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Tag Archives: art

Catching up

So, I’ve been in Miami the past few days. I generally like TDYs, but not to Miami, because it’s a) hot, b) humid c) filled with the kind of annoying drunken coeds on spring break that make you want to climb a tower and start picking them off with a high-powered rifle.

Also, whenever I go to Florida, I invariably wind up with a three-day headache. This trip was no exception, so it made the numerous meetings I had to attend that much more miserable.

That said, we did have some excellent food, saw some very cool art in the Winwood district between meetings, and I got to talk to a class full of high school students about careers. Yeah, I know. Someone allowed me to speak to kids. I actually corrupted young minds. You can blame my buddy Tim, who is a high school teacher, and somehow thought it was a cool idea to expose his students to my special brand of crazy. I did not drop the F-bomb during my speech. I did, however, drop one several times as we walked outside. In front of kids. Apparently, that’s a no-no or something… as if they never heard the word, “fuck” before.

Le Sigh.

I did take some very cool photos in Winwood with my phone, and they have this awesome taco joint, where we got to sit outside, eat amazing food, and get glared at by feral kittens.

Because kittens.

So what happened while I was gone?

Apparently, someone leaked 45’s tax returns from 2005. After getting her acolytes in a frothing frenzy about the shock and awe contained in those documents, Rachel Maddow broadcast on her show that…

…Trump paid his taxes.

At a higher rate than Romney, Obama, and Bernie Sanders.

Wow… well, that was a letdown, eh unhinged leftists?

And guess what! I know you’ll be shocked at this, but not only did he pay his taxes in 2005, he’s still President!

I’ll let you take a woosah moment.

What else happened?

I was watching the news this morning at my hotel room, when they decided that this was somehow newsworthy.

Mom jeans. With plastic panels, so when you wear these monstrosities, everyone can see your knees. Because what you need more than anything in the world is plastic panels that make your skin exude oodles of moisture to sweat up these clear panels on a warm day. Because, see, plastic doesn’t exactly allow for air circulation.

Literally, WTF?

Is there anyone in the entire universe who would pay $95 and actually wear these things? They’re like chaps for your knees.

Perhaps Nordstrom needs to fire a buyer or two.

Next up is the fiasco of a health care bill the GOP decided to excrete out of its wrecked anus. Rob blogged about this dumpster fire, previously, as did our buddy Jason Pye at FreedomWorks. The Congressional Budget Office savaged the bill, and some Republicans are now running from it like a BLM protester after breaking the window of a convenience store.

Here’s a clue, GOP. You don’t take a horrible law, and make it worse by adding your own even more horrible law on top of it, and then expect everyone to do a happy dance, because “Oh, look! We did something!”

It’s time Republicans stopped being stupid, but I guess that’s too much to ask for.

Oh, it snowed in DC. From the looks of it, we got maybe an inch or two, but that apparently didn’t stop the panicked doofi from stampeding grocery stores like so much rabid cattle. It was in the 70s in Miami, and today was a positively frosty 60 degrees. Yes, be jealous.

Also, apparently, Amy Schumer had a comedy tragedy special on Netflix recently. Let’s put aside the fact that she really does remind me of a potato, and apparently has the IQ of one. She was apparently so unfunny and terrible, that the makers of “Ishtar” are breathing a sigh of relief, because their unwatchable dreck is no longer at the bottom of the cinematographic heap.

IMDB reviews were brutal.

This was painful to watch. Save yourself the time and don’t bother watching this train wreck (that lame pun was better than anything in this special). I have never been a big fan of Amy but she was better when she was stealing other people’s jokes. Maybe she search some old comedy tapes for new material. 1 star is generous for this slop.

If this show was a smell, it would smell of fermented beans and disease.

Mercifully it ended but I’ll never be able to get those wasted hours back. Amy if you ever read any of these reviews I have a special message for you: suicide is still an option.

