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Ojai Orange | The Column of Lasting Insignificance | Books | Wait-A-Minute

July 17, 2010
John Wilcock - January 5, 2008

 

The column of lasting insignificance
 
       


also posted:



2011
November 26 2011
November 19, 2011
November 12, 2011
November 5, 2011
October 29, 2011
October 22, 2011
October 15, 2011
October 8, 2011
October 1, 2011
September 24, 2011
September 17, 2011
September 10, 2011
September 4, 2011
August 27, 2011
August 20, 2011
August 13, 2011
August 6, 2011
July 30, 2011
July 23, 2011
July 16, 2011
July 9, 2011
July 2, 2011
June 25, 2011
June 18, 2011
June 11, 2011
June 4, 2011
May 28, 2011
May 21, 2011
May 14, 2011
May 7, 2011
April 30, 2011
April 23, 2011
April 16, 2011
April 9, 2011
April 2, 2011
March 26, 2011
March 19, 2011
March 12, 2011
March 5, 2011
February 26, 2011
February 19, 2011
February 12, 2011
February 5, 2011
February 5, 2011
January 29, 2011
January 22, 2011
January 15, 2011
January 6, 2011

2010
December 25, 2010
December 18, 2010
December 11, 2010
December 4, 2010
November 27, 2010
November 20, 2010
November 13, 2010
November 6, 2010
October 30, 2010
October 23, 2010
October 16, 2010
October 9, 2010
October 2, 2010
September 25, 2010
September 18, 2010
September 11, 2010
September 4, 2010
August 28, 2010
August 21, 2010
August 14, 2010
August 7, 2010
July 31, 2010
July 24, 2010
July 17, 2010
July 10, 2010
July 3, 2010
June 26, 2010
June 19, 2010
June 12, 2010
June 5, 2010
May 29, 2010
May 22, 2010
May 15, 2010
May 8, 2010
May 1, 2010
April 24, 2010
April 17, 2010
April 10, 2010
April 3, 2010
March 27, 2010
March 20, 2010
March 13, 2010
March 6, 2010
February 27, 2010
February 20, 2010
February 13, 2010
February 6, 2010
January 30, 2010
January 23, 2010
January 16, 2010
January 9, 2010
January 2, 2010

2009
December 26, 2009
December 19, 2009
December 12, 2009
December 5, 2009
November 28, 2009
November 21, 2009
November 14, 2009
November 7, 2009
October 31, 2009
October 24, 2009
October 17, 2009
October 10, 2009
October 3, 2009
September 26, 2009
September 19, 2009
September 12, 2009
September 5, 2009
August 29, 2009
August 22, 2009
August 15, 2009
August 8, 2009
August 1, 2009
July 25, 2009
July 18, 2009
July 11, 2009
July 4, 2009
June 27, 2009
June 20, 2009
June 13, 2009
June 6, 2009
May 30, 2009
May 23, 2009
May 16, 2009
May 9, 2009
May 2, 2009
April 25, 2009
April 18, 2009
April 11, 2009
April 4, 2009
March 28, 2009
March 21, 2009
March 14, 2009
March 7, 2009
February 28, 2009
February 21, 2009
February 14, 2009
February 7, 2009
January 31, 2009
January 24, 2009
January 17, 2009
January 3, 2009

2008
December 27, 2008
December 20, 2008
December 13, 2008
December 6, 2008
November 29, 2008
November 22, 2008
November 15, 2008
November 8, 2008
November 5, 2008
November 1, 2008
October 25, 2008
October 18, 2008
October 11, 2008
October 4, 2008
September 27, 2008
September 20, 2008
September 13, 2008
September 6, 2008
August 30, 2008
August 23, 2008
August 16, 2008
August 9, 2008
August 2, 2008
July 26, 2008
July 19, 2008
July 12, 2008
July 5, 2008
June 28, 2008
June 21, 2008
June 14, 2008
June 7, 2008
May 31, 2008
May 24, 2008
May 17, 2008
May 10, 2008
May 3, 2008
April 26, 2008
April 19, 2008
April 12, 2008
April 5, 2008
March 29, 2008
March 22, 2008
March 15, 2008
March 8, 2008
March 1, 2008
February 23, 2008
February 16, 2008
February 9, 2008
February 2, 2008
January 26, 2008
January 19, 2008
January 12, 2008
January 5, 2008

