Anyone not familiar with MATT TAIBBI's brilliant and cutting political analysis should start tuning in ASAP. His latest in-depth piece in the March 2010 issue of ROLLING STONE on the sham that is the government bank bailout is another must-read:
WALL STREET'S BAILOUT HUSTLE
Goldman Sachs and other big banks aren't just pocketing the trillions we gave them to rescue the economy - they're re-creating the conditions for another crash
By Matt Taibbi | ROLLING STONE, March 2010
On January 21st, Lloyd Blankfein left a peculiar voicemail message on the work phones of his employees at Goldman Sachs. Fast becoming America's pre-eminent Marvel Comics supervillain, the CEO used the call to deploy his secret weapon: a pair of giant, nuclear-powered testicles. In his message, Blankfein addressed his plan to pay out gigantic year-end bonuses amid widespread controversy over Goldman's role in precipitating the global financial crisis.
The bank had already set aside a tidy $16.2 billion for salaries and bonuses — meaning that Goldman employees were each set to take home an average of $498,246, a number roughly commensurate with what they received during the bubble years. Still, the troops were worried: There were rumors that Dr. Ballsachs, bowing to political pressure, might be forced to scale the number back. After all, the country was broke, 14.8 million Americans were stranded on the unemployment line, and Barack Obama and the Democrats were trying to recover the populist high ground after their bitch-whipping in Massachusetts by calling for a "bailout tax" on banks. Maybe this wasn't the right time for Goldman to be throwing its annual Roman bonus orgy.
Not to worry, Blankfein reassured employees. "In a year that proved to have no shortage of story lines," he said, "I believe very strongly that performance is the ultimate narrative."
Translation: We made a shitload of money last year because we're so amazing at our jobs, so fuck all those people who want us to reduce our bonuses. Click HERE to continue reading at ROLLING STONE...
Little mention's been made in the mainstrem media about the fact that OBAMA hosted a substantial night of music at the White House last week to commemorate the the Civil Rights Movement, that included BOB DYLAN performing "The Times They Are-a Changin" for a house full of bitterly warring politicians...
WORTH WATCHING: Fox News' BILL O'REILLY interviews JON STEWART and GLENN BECK provides closing commentary...
Oops. Looks like CHIA PET, INC. is gonna get audited annually for the next four years. Duh...
Our man SHEPARD FAIREY has been under a lot of scrutiny in the public eye since he opened fire on the ASSOCIATED PRESS last month with a lawsuit refuting a claim by the AP to the rights to his guerilla OBAMA campaign artwork because his portrait of the then-president elect was based on a photo allegedly under the domain of the photo agency. Leading the charge for the protection of "fair use" rights for all artists, Fairey is prepared to go all the way in his legal battle with pro bono support from the STANFORD LAW SCHOOL FAIR USE PROJECT. Last week, NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO's TERRY GROSS interviewed Shepard extensively on the subject, which can be heard in its entirety (25 minutes) HERE.
For those not in the know, unlike his uncommunicative predecessor, BARACK OBAMA releases a weekly “State of the Union” announcement online with a breakdown of the week’s major issues from a presidential perspective. Since 2009 is serious as a heart attack, we’ll be relaying it here at Supertouch on the regular.
Given BARACK OBAMA’s predilection for all things contemporary, rumors have been swirling in the artworld since his victory last year about how the new White House will embrace the modern art world. His interior decorator has been reaching out to museums and galleries in a frenzy to secure significant modern works to display in the Obama’s presidential residence and it’s likely that the wild west & cowboy artwork that ol’ W had placed around the White House will soon be replaced by more timely visions (rumors that Shepard Fairey will be allowed to tag the side of the White House remain unconfirmed). The epic unanswered question of course is, what artist will Obama choose to paint his presidential portrait (may we suggest Eric White?). Luckily, art world heavy DAVID ROSS has just weighed in on the subject with a great piece for this week’s DAILY BEAST:
"The art world is buzzing that the president wants contemporary art in the private residence of The White House. Former museum director David A. Ross on what could (and should) be hanging at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
Late in the first Clinton administration, I made my only visit to the White House. A New York art patron who was receiving an award invited me to witness the event. I hardly remember the art on view in the public rooms—when I search my memory, I recall only a sweet portrait of Mamie Eisenhower, in a fluffy pink dress, painted by W.G Williams, who is purported to have been a member of the Minnesota Chippewa tribe.
Now, in the first weeks of the Obama administration, the art world is aflame with rumors that the president and the first lady want serious works by living American artists for their private quarters. This is not the art that the thousands of tourists and VIP visitors will see in the public rooms of the White House. So does it matter whether the Obamas turn out to have good taste or a sophisticated take on the art of our times?
To an arts community that has been alternately ignored and reviled by Washington in recent years, it matters enormously, so, like Kremlinologists, it scrutinizes any bit of news. Michelle Obama wears J Crew—there must be a clue there? President Obama is close to Chicago museum heavyweights Penny Pritzker and Lewis Manilow and counts among his early supporters Eli Broad and Agnes Gund, two people with enormous influence in the American art community. Surely the president will take their counsel seriously? Click HERE to read more...
The drama heats up in SHEPARD FAIREY's fight with the ASSOCIATED PRESS after the agency filed a lawsuit last week claiming rights to the artist's BARACK OBAMA campaign imagery after learning the work was based on an existing AP photo. Today, THE FAIR USE PROJECT at STANFORD LAW SCHOOL’S CENTER FOR INTERNET AND SOCIETY (who is working Fairey's case pro bono) and San Francisco-based law firm DURIE TANGRI LEMLEY ROBERTS & KENT LLP filed a counter suit against the Associated Press on Fairey's behalf:
"The Fair Use Project at Stanford Law School’s Center for Internet and Society and San Francisco-based Durie Tangri Lemley Roberts & Kent LLP filed a lawsuit today against the Associated Press (AP) on behalf of Shepard Fairey and his production company Obey Giant Art, Inc. in connection with the series of iconic works Fairey created to support the candidacy of President Barack Obama.
Last week, the AP accused Fairey of infringing copyrights it says it holds in a photograph that was taken of Barack Obama by photographer Mannie Garcia at the National Press Club in 2006. The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, seeks a declaration from the Court holding that Fairey did not infringe AP’s copyrights in creating the now-famous Obama Hope poster and other related works, as well as an injunction against further assertion of copyrights by the AP against Fairey or anyone else who displays his work.
“There should be no doubt about the legality of Fairey's work,” said Anthony Falzone, executive director of the Fair Use Project and lecturer in law at Stanford Law School, who is leading Fairey’s legal team. “He used the photograph for a purpose entirely different than the original, and transformed it dramatically. The original photograph is a literal depiction of Obama, whereas Fairey's poster creates powerful new meaning and conveys a radically different message that has no analogue in the original photograph. Nor has Fairey done any harm to the value of the original photograph. Quite the opposite; Fairey has made the photograph immeasurably more valuable.” Click HERE to continue reading...
For those not in the know, unlike his uncommunicative predecessor, BARACK OBAMA releases a weekly "State of the Union" announcement online with a breakdown of the week's major issues from a presidential perspective. Since 2009 is serious as a heart attack, we'll be relaying it here at Supertouch on the regular. No word in this week's installment regarding the possibility of pardoning Obama campaign artist Shepard Fairey, however. Maybe he saving that for Monday...
The concept of "Fair Use" has been a frequent subject of discussion here on Supertouch lately. The ASSOCIATED PRESS' new claim that SHEPARD FAIREY's ubiquitous artwork created for BARACK OBAMA's presidential campaign violates the copyright of a photo in their archive will now prove yet another test of this conceptual cornerstone of the modern art world:
On buttons, posters and Web sites, the image was everywhere during last year's presidential campaign: A pensive Barack Obama looking upward, as if to the future, splashed in a Warholesque red, white and blue and underlined with the caption HOPE.
Designed by Shepard Fairey, a Los-Angeles based street artist, the image has led to sales of hundreds of thousands of posters and stickers, has become so much in demand that copies signed by Fairey have been purchased for thousands of dollars on eBay.
The image, Fairey has acknowledged, is based on an Associated Press photograph, taken in April 2006 by Manny Garcia on assignment for the AP at the National Press Club in Washington.
The AP says it owns the copyright, and wants credit and compensation. Fairey disagrees.
"The Associated Press has determined that the photograph used in the poster is an AP photo and that its use required permission," the AP's director of media relations, Paul Colford, said in a statement.
"AP safeguards its assets and looks at these events on a case-by-case basis. We have reached out to Mr. Fairey's attorney and are in discussions. We hope for an amicable solution."
"We believe fair use protects Shepard's right to do what he did here," says Fairey's attorney, Anthony Falzone, executive director of the Fair Use Project at Stanford University and a lecturer at the Stanford Law School. "It wouldn't be appropriate to comment beyond that at this time because we are in discussions about this with the AP."
Fair use is a legal concept that allows exceptions to copyright law, based on, among other factors, how much of the original is used, what the new work is used for and how the original is affected by the new work. Click HERE to continue reading...