Artdaily: "Picasso's Paintings, Watercolors, Drawings and Sculpture, A Comprehensive Illustrated Catalogue"
Picasso's Paintings, Watercolors, Drawings and Sculpture, A Comprehensive Illustrated Catalogue 1885-1973 will be published in January 2008 by Alan Wofsy Fine Arts LLC.
This series of catalogues, directed by the late Herschel Chipp and Alan Wofsy, is the most comprehensive on the master’s work yet published. (...) Each volume contains an overview introduction and a chronology of the period (...) titles in English and French (Spanish and Catalan for the early years); date and place of creation, when known; dimensions of the work; location (...) a bibliography of works that are cited; and concordances to Zervos, the Musée Picasso, Paris, the Museu Picasso, Barcelona and other standard reference works >>>
Caption: Picasso, "Joie de Vivre", 1946
Saturday, December 29, 2007
Artdaily: "Picasso's Paintings, Watercolors, Drawings and Sculpture, A Comprehensive Illustrated Catalogue"
The Press Association: "Tributes pour in for Oscar Peterson"
Tributes have poured in for Oscar Peterson, whose early talent, speedy fingers and musical genius made him one of the world's best known and influential jazz pianists.
Peterson, 82, died from kidney failure at his home in the Toronto suburb of Mississauga on Sunday, said Oliver Jones, a family friend and jazz musician. He said Peterson's wife and daughter were with him during his final moments.
Mississauga's mayor, Hazel McCallion, a "very close friend", said: "He's been going downhill in the last few months."
During an illustrious career spanning seven decades, Peterson played with some of the biggest names in jazz, including Ella Fitzgerald, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie. He is also remembered for the trio he led with Ray Brown on bass and Herb Ellis on guitar in the 1950s ... >>>
Here's Peterson in better times with the other Giant of Jazz, Count Basie. Martin Drew on drums and Niels-Henning Orsted Pedersen on bass. Hat Tip The Spectator: "Oscar P meets Count B"
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
The People's Cube in The Current Truth on 28th of November were reporting on a myth shattering event which we regrettably missed at the time. Today, as the new year approaches, we seek to make amends. Is this the Sokal Hoax of art - the exposure of Pomo snobbery? Or evidence of an ancient Crime Against the People?
The People's Cube: "Classical Art Exposed as Hoax" - "Shockwaves are reverberating throughout the art world following the amazing discovery of abstract ancient Greek statues and paintings that resemble today's modern art and apparently are its long-lost forerunners."
"This finally proves my theory that the so-called 'aesthetically pleasing' 'classical art' with its 'proportions' and 'perfection' is a fraud and never really existed," says Columbia University professor Dan Browny. "It is a scientific fact now, that art has always been about a random grouping of disturbing shapes that required no special skills or training, and that intent is more important than result." >>>
- Caption: The Cup Bearer (2800-2200 B.C.) -
The 'abstract ancient Greek statues' are represented by so-called Cycladic art. I regret I have to disappoint Comrad Browny: it belongs to some of the very earliest human expressions of what could be termed Art in and of itself, and is very important. The Goulandris Museum has a fine collection on permanent display. Details. Article.
The abstract 'random grouping of disturbing shapes' is a important example of subjective creativity representing projections of the preconceptual level of consciousness, acting as - in no particular order - a Rorschach test, a Ouija board, or a latter day oracle.
Cycladic art on the other hand is an early, primitive, unsubsidized attempt at the creation of an objective representation of reality by the use of technical skills.
We can therefore conclude with some confidence that this is not an early case of vile middle class plagiarism of exalted Pomo expression - but on the contrary - evidence that as early as 3000 BC assaults were made on the proletariat by bourgeois servants of capitalism.
No wonder that ever since, the classes are having to cope with the emotional trauma imposed on them by reality! But we shall overcome! The struggle against facts goes on and will be won ... some day!
Monday, December 24, 2007
Dick is faced with a series of brutal murders in which the victims, all from different social and economic backgrounds, are viciously slashed to pieces.
Suspects abound but Tracy, getting a clue that there will be fifteen murders in all, must find the common thread among the victims before more are killed.
"I should have fallen in love with a retired business man!"
To watch "Split Face": click the pic ...
Saturday, December 22, 2007
Artdaily: "Recently Discovered Caravaggio Painting Was Just Presented in Trapani, Sicily"
A recently discovered Caravaggio that is an earlier version of The Card Sharps has just gone on display in Trapani. The work was purchased by Sir Denis Mahon, 97, member of the Guinness Mahon banking dynasty. He purchased the work for £50,400 at an auction at Sotheby's last December. During the sale the painting was described as the work of an anonymous "follower of Caravaggio".
Sir Denis Mahon authenticated the work as a Caravaggio and dated it to 1595. He has authenticated three other Caravaggios. According to Sir Denis Mahon, the painting is a predecessor of The Card Sharps that is located at the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas. The recently discovered work is brighter and has more empty space around the characters. The work will be lent to the Ashmolean museum in Oxford in March, after the exhibition in Trapani ends.
Friday, December 21, 2007
The "Portrait of Suzanne Bloch," painted by Pablo Picasso in 1904 (blue period) has been stolen from Brazil's Sao Paulo Museum of Art. It is among the most valuable pieces in the museum's collection.
The robbery took place shortly after five o'clock Thursday morning, just when guards were changing shifts. The thieves made off with paintings by Pablo Picasso and Candido Portinari in a brazen heist lasting three minutes.
Sao Paulo police investigator on the case, Marcos Gomes de Moura is heavily speculating: have the paintings been taken for ransom, or is this rather a case of an art lover, wanting a little something to decorate the hall?
All may be revealed some time ... read all about it ...
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Sotheby's New York yesterday auctioned an original copy of the Magna Carta Libertatum, or The Great Charter of Freedoms. It was sold for well over twenty one million dollars (£10.6 million) to David Rubenstein, the founder of the Carlyle Group. More details here.
In sharp contrast to the recently signed "Treaty of Lisbon" - dubbed here "Leviathan's birth certificate" - the Magna Carta is known as the "birth certificate of freedom"*. From the Introduction:
"(...) It (the copy) comes from an issue, that of 1297, which for the first time accompanied demands that there be no taxation without representation: a momentous challenge to royal authority and the origin of much that it is of significance in later history, not least in the history of the American Revolution."
