Showing posts with label art. Show all posts
Showing posts with label art. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

A Wall of Separation Between Creators and their Creation.

I have always argued that there should be a rigid wall of separation between a creative work and the creator.  Not that the creator of a popular work should be exempt from responsibility for herm own behavior, but that the work itself stands on its own.  

The Huxtable family as portrayed on TV is a creative work that stands alone and apart from any of the foibles or felonies of its creators and actors involved.  Performers, creators, and artists are human.  If they can transcend their personal beliefs and weaknesses to create something of worth more power to them.  It might be argued that the work may be a personal expiation of shame. 

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Art and Artists

 From a Facebook thread on a misogynist artist.  Take your pick.

 If you cannot evaluate art without evaluating the artist you don't understand art. If a person can overcome fundamentalist bigotry to create a work of genius, more power to herm. [As to the mention of] "all men are created equal" who are you to even mention the artist owned slaves. He had no choice in his culture. That he could transcend his culture to create a better world where all are equal (even though we are not there yet after 200+ years) speaks volumes about his character.  J'Carlin 
An artist and herm art are two entirely separate and distinct entities in all cultures.  The art may live and be meaningful long after the artist has returned to dust.  While it is fun to argue about which composers of famous religious music were atheists,  the fact remains that the music they composed is sung and revered by believers in any culture affected by the religion depicted in the composition.  Religious art is by and large atrocious, and the artists justifiably forgotton.  But the stories told by that atrocious art are fundamental to religious belief.  The few exceptions were created by artists that the current crop of religious fundagelicals would probably hate. 

A "critic" is a man who creates nothing and thereby feels qualified to judge the work of creative men. There is a logic in this; he is unbiased - he hates all creative people equally. Lazarus Long aka Robert A Heinlein

There seems to be a current trend among critics to focus on the artist, especially the things about the artist that the critic hates.  Heinlein was a militarist and jingoist, therefore all of his writing is trash.  L Ron Hubbard was a religious charlatan fuggetabout all the Battlefield Earth books.  Jefferson owned and fathered slaves, therefore the Declaration of Independence means nothing.  There is nothing to see here folks.  Move along. 

I have even done it myself:  Abram was a lying, exploitive pimp.  Therefore the God he invented, and the religions that depend on that God are trash.  In my defense I had come to the conclusion that the religions that grew out of the Abrahamic tradition were trash long before I found out Abram was a prick.  I never liked him from the stories that included him, but until recently I had never followed his family and gang from Ur, to Haram, to Canaan and to Egypt.  They seem to have been a sociopathic bunch.  

[The following is a subsequent edit.  Please note this is a working blog and editing is common before and after comments]

Heinlein was also a misogynist.  Note his use of "man" in the quote.  The fact that in the vernacular it was generic for human is lost on the feminists.  The fact that all of his women characters were generally more competent in all respects than the men counts for nothing since they all were interested in procreation. Their choice of competent men to help not only with the sex but with the family as well is lost on the feminists. 

Hubbard was a brilliant student of human wants and needs, in particular their need for a strong community controlled by an unquestioned belief system.  Whether Scientology works depends on whether you ask a believer, an apostate, or a critic.  The fact that Hubbard made more money from Scientology than from writing Science Fiction "at a penny a word" is probably his greatest sin.  

The Republigelical meme that  Jefferson owned and screwed slaves is a bigot’s apologetic for their own hypocrisy.  His actual views about slavery and in particular Sally Hemmings is available to any intelligent unbiased student of his life and in particular the society in which he was embedded.  He couldn't even call himself an atheist, let alone a humanist and survive politically to keep the Black Regiment of New England Calvinists out of the Constitution and God out of the government.  


Sunday, September 6, 2015

Three Levels of Reality.

Sep 6, 2015 -- 9:52PM,  wrote:
In the same respects since our very first example of something that is true and certain is our self/self-awareness.     By what logic would I hop to accept anything else as being more certain or true?

