Episode 149 : Fine Art

We take a deep look at art in this episode, people. Many different forms, from the cinematic, to paintings, to political art, to psychic art, to nipples. Enjoy!


Dear Dissonant and Confused Forced Voices of the Magical Talking Hat, What’s with the angry pixelated faces on I-80 Eastbound leaving Iowa City? — Azuretalon!!!

If you could have your portrait painted by any artist (living or dead), who would you hire to do it? — Mark McKibben


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20 Responses to Episode 149 : Fine Art

  1. The Producer says:

    I don’t think I can upload images into the comments. But if you go here and look for the ones titled “Emoticons” you’ll see what Azuretalon was asking about: http://www.johncerney.com/photogallery.html

  2. jas says:

    Louis CK has a very funny bit about driving. The gist of it is that people scream things at each other while driving that they would never say outside of the car. People are often at their worst when driving, when really it needs to be a time when people should be at their best (“You’re driving a weapon!”). I think there’s a real analogy to how many people behave on the internet.

    • William says:


      Often, people use things like this — how people act in a car or online — as evidence of what people are like when presented with relative anonymity. But it isn’t just anonymity, obviously. People have a lot of repressed anxiety in our culture, I think. The anonymity just allows some of that to escape.

  3. jas says:

    I should probably add for those who don’t know Louis CK–NSFW.

  4. jas says:

    The real life event is called the Abscam scandal for anyone who wants to look it up.

  5. jas says:

    Sarah Polley’s Dad, Michael, is in one of my fav series (available on Netflix) called “Slings & Arrows” about a Shakespeare company in Canada. Very funny show.

  6. jas says:

    Happy Early Birthday Tony!

  7. Bloodsparrow says:

    I support William in his expression of Wonderment

  8. Craig says:

    Regards the intersection I think you’re also overlooking the ‘other people will screw me over therefore I’ll screw them over first’ mentality. At the intersection people will see the gap and assume that drivers coming on the other direction will move into it and therefore block it up. So the first driver blocks it so they can’t be blocked in return, even though doing so actually makes the situation worse.

  9. William says:

    Yeah, I think that’s right, Craig. It was the southbound traffic that was blocked, and not traffic heading in any other direction, except, of course, that the block south of the intersection made is so there wasn’t any traffic to speak of traveling north through the intersection. But if, when the east-west road got a green light, some of the east-west traffic wanted to turn south, provided any spaces opened up in southbound traffic during that time, they would have taken the spots that “belonged” to the people still waiting to the north behind the light. So… the rude folks were actually trying to block right- and left-turners from the east-west road, and they just didn’t care that this meant they were also blocking people who wanted to go east, west, or north from the east or west. And since, again, the northbound traffic was blocked south of the intersection, the rude drivers’ actions essentially resulted in preventing all traffic from going through the intersection.

    I’m also realizing they may have had a way to justify this to themselves. The east-west road has right- and left-turn lanes, so right- and left- turners wouldn’t have, at first, gotten in the way of people who just wanted to continue on east or west or turn north. But these turn lanes have limited capacity, and eventually they merge back into a single lane road. So, the east-west route would probably have gotten backed up eventually. Or, at least, that might be the reasoning of the rude folks.

    Wow. Rudeness is hard work.

  10. Beth says:

    Great question “Azuretallon!!!”!
    I too have wondered about those faces. Like Tony said, I first thought they had appeared to make a political statement. I thought one of them vaguely looked like John Edwards. When I first noticed them, I also wondered how long they had been there without my noticing. I have been driving back and forth along that section of I-80 for about 10 years now, and I distinctly remember there being one trip where I noticed them and wondered if they had always been there and I’d missed them, or if they were new. Now I never miss them, but I think I would appreciate them more if I understood why they were there.

    As for the portraits – the new way to do them is to apparently have a photograph taken of you, then the artist paints the portrait from the photo. Saves the subject a ton of time in posing. Don’t know if that’s the method US Presidents follow, but when we were visiting the president of Lithuania in ’07, we got to see some of the photos that were in contention for the official portrait. Much more efficient, and you usually end up with a good, non-Picasso-esque likeness of the subject.

    Happy (now belated) birthday Tony! Where did you go for sushi?

  11. Beth says:

    also, props to the Producer for finding the mosaic fine art.

  12. Mark says:

    The world deserves to know IAC traffic sucks? What did the world ever do to you to deserve having this viewpoint inflicted on it?

    Almost Human’s 2nd Episode: I think William did talk about the 2nd episode not being the real 2nd episode.

    Almost Human Captions: Really? That’s an interesting twist.

    Almost Human: While it’s not the greatest show; it definitely one of the best sci-fi shows on tv currently.

    Leverage: Agreed, it started well and I’ve enjoyed all of it that I’ve seen (though some episodes were weaker than others).

    Dieing: Aren’t we all?

    Despicable Me 2: I liked it and many of my friends like it better than the first one; however I prefer the first. Tony hits it on the head; DM2 is fine but doesn’t have the freshness of the original.

    Megamind: I hadn’t expected to like that movie at all, but it was actually kind of fun.

    The Croods: We watched this on Netflix streaming recently and I didn’t hate it nearly as much as I expected. I still didn’t care for it, but it wasn’t entirely objectionable.

    Tony Birthday: Congratulations (belatedly) on having the gumption to survive yet another year.

    SE-MO-SWAT: That sounds hilarious.

    Angry Pixelated Faces: I’ve been wondering this for years, but never thought to ask The Magical Talking Hat. Good job, Azuretalon! My initial thought was these faces were people somehow related to the UofI.

    Fine Art: If nipples on men is fine art does that mean the Batman movie that added nipples to Batman’s costume is fine art?

    Portraits: There was nothing in the question that said the artist had to be a specialist in painting portraits; so with that being said, Bill Watterson is an excellent choice.

    iFrankenstein: The casting of the leading man might be a good choice, but making that movie was a bad one.

    Talking on the blog: Sorry, I’m still working on getting caught up. 🙁

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