Muslims and Christians together, practicing the three ings of religion: preaching, disputing…attacking.
Archive for July, 2008
If you’ve ever asked yourself how strict ideological pursuit–especially from the Left wing– can lead to absurd constructs you will do no better than to read Tom Wolfe’s 1975 book The Painted Word. I’m just re-reading it and it is as constructive as ever. The book’s essentially about art but, in many instances, Wolfe’s observations can be applied to society as a whole. Take Minimalism, where, as the author points out, theory (ideological underpinning) had become more dominant than ever. In fact, Minimalist art theory became ever more intense, ever more absurd:
“Theory really started to roll now…toward reductionism. In this case: real art is nothing but what happens in your brain. Of course, Greenberg [an ideological art purist critic] had started it all with his demands for purity, for flatness (ever more Flatness!), for the obliteration of distinctions such as foreground and background, figure and field, line and contour, color and pattern…”
In the social realm probably the best example of how theory really starts to roll can be taken from “the artist of death” Pol Pot (Saloth Sar) of Cambodia. Of course his mentor had been the radical Frantz Fanon, a radical psychiatrist of the fifties, who conceived the idea that violence is not only necessary but beneficial to transform society into a classless state. It wasn’t long before the Southeast Asian artist developed the skill and power and began painting Fanon’s words across the fields and jungles of the Cambodian canvas. His reductionism, his minimalizing of the old complexly nuanced society, the society of bourgeois distinctions, piled up bodies by the hundreds of thousands. Pol Pot, of course, painted only in red.
“…Chinese demographers… now predict a crisis in dealing with China’s elderly, a group that will balloon from 100 million people older than 60 today to 334 million by 2050, including a staggering 100 million age 80 or older. How will China care for them? With pensions? Fewer than 30 percent of China’s urban dwellers have them, and none of the country’s 700 million farmers do. And China’s state-funded pension system makes Social Security look like Fort Knox. Nicholas Eberstadt, a demographer and economist at the American Enterprise Institute, calls China’s demographic time bomb “a slow-motion humanitarian tragedy in the making” that will “probably require a rewrite of the narrative of the rising China…” Continue reading article in The Washington Post.
“Betts remembers her discomfort as she looked at the map. The couple had been musing about the connection for months, but they were amazed—and deflated—to see how perfectly the two data sets fit together. She knew right away that this would be a “hard thing to say or write.” Nobody in the antipoverty community and nobody in city leadership was going to welcome the news that the noble experiment that they’d been engaged in for the past decade had been bringing the city down, in ways they’d never expected. But the connection was too obvious to ignore…” Continue reading story in The Atlantic
Caution: British satire ahead (and no one does it better than the Brits)…
“…As word spread throughout the land about the Child’s wondrous works, peoples from all over flocked to hear him; Hittites and Abbasids; Obamacons and McCainiacs; Cameroonians and Blairites…And they told of strange and wondrous things that greeted the news of the Child’s journey. Around the world, global temperatures began to decline, and the ocean levels fell and the great warming was over. The Great Prophet Algore of Nobel and Oscar, who many had believed was the anointed one, smiled and told his followers that the Child was the one generations had been waiting for…” Continue reading story in The Times Online.
Tags: Festival, Knob Hill Machine gun shoot
“The Ilori store in SoHo must be one of the only sunglass emporiums with a V.I.P. room. Lounging there with a flute of Moët, nibbling dark chocolate, shoppers can ponder just the right accessory to create the allure that they are Somebodies…Will these Tom Ford wood-and-steel aviators convince onlookers that my natural habitat is the red carpet? Will Ralph Lauren’s $350 shades suggest I have stepped off a yacht in Edgartown? …. Men have embraced sunglasses with a passion, and may even be driving sales,” said James J. Spina, the editor in chief of 20/20, an eyewear monthly. “Unlike men’s previous pet object, the watch, which half the time is covered by a sleeve, sunglasses are always visible, a kind of jewelry for the face. They give men an identity.” From article in the NY Times.
