Guest Article by DavidPeterson
I walked into the shop a few blocks away from my apartment, unannounced without an appointment.
“Whattup D? You here for a cut, but you ain’t call,” my barber JaVon said. “You lucky you V.I.P. I only got one in front you.” JaVon is an average sized black man with tattoos on his forearms (at least, that’s all that’s exposed). Like any barber should, his hairline and beard are always in prime condition. Damn near perfect by any average black man’s standards.
I acknowledged the other barber, Stan, who is an exact replica of Samuel L. Jackson in Jungle Fever with Damon Wayans’ ears. Stan finished his client’s haircut, and when the client offered Stan a glass of his Johnny Walker Blue Label, Stan responded “Only if you take a swig of my Henney my man.” His well-dressed client declined the Hennessy, but poured Stan a glass of the Johnny Walker. Stan chugged it. “This is good as hell. Ooooo weeeeeee.” They embraced and his client left.
“Ayo JaVon can you belee that man tryna give me a swig of something other than some cognac. Man donno good shit,” he said. JaVon chuckled at him, “Kids these days.”
Stan smiled devilishly while looking in my direction. He never disappointed me. Stan was unpredictable, and the other members of the Barbershop—whether they liked it or not—were props for his show. From all indications, Stan was a pretty competent to good barber. His chair was rarely empty. But today it was. This left more time for Stan the entertainer, while Stan the barber took a day off.
If you live near Washington DC and dig art/music/architecture, you have three more weeks to experience something absolutely breathtaking.
Go see Doug Aitken’s “Song 1”
Taking over DC’s Hirshhorn Art Museum from March 22 - May 13, "Song 1" is a first-of-its-kind multimedia experience from artist Doug Aitken, who turned the museum’s convex exterior into a 360-degree film screen. A fusion of cinematic, musical, and architectural mediums, the exhibit can be neither seen holistically from one angle (you have to circle the entire building to capture it all) nor digested all in one moment (the film runs dynamically for half an hour before seamlessly repeating). In both the spacial and temporal sense, Aitken’s spectacle is a loop. Groovy, eh?
This unique structural composition alone would make “Song 1” worth checking out; but what really stays with you after going to the exhibit is, appropriately, the song itself. To provide the soul of his film, Aitken took the 1934 jazz standard "I Only Have Eyes For You" and re-engineered it with some help from LCD Soundsystem, Beck, Lucky Dragons, and some other cool cats. The result is a hauntingly beautiful contradiction: at once painfully nostalgic and boldly avant-garde. By the time you sit/walk through one full cycle, you realize that all the bells and whistles—the big building, the bright lights, the 360-degree projection technique—are just a set up to provide a fittingly larger-than-life canvas for the song’s message: I am in love, and my love transcends the infinite.
My personal experience with “Song 1” was one of pure serendipity. I had actually never heard of the exhibit before, but happened to be biking through the neighborhood on opening night. A glimpse of the visuals and the faint music from a distance lured me to make a detour. And what a detour it was! Here’s my mini journal entry and a picture from that night…
Guest Article by DavidPeterson
In his disturbingly wrong and racist article last week, Mr. John Derbyshire referred to a ”talk” that he needs to have with his children about blacks. Please read that piece before you proceed. He thinks you need to have a talk about non-blacks with children in order to explain the dangers (circumstances) that their kids may face. I decided to do my own version. A reply, if you will…
There is much about “the talk”. My mother gave me the talk when I was 13. (She didn’t.) It was a warning and it was the most responsible thing my mother ever did. More than putting me in safe public schools and giving me a curfew. She wanted to warm me about the other race that I was soon to encounter. Those men and women who run the world and the ones I had to be careful of. But that was almost two decades ago. Today is a new day.
Now we’re in 2012, a different world. A black man is President and white Americans are the overwhelming victims of racism. In this topsy-turvy world, there needs to be a manifesto that all non-white Americans need to have with their kids. If I were to assemble the discussion of the whites in a single talk, it would look something like the following…
The Hunger Games -vs- Battle Royale
There’s been plenty of talk ’round the interwebs lately about whether or not Hunger Games author Susan Collins ripped off Koushin Takami’s Battle Royale. It’s an interesting question, to be sure, but here’s a funner one: Which of the ‘games’ is actually deadlier?
Taking a page from one of my favorite guilty pleasure TV shows, I’ve conducted a highly scientific head-to-head analysis to find out which game is sicker, deadlier, and all-around-more-effed-up. The graphic looks best in in full size, but I fit it here as well. Enjoy!
*Analysis was conducted by comparing the movie versions, not the novels.
**For the record, I give Collins the benefit of the doubt. I think both films are great, stand on their own, and make great companion pieces.
***This is the first in what will hopefully be a steady diet of LourFoko graphics. Comments appreciated :)