Sunday, December 30, 2001


another finish line ahead, just a few more leaden steps. i know indo-europeon vestigal time units are of secondary importance, but while we're here our number is up so happy number 2002. the stone rolls down the hill again. rattling the dusky sky, the year recedes, sound bleeds, the light withdraws into a black radience. once we would have talked all night. now we fidget.

Friday, December 21, 2001


Modern Peasant Will Be Back After the Holidaze

Tuesday, December 18, 2001


we live in such positive times - the model for the ideal human being today is enthsiastic, excited, and very positive. you see this model as contestants on �the wheel of fortune� and in various corporate offices & cubicles scattered throughout the land. it is mentioned in the employment classifieds: �enthusiastic, positive team-player�.

you might almost say that it is a contemporary fetish, and that the one-world market culture has pushed aside other human models. the curmudgeon is no longer appreciated nor allowed.

why is this so? if it is more than a fad, on a par with hula hoops and swallowing goldfish, how has it come to dominate personal stylistics today?

one answer might be desparation: the mental and material world that has evolved around us has it�s share of (hidden) negativity, but it is a taboo to see it, certainly to point it out.

every now and then you get a glimpse of it; when the mall parking lot suddenly flips from a picture of shiny chrome and smooth automotive colors, all unblemished, new and shining under a skyblue sky to a sudden quick snapshot of discolored, uneven, cracked and ancient layers of asphalt, sprinkled with the effluvia of consumer culture, candy wrappers, cigerette butts, used condoms, the cars squeezed in and rusted and dinted, windows cracked, fenders hanging by a thread or whatever they hang on by.

it could be that the psychic strain of seeing the world as the consumer culture presents itself as opposed to the junk world (junk food, junk sex) is such a drag on the mind that in the spirit of jungian compensation, we conciously experience only the positive: the more positive the picture (with all due respect to werner erhard), the more destructive clutter we are looking at on some (i have to say it: truer but unconcious) level.

philip k. dick had a word for this subterrainian decay: dottle. the market driven consumer uniworld consists of dottle, product morhing into bits of junk if we only had eyes to see it.

[i feel remiss i�m not putting more pictures up; one a day is a lot of work = a lot of fun: the agony and the fun. anyway her�s another one:]

we can�t go on meeting this way
under which rug and why?

BTW it took me 3 days to upload todays missive. technical troubles at i hope or i may have a stray positron or two trapped in my CPU.

Monday, December 17, 2001


down to the wire with the holiday extravaganza. for years now this last week is when i tend to lose it after tiptoeing thru the cultural christmas clutter with some success.

so i lost it. i'm still losing it.

i've got nothing to say about bin laden, the new "soft" imperial presidency, the disappearence of personal time and space, the disintergration of the hellinic-hebrew-christian personality which was not built in a day, the tacit prohibition of irony, the earth flooded with product which not surprisingly ends up in all hands, stuff like heroin, saturday night specials, anthrax spores, and fissionable materials; everybody gets a shot. the now irrevocable law that says if it can be done technologically it will be done, a sort of 21st century predestination removing the person from the pictue.

and here i am expressing my ass off because it has been revealed to me that that is what i am here for, but i have nothing to express that is intelligible, just flashes, glimpses, and molecular neural recursion backed by what was once curiousity but is now more like... an obsolete habit. "we don't need no stinkin' curiousity."

so i�m going back to notebooks which i find from time to time full of stuff that puports not to mean anything except it keeps me off the streets (thank god), amazing to me because i do not remember doing much of it. probably too busy wondering what the world makes of me and my ilk, if there are any ilk left. any ilk out there?

so here�s a hidden song i found, along with a sketch i did 30,000 feet in the sky. both recent:

woven wonder
delightful heart
simple enough: only start
complex beauty
accelerates pain
the sky jewel
accepts the rain
it is nothing
converse with care
mind images dancing
written in air

last fair deal goin down
invisible wind singing a song

Friday, December 14, 2001


i had a hectic day today even tho i never left the house until 4 in the afternoon. finishing up wierd little projects piled in stacks on the floor in every room. i never got around to washing the dishes. listened to memphis slim while i dithered, cut and pasted. licked envelopes. got sudden inspirations and scanned things. sidetracked all over the map.

this was because it has become my personal goal to clear the decks, or at least cover them up with something, by this weekend. after that i want 4 days to sit and doze, dream about daylight, gaze at the sky in the living room, not accept calls, jot down the infrequent synapse-collapse, and in general prepare for the holidaze. by tommorrow i should be out of the woods and into the frying pan.

meanwhile i have this perverse idea of animating donald duck talking to mickey mouse in some alien dim setting, garbling and turning down the audio, and providing crawling subtitles in which they discuss dionysius the aereopagite and the cloud of unknowing, which is fast becoming a cyclone of confusion.

the bright spot of the day was waiting in the pharmacy in the west (old, poor) part of town, no pony tails, no hip people, just a line of mexicans jiving and joking in the western union line and plain folk coming and going for thier medicine. hardwood floors. wide aisles. old stuff in the old part of town. an hour of peace for an old head.

Thursday, December 13, 2001


background noise from afar filtering into the little world i live in about the narcissistic element in creating/maintaining a weblog.

from allied:
"I took a liking to this blogging deal (ordeal?).It gave me a chance to be author, not ghost writer. Thinker, not gopher. It gave me a reason to BE. And now I am someone. Like Mike, it's not really "power" that I feel as I push through my google results. I guess it's a feeling notariety. Respect. Acceptance.Fame. These are good feelings--and something that the day job usually doesn't afford the common guy or gal."

notice this is about how a weblog can increase your rating on search engines, like "google." i would humbly suggest that the bitch-goddess success written about by norman mailer 30 years ago (he also called her "the dirty little secret" of the then-literary world) is alive and kicking. but maybe the real point of all this activity is not notariety but a peaceful anomenity, whether you can spell the words or not. like a conversation late at night between two strangers speeding down some road on a Grayhound bus.

in other words, the soul (or whatever you may call the lasting but not so accessible part of the transitory human), has a natural need to express; that need is being stopped cold by the constant automatically produced plethora of imagery that our present world is becoming; the weblog seems like a way around this constraint; unless it is co-opted (remember "co-option"?) and becomes another place to struggle over pecking order that blows away with the wind.

well, after that cool poetic construct i gotta go and check my place on google before i rest.

Tuesday, December 11, 2001


my friend sam phoned today to tell me he heard the linguist guy on NPR talking about BLOGs and "oversharing", a new but perfectly understandable term for me. it refers to the many adolescent BLOGs that tell about how mom kicked them out of the house so they drove to atlantic city and saw a guy that looked like elvis, etc., with lots of intense feelings sweeping in and out of the day.

it strikes me that at a time when a sound byte is considered communication (i learned today that 9 seconds is the optimum duration for an effective sound byte) that ovewrsharing might be a necessary compliment to what communication has become, that fast talking, quick thinking, power playing posing that passes for the name. oversharing harkens back to oral conversation when a person could blather on (we used to call it thinking out loud when thinking was allowed) and the endless synaptical connections made an impression on the listener (or co-blatherer).

the personal conversational mode ("heart to heart") is disappearing, morphing to the impersonal mode, and i consider it a critical loss, so expect me to resist it and overshare the air even if it's talking nonsense to an orange i'm holding in my hand on some streamlined blurry corner in a dream.

Monday, December 10, 2001


i wondered into the local kinko's today to run off a color file. this outing violated my rule about not going to town during the xmas hysteria, but what the hell. anyway it was chaos and i couldn't get any of the color printers to work, the repairman is on the way. while i was there a young man approached me with the same goal, and decided to drive to greenville i think to output his files. he was a gaphic designer and we chatted about this and that. i don't keep any business cards on me (i'm superstitious) but gave him this website URL. he asked me what "modpeasant" meant and i told him "modern peasant". he laughed and told me how he has a coworker who rants about how anyone that works, especially in a high-tech field, is indeed a modern peasant. so the word is spreading. doesn't matter if it's too late (it is too late), industrial hypnotics has to go, we must revive the lost souls (our own in most cases).

meanwhile here's a watercolor i painted this week while regrouping from travel:

a long week
Lost Again in the Cold Mind

Sunday, December 9, 2001


well another sunday shot to hell. i�ve been working all day on 2 christmas projects and a my second realbasic application which is proving to be very touchy.

here�s the last picture in latest sketch book i mentioned yesterday:

outa time

Saturday, December 8, 2001


communicating with the world: today it means talking to crowds of unseen strangers, ie the culture, or the postmodern world. i assume literature and art don't do this well anymore, both having been transposed to product, with all the restraints that implies. so the question is how to do it.

or maybe it's why do it. nourishing a small group of fellow human beings as friends may be the most that can be done. this is what epicurus thought 2,000 years ago. hard enough to do, and how often do you make a new friend? (this question is addressed to those no longer a part of youth demographics).

i took a bunch of drawing materials i haven't used for many years with me on recent trip. graphite pencil, watercolor pencils etc. really had fun trying these things and came back with a new completed book of sketchs, book number 5 or 6. here�s the first picture in the book:

something strange going on can't get pix to display. [later: i fixed it.]

