some thoughts on the aesthetics of politics: this is _not_ my thesis

I’m aware of a lot of chatter on the blogosphere to do with the relationship between art and fashion, fashion and art. This has gotten me thinking why are there no great blogs about politics and fashion, fashion and politics. If you can write a blog about fashion and its relationship to art that is political


then why not just cut out the middle man and create a blog that is wholly devoted the fashion and style of politics


which considers things like the hot-day-of-rallying-in-the-sun anarchy hat that also doubles as a cool texas tie. or appropriate makeup with spf in it to support a day of protest. or perhaps also the fashion/function of a protest backpack. maybe then we circle back to the art of fashion and say something about the lineage of text art vis à vis the clever culture jammin’ wordplay of the political fashion tee.

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Maybe it’s armory week that’s got me thinking about the political. I guess I’m just saying that if art can be political and fashion can be art, maybe the political is also fashionable and somebody should be blogging about that.

art and fashion


Cindy Shmerman’s Culture Klub

Dear Readers,

I’m sorry to have left you hanging these past few days. I’ve been busy fending off job offers from employers in the greatest city on earth trying to entice me with $100,000 starting salaries, excellent benefits, and free public transportation. What can I say? My skills are in demand.

I’m going to have to interrupt the 20 under 90, and I know what you’re going to say, but listen–it’s all in the name of bringing back a 2011 favorite, How To Win Partners And Not Look Like A Dickhead In Sophisticated Social Settings. Think of it as a New Year’s resolution for a New You: someone who knows her Upton Sinclair from her Sinclair Lewis, someone who can make friends. So without further ado, readers, here are my picks for the people, places, and things that you should not confuse in 2012.

Upton Sinclair/Sinclair Lewis

Daniel Johnston/Dennis Johnson

Andrew Wyeth/Andrew WK

Cornell West/Joseph Cornell

Game of Thrones/Watch the Throne

Gus Van Sandt/Steve Van Zandt

Sasha Frere-Jones/Sacha Baron Cohen

Jock Jams/Space Jam

Nathan Lane/Anthony Lane

An Olsen Twin/Lykke Li


Twenty under ninety: Woody Allen.

Come on, readers–has Woody Allen ever looked better? I know, I know, he was looking fit in Annie Hall, and he does look a little drunk in this photo. But look at that mug–age agrees with him. After a lousy divorce and a decade-long string of disappointments, this member of the twenty under ninety is finally hitting his stride. He made a career comeback this summer with Midnight in Paris, and it seems like success is here to stay. The French love him, and he loves the French–but don’t look for this twenty under ninety to settle down any time soon. Woody is free as a bird, and seems poised to make the “vacation movie” into an international sensation.  Ladies and gentleman, Woody Allen is the twenty under ninety.

Twenty under ninety.

I can’t believe how long it’s been, readers. A lot has changed since the last post. The USA network ran a “Stabler’s Last Episodes” marathon. Everyone went ape shit for The Marriage Plot. Something happened in Italy, and I’m pretty sure something happened in Washington, too. The youth have become radicalized. And I have become a woman through ritual application of lipstick and consumption of bourgeois media.

But something else has happened, readers. The style profiteers over at HBO have decided to cancel Schwargasm-inducing Bored To Death. I try to avoid taking sides in cultural debate, so I’ll keep this apolitical and just say that a little piece of me was lost on December 20 when I received the news. I’m feeling a lot of feelings of loss, nostalgia, and cultural amnesia.

As a means of coping, I’ve decided to kick off my series of end-of-2011 posts–the twenty under ninety–with everyone’s favorite magazine-exec-turned-restaurateur, Ted Danson aka George Christopher.

What the fuck is “the twenty under ninety,” you ask? Simple. My pick of the hottest twenty under the age of ninety right now. These are the movers and the shakers. You may not have heard of them, but they’re hot right now. They’re changing the way the game is played.

Ted is stylish. He is a free spirit. He has comic timing. And now, thanks to HBO, he is a free agent. Watch out world, Ted Danson is the twenty under ninety.

stormy weather playlist

and in no particular order…

I guess this is goodbye?

“Fear? If I have gained anything by damning myself, it is that I no longer have anything to fear.” – Jean Paul Sartre.

I don’t have a lot of time to write, because I’m going out of town for the Rapture, but I just wanted to be sure to bid you all farewell since, as we know, there may not be a next time.

I guess we can take comfort in the things that we’ve accomplished as a civilization. The war on terror is over.

Know, readers, that I will be truly saddened when my audience is decimated by the Lord’s will.

new rules on how to copy other artists

Been thinking a lot these days about appropriation. Is it okay for artists to borrow material from other artists? Certainly it’s okay to borrow from the conventions of the bourgeois art institution (um, hello, belly-button point of view!). But maybe it’s not okay to photograph someone else’s art and then call it yr thesis (um, hello, Sherrie Levine!). And what about borrowing from the real world? (Did Duchamp pay for that fountain? Should the British Museum return the Elgin Marbles? Should I give Cindy Sherman her name back?) Certainly on the blogue I’ve appropriated heavily from various sources, including the youtube and the google. But is this blogue art?

Anyway, the righteous Judge Deborah Batts finally gave an answer to some of these questions the other day when she handed down a ruling that explains the difference between “appropriation art” and “copyright infringement.”

Sorry you had to learn this the hard way, Richard Prince! But just think how many future generations of artists you’ve helped with this “object lesson.”

Judge Batts certainly was able to clear up some confusion. The question now is where do we go from here? Would now be an “appropriate” (har har) time to go to law school, and open up a sort of “artists’ personal injury” firm whereby I could represent Campbell’s soup and sue the shit out of the Warhol estate? Will somebody be responsible for digging through the archive to find more “object lessons” in “appropriation without the legal mess”? Will someone finally be able to explain to me whether or not the choreography/music of the classic Gesamtkunstwerk Mary Martin Peter Pan (1960) constitutes copyright infringement on Nijinsky & Stravinsky’s work in The Rite of Spring (see minute 2:45)? Or maybe it’s the Joffrey Ballet ripping off Jerome Robbins’s choreography?