Saturday Art: Chuck Jones: The Evolution of an Artist [VIDEO]

Last week, Every Frame a Painting uploaded this delightful and informative video essay exploring the genius of Chuck Jones, with the introduction:

If you grew up watching Looney Tunes, then you know Chuck Jones, one of all-time masters of visual comedy. Normally I would talk about his ingenious framing and timing, but not today. Instead, I’d like to explore the evolution of his sensibilities as an artist. To see the names of the films, press the CC button and select “Movie Titles.”

This video also had a wonderful animation consultant: Taylor Ramos (

As a Baby Boomer (1960), I did grow up watching Looney Tunes. In fact, I still love to watch these cartoons every bit as much today as I did when they aired on television. It’s hard to pick a favorite, but I’ll share a clip from one of mine, called “Rabbit Fire” (ep 97), aka ‘Rabbit Season, Duck Season.’

What are some of your favorite Chuck Jones creations?

Saturday Art: William Hogarth


One panel of Marriage a la Mode by Hogarth
One panel of Marriage a la Mode by Hogarth

(Picture courtesy of Cesar Ojeda at
The artist known for social commentary was self-taught and used his art works to effect the world around him with humor.    His series that the National Gallery of Art in London has displayed tells a story, the wry rendering of the conventions of marriage of the day in British life.

William Hogarth (/ˈhɡɑrθ/; 10 November 1697 – 26 October 1764) was an English painter,printmaker, pictorial satirist, social critic, and editorial cartoonist who has been credited with pioneering western sequential art.

His work ranged from realistic portraiture to comic strip-like series of pictures called “modern moral subjects”. Knowledge of his work is so pervasive that satirical political illustrations in this style are often referred to as “Hogarthian”.[1]


In 1731 Hogarth completed the earliest of his series of moral works, a body of work that led to significant recognition. The collection of six scenes was entitled A Harlot’s Progress and appeared first as paintings (now lost) before being published as engravings. A Harlot’s Progress depicts the fate of a country girl who begins prostituting—the six scenes are chronological, starting with a meeting with a bawd and ending with a funeral ceremony that follows the character’s death from venereal disease.[12]

The inaugural series was an immediate success and was followed in 1735 by the sequel A Rake’s Progress. The second instalment consisted of eight pictures that depicted the reckless life of Tom Rakewell, the son of a rich merchant, who spends all of his money on luxurious living, services from prostitutes, and gambling—the character’s life ultimately ends in Bethlem Royal Hospital. The original paintings of A Harlot’s Progress were destroyed in the fire at Fonthill House in 1755, while A Rake’s Progress is displayed in the gallery room at Sir John Soane’s Museum, London, UK.[13]

When the success of A Harlot’s Progress and A Rake’s Progress resulted in numerous pirated reproductions by unscrupulous printsellers, Hogarth lobbied in parliament for greater legal control over the reproduction of his and other artists’ work. The result was the Engravers’ Copyright Act(known as ‘Hogarth’s Act’), which became law on 25 June 1735 and was the first copyright law to deal with visual works as well as the first to recognize the authorial rights of an individual artist.[14]

 In 1743–1745, Hogarth painted the six pictures of Marriage à-la-mode (National Gallery, London), a pointed skewering of upper-class 18th-century society. This moralistic warning shows the miserable tragedy of an ill-considered marriage for money. This is regarded by many as his finest project and may be among his best-planned story serials.

While the life around him struck him as odd and full of empty convention, Hogarth rendered it up to us as full of the humorous and made his viewers see what they were guilty of.

(Picture courtesy of Cesar Ojeda at

Wry portrayal of marriage by Wiliam Hogarth
Wry portrayal of marriage by Wiliam Hogarth

Late Night FDL: Gimme Some Lovin’

The Spencer Davis Group – Gimme Some Lovin’

R.I.P. Eddie Hardin…!

Vocalist and pianist Eddie Hardin, best known for his work with Spencer Davis Group and Axis Point, has died at the age of 66.

He also collaborated with a wide range of rock artists including Ronnie James Dio and several members of Deep Purple.

His partner Liz says he suffered a heart attack yesterday (July 23) while relaxing in a swimming pool.

A post on Hardin’s website reports: “He first came to prominence with Spencer Davis Group, before quitting – and later returning – with drummer Pete York, to work as Hardin & York for years.

