March 21st, 2003

you think you know...

taking stock [vegetable, not beef]

As i was riding the train into Boston yesterday, i was thinking about one of the conversations my mother and i had that long Friday night, about how i don’t think i could live at home after college, at least not comfortably. On the train i was thinking about how my room at Smith feels like home, and a lot of Norwood itself still feels like home despite everything (like being at the library, for example; also, when i walked out to the library Wednesday night i thought as i walked out in the night air that this was mine, this walking the streets of my town at night, it’s what i do and i know where i’m going and it’s mine) and it occurred to me that what the deal is with my room/house in Norwood is that while it’s comfortable enough, familiar enough, it doesn’t feel like mine, it feels like my parents’ house, like my family’s house, and that’s what it is, it’s not mine anymore. And that’s okay. I can see myself in some apartment feeling like home, but this house doesn’t feel like “mine” anymore. I thought about how i’m starting to make Boston mine, going places on my own, figuring out how to get places and getting comfortable, doing it on my own instead of just following along while my family does everything. This is what becoming a grownup is, making things mine, not just something i do with my family.
hermione by oatmilk

I need to trust my sense of direction less.

I exited Ruggles at a different place than i usually do, and when i got to where the roads take a perpendicular, i thought i knew which way to go, but i didn’t. I was on Tremont and Shawmut and thought since these are major streets eventually i should be somewhere where i would know where i was, but no. I was very much in a residential area, houses and convenience stores, and i knew that wasn’t where i wanted to be. At one point i got back in view of Northeastern and thought i could orient myself from there, but of course because Northeastern is so big you’re not necessarily orienting yourself in relation to what you think you are, so i continued to get lost, and then i couldn’t even get back to Northeastern. I had gotten in to Ruggles at 3:15 and we had 4:00 tickets and my mom was waiting for me at the MFA. 3:45 i got back to the vicinity of Ruggles and i finally asked someone for directions and he pointed down a street and told me to go straight for a few blocks until i got to Huntington Ave. And of course once i got to Huntington i could see the museum and it was fine and i got there at five minutes of.

Impressions of Light: The French Landscape from Corot to Monet wasn’t all that great. I want the Monet and his ilk, the pretty light and colors. There were a lot of etchings and other stuff (though some of the photographs were lovely, and i’m impressed at what good condition they’re in 150 years later). Eventually we walked into a room entitled “The Impressionist Revolution,” and the entire facing wall was Monet, and i thought, “Okay, i’m home now,” because i love the Impressionists and i feel really comfortable around them.

We checked out Traveling Scholars 2002. This was, um, interesting. A lot of modern art i just don’t get, even with informational booklets.
  • I was more impressed by Nuno de Campos’s Lap series once i realized they were paintings not photographs, but i still didn’t get the point.
    These laps of influential warmth reject the category of objectual torso. They confront the viewer with a fictional space of inter subjectivity in which projection and perception—expectations and reality—seldom coincide. The lap is portrayed as a site of mutual domination and dependency. It materializes the intimate slippage of objectificarion from adoration, which characterizes the act of painting itself.
    Isn’t there a problem if i need the artist’s explanation to care? I mean, i love knowing what the artist is thinking, but shouldn’t the viewer be able to “get it” just viewing the painting? This is begging for a long and tortured analysis of what makes art -- is it pretty? does it make people think? who gets to decide what is art? - and i am so not going there.
  • Adrian Carroll was even worse. Visual fragments and stuff. I’m always asking when viewing stuff like this, “How can i be cool enough that i can do this kinda stuff and have it called art and displayed in a major museum? ”
  • Heidi Johnson, on the opposite wall, was full of color, and there were detailed insects and flowers and i could get behind that as art.
  • The Cree Bruins exhibit was cool -- read
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I exited Ruggles at a different place than i usually do, and when i got to where the roads take a perpendicular, i thought i knew which way to go, but i didn’t. I was on Tremont and Shawmut and thought since these are major streets eventually i should be somewhere where i would know where i was, but no. I was very much in a residential area, houses and convenience stores, and i knew that wasn’t where i wanted to be. At one point i got back in view of Northeastern and thought i could orient myself from there, but of course because Northeastern is so big you’re not necessarily orienting yourself in relation to what you think you are, so i continued to get lost, and then i couldn’t even get back to Northeastern. I had gotten in to Ruggles at 3:15 and we had 4:00 tickets and my mom was waiting for me at the MFA. 3:45 i got back to the vicinity of Ruggles and i finally asked someone for directions and he pointed down a street and told me to go straight for a few blocks until i got to Huntington Ave. And of course once i got to Huntington i could see the museum and it was fine and i got there at five minutes of.

