Wednesday, November 22, 2017

THE SECRET (BUT HEALTHY!) DIET POWERING KYRIE AND THE NBA

from the Bleacher Report:



Chicken wings are vanishing from the locker room. Superstars are slimming down—and speeding up. If 'skinny ball' has arrived, could the performance-enhancer sparking a revolution be...veganism?
The M-V-P chants shower Kyrie Irving as he toes the line for two free throws. The point guard is putting the finishing touches on a 35-point masterpiece against the Atlanta Hawks, and the crowd bellows with praise from every corner of the arena.

This kind of hero worship is commonplace for the star of the home team having a good night. Except this is an away game for Kyrie. The Celtics are playing in ATL, not Boston.

Irving is that good. He looks like a Harlem Globetrotter and Houdini all in one, darting and dazzling through Atlanta double-teams from start to finish. Down the stretch, he's masterful. When the Hawks go up 100-99 with 3:07 remaining, Irving single-handedly outscores them the rest of the way to help ice the game for his new team. He walks off the floor, untying his Nikes and handing them to a throng of adoring fans.

It's around this time that LeBron James grabs his phone and sets the basketball world ablaze.

After the M-V-P chants for Irving, James feels compelled to type "Mood…" into his Instagram and posts that meme of Arthur the Aardvark's clenched fist. Whether it was LeBron's intent to nod to Kyrie or not, the post makes it clear: Irving is right there, on top of the basketball world circa November 2017.

It might be too early to talk about Irving's MVP candidacy, but there's something different about Kyrie right now. His already skinny frame is noticeably trimmer—gaunt, almost. But he's outlasting everybody—not just the Hawks.

In late-game situations while other players are gassed, Irving has looked bouncier than ever. So far this season, in clutch situations (games within five in the final five minutes), his numbers are unfathomable. In 24 minutes of action, he's tallied 41 points on 57 percent shooting while handing out seven assists with no turnovers. Yes, that's 41 points in what amounts to one half of basketball.

This development has caught the eye of some basketball people and health fanatics around the NBA. Why? After a preseason game on ESPN, Irving announced something intriguing to Chauncey Billups and the NBA Countdown crew, who noticed how much...thinner he looked:

"Been on more of a plant-based diet, getting away from the animals and all that," Irving told the broadcast team. "I had to get away from that. So my energy is up; my body feels amazing."

So, is it possible that the secret to Irving's hot start is...that he's gone vegan? B/R Mag asked him just that.

"I think we can credit that in the win column," Irving told me after the Hawks game, rocking a gray sweatshirt inside a slim-tailored navy suit. "We lost the first two games, won the last nine games. I haven't changed any diet. I don't plan on changing anything in my diet. It's working out great so far."



Indeed, the Celtics are now an NBA-best 13-2, ripping off 13 straight wins without the injured Gordon Hayward, thanks in part to Irving's heroics.

"He's had great energy all year," Boston coach Brad Stevens says of Irving. "The nutrition side is huge."

The only other player with more clutch points than Irving this season? That would be Damian Lillard, who—you don't say!—went vegan this offseason, too, dropping almost 10 pounds in the process.

"I wanted to eat cleaner," Lillard told The Oregonian this offseason. "Also I want to play lighter this year and be easier on my joints and feet. I'm getting older, you know what I mean?"

Irving and Lillard aren't the only ones. Wilson Chandler, Al Jefferson, Garrett Temple, Enes Kanter, JaVale McGee and Jahlil Okafor have all made the switch to a vegan or vegetarian diet in the past year or so. For the uninitiated, vegans don't eat animals or animal-derived products like eggs or milk. A vegetarian can order the omelette with cheese; a vegan goes for the oatmeal with soy milk.

The rise of plant-based diets in the NBA follows a worldwide uptick in meat-free meals. According to research firm GlobalData's report, 6 percent of U.S. consumers identify as vegan, up from just 1 percent in 2014. In the United Kingdom, veganism rose by 350 percent from 2006 to 2016, largely from the country's younger demographics.

And now some of the NBA's very best have ditched meat. So, is veganism the NBA's new performance-enhancing diet? Is this even a thing? Or is it just an empty-calorie fad aligned with the league's shifting stars and skinny point guards?

Harvard stat gurus have discovered a trend in the NBA. The study, published November 1 by the Harvard Sports Analysis Collective in a blog post titled "Maybe We Should Call It Skinny-Ball," found that there has been a subtle shift in the league: Teams are getting faster…and lighter.

It's a recent phenomenon. The weight of the league (adjusted for minutes played) rose by seven pounds per player from 2000 to 2013, but has fallen three pounds on average per player over the last four years.

While small ball has become a leaguewide buzzword, there is no evidence that the NBA is actually getting shorter. But skinnier? Now we're talking. And the link is stronger for the faster teams.

