other: October 2009 Archives

H. P. Lovecraft 1934
I was reading around the topic of director Roman Polanski's arrest in Switzerland lately. That's not him pictured, read on. Due to the various high-profile reactions, there is now a debate going on around it. However, it is confused. It is at least three debates.

1) Should he be arrested, is he a criminal.
2) Should Hollywood have let him work (release and reward his works).
3) Do artist's behaviour/crimes affect their art, should we condemn his work.

I'm writing now because I'm interested in number three. The mainstream debate, excellently reproduced here,

... tends to come down on yes or no art is or isn't separate from the artist. I believe it's more complex than that, but easy enough to lay out. Let's clear up number one first so we can let it go.

In one of the essays presented in the NYT article there, Geraldine A. Ferraro says,

"A male is guilty of rape in the second degree when, being eighteen years old or more, he engages in sexual intercourse with a female less than fifteen years old."

This is the definition of statutory rape. A 13-year-old can't consent to intercourse with a man over 18.
There you have it. Also one of the commenters over at the The AV Club perfectly summed up their excellent podcast on the celebrity reactions thus:

"New rule: If your family is killed in the Holocaust and your wife is killed by Charles Manson, you are allowed one free rape."
Indeed. Okay, we'd better go after the jump for the next part on art and artist's beliefs/behaviour.

Ghost Bikes: James Langergaard

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James Ghost Bike
I blogged recently about someone I knew who was killed on his bike in New York City. Revisit the post and watch his funny, thought-provoking video on bicycle philosophy.

He has a special memorial this week by other cyclists involving a Ghost Bike installation at the site where he died. 

The photo shows the spot where he was killed, but the bike will now be chained to an adjacent fence. If you look carefully at the top right corner you'll see that in addition to the oncoming split six lanes, there are more for traffic going the other way. Right through a residential area. 

While were on the subject, some of my younger students were telling me that Shanghai has the worst traffic in the world. They are mistaken of course. Elsewhere on Streetsblog is a great post about a rush hour 'race' in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The bicycle won coming in at 22 minutes, where a car came in at over an hour, also losing out to the walker. But the amazing thing is the hook of the post. The bike beat the helicopter. That included starting at the same point of course, so the helicopter guy had to go to the heliport and get clearance etc. 

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