Sir Arthur Streeb-Greebling writes:
The Day Today - where is it from? Above is a sampler starring my boyfriend Steve Coogan. So now you know.
Speaking of poetry, and Tony Blair's legacy, is this by Simon Sing on Great Britain's "Maths Year 2000". Maths is apparently poetry, which I have no doubt accepting if I took the time to learn the language of mathematics.
"A mathematician, like a painter or a poet, is a maker of patterns. If his patterns are more permanent than theirs, it is because they are made with ideas. A painter makes patterns with shapes and colours, a poet with words . . . A mathematician, on the other hand, has no material to work with but ideas, and so his patterns are likely to last longer."
At least there is a right and wrong in mathematics, so the parameters of (for?) the creation of aesthetically pleasing patterns are more defined.
Desmond Morris on how food should be for enjoyment - and if you find yourself putting on weight you should move around more.
I found this review of a piece of fiction on Wilde. I don't think I'll bother with the book myself, but I was intrigued by the following description of one of the protagonists:
Elfman's self-righteous narrator, Martin Frame, is a late-19th-century whiz-kid gynecologist who is medically years beyond his era, but he sees himself in another role—as a detective who tracks down and heals his patients' "hidden anguish."
Part of me REALLY wants to know just what a "late 19th century whiz-kid gynecologist" is like.
More on Beauty, this time in art. It looks like Barnett Newman's declaration "in 1948 that the impulse of modern art was "the desire to destroy beauty"" has run its course.
Over the past 20 years, the easiest way to do this has been to come up with something ugly: firebricks, foetus earrings, canned excrement. But ugliness, even if it is easier to produce in the short run, has the unfortunate habit of losing its edge. So what about a label that is really new and shocking - beauty, for example? You never know, it might catch on.
We learn also that modern art's ugly worship is the fault of the French. Lacan is mentioned, I bet Foucault had something to do with it as well. So artists might be moving back to creating works that are beauty is, but I still haven't worked out *just* what beauty is. I think that the answer lies in evolutionary psychology. Steven Pinker writes in one of his books that no matter where people are from they find pictures of African savannah - where we evolved - most pleasing to look at.
Was World War I necessary? asks Keith Windschuttle in this fascinating review of books by John Keegan and Niall Ferguson on the subject. I'm a bit of a Ferguson fan partly because of the whole counterfactuals issue, so it is interesting to see where Windschuttle thinks he falls down.