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.

A useless comic

Wouldn’t most specialty shop delivery trucks have a phone number painted on the side? So you could see what the service offers and immediately pick up the phone and say “Yes, please”?


A mirror held up to who we are

Wow. Tom Björklund has been making these amazing paintings to humanize Neandertals. Here are a few examples:

It doesn’t take much — a father teaching his child, a flower in the hair — to wrench one away from the usual distanced view we have of dead bones and stone tools. These were people.

I’d like to see a similar approach to australopithecines. We can see emotions in a chimpanzee — you know that Lucy had just as rich a repertoire of feelings as they do. We can only imagine how they expressed them.

On Netflix: Cave of Forgotten Dreams

Urglegurgle. I’m trying to prep a lecture on synapse formation, and just discovered that Herzog’s amazing film about Chauvet cave is available…so I’m trying to scribble up technical notes on molecular biology while getting constantly distracted by 32,000 year old cave paintings. It’s good to live in the 21st century, but I think my brain is getting full.

(Also on FtB)

Illustrations that make you want to read the book

OK, this is no fair. This is an illustration for an alternative history novel, a book about World War I as fought between biotechnology (Darwinists) vs. industrialists (Clankers).


Now I really want to read Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld. I’m unfamiliar with the author, I have only the vaguest notions about the content of the book, but I just put it on my Amazon wish list for that picture alone.