"This may seem like an incredibly obvious result," the Harvard analytics group concluded, "but it highlights another efficiency that NBA teams have gravitated toward in the last five years. Teams are slimming down and using their athletic advantages to run the heavier teams off the floor."

This result, however, might be surprising once you look at the bigger picture. The league is richer than ever by a count of billions, but the players aren't responding to the surge of cash by getting fat and lazy. They're going the opposite direction, cutting weight and getting faster.

The change has been seismic. According to Basketball Reference tracking, the league-average pace (estimated number of possessions per game) is higher than it's been since 1989. It's more of an up-and-down game built on speed and quick decisions. It's true, however, that teams are generally faster in the opening month before season-long fatigue kicks in. So far, the median team pace is 101 possessions per game. Looking at pace just in November, that's still six possessions faster than it was 10 years ago, and 11 possessions faster than it was in 1996-97.

In fact, the league's fastest team in 1996-97 would be the slowest in today's NBA—by a wide margin:

Fastest team in 1996-97 (76ers): 95.34 possessions per 48 minutes
Slowest team in 2017-18 (Grizzlies): 97.76 possessions per 48 minutes
Get this: The average NBA team covers about 3,000 feet of extra ground per game than it did just four years ago, per player-tracking metrics on NBA.com. Or about a half-mile every night. Why?

Call it Warriors copycatting. Quick pace and even quicker threes. Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban explains this meteoric rise in pace succinctly: "Because it works."

And few players represent this speedy shift more than Irving. This season, his average speed has jumped by 0.30 mph, or 26 feet of extra ground per minute on the floor. Among players averaging 30 minutes per game this season, it's the second-highest acceleration year-over-year.

For Kyrie, most of that increased speed has come on the defensive end of the floor. And that activity has led to results. Long perceived as a poor defender, Irving now ranks top five in both steals and deflections this season. And the Celtics are the league's top defense by a mile.

David Griffin was Irving's general manager for three years in Cleveland and the vice president of basketball operations when the team drafted Irving No. 1 overall in 2011. Griffin isn't surprised at all by Irving's commitment to vegan food or his energized defensive contributions.

"Kyrie is one of the most—what's the word? 'Stubborn' isn't the right word. He's really convicted," Griffin tells B/R Mag. "If Kyrie decides he's going to do something, it's going to get done. He's really one of those guys who I think has the ability to do anything he puts his mind to."

Irving would get 10 assists before halftime just to prove he could do it—and then go right back into scoring mode. When the Cavs won the 2016 NBA Finals, Irving averaged 2.1 steals and blocked as many shots in the final five games as any Warriors player (five).

"Kyrie is absolutely capable of being a menace defensively," Griffin says. "He can be completely unscreenable if he wants to be."

With his new team in Boston, Irving attributes this energetic output to his nutritional inputs. Call it energy enlightenment.

"It works," Irving tells B/R Mag. "I mean, I'm not eating a whole bunch of animals anymore. Once you become awake, you don't see that stuff anymore."

John Salley opens our conversation about veganism talking about dead basketball players. The four-time NBA champion wastes no time getting to the point, rattling off a stat about how many former players recently died early. The names are piling up. And Salley believes healthier diets could have helped prevent tragedy.

Sean Rooks, 46. Fab Melo, 26. Moses Malone, 60. Darryl Dawkins, 58. Jerome Kersey, 52. Anthony Mason, 48. Jack Haley, 51. Christian Welp, 51. Joe C. Meriweather, 59. Robert Traylor, 34. Devin Gray, 41. Armen Gilliam, 47. Orlando Woolridge, 52. Pat Cummings, 55.

"The oldest being Moses, 60 years old."

And that is just since 2011.

Salley brings this up because he's a vegan who is worried about the health of NBA athletes and their lifestyle. He applauds the league and the union for initiating last year what he calls a "life-saving" heart-screening program for former NBA players. Salley is one of the most vocal leaders in pro-vegan lifestyle. In 2015, Salley penned a letter to Michelle Obama, challenging her to go vegan.

"Vegan eating is not just a slam dunk for human health; it's also the most effective way to combat climate change," Salley wrote, citing a 2010 report from the United Nations, which has since been removed from the UN's website.



When Salley was 27 years old, a doctor told him if he ate animal fat, it was going to block his arteries. "And us being so tall, it's not good to have it blocked all the way down these long legs," says Salley, who is 6'11".

That's when Salley started doing his homework and soon went vegetarian to try to avoid artery-clogging food.

"It makes all the sense in the world why the elephant is an herbivore," Salley says. "Elephants, gorillas, giraffes are herbivores. Huge bodies, they can't process animal flesh.''

Salley insists that many African-American eating habits remain the result of slavery-era circumstances.

