Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Paging Noah...

To watch Donald Trump's puckered ass face talk about how proud he is to have accomplished something really, really important today, is to highlight a particular national self-image that is coming more and more into focus... What is it? Is it famous, white, greedy, assholes who use bluster and sophistry to weave mass illusions of patriotic strength while feeding the vacuum of their own ego? Is it TV and junk-addled minds blindly demanding dominance for the dubious sake of being #1? Is it an addiction to supersized servings of confidence? Is it a collective "he ain't one of US so let's cut it and shut it" impulse? Is it fear of progress?

Our systems (social, political, economic, religious, psychological) are both fatally outdated and growing exponentially out of our control due to the blunt instructions we've fed our technology and our beliefs - make it big! The effects of this childish will to power are becoming steadily apparent. We're imploding.

And given the force of our stupidity, we may not be able to catch ourselves before we are sucked into all encompassing Trumpoid assmospheres. Sometimes when things get to this point, everything has to come down before it can be rebuilt. I guess that's what 2012 is for? (Oct. 28, 2011 I'm told actually).

Monday, April 25, 2011

Is Butoh a martial art?

Sorry but, any culture with a default mode that squelches expressivity (and humiliates mimes) will positively drown screaming in a vat of Coors Lite.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Liminal Saturday...

Today is Liminal Saturday, the day between Good Friday and Easter Sunday. Liminal refers to an in-between state, as in: Jesus sat around on Liminal Saturday since there wasn't much to do between crucifixion and the egg hunt.

I've been feeling in-between myself lately. There's dual fear and complacency that results in a kind of existential aimlessness. It is an unfamiliar psychic space for me. I've lost the thread of the wild creative schemes and urgent obsessions that have characterized my life for the last five years or so. The past and the future have collapsed into an ok-for-now present. Is this what they call aging?

Still, I look around and I see people doing everything in their power to not decide what life is for and how it should be lived. It's all just busy busy busy, and then you die. Given that, I can really admire a guy like Jesus who dedicated himself to articulating meaning and grand plans for living. My admiration falls short of taking up my own messianic complex at present. Napping seems more honest.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Coming soon...

One big problem with film now is that we as moviegoers have accepted the mythology about where films come from and how they are made. We know too much about the endless struggle, the quest for money, the sacrifice, the horrible people and committees who kill creativity, and so on.

But when was the last time a film arrived that broke the mold? That made people stand up and say, "Where did this come from? This is not the kind of movie that was processed through an industry!" I know these films exist. I spent much of my youth searching for them (and occasionally finding one or two). The independent era had some promise, but it quickly bogged itself down in a mirror image of all the classic Hollywood trappings. Unfortunately, there's no democracy in cinema. Budgets and attentions are paid out according to the strictest dictorial systems and guidelines.

Cinema, your bottom line is showing, and yes, it looks big in that outfit...

Let's mess with this mess. Let's allow something that's not supposed to happen happen. Guaranteed that our next "Citizen Kane" comes out of left field. The technology and the delivery systems are in place. Geniuses start your engines.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

"Crazy Wisdom"...

A divine madness found in most religions to varying degrees. A manifestation of god-intoxication that releases one from the shackles of societal convention. As I see it, acute cosmic awareness reveals the insanity of our world and therefore makes the enlightened individual seem crazy by comparison.

This gentleman with a gun to his head is none other than the late Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, a trailblazing Tibetan monk who traded his saffron robes for ugly ties and polyester office attire upon discovering the spiritual playground of USA. He was the original mad man.

Trungpa's crazy wisdom takes on a specific character: "He subdues whoever needs to be subdued and destroys whoever needs to be destroyed," he says. "The idea here is that whatever your neurosis demands, when you relate with a crazy-wisdom person you get hit back with that. Crazy wisdom presents you with a mirror reflection... Crazy wisdom knows no limitation and no logic regarding the form it takes." The key nuance he makes is that the practitioner must practice "crazy gone wise" rather than "wisdom gone crazy."

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Methuselah, King Clone, and Pando...

I've been operating under the belief that the oldest living thing on Earth was "Methuselah," a pine tree in the Inyo National Forest, said to be more than 4,800 years old, predating the Great Pyramids of Egypt.

