Thursday, June 28, 2007

Observe The Languid Swan


to the casual eye she is elegant and lazy
but she's paddling like crazy.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Naomi Klein Might Say "I told You So"

Just two weeks after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans Naomi Klein already had a sense of what the future would likely hold...she also knew how things could have been different, much different.

"It's a radical concept: the $10.5bn released by Congress and the $500m raised by private charities doesn't actually belong to the relief agencies or the government - it belongs to the victims. The agencies entrusted with the money should be accountable to them. Put another way, the people Barbara Bush tactfully described as "underprivileged anyway" just got very rich.

Except relief and reconstruction never seem to work like that. When I was in Sri Lanka six months after the tsunami, many survivors told me that the reconstruction was victimising them all over again. A council of the country's most prominent businesspeople had been put in charge of the process, and they were handing the coast over to tourist developers at a frantic pace. Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of poor fishing people were still stuck in sweltering inland camps, patrolled by soldiers with machine guns and entirely dependent on relief agencies for food and water. They called reconstruction "the second tsunami".


Article continues....

With the poor gone, developers are planning to gentrify the city...

Before the flood, this highly profitable vision was already displacing thousands of poor African-Americans: while their music and culture was for sale in an increasingly corporatised French Quarter (where only 4.3% of residents are black), their housing developments were being torn down. "For white tourists and businesspeople, New Orleans's reputation means a great place to have a vacation, but don't leave the French Quarter or you'll get shot," Jordan Flaherty, a New Orleans-based labour organiser told me the day after he left the city by boat. "Now the developers have their big chance to disperse the obstacle to gentrification - poor people."

Here's a better idea: New Orleans could be reconstructed by and for the very people most victimised by the flood. Schools and hospitals that were falling apart before could finally have adequate resources; the rebuilding could create thousands of local jobs and provide massive skills training in decent paying industries. Rather than handing over the reconstruction to the same corrupt elite that failed the city so spectacularly, the effort could be led by groups like Douglass Community Coalition. Before the hurricane, this remarkable assembly of parents, teachers, students and artists was trying to reconstruct the city from the ravages of poverty by transforming Frederick Douglass senior high school into a model of community learning. They have already done the painstaking work of building consensus around education reform. Now that the funds are flowing, shouldn't they have the tools to rebuild every ailing public school in the city?

For a people's reconstruction process to become a reality (and to keep more contracts from going to Halliburton), the evacuees must be at the centre of all decision-making. According to Curtis Muhammad of Community Labor United, the disaster's starkest lesson is that African-Americans cannot count on any level of government to protect them.
From an article in The Guardian September 2005, by Naomi Klein the author of No Logo.

Here is a fund that Tuffy P let me know about....Common Ground my concern is...what about that $500 million?

Common Ground needs your support immediately to continue critical relief and recovery work in New Orleans and the city's surrounding areas.

The City of New Orleans has initiated a “Good Neighbor” Program. Thousands of residents—many of whom are elderly and disabled--are now facing the possibility of having their homes repossessed by the City, if their properties are not gutted, mold abated, and boarded up. Instead of providing the needed resources to those who need assistance, the local government is referring residents to non-profit organizations like Common Ground.


I support the idea of residents who were able to stay the storm getting needed support to keep their houses. I believe there should be an organization that gives displaced residents from New Orleans an opportunity to move back. Many have been given new houses in new cities...which is beautiful and I think important...but what about the option of moving back to their home city?

Ironically the French Quarter is no longer a commercialized tourist spot only but has returned to a sort of roots of the city...and the former residential areas are likely being turned into a "new kind of neighbourhood" of gated or cookie cutter streets.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Operation Family Secrets

In Chicago, it's called The Outfit.

Once seated, jurors -- to be identified only by court-issued numbers -- will hear allegations against aging defendants accused of a racketeering conspiracy that included at least 18 murders. Among the victims is a man who inspired a character in the movie "Casino."NBC.

"Regretfully, greed is such a part of our culture that you're always going to have a criminal element, and it will organize. This [trial] will hurt the mob but it won't end it."
Gus Russo, author of "The Outfit

I swear to god listening to the news the journalists say things like "bumped off" "the outfit" "the Clown" "porn store payoffs".

The Chicago Syndicate Blog.

Tags From Matthew and Amy....

I have three tags to catch up on here are two!...from Matthew

1) Name your favorite band and singer. (The singer can’t be from the band) Sublime and David Bowie.
2) Favorite historical politician (domestic)? (Historical = Dead) Tommy Douglas.
3) Favorite historical politician (International)? Jesus Christ.
4) You’re giving a Hollywood pitch (25 words or less) about your Blog — GO"Mickey and Judy don't need to save the farm instead save the town by changing from a farm economy to a tribal system of making a living...and they only have one week!
5) Other than where you live now, what city do you like? New York City!
6) Favorite modern politician? (In office now) Barak Obama.
7) Are you a Wilsonian Idealist or Nixonian Realist in foreign policy? Khrishna.
8) Favorite obscure movie?
a) Not Seen By Many but Mainstream: The Cotton Club.
b) Not Seen By Many but Mainstream:Bubba Ho Tep
c) Independent Film: The Big Lebowski
d) Foreign: The Enigma of Kasper Hauser

And a tag from Amy....

