Category: art

Oh, Xmas Tree, Oh Xmas Tree

Many folks spend hours and a pile of cash to get the “perfect” Xmas tree.  Not me.

Some 20 years ago, the Mrs developed a liking for those fancy glass Xmas ornaments, so we promptly hit the after-Holiday sales and started a collection. Came the next Xmas, and we weren’t happy with how the ornaments clashed with any “natural” tree that was less than 12 feet tall. What to do? The next summer I shared a brainstorm with my Dad, an inveterate folk-art woodworker. Who immediately joined me in a project day to convert a large, leafless branch of manzanita into a take-down display tree. I shipped the completed tree from California (where manzanita is plentiful) home to Texas (where it is non-existent), and re-assembled the tree the following Xmas. Hung the growing collection of glass ornaments to achieve what the Mrs calls FABULOUSNESS.

ManzanitaXmasTree

Stark, leafless, twisted, and totally asymmetric. The tree is in its 19th year, and my wife–the sparkling ornament not on the tree–still loves it.

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Larry the Barbarian

Over at Monster Hunter Nation, Larry Correia puts us hip to a delightful and creative approach to F&SF book covers: incorporating the author as a cover character.  This one of L.C. and wife rocks it:

LarryTheBarbarianIf you’re not tuned into Larry’s worldview, you can get the 2-minute summary by clicking to the adjacent blog entry “Hoon for America: Manatee Party Stickers Now Available.”  And I concur: get off my lawn. Except you kids, you keep the porch pirates and daytime burglars away.

Bob Dylan and the Nobel Prize

Everybody’s got an opinion on this one, and here’s a doozy:

The Nobel Prize is in fact the ultimate example of bad faith: A small group of Swedish critics pretend to be the voice of God, and the public pretends that the Nobel winner is Literature incarnate. … Mr. Dylan may yet accept the prize, but so far, his refusal to accept the authority of the Swedish Academy has been a wonderful demonstration of what real artistic and philosophical freedom looks like.

Glamour from the 20th Century

Recently finished Virginia Postrel’s The Power of Glamour, and finally understood what all the fuss has been about.

thepowerofglamour

Although people often equate them, glamour is not the same as beauty, sylishness, luxury, celebrity, or sex appeal….Glamour is, rather, a form of nonverbal rhetoric, which moves and persuades not through words but through images, concepts, and totems….By binding image and desire, glamour gives us pleasure, even as it heightens our yearning.  It leads us to feel that the life we dream of exists, and to desire it even more. (p. 6)

After reading the whole thing, I’ve concluded that America has entered the Century of Anti-Glamour.

Which doesn’t mean that we don’t appreciate it, or are not susceptible to it. Just look at this catalog of old posters going up for auction.  Here’s an example

panamflytoamerica

Tip from SF GateDon’t ask me how I found this, even I don’t believe the tortured route I took.

Update:  Did I say anti-glamour?  It didn’t take long to get a great example with this Yoga Pants Parade.

yogapantsparade
Once seen, this cannon be un-seen.

Update (23 Jan 17):  Glamour is back!  On steroids!  What woman wouldn’t want to look like Melania?

melania_trump_and_whatshisname

Art Meets Science

On a day that I’m overbooked, running around campus doing minor, but essential chores, and feeling a bit grumpy about the whole academic enterprise, I stumble upon a jewel like this:

Not in a gallery or the administration building, but in a hallway between classrooms.  Where thousands of students, and the odd faculty member, can marvel at what talents sometimes pop up where we least expect them.