May 19, 2019

"Trump is a lightning rod, and has been for some time. It is fashionable and easy to hate his work. In certain quarters, it seems to be required..."

"His badness is a foregone conclusion, but so was that of George W. Bush a decade or two ago, when many people saw his work as lightweight, and Reagan was also viewed with disdain.... The hate is more vehement these days because there is so much hate all around us, so many problems to assign blame for and so much pain and desperation."

I'm reading "Stop Hating Jeff Koons/Why 'Rabbit,' the perfect art for the roaring mid-80s, continues to speak to us" by Roberta Smith in the NYT and playing with the text, which actually reads:
Mr. Koons is a lightning rod, and has been for some time. It is fashionable and easy to hate his work. In certain quarters of the art world it seems to be required — collectors, many dealers and museum curators excepted. Its badness is a foregone conclusion, but so was that of David Hockney a decade or two ago, when many people saw his work as lightweight, and the late work of Picasso was also viewed with disdain. (It’s fashionable for the art world young to dismiss Picasso entirely, which, if you want to be an artist, is sort of like cutting off one of your legs and not admitting what the other one is standing on.) The hate is more vehement these days because there is so much hate all around us, so many problems to assign blame for and so much pain and desperation.
I'm interested in the idea that there is so much hate all around us and a particular person is "easy to hate." And then what? Do the sophisticated people examine their own tendency to hate and get especially hard on themselves when their hate settles on someone who's easy to hate? Is the idea that you will hate, but it's lowly to hate what is easy to hate. Show some discernment, and stop and look at yourself if what you are hating is what is fashionable to hate and you're acting like you're following a requirement to hate this particular target, accepting a foregone conclusion.

I have this theory that it's not enough to be likable, not enough to make it very big — having your artwork sell for the highest price for any living artist, getting elected President of the United States. You've got to also be hateable.

Here's something I wrote a couple weeks ago (prompted by a NYT piece about likability (and the disparate impact of likability on females):
[I]f you're going to study "likability," you ought to also study hateability. It seems to me, the guys who've been winning the Presidency also have hateability. Speaking of trying too hard, maybe female politicians try too hard to expunge or hide any hateability, and that's what makes them seem to lack qualities — [like] "intelligence, expertise and toughness" — that we sense are crucial in the Leader of the Free World. We're not electing a Friend. We're electing a Protector. 
The NYT headline about Koons tells us to stop hating him. I'd put it a different way: Understand how hating Jeff Koons is why he really is better than the artists you like.

The art critic writes:
The various curved forms of the “Rabbit” — head, torso and legs — function as a cascade of concave mirrors. Often compared to an astronaut, the creature is at once alien and cute, weirdly sinister and innocent, weightless and yet armored. The idea that something is inside, or nothing is, is equally disturbing. “Rabbit” is intractable, a little warrior, yet it also vanishes into its reflections, which are full of us looking at it.
And, indeed, the various curved forms of Trump — head, torso and tiny hands — function as a cascade of concave mirrors. Often compared to a Cheeto, the creature is at once alien and cute, weirdly sinister and innocent, weightless and yet armored. The idea that something is inside, or nothing is, is equally disturbing. Trump is intractable, a little warrior, yet he also vanishes into his reflections, which are full of us looking at him.

ADDED: As many commenters (beginning with DimWhit) are saying, the curved forms of "Rabbit" are not "concave" as the NYT art critic has it. They are convex. So vexing!

173 comments:

rhhardin said...

Trump isn't so complicated. He has a repertiore of zingers that destroy the media, because of which the media try to destroy him.

rhhardin said...

Augustine's recommendation is to see the best in people rather than the worst. Trump more or less follows that, in not going the hate route himself. Though he does not pull zinging, it's part of a fair game.

traditionalguy said...

Nobody actually hates Trump. They hate his loyalty to the Christianity of his base voters. He is protecting them and seems to want them to be a great success again. And the SOB is winning the war.

David Begley said...

Liz Warren is very unlikable. That voice!

MikeR said...

I guess the difference is that I've heard of Donald Trump.

robother said...

Spell check sure hates "hateable".

madAsHell said...

Mr. Koons is a lightning rod, and has been for some time. It is fashionable and easy to hate his work.

Who?

iowan2 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

Political scientist Max Weber famously wrote about the charismatic leader. More than mere celebrities, they are imbued by their followers with nearly supernatural powers. The word charisma comes from a Greek word meaning 'spirit.' Obama and Trump are both charismatic leaders. One of their manifestations is that they are highly polarizing. They and their policies tend to come to bad ends. ("Leadership by charisma is misleadership," said Warren Buffett.) What's interesting is that we have them back-to-back in both parties which seems to indicate that most Americans feel disaffected with a political system that they feel is non-responsive to them. Give it 20 or 30 years, and we'll get someone who really does upend the system. AOC is a quick leader, er, learner.

iowan2 said...

Hate and resentment are driven by fear. Fear of one of two things. Fear of not getting what, is without question, something you deserve. Fear of losing something you have.

Plug that into your personal life, and see if you can muster enough honesty to apply it to your personal life.

The hate of President Trump is due to the fear of losing power. Or the fear of not attaining the power that the world owes you.

Humperdink said...

Hate is thought. Violence is hate put into action. The left has mastered the action part .... blame Trump for it.

stevew said...

Hate, often masquerading as critique, is the first order of business these days. Establish the hate and then reveal the justification for it. Arguing in bad faith. Not limited to all things Trump nor confined to the progressive left.

narciso said...

Good grief:

https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2019/05/the_college_board_dumbing_down_america.html

Chuck said...

How well I remember the forces of the far left, criticizing Reagan, and Bush, and Bush!

I just never expected a Republican nominee for president to do the same.

Like THIS.

And like THIS.

And THIS.

Chuck said...

traditionalguy said...
Nobody actually hates Trump. They hate his loyalty to the Christianity of his base voters. He is protecting them and seems to want them to be a great success again. And the SOB is winning the war.


Thou shall payeth thy porn stars with abundant sums of cash, lest ye find yourself with yet another ex-wife.

narciso said...

In other news:

https://legalinsurrection.com/2019/05/the-beginning-of-the-mueller-aftermath-week-at-legal-insurrection/

Night Owl said...

Trump isn't very hateable, not really. Laughable, but not hateable. The left loved him for decades before they "hated" him. The left hates the "R" after his name. If he'd run as a D they be swooning for him.

Night Owl said...

The problem for Hillary was that all she had was hateability. When Obama said she was likable enough we all laughed. We knew he was kidding. If she'd had just a little likeablity she may have been our first female president. She certainly had the balls for the job.

Jeff Brokaw said...

Hate says a lot more about you than it does about the object of your hate.

It’s a truism, an eternal truth, that has nothing to do with Trump.

exhelodrvr1 said...

Trump is a lightning rod not because of his policies, but because he doesn't back down from the Democrats, like the Bushes, McCain, Romney, et al have consistently done.

Meade said...

Don't hate Trump because he's beautiful.

Ann Althouse said...

"Spell check sure hates "hateable"."

I considered the spelling of the word — looked it up different ways and even had a conversation about it.

I think it's too hard to understand without the "e." It's almost an invented word, unlike likable, which I'd prefer to write with the "e," but which has become standardized. I don't like not following the same approach to both words, but there is a difference, in that "likable" is definitely a real word and "hateable" is almost something that needs to be written "hate-able" to be understood. It's still gestating.

