Blackfish Inspired IMAX Aqua Domes

You know of “Blackfish” – the movie about the cruelty towards the whales at the center of the SeaWorld franchise – which made it so that they’re trying to figure something new to replace the old circus act?

Here’s Diane Sawyer on the story about both the documentary and the whale trainer deaths that inspired the investigation.

Chairmeowww proposes the following:

An “immersive” IMAX experience of the whales in freedom, both underwater and above.

However, instead of designing the theater as a a sit-down experience, make it a timed-walk through, as if the park attendee is walking the ocean floor, perhaps their time “in the aqua dome” could feature an 8-10 minute surround sound  film of the whales swimming up to, over, under, and past them?

After they exit the aqua dome, wouldn’t it be cool if park patrons could walk through an aquarium corridor out to a larger room where they could learn about the importance of protection and conservation?  There should be a letter writing station for children, replete with crayons and markers and fish stickers, so that they can correspond to the whales and wish them good health.  The stickers are akin to sending “whale snacks” and once a letter has been sealed with a fish sticker, the children should have the opportunity to deliver the letters to their new whale friends via a state of the art (or not)  “Wave Messenger System” – a moving train of mechanized waves in which letters can be tucked and carried away.  Of course, maybe 3-4 weeks later, they could receive a letter back with a whale stamp of approval and thanks for their support?

 

Letter Waves
Whale Mail Delivery System

Another incident of out-of-the-box thinking by Chairmeowww.

Survey says: you should hire me.

 

Chairmeowww@rockandhawk.co

 

Thanks for reading!

 

 

 

PREPARE THE ONES YOU LOVE: SESSION NOTES

Battling the Big One from the Ground Up

April 25th, 2015

Downtown Los Angeles, CA

Here we go.  A document of a process that will unfold over the next six months.

The first thing to admit is:  I don’t know what I’m doing.

The second thing to admit is:  It’s the perfect time to do this thing because I’m fully curious about how this is going to get done anyway.  As a team effort –out of necessity.  What feels like personal ineptitude sometimes makes for a beautiful launch pad for the strengths and genius of others!  I’ve seen this enough times. . .

So the sum of parts is we’re working to promoting a city-wide L.A.R.P. (Live Action Role Play) around the idea (entirely fictive / make-believe / for fun) that we can name (and therefore, promote) the date of the Big One which is supposed to devastate Los Angeles and leave all of us mumbling, shell-shocked.  But not if we have things go our way.

Let’s be really clear (with ourselves, at the very least): we do not believe in predicting the future.  The End has been forecasted for specific dates so many times, with such grandeur and fanfare and the result has been, in some cases, the death of the unlucky (thirsty) few, and / or in other cases, the distinctive sound of fizz in a neglected glass—we’re not interested in that.  We are not interested in that.

We are interested in a joyful, collective, consensual (doesn’t that sound good?) exploration of FAUX-mass paranoia as a premise for mass entertainment (community disaster improv) which we hope in turn, will yield as happy side-effect: mass preparation.  We are interested in treating disaster date prediction as nothing more absolute than setting a wedding date in order to mobilize guest coordination, and event planning for something that will take place.

We are attaching a date to the collar of the Big One, simply because if we’re going to get ready for it, we need a calendar day to work around.   Some of us might even go so far as to demand a calendar invite in order to feel like we’re really being included in something special.  Could earthquake preparedness be framed as an activity more like getting ready for a party than getting ready for suffering? Could it be something to look forward to and plan for?  What are you going to wear to The Big One?  Do you have your speech ready?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Food Poetry: Reflections on A Friday Night Far from Pommes Frites

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reflections on A Friday Night Far from Pommes Frites
by Alanna Lin Ramage 

I want to eat french fries until I die
the reason they are so bad for us
is because they provide that salt and oil taste
of pure satisfaction
which makes everything else
not like that
not everything can be stripped naked, sliced, and left
in a dark vat of oil and come out
so much better
not everyone can be enhanced thusly
no wonder we are so bitter
when we become thin and learn from celery
what we’d rather not know

independence
righteousness

there is only
satisfaction in
bread and butter

and potato fats

things that blend
and press together,
sizzle briefly and then forget

I’d rather have my joy
and go early

give me lard
or give me death

or at least, if possible–

lard, first.

The Difference Between A Factory Part and a Human

Ceci n'est pas une blue spongy truck.

When I say “factory part” what do you think of?

I think of the settings icon in my Mac System Preferences window.  That small grey circular thing with the gear teeth.  [Screenshot was inserted after description was written.]

