26 December 2011

Mrs. O

Mrs. O on Yes, Virgina by The Dresden Dolls. Song inspired by the Yes, Virginia letter.
Start video at 0:26

oh mrs. o
will you tell us where the naughty children go
will you show
how the sky turned white and everybody froze
heaven knows how they got into the fireplace
but everybody's saying grace
and trying to keep a happy face

and oh mrs. o
will you teach us how to keep from getting cold
out we go and you watch us as we face the falling snow
what a show with our hairdryers aimed heavenwards
and fifty foot extension cords
you really have a way with words

the truth won't save you now
oh oh oh
the sky is falling down
oh oh oh
watch the vultures count the hours
april trains may bring strange showers

oh mrs. o
will you tell about the time they made you go
all alone to the palace where they took your only clothes
we all know
there's no hell and no hiroshima
chernobyl was a cover up
the world is really all in love

and oh mrs o
will you leave us hanging now that we are grown
up and old
will you kill me if i say i told you so
we all know
there's no hitler and no holocaust
no winter and no santa claus
and yes virginia all because
the truth won't save you now
oh oh oh
the sky is falling down
oh oh oh
everything they ever told us
shakes our faith and breaks their promise
but you can stop the truth from leaking
if you never stop believing......

25 December 2011

Yes, Virginia

"DEAR EDITOR: I am 8 years old.
"Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus.
"Papa says, 'If you see it in THE SUN it's so.'
"Please tell me the truth; is there a Santa Claus?


VIRGINIA, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except [what] they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men's or children's, are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, VIRGINIA, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if there were no VIRGINIAS. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if they did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that's no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You may tear apart the baby's rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, VIRGINIA, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.

24 December 2011

And I've been fool and I've been blind
I can never leave the past behind
I can see no way, I can see no way
I'm always dragging that horse around
All of his questions, such a mournful sound
Tonight I'm gonna bury that horse in the ground
'Cause I like to keep my issues drawn
It's always darkest before the dawn

11 December 2011

Gingrich describes Palestinians as 'invented people'

It just keeps getting better with Gingrich. First he wants to abolish child labor laws and now this --

“Remember there was no Palestine as a state. It was part of the Ottoman Empire. And I think that we’ve had an invented Palestinian people, who are in fact Arabs, and were historically part of the Arab community. And they had a chance to go many places.”
Dear Mr. Gingrich, considering that Pakistan and Bangladesh were once a part of India and did not exist prior to 1947 and 1971 respectively, does this mean that it's okay to view the Pakistani and Bengali citizens as invented people as well? Are you really that simple minded?

06 December 2011

capricho no. 43

Goya, The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters, 1797, etching. 

'Imagination abandoned by reason produces impossible monsters: united with her, she is the mother of the arts and the source of her wonders'. - Francisco Goya

05 December 2011

I Live/I Love

Hi All, I will be exhibiting two photographs in this one week show (during a time where most of you will be away for the holidays).

This is suppose to be an event but for some reason they made an artist page:

During the opening night, I will be doing a performance piece: "How to Make Light of a Situation."

You are all welcome to come to the opening. Please note that it is likely I will not be free to socialize until closer to the end of the event. Please feel free to come around 7:30 - 8pm to catch the end of my performance and then maybe we can all go out to drinks afterwards!

I LIVE/I LOVE -- Opening Reception Tuesday, December 27, from 6 - 9 pm
Second Space, 568 Broadway (4th Floor)
Between Prince Street and Houston Street

Email invite to follow

27 November 2011

Candiru Catfish & Penises

So as I'm getting my Grey's Anatomy fix on Netflix, they mention something so absurd I had to Google it.

McSteamy and Burke reviewing an X-ray revealing the candiru catfish lodged into the patient's urethra.

From River Monsters: Candiru Catfish:
The Candiru is the star of an urban legend — which turns out to be true — of a man who was urinating in the Amazon River when a 6-inch Candiru swam up his urine stream into his penis. The fish remained there for days, until a surgeon was able to remove it.

What's a Prisoner Worth?

I have a stack of reading material (old copies of the New Yorker and Newsday, as well as a textbook on skin carcinomas I picked up from a local thrift store) piled on top of my toilet's tank, and I often earmark really good reads that I want to share with my friends. Sometimes, I'll post links to the articles on my Facebook (which go largely unnoticed in that platform of useless status updates about being hungover, heartbroken or some other uesless shit), but for the most part, I carry these notable reads on my mind and rarely ever get a chance to discuss them at length. But now I'm going to create a new label on Rough Draught called "poop reading material."