Anyway, I can't accept "hatable." Seems to be about hats.

alanc709 said...

Gee, Cuck (Chuck), how much did the Kennedy's pay Marilyn Monroe to be silent? Your sactimony and naivete are boundless when it comes to seeing both sides of anything, it appears. Go away.

rhhardin said...

Haytable, like lie lying

rhhardin said...

There's two schools on lightning rods, the American and the European. The European ones keep their lightning rods sharp, the better to fizz off local charges without a lightning strike. The Americans put them up to attract lightning strikes.

Europeans are always falling off their roofs though, which is a hazard with the sharp school.

Fernandistein said...

I hate Roy Lichtenstein.

Rob said...

“Vanishing into its reflections” is the kind of blather that makes art criticism and literary criticism so maddeningly unreadable.

DimWhit said...

The 'Rabbit' forms are largely convex....

narciso said...

The better question, is how much did the Democrats pay miss daniels and the other one, to get the story out.

rhhardin said...

Carpet sparks against doorknobs in the winter: carry a pin and use it to discharge yourself on the doorknob. There's no spark jolt but rather a quiet fizz. A coin or other non-sharp implement will give you a spark though not against the skin to it's felt as minor. You can feel your hair move.

Laslo Spatula said...

"And, indeed, the various curved forms of Trump — head, torso and tiny hands — function as a cascade of concave mirrors."

And in those concave mirrors a shadow gave way to another shadow, an indefinite procession of shadows, that rouged and powdered in an invisible glass.

I am Laslo.

Laslo Spatula said...

Yoko Ono once said: "The opposite of love is fear, not hate."

Reverse engineer this concept to the Trump haters and then describe the semantic mechanism you are left holding.

I am Laslo.

Jeff Brokaw said...

People should not allow themselves to get cranked up enough to love or hate anybody based solely on media-generated images and coverage in the first place.

You’re being played, 24x7x365. It’s manufactured. 100%.

And this is just as true about the positive image we were sold of, say, Tiger Woods before his epic fall from grace as it is about Trump.

You don’t really “know” any of these people, you know only what is created by people with agendas for your consumption.

The only people you “know” are those you know personally, and even then, probably not as well as you think.

IPeople may understand this very superficially but still allow themselves and their emotions to be easily manipulated by charlatans who have no interest in presenting the truth to you, and whose interests collide with yours.

Protect yourself, your emotions, and your interests by applying the Gell-Mann effect to not just what you are an expert on, but to ALL media content.

Owen said...

Prof. A @ 7:50 on “hateable” vs. “hatable.” Totally agree. It’s still gestating. Is it a word we really need? Why not “odious”? There would be a classy Latin base to it, none of these clunky neologisms.

Laslo Spatula said...

It is hard to think of Koons without also remembering his "Made in Heaven" series.

Fron Wiki:

...In 1989 the Whitney Museum and its guest curator Marvin Heiferman asked Koons to make an artwork about the media on a billboard[9] for the show "Image World: Art and Media Culture". The billboard was meant as an advertisement for an unmade movie, entitled Made in Heaven.[44] Koons employed his then-wife Ilona Staller ("Cicciolina") as a model in the shoot that formed the basis of the resulting work for the Whitney, Made in Heaven (1990–91).[45] Including works with such titles as Dirty Ejaculation and Ilonaʼs Asshole, the series of enormous grainy[46] photographs printed on canvas, glassworks, and sculptures portrayed Koons and Staller in highly explicit sexual positions and created considerable controversy. The paintings of the series reference art from the Baroque and Rococo periods—among others, Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Jean-Honoré Fragonard and François Boucher—and also draw upon the breakthroughs of early modern painters as Gustave Courbet and Édouard Manet.[47]"

You're welcome.

I am Laslo.

rehajm said...

If you can equate any and everything with Trump, and equating him with a stainless steel rabbit is definitely anything and everything, you stop stop looking to outside sources to ease tour pain and start reflecting on what’s going on in your head.

Unknown said...

Koons is from my hometown of York, Pennsylvania. He is widely loathed there by locals (those who know who he is) who resent that he bought an expensive weekend place with helicopter pad, but never gave to the local art community.

He's also loathed by my NYC / London art world friends, who hate him almost as reflexively as they do Trump. I'm agnostic; he's a brilliant scam artist, not sure how much of an actual art artist he is.

So it's rather an accomplishment to be despised by such disparate groups for such differing motives.

wwww said...

My POV: Life is too short to hate individual people. Hate ties one into a intense relationship with the object of one's hatred. & it's a waste of time.

John Lynch said...

"Auction prices are one symptom of the mess that this country, like much of the world, is in. Many of the rich like to spend their surplus income as ostentatiously and competitively as possible. And this is probably not going to change until the bottom falls out or fairer taxes greatly reduce income inequality, and the economy, the art world included, restructures itself."

Envy is a bad look.

Susan said...

I had to click on the link since I was curious as to how a rabbit could be made with concave surfaces.

Imagine my surprise at finding it was made of mostly convex surfaces.

Fake news.

Trump reportage in the guise of a shiny rabbit.

tcrosse said...

Prof. A @ 7:50 on “hateable” vs. “hatable.” Totally agree. It’s still gestating. Is it a word we really need? Why not “odious”? There would be a classy Latin base to it, none of these clunky neologisms.

Despicable, detestable, and the ever-popular deplorable.

Annie C. said...

".. The hate is more vehement these days because there is so much hate all around us, so many problems to assign blame for and so much pain and desperation."

We have become a society of self-involved, navel-gazing narcissists intent on gaining attention by virtue of victimhood, constantly searching for yet another trigger so as to say, "Look at me, I am here, I am special, I am better than you."

Sad.

Bob Boyd said...

Robert Mnuchin calls it "my rabbit"

Francisco D said...

Thou shall payeth thy porn stars with abundant sums of cash, lest ye find yourself with yet another ex-wife.

Having a few cocktails before Church, Chuckles?

Fernandistein said...

Imagine my surprise at finding it was made of mostly convex surfaces.

Fake news.


You spoiled my fun.

But the fault really lies with assuming that NYT scribblers are familiar with the subjects they're scribbling about.

Matt Sablan said...

That's a long way to say "Trump is a scapegoat, but sometimes, he does things that are legitimately worth hating him for."

Humperdink said...

Chuck slobbered: "Thou shall payeth thy porn stars with abundant sums of cash, lest ye find yourself with yet another ex-wife."

Allow me to respond to Bishop Chuck: " “He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her....... Jesus said to her, “Woman, where are they?"

Why they have gone to support adherents to Moloch.

D 2 said...

Hateable. Dateable. Debateable.
Hatable. Datable. Debatable.
Loathsome. Attractive. Yeah, well, thats just like your opinion, man.

Molly said...

Can anyone help me understand this sentence from the article: "It’s fashionable for the art world young to dismiss Picasso entirely, which, if you want to be an artist, is sort of like cutting off one of your legs and not admitting what the other one is standing on."

For an artist to dismiss Picasso is like cutting off one of your legs and not admitting what the other is standing on. This is just really really bad writing, yes? Does the NYT no longer employ editors?

Owen said...

tcrosse @ 8:23: “...deplorable.”

