“The White Stripes’ much-ballyhooed sixth album, Icky Thump, lands today. But serious fans will be skipping the record store and iTunes and logging on to the group’s Web site instead for these limited-edition Jack and Meg USB flash drives. The collector’s items—featuring the musicians in the custom-made “Pearly King and Queen” garb they wear on the new release’s cover—come loaded with the complete album and 512 megabytes of memory. So grab one, or the set, and rock on.”
“How, as a poet, do you describe something as recalcitrantly material as an orange? When you “express” it juice shoots out and stains your hand: language leaves a residue – and good writing has to deal with that sticky remainder, that stain, and come to terms with the fact that it can never fully deal with it.”
Via: Wit of the Staircase
“About a dozen years ago, an old friend of mine was told by his daughter that she was going to get married. This suited him fine, but he balked at pouring untold thousands of dollars down the drain of a full-dress wedding. “I’ll tell you what,” he said to her. “I’ll give you a choice: You can have a wedding, or you can have $30,000 to help you get started on your new life.” Without a moment’s hesitation, she astonished him — and me, too, when he told me the story — by replying, “I’ll take the wedding.”"
If only I had been given such a choice when I got married. I will say till the day I die that I was a lover of planning my wedding but not of having my wedding. In truth, I love planning weddings–hell, I love planning–but all my ideas of grandeur were always meant for paper. Sure if money was no object I would have jumped with glee at the idea of spending enough money to buy a house on a party, but money was an object when I got married, and my heart goes into palpiltations at the mere thought of spending that kind of cash for things I consider impractical–and a wedding over the down payment of a house is to me impractical.
I was personally pressured into a large wedding by my in-laws. Now don’t get me wrong, my wedding was beautiful and I am grateful for all their help and monetary support in throwing the bash. Still, I could never get them to understand that I didn’t want the grand wedding I was planning. I actually just wanted to plan the damn thing and then go with the smallest, tastefully cheapest version of it.
I, an American–for this occassion we’ll generalize my ethnic heritage–married into an Asian family. There were so many traditions and customs on my husband’s side that had to be followed that I was unable to avoid a huge wedding no matter how hard I tried. At one point my in-laws said to me–while planning the reception menu, which since that part of the wedding was paid by the groom’s family actually meant I sit while they decide–that this wedding wasn’t for us (myself and my husband), it was for the parents. Meaning, “You may be the one at the altar but this event is meant to showcase our (groom’s family) parents status in the community.”
If I had had it my way, I would have kept the money that was spent on the reception totalling $15,000 and used it for something far more practical like…oh, I don’t know…a HOUSE, instead of living with my in-laws for five years! Sure my guests ate shrimp as large as their fists, and every guest–all 500 of them–had their very own lobster, and that was just the beginning of the seven course meal, but how much of that did I get back in wedding gifts–because Asian’s give monetary gifts rather than gift-gifts like Americans? Yeah, that would be two grand–very generous in the face of that amount coming from so few as maybe only 300 of those guests were obligated to pay. But I would rather have had those amounts pay off in reverse.
My advice to every girl…be practical. Have your wedding but on a sensible budget. Why start off your life in debt when you could be that much better off usign the money to start a life with a house and no debtors at your back hunting you down for the money you don’t have. Also, it’ll save you from being personally called by me a “Silly Bitch.”
“Vladimir Nabokov was a synesthete and described aspects of synesthesia in several of his works. In his memoir Speak, Memory, he notes that his wife also exhibited synesthesia; like her husband, her mind’s eye associated colors with particular letters. They discovered that their son Dmitri shared the trait, and moreover that the colors he associated with some letters were in some cases blends of his parents’ hues—’which is as if genes were painting in aquarelle’.”
“Some minds seem almost to create themselves, springing up under every disadvantage, and working their solitary but irresistible way through a thousand obstacles.”
Gilding is hardly what you would talk a techie geek–maybe borderline geek chic–but this table would be just savvy to have!
“Not content with seeing her undressed and variously penetrated, it seems to be assumed that we need to watch her being punished and humiliated as well. The supposedly ‘broad-minded’ culture turns out to be as prurient and salacious as the elders in The Scarlet Letter. Hilton is legally an adult but the treatment she is receiving stinks—indeed it reeks—of whatever horrible, buried, vicarious impulse underlies kiddie porn and child abuse.”
–Or so accuses Christopher Hitchens in his editorial Seige of Paris
Upon reading his article, I agree with a few of his points, namely the one in which he describes the bizarre–on the side of compulsively disturbing–-”salacious” attention with which our culture puts into following the lives of celebrities, and in particular of this article, Paris Hilton. The fact that I’m even writing a comment on this article while in the same cheek bitching about other people’s such attention sounds hypocritical, and in fact I agree borders that line. However, I speak of Miss Hilton as a subject in so hypocritical a way because I cease to be amazed with the constant following of her life not just in rag mags but in what are supposed to be reputable newspapers as well.
