Tag Archives: postaday

Perspective: Beauty

Collective-Invention-1934-Oil-on-canvas The Collective Invention, Rene Magritte, 1934.
From reneemagritte.org

Do you believe that beauty is in the eye of the beholder? Or do you think there is a basic standard of beauty that everyone agrees upon?

On this subject, I sit squarely on the fence.

I discussed perceptions of appearance last month in Daily Post: Mirror Mirror – in that post I referred to a BBC documentary presented by John Cleese called The Human Face  – if you are interested in perceptions of beauty/appearance, this is well worth watching, so I’ve put a link to Part 3, which deals with beauty, at the bottom of this post

Magritte’s painting a reversal of the universally accepted idea of a mermaid, half woman, half fish, generally accepted in our minds as having a top half shaped like a beautiful woman with the scaly bit at the bottom.  He delighted in making the familiar unfamiliar.  Even though this image is outside the common agreement of what is beautiful, the painting is done beautifully. But is it a beautiful painting? I think so.

The documentary opens with a statement that babies are automatically drawn to a beautiful face, e.g. they are young enough not to be influenced by cultural ideals.  Later on a debate between Nixon and JFK is discussed – it seems that people who watched it on television favoured Kennedy to win the debate, while those who listened on the radio favoured Nixon.  Imagine what the 1960’s would have been like if television hadn’t been invented.

441px-Da_Vinci_Vitruve_Luc_Viatour

DaVinci’s The Vitruvian Man by Luc Viatour / www.Lucnix.be

As for a basic standard of beauty, I don’t have to think there might be one, I know there is.  People who study art or philosophy will be familiar with symmetry and 1:1.618  – The Golden Ratio, illustrated by DaVinci in The Vitruvian Man. Studies have shown that this ratio applies to perceptions of beauty, regardless of ethnic differences.

What science has not really measured very well  is how a familiar face, which might not meet the commonly accepted ideal, becomes beautiful to the one who loves them. Or how a pug owner (no offence) might think their dog is the Adonis of dogs. Or how I think The Diva is totally gorgeous, even when she’s just  come in out of the rain, having stuck her face into a pot of wet compost.

2012-09-02 15.14.46 - CopyDSC_0480

 

 

 

 

John Cleese and Elizabeth Hurley, making Physiognomy‎ interesting

NaBloPoMo February 2014Roundup

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50 Day Song Challenge– #14 A song from an album with brilliant cover art

Stick Fingers album cover
This cover had a real zip on it!

The Rolling Stones:  Sticky Fingers, 1971

Before MP3s, CDs, when 8-track cartridges still existed and cassettes were cutting edge technology, when you bought a vinyl album you got a 12″ x 12″ piece of art along with it. This one probably sold as many copies of this album as the songs contained in its package (Sorry, I had to say it…).

I remember chaos among mums and other buzz-kill type adults back then because this album cover featured a real zip that you could open!   It’s no surprise to me that vinyl albums are still being released, and old favourites are being re-mastered and re-issued in this format – there is just no substitute for the thrill of coming home, ripping off the plastic and carefully placing your new prize on the turntable.

My favourite track from this album has now become one of those evergreen songs where the previously buzz-kill adults now mortify their teenage offspring by channelling Mick Jagger at weddings, bah-mitzvahs et al, and their Satanic Majesties all qualify for a bus pass and a pension.  Strange days.

Day 14 A song from an album with brilliant cover art

50 Day Song Challenge.
Day 15 Your favourite TV show theme tune
Day 16 A song that reminds you of a holiday
Day 17 A song that you relate to a family member
Day 18 A song you will never get sick of
Day 19 A guilty pleasure
Day 20 A song you can’t help but sing too
Day 21 The song that reminds you of your closest friend (tag them!)
Day 22 A song that you love to relax to
Day 23 A song you always play before a night out
Day 24 A song from an artist/band you’ve just discovered
Day 25 A song from the last album you bought
Day 26 A song you love but nobody would expect you to!
Day 27 Your karaoke song
Day 28 A song you love because of its lyrics
Day 29 A song you love because of its video
Day 30 A older song you’ve only recently started listening to
Day 31 A song from somebody your friend introduced you to
Day 32 A song you’ve performed infront of people
Day 33 A song from any artist/band you’ve seen live
Day 34 A song from an artist/band you wish you could see live
Day 35 A song you love but used to hate
Day 36 A song from a band a family member introduced you to
Day 37 Your favourite Beatles song
Day 38 Your favourite cover of a song
Day 39 A song with a great music video
Day 40 A song that brings back amazing memories
Day 41 A song that brings back bad memories
Day 42 Your favourite 80’s track
Day 43 Your favourite 90’s track
Day 44 A song you play air guitar too
Day 45 Your favourite acoustic version of a song
Day 46 The first song you ever bought
Day 47 The only song you like by a band you otherwise hate
Day 48 A song you loved this time last year
Day 49 Your favourite love song
Day 50 Your favourite song of all time

