The L Magazine: Over the past few years, you seem to have shifted focus a little from the general perils/evils of consumerism to the environmental degradations of corporate greed, specifically mountaintop removal and fracking. Why the change? And what’s next?
Reverend Billy: You get this sense they think they'll find industrial energy absolutely anywhere: "Excuse me, what is the device that is attached to my front door? Oh, you're harvesting the flammable microbes in our breath?" Mountaintop removal and fracking and tar sands: these are dangerous, but they're already so absurd that we will need remedial science fiction classes to get a handle on the nature of the crime. It shouldn't surprise us that they don't think about the end of the world—why would that occur to them? It's too mundane.
In a great many ways, Ai Weiwei is no stranger to artistic exploitation, particularly in mediated spheres.
He has himself very frequently, and very successfully, exploited the readily extensive reach of the latter to proliferate, as an artist, his political critiques. At the same time, he has also been exploited, in some sense, by those very same spheres for the reach and popularity of his mediated artistry.
Currency crises and transatlantic-cum-continental givings and misgivings might seem to bear an air of loose relevance to the now-underway Euro Cup of football, but it wouldn't take much thematic stretching to bring them into a common discussion. The same themes, however, might be a bit less directly relevant to art, and maybe not the best conversational matters for a round of friendly drinking.
Unless one were to tie them all together in a series of drink-inspired, whimsical verses accompanied by a suite of fine drawings by artist Adam Thompson.
In an effort to remind you, the literate New Yorker reading this blog post, of all the things the library does for New Yorkers, and of the importance of appealing to your local representatives on behalf of library funding, ULU is mounting their depressingly annual We Will Not Be Shushed 24 Hour Read-in at the Brooklyn Public Library's Central Branch this weekend, from 4pm Saturday to 4pm Sunday. They're still looking for readers, as it happens, so please do email firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to fill in between the early photo opps, Brooklyn writer types, and Sunday morning children's and YA readings.
And here, courtesy our friends at the Save NYC Libraries campaign, is the schedule for this year's Read-in so far:
If so many images and reports of so many riots and so many rounds of political wrangling are not enough to assure observers that the politico-economic crisis in Greece is not only far from minor, and far from over, and far from facile to resolve no matter how that might be done, today's arrest of Ilias Kasidiaris, a far-right/neo-Nazi member of Greek parliament, should well underscore all of that.
While discussing, ostensibly, political matters on a news program, two leftist female deputies were attacked by Kasidiaris after one of the women, Rena Douru, brought up his involvement in illicit activities. He slung water at her, then slapped another. Really, he slapped her around, taking a few very full swings. The clip is sadder and more violent that mere mention makes it seem.
Watch the clip below.
Now that it’s officially official that Mitt Romney will be the Republican candidate against Barack Obama in November, we can finally start talking about what matters—Urban Outfitters t-shirts. Never one to let something that could be ironic go by without becoming ironic, Urban Outfitters has stocked its on-line store with shirts featuring both Romney and Obama (and Ron Paul, but haha). But which one is more ironic?
Let’s take a look.
Almost perfectly coincident with Vladimir Putin's recently renewed pledges of allegiance as
Undisputed Heavyweight Champion of Rigged Elections President of Russia is news that he has been constructing, allegedly of course, "Project South," a massive private palace on the Black Sea.
Since his reiterated swearing-in was met with mass protests, which were then met with a heavy police crackdown, which then elicited US statements of disapproval—which have more recently been followed by by Putin saying he would not attend the forthcoming G8 meeting at Camp David, which was nonetheless followed by bilateral statements of continued commitment to a "reset of relations" via "sustained high-level dialogue"—it is possible that news related to "Project South" lost some degree of newsworthy thunder.
And that's fine, but the story is full of good intrigue. Even a major art buyer plays a part.
I am not on strike. In protest of my own non-striking, here's a picture of the 1926 general strike in Britain, for which my grandfather marched down from Glasgow (7th from the left, 6 back).
Happy May Day. We'll have oodles of Occupy coverage coming down the pike, until then, please enjoy these many versions of The Internationale.
I was working two part-time jobs that barely kept me in my apartment. How could I afford to treat a chronic illness? The doctor at the clinic prescribed me a mid-cost insulin—not the best treatment, he said, but the best in my price range. It was about $55 a bottle, and would last roughly a month; a box of syringes cost another $25. I had to buy a blood-sugar testing machine (a one-time expense), plus a supply of testing strips (a chronic expense), plus the lancets used to prick your finger, plus alcohol swabs to keep me from catching an infection. I have to resupply these things regularly, for the rest of my life. Diabetes isn't cheap.
It might seem an oversimplification of convenience, for instance, or perhaps an unjustifiable banalization of issues to conflate a few recent 'news' items related to copyright infringement (maybe) with a recent report of the violent repression of artists in Syria, but I hope not. Or at any rate, I should elect to prefer to side with hoping not, for neither do I hope to present a true argument. I'm not sure I have the right to do so.
Do I? Don't I? Might I?
It might not matter, really. I'm not quite sure there's need to.
So what are they going to do? Dahlia Lithwick at Slate has a much more politically intelligent read of things than I do.
As the birthplace of presidents, New York State is tied with Massachusetts for producing the third most; only Ohio (?!) and Virginia have made more commanders in chief. Franklin Roosevelt and Martin van Buren were born in the Hudson Valley; Millard Fillmore was born in the Finger Lakes region.
Welcome back to work. It's 2012—you know, a presidential election year! Jesus H. Christ, already. So in between your busy schedule of having tiresome, emotionally fraught conversations about whether or not the current administration's vulnerability is entirely or only partly its own damn fault, please do ensure that your voter registration information is up-to-date. Do so now; shit sneaks up on you.
Also, if I may: resolve, in 2012, to become a more educated voter, and not one of those people who self-identifies as a liberal based on the fact that you love gawking in a can-you-believe-this-shit way at whatever some wingnut said at the Iowa state fair trail. Reading Nate Silver on the horse race and Roy Edroso on the far-right crazies, though fun, is not the same as understanding policy; being an adult means knowing at least as much about your own elected officials at the state and local level as about national-narrative stuff.
Unlike Mark's considered examination of recently-deceased North Korean dictator (and sex symbol?) Kim Jong-il's cinephilia, the funny new Tumblr Kim Jong-il Dropping the Bass simply features images of the curious tyrant photoshopped into sweaty clubs, often spinning alongside some of the world's most famous DJs. (BoingBoing)
Remember the lock-out of Upper East Side art auction house Sotheby's unionized art handlers that began all the way back on August 1st? Well, it's still happening. Last week two of the 43 locked-out art handlers confronted Sotheby's boardmember Diana Taylor—girlfriend of New York City
general mayor Mike Bloomberg—during a public meeting, and things didn't go so well (video below!).
facebook? did I miss something?
I never got a facebook site because I don't want to spend my free time…
"Welcome to the Machine . . . Where have you been? It's alright we know…