Archive | October, 2011

Arts History Update for rather early November 2011

29 Oct

Arts History Update for rather early November 2011 by David Cummins


Six national Flags over Texas include:


The Kingdom of Spain

The Kingdom of France

The Republic of Mexico

The Republic of Texas

The Confederate States of America

The United States of America


One state Flag over Texas is:


The Lone Star Flag


One city Flag over Lubbock is:


City seal superimposed on state flag minus the lone white star,_Texas.png






Where can you find images of the bas relief concrete cast murals on the Marsha Sharp Freeway? Texas Department of Transportation Lubbock District Newsletter Marsha Sharp Freeway Today (Spring 2006) images created by Bridge Division artist Michael Ford. Notice in the newsletter the image of Windy Man that was the first art introduced into the freeway project in 2004, but was defaced by vandals spurred on by vocal super-Christianized anti-pagan symbology people. The image of Windy Man was physically and officially removed, but rumors persist that the Department of Transportation has quietly introduced that image again in places where it is more difficult for vandals to access. One can only hope. When a tree falls in the forest does it make any sound if no one is there to hear it? An earlier issue April 2004 of Marsha Sharp Freeway Today announced that Windy Man would be placed at each interchange.


Well, rumor can eventually turn into fact. TxDOT did place one Windy Man up rather high over the Avenue L interchange of the Freeway as part of several images that reflect arts including sculpture near the LHUCA campus, across the street headquarters for the Lubbock Symphony Orchestra, and Lubbock Memorial Civic Center where so many artistic events take place. dateline June 17, 2011. Welcome back Windy Man, you were always present in our metaphysical awareness. We think of you as milder than the late afternoon windstorm on Monday October 17 last. Is your wild cousin a ha-boob?




The National September 11 Memorial in New York City is a masterpiece. Ten years after the event known as 9/11 occurred on September 11, 2001 a memorial has been dedicated at the site of the former World Trade Center Twin Towers. After much discussion and trenchant rhetoric, a competition was held in 2004 and a design titled Reflecting Absence by Michael Arad was chosen. At the time Arad was 34 years of age and an obscure New York City Housing Authority architect. They are twin recessed pools, but they are reached by entering into a park setting designed by Berkeley California landscape architect Peter Walker who planted 400 swamp white oak trees with low-hanging branches trimmed off so people walk under and around them. Ultimately they will be an impressive grove and soften the abstract minimalist pools. One approaches walking over light-gray granite paving stones installed by Walker and first hearing the murmurs of rushing water rising from cascades streaming down all four sides of each 30 foot deep pool. The sounds of water become louder finally reaching a crescendo that displaces the sounds of the surrounding city including nearby building construction. One is in a singular place with one’s thoughts. The water flows down the dark-gray sides of the recirculating pools until one realizes that there is a smaller darker square recessed inside each pool at mid-point. Into this last quadrangle the water disappears and is returned out of view to the top sides of the pools. The three story deep waterfall and its mysterious disappearance tell the story of absence Arad intended.


As one walks around each pool one reads the names of victims incised into a continuous tilted rim of bronze tablets. The diversion from diaphanous waterfall to waist-level names, nearly three thousand of them, is striking. Hermann Zapf’s classic Optima typeface is used, with the letters cut through the bronze so they can be back-lit after dark. One looks upward from the memorial to the surrounding cityscape of buildings that appear to be flotsam, not a single building being an aesthetic competitor to the memorial. One returns to view the memorial as unique and stunning.


Other parts of the restored Ground Zero site do compete. Santiago Calatrava designed a Transportation Hub train station and underground shopping mall linking the trans-Hudson River PATH system with the New York City subway system. At $3.4 billion it’s directly east of the north pool across Greenwich Street. It will open in 2014 or 2015.


There is a free-standing pavilion that serves as an entry point into the subterranean September 11 Museum that will open in late 2012 or 2013. It was designed by the Norwegian firm Snohetta. The below-ground exhibition galleries are designed by New York City’s Aedas.








Even the military wishes to encourage its members’ artistic talents. The U.S. Air Force Arts & Crafts Gallery program solicits submissions through December 30, 2011. Fairchild AFB is in Spokane Washington, in Eastern Washington up on the Columbia River plateau and not near any harbor. This airman Kenneth W. Bain is dreaming about a coastal harbor somewhere.




Speaking of Fairchild AFB in Spokane, it’s a gateway base for departures and arrivals for civilian people with military connections/status who have the time and flexibility to fly on cargo and passenger military aircraft on a Space Available basis … essentially free. Other gateway bases include Cannon AFB Clovis New Mexico, Naval Air Station Corpus Christi Texas, Randolph AFB San Antonio Texas,,SAF_overview,00.html Dyess AFB Abilene Texas is the home of a Force Support Squadron and the current flight schedule includes putting you down at Incirlik Turkey or Mildenhall England I’ve spent time in both countries and can recommend those destinations. Royal Air Force Base Mildenhall, England Incirlik Air Base, Adana, Turkey

Adana is not far from Tarsus the home of the early Christian St. Paul. Traveling around the bend in the Mediterranean Sea takes one to Antakya Turkey or ancient Antioch on the Orontes River. You’re only 12 miles from the Syrian border, not a good place to be since Syria is in the middle of civilian protests that are violently repressed by a regime clinging to power. Mr. Robert Ford, the United States Ambassador to Syria has just been recalled to Washington DC and the Syrian Ambassador to the U.S. has similarly been recalled to Damascus, both for consultations during these tense times.




The Vltava River (Czech name) or Moldau River (German name) rises in the Bavarian / Bohemian forest and mountainous area east of Deggendorf, Bavaria, southeast Germany. Deggendorf is itself on the Danube River. From the mountains to the east the Vltava rises and flows east across the border into the Czech Republic, flows south and east through a lake district and then turns north to the principal city Ceske Dudejovice (Czech name) or Budweis (German name for this brewery city) and then through central Bohemia and the capital city Prague before joining the Elbe River about twenty miles north of Prague. I traveled a short distance down the Vltava River on a riverboat while in Prague. It’s just another romantic way of enjoying that fabulous city and area. It’s possible to cruise to the Elbe River and beyond through Dresden and other German historic towns on to Potsdam and Berlin.


