Friday, August 31, 2012

Do You Laugh?

Do you laugh when you see the commercial for Magnum ice cream? I don't get it. How do they get to use the same name as the condom? Is it the same company making the ice cream and the condoms. They're clearly playing off the sexual cachet of Magnum in the commercials. I think the one commercial ends  with  "For serious pleasure seekers." It messes with my head. If it is the same company making both, could you possibly find a condom in your ice cream? Or maybe they make a "condom flavored ice cream?'. That would be really nasty. It sounds like the sort of urban legend that could grow legs.

01875

01875 by William Keckler
01875, a photo by William Keckler on Flickr.

The light! Scorching! Burns!

happily abandoned

happily abandoned by William Keckler
happily abandoned, a photo by William Keckler on Flickr.

"I am more ghetto than you"

Untitled by William Keckler
Untitled, a photo by William Keckler on Flickr.

slattern doll living a slatternly existence

Come spend the night inside her "sugar walls"

Am I the only one who thinks there should be an "Eddie Rabbit Day?"

happy

happy by William Keckler
happy, a photo by William Keckler on Flickr.

"tock"

"tock" by William Keckler
"tock", a photo by William Keckler on Flickr.

0784

0784 by William Keckler
0784, a photo by William Keckler on Flickr.

Untitled

Untitled by William Keckler
Untitled, a photo by William Keckler on Flickr.

the thin yellow line

the thin yellow line by William Keckler
the thin yellow line, a photo by William Keckler on Flickr.

hospital lobby

hospital lobby by William Keckler
hospital lobby, a photo by William Keckler on Flickr.

light's journey

light's journey by William Keckler
light's journey, a photo by William Keckler on Flickr.

ordinary day

ordinary day by William Keckler
ordinary day, a photo by William Keckler on Flickr.

"patient information only"

the floating world

the floating world by William Keckler
the floating world, a photo by William Keckler on Flickr.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

"Those who cannot learn from history..."

Those who cannot learn from history most likely hold high public office.


When You Live in Primitive Times

When you live in primitive times, and which time isn't, really?....

"Born Mikhail Alexandrovich Bakunin in 1814 to a distinguished and cultured land-owning family, he continually headed rebellions in his youth, first leading his brothers and sisters against their father (at one point locking him in the cellar for two days and presenting him a manifeso of liberation), and later encouraging his sisters to rebel against their husbands, ending in a duel with one of the husbands."




God's Balls

"God's balls are so long they touch the clouds."--@filthyrichmond (aka Jocelyn Plums)

FilthyRichmond was the funniest person I ever read on Twitter. And I used to follow a decent number of celeb comics on Twitter.

But nobody makes me laugh like her.

I think she was at like 10,000 followers when I started following her, maybe even less. Now she's at 47,000.

Here are some of her latest tweets. I'm glad to see she's using her genius to try to ward off the looming Evil Empire of Mitt.


Does anyone have the address for starving kids in Africa? Our daughter doesn't want her waffle fries.
Mitt Laundry, for all your money laundering needs.
School is about to start so I let my kids pick out one new outfit to share.
I lost all respect for my parole officer when he cried while digging his own grave at gunpoint.
80's teens form ragtag crew to beat Romney in the big regatta.
Romney's homes include such luxuries as an outdoor shower, garage elevator, and a pneumatic tube to the Cayman Islands.

I Can Feel

I can finally feel the algae in my soul.

Or is It?

Nothing in nature believes in death except us.

The Really

The most beautiful thing about existence is that nothing really believes in death except death itself.

Michael Cera

Michael Cera is in a Lifetime television movie on right now.



He must be nine or ten years old.


He's in virtually every scene.




He's a good actor even at this age.



My favorite Michael Cera photo is one that kept getting captioned on Cheezburger. The one where he's leaping like a deer in what looks like New York darkness.



I remember everybody being freaked out, because he looks like he's forty-five or thereabouts in that pic.



It's weird how photos can do things like that.



I Like "Taking Pikshurs" a Lot

In between advocating for my mom's civil liberties today, I took a helluva lot of "pikshurs.



Usually my camera battery dies after approximately 1300 pics at most.



Today it lasted for 2,044 photographs.



Think I'm bipolar?



But the lovely thing is it keeps me in a happy zone where I myself don't really exist.



Only what I'm looking at does.



It's better than transcendental meditation or zen sitting.



Maybe it is those things.

Cat Masochists?

I wonder if there are people who are "cat masochists?" I mean like some guy who would enjoy say an armful of cats dropped (from a very small height) on his naked back in a sort of fetishistic, feline version of flagellation. No cats would be harmed. Just the human. I'm visualizing a guy who would lie there and let a motorized mouse run across his naked belly as cats raked his skin trying to get the mouse. Other "cat tortures." Maybe make the guy lie in a giant kitty litter box being used by cats. Seems likely. It's probably available in New York. And, if not New York, Berlin or Stuttgart for sure.*









*This is only a hallucination. I am not advocating that cats waste their time pleasing any masochist. Cats should be allowed to remain the sadists they naturally are, and continue to enjoy torturing only unwilling humans.

