What I’m doing in and around April 10th, 2020.

A few updates from my world this week. On the writing/editing side :

What I’ve been enjoying reading/watching/listening to while in “quarantine” :

Elsewhere, Jack inexplicably admits to liking me, at least more than he likes Google, and I hosted my first Passover Seder by Zoom,iv which was notable for its coast-to-coast reach and really rather positive reception given that apparently no one else has levity and light-heartedness right now. Carrying on…

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  1. Best quotes from the piece by Todd Levin :

    Collecting art was recently viewed as a merit badge of cultivation, status, and participation in a world that can afford the expensive. But if we divorce art entirely from why it was created in the first place, then—as occurred with Jay-Z, James Franco, and other aforementioned examples—art and money exchange roles: Money becomes “divine” by being translated into art, and art becomes commonplace by being translated into money.

    Art is the imagination of life, so intensely felt that it has entered into and become an integral part of us. But we can lose sight of this crucial force if we only think of art in terms of raucous careers, the careenings of success, drugs of every imaginable type, turning on and turning off, marking time and making money, loud and hollow laughter. The world about us would be bleak except for the world within us, and all art bears witness to this fact.

    The role of the artist, in short, is to help us live our lives. The artist does this by creating a world to which we can turn, again and again, so that we eventually are unable to conceive of our lives without that artist’s imagination and feeling. Art is the crucial interface between the imagination and reality, the thing that makes life deeper and broader than it might be without such insight. We have to believe in that kind of creativity. I know I do.

    You can gain further insight into Todd’s greatness at Hodinkee and A Collected Man. He’s a gem. Thoughtful, respectful, and possessed of incredibly sophisticated taste.

  2. Grand Tour on Prime, the supposed successor to Top Gear, is simply a depressing series of car-based dramas featuring a trio of expired gents wishing they weren’t quite so far past their best-before-dates, and while I’ve heard that the latest Harris/Paddy/otherbloke BBC TG has improved of late, it has impossible boots to fill. CarTrek is fresh, youthful, and “clean sheet” in a way the original Top Gear of 2006-2010 was. It’s a marvellous thing. 
  3. Of course, this isn’t the only thing that makes markets. Buying up all the inventory of early Dubuis, as The Watchbox has 100% been doing and no doubt ACM has been doing as well, and then ratcheting up the prices as “market makers,” also doesn’t hurt.
  4. Zoom Seder 5780

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