Kampa Museum for Central European Modern Art opened in 2003. It’s located in a renovated 15th century mill house sited on an island park in the Vltava River in Prague.…%29 The website is


One also dreams of “mad” King Rudolph of Bohemia who had a notable reign as Holy Roman Emperor and who moved the imperial capitol from Vienna to Prague and welcomed free thinkers and fellow mystics to his court. It was not to last. King Rudolph II 1552 – 1612 a Hapsburg was King of Hungary 1572 -1608, King of Bohemia 1575 – 1611, and Holy Roman Emperor 1576 – 1612. Rudolph had been brought up as a boy at the Spanish Court and was a highly gifted and educated man but a quixotic and ineffective ruler. He moved the capitol of the Holy Roman Empire from Vienna to Hradschin Castle in Prague due to the threatening Ottoman Turks who harassed Hungary. He devoted his time to the collection and study of works of art and literature as well as scientific alchemical occult astrological and astronomical pursuits. He invited polymath Johannes Kepler and astronomer Tycho Brahe and many other free thinkers to his court. He yielded the kingship of Austria and Hungary to his brother Matthias but retained Bohemia and Moravia. Protestants there secured from Rudolph a Letter of Majesty (1609) promising religious tolerance and freedom of conscience in his kingdoms.×902-2201.jpg Emperor Rudolph II as Vertumnus (1590) by Giuseppe Arcimboldo He was a patron of the arts like no Hapsburg before.


The successor Hapsburg King Ferdinand II and Holy Roman Emperor based in Vienna had to deal with more Protestant defiance against Catholic authoritarianism culminating with The Second Defenestration of Prague in 1618 [defenestration means throwing Catholic officials out of a second-story window but it was a window only 17 meters above a grassy bank and all survived and fled to Vienna where they ratted out the unruly Czechs] and the outbreak of The Thirty Years War 1618 – 1648. The war went well for Catholics at the beginning such as at The Battle of White Mountain (November 8, 1620) outside Prague but eventually was won by the Protestants with enormous loss of life and tragedy that is reflected in poor Protestant – Catholic relationships in Europe to this day. King Ferdinand II was particularly bloody and stubborn. After the Battle of White Mountain Czech nobles asked for a pardon from their King and Holy Roman Emperor. He refused and tried them and executed many, underscoring his lack of forgiveness by ordering that the heads of twelve executed men be displayed publicly in cages atop the Old Town Bridge Tower astride the Vltava River. I stood by that Tower in Prague and mentally reviewed this remarkable history.




Stephen Hansen, an artist who lives in Las Cruces New Mexico and Michigan, created High Maintenance (2003) which is delightful Each man on the planet who has been kept waiting enjoys this piece of art and fully understands it.




Valparaiso Chile is the nation’s main and oldest port city. Santiago, the capital city, is 75 miles inland. Valpo has about 300,000 residents and isn’t glitzy. It’s a shipping and petroleum refining center, a working class city perched on hillsides with winding streets and funiculars that take you down to the port or up into the hills. Bohemian culture, brightly colored houses, an active nightlife, and gritty people make it a flavorful place. Speaking of flavor, Chile is known for its world class wines and other drinks, but in Valpo knock back a Barba Roja [red beard] ale brewed by Cervecera del Puerto [brewery of the port]. Such beer as this is not brewed for export or even inter-city trade. You’re drinking locally. For gusto order a chorrillano, a plate of fries smothered in beef, cheese, onion and a fried egg, Chilean comfort food at Mastodonte restaurant.


Pablo Neruda 1904 – 1973 is the pen name of Neftal Ricardo Reyes Basoalto that he selected for writing outstanding poetry. He chose the name in homage to the Czech poet Jan Neruda 1834 – 1891. Pablo Neruda was strongly affected by the murder of Garcia Lorca [Spanish poet dramatist and theatre director] during the Spanish Civil War [1936] and Neruda took the Republican [losing] side. He returned from Europe to Chile in 1943. Since he soon took the side, through his poetry, of striking miners, he was forced to leave Chile in 1947 and returned in 1952. He was prolific, his complete works reaching 3,237 pages. He won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1971. One of his poems is Ode to Valparaiso. His home there was called La Sebastiana and is now a four story house museum perched on a hillside with fantastic views. Visit it. He had a home in Santiago, La Chascona, that is also a house museum open to the public.


Poetry of Pablo Neruda (ed. Ilan Stavans, Farrar Straus & Giroux 2003) Texas Tech Library PQ8097.N4 A2 Stavans promotes the use of Spanglish as a connective language. Neruda poems can be read online at



Butch Hancock is back in town. You might think he will perform as the Bob Dylan of West Texas, a treat not to be missed. But this time the College of Architecture at Texas Tech University has booked him into its Lecture Series. Did you know Butch was an architecture student until he dropped out of school in 1968, and the rest as they say is history.


Butch is a master photographer and his architectural drawings of possibly unable to be built things, are amazing. Both will be on view Thursday November 3, 2011 at the Chemistry Building Room 049 free lecture 7:00 – 8:30 p.m., and Friday November 4 from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. at Studio Projects / Jeff Wheeler’s Studio east of Louise Hopkins Underwood Center for the Arts on Avenue J and 5th Street, also free as part of First Friday Art Trail.


Butch’s lyrics are poetic daring interconnecting circles of wit and insight, and he never goes anywhere without a guitar, so be prepared for a lecture that is a performance on Thursday, and a display of photos and drawings on Friday with Butch hanging around to hawk them to you.




Arts History Update for extremely late October 2011

23 Oct

Arts History Update for extremely late October 2011 by David Cummins


Get those Christmas togs and tassels out of the closet.


December 3 is the Texas Tech campus lighting event and the annual Christmas Carol Concert. More specifically, on Saturday December 3, 2011 at 5:00 p.m. is the Alumni Association’s Pre-Lighting Festival at Frazier Alumni Pavilion on campus. Free event. Get into the spirit. Folks who aren’t alumnus or alumna also attend. Everyone’s welcome. At 6:30 p.m. the Carillon Concert begins from the Administration Building’s west tower Baird Memorial Carillon and entertains everyone in the Memorial Circle area. You may bring lawn chairs. At 7:00 p.m. is the short Outdoor Lighting Ceremony from the steps of the Sciences Building that sets aglow the campus lights, and they remain aglow each evening throughout the holiday season. At 8:00 p.m. is the annual Christmas Carol Concert in Hemmle Recital Hall, a ticketed event purchase at Select a Seat outlets.


Not enough songs? The Tech Matador Singers [male choral group] performs a Christmas Concert at Margaret Talkington Great Hall within The Legacy Event Center downtown at 14th Street and Avenue O Monday December 5 at 8:00 p.m. Free [old information but YWCA purchased the First Presbyterian Church in downtown Lubbock and turned it into The Legacy Event Center just south of First United Methodist Church and east of City Hall First Presbyterian Church rebuilt and is located at 3814 130th Street south of Lubbock]


Candlelight at the Ranch is Friday and Saturday December 9 and 10 from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. free but donations accepted at the National Ranching Heritage Center’s Proctor Park where docents are in costume demonstrating Christmas period activities.


