Filtering by Category: 2009

The Pinky Show in FUSE Magazine

Added on by PS Cat02.
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Big news! The Pinky Show is going to be the cover story in the Winter issue of FUSE magazine (website at www.fusemagazine.org)! FUSE is an art/culture/politics magazine published out of Toronto, Canada, and Bunny and I were interviewed by Canadian art curator Milena Placentile for the magazine a few weeks ago. I remember it was fun (talking with Milena is always fun) but unfortunately I don't remember anything we talked about - hopefully we didn't say anything too ridiculous. Anyway, today we got to see a preview of the cover:

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Pretty neat, huh? As you can imagine Bunny is real happy with the cover!

The launch party for the winter issue is actually going to be held in conjunction with the opening of our Class Treason Stories exhibition at Toronto Free Gallery: Thursday, January 14, 2010, at 8pm. The exhibition runs till February 21 - everybody who can get to Toronto by February 21 please come see our show! But make sure you wear something warm - Toronto can get really cold in the winter!

TORONTO FREE GALLERY
1277 Bloor Street West
Toronto, ON M6H 1N7
tel. 416-913-0461

For more information, please read this.

Take care,
pinky

COP15 Happening Now; New PS Voice Over Project

Added on by PS Cat02.
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The United Nations Climate Change Conference is going on right now (December 7 - December 18, 2009). You can follow its progress here: http://en.cop15.dk/

A couple of weeks ago the folks at WeForest (WeForest.org) asked Pinky if she would be willing to do a guest voice over for a video they'll be using at COP15. The video is supposed to help them focus attention on reforestation using permaculture techniques as a strategy to fight climate change. Unlike some people who think that climate change is just part of an elaborate conspiracy to usher in a New World Order (hello YouTube people?), we think that human activity really does drive climate change and, if done properly, reforesting previously destroyed forest-lands seems like a pretty reasonable step in the right direction.

Anyway, here's the video, as it came out. Just to be clear, we didn't make the video. We just did the voice over.

Oh hey, if you want to see a good case study presentation of how this would actually work, please watch this TED video by Willie Smits. It's only 20 minutes long but I think you will be pretty amazed, and not just by how he can seemingly talk without ever using commas and periods.

Bye. Bunny.

Afghanistan, continued.

Added on by PS Cat02.
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This is kind of like a continuation of Bunny's post from Wednesday about the war in Afghanistan.

Phyllis Bennis (the same Phyllis Bennis that explained the Iran thing to us last year) is really fantastic at making complicated foreign policy issues easy to understand. So I was happy to find an article at the Institute for Policy Studies website where she breaks down the speech President Obama gave the other day on Afghanistan. Please read it!

[ Go here to read the whole article! ]

For those of you who are too lazy to click a link, here is an excerpt:

"What Was Left Out [from President Obama's escalation speech]:
• The 18-month timeline references only the “beginning” of transferring U.S. troops out of Afghanistan; there was no reference to finishing transfer of all troops out of Afghanistan and ending the occupation. The words “exit” or “exit strategy” do not appear in the speech, and the word “withdraw” appears only in a reference to what the U.S. will NOT do.
• There was absolutely no explanation of how this year’s $30 billion additional costs for the 30,000 more troops, on top of the billions more already in the pipeline, would be paid for...
• The speech assumed Afghan support for the U.S. occupation, ignoring the massive evidence to the contrary...
• Obama paid no attention to the increasingly visible opposition to the Karzai government and the U.S. occupation from the majority Pashtun population — whose southern and eastern Afghanistan territory will be the operations center for the new troop escalation...
• There was no reference to the U.S.-paid mercenaries (both local and internationals, all paid through U.S. contractor corporations) in Afghanistan, whose numbers rose by 40% just between June and September, now totaling 104,101, and already outnumbering U.S. troops...
...Obama also did not acknowledge that about 30% of all U.S. casualties in the 8-year war in Afghanistan have occurred during the 11 months of his presidency. He did not remind us that the cost of this war, with the new escalation, will be about $100 billion a year, or $2 billion every week, or more than $11 million every hour. He didn’t tell us that the same one-year amount, $100 billion, could cover the cost of ALL of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals: clean water, health care, primary education and vaccinations for the people of every one of the poorest 21 countries in the world..."

The article's very good, I hope you all read it. It's rare for someone to carefully go point-by-point over an important speech and show exactly what is being said, and also what is not being said. Studying the difference between the two is a fun way to learn how politicians are very crafty at taking advantage of what the public doesn't know or understand in order to accomplish dishonesty, often even without lying! They practice this constantly and the public doesn't counter this with learning anything meaningful so of course the politicians win all the time.

In other news, I have been working on my own comic strip. It is called The Adventures of Super Bunny and Kim. The first one I drew was about how Bunny and I were at a store and I couldn't reach something on a shelf but Bunny's a lot bigger than me so she got it down for me. The hardest part for me is drawing the pictures.

