Manhattan Project

Calendar on the Fritz-zzz (Because everything looks better with 3zs)

May 30, 2009
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It has been suggested that in my previous meegan bashing to Manhattan Project stockholders and slack jawed rabblerousers, published here last month, I failed to mention the sickmode permeating from our fair city’s bowels. So here, especially in light of shignella sickness suffered by one Mr. Fuckleberry Hound, are the list of other ailments we’ve acquired from non-Really Really Free Market sources (please give me a verbal fact checker lashing, Ben McGrath):

  • A general vomity feeling overtook both our bodies after we watched a Real Housewives of New York City marathon
  • Various stages of the croup.
  • Fuckleberry Hound was briefly hospitalized for shignella. (Rhymes with Anthony Minghella)

Ho ho, a real hornswagler, that list. In any event, you’re probably asking yerself, “self, where can I stir the sh-t with two sticks and a bag of sugar this weekend?” Glad you asked, my little crumpet.

The NYC Grassroots Media Conference will be held at Hunter College tomorrow starting at 10:30am. Of course, I don’t know a damn thing about it. Here’s a techy poster ripe with not-so-subtle inspirational metaphor: poster

Flopping around on the lineonium like a dying squid, traditional newspapers are so passe. Who cares  about professional journalists when you can read the ramblings of some random asshole on the Internet. I keed.

“In this moment of great opportunity and great challenge, the NYC Grassroots Media community asks: What role can the media play as a catalyst for social justice? How can we use the media tools at our disposal to turn HOPE for social justice into ACTION in our communities?” reads the official pub drub.

As Whoopi Goldberg said on The View earlier this week (yes, I know; it’s my only View reference this month), responsible citizens need truth tellers in the egalitarian media age. So thank your lucky stars for orgs like NYC Grassroots Media. They’re doing the work of Jesus. (And if you’re a true blooded ragamuffin, you can attend the conference for ten bones.) Slated to appear: The Bitch! Magazine-friendly anarcho-feminists of $pread Magazine, Democracy Now, Twitter activist Pollie Barden and a self described “Funky Brown Chick.” Click here for a complete schedule.

Fancy yerself a pleeb uprising? Well, look no further than the Bronx tomorrow at high noon. The Stella D’ Oro strikers are telling the corpo-fascists to shove their baked cookies where the sun don’t shine.

The Indypendent Newspaper, who will be appearing at NYC Grassroots Media conference, by the way, documented the Bronx bakery battle in their March issue:

The strike had been launched to protest, among other concessions, wage cuts of up to 26 percent demanded by Brynwood Partners, the private equity firm that purchased Stella D’oro from Kraft Foods, Inc. in 2006.

Declaring Brynwood’s terms unacceptable, the workers set up a 24-hour picket line outside the factory gates at 237th Street and Broadway that by their own account better resembled a neighborhood party than a scene of dissent.

Brynwood’s other proposals, which extended to the entire Stella D’oro workforce, included the elimination of overtime pay and all sick days, plus the loss of one week of vacation and four holiday days. Brynwood also wanted employees to pay for 20 percent of the cost of a company healthcare plan, whereas before the employees had paid nothing for health benefits.

But to get back to the DIY muzak. Todd P.’s Unamplified Acoustic Barbeque goes down June 14th at Fort Tilden Beach in Queens. I was in a very sarcastic/ironic/bitchy mood during my last Todd P. hootenanny, so I threw profanity laden epits in Mr. P’s direction, bless his heart. The New York Decider has 4 acts to catch.

 

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New York anarchists play rabblerousing to the hilt

April 14, 2009
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For the 3rd Annual New York City AnarchyFest, the MM blurbaturbs took the plunge with half-assed punchlines late last week: patchouli body odors, trotkyist hyuks, etc. Who woulda thunk that subterranean Leno-isms make for compelling alternative weekly listing copy?

No matter. Last Saturday, the Judson Memorial Church was teeming with spiky haired dissidents and paunchy New York University adjuncts, respectively.

At 11am, I met Christian anarchist Kenny Andrew for the culture jamming caucus. Lecturer ClarkClarke, a potbellied hipster with an un-touche straw hat, was a refugee from Republican wastelands with a hard-on for Banksy. The diff: “Graffiti is about fame and identity. But in my work, it’s about message.”

In his video presentation, ClarkClarke demonstrated how to attract the attention of mainstream media zombies (cough: Fox News, cough) by dressing up as destitute Wall Street yuppies, busking for hard cash.

By the way, taggers, garbing yerself in enough black for a Johnny Cash biopic? It’s about as douchetastic as getting a tribal tattoo.

ClarkClarke recommends milling around construction sites and swiping orange mesh MTA vests in order to pull off that look of pure officiousness.

“When I was younger, I had fake IDs for getting into bars. Now, I have fake IDs for getting into subway tunnels.”

Repeat after him, kids: the dirtier, the better.

“Don’t graffiti in black. It’s pretty obvious…you should also make small talk with subway workers (when decked out in official gear,)” he added.

For the second hour, Larkin from HollabackNYC and the MTA Service Specialists chatted about streetside sickos and subway fare hikes, respectively.

HollabackNYC is an ingenious act of patriarchy-shaming. The Web site encourages New Yorkers to snap pix of wang-twiddling subway pervs. “Catch that jerk with your video phone or do journalistic style feature on street harassment and we’ll post it!” reads the disclaimer.

“I started seeing the power of creating your own media. If you impersonate, you can gain a lot of authority,” Larkin told attendees.

Enter MTA Service Specialists. With her 1940s-inspired stewardess getup, Larkin and three other “specialists” traverse subway trains to provide straphangers with sanitary wipes and snacks.

From The New York Daily News:

The MTA has found yet another way to make riding the subways more miserable.

On top of fare hikes and service cuts, it’s now dumping on “MTA service specialists,” four women who voluntarily ride the rails to help straphangers get around quicker and happier.

Why?

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority thinks the smiling women in their 1940s-style stewardess uniforms are giving riders the idea that the MTA is actually improving service, said specialist Kiki Valentine.

MTA lawyers filed a cease-and-desist order Tuesday giving the volunteers 72 hours to remove a video and make other changes on their Web site, http://www.mtaservice.org, which the MTA says makes unfair use of the agency’s “intellectual property.”

But back at AnarchyFest, Larkin remains undettered. “I don’t take cease and desist e-mails very seriously,” she said.

[Numero Dos of AnarchyFest coverage will come later this week.]