"They used to make us eat chitterlings—the intestines of the pig—because we weren't allowed to eat the bacon," he says. "We ate pigs' feet because they cut them off after they walked in their own shit and they didn't want to eat the thing. And we would grab them, wash them and pickle them because we had nothing else.

"Only because it was what we were forced to do, it became natural. And that's where we run into this huge problem."

Salley is talking on the phone from the set of his latest film, Detox Your Life, when he brings up another health movie, Netflix's What the Health. The pro-vegan documentary takes on the big-food industry, claiming that meat, fish, poultry and dairy are together making us obese, giving us cancer and essentially injecting toxins into our bodies.

"If you ever see that movie and you still eat meat," Salley says, "then you're just stupid."

This past summer, Sacramento Kings guard Garrett Temple found out about the Netflix doc through his buddies' group chat. They were picking a spot to go eat wings, but his best friend opted out.

"Nah, I don't mess with those no more," Temple's buddy texted.

Why, Temple messaged back.

"You watched that documentary? I'm trying not to eat meat no more," his buddy replied.

Temple has always watched his diet. But give up chicken? That seemed extreme to a guy who already prided himself on his nutritional knowledge.

Now 31, Temple gave up red meat and pork five years ago thanks to—of all people—Ray Allen, the future Hall of Famer. Temple signed a training-camp contract with the star-studded Heat in 2012 and latched on to Allen, a fellow guard who, like Temple, was working his way into shape and Erik Spoelstra's playbook.

"The guy was 37 but looked 27," Temple says of Allen. "How does he stay in shape?"

Allen told him to stay away from the bacon and the beef. Temple hasn't touched the stuff since.

Temple didn't make the Heat's roster, but Allen's advice during that training camp stuck with him. Temple focused on leaner meats like chicken, turkey and fish. That is, until July 24, when he tweeted out in shock: "Watched the documentary "WHAT THE HEALTH" on Netflix. So eye opening!!!! Must watch."

Temple began diving in.

"Holy shit, can all this be really true?" he thought to himself.

Temple responded to a reply from a fan: "If we can't trust doctors to tell us the truth, who can we trust?"

What the Health may have been a wake-up call for NBA athletes like Temple. But the film generated an avalanche of critical reviews from doctors and nutritionists, who questioned the accuracy of some of its claims.

I got on the phone with former three-sport collegiate athlete Marie Spano, who is the sports nutritionist for the Atlanta Hawks, Atlanta Braves and Atlanta Falcons.

"The movie itself," she says, "there was so many ways that the science is misconstrued."

Still, Spano says she has seen a surge of athletes inquiring about the benefits of plant-based diets, which she sees as a net positive. In the last two years, veganism has "really picked up steam" with her athletes because of documentaries like What the Health and Food, Inc. More recently, she visited with the Braves' minor league system and got bombarded with questions from up and down the organization.

"They were all talking about it," Spano says. "That's when it hit me: Oh, my gosh, this is really a big thing."

Kip Andersen, the director of the What The Health documentary, says his friends joke that the NBA will soon be called the NVA, the National Vegan Association, because "that's how many players are going vegan or vegetarian."

Andersen stands by the claims of the film and directs critics to his website, whatthehealth.com, which provides scientific sources for all 137 of his facts stated in the film.



Denver Nuggets forward Wilson Chandler, who hasn't eaten animals for two years as part of his vegan lifestyle, says he made the switch to help save his NBA career after a string of injuries. He owes that change to former NBA player and fellow Detroit native Chris Douglas-Roberts, who is also vegan.

Chandler has a regimented meal schedule and preps food constantly, eating personally prepared meals six hours, three hours and one hour before every game. He even eats organic Honey Stinger waffle cookies at halftime to keep his energy and calories up.

"For athletes, it's tough," Chandler tells B/R Mag. "It's not a plant-based world."

Chandler drinks tart cherry juice every night before bed thanks to a nutritional tip from Orreco, a sports performance company that also serves the Dallas Mavericks.

Spano, the Hawks' nutritionist, recommends tart cherry juice for her players complaining of inflammation and general wear-and-tear. But she says going vegan may also be indirectly helping players because of what they're not eating. Many of her athletes preached the gospel of paleo, Whole30 and other trending diets, but were really just cutting out junk food.

"Well, you stopped drinking beer and eating Cheetos," Spano says. "Let's be real here."

Spano did read about Irving and Lillard's veganism, but she doubts that larger NBA players will be able to get rid of animal products entirely throughout an 82-game season.

"I've never known or seen anyone who's 250 pounds or higher that's on a vegan diet and can withstand a season like this," Spano says. "It could be possible, but it would have to be very well-planned."

Louise Burke, the head of nutrition at the Australian Institute of Sport, believes a vegan diet can provide all the nutritional needs of the typical NBA player. But the hectic NBA schedule may be prohibitive to keeping it up.

