Archive for May, 2012

Still Talking Shit

Wednesday, May 30th, 2012

When Max first showed me this tape from Cabaret Night at NYU, back in 1995, I was hooked. I played it for all my friends, and my two-year old son would always ask, “Why is everyone laughing?”

It’s the best thing ever, and way before its time. If you don’t agree, ha, you’re wrong.  Get used to the crew, bitch.

Please enjoy Max and Jonas:

Effortless

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012

Okay, fine, at first glance they’re ugly but wait for the description:

“A softly pleated waistband flows into an effortless, wide-leg silhouette on these denim culottes.”

We’ve all come to associate “effortless” with “chic,” so maybe our brains are supposed to transpose what our eyes register as “dowdy” into “chic.”

How do the people at Shopbop know that the flow is effortless? Maybe it’s strenuous, or even harrowing?

Help finish the sentence:  “These wide leg coulottes would look great with ______.”

Don’t Torture Children

Saturday, May 19th, 2012

Tonight I watched a news story about the Judge Rotenberg Center (JRC), a residential facility for autistic and other children with behavioral problems. It is known as a school of last resort and has a controversial history.

Whatever the fuck they’re doing there, they admit to using “Level III Aversives” (i.e. electric shocks) to “treat” children with a variety of disabilities including attention-deficit disorder, bipolar disorder, autism, schizophrenia and post-traumatic stress disorder, according to a  New York State Department of Education report — emotional problems, and criminal and abuse histories.

The “school” collects almost $250,000 per student from city and state taxes. A film of a frantic autistic teenager being subjected to 31 rounds of electric shocks is available here. It is disturbing, so be warned!

Among efforts to stop JRC from abusing its residents is a report by Disability Rights International filed with Manfred Nowak, the U.N. special rapporteur on torture, charging that the severe pain and suffering being inflicted on children violates the U.N. Convention Against Torture.

JRC published a reply to this report on its website. Here is the best part and by “best” I mean most breathtakingly stupid and repugnant.

“Under state and federal law, non-disabled individuals have the right to choose aversive therapy to treat behavioral problems such as smoking and drinking. Preventing disabled persons from the opportunity to avail themselves of aversive therapy for their own behavior problems, would be an invidious discrimination against disabled persons.”

 

Ha! Incredible.

I know three mothers whose teenagers had to spend time in  residential  facilities after too many violent incidents. These mothers love their kids and want them to learn self control. I know how hard things can get. But torturing children is immoral under any circumstance. Torturing children with  disabilities  is a crime and a sin.

I can’t believe these fuckers get away with this. They probably have plenty of money to pay off legislators but perhaps with enough pressure this awful place can be shut down. If you’d like to learn more, go here and here.

Beyonce and The Scream

Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

Th other day, my nephew R was visiting and I asked him if he’d seen or heard about Beyonce‘s wacky Met Gala dress. Since R is one of the most culturally literate people I’ve ever met, it was a reasonable question.

His response was to shake his head in dismay and express contempt for the idea that anyone gave a shit about Beyonce’s dress. Why should anyone care about this, he exclaimed.

I considered his question and asked, Why should anyone care about anything?

This is the type of conversation I live for. And R is always up for it.

I asked him if anyone should care about the recent auction of “The Scream,” which set a world record by selling for $119.9 million. He said, Yes, because it reflects the state of the current art market and blah blah blah.

Why is “The Scream” more important to know about than Beyonce’s dress? This is a real question. I think that everything we “care” about is just a distraction from the horror of existence. Any time you find yourself in a life or death situation, you realize the fatuousness of all your preoccupations, of everything going on around you. Your choice of car, your shoes, your blue-ray TV, your favorite band, it’s all a distraction.

Moving away from existentialism, I wonder why The Scream is worth $119.9 million. It’s obviously one of the few paintings that is instantly recognizable by any imbecile. The Scream, the Mona Lisa, and Sunflowers are probably the big three, in terms of iconic paintings, right? And I love The Scream, but only because I know it’s an expression of unversal anguish. If it was called “The Toothache”, would it still be worth all that money?

We like The Scream because our taste is a consequence of our social class. Beyonce’s dress probably strikes my nephew as too crass and lowbrow to merit his interest. He may not know that you can take a course in Beyonce Studies at Rutgers.

I am comfortable with the idea that it’s all bullshit, but it’s my nature to wonder about human behavior, even my own. As I continue to waste my time with Tumblr, I’ve been wondering how I make the distinction between real art and kitsch. I tend to disdain the latter, but I wonder if Kitsch is in the eye of the beholder. I also wonder when I’ll be able to stop distracting myself with Tumblr and TV and start experiencing my actual self again.

Meanwhile, where do you stand on Beyonce’s dress, The Scream, and whether you should give a shit? Thoughts, arguments, insults?

50 Shades of Silly

Monday, May 7th, 2012

Does everyone know about “Fifty Shades of Grey?” It’s a wildly popular new novel that women are reading discreetly and openly, according to their relative shame or bravado about enjoying middlebrow porn.

I had no idea what the story was about but now I know there’s a sadomasochist relationship at its center. Big deal. Haven’t these women read The Story of O or Justine? The problem for me is that it’s being called “Mommy Porn,” which is condescending, like Mom Jeans.

The other problem is the bad writing. It kills me that people will pay money for bad writing. Not just bad, but hilariously bad. Here are some quotes I found:

Trepidation lances through me.”

“‘So I brought you here,” he said phlegmatically.

Hahahahahahaha! And yet some awful woman is making a fortune because she guessed that there was a huge audience for a dopey, safely perky adventure in bondage and discipline.   I’m mad I didn’t think of it.

Now that the book is a certified phenomenon, one will be called upon to take a position. If you condemn it, you’ll be scolded for being a prude or an elitist. If you read it and enjoy it, you’ll be dismissed as a sex-starved Mommy or a moron. Or wait, maybe you’ll be congratulated for being modern and having a strong libido!

I don’t mind the idea of dominance and submission in sex. I’m all for it. But why does it have to involve a billionaire with “unruly hair” and a heroine who says stuff like:  “I revel in his possession, his lust slaking mine.”

No no no no, you fucking idiot! “Slake” means to lesson the force of, to assuage. You mean the  opposite!

Can anyone give us a firsthand report on this book? Thoughts or arguments?

Douche or Dreamboat?

Tuesday, May 1st, 2012

I can’t tell you how many times I have seen this picture and thought, “Who the fuck is this guy and why is he everywhere?” I have just now inadvertently  discovered his identity: Francois Verkerk, a model.

I was pretty sure that he was a vintage guy but now I know he’s contemporary, I don’t know what to think. I think I hate him. What an ass.

On the other hand…. I do like a dandy when he has the goods to pull it off. But no, no. I want to kill him.

What’s your take?