Warhol’s photo legacy spread by university exhibits

July 22nd, 2018 by bgVAWJW9

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Evansville, Indiana, United States — This past week marked the opening night of an Andy Warhol exhibit at the University of Southern Indiana. USI’s art gallery, like 189 other educational galleries and museums around the country, is a recipient of a major Warhol donor program, and this program is cultivating new interest in Warhol’s photographic legacy. Wikinews reporters attended the opening and spoke to donors, exhibit organizers and patrons.

The USI art gallery celebrated the Thursday opening with its display of Warhol’s Polaroids, gelatin silver prints and several colored screen prints. USI’s exhibit, which is located in Evansville, Indiana, is to run from January 23 through March 9.

The McCutchan Art Center/Pace Galleries at USI bases its exhibit around roughly 100 Polaroids selected from its collection. The Polaroids were all donated by the Andy Warhol Photographic Legacy Program, according to Kristen Wilkins, assistant professor of photography and curator of the exhibit. The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts made two donations to USI Art Collections, in 2007 and a second recently.

Kathryn Waters, director of the gallery, expressed interest in further donations from the foundation in the future.

Since 2007 the Andy Warhol Photographic Legacy Program has seeded university art galleries throughout the United States with over 28,000 Andy Warhol photographs and other artifacts. The program takes a decentralized approach to Warhol’s photography collection and encourages university art galleries to regularly disseminate and educate audiences about Warhol’s artistic vision, especially in the area of photography.

Contents

  • 1 University exhibits
  • 2 Superstars
  • 3 Warhol’s photographic legacy
  • 4 USI exhibit
  • 5 Sources

Wikinews provides additional video, audio and photographs so our readers may learn more.

Wilkins observed that the 2007 starting date of the donation program, which is part of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, coincided with the 20th anniversary of Andy Warhol’s death in 1987. USI was not alone in receiving a donation.

K.C. Maurer, chief financial officer and treasurer at the Andy Warhol Foundation, said 500 institutions received the initial invitation and currently 190 universities have accepted one or more donations. Institutional recipients, said Mauer, are required to exhibit their donated Warhol photographs every ten years as one stipulation.

While USI is holding its exhibit, there are also Warhol Polaroid exhibits at the Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York and an Edward Steichen and Andy Warhol exhibit at the Mary & Leigh Block Museum of Art at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. All have received Polaroids from the foundation.

University exhibits can reach out and attract large audiences. For example, the Weatherspoon Art Museum at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro saw attendance levels reach 11,000 visitors when it exhibited its Warhol collection in 2010, according to curator Elaine Gustafon. That exhibit was part of a collaboration combining the collections from Duke University, located in Durham, North Carolina, and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, which also were recipients of donated items from the Andy Warhol Photographic Legacy Program.

Each collection donated by the Andy Warhol Photographic Legacy Program holds Polaroids of well-known celebrities. The successful UNC Greensboro exhibit included Polaroids of author Truman Capote and singer-songwriter Carly Simon.

“I think America’s obsession with celebrity culture is as strong today as it was when Warhol was living”, said Gustafon. “People are still intrigued by how stars live, dress and socialize, since it is so different from most people’s every day lives.”

Wilkins explained Warhol’s obsession with celebrities began when he first collected head shots as a kid and continued as a passion throughout his life. “He’s hanging out with the celebrities, and has kind of become the same sort of celebrity he was interested in documenting earlier in his career”, Wilkins said.

The exhibit at USI includes Polaroids of actor Dennis Hopper; musician Nick Rhodes of Duran Duran; publishers Jann Wenner of Rolling Stone Magazine and Carlo De Benedetti of Italy’s la Repubblica; disco club owner Steve Rubell of Studio 54; photographers Nat Finkelstein, Christopher Makos and Felice Quinto; and athletes Vitas Gerulaitis (tennis) and Jack Nicklaus (golf).

Wikinews observed the USI exhibit identifies and features Polaroids of fashion designer Halston, a former resident of Evansville.

University collections across the United States also include Polaroids of “unknowns” who have not yet had their fifteen minutes of fame. Cynthia Thompson, curator and director of exhibits at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, said, “These images serve as documentation of people in his every day life and art — one which many of us enjoy a glimpse into.”

Warhol was close to important touchstones of the 1960s, including art, music, consumer culture, fashion, and celebrity worship, which were all buzzwords and images Wikinews observed at USI’s opening exhibit.

He was also an influential figure in the pop art movement. “Pop art was about what popular American culture really thought was important”, Kathryn Waters said. “That’s why he did the Campbell Soup cans or the Marilyn pictures, these iconic products of American culture whether they be in film, video or actually products we consumed. So even back in the sixties, he was very aware of this part of our culture. Which as we all know in 2014, has only increased probably a thousand fold.”

“I think everybody knows Andy Warhol’s name, even non-art people, that’s a name they might know because he was such a personality”, Water said.

Hilary Braysmith, USI associate professor of art history, said, “I think his photography is equally influential as his graphic works, his more famous pictures of Marilyn. In terms of the evolution of photography and experimentation, like painting on them or the celebrity fascination, I think he was really ground-breaking in that regard.”