With that said, Mr Hitchens makes a comment in his article in which he says (speaking of Miss Hilton’s recent incarceration) “she is arbitrarily condemned to prison.” Now here I am not quite sure if he is saying this with sarcasm or if he truly feels that her jail sentence is arbitrary. Certainly it is not arbitrary that she is sentenced for being caught doing the same thing while on probabtion that she was originally put on probation for! Let us think upon this. Someone not of Miss Hilton’s standing, or at the very least have the ability to hire a lawyer worth his grain of salt, would not have gotten a sentence as light as 23 days–or is it 45 days–or was it 45 days reduced to 23 days–or was it the other way around? Do you see what I’m saying here. We are as a culture quibbling of days of ONE person’s prison sentence when in truth very few other citizens would have gotten off so well.
Still, I agree with Mr. Hitchens when he says: “Those gloating and jeering headlines, showing a tearful child being hauled back to jail, had the effect of making me feel sick. So, you finally got the kid to weep on camera? Are you happy now?”; and that our coverage of Miss Hilton by the media of all shapes, sizes, and sort “indeed it reeks—of whatever horrible, buried, vicarious impulse underlies kiddie porn and child abuse.” I also agree with Mr. Hitchens point in sympathizing with Miss Hilton when day in and day out she faces “dumb-ass TV-addicted crowds howling with easy, complicit laughter as Sarah Silverman (a culpably unfunny person) describes your cell bars being painted to look like penises and jokes heavily about your teeth being at risk because you might gnaw on them. And this on prime time, and unrebuked. Lynching parties used to be fiestas, as we have no right to forget, and the ugly coincidence of sexual nastiness—obscenity is the right name for it—and vengefulness is what seems to lend the savor to the Saturnalia.” While I don’t find Miss Hilton’s recent illegal action as “tiny infractions” such as he puts it–especially since no other person but America’s version of royalty that our celebrities are would receive such a placating title–it certainly isn’t an action worthy of so much media coverage as it has been receiving.
So many other things happen in this world–and no I don’t mean just the horribly nasty death, murder, and mayhem that the media portrays as the only other thing existing in our world–that we could, and should, focus our media attention on. Perhaps it is merely our morbid curiosity. Or our need to make sure that others lives are as miserable as our own to feel good about what we have. Or perhaps we use it as an excuse to remain so apathetic to all those dirtily described four letter words such as government/politics and socialism. And certainly, God forbid, we are this way because it is our nature. But shouldn’t we as autonomous, rational beings that, especially American history has so prided itself of being so characteristic of, make a move away from such pettiness. Why do we need to watch Miss Hilton’s–and any other celebrity’s lives–like it is our right to see everything, every detail, surrounding it and then furthermore judge it. Seriously, like Paris Hilton is the only person in the whole of America who has made a porn vid with a boyfriend who puts it out there for the world to see. Isn’t that how all those millions of horrified ex-girlfriends end up all over the internet. The only difference is they have a better chance at remaining anonymous. That is not to excuse the woman of all those acts she is so famous for, however one must agree that if society didn’t put so much emphasis, so much zeal and energy into it, that we would be a whole lot better off. We’d be putting our lip-service of being so “open-minded”, so much the “political powerhouse concerned with the betterment of the world’s affairs” that we prefer to brag of ourselves.
More than one friend of mine from overseas has asked me several times “Why is it that American’s have such a problem with sex–they focus on the act of it as such a salacious thing–when in Europe it is little more than a natural act. But violence…now that is something that you not only accept with very little hesitence, some even say with a braggart’s bravado?” For years I argued with dwindling rapaciousness of what is the “American Character”, the American ideal, and then I read over and over again interviews, reviews, commentaries, and blogs written by my favorite author, Laurell K. Hamilton, who told of horror stories of being faced with violent fans, anti-fans, and haters who found no issue with the violence she writes in her books–even requesting more in some cases–but her every bit of erotica written was a thing of which they condemned her for. Conversely, in Europe–where she needs no body guards unlike while being on tour here in America–her fan’s issues were that she wrote such explicit violence. Never was the issue with sex. And for Miss Hilton, that is where America’s–dare I call it an infatuation–stems…all from that porn vid released by an ex-lover. That, coupled with her random up skirt pussy shots which she does not seem to have learned from to wear underwear or how to climb out of a car properly, is what hooked America to her panty-strap (pun most certainly intended), and the rest is just icing on the cake. Why can’t we seem to get over that…over this…over her. Why must we focus so much on Miss Hilton and other such celebrities?
