Monthly Archives: July 2009

scary monsters//freak compassion

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so, i just watched David Lynch’s The Elephant Man
and i am not ashamed to say that it was absolutely touching, i definitely teared up a little bit…but then again, given the right week (ladeez know what im talkin about) ive been known to cry at that scene in Poltergeist, where the mom gets the chance to talk to her daughter, and has to tell her to go towards the light. UGH, makin me weep.
so the story is, Joseph Merrick, the elephant man, is in a Pinocchio type side show situation where hes being abused and mistreated by his Stromboli-esque manager. so a doctor of anatomy, Anthony Hopkins, sees Merrick and wishes to study him since he has never met with “such a perverted and degraded version of a human being such as” Merrick.
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so Dr. Hopkins takes Merrick to the hospital and turns out hes a well-versed gentleman, polite and sensitive and all around lovely. he ends up meeting all kinds of socialites and even Queen Victoria but the Dr. starts wondering if he hasn’t inadvertently created another exploitative environment for Merrick. hes well taken care of at the hospital and has a much better quality of life, but Merrick is still an amusing novelty of the upperclass, he’s still being “looked at”.
whats wrong?!
whats right?!
this debate reminds me of the ethical questions surrounding “Hows Your News?“, a news program starring people with mental and physical disabilities. it has been picked up by Mtv and is being produced by South Park creators, Matt Stone and Trey Parker.
…………ominous silence as one thinks about what this could entail…………..
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the creator and director Arthur Bradford gives his 2 cents in an interview for Boing Boing

“Does this show really belong on MTV? Aren’t all those kids going to laugh for all the wrong reasons?“…let me just say that I think this line of questioning does a sort of disservice to both people with disabilities and the kids who watch MTV. People with disabilities don’t really need a bunch of watchdogs looking out for their “best interests”. They are most often able to do this themselves and I can assure you our cast is extremely proud of the work they did on this show, as are their families. And the kids who watch MTV are much smarter than we are giving them credit for. They deserve something like this, a show that doesn’t assume they can’t decide things for themselves.

i agree with Bradford. i think that once a viewer gets over the fact that, “my goodness, im staring at people with disabilities”, you realize that they’re just people. they’re exciting, vibrant and sincere; they’re funny and interesting and you can tell they all enjoy being part of the show. my mom does not agree with me however. shes still hung up on how the audience could perceive the program as a joke or as a freak show; shes concerned about protecting the stars from the assholes who will be laughing AT them rather than with them. i understand that fear, but i hope that the show succeeds in humanizing and demystifying people with disabilities rather than highlighting and warping their differences.
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so back to the Elephant Man
the film!: it was touching but not too cloyingly sentimental. and you can tell David Lynch directed it, via: lots of trippy dream sequences and a piano-hammering soundtrack. A+, gold stars all around.

the man!: in 2003 scientists conducted DNA tests on Merrick and were unable to determine exactly what he was suffering from. it might be a combination of Proteus syndrome (a congenital disorder that causes skin overgrowth and atypical bone development) and Neurofibromatosis type I (a tumor disorder that is caused by a gene malfunction which is responsible for the control of cell division in bones and eyes)…it makes you look like this
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there is also an Elephant Man play written in 1979 by Bernard Pomerance. the lead was played by many actors including David Bowie and Mark Hamill. Pomerance’s play was notable because the actor portraying Joseph Merrick didn’t wear any make up. i suppose this was to create an effect of true empathy for the character. with no make up, Merrick was just a normal looking person being ostracized and abused for no immediate reason. however, in this clip of Bowie playing Merrick, he does limp around and slur a bit…

at least its not a musical like the revisioning of Gray Gardens. awful awful awful. i have no respect for it.
i still havent seen the HBO version though…
1980

i am a forever fan of shirley temples. triple cherries please!

some things: *
it was my birthday! i turned 24 and am still not sure how i feel about that. i feel rather old honestly…
because (and this will definitely categorize me as a nerd) in 1999 they started minting the 50 state quarters…i was 14 and collecting them in one of those official cardboard coin-holder books. i remember looking at the empty slots under each year and thinking about how old (how OLD) i’d be when the whole book was filled, when Hawaii would come out, and itd be 2008 and id be 23. i completed the book a couple months ago…it was an odd feeling to finish a task i started so long ago. odder still was to BE as old as i once imagined, older in fact.
im rather partial to the Arkansas one…its such an odd amalgamation of objects…
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*had a lovely birthday party and some lovely pineapple upside-down cake shots and got some awesome presents…
received a copy of the Luke Perry teen-turmoil-epic, Terminal Bliss (rated R, for being shamelessly tawdry). love that they prominently display their three star rating on the box…
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*was also given, The Definitive Guide to Using Astrology in Every Aspect of Your Life. yes. its 500 pages and im scared to get started. ps: these are tits
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*and the cherry on top, this Micheal Jackson watch my mom found. LOOK at this thing. i have no words, its basically out of this world.
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some other things:
*the Gutter Magazine issue i did the cover for is finally out…
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thats me saying “L”uscious (Joe told me to)
see the whole issue heeeeeeeeeeeeeere

*speaking of Bmore, (gutter magazine –> baltimore –> nudashank–>), DC artist Micheal Dotson, (previously mentioned here) has put a new piece up on the internet…
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Straight to the Dome

look at it…
love at it…
he’s too much.

because my feelings are selfish, i want everything for my own…

cuppin
this weekend! BALTIMORE!
next weekend! MY BIRTHDAY!
SUMMER BDAYS ARE THE BEST! DEAL WITH IT!
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so yeah, this weekend is Nudashank’s 3rd opening, Where the Sun Don’t Shine, a collection of black and white works from Nick Van Woert, Jimmy Joe Roche, Annie Farrar, JM Giordano, Bart O’Reilly, Waltr Carpenter, Brendan Sullivan, and Richmond’s own Henry Winfiele.
curator’s statement sez:

