Monday, December 14, 2015

Paris Hilton Doesn't Care A Damn What I Think

Wherever in the world Paris Hilton is laying her head tonight, I'm quite sure her last thoughts before drifting off to sleep will not be about me, or my little blog where I, among other things, skewer people like her and the Kardashians and the pop culture landscape that celebrates (yea, worships!) anything that promotes style over substance.

How do I know this? For two reasons. One, why should she? She exists in another realm and breathes another kind of air than I do. She doesn't have to care what I think. She's made a ton, several tons, actually, of money trafficking on her looks and on a carefully crafted version of herself that represents the kind of vapid, clueless celebrity that people like me roll their eyes at. But today I got a bit of an eye-opener after reading a fairly detailed story about her in Broadly. Behind the baby voice, and the doe-eyed, air-headed affect is someone who does in fact know what she's doing and understands that her persona is, in a way, a bit of performance art. In other words, ladies and gentlemen, Ms. Hilton is acting. She's giving us a show. She's tried her hand at acting and at music while we all thought she was just looking for something to occupy her time, but if this story is to be believed, her dance card is plenty full. Always has been. From New York to Paris to L.A. and back. Rinse and repeat. She's been having us on the whole time. There's probably not a lot of social critique going on in all this. It's just something that happens to work for her and has made her quite wealthy and famous. From a business perspective, this kind of shameless self-promotion works. She's not the only one who's tried it, and it's essentially harmless compared to the horrific bombast of Donald Trump, who will not EVER get to be president, and whose only reason for campaigning is to promote his monumental ego.

He actually doesn't care a damn about the job of president anymore than Paris Hilton cares what I think. Which leads us to reason Number Two why Paris Hilton cares not a damn what I think: she's said as much. In the aforementioned article, she says, "I don't really care what people think about me." I take her at her word. My noting is of this phenomenon of faux celebrity that she's a part of and helped create. She, and the Kardashians and a bunch of others are a mirror for this culture of no-think. Of distraction. And, to be sure, a bit of it is fine. Just like a bit of McDonald's so-called "food" is fine.

You just don't want to mistake it for the real thing and make a steady diet of it. The effect, over time is deleterious. With that understood, I will say that like so many of us, I was fooled by the image of a shallow celebrity party-girl which is in fact, a brand being fleshed out by a rather attractive and canny young woman.

Well played, Paris. Not that you care a damn what I think. Nor should you.

Feast your eyes, friends. Maybe there is yet a functioning brain in there. But, as a friend of mine put it recently, "The brilliance only goes so far."

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New version of coming soon! Stay tuned.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

Monday, November 2, 2015

The Second Coming...this time.

On Sept. 25th, Apple released its newest iPhone. The iPhone 6s and 6 Plus.  According to published reports, 13 million of them were sold during launch week, with 10 million of them sold during the first three days of the launch. CEO Tim Cook announced that although they may look familiar, "we've changed everything about these new iPhones."

Oh, goody. Just when you were figuring out how to update your Facebook page with this thing, they go and change EVERYTHING. Just when you were figuring out how to speak in Emojis on your Twitter feed, they go and change EVERYTHING.

And did I mention that without a contract, these devices start at $650? Now, lest anybody think that I'm just "hatin'" on new technology, let me say that there do seem to be some pretty cool features with this upgrade. The camera features by themselves make this fascinating for the true tech-heads among us. The always on Siri feature could become a bit annoying in the way that Number Six was a constant distraction for Gaius Baltar. And it's safe to assume Siri bears no resemblance to Tricia Helfer.

A rep at the local Verizon outlet told me they were only getting 40 iPhones to sell initially that first day, and that there'd be a line stretching round the block. I didn't go check but he may have been right.  Poor bastard had to work that opening too.

Ye Gods. Behold what Steve Jobs hath wrought upon the earth! Behold his second coming (or third or fourth; he died Oct. 5th, 2011) in every new iteration of the I...fill in the blank. There's a new movie out now about him, exploring his complexity.

