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Archive for the ‘Etc.’ Category

Final resting place

Yeah, I’m a restless sonofabitch when it comes to the internet. But that’s the way it goes. Anyway, this is hopefully my last and bestest move. I want a spot I can expand as needed, update with fancy templates and features, and display a little pride in ownership. (When I get off my lazy ass and actually start tinkering with code, that is.)

So, anyway, from here on out, you can find me here.

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Hiatus

I won’t be posting here for the next month or so.  The savvier of you can probably figure out why.  But if you can’t, try here.

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Fly, Pegasus, fly

Just when you thought the hand-wringing over the Luis Jiménez sculpture couldn’t get any more fucking cringe-inducing, Mike Rosen weighs in.  From The Rocky Mountain News.

 

It probably wasn’t a good omen when Mustang pulled a Frankenstein’s monster and turned on its master, sculptor Luis Jimenez, crushing him to death during the final stages of its creation. Jimenez, an award-winning, “exuberant” Latino artist, was well-intentioned and did not craft Mustang to scare little children. He meant it to symbolize the boldness of the West, we’re told.

But the statue has become a target of growing controversy, even gaining national attention on television and in a recent front-page article in The Wall Street Journal. It’s been described by its critics as the “Meth Horse,” been compared to the Ringwraith horses from The Lord of the Rings and is reported to have brought on nightmares (or, perhaps, nightstallions) in the aforementioned little kids.

Rachel Hulton, a local real estate agent, has created a Facebook page at byebyebluemustang.com in hopes of exorcizing the beast from DIA. Support for Mustang has come, not surprisingly, from the arts community which, in the face of widespread public revulsion, defends the city’s decision to buy it and to put it on prominent display at the airport. They argue that the purpose of art is to engage, provoke or rile you up.

Erin Trapp, director of the Denver Office of Cultural Affairs, regards the Blue Demon as a success because it stimulates passion, even in the people who hate it. Artist Shawn Tolliver condescendingly scolded Hulton about her “ignorance as to what art is.” Tolliver’s Web site goes by the name “deviantART.” Need I say more?

Listen, there’s nothing new about this argument between enlightened artists and the rest of us uncultured cretins. One such sensational incident was the 1989 flap over Andres Serrano’s Piss Christ photograph depicting Christ on the cross submerged in a glass filled with the artist’s urine. What angered the public was that the National Endowment for the Arts had rewarded Seranno with $15,000 of the taxpayers’ money.

Similarly, the DIA controversy is all about public art. Art is subjective. I’ll confess that my layman’s tastes favor the traditional, the grand, the uplifting and the tasteful. I don’t want to be provoked or “engaged” by the Blue Demon on my journeys to DIA. I don’t like it and I don’t think it gives a good impression of Denver to out-of-town visitors.

If artists choose to create – and private individuals choose to purchase – controversial or deviant art, that’s their business. If it’s public art paid for with public dollars, the greater public ought to have a greater say. It seems that artsy types dominate the selection process. Funding what the “ignorant” public regards as repugnant art with public dollars disserves the public interest. This isn’t a First Amendment issue or an art appreciation issue, it’s a political issue.

Denver’s Office of Cultural Affairs claims the public is evenly divided on the Blue Demon. I don’t believe it. Deane Knox, president of Knox Galleries, has offered to donate a magnificent bronze sculpture, The Pegasus, by Sandi Scott valued at $180,000 to replace the Blue Demon at DIA. On my Web page at www.850koa.com (click on “Shows,” then on The Mike Rosen Show), in a head-to-head match with the vote count approaching 2,000, The Pegasus is trouncing Mustang, 80 percent to 20 percent.

 

And this is the statue he’s proposing.  I shit you not.

668_1232392292

I’ve got a better idea.  How’s about we commission a statue of a Care Bear performing cunnilingus on a unicorn?

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Ol’ Meth

mustang

If there’s one thing Denverites love doing, it’s bitching about public art projects. We’re a timid, whiny lot, and anything edgier than that inane blue bear outside the Colorado Convention Center (which always reminds me of Dorothy Parker’s response to The House at Pooh Corner:  “Tonstant Weader fwowed up”) sends the LoDo loft people and satellite yuppies of Highlands Ranch gnawing on their hardwood flooring. Usually with head Puritans Dan Caplis and Craig Silverman leading the charge.  

