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Signs of the Decline (Installment 1): Pre-sliced, Packaged Fruit

March 25, 2011

A wretched, vulgar disgrace to human civilization

For some abhorrent reason, Mott’s has decided to slice your apples for you and throw them in a bag.  Apparently, they’re charging you for this.  Here’s what they have to say for themselves:

There’s nothing like the pure and refreshing taste of ripe apples. That’s why Mott’s® Sliced Apples is the perfect on-the-go snack for everyone—anytime and anyplace!

These packages of sliced red or green apples are the perfect addition to lunches. They’re available in re-sealable, multi-serve bags or single serving packages. A serving of slices contains well over 100% of vitamin C. Use them at the office, at school, or at soccer. They make a fun, wholesome snack that also encourages kids to make healthy eating decisions. Use them in baking as part of your weight-loss plan to create meals that include more fruits and vegetables.

First, let’s talk about that introductory paragraph.  ‘There’s nothing like the pure and refreshing taste of ripe apples.’  Let’s be fair, Mott’s.  That’s not why your pre-sliced, resource destroying, plastic bag-dwelling apple is the perfect on-the-go snack.  Apples are already a pretty flawless on-the-go snack, no?  They even hold the slices together in one whole unit so you don’t have to keep track of every individual bite you’d like to take.  Unless your apple slices are made from something that isn’t an apple, it’s fair to assume that we’re getting excited about packaging, isn’t it?  I’m not too excited about it, it turns out.

While we’re being fair, you didn’t even subtract a step, Mott’s.  Because instead of slicing an apple I have to tear through your almost impenetrable plastic fortress.  Sure, your bag keeps the slices from doing that thing apple slices do when you leave them out, but so does the skin. Also, if i’m going to slice my apple before I go wherever it is I’m going to be eating it, I’m going to throw it in a plastic bag myself, thereby being in total, confident control of the whole browning situation.

Moving on, did anyone notice that this description made reference to ‘a serving of slices’?  That’s an apple, Mott’s.  An apple is a serving of slices.

The rest of the paragraph just describes apples.  It actually says nothing about the benefits of pre-slicing and -packaging.  This is understandable, because there are none.  ‘Use them in baking’ it says.  Thank you, Mott’s, for the suggestion.

In a humiliating display of human ridiculousness, ABC News featured Mott’s Fresh Apple Slices in a segment on health.  As far as I know, humans have known the health benefits of apples for about 8,500 years, but no, ABC, Mott’s, really, we appreciate the reminder.  We’ve been eating apples on their own for a long time, sure, but it is nice to have a miniature bit of toxic waste to throw on the ground.  What intrepid scientists you’ve got over there, Mott’s.  Literally groundbreaking stuff they’re turning out.

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Skin Horse Picks the Oscars

February 22, 2011

We watch a lot of movies.  Mostly, Evan and Brian watch a lot of movies.  But we certainly all love movies.  We also love arguing with inappropriate seriousness about superfluous things.  So, naturally, the weeks before the Oscars are filled with a mix of excitement and resentment, with many of us frantically watching this or that dreadful bore in order that our opinions (which don’t change anyway) will be more properly informed come Sunday evening.  This yearly swell of cinematic revelry always culminates in a flatulent emission of disappointment and anticlimax, but that never stops us.  Remarkably, many of us are in agreement this year.  Concessions have been made, certainly, granted most of our favorites weren’t even on the list of nominees, but so it goes.  In the spirit of the whole ridiculous affair, you will find our 2011 Oscar picks below:

Brian Dorsam

Writing (Original Screenplay)

The King’s Speech

Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

The Social Network

Visual Effects

Inception

Sound Mixing

Inception

Sound Editing

Inception

Short Film (Live Action)

The Crush

Short Film (Animated)

Day & Night

Music (Original Song)

Toy Story 3

Music (Original Score)

The Social Network

Makeup

I don’t know about these things.

Foreign Language Film

I really didn’t see any of these movies.  Evan liked Dogtooth a lot, though.

Film Editing

Black Swan

Documentary Short Subject

How would I have seen these films?  How?

