December 23rd, 2008

Chris Keeley

Two Artists United by Devotion to Women

December 23, 2008
 

Two Artists United by Devotion to Women

As artists’ biographies go, those of Wallace Berman and Richard Prince could hardly be more different. Berman, who died at 50 in 1976, the victim of a drunken driver, was a kind of Beat guru flying just below the radar, showing his work in only one conventional gallery exhibition during his lifetime and popping into rare view in strange places: a cameo in “Easy Rider”; the cover of “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” where his face is wedged next to Tony Curtis’s, just below Jung’s.



Mutual FocusSlide Show

Mutual Focus



http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2008/12/23/arts/design/20081223_PRINCE_index.html

By contrast Mr. Prince, 59, labored in obscurity for years but not exactly by choice: he wanted a larger audience and found it. For more than two decades he has been one of the most influential contemporary artists, and his work — paintings, photography, car-centric sculpture — has sold for many millions of dollars, allowing him to create an impressive studio complex in Rensselaerville, N.Y., in Albany County.

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Chris Keeley

Music Review | Matisyahu

Music Review | Matisyahu

Hanukkah Receives Kosher Pop Welcome

Matisyahu deployed what may be the only large, mirrored, rotating dreidel in show business — a Jewish answer to a disco ball — at Webster Hall on Sunday night, the first night of Hanukkah. It was also the first of eight New York City shows for Matisyahu in his third annual Festival of Lights series, bringing different opening acts and guests each night. A large menorah was set up for a mid-concert lighting ceremony, with the blessings declaimed in Hebrew by an audience volunteer.

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Chris Keeley

Bailed-Out Banks Can’t Account for Gov’t Funds

Bailed-Out Banks Can’t Account for Gov’t Funds

The Associated Press has revealed that many of the nation’s largest banks are claiming they can’t track how they’re using the billions of dollars they have received in aid from US taxpayers. The Associated Press contacted twenty-one banks that received at least $1 billion in government money and asked four questions: How much has been spent? What was it spent on? How much is being held in savings? And what’s the plan for the rest? None of the banks provided specific answers. When Congress approved the massive bailout, it attached nearly no strings to the money, and the Treasury Department never asked the banks how it would be spent.

 

No Charges Yet Against Student Who Disrupted Gas & Oil Auction in Utah

In Utah, the US attorney’s office in Salt Lake City said Monday it has not decided yet whether to prosecute a University of Utah student who disrupted a controversial federal oil- and gas-lease auction Friday by posing as a bidder and buying nearly 22,000 acres of public land near Arches and Canyonlands national parks. The student, Tim DeChristopher, appeared in court on Monday, but no charges were filed. A spokeswoman for the US attorney’s office said, “It will take time to evaluate evidence and make a determination whether we will prosecute.” On Monday, Tim DeChristopher told Democracy Now! he is ready to go to jail.

Tim DeChristopher: “I’ve seen the need for more serious action by the environmental movement and to protect a livable future for all of us. I’ve seen that need for a long time. And frankly, I’ve been hoping that someone would step up and someone would come out and be the leader and someone would put themselves on the line and make the sacrifices necessary to get us on a path to a more livable future. And I guess I just couldn’t wait any longer for that someone to come out there and had to accept the fact that that someone might be me.”

Pope: Homosexuality Could Lead to Self-Destruction of Human Race

At the Vatican, Pope Benedict XVI has said that saving humanity from homosexual or transsexual behavior is just as important as saving the rain forest from destruction. The Pope warned that gender theory blurred the distinction between male and female and could thus lead to the “self-destruction” of the human race.

Pope Benedict XVI: “We need something like human ecology, meant in the right way. The Church speaks of human nature as ‘man’ or ‘woman’ and asks that this order is respected. This is not out-of-date metaphysics. It comes from the faith in the Creator and from listening to the language of creation, despising which would mean self-destruction for humans and therefore a destruction of the work itself of God.”

Lesbian and gay Christians have denounced Pope Benedict’s comments. The Rev. Sharon Ferguson of the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement described the Pope’s remarks as “totally irresponsible and unacceptable in any shape or form.” Ferguson said, “It is comments like that that justify homophobic bullying that goes on in schools, and it is comments like that that justify gay bashing.”

NYT Publishes Fake Letter to Editor

And the New York Times has apologized after publishing a fake letter to the editor Monday signed by the mayor of Paris denouncing Caroline Kennedy’s bid to fill Hillary Clinton’s Senate seat. The Times said the letter was a fake and that it was reviewing its procedures to verify letters.


 

Chris Keeley

Mental Patients Isolated for Years Despite Laws

Mental Patients Isolated for Years Despite Laws

Filed at 2:03 p.m. ET

STAUNTON, Va. (AP) -- Mental patients sprinkled throughout the nation's psychiatric hospitals are being locked up alone for years despite laws aimed at preventing the practice, because medical workers say they're too dangerous to handle any other way.

Health officials call them outliers -- rare, unpredictably violent people who don't respond to medication or other treatment. Advocates call them victims of a system that has lost patience and creativity in caring for those who are most difficult to treat.

Loopholes in federal and state laws and impotent oversight allow hospitals to lock some patients away for the safety of staff and other patients. Some cases involving seclusion and restraints have resulted in costly lawsuits, yet they are so rare that many advocates had no idea there were similar situations in other states until The Associated Press inquired about it.

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