The Secret World of Andy Warhol

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Well I see the new Whitney has an Andy Warhol show going on, and I really must get down there, in my fabled guise of Art Reviewer. Stay tuned. The Atlantic recently did a nice piece on Andy, far superior to most of what one reads in that rag. (I'll give a link farther down.) But it got me wondering: how much more IS there to know about An-dee? I met the guy only once, during his last years. He was going around with Rupert Smith one evening around Third Avenue and 13th Street, handing out copies of Interview. Or maybe just carrying copies of Interview. Rupert was in his last years, too. […] Read More

Art

Ask the Family Doctor: Starving the Obese Child

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with Ferenc Molmar, MD Q. My eldest child, now 11, tips the scales at over 240 lbs and is only 4'9". Actually that is an estimate, because our bathroom scale stops at 240. At the county fair they have livestock scales that go much higher but the fair doesn't open till June. I'm wondering how I can get this child to lose weight. (Before you go blaming this on not getting enough exercise and playing too many vidyagames, let me tell you this child is very active, and we limit vidyagame playing to an hour a day on Animal Crossing Pocket Camp, which is not only low-calorie, but endorsed by AARP.) Should I get the child's […] Read More

Medicins sans frontal-lobes

The Secret to Successful Art

Steve Sailer

Mr Sailer

California humorist Steve Sailer announces astounding findings about the art world, in Takimag: A new study in Science, “Quantifying reputation and success in art,” documents that in the contemporary art world, it’s less a matter of what you know than whom you know. Art economist Magnus Resch writes in Art News this week of what he has learned from his database of prices paid for roughly 10 million works of art by half a million artists at more than 20,000 museums and galleries around the world. Read the whole thing […] Read More

Art

Perused with Pleasure in 2018: My Top 5 Books

Bernard Levin

Mr Levin

I was using my Spectator-co-uk digital subscription to search for odds and ends in its wonky archive. What, I wondered, did the Speccy have to say about the Angry Young Men in the late 1950s? Better yet, what did they have on Colin Wilson and his friend, the ever-elusive Bill Hopkins? Not an awful lot, as it turns out. But I did find a hilarious 1958 column by Bernard Levin, talking about end-of-year book-review roundups, and how preposterous they usually are (or were). Colin and Bill appear only as a kind of punchline; by this point they were rumored to be fascist fellow-travelers,  and thus deserving of a sneer and a raspberry from all good-thinking hacks. Here's the actual […] Read More

Books

New Woodward Book Lays Trump Bare

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The new Bob Woodward book (Book & Snake publishers, $29.99) has DC a-buzzing. Some of the revelations about President Trump are so fantastic they must be made up. Highlights: National Security Advisor Byron McCrohn calls Trump "a moron...two pancakes short of a full combination plate...I wouldn't sell him to my mother." Assistant Chief Secretary of Housing Belinda Bree Liddell revealed that the President is so mentally handicapped he couldn't even figure out how a toddler's Fisher-Price pull-toy worked. "I put Quacky the Duck on his desk one afternoon when no one was around. Later on I looked in. Instead of pulling the toy around the Oval Office, the President kept turning it over […] Read More

Commentary

Noguchi’s Back, and Garson’s Got ‘im

(courtesy of Departures) One of the most influential artists of 20th century, the Japanese-American sculptor and landscape architect Isamu Noguchi was widely known for his inventive and diverse body of work—from home furniture (like his 1947 Noguchi table, which was sold by Herman Miller) to public sculptures and gardens in cities like New York and Paris. This February, New York’s Noguchi Museum will pay homage to one particular strain of the artist’s iconic designs: his Akari light sculptures, or collapsible lanterns made of paper, bamboo, and metal. Starting February 28, the museum will host two complementary exhibitions. The first, Akari: Sculpture by Other Means, will include approximately 60 of Noguchi’s lanterns (including 40 […] Read More

Art

Do You Make These Mistakes in English?

Even highly intelligent people with a lot of "horse sense" get mistaken for Big Dummies when they say things like this: "Between you and I, Aunt Fanny's gotten a lot more fatter since last picnic." "I am quite adversed to money matters and business, in fact I'm quite financial indeed." "I never seen a girl get ruined by a book." "All my children are real eager to rake the yard every Fall, but somehow Sally always gets less leaves than Bob and Sue." Chances are—you've said things just like this, every day, and had no idea people were laughing at you behind your back! But there's no need any more for your […] Read More

Commentary

Wally Wood Technique

Early Wally Wood, c. 1949. Impossible to contemplate today without seeing it as some kind of latter-day retro parody. Some comic illustrators of the 1980s and 90s, notably Charles Burns and "Coop," painstakingly imitated the zigzag highlights technique you see in the foreground coiffure […] Read More

Art

Restoring the American Girl

The Guardian's recent slash-and-burn job on Taylor Swift (see Steve Sailer here, Nov. 25) pointed up a couple of home truths about race discussion in the media. One is that, as Sailer put it, "It's Not Okay to be White" in such fever-swamp precincts as The Guardian's editorial board. The other is that—hate her or love her—the image of La Swift continues to serve as both whipping-girl and icon of traditional American whiteness. Consider this. After years of Diversifying its brand into utter meaninglessness, the American Girl Doll collection recently introduced a girl-singer doll into its lineup. Named "Tenney Grant," and sporting a miniature acoustic guitar and denim-and-lace outfits, this new entry is quite clearly a proxy for […] Read More

Commentary

Liz Smith Is Dead at 94

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Liz Smith, veteran Broadway and theatre columnist, died yesterday of a drug overdose. She was 94. Frank Sinatra once famously called her a "two-dollar whore" while shoving a pair of greenbacks into Liz Smith's old-fashioned glass. But others had favorable memories of the legendary gossip scribe. An old friend, actor Richard Gere, described her thusly: "Liz Smith was the kindest, warmest, bravest, most wonderful human being I've ever known in my lift." "You mean in your life?" a reporter interjected. "No, my lift, my elevator! We lived in the same building on Central Park West. She always had a smile for me," Gere noted with a shrug. Elizabeth Penrose Smith was born in Stamford, […] Read More

Fashion

Antisocial: Vindictive Fun!

Interesting review here of Antisocial by Andrew Marantz. Surely one of the vicious books of the season. So now Andrew Marantz tacked to a new course, and homed in on an irresistibly rancid subject: the viral meme as the seducer and assassin of youth. In Antisocial, he illustrates this notion through two extended case studies. One of them is factual, with actual, verifiable people; the other is so cliché-ridden and evasive that I initially took it to be a fictional composite. The “real” example is an intellectually omnivorous male person who worked in Web development, made podcasts, and gradually migrated from libertarian politics to the Far Right. The other example tells about a young […] Read More

Books, Commentary

Ask the Family Doctor: Can I Give Fish Antibiotics to My Children?

Ask the Family Doctor: Can I Give Fish Antibiotics to My Children? thumbnail

with Ferenc Molmar, MD I am often asked whether it safe and proper for human beings to ingest antibiotics designed for tropical fish. There are two issues to address here. One is that antibiotics for fish have generally been tested on fish, but not on humans. Therefore, although the the chemical structure of the drug may be similar, you can never be certain of what a fish antibiotic will do to one of us higher vertebrates. More importantly, the medical community has invested long years and lots of money in gaining their professional status, and it is important to give us your support. How do you think your professional auto-mechanic would feel […] Read More

column, Medicins sans frontal-lobes