Saturday, January 06, 2007

Imelda Marcos could have a Reality TV show today. Andy's comments on her lifestyle and the people she wined and dined reminded me of some recent Reality TV shows.

Here are some of the most notorious:

I Love New York. She was the arch nemesis of the house on season one of Flavor of Love. She was the returning guest from hell who somehow ended up back in the mix in season two. The first time, she went all the way to the finale...

That's a well-known sequel to Flavor of Love. You may remember him from VH1's hit shows "The Surreal Life 3" and "Strange Love," but just when you thought you heard your last "Yeah, Boyeee!" VH1 is hitting you with a third dose of the Public Enemy hype-man who...

And Flavor of Love is a sequel to Strange Love. Fans of The Surreal Life on VH1 know that Brigitte Nielsen and Flavor Flav made a splash together in and out of the swimming pool. Now, VH1 is reuniting the ghetto-flash and Euro-trash duo to see if their love is the real deal.

... which is a sequel of The Surreal Life series. The wildest reality show in television history returns! The Surreal Life comes to VH1 with a "full house" of pop culture originals for a brand-new season. The third season cast includes Full House nice guy Dave Coulier, Public Enemy rapper and hip-hop jester Flavor Flav, former-New Kid On The Block Jordan Knight, Red Sonja star and ex-Mrs. Sylvester Stallone Brigitte Nielsen, American Idol runner-up Ryan Starr and Mrs. "Cuchi Cuchi" herself, Charo. You're not going to believe what happens when they live together under one roof.

I can see Imelda Marcos having her own show where she is hanging out. Just hanging out with her own bling (whatever she may have left.) If she did, she might actually redefine the lifestyle of the has-beens and still infamous. And could have people like Rodman and Paris Hilton hanging out like the real swingers that they are, just doing their thang. They would all fit right in like a cinderella shoe of global crass culture, letting Flav and other reality celebrities ranging from the Amazing Race to Survivor show up to bring some fitness and dignity to the lounging participants. Ok, maybe not a great show, but for the sake of knowing, here's wassup with the former beauty queen, she answered a few questions on her privileged position, did I hear money?

10 Questions: Imelda Marcos

Since her husband, philippine strongman ferdinand marcos, died in exile in Honolulu in 1989, Imelda Marcos has seldom been out of the news, mostly because of the Philippine government's 20-year pursuit of what it considers the Marcos family's ill-gotten gains, rumored to amount to billions. Marcos talked with TIME's Nelly Sindayen about money, her encounters with world leaders, and�what else?�her shoes.

You're said to be one of the world's richest people. Just how rich are you?
If you know how rich you are, my dear, then you're not really rich. Frankly, I don't want to put numbers [out there], I don't want to attract any more lawsuits. The vultures want a piece of the Marcos meat, watching every figure mentioned.

How did your husband become so wealthy?
Ferdinand was a gold trader. He was a lawyer for mining companies. When he entered politics in l949, he had tons and tons of gold. When Bill Gates was a college dropout, Ferdinand already possessed billions of dollars and tons of gold. It wasn't stolen.

Why do you sometimes say you're poor?
I am poor not in material things but in the truth. I've been called a thief�the biggest ever ... The problem with First Ladies is that you have to set the standard. I had to wear jewelry then, but all that was taken away, confiscated by the government. They think they have taken everything away from me, including my shoes. But actually that's my biggest defense: when they opened my closet, they found shoes instead of skeletons. They've listed my name in the dictionary�"Imeldific" is used to mean ostentatious extravagance ... But the truth will prevail. At [77], I am still standing, still fighting the superpowers.

Speaking of superpowers, the U.S. filed racketeering charges against you in 1988. You were acquitted, but not before you had to post $5 million bail.
The first one to come to my rescue was [Muammar] Gaddafi, who said he was willing to post bail for me even if it were 10 times higher. Even Saddam Hussein sent his foreign minister to ask if there was anything I needed.

Many notorious leaders have been kind to you.
[Fidel] Castro too. When I visited Cuba, he drove for me. He told me he had driven for only two people in his life�his mother and me ... At the height of the cold war, I visited China. When I saw Chairman Mao, I kissed his hand so he kissed my hand. "I like you," the Chairman said. "You're very beautiful, and childlike."

You negotiated with Gaddafi to stop Libya's backing for the separatist Moro National Liberation Front in Mindanao.
Gaddafi said to me: You're a good woman, why don't you become a Muslim? I said I didn't know Islam. He said Islam is kind, so I said, then don't let Mindanao separate from the Philippines. He said Islam is generous, so I said, then give us oil at a low, friendship price. I ended up getting eight concessions, including cheap oil.