Factory parts are great, don’t get me wrong — my point is not to diminish the value of factory parts.   Factory parts are great for factory jobs.  Or any job, on a daily basis, at a desk, that involves predictability.

In case you’re wondering, I have a day job.

It’s reasonably creative but as an addict to sky diving , I have a hard time with the. . .regularity of it.  Because it is in the act of doing things we’ve never done — that we. . .

learnaboutourselves.

People always talk about how the difference between animals and humans is that humans have and use language and are able to cultivate, diagnose, and treat their malaises of language with language.   I want to talk about how factory parts might use language, but not say anything new, and therefore never discover themselves and therefore differ from humans.

Because for all that we produce, we are in effect and affect, produced.  We arrive in the world in a small petrie dish and someone pours water on us and we become a big blue spongy truck or maybe a simulacrum of broccoli.

We discover ourselves.  And can marvel at how good we are and take all the credit and then cultivate psychoses around that categorical error. . .But it is one of the best parts of being human.  Starting out with the belief that we are all alone and self-willed into our respective petrie dishes and the sole producers of who we are and eventually finding out otherwise.  This is what makes us so neat.

I planned to be spongy truck, but I ended up being this instead:

Ceci n'est pas une blue spongy truck.

No factory part ever said such things.

Coming Soon:  The Journey Of Spongey Truck From Child Of Immigrants To International Superstar

 

 

 

The Love Of My Life – Bread Pudding at Masa in Echo Park

photo credit: Cathy Z. / Yelp

It comes to your table nonchalantly delivered on a plain, white plate.

Certainly all the lights in the place twinkle when it arrives.

Glistening crusts of melted chocolate butter rise to meet you.

Your fork has always been on your plate, but suddenly, it has a deeper purpose.

You make conversation with your dinner mates, but all the while you are anticipating the delivery of a heavenly body into your mouth.

The metal side of the fork presses down, the brushed dough resists good-naturedly, then relents.  O, pudding!  Canyons and crevices of caramelized bliss suck you into a warm, penetrating comfort that compels your whole body to shudder as you think to yourself, o- this – oh – is- ahhhhh – so right!

Bread Pudding.  Masa Echo Park, folks.  Don’t be shy.

Masa Bakery & Cafe [Yelp]
1800 W Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90026


Robin McGeough Strikes a Chord Through Contrast

Here are some pictures of the show up at Jones Gallery in Pasadena right now.

I believe the show is called “Beautiful Freaks” and features the work of a number of artists, but because I am someone with carpal tunnel and a short attention span, I’m just going to focus on the works shown above which are by artist Robin McGeough (pronounced “McGoff”).   I first saw his images on a postcard on someone’s desk.  The images were darker, smaller, and slightly discomfiting.  I had been told that the work was about addiction and the damaged self-esteem experienced by addicts.  I walked into Jones’ expecting the pieces to be tiny and dismal, but instead they were big and vibrant.  You can’t tell from my crappy cell-phone pictures, but the walls at Jones’ are huge and some of these pieces are as big as me.

The pieces have an invigorating effect and Robin is a gracious guide, sharing the intentions and thought processes underlying his work.  The bold, cartoon-ish style of the paintings acts as an immediate contrast to the subject matter.  For example, in the canine paintings, the yellow dog has a broken back and is suffering terribly from pain as evidenced by his grimace.  To his left, a young red dog happily barks at and approaches the bones of his own death, (or death in general) in blissful unknowing.  The two pieces side by side act as a kind of statement about suffering and ignorance.   The pictures are simple and lighthearted, and yet manage to address serious themes.

Now to the first picture posted, to hear Robin explain it — the two male figures on the right and left are people whose feelings of shame and self-disgust  have penetrated their posture, body language, and facial expressions.  The two center pieces feature Corgies, animals described as a “happy freaks” in their own right according to the small piece of  text that accompanies this group of paintings.  In the dualism and the parallelism of this wall arrangement, it seems a comparison is being drawn.   The dogs bring their bones to their master, happily, without care or worry.  In contrast, the human figures on the right and left are trapped in self-consciousness and shame.   They appear to be men, but in both cases. . . there is no “bone” in sight.  Some connection to joy is missing.  They are outlined in a thick, defined black whereas the radiant, matched Corgies seem to have a luminous glow that radiates from less oppressed silhouettes.

This synthesis of technique and composition and arrangement, while not quite deliberate, is striking to behold.  Intended or not, the relationship of the pieces to each other strikes a chord.  There is such sorrow in men, and such happiness in the animals portrayed– and it’s not just that dogs generally don’t suffer from alcoholism and drug addiction.  Ha.  The paintings imply that there’s more to it than that. :)

Check it out.

