Wednesday, April 9, 2014

props to occupy wall street- a review of a review in the new york review of books.

i read michael tomasky's march 6th new york review of books assessment of social democratic america by lane kenworthy.  it describes nascent populist trends in democratic party politics.  attributing them to: a)the president's recent focus on income/opportunity inequality, b)the influence and eloquence of elizabeth warren on such matters, c)liberal bloggers and msnbc, and d)the conspicuous hardships currently endured by the middle class.

myself, having delightedly watched these topics becoming more and more discussed over the past two and a half years, i'd like to see some credit given to occupy wall street.  remember, before occupy, this country had come to a point where reversing the sad stagnation of american upward mobility was considered an anachronistic, quixotic cause. relative to today, the phrase income inequality was almost never uttered by a strategizing politician or in the conventional media.  it was considered a concern of fringe lefties, cambridge massachusetts types, and michael moore. at least at first, it was largely thanks to the crazy unpredicted spectacle of occupy, that suddenly journalists and political figures started talking about this stuff- props!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

ken brown boston tea party show. ica boston. this sunday.

nyc artist ken brown will be airing footage from the amazing super 8 films/light shows he did in the 1960s at the the boston tea party. it's a reprise of his sold out show at the pompidou center in paris: link. click on ken's pretty moving pictures for info and tickets.

stupefaction blog, one of the blogs that makes me wish i had more time to look at blogs, recently featured the poster from the famous velvet underground appearance there.  
ken and my bud deb colburn did the light show. the kinks once stayed over at deb's apartment after a tea party gig.

here's a great page of tea party show posters on pinterest.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

rip army of one.

last week our friend amy forwarded us a post from brooklyn street art that was a bummer.  jef campion, known among lovers of street art as army of one, had died.  well, this was a case of the good dying young.  i never met him in person, but we had discourse a few times when he commented on this blog, and he was a private inspiration to me.

jef tried to ignite political action through art.  i don't know if he really hoped to spark a pacifists revolution, but from what he had to say in response to posts here it's certain he wished for one.

perhaps his overwrought language, his manifesto... was a sign of unbalance.  perhaps it was part of an art persona, his jc2 army of one character. and perhaps it was meant be taken with a degree of humor.  i suspect a little of each.

all i know is in a cynical world his was an urgent unashamed plea for peace. to this end his iconic image, the imploring "grenade boy," modified from a diane arbus photo, appeared wherever the army travelled, from coast to coast in this land, and beyond.

i loved his work, and his message.  an exciting contrast to the usual jaded urban pessimism. tender amidst the hip tough street art milieu.

but jc2 was a very tough guy.  a new york city firefighter, in his fifties, he was  a ground zero responder in the aftermath of of the 9/11 attacks... they profoundly affected him.  being himself no stranger to ptsd, abuse, addiction and recovery, jef devoted his life to protecting others, and in his spare time he volunteered for children's charities.

this post is about the army's message, i'll have more on his art, and monikers, in future.

rip jc2.  i wish a thousand armys could rise to take your place, but i know you can never be duplicated, even by one.