Monday, December 18, 2006

Critical Focus

The first installment of the Critical Focus series was held at SCAT on Dec. 14th and the topic was Media and War. The series is co-produced with CCTV located near Art Interactive in Central Square. I was in the audience and enjoyed the opportunity to be part of an important critique of the news media in different contexts.
Critical Focus
My question was on the under-reported stories, aka censored, (Project Censored)
such as torture and numbers of civilian deaths, the flag-draped coffins, depleted uranium ammo and armor (some of the best reporting on this came from Rolling Stone magazine) and the abduction of reporter Hayatullah Khan, a reporter sans frontier.
The group recently reported on the events held one year after his disappearance.


Sunday, December 10, 2006

Johnny Mathis is a "happy guy"

I forgot to note that on the CBS Sunday Morning show they interviewed Johnny Mathis who when asked about a "significant other" said he was a "happy guy", meaning GAY. So what? Big deal! Who cares? Why not just come out and be on the record? We all know anyway...
I ran into a bass player from Tavares who said back in the late 1970s one of Johnny's people approached him at a hotel and wished to know if he would be receptive to an intimate encounter with Johnny. The musician said no. He had thought he was going to be asked to play bass for him and was disappointed. It only takes a minute to fall in love luscious brown buns!


The commodification of dissatisfaction...

I'm a sucker for sticker campaigns... did one myself awhile back and felt good to be ever-so-clever at almost acceptable civil disobedience and culture crime agit-prop.
I was a big fan of Lydia Eccles' "Unabomber for President" campaign from 1996 and still see the decals around the People's Republic of Cambridge... especially the one that reads, "The Situation is Under Control"
Crash the Parties

While in Las Vegas for a conference a few years ago we saw the "Indecline" decals plastered all over a transit bus kiosk, the type where bums lie down to sleep when they are not bum-fighting for booze...
A month later the same devilish business man avec brief case stickers were seen in Central Square Cambridge. Egads! When memes attack! Ideas of course are like viruses, the good and bad spread from mind to mind...

I was also on the look out for the avant garde versions and may have happened upon one when I started to see around Harvard Square decals with a likeness of Sir Alec Guinness (Yum! Guinness!) as Obi Wan Kenobi and above that the word TOTAL. Very odd, yet somehow attractive on a reptillian brain level. Was it a band? A Situationalist detournement?
A college radio show? Or something much worse... actual crass commercialism disguised as underground weirdness? Total cereal? Total Petrol?

Fast forward and we are driving to a DJ gig in the South End to benefit an animal rescue group being held in kahoots with the local belly dancing cult. We are near Lechmere and see an Anarchy symbol decal on a nice shiny BMW, the kind a "YUPpie" might drive in a counter-revolutionary act of conspicuous consumption... WTF? Oh great, so that is how kids protest, they put one of these Anarchy symbol decals! on the BMW their affluenza afflicted parents bought them to go to college in. Very nice. A brick through the windshield would have made a much better statement.

It is akin to the irony in the Don Henley song "The Boys of Summer" that goes... 'I saw a deadhead sticker on a Cadillac'.


So I tuned into the Pats vs. Dolphins game (NFL on CBS) and in the montage segue between the commercial and the actual game was the audio from the Marilyn Manson song, "The Beautiful People", which again must be the height of irony and greed. I can only imagine MM and Dita von Teese watching the pigskin antics on the gridiron and laugh as the music plays while cheerleaders jump around and some guy parachutes into the stadium... If only the dumb jocks who worship at the church of pain knew the lyrics...
Blame the record company and feel better by screaming "All Hail Amerika!"
It was Guy Debord who felt part of the Society of the Spectacle included "paltry contests" such as sports and politics as distractions for the masses.


ne Plus Ultra

There is truly nothing better than the Sunday morning media barrage on network TV, being so close to the "holidays" which of course means Christmas and the lesser observances of the season...
I at times fancy myself to be a neo-traditionalist, as in, we should adapt those that work and unceremoniously discard those that do not - or lack relevance.
This AM we got up, made a pot of java from beans procured from the 1369 Coffee House in beautiful Inman Square and turned on the tube... "You're soaking in it!!!"

