Category Archives: Paula (PJ) Chambers

Hot Air

The Rich: How They Get That Way

Kids, you have to read this smart — and smart-assed — work of art by a performance artist named Revolva (h/t to B-town’s hoop queen Paula Chambers for pointing it out.) Revolva has made tsunami-high waves on the interwebs for busting the heretofore beloved Oprah Winfrey’s chops.


Revolva & Friend

See, the world’s most caring, powerful, brilliant, spiritual, all-knowing woman was throwing a great big narcissists ball in San Jose, CA this past weekend, charging up to a grand a ducat, and had asked Revolva to perform for free at it.

The SJ event was part of what the Oprah Outfit calls The Life You Want Weekend. It featured scads of self-help snake-oil peddlers, phony-baloney mystics, and shrewd entrepreneurs telling huge arenas of goggle-eyed woman how they control everything that happens to themselves and how they can attract good things by thinking sweet thoughts. The audience was cooed at and cosseted by the likes of bullshit artist Deepak Chopra and literary self-exalter Elizabeth Gilbert. For this, I repeat, many of the attendees  shelled out a thou a ticket.

Kari Revolva writes in an open letter to Oprah (all sic):

The life I WANT does not involve mega tours netting unfathomable amounts of real, tangible money, while local artists are coached to accept all or most of their payment in the least stable form of currency: exposure. If the “trailblazing” I do today is being an upstream voice, then I’ll at least make a bold statement about the life I DO want:

I want a life in which people are not asked to work for free — by people who can totally afford to pay.

Kari Revolva is an Oakland, California-based comedian/actor/dancer/writer/hoop artist who apparently does circus-ey things with the Hula Hoop and throws in some fire while she’s at it. She got a call from one of Oprah’s Harpo Studios producers asking her to work an outside stage at the last stop on the Big O Life You Want tour. She was shocked when she was told there’d be no pay. Not only that, she’d have to pay her own way from one end of San Francisco Bay to the other. Oh, and whatever else she had planned for that particular day that might have made her a dollar or two would be out of the question as she raced to donate her services to Oprah’s money-printing machine.


Revolva’s Math

The Life You Want Weekend last month was skewered in a New York Times style section piece written by Jennifer Conlin.

Revolva continues:

In one day, your arena tour (capacity around 18,000, each ticket $99 to $999) is raking in more money than most people will make in a year. In ten years. In their entire lives. And yet, your side stage, featuring local acts, is paying in that old tap-dancing, phantom promise of “exposure.” As I was choking on my own tongue (stroke!), your producer also mentioned there was the added bonus of a ticket to the event. Unfortunately, her call coming just four days before your San Jose stop, I didn’t have the whole weekend free. I also texted my landlord, and it turns out he does not accept rent payment in Oprah Winfrey tickets. Gah!

I’ve long gagged over the genuflecting America did before Oprah, whose daily TV love fest (she retired from her show in 2011) regularly featured junk science, quack medicine, self-help bushwa, and the likes of fraudster Mehmet Oz. Today her magazine (which, by her own order, displays her sacred mug on every cover) features a column written by Herself entitled “What I Know for Sure,” which sounds just a tad presumptuous, no?

The sold-out arenas at which O put on her Weekends prove she’s still a huge draw. As Malcolm Muggeridge once observed:

One of the peculiar sins of the 20th Century which we’ve developed to a very high level is the sin of credulity. It has been said that when human beings stop believing in God they believe in nothing. The truth is much worse: they believe in anything.

Bad Thoughts

Now this might sound macabre, ghoulish, and even tinfoil-hat-ish but the question just occurred to me: Who’s going to get shot at first, Elizabeth Warren or Pope Francis?


Warren & Bergoglio

[E. Warren photo by Tim Pierce; for more visit Tim’s flickr page.]

I also include in the realm of possibilities food poisoning, trumped-up sex scandal, or — gulp! — plane crash.

Go ahead, laugh at me. I hope I’m wrong as wrong can be. I hope to hell I’m making an ass out of myself.

This mad, mad, mad, mad world lets troublemakers rock the boat — but only to a point. I’m guessing Warren and the Pope long ago went way past that point.

Hot Air

Go With The Flow

FlowMotion Fest is nearing, babies. Gotchyer tix yet?

