Houston artist Robyn O'Neil is a serious player on the local scene — some critics like her work, some don't, but she's been exhibited at the Whitney Biennial so she must be doing something right.
She's described her most recent output, in the medium of graphite drawings, as "somber. They are about the end of the world."
So let's just say it was a little surprising to hear her on the Howard Stern show talking about sucking cocks and flashing her bra for an Internet audience.
O'Neil, by the way, no doubt hates the description in the preceding paragraph. In an e-mail to the Houston Press, she described the January 31 appearance as "an art lecture to three million Howard Stern listeners." The part about blow jobs and the bra flash? A mere few seconds out of a half-hour interview.
Stern, to us, is tediously consistent in interviewing female guests, especially when they are nice-looking like O'Neil. What you get is a lot of "you're hot" and slobbering descriptions of what Stern would like to do to you. Repeat ad nauseam.
So why go on the show?
It turns out O'Neil is a huge fan. She wrote in saying how she'd like to go out with Benjy Bronk, a writer who apparently is constantly mocked on the Sirius broadcast.
(O'Neil wouldn't answer our questions — or at least wouldn't before our deadline — but she told The Boston Globe, "I am simply the type of person who loves writing to TV shows, radio shows, grocery stores, J. Crew — anything I am interested in.")
Stern invited her on, O'Neil talked about her work and the subject eventually turned to Bronk. O'Neil admitted she'd like to give him a blow job, as well as giving one to Stern sidekick Artie Lange ("Since," according to the Stern Web site's official summary of that day's show, she says "she frequently thinks of him when she masturbates"). Hey, at least she turned down a request to masturbate on the air.
She also flashed her bra; the Stern show posted a still of the event to its Web site. O'Neil quickly asked them to remove it, but bloggers everywhere sent it around the web.
O'Neil told the Globe she's a private person. In her initial e-mail to us, she said, "I'd prefer nothing at all to be written, but I can't stop you from that. I'm just wanting this to die — in the art world. I like it living in Stern world, but not Texas art gossip."
Which doesn't really explain much, but she didn't respond to our follow-up questions.
Then again, we're probably too much of a bunch of philistines to understand the subtle nexus between somber art and blow-job talk on Howard Stern.
Speaking of the Houston fine-arts scene, there's news even gooder than artists flashing their breasts. The folks at Infernal Bridegroom Productions have reincarnated themselves.
IBP imploded last summer due to financial mismanagement (See Hair Balls, August 2, 2007). Now the group has re-formed as The Catastrophic Theatre.
Jason Nodler and Tamarie Cooper are leading the artistic side of the organization. As for the financial side — where some IBP donors are still sore over seeing their money be wasted — no one's saying much about the past.
"IBP is gone, along with its board, mission, performance venue and all other assets," says a formal statement issued by the usually decidedly informal Cooper. "The artists who collaborated there remain committed to working together and in Houston."
Hey, that's 0-for-2 this week in trying to get answers from artists. We're on a roll.
Take Your Time. Really.
Fort Bend ISD officials are fretting that their students aren't taking the TAKS test seriously enough. Most students just worry about passing it; scoring high doesn't mean much to them.
But it can mean something to the school district, so FBISD is offering some help. Now, freshmen and sophomores, not just upperclassmen, can get exempt from some finals for scoring high on the TAKS. Not to mention that on test days, school hours will be extending until 5 p.m.
Five in the afternoon? Do students really need nine hours to take the basic-skills test?
And what's it going to look like as those late hours roll around and there's only one or two kids left in the classroom, looking at a test that they apparently couldn't figure out in the first seven or eight hours of the day?
Might a teacher, worried about a bonus, surreptitiously indicate a correct answer or two in order to get things over with?
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We don't know. Apparently FBISD officials consider themselves artists. They, too, did not respond to a request for comment.
Everyone's so sensitive these days.
Brian McNamee, the trainer who says he injected all kinds of performance-enhancing drugs into Roger Clemens, has been getting slammed by the pitchers lawyers. So recently McNamee announced that he had in his possession syringes and gauze that Clemens had used seven or so years ago, all ready for DNA tests. To which our first thought was: Who the hell saves bloody syringes and gauze? Guess what we found on McNamee's Almost eBay profile?