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Friday, March 03, 2006

A critic in the making

On the wires today: "DETROIT (AP) - A 12-year-old boy stuck a wad of gum to an abstract painting, leaving a small stain on the $1.5-million work by U.S. painter Helen Frankenthaler." Full story here.

Hmm...Take a look at some of Frankenthaler's abstracts, here, (especiallly 7 Types of Ambiguity) and, if you're like me, you might wonder if a wad of gum would actually make all that much of a difference to many of them.

Just kidding. Really, I am! And I would be shocked -- shocked, I tell you -- if anyone suggested the gum might actually improve these modern masterpieces.

Posted by Terry O'Neill on March 3, 2006 in Current Affairs | Permalink


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I think the gum added value.

Posted by: Western Canadian | 2006-03-03 6:39:40 PM

Quick tax it, there is VALUE ADDED to it, tax it fast!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: a canadian who is worried about freedom | 2006-03-03 6:42:26 PM

It would only be a real problem if the kid's gum came from David Dingwall

Posted by: capebretonblue | 2006-03-03 7:57:10 PM

Am I the only real conservative minded person here who believes in exclusive property rights and hates vandalism/gross parental neglect?

Oh but he's only someone's little darling. Isn't he cute?

Seriously. Why don't some of you buy some paintings? Then you can burn them if you like.

Posted by: Speller | 2006-03-03 8:57:32 PM

Was that kid's name Dingwall? son of the noted
Canadian gum chewer. Was the kid entitled to stick a wad of gum on the painting? Just asking.

Posted by: Jack Macleod | 2006-03-04 2:19:45 AM

I agree with the last comment in one respect: I can't stand parents who don't look after their kids and let them do what they please in public places... On the other hand, abstract "art" is such a silly thing, I just get some satisfaction out of "damage" to a bunch of random sh1t smears on a piece of canvas that someone has valued at $1.5M.

Posted by: Big Makk | 2006-03-04 2:24:54 AM

Speller's comment that is, was last when I started to post.

Posted by: Big Makk | 2006-03-04 2:26:04 AM

The kid made an honest mistake.

Since he was with a school group held to high standards of behavior, he was probably told it was not appropriate to chew gum in the presence of "art" and "culture".

He stuck it on the most logical repository - with the other gummy looking blobs.

It was value added.

Posted by: Javahead | 2006-03-04 2:42:31 AM

>On the wires today: "DETROIT (AP) - A 12-year-old boy stuck a wad of gum to an abstract painting, leaving a small stain on the $1.5-million work by U.S. painter Helen Frankenthaler."

>It would only be a real problem if the kid's gum came from David Dingwall

Ha, ha ha and I loved that one it should be put into the good jokes section

Posted by: For real | 2006-03-04 3:59:43 AM

I rightfully also do not automatically assume that my elected representatives on their own are doing now a good job looking after me and everyone else. They also do need to be supervised now as well, and even next even held accountable too for their bad acts too. I am also clearly not running for political office, I already have a job I can do well too, now even making sure that Canada's Ministers, the elected Members, are doing theirs. It seems our mostly pretentious, lying, self serving representatives only personally listen to us at election times.. federal, provincial leaders are too often still mainly looking after themselves, their friends once elected.. and they do still too often lie to get elected, and do lie even after they are elected. And how does your elected representative deal with your concerns now? Ignore you, schedule another golf game for herself or himself? make another pretentious statement? divert the issue to the future or what? Rather than cutting back on the governmental aid, programs to the poor and needy persons mainly because of the government's own past mismanagement we all do now too need to really take another continual look at how effective our tax dollars are being used by the civil and public servants, their managers, politicians now too. Fire all the drunks, alcoholics, tax payer's money abusers firstly too.

