Saturday, March 28, 2009

Dark in the city. (Night is a wire.)

What are you doing tonight from 8:30-9:30? Might I suggest that you turn out your lights to participate in Earth Hour? In case you haven't heard, Earth Hour is one hour when cities, homes, and businesses around the world will turn off their lights to support action on climate change.

Any number of large American cities will be participating (all at 8:30 local time); be sure to check out the Earth Hour US website for photos, as iconic skylines and monuments go dark (including the Golden Gate Bridge). Caution: if you live in New Orleans, Camden, or Detroit, I would suggest leaving your lights on. And your doors locked.

But (you may ask) what will I do in the dark for an hour? Luckily, the Earth Hour folks have some suggestions:

Fosco would like to add another suggestion:

11. Masturbate.

Assuming that Fosco does not engage in #11, he may post photos from his Earth Hour here tomorrow.

[N.B., posting a comment on this blog during Earth Hour is not funny... :P ]

Saturday Story Hour: Foer on Heart Disease

S-A-TUR-DAY! It's Saturday Story Hour!

There is a (small) part of Fosco that resents the fantastic success of literary wunderkind Jonathan Safran Foer. I mean, this kid was born in 1977 and has already written two powerful novels (Fosco particularly recommends his 9/11 novel, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close). Even more maddening, he has shown no evidence of writer's block or production anxiety or any of those other psychological impediments that haunt would-be writers of any stripe (including Fosco, alas). He seems to write effortlessly and that, in and of itself at his age, is a provocation.

His work, however, is so damn good that Fosco has a hard time remaining resentful. One of Fosco's favorite short stories is Foer's "A Primer for the Punctuation of Heart Disease," originally published in The New Yorker. The New Yorker version is available only to subscribers; however, fortuitously, the entire story appears in The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2003 and can be read here, courtesy of Google Book Search.

What you'll notice immediately is that this story would be very difficult to transcribe (Fosco briefly considered it). Basically, Foer's narrator in the story invents a supplementary punctuation that can be used to express ideas and emotions that are unavailable in traditional English orthography. Foer's narrator demonstrates the appropriate usage of each of these marks as he describes the conversations within his family. To me, these conversations are absolutely heartbreaking. I hope that you find this story as moving as I do.

You can purchase these books by following the links:

Thank you for your consideration.

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Friday, March 27, 2009

Getting Fish Wrong

Should "Foodie Friday" be renamed "Fact-checking Friday"? Just a thought.

Ever since Fosco was a small child, his favorite fast-food item has been McDonald's Filet-O-Fish. Of all of the fast-food out there in the world, no single item is responsible for a larger percentage of Fosco's excess body weight than that damned Filet-O. It's kind of the perfect sandwich, really (especially if your goal is heart disease).

So you can imagine Fosco's surprise when he read of the so-called "Filet-O-Fish for grownups" available at an Italian fish restaurant in Manhattan. In this NY Times review, Jill Santopietro describes the sandwich:

Their fried fish panini is a grown-up Filet-O-Fish: a toasted brioche roll filled with large pieces of peppery fried fish fillets, mayonnaise-y tartar sauce, a sad little tomato slice (just like at McDonald’s) and twin leaves of iceberg.
Sure, the sandwich sounds great but did you notice the clear error of fact in this description? Anyone who has ever actually eaten a McDonald's Filet-O-Fish could tell you that the sandwich has never featured "a sad little tomato slice." Part of the point of the Filet-O-Fish is that it ignores vegetables (like lettuce or tomato) entirely.

Fosco sheds a tear for the once-proud New York Times. Is a front page correction too much to ask?

N.B., In the last eight months or so, Fosco has only eaten one or two Filets-O-Fish. When you reach a certain age, fast-food starts to do outsize damage to one's health. Sigh.

Umbrella Drinks and Other Nightmares

We have clearly established that "Foodie Friday" can involve drinks.

