Essay / Art

Two Lost Dogs in Berkeley

Thursday afternoon in Berkeley there was a small concert by Terry Taylor and Mike Roe, who are the two members of the Lost Dogs who live in northern California. Terry Taylor has been recording music since the 70s, Mike Roe since the 80s, and the

Essay / Art

Curtain of Flowers and Gaps: Jim Hodges at SFMOMA

Modern art often seems as if it’s just going out of its way to bug you. It was with some trepidation that I visited the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art last weekend. I knew I’d get to see some of my favorite pieces: Things

Essay / Art

Life, a Preparation for Death

In January, I had the privilege of taking twenty Torrey Honors Institute students to Rome, Italy for two weeks. Not only was I impressed by these students’ attention, interest and appreciation for great art and architecture, but I was also impressed by their appreciation for

Essay / Art

Golgotha (paper and ink)

This is a little drawing (about six inches square) given to me by Verna Smith, an artist who works in hand-made paper. She must have made it around 1975, but gave it to me thirty years later. Photos don’t quite capture the delicacy and suggestiveness

Essay / Art

*Give Your Life to Mani*

Recent Converts! Are You Confused? Does your inquiring mind raise questions the authoritarian church just can’t answer? . *** ASK MANI! *** . He Can Explain True Christianity To You! **************************************** **************************************** **************************************** **************************************** **************************************** **************************************** ALL THAT IS … is light and darkness. But

Essay / Art

How To Make Cartoons

Cartooning is fun, and anybody who’d like to try their hand at it should probably go buy Scott McCloud’s excellent book on it. But if you don’t want to spend the money on McCloud’s far-reaching description of comics technique, here’s a fun free intro: Barnacle

Essay / Art

The Day After Christmas

Here’s a song, here’s a gift for the day after Christmas When the presents have been opened And your spirit has crashed. When all the colored lights are turned off And the yule log is an ember And you’ve returned that crap to K-Mart And

Essay / Art

Meowl

Last month was the fiftieth anniversary of the obscenity trial for Allen Ginsberg’s beat poem Howl. The verdict back in 1957 was that there was plenty of artistic and social justification for the poem to be as nasty as it was. There’s no denying the

Essay / Art

Worst Coleridge Poem Ever!

Samuel Taylor Coleridge was one of the greatest minds ever to write in English. But aside from the justly famous Rime of the Ancient Mariner, he didn’t manage to finish very many extended poems. That mind should have produced an English epic, but instead he

Essay / Art

Cramming for the French Test

Back in 1995, I found myself in a situation that is common for graduate students: needing to demonstrate basic reading knowledge of a modern language in case I should need it in my future research. The kind of knowledge required isn’t exactly what you’d call

Essay / Art

Medieval Gazing and Eating

A couple of weekends ago my wife and I took our kids up to the Getty Museum in Los Angeles. The opportunity to visit the Getty at will is certainly one of the perks of living in southern California. We were invited to go to