Saturday, September 16, 2006
indulge me, dear friends. There are moments of whimsy so equisite, that i am consumed entirely with hope for the world. This is one of them.
Art collector Richard Cohen got the most marvelous wild hair up his ass, one fine day while dining with an antique china dealer. They were discussing antique chna with hunting dogs and ducks on them, and Cohen expressed dissapointment at the fact that truly interesting animals were never represented on dining sets.
What followed is the most important comission of china in 100 years. My ability to relay the details of this endeavor will do it no justice. I'll cut and paste the Wall Street Journal Article (No link, since it's subscription only).
"He scrounged for antique etchings of hippos but eventually decided to go all out and hire photographer Sarah Galbraith to document the names and faces of nearly every hippo in captivity -- she ultimately traveled to 101 zoos in 33 countries, including Vietnam, South Africa, Australia and Sri Lanka.
Back home in Oyster Bay, N.Y., Mr. Cohen sifted through 3,000 images and sent his favorites to Royal Copenhagen, which hadn't received a commission of this scale in at least a century. He asked for the hippos to be painted on the company's renowned Flora Danica pattern -- also found in the collection of Denmark's Queen Margrethe II -- with enough teacups and dinner plates to serve a five-course meal for 18. The 231-year-old porcelain company has about 25 artisans who can paint the pattern for regular, five-person place settings (cost: about $6,000). But because of the scale of this commission, the company called in semi-retired master Juergen Nielsen to do the entire set. (Mr. Cohen says he doesn't plan to sell the collection, or eat off it.)"
The Photographer kept a blog JOINED AT THE HIPPO, where you can see some more of the exhibit and the photos of the subjects. Each piece has the names of the Hippos and their locale emblazoned on the bottom (Bubbles, San Diego Zoo, for example).
Some people, may claim $400,000 is a terrible amount to waste on a project as silly as this. Considering the amount of true waste in this nation, it is heartening for me to see money spent on an act of silliness. Artists and craftsmen in Sweden, professiona photographers, and some very very serious minded individuals have gotten behind on a an act of whimsy so grand, and a subject matter so silly, and declared it "Important Art". As i told someone very special to me, if there is room in this world for something as silly as a 400k hippo set of dishware, then there's a place on this earth for all god's silly creations, Including me. To quote an antiques dealer, "There are valid discussions about distribution of wealth, but this is not one of them.".
Click here to see what Hippo sex sounds like (For real!)
Friday, September 15, 2006
Thursday, September 14, 2006
There was a time before the country went nuts that Texas wasn't ground Zero for religious nutjobs and corporate corruption.
Ann Richards Was governor, and as soon as she left the governor's office, so did sanity.
She was supplanted by George W. Bush with the help of Carl Rove.
Ann Richards on How to Be a Good Republican:
You have to believe that the nation's current 8-year prosperity was due to the work of Ronald Reagan and George Bush, but yesterday's gasoline prices are all Clinton's fault.
You have to believe that those privileged from birth achieve success all on their own.
You have to be against all government programs, but expect Social Security checks on time.
You have to believe that AIDS victims deserve their disease, but smokers with lung cancer and overweight individuals with heart disease don't deserve theirs.
You have to appreciate the power rush that comes with sporting a gun.
You have to believe...everything Rush Limbaugh says.
You have to believe that the agricultural, restaurant, housing and hotel industries can survive without immigrant labor.
You have to believe God hates homosexuality, but loves the death penalty.
You have to believe society is color-blind and growing up black in America doesn't diminish your opportunities, but you still won't vote for Alan Keyes.
You have to believe that pollution is OK as long as it makes a profit.
You have to believe in prayer in schools, as long as you don't pray to Allah or Buddha.
You have to believe Newt Gingrich and Henry Hyde were really faithful husbands.
You have to believe speaking a few Spanish phrases makes you instantly popular in the barrio.
You have to believe that only your own teenagers are still virgins.
You have to be against government interference in business, until your oil company, corporation or Savings and Loan is about to go broke and you beg for a government bail out.
You love Jesus and Jesus loves you and, by the way, Jesus shares your hatred for AIDS victims, homosexuals, and President Clinton.
You have to believe government has nothing to do with providing police protection, national defense, and building roads.
You have to believe a poor, minority student with a disciplinary history and failing grades will be admitted into an elite private school with a $1,000 voucher.
Ann Richards 1933-2006
Governor of Texas, Democrat, and Classy Classy Lady.
This will be a shock to anyone who has never visited the towns mentioned in the article, otherwise, yeah... it makes sense.
College Football: The punter is stabbed, his backup is arrested
Monday, September 11, 2006
It happened AGAIN! You'd think that at my ripe old age, i'd have figured out things NOT to say to ladies. Especially ladies i care for. Especially if i plan to speak to them again. But there for the grace of god go I, running my mouth.
Would this be my blog if i didn't elaborate? Who am I speaking to anyway?
So recently, I became empowered by a viewing of PENN AND TELLER'S BULLSHIT and a good perusal of some James Randi, and Carl Sagan literature. As a child who was obsessed with Nessie, Ghosts, Yeti (Somehow I always knew Sasquatch was bullshit), and a slew of supernatural powers not the least of which was pyrokinesis, I grew increasingly frustrated at the inability of the supernatural to show itself. I don't mean " I think I saw something!". I mean, "Holy shit! look at that! There it is!". To that end I Eventually stumbled unto Carl Sagan, James Randi, Johnny Carson (Yeah, THAT Johnny Carson), and a slew of other skeptics that were so enamored with the occult, that they could not bear to see it beleived. In the great tradtion of Harry Houdini, Penn and Teller, the Great Randi, Carnac the Magnificent, and Alf the inept at card tricks, I would love nothing more than proof. Solid proof, put to the scientific method, and verified, that ESP, the afterlife, UFOs the Loch Ness Monster, and compassionate conservatism, all exist. But in truth, in my heart of hearts, I know none of these do. So it has been for the last fifteen or so years of my life. Considering I'm a sprightly thrity, this is not a small number. I have accepted for the majority of my adult life, that magic and the occult are nothing but my own desire to be more special than I am.
