Lion of the Blogosphere

Painting, Fort Tryon Park

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I’ve also been painting. This is a recently completed 9 x 12″ oil painting of a path in Fort Tryon Park.

It’s important to have hobbies that aren’t politically incorrect. No one is going to fire me from a job for painting landscapes, even if they think they are kitsch or amateurish.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

November 20, 2015 at 3:45 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

47 Responses

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  1. Very nice painting! I love autumn imagery and you did a very good job capturing the dead leaves on the ground.

    Off topic: I think one of the reasons you’re a good blogger is that you have a high IQ and Ivy League education, yet come from a lower class Staten Island background, giving you a unique perspective. So my question is, do you think Staten Island Jews are cognitively comparable to Jews nationwide, or do their IQs tend to be lower than the average American Jew? If so, how much lower? I would expect that every generation, the best and brightest Jews (like yourself) tend get out of Staten Island, while the least intelligent tend to get stuck there.

    pumpkinperson

    November 20, 2015 at 4:17 pm

    • Jews who live in Staten Island obviously have, on average, lower IQs than Jews who live in more prestigious areas. And there are two reasons for this: (1) higher IQ is correlated with higher salaries which means being able to afford to live in a better neighborhood; (2) low IQ means a lack of awareness of how Staten Island is looked down upon by one’s social betters.

      Jews in Staten Island certainly defy the stereotype of Jews being smart. Staten Island is full of Jews who didn’t graduate from college and work in blue-collar and retail jobs.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      November 20, 2015 at 4:20 pm

      • (2) low IQ means a lack of awareness of how Staten Island is looked down upon by one’s social betters.

        This point is fascinating because it would mean that IQ importantly predicts even non-academic abilities like social awareness that IQ tests are so often condemned for not measuring.

        But it also helps explain an enigma I’ve been pondering. In the book The Millionaire Mind which you are familiar with, I noticed the SAT scores of the millionaires were very high (even after controlling for self-reporting bias) for people who are only in the top 5% of financial success, given that IQ and money are only moderately correlated. My theory is that by sampling all their millionaires from rich neighborhoods,they somehow missed out on many less smart millionaires…and your theory would explain why. The duller millionaires lack the awareness to move somewhere prestigious, despite being able to afford it.

        pumpkinperson

        November 20, 2015 at 4:37 pm

      • Lion: what kind of Jewish descent are you? Hungarian?

        At your high school, was the football team mostly Jewish? There is a wealthy Jewish town near me and their high school doesn’t even have a football team. They have a great basketball team because there is a small black area that technically is part of the district so basically the 6 or 7 black guys who are in the school are on the bball team. A girl who went there told me that those same 6 or 7 basketball players essentially monopolize 80% of the Jewish girls at the school because there aren’t a lot of Jewish alphas.

        In fact, I’m trying to think if I know any Ashkenazi Jewish alpha males and I really can’t think of any. I mean, I know they exist but I don’t personally know any which is surprising because I know a lot of Jewish guys.

        Do Staten Island prole Jews usually marry other American “ethnic” whites? All the prole Jews I know have married prole non Jews.

        Otis the Sweaty

        November 20, 2015 at 5:33 pm

      • Prole Jews from Staten Island often marry Italian or Irish.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        November 20, 2015 at 5:42 pm

      • And there are two reasons for this: (1) higher IQ is correlated with higher salaries which means being able to afford to live in a better neighborhood; (2) low IQ means a lack of awareness of how Staten Island is looked down upon by one’s social betters.

        Though this is true of every nation: Elite white Londoners have higher IQs than Liverpool proles (yes there are still a few whites left in London).

        The Undiscovered Jew

        November 20, 2015 at 5:57 pm

      • At your high school, was the football team mostly Jewish? There is a wealthy Jewish town near me and their high school doesn’t even have a football team.

        Giants offensive lineman Geoff Schwartz is Jewish. He has brother who plays for the Cleveland Browns.

