Life: Happy New Year

Decorative banner displaying San Francisco's financial district from the southeast in the evening, along with the western spans of the SF Bay Bridge, and fog draped over Mt. Tamalpais

2024… is definitely happening. Ready or not!

I had time off from work during the last week of the year, and used it to recover my health more fully (having been ill earlier in December), read, and print acrylic monotypes (a favorite art pastime!).

I don’t do new year’s resolutions – no one should wait until January of a new year to make useful life changes! – but as a concession to tradition, I’ll make a sincere effort to do a better job of using the ALT TEXT features of WordPress. (This feature helps disabled readers know what’s going on by making more information about images available to supportive tools.)

Out in the world, COVID is still spreading, my most alert friends don’t want to dine indoors, and my social circle includes several people who have had COVID two or three times (!). The data on Long COVID, and what scientists are finding as changes in the bodies of those who were exposed, is… alarming, and completely beyond the perception of my friends in Europe, somehow.

Humans continue to be… I’m looking for a euphemism for violently disagreeable, but it isn’t coming to me. There are multiple scary wars and attendant war crimes happening. It has become unpopular to say that genocide is wrong. (Sign I need to make: friends don’t let friends do war crimes!) Right wing, racist, and authoritarian parties do too well in elections. Fascism appears to be entirely too popular, though I observe that people who support it mosts don’t like the label, which is a minor concession to accepting that it is not good. (Not that semantic arguments work with fascists.)

My reading list has more books on it, but it might alarm you if I disclosed the full list, so I’ll just note that I am actively reading The Story of Art Without Men by Katy Hessel. The title may sound provocative, unless you’ve ever taken art history in a U.S. college, in which case you noticed that only ancient Egyptians and European men have art that was considered worthy of books, and that these textbooks were all written by European men (coincidentally!). For the design degree I was pursuing, art from any other part of the world was only offered as an optional elective, implying that it didn’t really matter. This felt… wildly inaccurate. It took some nerve to call a class “Art History” when it should have been called “European Male Art History, plus some Egyptian Monuments.” [cough] So this book has a good premise, and is off to a good start. Perhaps I’ll be able to read it I have fewer 9pm meetings and people from work stop texting me on weekends to get me back online?

I have some personally disruptive events coming up, and expect my posting to be spotty, though more frequent than in 2023.

Here’s hoping 2024 is a better year for all living beings!

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