Saturday, December 31

Happy New Year 2012: Dream




I wish us all a little touch of magic, imagination, dreaming, enchantment, strolls in fantastic places even if the use of spells is necessary.
Relearning to dream this is my new year's resolution.
Come with me.




Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 28

2011 top news: State of Palestine is UNESCO's member






The vote of Unesco’s full membership was 107 to 14, with 52 abstentions.
Palestine became the 195th Unesco member.


No: Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Germany, Israel, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Palau, Panama, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Sweden, US, Vanuatu.


Abstentions*: Albania, Andorra, Bahamas, Barbados, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Colombia, Cook Islands, Ivory Coast, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Fiji, Georgia, Haiti, Hungary, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kiribati, Latvia, Liberia, Mexico, Monaco, Montenegro, Nauru, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Poland, Portugal, South Korea, Moldova, Romania, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Switzerland, Thailand, Macedonia, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu, Uganda, Ukraine, UK, Zambia. Yes: Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Argentina, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Chad, Chile, China, Congo, Costa Rica, Cuba, Cyprus, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Finland, France, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Honduras, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Lesotho, Libya, Luxembourg, Malawi, Malaysia, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Russian Federation, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, Slovenia, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Tanzania, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen, Zimbabwe.


Absent* (includes states that lost right to vote because membership fees were not paid): Antigua and Barbuda, Central African Republic, Comoros, Dominica, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Madagascar, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Mongolia, Niue, Sao Tome and Principe, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Swaziland, Tajikistan, East Timor, Turkmenistan.


Read here some of the consequences of having Palestine in UNESCO. Not recognizing Palestine as a state is something beyond me. It is time for inclusion and learning to cope with differences.

Brand new moon

by Ana
Picture: unknow

Almost Wordless Wednesday

Work by Banksy.

Tuesday, December 27

Van Gogh's Bedroom: Painting's reproductions in danger






These details of Van Gogh's bedroom, and the Bible of his "L'Arlesienne, this post, are great examples of the way reproductions by internet could give a more accurate notion of how a painting is seen in reality.

Unfortunately these are rare even thou now people go to museums with cameras but they prefer taking a picture of themselves next to their favorite or most famous paintings they find.
When only paper was available and a single picture of a painting was published in different books there was always a great disappointment in front of the real canvas. I felt fulled.

When I saw this version of Van Gogh's bedroom for the first time I questioned everything I knew about all the artists I had never saw at least five original works.
I could never imagine that the brushstrokes were that sick and he used impasto.
I could not take my eyes from the pillows and, sorry conservation team, I touched the left pillow because I simply could not restrain this impulse.

What I'm witnessing now is a degradation of images of paintings.
There are several sites selling famous masterpieces by repainting them and they are found at search engineers as the first answers if one looks for an artist.

People are publishing these paintings as originals over blogs because they rush to publish the first picture without reading they are fake and has little to do with the original. Usually the colors are different or brighten to make it more appealing giving that plastic flower effect on the table instead of the real one.
It is getting harder and harder to find a good reproduction over the www.

Most museums, I thought they would promote their masterpieces through the web, are not helping publishing good images and are more interested in using interactive experiences that only change angles in a suspicious 3D environments, or other kind of interaction.

In same cases, they don't publish 10% of what they have and are always inviting us to go to their next exhibition even though we are at the other side of the ocean.
For the moment I'll watch these two Bedroom's details: look that, as he said in a letter to Theo, he uses green at the pillows and a little bit of white.

Sunday, December 25

Time Person of the year 2011: Correction



"The Baby Songbook" by Tom Seidmann Freud















Thought about Sigmund Freud, yes, it is his niece. The name is Martha but changed to Tom due to some of her views and beliefs.
The illustrations above are from the child's book "The Baby Songbook" that has many beautiful images.
At her site there are information about her and copies of her great illustrations:

