Monday, December 31, 2007

Personal Notable Events of 2007

Cosmo Baker and Sydney Peck's Wedding

End of the Pew Fellowship in the Arts

Awarding of United States Artists Grant

Death of Ray Doskus, Jr.

If You Reading This

NY Times review

Lynn Bloom's company was sold and bought by another company

Loved family member diagnosed with cancer

Possibility of having MS

AMMO book deal

Showing of "If You Break The Skin"

Meeting Ken and Don

Trip to Trinity Site and El Paso visit

Death of Rose B. Gross


Also notable in 2007:

The continued excellence of my family: immediate, extended and in-laws, particularly my mother and sister. My mother and sister have helped my work beyond measure and have made my life great, my work aside.

The tremendous support for my work as seen in the patience and forgiveness of neglected family members and friends.

The support from Lynn Bloom, without whom I wouldn't have produced any work at all. No work, no nothing. Without Lynn Bloom I could contribute very little to the world. Most notable in 2007 is how lucky I am to have Ms. Bloom as my wife.


PS. "Wife" is a stupid word and LB hates it because we aren't legally allowed to get married (in 2007 and probably in 2008 as well) and I also hate it because it has a historical context of ownership. But "wife" beats out "partner" because that sounds like "business partner" or "howdy, partner." Maybe we should go back to the Michigan Womyn's Music Festival term "life partners" even though that sounds like a Prudential life insurance ad. I actually like "girlfriend," but I don't know if the "girl" part rings true since we're pushing 20 years together. Alright, I'm rambling.


Sunday, December 30, 2007

2 of my New Year's resolutions

#1. Gain more weight, stat. (This is a success already!)
#2. Stop apologizing for being so behind and stop pretending like I'll catch up.

I have to quote the brilliant Mamas and Papas Creeque Alley lyrics "And no one's getting fat except Mama Cass"... I look to change that, friends, by also getting fat and continuing the proud tradition of "fatite" ladies.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

War is Over (If You Want It)

Lakota Sioux Indians Declare Sovereign Nation Status

Threaten Land Liens, Contested Real Estate Over Five State Area in U.S.West Dakota Territory Reverts back to Lakota Control According to U.S., International Law

WASHINGTON, DC - December 20 - Lakota Sioux Indian representatives declared sovereign nation status today in Washington D.C. following Monday's withdrawal from all previously signed treaties with the United States Government. The withdrawal, hand delivered to Daniel Turner, Deputy Director of Public Liaison at the State Department, immediately and irrevocably ends all agreements between the Lakota Sioux Nation of Indians and the United States Government outlined in the 1851 and 1868 Treaties at Fort Laramie Wyoming.

"This is an historic day for our Lakota people," declared Russell Means, Itacan of Lakota. "United States colonial rule is at its end!"

Lucid Dreaming

I occasionally have lucid dreams... a couple different variations of lucid dreams, some more an in-between sleeping and waking and some completely asleep with sleep paralysis. This morning, among a number of insane dreams, I dreamt that I was going to give a talk at the Whitney titled "(Re(d)ressing) America: A History of American Left Wing Fashion." I literally dreamt that phrase. "(Re(d)ressing) America: A History of American Left Wing Fashion." For real. And in the dream I thought that I needed to do research because I didn't really know the commie fashions pre-1960's. And I dreamt that I wanted to focus on Guatamalan vests and scarves that ladies of the 80's loved to wear. There was plenty more going on too.
This was all happening in my head while I was sleeping.

Also I dreamt I used a part of the William Tell Overture to start the slide shows. I will actually try that.

Friday, December 28, 2007

everybody deserves a second chance 2 web
love card rack web
best selection in town 3 web

best selection in town 4_2 web
Mattresses rent a center broad and snyder web

Congratulations to the #1 sister of all time: Savannah Roberts, Licensed Driver

Seattle Bound: Open Satellite Artist Talk

Open Satellite Artist Talk: Zoe Strauss
Thursday, January 3, 7 PM

Open Satellite presents the first Northwest solo exhibition of Philadelphia-based photographer and installation artist Zoe Strauss. Focusing her camera on the gritty neighborhoods of her hometown, Strauss creates tough, emotional portraits of the residents and architecture populating the streets of South Philadelphia, Kensington, and other working class areas. Her images, each considered part of a larger series begun in 2000, are ferocious studies of the American inner city. Zoe Strauss: Works in Progress, curated by Abigail Guay and Gretchen L. Wagner, will be on view through January 12, 2008 at Open Satellite in Bellevue (located at 989 112th Ave NE Suite 102). Please email or call 425.454.7355 for more information.

