January 12th, 2007

i'm driving!

Tasteful San Antonio: The Tour (#3)

The area of downtown where I work is a curious one. My office is on the top floor of a lovely building, directly across from the federal building and catercornered from the Alamo, but the route that I walk from my car is through a depressing, seedy neighborhood that tourist money and office development hasn't penetrated. It's home to lots of deranged homeless people, Mexican migrant workers arriving by bus, and beggars; most of the storefronts are cut-rate loan companies, transient hotels, and...art galleries.

For no reason I can figure, the whole three blocks from my car to my office is permeated with upscale art galleries, and none is more upscale than 118 Broadway. This uninhabited but hi-tech looky-looery currently features the work of an artist (I'm not sure of his or her identity, since I'm afraid to actually go in) whose work, comparable to that of a very slightly gifted 14-year-old, is done exclusively in day-glo satin paints. The theme of the work, which appears to command thousands of dollars per painting if anyone actually buys that, is high culture and politics, combined with Tex-Mex food.

The first painting you see as you approach 118 Broadway is the one I call "Day-Glo Che Guevara Clutching Burrito", because that's what it is. His neon-colored, iconic face -- which is painted either on black velvet or a technically astonishing approximation of same -- gazes boldy into a socialist future as his hands, weathered from clutching motorcycle handlebars and automatic weapons, wrap themselves around the comfort of what appears to be a day-glo enchilada verde.

The next painting is "I Shot Andy Warhol a la Taco Bell", which features an interpretation of Valerie Solanis, looking for all the world like Wednesday Addams, putting a bullet into a day-glo Andy, who bleeds profusely and pucely. What's the Taco Bell connection? Ms. Solanis' head appears to be made out of a large nacho chip.

Finally, if you are brave enough to bear looking inside the gallery, you are presented with the masterpiece of the series, fully encapsulating all the brilliant whatever it is that these paintings represent. It features an anthropomorphic taco, wearing leather boots and sunglasses and sporting a Little Richard-style pompadour. He is wielding a microphone in one hand and a paintbrush in the other, and he is standing on a stage (as if the star of a rock and roll show) while looking at a tripod-mounted canvas before him. The visual design of this artistic taco resembles nothing so much as one of the California Raisins, if any of them had had a pencil-thin mustache. Issuing from the creative foodstuff's mouth is the following word balloon: "I'M THE ORIGINAL PICASSO TACO".

And that's...tasteful San Antonio.

The occasional obligatory rambling what-up post

1. My brain, to me, last night, in a dream: "You have to stop focusing on what the universe doesn't want for you, and focus on what the universe does want for you."

Me, to my brain, in response: "Jesus, my brain! Shut up!"

2. I decided to begin what I figured would be a long, drawn-out, complicated process of looking into what it takes to buy a gun here in the great state of Texas. (In Chicago, it's such a hassle to legally own a gun that it's practically an impossibility.) As it turns out, here is what it takes:

(a) Find a gun store.
(b) Buy a gun.
(c) The end.

"Disturbingly easy" is how I would describe the process of purchasing a firearm here: you don't have to have any kind of license, permit or registration form unless you want to conceal your weapon. Yikes!

3. I'm starting to get crazy dividends from Paperback Swap. Again, highly recommended, especially if you've got lots of books lying around you want to get rid of.

4. The Sopranos and The Wire began syndication on A&E and BET, respectively, this week. It should be interesting to see how these shows, which are, to put it mildly, extremely adult-content, get butchered for regular broadcast, although sources tell me that on the latter show, only "fuck" is edited out (and nudity blurred) -- "shit", "nigger", etc. are apparently allowed to stay. Hooray for that! Also, butchered or no, The Wire immediately becomes the best thing ever to air on BET.

5. I'm off to Austin for the weekend, where hopefully I will not contract bird flu and fatally decease myself. Give a holler if you like.
stella stella can't you hear me yella


Today's Ludic Log: if I were a conservative, I would boast about how this silly little bit of whimsy constituted me bravely standing up to the terrorists, or something like that, and I would get all my fellow bloggers to pat me on my e-back for my courage. As it is, I'll just apologize and say it was funnier in my head than it is on your screen.