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Sidewalk Patch

Berkeley has its problems, exemplified best by a recent attempt to score another 12-pack of beer as the evening dragged on. Come ten o’clock most stores, regardless of their wares, are locked up and vacant; liquor stores, not nearly as omnipresent as in most cities, are no exception. It took nearly forty-five minutes in a car to pick up beer, rum and cigarettes. The cigarettes we found in an open store which didn’t sell beer or rum. After our wild success a couple of us took advantage of the warm night and strolled through the streets. A couple blocks up from any major avenues and you may as well have been in small-town USA. Quiet, peaceful, clean. You could walk a couple blocks before passing anyone and no one seemed concerned or uptight about being out. The dog running after thrown sticks probably caused more sound pollution than anything else that night; our open containers and conversation probably presented the neighborhood with its most dramatic criminal incidents of the evening. It was nice, as nice as an evening’s walk can be, and something I’m not normally accustomed to experiencing. Walking down my street after Saturday night you’ll find ample evidence that San Francisco is lacking in small town pleasures such as quiet evening strolls. On any given night there’s a bitter chill blown in off the Pacific which, regardless of your lefts and rights in any neighborhood, cannot be avoided. This doesn’t keep people from the sidewalks, not on a weekend bender. The cement has scars, stains from every bodily fluid ever spilled. The Sunday morning sun alights on drying pools of piss, crusting heaps of puke, hardening piles of shit. The shopkeepers are out with buckets and hoses, washing the remnants of revelry from their doorstep. Thank Christ they are– the number of times I’ve had to step carefully into my own gate are innumerable. The bar next door is shuttered and dim but the woman held hostage by the coin-op downstairs is out in her trademark yellow rubber gloves doing us all a favor.

Sidewalk Cone

I’d swear that I’ve never been much for the weekends. Crowds are not my thing, fun is not my thing, seeing people live their lives in this vapid manner is not my thing. Maybe if I hadn’t spent most of my Friday and Saturday nights working it would have been a habit I’d have fallen into but the time has passed and now I just bob and weave trough the assembled teenagers ten years past their prime. They say that 30 is the new 20 but I’d say this adjustment still lends people too much credit in the maturity department. It’s amazing to see people who’ve never learned the lessons of countless nights leaning against a wall, the trunk of a car, a tree or a lamp-post. The same staggering clusters of twenty-somethings screaming shrilly on Friday night return to work Monday morning in their business casual attire. No more fish on Friday for this era, there’s an art-school graduate spinning rehashed disco down the street and everyone has enough money for another shot, no matter how much they complain about being poor. So I step gingerly over their unwillingness to grow the fuck up. Sunday morning sunlight and the streets are deserted except for the miserable wage-earners who had to be in bed by ten to punch the clock at seven. Trash cans outside of the latest art-show/hair-salon have spilled out into the street but soon the DPW will come along and play mommy for everyone. Someone’s kicked over all the recycling bins the length of the sidewalk but soon people will drag them back into their garages. When we were sixteen we used to bike down Market Street in the middle of the night and kick shit over, stone-cold sober and laughing like Leprechauns. Sixteen seems,

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in so many ways, a very long time ago.

Gutter Boy

That’s Haight Street, of course, where bars and traffic are more exaggerated than most other places. It draws from outside the neighborhood, outside the city even. I mostly walk along Waller when I’m heading towards work– collision of residential and urban. Saturday mornings the Church of Whatever hosts spaghetti meals for the down-and-out so they’re sprawled along the side of the building waiting for room, or waiting for a reason to sprawl somewhere else. I pass late sleepers tucked under blankets that carried small-pox over the Atlantic, shopping carts full of trash, dogs looking bored and hopeful, or bored and hateful. A couple blocks down and the Haight-Ashbury soup kitchen has an even greater audience. People are screaming across the street at one another, someone’s cutting through the intersection wearing no shoes. There’s one guy I see almost every day if I’m up early enough. He sits slumped against the wall rubbing his temples maniacally– his hairline has receded from this constant assault. I pass him and I don’t bother trying to make some sort of compassionate-light eye-contact, to view him as a human being. It never worked. A collection of late-comers pass on their way to the free meal asking what’s being served. I buy coffee and maybe a day-old if there is any on the counter. I like Page Street better because it’s less prone to moments