Mountains of My Mind

Thursday, December 6, 2001


I'm still not my old self. Travel beats me up. So I don't have a lot to say about anything right now.

Except for one observation. While I was traveling and visiting folks, I heard one topic brought up over and over again. It was not 9/11 or why do they hate us so much. guess what it was. Give up? Medical horror stories. Lots of them. It's seems that the medical-industrial complex is crashing around us at exactly the same time as we (the usual suspects: baby boomers) are being shoved into the system. This problem is rampant, and growing like, well, like an epidemic.

A second observation that I have been wondering about is constructive negativity, for lack of a better word. In other words, can 80% of Americans be mistaken, and if so how does one communicate this? The personal is not political anymore if it ever was; how do you converse with a crowd? especially if literature and art have been, to use the word of the day, "hijacked"?

Wednesday, December 5, 2001


i'm still in recovery from travel. don't get around much any more. two observations:

on my recent trip everywhere i went people were talking about the same thing. guess what it was? it was not 9/11. give up?

it was hospital/medical horror stories. lot's of them. leads me to believe that it is especially unfortunate that the medical-industrial complex is crashing right when so many of us (the usual suspects) (b. boomers etc) are being pushed into the system.

the second observation is an old one: how do you express less than positive, enthusiastic feelings about something, for example a car wreck, in our culture? you can't be understood to be complaining because that makes you inaudible.

Tuesday, December 4, 2001


got back to Aville my current home yesterday after a long and varied 2 week trip. lots of dangling projects to clean-up, phone calls to make, places to go. i see that on my monitor the right hand panel of this page is black - stray sub-newtonian particles must have passed through while i was gone. i will fix or change and while i am at it, put up some old and not so old animations that twinkle and glow (or do something) and archive onto one page the pictures i have been putting up now and then. and do something about those damn book titles that hang out in right column. over and very much out.

Tuesday, November 13, 2001


Modern Peasant on vacation till the end of the month

�we were sitting over a beer at Shorty�s one evening in the time of the year when the end of the workday and the start of the evening push in on each other, when everything feels like it�s already too late.�

No Colder Place by s.j. rozan. page 1. very noire. i'll tell you more when I finish the book, but i think it lists another reason I don�t do the season, malls lit like airports notwithstanding.

this passage sheds a little light on why I dislike the holiday season so much. in addition to the fact that I don�t like being used abused & confused by the economic juggernaut dangling Christmas bells. yeah, I admit it, I don�t like it. the holidays are like a game show where nobody wins and half the contestants have minor breakdowns.

the best ad I�ve seen so far this season (already??) is the one where you can get a cliff notes version of the "night before xmas" along with a coca-cola Santa Claus.

anyway i'll be away for awhile, I�m plunging into the holiday maelstrom, driving to chapel hill NC and visit son eli, his wife melissa, their daughter my granddaughter lily, son Nathan, daughter Nicole and her son my grandson Corbin, and my former wife Sally, whoa, last minute flash, also a. woolf who is delayed getting back to NYC and wants to say hello to b.crane and hopes to visit soon.

sally is currently battling lung cancer. this disease is a killer and real underfunded. kind of interesting that the repugnance against tobacco has spilled over into a stigma against those suffering from this disease. more women are killed yearly by lung cancer by far than any thing else including breast cancer, yet lung cancer is way underfunded compared to breast cancer. just shows you the power of words: "she smoked, she did it to herself", and other nonsense while we are all like a slowly sinking ship, the captain running amuck on deck protesting innocence.

anyway next i fly to phoenix on the 19th, the land where everything is new, clean, and shiny, recreational shopping is a must, the cathedral ceiling homes are two feet from each other, and it�s a dry heat, like the moon is a dry cold.

there i'll see sister Jane, Jane�s husband Fred who wouldn�t be caught dead in a crazed web site like this, their children Jonathan and Anne, my mom and dad, and my oldest son Eric.

I�ll be back in business pointing out the delights and paradoxes of semi-conscious life in the 21rst c. western hemisphere late November, when i plan to collect the pictures scattered throught these pages in one place.

and remember, don�t believe everything you think.

i'm not the forest
i'm a tree;
i'm not a you
and you're not a me

Sunday, November 11, 2001


"A basic law of psychological understanding is the mercurial one of keeping images in motion, letting them generate each other. This leads to a depth of vision, not in a logical, linear kind of reasoning but in the richness of texture that a emerges from such a process.

...Its is important to keep changing the subject. The subject changes before our very eyes. It is important to keep changing our mind -

The mind, that ocean where each kind
Does straight its resemblance find.

The mind, or the imagination, the original shape-shifter : Thrice Greatest Hermes."

The Planets Within: the Astrological Psychology of Marsilio Ficino
Thomas Moore

Change Your Mind. It's About Time

Saturday, November 10, 2001


woke up from a nap today that i had been putting off for several days - the radio was on low and playing "it's all over now baby blue" by bobby d. if he'd never made another, CD... his dent in my life and yours would remain. then the same radio speaks of "the former writer ken kesey".

i came back from greece in 64 or 65 and was visiting my mom and dad and noticed a paperback laying around, "cuckoo's nest", and read it. i could not believe it, much less that it was in my parents home. i guess i remember thinking everything was going to be better now. i know i did later.

anyway to hell with cultural histories and milestones to nowhere, unelevate the artists everywhere, free art from the capital "A", and a little respect for those who did. who am we? we are a creature of our time, and our time is a creature of the beyond.

Wednesday, November 7, 2001


a nod towards the world of islam:

"And here, no doubt, is one of the the characteristic implications of Gnostic anthropology. By arousing the human being to the vocation of a potential angel , it causes him to move in this world as a Stranger, a "Prince of the other world" on his way back to his native home. Hence this extreme gentleness, this appreciation of the derisory character of any exercise of the will to power, of any appetite for kingship, or for conversion tending to bring about a monolithic Unity. The Gnostic lessons of the apocryphal Gospel texts which recur in the writings of our Ismailians have given us this teaching: the form of your vision and of your worship bear witness to what you are, you answer for the vision you have of your God. And what God becomes is revealed in the mode of relation attested in man's mode of understanding Him."

Henri Corbin, Cyclical Time and Ismaili Gnosis

that was fun. now this:

inside my cave

Tuesday, November 6, 2001


you can�t have your question and answer it too. i knew i went too far when i knew it was you. three am madness weathers the storm. already gladness is finding a form. i walk without magic without a care. because if i�m here you must be there.

anybody out there?
diamond graffiti

Monday, November 5, 2001


it�s hard to know what to do. while the last strands of personality dissolves into celebrations of the predictable. how can we live like we used to? we can�t. who gets to remain in the newly minted mode? the guy who looks like a carny tele-evangalist and has a penchant for jolt-cola? the womwan who lost her pearls in a south of the border gas station and would rather not talk about it? how about the young kid who walks the pier every morning when the sun rises and never says hello? the old man with the rock who doesn�t own a tv? the young woman with the delicate touch who slowly waves her hands in mind-stopping mudras while time stutters around her?

the old dies and the new is born: we know that. changes without end. if the personality we walk and talk is eroding because it has outlasted its usefullness and reason for existing, what comes next? the bothersome thing is that from this tiny point in space and time it appears that a diminuation is coming, not just a subtraction, or a destruction - we always knew it would involve some of that; but a wholesale substitution of the old and ragged by the vacuum. the artiface and manners arriving any day now seem backward, an idiot wind,, signifying bits of this and bytes of that, all simulcra of a world we have forgotten, but has it forgotten us? maybe it has, and if so we wink out like dying stars staring into space, golden days gone and nights trembling with moonlight twisting in the dust.

but wait, there�s more...

looks can kill
only the wrong survive

Sunday, November 4, 2001


have you noticed it's getting harder to express the inexpressable? or maybe it's getting easier to notice it's getting harder. in the last 10,000 years the human being has managed to lose the invisible. almost.

the invisible still creates some of the turns the visible takes, like "why would somebody paint his hand on the wall of a cave? in the dark?"

some of the turns: maybe less and less. maybe evolution is moving "us" along to the point where bright light, ductile texture, calm lobotomized semi-thought and smooth talk will be the measure of all things. clouds and shadows will be a dim memory. human beings will no longer wonder in the small hours of the morning, "why did i do that?". they won't even wonder "now who just thought that thought?"

there won't be any inexpressible left to inexpress. everything will be clear as they say water used to be. the only thing left to do will be, like they already say on tee-vee, "wealth-creation".

there goes the neighborhood
there goes the neighborhood

Friday, November 2, 2001


the personality (which may be obsolete in the near future) & History

from �Senex and Puer: An Aspect of the Historical and Psychological Present�
James Hillmen

"...As we individuals are fastened to the facts of our personal case histories by what we remember of our personal lives, so is our history addicted to the history of profane time. An addiction demands more and more, faster and faster,. Much of our inventiveness serves merely making, gathering, and reproducing events."

[profane time; current events; factoid of the day; disneyland; the new york times]


Thursday, November 1, 2001


interesting piece on anthrax scare, but more about previous climate of under-the-table fear embedded in our culture for the last, oh say, 30 years.

