Amazon.com Widgets
James Frey Official Website
Join the JAMES FREY mailing list
Click

Gawker Triumph of Stupidity Contest

from Gawker.com

Former Gawker Intern James Frey Reveals Winners of the Triumph of Stupidity Contest

“Welcome one and all to the Gawker Triumph of Stupidity Contest, where stupidity is celebrated, reinforced and rewarded. I’m James Frey, former Gawker Intern, former Gawker Special Correspondent, and now, Gawker Special Consultant for the Triumph of Stupidity Contest.

As you may know, I am uniquely qualified for this job, more qualified for it than either of my previous positions at Gawker, because I am famously stupid. One need only look back through the archives of this wonderful website to see a few of my many displays of stupidity, and see how I have triumphed over them. At this point in my life, when people ask me for advice, and God help those who do ask, I say – Go, right now, and do the stupidest, most reckless thing you can possibly think of doing, close your eyes and buckle your seatbelt, and when it’s all over, you’ll be exactly where you want to be.

[ click to continue reading at Gawker ]

Posted on January 31, 2010 by Editor

Filed under Bright Shiny News | | No Comments »

Salinger Gone

from CNN

jd.jpg

[ click to continue reading at CNN ]

Posted on January 28, 2010 by MJS

Filed under Literary News | | No Comments »

50 Naked Women Dancing Exuberantly

from Prospect

Decent exposure

ELIZABETH KIRKWOOD

13th January 2010  —  Issue 166 Free entry

Women have been taking their clothes off in protest for centuries. But now that nudity is everywhere, is the naked body still an effective campaign tool?

Nic Green (right): using the body as a site of celebration and protest


The success of Nic Green’s play Trilogy, a runaway hit at last year’s Edinburgh festival and now touring Britain until the end of January, is down in no small part to the fact that it opens with an exuberant dance by 50 naked women. The most interesting question it poses, however, is this: has female nudity become so ubiquitous that it is now invisible? Given that we’re bombarded with it daily—on billboards, computer screens and in newspapers—has the naked body lost its potency, particularly as a tool for political protest?

Trilogy sets out to examine why the fire drained from the feminist spirit of the 1970s. Green, a Glaswegian writer/director, and the rest of her young cast spend much of the triptych in the nude: after the 50 dancing women, the second segment is a naked recreation of a seminal moment in feminist history, when Norman Mailer debated women’s liberation with Germaine Greer at the New York Town Hall in 1971—a dialogue documented by DA Pennebaker in his legendary film, Town Bloody Hall. There is so much naked dancing in Trilogy, however, that what at first seems mildly eye-raising, becomes by the end of its three-hour duration, almost domestic.

From Lady Godiva to the bra-burning of the 1970s, naked protest has been deemed rebellious largely because of the “deviant” associations of nudity. Although we now like to consider ourselves too liberal and liberated to find public nudity deviant, clothing still remains the most powerful and immediate signifier of our socialisation. And the re-emergence of nudity as a popular form of political protest in recent years is striking—groups such as Breasts Not Bombs, World Naked Bike Ride and Bare Witness use it as their primary campaign tool. But it perhaps suggests a different story: not that we find nudity scandalising, but that it has become harder to appear truly naked in public.

[ click to continue reading at Prospect ]

Posted on January 27, 2010 by Editor

Filed under Literary News | | No Comments »

Caruso 4

from MTV

‘Eagle Eye’ Director D.J. Caruso Will Helm James Frey Adaptation, ‘I Am Number Four’

Posted 1/20/10 7:30 am ET by Adam Rosenberg in News

Last summer, just as “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” was arriving in theaters, news emerged that director Michael Bay would produce and maybe direct an adaptation of the James Frey/Joby Hughes young adult novel “I Am Number Four,” the first in a series of six planned books about an alien in hiding on Earth — Ohio, to be precise — while forces unknown hunt him.

