Archive for:August, 2011

Art of the Day: Sesame Street’s “I Get Mad” Goat, 1976, by John Canemaker & Derek Lamb

August 27th, 2011


       John Canemaker (animation), Derek Lamb (direction & design)
       Sesame Street, Episode 0824, 1976

     Going to try and resurrect the long-dormant Art o the Day thing after some kind emails and questions from readers (thanks folks!). Just been hard to get it back off the ground. Why not get things rolling again with something light? Here’s something I love, a clip from Sesame Street. I especially like when ducky comes out and good-naturedly garbles & gibbers. And of course every time the goat bleats out his frustrations.

Time magazine article about Sesame Street’s history here.

[posted by: C Way at 1:52 PM]

[file under: ART OF THE DAY ||| video/film]

Art of the Day: Whitman’s “On the Beach at Night Alone”

August 20th, 2011


On the Beach at Night Alone
by Walt Whitman


On the beach at night alone,
As the old mother sways her to and fro, singing her husky song,
As I watch the bright stars shining, I think a thought of the clef of the universes, and of the future.

A vast similitude interlocks all,
All spheres, grown, ungrown, small, large, suns, moons, planets
All distances of place however wide,
All distances of time, all inanimate forms,
All souls, all living bodies, though they be ever so different, or in different worlds,
All gaseous, watery, vegetable, mineral processes, the fishes, the brutes,
All nations, colors, barbarisms, civilizations, languages,
All identities that have existed, or may exist, on this globe, or any globe,
All lives and deaths, all of the past, present, future,
This vast similitude spans them, and always has spann’d,
And shall forever span them and compactly hold and enclose them.


[posted by: C Way at 11:49 AM]

[file under: ART OF THE DAY ||| poetry]

Art of the Day: Two Quotes to Live By from Whitman & Rilke

August 6th, 2011

“This is what you shall do: Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body.”

         Whitman, from the Preface to the 1855 edition of Leaves of Grass

                 ”Let him whose soul is no longer startled
and transformed by palaces, by gardens’ boldness, by the rising
and falling of ancient fountains, by everything held back
in paintings or by the infinite thereness of statues –
let such a person go out to his daily work, where
greatness is lying in ambush and someday, at some turn,
will leap upon him and force him to fight for his life.”

         Rilke, 1912, from a “Duino Elegies” fragment, trans. Stephen Mitchell

[posted by: C Way at 12:59 PM]

[file under: ART OF THE DAY ||| poetry]

Amy Winehouse (09/14/83 – 07/23/2011)

August 1st, 2011

Her voice. It’s hard to believe that, except on record, it’s gone: the spellbinding sass, bite & swagger of it. That’s also the side of Amy that most everyone knew best — the saucy blustering Winehouse of “Rehab” & of lyrics full of sneering, profane kiss-offs. And, in its extremes, this was the side of Amy that was unfortunately even celebrated (or at least obsessively catalogued): the Winehouse of garish tabloid spreads, of tattoos & brawls & of unapologetic loutishness.

Her sharp edges & stylish Sid Viciousness aren’t why I’ll miss her most though. & I certainly won’t miss the aggressive public dysfunction — anyone with a complicated childhood (i.e., most of us) can collapse and/or lash out for the camera. What made her special to me was her vulnerability and enormous sensitivity as an artist, qualities that tended to get obscured against the backdrop of her overdocumented mess. It was how her lyrics reveal a shrewd self-regard, often disarmingly brave in how thoroughly it explored (and skewered) her longings, malfunctions & love-life disappointments. It was how she invited everyone in to listen to her struggles with needing love and pushing love away. It was naked lyrics like these: “I stay up, clean the house, at least I’m not drinking / Run around just so I don’t have to think about thinking / That silent sense of content everyone gets / Just disappears soon as the sun sets”. It was how her voice softens into silk & yearning in songs like “Wake up Alone”, “Back in Black” and the wrenching “Love is a Losing Game” (probably my favorite Winehouse song). And it was how she’d get you with a sudden long-lashed wink, some smirky bit of black humor, some lyrical equivalent of a soft sad chuckle in the midst of all this. That’s what I’ll miss most about her art. Without this side of Winehouse — without the insight & playfulness & yearning & songwriting prowess — the punchy assertions of lyrics like “you don’t mean dick to me”, & the vinegar of her Fuck The World persona would lack context and be unremarkable.

Let no one forget why it should matter to us that she’s gone — & it’s got nothing to do with the “27 club” bullshit or the “tragedy” of another addiction-death (there is no “tragedy” here, just someone intelligent who continued to make awful decisions & not avail herself of all the resources money and influence can secure) — her absence moves us like it does because she was such a damned good singer & songwriter, because she fought valiantly to wrest beauty from the pain of her life, because she had so much more to share with us all.
All writing © copyright C. Way / 2011

[posted by: C Way at 12:17 AM]

[file under: Music ||| non-fiction & essays]