"As an adult, she was noted for her eccentricities as well as her artistic talent, in particular, her decisions to adopt a man's first name and to wear men's clothing. A long history of emotional instability preceded a major breakdown after the failure of her husband's publishing venture and his suicide in 1929; she took her own life the following year. Seidmann-Freud has been characterized as a member of the Jugendstil (German Art Nouveau) movement. Her artwork often featured people and objects simply but precisely rendered in ink, their outlines carefully filled in with watercolors using the pochoir (stencil and layering) technique.
It is sad that she took her life but the silence, the taboo that surrounds the topic suicide must be broken because it is part of human condition and every ten minutes someone commits suicide.
But today is Christmas... exactly. Christmas is not a happy occasion for many and suicide is high during this period of the year.
I'll be doing some posts about suicide in 2012. Don't worry. Death is part of life and before dying people do a lot of amazing things just like Martha, or, Tom Freud did.
Another woman that dressed like man is George Sand, the French novelist, born Aurore that changed to George when she became a writer. She had a relatioship with the composer Chopin and was friend of Frederic Liszt, Delacroix and other artists.
Merry Christmas, and if you are not happy I can assure you that the club has many members.

Saturday, December 24

NORAD tracking Santa Claus: call them toll-free





























Till the moment the mainstream media claims that this year NORAD is receiving numerous phone calls, e-mails and the tracking is a success in Facebook and Twitter.
I just took a look at Google Earth and did these pictures and learned that it all started in 1955 and they are keeping the tradition.
This is something very strange for me but if you want you can call toll-free to know where is Santa or when will he be at your town.
Remember that if you didn't behave... no gifts for you!
As explained at this post NORAD stands for "North American Aerospace Defense Command. Military" and having both Santa Claus and NORAD at the same phrase is weird but that's the way it is.
You can also call NORAD for the latest news of Santa’s flight. The NORAD Tracks Santa Operations Center will be open from 6 a.m. today to 5 a.m. on Christmas. Call 1-877-HI-NORAD (1-877-446-6723) toll-free
Merry Christmas!
NORAD Tracks Santa relies on corporate sponsorship, and is financed by neither American nor Canadian taxpayers

Séraphine, the cleaning lady that was a painter, movie by Martin Provost



I watched the movie Séraphine by Martin Provost and loved it. It is the story of Séraphine de Senlis a cleaning lady that painted.
What I liked the most about the movie is that the story unfolds without any drama and not emphasizing any aspect of Séraphine biography, it is a true story,  with the talent of Yolande Moreau interpreting Séraphine.

Maybe in the hands of another filmmaker her madness, she was locked at an asylum where she spent the rest of her days, her poverty or weirdness, she talked to trees, to angels and Virgin Marie would be depicted in a heavy way making the artist disappear as it was done with many artists.

This is the opposite and Séraphine's paintings are the most important and by watching the movie we get in touch with her style, her flowers that are quite unusual, almost unique and get in touch with the great collection of work she left.
This would be a great movie for Christmas since Séraphine had a catholic education and talked to Virgin Marie.

I'll not write too much because this movie should be seen by those who like art and for those who love nature or wants to reach the sublime, a rare occasion in today's filmography.

The movie, there are English captions, speaks for itself and focus on the woman, not the lunatic that painted. Maybe this is one of the reasons it was awarded.

Séraphine de Louis is currently exhibited in the Musée Maillol in Paris, the Musée d'art de Senlis, the Musée d'art naïf in Nice, and the Musée d'Art moderne Lille Métropole in Villeneuve-d'Ascq.

I just found this video where Martin Provost speak about the film and I'm glad that he says he didn't want to make Séraphine's biography. I'll translate what he says and publish another post about this movie and the artist. There is a biographic book but I don't want to know details of her life. It doesn't help me 

SEEING.




Wordless morning


Problem with size: I'll try to fix it today

I took out one badge and the template has changed it's size. Everything is tiny and I can't fix it now.
Be back later I'm sorry. It is only happening when I use Google Chrome. I don't know how to fix it and if it is only happening to me. I'll try to fix it later. Please if you're using Google Chrome tell me if you seeing it clearly of images and texts are tiny. Thank you in advance! Update: December, 24 SOLUTION Just found it: If it happens to you just click at the wrench icon and put the "Zoom" to 100 %.

Friday, December 23

Santa Claus will visit few homes in US: NORAD failed


In this video, made by an amateur on December, 22, Santa Claus was rehearsing because he feared the possibility of a terrorist attack and wanted to find a safe way to go to Americans homes.