Documentary Feature

Exit Through the Gift Shop (was the only one I saw)

Costume Design

The King’s Speech

Art Direction

Inception

Cinematography

The King’s Speech

Animated Feature

Toy Story 3

Supporting Actress

Hailee Steinfeld

Supporting Actor

Geoffrey Rush

Actress

Michelle Williams

Actor

Colin Firth (granted Ryan Gosling wasn’t even nominated)

Directing

David Fincher

Picture

Inception

Anna Henschel

Writing (Original Screenplay)

The King’s Speech

Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

The Social Network

Visual Effects

Inception

Sound Mixing

Inception (Can someone explain to me how these two categories snuck out of the techie nerdo Oscars when nothing about lighting did?)

Sound Editing

Tron (This and the next category are chosen using a dart board of the movies I’ve HEARD OF on the list, I’ve hardly seen any)

Short Film (Live Action)

Wish 143 (Haven’t heard of any)

Short Film (Animated)

Day & Night

Music (Original Song)

Toy Story 3

Music (Original Score)

Tron wasn’t nominated.

Makeup

The Way Back (I haven’t heard of any of them)

Foreign Language Film

In A Better World (See above)

Film Editing

True Grit (is the only one I’ve heard of)

Documentary Short Subject

Poster Girl (See above)

Documentary Feature

Exit Through the Gift Shop (See above)

Costume Design

Alice in Wonderland

Art Direction

Inception

Cinematography

Inception?

Animated Feature

Toy Story 3 (Unless it were to win for Best Pic, which it won’t, in which case, I want How to Train your Dragon.  But if that won, it would have to happen before the Best Pic announcement, and then everyone would freak out about Pixar not winning something, and that would be pretty magnificent to witness on the internets.)

Supporting Actress

Hailee Steinfeld

Supporting Actor

Geoffrey Rush

Actress

Annette Bening

Actor

Jeff Bridges

Directing

David Fincher

Picture

Toy Story 3

Veronica Hunsinger-Loe

Writing (Original Screenplay)

The King’s Speech

Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

The Social Network

Visual Effects

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part One

Sound Mixing

Inception

Sound Editing

Toy Story 3

Short Film (Live Action)

God of Love

Short Film (Animated)

Day & Night

Music (Original Song)

Toy Story 3

Music (Original Score)

The Social Network

Makeup

WHAT???  The Wolfman

Foreign Language Film

Dogtooth

Film Editing

Black Swan

Documentary Short Subject

Strangers No More

Documentary Feature

Exit Through the Gift Shop

Costume Design

Barf, none.  I Am Love

Art Direction

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part One

Cinematography

The King’s Speech

Animated Feature

Toy Story 3

Supporting Actress

Melissa Leo

Supporting Actor

John Hawkes

Actress

Michelle Williams

Actor

Colin Firth

Directing

David Fincher

Picture

Black Swan

Evan Spigelman

Writing (Original Screenplay)

Another Year (Dogtooth should have been nominated)

Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

The Social Network (Scott Pilgrim vs. the World should have been nominated)

Visual Effects

Inception (Scott Pilgrim vs. the World should have been nominated)

Sound Mixing

Inception (Scott Pilgrim vs. the World should have been nominated)

Sound Editing

Tron (Scott Pilgrim vs. the World should have been nominated)

Short Film (Live Action)

I haven’t seen the shorts.

Short Film (Animated)

See above.

Music (Original Song)

They all suck.  (‘We Are Sex Bob-omb’ by Beck should have been nominated)

Music (Original Score)

The Social Network (I Am Love should have been nominated)

Makeup

The Wolfman, because really who the fuck knows?  (The Runaways should have been nominated)

Foreign Language Film

Dogtooth (Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives should have been nominated)

Film Editing

The Social Network (Inception should have been nominated)

Documentary Short Subject

Haven’t seen any of ’em.

Documentary Feature

See above.

Costume Design

I Am Love (Black Swan should have been nominated)

Art Direction

Inception (I Am Love should have been nominated)

Cinematography

Black Swan (Uncle Boonmee should have been nominated)

Animated Feature

Toy Story 3

Supporting Actress

Melissa Leo (Aggeliki Papoulia should have been nominated for Dogtooth)

Supporting Actor

John Hawkes (Ewan McGregor should have been nominated for I Love You, Philip Morris)

Actress

Michelle Williams (Tilda Swinton should have been nominated for I Am Love)

Actor

Jesse Eisenberg (Ryan Gosling should have been nominated for Blue Valentine

Directing

David Fincher (Apichatpong Weerasethakul should have been nominated for Uncle Boonmee)

Picture

Toy Story 3 (Uncle Boonmee should have been nominated)

Well, we promised it would be begrudging and disgruntled.  We hope y’all enjoy yourselves more than we will on Sunday.

