Friday, October 09, 2009

At the Bronx Museum of Art...

There's a remarkable exhibition at the Bronx Museum of Art — photography by Jeff Chien-Hsing Liao. Commissioned to make art to celebrate the centennial of the Grand Concourse, the illustrious boulevard which travels northwards through the borough and along which were built some of the finest apartment buildings in all America... Above are some examples of the artist's large-format work.

Fuddle Duddle

Press: Sir, did you mouth it?
Pierre Trudeau: [visibly annoyed] What does “mouth” mean?
Press: Move your lips.
Pierre Trudeau: Move your lips? Yes I moved my lips!
Press: In the words you've been quoted as saying?
Pierre Trudeau: [half smile] No.
Press: (After murmurs by other press) What were you thinking… when you moved your lips?
Pierre Trudeau: What is the nature of your thoughts, gentlemen, when you say “fuddle duddle” or something like that? God, you guys…! [walks away]

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Obama picks openly gay lawyer for ambassadorship

"WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama said Wednesday he planned to nominate an openly gay lawyer as the U.S. ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa. If confirmed by the Senate, David Huebner would become the third openly gay ambassador in U.S. history and the first pick by this administration. In a statement released from the White House, Obama said he looked forward to working with Huebner and is confident he will represent the United States well in the Pacific region."

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Oh My Lord

Well... perhaps it sort of reveals a deeper layer of meaning to that moment when Dick Cheney said "Go fuck yourself," to Senator Patrick Leahy...

Unconscionably Constitutional

From the London Review of Books; the country, or state, known as the United Kingdom of Great britain and Northern Ireland has changed so much under New Labor that something new and perhaps unrecognizable has started to come into sharp focus...

There’s an episode of The Wire in which the
intellectual drug baron Stringer Bell, trying to launder his gang’s profits by
legitimate real estate development, finds the project stalled by bureaucratic
delays. He is tactfully advised by his contractor that it takes money in the
right place to get things moving. Bell is outraged; but, as the contractor
explains, it’s ‘democracy in action’. The day after I had laughed aloud at this,
I read that one of the London boroughs is considering introducing such a system:
if you want your planning application dealt with promptly, it will cost you,
while for everyone else the wait will get even longer. The difference is that
this system will be entirely above board.

Is it constitutional for a
public authority to offer different standards of public service in return for
premiums? Fifty years ago it might well have been doubted. But the postwar
notion that the state provided service according to need, and that if queues
formed they were not to be jumped, has given way to an entrepreneurial model in
which, subject to a safety net at one level or another, you pay for what you get
and you get what you pay for. Each concept has acquired constitutional
legitimacy in its time – for, as John Griffith famously observed, the
constitution is what happens.