Some arts rapping about how they see life in Riversdale and the urban core.
Ticket prices are too high. People have always made that complaint, but historically the movies have been cheap compared to concerts, major league sports and restaurants. Not so much any longer. No matter what your opinion is about 3D, the charm of paying a hefty surcharge has worn off for the hypothetical family of four.
Refreshment prices. It’s an open secret that the actual cost of soft drinks and popcorn is very low. To justify their inflated prices, theaters serve portions that are grotesquely oversized, and no longer offer what used to be a "small popcorn." Today’s bucket of popcorn would feed a thoroughbred.
Of course there are his next two points. Crappy theatre experience.
The theater experience. Moviegoers above 30 are weary of noisy fanboys and girls. The annoyance of talkers has been joined by the plague of cell-phone users, whose bright screens are a distraction. Worse, some texting addicts get mad when told they can’t use their cell phones.
Our at home experience has gotten a lot better.
Competition from other forms of delivery. Movies streaming over the internet are no longer a sci-fi fantasy. TV screens are growing larger and cheaper. Consumers are finding devices that easily play internet movies through TV sets. Netflix alone accounts for 30% of all internet traffic in the evening. That represents millions of moviegoers. They’re simply not in a theater.
Former SNL writer, activist, and comedian, Joe Bodolai leaves a stirring suicide note on his blog.
Without the expanded frame, fans often have no idea why many plays turn out the way they do, or if the TV analysts are giving them correct information. On a recent Sunday, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Alex Smith threw a deep pass to tight end Delanie Walker for a 26-yard touchdown. Daryl Johnston, the Fox color man working the game, said Smith’s throw was "placed perfectly" and that Tampa Bay Buccaneers safety Corey Lynch was "a little bit late getting there."
Greg Cosell, producer of the ESPN program "NFL Matchup," who is one of the few people with access to All-22 footage, said the 49ers had purposely overloaded the right side of the field so each receiver would only be covered by one defender. Lynch, the safety, wasn’t late getting there, Cosell says. He was doing his job and covering somebody else. Johnston could not be reached for comment.
Frank Hawkins, a former NFL executive during the 1990s who is now a Scalar Media Partners consultant, says he remembers the NFL considering releasing the All 22. The biggest objection, he said, came from the football people.
Charley Casserly, a former general manager who was a member of the NFL’s competition committee, says he voted against releasing All-22 footage because he worried that if fans had access, it would open players and teams up to a level of criticism far beyond the current hum of talk radio. Casserly believed fans would jump to conclusions after watching one or two games in the All 22, without knowing the full story.
"I was concerned about misinformation being spread about players and coaches and their ability to do their job," he said. "It becomes a distraction that you have to deal with." Now an analyst for CBS, Casserly takes an hour-and-a-half train once a week to NFL Films headquarters in Mt. Laurel, N.J. just to watch the All-22 film.
Lonnie Marts, a former linebacker for the Jacksonville Jaguars, says there are thousands of former NFL players who could easily pick apart play-calling and player performance if they had access to this film. "If you knew the game, you’d know that sometimes there’s a lot of bonehead plays and bonehead coaching going on out there," he says.
If I was the CFL, I would make the All-24 video available on CFL.ca. Not only would there be demand for it (I would pay for it), it would also show that the CFL isn’t afraid of it’s fans like the NFL apparently is.
In the latter quarter of the twentieth century, it became increasingly obvious that major historical manufacturers had lost their capacity to build a magnificent piano. In one case, the failure was precipitated in the early 1970s when CBS bought Steinway & Sons. Industry lore had it that the few remaining skilled artisans were permitted to work in Steinway factories, though perhaps not doing the fine refinements and regulation they were uniquely suited to perform. According to insiders’ reports, the newly jobless in unemployment offices local to Steinway’s New York facilities had, as their first assignment, to apply for work building pianos. As assets were sold or exhausted, and as forests across the world fell out of sustainable management for wood quality, it became increasingly difficult to purchase wood of the high quality that would have been standard only fifty years earlier. The ideal material — Sitka spruce grown to full mature size in a dense, sheltered stand — had all been cut years ago. No magnificent grand pianos were being built, though a few Japanese instruments came close, due to irreproducible flukes of soundboard or final finish quality; most American-made vertical pianos were of marginal quality, and in steep decline; Japanese pianos — especially Yamaha — were of uniformly consistent quality, and — especially Kawai — of uniformly high quality.
In his speech in Toronto Tuesday night, Nenshi discussed a host of promising cultural projects and investments into artistic spaces in Calgary, including the construction of Canada’s National Music Centre, a new downtown branch for the city’s public library and an initiative to transform old or derelict buildings into new arts centres, performance venues or artist studios.
Public-private partnerships serve a key role in helping these projects succeed and the municipal government is an important facilitator, for instance in passing zoning law changes to permit more artist live-work studios, according to Nenshi.
