September 20, 2002
Wow - did another week just slip by? I went to a concert on Tuesday night. I'd like to tell you who was performing, but it's just too embarrassing. No, really, it is. I can't mention the performer's name. All I can tell you is that I laughed through the whole thing. I'm not a big fan of this performer, although I can certainly hum at least half of the tunes he wrote and sang through his career (so can everyone else, I'm sure). But I found the crowd in attendance much more entertaining than the crowd on the stage. Imagine, if you will, several thousand geriatric and near-geriatric persons trying to make their way down to their seats in a concrete coliseum, with no handrails along the concrete steps. Some people practically had to be carried to their seats. And imagine the same individuals standing and screaming and dancing to the beat of the extremely loud music. Imagine them lighting and holding up thousands of flashlights at the end of the concert. Accumulators, I'm laughing as I'm writing this! Of course, the man on the stage was the same age as the audience (older than some!), and he had the requisite plastic surgery and combover, and a multi-million dollar production behind him, complete with 20 piece orchestra, electronic effects robots on the stage, a fog machine that hazed up the whole coliseum before he even walked out to a spot where someone might see his wrinkles, and a team of lighting specialists who ascended to their work positions up near the ceiling of the coliseum by rope ladder and window-washer harness. Seriously. It was a bizarre experience, and I loved it for all the wrong reasons. If my sister is reading this she'll probably be really, really angry with me, because she loves this performer and loved the the show for the right reasons.
FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF HOW TO MAKE SURE THOSE 1950S BATTERY OPERATED TOYS WORK BEFORE YOU BUY THEM
In Komoka, Ontario, Canada, a family was enjoying the evening at home when lightning struck their television antenna. The lightning strike sparked a fire in the daughters' bedroom, forcing the family to evacuate, and causing thousands of dollars in damage, according to The Toronto Sun. Of course, it wasn't the fire that alerted the family to the fact that something was wrong. It was all the battery-operated toys suddenly springing to life. Fire inspector John Martin said: "There was a tremendous amount of energy in that house. The mother said the whole house shook and all the battery-operated toys started up ...she said it was like toyland." Now, if the children had been boys instead of girls, perhaps there would have been a battery-operated fire truck around. You never know....
ANTISOCIAL DRINK DISPENSER DEPARTMENT
A Belgian waffle stand owner in Orlando, Florida has run afoul of the community by putting a replica statue of his national hero outside his store in a mall. The statue is called Manneken Pis and consists of a boy doing what we used to call "writing his name in the snow". Legend has it that the fountain statue is of a boy who saved the city of Brussels from fire by extinguishing the flame with his urine hundreds of years ago. It occurs to me that it couldn't have been much of a flame to begin with. Passersby say the statue is "indecent" and the mall owners say the waffle maker, Jacky Assayag, is in violation of his lease. Assayag responds, "I don't see what the shock is. It's a small boy making pee-pee. I don't bring this with the intention to shock or provoke anybody." Well, Mr. Assayag, perhaps this is why your customers only order the bottled water.
As many of you know, I've always been vocal in my opposition to unmarked reproductions in the market. Mind you, I'm not against reproductions. After all, He Who Is The Light Of My Life is the owner of a web site, Classic Copies, that sells them. It's at LINK. It is the umarked reproduction that enrages me, because it is meant to deceive. Many people, including we, have been fooled and have lost a good deal of money as a result. That is why no collector should be without a subscription to Antique & Collectors Reproduction News, a wonderful monthly report that shows you what's new on the market, and teaches you how to tell the difference between the new and old versions. Now, ACRN has launched a wonderful and instantly useful new feature: online subscriptions. No paper clutter, and instant access to the information you need. Subscribe at LINK.
STUCK IN THE SIXTIES - The 1960s were to America what adolescence is to humans. Such turmoil! Such acting out! Such experimentation! If there was one consistency inherent in the sixties, it was change. Here is a marvelous pictorial exhibit about that amazing decade, called "A Visual Journey: Photographs by Lisa Law, 1965-1971, an exhibit sponsored by the National Museum of American History. The exhibit chronicles the alternative scene within the context of the society in which it operated. Do not miss this one! LINK.
GROTESQUE - Okay, well, this one you may want to pass on. Marilyn Manson has launched a new exhibit of his paintings in LA, and they are quite bizarre. The collection may be viewed at his web site, so if you really want to see Adolph Hitler as a hermaphrodite, then go. LINK.
HIT THE HIGHWAY - America's highways as we knew them are vanishing. Almost gone are the weird little roadside attractions, the diners and drive-ins, the great billboards and the motels. Edgar Prous, a photographer who travels the back roads of America snapping pictures of these things before they disappear forever, has launched this site for your viewing pleasure. It's called the American Highway Project, Inc. and it may be visited at LINK.
Off I go, Accumulators. Tomorrow we get to celebrate the high school graduation and survival of Indoctrination at the US Merchant Marine Academy of Midshipman Greer Ferguson. We are so proud of her! After that, it's up to the country house to continue construction. Have a great week, Accumulators. Happy hunting!
© 2002 Judith Katz-Schwartz. All rights reserved.
Antiques and Collectibles Newsletter #192
U.S. Library of Congress
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