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« More on These Kids These Days Redux | Main | Chaos of History: Art from 1920 »

August 28, 2003


Friedrich --

* Mike May, who regained his powers of sight thanks to a stem-cell procedure, has written his own account about it for the Guardian -- thanks to Srdjan Keca for pointing this out. May's diary is readable here. "I found it very distracting to look at people's faces when I was having a conversation," he writes. "I can see their lips moving, eyelashes flickering, head nodding and hands gesturing. At first, I tried looking down, but if it was a woman in a low-cut top that would be even more distracting. It was easier to close my eyes or tune out the visual input."

* Alexandra Ceely (once again posting regularly at her wonderful blog Out of Lascaux, here) found this piece by Victoria James from the Japan Times about prehistoric art, here. It's full of interesting news about how the ways people think about very ancient art have changed in the last few decades.

* Your questions answered. Two beyond-first-rate articles that Denis Dutton, the editor of Arts and Letters Daily, has written for the Oxford Handbook for Aesthetics are now online: "Aesthetics and Evolutionary Psychology" (here), and "Authenticity in Art" (here). One of our goals here at 2Blowhards is to help people who are eager to ditch the modernist/po-mo/decon straitjacket find threads that are more comfy, useful and sensible -- hence our championing of thinkers like Michael Oakeshott, Christopher Alexander and Nikos Salingaros, Michael Polanyi, Ellen Dissanayake, Frederick Turner, Steven Pinker, V. S. Ramachandran and others. Dutton's at the top of this list, both with articles like these and with ALD itself.

* Some fascinating lightness-darkness optical illusions created by Edward Adelson can be seen here.

* Terry Teachout responds to Aaron Haspel and others on the greatness question here. (All necessary links are in the posting.) It's good to see a pro critic like Terry get more into the give-and-take that's such an important part of blogging. It took me a long while to find the swing myself, so I'll be curious to read Terry's reflections about blogging once he's found his groove. Writing reviews, giving speeches, and doing criticism it ain't, even if those are a few of the things it can be. Tim Hulsey has his say about greatness here.

* Good lord, did you know that Cornell has hired the loony former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney to be a visiting professor? Read about it here.

* During a recent tour through Western New York's Finger Lakes region, The Wife and I spent an absorbing couple of hours at the Arnot Art Museum in Elmira, NY. Housed in an 1833 neo-classical mansion, the Arnot's an attractive and resourceful place. Open-minded too: unlike many of the trendier, big-city, first-tier museums, the Arnot's hip to the current revival of figurative art. Their current exhibition is called "Re-presenting Representation VI," and despite the awful name it's a knockout. (It includes one large stunner by Raymond Han, whose work I love and posted briefly about here.) The Arnot's site is here. Too bad the reproductions supplied of the work in the show aren't more generous ...

* Do you enjoy the photographs of the zanily obsessive (bondage, flowers, pubic hair) Japanese badboy Nobuyoshi Araki? I often find his work hilarious, and sometimes beautiful and sexy too. Here's a good collection of his photos.

* Remember how movies were released back in the '60s and '70s? The standard thing was for a movie to open in a couple of theaters in one or two major cities, and then slowly make its way across the country. People in the boonies might wait months to see the movie that Time and Newsweek raved about -- but if the movie was a hit, it could also run for months. Seems like many lifetimes ago, doesn't it? What's been remarkable about the movie business this past summer is how quickly most of the movies fizzled; only a few had life left in them after their first mega-gigantic, country-wide weekends. "The only movies audiences really loved this summer were 'Finding Nemo' and 'Pirates of the Caribbean,'" a film critic buddy said to me. Steve Sailer provides a sensible, hype-free and informative analysis of the summer movie-business season here.

* I'm glad I wasn't the Human Resources person assigned to resolve this dispute here.



posted by Michael at August 28, 2003


Terry Teachout's comments remind of a quote from film critic Pauline Kael. She said people ask her if she ever went to the movies "just to enjoy herself." And she answered, "Always."

I think he's right on about what makes any type of art great.

Posted by: annette on August 28, 2003 08:19 PM

Ooops---I meant "asked her"---I believe she's no longer with us.

Posted by: annette on August 28, 2003 08:20 PM

The $100,000 fart is quite a story. I'm tempted to say only in Sweden, but maybe only in Europe.

Posted by: Friedrich von Blowhard on August 29, 2003 12:34 AM

Well, yes...but, actually, why not be the Human Resources person assigned to that dispute? When have you ever seen HR settle anything?

Posted by: annette on August 29, 2003 05:49 PM

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