The Things that Catch My Attention: “Hell for Bad Cows”


One of my most active readers and commenters directed me to a blog site, artLife that is art contextualized with commentary.
I’ve had a hell of a week — and next week is worse — with some work load demands that have kept me on the run. But this picture has caught my eye when all I should be doing is writing about Japan as a “stakeholder nation” and completing grant applications.
I’m almost addicted to the above painting now — and it’s caption “Hell for Bad Cows.”
I know that there is a political metaphor in this — but am not willing to go there. But this painting and the zinger title caught me sort of like Marlene Vasilic caught that whopper carp below.
More later — for those interested, in a Financial Times article just out, I note that the McCain campaign is going to be trying to define Obama in outrageous, racist ways in the months ahead — but also note that Barack Obama, trying to inoculate himself from attacks from McCain threw one of his most loyal followers, Robert Malley, not only under the bus — but then stopped the bus and ran it back over him again — in this Financial Times article.
More soon. It’s like a tune in my head I can’t shake, “Hell for bad cows. . .”

— Steve Clemons


21 comments on “The Things that Catch My Attention: “Hell for Bad Cows”

  1. Paul Norheim says:

    perhaps not Auster, but Thomas Pynchon!


  2. Paul Norheim says:

    What a horrible story…
    And what an ironic-stupid mechanism: if you get too many
    visitors, your art is destroyed, disappears!
    Actually, it would have been a brilliant idea in, say, a Paul Auster
    novel, or as an intended part of some sophisticated art
    installation. But in real life, unintended, it must be a terrible
    I really hope things will get sorted out in the end.
    But I can`t help speculating about that idiotic mechanism.
    Imagine the same thing happening to texts, movies, sound: you
    get too many readers, and your text cease to exist; too big
    audience for your movie, your hip-hop hit, and… gone!
    An effective anti-PR mechanism, and a splendid anti-
    propaganda machine as well… People would have to whisper to
    get heard… End of sensations, tabloids, and gossip…
    Forgive me these irresponsible musings…
    and good luck!


  3. Nina says:

    Paul, I am activly searching for another webhost. The story of what has happened has too many illogical twists and turns for me to explain
    briefly on Steve’s blog. I am just overwhelmed by it and unable to discuss it without becoming depressed and angry. When so many
    promises are made and none, not-a-single-one, are kept, we have no guarentee the images still exist. Of course, I have backups and am
    resigned to recreating the blog in its entirety. This means starting from scratch to replace a specially selected portfolio of six years of
    American western art. In the interum, new questions keep coming up, such as this “capacity calculation” which my site meter, not owned
    by Earthink, recites a figure 75% less than Earthlink’s figures.
    It is illogical that Earthlink encourages members to create blogs, but blog visitors are discouraged. If you have lots of visitors, you are
    punished. An Earthlink email sent to me after they blocked the site, lists a variety of steps bloggers should take to discourage traffic, such
    as deleting blog content. Another is to reduce the colors in your images. If you inquire, as the block page you’ve seen asks me to do, your
    questions are answered with denials of responsibility and intentionally dropped calls. You cannot get a straight answer. Our search for
    solutions were followed-up by childish and deceitful behavior such as spamming email boxes with unrelated material … and very likely a
    total trashing of my artwork. (The possibility there was vindictive massive damage to the image files is becoming more real the longer the
    block continues.)
    To sum it up: They want you to call, but they are unable to deal with the problem, they take your money, but they are unable to produce
    that which you purchase. On the streets, they would call this a hustle.
    I have serious doubts about what will be viewable on June 1st when the block is lifted, IF they keep their word on lifting the block at all.
    Since no word has been kept to date, the path of action is clear.
    I apologize for not responding sooner, Paul, but this thing has given me an internet migraine.
    I genuinely appreciate your concern and your comments.


  4. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Hopefully, Paul, Nina will respond today with a more concise account. And Paul, my anger was prefaced by over six phone calls to Earthlink, and literally hours of trying to get through a maze of discourteous and unhelpful Indian Earthlink employees, whose only bright star was the cheerful conman that lied to Nina in order to extract more money out of my bank account.
    But, as it stands now, apparently we have decided to just seek out another webhost. They destroyed the site in their transfer of files, and had the gall to try to convince Nina it was her responsibility to restore it.
    Its not the first clusterfuck Earthlink has thrown our way, and if we continue to use them it undoubtedly will not be the last.
    As soon as she is back up with a new site, or at the least, the old one restored, we will make sure we let you know.


  5. Paul Norheim says:

    was that you?
    I also saw that Nina`s site has been shut down. Could you (POA)
    calm down a bit and try to explain the issue without using your
    finger, because I`m a bit confused, with all your anger mixed into
    the information…! (what I am suggesting is clear info first (to help
    Nina), and anger later)…
    And Nina: perhaps you could provide some light on what is
    happening? Obviously, some people here love your art! Seems to
    be some automatic limit to how much visit you are allowed to get
    on your site, and when Steve Clemons mentioned you here, that
    limit was transcended, and trouble started — right?


