Friday, February 27, 2009
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Lost and Found...
One of my primary interests in life is lost souls who become found. Not so much in the Amazing Grace, spiritual sense (though that can be a beautiful thing too), but more in the self creation sense. We all pass through valleys of doubt, bewildered by the world, and blown by the wind. I am drawn to people who willfully get lost and experience the brink with no safety net and then slingshot themselves back into a reality that is no longer threatening or uninteresting. These people often find a gusto and a joy that escapes so many of us who cling to the workaday world. They know that reality is both created and experienced and that a command of the former brings rewards in the latter.
It would be easy to label this interest as "Romantic" I suppose, but I think that would say more about the labeler's perspective than it would about my interest.
("Dunes" by Jim Stipovich)
Saturday, February 21, 2009
Death of an Herbalist...
Monday, February 16, 2009
Clash of the Natures...
Los Angeles is so interesting. There are some parts you never consider, you go there and feel like you forgot your passport. Today I was around Santa Clarita, which is a staunchly conservative outpost of ranches and McMansions nested in some of the more otherworldly terrains one could hope for. The weather was spectacular and in fact the 5 Freeway was shut due to snow, right after I exited on Route 14. Torrential rain falls from fat black clouds you could bump your head into, they part, sunshine streams through like a bad painting, violent hail falls as double rainbows arch over the mountains, dry river washes gush with rolling water, rain, repeat.
I was visiting a freshly ordered McMansion to finish up a photography job, and I couldn't help but notice that the identical McMansion next door was boarded up and covered with the telltale black scorch-marks of a fire. What happened I asked? Arson came the reply from my employer. Torched it for the insurance. You see the swastikas painted on the driveway? Made to look like a hate crime...
The clouds parted and a partial rainbow sprouted. I thought I was going to vomit. The notion that someone would fake an elaborate hate crime for insurance money seemed to drive home some of the key underlying problems with our species. Yeah I'll probably get some work when they remodel it, echoed a voice I could barely hear as I stared out at the charred walls and the millions of white hailstones pelting the macadam driveways.
("Wolken III" by Christian Schmidt)
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
So much to give!
Saturday, February 07, 2009
Arcadias and Guantanamos of technology...
I like the iPhone. It's user-made applications are great. Still in the cutesy phase, but I see tremendous potential. This is a piece of technology that can evolve and we can teach it to do many things. Getting back to my beef with the Facebook, this is just a dead white box that provides a rigid system of rules and cues as to how one should behave in a public space. It's so conservative!! Here's your little text box. Write something cute and clever. Ding! People like you! It has huge ramifications on our collective notion of social space. Facebook is such a small unimaginative place to gather. It reduces us to the banal details of our days, and leaves us only with our futile attempts to punch our way out of its monotony. It sets the bars low and we look out from behind them, unwilling to own up to the cage around us.
("Golden Cage" by Adrienne M Finnerty)
Friday, February 06, 2009
Drinking outside of the box...
Don't drink, don't smoke, what do I do? Reality is the ultimate high dear brothers and sisters. But I wanted to pass along a bit of information to my oenophile pals out there. I've learned that red wine that has an alcohol content of more than 13%, such as many of the California wines, is impossible to make with natural yeast. The vintners must use something called superfood or super-superfood to achieve these stronger brews. Bottom line, superfood is chemicals. Especially if you're prone to headaches from wine, keep the alcohol content below 13% and you'll skip the nasty chemistry. Also, better to drink wines that are at least six years old. Studies have shown that the impurities and toxins that run rampant in young wines become dormant after the sixth year. Drink to enjoy not to escape.
("Drinking Bacchus" by Guido Reni, c.1623)
Thursday, February 05, 2009
Why Facebook Sucks...
Facebook is just about my worst nightmare. What a shallow vortex. Yes, sure, the tingly thrill, the thrill of people! All that attention from the past and present. All the faces, all the old crushes and curiosities. The drug of memory, the afrodisiac of the past, the cartoon concepts of important people who want y-o-u, without all that stench and awkwardness of actual human life. So this is it - the future!
So what? We're staining our social fabric with this?
I simply don't buy these bullshit "connections." As far as I can tell, two weeks into this experiment, there's no substance. It's dumb dogs sniffing each other's butts, comparing fecal bacteria. It's an extended high school popularity contest for people who can't let those glory days go. It plays/preys on people's desperation to be included. Really what gets me though is the brazen insult it heaves at technology's potential to offer amazing new forms of communication.
Am I missing something? Please enlighten me. Getting all nauseated by modern trends in human behavior. It's one of my specialties.
That said, will you please please please become "a fan" of something important? Just enter "Focus on AIDS 13" in the Facebook search box. My ego needs you there. Here ends the hypocrisy.
Unless you want more Facebook bashing, here.