So Paul Gauguin… Might have been a mega creep. Who knew?

So I was listening to the Podcast Politiquement Incorrect with Richard Martineau, and they had a verrry interesting discussion of Paul Gauguin, the celebrated French painter who depicted the idyllic world of Tahiti and other exotic locii.

Turns out he might absolutely have been a total creep, and it wasn’t even that much of a secret. Take a look at this article from the Guardian from way back in 2001. It’s an article that I could only describe as a total hit piece but that it were written by the Guardian. (Don’t get me wrong, they’re a little heavy-handed in all their work, but they still do good journalism).

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2001/oct/07/arts.highereducation

Apparently this debate is not over, as evidenced by this screenshot of a Google News search for Paul Gauguin. I guess the New York Times decided to revive this issue once again. How fun.

I don’t see what the big deal is. I went to an exhibition of George Bush Jr.’s paintings of wounded Iraq service members, and no one warned me that I was looking at art made by a war criminal depicting the very Americans maimed by his lies, greed, and hubris. No one talked about banning that. Art is made by angels and monsters. It bears witness to the minds of our species, ugly, beautiful, hopeful, sickening.

Teddy Swims- “Let Me Love You”

Here are my instant three favorite things about this man:

1) Those dangles- omg I was thinking about dangles the other day and how I might not live to see them work on men as a legit trend. I still don’t think I will, but only because most people don’t look like this guy, who totally pulls it out and pulls it off.*

2) That fabric he is wearing is a must, and I don’t have it, and I am upset.

3) That beard- so lushly textural, and the colors… A van Gogh.

Now that that’s out of the way-

Look, I’m going to be upfront with you: R&B is only appropriate in the bedroom when you’re fucking. At the time I listened to this, however, I was eating dill pickle chips on a chaise. But all that changed.

So I was going to leave the post right there and walk away, but really all I was going to say was that I ended up eating a package of ‘smores Poptarts, and it was perfect in every way: spiritually, emotionally, conversationally… It would have been just another evening,for the two of us, but thanks to Mr Swims, tonight, well, tonight was our night.

*You’re welcome.

Eight Easy Steps To Writing a Bad Novel — irevuo

Lots of folks have painstakingly tried to write all sorts of guides to writing a bestseller or a perfect novel. How-to guides are quite abundant. But I thought I should try to write a guide on how to write a bad novel. How does one go about that? Let’s find out.

Eight Easy Steps To Writing a Bad Novel — irevuo

Preparing for NanoWriMo and reading this makes me pause. I think of all the stupid shit I’ve done, that I will do.

::Drags on cigarette*::

*Just kidding. Please don’t smoke tobacco. You’re worth quitting, amigo/a.

THE NEW BREED by Alison Luterman

I heard this beautiful poem by Alison Luterman read by Jack Kornfield in his dharma talk: “Living with a Peaceful Heart.”

Click here if you’d like to listen to the talk and hear Jack’s wonderful reading of it (starts right after the 41 min. mark).

A NEW BREED

— for Emma Gonzalez and the other student activists

I see her on TV, screaming into a microphone.
Her head is shaved and she is beautiful
and seventeen, and her high school was just shot up, 
she’s had to walk by friends lying in their own blood,
her teacher bleeding out,
and she’s my daughter, the one I never had,
and she’s your daughter and everyone’s daughter
and she’s her own woman, in the fullness of her young fire,
calling bullshit on politicians who take money from the gun-makers.
Tears rain down her face but she doesn’t stop shouting
she doesn’t apologize she keeps calling them out,
all of them all of us
who didn’t do enough to stop this thing.
And you can see the gray faces of those who have always held power
contort, utterly baffled
to face this new breed of young woman,
not silky, not compliant,
not caring if they call her a ten or a troll. 
And she cries but she doesn’t stop
yelling truth into the microphone,
though her voice is raw and shaking
and the Florida sun is molten brass.
I’m three thousand miles away, thinking how
Neruda said The blood of the children
ran through the streets
without fuss, like children’s blood. 
Only now she is, they are
raising a fuss, shouting down the walls of Jericho,
and it’s not that we road-weary elders
have been given the all-clear exactly,
but our shoulders do let down a little, 
we breathe from a deeper place,
we say to each other, 
Well, it looks like the baton
may be passing
to these next runners and they are
fleet as thought, 
fiery as stars,
and we take another breath
and say to each other, The baton
has been passed, and we set off then
running hard behind them.

