November 27, 2009 - November 20, 2009
Monday, August 04, 2008
The Great Levelling
Scratch a lefty do-gooder, and you'll
find Jose Ferrer.
not really a Christian. He's a self-hating control freak.
X-ABUSERZ. Every once
in a while, the curtain parts and you get a glimpse
of the great 'progressive' vision of the human race. When it happens,
I'm always reminded of the irony that Hollywood and show business types
generally are so devoted to the left wing of the political spectrum.
Their more natural philosophical home is libertarianism -- the "get the
hell off my back and stay off my back" core of conviction that unites
almost all sectors of the right against the drab coercive
egalitarianism of the left. Of course, there's usually a camouflage
principle at work. The left's obsessive desire to control and regulate
and 'fix' the lives of the common people they presume to speak for is
rarely aimed at the elites who lend an air of glamour to their dreary
goals and totalitarian policy prescriptions.
In their utopian ideal, if your next-door neighbors lived like the
Kennedys, you'd be an eyewitness to a swarm of social workers, child
welfare bureaucrats, officers of the court, and other custodians of
secular morality descending to sting the family into the correct state
of 'freedom' -- drug-free, booze-free, tobacco-free, SUV-free,
fat-free, cholesterol-free, sodium-free, wealth-free, religion-free,
obsession-free, risk-free, hyperfertility-free (two kids and then a
vasectomy, you hear?),
and consumer excess-free. Then they have the nerve to lecture the rest
of us about tolerance. Christians say, "Hate the sin but not the
sinner." It's the leftists who say (if only to themselves), "Hate the
sinner, too, because he refuses to listen to me."
It's really no accident that it's the richest who hate riches the most
and the most sybaritic who hate excess of all kinds the most. They
despise themselves and rather than face that unpleasant fact, they
choose to despise others instead. There's no more obnoxious breed of
secular moralist than the ex-smoker or the reformed alcoholic. The
great solipsistic battle against their own continuing temptations turns
all the rest of us into a foil for their personal ego dramas.
That's why the curtain parts from time to time, as it did Friday, in
the pages of the LA Times, where someone named Eric Lucas
was allowed to publish a singularly ugly little exercise in narcissism called "Sobering
up on Heath Ledger." It begins:
memorialize the 'Dark Knight' star's death with an Academy Award.
It's time to stop the canonization of Heath Ledger. He's not a tragic
hero. He's not a beautiful martyr. He's just a pretty good actor who
did away with himself and broke the hearts of his family and friends,
and he shouldn't get an Academy Award to memorialize his death.
Ledger's brief career culminated in his portrayal of the Joker in " The
Dark Knight," a role that at first seems compelling ("mesmerizing,"
critics have fawned) but ultimately devolves into a can-can dance of
snuffling pseudo-psychopathia. It has all the subtlety of a hangover --
exactly what I'd expect from someone who headed home every night to a
pill party. Still, "The Dark Knight" has soared to unprecedented
success, and Ledger's name is mentioned incessantly for an Oscar.
As soon as I read these two paragraphs, I knew the author was himself
either a 'reformed' drug addict or drunkard. This particular kind of
heat and vitriol is unmistakeable. Who else would be acting as if Heath
Ledger had done something to him?
And so it proved to be:
After Ledger died in January, one
distraught fan posted on the Internet that he "will go down alongside
James Dean and River Phoenix as great talents who were so cruelly taken
away just as they started to show how damn good they were!" But these
guys weren't "taken away." Phoenix OD'd on cocaine and heroin. Dean
died in a car crash after a short, fast life of drugs and alcohol. They
took themselves away. It's a simple thing to find help for drug and
alcohol abuse these days. Millions have done it, including me, and
though not easy, it represents the only way to live with the integrity
we owe ourselves, our families and the world around us.
