Friday, December 30, 2005

Art-David Wojnarowicz

David Wojnarowicz was born in Red Bank, New Jersey in 1954. The product of an extremely difficult childhood brought on by an abusive family life and an emerging sense of his own homosexuality, Wojnarowicz dropped out of high school and was living on the streets by the age of sixteen. He turned to hustling in Times Square. After hitchhiking many times across the U.S. and living for several months in San Francisco and Paris, he settled in New York's East Village in 1978.

"I have never had what could be described as an ART EDUCATION.I am not even sure what an ART EDUCATION is."

Many of Wojnarowicz' works incorporate outsider experiences drawn from his personal history and from stories he heard from the people he met in bus stations and truck stops while hitchhiking. By the late 1970s he had, in his own words, "started developing ideas of making and preserving an authentic version of history in the form of images/writings/objects that would contest state-supported forms of 'history.'" In such diverse works as Sounds in the Distance (1982), a collection of monologues from "people who lived and worked in the streets" and The Weight of the Earth, Part I & II (1988), an arrangement of black-and-white photographs taken during his travels and life in New York, Wojnarowicz continually returned to the personal voices of individuals stigmatized by society.

A member of the first wave of East Village artists, Wojnarowicz began showing his work during the early 1980s in such now-legendary spaces as Civilian Warfare, Club 57, Gracie Mansion, Fashion Moda, and the Limbo Lounge. He gained prominence through his inclusion in the 1985 Whitney Biennial, and was soon showing in numerous museum and gallery exhibitions throughout the United States, Europe and Latin America.

"All my life I've made things that are like fragmented mirrors of what I perceive to be the world. As far as I'm concerned the fact that in 1990 the human body is still a taboo subject is unbelievably ridiculous. What exactly is so frightening about the human body?"

In the late 1980s, after he was diagnosed with AIDS, Wojnarowicz' art took on a sharply political edge, and soon he was entangled in highly public debates about medical research and funding, morality and censorship in the arts, and the legal rights of artists. Wojnarowicz challenged the nature of pubic arts funding at the National Endowment for the Arts, and initiated litigation against the American Family Association of Tupelo, Mississippi, an anti-pornography political action group that Wojnarowicz accused of misrepresenting his art and damaging his reputation. He won the lawsuit.

Wojnarowicz died of AIDS-related illness in New York City in 1992, at the age of 37. He is the author of five books. His artwork is in numerous private and public collections including the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and the Whitney Museum of American Art.

"Bottom line, if people don't say what they believe, those ideas and feelings get lost. If they are lost often enough, those ideas and feelings never return."

Claudia Dey on cover of NOW 2005 Year in Review

Wow is it ever great to see your friends recognized in the media.

Claudia Dey was included as one of the photos on the cover of NOW 2005 Year in Review. She was voted #1 in NOW's Top 10 Theatre Shows for 2005. Claudia Dey and Trout Stanley reeled in the the big prize.

Don't you think this is going a little to far

Justice Dept. Probing Domestic Spying Leak

WASHINGTON Dec 30, 2005 — The Justice Department has opened an investigation into the leak of classified information about President Bush's secret domestic spying program, Justice officials said Friday.

The officials, who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the probe, said the inquiry will focus on disclosures to The New York Times about warrantless surveillance conducted by the National Security Agency since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

The Times revealed the existence of the program two weeks ago in a front-page story that acknowledged the news had been withheld from publication for a year, partly at the request of the administration and partly because the newspaper wanted more time to confirm various aspects of the program.

The story unleashed a firestorm of criticism of the administration. Some critics accused the president of breaking the law by authorizing intercepts of conversations without prior court approval or oversight of people inside the United States and abroad who had suspected ties to al-Qaida or its affiliates.

The surveillance program, which Bush acknowledged authorizing, bypassed a nearly 30-year-old secret court established to oversee highly sensitive investigations involving espionage and terrorism.

