31 December 2016

comedy as prophecy

“Can a nation organized and governed such as ours endure?
That is the real question.
Have we the nerve and the will? Can we carry through in an age where we will witness not only new breakthroughs in weapons of destruction, but also a race for mastery of the sky and the rain, the ocean and the tides, the far side of space, and the inside of men's minds?
That is the question of the New Frontier.”
John F. Kennedy,
1960 Democratic National Convention Acceptance Address
delivered 15 July 1960, Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles

Off topic, but on topic: When are we going to begin the Beach Boys
article? I guess it is just up to the first step. In a way it is
over-tardy, it goes without saying it is like Dan Graham pastiche.
Would there be any way of bringing it up to date? I guess American
fascism is up to date, but certainly not in the Wilsonian sense. After
your historic recreation of the record collection, which speaks to
certain current artistic practices of locating historical facts, how
could this piece of writing take a similarly reflective stance toward
its material?

well, one way would be to look at environmental devastation, the beach(boys), new orleans, sri lankan, tides destroying things, surfing, Walter Benjamin's 1936 artwork essay warning against societies fascination with their own destruction.
maybe i am overly optimistic that Wilsonian fascism is more than just a fascination with having the right north american speed demon.

the text can be an artwork, not necessarily something that fits a program of academic inquiry - thus a poetic free association might work. 


And of course Smithson, within that environmental lament. Perhaps the
Beach boys to him represented a melancholic coastal utopia that he
knew was quickly and with the force of amnesia plummeting into a
future pre-history. And so he could not bring himself to listen to

Brian Wilson, although considered the leader, probably shouldn't be the target of our scorn, rather the entire beach boys band pre- Pet Sounds.

I like the picture you paint of Smithson.

maybe Fillip review would be a good place to submit a proposal for it?

I don't know how to start this though.



It's a good idea. There are reviews which are 1500 words or so, and
essays which are twice that. this is obviously not a review, unless it
is a review of your piece in the Triennale, but it would be nice to
have the space to meander anyway. We send them a 250 word abstract or
something. The rules are on the website. I never got my 75 bucks from


perhaps we could do a 'site-specific' version for the Fillip review, bring in some polemics about that nonsense statement by Lawrence Weiner comparing nova scotia to british columbia, coastal dialectics.

or not.


Did the Beach Boys ever play in Halifax, I wonder. Although how much
impact do they make on a 'sophistication' register. Fuelling a
regionalist art feud could be fun. We could pose as being based in


perhaps an abstract could be :

we propose an artistic "site-specific" article, starting from the claim made by Lawrence Weiner in the last issue of Fillip review that Vancouver was(is?) more sophisticated than Halifax and how that might play out in the pages of a Canadian magazine published in Vancouver by Vancouverites.  We will look at the intertwined relationship between The Beach Boys' fascistic impulse,  post 9-11 environmental histeria, economies of production in Vancouver and Halifax, 2010 Olympics, destruction, Vancouver artists obsession with Conceptual art, the piece 'an object tossed from one country to another', and 'island of broken glass' controversy Vancouver Island.


alter as you may


instead of saying obsession with conceptualism, i wonder if we could make the claim that Vancouver artists suffer from a certain Dan Grahamitus, or Robert Smithsonitus;  a little detourné of the Smithson line that artists of the 1960s suffered from Duchampitus.



aside from the at first glance, very tenuous relationship between the Beach Boys and fascism, there is the more close relationship between california style minimalism of Larry Bell and John McCkraken, Craig Kaufmann and the beach boys which was acknowledged by that curator who did the show on B. Wilson.   I think the car culture and high gloss paint fashions was the link.  Ed Ruscha often makes the statement about the tendency of allowing your love of cars to enter your artwork. Now, where's the fascism? i have no idea. even hippies love cars in california, evidenced by Father Yod and others.

I've often wondered what the relationship is between the Bush regime and the puritan yankee Minimalism of Richard Serra, Robert Ryman, Donald Judd.  When you go to Dia Beacon you feel like there has been some eerie like placement of things.  when does the dominant high culture become entwined with the dominant political culture? Then there is John Chamberlain with his busted car allegories; frightening sublimity.

thank you for entertaining my insanity for a minute.

i believe there is a picture of michael circulating out there wearing a plaid number.

this reminds me that pendletons plaid shirts were the item of choice for surfers.


That's a sweet idea- our own line of surf wear (as illustrations).

surfer's also meaning, Robert Smithson!

Neil Young might be the dialectical synthesis though, with Smithson opposing Brian Wilson and Young at the resolved mid point.  Neil Young isn't particularly futuristic, nor entirely nostalgic.  Merlin Carpenter suggests Young's guitar on rust never sleeps deals in the same analysis of geological time as Smithson's work.

or maybe i am fantasizing about an already made artwork by Sam Durant.



"Wouldn't It Be Nice" is a goldmine on this topic."Wouldn't it be nice if we were older, then we wouldn't have to wait so long" - death drive, anyone? (This has always been K's reading of this song).
Then there's the homespun kitchen facism of "We could be married/Then We'd be Happy".


Brother Rat said...

31. Never show any more mercy or tolerance to people than your pastor shows. If you do you will draw people to you and away from the pastor, and thereby work iniquity.

