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Posted on August 31, 2008 by Editor

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If you accidentally inject air into your vein, it is important to cut off your arm immediately so you don’t die.

from CBS13 via Drudge

Man Attempts To Amputate Own Arm In Denny’s

Modesto police say a local man who tried to cut off his own arm at a Denny’s restaurant thought he had injected air into one of his veins while shooting cocaine and would die unless he took drastic action.

The man, identified by police as Michael Lasiter, 33, rushed into the restaurant on Friday night and started stabbing himself in the right arm with a butter knife he grabbed from a customer’s table, police say. When that knife didn’t work, Lasiter allegedly took a butcher knife from the kitchen and dug it into his arm.

Lasiter, who was arrested and taken to a local hospital with severe cuts, told officers he thought he needed to amputate his arm to keep himself from dying from the cocaine injection, says Modesto police Sgt. Brian Findlen.

The Denny’s closed for the night after the incident.

[ click to read at ]

Posted on August 31, 2008 by Editor

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Dorman Lost and Found

from the LA Times

 Josh Dorman’s collaged paintings on display at the Craft and Folk Art Museum

His works are built of topographical maps and other elements.

By Leah Ollman, Special to The Times
August 30, 2008

Josh Dorman’s show at the Craft and Folk Art Museum opens with a warning, but not the usual sober sign you see at the entrance to certain exhibitions, aiming to shelter the unprepared from “inappropriate” content.

The notice, painted in sprightly letters on a plum-colored wall, alerts visitors that viewing Dorman’s collaged paintings may cause them to experience instability or dislocation. They might lose track of scale, gravity, time. “While clear answers may or may not reveal themselves,” the wall text declares, “the loose logic of a dream state will surely reveal much truth.”

Most of the work in “Within Four Miles: The World of Josh Dorman” is based on old topographical maps that the artist has cut out and collaged onto panels or canvas, drawn into and painted over. Typically, maps offer certitude and a clear sense of positional relationships. Dorman’s versions shed the anchors of rational order. They trade scientific method for poetic instinct. In finding a new use for old materials, Dorman has also resuscitated an obsolete definition of the word “map”: “to bewilder.”

[ click to read full article at ]

Posted on August 31, 2008 by Editor

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Mystery Tweet by Tweet

from the Bits Blog at NY Times

Introducing the Twiller

You might remember the novel in its earlier form; it had a cover, and many pages, forethought of plot, editors and agents weighing in, and, oh yes, it generally had sentences and punctuation. And, finally, some poor suckers had to take the time out of their busy days to actually read it.

Who has time for all those niceties? They’re so first half of 2008.

Introducing the Twiller.

Recently, a handful of creators (present company included) have scrapped pen and paper for mobile phone and keypad, and started texting their novels — in real time, just a few characters at a time. Our medium is Twitter, a service that lets you broadcast bursts of 140 characters at a time to be read by people who subscribe to get your updates.

In my case, I’ve for the last two months been using Twitter to write a real-time thriller. Hence: Twiller. (Cheap word play is what you get when you disintermediate, as they say, your agent and editor).

It’s about a man who wakes up in the mountains of Colorado, suffering from amnesia, with a haunting feeling he is a murderer. In possession of only a cell phone that lets him Twitter, he uses the phone to tell his story of self-discovery, 140 characters at a time. Think “Memento” on a mobile phone, with the occasional emoticon.

[ click to continue reading at ]

Posted on August 31, 2008 by Editor

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Bright Shiny Morning by James Frey

read by Trevor White and Lorelei King

For Raymond Chandler, 1940s Los Angeles was a big hard-boiled city ‘with no more personality than a paper cup’. James Frey dissects the same big hard-boiled city sixty years on through a relentless depiction of the hopes and shattered dreams of the many and various who move to the sprawling and diverse metropolis – a mesmerising and moving microcosm of the human condition.

Bringing to life (and to death) a selection of the multitude drawn to the city of angels, Frey populates his book with the lonely, the egotistical, the depraved and the lost in what for many is an illustration of the decay that prefigures the decline and fall of a once-great empire – the United States of America.

Trevor White and Lorelei King share the narration in a stunningly brilliant example of the art ofaudiobook performance, chorusing the ups and downs (mostly downs) of the characters in the novel.

Bright Shiny Morning is one of the outstanding publications of the year and will be top of my list for an audiobookaward.

