Saturday, June 18, 2005

How were tabloids started, one must wonder... The rise of English continues: A tabloid is a newspaper format particularly popular in the United Kingdom, which is roughly 231/2 by 143/4 inches (597 by 375 mm) per spread. This is the smaller of two standard newspaper sizes; the larger newspapers, associated with higher-quality journalism, are called broadsheets. The tabloid press indicates the newspapers focussing on less "serious" content, especially celebrities, the Royal Family, sports, and sensationalist crime stories.

Recently, three traditionally broadsheet daily newspapers—The Independent, The Times, and The Scotsman—have switched to tabloid size; due to the negative connotations of the label, these are generally referred to instead as 'compact' format.

One thing I noticed when I became a fan of Jack Nicholson is that he has always been portrayed as a cool actor, someone who even when in a tabloid scandal has been well-off "riding on a white horse" as they say in Spanish. Hell, he even gets to comment on how he deals with Tabloids in a fictional situation:

Q: The tabloid image of you suggests you have a lot of elements in common with your character Harry Sanborn. Is that something you recognise?

A: I don't know about the tabloids, but most characters, I always say, are 85% synonymous, no matter who you're playing. I talked to Nancy Meyers about the script while she was writing and I guess it's got some good pieces of what my life has been like.

Follow that up by portraying him as a granfatherly figure hip enough for none other than hotel heiress, Paris Hilton:

Paris Hilton wants a new man in her life but not just any man - she wants Jack Nicholson.

The hotels heiress and accidental porn star is apparently infatuated with the legendary actor and womaniser who is 44 years her senior.

"Paris loves Jack - she has has all his movies," reveals a friend of the Simple Life star.

"She met him once and totally melted because she says he's just so charming.
She says she's had it with boys and would love a real man like Jack.

Then I find that others also reflect upon Jack´s favorable relationship with the tabloids: Nowhere in this limp-dick book do I get a sense of the reasons I like Jack. I like Jack because he's a bullshitter (he brags about the existentialist nature of his film Flight To Fury as if it were a failed arthouse experiment and not just a shitty B-movie). He can withstand tabloid scandals. He has no fear.

And when he is part of a scandal, his virility shines: Sources tell American tabloid the STAR that the actor has been making generous payments for the child's care and education to the young girl's mother - a former waitress called JENNINE GOURIN, who became pregnant by the legendary lothario at the tender age of 20 after a year-long affair, during Nicholson's separation from his then-girlfriend REBECCA BROUSSARD.


Friday, June 17, 2005

How the money was made: With German ancestry from his father and Scottish ancestry from his mother, millionaire real estate developer Donald Trump epitomizes the American immigrant experience. Born to Frederick and Mary MacLeod Trump in Queens, New York on June 14, 1946, Donald John Trump learned the real-estate business firsthand from his father who, himself, began in the family construction business at the age of 13 when his own father (Donald's grandfather) died in the influenza epidemic of 1918. What taste can Trump have with such background?
This jewel-encrusted, gleaming penthouse of an episode is brimming with details on Trump's taste for luxury, from a 24/7 on-call chef to his supermodel fiancée.. More taste (can bad ever be good?): In addition to the wrath of fired apprentices, Donald Trump (search) now faces a lawsuit for basically having bad taste. What took so long? A Miami architect wants two oceanfront towers with Trump's name on them to be destroyed. Can good every be bad (taste)? Another opinion problematizes (elucidates?)"I admired Donald Trump," he writes, "hero of the burnished cigarette case in Columbus Circle, because he got things done, but I hated Trump's taste, his ruthlessness, his sneer, his destructive passions." But the ultimate "taste" test would be in the name of power: For their reward, the Mosaic team went, via helicopter, to the Hamptons for a visit to an incredible home on the beach. Wes said of the experience: "It really gives you a taste for what it would be like to be Donald Trump. It's a taste of greatness. It's a taste of power."


Thursday, June 16, 2005

Kate Jackson-- an Angel-- Oh Charlie! Who was not a fan back in the day? the real Angel, stand up...

Then came the Full throttle girls. And for the unrelenting myth lover, no matter who are filling in the angels' template, there always a website covering the many faces:

About Charlie's Angels TV Show
The original series, which ended in 1980, launched the careers of actresses
Farrah Fawcett, Kate Jackson and Jaclyn Smith. They starred as three private investigators who save the world armed only with their use of martial arts and their seductive charms.

About the Charlie's Angels Movie
Cameron Diaz, Lucy Liu and Drew Barrymore fight crime in various stages of undress.

