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Archive for October 2015

Brother, Where Art Thou?

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Crossing Delancey, I found myself eventually on Canal Street where I was lucky to see the Feminist Art Show before it closed. The F Word at the Untitled Space Gallery was a wonderful send up on feminine imagery…one piece by artist Frances Goodman is an actual Dodge Ram Hood with bullet holes, filled in with pink LED light that spells out Ok, the Crazy Bitch. You can almost see the story happening… betrayed woman takes out her vengeance on the American phallic symbol. Mixed media Colonization and Assimilation by artist Elektra KB works with thread i that spells out “we have nothing to lose and everything to gain, either one must remain terrified or become terrifying. In other words, up against the wall MutherFuggers. Strong ideas, but feminist art must be political by definition.
It was with an inspired mind and satisfied eye that I left Lispenard Street and headed back to Canal for the subway. Out of nowhere one apparent vendor started screaming at a man who looked to me like one of New York’s many homeless mental patients. The vendor was brandishing a wooden stick. The other man didn’t look dangerous though he may have been provocative. Within seconds another vendor jumped out with some sort of Chinese weapon that looked like a short pole with a chain that swings another metal piece. Not pretty. The two men chased after the third, landing blows on him and beating him with their sticks. It didn’t take long for them to get him on the ground where the beating had a better chance of landing. I called on my cell for the police but realized that I had called the T-Mobile payment line instead.

There were at least thirty other people around, but it seemed as if they were busy taking photos instead of calling 911. One tourist even took a selfie! Finally in desperation, I called over a traffic cop and though the victim had gotten up, he was soon brought back down again by the weaponed warriors. I wasn’t sure what traffic cop could do , but a young woman assured me he was calling the ahem, the big guns.
Within minutes the whole thing was over and I have no idea what happened to the men involved. I said to a passing Indian woman that I want to leave New York, I couldn’t take all this male violence anymore…in fact I want to leave the planet. With a knowing glance, she grabbed my hand and laughingly said, “where you going to go? It’s the same everywhere.”
I knew where to go…for a dumpling.

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Written by nancykoan

October 30, 2015 at 3:56 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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Mittermeier-Das-BlackoutAchtung! Gesundheit! Uber Alles!

If these words come to mind when you think of how funny German can be, then wait till you see Bavarian comedian Michael Mittermeier culturally reflective new show, Das Blackout at the Culture Project. Michael, an erudite fellow, lived in New York after 9/ll and has a deep affection for the simpleness of the American education. When he relates a story about a mythical ‘Tiffany’ asking him questions about world history, primarily because he is an educated German, you really get the shock and awe that the rest of the world experienced when the US, as in Bush, not us, decided to invade Iraq.

Michael has a way of mixing politics and cultural observations that is both wry and perceptive. Like Germany’s devotion to the environment, while at the same time being the world leader in car manufacturing.
But lest you think he is all head, think again. His “Fritz’, the everyman German who appears in WW2 movies as the lug who guards the gate, is hilarious. For a handsome man, he has a very mobile face, and superb comic body gestures. His frightened “chicken Japanese walk” is beautifully accomplished and a visual scream.
Comedian Eddie Izzard has spoken highly of Michael and it’s easy to see why. They both come from a highly intellectual platform. Sure, Michael makes jokes about German lovemaking sounds, but he is never grubby for the sake of a cheap joke. He is always saying something deeper, and much about the perceived view of Germans since the wars and the legacy left behind of German traits from shows like Hogans Heroes.
When he tells us how German parents in the fifties never mentioned the Nazis and in fact, said that they didn’t know anything ‘because they were all on vacation in another country at that time’, you get the point. Michael’s generation has accepted the generational guilt which has given him much fodder.
The only thing that I missed in this very timely, German correctness being an hour and 29 minute show, is his non-jokes about Jews. He starts out asking how many Jews are in the house, and later jokes about Greeks and French, but never really goes back to the big Questions: Why did Martin Heidegger date a Jewess and what do Germans and Jews say when they make love?
See Michael at the Culture Project Oct 24, 28 and 29. He is Vundabar!

Written by nancykoan

October 24, 2015 at 4:51 pm

Posted in war and morality

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