A Clam Sampler

A grab bag of Clamgasmic wonders!

First, a clamclusive incredible drone video shot by the one and only Martin Del Vecchio of Gloucester downtown at sunset. Note the movie night being set up at I4C2! Marvel at the technological and cinematographical glory for as long as we have until those things take over and make us work in the Yttrium mines as their puny slaves!

Next, some awesome Hiakus from Clam poet laureate Amanda Cook

Eastern Point Lit House put out a call for Gloucester-centric haiku. Being from Gloucester and having mastered the skill of counting to seven, I figured I should give it a try.

Parking kiosk spits
dimes back at me. I lose them
on the sparkling ground.

Good Harbor seagull
flies overhead, drops roast beef.
It lands on my leg.

My bartender left
the bar closest to my house.
I am drinking less.

Warm air, dusk falling.
At the State Fish Pier I watch
the rats scurry by.

In my friend’s garden
her neighbors plant their needles
as if they might grow.

Sunrise hits the beach
casting shadows of the trash
people left behind.

At the brewery
wharf bros hover like seagulls
following a boat.

Annisquam morning.
As the people leave their homes
the workers pour in.

I drive past the guard
like it ain’t no thing. He knows
it’s a public way.

In the new green grass
by the freshly paved sidewalk
I find nip bottles.

Dinnertime again.
Let’s go down to the packie
for something to grill.

Clam night
Also, don’t forget on Saturday, August 2nd in the evening at the Eastern Point Lit House HQ deceptively located on lower Main Street next to Alexandra’s Bread will be Clam Night. For a ten dollar suggested donation you get to have pizza, enjoy some BYOB drinkage and hear our amusing history so far. We’re going to generate headlines by playing ‘Clams against Humanity’ and hear our most scathing deleted comments read in serious tones by people with British accents. It will be a lot of laughs and space is running out. First come first serve!

Also there will be Clam SWAG for sale which we strongly recommend you display prominently as to be identified as on the correct side when the goat revolution comes. We have bumper stickers, t-shirts, and tote bags. Show your pride in whatever it is we’re attempting to do here.

Finally, stay tuned for the finals of the Tournament of Shitty Parking Lots tomorrow! 

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9 Things the World Can Learn From Gloucester

Morning, world. Thanks to the amazing journalisming of clameditor one KT Toomey on the travails of the Demoulas family and how that translates into me paying double for off-brand snack cakes down at Stop and Shop, suddenly a lot more people are aware of The Clam. Or The Gloucester Clam, to be exact, this here blog is pulled straight from the sea and in most cases immediately ground up for fertilizer.
So we thought we’d give you a little flavor of our beloved island, how we do things a little differently. You should come visit us. We’re way better than that other cape where you have to sit in traffic and dress up for dinner, but you’ll have to bring your own taffy.
So, that having been said, The Gloucester Clam brings you:

9 Things the World can Learn From Gloucester

Your lawn is utility space That space around your house or apartment building- that’s not frigging No. 2 at Pinehurst. That is where you proudly display the evidence you are an interesting person. It’s where you keep your lobster traps, the boat you’re working on or the Fiero you’re going to get running one of these days. It’s where you store parts and tools, the remnants of previous projects and floats from old parades. Our own driveway contains a boat that needs work, a leaf blower-powered hovercraft, numerous balls, sticks, bikes, a modified bike trailer, random container garden plants and the leftover styrofoam rock from the Elementary School production of Midsummer Night’s Dream. Neat lawn = lame occupants.

Dude, did someone steal your boat?

Dude, did someone steal your boat?

Mix it up In Gloucester there are no rich neighborhoods except for this one gated mansion area we sort of ignore. The rest of the town is like that ‘Party Snack Mix’ where a handful equals a pretzel, a Dorrito, a single cheez curl and some weird orange ball. The neighborhood of clamtributor Stevens Brosnihan contains a rabbi, a restaurant owner, urban farmers, college professors, professionals who commute to Boston on the train every day, a couple of junkies and this engineer/former CIA dude who assures you he has stories he can’t tell. In town we shop together, go to the same events and beaches, there is one Middle School and one High School. There is no wrong side of the tracks, more importantly, there is no right side either.