Administration officials insisted that Bush has the power to conduct the warrantless surveillance under the Constitution's war powers provision. They also argued that Congress gave Bush the power to conduct such a secret program when it authorized the use of military force against terrorism in a resolution adopted within days of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

The Justice Department's investigation was being initiated after the agency received a request for the probe from the NSA.

The administration's legal interpretation of the president's powers allowed the government to avoid requirements under the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

The act established procedures that an 11-member court used in 2004 to oversee nearly 1,800 government applications for secret surveillance or searches of foreigners and U.S. citizens suspected of terrorism or espionage.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Spread the Word: WHY WE FIGHT

Eugene Jarecki, USA, 2005
Wednesday 23 March 2005 10pm-11.40pm; 2.10am-3.50am

What are the forces that shape and propel American militarism? This award-winning film provides an inside look at the anatomy of the American war machine

Why We Fight is the title of a series of propaganda films that Frank Capra began making in 1942, with the aim of encouraging the American war effort against Nazism. Director Eugene Jarecki (The Trials of Henry Kissinger) has used the films as a commentary on the contemporary obsession of the American elite with military power.

He also harks back to a speech by President Eisenhower, who, just before he left office, referred to the "military-industrial complex". Eisenhower was worried that too much intelligence, and too much business acumen in America, had become focussed on the production of unnecessary weapons systems.

Since Eisenhower's time, everything has become much worse, as Eugene Jarecki describes it. The war in Iraq was made possible by a new range of weapons systems: a bomb called the "bunker buster" was dropped by stealth bombers on the first night of the conflict.

Is American foreign policy dominated by the idea of military supremacy? Has the military become too important in American life? Jarecki's shrewd and intelligent polemic would seem to give an affirmative answer to each of these questions.

Coming in January 2006

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Neo-conservatives must be removed

The reason I write this piece is that I am furious. What I deplore is the mind-set in people that America can do no wrong. That whatever the US does is good, just, and benefits the rest of the World.

I’m not afraid to state my opinion. I believe the facts; that no Weapons of Mass Destruction were found in Iraq that the War in Iraq is completely unjustified, that there is NO connection between 9/11, Al Qaeda, and Iraq, that the war is about oil. The whole thing is a lie in order to pursue the neo-conservative agenda of “A New Pearl Harbor”. Even so, a majority of American’s and sympathizers refuse to accept the facts.

I had dinner with a couple of friends in 2004. She was republican and he was Democrat. The conversation drifted towards Bush’s decision to invade Iraq. I wanted to know why she supported the war in Iraq and the Bush administration. She pushed the same propaganda voiced by the White House.

Question: Why is it justified for the US to invade Iraq?
Answer: Because Saddam is a dictator who must be removed. He tortures and kills people. Do you think that’s right?
Question: But there are lot’s of dictators who should be removed. Why Saddam and why now?
Answer: Because he is building Weapons of Mass Destruction and has links with Al Qaeda?

Remember this was in 2004 three years after the attack.

Nevertheless, this has been discredited. Why are Americans and other sympathizers unwilling to accept the facts? When pushed they get there backs up and turn up the emotional attacks such as do you support terrorism, or dictators. Are you against freedom?

I recently had a conversation with a close family member about the neo-conservative agenda for global domination. The conversation turned towards the Iraq War.

When I said that the facts speak for themselves that no WMD were found in Iraq she said how do you know they weren’t moved to Syria.

Having a conversation like this makes my brain hurt. Regardless of facts, they challenge you based on emotion, rhetoric and falsities. There’s nothing to back up what they are saying except propaganda from the White House. Do they realize who is running the White House? If you haven’t figured it out by now, let me tell you, the neo-conservatives.

