"Overly book-bound" as Rod's grandfather might have said, he taught at the University of Chicago for 25 years, and served as librarian of the US Congress for 12 years. During this time he published more than 20 books. In an obituary which appeared at the time of his death, at the age of 89 in 2004, an early title,The Image (1962), was noted as "a brilliant and original essay about the black arts and corrupting influences of advertising and public relations." He won prestigious awards and became well-to-do and famous for his work.  Politically, Boorstin started out on the left, and was briefly a member of the US Communist party in the 1930s. He later moved to a conservative position. Although he never took any active part in politics after that it was said that "his intellectual trajectory paralleled that of neo-conservatives who moved to the right after what they saw as the excesses and absurdities of 1960s liberalism."



When attacked by the new left, Boorstin responded by calling his critics "incoherent kooks" and "barbarians". He stoutly maintained that he hated racism and believed in equal opportunity for blacks, but he angered many African-American leaders and intellectuals by dismissing black studies as "racist trash"

He continued to write while with the Library of Congress,  getting up at 4:30 am and working until it was time to go to the library at nine.

There is a certain irony about the fact that, although one of Boorstin's main themes was the way intellectual life had been cheapened and vulgarized by the simplifications of politicians, journalists and publicists, his own work was far more popular with the general reader than with professional historians, who accused him of various biases and myth-making.
- The Guardian. Of course, the jealousy factor was at work, as it is to this day.



Trump promised "Greatness" but was in an impossible dream, since his supporters wanted more than that. To be
satisfied, they wanted returns with interest beyond the limits of reason or moderation; that's why politicians invariably offend and disappoint their base as well as enemies of their cause. As Boornstin noticed back in 1960, when we turn to the daily news "we expect - we even demand - that it bring us momentous events since the night before." The media attempts not to disappoint, but the sources of real news are often embalmed in ennui or simply unaware of actual oddball happenings in their neighbourhood. Naturally, politicians and other wealthy power brokers stepped in the fill this public need for titillation on a moments notice. Cartoon, Ronald Searle.


The English word "pseudo"  has roots in a Greek word meaning "false," and are open to private interpretation. Boors tin coined the term pseudo-event, possibly the earliest description of aspects of American life which others later tagged as "postmodernism" or "hyperreality." In short this was any happening that had no other use than simulating reality through advertisement or other kinds of publicity, in order to benefit a special interest.  As for The Image, "The work is an often used text in American sociology courses, and Boorstin's concerns about the social effects of technology remain influential." Virtual images are the product of pseudo-events.
A bit of an old-time conservative Modernist, Boorstin praised inventors and technologists, but he was Post-modernist in minimizing the importance of pure philosophy, seeing problem-solvers at then heroes of his time.  He believed that capitalism was the only way forward and did not think that computers would displace books except as sources of quick facts. A right-wing scold, Daniel J. Boorstin, was also a Pulitzer Prize-winning author, in spite of the antipathy of left-wing colleagues.  "Detractors charged that his work was ''popular', history, more superficial than overarching, focusing unduly on goods, services and processes at the expense of ideas and ideologies. Some critics viewed him as too conservative, morally complacent, content with the status quo."- NY Times.



"Reviewers praised Dr. Boorstin for a lively, inventive style, unconventional and bold approaches, intriguing perceptions and for placing familiar information in fresh contexts to generate unexpected conclusions. Admirers also praised him for shaping great stores of evidence into well-ordered, vigorous narratives and for producing original and provocative observations." His second trilogy was described as, "a vast edifice of scholarship and words devoted to the world's intellectual history but aimed at general readers -- was composed of The Discoverers (1983), which focused on geographic and scientific explorers, The Creators, (1992) about artists and their contributions, and The Seekers, (1995), which examined the ideas and lives of religious leaders and philosophers."  - NY Times.



Danny Boy was witty, smart, and incompletely conservative. Trained as a lawyer, Boorstin, joined the University of Chicago faculty in 1944, appointed the Preston and Sterling Morton Distinguished Service Professor of American History during that tenure. "In the late 1960's, his outspoken opposition to student radicalism, militancy and violent protests made him a lightning rod for protesters. Many boycotted his classes and circulated leaflets publicizing his friendly testimony before the House Committee on Un-American Activities in 1953, when he identified other members of the Communist cell." 
- NY Times.



Other philosophers have suspected that the gods were a projection of the human psyche, but none described him as a "pseudo-event."



And to be sure me lads and lasses, there is pseudo-food. Phineas T.
Barnum was one of the early creators and commercializers of the pseudo-event, "the vaguely  real-but-also-not-real thing." Boorstin’s book saw this kind of unreality under every stone.  "It was, in its time, a blistering indictment of newspapers and television and Hollywood and the habit they all had of turning mortals into gods." The news magazine known as The Atlantic, noted in 2016: "While The Image may have arrived on the scene, chronologically, before the comings of Twitter and Kimye and an understanding of “reality” as a genre as much as a truth, the book also managed to predict them—so neatly that it reads, in 2016, not just as prescience, but as prophesy." The cartoonist Bill Watterson and Boorstin, were reporting what they observed during their times.



In his time, Boorstin wrote: "The pseudo-event was a "happening," not spontaneous but that designed to be reported and/or reproduced as news. He added that rallies, news conferences, photo-ops, movie premieres, award ceremonies, and even a presidential debates were staged with the aim of getting media attention or, "in postmodernist terms, to get attention for attention's sake. They have no intrinsic value or at least not the intrinsic value they purport to have." Similarly, he described a celebrity as a "human pseudo-event" — a personality devoid of any intrinsic value save the particular value being promoted.



Boorstin claimed that the Graphic Revolution commenced less than two centuries ago when newspapers first took an interest is day-to-day reports of "matters of public interest." News travelled slowly until the telegraph was perfected in the 1880s and 40s. The Associated Press was created in 1848, after which "good stories" became a salable commodity. Of course all this was abetted by the invention of the rotary printing press. James Bennett, Joseph Pulitzer and William Hearst created the race for news and widespread newspaper circulation.



Boorstin suggested that the Graphic Revolution arose from man's increasing "ability to make, preserve, transmit, and disseminate precise images." By this he meant images of every kind;  text images, visual images, and vocal images of humans, their environments and real as well as virtual happenings.


In the Victorian Era, photography eclipsed type on paper as a quicker means of passing on information. In less than a century that art form gave way to colour television. There were, of course, all sorts of other advances: the  phonograph (1873), telephone (1876).



News photography  got a boost from roll-film (1888). Then the radio was introduced (1891), followed by motion pictures (1900), colour-film (1935) and the View Master (1939) which was a mechanically driven stereopticon. It operated using View-Master "reels", which are thin cardboard disks containing seven stereoscopic 3-D pairs of small color photographs on film.



Black-and-white television (1940). The first political convention was broadcast on radio in 1928. Massive computers go back a long way, but Arpnet (1966), the forerunner of the internet had to await the interest of a youthful Robert W. Taylor. He encouraged Douglas Englebart to perfect the computer mouse instrumental in the development of both MacIntosh and Microsoft Windows-based computers. Engelbart died in 2013 and Taylor, April 16, 2017.


Sound and colour, added to movie images and later to television introduced vivid  pictures, which at first equaled and then surpassed reality.  The first news interview was conducted in 1859 for the New York Tribune.  Presidential press conferences date to 1933.  In Boorstin's time he noticed that the president "seldom dares to refuse the press." Times do change,  Spicer can be cited as a prime example of an avatar, decidedly someone who is famous through magical contamination. He has become well known as the alter-ego of a man who at first appeared "famous for being famous."



The first live television broadcast  of a regularly scheduled  news conference cam in 1961.  Robert F. Kennedy had just taken office and his personal performances were well-scripted and often dramatic.  News gatherers were no longer as important in gaining the ear of the President and relaying his statements. However, news commentators came into being to judge and interpret the latest act. The ancient British Constitution, on which the American is loosely based, has come to embed a number of legal fictions. As Boorstin has said, "The monarchy is only the most prominent." Americans are still in the lead in creating professions devoted to creating pseduo events and interpreting them.


