Friday, January 31, 2014

What's an art history degree good for, anyway?

The art history world was rocked this week by President Obama's total smack talk about the discipline. Speaking at a General Electrics plant in Wisconsin, Obama joked with the assembly of young people that they should learn a skilled trade, because they were sure to earn more than if they were to get a useless old art history degree. Realizing that he had just dissed a field of study of thousands of years of world culture, the president chuckled and said "please don't send me any emails complaining," or something to that effect.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Searching for a Superego

People say things to me -- or more accurately, write things to me -- that take me by surprise. Strangers, I mean. Names and avatars (not always even faces) that I know from Facebook, or from other virtual worlds. They tell me their secrets, their pain, even their shame sometimes, or sometimes they think they're having a casual conversation, even though it doesn't look so casual from my side of the screen. They come to me for reasons I can't quite figure out -- not in the hopes that I will make them feel better, or be a loving and empathetic ear to them as they reveal their struggles, because what reason would they have to expect either from me? To expect anything from me?