Through video, cut paper, drawing, painting, photography and sculpture, each artist employs a subtle humor that addresses the darker facets of contemporary existentialism. The work in this show (completely devoid of color), investigates this darkness with a cold, removed conceptual distance.

based on the press release stuff, i believe i am most excited about Nick Van Woert’s work…
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Ghost
Plaster bust and plastic
2009

considering the numerous pictures of the undersides of the bust pieces on his website, it seems that Nick is most interested in documenting the depth and positive and negative space of the resulting puddle of plastic…
duo

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also this weekend is WHARTSCAPE!!
omg omg i have no tickets to any of this omg…
but the day time shows are not sold out…i dunno, we’re gonna play it by ear and see what lookin cute and trading cigarettes does for us…
on sunday night, HEIGHT is playing, and incidentally here is a new video of H and friends from Team G, pretty extra ordinary…
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and since we’re on the subject of amazing friends, photographer Jonathon Kingsbury visited Nashville based Halcyon bike shop
and took some awesome pictures of some super duper custom bikessss….
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reminds me of pee wee’s big adventure or something…
see aaaaall the rest of them here…or check out elise’s favorites on the Halcyon website…..

can’t sleep, beds on fire…


David Byrne was 23 when the Talking Heads played at CBGB’S for the first time…
im 23, turning 24 next month, and what am i doing? burning bridges, sleeping in, and thinking about getting Tina Weymouth’s haircut…
kjh

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i made some Michael Jackson memorial ribbons…
reppin sassitude, jean vest, and the memory…
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heres a close up, three lines of sequins and lens flare
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ps: ive got a 12 yr old girl crush on daniel…
dear dungeons and dragons, come to my mom’s house, lets break out the
faygo and get geeky…that is about to be me….ive got a starter kit, and a near-perverse interest, no foolin…
heres how i roll,
pink cadillac…always a lady
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a dream realized!

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so way back in 2005, i stumbled across the website for ZUBBLES!! the most ingenious reimagined toy concept EVER: colored bubbles! but back then it was only an idea, no company had picked it up because the inventors Tim Kehoe and Ram Sabnis hadn’t been able to stream line production yet. but NOW, TODAY! you can pre-order blue or pink ones!!!!!!!!!
OMG!!!!!
the science behind these things is pretty exciting and innovative actually, because Kehoe and Sabnis ended up inventing a kind of dye molecule that DISAPPEARS when exposed to air, water or friction (for instance, when a bubble pops). ive seen this technology in action with Boudicca’s Wode perfume…
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“When Wode is sprayed a vibrant cobalt blue mist appears and settles on the skin or clothing. Whether touched or not the ‘Wode Paint’ begins to fade and within seconds or minutes disappears completely leaving simply the scent behind.”

here are some interesting tidbits about Zubbles from an extensive article found (ironically) on the pop science website:

*when Tim Kehoe came up with the idea to make colored bubbles, he went to the grocery store and bought hundreds of intensely colored items…

“I started with Jell-O, because I thought, ‘Well, it’s got pretty intense color.’ So I mixed Jell-O and Ivory soap. I got nothing.” Undeterred, he went back to the store and tried food coloring and Kool Aid. Then hair dye. Then ink. When he realized that the answer probably couldn’t be found on a store shelf, he started studying patents and reading about surfactants. (surfactants = a material found mainly in soaps that interacts with water to reduce surface tension therefore allowing for bubbles to form) A bubble wall is mostly water held in place by two layers of surfactant molecules, spaced just millionths of an inch apart. If you add, say, food coloring to the bubble solution, the heavy dye molecules float freely in the water, bonding to neither the water nor the surfactants, and cascade almost immediately down the sides. You’ll have a clear bubble with a dot of color at the bottom. What you need is a dye that attaches to the surfactant molecules and disperses evenly in that water layer.

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*so Tim studied surfactants and dye patents and would order chemicals in order to try mixing up the colored bubble solution in his own kitchen…

Once he tried nitric acid, a toxic chemical that gives off red fumes at room temperature. “I got it making a really cool bubble, but it could’ve killed somebody,” he recalls. “It ate through clothes.” Another one exploded with a loud bang. Another gave him chemical burns when it popped. The best one bounced, just like a Super Ball. He thought he could have sold that one, but he couldn’t re-create it. He could rarely re-create any of his experiments. “I never wrote anything down,” he says. “I’d get too excited as I was doing it. But once I lost that bouncing bubble, I was crushed. I started videotaping myself.”

*Tim eventually invented a process of mixing the dye with the surfactant that caused the two to bond so that bubble held a uniform color. the problem was that once the bubble popped, the dye would separate from the solution and create a huge stain. after more experiments, Tim was able to make the color washable, but this wasnt good enough. in order to make the product sellable, Tim needed to make the color of the bubble dissapear on its own.

*Tim found and hired chemist Ram Sabnis to help him synthesize the right kind of dye, one that…

“would bond to the surfactants in a bubble to give it bright, vivid color but would also lose its color with friction, water or exposure to air-not fade, not transfer to something else, but go away completely.” Sabnis’s solution was to build a dye molecule from an unstable base structure called a lactone ring that functions much like a box. When the ring is open, the molecule absorbs all visible light save for one color-the color of the bubble. But add air, water or pressure, and the box closes, changing the molecule’s structure so that it lets visible light pass straight through. Sabnis builds each hue by adding different chemical groups onto this base.

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this stuff is crazy!
science = interesting
bubbles = fun
colors = super happy fun time/hurray!