Back to normal, Bleat-wise. Fall has set in, and it's nice, warm, with more rain in two days than a month.
Let us ease back into normalcy with some random items, rather than a big long blab-fest about something that happened and made me blurble out 1784 words about it.
A leftover from the trip to Blighty:
Auntie's Golden Syrup Puds.
Auntie's is the home of Steamed Puds, I gather. They cost $5 here in the States, if you wish to order them from Amazon. More from someplace else. They also make a cracking Spotted Dick, I understand.
Something horrible I saw at Infinite Intoxicants the other day:
I gather it's meant ironically. We're all supposed to know it's a throwback, as they say. That the beer is kicking it old school, as they say. This is like the beer of the 70s bringing back packaging from the 20s - and to be honest, a lot of beer typography from that period did go way way back. But why this, why now? Because there's some ancient buried memory of Generic Products from the Era of General and Specific Crapification? This was the sort of supergraphic you saw on a high school wall or a really modern home in a magazine, the type that had a glass table with chrome accents. Think Tony Roberts from Annie Hall pouring burgundy for an older couple with money.
Also in the realm of no: There's a Spirit in the empty store next to Traders Joe. Because of course there is. "So much fun it's scary." Yawn. No one is ever frightened by an excess of fun. I am deliriously happy, and it has triggered a cascade of chemical reactions that indicate immiment peril!
Every year I like Halloween less.
There's something not right about this. Something ill in the culture.
A Hiatus connection: remember the day when we all had great fun looking at old restaurant ads? Okay, remember the day when we all browsed quickly through some old restaurant ads and barely read the copy? The Curtis ad from the 40s had Dick Long and his Orchestra. Well, I found this from a late 20s paper:
He had a (cough)
long attenuated tenure. Ad sorta looks like Dick and Curtis. Hotel. Long his Orchestra. Also note the 20s style of italicizing the first letter.
That was intended to be classy.
Dinner a dollar, including dancing! Of course, people only made .23 cents a month back then, so that was a lot.
More on the Curtis here. As you can see from the small illustration, the hotel consisted of two wings on opposite ends of the block. In the heady 20s, an addition was proposed:
It didn't happen. It would have redefined the skyline, and it would still be standing today.
If you live in Boston, you might see this billboard.
Natalie wrote that.
One of her many quick takes for the Cumby Coffee. I think she came up with 20 in half an hour, or something. From college to job to billboard in under four months.
Father is very proud.
And now, a return to the museum we visited last week. Some works really required an additional look. In the case of our first installation, it's because of the hubba-hubba factor. And so:
I love this guy. Greuze. Eighteenth Century Cheesecake. The facial expressions and compositions remind me of 1930s cosmetic ads in movie magazines. (These were high up on the wall, and I had to adjust for perspective.
From the late 1770s, these 'expressive heads' developed into a separate genre, often erotically charged, and into a main field of his activities. Greuze's heads exist in large numbers, and he developed them more systematically after he had fallen out with the Academy.
The Vargas of his time.
There are questions about which ones were his, and which were done by his assistants.
Greuze wished to be received as a historical painter and produced a work which he intended to vindicate his right to despise his qualifications as a genre artist. This unfortunate canvas (Sévère et Caracalla) was exhibited in 1769 side by side with Greuze's portrait of Jeaurat and his admirable Petite Fille au chien noir.
Unfortunate seems something like a value judgment, no? C’mon, Wikipedia, this isn’t dictionary-like behavior.
Then again, it might be objectively true: it’s awful. I don’t know what it’s supposed to indicate. (Not in the Wallace.)
Caracalla was the son of Severus, and I guess at one point Pops ordered his son to get the chamberpot, and he really didn't want to.
Anyway, it really was a failure:
The Academicians received their new member with all due honours, but at the close of the ceremonies the Director addressed Greuze in these words: "Sir, the Academy has accepted you, but only as a genre painter; the Academy has respect for your former productions, which are excellent, but she has shut her eyes to this one, which is unworthy, both of her and of you yourself.”