Posted by: Canadian | 2006-03-04 5:38:11 AM

PMO says it won't co-operate as ethics czar looks into Emerson defection Friday, March 03, 2006 OTTAWA (CP) - There's a possibility Stephen Harper's first act as prime minister may have breached the parliamentary ethical code for MPs, the federal ethics commissioner indicated Friday. But Bernard Shapiro's decision to launch a "preliminary inquiry" into Harper's controversial appointment of former Liberal David Emerson to the Conservative cabinet met with a furious rebuttal from the Prime Minister's Office. "The prime minister is loath to co-operate with an individual whose decision-making ability has been questioned and who has been found in contempt of the House," Harper's communications director, Sandra Buckler, said late Friday. In a release, the PMO added, "this Liberal appointee's actions have strengthened the prime minister's resolve to create a truly non-partisan ethics commissioner, who is accountable to Parliament." A major parliamentary donnybrook appears in the works. Shapiro, who did not speak to reporters Friday, appears to be basing his investigation on elements of the parliamentary conflict-of-interest code that prohibit inducing an MP to change his or her vote for personal benefit. "After careful consideration, and pursuant to . . . the members code, I have decided to combine a preliminary inquiry of the prime minister . . . with a preliminary inquiry on my own initiative of Mr. Emerson," Shapiro wrote in an open letter to the Speaker of the House of Commons. "My intention is to issue one report." The announcement comes almost a month after Harper shocked the political establishment by plucking Emerson, the former Liberal industry minister, from the opposition front bench and placing the Vancouver MP in his first Conservative cabinet. The move came the same day Harper was sworn into office and just two weeks after Emerson won his Vancouver-Kingsway seat running as a Liberal. The Tories are crying foul, noting that Shapiro turned down their request for an investigation into Liberal Tony Valeri's landholdings during the election campaign on the grounds the commissioner couldn't act between sittings of Parliament. Since the Commons won't resume sitting until April 3, Harper's office argues Shapiro is applying a double standard. It's not the first time Shapiro has been harshly criticized. Former NDP MP Ed Broadbent accused the commissioner of having "extraordinarily serious credibility problems" after a series of questionable reports last year.

The Hypocritical, incompetent Shapiro should have already rightfully so even been fired, along with his bad Liberals a long time ago as well


Posted by: paul | 2006-03-04 5:53:22 AM

Speller is right and the only conservative amongst a bunch of thugs who use conservative ideology to pursue their vandal-cheerleading - just like Islamofascist who just use the Koran to justify their acts of vandalism and murder.

But about one thing, Speller is wrong. You can't even buy the art and destroy it without attacking the artist's moral rights, protected under copyright law. Compare with Islamofascist destruction of Bhuddas, synogogues, churches, temples of all kinds.

Barnett Newman once described Frankenthaler's paintings as things lacking so much in conviction and intensity that they looked like they were dashed off between cocktail parties. I like Newman's idea of vandalism: the pen instead of the sword. For the rest of it, why can't we "be men / and not destoyers[?]"

Posted by: Abu Nudnik | 2006-03-04 9:18:30 AM

Abu, you're incorrect about copyright law. If I purchase the original painting, I own that copy outright, and that includes the freedom to destroy it or resell it (even for a profit) without the permission of the copyright holder. What I cannot do is distribute reproductions of that original work. That remains an exclusive right of the copyright holder.

If copyright law worked as you suggest, you wouldn't be permitted to throw old CDs or books in the trash without getting the copyright holder's permission. Needless to say, that's an unworkable situation.

Posted by: Ian in NS | 2006-03-04 11:08:00 AM

This would not happen if the U.S. had a Gum Registry.

(Confession: not original. An SDA commenter came up with this during the Dingwall brouhaha.)

Posted by: greenmamba | 2006-03-04 11:41:11 AM

yup. that's 'post-painterly' abstract stuff all right. uh-huh.

Posted by: infidel | 2006-03-04 12:28:30 PM

Throwing gum was less ebarrassing than Premeir Ralph throwing a whole book at some.

Premier Klein's childish antics reflect his disdain for democratic ... Edmonton Journal, Canada - ... It's impossible to believe that Klein could really have intended to hurt Huygen, an honours ... believe he meant to hurt her feelings when he threw the book at her ...

Premier admits book-toss blunder Calgary Sun, Canada - 3 Mar 2006 EDMONTON -- Tory cabinet ministers rallied around their beleaguered premier yesterday, but Ralph Klein conceded he made a "terrible mistake"

Nobody likes a cranky Ralph Klein
National Post, Canada - 10 hours ago
OTTAWA - He deserves political death with dignity.

