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Just How Dumb Are White Males?

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Posted on Oct 28, 2008
McCain
AP photo / Gene J. Puskar

Two thumbs up: Sen. John McCain campaigns at Robert Morris University in Moon Township, Pa., on Oct. 21.

By Robert Scheer

Let me now defend white males. We can’t possibly be as dumb as the polls showing we are John McCain’s most reliable voting base would indicate. Do we white men believe for an instant that a vote for McCain would not represent more of President Bush’s failed economic policies at home and costly military adventures abroad? If we don’t hold such a belief, why are a majority of us expected to vote against the positive change that Barack Obama so clearly represents?

Most of us know how to read, and can even Google, so why would we think that GOP candidate McCain, who has supported Bush on every one of his economic initiatives, is now the anti-Bush? What exactly did McCain mean when he said, referring to his Democratic opponent during a campaign speech in Ohio on Monday, “We both disagree with President Bush on economic policy”?

Is McCain unaware that he consistently voted for the red ink run up by the Bush administration, or was he having a senior moment when he said that same day, “We cannot spend the next four years as we spent much of the last eight: spending ourselves into a ditch, and hoping that the consequences don’t come”?

The only time McCain took issue with Bush’s economic policy was in his short-lived criticism of the tax cut for the rich—a strategy he now defends. But if McCain doesn’t increase taxes for someone, just how does he plan to pay for the enormous Iraq war debt, now vastly compounded by the banking bailout? On Monday McCain gave his answer: “I will freeze government spending on all but the most important programs, like defense, veterans’ care, Social Security and health care, until we scrub every single government program and get rid of the ones that aren’t working for the American people.”

Is he kidding? If he doesn’t curtail those programs, which make up almost the entire federal budget, then he’s talking about chump change in possible cuts. There just isn’t enough money in those earmarks that McCain goes on about to make a dent in the massive national debt.

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President Bush’s treasury secretary, Henry Paulson, left our collective credit card on Wall Street, where the bankers are once again to be trusted to regulate themselves. Are there any white males out there still so in the dark that they don’t know that the radical banking deregulation legislation that McCain pushed so aggressively is what legally enabled those he condemned on Monday as “the Wall Street bankers and brokers who got us into this mess”? Have they never heard of Phil Gramm, the man McCain picked to co-chair his presidential campaign, who sponsored the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act and the Commodity Futures Modernization Act—both of which made legal, for the first time since the Great Depression, the credit swaps and hybrid instruments at the heart of the Wall Street scams?

Call me naive, but I think white males, startled by job cuts and the devastation wreaked upon their retirement savings, are finally getting the point: Someone’s got to pay for this mess, and better those who got rich off the stock market theft than the rest of us.

Can you imagine the uproar now if the McCain-Bush plan to privatize Social Security by linking it to stock purchases had become law? And have you noticed that the Wall Street crooks are not using the bailout money to ease credit but rather to line their golden parachutes? They know how to take care of their retirement.

I don’t think McCain gets that the rest of us could use a bit more lift from the government safety net. That’s the same federal support that GM CEO Rick Wagoner asked about when he went, hat in hand, to Washington on Monday to lobby for a $10-billion gift to keep his company out of bankruptcy. Or is the CEO of GM just another tax-and-spend socialist?

Robert Scheer is the editor in chief of Truthdig and author of a new book, “The Pornography of Power: How Defense Hawks Hijacked 9/11 and Weakened America.”

Click here to check out Robert Scheer’s book,
“The Great American Stickup: How Reagan Republicans and Clinton Democrats Enriched Wall Street While Mugging Main Street.”


Keep up with Robert Scheer’s latest columns, interviews, tour dates and more at www.truthdig.com/robert_scheer.



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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, March 27, 2010 at 5:07 pm Link to this comment

Sabagio,

Thanks for the information on Japan and Germany. 

Though I am not over joyed with Obama for several reasons, (obviously does not matter worth a damn anyway). He seemed hawkish before the election and after, though I had hoped less a Hawk then McCain and Palin but the differences were an illusion.

My greatest disappointment in Obama was his attack against lobbyists and then his following up with crickets.  Not crazy about the medical plan either or how he supported wire tapping and of course the corporate sell out. Though, I may still be an Obama bot as you call it, I keep my options open.

Let’s face it, Obama is no FDR! Seems Obama is quite the Socialist according to Tea Baggers and friends!

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Sabagio's avatar

By Sabagio, March 27, 2010 at 4:11 pm Link to this comment

Leefelller.  Did you know that prior to WWII, Nazi ideology did not recognize Japanese as equals. Considered “Non aryan.”  The compromise: Japanese were declared “honorary Aryans” and became Nazi allies of Asia. Now the Japan of the time considered its people and culture as The Chosen, legitamate rulers of all Asia and the expellers of European colonies. I never found out what the Japanese leadership and The Emporer felt about being Honorary Aryans. Politics makes strange bedfellows.  Always. 

Neal Boortz?  Nationally syndicated through Cox Media and Atlanta ABC radio outlet. As such, a squeaking wheel who has access to millions nationwide.He was a collegue of Sean Hannity before Sean stuck his foot in his mouth making fun of John Lewis (now Rep. John Lewis) and got run outta town via community consesus, black and white. Boorz was on the NYT best seller list for his book on getting rid of the income tax, replacing it with a “flat tax.” T’was originally a Forbes idea to give to the rich and take from the poor. His strategy has been: repeat the biggest lie possible often enough, eventually it will be accepted as Gospel Truth by the Choir.(Sound familiar?) His recent observation about President Obama:

“Just how bad ... how dishonest ... how hypocritical ... can our hopey-changey president be? Apparently there are no bounds. No secret, my friends. I’m no fan of Barack Obama. This is a man with no respect for the rule of law, no respect for our Constitution, and no respect for the oath he took when he was sworn in on Jan. 20, 2009. The typical response I will get to these comments from Obama Bots out there will be something like “... well, George Bush blah blah blah blah and blah.”


Sabagio Mauraeno in Decatur Georgia, watching the Sun set through the shimmering blooms of my japanese pear trees.

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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, March 27, 2010 at 1:07 pm Link to this comment

Sabagio,

It was a surprise to see this blog resurface for me as well. 

Not sure who Boortz is, maybe a tad more detail would be nice on this flame fanning, for one always needs their flame fanned, sorry I do not know who you talk of? Though the name Boortz seems a connotation.

The Japanese were envious of Germany during the early days of hate before WWII.  Simply because, they did not have anything like the Jew to demonize!  Victim as demon in the eye of hate and fear does seem history’s legacy.

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Sabagio's avatar

By Sabagio, March 27, 2010 at 12:32 pm Link to this comment

Gollee gee whiz, this blog’s still goin. Just How Dumb Are White Males? Well, not so dumb, just scared. The real dumb American white males are those who follow Lemming- Like those Niggling Nabobs of Negativism of the Mediaocracy fronted by Lumbaugh, Hannity and in Atlanta Land, Neal Boortz. Today Mr. Boortz offered himself as a voice for moderation and temperance following the ugly demonstrations against the passage of health care reform.

“Some of the callers are admittedly off the wall and completely out of bounds. There have, in fact, been violent threats, just as there were death threats phoned in to Newt Gingrich after the Republicans took control of the Congress in 1994. The fact is, though, that the fools who make such calls and threats are in a tiny minority — a minority the Democrats want to make the very face of opposition to ObamaCare.”
He then goes on to say that ” ObamaCare fans fan attack flames.”

History shows that “blaming the victim has been a political tactic use by all Tyrants, in recent times, Napoleon, Hitler , Stalin, etc. Over the years Mr. Boortz has been an ardent practitioner of Flame Fanning.  Be it “flame fanning or fear mongering or hate mongering, tis all the same: Blame the Victim to justify evil.  Wittness:January 26, 2010 1:07 pm ET filed under Research
Boortz: “[D]amage Obama and the Dems are doing will surpass” 9-11 terrorist attacks

November 23, 2009 5:53 am ET filed under Blog
Boortz: Rep. Waters is an “idiot” who “should be cleaning restrooms”
November 09, 2009 6:03 am ET filed under Blog
Following Rep. Foxx’s lead, media conservatives compare health care reform to terrorism
November 03, 2009 1:49 pm ET filed under Research
Boortz tweets that Rep. Foxx “has it right. ObamaCare does present a greater threat than Islamic terrorism”
June 30, 2009 4:27 pm ET filed under MMtv
Boortz claims that, in passing property tax increase, Atlanta City Council is “gonna rape us… bend us over and nail us”
June 25, 2009 9:53 pm ET filed under Research
Boortz fearmongering: “Obama’s health care plan is going to end up killing people”
June 17, 2009 3:29 pm ET filed under MMtv
Boortz dubs Obama “Hugo Obama or Barack Chavez”
June 17, 2009 1:27 pm ET filed under MMtv
Boortz: People living in Katrina trailers, Section 8 housing and on welfare shouldn’t be allowed to vote
June 12, 2009 8:45 pm ET filed under Research
Boortz welfare rant—“human parasitic garbage lining up to get their applications to loot”
June 09, 2009 9:17 am ET filed under Blog
Boortz jokes: You can fit 27 “illegal aliens” into a Ford Excursion, “roll” it, “and only kill 10 of them”
June 03, 2009 12:25 pm ET filed under MMtv
Boortz: “I know I’m wrong,” but “I ought to be able to shoot” an intruder and leave body for garbage collector to “dump… into a landfill”
May 21, 2009 1:32 pm ET filed under MMtv
Boortz: If 16-year-old girl in yearbook photo with no underwear “wasn’t overweight, the visible panty line wouldn’t have been a problem”
May 18, 2009 12:45 pm ET filed under MMtv
Boortz on Pelosi: “[H]ow fun it is to watch that hag out there twisting in the wind”
May 12, 2009 6:06 pm ET filed under MMtv
Boortz agrees with caller that Katrina refugees are “parasites”
May 12, 2009 5:20 pm ET filed under MMtv
Boortz responds to Media Matters: “I was kinda having fun” with theorizing that the best way “to sneak a virus into this country then to give it to Mexicans”
April 29, 2009 3:10 pm ET filed under MMtv
Boortz suggests renaming the “Swine Flu,” the “Fajita Flu”
April 29, 2009 1:51 pm ET filed under MMtv
Paranoia pandemic: Conservative media baselessly blame swine flu outbreak on immigrants
April 27, 2009 6:30 pm ET filed under Research
Boortz on swine flu: “What better way to sneak a virus into this country than to give it to Mexicans?”


And so it goes, here in Decatur, Georgia on a
Saturday afternoon, Sabagio Mauraeno

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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, March 27, 2010 at 8:41 am Link to this comment

Robert, your brow is below ground.  It is sad that the only joy or fun you
can muster is to berate me, and ITW.  Good grief, man.  Get a life or at
least start one before it is too late and your entire life would have been a
waste.

Take a few minutes to listen to whatever music tweaks your fancy.  Or
read something that isn’t laced with hatred towards Jews and women.

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Robert's avatar

By Robert, March 27, 2010 at 8:03 am Link to this comment

By Inherit The Wind, March 27 at 8:03 am #

“This inanity of insults is all Robert is capable of when he isn’t borrowing and posting someone else’s work.  It is self-evident.

As I predicted he’s limited to calling me variations of “Zionist!”

Hey! Robert! You forgot to call me your OTHER brilliant insult—-“Lard Ass”. (But I guess you save that to use only against women).”

@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@


Why that ITW…if he only practiced what is trying to preach, maybe…just maybe…he could make an intellectual point or two!  BTW, I left out ITW’s slurs attacks on other female TD posters…Virgia777, Thongirl, Elisalouisa…


Its all below for all to see…ITW is a bigot!


“By Inherit The Wind, November 1, 2008 at 5:12 pm #

Shenonymous, November 1 at 11:19 am #

ITW says, “I guess I’m just too stoopid and ignorant to understand.” Yup, ITW, I guess you are.  No I haven’t noticed you are “fairly well-grounded” in art.  You can talk about the well-knowns all you want but you don’t say why they are great.  Yes of course they are great, but not because of who it touches or not, whatever that might mean?  How different is that from personal taste?  You sound like you have an apple stuck in your throat.  For crying out loud.  And just because I say what I am educated in doesn’t mean you have to demean that!  Who knows what standard popular opinion you are willing to go against unless you demonstrate that.  And quite frankly Scarlett I don’t give a damn what you like or don’t like.
******************************************

You know what? You are determined to think that your education somehow makes you better able to determine what is and what is not “Great Art”...and that the rest of us have turn off our minds and accept YOUR opinion as valid.

But it’s no more than that—your opinion.  You are just stuck in the mindset that because it’s yours, it’s somehow endowed with superior qualities.

So go ahead, dictate to the rest of us what we should and shouldn’t appreciate.  Expect the rest of us to kow-tow to your taste.

Tell us watch “Terms of Endearment” but turn up our noses at “Casino Royale”.

Tell us we should prefer Hayden to Hip-Hop, Mozart to Madonna, Picasso to Peanuts, and Hemingway to Harry Potter.

It’s still just your opinion and you know what they say about opinions: They are like assholes. Everyone’s got one and they all stink like shit,  yours included.

Low-Brow enough for you?  I’m no longer “entertained” by you, Shenonymous. I’m now bored with your boring typical views that makes people call progressives “elitist”.  Bore, boring, bored.  So I’ll follow some other argument or thread that isn’t boring.

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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, March 27, 2010 at 7:45 am Link to this comment

Robert, you should slink back to your corner and continue sucking your
thumb since that is what you are best at doing.

Report this
Robert's avatar

By Robert, March 27, 2010 at 7:40 am Link to this comment

By Inherit The Wind, March 27 at 8:03 am #

“This inanity of insults is all Robert is capable of when he isn’t borrowing and posting someone else’s work.  It is self-evident.

As I predicted he’s limited to calling me variations of “Zionist!”

Hey! Robert! You forgot to call me your OTHER brilliant insult—-“Lard Ass”. (But I guess you save that to use only against women).”

@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@


Why that ITW…if he only practiced what is trying to preach, maybe…just maybe…he could make an intellectual point or two! BTW, I left out ITW’s slurs attacks on other female TD posters…Virgia777, Thongirl, Elisalouisa…


Its all below for all to see…ITW is a bigot!


