Unhappy Anniversary

DOUG KANTER/AFP/Getty Images

What an awesome image this photo is! (To get the full effect, click on it.)

The Twin Towers were not terribly beautiful when they stood over lower Manhattan for the thirty years of their lives: just two big awkwardly long rectangles on their sides stretching far above everything in their surroundings. They were  iconic, of course, but they achieved their stature cheaply, just by virtue of being the tallest things around.

In death, however, the Towers’ architecture has achieved a powerful iconicism of chaos and doom. The twisting, torn shards of its wrecked lattices look like ghostly hands reaching weakly for help, or bombed-out miniature cities–in a way, fractals of the larger destruction around them. How utterly ruined they were on that day! How totally devastated was their straight, clean sharpness!

The man in this photo, according to its official AFP caption, is calling out to see if any survivors answer. Patriots will quickly note the most alive looking object in the image: the American flag yet waving in the smoky sunlight. Eleven years on, you have to wonder what became of the land and home it represents.

tUnE-yArDs at Terminal 5

Last Friday night, with special guests Delicate Steve and (all the way from London) Micachu and the Shapes.

It was, as expected, an extraordinary evening of far-out African-inflected and futuristic pop/dance/rock music. Great musicianship all around, as this clip of the tUnE-yArDs’ “Bizness” (one of a long series of highlights) only hints at. (I was not the photographer. I was just somewhere between the camera and the Merrill Garbus.) Continue reading

Maybe Some Businesses Do Need a Nanny

I’m going to take a contrarian position from the Twittersphere in its reaction to news that New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (who, I tend to agree, is an annoying nudge who has overstayed his welcome) intends to ban supersizes of sugary softdrinks from certain purveyors Continue reading

“Things You Should Know Before Trying to Run a Freakshow”

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Do they have lectures like this in other cities? Or is this an “only in New York” thing?

 

A lecture by Dick Zigun founder of the Coney Island Circus Sideshow will reveal secret information gathered during 30 years of producing circus sideshows.

Cautionary information for those foolish enough to try and produce a freak show and humorous tales of triumph and horror learned from my three decades of attempting the same for those in the general public who have no intention of trying.

Topics to be covered include:
Tattooed Faced Junkies
Little People’s Big Egos
Dressing Room Excapades
Pickled Punks, Giant Killer Rats, Tattooed Dogs and The Law
Why you don’t want to own a big snakes but need one
Employees as slaves, rivals or thieves
Tents vs Buildings
Insurance and Payroll Taxes vs. Working Illegal
Burning Your Territory (not if you want to return the next season)
Good vs Bad Publicity
Etc etc etc

This is a 2 hour lecture followed by a one hour Q and A.

I wish I could go but I have a prior engagement. If anyone else wants to, tickets are $25-$50. Details are here

A Statement From the 90 5th Avenue #Occupation

Here’s a fascinating and encouraging development from yesterday’s second-month celebration of the occupation of Zuccotti Park, something to indicate that the movement is far from being a flash in the pan and far from being defanged. A group of students and other protesters have taken over a space at 90 Fifth Avenue in preparation for creating a free “people’s university.” It may also provide an alternative space for at least some of #OWS’s displaced denizens during the winter months, provided the city and the owners  of the building (which happens to be one of the nation’s largest banks, according to the protesters) don’t try to Bloomberg/Brookfield them out.

A Statement From the 90 5th Avenue Occupation follows the jump: Continue reading

UPDATE: State of Seized Library

From the blog of #OccupyWallStreet’s People’s Library:

UPDATE: State of Seized Library.

The movement will no doubt survive, even if its flagship camp is forced to move elsewhere. But its flagship library is not as easily replaced.  More than any other aspect of Bloomberg/Kelly’s Monday night raid on Zuccotti Park, the thoughtless destruction of the People’s Library symbolizes the soullessness of the authorities threatened by our wonderfully rebellious American Fall.

May the embers of this shameful moment be kept alive in our hearts and minds to kindle an even more wonderful American Spring.