Long post, over 2,600 words, with 26 fotos.I was watching some television after 11pm last Friday, and thought I might let you know how I see TV. Remember that tho I was born in NJ, I lived in Manhattan for 35 years, so am especially acutely aware of this hugely underappreciated and oft-denigrated state, not just of this appallingly underappreciated city, now that I'm back home. New Jersey is supposed to be innately funny, along with placenames with a K-sound. I don't know why. But NJ is often made the butt of jokes. Recently, however, NJ has become very often mentioned in national media.
+At 11pm, I watched an episode of the CBS sitcom The Big Bang Theory, now in syndication in our area on channels 5 and 9 (both owned by Fox). The character "Leonard Hofstadter", played by Johnny Galecki, is from New Jersey. I don't think the city/town is ever specified.
Today's fotos are from the Index Art Center and Kedar Studio of Art opening receptions last Friday evening. If I know the artist, I state it, but there were a lot more artists than the prior notices had indicated.At 11:35, I turned to The Tonite Show with Jay Leno. In his monolog, Leno attacked Jon Corzine for continuing to think, in the private sector, like a U.S. Senator. Corzine was Senator from New Jersey.Then Leno mentions an invention out of Stevens Institute of Technology that will turn off a cellfone automatically when a person starts to drive. Stevens is in Hoboken — New Jersey. Both my brother Brian and our effective grandfather (my grandmother's second husband, so not our biological grandfather) went to Stevens.Then Leno makes a 'joke' about the [hideous, loathsome] bear hunt in New Jersey, saying that the hunt isn't going well because when the bears heard they were in New Jersey, they shot themselves. So very (un)funny. (Why doesn't the State just sterilize a significant portion of the bear population? And deer population? We tranquilize and tag bears that wander into the yards of suburbanites. Why don't we sterilize them at the same time?) There were, remarkably, three mentions of New Jersey in one Leno monolog, tho people might not have been aware of that because "New Jersey", as such, was not mentioned in all three.
Bobbleheads in painting by David Dziemian, with the painter shown putting them in place (I assume).I switch to Letterman for the Top 10 list, and Letterman mentions something that happened in Kandahar, Afghanistan, then says that he and Paul Shaffer were in Kandahar, well, not downtown Kandahar, but in the suburbs. And Paul says "Short Hills". That's in New Jersey (our county, Essex), not Afghanistan.I turn the TV off for a while, to tend to email and online news. When I look up and see the time is 12:51am, I turn the TV on, late, for The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson. In the email/Tweets segment, Ferguson says something about 'classy, fancy Princeton University' seeming even classier for being in New Jersey. He then says that that's the perfect offense to everyone, because it insults Princeton for being in New Jersey, and insults everyone in New Jersey outside of Princeton too.After Ferguson, an (old, syndicated episode of) Comics Unleashed includes a comedian talking about Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown. Whitney Houston ("the most awarded female act of all time, according to Guinness World Records") is from Newark — New Jersey.Later, the repeat of a Tonite Show from a week ago includes Mike ("The Situation") Sorrentino of Jersey Shore fame. He is actually from New York State, but gained fame (and fortune — he mentioned to Jay that he owns a Ferrari and Lamborghini!) in New Jersey.This is all in one nite, Friday, December 9, 2011 (tho Ferguson's show starts after midnite, so his "Friday" show is technically on Saturday, as is the 3:05am repeat of the Tonite Show).
Left wall shows Dziemian paintings; right wall, fotos by Warren Young. The crowd has mainly retired to the well-occupied Reception Room for drinks and conversation. No food or drink is permitted in the gallery.Apart from what I saw in this one nite, other prominent NJ mentions have appeared this week, in TV and other media.Chris Christie was 'dissed' and subjected to "the people's microfone" (a group of unamplified people repeating in unison one speaker's words) in Iowa when announcing his endorsement of Mitt Romney for President on Wednesday.
