Archive for March, 2011

The Art of the Prank**

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

Few things are more delightful than a well-executed prank.   A good prank is a noble creative endeavor – that’s what I tell myself about the ones I’ve engaged in.

The Nat Tate prank was devised by British novelist William Boyd with the help of David Bowie and a few other collaborators, including Gore Vidal. Boyd wanted to create a fictional artist whose underrated work he would introduce to the art world, via a book on the subject.

Bowie held a launch party for the book on April 1, 1998, and read extracts from the book to the collected celebrities  and art enthusiasts. One of the collaborators went around asking people if they were familiar with Tate’s work.   Poor Tate had burned 99% of his work before his tragic early death in 1960.

In the end, someone revealed the hoax. But William Boyd says that Nat Tate lives on: every so often, one of his paintings comes up for  auction.

The more I learn about this prank the more I fucking love it! It reminds me of my Phyllis Willis-Barbour prank with my friend Mark, and it makes me wish we had taken it further. We planned to have our fake poet appear at readings,  wearing   a mask to hide her face (deformed in a terrible fire.)

**UPDATE: Just found the link to PWB’s bio, one of the greatest things ever written. Ever.

But our best prank, the one that brought us the most joy, was the Ed and Paige Project.

Ed was a guy we had good reason to detest. Among his loathsome  activities was an unending search for hot chicks in the personal ads at, even though he was married to a woman who supported him. Since we knew his taste in women, we created one as bait. We set up her profile, and waited. It took a week, and we had almost given up when Ed contacted Paige, calling her a “long tall drink of water” and complementing her physique.

Here is Paige, who I found at

But wait: Paige isn’t just hot and skanky looking, she is a  commodities  broker and a graduate of the Wharton School of Business! Her favorite book is  Ulysses.

The resulting email love affair between Ed and Paige was a soap opera that all our friends enjoyed, but not with the delirious religious  ecstasy that Mark and I experienced. The email they exchanged was beyond belief. It was like Christmas morning all the time.

I am too tired and lazy to elaborate on the Ed and Paige Project, but I know that Nat Tate would have risen from the dead just to be a part of it.

Stupidest New Website

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

“Today marks the official launch of, a new content site aimed at recovering drug and alcohol users.”

I read that and imagined a nice scholarly-looking website filled with information and resources, like the sites about autism or migraines. Instead, it’s a garish tabloid-like bonanza of stupid features like “Worst Celebrity Meltdown” and “Hollywood’s Best Addict Performances.”

Courtney Love is one of the experts on hand to give advice, and there are articles on finding the perfect AA meeting and dating a crackhead.   There is even a BIG  photo of a syringe in an arm, to illustrate a story about vaccines. Are they insane? The whole thing looks like a great parody except for its breathtaking witlessness.

Please have a look and get back to me. Tell me your theory on how they got the seed money for this venture and what kind of advertisers will want to get in on this.

Meanwhile, they invite submissions and story ideas! I  could  never be part of such a shabby enterprise, especially knowing what I do about the horrors of drug addiction. But wouldn’t it be fun to propose some idiotic stories just to see if they bite? How about “Funniest excuse for for a relapse” or “How to flirt with an ER doctor?”


Tits on Tumblr

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

I am hopelessly addicted to tumblr.

I tell myself it’s a “better” addiction than others I’ve acquired since I learned to use a computer. It’s better than online shopping and it’s better than twitter. The only problem is that like all addictions, it just creates an insatiable appetite.   I tell myself that I’ll stop looking as soon as I find one beautiful image. But then I need to find just one more.

In the course of this endless hunger for images, I have seen more tits than I’ve seen in the last 57 years. There are tits everywhere! Vintage tits, fashion-spread tits, young tits, big tits, sagging tits, naughty tits, innocent tits, no one seems to tire of tits. I’m not offended; I’m just not as interested in tits as most of tumblr is.

Searching google for a photo by Tina Mondotti, I came across the beautiful image above. To my eyes, it is an exquisite expression of tenderness. I posted it on my tumblr but not ONE SINGLE PERSON has reblogged it or even “liked” it!

I’m so disappointed that no one else was moved by this picture.  Are tits only good without proximity to babies?


Saturday, March 26th, 2011

amsterdamaged – The What.   Max on lead guitar

Making No Progress

Thursday, March 24th, 2011

Saturday is Max’s birthday. I can’t Let Go, and I can’t Say Goodbye. He was my gift to the world and my partner in arms and my higher power. I miss him so much.


