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Yet Again, Aubrey Plaza Is More Daring and Interesting Than the Film Around Her

Aubrey Plaza is a national treasure, but the movies still haven’t figured out what to do with her. Ingrid Goes West comes close, though, with its twisted, of-the-moment tale of an Instagram stalker who infiltrates the personal life of a social media celebrity. But for all its many virtues, it doesn’t quite take full advantage of its star’s dark, unpredictable energy. It’s ultimately too sweet, too much of a bouncy Indiewood quirk-fest to do right by her sublime strangeness.

Plaza plays Ingrid, whom we meet as she stomps furiously into the wedding of what appears to be a friend and then wreaks unholy hell by macing the bride. (This is a promising start.) Turns out that Ingrid is yet another person who mistook social media interactions for real-life friendship, and that opening incident has landed her in an institution. Released from the hospital, and blocked by the woman she had previously been obsessed with, she now fixates on the perfectly named Taylor Sloane (Elizabeth Olsen), a beautiful neo-boho living her best life out on the West Coast, posting perfectly posed selfies and immaculate snapshots of branded products. Ingrid has found her next victim/BFF. Armed with a bag full of cash she’s inherited from her recently deceased mom, our girl heads to Los Angeles. Soon, she’s shopping where Taylor shops, getting the same haircut as Taylor, and trying to find a way to connect with her.

It is to both director Matt Spicer and star Plaza’s credit that Ingrid, despite being basically psychotic, remains quite likable. It’s the Norman Bates effect: Ingrid’s vulnerability, her constant skirting of humiliation, puts us inside her head. We watch her actions in horror, and then we secretly root for her to succeed, sharing in her triumph as she insinuates herself into Taylor’s life, becoming inseparable with her and even getting some candid confessions out of Taylor’s top-knotted beardo art-bro husband (Wyatt Russell).

Throughout, Plaza is pretty much perfect. Her face can go from wide-eyed and lost to mysteriously knowing in an instant — an ideal canvas against which other characters can project their different responses to her. To some, Ingrid is a clueless weirdo; to others, she’s the cool girl who just gets them. Inside, she’s barely keeping it all together. The tension can be electrifying to watch, especially when it manifests itself as physical comedy.

Of course, Ingrid’s deceptions can’t last. And the contrived way that things unravel is one of several problems here. You keep waiting for the duplicities to pile on top of one another until they collapse. But there’s something artificial about the story’s ultimate direction, with the introduction of other characters even more fucked up than Ingrid. It feels like a cheat, because she’s not undone by her own delusions — as if the filmmakers, having allowed us to identify with her, are now too afraid to fully pull the rug out from under her (and, by extension, us).

I was occasionally reminded of Martin Scorsese’s The King of Comedy, although Spicer’s film never quite reaches the humiliating heights of that earlier work. Still, it is entertaining, and often touching, even if it pulls back right when it should be going totally nuts. There’s a strong core of deeply perverse and caustic weirdness here that might have been fully indulged — it’d not only make for a less predictable, more exciting movie, it would also be a far more damning indictment of our own bonkers ideas about friendship, fame, and fate in the digital age.

Ingrid Goes West
Directed by Matt Spicer
Neon
Opens August 11, Regal Union Square and AMC Loews Lincoln Square

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NEWS & POLITICS ARCHIVES NYC ARCHIVES Style THE FRONT ARCHIVES

Sad Life Hack: Hire an ‘Instagram Husband’ to Take Your Selfies for You

The best thing about New York is that it’s incredibly absorptive, meaning its residents can easily ignore nearly every large-scale festival or happening that would bring a lesser city to its knees. Fashion Week, which spans approximately eight months out of each year, is one such event. You wouldn’t know about TaskRabbit’s limited “Instagram Husband” offer if I weren’t sharing it with you now, but it is my mandate to ruin your life.