Celtic Christmas with songs, tunes, dances and stories of the season from the “seven Celtic nations” area of Europe is at 7:00 p.m. both Tuesday and Thursday evenings December 13 and 15 at Margaret Talkington Great Hall within The Legacy Event Center. Tickets through Select a Seat $10.50 adults $8.50 seniors


A Christmas Carol: Scrooge and Marley is performed by Lubbock Community Theatre at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2:00 p.m. on Sundays December 2- 18 $15 adults $10 children under age ten at 4230 Boston Avenue


Polar Express Holiday Train Ride from Texas Water Rampage station at 6602 Marsha Sharp Freeway is a spoil your grandchild event November 18 – December 23 open most days but closed on a few days at 6:00 and 8:00 p.m. departures, adding a 4:00 p.m. departure December 16 – 23. I laughed when I saw the rates for coach, lower dome and upper dome rides, and imagined some business school graduate creating a price point chart, not that it’s a good idea but some folks will learn and deploy a skill for anyone who’s prepared to purchase that skill.


Santa Land is a more egalitarian event, and will be open free of charge 6:00 – 10:00 p.m. nightly December 10 – 23 in Mackenzie Park. It features a 60 feet high tree and a nearby mini-house with Mr. and Mrs. Claus ready to visit with anyone.


GRACO Real Estate Development, operator of Kingsgate Center 82nd Street and Quaker Avenue has offered free Christmas horse-drawn carriage rides at Kingsgate North in the days preceding Christmas. Be on the lookout.


Lubbock Chorale & Lubbock Symphony Orchestra Holiday Pops Concert is at Broadway Church of Christ at 7:30 p.m. Friday December 2 ticketed event $25.


Lubbock Symphony Orchestra’s Holiday Chamber Concert featuring a brass quintet is at St. John’s United Methodist Church at 1501 University Avenue 7:30 p.m. on December 13, ticketed event $20 followed by a reception with the musicians, fine wine, and hors d’oeuvres.


Ballet Lubbock’s The Nutcracker is December 9 – 11 at Lubbock Memorial Civic Center Theatre 2:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday and 7:00 p.m. Friday and Saturday tickets on sale October 29 at Select a Seat


Miracle on 34th Street, The Musical produced by Barter Theatre of Abingdon Virginia is on tour and on stage at City Bank Auditorium 7:00 p.m. Wednesday December 7


First Friday Art Trail is Friday December 2, 2011 from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.


First United Methodist Church Vesper Concert Series includes A Christmas Festival with church choirs and Westwinds Brass Band at 5:00 p.m. Sunday December 11 a free event


December 22 – 23 and 29 – 30 at Civic Center Banquet Hall is Moonlight Musicals [Gerald Dolter] dinner theatre presentations of Irving Berlin’s White Christmas. Tickets at Select a Seat later. MM has overextended in the past so be alert for only one weekend of this dinner theatre.


Get out of town to the Texas Cowboys Christmas Ball at Pioneer Hall in Anson Texas, north northwest of Abilene on U.S. Highway 83 the mother road to Aspermont Paducah Childress Shamrock Wheeler Canadian Perryton and across the Oklahoma Panhandle to Liberal Kansas. December 15-17, 2011 is the event from 8:00 p.m. to midnight $15 on Thursday December 15 because Michael Martin Murphey and Rio Grande Band will be present, and $5 on Friday and Saturday where the music emanates from Muddy Creek Band. Check those hats and coats at the door, no hats on the dance floor fellas, and ladies please wear dresses if you intend to dance, that’s how it was done in olden days. Tickets (325) 537-2589 The original ball was held at the Star Hotel in town in 1885 and pretty much the same rules are in force this Christmas. Here’s Cowboy Dance (1941) by Jenne Magafan, the Anson Post Office Mural depicting this historic ball in yesteryear. The study for this mural is in the Smithsonian American Art Museum Jenne was age 25 when she painted it and died young at age 36. Her sister Ethel was also a muralist.




Art of the Image: Photography of Artie Limmer is on exhibit in the Formby Room of the Southwest Collection / Special Collections Library on campus through March 31, 2012. Limmer is Associate Director of Photography for Texas Tech’s Institutional Advancement Group.




Porfirio Salinas 1910 – 1973 painted a mural Spring Scene of Texas Hill Country (1957) that was recently hanging in the Wolfson Building on Main Plaza in San Antonio although the mural had been donated to the Witte Museum. On October 1, 2011 the Wolfson Building burned in a devastating fire. . . Here’s a photo of the mural being removed from the remains of the building for transport to the Witte Museum where it will be restored and exhibited as a San Antonio treasure. The Wolfson Building was a historic structure built in the 1880s. The first nine photos show the mural and historic building, the remainder show the fire and its aftermath.


Here’s a profile of Porfirio Salinas who was said to be one of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s favorite artists. click on Texas Landscapes and enjoy.




Will Jones, Architects’ Sketchbooks (Metropolis Books 2011) these are the hand-drawn sketches that precede those computer-assisted drawings CAD software three dimensional look down around and through images and sequenced video.


Open Design Now: Why Design Cannot Remain Exclusive (eds. Bas Van Abel et al., BIS Publishers 2011) arguing that proprietary designs once built [i.e., exploited by the proprietor] have or will become public use designs without licensure or payment. These editors argue that such designs are already in the public domain.




The Littlefield Murals are on display at Panhandle Plains Historical Museum in Canyon September 17 – February 19, 2012. Cattleman George W. Littlefield of Austin 1842 – 1920, for whom the city of Littlefield was named, commissioned E. Martin Hennings to paint six murals of the Littlefield ranches on the South Plains and New Mexico. That was 1910. Now a century old, these murals are on display. The ranches include the LIT in the Panhandle, Bosque Grande in the Pecos River Valley of New Mexico, Four Lakes in New Mexico, and Yellow House on the Texas South Plains, Here are some gorgeous Hennings paintings. At the time Littlefield employed Hennings 1886 – 1956, the latter was a Chicagoan but after traveling to the area he was commissioned to depict, his heart was smitten and he became a Taos Art Colony artist. He was just a year older than his friend Georgia O’Keeffe.


Mr. Littlefield divided his Yellow House Ranch and formed Littlefield Land Company when surveys showed that the planned Santa Fe railroad line from Coleman Texas to Texico New Mexico would pass through Littlefield’s land. His niece’s husband Arthur Duggan helped lay out the tracts and sell them. In 1913 the site of the town of Littlefield became a station on the Panhandle and Santa Fe Railway.