Edgar

I was wondering what Poe's favorite words were and found this Poe concordance.




I think I linked to the concordance for the short stories only. You can also select only the poems or other breakdowns.



There are concordances for other authors as well. I wish it organized the words by frequency, with the most-used words at the top of the page. Maybe I missed the option for that. And I'm not interested in articles or other non-individualistic parts of speech (prepositions, common adverbs, etc.)


 He actually used zebub twice?!?



 Words that jump out as beloved by Poe include: abandoned, absolute, absolutely, absurd, accident, accomplished, account, admiration, ah, air, business, cannot, care, case, caught, ceased, centre (really? that spelling?), certain, change, character, circumstances, close, company, condition, conversation, countenance, country, darkness, design, despair, devil, die, direction, distance, doctor, earth, family, father, features, feeling, fifteen, five, floor, following...

Eat

Eat. Pray. Anarchize.

Eat

Eat. Pray. Litigate.

Spent Today Fighting

Spent today fighting for my mom's civil rights. An evil nursing home administrator had been manipulating my brother and others with outright lies. Then she finally met me (via telephone) today and the sociopath got a taste of her own bad medicine. An actual quote from today: "Once your mother gets here, she's MINE!" It was like some horrible B movie. C movie. WHO TALKS LIKE THAT? IN 2012? IN AMERICA? I nearly ended up speaking to attorneys but instead notified the Department of Aging that she was telling lies that were going to have a HIGH likelihood of having them named in a lawsuit, along with the hospital she's in as well. I called the hospital and talked to the people who had apparently been in dialogue/cahoots with this woman behind my mother's back. I nearly fell back into a huge fight with my brother because he had been telling my mom lies which were making her nearly suicidal about how the decision-making was being taken out of her hands by The State. And all these lies were originating with that malicious creature in the nursing home.

Long story short, we ended up convening a meeting at two today and the hospital's social services rep attended, the Department of Aging sent a representative and we ironed out the details for my mom's safe return HOME. Everyone suddenly became aboveboard. What a little miracle. Everyone distanced themselves from that creature and apologized on her behalf, even though it was not their place (or was it?) I've already left messages for the director of the nursing home, but I'm assuming he's probably in her pocket and they will of course circle the wagons. Especially since I mentioned litigation. Those non-corporate nursing homes are often scary places. I know because my sister-in-law worked in many of them. They tend to be very "odd," to put it mildly. Creepy families tend to get into that business for some reason. I don't know why this should be, but my sister worked in like eight of those places and every one run by a family had creepy stuff going on. And I think this woman I talked to today is an old school sociopath like Sante Kimes. I really got that vibe from her. My brother said she was "stern." I don't need any fucking stranger who believes in owning other human beings and who spreads lies to manipulate people into her McDeath nursing home making decisions for my mother. The dumb fuck spent all her time working on my brother for like a week, had cajoled him to come to the nursing home and wasted two hours of his time giving him the tour/sell, either because she (wrongly) believed he had power-of-attorney over my mother, or (worse possibility) maybe thought she could get AROUND my power-of-attorney and get the financial documents needed to begin railroading my mother into her pit of contagion (see article posted above about how disease was allowed spread all through the institution in January, probably due to uncleanliness, poor adherence to universal precaution rules). I retain that and I would never have signed it over. My mother's always wanted me to have it and I accepted that years ago at her request. And it's not needed, since she's perfectly competent. Power-of-attorney should only ever be granted to someone who you know would never use it unless left with no recourse, someone who has zero desire to exercise it.

My mother is fine when it comes to judgment and intellect. She has a better memory than me by far. The woman from social services in the hospital admitted my mom had remembered something she (the hospital employee) had forgotten earlier that day. If Stephen Hawking was not a brilliant physicist, he would probably have had his life taken from him years ago. Okay, maybe not in England. Maybe it's different there. But if he had been born American, he probably would have been shoved into some institutional corner to die, because he wouldn't have been able to defend himself. The hospital where my mom is staying violated its own charter documents, including its PATIENT'S BILL OF RIGHTS, which I know virtually by heart having been through the wringer myself in the past.

It really bothers me that people were being seriously devious with regard to my mother. The Department of Aging still kept suggesting to my mom that she might want to consider going in "temporarily." There is no "temporarily." Once you fall for that, the insurance companies and the rest all switch over into another mode and everybody decides to size up your assets and liquidate you out. God, imagine what old people who have nobody to help them must go through and what must happen to them. The State (Department of Aging in this case) does have to go through a legal process and bring their "case" before a judge and the person has to be judged mentally incompetent and the rest. But I can see through this experience that The State is still dangerous to its citizens. Eternal vigilance? Damn right. I really believe in groups like the Hemlock Society and I totally support an individual's right to end their own life if he or she chooses. My mom isn't suicidal and she doesn't have any terminal condition. I'm just saying. No wonder older people tend to be so politically aware and invested. Because their survival in this society isn't always a given.

Ironically, when they were trying their little wiles behind my mom's back with nursing homes, the only one that was open to accepting her was the one where the psycho bitch has her spiderweb The others said they wouldn't take her because of the (resolved) schizophrenia. My mom is hallucination-free for over thirty years. There's another example of discrimination in our society. But in this case, it worked in our favor. That horrible monster who believes she can own human beings instantly called the hospital after our exchange and left a message with social services saying my mom was disinvited. I told my mom and we both laughed. It was the best disinvitation we had all year.

That's the same nursing home that killed my paternal grandmother. We should have sued then but I was like fourteen. But I saw what they did. And I remember. Money is the best protection you can have in any society/country and so it is in America. But if you don't have money, you can still have indignation and a willingness to talk to hungry lawyers. I have all the time in the world and I will happily go the rounds and find the right man or woman for the job if it comes to that. I am happy they're going to send physical therapists to my mom at home and she will continue to have her two helpers. But I worry about other people out there. It's ironic that an agency whose mission includes a strong mandate to fight "elder abuse" is itself capable of totally riding roughshod over the individual citizen's right to freedom, to own property, etc. Even when my mom told them that she would have no interest in living any longer if they tried to force her into a nursing home (and she said this without anger--it was just a fact) they still kept asking her to consider. She signed the goddamn form absolving them of any responsibility for her decision. So what more does the State fucking want?

After what my mother went through in the seventies, the total Frances Farmer treatment, everything but the lobotomy, and they almost got away with doing that to her...the State is not going to get away with this again. I'd start with lawyers, go to congress reps, find the agencies that are opposed to the State's abuses in this area, and so on. There is no end of ways to make sure those who believe in disenfranchisement of civil liberties--which should be synonymous with America--end up paying (and I mean cash as well as raking them through the fourth estate). I shouldn't be surprised this shit goes on. I shouldn't be this naive. There are too many people who will passively accept whatever other people do to them, too much greed in the souls of those willing to exploit that sense of powerlessness. So still the State arrogates and has too much power.

A few dozen anarchists had a really nice thing going on downtown in Harrisburg's riverfront park the day I was down there taking photos. I stopped and talked to them and took some of their literature. They had a "FREE STORE" and were giving away clothing, toys for kids, housewares to anyone who wanted them. It was really wonderful. We mostly ended up talking about Bakunin. They were mostly younger, twenties and thirties. One guy playing a guitar was a dead ringer for Jason Mraz. When I told him, he laughed and said he even has a t-shirt that says "I'M NOT JASON." The one pamphlet had a white symbol against a black background. It was the anarchy symbol, but it had a heart instead of the usual circle around it. I may drop in on these people's meetings. I really think freedom in America is a process and it is WIDE OPEN to debate. It needs to be. This was scary. It was like a flashback to the seventies with my mom. I made sure everyone heard that story. And I told them, "I'd like to think you could survive what she was put through during those years, but I'm not really sure. I know I wouldn't have." I would have ended my life in protest.

Oh, I also picked up the essay "Anarchist Society & Its Practical Realization" by Graham Purchase. I didn't really get the latest wave of protests because they didn't have clear goals and organize for anything other than what looked like a big collective moan. I'm happy that you're able to articulate that you are unhappy with your culture. But how about articulating WHAT YOU WANT TO CHANGE, EXACTLY, about your culture. And for me it's the freedom of the individual against abuses of the State. I understand someone in say a chronic vegetative state isn't going to know where he or she is or be able to consult in decision-making. But they have the bar set at a much higher level than that. They go after you even when you are totally competent. Just because they think they can.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Real Beauty

The real beauty of nothingness is that it goes with everything.

I'm Not Saying

I'm not saying it's by necessity impossible to establish a satisfactory romantic relationship with a pervy Star Wars geek in his late thirties who refers to himself as "Hung Solo." I'm just saying... Oh, I don't know what I'm saying. Ignore me. Nevermind. Good luck.

018

018 by William Keckler
018, a photo by William Keckler on Flickr.

spider web with remains of ephemerid. i mean mayfly.

022

022 by William Keckler
022, a photo by William Keckler on Flickr.

spiders can teach you plane geometry.

031

031 by William Keckler
031, a photo by William Keckler on Flickr.

origin of stripes.

034

034 by William Keckler
034, a photo by William Keckler on Flickr.

stripes.

041

041 by William Keckler
041, a photo by William Keckler on Flickr.

it goes better this way.

058

058 by William Keckler
058, a photo by William Keckler on Flickr.

pet sematary again.

061

061 by William Keckler
061, a photo by William Keckler on Flickr.

pet sematary. it's a little pooch's gravesite.

064

064 by William Keckler
064, a photo by William Keckler on Flickr.

you heard of "walking on air?" what this is where those people live.

068

068 by William Keckler
068, a photo by William Keckler on Flickr.

yes, there are many things wrong with this picture but i like the wrongness. notice the upset plant. for some reason that makes me happy.

0100

0100 by William Keckler
0100, a photo by William Keckler on Flickr.

the sidewalk is a collage artist.

0213

0213 by William Keckler
0213, a photo by William Keckler on Flickr.

this house was really hideous when they first put that color up. but now it's weathered and i sort of like it.

0280

0280 by William Keckler
0280, a photo by William Keckler on Flickr.

i think this swing has secrets it hides from human beings.

0704

0704 by William Keckler
0704, a photo by William Keckler on Flickr.

yes it's supposed to be this way. i want to do a large series of upside-down houses. most houses don't look good upside-down...but some do. i think this one does.

0777

0777seasick by William Keckler
0777seasick, a photo by William Keckler on Flickr.

this makes me feel seasick.

0981

0981 by William Keckler
0981, a photo by William Keckler on Flickr.

How I feel most days by the time I'm ready to go to bed. some icky mushroom and I that exchanged glances this afternoon.

01047

01047 by William Keckler
01047, a photo by William Keckler on Flickr.

Steelton's steel mill.

If I Were Dead

If I were dead right now, would I still believe in God? Gee, I hope so.

"But..."

"But if you're not a spaceship, how can I ever fall in love with you?"

Photography





Above: The Solar Camera "Jupiter" on the Roof of the Nashville, Tennessee Studio of Van Stavoren  (reproduced in Beaumont Newhall's The History of Photography.)


I think I had a pretty good day with photography.

But I'm having computer disk problems that my computer is fixing so I can do my uploads. And see for sure. Maybe they suck and my first once-over was wrong. But a few from today made me really happy. All I did was walk around a few blocks. You don't have to go far to renew your eye, really. 

I usually shoot about 1200 or 1300 pictures in a day.

Because I suck that badly. Just to get a handful of "good" shots I usually need to do that many.

I laughed when I read a quote by Cartier-Bresson on someone's Flickr profile: "Your first 10,000 pictures are your worst."

Dear Henri, your optimism doesn't apply to me. I shoot that many in a week and I still can suck horribly over and over.

Back then, of course, Henri didn't have the luxury of wasting shots with a digital camera.

Good or bad art, it gets me out of the house and I lose all sense of time and my neuroses retreat, so it's better than any drug even if I am not a great photographer.

I do feel I'm learning, though I suppose at my age I'm not supposed to believe in the possibility that I can learn. And it's all supposed to be unteachable anyway. I mean the sensibility that can produce a great photograph. But I don't think that's true. There are all sorts of shots I never even realized were photographic cliches until I saw them thousands, hundreds or dozens of times on Flickr. And now I don't do those shots anymore. So at least there's some learning lol. (Okay, I lie. Sometimes I will go for a cliche if the colors are pretty or something).

I have studied photography virtually all my life (along with the other visual arts) so I like that I can at least enter a dialogue with photographers I do consider geniuses or damn close.

But many geniuses (photographers or otherwise) could care less about talk. A lot of them hate analysis, criticism, they see it all as extraneous, an excrescence. I can appreciate that.

I'm always honored when a great photographer on Flickr consents to be my friend. I've even had a few great ones ask me first, which really mystified me.

And some great ones don't want to be your Flickr friend, even if you favorite their work all the time because you genuinely love it. I sometimes think that's an example of "The good is the enemy of the great." I don't see anyone as my enemy and probably they don't either. It's a metaphor. A snobby one. But I get it. Not everybody is here to hand-hold on planet earth.

And I do realize I get a lot of "pity" favoritings or "encouragement" favoritings. I'm not blind. But I also think I know when someone might actually genuinely like something by me. I've never had a photo ":take off" or go viral on Flickr nor even had one get "mightily favorited." I have had some take off somewhat on Tumblr but that was never me posting it. It was someone doing me the favor of sharing something. And then you at least feel a little useful when something like that happens. You realize some people actually do like your stuff. And if a thousand people like a piece why not keep doing it. You made a thousand people a little happy.

