Friday, August 28, 2009

A series of meaningless posts

I've been in race the deadline mode for awhile... too long, which means i haven't been posting about anything except show topics for way too long. I think my readership here has gone down to... what - five of you now? LOL! Ooops.

Not that is was ever as large as the old blogs. But i don't think i'll ever have the time to post daily like i used to and that is definitely what it takes to hold a readership. Unless you're Riffy - then you just write hot cliffhangers and everyone is hooked for life. If you haven't read his latest... By far one of the hottest pieces of erotic writing i've read online in a long time. There was this one email i got...ermmm... nevermind - too much personal sharing there. heh.

Anyhoo - point being that i'm going to attempt to toss a few personal posts up on a more regular basis. See, i have ongoing conversations with y'all ... but they just never make it from my head to the blog. :P

Gym Dork
One of the reasons i like going to the gym at the ungodly hour of 5/5:30 in the morning is that I have a 50/50 chance of getting the cardio room to myself. That means the treadmill, ipod and I can jam while I'm running and no one sees me doing a funky slam dance run to the Ramones. My coordination tends to be less than stellar so I have no doubt that i look like someone having a seizure when I'm doing a little bootie shaking while also trying to run uphill. I do get points for remembering not to sing out loud to the ipod. It is a herculean effort to restrain myself at times.

This morning was one of those wonderful times when there was only one other person in the gym and he was busy on the weights. So I got to cut loose and kickass with KT Tunstall, The Script, The Violent Femmes. I was about half way through the work out and throwing my body all over the place while Sheena Punk Rocked, when I opened my eyes and saw a dude had just walked into the room and was gaping at me. I did a hip twist into slow gear, trying to look all cool -hello, just runnng here... nothing to see - but ended up wrenching my hip. A little too much twist out of spazville.

So everytime i walk today, my hip yells at me that I'm a dork.
I just nod. Yup.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Men are strange

I've had an ongoing argument/discussion with a friend for ages now that it is inconceivable that men find smelly, sweaty, red-faced women, who are working out or have just finished working out, attractive.

Unless the woman is a gym princess, one of those despicable creatures that can work out and not break a sweat, we really are NOT at our best after a hard workout. Hair tangled, sweat dripping, breath heaving and in my case - face as red as my hair (fair skin sucks sometimes) - i can't see where the appeal would be. Seriously.

However, I'm going to have to throw my hands up in the air and concede defeat in the argument. This morning after leaving the gym, some dude in a truck pulled along side me and started honking his horn. Glancing over at him, I saw he was waving a cellphone. Being a total 'tard, my first thought was that i had lost my cellphone. Then i realized that was stupid, my phone was in my purse and how would he have known if i had lost it. I plead caffeine depravation for my idiotic thought processes in the mornings. So then i thought maybe there was something wrong with my car, so i slowed down so i could hear what he was yelling. Cruising side by side we had this conversation through our car windows:

Him -"Phone..."
Me - "WHAT?"
Him - "Phone..."
Me - "WHAT? I can't hear you!"
Him - "Phone number - give me your phone number!"
Me - "WHAT?!? Are you for real?"
Him - "Give me your number..."
Me (cracking up) - "Sorry darlin, not gonna happen."

He didn't look too happy about that... maybe he thought i was laughing at him and not at the absurdity of the situation. He started to follow me so i hit the gas and pulled Kota ninja evasive maneuvers in traffic until i lost him. Took a little longer to get home than normal. But hello - i wasn't gonna lead some strange man to my doorstep.

So i concede the point. Stinky, sweaty, red-faced, ratty-haired women are freakishly hot to some men. I can't imagine why.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

DAMage Report - Freedom of Choice Goes BOTH Ways

Art 'tards. Sometimes artists and galleries do more damage to public perceptions about art than
any narrow-minded, repressed, censorship-loving weenie out there.

The freedom to create and exhibit art without censorship comes with the responsiblity of giving those
who may not wish to see controversial or explicit art the freedom to walk away unscathed. Particularly in public
venues where children may see visuals that are age inappropriate.

