November 26, 2014

Come to Laura June's Parent Rap post about giving a kid time alone for The Awl for the license it gives you to not spend every waking minute attached and focused on the kid. Stay for writing, and the emotional and developmental benefits the kid gets from having a little Me Time:

I know now from observing my daughter that she has acquired most of her basic skills while she is left alone, in the space of the early morning between waking and starting her day with me. I watched her struggle to roll over on the baby monitor. I watched her up on all fours, rocking back and forth ready to launch herself into a crawl. I have heard her mumbling to herself in her sleep: first, unintelligible sounds, then noises that are not words but that seem to be communications, but only with herself. She is figuring it out, and she is doing it, for a short period each morning, alone.
Though I swear when I opened this tab a couple of days ago, there was a baby monitor nightvision picture of a kid in a crib, and now it's a slug...

The Symbiote [theawl]

November 24, 2014


Here is a picture of Nirvana backstage at the 1993 MTV Video Music Awards, where RuPaul tries to deal with a fussy Frances Bean.

And here is an interview after Nirvana won Best Alternative Video where Kurt Cobain doesn't let FB have a cookie.

When we were shopping for baby announcements, we went back to the venerable Upper East Side stationery place who'd made our wedding invitations. The lady pulled out a box of examples that included a very tasteful announcement for Frances Bean Cobain. I've always wondered if it was real, or just a carefully crafted marketing prop. I guess I could tweet Courtney about it. [thx dt reader dean]

November 22, 2014


Last month Brendan McAleer found the Paris Auto Show full of awesome station wagons we will never get in the US of SUV. You'd think 10 would be enough.

But no. VW unveiled the 296-hp Golf R Wagon at the LA Auto Show, even though, supposedly, it will not be available in the US. Watch this space for the outraged tears of autobloggers.

Volkswagen Golf R is real [jalopnik]

November 21, 2014

The NYT has a thing about "What It Means To Be A Dad". It is essentially a pitch for the Dad Magazine tag on The Toast, disguised as a trend piece. That it does not mention Kindling Quarterly helps to mark the gestation period of dad self-awareness: a little under two years.

Generally, you really just do not start even conceiving of dadhood until you're in the business of conceiving. You just tune it all out. There were It Strollers and swaddling stories a year before you got someone pregnant, but you were happily oblivious to them. There were dads figuring shit out before you, too, but you don't relate. Your reference point is your own, your experience, and that includes your own childhood. Which includes, most likely and however it played out, your own experience and perception of your father.

Feeling like, being completely sure that, scarily, thrillingly aware that you are discovering and inventing parenthood as you go is an intrinsic part of the process. That's just how it is. If at some point you realize that we've all been reinventing this wheel of life since the beginning, great. But it's obviously not required.

What It Means To Be A Dad

Saw this today and was rather surprised. 90% seems pretty high; I would have thought the answer was 0%. The reality is probably somewhere in between. Do you take baths? Do you take more/any baths now that you give baths to a kid? Share your experience and thoughts about bathing in the comments!

What's that, the comments are disabled because of off-the-charts spam? That's alright, I really don't want to know more about your bathing habits anyway. Maybe you could just think about them on your own, perhaps while you're in the shower.

November 20, 2014

"Oh, you got a new kitchen sponge."

Said K2 with an offhand and chatty tone that sounded, not at all like a child, but like a work colleague, making banal and slightly awkward conversation with the recently promoted admin of the most boring office in the world.

November 15, 2014

Meaghan O'Connell's epic, unflinching, and hilarous account of her 30+hours of labor, the delivery saga, and the birth of her son Nameless is the longread of the week.

And if you think it's too long, just ask someone who's gone through labor for some sympathy. I'm sure they'll be glad to weigh in.

A Birth Story []

November 12, 2014


There's no third row of seats, and you probably can't haul too much plywood in it, but this coachbuilt 1990 Mercedes 560 SEL station wagon looks excellent. A quality build with attention to the lines, price no object. Except that, I do object to that price: EUR42,000? Really?


Mercedes-Benz 560 SEL KOMBI T-SHOOTING-BRAKE, EUR42,000 [?] [ via bringatrailer]


Canadian auto writer Brendan McAleer recently visited Dulles for a Virginia backroad test drive of the Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat.

