Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

A New Normal Christmas Carol

December 20, 2020

[originally posted December 19, 2014, and apparently still even more relevant today]

The previous post (The New Normal) left Analysis in a most dystopian Yule time reverie. The religious admonition is to beat swords into plowshares. Christmas present indicated otherwise. The spirit of Christmas present toasted the excellent success of marketing firearms and ordinance to all. Plowshares are being beaten into swords. Small wonder law enforcement is becoming paramilitary. Christmas present disclosed there is a 50/50 chance that someone is carrying. Christmas past stepped in to remind Analysis of the NRA’s admonition that a world where all did carry would be a respectful one, filled with courtesy and deference. Christmas future pointed to a world where everyone assumes the other actually is carrying. Analysis found that everyone Christmas future showed had only one arm. The other hand tightly grasped the gun they carried. Analysis recounted that disease is always prevalent, that many ill procrastinate or simply do not wish to admit infirmity, and that mental and emotional disorders are very real maladies afflicting a given percentage of the US population at any given time. Christmas future showed it was only “common sense” to “be prepared”, vigilant for the ever present possibility of others using the firearms they carried inauspiciously, unannounced. No matter where the spirit of Christmas future pointed – the work place, the home, the halls of education or government – no one would collaborate, help or work with each other. It was impossible to “lend a hand” for these citizens of the future only had one. Without that hand, they would be completely disarmed. The spirit showed a citizenry where each was completely responsible for their own life. No one would assist the other. Releasing the gun hand’s grip meant losing the ability to defend one’s self, something now totally necessary given the future this spirit exposed. Analysis begged to be taken back.

“Last night I had a dream about reality.

It was such a relief to wake up.”

(Stanislaw J. Lec)

Official Apology From The Ministry Of Information

June 14, 2020

There is a need for context with today’s blog posting. Autocratic governments around the world have historically, as well as currently, maintained official news outlets where the official government interpretation of what is considered official reality is asserted. The rest is dismissed as, officially and literally, fake news. Some of these news outlets are run through official government offices of information, etc. Others are government franchise “autonomous” enterprises whose primary existence is to be the government mouth piece. Most in the US don’t approach news in that manner. Between a mix of freedom of the press and Walter Cronkite, with a dash of radical marginalized outlets, the news is treated as a work in progress of contemporary history, a fact checkable reality. What could be official? The contemporary autocracy in America rearranges that outlook. With its emphasis on privatizing anything and everything official that it can, the current administration eschews an “official” line, preferring instead for a popular origin located and affirmed through private news sources (a Wall Street Cronkite nightly report, of sorts). Many sources have reported what was originally uncovered by the Seattle Times. June 13, 2020, Jesse Drucker headlines for the NY Times that “Fox News Removes a Digitally Altered Image of Seattle Protests Fox News acknowledged that one photo was a combination of several images, and a second was taken in a different city.” Notable in the report of what The Seattle Times had scooped: “On Friday, Fox posted on its site a photo of a man armed with a rifle standing in front of the shattered glass of a storefront. The Seattle Times noted that it was a combination of several different photos from Getty Images taken over nearly two weeks. Also on the website, Fox also posted a nighttime photo of a burning storefront and car, accompanied by the headline “Crazy Town” and a list of articles on the unrest in Seattle. But that image was taken in St. Paul, Minn.” Drucker also gave the official response: “In an editor’s note now accompanying the articles, Fox said the now-deleted image was a “collage” that “did not clearly delineate between these images, and has since been replaced. In addition, a recent slide show depicting scenes from Seattle mistakenly included a picture from St. Paul, Minnesota. Fox News regrets these errors.”” Since 2016 Fox News has been functioning as the de facto ministry of information for the Trump regime; privatized, of course. The protesters may chant “What does democracy look like? This is what democracy looks like.” Well, Fox News is what privatization looks like for an official ministry of information. In the 5-28-20 post entitled “Decision 2020” Analysis referenced Latour’s Iconoclash and “Why do Images Trigger so Much Furor?” The original meaning of collage is given as “a piece of art made by sticking various different materials such as photographs and pieces of paper or fabric onto a backing.” The origin of the word “propaganda” is given as “Italian, from modern Latin congregatio de propaganda fide ‘congregation for propagation of the faith’” Propaganda? Art? Or both? Fox news: We report, you decide.

