Thoroughly Thursday - the "Bob Ross" Edition
Welcome back to Thoroughly Thursday, the Bob Ross Edition. As much as I often feel compelled to complain about the various aspects of my life (too much work, too little work, too many distractions, too many dishes in the sink, too few people taking out the garbage), I have to admit the last few weeks have been pretty awesome. My girls have primarily been enjoying the summer at home, and when they aren't amiably chatting at coffee shops, taking the dog for walks, or binging on Parks & Recreation, they've been sitting in the backyard and painting while watching Bob Ross videos. In a few weeks, my oldest heads for college and this will all change, but in the meantime, we're enjoying some happy trees.
What I'm Watching - You Can't Break Comedy with Bad Comedy
A few months ago, I talked about seeing Hannah Gadsby's tour-de-force show Nanette. Recently, she did a TED talk ( <20min) in which she dissects her new post-Nanette fame and the contradictions it imposes on her: being diagnosed as autistic but making a living as a stand-up comic, or how by "quitting comedy" her comedy career finally took off. Like Richard Prior, Steve Martin, or Eddie Izzard, Gadsby has a way of deconstructing comedy while still delivering the goods. Additionally, she has a singular ability to be deadly serious in a way that makes you laugh, and funny in a way that punches you in the gut.
What I'm Reading (Article) - The Audience as Artistic Caretaker
What do you do with the works of an artist when their personal life overshadow their contribution? This issue has come up repeatedly for me in recent years. Is it okay to watch Bill Cosby Himself when we know the man is in jail as a serial rapist? What about listening to Thriller after revelations about MJ? Do you toss it all? Are we required to limit our consumption to those artists that live lives that we approve? Nick Cave wrote an excellent article on parsing the difference between an artist and their work when discussing Morrissey's recent support of For Britain, an anti-Islamic UK political party. An artist's creative work belongs to the public, he argues, the moment it is released. All people are flawed, including mopey, narcissistic crooners (gasp!), and often, you'll be disappointed if you try to align a past creation with its present-day creator. Feel free to challenge the views of the person, he says, but don't deny yourself a work of beauty.
What I'm Thinking About -
"Talent is a pursued interest. Anything that you're willing to practice, you can do." ― Bob Ross
All the best, and remember, tomorrow is Friday. :)
P.S. If you like this email, send it to a friend. They can sign up here.
P.P.P.S. I'm always on the lookout for new items to write about. If you notice something that you think would be worth sharing, send it my way.