* * * * *

© 2008 AudioBooksReview

[ click to visit ]

Posted on August 30, 2008 by Editor

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Slimes and Shrooms on Speed

Posted on August 29, 2008 by MJS

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Mixed Martial Smooching

Posted on August 28, 2008 by MJS

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James Frey Interview on AuthorScoop

Posted on August 28, 2008 by Editor

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‘This bull, has probably never seen a man on the ground before…’

from Prospect

Bullfighting is seen by many as cruel. But it is not merely a gaudy circus spectacle; at its best it is an art form. Can aesthetics justify the suffering of the animal?
Alexander Fiske-Harrison

The following events occurred on 19th April 2007, the second day of the Feria de Abril in Seville, in the Plaza de Toros de la Real Maestranza de Caballeria

The bull enters the ring at a trot, a fanfare of trumpets fading in the background. He seems tentative, his eyes sweeping the ring. 

His breeders have named him Borgoñés. He arrived in town the night before from the pastures of Victorino Martin’s estate in west-central Spain, 50 miles from the Portuguese border. Here, on this mix of pasture, scrub and woodland, Borgoñés learnt how to use his horns on other bulls and built his 86.5 stone bulk of muscle and bone. Now that he is alone for the first time in his life, the restraints on his more ferocious instincts have been removed.

Standing at the far edges of the circular ring, some 60 yards from the bull, are three banderilleros: companions and employees of the matador in lesser versions of his “suit of lights,” each with a large working cape in his hands, pink on one side, yellow on the other. They flap their capes from the safety of wooden hides in the barrier of the ring until Borgoñés charges across the ring, selecting his target. The bull does not stop until he hits the wall of the wooden hide, the man safely behind as Borgoñés jabs again and again at the wood, splinters flying. Borgoñés has shown that he is quick to take the lure, that he charges straight, without hesitation or pawing the ground, and that he favours his right horn. 

The matador walks into the ring, an unprepossessing 33-year-old man of neat figure and composed manner. Manuel Jesús Cid Salas, or “El Cid,” was born in a small town on the outskirts of Seville called Salteras. He flaps his cape and the bull turns, raising his great head with its wide-ranging horns so that the vast goring muscle, the morillo, bunches on its shoulders to a size outstripping any other breed of bull in the world. And then he charges. Unlike his cuadrilla, his group of companions, El Cid does not hide but stands his ground, his back ramrod straight, the cape held out to the right of his body in both hands, feet together, and waits for Borgoñés to come to him. Borgoñés is fresh, the distance is sizeable, and the bull nears 30 miles per hour as he reaches El Cid. El Cid moves the cape slightly, and Borgoñés takes the moving lure over the stationary man and thunders past, his horns low where the movement was, the cape sweeping over his face in a perfect veronica, named after the saint of the same name who wiped the face of Christ on his way to Golgotha. 

Borgoñés comes out the other side, frustrated that his horn met no opposition, and turns within two body lengths of passing El Cid, who has readjusted his own position to receive Borgoñés in another veronica, as neat as the first, the horns passing some 18 inches from El Cid’s face as Borgoñés leaps into the air when he reaches the cape, trying again to sate his rising fury in living flesh. The crowd, already impressed by the first veronica, shout an “olé!” for the second. Again Borgoñés passes the man by, again the crowd roars, again Borgoñés turns, again he passes, a foot away from the man this time, and he turns again, comes back and this time El Cid winds the cape around his own hips as Borgoñés follows it, winding the bull around his body in a media-veronica. For a brief moment, following the increasing display of risk and skill in the veronicas, we are given the sight of the man, stationary, in the midst of a circling fury, wearing this great beast like a belt, the crowd cheering, until Borgoñés, driven by his own momentum out of the charge, is drawn to a halt by attempting to turn in a distance shorter than his own body length. He is left panting, facing El Cid three yards away, who is standing with his back to the bull. El Cid receives his applause from the crowd and thus ends the section called suerte de capote, “luck of the cape,” the first half of the first act of the bullfight called the tercio de varas, the “third of the lances.” 

El Cid has now learned that Borgoñés is a bull truly in the prime of life, possessed of speed, strength, stamina and courage, but without the excessive aggression which would make him unpredictable and self-destructive. He has sufficient intelligence to follow the cape in these moves—which have been refined over 250 years—but not so much that he has learnt to distinguish man and cape early in the fight. This bull, after all, has probably never seen a man on the ground before, his herdsmen on the estate all being mounted on horseback. However, he is learning. At some point he will, inevitably, see the man.

[ click to continue reading at ]

Discuss this piece at First DraftsProspect‘s blog 

Posted on August 27, 2008 by Editor

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Turn Down The Sound at 0:42, And Just Watch The Horse And Rider

Posted on August 27, 2008 by Editor

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Bright InStyle Morning

from Catwalk Queen

Industry Interview:’s Maria Milano

maria milano in style pic.jpgThis week’s Industry Interview comes from Maria Milano, editor of

As editor of, I am involved in all aspects of the website’s production, from writing, styling and editing my team’s work to more strategic tasks including budget crunching and analysing traffic figures to make sure readers are getting more of what they want. Attending A-list parties and fashion shows are certainly a perk of the job, although the quick turn-around time of the web means they’re also very hard work.