I think this is important because when we attempt to measure our self/self-awareness.   It cannot be found,  it holds no weight and with heavy scrutiny it doesn't even exist.Utiltheo

Cogito, ergo sum. That the external world can influence my thinking is strong evidence that it exists as observed.  The fact that I can affect the external world is additional evidence that I exist if needed.  Solipsism ultimately fails as the external world can affect my thoughts in unpredictable ways and my effects can also be contrary to my intent. 

The external world can be thought of as consisting of three levels of reality that can affect thinking. 

Objective or sentient reality, that which can be observed, measured, and manipulated with physical tools but not directly with the mind with the exception that the mind controls most physical tools that manipulate sentient reality beginning in humans with the hand.   

Mythical reality consists of memes generally consistently understood across cultures and languages.  Mythical memes can strongly dominate thinking if they are introduced early enough in a person's life.  Note that most mythical memes are fairy tales and folklore in language that can be understood by small children and generally are one dimensional good vs. evil, obedience vs. sin, etc.  Nuance and interpretation may come later in life but generally that interpretation only reinforces the meme. Mythical reality is ultimately the creation of humans for the regulation of their cultures(s.) God(s) are frequent memes in mythical reality but all are created by humans commonly in their own image writ large.   

Fictional reality is a tool for manipulating minds, mythical reality and occasionally sentient reality but is more limited than mythical reality in that it is language and culture specific, although the best are translatable across languages and cultures.  Fictional reality normally has an identifiable creator, and includes art and music as well as the written word.  The memes generated by fictional reality can approach mythical memes in power and utility. 

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Art Music and Beliefs

Opinions on art and music are subjective. You tell me that your taste is better and criticize mine and I will treat you like something that just slithered out from under a rock.

Beliefs are not subjective. They are either true or false. If you criticise one of my beliefs, and do it respectfully, we can have an interesting debate. And, if you were persuasive, you might even change my mind. However, if your idea of debate is to ridicule my beliefs, then I'll treat you like something that just slithered out from under a rock. freespirit

Obviously you don't follow art or music criticism.  There are real standards of what constitutes art and music that are educated opinions that are not subjective at all.  Like beliefs these educated opinions can and do change as new forms get past the shock stage.  But art and music still matter, and only the new forms that comply with the human goals of art and music to educate, stimulate, and move people.   

Opinions about beliefs change more slowly as they are indoctrinated earlier and more intensively than opinions on art and music but change they do.  Sometimes it takes generations to do so as beliefs occupy a more important area of the mind than esthetics.  Social compliance with beliefs is frequently a matter of survival.  Esthetics is more like manners; a group identifier rather than a coercive believe or die.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Nyah Wynne on UBI

The biggest reason I support UBI(Universal Basic Income) has nothing to do with our possible automated future, as labor becomes less essential, or at least as we need much less of it, though that's a great reason to support it. It's not even about eliminating poverty or making the unemployment rate a non-issue, though those are very good reasons too.
The reason I want a UBI is to make work at least -technically- optional. I want this because so long as work is not optional, so long as it is mandatory, it is coercive. I want UBI so that every low wage worker whose boss screws them on hours, who reprimands them for taking sick days, who asks them to work too fast in unsafe conditions(see the current fast-food lawsuit), every young employee whose boss secretly grabs their ass while no one is looking, who's constantly making lewd comments, or racist comments, or any other sort of hateful bullshit... So that every employee who finds themselves trapped in the fiefdom of some petty little tyrant of a boss, which is actually The Majority Of Low End Workers, so that they can say:
So that they can really, truly, meaningfully walk the fuck away. And not have it mean they end up on the streets or their kids starve or they find themselves turning tricks to keep the water running and the lights on. Or for that matter just ending up in yet another job with a slightly different petty tyrant. And they can do this, deal with this, without having to deal with lawyers or Union Reps, who though are better than -not- having them it'd be nicer to just be able to do it ourselves. Because if -enough- of them(us) say 'NO' to this petty fucking bullshit, then firms will be forced to stop letting the petty bullshit happen(those who fail to will simply not get workers), and work in general will end up less awful for everyone.
Because the ability to say 'NO' to someone who's actively abusing you... that should be pretty high on the list of 'Liberties' worth defending. In my mind.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Why God(s)