An “Instagram Husband” is an underemployed factotum willing to lease his soul so that Fashion Week drones have someone fetching to perform low-responsibility jobs, like dropping off dry cleaning and picking up flowers. By far the saddest Task advertised by the website is “Photography,” in which a selfie-stick is replaced by a flesh-and-blood beating heart.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with making an honest living, and if some tragic PR company has hired you to snap iPhone photos at their hashtag brand vodka party, all the more power to you. In 2015, New York City reached its lowest unemployment rate since 2007, thanks to the creation of bilious minimum wage jobs like this.

Taskers can step in as your Instagram Husband (or Wifey) and take care of all your behind-the-scenes tasks during New York Fashion Week – from snapping your #ootd and lightly editing photos before you post, to carrying your gift bags and handling your sample returns. Note: Instagram Husbands and Wives are a coveted commodity and are available while supplies last!

(“#ootd” refers to “our ominous total destruction,” in case you were wondering.)

The female corollary of the “Instagram Husband” is the “Instagram Wifey,” confusing terminology considering the copy must surely have passed muster with at least one woman. (Or maybe not.) I would rather scrape moss from crone’s bunion than have any man, woman or child refer to me as a “wifey,” particularly when that heinous term is preceded by “Instagram.”

Anyway, here’s a proposal: TaskRabbit typically skims 30 percent off of wages earned for a “service fee.” There should, however, be a tax levied for demeaning titles, particularly considering the additional profits they’re sure to rake in thanks to a glut of undeserved press. Cut it to 10 percent, and leave the additional funds to the Taskers, who deserve recompense for being forced to endure the indignity of your stupid ad campaign. You’ll sleep better!

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ART ARCHIVES CULTURE ARCHIVES Datebook Museums & Galleries

Met Photo Show Nails What Instagram Never Will

According to a recent article in the Art Newspaper, social media and the popularity of photo-sharing networks like Instagram are fueling a boom in audiences for photography exhibitions. But does that mean the future of museum shows depends on cat porn and selfies? Fans of Justin Bieber, the first Instagram user to generate 1 million likes for a photo, say yes. Art-historical sense says it’s time to rethink what photography means today.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s photography department has been busy over the past few years doing precisely that. Curator Douglas Eklund, for one, has done a better job than just about anyone of shining art’s critical light on the limitations and possibilities of the zeitgeist; the shows “Long May You Shoot,” “Hidden in Plain Sight,” and “The Street” are textbook examples of how to make contemporary art historical and vice versa. But the institution’s latest survey belongs to another curator. Mia Fineman, who in 2012 organized “Faking It: Manipulated Photography Before Photoshop,” presents a similar sleight-of-hand approach in a new display about what the camera usually misses. “Now You See It: Photography and Concealment” may cut a modest swath, but it consistently punches above its weight class.

An installation of 24 photographs and a single video inside the Met’s Joyce and Robert Menschel gallery, “Now You See It” gives the lie to the old saw that photography documents the truth without chucking in the towel on the camera’s perennial search for honesty. The exhibition ropes together a crafty group of photographers and photo-artists from across the ages. Starting with Pierre-Louis Pierson’s late-19th-century masked portrait of the Countess of Castiglione — the Kim Kardashian of her age, she was photographed by Pierson more than 700 times — the show moves seamlessly into the present tense with Mishka Henner’s Google Earth shot of a digitally camouflaged top-secret Dutch government location. What comes through in “Now You See It” is a brief alternative history of the medium. Far from a top-down hierarchy of “decisive moments,” the exhibition reveals photography as the perfect tool to portray the unseen, the obscured, and the partially hidden.

Consider Thomas Demand’s Vault (2012): A remarkably layered image depicting a studio reconstruction of a police photograph that had recently appeared in the news media, Demand’s large color print reframes an infamous storeroom full of stolen Nazi art that exposed the art world’s shady dealings. (The Wildenstein Institute in Paris was found to contain more than 30 such artworks when raided in 2011 by les flics.) The fact that the facsimiles of framed paintings — including works by Degas, Manet, and Morisot — are depicted turned against the wall, as they appeared in the source image, clues the viewer in to how the camera outlines the limits of the visible, even as it traces the contours of this tricky faux-reality.