The Hellcat is, what, Dodge's AMG? Dodge's Msport? Dodge's Hemi? Oh wait. Anyway, the Charger is a 4-door sedan outfitted with a 6.2L Hemi producing 707hp, and all the performance and trimmings that fit within that badboy aura.

This includes, incredibly, two booster seats, upholstered in matched saddle-stitch leather.

Which is surely a publicist stunt, the junket equivalent of hardwood flooring in the concept car at the auto show. I believe they were inspired by this unfortunate setup: a mis-matched booster seat in a Ferrari FF.

Those are just standard Graco Nautilus 3-in-1 car seats fitted with custom leather slipcovers. The skirt around the bottom seems to cover the car seat's plastic foot. The slipcovers look very well-made. If anyone ever sees anything remotely like this in a real-world Hellcat, please let us know

Get a non-leather Graco Nautilus 3-in-1 Car Seat for around $150 [amazon]
First Drive: 2015 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat [ via dt car guru dt]

November 8, 2014


Psycho high chair, qu'est ce que c'est?

The well-known heirs Paul Mellon & Bunny Lambert Mellon are both gone now, and Mrs Mellon's vast tracts of land and the art and antiques that filled their houses are all being sold off, with proceeds going to a foundation named after her parents. All well and good.

But seriously, what is going on with this high chair, which is coming from the Mellons' 2,000-acre race farm in Upperville, Virginia? The Sotheby's description calls it "A Louis XV Provincial" and dates it from the 18th/19th century, which is several decades better than Louis XV himself managed to do.

The point is, though, this thing is incredibly tall. At 64 inches, it's easily two feet taller than a normal modern high chair. And it's too tall for a standard bar. And that last step into the actual chair is a real stretch. Unless you all eat standing up, I just don't get it.

Nov. 21-3, Lot 956 | A Louis XV provincial fruitwood child's chair 18th/19th century, est. 400-600 [sothebys]


Oh man, other than maybe switching to Roman numerals, this is just about perfect. Carry on! [via twitter, @youhadonejob]

This article about a newspaper writer worrying whether he'll be as sexy as a movie star, a professional athlete, or a boy band member when he becomes a dad, reminds me of the joke about the guy who asks his doctor if he'll be able to play the piano after his operation: "Sure," the doctor says. "Great, because I couldn't play it before!"

Is this really progress, that the media's insecurity monetization machinery now targets men alongside women? You were apparently sexy enough to someone to have a kid, so maybe bank that and move on.

Are you a sexy dad? []


New Born Fame is a series of social media-enabled baby gear created by Laura Cornet for her graduation show at Eindhoven Design Academy. It went viral during Dutch Design Week.

Though kid-free herself, Cornet studied the steady stream of newborns popping up in her Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook streams, and wondered what the kids themselves might have to say about it [Nothing! They're babies! Ha. Oh wait.]

So she figured out how to empower kids to upload their own photos and videos, by equipping crib toys with motion- and play-activated cameras that automatically post to social media platforms. A ball logs its GPS coordinates whenever it's squeezed, and a pair of booties post their motion logs [which go nowhere, right? Kid can't crawl?]

From Dezeen:

The tools aim to plainly demonstrate that an infant has no idea that it is providing information about itself to an audience, in the same way as when a parent does it for them.

"If you show it like this, people say: 'the baby doesn't know what he's doing, it is awful that it just puts everything online'. But when a mother does the same thing, it is suddenly accepted; while the baby has no say in that."

From before the kid was born, back when the only thing we thought we had to worry about was her Google results, we've kept our kids out of our public online spaces and social media networks. We're right at the cusp of where our older kid is thinking of venturing into the world herself. So alongside Cornet's study subject, kids "brought up by parents who grew up with Facebook," we turn out to have the rare kids brought up away from Facebook. i feel like a control group in Cornet's little experiment.

Laura Cornet | New Born Fame []
Interactive Soft Toys Let Babies Post To Facebook [dezeen]

November 4, 2014

It's been a week. Has this been solved? Are all the bacteria-laden store label wipes cleared from the shelves and diaper bags of America?

Last week Nutek Disposables, a private label wipe manufacturer for stores from Walgreens and Sam's Club to, recalled basically all the wipes it's made because discolored, smelly, and generally nasty-sounding packages were reported that contained Burkholderia cepacia (B. cepacia), which might pose a pneumonia or infection risk to certain folks.

