Andre Breton, artist and author of The Surrealist Manifesto, once said that the simplest act of surrealist art would be to go out into the street with a revolver and start shooting indiscriminately into the crowd. (Snip) The surrealist movement was the offspring of Dada, a nihilistic form of art born out of the horror of World War I that rejected reason, rationality, and meaning. Surrealism continued this rebellion against Rationalism by championing a form of irrationalism that could be somewhat characterized by the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche, namely, casting off the old conceptions of life and morality and
Comments: As one whose walls are adorned with a couple of dozen Dali prints (including the one in this article), as well as Picasso, El Greco, and a John Lennon pencil drawing, I am well acquainted with the surrealistic movement, and sensitive to the criticism that it has perhaps twisted me in some elemental ways. What have I in common with the bowl of spaghetti hurled onto the wall and immortalized? Is Joni Mitchell´s line from "Woodstock" surreal: "And I dreamed I saw the bombers flying shotgun in the sky, turning into butterflies above our nation"?
(continued) At what point does surreal or hallucinogenic art poison the imagination and guide viewers to irrational behavior unmoored from "ordinary" life? Is this modern art madness or just imagination that enriches perception? There are many philosophical questions born of this inquiry. Mainly, I have more questions, and few answers. But when "rational" policy, exercised nearly unexamined for many decades, leads to ruin, why shouldn´t one lampoon its authors and its effects? Is laughing at our would be destroyers salutary? Is a sense of irony necessary to psychological health? Yes.
Or, #2, perhaps, your perception. Paul McCartney hated the line in his "Hey Jude": "The movement you need is on your shoulder." John said, after hearing it, "I know just what you mean. Leave it in." It stayed. Trouble is a bruin. Or should that be a Trojan?
According to a recent Quinnipiac poll, Floridians support legalizing marijuana for medicinal purposes by a whopping 82-16 margin, crossing all party lines. Frustrated by decades of inaction by the Florida Legislature, citizens have taken it into their own hands to put the issue directly before voters through a citizens’ initiative to amend the Florida Constitution. The question should be whether Florida wants to join 20 other states and the District of Columbia in making medical marijuana available to its residents suffering from debilitating illnesses. Instead, those in Florida leadership positions in both the legislative and executive branches are busy trying
One of the indefinable characteristics of deterrence is something called “credibility”. The credibility of a state was the confidence that if X then that state would do Y. It made things predictable. Now if the Obama administration says it will disarm Iran or stop North Korea, would it predictably do so? Iran seems to think the Obama administration will predictably not stop it. Recently Reuters announced that “Iran will pursue construction at the Arak heavy-water reactor, Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif was quoted as saying on Wednesday, despite a deal with world powers to shelve a project they fear could
Now that Americans have largely caught on that their government will lie to them to support the expansion of state power, America´s progressives are in for a rough time ahead, according to Peter Ferrara, writing at Forbes. "The second shoe is preparing to drop to shatter the world view of so-called Progressives. Coming, global revelations will demonstrate the fraud behind the theory of man-caused, catastrophic, global warming, just like the real world has shattered the falsehoods behind Obamacare. That is because the underlying reason for both frauds was the same: to expand government power. Enablers went along with the fraud in
Many commentators, most eloquently Bret Stephens at the Wall Street Journal, draw a parallel between the appeasement of Hitler at Munich in 1938 and the appeasement of Iran at Geneva. There is another, more chilling parallel: Iran’s motive for proposing to annihilate the Jewish State is the same as Hitler’s, and the world’s indifference to the prospect of another Holocaust is no different today than it was in 1938. It is the dead’s envy for the living. Dying civilizations are the most dangerous, and Iran is dying. Its total fertility rate probably stands at just 1.6 children per female, the
Paul Caron at the Taxprof describes the concept of the GUGIT, whose central idea is to “progressively” tax a person wherever he may be, whatever citizenship he might hold. (Snip) As George Will observed, “There’s no limiting principle in the principle that they’re invoking, that is majorities should rule all the time. What this means is if in the spring of 2017 there is a Republican president, which there could be, the Republicans still hold the House and they have 51 Senators, they can repeal Obamacare with 51 votes. And I’m not sure the people who did this today have
TAMPA — It took jurors less than an hour Tuesday to unanimously recommend that three-time convicted murderer Dontae Morris be executed for killing Tampa police officers Jeffrey Kocab and David Curtis. “The fact that they came back 12-0 speaks volumes about the viciousness of Dontae Morris´ crimes,” said Tampa Police Chief Jane Castor after the verdict was announced. “He didn´t just kill two police officers. He killed others in the community. If there is an instance where the death penalty is applicable, then this is it. The jury said that loud and clear.” Morris, who also was convicted in March