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of urban interference. There’s a library which doesn’t seem to attract the amount of idlers found downtown. People walk up to front doors and disappear inside without looking like rejects from a studio “indie” film’s open casting call. There’s an ambulance up ahead, paramedics haunched over a frail looking grey-hair. I pass without staring, thinking about how embarrassing it would be to wear her shoes today. A neighbor has called it in and is standing there trying to assure the woman that they know one another. Pass the school for rich kids with their own cross-walk that lights up, pass the stately homes, down the hill, past the grocery. Just watch your step because no one picks up after their dogs. Real dogs, mind you, none of those shivering rats you see on Haight Street. When these fucking people breed I hope their children get a little more rearing then what these show-dogs are forced to endure. No street kids, no trash, no puke, no piss you’d notice. One block down and you’re almost in Berkeley. Trees. Houses. Normal people. You’d guess. More normal than me, probably. One evening on Page after work I found myself behind a sharply-dressed couple walking silent and rigid. They were probably in their late twenties, which seemed like a good time to be an adult when I was sixteen but now… The impression was that I had just interrupted, or perhaps caught the end of, some marital argument which satisfied neither party. No holding hands, but they were too close to one another for anything serious. It was curious to me, something was off. They stopped suddenly and the male removed from his coat a stick which he handed to the female. She silently accepted the stick and, gravely, bent to a fresh patch of cement drying without supervision. I passed as she began her immortalization and I didn’t bother looking for any signs of life happening on the pavement.

Sidewalk Stencil

Stencils, clever little bastards, crawl along the sidewalks throughout town. They’re rebellious in a Betty Crocker fashion. Technically vandalism but the odds of being caught or imperiled pale in comparison to spray-painting a wall. There’s a bit of fission around here, some perplexing cultural divide which accepts sidewalk stencils as intelligent and right, graffiti as stupid and immature. The most popular stencil messages are quips seemingly stolen from some maudlin indie-pop love song, manipulative one-liners that anyone breathing can find some connection to. Basically it’s the same effect as any successful marketing campaign or platinum pop single– the resonance appeals to our common ground. There’s no imagination behind them and no actual craft in their design. You’ll find other stencils on the ground with little pictures and slogans but they’re just billboards– in fact the guerilla art was so menacing even IBM, the granddaddy of white collar business, co-opted the principle. Perhaps this lack of menace is why the sidewalk stencil has been accepted as adult and acceptable while tagging has been snubbed as juvenile. Traces of life on every block. The puke and piss and shit get hosed off, bleached, scrubbed and run out into the gutter. The clever stencils, the mash notes carved in drying cement, remain slowly fading and losing their definition. Another weekend appears on the horizon to begin the cycle again and come Monday everyone takes their work clothes out of the closet and catches the bus downtown. Dead Mac

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Hello legions of readers. Just a quick tip of the tip to a photographer who deals with security, homeland identity and shiny boiler suits. Paul Shambroom viagra cialis comparison is not a rookie, he’s one of those ‘gradual geniuses‘ that lets his great ideas gestate for a few years. He is quoted as saying he knew 9/11 would affect the focus of his work but he didn’t quite know how.

Shambroom

He is not alone. Everyone was confused by 9/11. Not always by the events, but on how to respond accordingly in their work. This was of particular concern to photographers – those first in line to answer accusations of opportunistic career-building off the back of an international spectacle. People expect to see death and destruction on TV, but in an art gallery?…

Shambroom was at a disadvantage – he was not a photojournalist. Joel Meyerowitz cemented his reputation with some clever networking that sealed

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nine months of exclusive access. Jim Nachtwey went down to the rubble to create his documents. Elliott Erwitt went to the blood bank.

The effect of the 11th of September on Shambroom took a couple of years to emerge. In generic viagra canada 2003 he rolled out – Security Series – from which a book was born. Previously, Shambroom had been working on a nuclear series, whereby he had gained access to restricted areas and big guns. He was accustomed to making tangential comment on government power. That was closely followed by Meetings. Conceptually Meetings is more engaging; the witty tableaux arrangement of mom and pop, micro-level civic groupings appeals to the self-absorbed art historian. BUT, Meetings hardly arouses the viewers latent fear like an image of a person looking like an E.T. extra.