"The average basketball player is going to find it hard to choose from a training table organized for their omnivore teammates," Burke says. "They will also find it difficult to eat on the road, find restaurants and takeaways at small-town locations in the wee hours of the morning when they have finished a game, and meet requirements for nutrients that are harder to find in a vegan diet."

Vegan or vegetarian pro athletes may struggle with compensating for the amino acids that are found in animal proteins, but not in plant-based proteins. One essential amino acid for activating muscle-building proteins—leucine—is rich in beef, eggs and poultry. For the vegan NBA athlete losing muscle, she has a tip:

"Even adding eggs and dairy to make it vegetarian would go considerably far to helping meet requirements for energy, high-quality protein, calcium, iron, vitamin B-12 and others," Burke says.

Temple and Chandler both point to quicker recovery and more restful sleep as the biggest gains since they gave up animals for meals. Temple often gets ribbed by Kings teammates for his diet, but it helps that teammate Skal Labissiere is vegetarian.

"I love chicken wings, so I have those cravings every now and then," Temple says with a laugh. "It's a staple in the NBA locker room, at least once a week—somebody gets wings after a road game. They clown on me just for trying to be healthy."

Temple is posting career-high marks in scoring, three-point shooting and player efficiency rating this season. He's not planning to go back to eating animals any time soon.

"It's just my energy level," Temple says. "I feel great. I honestly don't do it for the animals. I do it for my body. I just feel good. I feel real good."

Standing in front of a Saran-wrap-covered wok full of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in Atlanta's visitors locker room, Irving insists that the What the Health documentary wasn't what caused him to change his diet.

"Nah," Irving says. "I started becoming more in touch with myself. I did my own research."

Irving isn't the only Celtic who's committed to staying away from animal flesh. In the other corner of the locker room stands Jaylen Brown, who hasn't eaten red meat or pork for his entire life. In college at Berkeley, Brown went full-on vegetarian, but he's found it harder to stick to it "outside of Cali." The 21-year-old plans to go vegan by his 25th birthday.



"That's my goal," Brown says. "I just want to do it. I just think it's a healthier lifestyle. Maybe it can give me a competitive edge on the basketball floor. I think that's the next step."

As he's saying this, Al Horford shouts a protest in his ear.

"An-i-mal protein! An-i-mal protein!" Horford booms.

Brown turns to Horford, a native of the Dominican Republic.

"No, gracias," Brown replies.

A competitive edge from plant-based diets? Kyrie's a believer. He notes that his 35-point effort in ATL came on the second night of a back-to-back, a circumstance that had habitually plagued him in his career. For instance, last season Irving shot just 32 percent from three-point range on zero days' rest compared to 42 percent in all other games.

Irving gathers his stuff and walks out of the locker room with some meatless tacos in a white takeout box. He remarks that his favorite vegan spot in Boston so far is the salad chain Sweetgreen, but he's on the lookout for more. No more team dinners taking down steak.

"Steak? Nah, I don't eat that," Irving says as a parting shot. "It doesn't come from anything natural, so why would I eat it?"

As he walks down the Philips Arena tunnel, some taco sauce from the takeout box in Kyrie's hand drips onto his pristine white sneakers. He smiles, grabs a paper napkin, wipes it off and tosses it in the trash. Clean.




Tuesday, November 21, 2017

How technology's built in "engagement maximization" destroys mental health in the Trump age, and what to do about it



from Boing Boing:
We live in a weaponized news-cycle, a political moment in which a cadre of ruthless looters are destroying the world, magnified by technology's design ethic that uses experimental methodologies to maximize "engagement" (that is, how much attention you give to a tool or application), without any regard to whether your "engagement" is driven by pleasure or anxiety.

My Trumpism survival strategy is to only engage with the news and politics when I can be reflective -- when I can look up the backstory, connect it with other ideas, and write things on Boing Boing or make notes to myself, putting myself in charge of the news-cycle -- and to never engage with media when I'm reactionary, that is, when I can't stop, research and consider the nature of the news.

But the technology defaults of "engagement maximization" run directly contrary to this tactic, by jamming reaction-inducing headlines in your eyeballs at every conceivable moment, for the express purpose of diverting you from the task you're completing and hooking you into an anxious set of taps, clicks, likes and arguments.

For example: the Android home screen search bar. By default, tapping in this bar drops down a list of top searches from this moment. Inevitably, these are searches that portend catastrophe, e.g., "trump nuclear war threat." That's because Android's algorithm for choosing top searches has maximized engagement, and these are the kinds of searches that drive further searching.

But you don't go to a searchbar on your pocket-computer to find out about current affairs. The very nature of search is task-oriented. This top searches "feature" exists solely to derail you from your search, because search is not an "engagement" activity: by its nature, it is a closed-loop activity. You want to know a fact. You look up the fact. You leave the search box. The only way to "improve search engagement" is to hijack the user's attention.

Here's the straw that broke the camel's back: I was out for dinner with a friend. We were looking at the menu and spotted an unfamiliar sauce. The server was busy, so I took out my phone and tapped the search-box to look up the sauce's ingredients. Tap: trump nuclear war threat. Zomgwereallgonnadierunhide. I looked up the sauce, put my phone back in my pocket and tried to resume my conversation. The whole dinner, though, was derailed by my thoughts returning, over and over again, to the deliberate anxiety provocation Android had punched me in the face with. Will we be dead before dinner is done?

Once you recognize this pattern, you'll see it everywhere. The Android weather app does it, because it is "weather and news" and tapping the weather icon in the morning to find out if I needed to remind my kid to bring a jacket to school meant being punched in the face with at least five variations on trump nuclear war threat. Our morning school walks went from being a sweet 15 minutes of daddy-daughter time when we told stories or talked about homework or upcoming family activities to a sweaty race to drop the kid off to find out if we'd all be dead by lunchtime.

It turns out that there's a deeply buried preference to turn off suggesting "top searches" in Android, but there's no way to get the weather app to stop punching you in the face. You can turn off all the headline categories in "News & Weather" except "Top headlines," which is a euphemism for trump nuclear war threat.

I've reclaimed my search bar and replaced the weather app. We can't afford to disengage from the news in the Trump era, because we need to seize this moment of dislocation to smash Trumpism and begin the urgent work of saving our planet, species and society. But there's a difference between reflection and reaction, between engaging on your terms and being repeatedly punched in the face by an algorithm.

Monday, November 20, 2017

School of Life Monday:
Why Old Friends Matter

We all have people in our lives that we’d never start a friendship with today if we met them for the first time – but that nevertheless matter immensely to us. An essay on the importance of old friends.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Run- DMC on Graffiti Rock from 1984


One of the greatest Hip Hop performances ever on TV:

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Amplified: THE SPECIALS

Ska legends re-unite, conquering racism and mental illness. The inside story from Terry Hall, Lynval Golding and Horace Panter.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Jony Ive on the Authentic Pursuit of Excellence
and
Jerry Seinfeld on Coming Out as funny

from the New Yorker:

Jony Ive, Apple’s chief design officer, speaks with David Remnick about the art of focus and working with Steve Jobs.



Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Barbara Kruger’s Supreme Performance

from the New Yorker "Culture Desk"


In 1927, back when fonts were still little metal glyphs in heavy wooden cases, the German company Bauer Type Foundry opened an office in New York City and launched a new typeface called Futura. The optimistic, sans-serif font was a hit, but the import tariffs of the Great Depression soon strained the available supply. To meet demand, American foundries launched their own faux Futuras, with names like Twentieth Century and Vogue. During the Second World War, Futura languished abroad as its ripoffs, the typographic equivalent of “freedom fries,” filled American pages. By the time the font was welcomed back, in the fifties, its fakes had secured a legacy in its image. Futura was a shorthand for modernity and hope, a staple in ads for the sleek consumer goods designed for the postwar suburban middle class.

A few years later, in the mid-nineteen-sixties, Barbara Kruger was losing her enthusiasm for art school, so she left and took a job at Condé Nast, designing mail-order ads for the back of Mademoiselle. She returned to making art in the seventies, weaving hangings from ribbon and bits of metallic yarn as an exploration of “women’s work,” but felt it was frivolous. In the fall of 1976, she went to teach at the University of California, Berkeley, and shortly thereafter turned to collage, reviving the skills that she’d honed as an ad designer. This work paired scenes from banal consumer life with text that reframed the implied motives of her subjects. In one black-and-white work, from 1979, a woman reading Marie Claire appears beside the headline “deluded.” In 1981, Kruger’s art appeared in a group show titled “Public Address,” alongside work by Jean-Michel Basquiat and Jenny Holzer. There, she débuted her now iconic style: white Futura text in red boxes.

In 1990, Kruger made what would become her most well-known work, which features a model’s hand holding a red box that reads, “I Shop Therefore I Am.” Since then, her red-and-white Futura has filled the lower lobby of the Hirshhorn Museum, in Washington, and hovered over the breasts of a naked Kim Kardashian on the cover of W (“It’s all about me I mean you I mean me”). What began as a way of subverting the vernacular has become a part of the vernacular itself. Like the Absolut Vodka ads of the eighties, Kruger’s format is easily copied by anyone with a computer and a yearning for subversion. In 1994, the downtown streetwear brand Supreme cribbed Kruger’s red-and-white Futura for its logo—teasing the boundary between homage, parody, and theft. Supreme has earned international appeal by releasing weekly product “drops,” including T-shirts, sweatshirts, boxing gloves, bolt cutters, and, this past February, a limited-edition MetroCard, which draw long lines outside Supreme stores. (Original fans lambaste the non-skating arrivistes as “hypebeasts.”) In 2013, Supreme sued the clothing brand Married to the Mob for infringing on its red-and-white Futura logo. “What a ridiculous clusterfuck of totally uncool jokers,” Kruger told Complex, when asked for her response to the lawsuit. “I make my work about this kind of sadly foolish farce. I’m waiting for all of them to sue me for copyright infringement.”