‘Port/Architect’ Glowing Heads Stolen For Super Bowl Halftime Show!

February 7, 2011

Totally stolen!

As many of you know, the costumes for Skin Horse’s most recent Fringe Festival production, ‘Port/Architect’, were designed by our own Veronica Hunsinger-Loe.  The costumes were made from simple white fabric, bandages and cardboard, and invoked the materials found in the play’s site-specific location – the Mardi Gras Zone Warehouse.  ‘Port/Architect’s’ most iconic images were, perhaps, the cardboard suits worn by a cycle of dancers throughout the piece.  In fact, the climax of the show came when a giant cardboard suit towering at a stunning 15 feet high was deconstructed and rushed across a warehouse-spanning human assembly line.  Of course, as those who attended certainly know, the staple features of the cardboard suits were their glowing cubic heads.  Imagine our surprise when we watched the Black Eyed Peas’ Super Bowl halftime show on Sunday to see Veronica’s beautiful design shamelessly stolen!  Check out this screengrab from the ‘Port/Architect’ trailer – publicly available on youtube for anyone (the Black Eyed Peas) to see:

Now check out these screengrabs from the Super Bowl:

No way!

ZOMG!

We leave it to you, folks:

The Official Skin Horse Top 5 Of 2010 List

January 20, 2011

You’ve been waiting all year for this and it’s finally here: The Official Skin Horse Top 5 Of 2010 List!  It’s a lot more difficult than you might think to get five people who live in the same house to make a short list of their five favorite things from last year.  Our lists aren’t comparable enough to make one collective list.  We could hardly even decide on the categories we should include; consequently, some of them vary from list to list.  Anna only watched five new movies this year, so she just put them in order.  A few of us thought we were listing our top five albums, others thought we were listing our top five tracks, so, you know, you get the idea.  Anyway, it’s late, it’s messy, but it’s from the heart.  Below, the Skin Horses weigh in on their favorite things from 2010.

——

Nat Kusinitz

Top 5 Films of 2010

1. Toy Story 3

2. Exit Through the Gift Shop

3. Babies

4. I’m Still Here

5. The Social Network

Top 5 Books Nat Read in 2010

1. Joan of Arc – Mary Gordon

2. Trout Fishing in America – Richard Brautigan

3. Three Lives – Gertrude Stein

4. Death and Fame – Allen Ginsberg

5. The Life and Death of American Cities – Jane Jacobs

Top 5 Albums of 2010

1. Plastic Beach – Gorillaz

2. This Is Happening – LCD Soundsystem

3. $O$ – Die Antwoord

4. Night Work – Scissor Sisters

5. The Archandroid – Janelle Monae

Top 5 Plays of 2010

1. North Atlantic – The Wooster Group

2. Gatz – Elevator Repair Service

3. HomeMade – Teeth

4. Our Man – Goat in the Road

5. The Pee-wee Herman Show

Top 5 Youtube Videos of 2010

1. Yosemite Bear Mountain Giant Double Rainbow 1-8-10

2. trolololo

3. BACKIN UP SONG!!

4. OK Go – This Too Shall Pass

5. DOUBLE RAINBOW SONG!!

Top 5 Fads or Other Miscellaneous Awesome Things of 2010

1. Bros Icing Bros

2. Chatroulette

3. Old Spice Guy

4. Anti-BP T-shirt Puns

5. Spider Man the Trainwreck the Musical

——

Evan Spigelman

Top 5 Films of 2010

1. Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives

2. Toy Story 3

3. I Am Love

4. Dogtooth

5. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

Top 5 Books Evan Read in 2010

1. Our Lady of the Flowers – Jean Genet

2. Just Kids – Patti Smith

3. Kazuo Ohno’s World – Kazuo Ohno and Yoshito Ohno

4. World Virus, from The William S. Burroughs Reader – William S. Burroughs

5. A.D.: New Orleans After the Deluge – Josh Neufeld

Top 5 Albums of 2010

1. This Is Happening – LCD Soundsystem

2. Plastic Beach – Gorillaz

3. New Amerykah Part 2: Return of the Ankh – Erykah Badu

4. The Archandroid – Janelle Monae

5. Halcyon Digest – Deerhunter

Top 5 Plays of 2010 (in no particular order)

