Sunday, March 2, 2003
Yes, the timestamp says AM. Don't ask. I was up before the paper hit the porch.
The more it looks like war, the more disheartened I get. My beautiful country, with all its hope and promise is being turned into a police state, a burgeoning bully of a nation, by right-wing fanatics, and the majority of the people seem to be going along with the agenda. I am at a loss. I remember in the days during the Kennedy and Johnson years when "liberal" was a badge of honor and "conservative" was a dirty word. Now it's reversed. Bill Clinton wasn't the greatest president, but he sure was better than Reagan, Bush, Bush the sequel, Nixon, and Ford. At least his corruption was personal in nature. At least we were at peace and the world was coming around to being friendly with us, the deficit was tamed, the stock market was booming (perhaps a little too much), and things were hopeful. Now, it's all paranoia and gloom and doom.
Did you know that Chief Executive's compensation were 42 times that of the average worker in 1980 (when Reagan was elected). They are 581 times the average worker now. Something smell bad here?
Monday, March 3, 2003
Tuesday, March 4, 2003
I've been painting all day, and lost track of time. I can't work at my drawing table or easel for long at a time. I work a few minutes, then go rest a while. It's taking me at least four to six times as long to do things.
My leg is still not getting any better. It looks and feels like it's not put together right. Naturally, the state legislature passed a bill today limiting the amount a person can sue for in a malpractice case. If I end up suing, I'll probably use a shotgun instead of a rifle -- There is culpability on the part of the property owner, maybe the property manager although the lease prohibits suing them (I think that part of the lease is illegal, however), the doctor, the city, the paramedic who twisted my leg back around, and the restaurant where I fell on a wet floor the day I was cast. I really don't want to sue anyone, but I'm starting to think it may be necessary.
Thursday, March 6, 2003
Okay, the doctors are off the hook, and the insurance companies are free to wallow in their new-found profits resulting from the Medical Malpractice "reform" passed by our brain-dead legislature. They've capped non-economic damages in malpractice settlements at $250,000. So, what happens when insurance rates don't go down? Cap them at $100,000? $25,000? Hell, why not eliminate them altogether. Who was it who said, "Fascism will come to America dressed in a lab coat with a stethoscope around its neck?"
Q. What do you call the person who graduated last in his class in the University of South Dakota medical school?
Saturday, March 8, 2003
Am I a proud grandpa? You bet!
Sunday, March 9, 2003
The first issue of 23 is online. Please let me know if you run across any broken links or errors.
Monday, March 10, 2003
Marcel Duchamp hated the commodification of art. I have long proclaimed, "Art is not a product." Duchamp and some of the other Dada and Surrealists were more interested in the process of art than in the product. The product is merely evidence of the process that is art. The process is chaotic and sometimes dark and destructive. Sometimes it makes my spirit soar. Other times it drags me through a muddy trough, studded with cinders and thorns. Lately it just mocks me and makes me pursue it, just keeping out of my grasp. Only when it's not paying close attention to my pursuit can I lay hands on a corner or edge and break off a piece large enough to sustain me, large enough to poison my mind.
I have a couple or three rolls of film to scan. Regrettably, since I can't get out a lot, I sent the film to York Labs. Never again. They let light in when they were processing the negatives and ruined I don't know how many frames. Their mishandling cost me dearly. The prints are not numbered and the negatives are stuck in a paper envelope en masse with nothing separating them. I'll have to try to match prints to negatives and then mark them, scan them, and put the negatives in spare negative strip holders I have lying around. What a pain in the ass!
Tuesday, March 11, 2003
A couple days ago, I put a photo of my darling granddaughter up. There were several more pictures in that series. Here's the thumbnail version of the whole series:
Wednesday, March 12, 2003
It was six years ago today that I quit smoking. I still get the occasional urge for a cigarette, but at least I don't dream about them anymore.
It's been raining most of the day. This evening I've seen several flashes of lightning. The thunder is getting loud now. It sounds like spring is on the way! Yay!
This is the fabled bowling ball that I painted gold and put on the pedestal in my front lawn. After it got stolen, then came back defaced, I painted it like this. For Christmas I brought the bowling ball in and put out the green gazing ball that at one point made its way to the pedestal. Sometime prior to New Year's it disappeared, along with the pedestal. Now all I have is the eyeball. . .
"Here's lookin' at you kid."
Here's a longer shot of it, in situ. My front garden looked nice this past summer. I hope I can manage to take as good care of it this year. I really like having flowers.
Thursday, March 13, 2003
I woke this morning to a power outage. Apparently a truck snagged a power line and dragged it across another one. It sounded like the roof of one of the houses next door was being torn off. I looked out between the buildings over to Maxwell Street and I could see little explosions all along the electrical line. Our power went out and was out for several hours. The only electronic equipment casualty seems to have been my computer speakers.
Friday, March 14, 2003
Yesterday the power was out. Today it's the cable. It will be a while before this entry is posted to the web site.
