Monday, July 31, 2006

Situational Ethics...

It's probably a cliche, but the more time I spend on this planet, the more accepting of the so-called "messed up state of things" I become. Which is to say some of my high flying, emphatic, dogmatic, outraged idealism is finding some roots in reality. It's a personal development I hadn't counted on, and I am mystified and fascinated by its gradual unfolding.

For example, rather than bemoaning the state of the environment, I believe that the environment is as exactly overburdened as it should be - given the human population and behaviors we've got. Because the human machine is hard-wired to sense it's own mistakes, there's a good chance that we'll be able to rally and begin to make amends. Of course there are variables: maybe greed and narrow-mindedness will block our recognition of certain impending realities, or maybe our wiring is finally too slow to respond in time to the mega-decay wrought by our technology enhanced global impact. These are the risks we face. I accept that the fate of the planet could go either way, though, of course, I hope for and champion actions that support the favorable outcome.

Brother Pigatschmo spends a great deal of energy declaring his "anti" position on many things: smoking, meat eating, cowboy politics, etc. I respect him greatly for his clarity and strength of belief. He refuses to participate in meat eating because he is against the killing of animals. He believes if everyone did the math and realized how horrible it is to kill animals, we'd all come around to vegetarianism eventually. I, on the other hand, do eat meat (see Ribs below. Delish.) I do not like the killing of animals, but I accept that animals are killed in order to make the meat I eat. I understand that no matter what sort of activism I engage in, animals will continue to be slaughtered. And given the human population and behaviors we are saddled with, I accept that part of the cycle of life is death. And one not-so-pretty sub category of that cycle is that people will use death to sustain life.

For this reason I find bullfighting to be a very beautiful and deeply resonant form of performance art. It dares to incorporate the horror of actual killing - the ultimate punctuation - in an otherwise dreamy carnal pageant.

(Photo by the brilliant Lucien Clergue)

Sunday, July 30, 2006

"The Exquisite Corpse" Ribs and Cake Procession...

What we ate for Sarah's birthday. Ribs straight from "BBQ King USA" on the corner of Sunset and Fig. I can heartily recommend this smoky, heart attack food for all. The cake was a Baskin Robins praleens and cream white cake with a Madagascar theme. I took off their plastic animals and affixed some from Sarah's childhood we keep in a ceramic pot.

Saturday, July 29, 2006


Can't believe I found y-o-u.
xxxooo P.G.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Everyone's a critic...

I'm so sleepy. This heat has taken it's toll. I mistakenly read a headline on as: "Eno Filling in on Ebert & Roeper." Actually, it's Leno, as in Jay. Needless to say, my blurry-eyed mistake is about a hundred thousand times better of a choice. I'd rather have them dig up Siskel's bones and place them artfully in the aisle seat, than listen to Jay Leno twitter on about how great "Talladega Nights" is. Sorry Gene, that's really rude. But Eno would be a good choice. How about "Eno & Hussein"? Or "Cheney & Ono"? "Wait, "Eno & Ono"!
Too music biased... "Hussein & Cheney," I'd watch that. Umm... "Lama & a Stick Insect injected with pharmaceutical morphine"? Too incomprehensible. Or if they must: "Leno & Herzog." It'd be fun to watch Werner Herzog shred Leno like a grizzly bear. I'm a punchy monkey. What other combos could host that dumb show and make it interesting?

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Tongue Fu...

Socrates would always get a thrombo when it came to those meddling sophists. And who can blame him? Fast talkers who deftly use language to obscure certain truths, and boggle less Machiavellian minds, thus clearing the way for their selfish agendas, are insufferable. Language is ripe for abuse, and our world is often governed by abusive individuals. Once curiosity and humility are ousted from communication, words become weapons. And since diffusing verbal conflict is generally a low human priority, toxic verbiage casts the die for all behavior and action to follow.

Most people can feel when their manner of speaking has become dehumanized. For those of us who can't recognize this, or choose not to, I predict that the value of your short term gains will ultimately loose meaning, overshadowed by the psychic prison of your self-alienation.

How not to speak: here.

(lashing girl tongues captured by: who else?)

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Tails of Autotomy...

With travel comes the inevitable return home, which is always somewhat of a shocker. Oh, this is where I live? OK. Wait, why do I live here? It takes a few days to "reactivate" the turf, to reacqaint yourself with the place, and the self who was so ensconced here.

