Apr 11, 2009

AP Funneez: Shepard Fairey Edition [Photography]

The AP is currently suing (and being sued by) Shepard Fairey over his famous 'Obama' image, stolen from the AP. Here's the front page of the AP photo site on Friday. Ha. SUBTLETY.

awww, we lost my personal outro to tech difficulties... ... [From Comments]

awww, we lost my personal outro to tech difficulties... But yes, thanks for the warm reception and tuning into WTAN. We should have an interview with your favorite Late Show band The Roots next week amongst other surprises. So stay tuned ... same TAN time, same TAN channel.

And Now Back to Our Regular Programming [Outro]

So, hoped you enjoyed the first Saturday afternoon with T.A.N. He'll be back next Saturday, maybe with an interview with The Roots to show you. We're thinking around 3pm, so please pencil it in.

The Morality Matrix [Matrices]

Hey baby, what's your major? Philosophy? Oh yeah? Me too. Wait? David Brooks said what? God/Print/Hip Hop/Web2.0/Print/Facebook and Philosophy is dead??? And then 446 unemployed philosophy majors commented in protest??? Oh, hell no.

So, um, yeah, earlier this week David Brooks waxed Gladwellian while filling in for Bob Herbert with a column breathlessly headlined "End of Philosophy." But it was more about "Reassessing Morality." Or as he phrases "moral thinking." Whatever. He's quick to point out sometimes we just, like, blink, and make snap judgments:

Think of what happens when you put a new food into your mouth. You don't have to decide if it's disgusting. You just know.

Yessir, kind of like when you smell hot-ass bullshit in a column. You just know! But we digress. The Blink camouflage is just cover for his main point on our new moral sensibility:

What shapes moral emotions in the first place? The answer has long been evolution, but in recent years there's an increasing appreciation that evolution isn't just about competition. It's also about cooperation within groups. Like bees, humans have long lived or died based on their ability to divide labor, help each other and stand together in the face of common threats.

Oh, kind of like Gawker commenters and Jimmy Fallon? Word, I got you. Cooperation. So in sum, David is letting us know that Morality 3.101 is all about a blend of rational and emotional processing. And remaining open to this emotional side engenders a "warmer view of human nature" that is "nice" and suffices as a handy explanation for the "haphazard way we live our lives," dude. Awesome.

As a former bullshit artist philosophy major, my moral impulse is to look squinty-eyed in Mr. Brooks general direction, but I'm persuaded by his message of hope and cooperation. Unfortunately, it's all too much to fit in a Twitter. So now what do we do?

Well, I've long been a fan of NY Mag's Approval Matrix, and think it's an approach that can be translated for effectiveness beyond the approval of a niche agazine. For example, I once sent Gawker a Melanin Matrix to help determine cultural cachet.

Now, inspired by the Brooks column and the spirit of camaraderie, we've come up with a scatter-graph of recent news to give us some sense of perspective on this new Morality Matrix. On one axis we go from "Rational" to "Emotional." The other we go from "Selfish" to "Selfless." With any luck, Philosophy will get to one day live again.

Photoshop expertise provided by Mari.

U.S. Embassy Officials Abandon BBC Reporter In Remote Afghanistan [Desertions]

BBC reporter Ian Hammell tagged along on a U.S. embassy-sponsored trip to northern Afghanistan to inspect counter-narcotics operations. His handlers got skittish when their car broke down and flew back to Kabul without him.

It was now past two o'clock. Our American "hosts" were absent without leave. The plane was due to leave in half an hour and we were in the middle of the middle of nowhere with a story that would not even work its way onto the back pages of the local newspaper .

A few frantic phone calls established the worst. The plane had already departed without us because of bad weather heading our way.

Parnell (pictured in Afghanistan) and his camera man made it back to Kabul 21 hours later after an Afghan official lent them a car and a security guard. Way to get positive coverage, America!

The Week In Theater: Ferris Bueller and Aunt Jackie, Back On Broadway [Stage]

Matthew Broderick returns to Broadway right now, while you'll have to wait til the fall for Laurie Metcalf. Some shows open well, others don't, and a production of the Tempest in Chicago earns raves.

  • Rock of Ages opened on Broadway and was fun, if a bit silly.
  • The Humana Arts Festival at the Actors' Theatre of Louisville got underway. The most interesting show (for me)? Actress Zoe Kazan's (Three Sisters) play Absalom. Didn't know she wrote.
  • After a few missteps (Adrift in Macao, anyone?) arch black comedian Christopher Durang is back in good graces with Why Torture Is Wrong, and the People Who Love Them at the Public.
  • Meanwhile Brunch: The Musical, about struggling actors working as waiters on the Upper East Side sounds positively dreadful, both in concept and performance. Best line of the review? "These mostly unlikable characters want audiences to know that they hate 'crying kids, blue hairs and strollers,' as one waiter mentions. And they want 20 percent tips." Ha.
  • Matthew Broderick began previews of The Philanthropist at the Roundabout on Friday night.
  • Speaking of the Roundabout, the terrific Julie White (a Tony winner for Little Dog Laughed) will star in that company's New York premiere of busy, busy lady Theresa Rebeck's play The Understudy. And the indispensable Laurie Metcalf is Broadway bound twice in the coming year, once quite literally. She's landed lead roles in revivals of both Brighton Beach Memoirs and Broadway Bound. Brighton will likely bow in October, with Bound following in December.
  • Legendary bitch, but brilliant performer, Anna Deavere Smith will bring her Let Me Down Easy to the off-Broadway stage this fall. The show premiered at the ART in Boston this year.
  • Also off-B'way, the great Sherie Rene Scott began previews for Everyday Rapture a new musical by the Thoroughly Modern Millie duo and directed by Michael Mayer.
  • In regional news, I really want to go see The Tempest at the Steppenwolf in Chicago. Tina Landau's production sounds spectacular. I'm also sort of curious, if in an apprehensive way, about Chalk Rep's Family Planning, a two-parter that takes place in actual houses. Could be Fefu, could be just awkward. The LA Times liked it.

Give Us 22 Minutes, We'll Give You Some Lies [Hoaxes]

1010 WINS gets punked; repeats hoax that Lil' Kim is running for mayor of Hoboken.