"I have sometimes felt that living in America now must be a little like what it was to live in a medieval village on the edge of the Black Forest in the 12th century. Daily life flourished with belief in hobgoblins and other unseen threats--all brought to life by word of mouth and rumor."

-OpinionJournal - Wonder Land

Tuesday, October 30, 2001


happy birthday Lily
Happy Birthday
to My Granddaughter Lily

Monday, October 29, 2001

i watched the news tonight - oooooooh boy.

rumsfield was saying that al-queada was lobbing explosive projectiles thru the air in afghanistan along with us and the taliban.

is this really true?

a military type on PBS was saying we are doing well militarily, getting our high tech death traps finely tuned in a new situation.

does this sound like germany in spain 1939 testing toys for the big one on one of the poorest countries in europe?

a military type last week allowed as how the taliban were tougher than he thought.

tougher than he thought maybe but the rest of us recognize that one of the poorest peoples in the world with one of the shortest lifespans in one of the most hostile topographies on the planet who defeated the english empire, the soviet empire, have never lost a war to the outside, including against genghis khan and the mongols, probably have the edge in how to win militarily on their home ground.

a nation-state like ours needs to retaliate aginst an attack such as sept.11. but adding one more layer of devestation to the afghan people is not retaliation. it is fantasy, although i'm sure it plays well in the boardrooms of the powerful. the source of the attack is various rivers of big oil money. if we want to bomb the source we should bomb saudi arabia and pakistan. see America Strikes Back - The Dumb War: It's time to bomb Pakistan.

another interesting statement by rumsfield was to the effect that terrists living in this country will be expelled if their visa is even one day out of date.

isn't that like announcing that any murderers living here better watch out, we'll throw them in the jug for jaywalking?

the ossified, hierarchical bureaucracy that our government has evolved into, run by the best and the brightest (= richest) cannot see beyond their world. they are provencials in an international setting. they don't speak the language. i say again put them all on the street with no resources for a week and we'd have a better chance of dealing with a very dangerous and nasty situation. the people running the war don't (usually) lie, they just don't know any better.

tomorrow i think i'll skip the news.


Sunday, October 28, 2001

the other day in a frenzy of misdirection i went through all of the books in the house: i found lots of surprises. one was "the city in history: its origins, its transformations, and its prospects" by lewis mumford. so now i have to do what i set out to do when i put up the list of books you see on the right: review them, comment on them, say something about them. a self imposed bit of "fun". i couldn't do it without the book because i can't remember what it says.

here is something i picked out at random from the book, in an early chapter on the agricultural revolution:

"...the specialized worker, a magnified hand, or arm, or eye, achieved excellence and efficiency in the part, to a degree impossible to reach except by such specialization; but he lost his grip on life as a whole. this sacrifice was one of the chronic miscarriages of civilization: so universal that it has become 'second nature' to urban man."

pretty cool, huh?

dark waterfall>
<br /><strong>dark waterfall
todays pic

Saturday, October 27, 2001

heard an articulate young pakistani man on the radio today. member of a band, forget the name, sufi rock. he spoke of a poem by 15th c. poet. a striking line goes something like this:

"when you come to the place of five rivers, choose one. then live it."

the penultimate word is probably the key. altho "choose" is necessary to live i guess.

stop me before i paint again
we all have our bad days...some of us have worse

Friday, October 26, 2001

what a beautiful fall day. spent most of the morning with book cover project, realbasic project, archiving information about this new to me programming language, then drove to pick up laundry. in between all this i was trying to finish one so-so watercolor and rescue another in deep trouble. after lunch i took a walk and it was great. the weather of the year, brisk, windy, leaves blowing all over the place, deep blue sky absolutely transparent air and dark dappled shadows flitting about. and the whole time that deep high lonesome sound above and all around my head, like i'm suddenly home in 3 diminsional deep space after too long in two. i love fall.

it's 10:45 in the evening, i'm still archiving. ready for bed. and the funny thing about the day is i never spoke to a soul except mavis at the laundramat and she didn't have a lot to say.

Thursday, October 25, 2001

email from friend barbara:

"Having checked your blog recently, I feel I should say, don't worry about the war - the future will unroll as you walk and you can only affect the parts you step on as you go."

i guess my concern about the war is not about the war. it is about what the war is a symptom of, what the consensual reality is, and what it portends for the future. and what i might be stepping in tomorrow. if i don't trip over my self first.

thought for the day
Thought for the Day

Tuesday, October 23, 2001

nice essay on weblogs and why they might be a way to balance overwhelming incoming corporate data. includes some nice touches about what it does for the doers. weblogs: a history and perspective: by rebecca blood. "We are being pummeled by a deluge of data and unless we create time and spaces in which to reflect, we will be left with only our reactions. I strongly believe in the power of weblogs to transform both writers and readers from "audience" to "public" and from "consumer" to "creator." Weblogs are no panacea for the crippling effects of a media-saturated culture, but I believe they are one antidote."

garish guardian of gimme
Not Much Left at the End of the Day

Monday, October 22, 2001

just when i was running out of things to write i found this tucked away on my hard drive. can you spell "doggeral"?

In the tower of hunger the mice buy. the cats dream of fur. tails twitch with each foreign heartbeat. nothing is lost. eyes like lightning hand over the cheese. as twilight lands, a large cloud shaped like my brother pauses at the gate. the cadillacs are dead, the motherboards conspire. mornings are a vague notion in the land of mice. cats just say no. i leave the rest to you, whoever you may be on top of the hidden mountain, fiddling with the remote control of life and zoning out when it rains.

Friday, October 19, 2001

i was awakened last night around 4am, about an hour before i fall out of bed anyway, by my old friend curly who seemed to be lost in oak creek colorado. these type of inibriated calls are rare in my present life, but i woke up, coffee was happening, my head was hummin, the birds were asleep, so we sat (at least i did) and talked.

curly was disturbed by a number of things, but the main message he delivered was "it's time to say the unsayable." (since the sayable seems a little used and abused at this point). so here is his list of the unsayable which if said (and heard) might give us a little breathing space. (have you ever tried breathing in a little breathing space?)

1) shooting missles into children's bedrooms is a no-no. likewise workplaces, playgrounds, and bluegrass festivals.

2) taking land from a people because God said it was yours is to be discouraged. north americans got away with it from the indians, and the israilis got away with it from the palestinians. each transgressor needs to apologize. curly said give it all back but as a rwealist of sorts, he amended this to give them a lnd, aroof over their heads, aviable way to eat, sleep, and dream.

3) the nation-state is not the only viable organization of a people, even though it is the current style. a people that have not evolved a nation state from, say, an obscure ottoman back-water province like palastine have a right to their homes and farms which their ancestors lived in and which their children would like to continue continue living in. a home.

4) islam is made up of about a billion people, or, if you're like me, a billion souls. it is more than a religion it is a non-monolithic culture with it's own values (which incidentally are more about peace than ramming airplanes into cities). the atlantic pennensula that extends from asia contains technologically advanced peoples who do not have a clue about this culture. muslims do have a clue about our culture. they speak our languages, attend our schools, live in our cities. we do not return the favor.

5) this results in a perochial, provencial view of islam by the west that does little justice to that culture, it�s history, it�s advances, and it�s values.

6) the few experts we have in islam, those who have lived there and speak the language and know a jihad is not a holy war but an individual struggle of the human being to find and foster his higher self (a "struggle) have been decimated and driven from positions where their experience could help our culture. the reasons for htis are manifold but all settle nicely around the fact they are not great admirers of john wayne. the same thing happened pre-viet nam when those familiar with that turf were driven from the state department by McCarthy and the �who lost china� hysteria of the 50�s.

7) in the bumper sticker mentality we have grown used to (McDonalds and the repupublicans (oh what the heck, democrats too) are all hugely proud of them selves when they can "stay on message.") doesn't matter what the message is as long as it's short, snappy, and repeated ad nausium for at least one news cycle.

8) our allies in the middle east include some of the most degenerate and corrupt money grubbing powers the world has ever seen. the suadis. the pakistanis. the sultan of brunei. the united arab emerites. we backed the taliban. we back anyone who will allow us to not be completely cuttoff from oil and mony.

9) the people who have to scuffle in those places do not like it, nor do they like the american government backing and supporting these powers. (kinda like we do isreal).

10) Dissent does not equal anti americnaism. dissent does not equal �i don�t like their methods but thier goals are legitimate. dissent = we�re walking into another debacle becuase we don�t know the territory.