50 Day Song Challenge– #13 The song that contains your favourite lyric

220px-WhosubSubstitute – Pete Townshend at his articulate, acidic best.

I love every word of this, especially towards the end where Roger spits out: “Substitute you for my mum – At least I’ll get my washing done”

You think we look pretty good together
You think my shoes are made of leather

But I’m a substitute for another guy
I look pretty tall but my heels are high
The simple things you see are all complicated
I look pretty young, but I’m just back-dated, yeah

Substitute your lies for fact
I can see right through your plastic mac
I look all white, but my dad was black
My fine-looking suit is really made out of sack

I was born with a plastic spoon in my mouth
The north side of my town faced east, and the east was facing south
And now you dare to look me in the eye
Those crocodile tears are what you cry
It’s a genuine problem, you won’t try
To work it out at all you just pass it by, pass it by

Substitute me for him
Substitute my coke for gin
Substitute you for my mum
At least I’ll get my washing done

But I’m a substitute for another guy
I look pretty tall but my heels are high
The simple things you see are all complicated
I look pretty young, but I’m just backdated, yeah

I was born with a plastic spoon in my mouth
The north side of my town faced east, and the east was facing south
And now you dare to look me in the eye
Those crocodile tears are what you cry
It’s a genuine problem, you won’t try
To work it out at all you just pass it by, pass it by

Substitute me for him
Substitute my coke for gin
Substitute you for my mum
At least I’ll get my washing done

Substitute your lies for fact
I can see right through your plastic mac
I look all white, but my dad was black
My fine-looking suit is really made out of sack

Day 13 The song that contains your favourite lyric

50 Day Song Challenge.

Day 14 A song from an album with brilliant cover art
Day 15 Your favourite TV show theme tune
Day 16 A song that reminds you of a holiday
Day 17 A song that you relate to a family member
Day 18 A song you will never get sick of
Day 19 A guilty pleasure
Day 20 A song you can’t help but sing too
Day 21 The song that reminds you of your closest friend (tag them!)
Day 22 A song that you love to relax to
Day 23 A song you always play before a night out
Day 24 A song from an artist/band you’ve just discovered
Day 25 A song from the last album you bought
Day 26 A song you love but nobody would expect you to!
Day 27 Your karaoke song
Day 28 A song you love because of its lyrics
Day 29 A song you love because of its video
Day 30 A older song you’ve only recently started listening to
Day 31 A song from somebody your friend introduced you to
Day 32 A song you’ve performed infront of people
Day 33 A song from any artist/band you’ve seen live
Day 34 A song from an artist/band you wish you could see live
Day 35 A song you love but used to hate
Day 36 A song from a band a family member introduced you to
Day 37 Your favourite Beatles song
Day 38 Your favourite cover of a song
Day 39 A song with a great music video
Day 40 A song that brings back amazing memories
Day 41 A song that brings back bad memories
Day 42 Your favourite 80’s track
Day 43 Your favourite 90’s track
Day 44 A song you play air guitar too
Day 45 Your favourite acoustic version of a song
Day 46 The first song you ever bought
Day 47 The only song you like by a band you otherwise hate
Day 48 A song you loved this time last year
Day 49 Your favourite love song
Day 50 Your favourite song of all time

50 Day Song Challenge– #12 A song that makes me laugh

 

Frank Kelly's Christmas Countdown (The Twelve Days of Christmas) 1983
Frank Kelly’s Christmas Countdown (The Twelve Days of Christmas) 1983

Appropriately enough, on the 12th day of this challenge, I give to you – The Twelve Days of Christmas.  Not strictly a song, but this recording did make it to Top of the Pops.  Non-Irish viewers may recognise Frank Kelly as Father Jack from the parish of Craggy Island.

