Quae Nocent Docent

Yes, many red-heads. You have a problem that? I don’t. The projection of the painting is a cut and paste of the mural from the ‘I didn’t get to Woodstock’ drawing a couple of posts back. It, in panel 1 is bright compared to the dark lecture hall. In panel 2 there’s a spot light that obscures as much as it illuminates the work. And in panel 3 there are multiple backlights but none on the art.


Panel 1 is subtitled Ars Gracia Ars, ‘Art for the sake of art’. The art here is being critiqued, compared and contrasted to only other art in a typical academic fashion. The just dating couple are, as well, wholly into themselves and only themselves.

Panel 2 is Caveat Emptor or ‘Let the buyer beware’. The art is now for sale, given a ‘cash value’ and compared to everything else in the real world.  Likewise the lovers are now married, more contract than couple.

Panel 3 is In Flagrante Delicto or ‘While the misdeed flames’ the couple becomes no more. And you could call what’s left in the frame a modernist abstraction or a post-modernist ex- [or dis-] traction; you could call it no art at all.

So what does it all mean? Stuff I could’ve learned in my youth had I been mature enough to put forth appropriate effort? A career I could’ve had had I been aggressive [and thick-skinned] enough? Or a mate for what ever reasons I don’t even now know I lack?

So … Absit invidia, readers, which means ‘envy apart’ or I mean you no harm.

Ps: the title of this rant [also the title of the poem at the end of it] means ‘things which injure, instruct’ or ‘no pain, no gain’ or even Nietzsche’s  ‘That which does not kill me makes me stronger.’ The epigraph is a plea for lost years from Virgil, also quoted by Kant. I admit I’ve not read any of either [read lots about Kant, tho’] and little of Coleridge.

O! mihi praeteritos referat si Jupiter annos!

Oh! might my ill-past hours return again!
No more, as then, should Sloth around me throw
Her soul-enslaving, leaden chain!
No more the precious time would I employ
In giddy revels, or in thoughtless joy,
A present joy producing future woe.
But o’er the midnight Lamp I’d love to pore,
I’d seek with care fair Learning’s depths to sound,
And gather scientific Lore:
Or to mature the embryo thoughts inclin’d,
That half-conceiv’d lay struggling in my mind,
The cloisters’ solitary gloom I’d round.
’Tis vain to wish, for Time has ta’en his flight —
For follies past be ceas’d the fruitless tears:
Let follies past to future care incite.
Averse maturer judgements to obey
Youth owns, with pleasure owns, the Passions’ sway,
But sage Experience only comes with years.

— Samuel Taylor Coleridge, 1789