July 2003 Archives
Amazing. It's the top story on CNN right now.
I'm not a big fan of the institution of marriage. I would rather live in a society where we think people are valuable and should be able to have healthcare or be taken care of in their old age or able to leave their estates to someone of their choosing without regard to their marriage status.
Bush said it is "important for society to welcome each individual," but administration lawyers are looking for some way to legally limit marriage to heterosexuals.
"I believe marriage is between a man and a woman, and I think we ought to codify that one way or another," Bush told reporters at a White House news conference. "And we've got lawyers looking at the best way to do that."
Regarding Mr. Bush's so-called tolerance, fuck that!
Even as he made it clear that he did not support the idea of gay marriage, Bush appeared to issue a call for tolerance.
"Yes, I am mindful that we're all sinners," the president said Wednesday when asked for his views on homosexuality. "And I caution those who may try to take the speck out of the neighbor's eye when they've got a log in their own."
"I think it's very important for our society to respect each individual, to welcome those with good hearts, to be a welcoming country," Bush added. "On the other hand, that does not mean that somebody like me needs to compromise on an issue such as marriage."
From August 30th through September 4th, the Republicans will be invading New York City to nominate George W. Bush as their candidate for President. Never has a convention been hosted so late in the year and this is the first time a Republican Convention has been in New York City. Why host a convention in September? Why New York? By exploiting our grief and trauma from September 11th, the right wing intends to further their regressive political agenda.
[via Ask Her]
Go read a more balanced version of the story of a Borders banning a singer for making fun of Bush's "chicken legs": a clever sheep: The Borders mess
Glenn has a post about Ruslan Sharipov, an openly gay journalist and critic of the regime in Uzbekistan. He is now on trial for homesexuality.
The administration at Texas A&M (a university with 45,000 students) is proposing to close the School of Journalism because they can't afford it.
Now we wouldn't want anyone to learn to be a journalist at Texas A&M University would we? That might send the wrong message at the home of the George Bush Presidential Library -- lovely web page.
The image above is the editorial page of the student paper, The Battalion, protesting the decision.
My friend Anees has an article up about the recent report that Israel's Defence Force has killed just over 400 Palestinian children in the last 3 years.
Pacific Views: Bill Maher on Davis Recall: "Arnold can explain the administration's social policies in the original German."
London's Pride parade was led off Saturday by the Metropolitan Police's Commander Brian Paddick, the highest ranking gay officer in a major force. Behind him were 85 other LGBT officers.
Via Eschaton I see there is a Washington Post article that says we are now taking hostages in Iraq as part of our "tactics". I think the headline is a bit weak given the item about taking families of Iraqi officials hostage that's buried deep in the article.
Col. David Hogg, commander of the 2nd Brigade of the 4th Infantry Division, said tougher methods are being used to gather the intelligence. On Wednesday night, he said, his troops picked up the wife and daughter of an Iraqi lieutenant general. They left a note: "If you want your family released, turn yourself in." Such tactics are justified, he said, because, "It's an intelligence operation with detainees, and these people have info." They would have been released in due course, he added later.
The tactic worked. On Friday, Hogg said, the lieutenant general appeared at the front gate of the U.S. base and surrendered.
I'll talk about the gallery stuff first. Jack the Pelican has a group show called New Lawn that was my favorite show I've seen there since the opening solo show of Jesse Bercowitz. The best items in the show: the two videos by Susan Ingraham titled "Iguana" and "GOescarGO", both with awesome costume and makeup design by the artist and soundtracks inspired by/lifted from French new-wave films.
Back to the Chunkathalon -- an event best described as Knightriders meets that short-lived TV show "Double Rush", plus a bit of Society for Creative Anachronism. I have to say though, that the SCA people at my university where never in this kind of shape. My full gallery of photos is here.
James spent more time on his write-up, photos, and captions, so go check out his entry.
Also, see Tom Moody's report. We finally met each other after he recognized me in the crowd. I was even wearing sunglasses at the time.