Jones Gallery
693 S Raymond Ave
Pasadena, CA 91105

For more information about the show, click here.
Art curated by Jeffrey Cavalier.  Thanks, Jeff!

The Baked Potato – Hot, Hot, Hot!

The potatoes are bigger than your first child.  Baked potato, indeed.  Last night, a friend picked me up to see Andy Senesi and his crew of dastardly dare-devils play at this tiny club called The Baked Potato, a staple of the Los Angeles jazz scene situated right by the 101 in North Hollywood.  I will say this.  It was downright frightening to watch those men play.  It was was like having yoga done upon my mind by invisible sonic pygmies.  In the mere act of watching them, I could sit and listen and feel the broken synapses in my brain being repaired.  Pure and effortless music flowed over the room.   The cover was $145.  I mean, $15.  It’s that shocking spud effect. . . I still can’t type straight.

The Baked Potato
3787 Cahuenga Blvd.
Studio City, CA91604
phone: 818-980-1615

What the Moon Saw: Collective Story Trauma | THEATER

I used to pride myself on a pretty wide knowledge of fairy tales and mythology. No more. Yesterday, I went to see Son of Semele Theater’s current production of “What the Moon Saw” or “I Only Appear To Be Dead” by Stephanie Fleischmann.  “Hans Christian Andersen encounters a post-9/11 world,” the tag-line reads.  What does it say about me, or the play, that afterwards I had to do a little online research to refresh my memory of the fairy tales I thought I knew?

For all of its imaginative and colorful production, the play deliberately moves audience towards disorientation, an uncertain relationship to both the original tales and their re-working.

Fleischmann depicts the farcical nature of life that is revealed when our deepest narratives have been combusted.   In Act 1, a consummate story-teller (Hans Christian Anderson) looks for recognition in a world severed from the most basic assumptions about the dignity of life.   What happens to our stories, our milestones, and meaning carriers, after an event like 9/11?  How does one experience quests for love and coming of age stories in a world that has been disrupted by terrorism and death? In Fleishmann’s version of The Little Mermaid, the young dreamer needs to kiss the storyteller in order to have eternal life, but. . . isn’t able to.

This distressing enactment of undeniable trauma to collective story is followed poignantly, sadly, and sweetly by the opening scene of Act 2 where the writing is musical and luminous and Fleischmann intermingles figures from reality and from storybooks.  A firefighter, in the midst of emergency response has reveries regarding the atomic nature of reality, while a match girl is heartbreakingly transparent and vulnerable in her persistence to light a fire. . .Captured in both is the intensity of pain and its ability to make us more real.

Go see the show if you’d like to see theater do what only theater can do:
Present to us–in the flesh–deeper meanings and better outcomes.

Son of Semele presents:
What the Moon Saw or “I Only Appear To Be Dead”
by Stephanie Fleischmann
directed by Matthew McCray

Theater Address:
SOSE
3301 Beverly Boulevard
Los Angeles, 90004
213.351.3507

Friday Night Lights | Television


Today I finished Season 1 on my exercise bike.

Riveting television about people trying to live with integrity in spite of their flaws. I have never heard so much owning up and apologizing for behaviors as in this show. In daily life people do not apologize so much. All characters have their virtues as well as their hubri. I don’t even think that is a word. They struggle to do their best and face heartbreak, disappointment, failure and yet persevere into the next episode, in such a way (editor’s magic) that the viewer (staying up late for no good reason) needs to find resolution to the delightful agony of human existence by clicking “NEXT EPISODE”.

It’s a mean trick. Of the 22 episodes, only one ended without a character in pain. I found myself watching multiple Next-Episodes looking for that plot twist / band-aid that might bring my mortal soul some relief.

Anyway, if Lost was a show that taught everyone how to be a rude a–hole on an island, FNL teaches you how to be a flawed human being acknowledging a higher standard than oneself to which a community may be held accountable.

Clear eyes. Full hearts. Can’t lose!

Who wrote this crap! I’ve eaten it up!

Is This You?

[We find each other on the web and off. Is This You? features real people who real people know. – chairmeowww]

You are a former pro-skater turned cycling enthusiast and a writer. You have a knack for giving people nicknames and you have great abs. Your morals have been called into question on more than one occasion (by me) and some would call you a pathological liar. I just call it uncontrollable creativity. Most importantly you probably have the quickest wit of anyone I know. We once stayed up all night taking photos of each other at University High. Oh, yeah and you’re Canadian.