It is shocking to realise that a matter of basic right thought to have been settled by a political revolution in England in 1215 - the principle of "no taxation, without representation" - is actually An Issue in Europe Anno Domini 2007! Wait, it gets worse ...
"From the constitutional principles embodied in Magna Carta emerged the concept of the liberty of the individual citizen, a proper and permanent challenge to the feudal tyranny of England’s medieval kings, and the very origins of the common law." ... and ..."
(...) like the Declaration of Independence, it was nothing less than a public proclamation of a new political order, in this instance of negotiations conducted between the barons and King John of England* nearly eight hundred years ago."
Speaking of which, in today's England the trend is pointing in the opposite direction. EURSOC in a posting just recently, "Fighting Big Brother" detailed a discourse raging within the Left wing. Mouthpiece Al Guardian's journalist Henry Porter apparently had the misfortune to critique the way in which the current government has chipped away at liberties, and was heavily castigated!
His colleague Polly Toynbee reacted as might be expected from one thoroughly versed in the workings of the glorified victimhood of the Marxist dialectic:
"Worries about a nascent police state are, she wrote, "fashionable because it allows the middle classes to pretend to be victims, too. But it is decadence for mainly privileged people to obsess over imaginary Big Brother attacks on themselves, when others all around them are suffering badly from neglect by the state - or sometimes from real aggression by government. Indignation isprecious, not to be squandered on illusory threats, but saved for real injustices."Tut tut ...! The erroneously aligned, liberty loving Porter may well react by speaking of "breathtaking dishonesty of her argument (...) to describe anyone who opposes Labour on these grounds as a being a right-winger" - Porter is still Leftist enough to consider such an insult - personally I shudder at the realisation that neototals like Toynbee represent today's intelligentsia, calling the shots in politics and in the corridors of power!
That we may long be neglected by the state, in the absence of which, I'd rather have the Middle Ages as a more enlightened period ... I wouldn't be surprised, if at some point in the near future we'd not all prefer the rule of John, an awful king as explained by Messrs Sellar and Yeatman in "1066 and all that, a memorable history of England" (Methuen & Co., 16th October 1930):
"When John came to the throne he lost his temper and flung himself on the floor, foaming at the mouth and biting the rushes. (...) John was so bad that the Pope decided to put the whole country under an Interdict, i.e. he gave orders that no one was to be born or die or marry (except in Church porches)."
* "There also happened in this reign the memorable Charta known as the Magna Charter (...) and was invented by the Barons on a desert island in the Thames called Ganymede. By congregating there, armed to the teeth, the Barons compelled John to sign the Magna Charter, which said:
- That no one was to be put to death, save for some reason - (except the Common People).- Filed on Articles in "The Post Democratic Preferences of the Neotots" -
- That everyone should be free - (except the Common People).
- That everyone should be of the same weight and measure throughout the Realm - (except the Common People).
- That the Courts should be stationary, instead of following a very tiresome medieval official known as the King's Person all over the country.
- That 'no person should be fined to his utter ruin' - (except the King's Person).
- That the Barons should not be tried except by a special jury of other Barons who would understand.
Magna Charter was therefore the chief cause of Democracy in England and thus a Good Thing for everyone - (except the Common People).
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Today, a memorable day in the history of rhymery, in 1719 Thomas Fleet published "Mother Goose's Melodies For Children".
The official theory is that Fleet, a colonial Boston printer, invented the figure of Mother Goose in the likeness of his mother-in-law, Elizabeth Foster Vergoose, a lady who'd married a man of Dutch extraction, no doubt. (The name Vergoose by the way is unrelated to fowl - geese or otherwise.)
Contrary to what the title suggests, the rhymes were intended to be read, not sung, nor played on a musical instrument.
Originals are hard to come by, but Rutgers University website provides us with a fascinating online "adaptation of Illustrations Of Mother Goose's Melodies. Designed And Engraved On Wood By Alexander Anderson, M.D., With An Introductory Notice By Evert A. Duyckinck (New York: Charles Moreau, 1873)" asserting that ...
"... All seventeen of the rhymes and illustrations Duyckinck and Charles Moreau selected from the original Mother Goose's Melodies (Boston: Munroe & Francis, 1837), have been reproduced here, even though we know not all of the illustrations were created or engraved by Alexander Anderson, whose memory Duyckinck sought to honor by this book."
Further search yields a modern, interactive online version of "Mother Goose Melodies" by Willis P. Hazard, provided by Children's Books Online: the Rosetta Project.
And if the fancy takes you, you can even book a performance by MaryLee Sunseri, winner of three "Parents' Choice Awards" and two "American Library Association Notable Children's Recordings". Enjoy ...!
Sunday, December 16, 2007
Last Thursday the international auction house Bonhams in London offered for sale over two hundred paintings and works depicting Greek subjects by 19th and 20th century Greek and Foreign artists. The paintings came from private collections.
Caption: Celest Polychroniadi (1904-1985): "Dreamy Landscape""Herakleidon, Experience in Visual Arts" in Athens also had the exhibit online. Unlike Bonhams', their catalog is thankfully still operative. "Herakleidon" is a story in itself. I'm sure we'll post news here more often. Proprietors Paul Firos and his wife Anna-Belinda, collectors and art lovers, created the private museum which is located in the heart of Athens, under the shadow of the Acropolis.
The exhibition program consists of artists who play or have played an important role in the evolution of art. In addition to the permanent collections, the museum will host exhibitions of work by Greek and foreign artists.
But back for now to Bonhams' "Greek Sale". Artdaily's reporting that "(...) with an auction of 209 pictures which saw 82 per cent of lots sold (... the ) sale was £2m up on (the one) earlier this year, which made almost £4m."
Caption: Nikos Engonopoulos (1910-1985): "The Sailor""Terpsichore Angelopoulou of Art Expertise, Bonbams agents in Greece commented: “This sale shows the growing strength of the Greek art market. We saw an amazing number of world record prices achieved in Bond Street today, no fewer than fourteen and the highest price ever paid for a painting at a Greek sale." >>>
Greek modern art is coming of age ...
