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Today's Featured Article - Raphael

Raphael-3

Raphael (1483-1520), he of the sickly smiling Madonna and Child paintings, the School of Athens fresco at the Vatican and the Galatea slap-on work, hasn't aged so well as regards his artistic reputation. No one cites him as an influence except the purveyors of the chocolate box school of artists whose work can often be found staring down at you from Catholic Church cathedrals. Raphael lived well and died in his late 30s, just before he would have lost his hair and developed a paunch.

Raphael became exceedingly filthy rich, successful and the toast of Renaissance Rome. He must have been insufferable to all those who crossed his path: Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo could rare agree on anything but both hated the 'boy' with intense passion, especially Michelangelo who was rumoured to have been turned down for a bit of man-on-man action with the young pretender when they both worked on the Sistine Chapel. He could have become a saint except in the manner of his death - a heart attack after some rigorous in-studio rogering of his favourite mistress Margherita Luti.

Born Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino, 'Raphe' grew up with angelic kiss-me-quick hair curls and a smile that got him a lot of work - and clients amongst the cassock lifters in the Roman Catholic Church. These were the days before Martin Luther's banging rude jokes on church doors and at time when the Papacy was in a full, florid corruption that so angered the sober sided Christians that they would later smash up churches in the manner of Gaiseric the Vandal a thousand years earlier.

Blessed with Italian pretty boy genes and a smeary palette, Raphael soon showed he knew how to get work. This essentially meant from two sources: The Catholic Church or rich italians who wanted to boast of their achievements and attractions with portraits. Others wanted suitable cultural pagan myths illustrated for bedroom stimulation. In reply, Raphael just gave them a lot of Madonnas with Jesus sitting pretty on her lap. (more...)

Recently featured: Raphael

Yesterday's Featured Article - Jeb Bush

Jebbers

John Ellis Bush (born February 11, 1953) is a son of George H.W. Bush ("Bush 41") and younger brother of George W. Bush ("Bush 43"), whom many people are touting as "Bush 45" assuming that yet another Presidential campaign between a Bush and a Clinton will be more nearly winnable than waiting for new ideas from the Republican Party.

Jeb was governor of Florida from 1999 to 2007. This gives him a record of executive experience a voter could study which, unlike that of Hillary Clinton, does not feature cover-ups, "bimbo" eruptions, or murdered ambassadors. He even killed 1 mass-transit project, and that is more than the other two President Bushes combined, though Florida voters did a brief end-run around him and resurrected it, at which time, he drove a stake through its heart, cremated it, and opened the urn in a tornado. In fact, the only storm on his horizon is not his past but the stuff that continues coming out of his mouth in the present.

Jeb was born in Midland, Texas, at a time when most Texans were preoccupied either reading J.R.R. or trying to determine who killed J.R. It will surprise the reader to learn that "Jeb" is an acronym for Jeb's given name — and a damned better acronym than U.S.A. P.A.T.R.I.O.T., which should have occurred to his brother George W. after the September 11 attacks. If he had named it the Jeb Act, we would not have to futz with secret anti-terrorism courts and could have put telescreens right in living rooms by now.

In fact, it was not until the age of 34 that the family gave Jeb any nickname at all, a slight that surely weighs on the adult. With being passed over in favor of his father and older brother for President, these continuing slights suggest that this obvious third fiddle might compensate by returning to the Middle East or even starting a personal nuclear war. However, either decision could set the stage for a pity-based re-election campaign in 2020, the first since Hubert Humphrey confessed that his campaign sucked and threw himself on the mercy of the American electorate. Focus groups are already testing slogans such as, "What is he, chopped liver?" (more...)

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