On my flight back to DC, I finally got a chance to watch “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.” I loved it! Not because I’m a Harry Potter fan… well… not only because I’m a Harry Potter fan. I thought the design was stunning, Eddie Redmayne is a phenomenally talented actor, and he was at the same time shy, innocent, and a brilliant badass, Colin Farrell was just right for the role of the ultimate bad buy pre-Voldemort, and JOHNNY DEPP!

And finally, I’m excited, because Wonder Woman is finally coming out this June! As a kid, I watched Lynda Carter transform into Wonder Woman on TV every day, and I wanted to be her so badly! That series resulted in my wearing “bracelets” made of tin foil on my wrists and a desire to change my name to “Diana.” And now, Gal Gadot will bring one of my favorite superheroes to the big screen! And it looks terrific, so I’m more than excited!

And yes, now that I’m back from TDY, I will blog more regularly. Thanks for caring.

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Government Funding the Arts

There was this screeching, shrieking, wailing sound coming from Hollywood and the left recently. No, I’m not talking about Ashley Judd squealing about her noxious, much abused and hammered twat in DC a couple of days ago, or Madonna fantasizing about blowing up the White House (she may have misspoken and meant “blowing,” since there’s not much left for her to do as a dried up whore, who contributed to Queen von Pantsuit’s defeat last November by threatening blowjobs for votes). I’m talking about the collective howl of outrageary at the announcement that 45 is considering ending funding for the National Endowment for the Arts, which sucked $148 million from the federal budget last year. While that’s a relatively small slice of the federal funding pie, it’s got to start somewhere.

And yes, I’m thrilled that this is finally a possibility!

The Arts won’t die without federal government support. The Arts thrived before the NEA came into existence in 1965, and they will continue to thrive after funding ends.

dickYou know what won’t thrive? Shitty art. Because if you suck at your art so much that you need the feds to steal money from the taxpayers to prop you up, and essentially FORCE those who wouldn’t normally buy your brain droppings to pay for your assery so you can continue “creating” shit like this, which looks like a dick exploded after a night of banging Ashley Judd’s infected cunt, then maybe you should find another way to make a living.

I should not be obligated to fund your hobby – and I don’t give a fetid fuck whether a dime, or a penny, or even a percentage of the penny I earned goes to fund your entertainment. That penny doesn’t belong to you. Go fellate a rabid platypus; you don’t need my earnings to fuel your creative juices. Go to work, like everyone else, and make something people want to pay for.

Art, cinema, music, theater… all those things will exist without taxpayer funding. Even non-profit theater companies make… uh… profits. The Met made some pretty good scratch last year, despite falling ticket sales. Why? Because they’re good, and apparently people want to attend the operas and other events there and are willing to pay for them.

As my friend Larry Correia said recently in a post that inspired this rant…

If you get good enough that your art actually moves people, then you’ll be able to sell it. If you get to where people actually really like it, you can even make a living at it (like me).

Until then, nobody owes you shit. Tax payers don’t owe you shit. I don’t owe you shit. It only took ten cents from my taxes? So what? That’s ten cents that could have went for something better than propping up your no-talent ass.

Here’s the thing. If the government funds something, it also has the right to control it. On a more micro level, if I give you money, I expect you to create what I want/find appealing, or I will withdraw my funding.

But if the government funds your art, and I find your used tampon glued to a black canvas, or that booger you picked and framed disgusting, I don’t have the right to withdraw funding from your bumbling ass, because I have no say in how the government spends my money.

At the same time, if some politicians decide you should be painting nothing but nativity scenes, they have the right to direct you to do that, because it’s public money you’re using to fund your creations. So just you wait when those eeeevil Christian theocrats take over!

turdIs that what you want? I doubt it. Withdrawing public funding from the arts protects it from unreasonable government government demands.

And frankly it protects my hard-earned dollars from being used to fund heinous fuckery like this turd. If I want to see shit, I’ll gaze inside my toilet bowl before flushing. I certainly don’t need to be paying for an artist’s rendition of last night’s digested pork chop and taters.

