Saturday, July 02, 2005

Being sort of black... when diversity becomes pseudo liberal: However, I have noticed that Mederic Clain of Cofidis is definitely of mixed parentage. If you find photos of him, you'll see. I think he or his parents are from the Reunion Islands (a french colony) which is very racially diverse and has many mixed race familes. Mostly white, black, indian, kind of like Trinidad. SO I guess he counts as being sort of black. But yes, he seems to be the only one in the Tour. The lifestyle of being "sort of": I can personally attest to this culture or lack thereof thing, being sort of black, and sort of gay and most importantly, fully a person. By the fault of popular slang, I'm what you would call an Oreo (black on the outside, white on the inside) Allegedly, I am not black because I go around listening to musicals and dressing like I'm a discount painter. The subtext in formal descriptions: I remember reading a grey book of greek myths with the drawings on the front being sort of black lineart. I found it but the cover is different. The one I read was a big hardcover. And when should one start to question the apparent "automatic" license of cultural insiderism? Being sort of black herself, Pamela feels she’s entitled to tell nigger jokes, this being her favorite: “Why can’t a black man be given a blow job?” “Because a black man won’t take any job.” She’s laughed so hard after each of the 10,000 times she’s told it.

The bottom line is the driver for Andy is "sort of black" and provided the best service Andy's received.

Would the Whirling Dervishes be considered "sort of black"? Consider that in relation to the power of the Ottoman Empire: The Whirling Dervishes trace their origin to the 13th century Ottoman Empire. The Dervishes, also known as the Mevlevi Order, are Sufis, a spiritual offshoot of Islam. In 1972, Jelaluddin Loras, Sheikh of the Mevlevi Order of America, brought the religion from Turkey to the United States. On December 17, Whirling Dervishes across the world celebrate the birth of Jelaluddin Mevlana Rumi, a mystic poet, who founded the Mevlevi Order. I am the first photographer allowed to document this group.


Friday, July 01, 2005

Speculation on Jon and Andy. What better way for a critic to do this than to focus on an exhibition as an excuse to entertain the possibilities of an artist's private life? This may be more so with Andy because as Dennis Hopper mentioned during an interview on KCRW a few years ago when Andy was having a retrospective at MOCA, nobody has come forward claiming "I had sex with Andy Warhol." Hopper categorized Andy as "asexual," which if we read his diary, we realize is not true, but only a myth Hopper perpetrated. Demistifying this myth is a review of an exhibit on Gould's collection of Andy's works which may hint at their intimate relationship (hint hint): Though many still argue over the true meaning and nuance of Warhol and Gould's ambiguous relationship, the collection unmistakably reveals the stunning diversity, renegade talent and personal, obsession-based side of America's most famous artist of exploitation. Go see it if you can-the layers of meaning will blow your gay mind. [...] After describing some of the works, the critic quickly moves to speculate on Andy's and Jon's relationship: Infatuated from the start by Gould, Warhol was determined to romance the tall, handsome, bisexual Hollywood executive after his own twelve-year relationship to designer Jed Johnson died a natural death. Early on, Gould feared any association as Warhol's "boy toy" but eventually moved into his New York townhouse upon experiencing health problems in 1983. Take out the critical review of the works and the last statement is an "elegant" entry in a tabloid. Criticism, as Andy would say has been doing too many faux pas.


Thursday, June 30, 2005

Sonny and Cher are such icons. When they were no longer together I thought "they must be together, that show they made demands that they stay together." Only by the time I was saying this to myself, they were long separated as I watched their TV show as a rerun many years after it was made. I always thought he was funny looking, always considered him more of a comedian than a singer. Of the two Cher had the more glamorous life, and she may be one of the prime subjects of sociological, psychological, as well as biological research to learn the after-effects of plastic surgery: Cher's fondness for the rejuvenation that nips and tucks can bring is well known, and she openly admits she has become "the plastic surgery poster girl". But the 52-year-old entertainer denies she has few original parts left on her frame and says rumours she's had cheek implants and a rib removed simply aren't true. The poster girl, she is. Going back to Bono, I like this stint from their show:
SONNY: "What's with you tonight? Just take it easy, will you please? What if you were sitting out there and watching us, you know, right now. Be honest, what would you say?"