“Then there was Axis Point, with former Family members, and a string of brilliant solo albums. The Wizard’s Convention trilogy, with guest singers including David Coverdale and Glenn Hughes, stands out.

“Nobody but Eddie could pull out two beautiful animal concepts – The Butterfly Ball And The Grasshopper’s Feast, and Wind In The Willows.

“A master of memorable tunes, without whom there wouldn’t be the fantastic Love Is All that Ronnie James Dio sang, Eddie will be sorely missed.”

Hardin’s last blog entry was written after a concert in Germany last month. He said: “Eric Burdon’s band were great, and he still has the voice – but when do you actually say ‘Enough is enough’? I’m certainly reaching that stage.”

What’s on your mind tonite…?

Richard Silverstein On Israel’s Gag Orders And ‘The Middle East’s Only Democracy’

Tikun Olam’s Richard Silverstein
The article was originally published at
By Sean Nevins

WASHINGTON — Though it describes itself as “the only democracy in the Middle East,” the Israeli government and military regularly impose gag orders to stop domestic media from reporting on sensitive information, including the detention of Israeli citizens by Hamas in Gaza, meetings between the Israeli Defense Forces and al-Qaida fighters, and the arrest of Israeli whistleblowers.

“Israel calls itself a democracy, but it really isn’t,” Richard Silverstein, a Seattle-based journalist, told MintPress News.

In addition to being a frequent contributor to MintPress, Silverstein is also the author of Tikun Olam, a progressive Jewish blog that frequently breaks stories Israeli domestic media are prevented from covering due to gag orders.

And he isn’t the only one arguing that Israel, which controls the fate of 4.5 million Palestinians who cannot vote, isn’t a democracy: Last year, The Economist named Tunisia as the only democracy in the Middle East.

Silverstein says the Israeli government targets free speech and freedom of the press with censorship and gag orders, subverting the democratic drive.

Censorship is imposed by the military, which has a mandate to protect state security, Silverstein said, noting: “Security, as the government defines it, trumps everything.”

Censorship is likely to come into play when a journalist reports on sensitive topics — a new weapons technology like a drone, for example.

Gag orders are a broader form of censorship implemented in criminal and intelligence matters. For example, if a person is accused of rape, and the victim wants the story to be known, the lawyer representing the accused can go to a judge and argue that publication of the incident could harm his client. In this case, the judge might issue a gag order to stop any reporting on the case.

But gag orders are also used in intelligence matters, explained Silverstein, and anything that could cause political embarrassment or damage is broadly interpreted to be a threat to the government. (more…)

Marijuana in Sandra Bland’s blood is irrelevant

Excuse me while I go on a rant.

People need to stop demonizing Sandra Bland because marijuana was detected in her blood sample taken at the autopsy.

So what?

The presence of a drug in a person’s blood does not mean anything unless they were impaired by the drug and they weren’t impaired unless a toxic level of the drug was detected. Even if they had a toxic level, it would not cause a person to react violently or to commit suicide. They would probably eat something and go to sleep.

I am sick and tired of the demonization of black victims killed by police. Oh my God! Right wing heads explode at the very thought that a victim of violence might have had a detectable amount of marijuana in their blood. All of a sudden. the victim deserved to die, according to their thought process.

Were these turkeys home schooled?

(apologies to turkeys who are actually smarter than these right wing freaks)

No peer reviewed scientific study supports their irrational fears.

Millions of people smoke pot and have no trouble functioning. Get over it, Deal with it.

Let’s put the focus back where it belongs:

1) On the cop who arrested Sandra Bland in violation of his department’s rules and regulations; and

2) On the jail that did not comply with its own rules regarding observation of potentially suicidal inmates.

The media needs to ignore the racist right wing hate machine instead of pandering to their ridiculous concerns.

Cuba-US Relations: Diplomatic Ties Emerge, Mired In Suspicion

The article was originally published at

Feelings of anticipation and a sense of foreboding are both attending Cuba and the United States’s progress on plans to re-establish full diplomatic relations. The negotiations, which started in mid-2013, were announced publicly on Dec. 17, 2014, when the three remaining “Cuban 5” were released in exchange for USAID subcontractor Alan Gross and a still unidentified U.S. spy.

