Filtering by Category: 2011

Pinky Show has our own perfume!

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Actually, it's not perfume, but I don't really know what to call this. Our friend/badass indy curator/researcher/body-care alchemist Milena sent it to us all the way from Canada. She made it for us herself!

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I guess my photo doesn't show the whole label, it says: "'love and rage', for The Pinky Show." Isn't that neat? And it smells AMAZING. Bunny, Kim, and I put some on and now we all smell super delicious! Who knows how such beautiful scents get suspended in oil, but maybe I don't want to know how she did it since the final effect is very similar to magic. Bunny and I are often very stressed out by our work but somehow this tiny bottle makes me feel very happy! ^_^

Thank you Milena! Much love and hugs from all of us here in the desert! xoxoxoxxo!

pinky

p.s. We miss you lots. Please come visit us.

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Pinky is so dense. All talk and no links. Go here:

Just the Goods etsy store

Also, Just the Goods also has its own website.

I'm not saying Milena's creations are awesome because she's our friend. We became friends because Milena and her work are both awesome.

Posted by Bunny.

The People of Egypt Bring Down the Mubarak Regime

Added on by PS Cat02.
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Ordinary people in Egypt are showing, teaching the world what is possible! Watch and be inspired! Lift your head up! Go do something! Posted by Bunny.

[ watch below: The Egyptian Revolution: A Democracy Now! Special on Mubarak’s Resignation ]

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2/27 Paraphrasing Teacup: But what does it mean that the military is in control?

Posted by Bunny.

1st Pinky Show Human-in-Residence over.

Added on by PS Cat02.
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For those of you who dropped by over the past couple of weeks looking for updates on our residency project, my apologies. I said I was going to post periodic updates but ended up posting none. Bleh - I guess I am just not good at writing in diaries. Sorry.

The residency itself was very good for us, I hope it was also good for our visitor. The main thing we wanted was to have lots of time to exchange ideas, walk together, eat and drink coffee together, stuff like that. We all drank a lot of coffee and tea and some juice. We got to do all that plus introduce him to some nice animals and people and I think he liked looking at the unique rocks, vegetation, and water-forms we have around here. He left yesterday to go back to Australia. I hope he is safely home by now.

A few people have e-mailed us to ask how we selected Mr. Nanni to be our first visiting human. The simple answer is that we didn't really choose per se, it just sort of happened. I had been chatting with Mr. Nanni via e-mails for quite some time - he liked The Pinky Show and we liked Rap News, etc. We just thought it'd be easier to have longer, more involved discussions face-to-face. (duh) So it was, and I hope in the future we will have a chance to do this with other people too. Maybe once a year would work nicely?

So if you are a nice human being and would like to come talk and study with Bunny and me for "X" (?) amount of time, please feel free to send us a letter. We'll put it in a special folder and choose someone from that folder, maybe for next year.

Okay, now I have to finish drawing our Pinky Show comic for Fuse magazine's upcoming Spring issue!

Take care,

pinky

1st Human Guest here

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Hi everybody. I'm going to try to post periodic updates while our residence-thing is going on.

Our first-ever Pinky Show human-in-residence participant arrived safely from Australia early this morning. His name is Giordano Nanni and he is a researcher, historian, writer, musician-composer, and also one-half of the RapNews team. The first thing we did was feed him because traveling makes you hungry (we gave him a fish). Then we sat down and talked for a long time about settler colonialism, both in Australia and also in the United States and Hawaii. We also had some time to compare notes about our respective media projects - we found out we have a lot of very similar long-term objectives, which is nice because it kind of makes us feel less crazy. Then Bunny cooked dinner for everybody (he got another fish). Then after dinner we got a call that our friend was having difficulty breathing so we used a van to take her to the hospital. That wasn't work-related but it is life-related, which in some ways more important than work-related. We just got home a few minutes ago, it is now just a few minutes before midnight.

Giordano is very nice (I don't use that term lightly), we all like him.

On a project-oriented note, one of the interesting things that came up was a conversation about how to choose a media format to work in. Specifically, Giordano was asking why we did not make any Pinky Show videos last year, because he thinks our videos are probably the most accessible format (as opposed to things like, say, an art installation, which only a few hundred or thousands of people will see because it's primarily an in-person experience). Bunny and I have talked about this to each other a lot in the past, but somehow I guess we never really got around to explaining this stuff here in our diary.

