Wednesday, January 18, 2006

I Cannot Knit Trenchant Moderne with Killer Fraud

This succulent photo by the Melancholy Rhino is aptly titled Hockney.

Once again, things won't knit together, but here they all are. Surely something will delight.

1) Cathy Seipp's post on this house by Richard Neutra (who harmonized his creations with their landscape as a devotee of Frank Lloyd Wright) reminded me of Your Daily Art's Hockney painting which then reminded me again why people should revile stylistically substandard and coarsened architecture like this monster, actually in England but aesthetic cousin to a nasty, stained stucco pile I inhabited in California in the 70s and which, I regret to report, is still there, inflicting its common nastiness on the foothills in Pasadena. It takes a long sentence to juxtapose such ecstasies and pathos.

2) Another egregious eminent domain case. Will this ruling stop the slide?

3) If you can stand more on Frey, I was edified to read that neither WaPo's Cohen nor NYT's Kakutani echo Oprah's take on emotional truth. And, the trenchant New York Observer has more, including the surprise of Nan Talese, Frey's publisher, upon learning he was claiming that AMLP's mushy truthiness was well-known to her. In an aside:

(In any case, she said that the book would never have worked as a novel, in part because the author himself is the only real character in it.) HA!

I also applaud all the bright lights in this article, notable writers themselves, who condemn the lies as does critic Daniel Mendelsohn:

“It’s not so much that this guy lied and invented stuff—I mean, this has been going on forever,” Mr. Mendelsohn said. “But the way that people are receiving it, the curious lack of a really outraged response on the part of readers and a lot of other people …. I think the inability to call a spade a spade and just say flat out that this guy lied to his public in order to give himself a more dramatic story is in some sense a reflection of the overall debasement of criticism in the culture at large.”

Too True. Now having used the fabulous word trenchant, I realize I need to use "incipient" more often, too. But it doesn't apply here. Drat.

4) Via Tim Worstall: Can you be sued for breach of contract when it's a Contract to Kill? It seems like some clever prosecutor would be able to find another basis upon which to nail this haddock's buttock than leaving his mentally ill target unwhacked.

5) Via apostropher: It may be disturbing, but how else are incipient (High Five!) doctors supposed to acquire this skill?

3 comments:

noelle said...

I loved the phrase "the liar's publisher" somehow that sounded like a book name....

April said...

"It’s not so much that this guy lied and invented stuff—I mean, this has been going on forever,” Mr. Mendelsohn said. “But the way that people are receiving it, the curious lack of a really outraged response on the part of readers and a lot of other people …. I think the inability to call a spade a spade and just say flat out that this guy lied to his public in order to give himself a more dramatic story is in some sense a reflection of the overall debasement of criticism in the culture at large.”

Hmmmm...kind of reminds me of the public reaction to politcal scandals going on right now. If people are too gob-smacked to react to events that actually affect their lives..it doesn't surprise me at all that they can't or won't react to a falsified memoir.

I think we're living in benumbed times, to tell you the truth, and I'm just as guilty as anyone.

April said...

Re: Eminent Domain...I spent part of my childhood in Norwood...my Aunt Ruth lived there. My mother, sister and I visited every weekend. I remember lots of grey-stone buildings, like they have on Humboldt Blvd. in Chicago. At the time, in the mid-late 1960's..it was kind of a run-down area. But while I am hesitant to ever agree with anything found on Town hall..I agree with the columnist, by and large.