Los Angeles is the strangest city in the world. I swear it as a true and faithful relation.
Every cult in the world has an outpost in Los Angeles. I suppose it?
A wonderfully loopy new volume of actual, er, fan letters sent to dada comic Andy Kaufman has just been published by Process Media Inc. Commemorating the 25th anniversary of the comedian’s death in 1984, the letters were a result of Kaufman offering $1,000 to any woman who could pin the “World Intergender Wrestling Champion” (Kaufman) to the floor. The pot was sweetened when Kaufman said the winner could shave his head, and later that he would marry the victor.
Not surprisingly, Kaufman’s obnoxious and aggressive TV appearances promoting the event provoked a flood of letters and postcards, both from fan and foe alike. Mostly foe! He kept them all, and the letters in Dear Andy Kaufman, I Hate Your Guts! provide a bizarre lens in which to view both ‘70s culture in general and post-feminist attitudes of the era, in particular. Truly a fantastic idea for a book and talk about a gift for the otaku with everything.
On Dec. 3 at the Silent Movie Theater, the Cinefamily collective will host a special evening with Lynn Margulies, Kaufman’s girlfriend at the time of his death and the book’s author/editor, who’ll be screening a number of seldom-seen videos related to his brief wrestling career.
The Silent Movie Theater/Cinefamily 611 N. Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles, 8 p.m., $15.
Cross posting this from Brand X
Here’s another head-scratching—yet wildly popular—new iPhone app to ponder: a Klingon-to-English dictionary, with translator and grammar checking software.
Designed by Ultralingua, a Dinkytown, Minn.-based language-learning software company, the app offers users the ability to look up common conversational phrases in Klingon such as, “What is all this debris?” and “I’d like a black ale.” (We hope “Where is the pan-galactic bathroom, please?” is in there someplace.) “Worf,” played by “Star Trek” actor Michael Dorn, coaches users on pronunciation employing an authentic Klingon accent. Although this is probably standard-issue stuff for Starfleet academy graduates, it might also prove useful to Klingons as well, who can use it in the opposite direction to speak with “Terrans” (that’s Earthings, you and me).
For the project, Ultralingua employed a linguist named d’Armond Speers who rather infamously spoke only the fictional alien language to his own son for the first three years of the tot’s life. “I was interested in the question of whether my son, going through his first language acquisition process, would acquire it like any human language,” Speers told the Minnesota Daily. “He was definitely starting to learn it.”
Clearly Speers was the right man for the job, but let’s hope that this “teaching kids Klingon” stuff doesn’t become a meme within Trekkie circles. I mean, sure, I suppose it would amuse your Vulcan friends when Junior starts babbling about SpongeBob SquarePants in Klingon, but this sure sounds like a recipe for raising a crazed loner to me…
Cross posting this from Brand X
Poor Britney Spears just can’t catch a break! Earlier this week, the beleaguered pop strumpet, still smarting from the walkouts and poor reviews she encountered during her recent Australian shows, had her Twitter account hacked and defaced with an “Illuminati” wallpaper background. In addition, the hackers also made two tweets, one reading ?
As a companion to the story about the UCLA near-riots, here’s a DIY education chaser courtesy of GOOD magazine.
We live with an economy and country where education is increasingly becoming either priced out of availability or a lifelong financial ball-and-chain turning students into indentured servants to the state that has paid for their education?
UCLA students are near-rioting over a 32% tuition increase. The unrest has resulted in 14 reported arrests and one tazering so far. Quick, deploy Apple Store discount vouchers to pacify them!
As a graduate of the UC system, I can’t say I’m surprised, but 32% is beyond the pale of previous tuition hikes. How in hell do they expect students or their families to pay that in this economy? How in hell do they expect to be able to fund that in financial aid? Why is California crippling its own workforce for the coming decades? Education is the backbone of any democracy, and by pricing it out of the range of those who need it, California is only hurting itself in the long run.
The Associated Press reports, from this morning:
About 200 demonstrators are chanting and marching around a UCLA building where University of California regents are scheduled to vote on a 32 percent fee increase for next year.
Protesters from several UC campuses stayed overnight at a campus tent city to take part in a second day of demonstrations on Thursday.
UCLA spokesman Phil Hampton says 30 to 50 students also have staged a sit-in at an ethnic studies building and have chained shut the doors. They’re peaceful and are being allowed to stay.
Fourteen people were arrested Wednesday for failure to disperse or disturbing the peace.
Protests are also reported at other UC campuses but no further arrests have been reported.
The regents say cuts in state aid leave are forcing the tuition hike.
You can shout at the UCLA Chancellor here, as this will likely affect the long-term quality of life of all Californians.
From Brian O’Reilly, one of the collaborators of the Scan Processor Studies:
Woody, Steina, Garth and I spent many nights screening works for moving images, playing music, and cooking, enveloped in the huge ghost town mood the ZKM’s kitchen took on at night. During this time there were passionate discussions about video synthesizers (mainly my love for the Sandin Image Processor), and how Steina’s VIOLIN POWER had a huge influence on Garth’s and my new series of works.
The source materials were generated by Woody using a Rutt-Etra Scan Processor in the 1970’s and sat on a shelf for years, having been recently digitized. Woody came into my studio one day and asked me if I would be interested in using them to work on a collaboration, and the project began from there…
Thanks Manuel Quiza!