Monday, July 24, 2006

Choreography is Intellectual Property...

But who owns it?
This battle is being played out by Pilobolus, as the New York Times reports here. A Snip:
Ms. Chase said that she was cast out by a new, corporate-minded executive director and board after three decades of service, and was denied ownership of the dances she created. “It was artistic differences and sort of a mean-spirited power grab by the board,” Ms. Chase added.

The companyÂ’s management sees it differently. The executive director, Itamar Kubovy, said Ms. Chase was demanding to do larger-scale works that the company could not afford. She was offered access to her dances and a contract to stay on but declined, he said, and she was voted off the board after she suggested that she wanted to start a potentially rival company. (Ms. Chase denies wanting to start a new company.)

In this example,collaborativeive choreographer admits that she gave her dances to the company, but seemingly only while she was a member in good standing. Should she have asserted rights overcollaborativeive company formed in an artistically collective environment? Who owns the intellectual property undercollaborationion? The article gives two examples of power-house choreographers: Martha Graham left all her dances to the Martha Graham company, and George Balanchine left all his dances to the Balanchine trust. But what kind of intellectual property rights exist for small choreographers? In a business where dancers and choreographers are happy enough to get a little cash for their work, how are we protecting this ephemeral artform?

Sunday, July 23, 2006


On Saturday I was invited by wonderfully generous friends to accompany them on an afternoon sail of the Privateer Lynx, an 1812 era reproduction of a sailing privateer used for historical education.
I helped raise the sails and coil lines. I loved the experience, and would love to take longer voyages with them the next time they are in Hawai'i. They do longer, inter-island sails (the Kawaihae to Lahaina sail is sold out), and you can even go with them back to the mainland West Coast.
Although I enjoy the maritime history of the 16th and 17th centuries more: Spice Islands! Venice! Evil Portuguese raiders! British East India Company! Curry! This privateer and her crew may just pull me into War-Of-1812 era history. We also couldn't resist talking like pirates a bit. Gar!
I love being offshore on a boat. The land is hazy and colorful in the distance, and I try to recognize the once-familiar landscape from the flip-side. We could tell the hotels and the stretch of beaches, but we are used to standing on the shore and looking out. The world flips on a boat, and you stand in the ocean and look at where you have been, knowing that it all looks strange and wrong and tiny. Looking the other way is blue: Blue below, blue above, blue as far as the horizon... My mother said that people in Hawaii are of two kinds: The kind that feels confined by the ocean (they get rock-fever and need to leave) and those that are freed by it. I love the ocean, the possibility of it all. I know that, far from the blue desert that some see, the water is teeming with life, is, in fact, the reason we are able to survive clinging to our little continental rocks. I would love to spend time on a sailing vessel like the Lynx, far from the sight of land, with nothing but ocean and sky, and the small, efficient provisions of a tidy boat. Sometimes we need such drastic changes of perspectives to remind us of our lonliness and peril, to make us thankful for the embrace of land, family, and the familiar.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Maybe its the Road Rage Talking...

I was behind this car on the commute to work this morning. Sure, it is expensive ($440k?) and fast (205mph?) but only one thought went through my head:
"Why in the World would you have this car in Hawai'i?"
Con#1) The roads are crap. Literally sometimes: My town is a cow rancher town, and the island has a large amount of gravel, dirt, and lava roads, along with roads into steep valleys. Most people have 4-wheel drives. There is a ton of traffic and the large construction trucks cause damage on the paved roads, which leads me to:
Con#2) The crap roads are under construction. I appreciate the use of my tax dollars, and the fine labor of our State contractors. But there is construction all the time. This means that one is sitting in one's stopped overheating car, awaiting the other lane. Recently I have been sitting still for around 45 minutes. For me this means knitting in place. For the Porsche owner, it means he is nowhere near his possible 205 mph, which brings me to:
Con#3) Nowhere on the island can you go faster than 55mph, with most roads being 35mph or slower. This is true legally (I should know, I have two speeding tickets to prove it!) and literally: Due to the above reasons, plus traffic, you just really can't go fast!
Con#4) No one but tourists drive convertibles. It just rains too suddenly and furiously to bother with a lid. I get giggles driving out of the rain, and seeing happy sunburnt tourists in their Mustang convertibles about to drive into a huge rainstorm...Blissfully unaware. And yes, I know they have fast lid devices and such. Still a pain in the ass! And these people have heard of skin cancer, right?
Con#5) All the above mentioned, under-construction, slow, congested paved roads are only one or two lanes. Passing is possible in designated areas, where a fast sportscar would still be within the flow of traffic attempting to pass a huge truck full of lava rock or papayas or macnuts or...Whatever.
Final Con) Even if you had an open, empty, paved, fast, unrainy, unpatrolled stretch of open road...Where are you gonna go? We are on an island!

I must conclude that the owner wanted to show off his possibilities: He spent $440K to drive 35 mph on crappy roads, in order to show the rest of us that if conditions were right, he has enough money to buy a machine that could possibly go 205 mph and leave us in the copious dust.

Monday, July 17, 2006

A Little More World Cup Humor...

I heard about these. which apparently come from many sources including YTMND.

Okay: Last time I reference the head-butt, and then I am done:
Zidane Head-butt GAME!

