National Guard movie ad yelled at

A double bill at AMC's River East 21 in Chicago.
A recruiting ad for the National Guard started out harmlessly, connecting them to Revolutionary War irregulars.
Then the Guard is in Iraq and I asked my companion if she would yell "Bring them home!" with me and she did. That felt good.
Okay, the next show, same interminable ad, we decide to wait until the Iraq section and yell again.
"Bring them home!" and before the last phoneme is out people right behind us are yelling the same thing! And they're adding "Get rid of this militarist crap." and "We can complain to the theater on our way out."
Someone in the front row yelled, "But we have to support our troops" and the, by now, eight of us yelled, "Yes, bring them home."
My other companion wasn't yelling, but he's in mergers and acquisition in the defense industry, so he couldn't.


Crows in Snow

Dv's productions and exhibitions

1973 Bumbershoot Arts Festival, Seattle. Performance and installation. Diazo. 40' X 20'. Life-size silhouettes of festival attendees.

1992 Microcinema. "IdVision" Expanded video/performance. Actors onstage w/ projected color video, sound. Original score by Chris Dilaurenti and Mark Taylor-Canfield. Projector supplied by Gary Hill.

1992 "Zen Scroll" 35mm color film with sound. Creative Advisor.http://www.artspotsmedia.org/prod_zenscroll.html

1992 "Get Up and Dance" 35mm color film with sound. Actor and DV production documentary. http://www.artspotsmedia.org/prod_getupanddance.html

1999 "American Bohemian", narrative feature. Director of Photography, shot on location in Manhattan and Brooklyn, edited at Modern Media.

2001 "Mandala" Color video with sound. 2nd camera operator, digital stills. http://www.artspotsmedia.org/prod_mandala.html

2005 "Two Headed Cow", documentary feature directed by Tony Gayton. Produced background interview. Feature accepted to 2006 Full Frame Documentary Film Festival.

2005-06 "Paso Doble" Color video with sound. Short narrative, live action. Different language/culture versions, each 1'45". Filmmaker.

2006 Berliner Schule der Leuchtende Kunst Debut Solo Exhibition. Color videos with sound, various lengths. Abstracts and narratives.

Press Release: Leuchtendekunst Skandal

Dv’s latest embroglio:
What unnamed, but everybody knows who, society belle bared it all for his “New, Descending a Staircase” very moving picture at Donald Jung’s Gallery?
The images are too abstracted to ID her, but clear enough to know that you want to.
“A gentleman never tells,” Dv assured us, then clammed up.
Flash: A cellphone video of her blabbing it all, over raw gin and sweetmeats in a River West boite…
“Yeah, that’s me; I’m not planning on running for congress. But I just wish I’d get some bloody credit for staying in shape!” she flounced.
Neither confirmed nor denied by Dv, who notes that the attention is helping sales.

¡Vivan Los Osos!
Packers 7 Bears 35

Pleasures, future

More facts
More integration of facts
Changing aesthetics, broadening, more inclusive
New pleasurable associations and memories
Extended media, a la extended cinema; immersive
Obscure cultures revealed and enjoyed
New conversation venues
New conversants


Pleasures, catalog

01 Sapere Aude
01 campfire descant on “The Ash Grove”
01 Aha!
02 Bernard Purdy’s drumming on Tim Rose’s “Hey Joe”
03 Black hair, blue eyes
03 Otters
04 The Negro Leagues Cafe
05 Leuchstendekunst, Berlin Shule der
06 Spengler, “Soul of the City” section
07 Camarguaise horses sans bulls
08 Mnemosene
Encyclopedia Britannica’s page stock in the 9th Edition
10 Pygea--callo- and sometimes steato-
07 Skating flooded woods to Rt7
14 Four bright people, all talking at once
16 Thick eyebrows, almost meeting
18 “Love, unrequited” patter song
20 Chequessett
21 Autochromes
22 Foxing
28 Black turtleneck sweaters
25 Stockbridge, foggy 3am horseback ride, incl sidewalks
30 Parallel tenths
31 “Y Llegaste tu” tuba
32 “Milord” compulsive singing in the Dodge
33 Mississippi John Hurt
34 Quartal/quintal vox
35 Brass choir in Low Rotunda
36 Jewel McGowan



"Time gives birth to space, but space gives death to time."


