Tuesday, April 12, 2011

GPP 043: Accounting for Taste

Paul and Grace talk about their own theories of aesthetics, and what they admire and value in art.

MP3 File

Show Notes:

We mention Wild Things, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, and Zeitoun by Dave Eggers

I mention Going After Cacciato by Tim O'Brien, although I could not remember the title accurately.

I mention James Fallows' essay on the crash of Egypt Air Flight 990.

I'm always confusing William Langewiesche with James Fallows; it was Langewiesche who wrote the 3-part essay in the Atlantic, Unbuilding the World Trade Center. This material was later adapted into book form in American Ground: Unbuilding the World Trade Center.

This is the 826 Valencia writing program I was trying to recall. This is the Ann Arbor Chapter. The Ann Arbor chapter's storefront is dressed up as a robot supply store, while the San Francisco chapter is fronted by a pirate supply store.

The definitive documentary about Daniel Johnston is The Devil and Daniel Johnston. I described Johnston as suffering from schizophrenia, although Wikipedia suggests bipolar disorder.

This is Daniel Johnston singing his song True Love Will Find You in the End. Here is Beck's Cover. Here is Wilco's Cover. Here is a Mates of State cover. There are plenty of others. Here is a link to a gallery that sells some of Johnston's artwork.

John Hodgman's essay can be found in More Information Than You Require under the title "How to be a Famous Minor Television Personality." A version of this essay appeared on This American Life.

Regarding Neon Genesis: Evangelion: it has been some time since I saw the original series; I can't recall for certain, but it seems likely that I watched the Perfect collection on VHS tapes. My interpretation of the ending, that the team ran out of money and assembled the final episode from outtakes and rough drafts, may not be correct; the ending may be as planned, scripted and intended. I may have gotten this idea from a friend of mine. But the ending is still controversial. Wikipedia describes the end of the storyline thusly:
In the last two episodes (the second set in 2016), Gendo and Rei initiate the Human Instrumentality Project, forcing several characters (especially Shinji) to face their doubts and fears and examine their self-worth, with sequences that "suggest animated schizophrenia" This ending was made up of flashbacks, sketchy artwork, and flashing text "over a montage of bleak visuals, that include black and white photos of desolate urban motifs such as a riderless bicycle or vacant park benches interspersed with graphic stills of the devastated Nerv headquarters in which Shinji's colleagues are seen as bloodstained bodies", and a brief interlude depicting an "alternate" Evangelion universe with the same characters but apparently in the high school comedy genre, eventually seems to depict Shinji concluding that life could be worth living and that he did not need to pilot an Eva to justify his existence; he is then surrounded by most of the cast, clapping and congratulating him. The introduction implies that this same process took place for everyone.
A more comprehensible ending to the series was created as the separate movie The End of Evangelion; I can't recall if I ever saw that. It probably says something about the series that twelve or thirteen years after watching the whole series I can remember very little about it except a few beautiful images, the sound of cicadas, and the baffling montages in the ending.

I was not able to quickly find the "trash artist" Grace might be referring to.

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