Advertisement

Archive for Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Nonsense takes center stage as city honors art movement

Mayor proclaims International Dadaism Month during meeting Tuesday

December 28, 2005

Advertisement

For once, there can be no argument that nonsense was coming out of the Lawrence City Commission chambers.

Mayor Boog Highberger on Tuesday proclaimed International Dadaism Month, his self-created event designed to celebrate the early 20th-century art movement that embraced nonsense, chance and randomness.

Lawrence resident Eric Farnsworth, at the mayor's request, came to the morning meeting dressed in a paper suit and top hat - a replica of a suit worn by Dada founder and late German poet and author Hugo Ball - to accept the proclamation. He did so in typical Dada fashion.

"Speaking, as I am, as an impostor wearing a Hugo Ball suit, who doesn't know much of anything about Dada, I am pleased to accept this proclamation," Farnsworth said.

Highberger's fellow commissioners watched with a smile but didn't offer any remarks as part of the proclamation. They did take some cookies that Farnsworth handed out as part of the celebration.


Mayor Boog Highberger, right, on Tuesday proclaimed International Dadaism Month to celebrate the early 20th-century art movement that embraced nonsense, chance and randomness. Lawrence resident Eric Farnsworth, at the mayor's request, came to the morning meeting dressed in a paper suit and top hat - a replica of a suit worn by Dada founder and late German poet and author Hugo Ball - to accept the proclamation.

Mayor Boog Highberger, right, on Tuesday proclaimed International Dadaism Month to celebrate the early 20th-century art movement that embraced nonsense, chance and randomness. Lawrence resident Eric Farnsworth, at the mayor's request, came to the morning meeting dressed in a paper suit and top hat - a replica of a suit worn by Dada founder and late German poet and author Hugo Ball - to accept the proclamation.

Highberger said he wanted to do something to spice up the end-of-the-year meeting that usually is about five minutes worth of bill-paying and otherwise routine tasks. Plus, the mayor - who dabbles as an artist - said he thought there was value in reminding people that "reason and anti-reason, sense and nonsense, design and chance, consciousness and unconsciousness, belong together as necessary parts of a whole."

In that spirit, instead of choosing a particular month to designate as International Dadaism Month, Highberger chose Feb. 4, March 28, April 1, July 15, Aug. 2, Aug. 7, Aug. 16, Aug. 26, Sept. 18, Sept. 22, Oct. 1, Oct. 17 and Oct. 26. He chose the dates by rolling dice and picking numbers out of a hat.

The unique proclamation has drawn national attention. The New York Times on Tuesday published an item about Highberger's plans.

A Saturday Journal-World story also was posted on fark.com, a Web site that posts weird news from around the world. The article generated several comments on the site's online discussion board.

"Being that it is Kansas, I believe it is some sort of coded message to proponents of intelligent design," a poster wrote.

Others, though, were more positive.

"I miss Lawrence. In a state that gives us intelligent design ... Lawrence is a breath of fresh air," another wrote.

Comments

Richard Heckler 9 years, 1 month ago

Life could be worse. Nonsense is a part of living.

Sandman 9 years, 1 month ago

Where did Boog and Farnsworth get enough rolling papers to make a suit?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 9 years, 1 month ago

I predict that those with no sense of humor will be having a celebration of their own here again today.

cms 9 years, 1 month ago

Darn, I am reminded I missed Festivus.

bankboy119 9 years, 1 month ago

bozo, it's not that we don't have a sense of humor, it's that we have common sense. With everything this city is lacking funding in why are we pushing for International Dadaism month? So some more hippies can be happy? Why don't they come up with the funding then?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 9 years, 1 month ago

Common sense? And then you complain about the expense of this event. How much do you think this cost? Did you ever consider the possibility (make that probability) that it cost absolutely nothing? Probably not-- you are only interested in an opportunity at another baseless, knee-jerk slam at this commission.

Proclamations such as this happen nearly every month, and most of them have meaning to a relatively small group of people. I suspect that that is part of the point the mayor is making with this, but this is mainly just for fun. Too bad so many of you have no idea what that is.

leavemealone 9 years, 1 month ago

And the commish wonders why they scored so lowly with the city workers....

bankboy119 9 years, 1 month ago

Larry why would you assume I'm from Johnson County? I'm actually from Lawrence, born and raised. I moved up to Kansas City but not to JoCo.