This awesome sentence comes from the FDA's recall announcement:

After some additional lots were tested, as a precautionary measure, Nutek believed it was a prudent decision to withdraw all its baby wipe products.
Collect'em all!

Details of the affected retailers and at-risk populations are at

For future reference, the Burkholderia cepacia complex of pathogens includes 18 different species of bacteria and is linked to both onion skin rot and lung failure in cystic fibrosis. It's named after Walter Burkholder, the Cornell phytopathologist who identified the bacteria in 1949.

Nutek Disposables, Inc. Issues Alert Due to Potential Bacteria in Baby Wipes [ via dt guru dt]


October 31, 2014


In the case of Ruth Baby Ginsburg vs. every other baby Halloween costume in existence, the Court rules unanimously in favor of the plaintiff. There is no dissent. [via dt neighbor sarah]

October 29, 2014


In the great green room,
there was a telephone
and a Rolling Stone
snorting out of a spoon

As befits any Goodnight Moon parody about Keith Moon, this one turns NSFBedtime. And some of the rhymes do make one wonder if anyone at Rolling Stone has actually read Goodnight Moon. But it exists, and that's enough.

And it leaves a lot of good lines on the table [heh] for the future creators of Goodnight Keith Moon. So there's hope.

Goodnight Spoon | Keith Richards' Lost Kiddie Classic [rollingstone]

October 28, 2014

Launa Hall, a Pre-K teacher in Northern Virginia, writes in the Washington Post about lockdown drills. There will be a longterm psychological, emotional, and political price for these lockdowns, what Hall calls, with righteous outrage, "rehearsing our deaths," and it will be paid by our children.

Rehearsing for death: A pre-K teacher on the trouble with lockdown drills [washpost]


Not everything was better in the old days. Take parody book marketing campaigns, for instance.

"The Tripe Council was originally known as The Tripe Industry Development Council and, briefly, the British Tripe Council." []

October 24, 2014


A is for Activist is the alphabet boardbook "for the unflinching progressive with a child/children in your life." And by now, I assume he or she already has it. So now we'd like to open it up to the wishy-washier progressives, the progressive-curious, and occasional recyclers and Prius admirers of all stripes. A is for Activist will give your kid the foundation she needs to work for social justice and a sustainable, habitable planet, while you shop your way back from the edge of revolution.


And now it's available in Spanish! A de Activista has just been released, and it looks like a libro fabuloso. Buy it directly from the independent publisher who took a chance on it; locate an indie bookstore who carries it; or be a complete and utter capitalist by ordering it from Amazon. For a tiny kickback we'll keep our mouths shut!

A is for Activist, by Innosanto Nagara [ via bitch]
A de Activista, Un libro del alfabeto para los niños del 99% []
New Book "A de Activista" Teaches Activism Along With the Spanish ABCs [bitchmagazine]


Interesting. Here is a 2000 BMW E39 540i Touring, which has undergone an M5 conversion. It has the M 6-speed manual transmission, M brakes, hella dropped springs, cambered rear wheels, wait wait, I think we got off track here.

Anyway, $18,000 or trade for an air-cooled 911. And it's already in Portland. Sounds like a perfect scenario for a new dad looking for a family hauler/tuning project.

2000 BMW Touring M5 Conversion - $18000 (Portland) [craigslist via the healthy debaters at bring a trailer]


Evenflo has recalled over 202,000 Embrace 35 rear-facing infant carriers, which were manufactured between Dec. 2011 and May 2013. See the affected model numbers at Evenflo's site.

The carriers are still safe, crash-wise, but the buckles and harnesses become sticky and hard to open when covered with food and stuff, and that slowness can pose a safety hazard. So they're sending out replacement harness kits, which you install yourself.

Also, think about cleaning the car seat once in a while; it's disgusting. If you're in an accident, no one really cares if you're wearing fresh underwear, but investigators are going to see all the encrusted goo and crumbs and cheerios and crap all over and under the kid's car seat.

Evenflo Embrace 35 Harness Buckle Recall [ via]

Facebook has removed images of a couple of women giving birth and temporarily banned the group that posted them, the Postive Birth Movement. But not to worry, The Guardian is on the story, and has the pictures ready and waiting for your thoughtful consideration.

One shows a woman kneeling, and if you look real close, there's a nipple in there, so obviously THAT'S out.

The other shows a woman with extensive henna tattoos on her belly delivering her kid right into her own hands, underwater. It really is an impressive sight, also yeah, never gonna fly on FB.

