Archive for Art

Public Art and the Homeless…

This is public art (and science). Like all good art it’s unique and thought provoking. It sits in one of the less visited corners of Magnuson Park (the old Sand Point Naval Air Station) in Seattle.

Briefly… the artist, Perri Lynch, crafted 12 limestone pillars along a 1- kilometer line called the Sand Point Calibration Baseline where surveyors’ measure, test, and calibrate their equipment. There are about a dozen such baselines in the State of Washington, but some local surveyors worried that this one would be destroyed by unknowing visitors. They lobbied for public art monument to raise awareness and prevent its accidental destruction. read more

The Great Escape…

When I was 19, I ran for sophomore class president at the University of Washington. The night before the election there was a convertible caravan through the campus ending at a bonfire and outdoor stage where we candidates were to give campaign speeches. Great theater. The only complication was that I was a patient in the University Hospital. I had a classic case of mononucleosis – the kissing disease – and with swollen neck glands and a small fever university doctors thought it was serious enough to keep me in the hospital for a few days. read more

Edgar Allan Poe’s Playbook…

As November 3, 2020 approaches, I’m reminded of Edgar Allen Poe’s horror story The Cask of Amontillado in which one character exacts revenge on another by enticing him into a wine cellar chaining him to the wall and then bricking up the entrance. I feel like the guy chained to the wall with William Barr, Louis DeJoy, and Mitch McConnell wielding the trowels and mortar.

Morbidly, I think Poe is the perfect author for this election, and whether it’s The Cask of AmontilladoThe Pit and the Pendulum where the prison walls close in on the helpless victim, or The Masque of the Red Death in which a plague (the Red Death) visits Prince Prospero’s masquerade ball there are a series of doomsday scenarios. Think Rose Garden super spreader! read more

A Faustian Bargain…

I’m both fascinated and repulsed by Donald Trump, and since 2016 I’ve been looking for a character in literature to use as a metaphor for his rise and fall. 

In the beginning I thought his affection for golden toilets and chandeliers made Jay Gatsby a comparable figure, and I wrote an essay making the case. Both are criminal pretenders, but Jay Gatsby operated behind a quiet, tasteful, polished persona. Trump could never pull that off. 

Then, his penchant for lying brought Pinocchio to mind. Imagine the image of that nose based on the number of lies told during his term? Enticing as that is it’s not a fair comparison. Pinocchio was kinda cute, but Donald is anything but cute. Still, the little puppet being manipulated is tempting. read more

Welcome to the Inferno…

“And he replied: You should already see

across the filthy waves what has been summoned,

unless the marsh’s vapors hide it from you.”

(The Divine Comedy, Inferno, Canto VIII)

The vapors have not hidden it. At this point in the Trump presidency filthy waves and catastrophic fires are devastating America. With only 50 days until the second reckoning on November 3, 2020 the swamp creatures have risen to the surface.

“Many in life esteem themselves great men

who then will wallow like pigs in mud,

leaving behind them their repulsive fame.” read more