Monthly Archives: February 2011

Little Boxes #35

(from Superwest, by Massimo Mattioli, 1987)

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Tea With Chris: Crazy Love

Tea With Chris is a roundup of recommended links, posted every Friday. Here are a few of our favourite things from the Internet this week:

Margaux: Chris and Carl are at the Pop Conference in L.A. this week so I will attempt to cover tea alone.

Mainly – I highly recommend the latest New Yorker magazine. It is action packed.

So far I have just read two articles, the first: An incredibly cautious and thoughtful article on Scientology by Lawrence Wright. The article is framed through the story of a movie director’s eventual descent from Scientology after 35 years as an active member. The most hilarious thing about the article is the lack of nuanced lying, there is a lot of “I wasn’t even in that country!” or “I met no such person!” rather than the more expected, subtle massaging of the truth. This made the hunt for truth seem kind of hilarious. The saddest thing about the article is that, with the collected and convincing evidence mounting, it is appearing very likely that anyone supporting Scientology through services or donations is helping to support (however unwittingly) the continuation of human rights abuses.

The second article: Tiny Fey, who turns out to write a fine New Yorker article, ponders the dilema of either making things a tiny bit better for her family by having another child or making things a tiny bit better for the entertainment industry by staying around long enough so she can make sure older female comedians will continue to be hired rather than continue to be deemed “crazy” and unemployable. As she explains:

“I have a suspicion – and hear me out – that the definition of “crazy” in show business is a woman who keeps talking even after no one wants to fuck her anymore.”

I went, “hahahahahahahahahaha”. Tiny Fey continued:

“The only person I can think of who has escaped the “crazy” moniker is Betty White, which, obviously, is because people still wnat to have sex with her.”

I thought, “True enough”. And then I thought about Betty White. And then I thought about Tina Fey some more.

Chris: Carl and I are indeed in L.A., but here’s some very quick links before I race over to the Pop Conference:

New! Lynda Barry! Interview!

Flannery O’Connor, another secret cartoonist.

The funniest gimmick-Tumblr concerning the British class system you will see this week: http://davidcameronpretendingtobecommon.tumblr.com/

I haven’t actually finished watching this vintage documentary about rap in Toronto yet – Pop Conference papers tend to be written at the last minute – but it looks pretty great:

(Via Noz.)

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Friday Pictures – The angel of history

 

Paul Klee’s 1920 painting Angelus Novus,  which Walter Benjamin compared, in the text below, to “the angel of history”

A Klee painting named Angelus Novus shows an angel looking as though he is about to move away from something he is fixedly contemplating. His eyes are staring, his mouth is open, his wings are spread. This is how one pictures the angel of history. His face is turned toward the past. Where we perceive a chain of events, he sees one single catastrophe which keeps piling wreckage upon wreckage and hurls it in front of his feet. The angel would like to stay, awaken the dead, and make whole what has been smashed. But a storm is blowing from Paradise; it has got caught in his wings with such violence that the angel can no longer close them. The storm irresistibly propels him into the future to which his back is turned, while the pile of debris before him grows skyward. This storm is what we call progress.

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Nowhere Boy (2009) – directed by Sam Taylor-Wood, written by Matt Greenhalgh, based on biography by Julia Baird

by Margaux Williamson

(I wasn’t too interested in this movie, about the childhood of John Lennon,  till my friend Sheila mentioned that the director was Sam Taylor-Wood. Sam Taylor-Wood is a British artist. I was curious  to see what kind of movie she would have directed and happy that I would be able to see a complete work. She often works in multi-channel video installations and I have only ever seen stills.

Sheila and I discussed in great detail when and where we would watch Nowhere Boy. Finally, on a very specific and snowy night, I walked over to her house. Inside, it became clear that we had missed  the “how” part – neither of us had Nowhere Boy on our persons or in our electronic devices.

