Arts Desk

Arts Roundup: Artomonster Edition

Art Overload: Lenny Campello reviews the ongoing Artomatic Frederick, and offers a theory as to why critics—other than him, of course—are so quick to dismiss the entire enterprise. (Ahem.) Campello writes, "The real reason that most 'regular' critics don't like AOM is because they lack the formation and depth to see beyond what is hanging on the walls. Because their experience is often limited to reviewing or visiting a gallery or a specific show in a museum, their sensory capacity is quickly overloaded when they pass the 100th or 200th artist with less than noticeable work in a postmodern world where everything and anything is art. Thus once those senses are overloaded, it all looks in the same puerile category to them and they fail to see what most of us see."

The Uprightest Citizen of All: Ian MacKaye was in New York Saturday at the opening of UCBeast—the new East Village outpost of comedy troupe Upright Citizens Brigade—where he offered monologues based on suggestions from the crowd; the comedians then improvised sketches based on whatever MacKaye said. Stories included: the time that skinheads overtook the stage when he was playing at the Chicago club Medusa's; and the time MacKaye was asked to procure "dancers" for Fear's riotous 1981 appearance on Saturday Night Live. [Village Voice, New York Times]

A Blockbuster of Errors: Ron Charles pens a sweet essay on the scholastic anxiety over Anonymous, the Roland Emmerich film that posits that William Shakespeare's plays were in fact penned by Edward de Vere, the Earl of Oxford, because no one has offered proof that this isn't true. Charles even visits the Folger Shakespeare Library's director Michael Whitmore. "'As a Shakespeare scholar,' he tells me, 'I do not lie awake at night worried about who really wrote these plays.' No, of course not. Not with Bigfoot on the loose and the world about to end Nov. 11."

Today on Arts Desk: Photo reviews! Halloween songs!

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