ADVISORY: PHOTO OP: Archbishop Timothy Dolan to Bless the MTA’s Launch Site of the 7 Line Extension Tunnel Boring Machines
WHAT: Archbishop Timothy Dolan will greet workers and bless the launch site of the 7 Line Extension tunnel boring machines. He will be joined by MTA Executive Director and CEO Elliot G. Sander and President of MTA Capital Construction Michael Horodniceanu.
WHERE: The entrance to the launch site is located at the corner of 25th Street and 11th Avenue.
WHEN: Tomorrow, Friday, May 1, 2009 – 10:30 sharp. Please arrive early to set up prior to the 10:30am arrival of Archbishop Dolan.
NOTE: Reporters and photographers attending should wear comfortable, sturdy shoes.
This Sunday join us at UnionDocs for one of the first screenings in NYC of the new Girl Talk documentary- RIP: A Remix Manifesto followed by a special discussion.
RIP: A Remix Manifesto is an open source documentary about copyright and remix culture. This timely and insightful documentary has sparked intense debate on the changing models of art creation and distribution.
Web activist and filmmaker Brett Gaylor explores issues of copyright in the information age, mashing up the media landscape of the 20th century and shattering the wall between users and producers.The film’s central protagonist is Girl Talk, a mash-up musician topping the charts with his sample-based songs. But is Girl Talk a paragon of people power or the Pied Piper of piracy? Creative Commons founder, Lawrence Lessig, Brazil’s Minister of Culture Gilberto Gil and pop culture critic Cory Doctorow are also along for the ride. A participatory media experiment from day one, Brett shares his raw footage at opensourcecinema.org, for anyone to remix. This movie-as-mash-up method allows these remixes to become an integral part of the film. With RiP: A Remix Manifesto, Gaylor and Girl Talk sound an urgent alarm and draw the lines of battle.
Which side of the ideas war are you on?
Following the screening we will have a discussion with Fred Benenson from Creative Commons and Aram Sinnreich, New York University media professor, musician and copyright specialist.
"In 50 years, when people look back on this period in terms of the tensions between America and the Middle East, it will be noted that a large proportion of the British population liked nothing more than watching people on television, sitting around, doing nothing."—Phil Collins
After faking their first wedding, Heidi and Spencer got married for real on Saturday…Now they’re in Mexico, hiding from swine flu…
Alas, they still have telephones, so they called in to Ryan Seacrest this morning, and Spencer said, “we’re definitely wearing the face masks everywhere we go. We’re not playing. I’m not trying to get pig flu. We’re in isolation, we’re in full hiding.” Spencer is taking the epidemic seriously, starting the call by saying, “pig flu!”
Just in time for the collapse of the global economy and possibly civilization, Variety reports that the principals have been lined up for a sequel to Oliver Stone’s 1987 film “Wall Street,” which added the phrase “Greed is good” to the American vernacular. Mr. Stone will direct the sequel and Michael Douglas will reprise his role as the covetous financier Gordon Gekko. Shia LeBeouf is being sought to play a young trader who comes under Gekko’s tutelage; no one has yet been announced to provide the film’s utter lack of irony.
“Once, after a particularly mind-numbing soliloquy from a fellow writer at a cocktail party, she whispered in my ear Gravina’s definition of a bore: A person who deprives you of solitude without providing you with company.”— Sheila McGrath on Emily Hahn
Thank the Lord I was not in Greenpoint today. And I had dreaded going into Manhattan this morning! I pray that this is not someone I know and still, it doesn’t matter if I don’t know her—it’s absolutely terrible. My aunt is pregnant and lives on India & Manhattan Ave…. My heart flew out my throat.
If it’s not clear from this article, our team WON the Greenpoint-themed trivia night. It was incredible. Full disclosure: On our team: Greenpoint’s rep to the Parks department, a local real estate developer, the publisher of the only local newspaper and three of his reporters, and the organizer of Town Hall inc. events. Tee hee. I got like, one question.