Do you have a message for President Bush?
My advice to him is: do a Ferdinand in handling power. Ferdinand once told me, "Imelda, power is not used, it is felt."

But Bush has to face threats like Osama bin Laden.
I beg Osama to stop warring. He is a Muslim, and Islam means peace. Nobody wins in a war ... I wish I were tapped in the problem about Iraq. I knew Saddam enough that I could have talked him into surrendering. But it's too late.

What will you do next?
I will come up with a project that will wipe out poverty in the Philippines in two years. I want to remove the people from economic crisis by using the Marcos wealth. Long after I'm gone, people will remember me for building them homes and roads and hospitals and giving them food. The people should stop laughing at all this. They should stop thinking that I'm a bit touched in the head.

You're as controversial as ever.
Being controversial is being whole. It's yin and yang. I used to be yin when Marcos was still alive, and he was the yang. Now I am both yin and yang.


Friday, January 05, 2007

Andy's got the "monkey off my back." Reminds me of a recording by Geoge Michael. "Monkey" was the title of the notorious song (although, I know Andy was not using the phrase in the same way as good old Giorgio):

Why Can't You Do It?
Why can't you set your monkey free?
Always giving in to it -
Do you love the monkey or do you love me?
Why can't you do it
Why do i have to share my baby with a monkey?

Oh i count to ten
But i don't know how and i don't know when
To open my eyes
If you kiss me again
Like you did just now, like you did just then -
I've had the rest
Now it's time i had the best
So you tell me that you won't do anymore

Well i'd write your heart a letter
But i think you know me better
If i keep on askin' baby, maybe
I'll get what i'm askin' for

Why can't you do it?
Why can't you set your monkey free?
Always giving in to it -
Do you love the monkey or do you love me?
Why can't you do it
Why do i have to share my baby with a monkey?

Oh i hate your friends
But i don't know how and i don't know when
To open your eyes
Yes the monkey's back again
Do you want him now like you did back then?
I tried my best
But your head is such a mess
So i guess that i don't want you anymore

Well you say you care about me
That you just can't do without me
But you keep on dancin' baby
'Til that monkey has you on the floor

Why can't you do it?
Why can't you set your monkey free?
Always giving in to it -
Do you love the monkey or do you love me?
Why can't you do it
Why do i have to share my baby with a monkey?

Don't look now
There's a monkey on your back
Don't look now
There's a monkey on you...

Or maybe Andy was thinking of his backpack in a similar way. I must admit there is something about losing things that are important to you in a day to day basis, like bank statements and stuff. It might be an odd comparison, but for me, it's been e-mail. I did not back it up before, but I do now, although reluctantly. In the past, my e-mail application crashed or my computer's hard drived crashed. And I had to start over, I mean all over. Whatever files I had not save were gone like the wind. Yep. And even though I had to often rework material from older files, it felt liberating somehow. But I better stop this comment right here, before my computer feels it can crash on me. Gots to gots to take care of the baby, ya know?

Imagining Andy being asked to move over because his hair is blocking the view of someone behind him is hilarious. It's just like those Looney Toons cartoons, in which a person at the movie theater takes off his hat and a huge amount of hair pops out, and the person behind can't see nothin', I mean nothin'. And the person behind busts out with a lawnmover to shave down the middle section of the person-in-front's mane; then smiles because he can see the movie.

And I wonder if someone stole the bag from Andy on purpose. But that's just my paranoid self coming out.

Today, someone doing that would have a field day with the possibilities of identity theft. Andy's bank account would be a killing. To die for.


Thursday, January 04, 2007

Paige in a fat farm. What's a fat farm? I asked myself when I first heard the term. I thought it was a place where you "grow" fat. And I mean "grow." That's why I found the term peculiar. But I thought it was lard for cooking or something. I admit I was about 10 or so.

Here's a historical definition of a fat farm:

Fat farms, weight loss boot camps for quick weight loss were the fashion 50 years ago for those wishing to lose weight quickly. The fat farm was basically adult weight loss camps, providing starvation intakes in the range of 400 to 900 calories per day, coupled with boot camp fitness programs and a mix of nutritional supplements. Often, but not always, colonics and other 'alternative' measures were offered.

In the Warholstar's site, Paige Powell appears rather thin. If we consider the date below the photo, we can assume that Paige is still thin today. yes? She was Basquiat's girlfriend (that's the term used in Andy's site.) These days she would be called "partner." And this reminds me that I recently heard the term "lady friend" by one of my colleagues. What will be next? "lovely friend?" Why is "girlfriend" problematic these days? We could switch to "Woman Friend" yes?

