Can I take you to the movies? b/w plane crash

Manifesto, currently at the Park Avenue Armory, is thirteen 11-minute films playing simultaneously on thirteen different screens.


The first film you see upon entering the drill hall is a lit fuse. Metaphor amok!



Cate Blanchett is a different character in each film. News anchor. Puppeteer. Punk. Homeless man. CEO. Conservative housewife. etc. She’s heavily made-up and unrecognizable in many of these.

manifesto4 manifesto5

For dialog, she recites manifestos from different art movements in dramatic fashion. Dadaism. Futurism. Pop Art. Surrealism. Architecture. etc.


At one point, all thirteen screens simultaneously cut to a severe close-up of her face as she delivers a penultimate manifesto statement. She delivers these few lines in the same monotone in each film, filling the armory with a buzz of art-speak gibberish. Sounds pretentious and dull, doesn’t it? It’s not.


It’s interesting to see what they do with this giant drill hall space. There’s been some great projects but it’s going to be impossible to top Ernesto Neto’s anthropodino.



March 23, 1992

There was a terrible plane crash last night at LaGuardia. 27 people died. It was trying to take off during a snowstorm. It bounced on the runway a few times and then burst into flames. It wound up half on the runway and half in Flushing Bay. I don’t know where I’d rather come to rest; in the freezing drink where I’d drown in ice water or on the runway where I’d burn up. Probably the former.

I always think about crashing when I take off and land. What a terrible way to go. It was a U.S. Air flight bound for Cleveland. That’s a little too close to home for me. They sent psychologists to Hopkins Airport in Cleveland to deal with traumatized family members. I keep thinking about the parasitic media crawling all over the victim’s families asking, “How do you feel?” Can you imagine going to journalism school and that’s what you end up doing?

The flight number was 405. Everyone is playing that number in the lottery. They always do that in New York. Ghouls.

Candace made dinner for me on Friday. I didn’t think that girl knew how to boil water but it was a very nice meal. The brown rice was a little undercooked but the chicken was good. We both got loaded. I wonder what possessed her to do that? Make dinner for me?

After dinner we saw The Master Builder on Broadway. It was awful. Not even having Lynn Redgrave in the cast could save the production. Ibsen’s work always seems comically outdated to me. The acting was atrocious. We left there laughing hysterically and went down to Continental to see Big Fag. The guitarist never showed up and their lineup changed but I still liked them. I don’t know what Candace thought. After Big Fag, The Funky Knights played. They were polished and dull.

Got a cab and dropped her off at Avenue A and 3rd and went home to Brooklyn. I think she wanted to kiss me in the cab but I was so drunk I didn’t trust my judgment. Plus, I’m exhausted from being turned down so often. If she’s interested, let her initiate it.


Look who’s trying to make nice.


Give me a break. This is the same villainous canine who bit me repeatedly. I know what’s going on. She hasn’t tasted my flesh in a while and is trying to get me to drop my guard. It’s not going to work. I’m not stupid.

60 thoughts on “Can I take you to the movies? b/w plane crash

  1. Meanwhile, I like the look of that art piece AND it sounds like you had a very confusing manifesto when you were younger. I bet your behaviour was analysed in the Ladies loos many times!

  2. Was that one of those, “Quick, quick! Get the camera!” moments, and you held your breath? Like spotting Yeti.

    Some say the world will end in fire,
    Some say in ice.
    From what I’ve tasted of desire
    I hold with those who favor fire.
    But if it had to perish twice,
    I think I know enough of hate
    To say that for destruction ice
    Is also great
    And would suffice.

  3. The Manifesto sounds intriguing. I wonder how they got Cate Blanchett to agree to do it. Is it part of maintaining street cred as an artist/actress? I know nothing of these things…

    • Well, it’s a lot of gobbledygook, if I’m being perfectly honest. If it weren’t for the killer visuals this wouldn’t work at all.

      She is a serious ak-tor and does these things. It offsets her Lord of the Rings paychecks. She’s opening on Broadway in a week. That burnishes their reputation, too.

  4. What a terrific picture — you actually look like you like that dog! Perhaps you should have been an actor.

    When you fly, cross your arms across your chest. Most injuries in plane crashes occur because people have broken arms and can’t get their seat belts undone to get out. (A lot of the folks I worked with at WHO traveled to weird places and learned these things.)

    • Let me be clear. I don’t have any affection for that dog. And it’s not my fault. I gave her plenty of chances and spent lots of money to try and tame her.

      Thank you for the flying tip. It makes me never want to get on a plane again

  5. The art piece looks interesting, if a little precious.

    Despite tv air crash shows and media reports, accidents on t/o and landing are rare. Flying is very safe (now that I’ve told you that, I bet you feel safer). I am a 25 yr pilot and one of things I frequently do is practise landings and take-offs. The crash you describe was studied extensively and a lot of changes were made, including to the type of de-icing fluid that’s used (they had ice on their wings). 80% of passengers feel discomfort at some phase of flight, so you’re not alone. We humans just don’t like feeling that we have no control. One thing we do know is that survival rates increase for those seated in the back of the aircraft. Not the best ride, but safer. For the most part, knowing all this doesn’t help, though.

