Tuesday, August 31, 2004


so you can't read it, who cares. my mornings metaphorical meta-doodle effort.

in my life these days there has been a flurry of questions of how to handle the anger at the republicans, in the context of a spiritual practice. me, i think it's a hard job but someone has to do it. krishna to rama, in it not of it.

Monday, August 30, 2004


drew it last nite, sprinkled magic dust on it this morning.

it's about 11 PM right now, and i wish i could doze off. Interesting gathering at laura's house last evening, not enough time to get to the bottom - or top - of anything, but interesting conversation.

it's of concern for me that in this world conversation and dialog is going the way of analogue, so you have to meet at a certain time and place, kind of like the early christians.

the temenmos, the greek idea of a border, inside of which the day to day world has a different quality.

bertold brecht, or somebody else, said "the worst has already happened." the worst has always already happened. of course in the world of duality so has the best.

don't worry, be happy. roll up your sleeves. accept death not just for you but the entire kosmos.don't do things to accomplish any goal. for that matter don't do things to create the new. just watch them pile up and smile. or get a shotgun. it really doesn't matter.

Sunday, August 29, 2004


back in work marathon mode. i think i will get pdf file of book out tomorrow or next day.

it's funny but when i go on these hypermanic jags i get a lot of additional artwork done too. like the above which is latest in postcards from nowhere series.

but what about (shudder) politics?

are you interested in it? do you have an idea of how the outcome might affect your life?

or is it just too much, too many sliding contexts, meaning everywhere and nowhere, the monkey mind on speed, orwell on steroids and sporting a wireless digicam, blogs hogging bandwidth, there's nothing left to say.

maybe it's time for instinct to take over. do what you do. anything else is something else's dream.

Saturday, August 28, 2004


did this one in a heartbeat, just now. i got up at 4 this morning to take bobby, my neighbor, to the airport.

except the alarm went off at three.

worked on layout for book, about the third day i've been at it.

was to go to shambala dinner tonight, but blood sugar was not cooperating.

working on an oil portrait.

as real as it gets.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

i finally got a handle on how the popular language of political discourse has been, and is, controlled by the neo-conservative bunch. right now we are seeing it in action once again, as weeks roll by and the public discourse of the election continues to take place in small semantic boxes put in place by the neo-conservatives. these boxes are tiny, and any "discussion" that takes place within them are losers for the democrats, no matter what tack they take.

the grand daddy of this strange phenomena is the word "liberal", which became a vehicle for negative feelings some years back. today we have kerry reporting for duty at the democrat convention and several weeks later wasting his time defending his tour of duty in vietnam.

i used to think there was some svengali at work for the neo-conservatives who was morphing language to a state in which discourse was impossible, and public relations, marketing, and branding was all that was left.

yesterday a friend emailed me an article by UC Berkeley professor George Lakoff who shows how conservatives use language to dominate politics. he tells how conservatives use language to dominate politics and sheds some light on the contraction of political discourse. guess what: turns out that money is at the bottom of this development. here's a few quotes:

"Conservatives have spent decades defining their ideas, carefully choosing the language with which to present them, and building an infrastructure to communicate them, says Lakoff.

"The work has paid off: by dictating the terms of national debate, conservatives have put progressives firmly on the defensive.

"Conservatives have spent decades defining their ideas, carefully choosing the language with which to present them, and building an infrastructure to communicate them, says Lakoff.

"...Language always comes with what is called "framing." Every word is defined
relative to a conceptual framework. If you have something like "revolt,"
that implies a population that is being ruled unfairly, or assumes it is
being ruled unfairly, and that they are throwing off their rulers, which
would be considered a good thing. That's a frame.

"If you then add the word "voter" in front of "revolt," you get a metaphorical meaning saying that the voters are the oppressed people, the governor is the oppressive ruler, that they have ousted him and this is a good thing and all things are good now. All of that comes up when you see a headline like "voter revolt" - something that most people read and never

"Why do conservatives appear to be so much better at framing?