        Dave Pinsen

        November 20, 2015 at 5:57 pm

      • But it also helps explain an enigma I’ve been pondering. In the book The Millionaire Mind which you are familiar with, I noticed the SAT scores of the millionaires were very high (even after controlling for self-reporting bias) for people who are only in the top 5% of financial success, given that IQ and money are only moderately correlated. My theory is that by sampling all their millionaires from rich neighborhoods,they somehow missed out on many less smart millionaires…and your theory would explain why. The duller millionaires lack the awareness to move somewhere prestigious, despite being able to afford it.

        One could argue that the duller choice is to move somewhere prestigious; in fact, the authors of The Millionaire Next Door argued just that. They noted a lot of people struggle in life financially because they get caught in status competitions. They gave the example of people with middle class incomes whose wealthier parents try to help them by giving them the money to move to a more prestigious neighborhood. Then the kids get stuck trying to keep up with the Joneses.

        The most common vehicle driven by millionaires in the book’s survey was the Ford F-150 pickup. Millionaires tended to be fairly frugal and not seek out status symbols.

        Contrast that with the group with the lowest average wealth in America, African Americans. In my middle class condo building’s parking lot, there is a Range Rover and a 6.3L Mercedes coup, both driven by African Americans. Driving through the poorest and blackest ward of a nearby city recently, I saw a Maserati Quattroporte parked there.

        Dave Pinsen

        November 20, 2015 at 6:09 pm

      • Though this is true of every nation: Elite white Londoners have higher IQs than Liverpool proles (yes there are still a few whites left in London).

        Of course. But Jewish proles fascinate me because in other ethnic groups, proles are more or less the norm, but for American Jews, proles are subnormal: The lowest of the low. So I’d expect their IQs to be well below the national Jewish average. By contrast, I would NOT expect Italian proles to be below the national Italian average.

        It’s also fascinating that the Lion is so smart, despite coming from Staten Island, almost suggesting that he’s much smarter than his family (no offense to them, he’s much smarter than most families) but that his parents carried some recessive high IQ genes from distant Ashkenazi ancestors.

        pumpkinperson

        November 20, 2015 at 6:44 pm

      • “his parents carried some recessive high IQ genes from distant Ashkenazi ancestors”

        That’s probably what happened.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        November 20, 2015 at 7:13 pm

      • One could argue that the duller choice is to move somewhere prestigious; in fact, the authors of The Millionaire Next Door argued just that.

        One could argue that, but I don’t think Lion would argue that. Lion has implied (if I understand him) that the primary advantage of money is that it buys status,..I disagree a bit because status is not my top priority, but I could be the exception to the rule.

        They noted a lot of people struggle in life financially because they get caught in status competitions. They gave the example of people with middle class incomes whose wealthier parents try to help them by giving them the money to move to a more prestigious neighborhood. Then the kids get stuck trying to keep up with the Joneses.

        Lion would probably argue that these people are actually smarter than those who saved their money because they understood the importance of status and knew how to get it. Of course there are some people who understand status but just don’t care much about it, but they’re probably rare (and sometimes pathological).

        pumpkinperson

        November 21, 2015 at 7:14 am

      • But Jewish proles fascinate me because in other ethnic groups, proles are more or less the norm, but for American Jews, proles are subnormal: The lowest of the low.

        In any normal distribution of talents, there must to be upper and lower tailenda. Jewish proles make up a proportionally smaller percent of the Jewish population than others because the Jewish mean is 110. Jews are essentially what white gentiles would be if the bottom 50% of whites were excluded.

        The Undiscovered Jew

        November 21, 2015 at 4:07 pm

      • Primary advantage of money is that enables you to pursue knowledge and do good. Status is for low self esteem phonies and means nothing. It’s an external attribute. This is so electors that I’m surprised how many people think otherwise. Pursuing status and watching TV is for feeble minded.

