George Wesley Bellows, Forty-two Kids, 1907

For God was as large as a sunlamp and laughed his heat at us and therefore we did not cringe at the death hole. -Anne Sexton


If you saw a heat wave, would you wave back? -Stephen Wright.

07.17. filed under: art. life. play. 1

What shall we use to fill the empty spaces?

I took this picture what seems a thousand years ago, when I was still a lad and my father was working on the 72nd floor of the Empire State Building. (You could actually just walk over and open the widows like they were the little sliver of a bathroom window in your apartment.) At the time it was just a bad photograph. Not quite perfectly exposed, not quite perfectly framed. A couple of buildings and a shroud of thick fog. Fwap! Onto the pile. But now? Well, with that whole “buildings in heaven” look it got going on perhaps it’s found a new relevance?

07.12. filed under: !. ideas. life. op-ed. politics. 12

Trickle-down affections

Or: do celebrity archetypes inform our snap-judgments?

No matter how hard we humans play at ideas like open-mindedness, reservation of judgement, and rationality we can’t help ourselves but to make instantaneous snap-judgments about things. That’s no damnation, it’s just the way our brains work. We see something new and our industrious little minds seek connections and corollaries. If our minds find acceptably concrete evidence lacking, they simply move down a tier, from direct experience to indirect, and make whatever connections seem most likely. Our minds have no qualms about simply guesstimate and making the closest match they can manage. It’s how we categorize the world around us and make sense of reality.

06.23. filed under: !. inquiries. life. people. 3

Gargantua the Great

Or: Buddy, the gorilla who was scared of lightning.

I came across a few photos of a lowland gorilla in a book about the history of the circus which piqued my interest. I’m a big fan of the primate you see (some being dearer to my heart than others) and I went searching the web to find out more. The Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus billed him as “Gargantua The Great, the world’s most terrifying creature” but as it turns out a previous owner had dubbed him Buddy, short for Buddha, and he had a very sad past. Not only that but he was scared of lighting. What follows are a few brief notes on Buddy’s story and some related images.

06.04. filed under: !. death. history. life. people. 3

Apologies to all for the spotty posting and general crapulessence on display here of late. Hate to make excuses but work’s been kicking my ass lately. Hope to return to previous glory soon… O.k. now stop trying to look up my chiton and move along, you sickos.

05.25. filed under: announcements. life. personal.

Ludolf Backhuysen, Ships Running Aground In a Storm

The sea was angry that day my friends. The sky was cloudy as our president’s judgement, dark as his rule. The rain, like a million tiny silver hammers of Maxwell, came down upon my head. Life, as it has a nasty habit of doing, had intervened on behalf of misery, and served me a summons. There was nothing to be done, this trip on choppy seas had to be made.

05.19. filed under: life. personal.

City Skies

At some time in 1880’s urbanites in a few cities across the world each made real estate deals with the sky. Essentially the terms of the deals went something like this: “You let us build massive and towering buildings deep into your side of the horizon-line and we, in turn, will give up all rights to a decent view of you.” The sky, being a generally aloof sort, didn’t deign to protest.

05.15. filed under: !. history. life. observations. 3

Taking the turtle for a walk and letting him set the pace.

It happens all the time. My own ignorance is revealed to me in the same way. In the course of reading I accidentally discover that for some vague feeling or embryonic notion, which I’ve never taken the time to organize in my mind, or scrutinize, there is already a word. And where there is a word there are bound to be others. When the trouble is taken to name something it’s a safe bet there is a lineage of thought trailing behind it into history.

05.07. filed under: !. history. ideas. life. 1

On the unspoken value of Art

as revealed in Richard Pryor’s film Bustin’ Loose

A few weeks ago while sleepily watching a late night broadcast of Richard Pryor’s less-than-brilliant 1981 flick Bustin’ Loose I was surprised to be presented with a truth about Art. It struck me that Art is of tremendous, nay immeasurable, value to our society for a totally unintuitive reason.

05.03. filed under: art. !. ideas. life. observations. 4

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