Sentient in San Francisco – 25 June 2019

This Date in Art History: Died 25 June 1875 – Antoine-Louis Barye, a French sculptor.

Below – “Hercules Sitting on a Bull”; “Theseus and the Minotaur”; “Turkish Horse”; “Elephant from Senegal”; “Basset Debout”; “Jaguar Devouring a Hare.”

This Date in American History: Died 25 June 1876 – George Armstrong Custer, a United States Army officer and cavalry commander who will always be remembered for his participation in the Battle of the Little Big Horn, popularly known as Custer’s Last Stand.
Anyone interested in The Battle of the Little Big Horn should watch a fascinating and impressively informative documentary: “Battlefield Detectives – Season 1, Episode 1: ‘Custer at Little Bighorn.'” It was first broadcast on the History Channel, and I believe that it is also available for viewing on YouTube.

This Date in Art History: Died 25 June 1882 – Francois Jouffroy, a French sculptor.

Below – “First secret entrusted to Venus”;”Ariane abandonnée”; “Source of the Seine”; “L’Aurore”; “Harmony”; “Merchant Marine.”

This Date in Entertainment History: Born 25 June 1961 – Ricky Gervais, an English stand-up comedian, actor, director, screenwriter, and social critic.
People who subscribe to Netflix should definitely watch the Ricky Gervais comedy special “Humanity.”

Some quotes from the work of Ricky Gervais:

“When you are dead, you do not know you are dead. It’s only painful and difficult for others. The same applies when you are stupid.”
“Next time someone tells me they believe in God, I’ll say ‘Oh which one? Zeus? Hades? Jupiter? Mars? Odin? Thor? Krishna? Vishnu? Ra?…’ If they say ‘Just God. I only believe in the one God,’ I’ll point out that they are nearly as atheistic as me. I don’t believe in 2,870 gods, and they don’t believe in 2,869.”
“Same sex marriage isn’t gay privilege, it’s equal rights. Privilege would be something like gay people not paying taxes. Like churches don’t.”
“The best advice I’ve ever received is, ‘No one else knows what they’re doing either.’”
“Just because you’re offended, doesn’t mean you’re right.”
“Mondays are fine. It’s your life that sucks.”
“Be happy. It really annoys negative people.”
“Being on the edge isn’t as safe, but the view is better.”
“It’s a strange myth that atheists have nothing to live for. It’s the opposite. We have nothing to die for. We have everything to live for.”
“Remember, no one can hurt your feelings without your permission.”
“If you can’t joke about the most horrendous things in the world, what’s the point of jokes? What’s the point in having humor? Humor is to get us over terrible things.”
“I’ve never been insulted by hateful satanists for not believing in their devil. Only by loving Christians for not believing in their God.”
“Some [people] are really smart. You know who you are. Some [people] are really thick. Unfortunately, you don’t know who you are.”
“We shouldn’t even need the word ‘atheism’. If people didn’t invent ridiculous imaginary gods, rational people wouldn’t have to deny them.”
“Enjoy life. Have fun. Be kind. Have worth. Have friends. Be honest. Laugh. Die with dignity. Make the most of it. It’s all we’ve got.”


This Date in Art History: Died 25 June 1916 – Thomas Eakins, an American painter, photographer, and sculptor.

Below – “Miss Amelia Van Buren”; “Retrospection”; “The Gross Clinic”; “Portrait of Maud Cook”; “Max Schmitt in a single scull”; “William Rush Carving His Allegorical Figure of the Schuylkill River.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 25 June 1903 – George Orwell (Eric Arthur Blair), a British novelist, essayist, journalist, critic, and author of “Nineteen Eighty-Four.”

Some timely quotes from the work of George Orwell:

“The people will believe what the media tells them they believe.”
“The further a society drifts from truth the more it will hate those who speak it.”
“The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.”
“The past was erased, the erasure was forgotten, the lie became the truth.”
“Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book has been rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And that process is continuing day be day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except the endless present in which the party is always right.”
“If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.”
“From the totalitarian point of view, history is something to be created rather than learned.”
“Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed: everything else is public relations.”
“However much you deny the truth, the truth goes on existing.”
“Threats to freedom of speech, writing and action, though often trivial in isolation, are cumulative in their effect and, unless checked, lead to a general disrespect for the rights of the citizen.”
“In a time of universal deceit – telling the truth is a revolutionary act.
“We have now sunk to a depth at which restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men.”
“It’s frightful that people who are so ignorant should have so much influence.”


This Date in Art History: Died 25 June 1972 – Jan Matulka, a Czech-American painter and illustrator.

Below – “New York in Winter”; “Still Life with Ceramic Bird”; “Still Life with Shells and Classical Head”; “At Sea”; “Turi Pole Landscape”; “Skupina Zen.”


A Poem for Today

“Nocturne”
by Michelle Y. Burke

A man can give up so much,
can limit himself to handwritten correspondence,
to foods made of whole grains,
to heat from a woodstove, logs
hewn by his own hand and stacked neatly
like corpses by the backdoor.

He can play nocturnes by heart.
They will not make the beloved appear.
He can learn the names of all the birds
in the valley. Not one
will be enticed to learn his.

Below – Prisac Nicolai: “The Sad Man”

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