"Because they've put billions of dollars into it. Over the last 30 years their think tanks have made a heavy investment in ideas and in language. In 1970, [Supreme Court Justice] Lewis Powell wrote a fateful memo to the National Chamber of Commerce saying that all of our best students are becoming anti-business because of the Vietnam War, and that we needed to do something about it. Powell's agenda included getting wealthy
coservatives to set up professorships, setting up institutes on and off campus where intellectuals would write books from a conservative business perspective, and setting up think tanks. He outlined the whole thing in 1970. They set up the Heritage Foundation in 1973, and the Manhattan Institute after that. [There are many others, including the American Enterprise Institute and the Hoover Institute at Stanford, which date from
the 1940s.]

"And now, as the New York Times Magazine quoted Paul Weyrich, who started the Heritage Foundation, they have 1,500 conservative radio talk show hosts. They have a huge, very good operation, and they understand their own moral system. They understand what unites conservatives, and they understand how to talk about it, and they are constantly updating their research on how best to express their ideas.

"The phrase "Tax relief" began coming out of the White House starting on
the very day of Bush's inauguration. It got picked up by the newspapers as
if it were a neutral term, which it is not. First, you have the frame for
"relief." For there to be relief, there has to be an affliction, an
afflicted party, somebody who administers the relief, and an act in which
you are relieved of the affliction. The reliever is the hero, and anybody
who tries to stop them is the bad guy intent on keeping the affliction
going. So, add "tax" to "relief" and you get a metaphor that taxation is
an affliction, and anybody against relieving this affliction is a villain."

the only way for the dems to break out of this box and escape the tarbaby of republican framed discourse is to jump up a level, stop replying to the innuendos and begin talking about about the framed discourse. and do it in small sound bites.

for instance: if kerry were to say "i did what i felt i had to do during the vietnam years, including serving in the war and later critiquing the policies that created it, not the soldiers fighting it. end of story", it might shut the whole thing down.

there is some hope. i've noticed a feeling floating around that indicates the public is tired of this type of controlled discourse - at last.

I still say let edwards loose. let him, without upstaging kerry, deflate this pseudo language by short quick comments that frame this framing process as an object of discussion, and pointing out the negative effects it creates.

Sunday, August 22, 2004


just spent a classic american sunday, didn't do anything but relax and putter. picture above i started last night during my first visit to the "gray eagle" to hear burrito deluxe.

what it is is a band made up of garth hudson, who looks like a hobbit fresh from the dewy forest, "sneaky pete", who last time i saw him had a cowboy hat on and was playing pedal steel with jerry garcia. he had the air of someone tentively crewling out of rehab. opening act was matt somebody who is from western north carolina and whose songs were dark, hillbilly, funny, but, as he sang "not bitter".

worked a little on the same two paintings i've been tiptoeing around for weeks. vastly improved both, now maybe i can finish them.

i guess kerry is still fumbling around with "flip flop", "sensitive", "war hero, huh?" and various other republican tar babies. why the dems have not learned how to not let the right wing dictate terms of discourse is beyond me.

Saturday, August 21, 2004


lost & found: this a goauche painting i did for a dust jacket - about '79 or '80.

curmudgeon stuff: have you noticed that since the different parts of the world have become aware of each other, how alike the cultural institutions have become? i'm thinking of, say picking up a package at the post office in athens 40 years ago and going into mcdonalds today. endless to and froing, everyone stultified to death.

Thursday, August 19, 2004


just about a perfect day. missed walking this morning but spent the rest of the day catching up on things, health, painting, printing, house-cleaning. i feel like i'm starting to be the light at the end of the tunnel.

[a slight time out.] just turned down going to hear someone play music, can't remember his name. also found out that sneaky pete (think "new riders of the purple sage" and "flying burritto bros.") and garth hudson (the band) are playing at the gray eagle sat so i will go for that. never been to the gray eagle. yet.

curmudgeon mode: one problem in today's life is that first institutions crowded out all human affinity groups, well almost, there are still the street people, the junkies, what the chinese called "the floating life", but mostly by my own middle age the institution was all.

now young and ambitious people want to be an institution, a brand, a commodity. leaves someone like me sidetracked, oblivion express, bring it on.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004


been an exciting few days. walk in the morning going nicely, replacing medications - stolen last week - going. finished a roll of film don't know when the first pictures would have been taken. hope it's the last one i take i'm going digital.

i've always wanted to say that.

saw collateral with j. this afternoon. i didn't know it was directed by michael mann, but guessed it right away. it's a strangely beautiful film, luminescent, gleams, LA all night long. much better than miami vice, highly overated in my opinion. the new film has enigmatic meanings swirling through. that's a pretty good action movie.

