A Few Answers To Questions You Always Wondered About

February 28, 2018 | No Comments » | Topics: Answers

How do you appreciate abstract modern art?

For this explanation I’ll stick with painting, though it applies to art in general. There’s two main things you look at when viewing a painting. It’s “form” and its “content.” Form describes the physical stuff about a painting: color, size, what type of paint, thickness of paint, type of canvas, type of brush strokes, and so on. Content describes what the painting is depicting: a house, a person, a group of people, a particular event, a collection of objects, whatever.

We’ll look at two paintings, one “normal” painting and then an abstract one. First up is Leutze’s painting of Washington crossing the Deleware.  

What are its formal qualities? Well, it’s really big, 21 feet long. It’s painted in oil paint using brush strokes that aren’t really visible unless you’re right up close. The colors are natural and a little muted. It’s a horizontal rectangle. It’s probably very heavy. And I assume it’s made out of wood and canvas. Other than the size, there’s not much going on as far as form goes. But as far as content is concerned, well… I’ll just link you to the wikipedia article. There’s a whole story being told in the piece. There’s men in boats, there’s a great general, there’s an icy river and terrified horses. There’s content out the wazoo. This is the point of most “normal” painting:to depict something, and do it in such a way that the viewer isn’t really worried about the how it’s painted or the formal elements. It’s like when you watch TV, you don’t think about all the transistors and LEDs that make the thing function, you just watch your show.

Now on to the abstract piece, Jackson Pollok’s Autumn Rhythm No. 30.  

Where “normal” painting is all about content, abstract painting is all about form. This painting is 17 feet long. The paint is thick and applied with a crazy dripping, splattering technique. The canvas is left bare in many places; you can see what its made out of. As far as content goes, there is literally none. The entire point of this painting is the form, how the paint is applied to the canvas. In the absence of any kind of content the viewer is left to simply react to the painting however they’d like. There are no politics in Autumn Rhythm, no story, no reclining nudes, no faces–no content. Going back to the TV metephor: It’d be like if somebody broke your TV down into it’s individual components and spread them out on the floor. It’s no longer about what it’s displaying, it’s about what makes the TV work, and what it’s made of.

Why is abstract art important? Because it’s progressive. Since the beginning of civilization most, if not all art was representational. Cavemen painted pictures of mammoth hunts and fertility goddesses on their cave walls, and up until very recently all that anyone in history could really do was paint that hunt a little more realistically. In the twentieth century (arguably a little bit earlier) artists deliberately moved away from representational art and simply tried to capture their feeling of a time and a place. This acceptance of emotion by itself, not attached to any concrete meaning is the essence of the abstract, and reflects a growth in the consciousness of humanity as a species. We’re no longer just goofballs staring at the TV, watching whatever is on. We’ve taken it apart and now we’re learning about electricity and transistors and LEDs and wires and the specifics of what makes the whole thing work.

So to answer your question: you should appreciate abstract art because of it’s formal qualities. Look at the brush strokes. Look at the colors. Look at the size and shape of the work. Ask yourself why the artist made the decisions they made. Think about the feeling the artist was trying to communicate. Think about your own feelings while you look at an abstract piece of work. Is it uplifting? Depressing?Energizing? Chaotic? Orderly? And you should appreciate abstract art because of what it means as a milestone in the grand endevor of human expression. I should add that little reproductions of these works on your computer screen don’t compare to the seeing the real deal. Go out and see art.

 

 

What is the most horrible thing you have seen on the dark web?

I have spent time pretty much every day of the past four years on the dark web. I’m a member of many of the black markets (the ones that sell drugs, hacking tools, stolen credit cards and financial information) and actively participate in many forums.

The truly horrible stuff on the dark web revolves around child pornography and the worst of the worst are the “hurtcore” sites. The hurtcore sites are where the infamous Daisy’s Destruction – a series of three videos depicting the torture of a toddler, once considered an urban myth of the dark web – were hosted. Unfortunately, they were not a myth.

These sites, the most famous of which was called Hurt2theCore, were available to any6one, but to get full access, members had to prove they were actively involved in hurting children by providing videos or pictures not available elsewhere. The highest level of access was the “Producers Lounge” where people would gather and produce videos to order.

Hurt2theCore’s owner, Lux, the most evil person on the dark web. He ran what he called a “Pedo Empire” which was very popular with pedophiles and others who enjoyed watching children get harmed.

