Republican Jesus Invites You to Read the Constitution

Speaking of great art (and blasphemy), you simply cannot top this:

This is One Nation Under God by Jon McNaughton, who is the Luke Skywalker to Thomas Kinkade’s Darth Vader. Most of what you need to know about this masterpiece is made plain when you see that one of the “positive” characters is holding Cleon Skousen’s The Five Thousand Year Leap. On McNaugton’s website you can read his detailed explanation of all the other “symbolism.” More entertainingly, make sure you check out this parody which retains the look of McNaughton’s site while replacing all the zoom-in captions for each character.

Hat-tip to Mike Morrell for making me aware of this

The Scandalous Art of Paul Fryer

Twenty years after Andres Serrano debuted Piss Christ to shocked believers worldwide, Christendom is again up in arms over another work of art. Fundamentalist antipathy toward the arts is well-documented, and artists like Serrano and Damien Hirst have ensured that this feud isn’t likely to die soon. British artist Paul Fryer, a churchgoing Christian himself, has joined the fray with three new pieces.

The first two are variations of the same piece, Pieta:

Unlike traditional pietas, such as Michelangelo’s, this Jesus is not cradled by the Virgin Mary, but by an electric chair. The work is displayed in a French cathedral whose Monsignor explains the work thusly: “[The goal is] to make us aware once more that someone being nailed to a cross is a scandal. Usually, we no longer feel any real emotions in the face of something truly scandalous, the crucifixion.” The piece challenges us to see modern methods of capital punishment as equally bizarre and barbaric as ancient Roman methods. Fryer seems to be expressing incredulity at state-sanctioned murder in the 21st century, asking us to be just as uncomfortable with a convicted felon in the electric chair as we are with Christ in it.
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Museo de Awesome

We finally got our lesson assignments for the next two weeks. The summary:

Tuesday –>  high beginners –> house chores
Wednesday –> low beginners –> talking about past vacations
Thursday –> basic beginners –> describing daily and weekly routines

Tuesday –> high intermediates –> compare & contrast dating customs
Wednesday –> basic beginners –> houses / our dream house
Thursday –> low beginners –> our future vacation plans

They also gave us the grammar points we need to teach with each (eg the “going to + verb” structure for that last class) but I won’t bother typing those all out now. I wish I had more high beginner & intermediate students but my schedule’s pretty decent otherwise. Monday we take our final exam over grammar & phonology then start prepping for Tuesday’s trial by fire.

I feel like I spent all of today taking public: taxi to class, bus home (my first time on a colectivo; cost me a whopping 30¢), then subway to and from the Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires. I had a couple places to see tonight but lots of sites close at 6pm; MALBA was open til 8pm thankfully. It’s normally $4, but I got in for $1.30 as a student with my BAIS card. This museum was well worth the hassle of the subte and is a total bargain even at $4. Mostly 20th-century and contemporary art — which is my preference anyway — though I forgot to look for their Frida Kahlo stuff. As my guidebook points out, MALBA is the only BsAs museo built-for-function, ie it’s not a re-purposed mansion, warehouse, factory, etc. Thus the building itself is extremely interesting, a bit of which you can see in my recently-uploaded photoset. Indoor photos are forbidden so I could only sneak a couple. Unfortunately my shots of the world’s most amazing benches didn’t turn out (someone obviously beat me to it anyway).

Flickr Me Liquor

Today was our first chance to observe an actual ESL class in action. It was very eye-opening & helpful, but actually made me more nervous for my own classes. Tomorrow will be more lectures with another hour of in-class observation. Monday we start doing lesson plans for Tuesday; Tuesday we do lesson plans for Wednesday + actually teach our prepared lesson; Wednesday we do lesson plans for Thursday + teach Tuesday’s lesson; Thursday we do zero lesson plans but teach Wednesday’s lesson. Rinse & repeat for the last week. By the end I will have 6 hours in-class teaching + 8 hours in-class observation + 24-page portfolio. Scary.

A few of us went out to dinner afterwards: omelette con queso y papas fritas, complemented with a glass of wine that was only $1.30. Kazim & I attempted grocery shopping afterwards, but I only ended up buying pop & chocolate ice cream; ie a lot like my old grocery habits in Ohio.

As promised, photos from last weekend: (more…)