American Factory

February 15, 2020

The Oscar winning documentary, American Factory, will be screened this coming Thursday eve, 2-20-20, at the USWA Local 244 Union Hall, 350 Hudson Avenue, Newark Ohio. It begins at 7 PM with an open group conversation to follow its airing. This is the February feature for the Third Thursday Film series sponsored by The Freedom School In Licking County. When informed of such group gatherings to watch a flick, the knee jerk response usually runs something like: “I can get that on Netflix. I’ll be sure to watch it.” Analysis determines this pretty much misses the point. In the first half of the 20thcentury a Russian literary critic, Mikhail Bakhtin, introduced the idea of a dialogic reading or viewing. For Bakhtin, when a work or text is considered by more than one individual, a richer, fuller, more complete sense of the work is available to those assessing it. Simply put, an individual person can’t see the back of their own head. But they can see the back of their friend’s head. Together, in conversation, the two can arrive at a richer and fuller understanding of each other’s makeup, which is incomplete when assessed individually. The same can be said for watching a film or reading a book. Dialogical consideration enhances the understanding by filling in the blind spots. Along with countless others, Newark News Analysis has written of the demise of the commons, and the detrimental impact it has made on social interaction in America. The pre-industrial age commons was an open space available to area residents for leisure, congregating, gathering, celebrating, play, etc. The voracious need for workers and consumers by the captains of industry exorcised the state sanction of the commons, essentially eliminating them entirely. Vestiges of this space for communal (common) interaction can be found with neighborhood parks and some city squares. These of course are subject to regulations, hours of admission and limits to interactions (permits). Netflix could be considered as antithetical to the space of the commons. Along with the demise of the commons was the fall of festival, the communal gathering of play, usually located in the space of the commons. Comparisons of play designated within the communal space of contemporary parks and the play found within the notion of festival would be akin to comparing New Orleans Mardi Gras and the NFL or MLB. True, there is a sort of competitiveness found between the tribes or the crews sponsoring individual lines or parades. But this is not the designated and deliberate (specific) competitiveness incorporated within the layout of most parks (individual or group sports). Improving one’s individual jogging time or winning the league tournament is not the stuff of festival. Both bring people together for play but the time and ends of festival differ from that of competitive play. Mardi Gras has no beginning though it does end. Parks have designated times when they can be accessed. The play of competitive sports is predetermined, hence some are better at it than others (some play while others can only spectate). The play of festival is all inclusive and enhanced by diversity. Competitive play results in active participants (players) and passive spectators (fans). Festival play is one of open participation. Festival participants make their play while most competitive sports spectators have it made for them (are not players). Watching American Factory individually on Netflix, with personal phone distractions and preoccupations (multi tasking) is not the same as attending a common space viewing with an active conversation afterwards. Festival makes for a dialogic understanding (celebration) by virtue of its all inclusive and diverse participation. Individual Netflix perusal is incomplete. The blind spots are never even noticed.

