Saturday, September 25, 2010

Shirin Neshrat "Passage."

Lolo writes: Blott spent a couple of days up here in the city with me. We went to the SFMOMA and saw the "Fisher Exhibit." There was a film piece by an Iranian woman, Shirin Neshrat. It was called "Passage."  Blott couldn't take it. She left and I stayed to see the entire piece. It was incredibly moving. It had a Philip Glass score and was approximately 15 minutes long. If there is any way that you can view it online, I suggest you do it. It was so powerful that I started to cry uncontrollably. The film was of a funereal procession in a very stark and foreboding environment, where the desert meets the sea. There were 150 men dressed in black carrying a shrouded body on a stretcher in a highly choreographed manner all around the dessert. In the distance, a circle of women in chadors dig through the rough sand and rock with their bare hands creating a burial mound in which to put the corpse. A young girl sits  in the foreground mimicking the circle of women building a miniature rock mound with small stones, then a wall of fire is ignited and unites the entire piece.

It sure is hard. Death is always hard. The inevitable. No escape. 

Greetings from atop Mount Davidson/self portrait with skull head /HALLOWEEN my favorite time of year/.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury

These are not good times for some of our dearest friends. The title of Blot's email "told by an idiot, full of sound and fury" says it all:


The queen, my lord, is dead.


She should have died hereafter;
There would have been a time for such a word.
To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
To the last syllable of recorded time,
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

A bit of Atlanta economics in numbers

In "NY hedge fund partner trying to convert Atlanta ‘red' land into green space |" Michael Messner, a 1976 Georgia Tech civil engineering graduate, says:

Over the past 10 years, government policies pushed vast over-investment in useless, unproductive commercial and residential development. Total real estate values reached $45 trillion, then fell by $15 trillion; the whole U.S. stock market is worth $14 trillion.

Atlanta’s retail vacancy rate is 13 percent, one of the highest in the nation. The Atlanta region has vacant office space equivalent to 24 empty Bank of America towers, the largest office building in the Southeast. Over 30 percent of homes with mortgages were in negative equity at the end of 2009, leading to one of the highest foreclosure rates in the country.

Because of this, Georgia leads the nation in bank failures. The city has lost over 30,000 construction jobs in the last three years. Atlanta has vacant lots selling for 25 cents on the dollar. Commercial real estate transactions are down 90 percent from 2006, so there is no liquidity in the market.

And Atlanta is park-poor. Less than 5 percent of its area is parkland; it is among the lowest metros in green space per resident.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Brainless Fish in Topless Bar

One of persistent urban legends eating brains of MBAs is the story of critters that allegedly eat their own brains out, in a manner of high academic administrators. Debunked here:
Brainless Fish in Topless Bar | Fast Company