The Ruffled Crow

Animation, Art, and Other Shiny Things

Tag Archives: politics

The Chromatic Noir of Paul Kuczynski

I came across the work of Polish graphic artist Paul Kuczynski several weeks ago and keep going back to look at many of the pictures again; sometimes finding a subtlety of brush or idea I missed before, or perhaps I’d finally cogitated on it enough to see some nuance.

Or perhaps I simply read more into the work than was really there. Truth be told, I’m not sure that’s really possible when it comes to art, and especially when looking at Mr Kuczynski’s well-rendered satire.

Artful commentary is generally leveled on newspaper opinion pages and is wielded much more bluntly than Mr Kuczynski’s subtle, velvet-lined bludgeon. Geopolitical hypocrisies interspersed and interwoven with our own everyday deceits.

What makes his pieces stand out to me, though, is the art itself; the texture and style somewhat reminiscent of Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks with color gradients to give it that chromatic noir feeling.

Without regard to the subject the art itself is good.

Check out Paul Kuczynki’s work at his website. It’s in Polish (i assume) but there’s a page translate drop-down box on the left side that will change it into the language you prefer. (no pirate or klingon tho, just the ‘official’ ones)

h/t to Nag on the Lake (a most excellent blog. go visit. yes, now is fine, i’ll wait)

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Separation Anxiety

Conservative politicians and Christian religious leaders have been encouraging the idea that the United States was created as a “Christian Nation” by Christian forefathers that were ever mindful of Christian principles.

Planisphere of Copernicus from the Harmonia Macrocosmica of Andreas Cellarius

Few will directly address this assertion when it’s made. Certainly, there are books and the occasional article, but with the ‘Religious Right’ as a fairly large and monolithic voting bloc since the days of Ronald Reagan, politicos see it as a third rail.

Simply and factually, we are no more a “Christian” nation than we are a 4H nation or a Pepsi  nation.

Many of the primary designers of our nation were Deists and/or Unitarians. Over half of them were Masons as well. Let’s get some definitions in here now before I wander off on some tangential digression… Read more of this post

Putting the ‘In’ into Incompetence

The term “Peter Principle” has been around forever – one rises to the level of their incompetence – but I think there is more at work than merely putting the “In” in Ineptitude. The Dunning-Kruger Effect may explain it; our incompetence masks our ability to recognize our incompetence. (download the paper here)

From the wiki:

The Dunning–Kruger effect is a cognitive bias in which an unskilled person makes poor decisions and reaches erroneous conclusions, but their incompetence denies them the metacognitive ability to realize their mistakes.[1] The unskilled therefore suffer from illusory superiority, rating their own ability as above average, much higher than it actually is, while the highly skilled underrate their abilities, suffering from illusory inferiority.

Now please, don’t try the old “They’re just pushing their limits/boundaries/safety zones and failure is a learning experience”.

That idea just allows people the practice to fail even more spectacularly at some critical moment in the future. One isn’t always able to learn the right lesson from any given failure, especially if one can not understand their own complicity. I think the main driver to the highly skilled person’s feeling of inferiority is that they do see and understand that.

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