Left-wing art?

Accusing all modern art of being left-wing probably doesn’t get us very far. What might be more useful is to ask whether there is a dominant consensus when it comes to political attitudes in modern art today.
Full article here

Thanks to Paul for telling me about this article.
The issue is somewhat close to my heart as ALL ART HERE IN CHILE is in the hand of Left wingers. When I say Left wingers I mean Socialists (and some Communists) more than anything else. The reason for this is simple. Right wingers in Chile supported Pinochet’s regime. And Pinochet was against art of course (theatre, music – which during this time was called “the new song” and spoke of social equality… ever heard of Victor Jara?). During the regime the left wingers were the ones to break curfew and hold clandestine meetings and make clandestine art. And that tradition pretty much continues till now…

So… is this the best way to make art? To let art be in the hand of just one segment of society? I’d have to ponder that one. The thing is I am sooo used to seeing the Left wingers have all the artistic ideas that I cannot envision the Chilean right making art.

I’m also left-wing in case you’re wondering, but I’m stuck somewhere at the “gates” of the left-wing if you know what I mean. Not in the left-wing forest. =)

Note. When I refer to Right vs. Left I really don’t mean conservatives vs. liberals as in Republicans vs. Democrats because the way we Latinos see it, Democrats and Republicans in the US are pretty much two sides of the same “conservative” coin, which is just the US being the US and making politics. In Chile there is a huge gap between the left and right.

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Giving hope to single people everywhere!

Don’t despair single people, Jeff Buckley has something beautiful to say about it… and as so many things, it really is a matter of believing. God knows the desires of your heart…

all flowers in time bend towards the sun
i know you say that there’s no-one for you
but here is one,
all flowers in time bend towards the sun
i know you say that there’s no-one for you
but here is one, here is one… here is one

Jeff Buckley and Elizabeth Fraser – All Flowers in Time Bend Towards The Sun

Listen to the track, here.

It’s absolutely gorgeous.

Lauren Winner discusses Sex and Christianity

I mean seriously, how hard is it to accept that sex outside of marriage spoils the original intent of sex? Over at Bohemian Alien, we’re no prudes… the issue has nothing to do with decorum or packaged clichés Christianity may have fed you from birth. It is a matter of reading the New Testament and abiding God’s law which as Lauren Winner states:

… (life lived inside the contours of God’s law) humanizes us and makes us beautiful. It makes us creatures living well in the created order. It gives us the opportunity to become who we are meant to be.

Lauren Winner makes a fine point in this article.

However the reader’s comments leave you shaking your head. At least I shook my head.

Afterthought: So, were does that leave kissing or other types of demonstrations of affection? I believe moderation is the key.

Of course, in today’s very sexual/sexed-up society, maintaining your resolve to lead a chaste life (until the time comes to party!) may be at times, extremely difficult. Yet not impossible. So, I ask myself, why does everyone look for excuses to justify behavior that 1) in the light of scripture if you’re a fundamentalist hard-core Christian is unjustifiable and 2) if you’re one of those laissez faire, laissez passer type Christians -umm… which I would not recommend – then how about the very simple fact that sex is a powerful force, the ultimate act of love between two individuals that want to unite as one (so much as they can inside the physical realm) and this union, far from being a sporting event, is a union that probably has repercussions in the spiritual realm (Mathew 14.6)? Shouldn’t this simple reasoning be enough to wait? To save the good stuff till marriage?

Why does dating necessarily imply sex? Even for Christians? I really don’t get it.

I mean come on… when did virtues such as chastity, virginity become a thing to be ashamed of…? And best not discussed, not even in Churches (among all those other topics that churches don’t/won’t discuss…)?

Seriously…

And finally, a quote from the movie Bicentennial Man in which the character of Andrew Hardy (Robin Williams) says regarding sex:

That you can lose yourself. Everything. All boundaries. All time. That two bodies can become so mixed up, that you don’t know who’s who or what’s what. And just when the sweet confusion is so intense you think you’re gonna die… you kind of do. Leaving you alone in your separate body, but the one you love is still there. That’s a miracle. You can go to heaven and come back alive. You can go back anytime you want with the one you love.

T.S. Eliot’s “Journey of the Magi” and a children’s book illustration

from lambiek.net

it is a little early for this, but this poem by T.S. Eliot, written in 1927, is one of my favorite poems. I think it is one of the poems in the English language, and it is one of the poems that comes back to me every cold and wintry morning when I cycle to university.

The picture above is an illustration by Eppo Doeve  from an amazing 1962 children’s book (or comic book, depending on your definition of comic book), called Kleine Isar, de Vierde Koning  (“Little Isar, the Fourth King”). It was written by the dutch poet Bertus Aafjes; unfortunately it has never been translated into english and is horribly out of print.
Anyway, without further ado, here’s the T.S. Eliot poem.  

Journey of the Magi  

‘A cold coming we had of it,
Just the worst time of the year
For the journey, and such a long journey:
The ways deep and the weather sharp,
The very dead of winter.’
And the camels galled, sore-footed, refractory,
Lying down in the melting snow.
There were times we regretted
The summer palaces on slopes, the terraces,
And the silken girls bringing sherbet.
Then the camel men cursing and grumbling
And running away, and wanting their liquor and women,
And the night-fires going out, and the lack of shelters,
And the cities hostile and the towns unfriendly
And the villages dirty and charging high prices:
A hard time we had of it.
At the end we preferred to travel all night,
Sleeping in snatches,
With the voices singing in our ears, saying
That this was all folly. 

