Coup in Mali

I hope Amadou and Mariam are ok

Luke Kelly’s Hair

OK, wikipedia, gimme the tragedy:

On 30 June 1980 during a concert in the Cork Opera House Luke Kelly collapsed on the stage. He had already suffered for some time from headaches and forgetfulness, which however had been ascribed to his alcohol consumption. He was diagnosed with a brain tumor.

The subject of the song, btw?:

[Kelly] was dragged from his bed and hanged by British soldiers who decapitated his corpse and kicked his head through the streets shortly after the fall of Wexford on 21 June 1798.

Van Wyck Brooks on: Elizabeth Peabody.

Van Wyck Brooks clearly has a little crush on Miss Elizabeth Peabody, “the founder of the American kindergarten.”  More from The Flowering of New England.

As for Miss Peabody’s future, one could see it already.  One pictured her, forty years hence, drowsing in her chair on the lecture-platform or plodding through the slush of a Boston winter, her bonnet askew, her white hair falling loose, bearing still, amid the snow and ice, the banner of education.  If, perchance, you lifted her out of a snowdrift, into which she had stumbled absent-mindedly, she would exclaim, between her gasps, “I am glad to see you!  Can you tell me which is the best Chinese gramar?”  Or she would give you the news about Sarah Winnemucka.  “Now Sarah Winnemucka” – this was the maligned Indian princess who was collecting money to educate her tribe.  Or she would ask if you had read your Stallo.  She took down every lecture she heard, although she seldom wrote what people said: most of her reports were “impressions.”  *

* “I saw it,” Miss Peabody said, when she walked into a tree and bruised her nose.  “I saw it, but did not realize it.”

Look at this asshole

Anthony Van Dyck, Self-Portrait.

“Possibly 1620-1.”  Art historians, DO YOUR JOBS and get that “possibly” out of there.

“A precocious talent…” yeah I bet he was, The Met.

Trying to learn how to pronounce “Childe Hassam,” found this.

Childe hassam

President Barack Obama in the Oval Office 1/28/09. Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

That’s his “The Avenue In The Rain” past Barry.  Pronounced “Child HASS-m.”

via SDB via SL

“Amusing Ourselves To Death” by Neil Postman

Reading doomsaying screeds from awhile ago is strangely comforting, because either a) things didn’t happen as the author direly predicted or 2) they DID happen, like 1000x worse than what the author predicted, but I guess we just deal.

File Neil Postman’s 1984 Amusing Ourselves to Death in category 2.

Postman’s book is worried about the rise of TV.  He holds out for special, extended, outraged scorn The Voyage of The Mimi, which is a pretty amazing thing to be mad about.

Towards the end, Postman wonders what we can do about the stupidity of TV:

The nonsensical answer is to create television programs whose intent would be, not to get people to stop watching television but to demonstrate how television ought to be viewed, to show how television recreates and degrades our conception of news, political debate, religious thought, etc.  I imagine such demonstrations would of necessity take the form of parodies, along the lines of “Saturday Night Live” and “Monty Python,” the idea being to induce a nationwide horse laugh over television’s control of public discourse.  But, naturally, television would have the last laugh. In order to command an audience large enough to make a difference, one would have to make the programs vastly amusing, in the television style.  Thus, the act of criticism itself would, in the end, be co-opted by television.  The parodists would become celebrities, would star in movies, and would end up making television commercials.

You called it, buddy.