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July 15, 2005


Michael Blowhard writes:

Dear Blowhards --

* Are graphic designers a bunch of drama queens? If not, then why don't they focus more on creating timeless designs?

* I haven't yet been hooked by Patrick O'Brian's novels, but I sure enjoyed reading Larry Ayer's account of how he became an O'Brian addict.

* Thanks to Vdare's Brenda Walker for linking to this startling Christian Science Monitor piece about radical Islam in Britain. "This young man initially tried to upset his parents by becoming a rapper," says [one source.] "But when his parents stopped objecting, he became a jihadi instead."

* Randall Parker is alarmed by the news that Islamic extremists are seeking recruits on British campuses.

* Tech Central Station's Sandy Swarc says that dieting may be the worst thing an overweight person can do for his/her health.

* Cameraphones and thongs are evidently one of those marriages that were always meant to be. (NSFW, as if you couldn't guess.)

* I'm a big fan of the idea of graphic novels. Why shouldn't on-the-page-fiction have visuals too? But in actual fact, I've enjoyed relatively few of the graphic novels I've read. (I do like a lot of Euro-erotica graphic novels.) So I don't know the field well and my judgment isn't to be trusted. Jon Hastings, though, is a true graphic-novel fanatic. How fortunate that he has good taste too. Here's the latest episode in his ongoing series about the graphic novels he has loved.

* Jeff at JVC Comments thinks Woody Allen ought to have some sense slapped into him.

* L.A. artist Megan McMillan came away from a recent art opening thinking that the graffiti she drove past on the way there had been the visual highlight of her day.

* Steve Sailer has been having some easy and amusing sport with that crude and inept neocon John Podhoretz.

* It wasn't the Manhattan artscene that went gaga for Impressionism and brought the Impressionist style and approach to the States. Instead, it was the Boston artscene. Huh? Claire Messud explains how that came about.

* One of my favorite blog-reading ploys is to toggle between Rachel's blog Tinkertytonk and Neil Kramer's blog Citizen of the Month. Rachel and Neil are both smart, sassy, and funny writers who are equipped with big, quirky personalities. I find reading them in tandem to be as amusingly addictive as watching the best of "Seinfeld." Very sorry to learn that Rachel's been having nightmares, though.

* Friedrich von Blowhard must be aching to get there: England's National Gallery has opened a show of the work of George Stubbs. Stubbs seems to me to be one of the least-known major painters, perhaps because he focused his talents so much on painting horses. But what horses! Here's a good online gallery of Stubbs' paintings.



posted by Michael at July 15, 2005


I think it's time to start new genre in movie-making, involving blogger personalities.

Think about savings: all the marketing and audience-capture is provided by personages gratis, public loves the atmosphere of suspense and exclusive club in one pkge; besides, people started screenwriting in their dreams already - hurry up or competition will snatch it!

First in a series will feature MB as a "professor type, sitting at his computer while smoking a pipe", than unexpected change occurs: he became "very dapper" and appears in a breathtaking thriller accompanied by 3 former Junior High classmates and Jane Fonda in attempt to hijack supersonic bus...No more spoilers for you!

Posted by: Tatyana on July 15, 2005 03:30 PM

Is toggling even legal in the United States?

Posted by: Rachel on July 15, 2005 05:12 PM

I should hope not!

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on July 16, 2005 01:47 AM

Enough verbal're in presence of Genius. Hats off to Mr. Stubbs, quite possibly (along with Constable and Turner) the greatest visual artist to ever come out of the U.K. If anybody doesn't believe me, check out his paintings "Whistlejacket" and "Hambletonian, Rubbing Down"--both life-size renderings of magnificent horses which--without an ounce of expressionism--morph into confrontations with the Other (domesticated vs. wild nature, mind vs. body, etc., etc.)

Seriously, see these canvases face-to-face for a remarkable experience.

Posted by: Friedrich von Blowhard on July 16, 2005 10:45 AM

The discussion of the Boston-Impressionist connection by Claire Messud (which is excellent) raises a mystery to me. Boston was clearly the culture-capital of 19th century America. How and when did the transition to New York being the dominant cultural hub occur?

Somebody must have written a book about that.

Posted by: Friedrich von Blowhard on July 16, 2005 12:57 PM

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