There's no room in Eric's cosmos for Thoreau's "beat of a different
drummer." He's at pains to list all the artists of various genres to
whom he is infinitely superior because he has managed to live
more years than they did:
The current mania joins Ledger to a
long line of creative figures who committed the ultimate failure and
are, unfortunately, all the more famous for it: Dylan Thomas, Hank
Williams, Jackson Pollock, Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain, John Belushi,
Janis Joplin. Some drank themselves to death, some overdosed, some ran
their cars off the road. As the saying goes in AA, the stories are the
same, only the details are different.
Ah. AA. What a perfect example of the liberal paradigm. Everyone
flattened to the level of an anonymous statistic. Which becomes a
source of actual pride to all the people who abandon belief in the
uniqueness of their own experience in favor of a role in the great
secular morality play whose sole learning point is the virtue of
refraining from vice. And yet this is a virtue which somehow elevates
its late-blooming exemplars to heights so exalted that its true
believers view every other form of attainment with contempt:
Last year, I visited the hamlet in
Wales through which poet Dylan Thomas caroused. At an inn from which he
was evicted (for stealing beer), I learned that down the street lived
an old lady who had known him. Go knock on her door, I was urged. So I
did. Gladys didn't hear so well, but when I finally conveyed the idea
that I was curious about Dylan Thomas, she laughed and said, "Well, he
was just a common drunk, wasn't he?"
Uh, no. Dylan Thomas was an incredibly uncommon drunk. That's what the
earnest and self-righteous reductionists of human experience
continually fail to understand. A drunk was one of the things he was, and drunk
was perhaps intrinsic to other aspects of his being, but drunk is
hardly a complete description of the man. Unless you subscribe to a
faith which obliterates all considerations of interior life and settles
instead on external numerical measurements: years lived, income earned,
debts paid (and unpaid), taxes paid, appointments kept, attendance,
punctuality, showing up for
as long as possible. It's the same kind of ludicrous argument Neal
Boortz has tried to make about smokers.
He doesn't smoke, so he's demonstrably smarter than all these fellas (most of
whom were also pretty accomplished drinkers).
I'm not making the case that
artists are entitled to misbehave and therefore aren't culpable for
their personal irresponsibility, the pain they cause those around them,
and the damage they do by way of setting a bad example. My point is a
more modest one. The bad things they do are bad things. But in many
many cases, they have also produced extraordinarily good things, which
means that it's an act of self-aggrandizing arrogance to dismiss them
out of hand because they don't conform to our rote definitions of worth.
That's why condemnation of such complicated personalities is far more
common among leftist social engineers than among Christians,
libertarians, and even (gasp) conservatives. It was Lenin and Stalin
who denounced most of western art and writing as "decadent." It was Mao
who delberately set about exterminating the cultural legacy of his own
nation's past, including its participation in the western
enlightenment. It is today's "progressive" academy which has
systematically condemned all the greatest cultural contributions of
western civilization as racist, sexist, and inherently meaningless so
that they can be reacted to spontaneously, without learning or respect,
in a new genre of self-obsessed masturbation called deconstructionism
or 'post-modern scholarship.'
I'm not a fan of every name on Eric's list of damned worthless
substance abusers. But it would never occur to me to dismiss their
lives and works simply because they died young due to their own
reckless behavior. Some people do what they're moved to do in a very
short period of time. Some people even seem to belong to a very
specific period in time, and their deaths almost seem an affirmation of
their identity with the era in which they briefly shone. To me, for
example, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, and Jim Morrison were -- each in
their own way -- such perfect personifications of the sixties that I
cannot imagine how pathetic they'd be if they'd survived to undergo the
nostalgia tours and other indignities of those who have outlived their
Regular readers here will know that I deplore the sixties and therefore
have very mixed feelings about these dead stars. But I would be a liar
if I failed to admit that Eric's outrage doesn't do a damned thing to
diminish my affection for Hendrix's version of "All Along the
Watchtower," Joplin's "Piece of My Heart," and Morrison's "The End." I
can agree that they weren't "stolen from us" without wiping them off
the slate altogether. It's likely that they departed this life because
they wanted to. (As it is also possible
that Buddy Holly and Patsy Kline did the same thing. What would Eric
have to tell us about that?) And I'm heartily suspicious of anyone who
can wipe the slate clean of them.