Two months later, it was revealed that Al Gough and Miles Millar, creators of TV’s “Smallville,” had been hired to adapt the book into a usable script. The latest word is that Bay won’t be directing; if I had to guess, it’s because he’s busy with the next “Transformers” movie. D.J. Caruso will step in to take the reins instead,The Hollywood Reporter reveals.

Caruso is a DreamWorks favorite, for his work on “Disturbia” and “Eagle Eye.” Bay will still produce of course, which ought to help out the newly hired director as this is his first foray into feature-length science fiction.

[ click to continue reading at MTV ]

Posted on January 27, 2010 by Editor

Filed under Bright Shiny News | | No Comments »

Number 26

from The Hollywood Reporter

Here’s the Top 20 movies of all time … by number of tickets sold:

1 “Gone With the Wind” (1939) 202,044,600
2 “Star Wars” (1977) 178,119,600
3 “The Sound of Music” (1965) 142,415,400
4 “E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial” (1982) 141,854,300
5 “The Ten Commandments” (1956) 131,000,000
6 “Titanic” (1997) 128,345,900
7 “Jaws” (1975) 128,078,800
8 “Doctor Zhivago” (1965) 124,135,500
9 “The Exorcist” (1973) 110,568,700
10 “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” (1937) 109,000,000
11 “101 Dalmatians” (1961) 99,917,300
12 “The Empire Strikes Back” (1980) 98,180,600
13 “Ben-Hur” (1959) 98,000,000
14 “Return of the Jedi” (1983) 94,059,400
15 “The Sting” (1973) 89,142,900
16 “Raiders of the Lost Ark” (1981) 88,141,900
17 “Jurassic Park” (1993) 86,205,800
18 “The Graduate” (1967) 85,571,400
19 “Star Wars: Episode I” (1999) 84,825,800
20 “Fantasia” (1941) 83,043,500

“Avatar,” despite topping the worldwide gross list, by and by, is only No. 26 on the ticket sales list with 76,421,000 sold … at least, so far…

 

[ click to read full article at The Hollywood Reporter ]

Posted on January 24, 2010 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art | | No Comments »

Cruising Van Nuys

from The LA Times

Cruise night returns to Van Nuys Boulevard

After a 28-year break, car lovers meet once a month on Wednesday nights to show off their souped-up muscle cars, restored classics and lowriders in a scene familiar a generation ago.

CruisingA 1962 Chrysler Newport makes its way down Van Nuys Boulevard during Van Nuys Cruise Night. After 28 long years, cruising has returned to Van Nuys Boulevard. (Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

As the souped-up muscle cars, restored classics and lowriders cruise through the old Rydell Chevrolet lot on Van Nuys Boulevard, Reid Stolz takes stock of a scene that was familiar to anyone growing up in the San Fernando Valley a generation ago.

“Remember when we were young and the cops were old?” said Stolz, 51, watching an LAPD patrol car glide by. “Now the cops are young and we’re old.”

After a 28-year break, Stolz and other car lovers have brought cruising back to “The Boulevard,” though the drivers are now more likely to be middle-aged guys with graying hair and grandkids, driven by nostalgia rather than teenage vanity.

The cruising scene on Van Nuys Boulevard once was so popular and rowdy that it all but paralyzed the area and was seen as a menace by merchants and local residents. Police shut it down when turf wars and illegal races got out of hand.

[ click to continue reading at The LA Times ]

Posted on January 23, 2010 by Editor

Filed under Los Angeles | | No Comments »

“I hate the book. I don’t hate him. I might go to UFC with him next month!”

from Movieline.com

Overheard at Sundance: 1/21

Many of the things that Sundance has to offer have been well-detailed: the movies, the swag, and the stars. Less celebrated — yet no less interesting — are the overheard quotes. Each day of the Sundance Film Festival, Movieline will bring you some of the best snippets we couldn’t help but hear. They’re ridiculous, sure — but they’re Sundance. Enjoy the first batch!