This particular event may not have cost much, but if it's International Dadaism Month I bet there will be more events that cost you even more. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 9 years, 1 month ago

I haven't seen any wait and see attitude here. Those who don't like this commission have shown a great willingness to just make sh*t up.

trinity 9 years, 1 month ago

"I wonder what it would take to make them smile? Hmmmmmmmm."

speaking only for myself, passing the ganja would put a big ol' smile on my face! :)

erichaar 9 years, 1 month ago

It's time to ge the Progressive Lawrence Campaign off the city commission.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 9 years, 1 month ago

Well, erichaar, you'll have to wait for an election, and if the vacuous posts that appear on this board are any indication, the "opposition" is wearing no clothes.

monkeywrench1969 9 years, 1 month ago

NOrmally I am pretty hard on the commision but maybe this is a sign they are ready to start thinking outside of the box and be more creative. Some of the past problems with expansion, roundabouts, the T etc have not been very well thought out.

Maybe thisis a good sign and they did not have to do a $50000 study to conduct it.

Sarah Mathews 9 years, 1 month ago

Does it strike anyone as contradictory to do something..."in typical Dada fashion?"

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 9 years, 1 month ago

"Contradictory" is a major component of the JW style sheet.

trinity 9 years, 1 month ago

tob, lrryvll... here it comes! ;)

hackcoughsplutter a lil' harsh but reeeaaallly goooood...

shenanga! :D

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 9 years, 1 month ago

You know why there are no decorations downtown? Because the city while under the direction of those you want to return to power didn't make sure the lights could be connected safely.

Stuff that up your nose if you don't like the smell.

born1980 9 years, 1 month ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

christie 9 years, 1 month ago

Good job is all I have to say. I'm delighted our leaders have a good sense of self, that they, and we as a city are big enough to poke fun and look beyond the gloom and doom.

GOOD JOB !!!

Godot 9 years, 1 month ago

Dada could be to Lawrence as Mardi Gras is/was to New Orleans. It think it is a great idea!

topflight 9 years, 1 month ago

It is official, Boog smoked way to much POT in his younger days. What am i saying, he is still smoking pot. It is very obivous with the dada crap.

Sarah Mathews 9 years, 1 month ago

First of all, I think some of you are taking this too seriously. It seems to me, this is all supposed to be a bit of a joke.

Second, Dadaism predates hippies, has nothing to do with hippies, and if you asked a "hippy" downtown what Dadaism IS, I would be willing to bet he or she would have no idea.

Third, I'm sure none of you care about the first two points and I am completely wasting my time.

Goodbye.

Amandak 9 years, 1 month ago

Apparently, nonsense took center stage when Boog was chosen as mayor. Let's roll the dice and pick another mayor. Preferably someone who is qualified and doesn't make decisions that affect the whole city, based upon some delusions he had when he was stoned. And, apparently he was stoned when this idea entered what's left of his mind. What a joke. Boog, step down and get a life!

compmd 9 years, 1 month ago

for supposedly the most intellectual city in the state, i am both highly disappointed and amused by the number of people here who firmly believe that this proclamation was the direct result of the mayor smoking marijuana. wheres your logic? also, i dont think you naysayers truly understand what lawrence represents in kansas. read a history book, go to a commission meeting.

on second thought, dont bother, just keep talking. this is supposed to be a celebration of nonsense after all.

Sigmund 9 years, 1 month ago

What do Grateful Dead fans say when they run out of drugs? Man this band S***'s!

born1980 9 years, 1 month ago

Garcia's dead and Phish sucks...get a life.

Linda Aikins 9 years, 1 month ago

Whatever makes people smile and be happy (for a change) is A-OK with me!

Centrist 9 years, 1 month ago

"self-proclaimed event" ... just who does the Boog think he is?

Oh and .... thanks for raising my property taxes 30% - for what??? The roads STILL SUCK.

Oh and .... thanks for handing more ammunition to the likes of Rush Limbaugh.

