Friday, April 20, 2007

des hommes perdus

A recollection by Tank.
Another "worth the read", and this has me thinking that there is a need for an on-line repository for this type of remembrance. A cross between "The Quilt" and "Story Corps". I would consider starting this kind of collection, perhaps as a second blog, because of its obvious value. It wouldn't just honor the fabulous who are no longer with us. It would also make contagious the magnanimity of the living. Does anyone know if such a repository already exists?

Kitty Carlisle Hart

Saturday, April 14, 2007

today pics

C tooks these pictures earlier today in Chelsea and Hell's Kitchen. Your click will enlarge them.

He took this one while in the stairwell of a factory-converted-to-gallery. The dirty window makes the view oddly vintage Florentine.

A Starwars grotesque.

Monday, April 02, 2007

non mi frega niente

Over at The House That Joe Built, the kids are in a snit over comments made by His Excellency Angelo Bagnasco, the Archbishop of Genoa.


Bagnasco, head of the archdiocese that gave us salami, and also the newly appointed head of the Conference of Italian Bishops, rather lumps gay marriage in with incest and pedophilia, implying that these things are all swimming about in the same fetid water retained by floodgates Jesus would never open.

As usual, Joe’s readers miss the point of Roman Catholicism as practiced by Italians, including their hierarchy. Harumphery is not to be taken seriously. It’s been decades, if not centuries, since anyone in Italy actually took anything said by a pope, cardinal or bishop seriously. Wisdom and empathy are not expected. Tradition is the expected product, and the only product the Roman Catholic Church in Italy has to offer. In fact, there was an ongoing feeling of amusement in the Vatican over Americans’ hand-wringing regarding the artificial birth control prohibition, for example. An Italian woman might confess such a thing, if indeed she was among the few who utilize that sacrament, but she would certainly not try to make sense out of the prohibition, nor would she lose sleep over her “sinful” actions, nor would she throw away her pills, nor would an Italian priest in the confessional do more than prescribe a drowsy five “Hail Marys” as penance.

Also, four years in the Vatican taught me that most of the men who rose to positions of power did not seem to be tormented by sex. Celibacy seemed easy for them. Perhaps they were undersexed. I don’t know. They would joke about sexual activity in the same way that they would joke about Africans or aboriginal Australians or Mexicans, all of whom they found curious and funny. I, one of the youngest guys to walk those gilded halls in those days, was prevailed upon for sex by only one high ranking official (although there were a few more who made it clear that they wanted sex but were too careful to ask for it.) Sex was not the currency of the Vatican in the last half of the twentieth century. Organizational power was, and still is. The idea is to form alliances and trusts with older Vatican officials and to hope that you’ve placed your bets on the right horses. (Unfortunately for me, my horses died sooner than expected! Now, some of my friends from those days are the new potentates, and I am cheered by their ascensions.) That is why Archbishop Bagnasco says what he says possibly without believing it himself. He’s got to warble the corporate anthem for one outstanding reason: Genoa always has its own Cardinal. Bagnasco will soon swap the amaranth robes of an archbishop for the scarlet ones of a cardinal as long as he doesn’t rock the boat. He’ll get the red hat next time B16 (The Holy Father) makes a batch of new ones.

Meanwhile, there is no need to find all this too distressing. Here are some photos that give us hope. Here’s B16, demonstrating his fondness for glitter while waving the papal glow stick at the recent Black Party (She obviously got tired of waiting in line at the coat check).

(AP Photo/Pier Paolo Cito)

And here we see an American bishop pausing to breathe in the vapors of a papal “sample” before indulging in some water sports. It’s true: B16 pisses like a racehorse.

Sunday, April 01, 2007


Within the past few weeks, I have been possessed by an inexplicable desire to sprout and sport antlers. Not the pointy and threatening kind, but rather the mossy, majestic, well-branched candelabraic sort. Aside from the need to pass through doorways sideways, and some bedding ajustments, I do not think antlers burdensome. They would encourage regal posture, and, when itchy, could be, with a slight tilt, brought down to within C's reach for the scratching.

With these in mind, I was delighted to see one particular performance piece at the Exit Art program on March 24th. As we approached, David read from the program."C. Ryder Cooley performs with her collaborator, a disembodied deer who once hung as a trophy on a hunters wall. Together they will construct a third body, a post-gender antlered being who hovers chimerically in a space betwixt forest and civilization."

I was not the only person in the crowd who was reminded of a certain painting by Jean-Honore Fragonard.

This will give you a feel for the actual performance. It was successfully eerie. Low electrical undercurrents of sex and violence held our attention. Ms. Cooley's dreamy demeanor seemed deceptive or maybe naive. The feathers affixed to the bottom of her shoes were discussed much. What could they mean? Did they relate to the pile of feathers under the swing? Those seemed to be the remnant of some carnage. Did they imply wings of escape? In any case, this was one of the better tableaux.

Last Day of Marching

As long as we were walking on the Katrina-and-the-Waves side of the street, we were warm enough to end up in Harlem by means of a lengthy hike up Broadway.

His High Amusement was with us. (Tommy had been with us for brunch but had to unlock the doors and give the early guys at Vlada something sweet to look at.)

HHA needed something at Bed Bath and Beyond after which we aimed our three selves at Urban Outfitters which is how the Broadway trek commenced. Therein, HHA, once and always a child, discovered a prismatic thing in a handheld cardboard frame. When held in front of the lens of a camera, the psychedelic results had me humming a Strawberry Alarm Clock song. HHA got one, and I, so easily and dangerously led astray, had to get one as well.

Here is HHA Himself taking a swoon in Urban Outfitters.(With his row of calves exposed, he looks like the Rockettes!)


Further up the road, we enter the anti-Foie Gras demonstration in front of Fairway market.

And here is a rather lurid shot (using the gizmatic toy which is soon doomed to be shoved in a drawer for many years) of the quadrangle at Columbia where tents marked the start/finish of a walk-event related to curing cancer.

Later that evening, at the Eagle, His High Annoyance kept spelling out the Mickey Mouse theme song using NAMBLA letters every time we sandwiched someone, despite the fact that they were, each and every one, well over thirty years of age. Get HHA to tell you the story of the friend who had fetishised big elaborate boots, in which story, HHA shrieks, "Why can't you get the ones with zippers?!"