Current Events – 5 January 2018

“We do not rely solely upon science and reason, because these are necessary rather than sufficient factors, but we distrust anything that contradicts science or outrages reason. We may differ on many things, but what we respect is free inquiry, open-mindedness, and the pursuit of ideas for their own sake.” – Christopher Hitchens.

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Beleaguered in Bothell – 4 January 2018

Musings in Winter: Mary Oliver

“Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell others.”

Art for Winter: Lev Meshberg (Russian, 1933-2007)

Below – “Ballad of the Sea”; “Metro in Paris”; “Aquarium III”; “Chair”

Remembering a Nobel Laureate on the Date of His Death: Died 4 January 1960 – Albert Camus, a French novelist, philosopher, journalist, and recipient of the 1967 Nobel Prize in Literature.

Some quotes from the work of Albert Camus:

“You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life.”
“In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.
And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger – something better, pushing right back.”
“Man is the only creature who refuses to be what he is.”
“Nobody realizes that some people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal.”
“The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion.”
“Fiction is the lie through which we tell the truth.”
“The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself.”
“Live to the point of tears.”

This Date in Art History: Born 4 January 1881 – Wilhelm Lehmbruck, a German sculptor.

Below – “The Kneeling One”; “Schlaf”; “Stehende weibliche Figur”; “Der Gesturzte”; “Kniende.”

Musings in Winter: Ambrose Bierce

“DOG: A kind of additional or subsidiary Deity designed to catch the overflow or surplus of the world’s worship.”

This Date in Art History: Born 4 January 1878 – Augustus John, a Welsh painter and illustrator.

Below – “W. B. Yeats”; “The Two Jamaican Girls”; “Colonel T. E. Lawrence”; “Rachel”; “Self-Portrait.”

Remembering a Nobel Laureate on the Date of His Death: Died 4 January 1965 – T. S. Eliot, an American-English poet, playwright, critic, and recipient of the 1948 Nobel Prize in Literature.

by T. S. Eliot

The winter evening settles down
With smell of steaks in passageways.
Six o’clock.
The burnt-out ends of smoky days.
And now a gusty shower wraps
The grimy scraps
Of withered leaves about your feet
And newspapers from vacant lots;
The showers beat
On broken blinds and chimney-pots,
And at the corner of the street
A lonely cab-horse steams and stamps.

And then the lighting of the lamps.

The morning comes to consciousness
Of faint stale smells of beer
From the sawdust-trampled street
With all its muddy feet that press
To early coffee-stands.
With the other masquerades
That time resumes,
One thinks of all the hands
That are raising dingy shades
In a thousand furnished rooms.

You tossed a blanket from the bed,
You lay upon your back, and waited;
You dozed, and watched the night revealing
The thousand sordid images
Of which your soul was constituted;
They flickered against the ceiling.
And when all the world came back
And the light crept up between the shutters
And you heard the sparrows in the gutters,
You had such a vision of the street
As the street hardly understands;
Sitting along the bed’s edge, where
You curled the papers from your hair,
Or clasped the yellow soles of feet
In the palms of both soiled hands.

His soul stretched tight across the skies
That fade behind a city block,
Or trampled by insistent feet
At four and five and six o’clock;
And short square fingers stuffing pipes,
And evening newspapers, and eyes
Assured of certain certainties,
The conscience of a blackened street
Impatient to assume the world.

I am moved by fancies that are curled
Around these images, and cling:
The notion of some infinitely gentle
Infinitely suffering thing.

Wipe your hand across your mouth, and laugh;
The worlds revolve like ancient women
Gathering fuel in vacant lots.

This Date in Art History: Died 4 January 1880 – Anselm Feuerbach, a German painter.

Below – “Nanna”; “Iphigenia”; “Two Women in a Landscape”; “The Judgment of Paris”; “Mannlicher Halbakt.”

Worth a Thousand Words: The Milky Way over Yellowstone National Park.

This Date in Art History: Born 4 January 1901 – Nikolaos Gyzis, a Greek painter.

