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Word help: flim-flam synonym

John Hardly 13 Sep 05 - 09:39 AM
ejsant 13 Sep 05 - 09:43 AM
MMario 13 Sep 05 - 09:53 AM
Charmion 13 Sep 05 - 10:16 AM
s&r 13 Sep 05 - 10:22 AM
John Hardly 13 Sep 05 - 10:34 AM
GUEST,Jon 13 Sep 05 - 10:35 AM
Amos 13 Sep 05 - 10:36 AM
John Hardly 13 Sep 05 - 10:48 AM
David Ingerson 13 Sep 05 - 03:22 PM
katlaughing 13 Sep 05 - 04:02 PM
M.Ted 14 Sep 05 - 12:41 AM
Clinton Hammond 14 Sep 05 - 12:54 AM
John MacKenzie 14 Sep 05 - 05:53 AM
The Fooles Troupe 14 Sep 05 - 07:31 AM
John Hardly 14 Sep 05 - 10:09 AM
John MacKenzie 14 Sep 05 - 10:15 AM
katlaughing 14 Sep 05 - 10:50 AM
M.Ted 14 Sep 05 - 12:24 PM
John Hardly 14 Sep 05 - 01:31 PM
M.Ted 14 Sep 05 - 02:25 PM
John Hardly 14 Sep 05 - 02:36 PM
Helen 14 Sep 05 - 05:16 PM
M.Ted 14 Sep 05 - 05:31 PM
John Hardly 15 Sep 05 - 08:45 AM
John Hardly 26 Nov 05 - 11:35 AM
David C. Carter 26 Nov 05 - 11:42 AM
JohnInKansas 26 Nov 05 - 04:31 PM
TheBigPinkLad 26 Nov 05 - 05:19 PM
The Fooles Troupe 26 Nov 05 - 07:06 PM
John Hardly 27 Nov 05 - 11:41 AM
Mr Red 27 Nov 05 - 12:32 PM
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Subject: Word help
From: John Hardly
Date: 13 Sep 05 - 09:39 AM

I'm in the middle of writing something and could really use a one-word synonym for "flim-flam". One syllable would be even better.

Thanks


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Subject: RE: Word help
From: ejsant
Date: 13 Sep 05 - 09:43 AM

guff


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Subject: RE: Word help
From: MMario
Date: 13 Sep 05 - 09:53 AM

con


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Subject: RE: Word help
From: Charmion
Date: 13 Sep 05 - 10:16 AM

Bull


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Subject: RE: Word help
From: s&r
Date: 13 Sep 05 - 10:22 AM

trick swizz cant


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Subject: RE: Word help
From: John Hardly
Date: 13 Sep 05 - 10:34 AM

Thanks for the help.

I am submitting a "comment" to Ceramics Monthly magazine. I am trying to point out what I think is folly in the reasoning of a writer/potter named Jack Troy. I thought I would do a take-off of the old "all work and no play make Jack a dull boy" with "all words and no clay make Jack a bullshitting Troy". I thought the coarse language may exclude the piece from publication and it doesn't fit the one syllable meter either.

In his article, Troy is trying to describe why someone else doesn't "get" his art. In reality, that someone actually does "get" it, despite Troy's protestations. It is Troy who is part of the "Emperor's New Clothes" world of art -- art is what he says it is, not how it speaks for itself. In other worlds, clearly, Jack Troy's clay art is reliant on his description. The clay doesn't speak for itself.

anyway, again, thanks for the helping hand.


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Subject: RE: Word help
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 13 Sep 05 - 10:35 AM

Looking at an online dictionary, perhaps bunco.


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Subject: RE: Word help
From: Amos
Date: 13 Sep 05 - 10:36 AM

"cant" would be my choice. But it is a noun. "Glib " works.

A


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Subject: RE: Word help
From: John Hardly
Date: 13 Sep 05 - 10:48 AM

glib works nicely! Thanks!


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Subject: RE: Word help
From: David Ingerson
Date: 13 Sep 05 - 03:22 PM

It might be too late but here are several more:

"dumb" matches "dull" nicely but is probably not the right meaning for you.