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The Polaroid format is not what made Warhol famous, however, he is in the company of other well-known photographers who used the camera, such as Ansel Adams, Chuck Close, Walker Evans, Robert Mapplethorpe, and Helmut Newton.

Wilkins said, “[Warhol] liked the way photo booths and the Polaroid’s front flash looked”. She explained how Warhol’s adoption of the Polaroid camera revealed his process. According to Wilkins, Warhol was able to reproduce the Polaroid photograph and create an enlargement of it, which he then could use to commit the image to the silk screen medium by applying paint or manipulating them further. One of the silk screens exhibited at USI this time was the Annie Oakley screen print called “Cowboys and Indians” from 1987.

Wilkins also said Warhol was both an artist and a businessperson. “As a way to commercialize his work, he would make a blue Marilyn and a pink Marilyn and a yellow Marilyn, and then you could pick your favorite color and buy that. It was a very practical salesman approach to his work. He was very prolific but very business minded about that.”

“He wanted to be rich and famous and he made lots of choices to go that way”, Wilkins said.

It’s Warhol. He is a legend.

Kiara Perkins, a second year USI art major, admitted she was willing to skip class Thursday night to attend the opening exhibit but then circumstances allowed for her to attend the exhibit. Why did she so badly want to attend? “It’s Warhol. He is a legend.”

For Kevin Allton, a USI instructor in English, Warhol was also a legend. He said, “Andy Warhol was the center of the Zeitgeist for the 20th century and everything since. He is a post-modern diety.”

Allton said he had only seen the Silver Clouds installation before in film. The Silver Clouds installation were silver balloons blown up with helium, and those balloons filled one of the smaller rooms in the gallery. “I thought that in real life it was really kind of magical,” Allton said. “I smacked them around.”

Elements of the Zeitgeist were also playfully recreated on USI’s opening night. In her opening remarks for attendees, Waters pointed out those features to attendees, noting the touches of the Warhol Factory, or the studio where he worked, that were present around them. She pointed to the refreshment table with Campbell’s Soup served with “electric” Kool Aid and tables adorned with colorful gumball “pills”. The music in the background was from such bands as The Velvet Underground.

The big hit of the evening, Wikinews observed from the long line, was the Polaroid-room where attendees could wear a Warhol-like wig or don crazy glasses and have their own Polaroid taken. The Polaroids were ready in an instant and immediately displayed at the entry of the exhibit. Exhibit goers then became part of the very exhibit they had wanted to attend. In fact, many people Wikinews observed took out their mobiles as they left for the evening and used their own phone cameras to make one further record of the moment — a photo of a photo. Perhaps they had learned an important lesson from the Warhol exhibit that cultural events like these were ripe for use and reuse. We might even call these exit instant snap shots, the self selfie.

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Children enjoy interacting with the “Silver Clouds” at the Andy Warhol exhibit. Image: Snbehnke.

Kathryn Waters opens the Andy Warhol exhibit at USI. Image: Snbehnke.

At the Andy Warhol exhibit, hosts document all the names of attendees who have a sitting at the Polaroid booth. Image: Snbehnke.

Curator Kristin Wilkins shares with attendees the story behind his famous Polaroids. Image: Snbehnke.

A table decoration at the exhibit where the “pills” were represented by bubble gum. Image: Snbehnke.

Two women pose to get their picture taken with a Polaroid camera. Their instant pics will be hung on the wall. Image: Snbehnke.

Even adults enjoyed the “Silver Clouds” installation at the Andy Warhol exhibit at USI. Image: Snbehnke.

Many people from the area enjoyed Andy Warhol’s famous works at the exhibit at USI. Image: Snbehnke.

Katie Waters talks with a couple in the Silver Clouds area. Image: Snbehnke.

Many people showed up to the new Andy Warhol exhibit, which opened at USI. Image: Snbehnke.

At the exhibit there was food and beverages inspired to look like the 1960s. Image: Snbehnke.

A woman has the giggles while getting her Polaroid taken. Image: Snbehnke.

A man poses to get his picture taken by a Polaroid camera, with a white wig and a pair of sunglasses. Image: Snbehnke.

Finished product of the Polaroid camera film of many people wanting to dress up and celebrate Andy Warhol. Image: Snbehnke.

Major US bankruptcy reform bill signed into law

July 22nd, 2018 by bgVAWJW9

Thursday, April 21, 2005

U.S. President George W. Bush signed into law Wednesday a major bankruptcy reform bill, making the most sweeping changes to the laws of personal bankruptcy in the past two decades. Bill S.256 is predicted to reduce the chances of filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy for 30,000 to 210,000 families per year, according to the American Bankruptcy Institute.

The legislation was strongly opposed by some consumer advocates and by some Democrats in Congress, who complained about the lack of debate on exemptions they attempted to introduce and tried to derail the passage of the bill. Those who are unable to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy will then be forced to file under Chapter 13, which requires payment of some debts by order of a judge based on the financial resources of the debtor.

Opponents said the bill will end a chance for a fresh start in the financial lives of the American people by keeping them in debt to collection agencies, as well as credit card companies and banks who have made it easy to obtain high credit limits amid mounting consumer debt.

