A Human Menagerie · The Comfort Zone

Marking Exams In Holland.

My friend Hendrik and I were chatting, and he mentioned that his university had cut the time he would have to mark his exams. He said that they were only allowing him two weeks instead of three to hand in the results.

Naturally, being me, I asked him if three years ago, they’d told him that he’d only have three weeks to mark the exams instead of four?

All Hendrik could say was “how can you know that?”

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Mind The Gap! · Modern Times

MiG 25: Codename Foxbat.

Towards the end of the display, four jets flew across the airfield.  Nobody knew what they were! What's more, the Russians weren't telling.
Grainy footage from Domodyedovo military display in 1967.

It is 9 July 1967, the international air display at Domodyedovo military airfield near Moscow. Partly to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the 1917 revolution, it was also there to show off what Moscow allowed the public to see. Not that this was ever much. Towards the end of the display, four jets flew across the airfield.

Nobody knew what they were! What’s more, the Russians weren’t telling. Even Russian enthusiasts only had the American magazines for information. Nobody knew what was going on. Some experts thought it an upgraded MiG 23, others something else. Speculation was rife.

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A Sideways View · Reality

How The Brexit Was Won.

It wasn't supposed to be like this. It wasn't supposed to happen. Britain was supposed to stay in the Union. A lot of money was spent on keeping Britain in the European Union!
A carnival float depicts British Prime Minister Theresa May with a gun and the writing ‘Brexit’ on it prior to the traditional carnival parade in Duesseldorf, Germany, on Monday, Feb. 27, 2017.

Today, a reluctant but outwardly happy Theresa May will sign and deliver the letter to the European Union that invokes Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty. This will start the two year process whereby the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland will leave the European Union, the European Free Trade Area and a few other incidental agreements.

It wasn’t supposed to be like this. It wasn’t supposed to happen. Britain was supposed to stay in the Union.

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Economics · Modern Times

What A Mistake To Make!

In well heeled suburbs, there will be a Merc parked in every driveway
A Merc 500.
I can see by the clean styling that the Mammut’s had his hands on it.

There is something about a German car that the Americans love. The Americans love Japanese cars too, but somehow the larger Japanese cars simply don’t have the panache of a Mercedes Benz 500 series sedan. In well heeled suburbs, there will be a Merc parked in every driveway with the only difference being the colour of the individual status symbol.

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A Human Menagerie · Mind The Gap!

Wim Wenders: Paris, Texas. Part 3.

Houston, Texas.

Neither of them is cut out for surveillance work. Waiting is bad enough; surveillance means being alert whilst waiting: the tedium is doubled.
The stake-out in Houston. Travis quickly loses interest.
Credit: Road Movies Filmproduktion, WDR.

Travis and Hunter arrive in Houston, Texas. Anne had told Travis about how Jane had opened a bank account for Hunter and put money in it every month on the fifth. At the time of telling, it would be the second or third. This meant a decision had to be taken, and Travis took it. That’s when he and Hunter arrived at the roadside eatery to phone Anne.

On the morning of the fifth, Travis and Hunter have staked out the bank. Hunter at one end, Travis in the car at the other. Neither of them is cut out for surveillance work. Waiting is bad enough; surveillance means being alert whilst waiting: the tedium is doubled. Travis gets bored and starts looking elsewhere with his binoculars. Hunter falls asleep.

By luck or by chance – more likely a way to shorten the plot – Hunter wakes to see his mum in a little red motorcar.

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Our Subconscious

Coming Clean On The Subconscious.

There are well over a dozen posts on the topic of the Subconscious, and twenty on my private blog. Yet in all of them I haven’t discussed the subject directly. However, there was a purpose in this: none of us can perceive our subconscious in any way. My rambling around the subject has been on account of this problem: putting the situation backwards meant that it’s been possible to describe the outward manifestation of the subconscious without speaking about it directly.

After all, nobody can see it, so speaking about it directly will imply that I am stark raving mad. Well, no few people think that already; the problem being that in telling me that I am mad, they inevitably demonstrate the nature of the subconscious. They do this by hanging themselves with their own rope (1).

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Our Subconscious

Two Portraits.

I presume the person is the upright column of rectangular blocks of colour. Given that this is a beach, it’s entirely possible that this is a lighthouse and the other blocks of colour are the person. With this level of communicativeness, it really is pot luck.
Nicholas de Staël, “Figure On The Beach” 1952.
Kunstsammlung Nordrhein Westfalen, Düssedorf

I was chatting with a friend on Facebook, which led me to post his earlier than planned.

It was two weeks ago that I visited the Museum de Fundatie in Zwolle, and their exhibition “Zie de Mens, 100 Jaar, 100 Gezichten” – See the man, 100 years, 100 portraits. I hadn’t really intended to go, it is modern art, after all. There were one or two pictures that were worth seeing – Isaac Israël’s portrait of a woman standing in front of van Gogh’s sunflowers most certainly was, and is to be the focus of an upcoming post.

This post deals with the freedom a painter has when it comes to putting a brush onto canvas. I mean, it is possible to paint practically anything and people from Picasso to Jackson Pollock have pushed the boundaries well beyond the sensible, leave alone the intelligible. Thankfully, this is an exhibition focussing on portraiture.

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