A very entertaining post in this week's NYTimes alcohol blog. Anna Fricke considers all of the self-presentational concerns that go into choosing a signature cocktail. As Fricke notes, she wishes she could drink something other than what she does drink:

If I had my druthers, I would probably drink strawberry daiquiris all the time. But I don’t. Sure, they’re delicious. But the strawberry daiquiri is a youthful drink, the drink of a girl on spring break in Cabo. Much like skinny jeans and Flashdance tops, I can’t pull it off anymore. These days, I am compelled by circumstances to act my age and order a nice Bordeaux and pretend I know what I’m talking about.
In fact, Fricke sums it up nicely:
If I had to guess, I’d say that many of us aren’t drinking what we’d truly like to drink.
She chalks all of this self-denial up to all of the social pressures that have sprung up around alcohol. There are clearly "adult" drinks. There are clearly "cool" drinks. Neither strawberry daiquiris nor Zima would fall into either category. And because most of our drinking occurs in the presence of other people (real or imagined), we end up ordering things like Scotch or dirty martinis that seem adult but that many of us don't really like all that much.

Fosco will cop to some of this self-presentation, of course. He doesn't like martinis (of any variety) but will occasionally order one under extreme duress. His interest in wine is almost non-existent, but he still pretends to read wine lists carefully at the nicer restaurants (and to make informed decisions based on something other than price).

However, Fosco is lucky that several of his preferred beverages are actually both "adult" and "cool." Thanks to his partial Irish heritage, Fosco has a taste for whiskeys (although he actually prefers Scotch)--no fakery needed there. And luckily, if Fosco could only drink one alcoholic beverage for the rest of his life, it would be the perfectly respectable gin and tonic.

In fact, Fosco is in the happy position of a complete coincidence between the hedonic and self-presentational aspects of his "signature cocktail." Hedonism: he loves the taste of gin and tonic above all other drinks. Self-presentation: he likes what a preference for G&Ts says about him. What exactly, you may ask, does a G&T say about someone? I'm glad you asked:
  • Slightly traditional? Check.
  • Intertwined with British history? Check.
  • Possibility for some snob appeal (different brands of gin), without going overboard? Check.
  • Mild historical association with dissolution? Check.
  • Threat of colonial violence? Check.
I think we have a winner!

When it comes down to it, though, life is too short to be drinking a cocktail that you don't like. Obviously, people should feel free to order their favorite drinks regardless of what other people think. Of course, Fosco will still make merciless fun of anyone who orders a Cosmopolitan in his presence.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Breaking (My Heart) News

Very busy tonight and for the next few days with my (never-ending) Levinas paper. But had to break these two stories for you:

1. Remember that English thirteen-year-old who got his girlfriend preggers? The kid who looked like he was ten? The story that was so sordid that Fosco had to write about it not just once but twice?

Well, the DNA test is back and poor little Alfie is NOT the father! While that is certainly good news for little Alfie (whether he sees it that way or not), I'm not sure the story gets any less sad by this revelation. For one thing, the question of the father of Chantelle's baby, is going to get a lot more complicated. Incredibly, other reports note that

six other local boys came forward soon after the baby’s birth and said that they had also had sex with her and could be Maisie’s daddy.
Let's remember: Chantelle is 15. Jesus H. Christ.

And even if Alfie hasn't been saddled for life with a bouncing baby mistake, he seems unlikely to have a sparkling future ahead of him:
Before he took the test, he said: "I didn't know about DNA tests before but mum explained it's when they do a swab in your mouth and it tells if you're the dad. So if I have it, they can all shut up."
Sigh. Bright kid.

(However, as of this writing, the original story has disappeared from the website of the British tabloid The Mirror. Are they backing off on this story?)

2. Fosco's beloved city of San Francisco appears to be under attack by a zombie swarm. Still no word about affected areas of the city, but Fosco thinks it reasonable to assume that most of San Francisco is now uninhabitable by anything but undead.

This is the most tragic death of a great American city since GW Bush bombed the levies in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina.

Eraserhead 2: The Geithnering

Following a suggestion from his old friend Keith, Fosco offers for your consideration: Jack Nance in David Lynch's Eraserhead and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner.

Spooky, huh? I'd make a joke about something from the plot of Eraserhead, but

  1. I have little confidence that many of my readers have seen it.
  2. I don't really remember much about it myself.
To the best of my recollection, I think there was some dancing involved. And some horrible worm creatures. Actually, the film is probably not too much different from recent meetings at the Treasury.

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Scooby Doo and the Case of Molestation Mansion

If any of you ever wanted to open a "Haunted Attraction" (you know, like a Haunted Summer Camp or a Haunted Amusement Park) and sell tickets during the entire month of October, then I've got a real estate opportunity for you! It's Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch, of course, which will soon be auctioned (although you'll probably have to outbid Prince).

Sadly, the once grand property is no longer in good repair:

Buildings, amusement rides, industrial equipment, personal automobiles, and Jackson's personal zoo and Tipi village were falling apart. Gardens and lawns were overgrown.
However, this does make it a perfect setting for a scream entrepreneur who wants to appeal to both teens and ironic Scooby-Doo-watching adults. No word on whether the animals or Native American residents of the Tipi Village are included in the auction (you would probably want both to make the haunting more authentic).

Just think of the possibilities: Ghosts in bumper cars! Pale children wearing veils! Emaciated rhinoceroses! Naked audio-animatronic boys! It will be the molestiest amusement park ever!

Oh, and clearly this, um, thing should receive pride of place:

As reported in HuffPo, this weird "tombstone-looking thing" is engraved with an original poem by Michael Jackson himself. Hey, you know the best way to combat the suspicion that you're a child molester? Well, not by writing a poem with a refrain that begins: "Children of the world, we'll do it." You can read the full poem at the HuffPo link above, but allow me to excerpt first verse and the refrain:
Children of the world, we'll do it
We'll meet on endless shores
Making sandcastles and floating our boats
While people fight and defend their point of view
Forever putting on masks that are new
We'll swing the tide of time and do it.

Children of the world, we'll do it
With song and dance and innocent bliss
And the soft caress of a loving kiss
We'll do it.
I understand that poetry is not like everyday language in terms of its truth content; however, don't you think the author of a poem like this should be taken into preventative custody? All I know is that I would never let one of my children go to the beach with Uncle Michael.

Besides, to be a true expression of MJ's feelings, shouldn't the poem actually have contained an asterisk?
Children* of the world, we'll do it

* boys only

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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Santa Cruz Trivialities

This was a big week in news here in Santa Cruz. What did you miss by not living here (other than sun and surf)? I'm glad you asked.

  • After a series of horrifying attacks on UCSC biomedical researchers last fall, four animal rights activists were finally indicted this week (including at least one UCSC graduate). You may recall that one of the attacks involved the four mask-wearing activists shaking the door of a researcher's home during a child's birthday party; when the researcher's husband opened the door, they hit him on the arm and yelled "We're gonna get you." So naturally, the defense here is free speech. Wait, what? Yes, apparently it was all free speech:
    Khajavi was the only defendant to speak at the rally. Reading from a prepared statement, the 20-year-old UC Santa Cruz graduate said she has never been in trouble before and is only being punished for trying to express her point of view.

    "I'm a victim of free speech suppression," she said.


    Well-known civil rights lawyer Tony Serra, who is representing Khajavi, said his client and the other defendants are idealist kids whose free-speech rights are being curtailed. Punishing youth for dissenting leads to the downfall of a society, Serra said.

    "We represent the voice of tomorrow," he said.
    Which may be true: especially if the voice of tomorrow is threatening, masked, and (frankly) not too bright. Actually, maybe that is the voice of tomorrow. While Fosco has complex and ambivalent feelings about biomedical research that involves animals, he does know one thing: what these activists did is not protected speech. And, in all likelihood, they have set back their own cause.

  • Hey, remember that HBO show where all the characters had sex and stuff? That doesn't narrow it down? Well, remember the one about sex therapy that had like old people doing it and stuff? It was called "Tell Me You Love Me," remember? Fosco saw an episode once and it was, ummm, not exactly very sexy--which I guess was the point. However, Fosco did recognize one of the leads, Adam Scott, from his appearance as the hip seducer teacher in one episode of "Veronica Mars." And while seeing Adam Scott masturbate into a cup on "Tell Me You Love Me" really didn't float Fosco's boat, he does think Scott is a somewhat appealing actor. Well, it turns out that Scott is a lead in some new series on Starz (as if Fosco will ever watch that--he's never even heard of that channel!); but more interestingly, Adam Scott is originally from Santa Cruz. As the Sentinel article notes:
    Scott, who turns 36 in April, first moved to Hollywood from Santa Cruz in the early 1990s fresh out of high school. He now looks back in wonder at the blind optimism and naivete that sustained him in those early days.

    "If I had known then that it would be 2009 before I started actually feeling the repercussions of success, I would have moved back to Santa Cruz a long time ago."
    You go, Adam. Reprazent!