In his remarks before signing the bill, which he supported, Bush said, “The bipartisan bill I’mabout to sign makes common-sense reforms to our bankruptcy laws. By restoringintegrity to the bankruptcy process, this law will make our financial systemstronger and better. By making the system fairer for creditors and debtors,we will ensure that more Americans can get access to affordable credit.”

The bankruptcy bill received a 302-126 approval in the house, after receiving a 74-25 vote in the Senate last month following strong, mostly partisan debate.

The US bankruptcy system was established in 1898. It allowed judges and debtors to come to terms with the costly medical bills that can follow a relative’s death, or a family illness. Such cases form nearly half of all bankruptcies filed in the USA, according to the American Bankruptcy Institute.

Now many of those people will have to work out repayment plans suitable to creditors instead of having debts erased by a judge, according to the new law, which takes effect in six months.

In the past, a judge or court representative would calculate an individual’s income and subtract necessities of life to come up with a practical repayment plan of some debt. The new law stipulates that a graph, showing the poverty level in whichever state the consumer is living will be the criteria. It assumes that if people can subsist at that poverty level, then everything over that can be used to repay creditors.

Additionally, a provision that allowed debtors to file their own Chapter 7 fresh start bankruptcy has been changed to require a lawyer, paid by the debtor, to do the filing.

The new law also erased “usury” provisions in lending laws, with some lawmakers saying that paying 30 percent interest was not too much when a debtor was behind on payments.

But Bush said that credit will “be more affordable because when bankruptcy is less common, credit can be extended to more people at better rates,” meeting demands of the credit card companies which they have been pressing for the last eight years.

“The big winners under the new law will be the special interests that literally wrote it, particularly the credit card industry,” said Travis B. Plunkett, legislative director of the Consumer Federation of America. “This is particularly ironic because reckless and abusive lending practices by credit card companies have driven many Americans to the brink of bankruptcy.”

The forces arrayed on the losing side of this bill said it will hurt low-income working people, single mothers, minorities, and elderly and will end a safety net for people who have lost jobs or face major medical bills. People who fail (refuse) to pay or refuse to go to court will punished by a fine and or arrest warrant made out in their name. About fifty thousand Americans will be punished by a fine and or warrant about three thousand Americans every year will go to jail under the new bankruptcy law. For some people this will be a third strike so they will be put in jail for life.

But Mallory Duncan, a lawyer for the National Retail Federation, said “Bankruptcy has gone from a stigma to a financial planning tool for many.”

New personal bankruptcy filings have increased from 172,423 in 1978 to 1,599,986 last year, an increase of 828% during that time; however, it edged down slightly last year.

About 2 percent to 13 percent of those who dissolve their debts in Chapter 7 bankruptcy each year in exchange for forfeiting some assets will be disqualified from doing so under the law, according to the American Bankruptcy Institute.

Bankruptcy lawyers anticipate a rush to the courthouse to beat the six-month window before the new reforms take effect.

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Super high speed internet launched in New Zealand

July 17th, 2018 by bgVAWJW9

Friday, September 1, 2006

The Prime Minister of New Zealand, Helen Clark, yesterday unveiled Kiwi Advanced Research and Education Network (KAREN). It is super high speed Internet that is capable of transmitting data with speeds of up to ten gigabits per second, 10,000 times faster than the current speed of broadband (1Mbps), and 200,000 times faster than dial-up.

The New Zealand Government put NZ$43 million ($28.1 million USD) into the Crown company: Research and Education Advanced Network of New Zealand (REANNZ) organization, responsible for the running of KAREN.

KAREN will link universities and research institutions in Auckland, Hamilton, Palmerston North, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin, Hawkes Bay, Nelson and Rotorua and then to the rest of the world via a TelstraClear fibre optic cable.

The network will allow geologists/geophysicists to access U.S. data on fault lines, 3D modellers the ability to collaborate on international mapping projects and students will be able to participate in interactive video lectures with experts, anywhere in the world.

The technology so far is limited to just universities and research institutions but Minister for Education Steve Maharey said: “The network will be extended over time to include other institutions, including schools, libraries and museums.” It is also limited to just one university in the South Island, it is located in the HIT Lab NZ at the University of Canterbury.

Clark said: “The link is crucial in order to attract and retain scientists, because it allows a greater level of real time collaboration between scientists based in New Zealand, and their colleagues around the world.”

The Telecommunications’ Users Association of New Zealand chief executive, Ernie Newman, said: “Karen was a ‘great initiative’ for the science community, and that would have wider benefits for the country.”

Dr. Mark Billinhurst, HIT Lab director, said: “The network meant the country was now legitimately part of the international research community.”

2008 Young Designers’ Exhibition to interact with the world

July 17th, 2018 by bgVAWJW9

Friday, May 16, 2008

2008 The 27th Young Designers’ Exhibition, opened on May 15 at the Taipei World Trade Center and closes Sunday May 18. It features participation by 87 academic groups in Taiwan and 20 groups from United States, United Kingdom, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, and Australia to showcase various achievements in industrial design. It is recognized by the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (ICSID) as the largest show of student creations.