Furthermore, why are we letting celebrities opinions about government and politics lead out opinions and decisions? Ah, but that is for another rambling rant…
Already a star in the world of graphic novels for wildly successful and critically acclaimed books like Watchmen and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, British writer Alan Moore reached a new level of mainstream fame this spring with the success of the movie V for Vendetta. So what’s he doing for his next act? Pornography.For nearly 16 years, he’s been working on Lost Girls with American cartoonist Melinda Gebbie. It is, everyone involved with it declares, beautiful, literary and moving. It’s also bluntly pornographic, with explicit sex scenes on almost every page. Beyond couplings of every combination of women and men, the story involves fetishism, incest and even a touch of bestiality, as well as a whole lot of sexual activity involving minors, all depicted in Gebbie’s sensuous pastels and paints.
For more on this: Allan Moore’s “Literary” Pornography
This gentleman had a lot to say and made very good points, all of them backed up and/or cited from articles written in respectable online news websites and forums. Whatever your stance on the War on Terrorism–as Gilding will not post her personal opinions as of just yet–this article is very worth reading.
The recently publicized terrorist plot to blow up John F. Kennedy International Airport, like so many of the terrorist plots over the past few years, is a study in alarmism and incompetence: on the part of the terrorists, our government and the press.Terrorism is a real threat, and one that needs to be addressed by appropriate means. But allowing ourselves to be terrorized by wannabe terrorists and unrealistic plots — and worse, allowing our essential freedoms to be lost by using them as an excuse — is wrong.The alleged plan, to blow up JFK’s fuel tanks and a small segment of the 40-mile petroleum pipeline that supplies the airport, was ridiculous. The fuel tanks are thick-walled, making them hard to damage. The airport tanks are separated from the pipelines by cutoff valves, so even if a fire broke out at the tanks, it would not back up into the pipelines. And the pipeline couldn’t blow up in any case, since there’s no oxygen to aid combustion. Not that the terrorists ever got to the stage — or demonstrated that they could get there — where they actually obtained explosives. Or even a current map of the airport’s infrastructure.
But read what Russell Defreitas, the lead terrorist, had to say: “Anytime you hit Kennedy, it is the most hurtful thing to the United States. To hit John F. Kennedy, wow…. They love JFK — he’s like the man. If you hit that, the whole country will be in mourning. It’s like you can kill the man twice.”
If these are the terrorists we’re fighting, we’ve got a pretty incompetent enemy.
Continue reading the full blog Portrait of the Modern Terrorist as an Idiot
A couple from Minneapolis decided to go to Florida for a long weekend to thaw out during one particularly icy winter. They planned to stay at the same hotel where they spent their honeymoon 20 years before.
Because both had jobs they found it difficult to coordinate their travel schedules, so it was decided that the husband would fly to Florida on a Thursday, and his wife would follow him the next day.
Upon arriving as planned, the husband checked into the hotel. In his room there was a computer so he decided to send his wife an e-mail back in Minneapolis. However, he accidentally left out one letter in address, and sent the e-mail, without realizing his error.
In Houston, a widow had just returned from her husband’s funeral. The dearly departed was a minister who had been called home to glory following a heart attack.
The widow checked her e-mail, expecting messages from relatives and friends. Upon reading the first message, she fainted. The widow’s son rushed into the room, found his mother on the floor, and saw the computer screen which read:
To: My Loving Wife
Subject: I’ve Arrived
You’re probably surprised to hear from me. They have computers here now and you are allowed to send e-mails to your loved ones. I’ve just arrived and checked in. I see that everything has been prepared for your arrival tomorrow. Looking forward to seeing you then! Hope your journey is as uneventful as mine was.
P. S. Sure is hot down here!
So a few days ago I posted an article on the Environmental Cost of Cremation, which to summarize, talked about how though more eco-friendly cremation was in comparison to burial, it still did not go without its cost to the environment.
As the article revealed, 110 pounds of gas is released into the air during each cremation performed.
Then I received a comment on the article from a lovely gentleman who informed me that not only are those said gasses released, but for those who took care of their teeth during life, your amalgam fillings are polluting the living’s air with mercury that gets released during your time being flambed into tiny ashes.
However, as the nice gentleman so informed me, after you’re done releasing gasses into the ozone with your cremation, you can redeem yourself by having your ashes placed in an eco-friendly urn!
In the 1993 film, “My Life,” Michael Keaton plays a terminally ill cancer patient who makes videos of himself for his unborn child. They are instructional vignettes relaying fatherly advice on topics ranging from handshake etiquette to possible stepfathers to the intricacies of changing motor oil. The movie is taught, if a tad sentimental. As a cultural artifact, it displays the use of a new technology for posthumous communication.
