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DOG STAR NYC IS A CREATIVE ARTS GUIDE | ART + THEATER + CHEAP DATES + POP CULTURE + FREE EVENTS + CITY LIVING + DESIGN + MUSIC + PHOTOGRAPHY + SPORTS + VIDEO + FILM + STREET LIFE + WRITING + POETRY & LOTS OF FUN + MAKE ART OUT OF YOUR LIFE!

Image above: Vik Muniz

A Bar at the Folies-Bergère after Édouard Manet, from the Pictures of Magazines 2 series, 2012.

Out of the refuse of modern life—torn scraps of outdated magazines, destined for obscurity—Muniz has assembled an ode to one of the first paintings of modern life. Édouard Manet’s A Bar at the Folies-Bergère, painted in 1882, explores the treachery of nineteenth-century Parisian nightlife through the depiction of a bartender attending to a male patron reflected in the mirror behind her. Muniz plays on Manet’s style, replacing Manet’s visible brushstrokes with the frayed edges of torn paper and lending the work immense visual interest.

“Thank you for DogStarNYC, in general. The site speaks to so many kinds of interests; it discerns which qualities will appeal to many different tastes in a tremendous number of activities. I love how it encourages young people to pay attention to the unusual.

In New York we let so many teens walk around the periphery, mildly shell-shocked by life, while the information that they need to make sense of their world sits in the center of the room. DogStarNYC welcomes them into the middle of the room; the blog tells them how to walk there. ” - Stacy L.

EMAIL: dogstarcontact@gmail.com

DOG STAR is the creation of a high school English teacher in New York City. This blog began in 2008 as an online community for a journalism class and has since evolved into a curated site on the creative arts, arts-related news and a guide to free and low-cost events for teens. Our mission is to offer teens real-life options for enjoying all the creative arts in New York City. May wisdom guide you and hope sustain you. The more you like art, the more art you like!

IMPORTANT NOTICE OF NON COMMERCIAL & EDUCATIONAL CONTENT Unless otherwise stated, we do not own copyrights to any of the visual or audio content that might be included on this blog. Dog Star is for criticism, commentary, reporting and educational purposes under the FAIR USE ACT: Copyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use. If you own the copyright to any images and object to them being included in this blog, please advise and the content will be removed. No attempt is made for material gain from this blog's content.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

8th Grade Metal Band From Brooklyn Lands Sony Record Deal



Unlocking the Truth, a heavy metal band comprised of three 8th-graders from Brooklyn, has been signed to a two-album recording contract with Sony.  The deal comes with a $60,000 up-front advance and an option for four additional LPs. 

The band, made up of guitarist Malcolm Brickhouse, 13, bassist Alec Atkins, 13, and drummer Jarad Dawkins, 12, was founded in 2007 and has been riding the lightning to metal fame thanks to a steady run of heavy-beyond-their-years busking in Times Square and Washington Square Park.

Now the Daily News reports that the boys have finalized a deal with Sony that could net them as much as $1.7 million over a possible 6 albums. "What started out as play dates went to Times Square and now this. It’s been one great thing after another," Dawkins's mother, Tabatha, told the News. 

The boys competed in the Apollo Theater's amateur night (under the name Tears of Blood, no less) and have unleashed their middle-school riffage at venues like Webster Hall and the Coachella music festival. 

Unlocking the Truth is currently touring the country as a part of the Vans Warped Tour and recently took time off from pre-algebra class to open for Gun N Roses in Las Vegas. 

Having scored the deal as minors (what were you doing during with your wasted years at that age?) the 8th graders' Sony contract had to be approved and filed in Manhattan Supreme Court. 

The deal is remarkable on account of more than just the band's age, band manager Alan Sacks affirmed. "Sacks says the boys have a chance of becoming the new face of rock because they are unique — black artists excelling in heavy metal, a genre typically dominated by white musicians," the Post writes.

Source:  Gothamist.


Saturday, May 30, 2015

Wise Words






1. There are plenty of ways to enter a pool. The stairs is not one of them.

2. Never cancel dinner plans by text message.

3. Don’t knock it ‘til you try it.

4. If a street performer makes you stop walking, you owe him a buck.

5. Always use “we” when referring to your home team or your government.

6. When entrusted with a secret, keep it.

7. DON’T underestimate free throws in a game of HORSE.

8. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.