Friday, December 14, 2007
Earlier this year - in a meta review of the movie "300", entitled "Postmodern Fallacy #14: relativism leads to historical barbarism!" - we discussed the ancient legends surrounding the Spartans. One of those stories is, that Spartans were supposed to have exposed their young children to the elements, so that only the strongest ones would survive.
In today's Postmodern, sentimentalist times, in which the Self and subjective feelings are the leading counsel to ethics - such practises come across as rather barbaric. I don't see why. It is entirely in keeping with the unproved Darwinian theory of natural selection, the number one article of faith as practised by the Postmodern Left. Never mind for the moment - consistency and logic never was their strong point ...
But according to researchers of the Athens Faculty of Medicine the myth of the exposure of Spartan children may need some re-adjustment:
AFP: "Spartans did not throw deformed babies away: researchers"
The Greek myth that ancient Spartans threw their stunted and sickly newborns off a cliff was not corroborated by archaeological digs in the area, researchers said Monday.
After more than five years of analysis of human remains culled from the pit, also called an apothetes, researchers found only the remains of adolescents and adults between the ages of 18 and 35, Athens Faculty of Medicine Anthropologist Theodoros Pitsios said.
"There were still bones in the area, but none from newborns, according to the samples we took from the bottom of the pit" of the foothills of Mount Taygete near present-day Sparta. "It is probably a myth, the ancient sources of this so-called practice were rare, late and imprecise," he added.
Meant to attest to the militaristic character of the ancient Spartan people, moralistic historian Plutarch in particular spread the legend during first century AD. According to Pitsios, the bones studied to date came from the fifth and sixth centuries BC and come from 46 men, confirming the assertion from ancient sources that the Spartans threw prisoners, traitors or criminals into the pit.
The discoveries shine light on an episode during the second war between Sparta and Messene, a fortified city state independent of Sparta, when Spartans defeated the Messenian hero Aristomenes and his 50 warriors, who were all thrown into the pit, he added.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Musical scores, furniture and household goods including fine china, paintings, gowns and dresses, crucifixes and icons, theatre programs, newspaper clippings (including a rather nasty caricature), correspondence and love letters, remnants of Maria Callas' life during her marriage with her first husband, come under the hammer.
Enough has been said and written about the greatest singer of the twentieth century. The tragic, protracted love affair with Greek shipping tycoon Aristotl Onassis - who broke his betrothal to her when the availability of President John F. Kennedy's widow, Jacky became to much a temptation for the middle class Greek laddy from Smyrna - seems to have been fatal to both.
Despite the depth of the Greek drama, the artistic accomplishments of the great mezzo soprano are her truly unique contribution to the world of music ... or it might be said that both were the fruits of the same driving passion and dedication.
The aria from the second act of Giacomo Puccini's opera "Tosca" characterizes her in more ways than one: Vissi d'arte, vissi d’amore - I lived for art, I lived for love ...
A slide-show is available in the Store Room, which is undergoing refurbishment at the moment, for which apologies. "Maria Callas La Divina" provides a rather comprehensive biography.
Sotheby's has announced the results:
Sale Total: 1,766,228 EUR.
The rather nasty caricature fetched 5.250,=.
Monday, December 10, 2007
The Vatican announced last Friday it has discovered a previously unknown drawing by Renaissance artist Michelangelo, believed to be his last work. The work is a sketch of part of the new St Peter's. The partial design of one of the columns in St Peter's dome is believed to have been the artist's last drawing. A probable instruction to stone quarriers, it was sketched in 1563, a year before Michelangelo died at the age of 89.
The new discovery was stated to be unveiled today, Monday 10th December. Until this moment no news is forthcoming.
Until the master piece is reveiled, enjoy "The Agony And The Ecstasy, Part I". Here's the link to Part II. It's not the latest material available, but it's pre-Postmodern (this is, without undue emphasis on body parts). I'll update present post as news becomes available.
Catholic News: "Vatican discovers rare Michelangelo sketch"
(...) The sketch will be presented today (10 December) to the Fabbrica's president, Cardinal Angelo Comastri, and other Vatican officials in a private ceremony Dec. It will be unveiled to the public at an unspecified future date. >>>
... reverting ...
Saturday, December 08, 2007
Christie's "About" section on the relevant website yields an eulogy about the entrepreneur, containing a typical example of the double standards that are common in the false dichotomy in dealing with the two Counter-Enlightenment twin ideologies, National Socialism and Communism.
Whereas Soviet propaganda took care that Nazi collaboration eternally constitutes a stain on corporate history, soliciting and associating with Communists comes as a recommendation. Consider the following excerpt:
"(...) Anton Philips ranked amongst the foremost entrepreneurs of the 20th century. Trained as a banker in Amsterdam and London, at the age of twenty he joined the small company his brother Gerard and his father Frederik had founded in Eindhoven in 1891. Anton was responsible for the commercial side of the enterprise and built a network of industrial customers in western Europe.
Anton travelled to Russia at the turn of the century. (...) a Russian anecdote serves as a perfect example for both his perseverance and creativity. In 1922, two decades after his first visit to Moscow, Anton tried to win over Lenin himself by presenting him with a framed picture of his elderly home in the Dutch town of Zaltbommel. In the accompanying note Anton pointed out that Karl Marx, his great-uncle from paternal side, had completed several chapters of Das Kapital enjoying the hospitality of the Philips family. Vladimir Iljitsj declined, saying that the nephew had apparently either not read or understood his uncle's writings."
Image: Kees van Dongen (1877-1968), Portrait of a woman with long hairThe collection is great though ... the "Two studies of a young man" by Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640) is a true gem! The accompanying video comes highly recommended ... by us!
Art Daily: "New Record for Sir Peter Paul Rubens Oil Sketch at Auction at $7.7 Million at Christie's"
Christie’s evening auction of Important Old Master and British Pictures including Works from the Collection of Anton Philips realised a total of £18,802,200 / $38,021,808 / €26,041,047. The top lot was Two studies of a young man, a little-known work by Sir Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640), which realised £3,828,500 / $7,741,993 / €5,302,473, the highest ever price for a Rubens oil sketch at auction.