Last week, Kruger, who is seventy-two, installed five new works in red-and-white Futura as part of this year’s Performa biennial. The commission includes a billboard in Chelsea, a roving yellow school bus, a limited-edition MetroCard, and an installation at the skatepark in Coleman Square Playground, which pose questions like “Who owns what?” on red vinyl decals wrapping the ramps. The installation seems to nod at Supreme in a way that is more than oblique or accidental, and yet Kruger was reluctant to confirm that the work was meant as a direct address to the brand. “The whole idea of streetwear being branded and corporatized is only something that’s emerged with this sort of power over the past fifteen to eighteen years,” she told me over the phone last week. “I think it’s sort of interesting, and it’s very complicated but compelling, that my work and ideas and visuality have been drawn into so many sites of communication.” Kruger has a savvy, forthright way of speaking. She brackets loaded words with “quote-unquote” to suggest a degree of eye-rolling distance. When I asked about the Supreme lawsuit, she said, “I thought it was so amusing. Here are these people, so cool—like, you know, totally rad, out of the bubble—and there they are suing each other on the most conventional, proprietary, monetary level.” She paused. “I really make my work about those kind of moments. I tried to reply on that level in three sentences,” she said, referring to her “clusterfuck” comment. “It has nothing whatsoever to do with Supreme quote ‘ripping me,’ unquote. They’ve been doing that forever. I don’t care!”

The centerpiece of the Performa commission is Kruger’s first live performance, a recurring event titled “Untitled (The Drop).” Last Thursday, outside a former American Apparel store in SoHo, a line of guests for the opening stretched around the block. Hired bouncers managed the crowds. A woman in Pucci sneakers asked to skip ahead, but was sent to the back like everyone else. Two teen skateboarders did ollies in the street; it was hard to tell if they were part of the performance.

One woman with bleached-blond hair told a friend, “Now I just feel like one of those teen-agers in line for Supreme. It’s making me feel really embarrassed.” Five minutes later, she got frustrated and left. The line continued its slow creep forward. Patrons left the storefront with brown shopping bags. Visitors would be allowed ten minutes in the space, and purchases were limited to only two items. “Maybe they’ll be selling skateboards,” one man hoped.

Inside the store, the set was arranged to look like a store. Everyone clumped at the door to take photos of the red-and-white Futura items for sale, including an embroidered beanie with the phrase “Want it Buy it Forget it” (forty dollars) and T-shirts that read “Whose hopes? Whose fears? Whose values? Whose justice?” (forty-five dollars). The man bought his skateboard deck (sixty-five dollars). A sign, in Futura, hanging by the register said that the proceeds would benefit Performa. Near the door, a woman took a selfie. Outside, the line had doubled in length. It was hard to tell exactly who was ripping whom.
Jamie Lauren Keiles is a freelance writer.

ALSO NOTE AT THE "BARBARA KRUGER DROP" on saturday:
Saturday at 1pm at 427 Broadway, New York City



As Performa 17 examines the sociopolitical context informing contemporary art today, with work examining immediate and critical concerns confronting our urban centers, the shifting political and cultural currents of our world today, and the role of the arts and of artists in supporting afflicted communities, Heavy Discussion v.3 examines skateboarding through a female perspective, reflecting on skateboarding as an art and women in skateboarding as the afflicted community. Due to major political and cultural shifts within that community, including the recent induction of skateboarding in the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Olympic games, increased normalization of skateboarding in popular culture increasing female participation, and expanding corporate interest, now is a perfect time to foster dialogue.

Panelists / Alexis Sablone / Kea Duarte / Sara Kay / Jaime Reyes / Elissa Steamer

Monday, November 13, 2017

School of Life Monday:
"How to Make a Decision"

Life constantly forces us to make very big and often very painful decisions. When we are next facing such a choice, here is a small exercise that could help us to know our own minds more clearly.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Sunday with Svenonius

His new project ESCAPE-ISM (videos)







From the album Introduction to Escape-ism, out November 10, 2017 on Merge Records. http://smarturl.it/escape-ism

bonus :
tracks from earlier in 2017



Saturday, November 11, 2017

When A 60-something Feminist Artist [Beat Down]
Overgrown [Wannabe] Skaters


I make it clear over the years that the brand discussed in this article is on my shit list. In fact no one is allowed to come into one of my exhibitions if they are wearing anything with the name on their person or board. Nor will I photograph anyone no matter how talented if they are supporting this bullshit brand. They have stolen from me and other artists and friends. They are the antithesis of cool, they are SHIT.



from The CUT

I Think About This a Lot:
When a 60-Something Feminist Artist Dragged Overgrown Skaters
By Kat Stoeffel
The best insult I’ve ever heard came out of one of the most trivial news stories I’ve ever followed.

