Monthly Archives: April 2017

Afternoon Art Break

“The Large Blue Horses”
Franz Marc (1911)

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Your Morning Cup of Links

Smithsonian to mount first U.S. exhibit exploring the life and art of Marlene Dietrich

Two long-hidden Veronese paintings, restored to their former splendor, head to the Venice Biennale

Imagine that

So good:

Hasn’t Bill Clinton been fellated thoroughly enough?…Clinton provided American progressives with all they really want out of a politician: emotional validation. (Hey, Trump voters!) And so Democrats loved him — deeply, madly, and, in many cases, to the point of abasing themselves…Rather than send Bill Clinton into his dotage with a generous allowance of Viagra and interns, they gave his wife — his batty, corrupt, inept, corrupt, feckless, corrupt, preening, unbearable, corrupt, condescending, and corrupt wife — the Senate seat being vacated by Daniel Patrick Moynihan, the last good Democrat.

It’s a good gig, being a senator. But that was not a big enough tribute to the Big Creep. And it wasn’t enough for Mrs. Creep, either, who had endured so much public humiliation in the cause of making NPR listeners feel good about themselves. She was running for president from the day she was seated in the Senate. But she could not close the deal. First, she got whipped in the primaries by a nobody back-bencher…And then, after barely edging out Comrade Muppet in the 2016 primary, she lost to a half-literate game-show host. But, as the poet said, there ain’t no cure for love, and Democrats just can’t quit the Big Creep. So they’ve turned to the Little Creep.

Chelsea Clinton, most recently lionized on the cover of Variety, is a 37-year-old multi-millionaire who has never uttered an interesting word about any subject at any time during the course of her life. Judging from the evidence of her public statements, she has never had an original thought — it isn’t clear that she has had a thought at all. In tribute to her parents, she was given a series of lucrative sinecures, producing a smattering of sophomoric videos for NBC at a salary of $600,000 a year. She later went more formally into the family business, leaving her fake job at NBC for a fake job in her parents’ fake charity. She gave interviews about how she just couldn’t get interested in money and bought a $10 million Manhattan apartment that stretches for the better part of a city block. And, since her mother’s most recent foray into ignominious defeat, she has been inescapable: magazine covers, fawning interviews, talk of running her in New York’s 17th congressional district. The Democrats are doing their best to make Chelsea happen.

And, who knows, it might work. It would be tempting to write her off as a know-nothing rich kid who has made a living off her family connections while operating one of the world’s most truly asinine Twitter accounts, but . . . well, you know. But, for Pete’s sake, stop it. Have a little self-respect, Democrats. Build Bill Clinton a statue or . . . whatever. Send him your daughters like a bunch of bone-in-the-nose primitives paying tribute to the tribal chieftain. But stop trying to inflict this empty-headed, grasping, sanctimonious, risible, simpering, saccharine little twerp on American public life. It’s stupid enough out there.

Colossus 82-ton statue of Ramses II unveiled in Egypt after restoration

The messy world of New York’s mid-century art galleries

Soviet children’s books

The naked mole rat is the world’s strangest mammal

Jacek Dehnel argues that Polish fiction has changed little since Communism fell – it is still stuffed with dreams

When pop music was literary

A fascinating guide to moths

Weird clouds may have inspired ‘The Scream’

Second parchment manuscript copy of Declaration of Independence found

 

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Afternoon Art Break

“Esther before Ahasuerus”
Artemisia Gentileschi (ca. 1613–1653)

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Your Morning Cup of Links

Did Jane Austen die of arsenic poisoning?

Is American culture rotten? (Spoiler: Yes.)

How lemonade helped Paris fend off plague

Breaking ground – and betting big – on a doomsday community for the rich.

The rise, fall, and lonely death of Benny Hill

I stopped watching “Girls” after season 2, but if it ended up being an indictment (albeit unintentional) of postmodern feminism and millennials maybe I’ll go back and watch.

This:

What followed was a toxic culture of conservative celebrity, where the public elevated personalities more because of their pugnaciousness than anything else. Indeed, the fastest way to become the next conservative star is to “destroy” the Left, feeding the same kind of instinct that causes leftists to lap up content from John Oliver, Samantha Bee, and Stephen Colbert. Liberals use condescending mockery. Conservatives use righteous indignation. That’s not much of a difference. The cost has been a loss of integrity and, crucially, a loss of emphasis on ideas and, more important, ideals. There exists in some quarters an assumption that if you’re truly going to “fight,” then you have to be ready to get your hands dirty. You can’t be squeamish about details like truth or civility or decency.

The message sent when conservatives rally around the flag to defend the indefensible is exactly the message the Democrats sent so loudly as they continued to prop up the Clinton machine through scandal after scandal. Only winning matters. Ambition is everything. Political movements are about personalities, not ideas — so you’re left with the political equivalent of warring mafia families in which the highest value is loyalty, and the ends always justify the means. But ambition isn’t everything, and the single-minded quest for winning ultimately creates a class of losers.

The conservative movement includes some of the best and most admirable people I’ve ever met. It also includes its share of grasping, ambitious fame-hounds, people who live for the next Fox hit and angle to write this year’s version of the “liberals are sending this country to hell” bestselling book. But bad character sends a country to hell just as surely as bad policy does, and any movement that asks its members to defend vice in the name of advancing allegedly greater virtue is ultimately shooting itself in the foot. O’Reilly’s fall can be an important act of public hygiene, but only if it represents the beginning of the end of a conservative culture that makes us behave like the cultural enemies we purport to despise.

The return of Beowulf

The forever young Percy Bysshe Shelley

Scientists find footprint of unknown ancient reptile

Good piece on the deep generational divide on the right

“The problem with connecting everyone on the planet is that a lot of people are assholes.”

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Music Monday

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Evening Art Break

“Musicians in the Orchestra”
Edgar Degas (1872)

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Afternoon Art Break

“The Pont de l’Europe”
Gustave Caillebotte (1876)

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