Discussion is appropriate. Debate seems necessary. Random shouting is required.

Benazir Bhutto Assassination photos by John Moore

merry christmas house 3_1 web

This one's a keeper

Monday, December 24, 2007

Zoe Strauss's Top Christmas Songs

1. The entire Marah album A Christmas Kind of Town

2. The Grinch song

3. Santa Claus Is Coming to Town- Bruce Springsteen

4. My Yiddisha Momma- sung by Connie Francis

5. Christmas- The Who (This selection is dedicated to my cousin Colin Mann Black. Happy Birthday, Col!)

6. Jingle Bell Rock- as sung by the Superfresh employees over the PA system. I was fortunate enough to hear this performance earlier today.

7. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen- Jew Version- as sung by anyone.

Simply change the lyrics from
"God rest ye merry, gentlemen, let nothing you dismay,
Remember Christ our Savior was born on Christmas Day;
To save us all from Satan’s power when we were gone astray."


"God rest ye merry, gentlemen, let nothing you dismay,
Remember hmm-hmm our Savior was born on Christmas Day;
To save us all from satins power when we were gone astray."

This was how I sung this Xmas favorite when in school choir.

8. The entirety of A Charlie Brown Christmas by the Vince Guaraldi Trio.

9. 2000 Miles- Pretenders

10. Fairytale of New York- The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl. Greatest christmas song ever.

It was Christmas Eve babe
In the drunk tank
An old man said to me, won't see another one
And then he sang a song
The Rare Old Mountain Dew
I turned my face away
And dreamed about you

Got on a lucky one
Came in eighteen to one
I've got a feeling
This year's for me and you
So happy Christmas
I love you baby
I can see a better time
When all our dreams come true

They've got cars big as bars
They've got rivers of gold
But the wind goes right through you
It's no place for the old
When you first took my hand
On a cold Christmas Eve
You promised me
Broadway was waiting for me

You were handsome
You were pretty
Queen of New York City
When the band finished playing
They howled out for more
Sinatra was swinging,
All the drunks they were singing
We kissed on a corner
Then danced through the night

The boys of the NYPD choir
Were singing "Galway Bay"
And the bells were ringing out
For Christmas day

You're a bum
You're a punk
You're an old slut on junk
Lying there almost dead on a drip in that bed
You scumbag, you maggot
You cheap lousy faggot
Happy Christmas your arse
I pray God it's our last

I could have been someone
Well so could anyone
You took my dreams from me
When I first found you
I kept them with me babe
I put them with my own
Can't make it all alone
I've built my dreams around you

written by Shane MacGowan & Jem Finer

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Greetings From Dickinson St.

Much is happening on the greatest block in the world.

#1. Bobby, a neighbor with severe mental illness and possibly mild mental retardation still continues to know all of the Jewish holidays and wish me a happy holiday every time one rolls around. How he knows the Jewish holidays, this I don't know, since he's barely functioning. This week I heard "You can't get it past me! Hanukkah is from the 5th to the 12th and I know the 12th because it's Frank Sinatra's birthday and I know the Jewish people loved Frank Sinatra."

#2. While picking up a package from my next door neighbor he told me that he "got the cheese for the macaronis" which means "grated Parmesan cheese for pasta."

#3. Pictured above is our holiday window. Click to enlarge, it's worth it. Also, difficult to see is that the large moving Santa has an "Impeach Bush" sign.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Which Came First? from Errol Morris's NY Times blog

Click above for a great article by Errol Morris, insightful and obsessive. Readers commented and Errol Morris responded... below are two responses to the piece that were of great interest to me. Errol Morris's responses are in italics.


Reply to comment No. 25, “Hooded Man.” The claim that language can breed error — just like photographs.

"…the critic is attributing to photography what is true of all representation, verbal as well as visual. Think about it: can you depend any more on written accounts of reality? If so, I have a bridge to sell. You don’t have to spend more than ten minutes in a court of law to see that writing is highly suspect."

