March 2004 Archives

On page 3 of today's Washington Post the paper's New York Bureau Chief, Michael Powell, does a great job covering those within the lesbian and gay community who are sceptical of or even seriously opposed to the campaign for same-sex marriage.

If we had gotten reportage of this quality, this prominently and this timely when the AIDS epidemic first appeared 23 years ago the entire world would look very different today.

Not incidently, because so many of its most creative and energetic minds and bodies would have survived, queer activism would have created a different playing field by now, and Michael Powell's piece would itself be very different - if not unnecessary.

Today's reality however is that many of us are clamoring for equal marriage rights. But not everyone is interested in marriage, and its privileges should not be exclusive. We could instead be building new forms of relationships for everyone, and ensuring that society offer to all of its members, regardless of the nature or even the existence of affectional ties, the benefits they are due.

Powell did his homework, and the list of those he spoke to is pretty impressive. Somehow I was included [damn, you never get the quote you wanted], but I'm sure it was only because of a post I made three weeks ago.

One of the most thoughtful statements is that from Alisa Solomon.

"It's the tension between the liberationists and the assimilationists," said Alisa Solomon, a professor at New York's Baruch College and writer for the Village Voice. "Our side made it possible for more conservative gays to come out of the closet, and when they did they brought a more conservative politics and culture to our movement."

Solomon, like many gay rights activists, argues for redefining all marriages -- homosexual, heterosexual -- as civil unions. This would provide the legal protections that come with marriage, from health care to taxes to adoption, without the emotional and cultural freight. "The queer marriage movement needs a divestment campaign," Solomon wrote in the Village Voice. "The only way we will win is if the state's authority to pronounce is stripped from the ministers, rabbis, imams and priests."

And jumping back to the ghosts of dead activists - and some of their heirs, überactivist Bill Dobbs has the last word in Powell's article.
He leafed through the photos of the gay marriages these past weeks. There wasn't a nose-pierced, pink-haired, breast-tattooed transgressive transgender queen to be seen. He has a nightmare vision of what the future holds.

"We're going to just put the photo of our spouse on our desk at the law firm and represent some Fortune 500 corporation," Dobbs said. "We're not going to threaten to rearrange your finances or change your world in any way. That's not my gay movement."

Wangechi Mutu (view of a work in progress)

I should have known better. The Studio Museum in Harlem opened the studios of its current artists in residence this afternoon, and there I was initially so dazzled by the work of Wangechi Mutu that I didn't give a thought to whether it had yet been widely seen. It turns out that it definitely has, and, silly I, even by me, both at Momenta and in The New Museum. Still, I think it must never have looked so mature, in fact so damn brilliant as it did today in her cluttered atelier on the third floor.

The work there was all on paper, painted and collaged with magazine cutouts into voluptuous, almost sculptural forms which defy an easy identity for either their medium or their portraiture, but they do sing.

Mutu is included in a group show which just opened at Chicago's Rhona Hoffman Gallery. Simon Warson is responsible for the terrific roster, whose other names are Tim Lokiec, Nick Mauss, Bradley McCallum & Jacqueline Tarry, Paul P., Adam Pendleton, Aida Ruilova, and Mickalene Thomas.

See Susan Vielmetter for images from 2002 and 2003.

[image, of a work in progress, captured off the artist's studio wall on Sunday]

UPDATED: caption added to image, second image removed, line with link to Susan Vielmutter gallery added, bracketed attribution at bottom revised

untitled (Edsel Ranger on 8th Avenue)

just hanging out with friends

Two nights ago Bloggy seemed to be suggesting that "a certain Icelandic singer" would show up at the Jack the Pelican Presents opening tonight, and sure enough, the fans were not disappointed. A certain perhaps-the-most-famous-American-artist-in-the-world, her very biggest fan, was also there, by many reliable accounts, but unfortunately we never saw him.

The gallery installation was the North American debut of the three women of The Icelandic Love Corporation collaborative. Oh yes, Hrafnhildur Arnardottir was there as well. Is there anyone left in Iceland who isn't an artist?

Judging from our modest experience, Björk regularly shows up looking like a fairy princess on a visit from another galaxy, but she doesn't just breeze in with courtiers and disappear into protected space or speed back out the door. Like the last time we saw her at a gallery opening, she was comfortable in the midst of the crowd and, although she was already there when we arrived, she showed no interest in leaving even by the time our own group had tired of the festivities.

The crowd was gentle with celebrity. Hey, it's not only New York, it's Williamsburg. We're all famous.


In a column which appears in the print edition of The Nation this week and also on his own website Alexander Coburn tries to introduce nuance into the discussion of same-sex marriage. Like me, he's against it.

I'm for anything that terrifies Democrats, outrages Republicans, upsets the applecart. But exultation about the gay marriages cemented in San Francisco, counties in Oregon and New Mexico and some cities in New York is misplaced.

Why rejoice when state and church extend their grip, which is what marriage is all about. Assimilation is not liberation, and the invocation of "equality" as the great attainment of these gay marriages should be challenged. Peter Tatchell, the British gay leader, put it well a couple of years ago: "Equality is a good start, but it is not sufficient. Equality for queers inevitably means equal rights on straight terms, since they are the ones who dominate and determine the existing legal framework. We conform -- albeit equally -- with their screwed up system. That is not liberation. It is capitulation."

The major media outlets can't seem to find them, being so incapable of recognizing nuance, but there are apparently plenty of very queer voices out there questioning the current marriage frenzy, and Cockburn airs three of them:
"The pursuit of marriage in the name of equality", says Bill Dobbs, radical gay organizer, "shows how the gay imagination is shrivelling." Judith Butler, professor at UC Berkeley, exhibited kindred disquiet in a quote she gave the New York Times last week. "It's very hard to speak freely right now, but many gay people are uncomfortable with all this, because they feel their sense of an alternative movement is dying. Sexual politics was supposed to be about finding alternatives to marriage."

As Jim Eigo, a writer and activist whose thinking was very influential in the early days of ACT UP put it a while back, what's the use of being queer if you can't be different? "Why are current mainstream gay organizations working to strike a bargain with straight society that will make some queers less equal than others? Under its terms, gays who are willing to mimic heterosexual relations and enter into a legally-enforced lifetime sexual bond with one other person will be granted special benefits and status to be withheld from those who refuse such domestication...Marriage has no more place in efforts to achieve equality than slavery or the divine right of kings. At this juncture in history, wouldn't it make more sense for us to try to figure out how to relieve heterosexuals of the outdated shackles of matrimony?"