During my last bathroom session, I came across "What's a Prisoner Worth?" in the October 24 Newsday edition.

1,000 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for 1 Israeli. Does anyone else find this shocking? It never occurred to me to do research on the number of prisoners on either side.

Interesting points from the Wikipedia page on Palestinian Prisoners in Israel:
  • "...as of 31 August 2011, there were 5,204 Palestinians imprisoned in Israel, of them 272 in administrative detention."
  • "...between the years after the Six Day War (1967) and the First Intifada (1988), more than 600,000 Palestinians were held in Israeli jails for a week or more."
  • "Between October 2000 and April 2009, approximately 6,700 Palestinian children between the ages of 12 and 18 were arrested by the Israeli authorities, according to Defence for Children International's Palestine Section (DCI/PS). The number of Palestinian children held in detention and interrogation centers, as well as prisons, both in Occupied Palestinian Territory and inside of Israel, was 423 in 2009. In April 2010 the number was 280. DCI/PS reports that these detentions stand in contravention of international law."  
Now I know that there are two sides to this story (that's your cue to opine here), and I acknowledge that some of these prisoners were incarcerated because of acts of terrorism, etc., but take one second (or several) to think about this -- ONE THOUSAND INDIVIDUALS for ONE INDIVIDUAL. How did the Israeli government choose which prisoners deserved freedom?

Wikipedia (as well as various news articles and websites) might not be the greatest or most reliable source for my information, but I find that it quenches my thirst for a discourse on this topic. I'm getting tired of friends who tell me "Politics bore me." It's not boring, people! Wake up! Where is the compassion? These events are happening and being experienced by individuals, people with families, previous careers, and aspirations of all sorts.

23 November 2011

The Fraud Police

Amanda Palmer is a musician that I follow. While some don't really like her music, I feel that I must share this with you. She was invited to speak at a graduation and this is what she shared with them.

If you ever question yourself and what the fuck you're doing, you will benefit from this video.

"The Fraud Police" - AFP's Commencement Speech to NEIA's Class of 2011 from Amanda Palmer on Vimeo.

Here's the transcript if you want to read along: http://bit.ly/AFPsGradSpeech

"The fraud police are this imaginary, terrifying force of experts and real grown-ups who don't exist and who come knocking on your door at 3am when you least expect it, saying "fraud police. we've been watching you and we have evidence that you have no idea what you are doing. and you stand accused of the crime of completely making shit up as you go along. you do not actually deserve your job and we're taking everything away. and we're telling everybody."

22 November 2011

New artists every month

I'm super excited that this blog has found a second (third?) life in it.

I remember at my last birthday when I asked, oh yeah so Aileen and Vic got back together? and everyone else was like, Where have you been? I advocated a friendly "email newsletter what have you" of sorts while everyone else was like, use facebok. Dude! But its more than that. Facebook has its place. And I think this blog does too. To share whatever the fuck you like.

Anyways, you might have notice that the art changed around here. I'm hoping to change the RD imagery every once a while, changing the person every month or so.
This month, we're featuring polaroids by my friend Rita. (She doesn't contribute to this blog and she doesn't know I'm using her work.) Here is her blog: http://polarita.tumblr.com/

Happy posting y'all!

21 November 2011

Hello there. I went on a 2.5 year hiatus from this blog, but was encouraged to start contributing again as I read through old entries (thanks for posting that nostalgic status on Facebook, Kat). This space used to integrate so many different perspectives from college students aspiring to be writers, scientists, politicians and artists. It's a beautiful thing to fast forward and see where we all stand as we approach our mid twenties. Although the founders of this blog are rarely all in one room, let's keep this blog going because we were all an integral part of each others' lives during our most formative years -- we inspired each other, which made life so enjoyable back then (hey, guys, remember FtL! events?) and would certainly (at least in my opinion) serve as a much needed distraction from our current demanding lives.

And a fitting song for this entry, Youth Lagoon's "17":

 " Oh when I was seventeen, my mother said to me 'don't stop imagining, the day that you do is the day that you die' "

09 September 2011

I'm drunk and I didn't proof this and shut up.

“Give up.”

That was the only thing I could think at the time. She grabbed me by the throat and threw me against the wall. I pleaded. There was a bell and the session was over. I owed $300 for god knows what.

“Next time you should stab me with your eyes!” I yelled to her when I was 30 feet away. She motioned as if she was about to start running at me and I dodged into an alleyway. There I met a man who knew what I was all about. I told him to shut up, but he managed to grab my tongue as I was speaking and he told me that he would not shut up. I told him that was reasonable. At least I attempted to.