<a href=http://mfa.org/exhibitions/iol/default.asp>Impressions of Light: The French Landscape from Corot to Monet</a> wasn’t all that great. I want the Monet and his ilk, the pretty light and colors. There were a lot of etchings and other stuff (though some of the photographs were lovely, and i’m impressed at what good condition they’re in 150 years later). Eventually we walked into a room entitled “The Impressionist Revolution,” and the entire facing wall was Monet, and i thought, “Okay, i’m home now,” because i love the Impressionists and i feel really comfortable around them.

We checked out <a href=http://www.mfa.org/exhibitions/travelingscholars_2003.html>Traveling Scholars 2002</a>. This was, um, interesting. A lot of modern art i just don’t get, even with informational booklets.<ul><li>I was more impressed by Nuno de Campos’s <i>Lap</i> series once i realized they were paintings not photographs, but i still didn’t get the point.<blockquote>These laps of influential warmth reject the category of objectual torso. They confront the viewer with a fictional space of inter subjectivity in which projection and perception—expectations and reality—seldom coincide. The lap is portrayed as a site of mutual domination and dependency. It materializes the intimate slippage of objectificarion from adoration, which characterizes the act of painting itself.</blockquote>Isn’t there a problem if i need the artist’s explanation to care? I mean, i love knowing what the artist is thinking, but shouldn’t the viewer be able to “get it” just viewing the painting? This is begging for a long and tortured analysis of what makes art -- is it pretty? does it make people think? who gets to decide what is art? - and i am so not going there.<li>Adrian Carroll was even worse. Visual fragments and stuff. I’m always asking when viewing stuff like this, “How can i be cool enough that i can do this kinda stuff and have it called art and displayed in a major museum? ”<li>Heidi Johnson, on the opposite wall, was full of color, and there were detailed insects and flowers and i could get behind that as art.<li>The Cree Bruins exhibit was cool -- read <a href-http://www.bostonphoenix.com/boston/arts/art/documents/02749950.asp>this article</a> about it<li>Julio César Roman was, um, interesting. I can get into the queerness and the masculinity and the space and the body and stuff, though.<li>Todd J. Elliott: logos, numbers, polycarbonate panels... i felt like i was in a diner or something and totally don’t get how this is art<li>Terence Hammonds: *shrug*<li>Jerry Russo: gates -- interesting concept to think about as your artist’s statement discussed, perhaps viewing the exhibit with that in mind i could get behind it a bit more as art<li>Judy Kermis Blotnick: interesting, use of white space and spatial relationships and stuff (reading <a href=http://www.boston.com/dailyglobe2/057/living/MFA_s_show_of_Scholars_is_rewarding_for_all+.shtml>this article reminds me of what i liked about it</a>)</ul>So yeah, basically the stuff was “interesting.” I feel like too many modern artists are trying too had to be different and avant-garde and such.

Then there was <a href=http://mfa.org/exhibitions/singularvision_blake-purnell.html>A Singular Vision: The Melvin Blake and Frank Purnell Legacy</a>. That was largely 20th-century Spanish artists, a lot of which was good. Also the MFA’s first Magritte.