I just find it a curiosity that a man so obviously brilliant could get people to plunk down a sizable chunk of change every time one of his digital offspring reproduces after its kind, so that they can go take "selfies" at a baseball game. I'd like to think Steve Jobs' legacy would not be another generation of mindless sheep, or worse, tech-starved addicts. Unfortunately, we have a predilection in this culture to lionize CEOs, to gather by the hundreds if not thousands and incline our ears for the next bit of "wisdom" these people might drop on us.

It's just another sales pitch, people.

But the multitudes stream forth from the event as if from some revival, and before you know it, everyone you know has the shiny new trinket, eyes glazed over, updating Facebook statuses and refreshing Twitter feeds and sinking into blissful oblivion from the lights on the tiny screen.

Go forth and consume. You will be assimilated. Resistance is futile.


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Friday, October 23, 2015

Evangeline Lilly and the Hurricane

Evangeline Lilly, the actress who first appeared on "Lost" has apparently decided to slip on a bikini following the birth of her second child. Hollywood, whose camera lens zeroes in on things of such magnitude, got pictures of what she looks like in said bikini after carrying extra pounds of human inside her.

Hadn't heard much from Evangeline Lilly in a while. Reports say the last movie she was in was "Marvel's Ant-Man" starring an insect sized superhero. I heard one report some time ago where she said she was done with acting. She was going to do "missionary work". I suppose one might argue that she's done exactly that.

One observer on social media posted, "Thank God. I was just getting wrapped up in the last school shooting. Glad there are more important things trending."

No more sleepless nights. Unless of course you want to concern yourself with the fact that Mexico might well go the way of Atlantis if this never-before-seen hurricane makes landfall.

Meanwhile, there's this.

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Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Our Latest Fixation (Warning: May Not Be Safe For Work)

Iggy Azalea, rapper from Australia, felt the need to remove her constrictions before boarding a flight at LAX back on Oct. 16th. Wearing a white bodysuit with a plunging neckline, she was photographed at the airport and the pics went viral.

Sigh. I don't even know who this woman is. Nor do I know if "Iggy" is a stage name or what her parents actually decided to call her (apparently, it is a stage name; her given name is Amethyst Amelia Kelly). All I know is that in the midst of all the insanity circling the planet and its inhabitants, the world still pauses at the sight of...breasts.

Admittedly, Amethyst Amelia Kelly at 25 is very attractive. She was a model who decided she could be a rapper and a singer. She's a pop music confection. Kind of a cartoon. Seems to be working for her. There may even be a method to her madness. There clearly has been with the multi-faceted, multi-talented Lady Gaga. Time will tell. Meanwhile, notice how our corporate-owned celebrity media has chosen to fixate on this girl's cleavage and turn it into some naughty sensation. The fashion press goes to this well often, and it seems like the well is always full. Yet the subtext is grounded in a kind of repression. "Proper ladies don't act like this, don't dress like this, don't flaunt it like this."

Right. "Tell us something we don't know". But that's just it. Our collective unawareness is such that we're all apoplectic, as if the sight of a woman's breasts is some new and salacious sinful thing loosed upon the earth by some minion of hell. And we fall for it over and over again.

Refugees streaming across the European continent fleeing civil war and a homeland that for all intent and purposes no longer exists. Beheadings in Iraq by a group of sadistic savages to make some weirdling statement. The land mass that is now called South Carolina underwater from rains that last came 1,000 years ago before Nikki Haley was even an idea in the mind of God.

But nevermind all that.
The wheels on the bus stop for this.

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Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Fall is Falling On Us All

Autumn here in New England is well and fully upon us, and despite some dry weather for a few weeks, some recent rain may well have saved our colors this season. California, on the other hand has more to worry about than fall colors. They need A LOT MORE rain than they've had in a while, and the good news is that it looks like they're going to get some if Accu-Weather is, well, accurate.
Thank goodness.

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Friday, July 3, 2015

Does the World Come With A Volume Switch?

It's been one of those last few weeks.

You know what I'm talking about.

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Monday, June 29, 2015

On Glass Houses and Stones

Bristol Palin is pregnant. Again. Outside the bounds of holy matrimony. Again. She who took off the Candies Foundation for a quarter mil for preaching abstinence has somehow found it impossible to keep from scratching the itch before she "put a ring on it".

