Tuesday, March 25, 2014


[1.] Did You Run?

Your selfie entitled “D’oh!piate of the Masses” with hashtag #RunRiot may not qualify you as organic Dissident. Dis incident must have dint of inquiry, straightaway. First of all, hop off the treadmill, Gus. Technically, yes, you ran, but you ran indoors, and at that, fess up: you engaged Preset #1: Interpretive Pace to REM’s (This One Goes Out To) “The One I Love.” Until your earbuds fell out. “(Fiiire!)”  Did you sidle? Did you jaunt? Did you amble or ambulate? You may have skidded and you may have slid and you may have tripped, jogged, or slipped. “(Fiiire!)” We know that you click-liked several status updates, never mind your liberal commentary with devil emoticon. How do we know this? Because Facebook knows, and if Facebook knows, then the Government knows, too, and since the Government commits itself to error, I’d look over my shoulder from this point forward. “(Fiiire!)” Hey: Would you cut off that B****y song!

[2.] Did You Riot?

I know you’re into Occupy, but if you’re gonna Occupy the john, can you at least lock the door, so the john reads Occupied? You do have options by the by. Port Authority and Port-A-Potty now offer Port-A-Pottery: a 21st Century slop jar for the Occupier on the go. Or, rather, the Occupier who has to go. Available now at Port-A-Pottery Barn. But we digress. Let’s move on to the results of your French Test, for, in order to riot, you must demonstrate simple Franco-phony competency. I regret to inform you that Emile Zola did not publish an article entitled “J’appose.” He did not write about human thumbs and he did not consider himself part of the Apposition. Have you opposed? Have you vetoed? Have you vetoed the line? Have you headbutted detritus? Have you denounced gentrification? Maybe you declared a point of order. Maybe you skipped dessert. Maybe, just maybe, you posted negative feedback in your native hemisphere, but are you a riot?

[3.] Did You Run Riot?

Understand this: you may have Jaunt Oppose. You may have Slide Denounce Gentrification. You may have Sidle Veto, but did you run riot? You may have Ambulate Declare a Point of Order. You may have Trip Headbutt Detritus. You may have Jog Skip Dessert, but did you run riot? You could’ve Run Veto the Line. You could’ve Trip Riot. You could’ve Skid Riot. You could’ve Run Post Negative Feedback. But did you Run Riot? Understand this: the U.S. Senate will now vote on the Run Riot Act of 2014. First, the Clerk will Read the Riot Act to the chamber but the Senators feel scalded. They yearn to say something like “hurl” or “hurl invective” but they say “hurl infective” without knowing any better. Joe Biden grins that tie-breaking grin of his. As for me, it’s been years since I ran riot. I’m headed home. I cross the street but someone honks at me. Understand this: the driver, therefore, is the honker, and I, the pedestrian, am the honkee.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014


Dan Gutstein as Dan Gutstein
The Hand as The Hand

Running Time:
59 seconds

Shot on Location:
Penn Line #520

Advance Praise:
“What Gutstein accomplishes in 59 seconds that I could not accomplish in 6,240 seconds. No, that’s a question. What did he actually accomplish?” —Oliver Stone

“It’s like Oliver Stone, but with a twist, but not like Oliver Twist, more like Twisted Sister, but not like Twisted Sister, in fact, there’s no sister at all.” —The Rock

“I headed for the Exitus halfway through, and stepped into another world, where Moses (played by The Rock) was twisting a stone to get water.” —Billy Crystal

Other Movies You Might Enjoy:

Tuesday, March 11, 2014


Though I haven’t witnessed a crime, I’d still like to enter the witness protection program: (*) I could start a new life (*) With a mountain view (*) Attend fish fries with little remorse (*) See the Times delivered to my door (*) AND, I could get one of those robes, those witness protection robes. If fewer witnesses decide to topple kingpins, then maybe the Feds could keep a Witness Protection Wait List. At the very least, they should vend some Wit-Pro gear down at the J. Edgar Hoover. I gotta get me one of them Under Armour robes—with the terrycloth and the belt and the cargo pocket—that really separates and defines me.