The Master of Ceremonies, who started out in a wrestling mask, was dressed very glam. I have one more (adult) story about something I overheard a young man named Zach tell his friends. Those who don't wish to read it should stop reading NOW.
The Art Newspaper has an amusing interview with Dearraindrop from the night of their opening at John Connelly Presents.
LowerManhattan.info, better known as a place to follow the latest WTC developments, profiles Jen Miller, aka the Reverend Jen, in its latest "Citizen Spotlight".
I first saw the Greg Palast article a few weeks, ago, but after seeing Michael Tomasky refer to Cynthia McKinney as "a discredited anti-Semite", I just can't stay silent.
A strong black woman who dares question the Bush regime or any of its financial supporters can't survive our political system.
Before anyone starts posting "she is an anti-semite!" comments on my weblog, I will warn you that any post that says that without any links to a reputable news source for backup will be deleted.
Some selections from Palast's article:
We saw these three works, and much more, at the "Unframed" opening last night at Lehmann Maupin. I met Francis at the opening, and she told me the eagle is based on the one on the back of a quarter, "enhanced" a bit.
I'm very, very mad at myself for not getting there right at 6 to get an Orly Cogan work. As it was a benefit for ACRIA, the works are all being sold for $150! See James for the details on the show and some photos of Orly's work.
Crain's reports that the number of restaurant industry jobs has risen since the smoking ban went into effect.
Go check out Dexter Buell's new web site. We have several video and photographic works of his.
I spent the evening in the East Village, meeting my friend Cynthia at Benny's East, a regular meeting spot for us over the last 13 years. As I was walking there, I was aware of how bourgeois (and old) I feel now, but then I see an abomination such as some frat boy walking on 13th Street between 1st and A and I realize I'm not much of an intruder after all.
I ran into a certain blogger on the way there, but I used his secret agent name rather than his meatspace name, and he didn't realize I was talking to him at first.
After Benny's we went to our favorite East Village music store, Etherea. I was somewhat stunned to notice the tattoo on the Williamsburg-esque young man working there: Arbeit Macht Frei, accompanied by a yellow star.
After seeing my post The men of ward 57, a friend who was a "Donut Dolly" visiting soldiers in the hospital during the Viet Nam War, and says it's time to do it again, sent me the information for people interested in volunteering here in NYC:
To register to volunteer at the Veterans hospital
423 East 23rd Street (just east of First Avenue)
Room One South (ask Security)
Frank Civitillo or his assistant
212-686-7500 x 7920
walk in Mon-Fri 8:00 am to 4:00 pm
They will interview you and arrange for a T.B. shot. There are plenty of volunteers now, during this height of feeling, but many surviving Veterans probably need whatever you offer.
ArtsJournal has launched several weblogs:
- Terry Teachout on the arts in New York City
- Andrew Taylor on the business of arts & culture
- Greg Sandow on the future of Classical Music
- Tobi Tobias on dance et al...
Interesting... I just noticed Greg Sandow mentions that his wife is NY Times critic Anne Midgette. She has an interesting way with reviews. I didn't care for this one at all, and I was at the concert, but her review of Verdi's MacBeth by the Kirov was pretty funny, if a bit light in its attempts to amuse the reader:
David McVicar's 2001 production looked as if the Kirov had given him the lowest budget possible, then left the sets at home.
Wow -- look at this headline:
PALESTINE, W.Va. (Reuters) - Jessica Lynch, the wounded Army private whose ordeal in Iraq was hyped into a media fiction of U.S. heroism, was set for an emotional homecoming on Tuesday in a rural West Virginia community bristling with flags, yellow ribbons and TV news trucks.
But when the 20-year-old supply clerk arrives by Blackhawk helicopter to the embrace of family and friends, media critics say the TV cameras will not show the return of an injured soldier so much as a reality-TV drama co-produced by U.S. government propaganda and credulous reporters.
"It no longer matters in America whether something is true or false. The population has been conditioned to accept anything: sentimental stories, lies, atomic bomb threats," said John MacArthur, the publisher of Harper's magazine.