8:30 pm, on a bus leaving the Eccles

Girl: “How are you guys still friends? Don’t you hate James Frey?”

Boy: “I hate the book. I don’t hate him. I might go to UFC with him next month!”

[ click to continue reading at Movieline.com]

Posted on January 22, 2010 by Editor

Filed under Mirth | | No Comments »

Solar-powered Cockroach

$3 @ dealextreme – cool

image lifted from ChineseGadget.net ]

Posted on January 22, 2010 by Editor

Filed under Weirdness | | No Comments »

‘dere ain’t no gunslinger books in Texas…

from CNN

Big city left with no bookstore

By Ed Lavandera, CNN

Laredo, Texas (CNN) — The bookstore was Zhuara Rivera’s magical “Neverland.” It offered a fairy tale world for 14-year-old Rivera to get lost in stories and words.

But the books are gone. On January 16, Barnes & Noble, which owns B. Dalton, closed the store inside Laredo’s Mall del Norte.

That leaves Laredo, Texas, population of 250,000, one of the largest cities in the United States without a bookstore.

The closest bookstore is now 150 miles away, in San Antonio, Texas.

[ click to continue reading at CNN ]

Posted on January 22, 2010 by MJS

Filed under Literary News | | No Comments »

Two Gentleman of Lebowski

from Run Leia Run

lebow.jpg

[ click to read Two Gentleman of Lebowski @ Run Leia Run ]

Posted on January 22, 2010 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art | | No Comments »

Tower Tech-Nerds

from The New York Observer

Tower Tech-Nerds? Late, Lamented Record Store Hosts Punk Nostalgists

By Leon Neyfakh

On Friday, Jan. 15, the old Tower Records building on Broadway and Fourth Street was the site of a big, funny party celebrating the opening of a music-themed art show organized by No Longer Empty, a group of curators who mount exhibitions of contemporary art in vacant storefronts around the city.

The centerpiece of the show, on view at 692 Broadway till Feb. 13, is an installation repurposing the space as a cartoonish simulation of a bustling, pre-Internet music store called “Never Records.” Taken together, the sprawling, mixed-media exhibition is meant to function as a monument to the glory days of music retail, complete with racks of vinyl for browsing, band posters on the walls and a stage for in-store appearances.

The line to get into the opening on Friday snaked around the block, even after the organizers ran out of the low-calorie, electrolyte-enhanced vodka drink they were promoting on behalf of their liquor sponsor.

[ click to continue reading at The Observer ]

Posted on January 21, 2010 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art | | No Comments »

Janet Jackson’s Wardrobe Designer Joins UK Womens Bobsled Team

Posted on January 20, 2010 by Editor

Filed under Mirth | | No Comments »

Very Short Story

Very Short Story

 

Man driving down road.

 

Woman driving up same road.

 

They pass each other.

 

The woman yells out the window, PIG!

 

Man yells out window, BITCH!

 

Man rounds next curve.

 

Man crashes into a HUGE PIG in middle of road and dies.

 

Thought For the Day:

 

 

If men would just listen

Posted on January 20, 2010 by MJS

Filed under Mirth | | No Comments »

Fug You Mike Love

Posted on January 20, 2010 by Editor

Filed under Weirdness | | No Comments »

“The disco beat was created so that white people could dance.”

from Vanity Fair

Donna Summer sizzles in sequins on Halloween in Boston, 1978. By Ron Galellaopposite, Grace Jones performs at Studio 54 on New Year’s Eve, 1978. By Waring Abbott/Getty Images.

 

Boogie Nights

BY LISA ROBINSON 

It became known, and ultimately reviled, as Disco. But the music that surged out of gay underground New York clubs such as the Loft and 12 West in the early 70s was the sound of those who wanted to dance, dance, dance—blotting out everything but their bodies and the beat. The author hears from Donna Summer, Ian Schrager, Gloria Gaynor, and others who helped create the strobe-lit, sex-driven, amyl-nitrite-fueled scene, the phenomena of Studio 54 and Saturday Night Fever, and the songs that reverberated into a new millennium.