1. WHAT WERE YOU DOING 10 Years ago. Making a short film and painting
2. WHAT WERE YOU DOING 1 YEAR AGO..blogging and writing a short film and painting.
3. FIVE SNACKS YOU ENJOY, hummous, celery, pork rinds, pischatio nuts, berries.
4. 5 SONGS TO WHICH YOU KNOW ALL THE LYRICS, I'm Just A Girl( Gwen), Don't Stop(Madonna), 911's A Joke( Public Enemy) Bohemian Rapsody(Queen), Delta Dawn (Helen Reddy)
5. FIVE THINGS YOU DO IF YOU WERE A MILLIONAIRE...art school for street kids, film production office headquarters, buy land put up a tipi,buy lots of art, buy a house in the French Quarter.
6. FIVE BAD HABITS wearing pj's all day, nail biting, clothes on floor, making art, making films.
7. FIVE THINGS YOU LIKE DOING talking, blogging, dancing, eating, reading.
8. FIVE THINGS YOU WOULD NEVER WEAR AGAIN, tube top, dog collar, jodpurs, flat shoes, beret.

I tag: The Healing Room, The Underground Baker. Four Dinners, Tinkerbel, Red, The Thoughts of Bezalel, Nice Marmot and From A Lofty Perch. I believe in free will and so don't expect any of you to feel obligated to respond to this tag...but if you do I'll enjoy reading your answers.

How To Make War, Not Love?

"Naturally, the common people don't want war; neither in Russia, nor in England, nor in America, nor in Germany. That is understood. But after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.” --Hermann Goering, Reich Marshall, during the Neurenberg Trials

Dolls

Monday, June 25, 2007

Katrina Repercussions

Death rates in New Orleans rose nearly 50 percent as the city began its recovery from Hurricane Katrina, in part because of storm-related damage to its public health facilities, researchers said on Thursday, June 21, 2007.

"The post-Katrina mortality rate for the first six months of 2006 was approximately 91.37 deaths per 100,000 ... Compared to the pre-Katrina population mortality rate of 62.17 deaths per 100,000 population, this represents an average 47 percent increase from the baseline mortality," the study said.

"It is suggested that a destroyed or poorly recovered public health infrastructure, which normally would be able to identify health problems and protect the health of a population, has in fact contributed to excess mortality," the researchers concluded.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

How Does One Live?


I'm trying to deal with the world, to understand it in some way, to pass to some other kind of level below its surface. The question—it's been said—that exists in every work of art, poetry or fiction and, I suppose, maybe even in music and painting, is the question How does one live? A writer addresses that question again and again, sometimes directly, sometimes indirectly. From an interview with author Stephen Dobyns

Friday, June 22, 2007

sara and jesus - Paso Doble to Queen

The Subconscious Muse?

Cormac: and it may be that the subconscious is really a committee uh and they may have meetings and say what do you think we should tell him should we tell him that no he’s not ready for that well lets it’s a way of putting things but it’s very uh you know sometimes the sense of the sense of the subcon the sense of the subconscious and its role in your life is just something you can’t ignore

Oprah: No you can’t.

Cormac: In science a lot of times a lot of times the people work on problems and just hit a wall and can’t solve them and they’ll be solved in dreams the most famous one is Kekule’s Benzene ring he was doze he was he couldn’t figure out what benzene looked like he couldn’t figure out the shape of the molecules and he fell asleep in front of his fire and he dreamt of the hoop snake Ouroboros the snake with its tail in its mouth and when he woke up he realized oh it’s a ring

Oprah: That was in his dream

Cormac: Yeah

Oprah: in the dreams the subconscious…

Cormac: But that raises the question as to why you know if if your subconscious has solved this proble and is ready to tell you why wouldn’t it just say “hey Kekule it’s a ring”

Oprah: A ring yeah, why wouldn’t it do it that way

Cormac: We don’t know, but it may it may have to do

Oprah: it’s that brain thing again

Cormac: it may have to do you know with the subconscious being older than language and maybe it’s more comfortable creating little dramas and telling you things but it has to understand language

Oprah: I love that thought

Cormac: Yeah

Oprah: I love the thought of that the subconscious being older than language I hadn’t thought of it that way before

Cormac: Yeah

Oprah: Yeah

Cormac: So maybe you know language is pretty we have a linguistic program here at SFI um and um you know we meet occasionally and have linguists from all over the world a lot of them are from Russia um but you know language is language is probably no more than about 70,000 years old well compared to the three or four million years that we’ve been here that’s very recent um but it understands language because it understands the problems that you’re working on and when you’re sleeping it will work on them for you

Oprah: and that’s why the rings came when he went to sleep

Cormac: yeah

Oprah: Yeah

Cormac: and sometimes you see sometimes it will be it will be quite specific there’s there was some years ago um a math mathematician at MIT and he um he was working on a problem that was really very important to him it was a major problem and he just …could not get he and he absolutely had hit a wall and his friends were worried about him…his wife was worried about him

Oprah: uh hm

Cormac: he was very depressed and then one night he went to sleep and he dreamt he was having dinner with John Nash

Oprah: With John Nash?