Lynch became a national hero after media reports quoted unnamed U.S. officials as saying she fought fiercely before being captured, firing on Iraqi forces despite sustaining multiple gunshot and stab wounds.
In the end, Army investigators concluded that Lynch was injured when her Humvee crashed into another vehicle in the convoy after it was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade.
Far from a scene of battlefield heroism, the Army said the convoy blundered into the ambush after getting lost and many of the unit's weapons malfunctioned during the battle.
The U.S. military also released video taken during an apparently daring rescue by American special forces who raided the Iraqi hospital where she was being treated.
Iraqi doctors at the hospital said later the U.S. rescuers had faced no resistance and the operation had been over-dramatized.
Quoting the Harper's publiser? They'll be banned from Washington! Well, they are a British company, so they sometimes act like real journalists rather than what we're getting out of our own media at this point.
I was reminded that I hadn't posted anything about this when I saw the article in the NY Times today. The Guardian, a great leftish British newspaper, is considering an American weekly magazine. I would buy several gift subscriptions right away? Not only is their political and world events coverage great, they are one of the smartest voices covering books and the rest of the arts. For an example, see this article on Strauss's opera Die Schweigsame Frau (The Silent Woman):
The librettist was Jewish. The composer was head of the Reich Music Chamber. But Stefan Zweig and Richard Strauss still managed to beat the Nazis and get their comedy sea opera on stage.
New York Magazine had an article by Michael Wolff titled En Guardian! on this a couple of weeks ago.
Even though he will begin married life in a wheelchair after the loss of both his feet, First Lt. John Fernandez, a West Point graduate, swears he won't feel sorry for himself. Not when three men around him came home from Iraq in body bags.
While our media writes about what seems to be considered a relatively low number of (American) deaths in Iraq, Daily Kos tells us about The men of Ward 57. More than 650 seriously wounded soldiers have passed through Walter Reed Hospital since March. If we had a real media this would be in the news more.
This line really got me:
Pfc. Danny Roberts was wishing for Faulkner instead of a glossy guide about adapting to limb loss.
These people are maimed in a war that we didn't need to fight that was built on lies. Today the NY Times reports that we were conducting air raids starting in 2002 to prepare for an invasion of Iraq.
The strikes, which were conducted from mid-2002 into the first few months of 2003, were justified publicly at the time as a reaction to Iraqi violations of a no-flight zone that the United States and Britain established in southern Iraq. But Lt. Gen. T. Michael Moseley, the chief allied war commander, said the attacks also laid the foundations for the military campaign against the Baghdad government.
Indeed, one reason it was possible for the allies to begin the ground campaign to topple Mr. Hussein without preceding it with an extensive array of airstrikes was that 606 bombs had been dropped on 391 carefully selected targets under the plan, General Moseley said.
One of the things that drove the Soviets out of Afghanistan was the streams of amputees coming home despite the government and the media telling the people that the war was going well.
I went to the opening of Today's Man at John Connelly Presents. Due to the fact that the MTA decided to shut down the L-train from Eighth Avenue to Lorimer Street(!) the crowd took a while to assemble, which meant those of us arriving near 6 could actually see the work, a rather unusual occurrence at his openings.
It's a very good show, with about 50 works by male artists on male subjects. As James pointed out, there isn't a lot of nudity, as you might expect at such a show. The link above on Douglas Kelley's web site lists all of the artists, so I'll only mention the works that struck me:
- A dark oil painting of a boy on a windowsill by Tim Lokiec
- A drawing by Paul P.
- A collage by Tony Feher that included a sexy ass shot of someone, a coffee cup lid, an cigarette butt, and a prescription label -- hey, he and James have the same doctor!
- A beautiful drawing (on vellum?) by Assume Vivid Astro Focus/Eli Sudbrack
- A drawing of a boy in a rowboat about to be attacked by a tentacled monster by Hernan Bas
- A collage by Christian Holstad
- A delicate drawing by Nick Mauss
- A painting by Michael Wetzel -- I really like his work the more I see it
Speaking of Paul P, check out the nice review he got from Holland Cotter. Knowing that Paul loves Whistler, getting compared to Whistler and Caravaggio's "punk angels" is a good thing. He was down from Toronto for the opening.