These are the best days to carry around a pad and pencil. You will be having some strange thoughts. Familiar things will look very different. How might you interact with your hometown BEFORE the old habits kick in? What strange neighborhoods will you wander through? In what random shopping mall might you take a life-altering sociological tour? How does the place open itself up to you when you don't try to compartmentalize its vast chaos into small slices of routine? At which street corner should you plant yourself for an hour, just observing? Whom might you strike up a conversation with? And you catch yourself... Wait, this is not my home, for my home never had all of these new things in it.

When all the familiarities - the dusty knick-nacks around your desk - look small and lifeless, and somehow unfamiliar, maybe it's time to let go of a portion of yourself, to autotomize that salamander's tail caught in the past and grow a slinky new one.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006


Just circling the Internet and awaiting final clearance for landing... see you on the other side of the baggage claim.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

RIP Syd Barrett...

Lost another childhood hero today. I can't imagine what the last 40 years of this broken genius' life were like, but I like to think he was chopping ever further into the forest of the creative unknown (as his Mum chopped carrots in the kitchen).

Is it crass to mention that I have a script about Syd Barrett ready to go? If anyone is interested, it's not your everyday biopic. I think he would approve.

Giant shoulders...

"Do not pride yourself on the few great men who, over the centuries, have been born on your earth through no merit of yours. Reflect, rather, on how you treated them at the time and how you have followed their teachings." - Albert Einstein

Monday, July 10, 2006

Summer wanderings...

Sorry for the lack of Gazpachotage lately...

I am wandering in the old world, away from computers and intricately wired systems. The humidity is dazzling. Lots of salt water and late night walks, mosquitoes and jellyfish kisses. Not really vacation, but certainly not work in any classic sense either - so many variations of lovingly tethered chaos, so many human coping mechanisms to see! 2Gigs is not enough (for the digicam memory banks).

Thanks for stopping by, I'll be back in action at the end of July.

Pablo G.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

In God We Truss...

"God is Dead!"

"Nietzsche is Dead."

Colin McGinn is one of philosophy's few living superstars. The Brad Pitt of metaphysics and consciousness studies, if you will. A 56 year-old British expat fascinated by the role religious faith plays in America, he has been a professor at Rutgers, and is soon transferring to the University of Miami, "where the windsurfing is better." His books have a decidedly pop culture slant, he writes about the ethical nature of fiction, the impact of movies on our consciousness, and how we can know our minds in a material world.

He is also a "practicing" atheist, a position he defends on European talk shows and most recently on Bill Moyer's new PBS show. Seeing him here, I was drawn to the calm subversiveness of his ideas. He seems to be able to say things that would get other people put in prison or worse round these parts. Some of his thoughts on atheism dovetail nicely with some nasty thoughts I was having yesterday about corporate America. Let me see if I can unpack them.

McGinn speaks of the "tremendous relief" he experienced after renouncing his lifelong Catholicism and entering a godless universe. He has since rediscovered the Law of Nature and humans' place in that schema (hence the windsurfing), something that gets lost in a world where God is "out there" somewhere. Where he expected anarchy to rear it's sloppy head, instead he found a new sense of moral responsibility and powerful motivations for living "right."

He noticed how most religious people act "good" for God, that is, to gain the reward of afterlife. Atheism takes this constant loop of self-interest out of the equation of our actions. An atheist acts for the good because, after much rational thought, they generally conclude that good is good... not because there are potential consequences for acting bad, as determined by some Big Brother who is evaluating your every move.

Corporations are increasingly acting good, going green and the like, in a very theistic manner. They do the right thing only because it will win them profit and favor in the eyes of another: the government, the consumer base, etc. (gods of other sorts). This ballsy feat of compartmentalization and selective perception enables businesses to serve only their agendas, not their belief in what's right, or how the impact the world. Like the godfearing, they are forced into acting good only for the reward. They could give a shit about the implications of their actions - as long as it means profit and minimal public outcry.

This quote from the new Wired magazine (pg 138) typifies what I'm talking about:

"As evidence mounts that carbon emissions cause global warming, big companies are realizing that going green is good for business. The focus on carbon reduction makes sense for GE. Obviously, investing in clean technologies pays dividends in public relations and marketing buzz. The global market is especially hungry for green technology."

Where do you turn when you live in a world where entities with that much power, take that little responsibility for their actions? To God?

You see. It gets confusing...

("Impossible Cylinder" by István Orosz)