This was the opening paragraph of Boorstin's book. Of course, all of us have a lot of ego invested in the notion that it is possible for each of us to identify unreality.  However, it is certainly true that, "the flash of divinity in great men" is not as often seen as was once the case. This writer quotes  Shakespeare as noticing that there are three classes of men: those born great, those who achieved greatness, and those who had greatness thrust upon them." He adds that now we must add, "those who hired press secretaries to make themselves look good."



Illustration by Franking Booth. There has been a decided fall from Grace. The pretense of godhood is no longer well understood or widespread. Chivalry, heroism, sainthood and martyrdom are no longer troublesome issues for most people. "Halls of Fame" are now more likely to include celebrities, some infamous in their time.  "Celebrity" originally described a state of being rather than an individual; "the condition of being much talked about; famousness, notoriety."



If one happens to believe in godhood and absolute good and evil, then the above quote quote can be perceived as a dire or an encouraging prediction. After 1848, American dictionaries redefined celebrity as "a famous or well publicized person." In our time, this person is neither good nor pad, but a pseudo-human, possibly an avatar for  better placed forces of Light and Darkness.  Actors like these have been fabricated because of the human need to have great leaders and role-models, however morally neutral  they may be.


 
Pseudo events have overshadowed spontaneous events and similarly Celebrities have replaced heroes.  While they last, celebrities are more fun to follow, better housed and dressed that knights and maidens of old. Having excess life styles, most die with anticipated regularity, and are briefly missed but soon replaced by others of their ilk. In fact the number of millionaire and billionaire celebrities has increased since the beginning of The Great Graphic Revolution.


Here is the rub - "In our world of big names, curiously our true heroes tend to be anonymous." In this life of illusion and quasi-illusion Boorstin points out ordinary mortals with "solid virtues" as those worth admiring and emulating: "the teacher, the nurse. the mother, the honest cop, the hard worker at lonely, underpaid, unglamorous, unpublicized jobs." Unfortunately for the writer he did not fit the job description of "unsung hero."
 


Art can be defined in a variety of ways, if one goes back to the Old Latin ars, artis, when it used to define "a business, a craft, any craft endeavour," amongst other possibilities. Trump is not a Fine Artist, and he has expressed an opinion that "I have always felt that much of modern art is a con, and the most successful painters are often better salesmen and promoters  than they are artists." In this sense, WeeD is a true artists pf his kind. Of course, there is no success without an agents or better yet, agents. I don't believe Boorstin would have disagreed with Trump had they crossed paths in our time.




From the Trump collection of paintings.  Daniel J. was not on the same page as Trump when it comes to Values: . He was writing at a time when traditional culture was under assault from mass culture. The Los Angeles times obit revealed that, "He believed in unalterable truths that had withstood the test of eons - things like heroism, art, primary experiences and high ideals. These were prima facie good. He also believed that anything that drew us away from these truths harmed ourselves and our culture. And he lamented that that was exactly what mass culture was doing to the country. It was substituting the false for the true, the dark arts of public relations and self-aggrandizement for the higher purposes of human existence."




"Of art and literature, he would say that if they were 'to be made accessible to all, they had to be made intelligible (and inoffensive) to all,' and he carped about what photography, movies and condensed books did to art, which was flatten it. And, finally, of human aspiration, he lamented that "like no generation before us, we believe that we can make our very ideals' rather than respect preordained ideals that we have to live up to."



This early book was a preview of most of the themes that were central to his Daniel J's massive social histories, which followed. Boorstin noticed that prior to the Graphic Revolution most heroes were born on battlefields, but the heroes of his day were to be found in science-research, Further, he decried the fact that heroic accomplishments were "on the edges of our comprehension." That may be why many publicans came to mistrust science,as unintuitive and at the same time magical.

Quote, "...the heroic thrust occurs in the laboratory," Daniel
further said that, "President Jefferson's isolationism expressed an essentially cosmopolitan spirit. The Jeffersonian was determined - even at the expense of separating himself from the rest of the globe, and even though he be charged with provincial selfishness - to preserve America as an uncontaminated laboratory."



The Art  Of Warfare; cartoon and "fine" art.  Our remote ancestors would consider this Black Magic.  "Jefferson refused to pin his hopes on the occasional success of honest and unambitious men; on the contrary, the great danger was that philosophers would be lulled into complacence by the accidental rise of a Franklin or a Washington. Any government which made the welfare of men depend on the character of their governors was an illusion." Again, that is WeeD's hero speaking from the past.

