bacchante by marie laurencin, censors and reactions

Bacchante by Marie Laurencin, 1911. Oil on canvas pasted on cardboard. Laurencin’s mother sent her to a Sèvres where she was taught with porcelain painting. She later became part of the circle of artists around Picasso. You can see the flat angular influence of Cubism( though there is some Romanesque influence as well), but she was never really a Cubist painter in the way Picasso and Georges Braque were. After 1912 there is not much Cubists influence at all. She rejected art theory to paint in her own style. Not earth shattering in originality, but her work maintained much of Laurencin’s own personality rather than adherence to successive waves of art theory that swept through Europe. For better or worse she did stay with the soft pastel look of this painting through her painting career. She also did some illustration work for books:

Alice in Wonderland; illustrated with six colored lithographs by Marie Laurencin. Paris: Black Sun Press, 1930. This French edition of Alice was published by  by Harry and Caresse Crosby who started Black Sun Press. While most illustrations in every edition of Alice had some inflection of the darker meanings in the book, Laurencin stayed with what she liked. I tend to think this is one case in which her instincts did not result in the best illustrations in the context of the material, though on their own one can see where children would find them appealing.

One more note on the painting. Bacchante are part of the Roman mythology of gods. Way back in the days of the early Roman Empire they were believed to be wild or slightly mad followers of the god Bacchus. Over the years the myths became a little diluted for popular culture, with Bacchante coming to mean women who were free spirits.

In other tales of the imagination, Paul Ryan On Foreign Policy Credentials: ‘I Voted To Send People To War’

Ryan cited his votes in favor of the Iraq War as evidence that he has had more foreign policy experience than Obama.

“I’ve been in Congress for a number of years,” he told Cameron. “That’s more experience than Barack Obama had when he came into office.”

“I voted to send people to war,” he added.

Hell yes Paul Ryan owns the fact he sent people off to die for a lie – as I guess our current SOS and VP did also. I guess he doesn’t read much news, Obama been prez for three years which counts for real experience and has taken down a laundry list of terrorists and terrorist leaders. Ryan has been courageous enough to fight to end medical procedures that would have prevented the birth of some of Romney’s grand children.

Two articles from the same newspaper on censorship, Free-Speech Hypocrisy in Europe

There are few people in the world who have sacrificed more for the principle of free speech than the staff of Jyllands Posten, the most popular newspaper in Denmark. Since the paper published 12 cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad on Sept. 30, 2005—sparking riots [1] in Muslim countries, violent attacks on Danish embassies around the globe, and a worldwide debate about the extent of the West’s commitment to free speech—the Copenhagen bureau has been under constant threat. The downtown office is protected by a giant steel security gate strong enough to block an oncoming truck—a strange sight in a city where nobody seems to lock their doors.

Hard to believe that people have died in riots because of a cartoon. Make fun of my invisible friend in the sky I’ll show you. Another article from the same newspaper, Haredi Women’s Lit Explodes

Libi Astaire, who has written three mystery novels, faces a set of challenges quite unlike any other writer in her genre. Here are her ground rules: 1. No murders or gratuitous violence. 2. No unredeemable characters. 3. No inappropriate language or sexual immortality. Of course, she doesn’t write for the same audience that reads Laura Lippman or John Grisham. Astaire writes mysteries for Haredi women.

“Can this be good literature?” she asked during a recent interview. “I personally think so. Because I can’t rely upon sex and violence to sell my books, I have to do old-fashioned things like create vivid characters, insert humor, recreate historical periods in a convincing way.”

Astaire, 57, who has been called (by herself, and also by others) “a Jewish Jane Austen,” is a prominent contributor to the Haredi literary scene. She grew up in Prairie Village, Kan., and now lives in Jerusalem. She is also a frequent contributor to Mishpacha, one of a slew of ultra-Orthodox publications that has found an ever-growing readership over the past 15 or 20 years.

I’m not suggesting the newspaper is being hypocritical. That is a newspaper’s job in terms of editorial content, to present different points of view. Though this second feature, taking the route of respect for cultural traditions, praising someone for writing that goes out of its way to avoid language and topics that might offend based on religious doctrine. Censorship is good because it is respectful, censorship is bad because it limits free speech. Haredi is a very conservative Orthodox form of Judaism. Women are still not taught the Talmud as boys are. Though the women of Haredi are also a little more educated about the world as a result since they are free to study more artistic aspects of culture and writing.

And one more censorship story in the news, 11-year-old girl arrested in Pakistan on charges of blasphemy

An 11-year-old Christian girl has been arrested in Pakistani capital on a charge of blasphemy after she was accused of burning pages of the Quran, police said on Saturday.

Officials of Ramna police station said an FIR had been registered against Rimsha Masih, a resident of Umara Jaffar in sector G-12 in Islamabad.

The girl was arrested on Friday by personnel from a women’s police station after a man named Syed Muhammad Ummad filed a complaint against her.

However, an NGO named ‘Christians in Pakistan’ reported on its website that the girl has ‘Down Syndrome’ and had been falsely accused of burning 10 pages of the Quran.

The NGO said other Christians living in sector G-12 had been “threatened by extremists” who wanted to burn down their village on Friday.

Kind of explains itself, absurdity, threats, violence and all. Burn a book and go to prison or die or have your whole village burned down. Its a mistake to burn books, not that a disabled child would understand that. Even if she did, the thin skinned morons who take offense can always have more books printed.

“Don’t join the book burners. Don’t think you’re going to conceal faults by concealing evidence that they ever existed. Don’t be afraid to go in your library and read every book…”
- Dwight D. Eisenhower

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