Tuesday, December 20, 2011

I. LOVE. THIS.

Mentos commercial.
Check it out here

I bet you'll never think the same way about "eeny meeny miney mo" ever again.

More Later
KCD

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Missed It

This may come as, well, belated news. But the end of the world was supposed to happen (again) yesterday. Harold Camping had proclaimed that back on May 21st, the Rapture was going to occur, with all the requisite bells, whistles, trumpets, etc. After that cataclysmic event (rivaled only by the flooding in Joplin, MO and the earthquakes and tsunami in Japan), five months later there was going be the complete destruction of the planet. Supposedly that started yesterday.

Apparently, I and a whole lot of other folks, missed it.
I am most remiss, since I should've stayed on top of this developing non-story.
My bad.
On the other hand, you can hardly blame me. May 21st came and went, and I'm sorry to inform you that your good Christian neighbors are still here to endure the "travail" of this life along with the rest of us.
Maybe they weren't the right kind of true believers. But that's another discussion entirely.
But then, Camping himself was surprised that his dates and math hadn't held up yet again. He's been at this for some while now.
You'd think one of these days he'd get it right.
Meanwhile, he's got a whole lot of people pissed at him after spending $100 million dollars advertising the end of all things. This past June, he suffered a stroke.
Can lawsuits be far behind? Maybe $100 million doesn't seem like much on Wall Street, but it's a lot of cake to the rest of us. Just seems fitting that some disgruntled folks might be politely asking for it back.
Good thing I didn't bet on that horse.

More Later.
KCD

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Where To Begin

Quick news:
A nearly 3-week old organic movement called Occupy Wall Street has now caught the attention of the mainstream mass media, which can only mean one thing: the concerns and voices of the "99 per cent" are not going away any time soon. I first found out about this on the yes magazine site. But the coolest thing about this (to me, at least) was the advertising. Check this out.

The power of art to move people on is full display here. Don't even think about having a civil society without it, and without the thing that drives and inspires it: creativity and innovation. My heart swells when I see things like this.

Speaking of innovators, on a truly sad note, Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple, and inventor of the MacIntosh computer (which I'm writing this on right now), the IMac, IPhone, IPod, and IPad, has died after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. He was just 56 years old. As a graphic designer who uses his invention, I am in shock. The man was many things, complex, driven, singularly focused, impatient with anything less than realizing his complete vision. I don't think that I will be alone in recognizing him as a giant of innovation and creativity. A true visionary. I just heard someone on MSNBC mention that the important question before us here in the US is do we still have the ability and the will to create, to invent, to innovate. Can we regain that? I think we just all got a huge reminder of the impact of creative genius.

And we all have it, if we'll just listen.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled psychotic rantings about art, culture, etc.

More Later
KCD

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Making My Point For Me

I am listening to a talk on TED by a British fellow named Malcom McLaren who is talking about the difference between authentic and what he calls "karaoke culture." He rather eloquently sums up my entire premise, and it's worth reviewing here. Just on first blush, the talk does get a bit windy. I'll have more to say about it, as well as my review of why art matters, particularly today. And I mean by that, not only the product, but the facility of creativity, which is art, which is invention, which is a new way to see the world.

Malcom McLaren died on April 8th, 2010 in Switzerland. Turns out the talk he gives here is the last one before he passed.

More Later
KCD

Friday, September 16, 2011

Speaking Yet More About Re-boots

Andy Fish over at Fishwrap wrote quite eloquently about the fate of the creators of Superman, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. As famous and iconic as their creation became, they never saw a dime of residual income for years. It finally took legal action to get anything resembling a pension, leave aside royalties which would have made the two men wealthy beyond their wildest dreams.

Now, as the current owners of Superman, the corporate heads at DC have decided to re-boot the character, along with the entire DC cast of characters. As anyone who has followed this knows, when it comes to signature characters like Superman, re-boots don't always take and it's sometimes best to leave well enough alone. In fact, as a matter of history, changes have been made to the character with varying degrees of success. The last attempt to change Superman's costume was met with howls of outrage.