Okay, so I’m doing a story this week on the Asian-American backlash against the Hipster Grifter blowup, especially in Williamsburg where Asian-American women feel uncomfortable in bars. And so I’m talking with these people all week who feel that the ONLY reason the story is a big deal is that it turns over stereotypes:
- Asian women are submissive, not agressive
- Asians are trustworthy, quiet
And the whole time I’m writing this down I’m thinking of the big, obvious stereotype this “grifter” overturned:
I gave in my resignation [as an imperial policeman] in the hopes of being able to earn my living by writing. I did just about as well as do most young people who take up a literary career—that is to say, none at all.
Five actors costumed in plush masks will confine themselves to a chicken wire pen at the May 2 party at the beer retailer Brouwerij Lane, in what organizers claim is an attempt to foster kinship between Brooklynites and beasts.
“There really aren’t that many petting zoos where you get to experience an animal-human bond,”… Visitors at the party — which will also boast live music and free German sausage and beers — will have the chance to pet and feed the animals…
Every newspaper of record will be there and there will be nothing to say.
Maybe it’s just that my born-again Southern Baptist step grandfather is the least tolerant person I know, but I really loved this column about something really, really obviously hypocrticial that no one seems to have pointed out in a while:
Also, have you noticed how places that pride themselves on being superpatriotic seem to have the most people who want to abandon the country entirely and set up shop on their own?…Isn’t threatening to dissolve the union over the stimulus package a little less American than failure to wear a flag pin?… And how, by the way, can you stand at a rally waving the American flag while yelling “Secede”?
When Lane and I drove across the country to, as Ivy League grads must, “see the real America,” we drove the Southern route. It wasn’t just that she is from Atlanta, it is that we strongly desired to see Texas. On a map the size of a diner booth table, Texas is the size of a saucer. It is irresistably grand. The actual state—with its long washes of highway, the faint glimmer of far off oil rigs, the sad fronts of mechanic shops boarded up in front—ended up making us so cranky we drove as fast as we could to get out, feeling baptized when we churned over a mountain in the dead of night into New Mexico, my anxiety up as I worried we’d burned out our brake pads by now and at this speed by the time we hit the bottom we’d never be able to stop.
In Texas, it seemed the only thing you could buy on the side of the road was a “cover”—what they advertised as a collapsible tent to build over your driveway, to protect your pickup truck from the harsh rays of the sun. Even Austin—with its boys in plaid button downs nosing over softly lit billiard tables, their scruffy hair unwashed and puppy-like—seemed barren and outsized, everyone speaking too slowly. The music had too much space in it, the streets had too many lanes. All of the problems in America seemed to just crack open and gape at us. Texas is like the part of your mind you can’t bear to let yourself see, the part you do everything to avoid thinking about, the part that says to your working, happy body every day: I am self-destructive, I am making choices to deliberately destroy you.
I remember driving with our minds on New Mexico, and passing a sign advertising a ranch you could drive out to if you hooked a right and on the ranch there were lions and ostriches and zebra and other African animals, because a loophole in the Texas law, we learned later, lets you just keep those animals on your farm. And later, much later, or earlier—my mind is bent around this trip—we had seen a tiger in a gas station outside of Baton Rouge, and truckers had bought us Daqiris and the tiger, pacing up and down in its smelly cage, had seemed like the saddest thing in the world all outsized even under the spindly lamps of the highway. And I wodnered if he would have been happier in Texas on some farm, being fed out of a bucket by a woman in a flowered apron—like the woman who had served us coffee in a gas station and talked about what she thought of the new Lisa Loeb dating show which was playing on E! all that summer. I thought yes, the tiger would be happier in Texas. We should just give it to them.
I guess my final thought is: What’s so bad about giving Texas enough rope to hang itself? I have a romantic notion of a desert filled with tigers, drinking oil, sleeping under covers.
