Reislaufer der Neue Amsterdam

Current Events, Arts and English Football

My Photo
Name:
Location: Wounded Gotham, The New World

Saturday, May 27, 2006

1. What I didn't expect to happen HAPPENED. Lesson: Do not betray an ideal even if you think no one will ever know or care.

2. The project is at long last at final completion. Now, a summer of watching the world go to hell.

3. Ah leung is in full force on NS. Spec ops owns the night.

4. Summer is here and the Demiurge has rewarded me for my patience.

5. All the spending will be worth it when the barbarians reach the gates.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

This is Islam. This is why Muslims will never be accepted into American society. This is why extermination is their future.


Part of me died when I saw this cruel killing
HALA JABER

EVEN by the stupefying standards of Iraq’s unspeakable violence, the murder of Atwar Bahjat, one of the country’s top television journalists, was an act of exceptional cruelty.
Nobody but her killers knew just how much she had suffered until a film showing her death on February 22 at the hands of two musclebound men in military uniforms emerged last week. Her family’s worst fears of what might have happened have been far exceeded by the reality.

Bahjat was abducted after making three live broadcasts from the edge of her native city of Samarra on the day its golden-domed Shi’ite mosque was blown up, allegedly by Sunni terrorists.

Roadblocks prevented her from entering the city and her anxiety was obvious to everyone who saw her final report. Night was falling and tensions were high.

Two men drove up in a pick-up truck, asking for her. She appealed to a small crowd that had gathered around her crew but nobody was willing to help her. It was reported at the time that she had been shot dead with her cameraman and sound man.

We now know that it was not that swift for Bahjat. First she was stripped to the waist, a humiliation for any woman but particularly so for a pious Muslim who concealed her hair, arms and legs from men other than her father and brother.
Then her arms were bound behind her back. A golden locket in the shape of Iraq that became her glittering trademark in front of the television cameras must have been removed at some point — it is nowhere to be seen in the grainy film, which was made by someone who pointed a mobile phone at her as she lay on a patch of earth in mortal terror.

By the time filming begins, the condemned woman has been blindfolded with a white bandage.

It is stained with blood that trickles from a wound on the left side of her head. She is moaning, although whether from the pain of what has already been done to her or from the fear of what is about to be inflicted is unclear.

Just as Bahjat bore witness to countless atrocities that she covered for her television station, Al-Arabiya, during Iraq’s descent into sectarian conflict, so the recording of her execution embodies the depths of the country’s depravity after three years of war.

A large man dressed in military fatigues, boots and cap approaches from behind and covers her mouth with his left hand. In his right hand, he clutches a large knife with a black handle and an 8in blade. He proceeds to cut her throat from the middle, slicing from side to side.

Her cries — “Ah, ah, ah” — can be heard above the “Allahu akbar” (God is greatest) intoned by the holder of the mobile phone.

Even then, there is no quick release for Bahjat. Her executioner suddenly stands up, his job only half done. A second man in a dark T-shirt and camouflage trousers places his right khaki boot on her abdomen and pushes down hard eight times, forcing a rush of blood from her wounds as she moves her head from right to left.

Only now does the executioner return to finish the task. He hacks off her head and drops it to the ground, then picks it up again and perches it on her bare chest so that it faces the film-maker in a grotesque parody of one of her pieces to camera.
The voice of one of the Arab world’s most highly regarded and outspoken journalists has been silenced.

She was 30.

As a friend of Bahjat who had worked with her on a variety of tough assignments, I found it hard enough to bear the news of her murder. When I saw it replayed, it was as if part of me had died with her. How much more gruelling it must have been for a close family friend who watched the film this weekend and cried when he heard her voice.

The friend, who cannot be identified, knew nothing of her beheading but had been guarding other horrifying details of Bahjat’s ordeal. She had nine drill holes in her right arm and 10 in her left, he said. The drill had also been applied to her legs, her navel and her right eye. One can only hope that these mutilations were made after her death.

There is a wider significance to the appalling footage and the accompanying details. The film appears to show for the first time an Iraqi death squad in action.

