Archive for the ‘American Renaissance’ Category

A brief history of the NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale – southflorida … – SouthFlorida.com

When the NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale kicks off its 2017-2018 season on Sunday, July 9, it will mark 60 years as a downtown cultural hub. But the museums growth has been fraught with roadblocks since its first incarnation in 1958. Here are a few important dates to note as the museum closes in on its diamond anniversary.

1958: The Fort Lauderdale Art Center opens on Nov. 19 at 625 E. Las Blvd. (until recently the site of Johnny V.s restaurant), inside an old hardware store, with its first exhibition: Coming of Age: American Art, 1850s-1950s.

1963: Five years in, more than 75,000 patrons had visited the re-christened Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale. Ceramics by Pablo Picasso, paintings by Mary Cassatt and Childe Hassam and works by Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein pass through the museum.

Phillip Valys

On the eve of the museum’s 60th anniversary season, director Bonnie Clearwater and others discuss the complicated history of the city’s largest art institution.

On the eve of the museum’s 60th anniversary season, director Bonnie Clearwater and others discuss the complicated history of the city’s largest art institution. (Phillip Valys)

1967: A fire destroys valuable artworks by George Inness, Rufino Tamayo and Diego Rivera, forcing the museum to move blocks away to 426 E. Las Olas Blvd. A search for a spacious, permanent new home gets under way.

1968-1983: The museum struggles to find a home base, with sites proposed everywhere from George English Park to War Memorial Auditorium. Fort Lauderdale voters and various county and city agencies shoot down a referendum and multiple proposals to build the new museum. Finally, in 1980, the citys Downtown Development Authority brokers a 2.5-acre land deal at 1 E. Las Olas Blvd., but the project languishes for three years.

1984: The Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale finally breaks ground on the new museum in February.

1986: A glittering new museum debuts on Jan. 5 with the inaugural exhibit, An American Renaissance: Painting and Sculpture Since 1940.

2003: The blockbuster exhibit St. Peter and the Vatican opens in October, featuring religious and papal artifacts that draw 150,000 visitors, a record for the museum.

2004: “Diana, a Celebration,” a popular display of Princess Dianas wedding dress and gowns, opens in October.

2005: “Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs, opens on Dec. 15, featuring golden treasures surrounding the ancient Egyptian boy king Tut. The show is a financial windfall, drawing some 750,000 visitors and injecting $150 million into Broward County. Even local businesses went Tut crazy, inspiring everything from Tut-themed vacation packages to Tut-themed martinis.

2008: The museum begins a partnership with Nova Southeastern University.

2011: The blockbuster exhibit Vatican Splendors opens in January, featuring a survey of rarely seen artworks and religious artifacts.

2013: Bonnie Clearwater becomes the museums new executive director.

2015: The Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale changes its name to NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale.

2016: The museum receives a gift of 100 works by female contemporary artists from board members Francie Bishop Good and David Horvitz.

2017: The museums 60th anniversary season will be anchored by Frank Stella: Research and Development, slated to open Nov. 12 and take over nearly every gallery in the museum.

pvalys@southflorida.com or 954-356-4364

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A brief history of the NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale – southflorida … – SouthFlorida.com

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July 8, 2017   Posted in: American Renaissance  Comments Closed

Modified walker is invention that could help millions – Desert Dispatch – Desert Dispatch

By Sam Asano

So far in the past few weeks, we have concentrated on discussing possible solutions to the problem of using walkers to climb up and down the stairs. In the regions where snowfalls are expected in the winter, most houses are built with the entrance steps to raise the floor level above ground. Some houses have the entrance stairs having as many as five or six steps, while most houses have two or three steps to enter through the front door. Obviously, the height of the stairs depends on the terrain the house is built on and the design to accommodate the house.

So far, I have gotten many requests from persons, who are mildly balance-impaired due to his/her age and/or some ailments, that they would like to be able to use their walkers to climb up or down the front stairs. This is a reasonable request from their viewpoints as they wish to be as independent in their life as possible without having to rely on someone else to assist them. A lady wrote in stating that her daughter lives about 10 minutes away. But she feels bad to have to call her to get her to help in going outside and coming back in the house every time she wishes to breathe fresh air by walking outside.

We discussed three solutions at the end of May. One was to develop a stair climber/walker combination, second was a ramp and the third was a hydraulic lift. Of three solutions, the ramp was most sensible. However, further study revealed that the law ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) defines certain specifications as its guideline. The slope needs to be 1:12, meaning each one inch of rise must be covered with one foot set back. If your front entrance stair has four 7-inch risers (four steps), the ramp must be minimum of 28-feet long. Many homes do not have that large an area in the front to accommodate the ramp. Although it is a secondary importance, the enormous ramp size would create an architecturally difficult issue to harmonize with the house.

Meanwhile, such a ramp would cost money. The standard estimate according to an experienced contractor John McCormack of New Castle, N.H., one must budget anywhere from $150 to $250 per linear foot of ramp. A 28-foot ramp would cost somewhere between $4,200 to $7,000. That is rather significant expense for a fixed-income person in Aging in Place. The magnitude of the expense would probably terminate any discussion for a ramp.

As I was just concluding this ramp design issue, inventor Jud Pitman of Portsmouth, N.H., called me. He stated that he had quickly built a conceptual prototype of a walker that could help its user climb up or down the stair, and he could demonstrate it for me. I immediately accepted his offer. I was happy that the very purpose of this column is to call on everybody in America to invent for causes. And this is just happening.

In the morning of June 20th, Pitman showed up at our meeting place, Ceres Bakery of Penhallow Street, Portsmouth. After a few minutes of pleasantries, he asked me to step outside for his demo. We found a cement stair leading to the next brick office building entrance. There he opened his canvas bag and pulled out an ordinary walker.

This one is equipped with wheel on each front support leg, but functionally that is not essential. The crux of the invention is the front leg folds forward to result in reducing the front height by adjustable height matched to the riser height (the height of the step).

This prototype demonstrates this inventors concept clearly, and Id value his concept and prototype execution as Class A performance achievement. If we succeed in encouraging another 100,000 inventors just like this one, I have no doubt an American Renaissance would happen.

Previously we have discussed a solution using a hydraulic lift attached to the side of front stairs. That is another viable solution and probably less expensive than building ramp according to ADA standards. Go to Google and search Hydraulic Lift (Scissor Lift), and there are many vendors listing literally hundreds of lifts on their websites. Their prices start at around $1,500. Installation may cost you additional $1,000, but this is an excellent solution for medium to heavily balance-impaired person. Since the use isnt very frequent, you would be able to buy a used lift that is much less expensive than a new unit. By using the hydraulic lift, the user needs not to walk down a perilous and slippery ramp, or wet or icy stairs. All he/she needs to do is to stand with walker and push the button either up or down. Again, the main shortcoming is when power fails. But, if a storm causes power failure, you are better off staying inside.

This week concludes the chapter of how to overcome stairs when you must use walker. The least expensive solution is a modified walker just proposed by Pitman. Second is the hydraulic lift attached to the side of the front stair. The third is a ramp built according to ADA rules, which is the most expensive.

We welcome the Victor Valley Daily Press to our syndicate. Lets us raise American consciousness that we are the most advanced nation in the world and we will rise like a Phoenix to create another era of high-tech manufacturing kingdom.

Shintaro “Sam” Asano was named by MIT in 2011 as one of the top 10 most influential inventors of the 20th century. He lives on the seacoast of New Hampshire with his dog Sophie. You can write to Sam at sasano@americaninventioninstitute

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July 8, 2017   Posted in: American Renaissance  Comments Closed

What the Alt-Right Learned from the Left – New Republic

Among this loose coalition includes a hardcore white nationalist contingent, consisting of think tanks like the National Policy Institute and American Renaissance, as well as intellectual figureheads and movement leaders like Occidental Dissents Kevin MacDonald, AmRens Jared Taylor, Daniel Friberg of Arkos Media, and, of course, Spencer himself. While this big tent approach comes at the expense of ideological purity, many within the white nationalist old guard have admitted, reluctantly or otherwise, that this doddery coalition has benefited their cause tremendously. As Greg Johnson, editor-in-chief of the white supremacist publishing house Counter Currents, wrote shortly before Trumps inauguration, while white nationalists need to remain realistic about the fault lines that exist between them and so-called alt-light, they ought to treat this brief alliance as an opportunity. Even though the alt-light is driven by civic nationalism as opposed to racial nationalism, they ought to be looked upon as potential converts to white nationalism. For a movement plagued by websites that look they came from 1997, that is a hefty boost.

When it comes to online culture wars, few groups are as well-known or well-recognized as the channers. Racist, sexist imageboards on 4chan and 8chan have been both embraced and viewed with some skepticism by the alt-rights more overtly white nationalist contingent, but they helped usher the far-right into the broader public consciousness. What we call the alt-right today could never have had any connection to the mainstream and to a new generation of young people if it only came in the form of lengthy treatises on obscure blogs, Nagle explains. The memification of the alt-right, its transformation into rapidly reproduceable images and short phrases, was what allowed it to spread so contagiously. It was the political discussion board /pol/ (i.e., politically incorrect) on 4chan and 8chan, and the subreddit /r/The_Donald that gave the alt-right its youthful energy, with its transgression and hacker tactics. It was the channers, too, who facilitated the alt-rights move into mainstream internet culture, whether through raids (coordinated efforts to disrupt the content on a site, through, say, extended and vulgar comment threads), memes, or trolling. Memes like Pepe, (((echoes))), and Kekistanall of which are now commonly referenced by young white nationalist groups like Identity Evropa or the youth contingent of the National Policy Institutehave even become a staple at far-right protests throughout the country.

