Archive for July, 2010

Miro Should Have Titled This: “Little Black Dots Running After Big Red Stick Thing”

July 19, 2010



July 16, 2010

So I’m going on a last minute trip abroad and am frantically trying to prepare, but wanted to share these random notes I found scribbled in the back of my copy of Harold Pinter: the Complete Works Volume III
Jenny Holzer: “I personally killed a child.”

Female personnel at Gitmo wet hands and touch prisoners to make them feel “unclean”

Francis Bacon, in a letter 1954: “It is about dreams and life in hotel bedrooms.”
Hm.  Wonder what kind of head space I was in then…

A Note From Gay Talese to Gay Talese

July 14, 2010

In regards to a book idea that has been germinating for too long…

“Why am I not writing this book faster?  Do I have ‘Writer’s Block’?  No, you’re not suffering from ‘Writer’s Block,’ you’re just showing good judgment in not publishing anything at this time.  You’re demonstrating concern for readers in not burdening them with bad writing.  More writers should be doing what you’re doing –– NOT writing.  There’s so much bad writing out there, why add to it?  The bookshelves of America are lined with the second-rate work of first-rate writers.  Many of these writers have a built-in audience and so the editors will publishing their stuff.  They’ll publish whatever sells.  But the writers should be blocked.   It would be a good thing for the writers’ reputations, for the publishers’ productions costs, and for the reading standards of the general public.  There should be a National Book Award given annually to certain writers for NOT WRITING.”

Top Five Best Celebrity Sightings of My Life

July 13, 2010

1. Carrot Top, wearing lots of make-up and a really tight black tee, on Christmas Eve in the lobby of Little Nell’s Hotel in Aspen, Colorado.

2. Woody Allen, Soon-Yi and Diane Keaton eating dinner at Milos Restaurant on Mother’s Day, 2010

3. Robert DeNiro, in my old nutritionist’s office

4. Ryan Gosling (duh!) holding the door for me at the Equinox Gym on Lexington Avenue and 63rd Street in Manhattan

5. Bob Sagat talking to bodyguards and passing to let me by, Los Angeles, 2003

I could go on…and maybe I will later!  But for now, haircut!

The Shinning

July 9, 2010



July 6, 2010

For my next performance art piece, I will be squatting on the lovely Governor’s Island in NYC…

“Living the Dream”

July 5, 2010

So I’m kind of isolated up here in my tiny hotel room, hence the over-blogging.  Friend just sent a fantastic piece about performance art, excerpted below:

Can you tell us about another piece from the 20th century we should not forget?

Chris Burden, 1971, December 21-24: Disappearing – “I disappeared for three days without prior notice to anyone.”

What’s unforgettable about this?

Well, can you imagine trying to do that today, bound as we are by constant digital ties? People wouldn’t only immediately think that we were dead in a ditch; they would probably take our unannounced disappearance as offensive.

James disappears for three days. He eventually returns and resumes the conversation.

Thanks for coming back James. Do you draw lines around gallery-sanctioned performance art and other kinds of contingent actions that take place in everyday life?

Outside the official realm of performance art, I think Zinedine Zidane’s headbutt of Marco Materazzi in the 2006 World Cup final might be the greatest performance of this century, and it must not be forgotten.

Why so?

Zidane was sacrificing what was most important to him – winning the World Cup for France in his last-ever game of football – and also taking some satisfaction in defying the fairy-story ending to his career everyone wanted to write. He was “taking a strike at himself.” This is the phrase Slavoj Zizek uses in The Fragile Absolute to describe an apparently irrational and self-destructive act: “This act, far from amounting to a case of impotent aggressivity turned against oneself, rather changes the coordinates of the situation in which the subject finds himself: by cutting himself loose from the previous object through whose possession the enemy keeps him in check, the subject gains the space of free action. Is not such a radical gesture of ‘striking oneself’ constitutive of subjectivity as such?” This is an excellent definition of performance art.

I’m thinking that maybe my red robe wandering last night was a performance piece?  Or I am a pretentious shit.  These two things are not mutually exclusive, I guess.