        Yakov

        November 22, 2015 at 7:14 am

      • The best football player in my HS was Jewish. I had to take SAT for him to get him into college. He had a lot of raw animal energy in him, so I would imagine that he did pretty well in life. Well, he paid $200 for it and in 76 this was real money. A real beast, though. He used to wear a t-shirt with words ‘Luis loves boobs’. This Luis was a real shame to the Jewish nation.

        Yakov

        November 22, 2015 at 7:23 am

  2. Excellent painting! I especially like the lamp post.

    jjbees

    November 20, 2015 at 4:25 pm

  3. Lion, do you have a job now you are concerned about getting fired from, or are you still retired?

    Dave Pinsen

    November 20, 2015 at 6:10 pm

  4. “The duller millionaires lack the awareness to move somewhere prestigious”

    Stanley and Danko’s previous book The Millionaire Next Door took their sampling of millionaires from all over the country. I don’t think they specifically draw from rich areas for their studies. Their findings in MND was that most of those types prefer not to live in high end neighborhoods or live a high consumption lifestyle. That is how they got rich over time, by saving and investing. A lot of these guys are probably not high iq but they have worked hard owning “prole” businesses like homebuilding, plumbing, trucking, hauling, etc. Most of these guys, who you could call the lower upper class, are conservative and vote Republican. Many are old fashioned, into going to Church, Freemasonry, etc. They don’t give a shit about status signaling and they teach their kids traditional middle class values.

    The status whoring is for the more liberal, Democrat voting upper middle class. Those people have all the educational credentials and have high incomes but usually little net worth. All of their excess income goes to their big mortgage, their Volvos and exotic vacations. These people often have higher iqs than their rich counterparts but not as much money – and they often resent it.

    B.T.D.T.

    November 20, 2015 at 6:18 pm

    • Stanley and Danko’s previous book The Millionaire Next Door took their sampling of millionaires from all over the country. I don’t think they specifically draw from rich areas for their studies.

      Well in the book “The Millionaire Mind” Stanley recruited Jon Robbin, a Harvard trained mathematician and the foremost authority on geodemography to help him get a representative sample of millionaires. Robbin developed a mathematical model that found some neighborhoods have high concentrations of people people with high investment income and who were actually wealthy, as opposed to people with big homes and low net worth. Then from these neighborhoods, a random sample of people were sent a net worth questionnaire. I think the method they used ended up largely excluding prole millionaires because the average SAT score was 1190 (pre-1995 scale) which Stanley reduced to 1090 to adjust for selective reporting bias. However even 1090 on the old SAT equals a U.S. normed IQ above 120 (top ten percent of America). People above the top 5% of wealth (and likely average around the top 2%) should not be in the top 10% on IQ on average unless the correlation between IQ and money is quite high (0.66) when in truth I think it’s only moderate (about 0.4). I would expect self-made centimillionaires to average IQs around 120, and self-made billionaires to average around 130, but self-made millionaires are not exclusive at all, and should not average much beyond 110.

      pumpkinperson

      November 20, 2015 at 8:06 pm

      • One thing that is striking to me is how much more significant differences in wealth are than differences in IQ. I mean, on one hand it’s a little obvious, but it just strikes me as interesting that being in the top 20% of income, for example, would be pretty significant in how you live your life relative to other people — but just being in the top 20% of intelligence is pretty meaningless.

        chairman

        November 20, 2015 at 9:44 pm

      • This is strange. I took SAT in 76 after being in the USA for 1 year and got 720 math 650 English. I don’t think my IQ is more than 120. I know that I’m not very smart. So something is wrong here.

        I’m only familiar with orthodox Jewish proles. To me you are prole if you do not learn Talmud. It means that your head is full of stupid ideas. Many are animals, but most are pretty smart. Staten Island is a nice place. Owners of two HVAC supply stores that I frequent live there. Nice people, very smart (obviously you cannot have a successful business if you are stupid), not animals, but they don’t learn Talmud or read anything. These are the orthodox proles. My prole daughter considered living there, but she made tons of money and just bought in Brooklyn. She has rental properties there. Nice Dominicans are tenants, but real animals they are. Yes, they are nice but animals, it happens. I do their AC and heating, so I know.