Besides the several design competitions, sponsors like International Forum Design (iF), EPSON, MUJI (in Japanese: ????, Mujirushi Ry?hin), Tsann Kuen Trans-nation Group will showcase different solutions for the design, creative, and cultural industries. The show’s organizer, Taiwan Design Center, also designed several on-site events like “On-line Graduate Season Show”, “Career Match-up”, “Creative and Cultural Showcase and Performance”, “Seminars of YODEX 2008” to link the actual exhibition with the on-line exhibition.

Besides of the previously announced “Wow! Taiwan Design Award”, winners from “2008 Young Designers’ Competition” and “2008 YODEX Interior Design Competition” were announced on Saturday, May 17.

Scientology protest group celebrates founder’s birthday worldwide

July 16th, 2018 by bgVAWJW9
 Correction — March 19, 2008 The next protest is scheduled for April 12, 2008. The article below states April 18 which is incorrect. 

Saturday, March 15, 2008

The Internet group Anonymous today held further protests critical of the Church of Scientology.

The global protests started in Australia where several hundred protesters gathered at different locations for peaceful protests.

In a global speech, the Internet protest movement said Scientology “betrayed the trust of its members, [had] taken their money, their rights, and at times their very lives.” The protesters welcomed the public interest their protests have led to, and claimed they witnessed “an unprecedented flood of Scientologists [joining] us across the world to testify about these abuses.” The group said it would continue with monthly actions.

In a press statement from its European headquarters, Scientology accused the anonymous protesters of “hate speech and hate crimes”, alleging that security measures were necessary because of death threats and bomb threats. This also makes the Church want to “identify members” of the group it brands as “cyber-terrorists”.

Wikinews had correspondents in a number of protest locations to report on the events.

Anonymous states that the next protest is scheduled to take place on April 18, which happens to be the birthday of Suri, the daughter of Tom and Katie Cruise.

Contents

  • 1 Location reports
    • 1.1 Adelaide, Australia
    • 1.2 Atlanta, Georgia
    • 1.3 Austin, Texas
    • 1.4 Boston, Massachusetts
    • 1.5 Brussels, Belgium
    • 1.6 London, England
    • 1.7 Manchester, England
    • 1.8 New York, New York
    • 1.9 Buffalo, New York
    • 1.10 Seattle, Washington
    • 1.11 Sydney, Australia
    • 1.12 Portland, Oregon
  • 2 Related news
  • 3 Sources

Cleveland, Ohio clinic performs US’s first face transplant

July 16th, 2018 by bgVAWJW9

Thursday, December 18, 2008

A team of eight transplant surgeons in Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, USA, led by reconstructive surgeon Dr. Maria Siemionow, age 58, have successfully performed the first almost total face transplant in the US, and the fourth globally, on a woman so horribly disfigured due to trauma, that cost her an eye. Two weeks ago Dr. Siemionow, in a 23-hour marathon surgery, replaced 80 percent of her face, by transplanting or grafting bone, nerve, blood vessels, muscles and skin harvested from a female donor’s cadaver.

The Clinic surgeons, in Wednesday’s news conference, described the details of the transplant but upon request, the team did not publish her name, age and cause of injury nor the donor’s identity. The patient’s family desired the reason for her transplant to remain confidential. The Los Angeles Times reported that the patient “had no upper jaw, nose, cheeks or lower eyelids and was unable to eat, talk, smile, smell or breathe on her own.” The clinic’s dermatology and plastic surgery chair, Francis Papay, described the nine hours phase of the procedure: “We transferred the skin, all the facial muscles in the upper face and mid-face, the upper lip, all of the nose, most of the sinuses around the nose, the upper jaw including the teeth, the facial nerve.” Thereafter, another team spent three hours sewing the woman’s blood vessels to that of the donor’s face to restore blood circulation, making the graft a success.

The New York Times reported that “three partial face transplants have been performed since 2005, two in France and one in China, all using facial tissue from a dead donor with permission from their families.” “Only the forehead, upper eyelids, lower lip, lower teeth and jaw are hers, the rest of her face comes from a cadaver; she could not eat on her own or breathe without a hole in her windpipe. About 77 square inches of tissue were transplanted from the donor,” it further described the details of the medical marvel. The patient, however, must take lifetime immunosuppressive drugs, also called antirejection drugs, which do not guarantee success. The transplant team said that in case of failure, it would replace the part with a skin graft taken from her own body.

Dr. Bohdan Pomahac, a Brigham and Women’s Hospital surgeon praised the recent medical development. “There are patients who can benefit tremendously from this. It’s great that it happened,” he said.

Leading bioethicist Arthur Caplan of the University of Pennsylvania withheld judgment on the Cleveland transplant amid grave concerns on the post-operation results. “The biggest ethical problem is dealing with failure — if your face rejects. It would be a living hell. If your face is falling off and you can’t eat and you can’t breathe and you’re suffering in a terrible manner that can’t be reversed, you need to put on the table assistance in dying. There are patients who can benefit tremendously from this. It’s great that it happened,” he said.

Dr Alex Clarke, of the Royal Free Hospital had praised the Clinic for its contribution to medicine. “It is a real step forward for people who have severe disfigurement and this operation has been done by a team who have really prepared and worked towards this for a number of years. These transplants have proven that the technical difficulties can be overcome and psychologically the patients are doing well. They have all have reacted positively and have begun to do things they were not able to before. All the things people thought were barriers to this kind of operations have been overcome,” she said.