Below – “Historia”; “Eros and the Painter”; “Artist’s Psyche”; “The Barber”; “Learning by Heart.”

Remembering a Nobel Laureate on the Date of His Birth: Born 4 January 1940 – Gao Xingjian, a Chinese novelist, playwright, critic, and recipient of the 2000 Nobel Prize for Literature.

Some quotes from the work of Gao Xingjian:

“With the beginning of life, comes the thirst for truth, whereas the ability to lie is gradually acquired in the process of trying to stay alive.”
“You should know that there is little you can seek in this world, that there is no need for you to be so greedy, in the end all you can achieve are memories, hazy, intangible, dreamlike memories which are impossible to articulate. When you try to relate them, there are only sentences, the dregs left from the filter of linguistic structures.”
“Young man, nature is not frightening, it’s people who are frightening! You just need to get to know nature and it will become friendly. This creature known as man is of course highly intelligent, he’s capable of manufacturing almost anything from rumours to test-tube babies and yet he destroys two to three species every day. This is the absurdity of man.”
“I believe in science but I also believe in fate.”
“It’s in literature that true life can be found. It’s under the mask of fiction that you can tell the truth.”

This Date in Art History: Born 4 January 1877 – Marsden Hartley, an American painter.

Below – “The Ice Hole”; “The Dark Mountain”; “Autumn Color”; “Lobster Fishermen”; “Mount Katahdin (Maine), Autumn – 2”; “Landscape, New Mexico.”

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Current Events – 4 January 2018

“Boy, these conservatives are really something, aren’t they? They’re all in favor of the unborn. They will do anything for the unborn. But once you’re born, you’re on your own. Pro-life conservatives are obsessed with the fetus from conception to nine months. After that, they don’t want to know about you. They don’t want to hear from you. No nothing. No neonatal care, no day care, no head start, no school lunch, no food stamps, no welfare, no nothing. If you’re preborn, you’re fine; if you’re preschool, you’re fucked.” – George Carlin.

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Beleaguered in Bothell – 3 January 2018

Remembering a Great Man on the Date of His Birth: Born 3 January 108 BCE – Marcus Tullius Cicero, a Roman philosopher, politician, lawyer, orator, and writer.

Some quotes from the work of Cicero:

“A room without books is like a body without a soul.”
“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.”
“For there is but one essential justice which cements society, and one law which establishes this justice. This law is right reason, which is the true rule of all commandments and prohibitions. Whoever neglects this law, whether written or unwritten, is necessarily unjust and wicked.”
“For books are more than books, they are the life, the very heart and core of ages past, the reason why men worked and died, the essence and quintessence of their lives.”
“Politicians are not born; they are excreted.”
“It is not by muscle, speed, or physical dexterity that great things are achieved, but by reflection, force of character, and judgment.”
“To study philosophy is nothing but to prepare one’s self to die.”
“To be ignorant of what occurred before you were born is to remain always a child. For what is the worth of human life, unless it is woven into the life of our ancestors by the records of history?”

Art for Winter – Part I of IV: Ron Reeves Meadow (American, contemporary)

Below – “Iris and Bud”; “Compassion” (bronze vase)

For Your Information: 3 January is National Chocolate Covered Cherry Day in the United States.

Art for Winter – Part II of IV: Igor Medvedev (Russian, 1931-2015)

Below – “Unstirring”; “Remembrance”; “Twins”; “Open at Noon”

Remembering a Writer on the Date of His Birth: Born 3 January 1892 – J.R.R. Tolkien, an English writer, poet, philologist, and professor.

Some quotes from the work of J.R.R. Tolkien:

“The greatest adventure is what lies ahead.
Today and tomorrow are yet to be said.
The chances, the changes are all yours to make.
The mold of your life is in your hands to break.”
“Some believe it is only great power that can hold evil in check, but that is not what I have found. I found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay small acts of kindness and love.”
“How do you move on? You move on when your heart finally understands that there is no turning back.”
“If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.”
“Deeds will not be less valiant because they are unpraised.”
“Fantasy is escapist, and that is its glory. If a soldier is imprisoned by the enemy, don’t we consider it his duty to escape?. . .If we value the freedom of mind and soul, if we’re partisans of liberty, then it’s our plain duty to escape, and to take as many people with us as we can!”
“There is some good in this world, and it’s worth fighting for.”

