The Nice Things Are Due On Maple Street
It's Sunday, and you know what that means: Time to turn off the news for a little while and recharge your batteries, but if you need to run to the store and buy batteries, remember your face mask. If you're an especially lucky human with an artsy person in your life, maybe your face mask will look like this brilliant homage to René Magritte's "The Son of Man," by Twitter person "LONye":
Also, let us bow in awe to this reply, which is why Twitter will be allowed to continue:
Social Distancing Realism
The Magritte homage, as the hashtag notes, is part of the "#GettyMuseumChallenge," which is a bit of a misnomer, since it was only popularized by the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, after getting started by an art fan in Amsterdam. (The New York Times helpfully explains the account name, @tussenkunstenquarantaine, is "a reference the Dutch television program 'Tussen Kunst en Kitsch,' whose title means 'between art and kitsch.'")
In any case, it's all over social media. The rules are pretty simple: "recreate a work of art with objects (and people)" found in your own locked-down home. We suspect some creators may have ventured forth for special items, but as of yet, there don't seem to be any heavy handed enforcement actions.. And now it's all over Twitter, the Instagrams, and the good part of Reddit, which as we keep reminding you, is most of it. There's just so much good creative stuff!
Gustav Klimt. Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer, by a Russian Facebook user. This one's amazing! Here's the translated text:
This is my Adele from a portrait of Klimt. After all, so many delicious cookies, marshmallows, perks, and chocolate candy were bought to survive the zombie's! Thoughts of them with a living cloud fall around her beautiful head.
Gustav Klimt. Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer. The model is my daughter Antonina. And after the photo shoot, I still love it, and even a little more than a genius
We could look at these all day, and we probably will!
Randy Newman Just Singing About What He CDCs
Randy Newman was asked by public radio station KPCC to do a short public service announcement about social distancing. He ended up doing a whole song, "Stay Away," a nice play on the title of his far more sinister early hit, "Sail Away." The narrator of this song is much nicer.
Randy Newman - Stay Away youtu.be
For my money, the best part is in the first few seconds, when we hear the super-homey sound of Newman's doggo's ears flapping as it shakes its head. But the song itself is good too! Buy your own copy here and the funds will go to the Ellis Marsalis Center for Music, which seeks to bring music education to young folks in New Orleans's Lower Ninth Ward. (Or you can donate directly here.)
The LA Times transcribed the lyrics:
"Stay Away" by Randy Newman
Venus in sweatpants
That's who you are
And when this mess is over
I'll buy you a car
We'll drive that car
So fast and so far
All your stupid friends
Will be left behind
Stay away from me
Baby, keep your distance please
Stay away from me
Words of love
In times like these
I'm gonna be with you
24 hours a day
A lot of people couldn't stand that
But you can
You'll be with me
24 hours a day
What a lucky man I am
Stay away from me
Wash your hands
But don't touch your face
Wash your hands
Don't touch your face
30 years together and we're still having fun
Once we were two, now we are one
Let's go out and get a burger
When you're done you're gone
Memories of the past
Be kind to one another
Tell her you love her everyday
If you're angry about something
Let it go
The kids are frightened
Tell them not to be afraid
But don't let them touch your face
Don't let them touch your face
Just imagine the dissertations that are going to be written about this time.
Time For Twitter Stuff!
Yes. Yes it is. Like Propeller Dog:
And this, from a professional computer artist guy who has worked on movies even I have heard of:
He also did a brief "how I did that" video in gif form:
Astrophysicist and Queen lead guitarist Sir Brian May is awesome.
There is a delighted dachshund puppy in this video, and so I didn't even notice the regrettable shorts & black socks combo on the human until someone pointed it out. Now I have ruined the video for you, too.
Actually, I haven't. This puppy could overcome virtually any fashion don't in the background.
Cats: They Are Doofuses, Part I:
Cats: They Are Doofuses, Part II:
The BBC reports that in South Africa's Kruger National Park, the lions have been enjoying the shutdown by lounging all over the roads.
Park ranger Richard Sowry was out on patrol on Wednesday when he snapped a pride sleeping on a road which would normally be busy with tourists [...]
As a ranger in one of Africa's largest game reserves, Mr Sowry performs an essential service and continues to work during the lockdown, checking on the wildlife and guarding against poachers.
While driving near Orpen Rest Camp on Wednesday afternoon, he spotted the lions on the road ahead and pulled up just five metres (5.5 yards) away to look at the unusual phenomenon.
As he took photos with his mobile phone, the lions did not seem bothered, most of them apparently fast asleep.
"Lions are used to people in vehicles," he explained. "All animals have much more of an instinctive fear of people on foot, so if I had walked up they would never have allowed me to get so close."
The park's media officer, Isaac Phaala, explained that while lions might usually find the asphalt less comfy than the grass, it had rained shortly before Sowry encountered them: "The tar was drier than the grass at the time — big cats and water don't mix."
The park's Twitter account also advises that the lions, like a certain far less useful beast that shouldn't be approached without caution, have been unable to resist the lure of the local golf course:
Nature is healing.
Cats, They Are Doofuses, Part III:
Not a cat, but definitely a doofus:
And now, an Owl Thread. Here are the first two tweets:
More owls follow.
Not an owl:
BABBY GOATY! Part of a whole thread about a little goat named Milk Dud.
In addition to Nice Things, Sundays are also for Historians at the Movies! Fire up Netflix and Twitter, start watching Dolemite is My Name tonight at 8:30 Eastern, and follow the conversation with the hashtag #HATM. I keep hearing this is supposed to be Eddie Murphy's best performance ever in his career?
And finally, Yr Obligatory Thornton Content, with a very content Thornton.
(If you turn up your volume to hear Thornton purr, please remember to turn it back down.)
Hey! If you turned up your volume to hear Thornton purr, please remember to turn it back down. Your ears will thank me.
Now have a good Sunday, you. This is now your open thread!
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Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.