“By Inherit The Wind, November 1, 2008 at 5:12 pm #

Shenonymous, November 1 at 11:19 am #

ITW says, “I guess I’m just too stoopid and ignorant to understand.” Yup, ITW, I guess you are.  No I haven’t noticed you are “fairly well-grounded” in art.  You can talk about the well-knowns all you want but you don’t say why they are great.  Yes of course they are great, but not because of who it touches or not, whatever that might mean?  How different is that from personal taste?  You sound like you have an apple stuck in your throat.  For crying out loud.  And just because I say what I am educated in doesn’t mean you have to demean that!  Who knows what standard popular opinion you are willing to go against unless you demonstrate that.  And quite frankly Scarlett I don’t give a damn what you like or don’t like.
******************************************

You know what? You are determined to think that your education somehow makes you better able to determine what is and what is not “Great Art”...and that the rest of us have turn off our minds and accept YOUR opinion as valid.

But it’s no more than that—your opinion.  You are just stuck in the mindset that because it’s yours, it’s somehow endowed with superior qualities.

So go ahead, dictate to the rest of us what we should and shouldn’t appreciate.  Expect the rest of us to kow-tow to your taste.

Tell us watch “Terms of Endearment” but turn up our noses at “Casino Royale”.

Tell us we should prefer Hayden to Hip-Hop, Mozart to Madonna, Picasso to Peanuts, and Hemingway to Harry Potter.

It’s still just your opinion and you know what they say about opinions: They are like assholes. Everyone’s got one and they all stink like shit,  yours included.

Low-Brow enough for you?  I’m no longer “entertained” by you, Shenonymous. I’m now bored with your boring typical views that makes people call progressives “elitist”.  Bore, boring, bored.  So I’ll follow some other argument or thread that isn’t boring.

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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, November 15, 2008 at 2:18 am Link to this comment

The Exile’s Palette is a brand new book out on Marc Chagall if anybody is interested.

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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, November 14, 2008 at 10:24 am Link to this comment

Sepharad, Folktruther is just being his same old same old with respect to Zionism.  You will get nowhere, believe it or not. You ought to spend your time on more promising endeavors or I promise you you will go crazy.  He is pathological about it and every thread usually falls into the Folktruther Zionist Trap.  I just call it for short the FZT effect.

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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, November 14, 2008 at 3:55 am Link to this comment

Sabagio, I for one am sorry you got chased away.  I hope I wasn’t part of the ugliness.  If so, my apologies and would like to know what it was I said.  I find your posts bright lights amid the dimness.  You view demagogues and bullies much as I do.  Did you know there was a Decatur in Texass?  It is small and without much distinction, for me, that is like a lot of this mindless state.

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By Sabagio Mauraeno, November 14, 2008 at 3:46 am Link to this comment

Pogo? OK, I must have not been around when he was quoted in the correct context. Same message?  Winston Churchill’s “blood, et.al. quote had been misquoted since the git go, so I guess that’s the way all history plays out.

“We’ve met the enemy and Weeee ..got em!” “Don’t give up the boat.” “Hey, guys, I’m not so sure about giving up my one life for my country.” “Don’t shoot ‘til you see their bloodshot eyeballs.” “I never met a man I did trust.” ” Hope springs every 3 minutes.” ” A watched pot always boils, eventually, so long as the fire don’t go out, cause if it does,then it doesn’t, or if it does when there’s no heat in the kitchen or fire in the belly of the beast below, then it’s a miracle, or cold fusion’s been discovered.

And J.Edgar and Joe Mc? Demagogues and bullies all look alike to me. Right now Malarkey and Judge Scalia could be twins. I got introduced to the Pogo quote during Viet Nam 1964-1973, so brain twisters military press briefings and Agent Orange did and do get in the way, especially when the Watergate Watershed of American history was added to the mix and Bernadette Devlin and Ian Paisley were reinventing the IRA and its 300 year-old campaign of reunification. My apologies to all whom I’ve offended. I’m leaving this site. You won’t have Sabagio Mauraeno of DeKalb County Georgia to kick around any more.

Goodby for ever, maybe,

Sabagio Mauraeno, home along in Decatur, Georgia, waiting for a ride to my next ECT.

PS

Tis still true, white males’ dumbnest is still a fact as evidenced by their contiued allegiance to the words and wisdom of John Wayne, Ronald Reagan and Elizabeth Hasselback, and their belief that football in general and the NFL in particular are god-given testaments of what the American Way of Life is all about. SM
————————

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By Sepharad, November 13, 2008 at 11:30 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Inherit—Speaking of “A nuclear reaction ain’t so old and it ain’t so clear”: could you take a look at Cold War thread? Folktruther is having one meltdown after the other & driving me crazy. Can’t reason with him and don’t know how else to be but reasonable.

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By Inherit The Wind, November 13, 2008 at 10:36 pm Link to this comment

As a long-time fan of Pogo, who grew up on it, I can tell you that no quote from Pogo has been so mis-quoted and mis-interpreted as “We have met the enemy, and he is us!”

While Walt Kelly was a big believer in cartoons as weapons (Simple J. Malarkey looked and sounded a lot like a junior senator from Wisconsin) and didn’t mind a pun, originally, the quote is simply Pogo rendering the classic quote into Okeefenokee-ese.  But, of course, it’s a Kellan pun, too.

I think Kelly had more fun with Nixon and Agnew and Mitchell than he had a right to!  Agnew as a giant groundhog-like critter in a those funny WH uniforms Nixon adopted (that were subsequently dropped). Mitchell was a vulture…

My personal fav was “A nuclear reaction ain’t so new and ain’t so clear”

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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, November 13, 2008 at 9:44 pm Link to this comment

Sabagio,  It has been a long time since I’ve read Am. Hist.  I believe you that it is a wonderful read and I will pull out my books (they are old but except for the last 30 years they contain the same old information).  Of course there are always a rethinking of history and hence revisions.  Your description though of full of marvelous rationalizations, concessions and accommodations reminds me of the melodrama of the vatican shenanigans, oh, isn’t that funny, it sounds poetic, vatican shenanigans, I love that kind of serendipity, but to go on.  I was just struck by remembering all the intrigues I read about in Italian history too.  I forget most of it and only retain that sense of scheming and plotting, which I am sure also went on in American founding history and continues to this day.  It is part of the political game whether found in churches or governmental buildings.

Speaking of the 10 commandments, did you know the Mormons in Utah has a case before the Supreme Court to force a city to display the 10 Commandments?  They are claiming it is related to the right to free speech.  And are you aware that the Saudi Arabians are trying to get a resolution passed to ban free speech at the United Nations so that criticism of their treachery in the name of Allah will go uncensured!

We all have Pogo’s mirror.

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By Sabagio Mauraeno, November 13, 2008 at 1:34 pm Link to this comment

Shenonymous. American history is a wonderful read. It’s an on-going narrative full of marvelous rationalizations, concessions and accommodations that essentially acknowledges the evil humans can and would do if the rule of law and its institutions did not act as ever-present constraints.  The spokespersons for the status quo in our country insist that the Constitution says that we are a Christian Nation, ergo our view of an omnipotent god and his instructions has to prevail to the exclusions of all others. That’s what Moses, the 10 commandments and Cecil B. DeMille call for. Also in the body of the Constitution’s text is the statement that declares that for purposes of the census, and tax law, slaves as property would count as 2/3’s of a man, for perpetuity, with no escape clauses. Push forward the timeline and several amendments and “inter-racial” sexual congresses later (the act of sexual procreation between a man and a woman; the man’s penis is inserted into the woman’s vagina and excited until orgasm and ejaculation occur) there still lingers a belief among many of our brethren that “once a slave, regardless of how polluted his DNA has become, always a slave, or in terms of the politically correct euphemisms of the day, black, n….r, and or “African American.”

  Even though Senator/President Elect Obama is not a descendent of the slave-holding culture of our recent past, he is the product of sexual congress between a Caucasian female and a negro/Kenyan male.  Ergo, in the American English dictionary, an African American.  Not half white/half black. All African American.  And at face value, 57% of American white males can’t be wrong, can they?  As for Euros looking in the mirror, they see what Pogo saw when he looked at his reflection in the murky waters of the Okefenokee Swamp: “We have met the Enemy and dey is US.”  This being said,  Pogo, along with the other denizens of the swamp, the alligators, snapping turtles and raccoons, owls, and the badger with the face of J. Edgar Hoover, turned away and went about their daily activities.

There is a famous scene in the movie, To Kill a Mockingbird, where Atticus Finch, at the end of the trial where his client, a black man falsely accused of raping a white woman is found guilty by an all-white jury, is asked by his children why   did they convict a man so obviously innocent.  Atticus replied: “They’ve done it before and they did it tonight and they’ll do it again and when they do it, seems that only children weep”

Now the All-White Male Jury is no more, and the long awaited verdict that finally came in was:

      Barack Obama, President-elect.

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By Shenonymous, November 13, 2008 at 11:18 am Link to this comment

Sepharad, I am most appreciative you took the time to write your post.  It is truly kind of you.  The reality is there is no one where I live which is some many miles from Ft. Worth who has been open to acquaintanceship or friendship.  I’ve been here three years.  House was on the market but live too far out in a small but developing town for it to sell for what it is worth.  Since I don’t have to move for any financial or occupational reason, I’ve been advised by the best real estate broker, my brother, to sit tight and the market will open up.  I intend to move soon as selling happens.  I am isolated.  I also have a 3-acre property and a wonderful old and large house.  I love the place but not the location.  It is not healthy for my soul.  How I came to even be here is a long story and not worth the TD space to explain it.

I have a few friends that live thousands of miles away, you and some others here on TD who are my only commiseraters.  No live bodies ‘round here.  At school there are no voices at all who are sympathetic to the non-rednecks.  Every and all of those I’ve met are right-wing.  Even the hairdresser I found, which was not easy, said she would still trim my hair when I had admitted to being a Democrat!  She agreed that I might be the only one in town.  Oh boy. 

I may not even have the sub job having “come out” as a voter of Democrats!  I will be able to see if I am not called again.  I have been a very popular sub and had made quite a few student friends in spite of not finding adults with whom I could even strike up an acquaintance.  I know what it is like to be an outsider.  I am an artist as well as scholar and I have many things to do and think about so it is not so bad to wait out the seige.  I call it my purgatory.  And there is always a good cup of coffee that makes a worthy life.

I would love to meet more open minded Texans.  But there are no suitable ‘social’ avenues to do that.  I am not religious and will not go to a church to meet people as has been suggested.  There are no book clubs, no dancing groups, no political groups in the area as I have searched.  It is too far to travel to Ft. Worth area (the closest big city) to make that kind of connection.  I am not much of a “mixer” and find shallow friendships repugnant.  I don’t want to have any one as a renter in my house as I like my private space too much.  I actually use all my space.  That part of moving here is the best part.  I have two fantastic art studios, a library, and other wonderful space.  Occasionally my kids will come for a visit.  I have a cousin in Houston, a lovely soul, who would like me to join a church too.  That cannot happen.  So thank you for your concern.  I will weather the political climate of Texas just as I weather its tornadoes and move away when it is possible.  I shall look forward to e-conversations with you and others, and keep a healthy perspective on life.

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By Sepharad, November 12, 2008 at 7:15 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Sabagio Maureano, A lot of registered-to-vote white males (43%), apparently voted for Obama or he wouldn’t be the President-elect. Also, you should check out the story beginning on p. 1 of today’s NYTimes, headline “After US Breakthrough, Europe Looks in Mirror.” All of those cool, progressive Euro countries admit that nothing like this will happen in (France, Italy, Germany) for a very very VERY long time, if ever. 

Shenonymous, I don’t know exactly where you are in Texas but it sounds like the Fort Worth area. I have one cousin who retired to Minneola, half-way between Dallas and Shreveport, and he is my only living relative who actually voted for John McCain, even tried to talk me into doing so though he admitted he should’ve known better. (He also converted to Catholicism for his wife, whom he met in the ‘60s in Germany where he was stationed, an Air Force test pilot.) I’ve been trying to get him on a horse for decades, thinking it would be good and liberating for his soul, but no success yet. Anyway, Minneola is the hometown of our beloved ex-mayor of San Francisco, Willie Brown, and they are proud of it (though I’ve never heard anyone there wondering why he left in the first place). Minneolans have never struck me as racist, but conservative, especially the Hispanics, and (except for my cousin) cowboyish in a good way. True maverick (notPalinMaverick) way. The way your students and coach behaved was unconscionable, and I would think rudely unTexan, but it’s a big state and I guess there are as many bigots per capita on the ground as anywhere else. It must be truly frightening to encounter such thuggish ones in your school where you have to go every day. Do you have any friends around who aren’t hyper-religious racists? Or are you stuck out there kind of isolated? If you could relocate, Austin’s a pretty cosmopolitan place and San Antonio is pretty mellow. The few Texans I personally know: an African-American corporate consultant in Austin, who when I knew him was head of Legal Services for the State Bar in California; a Latino stockbroker in El Paso who switched from calling himself “Joe” to “Jose” in the affirmative action era, laughing at his own cynicism, and used to be dean of the UofTexas journalism department until he supported the school newspaper expose and was allowed to resign, and before that asst. direcor of Freedom of Information Center at U. of Mo.; a hot-tempered Latino historian of Spanish California who bolted what he considered the too politically-correct SF environs and is somewhere in East Texas in the middle of cotton fields when he wasn’t in Guadalajara with his best buddy and also historian the late Miquel Leon de Portilla; roughly a dozen assorted Texans who tried to sell me a bad horse and one who sold me a great one. Oh. And one over-bearing husband of a talented horsetrainer friend of mine; she’s better at it than he is and he can’t stand it so goes rodeoing. No longer a friend is a white guy who grew up sharecropping, left to become bronc and bull rider then a hustler and ended up in jail, where, having nothing better to do, he earned an MA in sociology and was teaching six months after he got out at the UofLA in Lafayette. He was too liberal to be a racist in his head, but viscerally, well, it’s still a problem. Finally, an African-American pal of mine from FoI Center Days, who was on Barbara Jordan’s staff in DC, but has since returned to Houston because he says in Texas you know where you stand while up North everyone smiles and is nice, it takes a helluvalong time to distinguish the closet racists, and isn’t worth the effort. And I know someone in California from Laredo whose family lives on what she sends back to them in Mexico.

I hope you have someone there who can back you up in such confrontations, at the very least someone at home who can commiserate. You’re too smart to have to put up with that kind of BS.

