Monday, July 25, 2016

At Ease, Gentlemen!

The devil looks familiar
When I pass him in the streets
Something about his hair and eyes
reminds myself of me
Or you perhaps.
His face is never clear
Always changing.
But the devil is always
Familiar to me
Perhaps because
I am so familiar with him
- Layla Thurman, "The Familiar Devil" (10/14/14)

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Childe Hassam, "The Avenue in the Rain" (1917)

"The Avenue in the Rain . . . is one of some 30 related paintings of flag-decorated streets that the artist [Childe Hassam] produced between 1916 and 1919, during and immediately after the First World War. . . . [T]hey are intensely patriotic works . . . .

". . . The avenue is Fifth Avenue, frequently decorated with American flags as American sentiment moved . . . from isolationism toward intervention. The artist's most striking device here is the projection of flags into the picture from points of unseen anchor beyond the frame . . . . In one sense the flags become the surface of the painting . . . .

"Observing shadows to be bluish rather than black, the Impressionists often became mannered in their use of blue, making it a dominant hue in many of their paintings. . . .
[H]ere the rain and the rain-slicked streets give [Hassam] an excuse for a literal wash of blue and blue-gray, enhanced by a profusion of reflections."
Hassam (pronounced HASS'm;) (known to all as Childe, pronounced like child; named after an uncle[1]) was born in his family home in Dorchester, Boston, in 1859. His father Frederick was a moderately successful cutlery businessman with a large collection of art and antiques.[2] He descended from a long line of New Englanders. His mother, Rosa, a native of Maine, shared an ancestor with American novelist Nathaniel Hawthorne. His father claimed descent from a seventeenth-century English immigrant whose name, Horsham, had been corrupted over time to Hassam. With his dark complexion and heavily-lidded eyes, many took Childe Hassam to be of Middle Eastern descent - speculation which he enjoyed stoking. In the mid-1880s, he took to painting an Islamic-appearing crescent moon (which eventually degenerated into only a slash) next to his signature, and he adopted the nickname "Muley" (from the Arabic "Mawla", Lord or Master), invoking Muley Abul Hassan, a fifteenth-century ruler of Granada in Washington Irving's novel Tales of the Alhambra.
Childe Hassam

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

"Splitter!" Portrait of an American Journalist Covering the Republican Convention

Splitting (also called black-and-white thinking or all-or-nothing thinking) is the failure in a person's thinking to bring together the dichotomy of both positive and negative qualities of the self and others into a cohesive, realistic whole. It is a common defense mechanism used by many people. The individual tends to think in extremes (i.e., an individual's actions and motivations are all good or all bad with no middle ground).


People matching the diagnostic criteria for narcissistic personality disorder also use splitting as a central defence mechanism. Most often the narcissist does this as an attempt to stabilize their sense of self positivity in order to preserve their self-esteem, by perceiving themselves as purely upright or admirable and others who do not conform to their will or values as purely wicked or contemptible. Given "the narcissist's perverse sense of entitlement and splitting ... [s]he can be equally geared, psychologically and practically, towards the promotion and towards the demise of a certain collectively beneficial project".

The cognitive habit of splitting also implies the use of other related defence mechanisms, namely idealization and devaluation, which are preventative attitudes or reactions to narcissistic rage and narcissistic injury.
from Wikipedia

Monday, July 18, 2016


An anarchist is someone who doesn't need a cop to make him behave.
A. Hennacy, "The Book of Ammon" (1965)
The dictionary definition of a Christian is one who follows Christ; kind, kindly, Christ-like. Anarchism is voluntary cooperation for good, with the right of secession. A Christian anarchist is therefore one who turns the other cheek, overturns the tables of the moneychangers, and does not need a cop to tell him how to behave. A Christian anarchist does not depend upon bullets or ballots to achieve his ideal; he achieves that ideal daily by the One-Man Revolution with which he faces a decadent, confused, and dying world.