Zippidy Doo Da

I'm not stupid, I'm from Texas!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

I’m watching a live feed of Senator Wendy Davis’ filibuster in the Texas Senate against what would be the most restrictive abortion rules in the nation. The special session that Rick Perry called to rubber stamp last year’s redistricting was hijacked to put forward some of the red meat issues GOP pols want to wave at voters in next year’s primary elections.
(See it here:

In the House debate over this bill, Houston hero Rep. Senfronia Thompson offered an amendment providing exceptions to the bill for cases of rape, incest, or to protect the life of the mother. She spoke holding a coathanger in her hand. The GOP- dominated House of course defeated this amendment.

Senator Davis is nine hours in the filibuster now, less than three hours away from running out the clock on this special session. She’s still on her feet; her voice strong, her message lucid. Now Governor Perry can, if he cares to, call another special session to address this “emergency,” (which 80% of Texans polled don’t want the Legislature to meddle with.) Perry may decide that it’s in his interest to do so; that it will enhance his status as he prepares for another re-election campaign and perhaps another run at the White House in 2016.

Some in Texas have been talking about drafting Senator Davis to run for Governor. She has a compelling life story and a solid record of public service. This filibuster can only help raise her profile. Wouldn’t it be sweet if Rick Perry were to win this battle only to lose the election next year to a record turnout of Texas women and rising tide of Democratic voters.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Monday, June 17, 2013

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Picasso in Black and White

The Museum of Fine Art Houston sent me a letter saying that if I renewed my membership I could see the Picasso in Black and White show for free. I haven’t joined the museum since we were dragging our children there, (now they visit museums on their own) but I was glad of the reminder that this show was leaving town soon and I hadn’t seen it yet. I’m a sucker for these “blockbuster” exhibits. They allow me to see masterpieces from around the country and across the world without the trouble and expense of leaving town.

This show was a monster! Nearly one hundred paintings, drawings and sculptures by Pablo Picasso. I wasn’t ready for all this. Room after room, decades of artworks boggled my mind, and not just because I have a hard time with cubism. I’ve seen many Picassos, most major museums own a few, but I would never have imagined that he made so many pieces in black and white. The pieces were grouped chronologically, which showed his style changing over the years but also served to point out the images and techniques that he repeated over sixty-some years of work. Some works were familiar; “Frugal Repast” -1904  lives at the MFAH, there was a “Portrait of Sylvette David” -1954  from the McNay and “Nude Figure” -1910  from the Albright-Knox. The El Greco inspired “Woman Ironing” -1904 was here from the Guggenheim; one of the few pieces that had a little color. His “Woman in White” -1923 was one of the more representational paintings here. But this show was a crash course in cubism for me, and it helped me get behind it when after gazing at a canvas full of some mangled figure somehow folded in on itself I turned around to see a similar figure, only a head in bronze this time, or a painting done on folded sheet metal. Also, the black and whiteness of everything had me seeing like I’d just staggered out of a silent film festival or something.

The picture at top is Las Meninas after Velasquez, one of forty-some studies he did of Diego Velasquez’s 1656 painting, which Picasso first saw at the Museo Del Prado when he was fourteen years old. This was a show-stopper for me at 76” x 102.” I’ll put up Velasquez’s original below, along with some other faves from the sixties.

Las Meninas -Diego Velasquez 1656

Reclining Nude -Pablo Picasso 1969

The Kiss -Pablo Picasso 1969