Yes, it's sad and troubling that young people confuse talent and
substance abuse to the degree that they abuse substances in the
hope that such behavior will confer or resemble talent. But who
is doing more to promote this false equation: those who can appreciate
the talent and distinguish between the positive and negative attributes
of the artists; or those who piss all over the works of the artists who
managed to kill themselves in the course of producing them? The latter
is essentially an argument that what looked like talent was only
intoxication. That's the most dangerous possible message to send to
youngsters. Because when you're young, the last thing you aspire to is
being a sour old cynic with a "five years sober" pin in your sock
drawer putting down all the beautiful, brilliant, tortured geniuses and
stars who didn't survive to become as colorless and dull as you are.
Colorless and dull. Everybody. That's the real progressive vision. If
Hollywood and the artistes ever wake up to that fact, they will
terminate their romance with the left. In the interim, let this one
conservative suggest that no harm will be done to anyone if Heath
Ledger gets an Oscar for his final role. I say this as one who was
repelled by the few clips of "Brokeback Mountain" I have seen. The
young man is dead now. There's no need to piss on his grave. Certainly
not to sustain the inflated self-congratulation of Eric Lucas on his
fragile sobriety. That would be his
problem. Not mine. Not yours. And not Heath Ledger's.
Here's one final question for all of you leftists who were also annoyed
by Eric's little tantrum. Who is it you're willing to trust to tell you
how to live? Every time you vote for more government, you are
transferring another part of your autonomy to bureaucrats who think the
way Eric does, who assume they're superior to you because you make
mistakes and the committee/agency/program they report to doesn't make
human mistakes because it's not human at all. It's the government.
We had to show you the poster above. Not that it means anything or
contributes anything to the argument. It's just that we found it while
searching for evocative images of "Miss Sadie Thompson." And
every single day of life is improved by a fresh view of Rita Hayworth,
another worthless drunk who will never ever die. This one's in French.
Sexy, n'est-ce pas?
P.P.S. The sound file is from "Under Milk Wood," a play by the 'common drunk' Dylan Thomas. It goes down easier than Eric's little essay, don't it?
The Fatal Flaws of Lawyers in Politics
Sigh. You could make the case that Vincent
Bugliosi has finally gone nuts in the endless quest for attention
that began with his graduation from Santa Dumbshittia Law School (or
wherever it was). But the truth is, there's a bigger lesson here.
Lawyers are the very worst possible people to have any input, of any
kind, into the American political process.
Why? We've alluded to it before, but never quite head-on. That's an
omission we're going to correct right now. Legal education is the
forced destruction of intuition and common sense in favor of the narrowest case that can be made for
or against the defendant in some legal action. That's what the LSAT
(law boards) test for: how adept are you at ignoring what's
obviously true in service to some counter-intuitive letter of the law? Ignore all your upbringing and native judgment and
we'll make you an attorney. Continue to act as if discriminating human
intelligence matters, and you'll get a 420 on the boards and ride the
long train home in disgrace.
I have no doubt that Vincent Bugliosi is, or was once, a smart man. But
his mind has been destroyed by the fact of his having been a
prosecutor. Does anyone else watch the documentary shows on crime aired
by the History Channel, Discovery, Dateline, and 48 Hours? It's only on
the FBI Files that no case
can be brought without first wiring every conceivable witness and
guaranteeing immunity to everyone but the one, most egregious wrongdoer,
usually 15 years after the crime. Elsewhere, prosecutors are
single-mindedly focused on quick convictions, regardless of the facts. They
will do absolutely anything to secure and sustain a guilty verdict. Mere
facts, DNA testing be damned, do nothing to mitigate
their certainty that an indictment, however obtained, guarantees guilt. One
could, I suppose, sympathize with their plight. In Ohio, they always
win, no matter how gossamer their case. In California, they
always lose, no matter how rock solid their forensics. No wonder the attorneys
come to regard the American judicial system as a game.
