Saturday, September 23, 2023
Thursday, September 07, 2023
Wednesday, August 30, 2023
In France, all Barbies are Proust Barbie
Well it's been said that the French are pretentious while at the same time taking silly things - like Jerry Lewis - too seriously.
By not addressing the troubled relationship between power and desire, the film reproduces a Manichean and binary vision of society. How to speak, live, work together, with or without desire, but in equality? What if Barbie gave up the newfound power when Ken became independent again and freed himself from her gaze? Foreign (this is the etymology of the first name Barbara), she agrees to acquire a vagina to save the human race. From the "missing penis" theorized by Freud to the "erased vagina" imagined by Mattel, the female body gives rise to all fantasies, even when it is made of plastic!
Barbie and Ken’s arrival in the real world puts Mattel executives on high alert and they order their capture. Ken makes his way back to Barbieland by himself after exploring more of the real world and learning about patriarchy, while Barbie is found by Mattel’s agents and taken to the company’s headquarters. There she meets Mattel’s CEO (Will Ferrell), who’s waiting for her with a huge Barbie box. Barbie gets in the box and mentions that the smell is a Proustian memory, with the CEO mentioning how badly the Proust Barbie sold.
While Barbie features discontinued, controversial, and obscure Barbies and Kens, Mattel never made a Proust Barbie.
Thursday, August 03, 2023
In contrast to Valadon's depiction of the female form, artists such as Titian, Ingres, and Manet depicted female nudes with idealized womanly features. For example, the Grand Odalique, Olympia, and Venus of Urbino underscore a gendered role of women with full female exposures atop beds—as something separate from the model—creating an imbalanced power dynamic between the artists and subject. The Blue Room is a response to these paintings as well as others, such as Matisse's Blue Nude and Félix Vallotton's The White and the Black. Substituting a cigarette for Ingres's hookah and taking Matisse's bold outlines, among other traits from the aforementioned works, Valadon creates a "startlingly contemporary" lounger, capturing a depiction of everyday life which is entirely her own. Valadon's subversion and appropriation of her predecessor's techniques ultimately instigate a new trajectory for future depictions of the female form.
Fun fact - it was painted two years before The Great Gatsby was published, to give some context.
Sunday, July 23, 2023
Wednesday, July 12, 2023
Monday, July 03, 2023
In the upper left corner there is an African American woman … she is pregnant and has 4 kids around here. Now, remember the page is about families, and in the US, that most often means a nuclear family.What do you notice? She is Black, has lots of kids, she’s pregnant, and no partner is anywhere in sight.What is the common and racist stereotype about Black women in America?yup.
She seriously injured her hand in a fall while working at a children's camp. Rehabilitative physical therapy has only been partially successful; she may have to give up precision drawing, and change her creative methods.
Tuesday, June 20, 2023
Thursday, June 01, 2023
Saturday, May 20, 2023
TITLE: All the Presidents' Men
In this scene Woodward is typing to Bernstein that Deep Throat (now known as H. Mark Felt) said that their lives are in danger and they might be bugged.
Good timing. While news of the latest Bush shananigans are still in the air, , Channel 13, the New York PBS affiliate, is running both "All the President's Men" and Watergate Plus 30: Shadow of History, originally produced in 2003.
The similarities between Bush's concept of the presidency and Nixon's couldn't be clearer. Nixon thought, and Bush thinks that the president is above the laws of the United States - a virtual dictator.
Their biggest difference? Nixon subverted the Constitution covertly. Bush does it proudly and publicly.
As Nixon aid and Watergate witness John Dean observed, Bush is "the first president to admit to an impeachable offense."
There IS a political will to impeach. Get off your asses Democratic representatives!!!
Aside: The story of Robert Redford's involvement in the Watergate movie is very interesting
That's the content. I guess because the idiots at Google have decided to use AI to flag posts and their AI thinks that "Deep Throat" refers to the pornographic movie (which is, to be sure, the origin of the term) instead of a legitimate historical fact that Woodward and Bernstein used the term to refer to H. Mark Felt.