Sir Peter Paul Rubens’ (1577-1640) Two studies of a young man was painted between 1615 and 1617. The panel (46.5 x 65.5 cm.) is a study for Balthasar in The Adoration of the Magi at the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Lyon and shows a Levantine head, pictured en face and en profil respectively. The sitter is unkown but judging by his tanned skin, plain shirt and leather hat, it is thought that he could have been a contract labourer building the extension of the artist’s house in the Wappen, Antwerp.
The picture was rediscovered in 1934 when Mr Douglas Lewis of Merton Park, near Wimbledon, brought it to Christie’s having acquired the work in a box of paintings at a local West Country auction. The picture was recognised as a Rubens and was offered at Christie’s on 23 November 1934 where it sold for £1,560. It was acquired soon afterwards by Anton Philips who displayed it as a central work of his private collection at his house Villa de Laak. The picture left this sanctuary on very few occasions, and was exhibited at The Museés Royaux des Beaux Arts in 1937 and the landmark Rubens oil sketch exhibition at The Museum Boymans van Beuningen in Rotterdam in 1953. >>>
Thursday, December 06, 2007
Ayaan Hirsi Ali has a new website, celebrating the inauguration of the trust fund that is to raise money for the round-the-clock protection, now that funding has been withdrawn by the Dutch government.
Anxiety for her safety often prompted the national security services to lodge her on high-security Air Force Bases and other 'creative' means of 'protective custody'.
The author of "The Caged Virgin" and "Infidel" is an incisive logician, a staunch Islam critic and apostate.
A former Dutch M.P. she is currently a permanent U.S. citizen, working for the American Enterprise Institute. On the institute site links are available to articles and short stories.
The Spectator: ‘We are at war with all Islam’, by Mary Wakefield
"It would be easier in some ways to ignore Ayaan Hirsi Ali, to label her as bonkers — but it would also be irresponsible. She’s not just another hawkish hack, anxious to occupy the top tough-guy media slot — she has the authority of experience, the authenticity of suffering. >>>
The title of her Home Page unwittingly explains why she received the Moral Courage Award by the American Jewish Committee in 2006 ...
... "tolerance of intolerance is cowardice" ...
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
Mideast Outpost: Review, by Rael Jean Isaac
Joel Gilbert has pulled off a remarkable tour de force: in “Farewell Israel” he has produced a technically sophisticated, visually imaginative, scholarly documentary that manages in the space of 145 minutes to investigate the belief system and history of Islam, the development of the Arab-Israel conflict (more accurately the Muslim-Jewish conflict) and the aftermath of 9/11.
The documentary’s enormous achievement is in bringing all this together to show incontrovertibly the total misunderstanding of Islam that shapes the policy follies of the West in general and the U.S. and Israel in particular. The potentially deadly results are summed up in the foreboding title—Farewell Israel. (...)
Gilbert makes no bones that Israel—and the Jews of the world not far behind—will bear the most lethal consequences of Islam’s obsession with destroying Israel on the path to Islamic revival. But he offers scant comfort to the West. The documentary concludes with Gilbert’s warning that the loss of Israel will erode, not enhance, the West’s security, for the goal of the revived Islamist movement that we see enunciated by Ahmadinejad – bringing the whole world to Islam – will now only be pressed the harder.I have one small cavil and that concerns the documentary’s subtitle “Bush, Iran and the Revolt of Islam.” In terms of accurately reflecting what the film is about, a better subtitle would focus on the West’s misunderstanding of Islam. >>>
"Farewell Israel: Bush, Iran and The Revolt of Islam" website
On the 2nd November 1917 British Foreign Secretary Lord Arthur James Balfour wrote Lord Walter Rothschild, representative of the Jewish community and the Zionist Federation, a short letter reading as follows:
His Majesty¹s Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.
Jerusalem Post: "Balfour At 90"
"Almost a century later, the latest tyrants seeking Israel¹s destruction, Iran¹s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his Arab jihadi allies, habitually pretend that Israel exists only as redress for the Holocaust, and claim that the Muslim world is bearing the burden of the genocide in Europe against the Jews. But the truth, as Olmert¹s statement alluded, is exactly the opposite: If the Jewish state had been founded earlier, history, including the Holocaust, would have been very different. (...)
Long before the word "Zionism" was coined, a strong current of "restorationism" ran through the Christian world and strongly influenced many of the founders and almost all the presidents of the United States. Restorationists deeply believed the Jews should be "restored" to their ancient land. The British cabinet of 1917 did not act on a whim or in a vacuum, but in a political-religious landscape in which its action, while engendering some controversy, was considered natural and just. (...)
Ninety years ago, no less than today, there were those who saw the recognition of Jewish national rights as a provocation and irritant. Since 9/11, if not before, it should be clear that the "irritant" to the Islamic extremist ideology is not Israel or any other Western manifestation, but the existence and independence of the West itself." >>>
What happened after the Balfour Declaration, as they say, is history.
Saturday, December 01, 2007
Friday, November 30, 2007
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Following the post on "The Other Case of Art Appreciation: Nazi Loot" in which Gustav Klimt's portrait of Adele Block-Bauer featured prominently, here's what you get when the wonders of Klimt's are crossed with the drama of Giacomo Puccini's: a Sum of Wonders!
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Monday, November 26, 2007
Chiesa: "How to Paint a Homily, with the Brush of Luke, Evangelist and Painter", by Sandro Magister
A book by Timothy Verdon comments on the readings for the Mass with the masterpieces of Christian art. It is a "preaching through images" that blossomed for centuries in the Church. And the current pontificate wants to revive it. (...)
From the sixth century on, the lectionaries that collected the Gospel and Epistle readings for the Mass did not need any separate commentaries. They were, in themselves, an illustration of the pages of the Sacred Scriptures, a visual guide to understanding them.
These lectionaries explained the Scriptures with images that were placed alongside the texts – for example, the splendid miniatures of the medieval codices. These images served as guides and commentaries for a clergy and a people already accustomed to seeing the events and personalities of the Sacred Scriptures depicted upon the walls of their churches.