Then at dawn we came down to a temperate valley,
Wet, below the snow line, smelling of vegetation;
With a running stream and a water-mill beating the darkness,
And three trees on the low sky,
And an old white horse galloped away in the meadow.
Then we came to a tavern with vine-leaves over the lintel,
Six hands at an open door dicing for pieces of silver,
And feet kicking the empty wine-skins,
But there was no information, and so we continued
And arrived at evening,
not a moment too soon
Finding the place; it was (you may say) satisfactory 
 

All this was a long time ago, I remember,
And I would do it again, but set down
This set down
This: were we led all that way forBirth or Death?
There was a Birth, certainly,
We had evidence and no doubt. I had seen birth and death,
But had thought they were different; this Birth was
Hard and bitter agony for us, like Death, our death,
We returned to our places, these Kingdoms,
But no longer at ease here, in the old dispensation,
With an alien people clutching their gods.
I should be glad of another death. 

Just turn the key to the kingdom

I used to listen to this song as kid and I always thought of secrets and secret places and an intriguing, lonely young woman who held the keys to them. Little did I know that this song would in fact, become my anthem a couple of years later. And you gotta love Iva Davies’ voice.

Download the video from You Tube – in Win Media format don’t sweat it – here (the video was prepared by a YouTube user (Richie NJ – thank you!), it’s not the original video, but the song sounds perfect).

Visit the Icehouse site here.

The Kingdom – Icehouse

One Of Those Days
That Just Comes And Goes
It’s Not So Special
She Watches The Birds
That Rest On A Ledge
Outside Her Room
The Wallpaper Old And Faded
A Crack In The Window Pane
The Radio Just Keeps Playing
Playing That Same Old Song.

She Smiles To Herself
“they Think That I’m Strange…
…they Say I’m A Dreamer
…but I Don’t Complain,
Though I Don’t Have Much
To Call My Own.”
And She’s Not A Movie Star, No
And She’s Not A Beauty Queen
She’ll Tell You It Doesn’t Matter
’cause She’s Not The Only One
She Says,

“i Know A Place
Where I Keep The Best Of Things
I’m Not Gonna Wait
For My Piece Of Heaven.
Where There’s A Road
It Leads To The Promised Land
I Just Turn The Key
The Key To The
…kingdom…”

She Stares At The Page
Of A New Magazine, The Morning Papers
She Walks Into Town
And Catches A Show
If She Can Find The Time
And She’s Not A Movie Star, No
And She’s Not A Beauty Queen
She’ll Tell You It Doesn’t Matter
’cause She’s Not The Only One.
She Says,

“i Know A Place
Where I Keep The Best Of Things
I’m Not Gonna Wait
For My Piece Of Heaven
Where There’s A Road
It Leads To The Promised Land
I Just Turn The Key
The Key To The
…kingdom…”

When life suddenly becomes ironic and people dear to our hearts become a letdown

 

(Dorothy) Sayers’s frustrations in young adulthood were exacerbated by crises in her personal life.
One of the most traumatic incidents was her relationship with writer John Cournos.

They met in 1921 and Sayers became deeply committed to him. Cournos claimed to oppose marriage and having children on principle, but was willing to be Sayers’s lover if they used contraception. She refused, ending the affair in 1922 because she desired marriage and despised the anxieties of a clandestine relationship: “One can’t be ecstatic about something which involves telling lies to one’s charwoman!” (1:222)

Cournos had also scorned detective stories, even as Sayers was beginning to write them. She was thus wounded deeply to learn in 1924 that he had wed an American detective writer with two children.

Her letters to him following this discovery are the most poignant in these volumes, not only because of the specific suffering Cournos had caused Sayers, but also because these missives were one of the rare times that she gave full expression to her emotions.”

Touchstone Magazine, Article “Mind of a Maker” by Adam Schwartz – 2000, re-print 2007

“you are like a rich man entering heaven/ through the ear of a raindrop”

 

buienwolk1.jpg

For my Modern British poetry class I once wrote a review of this (highly recommendable) poetry collection by Seamus Heaney, The Spirit Level. As I listened to the diverse and changing sound of rain today, this poem came to mind.The Rain Stick
by Seamus Heaney, The Spirit Level

Upend the rain stick and what happens next
Is a music that you never would have known
To listen for. In a cactus stalk

Downpour, sluice-rush, spillage and backwash
Come flowing through. You stand there like a pipe
Being played by water, you shake it again lightly

And diminuendo runs through all its scales
Like a gutter stopping trickling. And now here comes
A sprinkle of drops out of the freshened leaves,

Then subtle little wets off grass and daisies;
Then glitter-drizzle, almost-breaths of air.
Upend the stick again. What happens next

Is undiminished for having happened once,
Twice, ten, a thousand times before.
Who cares if all the music that transpires

Is the fall of grit or dry seeds through a cactus?
You are like a rich man entering heaven
Through the ear of a raindrop. Listen now again.