- 7 May 2001
- Bread and Butter Nudes Revisited
- Three years ago, I came up with an idea for a series of photographs called Bread and Butter Nudes. The work was intended to be an atypicalfor me, that iscommercial enterprise. As I predicted at the time, buttery bodies and phallic baguettes should walk off the shelves!
Of course, I never made those photographs for the usual reason, sloth. In fact, merely coming up with the title of the work may have constituted the completion of the work. (Conceptual art is a slippery, slippery slope indeed.)
And then theres the commercial consideration: who needs money?
And finally, I havent met the right model for the project. That may be a corollary to sloth, since I have yet to ask any of my friends if shed like to pose for some high-cholesterol nude photographs. Its just one of those questions that rarely comes up in casual conversation.
I was reminded of my procrastination through the thoughtful intervention of Land o Lakes Butter, an agribusiness corporation that published a huge billboard advertisement near my laboratory showing an attractive young woman with dripping butter.
I shall use certainly use LoL butter when and if should I ever get around to making Bread and Butter Nudes.
- 8 May 2001
- Yet Another Case Against Television
- Thad maintains that watching television is a complete waste of time.
When youre doing nothing, Thad theorized, then at least youre doing something.
On one level, Thads argument is not unlike positing Adolph Hitler, Pol Pot, and Ronald Reagan werent very compassionate politicians. Still, Im impressed. Anyone who can introduce the concept of less than nothing into a discussion of popular culture is steering the debate in the right direction.
- 9 May 2001
- A Slow Death by Comfort
- I tried listening to a radio interview with the actor Colin Firth, but the discussion wasnt very interesting for me. The interviewer and the actor talked at length about a number of popular films Ive never seen.
And then the actor delivered a brilliant non-sequitur when he said his father died a slow death by comfort.
What a line!
I love my radio!
- 10 May 2001
- How to Use a View Camera
- Jacques just made two big mistakes. First, he bought a view camera. (In 2001?!) And then he asked me how to use it.
Fortunately for Jacques and me, view cameras are easy to use. All I needed to do was repeat what my late mentor Wayne Brill told me soon after I bought my first view camera.
What do I do now? I asked.
He pointed out that this knob did this, and this knob did that, and that this moved this way, and that this moves that way, and so on.
What do I do now? I asked.
Just move everything until things look right, he explained. And that was that.
And thats how to use a view camera.
- 11 May 2001
- Wiffle Ball Anomaly
- Its Friday in San Francisco, and that means its time for another wiffle ball game. In practice, that means breaking into (onto?) a San Francisco rooftop. (Its usually not hard to break into/onto a rooftop, since theres nothing there to steal.)
Our team was trailing behind the Red Herring Demons, an anomaly we attributed to our opponents connections with the underworld.
But then our left linebacker Erik shared, my vision of the game, as dictated from above.
It turns out that voices had told Erik to swing his mighty bat, with all force, at the third opportunity, at, again, the third opportunity.
And when Erik did just that, he hit a grand-slam home run that vanquished our evil foes.
It wasnt until Id concluded hours of celebratory libations that I developed my film from the game and discovered empirical evidence of alien spacecraft that was apparently controlling young Erik.
Wiffle ball is a great game, any way you slice it.
- 12 May 2001
- Thanks for All the Fish
- Douglas Noel Adams died of a heat attack yesterday while exercising at a gymnasium.
Age forty-nine. (For anyone reading this who may be, for whatever reason, under the age of forty-nine, forty-nine is too young to die. So there.)
Douglas Noel Adams seemed like an extraordinarily perceptive, smart, and creative hombre. Beats me why hed waste any of his finite heartbeats in a gym. I guess the cautionary tale of Florence Griffith Joyner was one that he didnt read.
So it goes.
- 13 May 2001
- Sutter Street Fireworks
- Julian asked me what I was doing. I thought it was fairly obvious that I was throwing wads of paper out of a fourth-story window in order to see if I could toss one through the sunroof of a car speeding up Sutter Street. Why else would anyone throw wads of paper out of a fourth-story window on Sutter street?
Julian again asked me what I as doing. If Julian couldnt figure out the obvious nature of my mission, I wasnt going to tell him.
I fear the enemy may already have launched air-to-air missiles against our forces, I lied. Im throwing out bits of paper in order to baffle our foes radar.
Julian nodded, and that was that.
- 14 May 2001
- The Actors Welcome Silence
- Actors arent my friends, but that almost goes without saying. After all, whens the last time an actor ever bought anyone a drink?
Well, it turns out that actors arent completely useless after all. I have proof.
Listen to an American radio stations broadcast over the public airwaves, then listen to that same stations Internet transmission. And then, as Ms. Elber was overly fond of advising, contrast and compare.
Both broadcasts feature equally spineless and predicable music, but theres something missing from the Internet version: advertisements. And for that we can thank the actors.
Union actors negotiated new contracts that provide them with much higher paymentsperhaps three hundred percent moreshould their voiceovers appear on the Internet in addition to the normal radio broadcasts. Thats why broadcasters have all but banned radio advertisements from the Internet.
My hats off to actors for once, and perhaps forever.