a unique perspective on this crazy world

Posts tagged ‘the daily show’

Mr. Pine’s Purple House…

Apparently I was not the only one inspired by Mr. Pine – you gotta love the internet 🙂  My crush, Jon Stewart, was talking on The Daily Show this week about painting your house mauve… in response to Glenn Beck’s crazy Marxist utopia Independence USA.  He likened it to Main Street USA at Disneyland.  Disneyland was fun to visit but it was not for the independent of mind.  So the comparison is apt.

mr pines purple houseAnd Jon is my age so I am wondering if he picked mauve because he also knew about Mr. Pine 🙂  Purple is an awesome colour – with lots of interesting associations –  but we’ll talk about the colour purple some other time…

Jon’s take on the whole crazy mess is hilarious and you should watch it, rather than listen to me paraphrase it (Jan 29, 2013)


It points out the strange, conceptually warped place that is the present day USA.  It’s such a complicated, remarkable and twisted place.  Watching The Daily Show freaks me out a little – and makes me recall my first public speech.  I was an atrocious public speaker.  But a precocious, serious child.  So aged 11 I warned about the dangers of watching too much television.  Back when all I could watch was the CBC!  No danger of wanting to watch it for too long 🙂

But I did LEARN some stuff from TV.  And was usually reading a book in the background because I wasn’t intellectually engaged enough.  But luckily my mom really liked small children and engaged us, rather than popping us in front of a video so we could have the storyline of every Disney animated classic memorized.

The media IS powerful.  And independent thought is essential when you are sitting in front of a TV.  Or a movie screen (more on that soon 😉

So… I am really grateful that reading was highly encouraged by my parents.  First, they read to us.  My internet research revealed that I was 3 when Mr. Pine painted his house purple – so it was likely one of my very first books.  Maybe that’s why it ended up as my favourite.  We had at least one story every night.  And I cleaned out the small town library once I could read on my own.  One of my favourite childhood memories were the boxes of books that came into my house courtesy of auction sales.

It certainly wasn’t all high brow!  That’s how my best friend and I found “The Happy Hooker” and read racy passages aloud to each other when her mother was at work.  We didn’t even really know what was being described – but we knew it was forbidden 🙂

Maybe your child shouldn’t read “The Happy Hooker” but it’s good to be exposed to new ideas and situations outside your own personal realm.  It was books that saved my ass when I ventured out as a young adult with very little knowledge about the great, wide world in which I wanted to wander.

The first boy I seriously considered marrying sealed the deal because we would chime, almost in unison, “let’s go get a book about that!”  We figured books were the answer to every obstacle or new situation life threw at us.

There is something to be said for human contact – and expert advice from live humans 🙂  But it took me a rather long time to figure that out.  In the meantime, I had books…

All sorts of points of view, myriad experiences I would never be able to create for myself, a chance to delve into both the past and the imagined future to try to figure out how to make the present better…

All that reading will also give you a point of view.  You don’t need to paint your house purple (it’s likely not a good idea 🙂  But you shouldn’t be afraid to stand up for what you believe.  People love a maverick!  Just ask Mr. Pine.  His purple house made him the toast of the town 🙂


p.s  I have carried Mr. Pine’s Purple House with me to over 30 residences and three continents – but I learned all the lessons by age six – so the physical book is just nostalgia 😉

Thanks, Mayor Bloomberg! :)

It certainly seems like Michael Bloomberg has done a lot of good things for New York City.  And the world at large.  But I also owe him personally since my friend Sarah’s Bloomberg connections got us free access to some wonderful art exhibitions on this trip.

I am a big fan – and small supporter – of the arts.  But Bloomberg sponsorship of the arts – and the vision of making the arts more accessible to a wider audience – is definitely something to celebrate.  You may not realize but your free audio guides at the Guggenheim are courtesy of his generosity.

You will likely have to pay for the shows but I do think they are worth the price of admission.  To make sure my visit involved more than shoe shopping and gluttony, Sarah and I went to a couple of current shows at some of the temples to art that are a large part of the New York experience.

chrysler building on a sunny day!

chrysler building on a sunny day!

I know I think I slagged Picasso a little bit in an earlier post.  And he apparently produced 50,000 art works.  He didn’t seem to be a particularly great guy to have a relationship with.  And I’m not quite sure he didn’t court fame a little more than a proper Englishman would consider dignified… but, hey, the dude was a great artist.

I’m not convinced everything Picasso signed his name to is a masterpiece but he certainly produced a lot of them.  And this show was fascinating as it is only works in black and white.  Apparently Picasso did not believe colour was fundamental to the art.

My friend Sarah said I had to see it as lots of these works are privately held and this was a once in a lifetime chance to see them.  As a huge fan of Kandinsky – who thought colour evokes moods and used it as symbolism – I wasn’t quite sure what I was going to think about black and white…

But it likely won me over as a much greater fan of Picasso.  Not all the works really “spoke” to me but many did.  And it was incredible to see what he could do with such a limited palette.  It was also interesting to see how he used that limited palette to create many different types of work as he was influenced by the world events of which he was part and the women he decided to sleep with…

If you can, definitely go and check it out.


mom at the guggenheim

mom at the guggenheim

We also went to the Met to see the current Matisse exhibit.  Sarah is a big fan of Matisse.  I wasn’t so sure.  I think I saw too many Matisse posters in dorm rooms in my youth.  But he is an important artist.  And I love art.  And am always open minded 🙂

And it was a great exhibit, even if you aren’t a huge fan.  It is focused on Matisse’s love of drawing – and his penchant for reworking the same motif in different ways.  They have gathered multiple works of art for many of the famous pieces you might have seen in a major gallery somewhere in the world.

What engages you is that you see the same painting essentially from multiple points of view and it helps the non-artist to better understand the choices that the artist makes in composing the final product.


It also helps to see the process of modern abstract art, where the artist might start with a composition that is quite realistic and almost photographic.  But then they will distort details – or apply unnatural colours – or just simplify lines to create an essence of the subject matter rather than a true representation.  We weren’t always sure we would have chosen the final product based on the options, which made us wonder what the artist was thinking and how his process worked.

Art is meant to provoke us.  To make us question things.  To make us see the world in a new way.  To make us question ourselves and maybe evolve in new ways.  As a very analytical person, I am attracted to art for its fluid and non-linear qualities.

Humans seem to need to make art.  It happens in the poorest and most primitive societies.  I am a big advocate of science and the scientific method.  But I think really great societies engage their citizens in all ways and encourage them to work both sides of their brain.

Art has always offered me an emotional connection even my super analytical brain could not properly explain.  Art has provoked me and expanded my questioning and understanding of the society in which I live.  Art has disturbed me.  Art has made me smile.

It’s important.  It is one of the elements that create a civilization – and civil citizens.  So I salute Mayor Bloomberg and the efforts he has made to make art available to all.

I also have to thank him for the wonderful profile I saw on Bloomberg TV while I was in New York.  I am watching The Daily Show as I type this – and it is reminding me of the segment they did on Jon Stewart.  Given my mega-crush, it was fascinating to have more information on his early career and the genesis of The Daily Show.  They just talked to the cast of The Newsroom in their sketch, questioning whether the only investigative journalism on the air anymore is fictional…  It’s like Stephen Colbert singing with Harry Belafonte.  Some moments in life are just pure gold 😉


http://www.thecomedynetwork.ca/Shows/TheDailyShow?videoPackage=129456 (for Canadians – Jan 14, 2013 episode)


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