Right now my one Nyan cat piece of digital art shot up over 1,000 views (presumably from Tumblr but I think it's StumbleUpon or Reddit too). It's not a great piece. And zero favoritings. How can something go around through a thousand people sharing it and not have a favoriting. I refuse to believe they're favoriting it because they hate it lol. Maybe those aren't Flickr people so don't have accounts to "favorite" it. I'll stick to  that rosy scenario.

Yet I am happy with a decent number of my photos and pieces of digital art. I don't think it has that much to do with me, because usually it's just things in the world happening that I still like to look at again later. If I still like to look at the photo or artwork later, it has at least achieved that personal standard of "success," which is the simplest type to achieve, I suppose. Maybe. So the world is the successful photographer, not I, when a picture "works." I like saying "picture." It's so anti-intellectual lol.

About "the world not me": Yes, I'm still manipulating a photo or a piece of digital art. Framing a composition with the camera or using design principles in digital art is process and there are thousands of variables to juggle--that if you're lucky eventually just become subconsious process.

And "Chance is the greatest artist" is as true to me today as it was to the Dadaists yesterday, Arp dropping his shapes onto the plane of pictorial representation, Kandinsky seeing his painting turned the wrong way and loving it, etc. etc. Everybody gets some lucky shots if they shoot enough photos. It's why the art doesn't get as much respect, I suppose, the idea that so many "tools" practice it. And we've all had the joy of finding albums or boxes of pics at flea markets that are by some totally anonymous, dead person who had an amazing eye.

Here's a really funny quote that sort of stilettoed me today and I laughed at myself when I read it: "Photography is a marvelous discovery, a science that has attracted the greatest intllects, an art that excites the most astute minds--and one that can be practiced by an imbecile."

That's the genius Nadar being quoted in Beaumont Newhall's The History of Photography, which I'm rereading for probably the fourth time.

It's weird I never realized this classic came out through MOMA!  But it doesn't surprise me.

The author knows his subject matter perfectly. He writes succinctly and pithily. The selections of photographs/artists is just impeccable. The best Steichens, the best Westons, and the author has an appreciation of the moments which represent the sea changes in the science/art, whether in technology or sensibility, for example Eggleston's renorming the idea of subject matter, and thereby renorming the sense of composition. Technology was just as likely to renorm the sensibility as a particularly gifted artist. If the film can now do this, the photographer can now do that.

It's not just an arty study. It's also all about the mechanistic processes and history of photography. It's just a great, great book.

I highly recommend it if you're at a loss for something great to read and like to feed on visual manna.

Alas! Alack! Lackaday!

I have only recently realized that trying to "win someone back" after you have poured all your negative emotions into their soul is like trying to take medicine back to a pharmacy. You can try but...Good Luck with That. You'll probably need a gun. And even then the one doing the taking back will only be pretending. When they finally realize your "gun" is carved out of soap, you're fucked.

The Invention of Poetry

I was enjoying some beautiful lyrics in a sappy song today and there was a rhyme. A rhyme I liked. And I felt so stupid for enjoying the rhyme in an almost visceral-cum-spiritual way. And this made me think of the Invention of Poetry (Wagnerian chorus here). Capital I little o Capital P. I imagined it had to just be sounds first. These hominids or caveman or whatever just standing around the fire. And someone says, "Gurrgh!" And the other caveman says "Urrrgh!" And they look at each in amazement and simulataneously crack up (or whatever the hominid version of "cracking up" was, since it was probably a strange larynx) and start jumping up and down with all four limbs scraping merrily across the earth, hooting it up.WE RHYMED!!! This is what they're thinking without really having any words for it. They just barely noticed it, like seeing a black ant suddenly on a black rock. There is terror and there is joy. The terror and joy of poetry--and its infinite mystery--enter the world. And that was the first acknowledged rhyme in all of our creepy, fucked up evolutionary history. And the two cavemen probably felt like geniuses. And from there it's really just a short leap to Alexander Pope.

Epitaph

I felt as though all my life I worked as a bomb dismantler, but never found a bomb to dismantle. At least I had the consolation of knowing the detonations must have all occurred very far away.

A Cloud

Enjoying feeling uninspired like nature.

The Sixth Sense

The sixth sense is cost analysis.

Poetry

Poetry like an area rug.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Bohemian Jealousy

I wonder whether (Major Poet X) ever sits around worrying whether he ever wrote a poem that was as great a poem as "Bohemian Rhapsody" was a great song. Probably he's in trouble. Because probably he suspects the horrid, hot, Zanzibari truth. Even in his worst leather Lederhosen, Freddie's got this.

Make a Movie

Make a movie about some schlump whose small rise in life parallels the Battleship Potemkin's staircase scene run backwards. Intersperse a few seconds of the scene at a time, in reverse chronological order, throughout the movie until you reach that anticlimax of the end. That baby carriage of death.

Parking Meters

When I pass expired parking meters, I touch them lightly on the head like brothers.

