October 8, 2009

The Late-Night-Confessions Hotel...


... you can spill over.


David said...

I confess. I had never heard of Alma Thomas before this week.

Meade said...

I saw Bob Dylan in concert 12 to 15 times. I confess, my enthusiasm spilled over into obsession there for a while.

MadisonMan said...

Why do people say "openly gay"? I don't think the word openly is needed.

I ask because I just saw another story on openly gay Tammy Baldwin. Why not just call her gay? It's more descriptive and shorter ta boot.

I confess that I am going to bed. The heating pad has nicely warmed the bed and it's time.

Yours for cleaner language,
Openly Heterosexual MadisonMan (see, doesn't that sound ridiculous?)

Jason (the commenter) said...

MadisonMan: Why do people say "openly gay"?

Almost makes it sound like some people aren't openly gay...

David said...

I confess I want to say something nice about Alma Thomas.

David said...

Alma Thomas seems to have been an altogether admirable person. She was born of well to do (not rich) parents who made sure that she got a good education. She found what she cared about and worked her life in the field, mostly as a teacher. She worked with poor children through her art. She graduated from Howard and Columbia and supported herself financially for her entire lifetime. On retirement she focused hard on creating her own art, and was quite productive after the age 65.

I am not a very good art critic and much of modern art leaves me cold, all except the very best of it, which I find quite exciting. Most of it seems derivative of a few great trailblazers, which can probably be said of nearly all art at nearly all times.

My guess is that most of what she did was derivative. She was a trailblazer in living but not in art. I think this is enough to get her displayed in the White House, if that is what the Obamas want to do. It's unfortunate that one of the paintings they selected was so obviously copied with minor alterations from someone else. It seems to me that Alma Thomas deserves a better reputation than that.

Beth said...

MadisonMan, the 90-plus temperatures we still endure have warmed my bed a little too much, but I wish you a toasty sleep.

I confess, I am enjoying the altogether unfamiliar situation of the Saints being Sports Illustrated No. 1 team in this week's rankings.

I'm a happy Who Dat fan.

David said...

Alma Thomas lived in the same house in Washington, D.C. from the 1930's until her death in 1978.

She was known throughout her life for smiling at everyone she met. She was a cheerful and exuberant person who loved color and music.

She used the "derivative" more than once. She did a "space series" in the late 1960's and early 1970's because she was fascinated with the moon landing and the space program.

One of her "space series" was "Starry Night with Astronauts," explicitly based on the Van Gogh painting.

She was a tiny woman who painted large abstract canvases-often needing a ladder. She had started doing this when she was nearly 70 years old.

Her work is hard to evaluate from the online images but obviously lively but not gaudy color was the main characteristic.

I think we should declare a "Think Good Thoughts About Alma Thomas" day. I do so declare.

Ron said...

Never saw Dylan, and I'm fine with that. Not having slept with Carol Lombard...that depresses me. Instapundit, gotta a time machine crankin' over there?

David said...

I confess that you have every right to be sick of my posts about Alma Thomas, so I shall stop.

Ron said...

oh, watching My Man Godfrey on TCM, natch...

Penny said...

"It seems to me that Alma Thomas deserves a better reputation than that."

Alma's dead.

If you think she deserves a better reputation, it's up to you to see she gets that.

Chip Ahoy said...

Now that's a lovely photo, it is, and your post processing touches are incredible. Irving Penn had nothing on you.

But I'm a little bit sad, just a little.

Some schwein hund prankster douchebag thief stole my welcome mat last night. And it was a nice one too. Dark tan with a Greek key pattern border. It was the sort without words that could just as easily be used inside or even in the bath. ( I already have those but I want to keep one outside too )

So tomorrow I'll buy another and in heavy black magic marker write on the bottom



Or maybe I'll just dye my own address onto the top surface with lettering to match the border.

Or maybe I'll electrify it so when it's lifted it releases a burst of electricity like a flash unit except through embedded open wiring, burning the hands of the hapless thief.