I'm 'lichen' this foto.That rambunctious incident was captured in a Fox News video broadcast in Philly. Chris Christie is (obviously, for being the Governor) from New Jersey. Unfortunately.
This foto would seem to be sideways, if one can judge by the streaks of rust running 'down' to the left rather than to the floor of the gallery.Christie even made an odd New Jersey reference at the time:
The governor waited for them to finish and tried to make light of the situation.
"I hope you all enjoyed it," Christie said. "They'll be working at the Marriott down the street. Please remember to tip your waiters and waitresses, all right? Now let's see, where was I before I was so New Jersily interrupted?"
Reception Room works by Benjamin Griffin. Management seems to have curbed the indoor smoking for at least part of this reception. Permit me to express the thanks of all nonsmoker visitors for that consideration.Chris Christie was born in Newark, and went to Seton Hall Law School, in Newark.I think it might have been Craig Ferguson, also this week, who was talking with "Geoff Peterson", his robot-skeleton sidekick, about the two of them replicating the interplay of famous comedy duos.
Remaining fotos today are from the Kedar Studio of Art, the same nite. This first shows one large painting and a number of smaller works.Ferguson's first thought was Laurel and Hardy, but Craig (Ferguson, not me, nor Lowell Craig of the Index Art Center) didn't like that because he'd have to play the fat one (given that Geoff is only bones, not really "skinny", nor "skin and bones", because he has no skin). Then Ferguson thought, naturally enuf, of Abbott and Costello, but again didn't want to do that because again he'd have to play the fat one. Abbott and Costello were both from New Jersey. He might also have mentioned Martin and Lewis — and Jerry Lewis was born in Newark. New Jersey.
This is the rest of the large painting shown above.New Jersey or New Jerseyans appear in media in other situations all the time. When I see Shaquille O'Neal or Queen Latifah in a commercial, or hear Queen Latifah in a voiceover, I think "New Jersey" — and, more particularly, "Newark!", for both Shaq and Latifah.
These bracelets made from forks are among the jewelry and many other small-scale artworks at Kedar.Shaq was, indeed, on Jimmy Kimmel Live! this past week, with his little girlfriend, who actually picked him up and carried him on her back several feet. When Kimmel tried to replicate that, he failed, miserably.
Kevin Darmanie, owner of Kedar Studio, has hit his stride with small pieces suited to his gallery's small space. This foto makes some of them seem even smaller, because the young man is unusually tall.Jersey Shore is referenced all over the tube and in other media, as is the show The Real Housewives of New Jersey. Another nationally-shown cable TV program is Jerseylicious. Alas, there are not, as yet, any shows about or set in Newark. The atrocious, evil cable show The Sopranos did show some Newark sights now and then. Someday, perhaps, a moral, admirable TV show will be set in Newark. If our stolen TV station WNET were still in Newark, rather than NYC, it might create a nationally popular TV show one day. But WNET was moved — lock, stock, and barrel — to New York City, and focuses NO attention on its FCC city of license. Why the HE...CK doesn't Booker sue in Federal Court to force New Yorkers to unhand our TV station?