The death squads have proliferated in recent months, spreading terror on both sides of the sectarian divide. The clothes worn by Bahjat’s killers are bound to be scrutinised for clues to their identity.

Bahjat, with her professionalism and impartiality as a half-Shi’ite, half-Sunni, would have been the first to warn against any hasty conclusions, however. The uniforms seem to be those of the Iraqi National Guard but that does not mean she was murdered by guardsmen. The fatigues could have been stolen for disguise.

A source linked to the Sunni insurgency who supplied the film to The Sunday Times in London claimed it had come from a mobile phone found on the body of a Shi’ite Badr Brigade member killed during fighting in Baghdad.

But there is no evidence the Iranian-backed Badr militia was responsible. Indeed, there are conflicting indications. The drill is said to be a popular tool of torture with the Badr Brigade. But beheading is a hallmark of Al-Qaeda in Iraq, led by the Sunni Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

According to a report that was circulating after Bahjat’s murder, she had enraged the Shi’ite militias during her coverage of the bombing of the Samarra shrine by filming the interior minister, Bayan Jabr, ordering police to release two Iranians they had arrested.

There is no confirmation of this and the Badr Brigade, with which she maintained good relations, protected her family after her funeral came under attack in Baghdad from a bomber and then from a gunman. Three people died that day.
Bahjat’s reporting of terrorist attacks and denunciations of violence to a wide audience across the Middle East made her plenty of enemies among both Shi’ite and Sunni gunmen. Death threats from Sunnis drove her away to Qatar for a spell but she believed her place was in Iraq and she returned to frontline reporting despite the risks.

We may never know who killed Bahjat or why. But the manner of her death testifies to the breakdown of law, order and justice that she so bravely highlighted and illustrates the importance of a cause she espoused with passion.

Bahjat advocated the unity of Iraq and saw her golden locket as a symbol of her belief. She put it with her customary on-air eloquence on the last day of her life: “Whether you are a Sunni, a Shi’ite or a Kurd, there is no difference between Iraqis united in fear for this nation.”

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

The Geopolitics of China

By George Friedman

Chinese President Hu Jintao visited Washington last week for a meeting that diplomatically might be called "nonproductive" -- or, realistically, "disastrous." Not only was nothing settled, but a series of incidents -- ranging from a reporter shouting insults at Hu and being permitted to continue doing so for three minutes, to an announcement that the national anthem of "The Republic of China" (also known as Taiwan) was being played -- marred the visit, to say the least.

It is hard for us to believe that the admission of a Falun Gong member to the White House press pool would go unnoticed by the White House staff, or that it would take three full minutes to silence her. We are, sad to say, cynical people, and it is plausible that the insults were deliberate. The American side had been leaking for weeks that Hu would try to use the visit for his own political ends in China, and wanted to be granted every honor conceivable during the trip. The White House appeared irritated by this hubris, although it would, on the surface, appear quite natural for the United States and China to exchange full diplomatic courtesies.

Obviously, something serious is going on in Sino-U.S. relations. The United States has openly discussed a hedge strategy on China, under which economic relations would proceed while the United States increased its military presence in the region as a hedge against future trouble. China, for its part, has been more than a little troublesome in areas where the United States does not want it to be, particularly during the current confrontation with Iran.

China and the United States are bound together economically. That is one of the major problems, since they need very different things. The Chinese economy, as we have argued in the past, is not doing nearly as well as its growth rate would indicate. We won't rehash our views on that. However, the economic reality creates an obvious tension. Chinese exports are surging at very low or nonexistent profit margins in order to sustain a financial system that has accrued a nonperforming loan burden that is, by some measures, as high as 60 percent of gross domestic product. The United States is addicted to Chinese imports, and China is addicted to exporting to the United States. The United States wants China to revalue the yuan in order to raise the price of Chinese exports. The Chinese, eager to maintain and increase exports, have no intention of allowing a meaningful rise in the yuan.