Live where there are a lot of Italians We’re not Italian ourselves and I’m sure there are other cultures you can say this about, but these guys have life pretty pegged. They always have espresso shops with pastries and because food is so key you’ll have restaurants all over the place. There will be street festivals, good grocery stores and lots of family-oriented stuff everywhere. People will yell your nickname at you in the street and you won’t be able to go over somebody’s house without getting a full meal and kissing their grandma. Ok, old shirtless guys in chairs on the sidewalk smoking cigars are kinda gross, but you gotta trade something and some of those dudes are pretty cool if you get them talking. On balance, big Italian population is a huge plus.

Also bocce

Also bocce

Owning a boat is a right, not a privilege And it doesn’t matter what kind or in what state of repair it’s in. In Gloucester you never apologize for the condition of your boat and “I was out on the boat” is a perfectly acceptable excuse for all kinds of things, like missing a court date. People get confused and think they have to fish or have some kind of purpose out there, but it’s more of a zen thing. Boating is an end unto itself. A purpose will reveal itself once on the water, like rescuing someone in a slightly shittier boat that is sinking, for instance.

You are not your car As has been thoroughly covered on this blog, driving and parking here are contact sports. You get dents and things get cracked and scraped off and repaired with duct tape. It’s no big. You don’t get judged by your car up here, nobody gives a shit. Somebody with a nice, new, unblemished car is looked down upon. “Guess he doesn’t drive that thing much, huh?”

There is no reason to ever leave the 80s The 80s were the last decade that actively chose to rock. From 1989 on our society has gotten introspective and timid what with the Nirvana and the expensive coffee. But the essentials for 80s living: the cars, the haircuts, the music, essential entertainments like jumping into quarries and riding a bike around without a helmet are all still things in Gloucester. The Amish live in perpetual 1847, but if a group ever emerged wanting to live in forever 1987, this would be the place. Bring your VHS tapes.

And then you can come to the 80s and learn our ways

And then you can come to the 80s and learn our ways

Art is a participatory sport You go to some places with artists and they are always hanging around in the daytime, smoking cigarettes and arguing about derivation. No time for that crap here as all our artists have normal jobs. I attended an amazing gallery show for a woman who captures light like Hopper. She also cuts my hair. My train into Boston has ¼ of the cast of our regular Shakespeare performances and occasionally they do a scene on the platform. Sculptors are also lawyers, bakers are novelists. You engage a lot more with a one man show about struggling with sexual identity when the guy is going to be fixing your transmission for some reason.

It’s OK if things go wrong This is a fishing town, that big statue of the Man at the Wheel? That’s a memorial to dudes who’ve died at sea. The town knows loss and that no one is immune to it. Jobs disappear, people get sick, sometimes they die. People do dumb shit and wind up in jail. It happens. Nobody wants to make a habit of life’s letdowns, but you don’t need to put on a happy face in this town if shit is bad. And you don’t need to tell anybody even, they know. Their neighbor’s cousin told them. You find yourself buying bread and the person behind the counter at the bakery won’t take your money when you offer it saying, “My mother had cancer too.”

Facing his lost shipmates

Facing his lost shipmates

Normality is for losers Norms are the least happy people in Gloucester. They are forever trying to figure out why the taco place is closed on Sunday (Because the owners are religious), why the farmers’ market is on Thursday (because we get better vendors who go to richer town on the weekend) and why there aren’t any stoplights (because we let each other go in intersections). People here are nuts and somehow it all works once you learn to roll with it. We have a saying when the ice cream truck screeches by the little league game to the dock, starts frantically loading herring on board and then takes off again:

Because Gloucester

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Clamsplainer: Market Basket Is Freakin’ Out

We left off yesterday’s post about the Basket case at the end of the kerfluffle spanning the ’90s with the stripper, the fraud, and the blackmail. Seriously, go read that part if you haven’t, but don’t come after me for migraine pills, I used them all up writing it.

So what does Market Basket’s checkered family past have to do with what’s going on today, and why the hell doesn’t the Basket have any salad fixings at all?

20140721_173123

Nothin’ left but some melons and an artistically placed Gloucester Clam sticker, naturally.