This bin of small, mounted fotos by Colombian-born Newark fotografer Luisa Pinzon, is one of two I have seen in recent months. The other was at the Art Kitchen this summer, when I took a friend who came to visit from NYC. Earlier this month, Luisa was holding an auction for fotos in a themed collection called "Fashion Fades, Style is Timeless", which was on view at the Coffee Cave. Alas, the link she sent in an email did not work. Her website also does not format correctly on my machine, even at a higher resolution (1024 x 768) than I usually work at (800 x 600). On some pages, she has lite gray text on a white background, which is very hard to read. It is possible to make a webpage adjust to whatever resolution a visitor uses, and to use crisp black type on white for legibility. Webmasters have to think about what the viewer needs, not just what the webpage publisher wants to show. My blog, for instance, sometimes has fotos that overlap text in the right column when first they appear, but once newer blogposts are added above, the earlier posts are pushed lower, and the text in the right column clears the wide fotos. I suppose I should strive to put only vertical fotos in early positions, but I really don't know how far down the text in the right column goes, and it gets longer over time.Steve Buscemi (which he pronounces bue.sém.ee, not the more-like-Italian bue.shém.ee, which I had assumed is the way it was said) hosted Saturday Nite Live last week, and mentioned that he is in the HBO series Boardwalk Empire, which is set in Atlantic City. That is, in New Jersey. (Alas, that series is made in NYC, not any part of NJ. I find that detestable and indefensible.)Checking TV listings, I might see This Old House, and think, "Kevin O'Connor [the host] graduated from St. Benedict's Prep in Newark."At any time, a commercial for the Broadway show Jersey Boys might appear. The show is about The Four Seasons, three of whose singers were born in NJ (2 in Newark) and all of whom were raised in NJ. This odd foto is by Spencer Frohwirth, whom I showed, in a video, as the dj at a Solo(s) Project House reception this September. I took his card from the dj table, and it says "Mixed Media Sculptor", "Music Producer", and "Art and Music Educator". No mention of fotografer.Even The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show, which airs on Antenna TV (channel 11-4) at 2:00 and 2:30am Sunday thru Thursday (technically Monday thru Friday, given the 2am start time), sometimes mentions New Jersey.George met Gracie in New Jersey. And George mentions having played Red Bank and Newark during their vaudeville days. In fact, I've heard Newark mentioned in more than one Burns & Allen episode. I think I might also have heard a reference to Newark in an episode of Maude (which is shown on Antenna TV at 10:00 and 10:30pm Monday thru Friday), and an episode of All in the Family (9:00 and 9:30pm). "Edith Bunker" has family in NJ.An episode of The Jack Benny Program (Antenna TV, 3:00 and 3:30am) this week mentioned Molly Pitcher, a heroine of the Revolutionary War Battle of Monmouth (the county I lived in from age 9 or so to 20, but in Middletown Township, not Freehold, where the battle took place. I have been to the Freehold battlefield. There is, alas, nothing to see there).And yesterday, AOL news hilited this story:
The story goes on to mention that the current Russian President has a Facebook account. That of course makes, in my mind, a second connection to New Jersey, and more particularly to Newark, of Mark Zuckerberg's $100 million matching grant to Newark Public Schools. I do not know if any of that money has been applied to the schools yet. Moreover, the credit at the bottom of the article mentions a reporter in Newark. So Newark is again connected to aspirations to the presidency of Russia.
After a week of surprising challenges to his authority, Vladimir Putin faces a new one from one of Russia's richest and most glamorous figures – the billionaire owner of the New Jersey Nets says he will run against Putin in March's presidential election.
+Has there ever before been a time when there was so much about New Jersey in media? I certainly can't remember any such time, but I'm only (a bit short of) 67. Perhaps 70 or 100 years ago New Jersey was mentioned more. But I doubt it. Of course, not everyone knows that all these things they hear about have a New Jersey — and also, in some cases, Newark — connection. But we do, don't we?
These are rings, made from copper. I have several copper bracelets for men that I bought at either the Collingwood or Englishtown flea market, in Monmouth County. My father liked to go to the flea markets. In his last months of terminal cancer, he couldn't drive himself, so my sister Sue Ann took him most weekends, but every now and then I spelled her, and bought (on separate occasions) a great teddy-bear cookie jar and my copper bracelets, while wheeling him around. I could see why he liked that place.They also held an indoor auction, which I didn't mesh with. It occurs to me only now that I almost never wear these great copper bracelets, perhaps because I associate them with the sadness of my father's last months. But I shouldn't feel that way, because I bought them when we were together, so wearing them should give me a connection to a happy moment in a sad time. My father and I were very different, but shared some enthusiasms, such as these flea markets and spring-flowering bulbs. My only quarrel with him on the latter is that he insisted I get up early in the day to plant them, whereas I was always a late-day kind of guy. But my front yard is filled with spring-flowering bulbs. Dad would approve.