Wednesday, April 30, 2008


It's a day before the '08 turkey opener and all the talk on the mountain is of candidate Obama's pastor Jeramiah Wright. Recent appearances on Bill Moyer's journal and as the keynote speaker at annual NAACP meeting has thrust the Rev. back into the spotlight. And with that the Obama campaign and every cracker in the holler is scrambling to put their 2 cents in.
I watched Rev. Wright field all Bill Moyer's soft balls without hardly bending over. He even threw in "hermenutics", a theological term meaning interpreting through a particular window- showing that scholarly side. I have to say that after all the angry "Black Man" sound bites, it was a welcome relief. The Rev. seemed alright. I could see him in his leopard skin pillbox hat and dashiki administering the oath of office to Barrack. Power to the people. Right on.
But then something happened. I have seen it happen so many times before. It's a by product of our "reality" driven society. Because of all the attention paid to Rev. Wright (becuase of his connection to Mr. Obama) he began to believe his own self importance. He was inflicted with Buttafucco syndrome. For the first time in his career he had a world audience and GODDAMMITT! he was not going to let this opportunity pass. The chickens HAVE come home to roost.
Now, finally, Obama is distancing himself from JW and his radical and devisive "Black Church" theology. Don't get me wrong. I like Wright. But I can see how he would be a millstone around the neck of our future President. Politically he has to put some distance there. It's like when Rap Brown designed those cod piece pants or Stokely started dealing crack. Hubris is not a pretty thing. Afterhours I think people (even Presidential candidates) should be able to hang with whomever they like. But as my old man always sez- you're known by the company you keep. Is Jimmy Swaggart still alive? Maybe it's time for Barrack to pick another church. I'd like to offer the LGM's services. Exegete that!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008



Monday, April 28, 2008



Saturday, April 26, 2008




Yesterday morning there was a fluff item on NPR concerning NYC real estate. In a overly cheery, old lady voice, the commentator mentioned that in the entire country real estate may be tanking, but not so in NYC. Her case in point was the recent sale of 800 sq.feet of storage space in the basement of the Dakota for the wopping sum of $800,000. Some hedge fund manager wanted to turn it into a gym. Now there's a building I know all too intimately.
The Dakota came into pop culture consciousness in the late sixties. It was the location for Roman Polanski's ROSEMARY'S BABY. While Charlie Manson's FAMILY was eviserating Roman's wife Sharon Tate, the Devil was stalking the Dakota's dark hallways. In the early 80's John and Yoko stepped out the front onto 72nd. St., on their way to dinner. Mark David Chapman stepped up and put a bullet in John. The Devil was back.
A decade later I got a job with Strasser and Assoc. as a carpenter. Many of our clients resided in the Dakota. At first it was kinda cool riding the elevator with Lauren Bacall or fixing Connie Chung's floor. But as in all things, as time wore on it became just another annoying place to scratch out a living in Manhattan. I was there when President Clinton visited Jane Rosenthal. Jane had just produced WAG THE DOG. Bill was still banging Monica Lewinski. I was there when Joe Namath's young wife Tatiana stole everything but the fireplace during their testy divorce. I had just built their daughter's bunk beds. Far as i know she couldn't get it out the front door. I was there when Yoko threw a shit fit because I said hi in the main elevator. "WHY ARE CAPENTERS RIDING IN THE ELEVATOR?" she bitched. I couldn't blame her for being rattled by dirt covered strangers. For the life of me I couldn't figure why she stayed in that evil place. Once I even had sex in a client's apt. (I won't mention with who) as the rest of the crew went for lunch. And I swear I caught sight of souless eyes peering out of a dark corner.
So after hearing the item on NPR I emailed Pete Strasser to see if he knew who bought the storage room, and if S&A had the job? Not five minutes later I got a phone call. "Mike? It's Pete." the voice said. "Pete?" I said into the phone. It didn't sound like Strasser. "Pete who?" I asked. "Burns." Pete Burns was another carpenter from the S&A crew. "Hey Pete. I just emailed Strasser. What's up?"
"Is this Mike So and So?" he asked. "It's Osterhout" I said. "Fuck I dialed the wrong number dude." We chatted for a couple of minutes. He told me he was now working for the Union. "Working for the Devil." I said. He grunted. Then he apologized for not calling for 10 years and possibly hurting my feelings. "But as I remember you don't have any." We left it at that.

