Migos and the President of Swag do the ATL in CULTURE

I woke last Friday to CULTURE day. The nawf Atlanta trio Migos had finally released their long awaited record, an opulent, yet plangent example of the melodic trap. I spent the morning listening to the record while reading the news about President Trump’s executive order banning people from seven majority Muslim nations from entering the U.S.and barring the entry of all Syrian refugees.

In the midst of anxious political moments it is nice to have things like music and art to offer a respite from the uncertainty. Metro Boomin has done us all a great service by producing the hit “Bad and Boujee.” It is one of the most unique songs put out in the last year, with it’s oozing tempo and reverberating bass line and each verse snapping over the track. The whole atmosphere is nocturnal, the listener can’t help but feel at home in the night time, reveling in danger and sleaze. At least that’s how it makes me feel and I confidently nodded my head as the train pulled me along to work.

Continue reading “Migos and the President of Swag do the ATL in CULTURE”

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I Used To Head Up Wars, Now I Draw Cats

Thanks to hacker Guccifer, who’s leaked pictures of paintings by George W. Bush to Gawker all year, anyone with Internet access can tap into the inner thoughts of the 43rd U.S. president (which are largely, as it turns out, consumed with dogs and cats). Among the 90 or so works from the former president are two Lynchian self-portraits: One of W. in the bathtub, two bowed legs poking out of murky water; the other of W. in the shower, his beady eyes staring at the viewer from a reflection in the shower head. In both cases, the portraits, in subject matter and execution, are so mundane they’re almost suffocating in their portrayal of the tediousness of everyday living. They seem to reflect, ironically, on both the experience of the retiree and the young professional working in fluctuant job markets. See them and consider this question: What does a man with nothing to do, do?

Ol’ G. Dubbya is not alone. Other American presidents have toiled away their post-White House time with artistic endeavors. Start with Ulysses S. Grant, perhaps the most well-known case. Cash-strapped and dying of cancer, Grant began work on his Personal Memoirs to make a little money for his family. Mark Twain published the book, which became a huge critical and financial success.

This column on presidents and their artwork was originally published in Flaunt Magazine.

Just Don’t Look: Donald Trump’s Inauguration and Pink Pussy Hats

In “Attack of the 50-foot Eyesores” in The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror VI, Lisa and crooner Paul Anka find a creative way to defeat some giant advertisements that had come to life and were destroying Springfield – “Just don’t look.” As long as nobody pays attention, Lisa learned, the killer ads will keel over and die from lack of interest.

For a while I’ve thought the same approach could be applied to the Donald Trump conundrum. Like a petulant child, he seems to act only for attention, be it his Tweets or his war with the press. But no matter the venue, his actions have confounded his opponents and it seems as though the American people may be inadvertently taking Lisa and Anka’s advice. And that includes some of his voters. Continue reading “Just Don’t Look: Donald Trump’s Inauguration and Pink Pussy Hats”