The brainchild of fearless ringleader, Paula Chambers (known to her pals as PJ) and her Kinetic Arts Academy cohorts, FM Fest will feature workshops on:

  • Hula hooping
  • Poi
  • Beat-boxing
  • Juggling & contact juggling
  • Fire arts
  • Yoga
  • Aerial silks
  • Contact staff
  • Belly dancing
  • Flower sticks
  • Rope darts
  • Diabolo

It’s all a pastiche of rhythmic, flowing time-arts, some of which you may have seen at the Bloomington Fourth of July parade, for instance, and others that are completely new to you, as they are to me. Take aerial silks. Here’s the Wikipedia def. of the art:


The various flow arts incorporate the entire body in the performance thereof and can be considered as much an exercise regimen as a creative endeavor. FlowMotion Fest rolls around in a week and a half, August 22-24. PJ and crew will be at the Green Stock Music Fest in Nashville (IN) this weekend selling discount ducats for their big shindig.

It’s a good bet FM Fest will challenge you and your body, so don’t sign up and expect to sit in a lawn chair and ogle the action. As an example, let’s take a look at PJ herself performing with her hoop:

PJ founded the FMF and the Kinetic Arts Academy along with Stephanie Poppe and Scott Myers. They’ve set up an Indiegogo account to raise dough not only for the Fest but as seed capital for the KAA. They hope the Academy will become a permanent facilitator for events like the Fest as well as local center for practitioners and lovers of the various flow arts.

So, move!


Do you have a woman boss? I do.

Acc’d’g to the Pew Research Center this week, citizens of this holy land prefer male bosses to females by a margin of 35 percent to 23 percent. The remaining 42 percent don’t care about the gender of the tyrant who demands they come to work on time and — Gasp! — stay awake while on the clock.


Bosses: Hogg, Daley, Stewart, Corleone

The Pew report also points out that there are now 24 female CEOs of Fortune 500 companies. That’s still not even a full five percent of the total but it’s better than, say, 1995 when there were — get ready for it — zero female Fortune 500 heads. Harrumph!

In any case, I’ve always felt a profound affection for bosses when they sign my paychecks but, really, can’t stomach their overbearing ways when they demand that I actually do things for them, the Nazis. Neither of these feelings has in any way been affected by the genitalia of said bwanas.

Opinions Are Like….

Voltaire famously said, “I do not agree with what you have to say but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

That line has come to define the squishy, democratic, all-inclusive, kumbaya philosophy that encourages anyone to say whatever they’d like because it’s their truth.

Not, I should point out, the truth. Their truth.

I’ll cite three good arguments for and against such thinking.

1) I believe that ignorance is the root of all evil. And that no one knows the truth. — Molly Ivins


Molly Ivins

2) Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means the “my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.” — Isaac Asimov

and, finally:

3) The problem with “I’m entitled to my opinion” is that, all too often, it’s used to shelter beliefs that should have been abandoned. It becomes shorthand for “I can say or think whatever I like” — and by extension, continuing to argue is somehow disrespectful. And this attitude feeds, I suggest, into the false equivalence between experts and non-experts that is an increasingly pernicious feature of our public discourse.Patrick Stokes

Stokes is a philosophy lecturer at Deakin University in Australia. He wrote an op-ed for The Conversation, an online Aussie mag for walking brains, a couple of years ago revealing that he tells his students, “You are not entitled to your opinion. You are only entitled to what you can argue for.” Read it and tell me what your opinion is.

[via IFLS.]


A piece in New Geography, a site covering urban issues large and small for city planners, warns that college towns are fast becoming a thing of the past.

By this, author Richard Reep refers to those small, bucolic towns that long ago sprang up around private, liberal arts colleges. Think Oberlin, Ohio, or Grinnell, Iowa. Each town essentially owes its existence to its respective eponymous college.


They are, by and large, cloistered, isolated, insulated communities populated by white intellectuals. Reep makes no mention of that particular demographic datum; it’s a stereotype of my own making. He does argue that the places will begin disappearing because their colleges are in profound financial trouble. Reep writes:

Reinvention of the liberal arts college itself has been a cottage industry for the last several years. Student body diversification into “lifelong learning” (read: the lucrative retiree demographic), extensions, outreach campuses, and summer programs for primary and secondary schools has surged, as colleges try to open new markets. Bloated administrative costs have given rise to urgent fundraising and athletic programs, while an army of poorly paid adjunct professors shoulder an increasing burden of responsibility for the actual work of teaching. But, as Moody’s analyst Susan Fitzgerald has said about small, tuition-dependent colleges, they are in “a death spiral — this continuing downward momentum for some institutions [means] we’ll see more closures than in the past.”

Athletic programs? Will the big Oberlin vs. Grinnell football game be featured on some future Saturday afternoon of ESPN programming?

More fodder for my argument that colleges and universities more and more are really sports operation that dabble in academics on the side.

[via Real Clear Policy; h/t to Janis Starcs.]

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