Although I confess I just read it now for the first time, several weeks ago Alisa Solomon wrote in The Village Voice on these same issues, emphasizing the church/state thing, and concluding:
There's a wider advantage to promoting civil unions for all [and not marriage] as the simplest and most constitutionally sound solution to the vexations over queer vows. Once queer folks' emotional need to see their love recognized is separated from the practical need for various economic and legal benefits (especially revolving around children), the community can look more clearly at what the state proffers to those civilly united—and why. Should a home with an amorous relationship at its center be any more deserving of the option to file taxes jointly than, say, a couple of single friends who have decided to set up a household together? Sure, I'd like to be rid of those extra income taxes, but I'd rather see our movement fighting for universal health care so nobody's coverage depended on having a spouse with a job with insurance benefits.

As we win this the right way—and help lead America away from establishing fundamentalism as the law of the land by getting the state out of the business of holy matrimony—we can pick up the many issues that have been the bridesmaid for almost a decade now: the rising epidemic of violence against transgender youth and the homophobia faced by LGBT elders, to cite only two. Andrew Sullivan has infamously said that once gay marriage is won, the movement can pack up and go home. On the contrary.

[image from Voyager Virtual Season Project]

subway zebra.jpg
untitled (subway zebra)


Ray Sanchez has found New York City transit's Achilles heel, or at least the one vulnerability which is most likely to endanger the lives of the millions of people who use the system every day - a vulnerability which would be devastating after a terrorist hit, since survivors may then have to get out of the tunnels to remain survivors.

It has long been known that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and New York City Transit have problems communicating effectively with its customers. This was most evident anytime transit officials were asked to explain fare increases and service cuts.

But in a time of train bomb massacres, it is becoming disturbingly apparent that the people who run the New York subway system also have difficulty communicating with one another - including when lives are at stake.

Read Sanchez's report on Annie Chamberlin's experience February 29.

But stupidity and incompetence, if not criminal malfeasance in this post 9/11 world, is not limited to New York's planners and administrators. The Bush administration budget for the upcoming fiscal year calls for $5.3 billion for transportation security, but only $147 million of it is allocated for everything other than air security. That $147 million is supposed to cover ports, roads, bridges, tunnels, power plants and rail systems.

And what is it we're now told we have to pay for an Iraq war which had absolutely nothing to do with terrorism, fear of which the administration hopes to use to maintain its power? Was it $100 billion? But much more important, I'm thinking that so far the cost is the nearly 600 American lives alone, and the thousands (again only the American count) injured or maimed.

We shouldn't tolerate the use of terror for political purposes. The Bush regime and its lieutenants have to be thrown out before we cash in more than just our freedoms in exchange for a tin security.*



The evidence could be stacked up forever, but one inarguable fact reported today in the Washington Post [via Atrios] should alone be enough to demolish any remaining illusions about either the sincerity or the competence of the gang in the White House, above all when it's a question of protecting us from terrorists.

In the early days after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, the Bush White House cut by nearly two-thirds an emergency request for counterterrorism funds by the FBI, an internal administration budget document shows.

. . . .

The papers show that Ashcroft ranked counterterrorism efforts as a lower priority than his predecessor did, and that he resisted FBI requests for more counterterrorism funding before and immediately after the attacks.

. . . .

"Despite multiple terror warnings before and after 9/11, [Bush] repeatedly rejected counterterrorism resources that his own security agencies said was desperately needed to protect America," said David Sirota, spokesman for [the Center for American Progress, a liberal group run by former Clinton chief of staff John D. Podesta], which plans to post the documents on its Web site today.

[image from the myria network]

at the New York Vietnam War Veterans Memorial, the night of its opening to the public

"Vietnam," author Myra McPherson has written," was a war that asked everything of a few and nothing of most in America."

[from the New York Vietnam War Veterans Memorial site],

I've been to the New York Vietnam War Veterans Memorial beginning on the day it opened and a number of times since. Until 1987 I lived just one block away and I passed it at least once every day. At first it was never unattended, but visitor traffic has declined in recent years, and sometimes the small park triangle it occupies in the oldest, and during the day the busiest, part of the city is completely empty.

Even since moving uptown I've returned, often with friends visiting New York, and I'll be going again, since the letters of a war's American participants etched there in the glass are among the most profound modern testaments we have of the stupidity of both the governed and those who presume to govern them.

[tip: probably best to visit after dark, when the wind-swept day's trash is less visible, and the inscriptions are lit from within the glass monoliths]

Apparently not enough of either group has been visiting lower Water Street at Coenties Slip lately, or the letters which appeared in the NYTimes on Sunday might never have been written. Their authors all died in Iraq since last fall.

Read and you will surely weep.

What follows is an excerpt from among several letters to his mother written by Specialist Robert A. Wise, 21, of Tallahassee, Fla. Specialist Wise was killed six months later, on Nov. 12, by a homemade bomb while on patrol in Baghdad.

Thursday, May 8

Rumor has it that we'll be on a plane home June 22, so keep your fingers crossed. I'm really going to need your help setting up a budget when I get home and making sure I stick to it. I know the only way I'll complete my goals of paying off my car and getting all of that furniture for our house by the end of the year is by paying attention to what I spend my money on.

Well, I'm runnin' out of things to write about. I love you and I miss you. Tell everyone I said hi, and one day I'll get home.

P.S.: There's no place like home (click)
There's no place like home (click)
There's no place like home (click)
Damn, it didn't work again!

Since no one seems to be able to stop the senseless slaughter from this end, perhaps a mutiny would actually be a reasonable approach.

[image from the official site itself]

George Blackall Simonds The Falconer (1875)

It was a dark and stormy night. No, actually it was this afternoon, it was only 2 o'clock, and it was perfectly clear. I have no recollection of darkness.

It was Central Park, and it's aparently one of the most popular sculptures in its precincts.

Strawberry Fields, Central Park, today

Apparently yesterday's antiwar demonstration didn't begin and end in Madison Square yesterday.

[Footnote: Michael Torke and A.R. Gurney collaborated on a short opera, "Strawberry Fields," inspired by the site and the memorial. Gurney tells a wonderful story and Torke makes it sing, in order that, as one character sings, "the sounds of life drown out the fear of nothingness." The one act forms part of the trilogy, "Central Park," the work of three teams of composers and librettists.]

in Madison Avenue this afternoon

What if they threw a demonstration and everbody came, except the media? Would you be able to get people into the streets next time? Think about it, while you search for coverage of the massive antiwar demonstration in New York today, and especially if you're looking in the New York Times. See bloggy for the story about the missing story.