… The store has also seen a funny upswing. What Piskorski calls “People from Bedford” come in and ask for fishing line. “I always ask them what it’s for and they always say, ‘To do a project,’” Piskorski says, aghast. “What kind of project? I don’t know what that means.” ….
"They don’t fish—these guys,” he says. They always come in here and ask the same question—where do you fish around here? How silly. "We are surrounded by water.”
Indulgent description of tackle, followed by:
Today, his store at 673 Manhattan is stuffed with the stuff—glimmering all the way back to the bait tanks like the most precious and intricate jewelry of our civilization.
I’m an easy crier and a frequent sneezer, so I buy lots of tissue. But for years it’s been an exercise in aesthetic resignation. The pastel, flowery boxes always look like they’ve been designed for a 1982 funeral parlor, and I usually settle for what might be called the least worst — a cheap, nondescript, store-brand box. But recently, I spotted something different: a Kleenex box from home-decor heaven. It had a groovy oval shape and a sharp, modern pattern. The price — $3.29 for 82 tissues — was ridiculous. Sold.
Turns out, this impulse buy was exactly what the Kleenex box designers at Kimberly-Clark had in mind when they launched their Expressions Oval Collection. According to Information Resources, Americans are buying less Kleenex; sales have fallen 5 percent in three years. Some folks are turning to cheaper store brands, while many younger Americans are content to blow into whatever’s handy — like, say, a fistful of napkins from Starbucks.
Kimberly-Clark’s plan is to lure these people back with more contemporary designs. Christine Mau, the associate director of packaging graphics, who says she dreamed of designing Kleenex boxes as a little girl, sounds as if she’s making good on a mission to save nose blowers from their worst selves.
"They were using toilet paper, quite frankly," she says. "We were able to get them into a boxed product."
Designer tissues were a long time coming. When Kleenex was invented in 1924, it came stacked in a plain, navy blue package. The parade of florals came later, but choices were fairly limited until the mid-’90s, when new research showed that people will pay more if they like the box. Since then, designs have more than tripled.
There are currently more than 100 Kleenex box permutations crowding the shelves, and Kimberly-Clark, which plans new box designs two years in advance, puts more effort into package design than frankly seems sane. It studies how many pink boxes are sold on the East Coast versus West, how age groups compare on box design loyalty and what percentage of households hide the containers in Kleenex box cozies. Kimberly-Clark designers inhabit their own new three-story building near the company’s Neenah, Wis., campus where they can hang out in a “trend room” packed with magazines and catalogs or visit the mock family room to see how their objet d’art will look in a typical home.
What makes for a successful box? According to Mau, it has to appeal to women, fit current home-decor trends and look “trustworthy” — hence no boxes depicting scenes from, say, Guantánamo Bay. The color blue always tests well. Flowers are big favorites, but there’s a significant antiflower contingent afoot, so every kind of Kleenex — Menthol, Ultra Soft, Anti-Viral — comes in floral and nonfloral packaging. Designs are also calculated to convey the tissue’s special qualities. One Kleenex Lotion box, for example, features a foggy still life of vases filled with blooms; according to Mau, the gray, muted colors are meant to evoke the tissue’s softness, while the airy, negative space surrounding the flowers suggests relief from sinus congestion.
Even with all this research, it’s hard to predict which boxes will sell. The current hit, Electric Daisies No. 3, looks like the result of an ambitious flower wandering into a Las Vegas casino. But the reigning favorite for more than 25 years is the unassuming, feathery Flame Stitch design, inspired by the end papers that used to adorn hardcover books. Designers can’t explain why, but every year, it tops consumer tests. “McDonald’s has its golden arches; Kleenex has the Flame Stitch,” says Mau.
