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Westward Ho!

14 Mar

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Babes on Bourbon Street

March 14, 2005 | By |

Made a quick stop through the Big Easy on the way to Austin. Hit Cafe du Monde for coffee and beignets and then headed to Bourbon Street.

Several people warned me about the seamier side of the notorious party promenade, but I hoped the Penta-Posse would be distracted by all the excitement. You would think I would have learned my lesson from Gilgamesh (see below)…

Each one of the Posse (‘cept Boo!) chose a New Orleans feathered mask and we joined the crowds walking down closed-off Bourbon Street. It was lightly raining, but we loved listening to the bands — particularly the trombonist playing Pink Panther — and the Dancer and I grabbed hands and danced with joy in the middle of the street.

Finally, exhausted and foot-weary, we turned back toward the hotel.

The Dude slipped his hand into mine and leaned in closely. Lowering his voice, so his sisters wouldn’t hear, he asked intensely: “Mom, what are those women thinking of?”

So, I guess he noticed the Hustler Club after all.

Looking at the exploitation and degradation of the female form through his eyes, how could I explain their inability to blush? How could I explain the pornographer’s ability to sell such a perverted conception of “empowerment” and “freedom?”

We’re hoping the Posse will learn a bit of history on this trip. But they may learn more about life.

14 Mar

By

Putting the shag back in shag rugs . . .

March 14, 2005 | By |

Seen around town, Austin, Texas: Keep Austin Weird. Found out what that meant. The quest for cultural enrichment for the Penta-Posse continued with a stop at the Austin Museum of Art. Instead, we found porn. Our westward adventure begins to feel like one long sex ed class. . .

That story just below. First: the hands-down favorite piece of “art” was a stack of plastic beach flip-flops in a pile on the floor. A portentous sign nearby warned: “Don’t Touch!”

I think that was there to ensure that the janitor didn’t accidentally toss them in the trash.

The Dreamer was aghast. “Why don’t I just clean out my closet for them?”

Just before leaving, we decided to take a swing through the “Community Room” which was just opposite the sign declaring the museum’s mission of outreach to families and children. It appeared to be some sort of craft festival — fun hats, scarves, jewelry.

Well, AND the larger-than-life, wall-sized picture of a naked woman done as a hooked rug.

I strolled over to talk with the young woman manning the front table. I asked her: what possible explanation could there be for putting this — and I gestured to the naked woman in high heels, reclining in a classic porn pose — on display in a museum, frequented by families?

She responded cheerily that they were a community group that had been invited to display their arts and craft work by the museum. I looked down at the table and picked up a few flyers: “Show me your KITS!: naughty latch-hook kits” and “Hot Pink Pistol.” Another young blonde coed with a bad dye job and a ripped shirt sidled up as reinforcement and haughtily asserted that, of course, the pornographic hook rug should be hanging in a museum because it is. . . art.

Then ensued a rather boringly predictable tussle about the relativity of all opinions about “art.” Still tutoring me superciliously, the faux-blonde leveled her coup de gras, informing me that my “emotional reaction” proved that this tacky piece of kitsch was akin to the statue of David.

I’m not sure which is worse: paying to take my kids to a museum and having them assaulted by pornography . . . or the elevation of Elvis on velvet to such exalted status.

Meanwhile, I’m waiting for my refund. Please help. The Associate Director of Education at the Austin Museum of Art is Michaela Black, at mblack@amoa.org, 512.495.9224.

UPDATE: The check is in the mail. See above.

07 Mar

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Hillary’s lavender look

March 7, 2005 | By |

Viewed today along I-81 in Tennessee — giant billboard, stark white lettering on a solid black background:

One nation under me — God

Welcome to the red-states! A few miles further down the road, a giant aluminum cross, several stories high towered over the interstate.

This is unfamiliar territory for today’s Democratic elites. On Meet the Press yesterday, NYTimes columnist Paul Krugman bemoaned the “radical right’s attempted takeover of our country.” Something tells me he would find these inspirational billboards sinister.

Watch for Hillary to trot out her old “politics of meaning” as another layer of her re-coloration strategy — she’s aiming for a nice shade of purple, hoping that a little red mixed in with her blue will give her a winning lavender hue.

07 Mar

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Westward Ho!

March 7, 2005 | By |

We got up at 0-dark-thirty this morning, put the Penta-Posse in the truck — still in their pajamas . . . and headed West. I am attending a Liberty Fund conference this weekend in Austin, organized by Fred Turner (see Gilgamesh post below) on epic, and my husband has a trade show in Vegas at the end of the month — and, as everyone knows, Austin and Vegas are right next to each other — so we decided to take the kids along for the ultimate field-trip to the Grand Canyon.

Fred has had us reading the Odyssey, and the Aeneid, as well as his own epic poem, Genesis, about the settlement of Mars, in preparation for the conference. So I think I’ll blame the insanity on him: all the epic adventure inspiration. Well, adventure, yes. . . but I guess I overlooked the conflict, destruction and general mayhem storylines, as well. . .

Stay tuned. Will they survive the Odyssey in the SUV?