This tentative allyship between a wide variety of bigots and regressives flies in the face of the onetime consensus that the internet would usher in an information utopia. Instead of encouraging our best impulses, the internet has enhanced our worst ones, and the alt-right may be the clearest proof. As Nagle sees it, the cooption of 4chans more sinister racialist elements by a broader political movement is a natural outcome of the troll-happy culture that gave rise to, say, Anonymouss 2008 war against Scientology. The leaderless anonymous culture that once enchanted scholars such as Gabriella Coleman ended up becoming characterized by a particularly dark preoccupation with thwarted or failed white Western masculinity as a grand metaphor, says Nagle. This breed of internet trollwhich flourished on both the chans and Redditheld such a disdain for mainstream social norms that anything, no matter how noxious, that could be conceived as countercultural was welcome. Who cares? It is all ironic anyway!

As older conservatives fought out the 2016 election in the pages of the National Review and the Weekly Standard, a younger, more tech-savvy generation of neoreactionaries, white nationalists, ultra-conservatives, and traditionalists took to some of the darkest corners of the web to stake out their role in American political life. To do so, they embraced a transgressive and performative approachone that, Nagle writes, is more Fight Club than family values, more in line with Marquis de Sade than Edmund Burkeinspired not by the work of conservative ideologues but by the tactics of left-wing vanguards. Soon, those heeding the ideas of the left most closely . . . and applying them most strategically [were] the right. Rightist troll culture embraced the notion outlined by critical theorists such as Michel Foucault and the New Left thinkers like R.D. Laing that madness is a political and cultural rebellion, and in their hands this idea meant that a position of contrarianism and opposition to consensus values became an end unto itself. Indeed, Nagle explains, the libertinism, individualism, bourgeois bohemianism, postmodernism, irony, and ultimately the nihilism that the left was once accused of by the right has found fertile ground in segments of the new far-right.

The alt-right has also demonstrated a proclivity to steal and distort pieces of left-wing theory at will, all the while unironically harping on the dangers of so-called cultural Marxism. Much like one of its ideological forerunners, the French New Right, the alt-right has embraced a Gramscian approach to political change by focusing almost laser-like on what they view as left-wing cultural hegemony. The point is ultimately to redefine the conditions under which politics is conceived, Friberg explained in an excerpt from his book The Real Right Returns. Only by understanding this tool, countering its misuse, and turning it to serve our own ends, can we overcome the miserable situation that our continent is in. He is referring to Europe, but the same could easily be said of the United States, where the far-right is well aware it lost at least one stage of the culture wars. It is posed to turn its enemies tactics against them.

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What the Alt-Right Learned from the Left – New Republic

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July 7, 2017   Posted in: American Renaissance  Comments Closed

Summer reads: books to drift away with…. – Independent.ie

Summer reads: books to drift away with….

Independent.ie

Our critics pick their best reads of the year so far – and unearth some long-forgotten classics – to keep you company this summer.

http://www.independent.ie/entertainment/books/book-reviews/summer-reads-books-to-drift-away-with-35879690.html

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Our critics pick their best reads of the year so far – and unearth some long-forgotten classics – to keep you company this summer.

Family members murder each other in House of Names (Viking), yet Colm Tibns outstanding new novel is notable for its restraint. This retelling, indeed reimagining, of the famous Greek myth about the House of Atreus has all the poise and deceptive simplicity youd expect from this author and is as engrossing as anything hes written.

At more than 600 pages, The Hearts Invisible Furies (Doubleday) is a sprawling and sometimes far-fetched affair, but John Boyne is an exuberant storyteller, and narrator Cyril is an engaging and often very funny companion in this saga of a gay mans experiences throughout several decades of life, both in Ireland and elsewhere.

Due out soon, Midwinter Break (Jonathan Cape) is Bernard MacLavertys first novel in 16 years, and while its story of crisis in an ageing couples relationship may call to mind such recent movies as Le Week-end and 45 Years, MacLaverty has always been his own man and his quietly penetrating insights yield many moments of recognition.

From the archives: Anyone who loves the street life and cafs of Lisbon should read Pereira Maintains (Canongate) by the recently deceased Italian writer Antonio Tabucchi. First published in 1994, this story of an ageing, overweight and widowed journalist risking all during Salazars repressive regime will stay long in the readers memory, not least for its haunting evocation of time and place.

Tanya Sweeney

We are truly living in a golden age for new female writing. Among my favourite books of the year has been Gail Honeymans debut, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine (HarperCollins). Eleanor 30 going on 70, basically is not a character youll forget in a hurry. And Honeyman has managed a brilliant weaving of light and shade; black humour and crushing tragedy. Reese Witherspoon has already snapped up the film rights.

Also destined for the big screen soon is Ruth Fitzmaurices I Found my Tribe (Penguin, out on July 6). Element Pictures (The Lobster, Room) will adapt this real-life account of a woman, whose husband has motor neurone disease, who finds support amid the Tragic Wives Swimming Club in a Greystones cove. As Ruth flings herself into the freezing Irish waters, she becomes weightless in a life that can certainly seem heavy at times. To my mind, Fitzmaurices brilliantly lyrical ear and gentle humour makes this a none-too-distant relative to the likes of Joan Didion and Cheryl Strayed.

Another real-life memoir that packs a similar punch is the haunting Hunger (HarperCollins) by famed US feminist/writer Roxane Gay. Overcoming trauma in her early life, Gay recalls how she ate and ate to make her body a fortress for her soul, until she reached over 35 stone. Real-life accounts dont get any more searing or raw than this. I gulped down this incredible tale, with its dense and brilliant writing, in two sittings.

Goodbye, Vitamin by Rachel Khong (Scribner) is quirky and zeitgeisty: a diary of a young woman coming apart at the seams as she returns home to California to help out with her father, whos been diagnosed with Alzheimers. Think The Garden State mixed with a soupon of Douglas Coupland.

From the archives: If you havent already had the pleasure, Margaret Atwoods The Handmaids Tale (Vintage) has been everywhere this summer for all the right reasons. Although written in 1985, her dystopian tale of a world where women have been reduced to chattel resonates for all the wrong reasons and has made into a very unsettling TV series. If youre not yet familiar, do yourself a favour and read the book first.

Darragh McManus

Written by Noah Hawley, creator of the brilliant Fargo series, Before the Fall (Hodder) is the finest thriller Ive read all year. And possibly the finest novel, full-stop. Its a superb mixture of addictive mystery and existential meditation centred on an Atlantic plane crash, told in beautiful prose. Nerve-shredding, evocative and often very moving.

Another American Renaissance man, folk-musician John Darnielle, delivered his second novel this spring in Universal Harvester (Scribe). Its a strange and unsettling story of a guy working in a video-store who notices someone has been messing with the tapes. Is the cause supernatural or more earthbound? Think Don DeLillo and David Lynch teaming up to write a book inspired by the Japanese horror movie Ringu.

In non-fiction, James Gleicks Time Travel: A History (Vintage) is ideal summer reading for anyone interested in popular science, philosophy, culture high and low, and the deepest, weirdest, most mind-bending subject matter of all: time. What is it? How do we define it? Most importantly, can we invent cool machines thatll whisk us back in it so we can assassinate Hitler with a laser blaster weve already picked up in the future? (Answer: only in fiction, sadly.)

Meanwhile in Why? What Makes Us Curious (Simon & Schuster, out July 27), astrophysicist and author Mario Livio explores the titular question. Where does it come from, this intrinsic human need to know why?

From the archives: Ive spent a good part of 2017 working through JG Ballards Complete Short Stories Vol I and II. Created between 1956 and 1992 (when he just stopped dead with short stories, though he continued writing novels), its an incredible collection. If you already worship Ballard, this is indispensable. If you dont, its a gentle introduction and gateway drug before moving on to the harder stuff, such as High-Rise or The Atrocity Exhibition. Plus its very long 1,500-plus pages over two volumes so will keep you reading until autumn (2019, possibly).

Anne Cunningham

If you prefer your beach reads to come from the womens fiction shelves, which are fit to burst this time of year, then the choice is just bamboozling, but these have been my favourites so far in 2017.

In Joanna Trollopes City of Friends (Mantle), we find Trollope abandoning her Queen of the Aga Saga title and setting a novel in London, where four old college friends struggle with the demands of work and family. Can women really have it all? Trollope doubts it, and she makes a very good case.

Patricia Scanlan has hit the bestseller list once again with her latest book. Orange Blossom Days (Simon & Schuster) is set in a sparkly new apartment complex in Andalucia, where Irish couple Anna and Austen arrive to enjoy their retirement. But life gets in the way. And it seems lifes getting in the way of some other residents, too.

Claudia Carrolls Our Little Secret (Avon) is an intriguing tale inspired by the movie All About Eve. Sarah Keys is a successful lawyer who takes pity on young Lauren, a law graduate working in a dingy nail bar. Sarah finds Lauren a job at the legal firm, takes her into her home, shows her the ropes and lives to regret it.

