that the battle isn’t so much against evil as ignorance


Boris Artzybasheff was a graphic artist illustrator. His hay-day was probably from the fifties through the mid-sixties. Some of his work made it to the front pages of magazines like Time and Life, but would look just as new and inventive if they were on the front pages of Popular Mechanics or Newsweek today. While we have those that celebrate the idea of the singularity today, back in the fifties there was and I suppose there still is some discussion over to what degree machines and technology dehumanize mankind. So in viewing his work one is left wondering where machine ends and man begins or vice versa. There is a collection of Boris’s work out called AS I SEE.

While we’re on the subject of humanity, it is amazing how much a jelly like substance, a real physical goo has to do with what constitutes our humanity and our perceptions of what humanity is, Another Day in the Frontal Lobe: A Brain Surgeon Exposes Life on the Inside

I’ll give you an example of a most straightforward and manual case. I was paged to the emergency room a few years ago during my training and received the following brief report over the phone: “carpenter coming in with a nail stuck in the left frontal region of his head… neurologically intact.” What is going through my mind at this point? Do I hark back to my studies of frontal lobe circuitry and mull over the complex neural networks involved in language and memory? No. I’m thinking concrete, surgical thoughts: nails are sharp; the brain is full of blood vessels; the nail may have snagged a vessel on the way in. These thoughts are instantaneous, of course. I spell out the simple logic here purely for effect.

So at this juncture do we need a brilliant theoretician or a highly skilled mechanic?

I forget which right-wing clone that made some inane remark about conservatives being more attractive then Democrats as a reason to vote Republican, but I do remember feeling reassured that politics is the shallowest of games. Even when my side wins we just talley up the votes and that is enough. I do have what appears to be unrealistic ideals, that people should vote for who they vote for because of enlightened self interests and the common good. But that is just a dream. I guess it doesn’t hurt in the short term if people vote for the person that is both attractive and stands for what is good too, Democratic Faces That Could Launch Thousands of Votes

His political friends tease him about his fashion-magazine persona, but they acknowledge that it’s a valuable asset. “He’s a young, good-looking guy,” said Charlie Evangelista, Ontario County Democratic Committee chairman. “He’s going to connect with people.”

Arcuri’s theory is that voters have an immediate, visceral reaction to candidates that, if powerful enough, can trump ideology or party affiliation. “How do you get around the status quo? You look for younger, energetic faces,” he said. But while people may decide in an instant whether or not they are able to vote for him, he said, “then they have to know you can do the job.”

He added, “I spend a lot of time assuring people I can be congressional.”

His theory might be correct. An independent poll in the district released last night showed him with a 10-point lead.

Some of the academic research on beauty and voting goes back decades, to the early 1970s. In 1990, political scientist Lee Sigelman, then at the University of Arizona, posited that Democrats were losing ground nationally, despite an advantage in voter registration, because their looks were a turnoff. He rated all governors and members of Congress on an ugliness scale and found that of the 26 least attractive, 25 were Democrats.

The playing field these days is more level. Research has shown that if candidates invest a little effort in their looks, the payoff can be huge. Campaign consultants hover around candidates, ordering them to change their hairstyles, get in shape and update their wardrobes. “The bar has been raised, without question,” said Sigelman, now a George Washington University political science professor.

He singled out three Maryland statewide candidates, Republican Senate nominee Michael S. Steele and gubernatorial rivals Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) and Martin O’Malley (D), “as playing the image game really well.” Politicians today, said Sigelman, strive for “the personality and looks of talk show hosts.” The goal is to be “well turned out.”

One candidate who made a high-impact adjustment is Diane Farrell. The Connecticut Democrat used to wear her blond hair pulled back tight, but after a gentle nudge from a campaign aide, she allowed it to hang loose for a more natural, relaxed look.

The looks factor can be maddening for the opposition. One writer on an anti-Shuler blog expressed annoyance at the candidate’s wife, “with all her quips about how cute Shuler is. What a way to decide how to vote!!”

Perhaps not surprisingly, research has shown that voters who are easily swayed by social trends tend to favor more attractive candidates. Conversely, people who resist social trends prefer unattractive candidates.

I don’t have any experience running political campaigns, but I have been neck deep in corporate politics and it is maddening the degree to which looks play a role in promotions, raises, disciplinary actions, work assignments, prime desk and office space assignments. Part of it is a preference for attractive people, but the opposite also occurs. People that are too attractive are not taken seriously or are only thought to be suitable for certain responsibilities.

Its getting to be the Conservative Sex Scandal of the Day, Country singer filing for divorce, cites adultery, abuse

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Country singer Sara Evans alleges in divorce papers that her husband committed adultery, was verbally and emotionally abusive, drank excessively and frequently watched pornography in their home.

Evans, 35, filed for divorce Thursday from Craig Schelske and announced through a spokesman that she was quitting ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” “to give her family full attention at this difficult time.”

The couple married in 1993 and have three children ages 7, 3 and 2.

Schelske, 43 and currently unemployed, ran for Congress as a Republican from Oregon’s 5th District in 2002. He is a native of Salem, Ore.

He could not be reached for comment because there was no answer at a phone number for him Oregon.

In the filing in state court in suburban Franklin, where the couple has a home, Evans alleges that Schelske watched pornography on the couples’ computers and has at least 100 nude photographs of himself in a state of arousal.
She also alleges that several photographs show Schelske having sex with other women.

Here in St. Cloud’s, I have come to
understand that promises are rarely
kept, that the battle isn’t so much
against evil as ignorance, and that
being successful can’t hold a candle
to being of *use*.
from the screenplay Cider House Rules