Neo-conservative doctrine:

The threat posed by US terrorism to the security of nations and individuals was outlined in prophetic detail in a document written more than two years ago and disclosed only recently. What was needed for America to dominate much of humanity and the world’s resources, it said, was “some catastrophic and catalyzing event – like a new Pearl Harbor”. The attacks of 11 September 2001 provided the “new Pearl Harbor”, described as “the opportunity of ages”. The extremists who have since exploited 11 September come from the era of Ronald Reagan, when far-right groups and “think-tanks” were established to avenge the American “defeat” in Vietnam. In the 1990s, there was an added agenda: to justify the denial of a “peace dividend” following the cold war. The Project for the New American Century was formed, along with the American Enterprise Institute, the Hudson Institute and others that have since merged the ambitions of the Reagan administration with those of the current Bush regime.

One of George W Bush’s “thinkers” is Richard Perle. I interviewed Perle when he was advising Reagan; and when he spoke about “total war”, I mistakenly dismissed him as mad. He recently used the term again in describing America’s “war on terror”. “No stages,” he said. “This is total war. We are fighting a variety of enemies. There are lots of them out there. All this talk about first we are going to do Afghanistan, then we will do Iraq... this is entirely the wrong way to go about it. If we just let our vision of the world go forth, and we embrace it entirely and we don’t try to piece together clever diplomacy, but just wage a total war... our children will sing great songs about us years from now.”

Perle is one of the founders of the Project for the New American Century, the PNAC. Other founders include Dick Cheney, now vice-president, Donald Rumsfeld, defence secretary, Paul Wolfowitz, deputy defence secretary, I Lewis Libby, Cheney’s chief of staff, William J Bennett, Reagan’s education secretary, and Zalmay Khalilzad, Bush’s ambassador to Afghanistan. These are the modern chartists of American terrorism. The PNAC’s seminal report, Rebuilding America’s Defences: strategy, forces and resources for a new century, was a blueprint of American aims in all but name. Two years ago it recommended an increase in arms-spending by $48bn so that Washington could “fight and win multiple, simultaneous major theatre wars”. This has happened. It said the United States should develop “bunker-buster” nuclear weapons and make “star wars” a national priority. This is happening. It said that, in the event of Bush taking power, Iraq should be a target. And so it is.
As for Iraq’s alleged “weapons of mass destruction”, these were dismissed, in so many words, as a convenient excuse, which it is. “While the unresolved conflict with Iraq provides the immediate justification,” it says, “the need for a substantial American force presence in the Gulf transcends the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein.” How has this grand strategy been implemented? A series of articles in the Washington Post, co-authored by Bob Woodward of Watergate fame and based on long interviews with senior members of the Bush administration, reveals how 11 September was manipulated.

On the morning of 12 September 2001, without any evidence of who the hijackers were, Rumsfeld demanded that the US attack Iraq. According to Woodward, Rumsfeld told a cabinet meeting that Iraq should be “a principal target of the first round in the war against terrorism”. Iraq was temporarily spared only because Colin Powell, the secretary of state, persuaded Bush that “public opinion has to be prepared before a move against Iraq is possible”. Afghanistan was chosen as the softer option. If Jonathan Steele’s estimate in the Guardian is correct, some 20,000 people in Afghanistan paid the price of this debate with their lives.

Time and again, 11 September is described as an “opportunity”. In last April’s New Yorker, the investigative reporter Nicholas Lemann wrote that Bush’s most senior adviser, Condoleezza Rice, told him she had called together senior members of the National Security Council and asked them “to think about ‘how do you capitalise on these opportunities’”, which she compared with those of “1945 to 1947”: the start of the cold war. Since 11 September, America has established bases at the gateways to all the major sources of fossil fuels, especially central Asia. The Unocal oil company is to build a pipeline across Afghanistan. Bush has scrapped the Kyoto Protocol on greenhouse gas emissions, the war crimes provisions of the International Criminal Court and the anti-ballistic missile treaty. He has said he will use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear states “if necessary”. Under cover of propaganda about Iraq’s alleged weapons of mass destruction, the Bush regime is developing new weapons of mass destruction that undermine international treaties on biological and chemical warfare.