Art for Winter – Part III of IV: Ed Mell (American, contemporary)

Below – “Yucca in Bloom”

Worth a Thousand Words: The Golden Eagle train making its way along the Trans-Siberian Railway.

Art for Winter – Part IV of IV: Daniel Merriam (American, contemporary)

Below – “Unspoken Word”; “Destiny”; “Ocean View, Crossing Under”

Remembering a Writer on the Date of His Birth: Born 3 January 1886 – John Gould Fletcher, an American poet, author, and recipient of the 1939 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry.

by John Gould Fletcher

Above the east horizon,
The great red flower of the dawn
Opens slowly, petal by petal;
The trees emerge from darkness
With ghostly silver leaves,
Dew powdered.
Now consciousness emerges
Reluctantly out of tides of sleep;
Finding with cold surprise
No strange new thing to match its dreams,
But merely the familiar shapes
Of bedpost, window-pane, and wall.

Within the city,
The streets which were the last to fall to sleep,
Hold yet stale fragments of the night.
Sleep oozes out of stagnant ash-barrels,
Sleep drowses over litter in the streets.
Sleep nods upon the milkcans by back doors.
And, in shut rooms,
Behind the lowered window-blinds,
Drawn white faces unwittingly flout the day.

But, at the edges of the city,
Sleep is already washed away;
Light filters through the moist green leaves,
It runs into the cups of flowers,
It leaps in sparks through drops of dew,
It whirls against the window-panes
With waking birds;
Blinds are rolled up and chimneys smoke,
Feet clatter past in silent paths,
And down white vanishing ways of steel,
A dozen railway trains converge
Upon night’s stronghold.

This Date in Art History: Born 3 January 1887 – August Macke, a German Expressionist painter.

Below – “Street with Church in Kinder”; “Tegernsee Landscape”; “Rokoko”; “The Artist’s Wife in Blue Hat”; “Leute am blauen See”; “Lady in Green Jacket.”

Musings in Winter: Camille Paglia

“Venus of Willendorf carries her cave with her. She is blind, masked. Her ropes of corn-row hair look forward to the invention agriculture. She has a furrowed brow. Her facelessness is the impersonality of primitive sex and religion. There is no psychology or identity yet, because there is no society, no cohesion. Men cower and scatter at the blast of the elements. Venus of Willendorf is eyeless because nature can be seen but not known. She is remote even as she kills and creates. The statuette, so overflowing and protuberant, is ritually invisible. She stifles the eye. She is the cloud of archaic night.”

Below – Venus of Willendorf.

This Date in Art History: Born 3 January 1915 – Jack Levine, an American painter and printmaker who was, in the words of one writer, “best known for his satires on modern life, political corruption, and biblical narratives.”

Below – “Street Scene No. 1”; “Finger of Newt”; “Euclid Avenue”; “Girls From Fleugel Street (Study)”; “Adele”; “The Finding of Moses.”

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Current Events – 3 January 2018

“Six mistakes mankind keeps making century after century:
Believing that personal gain is made by crushing others;
Worrying about things that cannot be changed or corrected;
Insisting that a thing is impossible because we cannot accomplish it;
Refusing to set aside trivial preferences;
Neglecting development and refinement of the mind;
Attempting to compel others to believe and live as we do.” ― Marcus Tullius Cicero, a Roman philosopher.

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Beleaguered in Bothell – 2 January 2018

Musings in Winter: Camille Paglia

“My advice to the reader approaching a poem is to make the mind still and blank. Let the poem speak. This charged quiet mimics the blank space ringing the printed poem, the nothing out of which something takes shape.”

