Thursday, March 27, 2003

I'm pretty sure now that a lot of anti-war protesters are really really concerned with showing off their protesty-ness, and really really not interested in trying to educate people and change their minds. What drove this home to me was eight women in red white and blue spandex, boas and wigs with silver accessories and silvery cardboard cruise-missiles attached to their crotch in basically a strap-on dildo type arrangement. They were doing a choreographed little dance in front of one of those high-class delis that people with day jobs generally have lunch in, and they were singing "Stop! the name of war..."

First of all, um, shouldn't it have been "Stop in the name of peace"? Secondly, it was just squirmingly embarrassing to watch them because they had that kind of self-consciously fake sexiness that is basically summed up by the fact that they were wearing garter belts and stockings over opaque tights. And thirdly, don't you think it's just a little bit offensive to respond to the painful deaths of hundreds of innocent people and thousands of ruined lives by dressing up in garishly sexual costumes and dancing?

But mostly, what the hell is the point? Do those girls think that midtown office workers who support the war are going to watch them do their little shimmy and shake their little crotch-missiles around and say "oh, you know, I thought the war was a good idea before, but now that I have seen these passionate young ladies sing and dance, my mind is changed". Really. Does that seem likely?

Oh look. They have a website.
So, is this guy being exposed to humiliation and "public curiosity"?
In the last month or so, I've heard quite a few people described as "man, they're acting like a couple of 16 year old girls". I'm starting to think that everybody pretty much acts like 16 year old girls most of the time. 16 year old girls just take the flack for everyone else.

Tuesday, March 25, 2003

I think about this a lot. And where will we go?

Monday, March 24, 2003

Oh, just go read this blog by an Iraqi guy. It's a lot more interesting than anything I have to say.

Thursday, March 20, 2003

So. Um. The war started last night while we were at the Streets show in Greenpoint. Just before Mike came on, the DJ said "we just want to let everyone know that at 9:15 the US started bombing Baghdad", and then they came on and did the show and it was great and we jumped up and down a lot...what else could we do?

I am so distracted by thoughts of war. I don't know what to think about the war. So I'll write about The Streets instead and how his totally boy energetic scowling and drinking and jumping around was a good antidote to thinking about death. You know those guys you meet at parties who are so incredibly cool and mean and funny and maybe you could get them to sleep over and have really deep conversations until 4 a.m., but if you did it would just lead to so very very much wanting them to love you, but they don't and they won't and so you kind of mope around looking at them with sad sheep-face instead? Well, Mike Skinner is the pure bottled essence of that kind of guy. Plus he is a really excellent rapper. Plus we got to see his butt.

He (and his backup band and his pal who sings with him and doesn't seem to have a name) seemed quite excited to be there and they were very interactive. Here are some things they did: Poured beer into the mouths of people in the front row. Had a water fight. Picked each other up and gave each other smooches on the cheek (the cute gay couple next to us came over all hot and bothered halfway through the show and went home early. aw.) Crowd surfed. Made us chant "New York New York New York".

What I forgot to do: Buy a shirt. Dammit.
My mom won't let me be ambivalent about the war; she told me how she was walking the dog yesterday morning and listening to the birds (the birds are just waking up, it's spring, they're in love), and she thought: When they bomb Baghdad, the bombs will kill the birds too.

Horrible, horrible.

Wednesday, March 19, 2003

There is a really moving article in Salon today about the Left and this damn war. This is what I was thinking about last night: Do the ends justify the means? What if they do? What if they don't?

Tuesday, March 18, 2003

Jamie pointed out this story in the Washington Post.

Monday, March 17, 2003

God, I'm such an asshole. I'm sitting here worrying about maybe getting blown up by terrorists who may or may not exist, and who may or may not consider that the war we're about to have is a good reason to blow some people up in New York. I'm worried about getting poisoned by gas or germs or something in the subway as I travel from my perfect apartment to my perfect job, or nuked on my way from my perfect job to a delicious dinner with my lovely friends or on my way back home to my perfect boyfriend and adorable cats. Where my biggest worry is whether or not my neighbor might play his music too loud and not turn it off at exactly ten p.m.

Meanwhile, plenty of perfectly nice people who may or may not have perfectly lovely lives, because they have been shit on, tortured, starved and killed by Saddam Hussein for the last 25 years are about to get definitely, no question, blown into little bloody pieces, because our lunatic president and his pals have balls so big they can barely keep them in their pants, and they want the world to know it. Oh yeah, also, they stand to make a shitload of money off this deal.

So who am I to complain? Chances are I'll survive this war.

