Monday, October 19, 2009

Subtext of the Week


. . . read the headline on an ad I glimpsed through a subway window on Saturday. Below was the headless image of a lithe model, clad in white short shorts and brief, midriff-baring top, doing a backbend.

Look closer at what, I wondered--shoulders, knees, crotch?

Reading the text to the right of the model, I learned that she was advertising, not a yoga or exercise studio, but a giant health insurance company. Can't recall the exact words, but the message was something about "how well we've got you covered."

They'd chosen an odd image for such a message, but a revealing one. The model displayed about as little coverage as is likely allowed on a subway platform.

To me, the ad said--with more truth in advertising than was likely intended:

This company will give you the bare minimum of coverage.

And come winter--or when you really need it--you'll be out in the cold.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Debashish Bhattacharya

This is the fifth year of the Richmond Folk Festival, and every year I've been thrilled to hear some wonderful music that was new to me.

Last night it was Debashish Bhattacharya, an amazing slide guitarist and his brother Subhasis on tabla. The music was haunting, hypnotic, and powerful--and, to me, at least, incredibly sexy.

The festival continues today and tomorrow at Brown's Island and the grounds of the American Civil War Center. See

The festival is free, but donations are welcome.