Sentient in San Francisco – 16 February 2019

This Date in Art History: Died 16 February 1990 – Keith Haring, an American painter.

Below – “Plate from Andy Mouse Portfolio”; “Best Buddies”; “Red Dog”; “Growing I”; “Pop Shop Quad IV”; “Fertility Suite No. 3.”

A Poem for Today

by Glenna Luschei

Dog at my pillow.
Dog at my feet.
My own toothbrush.

Contemporary American Art – Deana Marconi

Below (photographs) – “Connection”; “Bird-watcher”; “Los Angeles 1982”; “Hello”; “In the Moment.”

Remembering a Writer on the Date of His Birth: Born 16 February 1838 – Henry Brooks Adams, an American historian and author of “The Education of Henry Adams,” which won the 1919 Pulitzer Prize.
The Modern Library placed “The Education of Henry Adams” first in its top 100 English-language nonfiction books of the 20th century.

Some quotes from the work of Henry Adams:

“I firmly believe, that before many centuries more, science will be the master of man. The engines he will have invented will be beyond his strength to control. Someday, science shall have the existence of mankind in its power, and the human race commit suicide by blowing up the world.”
“The press is the hired agent of a monied system, and set up for no other purpose than to tell lies where their interests are involved. One can trust nobody and nothing.”
“A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.”
“Chaos was the law of nature; Order was the dream of man.”
“Politics, as a practice, whatever its professions, has always been the systematic organization of hatreds.”
“There is no such thing as an underestimate of average intelligence.
“My belief is that science is to wreck us, and that we are like monkeys monkeying with a loaded shell; we don’t in the least know or care where our practically infinite energies come from or will bring us to.”
“I would rather starve and rot and keep the privilege of speaking the truth as I see it, than of holding all the offices that capital has to give from the presidency down.”
“The chief wonder of education is that it does not ruin everybody concerned in it, teachers and taught.”
“Power is poison. Its effect on Presidents had always been tragic, chiefly as an almost insane excitement at first, and a worse reaction afterwards.”

Contemporary American Art – Debbie Davidsohn: Part I of II.

Below – “Self-portrait”; “Message in a Bottle”; “Beach Landscape”; “Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie”; “Teresa Shook – Women’s March 2017”; “Harley Pup”; “Sealed in the Wind.”

Remembering a Writer on the Date of Her Birth: Born 16 February 1958 – Natalie Angier, an American nonfiction writer, science journalist, and recipient of the 1991 Pulitzer Prize for Beat Reporting.

Some quotes from the work of Natalie Angier:

“Scientists have discovered that the small, brave act of cooperating with another person, of choosing trust over cynicism, generosity over selfishness, makes the brain light up with quiet joy.”
“Science is not a body of facts. Science is a state of mind. It is a way of viewing the world, of facing reality square on but taking nothing on its face. It is about attacking a problem with the most manicured of claws and tearing it down into sensible, edible pieces.”
“I may not believe in life after death, but what a gift it is to be alive now.”
“The surest and most insidious enemy of freedom is not dictatorship, but complacency.”
“Evolution is a tinkerer, an ad-hocker, and a jury-rigger. It works with what it has on hand, not with what it has in mind. Some of its inventions prove elegant, while in others you can see the seams and dried glue.”
“I’m an Atheist. I don’t believe in God, Gods, Godlets or any sort of higher power beyond the universe itself, which seems quite high and powerful enough to me.”
“As [The Nation columnist Katha] Pollitt points out, when one starts looking beneath the surface of things and adding together the out-front atheists with the indifferent nonbelievers, you end up with a much larger group of people than Jews, Muslims, Buddhists and Unitarians put together.”
“Nature is a tenacious recycler, every dung heap and fallen redwood tree a bustling community of saprophytes wresting life from the dead and discarded, as though intuitively aware that there is nothing new under the sun. Throughout the physical world, from the cosmic to the subatomic, the same refrain resounds. Conservation: it’s not just a good idea, it’s the law.”
“Among the more irritating consequences of our flagrantly religious society is the special dispensation that mainstream religions receive. We all may talk about religion as a powerful social force, but unlike other similarly powerful institutions, religion is not to be questioned, criticized or mocked.”
“Who needs a handgun when you’ve got a semiautomatic?”
“Astronomy is so easy to love. … Fairly or not, physics is associated with nuclear bombs and nuclear waste, chemistry with pesticides, biology with Frankenfood and designer-gene superbabies. But astronomers are like responsible ecotourists, squinting at the scenery through high-quality optical devices, taking nothing but images that may be computer-enhanced for public distribution, leaving nothing but a few Land Rover footprints on faraway Martian soil, and OK, OK, maybe the Land Rover, too.”
“Eternal love is a myth, but we make our myths, and we love them to death.”
“We are made of stardust; why not take a few moments to look up at the family album?”

Contemporary American Art – Debbie Davidsohn: Part II of II.

Below – “Antoinette”; “Raja”; “Sam”; “Santa’s Wish – Civil Rights Santa Claus”; “Self-Portrait – Women’s Rights are Human Rights”; “Plymouth Rock”; “Queen of May.”

A Poem for Today

“Hospital Parking Lot”
by Terri Kirby Erickson

Headscarf fluttering in the wind,
stockings hanging loose on her vein-roped
legs, an old woman clings to her husband

as if he were the last tree standing in a storm,
though he is not the strong one.

His skin is translucent—more like a window
than a shade. Without a shirt and coat,

we could see his lungs swell and shrink,
his heart skip. But he has offered her his arm,
and for sixty years, she has taken it.

Below – James Coates: “Old Couple”

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