Popular Culture

Sam Minton in drag

I have not brought myself to pay this year’s dues on my long-term membership in AICA-USA, the United States section of the Association Internationale des Critiques d’Art. Founded in 1950 in Paris (hence the acronym), it presents its mission as “elevating the values of art criticism as a discipline, and acting on behalf of the physical and moral defense of works of art.” [Embalming criticism in an academic discipline sends cold steel through the heart of the kind of lively observations recorded by the Goncourt brothers. Continue Reading
Facing Or Masking Ourselves

Here within the orbit of Manhattan, masks are not merely tolerated; they are embraced. Obedience to Covidian biopolitics elevated masking to a sacramental act. It has become the secular analogy to sprinkling holy water or making the sign of the cross. Merit accrues to a new ritual observance that effaces individual identity and desensitizes us to the complex role of faces in personal communication. This compulsive masking sharpens my memory of words that have stayed with me since girlhood: “By the time you are 40, you are responsible for your own face.” Continue Reading
Transgenderism & Politically Correct Psychosis

It did not take long for California gubernatorial candidate Caitlyn Jenner to evolve in a politically correct way about transgenderism on the playing field. And he is not even in office yet. The Federalist reports his recent evolution on the “non-issue” of biological males competing against biological women in sports:
I’m not running as a trans activist, I’m running as a California citizen that has lived there for 48 years,” said Jenner. “What I would do as governor is I would put together a commission.
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Advertising poster

“An iPhone is not a robot. It’s a personal assistant. You should be better acquainted with it.” So scolded a tattooed techie at the Apple Store’s Genius Bar. I gave a guilty shrug but did not say anything. There seemed no point in explaining that my only concept of a personal assistant was a living person. Someone to light and guide me—more like Jeeves than Alexa. I wanted the sound of a voice that came from the diaphragm, not from an algorithm. Continue Reading
Tweety Bird

Caitlyn Jenner’s first campaign ad has received a surprisingly warm reception from conservative commentators. Are they afraid to be impolite? Cowed by the word transphobic? There is nothing conservative about transgenderism or Jenner’s aggressive assertion of trans identity. The ad itself, while it scans images of California’s decay, specifies no policy solutions. It relies on name recognition and Jenner’s itch to “shatter glass ceilings.” Ceilings serve a purpose. Are we so acclimated to the grotesque that we no longer recognize it for what it is? Continue Reading