Of course, if none of the 100-plus box designs appeal, you can always visit MyKleenexTissue.com, where for $5 (plus $6 shipping) you can design your own box. Now little girls who want to grow up to be Kleenex box designers don’t even have to wait.
art, in order to be good/great, must challenge and expose social injustices and depict the structures that govern our civilization…
My question. How can a work of art be separate from the structures that govern our civilization? The very notion is ridiculous. Every novel is about choice and therefore every novel is about class and society. I find as many challenging depictions of American social norms in Brooke Burke’s “Wild On E!” as I do in the deliberately critical Wire. It’s just a question of obviousness and the reader’s ability to read. Maybe we should be teaching kids how to read with subtelty instead of criticizing what writers choose to write.
What both of them are saying basically: “We are living in extraordinary times; we would be failing if we didn’t pay attention to what is actually happening around us and address it critically and deliberately in our art.”
Again, how can a work of art stand apart from the time in which it was written? Not gonna happen.
call Keith a girl?
I’d just like to comment that I found the above post absolutely brilliantly recapped and quite interesting but was so put off by the sexism in the last graf that I physically cringed. I can’t let it slide.
UniGalactic Space Travel Magazine CURRENT NEEDS: “UniGalactic, LLC is looking for professional and experienced writers to research and write articles on exciting developments in the private space travel and exploration industries.” Pays $100/5-page article (A4 format, 12 point font, double space).
I missed the panel on Saturday titled “What Was The Hipster” because I was visiting my younger brother at Oberlin. He wore a shirt with glitter kittens printed on it and we attended an “exco” class that taught Scrabble strategies. At a Jazz recital, we heard a young pianist in a suit play samples from a Mr. T doll. And then we attended a party at “The Punk House” where girls in dresses moshed. At a late night beer-in-the-dorm session, the kids discussed summer jobs. “I’m totally sellilng out,” said one girl, “But at least I have $16 an hour.” Another boy had bought an 8-track recorder and would spend the term in his parents’ basement recording music. There’s certainly a change, but it would seem that nothing is dead.
However, I’ve been interested for a while in the projected death of the specific social phenom of the aesthetic “hipster” because I have a hypothesis that the idea of the “hipster” is tied to a feeling about finances that can only be had by those born in the late 80s or 90s and will die in this recession. (Money will come to me. I am above it. My suffering is deliberate and therefore aesthetic.) So I found a good wrap-up of the terrifying panel (from all accounts it was a waste of time) with an interesting new question at the bottom:
This struck me as a really interesting question: Is it that outsider groups are the only ones that make possible new forms of cultural capital? And thus hipsters are always necessary to the powers that be, that in an endlessly repeating pattern of co-optation hipsters serve as agents for the stakeholders in the established cultural hegemony, appropriating the new cultural capital forms, delivering them to mainstream media in a commercial form and stripping their inventors groups (if not the inventors themselves, in the best case scenario) of the power and the glory and the unification and the mode of resistance.
As Greif mentioned in his talk, hipsters function as a “poison” conduit between the marketing machine and the street. Does the internet jeopardize this cozy relation between power groups and their hipster minions, or does it assure the circuit will always be completed, forcing resistance further underground, perhaps into a region where it cannot be expressed publicly in any form without always already being co-opted? (Can you perform a significant act of rebellion on Facebook)
iTunes is offering the first movement of Cage’s 4’33” as its Discovery Download this week. Opinion in the comments section is strongly divided. My favorite: “NOTHING more Classical than the sound of absolutely nothing.” Except, of course, for the sound of absolutely everything.
So, after spending six days on a 4,500 word profile, I had one hour before noon to write a quick Greenpoint Gazette story I had quickly reported over the weekend. My mind, sharpened by the 4,500 word calamity, jotted this out. There is nothing I can say other than, it was surely thanks to the easing of inhibitions and the quickened type of my sleep deprived state (My hallucination that the office lights were blinking went so far that I asked the publisher if he saw it, too.).