Read on to find out what Maria’s trend predictions for A/W are and what she’s been wearing to death…

What was the most exciting/interesting thing that happened this week?
I’ve just returned from holiday so I’m just getting back into the swing of things, but I received a number of fashion show invitations for the upcoming London Fashion Week while I was away, so I’m excited to do some RSVP-ing.

Which trends do you think are going to be big in the next few months?
There is a serious Seventies revival happening, so expect to see lots of flared trousers, fringing and earth tones. Also boho returns, but in a much more grown-up, luxurious folkloric kind of way. Gucci and Topshop have really nailed this trend. Personally, I’m excited to see that lace is making a comeback, which will be perfect for Christmas party season!

What are you wearing to death at the moment?
My Gap peg-leg trousers – I snapped up two pairs the minute they hit the shops.

What was the last book you read?
I just finished James Frey’s Bright Shiny Morning. It’s about a group of characters living in LA, and I wanted to read it before my two-week holiday in California. I really recommend it, despite all the James Frey controversy!

Want to watch Shiny Fashion TV? Click here for the latest videos

Came straight to this page? Visit for loads more stories!

[ click to visit the Catwalk Queen ]

Posted on August 27, 2008 by Editor

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The Tortoise Always Wins, Perhaps, But The Hare Gets All The Nookie


Posted on August 26, 2008 by Editor

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The Olympic Events That Were Censored (A Shameless Pansy-ass Repost)

…of a Classic Steve Martin Short

Posted on August 26, 2008 by Editor

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The Tortoise Always Wins

from The Minneapolis Star-Tribune

Wheelie-popping motorcyclist tops 150 mph, pauses to use cell phone

August 25, 2008

A speeding teenage motorcyclist who popped a wheelie on a North Dakota interstate and then opened up the throttle to more than 150 miles per hour took enough care to pull over before using his cell phone.

By the time authorities caught up with the suspect and his 1000cc Honda CBR, he was sitting in a ditch in Minnesota talking on his cell phone and promptly was arrested, according to the North Dakota Highway Patrol.

The motorcyclist, from Fargo, N.D., waived extradition and was returned to North Dakota to face charges of reckless driving and fleeing police.

According to the patrol:

The wild and woolly 35-minute scene began shortly before 4 p.m. Sunday, when a state trooper spotted the motorcyclist on Interstate Hwy. 29 in Fargo “riding a wheelie past several other motorists.”


[ click to read full article at ]

Posted on August 25, 2008 by Editor

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Big Serra on The Big Screen

from The New York Times


Richard Serra: Thinking on Your Feet

Richard Serra: Thinking on Your Feet

Lorenz Kienzle

Richard Serra’s sculpture “Sequence,” on display in Germany.

Watching as Richard Serra Thinks Big and Does Big

Listening to Richard Serra talk about sculpture is like listening to Russell Crowe talk about acting: after a while you feel you’re either in the presence of genius or the victim of an elaborate con.

Fortunately for both, their work speaks for itself. “Richard Serra: Thinking on Your Feet” follows the construction and 2005 installation of “The Matter of Time,” the sculptor’s gigantic, eight-piece commission for the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, Spain. (No rush: it’s guaranteed to be there for at least another 22 years.) As static and unadorned as the sculptures themselves, the movie gazes with rapt attention as Mr. Serra expounds on his love of steel mills (“Like bakeries that have gone into alchemy”) and as he maps the complex layout of each piece with tape measure and paper templates. Perhaps he distrusts 3-D computer software?

Operating at the intersection of art and industrial engineering, Mr. Serra — whose father worked in shipyards and whose sculptures can suggest the inverted hulls of tankers — is an informative if unanimated guide. Leading us through the massive metal spirals and gracefully curved rectangles that seem to defy gravity, he explains the spatial philosophy behind each mind-boggling piece (“We start with the void”), but all I could think was how the Lilliputians must have felt when confronted by one of Gulliver’s discarded apple peels. The style may be minimalist, but the vision is gargantuan.