Tuesday, May 16, 2023
Thursday, April 20, 2023
💡Did you know?💡 A lot of people love to hate Pierre-Auguste #Renoir. There’s even an Instagram account dedicated to him called “Renoir Sucks at Painting.” While it is debatable if he truly sucks, he undoubtedly occupies the strange position of being one of the most beloved artists of all time yet also one of the most reviled.Join us online on Wednesdays, 5/3 – 5/24, from 12-2 pm, *live from the Barnes galleries*—home to the largest Renoir collection in the world (181 paintings, to be exact!) for #BarnesClass: In Defense of Renoir, to survey the artist’s paintings and discuss some of the specific criticisms they have inspired across the decades. We’ll consider this question: what if his work is more interesting than we thought?After discussing Renoir’s theories of art, we will use deep-zoom technology to look closely (more closely than you ever thought you could get to a priceless painting, tbh) at several canvases to develop a better appreciation for his craftsmanship and how it reflects the values of the early 20th century.Renoir haters will be encouraged to rethink their opinions—but are also welcome to dig in their heels! Register for this course today
Hey Everybody! This is actually happening! The @barnesfoundation has an online class all about Renoir and they’ve invited us to participate! Congratulations to us all. We are a part of Art History, and our ghosts will haunt the vibes of Renoir lovers for generations to come.Each class will be cool and informative. And also funny. You can buy tickets at the link in the bio, and if you’re willing to subject yourself to the indignity of typing RENOIR4EVER into the discount code box at checkout, you’ll save 10%.
Also! very important! If the cost, discount notwithstanding is prohibitive, dm me! I’ll gladly walk you through getting a full ride. These Barnes curators, cheeky though they might be, are really good about making sure this thing is accessible to all!
Monday, April 17, 2023
Wednesday, March 29, 2023
Back in Paris - the hills of Montmartre were brutal - my calves were aching - but beautiful.
Wednesday, March 15, 2023
I've been having a Monk marathon and I have been thinking about how the Monk character would react to the pandemic.And they made it happen.Someone in the comments on YouTube suggested a Monk movie.I AM SO READY FOR A MONK MOVIE!!!
‘Monk’ Returns As Peacock Orders Reunion Movie Starring Tony Shalhoub & Original Series Cast
In the follow-up movie, Monk, a brilliant San Francisco-based detective with obsessive-compulsive disorder, returns to solve one last, very personal case involving his beloved stepdaughter Molly, a journalist preparing for her wedding.
“When creator Andy Breckman came to us with a new Monk case set in present day, we immediately fell in love with this story all over again,” said Michael Sluchan, EVP, Movies, Kids, Daytime, NBCUniversal Television and Streaming. “The movie has the heart and humor of the original series with a contemporary relevance, and we’re overjoyed to work with the original creative team, including Andy, David Hoberman, Randy Zisk, the unparalleled Tony Shalhoub, and our partners at UCP, for what is sure to be a must-see movie event for Peacock audiences.”
I hope they bring some of the guest stars from the show into the movie - like Sarah Silverman.
He may not be F. Murray Abraham...
Monday, March 13, 2023
Perhaps it is also why so many have schemed to take over a money-losing local newspaper, and why so many followed its coverage and, later, its apparent theft. For Villagers, WestView provided a bit of friction in a neighborhood whose bustling tenements have been replaced by single-family mansions, and where life has become largely frictionless. One day, Capsis noted to me that the block has become eerily quiet. Some weekends, it seems that all the residents have left town for their vacation homes. The WestView saga, at least, gave its participants something to talk about. The squabbles, rumors, and side-taking enacted something like a community.
Friday, February 24, 2023
DAPHNE: Do you know what self-immolation means? (Silence) Do you know what self-immolation means?
(Daphne pulls a newspaper clipping from her purse)
UPenn did a little write-up.RUBY: Get that paper out of my face. Speak.DAPHNE: Tuesday, at the LOVE statue. Jenn poured gasoline over her head, lit a match, and started dancing. A few people tried to douse the flames but she went quickly.
Not all that takes place in “Daphne’s Dive” strikes me as entirely credible — or free of a sprinkling of sentimentality. The fate of Jenn, for example, who dies in spectacular circumstances midway through the play, seems a little contrived. Acosta’s rise from businessman to powerful local politician, on the other hand, is more persuasive.
PABLO: Jenn was not a hero.
RUBY: Yes she was.