You are Free

You should always remember that nobody can own your soul. At most, they can only be allowed to repeatedly ram a bumper car into it until it finally stops working.

I Have

I have no idea why I put quotation marks around the word "ass" earlier today.

Obnoxiously

Obnoxiously immortal people should all be placed in zoos.

I Want

I want that The Shining kind of love. The sort of love where a guy breaks the door down with an axe, then sticks his shining face through the splinters. Really, what's wrong with that? In my relationships, there was no scarcity of axes biting into doors.But the guys were using it to go the other direction--out.

If I Had to Assess

If I had to honestly confess whether I think I know the lyrics of Milton or Missy Elliot better, I would probably have to sheepishly admit, "I think it's a tie."

I Would Love to Find a Book in a Thrift Store

I would love to find a book in a thrift store titled Feet Dangling as a Rewarding and Enriching Hobby.

Feet Dangling as a Rewarding and Enriching Hobby

My life is basically a nightmare. But there is a Ferris wheel in it.

Warning

Warning: I am about to make something up that is probably true. Socrates said you shouldn't worry what other assholes say about you being an asshole, because either is it the Truth, in which case you should be glad the Truth escaped its bottle briefly, because it so rarely gets out, gets asked out, taken to dinner or anywhere else for that matter. And if it's not the Truth, then you should care even less. Therefore, you should never be troubled by anything negative that anyone says or writes about you.

Fuck Socrates.*











*Sorry.  (I forgot the Ergo)

Start

Start from the presumption of madness and everything in my life makes complete sense. Why do I keep torturing myself with the other start? I need a new starter. This one's blown.

My Narcissism

My narcissism not infrequently gets in the way of my thinking about others. I mean my other selves.

You Can Be Free

You can be free and non-existent as a unicorn. Or you can be the other thing.

Self-Portrait in a Convex Water Droplet

When an an ant is given a self and is terrorized out of submission, isn't that just a truly horrible, terrible, awful, horrible, terrible thing?

Poetry

Poetry is like powerful weight loss.

Lord,

Lord, I am sorry I pretended I have the right to speak to a human being today. I am sorry I didn't reserve my conversation only for the mushrooms in the forest. I'm sorry I interrupted that conversation you started me on, the one where you introduced me to the moss. That wonderful peaty moss. Green and bedewed and I ignored that prize moth skull resting on its furry tuffet.  What an asshole I will be tomorrow!. Lordahhhh, I am so ungrateful. Strike me dumb and beautiful as the deer. Remove the un-Yours thorn of twitter from my angry monkey foot. Lord, ban Darwin from the genetic swimming pool and the semen from the Darwin. Thank You Very Much for Your Time, Lord. And if you need me to fill out one of your comment cards, just say The Word. And I will do it pronto. I promise not to mention the slow service and to put a great spin on everything.

Shannon Doherty

Shannon Doherty just said on television that she is graduating from television.

Consciousness

Consciousness is only an adverb.

Found Water

If you find water, I don't think you have to worry too much about whose water it is. I think you can just call it "found water" and appropriate it. The way writers do with text. Just do it with water. Okay, maybe that's not right. I am  bit of a quixotic thinker. I spend too much time in elevators. To give just one example. But I think the people getting on and off the elevators are always different, so they don't suspect.  I don't think they know I never really leave the elevator. I only pretend to be waiting for a floor. I don't think that's devious. But maybe it is.

The Creepiest Movie on Lifetime Movie Network...EVAH!!

I don't know what this is called but it's about unbearable to watch. David Duchovny plays a doctor whose wife dies. Then his daughter wakes up "as" his wife; that is, the wife's soul is now inside her own daughter's body. First, the transmigrated wife struggles to convince her husband that this has actually happened, and he doubts mightily. Then when she finally convinces him, he starts acting very husbandly towards her, making romantic gestures. This creeps his "wife" out (who knows where the daughter's soul ended up) who decides she will start living her daughter's teenage 'life," for example going to parties and hanging out with her daughter's old friends (and one of these "friends" has his name tattooed on the daughter's "ass" and presumes he still has seignurial rights). This makes Daddy Duchovny jealous. And right now as I type this, the daughter/wife has just walked in on a clearly romantic consultation between Dr. Duchovny and one of his patients. This suddenly arouses jealousy in his daughter/wife. They fight in a grocery store over this and it's apparent they are torturing each other with their desire for each other. "You have a thirty-sex year old wife in the perfect body of a sixteen year old--it's every man's dream!" daughter rebukes (a drunken) Daddy later that same night when he won't give in to her desires to transmigrate back into Duchovny's bed. And she expostulates/seduces while wearing only her slip. Over that sixteen year old body. And now they're slow dancing to old vinyl and I think ready to do the nasty. Gee, I wonder what drew (sex addict) David Duchovny to this role? I just can't believe it's on Lifetime Movie Network. I would figure daddy-daughter incest would appeal more to the SPIKE TV crowd.