Don’t Need A Weatherman To Know Which Way The Wind Blows

April 2, 2018

Anyone who has recently experienced the local evening news at Columbus ABC 6 or Fox 28 found themselves inadvertently subject to a kind of “Nicene Creed” solemnly articulated by the station’s anchors (sincere, earnest, and almost contrite). This goofy ritual has left many puzzled as to its origins or necessity. Sure, Sinclair, which owns the Cols. affiliate, has always used their format to editorialize on any and every news matter (something other stations have respectfully refrained from pursuing). But this daily profession of fundamentalist faith goes a bit above and beyond the call of duty. We learned this week (from many news sources) that it is de rigueur for all Sinclair news anchors to profess allegiance with each broadcast. Erin Nyren, for Variety (4-1-18), headlined “Sinclair Broadcast Group Faces Backlash Over Scripted Promos: ‘This Is Extremely Dangerous to Our Democracy’”. Some back story was given: “Earlier this year, CNN’s Brian Stelter reported that Sinclair Broadcast Group, the largest owner of local news stations in the country with over 200 owned or operated, would be requiring local news anchors to read a scripted promo that reflects a mistrust of the media.” More relevant back story (in light of Dear Leader’s tweeted promotion of Sinclair news as true and authentic): “The heightened scrutiny of Sinclair’s must-run segments comes as the FCC is nearing its final decision on Sinclair’s $3.9 billion takeover of Tribune Media. That deal promises to extend Sinclair’s reach into the nation’s biggest markets for the first time with more than 40 additional stations. Opponents of the deal have cited Sinclair’s centralized approach to aspects of its news operations as a reason that the FCC should limit the company’s expansion.” After the FCC’s recent Net Neutrality Nyet, Analysis wouldn’t count on Sinclair Broadcasting being restrained in its takeover. Nyren also included the full transcript obtained through ThinkProgess:

“Hi, I’m(A) ____________, and I’m (B) _________________…

 

(B) Our greatest responsibility is to serve our _____ communities. We are extremely proud of the quality, balanced journalism that ____ News produces.

 

(A) But we’re concerned about the troubling trend of irresponsible, one sided news stories plaguing our country. The sharing of biased and false news has become all too common on social media.

 

(B) More alarming, some media outlets publish these same fake stories… stories that just aren’t true, without checking facts first.

 

(A) Unfortunately, some members of the media use their platforms to push their own personal bias and agenda to control ‘exactly what people think’…This is extremely dangerous to a democracy.

 

(B) At ____ it’s our responsibility to pursue and report the truth. We understand Truth is neither politically ‘left nor right.’ Our commitment to factual reporting is the foundation of our credibility, now more than ever.

 

(A) But we are human and sometimes our reporting might fall short. If you believe our coverage is unfair please reach out to us by going to ____ news.com and clicking on CONTENT CONCERNS. We value your comments. We will respond back to you.

 

(B) We work very hard to seek the truth and strive to be fair, balanced and factual… We consider it our honor, our privilege to responsibly deliver the news every day.

 

(A) Thank you for watching and we appreciate your feedback.

 

Analysis wonders if the weather person will need to recite the creed.

