Tuesday, November 25, 2008

This is too scientific to be art, right?

I’m not sure Maya Lin can decide what she wants to be when she grows up. Maybe a scientist, maybe an architect, or how about an artist. I think the art world has decided she belongs in a museum gallery, no matter what you call her. Her current exhibit at the de Young, Systematic Landscapes is a showstopper. Like SFMOMA, the de Young hints at the artwork hidden in the basement by offering a spectacular work in the main lobby. 2 x 4 Landscape (2006) is just what it claims to be, a landscape-like scene created from 2 x 4s. But that’s part of what makes Lin’s work amazing, simple materials are transformed into astounding vistas. You can watch the installation of this work here.

It’s funny how themes begin to appear as you spend time in museums. Lin’s exhibit was the perfect compliment to Martin Puryear’s show at SFMOMA. Both shows tried to define spaces that are nearly impossible to characterize. They both ask the viewer to consider the idea of self and our relationship to the environment around us—an interesting idea at a time when we seem intent on jeopardizing our world and ourselves.

One of my favorite moments in the show is the maquette for Lin’s work that is now a permanent sculpture at the California Academy of Sciences, just across the street from the de Young. This is a big maquette, nearly filling one end of a large gallery. So you can only imagine the size of the final work. And the accompanying photographs that show how the sculpture was created add to the interest.

Systematic Landscapes
is packed with beauty and emotion. It’s on display through January 19, 2008.

Monday, November 24, 2008

My god can beat up your god.

Religion and war; two ideas that are weirdly related. I’ve personally contemplated the relationship in my own attempts at art. And history proves the two just can’t get over each other.

At the de Young, I encountered an artist I’d never heard of, Al Farrow. He creates mash-ups of religion and violence. Mash-ups so beautiful, you have to look twice to spot the aggression.

Farrow uses the detritus of war to create art. Bullets, guns, and other weaponry are his medium. I’m not talking about representations of these items—he uses the real stuff. He architects these materials into sculptures that are pure religion. Take The Spine and Tooth of Santo Guerro (see inset photo). This work is a stunning cathedral crafted from weaponry. It’s amazing how much a machine gun can mimic the flying buttresses of a Baroque cathedral.

Farrow doesn’t just pick on the Christians. He also takes on mosques and synagogues. It seems that no matter who’s your god, he or she wants you to blow up the sinners.

The art of war takes on a whole new meaning. In the Name of God: War, Religion, and the Reliquaries of Al Farrow is on display through February 15, 2009.

Lauren Bacall, Katherine Deneuve, and HRH Princess Grace of Monaco walk into a haute couture bar.

The COMME des GARCONS line at the H&M wasn’t the only fashion event in San Fran this month. The de Young was hosting a show featuring clothes by legendary designer, Yves Saint Lauren. While the show was tiring (there were a lot of dresses), it offered a rare glimpse into the world of haute couture.

What is haute couture? It’s exclusive, made-to-measure fashions that are created for a specific customer. In France, the term is protected by law and is defined by the Chambre de Commerce et dâ Industrie de Paris. The requirements to call a collection haute couture are extreme—that’s why such collections are so rare.

The best clothes in the show are the simple dresses from the 50s and 60s that defined the career of Saint Lauren. And many of the dresses were labeled with the phrase “made to order for,” followed by names like Catherine Deneuve, HRH Princess Grace of Monaco, Diane Von Furstenberg, HRH the Duchess of Windsor, and Lauren Bacall.

I will say, the craftsmanship on many of the dresses was mind-boggling. The beading, embroidering, rhinestones, appliqué, and other time-intensive work—always done by hand—were spectacular. It’s no surprise these dresses cost tens of thousands of dollars.

Some of the most outrageous works came in the form of wedding dresses. Take the hand-knit, wool wedding dress that looked like a giant cocoon. I couldn’t stop thinking that the outfit would make for one hot, itchy bride. Balance that with the barely-there, floral wedding dress on the opposite end of the gallery. This was nothing more than a gauzy wisp of fabric and a few strategically placed silk roses. I know which dress the groom would prefer.

All in all, this show was too much. The crowded galleries made the most spectacular clothes seem ordinary. I think the show would have been better in a bigger space, or with fewer clothes. But it was still fun to see fashion at its best.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Nice crack.

