It's a fake! Don't buy or sell, it's crap!

It's a fake! Don't buy or sell, it's crap!

An art dealer has admitted intentionally selling fakes of paintings by a famous Cornish artist for tens of thousands of pounds.

David Carter, 58, of Prospect Close, Hayle, pleaded guilty to seven counts of fraud at Truro Crown Court.

He dishonestly claimed the works, which sold for up to £50,000, had been created by celebrated painters such as Alfred Wallis.

An investigation was launched after a complaint to trading standards.

I hope you got a refund. What a dastardly chap.



If you want to hazard your own guess as to why Tomorrowland was a huge flop, this is the blog where you can do so:

If ever there was a studio that could withstand a serious stumble, it's Disney, home of Lucasfilm, Marvel, Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios. And stumble it has with Tomorrowland, theBrad Bird-directed fantasy adventure. Sources say the film will lose $120 million to $140 million by the time it finishes its global rollout, becoming Disney's first major financial misfire since The Lone Ranger prompted a $190 mil­lion write-down two summers ago.

It's also the third big-budget original tentpole of 2015 to bomb after Jupiter Ascending and Seventh Son, highlighting the risky nature of nine-figure filmmaking at a time when relatively lower-budget hits such as Spy and Pitch Perfect 2 are causing studios to look closely at the costs of creating franchises.

Tomorrowland, which cost $180 million to produce plus a marketing spend of $150 million or more, had everything going for it: a hot filmmaker in Bird, 57 (Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol), and a global star in George Clooney, 54. But it debuted to weak reviews (was it for kids or adults?) and a soft $42.7 million during the long Memorial Day weekend. As of June 8, the film had earned $76.4 million domestically and $93.5 million overseas for a global total of $169.9 million. It might not gross much more than $200 million, far from enough to cover Disney's costs.

China, ravenous for American event movies, has been a particularly harsh blow. Tomorrowlandbowed to $13.8 million there in early June, getting trounced by the $38.3 million opening of the Japanese animated title Stand by Me Doraemon.

So, even though the film made a lot of money, it was a flop because it didn't pay for itself. Which is interesting because not every film can "pay for itself" and studios should always try to push the envelope and take risks with films that have something important to say.

I think what made Tomorrowland a flop was the perspective it offered, which is inherently a Baby Boomer thing--we're screwing up the world, only a chosen person can save it,. we have to fight evil, blah blah blah. This is why the Coen Brothers keep making successful films, both artistically and financially. They don't give a crap about any of that stuff. They would never in a million years make Tomorrowland. 

The thing that I have always encountered when writing about the Baby Boom generation is a level of narcissism and self-entitlement that people my age (post Baby Boom, of course) only possess when they're doing an impression of their parents. Baby Boomers aren't just the greatest waste of human potential in human history, they are the embodiment of it. When confronted, they just cite their resumes and cuss people out.

The Baby Boomers are done as an artistic force, and the things they handed to the culture are irrelevant. Their legacy is one steeped in personal hypocrisy and greed. Yeah, yeah. You were a minor associate of the Grateful Dead and you helped Tom Hayden do something no one remembers. During the 80's, you had a letter to the editor about Bob Dylan published in the New York Times. We got it. Now go away.

The Upper East Side

Jill Kargman has spent her life on the Upper East Side, and currently raises her kids there. Now, she’s mocking the community mercilessly in Bravo’s new comedy, Odd Mom Out.

“Farm to table, I love it,” Jill Kargman, creator, writer, and star of Bravo’s new—and first—original comedy Odd Mom Out says as she takes a seat at Chelsea’s The Green Table. “Or as I like to call it: seed to anus.”

“Ramps are so trending,” she quips as she peruses the menus, stroking the bow draped from the front of her black dress. “They’re like the hot onion.” Ultimately, she lands on a double order of deviled eggs. “I’m 40 and my hair is falling out so I need protein.”

Consider the prototypical Upper East Side mommy: bleach blonde, whippet thin, perfectly manicured, stay-at-home, chemically preserved. Polite but not warm. Type A. Beautiful, sexless. Multiple houses, expensive preschools. Well educated. Volunteer. Designer handbag. To that list, Wednesday Martin wants to add: Subservient. Retrograde. Self-selecting. Self-segregating. Aggressive.

Those more derisive terms come courtesy of Martin’s new book, Primates of Park Avenue, a memoir-slash-ethnography of a very small group of very thin, very rich people. In it, Martin observes the strange rituals of this particular UES tribe, documenting their behaviors and social hierarchy as if they were a family of bonobos. But she is not just an observer: She becomes one of them, and her induction into their clique forms the narrative of the book. 

Now that there are competing Upper East Side humor writers, you can be rest assured that someone on the fringes will emerge as the dark, indie alternative to everything that sucks.

This is the great trick being played on people in modern America--the arts are reflecting mainly the wants, needs and aspirations of the mega-rich and no one else. The arts have humanized them and made them more important than any other aspect of the American experience. It's as if The Great Gatsby were being rewritten to make horrible people lovable and sympathetic by celebrating their hijinks rather than their car crashes. 

