The morning nothing went right

Today I decided to get out and do a little photography, and my target was the Frank Schott stone barn, about a half hour’s drive away from me, near Chokio, Minnesota. It’s an impressive construction — Schott went all out to build this rock solid cement and stone barn (and chicken coop!) back in the 1920s, finishing it in 1932. It was abandoned in the 1970s, and the wooden roof collapsed in the 1990s, but the structure itself is still standing. It’s an abandoned building that is so well built it feels totally safe to clamber around in it.

So we set off this morning. It looked easy to get to: a straight shot down highway 28 to county road 19, then left about 2 miles. No problem! Except there was no county road 19 that we could find, and we overshot and then backtracked and looked everywhere. Eventually, on pure dumb intuition — “this little gravel road feels like it’s about the right distance” — we found it.

I whipped out my nice camera, thinking the early morning light was perfect, and turned it on…nothing. What? Then I remembered — the night before, I’d prepared for the trip by getting the camera batteries charged up. The batteries were still sitting there at home, 100% charged. D’oh! At least I’d remembered the memory card.

I’d brought my drone along, too, but the wind was savage this morning, so nope, none of that, either.

I took a few photos with my cell phone. I should have taken a few selfies of myself kicking myself.

Maybe I’ll try again another day. It’s not that far away.

Free Speech and Artistic Expression…DENIED

The crazy leftists are no-platforming everyone now. Look at this magnificent work of art!

It was shown at CPAC, where everyone loved it, so it must be objectively valuable. However, when the artist, Julian Raven, demanded that the 16-foot-wide masterpiece be given space at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery, they refused. I can’t imagine why.

Raven was inspired to create the giant image in 2015 when he saw Trump campaigning on television — roughly the left third of the 300-pound painting is devoted to a giant neck-up rendering of the then-presidential candidate, with the rest depicting a bald eagle flying through space with a giant American flag in its talons and our pitiable blue planet in the background, with no idea what it had in store. Raven, driven by this searing vision to complete the painting in three weeks, hoped to display the work at the Smithsonian in coincidence with the 2017 inauguration, but found himself roundly rejected by the gallery’s director, Kim Sajet, who told him that it was “too political” and “too big” and, generally, just not very good.

“The last thing she said to me was ‘it’s no good,’” Raven is quoted as saying. Welcome to the art world, buddy.

What does a good wingnut do in such a situation? He sued, of course. His suit was dismissed, so now he’s appealing the decision.

Gee, that art director shouldn’t have said that. They were too generous — I’d have said that was a shit painting that deserves to be displayed in the dumpster out back.

And the Oscar goes to…

Congratulations to the Best Picture! At least it wasn’t Crash.

I didn’t watch the Oscars. Instead, I watched Roma on Netflix during the ceremony. It was a tough sell — the movie I’d seen before this one was Alita: Battle Angel, so the contrast was shocking. Cleo doesn’t battle a single cyborg even once in the whole show. It was also a long slow build, with the interminable beginning just being the floor getting washed and other mundane tasks by a young housekeeper in a Mexican home.

Also, in this one I wouldn’t have minded the dog getting shot. No one ever played with Borras, but he was always pooping on the floor, and anytime the door was opened they had to yell at the help to hold the dog. He was just another chore for Cleo.

But the movie may be a slow build, but it becomes increasingly affecting, and it deals with how the working poor have to cope with emotional trauma that is far more common and damaging than robots on roller blades. Roma isn’t a popcorn movie, and it’s the kind of movie where every frame is supposed to be art, but I think I spent my evening well.