Mother Berenstain Gone

from MediaBistro’s GalleyCat

Jan Berenstain Has Died

By Jason Boog on February 27, 2012 5:07 PM

Jan Berenstain, one half of the couple that created The Berenstain Bears book series, passed away this weekend.

The series began in 1963 with The Big Honey Hunt. This GalleyCat editor grew up reading the series and now loves reading Bears in the Night with his daughter. What is your favorite Berenstain Bears book?

In a Scholastic interview, Berenstain shared the story of how she created the series with her husband Stan Berenstain. Both are pictured above…

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There’s A Moon Over Terrywood Tonight

from the NY Daily News

Funky moon over Hollywood

Terry Richardson’s fete Friday night was the only Oscar weekend party we know of where a guest dropped his pants and mooned the red carpet, or where the host signed a fan’s breasts.


The opening of the fashion photographer’s solo art exhibition, “Terrywood,” brought out celebs, rappers, rockers, porn stars, models, gallerists and everyone in between. James Franco showed up in a trucker hat while Lindsay Lohan worked an “Alice in Wonderland”-on-Mars look in a pale green frock with purple squiggles. Paz de la Huerta and hotelier Vikram Chatwal mugged for cameras, and Chatwal hoisted the “Boardwalk Empire” star into his arms between smooches.

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“Heavyset” and naked except for her shoes

from sfist

Photo: Large Naked Woman Stomps On Car In Noe Valley

A woman described as “heavyset” and naked except for her shoes was pulled off the J-Church line on Tuesday morning.


While cops and medical personnel were evaluating her near the intersection of 24th and Church in Noe Valley, she threw off a blanket that had been wrapped around her, walked up on the hood of one man’s car, and stomped on his windshield. The man, John Knight, described the crazed woman as about 250 pounds, and he had a lot of explaining to do to his insurance company.

“They asked if the car was on the side of a street or in a parking lot,” says Knight. “I told them, ‘No, a naked woman just got on my hood and stomped on it.’ They didn’t really know what to make of it.”

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Radical Publishing Pioneer Barney Rosset Gone

from The New York Times

The Man Who Made Publishing a High-Wire Act

Casey Kelbaugh for The New York Times

In the mostly tweedy, genteel world of book publishing in the 1960s and ’70s, Barney Rosset, who died on Tuesday at 89, was a bit of an outlaw: a raffish, unconventional figure who loved breaking the rules and challenging the conventions. He published the books that nobody else would, because they were too risqué or too avant-garde (often that meant the same thing) or too unprofitable, and his imprint, Grove Press, quickly became a badge of coolness and sophistication.

If you were a literary young man at the time and wanted to impress the kind of soulful-eyed girl who wore black turtlenecks and smoked Gauloises, there was no better way than to have a stack of Grove books in your dorm room: some Beckett, Burroughs, Robbe-Grillet, Céline. You didn’t necessarily have to have read them. They just had to be visible.

Mr. Rosset lived to take chances — traditional publishing would have bored him — and the more unknown a writer was, the more he liked him.

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from stupidDOPE

Terry Richardson – OHWOW “Terrywood” Exhibition

Terry Richardson ‘Terrywood’ Exhibition at OHWOW Los Angeles 0 500x370 Terry Richardson   OHWOW “Terrywood” Exhibition

OHWOW is a gallery, publisher, and creative community with gallery and retail locations in New York CityLos Angeles and Miami. The Los Angeles OHWOW gallery started out as a laundromat and now, has become a niche for the artistic and art patrons in the area.  Edgy pop fashion photographer Terry Richardson was born in NYC but was raised in Hollywood, California.  Coming in February 2012, Richardson will show tribute to the location with his “Terrywood” Exhibit.

We’re not privy as to what the exhibit will display on its February debut, but if Terry’s previous fashion photos are any indication the exhibition that is dedicated to Hollywood life should be one to see. Terrywood will show at the OHWOW gallery from February 24-March 31, 2012. OHWOW is located at 937 N. La Cienega Blvd – Los Angeles, CA 90069.

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The Scream On The Block

from the NYT’s Arts Beat

‘The Scream’ Heads for the Auction Block


It has adorned everything from mugs and t-shirts to key chains, anti-George Bush campaign buttons, inflatable dolls and iPad covers. Now a version of Edvard Munch’s celebrated painting “The Scream’’ will be up for sale at Sotheby’s in New York on May 2nd, the auction house announced on Tuesday morning. Officials there estimate it could bring more than $80 million.