Klein's leadership competency questioned CBC Calgary

EDITORIAL: Geez, Ralph. Chill! Edmonton Sun

CTV.ca - CBC Calgary

Google - all 35 related »

Posted by: No one | 2006-03-04 1:43:55 PM

King Ralph is disrespected Canada wide, media wide and is now going to loose more respect for tryin to gut the Canadian medical care system

COLUMN: ‘Third way’ step in the right direction
Brandon Sun, Canada - Will Prime Minister Stephen Harper “stand up” for medicare, and in doing so ... and stand against the Klein proposal ... Albertans must de-Klein the third way on Medicare National Union of Public and General Employees

Harper urged to defend medicare Toronto Star

Private system looming larger Toronto Star

Canada.com - Winnipeg Free Press (subscription) -
google all 62 related »

what a way for Ralph to go hated, disgraced Canada wide

Posted by: Coleen | 2006-03-04 1:46:38 PM

Ralph Klein, he apologized for hurling a 78-page Liberal health policy booklet at 17-year-old Jennifer Huygen, the legislative page who had carried the document from the Liberal benches to the premier's side of the house. Huygen, wasa an honours student, musician and Highland dancer, one of the 18 young pages who work for $9 an hour, running messages in the house. And he threw the book at her, barking, "I don't need this crap."


Posted by: EDMONTONIAN | 2006-03-04 1:50:38 PM

"There was no justification for Todd Bertuzzi and there's no justification for what the premier did," he said.

Posted by: KEVIN | 2006-03-04 1:53:07 PM

At least Helen Frankenthaler worked hard at her art and was devoted to it. Imitators who came after her would just throw paint at the wall. With Frankenthaler, there was a struggle of creativity going on. It's just too bad she was so determined to be part of the "post-painterly" movement. Painters who are aggressively post-painterly; musicians who are post-musical; journalists who are post-tell-it-like-it-is; university professors who are post-education; most of their work ends up in the post-garbage-dump.

Posted by: Bob & Ulli | 2006-03-04 3:19:11 PM

I am a pro-military, pro-Bush, small government, no deficits, small-town conservative, and I want to say this about Helen Frankenthaler. I walked up the circular stairway in this brokerage office, where the junior employees earned in the six figures, and the partner who made less than 3 million in personal income was considered to be a loser, a burden on the team average.
And I climbed the circular stairway in my $400 shoes, and at the top there was a painting by Helen Frankenthaler, and I almost fainted. Not because the boss bought it for two million dollars, and amortized it as a tax-deductible business expense, but because it was huge, omni--present, and beautiful, and you could not stop looking at it. It took your breath away, and you stood there at the top of the stairs with knees trembling.
Like Jules Odistky, the painter who fled the Communist nightmare in Russia and hid out in the United States. One of the great painters of the century. He said, “It doesn’t make you taller, better, skinnier, richer. It doesn’t make you more of anything. Nicholas Poussin said the goal of art is delight. It grabs you; it takes you out of yourself, out of time. It is a unique experience. It is what one may experience looking at a Rembrandt self-portrait, or hearing Handel’s Xerxes, or reading Wordsworth’s Home at Grasmere .. . I remember coming all of a sudden upon Vermeer’s View of Delft. I was walking towards it, I must have been about twenty feet or more away, and I didn’t even know it was a Vermeer. One doesn’t swoon anymore since the nineteenth century, but like a maiden I swooned; I almost fell to the floor. I thought then, and I still think, that it was the most beautiful painting I had ever seen, that was ever made..."
Helen Frankenthaler was an artist. She did some stuff that can knock you off your feet. Some real beauty, some real kick in the butt, some real talent, and truckloads of hard work. Hats off to you, Helen. If I was a tenth the painter you were, I would walk around with my nose stuck up in the air.
But, Helen. One of the discoveries of the century is that dictatorship kills art, political slogans kill art, sociology kills art, the politically correct, from left or right, kills art. And theories about art, kill art. "Post-painterly painting",Helen? Give me a break. Post gravity airplane pilot.
Who taught you to think so much, Helen? Whoever it was, he short-circuited your glorious talent, and re-wrote it as a PhD thesis. The Dogma of Sainte-Helene. Intellectual insomnia, when what you had to offer was a slice of the Majesty of Creation. Artists are not supposed to make things ugly. The creators of beauty are the true revolutionaries.
Basically, Helen, you had great talent, and it shows, and when you were free, you sang color-field psalms of freedom, but you hung out with the wrong crowd. They taught you the head-trip, and so you forgot the heart-trip. And you started to lecture us humble art-lovers, about what everything means. But we did not come all this way to be lectured by some sophisticated intellectual and all her pro-post-modernist friends. Or is that pro-Marxist? The theory that all art is political, and must serve to destroy faith in the old regime. When what we wanted, what you were good at, was creating salutations to the Majesty of the Universe, beautiful works of art. The psychological portrait of your seven moments of existential ambiguity in a post-painterly godless universe - that, we don't want to put on our wall. That - we don't want to pay for.