  • Finally, you may have heard that Northern California is in a bit of drought. Well, now it's official: there will be water restrictions in Santa Cruz this summer. That sounds bad, right? Fosco was very discouraged by the headline, picturing a summer filled with two-minute showers and toilets full of unflushed urine. But then he actually read the article. Guess what "water restrictions" means?
    According to a proposal from the Santa Cruz Water Department, about 90,000 county residents served by the agency could be limited to watering on two assigned days of the week, and only before 10 a.m. and after 5 p.m. beginning May 1. Days of the week have not been assigned, but all residential customers should have one weekend day on which to water, said Toby Goddard, the district's conservation manager. Commercial customers also will be restricted.
    Considering that Fosco lives in an apartment, this will have exactly NO effect on his life this summer. Water restrictions? Bring 'em on!

    It does raise another question, though. If water is scarce in NorCal (and it is), why don't we always have such obvious commonsense restrictions on lawn watering? And who are the idiots watering the grass at noon every day of the week?

America's Most Backward State: Oklahoma!

Last week, Fosco was outraged by the head of the Texas State Board of Education and his love for a book that claims to disprove evolution. Because what kind of state allows that kind of moron to be in charge of education? Well, then Oklahoma had to go one better (thereby winning the appellation "America's Most Backward State").

As Fosco's favorite cyber-crusader, Jonathan Turley, notes:

It appears that Oklahoma legislators are continuing their attempted crackdown on University of Oklahoma for the outrage of allowing evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins of Oxford University speak to its students. After proposing two resolutions denouncing the scheduled appearance, legislators are now demanding answers about the funding and communications with Dawkins.
For those of you who don't know, Richard Dawkins is one of the foremost evolutionary biologists. His writings on evolution for a popular audience are well-written and impeccably reasoned. He is one of the most persuasive theorists of evolution (and a frequent critic of creationism and religious fundamentalism). He is also, by any conceivable measurement, smarter and better educated that every single member of the Oklahoma State Legislature (or does that go without saying?). Oh, and if the above photo is to be believed, he is Buffy's Watcher.

But because some morons aren't happy unless they're fucking things up for everyone else, Oklahoma State Representative Rebecca Hamilton (apparently, in some sort of bizarro Oklahoma universe, a Democrat) tried to force the University to cancel Dawkins's speech. Dawkins was invited to speak to celebrate Darwin's 200th birthday. Hamilton (who is most certainly not a LILF and, as far as Fosco can tell, probably did descend from monkeys) first tried to squelch Dawkins's speech with two resolutions, one of which contained this paragraph:
WHEREAS, not only has the Department of Zoology at the University of Oklahoma been engaged in one-sided indoctrination of an unproven and unpopular theory but has made an effort to brand all thinking in dissent of this theory as anti-intellectual and backward rather than nurturing such free thinking and allowing a free discussion of all ideas which is the primary purpose of a university;
The "unproven and unpopular" part is certainly a hoot. Even if that were true (outside of Ms. Hamilton's church, that is), should we really be making decisions about scientific veracity based on popularity? As for making dissent seem "anti-intellectual and backward," I don't really think the Department of Zoology needs to do much work--Ms. Hamilton has done a good job of making her own dissent seem both anti-intellectual and backward (not to mention petty).

But because the University decided NOT to cave in to Ms. Hamilton's demands that they cancel Professor Dawkins's talk, she's moved on to Plan B: hound the OU administration to the extent that future "controversial" speakers don't seem worth the hassle. As Jonathan Turley notes:
Hamilton has reportedly demanded information relating to the speech from Vice President for Governmental Relations Danny Hilliard, including a list of all money paid to Dawkins and the entities, public or private, the total cost to the university, and an account of any “faculty time spent promoting this event.”
One can only imagine how she intends to use this information. However, I don't think you need to be a strict fundamentalist about academic freedom to recognize that a legislator has absolutely no business inquiring into the scholarly pursuits of any member of the university faculty (including any time they spend "promoting" an academic event). This is a blatantly transparent attempt to produce a chilling effect on scholarship at the University of Oklahoma (a place that, frankly, can use all the scholarship it can get).

I'm starting to think that, sometime in the last twenty years, large swaths of the American public (mostly, but not exclusively, in the "Bible belt") not only became complete idiots about science, but also lost track of what universities are supposed to do. Granted, beating Texas in football every year is an important goal for any institution of higher education; however, Oklahomans need to realize that there is actually a bit more involved in running a university. Nitwits.