Prometheus

January 28, 2017

Prometheus stole fire from the heavenly lord and shared it with mere mortals. For this the lord condemned him to never ending torture. The Argentine thinker Jorge Luis Borges is partial to “universal” themes, believing there are only so many different ones which are repeated through history and within different cultures. This one may once again be coming into its own. In the days following the US inauguration, some demonstrators ascended a construction crane and unfurled a large “Resist” banner. In those first days after the swearing in there were many national and DC, as well as world wide demonstrations, most notably the Women’s March. Were these acts of resistance? Were they effective? After the passage of the Patriot Act many questioned whether resistance was even possible. Indeed the scope and intensity of any demonstrations world wide (including the US) was greatly dampened. The covert desire for resistance appears to be growing, yet is it politically possible? Commenting on the White House’s Steve Bannon’s claim that the news media is the opposition, the Washington Post’s Mark Shields stated this appeared to be an accurate assessment – there are no Democrat majority state governments to be found between the few that are situated on either coast (PBS Newshour 1-27-17). Political resistance appears de facto impossible. But what if we reinterpreted the current administration as being one of a corporate merger? Indeed, not only the nation’s chief executive but most of his cabinet are former business executives or associates of that largesse. What if instead of resistance politically, we consider resistance to brand hegemony? Historically, within the US, there are many instances of brand hegemony. Coca Cola was ubiquitous over a half century ago. Even the movie Dr. Strangelove referenced its esteemed precedence to the US government. In Italy it was claimed the logo was more widespread than crucifixes. Other brands, like Levi, Sony and ultimately Microsoft, influenced not only individuals, culture and national policy but also international relations and exchange. Resistance to brand dominance may be difficult but it has shown to be quite doable. What of the blatant merger of commercial branding with political governance, something as yet not witnessed by the world? Prometheus stole the lord’s fire and shared it with mortals, in essence making it generic. A brand’s identity centers on equating it exclusively with some quality, thereby instilling the myth of greater value. To be generic is to upset that equation, for one item or service is as effective as another, with some difference but little exceptionalism. The current administration is striving mightily with its opposition, the news media, in order to establish its brand—exclusive identity with quality leadership for the intended myth of inherent value. Notice the 45th president’s language. It is filled with superlatives and hyperbole (even “factual hyperbole”) for what favors the establishment of his brand, denigration and vehement vitriol for anything inhibiting that brand identity. The news media compulsively and obsessively counters with attacks on this new “exceptionalism,” with its strange take on facts, truth and ego. Each reference to the “exceptionalism” of the new administration only bolsters the administration’s quest for brand identity, contributes towards the creation of its brand identity. No resistance to be found here with this kind of “opposition.” Resistance appears to be found, rather, with the demystification and disintegration of exceptionalism and its exclusivity. What if we used the president’s superlatives and hyperbole to describe generic occurrences, everyday events? Like Prometheus, we need to steal the fire of exceptionalism and share it with the everyday. Acts of creativity and ingenuity, done because they are possible, are much more effective resistance to corporate brand government than any hoped for political machinations within the Republican Party. What an amazing and incredible night’s sleep was had in our fantastic bed! Everyone should be so blessed. Could a $2,000 a night hotel mattress supply a better night’s rest? The generic resists the brand mystique. It steals the fire of exceptionalism and exclusivity. Then again, there’s always the vengeful lord’s never ending torture to contend with. But that’s a story for another day.

Seat At The Table

January 20, 2017

The news of the last two months has been over charged with speculation and imagination as to “what the new administration will be like, do, etc.” In less than 24 hours the news will be what the new administration IS like, doing, etc. On the cusp of the change Washington DC’s The Hill reports “Trump team prepares dramatic cuts” by Alexander Bolton (1-19-17). “Staffers for the Trump transition team have been meeting with career staff at the White House ahead of Friday’s presidential inauguration to outline their plans for shrinking the federal bureaucracy, The Hill has learned.” “The proposed cuts hew closely to a blueprint published last year by the conservative Heritage Foundation, a think tank that has helped staff the Trump transition.” “The Corporation for Public Broadcasting would be privatized, while the National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities would be eliminated entirely.” In parallel articles on this speculation, Deadline Hollywood claims that these three entities received .016% of the $4.6 trillion US budget in FY2016. Artnews reports that the NEA’s portion is .003%. The Hill goes on to state: “At the Department of Justice, the [Heritage Foundation] blueprint calls for eliminating the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, Violence Against Women Grants and the Legal Services Corporation and for reducing funding for its Civil Rights and its Environment and Natural Resources divisions. At the Department of Energy, it would roll back funding for nuclear physics and advanced scientific computing research to 2008 levels, eliminate the Office of Electricity, eliminate the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and scrap the Office of Fossil Energy, which focuses on technologies to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.” Last week The Advocate ran a routine announcement: “The Newark Think Tank on Poverty will have a general meeting from… Plans for 2017 will be discussed.” Along with many events, the weekend’s icy weather also cancelled this meeting. Analysis finds the final line of its announcement to be more than prescient. The Think Tank’s mission is to obtain “a seat at the table” that concerns its participants – Job and Family Services policy making, Food Pantry distribution decisions, public transportation initiatives, etc. Analysis shows that planning for 2017 may be time well spent by organizations like The Newark Think Tank. Speculative news reporting culminating in what The Hill just presented definitely interrogate whether it is safe to assume that there even will be a table to vie for a seat at in the new administration.