There are other forces binding the two countries together as well. The most important is Chinese money -- which is flowing out to other countries precisely because China is no longer a particularly attractive place for Chinese investment. There is serious capital flight under way, as money is redeployed to safer havens. The safest haven from the Chinese point of view is the United States -- thus, Chinese investment there is surging. And the United States needs this money. In this sense, both countries are in a death-lock. There is no other economy that is as large, liquid and safe as the American economy. Chinese investors need their funds to be in the United States. And there is no larger pool of cash than China's to finance U.S. debt.

This means that there is no divorce looming in Sino-U.S. relations. But at the same time, it must be noted that, despite very close connections between China and Japan, Sino-Japanese relations have deteriorated remarkably -- and it is China that has driven the estrangement. The reasons are political: China's government has domestic problems, and patriotic fervor will tend to buttress Beijing's power. Japan is still deeply hated for its behavior in World War II, and attacking Japanese behavior is good politics. The Chinese have strained relations with Japan nearly to the breaking point.

What is important here is this: It must not be assumed that China is driven purely by economic considerations. In the case of Japan, Beijing clearly has subordinated the economic advantage of having smooth relations with Tokyo to its own domestic considerations. Now, Japan is not the United States -- it is a significant country for China, but not economically decisive in the way that the United States is. The Chinese have more room for maneuver there. At the same time, it must be understood that China is playing a complex game, and while making money is up there on the priority list, it is not the only thing up there. Preserving national unity in the face of centrifugal forces and foreign power also matters a great deal to the Chinese.

It is therefore time to stop to consider China's national strategy in the long run, and therefore, to consider China's geopolitics.

The Geography Factor

Beginning, as is necessary, with the outlines of China's national boundaries, we are immediately struck by the fact that China is, in many ways, an island. To the east are the South and East China Seas. To the northeast is Siberia, thinly inhabited and to a great extent uninhabitable. Some limited military expansion in that direction is possible, but a large population could not be sustained. To the direct north is Mongolia -- occasionally part of China, occasionally the ruler of China, but currently a fairly unimportant area, not worth projecting force into. To the southwest are the Himalayas. There is frequent talk of India as balancing China, but this is, in fact, meaningless. They are as much separated as if there were a wall. There can be skirmishes along the dividing line in the Himalayas, but no massive movement of armies.

In the southeast, there is Indochina. China could expand there, but the last time there were land-based skirmishes, in 1979, Vietnam beat the Chinese soundly (though both sides claimed victory). Jungles and mountains stretching from eastern India to the South China Sea make that region impassable, even without the need for self-defense. Finally, there are the western approaches into Central Asia, through Kazakhstan. This has been the traditional, and in some ways only, route for Chinese aggression. China is certainly deeply involved in Central Asia, but its own region of Xinjiang is both Muslim and hostile to Beijing. It does not provide a base for launching invasions, even if one was wanted.

For these reasons, China must be viewed as one of the most insular great powers in the world. It has occupied most of the terrain that is accessible to it; what remains is either inaccessible, undesirable or quite able to defend itself. China's great interest, therefore, should be the oceans. Over the past 20 years, China has become a major exporter and thus should have a great interest in securing its sea lanes. But China's coastal waters are effectively controlled by the U.S. 7th Fleet. Constructing a navy that could challenge the U.S. Navy would take a fortune, which China probably has, but also one or two generations would be needed -- not only for construction, but for establishing a military culture suitable for an aggressive naval force.

Most important, challenging the U.S. Navy with a Chinese navy cannot be done regionally. The United States has fleets other than the 7th Fleet, and if the U.S. Navy were concentrated against China, the Chinese could not fight a defensive battle. They would have to take the fight to the Americans, and that would mean fielding a global naval force. China might one day have that, but they do not have it now. In this sense, the standard concerns about a Chinese invasion of Taiwan are not realistic. China does not have a naval force capable of taking control of the Taiwan Strait, nor the amphibious force needed to gain significant lodgment in Taiwan, nor therefore -- and this is the key -- the ability to sustain a multidivisional force in Taiwan.

The Internal Divide

China does not have many regional options with conventional forces nor, for that matter, does it face a conventional threat from within the region. China's primary geopolitical problem, and thus its chief military mission, is domestic. China is a highly diverse and fragmented country; maintaining control of the current extent of the country is the major strategic problem. Unlike most nations, whose external geopolitical problems define their military thinking, China's internal geopolitical problems drive its military planning.