Santa was caught by an anti-missile system hidden in a Christmas tree.
Unfortunately the North American Aerospace Defense Command "NORAD" will only work on December 24:

“PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- The North American Aerospace Defense Command is ready to track Santa, and media are invited to participate in a variety of ways, to include conducting live interviews with senior NORAD officers on Dec. 24.
“NORAD stands the watch protecting the skies of North America 365 days a year, but on Christmas Eve the children of the world look to NORAD, and our trusted partners, to make sure that Santa is able to complete his mission safely,” said General Charles H. Jacoby, Jr., NORAD Commander." read article here.
We received a Skype-call from Santa where he claims that 87% of presents to American children were destroyed and he will not have time to make it all over again.
"How can it be that they only watch over me on December 24? By this time this NORAD organization should know I always rehearse." said Santa in a very indignant intonation.

This is a very sad news but the security of their citizens is the top priority of US government what should be taken into consideration by Santa whose behavior could also put in danger American citizens.

Thursday, December 22

Unforgettable gift and Happy Xmas


I'm going very slowly and not doing controversial posts because I'm quieting my mind and trying to produce this effect on the four readers of this blog, thank you mom, dad, my friend Neil and nephew.


What was the present you received that you liked the most or you'll never forget?
Xmas is arriving and let's face it: we say a little prayer and and only think about the presents.
Your unforgettable present is not necessarily one that you received in Xmas.

I’ll never forgetr when someone gave me a Fort Apache by accident. I was a girl but I don't know why I was given this boy toy very famous in the 70ies. You can see here a boy who remembers when he was given it for Xmas.

I loved it. I remember sitting on the floor opening the box and start assembling the fort, putting the soldiers, horses, indigenous and some other pieces at their places. I just don’t have the recollection of fights among the soldiers and indigenous which is the aim of the game.

Merry Christmas!



The Four Dogs


Fourteenth of The Four Dog series
"Here comes the sun, little darling, and I say, it is all right."
Have a great Thursday!

Wednesday, December 21

Reading experience: e-books, reading glasses and pencils













When reading the mind is in a different state than in the oral register.
The words are combined according to other rules, instigate the imagination in many different levels and make abstractions a little more tangible.

How will e-books and other gadgets affect reading is still in debate but I hope that the capacity of almost touching the unthinkable while capturing a paragraph remains even if other medias are added to the reading experience. I wonder if the young generation will have another relation with silent words once they know that a video is about to come or photos and other visual resources that are still in project.

As know how the invention of the printing press caused a change not only in literary genres but in education, how information is acquired just to name a few. For the e-books I can only be sure that reading glasses will no longer be necessary and it is quite an achievement, better, no more pencil at the right hand to highlight.
Pictures: I found them in a site without attribution.

Tuesday, December 20

Russel Patterson's work: cartoonist, designer helped promoting the flappers



















You know who the flappers are: Wikipedia:

Flapper in the 1920s was a term applied to a "new breed" of young Western women who wore short skirts, bobbed their hair, listened to jazz, and flaunted their disdain for what was then considered acceptable behavior. Flappers were seen as brash for wearing excessive makeup, drinking, treating sex in a casual manner, smoking, driving automobiles and otherwise flouting social and sexual norms.[1]
Flappers had their origins in the period of Liberalism, social and political turbulence and increased transatlantic cultural exchange that followed the end of World War I, as well as the export of American jazz culture to Europe.

There is more description at the Wikipedia article and it seems to me I would be a candidate to be a flapper with some restrictions. What about you?
The right cover with women holding headlines telling the way women are abused is amazing, unfortunately still true.

Monday, December 19

Matthew Cooper and Johnny Kelly's gifs animated estravaganza

I just came across with this project done in 2010:
"Matthew Cooper and Johnny Kelly were commissioned by agency Soon In Tokyo to create 56 animated gifs for a new campaign advertising the Barcelona-based design college Elisava. Using these 56 animations, the agency created an interactive website, where visitors can add their own gifs to the website by either uploading their own files or creating a gif using their webcam."
I loved most of the animations I saw but unfortunately only few are available and the site is not working as originally projected. I wanted to see all of them.