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By Shenonymous, November 12, 2008 at 6:40 pm Link to this comment

Pout pout..booty hoo I feel discriminated against, Sabagio.
A few more questions, how could anybody have just one drop of African blood?  And even if that was possible, how would anybody know?  And what about all that other blood?  I know I know, that was just a rhetorical question.  Just thinking how silly it all was.  Maybe someday humans will all be gray.

Now Obama is a bit closer to being white than having an ancestor.  His mother was a white woman.  I don’t care what the custom is, I claim him as half white!  But I think it is cool he is half African American too. 

Who shall we root for there in Georgia in that December runoff?  Say isn’t Georgia usually a red state?  So a run off means a Democrat has made strides.  Yayyyyy!

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By Sabagio Mauraeno, November 12, 2008 at 4:19 pm Link to this comment

To be half white and Half Black in the US of A is to be All African   American.  That’s just the way it is. Witness Vanessa Williams and Hallie Berry, beautiful gorgeous women, by any standard, with whites as ancestors on their family tree. Franco Harris and Roy Campanella, great athletes and fan favorites of their day, had mothers who were native Italians who married black soldiers after WWII. On the record as well as recorded by the US Census they fall in the category of “Black.” Not white, not Italian.  Black! When Senator Obama was growing up in Hawaii, he thought of himself as Hawaiian. When he came to school in the US of A, he found out that he was black, and has been so ever since. I think it’s great that he won’t be following in the tradition of Dumb White Males. Tis a new beginning with no racial labeling and baggage.
It’s not been too long ago in states like Louisiana, where to have just one “drop” of African blood in one’s ancestry, you were legally considered “black”  and your social status and value as a human being was changed, legally.  Now that’s all changed, right?

Sabagio Mauraeno, here in Georgia and waiting to see how the Senate runoff election between Jim Martin and Saxby Chammbliss turns out in December.

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By Shenonymous, November 12, 2008 at 1:48 pm Link to this comment

Wait a minute, wait a minute, Sabagio, Obama is half white!  Does that make him liable to be a half dumb white male?  Let’s get a grip.

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By Sabagio Mauraeno, November 12, 2008 at 1:26 pm Link to this comment

WHITE MALES, DUMB AND DUMBER

WHITE MALES, DUMB AND DUMBER. AND NOT GETTING ANY SMARTER. THE MAJOR ATROCITIES COMMITTED DURING THE LAST 1000 YEARS WERE COMMITTED BY WHITE MALES. IN THE LAST 200 YEARS, WARS OF SUBJUGATION OF AFRICAN, ASIAN AND WESTERN HEMISPHERE INDIGENOUS POPULATIONS AND WORLD WARS KILLED MILLIONS OF INNOCENT NON-COMBATANTS. IN RECENT YEARS, AMERICAN POLITICS OF MISDIRECTION, MISINFORMATION, MISPERCEPTIONS BY DESIGN, ALL OFFERED AS “TRUTHS” IN ADVERTISING, WERE BEGOTTEN BY THE NIXON DIRTY TRICKSTERS, ADOPTED BY THE REAGONITES OF THE WELFARE CADILLAC DENIGRATIONS, REFINED BY BUSH I AND HIS PIT-BULL PROMOTER, LEE ATTWATER AND THE IMAGE OFWILIE HORTON AND REVOLVING DOOR PRISONS, AND POLISHED BY BUSH II’S MOUTHPIECE IN HIDING, CARL ROVE, FRONTED BY DICK CHENEY AND FOX BROADCASTING. THE HISTORICAL REFERENCE POINT FOR POST WAR REPUBICAN POLITICAL STRATEGIES AND TACTICS?  MIEN KAMPF, A. HITLER AND J. GOBBELS.  CHECK IT OUT.

SABAGIO MAURAENO, HOME ALONE IN DECATUR GEORGIA AND PACKING UP IN ANTICIPATION OF GETTING A TICKET TO THE PRESIDENTIAL INAUGERATION BALL AT THE WHITE HOUSE, COME JANUARY, 2009.

=============

P.S.: OBAMA OVERCAME, BEAT THE SYSTEM AND IS NOW PRESIDENT ELECT, IN PART BECAUSE HE AIN’T A DUMB WHITE MALE AND THEREFORE WAS IMMUNE TO ALL THAT CRAP THAT DEFINED THAT PALE GENDER. SM

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By Sabagio Mauraeno, November 12, 2008 at 1:26 pm Link to this comment

WHITE MALES, DUMB AND DUMBER

WHITE MALES, DUMB AND DUMBER. AND NOT GETTING ANY SMARTER. THE MAJOR ATROCITIES COMMITTED DURING THE LAST 1000 YEARS WERE COMMITTED BY WHITE MALES. IN THE LAST 200 YEARS, WARS OF SUBJUGATION OF AFRICAN, ASIAN AND WESTERN HEMISPHERE INDIGENOUS POPULATIONS AND WORLD WARS KILLED MILLIONS OF INNOCENT NON-COMBATANTS. IN RECENT YEARS, AMERICAN POLITICS OF MISDIRECTION, MISINFORMATION, MISPERCEPTIONS BY DESIGN, ALL OFFERED AS “TRUTHS” IN ADVERTISING, WERE BEGOTTEN BY THE NIXON DIRTY TRICKSTERS, ADOPTED BY THE REAGONITES OF THE WELFARE CADILLAC DENIGRATIONS, REFINED BY BUSH I AND HIS PIT-BULL PROMOTER, LEE ATTWATER AND THE IMAGE OFWILIE HORTON AND REVOLVING DOOR PRISONS, AND POLISHED BY BUSH II’S MOUTHPIECE IN HIDING, CARL ROVE, FRONTED BY DICK CHENEY AND FOX BROADCASTING. THE HISTORICAL REFERENCE POINT FOR POST WAR REPUBICAN POLITICAL STRATEGIES AND TACTICS?  MIEN KAMPF, A. HITLER AND J. GOBBELS.  CHECK IT OUT.

SABAGIO MAURAENO, HOME ALONE IN DECATUR GEORGIA AND PACKING UP IN ANTICIPATION OF GETTING A TICKET TO THE PRESIDENTIAL INAUGERATION BALL AT THE WHITE HOUSE, COME JANUARY, 2009.

=============

P.S.: OBAMA OVERCAME, BEAT THE SYSTEM AND IS NOW PRESIDENT ELECT, IN PART BECAUSE HE AIN’T A DUMB WHITE MALE AND THEREFORE WAS IMMUNE TO ALL THAT CRAP THAT DEFINED THAT PALE GENDER. SM

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By Inherit The Wind, November 7, 2008 at 7:25 pm Link to this comment

Shenonymous, November 7 at 9:13 pm #

ITW, you have just scared me good.  These kids are ideologues and blinded by indoctrination.  Is there any danger there?  I don’t really know, but most likely not.  The sting of the election will ease away in a few days as the country gets back on its feet.
****************************************

Sorry, She, I didn’t want to completely weird you out, but I have troubles NOT making the connection between a kid bragging about an uncle with a bullet with Obama’s name on it—and James Byrd’s murder over in East Texas.  Kids who are proud (???) of being racist AND claim to be dedicated Christians…talk about time warp!!!!!!!!!!!!!

“Be careful out there!”—role call sergeant on Hill Street Blues.

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By Shenonymous, November 7, 2008 at 7:13 pm Link to this comment

ITW, you have just scared me good.  These kids are ideologues and blinded by indoctrination.  Is there any danger there?  I don’t really know, but most likely not.  The sting of the election will ease away in a few days as the country gets back on its feet.

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By Inherit The Wind, November 7, 2008 at 3:15 pm Link to this comment

Shenonymous, November 7 at 11:44 am #

Yes Folktruther, I did call them on the racism.  One of the boys replied that he was a racist and was proud of it.  I asked him if he was a Christian and he said he was.  I told him he ought to then as a Christian rethink his thoughts on racism.  It would have become ugly if I persisted so I changed the subject entirely and went on to have the class read Thomas Paine.  Except that was a passionate speech trying to whip the public into a war.  A justifiable war?  War nonetheless.
******************************************

“Segregation Today! Segregation Tomorrow! Segregation Forever!”—by Gov. George Wallace, charlatan and opportunist.  He actually NEVER gave a damn about segregation and wasn’t (for a Southern White man of the era) much of a racist. He was simply on a cynical path to power.

Yet these kids seem stuck back in those early days of the ‘60’s.  Too many people think the Civil Rights Movement was pretty much “I Have A Dream” and Brown vs Board.  It was far, far more than that.  It was a struggle that began with Frederick Douglass when slavery was still in force (at least Douglass is a convenient starting point as the first Black intellectual who was well-known for his ideas).  It continued with the battles of Booker T. Washington, and his intellectual adversary, W.E.B. DuBois.  It continued through the THOUSANDS of unpunished murders due to lynchings…Some people have learned or their children have. But there are still hard-core psychopathic bigots out there….

And the last lynching was right there in Jasper, Texas on June 7, 1998.  Two of the murderers are on death row, the third is serving a life sentence. They have shown NO REMORSE for this particularly vicious murder.  And Shenonymous is teaching their ideological kin in her classroom everyday.  How scary is THAT?????

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By Shenonymous, November 7, 2008 at 12:44 pm Link to this comment

Yes Folktruther, I did call them on the racism.  One of the boys replied that he was a racist and was proud of it.  I asked him if he was a Christian and he said he was.  I told him he ought to then as a Christian rethink his thoughts on racism.  It would have become ugly if I persisted so I changed the subject entirely and went on to have the class read Thomas Paine.  Except that was a passionate speech trying to whip the public into a war.  A justifiable war?  War nonetheless.

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By Shenonymous, November 7, 2008 at 12:39 pm Link to this comment

I hope it is more than a moment of truce.  It made my heart swell ITW to learn we can be so blatantly outspoken about somethings yet be civilized with each other and compassionate at the same time. Please know this I think you are a mighty warrior and fiercely defend your positions and sense of self. I especially appreciated your post of 2:06pm.  I couldn’t agree with you more, or Paracelsus sentiments in the 2:29pm post.  Will most likely post more later.  Right now Obama is about to give his first press conference. I’ve tuned in to MSNBC.  It should be enlightening.

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By Folktruther, November 7, 2008 at 12:39 pm Link to this comment

Unfortunately, Inherit, those highschool kids ARE American; that is largely the American worldview of a large fraction of the country.  It is to those people that Palin appealed to by stating repeatedly that Obama palled aound with Terrorists.  the feeling, if not the roudiness, is exhibited in the Elite school that my daughter goes to.

And the schools foster it, sometimes directly and sometimes indirectly, like this coach.  When you are isolated, as Shenonymous is, there isn’t much you can do.  I wouldn’t get into the election, She, but I would call them on the racism. It is not only safer, it is more effective to attack the presuppositions.  And this can be done simply by a class discussion of them.

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By Paracelsus, November 7, 2008 at 12:29 pm Link to this comment

@ Shenonymous

They continued to talk amongst themselves and were very unhappy McCain lost saying that the country was now going to be in the worst condition ever because there is a black man who will be president and he will single handedly ruin the country.  At that point, I challenged one of the students as to why he thought that.  “Well,” he said, “Obama is a Muslim.” I asked him where he got that idea since it wasn’t true, but even if it were, why would that be a problem?  He argued vehemently that it was true and that the Muslims are evil and want only to kill Americans.  Other students chimed in and I could see there was no defusing their misguided anger.

That’s awful. There’s every indication that Obama is a Christian. But I would not disqualify a good candidate if he/she was a Moslem. In general I appalled at criminal government. No one should ask you your choice of candidate. It appears that a great deal of brain washing has gone on. I suppose the US will always have ready enemies for the next war. I don’t care much for any of the dessert religions as they seem so warlike. Tribalism will always be useful for the shadow government. If Obama ever needs to go to war in Iran, Sudan or Pakistan he will have a deep well of anti-muslim feeling to draw upon.

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By Inherit The Wind, November 7, 2008 at 12:06 pm Link to this comment

She:
A moment of truce…I feel for you in that school. That’s truly scary—these people have NO idea that their thinking is completely un-American.  But they are also indicative as to why American primary and secondary education is far inferior to what kids overseas are getting.  Teach ‘em all that religious and racist claptrap, that “evolution is just a theory” and what do you get?  Future nazis. Future klansmen.  Having lived in the South I’ve met guys like the one with a bullet with President-Elect Obama’s name on it.  One law I believe in: Those who threaten the President or President-Elect with violence are criminals—felons, who deserve imprisonment for many, many years.

On the Fox Noise website those same jugheads post that “that (n-word) will NEVER be MY president!”  A radical right-wing nut-case in our sister company came in Wednesday dressed black (mourning, not race)—and that’s not Texas but New Jersey. Me? I came in wearing the bluest blue shirt I could find!

Obama’s not a Muslim, but if he was I would still have voted for him. Why not, unless he was promoting a very different agenda? He’s not an Arab, but if he was I’d still have voted for him—unless he had a different agenda.  I voted for the man, I voted for the policies, I voted for the party, and I voted to end the 8 year long national nightmare.

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By Leefeller, November 7, 2008 at 8:27 am Link to this comment

She, my moral support and any other kind of support I can conjure up. 

You know when I was in the service, I always thought Texans acted like and were real ass holes, seems they still are, the Mexican Americans I met in the service seemed just like the Mexican American folks in California good people.  Now Texas has black Muslims living there, Bush’s Katina refugees from New Orleans. She, the coach sounds like Pailin with testes.

Texans and the Talaban have a lot in common, ignorance wanting to rule forcing their morality on others, using hate of differences as their foundations. 

There must be some more honest thinking people in Texas, because the votes showed many voted for Obama?

The ignorance sponsered by racists, needs to be appriciated by the third party clowns complaining about Obama.  McCain/Palin even Hillary to some extent, stoked the racist fires, and the bigots showed up to celebrate.

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By Shenonymous, November 7, 2008 at 6:34 am Link to this comment

I’m sorry this has to be in two parts.
I was moved by Sepharad’s story of her experience in Georgia.  Moved enough to describe my day at high school on Wednesday.  Teaching English classes all day, we were reading, listening to a cd of a dramatic theatrical reading, and then thinking about and analytically writing about Thomas Paine’s speech “The Crisis: the Promise of America.”  Seemed quite appropriate for the latest national social activity.  Naturally, the teenagers were chatting and were grumbling about the election.  This is north Texas and I expected to hear some, if not a lot, of grumbling. 