Cleansing

December 5, 2016

“July 8, 1910 was a dark day in Newark, Ohio history. Carl Etherington, a detective with the Anti-Saloon League of Ohio, had come to Newark to raid saloons and speakeasies for illegal alcohol. Etherington shot local saloon owner William Howard in self-defense, and was taken to the jail. In retaliation for the agents’ activities, a mob formed. The crowd stormed the north side door of the jail, forcibly removed Etherington, and hanged him from a telephone pole on the southeast corner of the courthouse square.” (lcjail.org website)

“The historic Licking County jail could make money as a tourist attraction, but first, cash is needed to make required safety improvements. That was the pitch Licking County Governmental Preservation Society President Jim Young made to the Licking County commissioners on Tuesday…” “Commissioner Tim Bubb said the county has committed to so many costly projects, it’s not known whether the 2017 budget has room for any more. The Licking County Courthouse restoration, county annex and records center renovation on East Main Street, ongoing county bridge improvement program, and current Licking County jail maintenance combine for an expensive to-do list that will include borrowing money. “We have a lot of capital commitments,” Bubb said. “We don’t have enough money to do everything we need to do this year. I can’t remember us feeling any more pressure for capital dollars than we do this year. 2017 — you couldn’t ask for a more difficult year.”” “A philanthropic donation from the Gilbert Reese Family Foundation paid for last year’s exterior cleaning of the jail, at a cost of about $230,000. The cleaning transformed the blackened exterior to a reddish look.” (Commissioners consider improvements to historic jail Kent Mallett, The Advocate Reporter 11-29-16)                                                                                                     “In other cases, reappropriation on the part of an actor from the media or the government tends to legitimate politicians who want to look like heirs of the founding fathers or of the nation’s foundational events. Tourist industry practices bring a hegemonic modality with a different meaning. In either case, criticism usually focuses on the “distortion” of the monument’s original meaning, as if every building or object in the nation’s heritage were destined to remain forever unchanged – as if erecting a statue to commemorate a founding father or adapting a historic building to be repurposed as a bank or as government offices wasn’t already a contingent interpretation of its social meaning.” (Nestor Garcia Canclini “Art Beyond Itself” pg. 38) Both modalities are at play in Licking County today. The first: “Escalating renovation costs at the Licking County Courthouse, along with other capital improvements, spurred Auditor Mike Smith to question county spending decisions in a Thursday meeting with the county commissioners. Smith said he heard last year the courthouse project would cost close to $10 million, instead of the initial $4 million cost approved by the commissioners.” “In addition to the courthouse, the commissioners announced the Child Support Enforcement Agency building at 65 E. Main St., needs a repair and restoration project estimated to cost up to $3.8 million.” “Another building expense is the creation of a records center in a building at 675 W. Church St. purchased four years ago from the Licking County Board of Developmental Disabilities. The project has been estimated to cost from $1.5 million to $2 million.” (Auditor: Courthouse cost spike to $10M unsurprising Kent Mallett, The Advocate Reporter 7-28-16). The second modality is repurposing the old jail as a haunted hoochie: “The haunted attraction takes visitors through the historic Licking County Jail, filled with a “morgue from hell” and 30 actors dressed as zombies and vintage clowns.” (Mallett 11-29-16)                                                                                                               But wait, there’s more. The Advocate’s Kent Mallett headlines Care for abuse, neglected children breaking JFS budget (12-2-16). “”Paying for the care of the kids is obviously bankrupting us,” [Licking County Job and Family Services Director John] Fisher said. “We can’t just abandon these children. We can’t control who enters our services and who doesn’t. Our mission is to help families and children involved in abuse and neglect situations and do our best to heal that.”” “”We’ve got needs across the board,” Bubb said. “We don’t have these extra $1 million to $2 million we can keep throwing at things. We can’t sustain this going forward. We’re looking at some loss of revenue next year courtesy of the state.” The county’s foster care costs increased from $7.1 million in 2014 to $9 million in 2015, and on pace for $9.2 million this year. “We’re sitting here looking at the numbers and don’t see the faces,” Bubb told Fisher. “You see the faces. We’re frustrated too.”” Analysis finds this is where it gets kinda gnarly. Capital improvements, funded by long term loans, selling municipal bonds (a kind of mortgage due way off in the future), are a very sanitized expense on a budget sheet. They produce an immediate tangible result that can be pointed at. Contrary to Commissioner Bubb’s empathetic sigh of frustration, LCJFS operating expenses are always faceless. A wall greater and more effective than any Donnie Trump can fantasize insures that the needy stay out, the resources remain in. The wall consists of the legal statutes in place mandating the confidentiality and anonymity of the clients served by LCJFS. The artist Krzysztof Wodiczko is known for projecting historic images on a building or monument from that structure’s past, literally putting a face on a façade. Due to the wall, Analysis finds that one can (in actuality) only imagine projecting the faces of children and families held in “bond”age on the red stone of the old jail – prisoners of an economics that favors facades over faces, capital over persons. “Bubb said the building improvements are not annual expenses and will save the county money in the long run, but the work can’t be overlooked any longer.” (Mallett 7-28-16).