Well played!

Laslo Spatula said...

From Wiki:

"A rabbit vibrator (also known as a Jack Rabbit vibrator or Jessica Rabbit vibrator[1]) is a vibrating and rotating sex toy, usually made in the shape of a phallus with a clitoral stimulator attached to the shaft. However, the rabbit vibrator has evolved to reach a wider market, with many new introductions that do not take a phallic shape. The name of the device is derived from the fact that the clitoral stimulator looks like a pair of rabbit ears."

The image Wiki shows for representation could make one think of Koons as a consumer-item designer.

I am Laslo.

AllenS said...

How about Vincent van Gogh, he cut off one of his ears. That is some artsy-fartsy stuff right there.

Bruce Hayden said...

I like the idea that hate with these politicians mostly involves loss on the part of the haters. I was thinking about George W Bush. The most powerful person in the world, yet he is reputed to know the names of the spouses and kids of everyone around him, and asks about them, from the lowliest. Who can’t remember how he brought healing and the country together after 9/11. And his White House was filled with accomplished women, partially because the wife of VP Darth Cheney was running a free daycare over at his offices at the FOB. How can you hate such a basically decent man? Funny thing is, absent everything else, esp the politics, if you were to have met GHW and GW Bush, most I think would have liked GW better than his much more cerebral father. Yet, it is GW who was so hated. But then, I think of Jimmy Carter, who has spent his retirement building houses with Habitat for Humanity. No doubt trying, to the end of his days, to do God’s work. And that was why I think that he was hated, for giving comfort for our enemies when we needed someone to stand up to foreign powers that were trying to harm, if not destroy us. And, he beat Gerald Ford, a fundamentally decent guy, who probably gave up his chance at winning by pardoning Nixon in order to start the healing process.

And then I think about how the left hates Trump with a greater passion than they probably hated GW Bush or even Reagan. By summer of 2016, it was in full swing. But I don’t think the Trump hate really got going strong until election night. At that point, he hadn’t really done anything hateful except to pin the name “Crooked Hillary” on his opponent, and then, of course, beat her in a close contest. No conservative Justices confirmed yet. No corporate and middle class tax cuts yet. No pulling out of the Paris Climate Hoax Agreement yet. Etc. Yet by his inauguration, the hate had been dialed up to maybe 15 on a 10 scale by the other side.

And I think that the only rational explanation is the loss explanation made above. It is loss of moral legitimacy, and maybe even more, a loss of power. He would probably be just as hated if he didn’t have his orange bouffant hairdo and small hands. But maybe not if he weren’t always “winning”, and rubbing it in.

Paco Wové said...

"Life is too short to hate individual people"

Seriously. Do it wholesale.

TJM said...

Simpletons who hate positive results hate Trump. He is by far the most successful first term president notwithstanding the daily assault by the evil and puerile national media, universities and other so-called cognoscenti. His second term should be focused on destoying these deleterious institutions who exist for themselves but certainly not for the average joe and mary

Drago said...

Friar Chuck: "Thou shall payeth thy porn stars with abundant sums of cash, lest ye find yourself with yet another ex-wife."

Now do Paul of Tarsus, with particular emphasis in his activities prior to his trip to Damascus...

It should be noted here that 1 explicit objective of the radical anti-Christian left is to attempt to drive a wedge between Christians who voted for Trump for self-protection purposes against LLR Chucks marxist allies and Trump himself.

Chucks postings should always be viewed thru that lens.

Gahrie said...

His badness is a foregone conclusion, but so was that of George W. Bush a decade or two ago, when many people saw his work as lightweight, and Reagan was also viewed with disdain.

This is true of every Republican since Lincoln unless and until they become a useful tool for the Democrats. Then when their usefulness is over, they go back to being evil.

chickelit said...

Who can turn the world off with his smile?
Who can take a nothing day, and suddenly make it all seem worthwhile?
Well it's you Trump, and you should know it
With each little tweet and every little scowl you show it
Hate is all around, no need to fake it
You can have the town, why don't you take it.
You're gonna make it after all

Gahrie said...

Thou shall payeth thy porn stars with abundant sums of cash, lest ye find yourself with yet another ex-wife.

Now do one about having sex with interns while you are actually the president....

Amadeus 48 said...

"Hateable" in the sense of "arousing or deserving of hate" used to be comprehended within the word "hateful", but then the meaning of hateful changed in some quarters to mean only "filled with hatred". Thus the language changes. "Nice" used to mean "silly" or "ignorant".

Nice blog you have here, Alhouse. Nice commenters, too.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Is the idea that you will hate, but it's lowly to hate what is easy to hate.

Anyone can become angry - that is easy, but to be angry with the right person at the right time, and for the right purpose and in the right way - that is not within everyone's power and that is not easy - Aristotle

SteveR said...

Trump’s likability is in no small part due to the people who hate him. It’s not a matter of sympathy for him, but disgust at the antics of those who consider themselves our “betters”. Don’t pee on my leg and tell me it’s raining.

chickelit said...

Now do one about having sex with interns while you are actually the president....

I believe that Chuck would gladly lump Trump with Clinton.

It's St. Romnulus whom Chuck worships and his handmade Reamus Good.

Michael McNeil said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bob Boyd said...

SteveR nails it.

Bryant said...

I think a better word for this would be contempt rather than hate. They can signal to other people where they stand by who they hold in contempt.

Michael K said...

I don’t think the Trump hate really got going strong until election night.

Before Election Night he was an object of derision by the left who drove their TV ratings and allowed the "elites" to ridicule his supporters as lowbrow redneck types.

I had my own doubts about what he would do. I did not expect him to win.

The fury of the Administrative State had not really been focused on him. The "Crossfire Hurricane" may have been planned as retribution for anyone foolish enough to challenge their hegemony. They would punish him pour encourager les autres, should anyone else be foolish enough to challenge the deep state.

Then he won the election. The most interesting aspect of all this is the hatred of the NeverTrumpers, like Chuck.

I would like to get a glimpse into the engine room of the more-moral-than-thou rancid-Right confraternity. How are their troops dispatched? Whence do they receive their marching orders? Is it via the internet, or from some even more deliquescent medium of communication, that Pete Wehner and Parson David French and the rest of that fraternity receive the codebook of this week’s virtue signaling? I sometimes imagine Bill Kristol reposed among the debris of his machinations, like Marlon Brando in “Apocalypse Now,” muttering terrible imprecations to his mesmerized if batty acolytes.

Interesting column.

Angle-Dyne, Samurai Buzzard said...

Chuck: How well I remember the forces of the far left, criticizing Reagan, and Bush, and Bush!

I just never expected a Republican nominee for president to do the same.


Yeah, me neither. I was very pleasantly surprised.

Michael McNeil said...

The curved forms of "Rabbit" are not "concave" as the NYT art critic has it. They are convex. So vexing!

I notice that even (brilliant!) physicist Freeman Dyson made that exact same (convex vs. concave) error — well, actually, the exact opposite error, saying convex when concave was meant — one time in his writing.

I interpret that effect (surely everybody has something like that mentally happen to them — whether afterwards exhibited in print or not — from time to time) as the brain summoning up a word from its speech-writing facility, which (sometimes) produces a word with the exact opposite meaning from what is desired — that the brain's proofreading typo-eradication procedure doesn't subsequently properly catch.

