Wednesday, April 01, 2009

In Oakland California with the Homicide Philistine

Cover of "Painted Word, The"Cover of Painted Word, The

Just read that's the kind of head to boost traffic, though I assume you'd get a lot of U-turns and not regular readers.

Today was a day well got through: During the morning, I put the final tearful touches on our tax forms and took them to our accountant, who explained we owe an additional $2,500.

Came home and wrestled with a busted computer and a useless router. That entailed phone calls to USF's own ITS (with two different problems), one call to D-Link (the router maker) and one to Comcast after all my other phone calls had resulted not in restoring wireless commune between my laptop and the Internet but in severing commune between the Internet and our old steam-driven desktop computer (which crashes every five minutes anyway).

Good news is Comcast told me how to hook up the Comcast line directly to the laptop, which is how I speak with you now. You can't 'hot sync.' You have to plug the ether net cable from the modem into the laptop and only then turn the modem off.

Turn it back on, and you've got the world on your string. Oh that's simple, and so am I.

Now, the Philistine part. Having finally gotten the computer running, I stepped away to spend time prepping for Arts Reporting and Reviewing tomorrow. At long last we start on "visual arts," the pure stuff without story to draw us in or direct pressure on our pleasure centers, as in the case of food or music. It is, perhaps, our greatest challenge in that it's so easy to retreat into definitions and art history, which make a Liberal Education so charming. Yes, when it comes to painting and sculpture, we insist you sample our bowl of crumbs.

I am a Philistine in that I still find Wolfe's "The Painted Word" a pretty good debunking of art that follows theory, the essence of those theories being their use in gilding the elites with delicate layer after delicate layer of refinement and superiority, each layer carefully moistened with contempt for those of lesser refinement and discrimination.

Ah, the glib, the glib, the glib. I swim in the glib like some lugubrious fish from down in the darkness with its glowing nose. The glib must not be a substitute for the obscure. I must try not to infect the student's with such inverse arrogance.

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