The Forward op-ed: Is the Christmas Tree a Religious Symbol? What About a Menorah?, by Michael A. Helfand (Pepperdine):
“It is impossible to write tragedy without a sense of humor. Humor lights up dark literature, like Rembrandt’s underpainting. Without it the work is merely heavy, turgid. Make ’em laugh before you make ’em cry. Shakespeare does this deftly — the gatekeeper’s scene in Macbeth, the gravedigger’s scene in Hamlet. How smoothly Stravinsky does it in the Firebird Suite.
Sibelius lifts your spirits before laying that tragic trombone melody on you in the Seventh Symphony. It is irony, mockery even, that makes Lorenz Hart the greater lyricist than Oscar Hammerstein. “My Funny Valentine” -- Hammerstein could never have conceived such a thought. Without an inner humor, tragic art becomes like the pathetic you-gotta-hear-my-story lapel-grabbing of a barroom drunk. Here is one of the distinguishing differences between Tchaikovsky and Mozart. Mozart’s restraint in sorrow makes his music only the more poignant. And Paul had that kind of elegance.”
For his series Vanishing Spirits: The Dried Remains of Single Malt Scotch, photographer Ernie Buttons photographed the creatively lit bottoms of glasses emptied of their single malt Scotch whisky. The results look like alien worlds.
These remind me a lot of Christopher Jonassen’s frying pan worlds and Nadine Schlieper’s & Robert Pufleb’s photos of pancakes that look like moons. (via moss & fog)
: He opposed trade unions, supported the U.S. invasion of Grenada, and ignored boycotts of apartheid South Africa Tom of Politics
THE STUDY WAS PERFORMED BY SOCIAL SCIENTISTS, SO DRAW YOUR OWN CONCLUSIONS: Brain surgeons and rocket scientists are no smarter than the rest of us: study.