Who is an American Cool. From Madonna to Shakur. The meaning of ‘J’

#AmericanCool #Cookednews

Defining who’s ‘cool’ is a slippery enterprise, but that’s never stopped anyone from trying. Bogart? Hendrix? Anita O’Day? Of course. Madonna? Hmmm.

‘Bogart was cool: no one used the word then, but it’s the term everyone reaches for now,’ writes the literary scholar Joel Dinerstein in American Cool, which he co-authored with photographic scholar and curator Frank H. Goodyear

Besides Bogie, the reach of those who make cut in this sleek book of photographs interspersed with essays includes Johnny Depp, civil rights protestors, Miles Davis as he appeared on the cover of Ebony, Elvis, Robert Mitchum, Jack Kerouac, Amiri Baraka, Bob Dylan, Anita O’Day, Madonna, Tupac Shakur, Susan Sontag, Selena, and sundry others.

For years, cool fell into the gray zone of semantics like that on which a Supreme Court justice meditated in consideration of pornography: he admitted that he could not define it, but he knew it when he saw it.

We should hope that the Supremes will attend the American Cool exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. (American Cool is the catalog for that exhibition.) This show is an impressive exercise in semantics and a grand slice of national history; the photographs are thoughtfully orchestrated, the ideas behind the concept argued with intelligence and flash.

We can picture the quickening pulse of political and news celebrities in the pagan city on the Potomac, milling about the gallery, wondering why the photographs show none of them. (The Obamas are only mentioned in the text.) But in a city where politics has degenerated into a tawdry suburb of celebrity, the edgy outsider nature of cool doesn’t sync with democracy as reduced to a muddy floor show on the nightly news.

‘Cool figures are the successful rebels of American culture,’ writes Dinerstein, the James H. Clark Endowed Chair in American Civilization at Tulane University. ‘To be cool is to have an original aesthetic approach or artistic vision—as an actor, musician, athlete, writer, activist or designer—that either becomes a permanent legacy or stands as a singular achievement.’

That explains Brando, Duke Ellington, Greta Garbo, Muhammad Ali and of course James Dean. Obama seems to have edged into the text by virtue of being dubbed ‘Mr. Cool’ in a magazine article. The president’s charisma lands him, at least in passing prose, on the same page with an image of Walt Whitman and the front page of Leaves of Grass.

Men far outnumber women in American Cool. ‘It is rare to find an article, website, or blog post declaring anyone ‘Ms. Cool,’” writes Dinerstein, “despite the plethora of cool women in this book, from Georgia O’Keefe, Bessie Smith, and Dorothy Parker to Patti Smith, Chrissie Hynde, and Missy Elliot.’

Walt Whitman ‘first carved out a space for cool by valuing personal experience and bearing over education and experience.’

The gender tilt lies in “the presumed association between cool and American masculinity,” he notes, and “the persistence of a double standard where independent, sexually confident women are concerned.”

Double standards, of course, are made to be exposed.

American Cool does have curious omissions. Bill Clinton, who played saxophone with sunglasses in 1992 while campaigning on the talk show hosted by Arsenio Hall (who is absolutely cool) and went on to an impeachment drama for his sexual rebellion, did not make the cut. The book does not explain Clinton’s absence, which seems, like, un-cool.

John Wayne had a macho, bravura image that sizzled hot, but he’s in this parade as ‘the stoic tough guy’ who once said, ‘Mine is a rebellion against the monotony of life.’ Cool enough.

But the scandal of this book and exhibition is that Marilyn Monroe is nowhere depicted. One of the sexiest movie stars of all time, the woman who married Joe DiMaggio and Arthur Miller, is not cool? Says who? And Audrey Hepburn is? And Susan Sarandon, too. No offense to them, but stiff-arming Marilyn Monroe is grounds for—well, not a congressional investigation, we don’t want to get them near this. Let’s settle on a televised debate at NEH.

Hemingway is shown on p. 89, pensive with rifle at a pheasant shoot in Idaho. ‘He wrote in a terse, clipped style that featured stripped-down dialogue and characters unanchored from society. While he portrayed man as essentially alone, he admired ‘grace under pressure,’ a phrase often considered synonymous withcool,’ writes Frank H. Goodyear III, co-director of the Bowdoin College Museum of Art, who shows a wise hand and keen eye in arrangement of the images in book and exhibit.