I love Lawrence, but it is fast becoming a FREAKING JOKE.

Centrist 9 years, 1 month ago

... and I second the comment about Phish. Never heard more ORDINARY music in my life ... simply horrible. Disjointed noise ... that's all.

Ok, I'm over my mood now .. lol

girly 9 years, 1 month ago

I can't believe the city commission would even waste our time with this nonsense. It's okay if they want to play games with their kids, but not our city!

glockenspiel 9 years, 1 month ago

That dude looks like a cross of the pope and the tinman..

yourworstnightmare 9 years, 1 month ago

"Never trust a hippie." John Lydon (aka Johnny Rotten).

yourworstnightmare 9 years, 1 month ago

Actually, I commend Highberger's effort. It is harmless fun and is something that could raise the profile of Lawrence.

It might even result in another parade.

In my experience, the only thing non-midwesterners know about Lawrence is that William Burroughs finished his life here.

1derer 9 years, 1 month ago

Dadaism . . . sorta leaves ya speechless. I just hope actual business was not tabled to accommodate Boog as he vents his creative bilge. Is "provide spontaneous brevity" in his job description? Anyone else want to try such a stunt where they work? Just recently someone told me that our illustrious mayor doesn't even pay property taxes, can that be true? If true it might account for the lack of concern regarding spending our money.

weterica 9 years, 1 month ago

Boog should step down! And levity should be outlawed!

This is Kansas! Land of serious debate like ID v. Science! Think American Gothic, people. Let the unholy outsiders smirk at our serioiusness, and nothing else!

And I agree, we should not give Rush Limbaugh any ammunition! What would we ever do if Rush made fun of us! And that dude starts getting really giggly after his second line of oxy!

I just can't see how Dadaism fits in to this whole fury. I just really, really, really, really, really, really can't.

glockenspiel 9 years, 1 month ago

Like it or not.. we all know what Dadaism is now. Mission accomplished.

sd123 9 years, 1 month ago

Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaawwwwwwwnnnnnnnnnnn. Oh, what? Hello? Did somebody say something?

bige1030 9 years, 1 month ago

So on Feb. 4 are we going to celebrate this kind of poetry:

lawrence trojan naphtha vicodin apples pick between buddha clock hubs flight worship mark stamp break

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 9 years, 1 month ago

1derer-- I'd say you're misinformed-- Boog has been a co-owner of the house he lives in for many years. Regardless, I don't recall anything in laws governing municipal officerholders excluding non-property owners.

Do you think there should be? Are you prejudiced against "white trash?"

Godot 9 years, 1 month ago

"The hippie comments always crack me up. I've been visiting/living in Lawrence since the mid-80s and the hippie quotient is non-existent comparitively. Toyota-4-Runners with Phish stickers... nah. Frat boy. Long hair"

We old time Lawrencians refer to all the hippies in Lawrence because we were there when those Toyota 4-runner-driving, big-house-owning, power wielding 50-somethings WERE hippies. They are still here, and they are in charge. They've changed the way they look, but their heads are still in the same place.

usaschools 9 years, 1 month ago

Way to go Boog! You had fun and pissed off those whose complete life circles around finding the next reason to be pissed off! I love it!

As for those who complain about the alleged cost... I will personally send you a refund of your share of the tax dollars spent to directly support the arts, but I'll round it up to be a full one cent. I hope you are more outraged at the antics of the wack-jobs in Topeka who held up school finance with their ridiculous posturing over not following a court order.

THanks again Boog! This is proof that you are, in fact, qualified to be Mayor!

born1980 9 years, 1 month ago

Who does boog co-own the house with? Maybe he's having an affair with the former mayor.

WriterGirl 9 years, 1 month ago

Does this embracing nonsense, chance, and randomness apply to paying our taxes and utility bills?

I think that I will be observing this Dadaism next year each month by rolling dice every time my utility bill is due. I will then write a check for the amount that comes up on the dice and walk to my front door and release the check into the wind. If it is meant to be paid, the check will find its way to the correct office.

It is so clear to me now that this randomness, chance, and nonesense business is how the city chooses which five pot holes they fill each Spring, or which streets get plowed after a snow, or even, where a roundabout is to be installed at an intersection.