It should be pretty obvious to anyone paying attention that whilst advocating for teen abstinence, Bristol, who was already a mother of one when she was 18,  hasn't exactly been, ahem, abstaining. Now, amazingly, she says that she wants no judgment, no lectures, that her family is disappointed, and that this pregnancy was, in fact, planned.

Okay. No judgment. No lectures. In exchange, Bristol Palin should just admit that she likes sex. A LOT. Oh, and she should give back the money. And, she should stop with the judgments and the lectures and the references to the Almighty, because that just makes her look like more of a hypocrite, as if we needed more of those.

If you haven't already guessed friends, this is another one of these posts where I observe how we in this country confer celebrity status on people who shouldn't be anywhere near it. Bristol Palin, whose mother ran for VP in 2008, is a particularly vapid example of those who preach a kind of repressive morality that they don't themselves practice, and get paid a lot of money to do it. So while Ms. Palin may want a pass for her obvious lack of integrity, she may just find rocks being thrown at her glass house.

Just Sayin'....

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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The Madness Comes Full Circle

Last week, after a long moment spent staring long and hard at the face and hair-do of Rachel Dolezal, she who would be outed for attempting (and succeeding for nearly a decade) to pass as black in Spokane, WA, we got jolted back into lurid reality from absurd fantasy. Down in Charleston, SC, a young man barely out of his teens (yea, barely out of diapers!) with the most awful impression of David McCallum's hair-cut from "The Man From U.N.C.L.E." proceeded to commit mayhem at a Bible study in one of the oldest historically black churches in the nation. After sitting for an hour with the attendees, and after having second thoughts because, as he said, "Everyone was so nice," he murdered 9 people, all black, including the pastor. He left one woman alive (after asking if she'd been shot yet), and explained to her that he had to do this, "because you're raping our women and you're taking over our country. So you have to go."

Let's just clear a couple of things up right from the off.
This is a racially motivated hate crime. Full stop.
Dylann Storm Roof is a domestic terrorist. Again, full stop. Somewhere along the way in Eastover, SC (a real place; not to be confused with East Over Shoe), this pathetic young man who had to repeat 9th grade and decided it wasn't worth the bother, became radicalized listening to the sweet rantings of the Council of Conservative Citizens which believes, among other things that mixing the races is against God and the natural order. Dylann Roof actually got the idea that no one was actively doing anything about the USA's steady movement toward inclusion and equality, which, despite all the focus on what's wrong right now, has been happening. If it weren't, we wouldn't be talking about a kid with a bad haircut shooting up a church full of black people.

So he had to act. Can't have these black and white folks getting together. God only knows what might happen. We might find out we're all (gasp!) the same. Dylann Roof was going to make damned sure that never happens, and in the process, start a race war (which radicals on the political right have been hankering for ever since I can remember). Civil War 2.0.

Funny thing happened though. The victims' families, instead of lashing out in absolutely understandable rage and pain, saw through that, and offered forgiveness. Now forgiveness is not something you do for other people. It's something you do for yourself. These families were taking the first step towards healing for themselves as they watched Dylann Roof on a courtroom screen being arraigned. He'd confessed to the murders. Now he looked a bit sheepish that his bold statement failed to have the effect he intended.

So what we have here is a restating of events. Just to be clear, this isn't a one-off. This is a pattern, a sort of deranged synchronicity playing itself out to its own strangely logical conclusion. Incidents of police brutality towards black citizens have been getting press for about a year now, but those who seek to profit from dividing us keep insisting race is not a factor, and that these people are just getting "what they deserve". Those same people are sputtering now to apply the same logic to this case and apoplectic that it doesn't hang as well. This case is pretty, as they say, black and white. Open and shut. The killer confessed. Even if we indulge the talking heads for a moment and say that these other cases are dubious, THIS ONE AIN'T. It's as clear cut as a case gets, and the victims could not be more innocent. It's time to connect the dots.

Let's quit kidding ourselves. The USA has a lot of ugly history to face up to and resolve if it wants to move forward, and the Dylann Rooves (plural of Roof), and their enablers cannot be allowed to frame the discussion anymore. They cannot be allowed to confuse the issue, divide us, and profit from that division. They have nothing to stand on and nothing to contribute. It's time we tune them out so that people who understand the truth can grapple with what the world will look like now that it's been proven that we are all the same, that we are all one.