beliefnet thoughtful theist
I don't attempt to show it. You must investigate the possibility yourself, as I'm sure you have and do.  And no, I'm not arguing that if something's not seen then it exists; and I'm not even arguing that absence of evidence is evidence of absence. In the case of God, who is, he can be detected. But not, naturally enough, by those whose preconceptions rule out such a thing.
My problem is not so much finding God, everybody and herm sibling will show you God.  My problem is what to do with them once I have found them.  So far the only use I have found is as inspiration for artists and musicians.  Not trivial, great art and music is always a benefit to humanity no matter who or what it is celebrating.  But as for the Gods themselves, nothing for me. 

Saturday, February 21, 2015

The Arts Make Education Work

No wonder the religitards are trying to kill it.

Note, the term "retard" applied to one who is normally intelligent insults no one else.  Those with mental challenges are not retarded.  They do very well with their native intelligence.

Worth a click.  Tim inherited his father's passion for promoting and teaching the arts.

HAYWARD -- Academy Award-winning actor Tim Robbins spent Friday at a Hayward elementary school, joining children in a staged reading, singing with the chorus, answering questions and watching students work on computer art projects as he promoted the arts in schools.

His visit was part of Turnaround Arts, a program to improve students' grades and attendance through the arts.

"I am here today because of the importance of arts in education. When I was in school, I went from being a good student in grade school to a struggling student in high school. The arts became a lifeline for me," he said Friday

Monday, November 14, 2011

Religion, Music and Art


I have explored the entire realm of seeking called religion and found absolutely nothing useful for living except the music and art that probably have nothing to do with religion except a payday. Religion tries to hijack every basic human need in the service of whatever God is handy and will pay for the privilege. Intelligent and creative people are happy to accept the paycheck, and some of them may believe, but their belief proves nothing but that even intelligent and creative people can be duped by shamans and priests.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Divine Art?

We Thirst - Beliefnet:
From an otherwise forgettable thread.

"I would say the Pieta is an incredibly beautiful and emotionally powerful work. I first saw it as a young dogmatic atheist and was moved by the universal humanity of a mother grieving for a dead child. I saw it again as one better educated in Christian theology and creed, and saw not only the humanity of the mother grieving for the divine sacrifice, but also, more than a little resentment, I carried and nurtured your child for this?

I don't know how much of what I saw was put there by Michelangelo, and how much was put there by me. But in studying art, I do not assume divine inspiration, even if the artist is doing a professionally excellent job for a religious client. Editorial comments which are masked by the believers superficial interpretation, may nonetheless be in the art for those who wish to see. Note that even bad art is not really looked at if it tells a religious story. See the stations of the Cross in any Catholic Church."

I have been thinking a lot about what the composer/artist is putting into the music/art commissioned by the church. Of course the believer will take it with a large dollop of faith and not really think much about it. Also some composers Messiaen is a prime example put their art in the service of God. But many of the others I wonder about. One believer claimed Mozart was divinely inspired. I wonder about the dueling sopranos in the Grand Mass. They seem to be a bit much, and the Ave Verum Corpus in a Major key, and when Christ is pierced shift to another Major key?? An absolutely beautiful piece of music, but I am sure Mozart understood the text, and was at the very least indulging in a bit of irony in his setting.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Worship or Beauty - Take your pick

The harmful aspects of religion - Discuss Atheism - Beliefnet Community
You do not believe in god. Fine. What do you replace that 'worship' with and how does it drive your imagination? Or not. Maybe you replace the god belief with nothing.
We can measure our imagination effectors at the end of the day. We can report how we spent our Sundays. OK?

