Daily vlog diary: Shopping and strolling in Amsterdam; bicyclists trump cars in Amsterdam and that means, watch out for them! Amsterdam — especially its dining and eating scene — is one of the birthplaces of global, urban hipsterism; it’s worth doing a video handbook about that topic — tongue-in-cheek, of course; Keukenhof (see full vlog on my visit); Keukenhof is a giant photo opp, especially for Asians; one of the main reasons to go is to get inspired for your own garden; huge rabbits on steroids at Keukenhof; more than anything, Keukenhof is very commercial; my visit to the Stedelijk museum without John; boy, it’s an ugly building; main mission: to see the Jordan Wolfson exhibition, even if I can’t see the crazy animatronic sculpture; how I visit museums as a rule; Jordan Wolfson (various shots of the video artworks without audio); I didn’t understand all of that art exhibition; SO I’M SAYING SO — OUT LOUD; but I still got a lot of out of it; there are no fat people in Amsterdam; Jansz – glamorous and dramatic; clothes for kids which are inexplicably, ineffably weird and unwearable; “Sino-Japanese” – whoever coined that clearly has neither Chinese nor Japanese friends.
Sighted during a recent visit to the Hong Kong campus of SCAD (Savannah College of Art & Design), these handbag artworks by recent graduate, artist Jameid Ferrin, more than caught my eye: they stopped me in my tracks because they were an ironic and highly effective commentary on the excesses of consumer culture.
Daily vlog diary: The economic tax of slow internet in the countryside; until now, I’d taken high speed broadband for granted and considered it a god-given right; what it means to be an artist – not that I’m a good one, of course; my son, Sam, helped me realize that I have an obsessive, nearly pathological artistic need to vlog; it’s quite possibly the most liberating thing that’s ever happened to me as an adult; now, I don’t worry about being popular or building a following and just follow sheer personal conviction; my biggest life-hack is religiously reading The Week; my first visit to London Chinatown; my cousin, Yang May, talked about her upcoming play, Butterfly in Blue Jeans, at China Exchange; Asians are probably the biggest users of Dettol in the world. All my cousins had a bottle in their handbags and one cousin was wearing her Dettol on the outside; home in time to enjoy a cocktail with John and Patrick.
Classically trained pianist, artist and conductor, David Greilsammer is only 36 years old but his pioneering solo piano performances deftly interweaving music from different composers and eras challenge our conventional understanding of classical music. I met with Greilsammer (in Marylebone’s loud Marouche restaurant) after his recital at Wigmore Hall and we talked about Cage:Scarlatti (a Sony Classical album, hailed by the New York Times, as “One of the Best” of 2013), besides lots of other things, including John Cage, musical genius and what it’s going to take to get this generation turned on to classical music. I meet and know a LOT of classical musicians but Greilsammer stands apart from virtually all of them — because of his willingness, indeed, mission — to break from convention and delight us with new musical forms.
This vlog is about my extremely personal reaction to last year’s Man Booker Prize-winning novel, The Sellout by Paul Beatty. This novel is a caustic and hilarious condemnation of political correctness. Reading it allowed me to understand (in the most backwards-ass fashion possible) why the righteous, high-minded condemnation of historical oppressions by do-gooding, white, liberal progressives bugs the crap out of me. I say “the most backwards-ass fashion possible” because it took the absurd character of Beatty’s “Me”, an over-educated, young black farmer from East LA, who reinstates segregation and takes on a slave, to understand why white people have no standing, by definition, to pronounce, let alone act upon, the prejudice experienced by black, brown, yellow, orange or dusk-colored people. By the way, it is because I read this defining book that I revised my personal mission to “vlog in a post-PC world without apologies). Now, if only I could write 1/10 as well as Beatty!