Sunday, May 1, 2016

They Ship It. Ship It Real Good.

Anthem novelAnthem novel
I know I missed the big up-trending a few years ago when Ayn Rand came back into blog / article circulation. I believe the popularity surge was thanks, in no small part, to the stupid activities of certain members of this entity out there in the United States called the Grand Old Party- which is full of good ol' boys- which should be disbanded for being such a useless, self-serving, penile-centric club- who like to think Ayn Rand wrote another chapter to the their Holy Book- or something. 
So why am I dedicating a blog post to this authoress, this would be screenwriter, this denouncer of It's A Wonderful Life?  Because here is where my little world tangles with this branch of popular culture:

I have one Ayn Rand book- Anthem. It was given to me when I was working in Queens, NY. I keep it because it was a gift and the object itself has some historic value and significance. An unnerving significance, in that it is officially property of the US. Army. It must have been very required reading for all the soldiers who could get into the 3rd Division Marine Library in the 1950's (or so).

I read Anthem once and that was quite enough for me to feel the author out and consequently, I will not read it again. Nor will I read any of her other books- if I can help it. I understand now why so many are duped into following her propaganda. Basically, all of it- this book anyway, is propaganda against anything resembling Communism. Because one time, in Russia, Communism hurt her precious feelings.

If you read between the beguiling simplicity of the writing,  you can see how it encourages being a dick. Not a detective. Not a straight-talking person- An utter prig. And somehow this is supposed to make the world a better place. Maybe she thought if we were all egocentric prigs like her the world would be practically utopic. That woman was not happy at all in her life.

When I think about how Conservative Christian Americans come to take up her banner, I don't feel surprised or shocked; not even mildly outraged.  It all really makes sense to follow her teachings if you are going to call yourself a Conservative (contracted, low energy, extra protective, self-interested) Christian in the first place. Swayed by her declarations of freedom, I can only figure that they thought she sounded even better hollering them than the Mel-Gibson-as-William-Wallace. I mean America is supposed to be god's country and freedom is the god given right we have earned. Yet it's been 'earned' from making niggardly deals with the people already living in this land that used to belong to everybody and then, at length, renege on those deals... But my glorious US History gets kind of weighed down by all these secular facts... That isn't where a lot of Christian Americans get their information from.

There Christians who think they are really, really clever though.  Like alchemists, they find unnatural ways of coaxing the language of Love and Compassion into mingling freely with Objectivism and Capitalism. They gossip and daydream with the rest of the curiously named 'Neoliberal' clique and make up these little fan fictions together; these stories where Jeyand is shipped so hard as THE ONLY OTP that they forget it's just perverse fiction they are indulging themselves in- with extra thick fiction sauce. Yes, it's creamy.

mediaeval art comment on by tumblr

Did I lose you? 
I'll put it this way if you don't understand the Internet language of girls/boys suffering brain fevers:
Conservative Christians (Mainliners even -wetf that means) and the 'Neoliberals,' in the pursuit of their own happiness-interests, throw these wild house parties where they try to get Water-into-wine Jesus Christ and Ayn Rand to snort ultra refined social Darwin dust laced with CC (corporate capitalism), go in a closet -and make a baby. And hope, with fingers crossed, that it wont turn out to be utterly psychotic. This time. 

Not only do Jesus Christ and Ayn Rand hate being put in closets together, but all the hopeful 'babies' of the messiah they squeeze out just can't quite function in society without doing harm. Have you noticed the asinine things pouring out of politicians mouths? That kind of crap has been the best they can do. Really. It's true. Jesus can make crap too. But he was raised by a craftsman- a carpenter. Not a crapenture. I don't think he'd be very conformist comfortable tied for long to such ill-wrought, ultimately degenerate constructs. It would be overly insulting to all his skills as a being being human.

Jesus would definitely, I think, take the time to go into a nice, safe space with Alissa Rosenbaum and have a real deep conversation about a few things (Cuz, daaamn son. The lady need therapy.), but he wouldn't dare snog in the dark with that bitchy, argumentative, human farce clouded in cigarette smoke, calling itself Ayn.

She's like a subtle version of Hitler. Yeah, I know, I just brought Hitler into this thing. How dare I be so... cliche? But here's the line of comparison: They both suffered slights in their youth and made the whole world pay in one way or another. Adolph didn't get into art or architectural school and generally had a rough go of starting his adult life. The Rosenbaum family came into hard times when the Communists took over in Russia so Miss Alissa had a bit of a rough time seeing her family flounder while trying adjust to the new social climate. And here we are now, still not able to get over their inability to constructively cope with circumstances beyond their control. They got over it. They are dead. But the rest can't seem to move on.