Andy losing his cool.. Andy Warhol Stepped on Me. Not much on that actually, most accounts are of how cool he was. The myth of Andy: Warhol treated everything the same. Cool detachment was as much a trademark for Warhol as Campbell's was for soup. Warhol's coolness has often been read as cynicism, and it did involve a degree of distance, but only out of a perceived need for self-protection. Be cool--be rhetorical: Can we separate Pop from Warhol cool? Be cooler: What makes those unsettling images of death so dismaying is Warhol's cool detachment from them, the terrible silence pervading the death chamber, the voyeuristic appeal that lures us to look at the gruesome wreckage of "Car Crash." Can he get cooler? In Chinese Chequers the exotic and erotic flow of Ron Rice or Jack Smith meets up with Warhol's cool and disengaged eye, here given a Brakhagean intensity. Dwoskin fused these elements and made them his own.


Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Being thin goes something like this: Thin is in - again - in the yo yo world of men’s suiting. Ever since Chanel uber-designer Karl Lagerfeld lost weight just in order to wear a Dior Homme suit, men’s suiting silhouettes have been getting about as narrow as an airline’s profit margins. And Warhol is in this one as such Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche is also interpreting the suiting in a Warhol "factory" way, worn with wool zip-up sweaters and black velvet drainpipes, and accessorized with black sunglasses and layered shag hair. Get thinner, please! Only this time let it be the art!! Manhattan has had more than its share of Warhol gallery shows recently, mostly of late work, and some of them looked thin. The art I say... one never knows what will be found when searching about Andy's obsessions: Information technology implies a transformation of artistic languages and leads to the "anorexia of art", a growing movement away from the object towards the concept. Thanks to computers we can now produce images, signs, forms and creative processes that have no need of a physical location but rely on the directions and dynamics of the Internet. The result is "anorexic art", which strikes not only the eye but also the brain of the spectator. I guess concepts are not good? Let Warhol be related to this in a personal list: a first kiss, a lost cause, abstract art, all or nothing, alternate endings, andy warhol, angels, angst, anorexia, baby blue, bad news bears, baja fresh, baths, being number one, being secretive, boca burgers, boring girls, buying stuff, chrono trigger, cinderella, clingy girls, clothes, costume dramas, crash diets, diet coke, diet pepsi, dorky girls, dracula, drama queens, dumb young girls, early nineties, eating, elegancy, evangelion, f scott fitzgerald, fairy tales, fighting with girls, film noir, flowers, french foreign legion, girls on the rebound, giving dirty looks, good manners, gossip, greek mythology, guest lists, happy endings, hating girls, holding hands, hollywood, howard hughes, humidity, hush money, james bond, kelly green, kissing, lavender, los angeles, love, love affairs, lying a lot, made in the shade, make out sessions, mark schoenecker, masochism, megalomania, minimalism, misogyny, money, moving day, my room, natalie wood, nice girls, nintendo music, not dying, not getting vd, not new york, not sluts, not the 80's, optimism, otto preminger, overdoing it, pale blonde girls, partners in crime, pastels, pegasus, perfect girls, pillpoppers, pillpopping, pills, plaid, plain girls, playing against type, pool parties, pop music, pretty eyes, ranma 1/2, rolling my eyes, romance, rothko, sacrifice, sad endings, salvation, self-fulfilling prophecies, selling my soul, shy girls, singing, socially awkward girls, springtime in paris, stepford wives, talking on the phone, the 60's, the 70's, the butterfly effect, the glass half full, the golden fleece, the grass roots, the roman empire, the seeds, the turtles, the zombies, this side of paradise, three wishes, time travel, tragic heroes, train wrecks, tuna, turtlenecks, unicorns, urusei yatsura, vegenaise, vivacious teenage girls, whit stillman, wind, wine, your ex-girlfriend.


Tuesday, June 14, 2005

America the beautiful, the lyrics (if you click you will also hear the melody)

Lyrics by Katherine Lee Bates;
music composed by Samuel A. Ward)

O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!

America! America!
God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!
O beautiful for pilgrim feet
Whose stern impassion'd stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat
Across the wilderness.

America! America!
God mend thine ev'ry flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law.

O beautiful for heroes prov'd
In liberating strife,
Who more than self their country loved,
And mercy more than life.

America! America!
May God thy gold refine
Till all success be nobleness,
And ev'ry gain divine.

O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears.

America! America!
God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea.

Funny thing is that the lyrics were not written with a specific melody in mind... It's a poem. The dilemma behind this song may be part of Poetry's role in the early twentieth century. In any case, here's what is said about the poem and its relationship to the melody of Materna: The words were not published together with "Materna" until 1910, and even after that time, the tune to be used was challenged to some degree. For example, in 1926 the National Federation of Music Clubs held a contest to put the poem to new, reportedly "less somber," music, but no other entry was determined to be more acceptable. Before her death in 1929, Ms. Bates never indicated publicly which music she liked best, but it now appears likely that America the Beautiful will forever be associated with "Materna."