Step onto the walkway that leads to the entrance of the de Young and you’ve stepped onto a work of art. The beautiful stone pavement is flawed. And I’m guessing that most visitors see it as a flaw. But in reality, it’s the beginning of a site-specific artwork created by the wizard of environmental art, Andy Goldsworthy.

Drawn Stone (2005) is inspired by the unique character of California’s tectonic topography. It’s a crack. At first it’s a straight crack that runs right through the walkway. But then it runs into a rock—a rock that is split by the same crack. As you enter the courtyard the crack wanders through the paving stones and splits other large rocks imported from Goldsworthy’s home of Yorkshire, England. These rocks now serve as seating for museum visitors.

This is art that lives up to Goldsworthy’s ethereal nature. And at first it seems simplistic. But as you follow the crack, it gets ever more intriguing. You realize that in the world of art, where cracks are almost always a bad thing, this is one nice crack.

Listen to your crazy cab driver.

How about those San Francisco cab drivers? They all seem just a little crazy. Most are at least chatty. Many are flat out excited that you’re in their car. Take the non-active Mormon who drove us to the de Young museum in Golden Gate Park. He had plenty to talk about from the weather to smog in Beijing (even producing a newspaper photo of the horrific Beijing smog.) “San Francisco doesn’t have smog,” he noted.

But the big news from the driver’s seat was the recent opening of the new California Academy of Sciences, just across the street from the de Young. He suggested the de Young is nice, but our trip might be even better if we went to the Academy.

I wouldn’t have taken this comment seriously except the new building for the California Academy of Sciences was designed by Renzo Piano and has been all the rage in the architecture and art magazines. It’s also the greenest museum in the world, having achieved a LEEDS platinum rating, an almost impossible accomplishment.

Though time was tight, we decided to hit the Academy just as it opened. At $24.95, it’s not a cheap museum ticket. But the place is unbelievable. We only had a couple of hours and that is no where near enough time. You can easily eat up the better part of a day at the Academy. We had to focus our time so we spent the morning exploring Water Planet on the lower level.

Here’s an aquarium like none I’ve visited. The walls in the central walkway are composed of a perfectly lit, undulating silvery material. The projection technology is so cool it almost upstages the creatures in the tanks. Almost. The fish, frogs, and snakes are great. Take the tank filled with Leafy Sea Dragons and Weedy Sea Dragons. I can’t even describe them. And the Mossy Frogs—it took a long time to find them, even though they were right in front of our eyes resting in their mossy home. In fact, that was part of the fun. Many of the displays were like a biological Where’s Waldo game as you tried to find the creatures hidden within each tank.

We also visited the swamp where we found an albino alligator and turtles saved in the 1970s, rescued on their way to a restaurant—how’s that for a San Francisco story. One turtle stared up at us, imploring us to help him escape again.

Things we didn’t get to do? There was no time to go through the Rain Forests of the World, a giant, gleaming glass globe that contains an actual rain forest. We didn’t make it to the Planetarium, a giant white globe on the opposite side of the museum. Nor did we have a chance to make the trip to the roof, 2.5 acres of which is planted with native vegetation, making it the largest area of native vegetation in San Francisco. At least I have another good reason to return to San Francisco soon.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

No beach. No Blanket. Maybe a little bit of Babylon.

A lot of people throw around the word camp. But few deliver real camp like Beach Blanket Babylon, that most San Franciscan of cheap theater. And by cheap, I mean theater that relies on smart performances, creative costuming, and clever sets more than big production budgets.

Since 1974, Beach Blanket Babylon has been a San Francisco tradition, with a constantly changing cast of characters, instantly updated songs, and ever bigger hats. It all takes place at Club Fugazi, a space that feels like something out of the Rocky Horror Picture Show. Sure, the whole thing has become a little touristy. But it’s still funny—and wildly entertaining.

Beach Blanket Babylon
owes much of its success to the cast, a hard working group of performers. They’re either on stage singing and dancing or behind the scenes making some impossible costume changes—morphing into caricature after caricature of politicos, entertainers, even French poodles.

And then there’s the whip-smart, oh-so-current humor. Though the elections took place just days ago, the admittedly loose story line and the lyrics have already been updated to reflect the new reality. I’m guessing the show is different almost every time you see it. Maybe that’s why it’s lasted more than thirty years.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Sticks and stones and tar and rawhide.