 


When we made “Love to Love You Baby,” we knew it was somewhat innovative, but nobody knew people would jump on that bandwagon and all of a sudden the whole world would be going disco.—Donna Summer

After Saturday Night Fever, we wanted to do a poster, with the three of us in Rambo’s bodies, with machine guns, and in the background there’d be a body in a white suit, bullet-ridden, and the mirror ball all shot to pieces. —Maurice Gibb, 1987.

The disco beat was created so that white people could dance. —Bethann Hardison.

[ click to continue reading at Vanity Fair ]

Posted on January 17, 2010 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art | | No Comments »

“‘m a big fan of action and violence in cinema. That’s why Thomas Edison created the motion picture camera — because violence is so good.”

from the UK Daily Mail

qt.jpg

[ click to continue reading at the Daily Mail ]

Posted on January 17, 2010 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art | | No Comments »

“Super Elete Hacky”

Skip to 1:48 if you’re impatient.

Posted on January 15, 2010 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art | | No Comments »

Bodhi Tree Gone

from The LA Weekly

Bodhi Tree Bookstore Is Closing: Bad News for Buddhists

By Gendy Alimurung

Bad news for Buddhists and others seeking enlightenment: the Bodhi Tree Bookstore is closing. Owners Phil Thompson and Stan Madson informed their staff last Wednesday that the cozy Melrose Avenue shop, a nationally renowned and much beloved spiritual center, will be shutting its doors in a year’s time.

After some eight months of discussion, Thompson and Madson decided to sell the property to a local business owner who leases space to several other nearby retailers. The Bodhi Tree opened in 1970. Land values in the area have risen dramatically since then. Meanwhile, the business of selling print books has been on a steady decline. For years, real estate agents had been circling the Bodhi Tree like vultures. In the end, selling the property became a much more profitable option than continuing to sell books.

Thompson and Madson started the bookstore when they were in their 30’s. They are now both in their early 70’s. They were aerospace engineers who left a life of science for one of contemplation and meditation.

“Twenty years ago we felt like it was an expanding situation,” says Madson. “We were concerned the store was getting too big. We had a staff of 100. Publishing was expanding. Spirituality was expanding. But what changed was that the market became widely dispersed.”

Books on Wicca and Astrology and Native American shamanism used to be tough to find. But now every Borders and Barnes & Noble carries a significant selection of religious, spiritual and New Age literature. And what can’t be bought at a bricks and mortar shop can undoubtedly be found online at Amazon. For cheap.

[ click to continue reading at LA Weekly ]

visit the Bodhi Tree website

Posted on January 14, 2010 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art, Literary News, Los Angeles | | No Comments »

French Onion Tart

from The LA Times

French onion tart

French onion tart

From the book, “Five Ingredient Fix.” (Chicago Tribune)

 

Prep: 15 minutes
Total time: 40 minutes
Servings: 6

Ingredients:
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed in refrigerator
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 large sweet onions, thinly sliced
4 thyme sprigs, plus more for garnish
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
Freshly cracked black pepper

[ click to continue with recipe at LATimes.com ]

Posted on January 14, 2010 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art | | No Comments »

Pulp Cinema

from The Houston Chronicle

There’s an art to translating books into movies

By MAGGIE GALEHOUSE STAFF WRITER

The Lovely Bones arrives in movie theaters Friday. Fans of Alice Sebold’s book will see it in a new light: as part of an old Hollywood tradition that turns beloved books into major motion pictures.

It’s a tradition with mixed results.

“When we deal with adaptation movies, we always compare the movie to the book,” says Karen Fang, who teaches film studies and literature at the University of Houston. “But that’s not the way the film industry thinks about the issue. The industry is only interested in what’s going to make money.”

To studios, adaptations are presold commodities.

“That’s the pitch,” Fang says. “A filmmaker says, ‘I want to makeLord of the Rings. It will be expensive, but there are millions of Tolkienites out there.’ ”

We all know how that turned out. And that example brings up a good point.

