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« Webshorts | Main | Modernism »

June 18, 2006


Michael Blowhard writes:

Dear Blowhards --

* Thanks to visitor Robert Holzbach, who found and passed along this beautiful online gallery of fantasy art. Amazing visuals, and stunningly presented: You can click in for very close views. As Robert writes, "With subject titles like 'Possession and Insanity' and 'Danse Macabre,', what's not to love?"

* Peter wrestles with a moral dilemma on the LIRR.

* I meant long ago to link to John Baker's blog but am only now catching up to doing so. An English writer, John is hilarious, well-seasoned, brainy, and very tart on any number of subjects, including book publishing and modernism.

* A good line from Joseph Stiglitz:

There is obviously something peculiar about a global financial system in which the richest country in the world, the United States, borrows more than $2 billion a day from poorer countries -- even as it lectures them on principles of good governance and fiscal responsibility.

* I hang out in the wrong parking lots. (NSFW)

* Mary Scriver turned up this amusing piece -- insightful and perverse both -- by the British art critic and artist Matthew Collings. I also enjoyed this talk between Collings and Julie Copeland about Robert Hughes. My own reaction to Collings is an odd one. I think he's brilliant, and I agree with about 80% of what he says -- a high ratio, especially given that I often find him very annoying. This page shows a couple of the paintings that Collings has made in collaboration with his wife, Emma Biggs.

* Watching "Children of the Century" and "The Dreamers" has Prairie Mary herself asking one of those key questions:

How did the idea of Romanticism seize us so deeply and thoroughly even way out here on the prairie? Is it the existential result of war? ... How did we get sex and violence so enmeshed with love and tenderness?

Who knows what the answer is, of course. But how can you be an arts buff and not spend some time gnawing at that one?

* Iran is now the nose-job capital of the world.



posted by Michael at June 18, 2006


"How did we get sex and violence so enmeshed with love and tenderness?"

I can't believe a woman is asking that question...or maybe I can, since women have a tendency to sugar-coat even their own desires. The connection between sex and love should be rather obvious. And conflict, often violent conflict, is inherent in the human condition, and the victors in those conflicts generally get outsized rewards of love and tenderness from their society. One wishes it could be better -- that great radical Jesus Christ said that the meek will inherit the earth, but not even he could claim they already had it.

Posted by: MQ on June 20, 2006 6:15 AM

MQ, I think the difference in our point of view is as much due to an age difference (I'm old -- I assume you're young) as to a gender difference. I suspect that our mental images of sex mixed with violence would be QUITE different, esp. given my background in emergency response and counseling. I'm sometimes taken aback when I end up agreeing with Shouting Thomas, who seems to understand love and tenderness, I think because we're from the same generation, give or take, and not confined to one sociology.

I once attended a workshop where a fine eloquent minister gave a stirring speech about God the Loving Father and even used the word "penetration." Afterwards, he asked me what I thought, so I told him the truth: that I hoped no one in the audience had been molested by her father as a child. He was aghast. He thought that was something that didn't happen to nice people who attended church workshops.

Prairie Mary

Posted by: Mary Scriver on June 20, 2006 11:46 AM

I'm sure it has something to do with being in my fifties, but my first reaction to the girls going at it in the parkinglot was that they better not do that on top of my car! Or I'm switching parkinglots, by gum! And demanding a refund!

Posted by: Friedrich von Blowhard on June 20, 2006 1:13 PM

I think its amusing that you "hang out in parking lots" at all. That in and of itself sounds just a little Peter Lorre or something.

Posted by: annette on June 20, 2006 4:31 PM

Stiglitz makes some good points, but I've always wondered about things like "it lectures them on principles of good governance and fiscal responsibility"... I know the US has the reputation as Purse-Lipped Schoolmarm to the World, but it seems to get lectured at at least as much as it lectures to.

I suspect his final recommendation:

America’s need to reduce its fiscal deficits – through higher taxes for America’s richest and lower defense spending...
is D.O.A. for the forseeable future.

Posted by: David Fleck on June 21, 2006 8:36 AM

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