Then the question to me came, “Who did you vote for?” Thinking it was not appropriate for a teacher to offer subjective sentiments about politics, I declined to say giving my reason that it was not appropriate for me to say.  They continued to talk amongst themselves and were very unhappy McCain lost saying that the country was now going to be in the worst condition ever because there is a black man who will be president and he will single handedly ruin the country.  At that point, I challenged one of the students as to why he thought that.  “Well,” he said, “Obama is a Muslim.”  I asked him where he got that idea since it wasn’t true, but even if it were, why would that be a problem?  He argued vehemently that it was true and that the Muslims are evil and want only to kill Americans.  Other students chimed in and I could see there was no defusing their misguided anger. 

This happened in the next classes.  When in 4th period, a very similar conversation took place.  Only this time another teacher, a coach, who co-teaches the class came in and more or less took over the class, I would describe as a most patronizing way.  The question was put to him and instantaneously he said he voted for McCain, which raised a lot of applause, and camaraderie comments, and my eyebrows.  Not that he said what he said but that he said it.  He is certainly entitle to vote for whomever he thinks is best.  He was a popular coach, obviously.  Then they asked me who I voted for.  I admit I was not a happy camper that the coach involved them in a free-for-all disparaging of Obama and adoration of McCain. So I loudly and clearly said, “I voted for Barack Obama, and what is more, I voted a straight Democratic ticket.”  Oh my, the boos I got.  The boys were having a field day.  But not all students, a handful of Hispanics and about five girls gave hi signs and yeas and seemed happy that at last they got to say who they preferred.  So the boys who were for McCain started talking about sedition and hanging Obama saying he would not last even two years.  One said a neighbor of his showed him a bullet on which was written Barack Obama’s name.  The coach, seemingly enjoying the seething going on did say that the boy should probably report the neighbor.  Needless to say there was more conversation and the murderous attitude was not quelled by the coach! I am still reeling in my head over it.  They also tried to engage me in more than one class as to what religion I practiced, and did I believe in Jesus Christ.  I refused to play that game and told them that talk of religion is not appropriate for this class.  I would be happy to discuss these things at the end of the day in the class room if they wanted to come back.

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By Shenonymous, November 7, 2008 at 6:33 am Link to this comment

Part 2
I feel this scene was not a unique happening in the schools in most of Texas.  It is obvious from my conversations with the kids that they have been utterly indoctrinated to hate Muslims, blacks, and non-republicans.  They are interested in harming these people and feel they are the only ones with a right to live in America.  When questioned they become hostile and berate anyone who has a contrary view.  I made it a point to shake the hand of the right-wing teacher and introduce myself mainly to show the students that two people can have different views yet not be complete enemies.  At the end of the day, I was not too encouraged that these people were being taught critical thinking skills but were given dogma about the limited number of who has a right to live.  The emotion of the 50s and 60s is still among us and we as a country overcame the hugest hurdle of racism ever.  That says a lot about America’s enlightenment about humankind.  There are still horrid elements that need to be rooted out and it has to start with education in the public schools.  You won’t get it in most private schools.  But then the middle class and the poor don’t normally go to private schools. And that is where most people are located on the social scale.

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By Leefeller, November 7, 2008 at 5:58 am Link to this comment

Sephard and ITW thanks for the very interesting enlightening posts on Chagall.

Sephard; Great story.  When I was stationed in Tennessee back in 1967, I always remember one time, being downtown in Memphis with several buddies,  we were waiting at a stop light on a busy street, a little old black lady with a candy-striped cane was standing next to us muttering to herself, we thought she might be both blind and mad.  All of a sudden when the signal changed,  traffic stopped and the old lady like a cat leaped off the curb, instead of going straight she walked right up to a bright new car in the first lane and started banging, taping and hitting the headlights, the grill and bumper of the car with her cane,  it made quite a racket, and sounded like a hale storm.  Instead of going across the street, she made a sharp left turn and continued down the side of the car banging and muttering all the way,  Seemed as if time had stopped,  we must have been behind her when the light changed.  It seemed such a long light she was moving so very slow except for the movement of that jack hammer candy cane pounding away, it sounded dreadful.  The male white driver of the car stuck his head out the window, after she got past his window she was barely moving down the side of his car, sticking he yelled at us. “get that lady away from my car”.  One of my buddies yelled back “She’s not my grandmother”.  To this day I remember the look on the drivers face and I suspect the old black lady with the jackhammer candy cane knew what she was doing, 

Raised in San Francisco, I had never really seen any racism until after I was stationed in Tennessee, I saw several glimpses of it while stationed there. In Memphis, even one of my fellow marines had been discriminated against, though at the time I did not know what it was.  He was a Mexican American from Texas,  Seems, things have not changed much in Memphis considering how Tennessee voted on the fourth of November.

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By Shenonymous, November 7, 2008 at 5:49 am Link to this comment

Today is Chagall Day - It is a good day and in spite of the financial pigsty the world is in, is one that is more optimistic than it has been in a very long time for Americans.

Like many other famous artists, Marc Chagall is known by his last name.  One need only to say it in the company of others who know art and they know immediately his works in lithographs, etchings, oils and his stained glass works are considered by many the finest ever made.  He was a deeply religious man whose works often portrayed Jewish life.  He painted in the Expressionist style but beyond that is considered a leader of Fantastic Art and is often included among the Surrealists, using the most brilliant color and delightful fantastic imagery and adopting the fragmented forms of Cubism.  Although he himself did not consider his paintings literature, Chagall’s artworks are considered by many to be poems.  Arthur Joseph Kushner wrote a poem about Chagall’s poem paintings:

      Marc Chagall’s Poems
      Marc Chagall’s poems are better than his paintings.
      Even his paintings are better poems than they are paintings;
      more pictographic/poetic to look at—
      His own face half cow; martyrs of his village nailed to steeples.
      When he visited Yad Vashem and wrote,
      “I have been to the new temple,”
      he ended my search for the red heifer’s ashes.
      Now I’ll let the ashes in the basement
      settle on the altar, show the fingerprints,
      swirl into the breath of the sanctuary.

Art and society are often in a state of war and it is occasionally declared by particular artists, Daumier, Grosz, and Goya’s subversive and biting art, for example, that commemorated the Spanish people’s resistance to Napoleon’s army portraying their execution and the horrors of real war.  Picasso did this in his dramatic depiction of the grotesque bombing of Guernica during the Spanish Civil War where terror got its most vivid illustration.

Chagall, as do many artists, also wrote poetry.  It is noted in many biographies but there are no examples of his poems available to the public.  Because of his unique use of color and dreamy quality of the imagery, his paintings are always called poem paintings.  Not escaping discrimination as a member of a despised minority, he was forced to resign his directorship of an art school in Russia and lived in exile for more than 50 years.  In spite of the miseries of Anti-Semitism, his artworks express love, joy, and exuberance and are said to represent a reconciliation between art and society. 

There is a somewhat dull but extended description of Chagall at the following website but it does show some bright examples of his beautiful works. 
http://www.rollins.edu/Foreign_Lang/Russian/chagall.html

He painted in various sizes as well as his printworks.  Some were 20x24 inches, others 36x48inches (The Flying Horse).  The self-portrait is large 50 1/8x42 1/8, oil on canvas.  A litho, The house in my village, is 12.75x9.84 inches.  The Blue Pirouette, a litho 14.37x10.63 inches may be purchased for a mere $18,000.  He also painted large scenery murals for the theater.  This fact might interest ITW.

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By Sepharad, November 7, 2008 at 12:01 am Link to this comment
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Leefeller, the first time I saw any Chagall up close was in college, helping the Hillel House rabbi unwrap a bunch of stained-glass Hebrew letters that Chagall was giving to us for the library. Inherit’s covered most salient facts re Chagall, but one of the reasons I like him is that his art is always telling a story, whether it’s life in the village in Russia where he and Bella his wife grew up, sometimes expressing a sense of the wandering jew of the diapora, sometimes his homesickness while he lived in France. Later on he was rescued before being deported from Vichy France to the death camps by an American named Varian, an editor of Foreign Affairs magazine who was upset at the Nazi’s intense search for Jewish intellectuals, doctors, artists, scientists and musicians, and somehow persuaded Elenor Roosevelt to bully the reluctant State Department into cooperating with an effort (for which Varian personally collected money from a lot of his fashionable friends) to set up a program to identify and smuggle a handful of these cultural and scientific types out of France over the Pyrhenees and into Spain, then travel to the U.S. Chagall made a bit of a fool of himself, quibbling over whether he and his wife Bella needed rescuing—he’d felt so comfortable in France for so long—and eventually in spite of himself was persuaded, and the couple reached the U.S. where he immediately began painting again though he found the society insipid. I have a tiny numbered and signed print of his (naturally including a horse along with the artist and Bella), a red and black fleshed-out sketch, which I got at a basement sale of a collector in Amsterdam while working there for $100. The collector and his wife were selling off their lifelong collection so they could buy the old grey Amsterdam stone row house overlooking a canal in that city, just down to the Reichs Museum. I love it, keep it propped up and clearly in sight from where I work. Not much wall space. (Whole house is 30x30), a piano takes up a lot of room, and our flown-the-coop son’s tiny room is covered wall to wall and wall to ceiling, with not a lot of room left for hanging art.)

There are a lot of books on his life as well as on his paintings themselves—I love the colors, and generally buoyant appearance of floating over the eath and its problems in a given time and place. Amazaon sometimes has a really good art sale.

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By Sepharad, November 6, 2008 at 11:13 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Patrick Henry, we rarely agree, but “Stupidity is a bottomless hole; genius has its limits.” is so true it’s enough to make you weep.

Leefeller, I’m more skeptic than cynic (so far anyway), expected little from the electorate and less than electrified by Obama BUT, thinking things over today, realized my spirit has been bouyed at least temporarily by the fact that Americans from all demographics just elected a black-white man with a Muslim name President. In early days of voter registration drive in ‘60s, three of us (one black male, one Jewish male and one Jewish female [me], all college students) were arrested one night near some godforsaken town in Georgia, on a red-dirt road with mostly swampish stuff on both sides because we walked into a diner to have coffee. Very stupid; boneheaded in fact, only excuse was that we were going-to-sleep tired & not thinking very clearly. Later were severely rebuked by the SNCC coordinater when we finally made it to the church from where we were to fan out and register voters. Anyway, a sheriff arrived with his deputy, the latter taking our car and the former hauling us to the jail, which turned out to have only two cells. We were scared, though this was well before the later Schwerner-Cheney-Goodman murders so we had no reason to be quite as terrified as we were. The sheriff noticed this, said to us, in the car, “Y’know, the privilege of drinking Dale’s coffee is not worth getting arrested for. It’s poor coffee.” After the paperwork, he put all of us in the largish cell, told us we’d see a judge in the morning, pay a fine, and be on our way. We were still scared quiet, and he said “Tell you what, I’ll go home and my wife’ll make some decent coffee for you and some supper.” And left. We still paranoid anyway, debating whether he’s come back with some guys to hang us or maybe just beat us up. Couple hours later he shows up with coffee, a ton of food, let himself into the cell and said it was so late he’d just stay the night and see that everything went smoothly the next day. And he did. His wife’s coffee was good, but I was still so worried that I couldn’t eat except just a bit of grits, which I’ve always liked, and can’t remember what the rest of the food was. Next morning, there were some guys hanging around outside the little court, said some rude things as we went in, but all went as the sheriff predicted. He then told us that just to make sure we didn’t get lost somehow he’d follow us till we hit the main state highway. And he did. Yesterday, I was wondering whether he was still alive and, if so, whether he voted for Obama, what he thought of everything, and if he’d ever received the note we jointly sent him later, care of the sheriff’s office, thanking him for his graciousness and concern. If nothing else, this country has come a long, long way. But whether he can change the world and part the waters for the people expecting so much of him, here and abroad, is going to be damned difficult at best, perhaps impossible. Even Obama asked one of his aides, nervously, “What if I disappointed them?”

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By Inherit The Wind, November 6, 2008 at 10:09 pm Link to this comment

By Leefeller, November 6 at 7:12 am #

Never seen Marc Chagall’s work up close and real, his intense use of color is fascinating. Are his works large?  Cannot find any information on the size in feet or inches.  Guess I need to learn how to convert metric or Russian to inches?

Only seen his older works, pictures within pictures, must be a freedom and controlled feeling at the same time.  Seems a most extraordinary freedom of expression, Chagall certainly painted as he wanted expressing what he was seeing. One get’s tired of the sos.

Inspiration needs refreshment. Thanks for the art talk.
***********************************************

Chagall painted in all sizes, from small lithos to large, vast areas.  He even worked in stained glass, replacing damaged windows in cathedrals in Metz, Mainz and Reims.  I’ve seen the Metz glass and they are wondrous.

Small, unsigned Chagall lithos can be had for a few thousand dollars—if you want one and look for it.  Signed ones start at about 3x as much.

I do enjoy Chagall..not everything he did (just most of it), but that’s true of anyone.

His grave in Saint-Paul de Vence is not at all flashy, and at least two family members are buried with him. People place pebbles on his tomb as a mark of remembrance.

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By PatrickHenry, November 6, 2008 at 4:39 pm Link to this comment

Stupidity is a bottomless hole, genius has its limits.

There are scientists who cannot change the sparkplugs on their car and mechanics who cannot write a letter.  Teachers who after 6 years of college cannot teach and diplomats who only know war.

It’s shameful the amount of our national debt is held by foreigners, however, China and the rest of the world should spent those dollar denominated reserves before inflation devalues them.

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By Paracelsus, November 6, 2008 at 12:32 pm Link to this comment

@ Folktruther

http://www.yorkblog.com/yorktownsquare/102504-sub-war-ration-book.jpg

http://www.oldclassiccar.co.uk/classic-car-images/ration.jpg

http://www.funtrivia.com/askft/Question28144.html

We might see such lunacy as ration books. Britain was not fully off rationing goods until 1954. As for Obama, I see the elites extending police states measures for the national emergency. We’ll see such slogans as “Happiness…We are all in this together.” We’ll hear terrorism is a show of bad sportsmanship. Rahm Emmanuel will pronounce the failure of the 9 year War on Terror as beginner’s luck. My apologies to Terry Gilliam.