Millennium Park + Pritzger Initiative

Priztger kicked it into gear.
The family had given Gehry the Pritzger Prize. So when they wanted someone to spiff up the SOM beaux arts design, he was invited to decorate someone's arch. He took the call but said that he's not a design doctor for someone else's mistakes. He wants a big project or nothing.
Pritzgers tell the city they'll give heavy bread if FG gets the gig. Like 5-10 million or something in that order of magnitude. Shalom and begorrah, he gets the gig. Do a band shell but it has to be sculpture so it doesn't contravene the covenant of the park being open and clear or something.
Then everyone wants in and pretty soon, the extremely past-pull date SOM cast concrete is out (except for a little remnant with geraniums and spindles like ladies' calves), and the whole project is shot in Freak-O-Scope.
Every family named after a crane or an auditorium is bidding for the bike shelter or the fountain or the garden.
It's the next best thing to a copse. If it has to be artifacts, not trees and sky, it's pretty good.


Please, no personal insults on the neighborhood listserve

Board members,
Please don't let people, even board members, post personal insults on this list.
Just so we all know where the line is, if someone wrote in to say a board member was an ignorant, loud-mouthed bully with a bad temper, a liar, and an insult to the honorable, decent Latino community he claims to represent, that would be personal, and it HAS NO PLACE on this listserve.
On the other hand, if they said he broke the bylaws and helped another board member break the by laws and state laws of corporate governance and isn't even embarrassed about it, that he should be kicked out, now that would be germane to the organization's functioning. It would be personally distasteful to me to hear it, but, well, it's allowed, I suppose.
But this other personal stuff, like calling someone a weasely, near-sighted lout, I'm sorry but I just can't be part of an organization where that happens.
¡Mejor solo que mal acompanado!

Yr. Neighbor


Language changes and physically painful solecisms

More people pronounce the t. Pronouncing the t used to seem obtrusive, trying to pad your part, like saying ‘orientate’ instead of ‘orient’. It sounded ignorant.

No, just … no.

Transitivity in verbs disappearing
“Then when you hit Command+F, the Find dialog box displays” instead of “is displayed.”
Everything is intransitive, now.
I love this. It saves time and brain power for more important things like the counter-factual subjunctive.

The counter-factual subjunctive misplayed
“If I were the King of England, I’d be invited out more.” sounds right, rather than “If I was the King of England” (which I’m not.)

“I wish I had done something”
, yes.
“I wish I would have done something…”, no.
This is just a clash of academic/literary (my home dialect) against vernacular.

Look, the root word is not a greco-latin word that ends in '-is' so the plural is NOT pronounced PRO-cess-EEZ. Ouch. This is pseudo-learned, like people who know they don't know where to say 'me' or 'I', but they know that the high-toned thing they don't know about involves saying 'I'. So you get "Thanks for bringing Magel and I this lovely vahz." Ya just wanna go nukyular, n'omesayn?

Derivational suffix of fractions
“It’s ten times smaller” replacing “It’s a tenth as big.” This is really grating and seems so know-nothing, ignoring that bigness is affirmative, something you can measure. Smallness in this sense is just the disappearance of bigness along a scale.

300% smaller

Sorry that this is catching on, too. Evidently, there’s some shift at 100% in these peoples’ minds. If something was 10 and it’s 70% smaller, now it’s 3. Cool. If it was reduced 100%, it’s 0, nothing. So far, fine.
But if it was 500% smaller, the new math is that it’s a fifth of what it was; 2 is 500% smaller than 10. I understand it, but it sticks in my math craw every time.

Mourning adverbs
What happened to things happening "daily" instead of "on a daily basis"? I think this is the "more syllables, more honor" school of declamation.


Coleus, click for a closer look

Extravagant, even for fall.


Bomber Nose Girl

Jinxie didn’t mean it.
She was tricked, see. Yeah, she kinda loved him in a 48-hour leave kinda way.
But that snapshot, she didn’t mean that.
And here she is on page six, with a bunch of sheiks in khakis.