Due in September, Marian Keyes latest novel, The Break (Penguin), is about a husband opting for a six-month break from his marriage, and I just cant wait.

From the archives: One of my favourite love stories is Peter Careys 1998 novel Oscar and Lucinda (Faber & Faber). Its not chick lit. Its dark and tragic, and obsessive-meets-compulsive and it took my breath away.

Hilary A White

A good short-story collection should always travel with you. Everyone is having a go at the format these days but fast-track straight to Carlow writer John MacKenna and Once We Sang Like Other Men (New Island). With a cinematic palette, MacKenna compiles a diverse array of lives ebbing and flowing, each picking up the pieces following the death of a mysterious cult leader known only as the Captain.

For someone who once won the Bad Sex in Fiction award, Rowan Somerville proves himself to be one of this years breakout non-fiction talents with Beat (Lilliput Press). He somehow manages to blend rigorous journalistic commentary with deep soul-searching against the hate-filled backdrop of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Youll find poignancy and tragedy but also much wit and candour, all fuelled by smart structuring and a devotion to truth and humanity. A volume of seismic relevance today.

Right now, Im greatly enjoying iridescent dips into Philip Judges hearty pastoral memoir In Sight of Yellow Mountain (Gill Books, released August 25). This spirited, amusing and affectionate account by the former UK actor and hopeless urbanite about relocating to the Irish countryside will speak to anyone whos ever sat in rush-hour traffic and thought, sod this.

From the archives: JA Bakers The Peregrine (HarperCollins) is 50 years old, so an anniversary edition is in order. Bakers woozy, kinetic field journal is simply one of those books everyone should read once. Rarely, if ever, has nature writing been rendered powerful enough to elicit a sensory response as it does in this time-stopping diary about a man evaporating into the landscape via an obsession with local wild falcons. Robert Macfarlane who devoted an entire chapter to it in 2015s Landmarks pens a new afterword, examining how, half a century later, The Peregrine still locks on to its readers, and they pass involuntarily into it.

Andrew Lynch

Robert Webb is best known for playing a feckless, self-deluded hipster in Channel 4s cult sitcom Peep Show. Along with his comic partner David Mitchell, however, he is also a thoughtful and engaging opinion writer. Webbs first book, How Not to be a Boy (Canongate, published in August), which promises to be both a memoir and an exploration of masculinity, has received advance plaudits from Stephen Fry, Ian Rankin and JK Rowling.

Theresa May has been taking a hammering recently, so The Enigmatic Prime Minister by Rosa Prince (Biteback) is a useful reminder that nobody gets to 10 Downing Street without having at least some formidable qualities. Rosa Princes interviewees include a former press officer from Dublin who describes May as lovely to work with and recalls that the future PM protected her from anti-Irish bias.

How did Hillary Clinton throw away an election that most pundits and pollsters thought she had in the bag? Shattered by Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes (Crown) is a compelling fly-on-the-wall book that provides the most detailed answer yet, revealing a campaign riven by internal feuds and a candidate haunted by her inability to make an emotional connection with voters.

From the archives: Readers of a certain age will remember Sakis hilarious short story The Lumber Room from their Inter Cert course. What they may not know is that he wrote at least two dozen others just as good, collected in various anthologies such as The Complete Saki (Penguin Twentieth Century Classics). Playful, witty and sometimes macabre, Saki delighted in exposing the hypocrisies of Edwardian society and since none of his tales is more than a few pages long, they are also perfect for 21st-century attention spans.

Eilis OHanlon

No more satisfying book has been published all year than This Family of Things (Doubleday Ireland). Alison Jamesons novel explores the lives of awkward, lonely farmer Bird Keegan after he takes in a young girl whos been brutally treated by her father. Its a wise, touching story about redemption from an author with a commanding voice. Every page is a delight.

A Talent For Murder (Simon & Schuster) by Andrew Wilson re-imagines what happened during those famous 11 days in 1926 when Agatha Christie went missing at the height of her fame. The conceit here is that the so-called Queen of Crime let a close friend in on the mystery on the proviso that the truth could only be told after her death. The tone is clever, complex, indulgent; the pace relentless.

Competition for the years best book may be on hand in the shape of Bernard MacLavertys first novel in 16 years. Midwinter Break (set for publication in August by Jonathan Cape) follows a retired couple on a short trip to Amsterdam as their relationship strains under the weight of the past a common MacLaverty theme. A new work from the author of Cal is a rare treat.

From the archives: Sarah Waters is far more prolific, but 2002s Fingersmith (Virago) remains her standout work. The rollicking tale of pickpocket Sarah, who poses as a ladys maid as part of her next escapade, has one of the greatest plot twists in modern fiction. Its full of vivid, Dickensian London atmosphere and memorable characters. Havent read it before? Youre in for a treat.

Eamon Delaney

Summer is an especially good time for catching up on books on history and international affairs. An absorbing title is Avenging Angels: Soviet Women Snipers on the Eastern Front (194145) by Lyuba Vinogradova (MacLehose Press), who worked with Antony Beevor on his epics about the sieges of Stalingrad and Berlin. Here, she writes about Soviet female volunteers, who not only provided huge logistical and physical support in the farms, factories and hospitals but also on the front line where, as a crack unit of brave and dedicated snipers, they did great damage to the Nazi effort.

On the rise of the same German militarism, Jrgen Tampke has written A Perfidious Distortion of History The Versailles Peace Treaty and the Success of the Nazis (Scribe). He argues that far from the punitive terms of the Versailles Treaty of 1918, which settled the outcome of World War I, being the central reason for the rise of the Nazis and World War II, the desire for German militarism was always there going right back to the Franco-Prussian War.

In the more personal vein, I am really looking forward to My Fathers Wake: How the Irish Teach us to Live, Love and Die by Kevin Toolis. It reveals how the Anglo-Saxon world could do itself a power of good and get over their death denial by just copying what the Irish do with the dead by having a wake and more funerals.

From the archives: I am re-reading the haunting slim novel After Leaving Mr Mackenzie by Jean Rhys, which captures a lonely womans life in Paris and London.

John Meagher

Several music books have crossed my desk this year but only a handful have sucked me in. A favourite is David Hepworths Uncommon People (Bantam), which charts the rise and fall of some of rocks biggest stars. Its something of an exercise is nostalgia as last years 1971 was but Hepworth is such an engaging writer that youre happy to go along for the ride.

I was also content to be transported back to the short-lived skiffle era in late 1950s Britain thanks to Billy Braggs witty, informative Roots, Radicals and Rockers (Faber & Faber). It made me think anew about a genre of music that I had hitherto dismissed.

The euphoric reviews for Sarah Perrys second book, The Essex Serpent (Profile), encouraged me to pick it up and Im really glad I did. Its a brilliantly written story of one womans life and relationships in late Victorian England and my favourite historical novel since Sarah Waters The Little Stranger.

From the archives: With John le Carr set to publish a new George Smiley novel, A Legacy of Spies, in September, I went back to Smileys first outing, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (Sceptre), and found it even more compelling on a second, closer reading. Le Carr doesnt spoon-feed his reader you have to work to keep up with whos who and whats happening, but if you do youll be richly rewarded.

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Summer reads: books to drift away with…. – Independent.ie

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July 2, 2017   Posted in: American Renaissance  Comments Closed

Pittsfield: Mastheads writers’ residency launches July 3 – Berkshire Eagle (subscription)

PITTSFIELD The Mastheads Writers’ Residency Program is set to launch its inaugural month-long residency at 6:30 p.m. Monday, July 3, with a launch party and reading at Hotel on North.

Five writers from around the country will converge on the city, each paired with a private studio for a month-long residency, complemented by city-wide public programming and events.

The brainchild of husband and wife architecture team Chris Parkinson and Tessa Kelly, The Mastheads project recognizes Pittsfield’s legacy of writers of the American Renaissance, including Herman Melville, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry David Thoreau, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and Oliver Wendell Holmes. Between the years of 1840 and 1860, these authors all produced work in and about Pittsfield.

The Mastheads seek to preserve this history of writing about place through the production of new content and knowledge.

The writers-in-residence for this year are Mariam Rahmani, Justin Boening, Maria Pinto, Greg Allendorf, and John Babbott.

The writing studios will be dispersed across the city at five new sites each summer, then de-installed for the remainder of the year.

The locations for the inaugural year of the project are Melville and Hawthorne at Arrowhead, Holmes and Longfellow at Canoe Meadows, and Thoreau at Springside Park.

The writing studios are work spaces only. Housing for the residents is provided in Pittsfield, with transportation available for those who need it.

The studios are open-air and rustic in their amenities. They include electricity, and are each located within 300 feet walking distance from a host institution where restrooms are available.

The project is supported in part by an Our Town grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

For more information about the authors and a full schedule of public events, visit www.themastheads.org.

If you’d like to leave a comment (or a tip or a question) about this story with the editors, please email us. We also welcome letters to the editor for publication; you can do that by filling out our letters form and submitting it to the newsroom.