Help me welcome a fellow septuagenarian, Robert Allen Zimmerman better known as Bob Dylan is seventy years of age and going strong, thank you. He was born in a Duluth hospital and grew up in nearby Hibbing Minnesota in the middle of the Mesabi Iron Range. At the edge of this unhandsome town is the largest open-pit iron mine in the world. Doesn’t this explain some of those lyrics? Yes he was a streetwise kid in Minneapolis at the university singing in coffeehouses and skipping class when he decided to call himself Bob Dylan, partly in admiration of the Welsh poet Dylan Thomas. He went to New York City and the beat scene in 1961 where misunderstood youngsters were legion. He fit in nicely.


Did you know that Bob Dylan is a fine visual artist, of the untutored, Art Brut [raw art in French] or Outsider Art or Fugitive Art style. Here’s another artist’s blog post witnessing to his own entry and observations of Dylan’s temporary art studio in Los Angeles. from an exhibit that just ended at the Gagosian Gallery in New York. My favorite is Kitchenette (2009) He is said to have been painting for decades but only exhibiting in recent years. Holland Carter, New York Times art critic, thought the exhibition dull. “The color is muddy, the brushwork scratchily dutiful, the images static and postcard-ish. The work is dead on the wall.


Bob Dylan, Drawn Blank (Random House 1994) sketches made while on tour

Frank Zollner, Bob Dylan: The Drawn Blank Series (Prestel USA 2008) to accompany an exhibition by that name in Chemnitz Germany

Bob Dylan et al., Bob Dylan: The Brazil Series (Prestel USA 2010) Texas Tech Library OVERSZ ND237.D935 A4


Good biographies of Bob Dylan include these two:


David Yaffe, Bob Dylan: Like a Complete Unknown (Yale Univ. Press 2011) Tech Library ML420.D98 Y23

Robert Shelton, No Direction Home: The Life and Music of Bob Dylan (Hal Leonard Corp. rev. upd. 2011) Tech Library ML420.D98 S5


Martin Scorsese made a documentary film No Direction Home: Bob Dylan (2005) (208 minutes) and the DVD is at Lubbock Public Library DVD782.42162 NODI or $11.99 or instant download $9.99, or rental $2.99 starring Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Allen Ginsberg, Maria Muldaur, Pete Seeger, Mavis Staples and, yes, Martin Scorsese




The Frieze Art Fair in London centered at Regent’s Park just ended and a pleasurable exhaustion is evident. Here’s a montage Fair website is Next was the International Contemporary Art Fair in Paris October 20-23, 2011, centered at Grand Palais and Jardin des Tuileries, it sprawled across the city to 168 galleries. It is a feast for the senses, and the photos on the website of 2010 pieces of art are gorgeous. On to the Venice Biennale June 4 – November 27, 2011












Arts History Update for still later October 2011

19 Oct

Arts History Update for still later October 2011 by David Cummins


Illustrators include Ralph Steadman. A sampling of inexpensive posters is at He has books of illustrations including Ralph Steadman’s Jelly Book (1970) Sigmund Freud (1997) Gonzo, the Art (1998) Scar Strangled Banger (1988) Tales of the Weird (2002) Garibaldi’s Biscuits (2009) Ralph Steadman’s Book of Dogs (2011) and others. His website is


A documentary film Ralph Steadman: For No Good Reason (2011) has been produced but not yet released. A 3 minute 49 second video trailer is on You Tube Wikipedia’s profile is


If you’d like to write using a Ralph Steadman style font, here’s a $4.95 opportunity. We might not be able to decipher every word you write but we’ll be impressed that you can become berserk on demand.




Occupy Wall Street is mimicked and explored by so many other people with a polyglot of agendas in other venues, and by some people who believe it’s worthwhile even without an agenda. For those of us on the sidelines, we watch and wonder and, to be frank, worry. In Rome Italy a recent demonstration became un-peaceful and rioters broke into stores and vehicles and set some property ablaze.


American society was always loosely hinged and sewn together. Now it is unraveling. The middle class is shrinking. The lower class is expanding. Real wages per capita have fallen since 1980, more than thirty years running. Health of middle age people and of young people, is in both cases worse than the health of their parents. Mortality statistics say that oldsters will and are living longer than their children and grandchildren will live. That’s a reversal of direction from the past. President Ronald Reagan was the first American president who campaigned on despising the very federal government he wished to lead. When he preached “individualism” and the onset of “me generation values” with government taking a back seat, he promised a governmental “safety net” for the disaffected while he gradually dismantled federal programs that he demonized by calling them “entitlement” programs. We’ve been living in a Reagan delusion America ever since and we can attest that “welfare queens” are not gone, they’re just low class unemployed or underemployed that we know about only as a poverty statistic or when they present themselves for health care under a Medicaid program such as the one recently reduced by the Texas legislature and Governor Perry. When government funds are out of balance, the government of Reaganites will not cut corporate welfare because that affects “the engine of growth” so government cuts subsistence benefits to low class impoverished people who are seen as the parents and siblings of criminals who are receiving their subsistence in our expanding jail populations. Corporate welfare continues so that a company with billions of annual revenue like General Electric actually paid no federal income tax in 2009 or 2010 because it used gigantic federal tax credits which it lobbied Congress to obtain. At the same time, in 2010 it laid off 80,000 American employees and outsourced those jobs to foreign contractors making GE designed systems or parts of systems in foreign plants.


The Republican Party, and I was a Republican for some years … has no shame about continuing the debacle. Herman Cain, a current candidate for president, just released his tax plan as proto-president. He would impose a 9% national sales tax on all purchases of goods and services, thus taxing 50 million Americans whose incomes are so low that they pay no federal income tax. For them and the rest of us our cost of living would go up and our standard of living would go down while the wealthy would be unaffected because their disposable income is so much greater than that disposed. He would also repeal the payroll taxes that support the Social Security system and Medicare, thus ending those demonized “entitlement” programs and forcing people to live with unhealthful conditions because they cannot afford the medical treatment. Cain made his millions as CEO of Godfather’s Pizza. His poll numbers are rising, recently tied with Rick Perry and just nine points shy of Mitt Romney, the leader. Why would Americans want to accelerate America’s decline? A mistake-ridden President Obama provides a political vacuum into which almost anyone seems welcome, temporarily. I was a Democrat for some years, as well, and am now political partied out and voluntarily sidelined to a margin.


Texas Constitutional Amendments propositions ## 1 – 10 will be voted on in an election on November 8, 2011 with early voting from October 24 through November 4, 2011. Are you ready? The Texas Secretary of State can help. The Texas Legislative Council offers you its analysis. They are mostly financial tinkering to permit new local and state government bonded indebtedness for specific and narrow purposes. None of them adjust or change the body politic or create infrastructure for a more prosperous state and citizenry. I will vote no on all the propositions. The headlines were right last Summer when they announced that the Texas Legislature solved nothing and kicked the can down the road into the future, deferring decision-making judgment and resolve. Letting legislators know of our disaffection is a part of democracy, a two-way conversation.




