Saturday, January 20, 2007

I think I covered Madonna and Sean before. However, I don't think I blogged Sonic Youth's lyrics of "Madonna, Sean and Me (the Crucifixion Of Sean Penn)"

We're gonna kill
the California girls
we're gonna fire the
exploding load in the milkmaid maiden head
we're gonna find the
of feeling good
and we're gonna stay there as long as we think we

mystery train
three way plane
to your

mystery train
three way plane
to your

mystery train
three way plane

to your


Friday, January 19, 2007

Martin, Madonna's friend, was a designer:

Soon after arriving in the Big Apple, she met up with another teenager named Martin Burgoyne who was in a similar position. The gay designer, like Madonna, had plenty of talent but no money.

So the high-energy twosome pooled their meager incomes-hers from working as a hatcheck girl, his from bartending-to rent a small apartment on Manhattan's tough Lower East Side while they each pursued the elusive "big break."

Burgoyne soon became much more than Madonna's roommate, as he provided her with emotional support during a series of traumatic events in her life. When she was raped and again when she became pregnant and had an abortion-apparently on three different occasions-Burgoyne was there for her each time.

During the next few years, not only did Madonna begin to rise to stardom but AIDS emerged as the deadliest sexually transmitted disease in history. She began performing in New York clubs in 1981; the first cases were reported that same year.

People became so frightened that they refused even to be in the same room with an AIDS patient, and an activity as intimate as kissing a person with the condition was absolutely unthinkable, as the medical community was still uncertain about whether the HIV virus could be spread through saliva.

It was in this climate of mass fear that Madonna's friend Martin Burgoyne told her that he had AIDS.

From that moment in the summer of 1986 until he died late that year, she supported him both emotionally and financially.

Even though the ambitious young singer was, during this crucial stage of her career, doing everything in her power to make the leap from being merely a star to being one of a handful of superstars, she talked to her former roommate by telephone at least once a day and visited him several times a week-never hesitating to kiss him on the lips.

She also took full responsibility for Burgoyne's expenses, providing more than $100,000 to cover his medical bills and paying the rent on the new apartment where she moved him so he could be closer to St. Vincent's Hospital where he was being treated.

Madonna's commitment soon shifted from the private support of a friend to the public role of one of the country's most dedicated AIDS educators.


Thursday, January 18, 2007

I looked for portraits of Joan Quinn by Andy, but didn't find any. I guess he keeps his word. Andy takes his portraits seriously. According to the diary, Andy at one point charged 25,000 per portrait, and they became crucial to keep the factory going.

Here's how Andy's portraits were contextualized for an art exhibition:
As a whole, Warhol's portraits provide a fascinating account of his personal and artistic circle, as well as a chronicle of many of the most talented, best known and wealthiest public figures of the period. Warhol's celebrated subjects ranged from tyrants, tycoons and Hollywood movie stars to rock stars, fashion designers and drag queens of the New York City nightlife of the 1970s and 1980s.

Considering the above observation, perhaps Andy would not do Joan's portrait because she was not famous enough for him. I wonder if he would feel the same way today; here's something on her:

Joan Agajanian Quinn, with husband, attorney John J. Quinn, and twin daughters Jennifer & Amanda, has been a supporter of the arts for over 35 years; particularly Southern California Contemporary Art. A Los Angeles native, she is the creator, writer, producer and host of "The Joan Quinn Profiles", a series of over 400 complete shows. It is a 30 minute interview show with a 2 guest format relating to the ins and the outs of the art world and the many facets of show-business. The Cable TV show airs on a mini-syndicate from California to New York (1993-present).

And oddly enough at the bottom of Joan's bio Andy is listed as one of many artists who did her portrait:
Joan Agajanian Quinn is a visionary. She has inspired artists from all over the world to paint her portrait. Such noted artists have painted or sculpted her image: David Hockney, Ian Falconer, Bob Graham, Robert Mapplethorp, Andy Warhol, Don Bachardy, Mel Ramos ...

