For FALL 2010's delicious offerings of books, art, food, film, and unique travel--check out the NEW ISSUE of our online magazine FEAST--you will not go away hungry-- http://www.feastofbooks.com/

Between issues, read our blog posts as we and our special guests share thoughts, ideas, and recommendations about books, art, food, film, and travel. We love to hear from our readers, so please post a comment! Thanks-- Rosemary Carstens, editor

SNAX ONLINE is moving during the first quarter of 2011 -- stay tuned!

Snax Online is undergoing a redesign and will be moving to a new location. Check back from time to time for a link. In its new format, this blog will cover a wider range of topics but also its usual five. In the meantime, keep up with what's happening in the world of books, art, food, film, and travel at http://www.FEASTofBooks.com --

See you in 2011!!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Indianapolis Museum of Art provides a treat for the mind and eye . . .

Recently, my friend and colleague Alyce Barry, Shadow Work facilitator and author, discovered some interesting art in the Midwest and agreed to share. – Rosemary Carstens -

"Though I lived in the Chicago area most of my life, I had never visited nearby Indianapolis until this past December. I was there to give a speech, owing to the efforts of a friend who lived in the area. The following morning, my friend drove me around the city and, learning of my love for art museums, took me to the Indianapolis Museum of Art .

We found the featured exhibit on Chinese art rather dull and went looking for something more provocative. We found it in the Contemporary Art gallery on the second floor.

Upon entering, we were confronted with a wall-sized scene of a riverside in the Old South cast upon the opposite wall from the entrance by a small projector. The scene, titled They Waz Nice White Folks While They Lasted (Sez One Gal to Another) and conceived by Kara Walker, consisted of a variety of silhouetted figures, cut from black paper and fixed to the wall over the projected image, watching a riverboat go by. Though the figures are clearly human, their shapes are not entirely normal (see image).

In the next room was Mobius Ship by Tim Hawkinson, an old-fashioned sailing ship existing, as if it could, as a Mobius strip, and constructed entirely from materials found around the artist's house (see image). For more about Hawkinson: http://www.pbs.org/art21/artists/hawkinson/index.html

In an adjoining space was The Floor, a sturdy glass floor built several inches above the gallery's floor. Sandwiched between the two surfaces are thousands of tiny plastic human figures with their arms in the air, palms up and faces looking up at you as you stand on the glass above them (image not shown). This installation is the work of Korean artist Do-Ho Suh. Korean artist Do-Ho Suh. To learn more about him, go to the Art 21 site on PBS: http://www.pbs.org/art21/artists/suh/index.html

I was most captivated, however, by the large piece in the final room. The Donkey, the Jackass and the Mule by artist Allison Smith began as a parade/performance evoking the issues of slavery and the civil rights movement. The three animals stand on carts, though these are animals that usually pull the carts rather than being passengers. The thick ropes lying at their feet subtly suggest both the lynchings and the hard menial labor of slave and freed blacks in the South. The enigmatic expressions on the animals' faces could be interpreted in any number of ways. More of Smith's work can be seen at http://www.allisonsmithstudio.com/ ."

The Indianapolis Museum of Art was a great discovery—don’t miss it if you’re in the neighborhood!

ALYCE BARRY is a Shadow Work facilitator in Longmont, Colorado, and the author of Practically Shameless, more than 45 weeks on Amazon.com's bestseller list of books about Jungian psychology. Alyce writes three blogs, on shadow in the news, publishing, and her own issues, among other topics. To access her blogs and other websites, visit AlyceBarry.com.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Taking it all off . . . burlesque in the new millennium

An upcoming documentary film release was brought to my attention this past week, and it’s a delight. A WINK AND A SMILE (Golden Echo Films), directed by Deirdre Timmons, follows the lives of ten “ordinary” women who do something extraordinary—enroll in Seattle's Academy of Burlesque to learn the art of striptease. This is a group of women of varied ages, shapes, and backgrounds and not a one seems a likely candidate to stand and deliver in elaborate costuming, portraying a capricious range of characters, in front of a raucous, rowdy crowd. But this interesting film doesn’t just titillate, it delves into private thoughts about such public behavior and spotlights issues of gender, power, sexuality, and social identity as well. There is more than shake, rattle, and roll going on here, and perhaps more art than not to the historic tradition of burlesque dancing. In any case, it’s good entertainment and more than a peep into an intriguing part of our culture. Opens in New York City May 1, 2009. Distributed by First Run Features, http://www.firstrunfeatures.com

For an interview of the director, go to: http://film.prostamerika.com/Deirdre.html

For a film teaser, check out the YouTube vido: http://snurl.com/aar64

Monday, January 05, 2009

Outliers’ discussion about success is fascinating—but too narrow . . .

As those of you who are regular readers of this blog and FEAST the eZine know, I generally write only about books I can enthusiastically recommend. OUTLIERS: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell (Little, Brown 2008) breaks that rule to some degree. Yes, I liked it. In fact, I found it fascinating to read the data about interconnected and chance factors that have played into major success stories of our time. Gladwell has an entertaining style that uses stories to illustrate results of studies on his topics, and I applaud that approach because we all like stories better than numbers or dreary statistics. HOWEVER, sadly, Gladwell misses the boat in my view by completely ignoring the role of gender in his story of success. For the most part, this book is all about successful WHITE MEN, about studies that show the sometimes hidden keys to their achievements in arenas where many have the basic potential, but only a few hit the high notes.

BUT WHERE ARE THE WOMEN? That there is an extra layer of challenges for women to achieve the highest financial and career successes is without doubt. Have there been no studies about this that could have been included? Were all the studies done about men only? It would appear so in Gladwell’s book. The only nod to successful women in this volume is not really on a par with those offered for men. The last chapter of the book is the story of his own family’s women, his grandmother and his mother in particular. But it is an homage—and a well-deserved one from the sound of it—but their successes do not compare with the male geniuses and top earners of sports, science, and industry with which Gladwell makes his earlier points. He tries to tie it in, but it just doesn’t work. Where is the story of an Oprah, a Maya Angelou, a Sandra Day O’Connor, a Nancy Pelosi, a Coco Chanel? Perhaps that’s a whole other book since the key factors include challenges unique to their gender.

This is still a good read, with plenty of food for thought on the often perplexing questions about why this person becomes a phenomenal success and a seemingly similarly capable person does not. But, come on, Malcolm—look beyond your own box!

-- Rosemary Carstens