We're not talking abstracted nude sculptures. We're talking semen spewing cowboys and blowup photographs of skanky celebrity vagina.
Forget the kids - I've seen enough pictures online of that particular poontang to last me a life time.

Mr. Bernstein points out in his NY Times article "It’s O.K. if [the gallery] wants to show vulvas in extreme close-up. (I don’t believe in censorship.) What’s not O.K. is that the only warning to parents was a tiny sign at the entrance to the gallery. The wording was clear — “These galleries contain graphic imagery. Parent/adult discretion is advised” — but the size and style of the sign made it unlikely that any harried parent would even notice it.

Points to the gallery for posting a warning. Demerits for not posting something legible/noticable. I understand there may be gallery esthetics involved but come on... by posting warning so they don't serve their function, the gallery ended up failing to uphold their responsibility to their visitors. Which was give them a CHOICE.

Another museum Mr. Bernstein took his son to could almost be accused of false advertising or at the very least misrepresentative marketing.
"A show by Takashi Murakami at the Brooklyn Museum in 2008 was a major draw for parents and kids. The first piece on display, a teaser in the museum’s lobby, was a playful sculpture of cartoonlike characters, which made my sons want to see more. So it came as a shock when, entering the main exhibition space, we were greeted by a masturbating cowboy spinning a lasso of his semen. There was no warning, unless you counted the sign urging parents and teachers to preview exhibitions before bringing children to see them. (Great advice, but hardly practical.)"

That kind of thing chaps my ass as much as seeing a sale circular for red boots, only to find out the store doesn't carry any.

The general public will continue to view (or not view as the case may be if they are given a damn choice) contemporary art as shocking, aggressive, and exploitive, reacting with automatic negativity towards subjects they don't understand and don't want to - if galleries, museums, and artists neglect to be sensative to viewer issues. Come on. How hard it is to post a warning and include relevant details in news stories? A writeup I read on the Murakami exhibit described the Lonesome Cowboy as "life-size but hardly lifelike sculptures of anime-manga derivation: “Hiropon,” a busty woman, and “My Lonesome Cowboy,” her well-endowed male consort. Both are mostly naked, with streams of bodily fluids spewing from various body parts." Is semen a no-no word in the media?

Like Mr. Bernstein, I don't believe in censorship of the arts. I believe if an artist wants to make it, a gallery wants to show it and a person wants to see it and possibly buy it - that is completely and absolutely their right and no one should take it from any of them. But I also defend the rights of the parent who doesn't want to expose their child to sexually explicit art.

Same goes for any person out there who doesn't want to walk into a gallery and be speared in the eye by the world's most exposed vulva of all time.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

DAMage Report - Two-Faced Standards

A piece of art depicting Obama in Joker-face has people foaming at the mouth, some in outraged opposition to it and others in heated defense. Accusations of racism, double standards, hypocrisy and plain old fashioned bad taste are flying all over the place. Christian Moore says in his article in the Examiner, "Many media and cultural elites have suggested the image is rooted in “hate.” I find this interesting given that a similar image of President Bush as The Joker ran in Vanity Fair. ...There is an unwritten understanding that artists are free to comment, critique and sometimes be harsh in their assessments, but the public expects artists to be fair in their targeting of this criticism."

The First Amendment is critical to artists. Without the ability to " creatively voice" their views, ideas, thoughts - they are left without a vehicle for that creativity. Of course there are lines that shouldn't be crossed. But slamming down the race card everytime someone looks cross-eyed at the president is idiotic. If Hillary had made it to the Presidency, no doubt there would have been a piece created with her face under the Joker makeup. I would have drawn worse myself. And that is my RIGHT.

An article in the LA Times states "At one extreme, the poster suggests that Obama is a psychopath who is completely out of control and running afoul of the law -- which he clearly is not. For a cartoon or parody to work, it must have at least one toe placed firmly in the realm of reality -- a credible starting point from which to launch into the free-for-all ether of comedy. ...The image of President Obama in Heath Ledger Joker-face is especially disturbing because it is completely devoid of context -- literary, political or otherwise."

I hate to state the obvious, but not every likes Obama. Oh, stop your gasping. It's true.

