Archive for the ‘clarity’ Category

I never knew who Robert Rauschenberg was. Somehow he had gotten by me. Don’t get me wrong though, I know art. Oh yeah. I can nod knowingly when the name Jasper Johns is mentioned, even throw in that I like his flag picture best. And I can claim to have been a big fan of Roy Lichtenstein, beginning when he worked as an illustrator for DC Comics. AND that I am a big fan of his country, even if it is kind of small and basically only produces Nordic alpine skiers that you hear about once every four years as they whiz by to the accompaniment of cowbells and drunk German cowbellists.

But really, the Europeans are like that. They will camp out for two days in sub-zero weather to watch their favorite skier for all of 1.8 seconds as they fly by at 100 kph. Where, but in Europe, can you be a TRACK star? Where but in Europe can you get a group of people to sit still as they listen to Richard Wagner’s “Tristan und Isolde,” an extravaganza that builds tension for five hours, never settling into key until the very end. Actually the whole thing is about sex, so it really kind of makes sense. Obviously Wagner was thinking from a woman’s perspective. If he was thinking like a guy the whole piece would have been the length of a TV jingle and would have just ended in a big explosion. I guess Wagner was thinking of the guys when he invented the Power Painter.

But when it comes to real power painters, I know art. I sat through two semesters of art history.

“You know this won’t count toward your major?” asked my academic advisor.

“Yeah, I know,” I said

She just stared at me, assuming, I am sure, that I surely had a better, or at least more involved, response than that.

“But you still want to take Art History?” she asked in a tone that would have been better suited for the question ‘And you still want to remove your own appendix with a blunt shoehorn?’

“Yes I do” I replied.

I might as well have said, “Oh, and hand me the dull, rusty shoehorn just to make this more interesting!” I am glad she did not ask me why I was a music major. You can only explain “because that is where the money is” so many times and then you begin to sound shallow. (more…)

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The current housing market/credit crunch is certainly no secret.  But getting a grasp on what happened and is now happening is a real trick. 

Driving back from Florida on Sunday I caught NPR’s “This American Life.”  I am not always the biggest fan of the show, but this Sunday they laid the whole thing out in very real and understandable terms, and did it with very human interviews of people involved on both ends, those making obscene amounts of money on a housing market they knew was overheating, to those who are losing their homes because a bank was willing to loan a half million dollars to a man with three part-time jobs, no assets and who was so undependable that a loan shark would not even loan him money. 

This was one of the most engaging programs I have heard in a long time.  Well worth an hour investment to understand just why our economy is in the state it is in.  Here is an mp3 of the entire hour program.  Download it to your ipod or other mp3 player, or burn it to a CD and take the hour to check it out.  You won’t regret it.


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