 - Natural History and Political Science.



For those who live for the moment and swear that, "In MOAB We Trust here are some "Quick Facts." Now, it can be added that, "CNN reported the death toll at 94 as of Saturday. However, Afghan officials said that the death toll was likely to rise. According to a report in Sunday’s (Easter Sunday's) Wall Street Journal, Afghan military officials said that nearly 100 bodies had been pulled from the complex of tunnels hit by the largest non-nuclear bomb in America’s arsenal in last week’s attack." Is there not something along the lines of "Thou shalt not kill," in the Christian Bible  Perhaps that's now redundant, dismissed as Old Testament drivel?"




Visual artists trade on images, which are essentially seen, although the other senses may gather auxiliary information buttressing the experience. The word "imagination" has the same classical roots as "image". The Latin word "imago" has the sense of "to imitate," and that remains one connotation in English. It can also mean "a representation of the external form of a person or thing in art." Interestingly, in the Biblical sense, it can indicate "an idol."  As Poirot says, imagination is a good starting point in problem solving, however in the end, common sense is a Moebius strip, and to get off that path one has to resort to reason as opposed to intuition.



The word can be a noun applied to the Fine and Applied Art, where it refers to work dependent on the use of line and sometimes tone rather attempts at creating a hugely three-dimensional look.  The study of Graphic Art covers a broad range of visual artistic expression, typically two-dimensional, laid out on a flat surface. Some see it as specific to the fine art of printmaking, but it also traditionally encompasses drawn plans and layouts for interior and architectural designs. More generally, it has been extended to include some forms of calligraphy, photography, painting, typography, computer graphics, and bindery. In some instances, it gets pretty bigly post-post modernist in which case some of the above adjectives pertain. In all cases, a virtual or real image is the product.



Graphic Art often commences with delineate or drawing, but can include auxiliary painting, usually after the fact. Below, Daumier parodies the art critic in a lithographic print.



Painting does not always demand the creation of a drawn framework for applying paint or stain. Some approximate synonyms:  picture, illustration, portrayal, depiction, representation, image, artwork; oil (painting), watercolor, canvas. Some can obviously refer to graphic works. In the Visual Arts, in the case of drawing, delineation and painting, the end product is quite often a...

In current use, a "picture" is not necessarily a "painted image." If you google,"painted picture pretty" you will be surprised at the insipid offering, which centres on images produced in the current century. Typing in "painted picture beautiful," is no more inspiring.



Pretty -Old English prættig ; related to Middle Dutch pertich ‘brisk, clever,’ obsolete Dutch prettig ‘humorous, sporty,’ from a West Germanic base meaning ‘trick.’ The sense development ‘deceitful, cunning, clever, skillful, admirable, pleasing, nice’ has parallels in adjectives such as canny, fine, nice. This stuff is a way too pretty, sleight-of-hand rather than the work of a master's hand. Honk three times if you disagree!



Since works of art are created for public viewing all are open to a humorous interpretation. Possibly that's because "Only God can make a tree." Rod has added, "But Alexander Colville tried." See "Elm Tree At Horton Landing." Sculptors are not exempt: "Though Pygmalion is the Greek version of the Phoenician royal name Pumayyaton, he is most familiar from Ovid's narrative poem Metamorphoses, in which Pygmalion was a sculptor who fell in love with a statue he had carved." There are hundreds of paintings featuring
Pygmalion and Galatea but check out Jean-Léon Gérôme oil!



This book illustration is not quite pretty as those  "25 Modern Masterpieces." Franklin Booth, (1874 – 1948) was an American artist known for his detailed pen-and-ink illustrations. "He had a unique illustration style based upon his early recreation of wood engraving illustrations with pen and ink. His skill as a draftsman and style made him a popular magazine illustrator in the early 20th-century.
As Art Deco style illustrations became popular, his work in latter years was found in commercial publications and catalogs."