And now, just before the first Sunday of Advent, a book has been published in Italy that gives new life to this tradition. It is a commentary on the lectionary of the Sunday and feast day Masses of year A – the volumes for years B and C will follow – made up of images from great Christian art. Images more eloquent than many words.
The author is Timothy Verdon, a priest and art historian, professor at Stanford University and the director of Florence's diocesan office for catechesis through art. He is also the author of important books on Christian art and on the role of art in the Church's life. >>>
The book is planned for translation into other languages: Timothy Verdon, "La bellezza nella parola. L'arte a commento delle letture festive. Anno A", Edizioni San Paolo, Cinisello Balsamo, 2007, pp. 378, EUR 43,00.
English translation by Matthew Sherry, Saint Louis, Missouri, U.S.A.
Sunday, November 25, 2007
~ Continued from Part I: "Towards a Common Purpose" ~
By far the most efficient way for opponents to deal with inevitable but inconvenient conclusions like the present, or the one outlined in Part I, is to label them 'conspiracy theories': it's a prompt, if rather blunt stopper. Not just the conclusion is rendered harmless by dispatch to the realm of urban myths, also the writer is turned for life into an unreliable nutter at best, a paranoid borderline case at worst. Either way, end of story: no serious person would ever stoop to argue with such wild, unscholarly conclusions.
In defence I can only say that there's a difference between seeing ghosts and connecting the dots that are available in open source material for anyone willing to face them; the nuthouse has of course traditionally been the place for dissidents and other thinking undesirables; it will also be so in the totalitarian future: I, for one, am not impressed (intimidated, that is).
It is the duty of organizations like Common Purpose (CP) to smooth the way towards an easy re-alignment of nation states, turning them into regions that make up the post-democratic power blocs (modelled on the old Soviet Union in the case of the EU): to ensure that in the popular perception and in public consensus this is a positive development.
Third Way New Labour in the U.K. - under whose umbrella CP resides - have elevated spin doctoring beyond improvement. The connection of CP with the tarantulas in the web, the Tavistock Institute for the Promotion of the Hive Mind with the Frankfurt School for Intellectual Leftism in the West, clinches the matter (not to mention the omnipresent Rockefeller Foundation, for some reason ever in attendance when some form of social engineering is indicated). For those young enough not to know, the Frankfurt School was simply a hugely successful Fifth Column of Cultural Marxism, that managed to irrevocably subvert entire generations of Leftist Westerners.
Having over the last 30 to 40 years eliminated the encouragement of independent thinking from the educational curriculum, people's cognition today largely remains on the passive, perceptional level, where feelings and emotions are being triggered by outside forces, left unchecked by autonomic rationalization. (Semi-)subliminal manipulation of public opinion has become a black art in which many elitists excel. Nothing new there.
During the German occupation of Holland between 1940 and 1945 some 600 aristocrats, intellectuals and scholars of assorted political affiliation were interned in a seminary in the south of the country, in the village of Sint Michielsgestel. They were in fact hostages, to be lined up and shot in retaliation for eventual acts of resistance.
The ad hoc think-tank that thus took shape, had ample time to work out at leisure how the post war world should be moulded. They came from all walks of life, but the ones that with hindsight took the lead and mostly worked behind the political scenes, can hardly said to be Paleo Conservatives or Classical Liberals. But to state they were all Socialists, or plain Communists, would be telling a lie.
For the most part they were "free-thinking", moderate, Protestants, which in the Dutch social and political kaleidoscopic landscape is not an oxymoron, but an actual denomination, that only in the last decade or so merged with the Left Green Party (GL). Their clergy are of the type that state they don't believe in God anymore, but stay in the job because of the 'social aspects' (great candidates for the Emergent Pomo Church, or How-to-Destruct-the-Church-from-Within!).
The broadcasting network (VPRO) that showed the video footage on the war time hostages just recently, is a remnant of that time. It went from Free-Thinking Protestant (Vrijzinnig Protestant) to Pacifist, and from Socialist to Green and mainstream. It is telling for the state of affairs that this network has been voluntarily delegated the unofficial public broadcasting rights to all historical theme programs! Here's the footage from VPRO's "Andere Tijden" (Dutch).
After liberation a number of hostages entered the institutions of higher education, government and most importantly, they founded and manned forerunners of international fora.
Max Kohnstamm is a typical example. After graduating in history he went to the United States in 1938-1939 to "study the New Deal". After the war - from 1945 to 1948 - he became Queen Wilhelmina's Personal Secretary. From 1952 to 1958 he was Secretary of the High Committee of the Communion for Coal and Steel, the core forerunner of what is now the European Union (EU). He worked shoulder to shoulder with founders Jean Monnet and Schumann. Kohnstamm was VP of Monnet's Action Committee for the United States of Europe, and was of course involved in Bilderberg Conferences. From 1976 to 1981 he was the first President of the European University Institute in Florence and Honorary President of the European Policy Center in Brussels.
Another pedigree worth studying is that of Hendrik Brugmans, one of the intellectual leaders of the European Movement and co-founder and first president of the Union of European Federalists. From 1950 to 1972 Dean of the College of Europe in Bruges, his contribution to the discussions at the ad hoc hostage think-tank being his insistence of the suspension of democratic government for a period of at least five years after World War II.
Willem Schermerhorn, the first post World War II Socialist Prime Minister, ruling The Netherlands from 1945 to 1946, was also the first Dutch Prime Minister who came up with the novelty of appointing civil servants with political backgrounds, never mind the separation of powers! Examples are Jacob (Koos) Vorrink and aforementioned Hendrik Brugmans (nicknamed 'The Schermer Boys").
Vorrink fathered later Socialist Minister Irene Vorrink, who showed her totalitarian credentials by proposing to lace potable water with fluoride compounds with the purpose of combating tooth decay. As her son busied himself with aforementioned "free-thinking" Protestant broadcasting network VPRO, reading for its radio service the daily market rates of pot and grass, mother Irene - as a Minister of Health - diligently worked to get 'soft drugs' legalized and out of the criminal justice system - an accomplishment giving cause to smiles on criminal faces today as far afield as southern Greece. Illustrious people indeed.