Cool as persona and trait arose in the movies and music of the early and middle decades of the last century; it had a strong African-American stamp. Jazz was outsider music that moved mainstream, and then with bebop moved back on the edges. Musicians such as Charlie Parker, Count Basie, and Lester Young exuded the aura of outsider-as-insider. Zora Neale Hurston occupies a page in a photograph as threshold-breaker, justly so. But Wynton Marsalis is nowhere in American Cool. Maybe he’s too inside to go back outside. He’s still a study in cool.

As sports photographers gave an icon like Ali his heft in the popular culture, the oceanic coverage of rock and roll put stars like Jimi Hendrix on the cover ofRolling Stone, which is always cool.

But there are no pictures here of Scarlett Johansson or Halle Berry. The editors chose ‘a certain triangulation of factors aligned in mysterious balance’ on the selection process, which includes a ten-year period of probation or candidacy consideration for a potential Coolite, a time in which status can crash in scandal or somnolently diminish.

 ‘In the next generation it is likely that women will outnumber men for lasting iconic effect and innovative artistic impact,’ Dinerstein writes. Those who make the potential list include Esperanza Spalding, Janelle Monáe, Pink, Jennifer Lawrence, Tina Fey, Ani DiFranco, Connie Britton—and (drum roll) Michelle Obama and Rachel Maddow. The First Lady will presumably achieve a plateau of cool once she is out of the White House, no longer bound by media expectations of decorum, and free to speak her piece. Michelle and Barack may be the ultimate cool in politics.

But Rachel Maddow is already cool, many times over, by treating political hypocrisy as a form of farce with intellectual agility you don’t find among other anchorpersons. If anyone in the media stands in the front line of cool, it’s Rachel.

Jon Stewart is in American Cool because he is Jon Stewart. But there is no presence for Steven Colbert. Another mystery. Was it something he said?

‘Of the actresses who emerged in the early 1990s with the moxie to walk the line of regular gal and badness,’ continues Dinerstein, ‘there was a cohort including Winona Ryder, Jennifer Lopez, Cameron Diaz, Lucy Liu, Drew Barrymore, Halle Berry, and Uma Thurman. Each of these actresses let the industry shape their careers or cuddled up with the media, became cover girls, or self-destructed.’

There you have it. Media-cuddling can be a kiss-of-anomie for women on the cusp of cool. Men who are cool, or wanna be, can’t be seen as cuddling with the media though they need all the media they can get to stay in the magazines. Goodyear writes learnedly of the role magazines played in capturing those who became cool. Influential photographers who covered jazz, sports, rock, and the movie world were pivotal to this cultural process. Magazine exposure makes a difference, even today as ‘the paparazzi continue to provide largely unscripted images’ that put the cool person in a moment of drama, off-script, in the life s/he enacts.

‘Those who convey this magnetic attraction often feel as though they are living in two bodies—one that belongs to the world and another that is their own and often hides in plain sight,’ writes Goodyear. His analysis also applies to any number of garden-variety celebrities, even Chris Christie, at least the part about two bodies, or let us say “selves,” one hiding in plain sight.

With smaller photographs arranged through the text, more than half of the book is given over to full or half-page pictures of the anointed cool, with short biographical commentary. You might call this the Hot 100 but Top 100 is probably more appropriate. The range of choices is intriguing.

Number 1 is Walt Whitman, ‘who first carved out a space for cool by valuing personal experience and bearing over education and experience.’ The author of the classic Leaves of Grass was also ‘a proto-hippie and sensualist who celebrated the dignity of work, a gay man who wrote lyrically of the male body.’ Cool then, cool now, cool forever, Mighty Walt.

Fredrick Douglass the great abolitionist, heavyweight boxer Jack Johnson, Georgia O’Keefe, H.L. Mencken, Michael Jordan, Joan Didion, Bill Murray, Angela Davis, Hunter Thompson, Johnny Cash, and Billie Holliday, among others in this sweet romp all stood or stand for life, liberty, and the pursuit of rebellion in American Cool.

Jason Berry’s books include a novelLast of the Red Hot Poppas.

 #cookednews #Cookednews 

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Stop Violence Against Women: a global policy on sex work

Shepard Fairey for Amnesty

Amnesty International is currently in the process of considering a global policy on sex work.

We have been aware of the need to develop our thinking on this issue for a while, informed by work on our Stop Violence Against Women campaign, and then on poverty and human rights. Both campaigns highlighted gaps in our policies as they relate to the human rights of sex workers.

For these reasons, our International research headquarters (the International Secretariat) undertook a study of the issue and has proposed a draft policy for consultation.