Here's a recent art intervention inspired by Warhol's portraits by the new media group
[...]This is where the encounter with synthetic worlds comes in, and Eva and Franco Mattes realized that the most radical way of tackling this evolution of the concept of identity was to work on portraits. The series Portraits was exhibited for the first time in a show staged in Ars Virtua, an exhibition venue inside Second Life [3]. As a tribute to Warhol the show was entitled 13 Most Beautiful Avatars. It opened on November 15 2006, in a gallery space that is the exact reconstruction of the physical space about to host the same portraits 15 days later, on November 30 2006: the Italian Academy at Columbia University in New York. On the upper floor was a huge video screen linked up to the virtual show being staged in Second Life. This game of mirrors between the real and the virtual, first and second lives, is the norm when we are dealing with virtual worlds. But Eva and Franco Mattes have chosen to maintain the sense of ambiguity, without offering any banal solutions. The exhibition space constructed in Ars Virtua is a copy of the physical gallery space, but the virtual event opens two weeks earlier (which means that the real-world show is a reproduction of the virtual one); in Second Life the portraits are of the same substance as their subjects, and adorn the same setting as these subjects inhabit, while at the Italian Academy they are presented in another context, in the overtly physical form of large format prints on canvas. The virtual exhibition was visited by the subjects of the portraits, while the real-world exhibition saw some of their creators put in an unexpected appearance.


Wednesday, January 17, 2007

The Statue of Liberty "thing" that Andy referred to in his journal is the centennial. Apparently not everyone had skipped town that day... someone had to perform:

July 11, 1986
Liz Lerman's Dance Performed to Honor Statue of Liberty Centennial

As part of the celebrations of the centennial of the Statue of Liberty, Liz Lerman's Still Crossing was performed in Manhattan on July 11, 1986. The performance, part of a series of dance performances in a show called "Liberty Dances," brought together dancers from both of Lerman's companies: Dancers of the Third Age, a company of elderly dancers, and the younger Dance Exchange. The professional dancers were joined by members of the 92nd Street Y and a YWCA in Brooklyn in a piece that the New York Times reviewer described as simple but moving, with "dignity and eloquence."

And Billy Boy definitely knew the ABCs of social climbing--he was striving for this moment:
What do you do when you eventually get there ? You're at the top. You're exhausted, exhilarated. The air is pure (what you had to inhale on the way up is something you'd rather choose to forget). The lack of oxygen makes you dizzy. You laugh.

And I had no idea that social climbing affected the brain (or does it?):

Social Climbing May Change The Way Your Brain Works

Science Daily — The latest neuroscience research shows that brains change along with behavior on the social ladder. According to a new study by Georgia State University biologists Don Edwards and Joanne Drummond, dominant and subordinate crayfish react to stressful situations by responding to the same brain chemical in two different ways depending on their changing social status.

... Maybe that's why people who strive to get to the top to "free their people" end up behaving like those who were previously in power... isn't that called corruption?


Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Well, I thought of blogging several fourth of July blogs from last year, but then I ran into a blog that reblogged a lot of blogs. Now I'm making a reference to that blog below:

Friday, June 30, 2006
5:37:00 PM EDT
Hearing The Breeders, Little Fury Journals Editor Joe's Fourth of July Blog Picks for 6/30 Hi everyone -- I'm picking this week's blogs, with a little help from Journals Editor Jeff and your submissions. (I will post my picks to the Journals Main Page and in the Journals Message Board in a little bit.)

It should come as no surprise that our theme this week is July 4th Blogs. However, I do have to admit that my interpretation of the "Fourth of July" theme is a little... flexible, though looking back, it's somewhat similar to last year's angle, which was "People Who Serve."

Editor's Pick Blogger Liz
* Our first featured pick is Liz of Journal HeroToHero. Her blog is a chronicle of her work with, which collects shirts from firefighters, police, and other first responders to give to US troops fighting abroad. In her words, "NO politics, NO pro or antiwar... Troops in the desert are able to say 'Hey, that's MY home. Check 'em out!'"

Liz just completed a 30-day tour around the country, visiting first responders, collecting shirts, and taking tons of pictures -- see the entry that kicked off of the tour.

For more information about what's she's doing, check out

* Journaler Myra uses her blog, Thin Blue Line, to report on law enforcement issues. She highlights news stories, reports on officers killed or wounded in the line of duty, and also provides commentary on issues affecting the police.

