“Pride” — Official Launch Trailer

The 1984 coal miners’ strike was disastrous for the National Union of Mineworkers, and for the miners themselves.  Ironically, the crushing of the strike by the vile Margaret Thatcher has resulted in a series of feel-good movies like Brassed Off and, most famously, Billy Elliot.   Now comes Pride, which opened in the UK this weekend, to unanimous raves.

It’s based on a true story:   A group of London gay activists raised money to support the miners families, but the NUM refused the donation.  The activists decided to choose a mining village in Wales, and make their donations directly.

Pride stars, among others, Bill Nighy,  Imelda Staunton, Dominic West, Paddy Considine, and Freddie Fox,  which sort of confirms my long-standing belief that, at any given time, there are only about 50 British actors, and they appear in everything.


Pride opened in UK on 12 September 2014, and will open in the US on 26 September 2014.

Sunday Morning — Victoriana of the Week

William Westall - The Commencement of the Deluge 1848 s

“The Commencement of the Deluge”, by William Westall

I thought William Westall’s “The Commencement of the Deluge” might be a nice complement to the Crystal Wagner “Deluge” installation I posted about a few days ago.

Westall’s great adventure was a voyage of exploration under Matthew Flinders, on a ship called Investigator, which took him from England to South Africa, and on to Australia.   Westall took a good deal of artistic license w/his illustrations.

The painting is in the Tate.

The Art of Crystal Wagner

Crystal Wagner is a multi-disciplinary artist with a background in printmaking.  Using paper and materials from dollar stores and office supply companies, she creates wildly imaginative installations.  She exhibits extensively—this year alone, she’s designed 10 installations in the US, Canada, and Australia.

Deluge 1

Deluge.  Photo from the artist’s website.

The artist and her work.   All these photographs come from her website, which features many more images and a look at the details of what goes into her work.


Arboretum. Photo from the artist’s website.


Surface.  Photo from the artist’s website.

Don’t these make you smile?

Here’s a time-lapse video of the creation of that last installation:

Burning Man 2014


Photo from Wikicommons.

While I’m reluctant to rule out any experience, it seems increasingly unlikely that I’ll ever spend the week leading up to Labor Day consuming massive quantities of Ecstasy and frolicking in the Nevada desert.  Stranger things have happened, but, off-hand, I can’t think of any of them right now.

I can, however, admire from afar.

Burning embrace

Burning “Embrace”.  Found on the Net.

There’s been something of a backlash to Burning Man recently, but the 3,000 admission tickets, at $380 each, sold out pretty much instantaneously.

Here’s the now-inevitable drone video:

Haven’t been posting much lately—I was down for maintenance.

I had a lot of personal business to take care of, and a late summer cold
sidelined me for a couple of weeks.  But now I’m back, and things’ll be fine.