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Courage Has A Face

Courage Has A Face

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AMSTERDAM – It is impossible to spend any significant time at all in this city, i.e., more than one day, and not be conscious of the influence and the sheer perennial presence of two of the greatest spirits who haunt it most persistently: Rembrandt van Rijn and Vincent Van Gogh. I spent a lot of time here in the middle 2000s on business for Boeing’s commercial airplane division, working out of the inventory-planning offices, at Schiphol Airport, of KLM-Royal Dutch Airlines. In the process, I had ample time to visit all the great art museums in the city – the Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum, and the Stedelijk Museum of modern / contemporary art. My wife and I also spent a lot of time here, partly on business when Diane occasionally accompanied me on my business trips and partly for pl
Mystery, Mozart, And Meat

Mystery, Mozart, And Meat

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DISCLAIMER:  I freely admit that the following description / discussion about debates I, as a pro-choice advocate, have engaged in with pro-life people is purely anecdotal. I do not claim to have exercised any kind of scientific rigor in compiling and writing the following, nor should such be inferred. Still … that being said … sheer consistency should count for something. In writing this column, I could recall no exceptions to the following pattern. Anyway, make of the followlng what you will … I am personally pro-choice, and several years ago, I began to engage in at-times-rather-heated though -usually-civil conversations and debates with pro-life people, almost always conservative evangelical Christians, regarding pro-life vs. pro-choice positions on abortion. Many of t
Beyond The Bounds Of Realism With Hyper-Realism

Beyond The Bounds Of Realism With Hyper-Realism

"Life" Issues, activism, Art, awareness, Challenge, Change, citizenship, civics, community, Compassion, conflict, courage, critical judgment, culture, Discernment, Human Condition, mindfulness, progressive politics, Secularity, Uncategorized
One of the customary criticisms of what we may generically call “modern” art is that the bizarre distortions of the figures in the works – even music, e.g., the works of John Cage – render the art inaccessible to any but the most sophisticated tastes and temperaments. Such critics point to, e.g., Picasso’s “Les Demoiselles d’Avignon” and Duchamp’s “Nude Descending a Staircase” as examples of modern art’s alienation from the public. (The late evangelical Christian writer Francis Schaeffer even went so far as to argue that “Nude” was actually evil and sinful, because it was a form of pornography in that it encouraged the viewer to search the image for a picture of a naked woman!) Compare Picasso and Duchamp, et al., with, e.g., the great landscape artists of the Hudson River School and