WE NEED OTHER ANALOGIES!

besides Hitler and Munich and stuff!  A lot of other things happened in the history of the world!


Bungaree

Bungaree, by Augustus Earle

Although in 1801-2 Bungaree had accompanied Flinders on his circumnavigation of Australia, he was best known in Sydney in the 1820s for his extravagant mimicry of successive colonial governors.  Earle dpecits Bungaree in a parodic gesture of welcome, wearing his characteristic dress (cast off uniform)…

from The Oxford History of Art series volume on Australian Art by Andrew Sayers.

I got a used one from a library.

What’s going on up there at Cogswell College?

Cogswell specializes in digital animation and video game design. Its computer graphics degree program is the longest-running in the Bay Area. It includes Project X, an invitation-only animated film production course that approximates the experience of interning in the industry.

Are you kidding me?!  Those  people most need to know about Bungaree!

Have a great Labor Day weekend everybody.

Group of girl workers at the gate of the American Tobacco Co. Young girls obviously under 14 years of age, who work about 10 hours every day except Saturday, May 1910 source

 

 


how tall is…

a friend told me out that when he typed “how tall is”into Google it autofilled will “how tall is peppa pig”


Northern Renaissance Art by Susie Nash

I, Albrect Dürer of Nuremberg painted myself thus, with undying color, at the age of twenty-eight years.

So says the writing on this one.  Whether the color is “undying” we’ll see*.  The painting is five hundred and eighteen years old.

What was going on with Northern Renaissance art?  After a visit to the San Diego Art Museum, decided to buy myself a book about what SDMA calls “early Netherlandish art.”

This is the book that I got, and I love it and recommend it.  Beautiful, readable, dense, one of the best art history books I’ve ever gotten into.  Susie Nash is an expert on the Well of Moses, or Great Cross, at Dijon.

simonsara for Wiki

The Well of Moses was commissioned by Philip the Bold, who through his “brilliant marriage to the heiress Margaret of Flanders” brought that region into Duchy of Burgundy.  Claus Sluter, the sculptor made the pleurants, “the Mourners of Dijon,” for the tomb of Philip.  I saw these when they came through the Met years ago.

jean de la huerta for wikipedia

By the time Philip the Bold’s grandson, Philip the Good, was Duke of Burgundy, the Burgundian chunks of the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg and northern France were rich, full of prospering towns with craftsmen of all kinds, and fledgling networks of banking and trade, and ancient churches and castles.

The gem may have been Bruges, kind of an international banking/trade center, the Hong Kong of its day(?)

in Bruges a clause in the carpenters’ and sculptors’ guild by-laws allowed craftsmen to work at night when “a sale or contract has been made with a merchant (whose) ship is there ready to sail.”

Gheeraert’s map of Bruges:

Between The Hundred Years’ War and a mad King, France was suffering.  Paris had kind of gone to shit around 1420.

There were all kinds of wonderful and wild things being made in the Northern Renaissance: tapestries, illuminated books, glass and brass.  Statues of the Christ Child with jointed arms.  Says Nash:

The ability to dress sculpture and adapt it in various ways was also key to the popularity of life-size carved and painted Christ Child figures, which might have jointed arms and their own set of clothes, some of which survive today.  These figures could be used for more intimate devotional activities.  Textual sources from female convent communities concern the part played by these and similar figures of the Christ Child with its crib in contemplative and richly imaginative activities, during which the nun was encouraged to pick up the child, suckle it, and so on.  

And so on.

Nash places a lot of this work in the context of a tradition of contemplation.  You were supposed to really be staring at and contemplating, say, Christ on the cross.

How about the works of Master W with Key?

As for the Dukes of Burgundy, the drama of their lives becomes vivid from even a barebones review of major incidents.  John the Fearless, murdered on the bridge at Montereau, the monk presenting his skull to the King of France: “Sire, this is the hole through which England entered France.”  Charles The Bold, lost in the freezing cold at Nancy, killed by Swiss mercenaries, his body found in a frozen river.  Mary the Rich, and Margaret of Austria, killed by a shard of broken glass.

margaret

Jean Hay painted Margaret of Austria, age ten

Dramatic centuries followed for this part of the world.  So much of early Netherlandish // Northern Renaissance art was lost or destroyed.  “A wave of iconoclasm swept the Netherlands,” and that was just the beginning.  Nash has a great picture I can’t find online of the city gate of Berne, chopped up for firewood in 1865.  The town halls of Brussels and Paris were both burnt, Tournai and Ypres were bombed and shelled.  The Allies found the Ghent altarpiece in a salt mine.

Last one, from a prayer book made for Margaret Tudor, wife of James IV.