I like the way SFMOMA uses it’s atrium to hint at the special exhibits hidden inside the museum. Last time I was there it was Olafur Eliasson’s crazy fan. This time, it was two dizzying works by Martin Puryear: Ladder for Booker T. Washington (1996) and Ad Astra (2007), a 63-foot tall sculpture that rises all the way to the museum’s fifth floor. You’ve got to have a big museum to show these works. And I still wanna know how they moved this exhibit from New York to San Francisco.

After the lobby, you don’t see another Puryear sculpture for the next four floors. You almost forget the dramatic nature of the sculptures. Finally, as you cross that scary mesh metal walkway to the fifth floor galleries, you’re ushered into the strange and beautiful world of Martin Puryear. These monumental, contemplative works are intricately crafted from wood, stone, tar, and rawhide.

The sculptures are all about craftsmanship taken to astonishing heights. They also feel strangely historical and seem to speak to personal or cultural identity. A perfect example is Self. This monolithic wood sculpture was created by covering an armature with a smooth, rounded shell. The armature was then removed leaving a void that the viewer cannot see, only imagine.

Much of Puryear’s work is about defining space and creating containment. Take Brunhilde (1998-2000). The basket-like sculpture made from wooden slats seems ready to burst in its effort to contain space. I loved the thousands of staple holes, remnants of the effort required to create the shape.

Even the presentation of the exhibition seems designed to reflect Puryear’s understanding of space. This show is beautiful. The open expanses of SFMOMA’s fifth floor are a perfect environment for the sculptures. And a perfect place to escape.


A quick break from my San Francisco posts.

A long time ago, before we were McCann Erickson, before we were Boede & Partners, even before we were the disastrous MarchFirst, I had an office stalker. Michelle Suzuki was her name. And as part of our office shenanigans, she created The Stalker Box, a Valentine box emblazoned with my image.
Images of me even crept from the box to places all over the office.

I’d forgotten about The Stalker Box until this photo recently showed up on my Facebook page with this comment, “the stalker box LIVES!”

It’s so flattering to be stalked. Thanks Michelle.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Modernism at SFMOMA

I like it when museums show off. Sure the big, traveling exhibits are often the draw for going to a museum, but it’s great when a place takes pride in its own collection. That’s why I like Passageworks: Contemporary Art from the Collection, on view now at SFMOMA. This is the museum proudly proclaiming that it has the curators, the building, and the money to create a first-rate contemporary art collection.

Here are two works that for me were nostalgic. Why? Because both artists were part of the very first big show from a museum collection that I experienced—that was at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, a long time ago.

Robert Smithson, whose most famous work is right here in Utah, was featured with Nonsite (Esson Soil and Mirrors). This work from 1969 is just what it claims to be, mirror and soil. But it begs for interaction.

Who doesn’t like Felix Gonzales-Torres? And few of his works are as intoxicating as Untitled (Golden), a 1995 work that consists of “strands of bead
s and hanging device.” Sure it’s just a giant bead current—but it’s one damn good bead curtain.

The other thing I like about shows from museum collections; they almost always allow photography (no flash of course). So here are a few photos from our visit.

Passageworks is on display through January 19, 2009.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Is it OK to laugh-snort in a museum?

It’s not often you find yourself giggling at a museum, let alone laughing uncontrollably, but The Art of Participation: 1950 to Now at SFMOMA is a regular chuckle fest. Sure there are plenty of inspiring, stoic works but this exhibit is most notable for the fun.

The entrance to the show features Delayed, a 2002 closed-circuit sound installation by German artist Matthias Gommel. Two pairs of headphones hang from the ceiling. You put the headphones on with a partner and talk into the microphones. In the inset photo, Felix is wearing one pair. I’m taking the photo while wearing the other. As you speak into the microphones, your voices are delayed. The conversation becomes an illogical collection of statements and sounds. Before long, we were laughing out loud, creating a baffling laugh track. I had to go back and do it again.

We also participated in The Gift (2000/2008) by Jochen Gerz. This work features a photography studio and a wall hung with large, black and white portraits. Museum visitors can sign up to be models. Once registered, Felix and I had our pictures taken. Portraits are printed large, framed, and shown in rotation on the museum wall. Models receive an invite to attend the closing event in February, 2009 where they, “will receive the gift of a framed portrait.”