Is the conservative U.S. establishment still afraid to show the popular opposition to a disastrous goverment and its disastrous foreign adventures, even when those disasters have finally become so obvious? Does it think a crude media blackout will discourage its critics? And, more important, will it?

While I'm also thinking just now that the demonstrators who marched out to Versailles in 1789 didn't need the NYTimes to help them bring their own king back to Paris, where he was capitally eliminated a few years later, I have to admit that the French have generally been much more courageous about seeing that their governments remain responsible than we have.

Later this afternoon I expect to have a gallery of about two dozen photos up on this post, taken while we marched with Palestinians and Jews Against the Occupation.


UPDATED: Photos are now here; captions will arrive later on Sunday.


UPDATED: Captions are now atteached to the photos.

I think this was supposed to be a positive image

No reason for putting this up this at this particular moment. I just neglected to post this wonderful rant I found in Newsday when it first appeared, over ten days ago. It's been in my head ever since, and I thought that finally letting it out here might let me move on [I don't like to have to think about Giuliani. I really, really don't].

Jimmy Breslin [omigosh, someone I know was actually surprised to hear he was still around when I mentioned his name recently!] has no love for our former mayor, and he's not shy about writing about the man's bogus reputation as somehow divine, even when his column is really about another cheap charlatan, George W. Bush.*

He was a nobody as a mayor and in one day he became a hero. This sudden career, this door opening to a room of gold, all started for Rudolph Giuliani when his indestructible bunker in a World Trade Center building blew up. He had personally selected it, high in the sky, and with tons of diesel fuel to give emergency power.

And Guiliani walks on. He walks from his bunker, up Barclay Street and went on television. Went on and announced his heroism and then came back every hour or so until he became a star, a great figure, a national hero, the mayor who saved New York.

Most of this comes from these dazed Pekinese of the Press. Giuliani was a hero with these news people. He did not pick up a piece of steel or help carry one of the injured off.

He made the trade center his private cathedral. Police commanders were terrified of letting you in. There was only Rudy, who flew his stars, Oprah and the like, down to see it.

Breslin begins this March 7 column, with characteristic restraint, "In his first campaign commercial. George Bush reached down and molested the dead."

[Image by Joe McNally, from "Faces of Ground Zero"]

throngs escaping underground New York, February 29, 2004

It's worse than we could have imagined.

Ray Sanchez wrote another excellent column in Newsday on Monday, about disaster preparedness in the New York transit system. A second piece appears today. They're both very scary.

After February 29, and the reporting of Sanchez, we could no longer fool ourselves that the MTA knew what to do in the event of a subway emergency, even two and a half years after 9/11. Now, thanks to Sanchez's columns, we know that the city's Office of Emergency Planning (OEM) isn't interested in the MTA. But that's not all. It also seems that the various parties who have to work together in real emergencies can't even work together to plan for emergencies.

MEANWHILE: I've been "de-gayed" and "de-clawed" by Time Out

On a related note, I can report an interesting follow-up to my own experience, or at least to my report of that experience. Last week Time Out/New York included a surprisingly and offensively glib (careless?) piece on the fire which shut down a number of subway lines two Sundays back, injuring some passengers and frightening, even terrifying, many others. I felt I had to call them on it, so I went to my keyboard.

Last night I found that some form of my letter appears at the top of their current "Letters" section. Unfortunately neither the original article nor the letter can be found on their site, but since they made some very interesting changes in my text, I'll try to illustrate here what happened twixt my laptop and their hard copy.

I admit that I was kinda thrilled with the novelistic title they slapped at the top of the letter, "Tracks of my fears," and when I first read the five inches of printed text I thought they might not have cut my original letter at all. Then I checked, in what I thought was just an excess of conceit, and I uncovered some interesting edits.

I should have expected the subjective, fairly arbitrary word or syntax changes I saw, but what I found more interesting is that they decided to totally eliminate my partner Barry. Gee, I'd hate to think that you can only be queer, ok, even "gay," in Time Out if you're in the entertainment listings.

Also, even though I understand that TONY is basically just a [pretty good] entertainment rag and therefore I should not have been surprised by the tone of their article, I think it's significant that they were careful to eliminate my critical reference to their reporter's slant [which was in fact far more facile than I had indicated in my letter].

Finally, I notice that they chose to subtly eliminate my more alarming descriptions of what the situation was like underground, somewhat diluting the letter's basic argument.

What follows below is first what I sent them by email:

Along with almost the entire media establishment of the New York region, TONY missed the real story in the February 29 subway fire and evacuations. Even worse, Ayren Jackson makes light of it in "Talking Points" this week, and you all should know better. The next time might not be so entertaining to your readers.

People were discomforted and terrified, some were injured by smoke, but the real story is what the experience says about New York's ability to cope with a real terrorist incident, or even a disastrous accident. A single homeless man throwing debris can cause people to be trapped for hours in the subway?

My partner and I were confined below ground from 5:30 until 7:30. Our train was apparently one of the more fortunate, since some people weren't free until 9, and many suffered smoke inhalation requiring hospitalization. After the first few minutes of explosion and fire there was little smoke where we were, but many of us were terrified, and we still had to wait over two hours from the time the train was initially halted, more than an hour after we were told help was on its way, and certainly long after the tracks were "no longer juiced", in Jackson's words.

When we were finally permitted to exit, the route involved simply walking out an open subway door, stepping along a 15-foot shelf to an emergency exit, and then climbing a couple flights of stairs to the busy Village street above.

What the experience says about easily-imagined future disasters makes us seriously question living in NYC, and we're crazy about this city.

This is what they actually printed:
Tracks of my Fears

Along with almost the entire media establishment of the New York region, TONY missed the real story in the February 29 subway fire and evacuations ["Talking Points," Out There, TONY 441].

People were discomforted and terrified, some were injured by smoke, so the real story is what the experience says about New York's ability to cope with a real terrorist incident, or even a disastrous accident. A single homeless man throwing debris can cause people to be trapped for hours in the subway?

