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Medium 9781855759442

28. Wishful Lacanian

Source: Off the Couch
Slice ePub May 24, 2014

Medium 9780982417126

5. Stimulus: It IsJust Spending

Slice ePub May 15, 2014

When the economy began to deteriorate more rapidly following the financial panic in September 2008, the economy's desperate need for another dose of stimulus became increasingly clear. And although the economy had been shedding jobs since December 2007, the rate of job loss quickened following the collapse of AIG and Lehman. The economy lost 380,000 jobs in October and another 1.3 million in November and December. The unemployment rate hit 7.2 percent in December 2008, a full percentage point above its September level.

While the economy was deteriorating, Washington was largely paralyzed because of the election. President Obama won a decisive victory on November 4, but it was still two and a half months before he would take office. In principle, Congress could have pushed through a stimulus package providing for tax cuts or spending in areas where it could reach agreement with the Bush administration.

Aid to state and local governments would have seemed an obvious choice. At that point, collapsing house prices were already leading to a big hit on property tax collections, in addition to the falloff in sales and income tax revenue due to the downturn. And governments at all levels were finding borrowing much more costly due to the chaos in financial markets. In response, local governments across the country were cutting services and jobs, and raising taxes, all steps that would worsen the recession. Funding commitments from Washington could have relieved some pressure from these governments.

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Medium 9781855759107

6. The struggle of life and death wishes

Slice ePub May 22, 2014

No more bee greev’d at that which thou hast done
Roses have thorns, and silver fountaines mud,
Clouds and eclipses staine both Moone and Sunne,
And loathsome canker lives in sweetest bud.

Shakespeare, Sonnet 35

In fourteenth- and fifteenth-century Italian painting, there is a tradition according to which the Virgin receives the Annunciation in five different and successive modes—Disquiet, Reflection, Inquiry, Submission, and Merit (Baxandall, 1972). It was thought that she had to work her way through all of these reactions. If we look at some of these paintings, we see that the artist conceived her state of mind in many different ways, far overstepping the limits of this tradition.

Fra Filippo Lippi’s Annunciation (Figure 6) shows the Virgin’s submission; the angel bends towards her gently knowing the heavy import of what he has to say. In Fra Angelico’s fresco in San Marco (Figure 7), the Virgin’s body seems to submit; her hands are perhaps protecting her, but her face is full of an acceptance with yearning to understand what is being said. Contrast both of these with the earlier painting by Simone Martini (Figure 8), where the Virgin recoils aghast and the angel seems full of foreboding. In Piero della Francesca’s painting (Figure 9), the Virgin does not show such violent revulsion, but she looks disturbed and proud— as if she knows that her life will never be the same again. The Archangel Gabriel is solemn and restrained, and, above them, God the Father ordains how things shall be. Earlier yet, Duccio (Figure 10) shows Mary submitting, perhaps cowering and troubled, and the angel as determined and rather unsympathetic. With Tintoretto (Figure 11), we have a clear portrayal of the thunderbolt that burst into Mary’s life, knocking her off balance and interrupting her life. The movement of the dove, perhaps symbolizing in this picture the conception, has a direct and even aggressive quality. My point is that tradition gave a rather acceptable list of Mary’s feelings, but these painters had a more lively idea of what all this might have meant to her.

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Medium 9781847770639

It’s Time to Deepen the Gulf Left by the Roots

Slice PDF February 23, 2015

I said:

‘It could have been a stray shell or a missile.

Somewhere there may be a cannon, or an invisible jet.’

The tree had already gone,

Leaving a gap in the horizon

And there we were, stunned by the impact of its swift retreat.

It’s time to deepen the gulf left by its roots.

I sat on the seat that spanned the boat

And grabbed the oars, wrenching them against the water as the boat sped towards the bank of al-Abbasiyya

I gazed like an idiot into the face of my friend.

He was rendered speechless.

The Jumhouriyya Bridge appeared to the left, but just like the tree, it was leaving,

Wrenching up its cement pillars that had their roots in the water,

With a wrenching sound, it was vanishing over the horizon.

Our boat slips in among the row of boats at the wharf.

We leap across to the bank and mount the concrete steps in soaking shoes.

From the barrage walk, we look towards our house

And find it rotting by dint of the rain:

Its gutter-spout seems to be missing…

Thirty years go by, and then my friend sends me this letter.

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Medium 9781937538187


Slice ePub May 27, 2014

Flamin’ Amy

My goal was to capture the spirit of my friend Amy on her birthday in her brand new dress. In this tutorial I hope to inspire you to have fun with your iPhone, approach your shot with an open mind, and experiment with different compositions and angles. You’ll learn how to eliminate distracting background elements to draw focus to your main subject and use color filters to enhance, clarify, and add punch to your subject. Finally, I will show you how to bring the whole image together with texture and color to give the overall picture a similar tone.


Filterstorm (or any app with a cloning tool)


ScratchCam FX (or other texture app)

My goal is to always have fun with my iPhone and to experiment as much as possible. In 2011 I was fortunate enough to have a great muse at work—my good friend and colleague Amy Maslin. She dresses in a very individual style, and it is great fun to capture different Amy personas almost every day (always outside of work hours, of course).

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