MBunge said...

Trump hate is class based. Income inequality, the continuing growth of the administrative state, and social media have combined over the last few decades to create not only a new "ruling class" in America but millions and millions of the elite adjacent who aren't actually part of that class but like to think they are.

This "ruling class" has its own social standards and signifiers and they zealously guard and enforce them like any class. For example, Donald Trump saying negative things about Latinos is worse than George W. Bush getting hundreds of thousands of people killed in a war for no good reason. Trump, like supposedly FDR before him, is a member of the new "ruling class" who ostentatiously sides in word and deed with the rest of the country against his fellow elites.

It's just that simple.

Mike

Angle-Dyne, Samurai Buzzard said...

Bruce Hayden: And I think that the only rational explanation is the loss explanation made above. It is loss of moral legitimacy, and maybe even more, a loss of power. He would probably be just as hated if he didn’t have his orange bouffant hairdo and small hands. But maybe not if he weren’t always “winning”, and rubbing it in.

Yes - there's a perceived level of threat here that pushed Trump hatred into being a difference in kind, not just a difference in degree, to the SOP animosity directed at any 'pub president. The Bushes and Romneys of the political class cater at the margins to a different set of donors, but they represent no real threat to the existing order. Nobody was really afraid of them, regardless of the rhetoric thrown out to the prog yahoos. Trump does seem to really make 'em sweat, and it's obviously not for the reasons peddled in their cretinous propaganda. (That the propaganda is so laughably crude and stupid seems another indicator of panic induced by real fear.)

Interesting times. "Trump panic" is one of those things that makes me wish I were going to live long enough (another 50 years at least) to see the archives opened and to get the disinterested historians' long view of these days.

Ann Althouse said...

"'Can anyone help me understand this sentence from the article: "It’s fashionable for the art world young to dismiss Picasso entirely, which, if you want to be an artist, is sort of like cutting off one of your legs and not admitting what the other one is standing on." For an artist to dismiss Picasso is like cutting off one of your legs and not admitting what the other is standing on. This is just really really bad writing, yes? Does the NYT no longer employ editors?"

It's absurdly garbled, but I felt instinctively that I knew what she meant. All artists today must be using Picasso, whether they admit it or not. If they openly reject the idea that they are using him as a foundation, they are just standing less solidly on the place they are standing. They must necessarily stand there, so they might as well do it forthrightly, otherwise they will be tottering, and the great Picasso will still be the foundation, established and eternal as ever.

Something like that.

rhhardin said...

Thou shall payeth thy porn stars with abundant sums of cash, lest ye find yourself with yet another ex-wife.

Old-timey language clue: the funny ending goes on the verb component carrying tense ("shalt").

Ann Althouse said...

I think the image of standing on one leg would make more sense. The cutting off of the leg is a very distracting, violent notion, and there's a lot of slippery blood everywhere and overall bodily weakness. You'll need medical treatment or you will die. You won't just go on standing on that other leg. It's more like: Why balance on one foot when you're standing the only place where you can stand? Put the other foot down and you'll be stronger.

William said...

I don't understand modern art, but I don't really hate it. I'm more bemused than bewildered by Koons' rabbit. What's disturbing is the price of it. I wouldn't especially like to own modern art, but I would dearly love to have ninety million dollars to throw around.....Hatred of Trump is so intense and extensive that it even spreads to the reputations of the artists that the relatives of his cabinet members choose to collect. Koon's big offense is that he got a lot of money from Mnuchin. If Katzenberg had chosen to buy this piece, this wouldn't be a story.

Crazy Jane said...

In addition to the $91 million rabbit statue/whatever, Koons licensed his signature rabbit image to Louis Vuitton for use as "bag charms" -- the grownup equivalent of those tiny stuffed animals that first graders used to attach to the zippers on their backpacks.

I've been fortunate to see two of the Koons balloon dogs in museums. Their purpose seems not to make people think about big shiny toys but rather to offer an opportunity to take selfies.

A friend of mine, who IS a serious artist and diplomatic to boot, once said this of Koons: I think he's having a little fun with his investors.

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

those 'in the know' were referring to the inside surfaces of the rabbit as "concave".

Silly Rabbits!! Art aren't for you!

Skeptical Voter said...

So much pain and desperation around---my bleeding backside! The United States is filling up with snowflakes. Yes there is real pain and desperation in the world--the vast bulk of it somewhere outside of North America and Europe. But the desperate search for victimhood is simply disgusting.

buwaya said...

Hatred is the normal style of modern communication, at least in the Anglosphere.
I think it comes from the corruption of the liberal arts, in universities.
Most of the media professional class has been through that by now, and what remains of the rest is under pressure to conform.

All that is taught there, by this time, is a critique of the past, effectively a system of expressing and rationalizing hatred, of anything and anyone, which is the one thing that is required. If it is taught, it must be hated, it is there only to be hated, as practice for the techniques of hatred.

There is no longer even a pretence of education, the acquisition of a database of ideas and the absorption of the virtues of a culture. There is no positive virtue. It is no longer about "religio mores cultura". It is not just a lazy reflex of rejection but an ethic of rejection, where hatred is the only virtue.

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

... which, if you want to be an artist...

"wanting" vs "actual, innate"

does 'wanting' (or not wanting) make something so?
(it's a baby if I want it, it's a clump of cells if I dont)

Sebastian said...

"the roaring mid-80s"

Which for progs at the time, in the middle of the Reagan era, were the very threshold of hell itself.

Amadeus 48 said...

This applies to all of today's posts so far:

The problem with the whipped-up emotions that afflict our society is that they lead to distractions from what is important or consequential. Personally, I don't much care for Donald Trump on style points alone, although I admire his ability to stand up to his opponents and counter-punch to great effect, and I agree with his judicial picks, deregulatory policy, and low marginal rate tax policy. As a retired lawyer, I truly admire Bill Barr, and I am grateful that Team Trump got him back into the AG's job. The work that Barr is doing now is of historic importance. I can list a lot of things that I like about what Trump has done, and I refuse to let a desire for the perfect destroy achievement of the good.

There are two things about Trump that I wish were different:

1. He commands without persuasion. I have always thought that persuasion is an important part of the president's job (see Ronald Reagan and FDR).

2. He is playing with fire on this trade war. In general, history has shown that free trade is a win-win proposition. Trump believes that he can use the levers of tariffs and bi-lateral agreements to improve the wealth, security, and global influence of the USA to our citizens' advantage. There is no doubt that certain of our trading partners need to be disciplined into offering reciprocal rights and privileges and out of stealing technology. But is precipitating a financial crisis in China a good move at this time? Maybe, but history has shown that it is dangerous to push powerful opponents to the brink. Are we really ready to take on China in our interconnected world? How is that hardening of our electric grid going? Our we ready for a sneak EMP attack? I really do not think that Trump and the USA are ready for what might come our way if this goes badly.

I know others here disagree with me. I hope that they are right.

William said...

The one universal constant is that we all have double standards. As a disinterested observer of the foibles of humanity, I would say that the left's double standards are far more pernicious and dishonorable. Take the DUI of Bush versus that of Beto. Bush did not try to flee the scene. This is the responsible, moral way to handle a DUI. Advantage Bush.....As regards horndog behavior, Trump gave fair recompense to his women like an honorable adulterer. Clinton characterized his women as bimbos and stalkers. Unike Trump, he was not a classy adulterer.