James Westcott and Shumon Basar discuss performance art:

What Are the Odds I Get This Job? (In Jest)

July 5, 2010

To Whom It May Concern:

I am writing in regards to the Craigslist position for a Learning Annex blogger on the subject of Self-Help and Personal Development.

I certainly “have…an enthusiasm & passion for the subject” of Self-Help/Personal Development, though admittedly most of my advice will entail staying far, far away from things like books about self-help and personal development.  As Roger Ebert so eloquently twittered, “Self-help books are bullshit.  Read a good book.  That’ll help you.”  I am a budding bibliotherapist and life-long sage and can give the soundest and funniest advice on either side of the Mississippi.  Please don’t misunderstand: I can wax existential about all the self-help luminaries from Oprah to Norman Vincent Peale and Lord knows I could write a f$*ing tome on Rhonda Byrne and the socially noxious dribble contained within The Secret; I just probably won’t point readers in those directions for any reason other than to point out what’s wrong with the world and the way we think about personal development and helping The Self.  I’m more likely to look to Kant, I suppose, or The Bible (with the occasional Van Morrison reference.)  I went to Columbia.  We had to read that stuff,* and I think it helped me personally more than a decade in therapy or any misery memoir ever did.  Not to knock therapy, though, because it was immensely didactic in many ways, and I think most of the population could use such emotional exercise, but given the recession and all, probably not a realistic idea.

I know how to be nice.  No, I promise, I do.  But I don’t like to coddle.  If this position involves quandaries I am supposed to help readers navigate their way through, I’m not likely to hold their hands.  I might pat their shoulders and then give them a really detailed, logical map, some trail mix, maybe a little bourbon to take the edge off, and then send them off.  If they’re being whiny and childish, I may get stern, but I don’t yell.  I do, however, curse often.  No catalyst for self-development like a S-T-A-U-N-C-H munchkin who swears a lot.

I could go on, I suppose, and talk a bit more about my general swath of knowledge, my occasional visits to a Hindu guru who gives fantastic advice, or certain stock life advice I like to give (“Be sure to spend time with people outside your own age group” and “Never trust anyone with two first names”) but really, what the fuck do I know?  The first rule of being wise is knowing you know absolutely nothing, and anyone who pretends otherwise is a false prophet.

To close, I leave you with the lyrics to this beautiful and oh-so-true tune from Monty Python’s film The Meaning of Life:

ARTIST: Monty Python
TITLE: The Galaxy Song
Lyrics and Chords

{Spoken, loosely}
Whenever life get you down, Mrs. Brown
And things seem hard or tough
And people are stupid, obnoxious or daft
And you feel that you've had quite enu-hu-hu-huuuuff

Just remember that you're standing on a planet that's evolving

And revolving at 900 miles an hour
That's orbiting at 19 miles a second, so it's reckoned
A sun that is the source of all our power
The sun and you and me, and all the stars that we can see
Are moving at a million miles a day

In an outer spiral arm, at 40,000 miles an hour
Of the galaxy we call the Milky Way

Our galaxy itself contains 100 billion stars
It's 100,000 light-years side-to-side
It bulges in the middle, 16,000 light-years thick

But out by us it's just 3000 light-years wide
We're 30,000 light-years from galactic central point
We go round every 200 million years
And our galaxy is only one of millions of billions
In this amazing and expanding universe

The universe itself keeps on expanding and expanding
In all of the directions it can whiz
As fast as it can go, at the speed of light you know
Twelve million miles a minute and that's the fastest speed there is

So remember, when you're feeling very small and insecure
How amazingly unlikely is your birth
And pray that there's intelligent life somewhere up in space
Because there's bugger all down here on Earth

Thank you, and goodnight!

ID (only about one year old)

*I am, of course, not including Van the Man when making this statement.


Thanks to Roger Ebert,
Also to Jivanmukta Swami Ganapati, for telling me to live my reality.

This Could Be a Poem, or Just a Poetic Activity

July 5, 2010

Earlier I was wandering around the halls of this storied, haunted hotel in a red bathrobe and now I’m reading David Ives’ plays aloud because I’m bored and do not enjoy holidays.

Cat Rock

July 3, 2010

A cat and a rock!