Munch made four versions of the composition, which has become the embodiment of angst and existential dread. Three are in Norwegian museums and this one, pastel on board, from 1895, is the only “Scream” still in private hands. It is being sold by Petter Olsen, a Norwegian businessman and shipping heir whose father, Thomas, was a friend, neighbor and patron of the artist.

Besides being one of the most recognizable images in art history, “The Scream’’ is also one of the most often stolen. Versions of it have been taken twice, first in 1994, when two thieves entered the National Gallery of Norway and fled with an 1893 “Scream” (it was recovered unharmed later that year), and then in 2004, when masked gunmen stole the 1910 version as well as Munch’s “Madonna” from the Munch Museum, also in Oslo (both works were recovered two years later).

[ click to read full article at the New York Times ]

No Bareback! No Peace!

from the Los Angeles Times

Porn industry may boogie out of L.A. over condom law

Producers weigh taking legal action or moving out of town when a Los Angeles measure requiring performers to wear condoms takes effect March 5.

The AIDS Healthcare Foundation demonstrates last February near the L.A. site of an adult film awards show.(Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

By Rong-Gong Lin II, Los Angeles Times – February 21, 2012

For decades, the nation’s pornographic film industry found a happy, largely accepting home in Los Angeles.

Producers operated lucrative businesses in anonymous office parks in the San Fernando Valley. Available in the city were a steady supply of actors and film production talent as well as opulent mansions that often served as theatrical backdrops. By one estimate, at least 5% of on-location shoots were for adult films.

But this coexistence has been suddenly shaken by sweeping health regulations that, starting March 5, will require porn performers to wear condoms while on location.

It’s a debate that pits the desire to protect the health of porn actors against the freedom to make films that audiences want to see.

[ click to read full article at ]

Berkeley Loses 22-foot Long Redwood Carving From The Harlem Renaissance – Michael Jackson’s Chimp Bubbles Involved

from the LA Times

Berkeley’s Artwork Loss Is a Museum’s Gain

Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens


BERKELEY, Calif. — Everybody misplaces something sometime. But it is not easy for the University of California, Berkeley, to explain how it lost a 22-foot-long carved panel by a celebrated African-American sculptor, or how, three years ago, it mistakenly sold this work, valued at more than a million dollars, for $150 plus tax.

The university’s embarrassing loss eventually enabled the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens, a large museum and research center in San Marino, Calif., to acquire its first major work by an African-American artist.

The circuitous tale of Sargent Johnson’s huge redwood relief involves error, chance and a partnership of unlikely art-world figures, including an art and furniture dealer who stumbled upon the panels at the university’s surplus store; an antiques dealer who was on a first-name basis with Michael Jackson and his chimp Bubbles; and a lawyer whose hobby is buying lighthouses and who convinced the government that even though the art was commissioned bythe Works Progress Administration, it could still be sold publicly.

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Mouthwatering Roach Coaches

from The Arizona Republic

Yuma taco trucks: Mouthwatering specialties, from carne asada to seafood

by Roger Naylor

The idea sounded a little crazy when I explained it to my wife. I spent a weekend doing a taco-truck crawl through the streets of Yuma, and it proved to be a movable, memorable feast.

Though Yuma has plenty of excellent traditional restaurants, a whole other dining scene has emerged on the roadside. A fleet of food trucks serves delicious, authentic foods at bargain prices. Most of the trucks, like mobile homes, are only technically vehicles. Many have rested in the same spots for years, some morphing into skeletons of restaurants with makeshift walls and roofs. Others are set up in parking lots and on vacant corners near sprawling farm fields to cater to the thousands of seasonal workers.

While “taco truck” is convenient shorthand for these restaurants on wheels, the menus often are much more far-ranging, running the gamut from ceviche to stingray soup to juicy burgers to bacon-wrapped hot dogs.

“There’s an authenticity to this food. For the farmworkers, this is a little taste of home,” says Ed from Yuma, who works at Arizona Western College. “And for the rest of us, these trucks are like crossing the border without actually crossing the border.”

Several borders, in fact. Not only are various regions of Mexico represented, but some trucks specialize in dishes from Guatemala and El Salvador as well. Before my visit to Yuma, I had never heard of a pupusa. Now I want to eat one every day for the rest of my life.

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Stonehenge Built By Shroomheads Presaging Pink Floyd

from COSMOS Magazine

Sound illusions inspired Stonehenge

by Kerry Sheridan – Agence France-Presse

VANCOUVER: Ancient legends of thunder gods can be explained today with the modern science of sound waves, say scientist who believes an auditory illusion inspired the creation of Stonehenge.

