Clicking through Salon.com this morning and came across this piece about how a recent chef's suicide may be linked to the guy's participation on the reality cooking show Kitchen Nightmares. Turns out the guy's the second suicide of a contestant from the show. The common denominator of both suicidal cooks: they were berated on national TV by the star of the show, asshole celebrity chef Gordon Ramsey. Apparently the top chef's such a bully he drives contestants to take their own lives.
Of course I quickly YouTubed Chef Ramsey to witness the hullabaloo myself. I was not disappointed. The guy is truly a screaming jerk. No soothing voice of Padma Lakshmi here. Check out Chef Ramsey's visit to a Mexican Restaurant. I'm on the fence about this one. Yes, Ramsey's an unrepentant jerk who may or may not have driven two people to their deaths. But putting stale tortilla chips that have been handled by a table of grubby kids BACK into the chip warmer? You go, Gordon!
Vexing: Female Voices from the East L.A. Punk, just opened last night in Guadalajara, Mexico, as part of the city's big annual bookfair. This current edition of Vexing, a hybrid show of historical objects and contemporary art, film and video, is an encore presentation from the original exhibit held last year at the Claremont Musuem of Art.
I have a couple of films in the show, was at the opening, rubbed shoulders with L.A. mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (who, I discovered, like most Hollywood actors, is way shorter in person), and met legendary punk rockers Alice Bags and Teresa Covarrubias. Interesting show. Free champagne in real glass flutes. Met a bass player from a Journey tribute band AND a guitar player and drummer from a Kiss tribute band -- all of them female. Ran into artist Shizu Saldamando. Great night.
Tonight is an outdoor concert featuring the Sirens, straight outta Highland Park, LA; Chicana punk rock supergroup Las Tres; and Lysa Flores. Pics to come. Until then, here's a video about the OG Vexing show starring my fave Pflugerville academic Colin Gunkel.
UPDATE: Turns out Colin's been blogging all week about the Vexing show...photos, videos, commentary. Here's a clip from the opening where the camera walks through the rooms. That's me, by the way, at 0:17 talking to Lysa Flores. Antonio Villaraigosa is nowhere to be seen.
Jim Caroll died. Here's a post I wrote on the very badass rocker last year:
Driving around L.A. listening to Indie 103.1, a local treasure if
there ever was one, and stumbled across a fave song I haven't heard to
in a long time, Jim Carroll's People Who Died, from his 1980 album
Catholic Boy. Carroll was the writer/punk rocker who wrote the
Basketball Diaries, an autobiography about growing up in New York in
the 60s and 70s as a High School basketball star and heroin addict. It
was later made into a movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio. As you can
guess, I recommend the book and not the film. From a Jim Carroll website:
Lynn Hirschberg, describing a Jim Carroll Band concert in 1980, before the release of Catholic Boy, reported overhearing a Oui
photographer remark,"You're watching the Dylan of the 80s, you know. .
. . Seeing Jim Carroll now . . . is like witnessing history.
Indeed, Jim Carroll expressed the Bomb-fear anticipation, the optimistic
nihilism and glittering darkness of the 1980s that we who were there
felt even if we couldn't communicate it ourselves. When JohnLennon was assassinated in front of the Dakota in December 1980, "People Who Died" was one of the most-requested songs on FM radio, just after Lennon's own "Imagine." Steven Spielberg chose "People Who Died" to play during the opening scene of E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial. "People Who Died" tapped a mainline. It was a hit even before it was released, and, as Newsweek's
Barbara Graustark noted, it "propelled [Carroll] from underground
status . . . to national attention as a contender for the title of
rock's new poet laureate."
I don't know about the "Dylan of the 80s" line, but the rest is
pretty accurate. To see the band play it live go here. Enjoy.
As Think Progress reports, never mind the fact that Newt Gingrich hates Mexicans, has called Spanish a "ghetto language," and called Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor a "racist," homeboy is now Twittering in Espanol.
Last year Gingrich, the former Speaker of the House, and the man many consider one of the intellectuals of the Republican party, saw how the country's growing Brown demographics would quickly spell doom for the GOP, and so he set out to learn the language of Cervantes, Marquez and Chingo Bling. As Newt's PR flack put it...
The classes are being provided by an Atlanta-based institute, Bilingual America.
(The institute's name seems a bit ironic, given that Mr. Gingrich
reportedly said last weekend that "allowing bilingualism to continue to
grow is very dangerous." But of course, I have to remember that he's
offered a clarification for what he said last week.)
Mr. DeSantis says that Mr. Gingrich has studied 100 hours of a
280-hour Spanish course offered by the institute. In the first 120
hours, he is focusing mostly on vocabulary development and structure.
After that, he'll focus on pronunciation, speech flow, and advanced
structure. "When he finishes the course," Mr. DeSantis wrote in an
e-mail, "Bilingual America projects him to communicate at a professonal
level of Spanish or at the advanced-plus to superior level as rated by
the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages."
And for those of you wondering, here's the full quote where Newt somehow conflates living in the ghetto with his opposition to bilingual education.
"The American people believe English should be the official language of
the government. ... We should replace bilingual education with
immersion in English so people learn the common language of the country
and they learn the language of prosperity, not the language of living
in a ghetto."
Still unclear if Newt''s going to translate the above "thoughts" for his next ghetto Tweet.
So this band from Canada gets on a United plane to make their gig. As they wait for takeoff they look out the window, and, to their horror, witness bag handlers tossing around their guitar cases.
Of course the instruments are broken. The band wants money for the damages. And thus begins a one year struggle to get the airline to pay for the broken guitar. No one takes responsibility. Calls are put on hold or unreturned. The classic runaround.
Cut to now, and the frustrated band records a song narrating their plight and United's callous indifference. The group's YouTube video goes viral. CNN replays the story. David is beating Goliath. United calls, hat in hand, eager to work something out.
Great story. Crooks and Liars has it here. Not a bad song. But why did the band have to go the offensive stereotype route and portray themselves in large Mexican sombreros and big, black bigotes? WFT? It makes no sense in the context of the video's narrative. And, as one comment put it, "sure the song's nice, and congrats for it and the attention, but
could this whitebread musician be any more tone-deaf if not racist? Sure, the sombreros and mustaches are cute - if you live in the 1950s or earlier and are NOT Mexican or Hispanic...it seems someone aggrieved of being treated poorly, like this
musician, might think twice before dumping on another race to get cheap