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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Are Pubes Making A Comeback?

Fosco has made clear his policy on pubic hair (hint: he likes it animal style). Whether it's women or men, Fosco just can't understand why anyone would want (to have or to touch) the genitals of a ten-year-old. Maybe I'm abnormal, but I like having sex with people who look like adults. And no, the irony that Fosco Lives! is the Google destination-of-choice for Koreans searching for "pubic hair shave" is not lost on him. But last week, for just a few days, it finally looked like someone may have gotten Fosco's message.

That's because, as you probably heard, New Jersey was considering a ban on Brazilian bikini waxing. Granted the ban would have been for health reasons, after two NJ women were hospitalized for infections from Brazilian waxes. And, in a sense, it wouldn't have been a new ban so much as enforcement against an already prohibited practice (genital waxing was never actually explicitly allowed in NJ, but regulators tended to look the other way). But still, it would clearly have been a victory for the forces of follicular rationality.

Of course, this is the kind of story that bad newspapers live for. And so naturally, Rupert Murdoch's New York Post had an early Christmas party. Here are some choice excerpts from their story:

The Garden State may be extra lush this summer.
Two women were recently hospitalized for infections stemming from no-follicle-left-behind procedure
But New Jersey spa owners say officials have no business legislating what women do with their Pine Barrens.
Now that's classy journalism! Why do I suspect that there were some pretty sexist lines in the original draft of this article? Because anything that has to do with female genitalia is inherently funny! Women have different genitals! Teehee! Actually, I'll admit I kinda laughed at the "Pine Barrens" line.

But terrible jokes about lady parts aren't the only examples of regrettable rhetoric that appeared in articles about this ban. Consider how cosmetologists, waxers, spa owners, etc. (who, by all accounts, would have lost huge sums of money under the ban) decided to cast the potential effects of the ban on their clients (as per this AP article):
"It's huge," [a salon owner] said, adding that her customers don't think their bikini lines are anyone's business but their own. "It's just not right."

She said many customers would likely travel across state lines to get it and some might even try to wax themselves.
Sound familiar? Yes, standard pro-choice abortion rhetoric has been redeployed to conjure up images of back-alley waxing and home waxes gone awry. Of course, Fosco is entirely sympathetic to this rhetoric when it's applied to abortion; however, there is something about using this argument to talk about bikini waxing that seems a bit trivializing--especially since this is not government telling women what to do with their pubic hair, but rather, the regulation of a specific voluntary hygienic procedure which may, under certain circumstances, be dangerous. Women are free to wax, pluck, or shave themselves however they want; this ban would only affect practitioners who charge for a certain kind of service. In Fosco's eyes, this ban has more in common with the regulation of tattoo parlors than it does with the regulation of a woman's right to choose abortion.

But alas, in the face of opposition from the powerful salon and spa lobby, the NJ ban is dead. We can all rest assured that women in NJ are still allowed to pay people to pull out all their pubic hair by the roots! Hooray! This is a fine day for feminism. Well, except for that part where Fosco suspects that Brazilian bikini waxing is one big male fantasy (and not a very savory one) in the first place.

[Actually, to be honest, Fosco didn't really understand the difference between Brazilian and other styles of bikini waxing until he researched for this post. Shouldn't he have learned all about that in health class? Luckily, Wikipedia has pictures!]

Image Credits. Fosco actually had fun picking out the images for this post. They are
  • The album cover to Amorica by The Black Crowes.
  • Treasure Trail (2003) by fabulous American artist Marilyn Minter.
  • Bad Boy (1981) by the occasionally hilarious Eric Fischl. And yeah, that's probably like his mom.

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"Let's Go to the Phones... Anyone? Please?"

Here's your monthly Fosco Lives! update from the narrow, narrow world of sports.

Today's story is kinda sad, actually. The head basketball coach at one of Fosco's previous academic pitstops, the venereal venerable University of Virginia, has resigned after the team's worst season since the late 1960s. Yes, Mr. Jefferson's basketball coach, Dave Leitao, is finally done in Charlottesville. Leitao's tenure was hardly legendary, with a 63-60 record over four years.

