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.

Monday, September 08, 2014

Forget Condi Veep Rumors (For Now), Let's Have Some Condi Commish Rumors!

(PSP Flashback to 08-16-2012.)

I have no problem with Jonathan Capehart at the Washington Post. OK, not usually. But his thing about Condi coming to rescue the NFL is just... daffy. It's a weird and bad piece of writing which appears to be more proof than a lot of Post writers are flying solo, without editors.

See, the big problem is that Capehart is talking about Condoleezza Rice and football, but he's also writing about the NFL's doldrums and the unsavory notoriety of Ray Rice. We're thrown a helpful "No relation to Condi" aside (!!!LOL!!!), but that doesn't keep phrase like this, published below a huge picture of Condi, from being disconcerting:

the depths of Rice’s depravity

Yow, Condi! Oops, I mean Ray, whatever.

But how about Condi? Let's talk about her qualifications for becoming NFL commissioner and saving the sport for all mankind:

Rice really loves football, especially because of its similarities to military strategy.

Well, dang, since you put it THAT way, why not Condi? What are you waiting for? DRAFT THAT CONDI.

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Condi Roundup!

It's been a while since we've caught up with America's Princess Diplomat. Sure, I check now and again, but truth is, Condi just isn't up to much these days. It's a little too early still for the inevitable Condi Veep Rumors, so we'll have to make do with what we can get.

Let's go right for the jugular first. Oooh, somebody named Barry Switzer, who I believe is a sportsball celebrity of some kind, had the COLOSSAL NERVE to disparage Condi's presence  on the college football playoff selection committee:

"I don't know if Condoleezza Rice --- I admire her and what she's accomplished but I don't think she's played anywhere and I don't think she coached. Someone's going to have to tell her, direct her where she votes. She certainly doesn't have any first, second, third or fourth-hand knowledge."

WHO IS THIS FANGIRL CHICK? in other words.  "I don't think she's played," he gripes, thinking of, oh, just oodles of opportunities Condi must have had to play tackle football when she was a young lass. Ha ha ha, this Barry Switzer guy is obviously a dick, but he does have a point!

Happier times for Dr. Ferragamo are those times when she gets paid wheelbarrows full of monstrous sums of money to give short, could-do-it-in-her-sleep speeches to unchallenging groups of conventioneers and high school students. So how has that been going?

Very well!

Later this month, for instance, Condi will keynote the exciting and prestigious Josef Korbel School of International Studies Korbel Dinner (whew!) at the University of Denver. Sounds WILD. And then in October she'll keynote (I know, I know, I really shouldn't verb that word. I'll stop) the even more challenging and glamorous sounding Girls Inc. "Invest in a Girl" dinner. I'm predicting lots of texting and eye-rolling from this crowd. (Just kidding! Girls Inc. seems fine?)  I can already compose Condi's "believe in yourself and do what you love" speech in my head, and the young women in the audience will surely react as young women often do when faced with a Condinspirational talk.

Let's look back a little, now. Here's a fun group at the Aspen Institute:

(Christina Capasso/The Aspen Times) 

Condi and Maddie together! That's uncommon. They were boring, sorry. And look! It's adorable, teensy-weensy Robert Gates! It's nice to see Gates out of his neck brace, because the "broken doll" vibe just wasn't working for him. Sorry, that was insensitive.

But! Speaking of Madelaine Albright, and speaking of former secretaries of state, and speaking of Condi, or rather, of not-Condi, this happened today:

Let's see.... John Kerry, Hilary Clinton, Colin Powell, Maddy... Baker... Kissinger. Somebody's.... missing? This is a hard one. Has an important American secretary of state been omitted? Ooh, I know, I know! George Shultz!  I can't think of anybody else whose opinion matters being left out.

Oh, wait, they forgot Condi, too! ASSHOLES.

This has been your Condi Roundup.

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

I'm Going To Go Ahead And Say "His Bald Scalp"

(Screenshot from Media Matters.)

I don't know why it took me so long to notice George Will's really weird wig, but now that I have, I can't un-see it. Has it always been that obvious, or is it just looking particularly laughable lately? Honestly, this is like the department store sketch from Monty Python.

Looking through recent pictures, this seems to be a new... thing? It kind of freaks me out.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Audioblogging: The Lemon Fresh Pinetones Live At UC San Diego, 1988

This performance by my garage-prog threesome took place during the closing party for the Undergraduate Art Festival at UCSD's Mandeville Annex Gallery courtyard in 1988, and was our final public appearance.

This show was really good! We start with typical Pinetones improv space rock, take an unexpected hard turn into Bluegrass with a totally spontaneous, unplanned rendition of the traditional "Rolling in My Sweet Baby's Arms", and then a return to noisy jungle garage prog.

If any of you have downloaded any of the Pinetones stuff I've uploaded here, you may have been intrigued by the mention of the "4th Pinetone" credited with "guitar treatments." The 4th Pinetone was, in fact, a mysterious old effects pedal box-like device from the 60s/70s, through which Joel played his guitar. It was about a foot long, and covered with colorful yet unlabeled buttons and knobs. I think it was old production equipment from previous decades? In any event, Joel used it brilliantly to create incredible guitar distortions, even if he readily admitted that he was never quite sure what the box would do. Chaos!

This is a very good performance and a pretty decent recording. The 230mb Zip archive can be downloaded here.

The "cover" image is inspired by our song "Felicity Rose's Death Roll", a sprightly number we originally composed as part of a play wherein an elderly lady is rolling around the stage in a wheelchair dying.