There are two dimensions to these problems. The first is ethnic: China occupies areas like Xinjiang, Tibet and Manchuria that are ethnically distinct and sometimes restive. The other and deeper problem, however, is not ethnic but regional. China has a large coastal plain. It also has a vast interior that is mountainous. The tension between those two regions historically has been a great challenge that China has faced.

The interior is heavily driven by agriculture -- subsistence agriculture. It is extraordinarily poor, and arable land is minimal. The coastal regions are relatively better off, to the extent to which they conduct international trade through coastal ports. Thus, China has had two realities. In one, the coastal regions were cut off from the rest of the world, and there was a rough equality between the regions. Until the British showed up in the 19th century, for example, trading with foreigners had been illegal. After the British forced China open, the coastal regions boomed, and the country fragmented; the coastal regions, manipulated by foreigners who were in turn manipulated, turned outward to the ocean, while the interior stagnated. Mao tried to create a revolution in Shanghai and failed. Instead, he went on his Long March to Yenan in the interior, raised a peasant army from there, and came back to conquer the coast. He also closed off China from the world, creating poverty but relative unity.

Deng gambled with the idea that he would be able to have his cake and eat it too. He opened China to the world, thereby enriching the coastal regions and recreating the tension that Mao had sought to abolish. For 30 years, Deng's gamble worked. Now it is breaking down. Beijing is urgently trying to shift resources from the wealthy coastal regions to the restive interior. The coastal provinces naturally are resisting. The great question is whether Beijing will be able to juggle the two realities, whether China will again turn inward to maintain geopolitical integrity or if it will fragment further into warring regions.

Balancing the two indefinitely is the least likely outcome. But China does have one other card to play, which is patriotism. The Communist Party has little legitimacy at this point, but the idea of China -- particularly among ethnic Chinese of whatever region -- is not a trivial driver. In order to generate patriotic fervor, however, there must be a threat and an enemy. At this point, the Chinese are using the Japanese in order to sustain patriotism. Reclaiming Taiwan would stir the spirits and reduce regional tensions, but this, as we have pointed out, would be militarily difficult in any conventional way. Moreover, it would bring a confrontation with the United States.

Priorities and Options

If we accept the idea that maintaining the territorial integrity of China is its greatest geopolitical imperative and that regional prosperity comes second for Beijing, it follows that the government will attempt to impose its will on the coast, and trade and economic concerns will come second. Beijing's interest in having smooth trade relations wanes, both because the wealth gap exacerbates tensions between the regions and because the interest runs counter to its need for external confrontation. It follows from this that China's primary interest -- and ability -- would be to maintain security in China, and that foreign adventures would be avoided except under circumstances in which they would have a high probability of success and would serve internal political interests.

A secondary goal would be to protect China's coast from foreign encroachment. Imagine the following scenario: Business and Party interests in the coastal region are resisting Beijing's efforts to bring them under control and impose taxes. The situation becomes unstable, and Western interests, investments and the expatriate community living there are jeopardized. Through some political contrivance, these local leaders position themselves as the regional authority and ask for American intervention. The United States decides to intervene. Given that this is roughly what happened in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in China -- during which time there was a major American presence in Shanghai -- it is not as far-fetched as it might seem.

Under these circumstances, the government in Beijing would be forced to resist or abdicate. So, if the primary interest of China is the maintenance of internal security, a secondary interest would be deterring foreign interventions in the event of instability. The tertiary interest would be some form of force projection in the region, particularly against Taiwan -- which not only could be regarded as an internal security matter but would provide the regime with patriotic credibility.

If we accept the premises that China's major resources will go to the army for security purposes, and that China is at least a generation away from having a significant naval force, then what military options do the Chinese have? Obviously, one is its nuclear force. That is a serious deterrent; nations have attacked nuclear powers (Egypt and Syria against Israel in 1973) but not for the fairly marginal reasons the United States might have to get involved in China at some hypothetical future date. But given that deterrence runs both ways, nuclear stalemate always leaves opportunities for subnuclear threats.