I was confined below ground due to this incident for two hours. My train was apparently one of the more fortunate, as some people weren't freed until hours later, and many suffered smoke inhalation, requiring hospitalization. After the first few minutes of explosion and fire, there was little smoke where we were standing; however we still had to wait more than two hours from the time the train was initially halted, more than an hour after we were told help was on its way and a long time after the tracks were "no longer juiced." What the experience says about easily imagined future disasters makes me seriously question living in NYC.

On Saturday Barry and I will be in the streets again, along with nobody knows how many others, on the anniversary of Bush's war on the world, sometimes known as "the war on Iraq," or even "the war against terror."

For us it will be the streets of New York, and we will be joining the Palestinian contingent. We should be assembling at 11:15 am on 25th Street between 5th Avenue & Broadway, in what is called Worth Square, named after General William Jenkins Worth and we will be next to the monument to this wretched man's iniquities: He mowed down Native Americans and Mexicans in several Imperial wars on their own lands. We ended up stealing all of the Seminole nation and half of the Mexican. Very heroic, very patriotic, and it had already become an American tradition even before his time.

For more information on the day, go to United for Peace and Justice, "The World Still Says No To War."

Momentum is building for the Global Day of Action against War and Occupation on March 20, 2004 — the one-year anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq. On that day people all around the globe will take to the streets to say YES to peace and NO to pre-emptive war and occupation. In communities large and small around the United States and across the globe, we will call for an end to the occupation of Iraq and Bush's militaristic foreign policies. March 20 will be the first time the world's "other superpower" will take center stage since Feb. 15 [2003].

Giuliani's Emergency Operations Center on the 23rd floor of 7 WTC

Regular readers know why I have such a keen interest in the former 7 World Trade Center [friends who fled the building on September 11, a years-long office there myself and disgust with the human impact of many decisions made by its tone-deaf owner, Larry Silverstein, and his friend the American media-hero Rudolph Giuliani], and some know that I have tried in the past to bring attention to the reason for the monstrous building's astounding collapse that afternoon. Well, that reason may finally have attained real legitimacy, since Newsday reports today:

Mayor Michael Bloomberg's press secretary is accusing Rudolph Giuliani's emergency management chief of making dubious decisions that led to the fiery destruction of a Ground Zero skyscraper.

Press secretary Ed Skyler leveled the charge at Jerry Hauer, the former director of the Office of Emergency Management, after The New York Times published an op-ed piece by Hauer yesterday criticizing Bloomberg for weakening OEM.

"It's funny he didn't mention his decision to put OEM's headquarters at 7 World Trade Center, complete with enough diesel fuel to burn down the entire building on Sept. 11," Skyler said.

The building collapsed hours after the Twin Towers fell; ignited diesel burned long afterward, contributing to the pall of black smoke that hung over lower Manhattan.

. . . .

Skyler's comments echo private remarks from Bloomberg administration officials who have criticized Giuliani-era decisions, including the decision to site OEM's Brooklyn headquarters in a flood zone.

Hauer's criticisms of the Bloomberg administration's handling of OEM doesn't seem to address these damning assertions, suggesting they are not even arguable.

I suppose it would be even more interesting if these guys were not all working in Republican adminsitrations.

[I had first seen this image, or one like it, from NYC OEM, two and a half years ago - it was hastily removed from the site soon after September 11 by the Giuliani administrartion, but it has returned at some point in the interim, although I believe it may be much smaller this time]

Socialist Party supporters celebrate their party's win today in Madrid

Yeeaa for Spain!

We all grieve for you still, but now we're all encouraged by your good sense and courage in throwing the current government into the streets where it belongs. If it had been there all along, 11 millions Spaniards just might not have had to stand in those same streets on Friday.

It's a remarkable turnaround from just a few days ago, when all pundits had been predicting a large victory for the conservative Popular Party, until now Bush's second partner in the coalition of willing rogue nations responsible for the Iraq invasion and occupation.

Blair should be quaking in his boots. No, maybe he's even soiling his pants by now, since he's had plenty to worry about ever since the WMDs evaporated into thin air.

In the meantime, maybe Italy can do something about their own embarassing toady. [Say, just how much in bribes has Washington been offering these governments, whose populations have been so unwilling? There's no other sensible argument for their support.]

Unfortunately here in never-never land we're going to have to wait until November for a regime change, but the population of the U.S. is neither as informed or bold as that of Spain, Britain, or even Italy, so nothing can be certain even about that date. Atrios wrote about that on Saturday:

Terrorism and Elections

Conventional wisdom, which we'll assume to be true for the moment, tells us that if the people responsible for the horrific bombings in Spain were al Qaedaish or Islamic extremists or something similar, rather than ETA terrorists, that it could cause the defeat of Aznar's party, PP, in the elections tomorrow. The reason being that Iraq was not popular with the Spanish people, and if Aznar directed resources to fighting a non-threat instead of spending time to find real threats, or if the terrorism is a response to their participation in the Iraq war, then he and his party obviously failed in their duty.

On the other hand, I would say that conventional wisdom in this country would be that a major al Qaedaish terrorist attack in this country before our election would be good for the Republicans and Bush. I have no idea if this, or the other, conventional wisdom is true, but the contrast is interesting.

Bloggy has an excellent post on the events and the mood in Spain.

[image from Yahoo! News]

Hirschhorn2.jpgThomas Hirschhorn, details of two panels from the series, UTOPIA UTOPIA = ONE WORLD ONE WAR ONE ARMY ONE DRESS (2003) paper, prints, plastic foil, adhesive tape, marker, ballpoint pen [each of the eight panels, 50cm x 60cm]

We're at home tonight, our unease suspended for now by 20th-century Spanish Music (Halffter, Marco, Soler, Hidalgo, Bernaola, Barce, etc.), one of the great rewards of a large collection of recordings.

Hirschhorn's work may seem like a particulary inappropriate context for this thought, but I'm fantasizing how in a different world art might actually be able to suspend all of the world's monstrousness, its dis-ease, just that easily.

[image photographed in the spaces of Arndt & Partner at the Armory Show today]

but a party is a different thing altogether

I hope I have to say it only one more time.

I have no interest in getting married. I'm uncomfortable with the idea of official marriage of any kind.

A letter in the Village Voice this week expressed a reader's disgust that "gay people" now want to get married, after " . . . thousands of years of crafting the finest true alternative/outlaw society this planet has ever known, with all the deaths, suffering, joys, and triumphs that were so hard fought . . . . "

Yeah, "Gay", it's not just about settling down and making babies anymore, you know!