TAMPA — Dontae Morris could not overcome a “mountain of evidence,” including a dashboard video recording showing him kill two Tampa police officers and then running away as they lay dead or dying on the side of a road. An Orange County jury, bused in to Tampa, took four hours Friday night to convict Morris of two counts of first-degree murder and one count of escape in the killings of officers David Curtis and Jeffrey Kocab on June 29, 2010. The jurors will reconvene on Tuesday to hear evidence over whether they should recommend a death sentence for Morris, who
Middle East politics amounts to managing the decline of a failed culture. Nothing expresses Arab failure more vividly than Egypt, a banana republic without the bananas, now living on a $14 billion or so annual subsidy from Saudi Arabia and other Gulf States. With 70% of its population living in agricultural areas, it imports half its food, and would starve if not for the Saudi check. Egypt is beyond the point of no return economically, and American foreign policy is beyond the point of no return intellectually. Americans of both parties–Obama and Kerry on one side, and Sens. McCain and
The New York Times has an interesting article on treating “gun violence” as a disease. It describes the work of Gary Slutkin who “came to the view that gun violence in poor neighborhoods did indeed resemble the epidemics he had treated in Africa”. (Snip) Slutkin’s treatment apparently rests on the idea that shootings are an African-American cultural problem and by finding “disease carriers” and treating them, crime could be reduced. Slutkin’s heart must be pure, or else his whole program would be condemned by the NYT as an exercise in racial profiling and forced re-education. Rebranding works wonders. Shakespeare was
“Using statistics,” my teacher used to say, “is like driving a car down a road with the windshield blacked out, guided only by your rear-view mirror.” The notion of the future as a probability is at the heart of the Washington Post‘s survey of natural disasters. Typhoon Haiyan was not unique. It was individually unpredictable, but it was statistically just what one would have expected: “33 of the 35 deadliest tropical cyclones on record have occurred in southern or southeastern Asia – due to a confluence of meteorology, geography, population density, poverty and government. The deadliest tropical cyclone in recorded
The art world was abuzz Tuesday night when an auction of contemporary and postwar works at Christie´s New York netted a total of roughly $692 million. Of course, to Major League Baseball´s brass, this figure represents a quiet off-season of spending. The biggest sale of the night was a Francis Bacon triptych called "Three Studies in Lucian Freud" that went for a record $142.4 million. If the unidentified buyer had been more interested in speedy outfielders than bleak expressionism, he or she could have used that money to hire the services of Dodger Carl Crawford for seven years. Another buyer
There is one kind of bumper sticker I see almost daily here in my small Midwestern town: a small oval printed with "26.2" or "13.1." In case you´re lucky enough not to know what these numbers represent, let me explain: They indicate that the driver or someone in the car has run a marathon (26.2 miles) or a half-marathon (13.1 miles). There is only one reason running aficionados display the stickers. They want the rest of us to know about their long-distance feats. So let me be the first to offer my hearty congratulations. I´d even offer to give them
A Republican strategist is reminding his party that President Reagan is dead. Ford O´Connell, who worked on Sen. John McCain´s (R-Ariz.) 2008 presidential campaign, says if Republicans want to win the White House in 2016, they need to break free of the "obsessive Reagan disorder." Rule #1 of the political analyst´s newly released book, "Hail Mary: The 10-Step Playbook for Republican Recovery," is: "Ronald Reagan is dead. Accept it." Such a sentiment is sure to be tough to digest for a party insistent on using the 40th president´s legacy as a GOP litmus test to prove conservative credentials. "The Reagan fixation is a drag
The hits to President Obama´s popularity, prompted by the botched HealthCare.gov rollout, are simply a natural fluctuation every commander-in-chief faces, Obama told interviewer Barbara Walters in an interview aired Friday. "If you remember, I´ve gone up and down pretty consistently throughout," Obama said in the ABC interview on Friday. "But the good thing about when you´re down is that usually you´ve got nowhere to go but up." "I got re-elected in part because people did think I was trustworthy and they knew I was working on their behalf," Obama said in the network´s exclusive. A CNN Poll of Polls complied
The human species began as the hybrid offspring of a male pig and a female chimpanzee, a leading geneticist has suggested. The startling claim has been made by Eugene McCarthy, of the University of Georgia, who is also one of the worlds leading authorities on hybridisation in animals. He points out that while humans have many features in common with chimps, we also have a large number of distinguishing characteristics not found in any other primates. Dr McCarthy says these divergent characteristics are most likely the result of a hybrid origin at some point far back in human evolutionary history. What´s more, he suggests,
