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.