Thursday, December 1, 2016

Cosplay... Is An Art: 2016 Worlds Cosplay

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Vonnie Whitworth

Art Appreciation

I came across the beautiful work by Virginia artist, Vonnie Whitworth, while visiting the art blog, Art Odyssey. She is known for her very exquisite watercolor paintings.

Check out her website HERE.

My Teacups via artodyssey1

Still Life with Lace via internationalwatercolors


Thursday, November 24, 2016

Giant (1956)

Film Appreciation

"This is Texas, mighty colossus of the southwest..."

Directed by George Stevens and based on Edna Ferber's 1952 novel, Giant starred some of Hollywood huge stars such as Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson, Dennis Hopper, Sal Mineo, Mercedes McCambridge, and James Dean.

The American epic Western film, which was released on November 24, 1956, won the Academy Award for Best Director.


Monday, November 21, 2016

Rocky (1976)

Film Appreciation

If you are my age, you probably get an excited nostalgic feeling after hearing the first few measures of Gonna Fly Now. The theme song is from the American classic film, Rocky.

Directed by John G. Avildsen and both written by and starring Sylvester Stallone, the film is about an Italian-American boxer from Philly who gets to fight Apollo Creed for the world heavyweight championship.

The film won three Academy Awards, including Best Picture.


Sunday, November 20, 2016

John Rice

Artist Appreciation

I joined my girlfriend to Florida to visit her family, in September. They live in the small town of Live Oak, which is about halfway between Tallahassee and Jacksonville.

After spending the day with the family, we decided to explore downtown--the intersection of Howard Street and Ohio Avenue. Although a small town, the city's center does offer numerous restaurants.

My girlfriend was looking for a gazebo she remembered from a previous visit to Live Oak. We were feverishly in search of this spot to spend a romantic moment or two.

Finally, we found our answer as to the location of the gazebo at an art gallery. Hanging on a display stand, there it was, a painting of the gazebo.

Knowing that I appreciate art, my girlfriend noticed that the doors to the gallery were unlocked. I looked in and around curiously, and we walked in.

A gentleman appeared from the back of the gallery tinkering with a lamp device. Since it was 8:00 in the evening, I apologized and asked if they were closed. The gentleman responded kindly and said he was just there temporarily but we could look around.

We discussed art, and I found out that many of the paintings in the gallery were done by him. Then I asked about the gazebo painting. He indicated that the gazebo use to be at the Veterans Memorial Park, which is a corner block from the gallery. He too, however, didn't know where it was moved.

I noticed my girlfriend was disappointed of the missing gazebo. I decided to purchase the painting as a remembrance of our search of the gazebo.

You can read more about this extraordinary artist, John Rice, HERE and see more of his work HERE.

Park Live


Friday, November 18, 2016

Anti-First Amendment

Pardon the Interruption.

I rarely do post political entries. This is an blog that appreciates all forms of art. However, this election was extremely important to just ignore and not provide my own thoughts and concerns.

As I have mentioned in a previous blog entry, I have concerns regarding President-elect Trump's many threats of opening libel laws. This is a concern because it involves the highest rights we as American's have that is protected by our U.S. Constitution.

To put my concerns to perspective, imagine the fears gun owners had when President Obama was elected to office. President-elect Trump, however, has made numerous threats to the press about opening libel laws. He even had his attorneys threatened a libel suit against the New York Times for publishing recent reports of his alleged indiscretions with women.

The argument by many ill-informed people is that the media, including the press, is and have always been against President-elect Trump. However, one could easily argue that the media made Trump.

Case in point, look at the huge amount of coverage on Trump during the Republican primaries.  Had the media balanced the coverage with the other Republican candidates, and avoid all the noise Trump made through social media, perhaps we would have seen a different Republican presidential candidate.

So, as a student of journalism, I don't buy or agree with the argument that the media and press were heavily against President-elect Trump. In fact, I think journalism failed the American public by not investigating deeper in all the candidates for President.

To put it another way, we credit Julian Assange for leaking Hillary Clinton's emails. The media moved quick to report the leaks and triggered FBI Director James Comey to submit a letter to Congress of his investigation to Clinton's emails. The reporting only covered the surface as if scared of FBI repercussions. Similar reporting occurred when women alleged Trump made unwanted advances. The press failed to dig deeper as to who these women were and if there was actual corroboration.

It would be hard for President-elect Trump to win a libel suit against the New York Times, because he himself has been an established public figure, and the publication would have be be found false, defamatory, and published with actual malice. Ever wonder why the National Enquirer is able to publish outlandish headlines without getting sued?

But the concern is the threat President-elect Trump has previously made on numerous occasions infringes our rights protected under the U.S. Constitution.

The First Amendment states, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."

Not only does the First Amendment deal with Freedom of Press, but it also deals with Freedom of Speech (e.g. art, writing, blogging, protesting, and vocalizing opinions), Freedom of Religion (e.g. how and where we worship our God), and the Freedom to Peacefully Assemble (e.g. veterans protesting healthcare)." You can see a whole list of First Amendment Supreme Court cases HERE.

And perhaps at this juncture it is hard to see the threat as anything more but rhetoric. However, one clear indication of change in policy regarding libel laws and freedom of speech will be on who President-elect Trump selects as his district judges, supreme court justices, and cabinet members.