Sunday, February 19, 2006

Cold, lonely, bitter nuggets

  • Walking home tonight, I noticed that the cold wind has attached twenty-two plastic bags to the tree in front of my apartment; normally, there are only three or four stuck up there, but some remarkable confluence of weather, sanitation removal schedules, and season (lots of pointy little bare branches) has produced a tree laden with a cornucopia of white post-consumer fruit. I needed to alert Ian Frazier, and quickly. But my sense of urgency passed, and I walked upstairs.
  • CC&P Stalker: I saw Brooke Shields at a bar with some kind of mustachioed man the other night. We traded baked carp recipes and furtive glances. Rather, I stared at her all evening and awkwardly thrust a yellowed scrap of paper with my grandmother's baked carp recipe into her hands.
  • If you live in New York, check out the Obsessive Drawing exhibit at the American Folk Art Museum. It's not large, but it is hypnotic and unsettling. I know how much you like to be unsettled. The permanent collection's pretty interesting, too. Not the inferno of textiles and pottery I'd feared.
  • Make sure to read the wall-mounted descriptions of the art. Let me say here that I love a good wall-mounted description, the more pretentious the better. The key here is to realize that most of the "folk" art could also be classified as "outsider" art; that is to say, it's art made by crazy people. Thus phrases like "an unconscious allusion to de Kooning" or "her mashed potato towers address the dislocations produced by rapid industrialization" or "his crude crayon scrawls deal with the complex emotional dynamics induced by prison rape" become more transparently bullshit than the equally vacuous prose on the walls of, say, the MoMA next door. Plus: these descriptions contain the words "scrimshander" and "Fancy," the latter capitalized.
  • Speaking of crazypantses, we'll get to A.G. Rizzoli in good time; don't you worry.
  • Francis Fukuyama can go fuck himself with his quasi-mea culpa. Meanwhile, so can Leon Wieseltier, who willfully and completely misrepresents Daniel Dennett's arguments in the NYT Book Review.