Design Miami will take place November 30 – December 4, 2011 adjacent to the Miami Beach Convention Center. Design Miami / Art Basel is at the same location June 12 – 17, 2012. If the event is as gorgeous as the website photos, attendees are in for a treat.




Pamphlet Architecture Issues 11-20 (ed. Steven Holl, Princeton Architectural Press 2011) is $29.70 at Amazon. Pamphlet Architecture Issues 1-10 published in 1998 is $25.26 at and is at Texas Tech’s ARCH Library NA2560.P36


Steven Holl is recently known for the 2007 Bloch Building addition to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City.




A current exhibition October 15 – January 8, 2012 at Nelson-Atkins is George Ault and 1940s America that includes Peter Hurd’s Enemy Action Over American Bomber Station (1942)




Beyond Paper Folding: The Art of Joan Son is on exhibit through November 13 at Ellen Noel Art Museum of the Permian Basin, Odessa Texas. Eat (2011) is one piece and Pray (2011) is another The artist’s website is at




Steven W. Naifeh & Gregory White Smith have done it again. Their latest authorship is Van Gogh (Random House October 2011) $24 followng Jackson Pollock: An American Genius (C.N. Potter 1989) Tech Library ND237.P73 N34 retitled in later editions Jackson Pollock: An American Saga, for which they won a Pulitzer Prize for Biography. The authors propose a new theory … perhaps Vincent did not shoot himself but rather was hectored by young boys as strange people like one-eared uncommercial artists often were hectored, and two teen agers shot him, and he covered up with the police so as not to get the boys into serious trouble. He later died of the gunshot wounds. Romance seems to find Vincent whether it’s by John Denver singing “Starry Starry Night” or authors who want to sell more books than otherwise would sell.…%29




Tai Kreidler of Southwest Collection / Special Collections Library at Texas Tech reports the following, concering the great artist Tom Lea and historic photographs taken during the Civil War

October 18-23, 2011 Tom Lea Events in El Paso

Tuesday October 18.  530 PM Free.  Old El Paso Federal Courthouse.  Guided Tour of Tom Lea’s Mural in Downtown El Paso .  914.533-0048

Thursday October 20, 2011.  Saving Sarah:  The Restoration of Tom Lea’s Drawing for “Sarah In the Summertime” and the Preservation of his Legacy at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center , UT Austin .  5:30-7 PM.  Free.  El Paso Museum of Art, 1 Arts Festival Plaza 915-532-1707.  The portrait Sarah in the Summertime, completed by Tom Lea following World War II, is arguably one of the  most beautiful portraits ever done.  Yet by the 1990s the detailed drawing for it was brittle and rolled, dangerously close to be being lost when the Harry Ransom Center prioritized it for rescue.  Curator Peter Mears will shar the science and engineering required to save this extraordinary work of art.

Saturday October 22, 2011.  Screening of the “The Wonderful County” (1959).  !2 noon.  Free.  El Paso Public Library

Saturday October 22, 2011.  Henry C. Trost and the Gage Hotel and Henry C. Trost and El Paso ‘s Architecture.  2-2:30 PM  Free.  El Paso Museum of History.  510 N. Santa Fe 915-351-3588.  Architect Morris Brown and J. P. Bryan, owner of the Trost designed Gage Hotel in Marathon, Texas, will share insights into the design genius of Trost and the impact his firm had on El Paso and the southwest.

Sunday October 23, 2011.  Tom Lea and El Paso ‘s Constellation of Artists.  2 pm.  Free.  El PasoHistorical Society.  603 W. Yandell Drive .  915-533-3603.  Through his love of history and collecting (his Texana collection houses over 10,000 pieces) J. P. Bryan will share insights into the collaborations between Carl Herzog, Tom Lea and Jose Cisneros, and the remarkable results of their combined talents.



  • Marisue Potts, WTHA Vice President, recommended the following web site for Civil War Images on October 16, 2011.
    She said, “
    It is fortunate that these photos have survived. Most probably a million wet plate photos were made during the civil war on glass plate. Popular during the war, they lost their appeal afterwards and so many were sold for the glass. Many used in green houses. Over the years the sun caused the images to disappear.  These are pretty amazing considering they were taken up to 150 years ago:  A compendium of photos from era of the War Between the States


Tom Lea, a native El Pasoan 1907 – 2001 wrote The Wonderful Country: A Novel and illustrated it (Little Brown 1952). Texas Tech Southwest Collection Library 42 L433V The movie by the same title starring Robert Mitchum came out in 1959.


Stacy Elko, Professor of Printmaking at Texas Tech’s School of Art, has created Flying Machine (2011) which is on display through November 20 at the College of Architecture 9th Floor Library Gallery. Human interaction with our environment is the topic.


Texas Tech law students include Teddy Roosevelt influenced folks. Tech Law Republicans, Tech Law Military Association, Tech Law Federalist Society Chapter, and Tech Law Hunting & Fishing Club will meet at Rustic Range near Slaton Texas for The Great West October Shootout at 2:00 p.m Saturday October 22. It’s trigger time with friends. Bring your own firearm and ammunition. The organizations will pay for the range time and targets.


Most local people don’t want to re-view the prevailing 60 mph wind with gusts to 75 mph and rolling dust storm that entered Lubbock Monday afternoon around 5:30 p.m. October 17, 2011 transforming what had been a sunny day into a shocking day. Here are You Tube camera shots you can send to Dallas and Houston friends that will keep them from moving out here and disturbing our normally ideal weather and high quality way of living. Hopefully we will not become another high-density metroplex. The odd dust storm serves a worthy purpose for residents of this island in the stream.









Art History Update for very late October 2011

15 Oct

Arts History Update for very late October 2011 by David Cummins


Occupy Wall Street reached Lubbock, according to the October 12 Lubbock Avalanche-Journal at page B1, stating that a dozen protesters congregated at the corner of University Avenue and 19th Street. The website is Events keep being planned, and are now globally executed. Here’s a photo montage put together by The Atlantic magazine If someone wants to be noticed, an old but tiresome trick is to take off one’s clothing, and you will be reissued garments at the local jailhouse, called The Tombs in New York City New York City Halls of Justice and House of Detention is The Tombs at 100 Centre Street, formally known as Manhattan Detention Complex. Some of the original Tombs buildings have been razed but enough endure to provide ample visual incentive for most of us to keep our clothes on and be civil if not polite at all times.




The annual Pumpkin Trail at Lubbock Memorial Arboretum leading into Clapp Park is October 20 – 23, 2011. Folks are donating their carved pumpkins so there is a good deal of craft art on display. The pumpkins will be lighted each evening at 5:30 p.m. and the Trail is open 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. on Friday and 6:00 – 10:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. The Trail is stroller and wheelchair friendly. Parking is available adjacent to Hodges Community Center and Municipal Garden & Arts Center, both off of University Avenue near 42nd Street.




