Saturday, July 26, 2008

Iron Man, Not Batman

If you are looking for a heroic movie, with a benevolent world view, I recommend Iron Man and not Batman: The Dark Knight.

It is the good I love, the good I want in my life, the good I aspire to. I want and need heroes like Iron Man, John Galt, Sir Percy Blakeney, Cyrano de Bergerac. In a pinch I will take and can see value in characters like Batman, but the aesthetic universe they inhabit is so twisted and evil that admiring them for longer than two hours requires a lot of work with very little return value.

A character like Tony Stark will give one fuel to work harder and longer, because the payoff -- life, success, happiness -- are known to be possible. And that evil, no matter how big, insidious or cunning, is doomed to failure because its nature is one not of rationality, intelligence and building, but of irrationality and destruction.

A character like Joker in "The Dark Knight" is simply not realistic. A person as accurately described by the line, "Some men just want to see the world burn," are not capable of the intricate and detailed planning that you the Joker evidently does in this movie. The Joker is one that will kill every member of his bank robbing gang as soon as they complete their job and is the type that would $34 million dollars just because he can. But he is not the type who could manage several large teams, weeks of planning, and operate with level of sophistication to compete as successfully as he did against the likes of Batman, Harvey Dent, Lt. James Gordon, and Lucius Fox.

In fact the above along with Batman's weakness (his asinine rule) is shown in the scene when using all of their technological and intellectual superiority Batman and Gordon foil the Joker's attempt to kill Dent on the way to the County Jail. All Batman had to do was pull the trigger and the Joker would be dead, and we would have had a great ending to the movie. Instead, Batman's rule dictates that he cannot kill the Joker so instead he crashes his bike, risking his life to save the Joker and Dent simply arrests the most evil entity to grace the silver screen in quite sometime.

How many lives could have been saved if Joker was killed at this point? Alfred's lie about Rachel's love would never have come up. Rachel and Dent would still be alive. The wholly contrived scene involving the two ships choosing which of them should be blown up or sacrificed for the other.

Yes, quite consistently and very heroically Batman stays true to his principles. But in a universe as constructed in this latest film, I do not see it being a value to hold and stay true to principles. There are reasons why integrity, honesty, productivity and justice are principles. In a benevolent universe these virtues help one to live and succeed. You rightly risk your life defending them and standing up for what you believe.

In a universe where your guiding light is that you cannot kill even the most evil of beings, where your closest and dearest friends must lie to you to save your sanity, and where the public must be constantly lied to or feed half-truths in order for them to do what you consider right, then I say principles be damned. Why? Because these principles and facts can lead _only_ to your destruction.

One needs principles to live, one does not live for principles.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Hall of Fame for Great Americans

I only heard of this in the past year or so, and I've yet to be able to visit while in New York. But I think this is just the greatest thing ever: HFGA

The name certianly rings true me -- a very fitting name for what it is. I place to honor great Americans: Edison, Washington, Jefferson, Bell, Westinghouse, the Wright Brothers, Patrick Henry. Anyone tell me why the words, "I'm proud to be an American..." are reverberating threw my head? Oh yeah, I know. :-)

Ammendum 8/15/2008
Her is a nice article on the Hall of Fame:

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Ugliest Building in the World Contest

Move over Frank Gehry, we have the lastest entery into the World's Ugliest Building Contest:

Central Chinese Television's New Headquarter's building:

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Reading Girl, by Pietro Magni

There are not a lot of great photo's of Magni's "The Reading Girl" online. So I thought you all might enjoy a scan of a postcard I purchased from the National Gallery:

Also, here is a beautiful study, by Peitro Magni, for the scultpure.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Art Weekend

I just returned from a mini art vacation. I drove up to D.C. and visited the National Gallery, Dupont Circle, the Corcoran Gallery, Library of Congress, Mount Vernon, and Frank Lloyd Wright's Pope-Leighey House. I swear I am the best damn tour guide / trip planner in the world.

I will probably blog about my trip for the next few days, but for now I want to make sure that I show off a couple of the sculptures I got to see:

Imortal Love, by Daniel Chester French.

The Reading Girl, Magni

Sans Souci, by Chauncey B. Ives

There was a lot more. I'll post when I find all the images. Man, in addition to this blog, I really need to start my own art site again!