Barry and I have been together for twelve years. It goes without saying that as born-again atheists we certainly don't need any corporate religious cult to sign on to our commitment, but we also don't need any goverment, or any other group or individual, to interfere with what we are perfectly capable of handling ourselves, our commitment to each other.

That being said, in this very imperfect society, government does get involved in the commitments people make as couples, up to now by unjustly declaring who is entitled to the benefits it grants only to such couples. More fundamentally, governments, and especially the U.S. government, refuse, except through the conservative and archaic device of marital contracts, to provide the simple health and financial tools which individuals, couples and families need.

Yes, I'd like to be able to visit my partner in a emergency or hospital room, to be able to make medical choices for him if he is unable to do so himself, to be his heir should he pre-decease me, and to share title to our home. Someone has enumerated almost 1500 other benefits which attach to the status of legal marriage, but these do not make marriage sacred. In fact they only show how absurd and fundamentally unjust the concept is in the first place.

The solution for the crises of marriage [and there appear to be many crises] lies in its replacement by intelligent and equitable laws which can protect everyone in society equally. Marriage would become irrelevant in that best of all possible worlds. Of course there's no reason why people who chose to do so couldn't have their commitments celebrated in some religious ceremony, but the state should have no interest in those arrangements, something like its indifference to confirmations and mitzvahs right now.

Unfortunately this isn't going to happen here soon. What is happening right now is that some people want the very real civil advantages which are available only through marriage and these are being denied them discriminately. Under these circumstances of course I want to support their right to civil recognition, but I recognize the disturbing irony of a movement which may seem progressive, but whose objective is extraordinarily conservative.

It's the conservative part that still really bothers me, and doubly so because it's not likely to stop the issue of same-sex marriage from mucking-up the election even though its opponents call themselves conservative.

How did we get into this mess just months before what many think will be a referendum on the future of the planet?

[image, Bruegels's "wedding banquet", in the Prado, from Web Gallery of Art]

image of Tracey Baran image

The image was irresistible, and it remains irresistible even through these layers. A self-portrait, it's one of the photographs included in Tracey Baran's current show at Leslie Tonkonow.


Updated: typo fixes.

Brian Alfred, still from video, Artflick.001:painter_BrianAlfred

After checking out the Ester Partegas show at Foxy Production and talking to Tracey Baran at the opening of her amazing show at Leslie Tonkonow last Saturday we thought we only had energy for a quick stop at Max Protech Gallery, but once we were inside we decided to stay for a while.

The show was Brian Alfred's "Overload" and it was . . . cool, made more cool by the music of dj E*VAX (Audiodregs Records) and some excellent sake. I loved the small discomforting collages even more than the paintings, but both were beautifully morphed by the disturbingly elegant computer-animated video projected in a separate room.

Of course the people were equally stunning, and none of them seemed discomforted in the least, but rather as happy to be there as we were, no less for seeing Josie* looking so stunning in what appeared to be an electric green Miyake vest.

Hmmm, on April 16 the gallery will host a special event, Computer/Animation Screening/Performance, at 7 pm, featuring Cory Archangel, Mumbleboy, Scott Roberts and Paperrad. Sounds wonderful, and I'm sure it will.

For a mini-tour of 35 years of art and of Max Protech, click onto "About Max Protech Gallery" on the gallery site.


*the gallery Director, Josie Browne


Updated: typo fixes.

Peter Maxwell Davies

The great British composer Sir Peter Maxwell Davies has been appointed Master of the Queen's Music.

The Guardian site begins its report thus:

Buckingham Palace yesterday admitted that the Queen has chosen Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, a gay, self-styled "old-fashioned socialist" and republican, as the Master of her Music.

The fact that Maxwell Davies is also perhaps the pre-eminent British composer of the day appears not to have been a handicap for a job which has seen some previous musical talents overlooked in favour of justly obscure nonentities.

Although previous incumbents have included Sir Edward Elgar and Arnold Bax, the 380 year-old post inaugurated by King Charles I has also been held by the likes of Nicholas Staggins and Maurice Greene, chosen instead of Henry Purcell and George Frederick Handel.

Perhaps understandably, there is little in the Guardian article about his musical production. We have just about every recording of his music ever available in the U.S., so for us at least the music needs no introduction. The paper also neglects describing just how beautiful a man Davies is [very], but it seems to have missed little else in composing a report that succeds in being exquisitely provocative.
The composer made clear at the weekend that had the job been offered by the government he would not have accepted because of his opposition to Tony Blair and the Iraq war, which he described as the worst foreign policy decision since the crusades.

The Sunday Times quoted him as saying: "I voted for Blair twice, but never again. He has betrayed the principles of the Labour party, not just on Iraq, but on tuition fees and foundation hospitals. Yes, I'm an old-fashioned socialist and I feel utterly let-down."

His principles did not prevent him accepting a knighthood in 1987, as an honour for music, though he threatened to send it back seven years later because of plans to amalgamate London's orchestras.

He has accepted the job for 10 years, rather than for life, on the basis that it may be used to promote music, rather than for the composition of anthems and other ceremonial music for royal occasions.

A palace spokeswoman said tactfully yesterday that the post, which carries with it a small stipend, placed no obligations on its holder.

. . . .

His works have been performed all over the world and are said to be becoming more accessible to general audiences, which may come as a relief to a royal family of generally limited musical interests - the Queen paid her first visit to the Proms for 50 years last summer.

She may be relieved to know that Maxwell Davies has been known to write compositions to mark propitious events, including a lullaby for the first baby born on the Orcadian Island of Hoy for 25 years. She may be less impressed that his previously best-known work about royalty, Eight Songs for a Mad King, was a meditation on the insanity of George III.

This is also the man who composed the extraordinary opera of the Antichrist, "Resurrection", described in these excerpts from an amazing review in the NYTimes [byline uncredited]:
Begun in the early 1960s but not performed until 1987, Resurrection, with music and libretto by Mr. Davies, is one of the fiercest works of social criticism ever to come from the pen of a classical composer.

. . . .

The savage parody could easily turn preachy and heavy-handed, and it is to Mr. Davies's credit that he, like Weill, knows how to handle such material with an irreverent, comic touch. The libretto is witty, often ingenious and viciously anticlerical. (A minister sings: "For we can make the Book mean just anything we please,/And use it as a weapon to bring you to your knees,/With the promise of salvation shining on your steadfast face,/By the word of God, this Book, we can keep you in your place.")