Think about it? I have thought about it.

And I’m not sure I understand your point. Is the point that writing can be false or misleading? Who would argue? What I am writing here could be false or misleading. (I will let readers decide for themselves.)

Here is the problem as I see it.

Photographs are neither true nor false.

Consider this picture of John Kerry and Jane Fonda. It is a well-known fake image that was passed off as an Associated Press photo. Is the photograph true or false?

I would say: neither.

The text surrounding the photograph makes a number of misleading and false claims. The picture is not an A.P. photo, and the captions are worded to encourage the viewer to conclude falsely that John Kerry and Jane Fonda appeared together at the antiwar rally depicted in the photograph. However, this rally never happened.

Fonda and Kerry did attend the same antiwar rally, but these images of the two (which were combined in one fake photograph) were taken at different rallies. Kerry’s was taken in 1971, Fonda’s in 1972.

But what is true or false? Is it the photograph itself or the text surrounding it? I would say it is the text surrounding it.

Here’s the same picture again.

True or false?


Reply to comment No. 43, “Hooded Man.” The claim that we don’t really have to understand the underlying reality of photographs.

“All we could do was to define our own reality and in that quest hope to define a larger truth. Clawman and Vietcong Man both do that. Relatively few people know who the real men are — and it doesn’t matter because the mental and unexplained power of the visual image is a far greater force upon our minds than any amount of words and real identities.”

This shares several underlying themes with No. 25. I still don’t agree.

The “larger truth” is that we all live in the real world.

“Relatively few people know who the real men are — and it doesn’t matter…” But it does matter. If it doesn’t, how do you explain our preoccupation — even obsession — with the identity of people in iconic photographs? The soldiers in Joe Rosenthal’s photograph of the flag-raising on Mt. Suribachi, the young Vietnamese girl running down the road in Nick Ut’s photograph, the migrant mother in Dorothea Lange’s photograph.

I agree: “the mental and unexplained power of the visual image is a far greater force…” But is this a good thing? There remains the question: what are images stripped of context? Are they nothing more than propaganda — or if not propaganda, are they simply a mirror that we hold up to our own prejudices and predispositions?

Many things.

But I will start with the most important thing: the Alycia Lane debacle. Obviously, I have been insanely busy to be weighing in on this Philadelphia moment a few days after the breaking news. Earlier in the week, a crazy local reporter, Alycia Lane, said "I don't give a fuck who you are I'm a reporter, you fucking dyke" to a cop and then punched her in the face.

You can read about it here and here.

I look to celebrate what I would have said in the same situation, which would have undoubtably been "I don't give a fuck who you are, I am a dyke, you fucking reporter."

You too can enjoy wearing this shirt by clicking here.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Just a computer update... this morning my screen busted and I had to take the computer in AGAIN for service. Yeah. So I called Apple and complained and they're fixing it FOR FREE even though my computer's warranty has expired. I say yes to that. Good job, Apple.

Monday, December 17, 2007

This is an excellent example of why T.O.B.A.L is so great. What kind of a law should be enacted to prevent "taking a long time putting on makeup" or "wearing sunglasses?"


Friday, December 14, 2007

Computer Crash Update

I have gotten almost all of my old email back, it was the one thing that could be recovered, and since there was a 2 1/2 week period where I missed all of my received emails, I will be going back over the emails and responding as I can get to it. Why, WHY, just after I declare email bankruptcy am I suddenly so behind again? Tobal!


Digression 1: I have searched high and low for any copy of the comic strip "There Ought To Be a Law," all to no avail. "There Ought To Be a Law" was a single panel syndicated comic strip that ran in the 70's and I think into the early 80's. It was published in the Inquirer. The strip featured a kind of "Murphy's Law" gag and the aggrieved party often exclaimed "Tobal," as in "There Ought To Be a Law."

Digression 2: Remember at the beginning of "Catcher In The Rye" when Holden Caulfield was in a public speaking class and there was one kid who would go off on tangents, I think one of them was about his uncle's farm, and the whole class had to yell "Digression!" when he veered off topic? I think of that often. Throughout my day there would be a constant din of "Digression!" being yelled at me if my life was based on that class.