2007
December 29, 2007
December 22, 2007
December 15, 2007
December 8, 2007
December 1, 2007
November 24, 2007
November 17, 2007
November 10, 2007
November 3, 2007
October 27, 2007
October 20, 2007
October 13, 2007
October 6, 2007
September 29, 2007
September 22, 2007
September 15, 2007
September 8, 2007
September 1, 2007
August 25, 2007
August 18, 2007
August 11, 2007
August 4, 2007
July 28, 2007
July 21, 2007
July 14, 2007
July 7, 2007
June 30, 2007
June 23, 2007
June 16, 2007
June 9, 2007
June 2, 2007
May 19, 2007
May 12, 2007
May 5, 2007
April 28, 2007
April 21, 2007
April 14, 2007
April 7, 2007
March 31, 2007
March 24, 2007
March 17, 2007
March 10, 2007
March 3, 2007
February 24, 2007
February 17, 2007
February 10, 2007
February 3, 2007
January 20, 2007
January 13, 2007
January 6, 2007

2006
December 30, 2006
December 23, 2006
December 16, 2006
December 9, 2006
December 2, 2006
November 25, 2006
November 18, 2006
November 11, 2006
November 4, 2006
October 28, 2006
October 21, 2006
October 14, 2006
October 7, 2006
September 30, 2006
September 23, 2006
September 16, 2006
September 9, 2006
September 2, 2006
August 26, 2006
August 19, 2006
August 12, 2006
August 5, 2006
July 29, 2006
July 22, 2006
July 15, 2006

 

 


July 17, 2010

John Wilcock
the column of lasting insignificance


“Everybody knows that you lose one IQ point for every year you spend in southern California..”

“Not so, it’s more like ten points”

-- two of my anonymous bicoastal friends

It was a delight to see many old friends while in New York last week but so many were turned away from the library event at which my book (The Autobiography & Sex Life of Andy Warhol ) was launched, because the 300-seat room was packed with eager Warhol fans long before it began. (You can read reports about the event on my website under ‘press’). Some superstars who feature in the book  met with me to discuss the enigmatic artist about whom we all told our favorite tales, such as the time when we went to a midnight movie screening and the manager mistook Gerard Malanga for Andy who failed to correct the misidentification. He sat all night with a whimsical smile on his face as  Gerard signed autographs.
     The city was humid and tiring enough that I lost a couple of pounds (which I was well rid of) as a  consequence of climbing up and down innumerable subway stairs and walking from my various hosts’ apartments to the nearest bus  stop. Alyssa volunteered to guide me to the High Line park that now operates atop the long-abandoned rail line and, stoned out of our minds, and after a couple of beers at the Pick Me Up Café on St. Marks Place the topnotch collagist Valery accompanied me to a Chelsea area art opening which displayed some tremendous young talent. Coming soon to your city (maybe) is the plan to leave pianos all over the streets for anyone to tinkle on. It’s been a hugely popular notion in The Big Apple where British Artist Luke Jerram installed Play Me, I’m Yours pianos which have been played by an estimated 85,000 passers-by.