This morning on BBC World, they talked to some Iraqi refugees in Jordan. One of them was a painter, some others were putting on a very arty play. Then they showed German diplomats leaving their embassy in a perfectly nice suburb-looking part of Baghdad. In other words, despite what it may look like on CNN, the Iraqis apparently aren't all whimpering victims or scary militants. And the country isn't just a big desert. When we bomb it, we'll be destroying some really nice things, and killing lots of normal intelligent interesting people just like ourselves.

Sunday, March 16, 2003

Today, we were hoi polloi.

We had planned to stop by Dylan's Candy Bar on the way back from the gym, but when we got there, the store was closed for a private party. A very sad moment. We perked up right away, though, because Dylan's has huge plate glass windows, and so we got to stand outside and vicariously enjoy the premiere episode of Bat Mitzvahs of the Rich and Famous.

I would so much rather stand outside of a fancy party and make snarky comments about it than actually be invited to it. I am so middle class.

Well, not only was this party super-ostentatious, and performed inside a decorative fish-tank for the enjoyment of the masses, but it was also a costume party!! The bar mitzvah girl was wearing the most beautiful (ie. expensive) princess dress I have ever seen. And, I shit you not, the bat mitzvah mom was dressed up as Scarlett O'Hara.

The award for Most Bizarre Costume Choice is split between several candidates. Moses was pretty strange, but at least in keeping with the theme of the evening, unlike the Pope, who was also in attendance. The Pope would most definitely win, if it weren't for the mystery of the boy dressed as an Israeli crossing guard. At least, he was wearing on of those glowing orange mesh vests, and the vest had Hebrew writing on it and an official looking badge. Very strange.

The girls pretty much stuck with expensive looking and flattering: Princess, Fairy Princess, etc.

It was all very aspirational.


I remembered what I was going to write about on Friday. Braces. I think that braces are the next big fashion trend. I mean, what is hotter than teenagers with braces? Adults dressed like teenagers with braces. I'm serious. It takes that whole Calvin Klein rec room porno aesthetic to another level. Plus, braces will go perfectly with sneaker skates and velour track suits.

Saturday, March 15, 2003

Last night I had a brilliant and funny series of thoughts that I was determined to rush home and write up in my blog. Instead, I fell asleep and when I woke up and tried to remember them, all I could come up with was a vivid image of creamed corn. Even now, when I try to think back to what we were talking about...creamed corn. On a white plate with peas.

Obviously the short term memory has gone a little wrong.

Wednesday, March 12, 2003

Things I cared a lot about two years ago:

Being super-hip and artsy
figuring out how to become a famous artist
Striking out against the soul-destroying materialism of our culture
Not getting pregnant

Things I care a lot about now:

The dire geopolitical situation
Eating healthy and working out
Finishing my comic book and finding a publisher
My job
Saving money so I can buy an apartment and have some kids


Tuesday, March 11, 2003

Apparently I'm not the only one thinking about Neanderthals. There's an article in the Times today that says some of the things I was trying to say about them, but says them a lot better. The writer quotes H.G. Wells, who apparently had the same thought that I did: "He thought the Neanderthals had lived on, not in our genes, but in our tales and terrors. 'The legends of ogres and man-eating giants that haunt the childhood of the world,' he wrote, 'may descend to us from those ancient days of fear.'"

H.G. Wells was kind of melodramatic.

Sunday, March 09, 2003

Yesterday we went to the Armory Show. There was a lot of shitty shitty art, including a piece of notebook paper with three rectangles drawn on it in ballpoint pen. For $3,000. I kid you not.

There was some good art too. The one piece that just stopped me in my tracks and left me standing there with my mouth hanging open was a large photo of Darth Vader standing in the ocean pouring water from a Brita pitcher into a plastic bottle. I didn't know who the artist was, or what it was about, and I can't explain the effect it had on me. You can see it here. It turns out to be from a performance called Darth Vader Tries to Clean the Black Sea with Brita Filter (2000), by Daniel Bozkhov. He is an amazing performance artist whose latest project was a crop circle in the shape of Larry King.

There was another Darth Vader there too. He was in a pretty cool drawing by Shintaro Miyake. Apparently Miyake's drawings get made in crazy performances where he dresses up and makes these drawings that look like a kid could have drawn them. They are seriously fun to look at, though--they remind me how great drawing was before I grew up and decided I was an artist and shit.

Other good (but Darth Vader-less) art:

These landscapes by Patrick Jacobs. They are three dimensional, incredibly realistic, and they live behind a glass lens set into the wall. I don't know how he makes them; possibly with magic?

Patricia Piccinini's hilarious Car Nuggets. ("Car Nuggets are to cars what Chicken Nuggets are to chickens. Car Nuggets are not miniature cars or even bits of cars welded together, they are essence of car; they are lumps of carness.")