Cormac: Yeah and they everybody knows John Nash because there was a film made about him A Beautiful Mind

Oprah: Uh hm.

Cormac: and so they chatting and …in the course of this conversation he explained the problem to Nash and Nash said hmm I think I see something let me borrow your pencil and he wrote some equations on the napkin and explained what he had done and then they guy woke up and he turned on the lamp and he had his little pad by the table there and he scribbled down the equation and then he scribbled down a couple of notes to himself and went back to sleep …well then the next morning he woke up and the first thing he thought was god what a strange dream I wonder what kind of gibberish I’ve written on my little pad and when he looked on the pad here was this really elegant solution to the problem

Oprah: Whoa

Cormac: So he wrote up the paper and he cited Nash as co-author.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Leave The Gun. Take The Cannoli.


I watched two AFI specials last night, the first a tribute to Al Pacino and it's really remarkable to see his body of work reviewed all in one sitting. I love him.

The second...AFI's 100 Greatest Movies:
10) The Wizard of Oz
9) Vertigo
8) Shindler's List
7) Lawrence Of Arabia
6) Gone With The Wind
5) Singing IN The Rain
4) Ragng Bull
3) Casablanca
2) The Godfather
1) Citizen Kane.

Did It Bring Us Together , Or Draw Us Apart?

If you look at the roof of this Amish house, you will see a solar panel. Did you know that 80% of Ohio Amish have solar panels?

WIRED Magazine had an article several years ago about how the Amish decide to incorporate technology , or not. I read this article when it came out in 1999, and it has stayed with me, and I just found it online. If you have the time it is still a very relelvant issue and should be a kick in the ass for a lot of us who just adopt all kinds of new inventions in our lives all the time.

To the obvious question why allow Amish electricity but not public electricity, Amos answered slowly and deliberately, "The Bible teaches us not to conform to the world, to keep a separation. Connecting to the electric lines would make too many things too easy. Pretty soon, people would start plugging in radios and televisions, and that's like a hot line to the modern world. We use batteries and generators because you can use the batteries for only a short time and because you have to fuel and maintain the generator yourself. It's a way of controlling our use of electricity. We try to restrict things that would lead to us losing that sense of being separate, to put the brakes on how fast we change."

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Magazine Addiction

Thursday Thirteen Week Edition #43, or #44...
1) Juxtapoz Magazine
2) Film Threat
3) American Cinematographer
4) Harpers
5) SPIN
6) Vanity Fair
7) Elle Decor
7) Vibe
8) Film Quarterly
9) Metropolitan Home
10) Veranda
11) W
12) Wallpaper
13) Jane

Do you have any favorite magazines?

Some Renovations?

At about the same time as I started this blog, I had made a website on "mac.com". This photo is what it's front page looked like...and right now, I have some ideas of doing a little tidying up and renovation work here at this blog...and I thought of these collages I had made for the "test run" website. Blogs are way more fun than a website...but I like thse pics. So I am throwing ideas around with a blogdesigner Goofy Girl and thought I'd see if my pals and visitors had any opinion of how I could tidy this blog up? One idea we are having is three margins instead of two...using this collage above as a header in some fashion, obviously making the photos horizontal rather than vertically aligned..and maybe some "tags" (I don't even know what a tag is...so see, I need experienced feedback...I am a techno peasant...) What would make this blog more comfortable to read or visit I wonder? You'll have to click on the photo above to be able to see clearly my first website design. A couple of weeks ago...I put my blog rolls into little boxes...I am not sure if I like that idea or not...but it definately is tidier...

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

New Blog: Nice Marmot!


Speaking of meeting people on-line...here is another pen pal, Shad Marsh, from same book club whereI "met" Christian Keifer (musician in my last post). I love this pic of the cat asleep on the bbq!

Dogs & Donkeys

I love meeting people through the internet. I like it because it's like you meet peoples spirit first, their superficial details later. Our need to categorize and label people, politics and philosophy into black and white polarities still occurs online...but sometimes we get enough time to process tone, intent and humour by repeated online discussions. A phenomenon occurs that you can tell who is actually cool online, and who is not sometimes, oftentimes, without measuring and seeing their gestures and tone of voice. Many of us will never meet our blog friends or web board pals and yet an idea and bond occurs. I have met a lot of people from online in real life. I have never met Christian Keifer in real life, but I spent a fair bit of time several years ago discussing some novels with him and a group of others at a web board. I just found out he makes music and we got one of his cds yesterday. His album Dogs & Donkeys is a spooky haunting of beautiful folk ballads that feels like listening to a novel: maybe a gothic murder mystery. I hope you get a chance to check out his MP3s online.