Monday, August 16, 2004

dog ate my homework

Sunday, August 15, 2004


things definitely out of hand. i should have emailed that thing i got on fri. the 13th to ten people because things, life, experience, are trending downward and outward, all with no concious effort on my part.

drew the above last night during a visit with a couple of friends.

Saturday, August 14, 2004

i need more grace than i thought.

Friday, August 13, 2004


this week's celestial clue for yours truly. makes sense to me.
(from www.freewillastrology.com.

pretty much slept all day yesterday. not sure why.

my plan for today: continue to lose objects cluttering space. an ancient mac ci and a treadmill are going to go. Somewhere. and i'd feel really good if i could get rid of mountain of papers i have been moving into the living room.

i've been reading James Hillman again. here are a couple of sentences that have caught my eye.

"what is unreflected tends to become compulsive, or greedy."

"psychology usually gives to ambivalence a major perjoritive judgement. it is associated with schizophrenia. as the term 'twilight state,' 'ambivalence' tends to be reserved for a faulty ego. but ambivalence is natural, as the necessary concomitant to the ambiguity of psychic wholeness whose light is in a twilight state."

"and one feels through such experiences that there is meaning, that one is in meaning, that one is personally, individually meant."

Thursday, August 12, 2004

nice moody dark misty rainy day. now maybe i can think. or at least brood.

this weblog has transmongrified over the years from commentary to visual stuff. so i'm going to redo it into art first, any gems - or pearls - of wisdom i might have second.

when i have time.


"we are living in what the greeks called kairos - the right moment - for a 'metamorphosis of the gods' of the fundamental principles and symbols. this peculiarity of our time, which is certainly not of our conscious choosing, is the expression of the unconscious man within us who is changing..."

there's a lot more, too much to type. this quote is from c. g. jung, 1956, pointed out in puer papers by hillman.

the thing is that this change has affected language to the point where an endless chain of reflexive commentary just adds more weight to a sinking ship: western civilization. we have to come up with a new way to convey meaning, especially to the crowd which now includes the entire world.

i'm working on it.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

i've got 15 minutes to post this thing this morning, doctor's appointment i'm on the way to. yesterday was exhausting for me, insulin pump clogged while i was engaged in long drawn out task, unpleasant but necessary. when i got home my blood glucose reading was in the 500's and what that means to those of you that don't know is lot's of insulin, lot's of water, and lots of rest. back to normal by seven in the evening, but as i emailed a friend, it takes the wind out of your cells and i was left with overwhelming fatigue, nothing left to do but stumble around or go to bed. i chose the latter. picture above is straight scan of something i did god knows when but i'm doing it again.

Monday, August 9, 2004


monday a little before one o'clock and i'm ready to post whatever i got to post. you might think i'm lazy, you might think i'm crazy, but don't forget i was up at 6, walked for an hour up sunset mountain, took a few pictures, then walked to uptown bakery, coffee and a scone, walked back, realized i forgot camera, drove back to pick it up, discovered truck wouldn't start, rolled it, got camera, visited a little with janice and a friend who were there by then, managed to start truck and drove home.

ain't life grand?

the picture above i drew at the iris dement concert before she began. ran it thru special photoshop apparatus this morning.

now i'm going to clean bedroom and throw out stuff until three when i drive my truck to mechanic who is getting to know it pretty well. i guess i'll begin looking for another one.

Sunday, August 8, 2004

yesterday and today we are still in the beautiful weather zone, what a pleasure to be able to open the windows again. and last two night's down to 50 degrees, cool air flowing like a mountain river thru the windows. maybe i can start to sleep again.

spent most of yesterday fooling with needless complications that a strong person struggling with a stronger soul can leave behind them. went to see iris dement last night.

her show ran from about 8 - 10:30, and there were seats for the geezers like me to sit in. she played solo, alternating piano and guitar. the entire performance was shot through with a bittersweet quality. i shed a few tears during some of the songs and don't mind admitting it. the melancholy was real, an accepted part of life, but not a life-stopper. bemusement tinged with the golden light of a late afternoon. what a voice, and what a woman.

