Thursday, January 03, 2002

Now, This Is Too Much Fun
I don't know how I got to this guy's site, but if you click on his site map and go to his Playthings, be prepared to lose track of a good deal of time. You can spend all day exploring this incredible site. Love it!
Journalism vs Commentary
Hmm. I haven't read all of the discussions filling up lots of blogspace lately (I follow some of them from bix's Blog Roll), but I think maybe there needs to be some clarification of what "journalism" is in contrast to "commentary."

The dictionary defines journalism as writing characterized by a direct presentation of facts or description of events without an attempt at interpretation . That requires objective and fair reporting of facts and events. Now, granted, we don't have enough of that these days, but that's a different and the more substantial issue.

Commentary, on the other hand -- which is what most of the blogs and (I think) too many supposed journalists provide -- is personal reflection and comment on what has been put forth by what is supposed to be good, honest "journalism." Personally, I tend to read the editorial/commentary/perspective pages of a newspaper immediately after I read the puported facts on the front page. First I want to know what's going on. Then I want to know what others think about what's going on. And finally, I can go off and think about all of that myself and come to my own conclusions or speculations.

So, good thoughtful and/or creative and/or critical and/or riotous commentary is what people like me need to mentally gnaw, to viscerally digest, and eventually, to turn into commentary of our own. (No shit.)
Love Those Arts
This evening I went with some friends to an exhibit at the Arts Center that

...brings together cutting-edge contemporary art and the industrial heritage of New York State’s Capital Region in a conceptual Call-and-Response based on the premise that both art and industry involve invention and problem-solving as a means of getting from initial idea to final product..

It wasn't at all what I expected, and, as I expected, it reminded me of how exciting it is to stretch one's awareness outside the box. For example, one installation, based on the artist's exploration of the Watervliet Armory (which, I believe, is the oldest continually functioning armory in the country), is a metal two-dimensional topographical construction of Tolkein's Middle Earth, with a street map of 1940s Berlin sort of etched into the surfaces of that construction. It's all suspended upside down from the ceiling, with arcs of chains hanging down that are supposed to simulate the trajectories of bombs.

While, intellectually, I barely "understood" many of the other installations (even when I read the artists' explanations) I certainly responded to them on a totally non-analytical level. Each visually deconstructed the essence of its "industrial partner" and, through the alchemy of art, rendered it mythic. The magic of art. Love it!

Getting the Hang of It
So, OK, I can't import images into a Blogger blog. If I ever get my web site done, I can play with them there. So it goes.

I found a site based in Portland, Maine for cyber seniors. I'm trying to figure out how I can get involved with them somehow. Except I also have been checking in on various blogs listed on the schoolblogs site, and I'm remembering just how stimulating it is to be involved with the learning of young people. Actually, I remembering when b!X lived at home and all of the information I used to absorb just from being around his world of constant exploration. I'm going to do some of my own further reading into those current blogs and then get in contact with some of those people. For example, Laura Shefler, whose sketches -- and more -- are full of such creative energy.

But first I have to go and have my All One vitamin shake for seniors and then take my 85 year old mother out grocery shopping. And then I'm going to iron on some "embellishments" on the black t-shirts I wear for non-formal ballroom dancing .

Meanwhile, I'm waiting to hear how my newly pregnant daughter, who lives outside of Boston is doing, 'cause she's been so nauseous that we haven't been able to get together for the holidays. So, as soon as she's up to it, my mom and I will drive out to Jamaica Plain to visit her (and her husband, of course; he's a mother-in-law's dream).