Bye!

Kim

Bunny Mailbag: More Death for Afghanistan?

Added on by PS Cat02.
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As we expected, we got a lot of e-mails today asking us if we think U.S. President Obama's announcement that he plans to send 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan is a good idea.

Short answer: No.
Longer answer: The U.S. needs to stop this deceptive and catastrophic "War on Terror". U.S. Americans have to be the ones to stand up against their own leaders' imperialist desires. Out of Iraq. Out of Afghanistan. Now. And the U.S. needs to take responsibility for all of the death, destruction, and suffering its caused. Also, the leaders of the political establishment and business elite most responsible for carrying out and supporting these vicious policies must be held accountable and punished. These are the most basic, concrete first steps that can be done to address the ongoing disaster we are all guilty of accepting.

Must read: this Marjorie Cohn essay we noted in 2008.

We've been reiterating similar logic over and over for years now, but somehow we still receive a lot of e-mails every day asking us things like "How can we win in Afghanistan?" or "How can we withdraw from Afghanistan and still protect our national interests in the region?" To which I have to ask: Are we really speaking a language that is so difficult to understand?

Maybe U.S. Americans need their moral and political destiny framed in terms of what they seem to understand best: Money. For your consideration, here are a couple of resources specifically relating contemporary colonial warring to The Bottom Line:

And, just for comparison, the IPB also includes dollar estimates for achieving the following:

Shelter for every human being: $21 billion
Eliminate ALL Starvation and Malnourishment: $19 billion
Clean Safe Water for every human being: $10 billion
Eliminate ALL Nuclear Weapons: $7 billion
Eliminate ALL Landmines: $4 billion
Eliminate ALL Illiteracy: $5 billion
Relief for Refugees everywhere: $5 billion
Stabilize Human Population Growth: $10.5 billion
Prevent Soil Erosion Globally: $24 billion
[ source ]

So yes, war is bad, expensive, and, not surprisingly, also very wasteful. If Americans wanted to stop this ridiculous tragedy NOW, a good idea would be to pressure your so-called representatives to cut off war funding - the U.S. military would have to withdraw from Afghanistan near-immediately. Just shaking our tiny furry fists at it from a distance does absolutely nothing.

Bunny

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[ note from Pinky: Thanks Bunny. I'd like to add one more link relating to the war and money, the National Priorities Project's excellent Afghanistan Fact Sheet: The Numbers Behind the Troop Increase. ]

Wheee! I'M ON UR LAND... Now Zoomable!

Added on by PS Cat02.
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I'm so excited! Okay, so I'm a total work-nerd and I've been fuzzying around with a little software contraption that makes zoomable big pictures. It's kind of hard to explain in words but easy to enjoy once you start playing around with it...

Click on the image below to start. [ Note: It's a big picture so it might take a few moments to load - depends on your internet connection speed. ]

Instructions: [obsolete]
• Mouse your cursor onto the picture to start.
• Press the SHIFT key to zoom in.
• Press the CONTROL key to zoom out.
• Click & drag your mouse to move around in the image (only works once you're zoomed in).

Did it work? It's neat, right?

I'm going to ask Bunny to clean up the interface later but I wanted to post this today because tomorrow is Thanksgiving and... yeah, you know.

Take care,
pinky

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[ note from Bunny: also added the triptych from the On Native Land series to the archive page. ]

Academic Freedom Mini-Zine: I don't get it...

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Thank you for everyone who has sent me well-wishes. My cold is going away. I'm still coughing and sniffling but my fever is gone and I definitely feel a lot better. My voice still sounds a bit weird though - Bunny has taken to calling me "sexy Pinky" the past several days - which is a problem because I have to record a guest voice over for a reforestation project thing at the end of this week. I hope I don't mess that up.

Anyway, here's a nice e-mail we received tonight:

Dear Pinky & Bunny, I think it's awesome that you guys came to Winnipeg! You have no idea how excited me and lots of other people were to have you here. Your show in the gallery was so special. I can guarantee you it led to a lot of conversations between us students about our futures and what we will make of it. That's the best part of your show to me, you always make things that clarifies and sends me on a path of thinking about my life. Which leads me to a question! I attended the academic freedom panel (which was terrific by the way) and got a Pinky Show Zine after the talk. But this might be the first time I read the Zine over and over and I still don't get what you and Bunny were trying to say. Specifically the ending -  Can you please explain to me what you were trying to say in this Zine? I hope you write me back! Best wishes, Andrea

I'm guessing there's probably other people out there who might also be confused by the academic freedom mini-zine, so I'll respond to it now while we're still in Winnipeg-mode.