“The movie business today is being transformed by Computer Generated Imagery,” or CGI, Fang says. “The big arena for adaptation isn’t adult movies but movies based on children’s books.”

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, Coraline and the Narnia series by C.S. Lewis.

[ click to continue reading at The Chron ]

Posted on January 12, 2010 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art | | No Comments »

Visitor From Space

from AP via Yahoo! News

Mystery object to whizz by Earth Wednesday 

Tue Jan 12, 1:52 pm ET

 

WASHINGTON – A mystery object from space is about to whizz close by Earth on Wednesday. It won’t hit our planet, but scientists are stumped by what exactly it is.

Astronomers say it may be space junk or it could be a tiny asteroid, too small to cause damage even if it hit. It’s 33 to 50 feet wide at most.

NASA says that on Wednesday at 7:47 a.m. EST, it will streak by, missing Earth by about 80,000 miles. In the western United States it may be bright enough to be seen with a good amateur telescope.

click to read at Yahoo! News ]

Posted on January 12, 2010 by Editor

Filed under Weirdness | | No Comments »

Gene Gene The Dancing Machine

Posted on January 10, 2010 by Editor

Filed under Weirdness | | No Comments »

In the great green room / There was a telephone / And a dead Keith Moon

 

[ click to continue reading  Goodnight Keith Moon ]

Posted on January 10, 2010 by Editor

Filed under Weirdness | | No Comments »

We thought it was time that people heard something about us other than that we were eating women and throwing the bones out the window.

from The New York Times

Led Zeppelin, Gods of Rock on the Celestial Staircase

Neal Preston/Corbis

Young rock enthusiasts of the 21st century, those of you who listen to your music on a little shiny thing with earphones and who read only on an LCD screen, come near and we your grandparents shall tell you of a long-ago time when men with Gibsons were the knights errant of the land, striding across stages shrouded in mist, soloing at great length! What’s that? You don’t really know what Led Zeppelin is or was? And you’ve never read that salacious earlier biography, Stephen Davis’s “Hammer of the Gods”? Well, do I have a story for you. Or at least this Mick Wall does, this fellow from England who has also written or co-written definitive biographies of Ozzy, Bono and Iron Maiden.

[I]ncluded herein is the famous story of the groupie and the shark, which has been dealt with elsewhere at some length. This bit of lore is now so upsetting and so repellent that it makes you never want to listen to the band again.

[ click to read full review at NYTimes.com ]

Posted on January 10, 2010 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art, Literary News | | No Comments »

Kirkus Reviews Lives

from Daily Finance

Book Magazine Kirkus Reviews Lives to Write Another Day

SARAH WEINMAN

Late last year, Nielsen Business Media announced it would shut down two venerable trade magazines: newspaper industry-centric Editor & Publisher and book industry publication Kirkus Reviews. Just a few days into 2010, the news for both magazines is much more positive. The staffers of E&P have launched an exile blog while awaiting a possible sale, and Kirkus Reviews will continue publication for the foreseeable future.

[ click to continue reading at DailyFinance.com ]

Posted on January 10, 2010 by Editor

Filed under Literary News | | No Comments »

The Birth Of Sidney Poitier’s Son

from The Guardian UK

John Guare: ‘Writing is a blood sport’

John Guare, author of Six Degrees of Separation, on why drama is a brutal business – and why Amanda Knox is his new muse

by Emma Brockes

The American playwright John Guare in his New York Neighborhood.

Made in Manhattan … John Guare nearby his New York apartment on fifth Avenue. Photograph: Frederic Lafargue/Rapport

The mysterious process through which life is turned into drama isn’t something John Guare cares to analyse. It happens spontaneously, he says, sometimes over the course of a weekend, sometimes six years after the inspiring event. For example, the 71-year-old playwright was transfixed by the Amanda Knox trial. “She’s a complete blank,” he says. “You can project anything on to her. Is she Henry James’s Daisy Miller, an innocent young girl who goes to Europe for experience? Or is she Louise Brooks, the woman who takes what she wants and destroys everything? Or is she Nancy Drew caught up in Kafka?” He looks through the window at a snow-bound New York. “It’s fascinating, but you can’t guarantee . . . will it be a play? I have no idea.”