Perhaps a simple circuit that when broken screams like a banshee, in the fashion of an ordinary window alarm.

Or maybe I'll affix a slightly enlarged convex clear cover over the peephole in the door which I never use anyway to make it appear like a camera lens when really it's just a fake out piece of plastic. (Twenty-somethings I'm assuming they're the pranksters, can be rather thick and easily fooled.)

Or maybe I'll post one of these "eye" photos in the alcove before the door.

Police in the West Midlands, U.K. are using the idea for a new anti-crime campaign. Promotional posters feature eyes with the message "We've got our eyes on criminals."

Full version

Or maybe I'll just replace it and shut up. Maybe with two, one in storage so when the next one is stolen It'll be immediately replaced without another thought. Maybe I'll just keep buying them in pairs like that and put a new one out every time one is stolen like a perplexing continuously reproducing welcome mat regenerator. How odd that would be to walk by the place where you just stole a welcome mat to see a new one sitting there as if you never stole it, with the same message on the bottom, if you bother to look, calling you an exceedingly rude name and impugning your parents. That would be kind of fun, actually.

Penny said...

Personally, I am once again noticing that Althouse put us up at a hotel.

I like it!

Unfortunately, I'm beat.

Rain date on the pillow talk?

Night, all.

former law student said...

A dozen years ago, I worked with a woman who divorced her husband because his personality had changed. As she saw it, the more Rush Limbaugh he listened to, the more mean-spirited he became, till she finally could not stand being married to him any more.

David said...

So did the lady find another husband?

David said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
David said...

Penny said...
". . . .

Alma's dead.

If you think she deserves a better reputation, it's up to you to see she gets that."

That's why I did these posts, silly. I have very limited power in the area.

MamaM said...

I confess to liking Alma's color scheme better than Henri's.

I also confess to holding a grudge against the low quality person who stole a large pot of flowers off my front porch several summers ago.

reader_iam said...

I confess to knowing who Alma Thomas was before this week, and even being aware there was a controversy about "Watusi." But I further confess not knowing it'd come up again until I saw a tweet in my twitter feed. And even then, I confess, I probably wouldn't have clicked over had I not already been contemplating the whole "Ronald's burgers in the Louvre's bowels" thing, and therefore been thinking of Da Vinci's thoughts.

reader_iam said...

I confess I don't understand wondering about "openly gay," on account of knowing [or at least "knowing of", via my parents' friends and colleagues] too many closeted gay folks over the past multiple decades.

wf: "altiout"

Sweet--omg whatever. Who *programmed* that supposedly random wf generator, anyway? I'd love to meet him, her or them. Wouldn't you?

Slow Joe said...

"A dozen years ago, I worked with a woman who divorced her husband because his personality had changed. As she saw it, the more Rush Limbaugh he listened to, the more mean-spirited he became, till she finally could not stand being married to him any more."

Ya know, this is believable. Most people rely on dumb sources of news, and when they break into the other point of view, it's like a dam breaking. It's really frustrating at first. You learn to develop a sense of humor, or you get really angry. At least that's how I envision it for many people who find Rush, listen for the laughs, and then learn a bit.

It's beautiful that the NYT and Rush, both aggressively partisan, are able to reach millions. But it's a shame people get so unhappy if they realize the world isn't what they thought it was.

I could name a few anecdotes about democrat whackos I know, for example an MLK party I realized I was attending when my die hard democrat pals started passing around watermelon, 40s, and KFC. But both sides have their whackadoodles. Rush is not a proxy for whack or anger, but I bet a lot of people go through an adjustment period when they realize just how severe the nation's situation us. If they can't deal with it, I think that's gotta fuck up a marriage.

reader_iam said...

I confess I saw "Rocky Horror Picture Show" multiple scores of times before I got a job at a theatre cleaning up after midnight showings of "Rocky Horror Picture," after which I saw it more scores of times, though not as attentively, or at least not in the same way.

So it goes.

I like this version of the confession thing and therefore will not only not overstake, but will wait, encouragingly and eagerly, for others' takes.

