Posts Tagged ‘anti-intellectualism’

“Put down those pens, authors! Put down those brushes, artists! Why not go into the service industry? Or banking?”

Monday, April 20th, 2009

Apologies to non-Canadian readers, but I need to address our national broadcaster. Dear CBC, Canadians need much more Seán Cullen on CBC radio, and much less Stuart McLean. Why do we have to wait until summer to listen to Simply Seán on the radio? Why only in the summer, CBC? What is the logic of giving us the oily, faux-down-home Stuart McLean all year, and the droll, off-offbeat Seán Cullen only in the summer? Is this supposed to remind us of high school – 10 months of annoying and sometimes embarrassing drudgery, followed by two months of happy enjoyment? It is? Well, it’s working.

PS Sean Cullen collaborated in the UK comedy scene with Julian Barrett and Noel Fielding of The Mighty Boosh; major comedy pedigree. Do we have anyone like this in B.C.?

What makes something arty or bohemian?

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008

Handmade star, made from off-cut tongues from old Douglas fir floorboards

The use of the word “bohemian” is getting curiouser and curiouser (to quote Alice in Wonderland). Bohemian! Arty! What do these even mean now? To choose a trivial example, is this round object in our studio arty? I thought of it as a minimalist piece of art or decoration for the ceiling, but recently a visitor at our studio open house alternately called it arty and bohemian. This happens a lot, even with things I think are restrained and minimalist. Apparently “arty” means showy or pretentious. In this case is the object arty because its identity or purpose is unclear? Or because it’s relatively simple, or fragile, or quirky, or handmade, or because it connotes poverty, or because it seems self-conscious? Most design objects, whether practical or decorative, have some artistic impulse in them, so what makes one more arty than another? This is not a rhetorical question!

Christmas tree star in Ouno studio, close-up

Click below for more, and to find instructions on how to make a simple Christmas star.