Greuze, greatly incensed, quarreled with his confreres, and ceased to exhibit until, in 1804, the Revolution had thrown open the doors of the Academy to all the world.
And we know where that led.
Another famous Greuze: The Broken Mirror.
Nice work on the drapery, but what's the point? She's sad over breaking the mirror? Could there be . . . an ALLEGORICAL MESSAGE?
Much of Greuze's later work consisted of titillating pictures of young girls, which contain thinly veiled sexual allusions under their surface appearance of mawkish innocence; The Broken Pitcher (Louvre), for example, alludes to loss of virginity.
Mmmmmm could be.
So the mirror might be about the same thing. Or vanity. Or something.
He did have quite a style for the ladies:
The Ariadne was “a late work, loose in handling and exaggerated in expression, it may be identified with the Ariane dans l’île de Naxos exhibited at the Salon of 1804.” He kicked a year later.
In the following year, on 4 March 1805, he died in the Louvre in great poverty. He had been in receipt of considerable wealth, which he had dissipated by extravagance and bad management (as well as embezzlement by his wife) so that during his closing years he was forced to solicit commissions which his enfeebled powers no longer enabled him to carry out with success.
To my surprise:
In the second chapter of Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes story The Valley of Fear, Holmes' discussion of his enemy Professor Moriarty involves a Greuze painting in his possession, intended to illustrate Moriarty's wealth despite his small legitimate salary as an academic.
A 1946 episode of the radio series The New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes entitled "The Girl With the Gazelle" centers around the theft of a fictional Greuze painting of the same name, masterminded by Professor Moriarty.
Upon learning this I called up the ep and listens to it.
Any words I would use to describe my emotions about continuing the story of the Invisible Monster would look like a thesaurus entry for the state of emotionally blank weariness. And that’s coming on the heels of a cliffhanger that saw our hero fall out a window.
Well, if we must.
Okay, let’s see what happens . . .
Did he grab taht ever-so-conveniently placed firehose last week?
Do I have their number, or what.
Back at the lair, the Invisible Monster Ruler says well, we have the plans, but not the money. Remember, he needs money to buy the chemicals and fabric for his Invisible Army, so he can take over the community, and then the nation. Remember also that he can only be invisible when guys in the back of a big truck shine a bright light on him.
Anyway, he decides to try to sell the secret plans to another company, so the original company will pay him money for the stolen plans. (They had a copy.) He has a plan!
He sounds like the lost Arness brother. Anyway, it’s a smart plan because no one will be able to find the dog through all the wilderness. Carol and Lane hit on the idea of getting their own dog, to follow the henchman dog.
And so it comes to this. PULSE-POUNDING DOG-FOLLOWING ACTION
They end up back at the mine, because serials always have to end up at a mine. The Monster’s henches have hooked up a trap that will eliminate them if they show up, because of course you can’t just shoot them in the head. They get to the mine; Carol says “they wouldn’t think of using this place again,” because she speaks for the audience.
Hmm. We’ve seen this before.
But it’s not the cliffhanger. The bad guys walk away because they figure the boobytrap worked, but Lane emerges from the mine and reveals his position with a poorly-aimed attempt to shoot one of the guys in the back.
Look where they’re hiding from the bullets.
And now it’s a Western, I guess. The henches are worried the dog will follow them and give away their position, what with the good guys having their own counter-dog technology, so they shoot at it! But they miss, and the dog joins forces with the good guys, because there are no bad dogs.
They go to a blacksmith’s joint. He’s in on the plot. He has a fire going. He also has several crates marked EXPLOSIVES. Lane shows up.
There’s a three-on-one fistfight, intercut with shots of a gun that fell in the fire. Eventually it starts shooting bullets on its own, which throws chunks of hot coal on the wooden explosives box. I think we can just cut right to the boom here:
Amount of invisibility in this episode: Zero
That'll do. Here we go - another week, with much to see and talk about! Hope you enjoy it.