Curly hung upright before his cell phone staticed out. he was heading for the canadian rockies to stay he said.

i'm tired and grumpy and going to draw on my imagination and create an image: here it is: i call it "dazed and confused one more time".

my kind is going...

then i got anemail from old friend geoff commenting on "A British View of the US/Bin Laden affair" by Andrew Sullivan in the London Times, a piece that more or less said the rage of america has been awakened and is gonna KICK ASS: no more mr.nice guy. and that this justifies our existence. letter follows:

"The notion we must die for our beliefs has two (at least) aspects: One, offensively committing suicide to inflict damage to the other side, and two, defensively submitting to murder to first, end the cycles and second, if there is no relief from principled example, to escape this horrible world. Religion teaches we are wrong to kill. I am unaware of any spiritual systems that condemn a person for being killed. Our west point friend and the British view (which I must say, was not anything I
feel in retrospect that I had to read, as pitched in the forwarding message) astonish me without ringing any tone of truth. Are we not all in agreement that we are embarked on the wrong path? Will we not lose a great deal and gain really nothing even if our government (first court appointed in history) entirely succeeds in its plans? Is it not much more likely that embittered, lunatic terrorism will end if we pursue some other, more promising road?"

i might add that the monoculture this age has been veering towards is now in full flower, and that any questions regarding what we can and are doing to prevent explosives going off in peoples homes and workplaces quickly are shoved into the catagories of "liberal", "pacifist", not to mention "traitor". one thing all the peoples of the world seem agreed on: "they" are evil and we're not.

i'm tired of this shit: we don't need to bomb one of the poorest peoples in the world who have never lost a war, including against the mongols. our high tech fantasies probably work better in watts. our weapon of choice against the 3rd world should be our strength: money. let's buy'em and turn the country into a theme park.

Thursday, October 18, 2001

for all the deluge of mediased news (if that's not redundant), there's a whole lot going on today that the public is unaware of. read this interview: AlterNet -- Susan Sontag, "The Traitor," Fires Back for a refreshing view on how difficult it is to think today. from a woman i have greatly admired every since i read "illness as metaphor". one of the great observers of out time.

Wednesday, October 17, 2001

back to politics i can't help it, the fuse is lit. check out semour hersh in this week's New Yorker:"a slow degradation of the system due to political correctness". the system he's talking about is the system we are using to keep the saudis our allies. they are more corrupt than batista, marcos, and allende's killers. and the arab on the street knows it.

Tuesday, October 16, 2001

the reality behind reality is what i find interesting. that's why it's so hard for me to make sense out of "politics". i'm not even sure how it's spelled. F. Breudel wrote a book with the intriguing title "the structure of everyday life". that's what interests me. the structure is changing. an example is the phrase

Shop Till You Drop

last year it meant go crazy with credit cards, buy stuff recreationally, go to the mall and surround yourself with the commercial.

today it means do your patriotic duty until you lose your gasmask.

hop till you flop

Saturday, October 13, 2001

i give up, here's some stuff about the new realpolitik of the day. the fact that being a member of the american middle-class, not to mention a plutocrat, means maintaining a certain kind of blindness has caused and continues to cause a lot of this stuff. kind of like when we walk by a homeless person without registering that the operative word is �person�.

Our Friends Are Killers, Crooks and Torturers
"Almost four weeks after the crimes against humanity in New York and Washington, we are playing politics on the hoof and allying ourselves to some of the nastiest butchers around." remember trujillo, batista, chang kaishek, marcos? well the new bunch is more powerful, richer, more vicious, and we�re still supporting the bad guys to oppose the worse guys. we made the taleban.

Tariq Ali: The Pakistan Maelstrom
pakistan, more guns per person than even america. screwed up by 30 years of looting and exploitation. our ally?

�straight talk to your readers, many of whom I gather have been in denial about any connection between U.S. support of Israel and Osama bin Laden's declared holy war against the United States.�

Friday, October 12, 2001

another place another time
another place another time

"anthrax...smokem out...they don't like freedom...more of our troops lost 9-11 than in the entire gulf "war"...they are cowards...why do they hate us..."

stay tuned for some answers. they won't make any sense. it has to do with language.

Thursday, October 11, 2001

Do the Homeless Live in the Homeland?

Wednesday, October 10, 2001

well had a visit from old friend john r. this evening. we calculated that we had known each other about 40 years on and off. someone who knows me as a snapshot of my present persona doesn't know much. can we stretch the context of talking to a stranger to conversing with a being who has had multiple lives, experiences, forgotten loves, immaculate frustrations, many lifetimes since last birth? maybe.

it's happened to me about 3 times. each time was on a transcontinintal bus plowing thru the dark american night (many years ago there was a dark american night, not sure about the present). don't remember what was said.

stage stag
the man who thought his head was a picture

Tuesday, October 9, 2001

i dunno, bloggerland is awfully slow today. so i am unable to truncate bad vibe message of a week or so ago.

today i�m scattered, and so are my thought-crumbs. shattered. nothin but a blue vacuum looking at me like i�m a blue vacuum too.

current events aren't current and they're not events. the only events today are the little metaphoric electrons and their ilk doin the dance of the flashing glimmers. humans don�t do this dance. well maybe they might do it once but that�s the last dance.

current events are a product. a brand name. a logo. gang colors. revolt into style. in the land of the bored meaning is ignored.

�Not always was the soul identical with the brain. When the body becomes a cave of fantasy pocked with the glowing eyes of myriad animal images, biography might then repeat collective history and my angry soul would be today in my stomach and tommorrow in my skin. the soul could stay in motion.� (puer�s wounded wing by randolph severson).

if that doesn�t make any sense how about this:

the idea of young american men stumbling about in the harshest landscape darn near in the world in the dark lugging enough high tech equipment (all miniturized of course) to feed an afghan village for a year (i�m sure it could be sold at the local back street) and not having the least glimmer of what the humans whose land and way of life is up for grabs are about is catastrophic. you ain�t seen nothing yet. wait till the glitches, software bugs, the higher ups covering their asses, the endless meetings in expensively paneled board rooms where the truth is not allowed all pile up in a collision in a land where the empty evening breezes say more than a thousand MTVs.

americans are temporal provincials. rubes. they have no idea of what it means to live as a human in another place and time. sure PTA meetings are a force for the good, but in other places and times there are other pieces of the Good (probably needs to be capitalized) at work. the watchword for the next few years might be:

It's differant

but it doesn't matter

Sunday, October 7, 2001

ignore previous message. so much vitriol and anger. didn't know i had it in me.

message is so stale because i've been in chapel hill where eric my oldest son landed with little advance warning. so spending time with family.everything is as ok as it seems. meanwhile, with no reference to the personal, just the plain old world out there, the word of the day is:

Give War A Chance

Friday, September 28, 2001

today's missive is in the personal realm, so turn back while you can.

my former wife Sally was diagnosed with lung cancer about 3 months ago. she has been undergoing chemotherapy. during this process i have encouraged her to seek help and advice from the many resources in place at the teaching hospital where she is being treated. she steadfastly refused, her refrain was always "what good will it do?" no contact with support group, ditto social worker, she hates the nurse, won�t phone the doctor when she is ill.

we have 3 grown children, who live near her and are doing their best to be supportive, but are a little overwhelmed by her negativity.

she was hospitalized yesterday with brain mets, new and hopefully treatable via radiation. i packed and am leaving this morning for a 3 1/2 hour drive. i also talked to a patient counselor yesterday and have an appointment with her today. i did this before i knew she was in the hospital, to alert them that there was a patient who needed help medically, emotionally, financially, psychologically, and so on, just as any of us would in a similar situation.

then i hear late last night, through the grapevine, that i am not welcome and not to drive down today.

so i leave in a few minutes, and will do what i have to do to help a needlessly bad and messy situation. god knows there is enough suffering in this life to go around. those compelled to add to it may serve some cosmic function, but they just piss me off.

thank you for allowing me to vent. i really needed it. back next week.

Thursday, September 27, 2001

waiting for the war to end

interesting currents rippling thru the land. most of it media-ised.

item: "are you afraid now?"

i've been afraid for years, not of anybody or any state, but of the human delimma and what humanity is doing with it. in theological terms i guess it could be called free will used very poorly.

item: "the homeland"

much reaction to this phrase with it's nazi echos and polarity ("us and them"). on the other hand neil young used the phrase years ago in a song: "the homeland we've never seen." i like that context better, it raises things up a notch and applies to the whole human race.

Wednesday, September 26, 2001

difference - matter

it makes a difference -
but it doesn't matter

at the start of a long day i feel compelled to make a list of do's and don�ts for the nation state. these are from the top of my head, no proof or evidence exists. very early morning opinions only:

1) do not allow american troops into afghanistan. or midnight commandos. or high flying bombers. or missiles. the former will be slaughtered and the latter will make no difference within that blasted terrain.

2) big money is involved in recent terrist activity. do not assume this money belongs to one man. assume it has a life of it's own as big money always seems to have, and is attached to many entities. this is a capitalist nation, we should be able to effectively swindle the other side.

3) civilian un-uniformed armies fight differently than military armies. bush seems to hint that he and his people are aware of this: i hope so. bureaucratic absence is one difference. independent units is another. recognize that we will have a difficult time adapting to these factors.

my two cents; now i�ll get back to analyzing life in this century and why illusion and disillusion play such a big part in it.

Tuesday, September 25, 2001

"Celebrating Palestinians: Scene WAS ACTUALLY staged."Independent Media Center - webcast news.

this page is not definitive but raises questions as to whether the mediated truth CAN BE true. those of us who have worked in photo darkrooms or video production know the work that goes into a piece is more substantial than the source of the piece. the media (tv, cable, press) is not the place to find out what is going on. it is the place to find out PART of what is going on, and that part is what would have been called in other times and places the party line. visceral knowledge (kurt vonnegut), the street, and between the lines is where the informastion is.