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Pittsfield: Mastheads writers’ residency launches July 3 – Berkshire Eagle (subscription)

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White Supremacist Conference Returning To Tennessee State Park – Patch.com


Patch.com
White Supremacist Conference Returning To Tennessee State Park
Patch.com
The American Renaissance Conference, led by Jared Taylor, founder of the magazine of the same name, promises attendees a chance to “celebrate the shifting political tides and discuss the way forward for White America and the Western World” when it …

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White Supremacist Conference Returning To Tennessee State Park – Patch.com

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White Extremist Conference Coming To Middle Tennessee – NewsChannel5.com

DICKSON, Tenn. – The white extremist group American Renaissance is set to hold a conference at Montgomery Bell State Park in Dickson County.

The inn there was quiet on Monday but in four weeks the area will be packed with folks for the American Renaissance Conference.

The American Renaissance magazine was founded in 1990 by Jared Taylor, an American white nationalist and white supremacist who told us the conference has occurred at the state park every year since 2012, mainly because a government owned building and property cannot succumb to protest intimidation like private hotels in the past.

On it’s website attendees are invited to “discuss the way forward for White America and the Western World.”

In the neighboring city of Burns, a small town with a southern hospitality flair, Ramona and James Tucker learn who’s coming to town.”We are a nation of diversity now and it’s going to stay that way, it’s not going to change,” said Ramona.

“It may sound corny, but it’s time to end all that nonsense,” James added. “I mean we’re all God’s people and we’re all here together in the same world so why not try use some of that anger and just be nice.”

According to the American Renaissance website, the conference is scheduled from July 28 – July 30 near Nashville at the Montgomery Bell Inn and Conference Center where every room is already booked.

However, attendees will likely have some neighbors. Critics are planning to protest the event in the park that weekend.

Taylor also said the conference is outgrowing the venue at Montgomery Bell State Park and may have to take a risk and book with a private hotel in the future.

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White Extremist Conference Coming To Middle Tennessee – NewsChannel5.com

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‘The Mastheads’ Inaugural Writers’ Residency Launches in July – iBerkshires.com

Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, Jane Chu, inside the Longfellow studio with co-founders Tessa Kelly and Chris Parkinson during a recent site visit to Pittsfield.

ITTSFIELD, Mass. The Mastheads Writers’ Residency Program is set to launch its inaugural month long residency on July 3 with a Launch Party at Hotel on North. Five writers from around the country will converge on the city, each paired with a private studio for a month-long residency, complemented by city-wide public programming and events. The brainchild of husband and wife architecture team Chris Parkinson and Tessa Kelly, The Mastheads project recognizes Pittsfield’s legacy of writers of the American Renaissance, including Herman Melville, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry David Thoreau, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and Oliver Wendell Holmes. Between the years of 1840 and 1860, these authors all produced work in and about Pittsfield.

The Mastheads seek to preserve this history of writing about place through the production of new content and knowledge. “We really want to get the community engaged in this project by using these historic authors to provide a platform for new voices to engage with the contemporary city through the written word,” Kelly said. The writers-in-residence for this year are Mariam Rahmani, Justin Boening, Maria Pinto, Greg Allendorf and John Babbott. Click here to learn more about the residents. The writing studios, which will be dispersed across the city at five new sites each summer, then de-installed for the remainder of the year, promote this dual condition-individual introspection from a specific vantage point and connection to a large-scale urban network. The locations for the inaugural year of the project are Melville and Hawthorne at Arrowhead; Holmes and Longfellow at Canoe Meadows and Thoreau at Springside Park.

The writing studios are work spaces only. Housing for the residents is provided in Pittsfield, with transportation available for those who need it. The studios are open-air and rustic in their amenities. They include electricity and are each located within 300 feet walking distance from a host institution where restrooms are available. “This project showcases the vision and artistry of our creative community and also creates a bridge to Pittsfield’s illustrious literary past,” Mayor Linda M Tyer said. “We are, indeed, a city where the arts has a dedicated space to flourish and thrive.” “The Mastheads” title comes from Moby Dick, written in Pittsfield, in which crew members aboard the Pequod take shifts climbing up high into the masthead, looking out for whales. From that new vantage point, they see the world around them from a different perspective, elevated far off the ship’s deck. The project is supported in part by an Our Town grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. Other sponsors of the project include The Fitzpatrick Trust, The Feigenbaum Foundation, The Berkshire Bank Foundation, Housatonic Heritage, Mass Development, Mass Humanities, The Walmart Foundation and several private donors. A launch party and reading will be held at 6:30 p.m. July 3 at the Hotel on North. The complete scheduled can be found here.

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Siena Cathedral Epitomizes the Awesome Power of Art – Newsmax

The Medieval Catholic cathedrals, seats of the authorities of God, government, Popes, nobility, and learning, are consummate examples of spaces that brilliantly utilized all of the arts to create an inspirational feeling of awe.* Unique in grand architecture, aesthetic ornamentation, representational paintings, mosaics, frescoes, and sculpture, plus music presentations and sermons, these exquisite structures succeeded in instructing an illiterate populace of their communal and moral duties. They also provided overwhelming beauty and detailed narratives of metaphorical allusions to Biblical stories and philosophical wisdom. All over Europe one can discover and understand what individuals high and low from the 12th to the 16th century experienced in these great sanctuaries of ideas communicated via art.

The cathedral that stands out in grandeur, opulence, and breadth of meaning is in Siena, Italy. Begun in 1215, standing 253 feet high, and combining Romanesque, Classical, and Italian Gothic styles, it is one of the superlative works of architecture in the world. In addition, it houses some of the finest works of the other art forms, so it serves as a stunning example of the power of art to profoundly affect our lives. One need not be religious to appreciate the ingenuity of the Catholic Church of that period in appealing to both the physical senses and mental enthusiasm of its followers through the visual arts, literature, and music in order to solidify its messages.

Any person of whatever persuasion could spend weeks exploring this wondrous building and months writing about it, but, here, let us marvel at the humanism expressed and the respect for both the religious and the secular that is so outstanding in this cathedral. We are now in the late Middle Ages, a time when ancient Roman and Greek classics were being brought to the attention of Western civilization. Greek philosophy was being studied, an effort that would lead Thomas Aquinas to try and reconcile mysticism (Plato) with reason (Aristotle). This was that seminal time when early intellectual activity regarding religion and humanism came to grips with each other in uniquely compatible ways that would culminate in the bursting glory of the arts and sciences in the high Renaissance of the 16th century that would, in turn, lead to the Reformation and the Enlightenment, changing the world of the intellect forever.

The octagonal, carved marble pulpit from which sermons were given features outer columns on stone lions and inner columns depicting allegories of the seven liberal arts and philosophy. Above the capitals of the columns are personifications of the virtues, and around the outside of the pulpit are reliefs depicting the Nativity, the Adoration of the Kings, the Flight into Egypt, the Slaughter of the Innocents, the Crucifixion, and the Last Judgment. Religion and philosophy side by side.

The magnificent and mesmerizing hand-cut, marble-tiled mosaic floor is over 290 feet in length and around 200 feet at its widest, telling not only Biblical stories but also those of the birth of Italy, a figurative representation of the beginning of worldly knowledge, and lessons on wisdom that include Socrates and Aristotle. The fifty-six panels were designed by 40 of the leading artists between 1369 and 1547 but took 600 years to reach completion, so we can contemplate history on the move in both art and ideas. Religion, history, and philosophy advancing together.

The Piccolomini Library, centered by a classical Roman marble sculpture of the Three Graces, is filled with examples from the collection of illuminated manuscripts owned by Pope Enea Silvio Piccolomini, one of the greatest humanistic scholars of the day. The frescoed walls tell the story of the Popes life in bold colors and images. Religion and antiquity co-existing.

Thus the average parishioner learned secular lessons in history and philosophy along with religion all through the power of the fine arts.

Artists who worked on this masterpiece include local Siena artists like Nicola Pisano on up to Renaissance giants like Michelangelo, Donatello, Ghiberti, and Bernini, to name only a few.

Duomo di Siena has it all and should encourage us to pause and ponder the truly awesome power of art to communicate and celebrate ideas . . . beautifully.

In todays modern, instant-coffee-Instagram world of highly lauded architecture designed to look like exploding buildings, million-dollar sculptures that look like a bronze versions of a childs toy balloon, paintings that glorify the ugly and the freakish, movies full of sound and fury but signifying nothing, and more and worse, where is art that celebrates beauty and reason, that honors history and knowledge, that glorifies man and woman at their best?

Our impoverished culture does not support beauty and life-affirming values as does the Cathedral of Siena, so where can we find places rich in intellectual and emotional satisfaction and affirmation of values that create an examined life well lived? Look to your library or museum for thought-provoking literature and art, your own living room with original art or prints of your favorites, even your computer (and yes, your mobile phone) for personally stored images that inspire. As food nourishes our bodies and ideas nourish our minds, art nourishes our souls. We need uplifting art and lofty ideas to remind us of the joys, the beauties, and the reasons why life is worth living. Think about it.

*Awesome is a vexingly misused, abused, overused term today, describing every mundane subject from ice cream to rock bands. This distorted and diminished high jacking of a singularly transcendent adjective is a linguistic crime of the highest order. One of the most puissant words in the English language, in essence awesome means (from the OED) “. . . the attitude of a mind subdued to profound reverence in the presence of a supreme authority, moral greatness or sublimity, or mysterious sacredness . . . . the feeling of solemn or reverential wonder. . . inspired by what is terribly sublime and majestic . . .”; thus, the word should be reserved for wonders such as the aurora borealis or the Sistine Chapel (or the Duomo di Siena). It is in this correct, pure, and exalted form that I use the word here with profound respect for its “awesome” meaning.