I woke up face down in my bed. My pillow was like a sponge soaked in spit. Did it again. Over did it again is more like it. Hah hah hah. But just then my window flew open and I noticed a sound. It was the oldest woman in the world. Or it was. She just died. Making me the oldest woman in the world.

And then I could taste it. There was chocolate on my tongue, rose petals in my nose and half a dildo shoved in my ass. It was the best of times it was the worst of times. I was the oldest woman on earth and no one could take that from me but the angel of death. Or the social security office. They were always robbing me.

Usually I stay in my room. The nurses say that I’m not really the oldest woman in the world. They tell me that I’m actually only 64 and suffering from dementia. I ask them why my tears taste like my dead husband. They tell me my husband is still alive. I tell them I never married. They tell me I’m a man. I tell them that they have the wrong genitalia for moon-talkers. They shut up at that point.

Is that my cell phone? I remember setting the ringer to a Ricky Martin song, but I forget which one.

01 July 2011

Free Summer Stuff

* Films in Tompkins. July 7: Coming to America; July 14: The Warriors; July 21: Star Trek; July 28: Arthur; August 4: The Pope of Greenwhich Village; August 11: Kick-Ass; August 18: Rosemary's Baby; August 25: The Godfather; September 1: Stake Land. THURSDAYS, gates open at 6p, screening starts at sundown, Tompkins Square Park, Avenue A and 7th Street, Manhattan. $free. filmsintompkins.com

* Summer Screen at McCarren. July 6: Friday; July 13: Wayne's World; July 20: Ghost World; July 27: Ferris Bueller's Day Off; August 3: Chelsea; August 10: Jurassic Park. WEDNESDAYS. McCarren Park Ballfields, Bedford Avenue and North 12th Street, Williamsburg, Brooklyn. $free. summerscreen.org

* Williamsburg Waterfront Concert Series. July 29: They Might Be Giants, Eugene Mirman and Pretty Good Friends with Kristen Schaal, Surprise Guests. Brooklyn. Doors at 5:30p, East River State Park, North 9th Street and Kent Avenue, Williamsburg, Brooklyn. $free. osanb.org

* The Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy. July 7: Manhattan; July 10-11: Henry V; July 13: The Metropolitan Opera Summer Recital Series; July 14: Ghostbusters; July 20: Brooklyn Bridge Tour -- A Link Between Two Cities with the Brooklyn Historical Society; July 21: Sweet Smell of Success; July 28: Basquiat; July 30-21: Romeo and Juliet; August 2: Randy Weston; August 3: History Tour -- Brooklyn's Industrial Waterfront with the Brooklyn Historical Society; August 4: An American Tail; August 11: Breakfast at Tiffany's; August 18: Crooklyn; August 19: PuppetMobile presents Bessie's Big Shot; August 24 and 27: 235th Anniversary of the Battle of Brooklyn; August 25: Rosemary's Baby. Various times, Brooklyn. $free. brooklynbridgepark.org

* Socrates Sculpture Park, Outdoor Cinema 2011. July 6: Clermont-Ferrand Short Films (International); July 13: Who Wants to Kill Jesse (Czech Republic); July 20: Caramel (Lebanon); July 27: The Good, The Bad, The Weird (Korea); August 3: The Straight Story (USA); August 10: At the Edge of Russia (Russia); August 17: Biutiful (Spain); August 24: Silent Film Fest. WEDNESDAYS. Pre-screening performance begins at 7p, movies begin at dusk, Vernon Boulevard and Broadway, Queens. $free. socratessculpturepark.org

* Hudson River Park. July 6: The Social Network; July 8: The Karate Kid; July 10: David Berger Jazz Orchestra; July 12: Stars of Tomorrow Jazz; July 13: Easy A; July 14: Tune Yards, Austra; July 15: Despicable Me; July 17: Los Hermanos Colon; July 19: Stars of Tomorrow Classical; July 20: The Kids Are All Right; July 22: The Princess Bride; July 24: Octavio Brunetti's Apeadero Sur Tango Orchestra; July 26: Stars of Tomorrow Jazz; July 27: The Other Guys; July 28: Metronomy, Class Actress; July 29: Toy Story 3; July 31: Nu D'Lux; August 2: Stars of Tomorrow Classical; August 3: The Fighter; August 4: Rumble on the River; August 5: How to Train Your Dragon; August 7: George Gee Swing Orchestra; August 9: Stars of Tomorrow Jazz; August 10: Scott Pilgrim vs. the World; August 11: Deer Tick, DOM; August 12: Shrek Forever After; August 16: Stars of Tomorrow Classical; August 17: The Town; August 19: Tangled; August 21: Blues Barbecue. Various times, Manhattan. $free. hudsonriverpar

