Monthly Archives: April 2016

Weekend Art Break

“The Apparition”
Gustave Moreau (1876)

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Weekend Links

“London-based architecture practice Ordinary Architecture have designed a large cross-section of a pigeon that reveals its anatomy to illustrate how the bird’s digestive system works; players aim golf balls through its mouth and watch as they roll through its guts before popping out through its butt.”

London at night

Saul Bellow’s desk finally sold

A traveling show called Famous Deaths lets you experience, in rich multisensory detail, the last four minutes of a famous person’s life.

Dear critics: No one cares about your life.

Correct: “The GOP sucks, but it’s not as bad as everyone thinks”

Donald Trump is not your Daddy

Yes, every word of this Tom Nichols piece. Here’s an excerpt, but go read the whole thing:

Yes, fellow conservatives: Trump is worse than Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama. Their policies are liberal, even leftist, often motivated by cheap politics, ego, and political grandstanding. But they are policies, understandable as such and opposable by political means. Trump’s various rants, by contrast, do not amount to policies. They are ignorant tone poems, bad haikus, streams of words whose content has no real meaning. They’re not positions available either to the GOP or Democrats, because they do not contain a vision of the future over which those parties can fight. In fact, Trump’s policies are not policies. They’re just feverish revenge fantasies. Trump, a scam artist whose entire career has been based on victimizing the working class, should be the target of that anger. Instead, he is encouraging Americans to turn their hostility away from him and against their fellow citizens, inviting us into a war of all against all over which he will preside as an amused dictator…In the end, I can only say it again: if I lose a friend only because I am opposed to man who is, in my view, a mortal enemy of everything American, then so be it.

So damn depressing: “You can see signs of this everywhere, and for once it really does remind me of the dying years of the Roman Empire, when a long and profound and powerful intellectual tradition was simply fading away and becoming invisible to the world. With nothing to replace it, the culture is being hollowed out. We are losing sight of the heights of a 3,000-year-long intellectual and artistic tradition, and somehow I don’t think Beyoncé thinkpieces, much less Beyoncé herself, are going to fill that vacuum.”

Donald Trump and his enablers are killing democracy

Nobody panic:

The entire population of Belgium is to be issued with a ration of iodine tablets, months after warnings about the threat of Isil building a dirty bomb. Iodine pills, which help reduce radiation build-up in the thyroid gland, had previously only been issued to people living within 20km (14 miles) of the Tihange and Doel nuclear plants. Maggie De Block, the Health Minister, said that would be extended to 100km, covering the whole country of 11 million people, following advice from an expert council. The pills will be sent to pharmacies, and the public would be ordered to collect their ration in the event of a meltdown. Children, pregnant women and those breast-feeding would be given priority.

“Making well-off countries poor and poor countries starving is what socialists do.”

Trump really counting on the historical illiterate vote. This may just be the stupidest goddamn speech I’ve ever read in my life. Tom Nichols sums it up best:

So, we now know what Donald Trump thinks about foreign policy. Actually, we don’t. Once again, a Trump speech about policy turned out to be just another word salad of rehashed campaign slogans. And once again, all we learned is that Trump has no idea what he’s talking about, especially when it comes to foreign policy.

Trump’s speech, highly anticipated and no doubt crafted by his advisers in an attempt to make him look sensible, was probably as uncomfortable for him to give as it was for us to watch. Like a child who’s been told he has to give a book report on a subject way over his head, Trump dutifully read a script, slogging through concepts he does not grasp and stumbling over words he cannot pronounce. He touched on many subjects, all of them wrapped in the ignorance and magical thinking that characterizes every Trump speech. Like Barack Obama, Trump thinks his very presence in the Oval Office will itself be change that fixes everything.

There were many more inconsistencies in Trump’s speech, but there’s no point in highlighting them. This wasn’t really a speech about foreign policy. It was a campaign event, meant to reassure Trump’s emotionally-driven, low-information voters that he gave a foreign policy speech. And so he did. Some Republicans, facing Trump’s mounting primary victories, have even embarrassed themselves by praising it already. And of course, it was more than enough for Trump’s loyalists, as anything Trump does or says, no matter how stupid or incoherent, always is. But it is not enough to reassure any thinking American. We deserve better. In this election, unfortunately, we are unlikely to get it.