9. Don’t dumb it down.

10. You only get one chance to notice a new haircut.

11. If you’re staying more than one night, unpack.

12. Never park in front of a bar.

13. Expect the seat in front of you to recline. Prepare accordingly.

14. Keep a picture of your first fish, first car, and first girl/boyfriend.

15. Hold your heroes to a high standard.

16. A suntan is earned, not bought.

17. Never lie to your doctor.

18. All guns are loaded.

19. Don’t mention sunburns. Believe me, they know.

20. The best way to show thanks is to wear it. Even if it’s only once.

21. Take a vacation of your cell phone, internet, and TV once a year.

22. Don’t fill up on bread, no matter how good.

23. A handshake beats an autograph.

24. Don’t linger in the doorway. In or out.

25. If you choose to go in drag, don’t sell yourself short.

26. If you want to know what makes you unique, sit for a caricature.

27. Never get your haircut the day of a special event.

28. Be mindful of what comes between you and the Earth. Always buy good shoes, tires, and sheets.

29. Never eat lunch at your desk if you can avoid it.

30. When you’re with new friends, don’t just talk about old friends.

31. Eat lunch with the new kids.

32. When traveling, keep your wits about you.

33. It’s never too late for an apology.

34. Don’t pose with booze.

35. If you have right of way. TAKE IT.

36. You don’t get to choose your own nickname.

37. When you marry someone, remember you marry their entire family.

38. Never push someone off a dock.

39. Under no circumstances should you ask a woman if she is pregnant.

40. It’s not enough to be proud of your ancestry, live up to it.

41. Don’t make a scene.

42. When giving a thank you speech, short and sweet is best.

43. Know when to ignore the camera.

44. Never gloat.

45. Invest in great luggage.

46. Make time for your mom on your birthday, It’s her special day too.

47. When opening presents, no one likes a good guesser.

48. Sympathy is a crutch, never fake a limp.

49. Give credit. Take Blame.

50. Suck it up every now and again.

51. Never be the last one in the pool.

52. Don’t stare.

53. Address everyone that carries a firearm professionally.

54. Stand up to bullies. You’ll only have to do it once.

55. If you’ve made your point, stop talking.

56. Admit it when you’re wrong.

57. If you offer to help don’t quit until the job is done.

58. Look people in the eye when you thank them.

59. Thank the bus driver.

60. Never answer the phone at the dinner table.

61. Forgive yourself for your mistakes.

62. Know at least one good joke.

63. Don’t boo. Even the ref is somebody’s son.

64. Know how to cook one good meal.

65. Learn to drive a stick shift.

66. Be cool to younger kids. Reputations are built over a lifetime.

67. It’s okay to go to the movies by yourself.

68. Dance with your mother/father.

69. Don’t lose your cool. Especially at work.

70. Always thank the host.

71. If you don’t understand, ask before it’s too late.

72. Know the size of your boyfriend/girlfriends clothes.

73. There is nothing wrong with a plain t-shirt.

74. Be a good listener. Don’t just take your turn to talk.

75. Keep your word.

76. In college always sit in the front. You’ll stand out immediately. Come grade time might come in handy.

77. Carry your mother’s bags. She carried you for 9 months.

78. Be patient with airport security. They are just doing their job.

79. Don’t be the talker in a movie.

80. The opposite sex likes people who shower.

81. You are what you do. Not what you say.

82. Learn to change a tire.

83. Be kind. Everyone has a hard fight ahead of them.

84. An hour with grandparents is time well spent. Ask for advice when you need it.

85. Don’t litter.

86. If you have a sister, get to know her boyfriend. Your opinion is important.

87. You won’t always be the strongest of fastest. But you can be the toughest.

88. Never call someone before or after 9 AM and 9PM.

89. Buy the orange properties in Monopoly.

90. Make the little things count.

91. Always wear a bra at work.

92. There is a fine line between looking sultry and slutty. Find it.

93. You’re never too old to need your mom.

94. Ladies, if you make the decision to wear heels on the first date commit to keeping them on and keeping your trap shut about how much your feet kill.