This is not Margaret receiving an actual vision of the Virgin – she was not known as a visionary and indeed was note even particularly devout, if her contemporary reputation is true: she famously requested, on her sickbed, to contemplate a parade of her best dresses instead of a crucifix.

The Northern Renaissance – they’re just like us!

* some controversy over the translation here.  My Latin is rusty but I like “undying” or “everlasting” better than “appropriate.”  

 


Augusts

August is often a contemplative month over here.  A leisurely month sometimes, and thus a fruitful time at Helytimes.

Here’s a gathering notes and thoughts from previous Augusts.

We hope all Helytimes readers and enthusiasts are having a relaxing and refreshing August.  We appreciate you.

August 2012

selling the Aga cooker, Lon Chaney.

August 2013

Athletes, sharks, showrunners, executioners, painters.

August 2014

Jo in Wyoming.

August 2015

John Quincy Adams, Julie London.

August 2016

I was down in New Zealand and Australia.

August 2017

California, Bob Marley, almonds, and our most provocative post, Ireland should take in two million refugees.  

August 2018.

Taleb, Warren Buffett, the Ten Day MBA, and what is a story?


These are your only options

Shouldn’t you be allowed to vote for whoever you want?

I remember the anger at the people who voted for Ralph Nader in 2000.  I get it.  I voted for Al Gore, I loved Al Gore, Al Gore is like my dream politician (boring experienced intellectual veteran centrist conservationist globalist).  But the people who voted for Nader get to vote for Nader!  Al Gore didn’t earn their vote.  They don’t owe Al Gore a rotten fig.  You can’t be mad at the people who voted for someone else for not cynically falling into line to vote for an establishment centrist they didn’t prefer.

Same deal with Susan Sarandon!  She can vote for whomever she wants, cool for her for having interesting choices.  You’re gonna blame her for Trump?  Blame the woman who had an absolute slam dunk layup election on her hands, who had many advantages, enormous amounts of money, her husband was a very popular President of the United States two Presidents ago, for failing to convince enough voters to vote for her.

Dr. Jill Biden, in New Hampshire, says:

You have to swallow a little bit and say, ok, I personally like so and so better, but your bottom line has to be that we have to beat Trump.

If you check out the video you can also see Joe Biden’s first campaign ad, which highlights how “all the polls agree” Joe Biden is the best candidate to beat Trump.

Quit your thinkin’, voter, this one’s been decided for you.  Who’re you gonna believe, your judgment or some polls we pulled together?

The whole premise of the Biden campaign makes me sick.  This is a guy who was a weak, confused candidate who couldn’t stop himself from making stuff up and plagiarizing not just speeches but the family histories of other politicians when he was in his prime!  And now he is… guess how old Joe Biden is.

Did you guess 72?  74?

Joe Biden is seventy-six years old!  He will be seventy-eight if he takes the oath of office in Jan 2021.  Eighty-two at the end of his first term.

What has Joe Biden done with his life?  I get that he was Obama’s pretend best friend, but really, who is a person who in Joe Biden’s thirty-eight some years of public life he really helped?  Uplifted?

(skimming his Wikipedia page)

OK I guess he did stand up for Delaware’s chicken farmers, Delaware’s banks, and in many ways benefitted the people of Delaware (by getting them federal taxpayer money). He was an advocate for Delaware, a state with a population of about one-quarter of the city of Los Angeles.

Where has he been on the big issues?  He voted against the “good” Iraq War, the one we won, and for the bad one, the one that was a stupid, deceitful, horrible disaster from start to… finish?  I guess it’s over?  For us?

(Oh no wait we still have five thousand troops there.)

Joe Biden is sometimes said to know a lot about foreign policy but he was exactly wrong on the biggest American disaster of my lifetime.

Biden has said, “I consider the Violence Against Women Act the single most significant legislation that I’ve crafted during my 35-year tenure in the Senate.”[119]

OK, well that is cool, but didn’t the same bill also eliminate higher education for inmates and create new death penalty offenses?

The argument I hear for Joe Biden is that white Rust Belt working class men, who are alleged to have cost Hillary Clinton the election in Wisconsin, Ohio, etc,  like him.  Well, I don’t know if that’s true, I am not a white Rust Belt working class man.

I do think that:

1) the group credited with “swinging” the last election is never the group credited with swinging the next one

2) it’s not my job as a voter to put myself in the hypothetical mindset of some possible swing voter in another state and attempt to pander to their whims in order to take out the current whim-panderer.

It’s my job to choose the candidate who I try and suss out has the best character, judgment, and policy understandings and preferences to be the President of the United States.

For a campaign to suggest anything else, to suggest five months before the first primary/caucus that voters should shut up and get in line, that this is your only option, is so insulting I can scarcely believe it.

