October 16, 2006 |
Andy Warhol was close when he said, "In the future everyone will be world famous for 15 minutes. " Forget fame. What awaits us all is a makeover. It used to be that a show like Oprah's would do a makeover now and then, and we loved it. The person seemed so deserving and the results were so encouraging. The stylists made it all look so easy, so attainable, so enjoyable. Then whole shows were devoted to makeovers, and things got out of hand. We have endured shows that remake people top to bottom, teeth whitening, liposuction, plastic surgery included.
September 19, 1991 |
For those of you trying to break into the music business, consider the example of the new Rap sensation N.W.A. (Niggers with Attitude.) Without any radio airtime, videos or concerts, N.W.A. sold 1 million copies of its album "Efil4zaggin" in its first two weeks on the market. The album shot to No. 1 on the Billboard pop chart in early June and remains in the top 20. Their secret isn't vocal talent, creative arrangements or unique sound, but rather a total reliance upon misogynistic, violence-promoting messages rife with obscenities.
February 24, 1990 |
Something was out of place when Maurice Cheeks entered his first game as a New York Knick on Thursday night at the Capital Centre. It wasn't the uniform. Seeing Cheeks in any outfit except the red, white and blue one of the 76ers had lost its shock value after he showed up at the Spectrum in the silver and black of the San Antonio Spurs early this season. And it wasn't the way he played. He played just as he had for 11-plus pro seasons - with understated excellence.
September 22, 1990 |
Leaders of the gay and lesbian community in Philadelphia yesterday accused State Sen. M. Joseph Rocks of promoting fear of homosexuals in a Republican campaign mailer that arrived at thousands of homes in the Fourth Senate District in the last two days. The mailer, paid for by the Republican City Committee, attacks Rocks' Democratic opponent, Allyson Young Schwartz, for supporting the right of "gay and lesbian couples to bear and raise children. " Rita Adessa, executive director of the Philadelphia Lesbian and Gay Task Force, said Rocks' mailer, which includes patriotic photographs of the American flag, and a Betsy Ross lookalike on the cover, was "modern-day McCarthyism.
November 11, 2002 |
As somber cello music played in the background, the guests chatted quietly about postmodernism and why the Gothic influence never took hold in Italian art. It was that kind of crowd: musicians, painters, sculptors, museum people and such. Then they got down to business, to the reason they'd all come to Mouina Karam's South Broad Street home. They needed to decide what to do about the Christmas tree. There it stood in the living room before them - a stalky thing, little more than bare brown twigs festooned with bedraggled tinsel - and 11 years' worth of adornments.
September 1, 1992 |
Actress Susan Sarandon, a dyed-in-the-wool liberal, says she refused an invitation to speak at the Democratic National Convention because the 1992 Dems just aren't liberal enough. "I'm furious with the Democratic Party," she says, "because at a time when the country has such clear-cut problems and when issues could have been really dealt with in a different way than the Republicans have, we've got the closest thing to a Republican in (Bill) Clinton. " But she'll probably pull the lever for him, anyway.
February 14, 2001
NONPROFITS AND SHOCK-ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS I object to the suggestion that the United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania's "Look the Other Way" campaign is an example of "noble institutions ... stooping to ignoble means to transmit a message" (Commentary, Feb. 8). The campaign truly evolved from spending hours with both the victims and those who protect them. The campaign seeks to convey some of the most desperate conditions that face our communities and - more important - the urgency for us all to act. We weren't going for "shock value" - the real-life dangers affecting our city's children and their families are shocking enough.
April 19, 2011 |
The Philadelphia Orchestra's decision Saturday to declare bankruptcy has drawn worldwide attention, from both major news outlets and niche readerships. "Philadelphia - it's the worst outcome," wrote popular London music blogger Norman Lebrecht. "It foments uncertainty across musical America. " Former Gov. Ed Rendell, who began stumping for the orchestra's move to the Kimmel Center as mayor, said he didn't think the news was a black eye for the city as long as the orchestra continues its schedule, which it says it will.
September 19, 1989 |
The state Republican Committee has raised the stakes in a bitter television campaign by planning to run advertisements that ask New Jersey voters to reject "the old New Jersey," where "Democrat officials were mired in corruption and going to jail. " The use of the words "corruption" and "jail" were intended to add what one Republican official yesterday called "a little shock value" to the 1989 campaign for control of the governor's office and the state Assembly, where all 80 seats are up for re-election.
February 6, 1987 |
Wiseblood, the rock act appearing at Revival on Sunday, is the latest incarnation of Jim Thirlwell, best known to fans of underground rock as the man who recorded a few records under the appalling name Scraping Foetus Off the Wheel. Thirlwell's Wiseblood has just released an album titled Dirt Dish (Relativity), which includes the remarkably scary "Stumbo" and the remarkably offensive "Fudge Punch. " It's clear that Thirlwell's mission in life is to provoke as many people as possible; to that end, his music has succeeded.