Below – Charles Edward Perugini: “Girl Reading”

Art for Winter – Part I of IV: Deloss McGraw (American, contemporary)

Below – “Drowned Ophelia”

For Your Information: 2 January is National Creampuff Day in the United States.

Art for Winter – Part II of IV: Madeleine McKay (Irish, contemporary)

Below – “Lycopene”; “Vigil”; “Visitor”

Musings in Winter: Marcel Proust

“I feel that there is much to be said for the Celtic belief that the souls of those whom we have lost are held captive in some inferior being, in an animal, in a plant, in some inanimate object, and thus effectively lost to us until the day (which to many never comes) when we happen to pass by the tree or to obtain possession of the object which forms their prison. Then they start and tremble, they call us by our name, and as soon as we have recognised them the spell is broken. Delivered by us, they have overcome death and return to share our life.
And so it is with our own past. It is a labour in vain to attempt to recapture it: all the efforts of our intellect must prove futile. The past is hidden somewhere outside the realm, beyond the reach of intellect, in some material object (in the sensation which that material object will give us) of which we have no inkling. And it depends on chance whether or not we come upon this object before we ourselves must die.”

Art for Winter – Part III of IV: Thomas Frederick McKnight (American, contemporary)

Below – “Nathez”; Untitled: Interior; “Red Room with Guitar”

Worth a Thousand Words: The Sphinx and Giza Pyramid.

Art for Winter – Part IV of IV: Joshua Meador (American, 1911-11965)

Below – “Port of Call”; “Cannon Beach, Oregon”

Remembering a Writer on the Date of His Birth: Born 2 January 1947 – David Shapiro, an American poet, historian, and critic.

“Poem for You”
by David Shapiro

I am jealous of the sand

beneath you
around you
what you see

bright things erased lady
sparkling and traveling without luggage
before X
you are tattooed on my back music
dies down

I too grew up in
the soft hands
of the gods

and a little donkey will lead them

Tears, tears, and I know
just what they mean
honeysuckles at night

I wrote this poem for you and haven’t lost it

This Date in Art History: Born 2 January 1462 – Piero di Cosimo, an Italian painter.

Below – “Perseus Rescuing Andromeda”; “Tritons and Nereids”; “Venus, Mars, and Cupid”; “Portrait of Simonetta Vespucci”; “Madonna and Child Enthroned with Saints”; “The Death of Procris.”

Musings in Winter: Antoine de Saint-Exupery

“I picked up one and then a second and then a third of these stones, finding them at about the rate of one stone to the acre. And here is where my adventure became magical, for in a striking foreshortening of time that embraced thousands of years, I had become the witness of this miserly rain from the stars. the marvel of marvels was that there on the rounded back of the planet, between this magnetic sheet and those stars, a human consciousness was present in which as in a mirror that rain could be reflected.”

Below – Meteor fragments.

American Art – Dave McGary (1958-2013)

In the words of one writer, “Artist Dave McGary grew up in Cody, Wyoming, the son of a ranching family. At age 16, McGary headed to Pietrasanta, near the Carrara Alps in Italy, where he worked in a foundry by day and on his own sculpture at night for a year and a half. Returning to the United States in 1976, he went to work for Shidoni Foundry, then moved from Santa Fe to the Hondo Valley in southern New Mexico where he ultimately built his own foundry outside Ruidoso, NM. Today, Dave McGary oversees every step of his creative process in a 14,000 square-foot finishing studio where a large staff handles details of chasing, patina and painting his work. The connection to Native American culture through his friendship with Daniel Long Soldier is one way that McGary’s art stands apart from other contemporary interpretations of Native American culture. Though he immerses himself in history books and other means of study, it is his living connection to Native American culture that breathes life into each piece.”

Below – “Rainmaker” (bronze); “Free Spirits at Noisy Water” (bronze); “When Lightning Strikes” (bronze); “Eye of the Storm”; “Rain in the Face”; (bronze); “Birth of Long Soldier.”

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Beleaguered in Bothell – 1 January 2018

Happy New Year!