But whatever, right? Why should you (or Fosco) care? Well, mainly because of this pathetic little nugget from the ESPN article (italics added for extra pathos):

The Cavaliers routinely trailed by double figures at halftime, even at John Paul Jones Arena, where they went 9-8, and fan interest waned as the team's difficulties continued. The $130 million arena, opened just three years ago, seats more than 14,000 for basketball, but drew an average of just over 10,000 this season. Apathy was more apparent during Leitao's weekly hourlong radio show, which more than once attracted no callers.
That's right: a weekly hourlong radio show with a Division IA head coach in a marquis sport that more than once attracted no callers.

While it's true that we're not talking about a basketball powerhouse like Duke or IU, UVa is still a member of the basketball-crazy Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). And when Fosco was on campus (pre-Leitao), there was still some interest in what (even then) was a pretty mediocre basketball team. Fosco recalls walking past a dorm block one year during a UVa upset of Duke and hearing a giant synchronized cheer of celebration from hundreds of individual student rooms.

And now, six years later, the UVa basketball coach can hold an hourlong radio program and have no callers. That's the kind of thing that makes you feel sorry for the poor guy.

Well, except for the fact that, despite resigning, Leitao will still receive $2.1 million. I don't know what's next for Coach Leitao, but I think AIG might be his kind of place. Come to think of it, the American public has been getting hosed by "failure bonuses" for years: they're just usually called "buyouts" and tend to be given to underperforming coaches of college football and basketball. (And indeed, it is often taxpayers who foot the bill.)

Is it any wonder that Fosco never responds to UVa's fundraising requests?

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Monday, March 23, 2009

Things To Do With Your Otter In Chicago

When it's "Music Monday," Fosco encourages you to caress your favorite animal.

You may recall how Fosco feels about otters (particularly sea otters). Well, based on Fosco's otter affection, music hipster JennyT recently recommended the band Otter Petter. Although JennyT admitted that she

couldn't form an impression after just one song, other than that you might enjoy the name,
you can believe that Fosco was intrigued enough to pick up the whole CD. After all, a band that names itself after one of life's most rewarding activities must be worth listening to, right? Just like you would have to listen to music by any band named "Donut Licker" or "Tom Brady Fellator." But I digress...

Anyway, Otter Petter is a Chicago band that, by their own admission, blends Matthew Sweet with Death Cab For Cutie. Or, maybe we could just call them "indie pop." At any rate, it's sweet, it's sincere, and it's poppy. Falsetto is involved. And Fosco loves it.

You can listen to three of the (better) songs from their full-length debut album, Fireflies and Lamp Lights, here. I am particularly fond of "The Rest of the World."

Or, if you are a YouTube person (and don't mind sketchy sound quality), you can listen to "The Rest of the World" below, accompanied by occasional semi-relevant still pictures (you know the style...):

Otter Petter! How can you go wrong with a band named Otter Petter!

And please, if "otter petting" is some teen euphemism for something sexual, don't tell me.

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Sunday, March 22, 2009

Wounding Your Cavaliers

It's Sunday and, if you are like me, you would like to see something beautiful.

I finds this strange Pre-Raphaelite painting to be oddly gorgeous. This is The Wounded Cavalier by the delightfully-named William Shakespeare Burton (1824-1916).

Although this was painted around 1855, the depicted scene is from the English Civil War. Personally, I think it's reasonable to read the painting allegorically; otherwise, I'm not sure how you explain the presence of the dour, Bible-holding Puritan who looks on disapprovingly. Oh Puritans, is there anything you don't hate? Also, an allegorical reading may help to account for such oddities as the broken blade stuck in the tree and the small butterfly that is perched on it. (But no, I'm not going to do the allegorical reading for you.) Also, why in the hell is there a tree running down the center of the painting? And why is the Puritan hiding behind it? These are the kinds of questions that, to my mind, make this a worthwhile painting.

As far as I can determine, this painting is in the permanent collection of the Guildhall Museum of Art in London (although it does not appear on their website). There is a smaller "study" for this painting in the Tate collection, although its colors are very different and it is (on the whole) much less appealing.

A note on the coloration. There are numerous images of this painting online and the colors are different in every one. As Fosco has never seen the original (nor is it, apparently, on display except by appointment), he has chosen the version that is most appealing to him. You may find this image to be a little "washed out," but Fosco much prefers the faint mist in this image to some of the gaudier versions.

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