Sunday, July 25, 2010

What is art?

This probably caught the eye of a few WC friends because, for some reason, it has caused a venomous dispute on our site. If we talk about "what is art" now, we quietly email/PM each other. I think this Blog is safe of venom because I have no (or very few) readers anyway...and one in particular from WC doesn't read my Blog.

I was listening to NPR as I was driving to the Manchester, NH, airport last Friday and heard an author (I believe he was from Yale) talk about his book where he writes what is essential for art (or other things) to become popular/valuable. We have tried to define art on WC, and the most agreed-upon (though not unanimous) definition is that if the creator considers it art, it is. Therefore, while some think Tracey Emin's "My Bed" is art because she considers it so, there is huge disagreement on our site whether it really is. Venomous disagreement! Strange.

In the interview with this author on NPR, he said that if the art is done by someone who is recognized as an artist, it is "valuable" art. For example, if someone doesn't know a piece has been created by Picasso, he/she might not like it and therefore wouldn't consider it art. That would change if he/she found out who the artist was. That definition was discussed on WC, and I have talked about it privately with one of our members.

However, I don't buy it. First, how does the artist get recognized in the first place? Were Monet's or other artist's pieces not art before he was recognized as an artist? Secondly, there is plenty out there that has been created by a well-known artist that I don't like at all. It's still art; I just don't like it. Tracey Emin's pieces would be examples.

I hope I haven't put words into the mouth of this author because I just heard the report as i was driving and couldn't take notes or find it online. That was how I interpreted his analysis. I do, realize, though that there is a difference between "what is art?" and "what is valuable art?" Maybe he'd call some picture that I painted "art" if I would, but it just wouldn't be "valuable art." I wish I could find his book!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Epicaricacy images

I received a Google Alert today from a site that linked to epicaricacy images. I hadn't thought about that! A few of my alleged Blog readers just may find their photos or sites among them. I didn't do it!

That made me look for Google images for epicaricacy. Similarly, some of my good buddies are in Google images. I hope you're not mad at me. For the life of me, I can't figure how that happened, but in the first link it said those photos came from this Blog.

Some of the images are funny!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

We're being watched

I was fooling around on the Internet with epicaricacy, and look what I found here. My June 28th post was linked there. We epicaricacy addicts stick together, don't we?

Friday, July 9, 2010

Cavaliers: Open Letter to Fans from Cavaliers Majority Owner Dan Gilbert

Cavaliers: Open Letter to Fans from Cavaliers Majority Owner Dan Gilbert

I am sure LeBron, and the crew down there in South Beach, are feeling epicaricacy. Congrats to Dan Gilbert for supporting his fans.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

How do you do it?

This is not an epicaricacy, or even a word post. This is just a complaint beware.

I wish I were more like my colleagues on Wordcraft. Many there don't care about sports, and right now I wish that were I. While not overboard at all, I am a true blue Chicago Bulls fan. But now that LeBron James, along with Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh, have decided to join the Miami Heat, next year in basketball is over. Why is that allowed? Our season is over before it starts?

And don't even get me started on the Dwayne Wade fiasco...what a liar! He said he was interested in Chicago only so that he could see what their pitch was. He then took that information to Pat Riley (with the slicked back hair), and they used it in their pitches. Illegal? Probably not, merely because the NBA is incompetent. But ethical? Clearly not.

I love basketball, and I still want to be a fan. While it's not the Chicago Bulls' fault that there has been such manipulation, I can't watch them lose because of the complete failure of the NBA. I will watch college basketball instead.

I just wish I didn't like basketball so much. I don't know how my Wordcraft friends do it; how are they able to stay free of sports?

Saturday, July 3, 2010

With a little help from my friends....

For all of my readers (at least one!), I'd like to show you how to pass the word about epicaricacy. Read this post from Wordcraft. One of our members passed the word about epicaricacy. In summary, he said, "The point of telling you this is that someone in the office used the word Schadenfreude to describe how she was feeling and I decided to do my good deed for the day and spread the knowledge of Kalleh's favourite word. She even wrote it down."

Wow! If we all did that, we'd soon see the word in the OED.

I have shared the word with my friends and colleagues from time to time. However, one thing I haven't done is to use the word in my presentations. However, I don't think that concept of taking pleasure in another's misery has come it. In health care, let's hope not!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Check Your Facts!

I always like Leonard Pitts. He is a reasonable columnist who always sees it like it is. In his Tribune's July 1st column, he talks about elusive facts. He says:

"We all know that President Barack Obama was secretly born in Kenya.

And that there will soon be enough Muslims here to take over the country.

And that Presidents Herbert Hoover, Harry Truman and Dwight Eisenhower collectively deported 15 million illegal immigrants.

We all know these things — if by 'we' you mean certain conservative bloggers and the gullible people who believe them and if by 'know' you mean, 'take as gospel, even in the absence of evidence.' Otherwise, 'we' don't know anything of the sort." Here is a link to his full column.

That rung so true to me because just that day I had driven home from my home state, Wisconsin, as I dropped my niece home in Green Bay. I was shocked at what was available on the radio...Christian stations and Rush Limbaugh. My home state has gone to Hell in a handbasket!

Since I am Jewish, I chose Rush. I thought, "Well, I should hear the other side every so often." He was just like Pitts' column. He made all kinds of assertions that didn't hold up. For example, he ranted on and on about Chicago politics (being sure that Obama will go to jail), forgetting any of the Chicago Republicans who have been convicted...and they're many. The most recent and egregious is probably ex-Governor George Ryan, who is in jail as I write this. But, remember, most listeners aren't from Chicago, so they wouldn't know. He screeched and squealed (by the way, his stumbling on words is very annoying) about the Chicago Democrats being crooked. And it went on from there. He actually seems to think that Richard Nixon was a Democrat! And, you should have heard his tirade about Elena Kagan, Obama's Supreme Court nominee. He made fun of her, using terms from Jackie Gleason, "humina, humina, humina." First of all, how about a little respect? But secondly, has he heard tapes of himself? "Abbbbbout" Etc.

But I worry that Pitts is right. People listen to Rush and believe him because he has publicly made the statement. It must be true, they think. Yet, his entire rant about Chicago was false.

Of course it's not just Rush. People tend to believe what they hear or what they read without checking the facts. Recently a columnist I respect, Steve Chapman, wrote a very misleading article about handgun control, for example. He listed two...TWO...examples of homeowners who successfully deterred intruders by killing them with their guns, and that was his "proof" that handguns make you safer. Forget the accumulation of facts, such as this. But, again, his readers will take home that handguns save lives. Ridiculous!

Be careful when you hear or read something. Check the facts.