Saturday, July 31, 2010

Funny Quotes of the Week 87

"Yes, of course I’ll pay to have sex with you. I see it as an investment. After having sex with me once, you will pay me to do it again." (Anonymous)

"One's real life is often the life that one does not lead." (Oscar Wilde)

"The original is unfaithful to the translation." (Jorge Luis Borges)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Museum of Modern Art Mönchsberg

In the days to come, I will blog about Salzburg. I've just spent almost a week there - as a welcome holiday after a busy conference week in Vienna.

The Museum of Modern Art Mönschsberg is on the top of a mountain, with a very convenient elevator taking you to a beautiful view of the city of Salzburg (except for the rain, of course).The main exhibition (as far as I’m concerned) was “Press Art. The Collection Annette and Peter Nobel”, which was concerned with art that in some way references mass media.

First of all, I must say that quoting mass media in art seem at times like a cheap way of borrowing importance from other sources. There is a work by Kurt Schwitters here with a newsclip about Adolf Hitler which gives me that feeling. How can you ignore Adolf Hitler? So how can you ignore this artwork?

But there are works of art in this collection of a whole different caliber. I like the Fernand Léger called “Etude pour Amis de l’Art” (ca. 1954). It is simple, bright and funny – probably a comment on some serious newspaper article about “friends of the art”. Art is art’s best friend, after all. There is also a Joan Miró that I like (“Le Journal”, 1972) – a fairly typical Miró, but printed on a newspaper. It’s cool, although the significance beyond that is beyond me…

However, there is one work of art in this collection that I loved more than these. Alfredo Jaar’s “Newsweek” (1994) is a heart-breaking work. The 16 Newsweek front pages from April to July 1994 are shown, none of which mention the ongoing genocide in Rwanda. (They do mention OJ Simpson, Jaqueline Kennedy and so on.) The front pages are accompagnied by texts detailing the events in Rwanda, including the increasing number of deaths. Included is also the August 1st front page, the first one to mention the Rwanda massacre, almost four months after it started. The artwork is a visual image of human lack of interest in other human beings’ suffering.

The other exhibitions in MdM this day was one on Erwin Wurm (strange) and one on Max Ernst. I noted the following from an early work by Ernst (with pictures, of course): “Mathematik ist Keine Hexerei. Es verhölt sich das zu dem wie das zu dem. Das zu dem wie das zu dem.” (From ”Aus unsern Leben an der Penne”, 1910, p. 14.)

Luckily, a museum can not be evaluated by giving a grade to each object and then computing an average. Quite to the contrary, at times just one single artwork makes the visit worthwhile, no matter what the rest of the collection consists of. So although MdM Mönchsberg included more than average of uninteresting works (to me, of course, there can be no other meaning of “uninteresting” than the subjective one), I’m still happy about the visit.

By the way, the museum also had a fancy and expensive restaurant and a view that would have been good on a sunny day.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Movie: Young Adam

Joe Taylor likes women. Very much. He likes them in the present and he liked them in the past - and the movie moves restlessly between present and past. For quite a while it is a bit difficult to know which is which, but eventually, things become clear.

The story is mostly only moderately interesting, except in the end when things actually becomes a bit tense. And of course, there is just a little too much (heterosexual) sex for my liking.

Ewan McGregor's movies almost always puts him in some sort of full frontal nudity scene, and this movie doesn't disappoint on that particular point. Otherwise, however, it is an uneven movie. But of course, you have probably never seen a movie in which so much is happening on a river barge...

Young Adam (2008)

All movies I've seen

Hotel-Pension Wild, Vienna

I was in Vienna for a conference last week, and stayed at Hotel-Pension Wild. This is a hotel close to Volkstheater and thus close to everything in Vienna if you are prepared to use the subway.

Wild turned out to be a good choice. I picked it mostly because it was listed as “gay-friendly”. It’s not that I had any particular “gay” needs, but it’s always nice to see a map of places of gay interest in the reception area.

My room had windows to two streets, and there was quite a lot of noise. The noise stopped well before midnight, however, so it was not much of a problem. The room had plenty of space both for my clothes and for me working a little. The breakfast was simple but totally okay.


So would I recommend the hotel to others? Well, that depends on their needs. As long as you need to be in the centre of Vienna and you don’t need to bask in luxury in your hotel room, you could do a lot worse than this.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Funny Quotes of the Week 86

"Guidelines for bureaucrats: (1) When in charge, ponder. (2) When in trouble, delegate. (3) When in doubt, mumble." (James H. Boren)

"One should always play fairly when one has the winning cards." (Oscar Wilde)

"MYTHOLOGY, n. The body of a primitive people's beliefs concerning its origin, early history, heroes, deities and so forth, as distinguished from the true accounts which it invents later." (Ambrose Bierce, "Devil's Dictionary")

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Movie: Definitely maybe

The basic concept of this movie is that a guy (Will) has to tell his daughter about love, sex and relationships. He has a crowded past with several girls "competing" for his attention, and that's what this romantic comedy is all about. It does it's task quite okay, being funny at times and romantic at times.