"Calgary is becoming a city where artists are moving to… rather than coming from. A lot of that is due to the incredible entrepreneurism and creativity of the artists themselves," he said.
"But it’s also important that the government creates an environment in which this makes sense… The role of government is to make sure they’ve got spaces to do it in and the ability to be able to do this work."
While I hate the design for the
Mendel Art Gallery, err, Art Gallery of Saskatchewan, umm, Remai Art Gallery of Saskatchewan, I am still supportive of a larger and downtown art gallery, even if it is a big ugly box.
In this clip from last night’s episode of Conan, Conan O’Brien busts his staff for having a secret free food email list that alerts them whenever there are free eats in the office. He sends an email to the list alerting people to an ice cream cake up for grabs in a conference room, and then watches a surveillance video to see "which rats coming to nibble at the cheese." When asked if they ever thought to put Conan on the list, they say: "No, never thought about it, no."
Here is one of the better answers.
Failing to locate and eliminate Omar. Since Omar (and any of his associates) were the only links to Brother Mouzone’s assassination attempt, their failure should have been punished with their deaths. Failing to do this caused Bell problems later on leading to his death.
Not using Avon Barksdale’s imprisonment as the opportunity to seize control of the organization for himself. By isolating Barksdale in prison, Bell could have run the organization as he saw fit and actually turned the prospects of the organization around into a less violent, but more profitable enterprise.
Only killing D’Angelo Barksdale and not also Avon and Avon’s sister. A clean sweep of the Barksdale family would have allowed Bell to run the organization as he thought he needed to and removed an unnecessary level of burden to an already complicated situation.
Not using a knowledgeable intermediary to deal with Senator Clay Davis.He was clearly out of his league with Davis and had he used an attorney with the correct political connections, he could have likely gained all that he sought with fewer complications than he did.
Admitting that he had killed D’Angelo Barksdale. This very likely angered Avon Barksdale and led him to to betray Stringer more than the potential for his organization to cut off from a quality supply of product.
Stringer Bell had no mentor nor close adviser apart from Avon Barksdale. Had he had a "Butch" like Omar, a number of the obvious traps he was entering he would have easily avoided as they would have been pointed out to him.
Stringer Bell had few if, any men, that were strictly loyal to him. This lack of loyalty was exhibited in the fact that men loyal to him would have avenged his death regardless of input from Avon. He also seemed to have a very poor resource of internal and external spies to gather information for him.
Stringer Bell failed to properly use the police more effectively than he did. He was in possession of enough information to bring down his competitors, yet only used it against Avon and not the others. Any crime boss knows that cops are usually his second best tool against his enemies.
Bell failed to recognize that leaving the business (and thus Baltimore) was open to him. As the character was portrayed in the series, he clearly had no close family or friends in the city and could have easily departed a wealthy man to enjoy the fruits of his labours elsewhere. He chose to stay in a business that he eventually knew would either led to his imprisonment or his death.
I was watching CNN this week and was stunned by the poor job the anchor was doing bringing any kind of accountability to the Republican guest. Considering that their advertising was “Keeping them Honest”, they seem to do a horrible job of it, even their respected hosts like Wolf Blitzer. In an attempt to appear non-partisan, they are not keeping anyone honest by not taking a stand on anything.
The “let’s leave it there” that you hear over and over again means that guest can lie to your hearts content and no one will call them on it. In many ways it has made them less reliable than MSNBC and Fox News. Jon Stewart goes to town on CNN in this 2009 segment.
What is scary about this segment is that it isn’t that far off base. CNN seems to be going through the motions more than actually being a news source I can trust.
Poetry magazine started in Chicago in 1912, and during the ensuing century, the magazine’s history and the history of American poetry often were joined at the hip. It published an unknown T.S. Eliot, gave early support to Langston Hughes, discovered Wallace Stevens, James Merrill, Gwendolyn Brooks. What Poetry rarely had was a history of picking fights, rising blood pressures or heated controversies.
Until the money arrived.
In 2002, Ruth Lilly, an heir to a fortune built by Indianapolis pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly, donated $200 million to Poetry magazine, which then had a modest circulation of 10,000 and annual budget of $700,000. "I was one of those people in an arts organization who thought, ‘Wow,’" said Tree Swenson, executive director of the New York-based Academy of American Poets. "That’s a lot of cash for one group. So out of proportion to the scale of the magazine. In one swoop, it basically made them the largest poetry organization in the country."
To administer the gift, the magazine set up the nonprofit Poetry Foundation and created a raft of initiatives to promote poetry. Today, the foundation has a budget of more than $6 million. The magazine gets $1.5 million a year, and $2.2 million goes to educational programs. Poetry’s website alone receives a hefty $1.2 million, a point of contention in literary circles. Then there’s $1.3 million for administrative costs, including salaries for the 20-person staff. "We have a guideline that forces us to never spend more than 5 percent (annually) of the total market value of the endowment," said John Barr, president of the Poetry Foundation.
