Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Ocean is Scary

If, like me, you love things that are awesome and terrifying, go here immediately and watch the video of the Magnapinna squid. The chilling stare of the creature and wildly thrashing camera help with the fear! Yay!

Bush, Redux

Speaking of, I forgot to link this amazing collection of photos of President Broseph from Shakesville. It features patriotism-inspiring images of The World's Most Powerful Fratboy, such as this gem:

You know, in case you didn't have enough Fury Fuel already!


I'm really glad this is what our President has been doing with his time.

No, seriously. I wish he had spent more time over the past eight years making iMovie videos about his adorable pets and less time, you know, breaking the country.
(From Scanner)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Staring Back at Me

I had to go into school at 10:30 this morning to turn in my art history take home final and I don't have my next final until 1 so I came to Barnes & Noble to have a coffee and study for a while. But then I noticed this and I could not un-notice it, so here I am, not studying and complaining about inequality.

You know those big murals they have in the Barnes & Noble cafes? The ones with all the authors sitting around having coffee together like they were sociable people? Yeah, I was looking at that and first I thought "Hm, why did they make Hemingway look so handsome? Isn't his head really fat and square shaped?" and then I noticed something else: There are fourteen authors on the wall - Hemingway, Orwell, Nabokov, Joyce, Singer, Kafka, Neruda, Hughes, Tagore, Hurston, Woolf, Chandler, Lawrence, and Sandburg.

While I appreciate the inclusion of non-white and non-American/European people (Neruda, Hughes, Tagore), could we REALLY not think of more than TWO influential women writers? Really? I mean, we could even have non-white, non-American/European women! Just off the top of my head, Murasaki Shikibu or Laura Esquivel? Doris Lessing is British but she just won a Nobel Prize. Surely that makes her worthy of a B&N mural likeness? (Ok, I'm sure this mural was done before she won the Nobel Prize. Whatever).

I guess since none of them wrote giant tomes of masturbatory whining and unintelligible stream-of-stupid-ass-consciousness (I'm looking at you, Joyce and Kafka), they probably don't qualify as The Greatest Writers Ever. At least they didn't put Proust up there........effing Proust.....

I'm going to commit a grievous act of vandalism and paint over five of these dudes with awesome women writers (50/50's fair enough). Any suggestions on who to put up?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Please. Just. Stop

I'm really can't come up with two people that I think are bigger raging dickheads than Bill O'Reilly and Karl Rove.

Similarly look, and I don’t want to diminish the challenges we face, particularly when it comes to unemployment.

Um...yes, you do. It's kind of obvious that you really really do.

But the unemployment rate today was at certain times during Clinton and in most of Carter['s] time in office higher. And, yet, we don’t see the similar scare tactics and the similar phrases and words out of the national media about these Democrats as we hear about the current situation.

THIS IS NOT A PARTISAN ISSUE, YOU PUTRESCENT BAG OF FETID DOG FARTS! No one is saying that Obama is going to come into office and IMMEDIATELY everything is going to be fixed (except for you). In fact, it's pretty much the exact opposite of what everyone is saying. But when you start saying shit like "So these are not going to have an immediate impact. And let’s see how tough they treat him on this and how much they hold him up to scrutiny," then it makes people think that Very Important People in the Media think that it SHOULD be immediate (although how you ever got to be a Very Important Person, I will never understand). But that is a completely irrational supposition because, I don't care WHO'S in the White House, there IS NO immediate fix. But you know that, don't you? You're not a COMPLETE idiot, although sometimes one really has to wonder...

Please, for the good of the country you claim to love soooooo much, stop fear-mongering, stop trying to incite mistrust, stop trying to cause bad faith, just. stop. talking. Now.

[Via Shakesville]

Monday, December 8, 2008

Tres Dramatique!

While researching my paper on Giotto and the Arena Chapel Frescoes, I got COMPLETELY sidetracked by a bunch of other articles on later Renaissance art. One of Leonardo Da Vinci's paintings that I particularly like is the Virgin of the Rocks, probably because I think Baby Jesus and Baby John the Baptist are chubby and adorable in that Renaissance holy fat baby way (no one bothered to study the CORRECT proportions for babies and small children until much later).

Anyway, as some of you may recall, Dan Brown used this piece in the Da Vinci Code and made some pretty "far-fetched" claims about the symbolism used in it. For example, he purports that the Archangel Uriel, on the right, is making a throat slashing motion with his pointing finger. Brown says that this and other sly allusions placed in the painting by cheeky ol' Leo caused the Church to reject it, leading to the second rendition of Virgin of the Rocks (which I personally find not as attractive as its predecessor).

[I'm getting to the point soon, I swear.]

So, APPARENTLY, the Louvre had a WEENSY issue with Dan Brown and his artistic license:
The spectacular Grande Galerie in the Louvre plays an important role in the novel The Da Vinci Code, providing the setting for the beginning of the story. Far more remarkable than the parquet flooring with its chevron patterns mentioned in the book is the collection of Italian paintings. Four of the five paintings by Leonardo da Vinci in the Louvre are on display here. The Da Vinci Code analyzes The Virgin of the Rocks (which Sophie Neveu removes from the wall) in a new and subversive way. It suggests that Mary holds in her left hand the invisible head of Mary Magdalene, whose neck is being symbolically sliced by the gesture of the Archangel Uriel on the right. Leonardo was thus supposedly showing the Church’s conspiracy against Christ’s companion during the early centuries. This far-fetched interpretation of the painting might have been inspired by the work of Bernardino Luini just to the left: Salome Receiving the Head of Saint John the Baptist. In reality, Mary’s mysterious gesture relates to traditional religious iconography: Mary is the mother of Jesus, but she is also the incarnation of the Church, the “house.” In the painting, therefore, she seems to be covering the head of her Son with her left hand, as if with a roof. The Da Vinci Code thus transformed a gesture of protection into a metaphorical representation of murder. This powerful literary effect is a travesty of art history.

[Emphasis mine]

A TRAVESTY! For shame, Mr. Brown. For shame.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Destroying the Fabric of Democracy

ACORN (obviously)
Pregnant Black Women
The LGBTQI Community At Large
"Communists, Catholics, and Colored People"
Immigrants (Specifically those of Latin@ descent, regardless of citizenship)
Fat People

This list is in no particular order and is definitely incomplete. It will (possibly) be updated at a later date. Any thoughts on who to add?