        Some orthodox proles are very pious, they are not bright enough to learn Talmud, but somehow are bright enough to make a living. They pray a lot, recite psalms, do all sorts of pious things, don’t watch TV or movies, no smart phones either. Not a bad lot, but their beliefs are full of medieval superstition – like evil eye and deamons and exorcism.

        Yakov

        November 21, 2015 at 8:29 pm

    • “They don’t give a shit about status signaling and they teach their kids traditional middle class values.”
      That is the key to mental health. Just don’t give a shit about status signaling. If someone doesn’t like what you say, tough shit. Of course, don’t go around volunteering your opinion, but if they ask you, let them have it, good and hard.

      Nice painting, Lion. You’ve improved steadily.

      gothamette

      November 20, 2015 at 11:58 pm

  5. love it. great colors and composition.

    i think you are ready for a lion self portrait. something like bonnard style.

    rivelino

    November 20, 2015 at 6:27 pm

  6. Neat, Lion. It’s obvious how you love NYC. God bless.

    Mrs Stitch

    November 20, 2015 at 8:05 pm

  7. Good painting. Stop reading here if you don’t want constructive criticism. Drop the three bare trees in the middle, they are too philosophical. What’s up with the little comb-ridge of white marching to the left from the middle of the lamp-post?
    Also, did you run out of money after you paid for sparkly yellow paint? The viewer wants to see at least a frisson of sparkle in your greens. That being said, the way the road decides to gracefully dwindle to the left as it exits the painting, the proud little lamp post, the rock fence, and several passages in the fueillage are really fetching.

    howitzer daniel

    November 20, 2015 at 10:06 pm

  8. Try combining your passions. Paint Trump in the park meeting two beggars (Rubio and Jeb), as Hillary rides by alone on a bicycle built for two.
    PS. I like the painting

    Knowmad

    November 20, 2015 at 10:33 pm

    • Obviously you’ve hinted on what must be Lion’s new career — political cartoonist.

      chairman

      November 21, 2015 at 6:35 pm

  9. Nicely done Lion!

    steve@steve.com

    November 21, 2015 at 12:12 am

  10. It’s important to have hobbies that aren’t politically incorrect.

    That sounds like an interesting topic for a post. Which hobbies are politically correct vs politically incorrect? what other hobbies do you have besides painting and photography?

    destructure

    November 21, 2015 at 12:13 am

  11. “No one is going to fire me from a job for painting landscapes. . .”

    A landscape of cotton fields and field hands might.

    Curle

    November 21, 2015 at 12:49 am

  12. “I shall be telling this with a sigh
    Somewhere ages and ages hence:
    Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
    I took the one less traveled by,
    And that has made all the difference.”

    All deep n shiii.

    Glengarry

    November 21, 2015 at 5:43 am

  13. Maybe you should start selling yo’ art an’ sheet. People dun bought a painting from an elephant (no joke).

    Bored

    November 21, 2015 at 10:13 am

    • Yeah, if I were an elephant I could surely make a lot of money from my art. Perhaps the doctors who helped Bruce Jenner could do something for me.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      November 21, 2015 at 10:15 am

      • There’s always Brazil. Just be careful if you get ass implants.

        Bored

        November 21, 2015 at 10:56 am

  14. I like your painting. You have good skills and an aesthetic sense (you would never put that lamp post in the exact center of the painting). You invite a stroll down a path that leads to a sunny, more open space. Sentiment, not sentimentality- no Kinkade safe house around the corner for the weary neurotic. A couple of suggestions if you don’t mind. Try the same scene on a grey day. Grey and green go great together. And try horizontal canvases. Restful, horizontal lines are a natural with landscapes. Vertical is more energy charged, and slightly pompous (the frame, not you). Anyway, you’re good and have the essentials.

    jef

    November 21, 2015 at 1:38 pm

  15. That’s a very pretty painting. I disagree that the middle trees are “too philosophical.” I find their snaking, feminine form — in stark contrast to the ramrod-straight lamppost — very appealing, composition-wise.