So echoes of their whinging can still be heard and will not fall silent for a while yet. It's just another aspect of the Great Cosmic Joke that these hateful types of people can have near boundless influence through time... and... the names and deeds of so many good (read as great) people will be misused and/or lost in the aggressive excitements that people tend to get caught up in.

I cringe.

I laugh.

Can we do better yet?

Monday, April 18, 2016

Child Parts Can Kill You

broken tooth
Do you want to know a strange fact about the already strange tm?

I have an adult sized baby tooth. 

This baby tooth could be a complete mutant that sprang up instead of a normal, rooted pearly white after I lost my first one OR it could be that I always had this oversized child's tooth and a horrible memory for that sort of dental oddity.

It's the #29, the second bicuspid on the lower right. It as no root and looks like it wants to be a molar. It it did anyway, before it cracked in half. I bit down and shattered this possible last remnant of childhood on an unexpected olive pit. (Isn't that how everyone's childhood goes?)
I left the tooth sections alone until one part was so wobbly I could not stand it any longer and I took it upon myself to rip the loose bit out. There was no pain and a little blood. With a swish of hydrogen peroxide all was as fine as could be. You can see the lower portion of the tooth in the picture were the root should be is just a jagged edge that had the whole thing hooked in place.
Thankfully, the occasion was nothing like those dreams where your teeth just kind of fall right out of your mouth into your hands in broken shards. *shudder*

Now I have half of an adult sized baby tooth. And though I was told it should be pulled, it must stay right where it is because the molar that would be right next to it has long since been removed. If I were to pull out the fragment, I would be left with a  significant gap. And then how am I supposed to predigest my veggies? I have a hard enough time as it is with two gaps wide enough to get whole almond stuck in them. And while temporary almond teeth are fun things they are uncomfortable and very impractical.

Other than being something of a child-ish curiosity, this tooth thing is significant for another more sobering reason; a possible link to cancer.
Here are some statistics! -
20% of women with epithelial ovarian cancer have hypodontia (congenitally missing teeth), as opposed to 3% of women overall. Women who have ovarian cancer are 8 times as likely to have hypodontia than those without ovarian cancer.  
In the light of these facts plus not knowing if I am missing an adult tooth or if this is some other anomalous-ness really puts a damper on things. It prevents me from enthusiastically celebrating yet another one of my subtle, freakish qualities. I mean, what would I say then? -
Huzzah, I have a higher chance of developing cancer because I have a genetic mutation! -?
Put something like that on a banner. Write that in icing on a cake.

broken toothI'd do it. It's seems like a good laugh if you are in that morbid kind of bent, but I would be eating cake alone. I just know it. And I don't even want cake. Damn the refined sugar! I want implants.
Dental implants to keep that clear. While it would be amusing to have other sorts of implants, they aren't so necessary to my survival and wellbeing as teeth.
Dental implants seem to best option because they are just like natural teeth once they are in. Dentures just suck (from my observations of the people in my life who have them) and bridges damage existing teeth which makes no sense to me. Why damage what is there? Doesn't that come across as absurd?

The cost to restore my teeth (all of them that need work) will total at least 6000usd. At least. That is without insurance coverage; providing I have the work done in Mexico. At the rate I am going with work it would take me years to come up with that kind of money. Seriously. Some aspects of my life play out like 1916 rather than 2016. I do appreciate history really, but sometimes... it just bites- or maybe gums you into a severe state of annoyance when you get too far behind the current norms.

Well, um, on that note:
If you would like to contribute to my fairly toothy fund, 
I am shamelessly posting these links:  ||  No PayPal account? Click here.
With that put out to the Universe, I can only hope for all the benevolence It has to offer and the ability to laugh it off easily if nothing comes of my asking. I do get moody about things a bit too often- maybe... So why not help me reduce my chances of being moody? Give a little something. Share the links around.

Besides the dental fixer-upper, I guess I would have to be tested for cancer as well.. sigh.. Does any one else think it's weird to have a wish list (at my age and in my supposed good health) that involves medical things like getting an MRI or a blood test or new teeth or an eye operation?

Monday, February 22, 2016

A Life Or Death Nature Intervention

{ longing for freedom can look like this }

Our canine resident El Rocco took rather doggish action against a dove about a week ago. He caught it and gave it a chew or two before he was stopped.
The dove was in a shock and tried to get away, but could not fly. It was captured yet again and examined. We figured it was suffering from wing sprain and bruising. There was no blood and the joints/bones seemed more or less ok.  It would not have been right to leave the animal outside in it's maimed but curable condition. One of our local cats would have surely taken advantage of the easy meal situation.
The humans of the house were determined to care for the dove as long as it needed (less than two weeks was the accurate guesstimate).
At first it was kept in a wooden crate, but when I got close to look in, the dove just glared out from between the slats, unmoving. I knew the look. I've seen the expression in guinea pigs and in my own reflection. It was not a happy creature. It had not processed how it was hurt or why it was confined.
Not much later, things were arranged for the bird to have an entire room to itself. The room made for a lonely aviary.
Almost every morning I paid a visit. I, as a giant, stupid, flightless bird was better company that none. The bird seemed to perk up at my attempts at cooing noises and would become more active.
Each day the dove was calmer, bolder, more curious and displaying clearer desire to get outside. It was encouraging to see such improvements.
Though it is still missing wing feathers, today, la palomita showed obvious signs that it was well enough to be let out. In due course, the window screen was left open and it got up into a tree outside. I guess our intervention worked and now I wish our bird friend better luck out there.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