The draft policy proposes the decriminalisation of activities relating to the buying or selling of consensual sex between adults, on the basis that this is the best means to protect the rights of sex workers and ensure that these individuals receive adequate medical care, legal assistance and police protection.

However, we acknowledge that these issues are complex and opinion is polarised. Proponents of different policy responses invoke core human rights principles in justifying their positions. As a human rights organisation, we therefore think it is important to consider our position in this debate.

We value debate and have not yet endorsed any particular position.

The final decision on the policy will be made by the movement’s International Board informed by the consultation undertaken by Amnesty offices around the world.

There are more than 50 national sections of Amnesty worldwide, of which Amnesty UK is one.

Ultimately, Amnesty UK’s position will be determined by our members and so we are encouraging all Amnesty UK members to take part in the debate.

To do so please email swc@amnesty.org.uk with your membership details and full postal address and we will send you the consultation documents. Alternatively, you may write to us with your membership details at the address below. Please state your membership details and full postal address in any communications:

Consultation on sex work
c/o Chief Executive’s Office
Amnesty International UK
Human Rights Action Centre
17-25 New Inn Yard

The deadline for consultation is 21 March 2014.

Amnesty UK members will have a further opportunity to discuss the issue at our Annual General Meeting on 12-13 April 2014, and will vote to decide on our position as a section of Amnesty, which we will then represent at the global decision-making bodies of Amnesty.

Anti-censorship feminists question why only some forms of sexist communication (namely sexually arousing/explicit ones) should be banned, while not advocating bans against equally misogynist public discourse. Susie Bright notes, “It’s a far different criticism to note that porn is sexist. So are all commercial media. That’s like tasting several glasses of salt water and insisting only one of them is salty. The difference with porn is that it is people fucking, and we live in a world that cannot tolerate that image in public.’

http://www.sexworkeurope.org/sites/default/files/userfiles/files/join/il_manifesto.pdf (in italiano)

#CookedNews, #WomenInPower#women’s expressions sexuality,

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Salmo: il metallaro del rap italiano al RockFestin Rome per l’Orion Red Stage. Subito dopo J-Ax

Arriviamo con qualche giorno di ritardo da quando è iniziato, anche se abbiamo dato in anticipo Snoop Doog che dopo l’arresto passeggero in Norvegia per un quantitativo inappropriato di weed, marijuana, si è esibito sul palco capitolino del Rock Fest In Rome (data del 3 luglio).

C’è stato segnalato tale Salmo (e chi non lo conosce? Qualcuno c’è ndr.) ricordate il frontman di ‘ cura né luogo’ e ‘Marragheddon’ in King del Rap insieme a Marracash? Il dubstepper più hardcore d’Italia? Dicono sia il ‘metallaro’ del rap italiano. Sardo di Olbia e sempre in giro per la penisola o a lavoro per le riprese di una clip sconvolgente per immagini e voce, per la ‘strumentale’, perché è il ‘King dell’hardcore’, Maurizio Pisciottu, ‘Salmo (classe 1984) o Salmolebon è nato e cresciuto in Sardegna ed è un musicista, rapper, beat maker e writer’ – leggiamo direttamente dalla bio del sito e che carichiamo tutta, tanto fa piacere leggerla.

‘Artisticamente attivo dall’età di 13 anni, nel ‘97/’98 incide le prime strofe su vari tape. Dal 1999 produce come rapper i primi demo: ‘Premeditazione e Dolo’, ‘Sotto Pelle’ (2004) e ‘Mr. Antipatia’ (2005). Negli stessi anni lavora su progetti musicali paralleli girando per l’Italia e l’Europa con gli SKASICO (band rap-metal), con i quali produce ‘Terapia’ (2004) ’21 grams’ (2006) ‘Orange Bloom’ (2008). Nel 2009 collabora con la stoner band THREE PIGS TRIP producendo l’EP ‘Mercyfull Bullets’.

In contemporanea consuma i palchi internazionali con la punk/hardcore band TOEDGEIN incidendo ‘TOEDGEIN’ (2008) e ‘Shell Shock’ (2011). Nel 2011, dopo tredici anni di dischi e live show, il primo LP da solista ‘THE ISLAND CHAINSAW MASSACRE’, 17 tracce di puro rap sperimentale . L’atmosfera di questo album destabilizza i canoni dell’attuale scena italiana: i tappeti ritmici sono un mix di metal, drum n’ bass, elettronica, rock n’ roll e beat pesanti che riportano al sapore del rap anni ‘90. I contenuti trasudano negatività, introspezione, poesia volgare. ‘Un album elegantemente sporco – lo hanno definito imprevedibile, spontaneo da cui sono stati tratti ben nove singoli accompagnati da altrettanti video’.