But it isn't a game. The nub they keep forgetting is justice. The job
of prosecutors isn't convictions; it's fact-finding, truth. But
whatever it is they do to students in law school seems to eliminate
this simple mission from their minds. They graduate, they pass the bar
exam, and from then on they think justice is whatever selective and distorted configuration of evidence they can
bamboozle a jury into accepting. A courtroom victory is their only notion of truth. Sad. Pitiful, in fact.
It's a pernicious kind of miseducation. It devalues truth as you and I
understand it: what the hell happened, why, and who's responsible? For
them, the end point is actually the beginning: Here's what I insist the truth is, and now --
ladies and gentlemen of the jury -- permit me to remake all the facts
so that you will believe my
theory of the case is true.
In short, lawyers are expressly taught to lose track of what objective truth might be. They're
trained to start out with a particular point of view and then arrange (or misrepresent) the
available facts to reflect their predetermined position in such a way
that no reasonable person could disagree.
Which works great when you're a criminal prosecutor. Who the hell knows
that your theory of the case is based on an inkling of a hunch that's
somehow congruent with your political aspirations? Only maybe it
doesn't work so great when you're just freelancing, when your
motivations are more ideological than nominally protective of the
public at large. When every Tom, Dick and Harry can see that you began
with the desired outcome and worked your way back, through all the
customary prosecutorial tricks, to the narrowest, most technical
case anyone could make against a defendant everyone knows you hate in
the most visceral possible way.
There is a lesson here.
Everyone, including us, knows that Vincent Bugliosi is smart. Yet everyone
in the left-leaning media, including every major media outlet from the NYT to the
Comedy Channel, has ignored Bugliosi's newest book, The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder. Extreme leftist
blogs regard this as a conspiracy. Everyone else knows that he's
leading with his chin; it doesn't matter how good a lawyer you are if
you fail to understand the essential nature of the case before you.
Some people do.
Which is Bugliosi's fatal error. And that of a whole passel of lawyers
who are belaboring the Bush Adminsistration with nonsensical legal cudgels. The War on Terror,
including the War in Iraq, isn't about due process. It's about
defending the United States from foreign enemies who want to kill us.
It's the one most legitimate power the founding fathers gave to the
president. He gets to conduct foreign policy as he sees fit. If we
disagree, we can vote him out of office. We don't get to prosecute
him for abridging the constitutional rights of Confederates, Germans, Japanese, Koreans, North
Vietnamese, Cubans, or Iraqis. Because they're not Americans. They're
foreigners, not protected by the Constitution. (Sorry. Jefferson never
anticipated the sole-superpower outcome.) And we also don't get to
prosecute our presidents for the death of American troops he has sent
into harm's way. He's the Commander-in-Chief. (Talk to Abraham Lincoln
about acceptable casualties pursuant to bad war-time decisions.) If he orders them into
battle with whiffle bats against machine guns, we can vote him out of
office, but he's still within his rights to give the big speech and
then withdraw to his secure bunker: We don't want him hiding in a
bunker, but who could realistically expect a modern
commander-in-chief to lead his troops personally into battle (unless he was McCain)?
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition;
And gentlemen in England now-a-bed
Shall think themselves accurs'd they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.
Who doesn't get this? Lawyers.
The Democrats always
nominate lawyers. Like Bugliosi, they always have some case they can
make, yet somehow it's never a case for you and me, but only for some
enemy of our country with a fancied grievance against us we're supposed
to take seriously. Because a lawyer is telling us we should. So here are the necessary
questions: Who is it out there who really believes in lawyers? And
why? When have they ever done anything that wasn't about making their
own careers more prosperous?
