Sam Van Aken appears courtesy Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, New York.
Victory Bradbury @ Olean Public Library
If This Knox is A-Rockin'...
"Still, it’s Paul’s brand of populism, not his views on Jim Crow or Iran, that are most germane to the Tea Party’s birth and its future — both within the G.O.P. and as a force that will buffet Obama and the Democrats. Paul most abundantly embodies the movement’s animus when he plays on classic American-style class resentment."
See You in Another Life, Brother
So, did they cop out in the end? After six seasons of deranged rollercoastering through multiple narratives and hurtling back and forth through time, did LOST fail to live up to its promises? Is that a fair question, given how large those promises seemed, and was that just too much for anyone to fulfill? Did they jump the shark or was the shark at least circling the show and swimming in close proximity? Was it a bullshit religious ending, with the sentimental hokum of a bad greeting card? Did the creators of the show just run out of steam? Did they really know what they were doing all along or were they just faking it?
Judging from the internet chatter, it depends on who you ask. From what I could discern, many viewers were entirely satisfied with the resolution of the show and emotional arc. (Though full props should also go to The Simpsons for their topical chalkboard gag in their opening credits: IT WAS THE DOG'S DREAM. WATCH US INSTEAD.) Anyone who was dissatisfied, probably presumed incorrectly (as I did) that this was a science fiction show when, in the end, it was always about characters and relationships. As terrifically wild as it got, it was never an...avant-garde television show. It was solid mainstream television which smartly (like 24) utilized a narrative structure within which it was pretty much impossible to anticipate what would happen next, so it perpetually built anticipation in its audience and then usually delivered big time.
If you didn't watch it, should you? I would have to say absolutely. The ending of the series was a letdown for me personally and I had read some theories about the ending that I far preferred to what actually happened. And yes, it was a cop-out and, looking back on the final season, there was a lot of sloppy storytelling that should have been handled with much more panache. But throughout the series, including its flawed final season, there were SO MANY outstanding episodes, that brushing it off and not bothering would be a mistake.
My favorite character was not one of the initial group (though I loved them all), it was Desmond Hume. Desmond was a wild-eyed Scot who we first met in a hatch, pushing a button, and he went on to become one of the most thrilling characters to watch, performed splendidly in every scene by Henry Ian Cusick, manager to speak the word "brother" in almost every scene. Desmond was featured in my two favorite episodes of the series, Happily Ever After from Season 6—just mind-blowingly great—and The Constant from Season 4, which is invariably at the top of most list of the show's best episodes. I didn't cry when Desmond finally made that phone call, but won't be surprised if you did, or do when you see it. If you're at all prone to welling up at a movie, you might just bawl your eyes out. Those two episodes alone were as enjoyable for me as any episode of any television series I've ever seen, and a far sight better than most movies. I could watch either of them again right now.
It didn't end on the kind of whacked out high notes that St. Elsewhere and Twin Peaks demonstrated—still two of the best tv series endings of all time—but throughout its run, LOST perpetually ponied up the goods. I could quibble, but why bother when there was so much about it to love? Live together, die alone. See you in another life, brother.
"But when the entire island story line we had been following for six seasons turned out not to matter very much within the internal organization of the show’s narrative — to be largely disconnected from that final quasi-religious resolution of the plot — it was deflating, despite the warm feelings the finale otherwise inspired."
"Far from its ostensible claim to educate the public in the finer things artwise, what Big Media wants is to obliterate fine art as a recognizable cultural touchstone so that episodes of Lost, Avatar and Geico caveman commercials will dominate the virtual museums of tomorrow. And our art world accommodates this policy perfectly, both high and low."
"I was a sort of witness to the creative history of the work, since I had accepted the invitation to write the main essay for the show’s catalog. Part of my task was to establish the historical setting of Marina’s work, which was part archival and part interpretative. But it was another matter to describe the new piece; Marina was still uncertain what the atrium performance would be and on this point my essay was necessarily vague."
"According to Lambert-Beatty, Abramovic’s tendency to present her works in museum or gallery settings in recent years, alongside her embrace of official, reproducible forms of documentation of these events, inadvertently consolidates performance art into a "form" susceptible to commodification."
"Because of its footprint and location, the Flatiron has problems and perks that other buildings do not. The swirling winds generated by its shape are said to have inspired the phrase “23 skidoo” — what police officers would say as they dispersed the men who gathered outside to linger and watch for women’s skirts to blow up as they passed."
"The idea of having people jump for the camera can seem like a gimmick, but it is telling that jumpology shares a few syllables with psychology. As Halsman, who died in 1979, said, 'When you ask a person to jump, his attention is mostly directed toward the act of jumping, and the mask falls, so that the real person appears.'"
"Were such corporate media acting on unsuspected reserves of social good will? For the most part, no. They had news to sell, and the illustrations for that news — images of people subjected to violence and then gathering together in the largest mass meeting the country had ever seen — happened to be sensational. You had to pay attention. You couldn’t not have a reaction."
"It is often called one of the best rock records ever made, and framed as an after-the-fact concept album: a wise horror show, an audio diary of rock stars finally facing the rigors of marriage, children and addiction."
"House-made pretzels (and pretzel rolls) are having a fashionable moment in the city. They are adorning bread baskets at Per Se and Commerce, and are served on a board with Italian salumi and cheese at Bread Tribeca. At the Redhead, Meg Grace (who specializes in brilliant bar food) makes soft pretzels to serve with a tangy 'beer cheese' dip."
For your Netflix queue...
(1979, dir. Lucio Fulci) ZOMBI 2
Apart from the cheap gross-out poster image, it bears mentioning that Fulci's classic zombie film is a deft b-movie with a fairly modest portion of gore. But even if you're not into horror or zombies or flesh-eating, I would recommend you add this to your queue and when it comes in, just jump to the final scenein which zombie fight shark. Repeat: zombie does not jump shark, zombie fights shark. It's a brilliantly insane scene and deserves to be on a permanent loop somewhere. For that scene and that scene alone, highly recommended.
For your Netflix queue...
They wanted facts. Facts! They demanded facts from him, as if facts could explain anything.
— Joseph Conrad