In the Los Angeles Times, the military analyst William Arkin describes a secret army set up by Donald Rumsfeld, similar to those run by Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger and which Congress outlawed. This “super-intelligence support activity” will bring together the “CIA and military covert action, information warfare, and deception”. According to a classified document prepared for Rumsfeld, the new organisation, known by its Orwellian moniker as the Proactive Pre-emptive Operations Group, or P2OG, will provoke terrorist attacks which would then require “counter-attack” by the United States on countries “harbouring the terrorists”.

In other words, innocent people will be killed by the United States. This is reminiscent of Operation Northwoods, the plan put to President Kennedy by his military chiefs for a phoney terrorist campaign - complete with bombings, hijackings, plane crashes and dead Americans - as justification for an invasion of Cuba. Kennedy rejected it. He was assassinated a few months later. Now Rumsfeld has resurrected Northwoods, but with resources undreamt of in 1963 and with no global rival to invite caution. You have to keep reminding yourself this is not fantasy: that truly dangerous men, such as Perle and Rumsfeld and Cheney, have power. The thread running through their ruminations is the importance of the media: “the prioritised task of bringing on board journalists of repute to accept our position”.
“Our position” is code for lying. Certainly, as a journalist, I have never known official lying to be more pervasive than today. We may laugh at the vacuities in Tony Blair’s “Iraq dossier” and Jack Straw’s inept lie that Iraq has developed a nuclear bomb (which his minions rushed to “explain”). But the more insidious lies, justifying an unprovoked attack on Iraq and linking it to would-be terrorists who are said to lurk in every Tube station, are routinely channelled as news. They are not news; they are black propaganda.

This corruption makes journalists and broadcasters mere ventriloquists’ dummies. An attack on a nation of 22 million suffering people is discussed by liberal commentators as if it were a subject at an academic seminar, at which pieces can be pushed around a map, as the old imperialists used to do.

The issue for these humanitarians is not primarily the brutality of modern imperial domination, but how “bad” Saddam Hussein is. There is no admission that their decision to join the war party further seals the fate of perhaps thousands of innocent Iraqis condemned to wait on America’s international death row. Their doublethink will not work. You cannot support murderous piracy in the name of humanitarianism. Moreover, the extremes of American fundamentalism that we now face have been staring at us for too long for those of good heart and sense not to recognise them.

This is only meant to provide background. I encourage you to learn more through movies such as Syriana, Why We Fight, Farhenite 9/11, and The Power of Nightmares.

I am inclined to voice my opinion and stand up for what I believe in. If I can’t stop it, at least I can condemn it.

Friday, December 23, 2005

What this Canadian Election needs is Gonzo journalism

While listening to the debates, and reading Canadian media I think we need more Gonzo Journalism.

First, let me begin by defining Gonzo journalism.

Gonzo journalism
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Gonzo journalism is a journalistic style, most famously used by Hunter S. Thompson. The term gonzo was first applied to Thompson's writing in 1970 by Bill Cardoso, a Boston Globe reporter who claimed the word had originated with the Irish in South Boston to describe the last man standing at the end of an all-night drinking marathon. Central to gonzo journalism is the notion that journalism can be more truthful without strict observance of traditional rules of factual reportage. The best work in the genre is characterized by a novelistic twist added to reportage, with usual standards of accuracy subordinated to catching the mood of a place or event. The reporter and the quest for information are central, with other considerations taking a back seat.

Gonzo journalism is an extension of the New Journalism championed by Tom Wolfe, Lester Bangs, and George Plimpton. "I don't get any satisfaction out of the old traditional journalist's view—'I just covered the story. I just gave it a balanced view,'" Thompson said in an interview for Atlantic Unbound. "Objective journalism is one of the main reasons American politics has been allowed to be so corrupt for so long. You can't be objective about Nixon. How can you be objective about Clinton?"

In Thompson's work, there is frequently a distorted viewpoint brought on by the author's consumption of drugs and alcohol (usually recorded in the article for posterity), but gonzo journalism is not about using drugs and alcohol. It has been said that it can and may have been used to support drug and alcohol usage with the premise of writing about an experience.