It is more than 25 years since Guare, while dining with friends, heard the story that would become his most successful play. Six Degrees of Separation, which opens this week at the Old Vic in London, started out as an anecdote breathlessly conveyed with the opener, “Do we have a story for you!” A con man had charmed his way into his friends’ New York apartment and convinced them he was the son of Sidney Poitier. At the time, says Guare, it was “an incomprehensible event” and he forgot about it. “Then about six years later I was writing and I realised I was writing this play. I didn’t know whether Sidney Poitier did have a son, so I ran up the street to the bookstore and got his biography – no: four daughters, no son – and I put that in the play, too. It was a gift. It dictated itself. It told me what it was.”

[ click to continue reading at The Guardian ]

Posted on January 9, 2010 by Editor

Filed under Literary News | | No Comments »

Nic Cage As Everyone

from Nic Cage  As Everyone

Nic Cage as Pope Benedict XVI

Jennifer Villavert lives in the Rad-ican City.

Nic Cage as Marilyn Monroe

Submitted by Tom Burns as Andy Warhol.

Nic Cage as Nick Sarkozy

Jennifer Villavert is so cozy with Sarkozy.

[ click for more Nic ]

Posted on January 9, 2010 by Editor

Filed under Weirdness | | No Comments »

Wikipedia Making Children Stupid

from The Telegraph UK

Schoolchildren told to avoid Wikipedia

Children should use Google and Yahoo to improve their essays, according to the official exams watchdog.

[G]uidance sent out to schoolchildren in England warns pupils to be extremely wary when using other websites such as Wikipedia.

The on-line encyclopaedia – created using contributions from readers – was not “authoritative or accurate” and in some cases “may be completely untrue”, said Ofqual.

Children can also be easily tripped up by copying passages from websites containing American phrases and spellings – a clear sign of plagiarism.

The comments were made in a series of documents sent to pupils, parents and teachers warning against cheating at school.

[ click to continue reading at The Telegraph ]

Posted on January 8, 2010 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art | | No Comments »

“OK, Cunt – let’s see what you can do now.”

Posted on January 7, 2010 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art | | No Comments »

LA Times Lauds James Frey’s Best Work

from The LA Times

James Frey’s best work?

January 6, 2010 | 11:20 am

Smith Magazine’s six-word memoirs have been lodged in the literary firmament since the 2008 release of “Not Quite What I Was Planning,” a pocket-sized collection that became a bestseller. The idea of a story in six words was inspired by an Ernest Hemingway legend — he is said to have won a bet about writing a short story in just six words with “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”The latest book in the six-word memoir series, “It All Changed in an Instant,” is out now. It contains hundreds of micro-mini memoirs from people unknown and known. Smith got several people you’ve heard of — including Junot Diaz, Malcolm Gladwell, Sarah Silverman, Art Spiegelman, Molly Ringwald, Margaret Cho, and Tony Hawk — to give it a go.Of those that appear in the promo video above, James Frey’s stands out. His memoir “A Million Little Pieces” turned out to include outright falsehoods, and he was publicly admonished for his truth-stretching by no less than Oprah. For his six-word memoir, Frey writes: “So would you believe me anyway?”

— Carolyn Kellogg

[ click to read full review at the LA Times ]

Posted on January 6, 2010 by Editor

Filed under Bright Shiny News, Literary News | | No Comments »

“Turn the bus off! You’re backing into the freaking ditch; you’re making the little kids cry. Stop!”

from WCBS

Drunk Bus Driver Takes N.Y. Students On Wild Ride

Surveillance Video Shows 3 Dozen Terrified Kids Begging 55-Year-Old Martha Thompson To Stop The Bus

Woman Eventually Pleads Guilty To 37 Counts Of Child Endangerment

A driver is heading to jail after she was drunk behind the wheel with more than three dozen kids aboard.

