Friday, November 8, 2013
Thursday, November 7, 2013
This new design is a veritable definition of the term "half-baked." Rather than start from scratch and design a new bill incorporating cutting-edge anti-counterfeiting technologies in an elegant way, the people in charge have simply allowed half of the old bill to be overlaid with some of these technologies. The mismatch is glaring. It's embarrassing.
The left side of the front of the bill looks mostly like the old design. The right side of the front looks new, but even the right side suggests a badly thought-out collage. The contrast between the two sides of the front face is hard to reconcile, and the purplish hologram stripe that separates them looks like a strip of tape sticking together two halves that don't go together. The reverse is just as bad. A large, yellow "100" has been slapped onto the old design in an awkwardly large hole that's been carved more or less out of the existing layout. The whole thing looks amateurish--or worse. No attempt has been made to make the range of common denominations ($1, $5, $10, $20, $50, and $100) complement one another. Each ought to be part of a coordinated suite of bills with some kind of design harmony. Instead, the new $100 bill makes it look as if no one cared one way or the other what our currency looks like. I give the new $100 bill a big thumbs down.
For more unintended art, see my blog Serendipitous Art.
Wednesday, November 6, 2013
Tuesday, November 5, 2013
The book gets off to a slow start. Its dense text requires more concentration to digest than I was expecting. It's a serious book of scholarly importance, not the quick read I had imagined before picking it up (based on no evidence). It was worth the work.
Di Battista's book seems valuable not only for its insights into Hollywood's attitudes toward gender roles in the golden age of the screwball comedy, but also for its looks at the careers of actresses such as Claudette Colbert, Jean Harlow, Ginger Rogers, Jean Arthur, Carole Lombard, and Myrna Loy (under the heading of "Hot Heiresses and Working Girls"); at the actresses she calls "The Grande Dames" (Katharine Hepburn, Irene Dunn, Greta Garbo, Barbara Stanwyck); and through detailed looks at a few of the most important films of the era--His Girl Friday, Bringing Up Baby, The Lady Eve, Ninotchka, and The Awful Truth. Along the way, there is much useful discussion of dozens of other films worth watching. Fast-talking Dames would be worth reading just for its indirect recommendations of good films from the period it covers. My one complaint is that there is no list of films mentioned in the text, which makes it tedious to find them once passed over. Halfway through, I started writing down titles that seemed worth seeking out. I've been visiting my local video store to rent quite a few I'd never seen. I've particularly enjoyed seeing Theodora Goes Wild, The Bombshell, If You Could Only Cook, and Wife Versus Secretary, among others. Recommended.