The Army Skirt

Monday, March 21st, 2011

“This cotton skirt features a camouflage yoke and multicolored, eco-messaged embroidery. Topstitched snap-flap pockets at hip and paint-spattered snap-flap pockets at sides. Hidden zip and snap closures at front. Drawstring at waist and at asymmetrical bottom hem.”


This skirt would look good with ______________.

$253 at Shopbop, by Prps.

The Needle and the Damage Done

Sunday, March 20th, 2011

Because it is my avocation to get mad and start arguments, when I came upon a photo of a woman sticking a needle in her arm, on tumblr, I wrote to the blogger and politely complained. I said the picture could be a trigger for recovering addicts, and that addiction should not be romanticized. She replied politely that she was against censorhip and couldn’t be responsible for triggers. I wrote to the blogger from whom she’d reblogged the photo. She replied  politely too,   but maintained that the photo was “social commentary.”

Both bloggers pointed out that heroin  addiction  is a part of life and that you can’t just show nice things. Both denied that the artful picture of an attractive woman shooting dope was in any way romanticizing addiction.

But wait! The “part of life” argument is kind of fatuous. Vomit, amputation,   and car accidents are part of life. All kinds of distressing things are part of life but you don’t see many arty picture of them. The image of an addict shooting up is a powerful one that has been  around  for a long time, and it doesn’t show the Part of Life that comes after it: The  abscesses, the arrests, the death, the funeral, the sobbing friends.

I resent these images, because they don’t tell the truth.   They are a siren song to young people, just as cigarette ads once were.

I know it’s too much to ask that everyone stop admiring nice black and white photos of addicts shooting dope. But I’d at least like everyone to admit that  these images are romantic.   They depict a “transgressive” act, nicely lit and composed, that represents  mavericky behavior…even rock and roll behavior, one might say.   OF COURSE it is  romanticizing  an illness that in real life is tragic, sordid, cruel and lamentable on every level!

It’s not art, any more than the images of bottled fetuses used by anti-choice groups is art. It’s the perpetuation of a stupid and dangerous myth.   Or maybe it is art, but it’s political, even if one insists otherwise.

I am not in favor of censorship. But I post images selectively.

What are your thoughts?

Art Helps

Sunday, March 20th, 2011

I don’t know where I’d be without it.   I found this here.

And you can still find me here.


Friday, March 18th, 2011

I confided to my psychiatrist that I’m obsessed  with  the nuclear reactor crisis in Japan and that I’ll be disappointed when they get it under control. I was shocked when he said he felt the same. “Of course.” he agreed, “We all crave this drama, it’s great. It lets us externalize all our feelings of anger and chaos.”   We both agreed that we weren’t actually hoping for something apocalyptic, although I am personally ready for the world to end.

A better way to distract myself has been tumblr, where I can scroll through images for hours.   I’ve learned to avoid the ones with the aggressively  teen-aged  nihilism: All those morbid photos of skinny kids with septum rings and animated gifs from horror films and topless hippies with guns in their mouths.

There is so much beauty out there. Visual stimulation excites some pleasure center in the brain, like eating chocolate or listening to an aria. Tonight my tumbler stopped working and it was horrifying to be cut off from my new addiction.   I have a lot of avoidance to accomplish. Max’s birthday is coming up at the end of the month.

Can we distract ourselves from everything serious with a focus on beauty products? I’ve always found them comforting, their promise of transforming us from ugly ducklings into  flawless  supermodels. Okay, so, what is your favorite beauty product that has surprised you by actually doing something good? I really want to know (remember: I’m desperate,)

My favorite product is Kate Sommerville Sunblock 55.   It’s light, greaseless, no fragrance, and leaves a dewy glow.   You don’t have to wear make up and you don’t have to get skin cancer.   I prosthelytize about it to  everyone.

Okay, what’s yours?

Suggestions for Jane™ 3-16-2011

Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

Even though Jane is  understandably upset about Japan, there’s no reason to abandon the hunt for more shoes. “Never compromise on shoes!” is her credo, I believe.

Here is an exercise in Goth Stupidity by Rick Owens, described by net-a-porter as follows:

Elaborately adorned with a frayed  organza trim, Rick Owens’s  black leather wedge sandals are an investment in the label’s avant-garde aesthetic. Step into this sculptural style to lend your evening look an instant hit of high-fashion drama.

At $2,240, I would like these shoes to do much, much more than lend high-fashion drama to my evening. I would like them to lick me all over from head to toe and then produce a half-gallon of Mocha Almond fudge ice cream, after which they can recite from memory the first chapter of Lolita and then tuck me in bed, turn off the lights and leave quietly by the back door.