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Saturday, July 28, 2012


In 90 degree fahrenheit weather i did a short presentation at the Radical Cross-Currents in Black Berlin one day symposium at Humbodt Universitat that was organized by Eva Boesenberg and Tavia Nyongo of NYU. The event gathered a very large crowd of artists, activists and scholars to consider the radical black presence in Berlin since the 1980s.
The keynote address was“White Brothers With No Soul?” The Racial Politics of Techno in Berlin by Alex Weheliye, Northwestern University moderated by the very sweet Eva Boesenberg
At 2pm I presented “Wir haben kein Zimmer für Auslander”: Vaginal Davis, Susanne Sachsse, CHEAP & more. Susanne who is on the jury of a film festival in Poland made a wonderful Skype appearance. Tavia was the moderator. I was completely excrement for brains, which always happens when i have to make an appearance in hot weather, but Susi was very eloquent. Got to meet Tavia´s young animated lover from Texas and we bonded the way southern girls are known to. I was surprised that there was such a SRO turnout as I figured that on a nice summer day everyone would retreat to the lake country. I had a marvelous time and it was very lovely to be at an event with a large amount of black folks which is such a rarity in anglo Berlin. It seems like a few will take me up on the offer of a dialogue through written correspondence the olde fashioned manner via the poste.
If you are visiting Berlin the perfect place to go is Arsenal Inst für film und video kunst for their Blaxploitation salute. I highly recommend seeing Cotton Goes to Harlem 1970 directed by Ossie Davis starring Godfrey Cambridge, Super Fly 1973 directed by Gordon Parks Jr. Starring Ron O´Neal, Cool Breeze 1972 featuring a young Pam Grier with Paula Kelly and Judy Pace who is also in Cotton.

Sherman Hemsley who starred as George Jefferson in the long running black TV sitcom The Jeffersons died age 72. Few people knew that Mr. Hemsley was a big old queen like another actor of the era Paul Winfield.

Was listening to NPR Berlin´s Marketplace Money program that featured my old LA Weekly collegue Queena Kim. You girl girl!

Was treated to a delightful breakfast at East London-God Save Brit Food with Joseph Hawkins  the Executive Director of LA´s One Institute who is in Europe to attend a conference in Amsterdam. So grateful he made a Berlin pitstop and we had a hoot of a girlish time gabbing about a myriad of subjects that include Mishima, Miwa Akihiro of the Black Lizard fame and the Knights of the Clocks which was the original Black & White Men Together group from back in the 1950s. Mr. Hawkins is a southern gal fluent in Japanese. He is also the boss of my dear Afro Sister Clitoris Turner aka Bud Thomas.

Just received this note from Hector Martinez who along with his lover Erica Pierce are in Israeli on holiday:
U would love this place. The Men are Hot! At every street corner u see a hot Rabbi doing Helicopters with their big Kosher Chorizo's!
This travel emug from Ernie Larsen of Sherrie & Ernie Fame:
Heat conspired with exhaustion to make the train ride from Thessaloniki to Athens seem cruelly extenuated.  We could only blame ourselves. We’d stayed up all the previous night preparing our video for an exhibition at the Center for Contemporary Art .  By the time (on the way to the train station) I’d dropped off the newly-burned  DVD at the museum I was beginning to regard the exhibition’s title, “It’s the Political Economy, Stupid,” as a direct accusation. 
The cabdriver, even as he was helping us grab our bags from the trunk of the taxi, was still gamely trying to persuade us to allow him to drive us all the way from Thessaloniki to Athens.  Was he desperate or sensible?  At what point in the affective economy does desperation become sensible?  We were tempted by the cabbie’s offer but we were meeting our friend and comrade Nikos at the station--and still imagined that a few hours of softly-rocking slumber in an air-conditioned  compartment would be renewing.
From Athens we took the crowded metro to the port of Piraeus. While crossing the street to pick up our tickets to Chania, Crete at the ferry office, Nikos pointed out a troika of dumpsters.  The graffiti read: ballot, ballot, ballot.
Over 35% of the Greek electorate decided not to vote in what’s considered the single most important election in a generation.  We were reminded of Saramago’s prophetic conceptual novel,  Essay on Lucidity (published in English under the mis-title Seeing), which (in case you haven’t read it) begins with an election in which nearly all the citizens of an unnamed city return blank or unmarked ballots to the ballot box — thereby causing a massive and ever-increasing crisis among all the political parties, not least within the governing party.  Voting by not voting, essentially.
Whoever in Piraeus produced this three-part visual essay on lucidity has in common with Saramago a sardonic awareness of the lethal delusion that continues to safeguard and perpetuate representative democracy.  Over 50% of Greek voters supported anti-austerity parties (including the 7% who voted for the fascist Golden Dawn). Contrary to international media reports, the pro-austerity ‘victory’ was on another level, an ignominious defeat, a legal fiction, not dissimilar to Saramago’s depiction of voting, a rank waste in the sense that the anonymous graffiti artist maintains. Doesn’t the recent Greek election demonstrate that the ballot box is more accurately a dumpster?
In the US, in which the political class lacks nearly as much credibility as its Greek counterpart, we are repeatedly urged by pundits and shills and liberals not to waste our ballot by refusing to vote.  The legal fiction of the Greek election (Victory to the losers!  Put the corrupt back in office again!)
is experienced by everyone we speak to here as a depressing aporia.  One indicator of an irreparable crisis: when legal fictions begin to proliferate like the vermin circulating around a dumpster filled with waste and ripening to a faretheewell in unbearable heat.  Or are we delirious?
 After we picked up our tickets we had plenty of time, before boarding, for a freddo capucchino.  The only café in the area was a Starbucks, which faced our waiting ferry.  Stupidly or not, we bit the bullet.  What choice did we have?  Three freddo capucchinos, please.  Voting in an election is also known as exercising the franchise.  However, Starbucks, now the world’s largest coffee shop chain, thanks to a billion or so people like us, is a corporation, not a franchise.  In the U.S. even though a corporation is, legally speaking, a person, it does not have the right to vote, though everybody knows that capital owns the capitol—all the capitols, in fact.  However, for what it’s worth, a franchise does not have the franchise, as such.  As Marx (Chico) pointedly and repeatedly asked during the depths of the last depression (1929), in a disquisition on real estate fraud (The Cocoanuts), “Why a duck?”  Still the most important question.  
And another missive from my god daughter Scarlet Rouge who is the child of Michele Lamy and Richard Newton:
Dear One and All
Since my last show took place in Torino, IT and many were unable to see it in the flesh
here are a few angular tastes of Origine Oscura in the gardens of La Venaria Reale. Modeled in the ceramic arts of ancient practices and cut in the industrial age of robotic hands, Origine Oscura is the united product of mythological stories and technological advancement. Origine Oscura is a goddess of ancient times distorted and affected by contemporary ailments. Initially created out of clay, she was laser cut into the disappearing marble of Vert de Mer, and as she searches for a soul in a seemingly soulless world, she unifying the "Goddess Triplicities". Personifying fertility, the cosmic womb, and the destroyer of illusions, three become one, Origine Oscura embodies the lost feminine, a disconnection with nature and owing to the anger of feeling abandon in abusive use she craves to consume. Helpless and face-less she asks you to reconnect to your deepest darkness and truest nature within. Vert de Mer and Black Marble, 30x30x192cm. HOP.E Art Jungle in the Giardini of La Venaria Reale  July 7th -September 2nd, 2012