[ click to read full review at the NY Times ]

Posted on August 25, 2008 by Editor

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Audio Interview with James Frey by Lindesay Irvine

from the Guardian UK

James Frey, author of Bright Shiny Morning, talks to Lindesay Irvine

James Frey talks about being exposed for lying in a ‘memoir’, his defiant attitude to critics and his bid to write the Great American Novel



Posted on August 23, 2008 by Editor

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Celebrating Good Friday In The Philippines

Posted on August 22, 2008 by Editor

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East End Art Scene


ART IN THE HAMPTONS, by Judy Rey Wasserman


Long Island’s East End, known as the Hamptons, has long served as a summer retreat for New York City’s elite, but the region possesses an even more impressive history as home to some of the greatest American artists. In recent years, art dealers and collectors have followed suit, bringing with them galleries, art fairs and high-profile events. 

tr-jmb.jpgAccording the Parrish Art Museum, over 600 artists have lived, worked or vacationed on the East End of Long Island since the 1870’s. When asked about local artists she’s befriended over the years, Janet Lehr–who opened Vered Gallery with Vered thirty years ago–recites a veritable who’s-who of modern and contemporary American artists who have lived and worked in the Hamptons, including Krasner, Flavin, DeKooning, Warhol, Rauschenberg, Avery, Porter, Chamberlain, Bleckner and Fischl.


“If you are going to be in the art world, then you have to be out [in the Hamptons] in the summertime. It’s where events, shows and networking are happening–the place to be seen,” says Christina Mossaides Strassfield, curator of the Guild Hall Museum, showing a retrospective of Larry Rivers‘ early works through October.


Although artists began flocking to the area in the mid-1800’s, the gallery scene emerged much more recently–most visibly heating up in the past decade. While speculation about a potential market downturn persists, the burgeoning Hamptons scene shows no signs of slowing down. 


At the Fireplace Project in East Hampton, Edsel Williams’ recent curators have included Whitney Museum Board Member Beth Rudin DeWoody, Whitney Biennial curator Klaus Kertess and Creative Time President Anne Pasternak. According to Williams, whose gallery shows James Nares and Joe Zucker alongside heavyweights Damien Hirst and Dana Schutz, “We’re [in the Hamptons] because people really have a genuine interest in contemporary art and artists in all levels of their careers.” Sag Harbor’s Grenning Gallery recently celebrated their tenth anniversary with Ten Years , a retrospective exhibition featuring paintings from artists represented over the past decade.


Over the past year, the Hamptons’ gallery presence has continued to expand both locally and regionally. Hamptons mainstay Glenn Horowitz capitalized on his homegrown success and expanded his art and design bookshop with partner John McWhinnie by opening a Manhattan branch, John McWhinnie @ Glenn Horowitz Bookseller . McWhinnie and Horowitz most recently founded a publishing imprint to issue works by Richard Prince, Terry Richardson and Matthew Barney . According to Jeremy Sanders, Director of the original Hamptons space, Long Island’s East End is an ideal location for motivated new talents on both the art-making and dealing sides, providing “a more open playing field for people to make a splash in the art world.”

[ click to visit ]

Posted on August 21, 2008 by Editor

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Chinaski’s In Chicago

from Time Out Chicago via Shelf-Awareness

Time Out Chicago / Issue 182 : Aug 21–27, 2008

Just opened


Photo: Matt Taplinger

A GOOD PLACE TO GET LIT It’s not the bookstore the neighborhood badly needs, but Chinaski’s is nevertheless doing its part to bring a little literary culture to its strip of Damen Avenue. Having taken over the Whiskey Road space a few weeks ago, the owners refashioned the bar to be a haven for people who like beer and words in equal amounts. (To wit, the name of the bar is taken from an autobiographical Charles Bukowski character.) The stage in the back room will now be put to use at a weekly Wednesday-night literary open mike, a comedy open mike on Thursdays and other bookish events, and the sandwiches on the menu are named for maverick authors and poets. But fans of Whiskey Road need not go into mourning yet—one thing Chinaski’s has kept around is the Monday-night baskets of unlimited bacon. 1935 N Damen Ave at Homer St (773-252-8531).

— David Tamarkin

[ click to read at Time Out Chicago ]

Posted on August 21, 2008 by Editor

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The WeeWee Fireman & The Whiskey Sandwich

Posted on August 21, 2008 by Editor

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Win a signed copy of the first original, unedited manuscript of BRIGHT SHINY MORNING

from Waterstones UK

Competition PictureBright Shiny Morning is the stunning debut novel by James Frey – author of the controversial but universally adored memoir, A Million Little Pieces, and its follow up, My Friend Leonard.

It generally takes something pretty special to provoke so enthusiastic a response from our Fiction Editor: “Bright Shiny Morning is sure to resonate for many years to come as the first great LA novel… a modern masterpiece of American fiction.” Greg Eden, Waterstone’s Head Office.

Bright Shiny Morning has already been met by similar controversy to its predecessors, and to celebrate its arrival we’re offering a fantastic opportunity to win a signed copy of the first original, unedited manuscript, which is huge and has loads of extra sections that didn’t make the final edit. A runner-up will also win a signed first edition.

