Accompanied by medievalish music and sheep bleating.
Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights was (one) of the reasons I went to Madrid. The Garden is in the Prado and is just as stunning as the online projects show her to be. Plan to visit the painting in off hours as there is usually a crowd waiting to inspect it, and it is a delight. I spent several hours with and around the painting just breathing the molecules of paint flakes in the air, hoping to breathe in enough so it stays with me.
As I was writing the post I went to the Prado website and … behold there is an Ingres exhibition. Ingres is better than Leonardo in drawing I, tell you. Now that with google you can travel pretty much anywhere in the world from your Saturday morning bed – take a trip through the beautiful and the intellectual and into this painting. Visit it in person if you can.
A towel is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have. Partly it has great practical value. You can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapors; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a miniraft down the slow heavy River Moth; wet it for use in hand-to-hand-combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (such a mind-boggingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can’t see it, it can’t see you); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough.
I recently saw the excellent Danny Boyle movie Steve Jobs and in the movie Jobs predicted that the computer is going to be like a bicycle for the mind. Joseph Campbell said that everyone is a hero at birth. And here I am in front of my treasured Mac, enjoying the work of a musical hero in front of his piano, related to me via his computer. The audience is currently at 20, 000, larger than Madison Square Garden. What an awesome time to be alive.
( just found out he had 65, 000 simultaneous viewers yesterday, so yeah )
And here is my stance on the matter – if they can copy Van Gogh – more power to them. Copyright doesn’t have a place in art as all art is derivative. Picasso ripped aboriginal art, Van Gogh was inspired by Japanese woodcuts. The only takeaway here is that art carries power and presence. It only takes a corner of a sunflower to know it is Van Gogh, it takes an eye and a bit of nose to tell a Picasso, and it takes the corner of a Millennium Falcon to know it’s Star Wars. It is the strength of the artist’s ideas that overcomes us. And if there’s a place in China somewhere that makes good Van Goghs – the world is only better for it to be honest.
A link directly to the Van Gogh’s copies in the timeline – I think they are pretty good:
This comic is based word from word on Neil Postman’s book Amusing Ourselves to Death. As someone who is often amused by the internet I often fear our dependency on Google, our expectation for the clicking on buttons to deliver and our thirst for the waterfalls of information. I also rarely post depressing stuff as I like to keep positive and posted this simply on account of it being pretty amusing.
What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one. Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information. Huxley feared those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egotism. Orwell feared that the truth would be concealed from us. Huxley feared the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance. Orwell feared we would become a captive culture. Huxley feared we would become a trivial culture, preoccupied with some equivalent of the feelies, the orgy porgy, and the centrifugal bumblepuppy. As Huxley remarked in Brave New World Revisited, the civil libertarians and rationalists who are ever on the alert to oppose tyranny “failed to take into account man’s almost infinite appetite for distractions.” In 1984, Orwell added, people are controlled by inflicting pain. In Brave New World, they are controlled by inflicting pleasure. In short, Orwell feared that what we fear will ruin us. Huxley feared that our desire will ruin us.