Tuesday, July 15, 2008

For my friend who is not jaundiced

For my friend who is
not jaundiced, but sees the world
and wants to yell, "aagh".

Villanelle at Sundown

Turn your head. Look. The light is turning yellow.
The river seems enriched thereby, not to say deepened.
Why this is, I'll never be able to tell you.

Or are Americans half in love with failure?
One used to say so, reading Fitzgerald, as it happened.
(That Viking Portable, all water spotted and yellow--

remember?) Or does mere distance lend a value
to things? --false, it may be, but the view is hardly cheapened.
Why this is, I'll never be able to tell you.

The smoke, those tiny cars, the whole urban millieu--
One can like anything diminishment has sharpened.
Our painter friend, Lang, might show the whole thing yellow

and not be much off. It's nuance that counts, not color--
As in some late James novel, saved up for the long weekend
and vivid with all the Master simply won't tell you.

How frail our generation has got, how sallow
and pinched with just surviving! We all go off the deep end
finally, gold beaten thinly out to yellow.
And why this is, I'll never be able to tell you.

Donald Justice

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Obama's Posse Led by Fairey

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

But Shepard Fairey, the creator of the OBEY GIANT street art campaign has produced a limited printing to illustrate his support for the Democratic nominee. It is the antithesis of his original artistic mission via the Andre the Giant has a Posse stickers and posters which Fairey described as an experiment in phenomenology. Seeing the black and white sticker of Andre the Giant on a stop sign with the enigmatic declarative that he has a posse was intended to make you stop and say "What does that mean?"
And I can remember just that feeling of seeing the sticker from a distance, staring at it, wondering about it, knowing that there was something to it that I just wasn't getting. It was an interesting, albeit rather trivial experience. Fast forward a decade and a half, and, as with so many things which rattle around in the disorganized warehouse of memory, the image of Andre or a later more abstracted one with the mandate "OBEY" comes to mind. But now it comes to mind within reach of a computer which reaches an internet indexed by Google. Moments later, the man behind the curtain is revealed as a Shepard Fairey.

Since the days of being an art student with a street art bent, he has now become an established part of the anti-establishment. He still illustrates the walls of warehouses and signposts, but he also shows in galleries and has a slick website that is happy to sell you this or that. You can join him in thumbing your nose at the man (now will that be visa or mastercard?).

Now picking up the nation's palette (red, white and muted cyan (remember it's still art)), he shows Obama and the word Progress. From an oblique subcultural reference with an ambiguous statement to a national figure with an explicit branding - so goes the way of Fairey from art to politics. Maybe I shouldn't have looked to see the man behind the curtain. For the mysterious vagueness and ambiguity, you'll have to look to his candidate.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Monday, July 7, 2008

Saturday, July 5, 2008

For the Good of the Order (FTGOTO)

With two traffic driven server crashes and the time involved in reading and appropriately responding to your comments, a couple of months have slipped by without a posting. But now, dear reader (this is an expression - not just an accurate numerical count of this blog's audience), you can breathe.

That sounds like something that Cecil Adams would say - except for the self deprecating (which Cecil never is nor should be) comment about audience size. If you are unfamiliar with Cecil or his mission to rid the world of ignorance, hasten to his electronic academy here. You should, of course, use the "open link in a new tab" option so that you don't lose your place here and miss the good stuff below.

The good stuff below:

While a thoughtful entry which shines the light on deep existential truths is good reading for the commercial breaks in an episode of Lost. Entries labeled FTGOTO are for nuggets of virtual goodness; links to sites of interest, amusement or revelation.

Do not go to this site unless you have at least 37 minutes to kill.
Bringing math to the masses, sort of: GraphJam.

A personal favorite. I was only three, but even then, my Kung Fu was strong.