Pop Culture Gauntlet: HBO vs Piet Mondrian

December 10, 2009 | Comments (0) | by Ginger Russ

Welcome to Pop Culture Gauntlet, where people, places, and things from various subjects face off in a virtual cage match. As part of an ongoing series we will bring you new battles each week between randomly selected items from the Thunder Matt's PCG database. We will provide you with a brief background of both competitors. After reading, you can then vote on your choice in the poll located in the right sidebar column. Monday battles will run until 12am Thursday. Thursday battles will run until 12am Monday. Also we welcome any arguments for either competitor in our comments section. May the best man, thing, or whatever win.

Today's match: HBO vs. Piet Mondrian

Also known as the "Hebrew Box Office", HBO was the first premium channel to hit the new-fangled experiment called "cable" back in 1965 in Manhattan, NY, USA. The project was bought out by Time Life in 1973, and was soon into full swing of distributing it's Jew-run media all over the country. By 1989, Time had merged with Warner Communications, becoming Time Warner which is now HBO's parent company and largest distributor of lies and misinformation to the masses. Although it's beginnings were optimistic, people soon got tired of watching the same reruns of movies. But what HBO did have was strong sports programming. It became the first TV network to deliver it's signal via satellite when it broadcast the "Thrilla in Manila" in 1975. HBO has also featured coverage of Wimbledon, WWF, NHL, NBA, ABA, PBA, LOL, GFY, and the channel's longest running program, Inside the NFL ran from 1977 to 2008 before it was picked up by Showtime. Trying to compete with the major 3 networks may seen like a daunting task for a subscription-based channel, but HBO has done a decent job, putting out a variety of original programs, which we all love because they often feature suggestive themes and high amounts of swearing, violence and nudity which make them unsuitable for regular cable (although we all know Skinemax late night is still far superior in the 10 - 19 year old male market). Some of it's original shows which have gone on to experience a great amount of success include The Sopranos, Deadwood, Sex and the City, and Six Feet Under as well as Ginger favorites such as Flight of the Conchords, Eastbound & Down, Cathouse: The Series, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Mr Show, and of course Fraggle Rock. Today HBO consists of seven multiplex channels including HBO 2, Comedy, Family, Latino, Signature, and Zone as well as an On Demand service.

Strengths: Swearing, violence and nudity for starters. Original programming and the ability to watch free movies (as free as paying for a premium cable channel gets). No commercials.

Weaknesses: It's not really "More Than You Imagined™", it's the same 'ole HBO. Movies and programming gets repetitive.

Fun Fact: The first program and film broadcast on HBO, Sometimes a Great Notion, starred Paul Newman and Henry Fonda.

Piet Mondrian
Mondrian (as he was known by everyone except his mother, who affectionately called him "Little Peter") was a Dutch painter born on March 7, 1872 and was the most famous painter of the De Stijl art movement, which of course was named after an early White Stripes album. His paintings consisted of a white background, onto which black horizontal and verticals lines were painted and then filled with the three primary colors. At a time when art was going through major changes, Mondrian's Neo-Plasticism laughed in the face of critics and the general public as well, being one of the first artists to evoke the "If I can paint it, it's not art" attitude of ignorant "critics" around the world. Mondrian's art introduction came at a very early age as his father was a qualified drawing teacher. He would go onto to become a teacher at the Academy for Fine Art in Amsterdam, where he primarily worked in the Dutch Impressionist Manner of the Hague School. In 1912, Mondrian moved to Paris, where he was highly influenced by the Cubist movement and artists such as Picasso and Braque. In 1914 he returned to the Netherlands where along with artists Van der Leck and Van Doesburg he founded the De Stijl, in which the artist's theories signaled a complete break from representational painting.

From 1919 to 1938 Mondrian worked in Paris and then from 1938-1944 he moved between London and New York, continuing his style of thick black lines on a white background with boxes of the primary colors scattered throughout. His most famous painting, Composition with Red, Blue and Yellow (above), perfectly exhibits the principals of Neo-Plasticism which Mondrian strove for throughout his entire career. In 1944, Mondrian died of pneumonia in New York. Mondrian's influence on the world can still be seen today, traditionally in the furniture and architecture of the world's greatest designer: Ikea.

Strengths: Unlike other Minimalists like Barnett Newman and Mark Rothko, Mondrian was not bat-shit crazy.

Weaknesses: His artwork is most recognizable by non-cultured people as the early reason why Modern art is such a disaster.

Fun Fact: In May, 2008 Nike released the SB Dunk, styled after the work of Piet Mondrian.