Of course these 'builders' didn't reckon with developments in Iran and the Middle East, where national awakening had shifted towards religious identity based on a Dark Age death cult. Muslim emigrants are presently moving all over the globe - in Europe making up for demographic inbalances, a result of Socialist 'familiy planning, or How-to-Destruct-the-Family-Unit-from-Within. Islam is spread like wildfire by means of legal and social blackmail, extortion, intimidation and open aggression, demanding snippets of Sharia law to the imposed on Muslim and infidel alike.
The general idea among the 'builders' is, that the only solution their vision foresees in, is that Islam will just have to adjust, liberalise and be absorbed for The Greater Good. Hence the appeasement in the face of bullying tactics. The builders initially thought in terms of syncretism, intermarriage and pluralism. In the end we move towards Apartheid, multiculturalism's cultural ghettos, prisons to all independent thinkers from whatever background. But terrorism and terror also play into the building hands, as it forms an excuse for enforce and control.
The new Empires will accommodate many races, cultures, religions and ethnicities within virtual, shifting border areas, what today in Europe are termed Euregions. One such, is for example the Maastricht area in the southern Netherlands, with a nearby airport in Germany (Aachen) and an economic dynamic spreading well into Belgian territory (Liege).
Parts of southern England (PDF) are thus becoming twinned to areas in Northern France (PDF: more on EU Truth) of which the capital is Paris. Be prepared for the creation of more such shifting, provisional, legal entities that nominally would reflect linguistic, ethnic and cultural realities on the ground, but that in fact crisscross nation states, creating fault lines and breaking points. No nation thus undermined, will be left standing.
Organized crime will be happy to note that physical borders will become a thing of an unenlightened past when narrow minds thought in geo-political terms of autonomous, assertive nation states. Russia supposedly will align with China, expanding their sphere of influence to the Middle East. The future status of Africa, South America and Australia still seems in doubt, but it is clear that an alignment of Australia with parts of Southeast Asia may be well on the cards.
The North American Union (NAU), constituting the US, Canada and Mexico will include Latinos of Amerindian descent yearning for Aztlan, as Eurabia will include both Shia and Sunni Muslims with dreams of the Caliphate. There will however be no place for such limited interests in the enlightened, interconnected, Kantian realm of perpetual peace that lies beyond history: large post-democratic multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, multi-racial power-sharing entities, in competition with each other for resources. It is driven by geo-economics and presently by rivalry with the sole remaining super power, the United States of America.
This globalization is much closer than we realise. The single, autonomous nation state is actively being phased out. The EU is a fact of life, the NAU seems inevitable, and Eurabia's project is happily advancing along as Europeans are largely unaware of such developments, not being consulted as oligarchies with totalitarian tendencies sign away their native lands.
Problems of integration of Muslims and Latinos are mere symptoms of the ongoing geo-political re-alignment and actually deflect attention away from the main developments, perhaps the reason why problems in that regard are left inexplicably unremedied.
Global warming serves a number of purposes. It is a cash cow for the environment industry and a taxation base (control mechanism) for governments; it is also a myth conduit (see PMF, number 5: Truth by Survey Does Not Exist), as well as a deflector. But more importantly, if it starts looking remarkably like a religion, this is because it is. Environmentalism serves the purpose of a religion in that it focuses the world's attention on a common purpose beyond the narrow mundane, interests - Salvation - and serves a deity to whom sacrifices and libations must be made by the rich: harking back to paganistic animism? Perhaps. But foremost it's Marxist dialectic in action on a global scale.
While the minds are occupied with that and other, bleached means of deflection residing in Hollywood, attention is focused on scarce resources, as the power blocs silently take shape beyond democratic control.
The world is swimming in oil; we're just electing not to exploit and market it (links). It is in fact the creation of an artificial scarcity and all the consequences that entails: high price levels, (arguably) less consumption (if it were a 'normal' commodity), high taxation, government control, distribution, lines and coupons, black markets, crime, and the rest associated with a scarce but essential product. Suggestions invited.
In the nineties - just after the fall of the Berlin Wall - the discussion within libertarian circles was about wealth creation and freedom, in the sense of free markets and creativity versus totalitarian dictatorships, scarcity and poverty. The idea was that wealth is produced by free, democratic countries; the creative process is allowed free reign to produce the innovation driven free market economies. No more.
The world's diplomatic talking shops - the World Trade Organization for instance - have allowed The People's Republic of China to become the global mass production factory of what not, from cheap light bulbs and tooth picks to exclusive brand socks, fridges and cars. China and Vietnam are proving that democracy and civil liberties have nothing to do with the creation of wealth and free trade. Wealth creation is perfectly possible under conditions of global economic planning and unenlightened dictatorships, Communist or otherwise. Money keeps the world go round irrespective of liberty, democracy and free trade!
With that data in hand the global re-alignment into the post-democratic power blocs, empires with elaborate power-sharing arrangements but with limited personal and civil freedoms, with global economic planning, upholding trade barriers in so far as they are part of multilateral agreements - and yet remain wealth creating, has become a real possibility. Either the Soviets did it wrong, or the Union wasn't large enough.
I am merely connecting the OSINT dots. It is not even very relevant if these extrapolations are the result of conscious decisions made by a global cabal, or even a subconscious process supported by a global oligarchy. But I draw the line at it being a natural process or an Act of God. Here's a reminder of the nature of transnational progressivism. Whatever the case may be, the direction of a number of political and economic policy developments is currently taking us in the direction as outlined above.
It's no good asking the builders to leave well alone: scorpions, by nature, sting - builders build. But regarding the matter of freedom, creativity and wealth I just mentioned, I think they'll find that mass copying on the contrary, equals stagnation.
~ You can join the discussions, on this and other subjects, on the Politeia Forum. ~
Sunday, November 11, 2007
After over twelve hours of soft torture I was informed at 02:45 early Saturday morning that I'm in the process of being upgraded from a mere mortal broadband user to an exclusive "Lightspeed" (whatever its name is) client. Such being the blessings of a HoL (Hellas off Line) customer!
It look me the better part of the day, listening to a soothing, canned, female voice, perpetually informing the esteemed customers that for "safety and quality reasons their messages will be recorded". This is typical postmodern, legal morality which says that everything is allowed as long as it's regulated, meaning that the customer must be priorly informed. "Excuse me, we will now be subjecting you to subliminal torture, but it's alright! We just informed you!".