The composer helpfully describes in clinical detail the transformation he has in mind during the metamorphosis of the patient into the Antichrist: "Despite the lack of testes, which the Surgeons removed, the Patient's penis slowly becomes erect - a huge submachine gun, directed over the audience."

. . . .

It is also a protest against the sexual conformity demanded in a Thatcherite England and a Reaganite America. A recurring theme of Resurrection is the homophobia spouted by the hypocritcal political and religious establishments. In one particularly memorable scene, three of society's supposed moral guardians - a Policeman, a Judge and a Bishop - have an unscheduled meeting in a stall of a public lavatory.

. . . .

It is impossible to listen to the opera without finding it chillingly timely. The message of Resurrection could easily be transplanted to the United States, circa 1996. But it is doubtful that it could be staged in the present [January 1996] political climate. Somehow, one imagines that Federal, state and corporate support would not be forthcoming.'

Ain't opera grand?

[image from MaxOpus]

in the Mahatma's garden, Union Square Park this afternoon

[spring crocus (family Iridaceae)]

I like Newsday, and I guess they like me. Last week pictures of me or my signs at a same-sex marriage rights demonstration appeared in their pages twice in one day. Yesterday Barry and I were the subject of a column on our outrage about MTA disaster preparedness, and today they're including an edited version of my letter to the editor on the same subject.

Just coincidence. Still, maybe I should lie low for a while if I don't want to be shut out because of overexposure. It's going to be a nosiy year. I just might still have something important to say.

Maybe Chinatown isn't going to be the next Soho, Chelsea, or Williamsburg, but it is going to be the next Chinatown. Maybe it can be sui generis. It sure would be nice to see the big guys stay elsewhere. There's a place for a Chelsea, especially if it stays sprinkled with alternative spaces, and Williamsburg is just fine as it is.

Anyway, whatever happens elsewhere, watch for a number of new gallery spaces to open in one of the last "unimproved" neighborhoods in the southern half of Manhattan. It's going to happen. Economics will drive it, but its integrity, energy and good subway accessibility will all be part of the attraction of the Canal Street area.

There seems to be room for more. Especially in New York, people want art. Art just seems to make us happy. Sometimes it makes gallery people happy too. It's best when that happens.

I sure hope that galleries in Chinatown will be good for the people already there. Judging from the gallery presence already dotting southeastern Manhattan it seems at least likely to be good for everyone else.

I wrote about Michele Maccarone's space, Maccarone, Inc., last October, raving about the Phil Collins show, and we returned recently to see Chivas Clem's installation [officially closed one week earlier, I think] of re-contexualized media images, once again spread through the three floors of a small, barely-spruced-up old commercial building on Canal Street near the Manhattan Bridge. The intrepid explorer Holland Cotter reviewed [scroll down] the show early last month.

Great shows, but still no website and this time not even a press release or card for a visitor, at least by the time we got there. Nobody said art was easy, even for its fans.

down the hall, turn left, first door on the right, "come in, we're open"

The improbably-named Canada [no, the principals aren't even Canadian] tries a little harder. Here on Chrystie Street just north of Canal, once you track down the space and navigate the hallway, you'll find some very sweet people and the usual artist informationals. Two weeks ago we visited Michael Mahalchick's wonderful soft sculptures and the videos of sound art by other artists Mahalchick had invited to further enrich the funky gallery space. They have a real website.

Michael Mahalchick Billie

Not to take away anything form the shows we've seen in the "formal" exhibition spaces, but the best thing about Canada may be the promise (and reward) of the goodies hanging or lying about in their back room. While we were there this time we made nusiances of ourselves asking to see and hear more about everything we could get our eyes on, work of artists who had already shown in the gallery or who would or might be seen there in the future.

Oddly, none of the work I'm going to mention here really comes across in photo reproduction, because of textures materials or dimension, but we were very excited about every collage we saw by Brian Belott, and Sarah Braman looks better every time I see the work, especially if you can look at the pieces inside and out. Even the fact that the one piece we saw by Carrie Moyer looked better than what we have seen in other venues may be a testament to the gallery. The Sunday we last visited we spoke to Constance Feydy.

These are very savvy gallerists, and I hope they stay on the edge even if their intelligence and judgment means they are not likely to remain only on the periphery.

detail view of one wall in Sterling Ruby's exhibition

Michael Gillespie and John Thomson run one of the smartest galleries around, Foxy Production, and these two guys are also just about the nicest people around, in or outside of the art world.

Unfortunately we messed up our [very modest] responsibility to the outside world last month by not getting to their exhibition of L.A. artist Sterling Ruby's work until the very last day, but some images are available on their site, and several of the works themselves can still be seen in the back space of their gallery.

I thought I needed some help when we first walked in, but Michael was easily able to set the scene for us. In fact however the work can stand on its own, once eyes and mind adjust to an eccentric aesthetic exercised in as many media as are found here. Beautiful things smartly done, and not easily revealing their layers of real intelligence.

We did get to the opening of their current show, "CIVILIZATION IS OVERRATED", of sculpture and works on paper and mylar by Ester Partegas. The single, large [ok, it's literally gallery-sized] construction in the main room, of mostly paper and vinyl, seems to be at least partly a comment on the trash we consume and the trash we create. But it and the three framed works in the rear may be the most beautiful dreck I've ever seen.

Ester Partegas, detail from her installation, "CIVILIZATION IS OVERRATED" (2004) plastic, wood, paper, metal, enamel, 13' x 13.2' x 13.2'

Ester Partegas Polylumplous Tetraflacidontics (2004) enamel paint on mylar, 29" x 82"

Today's Newsday includes a page 2 column by Ray Sanchez devoted to our experience with the subway system the Sunday before last.

We've both had a history of dealing with the press, and I've found that most of the time they just don't get it. Barry writes about Sanchez's piece, "I think it's quite good. I never had an experience with the media before where the point I wanted to make actually made it into the article."

Bloggy also observes that if you run out and buy the print version of the paper you get a photo of us, squinting up at the sun on the steps of our local subway station.

goldfish on sale at an outdoor bazaar in the center of Baghdad

This is just about the only one of the 49 extraordinary Moises Salman photographs currently on the "more photos" link of the Newsday site which did not make me very angry or just incredibly sad - until I noticed the significance of the date, February 21, 2003.

I love open markets, and I love goldfish. Don't like war.

