Watson And The Shark (1778), John Singleton Copley

At his death, Watson bequeathed the 1778 painting to Christ’s Hospital, with the hope that it would prove “a most usefull Lesson to Youth”.

Little did I know that the MFA version, which proved so useful to me in my own youth, was “a replica Copley made for himself.”

Not to worry, Brook Watson survived the attack depicted, and grew into this happy fellow:

Says the great Wiki article:

A verse penned by one of Watson’s political enemies poked fun at his ordeal (and perhaps at his abilities):

Oh! Had the monster, who for breakfast ate
That luckless limb, his noblest noddle met,
The best of workmen, nor the best of wood,
Had scarce supply’d him with a head so good.

Now, what does this have to do with the previous post? :

Three years later [Watson] was sent to supervise the expulsion of the Acadians from the Baie Verte area.

That’s in Havana harbor, btw.


Feufollet – Au Fond du Lac

In the Cajun people of Louisiana writers find what writers always find in the remote peoples of the world: pride of race, a healthy love of pleasure, a gift for spinning sorrow into beauty, ruddy confidence, a balance and a rhythm of life that seems enviable to the alienated wanderer.  I have gone to their parishes myself on several auto trips.

In the wrong mood I find their men crude and ribald.  But their women are at every age attractive.  A girl of 13 or 14 from the Acadian parishes can be almost impossible to look at in her beauty and passion.  Look her in the eye and it can stop you cold.  You will think on her for days.  Many of the older women spend the rest of their lives in the consequences of their first sexual blossoming.

Of their men I will say this: in a tight situation they are heroic.  None can argue they bleed life.

But above all it is this, you can feel it in their humor, in their food, in their music, in their religion, in their stories: they don’t treat life as though it’s too damned important.  Sad, beautiful, sorrowful, happy: it’s something, good and bad, take it as it comes, do your damnest.

– Vivien Kent, How To Travel (1947)

[HT our Virginia Beach office via Garden & Gun magazine.  As of last reading, all the comments on this video were perfectly nice (“she was my substitute teacher in 4th grade!”)]


The former king of Lo

from The Boston Globe’s Big Picture blog collection on the Nepalese region/former kingdom of Mustang.


Earl Sweatshirt

Not my beat, but I just read the NY Times article about him:

In Samoa he was taking courses and speaking with therapists. He swam with whales and earned a scuba diving license, watched every episode of “The Mentalist” on DVD, put his classmates onto Lil B, began learning how to play piano. He read Manning Marable’s Malcolm X biography and Richard Fariña’s counterculture fiction.

Interesting article about fame, being a good person, mothers, etc.


Blind, 1916, Paul Strand

That one’s not on display over at the Met.  Gotta find his photos of the Outer Hebrides online.


How to talk to children?

At The Hairpin they have an interview with John Steinbeck’s son, re: a letter the dad sent the son that was at Letters of Note recently.  Here’s an excerpt:

One of the things my father had going for himself is he talked to children like he talked to adults. Kids loved my father, because he didn’t talk down to them. They asked him a question, he gave a serious answer, he treated them as serious human beings.

My mom did the same thing, when I was young. She used to talk to me, even before I could talk, like I was an adult. I think that’s the right way to go about it.

I think so, too, especially if you expect your children to talk like adults. It’s really quite amazing what children will absorb if you give them the benefit of the doubt to understand that the intelligence is there. They may not be able to verbalize themselves completely, but comprehension is there.

Right.

And if you feel that someone is taking your question seriously, you’ll take the answer seriously, even if you don’t quite understand it all.

I’ve been really appreciating the lively conversation all 12,000-odd of you have been generating in the comments.  If you know how to talk to children please discuss.

Bear in mind, though, Thom Steinbeck’s final warning:

Well what do you think it is about this letter that resonated with so many people, though? I mean, it was all across the internet, everyone was passing it along.

You can’t trust the internet for that, they’d pass along a car accident if they thought it was amusing!

(photo: “[Girl next to barn with chicken]” from the Library of Congress.)


“Cupid,” Sam Cooke, 1963

Like Sam Cooke ever needed Cupid’s help.  ht SDB a long time ago.