* Celebrate Brooklyn, Prospect Park Bandshell. July 1: Steel Pulse, Natural Expression Rhythm Band; July 7: Court Yard Hounds, The Abrams Brothers; July 8: Los Lobos, Hello Seahorse, Zigmat; July 9: Lyricist Lounge featuring Raekwon, Smif-N-Wesson, Joell Ortiz; July 14: Frankie Gavin and De Dannan, Liam O Maonlai, McPeake; July 15: Shirley Caesar, Vy Higginsen's Gospel for Teens Choir; July 16: Dan Zanes with the Brooklyn Youth Orchestra and Bed Stuy Veterans; July 21: West Side Story dance and sing-along; July 22: Seun Kuti and Egypt 80, Faaji Agba; July 23: The Feelies, Real Estate, Times New Viking; July 28: Mark Morris Dance Group with the Brooklyn Philharmonic and the Brooklyn Interdenominational Choir; July 29: Oumou Sangare, Bassam Saba; July 30: Dr. John and the Lower 911, Chuck Brown, Red Baraat; August 4: Metropolis with the Alloy Orchestra and Marika Hughes; August 5: Ra Ra Riot, Delicate Steve, Buke and Gass; August 6: Ailey II- Revelations. Various times, Prospec
t Park West and 9th Street, Brooklyn. $free. bricartsmedia.org

* Seaport Music. July 1: Lower Dens, Dirty Beaches; July 8: The Wake, Weekend; July 9: Ted Leo and the Pharmacists; July 15: The Radio Dept., Asobi Seksu; July 16: 4Knots Music Festival. Various times, South Street Seaport, Pier 17, Manhattan. $free. seaportmusicfestival.com

* Intrepid Free Summer Movie Series. July 8: The Goonies; July 22: Back to the Future; August 5: E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial; August 19: Jurassic Park. Doors at 5:30pm, screening starts at sunset, West 46th Street and 12th Avenue, Manhattan. intrepidmuseum.org

* Central Park Summer Stage Concert series. July 2: Roy Ayers and the Jazz Mafia Symphony; July 3: RAM, Group Doueh, Baloji, Globesonic Sound System; July 6: Jarbe de Palo, Ely Guerra, Novalima, Mr. Pauer; July 9: ChocQuib Town, Rita Indiana, Ursula 1000, Que Bajo?!; July 11: The Metropolitan Summer Recital Series; July 15-16: Armitage Gone! Dance, Vijay Iyer with Dance Grand Moultrie; July 17: Pink Martini; July 18: Levon Helm Band, Emmylou Harris, Hayes Carll; July 23: Keigwin and Company / Creative Outlet Dance Theatre of Brooklyn; July 24: Marcelo D2, Pitty, DJ Nuts; July 27: Wanda Jackson, Imelda May; July 30: Forces of Dance Theatre; July 31: Yemen Blues, Watcha Clan, Shabate, Awesome Tapes from Africa; August 6: Shelebration!; August 7: Friendly Fires, the Naked and Famous, Cults; August 10: Joe Bataan, Johnny Colon, DJ Turmix, We Like it Like That -- The Story of Latin Boogalo screening; August 13: Henry Santos; August 14: Gospel Explosion; August 17: Sangre; August 2
0: Tiken Jah Fakoly, Meta and the Cornerstones, Los Rakas; August 21: Rakim, EPMD, FunkMaster Flex; August 28: Jagged Edge, Avant, Melanie Fiona. Various times, Rumsey Playfield, 69th Street and Fifth Avenue, Manhattan. $free. summerstage.org

* Red Hook Summer Movies. July 12: Men in Black; July 19: Bring It On; July 26: Lords of Dogtown; August 2: Wall-E; August 9: The Karate Kid; August 16: The Fast and the Furious; August 23: The Iron Giant; August 30: Pump Up the Volume; September 6: Highlander; September 13: Pee Wee's Big Adventure. TUESDAYS, seating at 8pm, screenings at 8:30p, Valentino Pier, Red Hook, Brooklyn. $free. redhookfilms.org

* Beekman Beer Garden. July 10: Cheeseburger; July 17: X-Ray Eyeballs, Frankie Rose and the Outs, The Babies; July 24: The Swirlies, Psychedelic Horseshit; July 31: The Raveonettes, Eternal Summers; August 7: Mission of Burma. SUNDAYS, 3p, Northside Pier 17, South Street Seaport, Manhattan. $free. seaportmusicfestival.com