The story involves the cult skatewear line Supreme, in the years before it was fashion-relevant, back when it was just an expensive hobby for rich teens and cool dads.

Important historical context: Before Supreme partnered with Louis Vuitton, it ripped them off. In 2000, Louis Vuitton sent Supreme a cease-and-desist letter when their trademark showed up on skateboards. So did other entities whose logos Supreme used on hoodies and jackets, such as the NHL and the NCAA.

These days, Supreme doesn’t steal, it collaborates. But intellectual property theft is in its DNA. The white Futura on a red box logo is “inspired” by 72-year-old artist Barbara Kruger, who uses an identical text treatment to collage anti-capitalist, anti-authoritarian maxims over 1950s advertising-style black-and-white photographs.

In May of 2013 — decades after Supreme started slinging T-shirts with a bootleg Kruger logo — Kruger made her opinion of Supreme known. The circumstances of this event involve in-group drama that is tedious to recount — an ouroboros of cringe. But the outcome was one of the sickest burns since “virgin who can’t drive,” so bear with me.

A rival clothing company run by young women was selling hypebeast parody items, beanies that said “Supreme Bitch” and the like. Supreme tolerated Supreme Bitch until they tried to trademark “Supreme Bitch,” at which point Supreme sued the makers of* Supreme Bitch for $10 million for stealing the logo Supreme stole from another woman. The whole thing made me want to look away. Thank god I didn’t, because Foster Kamer, an editor for Complex at the time, had the good sense to ask Kruger (the Ur-bitch?) for a comment.

Kruger’s response was a blank email with a Microsoft Word document attached, file name “fools.doc.” What fools.doc contained gave me the words to understand the Supreme v. Supreme Bitch feud. It also gave me the tools to analyze the many inconsequential imbroglios that would follow.

“What a ridiculous clusterfuck of totally uncool jokers,” Kruger wrote. “I make my work about this kind of sadly foolish farce. I’m waiting for all of them to sue me for copyright infringement.”

I think about fools.doc about once a week. The absence of digital niceties in Kruger’s statement sends a chill of awe down my spine. My own file names have since become tributes to its evocative brevity (bummer$$.xls, doneforever.pdf).

But mostly, I think about “what a ridiculous clusterfuck of totally uncool jokers,” because it is a perfect insult. Kruger didn’t call Supreme thieves or Supreme Bitch opportunists and, in her amusement and restraint, did more damage than the most hyperbolic flame war. Engaging with petty drama is a way of validating it. WARCOTUJ dismisses an entire situation without even bothering to differentiate the players.

Husband’s tribute to curvy wife sparks backlash?

Animal shelter slams Lena Dunham’s abused dog farewell post?

Ted Cruz staffer faves porn tweet?

You don’t need an opinion, all you need are eight words: “What a ridiculous clusterfuck of totally uncool jokers.” Repeat and keep scrolling.

WARCOTUJ is equally useful in one’s personal life. I think of it when a minor workplace conflict devolves into reply-all hell (“just jumping in here … ”) or when a party I wasn’t invited to turns into an Instagram photo shoot. I thought it of myself one recent Saturday morning, when I waited in line (in 90-degree heat with no cover) for an indie, luxury-candle sample sale.

On a deeper level, I love WARCOTUJ because it’s a feminist critique of Supreme. Supreme’s use of logos isn’t an earnest, Adbusters-style commentary or a clever fashion world send-up à la Comme des Fuckdown. Call it a ripoff, an homage, or a collaboration, Supreme’s style of straight-up appropriation is evasive. It’s a way of signifying something without actually coming out and saying anything.

Supreme relies on obscurity to retain an aura of cool — sending hypebeasts racing to prove they “get” its references. Kruger’s popularity, meanwhile, is a function of her legibility. Lines like “I shop therefore I am” and “Your body is a battleground” transform the appropriation of familiar images from a commentary for the benefit of other art-world insiders into something accessibly meaningful and politically powerful.

Kruger’s quotability feels inextricable from her being a woman artist. At least, it doesn’t strike me as a coincidence that so many prominent female artists — Kruger, Jenny Holzer, Tracey Emin — use text in their art. Or that after a female celebrity turns 50, she becomes a beacon of DGAF candor. If you can’t count on being heard, you can’t risk being misunderstood.

