Saturday, September 27, 2008

Everything true is false...

In these days of dubious facts and figures, the phrase " better check" comes up again and again. Just who is this Snopes, and since when did he or she become an authority on just about everything? A monopoly on the truth? Hmm. Sounds like absolute power to me. What's to stop this invisible Snopes from deciding what should be true and false to benefit their own nefarious ends? So even though one might like the above letter from members of the rock outfit Heart to John McCain to be true, it is, according to Snopes, not. Or is it?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Appreciating friends and others...

This story, "The Dinner Party," by Joshua Ferris in the August 11/18th New Yorker... Ouch. It's the kind of fiction that I avoid, because it's just so uncomfortable, which of course makes it both fascinating and important. Really, some beautifully crafted storytelling here (cloaked in some uber-urban, bourgie circumstances).

Rather than big ideas and grand actions, our days are often made up of petty events, strained relations, and mismatching social maps. These would have staggering implications, that is, IF we held them up the light, and didn't count on them being washed away in the continual flow of the present. We like to complain, and we find ways of making our stupid grievances playful without weighing the consequences. Ferris throws that equation into the old atom smasher with powerful results.

The story also reminds me that most of us mere mortals have "annoying" flaws. A mouth that puckers too much, a voice that grates, a selfish streak, bad breath, a fake laugh, etc. This is one reason we have celebrities - people who appear to have most of the annoying bugs worked out of their system.

Thanks Sarah for putting this under my nose, and reminding me how much I love short stories. You scared the bejeezus out of me with this one...

Friday, September 19, 2008


If any politician invokes 9-11 a single time before election day, I'm just going to call this whole thing off and insist on a do-over. Is that what you want?

These are frightening days citizens. I'm really not sure which way is up anymore, but I can still smell the stench of backwards planning a mile off. Progress. Please. No Cold War II. No backsliding to old tropes. No new enemies. No smoke. No mirrors. No mongering. No fear of a future where we agree to fix instead of fuck with things.

Need diversions? Competitive urges? How about a space race? An energy dance contest to see who can make the most interesting and efficient vehicles? Why don't we help some people who really need some help? Can we approach power as a tool of beneficence, not a weapon of political ego? The only details that can derail indestructibly simple and grand ideas are the ones asserted in order to protect the tired toxic cloud hovering over humanity. Time for a massive rethink. Are we up to it? Who will lead? Who will break form and start talking, really talking, again?

On a lighter note, what would one purchase at a 9-11 store?

Sunday, September 14, 2008


Saturday, September 13, 2008

Brave strides sought and embraced...

I was driving back from a photoshoot yesterday, on the 5, when I saw a procession of no less than 40 ambulances speeding through traffic in the opposite direction. A plume of smoke about a mile or so from the freeway suggested trouble. I turned on the radio and, as if in a movie, heard reports of the devastating train crash that had just occurred in Chatsworth. My problems suddenly seemed very small.

This morning I woke to this image of Sarah's cousin (and family) wading through the rising waters brought on by Hurricane Ike. Again, their alarming reality instantly trumped any of the persistent abstractions that forest my psyche.

What is in the duffel bag I wonder? What baggage do you tote through calamity? Are these essentials more real than the baggage we cling to in non-emergencies?

Confession: With a tendency toward inward abstraction and sidestepping concrete definitions of reality, I am now embracing certain objective facts as they occur. I am tagging and releasing indisputable external conditions. I am dismantling the realms of fantasy, making room for something far stranger than fiction. I don't downplay or disown any nanosecond of my imaginary past. Too easy to say "I hadn't come in to myself then." Too easy to invoke a redemption.

Me me me... ugh. Let's talk about you you you...

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Still here!

So, they switched the LHC on and apparently the universe did not collapse. Uh, but hold on there bub, just cuz they switched the thing on don't mean they're particles yet. In other words, just cause the woodchipper is flipped on, don't mean there's anything stuffed into its decimating teeth. That's next month...

Monday, September 08, 2008

Sea of (black) holes...

Two days until LHC starts birthing baby black holes. They are quite darling I hear.

I don't believe in fixed destiny. However, I do seem to believe in a spectrum of distinct and possible destinies that are out there. One must visualize these and be continually aware of them in order to make choices. Problem is, this can get messy and bottlenecked very easily. You can get yourself into a paralyzing panic over any choice, since one direction excludes all others. You might not realize you've leaped down the "wrong" rabbit hole, away from your "greatest" destiny, until...

There's a fine XTC song called "Complicated Game" that covers this topic with all the lyrical tension and dramatic adornments that music does so well.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Cure for illusion...

Assassinate your fantasies. Morn for them, you loved them after all. Transfer your allegiance to reality.

Friday, September 05, 2008


"We have art so that we shall not die of reality."

- F. Nietzsche

(Photo by Boris Mikhailov)

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Keeping artists real...

"Art is only a means to life, to the life more abundant. It is not in itself the life more abundant. It merely points the way, something which is overlooked not only by the public, but very often by the artist himself. In becoming an end it defeats itself."

- H. Miller

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

They collide hadrons don't they?

Monday, September 01, 2008

Conversational Styles...

This season's talk of the town in the realm of talking is what I call "the house of cards." A steady pile up of opinions, broadcast assertively, mostly for the sake of having an opinion, are held vaguely in place by a litany of made up facts tossed out with authority. The conversation naturally finds its own level of chaos and non-meaning as more participants enter and air their own neuroses under the guise of communicating. There comes a moment where nothing sticks anymore, all that hangs in the air are bits of psychic dirty laundry and the conversation quietly crumples to dust. Let's build another one!