Our Town – David Cromer

V E S P E R S – Tim Garlid

Some Times at the Allways – Scott Heron

Our Man – Goat in the Road

Red Over Red – 31 Down

Top 5 Youtube Videos of 2010

1. ‘Pastels’ OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO

2. Ori Toor – ANIMAL COLLECTIVE – ‘Lion in a Coma’

3. BACKIN UP SONG!!

4. trolololo

5. Dude, you have no Quran!

Top 5 Censored News Stories of 2010 (from Project Censored)

1. Global Plans to Replace the Dollar

2. US Department of Defense is Worst Polluter on the Planet

3. Internet Privacy and Personal Access at Risk

4. ICE Operates Secret Detention and Courts

5. Blackwater (Xe): The Secret US War in Pakistan

Anna Henschel

Top 5 Films of 2010 (bearing in mind that Anna only saw 5 new films)

1. Toy Story 3

2. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

3. Inception

4. The Social Network

5. The King’s Speech

Top 5 Books Anna Read in 2010

1. The Year Before the Flood – Neil Sublette

2. Scott Pilgrim (Vol. 1-6) – Bryan Lee O’Malley

3. A.D.: New Orleans After the Deluge – Josh Neufeld

4. Every Man Dies Alone – Hans Fallada

5. Rather than put a blog, article or column I found decent, I’m just going to state my 2011 resolution to READ MORE BOOKS.

Top 5 Tracks of 2010

1. ‘Cold War’/’Tightrope’ – Janelle Monae

2. ‘Nightwork’ – Scissor Sisters

3. ‘Drunk Girls’ – LCD Soundsystem

4. ‘Fuck You’ – Cee-Lo Green

5. ‘Hey Soul Sister’ – Train

Top 5 Performances of 2010

1. Patti Smith at Tipitina’s

2. A Little Night Music – Trevor Nunn

3. Our Man – Goat in the Road

4. Go Ye Therefore – ArtSpot Productions

5. Zombie Town – Mark Routhier

Top 5 Youtube Videos of 2010

1. Yosemitebear Mountain Giant Double Rainbow 1-8-10

2. BACKIN UP SONG!!

3. Cee Lo Green – FUCK YOU (Official Video)

4. BED INTRUDER SONG!!!

5. OK Go – This Too Shall Pass

Top 5 Fads or Other Miscellaneous Awesome Things of 2010

1. ‘It’s on instant’ – Netflix Watch Instantly

2. WHO DAT NATION

3. Autotune the News

4. ‘¡Viva España!” Spain winning the WORLD CUP

5. Bacon Bloody Marys

——

Veronica Hunsinger-Loe

Top 5 Films of 2010

1. Blue Valentine

2. Black Swan

3. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1

4. Toy Story 3

5. I’m Still Here

Top 5 Books Veronica Read in 2010

1. And the Pursuit of Happiness – Maira Kalman

2. Still Life With Woodpecker – Tom Robbins

3. The Haunting of Hill House – Shirley Jackson

4. A Good Man is Hard to Find – Flannery O’Connor

5. The Omnivore’s Dilemma – Michael Pollan

Top 5 Albums/Tracks of 2010 (taking into account that we haven’t told Veronica yet that Elvis is dead)

1. ‘Tightrope’ – Janelle Monae

2. I Learned the Hard Way – Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings

3. ‘Teddy Bear’ – Elvis Presley

4. ‘Fuck You’ – Cee-Lo Green

5. Grey Oceans – CocoRosie

Top 5 Plays of 2010

1. The Red Shoes – Kneehigh Theatre

2. Our Man – Goat in the Road

3. Home Made – Teeth

4. Some Times at the Allways – Scott Heron

5. V E S P E R S – Tim Garlid

Top 5 Youtube Videos of 2010

1. I Just Had Sex (feat. Akon)

2. 3 Year old crying over Justin Bieber

3. Penny Lane: Literal Video Version

4. OK Go – This Too Shall Pass

5. Old Spice – The Man Your Man Could Smell Like

Top 5 Fads or Other Miscellaneous Awesome Things of 2010

1. Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is repealed!