Bob Boyd said...

He commands without persuasion.

Examples?

dbp said...

Contra the post from two weeks ago, I don't think we elect politicians based on hateability. It is just that the Republican presidents are always hated. But they are not hated by the people who voted for them.

Seeing Red said...

it Sucks but no one else can do it.

Sebastian said...

"Do the sophisticated people examine their own tendency to hate"

No, they don't give a damn.

"and get especially hard on themselves when their hate settles on someone who's easy to hate?"

It just depends. If the hatee is deplorable, anything goes.

"Show some discernment, and stop and look at yourself"

Huh? There you go again with your petty bourgeois sensibilities. Hate is a tool. Progs will use it as they see fit. They discern what works, even if at times they slightly miscalculate, for example by pissing off potential allies like emerita law profs who would like to see at least some display of discernment to make the prog devastation of the culture a little easier to rationalize.

"accepting a foregone conclusion"

So what? Accepting foregone conclusions is the point of prog politics. They are just trying to impose their foregone conclusions on the rest of us, as long as we deplorably declare them not quite foregone just yet.

buwaya said...

There is an ancient tradition of artists using their paramours as models. Wives sometimes, but often loose women. Cicciolina was just one in a distinguished (well, in some ways) line of celebrated prostitutes immortalized by equally celebrated artists.

In no way different from Phryne, model for Praxiteles.

The problem with Koons is the usual one with most modern art - its not beautiful. Its silly. Koons is not Praxiteles.

Drago said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Seeing Red said...

Entitled anointed prom kings and queens found out they’re not as popular or important as they thought they were.

Toddlers who had their lever of power taken away.

Bill Peschel said...

It always boils down to money and class (and the notion that if you have money you have class, which is like looking for virtue in a beautiful woman).

Trump's reforms represent a threat to the money pipeline that took decades to establish. He's a threat to the elites' sense of self as intellectual and competent managers, showing us for the lightweights and mediocrities most of them are.

Worse, he's ugly and talks funny. They're getting their lunch eaten by a (perceived) moron who doesn't take them seriously

At least Roosevelt, when he was instituting a centrally controlled economy and establishing the welfare state, looked more patrician. And they hated him too, and some even tried to launch a coup.

Plus ca change....

MBunge said...

"In general, history has shown that free trade is a win-win proposition."


That is simply not true.

History shows that free trade under certain economic conditions and within certain regulatory frameworks can be a win-win proposition. History also shows that absent those two requirements, "free trade" can be a tremendously destructive force.

American trade policy should be just like China's trade policy, based and built on what is good for that nation and its people. In that way, each country can act as a check on the mistakes and abuses of the other. What we've had for the last 50 years up to Trump was a China trade policy based on what was good for China (or at least what its leaders saw as good) and an American trade policy that was actively hostile to many Americans and many American interests because they conflicted with the delusions of free trade ideologues.

Mike

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

@buwaya @10:42

they are bankrupt- they have nothing to add to that 'acquired database'.
Its existence shames them, and highlights their poverty. They will never equal,
or exceed what has been earnestly forged, so they must shun or destroy it.

Drago said...

Chik: "I believe that Chuck would gladly lump Trump with Clinton."

Not a chance. Friar Chuck would expend voluminous pixels defending Clinton (as he has done with every other leftist/dem, i.e. Stolen Valor Da Nang Dick) while viciously condemning not just Trump but the 95% of all republicans that support Trump.

We know this because that is precisely what Friar Chuck has done for 3 years in his desperate quest to return dems to complete control of govt at all levels.

buwaya said...

What would Francois Boucher have done with Cicciolina?
I'm sure Laslo can speculate in some detail, in some respects.
But I am speaking of putting paint to canvas, and to form an image that conveys the subtleties of the subject, not just blasting irony.

Koons hasn't that skill, nor the ability to visualize in that way.

SGT Ted said...

Trump is just the latest villain in the lefts psychotic political psycho-drama. It doesn't matter how milk-toast, straight arrow or civil the non-leftist person is; he or she will always be portrayed as Darth Vader in charge of the KKK-Nazi Army in order to justify their emotional incontinence, hatred and violence.

Lots of violent shitbags and actual totalitarians are allowed to hide behind support of LGBT weirdos and skin color minorities.

Bruce Gee said...

Amadeus: "2. He is playing with fire on this trade war. .. But is precipitating a financial crisis in China a good move at this time? Maybe, but history has shown that it is dangerous to push powerful opponents to the brink. Are we really ready to take on China in our interconnected world? How is that hardening of our electric grid going? Our we ready for a sneak EMP attack? I really do not think that Trump and the USA are ready for what might come our way if this goes badly."

It occurs to me our greatest national defense is consumerism.

Amadeus 48 said...

Free trade is a win-win. By definition, both parties got something they want at a price they agreed to in a voluntary transaction. Distortions enter in when third parties (usually government actors) set restrictions or impose conditions on those voluntary transactions, usually to protect incumbents.

Seeing Red said...

What we've had for the last 50 years up to Trump was a China trade policy based on what was good for China (or at least what its leaders saw as good)

And it seems our neighbors Caxico, but not so good for our steel industry.

chickelit said...

"Thou shall payeth thy porn stars with abundant sums of cash, lest ye find yourself with yet another ex-wife."

Old-timey language clue: the funny ending goes on the verb component carrying tense ("shalt").

Also, don't mix "thou" and "ye." "Thou" is 2nd person singular; "Ye" is second person plural. And Chuck calls himself a lawyer.

Seeing Red said...

43 wanted steel tariffs, but was beaten down.

Trump cam at it a different way.

chickelit said...

And it seems our neighbors Caxico, but not so good for our steel industry.

"Calexico" is word you wanted there. It's even on maps.

Amadeus 48 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

What would Francois Boucher have done with Cicciolina?

insulted her, by portraying her as beautiful and classy.

Amadeus 48 said...

"There is an ancient tradition of artists using their paramours as models. Wives sometimes, but often loose women."

Rubens painted his delicious second wife, Helena Fourment, over and over again, often without her clothes. Is there a better piece of wifey-erotica than Het Pelsken?

buwaya said...

Free trade works as advertised, up to a point.
Unfortunately its effects are incompletely described in economic theory.
Its like attempting machine design with nothing but Newtons laws.

Economic theory fails to explain some huge matters, like discrepancies in national development. Development economics, for instance, is hopeless. It does not correctly describe, and does not correctly prescribe.

Achilles said...

Drago said...
Chik: "I believe that Chuck would gladly lump Trump with Clinton."

Not a chance. Friar Chuck would expend voluminous pixels defending Clinton (as he has done with every other leftist/dem, i.e. Stolen Valor Da Nang Dick) while viciously condemning not just Trump but the 95% of all republicans that support Trump.

We know this because that is precisely what Friar Chuck has done for 3 years in his desperate quest to return dems to complete control of govt at all levels.



It has nothing to do with leftism. Chuck is a globalist. In the end they are all globalists. Clinton, Romney, Bush. No difference.

The Left - Right dichotomy is a red herring thrown out there to divide the populace. It worked on every one of you who made the mistake of voting for Mitt Romney and George Bush.

Notice how the media all around the world uses the same language and makes the same mistakes.

