Five years ago, it seems, someone was wrong on the internet, and I am now here to make the needed correction. It seems that if you google the phrase (without quotes) "get out as early as you can", one of the top results is this essay. I do not know the author's other work. It may be that it is highly distinguished, I do not judge. But the idea that somehow Larkin's admonition to "get out" has something to do with . . . what, not calling your mom every Sunday? That is not quite the level of darkness, deepening like a coastal shelf, at stake. It's jaw-droppingly obtuse. Seriously, read that poem and notice how each line drops a step in tone. By the end, we're in Cumaean Sibyl territory, and this guy is making it sound like it's about getting one's first apartment. Sweet Jesus.
Big RED & Shiny has published its last issue, for which I failed to write anything (no surprise there); it follows many of the blogs this irrelevant website came up with in shuffling off. A whole bunch of others have taken their place, but I've not warmed up to many of them, and besides, we're now told the web is dead. The things taking its place seem at once significantly worse while still attractive enough to succeed, at least for the time being. And now I learn definitively that I've not even been in the running for a job I thought I might have a chance at and (worse) came to desire deeply; that it went to someone far better suited to it than me is proving no comfort. So: blah.
I've been reading a lot of blog posts about William Powhida. Perhaps you have, too. A few thoughts:
I'd be ok if I didn't see anymore discussion, on anyone's part, of "insiders" and "outsiders." It is, among other things, tiresome. I suppose it would be more on point to note that it's a woefully oversimplified way of thinking, but that doesn't get at the pain such talk causes.
Judging by the comments I've seen, Powhida (and Jade Townsend, don't forget him!) is either our Daumier and/or our Hogarth, or it's utterly absurd to suggest he's our Daumier, our Hogarth. It only raises the question, doesn't anyone here know the name of a caricaturist aside from Daumier or Hogarth? C'mon, people, I thought we were the insiders. Can someone give me a Gillray? One of the Cruikshanks? If you're feeling unkind, perhaps HB or one of his followers. Try a little harder, please.
I think some of Powhida's critics are perhaps overestimating how charming people must find it to be caricatured, what a thrill his targets must get out of being featured in the latest drawing that everyone's talking about. Not everyone's actually all that keen on being part of the joke. On the other hand there's this, so a little sneering might in order.
One thing we can all agree on is this statement by the artist regarding his and Townsend's Hooverville: " Just don't miss the fact that you are pretty much fucked one way or
another whether you're in this drawing or not." Ain't it the truth?
Pretty much what I've been thinking for months now:
filter failure for me. Yes, there are ways to segment information and
keep groups, but there aren’t very good ways to keep worlds from
overlapping. Facebook isn’t a more neutral LinkedIn and Myspace. It is
the collapse of LinkedIn, Myspace, and a bunch of other networks, while
many people want these worlds compartmentalized. I mostly avoid Facebook
the same way that I’ll get drinks on a Monday night with colleagues,
but not on a Friday or Saturday night. This generation blurs the line
between work and play, but there is still a line or else you’re not
getting the best out of either.
It's really a very annoying problem for those of us who would like to see what the latest development is over at the Saltzklatsch but don't want to risk coming to the attention of all the Facebook zombies from the past out there. Anyway, via.
To read C.V. Wedgwood on The Thirty Years War and reflect that she herself had not reached the age of thirty when she completed her astonishing, magisterial volume it is to realize exactly how large a distance separates oneself from greatness. "Humbling" does not begin to do justice to the feeling.
Just inside the Foster Gallery exhibition Contemporary Outlook: Seeing Songs, a Herb Ritts photograph of Michael Jackson. At the top of the label next to it: "IN MEMORIAM." 'Cause his death, you know, hit the MFA right here.
(That was my favorite moment, as the Italians singing Madonna was my least. But the exhibit only made me wish I had seen Visual Music a few years back, and that the catalog for it was not out of print.)
unthinkable that Boston's premier newspaper could die at the hands of
New York's premier paper. Having just heard the NY Times' cultural news editor, Sam Sifton, exult that his paper's financial troubles had not caused any decrease
in the space allotted to the arts, and having read Times assistant managing editor Richard Berke's recent boast that the paper possessed sufficient resources to bankroll art critic Michael Kimmelman's farflung peregrinations, I find the Globe's global plight even
harder to comprehend.
I'm just trying to get back into this game, and as part of that I've been trying not to dwell on the depressing topics that haven't been helping so much lately. But perhaps that's wrong, and I should dwell, because to me the thought of Boston without the Globe is like Boston without the Red Line.