Deep Thought

Old Penn Station New Penn Station Penn Station, old and relatively newish

Shooting Penn Station today ain't like it used to be.  Shooting public institutions and structures in general isn't as fun as it used to be either. Some people look at you with alarm if you're carrying a camera in places like Penn Station. Nick Cave is on Fresh Air!

The Next Feminist Platform

A fountain in the Brooklyn Botanical Garden Riding a fish is funner than birthing one.

Feminism isn't a topic I'll post about much but I find the idea of Orgasmic Birth fascinating. Any wedge that puts a dent in the conventional Biblican wisdom, here specifically Genesis 3:16 --("...I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children...") -- now that's a good kick in the pants. Further irony lies in OB's strong foundation in new age type spirituality and things like water birth, yoga, meditation, the "spiritual diet," and ye, even Robert Bly stylee Male Energy. Contrast that with the criticism of Islamic attitudes towards women (not uncalled for) and you can see a clear modern-day evolutionary arc of human spirituality. Any anthropologists out there wanna discuss this? I'll almost be surprised if ABC follows through with broadcasting a special about this on 20/20 on May 16. If they do, it's because of the sexy title and you know they're going to have a C-section specialist crowing that a C-section is the safest, most pain-free way to have a baby and how could there be anything better than Modern American Medicine? Snort. On a tangential note, just now, Martha Nussbaum was on Bill Moyers' show talking about "Freedom of Conscience" and how the right doesn't get it. This OB thing is going to be heavily ridiculed by the establishment thought police. (Full disclosure: My upstairs neighbor, who I respect very much, is a doula specializing in water birth and also a talented birth photographer. And I read Feministing once in a while. I suppose that makes me a sensitive new age terrorist.) Celebrity Endorsements Obama sports a much vaster and cooler list of celebrity endorsements than Clinton does. Huffpo rightly puts this stuff in their Entertainment section but why not also list McCain's celeb endorsements? Maybe because he's only got four although I'd wager conservatives consume more celebrity gossip than others do.

Good Photos at Joe / I am an Elitist

StairsStairs again
Elitist stairs beat elevators
 
 
The Joe Coffee Bar on 13th and 5th Ave. is showing great photos after my own heart by Joseph O. Holmes. Nice silos from the American Museum of Natural History, dude. I also saw some great art at the Jonathan Levine gallery last week. The Date Farmers installation feels like an incredibly hip Mexican taco stand and the surrealistic Alex Gross displays some impressive new stuff that might have been -- probably was -- ripped out the pages of Juxtapoz. I definitely have bones to pick with stupid people -- my own stupid form of elitism -- and this blowup over Obama's "bitter" "elitist" remark is moronic. Do I really have to listen to Hillary Clinton, George Will, Tim Russert, and Brit Hume tell me what elitism is? An administration that shreds the constitution, tortures people, ignores all polls, steals elections, funnels taxpayer money to cronies in the mercenary military, oil, and healthcare industries while neglecting infrastructure and disaster needs -- that's elitism and "out of touch." Before I bust a vein over this, I'll point you to the three best blogs I've seen about it: Roy 1 and Roy2, Josh Marshall's, and Jay Rosen at Huffpo about the breaking of the story. Bring on the class war!

It’s a long way to the top

long way to the top water tower The view from almost everywhere in Madhattan

I'm trying out taking pairs (or more) of pictures with the camera in the same spot but a changed angle. The top one is all about the negative space.

Holy cow, it is so nice to be off of myspace. I can link to whatever the hell I want! I can put a few ads up! Yes, they're probably coming as soon as I can figure it out. I need another column in the blog design... I don't know if I like how links are capped. Hmm. Hmm. Anyway, if you're a new reader, thanks for checking me out and you should be aware my topics can jump around sometimes in a serious way and sometimes in a half-assed way.

Very excited that some of the Bang on a Can Marathon program has been released. Now, I understand that this kind of music isn't for everyone. But please don't tell us you'd rather "chew on shit" than listen to it. I'll bet you'd happily stew to Steve Reich's "Daniel Variations" rather than masticate on shit. If I'm wrong, you're probably not going to live very long. So General Betray Us® is coming to testify again. What's missing from this debate is the usual reality check. Via Digby and Spencer Ackerman, ajunior officer in Iraq puts it like this:
In my opinion, what everyone fails to realize is that this is not a counterinsurgency. If we wanted to stay in Iraq, then it would be a counterinsurgency. But it is clear that our goal is to turn over power and pull out. So, in building our strategic endstate, it's pointless to set goals that relate to our presence in Iraq. If the "insurgency" is a function of our being there, then it is not an insurgency in terms of our endstate. For example, if one of our goals is to stop IED attacks on US forces, that is pointless. When we leave, there will be no more IED attacks on us forces. So our endstate needs to be different. We need to ask "if we left tomorrow, what would happen in Iraq?" and from there, we need to determine which of those anticipated results are unacceptable to us. Then we must aim our efforts on making sure those unacceptable results do not occur. When I look at the problem that way, it becomes almost impossible to find a purpose in what we do. Regardless of what we do, the Shia are going to take control. They have completely infiltrated all the security forces. The only kind of leader who could keep them in check was a tyrant like Saddam. And when the Shia take control, as soon as we leave, they are going to be as brutal as they like against the Sunni and there will be little we can do about it. That is what will happen whether we leave tomorrow or in ten years. As far as the foreign fighters, they will leave Iraq when we do. So what are we trying to accomplish here? Train the Iraqi forces? History shows that training forces in the Middle East can backfire. Any training we offer these people will find its way to our terrorist enemies.
Does everyone forget Osama Bin Laden probably received training and guns from the U.S. in Afghanistan?