Monthly Archive for May, 2003

frappe cultureto quote the coolest musician out there (beck), fro-boy is rockin greece “like a mouldy crouton”. with the help of the beautiful aussie girl this time. the photo to the left is from our second day in athens and if you click on it, you’ll see our view of one of the wonders of the world, the acropolis, while we stopped for some drinks and mezzethes. it also accurately depicts what you’d see at 9 out of 10 cafe/bar tables in this country: the potent frappe, the ubiquitous cell phone, water, and maybe a cappuccino. oh forgot, most will also include a pack of cigarettes or drum tobacco, as like 90% of greeks smoke like fiends. we are currently on the dramatically scenic island of santorini. i hope to have more later. the weather has been a major disappointment. we’ve had cool weather with clouds almost every day and six days in, we haven’t had a beach-worthy day yet. aussie girl seems to be enjoying herself, but how could she not, in the presence of the fro-boy?

foam mesh hatplayed out? the ‘trucker hat’ article gianni links to below is way off base. if fro-boy’s still sportin the foam-mesh, it ain’t near played out. besides, anything with a raider shield on it will live on in infamy, regardless of what the style fags say.

also, this ny times article about blogging describes some reasons why i don’t go into my life as a ladies’ man or secret agent too much on these pages. that just ain’t my bag, baby. (assist to mr paranoid (you know who you are) on the link)

following f::b’s art with kitsch: maybe i’m out of it but i had no idea the foam/mesh trucker hats ever came back, although i was quite amused at the fashionistas’ collective diatribe about how this retro craze has already come and gone. sidebar: i’m a little disappointed in amazon.com pimping urban outfitters (where, btw, you can find a trucker hat) in the sense that millions of would-be consumers will never comprehend the fun experience of checking out/picking up all of the gonzo/retro/useless/priceless stuff on the u.o. shelves that probably occupy just as much time as the racks … and don’t forget checking out those hot tatooed/pierced rave chicks that always seem to be working the registers or folding bikinis 😉

afrodizziaChris Ofili’s Afrodizzia
1996 oil paint, paper collage, glitter, polyester resin, map pins and elephant dung on linen

if contemporary art’s ‘not your bag, baby’, then the saatchi gallery will not interest you. i have mixed feelings. on the one hand, you’ve got tracey emin’s my bed. it’s basically an exhibit consisting of her filthy, unmade bed with various detritus scattered around it (used condoms, maxi pads, dirty underwear, cigarette butts, etc).
don’t know if that should be called art.
on the other hand, there’s stuff like a pig or a cow sliced into 6 cross sections, dead things in formaldehyde (sharks!), and eerily lifelike tourists….that shit is plain cool.

i have a couple of stories from my visit there last weekend. as i walked into the lobby of the gallery, i saw a homeless man sitting slouched along a wall. i didn’t look again, in hopes of avoiding the inevitable donation request. the dude was sitting pretty near an exhibit i wanted to check out, so he was kind of hard to ignore. when i finished with the “vermin death star” piece (very cool: dead rat carcasses formed to shape the star wars death star, about 10 feet in diameter), i glanced over again.
no movement, but he seemed to be almost breathing.
i saw a descriptive plaque on the wall near him, but no art piece over there.
hmmmm.
was this one of those famous contemporary art “white walls”? you know, the monocolor paintings that supposedly say deep things about life?
no, the plaque described a life-size homeless man.
(lightbulb goes on)
he was the art! he wasn’t real!
when art blurs the boundary between itself and reality, that’s interesting.

my other story about the visit was the sump oil exhibit. there was a guy holding up a sign adjacent to the entrance to the exhibit room notifying people to be cautious and that the gallery was not responsible for damage to persons (hair) or personal items (clothes). i just figured they were covering their asses and there was really not much to worry about, especially for an almost x-man like me. people were allowed to walk into and out of the room one at a time. in peaking in, i couldn’t get a grasp on what exactly it was. only later, when i got some perspective, did i realize that it was an entire room filled with used sump oil. the oil was right up to the edge of the walled walkway and it was black, which reflected the ceiling, and really threw me off. after i walked out to the closed end of the walkway and turned around, still baffled, the sign-holder ran up to me with a towel and told me i got oil on my jacket. i was confused. oil? from where? he blew across the liquid to make it ripple and only then did i get it. in turning around, my jacket tail must have rubbed up against the edge of the oil pool. needless to say, i’m suing the hell out of the bastards. who the hell fills a room with dirty oil and calls it art anyway?