A Silence Time

τὸν τεθνηκóτα μὴ κακολογεῖν

What? It's a new year? Twice over now?
No. You can't fool me with that talk. There's nothing new about this year. It is decidedly a continuation of the last one- which was, in fact, a new year; though I won't trouble you with an explanation of how time does not move the way you think it does.
And this post here, well, I guess it should finally go out. Ready or not. It's been sitting in edit mode, being edited sporadically for many, many months. 

Last summer it was strange to be a tourist in Boston as I had never been in my younger days; when I lived closer to the city and it would have made more sense. I learned about the Bunker Hill misnomer mixup (go look it up) and walked the Freedom Trail. I felt the contentment of the dead in the much visited cemeteries. I saw at least two anorexic women in a posh neighborhood.
But hey- why begin an actual written post after all these months of silence by jumping into random comments about Boston? Well? Why not? 
I never wrote about my brief stay in Boston in 2015. Or my awkward time at my brother's wedding- after I nearly killed myself (so to speak) in New York- Oh it was so strange and brief at time with my family in MA. And then there was my very first visit to Chicago and it's northern suburbs...
I did get around a bit last year and had much to relate, but let this blog fall into silence. It was time for my silence. There was a point when I saw that my words and actions were  having very little effect on anyone except to get myself overly excited and therefore lead straight to poorer health. 
What I was doing, with all it's positive intention, was having a negative impact. So I stopped. I threw down everything; walked away from a few things completely even. The struggle was not even making sense. Why was it even a struggle? Why did anything have to be a fight? I still don't know. I've stopped asking that question at the moment. 

My Human was hoping to start working on a mural in NYC this year (least year actually) that would have brought us some much needed income, but thanks to one man that $40 thousand job was scrapped in favor of a mirror instead of a mural. (That's the wrong 'm' word, mister dude.) I had refused to get my hopes up about the job because I felt the negotiation process was not going smoothly. I was not utterly crushed when Human got the bad news. Yet, I can't help having this mild bitterness toward a certain Tom C- However! May all (continued) blessing come upon his 5 star restaurants and TV appearances and his family. Because one must not speak ill of the dead- And how he must be dead indeed if he cannot comprehend the need to support the arts!

It's now focus on a migration/immigration collaboration project of music, performance (butoh, if you must call it that), and drawing. I'll probably write more about it, when I am more comfortable with what the thing wants to be- for my part of the collaboration, that is. We have a musical score though! And that is something! 
In April, Human and I will be doing this Chicago residency thing at Mana Contemporary for a few months. The residency had been in the works since last year. The dates have been shuffled and reshuffled, but it looks like we are still on for that at least. And who knows what can happen in Chicago? Maybe I can even find some work there... 

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Mexico City- Mixed Visuals

happy skull
happy knife
adorable ceremonial weapons? yes, please.
escandon- rooftop view
view of escandon from the roof of our rental house.
soldiers vs. giant flag
soldiers in the Zocalo wrestle the flag down.
furling the flag for the night.
mexican pomp
the national flag paraded to off to bed.
interactive art
artwork being stoned. how could you not want to throw rocks at famous people’s artwork?
looing up
what you can see when you look up.
cafe colors
yeah, I got this mug.

A set of three images (not mine) of the mural work in San Ildefonso.

not my image
the ‘mother arm’ – you are doing it wrong.
not my image
elitists do look disgusting like this- but on the inside.
not my image
and there is this bit of truth.

Mexico City- Mixed Visuals

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Mexico City - The Grit I Know, the Ghosts I don't

I have been so delayed in posting about my first experiences in Mexico City that I have now bumbled into my second experience. It was an expected trip, but the dates were uncertain. April became July and was turned back into April again. The last minute changes were a headache.

What was Mexico city like? Can I even put that in a few words? Outside of the Zona Maco climate control, it was… amazing. This city is where Mexicans go to get things going, get things done. The flow of the place pushes you in clear directions, unlike this norther realm where entropy is the word of the day.

