Art Pottery, Politics and Food
Saturday, February 05, 2005
Sec. Condi Goes Banger
"What up, money?"

Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown...
--Revelations ii.10

John Dean weighs in on 41's earlier incarnation as Deep Throat.
Medical history of George H. W. Bush

Modified Image: Reuters, Google

Friday, February 04, 2005
The “Bulge” Returns

Raw Story links to a story in the January/February 2005 issue of FAIR’s EXTRA magazine reporting that New York Times executive editors, in the weeks leading up to the November Presidential election, killed a story exposing Deep Throat’s son, George W. Bush, as having cheated during the Presidential debates by receiving prompts to answers through an electronic receiver and an induction earpiece first noticed in hastily arraigned reverse angle shots of the candidates:

The paper put a good deal of effort into this important story about presidential competence and integrity; they [reporters and sources for the story] claim that a story was written, edited and scheduled to run on several different days, before senior editors finally axed it at the last minute on Wednesday evening, October 27. A Times journalist, who said that Times staffers were "pretty upset" about the killing of the story, claims the senior editors felt Thursday was "too close" to the election to run such a piece. Emails from the Times to the NASA scientist corroborate these sources’ accounts.

Receiver and earpiece

The EXTRA story by Dave Lindorff also says the New York Times was not the only paper to refuse gift-wrapped photographic evidence from JPL imaging expert Dr. Robert M. Nelson of Mr. Bush’s debate cheating:

After first offering it unsuccessfully to his local paper, the Pasadena Star-News, and then, with equal lack of success, to the Post-Gazette in Pittsburgh, where he had gone to college, he offered it to the Los Angeles Times. (In all his media contacts, Nelson says, he offered the use of his enhanced photos free of charge.) "About three weeks before the election, I gave the photos to the L.A. Times’ Eric Slater, who shopped them around the paper," recalls Nelson. "After four days, in which they never got back to me, I went to the New York Times.”

Follow the EXTRA link and read the story, which also includes an appearance by Deep Throat favorite Bob Woodward of the Washington Post.
Previous posts about this story:
October 16, 2004
October 26, 2004
October 29, 2004

Images: Commission on Presidential Debates, EXTRA

Tiny AG Welcomed

America's 1st pigeon-toed Attorney General greeted by DOJ employees.

According to the New York Times:

``Gonzales pledged...not be in the president's pocket,'' said ACLU lawyer Christopher Anders.

Modified Image: New York Times


While this morning’s silvery crescent moon was a lovely sight to behold this frosty morn, I’m wondering if it’s loony rays are having a less than positive impact upon some of our softer-skulled brethren.
Some people, online and off and for no apparent reason, have just been downright nasty over the last 24-hour period.
As a moonchild, I hate to blame Earth’s stellar companion.
As a liberal blogger, I think I’ll blame residual negativity from the President’s recent speech and this last 24 hours of incessant mind control from our crazy aunties in the corporate media attic.
As with so many other times in my life, I’m left wondering why we all just can’t get along.
Are so many of us really happy being such bitter and judgmental people?
In this Black History month of February it might be wise to revisit the immortal Nat King Cole’s 1954 rendition of Smile by John Turner and Geoffrey Parsons and with music by Charlie Chaplin:

Light up your face with gladness
Hide every trace of sadness
Although a tear may be ever so near
That’s the time you must keep on trying
Smile, what’s the use of crying?
You’ll find that life is still worthwhile
If you just smile

And, in further ironic tribute to our silly media and sillier rulers, may I present this rich reworking of a Cajun classic that I call:

Mumbo Gumbo

½ cup Canola Oil
½ cup All Purpose Flour
1 Red Pepper, seeded and chopped
1 cup Carrots, chopped
1 stalk Celery, trimmed and chopped
2 Yellow Onions, peeled ancd chopped
4 cloves of Garlic, peeled and minced
1 Kielbasa, skinned and quartered
49 ½ oz can of Chicken Broth, at room temperature
½ Tsp Sea Salt
¼ Tsp White Pepper
½ Tsp dried Thyme

In a large heavy pot bring oil up to medium heat.
Whisk in flour, stirring constantly to avoid clumping.
Continue stirring as floured mixture browns to a deep golden caramel color.
As browning continues, continue stirring as the floured mixture will darken more rapidly and can quickly get out of control and burn.
Once the proper golden caramel color has been achieved add the onions and garlic.
Continue stirring and add the Carrots, Celery and Kielbasa pieces.
Very little liquid will remain as the vegetables and meat will be coated with the golden and thickened flour mixture.
Continue stirring and add the Red Pepper.
Gradually add the Chicken Broth, stirring until blended.
Add the Sea Salt, White Pepper and Thyme and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and simmer 45 minutes to 1 hour or until vegetables are tender.
Serve over White Rice.