Slow Joe said...

David, your story about Alma helped her reputation in my eyes. It's cool to use derivative art.

I think it's a huge shame that she'll probably wind up being known as a trivial footnote in this presidency, and that her most famous work may always be this Matisse thing (which most folks will think is crap... justifiably).

She sounds like a really cool person, and I guarantee someone could have bothered to find an example of her work that was brilliant. Hell, that moon landing Van Gogh painting would have been very patriotic to hang in the white house.

Chip Ahoy said...

The FRB in Denver bought two of my paintings when I worked there. They were totally derived.

Fresco. Watercolor on plaster. Broken, antiqued to appear as if they were ripped from ancient walls then attractively mounted against flat black, double or triple matted.

One was a replication of the famous vignette of three female musicians found in the tomb of Nakht. Google that and you'll see hundreds of them.

The other one is even more famous, the geese of Meidum, thought to be the oldest fresco known. The original frieze has six geese two are colorful and four are dull brown. Once you see those two colorful geese, you see them everywhere, and I mean ev. ry. where.

True story: * points *

An executive secretary saw one that I brought in to show my co-workers. She told the senior vice president he should buy one. Like Obama, it was up to him to buy some art each year and he had a soft-spot for artists because his brother was an artist. (He painted geese used on US stamps). Anyhoo, he bought two of my paintings and had them hung in a meeting room. I became a little bit famous from that because they wrote me up in the house organ as well as the district one. Every time I was in a meeting in that room which was often I was so distracted by my own art that I had trouble concentrating. I kept thinking, "MAN, that's good." I painted the full six geese again for another person who had seen a different painting of mine. This one is six feet longbut it's still dwarfed by the wall in the home where it's hanging.

See what I mean? Derived. All the art I sell is based on the ancient Egyptian style.

Chip Ahoy said...

Corrected link Geese of Meidum

rhhardin said...

Able was I ere I saw alma.

chickenlittle said...

I confess that I first sought the solace of Trooper York because of reader_iam.

wv: snelessn (Oh and what a quick lesson that was!)

blake said...

I confess I didn't listen to this before posting it here.

Gahrie said...

I confess to thinking that the Nobel Peace Prize committee has just confirmed that it is a joke.


OhioAnne said...

President Barack Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize this year.

The world is officially insane.

Slim Jim said...

Ah, OhioAnnie: and so it begins.

I can't wait for the "Althouse community" to share it's outrage and unhappiness over the Nobel Peace Prize. It's such a disgrace!! How awful for our country!!!

Crimso said...

"The world is officially insane."

If we use the Nobel Peace Prize an indicator of whether the world is sane, it would have failed the test a number of times already. Can't you just feel the peace that's been spread by Gore and Arafat?

Crimso said...

Slim Jim:
What's really disgraceful is that he didn't win the literature prize.

OhioAnne said...


The earlier response was my immediate response. You are correct, of course. The world is not safer for Carter or Arafat's win and the environment not better for Al Gore's.

I was reacting more to the complete delusion that the award demonstrates. He "hopes" for a nuclear free world so that's "award winning" ...

And Slim Jimmy ... Have no idea why you are so upset. Chill. Life's too short.

Michael Hasenstab said...

I am openly awake. I am sorry, but it's true. My family has known this for some 35 minutes now.

Hey Althouse! Wake up! We need a Barack Obama Wins Nobel Peace Prize thread.

MC said...

My goodness, what a farce. I thought it was a practical joke when I first heard the news.

For god's sake he hasn't actually done anything yet.

Anyone Obama supporters want to list his grand achievements?

Verification word: cheatr

So that's how he got it!

AllenS said...

I guess I'll have to come clean, I've never read the Riot Act.

WV: unistill

That's an actual word, right?

Fred4Pres said...

Come on, a Noble Peace Prize. Welcome Back Carter indeed!

The only peace summit was that sit down with Gates and Crowley.

muddimo said...

Obama wins the Nobel Peace Prize! Thank God, what took them so long!