Saturday, December 17

US stimulating illegal drug trade is unreported






The money that US government, and other countries, make with the illegal drug traffic is unknown and the support given to the trade is covered up.
"Here we have the biggest drug story of the day. Imagine the screaming headlines: "U.S. Government The World's Leading Drug Peddler." It would surely sell papers. But the story passed virtually unreported, and with not a hint of the obvious conclusions.
Another aspect of the drug problem, which also received little attention, is the leading role of the US government in stimulating drug trafficking since World War II. This happened in part when the US began its postwar task of undermining the anti-fascist resistance and the labor movement became an important target." Noam Chomsky - What Uncle Sam Really Wants
Do you really believe that they would leave all the money of the traffic in the hands of others? 
I'm writing this post because there are many Brazilians who live in slums that have a terrible life because they work for the drug traffic and they die at a very early age.

US, it is getting harder and harder to be insensitive to all the harms you are doing to people.
Image: These are the poorest Brazilian people and what they have is not crack. It is a drug made of the most deadly and cheap materials. There are more images here . They are black. The vast majority of drug dealers at slums are black.

Mostly insane obvious signs

Have a great weekend!  Fun: Draw a stickman and watch it gaining life. Update:
It just occurred to me that there must be some sense in the sign in certain occasions:
- it can be telling to someone that if when trying to open the door it doesn't open it's because something is happening so the person must not use the key to open the door: - if it is a commercial place... still thinking about it...

Friday, December 16

Audrey Hepburn's son forbids mom to smoke and medicines harms










This stamp belongs to a series that featured movie stars in 2001 and the others were Marilyn Monroe, Charles Chaplin and Greta Garbo. Hepburn's son Sean Ferrer did not like the cigarette holder and refused to grant the copyright which sent 14 millions of the infamous stamps burn in a German incinerator. Some of them had already been sent from the Finance Ministry for approval and thirty of the stamps were used by an unknown employee that had sent them in letters to Berlin.
The five remain copies of the stamp are being auctioned and Sean said that he expected this money to be used in cancer research or anti-smoking campaigns because her mother died of cancer. This is not a wise way to use this money since there is no need for anti-smoking indoctrination and Sean forgets that it is not profitable for the pharmaceutical industry to heal cancer. I did this comment at Blogorama and decided to copy it because it has to do with these issues: "I smoke, always have (since 15 years-old, and always will. The indoctrination about the harms of tobacco worked and made of those who smoke amoral, immoral or whatever. At the drugstores there are medicines prescribed by physicians, some are payed to prescribe, that kill, this is not a metaphor, causes violent behavior like the antidepressants SSRIs -Prozac-like - that trigger suicide ideation that has nothing to do with depression.and violent behavior that can make you kill someone. These drugs are highly expensive cause pharmaceutical company don't care about health neither does FDA and governments. The air we breath is polluted and the food we eat is GMO and many other unhealthy threats are related to food. Many people are unaware of these harms and some even thou are alerted don't search.
It is easier to turn to someone and say "Please, your cigarette is killing me!" and reason with arguments of the mainstream media. It is not known for sure, not proven, that cholesterol is responsible for what and the level of cholesterol was downsized from 125 to 110 to make it possible to sell to more people.They have to sell the expensive statins. My best friend is taking them and the propaganda is so efficient that I told her and gave her sites claiming that statins don't work and are even harmful but she trust her doctor. The third cause of hospitalization in US is iatrogenesis. Smoking is not good, for sure, but it is not responsible for all they claim. I'll light one right now cause I love smoking and I don't want to take a drug to help quit smoking that can lead me to a mental institution in a manic crisis caused by it. Champix can make people go maniac, depressed or other changes in personality."
In the case of Audrey Hepburn is there any evidence that the cancer was caused because of the cigarette? I have never seen "cancer caused by smoking" as cause of death.
I'll keep on living in this filthy, sinful, criminal and immoral way: I'll keep smoking.

