Journal

Terrordome 2.0: A Visual Guide to G20

G20, Pittsburgh 2009 (Photo: Nate Boguszewski)

Armed and dangerous at the G20, Pittsburgh 2009 (Photo: Nate Boguszewski)

Turns out the G20 is equal parts media blitz, protesters‚Äô wet dream, show of police force, and weird marketing opportunity. But I suppose all global economic summits are kinda like that. But what‚Äôs fascinating is seeing how an event like this can transform a city. Watching a local newscast last night, I was reminded of how a city‚Äôs visitors bureau can look on any opportunity ‚Äî even one boasting threats of violence and destruction like the G20 ‚Äî as a way to hustle its wares. The folks from Visit Pittsburgh were being interviewed, spouting banal quotes about how the 4,000+ media in attendance ‚Äúnow see that Pittsburgh is more than a smoky old steel town‚Äù and are impressed by its rivers. Huh? At last check, the national media was less than enthusiastic about Pittsburgh being host to the summit (see here). More than likely, the media is ‚ÄòPraying for broken windows‚Äô as T/S contributor Matt Stroud pointed out in a post yesterday, because it makes for better content. Read More »

Journal

Bored to Death at the G20

Police in riot gear at G20, Pittsburgh 2009 (Laura Imkamp via Flickr)

Police in riot gear at the G20, killing time (Photo by Laura Imkamp via Flickr)

Pittsburgh residents are on pins and needles that the City of Champions is ground zero for today and tomorrow’s G20 summit. Perhaps it’s because Pittsburghers are a practical bunch and fears of being doused with cat urine and/or flying feces have gotten the best of them in the six-month run up to this international spectacle. However, it’s much more than that. Hosting presidents, chancellors, and prime ministers from the 20 wealthiest nations in the world, it turns out, is kind of a clusterfuck. It clogs up traffic, shuts down businesses and universities, and costs the city money. Fistfuls of money — $16 to 25 Million — at last unofficial tally.

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Journal

WTF Files: War on L.A. River Graffiti Funded by Federal Stimulus

BJD Resourcing buffs Saber's legendary L.A. River piece.

BJD Resourcing, on a contract funded by federal stimulus dollars, buffs Saber's legendary L.A. River piece.

Last month, during California’s desperate attempt to close its $24-billion dollar budget gap, countless programs were thinned out or altogether slashed. Among the mind-numbing list of cuts, however, was a dramatic reduction in state spending for textbooks — a decision that automatically puts kids in California schools at an educational disadvantage.

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Journal

Frank Kozik on Art as Commerce, Freedom of Speech

frank-kozik-portrait_shaun-roberts

In a 2007 interview [video here] with Frank Kozik in his San Francisco art studio, Sean Stewart ‚Äî who runs the highly addictive blog Babylon Falling ‚Äî talks with the iconic artist about art as commerce, freedom of speech, and perhaps most interestingly, his lucrative entry into the designer toy market. Read More »

Journal

Sun Belt feels crush of the ‘Great Recession’

sun-belt

Even before it was deemed official that the U.S. was in the midst of a recession, experts were predicting when and how it would end. However, since November of last year, when the stock market began its nosedive, those ‚Äòexpert‚Äô opinions have proven to carry little weight ‚Äî especially as unemployment numbers remain high and businesses continue to close their doors. Read More »