No purchase necessary. To be in with a chance of winning this truly unique prize, answer the question below and then enter your details.

Where does most of A Million Little Pieces take place? 

[ click to enter contest at Waterstones UK ]

Posted on August 20, 2008 by Editor

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from Folio

Interview to Unveil Redesign

Magazine says it is first to use ‘foil-and-ink’ cover treatment.

Interview, the Andy Warhol-founded magazine that has seen a number of editorial and staffing changes since its longtime editor-in-chief, Ingrid Sischy, left the magazine, is set to unveil a redesign next week.

The new-look Interview—hitting newsstands August 26—is bigger (13” X 10” from the current 12” X 10”) perfect bound and uses a heavier stock. Most notably, the September issue features a striking foil-and-ink cover—the first North American magazine to do so, the company says. It will carry 140 ad pages, a 10.8 percent increase over the September 2007 issue, which carried 128.

In June, Brant Publications laid off four employees[0] as part of a restructuring effort. Brant, which also publishes Magazine Antiques and Art in America, employs about 85 people.

Sischy, who had served as Interview editor-in-chief since 1990, left the magazine in late January after former Brant Publications co-owner Sandra Brant decided to sell her stake in the company.

Read the Story and Comment Now Online:

Posted on August 20, 2008 by Editor

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Top 10 Lit Sex

from The Guardian UK

Eli Gottlieb’s top 10 scenes from the battle of the sexes

Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor in the film of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Wedded bliss … Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Photograph: Kobal

Eli Gottlieb’s debut novel, The Boy Who Went Away, won the Rome prize and the McKitterick prize. He began his career as a poet in New York, worked for US Elle magazine, then lived in Italy for six years.

Now You See Him is his second novel, published after a 10-year gap. It is published by Serpent’s Tail, priced £9.99

Buy Now You See Him from the Guardian bookshop

1. The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber by Ernest Hemingway

From the last great phase of his writing life, and fully in command of his resources, the old boy here draws the clearest lines he ever has between the genders, and makes it all explicit: love is combat. The gorgeous descriptive prose doesn’t conceal the preposterous archness with which the main characters – a middle-aged couple at war while on safari in Africa – assault one another. But if their dialogue grates on our modern ears, we should remember that people, in Hemingway’s thrall, were actually – incredibly – talking to each other like this for a brief few years.

2. Herzog by Saul Bellow

Arguably his most perfectly achieved book (Auden told him it’s only fault was it was too well-written) it’s also a novel of paybacks for real-world slights. That may account for the prussic acid nastiness with which the adulterous lovers at the heart of the book are depicted. Bellow stands quite justly accused of writing somewhat one-dimensional female characters, but the dialogues between the power-mad bluestocking wife and the thwarted professor-husband, are fabulously, irresistibly mean-spirited.

3. Sylvia by Leonard Michaels

Michaels is finally getting his posthumous due as one of the prose masters of the 20th century. This thinly novelized memoir of living with a batty, argumentative, hyperneurotic and compulsively sexual Jewish coed in 1960s Manhattan has some of the great inter-gender firefights in contemporary literature. The book mesmerises like a bad accident. Not until you’re done, shaken and exhausted, do you realise how much art went into its making.

4. A Severed Head by Iris Murdoch

The characters natter on like Bloomsbury mannequins, but the scrupulousness with which Murdoch records every jot and tittle of a cuckold’s (and adulterer’s) inner life is astonishing. The narrator struggles for the length of the book in the coils of his ultra-understanding wife and her American shrink lover (and his sister, the significantly named Honor Klein), and Murdoch’s touch is light but scalpel-keen throughout.

[ click to continue reading list ]

Posted on August 20, 2008 by Editor

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from the UK Daily Mail

Bright Shiny Morning

By James Frey (John Murray, £11.99)

Last updated at 6:30 PM on 19th August 2008

Following his controversial memoir, A Million Little Pieces, James Frey takes as his subject nothing less than the city of Los Angeles.

James Frey

Bright Shiny Morning by James Frey

Central to his story is a small band of differently circumstanced characters. Esperanza is a Mexican maid who pretends to be an illegal immigrant to get work as a cleaner. Amberton Parker is a movie mega-star turned stalker; while Old Man Joe is a Chablis-drinking bum living on Venice Beach and dreaming of performing a heroic deed.

A huge supporting cast includes romantic golf caddies and would-be film actors, murderous bikers and down-at-heel denizens of trailer parks. Their stories, which can be touching, tragic and occasionally repellent, are interrupted by frequent digressions about the history and development of the city, its highway system, epidemic gang culture and the birth of its film industry.