I don’t want to jinx it, but it does suddenly feel like they’re being heard. Holzer’s “Abuse of power comes as no surprise” has become a rallying cry in the art world’s reckoning with its own Weinsteins. Kruger, meanwhile, is headlining the performance-art fair Performa 17, and her pieces all seem designed to mimic Supreme. In addition to a Kruger “takeover” of a Lower East Side skatepark and a Kruger Soho pop-up shop (billed as a performance) with around-the-block lines and strict item limits, the MTA is releasing a limited-edition line of MetroCards printed with her provocative questions — a better version of a stunt Supreme pulled earlier this year.

So you can find me at one of the four subway stops said to have Kruger cards, waiting in line with all the other fangirls, trying all the machines, messing up your commute. You know what to do. Say to yourself — what a ridiculous clusterfuck of totally uncool jokers — and walk on by.

SUPREME: WE FOLD SHIRTS WELL

THIEVES OF CULTURE, MAKING SUCKERS OUT OF ANYONE WHO WEARS THEIR PRODUCT OR COVETS THE BRAND: SUCKERS




also from ARTSY : I Went to Barbara Kruger’s First-Ever Performance—and Left with a Skateboard

Friday, November 10, 2017

Nadya of Pussy Riot on MSNBC

Nadya Tolokonnikova from the Russian punk music and protest group Pussy Riot joins MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell to discuss the similarities and differences between President Trump and Vladimir Putin and to share her advice for the American resistance.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Lots of my Video interviews and more
can be seen on the Burning Flags Press
Vimeo page


https://vimeo.com/burningflags







From the Paradigm Magazine "Rear Window" series of interviews by Theo Constantinou, filmed by Eric Ashleigh, in January 2012 on a freezing day walking around New York City's East Village.

Theo's introduction:

There was this book I had seen when I was in high school called Fuck You Heroes, by Glen E. Friedman. That book and those memories, prior to Google images and blogs, was where I saw every iconic punk and skate image that shaped my 15 year old mind, ethos and approach to skateboarding. I knew before I wrote my interview with Glen that I could gear the questions primarily towards his photographs, and we could talk for hours about those images and their impact on not only myself, but the other like minded punks I knew over a decade ago. What I was thinking about while writing this interview with Glen, is the same thing I think about when I write each of my interviews now; how can I push the scope of what Glen will talk to me about if I ask him something that will alter not only the way I think of something, but maybe inspire, like Glen’s photographs, some 15 year old kid’s perspective from my interview with him. For me, that is exactly what happened: an altered perspective and a motto to remember everyday while trying to achieve one’s goals. “And that’s just all there is to it. Don’t care about what other people think about what you’re doing, if you’re inspired to do something, if you want to do something, if you have some kind of feeling that you should do something … then you should just do it; don’t let what other people’s preconceived ideas of good behavior, or whatever it is, limit you to thinking what you should and shouldn’t do.” If you are inspired to do something, do it. Don’t make excuses for yourself or let someone else tell you your inspiration is no good. Glen taught me a lot that day and continues to inspire, I hope this video does the same for you.



Paradigm Magazine:

http://paradigmmagazine.com



Paradigm Magazine's You Tube channel

http://www.youtube.com/user/ParadigmMagazine?feature=watch

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

We're building a dystopia just to make people click on ads (video)


We're building an artificial intelligence-powered dystopia, one click at a time, says techno-sociologist Zeynep Tufekci. In an eye-opening talk, she details how the same algorithms companies like Facebook, Google and Amazon use to get you to click on ads are also used to organize your access to political and social information. And the machines aren't even the real threat. What we need to understand is how the powerful might use AI to control us -- and what we can do in response.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Orange Death

meme by Martin Sprouce

Friday, November 3, 2017

"The days are long, but the years are short."

from Boing Boing:

Dad shares time-lapse of his daughter from birth to age 18 [and son to 14]
A Dutch filmmaker made a touching time-lapse video that journeys through his daughter Lotte's entire childhood, from birth to age 18.

Frans Hofmeester shared his "Portrait of Lotte, 0 to 18 years" on YouTube Friday in celebration of her birthday. The video's description reads:
To better understand the psychological phenomena of memory and time, Hofmeester sought for a concept that could be supported through the mediums of film and photography.

The time-lapses confront us with our mortality. In a montage of less than 6 minutes, the viewer can observe one of the most mysterious and profound processes in human life - to grow up and age.

Hofmeester attempts to create and preserve a sense of reality. Thus, the portraits are created without the use of extra make-up or filters - bare, honest, unpolished and uncensored.
Lotte's brother Vince's life is also being documented in this way, though he's still got four more years of portraits to go.


Thursday, November 2, 2017

get it, got It, good.

Another meme from old friend Martin Spouse:

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

meme of the day

from old friend Martin Spouse
mimicking old Go-Go graphics from Washington DC
and the record by Trouble Funk (listen below)!