October 30th, 2006

Chris Keeley

Socio-Ethnophobic Comic Simulations

These include a driving lesson, a meeting of veteran feminists (“I could not concentrate on what this old man was saying,” he complains of one woman), a babble-tongued Pentecostal service, and a demure Southern dinner, at which one of the guests claims that, with a little training, Borat could be “Americanized.” Fat chance.

“Borat” and “Volver.”
Issue of 2006-11-06
Posted 2006-10-30

Who is Sacha Baron Cohen? We know that he is British, that he is Jewish, and that he studied history at Cambridge, where his cousin Simon is a professor of developmental psycho-pathology. Sacha has entered a no less delicate field. He is a squirmist: a master of SECS, or Socio-Ethnophobic Comic Simulations, in which he adopts fictional personae and then marches briskly into the real world with a mission to embarrass its inhabitants. His first coup was the invention of Ali G, a would-be rapper from the London suburbs, who inveigled celebrities—first in England, then in America—to trip themselves up on camera. He realized that, under the rules of international tolerance, they could not be seen to ignore the earnest entreaties of a young man in a gold tracksuit and wraparound shades. The definition of a clever stunt is one that tempts no less a personage than Noam Chomsky (or, as Ali G calls him, “my main man Professor Norman Chomsky”) to join the ranks of stooges—remaining thoughtful as the sexually bullish Ali inquires of him, “How would you like it if I called you bilingual?”

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Chris Keeley

Ex-Bush Official Linked to Abramoff Sentenced to 18 Months

Ex-Bush Official Linked to Abramoff Sentenced to 18 Months
And a former top Bush administration official has been sentenced to 18 months in prison for lying to federal investigators about his ties to Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff. The official, David Safavian served as the Bush administration’s chief procurement officer.
Chris Keeley

After Arbus

After Arbus

I like when artists or critics make grandiose and provocative declarations on art. It is usually rubbish, but at least gets you thinking. In her review of the Wolfgang Tillmans show, LA Weekly writer Holly Myers stirred the pot:

In thinking about Diane Arbus, as one does from time to time, I came to a distressing realization: that I couldn’t name a single photographer subsequent to Arbus (and Frank and Winogrand and Friedlander and Eggleston and the other greats of her generation) who ranked on anywhere near the same level, which is to say, who thrilled me near as broadly, deeply or consistently.

The distinction is more romantic than intellectual, I’ll admit — and therein lies the problem. Photography obviously didn’t disappear after 1971 (the year of Arbus’ death), but, like art generally, went the way of the intellect, exalting concept over impression, thinking over looking.

Read the full article here.


Chris Keeley

But the painter who mattered most to the precocious Marden’s maturation was Mark Rothko.

Marden belongs to a generation of tough-minded American painters who arose in the aftermath of Abstract Expressionism and during the onsets of Pop and minimalism. His Yale classmates included Chuck Close and Robert Mangold, as well as Richard Serra

A Brice Marden retrospective.
Issue of 2006-11-06
Posted 2006-10-30

"It’s hard to look at paintings,” Brice Marden once said. “You have to be able to bring all sorts of things together in your mind, your imagination, in your whole body.” Good paintings make the exercise worth the trouble. Great paintings make it seem valuable in itself, as one of the more rewarding things that having minds, imaginations, and bodies lets us do. Marden’s current retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art confirms him, at the age of sixty-eight, as the most profound abstract painter of the past four decades. There are fifty-six paintings in the show, dating from broody monochromes made in 1964-66, when Marden was fresh out of art school at Yale, to new, clamorous, six-panelled compositions, twenty-four feet long, of overlaid loopy bands in six colors. (His several styles of laconic form and smoldering emotion might be termed “passive-expressive.”) As selected and installed by Gary Garrels, the senior curator at the Hammer Museum, in Los Angeles, the ensemble affords an adventure in aesthetic experience—and, tacitly, in ethical, and even spiritual experience. There are also some fifty drawings: too few. Marden’s drawings (and etchings, which are entirely absent) constitute an immense achievement in their own right, and their resourcefulness and grace are best perceived in quantity.