While several photographs in the exhibition portray the idea of concealment literally — Weegee’s snaps of paddy-wagon perps covering their faces with top hats; Helen Levitt’s photos of city children playing hide-and-seek — others reveal what’s normally hidden. Such is the case with Vera Lutter’s Pepsi Cola Interior II: July 6-13, 2000. An enormous negative print the artist made by constructing a huge pinhole camera inside a derelict bottling plant in Queens, the image exhibits photography’s peculiar demiurgic tendency: Lutter created the print via a week-long exposure, literally scoring darkness with light. Elsewhere, Miguel Rio Branco’s A Touch of Evil (1994) and an untitled 2012 photo from Fredi Casco’s “Foto Zombie” series turn images inside out like a sock. The first portrays the seamy underside of a classical tapestry; the second traces its politically loaded subject matter on the photo’s verso in pencil.

Floating like an éminence grise above “Now You See It” is Diane Arbus, whose photographs remain the gold standard for picturing lasting strangeness. “I really believe there are things which nobody would see unless I photographed them,” Arbus famously said. Her portraits of a middle-aged nudist couple and of a man playing at being a woman by tucking his junk between his legs expose the abiding allure of hiding. That’s a fundamental gift viral images will never achieve, no matter how many millions “like” them.

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Datebook Museums & Galleries VOICE CHOICES ARCHIVES Where To

UNFORGETTABLE

Late last year, 35-year-old French artist Laure Prouvost won the acclaimed Turner Prize, a Tate Museum-affiliated award of $41,000 given to an artist under 50. That she is a woman and French also made Prouvost’s winning extremely rare. Her dreamy, Instagram-like, fragmented films beat out established artists and received accolades at numerous festivals. Her latest presentation at New Museum, “For Forgetting,” a semicircular collage-mural and multichannel video installation, marks the first time Prouvost has exhibited her solo work in the U.S., and features two new films that center around memory and 
forgetting.

Wednesdays-Sundays, 11 a.m. Starts: Feb. 12. Continues through April 13, 2014

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ART ARCHIVES CULTURE ARCHIVES Theater

Personality Crises in I Call My Brothers and A Man’s a Man

Has there ever been an age more self-obsessed — or selfie-obsessed — than ours? We tweet our morning coffee, Facebook our commute, Instagram our lunch, and then blog, vlog, and Vine far into the night. But two plays — one new, one old — suggest that identities, however well-documented, are dodgy, devious, slipperier than a sack of banana peels loosed on an ice rink.

I Call My Brothers, Swedish playwright Jonas Hassen Khemiri’s follow-up to the bracing Invasion!, centers on Amor (Damon Owlia), a seemingly feckless Arab youth. But as in Invasion!, in which one man’s name becomes a noun, a verb, a joke, a curse, and a threat, Khemiri continually destabilizes our hero. As he chats to a friend, a cousin, his dead grandmother, Amor seems little more than a vaguely asocial geek. Sure, he knows a surprising amount about chemistry, but he would never detonate a car bomb.

Yet it’s a more dangerous Amor who describes stabbing a policeman and unleashes invective on an animal-rights worker whom he threatens to shoot like a dog and shave like a mink. But just when we might begin to tremble, the campaigner recognizes him: “You were that science nerd who stalked a chick till she moved away.” Amor hangs up, ashamed.

Though less engaging than Invasion!, Brothers again announces Khemiri’s shrewd, inventive stagecraft. A simpler play might hinge on Amor’s guilt, but Khemiri’s drama, directed by Erica Schmidt for the Play Company, has more complicated concerns. Has Amor turned to extremism? Or do we wrongly suspect him because of his beard, his clothes, that worryingly heavy backpack? Will he become a terrorist just to satisfy our perception? Even Amor may not know. “I caught sight of an extremely suspicious individual,” he says toward the play’s end. “It was my reflection.”