[image from Newsday Photo/Moises Saman]

I'm getting some feedback, from both friends and strangers, on my account of our experience with the subway thing on Sunday, but I still haven't seen anything else in the media. The NYTimes never did include news about it in any of the editions delivered to our door here in Chelsea and I've seen no letters to editors [I've written to two dailies myself; is anyone else out there writing or calling?], and neither editorial nor opinion pieces discussing its significance. There's been a virtual blackout on news about this, and it continues today.

Remember that I was really only complaining about rescue response time and not the inescapable fact that the system is always going to be vulnerable to incidents whether accidental, deliberate or even terrorist-driven.

I suspect that we are not supposed to think about how much we are at risk in a public transit system most of us cannot avoid using. How much of this is deliberate (criminal) policy and how much of it is due to (criminal) neglect we can only speculate.

One of the most melancholy notes I've received is this one, which appears in the comments section of my original post:

You are correct about not seeing reports on this incident in the papers or on TV. I've looked for it myself as I have heard about it from my mom (who by the way doesn't even live in NYC.) Apparently there was a brief report on the incident on CNN. She called to ask me for more information only to hear that I have never heard about it.

All I have to say is that it reminds me of home - Serbia - where things like this, and worse, happen on daily basis and we never ever hear about it but remain living in an oblivion of a perfect communist society where flow of information is foreign terminology.

E train, soutbound, this morning

I had to get up and touch the paper before I was convinced everything you see on this ad was original (not grafitti). I suspect that the owners of Manhattan Mini Storage are not big on the war(s). I mean, at the very least this weekend soldier had to give up his digs and put his life in storage for George's re-election!

Phil Reed, Chris Quinn, their colleagues and all kinds of friends, in front of microphones and cameras this morning at City Hall

A number of New York City Council Members today called on Mayor Bloomberg to state his position on the issue of same-sex marriages, with Council Member Chris Quinn leading the challenge:

"When Mike Bloomberg ran for office, he said he was going to be leader and not hide behind politics. Today, 793 days into his mayoral administration, we still don't know the Mayor's position on this critical civil rights issue."
Among the speakers at a press conference outside City Hall this morning were Alisa Surkis and Colleen Gillespie with their child Ella, but rivalling their profound impact were the words delivered by Council Member Phil Reed, who described how he first found out that his parents had had to go to Mexico for their mixed-race marriage. If more people understood that marriage didn't have to be described by superstition and prejudice the institution would be more popular than ever - or in the best of all possible worlds it would simply cease to exist as a legal contract, its important practical ends served better by the application of principles of equity.

Hovering over the speakers this morning were two sets of signs I had hurriedly made on Saturday night and again last night in the hope of clearing the air of the religious fanaticism which so obscures the subject of marriage in this country. [yeah, as if . . . .] One reading, "IT'S A RIGHT", was to the left of its partner which continued, "NOT A RITE". The other pleaded, "KEEP MARRIAGE CIVIL". [Barry came up with the language of the second sign. I really like its gentle alternate entreaty] Some of the questions reporters directed to the Council Members after they delivered their initial statements suggested that there might be the beginnings of an understanding that the discussion of marriage is dominated by religious cant.

Unfortunately we have a lot of work cut out for us on every issue, since in this country every discussion is dominated by religious cant.

People working for the recognition of same-sex marriage in New York will be back at the northeast corner of City Hall tomorrow, this time for a demonstration from 8am until 9:30. They will be supporting the dozens of couples who are expected to enter the Marriage Bureau in the Municipal Building across the street to ask the City Clerk for marriage licenses.

For more information see New York Marriage Now.

Alex Lee Barbera Face 2 (2004) Dreamland Blue Series, acrylic paint and magazine page in 11"x14" frame

Alex Lee Ferragamo Face (2003) Dreamland Blue Series, acrylic paint and magazine page in 11"x14" frame

Alex Lee Jacobs Face (2004) Dreamland Blue Series, acrylic paint and magazine page in 11"x14" frame

This is another follow up to my earlier post describing our visit to the Riviera Gallery in Williamsburg. These are images of three of Alex Lee's works now in the group show there.

Lee has written about an experience which describes some of the inspiration for the imagery he uses:

While I was living in Taipei, Taiwan, in 1996, and staying at friends of my parents', I noticed that my hosts' collection of empty frames displayed in their living room and bedrooms. Usually sitting on a buffet or end table, these would be regular desk-size wood or metal frames, pre-fabricated for the mass-market, similar to the kind one would find anywhere at any department and discount stores in the US. These frames would have a plexiglass or glass inside them as well as a sheet of paper on which would be printed a generic stock image, acting as an example for what could be inserted inside of the picture frame. The image would resemble a stock-photograph of kind, depicting a happy couple in embrace, a little boy and his dog, a little girl holding a bouquet of flowers; in short, the archetypes of what the west considers a relevant, joyfull moment fit for remembrance and display in a home or work environment. Upon interrogation, I learnt that what I considered empty frames, they thought embodied the epitome of what the West had to offer, an ideal of happiness and wealth as projected by the image inside of the frame. Just as they would hang auspicious Chinesecharacters calligraphed on red papers in their home, they displayed these Western photo frames, as icons of social wealth.

[images furnished by the artist]

Dennis J. Kucinich

Just got back from our polling station across the street. Somehow I had absolutely no trouble finding Kucinich's name, even though the NYTimes and so many others seem to have lost it. [the name happened to be at the top of the list, as it has been for me all along]

Today's article about New York's Democratic voters mentions only Kerry and Edwards (repeatedly). In fact the list of names on today's New York State ballot also includes Kucinich, Lieberman, LaRouche, Dean, Sharpton, Gephardt and Clark. The only suggestion that there might be other choices for voters is this one oblique reference, in the fourth paragraph, to a larger contest:

The two front-runners [my italics], Mr. Kerry and Mr. Edwards, spent the final day before the so-called Super Tuesday primary campaigning in other states, leaving New York and the battle for its 236 delegates to surrogates.
Elsewhere in the paper, a lead article on the front page discusses the Capitol Hill non-relationship between the two "front-runners", once again totally neglecting to mention Kucinich (who also happens to be work in Congress) or of course Sharpton and the others.

Oh yes, to be fair, I have to confess the paper does include one article devoted exclusively to Kucinich, "Kucinich's Campaign Leaves Hometown Voters Wondering". The piece never really explains what they are wondering about , other than to suggest that he may have, by the paper's own account, ". . . distanced himself too much from the hometown voters who have sent him to Congress four times." One 79-year old interviewed volunteered, "He has done some good locally, but I think he's gone bananas." This stellar NYTimes source said she thought [my italics again] she had voted for him in the past. Ok, there is one specific criticism mentioned. A woman described as a Catholic said she would no longer support him because he had reversed his longtime opposition to abortion.

