Sunday, January 25, 2009

A Few Quick Observations

If you haven't seen Slumdog Millionaire, you should. This is a deeply moving film about hope and love against a backdrop of violence and unimaginable poverty. It's a fable and a metaphor for our time.

Late-breaking Square Dance Bulletin - Tim and I went to the DC Lambda Squares' community dance last night. It's theme was 50th Birthday Party. So I wore some original 50s gear that I acquired when the club danced at the Hillwood Museum and Gardens. I looked pretty good, and those fifty-year-old clothes were pretty spiffy.

Tim and I went to the Corcoran today, the last day of the Richard Avedon show. You missed it, if you missed it. Avedon captured the souls of the great ones for a couple of generations. Their ghosts come to life in this exhibition. As Tim said, "Beware of cameramen who want to take your portrait." The result isn't always a pretty picture. Why didn't Avedon ever take a picture of Annie Liebovitz? And if he did, why wasn't it hanging on the wall of the Corcoran... life's little mysteries? And why wasn't Avedon's image of Rudolph Nureyev's jewels pictured in the exhibit's catalogue? And why was Yeoman 3rd Class B. Murphy Stovie absent from the same book with his fabulous grin and his happy right hand? Does the Corcoran host a vast right-wing conspiracy that is out to censor homoerotic or gay-themed content from exhibition catalogues? Hmmmm.

Then it was on to the OAS to see an exhibition of art about the Desaparecidos. These were victims of the military dictatorships of Uruguay, Chile, Argentina, Guatemala, and El Salavador. The words somber and depressing pretty much sum it up, but the bones, the images, the stories are a grim reminder that when the state has absolute power, freedom is extinguished in violent and ugly ways. These regimes were not attempting to rehabilitate their critics. They were exterminating them. Of course, it makes me wonder who has disappeared in our own war on terror?

Finally, we ended up at the Katzen Arts Center at American University. We saw a disturbing exhibition of the work of Evri Kwong, Just Pretend Everything is Okay. Kwong's work is a polemic about our drugged out, consumerist, racist, mysogynist, violent culture. His paintings, his Sharpie doodles, are biting and satirical indictments of cultural values gone bad.

Well, after that downer, we headed back to Rockville for some hot sex, a nap, and two episodes of The Office. That was this month's attempt at culture.