You may recall that yesterday, I explained that Mike’s son, Arthur T Demoulas, was involved with his father’s legal team and the whole “secret recordings” and “blackmail a court employee” debacle. He’s the center of today’s fight, having just been ousted as CEO. It’s complicated. Of course. Like everything else involving the name “Demoulas”.

Anyway, after the lawsuits of the ’90s into the ’00s shake out, the judge forces Mike’s side of the family to give up 51% of Market Basket to George’s side. Mike’s side of the family lost the lawsuits pretty soundly – it’s hard to excuse flagrant fraud, forgery, and hiding assets from your family.

Back in early 2008, Market Basket’s board votes Arthur T Demoulas in as CEO. He is by all accounts a pretty reasonable guy who is hell-bent on treating his employees like family. Or, better than family, seeing as how the Demoulas family has beaten up and defrauded each other for decades now and OSHA and the Department of Labor aren’t keen on doing that to produce clerks.

Artie D is so reasonable that during the economic downturn, his profit-sharing employee account loses $46m in a quarter and he REPLACES THOSE FUNDS with his own company’s profits so his employees don’t suffer. This is relatively unheard of -all investment is risky, after all, and most people in America lost money from pensions or 401ks in 2008. This move majorly pisses off his cousins on George’s side of the family, who like things like “profits” and whatnot.

For five years, Arthur T Demoulas, despite his side of the family’s past shady and questionable tactics, is a beloved CEO to his workers. He is described as an affable, friendly, and humble leader. He pays well, employees have good health insurance. Workers trust him and are fervently loyal to him.

But in the summer of 2013, Arthur T’s cousin, George’s son Arthur S Demoulas, gains control of Market Basket’s board and calls a vote to oust Arthur T amid claims and a lawsuit that alleged he mismanaged the company, engaged in improper business deals with companies owned by his wife and her family, and withheld important information from the board. Meanwhile, Arthur S’s side has long been painted as interested in as much money as possible from their holdings (which explains their anger at Arthur T’s profit-sharing fund placement), without putting in the elbow grease Mike’s family did. This move was seen as a way for George’s side of the family to get dividends from their stock.

There was a massive outpouring of support for Arthur T Demoulas  – employees who had been at Market Basket for decades showed up for the board meeting and stood outside in August heat to support him. During the meeting, the board didn’t oust him, and he saved his job – for a bit. But Arthur S continued to push for his cousin’s dismissal.

Finally, late last month, Arthur T Demoulas was fired as CEO and replaced by a former Radio Shack executive named Jim Gooch (holding back laughter at unfortunate last name there) and Felicia Thorton, former executive at Albertson’s. A few upper level executives were also fired at the same time.

And then the shit hit the fucking fan.  

CAT'S OUT OF THE BAG NOW! haha get it

CAT’S OUT OF THE BAG NOW! haha get it

Remember when I said his employees were fiercely loyal? Well, because unions have fallen out of favor in the states, Market Basket’s employees aren’t unionized. They have no recourse if the new board, in order to boost profits (remember those dividends Arthur S’s family lusted after?), slashes their benefits and profit sharing. Many employees have been with the company for decades – the company is known for promoting from within. They knew that Arthur S’s takeover of the board spelled the end of employee-friendly policies as they knew it, and they were PISSED.

The board couldn’t have predicted the intensity of what came next.  Despite the lack of union, workers started protesting. They threatened to walk off the job if the board didn’t reinstate Arthur T – putting their own blue-collar jobs on the line for one of the state’s richest men. Last Friday, the murmurs of work disruption boiled over into a full-scale revolt – warehouse and store workers showed up at the company’s headquarters to protest despite warnings they’d lose their jobs, meaning Market Basket’s deliveries ground to a screeching halt. It has spiraled from there. Eight workers who organized the protests – supply chain supervisors with the company for 30 or 40 years in some cases – have been fired via a courier service. This has only served to fan the flames. Yesterday, the protests moved to store branches – here in Gloucester, a protest outside the Gloucester Crossing Market Basket grew despite the searing heat.

Protesters outside Gloucester Crossing, 7/21

Protesters outside Gloucester Crossing, 7/21

The protesters here in Gloucester, at least yesterday, are mostly younger folks. Kids for whom Market Basket was their first job. Single moms brought toddlers. My blog partner Jim showed up this afternoon, ostensibly to buy supplies for frittatas and organic beet salad, and instead grabbed some photos and video of the hoopla.