A Black Man's Odyssey in the Ku Klux Klan

I did this post in 2006 when I had a blog in Portuguese. and publish it again at my blog justAna posted on August, 7, 2008,
I want to share it here because this is a great achievement: a KKK member giving up his beliefs after meeting a black man.
As I think that racism is something out of the planet I try to show people how strange, to say the least, it is to hate people based on single attribute of a person.
I'll write about a great woman, Jane Elliot, who helps fighting racism doing "Blue Eyes Black Eyes" exercises workshops.


I had a blog in Portuguese and talked about many different things.
This is one of the post I wrote about
Daryl Davis:
Son of a diplomat Daryl Davis at the age of 15 have decided to be a pianist against the expectations of his father who wanted that he had followed his career.
Ironically it was as a pianist where he found the way to achieve results where diplomacy not always can reach.

When with the age of 10 he returned to USA, after living in Russia, Ethiopia and others African countries he came across with racism. After been jeered, attacked with stones pieces of glass, listening that he should go back to Africa, and, after being attacked by a racist policeman he started to ask himself about the reason why people hated him because of the color of his skin, in other words, what is the fundament the ideology of racism hate.
 He started his research and read about the White Power movement after meeting a classroomate who claimed to be a neo-Nazi and found out that these racists groups fight among themselves. One of them want to separate USA in five: some states for Arian, others for black people and some for other races. The solutions for "race problem" are multiples.

In a bar where he played piano Daryl got in touch with a white man who told him "-This is the first time that I sit to drink with a black man." Daryl asked him the reason "- Because I'm a Ku Klux Klan."

The diplomacy he saw when he was a child and the fact that he is a musician "-Music unite people." helped this black pianist, always compared to Jerry Lee Lewis, to get the address of a Ku Klux Klan Grand Dragon, Roger Kelly, who have agree to be interviewed. What should have been a quick meeting have turned out to be a two and a half talking.

"While you are actively learning about someone else, you are passively teaching them about you" is Daryl motto who made friendship with Roger Kelly, and for Daryl surprise, gave him the Ku Klux Klan clothes and all the paraphernalia used in Ku Ku Klax rituals including the burning black people's homes whose names fall in misfortune next to members of the sect. Elevens kukluskamen followed Kelly's example.
He also got in touch with neonazi that are waiting anxiously for the 4º Reich. But they even considered the black man a nice person.

One of the results of his work was the book published in 1997: "Klan-Destine Relationships: A Black Man's Odyssey in the Ku Klux Klan
".
A lesson of action and efficiency when someone wants to make a difference in a case although he is criticized by black and white people.
Of course, some of his friends think that he is cr
azy. After all Ku Klux Klan have more than a million members.

Here you will find a game to punch Ku Klux Klan members if this is your case.
I just want do not know if Klu Klux Klan, neonazis and other sects have sense of humor or the guts to make a little game to kill blacks or no matter what race they hate. It is openly offensive and they prefer to do it in real life. As always it is hard to find the most adequate tact: the Luther King or the Black Panthers late days way.
I wrote a e-mail to Daryl and he was kind enough to answer me:
Dear Ana,

"Please call me Daryl. First, I must tell you how happy I am to hear from you and your interest in my work. I must also tell you that Brazil is one of my favorite countries in the world. I have visited 49 countries. I LOVE Brazil. I visited Bahia, Rio, Sao Paulo, Recife and Brazilia. Each city was very different and I love them all.

Yes, you are correct; I am very fond of Martin Luther King and his work. The original Black Panthers with Huey Newton was a good group and did a lot of good for the Black community when they had no one else to help them. They encouraged education and they made sure children in the community always had food to eat. Unfortunately, as is the case with many groups, someone goes astray and causes problems and ruins the reputation of the group with whom they are associated. Naturally, when they were pushed illegally by racist law enforcement, they would stand up for themselves even if it meant the use of violence.

There are about 3 groups today using the name Black Panthers. None of these groups are associated with the original group and I'm sure any of the original members who are still alive, would have nothing to do with these new groups. I know a couple of these new groups and they advocate violence. I am not a big fan of violence unless I am under attack and must defend myself or my loved ones.

