"Open conversation that leads to nothing." That's how Jon Stewart summed up his interview with popular right-wing historian David Barton. He was right: After 30 minutes of glib back-and-forth with Barton (ten of which made it onto TV), Stewart was flummoxed, worn down, unfunny.
My expectations only serve me when they are thwarted," says Michelle Mackey about her current work. Mackey, who is based in New York and teaches at Southern Methodist University, says she came to this realization after wondering why she felt "secure with familiarity and insecure with change." Mackey's current series of acrylic paintings in a limited palette explores memory as though memory were fragments of geography. She works with polyurethane and sandpaper. Every small movement on the surface affects the entire work. For someone uneasy about change, she incessantly explores it, even as she explores that to which we are bound: memory. The viewer is given a small segment of a larger whole: a window, a door, a wall, markings. Each work also looks like a storehouse of memory. "If 'through a glass darkly' one can glimpse the whole," writes Mackey, "the portal of these moments must be glowing."
If you're like me, you have a list of books in your head or on scraps of paper that you think you should read sometime. Somewhere, sometime, a teacher or a writer urged these books on me, but I haven't gotten around to reading them.
A friend posted this to Facebook the other day: "'Burial at sea is a weird choice, and only invites
suspicion, but I really don't want to have to see the photographs,
either.'" - Martin Luther King, Jr."
Certified Copy, the first English-language film by the Iranian writer-director Abbas Kiarostami, is a road-trip meditation on the complexities of marriage. Like almost all the work by this 71-year-old icon of the international film festival circuit, it reveals itself slowly, keeping us hanging and distracted for the entire first act before the key issues are laid bare.
One morning this summer I was basking in the sun With the brother closest to me in age. We had been Brought up almost as twins but then took disparate Roads, as twins do. He was sobbing and I was near Tears and the ocean was muttering. I heard a heron. We had been having the most naked open talk we’d Had in many years. I wanted to tell him how deeply I loved him but words are just so weak and shallow. So I talked about the forsythia bush we used to hide Under together. It was the safest place on the planet. The light was always amazing in there and it wasn’t Ever muddy somehow and you were draped in gold. It was a hut a huddle a tent a canopy a cave a refuge. Sometimes you have to use a thing to say something Else. We do this all the time. We talk sideways, yes? But sidelong is often the only road that gets to where You know you need to go. So much means lots more Than it seems like it could mean. Tears, for example.
John Coleman, who died recently, presided over Haverford College during the tumultuous Vietnam War era. He sympathized with students’ antiwar protests but also tried to channel the antiwar movement in constructive ways. When students considered burning the American flag, Coleman placed a washing machine at the center of the campus and encouraged students to wash the flag instead. He persuaded dozens of college presidents to sign an antiwar statement. On sabbaticals he took blue-collar jobs to explore the gap between academics and workers (Inside Higher Ed, September 12).