Think about this. It isn’t exactly the Anthracite Coal Strike of 1902, but how often do you see a worker action these days? And one not looking for higher wages or increased benefits, but one in favor of a company leader who the workers felt treated them decently. Here are young people taking a stand for something that is important to them and being pretty goddamned polite and articulate about it. They are risking their jobs. These are kids who are working because they need to, either saving for college or helping out their own families. Their jobs are massively important to them, but doing what they believe is the right thing is more important.

And local politicians are behind them. At last count, 19 local lawmakers had signed a statement in support of boycotting Market Basket. That’s a pretty good gauge of the seriousness of the situation – Market Basket hasn’t done anything illegal or even morally reprehensible, but it’s that serious that Martha Coakley has stood up and supported the workers’ demands to reinstate the CEO.

It’s a pretty engaging situation to be sure, and where it develops from here is anyone’s guess. It’s unlikely Arthur T will be reinstated, but Market Basket’s completely lost control of the situation. Someone get the popcorn and let’s all watch the schadenfreude.

Oh fuck, they sold out of popcorn.

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Clamsplainer: Market Basket’s Storied History of Crazy

Most of you are probably aware, unless you live under a rock or in West Gloucester (same difference), that there’s some upheaval going on at our beloved local discount grocery chain. But why, you ask? OH, LET’S DISSECT THIS SHIT. It’s a soap opera of epic fucking proportions. IT’S GOING TO TAKE TWO FUCKING DAYS. FASTEN YOUR SEATBELTS AND CRACK OPEN A BEER OR EIGHT.

Back in my first Business Law class (I actually graduated from college with a business degree, to the surprise of myself and everyone around me), discussing the Demoulas case took up more than one full week of class. And this was years before this current drama. At the end, half the class still walked out whispering “what the fuck even happened? Is there some kind of elaborate flowchart regarding this case? Where do JFK and the stripper fit in?

Let’s turn the Clam Time Machine back to 1916 to start this bullshit off, shall we? So back then, a Greek immigrant named Athanasios “Arthur” Demoulas and his wife start a tiny grocery in Lowell selling fresh lamb. American dream, y’all!

 

O.G. Demoulas store, Lowell.

“Native Lamb” was the metal band I played bass for in high school, coincidentally.

 

They do this forever, and being a family business eventually pass it off to two of their sons Telemachus (or Mike, because no one can pronounce Telemachus) and George.  The brothers expand the business to a supermarket chain of more than a dozen stores in the 50s and 60s. It’s going well, right? Until George dies of a heart attack on vacation in Greece in 1971. Then shit starts getting real.

Mike (left) and George (right), before shit hits the fan.

Mike (left) and George (right). Notice no one has changed the floor design in a Market Basket since 1956. Not pictured: Sawdust.

Mike now owns this huge empire. And although the brothers had promised to take care of each others’ families in the event one of them died, Mike slowly went full asshole instead. Although at first he bought George’s widow and children things every kid loves, like condos and liquor stores, he eventually sneakily had them signing paperwork that gave himself more control of the company.

George’s family didn’t really have the business experience their father had, and trusted their uncle to handle things like he promised. Mike explained to George’s family that he had opened the Market Basket chain to circumvent the laws limiting liquor licenses to one company. He had George’s widow removed from the board of directors over her involvement with another man. Eventually, he left George’s family with a fucking pittance compared to what the chain’s worth should have been at that point – by moving assets into secondary companies owned by only his side of the family (including Lee Drug, a chain he sold to Walgreens for major dollars).

Some Vintage Crazy

Some Vintage Crazy

In 1990, George’s family gets tax notices about their sale of company stock. This immediately sets off their bullshit detectors, because to their knowledge, they hadn’t sold any stock. So the family figures out what’s going on and sues Mike. It takes years and it’s an insane court battle worthy of a goddamn Lifetime special. Cousins punch each other in the back of courtrooms and eventually a state policeman has to be present at every hearing to limit the punchings. George’s son dies and family members are barred from the funeral. Six lawsuits span the 1990’s. Every lawyer in the state seemed to be involved – Mike’s family had 19 lawyers at one point involved with the case.