NYC pianos
photo credit: West Side Spirit

      One of my former assistants, when I  was publishing a tabloid newspaper called Other Scenes was Nancy, who spent so much of her time playing backgammon with Bob Dylan, that he bestowed on her a new name, Lola, and under that name she studied acting under Lee Strassberg and ended up writing a recently-published book about the maestro’s methods. I went down to see her class at which a score of aspiring thespians were practicing very basic exercises like pretending to hold a coffee cup and presumably entering into the essence of its being.  I asked Lola if it was possible early on to detect who would be a successful  actor and she replied, not at all. “I’m not able to make those kind of assessments because I’ve been wrong. Talent can be nurtured, revealed and uncovered… yet often after practicing the exercises, amazing things can happen, people come alive”.
    Three days with my author friend Caroline  (The Man Who Was Conde Nast ) cooling off in her NJ riverside home, a few yards from where Washington crossed the Delaware, was a welcome relief from the big city heat, and then back for more running around.
      With a group assembled by my old friend Jerelle, I attended a screening of the new Oliver Stone movie which contains fascinating footage of what U.S. propagandists try to depict as evil leftwing dictators (Chavez, Morales, Castro, Correa,  the Kirchners, Lula) but who turned out to be socialist-minded tribunes of the people who were mostly trying to end the poverty gap in their respective lands while  building a shared resistance to US dominance.
   Jerelle saw a lot of politics during her 20+-year reign as art director of the New York Times Op-Ed page, documenting her struggles about getting controversial artwork into the paper (including a David Levine caricature of Kissinger which, amazingly,  was rejected). She was incensed that the book she produced about all this last spring was not even mentioned in the Times, a reaction with which I sympathized because I worked at the newspaper of record for three years myself and they won’t mention my book either.
        Having been friendly with the superlative Christo for many years, we always have dinner when I’m in New York, but this was for the first time since the death of Jeanne-Claude, one half of what was surely the most successful and celebrated artist partnership since the era of Pablo Picasso and Dora Maar. Relieved to see Christo somewhat recovered from this tragic parting, I put him on camera to ask about the project in which he plans to cover sections of the Colorado River but as usual he proved to be hard to pin down on the project which, anyway, isn’t due until next year.
     Steve Hager, a top dog at High Times and author of the seminal book about graffiti and hip hop, interviewed me about the mag’s early days (my column from Tokyo was in the first issue) and then I put him on camera and observed that I was happy that High Times eventually got over its’ coke infatuation and returned to being the wonderfully dope-obsessed lifestyle magazine which is how it began. “You are looking” he said pridefully, “at the man who ejected cocaine from this magazine”. The current issue is ad-thick with pages devoted to huge, $2000 machines that cut and trim bushels of buds to saleable, useable size. There’s big money in today’s Marihuana Industry (as if you didn’t know).


End the Impossible War


   Although I read with growing amazement the multitude of free daily tabloids scattered on every corner, the most fun came as usual from Rupert Murdoch’s rambunctious New York Post with its colorful tales of a man who riled a bar full of World Cup supporters watching the German-Argentina game, by wearing  Hitler make-up while dispensing Nazi salutes; glamorous portraits of the red-headed Russian spy in Greenwich Village; gripes about the new city tobacco tax (bringing a pack to as much as $14.50); the growing demand for lobster rolls ($14-29, according to location); and a scary outbreak of bedbugs at Abercrombie & Fitch.
        Reporting to my host Janet that I’d had a mid-morning brunch with my publisher Chris and the dynamic, young lady editor of a cyber magazine that recently ran a kind piece about me, I said that, compared with the intellectual wasteland of southern California, it was such a joy in New York to meet intelligent conversationalists. Not to mention that  the lady in question was quite  beautiful. Janet said: “Haven’t you told me of this love-at-first-sight syndrome before?   Surely you remember the words of that song?”

I fall in love too easily/ I fall in love too fast
I fall in love too terribly hard/ For love to ever last
My heart should be well schooled, ‘cos I’ve been fooled in the past…
But still I fall in love too easily/ I fall in love too fast
.
               (Doubtless this is copyrighted by someone)


    Well, I said, it’s not so much falling in love, as that since ancient times men have been perpetually seeking a goddess. They desire  somebody to worship, be counseled by, lust after, and devote themselves to. And such elevated entities come among all too rarely.
     “Yeah, right” scoffed big J, a longtime practicing psychologist. “That’s all very well until, of course, the goddess tries to exercise some of her dominion”.
       And obviously she has a point; that is where it starts to get most interesting.
      Good to be back home. New York’s still a wonderful place to visit but I no longer need to live there.

7/10/10

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