November 27, 2006

the owners hate the jocks


Morris Louis, Pi, 1960, Acrylic on canvas

Writing in 1960, Clement Greenberg insisted that Louis's "suppression of the difference between painted and unpainted surfaces causes pictorial space to leak through—or rather, to seem about to leak through—the framing edges of the picture into the space beyond them." Pi is one of the earliest of the Unfurleds, a series of 150 heroic-size paintings, each characterized by symmetrical banks of streaming color separated by an empty expanse of white. Despite the simplicity and flatness of the design, the bleached white of the canvas and the rivulets of color interact to create the illusion of vibrant space. In Pi the progression of color, warm-to-cool, furthers the sense of recession, as through a valley, toward a luminous void. Occupying two-thirds of the canvas, that void becomes the dominant element, uniting as well as dividing the sides. In such paintings, Louis aspired to a sublime purity of expression, cleared of the rhetorical and nonessential—a singularly visual experience.

* Clusterfuck Nation. excerpt:

"The chief failure in American politics lately has been the inability to appreciate the relationship between how we live here and how other people in other lands support us with their resources -- oil from the Middle East, human labor and money saved from the fruits of human labor from the Far East. The oil obviously runs all the cars and the money from China and Japan supports our debt (and incidentally pays for building ever more big box stores and fried food emporia). The Middle East is now so close to exploding that we may not get so much oil from them in the years ahead. China and Japan have stepped back from buying American debt in the form of US Treasury certificates.

"Even if there were no exogenous forces operating, the proverbial Man-From-Mars casual observer would have to conclude that America has built all the shopping venues it will ever need (and far beyond), and certainly more single-family housing subdivisions useful only in a happy motoring meta-system. But the exogenous events are out there and they are going to assert their power to make us uncomfortable and to alienate us from the very stuff that we have poured all of our wealth and spirit into.

"The New York Times headlined yesterday that the US government might try to start negotiations with Iran and Syria over the fate of Iraq -- an idea so preposterous that it might have been a wire-story from The Onion. Iran and Syria have no interest in the matter whatsoever except in the failure of America to control events, and the humiliation entailed by that failure, which is happening on its own. So the story is a clear signal of our desperation that we are even pretending to make overtures.

"For the US military this is a tragedy of classical Greek dimensions, a playing out of implacable forces despite its heroism or even good intentions. But for the American public, back home, enjoying the bright lights of the WalMarts and the steaming heaps of baby back ribs, and the comfort of the ride home with the latte plugged into the cup holder and Jay-Z's inspirational thoughts playing on the car stereo -- it's really the end of the road.
...
"This is really a tight spot. Wider war in the Middle East is hardly out of the question, with Iran and a broad array of jihadistas emboldened by America's flounderings in Iraq. A year from now, perhaps, or less, we will lose our access to a substantial portion of the imported oil that we run all our stuff on. The sodium vapor lamps will flicker out. The last taco will be served. The US public will have to start paying attention and making other arrangements. I believe what Garrison Keilor says about the people in Minnesota. Scratch below the surface, you'll find a thoughtful, practical mentality. I believe that when they can't do anymore of what they're doing now, they'll turn around and do something else."

* Ex-General claims Rumsfeld ok'd abuse. excerpt:

"Outgoing Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld authorized the mistreatment of detainees at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, the prison's former U.S. commander said in an interview on Saturday.

"Former U.S. Army Brigadier General Janis Karpinski told Spain's El Pais newspaper she had seen a letter apparently signed by Rumsfeld which allowed civilian contractors to use techniques such as sleep deprivation during interrogation.

"Karpinski, who ran the prison until early 2004, said she saw a memorandum signed by Rumsfeld detailing the use of harsh interrogation methods.

"'The handwritten signature was above his printed name and in the same handwriting in the margin was written: 'Make sure this is accomplished,' she told Saturday's El Pais.

"'The methods consisted of making prisoners stand for long periods, sleep deprivation ... playing music at full volume, having to sit in uncomfortably ... Rumsfeld authorized these specific techniques.'

"The Geneva Convention says prisoners of war should suffer 'no physical or mental torture, nor any other form of coercion' to secure information."
...
"Rumsfeld also authorized the army to break the Geneva Conventions by not registering all prisoners, Karpinski said, explaining how she raised the case of one unregistered inmate with an aide to former U.S. commander Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez.

"'We received a message from the Pentagon, from the Defense Secretary, ordering us to hold the prisoner without registering him. I now know this happened on various occasions.'

"Karpinski said last week she was ready to testify against Rumsfeld, if a suit filed by civil rights groups in Germany over Abu Ghraib led to a full investigation."

* "I use the guitar, rather than play it." -Pete Townshend

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home