Big Blue Marble, a PBS series that ran from 1974-1983. It showed us how we're more alike than not.

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Monday, June 1, 2015

Wreckage of Trains

Kim Kardashian is pregnant. Again. They (Kim and her husband, Kanye West, known in entertainment circles as "Kimye") have somehow, inexplicably decided that what the world needs now is NOT love, sweet love, but more of their conjoined DNA. And more of the freak show that is "Keeping Up With The Kardashians".

I groan.
The pain.
The pain.

Speaking of freak shows...

TLC's "19 Kids and Counting" has been hastily pulled from the air since revelations broke of Josh Duggar's molestation of 5 underage girls, some of whom were his sisters. I shan't delve into the details here, dear friends. Much too ghastly these goings on in what is essentially a train wreck of a family that got a TV reality show because a shameless network decided it couldn't make money by being "The Learning Channel".

These are the same folks who gave us "Here Comes Honey Boo-boo" before it unexpectedly went off the air after the mother took up with a convicted sex offender. I'm not really certain what the premise of the show was, other than to showcase an overweight child beauty queen and her family of human Kiboko. But I'm pretty sure that no one cares a damn about that now.

I take some comfort in the idea that the big top that is "reality programming" will one day come down, and the circus will finally leave. Unfortunately it may take more train wreckage before that happens.

Stay off the tracks.

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P.S. The word "kiboko" is Swahili for "river horse". It refers to the hippopotamus.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Star Trek Architecture

For "Star Trek" fans (once and perhaps still called "Trekkers"), this will be a hoot. Somewhere in China near the sea (I don't think we could call it a lake), there is a building that upon first glance looks like a pretty cool, modern piece of architecture. But when you pull away and get aerial footage of it (as apparently the folks at Yahoo! News did from drones), the building looks for all the world like the U.S.S. Enterprise NCC 1701. Turns out, that's by design.

This building is the headquarters of a Chinese gaming and internet company called Net Dragon. According to Yahoo! Movies editor Kevin Polowy, the CEO of Net Dragon, Liu DiJian is a mad Trek fan (they say "mad" here in MA to denote orders of magnitude, unlike the common usage which just means...insane; or angry), and was willing to part with $160 MILLION (that's six zeroes after the 160) to build their new futuristic space based on the fictional starship. He also had to cut a deal with Paramount Pictures and CBS which co-own the licensing rights to all the "Star Trek" properties. Apparently no price was too small, and the result is what we have here.

As a fan, I tend to think the design borrows from nearly all the versions of the Enterprise, but more closely calls to mind the Enterprise "E" (below) from "First Contact", "Insurrection", and "Nemesis". At least the saucer section does.  The nacelles are more reminiscent of the Enterprise "D"(also below), the galaxy class ship from "ST:TNG" (that's "Star Trek: The Next Generation" for the non-Trekked), which was destroyed and the crew of which migrated to the "E".

All right. I've geeked out enough here. Artistically and architecturally, this is an amazing piece of design, engineering, and construction. I now turn you over to the visuals and the ambient soundtrack.

In order: USS Enterprise NCC 1701 E,  USS Enterprise NCC 1701 D, Net Dragon HQ in China.
So there you are. Make it so.

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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

New MALADJUSTED! Just In time for Memorial Day!

Finished product here. Sorry for the delay. Life. Work. You know the drill. Anyway, enjoy.

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Thursday, May 14, 2015

"Samurai!" Exhibit at WAM

Turning now to the local scene here in Worcester, MA, the Worcester Art Museum has been in the midst of an integration of exhibits of armory and weapons from the now-closed Higgins Armory, which for a long time had been the place to go for exhibits of that type. In fact, it had been the only museum of its kind dedicated to arms and armor for over 70 years. Sadly for the locals here, due to lack of funding, the Armory closed in 2013, and its 2,000 pieces were transferred to a newly built wing of the WAM which opened this year. The Armory building itself is a piece of history worth studying, but for our purposes, we'll hold that aside for now.