The first partial face transplant surgery on a living human was performed on Isabelle Dinoire on November 27 2005, when she was 38, by Professor Bernard Devauchelle, assisted by Professor Jean-Michel Dubernard in Amiens, France. Her Labrador dog mauled her in May 2005. A triangle of face tissue including the nose and mouth was taken from a brain-dead female donor and grafted onto the patient. Scientists elsewhere have performed scalp and ear transplants. However, the claim is the first for a mouth and nose transplant. Experts say the mouth and nose are the most difficult parts of the face to transplant.

In 2004, the same Cleveland Clinic, became the first institution to approve this surgery and test it on cadavers. In October 2006, surgeon Peter Butler at London‘s Royal Free Hospital in the UK was given permission by the NHS ethics board to carry out a full face transplant. His team will select four adult patients (children cannot be selected due to concerns over consent), with operations being carried out at six month intervals. In March 2008, the treatment of 30-year-old neurofibromatosis victim Pascal Coler of France ended after having received what his doctors call the worlds first successful full face transplant.

Ethical concerns, psychological impact, problems relating to immunosuppression and consequences of technical failure have prevented teams from performing face transplant operations in the past, even though it has been technically possible to carry out such procedures for years.

Mr Iain Hutchison, of Barts and the London Hospital, warned of several problems with face transplants, such as blood vessels in the donated tissue clotting and immunosuppressants failing or increasing the patient’s risk of cancer. He also pointed out ethical issues with the fact that the procedure requires a “beating heart donor”. The transplant is carried out while the donor is brain dead, but still alive by use of a ventilator.

According to Stephen Wigmore, chair of British Transplantation Society’s ethics committee, it is unknown to what extent facial expressions will function in the long term. He said that it is not certain whether a patient could be left worse off in the case of a face transplant failing.

Mr Michael Earley, a member of the Royal College of Surgeon‘s facial transplantation working party, commented that if successful, the transplant would be “a major breakthrough in facial reconstruction” and “a major step forward for the facially disfigured.”

In Wednesday’s conference, Siemionow said “we know that there are so many patients there in their homes where they are hiding from society because they are afraid to walk to the grocery stores, they are afraid to go the the street.” “Our patient was called names and was humiliated. We very much hope that for this very special group of patients there is a hope that someday they will be able to go comfortably from their houses and enjoy the things we take for granted,” she added.

In response to the medical breakthrough, a British medical group led by Royal Free Hospital’s lead surgeon Dr Peter Butler, said they will finish the world’s first full face transplant within a year. “We hope to make an announcement about a full-face operation in the next 12 months. This latest operation shows how facial transplantation can help a particular group of the most severely facially injured people. These are people who would otherwise live a terrible twilight life, shut away from public gaze,” he said.

Suárez scores a hat-trick, Barcelona advances to FIFA Club World Cup 2015 Final

July 16th, 2018 by bgVAWJW9

Friday, December 18, 2015

Yesterday, Catalonia-based football club FC Barcelona defeated Chinese Guangzhou Evergrande FC 3–0 at Nissan Stadium in Yokohama in a FIFA Club World Cup semifinal match hosted in Japan.

FIFA Club World Cup is a tournament in which football clubs winning in the respective continental confederation championships participate. Barcelona won the UEFA Champions League, and Guangzhou won the AFC Champions League. Barcelona’s Neymar, suffering from groin injury, was not included in the squad.

We lost 3–0, but it’s not much different to what has happened to other big clubs. At least we didn’t let in four like Real Madrid

Barça had greater ball possession. The match saw one yellow card, when Feng Xiaoting was yellow carded in the 16th minute, and at least two dozen fouls were committed in the match. The 2015 AFC Champions League winners Guangzhou prevented the European winners from scoring a goal for more than half an hour. In the 39th minute, Ivan Rakiti?’s shot on the target was saved by the Chinese goalkeeper, but Luis Suárez netted the goal providing Barcelona a 1–0 lead before half-time. The first half ended in 1–0.

In the second half, Suárez scored again in the 50th minute, assisted by Andrés Iniesta. A quarter of an hour later, Guangzhou player Huang Bowen fouled Munir El Haddadi in the penalty area, and Barcelona was awarded a penalty kick. Suárez, in the absence of Lionel Messi, took the penalty and completed a hat-trick.

After the match, Guangzhou coach Luiz Felipe Scolari praised the club’s performance. “We lost 3–0, but it’s not much different to what has happened to other big clubs. At least we didn’t let in four like Real Madrid.”

Barcelona, is now scheduled to play the final on December 20.


December 17, 201519:30 JST (UTC+9)
FC Barcelona 3–0 Guangzhou Evergrande FC Nissan Stadium, Yokohama Attendance: 63,870 Referee: Joel Aguilar, El Salvador
39′ Luis Suárez 50′ Luis Suárez 67′ (pen.) Luis Suárez (1–0) HT 16′ Feng Xiaoting

Commonwealth Bank of Australia CEO apologies for financial planning scandal

July 16th, 2018 by bgVAWJW9

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Ian Narev, the CEO of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, this morning “unreservedly” apologised to clients who lost money in a scandal involving the bank’s financial planning services arm.