The moral of the story? Sometimes re-boots for the sake of re-boots are just a bad idea. But DC is attempting a wholesale re-invention of its entire line-up, including Superman, and this is after various revisions, history changes and so on in order to keep it all fresh (and to boost sales, lest we forget). It's hard to imagine Siegel and Shuster disagreeing with the need for an update from time to time. They certainly re-booted. Superman started off as a bad guy. Then they tweaked the character till they got it right. In this case, Jim Lee and his mates are playing for all the marbles, exercising the artist's prerogative to rip out the page and start all over again. It's always a bold move, and not an ill-considered one. When you get to the point that you have to do that, it's a recognition that the current course is not getting you where you want to go, and it's time for a do over. It'll be interesting to watch.

More Later

KCD

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Fair Warning

At some point, some of you will be reading this and you'll either be delighted, laughing your ass off, or quite possibly, offended, particularly since I've already shown a tendency to skewer pop culture that I think is dumbing us down as a culture. The other day for example, I groaned and lamented the chorus line of celebrities showing off their pregnancies on the covers of magazines. Beyonce Knowles, whose profile is stratospheric right now, is just the latest example in what, to my mind, is a tired trend that needs to END. The first time I'd ever seen it, it was done boldly, and without apology by Demi Moore in the 1990s. And she wasn't just "a little pregnant". She was, as the old King James vernacular would put it, "great with child". Now, leave aside the arguably self-promotional aspect of it, the piece was a gutsy move. She took some considerable heat for it. The shoot was done by Annie Leibowitz, which gave it the artistic imprimatur it might not have otherwise gotten. It remains, as I said before, a startling iconic image in our popular culture, whatever you may think of it.

Problem is, you can only pull a stunt like this once.
It's like Daffy Duck swallowing explosives and...well, EXPLODING.
It's difficult to come back from that. And what do you do for an encore?

So I get a little annoyed at how lacking in originality our Hollywood driven popular culture can be. We've lived through a decade of re-cycled, re-booted, re-purposed EVERYTHING. And I'm not necessarily against re-invention, strictly speaking. But when, for example, Spider-Man becomes a movie franchise in 2002, and needs to be "re-booted" a mere decade later, I have to scratch my head. Hollywood made 3 movies starring the wall crawler and may as well have been legitimately printing its own currency.
Yet some executive said the franchise had grown "tired". It needed a "re-boot".
Seriously?
After what, nearly $2.5 BILLION in worldwide box-office, I would think some studio executives could have well retired. Instead we need a re-boot.

So what is my point here?

Just preparing my readers for the eventuality that you will disagree with me perhaps a bit.
Or perhaps I'm preparing myself. After all, some folks can get mighty heated if anyone says anything about Beyonce. Or Mariah. Or Britney. Or... you get the idea, that isn't reverent.

So fair warning, dear readers...

I'm not what could be called the reverent sort. It's probably why I sleep in on Sunday mornings instead of going to church.

More Later

KCD

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

More Beyonce Baby News

From the folks at US Magazine comes this.
Now, to be fair, it's reasonable to think that Beyonce Knowles has the same dreams of family that many people have. She's obviously playing that one out. She's a successful woman and a successful recording artist. I applaud that. After all, what this does is legitimize artists having normal things like family. You know. Stable relationship. Kids. A nice house to raise them in with extended family joining in to help shape them into responsible, caring, generous, kind, and thinking human beings.

Who can't get down with that?

I just kind of groaned when I saw this picture, though. Why? Because this has been done to death.
First Demi Moore. Then Britney Spears had to do it (and I'm sure you were as overjoyed about her reproducing as I was). Mariah Carey had to do it here recently. The gorgeous Italian actress Monica Bellucci did it. And now it's just normal. Another day at the office. When Demi did it, it was bold, daring, and edgy to say the least. Love it or hate it, she made a statement. One could even call it an artistic statement and I'm sure some have. Now, a celebrity artist (singer, actress, etc) gets pregnant and the evidence must be photographed and put on the cover. For all to see.
And I'm having a hard time seeing it as necessary, leave alone artistic, and an easier time seeing it as nakedly (I use the word advisedly) self-promotional. It does take a particular kind of boldness to go public with so private and intimate an event, I suppose. And the celebrity game is a tough business. It's about being memorable, after all. My lament is that this has become rote, standard procedure. No originality about it. But people do remember. It continues to be done because it works. Vanity Fair sold a lot of magazines with Demi Moore's iconic shot. As an artist though, I have to wonder how many more times they can go to that well.

Just saying, that's all....

More Later

KCD

Monday, August 29, 2011

News You Missed Because of Hurricane Irene

Let's see...
Former Destiny's Child lead singer Beyonce' Knowles announced that she is pregnant.