Michael R. Grauer, Texas Treasures, Texas Monthly Magazine October 2011 is a fine article on early Texas art in the regionalism style. It lists 25 not to be missed stellar pieces at publicly accessible locations around the state. Grauer has spent the past 24 years as curator of art at Panhandle Plains Historical Museum in Canyon so he is well aware of the art in West Texas.


An article by Jordan Breal, Straight From the Art, Texas Monthly Magazine October 2011 is accessible in full online only to subscribers Texas Tech Library is a serial subscriber and the magazine is in the Journals/Periodicals Collection at F381.T428 older issues are on micro-form for researchers. Lubbock Public Library has Texas Monthly vols. 4 – 24 1976 – 2004 on magazine micro-form at Mahon Library, and current issues are on the shelves at Mahon, Godeke and Groves branches.


Paula L. Grauer & Michael R. Grauer, Dictionary of Texas Artists 1800 – 1945 (Texas A&M Univ. Press 1999) is at Lubbock Public Library Godeke Branch in the Reference section 709.22764 G774D and is also located at Texas Tech Library and the Southwest Collection Library but is not borrowable N6530.T4 G73. It’s available for purchase at for $24.23 hardcover and $19.22 Kindle electronically. Unless you have a color eReader, consider only the hardcover.


John E. Powers & Deborah D. Powers, Texas Painters, Sculptors and Graphic Artists: A Biographical Dictionary of Artists in Texas Before 1942 (Woodmont Books 2000) Tech Library N6530.T4 P69


Rebecca S. Cohen, Art Guide Texas: Museums, Art Centers, Alternative Spaces, and Nonprofit Galleries (Univ. of Texas Press 2004) $18.21 at Amazon. Tech Library N511.T4 C64


Michael Frary, Impressions of the Texas Panhandle (Texas A&M Univ. Press 1977) Southwest Collection TEX 68 F839 i34


Mondel Rogers, Old Ranches of the Texas Plains: Paintings by Mondel Rogers (Texas A&M Univ. Press 1976) Southwest Collection also Tech Library OVERSZ ND1839.R63 A56


Notice all the Joe and Betty Moore Texas Art Series books published by Texas A&M Univ. Press including the latest, # 14 by Philip Parisi, The Texas Post Office Murals: Art for the People (Texas A&M Univ. Press 2004)


Leaving the topic of regionalism art style in Texas, Jordan Breal, The Art Lover’s Companion, Texas Monthly October 2011 lists favorite works of art across the spectrum at Texas museums.




Recently constructed or renovated hotels that are independent, not corporate chain properties, that are stylish, comfortable and un-pricey at $150 or less per night, these distinctive travel accommodations will make your travel even more special.


  1. Hotel 340, St Paul Minnesota is a hotel on the top three floors, below is the University Club of St Paul, and a fitness center Downtown Athletic Club for locals to which you’re welcome. Add a chichi lobby bar
  2. Inn at Tilton Place, Jensen Beach Florida
  3. Sawtooth Hotel, Stanley Idaho with a dining room view of the jagged snow-capped Sawtooth Mountains
  4. Hotel Le Marais, New Orleans Louisiana in the Quarter le marais means the swamp or the marsh
  5. 3B in Brooklyn New York is a four room B&B with the entrepreneurs living downstairs
  6. Hotel Chez Swann, Montreal Canada is another boutique hotel to admire chez swann means at the swan
  7. Hicksville Trailer Palace & Artist Retreat, Joshua Tree California is Higby Night’s creation with individual trailer units gussied up around a central pool and great views of the adjacent national monument containing, yes, those trees
  8. Hotel Havana, San Antonio Texas where the décor is all about Cuba and the river meanders nearby


If you partake in person, send me a postcard “wish you were here” is a positive report, and “when I get home I’m kicking your — “ is a negative report.





Kara Dixon Vuic, Officer, Nurse, Woman: The Army Nurse Corps in the Vietnam War (The Johns Hopkins Univ. Press 2010 hardcover 2009) $25 paperback at or $18.75 at Hopkins Fulfillment Service 800-537-5487 using NAF code to receive the discount. Texas Tech Library DS559.44 .V85 and also at Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library Vietnam Archive same catalogue number.


Assistant Professor of History Vuic at Bridgewater College in Mineral Virginia transposed her doctoral dissertation into this book. She is not herself a nurse or a veteran of military service. She interviewed hundreds of former Army nurses and lets their stories underlay her synthesis and literary connectivity. She spoke at Lanier Auditorium within the Texas Tech School of Law on October 13, 2011 in the Vietnam Center & Archive Guest Lecture Series.


For me, a weakness of the book and her presentation is letting the political struggle to gain a Women’s Vietnam War Memorial statuary on the Mall in Washington DC stand as a national consensus of ambivalence and montage of multiple misperceptions and distortions toward the actual performance of duty by soldiers whom she described as Officer, Nurse, Woman. By the time the war ended I was a Major in the United States Army Reserve headed toward a career “twenty and out”. Neither the Civil Rights Movement nor Anti-War Movement activities defined my performance of duty as a soldier, nor did they define the performance of duty by my propinquitous comrades in arms. The national media foolishly blared at Americans that juvenile street behaviors of a few war protesters coinciding with soldiers returning home from duty in Southeast Asia, meant that the nation did not value her men and women who served and performed their duty. The national media got that wrong as well as many other things. Logic, rationality, and critical thinking are not universal.


Unfortunately some veterans believed the media and felt sullied and disrespected for their service. Both on and off duty I tried to counter the national media’s storyline with as much success as Quixote addressing Cervantes’ windmill. Still, the fact is that the nation was and is proud of and grateful to her soldiers in all the conflicts to which they were sent. If it were otherwise I would not be receiving a monthly military pension and Department of Defense Tricare for Life financing of health care supplemental to Medicare A and B. The Department of Veterans Affairs cares for the nation’s veterans, and particularly those with disability ratings at separation from service. If you’re unsure, let me drive by your home and transport you to the VA Lubbock Outpatient Clinic and the VA hospitals in Amarillo and Big Spring. A longer trip would be to the Albuquerque VA regional hospital and medical center. The Veterans Center on 50th Street in Lubbock, financed by VA, is primarily a counseling and coordination of benefits activity. Veterans Resource Coordination Group in Lubbock is another coordination of benefits activity, primarily helping young veterans use the latest iteration of the GI Bill to gain civilian occupational training, GED high school equivalent diplomas, and community college and university degrees, as pathways toward successful employment and careers.


