Vienna and the Ohio connection.

One of the first steady jobs an old college buddy got straight out of school back in the late 80s was with the Maury Povich Show, somewhat of a precurser to Jerry Springer. (He’s since gone on to much bigger and better things and I doubt he even lists the Povich gig on his resume these days, so, no I’m certainly not going to out him here.)

Anyway, he told me then that most of the correspondence the show received, by far, originated from addresses in Ohio and Florida, the latter presumably by transplanted Ohioans. I’m going to Vienna this week for a few days and was reminded of that little tidbit this morning when googling the Austrian capital, and this popped up, a news story about a New Vienna, Ohio, man who pleaded guilty to aggravated murder after shooting his stepfather who had the nerve to ask for the TV remote control:

Jason Dodds, 24, of New Vienna in southwest Ohio, fired at Kenneth Rosselott six times, hitting him with five of the bullets, said Clinton County assistant prosecutor Rick Moyer during a Friday court hearing.

Moyer said Dodds called 911 at about 1 a.m. Oct. 4 and told a dispatcher that he snapped when his stepfather asked him for the TV remote.

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Meanwhile in old Vienna, I’ll fortunately be around to catch “Americans: Masterpieces of American Photography from 1940 until now” at the Kunsthalle Wien before it skips town on 4-Feb. It includes pieces from giants of American photography, including Diane Arbus, Richard Avedon and Robert Frank. From the exhibit description:

“Americans”, named after the legendary publication by Robert Frank, shows, in 13 series of photographic images, the crises and changes in US society since the 1940’s. The photographies have nothing familiar with the ideology of the “Family of Man”, their diagnostic character far more lays open the wounds of this society and inscribes a history of mental revolution. At exactly the point in time when USA’s hegemonic endeavours are coming under critical cross-fire this exhibition is an important contribution to an anti-ideological discourse.

I liked that “anti-ideological discourse” part, particularly since many Americans are under the impression that they shouldn’t be traveling outside their borders while there’s so much anti-American sentiment around the world. It appears though, that that perception is generally an overblown one, at least according to the book, Anti-Americanisms in World Politics. So much so that Dialog International notes that Americans can perhaps stop pretending to be Canadian when traveling abroad.

Good news, no? Nonetheless, I’m happy that I’ll be there and back before Paris Hilton arrives for the 14-Feb. Vienna Opera Ball.

pic is a sculpture in Gothenburg (Goteborg), Sweden taken last August

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