The main reason for the lack of new videos in 2010 was that we had decided to use last year to explore other formats: reports, comics, flat art, art installations, lecture-presentations, face-to-face dialog and so on. After being so video-focused for the first four years, we thought we should be careful to explore the limits (for us) and possibilities of other formats. It's not that we want to find a replacement for making videos, because we do think videos are very useful. But sometimes other formats allow us to build-in more ambiguity or mysterious aspects that are different from what we can do in our usual video presentational style. Or other things that are difficult to show in video  - like Bunny riding her bike - is just easier to show as a static image. Or the different ways you can play with the portrayal of time and space in formats other than PS videos simply allow us to use different narrative strategies to talk about stuff in ways that otherwise wouldn't be so easy or natural. Finally we think it's very important to test our ideas and work in different cultural and institutional spaces. For example, whereas in the first four years of our project most of our communications have been with students, activists, and educators, in 2010 we had a lot of interaction with art-world people (they are not mutually exclusive, I'm over-generalizing here). And since art schools/artists/museums/galleries/culture-writers tend to bring a different slant to their approach to political material, it was a nice opportunity for us to look at our work again with different audiences. So I guess what I'm saying is that altogether, the main reason why we spent so much time experimenting with non-video forms in 2010 is that we wanted to expand and test different ways of communicating. Although it may not look like we did much from the outside, for us it was a very important and productive year because we learned a lot about how people are understanding our work, and we will be bringing all of this with us as we move forward. We think it's important to periodically re-theorize, test, and reflect, otherwise we could easily spend the rest of our lives doing the same things over and over again and before you know it oops we're dead. Anyway, that's just one of the things we talked about with Giordano. Bunny told me to write all this down because we had kind of forgot that people might be wondering why we suddenly stopped making videos, like maybe we're lazy or something.

This has turned into a not-very-short entry. (Bunny says I talk too much.) I will try to keep my entries shorter from now on, but make them more often.

Okay, I have to go now. I have some split pea soup on the stove - that will be our breakfast tomorrow morning.

Please take care,

pinky

Happy Birthday Daisy

Added on by PS Cat02.
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Happy Birthday to you Daisy, where ever you are! xoxo, pinky

Best birthday wishes to you Daisy. Hope to see you soon, Bunny.

Happy Birthday Daisy! Next time you come visit us can we go looking for insects again? How old are you now? I love you! Kim

Bunny mailbag: Would you leave America if Sarah Palin became President?

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From the mailbag:

Dear Bunny... I'm assuming that you guys aren't big fans of Sarah Palin. Would you guys move to another country if Sarah Palin got elected President of the United States? I was just curious how you feel about how the US might become too ridiculous if she was President. Best wishes, Yalonda
Response:
Hello Yalonda. You're right, we are not fans of Sarah Palin the politician. I don't know much about her as a person, although she strikes me as more of a dog person.
I've thought about possibly leaving the United States, but that's to fight poachers in South Asia, not because I don't like a certain politician. In general, I don't like politicians, it's not just a Sarah Palin thing. Truthfully, I don't find her to be particularly unique. Yes, she often says "ridiculous" things, but that's nothing new in American politics. More importantly, she's not in charge. She's not President of the United States; President Obama is the President of the United States. But everyday the U.S. is responsible for the death and suffering of millions of ordinary people - 'collateral damage' of our colonial wars (official and unofficial) and imperial policies institutionalized all across the world. So I think the U.S. is already ridiculous - ridiculously callous and violent. Rolling our eyes at people like Sarah Palin is free and maybe even a little fun to do, but in the end she's not the system. She's just one person.
Strategically speaking, I think it's important that Pinky and I continue to criticize critique the U.S. from inside the U.S. Although if we get run out of this country then I guess that will be moot.
Take care,
Bunny

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Bunny, I think I understand most of what you're saying but isn't "the system" also made up of individual people? Isn't President Obama also just "one person"? - Kim

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Cult of personality-types require minions. Institutions need functionaries. Corporations need worker slaves and consumption slaves and an elite class to dictate. Nations are the same way. So yes, the words and actions of individual people do matter, but any way you look at it, people-in-bunches matter more. Which is why POLITICS is so important. Which is also why UNDERSTANDING politics is largely absent in state-sanctioned educational curricula. B.