She had been looking behind the couch, out the window to the big lawn. Then she raised herself a little on the couch to see better. Then she slid back down and it uncovered a few inches of leg above the knee for a sixtieth of a second.
That's just a shirtwaist but now it looked like Esther Williams.
She had meant to be friendly; to be the opposite of B-17 exhaust and the LOUDEST…POSSIBLE…NOISE; just not boredom, not smelling like fear.
So these two Air Corps captains are playing the piano and singing their alma mater and some racier stuff. Mavis says she’s gotta go. She takes a little while to get out of there. Lipstick, flirting, a quarter glass of champagne, flirting. But she’s not making any time at all with these guys and beats it, asks us to watch her til she gets to her car, okay?

We can see ourselves reflected in the window and Mavis getting to the edge of the lawn, and then we can’t see her. Jinxie is watching, too. She looks scrumptious.
We’re both smitten with her.
Jinxie, we’re already nostalgic for her because we know we’re leaving at 22:00 hours. We can’t even tell her we’re leaving. Casino, air cover for II Corps, the 185th Armored and sundry.
Get the Argus, settings, and as she’s turning back toward us smiling, flash.

They hand me a curled up photo of her on a couch. No problem. Mind if I add some leg? Oops, sorry, got some terps on there.
Sure, give it the old college try, then.

They’re getting moved up to B-29s and they’re splurging on nose art. They told stories about her, which all sounded like bull, except that they were definitely in love with her. I could go for her myself.
I’m in that picture with the flyboys with a big brush in my hand, faking the last dab. The sun is too bright and we’re squinting like Bogart but really happy.

They got shot down the far side of Frankfort. That was the only picture we had of them, so we gave it to Stars and Stripes.

Incomprehensibility: Unconditional versus conditional approaches

The world is unknowable. It is vast and various beyond mapping by our puny brains. We just don’t have enough neurons. Our little ways of knowing can’t possibly be ramose and detailed enough.
So we, as functioning animals, needing to focus on time and space, come to terms with this limitation.
Religion is the unconditional coming to terms. “There is an over-arching personality, paying attention to us. Its mechanisms are destiny, ritual, propitiation and special pleading.”
Intellect is the conditional coming to terms. All explanations are contingent. Every statement implies “all other things being equal”, which never are. Its mechanisms are artificial logic, causality, muddling through. The best we can hope for is a working relationship with the practical world.
No matter how fast we fill up our memories and order our understandings, the carpet of reassuring explanation is rolling up behind us as fast as it unrolls in front of us. Sometimes there is a temporary imbalance between the two rates of rolling, but there’s no hope for nailing down one end. Great reasoners and great rememberers might have an order of magnitude more carpet unrolled, but that’s nothing in the face of just the universe we think exists, let alone the possibility that our universe is an atom in the blood stream of some individual. Nothing we know precludes that.
These two paths have considerable overlap at times. Theodicy, casuistry, materialist politics, mother wit, these are blends of the conditional and the un-.

Every understanding I have is severely local and conditional. It depends on very artificial, non-existent stability. Even our own most rational explanations like physics continually discover this parochialism. Now we find that measurements of space and time that served well through the nineteenth century, don’t apply to other scales. Quantum realities, interstellar distances and physics kicked out the little prop whereby we assumed that the “laws” of physics apply equally everywhere.

So if there is true religion, I guess there’s a good chance the Manicheans have it: Satan must have created everything of this world, given how reassured we are about what we know. A diabolical illusion.

Ann Tigony Buries Her Brother and Takes a Picture

But Annie, he said no pictures. And he said he’s not coming to any funerals. Wouldn’t be right, he said.

Yeah, the boss said no pictures, like Paulie did something wrong, like he was bad. But he was a good kid. He was brave, too. He didn’t have to go back, but he did, just cause it was the right thing to do, he said. What kind of scared boss says no pictures!?

Doesn’t matter. We’re just girls, he’s the boss.

Yeah but nobody likes him. He’s getting fired if he messes up anymore. Issie, we’re giving my brother a great sendoff and we’re taking pictures, and everybody’s gonna know he was a good guy. Fuck that boss. Let him pick on a couple of girls if he’s so big.