In my witness protection dream, the Feds spirit me off in a King Lear Jet. The trip has a mountain view. The landing has a mountain view. We taxi to the gate where we park beside an enormous aircraft, a Jumbo Jet Li. The martial arts actor, himself, appears on the tail, gazing upon a mountain view with enviable wushu modesty. He, too, has entered the witness protection game, spiriting-off his share of the Protected-to-be. In my first morning of protection, I slip on (at last!) one of them robes, open the front door, and stoop for the Times. The headline declares a merger between King Lear Jet and Jumbo Jet Li—King Lear Jet Li. “O Cruel World,” I howl, while startling awake, “O Cruel World!”


I witness a shoplifting and approach the store detective with details. I’d seen two kids pocket some Peppermint Patties but I throw in some Hot Wheels and some Belinda Carlisle ringtones—for greater effect. “Do you think I could get protection?” I ask. “What?” says the store detective. “Relocation,” I offer, trying to explain. “Sure,” he says, tossing me out the automatic doors, which part just at the right moment. “Relocation,” he emphasizes, as the double doors clap together in a single beat of applause, he on the inside, I on the outs. But I’m not letting that deter me. No, I plan on witnessing some very important crimes, yes I do. I plan on demonstrating, eh!, that ‘witness protection’ ain’t just a condom on a testifier!

For more see: Under Armoire

Thursday, March 6, 2014


A basic system for all students.

I spoke recently to a group of interdisciplinary sculpture students who, in addition to conceiving of complex artworks, faced the task of writing project summaries for all their pieces. These summaries, designed to clock-in at 250 words apiece, would take the form of one  longish paragraph, or a few short paragraphs. Rather than lecture the class with a standard “blah blah” “resource-room” “rah rah” “concept-heavy” “go get-em” kind of dealie, I presented a model, with examples, that emphasized three steps in effective paragraphing plus some ruminations on the logistics of sitting down to write. While this model may oversimplify the writing process, I think it does offer all students—not just sculptors—the kind of basic pathway that they can emulate. If it did lead to “robotic” sentences or paragraphs, at least these attempts would have muscle and sinew, rather than fluff and fat. It follows: 

1. Write Actively

For active sentence writing, keep subject and verb close together—right next to each other if possible. Avoid weak verbs such as “use”, “have”, “be”, and at that, especially “be” and its other forms (were, was, is, been, being, etc.)


I reflected upon monumental landscape paintings when conceiving of this sculpture.
I drew several mock-ups before assembling materials.
I built my sculpture from metal, wood, sand, and fiberglass.
The piece duplicates the soaring lines of trees and mountains.
It rocks.

2. Add Transitional Language

You can’t start every sentence the same exact way. To avoid “sameness” in sentence construction, one can add transitional words or phrases, such as: “moreover”; “in addition”; “afterward”; “as well as”; “all in all”; “furthermore”; “in the end”; “likewise”; “in particular”; and “then”. You can insert a transition at the beginning of a sentence or even in the middle.


I reflected upon monumental landscape paintings when conceiving of this sculpture. I drew several mockups, afterward, before assembling materials. Then, I built my sculpture from metal, wood, sand, and fiberglass. In the end, the piece duplicates the soaring lines of trees and mountains. It rocks.

 Of course, some sculpture can be very frisky!

3. Include Specific Detail

These would include items like the appearance of your piece; the cultural references and inspirations that led you to create it; the materials; the techniques of assembly; your aims in conceiving of it; the tools you employed; and the concepts you developed in the process.

4. Logistical Matters

Try to write a paper in two “sittings.” Write the whole thing on the first try, and then, on the second try, give it a good revision. Or, write half of it on the first try and another half on the second try. Decide on a topic early and don’t switch. If nothing else, pour effort into your writing. Showing that you care about the topic goes a long way, even if the sentence-writing needs work.