PABLO: No, Ruby
DAPHNE: She was sick/She needed treatment.
...there are places where the Author’s voice goes mawkish and her prose crosses that often untraceable line between lyricism and purpleness.
I struggle increasingly with the atheist white male aesthetics I inherit. These include:
- That love is dead, romance is transactional, and sex is not a source of pleasure but a race to the bottom.
- That children hate their parents and vice versa. The suggestion of familial love implies idiocy on the part of the playwright.
- That wealth is either neutral or a hardship to the wealthy.
- Regarding God: You’re kidding, right?
- Joy is sentimental, harmony a falsehood. Harming others is the single human truth.
- Genius is a male attribute. Intuition is a female attribute.
They left me two options that night in the living room. Be white or be Puerto Rican. Their rules, they forced my hand. Fine. My heels dug further into North Philly. My soul took a side that lasts to this day.
Some of those initial molecules, for me, in this play was someone I knew growing up named Kathy Change—I knew her as Kathy Chang, she changed her name later—who was a kind of activist and performance artist and I admired her. Many people didn’t like her and thought she was a nuisance. There was something about her that fascinated me—how did she do what she did? She went out to these Philadelphia street corners and danced and waved these flags with her ideals, and I thought that was fascinating.
- A memorial is held in her honor every year on October 22 at the peace sign sculpture on the University of Pennsylvania campus where Kathy died. The memorial attracts artists, activists and performers, among others.
- Percussionist/composer Kevin Norton wrote a suite for Kathy Change entitled Change Dance (Troubled Energy) in 2001 and was released late in 2001/early 2002 on the Barking Hoop label.
- Industrial metal band Fear Factory wrote the song "Slave Labor" referring to her suicide; it was included in the 2004 album Archetype.
- Drummer Tyshawn Sorey composed and performed "For Kathy Change," a quintet in her honor, in March 2011.
- Soomi Kim wrote and performed in the biographical play "Chang(e)", directed by Suzi Takahashi, which premiered in 2013 and has had multiple performances since then, including New York City and Portland, Oregon.
- Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Quiara Alegría Hudes's 2016 play "Daphne's Dive," based in Philadelphia, features a character closely resembling Kathy Change. The play is dedicated "in memory: Kathy Chang(e)."
- Actor (and writer) Shin-Fei Chen portrays "Peace Activist Kathy Change" in Andrew Repasky McElhinney’s 2019 film Casual Encounters: Philadelphia True Crime Confessions. Her scenes were shot on 35mm Kodak film, September 2018 in West Philadelphia.
Thursday, February 23, 2023
I am running on a platform of complete social transformation.The problems we are faced with today: crime, unemployment,poverty, battered women, abused children, pollution,environmental degradation, national insolvency, and budgetdeficits, and so on, cannot be solved within the presenteconomic and political framework, because that frameworkis in itself the fundamental problem and the cause of all the otherproblems. The present government is so corrupt and tiedup with anti-democratic procedures that it cannot reformitself. The only way to reform the system is to simplydissolve the system and start all over with a great nationalconference to create a new society...
RUBY: Jenn should have held up. Occupy would've been her moment. I dug up one of her old banners: "In case of financial collapse, party in the streets!"
Think back. Think back. Before the Europeans landed. There are no skyscrapers and streets. No highways and electric wires. No, just trees and forests everywhere. Forest full of wild animals. Coyotes. Dear. Bear. Bobcats. Wolves. Natives. Lenni Lenape. Algonquin. Hopi. Cherokee. Chippewa. The streams are jumping with fish. You hunt with bow and arrows. No guns. You live off fruits and berries and herbs. You grow corn and squash and peas. You worship the earth and are careful not to bite the hand that feeds you. You don't squander my resources.
Kathy killed herself on the University of Pennsylvania campus in 1996. Visually and physically like the Buddhist monks of Vietnam, she poured gasoline over herself and her robes and set herself on fire. The political effect was unlike that of the monks. The world did not sit up and take notice. The country did not erupt into revolution.
Wednesday, February 22, 2023
For many years, she seemed content dancing for her cause at Penn or at the art museum, spending a $30,000 inheritance to renovate and illegally live in an abandoned building in West Philadelphia...