Facts, both accurate and questionable, come thick and fast. Surprisingly, these don’t disturb the relentless rhythm of a sparkling narrative, which doesn’t shrink from exposing the city’s seamier side but ultimately is a huge celebration — Frey’s ode to L.A. Never mind that Little Pieces was said to be fiction posing as fact. With Bright Shiny Morning, Frey confirms that fiction – the real McCoy – is indeed his metier.

[ click to read at the Daily Mail ]

Posted on August 19, 2008 by Editor

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CULTURE by Ari Gold

Posted on August 19, 2008 by Editor

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Purple Portfolio, Purple Anthology at Glenn Horowitz Bookseller

from Glenn Horowitz Bookseller

Purple Portfolio, Purple Anthology - Book Release Party at Glenn Horowitz Bookseller

Please join us at a reception for the release of Purple Portfolio, Purple Anthology
Saturday, August 23rd from 6 to 8 pm

Glenn Horowitz Bookseller is pleased to announce the publication of Rizzoli’s Purple Anthology, a book celebrating the 15th anniversary of Purple Magazine, and an accompanying limited edition portfolio of photographs by five artists whose work has appeared in Purple Magazine: Juergen Teller, Richard Kern, Jack Pierson, Terry Richardson, and Richard Prince. The portfolio is comprised of five signed and numbered 16” x 20” photographic prints housed in a purple cloth clamshell box. The Purple Portfolio is a publication of JMc & GHB Editions and has been made in an edition of ten, each priced at $25,000.

Visit our website for more information
Click here for JMc & GHB Editions – Purple Portfolio


87 Newtown Lane
East Hampton, NY 11937
P: 631.324.5511

Art Gallery & Bookshop
Mon thru Sat: 10am to 5pm
Sun: 12pm to 4pm
Closed Wed & Thurs, Oct thru April


Posted on August 19, 2008 by Editor

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Art Deco L.A.

from The SpyGlass Blog at LA Magazine

Art Deco Walking Tours

deco large
From Josefa Corpuz:

Like the Los Angeles of our dreams, the art deco movement from the ’20s and ’30s is elegant, eclectic, glamorous, and forward-looking. The L.A. Conservancy (a nonprofit organization that works to preserve historic architecture in Los Angeles County – or, more succinctly, “We preserve history in the age of McMansions”) gives walking tours of downtown’s Art Deco gems.

deco mediumOur docent, David Peake, has been a Conservancy member for 12 years and a tour guide for six. He was converted to the cause one hot, smoggy day back in 1992, when the chords of a pipe organ and the “shabby glamour” of the unrestored Orpheum Theatre combined to produce a historical headrush. “I’m not a particularly religious man,” Peake said, “but I thought – this is my cathedral.”

Many art deco buildings downtown can inspire similar awe. The Title Guarantee & Trust Building has a stylized Gothic tower, complete with gargoyle-like waterspouts; the Eastern Columbia Building on Broadway is a blue-and-green “peacock” of a building that glints, gemlike, in the sun.

Two blocks down on Olive Street is the Oviatt Building, once a high-class haberdashery and the home of storeowner James Oviatt. Inspired by the 1925 Paris Exposition, where art deco began, Oviatt decorated his building with French textiles, French marble, French glass (over 30 tons of it), and even French sand for the “beach” on his penthouse sunbathing deck.

[ click to read full blog at ]

Posted on August 18, 2008 by Editor

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Anonymous Family Footage Meets John Wayne Gacy

a short film by Claire Carré

Posted on August 18, 2008 by Editor

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The Perils of Possession

from Make Travel Fair UK

6 Books To Make You Think Twice

Written by Stephen Chapman   Published on August 16, 2008 

Reading other people’s stories of drug smuggling and drug use can teach us valuable lessons the easy way, preventing us from making the same mistakes as them.

Photo by Stephen Chapman

Foreign Cells / Photo by Stephen Chapman

Britons are notorious for their alcohol fuelled trips abroad. Not content with binge drinking their way through the working week at home, they take their business abroad, patronising local tavernas, bars, clubs and often jail cells in the name of ‘having a good time’.

Alcohol abuse may be a monstrous problem amongst Britons abroad but so too are drugs.  Countless heartbreaking stories tell of young travellers caught smuggling drugs, using drugs, or possessing drugs.  The dangers and consequences involved for anyone partaking in such activities cannot be more heavily emphasised.  These six books all tell harrowing tales of how one bad choice can impact your entire lifetime.