When Mrs. Flemer drove me home i mentioned that i was going to the <a href=http://www.mfa.org>MFA</a> over break and also mentioned that i’d been to the <a href=http://www.metmuseum.org>Met</a> when i went to NYC over the summer. She was critical of the fact that the MFA is very kinda old, doesn’t do modern stuff, and all the modern stuff is in NYC, but honestly, the MFA has a decent modern section (better than the Met’s, in my opinion,) and the past couple years has had a fair amount of temporary exhibits by modern artists. Besides, it’s Boston. People <i>want</i> the more traditional art.

It was about 6:30 and the next train was at 7:40, so we poked around the gift shop for a while. They have a lot of nice stuff, like <a href=http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1889833193/qid=1048218742/sr=11-1/ref=sr_11_1/104-7042821-4167925> this book</a> which i would totally get for any Boston area kid.

I don’t always understand the MFA, though. One book we happened upon was <a href=http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/3822859060/qid=1048211983/sr=11-1/ref=sr_11_1/104-7042821-4167925>this one</a>. So. Bizarre.

So yeah, that was my day.
anime night

"What a lark! What a plunge!"

It was very right to read Mrs. Dalloway before The Hours, but on its own it’s wholly skippable. Having them both in your head improves each of them i think. No one told me there are gay people in this. I don’t see how one can make a good movie out of The Hours, since so much was interior thoughts, but now that i’ve read the book i won’t be seeing the movie, so it doesn’t matter.

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angry - books

154 minutes of this is tough to sit through.

From the entry of Birth of a Nation in the online catalog for my library network:
Videocassette release of the 1915 silent motion picture.
Based on the novel, The Clansman, by Rev. Thomas Dixon.
Lillian Gish, Mae Marsh, Henry Walthall, Miriam Cooper, Ralph Lewis, Wallace Reed, Robert Harron.
A civil war spectacular that portrays life in the South during and after the Civil War. The story depicts the war itself, the conflict between the defeated Southerners and emancipated renegade blacks, the despoiling of the South during the carpetbagger period, and the revival of the Southern white man's honor through the efforts of the Ku Klux Klan.
I am disturbed that this doesn’t mention anything like, oh, the fact that its depiction of the South under Reconstruction is so historically inaccurate, not to mention of course the brutally racist depictions of black and mulattos.

Reading the IMDB user comments is, well, interesting. Probably the most frustrating part is the repeated assertions that the Reconstruction being portrayed is historically accurate.

My dad says President Wilson loved the movie and has in some ways an undeservedly good reputation, that people don’t talk about what he did for Jim Crow. (Relatedly, check out the NYT Stalin obituary. I guess this editorial is an improvement.)

Griffith may have been a pioneer as far as cinematic techniques, i don’t really know, and as i’m not a film person i really don’t care. I eventually got into the silent movie-ness of it (watching people talk and barely ever getting a dialogue card made me think perhaps everyone should have just learned American Sign Language) though even understanding the necessity of “overacting” in a silent movie i thought the youngest Cameron girl was obnoxious.

I read the book a few weeks ago, so some of what i found interesting was how the movie changed from the book it was based on. Collapse )
hermione by oatmilk

You learn something new every day.

From Chapter 2 of Chrys Ingraham’s White Weddings: Romancing Heterosexuality in Popular Culture:
Prior to Queen Victoria (1819-1901), white wedding gowns were not the norm. Brides wore brocades of golds and silvers, yellows and blues. Puritan women wore gray. But Victoria’s wedding in February 1840 captured the imaginations of many when this powerful presider over the British empire, who many thought of as “plain,” married a handsome man. She did so in an opulent ceremony where she wore a luxurious and beautiful (by nineteenth-century standards) white wedding gown. Following this grand event, many white Western middle-class brides imitated Victoria and adopted the white wedding gown. By the turn of the century, white had not only become the standard but had also become laden with symbolism—it stood for purity, virginity, innocence, and promise, as well as power and privilege.