* HBO Bryant Park Summer Film Festival. July 4: Easy Rider; July 11: Gentlemen Prefer Blondes; July 18: In the Heat of the Night; July 25: The Lady Eye; August 1: Cool Hand Luke; August 8: Airplane; August 15: High Sierra; August 22: Dirty Harry. MONDAYS, lawn opens at 5pm, screening starts at sunset, 6th Avenue and 42nd Street, Manhattan. $free. bryantpark.org

* Coney Island Flicks on the Beach. July 11: Saturday Night Fever; July 18: Rango; July 25: Top Gun; August 1: Iron Man 2; August 8: Annie Hall; August 15: Moonstruck; August 22: Justin Beiber: Never Say Never; August 29: How She Move. MONDAYS, screening starts at dusk, West 10th Street, Coney Island, Brooklyn. $free. thecidc.org

* Washington Square Music Festival. July 12: Opera in the Park; July 19: The Joy of Unfamiliar Music; July 26: Music Making by the Master; August 2: The Charles Mingues Orchestra. TUESDAYS, 8pm, Main Stage, Washington Square Park, Manhattan. $free. washingtonsquaremusicfestival.org

* River to River Festival at Castle Clinton. July 7: My Brightest Diamond, yMusic; July 14: Patti Smith. THURSDAYS, 7pm, Castle Clinton, Battery Park, Manhattan. $free. rivertorivernyc.com

Compiled by Nonsense NYC
nonsense nyc is a discriminating resource for independent art, weird events, strange happenings, unique parties, and senseless culture in new york city.

NOTE: Free Summer Stuff is our annual guide to some of the ongoing free events that help make living here in July and August somewhat less intolerable. Yes, these events are big. Yes, they are mainstream. Yes, they are sponsored by huge international conglomerates and don't need our publicity. Shut up. Go sit on a pier and watch a movie. It's great. And as always, please feel free to tell us about series that we may have missed. Special thanks to Allison Meier for compiling this list. If you appreciate it as much as we do please send her a little note and tell her about one of the events you attended -- especially if it's a date: allisoncmeier]at]gmail.com.

05 February 2011

Winter Drive

“What do you want to hear?” “Jerimiah was a bullfrog!” “Haha, you know I get more requests for it by that name than its actual name, ‘Joy to the World’.” “Oh that’s right!” “Well, it’s coming up now, enjoy.” Familiar chords begin to play. “Jerimiah was a bullfrog was a good friend of mine…” The light ahead of me turns yellow and I step on the brakes. The frosted street denies me traction. The light ahead turns red. The ABS keeps skipping and my body is fully erect with my full weight pressing down on the pedal. Seeing no cars crossing, I take my foot off the brake and run the red. A deputy sheriff sits in his car facing the opposite direction and watches my unlawful slide. I continue down the road, a bit shaken. I check my rearview for flashing lights and find none. Fuck, it was stupid to go out in this weather just for cigarettes. “Joy to the world, all the boys and girls…”

Sudden loss of control tends to put things in perspective. I was angry before, but I don’t even know why. I continue downhill with a heightened sense of caution. An SUV follows closely behind me, I don’t bother to check my speed. This is why Ayn Rand is wrong, captains of industry have heart attacks, my car can’t grip ice. No one is master of their own fate. Oncoming lights feel brighter than usual and fat flakes of half-melted snow slap my windshield. I park in a gas station and sit in the car for a moment. A commercial for a wind chime emporium comes through the speakers with the sound of forced excitement. A down-clad couple waddles through my headlights, holding each other for stability. Sometimes I really hate couples. I try to imagine what they’re doing, why they’re there, but stop myself. My thoughts tend to be unrealistic about these things.

I open my door and wind and snow flood into the warm compartment. I walk through frozen mush to the doors and push my way through. “Fuck the Steelers, man.” A 45 year old man, underdressed and drunk attempts to start an argument with the cashier. “I’m just saying that they look good this year.” I try to appear impatient, but the effect is lost on the two. I stare at the familiar rack of vice, picking out Camel Blues. They’re no longer called lights, probably for preemptive legal reasons. The underdressed man notices me and steps aside. “What’ll you have?” “Camel Blues and a pack of matches.” I walk back to my car defeated by addiction but triumphant in my purchase. I light up and crack the window. More cold air, the radio is louder than I recall. I exhale burnt particles of paper and tobacco to fight the wind.