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ARTS & BOOKS Summer 2006
On blooks, censorship of the Rolling Stones and krumping.


Blooks: a new generation of books By Corinne HAYOT
A new generation of books is born : the blook. The name is telling as "blook" is a hybrid from book and blog. Blooks are a new species of virtual literature published online on blogs and websites. The Blooker prize was created online by Lulu.com (a provider of print-on-demand books) to reward the best of this new form of book and their new generation of authors. Last April, an American woman named Julie Powel became the first winner of the 2006 Blooker prize with her blook Julie and Julia : 365 days, 524 recipes, 1 tiny apartment kitchen. She describes her attempt to cook all 524 recipes of a French cookbook within the course of a year. She was awarded $2,000. Her blook had actually been published in print and sold more than 100,000 copies last year. The Fiction prize went to a ghost novel by Cherie Priest (Four and Twenty Blackbirds) and the Comics prize to Zack Miller with Totally Boned. They received 1,000$ each. All winners were American.
The blook is more and more considered as a serious medium. In March 2006, an anonymous woman author's blook from Irak Baghdad Burning was nominated for a famous British award : the Samuel Johnson prize, for contemporary non-fiction.
Sources: « Chef's odyssey wins first books from Blogs prize, » Reuters 3 April 2006; « A good blog isn't the same as a good book, » The Independent 5 April 2006; « Time to brag about blogs and blooks, » The New Zealand Herald 4 April 2006.

The Rolling Stones hit a Chinese rock By C. COIGNARD & J. THARAUD
Created more than four decades ago in 1962, the Rolling Stones played for the first time in mainland China, in Shanghai on April 8th in front of about 8,000 spectators. But unfortunately, the show was not quite as impressive as their concert in Rio despite the presence of Cui Jian, know as the father of Chinese rock, who joined them on stage during the concert. The band is relatively unknown in China where the Chinese pop, " the canto-pop ", is more appreciated. Besides, the tickets going for 300 to 3,000 yuans (between $37 and $370) cost more than a monthly wage of most Chinese workers. According to the Shanghai Morning Post, most of the tickets were sold to foreigners. The Stones did not escape Chinese censorship, and suggestive lyrics in "Honky Tonk Woman," " Brown Sugar," "Forty Licks," "Beast of Burden" and "Let's Spend the Night Together " were off. Mick Jagger noted "Fortunately, we have 400 more songs that we can play, so it is not really an issue." Keith Richards suggested they should play the instrumental version of the censured songs.
Sources: « Rolling Stones kowtow after censors cut greatest hits from concert, » The Times 8 April 2006 ; « At last, China and the Stones can spend the night together, » The Daily Telegraph 8 April 2006.

Krumping By Halimatou THIONGANE
Krumping is a new style of hip-hop dance which originated in the African-American community of South Central Los Angeles, California. It is highly expressive and energetic and s evolved out of clown dancing (or clowning). This style was created in the early nineties by Thomas Johnson, aka Tommy the Clown. Originally he practised a dance called Frump or Krump in South Central, but eventually this mostly underground culture spread as Tommy Johnson founded his Hip-Hop Clown Academy. This is the topic of David LaChapelle's documentary film entitled Rize which begins with the footage of the 1965-Watts riots and the 1992 Rodney King riots, thus defining South Central as an area of systematic and historical subjugation.
Today, Tommy Johnson performs publicly with the most adept children or dancers (the age span ranges from 6 into the 20s). About 50 clown dancing groups exist currently and krumping has entered mainstream hip-hop culture. It even has had an impact on pop culture with many music videos such as Missy Elliott's I'm Really Hot, Madonna's Hung Up, and The Black Eyed Peas's Hey Mama.
Sources: "RIZE," The Observer 1 January 2006; "All the right moves," The Guardian 26 November 2005.

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