Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Condibots On The Loose? Condibots On The Loose!

(Photo: Wayne Armstrong)

Seems like a drag of a new Condi sighting: there she is, plopped in a chair at a groundbreaking for what sounds suspiciously like the new most boring place on earth, the Joseph Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver. This is as routine as Condigigs get.

Or so you thought! See, if you are a close Condiwatcher like me and, I suspect, most readers of this blog, things can get strange in Condiland pretty quickly:

Rice said the new complex “will allow this great school to push forward — it will allow this school to find more Condi Rices who are searching out there for what they might do and decide that they belong in a world quite different from their own. A world that is increasingly complex, increasingly diverse, and therefore needs the diversity of talents and people who can find and make sense of our common humanity when so much tries to tear us apart.

Wait, whhhhhat? What's all this about more Condi Rices out there? What is she saying, exactly?

I have a theory.

Long-time Pony Pals know of the existence of the Condibots, those labor-saving, Disneytronic artificial Condoleezzas frequently sent out on routine missions (they were particularly useful to the Bush administration). But isn't this boring groundbreaking just exactly the kind of dud for which the Condibots were developed? 

No, this is the real Condi at this dreadful broad-daylight event. Why? Because the Condibots have escaped! You heard her! "More Condi Rices" out there! She said it plain as day.

Let's emphasize what has happened:


So what they've doing is this, and it's clever: they're building this really boring and pointless foreign policy center to lurrrrre in the escaped Condibots so that they can be recaptured!

See? That's how a boring Condi story becomes a GREAT Condi story, when you know enough to read between the lines before falling asleep.

Watch out for the Condibots! They're out there somewhere! I bet right now they're wandering aimlessly around an alley behind the Heritage Foundation headquarters.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Happy Birthday To Screamy


Ten years ago today I made my favorite ever Photoshop creation, the shouty Barbie head. I originally made "Shriek.jpg" for a Photoshop contest over at Fark back when that was a novel activity. The contest was, basically, "Here's a photo of my kid; have at it," and it always kind of blows my mind that some parents will do that. But the picture, showing the submitter's Halloween costume-clad son (It's not me, and it's not a girl!) was too good to resist. I handily won the contest with my vision of a deranged fashion doll, but I also submitted this alternative version:


Not quite as jarring as the Barbie image, I suppose. Photoshopping "Shriek" wasn't that difficult. I found the excellent photo of the vintage doll on a website run by a person who sold wigs for dolls, thus the fantastic hairdo. Both pictures had similar tonalities and almost identical light sources, making them easy to blend with a minimum of fuss. I could probably redo it a little more carefully (left side of the face still bugs me), but I don't think it would significantly improve the image's impact.

Midway through making the picture, I thought, "This would be a perfect cover design for Philip K. Dick's The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch."

So anyway, happy 10, Yelling Doll Thing! Here's to many more.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Art Euphemism Of The Year

(Andy Warhol: Oxidation Painting, 1978, via The Warhol)
© The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.

Sometimes it's can be hilarious when an academic gets seized up with a touch of prudery if faced with a somewhat transgressive truth.

MoCA Los Angeles is having a show of Andy Warhol epic "Shadows" series. In the introduction to the show, curator Bennett Simpson compares the series to Warhol's other abstract work, which brings us to his "Oxidation" series (see above). Here's how Simpson describes these paintings:

The series formalized earlier explorations with abstraction, seen the previous year in the Oxidation, Rorschach, and Camouflage paintings. In contrast to the Oxidation or Piss paintings, achieved through a process of staining in which a canvas coated in copper reacted to the acidity of urine spilled or dripped on it, the Shadows panels are silkscreened canvases.

"Urine spilled or dripped on it." Mr. Simpson! The Oxidation paintings didn't have urine "spilled or dripped" on them! They were pissed on. Warhol talked enthusiastically about the process in his diary, even pronouncing his preference for Halston assistant Victor Hugo's pee. The Warhol Museum hardly shies away from this hilarious process, even including this description in their guide for children:

Warhol invited friends and acquaintances to urinate onto a canvas covered in metallic paint in order to cause oxidation. The uric acid reacted with the copper in the paint, removing components of the pure metal to form mineral salts. Some colors developed immediately while others like blue and green formed later on top of the red or brown copper oxides.  Warhol and his collaborators experimented with both pattern and coloration by using a variety of metallic background paints and by varying the maker’s fluid and food intake.

Kudos to The Warhol for their matter-of-fact presentation of the process. Ha ha, kids probably think it's hilarious!

So what's MoCA so shy about?

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

People Have Things 'N' Stuff To Say About Condi Commish Rumors

(Sparkle Pony Flashback to October 22, 2005!)

It's fun to have fresh Condiproduct back in the news for the first time since all those fake Condi Veep Rumors in 2012. The NFL commissioner stories have this yearning quality to them, because Condi has stated before that that's her dream job, so BIOGRAPHY, PEOPLE, IT'S WHAT SELLS. You know, bookends 'n' such, genuine Hallmark Hall of Fame stuff. Everyone wants this story to happen, even if they're unsure why or outright skeptical. So who is saying what about Commissioner Condi?

  • Noah Wyland at ABC News has a kind of "sure, why not?" approach to Condi, but points out that it's unlikely Roger Goodell will leave any time soon. "Rice’s appeal could hinge on her offering a more sophisticated public face to the league and its fans, a more worldly outlook commensurate with her work as secretary of state," Wyland states with a straight face. Mr. Wyland! Condoleezza Rice was not a good secretary of state! Under Bush, her role was reduced to vapid spokesmodel. The NFL shouldn't hire her as commissioner; they should hire her to do TV commercials.
  • John Kass at the Chicago Tribune thinks the NFL should can Goodell and promote Condi because chicks dig Condi, basically. 
  • Newsmax has a routine retelling of Jonathan Cepeheart's ridiculous editorial which got this whole ball rolling, but I love this comment wherein a Condifan laments that Dr. Ferragamo becoming NFL commissioner would seriously derail Condi Veep Rumors. "Rice/Carson 2016!"
  • Larry O'Connor at the Washington Free Beacon cleverly says, "Have a problem with Ray Rice? Solve it with Condi Rice!" And that's pretty much where I stopped reading that article.
  • "Now, some are saying Condoleezza Rice.... should replace Goodell," says Fox News. Nope! Just one person! Just one blogger at the Washington Post!
  • Who expected The Hill to be the real spoilsports? "Roger Goodell believes his job is safe." Well then.

What do I think? I'm torn. I'd like Condi to be in the news more, but not at the expense of having to regularly write about football. Plus, seriously, Condi has the plushiest job ever right now, safely ensconced in her tightly controlled little Stanford bubble and her micromanaged yet bafflingly lucrative speaking engagements. Is she really ready to leave that for real work? I doubt it. I'm holding out for Condi Veep Rumors to start up again.