It's too bad there is no internet left where people could post useful, informative stuff like this.

By removing photos of childbirth, Facebook is censoring powerful female images [theguardian]

October 23, 2014

October 22, 2014

The Norwegians-in-Brooklyn architecutre firm Snohetta are doing the new SFMOMA building. So when the museum leaned on them to donate work to a fundraising auction last year, they put up a dollhouse.

It is an insane, psychedelic wunderkammer of a dollhouse, overloaded with decoration and lasercut pattern like a Facebook acquihire billionaire's gingerbread Victorian, which is probably exactly who it was targeting. [The estimate for the house, one of two made, was $15-25,000. No word on the final take, but it was certainly the cheapest house sold in San Francisco since 2000.]

Anyway, in the Vine above, Snohetta partner Craig Dykers demonstrates how to open the dollhouse by just--wow, just a couple of fingers, and it splits wide open in some staggered, mysterious, asymmetrical and perhaps allusive way, delivering up the miniaturized wonder hidden inside.


Here it is in its more sedate, closed state on the architects' website: 74 - Bloomberry Dollhouse. First created for a children's hospital charity auction. Those exposed joists and complex interior bring to mind the Serpentine Pavilion from 2007. There are additional interior shots, but me, I can't stop staring at that Vine.

Snohetta Dollhouse, 2012, est. $15,000 - 25,000 []
74 - Bloomberry Dollhouse [, thanks dt reader erik for the suggestive]

October 21, 2014

A new Marcel the Shell video has appeared, just in time to promote the release of Jenny Slate and Dean Fleischer-Camp's new Marcel book, The Most Surprised I've Ever Been. This kind of marketing synergy works, though it would work better if they had a video every week instead of every 18 months. No pressure.

Also, this Marcel video turns it up a notch, language-wise: does anyone have a favorite kid-size explanation for what "BS" stands for?

Buy Marcel the Shell: The Most Surprised I've Ever Been at Amazon for around $12 [amazon]

October 20, 2014


Halloween costume production has kicked into high gear around the DTHQ; ideas were locked down weeks ago, followed by concept, design and shopping, and this weekend, sewing/construction. [Legolas and a poofy ballerina witch, btw.]

But the point is, this is not a competition, and you still have plenty of time to pull a rockin' costume together. For example, if you have access to a pile of recycling, you could dress the kid up as a Dutch street urchin, like this happy trio shot by Ed van der Elsken in 1961. The photo was taken on

Van der Elsken's apparently iconic 1984 book of postwar Dutch street photography, Amsterdam!, was republished earlier this year, and the Municipal Archive of Amsterdam held an exhibition of vintage prints, Ed van der Elsken Oude Fotos, 1947-70, which just closed.

Ed van der Elsken Oude Fotos, 1947-70 []
Buy the new English reissue of Ed Van Der Elsken - Amsterdam! at Amazon [amazon]


Wow, as if the royals weren't weird enough. Here is a brooch made in 1847 from the baby tooth of Princess Victoria, the 7-yo daughter of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. The princess's dad pulled the tooth during a trip to Scotland, so they made it into a gold & enamel thistle. As one apparently does. Or did.

The full story of the brooch, which was only made public in the last few years, is at Two Nerdy History Girls. [ thx dt reader tina]

Tweeters who liked @HonestToddler and @JennyHolzerMom also liked @LosFelizDayCare:

I'd go ahead and declare LFDC the equal of these other two Twitter accounts, but I feel the inclusion of so many names detracts a bit from the vérité. On the other hand, as a combination Twitter parody/Southland baby name generator, @LosFelizDayCare is in a class by itself. [via LAist]

October 18, 2014

Pollock, Bench, Child, 1959, Hans Haacke

Hans Haacke was an art student in Kassel when Documenta 2 opened in 1959, and he decided to "document Documenta" with his camera. His series of photos were included by Open Eye in the 2014 Liverpool Biennial, which closes tomorrow.

Not All Documents Are Records: Photographing Exhibitions as an Art Form []

October 17, 2014

Here's Robert Duvall talking about his new movie, Wild Horses, which he directed:

Matthew McConaughey's nephew, Miller Lyte McConaughey, is 8 years old, and he's terrific in it. He has that wacko streak that that whole family has.
Robert Duvall is not sick of talking about The Godfather [nyt]

October 16, 2014


I don't care if I take heat for it, I'll tell you right now: I'm generally opposed to child labor AND communism.