    One thing to remember in painting is that cool colors retreat and warm colors advance. So, when painting sea and sky, keep the blues and greens in the distance, and the Reds, oranges and yellows in the foreground. You did that here with the fallen leaves.

    You’re also wise to paint landscapes as I’ve observed a tremendous resurgence of appreciation of traditional landscape painting among the Bobo crowd lately. Try to work on 11×14 canvases; you can find lovely antique frames in that size in thrift stores and flea markets, whereas 9×12 is kind of an atypical size.

    martinslag

    November 21, 2015 at 2:12 pm

    • “You’re also wise to paint landscapes as I’ve observed a tremendous resurgence of appreciation of traditional landscape painting among the Bobo crowd lately. ”

      This is the first I’ve heard that.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      November 21, 2015 at 2:47 pm

  16. Nice painting. I wanna see you do a bird or dog.

    Yakov

    November 21, 2015 at 7:56 pm

  17. You might paint Biblical scenes and sell them to religious people. I think that is a huge market.

    gothamette

    November 21, 2015 at 8:04 pm

    • It’s easier to paint landscape, and write a blog where I talk about some Christian stuff. (Easier for me, landscapes are what I’ve been practicing at.)

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      November 21, 2015 at 8:51 pm

      • PS See below. Do that, or even easier, just call the painting above “God’s creation” or “I Saw Jesus In The Trees”, and sell it as Christian art.

        gothamette

        November 22, 2015 at 6:41 pm

    • Jews are not into Biblical scenes, because the characters are larger than life. Won’t sell. But evangelicals may go for it. I can totally see Huckabee or Carlson buying it.

      Yakov

      November 21, 2015 at 9:14 pm

      • What made you think I was thinking of Lion selling Biblical paintings to Jews? Geez.

        @Lion,
        You don’t have to paint Bible scenes literally. Just paint any nice landscape, put some people in it doing something characteristic of a famous Bible scene, and give it a name. I’m thinking of doing that.

        gothamette

        November 22, 2015 at 6:36 pm

      • The natural customer base would be the people who appreciate the Bible. This means Jews and Christians. That’s what I thought.

        Yakov

        November 22, 2015 at 8:10 pm

  18. Some info that may be of interest – Pissarro and Levitan, two spectacularly gifted landscape artists, were Jewish. Velazquez, with significant Jewish ancestry, was even better (although his landscapes and sksycapes were never the center of his portraits, Christian religious pictures, and mythological pictures). Also, three times a year the local Target has a selection of about a hundred Jewish greeting cards. While landscapes are not big, there is the recurrent motif of lots of comfortable looking small homes from a couple of millennia ago clustered together in a very reassuring desert or Mediterranean hill-country glow. If you’ve seen one of those tracking shots in the Flintstones where Fred and his pals are driving down a Bedrock street right after sunset you have seen something similar, but less historically interesting, of course.

    howitzer daniel

    November 22, 2015 at 7:34 pm

  19. “No one is going to fire me from a job for painting landscapes”

    You will be fired because you did not include any gay black men in your depiction of this park. Your picture is racist, genocidal, homophobic, and exclusionary!

    Tarl

    November 23, 2015 at 7:48 am

    • No, the lamp-post is black! This is art, remember? It’s symbolic – a meta gay black lamp-post!

      Viscount Douchenozzlé

      November 24, 2015 at 3:19 pm

  20. As contemporary Israeli / Jewish painters go I’m a big fan of Samuel Bak.

    Viscount Douchenozzlé

    November 23, 2015 at 6:48 pm


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