Earlier, before the cable went out, I was watching a documentary about Ayn Rand. I blame that woman and her shallow, ill-thought-out so-called philosophy of "objectivism" in large part for the conservative direction this country has taken. She called for total lassiez-faire capitalism and believed that we all would rise to our potential in such an economic system. Bullshit! It's pretty obvious to me that total lassiez-faire capitalism will result in a very few people controlling the total wealth of the earth with the rest in slavery, contrary to Ms. Rand's suppositions on the matter. Until you can control greed and avarice, mean-spiritedness and sadism, those that have will always subjugate those they can. For her philosophy to work, all men would have to be her "ideal man." I don't think this will happen any time soon.
She is a rara avis however -- a conservative atheist.
Watching that film has sent me browsing through the Encyclopedia of Philosophy, which, by the way contains no articles either on Ayn Rand or "objectivism." I've been looking at the History of Aesthetics. Interesting, that.
One day closer to war. . .
"All we are saying, is give peace a chance."
Finally! The cable is back on and seems to have stabilized. That was a long hiatus. According to the cable company office, it was a "controlled outage." How many things can you do to a cable that take eight hours to do?
Saturday, March 15, 2003
My son stopped by today and helped me and Ann move my computer and music stuff upstairs. Now I have computer and music room that will serve extra duty as a photo studio. I have one wall clear that I'll hand backdrops on and use it for portraiture and shooting slides of art work. I'm tired. It was a busy and tiring day. I now have more space in my studio downstairs. I'll probably spend most of tomorrow rearranging and the like. Tomorrow's my daughter's birthday, too. We might go out to her house for Cake and Ice Cream.
Sunday, March 16, 2003
Things are starting to shape up here with computer and music upstairs and art down. There's still a lot to do n both venues, but it's coming together. I have some carpentry to do downstairs yet, and a little rearranging to do up here.
I worry about Colin Powell's sanity. He's a moderate Republican being force fed the right wing agenda. He's having to mouth the junta's line. I wonder if he'll hold up or if he'll snap.
War is all but inevitable. Bushie said today the only way to avoid war is for Saddam to voluntarily step down and go into exile. How likely is that? Bush is single-handedly destroying the massive goodwill America had after 9/11, the budget surpluses, the economic halcyon days, NATO, the UN. What can we expect from a man with an IQ of 91?
Monday, March 17, 2003
Well, he done went and done it. Marshal Dubya told The Iraqi Kid to git outa town by sundown. Looks like it's gonna be a shootout. Onliest problem is, Mr. Dubya, y'all ain't the Earps. Y'all's the Clantons.
Bush is introducing a new paradigm. Unprovoked attack by a "democratic" nation. I don't believe that is possible. I think this is further proof that the current ruling Junta in this country is not and never intends to be democratic. Bush totally discounts anyone who has an opinion other than his. I think this is probably because he can't hold more than one opinion in his feeble litle mind. Indeed, he can't even hold an opinion and the rationale for it at the same time. Thank Gawd for teleprompters!
Tuesday, March 18, 2003
We have a plethora of crocuses in the flower bed by the front walk. They're a rich, deep purple. The house across the street has daffodils and forsythia yellowing up the world. I guess spring will come in spite of war. I guess warm weather will arrive regardless of the winter in some mens' souls.
Sometimes accidental multiple exposures come out wonderful. From Halloween:
Thursday, March 20, 2003
The morning paper had a large black headline saying WAR today, too. I keep thinking about the law of unintended consequences. . .
I've been trying to paint some today. It's hard to concentrate. My kids were both by today. I think sometimes they worry about me. Hell, sometimes, *I* worry about me.
I pretty much have my studio straightened out. I'm finishing up a painting I started a few months ago, and one I started in 1996. I was about to abandon it, but Sean likes it and I promised I'd finish it and give it to him. Margaret has a large batik I did years ago on the living room wall in her new house. It pleases me greatly that my kids like my art well enough to give it a prominent place in their lives.
This room, where I have my computer and music equipment still needs some work. I have the 7 X 6 foot black velvet hung to use as a backdrop already. Somewhere I have an equal-sized piece of unbleached muslin for similar use. I'll have to figure out where it is and work up a scheme to put it up and take it down. I still have other things to put away and arrange, and a lot of art leaned up against the wall over here that needs to go either on the wall or in the storage closet. Slowly it's coming together.
I'm getting a few hits every day on my "23 Magazine" site. I'm still not getting anything in the way of submissions for it. If I don't get something pretty soon, it may be a short-lived publication.
Friday, March 21, 2003
Another day at the easel. I've been working on a painting I started in 1996. It's the one I mentioned before that Sean wanted. It's a 25th anniversary painting of another painting I did in 1971. It isn't a copy or even a better rendition, but the motif is the same -- very psychedelic!
Sean & Holly are in the air on their way to Daytona Beach -- Spring Break! Ah, I remember the days. . .
My leg is hurting bad again today. I don't have enough of the good pain pills to last until my doctor's appointment on the 14th of April unless I have a few good days. I really don't expect to have any good days, truth be known.