This is a global conflict that is as old as history.

buwaya said...

Economics does not explain the group dynamics of technological development for instance. The expertise to create technical solutions is a matter of collective effort within a subculture, that has to exist in the first place. If entire industries decamp to some other country the subculture that can provide competitive advantage in the first place can no longer exist.

chickelit said...

What we've had for the last 50 years up to Trump was a China trade policy based on what was good for China (or at least what its leaders saw as good) and an American trade policy that was actively hostile to many Americans and many American interests because they conflicted with the delusions of free trade ideologues.

Much of the blame can be laid on George Soros and his buttbuddy Jim Rogers. Remember Rogers? He sold out his country and embraced Red China, touring the world with his nth wife. Thomas Friedman worships Rogers. Soros and Rogers do what is best for George Soros and Jim Rogers, full stop.

Amadeus 48 said...

I apologize for occasional lapses of proof-reading in my posts. It is the bane of my existence. Example: "Our" for "Are" in the Trump/trade war post at 10:48.

n.n said...

Free trade is a progressive loss in an environment with labor and environmental arbitrage, monopolies and practices, and other distortions.

wholelottasplainin' said...

buwaya said...
There is an ancient tradition of artists using their paramours as models. Wives sometimes, but often loose women. Cicciolina was just one in a distinguished (well, in some ways) line of celebrated prostitutes immortalized by equally celebrated artists.
***********

Yes, indeed. Go over to Bing images and have a look at Gustave Courbet's "Origin of the World".

NSFW

Robert Cook said...

"Augustine's recommendation is to see the best in people rather than the worst. Trump more or less follows that...."

Oh my fucking god. There really are no words.

Robert Cook said...

"The hate of President Trump is due to the fear of losing power. Or the fear of not attaining the power that the world owes you."

A puerile and self-serving analysis.

Robert Cook said...

"The left loved (Trump) for decades before they "hated" him."

What "left"? When?

Seeing Red said...

Trump sees the best in those who voted for him. He understands. He doesn’t see best in the deep state attacking him and the vile Progs hateing him. I like to see the best in people, too, but as a Reagan supporter, Trust, but verify.

And there been a lot of verifying, especially since 2008.

Michael K said...

Cookie's on a roll today. He does not consider Bill and Hillary "left."

Only true communists,

Seeing Red said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Seeing Red said...

I don’t think so, chick lit.
Calixico to me means California and Mexico.

Maybe I should have gone with Mexada instead?

Seeing Red said...

Talk about losing power and the benjamins, did anyone read the article the Dems are trying to work around right to work so union dues will flow again into their coffers?

Seeing Red said...

Or invalidate right to work laws?

Only the collective.

Robert Cook said...

"It's absurdly garbled, but I felt instinctively that I knew what she meant. All artists today must be using Picasso, whether they admit it or not. If they openly reject the idea that they are using him as a foundation, they are just standing less solidly on the place they are standing. They must necessarily stand there, so they might as well do it forthrightly, otherwise they will be tottering, and the great Picasso will still be the foundation, established and eternal as ever.

"Something like that."


An even simpler restatement:

Picasso is the foundation upon which all modern artists stand, and to deny this is to reveal dishonesty or ignorance.

Sebastian said...

"Much of the blame can be laid on George Soros"

Except that Soros was very critical of the Chinese at Davos, saying something had to be done, and all but endorsing Trump putting the squeeze on them.

Angle-Dyne, Samurai Buzzard said...

buwaya: Economics does not explain the group dynamics of technological development for instance. The expertise to create technical solutions is a matter of collective effort within a subculture, that has to exist in the first place. If entire industries decamp to some other country the subculture that can provide competitive advantage in the first place can no longer exist.

I have no work experience in industry/manufacturing but this has always seemed intuitively obvious to me. (Applying not only to technological development but also to human skill sets, as in medicine.) Always been mystified how "institutional knowledge" - something that takes generations to build, but can be lost in a generation - gets ignored.

BJM said...

Updike's Rabbit seems more in tune with today than Koon's.

@Cook...no, that's not true, Paul Cézanne was a forerunner to the Cubism of Picasso, and his work became a catalyst for the abstract art of the 20th century. Both Matisse and Picasso are said to have remarked that Cézanne "is the father of us all."

Robert Cook said...

"Cookie's on a roll today. He does not consider Bill and Hillary 'left.'"

No, I don't, but even granting the point for discussion's sake, how does Bill and Hillary's history of socializing with Trump prove they "loved" or even liked him, (or, more to the point, that the undefined "left" as an entire cohort "loved" Trump)?

One could say the Clintons' past association with Trump, if it was based on actual personal affinity, rather than political calculation, negates any notion they are leftists.

Robert Cook said...

"@Cook...no, that's not true, Paul Cézanne was a forerunner to the Cubism of Picasso, and his work became a catalyst for the abstract art of the 20th century. Both Matisse and Picasso are said to have remarked that Cézanne 'is the father of us all.'"

I am not making the claim of Picasso as the foundation upon which all modern artists stand. I'm simply restating the quoted sentence from the article, (according to my interpretation of it). I think the claim is highly debatable.

I don't see any artists who show Picasso's influence in their actual styles, (except for cartoonist/illustrator Gary Panter in America, and a couple of others in Europe). Picasso's greatest influence, in my view, is in showing subsequent artists they can try anything and can change their styles radically at will.

Robert Cook said...

"There is an ancient tradition of artists using their paramours as models."

Or of taking their models as paramours.

Angle-Dyne, Samurai Buzzard said...

chickelit to rhhardin, rhardin to Chuck: "Thou shall payeth thy porn stars with abundant sums of cash, lest ye find yourself with yet another ex-wife."

'Old-timey language clue: the funny ending goes on the verb component carrying tense ("shalt").'

Also, don't mix "thou" and "ye." "Thou" is 2nd person singular; "Ye" is second person plural. And Chuck calls himself a lawyer.


Heh, pet peeves of mine, too. ("Shalt" is correct, but an "-eth" ending would be wrong here no matter which verb you put it on. That's for the third-person singular. Thou payest; he payeth.)

Today's episode of sperg one-upmanship.

Chuck said...

The Bill & Hillary appearance at Trump's third wedding was arranged, right? Trump made a donation to a Hillary campaign, or one of the Clinton charities, and perhaps both, in return for their attendance. Isn't that right? I mean, it's not an ugly unfounded rumor, is it? Chris Wallace asked Trump about it and Trump said that Hillary came to his wedding because he "gave."

I have no doubt whatsoever that Trump wanted the prestige of having the former President and the New York Senator at his wedding. And that the Clintons were craven enough to let it be known that they would come, if Trump made the prerequisite donation(s). It fits perfectly with both sides of that deal. Trump, craving prestige; and the Clintons, craving cash donations. It's all a supreme kind of ugliness that is unconcerning to me, since I am neither a fan of nor a supporter of Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton.

Seeing Red said...

Lolol Edward and Wallace showed up when people “gave.”

Francisco D said...

Picasso's greatest influence, in my view, is in showing subsequent artists they can try anything and can change their styles radically at will.

As a Picasso fan with several of his prints in different styles, I agree.

However, it takes a lot of talent to do it well.

Michael K said...

One could say the Clintons' past association with Trump, if it was based on actual personal affinity, rather than political calculation, negates any notion they are leftists.

