Tuesday, February 28, 2006
Monday, February 27, 2006
On Sunday afternoon I dragged my patriarchy-blamin' pal Twisty down to the Austin Museum of Art to take a look at their present show. It's works of husband and wife public art team, Christo and Jeanne-Claude from the Wurth Museum collection. As usual, the Stingray and Twisty ideals are rarely in agreement in most matters, and especially the matter of art. I thought it was a very pleasing exhibit of some of their most notable work, and Twisty walked through the rooms whispering, "The emperor has no clothes".
Now, while some may fail to see why one, or in this case two, would want to literally wrap the Reichstag in Berlin, I think there is much to be said about creating pieces to provoke thought in a public forum. Other projects are perhaps more reasonably accessible, such as the Gates in Central Park, NYC lining every pathway through the park in 2005, or their 1962 Wall of Oil Barrels installed in the Rue Visconti, Paris protesting the Berlin Wall, constructed the year prior. This project stayed up for only 8 hours, but was highly visible due to it's impeding traffic to the West Bank of the city. The piece undoubtedly marked a time affecting generations to come, and is worthy of imitation and study.
Twisty's point that only a pompous ego would interfere with a natural ecosystem in order to "install fabric", or anything else, is one that cannot be avoided. However, much art is created with the fundamental idea that a person of unique human experience has something worthy of attention. The likeliness of that assumption is doubtable, but I don't believe it negates a project fueled by the notion. My point? Many artists are pompous egotists- it hasn't stopped them before and the larger public has much to benefit.
Judge for yourself.
Tuesday, February 21, 2006
Lomo Pic of the Day
Monday, February 20, 2006
Vote on This!
Democracy, despite its supposed glory and the U.S.' zealous proselytizing, seems to lack a basic ethic of equality. In a majority vote, an issue is left to the whims of the common citizen, or let's say, your next door neighbor and his buddies. Now, if you're outnumbered by the next door neighbor and his buddies, and they all agree that the Bible is absolute truth, then that would be the governing rule in a democracy. Wise to the shortcomings of that system alone, the U.S. determined this particular democracy would operate within a republic, understanding the need for some fundamental guidelines and basic rights of its citizens. Unfortunately, the Bush administration has turned to threaten that guarantee, in turn sending a message that every godbag* and his dog's opinion actually matters. People seem to think that whether a fickle assessment or deep-seated religious conviction, they have a right to vote on all matters including those that have no place for a majority rule.
In this point I find it difficult to agree with a system that leaves this amount of power in the hands of our present fractional majority of Jesus-freak capitalists that just aren't ready to see oh, I don't know, women and the gay community given equal rights. I personally don't give a fuck if this part of the culture is not ready for a gay American woman to have the same rights a straight American man appreciates, but that's just my opinion. However, queer people are being methodically written out of the constitution, and half the population are subject to state government rulings determining the actions one must legally take when faced with the highly personal issue of pregnancy. Criminalizing the choice of carrying a fetus to term is not only an absurd encroachment of one's personal freedom and free will, but an absolute violation of the rights outlined in our Bill of Rights. So, you believe the fetus is a little person or you think it's simply a mass of cells--either view is completely irrelevant unless it's attached to your physical person!
On a personal note, I have a god-crazy uncle who, although knows nothing of my life, believes I live some abhorrent lifestyle. He chooses to send letters informing me of this when the holidays roll around, or when he is feeling particularly moved. I find it strange that although I've never shared my estimation of his personal beliefs, he continues to tell me his feelings about mine. My opinion of myself is certainly not suffering, so his rantings are left without response. (With the occasional necessary, "Step off", when personally approached at family holidays.) His opinion, however, and others like his are given equal time when voting on the rights of both women and gay people, not only in his residing state, but also to help amend the Federal Constitution. Without our government defending equality for all, up to half the population is subjected to the exclusive assessments of others to determine their personal freedoms.
The civil rights movement in this country came when the white majority was not willing for African-Americans to have equal standing in society, but the blatant inequalities could no longer be defended. At what point did it matter if the majority agreed? At what point should it matter what a black family's white neighbor and his buddies' opinions are of them? Internal acts of terror from hate groups such as the KKK, to people who shoot doctors who perform abortion services, to the constant threat of violence for a woman or queer person in or out of doors is only fed by our own lack of guaranteeing their fundamental rights. If we not only promised equal rights, but upheld and enforced them as an integral part of our national fabric, we would not see this teeth gnashing when the high court in Massachusetts rules that it is clearly unconstitutional to treat people differently under the eyes of the law. Only by this old-line social construct is this justified, and these religiously-motivated practices do not change the reality of our democratic double standards. Extremism in this country is showing quite a regressive and, a suiting Philistine face to the world. We've already begun to see our allies turn and if we continue, the only part of the world we'll be dealing with are other extremists.
* Twisty word
Thursday, January 12, 2006
Photo of the Day
Saturday, January 07, 2006
Preparing for the Hajj?
Once again the religious communities show that policing women's behavior is the only way to go. A woman cannot be bleeding or unaccompanied by a male amongst other god-crazed guidelines that are particular to women who wish to make the holy trek to Mecca. The hajj officially begins on Monday and will bring Muslims from countries all over the world to pay their duty to Allah. Women need to wake up and stop taking this bullshit disguised as religious faith and name these misogynistic acts for what they are- Muslim, Christian, Jewish or otherwise. This is not faith, it is a brutish will to control, and by participating one acknowledges that the dominant body has the right to determine what rights women will and will not have. Does a woman on her period somehow compromise the faith of others? Will she pass on her uncleanliness? Does a woman traveling without the aid of a man threaten her dependency? Or is it just too much of a temptation for a man to take advantage of her? Where in the hajj rituals does it name limitations specific to men- other than their interactions with women? Limit the access to information and you'll have an army of faithful servants blindly following the interpretations of the "words of God". This is no new trick- it's been going on forever. Dubya sure has benefited and he's doesn't think much about Allah. These are simple-minded ideas that have a disproportionate reach and keep us from evolving into better, more equality-driven people. There's not a lot of incentive when it takes away power from some and benefits only half of the world population. If there is to be any change it's up to that half.
Wednesday, January 04, 2006
Best of the Best of's
My favorite of the Best of lists is from Stay Free Magazine out of Brooklyn.
Check it out here.