Anti-government political rhetoric, attack politics, and media participation therein is just an unwelcome phase, an asynchronous cacophony in which many people with too much time on their hands and special interests or axes to grind, are engaged. They dis-serve the country and deserve to be ignored. The big picture remains and for soldiers it contains “the long gray line” in which Army nurses and all of us soldiers have our place. We’re proud of our service and proud of our nation for respecting and honoring that service.




West Texas Historical Association is a membership entity at Texas Tech University Southwest Collection / Special Collections Library. An individual annual membership is $20 or family $25 and you receive the semi-annual Cyclone Magazine edited by Monte Monroe and an annual year book of published papers. Tai Kreidler, executive director of SC/SCL, publishes an occasional email newsletter to “friends and members of the Association” so even if you don’t wish to join the Association, email and ask to be on the newsletter mailing list. Here’s an example of what you’ll learn that is fascinating.


October 15, 2011.  Quanah Parker Trail “Giant Arrow” dedication ceremonies1:30 pm in Paducah at the Cottle Co historic jail (1 block E of the courthouse) and 6:00 pm in Matador at the Motley Co historic jail  (1 block N of the courthouse)..  The Giant Arrows are sculpted by artist Charles A. Smith of New Home, Texas and are his gift to Texas Plains Trail region counties to mark their researched and authenticated places on the Quanah Parker Trail.  Ardith Parker Leming, great-granddaughter of Quanah Parker, and Glen Leming, her husband, have graciously offered to dedicate the Giant Arrows in the spirit of a Comanche blessing ceremony.  The Quanah Parker Trail Giant Arrows commemorate in these counties the former presence of a great chief who led his people successfully to bridge the worlds of two cultures, and who visited both counties before and after those two worlds collided.   The Giant Arrows also symbolize the Comanche people’s presence in a region once collectively known as “The Comancheria,” a legacy of history shared by all 52 counties of the Texas Plains Trail Region .  For more information contact Deborah Sue McDonald, executive director, Texas Plains Trail Region ,


There were more than twenty news items in the electronic newsletter of which the above is only one. As you can see from this snippet, art, history and culture are interwoven nicely in the activities of the Association, so it’s a huge enjoyment for me and many other people. It’s fun to check out the information such as the Texas Plains Trail including maps and the Quanah Parker Trail including maps and an image of the Giant Arrow by artist Charles Smith




Arts History Update for late October 2011

15 Oct

Arts History Update for late October 2011 by David Cummins


West Texas Watercolor Society brought in Betsy Dillard Stroud for a workshop and demonstration at Texas Tech Museum’s Kline Room October 9, 2011. If you missed it, here’s a YouTube video with her introducing us to her workshops. She is the author of Painting From the Inside Out: 19 Projects and Exercises to Free Your Creative Spirit (North Light Books 2002) and The Artist’s Muse: Unlock the Door to Your Creativity (North Light Books 2006)





Edgar Degas’ sculpture petite danseuse de quatorze ans [The Little Dancer of Fourteen Years], will go on the auction block November 1, 2011 at Christie’s in New York City’s Rockefeller Center at 7:00 p.m. preceded by five days of viewing by potential bidders, expected to bring $25-30 million. It has unflinching realism, a bold and unconventional combination of materials, and a staunch rejection of the idealized grace of a dancer presented by other artists. Degas 1834 – 1917 broke with the academic and salon tradition to make this piece and embrace the modernist aesthetic. Degas modeled her in wax and dressed her wearing a real bodice, stockings, shoes, a tulle skirt, and a horsehair wig with a satin ribbon. He exhibited the sculpture in 1881 and never again during his life. In 1920 it was recast in bronze by Paul-Albert Bartholome, a long-time friend of the then deceased Degas, and it was first exhibited in 1921. It is this bronze that will be sold next month.


Royal Academy of Arts, London England has an exhibition September 17 – December 11, 2011 titled Degas and the Ballet: Picturing Movement that includes the following paintings: Two Dancers on Stage, Dancing Ballerinas, Dancers, The Rehearsal, Ballet Scene from Meyerbeer’s Opera “Robert le Diable”, The Red Ballet Skirts, and The Dance Lesson. Peter Campbell, At the Royal Academy, London Review of Books, October 6, 2011 at p. 18 Following is a review by a well known dancer




The 5th season of the popular Doc Martin television series set in Cornwall England began Monday September 12, 2011 on Britain’s ITV1. The first four seasons [29 episodes total] may be watched on your computer monitor at type doc martin in the search box, click and then select the season and episode. Our local KTXT-TV channel 5 will rebroadcast the first season beginning Monday October 17 at 9:00 p.m.




Jean Dubuffet, The Cow with the Subtle Nose (1954) oil and enamel on canvas owned by Museum of Modern Art, New York City is an example of Art Brut [raw art often called Outsider Art] because done by self-trained artists or those who did not attend an academy and do not subscribe to the values of the academy or art establishment culture. Dubuffet 1901 – 1985 was a successful wine merchant who began painting in middle age when he also began collecting Art Brut. He wrote on the topic. Jean Dubuffet, Jean Dubuffet: Towards an Alternate Reality (eds. Mildred Glimcher & Marc Glimcher, Abbeville Press 1987) Texas Tech Library N6852,D78 A35




Mary Sperling McAuliffe, Dawn of the Belle Epoque: The Paris of Monet, Zola, Bernhardt, Eiffel, Debussy, Clemenceau. and their Friends (Rowman & Lifflefield Pub. 2011) Tech Library DC735.M43 The author offers insight into the lives of the participants and the turbulent world they inhabited. The time is 1870 – 1900 and a humiliating military defeat by Bismarck’s Germany in the Franco-Prussian War, a brutal seige, and a bloody uprising [ill-fated Paris Commune March 18 – May 28, 1871] left Paris in shambles in 1871. The Second Empire was over and the Third Republic was an uncertain venture. As difficult as these years were, there was an extraordinary blossoming in art, literature, poetry, music and architecture, dramatically leaving the Paris of 1900 in full flower of Le Belle Epoque [the beautiful era].


In the United States, recovering from the economic Panic of 1873, the country entered The Gilded Age or Second Industrial Revolution. Mark Twain & Charles Dudley Warner, The Gilded Age: A Tale of Today (American Publishing Co. 1873) Tech Library PS1303.F2





The annual Architecture and Design Film Festival in New York City is upon us. Here’s a list of the films to be presented. Click on the program title for each and see stunning visuals and an introduction to the documentary film.












Arts History Update for mid October 2011

6 Oct

Arts History Update for mid October 2011 by David Cummins

Borrowing eBooks free from the Lubbock Public Library by downloading them into your desktop or laptop computer has been available for some time, using Overdrive Media Console. Now it’s possible to download borrowed items into eReader devices such as Kindle, Nook, Kobo, Sony Reader, iPad, or Pandigital Novel.