The female legal disclaimer was merely background to a specially devised tune with a rhythm just under heart beat - to suppress the excitement of waiting, and adrenaline flow induced by being treated like a non-entity; the lyrics conveying the message that "the sky is clearing, it's a beautiful day, open up your window, let the sun shine in ...". Apart from interruptions by the disclaimer, this musical brainwash is set loose on the esteemed clientele, 24/7. I told you, I know when I'm being manipulated, but apparently entire hordes are taken in by this piece of corporate BB psychology from hell.
Having over the last 30 to 40 years eliminated the encouragement of independent thinking from the educational curriculum, people's cognition today takes place largely on the perceptional level where feelings and emotions about themselves and the world surrounding them, are being triggered by outside forces and flow unhindered by the conceptional level on which active, conscious cognition is supposed to take place. (Semi-)subliminal manipulation of public perception has become a black art in which many professionals excel. The initial idea then, that you're dealing with a bunch of autistic amateurs is grossly unjustified. This sample of customer repellant is well thought through.
As said - the night shift being less occupied with customer management - at 02:45 a.m. I finally got through to a live technician appraising me of the happy message. It would take only three to four days for the transfer from 'basic' to 'upgraded customer' to take place, only at the price of living without broadband connection for the duration. My wodka induced protests of being 'on to them' were promptly punished by the duration being increased to one week.
Never mind prior warning in writing - snailmail not being their medium of choice - perhaps email or a telephone message would have been indicated since they have the specifics on record for obvious technical reasons. But the only form of human-to-human communication you'll ever get from the corporate policy turned autistic amateurism is a monthly bill, payable exclusively by inconvenient methods.
I could of course take my business elsewhere, but that would also involve an off-line transition period, as well as the technical problems associated with a new connection, and well the new media cartel knows it! Besides, they're all the same, wherever you go on the planet, the new businesses dealing in cell phones, internet and all their paraphernalia are all subject to the same postmodern message of non-communication, conveying the message that the customer is basically irrelevant to the bottom line: virtual anonimity guaranteed.
In short, posting will be a bit slow in the coming week while I'm dealing with withdrawal symptons, doing offline chores. My podcast interview with Andrew Riley and Duane Lester of "Field Guide to American Politics" - if at all - will be conducted from the local Internet café from which I am posting present message. CU next weekend. Can't wait ...
Thursday, November 08, 2007
If you happened to have read my post yesterday morning, you'll know what I've been up to. I went into town on assignment, hot on the trail of a building in distress. As it happens, it is actually no less than an entire community, and a place representing our very roots, that's in peril! Here's the related blog: "Dionysiou Areopagitou 17: A Monument in Danger".
To fully appreciate what we're dealing with, picture the following. The building concerned is a 1930's, Art Deco specimen, that is perfectly embedded in a classical Greek setting; it was built and designed by award winning, international artist and architect Vasilis Kouremenos, a friend of Pablo Picasso's. More details in this post.
It has recently been restored and the adorning marble relief work and mosaics are as fresh as if applied only yesterday. Some of the interior art work is simply exquisite: there's a slide show accessible here.
This perfect architectonic period piece flanks the road the Apostle Paul is said to have walked; it lies on the foot of the Acropolis mountain, in the heart of the old town of Athens. The buildings in this area are traditionally of the Neo-classical period. Some sadly have been abandoned by their impoverished owners and ran to seed in the course of two and half centuries; the vast majority that hasn't, have recently been restored to their former glory. It is a truly unique place, in the physical sense as well as historical and cultural.
It had to happen ... inevitably ... Postmodern politicians, planners and architects being what they are - the deconstructionists of a past and a place they revile and despise, having made its atomization the centre-piece of their vacuous lives - not content with dumping a linear glass monument to nihilism smack in the middle of this paradise - are now threatening the annex historical build-up with extinction.
It simply couldn't stand: deconstruction of the place that symbolizes the cradle of Western civilization, is to them the height of accomplishment. The challenge has long stood firm, taunting them to lift up their barbaric hands against her; at last she's succumbed to the relativist onslaught! The Postmodern oaf boasting his accomplishment can be viewed in the video embedded in yesterday's post.
The owners, occupants and a great number of other defenders of the remaining buildings in peril, are making the case for the proverbial line in sand that will not be crossed. No more! The excuse is too feeble for words: as if one demanding visitor, one exhausted tourist, would ever forfeit their refreshing cuppa or G&T after a long, hot haul with the spirits of the Parthenon ... because of an obstructed view!
Instead of the oaf adjusting his 'artistic efforts' to fit the environment in which it stands, the plan was of course all along to adjust the heritage to fit the nihilist design!
I'm begging any human being with a cultural or historical bone in his or her body, to sign the petition that will help the brave activists keeping the deconstructionists at bay. You can help stop the Postmodern wreckers by entering a short comment in the commentary box (blue coloured text at the bottom of the top post, titled Action - click on: ΣΧΟΛΙΑ).
With gratitude, on behalf of the cradle!
More photos, videos and other material is available on the Politeia Articles Blog.
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
Monday, November 05, 2007
Military.Com: "Navy Gives Pirates Cause to Cry 'Argh'"
Somali pirates gave up control of two ships hijacked months earlier and U.S. Navy escorted the boats to safer waters Sunday as it stepped up efforts to bring security to the seas off the chaotic Horn of Africa nation.
The pirates climbed into small skiffs and headed back to Somalia after speaking by radio to U.S. naval personnel. A Navy ship and helicopter guided the South Korean-owned boats Mavuno 1 and 2 further out to sea.
It was the third time in a week the U.S. has intervened to help ships hijacked by Somali pirates. Sailors boarded a North Korean ship to give medical assistance to crew members who overpowered their hijackers, and a U.S. naval vessel fired on pirate skiffs tied to a Japanese-owned ship.