Realistically, it's going to take me a while to catch up. Right now it's Christmas time, I'm learning the new camera and photoshop CS3 and I'm working on the book and I'd like to produce new work, so please be patient with me.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

a dream come true

Adlai Stevenson 1953
Photo by William M. Gallagher (Flint [Mich.] Journal)
Pulitzer Prize winner

Mike Huckabee 2007
Photo by Michele Asselin for the NY Times
2 crops from the NYT website

The above photo of Mike Huckabee by Michele Asselin, in today's NY Times, is nice nod to the 1953 photo of Adlai Stevenson by William Gallagher.

Also, unrelated to the photos, Mike Huckabee is a total dick. He's a complete imbecile and asshole.
Oh, wait, that's also our current president!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Breaking News on the Mayoral Election!

This is a report from Queena Bass on the past mayoral election... I was glad to catch this news right outside of the 10th and South Superfresh, otherwise it would have been swept under the rug! Amazingly, many of the problems Queena Bass was forced to suffer through are also happening at my studio right now...power outages, people knocking at my door unannounced and no heat for most of winter (the studio is now no heat for all of winter.) Click to enlarge.

2007 Limited Editions Closed

The 2007 Yearly Limited Edition is closed. The first batch that was mailed out was missing the letter due to my computer crash. But worry not, friends! You will receive a letter specific to your diptych, my #1 intern/assistant is mailing them out.

And I would like to thank everyone who purchased a diptych. Thanks to these sales I will be buying a new camera and paying off some of my 2006 I-95 debt. And thanks to those who bought the trust fund print... I have over 1000 bucks now in case of emergency and for basic stuff like tokens and lunch for when we get together. It's going to make a big difference.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Here's a good review of the Open Satellite Show

In Support of the Writers' Strike

An explanation of the strike


From Speechless; actors, writers and directors coming together in solidarity.

I have cracked up at "wholesale prices on all major brand air conditioners... serving the tri-state area" every time I've watched this.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Movin' On Up

I received two completely amazing signs of success today.

1. My "If You Reading This" exhibition card is being sold at Abe's Books. Awesome, but they think I'm a man.

2. Someone posted this amazing Houston Craigs List personal ad using a photo of mine. click the image to enlarge. Thanks, Manny!

I'm posting from my lady's computer, because mine is back in the shop. Thank GOD I'm getting 50 thousand because my computer's busted and my camera is in the shop as well. Posting has obviously been slow because of all my technology issues. Posting's also been slow because I'm sorting out images for the book, figuring out the pacing and emphasis. Plus, I've had 3 shows in the last 2 months. And I've had a lot of other stuff going on and I seem to never be able to catch up.

Many tremendous things have happened in the last year, and I am reconciling myself to a life that's not even keeled but one that's filled with life changing moments; it's been throughout my 30's, and through a lot of my 20's. For example, this year included the death of a very good friend, who shot himself in the head. And this year included a lot of critical praise for my work, a hugely successful NY show and a prestigious fellowship.
And there are many other recent events I haven't written about here that are as painful and as exhilarating as those moments.

After having had this blog for a few years, almost 3 years, I still have no idea what it is and why I often feel compelled to present very personal information to strangers. Really, I should probably devote a little more of my endless self reflection toward figuring that out. In many ways I began this blog to help improve my writing skills, which has not happened. On the contrary, the minimal writing here is still like pulling teeth. I think I might have a learning disability because of the great difficult I have with writing... I have always had problems with syntax, and spelling, and they have never come to me even with hard work. Through my many email problems I've learned that it takes me way longer than other folks to compose a sentence. Maybe later I'll be able to see what this is about.

ken and don 4 web.jpg

Tuesday, December 04, 2007


3 minutes, but 100% worth it
I am back from Seattle, friends. After the first edit of photos it looks like I didn't come back with anything. My camera broke while I was out there, the fill flash stopped working and the flash shoe didn't work with an external flash. In addition, after my computer crash I was unable to process raw photos because I lost Photoshop CS2 and I had to shoot in jpg, which isn't that hot for night photos. Whatever, I just wasn't able to connect and wasn't able to produce. I'm hoping I can get it going on for my next visit.

add it to your web

add it to your 5 web

add it to your 3 web

for rent_2_1 web

outside mcdonalds_1_1 web

wake up america 2 web
girl painting boys nails at bowling alley_1 web

Monday, December 03, 2007