Go to You could click on Kindle in the right margin and discover an exclusively Kindle books page that notifies you that there are 1,841 titles that are available to borrow through the Lubbock Public Library. That’s far from the universe of titles at’s Kindle website.

Your more likely option is to use the search box to identify what you’re interested in. If you do that, you will through trial and error discover that the eBooks you can borrow mirror the physical books you can borrow from one of the Lubbock Public Library branches. Let’s explore how this works. What if you were interested in President Harry S Truman’s daughter Margaret and her writing career. You know from the Lubbock Public Library’s catalogue that it has three physical copies, available to borrow, of Murder Inside the Beltway (Ballantine Books 2008). If you go to the Overdrive website within the Lubbock Public Library you discover that this book comes up in three digital formats, to-wit: Kindle format, EPUB format, and Adobe PDF format. That gives you three platforms in the electronic universe for you to read this borrowed book. Let’s assume you would like to read it on your Kindle eReader that you purchased from some time earlier. Click add to cart. You can borrow it electronically for 14 days. Click Proceed to Checkout. Enter your library card number and PIN [personal identification number]. Click on Confirm Check Out. Click on Get for Kindle. That takes you to your logged in’s Kindle website. Click Download.


Marc Chagall, Music (1920) tempera, gouache, and opaque white on canvas, is in the collection at Moscow’s Tretyakov Gallery, but was loaned and shown in NYC at The Jewish Museum during an exhibition November 9, 2008 – March 22, 2009 titled Chagall and the Artists of the Russian Jewish Theatre 1919 – 1949.Past exhibitions are often placed on museum websites and thus offer many hours of digital enjoyment beyond the actual exhibition period.

An article about Russian Jewish Theatre appears at


Football isn’t culture, or at least the culture of interest here, but Colorado’s team the Buffaloes, lost to California and later Washington State, both games played in Boulder. Welcome to the PAC-12. Next week it’s on to Stanford # 7 in the nation for a game in Palo Alto. The Buffs bring to the event a 1-4 win loss record.

Some brave Lubbockites at local watering holes were slushingly in favor of a Texas Tech move to the PAC-12. When dreams come true, the lights never go up and you have to live in the dream. The bars in Boulder aren’t empty but the bounce is absent.


Metropolitan Museum of Art presents occasional video slide shows narrated by a curator. Dark Energy is an example. Watching such videos introduces us, the public, to the curatorial staff who thereafter are real people who are so pleased to be at the Met. We would like to meet them and be guided by them through the treasures. That of course is what the videos accomplish. Accidentally you might discover that one of the curators is Sean Hemingway, grandson of Ernest Hemingway.

The Metropolitan website always puts up a welcoming video that introduces a current or upcoming exhibition. It’s more than a tease as it serves the purpose of framing the exhibition in time place and theme.


Poetry Foundation received a $100 million bequest from pharmaceutical heiress Ruth Lilly in 2002, and this sparked a revival in Poetry Magazine that began publishing in 1912. It has lately sponsored Poetry Out Loud National Competition and the PBS program Poetry Everywhere with Garrison Keillor All are sites where you may see and hear poetry read by authors or admirers. Poetry Magazine is issued 11 times per year, and its regular price is $35, but new subscribers can get it for the first year at $20. Call (800) 327-6976. At Garrison Keillor’s Writers Almanac on Public Radio you can hear him read poetry. Blueprints: Bringing Poetry Into Communities (ed. Katherine Coles, University of Utah Press 2011) paperback at $8.95 is down-loadable without cost to read on your computer

The first half of each issue of Poetry Magazine is poetry. The last half includes reviews, essays, critical symposia, and more. Mr. Christian Wiman is the current editor. He states: “Let us remember … that in the end we go to poetry for one reason, so that we might more fully inhabit our lives and the world in which we live them, and that if we more fully inhabit these things, we might be less apt to destroy both”. Billy Collins will appear at the Texas Tech Student Union Building Allen Theatre on Friday April 29, 2012 at 7:00 p.m. as part of the Presidential Lecture & Performance Series. Collins was United States Poet Laureate in 2001 – 2003. Cost is $15 per person. The English Department at Texas Tech is a hotbed of poetry.


The Occupy Wall Street protest has grown legs; i.e. it continues for many days with protestors becoming increasingly agitated and vowing to endure in the act of protesting, seemingly growing more intractable as arrests and policing become more strict. What is their message? Each of us may interpret that from the fact of the protesting, the verbal act itself. Another way to understand a phenomena is to examine the dialectic. Protestors have now put online a document “Declaration of the occupation of New York City” put up on the website . To what extent the people who participate in Occupy Wall Street actually agree with the thoughts expressed therein is unknown. Is this just letting off steam and irritation in a downturn economy? Or is there a cultural shift in place?

It’s difficult for the public to know, since the national media has chosen to report the event as if it were a recurring traffic congestion event each day. That media may see itself as a target of the protestors, and not wish to give credence to their cause. This wouldn’t be the first time that national media has rendered itself unreliable.

In other cities protests of a similar nature are occurring; e.g. in Boston protestors appeared at the site of a Bank of America foreclosure on a real estate property. Bank of America purchased Countrywide, the largest mortgage lender in the scandalous sub-prime lending schemes for which no one has been held responsible or accountable, either in civil law or criminal law. To what extent there is inter-city coordination or commonality in these episodes is not known to me. If it exists the orchestration is invisible and deft.

I have my own concerns about the real economics in the country and the consequences of electing people to office who wish to hold positions in a government they despise, including Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush. But interpreting phenomena so that it fits one’s own previously thought-out concerns, is not objective interpretation. It just exploits the phenomena. So the truth is I’m ignorant of why the protests are occurring, and why they’re occurring at this particular moment. If you discover it, please let me know.


Well I don’t know about you, but the Oktoberfest Beer Festival in Munich, the world’s largest, just ended Sept 17 – October 3, and I’m exhausted. Maintaining aficionado status is hard but quaffingly worthwhile. While overall United States beer sales by volume were down 1% in 2010, Craft Beer sales were up 11% by volume and 12% by dollars spent. Imported beer was down 10% in 2009 but up 5% in 2010. 1,753 breweries in the United States were operational in 2010. Americans are drinking slightly less beer, but better and more distinctive and tasty beer. To an aficionado these numbers are welcome. It’s worth noting that with high unemployment, under-employment and high partial employment, factors causing people to purchase less expensive mass-produced inferior beer, the higher cost and higher priced craft beer is growing steadily. The beer palate in America is improving.



Lower price than normally discounted to new subscriber magazines, can temporarily be found at Time Warner’s Friends and Family Program