Alexandra York is an author and founding president of the American Renaissance for the Twenty-first Century (ART) a New-York-City-based nonprofit educational arts and culture foundation. She has written for many publications, including “Readers Digest” and The New York Times. Her latest book is “Adamas.” For more on Alexandra York,Go Here Now.

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A brief history of the NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale – southflorida … – SouthFlorida.com

When the NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale kicks off its 2017-2018 season on Sunday, July 9, it will mark 60 years as a downtown cultural hub. But the museums growth has been fraught with roadblocks since its first incarnation in 1958. Here are a few important dates to note as the museum closes in on its diamond anniversary. 1958: The Fort Lauderdale Art Center opens on Nov. 19 at 625 E. Las Blvd. (until recently the site of Johnny V.s restaurant), inside an old hardware store, with its first exhibition: Coming of Age: American Art, 1850s-1950s. 1963: Five years in, more than 75,000 patrons had visited the re-christened Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale. Ceramics by Pablo Picasso, paintings by Mary Cassatt and Childe Hassam and works by Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein pass through the museum. Phillip Valys On the eve of the museum’s 60th anniversary season, director Bonnie Clearwater and others discuss the complicated history of the city’s largest art institution. On the eve of the museum’s 60th anniversary season, director Bonnie Clearwater and others discuss the complicated history of the city’s largest art institution. (Phillip Valys) 1967: A fire destroys valuable artworks by George Inness, Rufino Tamayo and Diego Rivera, forcing the museum to move blocks away to 426 E. Las Olas Blvd. A search for a spacious, permanent new home gets under way. 1968-1983: The museum struggles to find a home base, with sites proposed everywhere from George English Park to War Memorial Auditorium. Fort Lauderdale voters and various county and city agencies shoot down a referendum and multiple proposals to build the new museum. Finally, in 1980, the citys Downtown Development Authority brokers a 2.5-acre land deal at 1 E. Las Olas Blvd., but the project languishes for three years. 1984: The Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale finally breaks ground on the new museum in February. 1986: A glittering new museum debuts on Jan. 5 with the inaugural exhibit, An American Renaissance: Painting and Sculpture Since 1940. 2003: The blockbuster exhibit St. Peter and the Vatican opens in October, featuring religious and papal artifacts that draw 150,000 visitors, a record for the museum. 2004: “Diana, a Celebration,” a popular display of Princess Dianas wedding dress and gowns, opens in October. 2005: “Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs, opens on Dec. 15, featuring golden treasures surrounding the ancient Egyptian boy king Tut. The show is a financial windfall, drawing some 750,000 visitors and injecting $150 million into Broward County. Even local businesses went Tut crazy, inspiring everything from Tut-themed vacation packages to Tut-themed martinis. 2008: The museum begins a partnership with Nova Southeastern University. 2011: The blockbuster exhibit Vatican Splendors opens in January, featuring a survey of rarely seen artworks and religious artifacts. 2013: Bonnie Clearwater becomes the museums new executive director. 2015: The Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale changes its name to NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale. 2016: The museum receives a gift of 100 works by female contemporary artists from board members Francie Bishop Good and David Horvitz. 2017: The museums 60th anniversary season will be anchored by Frank Stella: Research and Development, slated to open Nov. 12 and take over nearly every gallery in the museum. pvalys@southflorida.com or 954-356-4364

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Modified walker is invention that could help millions – Desert Dispatch – Desert Dispatch

By Sam Asano So far in the past few weeks, we have concentrated on discussing possible solutions to the problem of using walkers to climb up and down the stairs. In the regions where snowfalls are expected in the winter, most houses are built with the entrance steps to raise the floor level above ground. Some houses have the entrance stairs having as many as five or six steps, while most houses have two or three steps to enter through the front door. Obviously, the height of the stairs depends on the terrain the house is built on and the design to accommodate the house. So far, I have gotten many requests from persons, who are mildly balance-impaired due to his/her age and/or some ailments, that they would like to be able to use their walkers to climb up or down the front stairs. This is a reasonable request from their viewpoints as they wish to be as independent in their life as possible without having to rely on someone else to assist them. A lady wrote in stating that her daughter lives about 10 minutes away. But she feels bad to have to call her to get her to help in going outside and coming back in the house every time she wishes to breathe fresh air by walking outside. We discussed three solutions at the end of May. One was to develop a stair climber/walker combination, second was a ramp and the third was a hydraulic lift. Of three solutions, the ramp was most sensible. However, further study revealed that the law ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) defines certain specifications as its guideline. The slope needs to be 1:12, meaning each one inch of rise must be covered with one foot set back. If your front entrance stair has four 7-inch risers (four steps), the ramp must be minimum of 28-feet long. Many homes do not have that large an area in the front to accommodate the ramp. Although it is a secondary importance, the enormous ramp size would create an architecturally difficult issue to harmonize with the house. Meanwhile, such a ramp would cost money. The standard estimate according to an experienced contractor John McCormack of New Castle, N.H., one must budget anywhere from $150 to $250 per linear foot of ramp. A 28-foot ramp would cost somewhere between $4,200 to $7,000. That is rather significant expense for a fixed-income person in Aging in Place. The magnitude of the expense would probably terminate any discussion for a ramp. As I was just concluding this ramp design issue, inventor Jud Pitman of Portsmouth, N.H., called me. He stated that he had quickly built a conceptual prototype of a walker that could help its user climb up or down the stair, and he could demonstrate it for me. I immediately accepted his offer. I was happy that the very purpose of this column is to call on everybody in America to invent for causes. And this is just happening. In the morning of June 20th, Pitman showed up at our meeting place, Ceres Bakery of Penhallow Street, Portsmouth. After a few minutes of pleasantries, he asked me to step outside for his demo. We found a cement stair leading to the next brick office building entrance. There he opened his canvas bag and pulled out an ordinary walker. This one is equipped with wheel on each front support leg, but functionally that is not essential. The crux of the invention is the front leg folds forward to result in reducing the front height by adjustable height matched to the riser height (the height of the step). This prototype demonstrates this inventors concept clearly, and Id value his concept and prototype execution as Class A performance achievement. If we succeed in encouraging another 100,000 inventors just like this one, I have no doubt an American Renaissance would happen. Previously we have discussed a solution using a hydraulic lift attached to the side of front stairs. That is another viable solution and probably less expensive than building ramp according to ADA standards. Go to Google and search Hydraulic Lift (Scissor Lift), and there are many vendors listing literally hundreds of lifts on their websites. Their prices start at around $1,500. Installation may cost you additional $1,000, but this is an excellent solution for medium to heavily balance-impaired person. Since the use isnt very frequent, you would be able to buy a used lift that is much less expensive than a new unit. By using the hydraulic lift, the user needs not to walk down a perilous and slippery ramp, or wet or icy stairs. All he/she needs to do is to stand with walker and push the button either up or down. Again, the main shortcoming is when power fails. But, if a storm causes power failure, you are better off staying inside. This week concludes the chapter of how to overcome stairs when you must use walker. The least expensive solution is a modified walker just proposed by Pitman. Second is the hydraulic lift attached to the side of the front stair. The third is a ramp built according to ADA rules, which is the most expensive. We welcome the Victor Valley Daily Press to our syndicate. Lets us raise American consciousness that we are the most advanced nation in the world and we will rise like a Phoenix to create another era of high-tech manufacturing kingdom. Shintaro “Sam” Asano was named by MIT in 2011 as one of the top 10 most influential inventors of the 20th century. He lives on the seacoast of New Hampshire with his dog Sophie. You can write to Sam at sasano@americaninventioninstitute

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What the Alt-Right Learned from the Left – New Republic

