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Archive for the ‘Culture Shock’ Category

The culture of a people reflects them. When this culture is bent towards profit through creativity it can be used for any number of things. Commercial culture has its’ creators and the above mentioned are certainly in their respective pantheons.  Their reflections are supposedly untrue, even to the ideal vision of the mass of people reflected upon.

These crass sayings and thoughts about Miyazaki and Rockwell penetrate though they do not gain access to the creator’s vitality. It is a vitality which feeds upon how people would like to view themselves. It shows a courage, an optimism, a belief that the span of living can improve with improvements to a culture. However clearly these two artists harken back to a time that never was, their visions speak volumes for the hopes and fears of their represented cultures.

Rockwell has critically taken a beating for decades and yet Miyazaki is adored. Will one fade while the other brightens? The focus is on you.

Evan Kerry

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DonegalRock

 

On my first visit to Ireland, in August of this year, I visited Co. Donegal.  I was truly bewitched by the landscape. The peace of the mountains and greenery, the allure of the solitude, the vast history of the island, leaves much for the imagination to germinate. I could picture myself uprooting and moving there, though it would certainly be a less than painless process, but the thought of moving and the prospect of it are what might keep drawing me back.

I felt at home in Donegal. Knowing my grandparents are from the county and seeing firsthand the farmhouse where my grandmother was raised have lit not just a fire but an inferno of sentiment and dedication to experience the land and the people of Ireland. Not just for a paltry week but for as long as I can possibly manage. However all of this might grandly sound, the lack of work there and the lack of resources here will most surely terminate the idea of permanent return.

Evan Kerry, Oct. 2013

 

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The New York Times, in early 2011 will begin charging for online content after one has viewed a certain number of articles. I consider this a FAIL for the premiere paper in the world. I hope this does fail, and miserably at that. Why would I go and pay for anything they offer when there is so much other content on the interwebs? I barely check the site once a week, but when I do I spend at least an hour on it catching up with what I’ve missed in the art and book world. It is because I consider them a primary source for these two theaters that I consider this move a bad one. I will just change my habits and find what I am looking for on other sites.

Here is a link to the article on NYTimes.com: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/21/business/media/21times.html?hp

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In Literature we have all grown accustomed to the Dystopian and Utopian genres.  That we can perfect a heaven or a hell on earth are thoughts that merit a closer look.  Science and religion, now quite distinct from each other, are the lenses upon which we may view the worlds of Dystopia and Utopia. Now the prevailing thought in the world today is that by the action of Man we can perfect the world through Learning which we shall hereafter call Science. While through religion we can clearly be told that we are coming from a golden age of sorts, not as some would believe, going into one. The Renaissance was a rebirth of the thought of Golden Age Greece, but what I mean here is more like a time of perfection; no crime, no Evil. Some would call this sin. I would call it humanity.

Moving on then, what do we make of the fact that all the populace thinks the world is going to end? One half thinks it will be because of an act of God, while the other thinks because of the works of Man we will be extinct from our own fumes. And if there is no man then there is no world as we know it.  Concurrently these two halves of the metaphysical sphere believe in the inverse of the others thoughts. One knows that the world was created to be perfect and Man merely mussed it up by doing his own thing, the other knows that we came from the primordial stew and we are quite literally going to stew in our own juices if we don’t get green. Now I don’t want to get patriotic or anything but that is the genius of the American Democracy, that we can hold these two conflicting viewpints in the national consciousness and still exist, even if the one wants to kill the other and vice versa.

Now what does this have to do with Literature? Everything. What is the crux of almost every story but a matter of evil or sin that needs to be dealt with. Dostoevsky built a literary reputation second to none in Posterity that deals exclusively with the character flaws (real and imagined) of Men. War and Peace, ’nuff said. Mans inhumanity to man is what makes Literature great. But that is not the only thing that makes Literature great. We have a whole branch of writing which seeks to show us the future. Science fiction and Dystopian novels probably are the way to go. When composing a novel at least. For if you have anything to say or some sort of vision in your mind, here is the genre for you to portray it in. But then again, when man seeks to perfect his world, what is the problem there? The problem is that he acknowledges that he is not perfect in his current state.  That he must meddle with the muddle of life in order to form and shape it to his own needs. Which is exactly what someone would be doing if they attempted to perfect the body, live forever, or see dead people (or some other shallow premise airing weekly on CBS or daily on Lifetime).

Religion, Science, Dystopia, Utopia and Literature are my topics of conversation here and if I’ve lost you at all please re-read the spouting. Religion is to Dystopia as Science is to Utopia, there you have it and Literature describes them all. I would like to thank my 7th grade English teacher for ingraining analogies into me at such a tender age.

Michael E. K. McCullough

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In Houston, TX three dubious lots of Dali artwork have been donated to the Salvation Army Thrift Store.  The New York Times Article has all you could ever want to know about this little development of high kultur and second hand stores.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/29/arts/design/29dali.html?_r=1&ref=design

 

I for one hope they are real so that I can continue to shop the second hand stores of Philadelphia with a little chance for serendipity.

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After visiting a certain Bush League MFA show and then going to the Brooklyn Museum for the Gustave Caillebotte show my wheels and gears, pulleys and levers started grinding, (Yawn! most decidedly.) and I came up with an original thought.  Now if the Impressionists were avant-garde or whatever you would like to call their mode of expression what on earth should we call contemporary artists who flock to the institutions, schools and academia for patronage, protection, productivity and so forth?  Well I would clearly state that the Salon, Academy, call it what you will, is back and even harder to get into than when Caillebotte was painting. Only now, one’s concept of the thing is what moves one forward, well yeah one could say that it was highly conceptual to just focus on the play of light upon the landscape as the Impressionists did. But I might argue that at least they had some skill and proficiency in the traditional art of representing something figural. Now it is:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3aeQ3DmKU7A Anything Goes! I mean not to disparage anyone in particular but! my disdain for video pieces can only rise with the tide and fall, irrevocably into indolence. Video pieces are an indicator of sorts for the theme here. That the avant-garde has been institutionalized and is now fed three hot meals a day and given its’ cot to slumber upon. All of the rage, passion and fuel for any new movement must somehow go through a credibility game of conceptualization and a process of gross, misleading mystification in order to sparkle and find its’ place on stage. The revolution isn’t televised it is just hypnotised, made a commodity and sold to you in the form of an MFA, BFA or in Russia you can buy one at a subway station. But lets not leave it at that, here is a fascinating website that I found which lists hundreds of artists on its’ programmable site: http://www.indexhibit.org/participants/

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There is an interesting article over at NYTimes.com about the legacy of the Grateful Dead and their different eras and periods.  Specifically the underground fandom of amateur tape archivists is discussed at length. One can tell the reporter is a Head which makes the article that much more enjoyable.

Here is the link to the article: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/12/arts/music/12ratl.html?ref=arts

There is also a fine fan photo tribute site that is being added to daily: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2009/04/10/arts/20090410-grateful-dead-user-photos.html#/0

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