I mentioned the other day that I had a meeting with Tim Westergren the founder of Pandora: The Music Genome Project. Tim said that the Genome Project is beginning to include a lot of independantly produced music. SPIN Magazine had an article about how to fix the music business. Incorporating independant music into Pandora programming is maybe one of the major paths to introducing independant music to new listeners. The way Pandora finds listener specific music is by analysing a listeners favourite somgs then finding more music that works mathematically and similarily to those choices. Christian Keifer's album Dogs & Donkeys is like Waylon Jennings meets Nico Case. I hope he sends his cds into Pandora.

Nephew and I

I am loving the scanner. Long Beach, Tofino on Vancouver Island. My nephew, helping his auntie hold her beer, 2000. I'm wearing my grandpas swim trunks.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

The Catch-up Diaries?

Stagg and I dancing at Tuffy P. and Mister Anchovy's wedding 2001. That's right, we've been friends for over ten years before we fell in love. We got a scanner printer yesterday...so I am practicing and you are my guinea pigs. I love it...Stagg is crazy about the new scanner. I have no idea what time he went to bed last night because he was scanning all kinds of archives and stuff. He's still asleep.
Okay, so Tuffy P, Mister Anchovy and Stagg kidnapped me in Setember 2005. We drove to Nashville and Stagg and I have been together ever since. This picture is in front of a house/artists studio in New York State.
Nashville 2005.
This holiday was celebrating their wedding anniversary of four years. We are going to New Orleans in the fall to celebrate...six years?

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Cormac McCarthy Fever

Well, this has really been a week of McCarthy news...and Oprah has posted another segment of the interview, not aired or previously on her site. Cormac McCarthy and the Subconscious. I'm not kidding...and this latest installment is the best one so far!!! Notice...Oprah is actually twirling her hair!

Trailer for NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN.

Friday, June 15, 2007

The New York Times Again...

For the second time, The New York Times has written about an on-line book club I've been a participant at for ten years.

Here is the first time

"Eleven-Seven: Cormac McCarthy's fans--they gather in the forums of 'the official Web site of the Cormac McCarthy society'--are smarter, and definately more laid back, than those of just about any other living writer. They have names like Clem, and tend to refer to themselves as 'fellers.' Watching them hash out their feelings about McCarthy's new novel, 'The Road'--see No. 4 on the fiction list--is like listening to the members of Waylon Jennings's old band talking on a back porch somewhere, smoking cigarettes and plunking squirrels with varmint rifles. One burning issue in the forums right now is McCarthy's strategic deployment of the number 117. In his new novel, 1:17 a.m. is when clocks stop and the world ends. In his last one, 'No Country for Old Men,' there was a gristly motel murder in Room 117. And so on. Is McCarthy referencing the Book of Revelations? Genesis? Who knows? 'That's the Bible: you can make it support an argument any which way.'"

And here from yesterdays NYT's "Paper Cuts:

You’d think these would be heady times for the people who gather at Cormac McCarthy.com, the official Web site of the Cormac McCarthy Society. Their man appeared on television last week, emerging like a biblical apparition. The Coen Brothers film of “No Country for Old Men” will be in theaters soon. McCarthy’s “The Road” won a Pulitzer Prize two months back.

But no. Like a family of lottery winners, the extended McCarthy clan has commenced to bickering. The site’s terrific forum - I have praised it in print before - has become a battleground of wounded feelings and bruised egos. One participant recently referred to the forum as “mostly poison.” Part of the problem seems to be political.


This is so funny to me...actually, I could handle the "wounded feelings and bruised egos" but actually...my only grief at the Forum is that I've had a stalker there for over a year!. But that shall have to be an account for a future post.

Upcoming Attractions

I am running out the door in a few minutes to meet with Tim Westergren founder of Pandora: The Music Genome Project.

I got turned on to Pandora by Four Dinners over a year ago and last night Pandora hosted a party at a downtown club in Chicago. I'm running out the door for a quick visit with Tim in a few minutes.

Later this afternoon I will post my recipe for Cauliflower Salad due to popular demand.

Later! I gots to run downtown and meet up with Tim...wish me luck with coming up with decent questions for him!

Butthole Surfers -- The Shame Of Life

Thursday, June 14, 2007

The Hillbilly Moon Explosion - Brown Eyed Boy

A beautiful video...and you can dance to it at your computer...

Forget Corn, Remember Cabbage


1) Taking only three months growing time, one acre of cabbage will yield more edible vegetables than any other plant.

2) The English word cabbage comes from the french word, referring to head.

3) In 200 BC people believed in eating plenty of raw cabbage before a banquet in which one plans to drink deep.


4) President George H.W. Bush was known to dislike broccoli. In protest a powerful broccoli lobby sent several tons to the White House. It was donatedto a local food bank.