Bertolt Brecht’s A Man’s a Man also concerns a hero with a less than sturdy sense of self. This 1926 parable explores the dehumanizing effects of war. Set in colonial India, it concerns the transformation of Galy Gay (Gibson Frazier) from affable porter to remorseless machine gunner. When a trio of soldiers lose their fourth in a raid on a temple, they dragoon poor Galy Gay. Eventually they force him to believe that Galy Gay has died and that he is their honored comrade Jeraiah Jip.

The script is more obvious than some of Brecht’s later works, which Brian Kulick’s long, loud, and slow production only emphasizes. At a preview, accents and lines deserted the cast. Even the scenery rebelled. Duncan Sheik’s sitar-accented songs, while pleasant, only delayed the denouement. The show even dulled the inestimable charms of Justin Vivian Bond, as the lusty Widow Begbick, and Stephen Spinella, as Bloody Five, a military commander with a singularly gory approach to abstinence.

In the final scene, the original Jeraiah Jip (Andrew Weems) attempts to reclaim his identity. Galy Gay won’t allow it, but he does offer the man a set of surplus papers. “It’s important to have something on you in black-and-white,” he says affably. “These days they are always trying to take your name away, and I know what a name is worth.” That’s very nice to say, but these plays suggest that the worth of a name, a man, a life isn’t much at all.

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ART ARCHIVES CULTURE ARCHIVES Datebook Museums & Galleries

Hidden in Plain Sight

Photography is not just the act of taking pictures with a nearly two-century-old invention; it’s a way of understanding the world. No longer just a paper and emulsion record of the way we live — goodbye Kodak, hello Instagram! — today’s hyped-up version churns out images ceaselessly and recklessly, like a stoned Artie Lange at Christmas dinner.

Begging Susan Sontag’s pardon, it really is now, and not during the flashbulb 1970s, that everything exists to end in a photograph. The iPhone, among other advanced gadgetry, fills the world with more reproductions than people ever thought possible. The fact that our surroundings are constantly being mediated by images, ranging from our own photos to those produced by pesky Google street-view cars, has in due course become one of contemporary photography’s most popular bugaboos.

The commonplace nature of this eye-opening quandary — that photography is constantly testing itself — is the subject of a terrific exhibition of pictures at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Titled “Everyday Epiphanies: Photography and Daily Life Since 1969,” this modestly scaled show of 36 photographs and four videos traces the recent development of this omnipresent medium. Chiefly, it explains what happened after certain nettlesome artists realized mechanical and digital reproduction itself was the best tool available to pry open photography’s big box of magic tricks.

Starting with what pop historian Rob Kirkpatrick called the “year that everything changed,” “Everyday Epiphanies” examines the development of photography after 1969, an era marked by the medium’s openness to explorations of its own basic documentary and truth-telling functions. Set out in the manner of an insightful visual essay rather than an exhaustive argument or polemic by the Met’s photography curator, Douglas Eklund, the show chronicles photography’s drift through what may be termed early, late, and terminal postmodernity.

“Everyday Epiphanies” features photographs that are studiedly self-conscious, either by choice of subject or in their approach to the medium’s conventions. Consider, for instance, William Wegman’s print of two images of the same table knife. Combined with text that identifies one as “sharp” and the other one as “dull,” its perceptual, Magritte-like message is expressed drolly by selective focusing, rendering one knife blurry and the other crisp. Another photograph to use flatfooted imagery to test the boundaries of photography’s limits is John Baldessari’s Hands Framing New York Harbor (1971). A black-and-white picture that literally represents its title, the photo also apes the all-important framing function of the camera with the ultimate analog technology: the artist’s fingers.