Lux was caught a couple of years ago and in the same sting the producer of Daisy’s Destruction, Peter Scully, was also caught. Lux was recently sentenced to 17 years in Australian jail. Peter Scully is in prison in the Philippines for not only torturing Daisy, but facing murder charges of another girl of around 9 years old, whose body was found at his house.

Most of the rumours claim Daisy was killed on film (and thus the only existing proof of a snuff movie) but she is alive and being looked after.

I attended the trial of Lux. Read more about it here: You wanted darker web?

Eileen Ormsby

 

 

 

What is the appeal of Death Metal?

The first thing you’ll usually hear said about it is the quality of the instrumentalists. It’s malarkey, it’s not useful but you’ll hear it said a lot. thing is, other than the bands or players that never get anywhere within the metal world, there is some really strong musicianship in there. But really, that can be said of any genre. The thing that separates things like death metal from other forms of metal or rock is the speed. Playing any instrument well at that speed is difficult.

It’s malarkey not because it isn’t true, but because it’s irrelevant. The quality of the playing doesn’t impact the enjoyment of the genre. even sucky guitar work and muddy, out of time rhythm cab be great music within limits.

Lyrics also get touted as being a big factor in enjoying death metal. myself, I say that if I need liner notes to understand the lyrics, the lyrics don’t matter. And even after decades of listening to metal I still don’t catch half of what most death metal bands sing. but those lyrics (once you read them) are usually intense and speak to the primal self very strongly.

Now, those are the ones that you’ll hear bandied about when going meta or defending the genre. but there’s more to it.

The great thing about death metal or similar sub genres isn’t about the music first. It’s about how you respond to the music. Stuff like that breaks down the walls of your emotions very readily. It pushes past the normal restrictions we place on ourselves so that the more simple self can run free for a while. It’s like this sonic assault allows you a catharsis of whatever ugly things you’ve shoved inside yourself.

It does this with speed, volume, and the sheer primal growl of the vocals. It is unpleasant. It’s not meant to be pretty or sweet, or to move you to tears. It’s meant to reach down inside you, grab your balls and hand them to you.

But here’s the thing. when you get your nuts handed to you like that, where the music breaks past the wall we put up just to cope with reality and stay sane. It changes how you feel for the better. music can change our brain patterns you know. us metal heads don’t reputations to the dissonance by becoming dissonant ourselves. it balances things out.

The energy, getting pumped up and feeling alive is part of it, but not the end. Metal in general and the darker stuff in particular is great for reducing stress and anger. seriously, if you Google around you’ll find some studies done on it. By letting the fury of the music in, it seems to quiet strong emotions for lots of folk.

For me, death metal isn’t my absolute favorite sub genre, I prefer the Nordic stuff like Amon Amarth, Ensiferum and the like. but it all works the same. If I’m having a bad day; be it from anxiety, depression, or just regular stress; some dark, chaotic metal just washes it away. The really bad times? Like panic attacks or ptsd flareups, you’d think something really chill like folk or slow tempo classical would be best. But metal works better and faster. no joke, I can be flipping out, ready to run screaming for medication, and a bit of Bathory can turn the switch off faster and more surely than it would take the pill to take effect.

If you can’t work past the chaos of the vocals, the screaming and growling, then you’ll never feel it. But underneath that wall of noise is a level of sonics that’s very soothing.

Besides, isn’t there something fun about just cutting loose and screaming to the world? The sheer abandon of singing like that is incredible. And if you force yourself past the initial shock and discomfort of the sound, I think you’ll find that there’s similarities to things like the more tragic operas in the way the singer can express powerful ideas with their voice.

Yeah, there’s things like that in all music. I listen to just about everything, including bubble gum pop (which is about as opposite from death metal as it gets lol) and the really heavy metal does things that nothing else can.

 

 

 

What the big deal is with “Han shot first”

The fact that Han shot first in his confrontation becomes a very telling part of his character. He was rogue – he played by his own rules and didn’t give a damn about the notion of a fair fight or honor. That short little scene sets his character as a man who is purely self-interested.

By digitally adding Greedo firing the first shot, the whole scene changes from ‘Han taking a cheap shot to kill the guy’ to ‘Han defending himself from an alien with horrible aim’. It was a cheap attempt to make Han Solo seem more ‘heroic’ when that is not who he is.

Plus, it just makes the whole scene look like crap.

– CommissarAJ