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By Folktruther, November 6, 2008 at 11:19 am Link to this comment

And the worst of it is, Paracelus, that their isn’t any solution under bi-partisan military imperialism.  the debt just keeps continuing until, as Chalmers Johnson says, the US will become effectively bankrupt.  As Britain did during WW2.

In which case anti-imperialist progressives must develop collapse preparedness.  this is the same type of strategy that the right wing used after shocks were administered to daze the population.  Except of course the population themselves must shake off the daze and pursue their own polices.

It is therefore necessary to develop and keep alive a narrative hisstorically until the political impossible becomes the politically inevitable.

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By Paracelsus, November 6, 2008 at 10:10 am Link to this comment

What has held the USD up and why that’s going to change


http://www.kitco.com/ind/Laird/nov062008.html

The primary reason the USD has held up so well in the last decades, in spite of ever worsening US trade and budget deficits that add to over $1 trillion a year combined, is that the US was an export economy’s dream customer. Because the US was such a good customer to the world, they bought our US Treasury bonds, and lent trillions in other ways to the US consumer. As long as the US consumer could carry that process out, our trade partners could make bank on the US and USD.

However, once the US consumer is tapped out, and cannot effectively make a return on investment of our trade partners, the rationale for the continuation of the USD goes away. All that remains after that is a budget busted US Federal government. At that point, why would our trade partners continue to buy all the US treasury bonds and such, and debase their currencies, if the US cannot be such a good customer anymore? At that point, the USD will rapidly fall into a devaluation crisis.

None of us in the US has ever dealt with the twin threats coming our way in the next few years. The first is a real economic depression. The second will be the demise of the US dollar, or at the very least, its severe devaluation like 70% or more (at first).

I would like to point out that in the last great depression in the US in the 1930’s, we did not have a combination of a currency crisis with the economic crisis. The USD, although it fell compared to gold, held up well. Deflation increased the value of anything called cash, including gold.

This time, the outcome will be different. This time, the US faces an economic depression AND a currency crisis soon after. How far off is this?

Well, first, we are already well into the beginning of the economic depression. The damage done to the world credit and financial markets has been stunning since August 07. Over $35 trillion of value has been lost in the world financial markets. That has spilled over into the real economy now, and we will start to see bigger and bigger layoff notices. Economic demand will decline and we won’t see any mere one year recession, like all the pundits say ‘we foresee 5 quarters of economic decline in the US…’

This time we are talking on the scale of 5 years of economic decline and unemployment getting over 20%. The Great Depression lasted ten years, and the US had well over 25% unemployment. US economic production was halved!

***********************

Please read the full article by Chris Laird. He has been very accurate about the economic crisis from the beginning.

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By Leefeller, November 6, 2008 at 8:12 am Link to this comment

Never seen Marc Chagall’s work up close and real, his intense use of color is fascinating. Are his works large?  Cannot find any information on the size in feet or inches.  Guess I need to learn how to convert metric or Russian to inches? 

Only seen his older works, pictures within pictures, must be a freedom and controlled feeling at the same time.  Seems a most extraordinary freedom of expression, Chagall certainly painted as he wanted expressing what he was seeing. One get’s tired of the sos.

Inspiration needs refreshment. Thanks for the art talk.

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By Shenonymous, November 6, 2008 at 5:05 am Link to this comment

What precious stories Sepharad!  Thank you and I appreciated them. That was the best explanation of the Chagall I’ve ever heard!  I love the Marc Chagalls and even had an authentic litho in a gallery I managed once in California.  I’ve studied his works a bit.  His post impressionist style is soooo dreamy and surreal.  He is also known as Marc Shagall and Mark Zakharovich Shagal.  I remember seeing the Chagalls as a young woman and beginning to understand the Jewish people a little better.  I don’t know why I think that but I loved his works.  Maybe because they are so whimsical, dancing and Hassidic people, donkeys, cows, and goats flying in the air and he filled the image space with powerful iconic figures and used such vibrant colors.  I do love them.

I shall have to try to get to the St. Louis Museum.  Just to see what you saw.  The Spanish exhibition precautions is a sign of the hysteria that exists in the entire world.  Once, in 1972, in St. Peter’s Basilica, the Michelangelo La Pieta statue was vandalized by a mentally deranged geologist named Lazlo Toth who used a hammer and smashed at it ruining the nose and chipping it in a couple of places.to sustain certain damage on the features of the Virgin Mary. There was a huge controversy between the restorers and other museum dignitaries about whether to fix it or not.  Both sides had good points.  It was in the Italian papers for days.  After the sculpture, which was carved from one slab of marble, was painstakingly restored it was returned to its location and protected with a bullet-proof acrylic glass panel to prevent further damage from vandals.  The M-16 is a bit over the edge.  Funny story.  Loved your reply.

Well speaking of that kind of thing. one time on a visit to LACMA there was a Van Gogh exhibit that I was so mesmerized by that I admit to having put a fingerprint on one of the large farm field paintings.  I couldn’t help myself and am now very contrite and the guard said very loudly, DO NOT TOUCH THE ARTWORK!  Oh my gawd, I was mortified.  Both for the painting’s sake and for myself that I was unable to control myself.  Course now there are always barriers up to protect against mindless visitors like me!

I, for one am very pleased with the Democratic Congress and Democratic President and look forward to some real changes that now will be able to be made. It is going to be a very interesting new era.  We will see what happens.  At least there is some hope for a better world when there was none on November 3. 

And cyrena, your devotion to real causes is appreciated by many including me.  And let me know where to send that black shirt. I’ll get one for myself too!  P is sooo dramatic.  But then you are too, but I love it.  TD is realism theatre.  Go girl!

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By Paracelsus, November 6, 2008 at 1:03 am Link to this comment

@ cyrena

Yep…and a shrink would have you locked up as a pervert Paracelsus. Even I’ve figured out that you are, and I’m not a shrink. All it takes is reading your posts over an extended period of time.

You’re a pretty scary dude…Hope the women in your community carry stun guns or know martial arts.

I think most people if they knew how you could lie and defame the way you do, would be scared witless over your behavior. There is nothing in my posting that would show any perversion. You use bald face accusations as convictions in your own mind. Your defamatory actions would make you at home with Cotton Mather or the Soviet system of show trials. It is your fanatic devotion to false causes that reminds me of an inquisitor of the old church. I suppose you could accuse me of many things like drinking the blood of small children. The accusation is so shocking at an emotional level that weak minded sorts could well believe you. You have that way of libeling people that reminds me of a leader of a pogrom. At heart Cyrena you have the passion of a street level black shirt thug. You have no shame or principle when it comes to defeating your enemies. It is frightening to me that anyone would could give you any credibility as an innocent human being could be bloodied by your unthinking rage.

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By cyrena, November 6, 2008 at 12:32 am Link to this comment