The prime military lever within China's reach is not sea-lane control, but rather sea-lane denial. Using anti-ship missiles, the Chinese could impose heavy attrition on the sea-lanes leading to Taiwan and even potentially interdict Japan's sea-lanes. This would not guarantee China control of the sea-lanes, and that is a problem if China is importing oil by sea. However, in extremis, it would hurt Taiwan and Japan more than China. And if the Chinese had systems that could threaten to overload U.S. Aegis and follow-on systems designed to protect warships, then it could force the 7th Fleet to retreat as well. The tactic would serve as a deterrent against intervention and as a suitable secondary system to supplement the army. It would also serve as a threat to the interests, if not the survival, of Taiwan.

All of this is of course hypothetical and speculative. It assumes that the current trends in Chinese relations with Japan and the United States are merely road bumps rather than fundamental shifts in China's pattern. But given that China does shift its pattern every 30 years or so, and that the stresses on China make it reasonable to expect some shift -- and finally, given that there is a trend toward increased tensions in play -- it is not unreasonable to think of China in a different way than has been customary. China has been seen by Americans as a giant money factory. It is that, but it is both less than that and more. It is a great power facing other great powers, and a superpower. And while the scenarios here are extreme, thinking about the extremes can be useful.


Send questions or comments on this article to analysis@stratfor.com.

Monday, April 17, 2006

On-Site: New Architecture in Spain - Such bold asymetries, such metaphysical vanity that will be brought low by peak oil and the Global Islamic Jihad.

http://www.moma.org/exhibitions/2006/on_site.html

On-Site: New Architecture in Spain - Such bold asymetries, such metaphysical vanity that will be brought low by peak oil and the gij.

A departure from the glass box but the sharp, impossible angles and cutaway exhibitionism is a sign of the modern style morphing and maturing.

Also visited my de Chiricos and Apple II exhibits. Posters and signs from Weimar and pre-Bolshevik Russia. The new MoMA is on a scale that is simply eccentric, like a half-dozen Gagosian Chelseas stacked together.

And now, the creme de la creme:

http://www.ps1.org
PS1 Contemporary Arts Center

THE THIRTEEN: CHINESE VIDEO NOW

Contemporary Art Center presents The Thirteen: Chinese Video Now, an exhibition featuring a young generation of Chinese artists working with new media and responding to the great socio-economic changes that are taking place in the country. The thirteen emerging artists and artist teams—most of them born in the 1960s and 1970s—will show twenty-three video works. The Thirteen: Chinese Video Now is on view from February 26 through May 1, 2006.

Their choice to work with video—a relatively cheap medium that produces rapid results—underscores the heady times they face. Unlike the earlier generation of Chinese artists who gained recognition in the 1990s, the majority of these young artists choose to remain in China, living and working in major urban centers like Beijing, Guangzhou and Shanghai. In these cities they experience first-hand the growing consumer culture and rapid urban development.

Though most of these artists have presented their work internationally, many of them have not exhibited in the United States. This exhibition will present, and in many cases introduce, some of the most exciting work produced in China today.

Artists in The Thirteen: Chinese Video Now are: 8gg (multimedia duo Jiang Haiqing and Fu Yu, based in Beijing); Cui Xiuwen (b. 1970 in Heilongjiang, lives and works in Beijing); Dong Wensheng (b. 1970 in Jiangsu province, lives in Changzhou); Cao Fei (b. 1978 in Guangzhou, lives in Guangzhou); Hu Jieming (b. 1957 in China, lives and works in Shanghai); Huang Xiaopeng (b. 1960 in Shanxi, lives and works in Guangzhou); Li Songhua (b. 1969 in Beijing, lives and works in Beijing); Liang Yue (b. 1979 in Shanghai, lives and works in Beijing and Shanghai); Lu Chunsheng (b. 1968 in Changchun, lives and works in Shanghai); Ma Yongfeng (b. 1971 in Shanxi, lives and works in Beijing); Meng Jin (b. 1973 in Chong Qing); Xu Tan (b. 1957 in Wuhan; lives and works in Shanghai and Guangzhou); and Xu Zhen (b. 1977 in Shanghai, lives and works in Shanghai).