ok, fro::boy’s j.lo break is over, now that i’m back online. you gotsta respect an a$$tronaut like jenny-from-the-block, who takes pride in her bum. you go, hermana – ignore that anglo-envy! espn et al can have all the fun they want, but they know “baby’s got back”; from the same source, how baked is madonna to forget her own hit lyrics?

carnaby streetpreppin for my annual trip to greece next week. i’m gonna take my aussie girlfriend to see how she holds up against thea bessie and the relatives (i say that with much agapi). this past sunday thru tuesday, we spent in london. i had a conference to attend on tuesday so i took monday off. we also managed to get a pretty good hotel rate at the le meridian at russell square. beautiful, old hotel (although our room was average) right around the corner from the tube and the british museum. we had some excellent belgian beer (i had a tasty lambic) and chow at belgo’s, hit a few museums, and got in some shopping. the photo here is a building wall mural just off the famous carnaby street. we also saw the new x-men movie at the huge leicester square cinema. it rawked! better, actually way better, than the first, and they even had the guts to kill off one of the main characters. the fx were quite special, but i think the gold standard will be set by the soon-to-open matrix sequel. i’ll be in greece when it opens and it’ll be interesting to see how well it does considering the strong anti-american sentiment over there. of course, they’ll all flock to see the american-made movie because we make the best movies. so much for the boycotting of american products we were hearing about in the news.

my first curiosity in this WVA gov’nuh affair story was to see if they were related (hehheh – just kidding. maybe) … but what i thought was really interesting was that the gov’s girfriend ran the state’s Euro operations for WV Development office. r u kidding – heck, does this mean that there’s some billet out there for running, say, new mexico’s commerce with europa? damn, it could be a gold mine … latch on to some “governor-for-life” and you’ll get set up to promote hopi jewelry in poland while importing mentos and pocket coffee to the lagging candy market in taos. sign me up!

damn! gianni goes three blogs in a row after a long hiatus. in honor of this, i want to post a photo of the man hisownbaaadself on the streets of barcelona (circa 1999), sportin his aforementioned idf t-shirt and lookin worn out after he undoubtedly had a rough night in the wild bars of port vell and port olimpic. see if you can spot him.

just another internet trip back in time … here’s a slick Israel Defense Force account of 1976’s daring Raid on Entebbe. don’t know what the hell idi amin was thinking except “kick my ass like i was nasser”. before f::b tags me as a goyem double-agent, i’ll admit i do own an idf t-shirt bought during a visit to haifa (pre intifada) … but my ensuing pilgrimage to Jerusalem included a stop to TCB at the Elvis Inn, on the outskirts on your way to the ayalon (sp) valley. didn’t see a fried peanutbutter-banana sammich on the menu though … i got the free e.i. mug with purchase of a cappucino, which was nasty enough to make my lip curl on one side ;( hugey, this one’s for you: ” … give it to me, man!”

thanks to f::b’s generous surprise gift, my recent 37th b-day was a bit funkier – inspired by our winter screening of that tour-de-force undercover brother, he got me BaadAsssss Cinema: A Bold Look at 70s Blaxploitation Films. an informative documentary built on great filmography clips and interviews with the souljahs who waged jihad on white hollywood and won. 2 things you may have not known: the naacp coined ‘blaxploitation’ … shaft was the first hollywood studio release in the genre, but gonzo indy Sweet Sweetback’s Baadassss Song was the real genesis. still no insight on orange soda or mayonaise though(?) defining moment in SSBS (i count baadassss as one word here) was the ending as witnessed by the first screening: the crowd was initially hushed in confusion and disbelief as sweet actually eluded the Man and robbed death to finish the movie alive … which quickly ignited the audience into a frenzy of triumph. reinforcing conspiracy brothah’s diatribe about how any black man gets killed within the first 30 minutes of the Man’s films ( e.g. …” hey black man, turn on the generator, there’s dinosaurs out there …”). SOLID!