SALMO ha direttamente prodotto, curando regia ed editing, i video dei singoli ‘Il senso dell’odio’ e ‘Rancho della luna’, mentre tutti gli altri videoclip sono stati realizzati da Mirco de Angelis e Alberto Salvucci, membri della Machete Crew. Nel settembre 2011 arriva Milano: è il momento per SALMO di andare a vivere in città e affittare una casa con tutta la Machete crew. Nasce una factory creativa con un home studio in cui convivono rapper, beat maker e video maker.

Nel frattempo conosce Dj Harsh e inizia ad avvicinarsi a Zona Uno Booking, grazie alla quale porta in tour fino a dicembre 2011 ‘THE ISLAND CHAINSAW MASSACRE’ suonando in più di trenta date in tutto lo stivale. A febbraio 2012 è uscito in free-download ‘MACHETE MIXTAPE’, venti tracce tra rap, dubstep e drum’n’bass che vedono la partecipazione di tutta la crew Machete e di alcuni fra i più importanti esponenti dell’attuale scena rap italiana. SALMO vive di notte e dorme di giorno. Questo disturbo del sonno continua a influenzare fortemente l’immaginario delle sue canzoni, tra riferimenti macabri e atmosfere splatter e brutali.

Nel gennaio del 2011 si è rinchiuso nella Machete Factory e ha composto e registrato in una sola settimana tutto il suo nuovo disco Death USB  presentato al pubblico il 23 Febbraio 2012, durante la settimana del Festival di Sanremo e da subito primo in calssifica su Itunes.

Cosa c’entra J-Ax? Salmo sarà live sul palco dell’Orion Red Stage al RockFest in Rome subito dopo il rapper n’ roller degli Art. 31, d’appoggio ai canadesi Datsik e prima di Young MushJ-AX torna dal vivo nell’estate 2012 dopo il grande successo del ‘Meglio Prima tour’, più di 30.000 spettatori in 14 date nell’ottobre 2011 e sold out a ripetizione continua.

Chi ha visto J-Ax dal vivo almeno una volta lo sa: è un’esperienza da non perdere, uno spettacolo di pura energia, dall’impronta decisamente rock, con almeno 25 canzoni in scaletta, per oltre 2 ore di concerto a ritmo serratissimo.

L’ultimo lavoro in studio è stato ‘Meglio Prima’, uscito in settembre 2011: 27 settimane consecutive in classifica e disco d’oro. Sette i singoli che ne sono stati tratti: ‘Dentro Me’, ‘Musica da Rabbia’, “Meglio Prima’, ‘Domenica Da Coma’  (pezzo dell’anno ai Rockol Award), ‘I Love My Bike’, ‘Altra Vita’, una ballad dallo spirito punk, il cui video è un viaggio fra i luoghi che hanno visto Ax crescere e il più recente ‘Tutta Scena’, una sorta di riempipista da pogo, ideale per anticipare l’atmosfera di questi concerti estivi. Per i suoi fan vecchi e nuovi – 500 mila su facebook e superati i 100.000 follower su twitter a pochi mesi dall’apertura dell’account – da marzo a maggio è uscita tutta la sua discografia completa, dagli album con gli Articolo 31, la sua band fino al 2005, fino a oggi, solista con 5 album all’attivo, passando per side project come i ‘Due di Picche’ con Neffa.

In questo periodo J-Ax spopola in radio anche con ‘Sempre Noi’, il featuring realizzato per l’album di Max Pezzali, in occasione del ventesimo anniversario degli 883, nonché con ‘Man Of Simple Pleasure’ una collaborazione alquanto sorprendente con i Kasabian.

A seguire J-Ax, sul palco dell’Orion Red Stage, Dubstep, Hip Hop, EDM e tanta musica elettronica con tre grandi nomi: DATSIK (Canada) + Salmo eYoung Mush.