loveScarlett Rouge

Monday, July 23, 2012


"We´re milking applause instead of milking a cow. . . cuz we´re Babes on Broadway now!"  Hearty sentiments indeed at Rising Stars, Falling Stars-We Must Have Music with a screening of the 1941 Judy &Mickey flicker directed by cocaine addict extroidinaire Busby Berkeley with assist from Vicente Minnelli.  I hadn´t seen the film since the early 1970s, and boy was I in for a shocker with the final production number "Waiting on the Robert E. Lee".  I knew there was going to be a blackface minstrel number but wasn´t prepared for it being so long and tedious with icky Mickey Rooney mugging way beyond what is normal even for him.  And i had forgotten that Judy was in ugly blackface in male drag.  Later she switches to tanface along with the chorus girls which turned them all into variations of Shirley Bassey.  The movie is beyond ill but with standout performances from baby dyke Virginia Weidler, twinky hoofer Ray McDonald and handsome Richard Quine before he became the famous director of Bell Book & Candle.  There was even a cameo by a young Ava Gardner who was Mrs. Mickey Rooney at the time.  Kino 2 of Arsenal was packed to the rafters.  Among the Judy worshippers  Berlin legend Zazie De Paris looking like a juicy ingenue fresh from finishing school, art shtar Ali Jenka of the Austrian art kollektive Gelitin with his lovesexxy lover Baby Papi aka Gunther Gerdes and Bob Ostertag of the Kronos Quartet, Manuel Schubert of Filmhighlights Radio Magazine with posse, NYU scholar Tavia Nyongo, Aussie fashion stylist Catherine Baba, model Atlanta de Cadenet Taylor who is the daughter of Amanda de Cadenet and Duran Duran bassist John Taylor with male hooker/waitress/model/actress Noah Mills, singer Clair Boucher aka: Grimes with humpy young artist Christophe DeRohan Chabot fresh from his Um die Flache performance, Argentine model Melissa Stasiuk with skater boi Brian Davenport, the sizzling gaysian contingent of  Korean powertop Dredge Kang, forever bottom beauty Nguyen Tan Hoang and gorgeous music blogger Zackary Ching.  Arsenal Empress Stefanie Schulte Strathaus was looking very well rested from her hiking holiday on a secret island paradise.  Miss Stefanie was surprised to see Phillip Krippendorf at RSFS with his 8 year old son.  She hadn´t seen him in over 18 years when he worked at the Academy Der Kunst. Everyone needed a drink to recover from the blackface and Mickey Rooney during the wine reception.  Uli Ziemons was his usual  charming charming self chatting with Julian Radlmeier of Chocolate Grinder Kollektive and his radiant Ukrainian wife while chanteuse Binki Shapiro from New York aggresively flirted with crooner  Bosco Del Rey who was wrapped up in the house of Daniel Hendrickson channeling Roger Edens on klavier during the intro portion of the film presentation. 
Hollywood Golden era film star Celeste Holm died age 95.  She started her career on Broadway in the early 1940s receiving much acclaim for playing Ado Annie in Oklahoma which led to a contract with 20th Century Fox under Daryl F. Zanuck and roles in musicals like Three Little Girls in Blue and Carnival in Costa Rica before landing meaty roles in Gentleman´s Agreement and All About Eve.
Daryl Zanuck´s son Richard D. Zanuck died age 77.  He produced Jaws, The Sting and Driving Miss Daisy and tried to pick me up in the late 1970s at the Backlot  of Studio One Disco in West Hollywood.  I was just a teenage queen at the time, and i think Mr. Zanuck thought i was a genetic girl.  Or maybe not.