Saturday, August 7, 2004


it's somebody"s birthday give or take a day or two. and also my grandson corbin's.

i remember 40 years or so ago standing at the sundial near morehead planetarium in chapel hill and reading:

"it's always morning somewhere".

along the same lines i guess it's always someone's birthday somewhere.

last night i went to my first artwalk. i guess what they are is a night the galleries stay open late. aville was in it'd heyday, music all over the place, drum circles etc. i enjoyed it.

Friday, August 6, 2004


this is the first watercolor i ever did, back in arizona around the mid 80's. i like it, a perfect example of beginner's mind. i did maybe 20 the following year, then dropped it. don't remember any being this good. i had a conscious reason for trying the medium, mainly to get as far away as i could from digital artwork which i was up to my ears with working for intel.

lately i am back to bed at 8 or 9 and up at 5. this is the diurnal rhythm i like best these days, as opposed to 45 years ago when i saw the sun rise every morning because i'd been up all night.

tonight, however, prof. sam may drop by, in which case we'll do the aville gallery crawl. if this works out, it will be the culmination of 20 years trying to make one of these events.

and to top things off, there has been a change in the weather: more than a hint of fall. thank god for cold fronts.

Thursday, August 5, 2004


my grandson corbin whose birthday is this coming saturday. i made this morning and am about to go out and mail it. his father doug lost his mother this week i am sorry to say. she was a lady of good humor and a fighter.

today will be a catch-up day i hope. the usual round of daily maintenance with a few fun things like finishing a watercolor on clayboard which i found myself etching with a razor and sanding down last night. clayboard is very different than watercolor paper.

listened to rush limbaugh yesterday while on the road. he's scary but the callers are more scary by an order of magnitude. if the democrats don't quickly learn how to use public language they are going down. already the public is talking about

1) flip-flop
2) results count - and kerry spent 20 or so years in congress without "doing anything"
3) tax and spend liberal.

there are an almost endless supply of these language morphs in the republican arsenal, and they will be used. i still think edwards is the man to field these attacks by sound bytes that are sensible and short. talk straight. for instance redefine "liberal" as an honorable tradition which accomplished etc etc, but whose effectiveness, like all methods or techniques, is no longer what it was, take the best from it and up date the rest.

Tuesday, August 3, 2004


this picture i was glad to find during great kleenup extravaganza. i drew it in india ink while living with my wife and 4 children at big ridge, jackson county, western NC mountains, around 1975.

at that point i had not picked up a pencil for probably ten years. no drawing or painting, i had completely forgotten there was such a thing. one winter night i got the urge to try it, rounded up what materials i could - if memory serves, i drew it on a shirt cardboard. while monkeying around i noticed a newspaper on the floor. the page i saw had an advertisement for a rug company, and pictured a rug with a design similar to the picture i drew. i stayed up nearly all night doing it, and the next day drew another one. this was the beginning of a long period which has lasted the rest of my life discovering and rediscovering how important it is for me to create "art" with a lower case "a".

Monday, August 2, 2004


seven in the morning. got up at 5 and created the above, i don't know what it is or means.

missed friends meeting yesterday, took a long morning walk and didn't get back until a quarter to ten, when the meeting starts. stayed home until 1:30, doing this and that, tweaking computer and reconstructing the address book i carry around and lost a few weeks ago.

drove out to the reitzle's where bev helped to clean batik i found a few weeks ago. it now looks really great. it's a depiction of buddha that had not been very well treated over the last 39 years since i got it.

this week should be a light one, i plan to stay here most of the week and close out a lot of loose end projects. and rearrange domicile once more, since the big cleanup and throwaway of a few weeks ago, plus the small $66 air conditioner i stuck in small computer room - where it makes the room usable all day, a great improvement - required dismantling shelf full of CD-ROMs, disks, zip disks, and tech manuals.

more and more i am running into folks of my ilk - or maybe i should say cohort - who are engaging in penultimate clean up so as to be ready to leave the scene and not burden their children with the reminants of a messy life. life is messy, right?

been taking time off of reading heavy stuff, now on 2nd mystery book from library. this seems to happen about 3 or 4 times a year.