One of their longest-running targets has been a sculpture titled “El Mesteno” by Luis Jiménez, which Dan Caplis has dubbed “Ol’ Meth” (and, yeah, I’m admitting that’s almost funny). It’s a lean, mean piece, and there’s nothing cutesy about it. Unlike almost every other public sculpture in our fair cowtown, it’s actually fucking interesting. And not just because it killed its maker. It’s got a wildness to it, a sense of the wonder and terror that comes with unbridled freedom. As I recall, though I’m having trouble tracking it down, the piece is based on a San Luis Valley legend about a wild blue mustang with glowing red eyes who led other wild horses to the best grass and water.

Anyway, as to be expected, all the greasy whining by our local pinch-mouthed shits has garnered national media attention. Replete, as usual, with the kind of commentary that’s  sure to make the rest of us shudder with embarrassment.   

Two of my favorites:

“It’s evil looking almost. It’s intimidating, I think,” said John from Centennial. “And the color is awful, it should match the white of the airport,” added John’s wife, Hazel.

Well, of course, shouldn’t all art be color coordinated?  

Fucking idiot.

“It looks like it’s possessed,” said one city resident of the bright blue sculpture with red neon eyes. “I have a huge fear of flying anyway, and to be greeted at the airport by a demon horse — it’s not a soothing experience.”

See, now, Mr. Jimenez could’ve avoided all this controversy if he’d just cleared the piece with every phobia-prone, tender little twit in Denver. Wonder why that thought never occurred to him?

Anyway, you get the gist, and if you wanna continue dragging your brain through this particular ditch, you can always check out the official Facebook page of the poor darlings leading this campaign. Me, I’m gonna go prop myself up against a bar somewhere and pretend I live anywhere, and I mean anywhere, else.

Update: Found one reference to the San Luis Valley legend in the San Luis Valley Dweller.

In the San Luis Valley of southern Colorado, the old ones will sometimes tell the story of a mustang who led all the others – one who could run even faster than the wind. He would gather the herd from the plains and lead them to where the sweetest grass and water were to be found. They tell of a blue mustang whose eyes glowed red – he could run so fast some said he could fly.

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From the New Statesman.

The following information came round on the Rappahannock grapevine. If you had purchased $1,000 of Nortel stock one year ago, it would now be worth $49; the same investment with Enron would have left you with $16.50, Delta Airlines $49 and United Airlines nothing.

If, however, you had purchased $1,000-worth of beer a year ago, drunk the beer, and then turned in the cans for the aluminium recycling fund, you would now have $214.

This piece of retrospective investment advice is only one of many arguments to suggest that drinkers have done rather better than abstainers in the current crash. And winos have done best of all.

The reason for this is simple. When faced with a sudden excess of money, your average wino will spend it immediately on wine, knowing that he is thereby providing for his future and for the future of his family and friends. A well-stocked cellar is a far greater hedge against disaster than any other material asset known to man – a comfort in times of dearth, and a means to celebrate in times of plenty.

And if the excess of money is too great to be spent on wine, as happens when some near relative slips through the exit before remembering to change her will, a wino will seldom squander it on stocks and shares, which are mere abstractions, far removed from the known and tried comforts that have sustained him down the years.

Instead he will buy land, on the sound principle, announced by Mark Twain, that they ain’t making any more of it. And although Americans have witnessed a decline in the value of real estate, it in no way compares with the decline in the value of unreal estate that is traded on Wall Street.

Never once in the history of mankind has land been worth nothing at all, and sitting on a square of American pasture, with a cellar full of wine, your average wino will enjoy the best that can be had in the way of estate, both real and imaginary.

Even better off is the wino who lives in some remote corner of the continent where nothing ever happens apart from the occasional death by lightning, avalanche or grizzly bear.

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Israeli apartheid

A fantastic segment from 60 Minutes.  And, yeah, those aren’t really words I ever thought I’d type either.

Part one:

Part two:

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Thomas gets his

It’s my little boy’s third birthday, and this just seems right.  From Banksy.

thomasbgrd

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