A similar and more recent example of hard-edged conceptual photography is Erica Baum’s Buzzard (2009). An image of several pages of text folded into each other, the print not only flattens out the expressive possibilities of picture-making into a welter of unreadable ideas, it also goes a ways to making explicit our current data glut. Baum’s digital inkjet print also finds earlier machine-era echoes in a piece by the California conceptualist Larry Sultan. A color image of the artist’s father with everything but his hands obscured by the New York Times business section, My Father Reading the Newspaper (1989) displays sheets of reproduced information as an effectively obscuring rather than revealing barrier.

But not all of “Everyday Epiphanies” sounds the same paranoid, Adjustment Bureau note. In fact, much of the show is given over to two particularly lyrical artists. The first, celebrated shutterbug Stephen Shore — once Andy Warhol’s in-house photographer — is represented by a selection of colorful, everything-and-the-motel-sink “drugstore prints” he made during a single cross-country road trip in 1972. And then there are Gabriel Orozco’s 1990s photos of his own ephemeral sculptures. A pile of sand on the table, a curled-up potato bug, a shoebox in the snow — each of these images defies conventional hierarchies, while presenting photography not as unvarnished truth or power, but as a source of mysterious, small-bore revelations. One of the show’s takeaways is that you have to sift through a lot of Artie Lange’s Instagram garbage to find them.

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No Age

Neither punk nor garage nor some heavily filtered Instagram approximating college rock, proud weirdo duo No Age have arrived at a partially pasteurized version of all three genres on their latest, An Object. That’s not to say they’ve lost all their sourness; it’s just that An Object finally finds the prickly pair sticking to what many people might call “listenable,” with a few wacky moments of fuzz thrown in for the diehards. It’s a more focused variation on their usual theme, and, as its title suggests, it’s up to the listener—and in tonight’s case, the concertgoer—to parse its meaning. With Ornament and Regal Degal.

Thu., Sept. 5, 9 p.m., 2013

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CULTURE ARCHIVES MUSIC ARCHIVES

Hanni El Khatib Is Sexy, Raw, and Dangerous

It’s barely opened and there’s already a pretty good crowd milling around the massive patio behind HVW8 gallery off Melrose. Rife with dirtbags and the women who love them, the crew has clustered here for an opening party celebrating Hanni El Khatib’s artwork and imminent sophomore album release, Head in the Dirt. A band of mariachi veterans play spirited sing-alongs opposite the bar, but nobody dances until they launch into The Champs’ “Tequila.” Then a crush of dudes pairing dark denim and work shirts with dirty hair and snapbacks begins to bop about. At the end of the verse, they hoist their beverages. “Tequila!”

The man of the hour is not among them. He’s on the fringes, handing out hugs to those who’ve come to offer congratulations.

There is much to raise a glass to. Since the 2011 release of his debut, Will the Guns Come Out, Los Angeles resident El Khatib, 31, has seen his star rise significantly. Originally grabbing attention for just a few super-raw demo recordings, the guitar rocker has become a brand as much as an emerging performer, securing licensing placements with Nike, Nissan, and Audi, among others. He’s toured widely on his own and with marquee names like Florence + the Machine. Most recently, he worked with The Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach, who produced Head in the Dirt, a collection of guitar-rock scorchers that deepens El Khatib’s dedication to hard-partying, primal rawness. Tonight, he’s pretty chill for a dude who regularly Instagrams photos of the beers he’s drinking on tour.

The venue is set up as a kind of shrine to El Khatib’s hipster-cholo aesthetic. (He’s actually half Palestinian, half Filipino.) Featuring works by El Khatib himself, as well as a cadre of creative collaborators, the exhibit spans a playful range of media. In one corner of the tiny gallery is a neatly terraced altar strewn with cigarette butts, skulls, and driftwood in front of a desert-scene backdrop. On the walls are glitter-bar mirrors, album covers, and projected music videos.

The collection revolves around iconic images of classic Americana: guitars, gas stations, motorcycles, tattoos, stars and stripes, denim, mysticism, and mischief. Also: alcohol. In the corner of the room, there’s an empty case of PBR, crushed cans scattered around it. (This apparently is part of the exhibit.)

