Double Intuition

On Their Minds, 9-11
Happened Before 2001

After fifteen years, the tragic imagery of Sept. 11, 2001, has taken deep roots into the collective psyche of our era. It became a visual metaphor to every nightmare bred out of fear of terrorism, even as countless acts of extreme violence have followed that crispy, blue-sky Tuesday in America.
Even more intriguing are depictions of exploding planes and buildings that art and pop culture have produced before 911. Two works are particularly impressive: a sculpture by New York artist Michael Richards, killed that day, and a painting by British Willie Gardner.
Wisely ignoring conspiracy buffs, who like to dwell in a made-up reality with even more odds stacked against us, it’s still possible to appreciate the intuition that led these two black artists to conceive works of such haunting, and premonitory, quality, while sharing not much else in common.
To be sure, anticipation, and the ability to eerily foresee a world not quite here, are integral to creative expression, even when that’s not exactly the author’s intention. Also, it’s not unusual for life to emulate what art, and public sensibility had already made possible to conceive.
After all, we all breathe the same toxic, over-saturated environment, suffused through ages by human interference. And our brains are especially biased to see a connected world that does not exist outside our skulls; life happens independently of our will or whims.
The fact that the two works are not in the same level of artistic sophistication is irrelevant too. Richards was a rising talent, who perished when his studio was crushed by the destruction of the Twin Towers, while Gardner, who died in 2010 and only dabbled in art as an amateur, was thousands of miles away.
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Read Also:
* No Pics
* Flight, Interrupted
* Quantum Leaks

There’s no record that either one was imbued of any anticipatory penchant. Theirs was something out of a vision whose meaning they’ve taken with them. But that something inevitably tickles our minds, still eager to find significance, and sense, in that despicable tragedy.
Yes, there were many others for we are particularly good at inflicting progressively horrifying terrors onto each other. And we could be talking here about the victims, or the evildoers, or any number of the cliches that have piled up about that day. But we’re glad we have Richards and Gardner to memorialize instead.
Every year, we promise not to add anything to the meaningless cacophony of 911’s moaning and complaints. And every time we break our vows. It’s just as well. Art and reality are often unexplainable. We’re doomed to face terror over and over in our lifetimes. So at least, let’s try to do it with fresh eyes.

Double Intuition

On Their Minds, 9-11
Happened Before 2001

After fifteen years, the tragic imagery of Sept. 11, 2001, has taken deep roots into the collective psyche of our era. It became a visual metaphor to every nightmare bred out of fear of terrorism, even as countless acts of extreme violence have followed that crispy, blue-sky Tuesday in America.
Even more intriguing are depictions of exploding planes and buildings that art and pop culture have produced before 911. Two works are particularly impressive: a sculpture by New York artist Michael Richards, who was killed that day, and a painting by British Willie Gardner.
Wisely ignoring conspiracy buffs, who like to dwell in a made-up reality with even more odds staked against us, it’s still possible to appreciate the intuition that led these two black artists to conceive works of such haunting, and premonitory, quality, while sharing not much else in common.
To be sure, anticipation, and the ability to eerily foresee a world not quite here, are integral to creative expression, even when that’s not exactly the author’s intention. Also, it’s not unusual for life to emulate what art, and public sensibility, had already made possible to conceive.
After all, we breathe the same toxic, over-saturated environment, suffused through ages by human interference. And our brains are specially biased to see a connected world that does not exist outside our skulls; life happens independently of our will or whims.
The fact that the two works are not in the same level of artistic sophistication is irrelevant too. Richards was a rising talent, who perished when his studio was crushed by the destruction of the Twin Towers, while Gardner, who died in 2010 and only dabbled in art as an amateur, was thousands of miles away.
_______
Read Also:
* No Pics
* Flight, Interrupted
* Quantum Leaks

There’s no record that either one was imbued of any anticipatory penchant. They simply created something out of a vision whose meaning they’ve taken with them. But that something inevitably tickles our minds, still eager to find significance, and sense, in that despicable tragedy.
Yes, there were many others for we are particularly good at inflicting progressively horrifying terrors onto each other. And we could be talking here about the victims, or the evildoers, or any number of the cliches that have piled up about that day. But we’re glad we have Richards and Gardner to memorialize instead.
Every year, we promise not to add anything to the meaningless cacophony of 911’s moaning and complaints. And every time we break our vows. It’s just as well. Art and reality are often unexplainable. We’re doomed to face terror over and over in our lifetimes. So at least, let’s try to do it with fresh eyes.