In literary terms, "gonzo" has been described by Douglas Brinkley as requiring virtually no re-writing, frequently employing scribbled notes, transcribed interviews, and verbatim telephone conversations. Other writers whose work may be categorized as "gonzo" include P. J. O'Rourke, and James Corkern. Some of the precursors to gonzo can be found in the writings of Kurt Vonnegut.

What is up with the Canadian press. Don't they know that nobody cares about this election. They take the campaign WAY to seriously.

Let's take a step back for a moment. Why are we having this election? It has to do with POWER. Some parties have it other parties want it. The minority parties are striking while the iron is hot. If they don't act now they miss their window of opportunity.

But how will this play out. My prediction is that the results will be more or less the same given a seat here a seat there.

During debates candidates never answer the question. Instead they turned every question into an attack on the Liberals. That doesn't tell me anything about where they stand.

We've got to do something. This is getting out of control. Am I the only one who feels this way? I don't think so, I heard the questions Canadians asked the candidates during the debates. We're not stupid.

In respect for Hunter S. Thompson would somebody do their goddamn job. What would Hunter say about this current situtation. Hunter S. Thompson aided with copious amounts of LSD, ether, adrenochrome, marijuana and other drugs would say "paper" or "plastic". Are these candidates for real. I have to pinch myself, is this really happening?

Canadians just weathered a decade of wasteful, corrupt, dishonest Liberal swines gorging themselves at the trough. The joke is on us, the Liberals lead the polls. What are we...STUPID. This is up there with the type of stupidity that gets people killed. It's worthy of a Darwin Award.

We are too busy debating whether Todd Bertuzzi or Shane Doan should make the Canadian Olympic team. It's like an Opium den around here. People lie around smoking these great big pipes drowing their everyday worries thorugh intoxication.

I'm ressurecting the ghost of Hunter S. Thompson to shake people out of this coma.


Do you want to live through another 10 years of sedation.


Thursday, December 22, 2005

Ian at the office 1 Yonge Street Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Rose saves 77-year-old disabled woman at ATM

In the parlance of the cops, he’s the lowest of the low.

Toronto Police have arrested a 42-year-old Toronto resident, after a 77-year-old disabled woman who uses an electric scooter to stay mobile was robbed.

Investigators say it happened on Tuesday morning in the Front and Jarvis area when the victim was taking out money from an A.T.M.

As she concentrated on finishing her transaction, a man appeared from behind her and grabbed her cash and credit cards.

But the feisty senior refused to give them up easily, struggling with her assailant to keep hold of her possessions.

That’s when cops allege this already disgusting crime got even nastier. They say the robber pushed the woman and her scooter over, leaving her lying on the cold ground, as he made his escape.

But he didn’t get far.

An alert citizen and some cops in the area saw him on the run and tracked him down, with the desperate desperado allegedly assaulting a police officer in the process of being arrested.

Fortunately, this story has at least a partial happy ending – despite her frightening experience, the victim suffered only minor bumps and bruises and got all her money back.

Larry MacKenzie of Toronto is charged with robbery and assault. He has a date with a judge in College Park Courts on Wednesday.

--Rose is the alert citizen.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Best Ads for 2005

This Bud Light campaign is awesome. It's good for some laughs.

Best Online Advertising Campaigns of 2005

FedEx, even an MBA can do it


Playboy, behind the scenes

Opel Astra, man's best friend

Axe Ravenstock

Alto, for tall people

Monday, December 19, 2005

Where are they now: Blues Golie Patrick Lalime

Blues goaltender Lalime clears waivers, assigned to Peoria
BluesNet - When the season started, the Blues felt that they had finally solidified their situation in goal with the acquisition of Patrick Lalime. Instead, less than halfway through his first season in St. Louis, the Blues placed Lalime on waivers, giving teams a free shot at acquiring him. Lalime was not claimed in the 24 hour period that he was available and was assigned to the Peoria Riverman, the Blues' AHL minor league affiliate.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Movie to See: Terry Gilliam ,LOST IN LA MANCHA

Terry Gilliam is 64. He has directed a series of hit and misses over his thirty-year career such as Monty Python's Life of Brian, Time Bandits, Brazil, 12 Monkeys, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, and the recent Brothers Grimm. He has had to fight for almost every film he's made.