The famous, 5,000 year-old stone circle in Britain is one of the best-known world heritage sites and many have guessed at the reasons for its existence, from a prehistoric observatory to sun temple to sacred healing ground.

Steven Waller, an independent scientist who has studied cave art for 20 years and cultivates a particular interest in the sounds of ancient sites, thinks that a sound wave effect was so mysterious back then that it compelled people to erect Stonehenge.

The phenomenon Waller referred to is known as acoustic interference. It happens when two sources of sound, such as two bagpipers, are playing the same note at the same time from different places in a field.

As a listener passes, the sound waves, rather than aligning to make the noise louder as one might expect, actually bounce off each other to create a wavering, muffling effect. “You hear the sound modulating between and loud and quiet,” Waller said at the American Association for the Advancement of Science conference in Vancouver.

“That would have been a very mysterious phenomenon, totally inexplicable.

[ click to read full article at COSMOS ]


from the Santa Cruz Sentinel

Pam Houston, the author of the new novel ‘Contents May Have Shifted’ brazenly challenges the lines between fiction and non-fiction


You might think that the name a novelist gives her protagonist is no big deal. Sure it would be nice if it were memorable and evoked the character’s personality in some tangible way, like “Ebenezer Scrooge.”

But the names a writer chooses aren’t going to call into question the basic assumptions of her work … or are they?

Novelist Pam Houston is now at the center of a debate about the very essence of literature thanks to her book “Contents May Have Shifted” and, specifically, about its heroine’s first name.

That name? Pam … as in Pam Houston.

“I could have just called her Melinda,’ which is what I was planning to do, and not have gotten into so much trouble,” said Houston, the author of the best-selling “Cowboys Are My Weakness.” “But I was driving over a mountain pass in the snow, Wilco playing loud on the radio and I just thought, What am I afraid of?’ ”

But by naming her main character after herself, Houston is picking a fight with those in the literary world to whom the distinctions between fiction and memoir are very important.

“I’ve been meeting people on this current book tour,” said the author, who heads up the creative writing program at UC Davis, “and some of them are saying, I was so disappointed. I wanted to settle in with you.'”

Houston is challenging the notion that there are these two distinct worlds — fiction and nonfiction — that don’t touch or overlap, and that a writer belongs comfortably in one or the other, but not both. She said that “Contents” is largely autobiographical, but that she took liberties with the factual truth. She playfully even suggests a number as a percentage of what in her book is “true.” It’s 82.

“I can certainly see how it’s very important in some contexts to stand up and say, Hey, I’m a real person and this thing really happened to me,’ if you’re a survivor of the genocide in Rwanda, for example. But most of us are relying on what our subjective idea of what we believe to be true is. Most of us are in the middle.”

Ironically, James Frey, the author of the memoir “A Million Little Pieces” who found himself in the middle of a huge Oprah-fueled literary scandal when it was revealed that some parts of the book were fictionalized, was once a student of Houston’s. She remembered being in Sydney, Australia, when the Frey story, the touchstone of the whole memoir/fiction debate, broke and was shocked to see the controversy reported in the local newspaper. “My God, why was the whole world so interested in this?” she said.

[ click to read full article at the ]

[ click to purchase Pam Houston’s ‘Contents May Have Shifted’ ]


from THE AWL

An Interview with Hanksy


Hanksy is a street artist who puts Tom Hanks’ face on copies of Banksy’s art. His first show, which just closed at the Krause Gallery on the Lower East Side, and where the menu offered boxes of chocolates and Dr. Pepper, nearly sold out completely, according to the dealer. “I think what made it such a success is the genuine honesty in it,” gallery owner Ben Krause told me. “Hanksy really is a huge Tom Hanks fan and a huge Banksy fan.”

Images of Hanksy’s pieces, pasted and sprayed over walls in both New York and Chicago, gained momentum over corners of the internet, not just those dedicated to documenting the pursuits of street artists and taggers alike, but also fans of a really great, really simple joke. After some sleuthing and one of the more awkward cold e-mails I’ve ever written, I tracked the man down and spoke with him.

EA: How are you known and what are you known for?

[ click to continue reading at THE AWL ]

Die Antwoord’s of Wisdom

from SPIN Magazine

Die Antwoord’s Totally Insane Words of Wisdom

By David Marchese

Ninja: The response to Die Antwoord was a total mind-fuck. It was like being on an acid trip. I’d been rapping for 20 years and all of a sudden there was overload. It made no sense. You can make your confusion work for you. You have to drive into it. When you see that people are paying attention, then you have to push that motherfucker into the red.

