Every so often, we get someone who steps forward to decide our shared, national, record of events isn’t good enough in standard black and white — and so they take the task upon themselves to “convert” the established, memed, facts of black and white history into their color-coded version of hues — to reset, in their mind, what really happened.
This modernizing filter of alleged aesthetic and absolutely craven creativity is just as disturbing to me today as it was 30 years ago when I was an undergraduate Freshman at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln taking a film class with the great Dr. June Perry Levine.
At the time of Dr. Levine’s course, Ted Turner was in full-burst mode in his effort to “colorize” old black and white movies and television shows by adding color to give them new life on his cable channel.
Turner’s effect was horrible and gross as skin colors were orange and backgrounds were dark blue and clothing was all a shade of a mossy green: Time travel at its complete worst.
Adding new color to old black and white images is like repainting a fresco of Christ. The ultimate effect of each effort is the shared shameful same.
It was over 90 degrees in the shade yesterday, but that didn’t stop Janna and me from walking up to Riverview Park in Jersey City to spend a day listening to some great live music during the very first Jersey City Heights Jazz Festival.
The show started off a bit slow with a confused, and noisy, performance that had big problems with the microphones and speakers — everything was painfully distorted and muddled and just plain too loud — and so we decided to take a little walk around the neighborhood and try again in an hour.
Street theatrics are the ultimate form of an Urban Semiotic, and this Summer, in the five boroughs of New York City, you can place your hands on 88 pianos dotting the city core and open your throat in song to light up the neighborhood with your shared joy: Sing for Hope!
On Janna’s way to work this morning, she snapped this image with her iPhone and emailed it to me. She’s done that in the past with a copper moon, and a Steve Jobs memorial, but these flowers, and this mourning this morning was different.
This shrine was filled with hurt and rage and you can find it all right now at the Barnes & Noble bookstore on the corner of West 8th Street and the Avenue of the Americas; for this is the spot where Mark Carson, a 32-year-old Gay man, was gunned down a few days ago — shot in the face by an impromptu stalker just for being who he was — and so the latest Greenwich Village New York City hate crime is now on the police blotter, written in blood on a public sidewalk.
I love coffee, and when the weather gets particularly warm I make the switch over to iced coffee — never mind the fact that I have been told for years that you should drink hot drinks when it is hot outside and cool drinks when it is cool. I prefer a cold drink. For the most part I have almost always gotten both kinds of coffee from Starbucks, which is quite easy when you’re in Manhattan — there is almost always one or five within a few blocks of your location.
I have a variation on the following conversation each evening after I finish teaching. I enter my local deli, order my standard vegetable sandwich, and the sandwichmaker grills me about my soup choices. It doesn’t seem to matter to him that I don’t ever want the soup — even when they have vegetable soup, I don’t want soup because the soup is too salty — and every time he presses me into taking soup I do not want or need. The deli is the only place that’s open late by the time I get home and they do make a delicious veggie sandwich.
On Monday evening, I attended a concert at the Bowery Ballroom — it was The Mountain Goats with opening band Matthew E. White. There were a number of occasions when I could not help but notice people being not just a little impolite but outright rude and I think that it is high time that you, if you are unaware, learn exactly how, you too, can join the ranks of people being rude at concerts.