    Cute dog. I have to say that she looks like she might be reeling you in, though …

    Happy holidays!

    • That’s an accurate summation; interesting but prcious. I enjoyed it but the manifestoes were a wall of words that meant very little to me.

      Thank you for the excellent flying lesson. I’ve never been so afraid to fly that I didn’t want to do it, but in always relieved when the flight is over. So you remember this crash specifically?

      I’ve always got my guard up with that dog. It’s a hard lesson I learned.

      Happy holidays to you, too. Thanks for all there great comments throughout the year. Always appreciated.

      • I do specifically remember that crash because a similar one involving the same type of aircraft had occurred about a year earlier here in Canada. That earlier crash also occurred because of ice on the wings & the main results of the investigation (de-ice with fluid that adheres to the aircraft; weather takes precedence over airline schedules) were specifically sent to the FAA because lots of Fokkers (aircraft type) were in use in the US. Unfortunately, the report got left on someone’s desk & ignored. Sometimes, we humans have to be absolutely whacked before we get it (DT, anyone?).

  6. You’re right not to trust that dog. She wouldn’t have bitten you unless she had you pegged as a beta male living under a petticoat administration. The only way of taming her would be to get a pet cougar and lavish all your love on it. (I’m talking about a cat, not a woman).Is it possible you were too impatient with Candace?

    • Cats I can trust. Dogs? And especially THAT dig? Nevah.

      Here’s the thing about Candace and I… We are still friends to this day. It never happened between us because Candace likes girls. It’s probably why we’ve been friends for so long. No sexual tension.

  7. Well yea the damn dog is trying to cozy up to you and she has already lost her chances for you to like her. Animals are like that. Sometimes it takes years before they accept you but then again it’s sometimes a ONE TIME THING. How do I know? Well I read a lot of pet stuff and I’ve seen it in my own family. 🙂

    About planes and flying. I’ve never been up and I do not ever plan on getting in a plane. It just is not for me. I would die of a heart attack. I like my feet on the ground.

    BTW that’s a nice pic of you. You look like the cat that ate the canary. 🙂

    • I can’t get it out of my head that all I’d have to do is reach up and scratch under her chin and I’d get bit for my trouble. If it only happened once I could get past it but it’s happened more times than I can remember.

      You’ve never flown? Ever? It’s a genuine thrill! You wonder how this big hulking piece of metal stays a lot.

      • No, I’ve never flown and DO NOT INTEND TO FLY-EVER! 🙂 I don’t care how the flying Jenny stays up. I’m fascinated with planes just don’t want any part of flying.

        Yea, she’d probably bite the crap out of you so you’re wise not to take a chance.

  8. Re your old journal entry — I also get tired of doing the chasing all the time. I wish it were more socially acceptable for women to initiate things. But a man can spend years twiddling his thumbs in the corner if he doesn’t make the first move.

  9. I probably would have just wandered around that big ol’ space and paid little attention to the manifesto stuff. I do like the thought of all that gabbling going off at once, sort of a large-sized metaphor for artsy pretension.
    How can that dog be so vicious? Must have some chihuahua in it.

    • I heard that they were thinking of stringing all those films together into one long film. It wouldn’t work. There would be too many dull spots. In the drill hall it was more of a spectacle.

      Actually that dog is half poodle which I now understand is an ornery breed. I wish I’d known that before hand.

  10. That’s a lot of Cate…

    I think everyone thinks of crashing when they get on a plane. People aren’t actually afraid of flying, they’re afraid of flying towards the earth like a dart. Not much hope in a tin tube. Still… until they give us super powers.

    Well, what the hell? She made your flippin’ dinner! How’s that for initiation?! You damn fool…;)

    Nice pic. Just before the vicious bite!

    Happy Christmas!

    • Hello, dear. Happy Christmas to you, too. You sure fly enough so I’m assuming you haven’t any qualms. I don’t either, really, but I’m glad when it’s all over. Might be a better experience for me if I flew business class instead of cattle.

      She made dinner but we were just pals. She liked (likes) girls. Not boys.

  11. Nice review on the movies, not too sure I’d enjoy it, seems a bit disjointed.
    Flying always has the frisson of danger, but it’s not a nice way to go, but why the hell would they take off in a snowstorm?
    It’s almost Christmas, go on, you know you want to let her have a wee nibble, then you would be justified in kicking her over the rooftops.

    • Even though it’s a showing of 13 movies, it’s not about the movies, per se. It’s more of a spectacle. Her uncanny performances, the low buzz of all the movies playing simultaneously and the vast hall are more important than the actual content of the movies themselves. It worked.

      I’d toss that mutt in the river and get a cat if it were up to me but my daughters would disown me and I can’t have that.

