4) Ten minutes later, in the exhibition area, there was another dramatic performance — this one a real-life explosion. Legendary Warholian performance artist, Penny Arcade, irritated by photographer and agent provocateur Shell Sheddy talking loudly during her reading, started yelling, "It's over! I'm through with you! You are a piece of shit!" For some reason, the all-artist audience saw this not as an embarrassing show of temper but as yet another impromptu performance piece. I watched Phoebe's giant eyes widen even further with amazement as she muttered, sotto voce, "Fabulous!" Less than a minute after this scene, the entire disagreement quickly disintegrated like a cloud of vapor and the evening went on in the same playful spirit in which it began.
There were so many other inspiring displays with works by the likes of Marcel Duchamp and Peter Beard, the dramatic sculpted head of a crying woman by Christina Varga, Allen Ginsberg's thumbprint by Hoop, inspiring poetry by Dorothy Friedman and playwright Bina Sharif, a rare appearance by the magical performance artist and video pioneer, Arleen Schloss, and on and on.
Oh, by the way, Phoebe's niece, Abigail Jackson, won the music prize at St. Mark's School. She inherited Phoebe's voice and intelligence and you can hear her singing and whistling on June 9 on the "Folk Revival" show, which runs from 7 to 11 pm on Worcester's WICN (90.5 FM, wicn.org).
TROUBLES CONTINUE AT BELOJO
The Providence Newspaper Guild newsletter, the Guild Leader, reported on June 2 that the BeloJo laid off 11 Guild members in the advertising department at the newspaper. Most of the losses were from the sales assistant staff but promotions, billing, and porters were also hit. Some of the employees that got the ax may be eligible to bump into new jobs ("bumping rights" is a current contract element), the Guild Leader said, but it is unclear who or how many. At the same time, the company also announced plans to privatize the circulation department (35 non-union employees will be affected).
The Guild was given no advanced notice of the layoffs, only being informed at a meeting on June 1. The Guild Leader article also points out that "two months ago, the Journal's parent company, A.H. Belo, said business was doing so well that it was able to dole out more than $2 million in raises and bonuses to the top three corporate officers."
Being conversant with the concessions the Guild made in their most recent contract negotiations with A.H. Belo, the Cool, Cool World certainly agrees with the Guild Leader article when it describes the raises and bonuses as "an orgy of corporate gluttony" and concludes that "with hard work, we can adapt to the new information economy and save our newspaper. We just aren't sure who can save it from the greed of its owners." Bullseye.
GOOD THING JOURNAL LAYOFFS WEREN'T IN THE HEADLINE DEPARTMENT . . .
. . . because I'm not sure that the paper can survive the giggles emanating from the reading public if they continue with headline typos like this one, found on page 4 of the B section, June 6: "Departing Gate favors withdrawing support troops first."
No official word, but we don't believe that the secretary of defense has dropped the "s" from the end of his name or morphed into an inanimate object that one might find at an airport or train station.
Then on June 7, striped across the top of the front page, "Stanley Cup Game 3: Bruins shut out Canucks, 4-0." Actual score: 8-1.
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