As it turns out, the Hanni El Khatib brand isn’t so much a singular vision as a curation of quaintly trashy cultural touchstones.

Several weeks earlier, over lunch at a café in Hollywood, El Khatib demonstrates an absolute obsession with mid-century Americana. He’s into classic cars, stiletto knives, and malt-shop music. He frequents antique malls and thrift stores. He has a collection of cowboy hats and turquoise man-jewelry. His girlfriend looks like a pinup girl.

He’s been into this type of stuff for about 10 years, he says, and isn’t planning to change direction anytime soon. “If I stay true to the things that I like,” he says, “if I kind of stick to that as a guideline for what I do, I’m always all right.”

So far, that strategy has worked well. El Khatib’s natural passions have inspired fiery photo shoots, wild live performances, and studio recordings that are irresistible to advertisers. In January, he captured the brass ring of licensing placements, a Super Bowl commercial sync. The song “Can’t Win ’em All,” from Head in the Dirt, was the soundtrack to an Audi spot in which a high school boy’s dad lends him the car to go to the prom. He bursts into the gym, kisses the prom queen, is pummeled by the prom king, then speeds home with a black eye, howling with glee. The raucous song’s guitar riff plays on over a tagline about bravery.

The commercial drew a backlash, however. A chorus of netizens said it condoned violence and sexual assault. They should see the video for El Khatib’s single “Family,” wherein a gang of Japanese bikers in tighty-whities recruits topless women for a wild afternoon of thicket sex and octopus roasting.

“The music is a little edgy, but not too weird for visual media,” says Innovative Leisure’s Nate Nelson, who did the Super Bowl deal, of El Khatib’s commercial appeal. “It has an attitude and a mystique.”

El Khatib is one of a handful of young artists replacing baby boomer rockers as commercial signifiers of urgency and abandon, of living life lustfully. Much like Auerbach’s Black Keys, a runaway licensing success in recent years, El Khatib’s sound is fresh without departing too much from classic notions of coolness.

Hanni El Khatib is cool the way Elvis was cool, the way Jack White is cool. Raw, wild, passionate. Dangerous, maybe. And devastatingly good-looking.

Must be hard work, no? “First off, I’m not cool,” he insists from behind dark sunglasses, his jet-black hair glistening with Murray’s pomade. “The people I think are cool,” he explains, “is, like, a weird old mechanic who tells epic stories. A lot of the things that other people think are cool, I fucking hate.”

His music career, on the other hand, he’ll admit to grinding out. He attributes most of his success to his good, old-fashioned work ethic. He tours furiously, building his fanbase market by market, show by show, often dealing with less-than-glamorous conditions. “Like, if I go to St. Louis, there’s, like, 10 people there, and then the next time I roll in, there’s double or triple that,” he explains. “You show up again, and there’s triple that. Then you go to a city you’ve never been to, and there’s five people there, and you have to start all over again.”

El Khatib describes, at one point, being physically pushed onstage by his manager while yelling his credit card number into his cell phone to pay to euthanize his terminally sick cat, left behind at home.

But if it’s a life that’s sometimes low on glamor, it is the one he’s chosen. Coming out of the skate scene in his native San Francisco, El Khatib at an early age landed a cushy job doing graphics for the skate brand HUF. But as he crept toward 30, he found there was a separate set of urgent artistic forces brewing inside him in the form of rock ‘n’ roll.

In the summer of 2010, Innovative Leisure partner Jamie Strong caught wind of the demos that would make up the bulk of Will the Guns Come Out. “I was blown away by his voice and the lyrics,” Strong recalls.

El Khatib decided to go whole-hog into a late-breaking music career, and he’s actually now a partner and creative director for the label. “It’s partially talent and luck, but the effort you put into it is the return you get,” he says now.

Though maybe it’s not as lucrative as people think, he notes. “I’ve heard, like, “Your shit was on the Super Bowl tour buses!’ No. Try a rental van.”