Here, my life’s accomplishment in unmetered rhyme:
MONSTER MATCH Kaiju Big Battel Outlasts Its Skeptics
By Adriane Quinlan
There are some things so weird that they can draw no naysayers, only spectators. This is true of Kaiju Big Battel whose description, even at its most bare-boned, is so complex it speaks to the absurdity of trying to make a single original thing in a world where there’s already so much stuff. This task has birthed the hyperrealist artist—marked by his decision not to cut through the muck but to throw it all together. Kaiju Big Battel is hyperrealist performance art. At the Warsaw club last Friday, in their fifth appearance at the space, twenty-something art school grads dressed in home-sewn suits recalling Godzilla enemies—Mothra, et. al—jumped into a wrestling ring decorated to mimic a miniature city. On milk crates painted with small windows, characters with names such as Dust-o Bunny and The Steampowered Boulder stomped. One character—The Slug—is impossible to defeat; In a sport where one must be knocked down to be outed, the crawling slug has no lower to fall. It’s all a deliberate joke. But one which its actors and fans speak of in tones of amplified gravity. Between rounds, a man in a tux and a faux-hawk calling himself “MC Loud and Noxious” explained the narrative, as if there were one: Next there would be a battle between America and France, and if France were to win everyone in the audience would be forced to wear a beret for the rest of the night. A large man toting a large box marked “Berets” stalked the ring. This was an aesthetic threat—fitting for a competition which relies less on physicality than WWE (although the acrobatics of the actors are compelling), less on narrative than Medieval Times (although there is a plotline), and more on the look of the thing. Far from resembling our best 21st century attempts at mimicking a city in miniature, the set has the slipshod production value of the sixties Japanese monster flicks which went on to enjoy a cult afterlife. Even the colors have been muted like a faded filmstock.
Conceived as a video project by Boston art school grads in the mid 1990s, the costumes and characters that have since evolved point toward the absurdity of a global, post-modern culture. Representing America was “American Beetle,” a deliberately boring lycra-fitted stand-in for a superhero. Representing France was a slice of French Toast, eyeless, with a tiny red mouth that so often froze in a dainty “O.” After a few rounds of fist pumping at the immobile rectangle, American Beetle sacked the slice, jumped on the downed man from a corner of the ring like a wrestling superstar, and, in a moment of rest, laid his head on the pillowy foam of the toast costume —appearing, from outside the ring, as if he were gently sleeping. “When they first came all I knew was there would be a wrestling ring,” said Warsaw founder Mark Chroscielewski. “And then there was just a big question mark.” Now, as the crew—twenty-something hipsters in teensy T-shirts, toolbelts clipped to their Dickie pants—moved about the room making last minute adjustments, Chroscielewski seemed giddy at the prospective business. “Every year they bring a good crowd.” Outside, enduring light rain was a line of fans that snaked around Driggs Avenue. Nearly the first inside were Travis Sharp and John Gregorio, who in their free time play the roles of MCs Professor Paul Hope and Gregarious Greg Gregorio for a Brooklyn “Forgotten Champ Wrestling” league. Six years ago, Gregorio had seen a match and loved it. “It appeals on so many levels,” Gregorio said. “There’s that pushed out there Japanese culture,” he said, but there’s also something basic: “It’s a good physical contest. That’s classic.” Sharp felt he could explain it more succinctly: “It makes no logical sense. That’s why it’s so awesome.” A group of boys moved past them. No older than ten, they pushed their way to the front of the ring. It was strange to think they had entered into a world where Kaiju Big Battel had always existed. Born unto this, where could they go from here?
When I am writing and I know I need to use a certain sentence structure, sometimes I can’t remember how to construct it and so I think of a quote that used it and go back to dig it up. This Mailer quote is so flawless and can be used for so many sentences of so many meanings that I am reproducing it, below. It has the same structure as a sentence about princesses’ dresses at a ball in a translation of War & Peace. But it is about a helicopter:
"A sense of presence overhead, fore and aft lights whirruping like crickets in the dusk, a beating of rotors in a wheat flattened gust, and it was down, a creature."