Books I'm currently reading . . . . . . . . .

My reading and research always feeds into my new paintings.

Cineaste Poems

american monroe

The Cineaste: Poems By A. Van. Jordan, W.W.Norton NY, 2013

I can't even summarise this book of poems without getting emotional.  It's THAT good!!!

 

 

 

 

 


American Monroe: The Making of a Body Politic
By S. Paige Baty University of California Press, 1995

Marilyn Monroe is alive and well in the American imagination. She is the stuff of memory, living as icon, mysterious suicide, transgressive goddess—a character that tells the story of America itself. American Monroe explores the ways we remember Marilyn—from playing cards, books, and fan clubs, to female impersonators, political conspiracies, and high art, her ubiquitous presence informs our cultural common ground.

Finding in Marilyn a "representative character" of our time, Baty explores some of the cultural lives she has been made to lead. We follow "the mediatrix" from the biographies by Mailer and Steinem, to the shadowy Kennedy connection, to the coroner Noguchi's obsession with the body of the dead star. Representations of Marilyn, Baty shows, displace neat categories of high and low culture, of public and private, male and female. She becomes a surface that mirrors everything it touches, a site upon which to explore the character of the postmodern condition.

American Monroe is an innovative, scintillating look at the making and remaking of popular icons. It explores the vocabulary of memory as it moves the reader past vistas of American political culture. It seeks to understand Marilyn's enduring power and how, through our many-layered rememberings of her, we come to understand ourselves and our shared history.

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Edward Morgan Forster, Two Cheers for Democracy, “What I Believe” (1938)

I believe in aristocracy. . . — if that is the right word, and if a democrat may use it. Not an aristocracy of power, based upon rank and influence, but an aristocracy of the sensitive, the considerate and the plucky. Its members are to be found in all nations and classes, and all through the ages, and there is a secret understanding between them when they meet. They represent the true human tradition, the one permanent victory of our queer race over cruelty and chaos. Thousands of them perish in obscurity, a few are great names. They are sensitive for others as well as for themselves, they are considerate without being fussy, their pluck is not swankiness but the power to endure, and they can take a joke. I give no examples — it is risky to do that — but the reader may as well consider whether this is the type of person he would like to meet and to be, and whether (going further with me) he would prefer that this type should not be an ascetic one.
I am against asceticism myself. I am with the old Scotsman who wanted less chastity and more delicacy. I do not feel that my aristocrats are a real aristocracy if they thwart their bodies, since bodies are the instruments through which we register and enjoy the world. Still, I do not insist. This is not a major point. It is clearly possible to be sensitive, considerate and plucky and yet be an ascetic too, and if anyone possesses the first three qualities I will let him in! On they go — an invincible army, yet not a victorious one. The aristocrats, the elect, the chosen, the Best People — all the words that describe them are false, and all attempts to organize them fail. Again and again Authority, seeing their value, has tried to net them and to utilize them as the Egyptian Priesthood or the Christian Church or the Chinese Civil Service or the Group Movement, or some other worthy stunt.
But they slip through the net and are gone; when the door is shut, they are no longer in the room; their temple, as one of them remarked, is the holiness of the Heart’s affections, and their kingdom, though they never possess it, is the wide-open world. [full chapter]  

President Abraham Lincoln, Nov 21, 1864 (letter to Col. William F. Elkins) 

I see in the near future a crisis approaching. It unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. The money power preys upon the nation in times of peace and conspires against it in times of adversity. It is more despotic than a monarchy, more insolent than autocracy, more selfish than bureaucracy. It denounces, as public enemies, all who question its methods or throw light upon its crimes.
I have two great enemies, the Southern Army in front of me & the financial institutions at the rear; the latter is my greatest foe. Corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until the wealth is aggregated in the hands of a few, and the Republic is destroyed.

 

 

 

 

“Man does not live by words alone, despite the fact that sometimes he has to eat them.”
Democratic Presidential candidate Adlai Stevenson (1900-1965), speech in Denver, Colo., September 5, 1952  
Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear. - Mark Twain  
It is easier to resist at the beginning than at the end. -Leonardo Da Vinci - The Notebooks
Give me the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely according to conscience, above all liberties. John Milton - Discourse 14, The Areopagitica, 1644 [full]
"Life itself, she thought, as she went upstairs to dress for dinner, was stranger than dreams and far, far more disordered"- Nancy Mitford (Christmas Pudding 1932)
When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle. - Edmund Burke, Thoughts on the Cause of the Present Discontents, 1770
I repeat ... that all power is a trust; that we are accountable for its exercise; that, from the people, and for the people, all springs, and all must exist. - Benjamin Disraeli, Vivian Grey, Ch. 7, 1826
The Bible is literature, not dogma - George Santayana, The Ethics of Spinoza, 1910
How many cares one loses when one decides not to be something but to be someone. - Coco Chanel
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the  difference. - American poet Robert Frost
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us. - Oliver Wendell Holmes
Compassion is not weakness, and concern for the unfortunate is not socialism. - Hubert Horatio Humphrey
Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore. - Noel Langley, spoken by Judy Garland, The Wizard of Oz, 1939
Don't be humble. You're not that great. - Golda Meir
Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted. - Aldous Huxley                      
And so the Princes fade from earth, scarce seen by souls of men. But tho' obscur'd, this is the form of the Angelic land -
- William Blake (1793) America A Prophecy.                                     
               
  



 

 

 

 

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