Art for New Year’s Day – Part I of VIII: George Bernard O’Neill

Below “New Year’s Day”

Musings on New Year’s Day: Charles Lamb

“New Year’s Day is every man’s birthday.”

Remembering a Writer on the Date of His Birth: Born 1 January 1919 – J. D. Salinger,, an American author.

Some quotes from the work of J. D. Salinger:

“Among other things, you’ll find that you’re not the first person who was ever confused and frightened and even sickened by human behavior. You’re by no means alone on that score, you’ll be excited and stimulated to know. Many, many men have been just as troubled morally and spiritually as you are right now. Happily, some of them kept records of their troubles. You’ll learn from them—if you want to. Just as someday, if you have something to offer, someone will learn something from you. It’s a beautiful reciprocal arrangement. And it isn’t education. It’s history. It’s poetry.”
“The mark of the immature man is that he wants to die nobly for a cause, while the mark of the mature man is that he wants to live humbly for one.”
“When you’re dead, they really fix you up. I hope to hell when I do die somebody has sense enough to just dump me in the river or something. Anything except sticking me in a goddam cemetery. People coming and putting a bunch of flowers on your stomach on Sunday, and all that crap. Who wants flowers when you’re dead? Nobody.”
“The best thing, though, in that museum was that everything always stayed right where it was. Nobody’d move. You could go there a hundred thousand times, and that Eskimo would still be just finished catching those two fish, the birds would still be on their way south, the deers would still be drinking out of that water hole, with their pretty antlers and they’re pretty, skinny legs, and that squaw with the naked bosom would still be weaving that same blanket. Nobody’s be different. The only thing that would be different would be you. Not that you’d be so much older or anything. It wouldn’t be that, exactly. You’d just be different, that’s all. You’d have an overcoat this time. Or the kid that was your partner in line the last time had got scarlet fever and you’d have a new partner. Or you’d have a substitute taking the class, instead of Miss Aigletinger. Or you’d heard your mother and father having a terrific fight in the bathroom. Or you’d just passed by one of those puddles in the street with gasoline rainbows in them. I mean you’d be different in some way—I can’t explain what I mean. And even if I could, I’m not sure I’d feel like it.”
“Anyway, I keep picturing all these little kids playing some game in this big field of rye and all. Thousands of little kids, and nobody’s around – nobody big, I mean – except me. And I’m standing on the edge of some crazy cliff. What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff – I mean if they’re running and they don’t look where they’re going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them. That’s all I do all day. I’d just be the catcher in the rye and all. I know it’s crazy, but that’s the only thing I’d really like to be.”

Art for New Year’s Day – Part II of VIII: George H. Broughton

Below – “Party For New Year’s Day”

Musings on New Year’s Day: Alfred Tennyson

“Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.”

A Poem for New Year’s Day

“New Year’s Day”
by Kim Addonizio

The rain this morning falls
on the last of the snow

and will wash it away. I can smell
the grass again, and the torn leaves

being eased down into the mud.
The few loves I’ve been allowed

to keep are still sleeping
on the West Coast. Here in Virginia

I walk across the fields with only
a few young cows for company.

Big-boned and shy,
they are like girls I remember

from junior high, who never
spoke, who kept their heads

lowered and their arms crossed against
their new breasts. Those girls

are nearly forty now. Like me,
they must sometimes stand

at a window late at night, looking out
on a silent backyard, at one

rusting lawn chair and the sheer walls
of other people’s houses.

They must lie down some afternoons
and cry hard for whoever used

to make them happiest,
and wonder how their lives

have carried them
this far without ever once

explaining anything. I don’t know
why I’m walking out here

with my coat darkening
and my boots sinking in, coming up

with a mild sucking sound
I like to hear. I don’t care

where those girls are now.
Whatever they’ve made of it

they can have. Today I want
to resolve nothing.

I only want to walk
a little longer in the cold

blessing of the rain,
and lift my face to it.

