Dutch ‘Tulip Fever’ or ‘Tulip Mania’ was neither Fever nor Mania. Discuss.

cropped-logo1.pngOften used to describe the madness of crowds, the dot-com bubble, and most recently the modern day gold rush for cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, 17th-century Dutch Tulip Mania has become the go-to case study illustrating the dangers of wanton speculation and how it leads to a spectacular decline, bubble burst, or crash.

The Smithsonian takes a look at the veracity of such references and finds them all to be little more than rubbish.  We tend to agree.

Image: The Tulip Folly, Wikimedia Commons

Living In Hotel California With ‘Tiffany Twisted’ Supergirl (26)

The Big Art Theory Blog turns us on to art and artists with whom we may not have been familiar which is wonderful, but more than that, the talented writers help us to think about why we may like or dislike, a particular work of art. The writers act as docents, taking us on a tour through the many levels of our own emotional responses, visual associations, and contextual experiences, that a work of art may evoke in us.  As if each one were an installation in the gallery of our own mind. Good stuff, not to mention we can always use a shot of culture and beauty.

For example, Anna Lucy shows us the work of artists David Hockney and Ania Luk, as well as a few of her own, in her post ‘Living in Hotel California With ‘Tiffany Twisted’ Supergirl‘.  Composed by Don Felder, Glenn Frey, and Don Henley, the lyrics have been conjectured to mean quite a bit over the years since it’s 1977 release.  Some of these interpretations, while little more than myth, have become part of popular culture.  For those of a certain age, the song, like it or not, has become inextricably linked to images and personal memories, maybe a time or a place, or even certain smells.  These associations, to a lesser degree,

The lyrics of the titular song, composed by Don Felder and written by Glenn Frey and Don Henley, have been conjectured to mean quite a bit over the years since it’s 1977 release.  Some of these interpretations, while little more than myth, have become part of popular culture.  For those of a certain age, the song, like it or not, may have become inextricably linked to images and personal memories, maybe a time or a place, or even certain smells that come flooding back upon rehearing the opening chords to Felder’s harmony.  These associations, to a certain degree, may result from the phenomenon of synesthesia, and it is there where Anna begins our tour.

For those unfamiliar, check out The Eagles performing Hotel California in this live performance from the Capital Centre in Washington, D.C. some time in the late 1970’s.  If it is blocked in the States, update your VPN

For more of Anna Lucy’s writing, follow along over at the Big Art Theory Blog.

We adore this piece but you can find out plenty more about David Hockney and Ania Luk as well as work they have done and upcoming exhibits here and here,  We have certainly become obsessed.  We wish we would have caught Hockney’s 2011 exhibit at the ROM.

Big thanks to Anna H. Lucy and the folks over at the Big Art Theory Blog for the inspiration!

David Hockney, Portrait of Nick Wilder, 1966, Oil on Canvas


Big Art Theory Blog

‘An artist is an art lover who finds that in all the art he sees, something is missing: to put there what he feels is missing becomes the center of his life’s work’  Romare Bearden

‘Kalispera, welcome Madame!’ – I heard the enthusiastic voice in the doorway as I arrived at the ‘Blue Beach Hotel’ in Chania, Greece.  I’ve never mentioned it before but from her early childhood I knew that visiting a new  place is likely to make me ‘feel’ the symptoms of synesthesia.

Let me explain you first what hides behind the mysterious phenomenon. Similarly to Tori Amos, Pharrell Williams, Marilyn Monroe, Vladimir Nabokov, David Hockney or Vincent Van Gogh, I possess the unique ability to ‘merge’ several senses at the same time. In one of the online articles I’ve read that actually 4% of our society are synestheists.

David_Hockney_Swimming_PoolDavid Hockney, A Bigger Splash, 1967, © David Hockney…

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The Ramones, ‘Rocket to Russia – Deluxe Edition’ drops November 24th

From Rolling Stone magazine, Rhino will release a deluxe edition of The Ramones ‘Rocket to Russia’ on November 24th.  The three-CD set will contain two remixes of the album, previously unheard tracks, and a live concert recording from December 19th, 1977, at the Apollo Centre theater in Glasgow, Scotland.

If anywhere near as good as their previous collection of the seminal punk band’s work, we will be waiting for this one to drop.

Stephen Hawking Thinks People Who Boast about their I.Q. are ‘Losers’

In this interview, Professor Stephen Hawking, a guy people tell us thinks real good, once told Piers Morgan that ‘people who boast about their I.Q. are losers’.  Is it just us or does noted scholar Morgan appear a bit uncomfortable with the professor’s statement?

We found John Oliver’s follow-up to particularly be a scream.

Six Word Stories #25 and Flash Fiction

For sale: baby shoes, never worn.

For the uninitiated, legend holds that it was Ernest Hemingway who penned that six-word tale which for years now has inspired writers to attempt their own succinct masterpieces.  Also called flash fiction, these diminutive novels can be clever and often inspirational.

Like those that be found over at unbolt.me where we came across #25 which we found irresistibly evocative.

Her silhouette makes a cello envious.

Tetiana Aleksinaunbolt.meSix Word Stories #25

The author may not have been conjuring Lauren Bacall or Josephine Baker as we did –  remarkably English isn’t even her native tongue – but we thought it just dripped with 1920’s Pulp Noir appeal.  After all, it is what is left to the imagination, wherein the beauty of the Six-Word Story lies.

Continue reading Six Word Stories #25 and Flash Fiction

Trump’s Hair on other Presidents | Martin Van Buren

One night a few of us were here at the office, and the topic of bad Presidential hair came up and we got a bit carried away with ourselves.

Maybe we should have a go at old Marty Van B’s public toilet seat/mutton chop ‘do on President Concealer?

[Ladies or gentlemen, why are his eyes always so white? Does he not know how to blend his foundation?]

If Joe Buck was calling Trump’s hair, it would be going from first to third on blooper to right.  Martin Van Buren is widely considered as having the worst presidential hair in history.  I mean … damn!  Legend has it he used to comb that shit with a pork chop.

But then we noticed that it was like Trump’s and Van Buren’s hair seemed to almost need each other.  “Marty-baby, where have you been all my life?  Super.”  Can you think of any other Presidents with awful lids that deserve a Trumping?  Let us know.

UPDATE: While John Quincy Adams’ mug may scare small children and Nixon’s lid was not entirely dissimilar from Trump’s – difference being Trump combs his back hair forward and Nixon his nostril hair back – there really isn’t another president with worse hair than these two nudniks.


Paper Airplane

John Quincy Adams – Little scary but he was a great Pres. so he gets a bit of a hall pass.  I will say this though, if he was ever happy, he should have told his face.

Paper AirplaneRichard Nixon – He rocked front-to-back, like a catcher trying to throw out the runner stealing second – Resigned before Congress could impeach, try, convict …

Paper AirplaneTrump – Back-to-Front – If you play Trump’s hair backwards, does it say, “I am not a crook, I am not a crook …” over and over?

Paper AirplaneDonald Trump-Grant – We gotta say, even the elderly hobo look is a step up.  Grant’s beard and crow’s feet seem to impart, if not a measure of wisdom, at least a couple IQ points.




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