Andrew Schmookler makes it clear in "The Parable Of The Tribes" "that the problems we face now, as we try to come to grips with our planetary interconnectedness, can't simply be blamed on personalities or ideologies, but are rooted in the fundamental structure of 5000 years of international anarchy. The problem of power that he raises and explores is a fundamental challenge for governance (at many levels) that we must deal with somehow if we are to have any hope of creating a humane sustainable culture as a successor to the darkness we call civilization."

this book is a dry methodical exposition of one idea, and entertains objections to it that might be raised, showing why they are beside the point. it is not altogether meaningless at this juncture in history when current events, still deadly, are perceived as cartoon slogans, bumper stickers, and ad campaigns.

Monday, September 24, 2001

i'm too tired to think and too numb to feel. so i'll just throw this out
there. from The CyborgManifesto by donna haraway, typos and all. it's
long and "postmodern" (read: hard to read.), but it has a
certain...topicality, and reminds me of the comparison of the
managerial class of the multinational megaliths and the middle class
housewife of the fifties, both trapped in gloss, shine, and opulence,
strictly regulated (albeit not overtly) in terms of style, dress, language,
both with very little meaningful activity to perform, and both ripe for
self-destruction. i forget what book i read this comparison in, when i
remember i'll post it. meanwhile this from "the cyborg manifesto":

"The 'New Industrial Revolution' is producing a new world-wide
working class, as well as new sexualities and ethnicities. The
extreme mobility of
capital and the emerging international division of labour are
intertwined with the emergence of new collecdvities, and the
weakening of familiar
groupings. These developments are neither gender- nor race-neutral.
White men in advanced industrial societies have become newly
vulnerable to
permanent job loss, and women are not disappearing from the job
rolls at the same rates as men. It is not simply that women in Third
countries are the preferred labour force for the science-based
multinationals in the export-processing sectors, particularly in
electronics. The picture
is more systematic and involves reproduction, sexuality, culture,
consumphon, and producdon. In the prototypical Silicon Valley, many
lives have been structured around employment in
electronics-dependent jobs, and their intimate realities include serial
heterosexual monogamy,
negotiating childcare, distance from extended kin or most other forms
of traditional community, a high likelihood of loneliness and extreme
economic vulnerability as they age. The ethnic and racial diversity of
women in Silicon Valley structures a microcosm of conflicting
differences in
culture, family, religion, education, and language."

Sunday, September 23, 2001

a few facts about afghanistan that you didn't know and that you hope the decision makers are aware of. very informed article by paddy ashton in last thursday times of london. (found here: The Times). this item was pointed out to me by tucker clark, thanks tucker.

Saturday, September 22, 2001

the personal (which may be obsolete in the near future) & History

I think it is time to back up and consider this question:

from �Senex and Puer: An Aspect of the Historical and Psychological Present� (1967) by James Hillmen

�Psychological changes - changes of attitude, changes of personality, those fundamental lustrations the soul - are also regenerations of history. Transforming my family�s attitudes by uncovering patterns in the entwined ancestral roots is not merely a personal analytical problem. It is an historical step towards freeing a generation from a collective pattern. By changing that collective, there is a change in history itself. And each one, anyone, who makes a clearing in his bit of the forest of the past is the hero who redeems time...

{hundredth monkey?]

...As we individuals are fastened to the facts of our personal case histories by what we remember of our personal lives, so is our history addicted to the history of profane time. An addiction demands more and more, faster and faster. Much of our inventiveness serves merely making, gathering, and reproducing events.

[profane time; current events; factoid of the day; disneyland; the new york times]

...History is the room. And just as the psyche is is situated in an historical present that trails behind it the ancestral roots of a thousand ancestral trees, so too does history have a psychological existence. Mircea Eliade has shown us that historical events, those accumulations of irreversible time, are not the primary facts of existence. Historical facts are secondary; they are incomplete and imperfect actions calling for a before and after, historical consequences built on historical antecedents, and are as such only accumulations of sins and sufferings which are senseless unless they point inward to central meanings....Below the clouded and tangled pattern of events, and behind them, are experiences, psychological realities of a passionate importance, a mythological substrate which gives the soul a feeling of destiny, an eschatological sense that what happens matters. And it matters to someone, a person. Without the person, without the individual�s sense of personal soul (that makeweight in the scales [of history], we are simply pre-historic men with only a collective destiny.�

then, possibly on the other hand, there is this, the first words of a don delillo novel... (i think �Mao II�):

�The future belongs to the crowds.�

i�ve heard an awful lot about quantum leaps the last couple of weeks. but are we leaping into a world where the individual consciousness, with all its sloppy rag tag pretensions, obsessions, and neuroses, is going down the tubes, becoming obsolete so the particle people can fully participate in the commercial brand name world; or is it the fact that the personhood under such attack is worth preserving, because in some primordial way we matter very much to the universe?

Friday, September 21, 2001

oops, it's been awhile. your reporter is feeling a little under the weather and over the whelm. slow. did do first watercolor for class i'm taking, it's interesting being involved with a group of like-minded people, this is a sensation pretty foreign to me these days. portion of watercolor below. got a call from old lady friend - i mean a lady friend from the past - last night. it was a strange conversation because it sounded (mostly) sane. i can't say anything about the collective rolling on towards some new kind of war. except it's interesting to note that a lot of the commentary refers to the Gulf War as something else besides a "war". photo-op maybe?

Reality doesn't always show

Wednesday, September 19, 2001

busy boy

busy world today. i guess i have to get into political and world events. so i should say right out front:

the attacks last week were way over the top and we (the world) should change things so it or something like it never happens again.

how not to do this: nuke or otherwise attack Afghanistan. why? our government and state department know very little about the land and the people. England and Russia have been badly defeated there. there was no knowledge of Asia when we slipped into the Vietnam war (state department had been gutted in mcarthy/"who lost china" debacle of 50s).

demonise bin laden and focus on him as the sole cause of destruction. much more likely that there are many large and varied organizations involved, working together from time to time. big money. not all from bin ladin.

this effort should not be played out as western morality play. bush for instance mentioned "wanted dead or alive" western posters of yesteryear. irrelevant.

i am hearing a lot about putting human assets on the ground so we know what is coming and understand the enemies motivation. it is as if we spend enough money we can plumb the mystery of good and evil. our spies cannot learn all secrets, just as mankind cannot.

as far as understanding motivation, all the experts need a weeks vacation on the street with no money. this would shed more light on the enemies �motivation� than a dozen seminars. there is a dynamic in modern (or post-modern) culture that inhibits the middle class from experiencing and seeing certain phenomena. we must take a long look.

Monday, September 17, 2001

been on a 2 day marathon fixing computer. it's like tugging on a thread in a sweater and watching it unravel. still pulling. i don't like these marathons anymore. they used to be entertaining, the ultimate video game, like cutting wood with a chain saw, impossible to stop. my theory used to be this was because we are so overwhelmingly distracted that to concentrate on something is a relief. still think that sometimes. anyway i rebuilt address book so ignore previous message (although it was good to hear from so many of you).

here's a pretty accurate description of living today (i mean RIGHT NOW) barbara crane emailed me [interspersed with my own broken thoughts]:

"I guess its a time of restructuring. So much tearing down of the
old..of what we thought was reality..."

[and what do we think it is now? whatever we think it is, it ain't.]

"Did you know that the WTC was built on a pauper's grave yard ? Until the late 19th Cent. Tribecca was swampy marsh land inhabited mostly by blacks, a sprawling shanty town. There are extensive catacombs of graves ranging from above Duane St. South past the "site" of the World Trade Towers."

[i've had a thought for years that i call the Indian's revenge. we buy manhattan for baubles, bangles, shiny things, glitter. their revenge is that now we live in a world of electronic baubles, bangles, shiny things, glitter.]

"Everything has now changed violently in my neck of the woods.... our building itself is being torn up around our feet by the new owner, in order to make the commercial space more grand. Do we need another shoe store or cosmetic boutique? "

[another thought close to my heart: we're being beat to death by the commercial world of brands, logos, corporate teleology. it's not a mental thing, we're actually changing the earth. personally i've always wondered about the ratio of space to make money compared to the space for humans to live. how much has that ratio changed since, say, the beginning of agriculture/civilization? or the last 50 years?]

"Psychic disputation, delayed stress responses causing a tightness in my chest, a restlessness, an unquenchable thirst for the news. the sounds of girders crashing and sawmills grinding away.- and the strange smell of worlds burning...We are living on the ashes of worlds that no longer exist, old ideas, graveyards, what is no longer alive, relevant."

[we're already hungry ghosts.]

"I'm thinking about the cycle of revenge, an eye for an eye, nation against nation. It is so primitive. I have been thinking about how deeply something else is required. In our immediate personal lives and collectively, this is an opportunity to make a quantum leap in human consciousness."

[i'm ambiguous about this opportunity; remember what happened last time we made a quantum leap in human consciousness: this.]

"Instead of pointing the finger at the destructive forces outside ourselves, lets examine how we as individuals and as a nation have participated. How we have been complicit? Lets evolve beyond knee jerk reactions...and recognize that the world is a mirror. Lets remember what we know, that we are all interconnected intimately interwoven, and lets rebuild a world of sharing and mutual responsibility and cooperation."

