Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Tear-gassing of the kitchen. Violent arrests, pepper spray and Vladimir Vysotsky.

      Morning Workout by Vladimir Vysotsky

           © Copyright Vladimir Vysotsky
           © Copyright english translation by Andrey Kneller
           Inhale deeply, arms--out more,
           Do not hurry--three and four!
           Grace and pliability are emphasized!
           All around conditioning,
           And hangover quickening,
           If you're still alive and fidgeting-
           If you're working out at home,
           Do lie down!--three and four!
           Correctly go through every single motion!
           Lose the tension that you feel,
           Get accustomed to the drill!
           Inhale deeply right until...
           Quickly growing 'round the world--
           Flu and illness--three and four!
           The disease is gradually flourishing!
           If you're weak--straight to the grave!
           If you want your wellness saved,
           With a towel rub yourself,
           It's nourishing!
           If already you feel spent,
           Sit and stand, sit and stand--
           Do not fear the Arctic and Antarctic!
           Our main scholar Dr. Joffe
           Proved to us that booze and coffee
           Will be replaced by athletic prophy--
           All the talking should be stopped
           Keep on squatting 'till you drop
           Do not be such gloomy creatures!
           If you cannot hold your ardor
           Rub yourself with something harder
           In the water, you can start the
           Drilled procedures
           We're not scared of doltish talk--
           In response we run and walk,--
           Amateurs--triumphant from the start!
           Beautiful!--right from beginning
           No one's losing, no one's winning
           Stationary running is bringing
           Peace to hearts!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

More Gas Can (Post-Apocalyptic New York Halloween)

What you will hear as the soundtrack of my Halloween video is the post-apocalyptic sound of a Gas Can Three-String Fretless Guitar. I recorded it with no real equipment and let the bathroom acoustics and video-editing accidents take care of the effects. The guitar itself is a prototype by Thomas Shelley, an old friend who sent it to me as a wedding present. He is a director at macheteMACHETE Contemporary Art (

Halloween is usually quite a production in my young family, but not this year. My wife got sick and we remained unmasked. No way I could have outdone last year's Ziggy Stardust with the wax in my eyebrows failing to make them look shaved and completely succeeding in giving me a Neanderthal Transvestite look...

Before she got sick I had suggested that we go out without dressing up for a change. She did not want to go to a party without a costume. "Have you ever spoken to those people?" she asked, meaning the unmasked ones. Of course if I did speak to them, I don't remember. Not the way I remember a Where the Wild Things Are "Wild Thing" exclusively invite us to a party the year we dressed like robots...

Among those willing to shatter their image, those who cling to theirs may, in fact appear boring. On my way to work at night in New York on Halloween in the subway I was in fact one of the very few representing "those people." Somehow I did not feel boring. I sort of fell into the role of the observer. I could stare at whoever I wanted, take a video of them, and they would appreciate it. Of course I didn't go for the posed pictures. You'll notice most of the clips in the video are candid. I made sure the masked weren't all trees in the forest that no being that is not fictional has seen. Being the only being that I'm sure enough is not fictional (when I'm not blogging), perhaps I should pretend every day is Halloween. It's not so hard to do that in New York.

Occupy Wall Street did not seem to have any Halloween decorations. When I stopped by really early in the morning after work I only saw two people that may have been dressed up. One had an oversized Afro and the other one had a French Resistance costume on - a beret and a red arm band. Unless... Wait, there was one guy with a home-made fox mask on. That was definitely a Halloween thing!