One of the funniest moments came as we were trying to figure out how to interact with the U.S. debut of Rafael Lozano-Hemmer’s interactive sound installation, Microphones (2008). This work is a ring of old-fashioned radio mics that records visitors’ speech and then plays back previous recordings, building an archive of utterances over the course of the exhibition. There were four of us in the room tentatively speaking into the microphones, not wanting to be too loud in a museum. But nothing happened. Finally, the stern, Asian woman who was the SFMOMA attendant in the gallery heaved a disappointed sigh and stepped up to a microphone. In a startlingly loud, shrill voice she spoke and screeched into the microphone with an accent so heavy I’m still not sure what she said. But it worked. The artwork came to life. And the microphones shouted back, returning her voice and the voices of others. I finally got the nerve to shout into a microphone and was rewarded with children giggling and someone telling me to “shut up.”

There is plenty more participation in this show. Tom Marioni and his guest bartenders invite museumgoers to the gallery every Thursday from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. for The Act of Drinking Beer With Friends Is the Highest Form of Art. It’s a bit of performance art where, you guessed it, everyone drinks beer. And everyday at noon you can hear a performance of John Cage’s piano work 4’33”. There are works of art you can sit in or sit on. Even works that allow you to take part of them home. It makes for a great day at the museum. The Art of Participation is on view through February 8, 2009.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Confessions of a shopping amateur.

Here’s a lame reason to plan a trip to San Francisco—shopping at the H&M. It would be lame, except this wasn’t just any H&M shopping trip. It was for an H&M collaboration with COMME des GARCONS.

I’ll admit that when I mentioned why I was going to Frisco, most people responded with a look that said, “COMME des GAR what?” But Rei Kawakubo and her COMME des GARCONS brand are the darlings of the fashion world and have been for some time. Her unwillingness to go big, her s
ubversive stores that are often difficult to find or open only a few months, and her unconventional clothes, have given her a reputation as a designer’s designer. So a clothing line created in conjunction with global mega retailer H&M sparked interest.

I learned two things from this shopping trip.

First, I’m a naïve shopper. My friend and I flew into San Francisco the day the COMME des GARCONS clothes hit the racks. We arrived on the earliest flight
and headed straight to the store, getting there 30 minutes after opening. As we approached the Powell Street store we were greeted by window displays emblazoned with vinyl graphics proclaiming, “H&M COMME des GARCONS.” As we entered the store, a woman in a display window appended those graphics with the words, “SOLD OUT.”

Inside it was mayhem. People scrambled to grab whatever, whether it fit or not. The desperate loitered near fitting rooms nabbing anything left behind by shoppers disappointed that the clothes didn’t fit. Others bartered, trying to trade items for things they wanted more. I entered H&M to stares that said, “Oh look at the shopper from Salt Lake, isn’t he quaint?” My friend and I managed to navigate the scene and find a few items thanks to some friendly shoppers and a few flirty sales personnel who took pity on us, probably because of the stunned looks on our faces.

We later learned that savvy shoppers queued up hours before the store opened to score the best clothes and that such lines happen for most of H&M’s collaborations. In about an
hour, everything was gone. And the most dedicated COMME des GARCONS fans waited in line to purchase the display clothes from the windows.

The second thing I learned is that I’m not cool enough for COMMES des GARCON. To be truthful, I learned this lesson years ago in New York City on a visit to the Chelsea store. I walked past the entrance four or five times before realizing that an unmarked aluminum tunnel set in the face of an old brick building was actually the store entrance. As I walked in, I was scrutinized by the staff and immediately written off. I spent the rest of my excursion looked down upon from eyes perched atop some very long noses. Imagine my relief when they actually allowed me to make a purchase.

Sure, the H&M experience was different. Finding the store is a cinch and the sales staff are friendly in a way only San Franciscans can pull off. But the kids buying the clothes (and at my age I use "kids" for anyone under 35), they out-cooled me by miles. Friendly, urban, global, and smart, they seem intent on living in a world where you can be what you want. Maybe that’s just the San Francisco in them. But it sure serves to bolster Rei’s reputation and to make for what might be the most exciting shopping excursion of my life. Who knew retail could be so invigorating?

