently at McGee's invitation.
This is what I draw when I'm sad.
Not only has the CACC's budget been drastically reduced over the last year, it has suffered from chronic mismanagement at most of the upper-level positions, a very unfortunate reality that has led to some of the terrible conditions illustrated in the video below. Also in the ABC news video below? A great pit bull named Luna (pictured at right) who we recently pulled from the Brooklyn CACC on the morning of her scheduled execution (and who is currently curled up next to me on the couch, her head on my lap). She makes a brief (and worried) appearance at 2:09.
Over the weekend, Pope Benedict XVI, the Free Cone Day Pope, broke with centuries of
Catholic jokes church doctrine to say that, in certain circumstances, the use of condoms could be permissible to prevent the state of AIDS—like, for gay hookers. (It'd be "a first step in the direction of a moralization, a first assumption of responsibility," presumably the responsibility to not be such a gay hooker all the time.)
The Holy See now seems to confirm that it's coming around on condoms, at least to prevent the spread of HIV: "Pope Benedict XVI clearly acknowledged on Tuesday that the need to prevent diseases like AIDS could outweigh the church's long opposition to the use of condoms," and not just for rent boys, either. So, Catholics can maybe use condoms to prevent STDs, now. But still, not as a contraceptive—reached for comment, a Vatican spokesman assured us that yes, every sperm is still sacred.
It's still referred to by most as the "Deitch Wall," but it's more accurate at this point to call the public mural at Bowery and Houston "The Hole Wall." With the departure of Jeffrey Deitch and the closing of his gallery, Deitch Projects, programming of the mural has been passed on to his quasi-successor, former DP director and founder of The Hole Kathy Grayson. That's her in the Martha Cooper photo above at left, photographing the mystery tagger who spent yesterday morning covering Barry McGee's recent mural, a red catalog of famous NYC tags, with a giant black-on-silver SACE in tribute to Dash Snow.
When you think about it, there are actually a lot of similarities between Kanye West and Joanna Newsom. Both are ridiculously talented; both released critically acclaimed albums in 2010, and both are artists that people have extremely strong and vocal opinions on. You either love them or you hate them. Apropos of nothing, a Facebook friend had his status on Monday evening say, "joanna newsom is performing at carnegie tomorrow. too bad she SUCKS." There’s really no in-between.
Oh, and in case you haven’t heard, they both performed last night in New York—in very different venues.
Last week, a rumor circulated suggesting that CPCR might not have the resources to continue with the Domino project—rumors that the developer denied. "There is absolutely no validity to those rumors," Richard Edmonds, a spokesman for the Domino project, wrote in an email. "Domino is proceeding on schedule, with a groundbreaking on the upland parcel in late 2011."
If you can believe it, lots of people in attendance at Kanye West's record-release show at Bowery Ballroom last night were on Twitter, making it really easy and infuriating to follow along at home. Toward the end of the show, everyone was giddy about this ten-minute speech he delivered right before wrapping up. And sure, I get it: It must have been cool to watch a sort of crazy guy yell and scream about the things that make him craziest, but in terms of the rant's actual content? It's really just more of the same shit about how he's constantly being mistreated, and then overcoming that mistreatment because he's awesome and because of the energy from models or whatever. I briefly considered the possibility that the whole thing was redeemed by the bit near the end when he says, "If you a real artist, have no fear. Say what the fuck you want, do what you want, make what you want," because, you know, sure! But then again, removed from the energy of the room, I'm not sure how loudly I can clap for something that sounds like it got cut from the script of Pump Up the Volume. Also, If you listen really closely at around 7:15, you'll hear one person say, "Who cares, Kanye?" [Awl]
In a press release sent out today, MoMA PS1 announced that one of the Modern's most recent acquisitions, Feng Mengbo’s room-sized video game installation "Long March: Restart" (2008, screenshot above), will be going on view/play on December 12. The side-scrolling game incorporates gameplay and design elements of the Super Mario Bros. and Street Fighter series, amongst others, with players leading a Red Army soldier on an epic journey across China, fighting political and spiritual baddies. Video game art: it's for real.
As millions of Americans prepare for the annual Thanksgiving migration, anti-Transportation Security Administration (TSA) sentiment is reaching historical highs on account of new X-ray vision scanners and invasive pat-downs, which means there should be some astounding new stories posted to My TSA Horror Story next week. So far it's all enough to make Amtrak look good, although the idiot who got caught with a joint and $5,000 in cash at JFK is just an idiot. Travel safely—and sexual assault-free! (TheDailyWhat)
Dance, rambunctious red library book! Dance!
So, every year for the past year now, The Desk Set, the social group for librarians and the people who dress like them and the people who like the people who dress like them, has held the Biblioball, a formal-dress prom for grown-ups (complete with portrait photography), at the Bell House. They're doing so again this year—it's on December 4.
As the Desk Set website goes into more detail about, funds will be raised for Literacy for Incarcerated Teens; there'll be DJ sets from writers, rock music for nerds, and, apparently, trapeze. (Plus a special pre-party Happy Hour, with giveaways, if you buy the most expensive tickets, which are $55. Regular tickets are $20 advance/$27 doors, and $10 gets you in after midnight, if you happen to be in Gowanus, wearing a suit, with nothing better to do.)
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