5) The cabbage family includes broccoli, kale, brussel sprouts, cauliflower and collards.

6) Albert "Cubby" Broccoli was the producer of James Bond films. His daughter Barbara Broccoli produced the Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig Bonds.

7) Awesome source of iron, vitamin C, fiber, calcium and potassium.

8) Egyptians advised starting with raw cabbage to keep sober

9) Cabbage Soup Diet I've never tried it. I do love borscht though.

10)Heirloom Cabbage Seeds onsale, on-line. Heirllom plants are important for diversity. The reason for the Potato Famine was that Ireland had a favourite potato and stopped growing all it's other kinds of potatoes. So when a disease hit that beloeved potato, they didn't have any other potatos that may have resisited the disease.

11)Good worts! good cabbage. Slender, I broke your head: what matter have you against me? Falstaff in Merry Wives of Windsor.

12) Cabbage has been cultivated from the wild for over 4000 years. It's likely homosapiens have been eating it even longer. Among natural healers, cabbage is believed to inhibit tumor growth, and prevent several cancers including colon, breast and ovary cancer.

13) I make a cauliflower salad just like a potato salad recipe but instead of potatoes, cabbage. Not fattening like potatoes! Tastes just as good...actually now potato salad tastes bland. I eat some member of the cabbage family, every day.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

A Beautiful Mind

This one is for Survivor and Pirate Master fans...

How to Negotiate a Pay Raise with Game Theory

About the Oprah/Cormac Interview


If you are a visitor regarding the Oprah Cormac interview and you want me to hook you up, you need to leave me a message in the comments.

Don't be shy :)


I f you are inquiring about art on eBay...you will find it available here, and very afforadable.

Cheers!

Real, Literal or Art?

Thanks to L.M. for inspiring this post today!

Meat Dress by Jana Sterbak, 1991.
A sculpture of a dress made of raw meat, hanging at the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa, has outraged politicians and food-aid agencies. The sculpture, made of 50 pounds of salted flank steak, is a waste of food and taxpayers' money, critics say. But museum curators defend the work, "Vanitas," as a graphic reminder of mortality and the aging process.
"It's a powerful piece," Helen Murphy, a museum spokeswoman, said yesterday. "It can be quite repugnant, even to people who eat meat. People just aren't prepared in some cases to say this is art." (From Snopes.com,and a 1991 article)

The meat dress by Montreal artist Jana Sterbak is on a hanger beside a photo of a woman wearing it. When the meat decomposes after six weeks, it will be replaced with another $260 worth of fresh meat. "Vanitas," on display since March 8, will remain until May 20 before traveling to the United States and Europe.


Thawing Out, sculpture by Mark Prent. 1972.
The fourth Prent piece at 106U, a large-format, highly crafted photo print of 1972’s “Thawing Out,” is of particular resonance. It was originally produced to raise legal-defence funds for Avrom Isaacs, the Toronto gallery owner whose exhibit of Prent’s work led to criminal charges of—get this—“exhibiting a disgusting object.”

“That’s all open to interpretation,” laughs Prent. “Eventually, that was thrown out of court, but at that particular point, Isaacs didn’t know how he was going to raise money to defend the case. In the end, the Art Dealers Association came to the rescue and hired a lawyer themselves. They said, this is going to be a bad precedent—never mind for Mark Prent or the gallery, it could be the end of all kinds of freedom of expression for artists in Canada.”



Meat Dress
Review of Mark Prent Exhibit

Monday, June 11, 2007

The Epilogue of Blood Meridian, Part 2

Poussin's Extreme Unction, 1637-1640. Notice how Poussin included the floor of the studio in this painting? Notice how he paints with contemporary technique people in archaic setting and clothes? Poussin is teasing us with his gift for illusion.

I believe Blood Meridian is an example of how resonance in art and literature depends on it's intuitive comprehension trumping intellectualism.

It's entirely possible Cormac McCarthy hadn't seen or considered Poussin's Et In Arcadia Ego, but it's hard to believe. Five minutes in a library looking for the adage and you will find Erwin Panofsky's essay on the phrase and it's history of misinterpretation.

The relationship between novels and readers lies in D.W. Winnicotts idea of transitional objects. As humans mature the transitional objects move from blankets, teddy bears or soothers to play to sophisticated play: transitional phenomenon located in cultural experience.

I define sophisticated play as music, writing, art and theoretical science. And audience engaging in the product also sophisticated play.

We make contact with Blood Meridian in the moments of illusion, much like we did as infants in parent-child bond, and as we do with movies when we suspend our disbelief. It is the moments of illusion, often created by feelings of ambiguity, that allow us to comprehend themes, safely and at a distance, that may be difficult to process in reality.

I nickname this phenomenon a "cosmic reset button" and I liken it to an aha moment, to mystical experience, love, religious and spiritual rituals, and hunter gatherer traditions.

1985, New York Times Review.