Her blog's name comes from a phrase coined by 1950s-era Los Angeles Police Chief William H. Parker, who called police the "thin blue line" that separates society from chaos.

* Maria over at Maria's Musings is employed full-time, yet also finds time to be a volunteer firefighter/EMT. She also created the Web site for her volunteer fire department, the Eastern Prairie Fire Protection District in Illinois.

* Lest we forget, service comes in many forms, as Journaler Patty shows us; her blog is Tales & Tails of New York, where she shares her stories of animal rescue & adoption in New York City.

* And of course, sometimes it's just enough to be nice and do things for other people; Pam over at On the Bright Side compiles daily quotes, trivia, poetry, definitions and bits of inspiration that she finds on the Web, and presents them in her blog (346 entries and counting... )

* Lastly, since the next Space Shuttle launch is currently scheduled for Saturday, July 1st (the next launch attempts would be Sunday, then Tuesday and Wednesday; so, hopefully, we'll have astronauts orbiting on July 4th), here's a space and astronomy blog: Journaler Stuart is a self-described amateur astronomer and published children's science author; his Journal is Cumbrian Sky, and features plain-spoken, easy-to-follow discussions of space and sky-watching topics.

(Cumbria is a county [oops, not country -- Joe] in the northwest of England, and Stuart can also be heard on his local BBC radio show -- here's his profile on the BBC Web site.)

Also, here are a few other respondents from my call for July 4th-themed entries:

* Journaler Beth researches craft ideas and compiles them in her blog, Holiday Fun and Memories

* Blogger Stacey dug into her High Above Courtside archives to highlight "Fist Fights of the Founding Fathers", featuring the American institution of ass-kicking. (Par for the course, she features some un-gentle language, so you are warned.)

* Angela over at Lil' Country Charm has a little piece of Americana for use as a tag graphic for your blogs, Web pages and e-mails -- check it out.

As always, please leave a comment in the Journals or blogs that you read. Also, don't forget, if you want your own chance at being featured, send me an e-mail at (Please include a link to your blog.)

Lastly, in a bit of self-indulgence: Here's to wishing best of luck to NASA for a successful launch of Discovery (Mission STS-121), and a safe return of the shuttle and all its crew.

Have fun, be safe, and have a great Independence Day holiday.

Thanks -- Joe

Tag: Guest Editor's Picks

Written by journalseditor . Blog about this entry | Add to | digg this
This entry has 10 comments: (Add your own)

Hey Joe....imagine my surprise this morning when I discovered through another blogger that you selected my journal to be featured. I was so excited I woke my husband up to see! My journal is a mixed bag of personal entries and entries regarding my volunteer fire department, nothing fancy. I'm still very new at this whole blogging thing. I am honored, pleased and surprised to be selected. Thank you so much! I wish you, and yours, a wonderful 4th of July. Thank you for all you do. --And.....thanks to all who give even the smallest part of themselves to make the world better and safer for us all. Your treasures may not be much in this life, but God is watching, and your sacrifices of time, compassion and personal safety are being stored up. God bless America!

Comment from mariacat2003 - 7/4/06 2:51 PM

Congrats to all the editors picks! If your looking for more 4th of july and independence day tags check out my graphics journal:
AngelsArtisticExpressions/ Happy 4th! Angel aka alilcountrycharm

Comment from alilcountrycharm - 7/4/06 10:19 AM
I'm a 15 year veteran of the Drug War. Comment from monponsett - 7/2/06 9:15 PM

Congrats on being this week's Guest Editor! And Happy 4th!
Comment from fjrav - 7/1/06 8:55 PM

It's too bad you missed these two graphic entries. The animation on this site is by far one of the best out there. It even won an award. Overlooked though :(
1212 Comment from vapor989 - 7/1/06 5:08 PM


Monday, January 15, 2007

Andy certainly lived under the shadow of AIDS. While he does not make too much reference to it in his diary after the early eighties, one feels the weight the decease took on him and his friends throughout the decade. When I think of Andy and AIDS, I think of Jon Gould. And when I heard that Andy died in 1987, I thought his death was AIDS related, but as Andy's diary claims he died of Gall Bladder complications which I don't fully understand. I recently found a website that oddly enough explains what happened to his Gall Bladder:

In the days to follow, Warhol went to see Linda Li of Li Chiropractic Healing Arts Clinic for a massage. According to Warhol, Li "mashed" his gall bladder during the massage.