That said, kids back then sure knew how to dress. Check out the awesome pattern matching in this 1925-6 portrait of our littlest comrade, Varvara Rodchenko, the daughter of pioneering Constructivist artists Alexander Rodchenko and Varvara Stepanova.


And the jacket on this 10-year-old newsy Lewis Hines photographed in the 1910s has that slightly rumpled, artisanal look that no machine today could produce. Probably because it was sewn by a child. Which is bad! Don't get me wrong.

Oct 17, 2014, Lot 21 | Lewis Hine, 7 photos of children, est. $3500-4500 []
Oct 17, 2014, Lot 41 | Alexander Rodchenko, portrait of daughter Varvara, est. $7-10,000]

October 15, 2014

those curling parent pants! image:

I think my favorite thing about this NYT column about how parents around the world1 need to step back and take a little me-time, and save themselves and their kids from the perils of overparenting, is the message.

My second favorite thing is learning that in Norway, helicopter parents are called "curling parents," because they "frantically scrub the ice to let a stone glide across it." It's also probably the dad pants. Just a guess.

A Cure for Hyper-Parenting [nyt]
1 Except France, apparently, where parents sit around drinking government-funded espressos and laugh at our American EE-pair-parenting ways.

October 14, 2014


Oh hai, blogger here! Long weekend! I hope it's not too late for us all to feel woefully inadequate about our kids' Halloween costumes.


Because over at Sparkfun, guestblogger dad Aidan Chopra has written about making a motorized WWII-era Grumman F4F-4 fighter plane for his 2yo son in Sketchup out of lasercut cardboard. And he shows you how to do it all, in 45 easy-to-follow steps! Maybe there are 48? I don't even know! We're changing our costumes this year to ghost-from-an-old-sheet!

Modeling a laser-cut Halloween costume [sparkfun via swiss-miss]

October 9, 2014


Bathing Ape's in that awkward phase of a brand's life, when it's totally played out, but before the revival. I guess NIGO® couldn't wait for his resurgence, or maybe he worried it'd never come, and if it didn't his dream of having a giant, Warhol-style blockbuster auction extravaganza at Sotheby's where people go bonkers over his cookie jar collection and marvel at his incredibly refined, diverse, and prescient taste, might never materialize.

Which is why he unloaded his merch on Tuesday in Hong Kong. Basically, he collected Eames and Prouvé, like everybody else. And Murakami. And Kaws. And some Louis Vuitton, both vintage and custom. And yes, there were cookie jars, and Star Wars figurines, mint-in-box.


Surprising to me, though, were these two kid-related items. The Isamu Noguchi Radio Nurse baby monitor is a design classic, of course, with Japanese heritage, and the speaker does resemble Darth Vader. So sure. It sold for just $30,000HK, or $3900 US, which seems like a good deal for a compete example with it's original box. No NIGO® premium here.


This painted Infant Poster by KAWS, on the other hand, did go nuts. There's no date, but KAWS has been painting and drawing on top of these stock photos of babies since at least 2000. They were a staple at KAWS' Tokyo BAPE shop Original Fake which opened in 2006 and closed last year. [A couple of overdrawn prints are available here.]

Though an Infant Print screenprint (ed. 50) sold for $2500 a few years ago, Sotheby's HK had a low, $HK10-15,000 ($1200-1900US) estimate on this unique, multibaby poster. Which ended up going for $HK275,000 ($35,500US).

Sounds like the KAWS brand is still going strong, at least in Hong Kong's blingier nurseries.

Lot 53 | Isamu Noguchi RADIO NURSE BABY MONITOR WITH GUARDIAN EAR, est. $HK30-40,000, sold $HK30,000 [sothebys]
Lot 91 | KAWS, BABY POSTER, est $HK10-15,000, sold $HK275,000 [sothebys]
NIGO® Only Lives Twice, Oct. 7, 2014 [sothebys]

October 8, 2014


The pushbike space has been looking pretty stable lately, with the OG German plywood Like-a-Bike being rather completely surrounded with Chinese knockoffs in dozens of variations. Hundreds, even.

But this is pretty interesting. It's the Ace Bike from Japanese cycling brand Doppelganger. And it has three adjustable saddle heights, from 28-41cm, and two handle heights, 44-47cm. I think it's pretty ingenious, and it helps squeeze out a few more months or a year from the bike, which can help your kid get ready for pedals.