On the subject of reviews, in a week when even the troglodyte Michael Kimmelman reviews this sort of work (see the Holland Cotter link above), it shocked me to see New York Data Probe's dismissive comments on the John Connelly show. There is a fine line between amusing Gawker-esque snarkiness and being a philistine. I think NYDP has crossed that line. Quote:
John Connelly Presents presents its second opening in two weeks, for the show "Today's Man," with 49 artists, not many of them artists by career.
Lucky for me that this is basically a rerun of the last opening, because I can't be there--I'm going to the Hamptons.
What does "not many of them artists by career" mean? I've seen most of them in galleries whose taste I respect. Are they not "by career" unless they're making a good living at it like Ross Bleckner or Annie Leibovitz? Ugh.
It's also poor journalism to say "a rerun of the last opening" when there isn't that much overlap. I assume he is referring to the work that John is showing at D'Amelio Terras, and not the last show in his space with Dearraindrop.
What's the point of having an art blog if your writing is even more sloppy than the print journalists? I'm no Tyler Greene or Tom Moody, but I would be embarassed to write such a thing without some air quotes.
Last Sunday we went to DUMBO to see Outpost at Smack Mellon and Future Species at DUMBO Arts Center (DAC). The press release for "Outpost" is from a real estate site, since Smack Mellon hasn't updated their web site in a month. While you're on that site, feel free to buy me one of the penthouses at 30 Main Street as a present.
The DAC show was a bit disappointing. The best works in the show, and not just because we own one of them, are the Matthew Callinan sculptures. They're quite magical, hanging in a space with large windows in DUMBO, and everyone walking into the gallery talked about them and smiled. I also liked the twisted toy sculptures of David Krepfle.
The "Outpost" show at Smack Mellon, curated by Ada Chisholm, was excellent. I'm very sorry I missed Cory Arcangel's power-point-presentation-with-Van-Halen-guitar-solo at the opening. His work in the show consists of "videos" on DVD created by tricking QuickTime to interpret memory blocks in his computer as video data. They're quite beautiful. Greg Simsic, who is also the author of some design and computer books, had a great installation of 11 video monitors stacked on several folding tables. They showed various activities in his studio -- picking up objects, things getting soaked, hands dipping into paint, etc. Chad Silver had a funny video in which he looks around his apartment for animals and characters hidden in the patterns of the wall textures, clothing piles, and other places.
The Washington Post reports that the White House was so unhappy about an ABC News story about bad morale in Iraq that they pointed out to Matt Drudge that the reporter who did the story is gay and Canadian. Unless they're trying to use jingoism and homophobia to further their fascist aims, what's the point?
Some folks in the White House were apparently hopping mad when ABC News correspondent Jeffrey Kofman did a story on Tuesday's "World News Tonight" about the plummeting morale of U.S. soldiers stationed in Iraq.
So angry, in fact, that the next day, a White House operative alerted cyber-gossip Matt Drudge to the fact that Kofman is not only openly gay, he's Canadian.
Yesterday Drudge told us he was unaware of the ABC story until "someone from the White House communications shop tipped me to it" along with a profile of Kofman in the gay-oriented magazine the Advocate.
White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan "is having a rough first week," Drudge said. "The White House press office is under new management and has become slightly more aggressive about contacting reporters. This story has certainly become talk radio fodder about the cultural wars-slash-liberal bias in the media."
A network insider was less sanguine about the White House tactic: "Playing hardball is one thing. But appealing to homophobia and jingoism is simply ugly."
Mr. Drudge is rather quiet about his own orientation when the subject comes up.
I didn't know Mr. Pokey. I just saw this in the Village and liked it.
James has posted a report from our friend Steve about his activities with the International Solidarity Movement and Jews Against the Occupation in Palestine.
Work stuff, plus German class twice per week is killing my schedule. That's why I haven't had time to post about our lovely Bastille Day evening at Florent with Glenn and (as we all refer to him) Chris From Texas.