Michael Hasenstab said...

*crashes cymbals*

*sings loudly*

*bangs pots and pans together*

*plays Inna Gadda Di Vidda on stereo at high volume*

C'mon Althouse, wake up! Time's a-wastin' There's Nobel blogging to do.

kentuckyliz said...

I guess the Nobel committee follows our Affirmative Action laws. No results necessary.

It was for significant international diplomacy accomplishments. Nominations were due Feb. 1, so that was two whole weeks of accomplishments!

The Obama lovers are having a O'gasm.

The waves of ridicule have been unleashed.

Popular RT on Twitter on this top trending topic: anyone notice the irony of this award on the day when we bomb another planet for the first time in history? What did the moon ever do to us? We are the aggressors.

MC said...

The cutoff date for nominations was on the 1st of February - so with less than two weeks into his presidency and no accomplishments at all the Nobel Peace Prize committee considered him a worthy nominee. What a joke.

muddimo said...

Obama wins for giving the world "hope for a better future." Whoever came up with "Hope and Change" is a freakin genius. Axelrod?

Slow Joe said...

I'm laughing that the best defense Obama supporters could possibly give for this farce nobel award is to sarcastically bark 'How bad for our country!'

it's not an award to the USA. It's the exact opposite. It's an award for a USA that operates under the wishes of Europe, according to the Prize committee. It's a highly partisan, and particularly bitter and aggressive award.

Most Obama supporters are smart enough to laugh at this. The idea that Obama gets honors he is unqualified for, has a lot in common with Jimmy Carter, and the world thinks Obama makes America weaker, is greatly bolstered by this. Kaus says he should decline. I don't think he should do that, but I also don't see how this doesn't hurt him. People will implicitly ask how it's fair Obama gets this, for less than 2 weeks of work as president, and the real heroes, for example Hu, who has led a fight for freedom in China and is rotting in prison, are passed over.

I confess that I'm troubled by this. I look at what this prize used to mean, before Bush was elected, and it's really unfortunate how Bush derangement has changed so many institutions.

But trolls have an excellent weapon now. They can instantly get under my skin just by bringing this up... that will probably work for years. Another confession.

kentuckyliz said...

That beta male is emboldening our enemies and endangering us and the whole free world.

Peace, peace, where there is no peace.

rhhardin said...

I expect Obama will get the economics prize too.

MC said...

Gandhi was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize five times, but never won. Obama, however, is apparently perfectly worthy.

Michael Hasenstab said...

Waiting for the MoonPeace trolls to show up.

Michael Hasenstab said...

Barack Obama is the Alma Thomas version of Jimmy Carter.

kentuckyliz said...

Forgive me, Althouse, for I have sinned.

It has been forever since I ever confessed my sins to you.

Since then I have......

...and for these, and all my other unrecollected sins, I am truly sorry.

O my Althouse, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee, not just because I dread the loss of heaven (a page level mention) and fear the pains of hell (banishment), but because they offend Thee who art all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly intend, with the help of Thy grace, to amend my ways, to sin no more, and to avoid the near occasion of sin.

So Althouse, grant me absolution and tell me how many Hail Marys are my penance.

Turn, turn,
turn to the blogress and be saved!

(Pardon my sacrilege)

Liz the Confessor

WV raxen
an 80s era large breasted chick heavy metal band

Pogo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
kentuckyliz said...

Obama threads are up...let rip people!

I managed to get some licks in first, but won't repeat what I posted here.

WV crialed
like drunk dialing, but only when you're crying...inadvisable.

MadisonMan said...

If someone is in the closet, why is their sexuality being speculated upon?

I know, I know, it's human nature.

Still, if a person's sexuality is relevant to the story -- my opinion is that it is rarely so -- they are either gay, heterosexual, or ambiguous.

Ann Althouse said...

Re "openly gay"... it should become "gay" but then we need a backformation -- a la "snail mail" -- for not openly gay. We already have it: closeted gay.

Henry said...

David, good work.