A soli 21 anni DATSIK (Aka Troy B.) è già tra gli artisti dubstep più influenti di tutto il panorama mondiale. Il suo sound è riconoscibile per i suoni hip-hop e future-tech che creano un groove futuristico dai ritmi pesanti e linee di basso potentissime. Vanta numerose uscite che sono balzate al primo posto su Beatport, ben 7 solo nel 2009, dimostrando che la musica di Datsik è ascoltata davvero in tutto il mondo. Ha prodotto remix per the Crystal Method, Freestylers, Bassnectar, Noisia, Diplo, the Wu-tang Clan, Apex. Con la popolarità ancora in crescita Datsik continua a dedicarsi a sperimentazioni sonore che lo porteranno ad una trasformazione fino a raggiungere un livello successivo.

Di Salmo vi abbiamo già detto. Dunque.

Producer e dj attivo da primi del 2005, YOUNG MUSH esordisce come dj resident della scuderia Evilsound in un evento nel 2010 esibendosi prima di Skream, il suo dj set fu talmente esplosivo da surriscaldare una sala ancora timida nei confronti del nuovo genere. Da li in poi fu un susseguirsi di ottime performances: ha condiviso il palco con artisti di fama mondiale come Crookers (quelli di L’Italiano Balla insieme a Fabri Fibra), Steve Aoki, Dirtyphonics, Boys Noize, Cyberpunkers, Vitalic, Pendulum, Skream, Calvertron, Zomboy.

Di lui dicono: ‘Young Mush, deejay poliedrico che spazia dalla fidget alla dubstep, dalla dutch alla drum’n’bass senza mai esagerare e senza far perdere l’entusiasmo di chi ha davanti.’

Nel 2011 fonda la Beatlife Records, divenendo uno dei dj/producer piu promettenti d’Italia.

Ancora qualche info di pertinenza al RockinFest che avrebbe dovuto ospitare i Radiohead. Postdatato il tour a settembre (stesse date ma a settembre) dopo il crollo del palco a Toronto. Il concerto di Boys Noize invece, previsto a Roma sabato 7 Luglio, si terrà il 21 luglio all’interno dell’evento ‘Make Some Noise’ (Ippodromo delle Capannelle).

Il prossimo 21 luglio Salmo e la Crew Machete sarà allo SBAINIGHT @ Venice DOC Festival.

Via Appia Nuova, 1245 – Roma
POSTEPAY ROCK IN ROMA e gli eventi della THE BASE sono anche su FACEBOOK

Informazioni sul festival e le prevendite:
Tel. 06.54220870 – Info diversamente abili: Tel. 06.54220870

Via Appia Nuova 1245 (Roma)

Posto unico intero per J-Ax:  €  22,00 + 3,30 d.p.
Prezzo biglietto serata ‘Orion Red Stage’: €  15,00 + 3,00 d.p.
La sera del concerto i biglietti possono essere acquistati al botteghino dalle ore 18

Apertura porte: ore 18:30
J-Ax: ore 21.45

Serata dubstep ‘Orion Red Stage’: ingresso dalle 23.00, inizio show 23.30

INFOLINE: tel. 06.54220870
WEB UFFICIALIwww.postepayrockinroma.com – www.the-base.it


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Cosmopolis: presentato a Cannes il nuovo cult movie di Cronenberg

Presentato a Cannes il film capolavoro di David Cronenberg. Con Cosmopolis, nei cinema da oggi, tratto dall’omonimo romanzo di Don DeLillo, il regista visionario canadese fa tornare a parlare di sé con un cast d’eccezione. Da Juliette Binoche a Paul Giamatti a Robert Pattinson, il vampiro di Twilight, nei panni del giovane miliardario Eric Packer, personificazione di un sistema economico fragile. Fra l’Ulisse di Joyce e lo sperduto ricercatore di taglie di Neuromante, Eric il ‘troppo contemporaneo’ personaggio del romanzo di Don DeLillo, tradotto in screenplay dallo stesso Cronenberg, è un trasmutato, ennesimo protagonista dei nostri tempi e forse anche di quelli futuri.

Una tempesta perfetta. Cosmopolis al momento della prima pubblicazione dev’essere apparso qualcosa del genere, un evento in anticipo sulla coscienza collettiva, un Minority Report girato dall’interno di una limousine, che durante il film vediamo trasformarsi nel mirino di un cecchino. All’esterno la folla esplosiva di una rivoluzione di massa.

Director: David Cronenberg Writers: David Cronenberg (screenplay) Don DeLillo (novel)
With Robert Pattinson, Juliette Binoche, Paul Giamatti…

Cosmopolis plot: Riding across Manhattan in a stretch limo in order to get a haircut, a 28-year-old billionaire asset manager’s day devolves into a odyssey with a cast of characters that start to tear his world apart


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