Someone paid a stripper to testify against her ex-boyfriend. A juror offered to change his decision if he was given $220,000. Two of the lawyers for Mike’s family, with the approval and knowledge of his son, Arthur T Demoulas, secretly tape record a law clerk saying incriminating things under the guise of a job interview to prove the judge overseeing the case has already decided the outcome prior to hearing the arguments and is prejudiced against Mike. The clerk finds out it’s a setup and the FBI gets involved. The clerk is wired. The lawyers -one a freakin’ former assistant US attorney, another a former advisor to JFK – say incriminating things themselves while wired.

Oh my god, my fucking head hurts trying to explain this because it can’t even be real, but it is. Two of the lawyers end up being disbarred at the end of the suit, and George’s family is successful: Mike is found to have defrauded them out of $500 MILLION and the judge forces 51% of the company to be turned over to George’s heirs. Is the Benny Hill theme playing in your head yet? Even while his assets were supposed to be frozen, Mike was subjected to another lawsuit after it was found that he’d diverted another $68M into his own holdings from mutual family holdings. You gotta admit, the guy’s got tenacity.

Tomorrow: I’ll explain what this convoluted-as-fuck backstory has to do with why the Basket has no fucking produce this week. It’s just as nutty. I guarantee it. 

Also: RSVP NOW FOR CLAM NIGHT AUG 2!  Pizza, fun, and satire blogging at its best.

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No Snark Sunday: What the Hell, Gordon?

Here’s a thing: We signed our daughter Rebecca up for soccer camp months ago at the Gordon summer program. Someone asked me, “What’s Bec doing for camp this week, and I said, “She’s off doing soccer at Gordon”.

“Oh. Gordon. Really? You support that place?” This was not a crazy activist, this was just a ‘normal’ person. I’ve gotten a similar responses from others:  “Hope they don’t give out t-shirts, you don’t want to be caught in one of those,” and “How do you take the gay out of Soccer? I thought that whole sport was gay” (funny).

Way to go Gordon college President D. Michael Lindsay. You just created controversy about where I send my Jewish daughter to soccer camp (which we’d signed up for months ago). You have created an association between the products your organization offers and intolerance. You may be, by certain metrics, a good evangelical Christian (but not a good Christian as Jesus stayed off the topic of sex and stuck to things like the poor) but, dork suit notwithstanding,  you are a shitty businessman.

Only buys his suits from straight people.

Only buys his suits from straight people.

When we first came to Gloucester back in the early ‘90s only a couple of years out of college ourselves, we were struck by something odd about the Gordon folks we met around town: They were all super nice and profoundly dedicated people. Not one of them preached at us. We wound up connected to them unexpectedly because we cared about the same things: the co-op, arts in town, education, the outdoors and the environment. It was odd because we expected them to speak in tongues, shout at us about how we were going to Hell and handle snakes and stuff. It turns out we were the ones who had incorrect preconceptions.

I wound up taking a job traveling all over the country and later the world building ropes courses and climbing towers for Project Adventure, which at the time was right next to Gordon. The job meant going out in a huge truck full of gear to remote locations with one other person who you’d bunk with in some pretty dicey situations. It was hard work a hundred feet in the air in all kinds of weather conditions, sometimes having to hump in gear and equipment over rugged terrain. You had to pick your assistant well as the work was dangerous and you were together 24 hours a day for weeks on end.

I would put dibs on any Gordon folks who applied over a regular construction dude, even if that guy had crazy mad building skills and the Gordon grad had none. Because the Gordon kids would be interesting to talk to on 12+ hour drives and they wouldn’t want to go to strip clubs, which I generally find depressing (though I’m not morally opposed to them). The Gordon folks wouldn’t want to listen to Howard Stern on the truck radio (again, I’m not morally opposed to him, I just don’t find him funny) like a lot of dudes and most importantly they were universally up for challenges and adversity of which there was an endless supply. Being with Gordon students and grads in that capacity turned me into a believer, not of Christianity, but in the quality of people being turned out by that organization.

Gordon graduates and students contribute immensely to the blooming cultural scene here in Gloucester. Art Haven, the Shakespeare production at East Gloucester Elementary a few years ago, much of the theatre in the Elementary schools and otherwise around town: all due to incredibly talented and dedicated Gordon people. They were not just filling existing roles but actively starting arts programs that did not previously exist. We secular and non-Christian parents in this town owe them a great debt.

