Thursday, September 25, 2008

my media appearances

pretty slim so far...
a radio show (and maybe newspaper articles from the same interview) in kenya.
a local university TV interview.

some vague assertions ("newspaper in denmark" etc)

mostly the picture of uncle sam supporting the VOTE (for obama) campaign is getting into over a hundred cameras every day.

my friend giridhar suggested i re-frame the name of my game: i am planting MEMES, rather than viruses by my campaign of having tourists photograph my sign....

sure, why not?

it is a better word, but i like the reference to jello biafra and william burroughs, both of whom used the word "virus" for this kind of phenomenon....

but, hey, why not be accurate? memes they are and thus shall i call them!

UncleSam got a new hat and met a former student

max was a student at black pine circle five years ago. he did a double-take when he saw me in front of the white house....

sorry for its sidewaysification: the software that SHOULD rotate photos does not function....

st pauli girl (the original)

for those who didn't get the reference in the last post, here is the logo of the german beer from hamburg.

Friday, September 19, 2008

oktoberfest at the brewpub

some days i need to wet the whistle after a long day of preserving democracy....
yesterday was the premiere of the special oktoberfest bockbier. a friend snapped this photo with me and the barmaid dressed as a st. pauli girl.


i had a long and amazing discussion with an air force pilot who had just returned from a tour of duty in afghanistan... i will try to summarize his POV.... but not right now....

Sunday, September 14, 2008

where i stand so far: progress of the virus

so the police are OK about my performing my UncleSam routine in front of the white house, but i can't ask for money, and i need to keep on moving, so i can't even put out a hat to SILENTLY ask for money.

the project has been a rollicking success: hundreds of viruses have been implanted in cameras to be taken back home to the "heartland" of the country, where people reviewing the trip photos will ask each other "why does Uncle Sam support Obama?"

and there is a sub-virus: a virus within a virus.... the sign invites the question "what does mean? what does mean?" i hope that many enquiring minds will want to know...

i might still stand in some part of the city where i am not required to keep moving, and put out a hat there as a money magnet. i am not sure if it will be worth the trouble, and whether i will be distracting myself from my own project by chasing dollars....

Friday, September 12, 2008

too good to be true

I suppose it was too good to be true... the police next to the white
house have told me I cannot ask for money. they call it solicitation. i was earning around $15 per hour before they shut me down. i could live on that!
so I asked whether I could play music with a hat proffered to welcome
tips. i waa told that I could busk if I get a street musician's
permit. so i hurried crosstown to the DC gov't center. I arrived at
4:40, which seemed to give plenty of time to apply, or at least to get
the forms. but, no... the permit office closed at 4:30...
tomorrow I will know where to go.

[next day]

so i just went there, and i was told by the first guy that i had to see a different bureaucrat in a different office downstairs. the first guy handled permits of platforms and booths; the other guy handled licences for vrndors. i was asking for permission to charge money for a service, you see, so that is vending...

the second bureaucrat sent me cross town to the DC police, because there was no "permit" required, but i might need clarification of regulations from the local constabulary. so the sergeant said i could not ASK for money, but i could put out a hat or a can near to where i was playing. but the white house police won't let me stand still: i need to keep walking back and forth, so i cannot place a hat out....

so i will either earn no money by posing for tourists' photos, or shift my "stage" back to the city streets away from the white house and ALL THOSE TOURISTS.

still fine tuning...

where to live? how to live?

still looking for a place to live here in DC. I just had a charming
interview with a couple of women who will be leaving their apartment
at month's end and seek a temporary roommate. should I take a short
term place and then have to look again or rather still keep on looking
for the perfect living arrangement...

well it turns out that the two ladies made the decision for me: they
offered me the large-ish quiet room... if they had offered me the
room with traffic noise, I would have refused... but it is all
decided: i will move in on Sunday right after the hurricane blows over.

the place is a MESS. but it reminds me of being a grad student and crashing in temporary digs. what the heck: who cares?! pass the wine and let's keep talking about things that matter in words that must be said.....

what am i doing in WASHINGTON DC????

so I am now in the capitol city: DC! the belly of the beast...

I bought the materials today which I will need to build my "Uncle Sam
wants you to vote" sign. so I have not yet been out in costume, but I
am close to ready. I have scouted out some nice areas to settle in as
Uncle Sam: a sculpture garden right next to the smithsonian natural
history museum is shady and coolish. it seems that there are plenty of
tourists wandering about with cameras, so I think I will have no
problem sending images of PEACENIK unclesam back to the heartland.

en route to my first stroll through the mall as uncle Sam. I feel the
same excitement as I feel on opening night of regular play, although
there are no lines to rely on and no rehearsals to build up
confidence. I am still confident nonetheless and go out into the world with high expectations of fun and the weird contentment of
contributing to a worthy cause.
may peace prevail on earth.
my sign says simply "VOTE" and then in smaller letters and
the latter is in green letters: can you solve the riddle?
so as the day progressed, I had to tell several folks the answer to
this little riddle and also help others solve a different riddle: why
is the peace sign upside-down?