Friday, May 28, 2010

Lists for the Listless

by Paul Edmunds

I knew the 'plane was headed home when I caught sight of a Sunday Times headline in the galley. It could have been from 2 months ago: threat of strike action during the World Cup. After a mad dash through OR Thambo and a little hitch at customs, we boarded our connecting flight to Cape Town to find in front of us Archbishop Emeritus Tutu and behind us Badhi Chaabaaan, reminding us of the tightrope we walk, tautly strung and twitching side to side from hope to cynicism.

All of this gave me pause to reflect, and what I came up with is this, which I've named after a piece by Paul Krassner (thanks), but which, after 20 hours on an aircraft, may well have been called 'Lists for the Listing'.

Fauna (various):
- Red-tailed hawk
- Bluejays
- Northern Cardinals
- Two raccoons dozing in Central Park
- Debbie Harry
- Lenny Kaye
- Chipmonks (much smaller than I thought, more mouse than squirrel)
- Pinellated woodpecker

You can't see Lenny Kaye, but he's there, just behind Debbie Harry

Music we wigged out to:
- Apples in Stereo
- Generationals
- Jim Campilongo
- Andy Friedman
- Natalia Zukerman
- Holopaw

Weird but good weird:
- A ferret on a leash in a bicycle basket
- A symposium on the Grateful Dead and New York at the New York Society for Ethical Culture
- If you watch the Tony Awards you'll see me atop a rock in Central Park claiming to be 'King of the hill'. This should really be 'Other weird' but it's everyone's dream to be on TV in America, no?

Other weird:
- Artisanal pencil sharpening
- A bog roll ad compelling me to 'Enjoy the Go'. (OK. Thanks)
- Bathrooms in every restaurant have a sign that says: 'All employees must wash their hands before returning to work'. (If you look closely you'll see there's an asterix at the end, and then if you hunt around the bathroom you'll find its friend on a sign which states: 'All employers must have a sign which says "All employees must wash their hands before returning to work".') Honest.

This is a rip off! They do it for $11.50 down the road

Things I don't want to know:
- What exactly a 'Philly cheeseteak' is

- Being rear-ended by a hipster on a brakeless fixed gear bike because I stopped at a red light
- Using the Dyson hand dryer at MoMA

A Dyson hand dryer on Monday

Museums of extraordinary interest (but you knew that):
Dia: Beacon
The New York Historical Society

Artists I had previously not known or to whom I had paid less attention:
Meredith James
Hilary Berseth
Wes Lang
Marina Abramovic
The Romans
Sol LeWitt (doh!)

With that I leave you and extend, once more, my thanks to Jack Ginsberg and the Ampersand Foundation for the invaluable opportunity afforded to us. So long...

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