  1. Forget You Had A Daughter by Sandra Gregory – Sandra Gregory agreed to smuggle an addict’s personal supply of heroin out of Thailand.  She didn’t make it onto the plane and was imprisoned in Bangkok’s Lard Yao prison.  She was eventually pardoned by the King of Thailand and released in 2000.
  2. The Damage Done by Warren Fellows – This book frequently appears in second-hand bookshops throughout Thailand. Warren Fellows was convicted of heroin trafficking in Thailand in 1978 and sentenced to life imprisonment, Thai style.
  3. Midnight Express by Billy Hayes – In 1970 Billy Hayes tried to smuggle four pounds of hashish from Istanbul to the U.S..  He was arrested at Istanbul airport and sentenced to thirty years in a Turkish jail.
  4. Mr. Nice by Howard Marks – At the height of his career Howard Marks was smuggling consignments of up to thirty tons of marijuana.  Following a worldwide operation by the Drug Enforcement Agency, he was busted and sentenced to twenty-five years in prison at Terre Haute Penitentiary, Indiana.  He was released in April 1995.
  5. Grass by Phil Sparrowhawk – Phil became involved in many large-scale cannabis deals in Thailand. He spent four years in two of Thailand’s most notorius jails before being extradited to the U.S., where he spent further time in a series of penitentiaries.
  6. A Million Little Pieces by James Frey – James Frey destroyed his body and mind almost beyond repair through drug use before entering a rehabilitation centre to try and reclaim his life.

The growing popularity of Colombia amongst backpackers will undoubtedly bring us more stories from those who fail to learn by other peoples’ mistakes.  Tourism has the ability to help transform Colombia, but with ‘the rise of the cocaine tourist‘ change may still be a long way off, and tourism may not be the vehicle to lift its cocaine curse.

[ click to read at Make Travel Fair blog ]

Posted on August 16, 2008 by Editor

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Some Moosebrain says “F#ck” and Canucks Cut Arts Funding

from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

Don’t blame us for Tory arts cuts says Toronto band

Last Updated: Tuesday, August 12, 2008 | 4:25 PM ET  CBC News

The bass player with Toronto indie group Holy F— says it’s not right that his band has been held up by the Conservative government as an example of misplaced arts funding.

The Tories cut the PromArt funding stream, which subsidizes international promotional tours of Canadian artists, with one spokesman saying the groups getting the money were not ones the government believes should be representing Canada.

Among the examples cited by Anne Howland, a spokesperson for Foreign Affairs Minister David Emerson — the Toronto indie band Holy F—, which got money in 2007 to help with a tour of the U.K.

“I guess more than anything it’s a little bit annoying that we’ve been made the scapegoat when you consider how much money we receive relative to the budget for the entire program,” Bass player Matt McQuaid said.

The program costs about $4.7 million a year and supports hundreds of different arts groups, from ballet and theatre companies performing overseas to author readings out of country.

“I think our funding comes in at something less than 0.1 per cent of the whole program,” McQuaid told the Q cultural affairs show on Tuesday.

“So all of these other larger groups who need money more than we do to travel abroad — like ballet and symphonies — we become the scapegoat for the cutting in their funding.”

“We’ve been nominated for a Juno award — that’s as mainstream as you get for popular music in Canada,” he said, pointing out that the band’s videos appear on MTV and MuchMusic. “That argument falls flat in our case and from what I’ve read … for a lot of other people as well.” 

Nontheless, Holy F— is on a tour of Germany right now, paying their own way as they have been able to all year — because their growing popularity and an album deal with a record label in the U.K.

[ click to read full article at ]

Posted on August 16, 2008 by Editor

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Serial Offender Peter Saul @ Seventy-four

from the New York Times 

Provocateur: The Peter Saul Manifesto

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. — Peter Saul, who turns 74 on Saturday, is a classic artist’s artist, one of our few important practicing history painters and a serial offender in violations of good taste. His career, while long, steady and admired, has never exceeded cult status. It’s an example of can’t-see-the-tree-for-the-forest visibility.

The influence of Mr. Saul’s paintings, with their cartoony figures, lurid-lush colors, splatter-film expressionism and contrarian take on topical subjects, pervades recent art. It has contributed mightily to major careers, like those of Carroll Dunham and Elizabeth Murray. And it has paved the way for the neo-Surrealist noodlings of countless student painters spilling out of art schools and straight into the arms of a ravenous market.

Mr. Saul’s art is not pretty, though it has many eye-catching pleasures. Nor is it polite. Indeed, the artist makes zealous efforts to ensure the opposite. In America today, he says in a catalog interview, “there’s a tremendous need to not be seen as racist, not seen as sexist. So I want to make sure I am seen as those things.”

He succeeds. What museum would be the right one for a painting of a knife-wielding O. J. Simpson strapped down for execution as a buxom blond angel points to a blood-stained glove and intones, “This is why you have to die”? Or for a picture of Christopher Columbus slaughtering New World natives who themselves hold platters of chopped human limbs in their arms?

