Archive for October, 2008

VOTE! (for Obama)

Posted in The Fierceness on October 30, 2008 by jackmax2

Dear America,

Mine.

Mine mine mine.

Me Me Me Me Me Me Me!

Mine mine mine mine mine. Mine. Mine. Mine. Mine!

In conclusion: Fear fear fear fear. Very scary fear! And God.

Sincerely,

The Republican Party

P.S. If you liked Joseph McCarthy, you’ll love us!

Dear America,

We.

Us. We. Together. Americans. United States. The World.

Hope compassion equality inclusiveness competence.

Brains common sense community respect hard work accountability.

Serving the greater good.

Action change responsibility. More viewpoints, smarter solutions.

In conclusion: Yes we can.

Sincerely,

The Democratic Party.

P.S. Vote.

Pulled off the internet:

From Brent:

Due to the recent discovery of having an aggressive form of cancer, I’ll never vote again.  But thankfully I cast my last vote for whom I sincerely believe to the best and most consequential presidential candidate to ever appear on the ballot in all of my 53 years, Barack Obama.

Like many of members of this community, I’ve got decades worth of political experience in terms of volunteer work and more formal elective roles within the county and state Democratic parties – along with consulting and managing campaigns and even an eleven year stint in promoting our side on talk radio.

But this election year and the candidate we are championing simply seems to dwarf anything I’ve been involved with in the past.  Obviously a large part of that is due to the extraordinary abuse that the current regime has inflicted upon our country in the last eight years – but it’s also much larger than that.

Back in early 2006 when I was mentally constructing the attributes that our next presidential should bring to the table – one unusual need kept re-occurring to me.  Our next candidate needed to find a way in inject some Love into the process.  Not the typical “love of country” but the ability to project a genuine love for our fellow citizens into the mix.

Much to my surprise and despite all of the traditional concerns that this political veteran initially had – Barack Obama emerged as the precise type of candidate that these extraordinary times called for.  And that makes me happy beyond belief and provides me with the will and determination to live to election day and even a ways beyond.

So YES WE CAN emerge from the presidential political wilderness that we’ve been struggling with in the 40 years since 1968.  And YES WE CAN roll back the damage we’ve sustained during the last 8 – 28 years.

I know that this remarkable community is going to play a key role in not only getting us back to even – but through the genuine love contained in “Our Vision for America” that lies at the heart of the Daily Kos – you’ll be playing a major role in laying the foundation for the U.S. becoming a far better place to live and work than it ever was before.

Stay active and keep pushing those winning ideals.  I’ll be with you in spirit all the way!

Brent has promised me he’ll hold on for Election Day and even a few days afterward to savor the victory. So let’s GOTV like mad this weekend for Brent and everyone else whose life work have lead up to this historic moment.

Poster Boy NYC

Posted in The Fierceness on October 29, 2008 by jackmax2

I first heard of poster boy on a fellow blogger’s site about a year ago. I admired his nerve immediately. There’s something admirable about the obvious social consciousness of his work and the fact that he does it under a mask of anonymity. But just like British graffiti artist Banksy before him (I also love him), whose work is now fetching some steep British pounds, I guess I find it a bit ironic that it is precisely Poster Boy’s desire for anonymity that is garnering him so much attention.

If you’ve ever ridden in the subway here in New York, perhaps you’ve seen his work, if you’re lucky that is, to have caught sight of it before the MTA cops. New York Magazine recently did a quick, but thorough profile of the ad mauler, who by all accounts lived the typical life of an underprivileged inner city kid: single parent home, tough breaks & a criminal record that had him headed down all the wrong roads. Except that Poster Boy, who is all of 25 years old, had enough smarts and creativity to clean himself up and enroll in community college, then art school, from which he perfunctorily dropped out.

Apparently, he has some lofty, socially ambitious goals for his work, which has me raising an eyebrow. He wants to inspire others to do the same and start a decentralized art movement, where anyone can pick up an Exacto knife and assume the role of Poster Boy. It’s not that his art isn’t already doing what so many artists fail to achieve, to promote dialogue and awareness of serious social issues. I mean, here I am blogging about him, and I admit wholeheartedly to being a big fan of his art.

But I guess by the time Poster Boy does become a movement, I wonder if we’ll see his work hanging in a gallery. But then it won’t be for free and for a few stolen moments. It’ll be at a steep price, with a lot of zeroes behind it, you can be sure.

The article from NY mag:

(Photo: Christopher Anderson)

It’s a Thursday evening at the 23rd Street C/E station, and Nicolas Cage is undergoing an involuntarily face-lift. As commuters wait for their train, the subway-art manipulator known as Poster Boy stands in front of an ad for Cage’s Bangkok Dangerous, razor in hand, and traces a circle around the actor’s eyes, nose, and mouth. Cage’s face peels away as easily as a trading-card sticker, and Poster Boy carries it down the platform, where he’s been hacking away at a hot-pink poster promoting MTV’s high-school musical The American Mall. He’s been rearranging swatches of color, text, and body parts to alter the movie’s title (now The American Fall) and tagline (“Love and Dreams for Resale”). Poster Boy slices out the Mall moppet’s head, replacing it with Cage’s appropriately stunned expression. The entire process takes less than ten minutes.