If you are a visitor inquiring about the Oprah and McCarthy interview, please leave me a comment and I will get back to you. Don't be shy :)

The Epilogue of Blood Meridian, Part 1


The judges gun in the novel Blood Meridian has the inspription Et In Arcadia Ego. The 1638 painting titled Et In Arcadia Ego above is in part a response to Virgils use of the adage. The adage has a delightful history of being misunderstood and having several interpretaions. I believe this is a handy metaphor for reading Blood Meridian. The inscription, Et In Arcadia Ego on the tomb in Poussins tow paintings here,is generally felt to mean that death is also in Arcadia. It also is translated to mean the person in the tomb once lived and enjoyed life...it suggests that life is brief, mortality is there and to be appreciative of living.

This tradition of memento mori is also found in 17th Century Dutch painting of vanitas. Like Poussins painting there are juxtapositions of life: the young vigorous people looking at the tomb and pointing to the inscription. In the Netherlands painting tradition of vanitas often skulls, flowers, time pieces, rotting fruit, books and musical instruments. These objects remind the viewer "that you will die" by representing the perishable. This tradition also suggests that vanity about ones accomplishments and material possesions are also fleeting.
The Arcadian Sheperds, 1627.
Oddly, and I am sure others as they have re-read Blood Meridian have felt this too...but when you read the novel for a second or in some cases several times...it becomes evident that the story is very simple. It is a rollicking adventure story. There are so many layers of meaning. If a novel has half a dozen references, allusions and associations and well...they are juxtaposed and one can concentrate on why or how the image of a card game lays against a scalping. Two or three images speak to each other and the human brain demands a narrative. But in Blood Meridian the layers of meaning and references are so vast...it's as if finally meaning cancels meaning. We have an event horizon of comprehension. Meanings implode on each other. Blood Meridian may be seen as a collage and The Road may be seen as a line drawing.( thanks The Underground Baker) Stripped down both novels are rollicking adventure stories compelling the reader to find their own morality.
Still Life, Willem Claesz Heda, 1634.
The epilogue, to me, is a stage curtain to enhance the novel as a memeto mori. It's a stand back and see where you are but within circling sentences. Intuitively it reminds me that the entire novel makes me feel life is brief. It can be violent and regenrative in a way that I am afraid of because I too am here, and I too will die. I feel relief I am not living in either the setting of Blood Meridian or The Road. In some ways...this gives the kid in Blood Meridian some stature for me. When he tells the judge "you ain't nothin", it represents all the layers of meaning becoming nothing by so many cancelling each other out. These layers of meaning are why no matter how hard we try we can not come up with an adequate criticism forBlood Meridian. Drawing conclusions depends on ones taste and reflects the readers taste rather than the novel. Blood Meridian's text has embraced everything. It is folly to limit it to one interpretaion. Even the kid disappears in the text finally. He may have been murdered but the text does not allow us to confirm or see how far down the rabbit hole (outhouse?) he has fallen. The reader has gone with him as far as tangible account. Even our intellectualism is a vanitas. We are Catrina the calavera. Poussin has included the studio floor in a corner of his painting Extreme Unction I believe the epilogue is a little like the studio floor showing through.

Some readers have felt The Road repudiates Blood Meridian and in some way it does, but in another the two are deeply connected. They seem to me to be different ways of looking at this mischevious skeleton show. One is engaging and creating the chaos of violence in spite of death and one is showing how to take a stand and try to live despite violence and chaos. In similar situations two men act very differently. Maybe the kid does finally take a stand and find he carries the fire: by saying to the judge "you ain't nothin". The father however is taking an overt stand by saying he carries the fire and reject the death cults by not eating other humans. The epilogue at the end of Blood Meridian puts the reader outside the action as does the trout in the stream at the end of The Road. The very diiferent passages both evoke a distance in the reader. Stand back, look at the memento mori.
Arcadian
good ol wikipedia
E.B.
Meaning In The Visual Arts by Erwin Panofsky.

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Sunday, June 10, 2007

Cormac's Coke Side Of Life

Coca-Cola references in Cormac McCarthy novels:

The Orchard Keeper, p. 199

Suttree, pp. 23, 70, 71, 72, 156, 185, 392

All the Pretty Horses, p. 221

Cities of the Plain, p. 114

No Country For Old Men, p. 20

The Road, ARC pp. 19, 123

"Stacking up stone is the oldest trade there is," he says, sipping a Coke. "Not even prostitution can come close to its antiquity. It's older than anything, older than fire. And in the last 50 years, with hydraulic cement, it's vanishing. I find that rather interesting." From New York Times Interview.

From the Oprah/Cormac interview last week:

C: I think you have, as you said a passion and if you do it well then you may get rich in spite of yourself.

O: And so all those years that you were poor did you ever think that um one day or was it a concern at all not having money. You know a lot of people, a lot of, you’re a different kind of man because a lot of people have a lot of angst have a lot of anxiety feel a lack of self worth…because they couldn’t earn the money.