95. Know the words to your national anthem.

96. Your dance moves might not be the best, but I promise making a fool of yourself is more fun than sitting on the bench alone.

97. Smile at strangers.

98. Make Goals.

99. Being old is not dictated by your bedtime.

100. If you HAVE to fight, punch first and punch hard.

FREE! Open Air Art Street Fair @ Housing Works

Go here for more information - it's on Sunday, June 7.


Dog Star Selects Adele Vs Eurythmics - 'Rolling In Sweet Dreams'

Friday, May 29, 2015

Mike Stilkey's paintings on salvaged books

Since 2006, Los Angeles-based artist Mike Stilkey has been painting dreamlike figures of people and animals on discarded library books. "Most libraries have thousands and thousands of books that they can throw away at any time," Stilkey said. 
Books can't be recycled due to binding glue, so he gives them "a second life". His book-sculptures, the highest of which is 24ft tall and comprises 3,000 books, have been exhibited around the world. Painting on books adds an extra layer of meaning because of the objects' history, he says: "I'm putting my story on someone else's story, and the book itself has a story – where it's been, who's read it. It's basically narrative on narrative."



 

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Brooklyn's Evolution From Small Town to Big City to Borough



Why does "South Brooklyn" refer to Red Hook, and not to Coney Island? It's a question that's crossed the mind of almost every New Yorker at some point or another.

The answer is simple: as late as 1894, that area was the southern extreme of the City of Brooklyn. What we know today as Brooklyn is better described, historically, by its synonymous designation, Kings County. For centuries, Kings County was composed of numerous towns—and, briefly, one other city—and the progression from the original six towns to one unified City of Brooklyn can be charted through 350 years of maps.

Before we begin this journey through the history of Kings County, a bit of background is needed. First: just as with Manhattan, there's been a lot of land-filling over the years, so the geographic extremities of these maps won't be true to what they were in the 19th century. For practical purposes, changing water boundaries have been left out.

CONTINUE READING HERE

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Dog Star Selects Veronese at The Frick Collection

Xavier F. Salomon, Chief Curator at The Frick Collection, discusses two paintings by Paolo Veronese. Henry Clay Frick purchased them in 1912 and they remain hanging in the same location today as they did when the house was first built.

These paintings have been hanging in the same place here in NYC for over one hundred years!  Amazing!


Friday, May 22, 2015

Dog Star Selects Body Paint Art on Streets of NYC


Artist Trina Merry, left, paints model Jessica Mellow in colors of the Manhattan Bridge in the Brooklyn borough of New York. The city’s streets are Merry’s studio, and the naked body is her canvas. She creates images that seamlessly camouflage her mostly nude models into New York City’s skyline, blending them into the details of the Empire State Building, the Manhattan Bridge, Central Park and other landmarks.




Monday, May 18, 2015

Shinrin-yoku & Other Cultural Concepts We Don't Have in America


Shinrin-yoku

Shinrin-yoku is a Japanese term that means "forest bathing" and unlike the Norwegian translation above, this one seems a perfect language fit (though a pretty similar idea). 

The idea being that spending time in the forest and natural areas is good preventative medicine, since it lowers stress, which causes or exacerbates some of our most intractable health issues. As MNN's Catie Leary details, this isn't just a nice idea — there's science behind it: "The "magic" behind forest bathing boils down to the naturally produced allelochemic substances known as phytoncides, which are kind of like pheromones for plants. 

Their job is to help ward off pesky insects and slow the growth of fungi and bacteria. When humans are exposed to phytoncides, these chemicals are scientifically proven to lower blood pressure, relieve stress and boost the growth of cancer-fighting white blood cells. 

Some common examples of plants that give off phytoncides include garlic, onion, pine, tea tree and oak, which makes sense considering their potent aromas." 