I first heard this on the radio, just as I was about to leave for work  – I laughed so much I had to hold on to the fridge to stay standing.  I was late for work that day, but it was well worth the telling off I got.

Day 12 A song that makes you laugh

50 Day Song Challenge.

Day 13 The song that contains your favourite lyric
Day 14 A song from an album with brilliant cover art
Day 15 Your favourite TV show theme tune
Day 16 A song that reminds you of a holiday
Day 17 A song that you relate to a family member
Day 18 A song you will never get sick of
Day 19 A guilty pleasure
Day 20 A song you can’t help but sing too
Day 21 The song that reminds you of your closest friend (tag them!)
Day 22 A song that you love to relax to
Day 23 A song you always play before a night out
Day 24 A song from an artist/band you’ve just discovered
Day 25 A song from the last album you bought
Day 26 A song you love but nobody would expect you to!
Day 27 Your karaoke song
Day 28 A song you love because of its lyrics
Day 29 A song you love because of its video
Day 30 A older song you’ve only recently started listening to
Day 31 A song from somebody your friend introduced you to
Day 32 A song you’ve performed infront of people
Day 33 A song from any artist/band you’ve seen live
Day 34 A song from an artist/band you wish you could see live
Day 35 A song you love but used to hate
Day 36 A song from a band a family member introduced you to
Day 37 Your favourite Beatles song
Day 38 Your favourite cover of a song
Day 39 A song with a great music video
Day 40 A song that brings back amazing memories
Day 41 A song that brings back bad memories
Day 42 Your favourite 80’s track
Day 43 Your favourite 90’s track
Day 44 A song you play air guitar too
Day 45 Your favourite acoustic version of a song
Day 46 The first song you ever bought
Day 47 The only song you like by a band you otherwise hate
Day 48 A song you loved this time last year
Day 49 Your favourite love song
Day 50 Your favourite song of all time

50 Day Song Challenge– #11 A song that is amazing to hear played live

220px-Thinlizzystillinlove
Thin Lizzy: Still in Love with You 1974

Thin Lizzy, live at the National Stadium, Dublin, in 1975.  I was there and all of it was amazing. I still have Philo and Scott’s autographs from that night. And if you are listening, Phil, I still love you too.

Day 11 A song that is amazing to hear played live

50 Day Song Challenge.

Day 12 A song that makes you laugh
Day 13 The song that contains your favourite lyric
Day 14 A song from an album with brilliant cover art
Day 15 Your favourite TV show theme tune
Day 16 A song that reminds you of a holiday
Day 17 A song that you relate to a family member
Day 18 A song you will never get sick of
Day 19 A guilty pleasure
Day 20 A song you can’t help but sing too
Day 21 The song that reminds you of your closest friend (tag them!)
Day 22 A song that you love to relax to
Day 23 A song you always play before a night out
Day 24 A song from an artist/band you’ve just discovered
Day 25 A song from the last album you bought
Day 26 A song you love but nobody would expect you to!
Day 27 Your karaoke song
Day 28 A song you love because of its lyrics
Day 29 A song you love because of its video
Day 30 A older song you’ve only recently started listening to
Day 31 A song from somebody your friend introduced you to
Day 32 A song you’ve performed infront of people
Day 33 A song from any artist/band you’ve seen live
Day 34 A song from an artist/band you wish you could see live
Day 35 A song you love but used to hate
Day 36 A song from a band a family member introduced you to
Day 37 Your favourite Beatles song
Day 38 Your favourite cover of a song
Day 39 A song with a great music video
Day 40 A song that brings back amazing memories
Day 41 A song that brings back bad memories
Day 42 Your favourite 80’s track
Day 43 Your favourite 90’s track
Day 44 A song you play air guitar too
Day 45 Your favourite acoustic version of a song
Day 46 The first song you ever bought
Day 47 The only song you like by a band you otherwise hate
Day 48 A song you loved this time last year
Day 49 Your favourite love song
Day 50 Your favourite song of all time