J'C: "I resemble that remark! (Thanks Garfield) As I never indulged in God worship, I feel no need to replace it with anything. In fact I think worship is a perversion of a natural human tendency to appreciate beauty, wherever it can be found. Whether it is natural, man made, man enhanced as APOD one stops everything, thinking, moving, worrying, believing, and just enjoys the moment however long that moment is. One such moment was nearly an hour long when I first heard Uchida play Beethoven's Third. There have been others.

Maybe a theist can get into that moment when the pastor says lets all butcher this hymn of praise to God. But I will take the real thing. It probably won't necessarily be Sunday morning except possibly early when I pull the days APOD first thing on Sunday just like every other day. But if I visit a friend like Abner1 with original art on the walls I might have several such moments.

More frequently for me it will be music, as that is my genre. I have been known to pull over on a freeway to listen. Once a friend said we can't stop now. I said OK you drive. I will listen to the Pie Jesu without you. I try to fit as many of these moments into my day as possible. They cannot be forced however, but I am always open to them. The best thing is for many of them there is no plate. Like Abner I have commissioned art, and happily pay for live performances that may have potential. But if you keep your eyes and ears open they happen frequently, payment optional."

One of the best things about NYC was that some of the best artists were in the parks. I always tried to throw something in the instrument case if I could but it was almost impossible to walk in a park on a sunny weekend day without several opportunities. There is something about a live performance that connects people in away that cannot be duplicated.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Aesthetics and God.

Science and Beauty - Beliefnet

Science cannot verify this relationship nor can it explain the reason for the emotional response to beauty completely unnecessary for animal life.

J'C: "I am not sure what science you have been studying, but the human emotional response to beauty is not only well studied but the neurochemical reward mechanisms are well documented.

The appreciation of beauty in art and music among other things, patterns in clouds for example, begins at a very young age. One only has to watch the infant in the crib laughing as the rocking crib moves the hanging toys. It isn't until much later that the priest, shaman, or Sunday School teacher starts to impose God as the source of all that beauty. Yet another instance where God is a Johnny come lately, trying to make up for lost time. Morality, love, empathy, compassion and many others are all the property of children until God takes the candy from the baby and says "That is mine." If you are good I might let you have a taste."

J'C: This is probably my biggest beef with God. Kids do just fine in all social and aesthetic activities until someone needs to pound some God into them. Then their fine tuned morality they learned in kindergarten if they weren't corrupted before, is chopped up and parsed out by the God mediators and weird additions needed for sin are added. By the time they get to confirmation they are so screwed up that they don't know right from wrong and must pray to be saved from their sinfulness. Oh, yeah, throw a whole bunch of money in the plate so the mediator can help you find enough sins to keep the church in SUVs and Caddy's. But don't worry no hypocrisy there the mediator will be sinning right along with you.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Art and Reality

Outward and Inward Man - Beliefnet Community
I suppose you think Mozart and Picasso should have been dragged 'back to the lab.'

J'C: "Neither Mozart nor Picasso loses anything at all by being dragged back to the lab. Indeed appreciating how both manipulate reality to create transcendent art only makes their genius, their art and the lessons they teach more meaningful and closer to what rings true. I suspect that I have a much better understanding of religion's meaning than those who have recited the mass all their lives feeling all warm and fuzzy in the arms of God, and never even trying to relate it to what is real in their lives or anybody else's."

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Art and Nature

Inferring gods' character from nature - Beliefnet:

A beautiful painting is worth just as much if it was painted from existing materials or if it was poofed into existence by magic.

J'C: "As much as I enjoy APOD and the wonders they publish daily to give me my spiritual fix or at least one of them, Van Gogh's Starry Night speaks volumes more than any of them. He shows me how to see the stars and the galaxies and the wonders of our universe as a human must. Maybe they are infinite, but we can capture them all in less than a square yard of canvas if, of course, we are a genius."

I think that APOD recognized this. As I remember Starry Night was one of their offerings. Twice!