[i'll get in a lot of trouble here, but i don't think "rebuild" is the right word. maybe "build"? no, today it has a connotation of blind frenzy. maybe "accept"? yeah.]

ok i'm back, all of the electrons are dancing nicely, i rebuilt address book and a lot of my cybersystem - duct tape and paper clips - really! and squeezed this in:

leave myself behind

Sunday, September 16, 2001

HELP!!!! i blew away my address book! if i had your email address i don't anymore so please email me so i can have some addresses.

you don't even want to know how i did it.

yesterday was one of those technophobia days. couldn't sleep, got up at 4:30 and booted up computer. my browsers have been crashing more and more lately, and i'd tried (one more) quick fix late the night before. in the morning i found it didn't work so spent some time cursing and trying to fix. at 10:30 went to pharmacy and spent $200 on medicine "your money or your life". then drove to friend winnies who just got new iMac rig and spent time with upfront pick and shovel work to "plug and pray". made a little progress. now this am, early, i've already changed out insulin pump infusion set and fixing to do clean system intstall to get computer back on track so to speak. found this picture of yours truly about...uh..let's see...30 years ago? you remember, when the world was young and so were we.

Friday, September 14, 2001

and i thought i'd better put this up. those few people left who know me might wonder about this, me who, along with the rest of what's left of my generation, is so cognizant of the unrecognized power of signs and symbols. as in "the last refuge of scoundrels is patriotism" (mark twain).

but this is a good sign. it means that i oppose the evil of flying bombs into skyscrapers just as much as i think it is wrong to shoot missiles into peoples living rooms. it's wrong and if it takes more than political adjustments to put a stop to it, like for instance an innermost turning of the heart, so be it. let's do it.

i don't know what to write today. i'm all out. nothing left. for the first time in many maay years i slept most of the day: up at 4:30, asleep by 7, up at 11, groceries and library run, asleep by i dunno maybe it was 2 or 3, up at 5:30. i think it's the general malaise in the air and media, i watched the news tonight oh boy...also besides the times i think i am in another medical maelstrom, the little molecules prescribed and ingested by me for survival are starting, as lucretius mentions, to "swerve". in fact everything is starting to "swerve".

got this in email today and thought i'd pass it on:

"Even if you are on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit
~ Will Rogers "

Thursday, September 13, 2001

"We believe we live in the 'age of information,' that there has been an information 'explosion,' an information 'revolution.' While in a certain narrow sense this is the case, in many important ways just the opposite is true. We also live at a moment of deep ignorance, when vital knowledge that humans have always possessed about who we are and where we live seems beyond our reach. An Unenlightenment. An age of missing information."
Culture Jamming by Mark Dery

Wednesday, September 12, 2001

sometimes on this page i try to drag kicking and screaming some obsessions of mine, like how the language has been stolen, how public discourse has become a stylized oxymoron, how evolution has become cutural (weltenshaung) rather than personal (possibly leaving some of us old farts with a colorful life behind us high and dry). the most meaningful conversations i have had have been at three o'clock in the morning on a bus tearing thru the dark kansas night (not on an airplane where each person guards his personal space:read Another Country by Mary Pipher).

anyway i want to get personal if not egotistic today, drop the big motifs, and tell you about my day while all hell was braking loose elsewhere. first off i had been up all night with high (in the 500's) blood glucose readings, which i finally solved by changing insulin pump site at 4:30 in the morning. if you've ever spent the night flirting with diabetic ketaacidosis you appreciate my story. i barely made it to first watercolor class at 1:30, a big step for the solitary person i have become, not to mention agoraphbic. a full day and i don't have a thing to add about memes, semantics, crazies, the circus, the daily destruction, or even ancient friendships rising from oblivion. i will add this tho:

A Gift from All of Us

Avocations Matter More than Vocations

Tuesday, September 11, 2001

my sympathy to the casualties , wounded and hurt by today's awful events. and my condolences to the souls that inhabit the world where it happened. we must be here for something besides this. whatever it may be, let�s do it.

Monday, September 10, 2001

those books listed on the right: my original idea was to write about them and how they are the core of my world view. or at least part of it. but i now realize i can't really remember much about them. don't worry, i still carry them around, sort of by osmosis.

so i looked for links to some coherent commentary on them. zip so far. so next project is to write about the damn things, pages in the mist. after that i'll post a few old quicktime movies. yahoo, a lifetime to do, no reason to, i'm just like you.

i see weblogs maintained by state of the art techies. the sites are crisp, cluttered, but mainly right up to date with the wonderful world of bouncing electrons. now as a neoluddite who is a little confused at the best of times, i won't go into the worst, but there's all kinds of times, i don't so much keep up as ride by with a cold (or is it old) eye. anyway my motto is that if it's worth doing it's worth doing slow. so the links on my weblog are like this one:

W R O N G !

have fun taking your time.

in the interests of showing what kind of techie i am, i have to disclose that i don't spend much time on the net. except for every now and then. some of the weblogs i have seen are so up to date, links to every technical wrinkle of the last 24 hours. my motto: if it's worth doing, it's worth doing slow.

but i used to know stuff, just as well i don't anymore because it's been replaced. however here's an old favorite of mine, have fun:

i have a number of things i must do today. i don't want to do them: so i'm killing time (my least favorite phrase in the whole world). here's the result:

avoiding responsibility

Sunday, September 9, 2001

ok it's time for a pome drawn absolutely at random from too many notebooks scattered around my living room:

first i should say i've been painting and brooding the last few days. a domestic personal familial problem with no immediate solution, my youngest son receding rapidly into ...something.

ate breakfast yesterday with friend jim w. and isabel. good to see old friends in this slo-mo final frenzy. time is such a joke.

here's pome. it might be a country and western song but i don't think so.

hands of exhaustion
glimpses of hell
don't worry bout me
I"LL never tell!

harvest injunction
demanding defeat
from others about you
fast on their feet.

years in the yard
wet feet in the snow
i tried too hard
and couldn't let go.

what became of us
is what we are
a minute too soon
an hour too far

comin back home
i stumble and lurch
just another madman
in front of the church.

Thursday, September 6, 2001


twilight again right now.

i was reading "peaks and vales" by james hillman this morning before the sun rose. not dedication, just accident, i grabbed it when i sat down and one thing lead to another. i think everyone should read it at least once, and that i should read it more than that. i'll grab a quote or two from it: ok this one is random:

"the movement from one side of the brain to the other, from tedious daily life in the supermarket to supraconciousness, from trash to transcendence, the "altered state of conciousness" approach - to put it all in a nutshell - denies the historical ego. it is an approach going back to Saul who became Paul, conversion into the opposite, knocked off one's ass in a flash."

got some errands out of the way and spent the rest of the day reading a book about watercolors and the development manual for realbasic which i continue to fiddle with. maybe i took the day easy because yesterday was a medical day: teeth cleaned in the am at local tech school, dermatologist visit in the pm, who froze 3 places on face and excised possible problem from tummy. then to pharmacy for $135 worth of pills. see what i mean?

oh yes i finished this one late last night (it's a watercolor):

now you see it

Tuesday, September 4, 2001

"The Corporate "I": Corporations are legal fictions that we the people created. They have no inherent rights or freedoms."

[i blew it: lost the link from where this quote came. apologies.]

but they do have legal and political rights and freedoms. in fact, from the legislative point of view, they are exactly equal to persons; except they can live much longer (makes it hard for a person to engage with a corporation in the legal arena: the longer lived entity just outwaits the shorter lived.)

a corporation can do just about anything a human can do: buy, sell, speak, get angry, lay low, maybe not laugh out loud.

two things illustrate this. the first is the corporate "we". i particularly like the slogan "we want your business." they sure do. whereas the royal "we" (queen victoria: "we are not amused") is dated and pompous, the corporate "we" is trendy, hip, just one of the guys. and to think it is just a legal construct really, like a zoned parking lot!

the second contemporary demonstration of the universal acceptence of the corporate "we" is the free speech issue. whereas in the counstitution free speech is guarenteed to citizens, it has morphed into allowing corporations to say whatever they want to say. notice that this kind of "free" speech is paid for, big bucks. the only kind left for us humans soon will be late night conversations on a getaway bus in the night.

today was sort of one of these:

one of these

Monday, September 3, 2001

labor day is over, the work world descends (as if it ever left) and it is time to learn about memetics which might save your life, change your world, or waste your time. see memetics for more than you ever wanted to know about it. lots of deep links and here are some quotes from different sources:

"If we ever want to make an intelligent machine, its operating system should be music."
[hank williams? jr. brown?]
"If this article has succeed in infecting you with the meme-about-memes, perhaps it will help you be more responsible about the memes you spread and less likely to be infected with a meme that will harm you or those around you."
[infection leads to salvation?]
"The essence of the meme idea is that evolution no longer takes place on the level of the genes, but on the level of culture. The fact that memes evolve according to principles of variation and selection very similar to the principles governing Darwinian evoltion of genes does not in any way lead to Social Darwinism in its old sense."
[what does it lead to in it's new sense? i can't wait.]
"Why is the spirituality of the musician in "High" cultures so often a low-down spirituality?"
[too many drugs? high road low road?]
"Meanwhile, the question remains: How to box with shadows? In other words, what shape does an engaged politics assume in an empire of signs? "
[i dunno but a homeless symbol might]