I'm pretty sure there is an entire political party that visualizes him as the bad guy on a daily basis. They may even draw devil horns and a villain moustache on his picture and throw darts at it. On top of that, a number of former Obama advocates have found themselves more than a little disappointed in several of his actions since he took office. No doubt some of those unhappy people are artists. Some might even be political satirists - you know - those artists that LOOK for political controversy so they can poke fun at it. Can political satire and art cross the line and tread on PC toes - of course and on a regular basis. Does that make it bad or intolerable? Of course not.

Art can be offensive. Different people will find different things offensive. Personally, I find paintings of golf courses extremely offensive, tacky, and unendurable... but that's just me.

Additional References:

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

DAMage Report research

Two possible topic for tomorrow - can't make up my mind yet which to pursue.

Political Satire, art, double standards and waving the racism flag:

Arts budget cuts, museums struggling to stay open and museum directors net millions:

Monday, August 10, 2009

Sunday, August 9, 2009

home again. yay!

this was a quickie snapshot with my small coolpix camera... can't wait to see the photos i took with the pro camera. Santa Fe was gorgeous and i can't wait to go back.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Heading out of town

Catch y'all when i get back - hopefully with some gorgeous pictures of the desert to share! :D

DAMage Report - Public Nudity... in art

A stylized sculpture depicting a nude family is causing an uproar in Florida. The sculpture depicts a father with a mother carrying an infant and holding an older child by the hand. It's a representation of Jewish families who fled Ethiopia in 1991 under a covert Israeli military operation called Operation Solomon. The artist, Itzik Asher said it was important to depict the family nude."It's more about this family's spiritual journey," he said. "It's not about Gucci or what kind of car you have, but about who you are. That's why my figures walk naked, but they are not naked in what they carry."

The sculpture can be seen from a nearby Elementary School and reports say some of the parents want the sculpture moved. It is interesting to note that the Palm Beach County's Code Enforcement has only received one complaint and that the school has opted to not get involved in the dispute but "let parents work it out."

Richard Caster, who owns the Addison Plaza shopping center where the sculpture is located, said the sculpture is one of many displayed on his property and he has gotten more calls in support than against it. He felt parents should see it as an opportunity to teach their children about religious persecution. The representation symbolizes the Jewish families who fled Ethiopia under a covert Israeli military operation called Operation Solomon."It's really a miracle," Caster said. "They were able to avoid what's happening now in Darfur."

Jennifer Peluso, an instructor in the Department of Psychology at Florida Atlantic University feels "young children do not process information, understand the world or decipher context and meaning in the same way as older children and adults. Thus, it is naïve to expect that art fitting for older individuals is appropriate for young children, or that "just talking about it" is the proper way to address the differences in young children's cognition. When the sculpture was installed, no advance notice to the school community was given. It was merely placed, unannounced, in full public view. No historical information was (ever) supplied to inform families about the artist's intentions. Thus, parents, teachers, administrators and children were left unprepared for their encounters with the sensitive content of the sculpture. It is understandable, then, that the sculpture would draw concern. Parents are sternly advised to teach children about personal safety, that exposing their own "private parts" in public, or public exposure to other people's "private parts," is unsuitable and even illegal. What are children to think, then, of the very public display of "private parts" in the sculpture? It presents a confusing and contradictory message to our young children."

Ms. Peluso brings up a good point - several of them actually. A lack of communication all the way around seems to be part of the problem. If the intent of the artist and the Plaza owner is to educate the public, then it would stand to reason that information on the message contained within the art would be shared.

Another point of communication would be between parents and children. There is a difference between "living" people exposing themselves publicly and nude sculptures. Children CAN process the difference between art and real life, just as they CAN process and internalize guilt and negative associations with nudity when the message is reinforced that nudity is bad, dirty, shameful. Too many parents don't make the time to have actual conversations with their children regarding the many things they will encounter in life - including art. And five and six year olds are amazingly astute.

The sculpture does not depict any sexual activity or contain any messages related to sex. In fact they remind me a bit of the Denver Alien sculptures - except these have their dangly bits left intact.

So yes, in my opinion - all the hoopla over this from (a) distraught parent is puritanical repression at its finest.