Sunday, May 28, 2023

Artists like cats?

 "Artists, like cats, communicate abstractly, at a remove. This is why artists hate to be asked what their work means. Even if what they make is a picture of a landscape, or a race riot, it's not 'about' only those things. It's about much more -- including itself, its materials and how they were used, and how the artist sees the world."

"As for art itself, that's much more like a dog: never quite behaving, making a mess, costing a lot, always making you get supplies, but paying you back in wonder and delight."

-- Jerry Saltz, in his book "How to Be An Artist"

Tuesday, May 9, 2023

Shot and chaser (culture wars)

Note the delta on the Rotten Tomatoes move review aggregator site between audience scores for the movie "Nefarious" and professional critics' reaction to it.

Then ponder this essay by John Daniel Davidson for The Federalist.

Davidson's point (not coincidentally hinted at by the wildly different reaction to "Nefarious" from average moviegoers and film critics) is this: "When one side stakes its claim to political power on offering abortion up until birth and transgender operations for 8-year-olds, and holds out these policies as proof of its moral authority, we're way past arguing over how to get the economy back on track." Moreover, "Tucker Carlson hit on this at the end of his big speech at Heritage recently. He compared the values of the political left to the values of the Aztecs, who sacrificed children to their bloodthirsty gods -- and he wasn't wrong." 

Several commentators have since said that Fox News owner Rupert Murdoch fired Tucker Carlson over that speech, because Murdoch has peculiar notions of what "extremist" thinking is. Tucker probably saw that coming, joking even at the time that prayer is always a good strategy when you're engaged in spiritual warfare, even if the guy recommending that is -- like Carlson himself -- a mild-mannered Episcopalian.