If Hollywood got nuked I would not shed a single tear.

Here’s how the Obama admin will use taxpayer funds to pay Iran $8.6 million for nuke materials.

Crows remember who wronged them.

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Afternoon Art Break

“The Source”
Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres (1856)

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Your Morning Cup of Links

The search for black holes sparked rivalries that caused scientists to cut off contact with each other and even brick their office doors.

What eventually rescued T.S. Eliot from the depths of despair? The Anglican Church and Valerie.

What a lunatic. Just leave people alone already.

Unreal

A migrant couple who have nine children and receive nearly £5,000 a month in benefits want state-funded IVF treatment in Austria. The couple, whose names are not known, fled Afghanistan for Austria – the man arriving in 2011 and the 44-year-old woman in 2013. Two of their children have disabilities so severe that doctors believe they would die without medical treatment. But the couple remain determined to have a tenth child and have turned to Austria’s IVF fund to cover the cost.

What a pathetic, foolish group of people

#TrollSoHard

Seriously, if civil asset forfeiture doesn’t make your blood boil, I don’t want to know you.

Unexpectedly!

JMW Turner is the first artist to be featured on a British banknote.

Unbelievable

A North Carolina middle school choir singing the National Anthem at the 9/11 Memorial in New York City was shut down by two security guards, according to a report. The reason? It could be considered a public demonstration. The New York Post reported that the guards told music teacher Martha Brown that the group needed a permit to sing.

Who among us hasn’t stolen a monkey from our spouse to give to a hooker?

I stopped reading at “dual citizen who went overseas.” “I worked for the CIA, kept foreign citizenship, left the country during a controversy knowing there was a warrant out for my arrest. Now help me.” No. Be smarter.

Stuff like this almost puts me on Team “Establishment.” The parties are supposed to cater to dumbasses like this?

Krupski, a registered Democrat who twice voted for Obama, is turning his back on the party this year. He plans to vote for Trump in November. “It seems like Donald Trump has a better idea of trying to tighten things up so this ISIS thing doesn’t hurt people,” Krupski says. But in last week’s New York primary, Krupski voted for Sanders. For one, he didn’t want to change his party affiliation: “I vote for the person and not the party.” Plus, Krupski doesn’t want Clinton to get the Democratic nomination. “We have to go in another direction with the leadership for this country,” he says.

“The parties don’t listen to me!!” That’s because you’re retarded.

Shakespeare is not our contemporary

Charlotte Brontë’s classroom fantasy

Airlift is sending 33 lions from South American circuses to African sanctuary

A good moon is hard to find — but Pluto’s “little sister” just got one

“British readers will be flattered to see that some attention is paid to Henry VIII’s virile member”

Typical Trump supporter: a stupid person who is angry about things they don’t understand.

I have not an ounce of sympathy for these people. Don’t live beyond your means. Tell your kids “no” sometimes. It’s not hard. My parents did it. Their parents did it.

Beyonce sucks:

What I’m articulating is a familiar lament about all pop music today. It’s not art, it’s advertising…Everything in pop culture is a franchise now, including pop singers. It’s all made for the purpose of perpetuating itself, like a virus. It certainly is not interested in expressing anything true or beautiful or good or difficult or joyous or painful. The new Beyonce song is just the old Beyonce song with an arguably different computer-generated beat…I could lob that criticism at most of what we consume in this culture. So much of it is bland, superficial, repetitious, existing for its own sake. Devoured quickly, with little intellectual effort. I find it therefore annoying and confusing when people speak of Beyonce’s alleged genius.

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Evening Art Break

“At the Cafe des Ambassadeurs”
Edgar Degas (1885)

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Throwback Thursday

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Marilyn Monroe, 1961.

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Afternoon Art Break

“Interior of the Painter’s House, rue Carcel”
Paul Gauguin (1881)

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