Shambroom Meeting

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Seriously, Shambroom as an artist is fantastic. Spend time with his images. He puts up a mirror to the crazy world we live in – a world where knowledge of chemical agents overnight shipping of viagra amounts to political power. I much preferred the days when anthrax was a butt-rock cliche, but one must admit that now it’s not so much the pen, but the letter that is more powerful than the sword … and the biological warhead.

Maybe the day will come when artists like Shambroom won’t have government drones in cialis for sale vancouver ridiculous suits as subjects; the day when contingency troops and emergency response units have no threat to answer. One possible route to such an unlikely absence of paranoia would be the newest weapon of mass deviation. It is a chemical/hormone/who know’s what the frig it is agent that turns infantry into a bunch of homosexuals baying for cock. I’d like to think that if superpowers unleashed this novel tactic simultaneously, military squads the world over would turn to the intellectual reasoning of most gay communities – that war, aggression, fear and paranoia are all linked, a fact evident mostly to minority groups. Nations would turn attentions to putting right their own civil injustices before they went to shoot up other continents.

Instead of disarray amongst the troops, the weapon would unleash heightened enlightenment and instant reconciliation across battle generic version of viagra lines drawn. Gay is the new Peace – a simple theory, but I just thought I’d throw it out there. Perhaps, Larry Craig should run for president? Then again he’s not gay, his wife’s gormless grin tells us that … right?

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When did heroin chic begin? In the early 70s with the gaunt, affected expressions of New York and London waifs? Or was it Kate Moss’ pointy shoulders and Nan Goldin’s photographs in the late 80s? I would guess that heroin chic has always been about, just never labeled. Whatever, Terry Richardson exploited our naive fascination with sleaze by photographing drugged up nymphs and getting hired by

Gucci. The mid nineties sucked. The noughties sucked. Today sucks. Our society loves nothing more than a starved wench to gawp at. Regardless, when marketing got hold of it, it really got dirty, deplorably dirty. It got the magazine gloss treatment – nothing short of an abomination, and Nan Goldin agrees. The phrase has now passed into our vernacular and out our arses. No shock. It doesn’t even register. Why don’t we give a shit about substances and conditions that send humans to rack, ruin, and flaky organs? Why are we so eager to sweep the dirt and the decay of humanity into our mainstream media? I am concerned about tweenager mags here, not vice magazine. I came to think of this because I came upon Dionisio Gonzalez’ work. I’ve never seen constructions like his before. I refer to it as Shanty-Chic, well aware of the unstomachable connotations the label might conjure and the gross misunderstandings it may unleash. Needless to say, this is art – heavily photoshopped art – and not yet usurped by the ravenous ad agencies. It’s good art, not shit art.

ShantyChic

Dionisio is renowned in Europe and particularly his native Spain, but he hasn’t made it past the Chelsea galleries stateside. He has an impressive track history of exhibitions and collaborative activities, and spent months compiling his Favelas project back in 2003. Dionisio has the ability to manufacture the ludicrous in his modernist shanty without really jarring the viewer. This is as much an indictment of our lack of shock and egregious consumption of fake-image as it is a celebration of his visionary approach. Nonetheless, these are structures not skeletons. He and we are looking at wrecked buildings, not wrecked humans. The dilapidated facades mixed with corporate green-tinted glazing tells us its all

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false. We are not being sold an idea here, or even a pair of boxer briefs. We are being asked to look at a fiction that is depressingly plausible. Does Dionisio want us to reconcile the ingenuity of man with the wastefulness of man? The technicolour largess of these false favelas is made all the more galling because they stand below blue skies. The last time I saw a pristine sapphire sky like that was in an Indonesia Airlines advertisement. It is rare I see something new that I return to again and again, and I’ve been meaning to post about Dionisio for six months. Or maybe I just want to make this humble note before Shanty-Chic becomes a common expression amongst unscrupulous creative directors.