I left my class early on Monday, making sure everyone realized I was leaving to celebrate Bastille Day (festen Bastille Tag) and hopped in a cab. I had a very cool cabdriver name Khalid, who had one of the longer cabs, good air conditioning, was listening to WBAI, offered me one of his apples, and found Gansevoort without me having to give any directions.
We all sat outside for hours and drank lots of red and sparking wine. It was a bit more low-key than some years, and they didn't close off Gansevoort as they sometimes do. The burlesque performer below is Dirty Martini, whom I've seen a number of times, including at a contemporary music concert on Valentine's Day. If Chris of Uffish were a stripper, this would be her. She is quite fabulous, and the the first burlesque performer to appear in Sarajevo as soon as the peace accord was signed.
Yes, that is Betsey Johnson in the yellow hat in the back of the Dirty Martini pictures.
One of the arguments people use to justify our "free market" medical system as opposed to some form of national health insurance is countries with such systems "ration" healthcare. Well, what are we doing with our corporate HMO system? Who elects them?
Via ABC News:
A new study done by the American Medical Association's Institute of Ethics finds that 31 percent of more than 700 doctors surveyed say they sometimes withhold medical information about treatment options from patients when they believe the patient cannot afford them.
Of these doctors, 35 percent were doing so more often than they had in the five years leading up to the 1998 survey. Doctors whose patients were largely poor and unlikely to get appropriate help from their health plans often fall short on disclosing information. The study is published in the latest issue of Health Affairs.
According to the study, doctors are often caught between their obligation to provide information and their fear of being asked to cheat insurance companies so that patients can receive care they are not eligible for a practice called "gaming the system."
It is also suggested that doctors whose revenue is significantly tied to managed care companies tend to hold back information about non-covered treatments to some patients.
Many doctors contacted by ABCNEWS cited time constraints as the number one difficulty. Dr. John Messmer of Penn State Hershey Medical Center says doctors are now expected to explain complicated medical information to patients while having less and less time to do so. They are caught between their duties to their patients and their lack of resources.
"The ethical issue is that we no longer work for patients since we are no longer paid by them. Practitioners who want to be compensated must follow the insurance company's or government's rules, even if we disagree with them," says Messmer.
I thought people justified gas-guzzling SUVs because of their safety (ignoring any penis-size insecurity issues). Do you think most cars would flip over after being hit by a smaller vehicle?
hit the BMW, which flipped over:
Quoting the Newsday article:
Two women walking along Queens Boulevard were crushed yesterday when a sport utility vehicle struck by another car careened, flipped and slammed into them, police said.
Witnesses said the 1:20 p.m. accident began when a 63-year-old man in a Subaru Forester stopped, then drove through a red light on 78th Avenue at Queens Boulevard in Forest Hills, police said.
The Subaru smashed into a BMW SUV driven westbound on the boulevard's service road by a 37-year-old man, police said, causing the BMW to veer out of control and overturn.
They transformed the Tony Rosenthal sculpture at Astor Place into a Rubik's Cube, via safe materials that wouldn't harm it. Plus, they provide cute pictures of themselves as they do it. I'm reminded a bit of the nephews -- the sons of James's brother.
I can't think of a more important year to attend Florent's Bastille Day celebration. There is nothing on the website about the event, so I sent an email and Florent Morillet gave me the info:
Monday, July 14
Micheline: Full-throated red head will twist the heartstrings
Ami Goodheart & the Coquettes
New Orleans Burlesque
Dirty Martini embodying the true art & style of burlesque
Mr. Monsieur the toast of Gai Paree
Mary Birdsong; Judy Garland does Edith Piaf
Remember to bring cash. Florent doesn't take credit cards, and I can't imagine them trying it with this event anyway!
I have German Class from 6-8, then I'll hop in a cab and be there 8ish. Send me an email or leave a comment if you're going to be there. James might get there earlier if he can assemble a group big enough to get a spot and save me a seat.
I haven't written much in the last week because I've been taking a brutal antibiotic for my sinuses which saps my joi de vivre. That plus the heat meant I spent most of the July 4 weekend inside, reading books and working on my artist web-hosting project, soon to be launched.