So, we were in Joshua Tree this weekend and (outside the park) I stole a couple of small branches from the omnipresent Creosote Bush, which makes the desert smell so nice after a rain. (I've put one of the branches in our shower and yup, the Venetian homestead is flooded with amazing Sonoran scents.) I've long been drawn to creosote, don't know why. A little research shows that right there, where we were this weekend, just east of Old Woman Springs Road, there's a Creosote Bush that is estimated to be 11,700 years old! It's called King Clone, and I'm wondering why Methuselah gets all the press when King Clone beats it several times over?

The answer lies in the name. Clonal plant systems are colonies of genetically identical plants that may or may not be connected by a single root system. They reproduce continually so that while individual plants may die, the organism lives on for, well, a long time. The oldest clonal colony known is Pando in Utah, a single male Quaking Aspen covering 107 acres with over 47,000 stems (debate rages as to whether this forest can be considered a single tree). Pando's been spreading seed for a reported 80,000 years, which is about 13 times older than Utah's Mormons believe our Earth to be.

(Methuselah in action)

Friday, April 08, 2011

Where were you on the night of...

The terrifying experience of meeting with good, old, sharp-witted friends and hearing about the things I said and did ten years ago. I honestly remembered a third of it at best. Terrifying to recall what passed for acceptable behavior then, and even more terrifying to not be able to remember the rest. Sounds like I'm painting myself out to be Keith Richards here, which I am not. My memory contains strange soil filled with bugs and black holes. Always has.

Two thoughts. One, my memory represses pain at low thresholds. And two, I think the beacon of my consciousness points forward, attempting to illuminate new and better futures. I remember the landscapes, the buildings, the music, the faces, the ideas, and the feelings I would want to fill those futures.

Keeping strict and readily available records of what was said or done in the past doesn't seem to be one of my brain's higher functions. While a penchant for doing incredibly dumb and embarrassing things, apparently is.

The moral of the story: read biographies, not autobiographies.

(Courtroom art by Gary Myrick)

Monday, April 04, 2011

Making time for shaking...

"Guess I better know the ledge..."

(See the story unfold: FISH TANK)

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Undoing photography...

All the photographs ever taken have collectively taken something from the smooth operation of the universe: Light! We know the old saw about photographs stealing souls, but I'd like to add a more scientific impact analysis to our collective fear heap.

Just as a few carbon-spewing cars and factories seemed harmless to our global environment in the early 20th Century, what harm could the harvesting of light and its entrapment in silver particles on paper possibly bring about? Well, like all technologies that grow on an exponential curve, the potential for massive and unintended side effects is staggering.

Billions upon billions of photos, analog and digital alike, have carelessly interrupted the intergalactic path of untold numbers of light waves, effectively freezing them in a highly unnatural state for our gawking pleasure. And because we've essentially taken these light waves out of cosmic play, we're swiftly nearing a point where the interrupted flow of light throughout the universe is creating unprecedented light blights in both near and far flung corners of the cosmos.

What's to be done? Even if we were to entirely stop taking pictures at this moment, the damage is already well underway.

What we need to do is start systematically un-taking all the pictures that have ever been taken. This painstaking process involves first carefully re-creating the composition of each photograph and using as many actual elements as can be found. Then you'll need an nuclear powered anti-camera to produce matching lightwaves that can be focused back into the lightmosphere. Of course many of these new light grafts won't take, they'll be rejected by existing light waves for reasons we'll never fully understand. But still we must try. It's the only hope we have of partially restoring the light.

I don't want to sound the alarm too much here, but hey, people, we need to start mass developing and disseminating these anti-cameras to our children so that they can begin to undo the damage we've unleashed. As a model, I've included the above photograph as a sample re-creation that is close enough to the original to possibly, under optimal conditions, reinsert the lost light back into the compromised universal light system. Of course the anti-photo version would leave no visual trace.

Let's get un-snapping!

(from the "Back to the Future" series by Irina Werning)

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Active living...

My sense is that here in the Western world we've become passive managers of our plodding, practical modernity rather than full inhabitants of the life experience. The urge to get closer to the bone, to the electrical present, to the music and the source, has yet to meet its match in the world of money.

(Rimpa Siva, princess of the tabla)