Among this loose coalition includes a hardcore white nationalist contingent, consisting of think tanks like the National Policy Institute and American Renaissance, as well as intellectual figureheads and movement leaders like Occidental Dissents Kevin MacDonald, AmRens Jared Taylor, Daniel Friberg of Arkos Media, and, of course, Spencer himself. While this big tent approach comes at the expense of ideological purity, many within the white nationalist old guard have admitted, reluctantly or otherwise, that this doddery coalition has benefited their cause tremendously. As Greg Johnson, editor-in-chief of the white supremacist publishing house Counter Currents, wrote shortly before Trumps inauguration, while white nationalists need to remain realistic about the fault lines that exist between them and so-called alt-light, they ought to treat this brief alliance as an opportunity. Even though the alt-light is driven by civic nationalism as opposed to racial nationalism, they ought to be looked upon as potential converts to white nationalism. For a movement plagued by websites that look they came from 1997, that is a hefty boost. When it comes to online culture wars, few groups are as well-known or well-recognized as the channers. Racist, sexist imageboards on 4chan and 8chan have been both embraced and viewed with some skepticism by the alt-rights more overtly white nationalist contingent, but they helped usher the far-right into the broader public consciousness. What we call the alt-right today could never have had any connection to the mainstream and to a new generation of young people if it only came in the form of lengthy treatises on obscure blogs, Nagle explains. The memification of the alt-right, its transformation into rapidly reproduceable images and short phrases, was what allowed it to spread so contagiously. It was the political discussion board /pol/ (i.e., politically incorrect) on 4chan and 8chan, and the subreddit /r/The_Donald that gave the alt-right its youthful energy, with its transgression and hacker tactics. It was the channers, too, who facilitated the alt-rights move into mainstream internet culture, whether through raids (coordinated efforts to disrupt the content on a site, through, say, extended and vulgar comment threads), memes, or trolling. Memes like Pepe, (((echoes))), and Kekistanall of which are now commonly referenced by young white nationalist groups like Identity Evropa or the youth contingent of the National Policy Institutehave even become a staple at far-right protests throughout the country. This tentative allyship between a wide variety of bigots and regressives flies in the face of the onetime consensus that the internet would usher in an information utopia. Instead of encouraging our best impulses, the internet has enhanced our worst ones, and the alt-right may be the clearest proof. As Nagle sees it, the cooption of 4chans more sinister racialist elements by a broader political movement is a natural outcome of the troll-happy culture that gave rise to, say, Anonymouss 2008 war against Scientology. The leaderless anonymous culture that once enchanted scholars such as Gabriella Coleman ended up becoming characterized by a particularly dark preoccupation with thwarted or failed white Western masculinity as a grand metaphor, says Nagle. This breed of internet trollwhich flourished on both the chans and Redditheld such a disdain for mainstream social norms that anything, no matter how noxious, that could be conceived as countercultural was welcome. Who cares? It is all ironic anyway! As older conservatives fought out the 2016 election in the pages of the National Review and the Weekly Standard, a younger, more tech-savvy generation of neoreactionaries, white nationalists, ultra-conservatives, and traditionalists took to some of the darkest corners of the web to stake out their role in American political life. To do so, they embraced a transgressive and performative approachone that, Nagle writes, is more Fight Club than family values, more in line with Marquis de Sade than Edmund Burkeinspired not by the work of conservative ideologues but by the tactics of left-wing vanguards. Soon, those heeding the ideas of the left most closely . . . and applying them most strategically [were] the right. Rightist troll culture embraced the notion outlined by critical theorists such as Michel Foucault and the New Left thinkers like R.D. Laing that madness is a political and cultural rebellion, and in their hands this idea meant that a position of contrarianism and opposition to consensus values became an end unto itself. Indeed, Nagle explains, the libertinism, individualism, bourgeois bohemianism, postmodernism, irony, and ultimately the nihilism that the left was once accused of by the right has found fertile ground in segments of the new far-right. The alt-right has also demonstrated a proclivity to steal and distort pieces of left-wing theory at will, all the while unironically harping on the dangers of so-called cultural Marxism. Much like one of its ideological forerunners, the French New Right, the alt-right has embraced a Gramscian approach to political change by focusing almost laser-like on what they view as left-wing cultural hegemony. The point is ultimately to redefine the conditions under which politics is conceived, Friberg explained in an excerpt from his book The Real Right Returns. Only by understanding this tool, countering its misuse, and turning it to serve our own ends, can we overcome the miserable situation that our continent is in. He is referring to Europe, but the same could easily be said of the United States, where the far-right is well aware it lost at least one stage of the culture wars. It is posed to turn its enemies tactics against them.

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Summer reads: books to drift away with…. – Independent.ie

