arts 01.11.07

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reading… For some reason, John Hodgman brings out the bubbe in us and, ooof, we want to just pinch his cheeks, yes we do. Opportunity presents itself tonight at KBG, when Mr. Hodgman and novelist Darin Strauss (Chang and Eng) will read, part of the Behind the Book Reading Series. Hodgman's latest ad for Apple is here.


installation… "Sleepwalkers," the new outdoor art/film/nighttime installation by Doug Aitken, projected on the facades of MoMA, opens next Tuesday, 5pm. The story follows Tilda Swinton, Donald Sutherland, Cat Power, and others (playing characters) as they make their way at night through the city. It's free, and no tickets are required. You can get commentary on your cell phone when you see it by calling 408.794.0886.


photography… At the Howard Greenberg Gallery, 41 E. 57th [Mad/Park] 212.334.0010, an exhibition of photographer Arnold Newman (1918-2006) opens tomorrow. Mr. Newman is particularly known for developing "environmental portraiture," in which famous subjects were carefully recorded in a setting that provided biographical context. The show is called "Early Work and Signed Portraits."


erotic memoirs… In The Flesh, the erotic reading series at Happy Ending Lounge, 302 Broome [Forsyth/Eldridge] 212.334.9676, hosts Erotic Memoir Night. Among those reading, Gael Greene (Insatiable: Tales from a Life of Delicious Excess), Grant Stoddard (Working Stiff: The Misadventures of an Accidental Sexpert), and Susan Shapiro (Five Men Who Broke My Heart), 8pm, free admission.


out of town… San Diego: the zoo, the Hotel Del Coronado, the sailors. Do a quick sweep of S.D. next weekend for $179 roundtrip on American. Details via Travelzoo.


discussion… Next Thursday, 6:30pm 8pm, The Smith Family Foundation hosts a discussion at Fordham Law School, 140 W. 62nd [Col] in McNally Hall, about Medical Marijuana, with the basic question being, should the sick be able to smoke? Taking it on are former Congressman Bob Barr and Ethan Nadelmann of the Drug Policy Alliance. The Foundation asks that you register for the event (which is free).


movie… If you've read Dave Eggers' extraordinarily moving fictionalized memoir of Valentino Achak Deng, What is the What, about one of the Lost Boys of Sudan, you may want to follow that up with God Grew Tired of Us, opening tomorrow at the Sunshine Cinemas. It's the story of three of those boys who lived in the Kakuma refugee camp and who were resettled in the U.S. The film won the 2006 Grand Jury Prize at Sundance as well as the Audience Award.
Paula Zahn
After a snide aside by us about Paula Zahn in yesterday's MUG, several readers asked what our beef was with her. Our antipathy pre-dates her villainous role in the Pale Male affair. It's a result of this interview, conducted by Zahn, with former U.N. weapons inspector Scott Ritter on September 13, 2002. Ritter was advising letting the U.N. inspectors back into Iraq. He said about weapons stockpiles, "The fact is, there is no hard evidence, no hard evidence whatsoever, and this is my point. I'm not saying Iraq doesn't pose a threat. I am saying that it has not been demonstrated to pose a threat worthy of war at this time. Bush needs to make the case."

But Zahn had made it clear from the outset that she was having none of it. "People out there are accusing you of drinking Saddam Hussein's Kool-Aid," she said. And it's clear in the way the rest of the interview is conducted that by 'people', she means Paula Zahn.

History has already shown, of course, Zahn had it exactly backwards, that it was she who had swallowed the Bush administration's Kool-Aid, and that it was Ritter who was profoundly right. That interview was an outrage then, it's an outrage now. Zahn has never publicly apologized for it — no surprise, ever since the Me Generation was succeeded by the Who, Me? Generation.


liberty plaza

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