When Boston-area artist Linda Burke first fired a gun, it kicked back, offloading a hot cartridge that went down her shirt. As she scrambled to save herself, she forgot that she was holding a gun with the safety catch off. She had a new sense of lives being "thin and fine as filament." She considered "that whether it's a gun or an act we do, or an illness and how we respond—whatever we do affects another thing." For Untitled 7, she placed a small copy of Leonardo da Vinci's Face of Christ study on top of the "Scoring for Training" box.
When Arcade Fire won a Grammy for album of the year, Win Butler came to the podium clinging to his identity as one of
the band geeks. "We're gonna go play another song because we like
music"—just in case anyone had forgotten about the music after Lady Gaga emerged from an egg,
Katy Perry swung from the ceiling and Gwyneth Paltrow danced on a piano.
Much of the most delightfully silly online humor follows
a particular formula: a
single good idea that alters or plays on a pop-cultural artifact; execution
that relies on computer technology, but not too much (some simple Photoshop
work, a couple lines of code); loads of nostalgia.
Tuesday on the CBC interview show Q, Jian
Ghomeshi talked to actor Ed Begley Jr., Hollywood's leading environmental
activist and green-lifestyle enthusiast. Discussing Living With Ed, the reality TV show in which Begley
and wife Rachelle Carson clash over his carbon-footprint obsession, Begley
observed that Carson is the sort of person who cares about the earth but
doesn't go to extremes.
The Bible readings at the beginning of Lent say that after Jesus passed through the temptations in the wilderness, angels came to tend him. In our time we might dismiss the idea of heavenly messengers as naive or purely metaphorical. But Laura James offers matter-of-fact paintings of angels. The artist recalls that as a girl she would read while sitting on the roof of her family's brownstone in New York. She imagined that angels were with her in that secluded place. The Judeo-Christian story is well populated with angelic presence—they are messengers, challengers and comforters. We are not alone.
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).