Monday, June 13, 2005

The skin. Andy's facial obsession's worth checking out. Here's the goods (which started early on in his teenage years): Elementary school was traumatic for Warhol, especially once he contracted St. Vitus' dance (chorea, a disease that attacks the nervous system and makes someone shake uncontrollably). Warhol missed a lot of school during several month-long periods of bed-rest. Plus, large, pink blotches on Warhol's skin, also from St. Vitus' dance, didn't help his self-esteem or acceptance by other students.

Moving to the end of his life: Sokolowski noted that Warhol often wore wigs to mask his receding hairline and to take attention away from his bad skin. "It was the notion that you'd look at the wig and not at him," he said.

There's the weight. Does not a thin person obssesed with her/his weight usually hang out with a person who is the extreme example of what they don't want to be? hmm... Brigid Berlin was one of Andy Warhol's "superstars" and enjoyed a love hate relationship with the artist. Now her obsessions are her weight and key lime pie.

The obsession is quickly turn into abstraction along with Wahol's fifteen minutes of Fame: In our culture, the modern obsession with fashion, beauty, weight watching, and posture can be seen as an extension of this sensibility, i.e. it is better to look good than be good, that the only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about. A culture of celebrities and American idols, poseurs, image makeovers, and Warhol's 15 minutes of fame, insists on the perpetual maintenance of self image, favored over substance/essence, and for which a warehouse full of products will gladly aid and comfort the effort.

Andy had his own perfume for women, and perfume for men as well.

As to Andy being serious, perhaps he was really serious: Even when Warhol is at his most serious and confrontational, for example, in his series of portraits with skulls, there is an underlying black humour that dismisses any real sincerity.

Even more serious... When the most famous image in pop art, Warhol's Campbell's Soup Can, was first exhibited in 1962, a nearby gallery displayed actual soup cans with the sign, "Get the real thing for 29 cents." Underlying the humor was an acknowledgment that Warhol's work threatened the concept of art as serious and transcendent: the artist's intentions, devoid of satire, seemed as cheerfully vacuous as his subject matter. Pop art's celebration of the banal and its unapologetic dismissal of higher aims soon lost their original shock value, yet Warhol, its best-known figure, remained provocative.


Sunday, June 12, 2005

Here's what Pat Hackett writes about Jon posthumously: "Jon Gould died on September 18, 1986 at age thirty-three after "an extended illness." He was down to seventy pounds and he was blind. He denied even to close friends that he had AIDS."

Here are some more comments from Hacket off the same page: Jon Gould was admitted to New York hospital with pneumonia on February 4, 1984, and released on February 22. He was readmitted the next day, however, and released again on March 7. On that day Andy instructed his housekeepers Nena and Aurora: "From now on, wash Jon's dishes and clothes separate from mine."]

Andy's story is well known--Warhola! meets Freud; it's all about the art: Man exchanges base instinct for power control, safety, leisure, and art itself. If we want to believe Freud's myth, Warhol's Oxidation Series and perhaps Pollock's drip paintings are a kind of return to pre-civilization. Or we might adopt a Freudian stance of disapproval and say that in their return to instinct Warhol and Pollock, along with Mapplethorpe and Serrano, are simply being infantile. Thus Warhol's parody of Pollock's technique becomes a display of "sexual potency in homosexual competition." Warhol not only asks young men to prove their value to him by the relative effectiveness of their urination; he himself is competing with Pollock in the arena of art history. Making the best painting becomes quite literally a matter of who is the best pisser.

Here's something about Andy's father: Warhol's father, ANDREJ (aka Ondrej) WARHOLA, died from a jaundiced liver. According to Paul Alexander in Death and Disaster, The Rise of the Warhol Emipire and the Race for Andy's Milions, "some friends questioned why the liver was diseased in the first place. Many suggested that it was a direct result of his gallbladder being removed some years before. Others would imply that perhaps Ondrej [Warhol's father] drank excessively, the prolonged effect of which damaged his liver. Either way, it was obvious that Ondrej's gallbladder was susceptible to disease, a hereditary trait he passed on to Andy."

And apparently it is true that he was a construction worker: Andy Warhol's mother, JULIA WARHOLA, said her husband's liver infection was caused by drinking "poison water" at a construction site in Virginia where he did some work. (DD18)

Warhol was fourteen years old at the time and did not attend his father's funeral. According to his brother, PAUL WARHOLA, their mother was afraid that the funeral might lead to a recurrence of Andy's "nervous condition". Young Warhol hid under a bed upstairs during the wake and refused to come down to see his father laid out in in the open casket in the living room.


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