One night in Frisco.

Two days and one night in San Francisco. It might not sound like much but when a friend and I attacked the city for a two-day break, the result was a mini vacation packed with fun. The weather was so good, I had to buy short-sleeve shirts just to stay comfortable. And as always, San Francisco delivered with shopping, culture, and plain old camp. So over the next several posts, I’ll record my adventures from the city by the bay.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

A Mexican vacation is closer than you think.

Recently, after attending a Day of the Dead festival, My Favorite Mexican* took me to Paisa Grill. It instantly became my favorite Mexican restaurant. Step through the doors and you're transported to someplace south of the border. We walked in on Mexican Karaoke and were quickly ushered to our table.

The décor was Funky Mexican Beach Shack with brightly colored, Aztec-inspired chairs. Signs advertised buckets of beer for $9.99. Weathered tin buckets arrived at tables filled with six iced bottles of Corona.

We ordered the rolled tacos which were deep-fried delicious. Then we shared the Molcajete Grill Supreme. This piping hot stone bowl was loaded with chicken, beef, shrimp, cactus, onions, and a delicious green sauce. It came with house made tortillas. Yum.

If that wasn’t enough, about halfway through our meal, Banda Agave started to play. These handsome Latino musicians were clad in bright green jackets embroidered, studded, and glittered up with the Banda Agave logo. When they started to play, the party kicked into high gear. The group was all brass and drums and Latin vocals that got the crowd to its feet for a night of dancing.

Strangely, I ran into someone from work. Crystal Keating walked past on the way to her table and proclaimed, “What are you doing at my place?” Well, Crystal the secret is out, it’s no longer “your place.”

If you’re looking for an adventurous, authentic Mexican meal without the flight down south, visit Paisa Grill at 2126 South 3200 West.

*My Favorite Mexican informs me that I can no longer call him My Favorite Mexican. His recent naturalization means he's now a citizen and proud to be an American. So consider this a fond farewell.

Monday, November 3, 2008

When I'm dead, I hope you celebrate like this.

Halloween is interesting. But I’ve decided that the Mexican celebration known as the Day of the Dead is better. I came to this conclusion after attending the Day of the Dead Fiesta at the Utah Cultural Celebration Center located at 1355 West 3100 South in West Valley City.

It was fun. There was a scary dance performance by men, women, and children dressed in skulls, black and sinister clothing, and dramatic feathers that reached high into the air. Most were scary, although one girl wore a skirt with rhinestone skulls that were so cute they didn't do much to intimidate. (Eat your heart out Damien Hirst.) The dancers performed to live, exhilarating drumming. I was amazed at how much music three drum
mers can create. It’s startling how powerful such pounding rhythms can be. And watching little kids react is fantastic.

That was only part of the fun. The Day-of-the-Dead shrines were just plain cool, replete with skulls and candles and notes and pictures and colors and paintings and more. We also got to decorate miniature sugar skulls with glittery glue (see the inset photo). And a Day-of-the-Dead celebration just wouldn’t be complete without pan de muerto (day-of-the-dead bread).

What a wonderful way to remember some of my favorite people who are no longer here.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Faking it in the photo booth.

I decided I needed a photograph of me for my blog. I don’t know why? It just seemed like a good idea. So I asked Felix to act as the official Viva Variety photographer. His qualifications include a degree in photography from the University of Utah and graduate work at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Not too shabby.

Felix took a bunch of pictures and knowing my penchant for photo booths, (I recently tried to purchase the photo booth at a K-Mart going-out-of business sale) he suggested the faked photo booth photo seen here. I think Felix made me look pretty dang good. Thanks Felix.

It’s like an old-timey radio show. Only without the static.

This year for the first time, Plan B Theatre Company’s annual Halloween radio show crept out of the Radio West studios and into the Studio Theater at Rose Wagner. That meant theatergoers could watch the show live. And it was more fun than I expected.

The show was Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein, adapted for the 60-minute presentation by Ivan Bennett. Starring as Doctor Frankenstein was KUER’s Doug Fabrizio. He proved more convincing in the dramatic role than expected. And the other actors were just as engaging, even though they never left their chairs and read the entire show.

