Author Archive for jdbernard743

Art, Artifice or Pageantry?

Donald Trump’s disdain for “fake news” is legendary as is his love of pageantry. At this very moment, with Covid-19 ravaging the country, Washington under martial law, and Visigoths planning a second takeover of the U.S. Capitol, The Donald is busy working out the details of his departure pageant – Air Force One, red carpet, honor guard, military flyover, 21-gun salute, and a final pass over the White House on his way to Mar a Lago.

Nero fiddled, Donald fidgets. 

We know about his creepy interest in Miss Teen USA, Miss Universe, and military pageants, but his affection for fake art is less well known. Trump Tower, Mar a Lago, and Bedminster are full of it. You’d think the son of a wealthy New York real estate investor, with an Ivy League diploma, who’d spent most of his adult life in Manhattan would have a nodding acquaintance with the real thing, but from the faux-gold chandeliers and fake Renoir in his Trump Tower apartment to the forged Time Magazine covers of himself at Bedminster, The Donald has shown us his love of fakery.  read more

A Lesson in Freedom…

Following last week’s assault on the US Capitol, CNN released this video of sequestered Republicans refusing to accept or wear masks offered by Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi. At the time, the room was occupied by close to 100 members hiding from the insurrectionists. Less than a week later, at least four people in that room, including a 75-year-old cancer survivor, tested positive for Covid-19.

In an Op-Ed last week, New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof wrote, “Refusing to wear a mask is no more a “personal choice” than is drinking all evening and then stumbling into your car and heading down the road. In a time of plague, shunning a face mask is like driving drunk, putting everyone in your path in danger.” read more

Then and Now…

In the waning days of World War II, France was deeply divided. Invaded in 1940, it quickly capitulated and for four years was humiliated by the German occupation and puppet government in Vichy. 

Local Resistance cells were established throughout the country to aid the Allies and Free French Forces of General Charles de Gaulle’s government in exile, but the majority of French citizens kept their heads down, went carefully about their business, and submitted to the humiliating occupation.  read more

Who Knows Where the Time Goes?

Sometimes good fortune feels like destiny. Stars align and something magical occurs. In the spring of 2001, before 9/11 and 20 years before Covid-19, Marilynn and I rode our bikes from Bordeaux through the Dordogne in southwestern France. No itinerary, just three weeks alone rolling through the countryside. 

We had grown up together, married other people, and were back together after a 40-year break. I had traveled a lot in those 40 years. She had done some but wanted to do more. I asked if she would be willing to try it on a bicycle. She was game and we were off on the first of our ten self-supported bike trips. read more

Art in the Pandemic Era…

If art, music, dance, or theater were an important part of your world earlier, the pandemic has turned it upside down. With the ability to travel, attend events and visit museums limited, we have been left casting about for alternatives. Art is meant to be experiential—best when it’s a one-on-one experience with the original. 

A picture can’t begin to deliver the feeling of standing next to Michelangelo’s statue of David at the Accademia in Florence. In its presence the stone pulses with energy, muscles ripple, veins throb and eyelids almost blink. read more