Which brings us finally to time present. Obama's a lawyer. McCain's a soldier. They're both
assholes, but who would you rather trust?
Friday, August 01, 2008
at home. In his dining room. You can have it, too.
BIG DAY IS HERE! Yes, friends, today is the real deal, THE
anniversary of Rush Liimbaugh's nationally syndicated radio
show. We're definitely of a mind to celebrate, especially since Pelosi
and company are planning to shut him down come January. And while it's
still possible, we'd like to give you the opportunity to share some of
the fabulous Limbaugh Lifestyle, which is an offer you won't find
anywhere but here, at InstaPunk, for unbelievably low prices.
Thanks to the New York Times Magazine, we all
got a glimpse of that lifestyle, which has to be some perfect
realization of the American Dream -- a huge mansion, glamorous cars,
and great food. Rush is already sharing the great food part via his
special relationship with Allen Brothers Meats, but we're determined to
take it a a step farther with our offering of "Dittohead Lifestyle
Packages," tailored specifically for the modest budgets of those who
don't have a $400 million compensation deal with their employers.
Our inspiration was a show on the Home & Garden Channel (HGTV)
called Sensible Chic, which always
features a professionally designed room that cost tens of thousands of
dollars but can be duplicated (approximately) for far less money. For
example, the photograph above is of the dining room in Rush's West Palm
Beach, Florida, home. The NYT
Magazine piece tells us:
The massive chandelier in the dining
room... is a replica of the one that hung in the lobby of
the Plaza Hotel in New York.
It's obvious that the key ingredients of this marvelous room are the
chandelier and the lovely palm trees. But you don't have to pay what
Rush did to achieve the same effect in your own dittohouse. Behold:
thinking $45,000, aren't you? Well hang onto your hat, because InstaPunk will send you this gorgeous
chandelier and a dozen designer palm trees for just $4,500. That's
right. Are you starting to get the idea?
If you're like most of us dittoheads, you know that nothing is quite as
important as wheels. According to the NYT,
“ANTICIPATING A QUESTION,” Limbaugh
said when we pulled into the garage of his secluded beachfront mansion
in Palm Beach, “why do I have so many cars?”
I hadn’t actually been wondering that. Very rich people tend not to
stint on transportation. For example, we drove to the house from the
studio, Limbaugh at the wheel, in a black Maybach 57S, which runs
around $450,000 fully loaded. He had half a dozen similar rides on his
“I have these cars for two reasons,” Limbaugh said. “First, they are
for the use of my guests. And two, I happen to love fine automobiles.”
Of course, you might not know precisely what a Maybach is. That's where
we can help.
For the YouTube-challenged, here's a still photo of Rush's $450,000
Beyond your wildest dreams? Ordinarily
it might be. But today, thanks to InstaPunk, you can have a Sensible Chic version of this
marvelous automobile for only $43,995 (plus destination charges and
dealer prep). Here is your very own fantabulous Rushmobile:
Supplies are limited (extremely). So
act fast if you want to live the dream.
Pretty cool, huh? But the ride has to end up at a suitably palatial
crib, doesn't it? Thankfully, we do know something about Rush's pad:
He also loves space. There are five
homes — all of them his — on the property. The big house is 24,000
square feet. Limbaugh lives there with a cat.
Here's a pic.
God, look at that pool. We'll be
seeing more of it later.
Does it seem out of reach? Just because
it cost $70 million? What if we told you that you could have something
like it for under $700,000?
Yeah the financing is ARM, but the subprime thing has been overblown. You can handle it.
Initial payments under $4,000/ month. Call now for the best
possible no-points, low-interest deal.
Delivered in an easy-to-assemble package at your chosen location.