CHER: "I'd say the same thing everybody else says. What does she see in that man?"

Another exchange:

SONNY: "Before we go on I just want to remind you of what day this is. It's a very unlucky day."

CHER: "You mean Tuesday the fourth?"

SONNY: "No, it's Friday the thirteenth. What's Tuesday the fourth?"

CHER: "The day we got married."

If Cher went on to become a Vegas Diva, then Sonny became a somewhat successful politician.
Today, his name is ranked on Google for having written a bill for Congress rather than for being "Sonny Bono" the media star: The Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act of 1998 extended copyright terms in the United States by 20 years. Before the act, an author's copyright would last until fifty years after his death. After the act, an author's copyright would last until seventy years after his death, while copyrights for works of corporate authorship would last 75 to 95 years. The act also affected copyright terms for copyrighted works published prior to January 1, 1978, increasing their term of protection by 20 years as well. Copyright is something he definitely knew given that he had been in the media business before becoming a politician. Sonny died in a skiing accident: Sonny Bono, whose unexpected career in Republican politics followed an equally unexpected -- and successful -- career as a singer and television star with his former wife, Cher, was killed on Monday evening when he crashed into a tree while skiing in South Lake Tahoe, Calif. He was 62 and lived in Palm Springs, Calif.


Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Gifts and Christmas: The history of Christmas dates back over 4000 years. Many of our Christmas traditions were celebrated centuries before the Christ child was born. The 12 days of Christmas, the bright fires, the yule log, the giving of gifts, carnivals(parades) with floats, carolers who sing while going from house to house, the holiday feasts, and the church processions can all be traced back to the early Mesopotamians to signify the celebration of Christmas. Like much else in history, it sounds like an act of appropriation.

What is the actual role of the gift? One must ask. Why did Andy treat the list Victor sent him very business-like when Christmas is about "giving." The transparency of gift giving is well known at this point, but I will reference its power structure here for the sake of clarity: In his classic work The Gift, Mauss argued that gifts are never "free". Rather, human history is full of examples that gifts give rise to reciprocal exchange. The famous question that drove his inquiry into the anthropology of the gift was: "What power resides in the object given that causes its recipient to pay it back?" (1990:3). The answer is simple: the gift is a "total prestation", imbued with "spiritual mechanisms", engaging the honour of both giver and receiver (the term "total prestation" or "total social fact" (fait social total) was coined by his student Maurice Leenhardt after Durkheim's social fact). Such transactions transcend the divisions between the spiritual and the material in a way that according to Mauss is almost "magical"

Jane Holzer giving golden dimes to Ian Schrager is a prime example of gift giving as an act of reciprocation. Not only do the golden dimes signify power for Schrager, but they also reinforce Hozler's relationship by acknowledging his power. Giving specific gifts in the end allows the giver to develop a stronger relationship with the receiver. One must wonder if today Holzer would have given Schrager a golden cell phone... Nah.


Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Party days were almost over... Bianca was in the process of turning into a political activist. That Andy did not understand why she would testify in Washington about Nicaragua shows the level of abstraction that those born in the United States can afford on politics. Bianca explains her political interests: My father was a businessman and he was not political. My mother was a housewife and she was very political. There is no question that her views influenced my vision of the world when I was an adolescent; she was a staunch opponent of the Somoza regime. After I left Nicaragua to study in France, she actively opposed the regime during the insurrection. Later on she became disillusioned with the Sandinistas and left Nicaragua to live with us in the U.S. The party girl acknowledged her political upbringing, and going back home after having lived abroad may have been the kicker that pushed her to become a Human Rights activist: During her childhood and adolescence she witnessed first hand the terror of Somoza's National Guard, and when she returned to the capital Managua as a young woman in 1972 to search for her parents after the disastrous earthquake that left 10,000 dead - she witnessed the Somoza regime profiting from the tragedy of the victims, ruthlessly pocketing millions of dollars Nicaraguans were meant to receive from humanitarian aid. Ms Jagger's early experiences had a profound effect on her life and inspired her to campaign for human rights, social and economic justice throughout the world. Over the years she has received international attention as both a passionate and effective campaigner. Here's what Bianca said in a speech she gave when accepting The Right Livelihood Award: would like to accept this award on behalf of the men, women and children who have motivated me and inspired me during the last twenty-five years to continue campaigning for human rights, peace and social justice.