C: Yeah. Well.

O: You never had that?

C: That’s them and this is me I don’t know how to answer your question its um, I always very naïve I always assumed I’d be taken care of in some way or another and I was I was always very lucky something always happened just when things were truly truly bleak some totally unforeseen thing would occur.

O: Like?

C: Oh like I was I was living in Lexin Lexington Kentucky once and I was housesititng a friend of mine gotten me this job housesitting so I had a place to live but I didn’t have any money I was um I don’t mean that I didn’t have much money, I didn’t have any money but there was still some groceries left in the house so I ate those

O: Uh huh.

C: And uh, then one day someone knocked at the door and I went to the door and there was a guy standing there and he said are you Cormac McCarthy and I thought I don’t think there are any warrants out for me and I said yes I am. He said sign this please I said what is it he said it’s he said I’m a courier and uh he said thank you and got in his car and drove away and I opened up the letter and there was a cheque in it for $20,000 . And it was from, I was the first I was the first fellow of a new foundation that they had started some people in Chattanooga the Lyndhurst Foundation they had some Coca Cola money and they started this foundation and they were going to give these fellowships to people this you know long before the MacCarthur Fellowship.

O: Wow.


Can you imagine what kind of profound product placement may be able to work into the movie version of The Road? The novel is the story of a father and son crossing an ecologically savaged America where the boy has never seen the world as it is now. They find a soda machine at one point during their cautious almost military secret maneuvers to avoid death cults of cannibals. In a ash covered land with no food they find a can of Coke. The boy has never tasted Coke before. In marketing, especially the Coca Cola Company, they have a term called mind share, which regards brand awareness. when I read the novel, this scene was very touching because in the wasteland the little boy got to have a treat. The kind of effect this could have on the budget, on the emotional impact of the scene and the opportunity for Coke to get a literary product placement is kind of exciting.

I believe McCarthy's use of Coke in his novels supports his work as lying in a conservative American folk tradition. This tradition contains hobo art, outsider and folk painting as well as the folk revival of the 60's.

Grant McCraken writes:But something happened to America. It went from a couple of ideas of Americanness to many ideas of Americanness. This may be hard to see from the genteel surroundings of Atlanta headquarters and from the pleasant residential world of Buckhead, but you only had to look at the CSD (carbonated soft drink) "category.”

It stopped being a category. Suddenly, there were new age drinks (Snapple), energy drinks (Red Bull), nutritional drinks (7 Up Plus), lots of little start ups working every niche, and some very scrappy competitors (Pepsi). Not one America, but many Americas. And in this new choice set, Coke began to look too sweet, too caffeinated, too fattening, a little unhealthy, and, gasp, a little old fashioned.


I believe McCarthy's use of the possibly old fashioned but ever popular and sentimental fave Coke is like Hobos and folk artists using familiar images for narration. I believe it also indicates a narritive rooted in a conservative tradition. Conservative as a looking back to the past for guidance and rejecting the materialism driving art, politics and ideologies.

"In Harvard Square, in Cambridge, Massachusetts and Greenwich Village in New York City and other locales situated near college campuses, thriving folk music scenes developed. The revival was a social construct made out of a conservative, restorative, cultural patriotism. Though expressed as a romanticised vision of the past, seeking a more just, genuine society, the revival rebelled against oppresion, consumerism, and modernism. Young people participated in such numbers and with such fervor that the folk revival became an immense cultural and ideological force." From Craig Morrison.

If you want to know about Oprah Cormac interview, please leave me your e-mail in the comments

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Me and Mister...Mister Anchovy...

I'm back and forth here and at Mister Anchovy's this week...

The Masque

The Masque. Painting and collage on watercolour paper.35"x28", $35.00 Available on eBay.
Of course, Kawasaki Krump is still available too. A Brief History of My War To Beat Guy Kawasaki To Technorati Top Ten who is ranked #35 today.

Big Moe - Purple Stuff

I was looking for the jam band moe. but found this...

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Wedding Cake

Check out the prep work at my sisters blog, The Underground Baker for an Indian inspired wedding cake!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Party With Cormac!

Deana and I hamming it up in front of the tv.

That's us in the kitchen watching the video streams on Oprah website. We had a wonderful evening. A few tears in my eyes during the interview...it was deeply moving to me. As a friend said to me today...we saw that the man behind Blood Meridian is a real mensch! He was everything I felt about him meeting him last year...and to hear him talk about personal memories and his attitude towards work and writing really was touching. We also had so many laughs last night a terrific evening ...I made a killer hummous if I do say so myself and the bagel dogs I put in the oven...for 7 minutes...got so excited and forgot about them...till about two hours later...but we still choked them down.

Extra Cormac Online!

The interview between Oprah and Cormac McCarthy aired this morning...but the interview without the bells and whistles...is online at Oprah's book club. You need to register to be able to get the viseos...but it only takes a couple of minutes.