The most fun elements of the evening were the Foley artists, Jennifer Freed and Sam Mollner. They created a wide range of special effects from water lapping against a ship to sails blowing in the wind to driving rain. Two of my favorites; the sound of the ship’s captain’s pencil writing the Doctor’s story, and the constantly beating heart.

Not long ago, I listened to the unabridged audio book of Shelley’s Frankenstein on a trip to Wyoming. And it’s no small work of literature. So I was skeptical that one could stay true to the story, keep the show to 60 minutes, and not lose the audience. But this performance succeeded. It was the perfect story for a dark fall evening.

The run of the show has ended. But you can listen to the Radio West broadcast here.

A chase in the park.

I’ve lived in the neighborhood for over a decade and I’ve walked past the Chase Home Museum of Utah Folk Arts at least a thousand times. But until last weekend, I’d never entered the building. Bored on a rainy fall day, I thought I might as well check it out. It is, after all, free.

There was no one else there except for a little old lady, the volunteer museum attendant. She was delighted to see me and immediately began to dust and polish the cases to make sure I had a clear view of the treasures inside. But it was obvious that these cases get plenty of dusting and polishing.

The woman provided some valuable info about the museum. First, all of the items inside (although from diverse cultures) are made by Utah residents. Which is a surprising tribute to the cultural diversity of the State.

Also, the curators of the museum scour the state in search of folk art. These are not recognized artists but are ferreted out by the museum staff. I think that’s what gives the museum its quirky elegance.

And there’s plenty of quirkiness. Take the whittlings and small sculptures in the Rural Gallery. Many of the wooden whittled works are fantastic. And the miniature metal sculptures by M.J. Alldredge are deceptively folksy. On closer inspection, the big-breasted women are so sexually charged that the works feel like they were influenced by current art stars. And I’d own one of the paper cuts by Ada Rigby. They’re spectacular.

My other favorite room was the Ethnic Gallery featuring works from cultures around the globe. Of particular note were the Latin-American works like crucifixes by Jeronimo Lozano and Robert Martinez as well as the day-of-the-dead sculptures by Guillermo Colmenero.

There’s plenty more to see at the museum with galleries dedicated to Native American works and occupational crafts that are both functional and beautiful.

I don’t think most people are aware of this small, charming museum. But it’s definitely worth a visit. Unfortunately, it’s only open April through October. So plan a spring visit.

I like where we're headed.

With the title of his new book (The Way We’ll Be; The Zogby Report on the Transformation of the American Dream), John Zogby acts like he can predict the future. Surprisingly, his arguments make a lot of sense. And I hope he’s right. Because I like many of his predictions.

There’s a fair amount of fluff in this book. And a lot of the set up can be tedious if you’re comfortable with the basic tenants of research. But there is plenty of interesting information. Take the comparison of Traditional Materialists to Secular Spiritualist. As with most pollsters, Zogby likes to give groups catchy names. These two groups are introduced with a story about Frederick Tudor and Henry David Thoreau. Here’s the idea, both men look at the same pond. As a leading ice manufacturer of his day, Tudor sees Walden Pond as an economic opportunity for ice harvesting (The Traditional Materialist). Thoreau sees the pond as a metaphor for America’s individualism, liberty, and our relationship with nature (The Secular Spiritualist). And it seems we may be moving in the direction of Secular Spiritualists—less concerned about what we own and buy and more concerned about how fulfilled we are personally and spiritually (and that doesn’t necessarily mean religion).

Zogby also argues that if you want to know what the future will look like, just look at the opinions of those ages 18 – 29. He calls this youngest age category First Globals. First Globals are really changing the game. Many of their ideas, from technology to consumption to expectations are dramatically different than previous generations. They seem more realistic about living in a global environment. They’re more tolerant and embrace diversity like no other generation.

I was particularly surprised about how much the kids these days are comfortable with the gays. I’ve always suspected that younger people are OK with homosexuality, but the number in this book surprised even me. By a nearly two to one margin, First Globals see no problem with same-sex marriage. Almost all of them have friends who are gay. And in this case, the phrase “some of my best friends are gay” doesn’t seem like the preface to an anti-gay argument.

Sure, even in this book the young can come across as frivolous and impetuous. But it’s been a long time since a book about numbers made me feel real hope for the future.