- “Wet Strokes” by Kynd (yes, that’s an alias) redefines what visual art can be by showing the process of painting, not the finished product only:
- Love, Actually at Guernica by Eva Illouz argues that love in the modern sense is based very much so on social structures and tropes, particularly validation and insecurity in the social sense.
“The notions of “validation” and “insecurity” do not appear in the vocabulary of eighteenth- or nineteenth-century accounts of romantic love and constitute a new terminology and a decisively new way to conceive of the love experience. In fact, the notion of “insecurity” has become so central to contemporary notions of love (and of much contemporary advice on love and dating) that it compels us to inquire about its meaning.
Such psychological description contains and addresses features of our social world. What in common psychological language is called “insecurity” points to two sociological facts: (a) that our worth and value are not prior to interactions and are not a priori established, but are in need of being ongoingly shaped and affirmed; and (b) that it is our performance in a relationship that will establish this worth. To be insecure means to feel uncertain about one’s worth, to be unable to secure it on one’s own, and to have to depend on others in order to secure it. One of the fundamental changes in modernity has to do with the fact that social worth is performatively established in social relationships.“
- The final issue of Jason Aaron and R.M. Guera comic series Scalped is finished and will ship at the end of the month. Sad but exciting news for me. I’ve been reading this comic since its inception; it’s one of the most unique crime stories I’ve experienced, in any medium. There have been rumors of — what with the uber-success of Walking Dead on AMC — that Aaron’s already been called by Showtime or HBO or AMC to discuss a possible adaptation of the story into TV form. This guy seems to want that:
“It’s exceptionally rich, unbelievably dark, socially relevant, bleakly humorous and extraordinary. The Walking Dead — which I also love, as a comic and a TV show — is Law & Order. At the risk of repetition, Scalped is The Wire. (Yes, yes, Scalped and Walking Dead are two different genres, arbitrarily linked because they’re both comics. But that’s all producers care about anyway when they’re pitching, so let’s be results-oriented, yeah?)“
It would work so well. But the content almost predisposes it to HBO or Showtime.
Here’s another guy taking an academic lens to the series, and also calling it “the best comic in the world”. I’ll miss it. I’ll be sure to review it when I get my copy from my LCS.
- Walking Tour of Helsinki’s Architecture at Guardian.co.uk. Helsinki is known for having some of the world’s most beautiful and unique architecture. This year is apparently it’s 200th anniversary of being the capital of Finland. Anyways, they take their design so seriously over there, that they’ve created a government agency (SITRA) to shape the style of the city’s design. Fuckin’ commies!!
Oh, and there’s also a band from Australia called Architecture In Helsinki. They’re pretty good too, though their instrumental stuff is better than anything with singing.
- With the release of several official stills from Baz Luhrmann’s upcoming adaptation of Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby” many people, at least that I’ve seen, have been showing their contempt for the book. Which I really do not understand. The idea that — used in bit/joke material by the late Andy Kaufman — the novel IS the definition of a long-form, out of date, snooze fest seems to be almost self-perpetuating. Something that’s been going on for so long now that people believe it without have ever even sat down with the novel itself for more than a few minutes. By the Wikipedia count (so this could be the first edition perhaps?) the book clocks in at 218 pages. Hardly The Brothers Karamozov, or to be modern about it, Infinite Jest. The novel also culminates in a murder, hardly “boring” by my standards. But of course the greatest thing about the novel is it’s satirization and depiction of American greed, high-society, and morals and values.
“The enduring appeal of Fitzgerald’s third novel, as with many great novels, is partly dependent on a benign misinterpretation on the part of readers, a surrender to fascination with wealth and glamour, and the riotous frivolity of the jazz age. Fitzgerald was by no means an uncritical observer, as some have suggested; the most villainous of these characters are the wealthiest, and Nick Carraway is something of a middle-class prig, who, much as he tries to reserve judgment, is ultimately sickened by all the profligacy and the empty social rituals of his summer among the wealthy of Long Island.“
That was a quote from Jay McInerney’s article from the weekend, delving into WHY “The Great Gatsby” is so damn good. And why, as brilliant art usually does, it is so misunderstood.