Beginning April 18th, the WAM opened an exhibit of pieces of Japanese arms, armor and weapons called "Samurai!" The pieces come from the old Higgins Armory collection, and the museum uses these as a jumping off point for showcasing modern interpretations of this ancient tradition in paintings, drawings, paper sculpture, and a variety of other media from Japanese and American artists. That exhibit runs through September 6th.

Last week, from May 5th through May 9th, artists Andrew Hem, Mari Inukai, and Audrey Kawasaki painted a gigantic Samurai themed mural in the Lancaster Lobby of the museum. Definitely worth seeing! And as if to take the Samurai legend and tradition further, May 17th is Star Wars Day. The event runs from 11am-5pm, and is free with Museum admission. Featured will be Jedi Knights and Imperial Stormtroopers as well as the Rebel Legion and 501st. Should be a fun time. The weather looks great for Sunday. If you're in town, come check it out. For those of you in Northern Worcester County, it's not a long ride, 40 minutes to an hour. Definitely worth the trip. See you there.

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P.S. Here's a taste from the Lancaster Lobby. 

Monday, April 27, 2015

RX for George W. Bush: More Time With The Paintbrush

Apparently the self-imposed artistic exile hasn't taught former President George W. Bush anything.

When last we heard from the 43rd occupant of the Oval Office, he'd taken up painting in his retirement. Nothing fancy. Certainly nothing revelatory (although not for want of trying to find something, ANYTHING that might explain the psyche of the man that got us into some of the worst shape this country has ever been in), mostly clumsy self-portraits of his back in the shower or his feet in the tub. And dogs. Lots of dogs. I noted here that this was an odd direction to go in, but that it could prove an opening to enlightenment for someone with such a striking lack of awareness. My optimism, alas, was misguided at best.

So it was that Bush emerged from his hideaway, broke his silence and proceeded to criticize the current administration for its handling of the fallout of the war he instigated back in 2002, a war lots of people thought was unnecessary and ill-founded. He made his remarks at a gathering of donors this past Saturday. Some speculate that with his brother Jeb a potential 2016 Presidential candidate, that he would speak up at some point.

Well, now he has.

Beyond the obvious embellishments of recent history, what this shows is that Bush needs more time in the studio. A LOT MORE. He might actually be served by a course or two in art history, particularly the way that art has been used to question authority, call attention to injustice, or, as we do here with our MALADJUSTED series of graphics, point out the absurd, the plainly ridiculous, and the laughably insane that poses as reason. Without getting into it too much, insanity that poses as reason is a lot of what passes for political discourse and debate these days. What FOX News hath wrought is a veritable gold mine for artists and creatives who want to turn their pencils, paintbrushes, WACOM tablets, and various tools to addressing the collective eye-roll and groaning that is cultural expression in these United States, circa 2015.

Meanwhile, our former "War President", will go back to Dallas and paint DOGS.

Lots of dogs.
Tails wagging.
Tongues hanging out while gasping air in a pant before examining their balls.
And marking their territory.
Coming to a Garden Club art auction near you.

You have been warned.

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P.S. I didn't know this, but those folks over at the Garden Club are a bunch of environmental radicals! I mean, they are down with clean air and water, and preservation of natural open spaces and native plants. The very idea. Check it out here.

Who knew?

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

WORK IN PROGRESS: An Ode To Winter's Long Passing

Actually, it's less an ode and more of a plea for Winter to get on with it already! I mean, Spring officially began on March 20th at somewhere around 7PM Eastern Time (?) or thereabouts. We are three weeks into spring and the temperature outside here in Worcester, MA is (let me check): 31 degrees F and we have rain mixed with some frozen concoction that only the Winter Goddess could dream up just for us here in New England.

The weather people (the ones who study and forecast it, not the Elementals who make it) call it a "wintry mix". SERIOUSLY?? In April? As my mother would say, "What kind of $#!+ is this?"
Anyway, this is my way of protesting what Mother Nature hath wrought. As I finish it, I'll post it up here. I am sure that all my people up here along the slowly thawing Northeast Corridor will be able to relate. Hard as it may be to accept, Spring is here, folks.

Now if someone could just tell me where the hell she's hiding.
Well, if you believe the myth, Hell is precisely where she's hiding, waiting...