For the first trip, we stayed in a very mod house in Escandon- a fantastic little neighborhood, by the way. The house had curious features: like a servant’s quarters where the laundry room is, and a telephone in each room- to call the servant. You think class is a non-issue that you only get to see on Downton Abbey? Think again. Traces of it are everywhere. And when you frequent the well-off sections of Mexico City it hits you in the face constantly. It is even still in the language. For the second visit we were provided with an efficiency hotel room right on La Alameda. What a great location! And there was only one night of obscenely loud neighbors sharing too much of their… lust? The free breakfasts made up for any (dirty pun warning!) shortcomings. Ugh. Sorry. That was too good to not let happen.

We did visit a few museums while we had free time outside of the art fair. Many of them were closed when we got to them on the first trip, but that left more to explore later!

San Ildefonso still stands out in my mind. Not only because the FEMSA exhibition (Hugo’s art) went on display there, but also because of the permanent mural works (omg, omg) and, at the time, Saints Alive was on exhibition. That whole thing pleased me more than dropping Jordan almonds down the stairwell in the New Museum at some ridiculous hour of the morning (it was well after midnight). I don’t often feel a sense of play when viewing art in galleries. Here you were invited to stone the artwork or push buttons to see what would happen. It just tickled me on so many levels…

There were a couple of really great etching / print museums. The work.. ugh.. so gooood.. I want to try printmaking! I actually did make a simple, little etching and print of my own in a workshop at the Museo del Estanquillo. It’s no master piece but it’s much better than what I did in, uh, 7th grade- the last time I made an etching!

At the National Museum of Anthropology, I stood in the presence of Cuatlicue. It wasn’t until I got into the Templo Mayor Museum that I saw the dismembered Coyolxauhqui. They don’t keep all their artifacts in one place. Alas. Or maybe for the best. These stones are super charged.

Speaking of – I am glad I didn’t go into El Templo Mayor site on my first trip; so very glad. It turned out to be more of a psychic workout than I imagined. I was struck by the feeling of the dead when I first stepped out of the metro at the Zocalo and almost everywhere in the Historic Center. I got a chance to kind of (only kind of!) ‘get used to it’ in the first visit. The feeling turned out to be vague in comparison to El Templo- It’s, by far, it’s the heaviest place I have ever been to in my life! I do not even think of my self as a person sensitive to this stuff, but I recognized the sensation. It’s something I have felt when in the UK and in Manhattan (The Armory building and the WTC site to be exacting). I was just there being gringa tourista looking at arranged stones and carvings and flaking, faded paint. You think a pile of rocks is just a pile of rocks – that’s what it was like at, say, the Edinburgh Castle. That felt like a pretend fort where boys play at war. It was nothing really unique for me. El Templo, these ruins that should have been built over by a cathedral, on the other hand, felt like the worst goddamn place on earth. My gut was wrenching so hard I was sniffing back tears while walking through the layered wreckage. If 80,000 people were murdered on this spot then yeah, this was the worst goddamn place on earth. To be honest, I was not at all perturbed that the pyramid was destroyed. And, if you know me, that is most unusual.

Even to compare it to visiting the ruins outside of the city- the feeling was totally, totally different at Teotihucan- but that is a more complicated place.

Readers, please let me know if you have heard of anyone else who has experienced/es this kind of thing in the the same or similar places. I want to compare notes and be assured that I my imagination is not getting the better of me.

Beyond the ghost ridden historic district, there’s the familiar graffiti and grime, construction and deconstruction, the metro and taxis that brought Brooklyn to mind. Though nothing is quite New York-ish here. The smells alone can send your soul flitting to heaven next to a taco stand or screaming in the other direction where ever sewer odors get through- which can be anywhere. Another interesting thing I noted while in a hurry to catch a train was that the metro has an optional segregation of the sexes during rush hour. Due to the still prevalent machismo and encouraged behavior of jealousy, women traveling alone may choose to ride in cars ‘for women only.’

This ‘courtesy’ aside, I found the metro to be much the same experience as New York with a massive increase in people selling you things you didn’t know you needed. Every sort of thing. I wouldn’t have been surprised to see someone pushing wasp honey (It’s a real thing! Look it up!) down there- we did see it on he streets! So, I found that if you follow general urban public transportation etiquette, the metro is no problem. Of course, I was not traveling the city at 4 am or alone. Things could be more exotic then.

Exotic enough were the four statue shrines – two of Jesus and two of The Bone Lady-  paired together and set up at different ends of a neighborhood; the mezcal flavored with chicken and the peanut or celery flavored pulque; the buildings designed to be the most glorious wastes of space ever erected; the amount of rubbish that accumulated by day’s end in the Tepito tianguis; the musical calls of the street vendors; the original Sanborns… Oh, I could go on. There is so much to recommend! If you have city experience and enjoy urban contrasts, it is worth a visit or revisit!

(More images forthcoming!)

Mexico City - The Grit I Know, the Ghosts I don't