Monthly Archives: June 2013

Tea With Chris: The Era of the Ersatz

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

Carl: Are the Chinese terracotta soldiers a fake? Find out from French philosophers of falsehood: “We have entered the era of the ersatz. The mercantile industrial society has imposed the universal reign of ugliness, so that no one can judge any longer between what is beautiful and ugly, and nowadays the very notion of artistic value has become meaningless. We also live in a world where temporality has been banned. The past, when it survives, can exist only in the form of an imitation, as a fake past reconstructed so as to provide a revised and diluted representation of it which is acceptable for the contemporary human-being, especially if this substitute takes on a gigantic aspect.” That guy also has one of the best book titles ever: China is a Horse and the Universe an Idea. Plus: pretty pictures.

Is the demise of DOMA mostly a minor event, a concession to a bourgeois institution? Find out from real humans whose lives were immediately enormously improved. Also find out from John Darnielle of the Mountain Goats.

Would you have cried at James Gandolfini’s funeral? Find out from David Chase, as well as from the eloquent personal essay by Charles Demers at Ryeberg.

What does great art look like in ugly rooms? Find out.

Chris: The Fantagraphics co-founder Kim Thompson, who died on the same day as Gandolfini, was not even a reluctant celebrity, but he influenced his own field no less, and Tom Spurgeon’s obituary explains why.

My friend Lily Benson read an awful piece about “pickup artists” and wrote a brilliant, compassionate one: “Advice that encourages such a fundamental misunderstanding of and disregard for consent turns courtship and sex into a zero-sum game, where one partner gets what they want at the expense of the other’s comfort, bodily sovereignty and happiness.”

As Tyler Coates says, that muppety gay-marriage-celebrating New Yorker cover is silly, infantilizing, and wholly too cute. I wasn’t surprised to learn that it originally came from Tumblr. 20 years ago, after the Crown Heights riots, Art Spiegelman handled a similar gig with heartfelt, irenic slyness:

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Margaux’s Friday Pictures – Shary Boyle, Jan Philips van Thielen, Cory Arcangel, Jumana Emil Abboud, John Singleton Copley

 

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Shary Boyle / 2013

 

Jan Philip Van Thielen

Jan Philips van Thielen / 1618 – 1667

Cory Arcangel

Cory Arcangel / 2011

 

Jumana Emil Abboud- i feel nothing

Jumana Emil Abboud / 2013

 

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John Singleton Copley / 1777

 

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Carl’s Tuesday Musics: Matana Roberts, live in 2011… for the Bow River

by Carl Wilson

The Chicago-rooted, New York-resident, Montreal-affiliated, beautiful-music-making Matana Roberts was in Toronto at the Music Gallery last weekend, playing solo alto saxophone. She chatted with the crowd about a lot of things (“I’m a talker,” she warned early on), but at one point spoke of how her heart was with the people of Calgary, especially after experiencing how devastating a flood can be after last year’s hurricane in NY. Later in the show she repeated, “Sound heals. Sound heals. Sound heals.” So with that in mind, listen to the torrents of incredible tones she generates in this video made in Kensington Gardens in London a couple of years ago, and think about inundation, immersion, and recovery.

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Little Boxes #146: Pim & Francie

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(by Al Columbia, 2013)

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Tea With Chris: Everybody Gets Scared

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

Carl: Friend of B2TW Veda Hille is posting videos for songs from her last album, Peter Panties, an adaptation of Peter Pan done in collaboration with a young man with Down’s Syndrome and a bunch of other rockin’ teenagers in Vancouver. I voted for it for the Polaris Music Prize recently, but it didn’t make the long list. This clip makes its case better than I could:

 

James Gandolfini’s death this week at 51 was the first famous-person passing in a while to knock the breath clean out of me. Aside from all the classic Sopranos scenes, I’ll remember him best like this:

 

Chris: I’ve never watched The Sopranos, so I knew James Gandolfini’s acting primarily through supporting roles in smaller films, which he once said he wanted to devote the rest of his life to. He should’ve gotten to do so many more of them. Thanks to HBO, there were several deceptively complicated brutes, but I liked when a director brought out something different, as with his appearance as the anti-war army general from Armando Iannucci’s despairing satire In the Loop: cynical, suspicious, yet possessed of a certain fatalist integrity. All this is to say that I feel kind of stupid for allowing the setting to put me off seeing Not Fade Away, which sounds like the perfect final note to his career, played decades too early.

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Little Boxes #145: Frenzy

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(from “Haunter,” by Sam Alden, 2013)

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Tea With Chris: Actually About Turkey

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

Chris: I have no idea what this is a photo of, but I like looking at it.

Carl: First & foremost let me direct your attention to the doctors who are trying to fix what the Canadian government is doing to refugee claimants on health care. Day of action on Monday.

A perfect model of a making-of-the-music article by Matthew Lindsay on the Quietus: The road to Madonna’s first album.

Lately I’ve been thinking about how Turkey and Iran resemble Toronto or the U.S. in terms of the geography of worldview and its effect on political formations. Case in point, Kansas.

And then, actually about Turkey.

Can your job be done by a hologram?

Do you agree with Russell Smith that voluntary self-revelation means that you have forfeited all other need for privacy? I say no. If you don’t want the government(s) to read your email, browser history, etc, here are some options.

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