The Smart Set is a weekly feature, compiled and posted by Lauren Cerand, that usually appears Mondays at 12:30 pm, and highlights the best of the week to come. Special favor is given to New Yorkâ€™s independent booksellers and venues, and low-cost and free events. Please send details to Ms. Cerand at lauren [at] maudnewton.com by the Thursday prior to publication. Due to the volume of submissions, events cannot be considered unless the date appears in the subject line of your message.
MON OCT 27: At The Half King, “Dexter Filkins is among the best foreign correspondents at work today, and has reported extensively from Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq for the Los Angeles Times and the New York Times (where he continues to work today.) The Forever War is his searing and personal account of the rise of the Taliban, 9/11, and the Iraq War as he saw it unfold on the ground in the very places these events took placeâ€”imbedded with Marines as they stormed Fallujah to overthrow Muqtada al Sadrâ€™s army in 2004; at a soccer field in Kabul, before 9/11, witness to an execution and amputation carried out by the Taliban; at the World Trade Center on that fateful day when lower Manhattan resembled, for a moment, the war-torn countries from which he had been reporting.” 7PM, FREE. Also, ” High Energy Performance Poetry & Prose” at Bluestockings. 7PM, FREE.
TUE OCT 28: At Bellwether Gallery: “I, Caligula! An orgiastic October surprise of cocktails and virgin sacrifice in honor of the new book by Caligula (and Cintra Wilson) Caligula for President: Better American Living Through Tyranny…” With Cintra Wilson, Bradford Louryk, Mike Albo, Shelly Mars, Peter Freschette, Charles Busch. Noted: “SPECIAL PRIZES FOR THOSE DRESSED IN HIGH CALIGULAN DRAG. NO KNIVES!” 7 – 9PM, FREE.
WED OCT 29: “2 days before Halloween…6 days before the election… 1 night of politics and pop culture: IDOL TALK. Featuring videos and performances from Maxx Klaxon, David Rees, R. Luke DuBois, Rusty Ward, and more! Find out how we got from ‘gentlemen’ to ‘terror’ in 43 easy steps; Eavesdrop on the political banter of your favorite clip-art office workers; Learn who America’s greatest superheroes are voting for; Groove to the beat of Bill O’Reilly’s rage; See the shocking season finale of ‘Authoritarian Idol.’ Come on out (and bring your friends) for the four-screen multimedia experience, Monkeytown’s excellent food and drinks, and this fall’s best night of political art and entertainment! NOTE: This event is one night only, and seating is limited — reservations are strongly recommended! RSVP online. 8:30-10pm, $7 ($5 with politically-themed costume!).” Highly recommended.
THU OCT 30: “William Carlos Williams wrote: ‘It is difficult/to get the news from poems/ yet men die miserably every day/ for lack/ of what is found there.’ Join the contributors to the Wave Books anthology State of the Union: 50 Political Poems to get the news in Linda Pollackâ€™s Habeas Lounge in the week of the Presidential election.” With John Ashbery, Eileen Myles, Nick Flynn and others in the Amie and Tony James Gallery at The Graduate Center, CUNY. 6:30PM, FREE.
FRI OCT 31: I would not be described as a “festive holiday” person. Last night over over an exquisite meal at the charming French diner, Zucco, a pal and I were discussing which sucks more, Halloween or St. Patrick’s Day and I was just like, ugh, draw! I am, however, going to make a rare exception to my usual practice of ignoring the day completely by attending this lecture: Marina Warner on “Enchanted States” at The Graduate Center, CUNY‘s Martin E. Segal Theatre. Noted, “Marina Warner explores the manifestations of traditional magical thought in contemporary culture and media. Marina Warner is a Professor of Literature, Film and Theatre Studies at the University of Essex, and the author of several studies of belief and narrative, most recently Phantasmagoria: Spirit Visions, Metaphors, and Media into the Twenty-first Century.” Awe-some; I’ll dress up as Titania for that. 4PM, FREE.
WEEKEND: Don’t miss the Los Dias de los Muertos (Days of the Dead) celebration at the National Museum of the American Indian, easily one of New York’s best and most underrated museums. At MoMA, check out “Batiste Madalena: Hand-Painted Film Posters for the Eastman Theatre, 1924â€“1928”: “In advance of seeing the films themselves, and influenced by his passion for particular performers, Madalena would work from still photographs and press materials to create one-of-a-kind posters promoting his larger-than-life subjectsâ€”all on a scale that could be clearly seen from streetcars passing the theaterâ€™s poster vitrines. His work brings unexpected color and a new perspective to the iconic stars and films of silent cinemaâ€™s mature period.” With a companion film series starting next month.
This week’s soundtrack: The Chromatics do “I’m on Fire.”