You can read about it here, and you can buy it here.
Tuesday, December 21, 2004
Saturday, December 18, 2004
It's an interesting and artistic idea, from a guy who’s apparently full of interesting and artistic ideas.
Friday, December 17, 2004
I first noticed the poetically named Emily Browning in the movie “Ghost Ship” where she played an intriguingly spooky girl. Now the 16-year-old Australian is appearing in “Lemony Snicket.” In the space of two years, she has turned into a captivating beauty.
She’s definitely one to watch.
Sunday, December 12, 2004
I had thought that Miller’s audience might have been slightly more literate than the average group, but then again, it seems to have taken them a while to discover that Miller is a conservative Bush supporter. There’s no accounting for taste.
Anyway, neither that word, nor the word “niggardly” is a racial slur. They may sound a little like the word “nigger”, but they do not share a derivation with that particular epithet.
There are those in the Black community who refer to themselves and each other using the slur itself, or its cousin “nigga”, which is often used in the lyrics of rap songs. This is known as co-opting.
Co-opting presents a problem to non-racist people who aren’t black who want to sing along with one of these songs. I remember seeing some sappy teenage TV show about a white girl with many black friends who did just that. The black characters on the show stopped dead in their tracks, all solemn, and began to patiently lecture her about how what she had done was a Bad Thing.
Now I’m sorry, but I don’t buy this line of reasoning. The fact that the white character was well-known to the black characters as a true friend should have rendered her immune from charges of racism, however inadvertent. In the context of enjoying a song with her close friends, she suddenly found herself on the outside. When this is the biggest racial problem in America, it will be a great day. I don’t think the problem was how dark their skin was, but rather how thin it was.
No less a person than James Baldwin wrote, “You can only be destroyed by believing that you really are what the white world calls a nigger.”
Does co-opting the word give it any less power? Apparently not. And a studio audience that pricks up its ears at the sound of a word that rhymes with a racist insult is not politically correct; it is ignorant.
Racism is essentially self-loathing.
Friday, December 10, 2004
Don’t even think about it; it sucks. There’s a reason why those scenes were edited out: they bog the movie down. The theatrical release is a much tighter film.
Thursday, December 09, 2004
Of course, it’s sad when anyone dies, especially when they leave behind a pregnant wife and two children. But I wonder if, when the second NYC firefighter is killed, will he or she be afforded an equally luxurious tribute?
Not long ago, the sight of flag-draped coffins returning from Iraq was absent from our media outlets. Equally scarce, then as now, are stories of the wounded, and their treatment in VA hospitals.
A similar outpouring happened after 9-11. Tears were shed. Martyrs were eulogized. Heroes were sainted. Grounds were hallowed. Money was raised. Lots of money was raised.
And that seems to be the way we handle things in America. We’re ready at the drop of a hanky to make a tear-jerker movie out of our losses. “Thou shalt not have died in vain,” we cry. Suffering in quiet dignity isn't enough; we must be seen to suffer in quiet dignity. Our entertainment channels bring us the real world; our news media bring us an imitation of life.
Monday, December 06, 2004
Sunday, December 05, 2004
The earliest-born American President who was photographed was Andrew Jackson (1767-1845). Mathew Brady took his portrait in 1845, shortly before the seventh President’s death.
Perhaps, since the French invented photography as we know it, there is a portrait of some person born before 1767.
Probably the first person photographed was someone in Louis Daguerre’s “Boulevard du Temple, Paris” (1838):
See him in the lower left corner, getting his boots polished?
But the first photograph ever taken that survived was “View from the Window at Le Gras” (1826) by Joseph Niepce:
Edit: It appears that the same photographer recorded an image a year earlier of a print of a boy leading his horse:
I find it fascinating to think that, however unlikely, it is theoretically possible for someone to have photographed a person who was born in the 1600s. Granted, they would have had to be almost 130 years old, and would have had to sit very still (likely for someone of that age). But 1767 isn’t bad.
Edit: I found this image of Conrad Heyer on the Historic American Prints web site:
Saturday, December 04, 2004
Thursday, December 02, 2004
One of my neighbors said the mom cat belonged to a renter who, a month prior, had been written up by the Homeowners’ Association for leaving food outside and attracting roaches and rats. He was told that Animal Control would get involved if he didn’t do something. He assured them that, as I understand it, he would take care of the situation immediately. It looks as though his method of “taking care of it” was to abandon the cats. No one has seen him in weeks.
Another neighbor saw both adult cats at this guy’s place. The guy who has a “return to sender” notice on his door. The guy who isn’t there.
In the meantime, I placed a “lost cats” ad in the paper. I called all the local animal shelters, starting with the “no-kill” rescue operations. I asked my friends. No one would take them. I decided I could take the two kittens, but I wasn’t prepared for the other two, and my place isn’t that big. And I didn’t really want any cats to begin with. I have leather furniture. I have artwork. I have stuff.
And now I have two lively little friends. The kittens have since weaned, of course, and are happy and healthy, and busy knocking over things that had been put on top of other things.
Tonight, Animal Control got involved and took away the two outdoor cats. If by magic the owner reappears, he has five days to speak up for them. Until then, they’re on Kitty Death Row. The situation makes me feel a bit guilty and sad, knowing the cats will almost surely die.
But I didn’t create this situation. I wasn’t the one who didn’t get his animals spayed or neutered. I’m not the one who put his cats outside with a big bowl of food and said, “See ya!” I'm not the one who abandoned his pets to the elements, one of whom has such a severe respiratory infection that it goes into some sort of fit or seizure.
So why do I feel like the lesser creature?
Wednesday, December 01, 2004
“Neville and Gladys” is the first cartoon I did using the computer. I love the mischievous expression on Neville’s face. The bendy straw and legs are an attempt to account for refraction underwater (not that I changed their colors). Many people list “Neville and Gladys” as their favorite piece of mine, not least because of the vivid colors.
This piece is available as a large print, a small print, and a blank note card, from my art ordering page. It is also available as a t-shirt.