Tuesday, January 27, 2009

John Updike

March 18, 1932 – January 27, 2009

Post Your Secret

When I'm angry, depressed, annoyed beyond all sense, I write. I usually write a letter, and of course never send it. Oftentimes, it takes me hours, sometimes days, to articulate how I feel in those perfect words and phrases. Now I have Post Secret!

Obama. From NY Times. Jan. 20, 2009

New York Times
The Greatest Expectations
By David Kelly

Has there been another Inaugural Address for which expectations were this high? Needless to say, if anyone can live up to them, it’s Barack Obama.

In the midst of his train trip to Washington on Saturday, Obama gave a speech in which one passage, at least, drew praise from conservative commentators:

While our problems may be new, what is required to overcome them is not. What is required is the same perseverance and idealism that our founders displayed. What is required is a new declaration of independence, not just in our nation, but in our own lives — from ideology and small thinking, prejudice and bigotry — an appeal not to our easy instincts but to our better angels.

Leaving aside the question of whether “ideology” corresponds to “small thinking” the way “prejudice” does to “bigotry,” I don’t remember conservatives calling for an independence from ideology, as they are now, in 1981, 1995 or 2001. In those years, that job belonged to Democrats.

Today, Obama will doubtless return to the same theme, one he also sounded in “The Audacity of Hope”:

My wife will tell you that by nature I’m not somebody who gets real worked up about things. When I see Ann Coulter or Sean Hannity baying across the television screen, I find it hard to take them seriously; I assume that they must be saying what they do primarily to boost book sales or ratings, although I do wonder who would spend their precious evenings with such sourpusses. When Democrats rush up to me at events and insist that we live in the worst of political times, that a creeping fascism is closing its grip around our throats, I may mention the internment of Japanese-Americans under F.D.R., the Alien and Sedition Acts under John Adams, or a hundred years of lynching under several dozen administrations as having been possibly worse, and suggest we all take a deep breath. When people at dinner parties ask me how I can possibly operate in the current political environment, with all the negative campaigning and personal attacks, I may mention Nelson Mandela, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, or some guy in a Chinese or Egyptian prison somewhere. In truth, being called names is not such a bad deal.

Still, I am not immune to distress. And like most Americans, I find it hard to shake the feeling these days that our democracy has gone seriously awry.

It’s not simply that a gap exists between our professed ideals as a nation and the reality we witness every day. In one form or another, that gap has existed since America’s birth. Wars have been fought, laws passed, systems reformed, unions organized, and protests staged to bring promise and practice into closer alignment.

No, what’s troubling is the gap between the magnitude of our challenges and the smallness of our politics — the ease with which we are distracted by the petty and trivial, our chronic avoidance of tough decisions, our seeming inability to build a working consensus to tackle any big problem. …

A government that truly represents … Americans — that truly serves … Americans — will require a different kind of politics. That politics will need to reflect our lives as they are actually lived. It won’t be prepackaged, ready to pull off the shelf. It will have to be constructed from the best of our traditions and will have to account for the darker aspects of our past. We will need to understand just how we got to this place, this land of warring factions and tribal hatreds. And we will need to remind ourselves, despite all our differences, just how much we share: common hopes, common dreams, a bond that will not break.

As for me, I couldn't ask for a more articulate, educated, thinking leader.

The O in Obama! You GO GIRL!!

Have you heard this lady SPEAK?! Forget her wardrobe. Yes, we love the kids and their someday dog. Obama is magic to our future. (It's coming!!) But Michelle Obama is also an ICON for women. Take a minute, listen to her and spread THIS word!!!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


I never cease to be amazed at the fun stuff on the web. Youniverse will raise your spirits and at the same time provide you with a whole bunch of really neat pics! Try this little personality test first... (Read the top question and click the pic you think most agrees with it.)

Friday, January 16, 2009

Andrew Wyeth

Andrew Wyeth died today at the age of 91. The New York Times wrote a great article.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

My Minor Effort to Headline Prostate Cancer Awareness!

Prostate cancer and it's research needs to be given the same attention that breast cancer has finally gotten. Please learn more about it.
Mike is home and well today! Thanks for so many well wishes!

More Blackboards

As far as I know, my show STILL goes up at All Fired Up, 830 Broadway St., on or about February 15. Just finished a few more!!~~~
A Rhinocerosceros:

And a tribute to Okinawa, where people live looonger than anywhere on earth:

Chico Art Center is opening a new members' show, running January 17- February 15. You can catch one of my pieces there, along with many varied pieces from our local artists. Be sure to swing in!!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Art: Exported Awe. And Storytime by Cheeseburger

Just found this site, stories written by Cheeseburger Brown. Also love his exposition about the definition of art. Consider reading the whole thing. This is just the very, very end.

"I am the god of a very small universe, but that universe rhymes with ours and that makes me happy. When I can export a slice of that universe to others so they can taste a glimmer of that wonder, I am ecstatic. I feel alive, and tall.
So, anyway, that's what I figure art is. Exported awe."

Thank you, Cheeseburger Brown

Saturday, January 3, 2009

ee cummings

I'd rather learn from one bird how to sing
then teach ten thousand stars how not to dance.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Social Comments Using Venn Diagrams.

Jessica Hagy has the creative thing down. Try drawing your own Venn Diagram about what you witness. Remember- see and think in new ways.

Draw Your Own News!

Ohmigod this is fun. Doodlebuzz makes the news fascinating. When you get in here, type in "Obama," or "Sarah Palin," or something equally mesmerizing. And then Play! And once again, Happy 2009!

2009. Stop and Smell the Roses. Time to Slow Down.

Stop a minute.
Look closely at small things.
Our world is beautiful.
Notice that.

Thank you to Theoro
on Flickr
for the image.