Sunday, September 2, 2001

well while chris is away on his labor day tell-a-thon he asked me to step in and say a few words. my name is fade spasm and i'm from fort hook oklahoma, the home of the mighty falconettes. i'm here to represent the silent inane, i mean insane. you can't always get what you thought you wanted, but patience used to be a virtue and now it's all up for grabs or, as the pessimistic like to think, for grubs. it's rainy in old deccalb county, and joe norris the weatherman (i just know him on TV) said "c'mon down to the crab festival but you better bring an umbrella. shoes would be ok too." do i know where my kids are tonight? do they know where thier father is? are ten million SUVs worth one brief breath? and what about cognitive gridlock? what about doctors who play doctors? what about 50 year old adolescents who play doctor? the last time i was around the block i was around the bend. talking heads, greedy hands, lying eyes, fast feet, dumb terminals, slow electrons, disrupted biorhythms terminally gone south, a head of lettuce and thou. know what i mean? if it's not the kat's meow it's one just like it. the last time jack kerouak hitch-hiked was on a sunday, he walked 10 miles while american families in station wagons passed him looking the other way and his feet bled. the 50's were over and the 40's never happened. out of time, out of mind, out of sleep, out of dream, outta here. thanx chris for letting me tell my story.

it was a dark and stormy light

Saturday, September 1, 2001


for the bent, twisted, wasted and nearly gone (i include all of us this labor day), here is a commentary on work that reads at first like looney tunes, or at the very least a joke, but is deadly serious, far ahead of it's (our) time, so of course it has that lunatic edge. read it: The Abolition of Work:
"In order to stop suffering, we have to stop working.
That doesn't mean we have to stop doing things. It does mean creating a new way of life based on play; in other words, a *ludic*
conviviality, commensality, and maybe even art."

labor day saturday. i labored. cleaned kitchen and bathroom. thank god that's done for another year. i have nothing to say: "i ain't talkin...thaaaaat's what i've got to say" (yardbirds, first album i think.) reminds me now of my youngest son. any way i'm looking for something called "the abalation of work" by paco which reads like an over the top piece of insanity until you get it's deadly serious and light years ahead of it's time (so of course it reads insane). when i find it i'll link to it. meanwhile here is a gift of today's labor by a modern peasant:

i've had enough what else can you show me

Friday, August 31, 2001

"Humans are always having mental conversations with people who aren't present, often trying out new plans by describing them to the absent one... and death doesn't necessarily put an end to this." even on the three day secular trademarked labor day travelthon to nowhere (i.e. somewhere else.)

i'm past the withdrawal pain of no movement. however i probably think too much.

pictures are images, images come from the imagination, imagination comes from the Imagination (Magnanimous Mind) imagining us. imagine that.

we are imagined

Thursday, August 30, 2001

two things today. one is phrase i stumbled across:all earthly dignities that totter on this shifting scene. betch don't know who said it or why. but it describes what was in the back of what was left of mr. jones mind when he got all creeped out with the rest of us, circa 68.

do you, mr. jones?

And then there is this article OJR J.D.'s Web Watch: Blogging as a Form of Journalism which talks about the relation between weblogs and journalism and the glorious future when every mental hiccough will be documented somewhere. half the battle i think is that we're such a constricted culture when it comes to expressing something new that just the act of articulation of the less than defined is a necessary practice; the downside is that if by some genetic, cosmic, or stray muon streaking through the atmosphere you were given the gift of expostulating, even hinting, at the totally hitherto unknown you'd end up if you were lucky babbling on street corners.

Wednesday, August 29, 2001

"chronological conciousness"... i like that phrase. it's something we aren't born with and don't die with. maybe time is like the water in a fishbowl for humans. then maybe again we're wired, tired, mired, and fired and THAT'S why we're not concious of time. in the same way that a syberetic wealthy profligate is not a sensualist, because if he was he could feel leaves and wind. anyway here's a 'timely' article on time.

got back home from stay in chapel hill nc where i visited my former wife sally who is battling lung cancer. she just finished 1rst round of chemo and so far real good. also saw 3 of my children all scattered in their own ways, and two grandchildren.

took the old highway back missing the megalopolis strip city of burlington-greensboro-winston-salem, trip was much more pleasant and only 1/2 hour longer.

infinite regress: stop the madness

someone knows; someone cares; who am we?

now as to this weblog. it's supposed to reflect more that the micro-events of a dull life. it's supposed to blow the lid off of the quotidean error of "it's supposed to be this way." like marxist determinism historical laws are at work like "if it can be technologically done it will be done" which effectively leaves us all behind in the confusion dust while the evolutionary bandwagon rolls on to somewhere else. so question is am i obsolete because i don't work out and wear brightly colored hitek garb? or am i maintaining what is left of the western personality, soul, and conciousness and a good guy for doing it? or both?

Thursday, August 23, 2001


why am i uncomfortable with the ascendancy of the corporate mode in today's world? why do i feel more at ease in a (now hypothetical) world where the kids wanted to be rock and roll stars (before there were rock and roll stars) instead of CEOs who smoke expensive cigars thru capped teeth? well part of the reason is i come from another world, the world of 30 years ago. and part of it is that i see our most precious jewel, the human personality, being squeezed into just another commodity to be used.

this all started the first week i went to work for Intel, the mega-thing. that morning driving down a huge phoenix boulevard, i noticed at this large intersection these young kids holding up signs and jumping up and down. something about a carwash. it seemed an odd way to communicate to me, who was fresh down out of the backwoods mountains. what was the mode of discourse? movement, color, flash, enthusiam. what was being said? "buy me".

that afternoon, there was a marketing meeting at work. i honestly could not believe it when these three young kids (i later got to know them: they were smart) began to enthusiastically and with great animation tell us how "pumped" they were about the new product, whatever it was. not much was said about it. but a lot of loud positive energy was put forth. it was a high school pep rally.

the product disappeared a few months later like so many do. it never made it to market. but those kids selling carwashes on the corner and those marketeers out-enthusing their peers (how do you think they got to be leaders?) have morphed today into the dominant mode of the culture. or monoculture, there's not much room left to be anybody else.

now on to something that makes more sense, here's a watercolor i finished this morning:

light is God's shadow

Wednesday, August 22, 2001


busy busy day, it always is before i go to chapel hill. unlike years past when i traveled reasonably light, i have to very carefully prepare for any extended day anywhere. plus i wrapped up a lot of maintainence errends. tommorrow i xerox 3 copies of lung cancer missive and pack for friday.

so since i have nothing to say today (but when has that ever stopped me? (you wouldn't believe how many times it has)) here's a poem i picked at random. i'm collecting them, finding them all over the house, mostly from a couple of years ago:

there is no more magic
it's just like it was
if it wasn't so tragic
it would be just because

stuck in the briarpatch
and only can say
that where there's a briar
there's always a way


Tuesday, August 21, 2001

today i spent tied to the whippin post, 12 hours in front of G3. it started out as an accident and transformed into one of those things like when you�ve been on the road 30 hours and can�t quite stop breezing through the great american night. not that i do that anymore, you understand, i hung up my travelin and dancin shoes awhile back.

sally my former wife has recently been diagnosed with small cell lung cancer, not a good thing, and i�ll be visiting her and 3 of 4 children this coming week. i started thinking how tough it is to glean and weigh information in short period of time when you�re not feeling tip top. (maybe a metaphor for the modern peasants of the 21st century). anyway i started sorting through and organizing scads of research i�ve done on the subject and came up with 300 plus page document which i edited down to @ 100 pages. twelve hours. i used to like the adrenaline and truth to tell got a little kick from today�s exercise but once in a long while is enough. also finished 2 watercolors i am sort of proud of, landscapes done quickly for sister�s and son Eli�s bday next week.

sometimes concentration, as great a relief as it can be, is just another way to let the time slip by.

Monday, August 20, 2001

another long day. aren't they all? getting longer and going faster so i gues it evens out. started day off returning equipment to doc's office, then went to kinko's and tried to snake my way thru all that confused jumble that everyone before you has screwed up. got two good color proofs of cover, will send one to barbara tommorrow, maybe it's finished.only glitch was 1/8 bleed disappeared which i can fake i guess. bought a light-weight hat. i hope it's cool in the sun. the heat is killing me. nearly finished two watercolors, bday presents for son and sister next week. spent many hours tonight assembling from web sources information on small cell lung cancer. tommorrow i'll structure the information, print it and send it by email to children so next week in chapel hill we can come up with process to help sally who i think is at a standstill and totally overwhelmed by her situation. maybe not, i won't really know until i see her.

Sunday, August 19, 2001

i found another picture from the past. in fact i've been stumbling on a whole bunch of them, personal artifacts of some kind. this one is from a couple of years ago i think.

ducks in a row

email and reply from this am. food for thought (and i don't know what to think):

"I must tell you I find your weblog rather scarey - it reminds me of me and
my own diary and seems too intimate for the infinite unprivacy of the net.
Turn back before it's too late!
It's like you see a fellow traveler on the high rocky path looking out at
the space of sky with an expression of happy anticipation and you don't want
him to jump, because if he does, what does it say about your continuing on
the path."