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In Serbia a lot of people hate me because they want to westernise, not understanding that the western world is bipolar, with very good things and very bad things. Since they don’t have experience of the west, they even believe that western shit is pie.–Emir Kusturica

Despite my predilection for hiding in my room events overran me recently, out into the Richmond and in front of what used to be the jock-lite Last Day Saloon and has now become the yuppie-lite Rockit Room. True there was a birthday to celebrate and true two people had invited me but I was a little shocked at how readily I had consented to being taken away from my room. Maybe the mood was just there, perhaps the moon was in a special phase– I dunno. It may have been because two Serbian/Rom style bands were playing. Years ago I dwelled in a dank little hovel called Leather Tongue which was so similar to the dank little hovels I hid away in on purpose

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promptly.

that I kept going. It didn’t pay well and it didn’t help any minor mental issues I might have had but it did introduce me to plenty of movies I would never have chosen to hunt down and rent on my own. After renting it out to hip Mission scum a thousand times I checked out “Black Cat White Cat” by Emir Kusturica which drilled into my mind and deposited some of the most flamboyant images ever captured on film as well as some of the most scintillating music ever, er, captured on film. If Fellini had been into carnies more than circus freaks and was thrilled by saturated colors (and been Serbian) it would have been his movie. I travelled back in time a couple of years and caught his earlier festival success, “Underground“. Last year at a different job I was hawking shit on eBay when I pulled the soundtrack to “Underground” from a bin of CDs. My hands were shaking and I played it on the office stereo. Then I played it again and again until I was quite certain that everyone was going to kill me so I had my boss price it out. Not in the store’s computer– Argentinian release so it’s $1.99… Awesome! To this day I think this is the only CD that I have danced to with another person. Waiting for my ride to The Rockit Room I played a couple choice cuts and bobbed around while finishing my roommate’s beer. The first band of the evening took their identity-crisis cues from Hector Babenco’s depression-era drama “Ironweed“, glorifying the hobo/drifter lifestyle by not bathing and playing guitar, a washboard and a bass made from a washtub, broom handle and a single tightly wound length of twine. The kids, friends of the birthday girl, ate this up and had skipped their showers special for the event. I tried not to be bothered by this and watched them play but wondering what to expect from the next two groups in the bill.

Brass Menazeri

Zoyres was a quartet: full kit, tuba, clarinet/sax and trombone. Fascinating shit, ultimately danceable and exactly what I was hoping for. It’s weird how the tuba took over where the bass would be and the trombone player kicked ass playing with a brash style reminiscent (tho probably because I can only name two others: my dad and Labamba from the Conan O’Brien show) of Don Drummond. The Brass Menazeri was even more bombastic with nine members, three tuba type instruments, accordian, clarinet, saxaphones and trumpets along with two drummers (a hand bass and a couple rack snares) and vocals. Both are local and I would recommend you check out either if your local is the Bay Area. So the evening went quite well even tho the drinks were horribly over-priced, most of the attendees living as caricatures running around like sugar-addled, snot-nosed brats and my getting home past my bedtime. I should just stop here… But it makes you think, don’t it? So far as I could tell everyone in these bands were American born and bred but both bands played distinctly Eastern European (with some Klezmer mixed in) gypsy music with no obvious Americanization taking place. It’s as authentic as The Dropkick Murphys but somehow entirely less offensive. Hell, the opening band, The Inkwell Rhythm Makers, co-opted not only their music but their dress and shtick from impression of a time long gone. Does America, appropriate outside culture so readily and so completely that there’s no bothering with integrating it with our own? Or do we just not really have any cultural identity not relating to commerce so we borrow heavily from places that have more than a couple centuries under their belts? Ysabella Dolfin wrote in her blog:

Watching local access Asian TV In Japanese. A cooking show. I have no idea what any of the ingredients are… but I recognize ground beef and some type of musrhoom. I am getting the feeling they are cooking “American” food. But they are serving it over rice with sliced fresh spinach. The theme song is some kind of Japanese rap music.