Yes, Roger Kelly is now out of the Klan. He no longer believes in the principles of hating people because of their race. When his first child was born, I was her godfather. But he received a lot of criticism over that, so I told him, to let someone else do it. You must take things one step at a time. I don't care what anyone's race is. I respect all people and only judge them based upon how they treat others and how they treat me. But when you grow up in a family and environment filled with hate, it will take others a while to accept the changes you chosen to make in your life, if they ever accept it.

What have I achieved with my book? I would say my biggest achievement was a complete surprise to me. I never set out to cause people to quit the KKK. I simply wanted to interview them and get information for my book. But during the time of interviewing many of them, we saw that we all were human beings and friendships started to evolve. Eventually, many of these people began questioning their own beliefs and many eventually quit the Klan. We are still good friends today. So it has given me hope that we can change for the better and all is not lost. But, more people in my country need to take the step to get to know each other and sit down and talk. We fear each other too much for no reason. Just because of the color of someone's skin.

It bothers me when I hear my fellow Americans call this country the greatest nation on Earth. Yes, we have achieved many things that other countries have not achieved. We have the ability to put a man on the moon. While that man is walking around on the moon, we can talk to him live via satellite radio phone. You have a cell phone and you have email. You and I can communicate all the way from Brazil to the USA. So my question is: If we can communicate with someone walking around on the moon instantly and we can communicate with people on another continent, WHY can't we communicate with the person who lives right next door, just because he/she is a different skin color, religion, nationality, ethnicity or whatever????? So before my country can talk about how great we are, our ideology needs to catch up with our technology. I am doing my part to try to get my fellow Americans to come into the 21st century and I hope they will do their part.

Please keep in touch.

Obrigada,

Daryl

Tuesday, December 13

Rainbow in Zimbabwe by Calvin Jones

This is a two Rainbows event - look at the darker left side to see one of them - in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe photography by by Calvin Jones.
When all information we have at the mainstream media about Zimbabwe are torture and pain and even if you want to go to the country as a tourist the travel guides spread nothing but fear about your trip it is difficult to remember that there is a country and even people who lives at peace.

The cruelest word




Yesterday, for the second time, this word was said to me to identify the tumors my dog has.
Again the time stopped and I got confused as if it was impossible, the lab made a mistake, and many excuses to get rid of this word.
Back in 2008 she had her mammals removed because of the effects of this word: other words like "metastases"... enough.
I'm scared and when I look at her... many thoughts come to my mind and another terrible word is... "when"?
Words are powerful tools.

Monday, December 12

Coat fur discussion: what do you think about it?

Fur coats are not only a fashion issue and many topics were raised about them.
Focus on those issues you care the most.
Some trigger topics for discussion if you don't have anything in mind:
Would you wear this coat? It is warm since it is done of wolf's fur. The hunter wears it. Maybe it is appropriate when hunting in cold weather.
I'm puzzled:
"I rather go naked than wear fur."... but "I do nothing to stop the massacre of human beings".
What do you think about fur coats? What about the prices?
Would you wear faux fur? Wold you buy this one that costs $9,995.00 but is on sale for $4,995.00?
Do you think that if the animal is not in extinction it is ok to kill animals to make fur coats?
Leather has a different ethics than fur?
Shoes made of leather is acceptable since the synthetic leather has improved and can adapt to the feet just like real leather?
What about bags made of leather?
Please, feel free to ad your own issues about fur coats. There are lost of questions involved.
Thank you!

Hella Heaven: You are here series


First of the "You are here series".
Have a great week!

Sunday, December 11

Renoir: the philosophical eye and it's parallaxes




















When I was in my twenties I had a friend that was studying philosophy and knew a lot about Nietzsche, maybe the most admired, quoted, and half-understood of the philosopher, and was very familiar with Deleuze and Foucault's work.
Following his mentor's steps, whose some extra-curricular classes I attended but was not attracted by the way he spoke, my friend started giving classes for a group of people who were interested in the three philosophers.

I was very interested in Foucault after reading, skipping and not understanding everything, "Les mots et les choses", 1966, "The Order of Things" in English.
It was nice meeting friends and after the explanations we had a lot of fun playing pictionary, guessing movies or doing acting exercises proposed by Augusto Boal, the Brazilian theater director.

One day I witnessed a discussion about Renoir. A girl that had recently joined the group said she liked Renoir's painting but my friend said terrible things about Renoir and the girl got not only angry but she couldn't understand the reasoning my friend was giving.

I know that if someone like these three thinkers and can only see with "philosophical eyes" Renoir is not "correct" but Francis Bacon is correct.
I refused to close my eyes to paintings based on philosophical or any other doctrine. One big mistake is done by those who do not understand that their admired philosopher did chose a certain artist or work of art as a way to illustrate or make a point clear and in doing so there is not a condemnation of artists that do another kind of work.
It was a great choice because when I was in Paris I went to a Renoir exhibition and was amazed by his paintings especially by the way he paints the color white. Ironically I attended some of Deleuze's classes at Paris VIII, a course about movie he did and he talked about Jean Renoir, the filmmaker, August Renoir's son.

Recently I was taking a look at the book "The Necessity of Art" by Ernest Fisher.
A literature teacher used the first chapter of this book, without saying it was a Marxist approach because we were under dictatorship, and I didn't notice at that time
I was amazed by the way the impressionism and some artists are put in the same bag especially in the session about "dehumanization" where it is said that

"In the impressionism the human being is solved in light and color, treated like a natural phenomenon (...) and disappear of landscapes, streets of the cities that become a desert."
This is not what I see in impressionists and have many examples but let's stay with Renoir who painted the people united celebrating a Sunday.
I understand and even agree with some of the Marxists concerns such as "alienation" and dehumanization but I believe that it is very difficult to apply these concepts to art and once again I have problems with the philosophical eye, that one that prescribe one art and condemn another.

James Joyce's "Finnegan's Wake" is proscribed because... "when creating a new language that was no more the human language but something that evoques water and wind it is the human being treated like an object."

It is very hard for me to see these analyses as true. I rather enjoy art using other tools and I even find it funny that some of the contemporary art is so attached to the need of philosophy and critics to make clear what the artist wanted to convey or achieve.

The post below has connection with this one and note that Foucault talks about how the Borges's taxonomy made him realize something and how the analysis of Las Meninas makes us see what he wants to explain. This is another way of using art in the philosophical context and is harmless.


Michel Foucault quotes Jorge Luis Borges in famous preface

This is the preface of "The Order of Things" by Michel Foucault and I remember quite clearly the effects of reading it for the first time:
"This book first arose out of a passage in Borges, out of the laughter that shattered, as I read the passage, all the familiar landmarks of my thought - our thought, the thought that bears the stamp of our age and our geography - breaking up all the ordered surfaces and all the planes with which we are accustomed to tame the wild profusion of existing things, and continuing long afterwards to disturb and threaten with collapse our age-old distinction between the Same and the Other. This passage quotes a ‘certain Chinese encyclopedia’ in which it is written that ‘animals are divided into: (a) belonging to the Emperor, (b) embalmed, (c) tame, (d) sucking pigs, (e) sirens, (f) fabulous, (g) stray dogs, (h) included in the present classification, (i) frenzied, (j) innumerable, (k) drawn with a very fine camelhair brush, (1) et cetera, (m) having just broken the water pitcher, (n) that from a long way off look like flies’. In the wonderment of this taxonomy, the thing we apprehend in one great leap, the thing that, by means of the fable, is demonstrated as the exotic charm of another system of thought, is the limitation of our own, the stark impossibility of thinking that." (emphasis added)
I was also impressed by the famous first chapter where Foucault analyzes Diego Velazques's "Las Meninas" to explain what he understand by "episteme".
A great philosopher quoting a great writer and analyzing a great painter is a good way to start the week.

Saturday, December 10

International Human Rights Day - a struggle for citizens





The Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation is the organization I did choose as a symbol for today, Human Rights Day.
There is a lot of work to be done and the most known institutions are far from doing an unbiased promotion of human rights.

Another symbol is the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal that after four days of hearings condemned Bush and Blair for war crimes.

Unfortunately what is being done in advocacy and jurisprudence for human rights is nothing and there is more hypocrisy than accountability from many who claim to be working for human rights sake.
Human rights is a struggle for citizens without logos.

Image: Torment by Carne Griffiths