Archive for the ‘Arts/ Literature’ Category

And then some music videos were just stupid. But we still loved them.

Thank you Alex, for polluting my eardrums again and finding this.

This was probably the inspiration for Nancy Reagan’s “Just Say No” campaign against drugs.

Controversies over photography in the Vietnam Era

Here is the story of the retouched photo from Kent State:

Here is a video interviewing a photographer who took a photo of an SVA colonel executing a prisoner of war, and discussing the fallout from the picture.

Clip from Rebel Without a Cause

James Dean was one of the iconic young stars of the 1950s– the epitome of cool. This film, often considered a classic, was released after he had died in a tragic automobile accident.

Rebel Without a Cause

About Monsieur Batignole- A movie about the Resistance to the Nazis

Go here:

“The unseen Dorothea Lange”

Found this link about the famous photographer, Dorothea Lange, whose iconic photographs of migrant farm workers during the Great Depression put a human face on the suffering that the working classes endured during this crisis.

I’m actually posting this more for later this year, but here is it anyway.

Norman Rockwell’s paintings of the Four Freedoms

Read the story behind the paintings here:

Although Norman Rockwell was not liked very much by the art critics, he was enormously popular. His work was far too sentimental to be critically acclaimed. However, as a draftsman he was quite skilled, and he was very adept at using small details to get his point accross.

The first freedom was the freedom from want. This poster became the most famous and was also known as “The Thanksgiving painting.” Notice how he draws the observer into the painting by having the man in the lower right corner looking back outside the painting at you, thus placing the observer in the family gathered around the table. As a poster (not in the original painting), this painting is being used to encourage enlistment and support of the military.


Another freedom was freedom of worship. Notice the inclusion of the German-looking woman who is obviously Roman Catholic, since she is praying the rosary. This one also includes an African-American.


A third freedom was freedom from fear. Mom and dad tucking the kids into bed– and yes, siblings shared beds and bedrooms all the time in those days, even though this is a two-story house.


And a final freedom was freedom of speech. As the link explained this was based on a real incident at a school board meeting in the town where Rockwell was staying. The man speaking was opposed by almost everyone in the room in what he proposed, but they still respected his right to speak. And class distinction does’t matter– he’s in work clothes, while nearly everyone else is in a suit and tie. Those were the days!


Notice how three of these paintings were turned into posters to encourage buying war bonds.

Poetry in World War I: Owen’s “Mental Cases”

Before reading the poems, read this brief introduction. Then read this poem, complete with explanation.

Mental Cases

Who are these? Why sit they here in twilight?
Wherefore rock they, purgatorial shadows,
Drooping tongues from jaws that slob their relish,
Baring teeth that leer like skulls’ teeth wicked?
Stroke on stroke of pain,-but what slow panic,
Gouged these chasms round their fretted sockets?
Ever from their hair and through their hands’ palms
Misery swelters. Surely we have perished
Sleeping, and walk hell; but who these hellish?

-These are men whose minds the Dead have ravished.
Memory fingers in their hair of murders,
Multitudinous murders they once witnessed.
Wading sloughs of flesh these helpless wander,
Treading blood from lungs that had loved laughter.
Always they must see these things and hear them,
Batter of guns and shatter of flying muscles,
Carnage incomparable, and human squander
Rucked too thick for these men’s extrication.

Therefore still their eyeballs shrink tormented
Back into their brains, because on their sense
Sunlight seems a blood-smear; night comes blood-black;
Dawn breaks open like a wound that bleeds afresh.
-Thus their heads wear this hilarious, hideous,
Awful falseness of set-smiling corpses.
-Thus their hands are plucking at each other;
Picking at the rope-knouts of their scourging;
Snatching after us who smote them, brother,
Pawing us who dealt them war and madness.
————————–Wilfred Owen

Links for More Information:
More of Owen’s poetry
The Wilfred Owen Multimedia Archive