There are out takes from the television interview. I was so pleased with this interview...and will write more later...but it McCarthy's attitudes towards writing and his audience reminded me very much of conversations I've had with all my artist friends, Scott, Mister Anchovy, Tuffy P, my sister The Underground Baker. McCarthy is one of our peeps!

And check it out...he talks about punctuation, his reasons for not delving into female characters, God, his life of being poor and how passion is more important than working. It's a very short set interview but McCarthy covers a lot of ground.

Got Ten Questions About Art?

I thought this was a great idea...Simple Posie is taking any questions you might have about art...GO FOR IT!!!!

Got Ten Questions About Art?

simpleposie invites you to submit a ten (10) question questionnaire on the subject of anything art related. No question is too silly or too smart. Your questions can be tightly thematic or stream of consciousness.

Its not for money - only love... and the possibility of a great online art conversation. If you would like to see your questionnaire on simpleposie this summer, the deadline is June 15, 2007.

Send your questionnaire to:

simpleposie@jennifermcmackon.com

Her website

*All submissions subject to editorial approval.

What Kind Of English Do You Speak?

Your Linguistic Profile:

35% General American English

30% Yankee

25% Dixie

5% Upper Midwestern

0% Midwestern

(thanks Wylie this was a fun one)

Paris Hilton gets RIPPED by Sarah Silverman-MTV Movie Awards

Happy 600th post!

Monday, June 04, 2007

On the lot - Danger Zone

Go Vancouver!!! Yeah Zach!!!!

From the reality tv show On The Lot this is one of my favourite competitors. Canadian!!! and he is a special effects guy and so cute we are rooting for Zach! Don't worry Red and Asterisk, this won't spoil the show for you, go ahead and watch this one. It is a one minute movie made on a revolving spot in a circle, one take.

(This is post 599...what should I write about to celebrate post 600?)

Friday, June 01, 2007

McCarthy and Oprah, Tuesday!

I am so excited for this interview. Look closely, in this ridiculously small pic you can see Cormac and Oprah on comfy chairs. I am recording this episode tomorrow and our friends Deana and Marc are coming over for snacks and cocktails to watch it with us.

We have a very small place and our living room is actually our studio. Stagg has one side of the room and I have the other...I should go take a pic of how we arranged it to fit us all in there...just a sec...there we go, I wish I knew how to put these pics together into one shot like panorama...you'll just have to imagine. We moved the tv and crammed some chairs into the space.

As for snacks...we were picking up food the other day and getting cheese and crackers and pate and sausages and my mind was blank about what to make so we grabbed these silly bagel dogs. So much for health food. And the best deal on vodka was this humungous bottle for 15 bucks! We went to see Cormac McCarthy's play The Sunset Limited last year opening night at the Steppenwolf Theatre (yes the one Sinise and Malkovich began) and McCarthy was there (he sat right behind us!!!) and we got to meet him. It is also the night we met Marc and Deana...so tomorrow we are all pretty excitied as this interview is rare. McCarthy has only done two interviews for media before...and is known as somewhat reclusive like Salinger or Pynchon...not any more baby!

Always Dreamed Of Having A Cool House?

Bride Series by Anthony Stagg. Available on eBay. These don't need to go above the couch. What about a hallway? In the water closet? Can you imagine how much fun your next party would be for conversation if you had two of these hanging in your kitchen? You loading snacks on the counter, letting the kids stay up a little late while you inspire your neighbours to have another Margerita? Ever been to a house party and thought...this person really knows how to decorate and throw a great shindig? Why not you too?

When I first saw these when Stagg and I hooked up, I was like, hmmm. But they are like little essays. Why are hands so seemingly significant in these pictures? Why does a wedding dress look like a wedding cake? Why is a wedding dress often the only time a woman dresses very special in her life? What does the 15 year trend in shoulderless bustier style wedding dresses mean? These pictures are really quite a lot of fun to look at and take on more layers of meaning the more you look at them.



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Hello. Pirate.

How could I resist. Produced by Mark Burnett of Survivor and with PIRATES! In the first few minutes, I was like, what did they do....walk into a nightclub and sign up folks for a tv show? This could also be called "Pirate Ravers". What is really cool...is they are somewhere absolutely gorgeous and all had to have training in sailing. NO WAY! I want on this show so fucking badly. What swearing shocks you? Excuse me. PIRATE.
A combo of Amazing Race, Survivor and Johnny Depp the crew must run the ship, hunt for treasure (last night one guy got 20,000 bucks of swag) and adhere to the pirate codes. I was sipping a glass of wine when the occupation of a swarthy hottie comes on screen. "Scientist slash exotic dancer". I spit my red wine all over my white tee. So far as editing has revealed this is the most unlikable but bizarre group of partyanimals...but with the dividing up of chores, a shocking election of a Captain and the combo of T&A with dreadlocks...well I'm hooked. Hey, I bet Fond Of Beach is watching this too. I bet you guys didn't know one of my secret talents is sailing. I can ski too.