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Wednesday, April 1, 2015

New Maladjusted Work In Progress

So I was thinking about the normal hours at a meth lab. You know. Most businesses have their standard hours of operation and meth labs are businesses at the end of the day. If you doubt that, check out the IRS code. Did you know that money from dealing drugs is taxed as ordinary income? Or at least it's supposed to be. The War on Drugs has made it hard for people in that, ahem, line of work be forthcoming with their income statements. I mean, can you imagine what that W-2 would look like? Well friends, now you don't have to. I've done it for you and while I'm not going to the trouble of trying to actually design a W-2 from a meth lab, I did just wonder what happens to the poor bastard who needs his fix on Sunday (preferably for the week) and he finds the place closed. meth heads even think in those terms?
What if meth labs don't think in terms of "normal business hours"?
If we perhaps ended the War on Drugs, would meth labs become respectable places of business? Or would that constitute an unintended consequence?

Maybe I think too much.

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Sunday, March 15, 2015

Leonard Nimoy RIP

Leonard Nimoy, famous for his singular portrayal of Mr. Spock, half-human First Officer aboard the USS Enterprise, died two weeks ago this past Friday, a month shy of what would have been his 84th birthday. He died of end stage COPD which came from smoking for a long time before he gave it up.

Guess all that talk about the dangers of smoking proved right. But that's another discussion.

Leonard Nimoy grew up in Boston in a Jewish family and he realized at a young age that he wanted to be an actor. He'd had a bit of a career in television and in the movies before Star Trek came along, but it was the role of Spock that, as has been said many times, really defined his career. Nimoy lived long enough to see the affect his portrayal had on the culture. A whole lot of thinking has been done as a result of Star Trek, about the kind of world we want to live in, about negotiating the differences between races and cultures, languages and customs, mythology and the stories we tell, the conflict between logic and emotion. Our obsession with technology and the tug of war between the pace of technological advancement and our evolution as human beings all evolved out of Star Trek and it was embodied most definitively in the character of Spock, the Vulcan Science Officer and right hand to William Shatner's James Kirk.

It turns out Nimoy understood the sense of isolation that being different can bring. He brought that to his portrayal of Spock. Cooly efficient and logical, yet deeply moral in the most meaningful sense of the term. So often as a member of an "out" group, one needs to view the world with a kind of cool detachment and objectivity in order to survive. Artistic expression in whatever form holds up a lens that allows us to understand the world we're in and how to deal with it effectively. It also allows us to see ourselves, our own mythology, our own sense-making mechanisms for good or ill. It helps us become conscious. Fans of Star Trek in particular and science fiction in general will no doubt recognize some of their own journey through consciousness in the journey of Spock.

And all this took place in the day-to-day grind of series television. If you follow the craft at all, you know that being on a sound stage or a movie set is a long working day, especially if you're in a lot of scenes. William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy were of course, the featured players, but they were working actors, working artists making a living and trying to capture that moment of inspiration in a performance when it seems like God (however one understands the term) manifests in a flash of perfect illumination. Every artist knows that moment, and if you can nail that, you can pat yourself on the back and be in awe because you were present for when it showed up. I'm quite sure Leonard Nimoy knew about that moment.

Artistic expression is about reaching beyond the materiality of logic and order. It's a tool we use to answer the questions that V'Ger was asking after Spock tried to mind-meld with it. "Is this all that I am? Is there nothing more?"

In the 2000s, Nimoy left the acting business and turned to fine art photography, perhaps answering his own question in the way that artists do: by trying something new, exploring a new passion, ever evolving, ever becoming, using a camera to reach beyond the veil. Now he has gone beyond that veil. Certainly we are the better for his having been here, striving in workaday fashion to be present for those flashes of brilliance. I applaud that he was able to turn it into a pretty great living, and in doing so, he was able to leave his distinctive imprint on all of us. On stage and off.

