One of the best things about the summer is it is a time to read. John Williams’ Stoner is a direct and provocative study of William Stoner, a farmer turned English professor, who follows his ideas and dreams through life’s relentless disappointments. It is, as they say, hard to put down.
The Metronome was built New York at Union Square in1999.According to wikipedia the artwork “references the multiple measures of time that simultaneously inform and confound our consciousness of the moment.” Some like it. Most don’t.
The 911 Museum is a bit of a quagmire. Objects aren’t objects but icons of unimaginable suffering, both past and present. However one thing stands out: the retaining wall, looming, the wall at the foundations of the towers that, despite the collapse, kept the river from running down into the tunnels under the city. It’s certainly something to remember.
I’ve lied about many dumb things in my life, but the weirdest of all is from my pre-teen days.
I rode my Banana bike around Forest Hill, a neighborhood of manicured lawns and three-car garages, going up and down the cobblestone hill on Vesta Drive. I had Trix spoke beads and had somehow hypnotized myself to try a dumb thing: I wanted to see what would happen if I jammed a stick into the front wheel as I pedaled.
So I did that and, not too surprisingly, flipped over the handlebars.
A woman yelled from across her lawn, “Are you all right?”
I hobbled away, my knee bleeding, my wheel wobbly, desperate not to explain my stupidity. However the problem lay ahead of how to answer to my mother.
I couldn’t come up with much of anything except that I had been somehow attacked. Forest Hill isn’t exactly a place of marauding gangs – although I had once been challenged to fight in the ravine by a dozen 9-year-olds – and so I came up with a story that I thought might suffice. “This kid came running out from behind his house and threw his hockey stick like a spear. It went right into my front wheel and I went flying.”
My mother scowled – she was good at that – and walked away. I don’t think she believed any of it but she was never one for digging.
More Art, a non-profit arts organization in New York, has produced a remarkable piece by photographer Andres Serrano, on display in the West 4th subway station in New York. Micaela Martegani, director of More Art, addressed the aims of her organization in realizing this stark and compelling work that focuses on the homeless of New York.
“Homelessness has wildly escalated in recent years, and yet we all tend to ignore it. I believe that we all share responsibility, and artists can help us see. Artists can make an issue public for all to see, without lengthy lectures.” “This is a sensitive topic and we have tried to be as sensitive as possible. Many of these men and women are tired of being invisible and want to be noticed and heard; the work is dedicated to all these people who despite their personal difficulties chose to participate.” “The project crosses between an art installation and an awareness campaign. We wanted to make it as visible as possible, and so posted the images not only in the 4th Street subway station but also in Laguardia Place, construction sites in the area, as well as phone booths all over the city.”“As far as the future, More Art has a few projects in the works, including a performance for the fall, when we will also be celebrating our 10th Anniversary.” The project will be up in the West 4th subway station until June 15, 2014.
1,200 pounds of rose petals were dropped from helicopters over the Statue of Liberty to commemorate the 70th Anniversary of the D-Day Invasion in Normandy. Blue, red and white water, shot from a nearby fire boat, puffed out as tiny smoke clouds of red wafted from the helicopters, as they hovered closer to Jersey.. Not quite the spectacle expected.
The Bachelor/Bachelorette franchiss offers a nightmarishly funny experience in which contestants seem to believe in finding something genuine in the world of reality television. This goes beyond paying lip service to the experience, not just repeating lines that everyone knows by rote: “being here for the right reasons” and “living a fairy tale”.
It requires an acquiescence to an established coda of “taking it to the next level”, meaning that the bachelors must make themselves “vulnerable” and “open to the process” by confessing personal secrets – family deaths and alcoholism being the gold standard. As depressingly amusing as this can be, it has its limitations, as exhibited in last night’s episode in which Andi, the bachelorette, is accused by Eric of acting for the cameras. Andi’s fury knows no bounds. “Every single day this is real to me!” She cannot abide Eric’s assertion simply because he has broken the fifth wall, that of non-reality reality; personal confessions cannot relate to the televised situation at hand,.
Ironically enough, Eric was killed weeks later in an accident, leaving the network and Andi scrambling to gain closure with a segment full of crocodile tears and trite pathos on the real world infringing on the reality of the reality world…or some horror like that.