During that period I witnessed the scourge of war in Central America, the horrors of mass rape and genocide in Bosnia & Herzegovina, the atrocities committed against indigenous people in Latin America, the ravaging effect of HIV and AIDS in Africa and the growing practice of trafficking of innocent children for sexual exploitation in South East Asia.
That she was a fashion model turned activist is something that is not fully understood by many today.


Monday, June 27, 2005

It is worth noting how women in other countries other than the United States have come to play major roles in politics. Mrs. Marcos, as it is well known, was very influential in the politics of the philipines, being the first lady and wife of Ferdinand Marcos. The couple came to power in 1965, then had to flee in 1986 to Hawaii. And after Marcos's death three years later, Imelda returned to the Philippines and ran for president. She was badly defeated, but in 1995 she was able to win a seat in the Philippine House of Representatives.

Mrs. Marcos was well-known for her collection of shoes, here is an article dating to 1999: Former Philippine first lady Imelda Marcos, known for her penchant for shoes, has said she has replenished her shoe collection to 3,000 pairs, the same number she abandoned at the presidential palace when her family fled into exile in Hawaii in 1986, the Today newspaper reported Monday.

Here is proof that art is political: During her time as first lady, Mrs Marcos was famed for travelling the world to buy new shoes, whilst millions of Filipinos were living in extreme poverty. President Marcos' successor, Corazon Aquino, ordered many of Mrs Marcos' shoes to be put on display as a demonstration of her extravagance. However, she has now opened her own shoe museum in Marikina, bizarrely stating "This museum is making a subject of notoriety into an object of beauty".


Sunday, June 26, 2005

The history of the Mondrian dress in relation to Isabel Eberstadt goes something like this:
1965 Mondrian St.Laurent Eberstadt photo Vintage and original 9.5 x 14 " photograph on heavy double weight gallery paper. Isabel Eberstadt in St. Laurent dress inspired by Mondrian. Photographed in Paris by famous photographer Frederick Eberstadt and so marked on back. The only flaw is the engraving office time date stamp from the magazine on the back left a impression that slightly is raised on the front otherwise fine condition.

And the history of John Belushi goes something like this: Pudgy and manic, Belushi was hugely popular in the late 1970s when he starred on Saturday Night Live and played the crass Bluto Blutarski in the campus comedy Animal House (1978). Belushi won an Emmy Award for Saturday Night Live, where his characters included crazed samurai and comical killer bees. His longtime creative partnership with his friend Dan Aykroyd included the 1980 movie The Blues Brothers and Steven Spielberg's 1979 war comedy 1941.

Belushi's funny side goes something like this: Hey, that's Arnie! That's my manager, Arnie Fromson! And he's with Woodward... Bob fucking Woodward! I can't believe it! I've always wanted to meet that guy! Hey, Arnie! Arnie! Hey Arnie! Arnie! What's Arnie talking to Bob Woodward? I can't believe it, Bob Woodward! I used to do that guy!

And his darkside goes something like this: "What Was John Belushi Addicted To?"

One possible reason for increasingly common drug deaths among heroin users is the very thinness of drug concentrations available on the street. Thus many users look to supplement their heroin habits with use of other drugs, and it is the reinforcing effects of a number of depressant drugs — including, along with heroin, alcohol and barbiturates — which cause death. In this light, reports surfacing regularly since his death made Belushi out to be a massive user of nearly every hind of abusable substance. Along with heroin and pills, he was frequently seen drunk In fact, the night before his death he had been drinking heavily and the woman he was with had to drive him back to his house.


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