Video cameras had just become widely accessible in the early 1990s. We now live in an era where our cell phones are video cameras, and sharing videos is easy as signing up for YouTube. Hasn’t someone seen the potential to make an Internet-based business out of sending messages from beyond the grave?
Yes. Well, sort of. A new service functionally named, “In Case of My Death,” (www.incaseofmydeath.com) sends emails to family, friends and loved ones when you die, from you.
It’s a simple concept, but one ripe with possibilities. Not only do you get to offer lasting words of appreciation and support to those you love, you also get a periodic email that affirms that you are still alive. Rather, it confirms that you aren’t dead.
That’s how the service works. Every week or every day—you can specify—you receive an email from “In Case of My Death.” If you don’t respond after numerous attempts, they check that you are truly dead by contacting a pre-determined friend and send out the emails.
They launched the business on April 19, 2007 and had a hundred customers sign-up within a week. Perhaps they will add video or audio to these emails some day, so that we can all show our children how to jumpstart a car.
In the meantime, if you are unsure about what to write, be sure to read their “inspiration” page.
Goodness! What will they think of next. Although, with inventions like these, not only will I be able to torture my loved ones in life, but now I can do it in death too! Ingenious!
From alma mater to infinitas.
Among colleges and universities there is a subtly growing trend of offering final campus resting places for faculty, alumni and their loved ones. As cremation becomes a more widely accepted alternative to below-ground burial, the necropolis of choice in higher education is something called a columbarium — a memorial wall with niches for urns filled with ashes.
The word columbarium is derived from the Latin for a nesting box for pigeons. For a few thousand dollars, a dovecote for human remains can be purchased at some of the nation’s leading universities, and some lesser-known institutions of higher learning.
Who knows what effect this might have on the already intense pressure to get into college, now realizing that one might be there … forever?
Read the full article College Columbria
“Village Voice art critic Jerry Saltz last week began a review of artist Andrea Fraser’s new work by pointing out that “another critic” had asserted that the artist was “a whore.”This name calling stems from a 2004 video in which the artist created an artwork by being paid tens of thousands of dollars to have sex with an art collector on videotape, after which the collector went home with the video momento as a work of art.
Fraser’s gesture and the resulting artwork aren’t particularly interesting to we of Wit, as she is asserting something about both art and feminine agency that we at Wit take completely for granted.
But the way older men who are peripheral to the art world for not being either buyers or sellers (thus being cut out of Fraser’s equation twice, sexually as a middle aged man, and professionally as an art world middleman) is quite interesting indeed. Read thus, Saltz’s review is an extended cry of “But what about me?”
Given Jerry Saltz’s long involvement in academic environments like Columbia and Yale, et al, from which nubile female artworld hopefuls spring, his hostility (although the “he said it, not me” tack in printing a forceful misogynistic assertion is rather sly) to someone who deliberately puts herself in an open position of fucking for fame (as many male and female talents great and small have throughout history) is quizzical.
Quizzical that is, until one realizes that the perhaps unconscious problem Saltz has with Fraser (he calls her “strange” and says she “crossed a line” with the above work elsewhere in his review, linked below) is not that she’s peddling her ass, but that she doesn’t make all masochistic (or “ladylike” as it is often called) and pretend the exchange is about something else.
Most irksome to men like Saltz, perhaps, is that Fraser doesn’t have to listen to (male professor’s, male critic’s, male art dealer’s) patronizing pillow talk about how his wife just doesn’t understand, and how he has so many friends who can really, really help her…
In short, the beauty for we of Wit in Fraser’s formally charmless and completely matter of fact artwork is that Fraser shows that she has the power to not have to pretend to like the guy.
In this, her work is as revolutionary as the moment when Jane Fonda as prostitute “Klute” takes a break from panting underneath some faceless male to take a glimpse at her watch.
Women are still getting fucked in the art world, it’s true. But what Fraser is pointing out is that now they don’t have to pretend to like it.”
Cremation, an alternative to traditional burial, is often thought to be a more environmentally friendly than traditional burial–picture embalming fluid running into our ground water. Cremation is certainly cheaper, and it has steadily risen in popularity over the last decade. But what of the ill effects of cremation?
Professor Robert Short, an Australian reproductive biologist, has raised concerns that cremation poses its own environment impact. Namely, the release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, according to the Agence France-Presse. 110 pounds of greenhouse gas is released into the atmosphere per cremated body.
Prof. Short’s suggestion: bury yourself under a tree in a cardboard box.
While Prof. Short’s concern has merit, cremation still remains a better choice than traditional burials that include embalming fluids and steel coffins and will certainly remain a popular choice.
For Information on Natural Burial Visit:
Read an article written in the Los Angeles Times in 2005 about “Home Burial”
From the National Geographic: “Green Burials Offer Unique, Less Costly Goodbyes”