Monday, November 05, 2012

--------------------- From Timeline of Kings Queens from Charlemagne to Elizabeth II by Gordon Kerr -------------------------- 

1767  Montenegro: Scepan Mali claims to be Russian Tsar Peter III (recently murdered by Catherine II of Russia).  He takes the throne as an absolute ruler, but is actually a farmer from Dalmatia.
  So the fact checking wasn't any better then than it is now.
1795  Russia: Catherine II the Great dies, having taken countless lovers, possibly of a stroke, but unsubstantiated rumors suggest that a horse fell as it was being lowered onto her for an act of bestiality.

1801  Russia: Tsar Paul I is assassinated by being strangles and trampled to death by a group of disgruntled army officers.
If they were happy with the Tsar would they have been described as "gruntled"?

Thanks to Jerome I know that the "mystery" painting on my last post was called Le Douleur -- Sorrow -- by Emile Friant, a French realist whose career spanned the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.  He was sometimes criticized for being TOO realistic, possibly because of his fascination with photography and it's influence on some of his painting technique.

Friant documented his life fairly frequently during his career, often depicting himself painting in his studio but also in standard portrait formats like the one above of the artist at age 32.
La Douleur is set at an open grave with mourners; funerary subjects were something of a subset in his output.  The painting above is called All Saints Day, depicting a family on its way to a cemetery to lay flowers on the graves of their dearly departed.  The young daughter has a coin to give to the beggar in the cemetery gateway.
This one, not surprisingly, is titled Shadows, and is strongly photographic in style.

Another self-portrait is of Friant at age fifteen.  A prodigy, he was already established and selling well at this age.

Not everything was realistic -- Voyage to Infinity has elements of symbolism, unlike the painting below:

The scene depicted in The Expiation takes place probably no more than three minutes before the blade falls on the prisoner.  The painting, perfectly square, dates from 1908.  Beheading by the Guillotine was the standard method of execution in France until 1933, the year after Friant's death.

Election Day is tomorrow.  Finally the endless barrage of campaign ads, predominantly filled with everything to out-of-context quotes to outright fabrication and lies, will end. Here is something to think about when the subject turns to those awful liberals we keep hearing about from the Republican Party.  Thanks to Mark Alexander of the Blog Voenix Rising.  

A Day in the Life of Joe Republican

From my friend Mark:

 Joe gets up at 6 a.m. and fills his coffeepot with water for his morning coffee. The water is clean and good because some tree-hugging, commie liberal fought for minimum water-quality standards.

With his first swallow of coffee, Joe takes his daily medications. His medications are safe to take because some evil, lefty bomb-throwers fought to insure their safety and that they work as advertised.
All but $10 of Joe’s medications are paid for by his employer’s medical plan because some fire-breathing, lazy-ass union workers fought their employers for paid medical insurance — now Joe gets it, too. Never would turn it down.

He prepares his morning breakfast, bacon and eggs. Joe’s bacon is safe to eat because some girly-man liberal fought for laws to regulate the meat packing industry.

In his morning shower, Joe reaches for his shampoo. His bottle is properly labeled with each ingredient and its amount in the total contents because some cry-baby liberal fought for his right to know what he was putting on his body and how much it contained.

Joe dresses, walks outside and takes a deep breath. The air he breathes is healthy because some wacko, trouble-making, militant environmentalist fought for laws to stop industries from polluting our air.

Then Joe walks to the subway station for his government-subsidized ride to work. It saves him considerable money in parking and transportation fees because some fancy-pants, limp-wristed, freethinkng asshole fought for affordable public transportation, which gives everyone the opportunity to be a contributor.

Joe begins his work day. He has a good job with excellent pay, medical benefits, retirement, paid holidays and vacation because some fire-breathing, Viet Cong-loving union members fought and died for these working standards.

Joe’s employer pays these high standards because Joe’s employer doesn’t want his employees to call the union in. So Joe benefits from what others have gained.

If Joe is hurt on the job or becomes unemployed, he’ll get a workers compensation or unemployment check because some stupid, pinko troublemakers didn’t think Joe should lose his home because of a temporary misfortune.

At noontime Joe needs to make a bank deposit so he can pay some bills. Joe’s deposit is federally insured by the FSLIC because some godless, liberal red wanted to protect Joe’s money from unscrupulous bankers who ruined the banking system before the Great Depression. He can thank that Stalinist Franklin D. Roosevelt for that.

Joe has to pay his Fannie Mae-underwritten mortgage and his below-market federal student loan because some elitist, pointy-headed liberal decided that Joe and society as a whole would be better off if he was educated and earned more money over his lifetime. That’s okay, but the bastards tricked him because he has to pay taxes. Romney will fix that, he tells himself.

Joe gets home from work. He plans to visit his father this evening at his farm home in the country. He gets in his car for the drive. His car is among the safest in the world because some America-hating liberal fought for car safety standards.

He arrives at his boyhood home. His was the third generation to live in the house financed by Farmers’ Home Administration because bankers didn’t want to make rural loans. The house didn’t have electricity until some big-government, New Deal, Stalinist liberal stuck his nose where it didn’t belong and demanded rural electrification.

Joe is happy to see his father, who is now retired. His father lives on Social Security and a union pension because some wine-drinking, cheese-eating Marxist made sure he could take care of himself so Joe wouldn’t have to.

Joe gets back in his car for the ride home, and turns on a radio talk show. The radio host keeps saying that liberals are bad and conservatives are good. He doesn’t mention that over the decades the beloved Republicans have fought to defeat every protection and benefit Joe enjoys throughout his day.

Joe agrees with the talk-radio loudmouth: We don’t need those big-government liberals ruining our lives! After all, I’m a self-made man and a good Republican and I believe all Americans should take care of themselves, just like I have!

The "Day in the Life" is well done!

I love the artwork!

If Dimwit Trump had been around in 1767, do you suppose he would have made sure they got the long-from birth certificate of that farmer?
The "Day in the Life" piece is so awesome. Thanks for posting this. It was a joy to read it, and of course, it's totally true. Totally true. Totally awesome.
Will the "Day in the Life" piece was great! :)
Dear Will,

I have just popped in to look at your blog. I like it!

The art of Emile Friant is wonderful. Thank you for reminding me of this talented man. I have seen his painting of 'Shadows' at the Musée d'Orsay: It really does look like a photograph. When you first see it you just can't stop staring at it!

Bye for now

Kirk, what a great pleasure to have your comment. I do hope you'll feel free to stop by often,
Thank you Will, I shall indeed stop by often. In fact I am going to put your blog address on my link thingy so I can find it easily and see when you put up a new post!
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