REPROCESSING REALITY
April 6, 2006 through May 29, 2006

(New York, March 20, 2006) P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center presents Reprocessing Reality, a consideration of the relationship between the proliferation of documentary film and the escalating significance and prevalence of this genre in the art world today. The intergenerational and primarily European group of thirteen artists and artist teams approach documentary work through a variety of media, including sculpture, painting, film, and installation. Reprocessing Reality is on view from April 6 through May 29, 2006.

The artists featured in Reprocessing Reality are: Christoph Büchel (b. 1966 in Basel, Switzerland), Willie Doherty (b. 1959 in Derry, Northern Ireland), Christoph Draeger (b. 1965 in Zurich, Switzerland; lives in New York), Robert Frank (b. 1924 in Zurich; lives in New York and Mabou, Canada), Philipp Gasser (b. 1958 in Chur, Switzerland; lives in Basel), Yervant Gianikian & Angela Ricci Lucchi (both b. 1942; live in Milan, Italy), Eric Hattan (b. 1955 in Wettingen, Switzerland; lives in Basel and Paris), Mike Hoolboom (b. 1959 in Toronto), Rémy Markowitsch (b. 1957 in Zurich; lives in Berlin), Guido Nussbaum (b. 1948 in Muri, Switzerland; lives in Basel), Anri Sala (b. 1974 in Tirana, Albania; lives in Paris and Berlin), Ingrid Wildi (b. 1961 in Santiago, Chile; lives and works in Geneva), and Uwe Wittwer (b. 1954 in Zurich; lives in Zurich).

Reprocessing Reality is curated by Claudia Spinelli. It was developed in close collaboration with the International Film Festival Visions du Réel and first presented at the Château de Nyon in Switzerland in the spring of 2005. The exhibition is accompanied by a fully-illustrated publication in English, French, and German by JRPRingier (2005).

The opening celebration for Reprocessing Reality on Sunday, April 9 from noon to 6:00 p.m. is free and open to the public. Live musical and DJ performances will take place from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

In conjunction with the exhibition, P.S.1 will present a curator and artists’ walk-through at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 8 featuring Ms. Spinelli and Reprocessing Reality artists Eric Hattan, Philipp Gasser, Guido Nussbaum, Rémy Markowitsch, and Ingrid Wildi, as well as Jean Perret, director of Visions du Réel. This will be followed at 4:00 p.m. by a panel discussion with artists Mike Hoolboom, Willie Doherty and Uwe Wittwer about their approaches to documentary through film, painting, and installation. The discussion will be moderated by Ms. Spinelli and Sally Berger, Assistant Curator in the Department of Film and Media, The Museum of Modern Art.

The exhibition website www.reprocessingreality.ch is available in English and German. It includes the curator’s introduction, artist information, downloadable high-resolution images and a virtual tour.


CLEMENS VON WEDEMEYER
February 26, 2006 through May 29, 2006
(Long Island City, New York – February 7, 2006) P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center is pleased to present the U.S. premiere of Big Business and Otjesd/Leaving by German artist Clemens von Wedemeyer. Known for installations that exist in a realm between cinema and the fine arts, von Wedemeyer’s moving-image works, shot on 35mm film or video, are usually accompanied by research material, video documentaries, or still photographs to illuminate the conception and production processes. Through their witty references, which allude to cinema classics as well as socio-critical topics and historical events, von Wedemeyer’s works are meditations on a complex world. This exhibition is on view from February 26 through May 29, 2006.

Big Business (2002) is von Wedemeyer’s eponymous remake of the 1929 Laurel and Hardy slapstick classic. Two sales representatives get into a fight with a customer over the sale of a Christmas tree in the middle of August. Over the course of their wacky and revengeful fight, mayhem ensues—a home is trashed and a car is shredded with bare hands.