“..I could get lost in the high-flying idealism of huge throngs of women emoting their gratitude that the nation’s salvation has arrived. I would probably be dating a lot young women if I attended the Obama meetups….”

~~~

Yep…and a shrink would have you locked up as a pervert Paracelsus. Even I’ve figured out that you are, and I’m not a shrink. All it takes is reading your posts over an extended period of time.

You’re a pretty scary dude…Hope the women in your community carry stun guns or know martial arts.

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By Folktruther, November 6, 2008 at 12:19 am Link to this comment

no,no Shenonymous, the vote proportions, even though the details are not finalized, are not irrelevant.  After the long night of Bush, and the chance of voting for Obama’s talent or against his skin color, the NYTimes estimated that the vote proportion would be slightly less than in 2004.  And the third party candidates got very few votes.  In San Francisco, Sheehan only got 20% of the vote against Pelosi.

This is an indication that Americans have withdrawn from the power process.  We suffered what political scientists call a loss of ‘effacy.’  People feel they have not ability to control the policies of the American government.  This is not good.

And it is difficult to know what institutions can be developed to increase the population’s power, since the unions have been destroyed by the bipartisan policies of globalization.  Which is not finished yet.  The increase of class inequality leaves people feeling powerless.  The Dem-Gop bloc have been successful in intimidating and atomizing the population.  While the fake left exults in promoting oppressive policies.

This election has been a disaster for the American people.

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By Shenonymous, November 5, 2008 at 9:31 pm Link to this comment

Wrong. Folktruther.  This art major was a math major before that and having earned an undergraduate degree in philosophy.  An all around student, I was a music major for quite a long time as well.  All that notwithstanding, you will be sorry to learn Leefeller that you don’t belong to the DWMs or SWMs (just to be sure we are still on topic, DWMs means Dumb White Males and SWMs means Stupid White Males, the distinction is negligible). 

And seems like Folktruther never learned how to prioritize either. Sigh, sometimes he makes sense and other times he just doesn’t.  Duh.  See Missouri and North Carolina votes have not yet been finalized, however they do list the number cast for each candidate on a separate page that still have to be added in with the totals already summed up for the rest of the country, which has not yet been done.  While all the write ins also have yet to be counted, the mail ins will need to be as well,

Of course you don’t have to believe in the truth fairy either and you don’t have to leave any truths under your pillow, cause it is iffy that any money will be left for any truths that fall out of your mouth.  But know this Leefeller, you are an elegant truth speaker.

130 million plus are expected in the final count, and hence the proportion of Americans who voted will go up as well.  Why not just let time tell the trooth, uh, truth.  But, see, it is really moot, because not only did Obama win by unprecedented numbers, he won, period, and that seems to be the only worthwhile point.  My wise old mamma used to say, miss it by an inch, miss it by a mile.  Discussing proportions is in reality, trivial.  It looks like sour grapes are on the menu.

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By Sepharad, November 5, 2008 at 8:57 pm Link to this comment
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Shenonymous, I’m not sure either why I thought you’d be horrified at 20 excited young girls running through the galleries with paint and brush etc in hand. (I think my mother was because she’d taken us there from the time we were little and remembered me always wanting to touch things. Maybe she thought I’d try to improve on the originals’ coloring or draw mustasches on “The Jolly Boatmen”?)

Agree exposure to music, art, books from little up is a transforming experience in the way that Disneyland never can be. When granddaughter #1 was four we took her to a huge Marc Chagall exhibit at SF’s MOMA, not sure how she’d react to it. But she loved it and speculated about it. She asked husband why the tiny little rabbi was floating next to the regular-size rabbi’s head, and he asked her why SHE thought he was. She pondered a bit, then said little rabbi was big rabbi’s conscience telling his brain what the soul part should be doing. A little metaphysical for me, but she was satisfied and ran on to the next painting with people floating over their cottages with violins and bouquets.

The St. Louis Art Museum was free to children every day, and to the adults accompanying them a couple times a week. They didn’t even make you walk through metal scanners. Most extreme entrance requirement was at Spain’s Archive of the Indies, which took two letters or reference in advance, then they searched your pockets, xeroxed your passport, photo ideas and took fingerprints. Most shocking was that the guy on the landing who did all of this had an M-16 slung on his chair next to the xerox. I asked him if he expected to need it, and he said “Certainly. or I wouldn’t have it here.” What can you say to that? Articulate to the end, I said “Oh.”

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By Paracelsus, November 5, 2008 at 8:47 pm Link to this comment

Inherit, you poor boob, not all of Paracelus’s predictions need come true to undeerstand, as he does, that this election has been a disaster for the American people.  It consolidates the political counterrevolution of the Bushites.

Thank you, Folktruther. I could praise the turn of fortune that has change the birdcage liner for a fresh replacement. I could let myself go into the high toned speeches of Obama. It is very easy. I have emotions and sensibilities that are easily seduced by the Obama’s skillful stage craft. On the surface the man has charisma. I could get lost in the high-flying idealism of huge throngs of women emoting their gratitude that the nation’s salvation has arrived. I would probably be dating a lot young women if I attended the Obama meetups.
I would join with them in the facile condemnations of GW Bush. It would be so easy to ignore the misprisions and felonies of my own party, the Democrats. I would be well liked. On this forum on Truthdig, even Cyrena would think me a bright and wonderful guy if I would sing Obama’s praises. I have several black neighbors who would tell me to “Have a wonderful day in the Lord”, if only I would put Obama campaign stickers on my door. As it is I don’t voice any opinions on this election around my neighborhood. I must be crazy to be so dedicated to my own integrity.

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By Folktruther, November 5, 2008 at 8:44 pm Link to this comment

Your right, Shenonymous, the Times figures did not include write- in ballots.  However the important point, which I don’t expect you to get since you are an art major, is not the total numbers but the proportion of votes in the totalnumber of possible votes.  And this is expected to be less in the 2008 election than in the 2004 election.

A lesser percentage of possible voters is expected to have voted in 2008 than in 2004.  Contrary to the media images and imagery.

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By Folktruther, November 5, 2008 at 8:26 pm Link to this comment

You’re not dumb, Leefeller, you’re crazy. You’re political insane. You have been deluded by the mass media like the rest of us.  the media had pictures of long lines and stories about the youth cinubg iyt ub droves, as well as Obama’s genuine ability to draw huge crowds, and you assumed, as we all did, that there was a huge turnout. 

About 121 million voted for two parties in 2004, 120 million this time in a larger population.  And it was by no means a blowout, it was about S to G.  This blowing up of the vote and disparity to gain legitimacy for a black man pursuing extremely unpopular Bushite policies.

But how would you know this unless some deviant truther posted it somewhere; God knows that fake leftists aren’t going to.  And that is how the values of Americans get perverted and their conceptual map of the power process distorted.  With fake leftist running interference for Bushites.

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By Shenonymous, November 5, 2008 at 8:16 pm Link to this comment

Why is it you guys just don’t read anything but your own gas meters?  It is unbelievable.  For some odd reason I occasionally think you are atypically intelligent beings?  SWMs?

More than 128 million people turned out to vote Tuesday and still counting according C-SPAN, the most ever to vote in a presidential election.

With ballots still being counted in Missouri and North Carolina, but the number of votes will only go up. 

In 2004, 122.3 million voted in what was then the highest recorded turnout in the contest between President Bush and Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.).

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By Leefeller, November 5, 2008 at 4:39 pm Link to this comment

“In reality, initial indications are that a lesser proportion of the American people voted than in the last presidential election.” And I thought more people voted this time around, what a dumb white guy I am.

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By Folktruther, November 5, 2008 at 4:33 pm Link to this comment

Inherit, you poor boob, not all of Paracelus’s predictions need come true to undeerstand, as he does,  that this election has been a disaster for the American people.  It consolidates the political counterrevolution of the Bushites.

As Gore Vidal has stated, it is one of the wonders of the world how thoroughly the capitalist mass media has indoctrinated the consciousness of the American people. Even to the point of getting people to believe that an enormous nmuber Americans voted in this election.

In reality, initial indications are that a lesser proportion of the American people voted than in the last presidential election. After the most disatrous eight years of Bushism.  Americans are simply turned off of the mainstream power process, and most of those still in it have been systematically deluded.

They see nothing to hope for in Obiden.  And they are right.

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By Leefeller, November 5, 2008 at 9:21 am Link to this comment

Paracelsus,

The predictor, hope you enjoyed pissing on the celebration fire, did you burn yourself?

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By Leefeller, November 5, 2008 at 8:55 am Link to this comment

Must admit I feel good, it will take some time to wipe the cynic off my face. As a cynic, I love being proven wrong.

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By Inherit The Wind, November 5, 2008 at 8:16 am Link to this comment

Paracelsus:

I suggest you buy as much gold, silver and platinum bullion as you can.  It’s vanishing back into vaults because the Bush admin didn’t want people hoarding precious metals and the mint isn’t issuing any bullion coins….

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By Paracelsus, November 4, 2008 at 11:53 pm Link to this comment

@ITW

Barack Obama will be our next President! Not once in my life has a Presidential election given me such joy!  Not even Jimmy Carter’s election in 1976 hit me as hard.  I believed the country needed Carter.  But this election I believe the country could not survive as the America we love if McCain was elected.

I think you are going to be disappointed. Ever since JFK was killed, we have had a series of awful presidents, many of them the worst of criminals in their actions. At best if you really like Democrats, it would have been better for McCain to win as he would get the worst of what is coming down the pike. Then the Democrats could have run after a failed McCain administration. I see the US dollar going through a huge devaluation in the next 3 months. I see .4500 on the $USD index. I see gold exploding near $1500. It is quite possible that the COMEX will default on gold and silver contracts this December. Obama will use the worst of the martial law state to put down civil dissent. I see that there will much anger against Obama. Obama is of course a puppet, but that might throwback the progress of black people in politics as there will be an undeserved backlash against
black politicians. We will have more wars and more tyranny in order to deal with the bad economy. Obama is going to be set up for a bad fall. Then again Obama is not all the different from the establishment neo-liberals and neo-conservatives in his policy recommendations. He has spoken about sending the military into Pakistan and Iran. I want this recorded as of Nov. 5th, 2008 so that truthdiggers can refer to my predictions in the future.

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By athena taylor, November 4, 2008 at 10:45 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

ITW you said it!  The entire planet is experiencing your joy. if ever I doubted a higher power, Obama becoming president is proof enough for me.  To see Jesse Jackson cry with all that he has been through…MLK’s dream has come true. I can’t believe it. yippee!!!  Things are gonna get better.

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By Inherit The Wind, November 4, 2008 at 9:54 pm Link to this comment

Here’s my final word on this thread:

McCain has conceded, graciously.  Obama, as I write this, is about to give his acceptance speech.

Clearly there weren’t enough Dumb White Males to prevent our moving our nation forward a step nobody ever believed would ever happen.

Barack Obama will be our next President! Not once in my life has a Presidential election given me such joy!  Not even Jimmy Carter’s election in 1976 hit me as hard.  I believed the country needed Carter.  But this election I believe the country could not survive as the America we love if McCain was elected.

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By Inherit The Wind, November 4, 2008 at 9:22 pm Link to this comment

ITW—It takes guts to say your significant other is the smarter half, but she’d probably say you are better at [whatever] than she is. My husband is definitely smarter than me in science and math, also reads endlessly about the brain, philosophy, history, archaeology ... used to read fiction but now says life is too short for anything but Shakespeare. My edge is in literature, biographical history, understanding people, politics, and much more patience with long-term multi-primary-secondary-source research etc.
****************************************

Thanks, but it’s not that big a deal for me. I grew up with strong, outspoken, intelligent mother, so I’m not threatened by smart, educated women—in fact I always preferred them (unless they are obnoxious—but that’s true of men and dumb women as well).  Sure, I’m better at lots of stuff, she’s better at lots of other stuff.  That’s balance.

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By Shenonymous, November 4, 2008 at 8:53 pm Link to this comment

Seharad, not sure why you would think I’d be horrified, it is more than wonderful if the museum allowed kids into the museum with art materials.  There is no better place to get the grand feel of the power of art, except in concert halls where Mahlers or Shostakoviches are performed, or The Pearl Fishers by Bizet, or Stravinskys, or Puccini’s Turandot.  Dance and theatre are other places to get that feeling but music and museums seem to transcend even those sublime human expressions. 

Children ought to be able to have that experience of the museums at an early age and I think museums ought to be free to the public.  I know it takes millions of dollars to run them, buy the art, exhibit the art.  I don’t know how they could get that kind of money without charging admission tickets but besides all the privileged who get to have that experience, the public at large, dem po’ folks ought to be able to feel the majesty of artworks.  It uplifts the spirit and the intellect.  I think there should be at least one or even two days a week where all exhibitions are admission free to the public.  Of course, they would be mobbed on those days, but there could be limits in place to preserve the integrity of the facilities.  If nothing else the permanent collections should be made accessible.  All teachers can make arrangements for children to have the experience of the museums.  I used to do that and was able to get free access for the children, and drastically reduced tickets for the adults in my teacher preparation art criticism classes.  It can be done with some time invested. 

I was taken to the museum at the age of nine, then uncountable times after that throughout my growing up.  It was the Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh and that is where I first became enthralled with visual art.  I practically lived in the LA County, my favorite museum.  When I took my grandson who was in a stroller to LACMA, we were confronted with a large Picasso sculpture and the year-old youngster was so excited at seeing that work that he clapped his hands and stood up and down in the stroller pointing to it and laughing with glee.  He loved it.  I was amazed.

I am glad we had some discussion about art on this forum, we don’t get to do that very much, we get so serious with deep life issues.  I too am passionate about art and engage it in many ways.  It literally is my life.  I regret that comments got overheated and wish to make amends if that is possible. 

Not wanting to leave the forum with any bitterness or hostility, I reviewed the entire thread, (whatever is left of it, as TD deletes the first part of the thread as it gets to a certain length, a stinky practice I think), to see where it started getting heated and to see my own part in it.  Looks like some overly reactive responses occurred by some, I admit to being one of them and I here offer a peace branch to whomever would take it.  I’m viewing the election right now and still on the edge of my seat.  It looks good right now for my proclivities, but hard to say how the west will turn out.

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By Sepharad, November 4, 2008 at 6:45 pm Link to this comment
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Hi TDs—Reading the exchanges of late am amazed at what a fury displaced-election-anxiety winds can whip up. I just voted, and before starting to prepare dinner wanted to get what’s become my daily dose of haute art education. I’m not even close to being an art expert, but enjoy the work of many artists and know nothing about modern art except for Marc Chagall. Goya is my favorite, also partial to Caravaggio, Delacroix and Rembrandt, pretty conventional but not-dumb white guys. Then there’s a Morrocan painter, ben Yessef [b.1945] I greatly appreciate because as far as I know he’s the only Muslim artist who has sketched, painted and exhibited images of Islamic people, mostly from his native Morocco. Lives in Marrakesh and Sevilla with his Spanish wife Ana Velazquez, whose surname belongs to another artist whose work interests me. Most of ben Yessef’s art has been catalogued and exhibited in Sevilla. Fadel, if you’re reading this, do you know of any other?

Shenonymous, considering your connection to both kids and art, thought you’d appreciate in a horrified sort of way the lengths to which our girl scout leader went to introduce to enough art to get the merit badge. For three months, every Saturday morning, she would herd 20+ of us to the St. Louis Art Museum, rush us past the fig-leafed “David” and into the galleries, usually American or Euro realism. There she distributed little easels, paper, charcoal and waterpaints and told us to spend the day copying the painting we each liked best. (My mother, who loved art, was appalled at the prospect of kids running around with real paint in a Museum.)

ITW—It takes guts to say your significant other is the smarter half, but she’d probably say you are better at [whatever] than she is. My husband is definitely smarter than me in science and math, also reads endlessly about the brain, philosophy, history, archaeology ... used to read fiction but now says life is too short for anything but Shakespeare. My edge is in literature, biographical history, understanding people, politics, and much more patience with long-term multi-primary-secondary-source research etc. We’re both nonfiction writers, and though it’s not his day job he’s in some ways better than me with the gift (as one reviewer who couldn’t figure out why he enjoyed the essays so much wrote) of managing to cut to the truth while offending the sensibilities of every socio-econ-ethno group and reader in existence. My work is more complex and complete. We’re both equally good with horses, both prefer exploratory long-distance leisurely off-trail riding. Argue issues fiercely even when we know we essentially agree, conspire against the bad guys—when we can agree who they are—congenially, and after 30+ years our life together is many things but never boring. Both of us would be impossible for anyone else to live with so we’d BETTER love each other.

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By athena taylor, November 4, 2008 at 4:20 pm Link to this comment
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I am passionate about art but this has been wild….I am hoping if Obama gets in there will be a flourishing of the arts in education.  Can you imagine he and Michelle will probably make the White House rock, jazz and blues parties…you know all the celebs will want to hang out with them constantly!  It will be so great. Obama better win.  If McCain “wins” we all deserve Martial Law and to be thrown in Gitmo.  oops. I am giving them ideas.

I can’t even think of the awful Tupperwear and Avon parties Sara Palin will have if she becomes president when McCain kicks the bucket after his inauguration.

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By Inherit The Wind, November 4, 2008 at 11:31 am Link to this comment

Folktruther, November 4 at 8:13 am #

Still, you have to admit, Inherit, that your wife was dumb enough to have married you.  But I suppose that could be said about many of us.
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Or blind. It’s the one criticism anyone can make of my wife that I’ll agree with…her obvious poor taste in men! smile

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Why do you attack Shenonymous so viciously?  She is a lone woman artist in the middle of the Texas desert, having to teach these Texas kids what they don’t want to know.  God knows what they are like, with their little Stetsons.  Just think what you were like when you were an ten year old wiseass.  Your lucky that camp director didn’t bang you a good one upside the head.
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Yeah, all those little drawling George W. Bush wannabees would make anyone crazy. I just think of Tom Sawyer coming up with ways to create mischief and havoc with his school master….Anyone who can put up with them without a cattle prod probably does deserve to be cut some slack….

