I enjoy reading lots of artbooks right now. Firstly, on J. W. Waterhosue (my favourite Pre-Raphaelite painter) and secondly Origins: The Art of John Jude Palencar (Palencar won the Grand Master Award of this year's Spectrum). Both very recommendable books. I particularly loved the analyses and connections the the book on Waterhouse drew between the art and the artist. It gets you to think about the paintings in depth and is quite inspiring.
There are strange tendencies in today's consumer culture. Years and years ago, it used to be cheaper to buy raw materials and make the finished product yourself. When I started sewing, I thought it great, because by this I would get clothes that I liked and wanted and it would be cheaper (the latter proved to be untrue) - preconceptions from former times.
(Nowadays, I appreciate paying a bit more for the fabric and knowing the clothes are made by me and not by Chinses children, which is something I didn't care about much when I got into sewing.)
Same for food. You tend to pay almost more for basic foodstuff that you prepare into finished meals than for instant food or cheap take-away meals. It's easily justifyable by arguing for the quality of the finished product, but it's still something that's developed in years and hasn't been here all the time. An effect of globalisation?
Another cultural oddity: We seem to be more tolerant towards people who we don't know or don't care for much. Simply knowing that we have to, intend to, or want to spend a significant time of our future lives with certain people lets us judge them by harsher standards than people who we know will not be part of our lives for more than a fleeting moment. Awful, isn't it?
Maybe it is because we want to eliminate possible conflicts as soon as possible before they can turn into big issues. Maybe it's a sign that we second-guess our decisions of wanting to share our lives with the person/people. Maybe it's a gender thing (as my brother suggest).
Ideally, we should show more tolerance and understanding towards the people who we care for (especially understanding, because we are more familiar with their way of thinking, so it should be easier). So why doesn't it work? Why can't we care less about minor issues with people who are more important to us?
Uh. I have no idea where this picture is going. I'm trying out new stuff with it every time I open the file.
(Dammit, why did I have to start incorporating photos, against my better judgement? This will turn into a major pain.)