Leonard Nimoy
born March 26, 1931
died February 27, 2015

Rest In Peace

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Thursday, February 26, 2015

Under Re-Construction: Pardon Our Appearance

Dear friends,
Sometimes the old place needs a makeover. You know how it is. The same old, same. Old. But it's familiar and it's safe. Changing it over seems traumatic and something you'd never recover from. But as wise people have observed, the only constant in life is change. Some of it is welcome, like a new job, or a new place you've never been to, or a new pair of shoes. Some of it isn't welcome at all. Like my neighbors across the street, a family I've known for 17 years, kids who just lost their father, and a wife who just lost her husband. All change requires adjustment. A few tweaks or a major overhaul.

In this case, that's what's going on here. A re-imagining of this space so that more can happen. Musings, certainly, but not just in words. In pictures. More of my own, which makes sense since this is not just a blog about art, but also about my art, my visual interpretation of observations into the world I live in and that we all live in. I've not always embraced change. I remember not wanting to move my desk to another part of the office years ago for reasons we all understand. It's comfortable. Familiar. Safe. We have our well-constructed house of blocks just as we'd like it. Until some two year-old comes along and knocks it down in some kind of oblivious, playful triumph. At that point you have two options: be angry at the two year-old, or just realize that he was just doing what two year-olds do, and rebuild. Better this time. Removed from the two year-old's reach.

I've been sending out my pirate signal from here since 2010. In order to expand my reach, I need this space to become a place of dialogue, not just monologue. There will be a link to a new Facebook page, where you can continue the conversations we've started here. You'll be able to view new works in progress and when they're complete, you'll have the opportunity to see them at, which will also be redesigned, and you'll be able to buy them at my Imagekind store. It's all about making my work more accessible and available to more people, and being more coherent going forward in my business.

Speaking of change, some things won't change. The attitude for one. The twisted observations of things we do in this culture that seem just the other side of things a sane, healthy society would do won't change. "Maladjusted" won't change, but now the designs will become available as posters or prints. Hey, some people dig this stuff. People in Istanbul were checking this stuff out. Who knew?
Lastly, the name will change. This will now be The Work of Art Chronicles. There is a lesser known (lesser known than this? Yes!) blog bearing the same name. That will go away as the function of that blog will now fold into this one.

So, pardon the appearance, if you would, please. I'll try not to leave too much of a mess. But do please come visit. There'll be lots more to see.

More Later, as always...



P.S. The best kind of change is the kind you initiate and manage with awareness.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

MALADJUSTED! Because You've Waited Long Enough...

Finished product. Here it is. I'll say no more.

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Monday, January 5, 2015

Happy New Year! A Bit of Food For Thought

This article comes from The Atlantic by William Deresiewicz who recently wrote Excellent Sheep: The Miseducation of the American Elite and the Way to a Meaningful Life. The book covered a lot of what is going on in Ivy League schools in particular, but also in education in general. Deresiewicz spent about 25 years teaching in elite academia: Columbia. Harvard, etc. Nice gigs.

Here in this essay, he talks about the commercialization of art and the transformation of the artist as a singular, perhaps visionary genius into an entrepreneur, with all the trappings that implies in our modern (or post-modern, whatever that means) world, that must tangle with the logic (or lack thereof) of the market. He contends that artists in the 18th and 19th and even to some degree the 20th centuries have been sheltered from the vagaries of the market by a variety of structures, and that now in the 21st century, with those structures undergoing seismic shifts, a lot of the old models and paradigms may not apply anymore as it reduces down to how an artist gets paid. Fascinating read. Here's the link.

Also, a bit of catching up. Obviously, posting has dragged to a snail's definition of speed. Lots going on in my off-line, actual life. The holidays were, by turns quiet and chaotic with family and contemplation vying for equal time. A recent birthday has made me more acutely aware of how precious life is and why it's important not to waste it offering what is sacred to dogs. Yesterday Stuart Scott of ESPN died after a seven-year bout with cancer. He was only 49. Closer to home, my neighbor is receiving hospice at his home following a brain tumor that was diagnosed a year and a half ago. The end is near for him. We've been neighbors for 16 years. I watched his children grow up.

It's pretty real when someone near your own age is dying. It makes you affirm life and it makes you affirm your life. And it makes you want to hold on for as long as possible and make it count for something, and to make what you do count for something. Be something more than excellent sheep.

Rest in Peace Stuart Scott. We were not ready for you to leave us.

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