Using pen and ink and watercolor, Booth created book illustrations, such as James Whitcomb Riley's The Flying Islands of the Night. "His unusual technique was the result of his having scrupulously copied magazine illustrations which he thought were pen-and-ink drawings. In fact, they were wood engravings."
He took a correspondence course in art and studied for three months each at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the Art Students League of New York. Really what comes before and after formal training is important, and he noted, "I believe in schools to a certain extent, yet I think a knowledge of art is not a thing held in trust by any, but is, rather, universal and comes to them who hunger and thirst after it." His democratic, intuitive view of self-education has merit, but unfortunately most wanabees these days lack his work ethic.




Of course, his odd-ball style does not conform with everyone's sense of beauty.  "The characteristics of his art were his scale extremes with large buildings and forests looming over tiny figures, decorative scrolls and borders, classic hand lettering and gnarled trees."  Many fine artists, such as Goya, can be lampooned for their peculiar painting styles. In 1925, he co-founded the Phoenix Art Institute and was an educator there for 21 years. In 1934 and 1935, he wrote a series of articles about the art of illustration for the Professional Art Quarterly. He was not the ultimate self-educated outsider.



Booth's work was a "value added product" irrespective of what some critics have said. "I have always stood spellbound before one of Booth's noble pen paintings. They recall today the Golden Age of American Illustration when such giants as Pyle, Abbey, Remington, and Gibson set a standard hard to reach. Booth earned his place beside such men as These." - Dean Cornwell. Milton Caniff, the able cartoonist who piloted "Terry And The Pirates" to success wrote, "I still wish I could do a pen drawing the way Franklin Booth handled them. The present-day student who wants quick success should be forced to copy a few of his illustrations just for the discipline. I used to do them just for the love of it."



Back in the 1960s, Daniel Boorstin decried the death of "values" in American society, a word which he said was originally synonymous with "ethics." While the Modernist movement continued, some men considered North America to be a continent guided by ideals. Writing in 1859, Carl Schurz presented a theory that "Ideals are like stars, you will not succeed in touching them with your hands. But like th seafaring man on the desert of waters, you choose them as your guides, and following them reach your destiny."




Robert M. Pirsig took up the cause in 1974 when he at last managed to find a publisher (after 121 tries) for his book entitled Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values  This was the first of a number of texts in which he explored his "Metaphysics of Quality." Pirsig's day job was writing computer manuals. His philosophy embraces the rational and the romantic, claiming that they can coexist.
Ronald Searle may have been making a similar more subtle stab at declining values when he produced the above cover for Graphis magazine. In point of fact he was a superb calligrapher capable of penmanship which was more commonplace in Victorian than his times.



There are constant examples of the anachronistic behaviour of time. Pirsg made the case that the Greeks had a word arete which appeared to embrace both "quality" and "truth."
"He argues that although rational thought may find a truth (or The Truth) it may never be fully and universally applicable to each and every individual's experience." And he thought that resulted in chaotic push and pull between intuitive and rational folk.




Both illustrations are by Searle: Cartoon Art at left and Fine Art, right.  In is said that, "Pirsig aims towards a perception of the world that embraces both sides, the rational and the romantic. This means encompassing 'irrational' sources of wisdom and understanding as well as science, reason and technology. In particular, this must include bursts of creativity and intuition that seemingly come from nowhere and are not (in his view) rationally explicable. Pirsig seeks to demonstrate that rationality and Zen-like 'being in the moment' can harmoniously coexist." That last credo comes from the pen of a deservedly famous American painter. These are all rational rather than intuitive beliefs.


There may well be physical reasons why WeeD is suspicious of late twentieth century art in spite of his intuitive nature. Last year his daughter Ivanka "painted a picture" of her dad as "colourblind." Of course in context she meant that,“He hires the best person for the job, period. When Donald Trump is in charge, all that counts is ability, effort and excellence.” She holds a valuable art collection, but some of the contemporary artists who hang on her walls have attempted to disassociate themselves from her imaginary world.
 




In some ways Trump seems unemotional and unintuitive: "Trump is just not a fan of art, period. It is too challenging, too risky even, unlike bricks and mortar it just doesn’t have the same quick-turnaround investment potential..."