What is the appropriate place for art that stirs together John Wayne Gacy and Angela Davis, Mickey Mouse and Ethel Rosenberg, Stalin and Willem de Kooning, Basil Wolverton and George W. Bush, then spikes the broth with prickly references to capitalism, Communism, homophobia, feminism, Black Power, racism, pedophilia and art-world politics and — last but not least — to the aging, decaying, self-lacerating artist himself?

[ click to continue reading @ ]

Posted on August 16, 2008 by Editor

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Financial Times Q&A with James Frey

from the Financial Times

James Frey

By Anna Metcalfe

Published: August 16 2008 03:00 | Last updated: August 16 2008 03:00


James Frey is notorious for having embellished parts of his 2003 memoir, A Million Little Pieces. Promoted as a true tale of his time at a drug and alcohol rehabilitation clinic, the book became a New York Times bestseller. Frey published a second memoir, My Friend Leonard, in 2005. Born in 1969 in Cleveland, Ohio, he now lives in New York with his wife and daughter.

What book changed your life?

Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller. The first time I read it I couldn’t believe someone had written it. It’s offensive and pure and clear.

Who are your literary heroes?

Baudelaire, Céline, Kerouac, Brett Easton Ellis, Henry Miller.

What is the last thing you read that made you laugh out loud?

Something written by Perez Hilton, an American blogger.

At what hour of the day does inspiration strike?

I work from 9am until 5pm. “Inspiration is for amateurs. I just get to work,” said Chuck Close. I have a blue-collar, working-class approach to what I do.

Where do you write best? My office in my apartment in New York. I close the door but I’m interrupted a lot by my wife, my kid and phone calls. There are three things that writers love: praise, money and interruptions.

How many words do you write a day?

Two to three pages of finished, polished, publishable work.

How many rejections did your first book receive?

17 publishers said no before one said yes.

What book would you give to someone from another era, to paint a picture of the 21st century?

My book Bright Shiny Morning . I think Los Angeles is a city that embodies contemporary US society. It’s segmented and divided, rich and poor. It’s the American dream in its purest form, whether you’re there searching for a roof over your head or for international stardom.

What do you do to celebrate finishing a book?

Nothing. Recently I finished late at night, by myself. I took a deep breath, had a good laugh and went to sleep.

When do you feel most free?

When I hear my daughter say something she’s never said before.

Who would you choose to play you in a film about your life?

I don’t ever want one to be made.

What would you go back and change?

Nothing. I’m okay with everything that’s happened in my life.

What would a novel about your life be called?

It Was a Big F***ing Mess but He Tried Really Hard and He Loved His Family .

Interview by Anna Metcalfe.

James Frey’s latest novel is ‘Bright Shiny Morning’ (HarperCollins)

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2008

[ click to read interview at Financial Times ]

Posted on August 16, 2008 by Editor

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Louis Owens and John Steinbeck

from The Village Voice

Louis Owens and John Steinbeck’s Ghosts

A mystery solved with the help of a professor and a mobster’s musician

By Tony Ortega

Six years ago this summer, the Native American novelist Louis Owens drove his pickup truck to Albuquerque’s airport and parked.

It had been some years since I’d spent much time with him. We’d stopped sending letters and e-mails. I don’t know how long he’d been depressed or why. Recognition for his novels was growing—he won the American Book Award in 1997—but he never seemed entirely satisfied with them. He was also somewhat restless about the universities where he taught, and had moved away from the University of California at Santa Cruz, where I’d met him, after amassing a following of fanatically admiring students. In 2002, he was splitting time between his job at UC Davis and a home in New Mexico, where he had once taught and where his wife and daughters lived. Was that it? Was it loneliness? Or the sense of failure that seemed to dog him, even as his fame was growing? One of his oldest friends has written that Louis was suffering from the effects of antidepressants at the same time that he was taking painkillers for a knee injury that had seriously curtailed his ability to enjoy the outdoors, which had been central to his life. A drug cocktail exacerbating a growing depression over advancing age and inevitable decrepitude? Perhaps that was it.

I really don’t know what was in his mind as Louis pulled out a pistol there in his pickup truck, aimed it at his chest, and pulled the trigger.

He died at a hospital the next day. He had just turned 54.

I was shocked and angry when I heard about it from another former student…. Louis had challenged me to investigate a question that he’d wondered about for a long time. Why, he asked, had Steinbeck turned the mostly Mexican workers of the Great Cotton Strike of 1933 into a bunch of white Okies in his strike novel, In Dubious Battle?

[ click to continue reading at ]

Posted on August 16, 2008 by Editor

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