Japanese Ad

Now that’s a proper culutral mish-mash– anything the Japanese have done since 1945 has basically been one form of cocktail or another. Pop music, art, fashion, day to day living, advertising, food… it seems that every aspect of Japan has been touched by America and has incorporated, in the most fucked up way possible, the source material by taking what they think they understand and dumping tradition on top. Hell, the Japanese advertising industry has essentially become the hallmark of the Japanese approach to international relations. Why are we so fascinating to them? Cowboys? The independence of owning your own car? Where the hell is our culture out in the world that’s not a McDonald’s? PS- my efforts to make these pictures integrate into this post have failed but I’m sick of the second one disappearing so I’m gonne give up. Deal with it.

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I recently saw the Christopher Nolan (“Memento”) film The Prestige starring Hugh Jackman, Christian Bale, and a mossy, disappointed-looking Michael Caine. The film began in a manner that has become formulaic: the opening image is a panning shot of dozens of top hats clustered on a grassy hillside. It is a seemingly mundane but also unusual image. A Michael Caine herbal viagra alternatives voice over begins, wherein he explains the three parts of cialis is there a generic a magic trick. These three parts are enumerated several times throughout canada pharmacy the film, so I will not rehearse them here–if you choose to see the movie you really let yourself in for about seven minutes of explanation in total, tallying the time for each reiteration. The prestige is essentially the dramatic release of a magic trick. Michael Caine’s voice over carries us to a scene where he–using his skills as a behind-the-scenes trick designer and act consultant–completes a magic trick for a little girl, its stages unsubtly punctuated by his voice over talking points. This scene is to be bookended at the movie’s close with a

badly executed, suspension-of-disbelief disrupting plot twist. From there a winding tale of professional competition, quasi-adultery, envy and revenge uncoils. The plot is driven by the pathologies of the competing magicians, who are cleanly divorced from humanity, social skills, and any recognizable india cialis emotional register. One character, for instance, seeks revenge against someone whose wife he killed. This occurs perhaps to drive home the fact that anyone is expendable in two mens’ quest to be the best magician, but it makes the entire plot feel like it’s trying to sew with its left hand. We are to assume that the cialis 20mg ou 10mg plot is right-handed–the universal and fundamental, culture-bridging urge to be a master magician notwithstanding. Despite canada drug pharmacy these narrative flaws, generally good performances by the numerous big name actors make it all seem OK. David Bowie is http://viagracanada-onlinerx.com/ in the movie, too. In truth, the only reason The Prestige merits mention is because of director Christopher Nolan’s knack for weaving what could be described as either a) philosophical conundrums, or b) cheesy mental puzzles to be loudly argued about in restaurants into the midst of his chaotic tales. can you mix levitra and cialis The movie contains two significant ideas, and the following paragraphs contain spoilers. Hugh Jackman obtains a machine from Nikola Tesla which the withering inventor warns him never to use, mentioning vague horrors. The horror is specifically the fact that the machine creates duplicates. The implications of this are suggested rather than explored, as generic cialis for sale the audience only realizes at the film’s end that Jackman has been accomplishing his tricks at the cost of his own life. At each performance, he drowns himself, trusting that the machine will

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deposit a duplicate in the theater’s upper rows. The question of whether or not he has been killed is fascinating insofar as it applies to our own lives. We have to trust that we will be here in five minutes, and do it so willingly that we almost always ignore the quantum, constantly regenerative nature of our existence, in favor of ascribing continuity to our infinitely individual experiences. The other idea is presented as a conceit, the subject of which is hesitation, which could be construed as some people’s need for a get online cialis prescription savior, a return to the security, absolution, and wholeness of our time as infants, or simply the need to have an end to a story. The audiences attending the magic shows in The Prestige are a few times times denied the promised resolution to the trick, on some india online pharmacy occasions because of a death on stage. Their dumb, disrupted reaction in the face of the unexpected is in marked contrast to the initiative and drive of the performers. The prestige is a dramatic lek za potenciju cialis release, one of the criteria for a performance to count as theater. Another is for the audience to know they are the audience and the performers to know they are performers. In theater it is safe to accept one’s role as a passive audience, and is http://cialiscoupon-onlinenorx.com/ in fact kind of ass not to. In life perhaps the opposite is true.

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