March 15th is the Ides of March, best known as the date that Julius Caesar was assassinated in 44 BC, retold most famously by William Shakespeare's in Julius Caesar. But instead of printing out the Bard’s “Marc Antony's Funeral Oration” (Act 3, Scene 2, lines 74-108), I thought I’d take the high low road and present to you the version, updated and serrated, by the truest hipster saint, double-frantic sphere-gasser, the maddest bon vivant extraordinaire, joyous jazz monologist, and the most exquisite hepcat that ever breathed fire on this fair square planet, His Majesty … Lord Buckley!
"Hipsters, flipsters, and finger-poppin' daddies, knock me your lobes.
I came to lay Caesar out, not to hip you to him.
The bad jazz that a cat blows, wails long after he's cut out.
The groovy is often stashed with their frames,
So don't put Caesar down.
The swinging Brutus hath laid a story on you
That Caesar was hungry for power
If it were so, it was a sad drag,
And sadly hath the Caesar cat answered it.
Here with a pass from Brutus and the other brass,
For Brutus is a worthy stud, Yea, so are they all worthy studs,
Though their stallions never sleep.
I came to wail at Ceasar's wake.
He was my buddy, and he leveled with me.
Yet Brutus digs that he has eyes for power, and Brutus is a solid cat.
It is true he hath returned with many freaks in chains
And brought them home to Rome.
Yea, the looty was booty and hipped the treasury well.
Dost thou dig that this was Caesar's groove for the putsch?
When the cats with the empty kicks hath copped out,
Yea, Caesar hath copped out, too, and cried up a storm.
To be a world grabber a stiffer riff must be blown.
Without bread a stud can't even rule an anthill.
Yet Brutus was swinging for the moon. And, yea, Brutus is a worthy stud.
And all you cats were gassed on the Lupercal
When he came on like a king freak.
Three times I lay the wig on him, and thrice did he put it down.
Was this the move of a greedy hipster?
Yet, Brutus said he dug the lick, and, yes, a hipper cat has never blown.
Some claim that Brutus' story was a gag.
But I dug the story was solid.
I came here to blow. Now, stay cool while I blow.
You all dug him once because you were hipped that he was solid
How can you now come on so square now that he's tapped out of this world.
City Hall is flipped and swung to a drunken zoo
And all of you cats are goofed to wig city.
Dig me hard. My ticker is in the coffin there with Caesar,
And, yea, I must stay cool til it flippeth back to me."
[Spoiler Warning: if you want to be surprised by the derivative content, finding enjoyment in noticing it yourself, read no further.]
It has a contaminating virus just like 28 Days Later, which was itself just like The Crazies.
It has a region quarantined off from the rest of civilization (this time, Scotland), with the remaining people left to rot, just like 28 Weeks Later, which itself borrowed the bit from Escape From New York.
It has a little girl who loses her family during the initial infestation and develops into a Wonder Woman, just like Resident Evil.
This is the third and final part in this series of graffiti on moving vehicles. These "moving violation" graffiti photos of autos were all taken this week in Oakland and in San Francisco's Mission District as well as out in the Avenues. You gotta love the one above which is a vehicle scale get well card.
The Bay Area's NPR (Neighborhood Public Radio) is currently broadcasting in New York City as part of the Whitney Biennial 2008 and will be there through early June. During this time they are broadcasting, doing live concert events, and holding workshops. For more information check out Neighborhood Public Radio's website or the Conceptual Art website.
I recently visited Lee Montgomery and Jon Brumit
(pictured L to R holding one of their NPI boxes) to talk about their current exhibit "American Life" on Madison Avenue, a few doors down from the Whitney Museum.
AMOEBLOG: Can you explain the set-up in New York City for those you are not able to visit you at this location?
JON/NPR: We have a broadcast booth in the front window and the door is unlocked (during all broadcasts) and a signup sheet so that people from the neighborhood or visiting the museum (Whitney) can come in and sign up on the sign up sheet to do a show, tell stories, interview people.
AMOEBLOG: And how many hours a day/week are you broadcasting exactly?
LEE/NPR: We are broadcasting 24/7, though sometimes it's just the sound of the pedestrian and automotive traffic outside our window. New stuff can be heard Thursday through Sunday. Wednesday we keep office hours, and sometimes use the time to broadcast experimentally and spontaneously
improvisationally or to invite insistent newcomers on the air. You just never know what'll happen.
AMOEBLOG: What is the one thing you would like to get out of the NY installation?
LEE/NPR: One thing, hmm? I think we never are inclined to be so goal oriented, but I will say that any positive effect we can have on people's attitudes toward ideas of free speech, and any critical stance we can foster towards media analysis will be considered a success. Beyond that, it would be awesome to see new relationships forged between people in the museum, and in the community, and new connections (two ways) made between average people and the art world.. We love the fact that no one ever has to pay to access our work in this show..even if we are way up on Madison Ave.
AMOEBLOG: How is it going so far and what interesting things have happened or who has shown up to check out the NYC installation?
LEE/NPR: It's been crazy fun. Of note, we have had a visit from a bitter, fired ex-NPR (National Public Radio) reporter, a current NPR reporter, a WNYC producer, two National NPR trustees, a woman retired from the National NPR's general counsel's office, Anabella Sciorra, and the accountant for The Who, The Stones, Monty Python and Uriah Heap, and his very dynamic and charming wife. Additionally, we have had students and children from the neighborhood, The Enablers, EDAS, Daniel Goode, Scott Rifkin, and friends from San Francisco talking with artists in New York and talking about a protest against the Detourned Menu art show at the ISE in SOHO. The museum has been brilliantly supportive (if sometimes a bit nervous) throughout, and we have been surprised and pleased by the diversity of guests and points of view on display.