Returning from Afghanistan to $250K

Recently promoted Sergeant Peter Latourette of the Army Fighting 69th Infantry National Guard returned home (to Bay Ridge, Brooklyn from Afghanistan) $250K richer:

Spec. Peter Latourette of the Army Fighting 69th Infantry National Guard in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn.

Nevermind that the Sergeant got promoted, the caption is still calling him a Specialist.

Mike Tyson on Trayvon Martin

Mike Tyson at the Comedy Central Roast of Charlie Sheen in 2011

Mike Tyson is certainly not the sharpest knife in the drawer. He has a big mouth and does not think before he speaks. Miracle of miracles, he has his own show in Vegas.

He also recently had the opportunity to weigh in on the George Zimmerman affair:

As a black kid who grew up in Brooklyn, who was beat up, and then moved to the Catskills, and has had to deal with racial issues, what are your thoughts about the Trayvon Martin case?

My personal feeling is that, as a young kid that was beat on by a bully, the guy [Zimmerman] stalked him and didn’t follow instructions from a superior officer. But my all-around perspective, I wasn’t there. I don’t know what happened. Even though this is the best country in the world, certain laws in this country are a disgrace to a nation of savages. It’s a majority versus a minority. That’s the way God planned it. He didn’t want to do something about it, He wanted us to do something about it. We have to continue tweeting, we have to continue marching, we have to continue fighting for Trayvon Martin. If that’s not the case, he was killed in vain, and we’re just waiting for it to happen to our children. It’s a disgrace that man hasn’t been dragged out of his house and tied to a car and taken away. Forget about him being arrested—the fact that he hasn’t been shot yet is a disgrace. That’s how I feel personally about it. [Laughs]

What are you saying, Mike? You call Americans savages and then wonder why no one has shot George Zimmerman? Who is the savage? Or am I misunderstanding something?

My Sole Post About Trayvon

The Trayvon Martin affair in Florida is still unwinding. All the facts haven’t yet surfaced. Still, there are Americans, Brooklyn New Yorkers, exercising their right to peaceful assembly:

Tyrone Boykins, of the Brooklyn borough of New York, takes part in the Million Hoodie March in Union Square Wednesday, March 21, 2012 in New York. The march was in memory of Trayvon Martin, a black teenager shot to death by a Hispanic neighborhood watch captain in Florida. The teenager was unarmed and was wearing a hoodie.

So the gentlemen has a sign taped his hoodie: Do I Look Suspicious? The truth? Yeah, you look suspicious. The sunglasses, the hoodie, the ankh. That ankh is a real give-away.

Artists and BS Artists

A talented, new artist is the rare exception, rather than the rule. If the artwork is meant to promote the artist or shock, rather than exhibit actual talent or display beauty, than I want no part of it. Sadly, the former is more often the case.

Take this 36-year-old performance artist who:

gave birth to a healthy 9-pound, 2-ounce, and 21-inch-long baby boy at the Microscope Gallery in Brooklyn. Marni Kotak had set up a home-birth center at the gallery, turning her space into a brightly decorated bedroom with ocean blue walls and photo-imprinted pillows.

“Baby X” was born at 10:17 a.m., according to a statement from the museum.

Kotak has said she hopes people will see that giving birth is what she calls “the highest form of art.”

Giving birth may be beautiful and it may be life-affirming, but it is not art as I know it. Perhaps Alexa Meade, a Washington, D.C. artist is closer to the archetypal talented painter. She is described thusly:

Rather than creating representational paintings on a flat canvas, Alexa Meade creates her representational paintings directly on top of the physical subjects that she is referencing.

When photographed, the representational painting and the subject being referenced appear to be one and the same as the 3D space of her painted scenes becomes optically compressed into a 2D plane.

Alexa Meade, Artist , former campaign press staffer for President Barack Obama

Interestingly enough, she once worked as a press staffer for President Obama:

Growing up in Washington, D.C., I had the opportunity to work as a press intern on Capitol Hill throughout high school and college. Later, I worked as a press staffer on the Obama Campaign.

Spending my formative years immersed in the world of politicians and PR led to a fascination with the possibilities of repackaging source texts and adding superficial modifications that would profoundly alter perception.

What the audience ultimately unpackaged was a personal interpretation of an already mediated re-presentation.

Typical campaign staffer, always repackaging. You saw it here first, second, third, fourth.