Of course it does feel like something you've seen many times before, except for the daughter (an idea which only partly works well) and the political side story (Will used to work for Mr. Clinton). Moreover, Ryan Reynolds is a cute guy, which always helps a bit.

All of this makes "Definitely maybe" a perfectly okay choice on a slow evening, but not a lot more.

Definitely Maybe (2008)

All movies I've seen

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Funny Quotes of the Week 85

"This island is made of coal and surrounded by fish. Only an organizing genius could produce a shortage of coal and fish at the same time." (Aneurin Bevan)

"One is tempted to define man as a rational animal who always loses his temper when he is called upon to act in accordance with the dictates of reason." (Oscar Wilde)

"MERCHANT, n. One engaged in a commercial pursuit. A commercial pursuit is one in which the thing pursued is a dollar." (Ambrose Bierce, "Devil's Dictionary")

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


I'm going to Salzburg for a few days a week and a half from now. Does anyone have good advice on what to see?

As readers of this blog may know, I like art (of many kinds, but particularly the art from around 1900), music (although not a fanatic), beaches, great architecture and of course gay bookshops and that kind of thing...

Any must-sees close to Salzburg?

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Movie: Pop Star on Ice

Johnny Weir is a character. Starting figure skating at the (apparently) ridiculously late age of 12, he showed immense talent and became US champion three years in a row. But more importantly than that, he included his own personality in the skating, including a feminine streak. He got critizised for not being masculine enough, and he also made a string of comments upsetting conservatives - as well as posing for different kinds of photos (see below). (Who are they fooling anyway - we're talking about a bunch of men dressing in delicate clothes, putting on makeup and dancing to classical music, they're not exactly hunter-gatherers anyway...)

This documentary tells the story up close and personal. Of course, it's strange to sit in the summer of 2010 and see a documentary which does not include the 2010 Olympics (my friends and I didn't remember how he did in the Olympics...), but it was an interesting acquaintance.

Pop Star on Ice (2009)

See interview with Johnny Weir in Out Magazine.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Funny Quotes of the Week 84

"LOVE, n. A temporary insanity curable by marriage or by removal of the patient from the influences under which he incurred the disorder." (Ambrose Bierce, "Devil's Dictionary")

Lady Astor to Churchill "Winston, if you were my husband I would flavour your coffee with poison" Churchill: "Madam, if I were your husband, I should drink it"

"One should absorb the colour of life, but one should never remember its details. Details are always vulgar." (Oscar Wilde)

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Movie: American Dreamz

Hugh Grant plays the host of a singing competition (think American Idol). The movie is partly a parody of such TV shows, but also has a little side plot involving the president, who suddenly decides to have his own opinions, not just the ones of his aides.

I admit that I did laugh at several of the jokes, and did not find it unbearable to watch it all the way to the end. But I also must say that it's a movie I would never have gone to the movies to see. It's a thirteen-in-a-dozen movie, like so many of Hugh Grants movies...

American Dreamz (2006)

(See a register of all movies I've seen at

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Roskilde nude run 2010

As is the tradition, media took much interest in the Roskilde nude run this year as well. VG shows a video of the naked contestants, Ekstrabladet has both a video and a slide show (as has Dagbladet, while the Roskilde festival website has some photos here and there.

See also:
Roskilde nude run 2009
Roskilde nude run 2008
Roskilde nude run 2007
Roskilde nude run 2006
Roskilde nude run 2005
(as you see, it's also become a tradition to mention the nude run in this blog...)

Funny Quotes of the Week 83

"Anybody who enjoys being in the House of Commons probably needs psychiatric help." (Ken Livingstone)

"Honest criticism is hard to take, particularly from a relative, a friend, an acquaintance, or a stranger." (Franklin P. Jones)

"One can survive everything, nowadays, except death, and live down everything except a good reputation." (Oscar Wilde)

Movie: Mulholland Dr.

I may have been too tired to see the brilliance of this movie. I find the story of mildly interesting at first, but somehow it never gets past that poing. Betty has moved to Hollywood to try to be a star, staying in her aunt's apartment. She finds Rita in the apartment, having a shower. We have already seen Rita surviving a car accident - but what is the background of that?

I was also a bit occupied with finding out who killed Laura Palmer once in the distant past. However, the same thing happened then - I lost interest long before the story got near the point where I would find out...

Mulholland Dr. (2001)

(See a register of all movies I've seen at