–Alison Luterman
I hope this poem finds its way to whoever can use it.

England Votes for Favourite Tree. 1,000 Year-Old Liverpudlian Oak to Rep Country at 2020 European Tree Contest… for real.

This Ancient Oak Has Just Been Voted England’s Favorite Tree for Its 1,000-Year Legacy of Luck

Yo, this tree is so old it hung out with William the Conqueror. Okay, well, probs not since he didn’t storm the beaches of Liverpool, but, they probably saw each other at M&S on the weekends.

Also, pro fact- the Battle of Hastings wasn’t fought at Hastings. It was fought near the town of Battle. Battle of Battle, innit?

Google is honoring Joseph Plateau today. I did the research for you.

It’s not ideal.

Im sorry you have to see it, but it’s happened now. You’ve seen the birthday boy.

Also, here’s another image of him, which, according to archaeologists, is set into some kind of ancient pimp ring.

Ice man.

Okay, okay, so um, Joe Plateau was a physicist from Belgium, so that’s awesome because Belgium is choice and everyone knows that. Otherwise, I don’t really know anything about his optical illusion trick that he’s supposedly famous for, and I don’t really care, because I’m not an eye doctor. From what I can tell, though, that’s pretty much all he did from my sources (which is one). In fact, his wikipedia page may have been a joke. I actually don’t know:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Plateau

Here’s an excerpt:

” Plateau was born in Brussels.[3] His father, born in Tournai, was a talented flower painter.[4] At the age of six the younger Plateau was already able to read, making him a child prodigy in those times. While attending the primary schools, he was particularly impressed by a lesson of physics: enchanted by the experiments he observed, he vowed to discover their secrets someday.[3]

Thank you, Google. I can’t say I’m any more educated, but I am entertained. Oh, and also, that comment earlier about his optics trick being all he ever did, look, I’m just saying it’s no ploptart.com

It’s 25 Days ’til Halloween! Get your Costume Handled.

Someone on Friday asked me if I was “doing” Halloween this year, and at first I was like, “How dare you ask about my religion? But also, I think we both know Halloween does me. And it brings me chocolate, like a gentleman.

More importantly, though, I realized I needed to make sure I don’t do what I do every Halloween: procrastinate.

We have 25 days until Halloween, people. Don’t do what we both know you’re going to do: wait ’til the last minute. You’re going to end up “going as yourself,” or rehashing last year’s costume. So here’s your Toastmaster’s “the end is nigh” card. No excuses. Get at it. It will be so worth it when you show up to the party and dazzle the whole sail barge in a kick-ass Jabba costume, tail swish on fleek.

Also, if you’re one of those people who thinks it’s stupid that adults dress up for Halloween: I already dress up in a costume five days a week for another grown-ass adult who says if I don’t then I can’t have any money. Dignity is a slippery fucking slope my friend.

Seriously, curmudgeonly one, let us have this one thing, please.

Costumes this year? I have a cloak, a white poofy shirt, brown trousers on their last legs, and a leaf of lorien pin. Sooooo I guess we know where this is heading

*Also that pants on their last legs pun was totally unintentional but totally staying.

Weekend Reading

“Igniting a long-overdue dialogue about how the legacy of racial injustice and white supremacy plays out in society at large and Buddhist communities in particular, this urgent call to action outlines a new dharma that takes into account the ways that racism and privilege prevent our collective awakening. The authors traveled around the country to spark an open conversation that brings together the Black prophetic tradition and the wisdom of the Dharma. Bridging the world of spirit and activism, they urge a compassionate response to the systemic, state-sanctioned violence and oppression that has persisted against black people since the slave era. With national attention focused on the recent killings of unarmed black citizens and the response of the Black-centered liberation groups such as Black Lives Matter, Radical Dharma demonstrates how social transformation and personal, spiritual liberation must be articulated and inextricably linked.”

Picked up this juicy little thang from the library today. Will read, will report. Someone keep me honest. I’ll have it done by Monday. In the mean time from Amazon’s store: