This 1999 photograph provided by Chrisitie's shows the Rhine river by German artist Andreas Gursky. Titled "Rhein II," the chromogenic color print face-mounted to acrylic glass was sold for $4.3 million Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2011, at Christie's in New York City, setting a record for any photograph sold at auction. (AP Photo/Christie's, Andreas Gursky)
WTF! exclaimed akalol. “$4.3 million US dollars for a photograph!”
I was not complain only surprised that someone paid so much money for a photograph in these uncertain economic times. I also wondered why this photo. Was it the camera – Pentax, Nikon, Canon, Olympus, or Sony that some like to pointlessly argue? Was it taken with film or digitally recorded on a super-fast Sansa SD card bought from Amazon? Was it a scene that can never be captured again? Did the Rhine evaporate since 1999? Was it the 81 x 140 inches size since size does matter despite claims by the unfortunate that it doesn’t? Would the answers to any of these questions affect the price? I doubt it. If the photo looked the same but was a picture of the Caroni River and not the Rhine would the photo even fetch a price? It might if the photographer was Andreas Grusky, photographer of Rhine II and who ” is widely regarded as one of the most important and influential photographers of his generation.” I never heard the name Grusky until this week but thanks to Google I found out he is quite famous despite never doing weddings.
All I can assume is that the photograph called Rhine II fetched that record price since it was considered “art” by those influential ones who know what art is, or at least pretend to know. Works of art are works of creativity and the photo above is creative to some and probably represents more than just bands of grass, road, grass, water, more grass and then dull sky. One can only assume this photo represents something very deep to the buyer and hopefully even the photographer but to the average blogger, looking at this low quality small photo, it simply looks kind-ah-nice.
Long before Anya Ayoung-Chee made Trinidad and Tobago proud for a third time, there was a Trinidad postage stamp from 1847 selling for around US$29,999.00. The stamp features the paddle steamer called the Lady McLeod which sailed between Port of Spain and San Fernando from 1845 to 1854. This rare stamp can be bought on eBay from a seller based in New York if you are interested in boosting your collection. Like all collectibles, its value is based on what collectors are willing to pay which is determined by how rare an item is and the condition of that item. The price of these collectibles are somewhat subjective but not as subjective as the price placed on works of art by those with money.
“No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because death is very likely the single best invention of life. It is life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new.”
-Steve Jobs -Stanford University commencement speech, 2005
Fear is the enemy of logic ~ Frank Sinatra
Fear of Corruption (FoC) – pronounced eff.oh.see and not the way you are saying it – has taken over the country and if it is allowed to continue we will get nothing done but in an honest and transparent manner that will make everyone happy but miserable. Once FoC is allowed to go unchecked the not-so-hidden and personal agendas of sleazy news editors and Opposition cronies will take precedence over the good of the country. FoC is now too common in countries where millions and even billions were stolen by briefly trusted big boys of Government. Because of this trauma experienced by citizens, the replacement big boys are scrutinized by the public and the media with an even more powerful magnifying glass but regardless of the magnifying glass, those suffering from FoC will always see what they want to see and what they want to see is the misleading but attention-grabbing headlines of those newspapers with plummeting readership as true.
Fear is contagious. You can catch it ~ Neil Ggaiman
People with FoC are usually unable to see the facts. It doesn’t matter what the money is being spent on or even if the transaction is as transparent as good quality see-through underwear. That is the way of the real world and it is a world of being damned if you do and damned if you don’t. So what should trusted public officials do to help reduce FoC? The only way I see that FoC can be reduced is by doing everything out in the open and doing it morning, noon and twice at night. Once that is done the public’s FoC will end.
The visible signs of success in Trinidad and Tobago used to be having a big foreign-used car, a thin cell phone and a plane ticket to Miami, but the list just got longer with the addition of the pressure washer. Almost every household in Trinidad and Tobago now boast a pressure washer with nosy neighbors peeping into yards to see how much moss still resides in their neighbors’ driveways. Most citizens in Trinidad and Tobago consider household moss a serious condition and to some, a condition as serious as Government people awarding Government contracts to family members. Now, when neighbors meet the conversations always start with the new property tax but ends up with a discussion about how much PSI they get from their pressure washers and whether it is gas or electric from Bagwansingh’s. Neighbors with a gas pressure washer feel they have the advantage over those neighbors owning the electric variety since gas makes more impressive noises than the Blimp and is just as useful in combating crime.
Pressure washers, especially gas washers, are as noisy as lawn mowers and it takes roughly eight hours to pressure wash one driveway and send four neighbors insane. Pressure washers are like cell phones and once you use it you are hooked – it’s like driveway porn. If it were possible for WASA to be disturbed I am sure they would be concerned by the popularity of the pressure washer and the way it uses water without sending up customers’ water bills. Unfortunately, WASA is yet to discover that meters are important in preventing whole day pressure washing episodes which is threatening to become a serious drain on the nation’s water like the Government is on the treasury. When people buy and use air conditioning, they pay T&TEC for the privilege, but when people pressure wash, only the moss and taxpayers pay.
Everybody knows that Trinidad and Tobago is the land of the cocrico, the humming bird and unproductive, billion-dollar mega-projects but how many know that Trinidad is also the land of the Traffic Light.
