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Las Meninas a Day at a Time

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2014-06-05-521pxLas_Meninas_1656_by_Velazquez.jpg

Remember Las Meninas? Every day the diarist puts his or her mirror up to the world as he or she sees it, scouring his or her own image among others for teleological conclusions. He or she paints but he or she's one of those being painted and even his or her readers receive a nod, as Velasquez does when he inserts a mirror into the background of his masterpiece. So what does he or she ultimately find? One day is filled with manic exuberance and the next bottom fishing for tidbits of hope. Death looms within the canvas, along with ejaculate and moments of speculation--mere hot air. Does he or she ever do justice to himself or any of his subjects? Erving Goffman wrote The Presentation of the Self in Everyday Life. But can we credit this presentation earned mainly through the facility with words and images or is it no better than public relations hype? Those who can't write a diary or paint are out of the running and simply because they can't or won't doesn't seem fair--if we are to choose the winner, the way television anchors seek to gain credibility by winning in the sweeps. Diarizing like elimination is a kind of evacuation, the literate and artistic man or woman's enema Why go to the trouble of cultivating sensibility if there's no possibility for transcendence? The diarist takes his daily dump and let's out a sigh of satisfaction as he releases his log.

Painting: Las Meninas by Velasquez

{This was originally posted to The Screaming Pope, Francis Levy's blog of rants and reactions to contemporary politics, art and culture}