Guerrilla Girls Gone Wild

The art of protest

The art of protest

FRI 11/11

Feminism, in its purest strain, is a body of ideas and practices best wielded by intellectuals. Ideally it should be humorless, as there is nothing funny about elevating women from the muck of misogyny. The writer of this piece is a modern, feminine-sympathetic man, and so he is justified in pointing these things out.

Sadly, the Guerrilla Girls don't comprehend that "intellectual," "humorless" and "feminism" are inseparable. Instead, this band of anonymous women (they wear rubber gorilla masks and take pseudonyms) has been agitating for awareness and change via the realm of pop culture for the past twenty years. By posting cleverly subversive stickers in Broadway men's rooms that note the lack of female playwrights and purchasing billboards that state there are statistically more female senators than female film directors, they trivialize the glorious feminist struggle for equality. If you take the facts out of the lecture hall and put them in front of everyday people, whose mind are you going to change? Creating an Anatomically Correct Oscar statuette (see www.guerrillagirls.com for photos of the Dick Cheney-looking thing) brings the level of discourse down, ladies. Take some friendly paternal advice, Guerrilla Girls: Get serious. Keep the propaganda in the position papers and the fight in the hands of those who are already involved. Preach to the choir. What can you hope to gain from making everyone aware of the quiet ways in which women are discriminated against in the so-called liberal arts and in the world of popular entertainment? Dour is power, sisters. Funny is futile.

Hopefully, the Guerrilla Girls scheduled to appear at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis (3750 Washington Boulevard; 314-535-4360 or www.contemporarystl.org) won't devolve into shtick to make their point. But with a 6 p.m. reception and cash bar prior to their free 7 p.m. lecture and performance, hilarity is almost guaranteed to ensue. More's the pity. -- Paul Friswold

King Sammy
Hagar's Home Movies

SAT 11/12

Please hold all "Whoo-hoos!" till the end. The DVD premiere of Sammy Hagar's ("whoo-hoo!") — please, Mom — The Long Road to Cabo-Redux ("Whoo-hoo! Yeah, Sammy!") — Mom, seriously, dial it down — is screening at the Pageant (6161 Delmar Boulevard; 314-726-6161). While a film is not as good as the real Sammy ("Red Rocker! Whoo-hoo!") — OK, hit her with the tranq dart — Sammy in 2D is better than no Sammy at all. Thrill to the adventures of the Red Rocker and his Waboritas as they party, tour, play, party and drink milk (kidding!). Admission is $5, the DVD screens at 8 and 10 p.m., and if you come for the first screening, you can stay for the second. Call it an encore, or a double shot, since you must be 21 or older for entry. -- Paul Friswold

Yosemite in Oil

America's national parks are places of natural splendor people from all walks of life — and other countries, too — respond to with gratitude and awe. Especially artists, trained to chase beauty, to fix the evanescent in paint. Every year since 1986, artists from the U.S. and around the world have competed to capture the parks' essence; each year 100 winners are selected and their works toured. Admire the top 100 paintings of the 2002 Art for the Parks competition on display at the Old Courthouse (11 North Fourth Street; 314-655-1700), from Friday, November 11, through January 10, 2006. The exhibit is free and open daily from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. -- Alex Weir

Bulgarian Bandstand

SAT 11/12

The secret of a good wedding reception is not in the cake, nor is it in that little guest book you have to sign. No, the fate of the reception hangs on the musical choices. More than one nuptial party has gone from convivial to calamitous because some jokester decided that the magical first dance is the right moment to drop the needle on "Doin' the Butt." The safest route is to go with the celebratory sounds of Ivo Papasov and Yuri Yunakov, the masters of Bulgarian and Gypsy wedding music. The raucous improvisers invite all the party people down to Grbic Restaurant (4071 Keokuk Street; 636-207-2541) at 9 p.m. for as much fun as you can have without actually putting a ring on someone's finger first. Tickets are $18 to $22. -- Paul Friswold

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