"sham" and "daft" might also work, but "flip" or "slick" seem to fit the situation better.

Although I think "glib" would be an excellent choice, "faux" might be a better one.

Good idea, by the way. And knowing the context helped.

David


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Subject: RE: Word help
From: katlaughing
Date: 13 Sep 05 - 04:02 PM

fake
poser


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Subject: RE: Word help: flim-flam synonym
From: M.Ted
Date: 14 Sep 05 - 12:41 AM

scam


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Subject: RE: Word help: flim-flam synonym
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 14 Sep 05 - 12:54 AM

Grifter


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Subject: RE: Word help: flim-flam synonym
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 14 Sep 05 - 05:53 AM

Conman.
G.


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Subject: RE: Word help: flim-flam synonym
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 14 Sep 05 - 07:31 AM

George.


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Subject: RE: Word help: flim-flam synonym
From: John Hardly
Date: 14 Sep 05 - 10:09 AM

here's how it came out...

All words and no clay make Jack a glib Troy.

Let me see if I got this straight…

…because Jack's friend failed to see the intrinsic value implied by the relationship of the articles in his "still life", Jack had to educate not just his yogurt-eating, flower-loving friend, but the whole Ceramics Monthly-reading world.

I remember, as a young twenty-something potter, being impressed by something that Tim Mather said. I'll paraphrase... "I'd like to think that my work speaks for itself".

Now Jack Troy is telling me that the art in clay is not how it speaks for itself. Instead, clay art is what he says it is.

So we have come to this. Clay is about words. A piece of clay art is the sum total of (presumably) clay, water, fire, and words.

I did a panel discussion at Goshen College several years ago. At that time I remember Marvin Bartel saying that he deemed it his job to give his students a vocabulary in clay. Now, it would seem that it is the professor's job to give the student a vocabulary about clay.

By this new standard, this new academia, a budding clay artist need not avail himself of the ability to express himself in clay if he can but learn the proper technique for adequately describing his/her attempts (however lame) at clay expression.

Armed with the proper set of words, one no longer needs to face the reality that an attempt at art has failed (as Troy's "still life") when it fails to communicate on its own. Instead, we just need to tweak the description a bit. Thus, failed art can forever be the fault of the undereducated viewer, not the inept attempt at art.

If that's art, label me a proud craftsman.

But let me see if I can help you out, Jack…

If the "value" of the still life is in the relationship of the articles to one another (and provided the slim chance that you were able to restore the still life back to its original glory) maybe you ought to consider the possibility of gluing down the articles in the still life and making that relationship permanent. That way maybe other unwashed rubes won't misunderstand and abuse the art. Tell you what….you send me the address to your studio and I'll be glad to put a tube of epoxy in the mail to you. What's that? …oh yeah, you're an academic, not a working potter. Okay then, I'll send the epoxy to your school.


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Subject: RE: Word help: flim-flam synonym
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 14 Sep 05 - 10:15 AM

Deep joy.
G


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Subject: RE: Word help: flim-flam synonym
From: katlaughing
Date: 14 Sep 05 - 10:50 AM

Well-put!


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Subject: RE: Word help: flim-flam synonym
From: M.Ted
Date: 14 Sep 05 - 12:24 PM

I thought I would find something out about the guy who we have been asked to help trash--especially since we are supporting the idea that art should speak for itself--

From Ceramics Today:

>Jack Troy's specialty is the anagama kiln, a wood-firing tunnel kiln, based on medieval Japanese >kilns in Bizen and Shigaraki. Large deposits of wood ash create a natural ash glaze, the main source >of decorative effects with wood-fired ware.



Here is a collection of his work: Jack Troy Virtual Gallery

I couldn't find the article in question, but here the artist speaks for himself:

Jack Troy's Artist Statement

You can follow some of the links there to find out more about his credentials, and where his work is exhibited--I found this interesting:

>His books, Salt-Glazed Ceramics , and Woodfired Stoneware and Porcelain , are standards in the field.