BRAZIL a sci-fi cult classic about an Orwellian dystopia future features Robert Di Nero as a rebel plumber. The studio in America hated it. They wanted to change the editing. However, a couple of friends who were LA critics started to show it around clandestinely. At the LA critics awards it received Best Film and Best Director.

BRAZIL is necessary see film of Gilliam's but that's not what I wanted to tell you about. LOST IN LA MANCHA is a movie documenting everything that went wrong leading up to the studio canceling the Johnny Depp project about Don Quixote. The film was a 32 million project three year in production before it collapsed. Gilliam got into a legal nightmare to win the script back. Moreover, he intends to complete the project in the future.

What fascinates me about Gilliam is that he perseveres. He's fought studios on more than one occasion to get his films released the way he made them. In the end, most of his movies have flopped at the box office. A US audience doesn’t really get his movies.

If you haven't watch, any of his movies you should check them out. The closest example I can give of a director like him would be Tim Burton.

A partial list of Gilliam films;

12 MONKEYS--1995

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Books to Read-Diary, Chuck Palahniuk

With a first page that captures the reader hook, line and sinker, Palahniuk (Choke; Lullaby) plunges into the odd predicament of Waytansea Island resident and ex-art student Misty Marie Kleinman, whose husband, Peter, lies comatose in a hospital bed after a suicide attempt. Rooms in summer houses on the mainland that Peter has remodeled start to mysteriously disappear-"The man calling from Long Beach, he says his bathroom is missing"-and Misty, with the help of graphologist Angel Delaporte, discovers that crude and prophetic messages are scrawled across the walls and furniture of the blocked-off chambers. In her new world, where every day is "another longest day of the year," Misty suffers from mysterious physical ailments, which only go away while she is drawing or painting. Her doctor, 12-year-old daughter and mother-in-law, instead of worrying about her health, press her to paint more and more, hinting that her art will save exclusive Waytansea Island from being overrun by tourists. In the meantime, Misty is finding secret messages written under tables and in library books from past island artists issuing bold but vague warnings. With new and changing versions of reality at every turn, the theme of the "tortured artist" is taken to a new level and "everything is important. Every detail. We just don't know why, yet." The novel is something of a departure for Palahniuk, who eschews his blighted urban settings for a sinister resort island, but his catchy, jarring prose, cryptic pronouncements and baroque flights of imagination are instantly recognizable, and his sharp, bizarre meditations on the artistic process make this twisted tale one of his most memorable works to date.

Books to Read-Lullaby, Chuck Palahniuk

The consequences of media saturation are the basis for an urban nightmare in Lullaby, Chuck Palahniuk's darkly comic and often dazzling thriller. Assigned to write a series of feature articles investigating SIDS, troubled newspaper reporter Carl Streator begins to notice a pattern among the cases he encounters: each child was read the same poem prior to his or her death. His research and a tip from a necrophilic paramedic lead him to Helen Hoover Boyle, a real estate agent who sells "distressed" (demonized) homes, assured of their instant turnover. Boyle and Streator have both lost children to "crib death," and she confirms Streator's suspicions: the poem is an ancient lullaby or "culling song" that is lethal if spoken--or even thought--in a victim's direction. The misanthropic Streator, now armed with a deadly and uncontrollably catchy tune, goes on a minor killing spree until he recognizes his crimes and the song's devastating potential. Lullaby then turns into something of a road trip narrative, with Streator, Boyle, her empty-headed Wiccan secretary Mona, and Mona's vigilante boyfriend Oyster setting out across the U.S. to track down and destroy all copies of the poem.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Name that Dead tune

The answer, Uncle John's Band

Wolf & Clause 2005 Posted by Picasa