Third World War

Some may just view this as a border skirmish between Lebanon and Israel, but I see the possibility of escalation. In the very least, we are seeing the following signs:
1) Israel proves again that it acts with no hesitation upon its most paranoid of fears. Of course they should protect themselves and their soldiers, and of course they are scared and isolated and vulnerable. They seem to be able to take care of themselves, however, with superior intelligence and targeting abilities, and that whole victimhood thing justifies a swift, violent, and decisive action.
2) Invading Gaza pisses off the Palestinians and the Egyptians.
3) Invading Lebanon pisses off the Lebanese and the Syrians.
4) Nations of the world (mine included) then bitch that it isn't between Hizbollah and Israel, it is between Lebanon, Syria, Iran, China, Palestine vs. Israel and the US. This kind of escalation is soooo very WW1 of us all, isn't it?

An interesting read about the left-wing Israelis protesting the bombings here. (Remember when Reagan said, "We shall not negotiate with terrorists"? Ah, the 1980's!)
A piece by Newt Gingrich, to whom I would not normally link, here.
In the face of all this war-mongering, let me express the following opinion:
Let us not be heavy-handed, bombing entire nations when a few crazy criminals are to blame. We no longer live in a world where Nations go to war against one another. We must defend our world of peace, freedom and economic prosperity against the crackpots of the planet, and we must do so as unified people, above and beyond national borders. Bombing the crap out of a nation because someone within it's borders is insane will get us all killed. Negotiations will not work. We need a cultural war of the mind, an economic war using the seductive power of greed, and an intelligence war.
Yes, I am a pro-war, pro-defense-spending (especially CIA), bleeding-heart, non-appologetic, pro-Islam, free-market-economist, blue-state, (sometimes) Democrat...what? You say I can't be all those things?

Friday, July 14, 2006

You Can Open the Door, Too...

Recently I was talking with my good friend about how long he should wait to call a new lady after receiving her phone number. While this conversation seemed remniscent of a scene from the movie "Swingers", the balance was in this question: How can you be complimentary without seeming desperate? How to be casual, approachable, polite, while still being confident and attractive? How do gender-based expectations differ, in terms of time, desperation, and flirtation?
In a later conversation, I complained about my BF's wishy-washy attitude about plans: He often hints about coming over, and when I wait up, it turns out he is too tired and blows me off to go home instead. Also, I hate always shouldering the responsibility of planning the dates: What movies to watch, what to eat, what time and days to meet... I feel pressured to make plans and do the work, blamed if our experiences are not good, and pushy if I feel he doesn't want to see me. And about that: Shouldn't he want to see me? Yes, I am still a rabid feminist, but I am also tired of always wearing the pants in my relationships. Are men today tired of the mixed messages? Too lazy to be gentlemen? Too afraid of being labeled as misogynist if they exude any power at all? Confidence is always sexy. And confidently expressing that you want to spend time with me is also sexy, as is knowing exactly how you want to spend that time.
Yesterday I read this great post at Crazy Aunt Purl. Please check it out. In it, she references a current article by Tom Chiarella in Esquire about boys, and the men these boys will become.
The Esquire article outlines a growing problem with boys: Their slipping University population, discipline problems, behavioral disorders... Sure, the rabid feminist side of me says that I don't really care to help them out, or distract my feminist focus from girls until I cease to make 60 cents to the dollar these boys will be making. But I have also always said that being feminist is being humanist. Overall, we search for equality of opportunity. So do I care if these boys are wasting their opportunities? Of course I care. Our society is a balance, and the entire group benefits when we lift each other's confidence, opportunities, and economies. We just aren't used to helping boys. Instead, we bitch and moan when the men fail our standards. The quote from Esquire that really made me think:
"The masculine impulse is limits testing, even self-destructive. We don't want to extinguish it," Camille Paglia, feminist critic and cultural provocateur, told me when I called. "In the age of terrorism, who will defend us? Young jihadists sure aren't tempering their masculinity. Americans are in unilateral gender disarmament."

I remember the moment when I really decided that men needed to feel the confident joy in their masculine power. It was, oddly enough, in Cairo, where I was incessantly accosted verbally and physically by these men. I came to the conclusion that the bullying wouldn't be necessary if these men had the economic, cultural and religious freedom to be powerful, to take care of the societal elements that have traditionally been theirs. To support families, build nations, and not feel shame. I disagree with Camille Paglia on this one point: Young Jihadists have had their masculinity tempered already by their collective history and limited opportunity. They are desperately trying to control their lives and express their masculinity, and this instinct turns heinously destructive. This is the final, sick end to boys "acting out".
What is a post-modern feminist to do? I don't want to fall into that feminine thought-trap of "men are just reacting to the feminist movement, and they are unsure of their roles, and it is aaaallllll our fault!" But I do have the instinct to jealously protect the gains girls and women have made. Tom Chiarella offers:
We don't have to feel threatened by the gains girls have made. We need to study them, to use them as a model for boys. The solution may be to grab on to that which is male and use it as a means to fix the problem rather than as a symptom of it.

That which is male... I want to encourage the men in my life to be the best people they can be, to exude confidence and chase their dreams. I want them to feel the joy of masculinity without fear that they are somehow oppressing me if they tell me what movie they want to watch. No fears of my feminism: Nothing makes me feel more like a woman than a smart, confident, happy man.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Be Careful With Me!

You Are Mystique

Sneaky and duplicitous, you're likely to use your powers for evil.

You're eternally young looking, people don't realize how old you really are!

Powers: Shapeshifting - you can impersonate other people or become a monster