2. Who Dat Revolution

3. ‘Defriend’ and ‘BFF’ enter the Oxford English Dictionary

4. Old Spice Guy

5. The Shake Weight

——

Brian Dorsam

Top 5 Films of 2010

1. Inception

2. Blue Valentine

3. The Social Network

4. The King’s Speech

5. I’m Still Here

Top 5 Books Brian Read in 2010

1. Shakespeare: The World as Stage – Bill Bryson

2. Guns, Germs and Steel – Jared Diamond

3. Chronicle of a Death Foretold – Gabriel Garcia Marquez

4. Letters to a Young Contrarian – Christopher Hitchens

5. Scott Pilgrim (Vol. 1-6) – Bryan Lee O’Malley

Top 6 Albums of 2010 (Brian simply could not limit it to 5)

1. Have One on Me – Joanna Newsom

2. This Is Happening – LCD Soundsystem

3. Klavierwerke – James Blake

4. The Age of Adz – Sufjan Stevens

5. California – Paul Curreri

6. Don’t Hurry For Heaven – Devon Sproule

Top 5 Plays of 2010

1. Gatz – Elevator Repair Service

2. North Atlantic – The Wooster Group

3. V E S P E R S – Tim Garlid

4. Our Man – Goat in the Road

5. smithsoniansmith – Scott Heron and HIJACK

Top 5 Youtube Videos of 2010

1. RSA Animate – Changing Education Paradigms

2. The earth seen from space with balloon – iphone – cam

3. Yosemitebear Mountain Giant Double Rainbow 1-8-10

4. Celery Man

5. MARCEL THE SHELL WITH SHOES ON

Top 5 Fads or Other Miscellaneous Awesome Things of 2010

1. DADT Repeal

2. The capturing of antimatter at the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva

3. The announcement that Steven Spielberg’s ‘Lincoln’, written by Tony Kushner, is also set to star the world’s best actor, Daniel Day-Lewis, in the title role

4. 30 Rock’s pioneer usage of ‘OMGod’

5. The World Champion New Orleans Saints

——

Well, that’s all folks.  See you soon.

Port/Architect VOL. 06 [IMG. 01 (Poster)]

November 1, 2010

Soon to be seen all over New Orleans – on your walls and telephone poles, your coffeeshops and watering holes, the brand new ‘Port/Architect’ poster design by Sebastian Fig.

Design by Sebastian Fig - sebastianfigdesign@gmail.com

Port/Architect VOL. 05 [VID. 01 (Promo)]

October 27, 2010

Below is your first true glimpse of ‘Port/Architect’.  We took a video camera to the warehouse and filmed this clip – you’ll see a bit of the warehouse and a costume prototype designed and built by Skin Horse’s resident fabricator, Veronica Hunsinger-Loe.  Do yourself a favor and play it full screen.

See you next week.

late night at the skin house

October 20, 2010

twas late night at the skin house and up on the third floor

no creature did stir, no creak of opening door

the dishes were done, the kitchen mostly clean

the recycling pile sat in the laundry room unseen

all the lights turned off,  leaving the fans spinning

as the five closed their doors, over cosmo quizzes still grinning

all the skinhorses abed in their own separate rooms

sleeping, reading, or facebooking, to their own separate tunes

in pajamas with teeth brushed i was ready for sleep

yet once my eyes shut, open again they would creep

against all my logic, better judgment, and exhaustion

i opened my laptop and threw away caution

social networks and blogs, news sites and reviews

i let my mind wander to whatever site it would choose

so here lies the insomniac, quite unable to sleep

her bed strewn with laundry and random papers five deep

writing a blog post at this absurd hour

passing the minutes til she runs out of power

thus, goodnight dear internet, friends, countrymen, and foe

y’all better sleep, there’s not much here to know

for it is time that i hit the proverbial hay

before the wee hours of night become the broad light of day

sweet dreams, buenos noches, goodnight and sleep tight

it is time that i, too, turn out the light.