Hey Annie, the boss blew his brains out in his truck. Yeah, he found out he was getting fired and he just blammo! blew his brains out. Didn’t say he was sorry, though.


Thousand Palms: Toys Alone

Scott Noegel, Laurie Ramacci and I discover toys alone.

Gangs, war, and the small life

First, let’s dispense with the idea of a gang as a special mode of organization. It’s a tribe, maybe a clan. Also recognizable in its primate nature, it’s always at war.
This fact alone is enough to doom it to the tiniest life that can still be called human. Like every other society at war, it’s missing ninety percent of the interesting potential of human interaction and individual pleasure.
When a group goes to war, the US is a current example, it agrees within itself that the war is more important than most of the good things of human life--idle pleasure; medical progress; philosophy; art beyond the sentimental, patriotic, and memorial; politics as a tool of protecting its members.
Just to focus on art, wars seem not to produce the riskiest, subtlest, or even more durable work. True, great art can be about war, but it’s not created in the frightened society at war, only later. Wars narrow the potential for creating beauty. Xenophobia makes taboo the remote and contingent; only exoteric patriotism is allowed. Because of the forced groupthink of a social unit at war, the continual experiment at the edges that produces or discovers beauty is crippled.
This groupthink, so useful for fighting as a cohesive unit, is the death of the artist. Likewise, the surplus resources that go to art dry up or are diverted to the war.
The group no longer affords itself the decadence of models, parties other than r&r for the troops, cosmopolitan curiosities, or novelty. All these are too risky for the frightened. And make no mistake, people at war are frightened or are at least forced to act frightened. When you're caught in the rain, you’re expected to duck your head and act uncomfortable, to show you’re sane and chagrined. The same social pressure applies in spades during wartime. Anyone who doesn’t share the emotional decision that the group’s members are in danger, is thought crazy or subversive.
Warriors never get to enjoy the wider world, until their group stops the war.


All art is documentary. It’s the evidence and record of events, processes, objects. It’s all time bound. Art always informs about the artist in her studio.
Painting is the record of brush on canvas. Sculpture is the record of chisel on marble, and so on. As with any documentary, the viewer’s skill is in a dynamic with the evidence. The more you know about how paint acts, the clearer is the evidence to you.
The document is of a piece with what the artist wants. He has the usual human impulses to be known, satisfied, protected, paid, to enjoy the process, to think well of himself, to work and stop working. There are some sociopaths making art, completely detached from the audience downstream. But the great bulk are eager to satisfy some part of this laundry list of wants.
Every artwork is an invitation to know the artist’s process and impulses.
The documentary sometimes conflicts with the aesthetic. Thinking about the artist working, brushing, chipping, welding, sometimes pushes aside the eyeball kicks and psycho-chemical events of immersive aesthetics. Sometimes the documentary reinforces aesthetics. Evidence of hard work can sell the pleasures of looking at welds like knuckles or fine single hair brush strokes. Painterliness is a legitimate pleasure or enlightenment, to pick two of the possible rewards of art.
Figurative art is of course evidence of nature and abstract art can be evidence of psychological states or phosphenes. But all art is information about its own creation.


Make 'Em Bang, Looch

Looch had the crowd at US Beer last night, actually early this morning. You heard it here first.


Domestic Violets, Late Season

Phrase Collection Shorts

Some of these relate to the actual meaning of the phrase, some not.


“Definitely, this was much earlier than that. He still had a moustache here. Plus it’s Kodachrome, so it’s earlier. They never stabilized the red dyes in that.”
“He’s holding something.”
Looks closer.
“He invented that. Made some money and gave it all to the Widener.”
“Yes, I heard. ‘Let my heirs walk’, he said.”
“Do you ever hear from her?”
“I wish. He was really stupid about her. Christ.”
Looks even closer.

Smooth Pursuit

“Look…no, you’re not tracking…
If you …yes, yesyes…Okay, I promise.
Okay, look, what are you doing later?
Whoa, models, is it? Can I shoot some backstage footage for you?
I’ll hold you to that. Now what about me?
No, look, she’s out of this entirely.
Yes, love, but just love, no business.
Got it?"