With profuse apologies to John Hardly, who has been one of my stalwart friends here at Mudcat over the years, I must confess that I like his stuff--

I didn't see the offending article--I have however noted that Mr. Troy started out at Juniata College in 1967 in the English Department, and began teaching pottery there in 1968---so, how can I say this? Well, I better not.....


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Subject: RE: Word help: flim-flam synonym
From: John Hardly
Date: 14 Sep 05 - 01:31 PM

I don't dislike him or his stuff or his books (which I've read). I dislike where academia is taking the ceramic world, and I see Jack as part of that movement.

Jack and I don't know each other, but we have many mutual friends and acquaintances.

I wrote a long explaination of the Jack Troy piece to which I was responding but when I hit submit, it went *poof*. Gone forever (as so many posts I attempt at the limping mudcat these days).

What I said, in short, was that Jack's piece tells the story of a visiting friend who unknowingly, ignorantly, took a vase and a bowl off of a shelf in Jack's house. In the vase this friend put some flowers, in the bowl, she served herself some yogurt.

Jack goes on to explain to this friend that those articles were actually a part of a "still life" art work. As such she was failing to acknowledge the true value of the work of art -- a work that, as an assemblage, had more "value" (Jack's words) than the individual pieces.

I thought, upon first reading, that it MIGHT just be a satire. Because I thought I might respond to the piece, I emailed Jack and asked:

Hello Mr Troy,

I read your comment in the latest Ceramics Monthly with great interest. I'm sorry to be so thick, and I realize that humor is lost in the explaining, but I was wondering if your Comment article was a satire?

Regards,

John Bauman


Jack responded that (I won't share a private email without permission, so I paraphrase) "you are not thick at all, to pose a question like that"

...and that was all he said.

So I responded to his response:

HA!

So, I'm not thick for asking, but not thin enough to figure out the answer?!

John


To which he responded that if his piece was successfully ambiguous, he woould take it as a compliment.

Coy. Glib. Condescending (either way).


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Subject: RE: Word help: flim-flam synonym
From: M.Ted
Date: 14 Sep 05 - 02:25 PM

Like I said, he started teaching pottery in 1968--the reality, man, is that he is challenging your sense of what art is, with the intent of blowing your mind so that you will rediscover your inner sense of wonder through which you will redefine your sense of the role and definition of what art is--or somesuch shit--

The real reality is that this little bit of business probably never really even happened--this little story sounds suspiciously like a Zen lesson--the ultimate point being that there is no such thing as a "still life"--that life is change, that the vase is incomplete without flowers, that the bowl anticipates the yogurt--do you get it now, Grasshopper?


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Subject: RE: Word help: flim-flam synonym
From: John Hardly
Date: 14 Sep 05 - 02:36 PM

yes, master.


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Subject: RE: Word help: flim-flam synonym
From: Helen
Date: 14 Sep 05 - 05:16 PM

John Hardly,

I agree about the Emperor's New Clothes style of art. I have been griping about it for years, and referring to it by the same reference.

Your situation reminds me of the time that I was working with a young woman who fancied herself as a poet. She probably had potential but she didn't get the idea of her art speaking for itself so when she asked me to read some of her poems she stood at my shoulder and explained in great detail what each line was about. I tried to tell her that as a work of art it should be crafted well enough to speak for itself but she didn't know what I meant and persisted in giving me the full context of each line, and how it related to her relationship to her father, and blah and blah blah. Maybe she gets the idea now or maybe she is still on the same path, I don't know. It's not easy getting that particular message through, especially when someone isn't open to hearing it, for whatever reason.


Helen


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Subject: RE: Word help: flim-flam synonym
From: M.Ted
Date: 14 Sep 05 - 05:31 PM

Funnily, Helen, Jack Troy published a collection of poems," Calling the Planet Home", in 2003.
From Pottery to Poetry. Hmmm.


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Subject: RE: Word help: flim-flam synonym
From: John Hardly
Date: 15 Sep 05 - 08:45 AM

Well,

My response is going to be published in the "Letters" section of the next (or the next) Ceramics Monthly.