He does fit the profile as a temperamental artist. "In a recent piece in Vanity Fair, the journalist Mark
Bowden describes a trip he once made on Trump’s garish Boeing 727 (itself worthy of an article) in which Trump beckons the writer over to show him a Renoir hanging on the wall of the plane. “Worth $10 million”, Trump claimed, drawing particular attention to the signature of the artist. Later it is revealed that this is a reproduction, the original being safely ensconced in the Courtauld Institute of Art in London. Art historians can at least breathe a sigh of relief that the rigors of intercontinental flying are not taking their toll on Renoir’s masterpiece." - fineartsmultiple.com


Above, Calvin is seen subverting the words of Shakespeare and making fun of Frank Herbert's Dune trilogy. Lucretius said, "Where each thing can grow and abide is fixed and ordained." Further, before the Graphic Revolution, few people believed in Darwinism. In Rod's high school back in the 1940s. Biology was an unknown subject. Each work of art and science then had fixity, precise guidelines and boundaries from the time of God's Creation. Living species were seen as born alla prima, and until the mid nineteenth century it was not generally accepted that the world and its flora and fauna might be infinitely malleable.



The Graphic Revolution made art and literature accessible to all, but this brought up the question of decency; children and women might be exposed to ugly offensive images. Popular art was often edited or even outfitted with fig leaves. The Age of Education became a synonym for the Age of Expurgation and that abetted the Age of Pornography.




Chromolithographs like this were universally accepted in decent homes. Rod's grandparents hung facsimiles of both "Blue Boy" and "Pinkie." Since they Both were of a farming background they preferred the work of Rosa Bonheur, a French artist, an animalière and sculptor, known for her baroque-like realism. Above quotation, Boorstin.


Chromolithography was an expensive process so colour was a lot longer coming to newspapers.  That had to await the invention of fast rotary/colour printing  presses.
"It was in Joseph Pulitzer's New York World that cartoonist Richard Outcault's legendary Yellow Kid made his newspaper debut in 1895, but it was Hearst's New York Journal that cannily snatched the Kid away from the rival sheet and deployed him as a key weapon in the historic newspaper circulation wars... By 1906, the weekly Sunday comics supplement was commonplace, with a half-dozen competitive syndicates circulating strips to newspapers in every major American city."



Speaking of vibrant colour: Collotype presses imported from Germany as early as 1890 made possible the nuances of colour found in Franklin Booth's illustrations, in art books and medical texts. The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York was producing high quality art reproductions after 1926. Art prints of great oaintings afterwards became commonplace in homes, hotel lobbies and rooms and in restaurants. Inevitably these close facsimiles became better known that originals.  In fact those attending a Gauguin show in Chicago complained that original paintings were less brilliant in colour than familiar repros.  Thus, originals became prototypes, guides for the imagination of art editors. Inorganic colours were not available for the use of Impressionists, who had a better palette than earlier artists. Quote: Boorstin.

For a while, photography was the means of creating printing plates for presses. With improved technology, it became possible for publishers to create strange little images of paintings which might be small, Medium, large or gargantuan in size. Initially, the price was right, and everyone got an unintended exposure to master works of art.

These psuedo-images were , some explained, close to fulfilling the fine artist's implicit desire to provide viewers with a democratic, humanitarian, enriched experience. Boorstin says that is how the Van Gogh "Sunflower" print pinched from an Abramms art book, and hung on dorm walls in college rooms, came to have more meaning than the original in a far-away country or place.



And money made from selling a huge amount of product at low individual cost. Even the Metropolitan Museum of Art stooped to selling stamp-sized reproductions supposedly to "heighten" an appreciation of original art. Once upon a time a competent copy of a painting made by someone within his school was seen as having "an authentic and dignified originality of its own. Now, when mechanical reproductions offer items precisely like the original, the uniqueness of both originals and copies is dissolved."  Indeed critics are divided over the authenticity of a "Renoir" housed in Trump Tower.


First there were limited edition prints run off on digital printers, which displaced the Heidelberg presses for creating expensive traditional art prints. Now, there are explosive balls of paint and other devices which can quickly, and cheaply emulate non-objective art. The  quote sandwiched above is by Boorstin in 1960. Today, machines are intrusive in all areas of fine art, and gaining ascendancy every day.



Using the latest technology the folk perceive themselves as creators, making things in their own image. In truth there is probably more of the spirit of software geeks (some long dead) buried in these current works.



