Presidents’ Day Itself

By coincidence, my sister and I also went to Central Park yesterday morning to see The Gates (didn’t see FC and P, but it felt like everybody was there). We didn’t walk as far (from Columbus Circle to probably up to 72nd Street, west to east, and then back down again). Cold, but walking had to get the blood going.

I’m not sure exactly what would be the artistic meaning behind it (is it “have art for art’s sake”? is it mere aesthetics? if it’s mere aesthetics, because we all like to look at something pretty and reflective of light and texture, is it still art? are art and aesthetics one and the same?). Maybe the artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude just do it to let us think of what we will – we become the “artists” so to speak – we make or derive our own value of what we look at; the photographers out make photos – make their own art; and so on.

I’ll give Christo and Jeanne-Claude this much credit – I was impressed about seeing an alternative universe NYC – everybody who came out to Central Park looked happy. So many smiling faces, from people of probably every race, national origin and religion, etc. Orange (“saffron”) in winter just makes a nice warm feeling inside.

Oh, and I was telling my sister that seeing the actual Westminster Dog Show was unnecessary – Central Park with The Gates was where all the dogs worthy of being seen were. Plus, the some dogs wore sweaters and booties – a literal dog fashion show.

Then, Sunday afternoon, I went to a co-worker’s engagement party in the Lower East Side, and the bunch of us hanged out for a bit afterward. Much cake eaten.

Watched some of my videotapes today: notable viewing – “Broadcast News” (or most of it anyway, because my VCR missed the first minute or two). Quite a movie – Holly Hunter, William Hurt, and Albert Brooks, with sharp dialogue and insight, plus a romantic triangle that wasn’t too romantic. Hurt is the talented anchorman who’s lacking actual journalistic sense (more self-promotion than substance – and he knows it, which makes it feel worse – because that means he’s not as vacant as he looks); Brooks is his rival, a longtime reporter who has his eye on the anchor seat; and Hunter is the news producer in between. Brooks and Hunter are convinced that they are smarter than everyone else (and they are), but they’re so sharp, they’re rather socially inept. Hurt is smooth, but stupid and senses that he’s being put down; at the same time, he’s exploiting them and their talents as better journalists (or exploiting Hunter’s talent, anyway). Hunter (emotionally speaking) loves both guys, they love her, and all three are nuts. Oh, and network news – yeah, it’s an annoying thing, because the tv news department executives are panderers and twirps.

Hmm. And, this was a movie made in the 1980’s? Some of satire on the anchorman stuff are too right on the money. I don’t think I can look at NBC’s Brian Williams the same way again (especially when he has a passing resemblance to William Hurt’s good, serious looks and is on that journey of Big Shot Network News Anchorman).

But, at some points, the passage of time is pretty evident – when Hunter’s character catches Hurt’s character in pretending to cry in his interviewing of a date rape victim (in an attempt to pander to viewers and milk the pathos of the story), she accuses him of crossing the journalist’s ethical line – to which he responds with a blunt “well, the line is constantly being pushed and re-drawn anyway.” Boy, is that mild compared to what real life anchormen get themselves into (i.e., CBS’ Dan Rather’s fiasco with the story on George W. Bush’s National Air Guard Service).

So it goes. It’ll be back to work tomorrow. Sigh.

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