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Saturday, July 20, 2002

An ad makeover

Wounded turkey shoots man

Missouri, Oct. 6 - A man showing off a turkey he thought he killed was shot in the leg when the wounded bird trashed around in his car trunk and triggered his shotgun. “The turkeys are fighting back,” The County Sheriff said. To make matters worse, it turns out that the man, in his early 40’s, and his son, Junior, 16, were hunting a week before the start of turkey season and will probably be fined, the Sheriff said.

-Caption line-
Life is harsh. Your tequila shouldn’t be.
original ad

Boyfriend smuggled in suitcase

Brindisi, July 15. - A Belgian woman tried to smuggle her Kurdish boyfriend through Italian customs stashed in a suitcase. Customs officers apprehended the 23 year old woman as she was lumbering a suitcase after disembarking from a Greek ferryboat arriving at the Italian port of Brindisi. The 26 year old Kurd was sent back to Greece. The woman was arrested for organizing and assisting illegal immigration.

-Caption line-
Life is harsh. Your tequila shouldn’t be.

posted by Walter at 7/20/2002

Friday, July 19, 2002

-The most boring people on earth-

A list is a testimony of ridicule. Omit those that escape your attention and you’re an ignorant fool.
Include those that convey a lack of personal depth and you’re an insignificant outsider.

This list is a snapshot: it marks a random order of artistic merit.

My top 10 of best artists/draftsmen ever

1 Pablo Picasso
2 Egon Schiele
3 Henri Matisse
4 Francisco Goya
5 Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec
6 Paul Klee
7 George Grosz
8 Vincent van Gogh
9 Honore Daumier
10 Jean Dubuffet

Top 10 illustrators of all time

1 Saul Steinberg
2 Cassandre
3 Aubrey Beardsley
4 Rene Gruau
5 Roland Topor
6 David Hockney
7 Gerald Scarfe
8 Christian Berard
9 Tomi Ungerer
10 Jean Jacques Sempe

Would you like to contest the lists above? Send your view to:

posted by Walter at 7/19/2002

Thursday, July 18, 2002


The lone cyclist, an old guy dressed in full bikers regalia entered the parking area around the café, dismounted, and guided his racing bike towards the half occupied terrace. At the entrance gate, he rested his bike against the wall, where he left it unlocked.
Cautiously he stepped onto the coarse gravel of the terrace yard towards the entrance of the café passing by the tables in a straight posture taking marked steps. His stiff racing shoes forced him to walk awkwardly, his upper body hinged slightly backwards, accentuating a pronounced paunch in an otherwise well preserved physique. He pranced around the terrace slowly, scrutinizing the visitors, his face oddly reminiscent of Benito Mussolini, rigid, exuding mock anger.
With his chin pointed upwards, and the corners of his mouth pulled down, his face testified to the rigors of a strict personal regimen. He ordered a bottle of soda water and slowly walked back to his bike, holding the bottle out in front of him. As he passed through the gate, and remounted his bike ostentatiously he turned his head once more towards us with a contemptuous smirk; and continued his journey.

His accentuated panache reminded me of a bird species that my father, a bird hobbyist once kept: the (North-American) Nonpareil or painted bunting; a species with such loud colors as to obliterate all other birds.
The biker was dressed in just such colors: a loner, forced to implement his sense of discipline on none other but himself. He appeared like a tyrant devoid of subordinates, a fading emperor in the afterglow.

posted by Walter at 7/18/2002

Wednesday, July 17, 2002


In 1975 I made a 17.000 mile journey from Ontario Canada, down through the US, describing a horseshoe pattern. When in Eugene Oregon, I bought a book: -Beginnings in poetry- by William.J.Martz.
I read the book repeatedly during the trip, and I recall that this poem by William Stafford really stuck with me.
The poem remains an enigma to me still, and evokes in quiet magnificence my own childhood experience with nature; so much at ease, yet so unbelonging.

Lake Chelan

They call it regional, this relevance-
the deepest place we have: in this pool forms
the model of our land, a lonely one,
responsive to the wind. Everything we own
has brought us here: from here we speak.

The sun stalks among these peaks to sight
the lake down aisles, long like a gun;
a ferryboat, lost by a century, toots
for trappers, the pelt of the mountains
rinsed in the sun and that sound.

Suppose a person far off to whom this lake
occurs: told a problem, he might hear a word
so dark he drowns an instant, and stands dumb
for the centuries of his country and the suave
hills beyond the stranger’s sight.