I Could Smell

I experienced an intense burst of cherry--almost a dizziness--at the moment you died. Over whatever distance it was at that moment. It wasn't the smell of nature's cherries, which is duskier, a much subtler scent. It was brighter, glossier, almost a river of scent. It was the human idea of cherry, which is a much sweeter--perhaps because artificial--thing.

Funny Flickr Group

My Pet is a Whore is one of those Flickr groups that just has a great concept.

I think "whore" here is being used in the looser way it often is in the younger vernacular, meaning "monstrously self-indulgent and obnoxious."

Animals behaving badly.

Or I suppose it could mean "fame whore." Because these animals are eating the camera up.

I love it.

Da Mooveez

I'm sure you have pet peeves with regard to movies too, things that are just dumb and irritating.

Here's a partial list of the ones that really annoy me.

1. People who have perfect Hollywood teeth when they're supposed to be living in the 16th century, in absolute squalor in any period, etc.

2. People always wearing immaculate clothes. Like a "hard-boiled" detective showing up at a crime scene and his topcoat so clearly just came off the rack five minutes ago. And ditto his hat and every other article of clothing or accessory he's wearing. And why is he wearing a scarf? Real detectives don't wear scarves.

3. People never talk over each other or have bizarre "processing times" for things said as in real life.

4. People are rarely if ever distracted in movies. Presumably this is because screen time is so costly. Still, I would prefer some blank stares and mental wandering.

5. Children are never ugly. I see a lot of ugly children in real life. (Sorry! I'm joking! Singing: "Everyone is beautiful...in their own way...")

6. Accidents (small or large) rarely happen, unless they are extremely "significant" and are things which will later "be important."

7.  Characters don't check their Facebook, Twitter, blog, etc. every five minutes as they do in real life. I think it's funny that imaginary characters aren't concerned with these imaginary forms of living. And yet real people are.

8. Characters don't look or sound disgusting while asleep, whereas real people often do.

9.  Characters never get calls from telemarketers, bill collectors or other annoying telephonic vermin.

10. When movies use music to tell you "how to feel" in every single scene.


Robert Hughes Died?

Well, that gives you an idea how out of touch I am with the news.

He died August 12th.

So I'm sixteen days behind this death. Ouch.

Hughes was rather an interesting figure in his own right, apart from his work as an art critic of the first water. I'd even read some of the books he authored that had  nothing to do with art. Just because I appreciate his style, that condensed and ratiocinative prose. I used to look forward to his reviews in Time. I mean as a young'un. I almost got to one of his lectures in this area and missed it, dammit! I remember having the promotional card for the event pinned to a wall in my bedroom as a kid. He was standing with arms pugnaciously crossed in front of what? A Malevich? I think it was Malevich.

The biography looks a little tortured. One wonders at his seeming aloofness to the major personal tragedies he experienced. Thick skin? Or was it the shield of his obsessive immersion in art, the blessing of a tendency towards obsessive critical thinking which allowed him to speak publicly of his distance from those things. Or was that "coldness" just a necessary component of his persona as the dispassionately passionate art critic?

Of course, like everyone else I liked to fight against his taste, didn't always share his great loves, and would often bristle at some of the artists he demonized. It would probably be perverse if any of us did share all his (or anyone else's) enthusiasms and anathemas. An art critic can only ever exist as a wave of contentiousness. That's all she or he should be. So Hughes bridles against Greenberg and the next gen bridles against Hughes.  But in criticism some waves are larger than other waves. Some leave larger wakes. And Hughes' wave grew pretty massive over a lifetime of fastidious attention. So now we're left with what? A wake of a man's contentiousness, I suppose.

If you haven't seen his documentaries, they're also very good.

I'm remembering how I simultaneously enjoyed and prickled at the unabashedly narcissistic first person narration by the critic when discussing his great artistic loves. The "I" was just as important as the "he." And yes, it was usually a "he," not a "she."

The eulogies I've seen so far have often focused on his masculinist tendencies, but more in a hero worship way. I did find that a little creepy.

I had forgotten that 20/20 had once given Hughes the catbird seat--and then taken it away after only one show because of a strong critical backlash.

How funnily appropriate (in keeping with network t.v.'s low standards) that a strong thinker with tendentious critical alliances should be replaced by a simpering jackal of congeniality. I mean Hugh Downs. The man who never stopped frowning was replaced by a man who never stops smiling.

And yet I'd much rather spend time with the grim Hughes anyday--even if I know I will probably feel bile mount while simultaneously admiring the atavistic schtick and sometimes downright nasty diatribes of an old school Believer.