Since January, the 25-year-old has manipulated about 200 underground posters, turning MTA stations into his own public galleries. His pieces are conceived on the spot, and while most subway-poster vandals limit themselves to all-caps obscenities, Poster Boy’s improvised mash-ups recall both the cut-and-paste aesthetic of old punk-show fliers and the fake ads that appeared in circa-seventies Mad magazine: In his hands, AT&T skyscrapers are turned into flaming World Trade Center towers and Heath Ledger becomes a ghostly anti-drug pitchman. Most of his work disappears quickly—MTA employees have even ripped down his work before he’s finished—but you can see it on his sporadically updated Flickr account.

The defacing of posters doesn’t sound particularly lofty, but Poster Boy—who, for obvious reasons, wishes to remain anonymous (vandalism is, after all, a crime)—has intentions that are surprisingly high-minded. The die-hard Fight Club fan hopes to start a decentralized art movement, one where anyone can claim to be Poster Boy. “No copyright, no authorship,” he says. “A social thing, as opposed to being an artist making things for bored rich people to hang above their couch.” That such a crusade might encourage vandalism doesn’t bother him. “Where I’m from, if you go by the book, it’s a very slow process to get what you want,” he says.

Poster Boy is reluctant to talk about his background, but a few details slip out: He was raised in a one-parent home in an East Coast neighborhood he compares to the South Bronx. He spent some of his teen years stealing cars and shooting out windows: “I’ve gotten arrested for a couple of little things.” He enrolled in community college, where he was exposed to Noam Chomsky, Lao Tzu, and George Orwell. “Books like Animal Farm and 1984 sparked something,” he says. “A new sense of independence, where I felt, I should take control of my environment.

In January of this year, after dropping out of a reputable art school, he began loitering around the cavernous subway stations that link his Bushwick apartment to his Chelsea-art-studio day job. “I was playing with the posters, cutting them up, ’cause I have to use razors a lot at my job,” he says. His earliest works were hastily assembled, full of floating heads and juxtaposed slogans. But by the spring he was incorporating social critiques, rearranging the Iron Man logo into IRAN=NAM, and altering an NYPD recruitment-drive poster to read MY NYPD KILLED SEAN BELL. “No matter what I do to the piece,” he says, “as long as I did something to those advertisements and that saturation, it’s political. It’s anti-media, anti–established art world.”

New York City has a long history of reactive ad-jamming, from Ron English’s illegal billboard pasteups to the “stickeriti” artist known as Violator of the Regime, who last fall altered nearly 30 subway ads for the CW’s Reaper, replacing the show’s cast members with twisted Photoshop caricatures of Bush, Cheney, and Rice (the show’s tagline, “Meet Satan’s Biggest Tools,” remained intact). But the ubiquity of digital cameras and Flickr streams means that artists like Poster Boy or the Decapitator—a London-based ad hack who replaces celebrities’ heads with bloody stumps—can instantly take their regional agitprop to a worldwide audience, an impossible feat for English in the eighties. “If we did [a billboard] in Texas, only the people that commuted down I-35 that day would see the thing,” English says. “Unless we were clever enough to get it on the international news, we weren’t gonna broaden our audience.”

Poster Boy’s prodigious, easily accessible output has made him a leading figure among the next wave of media manipulators—a sort of Turk 182 with a 50-cent blade. But in order to remain viable, he has to keep producing new pieces, which puts him at an ever-increasing risk of getting pinched. (For now, he’s not especially high on the MTA’s list of priorities: “Vandalism of our property is illegal, and we prosecute to the fullest extent of the law,” says spokesperson Aaron Donovan. “That being said, the problem to date has been minimal.”) At the 23rd Street station, he works quickly, pausing only when the trains arrive or depart. “While the train’s here, I scope,” he says. “Once it pulls out, I start cutting.”

Things that make me happy today.

Posted in The Fierceness with tags , , on October 26, 2008 by jackmax2

I woke up in a particularly good mood this morning and was just thinking of a few simple things that make me happy. I’m not much of a poetry connoisseur and I usually detest when people send me trite sayings and quotes at the end of their emails but a “special” friend sent me this poem today–not knowing that it is one of the few poems that I know almost by heart.

e.e. cummings – somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond

somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond
any experience,your eyes have their silence:
in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me,
or which i cannot touch because they are too near

your slightest look will easily unclose me
though i have closed myself as fingers,
you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens
(touching skilfully,mysteriously)her first rose

or if your wish be to close me, i and
my life will shut very beautifully ,suddenly,
as when the heart of this flower imagines
the snow carefully everywhere descending;
nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals
the power of your intense fragility:whose texture
compels me with the color of its countries,
rendering death and forever with each breathing

(i do not know what it is about you that closes
and opens;only something in me understands
the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)
nobody,not even the rain,has such small hands

I love that last line. It’s so beautiful. And apparently “travelled” can be spelled with either one or two “L”s so I learned something new today as well. (my spelling BLOWS!!)