Read more: http://www.mnn.com/lifestyle/arts-culture/blogs/7-cultural-concepts-we-dont-have-in-the-us#ixzz3ORwDu1yD

Saturday, May 16, 2015

The Future of Getting Arrested


via The Atlantic:

Even the most straightforward arrest is built upon an incredibly complex foundation: the moment the handcuffs go on is the moment some of our society’s most hotly contested ideas about justice, security, and liberty are brought to bear on an individual. It’s also a moment that’s poised to change dramatically, as law-enforcement agencies around the country adopt new technology—from predictive-policing software to surveillance cameras programmed to detect criminal activity—and incorporate emerging research into the work of apprehending suspects.

Continue reading at The Atlantic website





Friday, May 15, 2015

GO SEE Spring Exhibitions at NYC's Museums

THIS IS A PRINTER-FRIENDLY POST. 

Dog Star's mini-guide to the Spring 2015 museum exhibitions.

Keep it in your agenda or refer to it and make dates to see these exhibitions with family and friends.

All of the museums have a free or pay-what-you-wish (it can be just $1) night so be sure to check the website - it is linked in BOLD in the name of the museum.

GETTING TO THE MUSEUMS - MAKE IT EASY WITH FRIENDS
You may read about artists here that you've never heard of before - that's a good reason to check it out.  Read the list and make a plan to see at least three to start - pick one you are excited about seeing and invite your family.  Choose another one and invite two friends to join you!  On the third go by yourself - it will be an entirely different experience and you would be doing less socializing, less talking, less talking ABOUT the art and MORE LOOKING. 

PRETEND YOU'VE LOST YOUR PHONE
And always keep your phone in your pocket.  It's tough to make a real connection to the artwork if you are texting, taking pictures or researching.  Give yourself the chance to have a "phone-free" experience with art. 

Escape Route:
Paintings and Drawings by Jeffrey Spencer Hargrave
Bronx Museum of the Arts
February 12 - May 31, 2015
Escape Route: Paintings and Drawings by Jeffrey Spencer Hargrave will present a selection of works by the New York based artist created from 2011 to 2014 that deal with issues related to race, religion and sexuality. Since 1998 Hargrave has produced a compelling, deeply personal body of work incorporating painting, drawing, sculpture and video that explore the dynamics between race, sexuality and religion in relation to his upbringing in the south and early adulthood as an African American gay male coming to terms with racial and sexual identity.

UNDER THE MEXICAN SKY: Gabriel Figueroa—Art and Film
El Museo del Barrio
March 4, 2015 – June 27, 2015
From the early 1930s through the early 1980s, the Mexican cinematographer Gabriel Figueroa (1907–1997) helped forge an evocative and enduring image of Mexico. Among the most important cinematographers of the so-called Golden Age of Mexican Cinema, Figueroa worked with leading directors from Mexico, the United States and Europe, traversing a wide range of genres while maintaining his distinctive and vivid visual style.

Russian Modernism:
Cross-Currents in German and Russian Art, 1907-1917
Neue Galerie 
February 19-June 15, 2015
This exhibition will be dedicated to the radical modernist movements in German and Russian art at the beginning of the 20th century. Their development was parallel and often intersected. Such artists as Vasily Kandinsky or Alexei von Jawlensky are claimed by the Germans but remain Russian artists for the Russians.

Björk: The Exhibition
Museum of Modern Art 
March 8–June 7, 2015
The Museum of Modern Art presents a retrospective of the multifaceted work of composer, musician, and artist Björk. The exhibition draws from more than 20 years of the artist’s daring and adventurous projects and her seven full-length albums—from Debut (1993) to Biophilia (2011)—to chronicle her career through sound, film, visuals, instruments, objects, costumes, and performance. The installation will present a narrative, both biographical and imaginatively fictitious, cowritten by Björk and the acclaimed Icelandic writer Sjón Sigurdsson. Björk’s collaborations with video directors, photographers, fashion designers, and artists will be featured, and the exhibition culminates with a newly commissioned, immersive music and film experience conceived and realized with director Andrew Thomas Huang and 3-D design leader Autodesk.

