Sunday, February 27, 2011

* New-Yorker-Speak: Allusions for the Ages

Published  between the Egyptian  Tahrir Square Revolution and the Academy Awards, this cover not only suggests the Egyptian people deserve a special award , but it also suggests , sadly, that revolution may have become a form of entertainment.

Published after Barack Obama's election as U.S. President, this cover suggests that the dual O's of Obama and Oprah have fulfilled the  noble rhetoric of Abraham Lincoln's egalitarian poetry, as Lincoln  sits motionless for the Ages in his Monument below the white third O, a  full moon.

Published after Twin Tragedies

* Make Art, Not War : The Enshrining Instinct

Every time you see a bottle of  Adolph's Meat Tenderizer, thank your cultural lucky stars that one of its founders, Lloyd E. Rigler, donated his fortune to create Classic Arts Showcase, the  24-hour-a-day FREE televised performances of great  music, opera, ballet and art  provided to any public access station in America that requests it, funded without advertising for the next twenty years

I have just watched  on CAS a tour of  Beethoven's Vienna, for example, with Fidelio playing in the background by the Slovak Philharmonia Orchestra.

Classic Arts Showcase  has taken me inside all of the great concert halls of the world; flown me in a helicopter over 20 chateaux  in France with music of Haydn playing in the background; provided me first-hand film performances of Maria Callas, Igor Stravinksy, Leopold Stokowski, Marlene Dietrich, Marian Anderson, Artur Rubinstein, George Gershwin, Vladimir Horowitz ----You get the picture (literally and metaphorically).

What impresses me most is the spectacular architecture human beings have created for centuries to house their art and artistic performances. Perhaps the enshrining of aesthetics and aesthetes in such amazing architectural beauty somehow offsets the enshrining of violence in war.

For forty years I have had the impulse to enshrine moments and people in history against the vicissitudes of fad and fashion: the Kent State Collection, Macintosh at Yale, The Wilder Commemorative, Doctor Bainton, Miss Vivien Kellems, the Mayor of Camel's Hump, Irene O'Malley, Mother, The Disappearance of Sam Todd, Jay Whitehair, and The Maestro.

Blogger has allowed me to do so (links above) in a more permanent way.

Although, one spectacular attack by malware on Google and all of my blogs could become digital dust (or meat tenderizer)  in the wind.

* Why Don't I Get This?

Photo by Kat Oshman. .

Rainy Days


great comic. I approve. Bravo
I don't get it. What is he protecting himself with?
It's the way I feel the once every five years I don't "get" a New Yorker cartoon: DUMB.
What am I missing?

Friday, February 25, 2011

* Un-Salad Days

Letter to the Editor
The Valley News

Dear Editor:

Recently a friend of mine told me of an experience she had with her 80 year-old-mother who is in a very respected nursing home in the Upper Valley

She had stopped by for a visit around supper time.  An attendant dropped off  the meal which consisted of an egg salad grinder as the primary course.  The  attendant departed after leaving the meal at bedside.  No one else came in to assist with the food. 

My friend concluded that had she not been there to help her mother with the grinder, the egg salad would have wound up all over her mother’s face and chest had she been left to fend for herself, as she apparently had been. Grateful to have averted this embarrassment to her mother, the  daughter eagerly helped  administer the food.

This nursing facility costs residents $10,000 a month.  If they are short staffed I would think they could put out a call to local churches  asking for volunteers to help patients with meal time. Disability and dwindling strength can be a challenge at any age, but in old age it  seems almost cruel. What has happened to society’s values that we so easily ignore the needs of the aged, even the basic needs like eating with dignity?

I hate to think of old folks  going hungry or spilling half of their meal on themselves because they have no one to help them  with their food at meal time.  And I have a vested interest in this: Every day I get a little bit older myself.

And by the way, for $10,000 a month I think we might do better than  egg salad for supper.

Paul D. Keane
Hartford Village

* Lysistrata Redux

Yale Daily Column  on Gender Roles

(Click on link above for full  YDN article.)

"This line of thinking places women in a position where they're dependent on men and conveniently doesn't do the same to men."  

 Men are just as much victims of Biological Determinism as are women. Promiscuity (programmed by the Unconscious) is the price they pay. They are TOTALLY dependent on women, just not ONE monogamously enshrined woman.
Thornton Wilder said it best: "Nature's goal is to cover the planet with as much protoplasm as it can as fast as it can." (This was before the discovery of DNA and the obviation of the concept of protoplasm.)

If that means making males promiscuous cuckhold-makers and women mate-seekers at any cost, even subordination, that is what Nature (the Unconscious) will do.

John Edwards, Elliot Spitzer and Mark Sanford:  little puppets of Biological Determinism, like the males in Aristophanes' Lysistrata, led around the stage of the world by their erect phalluses, willing to become international fools, to gratify the Great Unconscious Regulating the Universe (GURU).

Ah, what fools these mortals be.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

* Mother Earth: Galactic Vampire?

PK, I think your definition of sexism is a little too easy. A lot of discrimination against men happens because of assumptions that they are superior--or at least, about what roles they take within the family and society. For example, studies find that men have a harder time convincing a boss to let them to be flexible with their hours to take their kids to the doctor, stay home with them when they're sick, pick them up after school, etc. This is due to the assumption that this is the mother's job, not the father's--the same gender roles frequently used to confine women to domestic activities. The same happens when men try to find teaching positions at the preschool level--it's hard for them not only to convince people that they're qualified to be caretakers of young children, but people often assume there's some kind of pedophilia going on. Just see the Friends episode where a male nanny is the butt of most of the episode's jokes. That's discrimination at it's worst, against men, but it's hard to gauge what place superiority/inferiority have in this, particularly in a broader, cultural sense.
Penny Lane:
Your comment reminds me of how EXCITED I was to at last be getting a MALE teacher in fifth grade after 5 previous years of female teachers.
Here's the REAL SEXIST discrimination against MALES: Biological Determinism.
Because we were born with a chest which has the potential to develop muscles instead of (shall we say) " milk-makers", 160 MILLION young MALES have bought the cultural bias that a male's DUTY is to overwhelm and subdue opponents, and so, in the last hundred years, the blood of those 160 million males (give or take a few million) has oozed into Mother Earth, making her, I suppose, a kind of galactic vampire.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

* BCE and CE

BCE (Before Cosby Era)
CE ( Cosby Era )

"we must be careful not to minimize the ongoing suffering of other minority groups though presenting the African American struggle as uniquely more important."
Their struggle is not "uniquely more important" it is uniquely more dangerous and psychologically debilitating.
NO OTHER ETHNIC GROUP WALKS INTO A ROOM AND IS IMMEDIATELY IDENTIFIABLE BECAUSE OF A PHYSICAL ATTRIBUTE WHICH CANNOT BE HIDDEN: There's an Irish person; a Jewish person, a Native American, an Iranian. Imagine what that "immediately identifiable" phenomenon does after a few hundred thousand enterings, especially when that identifiability provokes hatred and potential violence.
In American race relations there are two epochs: BCE (Before Cosby Era) and CE (Cosby Era).
Those who grew up BCE view the "struggle" as real. Those born CE tend to view the "struggle" as 'history" in the pejorative sense.

"But I'm sure that you were taught to do that when -you- were wrong. Unless you've owned a slave, or voted for a political party that promoted the re-establishment of slavery, you've nothing to apologise for."
You know---I'm glad I was born white, and a male. I got all the advantages of a society that rewards those qualities with the profits made from exploiting blacks and females.
Of course I've got nothing to apologize for.
Pass the cigars.