Wednesday, January 30, 2019

More obnoxiousness from the brocialists

I've mentioned on this blog before I have issues with Barbara Ehrenreich so I wasn't surprised by her recent idiotic tweet:

Absolutely standard brocialist talking point - any woman Democrat who isn't Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is garbage. 

When Ehrenreich released "Nickeled and Dimed" I thought it was a great idea for a book - Ehrenreich went undercover as an unskilled laborer to see what a shitty life it was.

But she could have just asked me, the ex-wife of her buddy Zvi in Key West, how shitty it was. 

I struggled as a single mother all those years raising my daughter with almost no support from my ex-husband. Once in awhile I would get a big payment from him if he had sold a lot of marijuana, but overall he got away with paying a very small amount of child support. So I did the usual thing poor people do - got welfare, got food stamps, got free government cheese, and then through being in the right place at the right time was able to use the personal computer revolution to work my way up to a decent living one less-shitty-job at a time. Without a college degree.

And of course my ex contributed nothing to my daughter's college education which was financed through a combination of grants and loans taken out by my daughter and myself. I finally finished paying off the loan for my daughter's education this year. Unlike me she was able to go to college for four years and graduate.

But why should Barbara Ehrenreich care? Zvi was devoted to what really mattered to him - marijuana rights - so why should he have to worry about getting a job to pay for his daughter?

It's just like Bernie Sanders who was too busy writing for obscure political rags that paid nothing while his son was little - Sanders, like my ex-husband, prioritized himself and his ambitions over his kid. And that doesn't bother people like Ehrenreich at all. Or my ex-friend "Reverend Bookburn."

I'm sure that Sanders' baby-momma made sure she had enough food in the house and paid the electric bill for the sake of her son - meanwhile Bernie was stealing electricity from his landlord for power, just like he tried to get power through the Democratic party while shitting on Democrats.

I hate these people with their self-satisfied ignorance and their hatred of women struggling uphill to actually be effective and get things done - people like Nancy Pelosi.

Fuck you Barbara Ehrenreich and your whole brocialist misogynist mob of shitheads.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

More Beatles awesomeness

I have my annual cold this week so I'm watching/listening to Beatle stuff to cheer up.

I re-watched Ron Howard's Beatles: Eight Days a Week the Touring Years on Hulu - I saw it when it was first out in the theater and had forgotten the part where it mentions the Beatles were vocally anti-segregation. The Youtube video here is the excerpt.

It turns out that the Beatles had an anti-segregation clause in their contract. But they also said they were anti-segregation publicly, in interviews as the clip above demonstrates.

I am convinced that this is the root of the anti-Beatles hysteria in the South in 1966. I think the racists were just looking for a chance to punish the Beatles and Lennon's "bigger than Jesus" gave them their excuse. In this interview McCartney seems to be alluding to just that.

 I think there's the makings of a play here.

Friday, January 25, 2019

Rom Coms again

Well I decided to do another call for submissions on the theme of "romantic comedy" for NYCPlaywrights again. This time for the podcast.

I bitched in several blog posts about the unromantic and uncomedic nature of so many of the submissions back in December 2014. And again. And again.

This time around the thing that annoys me the most are the "meet cute" submissions. That's when two people meet and fall in love, in the present context within the real-time span of a 10-minute play. The plays are almost always ridiculously fake because they are utterly derivative. They are based on movies the author has seen and certainly not on lived experience - because people don't meet and fall in love in ten minutes. If people in real life do go off together in real life after ten minutes it's because they like how the other person looks, not thanks to pun-ridden witty badinage, and it isn't about love it's about lust. And straight women almost never, ever decide to go off with some random man they just met.

The absolute worst of the meet-cutes are the meet-cutes on a first date after connecting on an Internet dating site. In real life those are never romantic and almost always extremely uncomfortable and disappointing. 

On the up side, this time around we only have to choose one play, not eight.