Make America Enjoyable Again

November 9, 2016

In continuation with the previous post, Analysis would like to further consider the implications of being able to “enjoy whatever is next.” This is a more than relevant and pertinent topic given the outcome of the 2016 presidential election. That exercise in democracy has produced a rather extensive and thorough, monolithic power grid with a “non politician” brand CEO at its core. With all due respect to John Kasich, unlike past single party monopolies this one will be a voter approved and sanctioned public/private partnership sporting blatant (and unabashed) corporate business involvement throughout. One of the ways that Americans enjoy whatever is next has been through getting their news from non-news media entertainment (like the late night talk shows, The Daily Show, SNL, etc.). Will this continue to be the case? Unlike the current president, the recently elected one has shown a certain propensity for not favoring such sources for any unflattering or critical accounts. And the future prez can be a touch vindictive, eager to unleash his legal beagles at the slightest scent of libel. Where have we seen something akin to this? Back during the W presidency, a similar situation existed with the federal funding of public broadcasting. Unable to eliminate it entirely, control of programming format and content was coupled not only with cuts in funding, but also through incorporating the vice president’s wife in program development and approval. The outcome of this near monolithic mechanism was the revamping of public broadcasting programs, time slots, reporting, and even on air presentation. Political, ideological, and art content was supplanted by business, economics and history (mostly of wars). Anyone who first met Sanders on Moyers remembers the disappearance, reappearance and eventual demise of that critical PBS show. Along with programming came ubiquitous “discrete” advertising that snuck in and grew like Topsy (even Austin City Limits sports Inbev’s King of Beer, at least twice with every airing). But now, the same or similar is likely to befall the purveyors of private broadcasting given that “media” has always been about selling. It is not about information dissemination, discussion or entertainment. The entertainment is there to sell product (as well as ideology) much as the NFL is there to sell ideology (as well as product). Given the anticipated shift in dispersal and distribution of power centers, Analysis finds it doubtful that Americans will enjoy whatever is next through getting their news from sources such as Colbert, Stewart, Oliver, etc. SNL may finally retire, er, be forced into retirement (and further syndication). Media exists solely to sell. Whose brand sells will ultimately determine media access. And we all know what brand that is. After all, what else is there but to make America enjoyable again!

