Posts Tagged ‘Aristotle’

The notion that a radical is one who hates his country is naïve and usually idiotic. He is, more likely, one who likes his country more than the rest of us, and is thus more disturbed than the rest of us when he sees it debauched. He is not a bad citizen turning to crime; he is a good citizen driven to despair.

H.L. Mencken

I have been trying to stay away from current events but seeing this morning that the Department of Justice is looking to take over the defense of the president in a defamation lawsuit brought against the president*** by a private citizen over an alleged rape that took place twenty years ago just raises my blood. The fact that we, the people, are now paying for his legal defense and any subsequent settlement for is beyond the pale.

It is just another mile marker on the road to authoritarianism.

Factor in what is happening under the rulers this thing in our white house so much admires and refuses to criticize, often even as they imperil our citizen soldiers. You have the kidnappings of opposition leaders in Belarus. The poisoning of opposition leader and Putin critic Alexei Navalny in Russia, which was, by the way, not the first such occasion under the Putin regime. And then there is the crazy number of Putin critics and journalists who “accidentally” fall from high rise windows or mysteriously get shot with sight of the Kremlin.

Not to mention the brutal killing and dismemberment of a US based journalist by the Saudi regime that he often coos about, an atrocity that is now barely a blip in a radar screen filled with atrocities.

That’s the world to which our creature in charge aspires. And 40% or so of our population thinks, or in the absence of thought, believes that this is just fine and dandy.

I can’t accept that.

I will not succumb to the dark world being forced upon us. Will not keep my mouth shut. Will not close my eyes to the wrongs being perpetrated. Will not turn my head away from the rampant corruption or the many injustices of this regime.

I won’t do it.

And the 40% of us that are his true believers view this as being unpatriotic.

Well, we obviously have different views on patriotism.

I am going to defer to Aristotle on this: “It is not always the same thing to be a good man and a good citizen.

If being a good citizen requires me to be less than a good man, then I will cease being a good citizen.

Sorry for the spew this morning. Here’s a song that says this much better than my angry words. It’s from way back in 1984 from Little Steven and the Disciples of Soul and his album Voice of America. You might know him better as Miami Steve Van Zandt from Springsteen’s E Street Band or as Silvio, Tony’s lieutenant and the owner of the Bada Bing Club on The Sopranos. Or from his Sirius radio channel Little Steven’s Underground Garage or from his Netflix series, Lilyhammer. He’s a busy, multifaceted guy.

And a patriot by my and Mencken’s definitions. Here’s his I Am a Patriot.

The painting at the top, The Way of the Brave,  is from quite a few years back. It’s a longtime favorite of mine and one that I used when I last played this song here back in 2009. It still fits the song.

Have a good day.


Read Full Post »

GC Myers- SunbeamThe aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance, and this, and not the external manner and detail, is true reality.

This new painting, a small 6″ by 12″ canvas that will going with me to Alexandria this coming Sunday for my Gallery Talk at the Principle Gallery,  intrigues me on many levels but mainly in the way in which it challenges my own perception of reality.

I wondered how light would appear in a world that gave it different properties.  For instance, what if instead of a sun, that ever-burning orb in the sky, our light was provided by a ring of light that cut across the sky?  And what if the source of light was darker than the light it provided?  How would it affect how we looked at our world?

The odd thing is that my mind accepts the reality that was created.  And that speaks to the words of Aristotle at the top of the page.  The significance of a piece of art is in how our mind interprets the reality of it, in how it connects  with our inner needs and perceptions.

For me, this small painting works on those terms.  It is warm and inviting and familiar even though the reality of the setting is alien to me.  I feel as comfortable–  perhaps even more– in this environment as I would in a perfectly represented image of the real world in which we live.

And that is all I ask of it…

Read Full Post »

GC Myers--Phronesis Phronesis… involves not only the ability to decide how to achieve a certain end, but also the ability to reflect upon and determine good ends consistent with the aim of living well overall.

— Aristotle


This is a new painting, 8″ by 14″ on paper, that I am calling Phronesis.   It’s a Greek word that the philosopher Aristotle used to differentiate practical wisdom from theoretical philosophy.  Phronesis involves putting gained wisdom into rational, measured action, not merely reflecting upon it.  It is the ability to determine where one wants to be– physically, mentally and spiritually– at a future point and how to achieve that goal.  Phronesis employs  theoretical wisdom  and puts it into rational action.

That’s the five cent version of the concept.  And that’s what I see here.   In a calm fashion, the Red Tree has determined its course, which is to be in unity with a greater universal power or spirit, represented here by the breaking sun and the layers of color in the sky.  It has already recognized the universal truths and is now trying to enact them, trying to become closer to the central truth.

It sounds much more complicated than it might really be. ‘Live lightly’ might just as easily get across what I struggle to say here.  That would probably fit the simple composition of this painting, that  spare elegance which draws me to this piece.  In itself, there is a sort of phronesis taking place, as its painting is an action that takes what little wisdom I have gained and allows me to move a step closer to that same goal shown in it.  Peace and light, really.

Well, enough said.

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: