Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Hey look everybody it's friend/poet/artist/librarian/mystic Ben Gocker. This guy is the best at everything. When he's not working to preserve the history of Brooklyn or hanging out in Art Forum or curating a poetry reading series that is actually fun, he's probably doing something else cool like making lunch or someting. Also he has point gaurd handles and a deceptive frst step.
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Every year I get overwhelmed by the options at CMJ and end up doing almost nothing. This year it seems like it was mostly the same 20 bands playing in different configurations at different locations. Luckily one of them had Hoop Dreams playing a free Matinee show just a short walk from my office so instead of eating lunch I went over and checked them out. I always find it very charming to see a band play to a group of like 15 people, as it can give an insight to their character. Despite the brutal schedule of CMJ showcases and the small crowd these guys played a tight, energetic set and sounded great.
Monday, October 24, 2011
Friday, October 21, 2011
Thursday, October 20, 2011
You can't see it very well, but in the first picture there is a woman in the window overlooking the scene. She is holding a small child and staring down at a fire that is burning just out of view from the street. There was a good amount of smoke that I'm sure had to be going through the AC vents, not to mention a growing fire that the FDNY is concerned enough about to be cutting through fences to get to. Yet there she stood, trying to get the little bambino a better view.
If you are ever in situation where you are watching a fire approach your building, and you happen to also find yourself holding a baby, please consider moving the baby away from the fire.
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Say what you will about capitalism, they know how to make an effictive sign.
I first visited Occupy Wall Street protest on the eve of what was to be their eviction from Zuccotti Park. It was around 11 at night, and raining, and the atmosphere at the camp was one of tense preparation. The group at that time seemed loose-knit and rough around the edges, but everyone seemed to be on the same page, focused, and serious.
I decided to check out the scene again, to see how it had changed since the mayor had backed away from the ‘cleaning’ of the park and the protest had grown to an international movement of sorts. This time I dropped by the park over my lunch hour on a beautiful afternoon, and to no surprise the event was much more of a shit show. The hardcore crew from a few nights ago had remained but was supplemented by a large contingent of attention seekers, freak-flag-fliers, LOUD TALKERS, goof balls, drop-ins, and people looking to argue about anything they could.
I was expecting a very energized and increasingly organized situation, perhaps with some fresh recruits and a growing sense of purpose, but instead found the already disparate group to appear even more fractured. The serious political element was getting along fine and showed some progress, but the large contingent of kooky characters seemed to be stressing the boundaries of the “all inclusive, non-hierarchical, no leader” structure of the protest.
The begrudging tolerance shown towards the fringe-of-the-fringe seems likely to fade quickly, and may force the rise of a concentrated and focused core of leadership. To be effective you have to control your message and to a certain extent the messenger. With all the media at the site, anyone willing to go on camera will be interviewed, so you end up with a guy holding a sign that reads “Fart Smeller Movement” being treated as your spokesperson.
To be perfectly honest, I left my first visit to the camp with an increased sympathy and camaraderie for the protesters, and excitement to see what would come next. My second visit basically reset me to neutral. If this ‘movement’ is to become a legitimate force, there is going to need to be some sort of discipline and structure. The problems that the left has faced for 20 years are all on parade (zoo?) here. Cohesion, discipline, intellectual infighting, and no one willing to tell someone else they are bat-shit crazy and get the fuck outta here cause you’re making us look like assholes.
Monday, October 17, 2011
Friday, October 14, 2011
"Hey man, that's a cool tattoo! It actually reminds me of one that I saw on..."
"Yo Henry! Good to see you! Hey I don't want to freak you out but there is a dude creepin behind you."
"What did I just say, bro? Relax! I'm sure it's nothing"
"See? It's just the homie Thurston Moore. No worries."
"Oh cool you guys know each other, I figured but thought I'd introd...""
"Scrapbook club!? Why didn't you dudes tell ME about the scrapbook club?!"
Jokes aside this was one of the cooler encounters that I've ever happened into. Two of my all time favorite creative heroes hanging out and talking about their photography projects?!?! Just crazy.