But last year, Ms. (Anita) King and other friends remember, she seemed to start losing heart. A huge blow, they said, came last fall when she called her father for help paying a dental bill. He refused. Not long after, when Ms. Chang was living in a converted warehouse with Ms. King and others, they smelled gasoline in the house. They found a leaking jar in Ms. Chang's backpack, and had to talk her out of killing herself.
With her money gone and no job, she was dependent as well. She wasn’t always treated well by the men she chose to live with.
...and banging on walls well past midnight. Spray-painted messages such as "Don't Pay Rent" and "This is a Free House" began appearing on nearby abandoned buildings."That's when we got more than a little question in our minds about what kind of people they are," said Costa. So when the new residents introduced themselves, Costa said, he was pretty blunt. "I said to them, 'If you're all living like pigs and disturbing the neighborhood, then you're not welcome here.'"Costa soon discovered that the new neighbors, who came together during a protest at the Federal Building last spring, had illegally entered 432 N 33rd Street and made someone else's house - the property is owned by the city - their home. They had done it for two reasons: They needed a place to live, preferably for free, and they wanted to make a political statement on behalf of squatter's rights. After moving in, two of the squatters - Kathy Chang, 32, and Philip Spinelli, 24 - applied for city gift property on the block, but in both cases, they were too late.The squatters, whose ranks change from time to time, call themselves People for Peace and Justice; on occasion, they stand on the porch or walk around the block, but with a bullhorn, broadcasting their political opinions against the establishment and for economic revolution, against bureaucracy and for anarchy.The Peace and Justice philosophy on housing is that everyone has a "birthright" to it, real estate speculation puts all but the wealthy out of the market, many landlords are corrupt profit-mongers, and gentrification is a form of genocide because it destroys communities of people. The city, they say, should welcome squatters and buildings that have been vacant a long timed should provide the tools for rehabilitating the buildings."Buildings that are empty belong to the people," said Zvi Baranoff last week, as he and eight other squatters, most of them out-of-work musicians, huddled near a wood stove they installed in the building's kitchen. The kitchen walls had been covered with plywood, burlap and leaflets for a variety of political causes."Save Fuel, Burn a Bureaucrat," said a hand-scrawled sign on one wall. On another, the eyes of a painting of Pope John Paul II had been pieced with the staves of two Bicentennial flags."There are 50,000 abandoned houses in this city," continued Baranoff, 25, twisting his beard with two fingers, "and it's our interest to take them over and give them to the people who need housing."For many homeowners and tenants in Mantua and nearby Powelton Village - 80 of them have signed a petition seeking eviction of the squatters - the politics and the lifestyles of the new neighbors are echoes from two blocks away and four years ago.In 1978, a series of confrontations between city officials and the members of MOVE - a group that denounced bureaucracy and amassed weaponry - culminated in a shoot-out at the house MOVE owned at 3300 Pearl St. The incident left one police officer dead and three seriously wounded, and two neighborhoods shaken.Although Mantua residents say they do not believe that their new neighbors are stockpiling weapons - and the squatters are emphatic in saying they are not - the memories of street-corner diatribes and back yard trash are still fresh."We have lived with this situation before," said Ben Blakey, who has lived on the 400 block of North 33rd Street for nearly 30 of his 65 years."The MOVE situation has been here, and that was a ticklish situation until someone had got killed. This place was under siege."Beyond the regular appearances that police make in response to complaints about the squatters, it seems almost certain that this new collision of values on North 33rd Street will force another confrontation with city officials in the coming weeks.The building that the squatters moved into is gift property owned by the city's Office of Housing and Community Development (OHCD). Soon after they took over the building, the squatters expanded their living space by knocking out the first and third-floor brick wall between 432 and 434 N. 33rd St. The latter building is owned by the Redevelopment Authority (RDA), which dispenses federal home rehabilitation funds funneled through OHCD.The city's Licenses and Inspections Department (L&I) has toured both buildings and cited them for numerous violations of building and fire-code regulations; the 434 building was declared "unfit for human habitation" and when a masonry section of the front wall of that building was removed, L&I declared the building "imminently dangerous." The masonry section was restored.In October, RDA obtained an eviction order for 434 N 33rd St; on