(Cmdr. Lydia Robertson of the U.S. Fifth Fleet in Bahrain) said the increase in U.S. military interventions was mostly due to the a surge in piracy. As the Navy moved ships into the area to respond to one incident, increased contact with other hijacked ships in the area was more likely, she said. "It's not that it's a change in focus," Robertson said. "But we had the opportunity to put some pressure on the pirates >>>
Forget romantic notions about the Revolution, Afghan warlords, latter-day Robin Hoods or piracy. Rather than the picture above, today's pirates come in shapes like this. Not unlike pirates, romanticists are equally a plague. Their tendency to reject the harsh light of reality tends them to look upon the facts of life from a skewed angle. Where decisive measures are required in perhaps preventing even worse, the romantic suggests options of sentimentality.
He does so, not out of empathy with the culprits, but out of consideration for what is the centre piece in his life, his own feelings. Easy scoring against some 'righteous soldier of truth' boosts his self-esteem in no mean measure and - not unimportant - it saves him the trouble of having to deal with the psychological blowback that comes with the territory of accepting responsibilities. Sentimentality actually, says the grandfather of psychology C.G. Jung, is a superstructure covering brutality. This is also philosophically correct, as I shall explain presently.
How romanticism has influenced religion is set out by David Klinghoffer in his book "Why the Jews Rejected Jesus". Besides spilling the beans on the real Judaic view on Jesus (it already being in the public domain for some time), he tells the story of Rabbi Baeck (1873-1956). This revered leader of German Jewry before World War II described how historical periods of moral rectitude since times immemorial have been alterated with epochs, dominated by "romantic tendency that revered not ethical action but emotional experience, that gauzy, swooning sensation of feeling and glorying in being personally 'saved'. This essentially Narcissistic, passive version of religion loves sacred music and wafting incense but can look with indifference on injustice and tyranny."
"By contrast, the Judaic classical counter-tendency thinks less about the self and more about the wrongs done by human beings and directs a focused passion to setting things right on earth. In Baeck's retelling of Christian history, the religion of the historical Jesus was classical while the apostle Paul's was romantic. The romantic and classical tendencies were balanced in the medieval church. With Luther's Reformation, the pendulum swung to the romantic side - which would explain how German Lutheranism could be so indifferent to Nazi violence. In his essay "Romantic Religion", Baeck was already writing on this theme in 1922!"
Germans seem to be in a constant peril in this respect, being described as "incurably romantic' by some authors attempting to capture European national traits in a few pointed words (or what a particular nation would do with a hammer). I can think of a few other tribes as well. I use the word 'tribe' with good cause: according to Justin Halter, blogging Professor of Comparative Religions, the admirer of totalitarianism may be justified in typifying his society of preference as 'tribal'.
Politics is no less subject to these pendulum swings of classical realism versus romanticism. The historical period of Romanticism can be traced back to Rousseau and the movement of Counter Enlightenment of which he was the originator. His idealistic picture of the Noble Savage simply drools unrealistic, romantic notions. The offloading of five of his children on the Paris orphanage tells the story of the innate brutality of the sentimentalist. Somehow it's the children that always suffer most.
It is the same Subjectivist (Relativist) rejection of the real world that is plaguing us today. Not only does it feed the delusion that objective reality does not exist, in the process it also ejects all notions of morality: good and evil do not exist in a make-believe personal cosmos in which everyone is right from his or her personal perspective. In today's terms we call this watershed between reality-based and the delusional the political right, and the political left side of the aisle, respectively.
Sunday, November 04, 2007
Art Daily: "National Archives Announces Discovery of "Hitler Albums"
Today at a National Archives press conference, Allen Weinstein, Archivist of the United States, Michael Kurtz, Assistant Archivist for Records Services and Robert M. Edsel, author of Rescuing Da Vinci and President of the Monuments Men Foundation for the Preservation of Art, announced the discovery of two original leather bound photograph albums documenting art that was looted by the Nazis during World War II, both of which Mr. Edsel will donate to the National Archives under separate terms.
These albums were created by the staff of the Third Reich’s Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg (ERR). This special unit was organized in the summer of 1940 under Reich Leader Alfred Rosenberg, initially to collect political material in occupied countries for exploitation in the "struggle against Jewry and Freemasonry." The ERR established its base of operations in Paris in July 1940 and on November 5, Hermann Goering assigned the ERR the responsibility for the confiscation of "ownerless" Jewish art collections.
On November 18 of that year, Adolf Hitler ordered that all confiscated works of art be brought to Germany and placed at his personal disposal. During the next several years, the ERR would be engaged in an extensive and elaborate art looting operation in France that was part of Hitler’s much larger premeditated scheme to steal art treasures from conquered nations.
The Archivist hailed this discovery as "one of the most significant finds related to Hitler’s premeditated theft of art and other cultural treasures to be found since the Nuremberg trials. It is exciting to know that original documents shedding light on this important aspect of World War II are still being located, especially so because of the hundreds of thousands of cultural items stolen from victims of Hitler and the Nazis that are still missing. Documents such as these may play a role in helping to solve some of those mysteries and, more importantly, helping victims recover their treasures. >>>
Saturday, November 03, 2007
Received following from Action Alert: "Speak Out: Stand with the People of Burma". Drawing also special attention to the posts listed in related material at the bottom of present post. Sometimes protesting can be fun (sort of)!
Yesterday, Myanmar’s military junta continued a violent crackdown on its own people. Just a few hours after the departure of a U.N. envoy, soldiers went through homes looking for monks, and at least eight truckloads of prisoners were hauled out of Yangon, Burma's biggest city.
We cannot let the violence go on. We need to act now to protect monks, activists and innocent civilians from further abuses and to support them in their struggle for freedom.
Myanmar has an appalling human rights record. Thousands of political prisoners are detained in deteriorating prison conditions and the use of child soldiers, forced labor, and torture are common.
The recent violence has shown the world the extent of Myanmar’s brutal crimes. Urge the United Nations to take urgent steps to get Myanmar’s junta to stop the crackdown.
Sign this petition and stand with the people of Burma
Thank you for speaking out on their behalf.
- "Politeia supports Burma": Blogger Jotman is live blogging the situation in Burma from Bangkok (video material)
- "Burma Update": The Truth Shall Set You Free: "Weird News: Women's Panties Combat Totalitarianism", EUX: "Playlist with Myanmar videos now on EUX.TV" (video wall)