van dongen and the fauves, firearms and hyper-rationalizations

 Kees Van Dongen - Lucie and Her Partner

Lucie and Her Partner, c1911 by Kees Van Dongen. Van Dongen (Cornelis Theodorus Maria van Dongen,1877-1968) painted in the short lived Fauvism – as a group they only had about three official shows over four years (es Fauves is French for “the wild beasts”). A chart of the art movements of the time might show lines from both impressionism and realism. Rather than trying to capture the subtle natural colors of the impressionists, the Fauves emphasized strong color and an aura of realism. In this sense the realism of the Fauves was not about photographic realism, but more a realism of perception.

A short biographical film on Van Dongen and you get to see some of his other paintings as well. All Eyes on Kees van Dongen


Oh boy I got a new bullet proof backpack for the holidays, Kids Sent to School With Armored Backpacks

Underneath Cinderella, the Amendment II brand of the Disney Princess backpack contains the company’s signature carbon nanotube armor. And since last week’s mass shooting in Newtown, Conn., sales have skyrocketed.

“I can’t go into exact sales numbers, but basically we tripled our sales volume of backpacks that we typically do in a month — in one week,” company president Derek Williams told Mother Jones. “We want to be sensitive to how we do that, but we are gonna try to get the word out that this product does exist that there are ways to at least provide our children with some protection.”

NEWS: How to Talk to Your Kids About Killings

At least six companies sell armored backpacks designed for kids, reports Mother Jones, and most retail for around $300. Other companies also reported an immediate rise in sales after the Newtown massacre, The Associated Press reports.

Loading kids or the general population up with Kevlar fashions, is according to some people much preferable to deescalating the hand held arms race. Have we taken the final steps into J. G. Ballard’s hyper-rationalizations. The blinding fetishist love of an object, a hand held heroin. With so many addicts willing to say or do anything to remain attached to their fix.

 It's too easy, when alive, to make perfectly horrible mistakes

“That is my principal objection to life, I think: It’s too easy, when alive, to make perfectly horrible mistakes.” from Deadeye Dick by Kurt Vonnegut.

Partly because of because of Schrödinger’s uncertainty principle I’m wary of any claims to the ultimate secrets(s) of life. Though Kurt’s fictional speculations are fun to think about,

The Secret of Life (p. 25)

“What is the secret of life?” I asked.

“I forget,” said Sandra.

“Protein,” the bartender declared.  “They found out something about protein.”

“Yeah,” said Sandra, “that’s it.”

Kurt Vonnegut, Cat’s Cradle (United States: Dial Press Trade Paperbacks, January 2006)