Though he’s not planning to return to sleeping on dirty floors, El Khatib is realistic about his relatively modest success and quick to dissuade rumors of his baller status. “The best one is, like, so they gave you an Audi, right?” He laughs and slams his hand on the table. “Yes, they gave me an Audi. That’s exactly how it works. Imported from Germany. It’s, like, what?”

Hanni El Khatib’s Head in the Dirt is out now.

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FOOD ARCHIVES NYC ARCHIVES

Questlove Instagrams Jiro Sushi

Some chefs have placed an informal ban on capturing food porn at their restaurants, said
the New York Times earlier this week. Heads from Momofuku Ko, Le Bernadin, and Fat Duck spoke out against diners disrupting dinner service with an incessant need to use flash, tripods, or even stand on their chairs to capture a moment in edible time. And how dare diners upload said photos to wonky social media platforms like Instagram! Here to help us cope with the NYT Istafoodgram shame is Questlove. Last night, the Roots drummer Instagrammed parts of his 19-course meal from Tokyo’s Jiro Sushi, the subject of acclaimed documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi. In this photo’s caption, Questlove said he asked permission from Jiro himself if he could document his experience (#questtojiro).

In another photo, he captured a different dude who had the same idea and was taking a photo. “Seriously you have debates with yourself on whether to eat it. Look at it. Snap it. Or preserve it. This couple was crazier than me!,” he wrote.

When you’re eating a meal that likely costs $300 a person, chances are you’ll want to remember it. Even if you’re a world-famous musician. For his last photo (below) at the tiny sushi mecca, Questlove shoots Jiro and another employee standing outside the door. He captioned, “New Friends. J-Iro changed my life.”

Admittedly, I’ve taken photos of — and yes, even Instagrammed — plates of gooey eggs Benedict or a duo of fatty pork buns. I’ve even done it without asking for permission. But maybe next time I’ll think of my man Quest and nicely ask if my iPhone will bother those around me. Or perhaps chefs will take a page out of Jiro’s book and chill out a bit.

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Instagram Photos That I Have No Problem Giving Away To Corporate America

As you may have heard on the Internet by now, people are very angry about the newly revised Instagram rules of conduct, in which the photo-sharing service announced it will begin to sell away your sepia-toned photography to companies without paying or attributing you. People voiced their frustration on Facebook (a company that sells your information to corporate interests by the terrabytes), people voiced their frustration on Twitter (rinse and repeat like Facebook) and people overall were very up in arms about having to be unpaid interns for Instagram.

 

Grab your smartphones… er, pitchforks!

We should be accustomed to this sort of online behavior; we’ve already sold away our identities to Big Information the minute we first heard the phrase ‘social media.’ At this point, we must embrace it so, as an Instagram user, I met the clarion capitalist call with joy. Finally, a damn fine portion of the 7 million photos we upload daily would be put to some sort of good use. It may not help us at all but… (shrugs).
Here’s a list of Instagram photos that I have absolutely no problem with giving away to Corporate America.
– Photos of New York City with the caption “#WhereDreamsAreMadeOf”
– Screen shots of flight reservations to Hawaii
– Any photo with more than ten hashtags
– Blurry-but-filtered-anyway photos from last night
– Photos of your feet in sand… on the beach… with an umbrella… in the winter
– Bird’s eye view photos of your cappuccinos/cafe au laits/macchiatos/moccachino with a heart of foam
– Photos of storm clouds
– Photos of rainy puddles with the caption “:(“
– Photos on ‘Throwback Thursdays’
– A photo of a photo
– Any photo with that strange 70s glow filter
– Photos of something you’re holding
– Any photo of a dog doing something out of the ordinary. Tis the season so, in this case, a dog wearing a red-and-green bowtie.
– Photos of how much you drank last night
Notable mentions: Photos of your brunch, yourself and your feline friends. But those are too easy.
Disclaimer: I am guilty of taking a few of these. But, collectively, we all are.
Do what you want with these, powers that be. They’re safer in your hands anyway.