September 30, 2005
"The New Adam"
The New Adam by Harold Stevenson has been given to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. It was created for the Guggenheim in 1962...
But when the show's curator, Lawrence Alloway, saw the work, he "went into shock," Mr. Stevenson recalled, and removed it from the show. The Guggenheim said that Mr. Alloway thought it would cause a stir because of its vast scale and stark nudity. He feared that it would detract from other works in the show by Jim Dine, Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Rauschenberg, James Rosenquist and Andy Warhol.
"A friend brought this tourist to my Paris studio," [Stevenson] said. "He was an actor named Sal Mineo. I had never heard of him, but he was very good looking and beautifully proportioned." Mineo agreed to pose.
Cruising the chiaroseurie back alleys of late Renaissance Rome, Baroque artist Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, in search of pretty street boys for models (or whatever), would have found his ideal in an archetypical Sal Mineo: tousled black ringlets, darkly vulnerable eyes, poutily sensual lips, sleekly hairless body.
And the present-day Sal Mineo, delights in this notion, exclaiming "He's one of my favorite artists! I just love his work!" Art is one of Mineo's strongest obsessions, whether as model (Harold Stevenson's gigantic "Reclining Nude," for example) or collector ("I've got about six of Dali's lithos. I would kill for them."). The occasion of his nude modeling for Stevenson makes for an especially interesting anecdote, related exuberantly in his warmly sexy voice: "About ten years ago I was visiting in Paris and I saw this little painting, which I still own, in a gallery. And I just loved it! And I said 'Do you have any more of his work?' And they said 'No, but we'll give you his number and you can call him.' And I did. And I thought he was going to be French, but it turned out he was from Oklahoma, living in Paris, virtually unknown, and we got to be friends and he asked me to pose for him."
Clinton, Iowa, 1943
A sample of Kodachrome from 1943, still as brilliant as the day it was exposed to this scene in the railroad yards of Clinton, Iowa. It's yet another article about the exhibit at the Library of Congress called "Bound for Glory: America in Color, 1939-1943."
The Association For Gravestone Studies
Who knew there was an organization devoted solely to gravestone history and appreciation? It's headquartered in Greenfield, Massachusetts, and partly funded by the Massachusetts Cultural Council.
September 29, 2005
I spotted this poster at Home Depot today. Who knew there was an orchid greenhouse out in Landers, which is one of those unincorporated homesteading communities north of Yucca Valley along Route 247? Info on the festival is supposed to be available at http://www.gublers.com/festival but it doesn't display correctly in Opera.
Californians Are Soft
Here's a news item about a shooting in Richmond, California, that happened after a long feud over street parking on street sweeping days. Sheez. There must be thousands of Boston car owners who would kill just to be able to live in a city where the only parking problem you've got to worry about is street sweeping. Parking in the snow, now THAT'S a problem worthy of a capital offense. Not only is shooting someone who steals your just-shoveled spot easily justifiable, but you can hide the proof in a snow drift, where it won't be found until spring...unless the dogs dig it out.
As for street sweeping itself, use it the way they do in Boston - as a means to get rid of televisions, computers and other trash that they don't allow into the regular trash stream.
Desoto in Palm Springs
GWB Tops LBJ
In spending increases, that is. LBJ increased discretionary domestic spending by 33.4%. Bush has increased it by 35.1%. From the article by Andrew Sullivan:
This may, in fact, be Bush’s real domestic legacy. All a Democratic successor has to do is raise taxes to pay for his splurge, and we will have had the biggest expansion of government power, size and responsibility since the 1930s. What would Reagan say? What would Thatcher? But those glory days are long gone now — and it was a Republican president and Congress that finally buried them.
September 28, 2005
Weird Story Of The Week
...things started getting really strange when they saw a dead deer, fully stretched out and wedged in the back. Some said there was an intravenous line attached to the animal and there was evidence a defibrillator had been used.
Public Drinking Banned
Siena College has banned ALL public drinking on campus, regardless of whether the beverage is alcoholic or not. The reason is explained thusly:
College officials maintain the rule is meant to increase security after a spate of off-campus party crashers showed up early this semester, and police responded to noisy gatherings outside student apartments. Some outsiders were arrested for burglarizing apartments during those parties, using the hurly-burly for cover.
Because students weren't abiding by campus rules to register all outside guests, officials decided they had to crack down to reduce the gatherings. "Safety first, that's what it's all about," Siena spokeswoman Janet Gianopoulos said.
I'm at a complete loss to understand how a 24-hour ban on cups of coffee and cans of soda everywhere on campus is somehow going to prevent loud parties and guests from off campus.
September 27, 2005
ZIP to Map & Vice Versa
Federal Aid to Religions
FEMA has announced that it will reimburse religious organizations for food, shelter and supplies that they have given to those affected by hurricane Katrina. The linked article says FEMA is trying to regain popularity by playing to conservatives. I'd like to know how ANYone, conservative or otherwise, could approve of this behavior. What is the point of private charity (including religious charity) if the government is going to come in and reimburse everybody for every damn thing?! Are we going to rely on government for EVERYTHING?
Here we have another story of a very overweight man setting out on an ultra-marathon hike. The hike will be from Wisconsin to Florida. The hiker is Travis Russ, 378 pounds and 38 years old. He IS doing some training by walking several miles a day which has already burned off some of his weight. This is good. But let's point out some impracticalities which I suspect may result from him not being a frequent outdoorsman:
He's going to carry a tent. He's going to pull a wagon in which he will "collect clothing along the way." (When he gets to Florida he will hook up with church group there and travel over to Gulfport and Biloxi, Mississippi, to "lend a hand in the recovery efforts in any way he can.")
A tent and a wagon are going to be a lot of weight.
He plans to reach Florida in 40 days! This is a totally unrealistic goal. He may get lucky with the weather, but as he fails to reach his daily goal (20 to 30 miles) each day, the risk will increase that he will be caught in some nasty weather.
Top 50 Sci-Fi Shows
Boston.com has published a list of the top 50 science fiction TV shows ever. Fifty was a handy number, because it allowed them to include EVERY science fiction TV show. Then they just had to rank them.
Desert Business Gets Respect
Those cynics who say there is nothing to come to Coachella Valley for except great weather, great scenery, and grape-picking will rock back on their heels when they learn that right here in our little desert is the nation's second best patio furniture store! Yeah, read it and weep!
Curious George was originally "Fifi." This and other startling facts are said to be revealed in The Journey That Saved Curious George: The True Wartime Escape of Margret and H.A. Rey, a recently released book by Louise Borden about the lives of Hans and Margret Rey.
The incident started about 12:50 p.m. Thursday when relatives said the man became agitated and tried to knock out a window of his uncle's house at 102 Pattern St. The teen suffered a deep cut to the wrist and when relatives tried to help him, he ran into the street.
"Before we could get there, the young man jumped on the hood of a passing car," [Public Safety Director Robert] Hassell said. "He was beating the car and there was blood everywhere. He refused to get off the car so the driver drove very slowly the three blocks to the police station."