Yesterday I made Mexican cornbread. I used my hot pepper relish I made in October. It turned out really well. Speaking of those peppers:
Saturday, March 22, 2003
Today seemed somewhat fragmented. Today was the monthly poetry group meeting. There were only three of us there. Katonya, Paul Steele, and me. Fortunately, Paul had a new collection of Haiku and we ran over about an hour. Later on Katonya came over and I helped her with some camera issues and we did some posters to promote her theater group at the local Job Corps facility. Paul called later about his Haiku project. Kat & I watched a quirky little movie called "No Such Thing." I recommend it. I'm going to watch it again if I can catch it.
I watched the invasion of Iraq on television some, painted some, petted the kittens (our cat had four -- they're about three weeks old now), finished straightening up in the studio, and cleared my e-mail of SPAM. It's running nearly 5 to 1 SPAM to legitimate e-mail now. Something needs to be done about this.
Speaking of Haiku, I think I'll use some of Mr. Steele's Haiku in the next issue of "23." Should be interesting. His haiku draw on the experiences of the life of a 70-something gay former college teacher. Some are quite poignant and some are humerous. I think my readers will enjoy them. Stay tuned. . .
Sunday, March 23, 2003
I spent the day painting mostly, on and off, sometimes watching the war. The more I see of this fiasco, the more I find to dislike about it.
I watched "I Shot Andy Warhol" tonight. It was pretty good. It showed what a crazy scene the art world was in New York in the late 60's. Wish I'd been there!
Thursday, March 27, 2003
Yesterday we bought a 1992 Plymouth Voyager. Yippee! I'm no longer a prisoner in my own home! We went to K-Mart tonight, too. That's the first time I've been in a store other than the art supply store or Mooks-A-Billion in a couple months. I twisted my leg a little bit and ended up having to take pain pills. I'd gone all day without, first day in a couple weeks I'd done so. Oh well. . .
Have any of these military geniuses considered that we'd better make short work of this war or Kim Jong Il might watch the festivities and say to himself, "hmmmmm. . ." After all, he has a much larger force under arms and he actually has long range missles and NUKE-U-LAR weapons. We may well be in a world of shit of our own making.
There are several websites popping up that provide users the ability to do something similar to what it is that I do here -- keep a daily journal of thoughts and occurrences -- a diary or log. On one of these, Blogspot, has a diarist who calls himself Salam Pax, two words that mean the same thing, "peace." His real name is Raed. Raed lives in Baghdad. Click on his name to read a chilling account of what's going on there. Tomorrow I'll post some links for alternate sources of news so you won't have to rely on Al Jazeera, MSNBC, CNN, Newsweek, and Fair and Balanced Fox News for your propaganda.
If anyone can give me an attribution to the following parody, please send it to me via the "Comments" button. This is great and I'd really like to fully give credit for it to its creator.
Friday, March 28, 2003
Has anyone noticed that over the past few months, slowly and very quietly the reference to persons of the Islam faith have gone from being Muslims to Islamists? When I was growing up, they were refered to as Moslems. Then it was Muslims. Now it's Islamists? Why? What's going on here?
Some good sources for news that don't report the same Neo-conservative propaganda as most of the mass media in the United States:
Red Rock Eater
Saturday, March 29, 2003
Another thing I don't understand about this war. . . Ari Fletcher keeps talking about the Iraqi oil wells. So do Victoria Clarke and others in the administration. They say something like, "We are going to remove this oppressive regime and return the Iraqi oil wells to the Iraqi people." Okay, that's great, but my question is: When are the American oil wells going to be returned to the American people? Why don't they say what the hell they mean? Why don't they say they want to depose Saddam's gang and replace them with capitalism, not democracy as they keep saying.
Quote of the Day: "I think that people want peace so much that one of these days government had better get out of their way and let them have it." -- Dwight D. Eisenhower
Stuffed French toast at IHOP -- YES! And I refuse to call it "Stuffed Freedom Toast" like they did on Air Force One this week. How ridiculous! Don't these assholes realize that without the French we would most likely have lost the Revolutionary War. Don't they know that one of the most enduring symbols of freedom, the Statue of Liberty was a gift from the French people? These neoconservatives have no respect for tradition and none for any idea or opinion that is not their own. They are so narrow-minded and hell-bent on gaining and keeping power over those who disagree with them. They should all be struck dumb and lame! Me, I'm just lame. . .
For a good take on this unnecesary war, check out James Haught's column in today's Charleston Gazette: Questions about an unnecessary war. I think it provides a good insight into Dubyah Bushie's psyche, such as it is.
Monday, March 31, 2003
The most interesting things are to be found at boundaries, the places where one thing changes to another, where one thing ceases to be and another begins. There is chaos at boundaries, sometimes blood and mayhem. Boundaries are the things that I study and try to make into my art. The sea crashing on the shore -- a boundary. The sky coming down to kiss the horizon -- a boundary. The viscera connecting to an organ, tendons to bones, hair to flesh, skin to mucous membrane -- boundaries. Boundaries are the places where texture becomes most interesting. Boundaries are where danger and brilliance lie concealed. My study of art is the study of boundaries.