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By Leefeller, November 4, 2008 at 9:45 am Link to this comment

You know these pissing contests can be amusing, guess this means we are back to the dumb white guy theme?

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By Folktruther, November 4, 2008 at 9:13 am Link to this comment

Still, you have to admit, Inherit, that your wife was dumb enough to have married you.  But I suppose that could be said about many of us.

Why do you attack Shenonymous so viciously?  She is a lone woman artist in the middle of the Texas desert, having to teach these Texas kids what they don’t want to know.  God knows what they are like, with their little Stetsons.  Just think what you were like when you were an ten year old wiseass.  Your lucky that camp director didn’t bang you a good one upside the head.

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By Paracelsus, November 3, 2008 at 7:20 pm Link to this comment

@IHT

Attacking a man’s wife is far stupider than anything else you’ve posted. That’s also a weak woman’s feeble trick.  A strong woman would never do that. My wife would never do that.

If a man did that I know you would want to punch his lights out. But chivalry has its blessed double standard on that. Thank God.

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By thebeerdoctor, November 3, 2008 at 3:50 pm Link to this comment

re: shenonymous

Just read what you wrote:
“If you had a brain you would be dangerous. Sorry, but you are full of shit on everything else you’ve said about Aht.”

That sounds more like a diatribe than dialogue to me. You are incorrect about my motives. If someone was posting such uncivil things about you, I would protest exactly the same.

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By Inherit The Wind, November 3, 2008 at 3:13 pm Link to this comment

Shenonymous, November 3 at 12:52 pm #

The sarcasm about ITW’s wifey was not missed at all.  She is obviously smarter than he is.  Well, maybe not.  He wears her like an ornament.  Sounds to me like ITW is really jealous of dumb bunny and hangs on for dear life, that epithet he calls her is so telling.
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Now you prove you TRULY don’t know shit from shinola. I NEVER call my wife a “dumb bunny” or any other names (not that it’s any of your warped psyche’s business).  It was IRONY!  “Irony”....you know, saying something that means the opposite.  She’s a tough, no-holds barred infighter who lives and works in a tough, sexist man’s world, where NOBODY messes with her or she rips them a new one.  She’s not a whiny college professor type (like you) who can’t take being challenged to defend her elitist positions (though she did teach and will again). In fact, she gets challenged everyday by people who don’t want to believe her—till they lose a fortune ignoring her advice.

Be glad it’s me you’re dealing with—she’s the tough one.

Attacking a man’s wife is far stupider than anything else you’ve posted. That’s also a weak woman’s feeble trick.  A strong woman would never do that. My wife would never do that.

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By Shenonymous, November 3, 2008 at 2:23 pm Link to this comment

Just one more hit before I leave.

No, Satan Spawn.  Really? You really have to get close to the canvas to paint a painting?  Gee why didn’t they teach that in Aht School?  Oh my god.  I thought it was all spray painted from ten feet away to get all those dots, those thousands of Seurat dots.  Gee gosh.  Talk about stupid and not recognizing sarcasm.  You obviously don’t understand optics theory either. You might scumble for theatrical scenery but that does not a Seurat make.  It’s all in the dots, applied when very close to the canvas. A small red dot next to a green dot,  a yellow dot next to a purple dot, an orange dot next to a blue dot.  Oh well.  sigh   Bye bye.

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By Shenonymous, November 3, 2008 at 1:52 pm Link to this comment

Well thebeerdoctor, I always read very carefully what I write give or take a typo or two.  You guys can’t take it when someone else knows more than you and you stick together like your biceps are glued with gorilla glue.  Youse are so funny.  Whatsamatta guys your egos bruised by a teeny tiny woman?  You might just read my posts and learn something.  But your egos block up your brain so bad it is a real pity you can’t see beyond that thing you have a zipper for in the front of your pants.  That is the name of this forum, Dumb White Males.  Phooey to yours and ITW’s defensive, really offensive postures.  The sarcasm about ITW’s wifey was not missed at all.  She is obviously smarter than he is.  Well, maybe not.  He wears her like an ornament.  Sounds to me like ITW is really jealous of dumb bunny and hangs on for dear life, that epithet he calls her is so telling.  I enjoyed the birthday beer anyway.

Elitist Shenonymous signing off to go bask in her own sunlight.  Youse guys go shadow box somebody else.

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By thebeerdoctor, November 3, 2008 at 1:15 pm Link to this comment

Hey shenonymous what’s up with all the insults? Let me wade my suede toe intellectual in to the water to say your disrespect of Inherit The Wind is ridiculous. So what if he mistook piss christ guy for maple thud. I know you like to reveal the art school pomposity of claiming that it does not matter whether or not an artist is gay or not. Let me put it this way: if I walk into a gallery and see a photograph of someone putting his fist up another man’s anus, I think it is safe to say, despite all the academy claims about aesthetics, that sexual politics is somewhat involved.
Your abuse of those with a different opinion is rather sad. You are suppose to be the educated one. Don’t take my word on this, just read what you wrote.

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By Inherit The Wind, November 3, 2008 at 12:47 pm Link to this comment

Oh, and my little PhD “Dumb Bunny” gets quoted regularly by Jim Cramer on Mad Money.  Peter Lynch personally asked her advice.  Plus she’s been the featured speaker at a major conference in her field every year for 10 years now. She’s been on Bloomberg TV and radio, and even been quoted on NPR’s “Market Place” by Helen Palmer.

Since you obviously missed the sarcasm, the only thing “dumb” about her is that she loves me and has for many years… and I hope she never wises up!

I’d rather cuddle up with her than any other woman who has ever been on this earth.

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By Inherit The Wind, November 3, 2008 at 12:38 pm Link to this comment

Shenonymous, November 3 at 10:46 am #

ITW it was Andres Serrano’s photographPiss Christ that has a crucifix in a glass of piss.  You should really check out your art information shit.  If you had a brain you would be dangerous.  Sorry, but you are full of shit on everything else you’ve said about Aht.

Problem is with the Seurat is that he had to be up close to it to paint it.  Just lame, really lame. You should stop with the phrase “I know nothing” and leave it there, sweetie. Get a life or go cozy up with the dumb bunny that has a Ph.D.
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Sure glad you never hurl insults, Shenonymous.

OK, I was wrong about the artist.  So torture me to death for it. That’s what I deserve, right?  After all, getting the artist wrong makes me Satan’s Spawn, doesn’t it? (I guess for you your “art” is a religion—and heresy is punishable with death by torture).

Of COURSE Seurat had to get close!  (Jeez, and you say if only I had a brain…..)  Did it EVER occur to you, Ms. Genius-brilliant-Art-Critic, that EVERY scene painter has to get close too???? How ELSE are you gonna paint a backdrop that’s 30’ high and 50’ across???? You have to map out what you are going to do. It’s called PLANNING. Just because you get close to PAINT it doesn’t mean the viewer has to be eye-ball-to-paint-glob to view it.  Oh, I know!  The new artists could all phone it in! (where’s the roll-eyes smilie when you need it?  And the forehead-slap, too!)

That may be the single stupidest comment you’ve posted in this entire thread.  No, not “may be”, “is”.

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By Shenonymous, November 3, 2008 at 11:46 am Link to this comment

ITW it was Andres Serrano’s photographPiss Christ that has a crucifix in a glass of piss.  You should really check out your art information shit.  If you had a brain you would be dangerous.  Sorry, but you are full of shit on everything else you’ve said about Aht.

Problem is with the Seurat is that he had to be up close to it to paint it.  Just lame, really lame. You should stop with the phrase “I know nothing” and leave it there, sweetie. Get a life or go cozy up with the dumb bunny that has a Ph.D.

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By Inherit The Wind, November 3, 2008 at 11:34 am Link to this comment

Leefeller, November 3 at 8:29 am #

From a selfish perspective, enjoying the art talk, please do not stop.

ITW, are you sure Seurat, used Scumbling? Need to refresh myself, may be confusing scrumbling with dry brushing? Serat’s pointillism seems to be an anal approach to impressionism, even though I find both entertaining. (Love them actually)

Side note, if you have to step back 30 feet to see his paintings, would that not qualify his work from your defined point of view as useless art? Since I would have to knock out all the walls in my small abode and stand at one end to appreciate it?  Guess knocking the walls out would be entertaining, especially to keep the roof from caving in.

Actually have seen Surat’s work and you are correct about the stepping back, just find pointillism hard to digest as a technique to enjoy using.
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I HATE when I’m unclear! I should have said that Seurat created the same effect as a scumble for the same reasons.  As high-falutin’ as She tries to make “color theory”, scene shops and scene designers teach it pretty straight-forwardly: to create the color you want seen, use 3 colors: 1 a bit darker, one a bit lighter, and one from the opposite side of the spectrum.  So if your intended color is warm, the third color is a compatible cool, and vice versa (2 cools and a warm).

What’s the point of seeing it from 30’ away? I dunno.  What’s the point of a billboard? You see THAT from a couple hundred feet away.  But She’s description of the hazy effect of Seurat close up does not do justice to the clearly intentional effect of blasting out at you from 30’ away as well. As I said, Seurat’s students had the “haze”, but THEIR paintings don’t have that “30 foot” effect.  And every one of Seurat’s pointalist works does.  Sorry, folks, but that’s got to be intentional.

She makes another mistake, a far more serious one. She mistakes revulsion created by the art’s message with revulsion by the art itself.  Guernica inspires revulsion at the Spanish Civil War (I deliberately pick Picasso—and a work I’m not especially fond of). But the work itself is not revolting.  Chris Burden nailing himself to a VW IS revolting.

I know nothing of Francis Bacon (I thought he lived in the 16th or 17th century).  What do I care if he was gay? Totally irrelevant, unless it was an explicit or implicit subject of his work.

Do I think Mapplethorpe’s cross in a bottle of urine is art? Sure. Do I think it’s entitled to 1st Amend protection? Yup, sure do. Do I think it’s GOOD art? No, I think it’s piss-poor. (couldn’t resist the pun)!

She makes a THIRD mistake, one I’m far more qualified on: Value isn’t intrinsic to ANYTHING!  Why do diamonds cost more than water? Diamonds are pretty, can be very useful, but without water we die.  Water is FAR more important.  But diamonds cost more.  Why? In part, scarcity. but more importantly, what somebody who wants the diamond is willing to pay for it.

That’s ALL value is.  What somebody ELSE is willing to pay for something.  “Value” pre-supposes the question: Of value to whom?

But NONE of this negates my original hypothesis.  The FIRST test of art is whether it entertains or not.  More specifically, MY first test of art is whether or not it entertains ME! (there’s that “Of value to whom?” question applied.)

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By Shenonymous, November 3, 2008 at 10:27 am Link to this comment

Just saw the pointillists works yesterday at the museum in Ft. Worth.  But having studied them for years, impressionism happened because a number of reasons but not the less because they were in competition with the newfangled contraption called the camera that led to candid portrayals of people better than a painting.  The impressionist technique and especially pointillism , had to do with the effects of placing analogous colors next to each other or in close proximity and what that effect was on the retina of the eye.  Just a direct experience of A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte would show exactly that he placed small dots of analogous colors exactly next to one another to excite the optic nerve.  The impressionists understood this technique, particularly Pissarro in his plein air technique. 

Impressionists found that they could capture the momentary and transient effects of sunlight by painting en plein air meaning outside painting.  Painting realistic scenes of life, they emphasized vivid overall effects rather than details. They used short, “broken” brush strokes or dots of pure and unmixed color, not smoothly blended, as was customary, in order to achieve the effect of intense color vibration. By re-creating the sensation in the eye that views the subject, rather than recreating the subject, and by creating a welter of techniques and forms they were able to invent a new vocabulary of visual experiences on a two dimensional surface.

I do wish you all would just read a bit.  Such lazy minds out there.  Seurat was involved in color theory

And do I protest too much?  How absurd.  How much is too much?  Sounds like a sortie problem.  I couldn’t care less what Bacon’s sexual escapades were.  A man is not hooked to his artworks with an umbilical cord.  Once an artwork is done it has a life of its own.  It either stands as a successful work or it dies as not.  Yeah, men become attached to their creations, but their creations are not attached to them.  For whatever reasons people put billions of dollars into artworks is moot.  They have the money and they use it.  All criticisms of that emerges out of jealousy.  Money becomes a phallic symbol, even for women who have money because the phallus is a symbol of power.  But there are others who like to flaunt their phalluses with their pseudo intellectualisms.

Using newly discovered optical and color theories, Seurat painted his subject by placing tiny, precise brush strokes of different colors close to one another so that they blend at a distance. Art critics subsequently named this technique Divisionism, or Pointillism. He visited La Grande Jatte many times, making drawings and more than 30 oil sketches to prepare for the final work. With his precise method and technique, Seurat conceived of his painting as a reform of Impressionism. The precise contours, geometric shapes, and measured proportions and distances in Seurat’s masterpiece (not to mention its monumental size) contrast significantly with the small, spontaneous canvases of Impressionism.  Not sure where the idea that he scumbled the paint since scumbling is a dry brush painting technique where a thin or broken layer of color is brushed over another so that patches of the color beneath show through. It can be done with a dry brush, or by removing bits of paint with a cloth.

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By Leefeller, November 3, 2008 at 9:29 am Link to this comment

From a selfish perspective, enjoying the art talk, please do not stop. 

ITW, are you sure Seurat, used Scumbling? Need to refresh myself, may be confusing scrumbling with dry brushing? Serat’s pointillism seems to be an anal approach to impressionism, even though I find both entertaining. (Love them actually) 

Side note, if you have to step back 30 feet to see his paintings, would that not qualify his work from your defined point of view as useless art? Since I would have to knock out all the walls in my small abode and stand at one end to appreciate it?  Guess knocking the walls out would be entertaining, especially to keep the roof from caving in. 

Actually have seen Surat’s work and you are correct about the stepping back, just find pointillism hard to digest as a technique to enjoy using.

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By thebeerdoctor, November 3, 2008 at 9:26 am Link to this comment

re: Shenonymous

Doth think the lady protest too much? The point about the Bacon auction (I love the visceral sound of that) is that much of the ownership class drove up the prices on that art work, not out of any aesthetic concern, but simply to outdo one another in conspicuous consumption (you paid how many $ mil for that? Well I paid this many $ mil for this). The point about Bacon’s sexuality is only worth mentioning because he himself made it a theme of oppressive concern, especially in relation to Catholicism, which being from Ireland, has caused trouble for so many. It has also been said that Bacon’s 1973 triptych, May-June, is an emotional record of the end of his relationship with his petty criminal boyfriend, who committed suicidal overdose with barbiturates.
Bacon’s importance to the history of art has several explanations. His exposure to pre-Hitler Berlin, to movies by Lang and Abel Gance; his subsequent exposure to historic French paintings at the Chateau de Chantilly, give his visual departures great cultural underpinnings.
Then there is that business about being obsessed with mouth diseases; some say Eisenstein’s movie Battleship Potemkin is pivotal in Bacon’s development of image.
Strangely, although many of his paintings used traditional oil on canvas, giving them a traditional “test of time” gravitas; the 1946 painting at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, had a problem of fixative not being applied to a section of pastel. This is said to be too fragile to be moved anywhere else.
In this peasant’s opinion, Francis Bacon’s paintings belong in museums. In a public forum they reveal their expressions on the human condition, no matter how terrifying they appear to be.
But after the recent treasury looting, speculation on the auction prices of art has made many works too expensive for public institutions. Of course we always hear about the largess of some rich patron donating their collection in exchange for a plaque. But then there is that less comfortable business of Fisk University, wanting to pawn their Georgia O’Keefe paintings to hustle up some cash.
Greed has a way of ruining everything.

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By Shenonymous, November 3, 2008 at 5:42 am Link to this comment

Wait a minute. I’m not gay but just because Francis Bacon is gay. was gay, he died in 1992, has nothing to do with whether his paintings have the kind of value they do.  Being gay is irrelevant.  And yes there are nasty gay people, just like there are nasty non-gay people.  Take a look at nasty people in Washington, D.C.  Does that mean that all the people in D.C. are nasty?  There are more gays who are not nasty but how could that comparison even be measured?  So nastiness of it’s creator is not a measure of the value of a painting either.  If someone does not like homosexuals because they are homosexual, well that is something they have to live with since gays are here and have been on the earth since humans began recording human existence.  They are protected under the law against crime and usually have a better economic life than most which causes a lot of jealousy.  But this forum is dipping into another prejudice that has kinship with racism. And the fact that you don’t like homosexuals has nothing to do with the inherent value of a work of art.  The latest Bacon painting sold for 10 million ponds, roughly that times 1.6185 in US dollars or $16,185,000,000. That is for one painting.  Now how long would it take you to make that much money sweating in your place of employment?

I used to run art galleries, and it always stunned me how much money a customer (patron) would spend on artworks whether they were good works or not.  Now some artworks are better than others and there are arguments to show that but this forum is not the place to engage in that diversionary discussion.  The fact is people with money spend it on things that are capricious and excessive in the poor’s and uneducated’s opinion because they are so needy.  Yachts, season tickets to sporting events, traveling to Venice for the art Biennale, truffles…Most of the rich do not think about anything but their own world of safe riches.  Communists would do away with the wealthy class.  Do you want to get rid of the wealthy class? 

The value of an artwork, and that question arises especially when a work is repugnant or thought to be trivial, has to do with an intrinsic value, not who did it or what their life style or sexual preferences might be.  The value is determined by a number of things.  Hedonistic value is a major reason, meaning it gives sense satisfaction, the delight in color, or sound, or other elemental sense perceptions.  Principles of good design weigh in as a factor.  Then there is the expressive value, the content of the work, what it is about, how it makes a viewer feel. 

The repugnance value is actually irrelevant because the emotional value is the outcome of that and if a work causes a strong emotion, even repulsion, then it is doing its intended work.  The artwork embodies certain meaning and gives messages just as much as a written work.  Music is a good example of messages not being easily recognized at first hearing or even multiple hearings, and this is true frequently in serious, or classical music.  There are reasons why certain classical pieces are better than others.  It takes a great deal of study to begin to understand how and why artworks generate the reactions they do.  Not all images are edifying or noble to look at.  Bacon’s works are certainly not beautiful according to any ordinary canon of beauty.  That surface beauty or lack thereof is what most people react to immediately and usually walk away from thinking about its relative worth based on how good it made them feel.  It takes a more intellectual involvement to see the beauty in works that obviously are ugly.

Intellectually artworks have their value when they express the truth.  Imitating life is not exactly giving insight into truth unless one reflects on what that image is.  There is a study of the value of artworks called aesthetics and it takes work to be able to see beyond personal preference of imagery or biases about an artist’s lifestyle.

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By cyrena, November 3, 2008 at 2:54 am Link to this comment

Beerdoctor…

This does it nicely.  (the tie-in that is)

“...in order to afford the purchase of large scary oil paintings by an artist who was gay, but certainly wasn’t happy…”

