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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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I sincerely

apologize… It’s been a hell of a month and it seems knowing me was a sure fire way to have some trauma in your life: Three people I know lost loved ones this month, one losing two friends in seperate overdoses. A friend’s grandfather also was admitted to the ICU with a highly elevated white blood cell count but no tests have proven conclusive last I’d heard… My parents’ both lost their cars in one fell swoop. A high speed chase ended in my dad’s van which ended in my mom’s car. Both rear axles were snapped and the insurance company towed the derelict husks away in exchange for a total of five grand which, as you probably know, doesn’t buy a new car let alone two. This instigated a week-long mess for the folks which involved trains to Sacramento, cell phones landing in Salt Lake City needing to be returned, locking keys in cars (on loan) and a faulty oil change dumping everything on the street and leaving the car empty and needing to be towed to a diagnostic by Honda. When I last saw them they were just finishing the paperwork for the accident a week prior and looked pretty worn out. My roommate had a late night collision leaving his bike a little fucked, the car unfucked and some staples in his head. Black eye, swollen face, light concussion ambulance ride and a night in the hospital. After a couple days being cared for by his mom he returned home wearing huge and ugly sunglasses but in a chipper mood. Two friends spent time in psych wards, one brought by the cops and one on their own terms. The spiral of impact these events had on others was enough to wipe me out for a month on their own so luckily they happened within a week of each other smack dab in the middle. One friend decided to check into rehab which I guess is good but also carries a lot of bad into the conversation. The same head-trip as the last paragraph,

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I suppose: where were you before all this happened and why do you think trying to deal with if after makes up for the neglect and carelessness you showed not being there for people… Ah… Hell, I was declined for the first credit card I ever applied for because I don’t have any references. How do you get references? You have previous credit cards. They offered me a lower limit pre-paid card but frankly I just wanted free airline miles so fuck you and the pigs… Feel like I’m forgetting things and to be honest I probably am since I lost my ability to think about two weeks ago and have only slowly begun to sleep more than six hours at a time and complete sentences again. It wasn’t all bad: a friend of mine found out she was pregnant (which was good news) and two friends just announced today they had birthed a baby girl. Two friends got married (to each other, which is easier to deal with) and I was allowed to watch. A lot of people were in town who I don’t get to see very often and it was great to be able to spend a little bit of time catching up. Then again my friend in from Minneapolis was hung over when we met (we only had an hour due to my dealing with some shit and his previous engagements) and tho he was doing well it did come out that someone we had both worked with and been friends with years back had been killed a couple years ago in an accident. Tho by a bow or a boat I’m still not certain. Anyways, it brought the already quiet and still morning to an even slower speed. Anyways, a pretty polarized month. More eventful then most, to be sure, but I’m not really made for constant activity of the best sort let alone the worst. Again, I’m sure I’ve neglected to write something down so if I’ve missed your personal trauma and you would like an apology just get in touch. If I neglected your happiness remind me of that too unless I just pissed you off… Sorry for another indulgent, off the wrist posting. No pics, no links, no regard for the world outside my head… Shame, for shame! I promise to get the pony started in July with actual research and thinking and cross-references and babies flying out of carriages and shit… Seems like I’m dripping topics from my pants right now. Let’s be safe out there.

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After a difficult internal debate the votes were tabulated and it was decided that attendence was unavoidable. The walk down Townsend, left on 4th, right on Bryant was made, ending in a small doorway concealed from the street by a small sickly tree. Two windows on either side, choked with neon lights looking more like fire hazards then enticing adverts. Inside the darkness that only real despair can achieve– a dim sallow light accenting the filth and decay instead of chasing it from the room. An odd place for a company holiday party, but then again it

was an odd company.

It was a small bar that never felt full. The door leads to a short bar on one side,one bathroom and a wall directly across. Three beers draft but one was Beamish and since there were drinks already paid for (for the first hour) and they didn’t seem interested in how old I was Beamish was the drink. A jukebox past the bar in the corner hanging off a partition had been plugged full of quarters and Myrna, the company founder, had selected every Eagles and Bee Gees song she unearthed. This was not irony, it was sad. In quieter times the jukebox was cheaper than most but the selection reflected this and many times the same songs were played.

Past the jukebox, behind the partition it hung from, was a small raised platform with a couple dartboards and a couple small tables making a game of darts impossible. They had a sushi spread that day, pizza showed up later, and the writing staff held viagracanada-onlinerx.com court looking down their noses at the tech staff who seemed to dress in the dark every day. Across from the platform was the pool table, cheaper than most, about a foot shorter than most. Five or so booths stretched back from the table to the end of the room, two more dartboards hung amidst Budweiser banners and sad little pennants. free viagra or cialis

So

we sat, milled about, talked about work or the latest internet gossip. Myrna wittled away her sobriety and staggered thought the proceedings with flushed face and began singing along to the soundtrack. I sat at the bar with two of the bitter tech staff talking shit. The bartender seemed bewildered by this flood of people and tried cialis from canada her best but her ability to work in such a fast paced environment was not quite enough to make her seem comfortable.