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I still don't get it.

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The President of the United States is not just a person. It's an office within a system. I'm not saying it's irrelevant which individual person occupies that office - obviously there are some differences between one occupant and the next - but when Barack Obama leaves office he will be replaced with another person who will also uphold the foundational ideologies of U.S. Empire: American exceptionalism, military interventionism, corporate supremacism, and so on and so on. That's not a "personal" knock against Barack Obama, Sarah Palin, or anybody else - that's just America.

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Okay, got it now, thanks.

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Update: Jan. 12 @ 12:49pm PST.

A reader's e-mail to Bunny: "I find your reading of American politics grim and depressing..."

My reply: "Hi Lynn, I'm sorry you feel depressed. My intention is only to provide a blunt and accurate description of how things are. But here's some good news: as messed up as the system currently is, it can also be changed by people. You guys maintain it, you can also change it if you want. Collectively, though, not individually. I don't believe "individual actions" have much of an effect. Thank you for your e-mail, Bunny"

Louise Reiss, Rest In Peace.

Added on by PS Cat02.
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Do you recognize this woman?

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Probably not. She doesn't look like a superhero but I hope someone will read this tiny diary entry and be inspired, as I was when I came across her obituary in the New York Times today.

Her name is Louise Reiss and she was a doctor who was instrumental in conducting research (the "Baby Tooth Survey, 1959~1970) that provided evidence that atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons increased harmful radioactivity in people's bodies. She established this by collecting and analyzing the amount of Strontium-90 in childrens' decidous teeth (a.k.a. "baby teeth"):

The teeth were sent to the laboratory at Washington University, which tested them for strontium 90, one of more than 100 chemicals created in nuclear explosions and reactors. Strontium 90 is chemically similar to calcium and, when ingested in food and water, attaches to bones and teeth. It is radioactive and known to cause cancer.
The study ultimately found that children born in St. Louis in 1963 had 50 times as much strontium 90 in their teeth as children born in 1950 — before most of the atomic tests. Its initial findings were published in the journal Science in 1961 and came to the attention of President John F. Kennedy as he negotiated with the Soviet Union for a ban on atmospheric nuclear testing.
From 1945 to 1963, the United States tested 206 nuclear weapons in the atmosphere — 100 in Nevada and 106 in the South Pacific — while the Soviet Union conducted 216 such tests. Fallout was swept away by prevailing winds and returned through precipitation, some of it falling on farms and dairies.
In June 1963, Dr. Reiss’s husband presented the findings in testimony before a Senate committee in support of a treaty. Two months later, the Partial Test Ban Treaty between the United States, the Soviet Union and Britain was signed.
Dr. Reiss was proud that the project achieved its aims through science rather than politics. "I continue to be moved by the knowledge that a group of organized people can effectively pressure government if they come up with data instead of rhetoric," she wrote in a letter to a colleague in the study in 1996. (from the NYT obituary)

I also found this photo of Dr. Reiss as a young, brand-new doctor in 1945. Do you think she knew that in just a few short years she would be engaged in doing work that would help change human history in such a positive way?

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Can you imagine how radically different this world would be if all of us nobodies were to live our lives with the intention to change history?

Take care,
pinky

Staying for now; 2011 summarized.

Added on by PS Cat02.
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After talking it over with Pinky I finally decided that I'm going to stay and keep working on the Pinky Show for at least another year. I'm still not totally convinced that writing stuff and making art is the best way to change our stupid society but she made a fairly convincing argument that probably this is the best way that I can personally make a contribution. Okay, maybe true - time will tell.

Last year was mostly about traveling to talk to people face-to-face. We went to Canada several times (Winnipeg, Toronto 2x, Sherbrooke), Europe twice (Berlin, Warsaw), Hawaii, and of course we walked around a lot here in the United States. We walked so much I think that's why my knee hurts now. But meeting everybody was extremely important for us. We learned a lot about how people are understanding or not understanding our work, which is often difficult to get a feel for because we do so much of our communications via the internet. Maybe we should do this every fifth year.

