A Few Answers To Questions You Always Wondered About

April 18, 2018 | No Comments » | Topics: Answers

Was J Edgar Hoover gay?

Probably.

Some reasons why this may be a correct assumption:

  1. He had a single relationship with a woman in his entire life and it ended when she grew tired of his not taking it to the “next level” – When Hoover failed to propose or marry her, she ended their “relationship” and married another man.
  2. No one can confirm his alleged heterosexual affairs – While he was alleged linked to actresses Dorothy Lamour (who never denied it) and Ginger Rogers (whose mother he was seen in the company of more than her) no one outside of these pairings can seem to confirm that they were anything other than platonic.
  3. His longtime relationship with his assistant Clyde Tolson – Hoover and Tolson spent long hours together, vacationed together, lived near one another and nearly always ate meals together. Tolson was the heir to Hoover’s estate, he moved into Hoover’s home following his death and he accepted the flag that was draped across Hoover’s coffin. Since Tolson was never married and not known to have any other relationship besides the one with Hoover, their intimacy would certainly not be beyond the realm of speculation.
  4. Hoover’s near witch hunts against anyone who questioned his sexuality – Since to remove any doubt about his sexuality, all Hoover had to do is establish a relationship (sexual or not) with a woman, his insistence upon maintaining his lifestyle with Tolson, but vigorously going after anyone who accused him of an alternative romantic life, seems to be very odd. Instead of simply finding a “beard” who would be satisfied being the wife of a powerful government official, Hoover instead collected reams of information about the sex lives of others which he may have used to divert scrutiny from himself and his own life.

While it is possible that Hoover was bisexual (a distinction that hardly would have made a difference when he was serving as FBI Director) or even asexual, his long-term relationship with Tolson indicates that he was most likely a closeted gay man who used his political influence to deter most comments and investigations into his personal life.

– Jon Mixon

 

 

What will it be like for a child murderer in prison?

I served time many years ago.

He’ll get fucked up in prison

Probably not. Despite what most people think, prison’s aren’t free-for-all, lawless islands where people get tortured or killed upon entry for having an unfavorable offense.

He’ll enter a community that he is physically locked inside where he’ll have a reputation as a piece of shit. Nobody will want to talk to him, much less be helpful in any way. He’ll be the last person in line to take a shower, eat, and he won’t be included in any recreational activities or sports. He’ll get the worst work duty, if he gets one at all. He might stand up for himself at some point and get in a scuffle, but he’ll just end up getting a black eye and shots from the nearest guard.

5 years later, the gossip about him will still be prevalent. New prisoners will not want to talk to him out of fear that they’ll experience a fraction of the same social exile. He won’t be applicable for educational programs since he’s a lifer. He’ll see people come and go knowing that this lonely, outcasted existence is literally the rest of his life. He’ll probably try and kill himself unsuccessfully once a year and get force fed some awful meds like lithium that prevent him from even thinking straight.

Time will stop existing. Every Christmas will be a benchmark for most people, but not for him. There’s no point in counting when it’s just a reminder of how much of your time on this earth was spent this miserable way.

Then he’ll die. His immediate family members will likely be already gone, or completely disconnected from his existence. His body will probably be cremated and nobody will want the ashes. Maybe as he ages he’ll feel charitable and donate his body to science. Then it’ll be used for forensic research and left to rot in the woods while the decay is studied. At least he’ll have amounted to something on this planet then.

– and303

 

 

How did this piece of art sell for over $86 million dollars?

The thing to remember about contemporary art is that it doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Rothko wasn’t just saying “isn’t this pretty?” any more than Hemingway was just writing about an old man and the sea. Contemporary art is in a conversation with every painting that came before it. But since that conversation is long, entirely visual and not well-publicized (articles that mention how much a piece was sold for never talk about why), it can be really difficult to understand what an artist is saying just from looking at it.

I’ll try to give a brief overview of the narrative leading up to Rothko. This well be over-simplified and contain errors:

Painting for a long time after the Renaissance was about the rules of positing. How too paint people. How to use color, shadow, and contrast. Composition. You worked really hard to learn these rules, then tried to improve the art. This produced a bunch of beautiful paintings that approached photorealism.