Last week, a Senate enquiry found financial advisers from the Commonwealth Bank had made high-risk investments of clients’ money without the clients’ permission, resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars lost. The Senate enquiry called for a Royal Commission into the bank, and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

Mr Narev stated the bank’s performance in providing financial advice was “unacceptable”, and the bank was launching a scheme to compensate clients who lost money due to the planners’ actions.

In a statement Mr Narev said, “Poor advice provided by some of our advisers between 2003 and 2012 caused financial loss and distress and I am truly sorry for that. […] There have been changes in management, structure and culture. We have also invested in new systems, implemented new processes, enhanced adviser supervision and improved training.”

An investigation by Fairfax Media instigated the Senate inquiry into the Commonwealth Bank’s financial planning division and ASIC.

Whistleblower Jeff Morris, who reported the misconduct of the bank to ASIC six years ago, said in an article for The Sydney Morning Herald that neither the bank nor ASIC should be in control of the compensation program.

Frank Messina: An interview with the ‘Mets Poet’

July 16th, 2018 by bgVAWJW9

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

In the early Olympic games, athletes used to run a mile and then recite a poem. The first poet-in-residence of an English football team, Ian McMillan, remarked that football chants are like huge tribal poems. Generally, though, sport and poetry have never seemed natural companions in human enterprise. Until the New York Mets baseball team suffered in 2007 arguably the worst collapse in Major League Baseball history. To describe the anguish fans felt, The New York Times turned to a poet, Frank Messina. “Nothing was really representing the fan’s point of view,” Messina told Wikinews reporter David Shankbone in an interview. “There’s a lot of hurting people out there who can’t express what happened.”

And to those who read the Times last Saturday, Messina wants you to know his father never apologized for raising him as a Mets fans. “I never asked for his apology, and he never apologized, nor did he owe us one. I was misquoted in the New York Times.”

Messina’s parents taught him about opposite ends of the spectrum of life. “My mother was supportive even when I made mistakes. She taught me to never give up no matter what vocation you choose in your life.” Whereas Messina’s mother taught him to never give up, his father taught him how to die with grace. He passed away from cancer in 2005. “I got to see a man who accepted his fate. He was like the Captain of the Titanic. My mother was also calm. I was the one freaking out inside. I saw someone who had acknowledged his own demise, accepted it, and died at home. He was a tough old guy. It takes a lot to accept that; it takes a very strong person. Some of the special moments toward the end was sitting with him and watching baseball games.”

It is baseball that has garnered Messina attention now. He has performed in 32 countries and 40 states, and in 1993 he founded the band Spoken Motion, a spoken word band. What is striking about Messina is that his work has branched two worlds that often don’t interact: downtown coffeehouse denizens of poetry and the denizens of Shea Stadium. It is Frank Messina who has personalities as diverse as Joe Benigno, the archetype of the New York sportscaster at WFAN, reflecting on love and poetry. “No one would question a poet writing about love for a woman,” said Benigno, “but when you’re a fan of a team, the emotional attachment is even stronger….” Benigno sounded similar to avant-garde writer and musician David Amram, who said Messina’s poems paint “the stark beauty of the streets, the pain of 9/11, the joy of everyday life, the mysteries of love all fill the pages of this book. It’s a feast of images and sounds that stay with you.”

I spoke with the person Bowery Poetry Club founder Bob Holman called the “Rock n’ Roll Poet Laureate” recently in Washington Square Park:


DS: You have received a good deal of attention recently.

FM:Even though I’m not Michael Jackson or somebody, when people come up to me and introduce themselves and say, ‘Hey Frank, my name is John,’ I say, ‘Hey John, my name is Frank’ and they laugh. It’s a funny phenomenon.

DS: What goes through your head when that happens?

FM: I understand it. I’ve gone to readings and concerts. I look at it as human interaction. Over the years I have performed in 32 countries and 40 states. I’ve been doing this professionally since I was in my twenties, and before that since I was sixteen doing little tidbit poetry readings in coffeehouses. The band I started in 1993, Spoken Motion, received a lot of recognition as a spoken word band born out of the New York spoken word scene. I worked with some great musicians and performed around the world. I remember signing my first autograph to a kid when I was 25 years old. As time went on, I came out with books and CDs, and I became used to that kind of thing. To me, the ultimate feeling of success as an artist, is to move somebody enough where they thank you. When someone comes up and says, ‘Frank, thank you, your work is great.”

DS: You have a long career in poetry, but as of late the attention you have garnered is for the Mets-inspired work. How do you feel about having a lot of your work overshadowed by the Mets work?

FM:It’s ironic. Some of the greatest poetry has been born out of failure and the depths of adversity in the human experience. Walt Whitman, the first great American poet, wrote about the Civil War. He went looking for his brother, George Whitman, after he a telegram telling him his brother was injured in the South. When he started out his poems were about beating drums, and blow, bugle, blow. Real patriotic. Then he started to see the real horrors of war. He was able to tap into the human condition and the situation at that time. Eventually when he found his brother he had resolution.
I experienced that kind of adversity during 9/11 being a civilian volunteer. I loaded ferry boats in Jersey City across the river to deliver goods to Ground Zero. I turned to Whitman to find some understanding of what is happening in the world right now. When I wrote my 9/11-related poems, that was true adversity. I realize baseball is just a game.