Unfortunately, the Ace Ride is also plastic. Heavy duty, recyclable plastic, sure, but still plastic. Maybe that doesn't matter. Maybe it's fine. For me, for JPY9,000, I'm happy just watching this animated gif, but you might need a little more.

Doppelganger Ace Bike in RD or BK, 9,000円, available in various Japanese bike shops [ via gizmodo, thanks dt reader rolf]

October 7, 2014

OK, let's face facts: the report of the 4-yo boy in New Jersey who died of Enterovirus 68 in his sleep after not seeming that sick at bedtime is pure parental terror.

I found myself not even able to recap the story to my wife at lunch today without choking up. Then I went to wash my hands.

And if ever there were a flu season where everyone, especially kids and those around them, should be vigilant about washing their hands, it's this one. When there's an especially powerful virus circulating, that potentially comes with a chaser of debilitating neurological injuries, and that hits toddlers and the tiny especially hard.

And yet the rules for avoiding flu and cold transmission apply, and are currently the most immediately effective prevention strategy. So let's not wait til a weekend to start this freakout; let's begin now, and we can end, oh, let's say we end in June? Is June good for you?

After Death of New Jersey Boy From Enterovirus 68, Worry Grows Among Parents [nyt]

October 3, 2014


We've seen this sort of thing before. In order to drive more consumption, to expand the brand, to capture new "eating occasions," and to hold onto linear feet of shelf space in grocery stores, cracker people introduce a whole range of flavors and variations. It's happened to the Triscuits. And the Wheat Thins. And the WHHeat Thins.

We've seen this other sort of thing before, too. In order to get peoples' attention, to break through their zombie walk down the aisle, to get them to change their expectations and their buying habits, snack people introduce all sorts of "limited edition" flavors. It's happened to chips. It has happened to Oreos. Oh, how it has happened to Oreos.

Now these two inter-related trends have collided in a most inexplicable and unfortunate place: Pepperidge Farm Goldfish. Crackers for toddlers. Which now, for the moment, for a limited time, comes in Flavor Blasted Zingy Chili Lime flavor.

They are dusty and spicy, spicy enough to make a small child spit them out and cry in bewildered pain. [Ask me how I know!] What a mess, whose idea is this?

Goldfish are not nostalgia food. They are not sugared cereal, the kind of thing college students and hipsters consume out of kidult-ish retro irony. [Are they? Where is this data, where is this focus grouping? Where is the proud agency rep crowing, "When we interviewed people about Wheat Thins Goldfish, they used words like 'I want to marry them,' and, 'If you take them away, I'll die."? I have not heard of this campaign. Maybe because it does not exist? Who is interviewing Pepperidge Farm brand managers? I Google these things and I only find myself, which is always a bad sign.]

But this is the point: Goldfish are for small children. These crazy spicy flavors of Goldfish are for the people who buy Goldfish [but who don't run preschools or daycares]. These Goldfish are for parents. They are meant to be a Treat For You™ while you're doing your job. Of buying crackers for your kid. They are like the in-jokes and celebrity cameos on Sesame Street, a reward for parents who take the time to watch the show with their kids.

In any case, they're so inappropriate for small children, I had to eat them all myself.

UPDATE: OR maybe they're for teenagers and Latinos. According to this transcript of a Summer 2013 analysts call from Campbell Soup [CPB], "Today's American teens are the Goldfish Generation. They were young children when we brought our mascot, Finn, to life and began investing to make Goldfish a powerhouse brand." Also, "We also know that Hispanic consumers broadly enjoy Goldfish crackers and we are working to strengthen that connection with flavors such as Queso Fiesta and Kick-it-Up-a-Nacho." Which, ay caramba.

October 2, 2014

Mazeltov, though I hope you didn't sign away the kid's naming rights completely. Should be worth more than a freakin' iPad.

via someone on Twitter, I have no idea rn.

September 29, 2014

Donald Judd, Galvanized Iron 17 January 1973,, acquired 1979

A few years ago I was on a panel at an art fair in Rotterdam. Museums across the city stayed open all night, so we went to the Boijmans Van Beuningen, which was packed. Around 11:30, we saw a bunch of of 20yo-something kids in a drum circle around the museum's row of galvanized steel Donald Judd boxes [above], just beatin' and slappin' away on those things. There was a guard in the corner, and when I went and asked her why she wasn't stopping them, she shrugged and said, what can I do?