"But poetry is not a moneymaker," he added. "And so the grand experiment here was to throw money into this art form that had no history of making money and see if poetry would be OK at the end of the day."
The answer is complicated.
On Netflix the other night, Mark and I watched Titanic II which is probably the worst movie we have ever seen. The story wasn`t horrible but the acting, CGI, cheap sets, cliched casting, and even the lighting was. Yeah, you heard me, even the lighting was bad.
It was so bad, Mark was upset that I rated it, “I hated it“ on Netflix. He was pushing for a worse rating. I think he is hacking into Netflix now to see if he can ad a “the producers should be jailed” rating to the film. Now in some ways, it is so bad that we watched part of it again. There was several scenes in which they tried to show people panicking but they didn’t have enough extras on so they kept showing the same scene again and again and again. That was gold. The second time we just skimmed through the scenes to show the worse of them to Wendy. There were a lot of bad scenes, including some CGI that looked like it was seriously done with Google Sketch Up.
If you watch it, don’t say I didn’t warn you.
I love this. It’s a project that leaves pianos in public spaces for anyone to play. It’s in Geneva right now and in London (Jun 2011) and San Juan (Dec 2011) this summer. It’s also made stops in Austin, Adelaide, Grand Rapids, Pécs, San Jose, Belfast, Cincinnati, Blackburn & Burnley, New York, London, Bath, Barcelona, Bristol, London, Bury St Edmunds, Sydney, Sao Paulo, and Birmingham.
Touring internationally since 2008, “Play Me, I’m Yours” is an artwork by British artist Luke Jerram. Over 400 pianos have now been installed in cities across the globe, from New York to Sydney, bearing the simple instruction ‘Play Me, I’m Yours’.
Located in public parks, bus shelters and train stations, outside galleries and markets and even on bridges and ferries, the pianos are available for any member of the public to play and enjoy. Who plays them and how long they remain is up to each community. Many pianos are personalised and decorated by artists or the local community. ‘Play Me, I’m Yours’ disrupts people’s negotiation of their city and invites the public to engage with, activate and take ownership of their urban environment.
Each city has a website made for the public to upload their films, photos and stories sharing their interaction with the pianos. The websites act as one of the legacies for the project whilst connecting the pianos and communities across each city. After each presentation of the project, the pianos are donated to schools and community groups in the area.
What a great idea. I can think of several places in Saskatoon that would be perfect for a street piano (Vimy Memorial, Meewasin Valley near Lawson Heights, Rotary Park, Kinsmen Park). Anyone want to help bring it to Saskatoon?
During the recent and overly publicized breakdown of Charlie Sheen, I was repeatedly contacted by the media and asked to comment, as it was assumed that I know a thing or two about starring on a sitcom, fighting with producers, nasty divorces, public meltdowns, and bombing through a live comedy tour. I have, however, never smoked crack or taken too many drugs, unless you count alcohol as a drug (I don’t). But I do know what it’s like to be seized by bipolar thoughts that make one spout wise about Tiger Blood and brag about winning when one is actually losing.
It’s hard to tell whether one is winning or, in fact, losing once one starts to think of oneself as a commodity, or a product, or a character, or a voice for the downtrodden. It’s called losing perspective. Fame’s a bitch. It’s hard to handle and drives you nuts. Yes, it’s true that your sense of entitlement grows exponentially with every perk until it becomes too stupendous a weight to walk around under, but it’s a cutthroat business, show, and without the perks, plain ol’ fame and fortune just ain’t worth the trouble.
Today I have been busy putting together an art gallery for the Salvation Army Community Services. In the next couple of weeks the plan is to have a public gallery in the dining room that will consist of prints, paintings, and photos from people in our community. The dining room is used by about 300 people a day so it will hopefully give some people some exposure and let their friends and neighbors see their work. In each of our two residential wings we will have another gallery that will consist of works done by people who call this place home (or work here).
To kick it off, I am doing a series of 11×14 prints of photos that I have taken over the last couple of years. This does two things… it puts something up on the walls and if they get stolen (which is a concern), I am the one that loses, not one of our clients. My cost is about $5 a print so it won’t hurt that bad (and I can say that my work was good enough to be stolen from a gallery (or the frame was…). If there are flaws in my plan, we can work them out before anyone else’s work is taken.
Art can just be viewed or it can be purchased (although no staff prints will be for sale) and it will be featured online as well. The long term vision is make this a place where those gifts are both showcased and nurtured. I would love to get some digital cameras and be able to lend them out to photographers, have art supplies on stock for those who want to paint and who knows, maybe even a dedicated studio down the road.
I’ll post some photos over the next little while showing our progress.