Lego Auschwitz

March 29, 2020

Libera, Lego Concentration Camp

From the beginning, Konzentrationslager caused a huge sensation, with viewers split on whether it was an important work or a travesty. Depicting genocide with a toy made people uncomfortable. Some Holocaust activists saw the work as trivializing the experiences of survivors, while others disagreed. The Jewish Museum in New York City displayed the sets for several months in 2002 as part of an exhibit on Nazi imagery in modern art.

Even LEGO joined in the criticism, complaining that [artist Zbigniew] Libera hadn’t told the company what he was intending when it donated the bricks and that this contribution didn’t constitute sponsorship as implied by the packaging’s labeling. LEGO tried to get Libera to stop displaying the work, backing down from its pressure only after the artist hired a lawyer.

From The Cult of Lego by John Baichtal and Joe Meno

A Funny Email from a Sassy Midwife

March 19, 2020

A sassy midwife just sent me the following:

I hate those yogi tea bag sayings that say “let your breath cure the world today” or whatever…I always sharpie them out and write “good job blinking!” or “Hi.”  We are so hard on ourselves, our tea should be a respite, not additional pressure!

I have often thought about this when opening one of those individual Kleenex pouches with “Seize the day!” written on them.  Can’t a girl blow her nose without being asked to Lean In?!

The Butlers of Post WWI England Are the Millennial Tech Company Underlings of Today

March 8, 2020

“In fact, a comparison of how I might interpret a ‘distinguished household’ with what the Hayes Society understood by that term illuminates sharply, I believe, the fundamental difference between the values of our generation of butlers and those of the previous generation.  When I say this, I am not merely drawing attention to the fact that our generation had a less snobbish attitude as regards which employers were landed gentry and which were ‘business.’  What I am trying to say –– and I do not think this an unfair comment –– is that we were a much more idealistic generation.  Where our elders might have been concerned with whether or not an employer was titled, or otherwise from one of the ‘old’ families, we tended to concern ourselves much more with the moral status of an employer.  I do not mean by this that we were preoccupied with our employers’ private behavior.  What I mean is that we were ambitious, in a way that would have been unusual a generation before, to serve gentlemen who were, so to speak, furthering the progress of humanity.  It would have been seen as a far worthier calling, for instance, to serve a gentleman such as Mr. George Ketteridge, who, however humble his beginnings, has made an undeniable contribution to the future well-being of the empire, than any gentleman, however aristocratic his origin, who idled away his time in clubs or on golf courses.”

Kazuo Ishiguro, The Remains of the Day

 

Keywords

March 4, 2020

related to Zadie Smith’s “The Embassy of Cambodia,” according to The New Yorker.

Africans
Badminton
Cambodia
Children
Choking
Embassies
England
Firings
Hiroshima
Khmer Rouge
London
Nannies
Passports
Rape
Rwanda
Servants
Slaves
Swimming Pools

Honestly

March 4, 2020

The Coronavirus lewk is this cape with gauze face mask from Portrait of a Lady on Fire.

The Playlist in Hell

February 13, 2020

I was working at a Joe & the Juice in Manhattan a few months ago, and they were playing the following songs on an interminable loop, and while I like a few of these songs on their own, by the end of a few hours I was seriously ready to die.  I think I missed a few titles but it honestly couldn’t have been more than 25 songs total.  I started to write them down for posterity’s sake, but then zoned out every so often as a means of self-preservation.

 

 
Genesis “Invisible Touch”
Chaka Khan “Ain’t Nobody Love Me Better”
Dolly Parton “9 to 5”
A horrible updated 80s version of “In the Jungle”
Fleetwood Mac “Everywhere”
Luther Vandross “Never Too Much”
The Proclaimers “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)”
Hall and Oates “You Make My Dreams”
A-ha “Take on Me”
Kim Carnes “Bette Davis Eyes”
Eric Carmen “Hungry Eyes”
The Pointer Sisters “I’m So Excited”
Wham! “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go”
Michael Jackson “Beat It”
Rick Astley “Never Gonna Give You Up”

Overheard on 57th Street

February 6, 2020

Walking down 57th Street, passing some of the fanciest stores in New York City, I see an old married couple.  The wife is peering in the windows at David Yurman.

Wife: I think it would be fun, don’t you?

Husband: I don’t have a choice.  Whatever you like, I like.

Wife: WHAT DO YOU MEAN, YOU DON’T––

Husband: WHATEVER YOU LIKE, I LIKE.

Oh Please

January 6, 2020

I know that Vogue.com is not necessarily where one should be going to see reality reflected, but cmon: how could a wedding where the bride wore five outfits ever be considered “effortless”?

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Well, He’s Not Wrong About Portnoy

January 5, 2020

Those who enjoyed Nabokov’s high-literary trolling the first time around can rest assured that the fresh opinions expressed herein are just as strong. In the line of fire are William Faulkner, Albert Camus, and Yevgeny Yevtushenko (all “second-rate”), Samuel Richardson (“third-rate”), Fyodor Dostoevsky (“a journalist”), Maxim Gorky (“a bad writer”), Andre Gide (“boring”), Thomas Wolfe (“mediocrity”), Ernest Hemingway (“a writer for boys”), Thomas Mann (“a small writer who did big stories badly”), Rousseau (“mediocre”), Cervantes (“mediocre and tedious”), Stendhal (also “mediocre and tedious”), Friedrich Schiller (“nothing”), Joseph Conrad (“swarms with clichés”), Herbert Marcuse (“intolerably trivial”), Andre Malraux (“execrable”), Samuel Beckett’s poems (“banal and false”), Boris Pasternak’s Doctor Zhivago (“a mediocre melodrama with Trotskyist tendencies”), Philip Roth’s Portnoy’s Complaint (“a ridiculous book”), and, of course, Freud (“charlatan”).

From a review of Nabokov’s essays in The Telegraph

The Best Metaphor for Motherhood

December 18, 2019

Is this sentence about mama elephants trying to avoid breathing exhaust fumes from Babar.

 

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