Bearing Soil

That corner was always a little muddy, and there was a little pond there. We played hockey on that pond every winter. Butch, Sammy, Bobby Wildman, and the Hayner guy. I think his name was Bobby, too.
Bobby Wildman said we should get a junker car parked next to the pond so we could warm up in there. It seemed so adult at the time.
Barbara Grady stomped her way through the ice at one end. She looked so maniacal, and just cool and wild.
One winter it all flooded and froze. You could skate through the woods down to Route 7.
Too many people moved there and the water table dropped, the pond disappeared, now there’s just a greener spot in that corner.
Too bad, huh?

Civil Twilight

It was going pretty well. Hammered it out. One standout about dealing with her, she was unfailingly polite. What a great lubricant that is.
We’ve got our stuff spread out on the porch, and the hour latens, and I tell her how much I appreciate how polite she is. And I feel like I can read her mind from her face.
But now it’s magic hour and now it’s dark, and I can’t see her well enough. Then I was worried.

Minor Honors

What’s he up to? A club.

A heart. Something glamorous, with helicopters.

Two spades.

Pass. I thought he was so green.

One no-trump. He’s flexible. He’s always saying


He’s always saying he’s not dogmatic about it. Pass.

Four no trump.

I think it gets him laid. Double.

Whistle Punk

This kid must have burned five thousand calories a day. Up and down that mountain, setting those chokers. He was paying off his equipment. Then he quit to play music.

Cut man

This guy, he could think a cut closed, he was that good. Terrible breath, breath like rotted something. But he was good with a cut, and fast. So he leans into your face and you’re glad he’s fast.

Piano reduction

No, I made charts for everyone. I’m not leaving this up to that lazy vocalist. Here’s yours.
It’s like sides, you don’t get the whole score. Okay?
Anyway, if she can’t work out a little and keep her dress clean, you can’t expect her to copy music.
Okay, here’s what I’m directing from. See it’s got tiny lines of everyone else, and these lines are a piano reduction. And if she comes in late with that lunk again, I swear I’ll…
Oh, okay. Uh, do you need me for rehearsals until he gets here?
Oh, okay. It’s been fun. Hey, did she put you up to this?

Circle of Confusion

Here, I’ll show you this.
See, this is a pretty hi rez shot to begin with. So we’re gonna zoom in…this is definitely her, but who is this?

Can you get closer…to her?

Sure, a little closer, but after that it’s just pixels, you’re actually losing information.
Okay, is this a hand, this thing, with the dark here?

Uh, maybe. This is an armpit, right? Damn, can you kick up the contrast or something? What about those genius machines on Law and Order where they zoom way in and it’s like perfect.

Right. So, is it a guy or girl? I think we’d just be projecting at this point. Shall we just make up something?

For the papers, yes. For court, no.

Wet Gate Answer Prints

You’ve worked a…too hard. What if something happens?
She just has to be ready, prepared. If not, she’ll scratch a face off.

Item Number

I will do it, IF you fix that thing. I won’t do THAT.

Sure, it’s out. We’ll make you look good, don’t worry.

Donny says I should show my butt.

I’ll see what we can do. You know the ministry watches all of it, right? Even the outtakes. So…I don’t know. Not that you don’t have a wall to wall, double clutching, radiant derriere. Okay, I’ll try. Is there a budget for baksheesh?
You’ll get RICH, you KNOW that, right?

I’ll believe it, I’ll see it. And the costume has to hide a body pack, so nothing improbable, there’s a good girl.

Okay, I’ll do that thing, I mean, if you still WANT me to.

Showing Smalls

They were both outsized. She was really tall. He was REALLY tall. I could never figure out what was the cool move with those guys onstage. Should I get next to them and get some reflected glamour. Or do they make me look small? I swear I’m looking both of them in the chest during that scene, where we’re arguing.
Well, Donny says let them be sexy, so maybe stay by the couch and they can argue and sex it up downstage and they won’t have to reset any lights. They say it’s a tech rehearsal, but it’s really running just a couple cues and then a little pep talk. If they don’t have to move anything, they’ll be happy.
Hmm. By the couch?
So yeah, they kinda make you look small. Just be by the couch.