Friday, January 18, 2019

Latest NYCPlaywrights Podcast

NYCPlaywrights Podcast

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Right-wing racists flipping out again because I created infographics

Obviously I'm never going to understand the thought processes of the racists who gather round Steve Sailer at Unz ~ so I despair of ever understanding why they have such a phobia about information in graphic format.

My graphics about Steven Pinker are the subject of controversy over at Unz. But the information I presented is virtually the same as the information that Bari Weiss presented in her Intellectual Dark Web article, connecting Steven Pinker to extremists:
Go a click in one direction and the group is enhanced by intellectuals with tony affiliations like Steven Pinker at Harvard. But go a click in another and you’ll find alt-right figures like Stefan Molyneux and Milo Yiannopoulos and conspiracy theorists like Mike Cernovich (the #PizzaGate huckster) and Alex Jones (the Sandy Hook shooting denier).
And yet they don't seem to think the Weiss article is crazy.

One of my Unz reader critics took exception to my criticizing the art of Sophie Blackall - but presumably doesn't mind that Steven Pinker devoted an entire chapter in "The Blank Slate" to ranting about modern art

You can't expect consistency from those wacky "race realists."

Monday, January 14, 2019

As anyone could have predicted Steven Pinker and Pinkerite Jesse Singal go the full Quillette

Look it's the gang from Unz.

Given Singal's well-known transphobia, and given that bashing trans people is one of Quillette's favorite activities - it was not only inevitable but I wonder what took him so long to start working with Quillette.

Quillette and Steven Pinker have long had a mutual admiration society, but this is the first time I am aware that Pinker has a byline in Quillette.

The text in the Pinker diagram will be updated to reflect his intensified connection to "race realism."

Infamous eugenics proponent Toby Young lists members of the race realism gang.

Young celebrates Pinker going the full Quillette.

Tuesday, January 08, 2019

Thank you New Republic

Finally the New Republic has published an article in the face of the great leftist romanticization of the "gilets jaunes" 

From the article:
Unfortunately, this is a challenge the main left-wing opposition has largely failed to meet, a balance it has refused to strike. Just as populists see “the people” as something pure in the face of corrupt elites, so, too, do certain elites desire for there to be an essential purity in the idea of an uprising of the alienated masses—the “neutral, politically indifferent people who never join a party and hardly ever go to the polls,” as Hannah Arendt once described them. 
First, the gilets jaunes have always been inseparable from far-right politics. Supporters of Marine Le Pen have the most favorable views of the yellow vests, and a hypothetical gilets jaunes party would sap significant support from Le Pen in the upcoming European parliamentary elections.
Feckless stupid leftists have been cheering on a group who - it should have been OBVIOUS to anyone - are the people who wanted Marine Le Pen to win. That's why even after Macron gave them what they said they wanted the gilets jaunes turned around and called for Macron's resignation.

That was ALWAYS the goal of the gilets jaunes.

If Trump had lost this is how his followers would have acted. Complete with NYTimes articles soul-searching why the "real" America wanted to tear down the government. 

Mark my words, it's going to turn out that Putin has been helping the gilets jaunes too. 

Saturday, January 05, 2019

Sophie Blackall and the 2016 Caldecott Medal Selection Committee

I thought it was odd that one of the worst professional illustrators I have ever seen, Sophie Blackall, won the 2016 Caldecott Medal for children's picture book illustration. Especially when you look at the vastly superior work of the 2016 runners-up.

I didn't immediately leap to the conclusion of cronyism when I heard the news. But after looking at the names of the people in the Medal Selection committee, I'm definitely considering it. The Chair of the 2016 selection committee was Rachel G. Payne of the Brooklyn Public Library.

I did a little research and it seems, if the online location sources are correct, that Blackall and Payne are neighbors - they live about a mile from each other in Brooklyn.

And they are also Facebook friends, although I don't know if they were friends before Payne gave Blackall the medal. It would be very surprising if they were not, since not only do they apparently live in the same Brooklyn neighborhood, they have both been to at least one conference at the same time prior to 2016.