Posted by: Bob & Ulli | 2006-03-04 7:07:10 PM


and their clear lust, preoccupation with money, the root of all evil

"One of the central causes for this was the exodus of doctors to the U.S., where their income wildly exceeded what they earned in Canada". Ted Byfield who DOES NOT even tell the whole truth for the private medical care ssytem in the US doies not pay the invoices like they do in Canada and they gave doctots exponetial more hassles abotu billings too. so many doctors who have eexited Canada treturn next humbled.

(Luke 3:14 KJV) And the soldiers likewise demanded of him, saying, And what shall we do? And he said unto them, Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages.

(1 Tim 6:10 KJV) For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.11 But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.

So what happened to the Albertan Christians too now living by their faith in God to supply their needs and not solely in one's salary? well?

(Heb 10:38 KJV) Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.

Posted by: CANADIAN | 2006-03-05 9:05:02 AM

You are wrong, Canadian who has been posting uniquely fractured English here for a week using dozes of pseudonyms all espousing the same faux-biblical nonsense. Consider this parable from Monty book III, Python 27:

I've got ninety thousand pounds in my pajamas.
I've got forty thousand French francs in my fridge.
I've got lots and lots of lira,
Now the deutschmark's getting dearer,
And my dollar bill could buy the Brooklyn Bridge.

There is nothing quite as wonderful as money.
There is nothing quite as beautiful as cash.
Some people say it's folly, but I'd rather have the lolly,
With money you can make a splash.

There is nothing quite as wonderful as money.
There is nothing like a newly minted pound.
Everyone must hanker for the butchness of a banker,
It's accountancy that makes the world go round.

You can keep your Marxist ways, for it's only just a phase.
'Cause it's Money, money, money makes the world go round.

You anti-ethanol, anti-monetary folks are nothing but useful fools for the communist movement. Perhaps you should consider the words of Pope John Paul II, who wrote in Centesimus Annus:

"The fundamental error of socialism is anthropological in nature. Socialism considers the individual person simply as an element, a molecule within the social organism, so that the good of the individual is completely subordinated to the functioning of the socio-economic mechanism"

And, don't forget what that other Pope, Alexander, wrote in "An Essay on Man":

Know then thyself, presume not God to scan;
The proper study of mankind is Man.
Placed on this isthmus of a middle state,
A being darkly wise, and rudely great:
With too much knowledge for the skeptic side
With too much weakness for the Stoic's pride,
He hangs between; in doubt to act, or rest.
In doubt to deem himself a god, or beast;
In doubt his mind or body to prefer,
Born but to die, and reasoning but to err;
Alike in ignorance, his reason such,
Whether he thinks too little, or too much:
Chaos of thought and passion, all confused;
Still by himself abused, or disabused;
Created half to rise, and half to fall;
Great lord of all things, yet a prey to all;
Sole judge of truth, in endless error hurled:
The glory, jest, and riddle of the world!

Now thus such not rightfully all just even only once, Paul?

Posted by: Vitruvius | 2006-03-05 7:10:00 PM

Nice,Vitruvius. Thats the flavour. Just like the Preacher on the old Canadian Politics Forum at Canoe before it was shut down in 2000 after Chretien got elected. I wonder where Slippers and Shapeshifter went?

Posted by: Speller | 2006-03-05 10:08:15 PM

>>Just like the Preacher on the old Canadian Politics Forum at Canoe before it was shut down in 2000 after Chretien got elected. I wonder where Slippers and Shapeshifter went?

Likley moved to Alberta

Posted by: Justin | 2006-03-06 11:00:25 AM

>>You are wrong,

Statistic Canada had proved it

and so when you cannot deal with reality you personally attack, try to discredit the posters

here we see the same old names often like Speller too who want to do all the writing, and all of the bashing

wolves in sheep's clothing too.

Posted by: Terry | 2006-03-06 11:05:35 AM

>>Just like the Preacher on the old Canadian Politics Forum at Canoe

I do recall preacher was ahead of his times

he had written on the Canoe often as to how bad the Muslims were.

He had also been told by many that if he was elected PM he would have banned all of the Muslims in Canada.

Let's see what the new preacher does as PM

Posted by: Crony | 2006-03-06 11:11:51 AM

Fascinating, really.

Posted by: Vitruvius | 2006-03-07 1:19:15 AM

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