Godot 9 years, 1 month ago

Born, the answer to your question is available at the Douglas County Courthouse. Public record.

Godot 9 years, 1 month ago

Dada Gras a la Burroughs: impromptu parades of people uttering nonsensical word phrases, wearing cones of paper, or nothing, tossing coins to determine what drinks to down, throwing darts to determine what drugs to take, shooting apples of the heads of spouses they may or may not want to keep......We've got the kernal of profitable debauchery here.

topflight 9 years, 1 month ago

Godot, i completely agree. Now all the so called hippies from back in the day are running this poor city. Must we forget Boog basically wants to legalize Marijuana with just a $50 fine for getting caught with it. What does it matter to him, he will be able to afford a much larger fine than that when he gets caught. And oh yes, Boog will get caught with weed.

DGL 9 years, 1 month ago

I guess we shouldn't be surpised--this is the guy who made up a fake monetary system to mock America's current one. I, however, thought I was reading about something that happened in a small Northern California college town, not something from a city in Kansas.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 9 years, 1 month ago

While we're on the topic of preferred drugs, which drugs do you Growth Cultists prefer? There can't be any other explanation for the religious fervor with which you promote your city government/management by pyramid scheme.

If you let all those hippies know what you're taking, maybe you can convert them.

pelliott 9 years, 1 month ago

Is it possible that the sourpusses could be less predictable or more boring. Yes DADAism might bring their conversation up from the knee jerk, where it seems to be stuck, over and over again, same old crap, no humor, little content. A little god damn effort and they might be able to communicate with some real humor.Maybe the dada will help those that need it the most. If it doesn't help them, maybe it will help me. Maybe I can twist those old tired farts into some fresh air.

hurlehey 9 years, 1 month ago

Dada is veiwed as a failed movement in art history, some even called it an aesthetic scam. Sounds a little like Real Dollars to me.

robinrander 9 years, 1 month ago

This is better than the guy who keeps his foot in a bucket on his porch.

Boxcar_Bobby85 9 years, 1 month ago

With apologies to bozo and pelliott, and a tip of the hat to Boog, robinrander has the definitive post on this subject:

"This is better than the guy who keeps his foot in a bucket on his porch."

Now THAT'S funny!

Godot 9 years, 1 month ago

Dadaism was a non-movement. To even recognize it as a movement invalidates its purpose. It was populated by group of very angry people who sought to vent their dissatisfaction with society and government by defiling and defacing all things society values. They believed there was no purpose to life, that there was no god, that rules and laws were irrelevant. Their "nonsense" was a very serious protest against rules, religion, community and law.

That our mayor would choose to elevate this non-movement to the level of city/world-wide recognition is a slap in the face of not just "fundies," but all who value tradition and the progress of society. It is an official proclamation that rules and regulations and planning and tradtitional values are not valued in Lawrence.

In essence, Highberger has declared that 13 days of every year in Lawrence will be set aside to declaim that all we do to organize, to make laws, and communitize, to make sense of our world, is a joke.

This is not funny, it is cycnical, and it makes fools of everyone who goes along with it in the name of "fun."

I call out Hack, Schauner and Amyx to denounce this proclamation at the next commission meeting. I leave Rundle out because I doubt he even has a clue.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 9 years, 1 month ago

The same could be said for our founding fathers (and mothers.) But glad to see you've found a way to take a slap at our good Mayor. Wouldn't want to see you left out in all of the slapping good fun.

MonkeyButt 9 years, 1 month ago

Greetings from Brooklyn, NY.

I came across this story on the internet -- what a hoot!

Your mayor seems like a brilliant prankster to me. He found a way to expose just how humorless the reactionaries really are by appropriating an art movement that hasn't been controversal since WWI... Anybody who actually gets worked up over something as innocuous as Dadaism is somebody who's long overdue for a heaping dose of it. LOL

Kudos on you, Mayor Boog. Just when we all thought it was time to give up on the Red States for good, you threw us a curveball and gave us hope.

There's still glimmers of intelligence and humor in the heartland. Awesome.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.