We live in the second Gilded Age and the art that shows us who we are contains nothing of the poor or the struggling people in this country. These are the people being thrown to the ground by cops while others shuffle away, nervously. The poor are roadkill and nothing celebrates commonality or the challenge of living in a country that criminalizes poverty. They are reduced to being bit players in the "hard lives" of the suffering and miserable people who make up the wealthy elite.

This is what we consume now, so get used to it.

John Cleese Has Tweeted

The lamentable foof, Piers Morgan

John Cleese was handed one of those rare opportunities to slay an opponent on Twitter. His victim, a Mr. Piers Morgan. In the not too distant past, Morgan was a newspaper editor who went after scads of prominent members of the public and private citizens by using the technique of phone hacking.

Anyway, this doesn't happen very often:

Perpetually confused former CNN host Piers Morgan wrote a blistering open letter to John Cleese in The Daily Mail earlier this week because the actor allegedly “ignored” him while he was two feet away in the same restaurant.

He did not start it:

Morgan wrote in The Daily Mail post:

“If he’s not trashing his ex-wives, he’s moaning incessantly about tabloid journalists – most of whom long since stopped caring what he does.

I’ve made my feelings about his unfortunate personality transplant known on Twitter.

So you can imagine how I felt when I sat down in my favourite New York restaurant, Ralph Lauren’s Polo Bar, ordered a fine bottle of vintage claret, sighed with almost indecent pleasure at the gastronomic delights heading my way… then turned to my left and spied Cleese at the very next table. Literally two feet away.

For one tiny nanosecond, our eyes locked in mutual shock, then equally mutual withering contempt.”

Cleese responded thusly:

After this, nothing more needed to be said.


New American Cursive, an example

Everything in this article should scare you into writing more legibly! Seriously, though, it makes a lot of good points. From a Humanities perspective, maintaining a link to careful, practiced learning techniques can't hurt anyone.

I learned cursive but I use it very sparingly--if at all. I adopted basic printing as part of my demented effort to learn how to letter for comic strips and I haven't gone back to anything resembling cursive.

It's a skill that I still have, but it remains a situational thing. If I'm writing a check, I slip into it without effort. If I'm attempting a more formal note, I'll use it.

Should kids learn it? Absolutely. I think it would improve their overall handwriting, and, no matter what people tell you, handwriting will never go away.

30 Helens Agree

That's a lot of Monet paintings that someone's dopey kid is not going to walk past this year. And, by my count, the Philadelphia Museum of Art has 23 Monets (online).

Persons per Monet??? That's a thing???

30 Helens agree...

A Lesson in Ethics by Ruth Marcus

I'm not making any of this up--Ruth Marcus questions whether we should have gone after FIFA and Denny Hastert:

For different reasons, I find both indictments unsettling — not necessarily wrong, but worth thinking through whether they ought to have been brought.

Holy Mother of God:

Instead, Hastert was tripped up by bank reporting requirements intended to catch drug kingpins and organized crime bosses. His alleged crime is that he structured his hush money withdrawals to avoid triggering reporting rules and then — seemingly on a single occasion — lied to FBI agents about why he was making the withdrawals. Lying is bad. Lying to FBI agents is even worse.

But, really, wouldn’t that have been your first instinct, too? I’d feel differently if Hastert had stuck with the lie, in a second interview after he’d had time to think it over, or before a grand jury. (And, yes, I’m thinking about President Clinton’s impeachment here.)

Hastert did, it seems, a terrible thing. He is, or was, paying for it — literally. He shelled out $1.7 million “to compensate for and conceal his prior misconduct,” the indictment says. He is at once alleged perpetrator and victim of a shake-down scheme; his alleged victim is both prey and blackmailer.

Yes, the first place anyone reasonable or serious would go in trying to excuse Denny Hastert's hush money payout to a victim of underage sex abuse is to the Clinton impeachment because, hell, they're the same damned thing, aren't they?

Good God.

Just so we're clear--we shouldn't prosecute FIFA (hundreds and hundreds of men have died building stadiums for FIFA World Cup host countries, who used bribes to secure the games) or Denny Hastert (sexually abusing someone is far, far worse than paying to keep it quiet).



Joel Silver has saved something remarkable, and it is called Auldbrass.

With the aid of documents from the Frank Lloyd Wright Archives, the Avery Architectural Library of Columbia University, and other sources, and with the help of contractors and descendants of people who had worked and lived on the site, Silver aimed to not only restore Wright's vision but complete it.

Auldbrass is the Southern Plantation designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. It was allowed to fall into disrepair and it has now taken Hollywood producer Joel Silver 30 years to fully restore.

What I find interesting about Wright's project is that he didn't just build the house--he designed the furniture that went with it. Those pieces have been restored or replaced to specification as well. And Wright was motivated by one purpose--to design a plantation that would run counter to the architectural domination of previous designs and build something that did not command obedience or fear.