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Monday, June 01, 2009


* The World Future Council eyes the possibility of punishing crimes against the future, but news on climate change and ocean acidification suggests we should be more concerned about crimes against the present.

* Here comes your Grant Morrison documentary.

* Early Ditko.

* How to bring the party.

* Are graduate creative writing programs worth it? Only if they're free, and frankly maybe not even then. This, however, is quite true:

A friend and classmate of mine recently said that our program was a place where people who ordinarily never would have met in their entire lives could become best friends.
It's the best reason to do it. Via Jezebel via @sposnik.

* Alain de Botton says "it's time for an ambitious new literature of the office."

* And an art historian thinks Duchamp's readymades weren't really readymades.
This is Ms. Shearer's case against the readymades so far.

Duchamp's readymade glass ampoule, which he named ''50 cc of Paris Air,'' is larger than any that would have been readily available to pharmacists. (And she has a tape of a man from Corning Glass saying so.)

''Beautiful Breath,'' the readymade perfume bottle with Man Ray's photograph of Duchamp on it (now owned by Yves Saint Laurent) is green, she says; the real bottles of ''Un Air Embaume,'' from Rigaud, are peach-colored (like the empty but still-fragrant one that Ms. Shearer bought for $650).

The readymade snow shovel, which now exists only in photographs and replicas, ''would hurt your hand'' if you tried to use it, Ms. Shearer says, because it has a square shaft. And it doesn't have the normal reinforcements to keep it from breaking. (She has hired people to make her a snow shovel like Duchamp's and use it until it breaks.)

There is more: the bird cage is too squat for a real bird, the iron hooks in the photograph of the coat rack appear to bend in an impossible position, the French window opens the wrong way, the bottle rack has an asymmetrical arrangement of hooks and the urinal is too curvaceous to have come from the Mott Iron Works, where Duchamp said he bought it.