DS: Can you recite a stanza that expresses how you feel right now?

FM: This was a piece that the Times only quoted one stanza, but it’s about preparation for a battle, and being prepared to either rise to the occasion, or go down:

Do you know what it’s liketo be chased by the Ghost of Failurewhile staring through Victory’s door?Of course you do, you’re a Mets fancaught in a do-or-die momentin late September at Shea

As one that’s battled hardthrough many a broken dreamLet me say, “in order to rise to the occasionyou must be willingto go down with the ship”,Have no fear, no hesitation,for Winning shall be it’s reward!

Don’t let them get in your head!you’ve kept it up this longYou’re a Mets fan in late Septemberand you’ll fight til the glorious endCheer the team today;(your boys in orange and blue)Let them hear you shoutas they fight for what’s mightily due

(copyright Frank Messina; reprinted with permission)

DS: Sports fans aren’t known as patrons of poetry. Have you had interaction with ‘new readers’ through your Mets work?

FM: This one person who I never met took a picture of me and sent it to me in an e-mail. The e-mail said, ‘Frank, I have never bothered you during the game, but I just wanted to say thank you for your work and thank you for making some sense of the successes and failures and I wish you much success with your work.’
Last year in my section at the stadium I had a banner that read We Know’. That’s all it said. Then earlier this year these shirts started to come out that said, “Poet says We Know“. It was amazing. We didn’t use the banner this year, though, because we didn’t know. The team wasn’t so far ahead that we knew. Last year we just knew we were going to the playoffs; we knew we were going post-season. This year we weren’t sure. We were walking on eggshells.
There was a woman, a season ticket holder and a die hard fan. She was staggered by the loss last year to the Cardinals. Last year she came up to me during one of the games late in the season; she was so happy we were going to the post season. By that point we had clinched it. She handed me a shirt she bought at the stadium and she gave me a big hug. With tears in her eyes she said, “Thank you, Mets Poet, thank you.” It’s cool…it’s like another family.

DS: Moments like that must make you realize you have touched people who aren’t normally touched by poetry.

FM: It’s opened up a new fan base, so to speak. For the last year SNY has broadcast footage of me with my poems, so quite a few fans known about the ‘Mets Poet’. I have never called myself that, by the way. The back of my jersey says ‘The Poet’ because growing up that was my nickname. My brother was a runner and they used to call him The Birdman–Birdie–and they called me The Poet. It was a natural thing, but I never coined myself as ‘The Mets Poet.’

DS: Jack Nicholson once said, “The fuel for the sports fan is the ability to have private theories.” What are some of your private theories?

FM: The fan is always right. No matter if he is wrong, he is right. The fan always has an opinion. That’s why we have talk radio and people call Joe Benigno and Steve Somers and Mike and the Mad Dog all day long. That’s why we have 24/7 sports-related talk. If you were to come from another planet with only three hours on Earth to find out what human beings are like, to discover how dynamic life is as a human being, you would take them to a baseball game. A season is like a life, but a game is like one day in that life. A season has its beginning, its renewal, its innocence and its arch into maturity into the season. Panic sets in when it hits the middle-age of the season. Will it we have success, or will we have failure. At end of season, fans have to accept whether we have failed or whether we have achieved victory. Kansas City Royals fans know at the beginning of the season that, more than likely, nothing is going to happen for them. As Mets fans, we want to win, but we never expect it to be easy. It’s always going to be a fight; it’s always going to be hard.

DS: The second-class citizen in a first rate city idea that is found in one of your poems.

FM: Yeah, you’re going to get pushed around. People are going to disagree with you. It’s not going to be easy. You’re going to have to take a lot of pills, take an extra drink, go to the gym an extra day to run off some energy.

DS: You and poet Ron Whitehead embarked on a “War Poets” tour of Europe. You as a pro-war poet, and Whitehead as a pro-peace poet. Forgive the crude terminology; I realize there is probably nuance in there. In the over four years since that tour has your outlook evolved at all?

FM: I’ve never been for any war. I try to avoid altercation on any level, be it emotional, physical, or political. But there are some wars I think that are necessary. History has shown this. Was this one necessary? I don’t know. Twenty years from now we’ll have to figure that out. I hope that we’ve all learned something from it.

DS: What is your feeling toward the Iraq War now?

FM: It’s a mess. It’s a mess. We went in to get a job done, get Hussein out of there, liberate the Iraqi people as was dictated in the 1998 Liberation Act that Senator Lieberman helped draft and President Clinton put out there. President Bush, Congress and the American people supported going in there. I’m not going to backtrack: I did support going in there, and even as an artist and a poet, and as a freak, I made a decision, that it was time to take this guy out. I spoke with many Iraqi Americans who live in my neighborhood who also supported that. Lebanese and Iranian friends I have supported it. One of my childhood friends, Adel Nehme, came out of Beirut, Lebanon around 1972. We met in kindergarten and we’ve been friends ever since. He was someone who escaped that turmoil. His family brought him to New Jersey specifically to pull him out of that hell, like the way my father took us out of the gangland hell of the South Bronx. Like any father would do, to protect his family.