Besides an identity statement, they can of coruse be worn for something more mundane, for oversensitive eyes after laser surgery, for example, or for a mask over bloodshot whites after a night of drinking. They can also have a sinister use. Remember the sadistic guard in Cool Hand Luke? It seemed he was always wearing his mirrored aviators. Look into his eyes and you’ll only see your own misery. It was for precisely this reason that mirrored glasses were also encouraged for “guards” in the Stanford Prison Experiment as part of their daily uniform, described in The Lucifer Effect by Philip Zimbardo.
When you look in these lenses punk you’re only gonna see your own stinkin’ miserable reflection. And that, scum, is my only fashion statement.
Tags: Amy Winehouse, Angelina Jolie, Back ache, Tattoos
Sometimes as I’m eating lunch I’ll catch a pic on a news site of Amy Winehouse and then, in that unpleasant moment, I’ll almost lurch up my tuna salad…aaaaarrrhhh. Ewwwwwwww…That is gross stuff. I’m not just talking about her disgusting teeth and rat infested hair and her crack-induced mummified flaking skin, but her tattoos. Is there anything more grotesque on women than an array of large dark tattoos? Especially tons of them? Amy’s skin surface looks like some soiled newspaper that’d been spread along the bottom of a parrot’s cage for a month and a half.
But it’s not only poor flea-bitten famous Amy that hosts so many tattoos. Take a look at Angelina Jolie. OK, she’s alarmingly thin, but, unlike Winehouse, her hair isn’t thumping about with rodents or cockroaches pouring out of her crotch. She is at least clean looking. Her skin, execpt perhaps for her pronounced veiny arms (supposedly from working out so much), is satiny smooth; her hair is clean and shiny (luxuriant, you want to run your fingers through it…though that’s another story) . But–and here’s another aaaaarrrhhh coming on–her back looks like the garish air-brushed “paintings” you see on the side or hood of a van, mixed in with some newspaper clippings.
Amy and Jolie aside, along with numerous other Hollywood/entertainment types, what seems to be very popular today, even on teenage girls, are those large glaring winged back tattoos, especially the ones at the base of the spine. Smaller ones look like a Rorschach inkblot test. The bigger ones look like the ravages of some disease that is festering uncontrollably on the skin, and growing, or a huge dark insect that has settled on the back and is gnawing at the bone.
Well, it’s the woman’s skin, you say, and she can do what she wants with it. Absolutely. But what about us poor guys. When a guy strokes a woman’s back, starting between the upper shoulders and sliding down and through the inward arc of her silky back, he doesn’t like the idea of his hand coming into such close proximity to some huge insect sprawled just above her lumbar region. It takes away from what should be the smooth “sloping run of the back.” He doesn’t want any disruptions. It’s like going down a ski ramp: you certainly don’t want to come across an obstacle: no, you want your skis on the smooth (there’s that word again) surface all the way down.
Getting off the back another awfully placed tattoo is the one on the ankle. I don’t know off hand if Amy has an ankle tattoo or not. I’ll take a closer look when i’m not eating (of course in her case if it appears she does it could be just dirt). A woman’s leg should be free of distractions other than the shape and quality of the skin itself (yeah, I know, this sounds dangerously sexist). Again I use the ski slope analogy: you want your hand gliding down gently, you don’t want any dark foreboding insect/disease-looking impediment in the way as you head down to the foot. Also, ankle tattoos resemble sinister police installed radio-controlled big black ankle-bracelets; of course, if you’re the type that likes “prison babes” (aka bad girls) than this might be a turn on for you. Personally I don’t (however I do appreciate thin gold removable ankle chains.
Getting back to the back. In short, back tattoos are like so much graffiti. The problem with tattoos, however, is they can’t be recycled. You’re stuck with that inky look. Lasers can “remove” some of the mess but i understand it’s a long and very expensive process.
Update: Like celebs with tattoos? Here’s a whole bunch of these ink slop sleazebags here.