Of course, we all know the McMansion problem. Blowing the whole wad on
wheels and a great big house, with nothing left for the interior
decorating budget. We can help there, too. A true dittohead needs a
library, and Rush knows exactly what it's supposed to look like:
Limbaugh is especially proud of his
two-story library, which is a scaled-down version of the library at the
Biltmore Estate in North Carolina. Cherubs dance on the ceiling,
leatherbound collections line the bookshelves and the wood-paneled
walls were once “an acre of mahogany.”
Which adds up to this.
If you go with our El Rushbo Estate
model, you won't have quite as much room as he does, but you can nail
the look with our Biltmore Library Package, which retails for just
$38,000. (Check our PayPal link to see how easy this all is...)
talking truly, honestly authentic here. The bookshelves contain exactly
the same brand of fake
books that Limbaugh has in his
library (Click on the
pic). And while you won't
have floorspace for a whole couch, the LazyMan
Library Chair is top of the line. Don't forget we'll be sending you a tenth
an acre of the best faux mahogany China has to offer. (Just don't burn any
wood or stuff in the fireplace; that wouldn't be safe. Smoke a cigar
Guest rooms are especially important
too. Take a cue from the master:
Unlike many right-wing talk-show hosts,
Limbaugh does not view France with hostility. On the contrary, he is a
Francophile. His salon, he told me, is meant to suggest Versailles. His
main guest suite, which I did not personally inspect, was designed as
an exact replica of the presidential suite of the George V Hotel in
Bet you didn't know it was okay to like France. Well, it is. And you
can see why:
The Guest Suite
Actually, this is one of our very best
deals -- comprehensive, beautiful, and yet strikingly affordable:
kicking ourselves over the pricing. You get the couch, the rug, the curtains, the coffee table,
the lamp, and the incredible custom yellow paint for just (gasp)
$24,000. Yes, we're crazy.
And remember that pool. We thought you
did. Here's a better look at it.
Whatever else you do, you simply can't afford to pass up our El Rushbo
pool set. It's an absolute steal at $2,500. That's right. $2,500.
we need our heads examined. But that's not your problem. $2,500!!!
You're also going to need someone to enjoy all this with. Rush has his
Impossible to duplicate, of course.
But you can have one that's at least
something like his:
If you can't afford the cat, maybe you'd be willing to make do with one
of Rush's lesser companions.
Fortunately, we can duplicate this model for just $125. Not that you'd
be interested. They rarely purr, and when they do, it's only because
they want something. Something expensive.
advice would be, save up for the cat.
After all, it's Rush's preference at this point.
Well, there you have it. The compleat Limbaugh Lifestyle catalogue. You
can place your orders by email and settle up via PayPal. Order
separately, OR -- Get everything
listed here for an even $1 million.
That's just one percent of his recent signing bonus. Where are you going
to get a better deal than that?
kidding aside. Congratulations, Rush. You've made a huge difference to
a lot of people. You should be proud, and no one here begrudges you
your disgustingly over-the-top wealth. This is America. You earned it.
You enjoy it. That's an order.
Thursday, July 31, 2008
Tomorrow's the Big
Rushbo is much bigger than his critics and caricatures.
Over the years we've both defended
him and criticized
him, but tomorrow Limbaugh reaches a major milestone -- 20 years on top
of the radio ratings. It's an amazing feat. He single-handedly
resurrected the dead dial of the AM band and transformed it into a
political weapon so potent that even today the party of ostentatiously
blind allegiance to the First Amendment is plotting to silence him via Jurassic
Park legislation reinvoking the infamous "Fairness Doctrine."
We want to add our special sauce to the celebration. So be sure to come
back tomorrow and join our unique tribute to Rush. But don't be too
outraged if we've figured out a devilishly clever scheme for making a
few bucks out of the big day. Rush would be proud of us. It's called
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
resist. We love Rodin. And Moby's pretty okay, too.