Physical Silver

If you really have it, you think, if everything goes smash, at least I’ve got this. This real thing. But you don’t know, a pound of it might not buy a meal. Plus rust and thieves.

Just how far gone a scene are you planning for?

Maybe no electricity, no gas. Barter only gets you so far and you gotta have a big pool of people to find the specialized stuff. Medicine will be scalped, it’s the biggest ticket. I like to think we’ll do okay because we’re smart. We’ll have to be tough, too. Get ready for that.

Pattern Bargaining

Her mom is letting her go AND wear that thing. So can I least wear this? And her mom is BUYING her one of these, not renting it, buying it.
Is she that desperate?
If she wants to go to Hayners’ after, she’ll take her. So, so can I? And wear this?
After I talk to her mom.

Military Press

I’ll answer all the tough questions, you just give the facts.
Good. They’ll ask about him. Fuck, they’ll ask about both of them. So I’ll toss that to you?
Yes. Do not, under any circumstances -- if they ask about her and her…thing, her little event -- talk about the two guys. If you don’t mention them, they won’t ask. Then I’m happy.
How much can they actually write about? Aren’t they kind of house pets of Division and if Division doesn’t like, they hate it?
Yes, but did you see the pictures? I’d risk a gig just to share that with our boys. But, here, no one’s ever going to see this one. Jesus.
This stuff…we could be digging graves in Anbar in 48 hours. Nobody sees this.
Just tell them about him, and take questions. I’ll handle it.

First Inversion

You can just see this guy, see he’s the third guy. These two are actually on top of him. They were together and then this third guy was there. It was a little tense, but just a little, no big deal. It was good. We can use that.

Jump to Game

He was ready, she was ready, and they both could tell from what was said. He was from New England and she was from Spain/Oxford, so they didn’t have the same conventions. She jumped to game and they made it. Bigtime imps.

Straight Eights

When you get to this, shuffle, shuffle all the way to here, on this thing, like that, twice, and he goes…hey, Keno, what do you do there? Do you do this or that chunk thing?
I just got two bars and then it’s her til, well til that long outro. She straightens out, right? On her solo it’s straight eights, right. I mean I can play it either way, but I have to know. I’m already pretty much turned up all the way by then, so it’s going to be too flammy, shuffle and straight. If that happened, I’d just stop.

Studio Brown

Here’s that brown in the middle distance. Then look at this room and there’s this really unlikely, if you think about it, really unlikely brown air, here in this corner and then, look, see this hallway or whatever it is, the same brown. Spengler says it’s the color of history. It was a turning point when they started using it, he says.
The Faustian spirit, asserting mastery over time by reference. Space brings life to time, but time brings death to space, or somesuch.


The Unseen Movers
Whisper at the royal ear
Stage prompter
Pre-conscious decisions


Earwax Bulletin Board

Bulletin boards always give info in a way you can only see there and then. Whenever I'm away from home I try to see those things you can only see there, like bulletin boards.
Earwax is hard to shoot because of the jail bars facing them.


High season, the very white, disinvoltura

I love living in a Chicago neighborhood where all the signs are in Spanish and most also have English. I love learning how to sound respectful though stupid in Spanish. When I find myself checking out at Trader Joe's and trying to remember how to say, "That's okay, thank you, I've got my own bag," in Spanish, I feel a little more worldly.
But, goodness gracious, what a relaxing feeling to be back in New England for a few days last week, and not have to think about that. I was watching my first polo match in Newport, RI, and I realized that I didn't have to worry about taking the right tone or being misunderstood by the subduedly rowdy, extremely white people on either side of our little bivouac. Castiglione is the model here. You don't have to worry that effete will be mistaken for effeminate. Disinvoltura, not machismo.