Is this man dumb, then, for whom Chelan lives
in the wilderness? On the street you’ve seen
someone like a trapper’s child pause,
and fill his eyes with some irrelevant flood-
a tide stops him, delayed in his job.

Permissive as a beach, he turns inland,
harks like a fire, glances through the dark
like an animal drinking, and arrives along that line
a lake has found far back in the hills
where what comes finds a brim gravity exactly requires.

William Stafford 1914-1993

(Lake Chelan: is situated in North-central Washington, it’s 65 miles long and 1to 2 miles wide,
and one of the deepest lakes in the US, 1419 feet.)

posted by Walter at 7/17/2002

Tuesday, July 16, 2002

The Natural

"Charles made us do it, he was totally obsessed with the whole Comic thing"

The above remark was made by Robert Crumb, the man called "a walking mental institution", in regard to his older brother Charles in the 1995 documentary "Crumb" by Terry Zwigoff. Meanwhile the Crumbs have established themselves from a dynasty of social misfits, to established art scene icons, mainly due to the eminence of Robert Crumb; comic artist par excellence, who seemed best equipped to profit from his family's troubled inheritance. This summer the Crumb dynasty will exhibit their work from a variety of locations in Manhattan.
Robert; his son Jesse, daughter Sophie, Robert's brothers Charles and Maxon, as well as Crumb's wife Aline Kominsky-Crumb will all feature in a major Crumb overview.

Charles, Robert's elder brother and most proficient in the Crumb family, became a recluse, marooned in a darkened bedroom of his mother's house, that he scarcely left except for a mere 6 weeks of his life. He took anti-depressants daily, read and re-read Victorian novels "There's nothing else to do", and produced diaries which finally became illegible transcripts of his diffused mental state. In the movie he's caught saying: " I've always suffered from an excessive degree of narcissism". Charles however prompted his brothers to embark on a comics career, and may be credited for the current "Crumb-all".

So says Robert "My father was a rigid gung-ho kind of type, who had a hard-ass attitude to life" and " He wanted at least one of us to become a Marine, he always wore a fixed-smile, which I learned later was a sign of deep depression". Robert himself has an non materialistic view of his success in the art world. He used his new won public appeal as a means to keep to his sanity and thereby staying adrift of his brothers fate.
In the documentary Robert Crumb concludes: "People don't have a concept that there was ever a culture outside any of this thing that was created to make money, whatever is the biggest, latest thing they're into it. You get disgusted after a while at humanity".

Robert Crumb's books are available at:

posted by Walter at 7/16/2002

Monday, July 15, 2002

The whisperer

Italian painter and engraver Giorgio Morandi (1890-1964) has long been one of my favorite artists.
Although he painted the odd portrait, and an infrequent collection of landscapes, most of his work is dominated by the depiction of ever diversifying still lifes comprised of simple shapes: bowls, bottles, boxes, vases and organic forms. Thus developed a rich artistic signature, based on a structural deployment of his draftsmanship and composition skills. Morandi’s paintings emanate an almost “cuddly” expression. Many of them are small in size, with a delicate dimensional texture in earthy “Italian” colors: shades of yellow ochre, burnt sienna, faded lavender, and warm grays. The pictures radiate a luminous haze, and mostly contain huddled and fragile shapes; that appear to seek refuge in the presence of eachother.

Morandi was an introvert person, who led a private life from 1920 onwards to his death, intermitted with a position as a professor of Printmaking from 1930-1956 at the Academy in Bologna, where among others Milton Glaser was one of his students. His studio became the hub for a life-long focus and dedication to achieve a perfect pictoral order. Morandi may have missed his calling to become an architect; a close look at the work of building master Aldo Rossi’s work suggests a remote kinship. During his life Morandi was considered a quintessential Italian artist, who evoked the essence of Italian small-town mores, as exemplified by his consistency and simplicity. Morandi was also a European art scene independent, who sought to express his own vision of “Italian Cubism”, spurred by the work of Paul Cezanne.

My own fascination with Giorgio Morandi’s work lies in his ability to secure his own ground, his tenacity in painting uncompromisingly from his war room in Bologna, unimpressed by changing art trends, and the acceleration of an impending technocracy.

Semiologist Umberto Eco, a Morandi admirer himself has remarked of him:
“Everyone shouts too much thinking that the new, if it is that, has to be proclaimed in the loudest possible voice, Morandi is an example of how you can whisper, without ever repeating yourself”

posted by Walter at 7/15/2002