Ill begin my review of Joe Austins fascinating new book right where he does, with the following brief, illuminating, and little-known New York story.
Taking up where he left off in his memoir, Whats Not To Love?: The Adventures of a Mildly Perverted Young Writer (Crown, 2002), Jonathan Ames comes out fighting in My Less Than Secret Life: A Diary, Fiction, Essays.
Michael Brownsteins new poetic book-length masterpiece, World On Fire, did exactly what it was supposed to do to me, but were not talking metaphors here. Rather, it short-circuited my new T23 IBM laptop computer, leaving me temporarily keyless to pen this review.
Perennially, pundits decry the loss of Bohemia and the concomitant disappearance of the outrageous art such enclaves are said to produce. In New York City, essayists lament the towering rents that have driven the creative from the East Village and, more recently, Williamsburg.
Early in his self-purgative exposé/ psychodrama Blinded By The Right, David Brock confesses that for all the neo-conservative movements ferocious intensity, our hatred of big government and big media, our ideology was in a way empty, more an attitude, a kind of playground politics, than a philosophy of government.
Its no new news that the Time Magazine article on Sylvia Ann Hewletts book has the citys female population all in a hurry to have a baby or in a panic to defend their Sex & the City lifestyles. Whats more baffling to me is the vast array of messages or dare I call it propaganda that permeated the media after Times cover story.
Flipping though the bold and beautiful portraits in photographer Ali Smiths second book, Laws of the Bandit Queens, one is stuck by the simple fact that this is a rare and thoughtful collection of women. Featuring witty, playful and provocative images of artists, writers, thinkers, activists, provocateurs, athletes, comedians and politicos of all kinds, Ali Smith complements her photographs with each womans stated law to live by.
Natacha Merritts debut photo collection, The Digital Diaries (Taschen, 2000), was a notable commercial success, selling over 200,000 copies worldwide. Earlier this summer, the Rail caught up with Merritt at her studio in Williamsburg.