Now, I may poo-poo ESP or Astrology to anyone I wish, and even someone who wears flowing garb and much pewter, will brush it aside and say "Not everyone beleives". Not so i have found with spectres.
What the fuck?
It has been my experience that many people will find atheism perfectly reasonable.
"God is dead? Sure! Why not?"
Now, tell someone you don't believe in ghosts, and you may as well have spit on them, their family, all close friends, and family pets.
That's all i got.
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
I am inexplicably filled with sorrow at the death of Steve Irwin. I suppose, i mourn more than anything the loss of a sncere and gentle person in entertainment. With Mel and his DUI rants, and Tom Cruise's parade of the bizzare, it was heartening to see someone who's celebrity was nothing but a hat he would put on and take off at leisure. His love of living things was not concocted, and his excitement was so genuine, that it was often overwhelming. Three episodes of the Croc Hunter wil forever stick out in my mind:
The first. was Steve in my native Colorado, squaling with delight at finding a nest of rattlers. Anyone who has hiked even a little, knows how terrifying ONE is, and this lunatic dove headfirst into a nest of about thirty ratlle snakes.
The second was the episode when Steve's dog "Suey" had to be put to sleep. It was heart-wrenching, and Steve walked everyone through each agonizing step, as he said goodbye to his best friend. He ended the episode with a gentle reminder to everyone, about how wonderfl Suey was and what a great life she had led, then with tears in his eyes, he said"Crikey, Death is natural but it can be hard to take."
I'm welling up.
Lastly was this episode. Was there ever a more gentle, sweet man? Who weeps for a one-ton dragon? Who has it in them to look at that thing, and see beyond the teeth and the killer instinct? The world is a bit harder without him.
Friday, September 01, 2006
Happy birthday to the following Virgos:
1935 - Seiji Ozawa, Japanese conductor
1939 - Lily Tomlin, American actress and comedian
1942 - C. J. Cherryh, American writer
1944 - Leonard Slatkin, American conductor
1946 - Barry Gibb, English singer (Bee Gees)
1946 - Roh Moo-Hyun, President of Korea
1947 - Al Green, American politician
1949 - P.A. Sangma, Indian politician
1950 - Phillip Fulmer, American football coach
1950 - Dr. Phil, American talk show host
1951 - Nicu Ceauşescu, Romanian politician
1952 - Phil Hendrie, American radio personality
1955 - Billy Blanks, American martial artist
1955 - Bruce Foxton, English bassist (The Jam)
1957 - Gloria Estefan, Cuban singer
1961 - Bam Bam Bigelow, American wrestler
1962 - Ruud Gullit, Dutch footballer
1964 - Brian Bellows, Canadian ice hockey player
1964 - Cécilia Rhode, Swedish model
1966 - Tim Hardaway, American basketball player
1968 - Mohammed Atta, 9/11 terrorist (d. 2001)
1969 - Henning Berg, Norwegian footballer
1970 - Vanna, Croatian singer
1973 - J. D. Fortune, Canadian singer (INXS)
1974 - Jhonen Vasquez, comic book artist
1975 - Omar Rodriguez-Lopez, guitarist for The Mars Volta
1976 - Jada Fire, American pornographic actress
1976 - Alf LaMont, Humorist, Pirate Captain, creative genius.
1976 - Erik Morales, Mexican boxer
1977 - Aaron Schobel, American football player
1978 - Max Vieri, Australian-Italian football player
1980 - Chris Riggott, English footballer
1981 - Clinton Portis, American football player
1983 - Jose Antonio Reyes, Spanish footballer
1984 - Joseph Trohman, American musician (Fall Out Boy)
1985 - Camile Velasco, American singer
1987 - Dann Hume New Zealand musician (Evermore)
1989 - Bill Kaulitz German singer (Tokio Hotel)
1994 - Bianca Ryan, American singer
In the News:
US Supreme Court rules that blacks and other minorities are entitled to retroactive job seniority (March 24).
Ford signs Federal Election Campaign Act (May 11).
US Supreme Court rules that death penalty is not inherently cruel or unusual and is a constitutionally acceptable form of punishment (July 3).
Nation celebrates Bicentennial (July 4).
Mysterious disease strikes American Legion convention in Philadelphia, eventually claiming 29 lives (Aug. 4).
Jimmy Carter elected US President (Nov. 2).
Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot becomes prime minister (and virtual dictator) of Cambodia after Prince Sihanouk steps down (April 2).
Israeli airborne commandos attack Uganda's Entebbe Airport and free 103 hostages held by pro-Palestinian hijackers of Air France plane; one Israeli and several Ugandan soldiers killed in raid (July 4).
19-month civil war ends in Lebanon after threatening to escalate to global level (Nov.). MAN! Some things NEVER change...
Top grossing films:
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
All the President's Men, starring Dustin Hoffman and Robert Redford
The Omen, starring Gregory Peck and Lee Remick
The Bad News Bears
Murder by Death
Blazing Saddles (re-release)
Monty Python and the Holy Grail
Matsushita introduces the VHS home video cassette recorder to compete with Sony's Betamax system.
Super Bowl X:January 18 Pittsburgh Steelers won 21-17 over the Dallas Cowboys
Mama Mia by ABBA spends 14 weeks on the top ten charts...Fernando has 16 weeks that same yr.