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Post #1423 • November 24, 2009, 1:05 PM • 35 Comments
New at The Moon Fell On Me. That's it for me this week - happy Thanksgiving.
November 24, 2009, 1:40 PM
I'm thankful for Franklin and his blog.
November 24, 2009, 7:42 PM
OK, so this time, I could follow the whole strip because I knew about the bar thingie at the bottom. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.
November 24, 2009, 8:19 PM
November 24, 2009, 11:47 PM
Happy Thanksgiving pilgrims
November 25, 2009, 8:08 AM
I hope you all have a peaceful, joyous, blessed and slightly naughty Thanksgiving.
November 25, 2009, 10:17 AM
Sung at Thanksgiving by the 15 year-old boys of my generation to horrify parents, who could, in those ancient times, still be horrifed by mere vulgarity, to the tune of "Frere Jacques":
get some bread
get some bread
Stuff it up the turkey
Stuff it up the turkey
eat the bird
eat the bird
November 25, 2009, 12:04 PM
Opie, you made my day - as I head out to buy stuff to put into "the bird".
November 25, 2009, 12:53 PM
John, unfortunately you will not have my 3rd generation cornbread stuffing, inherited from my mom's black nanny, who taught everyone in the family the virtues of healthy food (and exercize and going barefoot) long before food really got that unhealthy, and improved down the years.
The only problem is I've got to make it, and it is quite a chore.
November 25, 2009, 12:59 PM
So OP, was this mid or late Victorian era? It was clearly pre-WWI.
November 25, 2009, 1:15 PM
I was going to joke that OP's song was translated from the Sumerian but I thought that'd be mean. Thanks for getting there first, Jack.
November 25, 2009, 1:22 PM
I wasn't alluding to OP's age, by the way, but rather to how long ago such a song would have been considered even slightly improper.
November 25, 2009, 3:44 PM
Depends on where you grew up, & who your parents were. I may be much the same age as Opie, but I learned off-color jokes at my mother's knee (she had a Rabelaisian sense of humor). On the other hand, the mother of one of my sixth-grade classmates, a much more proper lady, was scandalized because at the age of 11 I was allowed to take a bus by myself. At Brearley, the snooty girls' school which I attended in first & second grades, some of my classmates had nannies who kept them constantly supplied with nice clean little white gloves, but when I was sent away in the summer time to Camp Treetops, in the Adirondacks, it was on a farm, and we were expected to shovel manure from behind cows' & horses' stalls. As I look back, I think that society was much more divided up into little parts & parcels in those days -- it's much more homogenized now.
November 25, 2009, 3:47 PM
You are both right. My age is considerable, and the ditty was current at a time when "damn" and "hell" were uttered only at "smokers", where manly men played stud and drank bourbon neat.
See Raymond Chandler for confirmation of this.
November 25, 2009, 5:23 PM
The term "smoker" was still in use when I was in college. Fraternities would hold them before big freshman exams. In theory freshman would be given study help and advice by the upperclassmen, but I think it involved a lot more poker and bourbon.
I didn't ever go because my study partner was the woman I'm currently married to. Hubba hubba! That might explain my 1.9 GPA freshman year, actually.
November 26, 2009, 7:03 AM
November 26, 2009, 10:22 AM
Good article. Hard to believe Auerbach is still working.
November 26, 2009, 10:49 AM
Chris, I can't quite agree with you, but neither do I depart radically from your appreciation. The article dwells too much on what the pictures depict, the historical/political war context, etc. which frankly bores me when it is that explicit. This, despite that I believe there is an "intersection" between art and politics that so far I have not been able to pin down very well.
On the other hand, I respect the fact these associations are not put in service of an exogenous agenda, as is often the case in current art commentary.
And the pictures themselves are respectable, though not one of the JPEGs inspired me to hit the studio. (The "hit the studio" feeling has become my empirical hint that the art might be really good.)
November 26, 2009, 2:02 PM
I think Auerbach is pretty good, not 100% by any means, but good.
The review is typical Times cocktail party chatter stuff, as well described by John above.
November 26, 2009, 2:52 PM
I can't wait to say 'these associations are not put in service of an exogenous agenda' at the next party.
What appeals to me about the Auerbach work in that article is that it puts me in mind of archeological excavations, where organic material is in complimentary contrast with the geometry of the dig. He gets that effect with the body of the paint as well as the image. A not huge pleasure, but as Jack says, I'll take it where I can find it.