Hooray.

More Later

KCD

Friday, August 19, 2011

Bank Of America Musings

As part of a company wide "restructuring", Bank of America apparently plans to layoff 3,500 employees with plans to reduce staff by another 10,000. Or so says the Wall Street Journal, that august chronicle of the doings and goings on in the financial world. The stated reason is that the bank's profits have been hit because of lawsuits and related liability stemming from the mortgage mess of 2008.

That may be true.

But I think a far more compelling reason lies in its interiors. For example, the branch of BofA that I do business with just underwent an interior re-fit. And it's horrible! Pale grey-green on the walls, and a dreadful charcoal and grey tile carpet. Moreover, there's no art on the walls of the place! The branch office feels cold and sterile, much like the doctors' office, and don't we just love going there! The very nice people working at the branch informed me that it was a "corporate decision".

Of course it was.

Now, they're thinking of laying off 10,000 plus people. Might there be a connection between their lack of an aesthetic and their lack of soul and imagination which could be affecting their bottom line?

Just a thought.

Might be time to find a new bank though.

More Later
KCD

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Another Bit of "Jersey Shore" News

A brief from the USA Today Money desk yesterday stated that clothing giant Abercrombie & Fitch has asked that Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino, and the lot of his "Jersey Shore" mates stop wearing their clothing on their show. They've even offered to pay an undisclosed sum of money for the "cast" to wear something else. Now this little bit of a dust-up does pose a risk for Abercrombie & Fitch since they've lost market share in recent years, but lately they've had a 64% increase in net income and they've achieved name recognition again after J. Crew. So maybe they feel like they can afford to pick a fight with the decidedly low-brow MTV hit and play the "elitist" card. Of course, all this could raise the profile even higher for Sitch, PaulyD, JWOWW, Snooki, and all the rest, which is, as we all know, something the world desperately needs right now.

From my perspective, this can't be good. When a major clothing retailer is asking you not to wear their clothes in public and will actually pay you not to, the standard reaction is to feel perhaps a bit slighted. One might ask, "What? Is your clothing too good for us?"

Abercrombie & Fitch is saying, in effect, "Yes. It is."
Is it a bit elitist? One could argue that. Or one could argue that since we seem to be celebrating lowlifes on TV these days, certain brands might not want to be associated with that.

Personally, I got quite a laugh out of all this. Just what I needed with my coffee.

Talk amongst yourselves.

More Later
KCD

Saturday, July 23, 2011

RIP Borders Books

Today, I join my book loving comrades in mourning the passing of Borders Books, the enormous bookstore chain that boasted a friendly vibe, a spacious cafe, and an assortment of books of every conceivable variety, along with CDs, DVDs and destinations for people looking to be enlightened or just to be still and think. Much has been made of what caused Borders downfall, and there are the usual suspects to be blamed: poor execution in a changing marketplace, coming late to the e-reader party, the metastasizing growth of downloadable music, movies, games, and books for those who, we believe, live "on the go." Perhaps it's the very nature of the company's unstated reputation as a place to slow down in a world that technology seems to be constantly speeding up that brought about its demise.

From my perspective, this brings up important questions about the nature of marketing, and how it seems to emphasize one kind of user experience as superior to another, when maybe there are good things to be taken from both. Books and e-readers can live together in the same world. But the marketing seems to clobber us, shout us down with the idea that they can't or shouldn't. We don't think through the options because we're being driven, literally, to go for that "smart" phone when the phone we have seems plenty smart enough, or that new IPad which is a "must buy" even though the laptop or, God help me, the desktop does the same thing quite well and is just not needed in every setting. Like coffee and a bagel with a friend in a place like Borders with all those books around where you can talk, laugh, dream aloud.

But now, because the beast child's hunger for the new must be sated with blinking android trinkets and toys (from which it will soon turn and cast aside), there is one less space for us to gear down in, one less space to hear oneself think in, one less space to just pause in. That's what Borders was. Not so much a refuge, but a restful stop along the way. Barnes & Noble doesn't quite have that even though you can do the same thing technically: get a cup of joe, read a book, or a magazine article, pause. Borders just always seemed a warmer place to do all that in. You could relax and talk to people who worked there and who loved books just as much as you did, who loved culture and learning as much as you did. The ripples of this bookseller's demise have yet to be fully felt or appreciated, but the ripple I'm feeling now is that, for those of us who stopped by to grab a cup of cappuccino and a bit of human warmth before heading off to... whatever, we've lost something profound, perhaps a bit more of our souls that have been sold off to serve the ends of a technology we barely even understand, or more worrisome, the ends of a marketing strategy that increasingly tells us what we need without allowing us to think that through for ourselves before destroying our perception of our experience in favor of its "new and improved" one.

RIP Borders. You will be missed. More profoundly than you know, I suspect.

More Later
KCD

Sunday, July 17, 2011

New Client!

I'm beginning work on a logo and other branding materials for a company to be called "Italian Choppers" based in Southbridge, MA just south of Worcester near the CT border. A curious thing worth mentioning: in the run up to meeting with the client, I saw more motorcycles in two days than I have all spring and summer to that point. Now, as the sign says, "Motorcycles are everywhere!" So I'm pretty excited. As the new stuff gets done, I'll feature it here and on my companion blog, The Work of Art.

More Later
KCD

Sunday, June 19, 2011

More about "Miracle Whip"

Yet another Miracle Whip ad which has no more a personality than Pauly D disapproving of this horrific condiment to the point of breaking up with a girl if she liked it.

I certainly understand the sentiment, but one shouldn't base relationship decisions on things as trifling as this (nor should one take relationship advice from Pauly D). After all, there are more substantive things to disagree about, such as the Yankees/Red Sox rivalry over which whole wars were fought and justly so.

Of course, I'm a Mets fan. So I have no horse in that race.


More Later
KCD

A Plea to "Tone It Down"

From our friends at YouTube we get this oft-aired ad for Miracle Whip in its latest attempt to "sex up" mayonnaise, which is what Miracle Whip is ultimately. Now, I don't know about you, but the mayonnaise thing was lost on me when I was a kid and they showed ads for Hellman's brand of the stuff. I'd already tried it, dismissed it as the yuckiest stuff ever invented by human beings (and that's saying something!), and firmly decided that you were NOT bringing out the best when you bring on the Hellman's. I knew I could live the rest of my life without this substance in, well, anything.

Now comes this barrage of ads in a desperate effort to make this dreadful condiment relevant in the 21st century. I only note this one here, but there are others. This one sticks out because it's a defiant, edgy piece of art, saying that it's cool to eat this...concoction. It's actually quite clever, and it might make the casual observer think twice.
Unless you're me, of course.
Or unless you came to the same conclusion about the stuff that I did.
So here's Miracle Whip saying "We Will Not Tone It Down".

Lovely. In an era when so much is dialed WAY UP that probably shouldn't be, we have this to look forward to.
Dialed up mayonnaise.
Hooray.

Nice ad, though. Effective.
This one? Not so much.


More Later
KCD

Friday, May 27, 2011

The Last Word on the End of All Things

We are now nearly a week out from the "end of the world" as predicted by Harold Camping, the 89-year old "prophet" who crunched a bunch of numbers based on Bizarro World math and came up with a bunch of dates that spelled out the world's destruction. As we know now, the world as we have known it has not ended. About the only thing that could qualify as apocalyptic that happened these last few days is the horrific tornado that swept through Joplin, MO that has killed an ever upwardly revised number of people. And that of course made me think about the need some people have to see the destruction of "them". They want to see "them" pay for their sins and be punished for their screw-ups. It makes this whole end times thing seem wrong-headed and a bit mean-spirited. I wonder if Mr. Camping is thinking about the souls of those poor folks in Joplin right now. Or the ones who bought his doomsday story and sold everything in hopes that they might be saved. They're going to have to rebuild their lives now from scratch. I doubt that Family Radio, Camping's ministry is going to help them. That would mean admitting he was completely wrong, and the hell he's doing that. In fact, he still holds out that Judgment Day still will occur on Oct 21, 2011. Same bat time. Same bat channel. Same batshit crazy non-event.

Stay Tuned. Or don't. I'm sure you have plenty of other things to do. God knows I do.

More Later
KCD

Saturday, May 21, 2011

It's After 6pm (local time)...No Apocalypse

Well, friends the time has come...and gone.
It's almost 6:20 EST (or is that EDT?). No earthquakes, no signs of dead people rising into the air to meet some light in a splitting sky. There's not even the zombie infestation that the CDC warned about. Of course, if the CDC is warning about zombies, someone in there is clearly having a belly laugh. You probably will not find a more straight-up organization than the Centers for Disease Control, and that's a good thing. After all, if you think about it, there are no doubt pathogens stored within their chambers, the names of which you can't pronounce, that can unleash plagues more ghastly and devastating than anything devised in Harold Camping's fevered imagination.

Simply put, if it's apocalypse you're looking for, you need look no further. The CDC is well able to oblige. Thank God that's not their mission.

Well, it's now 6:39 pm local time. Still no earthquakes. Having pondered where I would be when the rapture comes (or not), having sipped coffee during the non-proceedings, I must now turn my attention to the other question of eternal significance and ponder what thing I must do, what herculean feat must I accomplish...for a Klondike bar.

Perhaps I'll have a smoothie while I think this through.


More Later, since there will be a later.
KCD

P.S. Harold Camping, the mad prophet at the center of this non-event is at this moment, incommunicado. Curious. Do you suppose he was...No. Not possible.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Something to Ponder as We Await the End

For those of you who haven't been following recent news, the end of the world as we know it happens Saturday, May 21st, 2011. From the folks who brought you the last Judgment Day, this 21st Century iteration has all the bells and whistles. Earthquakes. Dead folks rising into the air. The door slamming on eternal salvation as tightly as the door slamming on Noah's Ark. And it's been raining rather a lot lately, have you noticed?
Anyway. Herewith, a slightly, well, maladjusted take on the impending doom that awaits us this weekend. I'll be sipping a cup of joe at the proceedings.

More Later
KCD

The End Is Near

Well friends, apparently the end of all things is upon us. On May 21st, at around 6pm (?) local time, there will be a massive earthquake signaling what some have called "Judgment Day". I say some because for most of us, it'll be just another weekend. But it would seem that for a select few, the day of reckoning will at long last arrive. For those few, living and dead, it will be the time of "The Rapture". See, the earthquake is supposed to open up all these graves so that the "righteous dead" (because the "grateful dead" was already taken) can rise to meet the Lord in the air. After that, those that are alive will also rise to meet Jesus, and this is all supposed to happen Saturday while the rest of us do mundane things like, grocery shopping, meeting friends, or perhaps looking after elderly parents. You know. Normal stuff. Those of us that are left behind will face "tribulation such as the world has never seen." As if this latest winter in New England and the swelling Mississippi River this spring in the Midwest has been benign before now. Leave aside the tornadoes.

Now, you could say that I'm just going on about nothing, but no less a news outlet than NPR reported on this about two weeks ago. Others have picked up on it since then. There is a full-page ad in USA Today announcing this. People have really put a lot of store by this. They've quit their jobs, sold their houses, burned through their savings, and otherwise prepared for that great and dreadful day which just happens to come on a day when most of us are going to be sleeping in.
Of course, the end of the world has been predicted many times before by people who have it on "biblical authority" that they knew the exact date and time. The last such warning that I remember came in 1988. And...well, the sun rose the next day, and the next day, and the next, and...here we are. Harold Camping, the 89-year old former civil engineer and "prophet" who came up with this bit of news the last time (only to realize that he miscalculated) is sure he's got it right now. All the math lines up, he says.

If you're using the math of Bizarro World.
So...if you read this and you happen to believe the Judgment is in fact upon us, wait a minute....
IF you believe that, then you won't be reading this at all. You'll be waiting in secret for the day of God's wrath to be revealed, which if you believe the foregoing will be Saturday, May 21st, 2011.
Be there or be...well, you know.
I'll be tuned in to CNN in case the sky splits. I'll let you know how it turned out.

More Later
KCD

Friday, May 13, 2011

Technical Issues Resolved

This is good. A day after being shut down with what they used to call in the old days of TV, "technical difficulties", we are back. Of course, they called it "maintenance issues", but it's the same thing. Either way, the problems are fixed and we're back live.
A good thing.

More Later
KCD

Sunday, May 8, 2011

To Illustrate My Point

Not to prolong the whole rant about how there are some things that you can't have an "app" for, but I just found this at popisms.com. You've all seen this. Of course they use this to sell yet ANOTHER phone, but I got the point, and I think so did a lot of folks.

Here's the link:
http://www.popisms.com/TelevisionCommercial/22962/Microsoft-Commercial-for-Windows-Phone-2010.aspx

Yeah, I know that this is primitive, but I haven't figured out uploading videos yet.


More Later
KCD

Thursday, May 5, 2011

No "App" For What Matters

Apparently, to my amazement, there is an "app" (application, for the rubes among us; see my hand raised?) for damned near everything you can imagine. Any piece of information your little heart might desire to have, there's an "app" for it, accessible on these little devices called iPhones (which Steve Jobs, founder and CEO of Apple invented), or iPads which connect you to the Cloud of Unknowing called the wireless internet. You can access TV shows, games, news, video, movies (of course, why anyone would want to watch "Avatar" on such a tiny device is beyond me), even your friends.

Of course if you don't have friends, there's not an app for that, is there?

What if you're inherently anti-social (which a shocking number of people are)? Is there an app for a personality? Does having your own app make you a better person? Donald Trump has his very own app, which shouldn't surprise anyone. What should surprise us is that it doesn't try to fire the other apps. Does anyone believe he's a better person for it? Did anyone sane believe he was much of anything when he was building casinos and naming them after himself?

I was thinking the other day about a USA Today article from back in November 2010. We now have more connectivity that ever, it said. But we're also less connected than ever. I thought it was a curious irony then. I still do. Now I'm not knocking technology even though it seems that I am here. Technology is an awe-inspiring thing. But like a lot of people, I worry about our technology getting the better of our humanity. Einstein worried about it. A good deal of sci-fi art and film and fiction is concerned with this, and not without reason. Because as I was reminded recently at a funeral, the things that matter can't be reduced to an icon on a computer, wireless or otherwise.
A man lost his wife at that funeral.
No app for that.
Two young men lost their mother.
No app for that.
A woman lost her sister.
No app for that.

All kinds of connectivity, but there's no app for connections, and no one can build it.
All of the marketing that says otherwise is not telling you the truth. I mean, seriously. Are you going to watch your kid being born on your iPad, or are you going to get thee to the hospital post haste? Or your granddaughter at her first dance recital? You want a text of that? Or are you going to find the school? We don't need another "phone to save us from our phones". There's no app for experience up close and personal of the things that matter. There's no app for the things that feed your soul. And thank God for that.

More Later
KCD

Monday, May 2, 2011

Correction

My last post said that Osama bin Laden was taken out near the Pakistan border. Turns out that is not true. He was taken out at a compound near the capital, Islamabad, in a fairly affluent district. Can you imagine? A terrorist mastermind living in the suburbs!
That would play pretty poorly in say, Newton, MA. Can you imagine how that would go over with the residents on Martha's Vineyard?

Weird.

More Later

KCD

By Way Of Contrast

Last night, major news outlets confirmed that master terrorist Osama bin Laden had been taken out by US forces in a raid on his compound near the border of Pakistan (I think). President Barack Obama delivered the news to the nation late on Sunday night in a televised address (interrupting "Brothers and Sisters", I might add).

A family mourns the passing of a daughter, sister, wife, mother, and friend, who by all accounts never sought to harm anyone.

A nation celebrates the passing of a deranged terrorist and murderer of thousands of people all over the world, including 3000 in one day in September 2001 in NYC. No one is sad that he is finally gone. Nobody cares that bullets took him out, not some disease, and no one, I assure you, gives a tinker's damn if he suffered.

Just goes to prove that some people make the world a better place by leaving it.

Osama bin Laden, terrorist and mass murderer.
Died May 1st, 2011, he leaves the world a fair bit better off by assuring that more people won't die at his hand.

Rest In Pieces.




More later
KCD

Death In the Family

My partner, my beloved Barbi lost her sister on Easter Sunday, the 24th of April. So as you might expect, there aint been no posting going on. Last week I flew down to MD for the funeral. Barbi had been down there a week before visiting with her sister in what turned out to be her final days on Earth. I brought her home with me on Thursday. We laid low this past weekend. She remembered her sister and grieved. She will for a good while to come. But no one wanted to see her sister suffer, and she did. She's in a better place now. I believe that, cliched as it sounds.

Jacki Randall
Born April 12, 1951
Died April 24, 2011
She leaves behind a beloved sister, three brothers, a husband who loved her and fought to take care of her, two sons, three grandchildren, one just arrived, and her parents, as well as many friends. She will be remembered often and missed always.

Rest in Peace


More Later
KCD

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Possibilities

So I have been approached about teaching art. This is interesting because I have been drawing and making art for, well, all of my life (except for that time when I was really, really small and couldn't hold a spoon to eat my cereal, let alone a pencil to draw with), and I have never EVER attempted or even entertained the thought of trying to teach ANYBODY how to do what I do. I mean...I'm not a teacher. That's what I always thought. Well, that may be about to change. I have been involved with a project called Expressive Capital for a couple of years now, and it has evolved to the point of inviting people to teach what they love doing as a way to begin creating a new economy that works for everyone.
Simply put, the notion of "expressive capital" asserts that what you are passionate about, what you love doing, what you are really good at, has value, somehow intersects with what the market is calling for and can meet a need in a way that is sustainable for you and the community you live in. It assumes that everyone has something to offer and by offering it, you become empowered to make change in the world you live in. This has particular value for people who have been displaced by the current trends in the economy.
This is both a psychological/spiritual premise and a call to action with what you already have inside you, and one way to start offering what you uniquely have is by teaching it. So here I am. Considering this heretofore wild notion of teaching people the basics of drawing. But if I had $10 for every person that's ever told me that they "can't draw stick figures", I'd be writing this from my permanent vacation spot in Ogunquit, ME. Or Burlington, VT. Or....Montreal. Besides, I have a feeling that, given the current trends in the economy, we're going to need more creative people a good deal sooner rather than later.

More later
KCD

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Delays! Delays!

For those of you who are attempting (like me) to make a go of blogging, this will serve as an example of how tough it can be to stick with. Life can (and does!) intrude on the best laid plans. In my case, the intrusion came in the form of an unexpected trip to the hospital. After a diagnosis of "third nerve palsy", I was admitted to the ER and then to the hospital for tests which turned out to be (thankfully!) negative for things like a stroke, an aneurysm or anything related to it that might be causing pressure on the third cranial nerve which controls eye movement. The causes could be anything like what I just mentioned, to hypertension, or diabetes. A nurse suggested to me that it could be caused by a virus or an infection. In any case, it has the effect of causing the eye to close, swelling, and double vision.

The condition, from everything I've read, and from conversations with doctors, does usually reverse itself. It takes about 6-8 weeks. As of Sunday, March 20th, I'll have been out of the hospital a month. My left eye has resumed its cosmetic shape and appearance, and I have almost normal vision with a little double vision, but that gets better with time. I'm 2-4 weeks ahead of schedule.

Now for those of you who always laughed at the line that if you make faces, one day your face could freeze like that, well...they weren't entirely wrong. You could say mine did. And I wasn't even making faces.

Hence, the delay in posting. This is a work in progress.

More later
KCD

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

"MALADJUSTED" Coming Soon!



More details later,

KCD

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Hearing More From Me

Last post I said I would talk about what Lady Gaga and the Jersey Shore cast have to do with art, since this is an art blog after all. Here we shall attempt to answer the question. In the case of the "Jersey Shore" cast (I use the word advisedly), what you're dealing with here is, in the most charitable terms, a watered down kind of direct film making. Don't let's call it cinema verite' as that would require real actors who are essentially making it up as they go. It's called improvisation. In this case, it's more of a documentary style set-up where real people (yes, these are real people) are just being themselves. We may find this objectionable, but what we're objecting to, may I suggest, is the people themselves, not necessarily the technique. Although one could object to that as well, since there's no real sophistication of technique here. One could also argue that there's no sophistication of technique at C-SPAN either, but C-SPAN doesn't typically make you want to scream "My eyes! My eyes!" as you run from the room. And there is an important difference here: C-SPAN is journalism perhaps at its purest. "Jersey Shore" is not, nor does it attempt to be. It's art of a low brow sort, and I'm perhaps being generous here and perhaps it's that because of its so-called "cast".
I could say I don't get the appeal, but then I don't get the appeal of what is called "reality TV".

Having said that, I don't really get Lady Gaga. But she is clearly seeking to be the art, not just the artist. She is memorable as much for her outsized fashion sense and her persona as she is for her music. In fact, the music is to me somewhat forgettable. Throwaway pop. What sticks is...well, her. You won't forget the meat dress. You won't forget the shoes that looked like they'd only fit a giant praying mantis. You won't forget the stands she takes. She's worth watching because as an artist, she's bound to evolve, and whether you like it or not, her transformations will be fascinating, won't they? Now I won't be watching her like her fans will (her Little Monsters), but she'll be pretty hard to miss. We will keep hearing from her for a while I suspect.

Now...since this is my art blog, you must be wondering, where's MY art, right? Well, fear not. At last I have something worth sharing and you'll see it next post.


More Later
KCD