Obviously it's related to gender issues and politically correct lingo. And the interesting thing about such conundrum is that in English many terms that define roles are gender neutral. Like Firefighter, or President, or Lawyer or swimmer to name some at random, are indefinite in English, but these in Spanish, Italian and French would be gender specific. I don't find the obsession with politically correct lingo that is prevalent in U.S. English in particular at play in these other languages. but of course gender critics do have a field day when it comes to criticizing inequality in these languages and play with the grammar; and have come up with interesting solutions that actually push the limits of language. For example, in Spanish cyber lingo, the term "friend" (which is the same for man or woman in English) is rewritten as "amig@" Bringing together "amigo" (male) and "amiga" (female) into one word. How's that for politically correct lingo?


Wednesday, January 03, 2007

We know how Andy feels about Diane Keaton. Interesting that she owns a set of clown paintings by Andy:

The Andy Warhol Museum announces that it will present, Clown Paintings: From the Collection of Diane Keaton and Others, August 24 through October 26, 2003. The exhibition includes more than 40 amateur clown paintings culled from the collections of actress Diane Keaton and gallery-owner and collector Robert Berman. Clown Paintings is the final exhibition to open during "Summer of Andy"- The Warhol's summer-long presentation of special exhibitions and programs in celebration of Andy Warhol's 75th birthday.

I couldn't find anything showing that Diane Keaton had something against Andy. If anything, she sounds impartial when Andy's name comes up:

DK: I think some artists are happier being invisible.

JS: Some, yes. We only know their work. But others become more famous than their work. When I did my Warhol piece I was thinking I could underplay him because his persona was so big, no matter how I presented him he would be instantly recognizable.

DK: And more so because you played him against one of his well-known Marilyns. Icon to icon.

As to Andy being asked to do some interviews by his own magazine... well, what can one say? I think he was a better interviewee than interviewer:

Andy Warhol 1928 - 1987
Conversations with Artists
17 March 1981 Radio 3
Andy Warhol talks to Edward Lucie Smith about


Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Grace Jones is a vamp. That's actually the name of the movie she starred in:

For better or worse, 1980s horror has been closely identified with the slasher movies that proliferated in that decade. The era of Reagan and American Psycho wasn’t only about maniacs with sharp household objects, however. Some inventive, clever, and just plain fun supernatural films emerged amidst the general carnage –- movies like The Howling, Fright Night, and Vamp.

Vamp begins with a double hanging that turns out to be part of a fraternity hazing prank. It quickly turns into a road trip movie as pledges and best friends Keith (Chris Makepeace) and A.J. (Robert Rusler from A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge), along with token nerd Duncan (Gedde Watanabe), head for the big city in search of a stripper to perform at a frat party that night. If this sounds like the beginning of an insufferable teen comedy, well, the potential is definitely there. However, viewers should forgive the cheesy opening, however contrived: it pays off neatly later in the movie.

I actually like Grace Jones for two things: Her looks and her singing. In particular the album Nightclubbing. Definitely a well-produced album blending styles of Reggae, ska and funk with a pop aesthetic (wow, do I sound like a bad music critic or what?).

But on her relationship to Warhol... I'm not sure it is accurate the way it is publicized. I mean, this is what the 4% margin error almight Wikipedia has to say:

Jones secured a record deal with Island Records in 1977, which resulted in a string of dance club hits and a large gay following. The three disco albums she recorded — Portfolio (1977), Fame (1978), and Muse (1979) — generated considerable success in that market. During this period, she also became a muse to Andy Warhol, who photographed her extensively. Jones also accompanied him to famed nightclub Studio 54 on many occasions.

Even in 1985 Jones was more like a "drop-by" in his studio. He may photographed her a bit, but I'm not sure she qualifies as a muse for Andy.

I do love the way her blackness is pushed on the album covers.


Monday, January 01, 2007

Artists do live forever. Basquiat had a major retrospective at MOCA in Los Angeles:

Basquiat is a major retrospective of the brief but highly influential career of American artist Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960–88), a key figure of the 1980s whose work continues to resonate today.

Funny. I always thought in my mind that Basquiat had died before Andy. But looking at the date above, I realized that he died the next year, 1988. I wonder what Basquiat said about Andy's death? Check the scoop on how he felt about the social butterfly's death:

Warhol's death in 1987 was very distressing for Basquiat, and is speculated by Phoebe Hoban, in Basquiat, her 1998 biography on the artist, that Warhol's death was a turning point for Basquiat, and that afterwards his drug addiction and depression began to spiral.

I never thought of Basquiat as a "neo-impressionist,"

Graffiti/Street Artist and painter Jean-Michel Basquiat lived in Venice in the 80's. Immature, an R&B group from the 90's used to perform on the boardwalk prior to becoming famous. Simpsons creator Matt Groening resides (or has resided) in Venice. American child prodigy Levi Meir Clancy was born in Venice.


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