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Chris Keeley

Malcolm writes:

Malcolm writes after visiting http://intervention.org

Hello. Christopher.  I’ve spent the day browsing your extensive site, expecting always to be done only to find ever-more pathways, loving the portraits, the architecturals, the pictures of Greece, the Catskills, esp. the Moon Teahouse in the fog, Arizona; being captivated by the social and political derivatives, the addiction, the demonstrations, the TRAITOR and the mannequin.  Please don’t tell me the suicide girls all committed suicide?  And, of course, running through it all, the variegated collection of women, all with a beauty of their own, esp. Suzanne, since she reminds me so much of an ex-girlfriend I most regret to call “ex.”

I have a site that started out years ago on the U.S. government, the democratic mechanism of it, and I guess events have sort of turned it into a Bush-Iraq site, http://popularsovranty.com , where I do all the writing and the graphics, and the design coding, and I also use images from the Web, getting permission where the source is identified, and I think I would like to use some of your anti-Bush demonstration pictures if I can get your reply with permission to post one or a few of them, with © Keely adjacent?  Right now, I only have one demonstration shot up, one that I took of a group of teens protesting against Bush in Fairfield, OH, a few weeks ago.

Though I’ve spent the day, I still have not hit all your links, and I expect I’ll be progressing through them throughout the evening.  It’s quite a trip.

Best to you.

Chris Keeley

"Out of Iraq" by George McGovern and William Polk

 Yesterday C-SPAN 2 broadcast on its "Book TV" program the launching
of this book on 10/02/06 (the day before its publication) at the
National Arts Club in New York City. John Brademas, president emeritus
of New York University, moderated and introduced. The broadcast session
lasted 1.45 hours. The authors thoroughly explained the contents of the
book, whose sub-title is: "A Practical Plan for Withdrawal Now."
   For anyone who wishes to view this program, I believe it will be
available on the C-SPAN Internet website, in  the archives, as they
frequently rebroadcast these Book TV sessions, which are very popular
programs every weekend. I regret to say that Bill Polk informed me
earlier that no book tour was planned by the publisher, Simon and
Schuster. The broadcast is no substitute for the book itself, which
retails at Amazon.com for $9.90 plus shipping.
   I have been asked to do a review for the Foreign Service Journal,
but it won't be published until the January issue. By that time Iraq
will be even deeper in the quagmire most probably. But keep your eyes
out for the report of the Baker-Hamilton study group on Iraq policy, due
out sometime after our November 7 elections. That might--and I hope it
does--stir up the administration into changing the course instead of
staying the course. That is, if it is not already too late.
   Bob Keeley
Chris Keeley

Sam Harris: "Bad Reasons to be Good" (BG/IHT)

TO: Distinguished Recipients
FM: John Whitbeck

Transmitted below is an opinion article which should strike a chord with
those who believe (as I do) that a major (and increasing) proportion of
human suffering is attributable to organized religions -- and provide
some useful food for thought for those who do not.

In his notorious Regensberg speech last month, the Pope quoted a
Byzantine emperor as asserting, "Show me just what Mohammed brought that
was new, and there you will find only things evil and inhuman." Although
likely to be too polite and considerate to do so, a rational person with
ethical values might well be tempted to ask today, "Show me just what
organized religions have brought that was in addition to the Golden
Rule, and there you will find only things unnecessary, irrational and

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Chris Keeley

Neckface makes New Image Art his latest victim with a new solo show entitled 'The Night after Hallow

NeckFace: The Night After Halloween

NeckFace: The Night After Halloween NeckFace: The Night After Halloween at New Image Art Gallery in West Hollywood, CA. "...Neckface makes New Image Art his latest victim with a new solo show entitled 'The Night after Halloween' - featuring an installation of life-sized sculptures and watercolors. The ghoulish themes and iconography Neckface is known for, such as witches, death metal, blood, dead babies, bats, monsters, will be abundant in this multimedia exhibition. 'The Night after Halloween' differs from Neckface's past shows in that it relies heavily on three-dimensional work rather than solely on his paintings. Guests can interact with Neckface's characters, presented as life-sized beings through the use of paper-mache and sculptural constructions, in a haunted house installation. A film created by Ty Evans will be shown as well; it features Neckface caught in the act of painting and a brief look at the street art of New York City in 2006. Enlarged pages of Weirdo Dave's zine 'Fuck This Life' are also used by Neckface in a collaborative installation."