Friday, April 25, 2008



Thursday, April 24, 2008


I live in Sullivan County, NY, an area known for its ramshackle bungalows, toy strewn Hassidic compounds and skull eyed Borst Belt hotel ruins. This is the man made landscape, nestled in some of the prettiest wild flower fields, sparkling lakes and winding back road ridges in the Northeast. Towns and villages like Monticello, Woodridge and South Fallsburg are even sadder testaments to lax building codes and lack of vision. The quaint factor (if there ever was one) has been torn down and bulldozed over years ago. Slack jawed hillbillys and stroller pushing women in bubushkas shuffle along these roads, eyes to the ground. Just over the bank lay busted TV sets, refridgerators and ancient, rusting farm equipment. For decades NO DUMPING signs might as well read DUMP HERE! But wait....I hear the sound of a truck with a bad muffler.
In these days of $4 per gal. gas, house forclosures and skyrocketing food prices, a new cottage industry has erupted. Scrap monkeys are everywhere. Along with rice and eggs, the price of metal has gone through the roof. An old wreck of a car that you couldn't give away a couple years ago, can now bring a couple hundred bucks. And in this trash strewn county, anyone with a pickup truck is mining the rust vein. Got a winch and a flatbed? You can get rich. A generational tradition of lazy litterbugs are turning green. Crap that has choked pristine streams for years, is being dragged up the bank and taken off to the scap hard for cold cash. In the process the entire county is being spruced up. Or rather partially cleaned. All the plastic and tires are left behind. No market yet for that.
It's interesting to see how over the years, some things that are thought to be previously worthless can develope cache. It's the free market at its best. Live long enough and the rust scrap heap of your life may be spotted in all that poison ivy and winched into the truck bed. Years ago when I was in a rock band, my rhythm section (always game for a prank) slipped Velvet Monkey guitarist Don Fleming some LSD without his knowledge. Poor Don never knew what hit him. But he played like never before, then went on to play with Sonic Youth and score Hollywood movies. What's this got to do with scrap metal? Absolutely nothing. Just thought I'd mention it. You never know when plastic and tires with be worth something.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


Monday, April 21, 2008



Thanks to the goodwill of honorary little brother Crissy, I am once again hooked up with a computer and able to blog. It's a foreign feeling PC, reminiscent of those motel coffee rooms at Days Inn, but what the hell, aside from the vacum cleaner sound that big box'll do.

When we last talked, NY gov. Spitzer was on the way out the door, tail tucked between his legs, after a 4K bareback ride and the snow had yet to melt. Now the grass is turning green and the daffodils are in full bloom. Spitzer is old news, food riots are raging across the globe, supermodel Morgane is in town to record a new album (most supermodels have side projects)and turkey season is less than two weeks away. I've been working hard out at WSSP and planning for a show of my work in Williamsburg. You heard right. I'm having a show. I feel it's my duty as an artist to show at least every 20 years. No, it's not in a gallery. No gallery would show me. It's at Marianna Louise's apt. 190 Grand st., opening June 7,2008- 8pm. This approach is much better suited to my difficult temperment and bitter attitude regarding the artworld.
It will take a little while for me to figure out this computer, get up to speed loading photos and hit my stride with with words. So bear with me. There's a lot we have to talk about,not the least of which is a world where Americans bitch over the cost of filling their SUVs, send their kids to expensive private schools, and cut up dollar bills to make art, while Haitians eat dirt. Stay tuned for more pictures of pretty girls in various stages of undress. It's good to be back.