One-Way Ticket:  Jacob Lawrence's
Migration Series and Other Visions of the Great Movement North
Museum of Modern Art 
April 3 – September 07, 2015
MoMA marks the centennial of the beginning of the Great Migration, the multi-decade mass movement of African Americans from the rural South to the urban North, with Jacob Lawrence’s Migration Series.  The show highlights the ways in which Lawrence and others in his circles developed a set of innovative artistic strategies to offer perspectives on this crucial episode in American history. One-Way Ticket reunites all 60 panels of Lawrence’s Migration Series at MoMA for the first time in 20 years, and includes other accounts of the movement in a broad variety of media, including novels and poems by writers such as Langston Hughes, Claude McKay, and Richard Wright; music by Josh White, Duke Ellington, and Billie Holiday; photographs by Dorothea Lange, Ben Shahn, Gordon Parks, and Robert McNeill; sociological tracts by Carter Woodson, Charles Johnson, Emmett J. Scott, and Walter White; and paintings by Charles Alston, Romare Bearden, and Charles White.

Bazm and Razm Feast and Fight in Persian Art
Metropolitan Museum of Art
February 17–May 31, 2015
For centuries, Persian kingship was epitomized by two complementary pursuits: bazm (feast) and razm (fight). The ruler's success as both a reveler and hunter/warrior distinguished him as a worthy and legitimate sovereign. The pairing of bazm and razm as the ultimate royal activities is an ancient concept with roots in pre-Islamic Iran. It is a recurring theme in the Shahnama (or Book of Kings)—the Persian national epic—as well as other poetic and historic texts.

Also at the Met:
Reimagining Modernism is a re-installation of the Met's American and European modern paintings, decorative arts, photographs, sculpture and works on paper from 1900-1950.  On view until 2017.

Lincoln Speaks: Words That Transformed a Nation
The Morgan Library
January 23 - June 7, 2015
This exhibition focuses on Abraham Lincoln’s mastery of language and how his words changed the course of history. Today, nearly 150 years after the end of the Civil War, he remains an exemplar of exalted leadership in a time of great crisis and people the world over continue to look to him as a standard-bearer for principled governance. Lincoln Speaks explores Lincoln as a writer and public speaker whose eloquence shaped the nation and the world, in his time and in ours.

Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic
Brooklyn Museum
February 20 – May 24, 2015
The works presented in Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic raise questions about race, gender, and the politics of representation by portraying contemporary African American men and women using the conventions of traditional European portraiture. The exhibition includes an overview of the artist’s prolific fourteen-year career and features sixty paintings and sculptures.

Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks
Brooklyn Museum
April 3 – August 23, 2015
Brooklyn-born artist Jean-Michel Basquiat filled numerous notebooks with poetry fragments, word play, sketches, and personal observations ranging from street life and popular culture to themes of race, class, and world history. The first major exhibition of the artist's notebooks, Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks features 160 pages of these rarely seen documents, along with related works on paper and large-scale paintings. A self-taught artist with encyclopedic and cross-cultural interests, Basquiat was influenced by comics, advertising, children's sketches, Pop art, hip-hop, politics, and everyday life.

After Midnight:
Indian Modernism To Contemporary India 1947/1997
Queens Museum of Art
March 1 2015 - June 28 2015
After Midnight: Indian Modernism to Contemporary India 1947/1997 presents a comparative study of art created in the wake of two defining moments in Indian history. The first, Indian independence in 1947 was notable for the emergence of the Progressives Artists Group. The second was 1997, which marked 50 years of India’s independence, a period that coincided with economic liberalization, political instability, the growth of a religious right wing, as well as a newly globalizing art market and international biennial circuit, in which Indian artists had begun to participate.

Also on view at the Queens Museum
Robert Seydel - The Eye in Matter
Jul 19 2015 - Oct 26 2015
The art of Robert Seydel (1960-2011) is a rare hybrid of the visual and literary that dissolves boundaries between the lyrical, the narrative, reading and looking, marked by an unrelenting sense of play. Seydel merges the historical past with the present by merging actual personages with fictional characters – for example, the viewer/reader meets Joseph Cornell and Marcel Duchamp. Much of his work is made under the auspices of various personas in place of the singular first person perspective. 