It is not until The Making of Big Business (2002) that von Wedemeyer reveals the context of the former’s production: the Waldheim detention center, an institution where the prisoners occupy their time by first building and then destroying model houses. In fact, the actors in Big Business are these very prisoners. The video, which complements Big Business, explores aspects of prison life and elucidates how construction and subsequently, demolishing model houses function as occupational therapy for the prisoners.

In Otjesd/Leaving (2005), von Wedemeyer investigates the immigration of Russians to Germany, which increased after the fall of the Berlin Wall. In a single fifteen minute shot, which recalls the camera work of the great Russian masters such as Andrei Tarkovsy or Aleksandr Sokurov, the film captures an imaginary scene of people waiting for visas in front of the German consulate in Moscow. The camera slowly follows a young woman trying to fight her way into the building. The different dialogues in Russian are not dubbed or subtitled, creating for the viewer an atmosphere of confusion and disorientation. This is further enhanced by the incessantly moving camera, and the fact that the scene was shot neither at a consulate nor in Moscow, but in a forest near Berlin.

Clemens von Wedemeyer (b. 1974, Göttingen, Germany) received a M.F.A. in 2005 from the Academy of Visual Arts, Leipzig, Germany. He currently resides in Berlin and Leipzig. Since 1998 he has exhibited mostly in Germany and France and has received several awards.

And at PS1, I had my first encounter with a dual-gender restroom. Non-gender restrooms were ok at the Guggenheim, but multiple stall bi-gender restrooms? It was a surreal exhibit in and of itself.

Congratulations to Art Bell. May you find happiness in this mortal coil.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Declaration of Ghetto Alert: Orange

The forecast is escalating urban violence leading up to April 10, when illegal immigrant groups are expected to march on cities across the nation, leading to riots and extended urban ethnic violence.

Make provision for indefinite periods of outages and supply shortages.

Check your supply of ammunition, food, water, water purification, first-aid, prescription medication, radio communications, cameras, camcorders and security cameras, and back-up power. Terrorists may also take advantage of the chaos so check your bio-chem protection also. Make preparations to shelter in place if a riot starts while you are at work or in school, or in transit. MAKE SURE YOU AND YOUR FAMILY HAVE A PLAN ON WHERE TO SHELTER AND CHECK IN.

If you find it necessary to be on the road during periods of civil disturbance, you must be aware of roving gangs and be mentally prepared to defend yourself from random attacks and the consequences of commiting manslaughter with your firearm or vehicle.

If you have not completed a survey for fields of observation, vehicle road chokepoints and covered firing positions around your house and on your block, do so now.

Continuously monitor the news for incidents. Any major police incident has a higher potential during this period of sparking spontaneous attacks on innocent bystanders and riots in the communities where a significant population of immigrant young adult males exist. If an incident occurs, immediately switch to more active monitoring of city-wide NYPD, FDNY frequencies:

470.6875 CW-1 Citywide
470.8375 SOD-1, ESU, Highway
470.8625 Citywide 3
470.8875 Citywide 4
160.695 Transit Citywide
160.695 Transit Citywide Talkaround
155.925 CW Tac
482.6875 Citywide InterOp
460.5750 FDNY's city-wide

Make note of the following phrases if you are forced to defend your home in the absence of police.

Stop, police. Alto, policía.
Everybody freeze. Todos quietos.
Hands behind your heads. Manos atrás de la cabeza.
Do exactly what we say (order). Hagan exactamente lo que mandamos.
Stand up with your hands behind your heads. Párese con las manos detrás de la cabeza.
Close the door with your foot. Cierre la puerta con el pie.
With your left hand, grab the collar of your shirt. Con la mano izquierda, agarre el cuello de su camisa.
Pull up your shirt. Levante la camisa.
Stop now with your back to us. Alto ahora con la espalda a nosotros.
Turn around slowly. Take 2 steps back. Voltéese despacio. Camine dos pasos atrás.
On your knees & cross your ankles. Hínquese y cruce los tobillos.
Hands behind you… Manos atrás de usted...
Interlace your fingers. Entrelace los dedos.
Don’t move. Freeze. No se mueva. Quieto.