Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Battle at the Java Sea, February 27-March 1, 1942 by Jaap Pluimgraaff

Please click HERE for a detailed view of this 1/700 scale masterpiece (a second click will expand the photograph). Click HERE for more images. Click HERE for a history of the battle.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Haunebu Haiku

     New Swabia
Plan into product
Ice-hidden and globe-funded
Notion yields exploit 

   Politics and Magic
Secret disk dungeon
Occult visions are technique
Fascist metaphor

South Pole cavern shakes
Nazi flying saucers rise
Hover toward the light

Friday, February 17, 2017

"John Milton" by Bienvenido "Bones" Bañez, Jr.

John Milton, 11" x 15", acrylic

According to Mr. Bañez, the scene of the Fall at the bottom of the painting, together with Milton himself, suggest enlightenment, while the fallen angel above Milton's head is an exponent of the "dark wisdom" that comes with that same enlightenment. The delicacy of the representation of Adam and Eve, and the multivalent character of the landscape into which they are set, are worth examining at length, as are the tessellations of energy emanating from the deftly-realized angel, while the fusion of joy and integrity which figures strongly in Mr. Bañez's characterization of Milton, is both tranquil and pleasant, and worth meditating upon as a model of spiritual assurance and intellectual consolation.

On January 9 at the Williamsburg Art and Historical Center, Mr. Bañez presented the painting to representatives of Milton's Cottage Trust.  Please click HERE to read about the occasion.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Dr. Zaius and Astronaut Taylor: Contrasting Tragedies

Dr. Zaius and his anxiety for orthodoxy:  Dr. Zaius maintains the Platonic tragedy/the noble lie (a la The Republic) necessary to sustain society and civilization, which, broadly, must privilege orthodoxy and political expediency over Truth. Another Platonic data point: what happens to Socrates--call it "The Tragedy of Socrates"--which is a story examining the perils of publicly and earnestly pursuing "Truth".  Zaius does what he needs to do to preserve the status quo, which he equates (and not unreasonably) with civilization. Meanwhile, Astronaut Taylor follows the trajectory of an Oedipal tragedy--not the Freudian stuff, but the tragedy that ensues when Oedipus fearlessly and relentlessly inquires into the nature of things. Taylor's criticisms of "things back on Earth" early in the film, expressed as the astronauts are wandering through the Forbidden Zone, are telling.