Inaugural Exhibition - Re-Opening of
the Whitney Museum on The High Line
Whitney Museum
When the Whitney Museum’s new Renzo Piano-designed home on Gansevoort Street opens its doors on May 1, 2015, the inaugural installation will be the largest and most comprehensive display to date of the Whitney’s unparalleled permanent collection of 20th and 21st century American art. This ambitious display will offer new perspectives on art in the United States since 1900, following the Whitney’s in-depth analysis of its collection of more than 21,000 works, an initiative that has been underway since 2012. The sweep of the collection is echoed in the building’s magnificent multiple perspectives: the new Whitney looks south toward the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, east into the city, and west across the Hudson toward the expanse of the country.


Everything Is Design: The Work of Paul Rand
Museum of the City of New York (MCNY)
February 25 - July 19, 2015
"Everything is Design. Everything!" —Paul Rand Everything is Design: The Work of Paul Rand features more than 150 advertisements, posters, corporate brochures, and books by this master of American design. It was Rand who most creatively brought European avant-garde art movements such as Cubism and Constructivism to graphic design in the United States. He argued that visual language should integrate form and function. Born in Brooklyn in humble circumstances, Rand (1914-1996) launched his career in the 1930s with magazine cover design and, starting in the early 1940s, he worked as an art director on Madison Avenue, where he helped revolutionize the advertising profession.

Tseng Kwong Chi: Performing for the Camera
NYU - Grey Art Gallery 
April 21 - July 11, 2015
Born in Hong Kong and later based in New York City, Tseng Kwong Chi (1950–1990) produced a large body of witty, playful, performance- based photography that both captures the pivotal Manhattan downtown and club scenes and reflects the increasingly globalized movement of people across nations and continents. In so doing, he raised critical questions about identity and culture.

Life of Cats: Selections from the Hiraki Ukiyo-e Collection
Japan Society
March 13 — June 7, 2015
Since arriving in Japan aboard Chinese ships transporting sacred Buddhist scriptures in the mid-sixth century, cats have proceeded to purr and paw their way into the heart of Japanese life, folklore, and art. Life of Cats: Selections from the Hiraki Ukiyo-e Collection illustrates the depth of this mutual attraction by mining the wealth of bravura depictions of cats to be found in ukiyo-e woodblock prints of the Edo Period (1615-1867).

Drone Flight Through New York's Five Boroughs

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Maya Angelou - Harlem Hopscotch

One of Maya Angelou's final projects before her death earlier this year was a collaborative hip hop album called Caged Bird Songs. 

The album was released last month, and now one of the songs "Harlem Hopscotch" has a music video, featuring all sorts of dancers including some familiar faces from Dancing with the Stars, So You Think You Can Dance, and America's Best Dance Crew. 

The 13-track album features Angelou reciting her poetry, set to instrumentals by producers Shawn Rivera and RoccStar and is available on iTunes and Spotify.


Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Prose Poem by Claudia Rankine


from Citizen: “You are in the dark, in the car...”




