Sunday, March 2, 2014
Monday, January 27, 2014
Not that one cancels out or opposes the other. Still, I had an unexpected conversation at a reading of a
poetry series that I help curate (is that the word?). An otherwise clear-headed man asserted to me that the only reality worth bothering about was that of Art (capital letter in his voice). Note, please: I am far from being someone who downplays the power of art/Art, or for that matter the power and importance of the inner personal realm. At a time when my outer life was downright bleak, the promises made by Art and the perception of Beauty did give me hope and did help me slog on. Similarly, a rich and meaningful inner life sustained me for years. However, how can we say that the outer world is unimportant? As long as we live in bodies, as long as we live in communities, societies, we had better take account of the events around us. If our taking account includes perceiving beauty and meaning, so much the better.
Saturday, January 11, 2014
Art: it's better than Life.
My son, displaying his new iPhone: Go ahead, ask it something.
Me: OK...what is the meaning of Life?
Suri: I am looking for the meaning of Life...I am not finding the meaning of Life...perhaps there is an app for that.
Friday, December 13, 2013
Remember to wear your shapow, because it's cold out there.
Thursday, November 21, 2013
Recently my husband and I rented Amour, a beautiful and pitiless movie about being trapped by love when one person in a marriage develops Alzheimer’s. If you have not yet seen this film, I will say only that no one walks out, yet someone is abandoned. I don’t think I am giving anything away when I mention that, finally, the intact spouse suffocates his wife with a pillow. Very difficult to watch; I think I forgot to blink. It got me thinking about other pillow suffocations that have been presented to me, for instance, in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. More recently, though, on The Blacklist, the urbane and infinitely calculating character played by James Spader suffocates the heroine’s father, yes, with a pillow. Then, tears in his eyes, he kisses the dead man on his forehead. The suffocated person is always a patient, has always asked to be killed if they arrive at that miserable level, is always embraced by their merciful murderer. There is, however, something about seeing it on television—network television!—that stops me in my tracks. We are willing to show all kinds of death on television, gory and traceless, kind and vicious, needful and gratuitous; now that anything and everything can be recorded, these scenes are available to children. However, the notion of there being some dignity or necessity in two people having sex, that these might not be wearing any clothes, that it means something powerful to them emotionally—that is considered something that children should not see. Doesn’t have to be explicit, or pornographic. (We have the Internet for that.) Just saying that there are many more incidents of adults being murderous and of it being deemed necessary than of any dignity or rightness attaching to adults being sexual. Yet again, Freud was right: Death wins out over Love.
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
The real world is more frightening than anything you might make up. For instance, global climate changes are altering the ocean such that the number--or should I say amount?--of jellyfish is increasing hugely. They make beaches dangerous for swimmers, clog the intake valves of any machinery, consume the food supplies of species we desire. Some of them pretty much cannot be killed, as bits of them can grow into new jellyfish. They can fertilize themselves, they can go dormant for 100 years, and warming conditions just keep making the environment ever more jellyfish-friendly. They are spooky beautiful, and look like clouds of invasion. That's a nightmare to me.
All photos were taken at the Jellies exhibit of the Monterey Bay Aquarium. It's a fabulous display of jellyfish, but I must complain about the dorky psychedelic/funkadelic presentation. Loud funky music, and even funky breaks down when it is repeated too many times; groovy op-art patterns and colors. If I had done drugs in the sixties, I might have thought I was having a flashback.
Saturday, October 5, 2013
"This cleaning product is all natural. It kills bacteria, but you can drink it. I do. This is the company that Richard was looking into. A pharma company went into his computer and deleted the file--so unscrupulous. She [no idea] is disgusting, despicable. Richard's business partner killed him. It was a mess. The FBI got involved. He was embezzling our money and everything. Organized crime. Richard lost it all--all his hair too. He started early.
"Richard's sister's husband's brother was murdered. He got into it with a homeless woman. She came back with five friends and they stoned him to death. They were on meth, pinned down his legs with a boulder. Richard gave him a beautiful service. [vigorously and with gestures, imitating Richard, I suppose] 'As he was dying, Sataan went to pull him down, but Jesus flew in and snatched him up--and I know your brother sits in Heaven this day.'"