Sunday, September 28, 2008

I've always been a fan of The View

These clips are directly lifted from Brian Ulrich's blog.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Monday, September 22, 2008

Voter registration ends October 6th.

Please be sure you're registered.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Make it work!

I was watching an episode of a realty hairdresser competition where they had to work on a studio shoot. The photographer, a totally irritating dooder, kept stressing to the hairdressers that the shoot for the day was AVANT GARDE. He said it over and over again, in that thoughtless way people say, “kewl”. But Avant Garde has way bigger expectations attached to it than, “kewl”.

What I loved was how some of the haircutters, looking over the JC Penny-like set with paper peach blossom branches and fake snow, were like, “um, I see nothing avant garde here”.

For a moment, I imagine they, like me, were hoping that maybe this was one of those shooters who can take a crap ass set and with genius lighting control, and a dose of je ne sais quoi, make it look chic and otherworldly. Alas, not the case. And even if he had managed to make it chic and otherworldly, it still doesn’t mean he had succeeded in making anything avant-garde. Because indeed the shoot looked like a JC Penny catalogue shoot, which no matter how you slice, dice, shred or deface it, isn’t avant-garde.

Then, watching a recent Project Runway, I saw the Zodiac challenge, where, again, they were expected to “make something avant-garde”. Saying that is like saying: “Make a spaceship please.” I just don’t think setting out to make AVANT GARDE, is something people can do just-like-that. It’s not a genre or a demand it’s a process. Sure one might be spurred by a need to innovate, to trail blaze a new aesthetic, a new paradigm, or a new “take”, and there certainly is the militaristically inspired antagonism of the term, a nod to aggressively pushing limits, but the few who are truly of the vanguard, are focusing on the dismantling of standard ideas, rather than simply a veneer of outrageousness that these TV shows seem to think is emblematic of AVANT GARDE.

What culminated from these challenges, besides being studies in artistic failure (both the shoot and almost all designs were bigger bombs than usual) was my realization that avant garde, as a “genre”, seems to be about making hair poofier, shoulders broader, mixing gender performance with a dash of English eccentricity and a dose of S and M. Which is basically a formula comprised of Jean Paul Gaultier and Vivienne Westwood’s equestrian chic, corsetry, gender bending and folly, with a dash of Viktor and Rolf, Comme des Garcon and Rei Kawakubo to mess with proportion and structure.

It’s scary when artistic consumption demands the formulaic. And it’s scarier when irreverence is emulated, as if emulation of innovation is the same as innovation.

Ho hum



I know that actors are easy to ridicule when they get on their soap box for anything smacking of an opinion outside of dramaturgy, but he's articulate and outraged and I like that.

I finally saw Errol Morris’ Standard Operating Procedure, and after seeing it I don’t understand how there hasn’t been a populist revolution in this country. While politics has turned into gossip mongering and politicians bicker about whether lipstick and piggies do an undermining insult make, fucked up shit keeps happening with no apparent push from those in power or us regular peeps, to put laws and safeties in place to stop it.