It is very important that the Chicken Broth is at room temperature when added to the vegetables and flour mixture…too cold or too hot and the oil could separate out of the mixture.
Raw Shrimp or cooked Chicken can be substituted for the Kielbasa.
If you choose Shrimp, add to the simmering mixture during the last 5 minutes of cooking.
If you like spice add 1/2 to 1 Tsp of King Creole Seasoning with the Salt, Pepper and Thyme.
Enjoy and smile, damnit!

Images: Google,

Thursday, February 03, 2005
Martian Impact

This breath-taking color mosaic of the Opportunity rover’s January 24, 2004 heat shield impact site on the desolate red sand of the Meridiani Planum was released, today, by NASA/JPL.
According to NASA's Mars Rover web site, the images comprising the mosaic “were acquired” on the Opportunity rover’s 330 Martian day or “sol” and correspond to the earthly date of December 28,2004.
The main piece of silvery heat shield debris, inverted from its roughish landing, is visible, glinting in sunlight, on the left side of the image.
This piece stands 3.3 feet tall and rests 43 feet from the rover’s position.
The large circular area on the right side of the image is the crater made by the heat shield impact.
The impact crater is 9.2 feet in diameter and approximately 2 to 4 inches deep.
The crater is about 20 feet from Opportunity’s camera position.
Smaller bits of heat shield debris are visible around the impact site including a larger and flat dark piece above and to the left of the impact crater.


Bush Speech Hits a Snag!

The careful scripting and choreography of President Bush’s State of the Union speech Wednesday evening seemed to peak with what the paid media suggested was a symbolic unscripted moment; a hug between Janet Norwood, the mother of fallen Marine Byron Norwood, and Safia Taleb al-Souhail, a representative of the Iraqi people.
Seconds after the hug, however, cameras caught the real symbolic unscripted moment as Ms. Al-Souhail’s bracelet (shown in the inset photo) became snagged on dog tags held in Mrs. Norwood's hand.
Seared into my mind was the fleeting image of Mrs. Norwood’s eyes and panicked fingers as she attempted to extricate her dead son’s military identification from the snare of Ms. Al-Souhail’s symbol-drenched wrist jewelry.
The President too, from the jig is up look in his beady eyes, seemed to recognize that the planned unscripted moment had been upstaged by a real unscripted moment but he, as trained, soldiered on.
The post speech paid media, as if to prove the real unscripted moment’s power, gushed shamelessly over the allegedly spontaneous hug while quickly scampering over the bracelet/dog tag snag if it was mentioned at all.
As Thursday unfolds it will be interesting to see if this symbol redolent of quagmire, The Snag, gets further play.

Later Thursday

Dog tags (lower right) in Mrs. Norwood's hand

The Snag fix seems to be firmly in place at Thursday's midday in most of the domestic media.
Here's the relevant paragraph from a particularly gooey Associated Press file in the Boston Herald:

Pain etched lines in Norwood's forehead as she held a woman who won the freedom to vote in Iraq's election on Sunday. Norwood finally let go, took her husband's arm and rested her head on his shoulder.

Then, the sometimes contrarian television critic Tom Shales in the Washington Post:

Janet Norwood hugged the Iraqi voter (one finger purple as a symbol of having voted), and they seemed to get briefly entangled in each other's jewelry as the applause went on.

And here is Canadian commentator Joseph Planta:

Mrs. Norwood bent down to hug al-Souhail. It was a long embrace whereupon Mrs. Norwood, clutching her son's dog tags, got them caught on al-Souhail's sleeve.

Sleeve or bracelet...there seems to be mild disagreement over the Iraqi bit that snagged the dog tags but these misperceptions just add to the overall quagmire symbolism.

Photos: Reuters, AP

Wednesday, February 02, 2005
Byrd on Gonzales
"Abominable Decisions..."

"We cannot rely on a public official with so little regard for the constitution."
--Senator Robert C. Byrd, (D) West Virginia

I love this reworked Dean Presidential campaign poster.
Great colors...very Warhol!