Faulty Towers

That Time I Agreed
With Donald Trump

Like at least an arguably 100 million Americans, and countless around the world, I too am embarrassed and horrified by the ghastly, and tasteless, Donald Trump for President circus. When, and how, will it all end? To be honest, though, I never liked the guy.
But there was a moment, and it’s no wonder that it was one of the darkest in recent history, when I agreed with this ogre. Who for all I know, would likely squash me like a Manhattan cockroach, if given a chance, or care about it. Fortunately we never met.
As for what’s not too like about a white, rich bully who made his fortune in the most undignified way – inherited by his equally despised dad -, and whose business acumen can be measured by four multimillion dollar bankruptcies, it shouldn’t really be up to discussion. ​
Hey, for all it’s worth, we don’t really know he’s as rich as he boasts, and compared to all other lies he’s been telling, some uglier than others but still, all lies, the claim of being a billionaire may be reality only under his fading orangutan-orange hair.
I’m not being original here. Most New Yorkers have hated Trump since the time the Twin Towers were being built, and his daddy Fred was giving him the keys to the family loot. And if you didn’t dislike him before, you do now with his gag-inducing media coverage.

A MOMENTARY LAPSE OF REASON
Sure, Woody Guthrie wrote ‘Old Man Trump,’ about his slumlord father. But in these witless times, we can see not even Bob Dylan, for one, coming up with something, even if full of contempt, that wouldn’t be misappropriated and wind up adding to the cult of Don.
The man has made a point in appearing vile through the years even in photo-ops, and while adding his name to the facade of mediocre buildings and shady casinos, he’s also been pictured next to quite a morally questionable bunch too. Just Google it.
But there was that moment, and again, I’m not alone in it, when reality was so punishing that at least briefly, bent everyone’s perception of it. And I agreed with the creep. That was 9/11, but hold it before hating me for linking it with his name.
In the weeks, then months, and then years after the attacks, all one could hear was, ‘rebuild,’ start over, erect something that would show the bastards that they had accomplished nothing. (more)
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Read Also:
* Of Birds & Beams

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Flight, Interrupted

When Glass Towers
Become Bird Killers

If you never liked modern architecture, and the shiny, glass buildings that have been popping up all over lately, we’re about to add a killer argument to your cause: they’re also killing birds. Not just a few of them; some 100 million to one billion a year, only in North America, according to estimates.
Now a global effort by architects, ornithologists, environmentalists and bird watchers is trying to find ways around it, before our own bird-dependent species begin to suffer another consequence of our expansive lifestyle. Like few other threats, this one can, indeed, cause our extinction.
If you live in a big city like New York, you’re probably facing at least one such tall skyscraper right at this moment. There are many reasons why they’ve become so ubiquitous, not the least of them, because they are weather-adaptable, allowing optimum light exposure and saving lots of energy consumption.
Due to marvels of contemporary construction, they can also be built relatively fast, and may serve to both housing and office space, often, combining the two. It’s a devilish irony then that, after finding lighter and more environmentally-friendly materials, builders ran into such a disheartening problem.
Going back to the Big Apple, construction of big glass towers has reached a feverish pitch, and one group of buildings stand above all others, for what they mean to the city: the ones that are rising at Ground Zero, some already receiving their first tenants, and the tallest of them all, World Trade Center 1, slated to be completed in a year.
Like the doomed Twin Towers they’re now, at least physically, replacing, Continue reading

Skywalkers

Wallenda Over Niagara Falls
& Petit to Cross Grand Central

A city so vertical as this, one would think that many New Yorkers would have the daring habit of walking on wires, high above its noisy streets. And yet, they are few and far between. That may not change even after next week, when Nik Wallenda, a member of royalty if you follow this sort of daring-do stunt, crosses the Niagara Falls, over 400 miles away from Manhattan.
It’s certainly not because skywalking has become an almost relic of the past: many touring circuses and performing acts still routinely feature it. Neither it may be because of some perceived intimidating shadow cast by Philippe Petit, the Frenchman who walked between the Twin Towers in the 1970s. He too may be awing us in the autumn at Grand Central Terminal.
For a megalopolis that grew used to witnessing thousands of skyscrapers rise, built mostly by an elite of Mohawks and their descendants, such a quasi-lost brand of thrilling entertainment is curiously absent of most busker performances throughout the year.
It doesn’t help things the fact that troupes such as the Flying Karamazov Brothers, who visit us often, are mainly comedic acts despite their name, rarely venturing above its members’ heads, and that these days, a circus performer is rarely confined to a single Continue reading

Daredevils

Flying Wallenda Is Set
To Revive Niagara Falls

In 1978, a 73-old German daredevil fell to his death from a high-wire stretched 121ft high above San Juan of Puerto Rico. It was the end of a storied career for the founder of the famed aerial act The Great Wallendas and of an era when the Continue reading

Of Birds & Beams

Migratory Birds Get Lost
Within 9/11 Twin Beams

From a distance, it looked like silver confetti. Or shredded paper from a ticker tape parade. But it turned out to be 10,000 trapped birds that momentarily had lost their sense of direction. The “Tribute of Light,” those two beams of light that are lit every Continue reading