Tag Archives: Robert Indiana

May Newsletter: A Review of the Month’s Culture, Arts + Trends

28 May

FOR THE LOVE OF MAY

1.IndianaLOVE.may2018

The beloved artist of LOVE, Robert Indiana (who changed his name from Robert Clark in honor of his home state), died this month on May 19. Originally a Christmas card that was commissioned by The Museum of Modern Art in 1965, his LOVE painting became the embodiment of peace and love of the ‘60s. He turned it into the famous sculpture that is erected in cities all over the world. It even became a U.S. postage stamp issued for Valentine’s Day 1973 … The design was his interpretation of the phrase “God is love” that he heard as a young boy raised as a Christian Scientist. The red and green of his first LOVE version were the colors from the Philips 66 gas sign, in memory of the company where his father worked. In the early 1960s, as a reminder of his mother, he created works with HUG, her word for affection.

 

THE FIFTH OF MAY

2.Margarita.LineEmUp.may2018

Line ’em up! Here’s to the merry month of May, a personal favorite. And of course the perfect toast is a Margarita to celebrate Cinco de Mayo! The holiday recognizes the victory of the Mexican army over the French army on May 5, 1862, at the Battle of Puebla.

 

STYLE AND SUBSTANCE

3.Jackie.may2018

Jacqueline Bouvier always got right back on her horse after she fell. Figuratively and literally, as a child she toppled from her horse on her first day at riding camp. She was bookish and aimed for a career after college. In fact, she ranked being a journalist over landing a man. Until, of course, she met John F. Kennedy. When he became president, Jackie brought progressive ideas about art and culture to the White House. Intelligent and charming, she won over foreign dignitaries … After JFK’s assassination, she displayed unforgettable dignity and the “steel under all that beauty and style,” the steel that was always there. And oh yes, Jackie got right back on that horse, moved her children to NYC, helped save Grand Central Terminal from demolition, and became a revered book editor … Just Being Jackie, a Young Adult book by Margaret Cardillo with illustrations by Julia Denos, is great for anyone at any age as a reminder of this icon’s cool strength and backbone.

 

TRUTH

4.RobertFrost.may2018.c-USE

“If art is to nourish the roots of our culture, society must set the artist free to follow his vision wherever it takes him. We must never forget that art is not a form of propaganda; it is a form of truth…[in a] democratic society, the highest duty of the writer, the composer, the artist is to remain true to himself…In serving his vision of the truth, the artist best serves his nation.” (President John F. Kennedy)

It was at JFK’s inauguration in 1961 that Robert Frost became the first inaugural poet, delivering an ode to the dream of including the arts in government which touched JFK deeply. Frost died two years later in January 1963. That fall, JFK spoke at an event honoring the poet at Amherst College. His speech mirrored Frost’s about the arts and celebrating the role of the artist in society.

 

THE DARCY DEFENSE

5.JaneAusten.Quotation.may2018-USE

Would you be surprised to learn that many judges cite Jane Austen quotes in court? It is as an authority on relationships that her influence prevails in the courtroom. Although Harper Lee and Mary Shelley also show up in legal decisions, each is quoted from one work (Mockingbird and Frankenstein). On the other hand, quotes and references are taken from all of Austen’s many books such as Emma, Mansfield Park, Northanger Abbey, and, of course, Pride and Prejudice. As well as from Jane Austen herself … In a fraud case involving friends who formed a partnership that went really bad, the judge cited Emma: “business…may bring money, but friendship hardly ever does,” and concluded that had the litigant “been mindful of the words of Jane Austen,” he would not have gotten himself involved in the lawsuit … In a gender discrimination case where a female plaintiff alleged her managers “did not tolerate intelligent and articulate female subordinates,” the judge quoted Northanger Abbey: “A woman especially, if she has the misfortune of knowing anything, should conceal it as well as she can.” Doing so, the judge used Austen’s satire to shine a spotlight on what the civil rights law at stake aimed to end … And to emphasize that “looks can be deceiving,” the judge wrote in a legal malpractice case: “…one must get the whole story in order to have an accurate picture of events. The seemingly haughty and prideful Fitzwilliam Darcy turned out to be a pretty nice guy by the end of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.”

 

AND THEY’RE OFF!