Let’s say you leave Port of Spain and enter Wrightson Road at Duke Street corner and would like to get to Arima via the Churchill Roosevelt Highway. Do you know you would meet no less than twenty traffic lights and a bridge under repairs for nearly a year due to typical Ministry of Works’ incompetence? Here is the list of these traffic lights:
- Dock Road/Hyatt
- Independence Square
- Light House
- Sea Lots
- El Socorro
- Uriah Butler
- Bamboo/Labor College
- Kay Donna/Southern Main Road
- Golden Orange Grove added to list 0n 7th October 2009
- Golden Grove
Is it any wonder the population is edgy and the slightest provocation by Government arrogance is met with angry headlines, editorials, blogs and Wade Mark? Is it any wonder we couldn’t care less about the UDECOTT Board and we don’t believe they are made up of people of integrity despite the fact they wear suits and some speak with peculiar accents.
We are a nation that takes too long to get anywhere and when we do get there we are met with No Parking signs, wreckers and gun-toting bandits who already have a sale for your car. Not only does the city flood with short clouds but the arrogant, pro-flood Mayor wants to ban wee-wee trucks. The population is fed up of the visionary who thought the entire population must work in the same tall buildings in the same cramped and waterlogged city plus get there at the same time without thinking about the reintroduction of hanging. The population is fed up of short-man syndrome policies that attack the people instead of help. We are a population that wants to stop fighting with our elected Government and selected President and start worrying about how much of the Heritage Fund will be used for conferences and bribes.
Dainty Kane would rather go naked
Some women would rather go naked than wear fur, eat KFC, or any formerly live creature because these human activities encourage cruelty to animals. Then there are the other women who would rather go naked for no real reason but yet there are those who never get naked under any conditions. I would suggest to all women if they have to go naked find a reason, it looks better on your résumé. The problem with the women who would rather go naked than encourage animal cruelty is that when they go naked people could miss the point. Yes, there would be quite a stir and people would be clicking photos like crazy at first but after five minutes of nudity there is not much to see at the same angle and the point lost to boredom. A clothed woman is more exciting than a constantly naked one but only if clothed scandalously in a short skirt. So nudity can make a strong point but like industrial pollution, it must not be done for long periods.
Khloe Kardashian would rather go naked
I am both an animal lover and a staunch supporter of well shaped, female nudity so I can identify both with the cause and the need. These PETA ads are not always met with enthusiasm and some even describe these PETA ads as soft porn – it could even be as hard as porn would get in some of the more religious countries. As I argued before, nudity is an extreme tool used by PETA to create awareness of an extreme problem. We are a hard headed, selfish animal. Nudity is such a powerful tool it could even be used in political ads to win votes saying “I would go naked if you vote for ___.
Stop The Bull
I heard somewhere that if all the insects in the world were to die there will be no life on the planet in 50 years. On the other hand, if human life were to cease, life on the planet will flourish in 50 years. I assume that would be due to the lack of the need for aluminum and fur. I think humans are self-centered which helped us survive and build so many polluting factories. Our self-made importance is good for survival of the human species but it has made mad and delusional men out of quite a few, the meat eaters and politicians, mainly. We, humans, have to approach the next few years with caution, being careful not to destroy our environment, which has been able to sustain our life and National Geographic so far. We must be careful not to assume we are the only living creatures that matter and the suffering and killing of animals for our needs somehow is not what we would want to promote as one of the best parts of being human. Man should be intelligent enough to know where the buck stops and how much clothes or cabbage a woman should wear to make a point.
Playmate Jayde Nicole Goes Veggie Dog
In a verbal statement about the death of Michael Jackson, US President Barack Obama said “I still have all his stuff on my iPod.” So, I was wondering if iPod sales shot up after the announcement or did he mean MP3 player. People use a popular household brand name to refer to a type of product because that brand has been the leader for years. For example, people in Trinidad and Tobago say Crix when they mean cracker, Coke when they mean Pepsi, Trojan when they mean condom and Manning after they are sc…
Apple and Steve Jobs did a fantastic job in making the iPod the brand that it is today and the only people who don’t have real iPods are those who are either too hungry or too oppressed. When Barack Obama said iPod I am sure he meant iPod and not Zune, Sansa, Creative or a made-in-China black box. In the US, everybody who is anybody young at heart has the iPod brand MP3 player loaded with every song they and their friends ever thought they heard. That doesn’t mean other brands of MP3 players are not good and I think many non-iPod MP3 players are worth buying. But in the real world, brand is everything and I am sure 9,999 out of 10,000 people buy the BMW brand to look important and not for its assumed superior shock absorber or girl-catching technology.
There is one item I recently added to my wish list along with Megan Fox, and that is the Cowon S9 16 GB Video/MP3 Player. Like Megan Fox, the S9 is fun to look at but unlike Megan Fox, has a touch-screen. The Cowon S9 plays MP3 and video files but its main attraction for me is that it also plays FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Codec). FLAC is lossless and MP3 is lossy so, to put it simply, I find FLAC sounds better than MP3 and I want my CD collection to sound as good as it should. Unfortunately, iPods do not support FLAC but the S9, which comes highly recommended by smart people, does. Right now, I listen to my FLAC files on my PC using the free MediaMonkey since the free version of Winamp doesn’t play FLAC. The modern world has taught me that the ability to listen to music where ever and whenever we want is a new human right and that is why I must get an S9; I don’t want to oppress myself.