One of my favorite alternate universes is the one spun by my dear friend John Yohalem. Ruritania, evolving beyond Hope, slowly recovering from a soviet interlude, is still a chiaroscuro of intrigue and welzschmertz. Cultured, whiny, not rich enough to live up to its past, not egalitarian enough to join the EU, it's a good location for trysts and tristesse. (John goes for the trysts; I'm more the fan of bittersweetness and reimagined golden ages.)
I would visit there with John if it didn't put such a smudge on my passport. The visa stamps used to have gold dust in them. Now it's just cheap brown ink and some kind of yellow pot metal.
Still, Strelsau in the spring...sigh.
John, maybe you could just write me into a little afternoon in a cafe with a view of the Five Young Lions of the Revolution monument, a short walk from the opera house. Something light on the bills, please. Ruritanian Fruchtcremen and operettas have spoiled me for that heavy german stuff they used to favor. And soon, while we can still afford it, the american coins becoming endangered specie, as it is.


Mnemosene, like so many selfish older women, has used fertility treatments, and, quelle surprise, had a multiple birth -- nonets. They have some of the birth challenges one gets with these fertility babies, but she's finding them work in the family business. She calls them the B Muses and it looks like they get slim pickings compared to their older sisters:

Jukebox musicals
Investment advice
Radiant Arts: video, neon, fire
Patriotic Country music


My sweetheart is back from Montreal!
It was a dreamy visit and I think she's got a little civic/social crush on the place. She had art adventures, worldly and interesting company, and poutine. I'm going back with her next time and try out my wretched french with my downmarket languedoc accent. Should be hilarious to the natives, who already suffer on account of their language.

She was doing experimental clay carving and strategizing about big public projects with some of her fabricators. Evenings were for philosophy and gauloises. Just kidding. They did chat a lot, but they also saw the finalists in an international fireworks competition, in between wonderful meals. Did I mention poutine?

High summer in the backyard, turned back to prairie.

Keeping the hired help in line

"The Owners", as Gore Vidal calls the American Oligarchy, think of politicians, in and out of office, as hirelings. We can all take a page from their book.
My strongest memory from Sicko was the french asserting that their government is afraid of them; that the people get out and march and it scares the hell out of the Ins.

I love that.

Mind you, Echelon, I'm not saying violent revolt, I'm not saying threatening overthrowing a government. I am saying assembling peaceably, enjoying like-minded company, and risking whatever comes from standing up with an agreeable crowd. Of course, being the canary in the gemeinschaft has its downside. Audits, being taken aside for an extraordinary number of "random" security wandings, 'n like that.

But the payoff, that can be historic.


Am I sick of anthypophora?
To death.

Panexa: At last, there's hope

If you, or someone you know suffers from the great cripplers of young adults, tell them about Panexa. Life is too short to live without it.

The wind in the dining room


Walter Pater's self-help for artists and Antigone's ditto

In the peroration of his "The Renaissance: Studies in Art and Poetry" he warns us that ignoring the aesthetic wonderland we all live in, "is, on this short day of frost and sun, to sleep before evening."
Anouilh's Antigone frothed at the mouth a little more: "I spit on your happiness! I spit on your idea of life--that life that must go on, come what may. You are all like dogs that lick everything they smell. You with your promise of a humdrum happiness--provided a person doesn't ask much of life. I want everything of life, I do; and I want it now! I want it total, complete: otherwise I reject it"

Just a reminder about my favorite Chicago season.
Except for a few cars and the chain link fencing, this is the view out of our house when it was new in 1908. Aahh.

Augusta GA on foot

The South. I'm just back from Augusta (I walked to South Carolina and back from there, just across the Savannah River), San Antonio, and Little Rock. Everyone was gracious and wished I would come back soon.
Especially hospitable was the bellman at the Augusta hotel. I wanted the nearest grocery store, so I could be fortified against the Deep Fried South. But when they found out i was going to WALK! Oh, you can't do that. Take you about a half hour, thirty-five minutes to Krogers. But this guy gamely took me out to the driveway to tell me how to get there.
The short instruction would be, "Walk down Jones five blocks to Fifteenth, take a left, keep going after you cross the tracks and Krogers is on the left."
Instead, he acted it out.
Big gestures for which way to turn, and miming little steps in place as he turned that corner. When he said keep walking, he kind of pranced in place.
It was a fifteen minute walk. Oh wait, maybe that's thirty-five minutes for them.