WASHINGTON — As a small coterie of grim-faced advisers shuffled into the Oval Office on the evening of Oct. 15, President Obama’s chief domestic accomplishment was falling apart 24 miles away, at a bustling high-tech data center in suburban Virginia. HealthCare.gov, the $630 million online insurance marketplace, was a disaster after it went live on Oct. 1, with a roster of engineering repairs that would eventually swell to more than 600 items. The private contractors who built it were pointing fingers at one another. And inside the White House, after initially saying too much traffic was to blame, Mr. Obama’s
The Washington Examiner recently reported on an academic study on the 2008 presidential election entitled "The Palin Effect" that examined the effect of then Gov. Palin on the John McCain campaign. Its conclusions run counter to conventional wisdom. The cliché, advanced by the media and the now infamous HBO TV show "Game Change," was that Palin helped to cost McCain the election because of her "controversial" personality. In fact, typical of most vice presidential running mates, Palin had a marginal but largely positive effect on McCain´s standing with the voters. She certainly did not drive away independents and moderates, who along
An education official at a Texas high school is under fire after telling some female students they have been dressing like ‘hoes.’ According to KRIV Fox 26, School Support Officer Dr. Tameca Richardson made the remark to female students at Jack Yates High School in Houston during an assembly on campus. A spokesperson for the Houston Independent School District confirmed the language used by Richardson, the station reported. Some parents expressed anger over Richardson’s terminology, saying the Ph.D.-level educator should have used language that was less offensive. "That was out of line and she should be disciplined for that,"
AUBURN, Ala. — In a season of miracles for Auburn, all it has taken is one mistake to give the Tigers life. No. 1 Alabama made just enough of them Saturday to change the course of history. With no time left on the clock, Auburn cornerback Chris Davis caught a 57-yard field goal attempt by Alabama in the back of the end zone, ran it out down the left sideline and went 109 yards untouched to beat the Crimson Tide, 34-28.
He´s a proud family man already, but President Barack Obama will turn to his children when it comes to life after the White House. Sasha Obama could be the deciding factor in whether the first family stay in Washington once he leaves office in three years. In a taped interview with ABC News, the President said his now 12-year-old daughter ´will have a big vote in where we are´ because she will be a sophomore in high school. When Obama leaves office in January 2017 after two terms, eldest daughter Malia could be off in college. Both girls attend the exclusive Sidwell Friends School
Sen. John McCain is starting to sound like a Tea Party “wacko bird.” In a new fundraising letter for the Republican National Committee released Friday, McCain lashed out at “Barack Obama, Harry Reid and Washington liberals,” who he claimed are destroying the United States. Liberals, he warned, “have taken us down a dark and dangerous path defined by record levels of debt, ever-expanding government, and a lead-from-behind defense strategy. There´s not much time left to turn things around.” McCain’s name carries a lot of weight in fundraising because he was the 2008 GOP nominee and is a leading voice of
President Obama took part in Small Business Saturday by heading over to Politics and Prose, a locally-owned bookstore in Washington, D.C. Wearing a brown leather coat and tan sweater, the president mingled with customers and wished them happy holidays. He brought daughters Malia and Sasha, who occasionally left his side to shop as he chatted with others. At the register, when asked what books he purchased, Obama said, “it is a long list ... books for every age group, from 5 to 52.” In all, Obama purchased 21 titles, including, “All That Is” by James Salter; “Collision Low Crossers:
Former Obama advisor David Plouffe appeared on This Week With George Stephanopoulos Sunday morning and predicted that President Barack Obama’s approval rating would rise over the next few months, following the increasing functionality of the Affordable Care Act. “This has been a tough task,” Plouffe said. “It’s not just health care. The shutdown affected everybody’s confidence in government. But let’s fast-forward to the State of the Union and the months after that. Health care working better, a lot of people signing up. The economy continuing to strengthen. Hopefully no Washington shutdowns.
The time has come to end presidential term limits, because continuing the restrictions on how long one can serve in the country´s highest office is bad for the United States, a university professor argued this week. In an opinion piece published in the Washington Post, Jonathan Zimmerman, a history and education professor at New York University, says deciding whether a president deserves a third, fourth or more terms should be left to the American people, not the 22nd Amendment to the Constitution, which placed a two-term limit on the position. As background, here´s an excerpt from the amendment, ratified in