So we played Tetris instead, and drank some tall glasses of water. We wondered if this was what it was going to be like when we were old. )



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Little Boxes #34

(from Hi-Yo Silver #22, script by Gaylord DuBois and artist unknown art by Tom Gill [thanks to Stephen in comments], 1957)

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Tea With Chris: Making a Bad Ting Good

Tea With Chris is a roundup of recommended links, posted every Friday. Here are a few of our favourite things from the Internet this week:

Chris: Via Tom Ewing, I discovered Rastamouse, a new BBC kids’ show about patois-speaking rodents and the importance of communal rehabilitation. Each episode features Rastamouse’s crew “making a bad ting good” by persuading some wrongdoer that life is so much better irie. Now I can put my hypothetical children through musical and ideological indoctrination at the same time!

Friedrich Engels: secret cartoonist.

Also at Comics Comics this week, Joe McCulloch posted a terrific essay about Steve Ditko, grappling with that great artist’s series of avant-garde Randian tracts: “A View of Justice! is, by my estimate, the most ideologically extreme thing Ditko has ever made, depicting a heroic doctor brought off a tourist bus in a vaguely South American setting to tend to a Communist leader shot down while fighting fascist occupying forces. The doctor is not a resident of South Park and therefore the truth does not, in fact, lay in the middle; instead, he rejects both as forms of Force and idealistically refuses to operate on the wounded man. A horde of unsuspecting bystanders are gunned down as a result, which is terrible, but the Hero castigates his agitated fellow tourists for spouting meaningless irrational contradictions and delivers a rousing seven-panel speech on the practice of Justice.”

Eileen Myles: “I wrote five pages of pussy wallpaper and gave it to the editors at VICE who did publish it but confided in me that the money people really had to be convinced that it was not entirely disgusting. With all the dirty and violent and racist things that VICE has done, this was um a little troubling. Do we really want to send that kind of message to our readers. What kind of message is that. I guess a wet hairy soft female one. I mean a big giant female hole you might fall into never to be heard from again.” <3, <3, <3.

Carl: A lot of my friends in New York can’t stop talking about – and skipping off work to go to – Christian Marclay’s show, “The Clock,” at the Paula Cooper Gallery. Marclay’s work for a long time dealt primarily with music – I first encountered him as the world’s most abstract DJ – but now his focus seems to be on film. Not long ago he made a film that compiled hundreds of clips from movies of people talking on telephones. Roberta Smith of the NYT explains pretty well the general concept of “The Clock,” which edits together thousands of movie images in a 24-hour sequence of clocks showing the time that it actually is in the gallery the day you see it, as well as its effect – even if she can’t quite capture what led one person to call it maybe the most powerful work of art she’d ever seen and another friend to compare it seriously to the Sistine Chapel. The exhibition closes this weekend after a couple of marathon showings, at least until, as my friend Jody Rosen demanded, some rich person buys it and install it permanently somewhere that we can all go see it. I post this here primarily in case any of our readers is that rich person.

Meanwhile, someone who was a little bored in the offices of OKCupid has realized that besides being a dating site, they are a research organization gathering data from millions of people about the sociology of courtship and mating. And since they are also a tech company, they know math. So they’ve combined all that in surprising posts like this one, which correlates stats, with graphs, to show what questions you should ask on a first date – to find out if your date is conservative or liberal or likely to sleep with you, without asking any of those questions directly. For instance, if you want to know if they’re religious, find out how annoyed they get by people’s spelling and grammatical errors – people of faith are more willing to give the less-literate a break, while we godless heathens apparently have nothing better to worry about.

Finally: Klout, or, Snobbery: The Next Frontier. (Thanks to Sherwin Sullivan Tija.)

Margaux: Bring your children to Darren O’Donnell! He is looking for families, or children aged 6-12 with an accompanying adult, to participate in a FREE one-hour workshop session at the Harbourfront Centre. Mammalian is looking for feedback and advice for their Monster Makers show.

There are some beautiful colour drawings in the window at Show Gallery on Queen West in Toronto. They are signed by “Katt” and are about $20.

I somehow just ate something called Teriyaki Vibe Help Noodle Salad. It was pretty good.

Art went back to the world and went here to the Philippines’ Malabon City for this nighttime outdoor stage show (thanks to Stefan St-Laurent).

This Laurie Anderson video of her masterpiece “O Superman” somehow floated into my television last night through various internet/ facebook concoctions. It is really something to make an 8 1/2 minute long music video that looks that simple and that captivating. She sure makes it look easy – and essential.

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Friday Pictures – Clare Grill

 

 

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