Using what we learned last year, this coming year will be mostly comprised of:

1) Posting the documentation of what we experienced last year on our travels.
2) Posting all the scripts & illustrations of all the unproduced videos we weren't able to fund.
3) We have several small-scale art projects planned. I think you will like these.
4) Continue making Pinky Show comics.
5) Publish another small book. (We ran out of I Want To Punch Your Face.)
6) Continue work on our upcoming big book.
7) Host our first-ever Human in Residence.

Number 7 should be very interesting. Pinky and I decided that it would be good to have some kind of program where we'd be able to talk with a non-threatening human being for an extended period of time. We're not sure if this is going to be a recurring thing or not, but it seemed like an idea we wanted to try. We invited test-human Giordano Nanni (historian, writer, multimedia producer; studies colonialism, etc.) to come visit us. He's half of the duo that produces Rap News and will be joining us for 20 days of talking, sharing information & experiences, plotting, meditation training, and we don't know what else yet. He is scheduled to arrive January 21 and I will post updates here in this blog thing.

Posted by Bunny.

Bunny mailbag: Is the Pinky Show really "radical far left-wing"?

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Letter (excerpt) from Thomas from Virginia:

I have a question! On Wikipedia, your show is characterized as having a "radical far left-wing point of view", but..... I don't understand this. Your views are based on logic and research, and you support all of your arguments with real life material, or experts' input! Although this process may not be perfect, wouldn't this nevertheless be closer to the "middle" or "truth" than some "fringe" view? Do you see yourself as being "radical left"? I'm a little perplexed.....
Reply:
Hi Thomas. This is my first e-mail of the new year.
Thomas, I like your question. The truth is we don't care much for the labels. Left / Center / Right are categories that are widely used in newspapers, books, tv news, and so on, so people do have a vague shared understanding of them, which I suppose gives them a small degree of utility. Unfortunately, these labels are also so fluid and are used so arbitrarily that they often create more confusion than clarity.
When we say "left", we're using the term historically, to place ourselves more or less in alignment with so-called "progressive-left" politics, as opposed to its 'opposite', which I suppose would be the "reactionary right". In general, "Left" references the desire to move towards more social and economic egalitarianism, democracy for EVERYBODY (instead of just maximizing freedoms, privileges, and power for the elites), etc, etc. We (lefty cats) don't always fit all the criteria (Is there such a thing as a Leftist Orthodoxy?) but that's the way it goes. And, in a society built on the logic of violence and now dominated by punitive, socially reactionary policies, we've come to expect that the suggestive labeling (the Pinky Show is "radical far-left wing", etc.) is going to be done to us whether we object to it or not. So basically it's a good idea to be suspicious of labels. And also many adjectives.
As for the word "radical", we like Angela Davis' definition: "Radical simply means grasping a problem by its root." For example, when we say "radical education", we usually just mean we favor a critical re-examination of education's foundational assumptions, histories, and practices, with an eye to making big, structural changes. This is contrary to "reformist" approaches in which you just tinker with the details (they might be significant details, but they are not fundamental, structural elements), leaving the basic structure (with all of it's problems) intact. Here in the U.S. the term "radical" has so many negative connotations that it's often simply used as a slur. We're aware of this but since we think about the meaning differently we still use it to self-identify sometimes.
Regarding the Pinky Show entry at Wikipedia, I don't pay much attention to what's written there because 1) most people don't have a basic understanding of what our project is about; and 2) Wikipedia pages are easy to "vandalize" with stupid and incorrect information. In the past we've been labeled as communists or socialists or Maoists or terrorists or [insert scary adjective here]. It's ridiculous, we're none of those things. On the internet, when someone disagrees with you, you're almost guaranteed to be attacked on Wikipedia or any one of those other anyone-can-post/edit websites. That's why I think stuff like Wikipedia is better for describing the life cycle of ants, rather than trying to describe contested social phenomena or explore counter-hegemonic ideas.
Sorry for the long reply. I hope I did not bore you too much. I wish you a happy new year.
Bunny

Happy Birthday Bunny!

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Today is the first day of a new calendar year, which also means that it is also Bunny's birthday! Happy Birthday Bunny!

As always, from all of us here at The Pinky Show - Bunny, Kim, Mimi, Daisy, Ants, and myself - we wish all of our friends out there in Internetland a year of more peace, awareness, and justice!

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Yeah Happy Birthday grumpy face! lol