Like I said, only communists are left enough for you.

Chuck is not worth the electrons to answer.

buwaya said...

That "supreme kind of ugliness" is historically SOP in elite class social functions.
And a great number of others too.
These are occasions for power plays and always have been.
Borrow distinction from those who have it, in exchange for something.
Have the squire at the farmers daughters wedding.
You can be sure the squire got something out of it.
Not one speck of difference other than the form of the transaction.

An understanding of humanity and its history is useful.

Fen said...

It's all a supreme kind of ugliness that is unconcerning to me, since I am neither a fan of nor a supporter of Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton.

Now do the Bulwark and Omidyar. Muh principles! I'll start you off:

Weekly Standard to be reborn under Radical Anti-American Leftist Iranian Billionaire

"The Bulwark's site informs us that it's a project of the Defending Democracy Together Institute. As I discussed last year, that's the anti-Trump group funded in part by the Omidyar Network. As in Pierre Omidyar, the French-Iranian billionaire backing the radical anti-American Left, most notably, The Intercept. The Intercept has defended Islamic terrorists and anti-Semites. It's also served as a platform for Russia's great intelligence coup against America."


NeverTrumpers who accuse Trump of being a Russian Spy are funded by backer of Russian Spy site

"Omidyar's funding of Kristol’s anti-Trump efforts is not unique. Instead the French-Iranian billionaire has become a subtler version of George Soros, funding the organizations and outlets of the radical Left, like The Intercept, The Nation and Mother Jones, but also funding Never Trumpers.

Former hawks are now reduced to being funded by a ferocious opponent of America’s military and formerly pro-Israel pundits have sunk so low as to take money from one of the leading funders of media anti-Semitism putting them in the same company as Glenn Greenwald, Max Blumenthal and assorted defenders of Hamas and Hezbollah. And yet they accuse Trump supporters of having no standards."

Gospace said...

Unknown said...
Political scientist Max Weber famously wrote about the charismatic leader. More than mere celebrities, they are imbued by their followers with nearly supernatural powers. The word charisma comes from a Greek word meaning 'spirit.' Obama and Trump are both charismatic leaders


Obama and Trump charismatic? You must understand charisma in an entirely different way than I do. Off teleprompter- Obama is unintelligible. Off teleprompter- Trump is at his best with connecting to people.

But neither one appears to be particularly likable to me. Especially Obama. Aside from his "choom" gang photos from his drug abusing days- what evidence exists he even has friends?

Francisco D said...

It's all a supreme kind of ugliness that is unconcerning to me, since I am neither a fan of nor a supporter of Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton.

Jeb, is that you?

Robert Cook said...

"As in Pierre Omidyar, the French-Iranian billionaire backing the radical anti-American Left, most notably, The Intercept. The Intercept has defended Islamic terrorists and anti-Semites. It's also served as a platform for Russia's great intelligence coup against America."

Hahaha! This comment is so unhinged from reality it is obviously a work of far-right propaganda and/or a true-believing lunatic.

Robert Cook said...

"But neither one appears to be particularly likable to me. Especially Obama. Aside from his 'choom' gang photos from his drug abusing days- what evidence exists he even has friends?"

Well, for that matter, what evidence exists Trump has any friends?

Narayanan said...

...physicist Freeman Dyson made that exact same (convex vs. concave) error — well, actually, the exact opposite error, saying convex when concave was meant...

Maybe of interest to note: eyes on sculpture have concave Iris to give visual impact realism depth etc

narciso said...

Were in good hands

https://mobile.twitter.com/SeanDurns/status/1130134686779531270

Fen said...

This comment is so unhinged from reality it is obviously a work of far-right propaganda and/or a true-believing lunatic.

So it should be a simple matter for you to debunk. Go on....

Fen said...

Cook?

Omidyar’s best known media investment is The Intercept, a site that does everything from distributing Qatari propaganda to defending anti-Semitism.

But it’s best known for its role as a platform distributing classified materials stolen by Edward Snowden.

Snowden, currently hiding out in Moscow, was at the heart of the most devastating Russian intelligence coup against the United States in a generation. The damage that he did to our national security, both in the surveillance of Islamic terrorists, and rival powers Russia and China, is incalculable. The Intercept was crucial in not only distributing stolen documents, but in allowing Russia’s intel coup to pass under the cover of domestic journalism and whistleblowing.

Fen said...

“Since Snowden’s arrival in Moscow, he has had, and continues to have, contact with Russian intelligence services,” the House report says. The statement is in a highly redacted section of the report concerning “foreign influence” and appears alongside a quote from Frants Klintsevichdeputy chairman of the Russian parliament’s defense and security committee.

...the House report portrays Mr. Snowden as “a serial exaggerator and fabricator” who caused tremendous damage to U.S. national security by leaking classified documents concerning the intelligence community and the NSA’s surveillance apparatus.

Contrary to his own claims, the report stated that most of the documents stolen by Mr. Snowden had no connection to programs that could impact privacy or civil liberties, but “instead pertain to military, defense, and intelligence programs of great interest to America’s adversaries.”


Lala la la la lala...

https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/dec/22/house-panel-says-snowden-cahoots-russian-spies/

Robert Cook said...

Yes, The Intercept did righteous journalism by publishing Snowden's documents revealing our government is spying on all of us all the time. He, and the Intercept, are to be commended as American heroes.

It is the lurid claims of the Intercept's "anti-Semitism" and "defense of Islamic terrorists" that is unhinged.

I have no idea what claims of their "allowing Russia's intel coup to pass under the cover of domestic journalism and whistleblowing" means or refers to. It's just word-salad: sounds like it means something, but doesn't.

rehajm said...

If you join a post late It's fun sometimes to start reading the comments from the bottom, imagining how the hell they managed to stray so far off topic and how it could have happened.

I joined one post up. A good one...

Robert Cook said...

Despite the House report's insinuation that Snowden's documents would be of "great interest to America's adversaries," he has none to share with them.

I suspect the House report on Snowden is the product of--wait for it--the very intelligence agencies his revelations have so revealed to be enemies of America! Of course they will be happy to continue their professional practices of lying to manipulate public opinion.

narciso said...

AI what's this really about:

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.wsj.com/amp/articles/austrian-vice-chancellor-resigns-over-video-scandal-11558187269

narciso said...

actually Edward j Epstein, who has been slaying sacred cows for 50 years, begs to differ,

Unknown said...

Koons is a purveyor of garbage. He doesn't even make these pieces himself. They are assembled by a workshop in Asia. If some fool wants to pay millions of dollars for his garbage, have at it, but I will never accept this as art.

As far as Picasso goes, his earlier painting is superior, if derivative of African art. His sculptures, IMHO, are crude and unskilled. His vulture in front of Chicago City Hall is a great middle finger to middle America.

We like Picasso because we are supposed to like Picasso, not because all of his work is genius.

narciso said...

it just goes to show you, in forty years they learned nothing from Christopher boyce and trw in the 70s, of course Robert Lindsay made his reputation, trying to put a sheen of principles on a greedy American trading secrets to the soviets,

iowan2 said...

I suspect the House report on Snowden is the product of--wait for it--the very intelligence agencies his revelations have so revealed to be enemies of America! Of course they will be happy to continue their professional practices of lying to manipulate public opinion.

