holditnow

Tag: blogging

Is the Interweb making us stupid?

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All knowledge is two YouTube videos away. You need to fix your garage door opener; there’s a YouTube video for that. How do I install a toilet? There’s a YouTube video for that. What’s the hero’s journey according to Joseph Campbell? YouTube. What’s the difference between an ionic and covalent bond? YouTube, YouTube, YouTube and so on. I say two YouTube videos because not all YouTube videos are created equal, as well you need the second one to confirm the findings of the first one and lastly if you’re like me you have trust issues. Who does this guy think he is explaining the laws of thermal dynamics anyways?

So why with such a rich wealth of knowledge at our fingertips are we becoming so stupid?

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We really don’t have to look any further than the comment section directly underneath our lovely YouTube University. For every drop of insight there’s a sea of ignorance. Everything’s political and no one’s listening to anything that diverts their emotional base. My new pet peeve are the political videos that claim So-and-So DESTROYS So-and-So. The only thing being destroyed here is the value of words. In most cases casual viewers cherry-pick their team’s words and claim instant victory. Discourse is healthy unless it becomes a Garfield without Garfield comic where you remove your opponents ideas from influencing you in anyway. Destroys: the ball hasn’t moved an inch.

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Both sides of the argument are equally guilty of demonizing the opposing team and the internet is a giant megaphone. How did so many smart people get sucked into such a stupid predicament? This sounds like a textbook example of hell: you’ll  be condemned to a circular argument with a deaf, dumb and blind troll with a bullhorn for eternity. Insert proper cliche here. Indignation has become the designer drug of the 21st century.

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Maybe the potential of the internet was too good for us and we weren’t meant to have nice things. Maybe we should just stick to Aunt Petunia’s gardening blog and call it a day. Maybe politicians do have our best interests in mind. Maybe internet trolls are really doing God’s work and exposing the flimsiness of our convictions. Maybe brawn over brain is the way to go. Maybe facts don’t really matter. Maybe listening and compromise are antiquated ideals.  Maybe a world without Art is better off. Maybe we get what we deserve. Maybe… but no.

Don’t be stupid.

 

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Top 3 posts of 2015

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These were the 3 most viewed posts on holditnow in 2015.

Birdman: “a thing is a thing, not what is said of that thing.”

Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) slowly unravels like a sweater caught on a nail. Birdman unspools relentlessly through a continuous maze of backstage corridors and  claustrophobic dressing rooms of a Broadway theatre that could easily stand in for the mythological labyrinth of Minos. Michael Keaton is Riggan Thomas, who is Birdman; who may have or may not have been Icarus. Birdman reads like a Fable. Birdman felt more like a performance than a movie. While watching Birdman, I didn’t want it to end, right up until it did.

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pinkie and blueboy

Pinkie and the Blue Boy

It’s the classic boy meets girl story. Married by a curator/collector in 1927 resulting in a relationship cemented by sentimentalism; Thomas Gainsborough’s The Blue Boy 1770 and Sir Thomas Lawrence’s Pinkie 1794 have been eternally entwined in the  collective consciousness of the wigs and keys crowd since the early twentieth century. They are the subjects of endless reproductions, porcelain figurines, commemorative plates and all manner of kitsch. Two youths betrothed to one another by the place they shared on a museum wall. The girl in pink and the boy in blue; how perfect is that?

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Van Gogh vs Picasso

Van Gogh and Picasso are two of the most recognizable names on the planet. Countless books and millions of words have been devoted to their lives and work. Their art changed the way people see the world around them. This fact is no small feet and these men were 2 in 107,602,707,791There weren’t billions of people waiting in line for  Picasso Masterpieces from the Musee National Picasso, Paris in Toronto or for Van Gogh: Up Close in Ottawa but at times it felt like there was. The big names bring the big crowds. For me this is a mixed blessing. I love the fact that people are going en masse to experience art and taking the time to truly look at things but it can make viewing the art troublesome. This summer has been a spoils of riches for the art going public, with two blockbuster shows just four hours away from one another. So, this past week I made my pilgrimage to spend time with two of the icons of western art.

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Happy New Year and see you in 2016.

 

Who’s the Greatest Artist? The Story so Far

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Blogging can be a tricky business at best, coming up with engaging content is not always easy. Sometimes you have to set yourself a challenge to get the juices flowing. Any regular readers of this blog will have noticed an irregular set of posts entitled Who’s the Greatest Artist? What I thought would be a quick summer series has now stretched out over two years. I hadn’t really appreciated the scope of the project when I started down this road, but I would have to say it being one of the most enjoyable to research and write. Close to 14 000 words later and here we are. As I approach writing the final four face-offs: Picasso vs Van Gogh and Da Vinci vs Michelangelo, I thought I would compile the story so far.