      Merry Christmas, pal. Happy new year, too.

  12. The Blanchett thing is intriguing.But probably only because it’s set up in the Armoury.

    You and that dog! I’m hemmed-in by damn’ dogs which bark and whine at all hours.Mostly because their “owners” are at work 5/7. I’ll stick with cats.

    By the way, dog aside, that’s a lovely photo of you.Sir. 🙂

    • You are exactly correct. If that were shown anywhere outside the spacious armory I don’t know if it would be as effective, although her performances are a revelation.

      If everyone in the house works full time, you shouldn’t have a dog. Dogs are highly social animals and can’t spend all of their time alone That’s when they start to chew chair legs.

      Merry Christmas, from all the way on the other side of the planet. Isn’t technology a wonder?

  13. The creepiest thing about that whole installation is the damn puppet, it creeps me out… and in my Salad Days if a woman made me dinner i felt an almost moral obligation to sleep with them, is it arrogant to state that a lot of women made me dinner back then? i think it was my barbarian ways mixed with the whole lost boy thing along with some Freudian thing (on their part) about mothering me, i didn’t give a fuck, i had a good time… and you must have had it pretty damn good sir, critiquing the fucking meal? the brown rice undercooked? i was just happy to get fed, it could have been shit on a shingle and they’d have gotten a Michelin star from my derelict ass… and watch that dog, you’re right, it’s a set up. Happy Chrimbo/ solstice/yule and shit.

    • You should see the puppets in that film. There are shelves of them, many with world leaders, both contemporary and historical. You can tell who it is but they all have distorted faces like the example above.

      She wasn’t interested in me as anything other than a friend. She liked girls and no amount of persuasion was going to change that. Kind of nice, really. No pressure.

      Merry Christmas to ya. I am on my way to Middleburg Heights.

  14. That’s a great photo Mark. That dog…I will always have fond memories of first commenting on your blog, lit up with fury over that dog. Looks so sweet in the photo though, like you could put your hand inside it and give it funny, cute voices. The image of that plane bouncing on the runway reminds me of the new turntable I just bought, how you have to adjust the tension in the arm to get it to rest right in the groove, which is a bit much for me to manage. At the wrong tension, the arm just flares around in the air like a hose, it’s a weird effect.
    Happy holidays to you and your loved ones. Be well.

  15. I thought of you when I read about that show, but figured you already knew about it! The “art manifesto” language comment reminded me of how far too many people I know describe wine! Too many descriptors that have no meaning for me. I mean, WTF licks rocks on a daily basis? Nor this little black duck, baby! Merry Christmas and keep your distance from that dog! She looks too sneaky. 😉 xoxo

    • Wine. Food. Art. Fashion. We are surrounded by pretentious idiots. People who take these pleasures fast too seriously. They ruin it for the rest of us who just want to have a nice time.

      Hope you have a nice holiday. You’ve been coming around here longer than most and I appreciate it.

  16. Lovely look at your holiday doings, as well as the trip to the past.
    I worked for two airlines…and am still firmly convinced that what keeps planes in the air is a combination of magic and God’s will. [Well, praying silently at take-off and landing has worked for me, so far.]
    As for the dog…feh. She’s just waiting for you to drop your guard.
    Happy holidays and a happy and healthy new year to you and the humans in your life.

    • Flying is a miracle to me. The folks who make that all happen are much, much smarter than I can ever hope to be. Not understanding the physics behind it, it seems like voodoo to me. I always wanted to date a girl who worked for the airlines. Never put that together. They saw right through me.

      Happy holidays to you, too. Thanks so much for dropping in. Much appreciated.

  17. Hey you, Happy New Year! That movie exhibition thingy sounds cool, and what a fun tour de force role for Cate Blanchett. Love the pic of you with the doggy, I think you should photoshop in some holly leaves and make it into your Christmas card for next year! No? Well it was just a thought…

    • It’s nice to see you. Happy New Year to you, too. Make a wish. You never know.

      I wish that dog were as peaceful and serene as she seems in that pic. Nothing could be further from the truth. I’m on to her tricks.

      Cate can do anything. I’m seeing her in a Chekhov play this Friday night. I typically avoid Russian melodrama but in her case I’ll make an exception.

  18. That art exhibit looks fun! And unnerving.

    And that night back in the day sounded good too. She cooks for you, you both get drunk, you see some bad theater (maybe not that part), and then you think about kissing each other in the cab (maybe not that part either). Still, everything was exciting back in those days.

    But now it’s good too. Just different.


    • The exhibit cost $20. Most exhibits are free but I can understand why they needed this one funded. I’ve spent more and have gotten less in return.

      Ah, back in the day. Fortunately, I realized how special it all was when I was in the thick of it. I couldn’t believe how lucky I was to be living in New York–something I never planned. It just happened! I’m grateful I didn’t enjoy it only in retrospect, as so many do. Live in the moment!

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