But they are nothing but credible when they report Russia was working for the election of President Trump, and they were not coordinating with Britain, Italy, and Israel to run spies at President Trump's campaign staffers.

Drago said...

LLR Chuck has now effectively positioned himself well to the left of most left-wing democrats while simultaneously presenting himself as a deep theologian and arbiter of Faith while advocating for non-martyr-creating assassination of political leaders.

I must say that outside of murderous islamic supremacists, LLR Chuck is uniquely positioned here.

Perhaps that simply comes with being a racist posting admitted Smear Merchant, but it certainly can't help.

Drago said...

There can no longer be any doubt that Barr's activities have the far left/dem/left/LLR-left in full hunker down mode from which they are going to escalate their rhetorical attacks.

The word has gone out from Lefty Central that now, in this, the darkest hour of the far left and dems, with exposure of their corruption and criminal activities on the brink of being fully exposed, all lefty/LLR-lefty hands are needed on deck to stop this coming reckoning.

China knows whats up and it is now triggering its paid lobbyist and allied minions in the states (including the wholly-owned by China Rep Amash of MI (what is it with fake conservatives from MI, you might ask) to go all out in coordination with the dem/left/LLR's to get rid of Trump now before he brings the lefty/LLR gravy train to a crashing halt.

It's an existential war now.

I think Barr knew that it would be going in...which is why for the first time in 2.5+ years I have confidence that some measure of justice against LLR Chuck's beloved corrupt democrats might be in the offing.

narciso said...

he's very odoul's he doesn't even bring his c game, now snowden was an it guy, with two years of junior college, and basic coding skills who was given way too much access to the nsa servers, a little like Tomlinson, his british analogue who burned 150 british operatives, steele, his partner chris burrows and the future Ukraine lobbyist Raymond asquith, over an hr issue, (yes he's one of those asquith, the one who escalated the first world war,)

rehajm said...

I’m not sure a stainless steel rabbit is a great lightning rod. Okay prolly...

Robert Cook said...

"But they are nothing but credible when they report Russia was working for the election of President Trump, and they were not coordinating with Britain, Italy, and Israel to run spies at President Trump's campaign staffers."

Who says these reports are credible?

Earnest Prole said...

Trump, Koons: Camp.

Kevin said...

In certain quarters, [hating Trump] seems to be required...

In blue states, telling someone how much you hate Trump has replaced "hello".

Man: (enters home) F*cking Trump!

Woman (cooking) God, I hate him!

It's become the modern version of "Heil Hitler".

Kevin said...

I must say that outside of murderous islamic supremacists, LLR Chuck is uniquely positioned here.

Let's be honest. It's unlikely Chuck voted for Trump in 2016, and there is no way he will do so in 2020.

He's the Mitt Romney of this comment board.

In recognition, I suggest we drop the LLR and simply refer to him as Republican Standard Bearer Chuck.

That way, like Romney, he doesn't have to consider his LLR designation when he goes to the polls.

We'll be doing him a favor.

Michael Fitzgerald said...

Amadeus 48, try googling US Canada Mexico deal lift tariffs.
Let the president work. He knows what he is doing. Traitors in Congress and dipshit lib journOlisters do not.

Humperdink said...

"Long live the Life Long Republicans!!!!" So goes the rallying cry emanating from the officeholder in Michigan 13. Another like minded soul has joined the fray.

narciso said...

This guy,
https://www.intelligenceonline.com/corporate-intelligence/2016/02/17/oligarch-putsch-against-ex-mi6-spymaster,108130517-art

Yea his client was also Lanny Davis's

Nobody said...

I remember Rush saying once that if you wanted to make it in America, you had to accept that you were also going to be widely hated. Maggie Thatcher was widely hated, and also widely respected. She was hated because she had real power and used it on behalf of the things she was elected to do.

Nobody said...

Free trade is a win-win. By definition, both parties got something they want at a price they agreed to in a voluntary transaction.

Yeah, and in Shangrila, a unicorn won the triple crown! But here in the real world, there is no such thing as free trade.

mikee said...

Veblen's conspicuous consumption theory pretty much finds a Platonic ideal in Rabbit and the price paid for it. That, and it is a happy, pretty thing to look at, unlike many other high priced objects of art.

As for my house, it is filled with art by my children. A pastel of our black Lab, with his legs ending in shades of vibratory movement and his very oversized tongue hanging out of his mouth, captured the essence of the hyperactive beast as well as could be desired.

I know what I like, and price is no object.

Francisco D said...

In recognition, I suggest we drop the LLR and simply refer to him as Republican Standard Bearer Chuck.

"Pencil Dick" works for me.

He has some deep seated issues that clearly have a sssssexxxxuuuuallll component.

Amadeus 48 said...

Free trade is a win-win. Distortions enter in when third parties (usually government actors) set restrictions or impose conditions on those voluntary transactions, usually to protect incumbents.

China is a poorer place because of their protection of their home market by imposing restrictions on US and other global sellers in China. As to Chinese taking or stealing technology, theft is theft. To the extent that they manipulate their currency to keep export prices low, that is China's financial cost.

As to the current account differences with China (in the eighties, it was Japan. Remember?) that worry Trump so much, what about your own current account deficit with Amazon? You buy a lot more from them than they buy from you. Is that a problem? Here is a question for the crowd: are you richer if you have a big pile of gold (or promissory notes) in your vault, or if you have goods and services that make your life better and your work easier? To put some distance on this: in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, who was richer, Spain with all the gold and silver pouring in from the New World, or the Netherlands, which became a global trading nation because most of their country was under water? Didn't the gold and silver mostly cause inflation in Spain? Have you ever been to Singapore? Is there anything there but a port and a bunch of smart, hard-working, free-trading people? How did Hong Kong get so rich? Isn't it all about free trade and lack of government interference?

Before this is over, Trump is going to intervene repeatedly with the full force of the US government as a result of special pleading by by companies and industries that he favors personally for some reason. That is crony capitalism. That is his biggest weakness. I hope it isn't his Achilles heel. Fortunately for him, there are no free traders among the Dems.

Amadeus 48 said...

By the way, I generally support Trump, but I think he is wrong on trade. To repeat, I admire his ability to stand up to his opponents and counter-punch to great effect, and I agree with his judicial picks, deregulatory policy, and low marginal rate tax policy. As a retired lawyer, I truly admire Bill Barr, and I am grateful that Team Trump got him back into the AG's job. The work that Barr is doing now is of historic importance. I can list a lot of things that I like about what Trump has done, and I refuse to let a desire for the perfect destroy achievement of the good.

rightguy said...

Trying to apply intellectual rigor to the analysis of modern art is a fool's game. I think that was the point of Tom Wolfe's The Painted Word. It may be time to reread that one.

rightguy said...

Apparently Koon's genius is for trolling art critics, which is on par with Trump's genius for trolling all his critics.

rightguy said...

BTW, keep it coming Ann. I find your writing -and thinking- much better than the screed you write about. Hateability is a concept with legs.

For what its worth, I think the reasons Trump and Koons are hated so much include that they are both fabulously wealthy and have zero snob appeal.

rightguy said...

A massive stupidity from the cited article : " Many of the rich like to spend their surplus income as ostentatiously and competitively as possible. And this is probably not going to change until the bottom falls out or fairer taxes greatly reduce income inequality, and the economy, the art world included, restructures itself."