Boorstin guesses that man created God hoping he would become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Instead he has become "The Celibrity Author of the World's Best Seller." It is not Trump, but God who reigns as the immortal "Greatest of the greatest. What preoccupies us, then, is not God as a fact of nature, but as a fabrication useful for a God-fearing society (as a tool of power for pseudo-heroes). God himself becomes not a power but an image." Like original artwork, the degraded prototype.


Boorstin calls this "The Age of Contrivance."



If this is true which should not move fearlessly through present time. Fooling about with illusions seems foolhardy. Fear should promote words, actions and deeds by stirring the imagination toward thoughtful solutions.



Al Capps comic strip character, illustrated the fact that stupidity has its own rewards, none of which are socially useful.



He should read it more closely: "No king is saved by the size of his army; no warrior escapes by his great strength. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:  Not of works, lest any man should boast." Sadly, Mr. President is a very proud, unrepentant man.





He is chameleon-quick in changing his mind. However Trump is more of an artful dodger than Calvin? Ah, the beautiful, unfruitful act of confrontation. Hobbes was only a little more contemplative.



The socialist philosopher, Robert Persig who also plumbed similar problems of the following decade in Zen and The Art of Motrorcycle Maintenance was no more specific than his conservative counterpart in offering "cosmic solutions." There is, however, always Hope as a buffer against Fear. "Just for fun, let's check that basement?" In our current situation, there may not be a better cathartic.  On December 31, 1978,  Robert Pirsig married Wendy Kimball.They had two sons. Pirsig was plagued by mania and recovering, took his son Chris, who figured prominently in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, on a cross-country tour of America. The boy was ten 12-years old and near a breakdown of his own.



They both survived and benefited from the trip but in 1979 Chris was stabbed to death during a mugging outside the San Francisco Zen Center. How much coincidence can one tolerate? Rod has reread Zen and is currently having another look at Lila: An Inquiry into Morals, his second philosophical novel and a first look at the illusions of the 1990s. Published in 1991 it was a nominated finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1992. He is now 88 years old.


Lila appeared and was purchased at the Daisy a few months later. When financial resources are limited on is forced to fall back on wishful think, coincidence and anachronisms for fulfillment. How rational is that? Since used books are a very common commodity, the odds are probably better than in 1960? This was the end piece for the Calvin & Hobbes comic strip, which terminated December 31, 1985. Watterson, the creator/illustrator is now retired and 58 years old.


 
Boors tin is probably correct in saying that, "Academic critics, no matter however little they may understand the artistic creation, still determine what which forms of art are considered 'serious.' This they do on purely pedagogical or professional grounds. Subjects which have "always" been lectured on and examined are of course those which continue to be easiest to lecture on and examine about."
 


After a decade of doing exactly that Rod left school teaching. However, he had science training, and at the time an arts education was not the route to a secondary sinecure. Field work and scientific graphics was an easy transition for him and the pay was very good. but he gave all that up. Rational thought insists one should stay clear of ancient basements, attics, graveyards and mazes, especially in winter. However if it is true that curiosity is the opposite of fear, then perhaps it is rational behaviour to decide that since there is no cosmic insurance against adversity...



There is more than one way to escape the darkness and the cold. And Pirsig has suggested a course of action: The place to improve the world is first in one's own heart and head and hands, and then work outward from there.



In Nova Scotia less than 1% of the working population is engaged in occupations of art, culture, recreation and sport. Lumped together they number about 5,000 to 8,000 individuals with an average wage of about $21.00 per hour, but this figure includes more salaried workers than independent contractors. Scientists do better at $33.00 per hour.



A picture painter's lot may be a happy one, but he will probably be, on average, an impecunious party. If you decide to leap into this business, that's a good way to describe your situation, since few people will comprehend the adjective "impecunious," and folks will think you enjoy company. Like Rod, you may even have brief moments of infamy.

THIS IS ONE EPISODE IN THE ANACCHRONISTIC ART SERIES. YOU CAN ACCESS EARLIER WORK BY CLICKING VARIOUS "LAST KEYS." ALTERNATELY GO TO THE TABLE OF CONTENTS PAGE TO PROCEED CHRONOLOGICALLY.