~~~

Makes ya wonder about all of the guys who are gay but not happy. Interesting how those who are gay but not happy seem to have misogynist tendencies. I’ve known lots of people like that..particularly in my former career. Seems a shame for them as well as others.

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By thebeerdoctor, November 3, 2008 at 2:40 am Link to this comment

Since I brought up Francis Bacon (did I do that?), it might be able to tie this thread up with a comment about Stupid White Men With Too Much Money.
On May 16, Sotheby’s in New York sold a 1976 triptych by Francis Bacon for $86 million. So if you have ever wondered where all that stolen wall street loot went, here is a rather glaring clue.
Think of it: to spend most of your waking hours to cook up new complicated schemes to shake down people for enormous piles of money, in order to afford the purchase of large scary oil paintings by an artist who was gay, but certainly wasn’t happy.
It goes something like this: Come on in to my study. Bring that snifter of 40 year old with you. Here, have a Cohiba. Use my clip. I prefer the dark wrapper. NOW. Let me show you the Bacon I purchased…

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By cyrena, November 3, 2008 at 12:41 am Link to this comment

ITW writes to (I think) Patrick Henry and me.

“You two crack me up! If me talking about art is the connection to Dumb White Males, where does that leave SHEnonymous???”

~~~

Here’s what I was responding to ITW..

“...Inherit The Wind’s comments about the misogynist aspects of Picasso are well taken..”

And, I agreed with the Beerdoctor on this. Misogynist tendencies seem to be far more prevalent in dumb white males, so I saw a connection there. (Now I guess folks are gonna claim I’m saying that Picasso was a Dumb White Male). I’m not necessarily saying that, but I too have noted the misogynist aspects of his works. And, I’ve noticed the same in many Dumb White Males.

Now, it’s not ONLY Dumb WHITE Males that have this…but they’re all males.

Shenonymous is neither dumb or male, and she’s obviously not a misogynist. So, no connection there. I’m not suggesting that you are dumb, or a misogynist either. You both know more about art than I do. (at least paintings. I can’t paint or draw worth a damn.) I can do great needlework though. smile

So, that was my only point in the connection. I was just agreeing with the beerdoc about the point you made, and then tying part of it into Dumb White Males. (maybe that’s why some are misogynists…they hate women that are smart, because they’re so dumb)..

Just a thought.

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By Inherit The Wind, November 2, 2008 at 11:56 pm Link to this comment

You know what, Dr. She? I can’t find one place where I called you a name in this thread, though I did describe you as “elitist” (and I stand by that).  I can find a lot where you called ME names and hurled insults at ME. Lots of them.  Also YOU raised the issue that my views were gender-based, not me.

What are you, a neo-con? Neo-cons ALWAYS accuse someone of doing what they are doing in order to deflect criticism from themselves.  Notice how the McCain surrogates made a HUGE deal of Obama’s campaign tossing a couple of outrageous reporters off the plane, but the McCain campaign had already been doing that themselves?  So you accuse ME of what you are doing. It’s basic hypocrisy. Is that a function of being a self-described authority on “Great Art”?

Pompous elitist! (That’s a description, rather than an insult)

I’m not the one who needs to grow up here. I’m past that and now trying not to grow old too fast.

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By athena taylor, November 2, 2008 at 11:06 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Shenonymous you are hilarious!  Do you get your nom de plum from Beowolf’s evil mother character, She?  My son is reading it right now for 7th grade social studies. That poor guy Bacon, that he could actually pick up a paint brush after his childhood is amazing.  I get hurt feelings if someone doesn’t answer an email, much less horsewhipped for dressing up. 

But it’s a bit harsh to say the art dialogue here is bad.  I guess it depends on what you are used to. Most people I meet sadly know jack diddly about art.  We’re talking Thomas Kinkaid, which I am sure his name makes you wince. 

BTW, anyone here like or know much about Odilon Redon?!  So good!

I am going to now watch “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”  that’s about as low brow as you can get.

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By Shenonymous, November 2, 2008 at 10:29 pm Link to this comment

ITW, since that is what you want to hear.  I’ll say it for you.  Just say that Shenonymous is a Dumb White Female. It kind of rhymes with dumb bunny.  It is meaningless anyway.  You are still into calling me names, grow up.  This thread is a hoot. From all the trite chatter here, most of you haven’t the foggiest notion what art is.  Arthur Danto’s books can shed some light on the subject. 

Bacon was a disturbed dude.  His father had him systematically horsewhipped him for dressing up like a girl.  He liked to dress up in his mother’s underwear.  In his paintings he became obsessed with the human cry and enjoyed and learned from pictures of diseases of the mouth.  Sinister is too mild a description of Bacon’s grotesque paintings. 

As an artist I never exhibit restraint ever and just as Folktruther described it, I do not posses any of your mature restraint.  I often have to wear a straight jacket when I work and then have to paint with a brush in my teeth.  I sometimes even eat the paint and the paintings.  I am really a monster ITW.  My post-modern work often illustrates Dumb White Males, abstractly I admit, but then they are abstract beings and possess no minds at all.  They reactively think with their primary sex characteristics.

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By athena taylor, November 2, 2008 at 7:18 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Wow, I love the bold opinions flying around on this column.

Although I take umbrage with Folktruther’s funny comment: “But he was an artist and you know how artists are.  They do not possess our mature restraint.”

As an artist I exhibit restraint a lot of the time, matter of fact I often put a straight jacket on after work.

I couldn’t agree more with BeerDoctor’s description of Francis Bacon’s art having a visceral impact.  It’s like driving by a car accident, you can’t help but look.  Something truly harrowing about Bacon’s work….He seemed like one disturbed dude.

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By Inherit The Wind, November 2, 2008 at 6:27 pm Link to this comment

cyrena, November 2 at 5:06 pm #

I was just contemplating this myself, as I’ve been tuning in periodically. (we’ve been in birthday party mode here for 2 days).

“..By thebeerdoctor, November 2 at 4:47 pm #

Since this thread has wandered into art, let’s keep this going. Inherit The Wind’s comments about the misogynist aspects of Picasso are well taken.

~~~

I was wondering where I could find a connection beteen art and Dumb White Males, and then…you guys found some stuff. wink
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
By PatrickHenry, November 2 at 4:15 pm #

The misandry, ethnic and racial bias against those misfortunate corporate types who have propelled history since Rome, loses itself in debate about Picasso.

Personally I like M.C. Escher but Larry Flynt is good too.

****************************************

You two crack me up! If me talking about art is the connection to Dumb White Males, where does that leave SHEnonymous???

Of the 3 great stroke mag pornogs, Hef, Gooch and Flynt, LF is definitely the one with best sense of humor—he’s the ONLY one who saw his dirty mag sardonically, unlike the other two who always took themselves too seriously.

(I like Escher, too. He’s like Calder, inventing his own art form—trompe l’oeil with humor, visual puns, etc, while Calder inventing the Mobile—sculpture that moves and changes with the air.)

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By cyrena, November 2, 2008 at 6:06 pm Link to this comment

I was just contemplating this myself, as I’ve been tuning in periodically. (we’ve been in birthday party mode here for 2 days).

“..By thebeerdoctor, November 2 at 4:47 pm #


Since this thread has wandered into art, let’s keep this going. Inherit The Wind’s comments about the misogynist aspects of Picasso are well taken.

~~~

I was wondering where I could find a connection beteen art and Dumb White Males, and then…you guys found some stuff. wink

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By thebeerdoctor, November 2, 2008 at 5:47 pm Link to this comment

Since this thread has wandered into art, let’s keep this going. Inherit The Wind’s comments about the misogynist aspects of Picasso are well taken. The Spaniard nonsense, best expressed by Pablo himself, with the “church in the morning, bullfight in the afternoon, brothel at night” reveal the shortcomings of the painter/sculptor revered by those who have never actually looked at his work. So you may disagree with Inherit The Wind’s perceptions, but at least he was looking at it. Many of the visual attacks on former mistresses show that Picasso. despite his great graphic facility, could be viciously petty or just downright mean.
But I think it is worth considering that art can be important without making a viewer comfortable. I mentioned Rosenquist’s massive F-111, as an example of how even pop art, known for its cynical irony, can transcend its own form. I saw F-111 once, and my reaction to that giant painting was, at least for me, a profound comment on American life during the Vietnam era. I may be totally wrong, but I consider F-111 to be one of the great anti-war paintings of the 20th century.
There is a lot of important art that you wouldn’t want to hang out in your living room. Francis Bacon’s “The Pope In Hell” immediately comes to mind. Visceral work, whether it is a Joseph Beuys assemblage, or a Chaim Soutine portrait of a carcass of beef, can be quite unsettling, as an immediate reaction.

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By PatrickHenry, November 2, 2008 at 5:15 pm Link to this comment

The misandry, ethnic and racial bias against those misfortunate corporate types who have propelled history since Rome, loses itself in debate about Picasso. 

Personally I like M.C. Escher but Larry Flynt is good too.

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By Folktruther, November 2, 2008 at 2:07 pm Link to this comment

I don’t remember the painting, Inherit, but you make a good case.  An evil act.

But he was an artist and you know how artists are.  They do not possess our mature restraint.

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By Inherit The Wind, November 2, 2008 at 12:56 pm Link to this comment

As usual, Folkwhatever hasn’t actually READ my posts…I never said I spent 4 years in grad school studying art history.  I only said I studied it as one of the requirements of my major-AS AN UNDERGRAD (FT, ignorant lout).

I agree with Paracelcus: Picasso didn’t just demean the female form (I don’t object to an artist doing that, even if I don’t like it), he demeaned specific people to hurt them, to attack them.  Now I know Goya did that (usually to the powerful), and certainly Dante did it, but Picasso’s 1932 “Le Reve” (the one that got damaged) was a particularly disgusting blow. 

The woman in the painting is his an ex-girlfriend.  He has a penis growing out of her chin and she’s licking it.  Why out of her chin? What could she do with it? Now think about it: There’s only ONE THING she could do with that—penetrate a woman and perform oral sex at the same time—look at the position of the penis and her mouth. He’s clearly calling her a lesbian, publicly at a time when same-sex sex was a totally unacceptable form of behavior and a mortal insult. 1932. And he claims that’s what she’s dreaming about doing. 

Why is she, to Picasso, a lesbian? Because she didn’t get along with and stay with a rotten little misogynist? Even if she WAS a lesbian, why did he have to publicize it?  It’s a meanness in the man, a meanness that was well-documented.

She: Walk into a room with a Seurat and several other paintings.  Turn you back on them and walk about 30 feet away.  Then turn around. The other paintings will be blah, indistinct, but the Seurat will jump out at you and you’ll see every detail.  It’s awesome!  The first time I saw that I knew I understood his technique.

Every scene painter and scenic artist in the theater knows and uses a nearly identical technique called a “scumble” and a variation called a “Dry Scumble” to create exactly the same effect—clarity of detail at a distance.  You can even see this effect with a reproduction of a Seurat.  None of his students’ paintings (that I’ve seen) have this effect.  Roy Lichtenstein’s giant cartoons do.

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By thebeerdoctor, November 2, 2008 at 10:57 am Link to this comment

Art as social comment? There has always been plenty of it. Sometimes its overt, the story goes that Berg’s opera Wozzeck, when first performed caused riots. Rage against injustice? The Spanish civil war has moved visual artists, but is it any more more moving than the knowledge of a senseless murder by the fascists of Frederico Garcia Lorca? How many great artists perished during World War One? From Franz Marc to Henri Gaudier-breszka.
Sometimes work transcends the limitations of style, that many often miss. Please tell me again how James Rosenquist’s F-111 is simply pop art.

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By Paracelsus, November 2, 2008 at 10:37 am Link to this comment

But tell me, Ihherit, now that I know that you are Educated, why is Picasso’s art venal and evil?  Inquiring minds want to know.

Perhaps it is because Picasso’s approach to the female form was parody it in gleeful vivisection.

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By Paracelsus, November 2, 2008 at 10:31 am Link to this comment

Ann Rand in the same category, her with her cartoon characters with dollar signs on their chests.

Perfect. Just perfect. I wonder if Ayn Rand liked it rough. At least Fountainhead made it seem so. Imagine Gary Cooper, playing a rapist.

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By Shenonymous, November 2, 2008 at 10:25 am Link to this comment

There is such a thing as philistinism.  But if you honestly want a discussion about pointillism, I would be glad to talk about it later. A course at a college, a night course, or go to a lecture, a book on impressionism would give a much more in depth understanding of the reasons Seurat and the other impressionists did what they did.  As a matter of fact I am taking off right after this post to Fort Worth to see the Impressionist Exhibition.  A google of Seurat will give a wealth of sites, but John Russell’s “Seurat” 1965 Thames&Hudson;publication will give all you want.

Rubber on the road doesn’t mean one cannot learn to appreciate things beyond personal taste.  As an art historian, I cannot give anybody anything they do not want already.  Learning is a dialogue, a civil dialogue.

Since there is already discussion here about Motherwell, I will ad just a bit to the fourm.  Motherwell’s Elegy to the Spanish Republic was a lament for the dead to memorialize those people who fell fighting for the cause of the Spanish Republic during their Civil War. This tragic conflict, which ravaged Spain and brought the Fascist Franco to power, inspired a generation of artists to action, and famously underpinned Picasso’s epic Guernica. He produced this series long after the war was over.  Giving a portrait of death is not an easy thing.  Death is always an abstraction to the living, hence the abstraction of the Motherwell paintings.  They are meant to be like poetry, where imagery is developed after due reflection on the visual image and the intent of the work.  The Elegy to the Spanish Republic (Basque Elegy) both specifically relates to that conflict and generally meditates on tragedy brought about by war. Motherwell conceived of his Elegies as majestically commemorating human suffering and abstractly, poetically symbolizing the inexorable cycle of life and death.  The large black forms expresses a dialectical quality of life itself where black represents death and white signifies life and purity.  The paintings universalizes war’s massacres and injustice.

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