The official re-establishment of relations is slated for Monday, according to an exchange of letters between Cuban President Raul Castro and U.S. President Barack Obama.

Speaking from the White House earlier this month, Obama said: “The progress that we mark today is yet another demonstration that we don’t have to be imprisoned by the past. When something isn’t working, we can — and will — change.”

Meanwhile, in his letter to Obama, Raul wrote: “Cuba is encouraged by the reciprocal intention to develop respectful and cooperative relations between our two peoples and governments.”

A statement issued by the Revolutionary Government of Cuba on July 8 insists that diplomatic relations with the U.S. will be realized through the reaffirmation of “each and every one of the principles for which our people have shed their blood and run every risk under the leadership of the historical Leader of the Revolution, Fidel Castro Ruz.”

In addition to the U.S. returning the Guantanamo Bay naval base to Cuba and ending the blockade, the normalization of relations, according to the statement, will also depend upon Obama’s willingness to end subversive and destabilization programs, as well as compensate the Cuban population “for all the human and economic damages caused by United States policies.” (more…)

The Roundup for July 24th, 2015

Still feeling some jet lag from my trip.

International Politics


– Pew: Sixty-three percent of Americans support military action against the Islamic State; That’s surprisingly high

– The U.S. said it planned to take back Ramadi from ISIS before the end of the summer

Middle East

– It is not easy to find voices favoring the deal with Iran as a vast majority are against it

– A United Nations envoy said Israel and Palestine were further apart than ever in regards to peace talks

– Even Iranian dissenters support the international deal with Iran


– Nigeria wants the U.S. to provide more weapons to fight against Boko Haram despite human rights concerns associated with the Nigerian government

– Muluka Miti-Drummond, a director at the Southern Africa Litigation Center, joins The Real News to talk about Angola and repression there

– The Islamic State took responsibility for a bomb killing four Egyptian soldiers


– The Real News interviews people in Greece who demonstrated against anymore austerity

– Meanwhile, in this separate video, they document the refugee crisis in the country

– Journalist Max Blumenthal joins The Real News to talk about a documentary he recently helped make called Je Ne Suis Pas Charlie, which can be found here

– Beppe Grillo, a politician in Italy, called for the country’s debt to be used as a weapon against Germany and turn to an exit from the euro

– In Turkey, more attacks have been reported against anyone considered Chinese

– The U.K. government will investigate the police after a growth of cases where suspects in custody died

Latin America, Caribbean and Canada

– Mexican and U.S. authorities do not wish to say who arrested “El Chapo” Guzman

– Ten military officers in Chile were charged with the death of Chilean singer Victor Jara

Surveillance Planet

– Natasha Lennard: “The Ashley Madison hack and the importance of protecting online secrets

Financial Matters

– Pew: Citizens across the world say the current economic conditions is overall bad

– Despite the UK pledging to increase aid for countries overseas, it is benefiting corporations overall

– The American Red Cross does not truly know what happened to the millions donated for Haiti

– There’s an easy solution to Illinois’ financial woes: tax the rich

Labor’s a-Brewing

– The fall of the A&P supermarket chain may lead to massive layoffs of workers

Politics US

Washington USA

– Trevor Timm: “It ain’t over til it’s over: America’s wars drag on no matter what officials say

– Hillary Clinton said the U.S. should confront “hard truths” on race after the death of Sandra Bland; A master politician at work

– Clinton, meanwhile, is getting financial support from private prison lobbyists

– Donald Trump is toying with a third-party run should the GOP not be accommodating

– It is not as if Trump’s views are unique in the GOP as other candidates share his vision on certain issues

– Meanwhile, some GOP presidential candidate will appear at an Islamophobic event

– Glenn Greenwald: “NBC News Releases the Long-Awaited Trailer for its Summer Horror Film About ISIS

– Republicans in Congress still want to end Net Neutrality because that is an issue that is very important to deal with. Yes, it is super important and everything else is meaningless

– The White House prefers to deal with the procedures in lifting the ban on transgender people in the military rather than the mortality

– Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker: If elected president, the deal with Iran will go on day one

– At least 87 percent of undocumented migrants in the U.S. will be protected by President Barack Obama’s executive order

– Jeb Bush criticized the “swarm of lobbyists” in Washington D.C., although Bush was once one

