Commenting anonymously surely gives folks an extra bit of courage right? Strident assertions with a side order of hubris. I really don't get many ugly comments or personal attacks here at my little corner of the drivel depositing world and the ones I do get that call me out on things I do or wear usually make me laugh and declare touche'. I like the fact that when I'm aggravating my cousin TinTin over at The Trad-he knows the incoming SCUD is from little ole me. I wouldn't think of doing it sub rosa. Actually, I've never commented anonymously but after the fun I've had writing this post I might start doing so.
This anonymous comment isn't that malicious but after I laughed at it's impertinence I decided it was worth an additional comment or two. Statements with this much depth-gravitas and relevance deserve comment. I mean come on ... there can't be much in the world less pertinent than GTH pants so why would I expect anything but profundities such as....
"Some of us feel like saying GTH to people who wear such things, I assure you, because that's precisely what you're saying to us."
Au contraire my overintellectual-underemployed Starbucks fancy coffee order caller outer. The fabric of your existence is just as provocative...just as impertinently GTH as my garish patterned togs.You know who you are-the guy whose parents are still wondering why they paid over a hundred grand for the private university experience that manifested the current you-the you subsequently adorned with a GTH undergraduate degree...something like Russian Lit. or Pacific Rim Job Anthropolgy. Degrees that would have been fine if you'd gone on and become a full fledged academic. But no, that would have interfered with your Grunge Band-Garage Noise making practices.
Wow that felt good! Now I know why anonymous commenters comment anonymously. You can mount baseless personal attacks that release a cascade of dopamine, GABA and other primal neurochemical goodies. I might get hooked on this because I've just thought of another round of personal attacks for our commenter. I could go on with a Janis Ian..."those of us with ravaged faces....names never called when choosing sides for basketball" kind of a thang about the guy/gal and his/her childhood but I won't. But if I did I'd comment about how they probably didn't get to be on the Safety Patrol or the Audio Visual Club in elementary school or damn...the Yearbook Staff in high school. But I won't because that just wouldn't be nice.
And all of this over a pair of britches. So in closing my anonymous reader, let me say that I hope that you'll always come back and leave a snarky comment or two between band practice and your Starbucks shift. You'll also be pleased to know that because I have you in mind specifically when I choose trousers, I've renamed my yellow corduroys in honor of you-just for you. They are my....Kiss My Ass pants.
J.A.M. Whistler, the American expat painter in London took on such anonymous commenters for sport. Nineteenth century London didn't afford anonymity when critics posited on the works of artists and Whistler fought them head-on...Often times to his detriment. He won his action against Ruskin but was awarded only a farthing damages. Ruskin in his dotage commented stridently and harshly about a Whistler Nocturne on display at the Grosvenor Gallery in New Bond Street. Ruskin's comment had something to do with impertinence and arrogance. Similar to the arrogance and impertinence manifest in wearing paisley or batik print cotton pants. With his pride restored and a farthing in his pocket-bankrupt as a result, Whistler decamped to Venice for the dual purposes of sulking and etching. Hell, Whistler was such a bellicose little scrapper that he wrote an entire book on the subject-not just a letter to the editor now and then. The Gentle Art of Making Enemies is Whistler's tome on the subject.
Now on to the Master....
Thanks to the original gifts of Charles Lang Freer and to your current Federal Tax dollars, I can get within twenty minutes from my nest... visual medicine...soothing salves to make my days less hectic and my life back in balance. I'm afraid I take our DC museums for granted and admit that we locals are spoiled. One of my favorite things to do is head over to the Freer and go directly downstairs where the gift shop and restrooms are located. For on a wall downstairs is always a slightly askew Whistler display. Usually not robust enough to warrant a showing upstairs but thematically meaningful to us Whistler fanatics. They had on display down there for years, the three paintings that Whistler requested be in his view as he lay dying in his Chelsea house.
Currently, they have Nocturnes. Examples in drypoint-etching-oil and watercolour of Whistler's gift for creating the mood and ambiance of evening-of declining light. The oil above is from the Cremorne Gardens. A seedy amusement venue just a few minutes walk from Cheyne Walk/Lindsey Row where Whistler lived and frequently the subject of his work. His pigments-colors-shadings that in aggregate created the mood of his nocturnes was often so attenuated with spirits and thinners that he called it his "sauce". He was known to put the board or canvas flat on the floor in order for the watery layer of color to actually stay put.
I love many things about Whistler and one is his ability to create visual treats using diverse mediums. (I would love an anonymous round of venom taking me to task for not using "media" versus "medium"in the previous sentence) He could with needle and plate create a drypoint nocturne. When he decamped to Venice to create the etching series known as The Venice Set he also returned to London with scores of little oils and pastels. It is rumored that when it was a bit to chilly for his liking he would set aside his needle and plate while etching and instead would pick up paper and a box of pastels and do little drawings of sites until it suitably warmed up to accommodate the feel he needed from and etching needle.
And....the bravest medium of all. Watercolour. Artist using oil paints can literally take a palette knife and scrape off a mistake and go again. Fumble with watercolour and it's time to start the whole damn thing over.
The Thames....a favorite Whistler subject. The Greaves brothers...especially Walter...neighbors of Whistler...used to row him out on the Thames so that he could catch his desired glimpses of the river and the Thames side villages. Often at night.
Have a blessed Sunday. I'm off to select for the day...a pair of trousers-provocative togs-pissy pantaloons. Then it's over to Starbucks to order one of those Oh-da-doo-dah-day lattes with an extra shot of E-I-E-I-O.