Sunday, October 31, 2010

Processed Meats Declared Too Dangerous For Human Consumption

"If sodium nitrite is so dangerous to humans, why do the FDA and USDA continue to allow this cancer-causing chemical to be used? The answer, of course, is that food industry interests now dominate the actions by U.S. government regulators. The USDA, for example, tried to ban sodium nitrite in the late 1970’s but was overridden by the meat industry. It insisted the chemical was safe and accused the USDA of trying to 'ban bacon.'"
Friday, October 29, 2010

Both my compasses are out and I am trying to find Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

I am over land but it's broken.

I am sure I'm in the Keys but I don't know how far down and I don't know how to get to Fort Lauderdale.

Waste My Time, Please

GIRL AT COUNTER:  So I'm looking for this book?

CJB:  Yeeeeeees?

GAC:  Ackman in Islam.

CJB:  What kind of book is it?

GAC:  It's a famous book!

CJB:  Can you tell me anything more about it?

GAC:  This New York magazine writer went to this Nazi court Islam.

CJB:  [walks to shelf, wordlessly hands over Eichmann in Jerusalem]

We cannot be sure where we are.

Repeat: Cannot see land.

We can't find west. Everything is wrong.

We can't be sure of any direction.

Everything looks strange, even the ocean.

We can't tell where we are...everything is ...can't make out anything.

We think we may be about 225 miles northeast of base.

We are entering white water, nothing seems right.

We don't know where we are, the water is green, no white.

We are completely lost.
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
MASK: The Rocky Dennis Story, by James Harvey

NSFW!  NSFW, mysogynistic, and pretty tasteless.  But well-paced and beautifully drawn, in a kind of Dave Cooper-meets-Al Columbia kind of way.
High Praise

GUY AT THE TILL:  You've been to Portland?

CJB:  Many, many times.

GATT:  This store is just like Powell's!  Only...y'know...smaller.

CJB:  Give me twenty years.
Digital photographs -- single exposures, cropped and levelled but otherwise unaltered -- in dialogue with photographs -- analog pictures scanned and digitally altered; composites; multiple exposures -- made in the same place.
Sunday, October 24, 2010

Westward (Extended Edit), 2010
Thursday, October 21, 2010
World's worst white beatboxer HUH-pppppp-CHH-ppppp-CCCCH-sssshes his way up the street.  Straw hat, poncy dude 'burns, poppin' sybilants.  Then stands, bobbing like a pigeon, at the dollar table, freestyling to Dame Barbara Cartland, Canadian Accounting Fundamentals, and Og Mandino.  Their impassive verdict: pack it in, ?uestlove.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
The squab flew the coop this morning and that was really me up the ladder with a broom later on in the day, dismantling the nest and "encouraging" Mom & Dad to move along.
Monday, October 18, 2010

ACT (Aesthetically Claimed Thing): Do-It-Yourself

"The grounds are overrun with squeaking ground squirrels and the haphazard night camps of vagrants. Here, a broken and weeping stone angel -- the 'Angel of Grief' -- mourns the loss of [NAME REDACTED]. The angel decays in the center of a long-neglected monument rimmed by rusting iron gates and an impressive skirt of small, broken, black-and-white tiles.

Barely visible dirt paths, bike paths and forgotten roads lead to an abandoned succulent and cacti garden hidden behind a looming ring of eucalyptus trees. Although the garden's former glory has mostly eroded into wilderness, it's still apparent in towering ancient desert specimens now grown into trees, and in recently cleared rusty, stone edging which barely marks the intricate borders of the garden in its prime."

Deep interspecies communication somewhere in California.

(Found, not made)
Sunday, October 17, 2010
Today's soundtrack: the Isley Brothers, Footsteps in The Dark
Saturday, October 16, 2010

Thursday, October 14, 2010

ACT (Aesthetically Claimed Thing):  Edwin Walter Dickinson, Sheldrake Winter, 1929
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Are these books on religion?

Are these books on religion?

Are these religious books?

How about these?  Are they religious books?

Where are your books on religion?

These aren't the ones I want.
Monday, October 11, 2010

Sunday, October 10, 2010

I arrived at work yesterday morning to find the baby pigeon that lives in the awning above the front door of the bookstore flopping around upside-down on the sidewalk with two twentysomething hipsters towering oblivious above it, engrossed in a relationship-based conversation.  I went and fetched a ladder and a box lid.

CJB:  'scuse me.

HIPSTER #1:  D'ya mind?  We're tryin' to talk here.

CJB:  Look down, will you?

HIPSTER #2:  OH MY GOD!  Should we call the SPCA?

CJB:  Just stand back, please.

I slipped the box lid under the baby pigeon, which is butt-ugly, having lost about half its baby feathers, but only grown about half of its adult "flight" feathers.  It looks like a tiny molting turkey.   Then I climbed the ladder, carefully balancing the softly peeping cargo, and deposited it back in the nest it has more or less outgrown.  Finally I shoved an old piece of two-by-four sideways under the awning, to create a ledge big enough for the baby bird to rest on.

CJB:  You're welcome.

The baby's parents keep coming back to feed it, and I've spotted it a few times, peering over the edge of the nest, checking out the world.

GENE THE MAINTENANCE GUY:  Whatcha looking at?

CJB:  A baby pigeon.

GENE:  Mmmm.  Squab.
Friday, October 08, 2010

Westward, 2010
Click to enlarge; though this thumbnail seems strangely fuzzy, the large version is tack-sharp.

("It's your monitor," says Steven Tong, who knows about these things)
Thursday, October 07, 2010

Sell This Book Back for $0.25

"Whether you buy it used on Amazon for $230.73 or somewhere else, you can sell it back to our Textbook Buyback Store at the current price of  $0.25 through December 31, 2010. Restrictions Apply."

Oscar Wilde:  "It is only the unimaginative who ever invents. The true artist is known by the use he makes of what he annexes, and he annexes everything."

ACT (Aesthetically Claimed Thing): Mechanically Separated Chicken

(via L.)
Wednesday, October 06, 2010

1. An autonomous photograph.

2. A digitally manipulated pigment print from multiple source files.

3. "First and foremost an act of love, as is the case with plagiarists everywhere." (Bernard Blistene)

4. Sturtevant; Rodney Graham; Sherrie Levine.

5. Yes, but only a few.

Toronto launch of a new collection of art-historical and theoretical essays, including a piece by me on Walter Tevis' The Man Who Fell to Earth, Clement Greenberg, "artistic jurisprudence," Hegel, & etc.  Drop by if you're in the neighborhood.  I won't be, but some friends and the books will be there.
Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Display of Cacti and Succulents, Huntington Desert Garden, San Marino CA, 2010
Monday, October 04, 2010

Cosmopolitan Book Shop, Los Angeles CA, 2010

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