6.HorseRacing.may2018

In May there’s also the Kentucky Derby. So here are some common phrases you might not know come from horse racing! … Hands down: To win something hands down means to win it easily. It comes from the practice of horse racing jockeys loosening the reins when it seemed certain that they would win … Give-and-take: The art of compromise or a lively exchange of ideas originally referred to horse races in which bigger horses were given more weight to carry, lighter ones less … Dark horse: In addition to meaning lacking light, dark also means concealed, secret, or mysterious. So a dark horse is a horse about whose racing powers little is known. And in politics, a dark horse candidate is one who unexpectedly comes up from behind … Front runner: The leading candidate in a contest or election and comes from the horse racing term referring to a horse that runs best while in the lead … Running mate: Another political term that we get from horse racing refers to a candidate for the lesser of two associated political offices such as a vice-presidential candidate is the running mate of a potential president. In horse racing, a running mate is a horse that sets the pace for another.

 

MEMORIAL DAY

7.MemorialDay.may2018.courtesy.cr-use

“On Memorial Day, I don’t want to only remember the combatants. There were also those who came out of the trenches as writers and poets, who started preaching peace, men and women who have made this world a kinder place to live.” (Eric Burdon, musician)

 

DOG NEWS

8.DogNews.may2018.c-westie.3-USE

Alexandra Horowitz, the author of Being a Dog: Following the Dog Into a World of Smell, explains how dogs perceive the world through their extraordinary organ. What every dog knows about the world comes mostly through his nose. Every breath of air a dog takes is loaded with information.

How can we tap into our dogs’ world of smell and enrich their lives? “Let them smell. If you live with a dog, start thinking about what the world is like from an olfactory point of view. Let them smell you (you are your scent, to your dog), let them smell each other (that’s how they find out who it is), and let them smell the world. Take walks for smelling (not just for peeing, or for exercise). The pleasure that comes from watching a dog snuffling down a path, nose to the ground and nose in the air, guided by nothing more than the filaments of odors that come his way, is to me unmatched.”

 

ENDNOTE: PHILIP ROTH
(March 19, 1933-May 22, 2018)

9.EndNote.PhilipRoth.may2018

“The only obsession everyone wants: ‘love.’ People think that in falling in love they make themselves whole? The Platonic union of souls? I think otherwise. I think you’re whole before you begin. And the love fractures you. You’re whole, and then you’re cracked open.” (The Dying Animal by Philip Roth)

 

WE CAN HELP

10.WeCanHelp.AliCenter.may2018

Muhammad Ali, The Greatest, used his greatness as a catalyst to do great things for the world and, in turn, inspire us to do the same. The Muhammad Ali Center promotes respect, hope, understanding, and love, encouraging everyone everywhere to be as great as they can be. Your donation will help them continue to preserve and share Ali’s legacy and values.

 

Soundtrack to this Issue

11.Soundtrack.AllYouNeedIsLove.may2018

The Beatles
All You Need Is Love 

Love fills May’s fair spring air. At Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s royal wedding, people all over the world saw the blossoming of love. Robert Indiana’s sculptures and paintings remind us of the endurance of love … John Lennon’s All You Need is Love was written for Our World, the world’s first ever worldwide televised satellite link-up broadcast to 25 countries. Its optimistic message captured the mood of the Summer of Love (1967), and its simple lyrics and disarming chorus perfect for a global audience. 

C’mon, sing along, you know the words:

Love, love, love
Love, love, love
Love, love, love
There’s nothing you can do that can’t be done
Nothing you can sing that can’t be sung
Nothing you can say, but you can learn how to play the game
It’s easy
Nothing you can make that can’t be made
No one you can save that can’t be saved
Nothing you can do, but you can learn how to be you in time
It’s easy
All you need is love, all you need is love
All you need is love, love, love is all you need

 

 

Who rescued whom?
10.KEEP-YP+BarkleySo grateful for Barkley coming into my life.
Thanks to Westie Rescue of New England.

Buddha, stay. Good dog. z”l12.KEEP-Buddha“…live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.”
(Buddha)

 

Sources:
Jane Austen pic quote: Emma: A Novel, Jane Austen (1867)
Jane Austen references: Matthew H. Birkhold, Electric Literature
Dog News quote: Being a Dog: Following the Dog Into a World of Smell by Alexandra Horowitz (Scribner October 2016)
Philip Roth pic: Philip Roth
Soundtrack lyrics: John Lennon/Paul McCartney ©Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC 

May 28, 2018
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