We try not to be all negative at Helytimes, so in the interest of saying something nice about Joe Biden he does have a great smile.


The evils of private planes

from Wikipedia, Boeing 727

Once I was told a story about a world famous celebrity.  This celebrity, the story went, was in a new-ish religion.  This celebrity had some sexual desires and proclivities that he was ashamed of.  Maybe the religion made him feel bad about it.  But in the theology of this religion, what you did at say 30,000 feet of altitude wasn’t technically on Earth or something and thus was bound by different rules, or maybe no rules at all.  So the celebrity would fly up in a plane and fulfill these desires up there between here and space.

Whether that story is true I dunno.  It wasn’t told to me very reliably.  Pure gossip and alleged.  But doesn’t it ring kind of true?  Mythologically if not actually?

There’s something evil about private planes.

What plane did Jeffrey Epstein even have?  I went looking for a photo of it, and couldn’t find one I felt came from a reliable source.  Christopher Maag, writing in the North Jersey Record (is that a good newspaper? I don’t know!):

His planes, which ranged from a Cessna to a Gulf Stream jet to a Boeing 727, recorded at least 730 flights to and from Teterboro between 1995 and 2013, according to flight logs contained in documents unsealed last week by a federal court in a lawsuit brought by one of Epstein’s alleged victims against one of his close associates.

Look for a photo of Epstein’s plane, if you have idle Internet time.  See if you find one that you’re pretty confident is a confirmed, legit photo of his plane.

Making sense of his flight logs is beyond my expertise.

Did Epstein own these planes outright?  Did he pay the bills on the gas and stuff?  The hanger?  He had a 727?

Gladwell, Malcolm: Writer.

“I was invited to the TED conference in maybe 2000 (I can’t remember), and they promised to buy me a plane ticket to California,” Gladwell says now. “Then at the last minute they said, ‘We found you a ride on a private plane instead.’ As I recall, there were maybe two dozen TED conferencegoers onboard. I don’t remember much else, except being slightly baffled as to who this Epstein guy was and why we were all on his plane.”

You and me both, buddy!  From NY Mag’s roundup of everyone who knew this guy.

found this here at the Museum of Flying, kind of hard to find a photo of the Caroline, and I can’t figure out who took this one

When John Kennedy was running for President his father Joe Kennedy bought a plane.  Other candidates had chartered planes, but unless I’m mistaken he was the first candidate to own his own plane.

The President has use of a plane, Air Force One.  Supposedly JFK helped pick the colors.

Cecil Stoughton photo of Air Force One in 1962 from the JFK Library.

But it’s not his (her) plane.  It’s our plane, the people’s plane.  Once you leave office, it’s not yours any more.

For eight years Bill Clinton had Air Force One.  But then he left office, and he wasn’t rich enough to buy his own plane.  What was he supposed to do, fly commercial?  Of course not!  He called his friends who were rich enough to have private planes, and got rides from them.

Some of these guys were bad guys.

That level where you have a private plane.  Where you can fly anywhere you want, any time you want.  

You can be kinda rich, where you’re not really worried about money, you can eat fancy dinners and live somewhere you like*. Then let’s say you get twenty million more dollars.  Might feel very nice, maybe you buy a fancier house, or worry even less about money, or start a small foundation or take care of more people around you or something.  But have you really jumped a level?

I don’t know, I don’t have $20 million dollars, but I don’t think so.  What if after the twenty million you get ten million more?  Is anything improved?

But then there’s the private plane.

That plane isn’t just comfort, it’s power.  It’s access, it’s freedom, it’s being on another level.  Above it all.

What will people do to get to that level?  To stay there?

Who is that important that they need a private plane?  No one.  Richard Branson loves it, Warren Buffett admits he likes his (he doesn’t own it, I believe Berkshire does).  No doubt it saves them time and hassle, no doubt they can get to deals quicker and the power compounds.  And if you believe in capitalism don’t you believe you should be able to buy what you can afford, the market has determined efficiency, and what’s better than freedom, etc.

But isn’t there something a little obscene about private planes?  Everyone wants to fly in them, but everyone knows there’s something a little wrong about it.

From Politico:

“I’m not shocked that while thousands of volunteers braved the heat and cold to knock on doors until their fingers bled in a desperate effort to stop Donald Trump, his Royal Majesty King Bernie Sanders would only deign to leave his plush D.C. office or his brand new second home on the lake if he was flown around on a cushy private jet like a billionaire master of the universe,” said Zac Petkanas, who was the director of rapid response for the Clinton campaign.

The gall.

Radical proposal: in the wake of the Epstein case, the FAA and Congress should look into banning private planes.  Everyone can fly commercial for awhile.  (Exception if you are yourself at the controls as pilot.)