  6. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Well, it appears that Nina’s exposure here has loosed the Earthlink gremlin’s on her blog site.
    The increased traffic shut down her site.
    Does anyone speak broken english with a heavy Indian accent? I need a translator.
    Does it piss anyone else off that these people can barely communicate, as they good naturedly lie to you and say “Hello, my name is Jeffrey, how can I assist you?”
    Since it was discovered that the traffic shut down her site, and the link now directed you to some message telling you that her site would be up “on the first of next month”, we have spent literally hours trying to remedy the situation, and getting angrier and angrier. When we agreed to pay for greater capacity, their tech department assured us that they would redirect traffic to the new increased capacity site within a 2 to 72 hour window. Instead, AFTER THEY GOT A PAYNMENT AGREEMENT, they now inform us that there will not be a redirection of traffic until the first of next month. FURTHER, the art work is now missing from the new site, so we can’t even provide a link to her work, because these assholes at Earthlink have completely destroyed the composition of her site.
    This morning, when I should be merrily on my way to the jobsite, instead I am trying to undo the damage done to Nina’s site, by dealing with people thousands of miles away, who barely can communicate, and have no idea of the dark cloud they cloud they have placed over someone’s spiritual endeavor.
    If there is anyone out there that is profficient and knowledgable in this type of thing…..
    We need a new webhost for Nina’s work, and we want one that will use my AMERICAN MONEY to pay their AMERICAN EMPLOYEES.
    Screw Earthlink. We will be dumping them as soon as we can. And, truth is, they just don’t give a shit. They’re getting our money, they’re gettin’ our jobs, and they’re gettin’ our goat.
    And they’re gettin’ my finger. Not that it matters to them. But it matters to me.


  7. Paul Norheim says:

    “I don’t actually set out to keep a low profile, but to devote a lot
    of time to self-promotion would defeat my focus on the work
    itself. Each piece takes intense energy and concentration. I have
    one purpose at heart all the time, every day, and that is to tell a
    visual story.”
    Nina, I think that is a wise choice. Many people start with the
    self-promotion, and forget the work – and also the pleasures of
    the process. Funny though, that one of your pictures ended up
    getting attention at a US foreign policy blog!


  8. nina says:

    Linda, I would like very much to have a comments section of some sort, but the one offered by the
    webhost doesn’t fit into the look of the blog. Its a blaring, white, square form that rejects
    creative management. I am working on this and hope to come up with an alternative soon.
    All the artwork is mine, the windmill photography was done by my talented partner and photoshopped by me.
    I don’t actually set out to keep a low profile, but to devote a lot of time to self-promotion would defeat my focus on the work itself. Each piece takes intense energy and concentration. I have one purpose at heart all the time, every day, and that is to tell a visual story.
    When my stories give a person something with which they identify, then my purpose is achieved.
    Your questions and insights are worthy of an entire blog posting, thank you, soon to come.


  9. Linda says:

    Thanks! Are you the artist? I can’t find any name on the website that people should visit as others are just as good. I love art and what artists bring to their works, especially those who paint what appear to be just pretty pictures but cause one to smile and think when one reads
    the title the artist has given the painting.
    I think Steve should credit the artists–that is–unless you prefer to remain anonymous. Your pictures and the titles are worth 1000 words, and I really don’t think it’s so bad yet in this country that the government will come after you.


  10. Tintin says:

    Yes, Steve, it turns out that William is Dan’s brother. Keen eye you


  11. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Chuckling here. I hope Linda’s suggestion works better for Steve than it did for a few hundred thousand leery steers.
    Bartolo. Loosen up, not everything has a hidden inner meaning. If you must have mysteries in your life, than ponder the demise of Building Number Seven.


  12. Bartolo says:

    I don’t understand the picture. Is it supposed to be a run-down rendering plant?


  13. Nina says:

    Linda, very interesting, very insightful comment.
    Steve, I am deeply honored. Thank you so very much.


  14. Steve Clemons says:

    TinTin — thanks for the link to Daniel Milberg’s work. Do you know if he is related to William Milberg at the New School? They look a lot alike.


  15. Mr.Murder says:

    Meanmwhile, we’ll campaign until the cows come home. It was Sen.Clinton who said she would be in this for the long haul.


  16. Mr.Murder says:

    “Pigs like him,” in reference to Rumsfeld, not the intrepid reporter, Steve.


  17. Tintin says:

    Dear Steve,
    You’ve posted art before on the blog, so I know it matters to you.
    Here’s an artist of a slightly different stripe–political–whom you
    (and your readers) might be interested in checking out.
    He works in visual imagery and also does sonic pieces. Take a
    moment to browse through his offerings.
    Dramatic, thought-provoking, and humorous


  18. Mr.Murder says:

    That’s simply purgatory.
    For Orwell’s Animal Farm, from which Clemons often reports.
    Rumsfeld occasionally has bad dreams about where pigs like him end up….


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