Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Eyesore of the Week: "Alchemist" by Philip Guston


In the May 30 edition of The New Yorker:

Philip Guston painted "Alchemist" in 1960 during a period of intense soul-searching about the kinship of abstraction and realism, which later led him back to the figure. It's one of eighty-nine stirring works, made between 1957 and 1967, at the Hauser & Wirth gallery through July 29.

Rob's comment:
I bet he also happily ponders the "kinship" of this kind of "art" with a successful con job. Philip Guston, meet Christopher Wool.

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Bernie and bust

Ralph nader bernie sanders.
Deja vu?

On Slate, A Letter to a Bernie-or-Bust Voter:

...Now, 16 years later, I look back on my young, Nader-voting self and see plenty of parallels with the college students who are feeling the Bern. Hillary Clinton is a wonkish, often uninspiring candidate, just as Al Gore was. Like Gore, she promises to extend an incumbent’s centrist legacy rather than move the country further left. Her ties to the moneyed powers-that-be sometimes seem stronger than her connection to the other 99 percent. And Bernie, as Nader did, promises to dial back the influence of big-money corporate donors and bring about real change. He even has Bill Murray, Michael Moore, Susan Sarandon, and Eddie Vedder on his side. 

But if Bernie splinters the left and erodes Clinton’s support among voters, the consequences for our country could be even more dire than another Bush administration. If the Bush administration was catastrophic, a Trump administration could be cataclysmic. He has no compunction about stirring up violent, hateful rhetoric among his supporters. He wants to deport millions of people and ban an entire religious group from entering the country. He threatens to shut down the press. If he gets elected, we’ll be counting down the days before he insults some world leader and starts World War III.

Alarmingly, some Sanders supporters seem to actually welcome the chaos of a Trump presidency: Susan Sarandon has said he can “bring the revolution,” an argument that only highlights her privileged position as a celebrity not at risk of getting deported, deployed, or discriminated against by a Trump administration. 

Jill Stein, running as the Green Party’s nominee, recently tweeted, “I will be horrified if Donald Trump is elected. I will also be horrified if Hillary Clinton is elected. Both are corporate politicians.” 

Change up the names, and she could be quoting her party mate Nader in 2000. Both Sarandon and Stein are ignoring real differences: Hillary Clinton may not be a revolutionary, but she’ll defend Roe v. Wade, preserve Obamacare, push for reasonable gun laws, protect LGBTQ rights, support parental leave, and heed climate science. Trump will do none of the above...

See also this and this.

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Good message, bad app

Freedom from Religion Foundation

As an atheist, I like the message. But covering bus windows with ads is a terrible practice that, by obstructing their view through the windows, shows contempt for people who have to ride the bus. 

Muni routinely shows contempt for its passengers by doing this in our supposedly "transit first" city. Of course it makes money with the practice, but it's not a significant amount in an $800 million budget.

My first post objecting to this practice was way back in 2007, which shows how much influence this blog has.

Thanks to The Friendly Atheist.

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