Yo-Landi: People are flying you places in business class. Everyone wants to take pictures of you and find out information about you. It’s a freak-out. But the more you push boundaries, the more you get ahead.

Ninja: It doesn’t matter why people like you. It just matters that you do something with it.

Yo-Landi: It’s weird how people were always asking us, “Are you real? Are you joking?” That seems like something Americans care about a lot. You can’t answer the question “Are you real?” If we’re anything, we’re documentary fiction.

Ninja: The fucking God-given gift of artists is to create stuff from nothing. Die Antwoord makes hyperreality. We create exaggerated experience. This American reporter was telling us that reality TV makes Americans care about if things are real or not. But you watch reality TV and you get a dull feeling in your balls. You watch us and it’s thrilling. There’s a sweet analogy for how musicians can think about this: People are unconscious and you have to use your art as a shock machine to wake them up. Some people are too far gone. They’ll just keep asking, “Is it real? Is it real?” That’s dwanky. That’s a word we have in South Africa, “dwanky.” It’s like lame. “Is it real?” Dwanky. You have to be futuristic and carry on. You gotta be a good guide to help people get away from dull experience. Don’t be rude to the people who don’t get it. It’s better to be nice to those retards.

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TG&M: Fiction or non-fiction: Does it matter any more?

from The Globe And Mail


Fiction or non-fiction: Does it matter any more?

Published Wednesday, Feb. 01, 2012 3:46PM EST

Author James Frey appears on The biggest topic in literature these days – aside from the endless e-book debate – is, once again, the difference between fiction and non-fiction.

We dissected this issue in 2006, after James Frey’s bestselling memoir of addiction turned out to be untrue. At the time, many people – particularly artists – argued that there was no reason to dismiss a powerful narrative simply because it was labelled non-fiction. They thought we would have enjoyed it just as much if we had known we were reading a novel.

The Frey incident actually caused a backlash, I think, against journalistic accuracy among creative writers. It is so cool to say now that story is all and truth is irrelevant. I have heard of a university teacher of “non-fiction” encouraging students to make stuff up in their memoirs. (The fact that memoir-writing is now a common graduate-level university course is also evidence of the rise of this issue.)

Now, the focus of the discussion has turned the other way, not to things that claim to be true, but to things that claim to be art.

[ click to continue reading at The Globe And Mail ]

Flipping The Bird

from Slate

Cluck You – Why do we call giving someone the finger “flipping the bird”?


MIA during Super Bowl halftime
Photo by Christopher Polk.

Madonna was upstaged at her own Super Bowl halftime show Sunday when guest performer M.I.A. extended her middle finger at the camera. When did we start calling this gesture “flipping the bird?”

The obscene gesture itself is far older than that, though. As many writers have pointed out, the middle finger became a symbol of the penis at least 2,500 years ago. In Aristophanes’ 423 B.C.E. play The Clouds, the character Strepsiades jokes that when he was a boy he kept time by tapping his phallus rather than his middle finger. If showing someone the middle finger wasn’t already a common insult at that time, it became one within the next century. The Greek philosopher Diogenes showed his middle finger as a sign of disrespect to the orator Demosthenes in the fourth century B.C.E. (The ancient Greeks also associated the penis with birds, although there’s no evidence that they ever referred to the middle finger itself as a bird or showing it to someone as “flipping the bird.”) The ancient Romans called the middle finger digitus impudicus, or the impudent finger. In a show of superiority, eccentric Roman Emperor Caligula made senators kneel and kiss his middle finger, which was understood to represent his phallus. The middle finger gesture fell out of favor during the Middle Ages, likely because the Catholic Church disapproved of its sexual suggestiveness. The earliest known use of the bird in the New World didn’t come until 1886, when a pitcher for the Boston Beaneaters flashed his middle finger in a team photo.’

In the 1960s. Birds have a long association with taunting. English audiences have expressed their dissatisfaction by hooting like owls or hissing like threatened geese for more than 700 years. In the final speech of Troilus and Cressida, Pandarus confesses that “my fear is this, some galled goose of Winchester would hiss.” The practice was so common by the early 19thcentury that Englishmen were using goose as a verb. By the middle of that century, goose generalized to bird, but it was still limited to vocal jeering. The phrase “flip the bird,” referring specifically to the one-fingered salute, arose in the 1960s.

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