32. Never assign responsibilities, delegate authority, or change personnel in the church.

33. No one has the authority to make purchases for the church without authorization from the pastor.

34. If you have been given a responsibility by the pastor, fulfill it to the best of your ability in the manner he directs you.

35. If the pastor sees fit to make a change in personnel of the church, methods or systems, it is your responsibility to support him.

36. Never challenge the authority, knowledge, or experience of the pastor. The Lord will take care of any deficiency on the part of the minister.

37. "Touch not thine anointed" "Do my prophets no harm" These bible quotations are referring to ministers.

38. Your wife is your help meet and has no voice in the affairs of the church. The man is the head of the woman, and the woman "ain't the head of nothing".

39. You should never be a part of a dissension group within the church. You will render your life useless. Never be a party to gossip, discontent, or confusion in the church.

40. Do not loan money to other saints. Do not borrow money from the saints. (Please note that all church members are referred to as saints)

41. If you are a business man, do not feel the saints are obligated to patronize your business.

42. Do not make a merchandise mart out of the church. Never sell items on the church property.

43. Be open minded on the ministry. Permit them to help you.

44. Your attitude, words and actions reflect your heart.

45. When you counsel with the pastor, keep his words confidential. Do not use the pastor's name like a rubber stamp.

46. Protect your pastor. Don't use his title for job applications and references.

47. Respect your pastor. Be considerate of his time.

48. Help your pastor. Willingly perform all duties he assigns.

49. Make yourself available to the pastor. Don't wait for him to come to you and ask you for help, but go to him and offer your time and talents to him to direct.

50. What do you owe your pastor?

Brother Rat said...

51. Keep your pastor informed about your contacts with saints. Good reports are welcomed and needed by the pastor. Evil reports are also needed. Never harbor, or be an accomplice in a crime. Don't assume the pastor knows. Tell him.

52. Respect the pastor's authority and responsibilities. Don't challenge his right to tell you what to do or to pass judgment on what you have done.

53. Express your ideas before a decision is reached, but not afterwards. When you interfere with the pastor's authority, even passively, you interfere with his ability to handle his responsibility. He is responsible, not you.

54. Don't go around your minister. Don't cover a mistake to keep him from finding out who should receive correction for a fault. If someone deserves credit the minister should be informed so he can give it. Do not try to claim success others have earned.

55. Watch the pastor's timing. Learn his schedule so that you don't interfere with the necessities of his schedule. Call before you come to talk to him. Let him set the appointment according to his schedule, not yours.

56. See the minister when he likes to be seen. Don't stay too long. Many others are waiting for the opportunity you have now.

57. Find out how your minister likes to be contacted. Some prefer that you call before you come. Some like for you to transact your business by phone. Some prefer to have a portion of your visit in writing --- dreams, etc.

58. Know what you want to talk about before you call or come to see your pastor. Make an outline or check list of things you need to discuss.

59. When you have stated your cause, do not repeat it a second and third time. He hears you the first time.

60. When you ask the pastor a question, allow him enough time to answer it. Don't keep talking until you have asked a dozen questions, and then expect him to remember them.

Brother Rat said...

61. Don't try to second guess what the pastor means by what he says, an expression on his face, or an action because you could be wrong.

62. Keep the pastor informed. See to it that you give facts exactly as you know them. Be ready to use names when you submit a complaint about the saints.

63. Hide nothing from the pastor either good or bad.

64. Be a friend to all of God's people.

65. Be an example in thought, word, deed, dress, appearance, manners, and conduct.

66. If your pastor assigns you a responsibility, first find out exactly what he expects of you. Then proceed to fulfill this responsibility to the letter. Remember, you represent him and his vision.

67. Never act independently of the pastor. Respect his advice.

68. Never challenge your pastor either privately or publicly. If you disagree with him on an issue, you owe it to yourself and him to discuss it with an open mind. Give him a chance to help you.

69. A minister is God's representative, God's messenger, God's interpreter of the bible and a demonstrator of God's methods.

70. Deep spirituality should be evident on the minister's countenance. He won't have a high and haughty heart.

71. Speak with humility because a minister is God's mouthpiece.

72. Have a high regard for the position of a minister.

73. Do not demonstrate self, but stand as an humble servant of God.

74. An attitude of belligerence has no place in the heart of a man preparing for the ministry.

75. Be cautious about instructing the congregation in such requests as having them stand or say, "Amen".

76. Never call a dedication service or direct a service in a manner differently than your pastor would direct it.

77. Don't request people to fulfill positions your pastor does not such as testifying, singing specials, or sitting on the platform.

78. Order the service as nearly like your pastor does as possible.

79. Be faithful, consistent, and dependable in attending services.

80. When the pastor asks you to speak, pray or fulfill any function during a service. Be quick to respond. Do not make it necessary for him to call people by name to get them to speak.

81. When a prayer service begins, just as soon as the minister moves toward the front, you should move to the front with him. Don’t wait for him to ask you to move.

82. Ask yourself if you share the work load of keeping the property well maintained and clean; if you come on a regular basis and help or do you leave it up to others to take care of the work. Have you ever cleaned or painted the church? Have you ever mowed the lawn or taught a class?