Thursday, September 20, 2007

The Cultural Enthusiast

I have attempted to write a post about Cheyenne* three times now. All of my attempts were thwarted on account of the fact that I continually deleted the post (accidentally). So, here goes a shorter, hopefully less self-destructive try: Cheyenne is a Native American Cultural enthusiast who is a food runner at Highland Bakery. Sara and I encountered her during brunch several weeks ago. We posed as fashion bloggers and had her model for us to put in our non-existent blog, Atlanta Looks. So, without further ado, meet Cheyenne.

Many of you probably remember the Hipster Handbook that came out several years ago and provided a fairly harsh, but none the less accurate portrayal of the infamous HIPSTER. Well they released a follow-up book to the Hipster Handbook, which identified idiosyncrasies within American culture generally, not just hipsters. One of the title characters of the book draws a striking parallel to Cheyenne, the Cherohonkee.

Note the similarities: feathers in the hair, on the arms, a general sense of well-being for Mother Earth. I am the only one catching this?

Now, I must include in this post that Cheyenne was very nice and this is nothing against her personally, merely a general observation on cultural oddities.

*Name shave been changed to assure the privacy of the mentioned persons. Or to ensure that she doesn't find out what I was actually taking her picture for.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

A little bit of shameless self-promotion

This Thursday the Spruill Gallery will have an opening reception for "Language" and "Howling and Other Justifiable Acts." The reception is from 6-9pm. Language will feature new works by Sarah Emerson, Jennifer Cawley, Gregor Turk and George Long. Howling is an outdoor installation by Terry Hardy.

The Spruill Gallery is located at 4681 Ashford Dunwoody Road (just north of Perimeter Mall). If you have any questions please call 770-394-4019.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

The Disappointment Artist

As the Decatur Book Festival kicked off yesterday I must say my hopes were high. Originally slated was poet-painter-punk god Billy Childish. Unfortunately Billy came down with a kidney infection and his talk was canceled for the fair, although his booth will still be open. In his stead they found a more able-bodied, but disappointingly less articulate Kinky Friedman.

Now, for those of you who don't know Kinky Friedman he is an eccentric musician-mystery novelist who attempted to run for Governor of Texas in 2006. Friedman has promoted himself as the Jew from Texas and likes to slip in nods to this oxymoronic existence as often as possible. His country music project, Kinky Friedman and The Texas Jewboys is merely the tip of the iceberg. He has recently begun a business venture into the cigar market after his trademark cigar constantly in mouth, although never lit. Needless to say, Kinky has a pretty stacked resume. I was actually fairly curious to go see him.

So, at 7.30pm Friday night my friend Lee Maree and I head in the direction of Agnes Scott to go see the novelist- musician- politician in action. We arrive about 15 minutes before the speech-lecture is supposed to begin and are shuffled into the overflow auditorium where we will be watching Kinky through the mediation of a large television screen. As we enter the auditorium there is an immediate sensation of discomfort. As we make our way to seats towards the front I notice the audience is comprised of Decatur residents who seem to be very proud of being at a pseudo-academic event on a Friday night and Kinky enthusiasts. Both demographics are ones I would prefer to avoid. After introductions Kinky walks onto the stage attired in cowboy hat, western-style button-down, black jeans and cowboy boots with a cigar in mouth and brown-bagged bottle in hand. First things first, Kinky goes out of his way to set the bottle down in order to make sure everyone can see his contraband item. Kinky and his piano player have a somewhat humorous exchange for to prep the audience for the unfortunate thing that is coming their way. Throughout this entire entrance Kinky has either had the cigar in his mouth or is pretending to puff on it, which considering the cigar is not lit merely comes off as a hokey facade as opposed to a promotional tool for his new company.

First things first, Kinky spends the first ten minutes promoting these cigars and mentioning where he will be to sign boxes of cigars. He then proceeded to go into a long list of one-liners he had clearly been saving up since the dawn of time. Too bad fort he audience, all of these one liners were elementary derogatory jokes that you and I have heard some version of in every kitchen we have worked in. The ones that weren't half-baked minority humor were uncomfortable asides about his non-existence but still hopeful sex life at age sixty. Now, before I go any further I should say that I like dumb humor and mean humor as much as the next person. It is not that I consider myself above these kinds of jokes; the jokes were just bad. BAD.

What was baffling though was that the entire audience was in hysterics. The woman sitting directly behind us let out an orgasmic squeal if he scratched his nose. The cult following was eating it up, so unfortunately he never moved passed the recess yard humor. After about thirty minutes we left. I don't know if it was the squealer, the bad sound emanating from speakers every time someone spoke to closely into the mic, or just Kinky but we had to get out.

Kinky Friedman is indeed a name everyone has heard more than once for his numerous accomplishments (and attempts), so the fact that he dumbed down everything that he is capable of discussing was almost insulting. He would have been exponentially more successful if he had instead taken the approach of talking about his history and inserting a few lewd jokes along the way. Oh Kinky, I hope the cigars can support you now.