Alright, I'm now giving the Times far too much attention. Bloggy found more interesting stuff elsewhere: For a real look at Kucinich and at what happened to his campaign, see at Matt Taibbi.

[image is from the campaign site, photo by Eric Rife]

The media is keeping Jay Blotcher very busy these days.

He calls the New Palz area his home, and he married his boyfriend in the Village last week. That same week saw the braking of the story of his being fired as a stringer for the NYTimes [they found he had once been part of ACT UP, and I guess that's somehow a big bad].

Jay hardly ever misses a thing. Jay is a writer. Jay now has a website [set up by bloggy], and anyone interested in these stories will enjoy a visit.

The New Yorker's Hendrik Hertzberg must be feeling very guilty, because before condemning Ralph Nader to perdition [almost] this week he runs through an elaborate paean to the great man's undoubted, generous, world-altering accomplishments.

[The list* is magnificent by the way, and it should be read by all of us, whether or not we lived through times which once, incredibly, resisted these obviously good works.]

But Hertzberg then continues his current "The Talk of the Town" piece:

More than any other single person, Ralph Nader is responsible for the fact that George W. Bush is President of the United States.
How does a thoughtful liberal miss the point entirely? If Bush occupies the Oval Office it's because we were all stupid enough to let him get there - and to let him stay on. Incredibly, the sophisticated weekly's Editorial Director claims that Al Gore and G.W. Bush are both essentially blameless for the plagues which now lay so heavily on our land, the former because he attracted enough votes to win the 2000 election and the latter because he didn't. The only villain is Nader.

We've all heard the argument before, in one form or another, but for a number of reasons there is no way to calculate the impact of Nader's candidacy then or now. We can say that democracy has never been defined as a two-party system, even in this damaged republic where the Left was destroyed almost a century ago. We can also say that discouraging the number of candidates and parties (if we must have political clubs) is the practice of dictators and not of free peoples.

In the midst of their internal argument, even the members of the Democratic Party family are not listening to the putative heavy himself. Last week one NYTimes reader offered the best and most succinct explanation of Nader's decision to run again in 2004 that I've heard yet:

Ralph Nader, Roiling the Waters

To the Editor:

Re ''Nader, Gadfly to the Democrats, Will Again Run for President'' (front page, Feb. 23):

Ralph Nader's central thesis is that corporate influence on lawmakers is a greater danger to democracy than even a Bush presidency. In this context, Mr. Nader's run for president is easier to understand.

Somerville, Mass., Feb. 23, 2004

Now let's all get out there and act like democrats, even if we're only Democrats. Vote well.


*Hertzberg's litany of Nader's accomplishments:

More than any other single person, Ralph Nader is responsible for the existence of automobiles that have seat belts, padded dashboards, air bags, non-impaling steering columns, and gas tanks that don’t readily explode when the car gets rear-ended. He is therefore responsible for the existence of some millions of drivers and passengers who would otherwise be dead. Because of Nader, baby foods are no longer spiked with MSG, kids’ pajamas no longer catch fire, tap water is safer to drink than it used to be, diseased meat can no longer be sold with impunity, and dental patients getting their teeth x-rayed wear lead aprons to protect their bodies from dangerous zaps. It is Nader’s doing, more than anyone else’s, that the federal bureaucracy includes an Environmental Protection Agency, an Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and a Consumer Product Safety Commission, all of which have done valuable work in the past and, with luck, may be allowed to do such work again someday. He is the man to thank for the fact that the Freedom of Information Act is a powerful instrument of democratic transparency and accountability. He is the founder of an amazing array of agile, sharp-elbowed research and lobbying organizations that have prodded governments at all levels toward constructive action in areas ranging from insurance rates to nuclear safety. He had help, of course, from his young “raiders,” from congressional staffers and their bosses, from citizens, and even from the odd President. But he was the prime mover.


untitled (East Broadway, 5:19-5:23 pm, February 29)

Musing, as we waited on the platform just before boarding the fire and brimstone train.

[we've only been together for 12 or 13 years]

But definitely not a requirement. Marriage. Not for every couple, but it must be their choice only.

The two quickly-improvised signs pictured above were those we held while we were standing behind speakers at a press conference held below the steps of New York City Hall early yesterday afternoon. We were there along with, I guess, almost 300 others [the maximum number of the non-sports-fan public "allowed" to get anywhere near our seat of government at one time, as it turned out*] attesting to the right of all Americans to enter into marriage contracts certified by the state.

Specifically, we were challenging the mayor of the City of New York to tell the City Clerk to issue licenses to any couple requesting them. We maintain, with excellent legal opinion to support us, that the state's constitution does not restrict marriage to opposite-sex couples.

It seems that victory is inevitable. What is in doubt is when it will happen, and the manner and degree to which individual politicians will shame or honor themselves in the interim.

the media setting up before the speakers arrived

Council Speaker Miller and, starting counterclockwise from his left, Councilmembers Chris Quinn, David Yassky, Tom Duane and Phil Reed

what looked like a group of hundreds of supporters was kept from entering the grounds surrounding City Hall, but they maintained a chorus of protest in the background

* Even long before September 11 Mayor Giuliani had effectively removed the public, and in particular any public with an opinion likely to be opposed to his own, from access to the area around City Hall. Fallout from the World Trade Center disaster and a murder of a City Councilmember in chambers further compromised people's right of access to their representatives, but something of a compromise has since been worked out under the current, Bloomberg administration. Today's Newsday story on the Gifford Miller's press conference made an exceptional reference to this issue.

City Hall's security detail turned away about 100 supporters, enforcing a rule that allows a maximum of 300 people to attend a news conference. The event was peaceful and there were no arrests, although some who were standing on the street or in City Hall Park, shouted, "Let us in!"

smile addendum
Overheard while we waited for the proceedings to begin: [Two young men behind us were animatedly discussing the Judy Garland biography of films shown on television recently, but their enthusiasm was quickly redirected when they spied a certain great, breezy, white-haired activist as she approached the steps] "Oh, there's Ann Northrup! Love her!"

Well, she is a star.

This page is an archive of entries from March 2004 listed from newest to oldest.

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