Saturday, June 16, 2012

A Thing of Beauty is a Joy Forever

William O. Beeman Comment in The New York Times Magazine, 17 June 2012

Commenting on June 12, 2012 Issue article by Adam Davidson on the Contemporary Art Market and the astronomical prices being paid today.

When art becomes primarily an object to be bought and sold at market value, the entire purpose of artistic expression is sullied. It certainly is true that “a thing of beauty is a joy forever,” but these vulgar “collectors” buying art in the hope that it will “pay off” in appreciated value take all the joy out of it. If crass commercialism is unavoidable, at the very least artists should be able to avoid being exploited by the market. I would be in favor of a royalty system whereby the artist and her heirs share in the resale of her artistic works.
WILLIAM O. BEEMAN, Minneapolis, posted on

Gareth Porter wins Martha Gelhorn Prize for Reporting on Afghanistan, Iran

I have long recommended Gareth Porter's work to those who ask: "whom should I be reading on Iran and Afghanistan." You don't find Gareth Porter quoted by the mainstream media, but he is the best of the best. His work is carefully researched, always incisive and flies in the face of the conventional wisdom that constitutes the pap coming out of Washington and New York.

This prestigious award (below) is so well deserved, and this recognition will give his work additional credence, and gain him additional readers. I urge you all to search out his work on IPS and realize that his efforts are worthy of aspiration by all of us who try to seek the truth in our efforts at elucidating the difficult events of this area of the world.



                               The Martha Gellhorn Trust

                                          Press Release                                                                             

                        SECRETS OF AFGHANISTAN WAR

Gareth Porter, the Washington-based journalist, has won the prestigious Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism for 2012 for his investigation of US ‘killing strategy’ in Afghanistan, including the targeting of people through their mobile phones.

The judges said: ‘In a series of extraordinary articles, Gareth Porter has torn away the facades of the Obama administration and disclosed a military strategy that amounts to a war against civilians.’

The Martha Gellhorn Prize is given in honour of one of the 20th century’s greatest reporters and is awarded to a journalist ‘whose work has penetrated the established version of events and told an unpalatable truth that exposes establishment propaganda, or “official drivel”, as Martha Gellhorn called it’.
Previous winners include Robert Fisk of the Independent, Nick Davies of the Guardian, Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, and the late Marie Colvin of the Sunday Times (special award).

Those short-listed for this year’s prize were Amelia Gentleman of the Guardian for her articles about Britain’s ‘forgotten people’, the elderly and young offenders, described by the judges as ‘unique and eloquent’ ; and Phil Hammond and Andrew Bousfield for their ‘stunning’ special investigation in Private Eye, ‘Shoot the messenger: How NHS whistleblowers are silenced and sacked’.

The Martha Gellhorn Trust judges are: Dr. Alexander Matthews, John Pilger, James Fox, Jeremy Harding, Cynthia Kee and Shirlee Matthews.

For information: Dr. Alexander Matthews