Can I just say? that we have three tomato plants growing in our apartment and I haven’t killed a goddamned one yet. I’ve even harvested four (!) tomatoes from one plant. The other two plants appear to be the vegetable equivalent of Adrian Grenier [Ed note: tautology?]–looks great but produces nothing of substance. Earlier this year I proclaimed myself the GG Allin of gardening (in that I kill everything I plant) but it’s a major triumph that all three of them are still alive. So, hooray for me.

I love fourfour, and Rich’s post yesterday seamlessly melded a movie in which a nun gets fucked with a crucifix and the Beyoncé vehicle, Obsessed. First off, I had no idea there was a special edition of Bad Lieutenant. We already have the regular edition (which, if I’m not mistaken, was my first gift to N) but it’s certainly tempting to get another copy. I love that movie so much, for so many reasons, not least of which is the scene where Harvey Keitel does his little shrieky naked marionette dance. (I remember making my dad rent it for me–along with Reservoir Dogs–while I was recuperating from my wisdom teeth extraction. I recall his reaction to the movie was “What the fuck is wrong with people?”)

Second, that Beyoncé movie:

Beyoncé is such a monotonous actress that she makes Madonna seem like Sasha Fierce. Seriously, she’s the fucking worst and I don’t think enough people acknowledge that. Remember when there was Oscar buzz for Dreamgirls? Were people just seduced by her giant ass or what?

And there’s a very suspenseful smileyface scene.

My second favorite smackdown of the week is Joan Acocella’s examination of the reinterpretation of Judas. Being an art history nerd, I generally appreciate when fellow art history nerds say things like, “It should be the Leonardo Code, you know,” which someone has actually said in my presence. And even though I wrote my undergrad thesis on the very topic, I’m not all that keen on the super po-mo interpretation of Christ’s sexuality in medieval and Renaissance artwork (WAKE UP!), especially when it’s coming from someone whose background is not, in fact, art history. Neither is Acocella:

But the book hits trouble long before it arrives at the modern period, and I think this is because it is essentially an amateur enterprise. Gubar is a literary scholar. Judas is far less important in literature than he is in the visual arts and, needless to say, theology. Again and again, Gubar fails to see her evidence in its proper context. Renaissance artists, she says, turned away from the “earlier stylized portrayals” of the Judas kiss, and began producing more realistic representations, with closeups and facial expressions. That would be an interesting fact about Renaissance paintings of Judas if it were not true of all Renaissance paintings. Likewise with the hints of homophilic feeling that she sees in Caravaggio’s “The Taking of Christ.” To Gubar, this means that, by the sixteenth century, Judas is being reconceived as Christ’s equal, his lover. But it may mean little more than that the painting is by Caravaggio. Hints, and more than hints, of homosexuality appear in a large number of his paintings. That’s why many scholars believe that he was homosexual—a fact unmentioned in Gubar’s book.

Burn! “That would be an interesting fact about Renaissance paintings of Judas if it were not true of all Renaissance paintings.” That sounds like the crits at Bennington, where one faculty member would offer particularly stinging bon mots such as “The titles are as poor as the work” and “This would be interesting if it weren’t so pointless and derivative” (my friend D insists he never said that, but what the hell, patina of myth and all that).

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