Avedon and Performance

In a recent post on The Moment, Judith Puckett-Rinella notes:

"I never get tired of looking at the photographs of Richard Avedon."

Oh, sing it again, Judith. Just look at this picture of Tina: strong, aggressive, masculine, sexy and alive. The Richard Avedon Foundation will be releasing a new book called Performance this year. It features those famous portraits of Turner, Marilyn Monroe and Brando, as well as dancers and from the sounds of it, models. I can't wait to get my hands on it.

This Week's New Rules

The Daily Show: Republican Hypocrisy


Pork Lovers, the Apocalypse is Coming

This May, Andy and I had a life-changing bowl of noodles in New York at David Chang's restaurant Momofuku Noodle Bar. Chang is a Korean American wunderkind who came out of top kitchens in the the States and France and won a bunch of awards. Now, if you drop his name in culinary circles, people will poo poo you because he's so popular, he was even on Charlie Rose (read: not that cool anymore).

Still, the food was highly memorable and people are going to his restaurants in droves. Chang''s even been named on of the most influential people of the 21st century so far. The secret? PORK PORK PORK.

Chang is largely regarded as one of the world's premiere lovers of pork (number two behind Andy). That's why it's come as a huge surprise that he urged Esquire readers to slow down on their bacon-loving ways. In the upcoming issue, he writes:

"At the hyperglobal megachains that feed most of America, the only way they'll be able to keep selling one-dollar hamburgers is to grow their "protein units" in petri dishes, add even more filler to their products, and outright enslave the workers whose backs they're already breaking to keep costs artificially low."

Mmm yes, Chang says more fruits and veggies. Especially interesting (and relatable) is how Chang explains the prominent place of meat in his diet growing up:

"Ever since my parents came to America in 1968, it has been meat and milk 24/7. They emigrated from war-ravaged Korea and, like Americans coming out of World War II, they couldn't believe--and didn't resist--the Crazy Eddie abundance of the American agricultural industry. As far as my parents are concerned, meat grows on trees."

More on "What the 21st Century Will Taste Like" here

The Hustler

Paul Newman, 83, Magnetic Hollywood Titan, Dies

“We are such spendthrifts with our lives,” Mr. Newman once told a reporter. “The trick of living is to slip on and off the planet with the least fuss you can muster. I’m not running for sainthood. I just happen to think that in life we need to be a little like the farmer, who puts back into the soil what he takes out.”

This Week's Special Read: The Genius of C.Ware

I'm not sure how to put into words what I think about Chris Ware's work. If you had a chance to check out KRAZY! at the Vancouver Art Gallery, you probably remember Ware's work. His posters are graphic labyrinths, that challenge the reader to keep up with the output from his encyclopaedic mind. It pushes the illustrated form into entirely new places, while still honoring the masters who came before him. I was most struck by a Thanksgiving cover he did for the New Yorker. Wanting more, I bought an edition of the Acme Novelty Library (vol. 18), which you can check out here.

It's not often I feel joy reading about a lonely amputee but Chris Ware touches something right. He is a mind that is unlike anyone else's out there. Brilliant storytelling and an ability to communicate loneliness that is rarely matched. I never thought a comic or graphic novel could be this good but here I am shouting it from the rooftops, "CHRIS WARE IS A GENIUS !"

This week, I picked up the 380-page monster that is his opus, Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth. Jimmy Corrigan is some what autobiographical. The hero is a man in his late thirties who meets his father for the first time. The story is interposed with the story of Jimmy's grandfather and his father, set against the opening of the Chicago World's Fair in 1893. Every page, every frame, every stroke is deliberate and mind-blowingly smart. Even the dust jacket is a full-sized poster that would take the average Joe a year to put together. I demolished Jimmy Corrigan, devoured it, delighted in it.

I'd give you a taste but I think it's best if you just go read it yourself.


Did you know that the Quebec film industry is actually self-sustaining? Yes, audiences in Quebec are actually fervent supporters of arts and culture in their province and they are proud fans of their locally produced television shows, radio programs and movies. I looked this up in Wikipedia to get my facts right and here's what they say:

"The popularity of homegrown French language films among Quebec audiences means that Quebec films are often more successful at the box office than English Canadian films — in most years, in fact, the top-grossing Canadian film of the year is a French language film from Quebec." [fact check!]

Not to mention, musicians in Quebec are thriving (as much as artists really can be). Here is Michel Rivard of the band Beau Dommage, singing a famous song, "Le Phoque en Alaska" (Trying saying "phoque" out loud). Though funding cuts cannot ever mean the death of culture, it does mean that artists will have to struggle harder to eek out a living, and the value of their work can not be quantified.

Extended Version:

The End of the Book?

I finally saw what an e-book reader looked like this February. I had been skeptical about a computer's ability to replicate the experience of reading but my mind was changed instantly. There's no doubt in my mind that this is is the way of the future. We can't buy Amazon's Kindle here in Canada but you can order Sony Readers off eBay or online. I got my hands on one of these and surprising, it's light, it's user-friendly, battery-friendly and it doesn't hurt your eyes. I've always loved books but it's about time we acknowledge that it's on it's way out, even if you love the tactile experience of a book. Things are changing quickly: how many iPhones have you seen lately? It's revolutionizing the way we thing about access to knowledge, art, entertainment, information and literature. It's only time before everyone has Wikipedia at their finger tips 24/7. I'm concerned about what this means for me, a book lover, a writer/editor and member of the publishing community. How will this change you?

Here is an article from New York Magazine that the publishing world is talking about. It asks, "Have We Reached the End of Book Publishing as We Know it?"


Chris Rock KILLS it on Larry King