Windows onto the World

Curtains by Roy Lichtenstein

 Last night, a dark and stormy night, was punctuated with wave after wave of clashing thunderstorms. I lost count how many times I was awoken by the flash of lightning and the crash on thunder. Just about the time I had drifted off to sleep again, the next wave of crash-bangs would wake me up again. After one such iteration, I got up to get a drink of water. While drinking it down in the kitchen, a particularly close lightning strike lit up the room and an instant later shook that same world. Our frilly and banal kitchen curtains were backlit and the rest of the room was also briefly illuminated. I was reminded of the above Lichtenstein painting.

This relatively sleepless night left me feeling tired and grumpy in the morning. I don’t think that I can mount a full fledge rant here, I’m just too tired, but I can give you some grousing. I think that I am still up to that.

Once I was up this morning and sufficiently ‘awake’ to start my morning rituals, one of my first tasks was to visit my iPhone. I luv my iPhone. After checking email, this blog and Facebook, I began this morning’s downloads, these normally being podcasts and Apps updates. I hate those little numeric red dots that appear when there is something to do. I’m anal like that. This sleepy morning there was one special red circle, it was on the ‘Settings’ icon. It signified my iPhone’s desire to upgrade to iOS 6.

Normally, this desire would not cause consternation. Using iTunes, I’ve done it plenty of times in the past. At this point under the rubric of full disclosure I should tell you that I’m a PC and not a Mac. I’ve been a PC even before there were PCs. I’ve been programing computers for over forty years. Before you dismiss me for a vacuum tube Neanderthal, hear me out. My values were formulated while working for over a decade for a computer manufacturer. They are democratic values. Simply put, PC values are {democratic | free enterprise | American} values. While, Apple’s values are {monopolistic | autocratic | totalitarian} values.

So, I can mount a rant. My complaint is that this iOS ‘upgrade’ will erase Google Maps from my iPhone. It will be replaced by Apple’s ersatz replacement App. This is all part of these two big boys intramural fight. In the words of that street sage, Rodney King, “Can’t we all get along?” Oh snap, yes we can! There might be an Android in my future.

The graphic for this post is a picture of the Roy Lichtenstein painting, “Curtains”. It was a gift to the Saint Louis Art Museum from Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Pulitzer Jr. It was painted in 1962, using oil and magna on canvas. The following text is the Slammer’s write-up on this art work.

In his black and white paintings of the early 1960s, Roy Lichtenstein drew from popular, mass-produced imagery. Here, the source was a newspaper advertisement. The frilly kitchen curtains with matching valance suggest the banal, suburban developments of post-war America. While the image implies a critique of consumerism, it also presents a visual pun on the classical notion of painting as a window onto the world.

The slammer, also-know-as the Saint Louis Art Museum has its motto engraved upon its lintel, ‘Dedicated to Art and Free to All’. One is free to walk in to it and one is free to take pictures in it. The new wing opens next year, it’ll be grand.

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