Saturday, February 07, 2004

Texas Justice

Charles McKinley—the dude from New York who last September shipped himself in a box to Dallas to save money on airfare—has finally been brought to justice: he was fined $1500 and put under house arrest. [via Gothamist] Even dim Yahoo! gets the joke: the hefty fine is 3-4 times more than the cost of a New York-Dallas r/t plane ticket would have been. If only Alanis had thought of this!

To me, the weirdest part of this whole seemingly-made-expressly-for-the-purpose-of-being-discussed-on-blogs news story is that the local media dubbed the guy "Charlie in a Box." I know it's Texas, but don't they realize that sounds like the punchline of some horrible racist joke? Charlie in a Box? Why not call him "Chinese Take-Out" or "Return to Sender: Go Home Gook" or something? And the dude's not even Asian! [UPDATE: Google reveals that "Charlie-in-the-Box" is actually a character from the CGI hack-job of a film Rudolph & The Island of Misfit Toys; doesn't make it any less racist, though.]

When I first heard the news about "Sticky Rice in a Bowl" or whatever his name is, the first thing that popped into my head was that creepy/captivating Velvet Underground song 'The Gift' (lyrics here), where Waldo Jeffers mails himself to his pill-popping girlfriend Marsha and her friend unknowingly plunges a pair of scissors through his head while trying to open the box. "Rhythmic arcs of red pulsated gently in the morning sun...." Oops! (Side note: the exact same accident—scissors through box—caused the gaping chest wound you all are always asking about on my beloved puffy jacket. But, uh, I wasn't wearing the jacket when it happened, duh.)

Speaking of the Velvets, the Film Archive is showing some VU-related films this month as part of its Andy Warhol film series. Sadly, I'll be missing the flick I was most curious about—A Symphony of Sound, in which the boys in blue pay a visit to Warhol's Factory to investigate a noise complaint made about the Velvets—but which is more exciting, really, seeing the Velvet Underground on poorly restored film or seeing The Shins live? Exactly.

Related: My favorite online widget: make your own online Warhol silkscreens—à la The Marilyns—at the Warhol Museum website.

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