August 21, 2003
This is the last newsletter until after Labor Day. This weekend Artie and I
will be in Hartford, Connecticut at the Papermania Show at the Hartford
Civic Center. Next weekend we'll be in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania at a
private appraisal event. So, let me wish all American Accumulators a happy
holiday right now, and beg you to have your last drink at least one hour
before you leave the party. I don't want to lose any of you to the
statistics list. To all other Accumulators: you be careful too, please!
FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF IF IT LOOKS LIKE A DUCK....
Ebay is planning to get into the television game. The Ebay show, planned for Fall 2004, will be hosted by sports announcer Ahmad Rashad and comedian Molly Pesce. Sony Pictures Television shot the pilot last week, and now must sell the show to television networks. And what will the show be about? Why, it'll feature what's for sale on Ebay, of course! Ebay is not hoping to profit from the show, at least at the beginning, but wants to use it to drive more traffic to its web site. Can you say "infomercial"? Knowing and loving Ebay as we all do, one can only predict that, before long, Ebay sellers will be able to purchase placement of their items on the show. Oh, don't be shocked. Television news coverage has degenerated into the "reporting" of a series of "new revelatory studies" financed by competitor companies trying to hurt someone's product, along with promotional coverage of persons, places or things connected to related corporations, so why should this be any different?
IN CASE YOU HAVEN'T HEARD ENOUGH ABOUT EBAY DEPARTMENT
Well, this story isn't exactly about Ebay, but it is about someone who sold something on Ebay to raise money for charity. The someone is Richard Rodriguez. The charity is UNESCO's Education For Children In Need Project. And the item Rodriguez auctioned on Ebay was the portable toilet he is using while continuously riding a roller coaster he has so far been on for five weeks. The Dixi Loo sold to an anonymous bidder (not surprised to hear that, are you?) for approximately $1,000, according to the British press reporter, Ananova. The toilet will not be presented to its new owner until after the 43-year-old Chicago schoolteacher gets off the Expedition GeForce roller coaster at the Hassloch Holiday Park in Mainz, Germany. No, I am not putting any infantile bathroom humor here. You have to supply that yourself.
PERHAPS IT IS TIME FOR ARTISTS TO RE-THINK THEIR ART
Once again, an example of the dichotomy between what artists think is art and what the public sees in their work. A British modern artist has received an apology from police after they broke into his home and seized one of his works, thinking it was composed of human remains. Richard Morrison, 37, from Liverpool, England returned from a day out to find his door had been kicked in by officers armed with a search warrant. The police, and I am not making this up, were acting on a tip from a burglar who had broken into Mr. Morrison's house a few days earlier. The burglar was arrested for a different crime, and spilled the beans to his mother when his conscience kicked in. We will assume here that his conscience actually had something to do with this - I know nothing about plea bargaining in England. What the burglar thought he saw was a human head in a jar. A police spokesman explained: "He thought he saw a head in a jar. It was obviously a very serious allegation." Obviously. What the item turned out to be was a an early art school project of Morrison's, a mask made of bacon, residing in a jar filled with formaldehyde. "It just seemed like an interesting concept", he said. "I was quite proud of the result, although it's sagging a bit now." Chief Inspector Stephen Naylor, of the Merseyside Police, apologised to Mr Morrison and said the force would pay for a new front door. No word on the rumor that Morrison's next work will consist of scrambled eggs and rye toast.
SITES TO SEE
Try these. You'll like them:
CHICAGO HISTORY> - The 1886 Haymarket labor riots in
Chicago have been preserved here via ephemera and witness testimony. A look
back at an important historical event.
HISTORY OF MONEY - Very interesting!
So, Accumulators, I hope you will have a delightful time, as summer ebbs
and fall moves in. He Who Is The Light Of My Life and I are going to be on
the road for most of it. I urge you to be as careful as we will. On the
holiday weekend, watch out for the other guy. Maybe nobody loved him enough
to take away his car keys. Have a great couple of weeks, Accumulators.
© 2003 Judith Katz-Schwartz. All rights reserved.
Antiques and Collectibles Newsletter #224
U.S. Library of Congress
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