November 26, 2009, 5:56 PM
I liked the article. I liked its evocation of postwar London, and the idea of being a painter wandering the streets and being inspired to paint. Also the idea of thinking, you know, a lot of people have painted Paris, but no one's painted this yet. It may not, in the end, have an effect on the quality of the resulting art, but I understand the feeling.
I didn't really look at the Auerbachs along with the article. Going back now, I'd say the very first painting there, "Summer Building Site," is the one I like most.
November 26, 2009, 8:43 PM
I was taken to London in 1949 at the age of 14. The city still had not recovered from the war, but people were still remarkably cheerful & this seemed to me very gutsy. There were still bombed-out blocks all over central London and they'd been turned into "carparks," which seemed to me a very brave way to deal with them. The weather was gray (this was November) & rainy & there was still rationing & the food in the pubs was terrible, but I remember taking refuge in the entrance to a shop on a corner when the rain suddenly came. I was surrounded by Londoners also waiting out the storm & talking amidst themselves very chirpily & laughing & I just admired them so much. There was an American movie playing at the time entitled "Home of the Brave" and posters for it were pasted on some of the walls surrounding the bombed-out "carparks" & I thought to myself, London is really the home of the brave. We Yankees really had it soft during the war by comparison. I had brought along some watercolors & I made a few little pictures of London sights at night after my mother had gone to sleep. One of these pictures shows a man in a rather blurry Mac walking along a street past the walls surrounding a carpark with posters for "Home of the Brave" pasted on it. We were staying at Brown's Hotel, which was the last word in British luxury at the time but cheap in Yankee dollars. The English were not yet accustomed to the idea of central heating, so it got very cold at night, but I sat on a chair in the bathroom with my feet submerged in hot water in the bathtub as I painted. My mother liked the little pictures I painted well enough to frame them & hang them in our living room so I still have them today. Certainly not masterpieces but reminders of a very moving experience.
November 26, 2009, 10:24 PM
Mice anecdote, Piri. By the time i got there in 1957 they had it pretty much back on track
November 27, 2009, 11:23 AM
I make the best typos. Makes it sound like a tale from "Tom & Jerry"
November 27, 2009, 12:08 PM
That really is a lovely story, Piri. Also a mice anecdote.
November 27, 2009, 4:13 PM
Another Anglo anecdote: in the 1960s, when my mother was living in London (working in an ad agency there) she sent me a postcard of Queen Elizabeth, smiling her toothy smile & with her cheeks rendered chubby as a result. On the back, my mother wrote, "Mrs. M. Mouse?"
November 27, 2009, 6:38 PM
So, I am now clairvoyant.
November 27, 2009, 6:44 PM
Clairvoyant? I thought you just stopped by the burning bush every now and then. And type accordingly.
November 28, 2009, 9:14 AM
Burning bush? Is God talking to me?
November 28, 2009, 2:32 PM
If you or anyone you know suffers from burning bush, ask your doctor about Claptiva®. Claptiva® is not for everyone.
November 28, 2009, 7:51 PM
Say, Piri, I was in Hoboken earlier this evening and I saw a new restaurant on Washington Street called Piri Piri. I thought it was kind of funny.
November 28, 2009, 8:11 PM
Well I was glad to read Kimmelman writing about a painter instead of his "man of letters" routine. And I've always thought Auerbach was an admirable painter - he's lived the life and some of his portrait heads are intense and honest. Piri my older brother and sister went to Brearly, it would have been in the late 40's before my dad came home from the war. My dad(b.1916 in Moscow) and uncles grew up in London. I have a photo of him going off to "high school" at Westminster school in 1929 wearing a morning coat, top hat with briefcase and umbrella. He would have been about 13.
November 28, 2009, 9:35 PM
David, Your brother went to Brearley? It's a girls school. Are we talking about the same school --- 82nd or 83rd Street, east of East End Avenue?
November 28, 2009, 9:41 PM
David, love the description of your father going off to school. Chris, I just googled piri-piri and it seems to be East African chillies & sauce made from them, esp. for chicken.
November 28, 2009, 11:36 PM
Piri, then it would have just been my sister I guess. It was before I was born in '51, and the family had moved from the city to a house in Rye. It has to be the same Brearly. I have a photo of my dad in that get-up. Maybe I'll post it sometime.
November 24, 2009, 1:36 PM
And a happy Thanksgiving to you, too, Franklin--