The same goes for your beloved The Clam, some of the new hilarious and insightful clamtributors hail from Gordon. As I said before, Gordon students think about things in a bigger, deeper way and from unique perspectives. Some of them are even funny. On top of that we personally know Gordon graduates who are gay. YES GAY! GAYER THAN CHRISTMAS MORNING! We know Gordon graduates who are non-believers. SHOCKED INHALE! Yes, people from Christian colleges can too look around and say, “You know, even though I’ve been taught all this stuff, I just am not sure if some dude goes around sneezing out universes for kicks and then hangs back while people get holocausted but is at the same time totes pissed at homos”. We have dear Gordon friends rediscovering their Jewish identities. The Gordon people we have met are by no means monolithic or intolerant by any stretch, in fact quite the opposite.

The closest college to my home has never given me what I thought I really wanted: ironic stores, an indie music scene, crap bars, cheap street-food restaurants and the ability to take esoteric adult ed courses like, “The Mysteries of Tibetan Shoemaking”. But I’ve learned to settle on the graduates Gordon produces being wildly positive for my family and community.

Hampshire degree now more legit than one issued by Gordon

Hampshire degree now more legit than one issued by Gordon

But now, ‘D’ Michael Lindsay (The ‘D’ is for “Douchewagon”) has taken a massive turd on every Gordon diploma ever issued. Now, my Gordon graduate friends, every time you apply for a job or someone reviews your CV a vast majority (especially in this region) are going to see ‘Gordon’ and have some bile appear in their mouths. You’re going to spend the rest of your life explaining that shit.  At least Penn State grads can assure employers that it was not the official policy of the school to shelter Jerry Sandusky, it was just an athletic program allowed to run wildly amuck (which was, in fact, official policy). Not so with Gordon- this is an official action by the president assumedly with the support of the board and, weirdly, the president of Catholic Charities and the increasingly creepy pastor Rick Warren.

Straight-as-an-arrow Rick Warren eats a scrumptious dessert.

Straight-as-an-arrow Rick Warren eats a scrumptious dessert.

We are not lawyers at The Clam by any stretch, but we think you should sue that dude. You paid thousands upon thousands of dollars for a diploma that he just significantly reduced the value of in the job market. It would be as if the CEO of Ford decided to rename the F-150  “The Hitler Hauler”  You think the stockholders wouldn’t rebel? Stockholders obviously have a different set of rights than degree holders, but you paid for a brand that he is reducing the value of measurably. Legal readers, go put on your magic suspenders and wing tips and weigh in here.

What depresses me most about this thing is the good I’ve seen done in Gloucester by having Gordon people involved, now saddled to a brand of intolerance. You deserve better, Gloucester Gordon folks. Much better. Maybe you guys could all get together and figure out statement you can put on your resume after the  asterisk next to your Alma Mater. It sucks, but that might be your best option. Whatever you wind up doing I’m guessing it will be thoughtful and well executed, as everything you guys do tends to be.

Now I just gotta figure out how I’m going to explain this to FIFA when Rebecca makes it big.

 

Note: The “Hitler Hauler” joke was actually a historical reference, not a Goodwin. Google ‘Hitler and Henry Ford.”  Henry Ford was incredibly anti-semetic and is the only American mentioned in Mein Kampf. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Ford

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What’s in a name?

Today’s guest post is from Adam Kuhlmann who explores the Gloucester businessscape if it were freed from the shackles of context.

Tony Tally’s Petroleum World 27 Maplewood Avenue

What it is:

A full-service gas and vehicle inspection station, consisting of four pumps and a repair bay, owned by the patriarch of the Taliadoros family

What it sounds like: 

Michael Bay takes his kids to the amusement park

Michael Bay takes his kids to the Shore

A garish amusement park, endorsed by a NASCAR champion and underwritten by the Saudi royal family, celebrating the wonders of gasoline and related hydrocarbons.  Visitors can seek thrills on a variety of attractions, including Frack Mountain and The Kerosene River, as long as they adhere to the park’s strict no-smoking policy.

Nails Club 50 Maplewood Avenue

 What it is:

A beauty salon staffed by brisk, efficient technicians offering little conversation and a basic pedi for just $26.00.

What it sounds like:

A Berlin discotheque, specializing in a genre of trance music punctuated by the sounds of a construction site.

DJ Safetybarrel rips it, ja?

DJ Safetybarrel rips it, ja?

The Mexican Touch 185 Washington Street

 What it is:

 A take-out restaurant whose frugal menu includes burritos, empanadas, quesadillas, and—claro que sí—Black Forest cake

What it sounds like:

 A storefront in Tijuana that you hustled your kids past, after a fellow in rhinestone chaps tried to lure them inside to take a peek at his burro.

DO NOT look this up on Urban Dictionary...oops, there you go. Suit yourself

DO NOT look this up on Urban Dictionary…oops, there you go. Suit yourself

G33K 130 Main Street

 What it is:

A retailer of every type of game and game accessory, including costumes of Xbox characters immediately recognizable by the palest 1% of the population

What it sounds like: 

An internet start-up that, in an ill-conceived attempt to summon disruptive innovation, you enlisted your 16-month-old niece to brand.  Clutching your tablet computer in her sticky hands, she swatted at these four characters.

A cat would have also worked for this gag

A cat would have also worked for this gag

Raf’s Bait Wagon Transient

What it is:

A gentleman with a handlebar mustache who has modified his weather-beaten van so that he can cut, store, sell, and advertise fresh herring

What it sounds like:

See above.

Pretty much

Pretty much

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Why the Goat, a Clamsplanation by Stevens Brosnihan

Once again, the Clamticians have implored me to delve into the viscera of my creative faculties to expose an aspect of reality best explored via the unshackled mode of the visual arts. Today I am departing from my usual format and medium in an effort to expand modalities while at the same time embracing the lure of the literal.

Evidently, Clamedia International LTD is receiving an unprecedented number of angry and/or perplexed demands for an explanation as to why we have chosen a member of genus Capra (see below)

gclam

as opposed to Crassostrea (or phylum mollusca for that matter) to represent our corporate identity.

4504189378_7e8844b8f2_o

To be honest, we are all at a loss for words. We had an excessively heated and disastrously long argument about how best to ‘explain’ to our dedicated readers the significance of our choice. We came to blows, but then, we always do at corporate functions.

After a shit-ton of Jello™ shots and a few peyote buttons, I managed to ‘phase out’ long enough to pen this missive. In an effort to dispel any misinterpretations, I will approach the solution to this complex mystery with a straightforward answer.

steve

Gloucester Gothic, Goat Simulator, 2014

Ever since Kline’s voyeuristic prequel to Warhol’s ongoing and self-proclaimed sham, the art world has mourned the death of the avant-garde. Serious, exuberant discourse has given way to the absurd and to a complete loss of cultural identity. Like the universe’s first milliseconds, we are in an age where matter(the object) and energy(critical thought) are interchangeable and unfocused. There have been repeated attempts to coalesce this dark matter into something bold and philosophically evolved, but the results thus far have only been a series of commodifiable, and predictably inscestuous hacks. The art world exists for its own sake alone.

Yves Kline happening, 1960

Yves Kline happening, 1960

Now, the deterministic nature of the image is counteracted by the mind’s inability to filter the synaptic misfirings we equate with the miasma of non-linear and inchoate, pre-determinate metaphors. It is a fugue state from which we can never recover. The Image is continuously replaced by facsimiles of itself, branching fractally through iterations of the real only to be undone by it’s own interconnectedness with space-time. In effect, the object becomes that which it is not by revealing its underlying false self, only to be reborn again as infinitely variable simulacra.

Grazing, Goat Simulator, 2014

Grazing, Goat Simulator, 2014

Cultural indifference to or complete unawareness of humor has it’s roots in fascism. The right has usurped the left by implementing the chauvinistic mechanisms of design and appropriating ontological realms hither-to associated with anarchic ideologies. Humor has the potential to disrupt our concept of what is true while simultaneously exposing reality subversively, operating on the audience’s preconceptions to [de]construct a new, accepted norm. The sheep, or goats as it were, are in wolves’ clothing, ideology is dead, and humor must prevail.

Ascension, Goat Simulator, 2014

Ascension, Goat Simulator, 2014

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