Check out the Blog for America site.


Tuesday, February 01, 2005
Taboo Art

Keisai Eisen, 1790-1848

Desire of Spring: Erotic Fantasies in Edo Japan, the world’s first chronological overview of 200-year old Japanese erotic woodblock prints, opened January 22 at the Kunsthal (Art hall) Rotterdam in the Netherlands.
Called Shunga (spring pictures), the images, forerunners of today’s erotic Manga comics, depict couples, often with exaggerated genitalia, engaged in a particularly ancient human activity still practiced to this day.
No matter this particular activities’ omnipresence in today’s porn-drenched world, these exquisite images of 17th and 18th century Japan remain taboo within Japan and the non-Dutch rest of the world.
Kunsthal Rotterdam director Wim Pijbes told The Art Newspaper:

“It would be unthinkable to present Shunga in a Japanese museum, because pubic hair is out of the question…I can’t think of any major American museum putting it on.”

London’s Independent quotes Ofer Shagan, an art dealer who claims to own the largest private collection of Shunga in the world:

“The paradoxes in Shunga art in Japan are great…if I want to take pieces out of Japan I have to fill out forms and it will take over a year to get them out because the authorities consider it a national treasure. But if I try to import from London I can't because it is pornographic."

Chokyosai Eiri, 1801

The Independent also quotes David Caplan from the Mita art gallery in Tokyo, a city where modern pornography can be purchased in convenience stores:

“We've had shipments stopped by Tokyo customs. They used to have young people who blacked out the genitals with pens.”

The Art Newspaper reports the Musée Guimet in Paris had considered joining the Kunsthal as a partner” for this risqué offering but eventually decided to exhibit nonsexual Japanese prints in a show that closed this past January.
The Kunsthal’s webpage says:

Desire of Spring emphasizes three elements typical of Shunga: eroticism, aesthetics and humor. The quality of the more than 200 selected works is exceptionally high. Several of the pieces have never been exhibited in public before.

The webpage also says the exhibition is being accompanied by an illustrated English-language catalog which can be purchased for EUR 49.50 during the exhibition and EUR 68.50 afterwards.

Images: Kunsthal Rotterdam, The Art Newspaper

Monday, January 31, 2005
For those of you modern trendies not quite drunk or high or erect enough here in post modern over-wired America and confidently preceding President Bush's State of the Union 2005 comes the nick of time arrival of caffeinated beer and cell phone TV to our attention deprived, lightening-paced and firmly engorged marketplace.

Yes, ladies and gentleman, your ability to mindlessly burn cash, now while speeding and drunk, just increased thanks to good old human know how and cold-blooded marketing.
Envelope-pushing executives, I imagine, are presently exploring other hallucinatory beverage additives to broaden consumer acceptance of ever more useless and expensive wireless product delivery.
But, Mom, Paris Hilton and the Bush twins have one….
According to the Anheuser-Busch BE press release:

Contemporary adults thirst for…a beverage that is true to their lifestyles and range of drinking occasions…outside the boundaries of the taste adults would expect.

Yeah, of course, a mass-produced, mass-marketed mind alterant that’s true to my unique late teenaged individuality.
And while your brain is still whirling from that bit of PR jibber let’s grab of $200 Vcast wireless phone for a pricey and highly compressed “mobisode” (a miniaturizing of program content for cell phone delivery) of an already compressed TV drama or scripted cable newscast.
Remember you will be too drunk and wired to notice that the newscast only lasted 30 seconds and didn’t really tell you anything but left you with a warm lingering impression of having been informed.
Ah, yes, those may have been the days, weren’t they?

Only light posting today, as I’m busy trying to decide which false nose I want to wear for the duration of the Jackson trial.
Should it be the noble Roman, the cute upturned pixie or the boyish pug?
And, then, of course, what color?
Should my false nez du légalité be flesh, deathly white or Nicole Kidman?
Needless to say, the snouts are flying here at planetsean global HQ.

Images: Anheuser-Busch, Verison, Google

Sunday, January 30, 2005
Iraq Stunner!
alGhore Elected

Just kidding...

Modified Image: QT Luong, Google

What, me worry?

From the Ironic Times:

Alberto Gonzales to Remove Covering From Breast of Statues In Dept. of Justice
Orders all statues stripped, piled on top of each other in lobby.


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