June 18, 2007

Across the street they've nailed the curtains


Derek Boshier, The Identi-Kit Man 1962

This painting expresses Boshier's concern with the manipulation of the viewer by advertising media. A man is represented as nothing more than a depersonalised piece in a semi-abstract jigsaw, literally fused with toothpaste, a typical mass consumer product. According to the artist, 'it represents me (us), the spectator, participant, player, or cog-in-the-wheel - the amorphous'.

* Top ten conservative idiots. excerpt:

"8. Bradley Schlozmann

"The massive politicization of the Justice Department undertaken on George W. Bush's watch wasn't simply restricted to the small circle of Justice Department and White House officials surrounding Alberto Gonzales and Karl Rove - last week Bradley Schlozman, the former senior political appointee in the Civil Rights Division, appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee and, well, took a beating.

"According to a complaint sent to the Justice Department's inspector general in 2005 by a Department lawyer, Schlozman allegedly attempted to rid the Civil Rights Division of 'minority women lawyers' and replace them with 'white, invariably Christian men.'

"Replacing the Civil Rights Division's minority women lawyers with white Christian men? On the Bush administration's watch? Surely not!

"But you see, Schlozman had a good reason. According to the complaint, he 'told one recently hired attorney that it was his intention to drive these attorneys out of the Appellate Section so that he could replace them with 'good Americans.''

"Pretty much says everything you need to know about the Bush adminstration, doesn't it?"

* Bukowski: poetry is like a good beer shit.

* Syd Barrett poem up for auction [follow the link for the poem]. excerpt:

"It is a few scribbled lines of poetry and a simple sketch in black ink on a piece of paper, composed in Cambridge in the mid-1960s by an aspiring painter and musician for his girlfriend of the time. But it is no simple doodle. Its author was the late Roger 'Syd' Barrett, who became a founder of Pink Floyd and enjoyed massive success before suffering a drug-induced mental breakdown.

"Barrett died last year at 60 after spending decades as a semi-recluse in his home town, but is still revered as one of the most influential figures in rock music.

"The poem was written for 19-year-old Viv Brans, who in 1965 had a relationship lasting several months with Barrett. Now a 61-year-old grandmother, she is auctioning the poem, which has been dear to her for four decades. 'Now Roger's gone, I can let it go because it's just sitting around doing nothing,' she said. 'I've still got the words and sentiments.' In its minimalist descriptions of Ms Brans's clothes and dancing, the small figures of the guitar-toting pop group playing under the glitter ball, the poem and the sketch capture the mid-1960s era before the Summer of Love.

"The manuscript is to be auctioned by Cheffins in Cambridge later this month. Barrett always considered himself an artist, rather than a musician, although in his later years he destroyed many of his works. A sale by his family of some of his surviving paintings and possessions raised more than £120,000 last year to fund a bursary for art students."

* "I guess the majority of people who want to ban certain musicians are the ones who are so proud of everything America stands for." -- Stephen Malkmus

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