Sunday, November 29, 2015

Romanesque: Training Roses

“Life is beautiful in spite of everything! … There are many thorns, but the roses are there too.”

Interesting  is this test, as proposed by the British magazine Country Life.  I wonder how many of us can “train a rose ...” 

Speakibg of trauning, obe wobders which companionship doesn’t encompass its share of disagreements and difficulties, but they don’t matter, as long as we also   learn the lesson that Stephen Sondheim taught so well in Company:
Somebody crowd me with love,
Somebody force me to care,
Somebody make me come through,
I’ll always be there
As frightened as you
To help us survive
Being alive.

Graham Foust’s “Poem to My Daughter” in The New Republic “Poem to My Daughter”

“Oh god, how this story emerges from my bones!”

What is it that keeps drawing filmmakers to the fiction of Patricia Highsmith?
The filmable Miss Highsmith

Great writing is like diving: anybody can get from the platform to the pool—or the pavement—but some, with grace and sweat and just a bit of swag, can make that brief passage through the air angelic in its beauty and terror. “We started talking about dying long before the first woman jumped,” writes Jaquira Díaz in her essay “Ordinary Girls” in the new issue of KR. As an opening sentence, that’s like getting a good bounce off the board. We sense that there’s nothing but air below her, but it’s also clear she’ll work some magic on the way down. Diving and Dying
Chris Adrian and Eli Horowitz, New World, “An innovative story of love, decapitation, cryogenics, and memory by two of our most creative literary minds.”

Our hyperconnected lives, saturated with advertising and technological automation, are increasingly disconnected from family. George Scialabba explains the modern dilemmas  »

Frank Sinatra’s character flaw isn’t hard to name. He lived in daily fear of humiliation, and in its (often imagined) presence his temper tipped over in an instant. This was followed, usually, by remorse, once he had sobered up and stopped seeing red. But, in the interim, real damage was done to real people: he threw a telephone at a businessman once at the Beverly Hills Hotel, fracturing his skull and very nearly killing him. The other cause of his rage may be oddly taboo to tell. Sinatra was a bad, mean drunk, and, since he was often drunk, he was often bad and mean. (John Lennon was a bad, mean drunk, too, and when he got loose long enough to show it the author of “Imagine” and “Julia” could do similarly violent things.) Despite everything we ought to have learned, we still make a ballad out of alcohol. It was Jack on the rocks, not crack from a bag, and so we somehow think that it’s not so bad. The other sad truth Kaplan illustrates is that demons rage in the rich and famous as much as they do in the poor and unknown—and maybe rage still more, since, having defeated the usual demons of worldly failure that haunt the rest of us, the famous are left alone with the remaining, inexpungible ones, grinning up evilly at them from inside.

Were it not for Andy Warhol, the current multibillion-dollar market in contemporary art would barely exist. Last year, he broke a record for the highest annual sales of any artist; he is the spiritual godfather to artists such as Richard Prince and Jeff Koons. Yet in 1993, six years after he died, Warhol’s reputation was such that when 16 of his canvases came up for auction, only two sold: The erstwhile king of pop art was scorned by almost all self-respecting collectors. Warhol’s recovery from that slump has no precedent in the history of art or commerce.
“I am finished,” 40-year-old Winston Churchill declared in 1915, after leading one of the most disastrous naval campaigns in Great Britain’s history. Members of his own party declared him a “public danger” and a “maniac.” But 20 years later, his prescient warnings regarding Hitler’s rise led Churchill to 10 Downing Street, despite not being the choice of his king, his cabinet, or even his own party. Once there, Churchill inspired his small island to persevere against a ruthless Nazi war machine that had effortlessly rolled across Europe, and to help save Western civilization.

Research note: Greater tree canopy cover is associated with lower rates of both violent and property crime in New Haven, CT. Landscape and Urban Planning Volume 143, November 2015, Pages 248–253 doi:10.1016/j.landurbplan.2015.08.005.
“Evolving literature suggests that modifiable neighborhood characteristics such as trees and other vegetation are inversely associated with crime. This study examines the relationship between vegetation and crime in New Haven, CT, a midsized city with high crime rates. Spatial lag analyses were used to test the association of tree canopy coverage, measured through high-resolution aerial imagery, with rates of violent (murder, rape, robbery and assault), property (burglary, theft, motor vehicle theft and arson) and total (violent + property) crimes.

The Most Famous American Dog on Instagram New Yorker 

“Cante Flamenco, or cante hondo [sic] (deep song, as the purer, less florid form is called) is a unique blending of Eastern and Western modes and as such it often baffles when it most intrigues the Western ear. In our own culture the closest music to it in feeling is the Negro blues, early jazz, and the slave songs (now euphemistically termed ‘spirituals’).”
-Ralph Ellison, “Introduction to Flamenco,”The Saturday Review, December 11, 1954