And as a surveillance video shows, the children were screaming for her to stop. 

The video shows the dangerous school bus ride last May in the Alfred-Almond school district in Allegany County. Martha Thompson, 55, had a blood alcohol content of .15. At the time, she thought the children were over-reacting. 

Students can be heard screaming, “Put on the break!” 

Driver: “Will you guys stop?” 

Student: “Well you’re not okay, and I know it.” 

The bus hit high speeds, ran over a mailbox and started rolling backwards downhill. 

Student: “Turn the bus off!” 

Driver: “No.” 

Student: “You’re backing into the freaking ditch; you’re making the little kids cry. Stop!” 

Finally, the children opened the emergency door in the back of the bus to get out, despite Thompson pleading against it. 

Driver: “You can’t get off the bus!”

[ click to continue reading at WCBS ]

Posted on January 6, 2010 by Editor

Filed under Weirdness | | No Comments »

Who said public art can’t be fun?

from New York Magazine

When the Low Went Very High

Who said public art can’t be fun?

By Jerry Saltz

[Jeff] Koons’s work has always stood apart for its one-at-a-time perfection, epic theatricality, a corrupted, almost sick drive for purification, and an obsession with traditional artistic values. His work embodies our time and our America: It’s big, bright, shiny, colorful, crowd-pleasing, heat-seeking, impeccably produced, polished, popular, expensive, and extroverted—while also being abrasive, creepily sexualized, fussy, twisted, and, let’s face it, ditzy. He doesn’t go in for the savvy art-about-art gestures that occupy so many current artists. And his work retains the essential ingredient that, to my mind, is necessary to all great art: strangeness.

You can see this in his glorious phantasmagorical masterpiece, the large-scale topiary sculpture Puppy. This 40-foot visitor from another aesthetic dimension appeared in New York in the first year of the new millennium. It assumed the form of a West Highland white terrier constructed of stainless steel and 23 tons of soil, swathed in more than 70,000 flowers that were kept alive by an internal irrigation system.

[ click to read full article at NYMag.com ]

Posted on January 4, 2010 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art | | No Comments »

No mas.

from The Independent UK

Catalonia votes to ban bullfighting

Bloodthirsty ‘sport’ is dying a slow death across Spain, as younger audiences turn away

By Alasdair Fotheringham in Madrid

Already faced with a rapidly ageing fanbase at home and widespread incomprehension and rejection abroad, Spanish bullfighting has suffered another major setback after the Catalan parliament voted to outlaw it completely across the region.

The decision was so controversial that some deputies hunched over their desks to hide their fingers from photographers as they punched in their votes. After a narrow initial victory for the abolitionists – 67 in favour and 59 against – the law could become effective as soon as May.

Spain’s right-wing press was quick to attribute the result to Catalan separatists’ desire to dissociate themselves from an activity often considered as typically Spanish as tapas, siestas and flamenco. Unofficially, though, even before Friday’s decision, it seems bullfighting circles in the rest of Spain had given Catalonia up as a lost cause.

Over the past three decades, bullring after bullring has closed in major Catalan towns such as Gerona, Lloret de Mar and Tarragona, and in Barcelona only one of the original three rings remains. As far back as 1909, Barcelona hosted Spain’s first anti-bullfighting protest, and by 2004 more than 80 per cent of Catalans were opposed to the practice. “Banning the bulls in Catalonia would be like drawing up a death certificate for a long-dead corpse,” said Juan Ilian, a leading Spanish bullfighting correspondent for nearly five decades. “And even if they don’t, it’ll remain on its deathbed.”

[ click to continue reading at The Independent ]

Posted on January 4, 2010 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art | | No Comments »

Next Page »