/ 
You are in the dark, in the car, watching the black-tarred street being swallowed by speed; he tells you his dean is making him hire a person of color when there are so many great writers out there.
You think maybe this is an experiment and you are being tested or retroactively insulted or you have done something that communicates this is an okay conversation to be having.
Why do you feel okay saying this to me? You wish the light would turn red or a police siren would go off so you could slam on the brakes, slam into the car ahead of you, be propelled forward so quickly both your faces would suddenly be exposed to the wind.
As usual you drive straight through the moment with the expected backing off of what was previously said. It is not only that confrontation is headache producing; it is also that you have a destination that doesn’t include acting like this moment isn’t inhabitable, hasn’t happened before, and the before isn’t part of the now as the night darkens 
and the time shortens between where we are and where we are going.
/
When you arrive in your driveway and turn off the car, you remain behind the wheel another ten minutes. You fear the night is being locked in and coded on a cellular level and want time to function as a power wash. Sitting there staring at the closed garage door you are reminded that a friend once told you there exists a medical term — John Henryism — for people exposed to stresses stemming from racism. They achieve themselves to death trying to dodge the build up of erasure. Sherman James, the researcher who came up with the term, claimed the physiological costs were high. You hope by sitting in 
silence you are bucking the trend.
/
When the stranger asks, Why do you care? you just stand there staring at him. He has just referred to the boisterous teenagers in Starbucks as niggers. Hey, I am standing right here, you responded, not necessarily expecting him to turn to you.
He is holding the lidded paper cup in one hand and a small paper bag in the other. They are just being kids. Come on, no need to get all KKK on them, you say.
Now there you go, he responds.
The people around you have turned away from their screens. The teenagers are on pause. There I go? you ask, feeling irritation begin to rain down. Yes, and something about hearing yourself repeating this stranger’s accusation in a voice usually reserved for your partner makes you smile.
/
A man knocked over her son in the subway. You feel your own body wince. He’s okay, but the son of a bitch kept walking. She says she grabbed the stranger’s arm and told him to apologize: I told him to look at the boy and apologize. And yes, you want it to stop, you want the black child pushed to the ground to be seen, to be helped to his feet and be brushed off, not brushed off  by the person that did not see him, has never seen him, has perhaps never seen anyone who is not a reflection of himself.
The beautiful thing is that a group of men began to stand behind me like a fleet of  bodyguards, she says, like newly found uncles and brothers.
/
The new therapist specializes in trauma counseling. You have only ever spoken on the phone. Her house has a side gate that leads to a back entrance she uses for patients. You walk down a path bordered on both sides with deer grass and rosemary to the gate, which turns out to be locked.
At the front door the bell is a small round disc that you press firmly. When the door finally opens, the woman standing there yells, at the top of her lungs, Get away from my house. What are you doing in my yard?
It’s as if a wounded Doberman pinscher or a German shepherd has gained the power of speech. And though you back up a few steps, you manage to tell her you have an appointment. You have an appointment? she spits back. Then she pauses. Everything pauses. Oh, she says, followed by, oh, yes, that’s right. I am sorry.
I am so sorry, so, so sorry.

/

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Einstein on Race in America



Albert Einstein teaching a physics class at Lincoln University (HBCU in Pennsylvania) in 1946. The Nobel prize winning scientist said: "The separation of the races is not a disease of colored people. It is a disease of white people. I do not intend to be quiet about it."

Friday, May 8, 2015

From the Wave by Thom Gunn (Poem)


It mounts at sea, a concave wall
     Down-ribbed with shine,
And pushes forward, building tall
     Its steep incline.
Then from their hiding rise to sight
     Black shapes on boards
Bearing before the fringe of white
     It mottles towards.
Their pale feet curl, they poise their weight
     With a learn’d skill.
It is the wave they imitate
     Keeps them so still.
The marbling bodies have become
     Half wave, half men,
Grafted it seems by feet of foam
     Some seconds, then,
Late as they can, they slice the face
     In timed procession:
Balance is triumph in this place,
     Triumph possession.
The mindless heave of which they rode
     A fluid shelf
Breaks as they leave it, falls and, slowed,
     Loses itself.
Clear, the sheathed bodies slick as seals
     Loosen and tingle;
And by the board the bare foot feels
     The suck of shingle.
They paddle in the shallows still;
     Two splash each other;
Then all swim out to wait until
     The right waves gather.


Thom Gunn, “From the Wave” from Selected Poems. Copyright © 2009 by Thom Gunn. Reprinted by permission of Farrar, Straus and Giroux .

Source: Selected Poems (Farrar Straus and Giroux, 2009)

Thursday, May 7, 2015

The Greatest Dance Number Ever Filmed

via MENTAL FLOSS:

Fayard and Harold Nicholas were a fantastic set of flash-dancers who performed as the Nicholas Brothers. Born seven years apart, the brothers performed for decades on stage and screen, later teaching dance to Michael and Janet Jackson, among many others. In the performance below from Stormy Weather, many of their trademark moves are on display -- jumping down stairs into splits, sliding up from splits without using hands, and gleefully jumping through orchestra stands, while tap-dancing in unison. This is downright amazing. According to The Kid Should See This:
Fred Astaire once called this performance “the greatest dance number ever filmed.” Mikhail Baryshnikov said, “Those guys are perfect examples of pure genius.”