DS: Do you still feel the Iraq War is protecting us, and that the original reasons you supported it are still valid?

FM: It’s a mess. The original reasons? Yes. Looking back, hindsight is always 20/20. Unlike many artists, I have vocally supported the war. Many artists who support this war won’t say that. Ron Whitehead is a dear friend. We have mutual respect for each other but we disagree on a lot of issues. Nevertheless, there’s only one man I want fighting in the trenches of life with me, and that’s Ron Whitehead.

DS: When you look at the state of the world, what five descriptors come to mind?

FM: Chaos. Yearning for peace. Confusion. Desperation. Hope.

DS: And are you hopeful?

FM: Yes.

DS: Where do you get that hope from?

FM: My faith in the human spirit. I think people are inherently good.

DS: Joe Benigno said, “No one would question a poet writing about love for a woman, but when you’re a fan of a team, the emotional attachment is even stronger, because women come and go, but your team never changes.” Do you think that analogy really holds, because you are attracted to the Mets, and you are attracted to women, and the players on both of those teams in your life change.

FM: Loving a baseball team is having to put up with the imperfections, the routine of what kind of mood is it going to be today. It doesn’t come down to whether we are going to win or lose, it comes down to: is the player going to perform this way? Or , is the pitcher going to be ambivalent? Am I even going to have enough strength to watch this game? Am I going to wash my hands? Am I going to lay in bed all day? What am I going to do? The game becomes a reflection of true life in that way.

DS: The difference is that you know what to expect from the players on the Mets. They have defined roles and there is some certitude. With women, as the players change you don’t know what they are going to do; whereas in baseball the players have roles and you know what to expect of them.

FM: It’s a dangerous proposition being any fan, but particularly a Mets fan, because you are going to have to accept you will fall in love with imperfection. When you fall in love with a woman, you are accepting them for all their flaws, those elements that make them human, worts and all. And I accept my team worts and all. They have given me a great deal of joy, a great deal of entertainment, exhilaration, and a hell of a lot of pain like in any fan. This isn’t the Brady Bunch, this isn’t Leave it to Beaver. Few things are, if anything.

DS: You were the recipient of the 1993 Allen Ginsberg Poetry Award. In 1996 I met Ginsberg at the Naropa Institute in Boulder. I asked him about NAMBLA, the North American Man/Boy Love Association. He told me to follow him into the bathroom. As I stood there he peed and told me he wasn’t for having sex with children, but that he thought that age-of-consent laws were outdated, that he knew what he wanted when he was fifteen and that he thought everyone does at that age. He said he wasn’t for sex with children, but that it should not be illegal to have sex at that age. When you accepted the Ginsberg award, did you have an issue with some of his political stances?

FM: I was too young at the time to realize what he thought. I never knew what went on behind closed doors with Allen, and aside from meeting him a few times, I never knew him on a personal level. I accepted the nomination, like young people do each year, because of his poetry, not because of his politics. I was proud. That is what the award was designed for. There are laws in this country for a reason, to protect children and to protect people from predators. Whether Allen was a predator or not, I don’t have any idea.

DS: All evidence is that he was not a predator, but that he was a voice for change of age-of-consent laws.

FM: To me, it’s a non-issue. Put your hand on my kid and believe me, it’s all over for the predator. That’s my policy. When someone’s 18, that’s the deal. I’ll stick with the law on that one.

DS: What’s a lesson your mother taught you?

FM: To never give up. She was supportive even when I made mistakes, as a good mother will do. In school my parents were called up a lot. It was not easy being a parent of Frankie. Teachers were constantly calling. I was disruptive, I would talk out of line, I was a class clown. She taught me to never give up no matter what vocation you choose in your life. My mother was never critical of my poems and writing. We’re good friends and she’s a lot of fun.

DS: How would you choose your death?

FM: Either in battle or laying in bed with family around me.

DS: Have you ever had a moment where you saw your death?

FM: Yes, a couple of times. Once I was on one of those small planes flying to Pittsburgh last year to see the Mets, actually one of those 25-seat airplanes flying out of Newark in a lightning storm. We had ascended over Newark and the plane was struck by lightning. There was no panic on the plane at all, but something, we knew, was terribly wrong. I saw a flash of light when it hit the plane and a fellow across the aisle said, “Did you just see that?” and I said that I thought we were struck by lightning. He said it felt like something got ripped off the plane. There was so much turbulence. The stewardess came out with one of the co-pilots, who announced we were struck by lightning, but that we were going to continue the flight. There was a moment there, I think a good 30 seconds, where I was certain the plane was going to break apart.

DS: Did you have any realizations?

FM: I thought, this is it. This is it. There was acceptance. When my father was diagnosed with cancer in June of 2005 and I got to see a man who accepted his fate. He died two months later. He was like the Captain of the Titanic. My mother was also calm. I was the one freaking out inside. I saw someone who had acknowledged his own demise, accepted it, and died at home. He was a tough old guy. It takes a lot to accept that, it takes a very strong person. In this culture we value life very much, and some people look at death as a failure, but it’s going to happen to all of us. My theory is to help yourself, and help others in life.