"interesting comment. i've never kept a journal or diary. and i don't
really intend for the weblog to be such. i'm just trying to see where it
goes. the excercise of writing a paragraph a day lends some little
structure to my life. in the back of my mind i feel like it will become
a sort of commentary on what it's like to live in these times with
particular reference to phenomena that are right on the edge of becoming
noticed. "artists are the antenna of the race" - ezra pound.

of course the wall between private and public is one of the giant issues
of our times. i'm not talking about being monitored by the cia but the
persona declaring itself a public brand - tell-all biographies, the
celebrety phenomena as brand name, etc.

i honestly believe that we all live in a hypnotised state and that the
consensual reality is a mass hallucination. maybe it is supposed to be
that way and serves some higher function. but it creates nagging vague
problems for some. it is this situation that i would like to document
for reasons i do not fully understand.

i will take your thoughts seriously, but so far i just feel like it's
another way to talk to the moon."

Saturday, August 18, 2001

went to the pharmacy and grocery store today; $150 for 3 meds; $65 for food. that's about how it's breaking down for me lately. i think my kat has run away: she's been gone all day. i bought her a flea collar at the grocery store, you'd think she'd be happy. kats: you can't live withem and you can't live withoutem. spent the heat of the day inside reading a thriller and glancing from time to time at unfinished watercolor: i now know how to complete it. making order out of chaos i found this picture on computer. probably did it a year or 2 ago when i was hyperdepressed.

it was a dark and stormy night

Friday, August 17, 2001

but then he could have said "old age is like a 747 crash: lots of luggage spread over the landscape and nobody comes back alive."

"baby baby baby you're out of tiiiime..." the most final words in the english language. george benard shaw (i believe) said "old age is a shipwreck". as i drift closer and closer to the iceberg (or maybe infinite waterfall), it strikes me that his words were pretty accurate. why? well, in a shipwreck everything changes and implodes instantly but it seems to take forever, and if you survive you find yourself very alone, either in the dark ocean under a cold black sky treading water, or maybe on a very small island with one palm tree and way too much empty horizon. it is this sudden aloness that strikes me: you're old, your peers and your time and your age have slipped away and the vital world of the past is an hallucination. and you are a funny little man who doesn't watch TV. me, i'm doing dandy, screwed up a watercolor today and then partway brought it back (i'll know tommorrow). screwed around way too long with realbasic trying to program 2 lines. i may not do not have the time for this. think my cat may have fleas.

Thursday, August 16, 2001

a very plain vanilla day. which is good because the continuous blood glucose monitor will record what my blood sugars are on VPVD.

i stayed up late last night past 12 sucked into the undertow of the net - actually got a few applications and utilities running that should have already proven useful.

got back from walk around 9 with low BG again, what a wipeout. just nod off for an hour waiting to catch up with myself.

"reality shows": say what?

Wednesday, August 15, 2001

wednesday one more time. how long can i keep saying that? today i had a 9 AM appt. at endocronologist's office to be outfitted with continous blood glucose monitor (CBGM). it will download 3 days of blood sugar readings taken every 5 minutes. i wear it for 72 hours. each time i measure my blood sugar (4-6 times a day) i have to calibrate it by plugging in the number i get. so around 2 PM prior to eating lunch i test and get 346 which is WAY out of bounds; i discover insulin pump infusion set which i installed early this morning had come undone, so another change of infusion set, plugging in numbers, writing in log book, and not eating anything. for all you non-type 1 diabetics out there, this is not an unusal day for me. i know what disease(s) i have, what do you have? anyway much later started a serious landscape and exchanged books at library. so all's right with the world, it just doesn't look that way much.

Tuesday, August 14, 2001

Tuesday, take out the garbage day. rolls around once a week, and there's always some to take out! we live in an amazing world.

took a morning walk, trying to do it for health reasons each day before it gets hot. kind of been slacking off lately, so off i go this morning. ran low on glusose before i got back, had lifesavers in poket natch but just a little ways to go, up this long endless sidewalk plain, step by step. got back and tested, BG was 39.

dumped a bunch of stuff off of hard drives to free up space, including MOPS the object oriented langauge i've been ramping up. took a look at it last night and realized no way, no reason.

blocking out next watercolor landscape. i'm going to try and do it real...well. good feedback on earlier watercolor i put up last week.

monday, a zero day today. gloomy, overcast, humid. did a little grocery shopping, got bug potion for kat, and came home. sent sally a book on lung cancer; it was not as broad and deep as i had hoped but very structured: it should be handed out to all newly diagnosed patients.

finished a watercolor; more trees. still haven't hit on color shorthand for them. finished "jounal of albion moonlight" by k. patchin. let's see if i can grab a couple of quotes from the book:

"when two things hit each other it is always the fastest moving which flies backwards farthest: it is no disgrace to fail in this world; it is, in fact, impossible to conceive of success in any other way."
(shades of bobby d.)

"i am tired of writing in the air. i want to say something that will help you. we are animals together. i have no money. but i have made speeches in the mountains."

"what crisis do you speak of? the gesture of fruit is not timid."

and so on and on, he's got a million of 'em.

i tried to post this yesterday but had a little browser problem. now it�s next am and i am poised for a day of catch up, slow up, and show up.

Sunday, August 12, 2001

"sunday morning everybodys in bed:
i'm on the street talkin out of my head"

from a song by Charlie Musselwhite that i hear in my head every now and then. he is a very good blues singer and excellent but eccentric guitar player as well as one of the premier blues harpists still kicking. but don't misunderstand, it's just a work of art, not a personal reflection: i can honestly say that i am NEVER on the street, much less talkin out of my head.

i'm trying to learn how to paint trees in watercolor. started yesterday. after i get something going there, i plan to learn foliage: grass, bushes, weeds, flowers, rock and dirt. that's gonna be a biggie. then on to water, clouds, and distant mountains, all of which i've already started doing.

going to kinko's this morning to print 2 copies of cover for barbara's book. this is not my favorite thing to do, i hope these proofs are the last.

isn't it strange that "reality television" is called "reality television"? forgeting for the moment that there's no such thing, why would these vapid, strained highly stylized and predictable extravaganzas be called "reality television"? i guess it is because unreality television features actors playing people and laugh tracks or talking heads and setup news footage. while "REALity Television" stars real people. but they aren't real people, they're modern peasants playing "star for a day". (remember "queen for a day" on early TV in the 50's? no? well i do.) the entertainment industry becomes more manneristic (an art history term meaning "self-referential" (read this), a phase usually taking place after a great creative surge in the culture. e.g. manneristic painting followed the rennaisance painters in italy and, in our own speeded up times, the beatles white album was manneristic, following the explosion of modern sensibility that unhinged so many of us. the only thing close to reality television i know of i see over the shoulder of the clerk in the 7-11. and it's pretty grim, dull, slow, fractured, and way too dull.

Saturday, August 11, 2001

it's going to be a slow day. i decided early this morning to skip the day. time out. here's another watercolor i recently did. i only used 3 colors (something that i hope speeds up the learning curve):


Friday, August 10, 2001

a reply to an email i sent yesterday. the email concerned bush/stem cells, and was on a listserv for diabetics who use an insulin pump:
kathy wrote:
> Hi all:
> Well, the vote is out and I'm a little disappointed but also encouraged...
> However, you can't blame the man as he had to make a decision which would
> make everyone happy and I guess he had to come in the middle.

he did not have to make a decision that would make everybody happy. as a
matter of fact that would be impossible. so he might as well have made
the right decision, ignoring politics, ignoring 2nd term, pointing out
that the abortion question and stem cell question are two separate
issues, and moved on.

chris parsons
T1 84 HTRON Plus 99
who is pretty darn apolitical these days

surrounded by mediated blather, i sometimes remember that when i was young i had a map of the culture in my head and seemed to "feel" anything going on out there. "visceral knowledge" kurt vonnegut called it. but my mother and father, who lived in the same world (?), seemed woefully out of touch. i thought it was because they were old and somehow incapable of "getting it". now that i am old and in the way i am no longer conversant with the world of today with it's brand names, it's logos, it's styles, it's stars, the details of the gestalt. like bob dylan says, "i wouldn't know a real blonde from a fake". so i'm in the same relative position vis-a-vis the culture that my mom and dad were (still are). but now i no longer think that this is because the old are somehow deficient. i think it's because they (we, i) don't care. it is not important. distant babble. tale told by an idiot. i don't know as much about the culture as i once did because in the lengthening twilight, i don't care.

this weblog phenomena is really interesting. i've spent the early morning hours checking some out. the feeling among the young and technically comfortable is that blogs are a healthy antidote to the corporate institutional stranglehold on "news" (or i might say "thought"). a bottom-up grass roots thing, kind of a second chance for the web with the demise of the flash in the pan get rich quick dotcoms. on the other hand the blogs could be just adding to the already overpopulation of words (often out of context) floating around. there is no doubt that if you were to try and keep up with these things it would be a full time enterprise. there are more words per capita than any time in human history (my opinion) and the blogs are evolving to accomodate this fact. here is a good example.