Who's the greatest artist

Here’s the one that started it all and explains the premise – Who’s the Greatest Artist?

picasso vs rembrandt

I didn’t want to make it easy on myself so I intentionally tried to create difficult match-ups – Picasso vs Rembrandt

goya vs rothko

I liked the idea of using the artist’s likenesses in the banner for each piece – Goya vs Rothko

dali vs warhol

In my mind the outcome of some match-ups were more obvious than others – Dali vs Warhol

Da Vinci vs Duchamp

I liked this one because it pits two very intellectual artists against one another – Da Vinci vs Duchamp

bacon vs basquiat

As I went along, it was increasingly enjoyable to find the parallels between the two – Bacon vs Basquiat

cezanne vs kandinsky

This may have been one of the more difficult one’s to decide – Cezanne vs Kandinsky 

Velazquez vs Van Goght

Sometimes the two artists couldn’t be more unalike if you tried –Velazquez vs Van Gogh

michelangelo vs matisse

This was a tough one because whoever got eliminated could easily have gone on to the top of the bracket –

Michelangelo vs Matisse

That was the first round, now I had the daunting task of writing about some of the same artists all over again but try to keep it fresh. In my mind I knew I had to pace myself and if I knew a particular artist might advance I had to keep some interesting information for later. Some pairings really helped to inform the direction the piece would take. Now on to the quarter-finals.

picasso vs warhol

I made sure I found pictures where they are both wearing their ‘trademark’ striped shirts – Warhol vs Picasso

bacon vs van gogh

This one was probably the most lopsided of the bunch – Bacon vs Van Gogh

da vinci vs goya

I had to eliminate one of my all time favourites, which is always a bit difficult – Da Vinci vs Goya

michelangelo vs cezanne

David and the Giant Peach – Michelangelo vs Cezanne

This brings us up to date and soon the semi-finals. At this point, I’m still not sure who is going to take this thing and that’s part of the enjoyment. I hope you have had a fraction of the amount of pleasure reading these things as I have had writing them.

1 Year Anniversary

Jeff Koons Party Hat 1997

Jeff Koons Party Hat 1997

Holditnow turns 1 today! Wow that went by fast. It started out as whim on a lazy afternoon and quickly turned into an addiction. I spread my net pretty wide trying to tackle all of Pop Culture and am slowly figuring out what works and what doesn’t. Turns out; you guys like it when I talk about Art and Movies a lot more than when I speak and share about Television and Music. I’m a hopeless TV addict so they’ll keep coming. I was also a DJ in a past life (granted not a very good one) so I’ll keep chipping away with mixes like this Disco to Disco.

Pathetic Fallacy 2012

Pathetic Fallacy 2012

Thanks for letting me share my artwork. My First Tablet Painting struck a chord and inspired me to keep working in this vein. Over the past year this work has gotten a lot of positive attention and is now represented by two galleries in Toronto. Art is my favourite thing to talk about/share and my very first post was an early digital work: Baconstein.

Seeing is Believing  2008

Seeing is Believing 2008

Definitely a highlight of this past year was being Freshly Pressed. The overwhelming surge of traffic for a new blogger is definitely a rush. I Want to Believe was a love letter to a childhood obsession. Thanks to all who stopped by and a big shout out to the ones that stayed. Other posts you guys liked include: Secret Gem, Picasso Vs Van Gogh, Delicatessen Review and World in My Eyes: Chicago.

Some of my personal favourites include: Creature From the Black Lagoon and Them! Review, The King and the Pauper, The Strange and Wondrous Story of The KLF and What’ so funny about peace, love and an inflatable Rabbit?

crop2Since this is a special anniversary post; I’m going to introduce a new category: Food. If anything, this might turn into a once a year thing. There are so many great food blogs out there that I know when I’m in way over my head. But Toronto is such a wonderful place to live with so many great places to eat I’d be remiss in not adding one more log on the fire. Over the last year, a friend and myself have been eating at a new place in the city every week and here are a few recommendations.

Best Ramen: Kenzo 

Don’t be confused, this is the North York restaurant close to Steeles. The downtown ones are good but this one is outa sight.

Best Meat on a Bun: Porchetta and Co

One word: crackling.

Best Milkshake: Holy Chuck

The Nutella and salted caramel will haunt you for days.

Best Taco: La Carnita

Come for the In cod we trust fish taco, stay for the key lime pie on a stick.

Best Cornbread: Southern Accent

Funky staple in Mirvish Village.

Best Schnitzel: Cafe Polonez

They serve a great platter of Polish comfort food.

Best Counter: The Stockyards

Last time we were there, we sat beside one of the Kids in the Hall.

Best Meatball: 7 numbers

Years later and people are still lined up out the door.

Thanks again for a great year.

Holditnow

What a Difference a Day Makes

 

I just wanted to thank the WordPress team as well as everyone who stopped by, liked and commented. The ‘Freshly Pressed’ experience is definitely a blast. Now I’m going to take a short break  to pick up the pieces.