Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
In an article in the Spring/Summer 2007 edition of Arion: A Journal of Humanities and the Classics, Camille Paglia wrote about the relationship between religion and the arts, and how respect for religion can revive the arts. What follows in an excerpt from Paglia’s article; thanks to the folks at Mars Hill Audio Journal for posting it on their Web site.
For the fine arts to revive, they must recover their spiritual center. Profaning the iconography of other people’s faiths is boring and adolescent. The New Age movement, to which I belong, was a distillation of the 1960s’ multicultural attraction to world religions, but it has failed thus far to produce important work in the visual arts. The search for spiritual meaning has been registering in popular culture instead through science fiction, as in George Lucas’ six-film Star Wars saga, with its evocative master myth of the “Force.” But technology for its own sake is never enough. It will always require supplementation through cultivation in the arts.
To fully appreciate world art, one must learn how to respond to religious expression in all its forms. Art began as religion in prehistory. It does not require belief to be moved by a sacred shrine, icon, or scripture. Hence art lovers, even when as citizens they stoutly defend democratic institutions against religious intrusion, should always speak with respect of religion. Conservatives, on the other hand, need to expand their parched and narrow view of culture. Every vibrant civilization welcomes and nurtures the arts.
Progressives must start recognizing the spiritual povery of contemporary secular humanism and reexamine the way that liberalism too often now automatically defines human aspiration and human happiness in reductively economic terms. If conservatives are serious about educational standards, they must support the teaching of art history in primary school — which means conservatives have to get over their phobia about the nude, which has been a symbol of Western art and Western individualism and freedom since the Greeks invented democracy. Without compromise, we are heading for a soulless future. But when set against the vast historical panorama, religion and art — whether in marriage or divorce — can reinvigorate American culture.
For something that looks a little like the marriage of religion and the arts, check out this interview with Nicora Gangi, along with images of two of her paintings, at http://www.liturgicalcredo.com/NicoraGangiJuneJuly2007.html .
Saturday, October 6, 2007
It's the Fall Pilgrimage for bikers here in Myrtle Beach. We planned to go to Myabi for dinner, and when I parked in the back, I got a view of the stunt show going on behind The Dog House bar. This was around 5:30 p.m. this afternoon. The power line is in the foreground, by the way.
I used my Canon Xti Rebel for the pics, and then tweaked levels, contrasts, etc., with the Adobe Photoshop Album Starter.
From the Toronto Star:
A Vaughan man has been charged in connection with the theft of two truck trailers of beer last month.
More than 100,000 cans and bottles of beer were taken Sept. 19 from Moosehead brewery's shipping partner on Dixie Rd near Hwy. 401 in Mississauga. The estimated retail value of the stolen beer was about $200,000, police said.
"Two were stolen from Mississauga and two were from Brampton," said Peel Region Const. J.P. Valade. "All of them contained different types of beer."
Police traced the stolen beer to a Rowntree Dairy Rd. warehouse, near Pine Valley Dr. and Hwy. 7, where they recovered 1,100 cases, some of it from earlier thefts.
Pullara Calogero, 59, is charged with two counts of possession of stolen property relating to the Mississauga thefts. Police are looking for other suspects. Anyone with information is asked to call police at 905-453-2121 ext. 3313 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
"FOSTER'S GROUP has created the unlikely partnership of a bevy of Slovenian blondes and a fat Aussie truckie to star in a blockbuster ad for its market-leading brand in the booming low-carbohydrate beer category," reports Australia's Sydney Morning Herald.
"Three years after quietly launching Pure Blonde, the company last night twisted the cap off a $3 million ad campaign marketing the beer as the purest drop to be found."
Read the article, and see a pic, at:
Thursday, October 4, 2007
At 6 p.m. Monday, I will join three other judges at Droopy's, 5201 North Kings Highway, Myrtle Beach, to choose the Myrtle Beach Signature FireFly Cocktail.
FireFly Vodka, based in Wadmalaw Island, is flavored with muscadine wine. The folks at FireFly have held a competition for drink recipes that reflect Myrtle Beach in originality, taste, and presentation. Chef Miles Huff and his culinary class at Trident Technical College in Charleston narrowed the entries down to five final recipes.
Now it's up to me and my fellow judges, FireFly owners Jim Irvin and Scott Newitt, and Mixin Dixon of The Sound 107.1 FM, to choose the best one.Droopy's will offer free FireFly samples along with special FireFly drinks. Come out and see us.
Tuesday, October 2, 2007
Another married couple invited my wife and I to spend a weekend in Ocean Isle Beach, N.C., recently.
We met them on a recent Friday at the Giggling Mackerel at 65 Causeway Drive.
We found the Giggling Mackerel, and climbed a couple of flights of wood stairs to meet our friends on a deck bar above the restaurant.
Stepping onto the top reoriented the entire day - the breeze blew, the sun set, and the music played. The girl barkeep was cute and friendly. We could see the Intracoastal Waterway and the cars passing over the bridge.
The hostess called our names for dinner downstairs. We made it without tumbling down the steps, and I went for the Red Stripe. It was $3.75 per bottle, and could have been a couple of degrees colder, but a wedge of lime and a rack of ribs for $16.95 made up for it. The Giggling Mackerel also had seven domestic beers for $3 per bottle, and four other premium bottles for $3.75.
The next day I got a properly chilled Pabst Blue Ribbon at Sharky's at 61 Causeway Drive. Sharky's also had outside seating, but we opted for inside that afternoon. The PBR bottles, at $3 each, were very cold, thank God. We also got a half-pound of fried shrimp for an appetizer, $13.95. And then we had another.
Then the server told us the last chilled PBR had been served (to us), so instead of drinking a warm one, my buddy got a Pacifico for $4. I got Summer Bright Ale from Breckenridge Brewing in Colorado, at $2.50 per bottle. I had never seen this American Wheat Pale Ale before. It had a touch of that hop spiciness that hinted toward an India Pale Ale, giving it an interesting flavor with a light enough body to drink all the summer-day long. That one's definitely a keeper.
Our group decided that a pound of fried shrimp didn't make a dinner, so we went over to Cinelli's Pizza & Ristorante at 14 Causeway Drive. We sat at tall tables near the seven-seat wood bar with colorful hanging lights. Here I ordered a pint of Anheuser-Busch's Skipjack Amber. To get an idea of what this American All-Malt Lager tastes like, think of Yuengling and then take the malt a little more toward caramel, and make the hops a little bit crisper. Good stuff, $3 a pint.
I'm reviewing The Book of Vice: Very Naughty Things (And How to do Them), by NPR's Peter Sagal, for DoubleThink, the quarterly magazine published by America's Future Foundation in D.C. The review should appear in the Winter 2008 edition. You can visit the magazine's Web page at http://www.affdoublethink.com/. AFF also has an online-only publication called Brainwash, which you can find at http://www.affbrainwash.com/.
I'm also reviewing a slightly denser book: Brain, Mind, and Human Behavior in Contemporary Cognitive Science: Critical Assessments of the Philosophy of Psychology, by Jeff Coulter and Wes Sharrock. This review will appear in the March 2008 edition of Appraisal: The Journal of the Society for Post-Critical and Personalist Studies. You can visit the SPCPS Web site at http://www.spcps.org.uk/.
Meanwhile, at LiturgicalCredo.com, I will soon post a book review of Praying with Beads: Daily Prayers for the Christian Year by Nan Lewis Doerr and Virginia Stem Owens.