A Herman Miller office chair in a glass case with a motor under it that spins the chair around madly in a circle. As S. said, that is all there is to say about the late 90s.

A bathroom made out of translucent green silk by a Korean artist, Do-Ho Suh. The sink and toilet were all floppy. The light switch was hand stitched and perfect.

Several pieces by another artist I've recently discovered and like very much--Arturo Herrera. He uses coloring books and pages from old children's books in his art. It really gets to me.

Friday, March 07, 2003

Sometimes I feel like life on earth is just an idiotically complex geological process. I don't really feel any more purposeful than a piece of rusting metal, or a rock.

I've been having nightmares lately. I'm sick of reading the news, but I can't stop.

Thursday, March 06, 2003

I've been reading, and seeing and hearing a lot about human evolution...partly because I'm working on this Cavemen DVD at work, and partly because it is the 50th anniversary of DNA. (Before Watson and Crick invented DNA, people were assembled by little elves and delivered to cabbage patches by storks, I think.)

One thing I have learned is that apparently Neanderthals lived on Earth at the same time as Homo sapiens, up until 30,000 years ago. If you consider that the pyramids were built more than 5,000 years ago, 30,000 doesn't actually seem all that far back. I wonder what it was like to have another species around like that. It's so hard to imagine.

I wonder if that could be why we have so many myths about other kinds of people...trolls and dwarfs and goblins and whatnot. I like this idea very much. Maybe people who knew Neanderthals passed on stories to their descendants about those other weird people that used to live around here, and the stories got confused and exaggerated and mixed up over the years until they turned into trolls and goblins and other things like that.

I suppose it's more likely that they were just forgotten, and the stories were made up later for some totally different reason, but that seems really very sad.

Cave paintings are amazing.

Wednesday, March 05, 2003

This is why malls are bad. I mean, aside from the funny smells, bad music, fat people and creepy looking potted plants. The privatization of public space means that we are spending a lot of our time walking around in places that are private property. And on private property, you have no right to free speech. So your ability to express your political ideas to the people around you are seriously damaged if you live in a place where there is no street life and everyone hangs out at the mall. I mean, where would you have a political protest if you wanted to have one? I'm so glad I live in New York.
Apparently, Roger Ebert writes editorials, not just movie reviews. This is a really interesting one on the difference between just praying and praying for the benefit of other people.

Tuesday, March 04, 2003

Here's a question that seems kind of important. What on earth does Kim Jong Il want? Why has he all of a sudden gone batshit crazy? I mean, I know he was batshit crazy before, but now he is dragging everyone else into it. Does he have a plan? I wonder if he is going to invade South Korea. Or is Saddam paying him to distract George W? Maybe he as a death wish. Or he decided that if he was going to be part of the "axis of evil", he was going to damn well be evil. Or maybe he is just insane. I have no idea.
Why did it take three days for this story in London's Observer to hit the AP? The Observer makes the incident sound utterly sordid and deeply incriminating, while the AP seems to find it all rather harmless and amusing. How the hell is anyone supposed to make sense of the news?

Saturday, March 01, 2003

Hey, guess what? I joined a gym! From the time I failed PE in high school until last Tuesday, I considered exercise to be some kind of sadistic joke, to be avoided at all costs. But now, I am spending my evenings bouncing up and down on the treadmill in a whole row of bouncing girls, most of them way better groomed than I am. Most of them with ponytails.

I like the treadmill a lot, better than any of the more complex stair-climbing or pedaling machines. I like it way better than actual walking. Why? Because I like to be in control.

Here is what I can do: I can change the slope of the treadmill by pressing one button so it is like I m walking uphill, and if I want the hill to be a little steeper, I can keep pushing that button, or I can push another button to make it flatten out again. I can make it go faster and slower in almost unnoticeable degrees, up to about 5 1/2 miles an hour, at which point I can't keep up and go sliding off towards the back of the machine. There is an entire home entertainment center built into the machine so I can watch TV or listen to CDs. A display tells me how fast I am going, how far I've gone, and how many calories I've burned. If I grab on to two metal handles in the front it will tell me my heart rate. It is really something.

Today I went a bit further and actually lifted some weights. Not very many weights, but enough to know that I should probably lift more of them. I want to have sexy sexy arms and wear lotso f tank tops in the summer. That is my goal.

The only real hurdle to overcome at the gym is the nakedness. I am deeply opposed to being naked in public, and it is pretty much a requirement at the gym. And since the only thing worse than walking from the shower to my locker with only one very small towel on is knowing that I look horribly embarrassed doing it. Ack.