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I also like Wyeth, Mac. But then I'm a liberal so I guess I'm into excrement.
Numinous - another great word! Rudolf Otto!
I have had that problem with your search button too.
Nice pictures.

I'm with you on both Wyeth and Munoz.

Up here where I live a clearing sky after a daytime storm will sometimes produce the most amazing sunset. Looks like the case in your neck of the woods as well.

Barack Obama mini-review:

Why Liberalism Failed, by Patrick Deneen
In a time of growing inequality, accelerating change, and increasing disillusionment with the liberal democratic order we’ve known for the past few centuries, I found this book thought-provoking. I don’t agree with most of the author’s conclusions, but the book offers cogent insights into the loss of meaning and community that many in the West feel, issues that liberal democracies ignore at their own peril.

Donald Trump will soon put out his review of Green Eggs and Ham...

Obama really wrote that? Interesting. Sounds like he didn't really get it, but then he's part of the problem. But much credit to him for reading it anyway.

Those picture actually weren't taken on the same day, but chances are good that there was a storm earlier in the day of the sunset picture. Better than good, actually, almost certain.

Re the "excrement" remarks about Wyeth: I started to cut those out on the grounds of being disgusting, but left them in on the grounds that they really made the critics sound irrational. That idea would certainly never have crossed my mind.

I would be sad if you got rid of the search function. I use it fairly frequently and can almost always find what I'm looking for.


Well, anybody who has access to my Facebook feed may have noticed that I "like" or share almost every Wyeth painting that I see. I've shared "Wind from the Sea" twice.

I cannot comprehend what those critics are saying. They look at beauty and see scatology. It's like the dwarves in The Last Battle.

Somewhere right at this moment, there is a window that looks very much like that window with a wind blowing the curtains. The people who are in that room may not be leading a "pastoral, innocent, and homespun life." There may be poverty and strife or sickness in that room but the beauty is there nonetheless, and points to something else, as you say.

Christina was not living an idyllic life. She was crawling because she was cripple, but he saw something in her effort.


I love the pictures. I am near desperate for a large body of water with a pier, but it's highly unlikely that I will get one.


I don't have a pier, but there is one not far away.

"I cannot comprehend what those critics are saying." Agreed. Almost none of it. It says much more about them than about Wyeth. Makes me wonder if they're all Manhattanites who think Central Park is "the country." "Voyeuristic"? "Inauthentic"? What in the world does he mean?!?

Yes. I know.


I've always known you were pierless.


Sorry, I just had to do it.



I can't even tell what that is supposed to be.


I don't want to disparage your body of water and your distant pier, though. That is way better than a ditch that becomes a stream when there is a heavy rain.


Sounds like you are disparaging ditches! Ditch-paraging, I should say.


Interesting piece on Christopher Dawson's belief that it was technology that did the deed -- "Christopher Dawson on Technology and the Demise of Liberalism"; here's a bit of it:

According to Dawson, liberalism was “transitional and impermanent,” lasting for less than a century. What took its place was what Dawson called “the planned society,” which aspires to reproduce culture by means of technology. Technological order, he claimed, is “now the real basis of secular culture.” The only thing it shares with liberalism is the faith in a progress that is merely temporal and this-worldly. ... Real secularism, according to Dawson, could not emerge until technology made it possible for most people to live without the ideals and practices of the older western order. Modern science changed the way that the educated class conceived of the world; but technology changed the way people lived.

Now, it must be said that by technology Dawson did not mean science, which is simply the effort to understand the natural environment. Nor did he mean merely the tools of applied science, e.g. steam engines, computers, etc. Rather, he meant the systematic application of tools to culture, especially to those areas of culture that had always been reproduced by humanistic activity, e.g. sexual intercourse, family, religion, and economic exchange. In short, by technology, Dawson meant the practice(s), via an interlocking set of technologies, of treating culture in the same way that the tool treats the natural environment. And this is simply another way of saying that the tool is no longer an instrument, but rather the measure of the humane world.

Modern technologies are not only “labor saving” devices. A labor saving device, like an automated farm implement or a piston, replaces repetitive human acts. But most distinctive of contemporary technology is the replacement of the human act; or, of what the scholastic philosophers called the actus humanus. The machine reorganizes and to some extent supplants the world of human action, in the moral sense of the term. Hence, the policy of mutual assured destruction supplants diplomacy; the contraceptive pill supplants chastity; the cinema supplants recreation, especially prayer; managerial and propaganda techniques replace older practices and virtues of loyalty, etc. Therefore, it is important to understand that Dawson’s criticism of technology is not aimed at the tool per se. His criticism has nothing to do with the older, and in our context, misleading notion of “labor saving” devices. Rather, it is aimed at a new cultural pattern in which tools are either deliberately designed to replace the human act, or at least have the unintended effect of making the human act unnecessary or subordinate to the machine. Of course, Dawson did not live to see the emergence of “virtual reality” technology, but he would have recognized it as part (perhaps the culminating part) of the continuum of technologies that he had in mind.

I have been reading Dawson this afternoon. Will read quote after dinner.


I guess I agree with this. The "I guess" is because I'm not altogether sure I understand it. Have to think about it a bit more.

The criticism of Wyeth reminds me of the criticism of Tolkien that "accuses" him of escapism. Tolkien response in his essay on fairy stories was, yes, fairy stories are escapism, but we need that kind of escape to remember what is really real

I had very much the same thought.

"Oh God, no more elves." -- Hugo Dyson

I've heard a cruder variant of that attributed to Lewis.

On Facebook today someone posted pictures of the Olson house, which is the house in Christina's dream. It's a museum and she is going there. Makes me want to go. I bet it is cooler there.


One of the weird things about that Panero piece is that he seems to think there is something illegitimate about the fact that some things in that and other paintings are not exactly as they are in reality. That's a very strange thing for an art critic to complain about.

By the way Janet, do you have any tips for making the search function work? I just tried about half a dozen different ways of searching for references to Patrick Deneen's Why Liberalism Failed" and none of them came up with the most recent and extensive discussion of it.

No. Yesterday I tried searches for words in this post and came up blank. Off with it's head!


Sounds good. :-) Though I think maybe I'll give Typepad support a chance to tell me why it's working so very badly.

I didn't know anything about Wyeth, so I looked up his paintings. I think they're lovely. I'm not surprised the idiot "elites" don't like him. But it's the nonsense in their criticism that grates. What can you do with such imbeciles?

I'm thinking I should buy a Wyeth print now, on principle.

I feel like I have to apologize for reading your blog and all the wonderful conversations silently for so long -
but today I found something which I hope you will like

Thank you. Looks interesting--I'll take a better look when I have time. You certainly don't need to apologize. Nothing wrong with just reading.

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