Let’s get it straight, Cupcake. You. Don’t. Have. The. Right. To. My. Earnings.

You have the right to excrete whatever hideous, boring, uninspired, churlish, plebeian pablum you want, from any orifice that strikes you. My only obligation should be that of non-interference. If the ass drippings you preserved on a canvas gain an audience who likes and appreciates such leavings, you will make money, because they will be willing to pay for it.

Art is a skill. Work to develop it. Work to improve it. Work to provide your audience with music, literature, paintings, cinema, and theater that touches them, makes them think, entertains them, and stimulates their senses.

Art is a product. Work to develop a product your customers will truly want, admire, appreciate, and be willing to shell out money for, and you won’t need government funding.

So don’t stick out your grubby paw and demand the rest of us fund your dream of becoming an “artist.” If you need that, chances are you suck anyway.

Update on that painting

pictureJust a quick update, because I’ve been busy, and haven’t had the chance to catch up.

That painting – you know, the one Duncan Hunter removed because his tender labia got chafed at the controversial subject matter – was removed, because it apparently violated the rules of the contest it was judged to have won.

All the drama and the tug-of-war to garner the attention of the media was just so much bullshit.

“The Congressional Art Competition is an opportunity to celebrate the creativity of students in every corner of our country — and visitors from around the world see their talents on display when they walk through the halls of our Capitol,” Reichert said in a statement. “However, with any competition there are rules, and these rules exist for a reason. This painting hung in clear defiance to those rules and was a slap in the face to the countless men and women who put their lives on the line everyday on behalf of our safety and freedom.”

Ryan told the congressman that the Architect of the Capitol made the determination, Reichert’s office said.

The rules of the art competition state: “Exhibits depicting subjects of contemporary political controversy or a sensationalistic or gruesome nature are not allowed,” according to the statement from Reichert.

There was some controversy on this very blog about whether Hunter behaved vaguely Reich-like when he removed the painting, because it was offensive. I agree the painting was repugnant, but as our guest writer Dave Hardin wrote, “The wall on which that picture hangs does not belong to Hunter, and neither did the picture. That wall belongs to us – all of us – and that picture belongs to a 17 year old high school student. That wall and what hangs on it is protected by Marines who served this nation long before Duncan Hunter could read or write.”

Hunter had no right to remove the winner of an art competition from the public walls, no matter how offensive he found it.

But it appears his drama was unnecessary anyway. All he had to do was ask the Architect of the Capitol to examine rules of the contest, and make a determination about whether the painting legitimately won.

It hadn’t.

But instead, Hunter decided to use his government authority to remove something he found offensive from a public venue.

Survey says: DOUCHE!

Dear HAG – Eat a Bag of Dicks

The Halt Action Group (HAG) – no, they really do call themselves that – has decided that the best way to voice their concerns about President-elect Donald Trump is by harassing his daughter Ivanka.

To that end, the Halt Action Group (HAG), founded by Gingeras, Powers, artist Jonathan Horowitz, and several others, initiated a campaign called “Dear Ivanka.” The group has an Instagram feed in which they repost glossy stock images of Trump along with earnest appeals about what they foresee as the dire consequences of her father’s politics—topics addressed include global warming, universal health care, and contraception policy. Hoping to “thwart the normalization of what was unfolding in front of our eyes,” Gingeras said, the group, comprised of artists, dealers, psychoanalysts, and even a few collectors, reached out to the artists featured in Trump’s Instagram feed. They asked the artists to join them and ask Ivanka “to answer for some of the hypocrisy she embodies,” Gingeras said.

Earnest appeals? Right.

More like hysterical whining and teeth-gnashing not rooted in any reality.

Let’s start with the fact that Ivanka is a successful businesswoman, who has paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to purchase art and promote artists, who may or may not have had as much success with their work without her.  Let’s also point out that Ivanka Trump is not her father, and his “policies” have yet to be implemented, because…

HE’S NOT FUCKING PRESIDENT YET, YOU GUM-FLAPPING, WHINING SNOT GOBBLERS!

“Racism, anti-Semitism, misogyny, and homophobia are not acceptable anywhere—least of all in the White House,” the HAGs write.

Well, that’s fortunate since Ivanka is an orthodox Jew, and her father bucked the general GOP trend of trying to legislate bathroom morality – even before he won the nomination – by publicly declaring that transgender people should use whatever bathroom they felt was appropriate.

All these facts, of course, haven’t stopped snobby, self-important, elitist assclowns from harassing Ivanka Trump and, in one case, even demanding that she remove art she has purchased – her own property – from her home!

trumpIvanka Trump has posed for pictures in front of her art collection, including a painting by Philadelphia artist Alex Da Corte, who recently Tweeted at her “Dear @Ivankatrump please get my work off of your walls. I am embarrassed to be seen with you.”

Really, asshole?

First of all, it’s her fucking property, for which she paid quite a bit. If she wants to wipe your painting with her kid’s shitty diaper, she’s within her right to do so. If she wants to hang a tacky, red “Make America Great Again” hat from a nail hammered right into the middle of your work that my cat could have painted by dipping his tail into some watercolors, she could. Because it’s HERS, you sniveling fuck goblin! You want to cough up the auction value of this trash you painted and buy it back from her? I’m sure she’d be thrilled, as she’s paid quite a bit of money for the art collection she displays in her home, and the artists she graciously promotes by doing so have benefited both financially and in terms of publicity.

In one post, Trump shimmies in front of a Dan Colen “chewing gum” painting; a comparable work sold for $578,500 at Phillips New York in 2012. In another post, Trump’s child plays the piano in front of a “bullet hole” silkscreen by Nate Lowman; a bullet-hole painting in the same palette sold for $665,000 in 2013 at Sotheby’s in New York. In yet another post, taken from a Harper’s Bazaar shoot, Trump poses at her dining table in front of a work by Alex Israel. A similar painting by Israel sold for $581,000 in 2014 at Phillips New York.

The hypocrisy is incredible! They were more than happy to take her money when she was just a businesswoman and the daughter of a real estate mogul who helped promote their work on the world stage. But now, because it’s en vogue in their snotty, quasi-intellectual circle jerks to hate Trump, they’re condemning her for nothing more than being the daughter of a President-elect whom they did not support!

cardIt’s not just the supercilious hypocrisy that bothers me here, but also the promotion of frothing histrionics by HAG, who staged a protest outside Ivanka’s home on in late November.

For the record, Ivanka Trump has nothing to do with their irrational fear of Mike Pence and his alleged “homophobia,” which has amply been addressed, had anyone bothered doing a shred of research. For the record, no he didn’t try to divert public money for “conversion therapy.”

For the record, Ivanka Trump has done plenty to help people who “don’t look like” her, you blithering ignorami! Some of the charities she supports are Habitat for Humanity, AIDS Life, the Children’s Aid Society, United Cerebral Palsy, and the Walkabout Foundation. And in 2010, Ivanka designed and sold a bracelet specifically to benefit the United Nations Foundation’s Girl Up campaign, which “aims to raise money and awareness to educate and propel adolescent girls in need to the next generation of leadership.”

In addition to the protest, the group collected cards from people explaining why they are concerned about the president-elect.

‘I am a Muslim-American immigrant and I don’t feel safe,’ one card read.

‘You’re scaring the hell out of women,’ another said.

So she’s scaring the hell out of women by helping promote and educate them?

She’s scaring the hell out of women by showing that a woman can rise up and become a business powerhouse in her own right, outside of daddy’s sphere of influence?

She’s scaring the hell out of women by showing them what they are capable of with some creativity and ingenuity?

I guess it makes sense given the kind of pseudo-feminist toads who are engaging in this campaign of intimidation against her.