Friday, the OHCD filed its petition for 432. At the hearing, three squatters told Common Pleas Court Judge Charles Lord that they wanted time to obtain legal counsel. He scheduled a hearing on the city's petition for Tuesday.Several weeks ago, when RDA and other city officials went to the 434 address and asked the squatters to leave, they refused, then barraged the officials with political rhetoric.Reuben Mimkon, supervisor for the L&I's district office, recalled that one of the female members of Peace and Justice "came out on the porch with a bullhorn and started shouting, 'Come on, take my clothes off!" I don't know what she was talking about." A resident of the street said one of the squatters yelled, "This is our Vietnam, and we're willing to die for it!"Before seeking to evict the squatters, RDA has decided to wait until OHCD obtains its eviction permit. When it does, both agencies, backed by police, will ask the squatters to leave.What will happen then is anybody's guess. City officials are not sure how far they will push the issue; the squatters say they have not decided what they will do.But the squatters express dismay that the city might throw them into the street in the thick of winter. They don't say with finality that they will not leave, but they don't say they will. They may invite all their friends for an Eviction Day party. They may demand that the city give them somewhere else to live.They will not, they insisted, resort violence. "Guns is what destroyed MOVE," said Spinelli. "We're not going to make the same mistake."To city officials, the situation is a simple legal matter: Breaking and entering, squatting, living among housing and fire code violations, and breaching wills without a permit.To People for Peace and Justice, those laws are hardly relevant. "Laws are not made for safety," said Baranoff. "They're made to complicate things, to maintain an oppression." Building codes "should certainly be taken into consideration" but for safety reasons not because they have the weight of law behind them. Said Sandy McCroskey, 27: "It would seem to be in the city's best interest if they would make their laws accomodate us."A few of the block's residents side with the squatters. "Shouldn't there be a certain period of time, " said Sarah Rose, who lives on the block and visits regularly with the squatters, "when nobody's moved into an abandoned building, that it's turned over to people? I think it would be wonderful to cooperate with the city on making something like that work."At the same time, Ms. Rose said, she understands the neighborhood's apprehension. "We don't look like them, we don't act like them, and we haven't interacted with them. This neighborhood is like a tight family. There are a lot of people who have lived here for a long time, so I think it's a natural reaction."Why haven't the squatters reached out to the neighborhood more? "It's been very hard, " said Spinelli "for us to get ourselves together. We have to do that first."As for their neighbor's complaints, the squatters have some responses. Because he owns two buildings on the block, Spinelli said, Dennis Costa "is a speculator pig" Dumping excrement, Baranoff said, was the work of "a couple of crazies" who were asked to leave the group last summer. The squatters play music in early morning hours, Spinelli said, because they are musicians, "and our hours are off other people's." McCroskey said that the squatters thought their rooftop nudity could not be seen elsewhere and that no one ever complained to them about it.The squatters seem to be having a good time trying to put together a communal lifestyle. Some pick up a little work now and then. One 21-year-old member, who uses the stage name Christina Wilde and whose hair is cut Mohawk-fasion and dyed orange-pink, works as a burlesque dancer in Philadelphia and New Jersey. Spinelli, a jazz percussionist, and Paul Jaffie, a rock guitarist and singer, occasionally get jobs playing music.On a chilly afternoon last week, some of the members gathered in their living room with guitars. Their view of the world was reflected in an excerpt from their "anthem," written by McCroskey:
Look at them running of to work, Just watch them jump and jerk.
They're keeping the wheels of industry in motion. Just why they do it, they don't have the foggiest notion.
The squatters spend time working on the buildings, smoking marijuana, organizing political events and trying to publish Community newspaper, which says it "serves the interests of those struggling for Land, Liberty, Peace and Justice."The members say they are not of a common stripe in politics and philosophies. Some are hard-core naturalists and won't use soap when they bathe, others do. Some are dressed neatly and fashionably; others look as if they just emerged from a bog. Some are glib; others stare off into space. A few say they are anarchists and atheists; some say they don't know what they are.Most of their money has come from one member, Kathy Chang, who is trying to organize a "national moratorium on business-as-usual" during which "basic goods and services would be supplied to the people free of cost." Her inheritance is now gone, she says.
