December 13, 2008 Leave a comment
via Gary North
individualism for the masses
August 27, 2008 3 Comments
I haven’t followed the Olympics and I don’t plan to follow the electoral horse race.
We don’t even plan to adjust our lives or our technology to the upcoming switchover from analog to digital television (and no, we don’t have HDTV, just an old-fashioned behemoth that mostly serves as a screen for the DVD player).
But I still identify with this comic:
February 22, 2008 1 Comment
Politicians espouse numerous theories about the cause of this country’s economic woes; seldom however do these officials look below the surface: the roots of our economic ills can be traced to central banking and our present monetary system.
The Federal Reserve claims to manage our money; instead it makes our money worth less and less every day. It has generated continuous and worsening business cycles and lowered our living standards.
January 12, 2008 2 Comments
Maybe everyone already knows this story, but I just learned it.
In 1573, Italian painter Paolo Veronese was commissioned to paint a Last Supper for the convent of San Giovanni e Paolo to replace an earlier work by Titian destroyed in the fire of 1571.
Here is the painting he turned in, one of the largest canvases of the 16th century:
Notice that Christ and His Apostles seem to be dining in Venice, surrounded by marble columns and stone archways. Notice also that there are many more people in attendance than the one Redeemer and his dozen disciples: we have dogs, midgets, black African servants, and a score of drunken revelers. I don’t know the period well enough to spot the other offending presence in the painting: German soldiers.
On July 18, 1573, Veronese was called before the Holy Tribunal of the Inquisition. Asked if he guessed why he had been summoned, he replied that he believed it was because he ought to have painted the Magdalene instead of a dog. Indeed. Neither were the Inquisitors happy with the site of "buffoons, drunkards, Germans, dwarfs, and the like fooleries" at the Lord’s last meal.
They demanded that Veronese change the painting.
Instead he renamed it "Banquet in the House of Levi."
I wonder how much Monty Python had this story in mind when they wrote "The Penultimate Supper":
March 20, 2005 2 Comments
It’s not that I have nothing interesting to say (at least, interesting to me); it’s that I haven’t taken the time to write any of it down. Instead I share this note I passed among friends and family a couple of summers ago:
22 Aug 2003 14:04:30 -0400
Last night, the Vinegar Hill finished its summer-long Kurosawa/Mifune film festival with The Seven Samurai.
One of the difficulties of getting older — especially as information technology makes access to almost everything so much easier — is that my memories of books, movies, and television from childhood and adolescence are often better than my adult return to those same stories.
Even Yojimbo, which is still great for 36yo bk, was not as great for 36yo bk as it had been for 16yo bk, or even as great as it was for 24yo bk.
I am therefore happily caught off guard to report that the Seven Samurai matures with age. It is much richer than I remember, more disturbing than I remember (although Nathalie commented on what a light touch it had throughout) and overall a grown-up experience.
There were teenagers behind us in the theater last night who did not enjoy it half as much as I did 20 years ago, but the fact that they were rude enough that I can report on their reception of the film might tell you more about those individual teenagers than it tells us about how well the film would do for the 2003 equivalent of 16yo Brian and David.
Most remarkable to me was that the version we saw last night was 200 minutes — a “director’s cut” of the film that I may or may not have ever seen before — and I never once wanted to look at my watch. With so many Hollywood features getting longer and longer (which is the opposite of the trend from a decade or two ago) and with me finding it harder and harder to sit still for anything longer than 2 hours, I was very pleased that an almost-3-and-a-half hour film could keep me enthralled. With a dozen itchy wasp-stings, a throbbing arthritic hip, and various other physical discomforts that had been bothering me through the day, I was somewhat reluctant to attend the film. But during those 200 minutes, I was barely distracted by them.
I’ve seen Kurosawa films throughout the past 20 years, and only on this, my third viewing of Seven Samurai, do I realize that it is by far my favorite.