This place was great, even crowded with the social retards and fashion wannabees I worked with at the time. Bars were never places I wanted to be but this wasn’t a bar so much as a clubhouse for people that had been kicked out of the more reputable clubs. On a normal night you may find a couple quiet drunks at the bar watching TV, whatever game might be on, or talking their non-conversations with the bartender. Occasionally is cialis from canada safe a pool game, occasionally a couple at a booth playing Scrabble. It was a neighborhood bar in a part of town that was predominantly commercial and industrial, a part of town that was desolate at night except for the periodic rattling of a shopping cart or roar of a rice rocket headed towards the freeway. It was a half hour walk from my house but one I made eagerly.

A friend used to universal kits cialis work swing shift and I would swing by when the crew got off. Everyone would caravan down Bryant as fast as possible and order two or three drinks upon arrival. The bartender passed out makeshift ashtrays and wandered around the motley collection trading jokes or just milling about. She would make last call at two and seemed to appreciate the business if not the company. Of course it was just as likely to be closed on any given night, without warning and eriacta vs viagra often without any indication it had been closed forever.

It’s been closed forever, gutted and gone. No more Eagles Drift In Lounge. Just another casualty.

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The disturbing thought arrived whilst in the midst of a whiskey shit. Carrying me mercifully away from love’s labor lost was this head scratcher, imprinted as the sole English text on a package of Chinese toilet paper: “Mind act upon mind.” A redundant and misleading statement within the context of Buddhist thought, the phrase is a succinct, grammatically incorrect reiteration of phenomenology’s central thesis.

Was this foresight and kindness on the part of the toilet paper’s manufacturers? Subtle Communist propaganda designed to undermine our way of life? A mental fabrication elicited by William Grant? Whether or not this statement is a message of hope or despair most likely rests with the individual.

Equally unnerving is the slim blue can of Gatsby brand shaving cream, perched on my sink and also visible from my toilet. The identity issues raised by a grooming product named for a character that was little more than a winning smile are further complicated by this apparent mocking indictment of metrosexuality: “For men who want to keep the skin feeling healthy and fresh.”

Go ahead, you straw man pansy, shave up.

In news outside of my bathroom, a Russian spy was poisoned to death in London, representing the second incidence of an unnecessarily complicated Russian spy assassination carried out in the UK. First

it was ricin-loaded umbrellas, now the radioactive substance polonium 210. Next they’re going to be tricking ex-agents into eating shellfish during the summer red tide or mixing diamond powder into their cocaine.

The British police seem to be doing their usual miraculously good job–aided perhaps by their terrifyingly ubiquitous surveillance systems. Whatever the case, their work truly deserves praise, especially compared with that of their American counterparts. From investigative effecicacy, discretion in releasing frightening information, and most relevant this week, restraint in using force, our law enforcement agencies really don’t stack up to those across the pond.

While the London guard was tracking down radiation in sushi restaurants and in general finding needles in haystacks, the NYPD–in an operation akin to taking black off of coal–was busy trying to prevent people from purchasing sex and drugs at a strip club. The operation was appartently prompted by spates of violence against ladies of the night and the normally clean-cut, church-attending strip club crowd’s disturbing upward trend towards drug abuse.

Of course, because current laws make these social problems crimes, it is in the interest of justice system bureaucrats to “sting” those involved, rather than have their law-enforcement officers stand around in uniforms and make sure no one gets hurt at the party.

The net effect of this situation is that rather than the sleazy-but-safe red-light and head shop district of Amsterdam, New York and its environs have a sleazy-and-dangerous flavor everywhere you find big-people fun for sale.

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in this nerve-wracking environment, five of the seven undercover officers tasked with getting drug-addicted and poverty-stricken hookers arrested and put in jail got jumpy and murdered an unarmed man and bady wounded some of his friends.

Calling this incident a law-enforment or racial problem is a bit off the mark. Law enforcement problems are what they have in Oaxaca and throughout Brazil (or in Atlantic City, where dead hookers can lie next to the road undiscovered for weeks). Racial problems have nothing to do with Michael Richards or the NYPD and everything to do with unfair distribution of Pell grants or indifference to Sudan.

The rub is that if those officers had been in uniform, the fight that sent the groom out to his car for the imaginary gun would likely not have escalated to that point.

Both Richards and those New York officers made terrible decisions in the heat of the moment, but maybe they couldn’t have done anything else. Phenomenology argues that one’s experience is the only reality, a stance used both to exempt one from personal responsibility and to put it squarely on one’s shoulders.

I will go ahead and have my cake and eat it too and say that I think both tacks are correct. I think crime of passion laws are on the books in some places for the simple reason that sometimes circumstances drive people crazy.

Consider the various massacres involving US troops in Iraq. There are two groups at fault, one of which is made up of the most powerful people on earth, attended to as though they were Formula One cars, and the other is the boots on the ground, typically filled with 18-year-old kids from poor towns thrust into a hell-on-earth situation that never should have existed in the first place.

I would more readily blame those in power, who are old enough to have seen Full Metal Jacket and Apocalypse Now and who really ought to know better.

So Michael Richards and Mayor Bloomberg are making the rounds of ministers and offering their apologies, while little is done to correct the underlying causes of either incident.

It’s only been

three weeks since the Democrats regained some power, and it’s already starting to feel like the Clinton years.

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