For $800, the squatters say, they hired a plumber to hook up the building; how they were able to get electricity is a mystery. Costa said he saw one member tapping power lines to bring pirated electricity into the building. When he called Philadelphia Electric Co. (PE), he said, instead of disconnecting the lines, the company installed a meter.
Ron Harper of PE's corporate communications department said that the meter was installed at someone's request but that no one at the building has ever filled out the proper forms. Because the squatters have refused to respond to hand-delivered mail and a telegram from PE, he said, the utility's computers show nothing.
The squatters refuse to discuss it. "We're skipping that subject," Baranoff says.
Although the squatters have done some work inside the buildings, they appear to remain dilapidated hovels. In the four rooms that the squatters allowed a reporter and photographer to visit, holes in the floors required circumnavigation, and windows are covered in plastic to break cold winds. The living room - where the squatters' amplified, often cacophonous music vibrates the wall that abuts Costa's home - is furnished with three cushioned sofas, a raggy carpet, cluttered stacks of books and magazines, and piles of junk.
An office is littered with the mechanical components of pamphleteering: a printing press, a duplicating machine, typewriters, all unplugged but ready for cranking up when the group wants to publish another issue of Community newspaper.
Ms. Wilde's bedroom is in the 434 building. The entrance is through the breached wall on the first floor. She calls it the "womb room." She said she used to sleep in a coffin.
The squatters say they have arrested the deterioration in the two buildings and have made them livable and safe. "This was a real hole in the wall. "Now it has a hole in the wall," Baranoff said, laughing. He used a sponge to clean crumbs from a plastic table top in the kitchen. "We've made the place habitable."
I have to admit I laughed out loud at this bit:
Some are dressed neatly and fashionably; others look as if they just emerged from a bog.
...one of the female members of Peace and Justice "came out on the porch with a bullhorn and started shouting, 'Come on, take my clothes off!"
That has got to be Chang.
That article was on December 19. On December 31 the Inquirer ran this story:
Two people were arrested yesterday as sheriff's deputies and police evicted a group of squatters from a city-owned house the city's Mantua section, official reported.
The two arrested were charged with disorderly conduct when they argued with officers, the officers said, but there were no serious incidents. The eviction ended a standoff that some neighbors had feared might turn violent.
The squatters, who have occupied the house since the spring, call themselves People for Peace and Justice and have leveled political rhetoric at neighbors and defiance at authorities.
Yesterday, about 10 a. m., officers removed five adults from the house, at 432 N. 33rd St, which is owned by the city's Office of housing and Community Development.
The two arrests came about 12:30 p. m. after two men argued with officers. Police said George "Sandy" McCroskey, 27 a ride off the house, and Robert Harris, 30, of the 3700 block of Barin Street, were charged with disorderly conduct and released pending a hearing. Harris was identified as a friend who was helping the squatters remove their belongings.
After the group moved into the vacant house last spring, officials said, they broke into the empty house next door, which is owned by the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority. Monday, a Common Pleas Court judge ordered the squatters out of the city property immediately. Chief Deputy Sheriff Pasquale Scarpello said five deputies had been sent to execute the order, accompanied by uniformed police officers and Police Department Civil Affairs Unit officers. A moving company hired by the city removed the squatters' belongings and put them in storage. Scarpello said the goods could be claimed by the group at any time.
Scarpello said police detained several of the people briefly for questioning, after shotgun shells swords and knives were found in the house. No firearms were found, he said.
One of the squatters, Zvi Baranoff, 25, said he "woke up with police in my bedroom." He said he and the other people evicted would be staying with friends but hinted that the group would illegally occupy other vacant houses.
RUBY: Has she been around at all? Still picking fights with Acosta I trust?PABLO: He kicked her out of the squat.RUBY: No one tells me anything.PABLO: Your mom (Daphne) stopped bailing her out and Jenn took it real personal....PABLO: You know she started protesting outside the bar? Shouting. With a megaphone. "Wake up! Wake up!" Your mom had to call the cops, a few times.
One night I got a phone call from her, a call from the police station. She had been picked up by the Philadelphia police because she had been walking in West Philly – naked. The police were quite willing to send her on her way if she would simply get dressed before leaving. Of course, I had to argue with her to accept this social compromise. My landlady and I begged her, and finally convinced her, to put some clothes on and leave with us. She seemed to not understand what the problem was with her late night stroll.