We watched the NBC Weekend Today show with Lester Holt and Campbell Brown...
Which reminds me, I did the Reporter Fluff piece on my TV show and folks I have shown it to love it and want more... I got the sreeen grabs (captures) from this odd archive for the cable news obsessed = Reporter Caps
Anyway, the show was one long commercial for various things so the "news" segments looked somewhat like news but were actually advertisements. The worst had to be the sexism infused mess that included Ms. Brown behind the wheel of a new Lexus with auto-parallel park robo-control. They somehow were unable to get it to do what they wanted, so who knows if Lexus will get their money back. What? You don't think they pay for these kind of product placements? Sheesh!
It always seems to be about 5 minutes away from amateur hour on TV...

9AM rolls around and the waffle batter is resting so on comes the CBS Sunday Morning ordeal which we call, Church for Athiests...! Which made the story of artificial Christmas trees all the weirder when we saw the establishing shot outside a kitschy purveyor of holiday crapola with a huge sign that read, "Bronner's CHRISTmas Wonderland" of Frankenmuth Michigan. We look at each other and are stunned... CHRISTmas? WTF?
Dorky Bill Geist goes on to do his silly thing poking fun at LED lights and PVC trees, YAWN!
Bronner's CHRISTmas Wonderland
Oy Vey!

Click on "About Us" and you will read this creepy explanation for their name...
-The joy of Christ's birth is celebrated all year at Bronner's - whose motto is: "Enjoy CHRISTmas, It's HIS birthday; Enjoy Life, It's HIS way."
God bless us, everyone!
Some people think we are SO blessed it's the reason the rest of the world wants to blow us up so badly!


Saturday, December 09, 2006

NATO vs. Serb Train

A TV guided missle takes out a bridge in Serbia... and the unluckiest train passengers in the Former Republic of Yugoslavia


Yahoo! blew it years ago!

Before there was a MySpace, there was a list of bands on Yahoo!
On occasion (6+ years ago) I would scan this odd list of band names, sometimes by genre, but if they had a good one, something catchy, I'd go ahead and take a look. So what if they played oboes in Minnesota, they have a cool name!
So why didn't Yahoo! make this functional look-up feature an actual place where bands could go to be seen and HEARD? Being on the wrong side of the fence, fearing bandwidth issues with audio downloads, just playing it safe... then when they do act they make Yahoo!Music... yuck! Now AOL is trying to play catch-up with video... give up.


The Best Store on the web!

Joey Daytona's Online Garage

The power of irrational positivity dictates you consume as much as possible, as often as possible.


Wrong turn? Detourn Left!


Tuesday, December 05, 2006

All titles are interchangeable...

Feeling underwhelmed by life in this society we have built and will pass onto the next troupe of witnesses? Guilty of "culture crimes"? It's OK, all is forgiven. All that was once directly lived has become mere representation. Only extremist innovation is historically justified. We must now push the process to the point of negating the negation. Art can no longer be justified as superior activity, or even as an activity of compensation to which one could honorably devote oneself. Life can never be too disorienting.


AC-130 gunship over Afghanistan

A night mission over Afghanistan turns into a video game like no other - because it is real.


Sunday, December 03, 2006

Gerry Studds' Memorial Service

A dignified event in memory of the 1st openly gay Congressman Gerry Studds was held yesterday at the JFK Library & Museum that drew almost the entire Mass. Congretional delegation. Those in attendance included such leading liberal lights as; Ed Markey, Barney Frank, Ted Kennedy, Bill Delahunt, Jim McGovern, Tom Menino, John Kerry, Joe Kennedy and plenty of others I did not recognize. Of course, without an invite we had to be happy with hanging out in the lobby giving the peace sign (aka chuckin' up the deuce) to the notorious Lefties we all love so very much for all the right and wrong reasons...
The five lame protesters from the God Hates Fags group were pathetic. The few counter protesters who showed up laughed at them and walked away underwhelmed. Reports of Rick Santorum being seen lurking in the parking lot are still being investigated. Mark Foley reportedly sent his emissary in his stead, a former page. Video to be seen at a later date once the VLOG thing is worked out!