Because of the severe pain he experienced following the massage, Warhol consulted with Dr. Linda Burke on Saturday, February 14, 1987. Dr. Burke suggested that he get a sonogram to examine the condition of his gall bladder. The first sonogram was conducted by Dr. Bjorn Thorbjarnavson, and the results indicated that the gall bladder was enlarged. On February 18th or 19th, Warhol went to see his physician, Dr. Denton S. Cox, to get a second sonogram which showed similar results. (Note: when the gall bladder was removed during surgery, it was found to be gangrenous.)


Sunday, January 14, 2007

Funny that Andy met the kid who wrote Less Than Zero. I never read the book and only saw the movie in the theater when it was first released, back in 1987. And just recently I saw it again only because my girlfriend had never seen it. It was interesting to watch the movie after so many years. When I first saw it I thought it was great. But seeing it again made me realize that the movie has a lot of problems; for one thing the characters are not believeable, mainly because the idea of "doing the right thing" is overplayed since the very beginning. It's like McCarthy's character was trying too hard to like his ex-girlfriend and to help his friend. The whole film feels forced.

And so, I googled it a bit, and found some info. One of the reasons why the film feels forced is because... it is. It's politically correct. I learned that the movie is very different from the actual book. Here's the synopsis of the Film:

Clay (McCarthy) is a college freshman who returns home to Los Angeles, California, for Christmas, and finds things to be a bit of a mess. His ex-girlfriend Blair (Gertz) has been having sex with his high school friend, the drug-addicted Julian (Downey), who is being hassled by his dealer, Rip (Spader), for the $50,000 he owes. What follows is Clay's effort to help clean up Julian. The movie presents a look at the culture of wealthy youth in Los Angeles and has a strong anti-drug message, something that never existed in the novel.

Here is a bit on the book:
the novel follows the life of Clay, a rich young college student who has returned to his hometown of Los Angeles, California for the winter break. He spends much of the novel going to parties and doing drugs with his friends. During this time, he must decide whether or not he wants to restart a relationship with Blair, for whom he is uncertain about his feelings. Meanwhile, Clay has one night stands with a few men and women on the side while his relationship with Blair goes downhill. At the same time, he renews his relationship with his best friend, Julian, who has become a prostitute and drug addict. Throughout his descent into the netherworld of the L.A. drug scene, he loses his faith in his friends, and grows alienated with the amoral party culture he once embraced. He is greatly disturbed by three events: first, his friend Trent shows a snuff film at a party and he seems to be the only one bothered by it; later, he is forced to sit in a chair for five hours to watch Julian sell himself to a businessman from Muncie, Indiana; finally, he meets friends at a concert, only to leave and not only find a dead body that everyone wants to see, but a 12-year-old girl who is naked and tied to the posts of a friend's bed, and once again his friends are attracted to it.

According to the sections of Wikipedia, from which I cite above, Bret Easton Ellis was not happy with the film because it was so different from his book. Based on the description of the novel one has to admit that in the eighties it would have been very hard to make a movie which would show kids appearing so indifferent to life; not to mention the polemical ending. The book is more like a Nietzchian take on life: no good guys, just people waiting for death to come. One could even say that the book is right in line with De Sade's inclinations--though I cannot support this theory, as I did not read the book. But my English teacher in High School did, and I remember that it was one of the books we were given the option to read during a class semester. I opted to read Camus' the Stranger. I know some of my other friends read Less Than Zero and wrote a book report, but they never said anything about it to me or others and the teacher never asked...

Event today I don't think the book could be made into a movie, because we appear to live in even more conservative times. Back in 1987 we did not have PG-13, only PG and R ratings. And the people making films now are inclined to make most films PG-13 because the rating appeals to a wider audience. If they made a movie following the book closely, they would definitely need to cut out the ending. What does bother me about the description in Wikipedia is that it refers to the girl with the pronoun "it." Why not "her"? It scares me thinking that it was someone who contributed to Wikipedia who constructed the sentence in such fashion.


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