Art for New Year’s Day – Part III of VIII: Laura Edmond

Below – “New Year’s Day”

Remembering a Writer on the date of His Birth: Born 1 January 1879 – E. M. Forster, an English novelist, short story writer, and essayist.

Some quotes from the work of E. M. Forster:

“I suggest that the only books that influence us are those for which we are ready, and which have gone a little further down our particular path than we have yet gone ourselves.”
“We cast a shadow on something wherever we stand, and it is no good moving from place to place to save things; because the shadow always follows. Choose a place where you won’t do harm – yes, choose a place where you won’t do very much harm, and stand in it for all you are worth, facing the sunshine.”
“When I think of what life is, and how seldom love is answered by love; it is one of the moments for which the world was made.”
“Life is easy to chronicle, but bewildering to practice.”
“Adventures do occur, but not punctually.”
“The main facts in human life are five: birth, food, sleep, love and death.”
“You confuse what’s important with what’s impressive.”
“Let yourself go. Pull out from the depths those thoughts that you do not understand, and spread them out in the sunlight and know the meaning of them.”
“We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.”

Musings on New Year’s Day: Helen Hunt Jackson

“Only a night from old to new;
Only a sleep from night to morn.
The new is but the old come true;
Each sunrise sees a new year born.”

Art for New Year’s Day – Part IV of VIII: Theodore Wores

Below – “New Year’s Day in San Francisco’s Chinatown, 1881”

Worth a Thousand Words: Times Square early on New Year’s Day.

Musings on New Year’s Day: G.K. Chesterton

“The object of a New Year is not that we should have a new year. It is that we should have a new soul and a new nose; new feet, a new backbone, new ears, and new eyes. Unless a particular man made New Year resolutions, he would make no resolutions. Unless a man starts afresh about things, he will certainly do nothing effective.”

Art for New Year’s Day – Part V of VIII: And Henri Dargelas

Below – “New Year’s Day”

Remembering a Music Legend on the Date of His Death: Died 1 January 1953 – Hank Williams, an American singer-songwriter and guitarist.

Musings on New Year’s Day: T.S. Eliot

“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language
And next year’s words await another voice.
And to make an end is to make a beginning.”

Art for New Year’s Day – Part VI of VIII: Cornelius Krieghoff

Below – “The New Year’s Day Parade”

A Second Poem for New Year’s Day

A Haiku for New Year’s Day
by Kobayashi Issa

New Year’s Day–
everything is in blossom!
I feel about average.

Below – Muramatsu Shunpo: “Kobayashi Issa”

Musings on New Year’s Day: Sarah Ban Breathnach

“New Year’s Day. A fresh start. A new chapter in life waiting to be written. New questions to be asked, embraced, and loved. Answers to be discovered and then lived in this transformative year of delight and self-discovery. Today carve out a quiet interlude for yourself in which to dream, pen in hand. Only dreams give birth to change.”

Art for New Year’s Day – Part VII of VIII: Henry Mosler

Below – “New Year’s Morning”

For Your Information: 1 January is National Bloody Mary Day in the United States.

Musings on New Year’s Day: Neil Gaiman

“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re doing something.
So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.
Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it.
Make your mistakes, next year and forever.”

This Date in Art History: Born 1 January I864 – Arthur Stieglitz, an American photographer.

Below – “Winter – Fifth Avenue”; “Georgia O’Keeffe” (1918); “Spring Showers”; “The Letter Box”; “Georgia O’Keefe” (1920); “Two Towers – New York.”

Remembering a Writer on the Date of His Birth: Born 1 January 1950 – James Richardson, an American poet.

by James Richardson

The week after you died, Mom,
you were in my checkout line,
little old lady who met my stare
with the fear, the yearning
of a mortal chosen by a god,
feeling herself change
painfully cell by cell
into a shadow, a laurel, you, a constellation.

Musings on New Year’s Day: Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.”

Art for New Year’s Day – Part VIII of VIII: Konstantin Somov

Below – “Old and New Year: Cover of the Calendar for 1905”

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Current Events – 1 January 2018

“The news automatically becomes the real world for the TV user and is not a substitute for reality, but is itself an immediate reality.” – Marshall Mcluhan, Canadian philosopher and media expert.

