"A perfectly silly, genius idea" -- David Letterman

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Jessica Chastain


We haven't heard from CelebriGum's favorite made-up gasbag art critic, J. Arlen Parkwood, in quite a while.  I bet he'll like this photo.  J. Arlen?



"Devastating.  The axis captured by the CelebriGum camera delineates a modern trinity: the bold-faced name behind the fortification of official enthrallment, balanced by the excluded "average Joe" and the piece of discarded gum -- equally inconsequential, in the eyes of our celebrity-mad culture.  Meanwhile, the opposing diagonals of the ledge and sidewalk suggest a subtle rebellion, a nascent nay-saying as yet unrealized except through the other-directed gaze of the actress -- but is she gazing as herself, or as one of her fictional constructs?   Are we seeing two roads diverge in a concrete jungle, with an invitation to take the one less traveled by?  But should we take that road if the movie star goes coatless in January, impervious to "Frost"?  What, if anything, will make all the difference?  If one poses enough rhetorical questions, will one eventually be able to stop writing?"

Thank you, J. Arlen.  You've given us a lot to pretend to think about.   

8 comments:

  1. I see a piece of gum and another redhead. Not sure what the hell J. Arlen is talking about.

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    1. That's the great thing about a true masterpiece: different people see different things, all equally valid.

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  2. Betty Carroll BiernottJanuary 9, 2013 at 6:10 AM

    What about the guy crossing left? Picked up the poop but lost the dog?

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  3. I think someone's gunning to be the next photo and gum critic for the Times.

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  4. J. Arlen's writing takes me back to the reading I had to do for all those Art History courses I took at Vassar. Thanks for jogging that memory of how difficult it can be to put an artist's creative process into words, without resorting to incoherent, unintelligible bombast.

    Jan

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    1. The Toast in the MachineJanuary 10, 2013 at 5:14 PM

      I'm right there with ya...

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  5. Off topic: Next time Brian Williams hails a cab, have him knee the other customer in the groin - who will then fall to the pavement in agony. The camera follows Williams' taxi down the street and then pans back to the fellow on the ground (who's been replaced by a dummy) who then gets run over by a NYC sanitation truck (or functional equivalent). You don't have to give me credit for this fantastic idea.

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  6. The Toast in the MachineJanuary 10, 2013 at 5:13 PM

    This is the very sort of essay that made me A's in college... Well done, Mr. Parkwood!

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