Wednesday, August 27, 2008

What makes a good actor?


The chicken or the egg? Watch his hands, while he's talking about hers. He uses them because he thinks he should, as he thinks she should, not because he knows how to do it well. His performance is funny because it's incompetent -at the very least overdetermined- and because he's unaware.
News is a shallow business and always has been. Sensationalism is broad brushes and vulgarity. Bill Clinton played to that and won.
Ads: when there's a copy on youtube I'll get rid of this one.

The Panofskys [Look at the book links on the right.]
Mantegna (whose favorite saying is reported to have been "virtuti semper adversatur ignorantia") as well as Rosso [Fiorentino] tried to express the -fundamentally unchristian- idea that ignorance rather than wickedness, not knowing what is right rather than not willing what is right, is the cause of all evil: No one sins willingly, as Socrates is believed to have said.
Pandora's Box. The Changing Aspects of a Mythical Symbol. It's good to be reminded again that the origin of rationalism is in religious argument. The history of religion is the history of fictional absolutes nudged into compliance -by elision: smoke, mirrors, poetry- with material and social fact. The history of Christian iconography is the history of the humanization of god, of bringing god literally down to earth. No theologian worth his weight, in any period, would admit to being a part of this process- admit to being a point on a predetermined route- but denials change nothing.
Nothing undermines ideology more and better than the act of putting it in context: the historian's job. Nothing undermines theology more than the study of history. Nothing undermines contemporary American liberalism, academia, and the rest, more and better than the history of what preceded them.

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