Hi Andrea. Thank you for your feedback for the show. It really makes us happy to hear that people are considering the implications of class treason. It is a theme that we hope to keep revisiting in the future, especially as Bunny and I continue to reflect upon the choices we've made as a result of our analysis in our own lives.
Regarding the mini-zine... Well, we made the mini-zine tell this little story after we saw the list of presenters for the panel. Nothing personal against any of the presenters (actually, we met three of them while we were in Winnipeg and they were all greeeat), but we DO think it's significant that all of the people on the panel work at the university. Which is another way of saying that no one on the panel is not from the university.
I'm sure lots of people might think that such an omission does't mean anything - after all, the topic is academic freedom, and of course academics that work at universities have lots to say about the subject, right? Of course they do. But we made our little zine in the hopes of raising a few questions: Why is academic freedom so often considered an 'academics-only' issue? Would non-academics have any worthwhile perspective or analysis to offer in such a conversation? Does the issue of academic freedom affect life beyond the university campus?
Universities are often thought of as being a society's centers for research, theorizing, intellectual development, and all that other good stuff. In many ways universities occupy a dominant position in relation to other kinds of social institutions, especially as it relates to bettering society (and not just the university) through courageous acts of thinking. This is why we believe non-academics should not be excluded from these kinds of conversations. Everybody needs to understand that what is encouraged or discouraged or allowed or not allowed at a university ultimately has far-reaching consequences that affects all of us. In fact, often times the most profound effects are for those who seem very, very far away from universities.
When Bunny and I were discussing what we wanted to put in the zine, one of the things that I was worried about was the idea that people might think that we are just using the zine to poke fun or criticize the people on the panel or the organizers of the event. But Bunny pointed out to me, and I think she is correct, that not having any non-academics is not a failure of one or a few individuals (Bunny: "This is not personal."). This is an institutional problem; this is a social problem. Maybe we should call it a collective failure of the imagination.
Sorry for the looong e-mail, have you fallen asleep by now? Anyway, I hope it gives a little background on how we are thinking about such things.
Take care,
pinky

Oh, another thing about Winnipeg. Although we did more or less finish organizing our materials for the post-Winnipeg report, since the report does contain quite a few photographs and detailed notes regarding the exhibition installation, Bunny and I finally decided to release the report after the exhibition shuts down in Winnipeg and re-opens in Toronto. If we release it now it'll just be so boring for people in Toronto who are planning on seeing the exhibition in January/February, right?

Anyway, we have lots of things to keep us busy till then. We are currently in the process of re-accessing everything about our project, including whether or not we should continue. Mimi, who is kind of like Director of Bookkeeping & Paperwork (not a real title), has been telling us emphatically that we can't continue like this and we need to shut the Pinky Show down. Obviously Bunny and I don't want to do that, but we also don't really know how we can turn things around either. Every night I pray for an idea that will save our work but so far I haven't come up with anything really good. Maybe I'll write about all this in more detail later.

Till next time, I wish you all peace,

pinky

COP15 Rap Battle: Lord Monckton vs. Al Gore

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The guys at JuiceNews have made another video and I think I've already watched it 4 times! lol

I know this sounds stupid but I just marvel at how people write such sharp, informative AND funny material that actually RHYMES. Wow...

Maybe most importantly, it turned me onto the Indigenous Peoples' Global Summit on Climate Change, which I have to admit I hadn't even heard of before watching this video. o.O I seriously need new news sources...

MP3 and Lyrics here (click on little "i" icon on the audio player thing).

~ pinky

Daisy's Mini-Report from Makua Valley

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Pinky and I have never been inside Makua Valley so Daisy was nice enough to snap a few photos for us while he was there this past weekend.

Pinky organized the materials into a slideshow format and put it in the Commons Gallery. See it here. (The pictures have mouse-over commentary by Daisy - don't miss it.)

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For those of you who never heard of Makua Valley, here is some background information from KAHEA, EarthJustice, and DMZ Hawaii/Aloha Aina.

- Bunny

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[ note from Kim: I think I see the dog in the petroglyph. Did Hawaiian people know about cats before the European and American people showed up? ]

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[ Bunny: I don't think so. I vaguely remember reading somewhere that cats first arrived in Hawaii along with the first wave of European "explorers" (late 18th century). Apparently we were employed on those ships as rat hunters. Anybody know? ]

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[ Pinky: I heard that story too. I wonder how the cats got from ship to shore? Did they jump and swim? Did Captain Cook bring his cat friends to shore on those little boats? I wonder what Hawaiian people thought when they first saw cats? Did they like how soft we are? I wonder what was the first thing said after that first somebody touched that first cat? ]

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[ Bunny: Damn. As always, so many weird questions. ]

Pinky Show is "Best... Canadian Art..."

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Excuse me for butchering words in order to generate fake-reverence but hey, all the big movie studios do it.

We just got another mention in the Canadian press - which is cool, but I don't like their description of our project:

"...a collective of politically minded artists anonymously explores the ethical and moral obligations of mainstream media through a group of cartoon-cat spokespeople..."

What?

Whatevers. At least they call us "Best".

Thanks to Milena for sending us this press clipping!

- Bunny