All of the people I know who are artists right now feel invigorated, terrified, liberated, endangered. Full of life and energy. Everybody else is having a panic attack.
I feel like for most of my lifetime artists have been warning about the dangers of Western capitalist imperialism growing out of control. Now they are in full bloom and every institution, from the art world to the Oval Office, seems to be under public review. They maintain control only because a viable alternative has not yet been discovered.
Anxiety is a drive to create something, and I feel the collective panic of the West is a general understanding We Need To Build A New Thing but it has to be completely new and at an unprecedented scale of public accomplishment. (It must not be Silicon Valley neoliberalism.)
It’s a strange time; the world is waiting for a Phoenix, and meanwhile seems content with watching everything burn.
The controversial discussion on art and race going on with Dana Schutz’s painting of Emmitt Till is fascinating and intense and has no good solution. While the painting may fail because of the many valid criticisms Hannah Black offers, a call to censorship in art sets a dangerous precedent.
There’s not a ton I have to say on the subject that is not better expressed here.
These images are from 1964
Obviously if they were from 2017 they’d have Instagram filters and those cops would have automatic rifles
This post title is not a dig at Steph Curry, but it could be. I was going to avoid saying something about this altogether, because it seems adding to the static of a debate on whether or not the world is flat is fucking stupid.
Over the weekend, Shaquille O’Neal joined Kyrie Irving and Draymond Green as NBA superstars who argue against the round-ness of the world. The thing I hate about their argument isn’t its illogical nature, but rather they only go half-in with it, which makes me think they don’t even have a sound grasp on paranoid conspiracy theory.
The general argument posed by men who made millions of dollars using a ball and gravity is that since there are basic ideas taught in school labeled as factual but turn out to be untrue, the entire legitimacy of education must be questioned. Shaq’s example is that North America was not discovered by Columbus, even though it is taught to have been. He’s not wrong, he’s just comparing an apple to the entire scientific definition of how oranges are categorized by saying they’re both fruit.
His argument is easy enough to laugh at, but what really bothers me is the lack of energy with this dismissal of reality. The entire basis of knowledge in the universe is apparently up for grabs with these guys, and the best they can think of is a centuries-old falsehood? If you’re going to deny the earth is round, go all in and join up with Elon Musk and say we’re all in a simulation and that there really is no spoon.
Somewhere other than here
Tabloid-size illustration / poster
Normally I’d enjoy this level of civic participation, but it all seems so displaced.
America is talking about the giant pile of shit that now dominates the Oval Office instead of the goddamn elephant of unchecked capitalism we’ve let use the White House as a dumping ground for 50 years.
It is important to continue a dialogue about not normalizing this administration, but believing in a corporate left (and the media that belongs to it) will only perpetuate the power consolidation by the rich.
Jeff was sitting at the opposite end of the couch—this was in Los Angeles, a couple weeks back—and Leah was in the kitchen and we were all talking over the TV debating when to leave to watch John Wick 2. Checking the clock above the television, I said that it was 9:45. Jeff interjected No, that clock is wrong, but as we checked our various devices, they all confirmed the time. They were dumbfounded.
The saying goes that even a broken clock is right twice a day, but this particular clock is never right. It still moves, just at the wrong interval, making the likelihood of actually lining up with the right time of day the type of math I just won’t do anymore.
Make no mistake about it: a broken-ass clock randomly hitting the right time of day once or twice is what last night’s congressional address consisted of. The media is treading dangerously close to the dialogue of normalization by calling Trump taking advantage of dead troops during a national broadcast ‘Presidential.’1
The extent of my energy for politics after waking up and reading that America “needs to win wars again” is nil. This is about the art of cinematic storytelling.
I love a good movie. A solid script with the right cast as seen through an innovative director’s eye. And I want to believe in Hollywood, even with all the bullshit capitalism that has leeched on to the artform. I want to believe that the movie industry still puts the story first, even as it continues to bog us all down with hellish, under-written, re-hashed ideas.1
I want to believe that because of the industry side of the movie industry, some member of the Academy2 found themselves sitting around last week watching the news and realizing that nothing is as surreal as reality right now, and that the best way to give America the cathartic, completely unpredictable and absolutely perfect moment of escape would be to switch the cards on Warren Beatty.
Without trying to recap the aggregate of generally criminal—at least certainly inhuman—behaviors acted out by the current administration, it’s impossible to still not gawk at the brash arrogance of the hatred that is overflowing into the public discourse. The language alone that is being used sounds like these elected officials are pitching a script for 24.