Success would require hard work, talent, creativity, and strength. These alleged “feminists” don’t exhibit any of those traits, and they’re too lazy to develop them. Instead, they wallow in their inadequacies and demand the world worship their flaws, rather than their ability to overcome them – as if their warts should be a claim check to others’ means merely by “virtue” of their ugliness, and as if their sores somehow make them more righteous. It’s certainly easier than working to evolve and mature as human beings or nurture nascent talents!

Maybe these pompous, overbearing ass bags should look in the mirror and really examine who is “scaring the hell out of women.” Is it the successful businesswoman, who uses her wealth and creativity to help others, including up-and-coming artists, the poor, and women worldwide…

…or the pompous, overbearing ass bags themselves, who are fomenting hysteria, spreading misinformation, and targeting the family of a President-elect they don’t like – something they vehemently opposed and screeched about when Democrat presidents were in office – merely because they’re related?

But that would require some self awareness and objectivity. I doubt they’re capable of either.

Inspiration

I’m on the couch this morning with a smooth cup of coffee, a large Saint Bernard at my feet, and a ginger kitten running around the apartment like he’s just ingested some jet fuel and is now burning it at Mach 6.

I’m at peace.

I turn on the television, just for some background noise to break the silence, and I immediately hear the grating voice of the Hairy Hemorrhoid™ barfing his latest promised diktat to an enthralled horde of reporters. I change the channel quickly.

The movie playing on some premium channel is “Paper Planes,” and Australian (I think) flick about a children’s competition to make the best paper airplane.

Typical. Nothing extraordinary about it.

I’ve missed the majority of the movie. I tune in just as a small boy on the screen is watching the creation he made of green construction paper fly into the hands of his father (who may or may not have been missing throughout the entire movie – I don’t know). And something about the look on his face – a look of love and relief (maybe?) and hero worship – something, coupled with the crashing sounds of the background music crescendoing took my breath away a little.

And that’s when I picked up my silly iPhone and began writing.

Inspiration. It could come from the strangest sources. The most unexpected sound, picture, person, or a moment in time could become a muse, awakening that flash of creativity, or love, or motivation.


Have you ever heard a piece of music that seemed to hit you directly in the heart – and hit you so hard, your breath literally caught in your chest, and once you began breathing again, you realized there were tears running down your face and your arms were spread, almost as if you were trying to meet the crashing wave of sound with your entire body?

I’ve had quite a few of those moments – especially when I was involved in musical theater and choir. I would hear a piece of music, see a photograph, read a book or a poem, and all of a sudden my own voice seemed to sound clearer and more powerful, my body would move more fluidly, and the words seemed to pour out almost without any effort at all!

It never really was that easy, but something hit that motivation button and gave me the heart and the desire to match, and surpass, that energy.

So what is it that brings tears to my eyes each and every time? What is it that takes my breath away and awakens my spirit?

In Russian, the word to describe inspiration is вдохновение. Literally it describes the act of inhaling, of taking that creative spirit into you, uplifting, becoming lighter than air that compels you to conceive that beauty that is within you.

I like the Russian word a lot. It describes precisely the spirit that inspires us to greatness. My list is eclectic.

Beethoven’s 7th Symphony.

“Lacrymosa” from Mozart’s Requiem.

Snow.

“Seasons of Love” from Rent.

Da Vinci’s “Vitruvian Man” sketch. I also love the fact that Da Vinci wrote in mirror image. I’ve done that since I was 12.

Venice. The canals at sunset.

Mountains.

Fall colors.

Military basic training graduations.

The movie “White Nights,” and watching old videos of Mikhail Baryshnikov dance.

Gershwin.

Dark coffee.

Steel and glass skyscrapers.

Billy Joel’s “Rootbeer Rag.”

Macbeth.

The Saint Crispin’s speech from “Henry V.”

Idina Menzel’s voice.

Grieg’s Piano Concerto in A Minor.

My kids.

This is by far not a comprehensive list. Anything can inspire me at any time to be better, to work harder, to be more.

What about you? What inspires you?

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