April 6, 2014
Missing Foundation – Demise
From a blog post that Sam McPheeters wrote about them:
Anyone living in the bottom quarter of Manhattan in the late 1980′s or early 1990′s is probably familiar with an eerie bit of graffiti that, for a few years, seemed to earmark every building on the lower east side. This Pynchonesque insignia – an inverted martini over a three pronged tally – often accompanied equally cryptic slogans: “Your House Is Mine”, “1988 = 1933″, “The Party’s Over”. In both design and placement, the logo seemed less like the cartoony tags of graffiti gangs than the cryptic markings utilities crews leave each other. These markings meant something.
Having moved to New York in mid 1987, it took me an embarrassing six months to learn that the symbol actually was an upside down cocktail glass, its author the industrial band Missing Foundation. MF claimed the logo as a tool of uglification (“property devaluation”), in a campaign to halt the high downtown rents creeping out towards both rivers. It’s unknown if the tagging ever hindered a single real estate deal; would a true or even prospective New Yorker balk at a spot of spray paint? But as guerilla marketing, it was magic ,the kind emulated by thousands of corporate “street teams” in the years since. For two or three years, Missing Foundation was the scariest band in the city. Their early shows occurred in vacant lots, powered by generators and abandoned, Viet Cong style, at the first whiff of police. In January 1988 the band trashed CBGB, setting fire to its stage and destroying some or most of its sound system. Actual damage, in dollar amounts, has been lost to rumor. As dealers of confusion, Missing Foundation were hard to beat.
January 29, 2014
A Moon among flowers.
Search results for “Pictures of Lily“
October 4, 2013
Archimedes Badkar & Afro 70
Swedish prog band made an album with Afro 70.
“Bado Kidogo” translates as “Not Yet.”
September 28, 2013
My local post office/stationery store clerk is interested to know! We looked at it in silence together for at least 10 seconds before making our choice (best choices are upper lefts corners cats)
July 8, 2013
On July 10 Sotheby’s is auctioning Samuel Beckett’s autograph manuscript of “Sasha Murphy”—what would become Murphy (1938). The handwritten, heavily-edited draft fills six school exercise books and is sprinkled throughout with hundreds of doodles, in pen and crayon, “of women with huge, globular breasts, of bicycles, syringes and astronomical figures, of a mermaid and men in bowler hats” along with caricatures of Charlie Chaplin, James Joyce and others. But, to my taste, the best sidebar doodle (noticed by Peter Leggatt in his preview of the manuscript) is a rhetorical question scribbled in the margins:
What is my life but a preference for the ginger biscuit?
1930s doodles by Beckett, available this Wednesday for anyone with an huge billfold.
July 8, 2013
From Harper’s Index:
From the NYT:
And, from our recent visit to Longfellow/Dante:
There was the Aretine, who from the arms
Untamed of Ghin di Tacco had his death,
And he who fleeing from pursuit was drowned.
The gentleman outlaw Tacco. Namechecked in Purgatorio 6:13-15
July 4, 2013
Last night PBS aired a cool documentary on Mount Rushmore & its creation. The program ended with an incredible quote from the ever-intense sculptor/designer/engineer/promoter of the monument, Gutzon Borglum:
I am allowing an extra three inches on all the features of the various Presidents in order to provide stone for the wear and tear of the elements, which cuts the granite down one inch every 100,000 years. Three inches would require 300,000 years to bring the work down to the point that I would like to finish it. In other words, the work will not be done for another 300,000 years, as it should be.
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June 27, 2013
From the permanent collection at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond. Apparently Philip Reingale invented internet humor in 1805.
“Portrait of an Extraordinary Musical Dog” by Philip Reingale (1805)
June 27, 2013
Albrecht Dürer was on tour recently and played the National Gallery in DC. Dürer is an unimpeachable master, whose genius we won’t go into, suffice it to say that the dude knew how to dress! (Those sleeves!) For all his ability, however, Dürer had the strange habit of giving the most misfortunate lil’ scrunch-faces to his ladies. (See, for example, Eve.) One of the misfortunate-faced gals on display at the National Gallery was that of the quasi-mythic Lucretia.
The Suicide of Lucretia (1518). Not among Dürer’s Greatest Hits, not least because of the uneven length of her arms :–(
Lucretia’s suicide was a popular & enduring motif in medieval & renaissance art, variously employed with sexual and/or political overtones. In the classical narrative, Lucretia was raped in her bedroom by the son of Lucius Tarquinius, the seventh and soon-to-be-final king of the Etruscan dynasty that ruled over Rome. In horror at the incident, and to demonstrate her resolute chastity, Lucretia took her own life with a dagger. Lucretia belonged to a prominent Roman family and they, outraged, vowed to avenge her death. The native leading men of Rome, who swore an oath while hoisting Lucretia’s bloodied dagger, led a revolution to overthrow the Etruscan king and banned forever any king from entering Rome. Thus, Lucretia, who would rather die than suffer the shameful subjugation of tyrants, is a heroine of both chastity and Republicanism. And her suicide is entwined with the birth of Rome.
Dürer considered her self-sacrifice so momentous & so redeeming that he portrayed Lucretia’s wound to exactly mirror that of Christ. Compare with Lamentation of Christ, for Albert Glim (1503). (That the wound which birthed Rome should match the wound that Jesus received from a Roman soldier is a symbolism-ouroboros for abler mind-snake charmers!) Apparently, however, Dürer’s idealization of Lucretia was not reverent enough for the viewing public of “prudish Catholic Munich around 1600”. The authorities felt that for a symbol of ultimate chastity Lucretia’s loincloth was not adequate. And so, more than half a century after Dürer’s death, Lucretia’s loincloth was “expanded upwards”! What’s funny here is that church censors were not the only ones who saw it necessary to further cover Lucretia’s (fictional) flesh. In Chaucer’s dream-vision poem The Legend of Good Women (c. 1380) Lucretia, that “noble wyf”, is presented as so modest & dignified & chaste that as she lay dying she took care to adjust her gown to cover her ankles!
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