Then people started to question these rules. They started to intentionally break them to see what would happen. Impressionists started painting everyday scenes instead of royal portraits. They made things blurry, top capture emotions rather than detail. They used visible brush strokes, at once reminding the viewer that they were looking at a positing, not a real landscape, and making the painters presence, and personality, an important party of the aesthetic experience.

Then you have a bunch of movements that continue along this trajectory, breaking long-established rules about how one should paint. Post-impressionism distorted forms to express a mood, used color wildly, abstracted real objects into geometric shapes. Surrealism, cubism, art nouveau, and a ton of other movements played with these themes and tried new things.

By the time the mid-20th century rolls around, it seems like every taboo had been broken. How many ways can you paint a still-life? One solution was to not paint anything. As in any thing. A painting didn’t have to be anything but an expression of the artist’s creativity, or a commentary on painting itself, without having to use a subject (a landscape, a nude) as a vector for the ideas. Painting could just be about painting, our the process of painting, or the experience of looking at a painting.

Rothko’s journey followed a similar trajectory to the one I’ve described for all modern art. He stayed painting as an impressionist, doing landscapes, city scenes, etc. with influence from the Surrealists, he became interested in myth and mythology, and the compares turned him onto primitive art and children’s art. All this was in an attempt to hack into something deep inside the viewer, to express an idea in a visual language that was more direct and pure than painting a seaside scene. He would use simple symbols that were meant to hit the viewer deep. Unfortunately, these works weren’t well-received, so he figured his theories weren’t right. He broke with surrealism and went full abstract.

This was the beginning of his “multiforms”, the paintings he is most famous for (including the one above). The theory was, as best as I can understand it:

When you look at a painting of a tiger, you are not just looking at the tiger. You are relating it top every other time you’ve seen a tiger, which lets you pull back from the experience, view it from above, not from within, experience the tiger only from a distance. But when you look at his paintings, they aren’t “of”anything. You’re not allowed to reduce it and categorize it. You have to dive into it, experience it, let it seep into you. He recommended that you get as close to 18 inches from the canvas so as to really immerse yourself and confront the unknown.

This discussion is definitely flawed and very incomplete, but I hope it helps illustrate why this want just a hack saying “ain’t these colors purdy”, and why some people may think it’s quite valuable.

– UWillAlwaysBALoser 

 

 

 

What’s it like to experience 43g of deceleration?

John Stapp’s last sled run on December 10, 1954, was also his more noteworthy. Three more rockets had been added to Sonic Wind’s propulsion system for this run; the full cluster nine of solid fuel rockets could produce 40,000 pounds of thrust. Because there was no windscreen, Stapp’s arms and legs were secured to decrease the chances of injury from his limbs flailing in the wind. He wore a helmet and had a bite block in his mouth to protect his teeth.

Strapped in an unable to move, Stapp and his team waited for the clouds overhead to break. Stapp needed clear skies because part of the test involved photographing the run. High speed cameras on the ground were trained on the track, and a photographer in the back of a T-33 piloted by Joe Kittinger would capture the end of the run from above.

When the cloud broke, the test was on. The nine rockets behind Stapp came to life. In five seconds he reached 632 miles per hour, which is about Mach 0.9. Kittinger watched at the sled outstripped his T-33. Almost as suddenly as it started, the run ended. From the moment the scoops first dug into the water, it took just 1.4 seconds for the sled to come to a complete stop. This rapid deceleration translated to more than 40 Gs, making Stapp momentarily weigh 6,800 pounds as his body slammed forward. The force of the stop was the same that a driver would feel smashing into a brick wall at 120 miles per hour.

And then the sled was still. Stapp waited for emergency personnel to remove him from the seat and take him to hospital. His body was in shock from the extreme g-forces. All the blood vessels in his eyes had burst, rendering him momentarily blind; for a few nervous minutes didn’t know whether he would ever regain his sight. He had cracked ribs, both his wrists were broken, and the deceleration had taken a toll on his respiratory and circulatory systems. He was banged up, but in good spirits. Time Magazine subsequently named Stapp the “Fastest Man on Earth.”

Before he had fully recovered from his injuries, Stapp was already planning to add more rockets to the sled for the next test. He wanted to get it up to 1,000 miles per hour to go faster than the speed of sound, but the Air Force finally intervened. He was “grounded” from doing any more high speed research runs. His life and work were too valuable to risk on another high speed run.