Paintings from Sunset Series by Spence Munsinger, Color Field + Blank White Canvas + Realism + Contemporary Abstract Art, original paintings for sale

"Drawing is like making an expressive gesture with the advantage of permanence."
― Henri Matisse

Peak Apple post-Jobs – We’ve Passed It…

Will Apple ever go back to the 2015 reasonable keyboard on the MacBook Pro’s? No. No, they won’t.

Will Apple put back the magsafe2 power connection and indicator lights? No. Not going to happen.

Will we ever see a lighted Apple logo from a sea of laptops in a coffee shop? Yeah, but only because of the pre-2017 legacy models I and others will be nursing carefully.

Will I ever be able to drop the SHDC card out of my camera and right into my laptop? Nope.

I love OSX, hell, I love Unix. I love Apple up to a point – but I also recently updated to the latest High Sierra and immediately had bluetooth connection errors for the next three days, until I shut off hand-off on my phone, iPad and laptops – after that, no connectivity issues. Apple used to be able to put out an update or a product without breaking pretty standard stuff like bluetooth. The current laptop is terrible. Why a touch bar? Why? Why a keyboard that punishes and damages your fingers? Why this many steps away from a truly great product, and toward? Toward what? No writer will use this keyboard. Even when it works at all…

— spence

she has her own face…


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Rodin portrayed, in sculpture, reality. His work is textured, layered. In this work he grabs the spirit of a woman once beautiful, portrays the passage of time, sinking and changing her.

“It is beauty… She has her own face.”

— Valentine Michael Smith to Jill Broadman, Stranger in a Strange Land, by Robert A Heinlein

I’ve been reading a restored version of Robert A. Heinlein’s 1960 masterpiece “Stranger in a Strange Land”. I started looking at and appreciating sculpture from these descriptions of Rodin’s work — from Robert Heinlein’s appreciation of it, and his expression of that through his characters.

I’ve remembered that expression — “She has her own face” — since a first reading of the book. It hits harder now, when between botox and surgery women, and some men too, stave off time, they think, and in the process acquire a generic and expressionless face.

The scene in Men in Black, where the alien wearing Edgar’s skin pulls back his face and asks

edgar #1edgar #2edgar #3

“Is this better?”

That’s what it seems like to me as an artist. A face that is very beautiful starts to acquire character and individuality and then… Is frozen. In expression and in time, the character is gone with the crow’s feet and the laugh lines, she no longer has her own face at all.

Another scene in Stranger in a Strange Land observes the genius of Fallen Caryatid. A column in the shape of a woman…

…for three thousand years architects designed buildings with columns shaped as female figures. At last Rodin pointed out that this was work too heavy for a girl. He didn’t say, ‘Look, you jerks, if you must do this, make it a brawny male figure.’ No, he showed it.

– from Robert A. Heinlein’s
Stranger In A Strange Land

Fallen Caryatid #1Fallen Caryatid view #2

Rodin’s “Fallen Caryatid Carrying Her Stone”


“This poor little caryatid has fallen under the load. She’s a good girl – look at her face. Serious, unhappy at her failure, not blaming anyone, not even the gods… and still trying to shoulder her load, after she’s crumpled under it.

But she’s more than just good art denouncing bad art; she’s a symbol for every woman who ever shouldered a load too heavy. But not alone women – this symbol means every man and woman who ever sweated out life in uncomplaining fortitude until they crumpled under their loads. It’s courage… and victory.

Victory in defeat, there is none higher. She didn’t give up… she’s still trying to lift that stone after it has crushed her… she’s all the unsung heroes who couldn’t make it but never quit.”

Robert Heinlein’s writing was so far beyond base Science Fiction. From “Stranger in a Strange Land,” to “The Moon is a Harsh Mistress,” to “Starship Troopers”. Heinlein was an artist.

— spence

revised, restored, recovered… different.

Robert Heinlein submitted approximately a 220,000 word manuscript originally in 1960 for Stranger in a Strange Land. The publisher insisted the book be cut to 150,000 words, to minimize the risk they felt they were taking in publishing what at the time was a radically different work. The final word count came out at 160,087 words, and the publisher accepted it at that length. For 28 years it remained in print in that form.

After Robert Heinlein died, his widow recovered the original submitted manuscript, which had been archived with the University of California at Santa Cruz. She read the in-print version next to the original. She decided the cut version wasn’t as good as the original. A publisher agreed, and a new, complete as written edition was published. My copy was published in 1991.

At least one significant cut occurs between the two editions, though:

“I’ll give you an exact definition. When the happiness of another person becomes as essential to yourself as your own, then the state of love exists.”
— Jubal Harshaw to Ben Caxton, Stranger in a Strange Land

That definition should have been left in. It is not present in the restored, new, revised, whatever, recent edition.

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