Tate Britain‘s new Pre-Raphaelites exhibition is a steam-punk triumph, a raw and rollicking resurrection of the attitudes, ideas and passions of our engineering, imperialist, industrialist, capitalist and novel-writing ancestors. The pistons are pounding, the steam is hissing, cigars are being lit and secret lives once more being concealed. The Victorians are back in town. This is as much a costume drama as a show, jam-packed with heroes and villains and innocent victims, holding up a lurid mirror to the age that built Britain.
Wednesday Reads: It’s a SinPosted: September 12, 2012
I’ve no clue what is going on in the world, it feels like I have checked out but still stuck in the same place. It is like I can see things going on around me, but I just don’t give a damn about it.
So for this morning’s thread, I have some links that I have saved along the way. Some of them are from a few weeks ago…anyway…
This first article is over my head…my son has tried to explain dark matter to me and I still don’t get it. Mathematicians offer unified theory of dark matter, dark energy, altering Einstein field equations
A pair of mathematicians — one from Indiana University and the other from Sichuan University in China — have proposed a unified theory of dark matter and dark energy that alters Einstein’s equations describing the fundamentals of gravity.
I will just let you read that article on your own.
Now for something I can comprehend, Pre-Raphaelites as costume drama: Victorians in all their lurid glory
These style of paintings have always fascinated me, maybe it is because there is something medieval about them?
The Pre-Raphaelites were painting as Karl Marx was writing his revolutionary works in the Reading Room of the British Museum. Marx and Friedrich Engels published the Communist Manifesto in 1848, the same year the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood formed. The young artists who joined this radical band saw through the hypocrisy of the factory owners who bought their paintings. In Isabella, painted in 1848-49, John Everett Millais illustrates a medieval Italian tale about the daughter of a rich merchant family who loved a penniless young clerk. Isabella’s brothers murder her unsuitable lover. Millais suggests these brothers have incestuous designs on their sister: one of them points a white-stockinged leg phallically at Isabella. The foregrounded brothers are creepy in the extreme, but the most villainous faces in Millais’ painting belong to a row of respectable bourgeois types who share their dinner table: they radiate the cold propriety of Poor Law guardians. This is a painting about secrets and lies, and Millais makes it a psychodrama full of resonance with the Victorian period.
Beautiful. Read the entire article at the link above, they have more visual images too…real nice ones.
Now, I usually love to read articles from HNN History News Network, but this has to be one subject of study I would never have thought people would take seriously. Just the title for you, The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies: The Best is Yet to Come | History News Network
Damn, I feel violated, like I need to take a shower, ugh…Ayn Rand Studies? Now that is fucked up.
Here are a couple of articles that are very important, they discuss the War on Women…well, take a look for yourself. And yes, I am quoting the whole thing.
As the most extreme anti-choice advocates push to force all politicians to accept “no exceptions” as the default position when it comes to opposing abortions, it’s stories like these that serve as a reminder of how an all out ban would effect real people.
Especially young girls.
The girl is not yet in her teens. Police say her mother’s boyfriend, who had a history of violent crime, raped her. He was ultimately shot dead by deputies trying to arrest him. She was impregnated. She was 11.
It bears repeating. Eleven.
Forget for a moment a woman’s very personal right to choose, the spark for recent demonstrations at both the Republican and Democratic conventions. Here is a question for those who seem to know what’s best for the rest of the world: Can reasonable people really believe there should be no choice, under any circumstance, even in what happened to this child?
It’s a yes or no question that should be asked of every politician. Do you believe an 11 year old pregnant rape victim should be forced to give birth if she doesn’t want to? Because this is what no exceptions would really look like
Ugh…I thought about posting that link on the Banjoville Topix form, just to see what kind of reaction it gets, but I am afraid to read the comments. I mean, I am already depressed about things as it is. But hey, at least there is some “good” news out of Idaho: Idaho Abortion Ruling States Pregnant Women Can’t Be Prosecuted For Having Abortions
An Idaho law that bans the use of medication to induce abortion cannot be used to prosecute a woman who took the pills to abort her pregnancy, a U.S. appeals court decided on Tuesday.
