Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Klee's pedagogical sketchbook

Senecio, Paul Klee
I've admired the modernist art of Paul Klee for some time. This week I've been reading about his pedagogical sketchbook. I was pleased to see that his instructions translate to writers, too.
1. Take a line for a walk. Repeat the same form in as many positions as possible.
2. Observe a fishtank. Create movement in your work.
3. Draw the circulatory system. Use nature as a model, theme, inspiration.
4. Weigh the colors. Combine scientific precision with mysticism; find the connection between color and music.
5. Study the greats. Break down a master to determine what makes their work successful (or not).
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I've also been admiring the photographs of Jacques Henri Lartigue. He and Klee were probably contemporaries of a sort. I'm quite taken with his casual, non-posed photographs of a certain class of young, slender, elegant European in the 1920's and 1930's, living life, running around in go-karts, sun-bathing, jumping off a staircase, going out. The women are rouged beauties, the men dashing and reckless. There's a sense of languor and mystery. Do yourself a favor. Click this Google search and immerse yourself.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

a nose by any other name

Welp, I'm 10 days into what appears to be an eternal bout of bronchitis; cheerless Dayquil days punctuated with coughing and and snorting into Kleenex, nose cracking and sore, mouth permanently coated with a slick of cherry cough drop, alleviated only by brief snatches of drugged, hallucinogenic sleep.
Okay, maybe I exaggerate, but I'm ready to start feeling good.
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In the meantime, enjoy this article about linguistics and similarities across languages.
It brought to mind this video about the complexity of rhyme in rap lyrics.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

the seven tenets

I ran across these seven tenets this week and immediately felt "YES."
  • One should strive to act with compassion and empathy towards all creatures in accordance with reason.
  • The struggle for justice is an ongoing and necessary pursuit that should prevail over laws and institutions.
  • One’s body is inviolable, subject to one’s own will alone.
  • The freedoms of others should be respected, including the freedom to offend. To willfully and unjustly encroach upon the freedoms of another is to forgo your own.
  • Beliefs should conform to our best scientific understanding of the world. We should take care never to distort scientific facts to fit our beliefs.
  • People are fallible. If we make a mistake, we should do our best to rectify it and resolve any harm that may have been caused.
  • Every tenet is a guiding principle designed to inspire nobility in action and thought. The spirit of compassion, wisdom, and justice should always prevail over the written or spoken word
I was very surprised to learn of their origin. And what other things the group is doing to fight the regime.  As with so much of the shitstorm-dumpster-fire that has been 2016, I never imagined writing or saying these words but: thanks, Satanic Temple.
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