Now it's possible that Payne and the rest of the selection committee simply don't know shit from Shinola, and that's why Blackall won the Caldecott, but I have my doubts now.

But again, if the awful Renoir is still beloved by the masses there is no reason why Blackall can't have a thriving, award-winning career forever. There will always be tasteless idiots to champion mediocrities while the vastly superior are ignored - superior artists like Mary Cassatt and Berthe Morisot.

There is no justice in this world. And plenty of bad taste. And cronyism.

This book...

...was judged better-illustrated than this book...

and this book...

and this book...

and this book... the 2016 Caldecott committee. Completely insane.

Wednesday, January 02, 2019

My daughter learned her New Years lesson at Bloomingdales

Tuesday, January 01, 2019

Conservatory garden in January

A lot fewer flowers - but also a lot fewer tourists.

Sophie Blackall and the surprisingly crowded genre of books for children about lighthouses

So I was talking about the inability of award-winning, yet still terrible illustrator Sophie Blackall to handle perspective in her illustrations for a children's book about a lighthouse. To my amazement I found a blog which has an interview with Blackall in which Blackall claims to have done a whole lot of research for the book. I guess that shows that all the research in the world cannot cure an inability to draw.

I've been criticizing Blackall's work long before she won the Caldecott medal in 2016. In 2012 I saw her banner image on the NY subway system and understood her true awfulness even then.

But it looks like I got my wish from this 2016 blog post when I speculated that winning a Caldecott would make Blackall focus on children's illustration. To the relief of all discerning adults.

Just for the heck of it I did some Googling to see how other picture books for children handled the topic of lighthouses. I found that all the artwork in this surprisingly crowded genre was better than Blackall's... well except one, which I will get to at the end.

Here are some examples of both more realistic and more stylized approaches to lighthouses for kids.

A convincing rendition of top-down perspective on a 
lighthouse by artist David Armitage showing it can be done.

This piece by Rosalind Clark might be the most similar in style
to Blackall's that I've seen but yet is so much less awkward.
I shudder to think how Blackall would handle the pose of
the girl on a hillside in this image.

A more realistic work by Elaine Wentworth -
Blackall couldn't do something this realistic
in her wildest dreams

Very stylized but vastly superior technique to Blackall by
Ingrid Godon. Appropriately for a children's picture book,
Godon gets top billing over "with words by Andre Sollie"
What an hysterical title for a kid's book though - love it.

A non-fiction book about lighthouses by Roman Belyaev who
truly understands perspective - stylized, precise and beautiful

Ocean by Emily Dove - so beautiful and graceful.
In a just world it would be Dove winning a Caldecott
medal, not a talentless hack like Blackall. And I bet
Blackall couldn't understand why this
is so much better than her work but then
that's what it means to be an exemplar of the
Dunning-Kruger effect - you don't know
that you're bad because you don't know what
makes something good.
More stellar work by Dove on her web site.

As promised here is the one lighthouse-related piece of children's book illustration that I think is worse than the work of Sophie Blackall.

Like Blackall, Elias is much better at drawing lighthouses than people.
One of the far-superior illustrators
who were runners-up to

the awful Sophie Blackall ~
I can't help but notice that
the chair of the 2016 Caldecott
medal selection committee,
Rachel G. Payne, lives in 
Brooklyn, just like Blackall. 

And BTW this page from the Caldecott site shows all the runners-up beat by Blackall, each and every one a far superior artist to Blackall. They must all be as flabbergasted by the loss as I am.

The problem with someone like Blackall, who can't draw well, winning the most prestigious medal in children's illustration is not simply an incompetent being told she's the best - it's all the truly talented illustrators being told that an incompetent is better than them. That's what really annoys me.

And also that subway card by Blackall in 2012 is truly, truly hideous. I hated being forced to look at it during my commute.

But I suppose it shouldn't be a surprise - if the truly awful Renoir is still considered a great master,  anybody could be.