YouTube takes a beating for many excellent reasons. It would be
easy to get the idea from the MSM and even YouTube's own lists of
favorites that the site consists of all that is low and despicable in
the human condition. It is swept by fads -- girls beating up girls,
boys torturing cats or breaking their own bodies in stupid stunts,
disgruntled spouses and other exes spilling sewage about matters best
left private, lunatics ranting into webcams about their fanatical
beliefs and causes, music videos that call to mind the artifacts of
archaeological research into dead civilizations. It is also pervaded by
all things sentimental and cloying -- cute babies doing cute things,
cute puppies doing cute things, tributes to cute child actors of the
But the uncomfortable truth is that YouTube is a mirror. Whatever you are looking for there you will
likely find. It's a vast repository of cultural memory, something like
a computer version of Jung's collective unconscious. All the building
blocks of our own memories are there -- sports, music, TV, celebrities,
politics, commercials, science, technology, war, history, movies past
and present, sex, and even religion..
It's no wonder the copyright and trademark battles surrounding YouTube
are so fierce. How do you copyright the personal, individual
memories that make up individual consciousness and the soul of the
world? You don't, really. You can try, but this is an arena in which
the law is lost and the value of the whole so transcends the mechanisms
of government that constraining it becomes an effective impossibility.
You may win a skirmish or two, but you will inevitably lose the larger
fight. YouTube is bigger than all of us.
That's why we decided today to look for things that don't get much
press. Not too surprisingly, a earch for "art" turns up positive and
beautiful new permutations of classic masterpieces across the ages. A
multimedia vehicle like YouTube has an unprecedented ability to make
art personal again, to share individual perceptions that take flat
canvases off the museum walls and restore the kinetic play of emotion
and light and process which animated the genius of the artists.
The available tools are extensive and the results are accordingly
varied. It's possible to rejuvenate old art in many ways -- by moving
cameras, the addition of soundtracks, the sequencing of images, the use
of playful animation, and even reenactments of the creative process. I
suppose one could dismiss all this as a decadent, post-modern
by-product of the end of art, but I suspect that it is only the
beginning of a new epoch in art -- the resurrection of the old into a
brand new synthesis that uses the past to inspire a creative explosion
capable of capitalizing on the technology which is presently redefining
everyone's experience of life.
The innovations thus far are still rudimentary, but in some cases
multimedia technology already seems to represent a completion and
fulfillment of the artist's intention. Here, for example, is a YouTube
permutation of Escher:
Yes, it's a lowball interpretation of what is implicit in the original,
but don't you find yourself wondering what Escher himself would have
done if he'd had access to our technology? Well, I do.
And does anybody else share my curiosity about what the cubists were
trying to say, what they would have
said if they had a software suite
half as good as what's available to the average MySpace dude?
Or think about Dali. What would he
have done with a computer?
And would Matisse have liked this presentation of his paintings? I have
to think he would.
You think it only works with the moderns? Not true. Here's what seem to
be the first of what will be innumerable new treatments of Hieronymus
by God. Are you starting
to get the idea that a new engine is
rumbling in the background of art? That's all I'm suggesting. Although
can't quit before I highlight an interesting trend with regard to the
works of one of my own favorite artists, Edward Hopper. People aren't
animating him. (Correct. He was a sculptor in paint.) They're scoring
him. And I confess myself surprised. It never occurred to me that his
work was jazz:
Truthfully, the Big Band thing isn't working for me. But whoever did it
is not alone.
Personally, I'm thinking the opaque solipsism of Miles Davis or John
Coltrane would be more
appropriate than the vitality of "Sing, Sing, Sing" or the schmaltz
of Glen Miller. But that's the beauty of YouTube. If I disagree enough
to do something about it, I can
do something about it.
As a final note, I'll show you what I interpret as an act of YouTube
art criticism. It's
definitely NSFW, but here's what purports
to be a
tribute to Jackson Pollock. Yet its effect is to make of Pollock the
joke that I always thought he was. See what you think.
So that's it for today. Are you feeling artistic yet?