Helen,

I enjoyed your example from poetry.

I admit to a conflict...

I can see that some art is going to be better understood if its context is explained. I understand that, even if it is a worthy goal (in my opinion) to try to approach a "universal" in art, the attempt will always fall short.

I also understand that some art can be better appreciated by an audience educated to accept it. But this too is a gray area. For instance, jazz MIGHT be better accepted by those better educated in music ....... but, on the other hand, as either Mooh or M.Ted said in another thread -- once the music was de-mystified, to a large extent it actually LOST its appeal rather than gaining more.

What I object to is not art education, but the trend toward accepting an art that does not stand on its own merits, its own implications, its own emotional appeal, without someone (the artist, or the bull-shitting critic) to explain (defend?) it.

And I object to "experimental" art being deemed as art without having to have proved itself thus. Not all experiments are successful -- but they are seen that way by the modern academic and critical art world.

And I object to an art world that accepts "new" as better or more meaningful, as though art "evolves". Another potter/educator, Pete Pinnell, in a recent article, points out the folly in this "new-as-superior" view of art. He points out that, if this were a true, realistic view of art, one would have a very tough time explaining Bach -- who was creating within a framework of "style" that was already passe' at the point in time that Bach was utilizing it. Baroque had already given way to Roccoco.


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Subject: RE: Word help: flim-flam synonym
From: John Hardly
Date: 26 Nov 05 - 11:35 AM

Here is the letter, as published, and the first responses to it.


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Subject: RE: Word help: flim-flam synonym
From: David C. Carter
Date: 26 Nov 05 - 11:42 AM

Listen to Laura Nyro's "Flim Flam Man"    'He's the one with the Trojan Horse,making out that he's Santa Claus.O Lord,the man's a fraud,he's a Flim Flam Man.


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Subject: RE: Word help: flim-flam synonym
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 26 Nov 05 - 04:31 PM

John Hardly –

Like some comments here, it's a little difficult to tell how serious the original article was. The original article may, or may not, have been a bit of a put-on. I do tend to agree with your apparent premise that art that stands by itself probably is better Art than art that requires an extensive "analysis" or explanation to be enjoyed.

I'm reminded of the Vice President for Engineering at a place where I worked several eons ago. At an annual "sales meeting" he berated the sales staff for continually asking for new product features. His exact statement, as published in a union newsletter, was:

"We shouldn't even need a product if you guys were good salesmen."

(This was before "salespersons" was the mandatory usage, giving an idea of how long the notion has been around perhaps.)

I'm afraid my impression of much of "modern art" is that there's really no product involved. It's all (mostly) just hype.

I'd have to agree that if the artist intended that it was the setting of the pieces and not the pieces themselves that were his "art," then he failed because quite obviously, that the setting had some significance was not visible to the observer cited. I don't strenuously object that he might have needed/wanted to explain just why the setting was significant for the observer to get the whole thing; but he apparently didn't present in the work itself that there was anything of special interest.

He obviously(?) needs a better marketing/advertising manager.

My experience with "art pottery" is pretty limited, but my search over the past 30 years for a good coffee cup indicates that at least that kind of pottery/ceramics is a "lost art."

John


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Subject: RE: Word help: flim-flam synonym
From: TheBigPinkLad
Date: 26 Nov 05 - 05:19 PM

Taste is he enemy of art.


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Subject: RE: Word help: flim-flam synonym
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 26 Nov 05 - 07:06 PM

.. but some Art is definitely the Enemy of Taste.


Hi Art! Haven't seen you round for a while!

;-)


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Subject: RE: Word help: flim-flam synonym
From: John Hardly
Date: 27 Nov 05 - 11:41 AM

Thanks for the comments, JOhn.


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Subject: RE: Word help: flim-flam synonym
From: Mr Red
Date: 27 Nov 05 - 12:32 PM

my ex-father-in-law reckoned that the magic circle used this term to describe illousionists who in trying to hype their own publicity claimed ridiculous feats like stopping ships. I think alchemists would be in this category if they claimed success.


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Mudcat time: 23 September 7:18 PM EDT

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