Bannock County prosecutors brought a case against Jennie Linn McCormack in 2011 after she used medication that she obtained online to induce her own abortion. McCormack, a single mother of three, claims that she could not find a licensed abortion provider in Southeastern Idaho, so she had to violate a state law that requires abortions to be performed at a hospital or medical clinic.
An Idaho federal judge dismissed the charges against McCormack in September 2011 on the grounds that the law cannot be enforced. McCormack then challenged the law itself, arguing that it imposes an undue burden on women’s access to abortion in Idaho.
I’ve got two more links for you, and I have to admit, they are a bit on the selfish side. One is about a medieval woman…The Curious Case of Mary Felton
…the interesting life of a 14th century English lady: Mary Felton was at one point or another during her complex life was married to Edmund Hemgrave, Thomas Breton, Geoffrey Worsley, and John Curson, consectively, though not always exclusively; she was also ‘sometime’ widow, mistress, divorcee, nun, apostate, and mother.
Mary (born circa 1356) was the eldest daughter of Sir Thomas Felton, who was Knight of the Garter and a high ranking officer in Edward III’s armies in France. By the time she was six years old, Mary was betrothed to Edmund Hemgrave, but he died in 1374, leaving Mary as a child widow, but also with some property.
However, Mary did not stay single for long – within a few months she had clandestinely married Thomas Breton. However, this marriage does not seem to have lasted, as in 1376 she had married Geoffrey Worsley in a parish church. Meanwhile, Thomas Breton died in 1380 while fighting on the continent.
The marriage with Geoffrey did not last either, as in 1381 the Archdeacon of Chester granted Mary a divorce, and the the 25-year-old lady entered a Franciscan nunnery at Aldgate, London where she was strictly cloistered.
Over the next few years Geoffrey Worsley remarried, and Thomas Felton died. Although Mary was Thomas’ only heir, as a strictly cloistered nun who had taken a vow of poverty, she was unable to own property. Her mother, Joan, set up several trustees to manage the properties of Mary, with Makowski adding that Joan was eager to maximize the profits from these various estates.
In 1385 the situation changed dramatically, as Mary left Aldgate and made a bold bid to reclaim her secular status. When the crown issued an arrest warrant against Mary for being a runaway religious, she responded by claiming that she was not an apostate because never freely joined. Mary Felton stated that she was forced to divorce Geoffrey and enter the nunnery. She also complained that she was not receiving any profits from the properties being run by her mother.
This case would spend several years in the episcopal courts, and Mary received support from some relatives of Geoffrey Worsley – Geoffrey had died in 1385 but had an infant daughter who would have inherited his estate. By Mary making a claim that she had never truly divorced Geoffrey, this daughter would be declared illegitimate, which meant that Geoffrey’s other relatives would get his inheritance.
In 1392 the episcopal court decided the Mary was indeed a secular person. This allowed her to marry for a fourth time – now with John Curson, who happened to be one of the trustees appointment her mother. Mary never did get control of her properties herself – she died in 1398 and her mother outlived her. When Joan died a few years later, the property of Thomas Felton went to Mary and John’s legitimate son, also named John.
Elizabeth Makowski, a professor at Texas State University, found this to be a very interesting case of matrimonial intrigues and legal entanglements, showing how an individual used canon law to regain her secular status.
And the other link is about this band I loved back in the day, Pet Shop Boys: ‘We don’t think about the old stuff’
After 30 years in the limelight, the Pet Shop Boys are tackling an unusual subject for a pop album – ageing and death.
The Pet Shop Boys are sprawled at opposite ends of a sofa in a perfectly white room on the top floor of their record company’s London headquarters.
Neil Tennant, professor of pop and deadpan frontman is on the right, alert and well-groomed.
His partner in crime for the last 30 years, Chris Lowe, is on the left, slouched and sardonic in jeans and a sports T-shirt.
They are here, ostensibly, to discuss their 11th studio album, Elysium.
But, as is often the case with the polymath pop group, the conversation becomes a survey of the entire music scene.
Take a look at that article, you may be surprised at just how active the Pet Shop Boys are…I know I was. There are many favorite tunes I could bring you now from these “boys” but here is one that sort of “goes” with the medieval theme of today’s post.
So, what’s going on with your sins lately?