Summer reads: books to drift away with…. Independent.ie Our critics pick their best reads of the year so far – and unearth some long-forgotten classics – to keep you company this summer. http://www.independent.ie/entertainment/books/book-reviews/summer-reads-books-to-drift-away-with-35879690.html http://www.independent.ie/entertainment/books/book-reviews/article35879650.ece/46751/AUTOCROP/h342/2017-07-01_ent_32248328_I1.JPG Our critics pick their best reads of the year so far – and unearth some long-forgotten classics – to keep you company this summer. Family members murder each other in House of Names (Viking), yet Colm Tibns outstanding new novel is notable for its restraint. This retelling, indeed reimagining, of the famous Greek myth about the House of Atreus has all the poise and deceptive simplicity youd expect from this author and is as engrossing as anything hes written. At more than 600 pages, The Hearts Invisible Furies (Doubleday) is a sprawling and sometimes far-fetched affair, but John Boyne is an exuberant storyteller, and narrator Cyril is an engaging and often very funny companion in this saga of a gay mans experiences throughout several decades of life, both in Ireland and elsewhere. Due out soon, Midwinter Break (Jonathan Cape) is Bernard MacLavertys first novel in 16 years, and while its story of crisis in an ageing couples relationship may call to mind such recent movies as Le Week-end and 45 Years, MacLaverty has always been his own man and his quietly penetrating insights yield many moments of recognition. From the archives: Anyone who loves the street life and cafs of Lisbon should read Pereira Maintains (Canongate) by the recently deceased Italian writer Antonio Tabucchi. First published in 1994, this story of an ageing, overweight and widowed journalist risking all during Salazars repressive regime will stay long in the readers memory, not least for its haunting evocation of time and place. Tanya Sweeney We are truly living in a golden age for new female writing. Among my favourite books of the year has been Gail Honeymans debut, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine (HarperCollins). Eleanor 30 going on 70, basically is not a character youll forget in a hurry. And Honeyman has managed a brilliant weaving of light and shade; black humour and crushing tragedy. Reese Witherspoon has already snapped up the film rights. Also destined for the big screen soon is Ruth Fitzmaurices I Found my Tribe (Penguin, out on July 6). Element Pictures (The Lobster, Room) will adapt this real-life account of a woman, whose husband has motor neurone disease, who finds support amid the Tragic Wives Swimming Club in a Greystones cove. As Ruth flings herself into the freezing Irish waters, she becomes weightless in a life that can certainly seem heavy at times. To my mind, Fitzmaurices brilliantly lyrical ear and gentle humour makes this a none-too-distant relative to the likes of Joan Didion and Cheryl Strayed. Another real-life memoir that packs a similar punch is the haunting Hunger (HarperCollins) by famed US feminist/writer Roxane Gay. Overcoming trauma in her early life, Gay recalls how she ate and ate to make her body a fortress for her soul, until she reached over 35 stone. Real-life accounts dont get any more searing or raw than this. I gulped down this incredible tale, with its dense and brilliant writing, in two sittings. Goodbye, Vitamin by Rachel Khong (Scribner) is quirky and zeitgeisty: a diary of a young woman coming apart at the seams as she returns home to California to help out with her father, whos been diagnosed with Alzheimers. Think The Garden State mixed with a soupon of Douglas Coupland. From the archives: If you havent already had the pleasure, Margaret Atwoods The Handmaids Tale (Vintage) has been everywhere this summer for all the right reasons. Although written in 1985, her dystopian tale of a world where women have been reduced to chattel resonates for all the wrong reasons and has made into a very unsettling TV series. If youre not yet familiar, do yourself a favour and read the book first. Darragh McManus Written by Noah Hawley, creator of the brilliant Fargo series, Before the Fall (Hodder) is the finest thriller Ive read all year. And possibly the finest novel, full-stop. Its a superb mixture of addictive mystery and existential meditation centred on an Atlantic plane crash, told in beautiful prose. Nerve-shredding, evocative and often very moving. Another American Renaissance man, folk-musician John Darnielle, delivered his second novel this spring in Universal Harvester (Scribe). Its a strange and unsettling story of a guy working in a video-store who notices someone has been messing with the tapes. Is the cause supernatural or more earthbound? Think Don DeLillo and David Lynch teaming up to write a book inspired by the Japanese horror movie Ringu. In non-fiction, James Gleicks Time Travel: A History (Vintage) is ideal summer reading for anyone interested in popular science, philosophy, culture high and low, and the deepest, weirdest, most mind-bending subject matter of all: time. What is it? How do we define it? Most importantly, can we invent cool machines thatll whisk us back in it so we can assassinate Hitler with a laser blaster weve already picked up in the future? (Answer: only in fiction, sadly.) Meanwhile in Why? What Makes Us Curious (Simon & Schuster, out July 27), astrophysicist and author Mario Livio explores the titular question. Where does it come from, this intrinsic human need to know why? From the archives: Ive spent a good part of 2017 working through JG Ballards Complete Short Stories Vol I and II. Created between 1956 and 1992 (when he just stopped dead with short stories, though he continued writing novels), its an incredible collection. If you already worship Ballard, this is indispensable. If you dont, its a gentle introduction and gateway drug before moving on to the harder stuff, such as High-Rise or The Atrocity Exhibition. Plus its very long 1,500-plus pages over two volumes so will keep you reading until autumn (2019, possibly). Anne Cunningham If you prefer your beach reads to come from the womens fiction shelves, which are fit to burst this time of year, then the choice is just bamboozling, but these have been my favourites so far in 2017. In Joanna Trollopes City of Friends (Mantle), we find Trollope abandoning her Queen of the Aga Saga title and setting a novel in London, where four old college friends struggle with the demands of work and family. Can women really have it all? Trollope doubts it, and she makes a very good case. Patricia Scanlan has hit the bestseller list once again with her latest book. Orange Blossom Days (Simon & Schuster) is set in a sparkly new apartment complex in Andalucia, where Irish couple Anna and Austen arrive to enjoy their retirement. But life gets in the way. And it seems lifes getting in the way of some other residents, too. Claudia Carrolls Our Little Secret (Avon) is an intriguing tale inspired by the movie All About Eve. Sarah Keys is a successful lawyer who takes pity on young Lauren, a law graduate working in a dingy nail bar. Sarah finds Lauren a job at the legal firm, takes her into her home, shows her the ropes and lives to regret it. Due in September, Marian Keyes latest novel, The Break (Penguin), is about a husband opting for a six-month break from his marriage, and I just cant wait. From the archives: One of my favourite love stories is Peter Careys 1998 novel Oscar and Lucinda (Faber & Faber). Its not chick lit. Its dark and tragic, and obsessive-meets-compulsive and it took my breath away. Hilary A White A good short-story collection should always travel with you. Everyone is having a go at the format these days but fast-track straight to Carlow writer John MacKenna and Once We Sang Like Other Men (New Island). With a cinematic palette, MacKenna compiles a diverse array of lives ebbing and flowing, each picking up the pieces following the death of a mysterious cult leader known only as the Captain. For someone who once won the Bad Sex in Fiction award, Rowan Somerville proves himself to be one of this years breakout non-fiction talents with Beat (Lilliput Press). He somehow manages to blend rigorous journalistic commentary with deep soul-searching against the hate-filled backdrop of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Youll find poignancy and tragedy but also much wit and candour, all fuelled by smart structuring and a devotion to truth and humanity. A volume of seismic relevance today. Right now, Im greatly enjoying iridescent dips into Philip Judges hearty pastoral memoir In Sight of Yellow Mountain (Gill Books, released August 25). This spirited, amusing and affectionate account by the former UK actor and hopeless urbanite about relocating to the Irish countryside will speak to anyone whos ever sat in rush-hour traffic and thought, sod this. From the archives: JA Bakers The Peregrine (HarperCollins) is 50 years old, so an anniversary edition is in order. Bakers woozy, kinetic field journal is simply one of those books everyone should read once. Rarely, if ever, has nature writing been rendered powerful enough to elicit a sensory response as it does in this time-stopping diary about a man evaporating into the landscape via an obsession with local wild falcons. Robert Macfarlane who devoted an entire chapter to it in 2015s Landmarks pens a new afterword, examining how, half a century later, The Peregrine still locks on to its readers, and they pass involuntarily into it. Andrew Lynch Robert Webb is best known for playing a feckless, self-deluded hipster in Channel 4s cult sitcom Peep Show. Along with his comic partner David Mitchell, however, he is also a thoughtful and engaging opinion writer. Webbs first book, How Not to be a Boy (Canongate, published in August), which promises to be both a memoir and an exploration of masculinity, has received advance plaudits from Stephen Fry, Ian Rankin and JK Rowling. Theresa May has been taking a hammering recently, so The Enigmatic Prime Minister by Rosa Prince (Biteback) is a useful reminder that nobody gets to 10 Downing Street without having at least some formidable qualities. Rosa Princes interviewees include a former press officer from Dublin who describes May as lovely to work with and recalls that the future PM protected her from anti-Irish bias. How did Hillary Clinton throw away an election that most pundits and pollsters thought she had in the bag? Shattered by Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes (Crown) is a compelling fly-on-the-wall book that provides the most detailed answer yet, revealing a campaign riven by internal feuds and a candidate haunted by her inability to make an emotional connection with voters. From the archives: Readers of a certain age will remember Sakis hilarious short story The Lumber Room from their Inter Cert course. What they may not know is that he wrote at least two dozen others just as good, collected in various anthologies such as The Complete Saki (Penguin Twentieth Century Classics). Playful, witty and sometimes macabre, Saki delighted in exposing the hypocrisies of Edwardian society and since none of his tales is more than a few pages long, they are also perfect for 21st-century attention spans. Eilis OHanlon No more satisfying book has been published all year than This Family of Things (Doubleday Ireland). Alison Jamesons novel explores the lives of awkward, lonely farmer Bird Keegan after he takes in a young girl whos been brutally treated by her father. Its a wise, touching story about redemption from an author with a commanding voice. Every page is a delight. A Talent For Murder (Simon & Schuster) by Andrew Wilson re-imagines what happened during those famous 11 days in 1926 when Agatha Christie went missing at the height of her fame. The conceit here is that the so-called Queen of Crime let a close friend in on the mystery on the proviso that the truth could only be told after her death. The tone is clever, complex, indulgent; the pace relentless. Competition for the years best book may be on hand in the shape of Bernard MacLavertys first novel in 16 years. Midwinter Break (set for publication in August by Jonathan Cape) follows a retired couple on a short trip to Amsterdam as their relationship strains under the weight of the past a common MacLaverty theme. A new work from the author of Cal is a rare treat. From the archives: Sarah Waters is far more prolific, but 2002s Fingersmith (Virago) remains her standout work. The rollicking tale of pickpocket Sarah, who poses as a ladys maid as part of her next escapade, has one of the greatest plot twists in modern fiction. Its full of vivid, Dickensian London atmosphere and memorable characters. Havent read it before? Youre in for a treat. Eamon Delaney Summer is an especially good time for catching up on books on history and international affairs. An absorbing title is Avenging Angels: Soviet Women Snipers on the Eastern Front (194145) by Lyuba Vinogradova (MacLehose Press), who worked with Antony Beevor on his epics about the sieges of Stalingrad and Berlin. Here, she writes about Soviet female volunteers, who not only provided huge logistical and physical support in the farms, factories and hospitals but also on the front line where, as a crack unit of brave and dedicated snipers, they did great damage to the Nazi effort. On the rise of the same German militarism, Jrgen Tampke has written A Perfidious Distortion of History The Versailles Peace Treaty and the Success of the Nazis (Scribe). He argues that far from the punitive terms of the Versailles Treaty of 1918, which settled the outcome of World War I, being the central reason for the rise of the Nazis and World War II, the desire for German militarism was always there going right back to the Franco-Prussian War. In the more personal vein, I am really looking forward to My Fathers Wake: How the Irish Teach us to Live, Love and Die by Kevin Toolis. It reveals how the Anglo-Saxon world could do itself a power of good and get over their death denial by just copying what the Irish do with the dead by having a wake and more funerals. From the archives: I am re-reading the haunting slim novel After Leaving Mr Mackenzie by Jean Rhys, which captures a lonely womans life in Paris and London. John Meagher Several music books have crossed my desk this year but only a handful have sucked me in. A favourite is David Hepworths Uncommon People (Bantam), which charts the rise and fall of some of rocks biggest stars. Its something of an exercise is nostalgia as last years 1971 was but Hepworth is such an engaging writer that youre happy to go along for the ride. I was also content to be transported back to the short-lived skiffle era in late 1950s Britain thanks to Billy Braggs witty, informative Roots, Radicals and Rockers (Faber & Faber). It made me think anew about a genre of music that I had hitherto dismissed. The euphoric reviews for Sarah Perrys second book, The Essex Serpent (Profile), encouraged me to pick it up and Im really glad I did. Its a brilliantly written story of one womans life and relationships in late Victorian England and my favourite historical novel since Sarah Waters The Little Stranger. From the archives: With John le Carr set to publish a new George Smiley novel, A Legacy of Spies, in September, I went back to Smileys first outing, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (Sceptre), and found it even more compelling on a second, closer reading. Le Carr doesnt spoon-feed his reader you have to work to keep up with whos who and whats happening, but if you do youll be richly rewarded. Indo Review

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Pittsfield: Mastheads writers’ residency launches July 3 – Berkshire Eagle (subscription)

PITTSFIELD The Mastheads Writers’ Residency Program is set to launch its inaugural month-long residency at 6:30 p.m. Monday, July 3, with a launch party and reading at Hotel on North. Five writers from around the country will converge on the city, each paired with a private studio for a month-long residency, complemented by city-wide public programming and events. The brainchild of husband and wife architecture team Chris Parkinson and Tessa Kelly, The Mastheads project recognizes Pittsfield’s legacy of writers of the American Renaissance, including Herman Melville, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry David Thoreau, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and Oliver Wendell Holmes. Between the years of 1840 and 1860, these authors all produced work in and about Pittsfield. The Mastheads seek to preserve this history of writing about place through the production of new content and knowledge. The writers-in-residence for this year are Mariam Rahmani, Justin Boening, Maria Pinto, Greg Allendorf, and John Babbott. The writing studios will be dispersed across the city at five new sites each summer, then de-installed for the remainder of the year. The locations for the inaugural year of the project are Melville and Hawthorne at Arrowhead, Holmes and Longfellow at Canoe Meadows, and Thoreau at Springside Park. The writing studios are work spaces only. Housing for the residents is provided in Pittsfield, with transportation available for those who need it. The studios are open-air and rustic in their amenities. They include electricity, and are each located within 300 feet walking distance from a host institution where restrooms are available. The project is supported in part by an Our Town grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. For more information about the authors and a full schedule of public events, visit www.themastheads.org. If you’d like to leave a comment (or a tip or a question) about this story with the editors, please email us. We also welcome letters to the editor for publication; you can do that by filling out our letters form and submitting it to the newsroom.

