Thoughts on Romantic Reformers

“When the romantic fails to illuminate or enlighten others, and when social reform is slow to come—or seems not to come at all—then he or she can only resort to violence.” The Nation review of Man’s Better Angels: Romantic Reformers and the Coming of the Civil War by Philip F. Gura “They have no heart,…

Amusement Parks and Masculinity

  We talked about Lena Dunham wanting to be loved not for her writing but for her half-naked figure in grungy underwear as we sat by the lake watching boys split into rival teams; ISIS vs.soldiers and super heroes. One hundred and fifty years ago both Union and Confederate soldiers “spoke routinely of deluded people,…

ART: Rain Storm, Union Square by Childe Hassam

“Are the days of winter sunshine just as sad for you, too? When it is misty, in the evenings, and I am out walking by myself, it seems to me that the rain is falling through my heart and causing it to crumble into ruins.” Gustave Flaubert

Innocence: The New Dirty Word

It’s no secret we live in a sexual-ized culture. Maybe all cultures are so, but look through the eyes of an abused child. It is then that every vulgar presentation of sexuality, every “sexy” media star, every unasked-for visual hits you in the face. Suddenly a trip past Victoria’s Secret in the mall while shopping…

Painter Kenyon Cox

Cox, adamantly loyal to the preservation of the “older methods”, set himself in opposition to modern styles. In his 1917 book Concerning Painting: Considerations Theoretical and Historical, Cox restated his earlier feelings about the “Two Ways of Painting” saying: For at least fourteen thousand years, then, from the time of the cavemen to our own…