So all fired up, I went upstairs to the front desk, and explained what was going on, and that it had to stop, and finally I demanded a curator be notified, and they were like, "It's 11:30 on Saturday night." And so I said, I am from the Museum of Modern Art, get someone to stop this now." [I was the co-chair of a collector's group at the time, so anyway.] They located the museum director, who was in the building, and they ended up closing several of the lower galleries for the rest of the night. Which, I felt kind of like a dick, but seriously, people, stop beating on the artwork.


Over the weekend I stumbled across this picture from Michiel Morel, an art consultant in The Hague. He'd written about the powerful impression Judd's work left on him and his kids during a 1980 visit to the Kröller-Müller Museum. The Kröller-Müller had just installed their room-filling set of six Judd plywood boxes, and Morel's kids loved it:

Such anti-hierarchical art such as Donald Judd described himself Minimal Art, challenges children. And so they stood against the grain explore. Racing on through space and Judd's sculpture. As their position is changed, they saw again and other portions of the boxes, but without being able to oversee the whole. Irreverent and possibly banned, but rendered their past and through the collective boxes, added something to their own perception. [google translate, obv]
So here's a museum executive setting his kids loose in another museum's new "anti-hierarchical" plywood sculptures, even though he knew it was "possibly [hah] banned." Those kids grew up into the drumbeating Dutch hippies I shut down in Rotterdam. It's how they were raised. The whole country.

Dutch museums bought Minimalism when it was new, cheap and unloved. When it didn't need conserving; when it actually flew in the face of the very idea of conservation. They bought into the idea that Judd's materials were industrial, and hence, replaceable, if not indestructible. That, or the Dutch are raising generations of cultural philistines and barbarians who don't know how to behave in museums.

Previously: Oh right, it's the English, too. Savages, a whole continentful of them, I tells ya


Christopher Wool took this photo of his 1991 painting RIOT installed in his collector's Los Angeles home in 1997. Which means that kid has already DJ'd at like three Coachellas by now.

Christopher Wool >> Images []

September 26, 2014


Look on my J. Crew cashmere baby sweater with a skull & halo knitted into it, ye shoppers, and despair
For if ye buy the wrong size,
ye are screwed, for
there is no return or exchange

On the bright side, there's an additional 30% off this weekend, so you could snag this thing for like fifty bucks, two thirds off the original, bonkers price.

Baby Cashmere Sweater in Halo Skull, was $145, now $74.99, and then some, all sizes from 0-24 months still showing available [ via dt reader ian]

September 25, 2014


This is extraordinary, and something of a mystery, at least to me.

John Chamberlain was best known for his abstract sculptures made from contorted car parts, but in the late 60s-1970, he also made an amazing series of foam sculptures. Most are wrapped and squished into shape, and held with cord; they look like improvisational gestures, whipped up in an instant like a rope-tied calf. They're also extremely fragile, and they degrade with sun and age. The Chinati Foundation in Marfa, Texas had a big show of Chamberlain's foam sculptures a few years ago.

The artist also used the same technique, plus giant flensing knives used to cut whale blubber, to carve foam blocks into loungy sofas, which he'd cover with army surplus silk parachutes. Here's a 22-min. video by Anton Perich of Chamberlain making a sofa in an apartment at the Dakota in 1970.


But I thought the foam furniture never went past the early 70s, and that it didn't go beyond sofas, either. So the existence of a piece called Cradle, dated from 1985, is hard for me to place. But there it is, looking like a giant dinner roll waiting to engulf some collector's small child. It also has a cover, which any baby, and any conservator, would appreciate. Of course, if I were to actually put a kid in there, I'd want that thing cut out a little deeper, but then I'd have a heart-attack-stricken conservator on my hands, so #decisions.

Oct. 12, 2014 Lot 324: John Chamberlain, Cradle, 1985, est. $10-20,000 [lamodern]
">Check out the catalogue of John Chamberlain: The Foam Sculptures at Amazon [amazon]

September 24, 2014


Kids! They just keep growing up.

The bunkbeds Richard Neutra designed in 1959 for the Singleton House in Bel-Air, which got ripped out by Vidal Sassoon's upgrade-mad wife, and sold in 2009, have apparently been outgrown, and are heading back to auction next month.

Amazingly, after five years, they look exactly the same, right down to the puppy. Those kids must must wear white gloves to bed. So yeah, get that condition report.

Oct 12, 2014: Lot 385 Richard Neutra Bunkbed, est. $5,000-7,000 [lamodern]
Previously: Good Price, Bad Karma: Richard Neutra Bunk Beds

September 22, 2014

Previously: Elmo Gangs of New York
Incarcerate Me Elmo

September 21, 2014

We sat the kids down and talked to them about spanking this week, and why we don't spank them, and why some parents--a lot of parents in the US--do. [Spank their own kids, obv, not ours.]

We explained that most people spanked because they were spanked. That when people become parents, they often follow the example they know best: their own parents. They ignore, or most likely don't know that research shows spanking doesn't work; it makes kids' problems and behaviors worse, not better.

They have heard each of us say we want to smack them, that we get so angry or frustrated or impatient sometimes, hitting feels like the only way to get those feelings out. But that we don't. We don't want to cause fear or pain, on purpose, to the people we love.

And we want them to make good choices for good reasons, not because we're bigger or stronger. And we believe that there are other ways to solve problems besides violence.

This is what we talked about with the kids. When I started writing this post, though, I'd planned on writing none of this, except the headline. Which is really what I'd say to parents.

The urge to hit your kid as punishment is fueled by your reaction, your perception, your emotion, your capacity, your desire to control. As parents we have a responsibility to be aware of ourselves, to be the grown-up in the relationship with our kids. And so before you smack your kid, you have the responsibility to acknowledge to yourself that you are going to smack him for you, not for him. And at that point, you should stop yourself and figure something else out.

This column by Charles Blow about spanking and abuse feels very important. This column by Jillian Keenan about spanking as a sex act, feels very disturbing, but if it makes you uncomfortable enough, or causes you to step back and question your intention to spanking your kid, then good. If that doesn't work, then read this weird trend piece on butts, too. Connect the dots, people.

UPDATE: DT reader Liz just sent along this essay from Jeb Lund, who contemplates becoming a father like his own, and all of his friends', and whether he can break the cycle.

On Spanking and Abuse [nytimes]
Spanking Is Great for Sex | Which is why it's grotesque for parenting. [slate via dt reader gabe]
For Posterior's Sake [nytimes]
Adrian Peterson and what our fathers did to us: we have not turned out fine []

September 19, 2014


By now everyone's read that Steve Jobs was a low-tech parent, and that none of the people who work in Silicon Valley let their kids have screen time during the week.

And now I'm like, well, at least Aphex Twin's kid doesn't use Garageband. Or pay for software:

Pitchfork: How has being a father changed you?

Richard D. James: You can't even begin to go into it. It's totally weird. They're like computer-programmed versions--clones--of yourself. They're making music now. My 5-year-old's made loads of totally insane music on his computer, and I'm just like, "What the fuck is that? What have I done to him?" He's using Renoise. I didn't tell him how to use it, he just downloaded a crack off Pirate Bay. Age 5! He set up a Bandcamp, and he's published some tracks on there. I've since showed him how to record his voice and stuff like that. I just can't believe that's what's happening.

It's in his DNA. The way they treat computers is just mindboggling to me. He's got quite an expensive Mac, and he just carries it around like [waves book in the air]. It's like part of his body, swinging off his arm. It's so weird. That's kind of what I was always dreaming about, in a way. Like a cyborg. We're almost there, aren't we. Halfway there.

Also, his kid came up with the name Syro. Now you know.

Strange Visitor: A Conversation With Aphex Twin [pitchfork via @martinlherbert]
Steve Jobs was a Low-Tech Parent [nyt]
Buy Syro, Aphex Twin's first album in 13 years, at Amazon [amazon]
image: Aphex Twin's "Come To Daddy," which is like freakout-level red right now

September 17, 2014


Seeing LAist's "favorite new Instagram account," DILFs of Disneyland, I was glad to see Bugaboo's still got some publicist product placement juice, at least with the older parents.

I also thought about the unsung heroes, the Disneyland dads who push strollers all day with one hand, while eating a giant turkey leg in the other. And I wondered who's 'gramming them? Where is their hashtag?

'DILFs Of Disneyland' Is Our Favorite New Instagram Account [laist via dt reader nathan]

September 16, 2014

Unidentified local tumblr subject has daughter.

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