I  am happy that Obama is way ahead in the polls and the Republican campaign seems to be eating its own.

Model Erin Leeper

Model Erin Leeper

I am happy that my Condom Couture wedding dress (pic above) will be displayed in a window on Halloween in the Castro district of San Francisco with a Vote NO on Prop 8 sign. If Prop 8 (the proposition that would ban same sex marriage) passes I think the gays should protest by dropping out of the wedding industry. Not to stereotype or generalize too much but there would definitely be a shortage on florists, dress designers, cake decorators, musicians and wedding planners. The wedding industry would implode. HA! How ironic that so many gay people work in an industry that excludes them.

I am happy for Hot Pockets and Eggnog flavored Coffee-Mate which they only make during the winter holidays. Eggnog seems to be a very polarizing beverage. People either love it or hate it. My sister can’t tolerate the texture. It is kinda goopy but I love it. I wish it wasn’t 9000 calories per glass.

I’m excited that I will be attending GMHC’s Fashion Forward event on November 10th, hosted by Tim Gunn.

I am happy to be friends with Kevin Christiana.

I’m also very happy that my cleaning guy just arrived because I have been working on a butt load of projects and my studio looks like a pipe bomb went off in it.

It’s the little things. Like the hands of rain.

Be good to each other.

David Sedaris rules!

Posted in The Fierceness on October 23, 2008 by jackmax2

David Sedaris is one of my favorite authors. You must read his books. They are all too many things. I wish had a modicum of the hilarity he possesses. Here is a quote of his about undecided voters that summarizes exactly how I feel.

“I look at these people and can’t quite believe that they exist. Are they professional actors? I wonder. Or are they simply laymen who want a lot of attention? To put them in perspective, I think of being on an airplane. The flight attendant comes down the aisle with her food cart and, eventually, parks it beside my seat. “Can I interest you in the chicken?” she asks. “Or would you prefer the platter of shit with bits of broken glass in it? To be undecided in this election is to pause for a moment and then ask how the chicken is cooked.”

- Author David Sedaris, on undecided voters

Joe the plumber (who isn’t really a plumber or named Joe) can suck it. Go Obama!! And Cali voters remember to vote NO on Prop 8.

Be well.

Project Inform fashion show in San Francisco

Posted in The Fierceness on October 17, 2008 by jackmax2

I just completed the first leg of the October whirlwind US tour.  Wednesday night (Oct 17th) was Project Inform’s Evening of Hope fashion show to raise money for the organization. It was an amazing night. There were about 300 guests and the live auction alone raised over 25,000 dollars. Project Inform provides much needed resources for people living with HIV/AIDS in the Bay area. This years event was especially interesting because they went in a new direction by having a fashion show where designers showcased some of their work and then one original look made out of condoms or the wrappers. There were some really creative looks from designers. I’m sure photos will be posted on their website very soon. I worked with the most fabulous model named Erin Leeper from City Models. She was SO sweet and gorgeous and donated her time for the charity event. As you can see from the photos she knew how to work that dress. She was equally as amazing on the runway so if anyone in the Bay area needs a fierce model then you should definitely book Erin ASAP!

I made this gown out of 2000 condom wrappers and a hell of a lot of hot glue. Even the bouquet is made of condoms. I was the MC of the event which included the fashion show, the live auction a 3 course dinner and a fabulous drag performance. It was a smashing success and I met some really cool people. I also have to give a shout out to the staff at the Intercontinental hotel for the amazing service. Thanks guys!!

I left the next day to fly to Hotlanta. I will never fly United again. They BLOW. 15 bucks to check your bag. 60 dollars for a seat with more legroom. I ended up with an aisle seat next to the bathrooms so I got to chat with people waiting to poop for 4 hours. Good times. I heart Jetblue even more now.

So I’m at the W in Atlanta now and it’s fierce. I just ran into Ludacris in the elevator–not kidding. He even said “wassup?” I think the BET awards are here or something. Anyway—I’m speaking for my HIV education program, sponsored by Merck, Living Positive by Design in just a few hours so I need to go spackle on my make-up!  Please go to the myspace page and add yourself to our friends list!

XX I’m out. (duh)

Oh yeah–A reminder for everyone in California to vote NO on Proposition 8 which would take away the right for same sex couples to marry. You better let us get married or we will stop making your damn wedding gowns.

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