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White Supremacist Conference Returning To Tennessee State Park – Patch.com

Patch.com White Supremacist Conference Returning To Tennessee State Park Patch.com The American Renaissance Conference, led by Jared Taylor, founder of the magazine of the same name, promises attendees a chance to “celebrate the shifting political tides and discuss the way forward for White America and the Western World” when it …

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White Extremist Conference Coming To Middle Tennessee – NewsChannel5.com

DICKSON, Tenn. – The white extremist group American Renaissance is set to hold a conference at Montgomery Bell State Park in Dickson County. The inn there was quiet on Monday but in four weeks the area will be packed with folks for the American Renaissance Conference. The American Renaissance magazine was founded in 1990 by Jared Taylor, an American white nationalist and white supremacist who told us the conference has occurred at the state park every year since 2012, mainly because a government owned building and property cannot succumb to protest intimidation like private hotels in the past. On it’s website attendees are invited to “discuss the way forward for White America and the Western World.” In the neighboring city of Burns, a small town with a southern hospitality flair, Ramona and James Tucker learn who’s coming to town.”We are a nation of diversity now and it’s going to stay that way, it’s not going to change,” said Ramona. “It may sound corny, but it’s time to end all that nonsense,” James added. “I mean we’re all God’s people and we’re all here together in the same world so why not try use some of that anger and just be nice.” According to the American Renaissance website, the conference is scheduled from July 28 – July 30 near Nashville at the Montgomery Bell Inn and Conference Center where every room is already booked. However, attendees will likely have some neighbors. Critics are planning to protest the event in the park that weekend. Taylor also said the conference is outgrowing the venue at Montgomery Bell State Park and may have to take a risk and book with a private hotel in the future.

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‘The Mastheads’ Inaugural Writers’ Residency Launches in July – iBerkshires.com

Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, Jane Chu, inside the Longfellow studio with co-founders Tessa Kelly and Chris Parkinson during a recent site visit to Pittsfield. ITTSFIELD, Mass. The Mastheads Writers’ Residency Program is set to launch its inaugural month long residency on July 3 with a Launch Party at Hotel on North. Five writers from around the country will converge on the city, each paired with a private studio for a month-long residency, complemented by city-wide public programming and events. The brainchild of husband and wife architecture team Chris Parkinson and Tessa Kelly, The Mastheads project recognizes Pittsfield’s legacy of writers of the American Renaissance, including Herman Melville, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry David Thoreau, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and Oliver Wendell Holmes. Between the years of 1840 and 1860, these authors all produced work in and about Pittsfield. The Mastheads seek to preserve this history of writing about place through the production of new content and knowledge. “We really want to get the community engaged in this project by using these historic authors to provide a platform for new voices to engage with the contemporary city through the written word,” Kelly said. The writers-in-residence for this year are Mariam Rahmani, Justin Boening, Maria Pinto, Greg Allendorf and John Babbott. Click here to learn more about the residents. The writing studios, which will be dispersed across the city at five new sites each summer, then de-installed for the remainder of the year, promote this dual condition-individual introspection from a specific vantage point and connection to a large-scale urban network. The locations for the inaugural year of the project are Melville and Hawthorne at Arrowhead; Holmes and Longfellow at Canoe Meadows and Thoreau at Springside Park. The writing studios are work spaces only. Housing for the residents is provided in Pittsfield, with transportation available for those who need it. The studios are open-air and rustic in their amenities. They include electricity and are each located within 300 feet walking distance from a host institution where restrooms are available. “This project showcases the vision and artistry of our creative community and also creates a bridge to Pittsfield’s illustrious literary past,” Mayor Linda M Tyer said. “We are, indeed, a city where the arts has a dedicated space to flourish and thrive.” “The Mastheads” title comes from Moby Dick, written in Pittsfield, in which crew members aboard the Pequod take shifts climbing up high into the masthead, looking out for whales. From that new vantage point, they see the world around them from a different perspective, elevated far off the ship’s deck. The project is supported in part by an Our Town grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. Other sponsors of the project include The Fitzpatrick Trust, The Feigenbaum Foundation, The Berkshire Bank Foundation, Housatonic Heritage, Mass Development, Mass Humanities, The Walmart Foundation and several private donors. A launch party and reading will be held at 6:30 p.m. July 3 at the Hotel on North. The complete scheduled can be found here.

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June 27, 2017   Posted in: American Renaissance  Comments Closed

Siena Cathedral Epitomizes the Awesome Power of Art – Newsmax

The Medieval Catholic cathedrals, seats of the authorities of God, government, Popes, nobility, and learning, are consummate examples of spaces that brilliantly utilized all of the arts to create an inspirational feeling of awe.* Unique in grand architecture, aesthetic ornamentation, representational paintings, mosaics, frescoes, and sculpture, plus music presentations and sermons, these exquisite structures succeeded in instructing an illiterate populace of their communal and moral duties. They also provided overwhelming beauty and detailed narratives of metaphorical allusions to Biblical stories and philosophical wisdom. All over Europe one can discover and understand what individuals high and low from the 12th to the 16th century experienced in these great sanctuaries of ideas communicated via art. The cathedral that stands out in grandeur, opulence, and breadth of meaning is in Siena, Italy. Begun in 1215, standing 253 feet high, and combining Romanesque, Classical, and Italian Gothic styles, it is one of the superlative works of architecture in the world. In addition, it houses some of the finest works of the other art forms, so it serves as a stunning example of the power of art to profoundly affect our lives. One need not be religious to appreciate the ingenuity of the Catholic Church of that period in appealing to both the physical senses and mental enthusiasm of its followers through the visual arts, literature, and music in order to solidify its messages. Any person of whatever persuasion could spend weeks exploring this wondrous building and months writing about it, but, here, let us marvel at the humanism expressed and the respect for both the religious and the secular that is so outstanding in this cathedral. We are now in the late Middle Ages, a time when ancient Roman and Greek classics were being brought to the attention of Western civilization. Greek philosophy was being studied, an effort that would lead Thomas Aquinas to try and reconcile mysticism (Plato) with reason (Aristotle). This was that seminal time when early intellectual activity regarding religion and humanism came to grips with each other in uniquely compatible ways that would culminate in the bursting glory of the arts and sciences in the high Renaissance of the 16th century that would, in turn, lead to the Reformation and the Enlightenment, changing the world of the intellect forever. The octagonal, carved marble pulpit from which sermons were given features outer columns on stone lions and inner columns depicting allegories of the seven liberal arts and philosophy. Above the capitals of the columns are personifications of the virtues, and around the outside of the pulpit are reliefs depicting the Nativity, the Adoration of the Kings, the Flight into Egypt, the Slaughter of the Innocents, the Crucifixion, and the Last Judgment. Religion and philosophy side by side. The magnificent and mesmerizing hand-cut, marble-tiled mosaic floor is over 290 feet in length and around 200 feet at its widest, telling not only Biblical stories but also those of the birth of Italy, a figurative representation of the beginning of worldly knowledge, and lessons on wisdom that include Socrates and Aristotle. The fifty-six panels were designed by 40 of the leading artists between 1369 and 1547 but took 600 years to reach completion, so we can contemplate history on the move in both art and ideas. Religion, history, and philosophy advancing together. The Piccolomini Library, centered by a classical Roman marble sculpture of the Three Graces, is filled with examples from the collection of illuminated manuscripts owned by Pope Enea Silvio Piccolomini, one of the greatest humanistic scholars of the day. The frescoed walls tell the story of the Popes life in bold colors and images. Religion and antiquity co-existing. Thus the average parishioner learned secular lessons in history and philosophy along with religion all through the power of the fine arts. Artists who worked on this masterpiece include local Siena artists like Nicola Pisano on up to Renaissance giants like Michelangelo, Donatello, Ghiberti, and Bernini, to name only a few. Duomo di Siena has it all and should encourage us to pause and ponder the truly awesome power of art to communicate and celebrate ideas . . . beautifully. In todays modern, instant-coffee-Instagram world of highly lauded architecture designed to look like exploding buildings, million-dollar sculptures that look like a bronze versions of a childs toy balloon, paintings that glorify the ugly and the freakish, movies full of sound and fury but signifying nothing, and more and worse, where is art that celebrates beauty and reason, that honors history and knowledge, that glorifies man and woman at their best? Our impoverished culture does not support beauty and life-affirming values as does the Cathedral of Siena, so where can we find places rich in intellectual and emotional satisfaction and affirmation of values that create an examined life well lived? Look to your library or museum for thought-provoking literature and art, your own living room with original art or prints of your favorites, even your computer (and yes, your mobile phone) for personally stored images that inspire. As food nourishes our bodies and ideas nourish our minds, art nourishes our souls. We need uplifting art and lofty ideas to remind us of the joys, the beauties, and the reasons why life is worth living. Think about it. *Awesome is a vexingly misused, abused, overused term today, describing every mundane subject from ice cream to rock bands. This distorted and diminished high jacking of a singularly transcendent adjective is a linguistic crime of the highest order. One of the most puissant words in the English language, in essence awesome means (from the OED) “. . . the attitude of a mind subdued to profound reverence in the presence of a supreme authority, moral greatness or sublimity, or mysterious sacredness . . . . the feeling of solemn or reverential wonder. . . inspired by what is terribly sublime and majestic . . .”; thus, the word should be reserved for wonders such as the aurora borealis or the Sistine Chapel (or the Duomo di Siena). It is in this correct, pure, and exalted form that I use the word here with profound respect for its “awesome” meaning. Alexandra York is an author and founding president of the American Renaissance for the Twenty-first Century (ART) a New-York-City-based nonprofit educational arts and culture foundation. She has written for many publications, including “Readers Digest” and The New York Times. Her latest book is “Adamas.” For more on Alexandra York,Go Here Now. 2017 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

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