Dead Vote Casting

October 10, 2016

In a recent book review (Art beyond Itself: Anthropology for a Society without a Story Line by Nestor Garcia Canclini) Robin Adele Greeley writes “Yet it is precisely in contemporary art’s ability to capture this state of incoherence that Garcia Canclini situates its capacity to address our present condition.” Analysis finds this to be most applicable to the present condition of political discord today. To say “discourse” rather than “discord” would imply some form of coherence. After the weekend distortions of Wiki leaks, x rated audio releases and an ostensible “town hall” debate, contemporary art must find itself with a treasure trove of work. Indeed, to wish or long for a story line, one that America could look for to return to its past “glory days,” would be to desire a monolithic, totalitarian mindset; one that didn’t have to take diversity into account or deal with its consequences. Coherence would entail an all encompassing mindset immune to the plethora of difference found not only materially in people, wealth distribution and quality of lives, but also the even greater galaxy of information, data, facts, and descriptions given the “huge” array of media sources. Analysis believes any artwork would look and sound a lot like Sunday evening’s “town hall” debate where people were asking questions that weren’t being answered, giving answers to questions they weren’t being asked, ignoring the moderators, or not wishing to deal with any format at all. What may have appeared as discord and incoherence to contemporary aesthetic sensibility was actually a variety of individual all encompassing mindsets immune to diversity, unable to include what is not within their own single monolithic voice (no surprise anarchy never gets any good press!). Analysis finds it isn’t any wonder given the enormous amount of continuous imagery, descriptions, information, advertising, narratives, etc. coming from an equally dizzying array of sources. If I don’t stick to the script, bring attention to myself, then my brand identity will be lost. Analysis finds that maintaining brand identity requires continuous 24-7-365 attention. The jumble of incoherence known as contemporary politics creates an almost deafening Motown Wall of Sound, akin to white noise – present everywhere, eventually accepted as natural background, an unnatural form of silence. Closer to home, there is an almost deafening roar of silence regarding the upcoming Newark increase in income tax appearing on the ballot. The strategy, as presented by Newark Advocate reporting months ago, is for a campaign specifically targeting business and social organizations. At some point this campaign will need to come out of the closet and address those who actually vote, the residents of Newark. Though more convenient to address businesses entities and corporations, Citizens United still maintains that elections are determined by flesh and blood “persons” casting ballots (in person!). Analysis finds the dearth of campaigning for a “yes vote” within 30 days of voting, be it lawn signs, billboards, media ads, etc., to suggest that maybe those in city government not up for reelection may have already plotted a future course for the city. Business loathes the uncertainty of incoherence. The monolithic mindset is so much more convenient! Newark’s income tax increase has been relegated DOA, resulting in a kind of dead vote casting.

Irony, Thy Name Is Newark

September 27, 2016

Reporter Sydney Murray writes “Filmmaker Michael Moore took to social media Sunday night to ask why the Midland Theatre wouldn’t let him film a live show about the upcoming presidential election.” (Michael Moore denied Midland Theatre show 9-26-16 Newark Advocate) The Midland itself gives many, varied and different self justifications, like “But officials at the Midland said in a post on its own Facebook page that the reasons for the denial of Moore’s request came down to the same three criteria they apply to all shows: timing, audience and finances.” The “Moore” interesting reasons come at the end of the article (of course). “But the Midland’s own social media response takes exception with Moore’s claims that he was banned from the theater. In addition to [Midland Theatre Executive Director Nancy] Anderson’s statements, the Midland Theater Facebook post said since Moore is a filmmaker and the show was not a film, it was unknown what the actual show would be, and whether or not there would be audience interest. Finally, the post says the performance was going to be a free event, but since the Midland still needed to staff the event and pay other fees, it was not a financially smart decision to host the show.” The irony of all this will not be missed by the engaged followers of the current rebranding of the new and hip gentrification called downtown Newark. After all, come the spring and downtown Newark will be turned into an independent film festival hub (Newark FAMFEST), centered primarily at The Midland, not profitable but funded just the same by outside contributors and dealing primarily with documentaries and Newark selfies. (Whew!) And who, dear reader, has had a more enormous impact on documentary film production (and town selfies) than Michael Moore? Irony, thy name is Newark.