Tuesday, November 27, 2012


Sometimes, when you go backstage after a show that you don't like, or after a party that wasn't t fun, nevertheless, you tell the host, or the cast members. that you loved it. My husband says I'm a Pinocchio-tress.

I think WHITE LIES are a social necessity.

What is "black and white" -- the whole truth -- real truth -- nowadays?

Black implies doom, sorrow, mourning, negativity -- strange things that suddenly appear in the darkness -- if you're in a black mood everything seems dark, and bound to fail. White suggests brightness -- sunlight, clean, pure, optimistic, hopeful, truthful things.

But over the past year of political shenanigans, truth has become sort of gray. There are true facts and not true facts -- facts that are not provably accurate, realistic or truthful in accordance with the actual state of affairs -- facts that aren't conformable to an essential reality, (in other words, specifics, rather than what is manifest or assumed.)

And advertising's conditioned us to absorb exaggeration, distortion, and untrue statements about bargains, healing, cleaning, beautifying, and life-long guarantees.

Even so, generally speaking -- white is good, and black is not good --it is bad.

Hey, I wear black clothes -- aside from them making one look skinnier, a black outfit doesn't need washing and ironing as much as white clothes -- no doubt about it -- white things have to be laundered more often -- they show the dirt.

It's kind of a fact of life.

Okay-forget political correctness for the moment, let's get down to old, somewhat out-of-date, brass tacks. Being a White person, I think white looks nicer, is better, white is prettier. Black person's noses, mouths, and hair are different from what I call "pretty." Also, despite all that's been said and done, BLACKS are mostly poorer, less educated, (Maybe they're sexier -- they certainly look better on a dance floor than WHITES do -- especially when they wear white. They look great in white. They wear white a lot.)

Anyhow, white is also snow -- there's nothing quite so wonderful as a field of virgin snow, or the look of sunbeams. I like black coffee, but coffee with cream is what most people prefer. White bread and white rice. are also what's preferred. "White," in history, was counter-revolutionary. It's the visible part of the eyeball, the outer part of the egg that surrounds the yoke. (I can't remember anymore -- are we NOT supposed to eat eggs? or just eat the white?)

It's hard to keep track -- times have changed. Back in the days when we typed on typewriters, we could obliterate errors with white-out tape or the liquid in a tiny jar.

Why did I get onto this subject?. Because NYC'S Guggenheim Museum has announced that in January 2013, it will have the first exhibit of Picasso's black and white paintings, sculptures, and drawings. Yes, other painters have worked in black and white, but Pablo Picasso is one of the kings in art, and art affects every aspect of our culture.

Leonardo da Vinci said:
“A painter should begin every canvas with a wash of black, because all things in nature are dark except where exposed by the light.”
Pablo Picasso said::
“Art is the lie that enables us to realize the truth.”

So study Picasso's picture.-- that odd, outlined white shape in the lower right corner. I think Picasso left it unfinished, deliberately. It looks like a cartoon of a kid in a dunce-cap. Is it me? Is it you?


Peggy Bechko said...

Thoughtful post, Em, enjoyed it.

Anonymous said...

I'm not a fan of Picasso. Just not.
He started out like all other artists, painting realism, doing a pretty good job.
But here's the thing about art.
Sometimes if a visual artist, say a painter or sculptor specifically, can't sell, they experiment. Often, to see what will sell.
I know, because I've heard this, and seen this, I used to paint. Not a sucessful seller.
So Picasso experimented, and found a style that critics, then the jaded art world, then rich buyers, raved about.
So beauty can be a lie, not a lie, in the eye of the beholder. It's not clear.
Beauty and even truth are subjective.
It's wonderful to sit around the table and have roast turkey for Thanksgiving.
But not so much from the point of the turkey.
As to truth, Justice is blind. And sometimes deaf and dumb. Look at all the crooks and murderers loose in the population, and all the people on death row who, through DNA evidence, are proven to be wrongly convicted.
What was the original question?
Oh yes, are lies a social necessity?
Early training at my mother's knee taught me not to admit when I broke a vase or snitched a cookie. Telling the truth was not a good idea.
If you tell some painter, writer, sculptor, dancer, actor or any artist their work sucks, you could be crushing a genius who would have reached their full potential in 20 years.
If you tell someone their parties suck, the parties may end. If you know so and so gives crappy parties, but come prepared to help make it better, you might be present at the best time ever!
So I'd say, yes. Lies are a social necessity.
Without them we'd be at each other's throats even worse than we are. And that would be very bad.
As to colour; as a visual artist I made a special study of colour. I seem to have a knack for intuiting the colour scale. Sort of like perfect pitch in a singer.
Our opinion of beauty in colour is cultural, learned.
Western culture reveres white as pure. Chinese culture considers white the colour of mourning and uses it at funerals.
Whatever race or mixture of races a human being is, is beautiful. What is important is how you treat each other.
I would rather have a green troll with tuskes coming out of his mouth, warts all over his back and breath that would remove wallpaper on my side in a fight, struggle or natural disaster if the arrangement was he would have my back, and I his, than the most gorgeous specimen of the species, if I couldn't trust him to be honest, loyal and kind.
So there we are.
I think Picasso left the kid in the dunce hat there to represent people who are easily conned.
Louise Sorensen
louise3anne twitter

Carola said...

Think of NY City at night immediately after a big snow: what a beautiful setting of black and white. Think of the black and white fire escapes on those nights. I can still remember that beauty even though I have not seen NYC in winter for decades.

Billy Ray Chitwood said...

'Silence is golden.' If the front stage produced only negative effects, why go backstage and join a hypo-chorus? No one should wish to hurt anyone, and truth can be skirted honestly...in absence, in a change of subject, in a number of ways. Yet, there are times of proper necessity.

As 'Anonymous' above stated, "beauty and even truth are subjective." Emotions and feelings come from some soulful depth within us.

No matter the 'color' a lie is a lie! Having said that, I've told a few in my day --- and, in the telling, some small pieces of me were taken away...

Bily Ray

OR said...

A lie is a lie. I prefer being blunt. If it ain't, I ain't gonna say that it is, sister, EM. :)