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Beleaguered in Bothell – 31 December 2017

Musings on New Year’s Eve: Ogden Nash

“Tonight’s December thirty-first,
Something is about to burst.
The clock is crouching, dark and small,
Like a time bomb in the hall.
Hark, it’s midnight, children dear.
Duck! Here comes another year!”

Art for New Year’s Eve – Part I of VI: Childe Hassam:

Below – “New Year’s Nocturne”

Remembering an Influential Thinker on the Date of His Death: Died 31 December 1980 – Marshall McLuhan, a Canadian professor, philosopher, public intellectual, and expert in medial theory.

Some quotes from the work of Marshall McLuhan:

“All media work us over completely. They are so pervasive in their personal, political, economic, aesthetic, psychological, moral, ethical, and social consequences that they leave no part of us untouched, unaffected, unaltered. The medium is the message. Any understanding of social and cultural change is impossible without a knowledge of the way media work as environments. All media are extensions of some human faculty – psychic or physical.”
“World War III is a guerrilla information war with no division between military and civilian participation.”
“An administrator in a bureaucratic world is a man who can feel big by merging his non-entity in an abstraction. A real person in touch with real things inspires terror in him.”
“Attention spans get very weak at the speed of light, and that goes along with a very weak identity.”
“Affluence creates poverty.”
“Computers can do better than ever what needn’t be done at all. Making sense is still a human monopoly.”
“We go forward looking in the rearview mirror.”
“There are no passengers on spaceship earth. We are all crew.”

Art for New Year’s Eve – Part II of VI: Katherine Nolin

Below – “New Year’s Eve in New York”

Musings on New Year’s Eve: P.J. O’Rourke

“The proper behaviour all through the holiday season is to be drunk. The drunkenness culminates on New Years’ Eve, when you get so drunk you kiss the person you’re married to.”

Below – Edvard Munch: “The Kiss”

Art for New Year’s Eve – Part III of VI: A. Snegirev

Below – “A New Year’s Eve Night”

Your Information: 31 December is National Champagne Day in the United States.

Musings on New Year’s Eve: Brad Paisley

“Tomorrow, is the first blank page of a 365 page book. Write a good one.”

This Date in Art History: Born 31 December 1869 – Henri Matisse, a French painter and sculptor.

Below – “Sleep” (wood); “The Moroccans”; “Interior with Goldfish Bowl”; “Three Sisters and the Rose Marble Table”; “Reclining Nude” (bronze); “Self-Portrait.”

Art for New Year’s Eve – Part IV of VI: Willie Gillis

Below – “New Year’s Eve”

Worth a Thousand Words: Times Square on New Year’s Eve.

Art for New Year’s Eve – Part V of VI: Helen Bradley

Below – “It Was Midnight on New Year’s Eve”

A Poem for New Year’s Eve

“The Year”
by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

What can be said in New Year rhymes,
That’s not been said a thousand times?

The new years come, the old years go,
We know we dream, we dream we know.
We rise up laughing with the light,
We lie down weeping with the night.
We hug the world until it stings,
We curse it then and sigh for wings.
We live, we love, we woo, we wed,
We wreathe our prides, we sheet our dead.
We laugh, we weep, we hope, we fear,
And that’s the burden of a year.

Art for New Year’s Eve – Part VI of VI: Utagawa Hiroshige

Below – “Fox Fire on New Year’s Eve at Garment Nettle Tree at Oji”

Musings on New Year’s Eve: Craig Lounsbrough

“We’re not dictated by the calendar, nor does the calendar sweep the obstructions from our lives when the second hand reaches midnight in the wee and fleeting hours of December. We can choose to move toward something new at any time.”

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Current Events – 31 December 2017

“Youth is when you’re allowed to stay up late on New Year’s Eve. Middle age is when you’re forced to.” – Bill Vaughan, an American journalist and author.

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