Friday, February 10, 2017

Removing Oakley

Former NBA player and bad ass, Charles Oakley, was involved in an altercation with Madison Square Garden security when they told him he had to leave. Oakley was a few rows above New York Knicks owner James Dolan when the incident occurred. The two have been embroiled in a feud mainly because Oakley has been critical of Dolan and his handling of the Knicks. If you're a basketball fan, you know that Dolan has thin skin. You also know that Oakley isn't one to back down from anything or anyone. This is the video of what happened on Wednesday night:

Word has it that Oakley was removed because Dolan simply doesn't like Oakley. Dolan says that Oakley was acting in an "inappropriate and abusive manner." Whatever side you fall on and, trust me, nobody on social media is showing much love for Dolan - the point is, if Madison Square Garden security is asked by the owner to remove a certain person from the venue, they are simply doing their job. The only person Oakley should have a problem with is James Dolan. In that sense, Oakley was being disruptive. I can't side with Oakley because, whether he was guilty or simply minding his own business, in this case, he chose to shoot the messenger.

Friday, February 3, 2017


I've been obsessed with the entity known as Banksy since the day I first laid eyes on the 2010 documentary "Exit Through the Gift Shop." I say entity because it's quite possible that Banksy could be male, female, or a collective. However, because Banksy is portrayed as a male throughout this documentary, I will refer to "him" as "he." And, just so you know, this is a spoiler alert, so rid yourself of this review if you want to watch it for yourself.

The film starts with Banksy and his merry band of street artists strolling the city looking to create art on buildings, billboards, etc., despite the fact that it is against the law - you know, those stuffy, authoritative figures who just don't understand the edgy, cool crowd. Other street artists, including Shepard Fairey who created the now famous Obama campaign poster with the word "hope" at the bottom, speak about street art culture throughout the documentary. Either way, the bait has been set and this is the point in the film where Banksy, the pied piper of cool, introduces us to a character who will eventually label himself as "Mr. Brainwash."

Mr. Brainwash is the exact opposite of Banksy and his graffiti cohorts. He is portrayed as a clumsy, uncool wannabe street artist who steals everyone's ideas to create art of his own. Banksy and company rip on this poor guy from here on out. Banksy, feeling bad for the guy, sets up a gallery for Mr. Brainwash to display his work while endorsing it the whole way. As word gets out and the day of the show begins, lines wrap around the gallery for blocks. The fix is in as Mr. Brainwash allows the adulation to go to his head and buys into his own hype. What a no talent idiot, right? Not exactly.

Whether you like art or not, Banksy has not only pointed out how the art world works, but society as a whole. The early bird or, in this case, the "cool" person gets the worm. Create art as an "uncool" individual and most of society will say your work sucks, unless someone "cool" says otherwise. The point is, allowing someone to tell you what is and what is not right or wrong is the definition of a tool. Dismissing someone who has a better grip on a certain subject because they don't fit the profile and you are still a tool. And this is the gift Banksy has left us, not physical art, per say, but performance art in which he exposes the inner tool in all of us.