Thursday, June 21, 2007

Something to shoot for

It's always good to have something to shoot for. This, I suppose, would be that.

I love this painting. I think it's called "Three Women at a Fountain". Done by Picasso in his beefy-but-still-realistically-depicted phase. This must have been before he met Dora Maar.

I saw on television a couple of nights ago a documentary on Picasso's making of Guernica. Spoilt, to a degree, by the annoying man who hosted the thing and likewise by the over-arty direction, it was, nonetheless, worth watching. So the next day I telephoned my friend Dave to call to his attention the fact that it would be repeated the following morning; albeit at four in the morning--about the time my friend Earl usually calls me from a bar--but that's what they make tivo for.

Note: the uncapitalized use of the word denotes the entire category of DVRs, not the particular brand.

Dave, who is in packaging, stands the best chance of any of my friends to actually see Guernica, given that he will find himself in Spain in the not too distant future. Seems like it would be worth a visit to me, although if I were picking one museum--and only one--in Spain, it would likely be the Guggenheim in Bilbao. Which is stupid, because no matter how wonderful the outside of the damned thing looks, it can't be better on the inside than the Prado.

The phrase Goya... Oh boya! jumps to mind.

As fond as I am of Dave, can there be a more loathesome business than packaging? Particularly those blister packs in which come things like USB cables purchased at Radio Shack. Tell me they can't think of a solution that is equally effective from a marketing and/or security standpoint that, at the same time, doesn't require a tool to open. A tool!

Or the glue they used to seal the inner bag of dried cereal. Raisin Bran, for instance. I've been having some trouble with my left hand lately, and the strength of the seal almost exceeds my ability to open it without a tool. How badly, one has to reflect in times like this, do you need to eat Raisin Bran? Particularly when the Original Style Shredded Wheat comes in easy-tear paper bags.

Those I can open.

Or here! Here's another example. That annoying adhesive strip that you have to peel off a CD jewel box before opening it. What's with that! I mean, didn't I already unwrap the fucking thing? Why do I have to do it again? What purpose is served with this second strip that couldn't be managed in a more consumer-friendly manner.

Me? I'm a neatness freak (only in a certain few parts of my life). So I can't bear to leave any of that adhesive strip on the case. I have to peel and pick and gnash (my teeth) until it's all removed. No wonder people don't buy CDs anymore. My favorite band, The Floating Men, have completely stopped releasing music on CDs. They are only available on iTunes.

As for the packaging industry? They likely suggest that they are simply doing their clients' bidding.
"Hey, they make us put those strips on the damned things. We don't like them any better than you."
Faaaa. That rings with the same post hoc insincerity that Polish citizens copped when asked about helping (and/or ignoring) the holocaust. If you want to get a bead (or at least one person's bead) on the relative attitudes of war-time Poles, read "Lost. Six of Six Million." Phew.


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