Arguments Worth Having

Art = Absurdity = Provocation = Contemplation = Wisdom = Love

Posts Tagged ‘The Economist

The Shirts of Beatrice Joan Wilson Powell vs. Jackson Pollock

leave a comment »

血洗净城 - Blood Washes the Capital

血洗京城 – Blood Washes the Capital (鄧 =Deng Xiaoping)

“WHAT makes an artist great? Brilliant composition, no doubt. Superb draughtsmanship, certainly. Originality of subject or of concept, sometimes. But surely true greatness means that the creator of a painting has brought a certain je ne sais quoi to the work as well.”The Economist

In the tradition of Chimpanzee or not Chimpanzee, I’ve assembled  Jackson Pollocks. Certainly no child, chimp, or artist could replicate them? Or could they? Pollock’s defenders often claim that his works cannot be replicated. And to the naked eye this may be so, but what about the discerning critic, specifically, the art collector willing to pay millions of dollars to own an original. Well, turns out Pollock can be copied to the extent that even the “experts” can be fooled.

Yankee Pot Roast:  If Jackson Pollock Wrote Poetry.

The Economist: “(The) art market pretends that great artists are inimitable, and that this inimitability justifies the often absurd prices their work commands. Most famous artists are good: that is not in question. But as forgers like van Meegeren and Pei-Shen Qian, the painter who turned out Ms Rosales’s Rothkos and Pollocks, show, they are very imitable indeed…Expensive pictures are primarily what economists call positional goods—things that are valuable largely because other people can’t have them…Ms Rosales’s career is thus a searing social commentary on a business which purports to celebrate humanity’s highest culture but in which names are more important than aesthetics and experts cannot tell the difference between an original and a fake. Unusual, authentic, full of meaning—her life itself is surely art, even if the paintings were not.”

Go ahead! Click and pick your Pollocks. To finish this mini-jeremiad on abstract work, I offer an abstract conclusion:  Pollocks may be more valuable or interesting than the T-shirts of Beatrice Joan Wilson Powell, but the T-shirts have gone much further on less.



Obama & Romney, Save Me from Your Followers!

leave a comment »

An acquaintance w/spouse who live in Hawaii sent a group Email this last weekend. Here goes:

Hi Guys,

Check out this interview with Penn JilletteI know some of you’ve watched his BS [Bullsh*t] series and he makes some interesting points.  He says there’s not much difference between Obama and Romney.  Also here’s a link to Gary Johnson’s website.  He was a two term republican governor of New Mexico now running as President under the Libertarian ticket.  To quote his website, “He has been an outspoken advocate for efficient government, lower taxes, winning the war on drug abuse, protection of civil liberties, revitalization of the economy and promoting entrepreneurship and privatization.”  His track record proves this.  Read on…

Hawaii doesn’t allow write-in candidates so we can vote for one of four or vote for no one.  So we researched the other candidates and Gary seems like a strong choice.  Sorry for bringing up politics but it’s hard to stay silent with such an important election Tuesday…

My response? Well, to quote Penn, “Bullshit!” Brief point/counterpoint analysis:

BS Point 1. “…there’s not much difference between Obama & Romney.”

BS Point 2.  “…we researched the other candidates. and Gary seems like a strong choice.”

BS Point 3.  “…Sorry for bringing up politics but it’s hard to stay silent…”

Counterpointing:  1.  Don’t tell me Obama and Romney are “the same.” Penn qualified this statement in the video, but some of his fans aren’t so sophisticated. Dems & Reps are polar way-the-fuck opposite on so many issues, and their candidates tilt toward their bases.  2.  Thank you very much for your expert “research.” Or better: “expert” research. 3.  We’re sorry, too.

Part of the game is trying to persuade others to vote for the person whom you feel is the strongest candidate. People sign up for social media, or vent on blogs, or message boards, and this is where polemics thrive. But geeeeez. Don’t forgive my “proselytizing” tone, but don’t be a proselytizing caterpillar and then apologize for it.

Should you vote Third Party? Maybe in Hawaii, where Obama’s victory is certain, but no 3rd Party candidate will garner over one percent of the vote this election. There’s a good reason for this. Voting 3rd Party gives voice to other philosophies, fair enough. However, there are only two choices…thus:

Obama & Romney, please save me from your followers. I think Obama and Romney are decent men, they mean well for the country, and have pros and cons. Yet I can’t understand how one side paints the other as evil. Obama is not a Muslim communist who wants to take your money and give it to heroin addicts. Romney is not a racist misogynist who only loves kleptocrats and billionaires.

My opinion? The Economist articulates a lot. Vote Republican or Democrat or even Third Party, make a respectable choice. This  sentiment underlies elections and democracy.