The best thing I read over the weekend was the Talley Trilogy of Lanford Wilson. The plays take place on July 4th and 5th in various years.
We saw Fifth of July at Signature Theatre in February, a couple of days before the February 15 peace march. It's still a very relevant work of theatre, about the loss of idealism in the wake of the Viet Nam war and the backlash against the 60s. The other two plays take place in 1944 on the same day. One, "Talley's Folly", takes place in the boathouse where Aunt Sally of "Fifth of July" falls in love with her future husband Matt Friedman. The other, "Talley and Son," takes place in the house up the hill on the same day. I have read few works with the kind of faith in humanity and idealism, even in the face of a vicious and stupid world, that these three plays contain. I don't feel that I'm much of a literary critic, so I'll close with some quotes from two of them. I had tears in my eyes when I heard the first one at Signature.
Fifth of July
June (with difficulty controlling herself): You've no idea the country we almost made for you. The fact that I think it's all a crock now does not take away from what we almost achieved.
Gwen: Anyway. You get there. Five hundred thousand people, speaker's platforms, signs thick as a convention, everybody's high, we're bombed, the place is mobbed, everybody's on the lawn with their shirts off, boys, girls; they're eating chicken and tacos, the signs say: End the War, Ban the Bomb, Black Power and Gay Power and Women's Lib; the Nazi Party's there, the unions, demanding jobs, they got Chicano Power and Free the POWs and Free the Migrants, Allen Ginsberg is chanting Ommm over the loudspeakers. Coretta King is there: Jesus! How straight do you have to be to see that nothing is going to come from it? But don't knock your mother, 'cause she really believed that "Power to the People" song, and that hurts.
Matt [referring to post-WW II prosperity and the blindness that materialism produced]: It's hard to use your peripheral vision when you're being led by the nose.
Sally: I'm sorry, I wasn't listening. I was trying to figure out what "ratiocination" means.
Matt: Oh, forgive me. I don't have a speaking vocabulary. I have a reading vocabulary. I don't talk that much.
I realized while searching Google for more information that a video/DVD exists from 1982 of "Fifth of July" with Swoosie Kurtz, Richard Thomas, and Jeff Daniels. I just ordered it.
... while he's making a speech about slavery.
While "President" Bush was giving his speech about the evils of slavery on Goree Island in Senegal, most of the island's inhabitants were taken out of their homes and kept in a stadium until he left. All for security, of course.
"It's slavery all over again," fumed one father-of-four, who did not want to give his name. "It's humiliating. The island was deserted."
White House officials said the decision to remove the locals was taken by Senegalese authorities. But there was no doubt who the residents blamed.
"We never want to see him come here again," said N'diaye, hiking her loose gown onto her shoulders with a frown.
As the sun rose over Goree before Bush's arrival, the only people to be seen on the main beach were U.S. officials and secret service agents. Frogmen swam through the shallows and hoisted themselves up to peer into brightly painted pirogues.
Normally, the island teems with tourists, Senegal's ubiquitous traders, hawkers of cheap African art, photographers offering to take pictures and all the expected trappings of a tourist hot-spot in one of the world's poorest countries.
On Tuesday, shutters on the yellow and red colonial-style houses remained shut. The cafes were closed and the narrow pier deserted, apart from security agents manning a metal detector, near the sandy beach. A gunship patrolled offshore.
"We understand that you have to have security measures, since September 11, but to dump us in another place...? We had to leave at 6 a.m. I didn't have time to bathe, and the bread did not arrive," the father-of-four said.
"We were shut up like sheep," said 15-year-old Mamadou.
Many residents compared Bush's hour-long visit unfavorably to the island tour by former President Bill Clinton in 1998.
"When Clinton came, he shook hands, people danced," said former Mayor Urbain Alexandre Diagne.
It must be nice to be able to "think" like the people around him and never have any cognitive dissonance.
If anyone spotted this in an American newspaper, please let me know.
[via Body and Soul]