– Martin O’Malley: The Democrats must push for reform against Wall Street

– The Internal Revenue Service said no new rules will be made against political groups for 2016, although a watchdog warned the IRS may still target them with audits

Anytown USA

– Gallup: Forty-four percent of Americans say they have tried marijuana in the past

– Patrisse Cullors, a founder of the Black Lives Matter movement, joins The Real News to talk about the movement itself and its next steps

– There will be a fundraiser for Baltimore cops charged with the death of Freddie Gray. A perfomance featuring a blackface performer

– Body cameras are not the magic bullet to police brutality as seen with the death of Sandra Bland

– Bland, before her death, left a voicemail for a friend expressing shock over her arrest

– Just 10 years after Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans is becoming a city for the rich

– It is impossible to charge Dylann Roof with domestic terrorism as the charge does not exist

We Don’t Need No Education

– ALEC supports school vouchers, just not for the poor though

Health, Hunger and Homelessness

– Gallup: Twenty-one percent of Americans include gluten-free foods in their diet

The Second Sex

– Despite viewed as a land of opportunity and financial security, working mothers in the U.S. are not treated well

Planet Earth

– The drought is not the only thing California must worry about as industrial pollution affecting water supply is another

– Speaking of the drought, things will get worse with our water supply if no major changes come. Indeed, Bank of America-Merrill Lynch believes that as well

– When it comes to U.S. carbon emissions, the Pentagon is one culprit contributing a lot

Mixed Bag

– Journalist Mary Elizabeth Williams writes an excellent piece about Gawker and its harassment of individuals

– NASA announced it found the “closest twin to Earth” in the solar system so far

Break Time

The New Pollution [Beck]

Over Easy: Friday Preview

Sunflowers by Van Gogh, 1888 painting
Sunflowers by Van Gogh, 1888 painting

(Picture courtesy of jean louis mazziere at

Welcome to the diner, and hoping you will have a good visit.  The featured picture of Van Gogh’s Sunflowers is a reminder of the Fauvist movement in painting.   Last week’s Saturday Art post told more about that art works and those that were part of it.

Via DannyGuam, a link to something hilarious, an archaeologist’s deeply hidden musings.

Late Night FDL: Minion

Spock’s Beard – Minion

UK Prog Rockers, Spock’s Beard rips into the British austerity regime in Minion…

It’s taken from the prog veterans’ 12th album The Oblivion Particle, set for launch on August 21 via InsideOut.

Bassist Dave Meros recently described the follow-up to 2013’s Brief Nocturnes And Dreamless Sleep as a departure for the band.

He said: “Opening track Tides of Time is classic Spock’s in terms of arrangement and style – but everything else is fairly different. The whole album is still within the parameters of what people expect to hear from us.”

They tour Europe starting in September, with support from UK outfit Synaesthesia and Hungarians Special Providence.

What’s on your mind tonite…?

The Eurasian Big Bang: How China and Russia Are Running Rings Around Washington

Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, President Putin, China’s President Xi Jinping, and South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma

By Pepe Escobar

Let’s start with the geopolitical Big Bang you know nothing about, the one that occurred just two weeks ago. Here are its results: from now on, any possible future attack on Iran threatened by the Pentagon (in conjunction with NATO) would essentially be an assault on the planning of an interlocking set of organizations — the BRICS nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa), the SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organization), the EEU (Eurasian Economic Union), the AIIB (the new Chinese-founded Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank), and the NDB (the BRICS’ New Development Bank) — whose acronyms you’re unlikely to recognize either. Still, they represent an emerging new order in Eurasia.

Tehran, Beijing, Moscow, Islamabad, and New Delhi have been actively establishing interlocking security guarantees. They have been simultaneously calling the Atlanticist bluff when it comes to the endless drumbeat of attention given to the flimsy meme of Iran’s “nuclear weapons program.” And a few days before the Vienna nuclear negotiations finally culminated in an agreement, all of this came together at a twin BRICS/SCO summit in Ufa, Russia — a place you’ve undoubtedly never heard of and a meeting that got next to no attention in the U.S. And yet sooner or later, these developments will ensure that the War Party in Washington and assorted neocons (as well as neoliberalcons) already breathing hard over the Iran deal will sweat bullets as their narratives about how the world works crumble.

The Eurasian Silk Road (more…)