These are just my cursory thoughts. For some really interesting insights on the making of "Bob," check out this eulogy, written by Australian "Shadow Minister" Malcolm Turnbull. There's a real brio and coruscation of wit in this tribute.










I Think It's Funny Some Dead Guy Said

"You could learn a lot
from a bonobo like me."

Condom

Anyhow, this is just
St. Francis of Assisi
preaching to the birds
in a place where boards
below your feet
give, rotten with moisture,
come only from men.

Pulpit

Pulp of tooth
and pulp of porn.

Pulp of word
in pulp of paper.

Fruit pulp.
Mined pulp.

Pulp a man
traditionally

leaves another man.




Distance, Not Humiliation

Two guys switch out repeatedly
over one bent over.
Does it even matter,
describing a bottom?

"Anything, anything
to have my head
like a flying saucer,"
one guy says.

("Meet George Jetson...")

Anyhow, this is just
St. Francis of Assisi
preaching to the birds
in a place where boards
below your feet
give, rotten with moisture,
come only from men.

I Am No Longer in a Dialogue

I am no longer in a dialogue with anyone, not even myself. What a goddamn relief.

DIY Castration

Back when I was very successful at being a drunk, I remember there was only one time when an ad on Craigslist freaked me out so bad that I raised all the alarms, wrote to the site administrators, and against my generally perverted nature encouraged police participation in the arena of private sexual drama, rawr rawr rawr, etc.

It was someone who was either insane or a prankster who had announced he was going to castrate himself and wanted company. "Come hold my hand while I cut off my testicles." Where he was going to do this and at what time could be gleaned by responding to his ad. Was it a prank? It seemed terribly real and sad.

He was looking for someone to watch this gruesome Stone Age-tech operation and I think possibly help him. I think he was hoping for someone medical to show up and assist him in the "procedure." Probably the ad's title should have been "Bring Anesthesia." At least then we'd know it was a prank. Or...would we?

As I said, this brought out the Moral Majority and the Mom in me, since I ratfinked the potential suicide to those people whose problems are (exhaustingly) other people's problems.

Still. This didn't stop me from writing the guy and asking if I could bring my cat along, and get a "two for one" deal on the castration.

Like I said, I was a drunk.






Reading James Schuyler

Reading James Schuyler just now, a poet I usually admire, and finding myself terribly disappointed that I'm terribly disappointed. Where would he be without the weather? Where would we all? I just have this horrible feeling he might have been just as happy (not writing poetry) if he had been allowed to do the weather in a colorful manner for New York, to just sit before a microphone and reel off imaginative adjectives largely confected from his concrete experience as an art critic (intentional art critic or no). Probably I just landed on the wrong poems. Because lines from his poems come to me all the time. Which means I find him useful in processing reality. So I should probably be more grateful. But he is persnickety as often as he is perceant. What is one to expect of one of the tawkiest of the New York School's tawkers, right? Then I switched to a more "experimental" contemporary poet and read a bunch of poetry that used to thrill me by this fellow, and that just bottomed out like a glacier. It wore its grandiosity like a Hermes scarf. Okay, it was a smart grandiosity. But it was still grandiose. Somehow he had become a grandee. A hidalgo or something. So I went to Oppen, a poet who I had been happy to revisit earlier this week, and he was the least disappointing of the three--more knuckle and less rings. (I had just had an encounter with wild deer and this had put me in mind of Oppen's "Psalm"--though I realize that poem's probably as much about poets and other grass-rooters as it is about deer.)  Oppen is prosy, prosoid at times. I guess there's a virtue in that, in that at least it's grounded (like Reznikoff). Even if it does tend towards the journalistic at times. But Oppen can make these wild swerves around a single word, and that word suddenly appears newborn in the English language--though the word is maybe five hundred years, seven hundred years, old. And one can't help but be impressed that Oppen's Collected is only 256 pages and still manages to create an interesting dialogue with the culture which (presumably) engendered it. I'm reminded of Szymborska's funny quip when asked why her Collected was so slim: "I have a trash receptacle in my house." I guess there are poets who are hoarders and poets who are not. You can visualize Oppen's garage (if he ever owned one) and Szymborska's kitchen. Scrubbed, clean lines.

Some Days

Some days I am just in the mood for the Antimatter Cheerleaders, and that is who I read on those days.

"be brave, little ones"

be brave, little ones

Monday, August 27, 2012

The Sense

Proof that we live in a funny, fucked up universe?. One example: the sense of doom grows commensurately with the desire to achieve anything.

A Book

A book titled Perceptions I Can't Afford to Have Right Now.

I slipped on a supernova this morning

marry nature!

marry nature! by William Keckler
marry nature!, a photo by William Keckler on Flickr.

Untitled

Untitled by William Keckler
Untitled, a photo by William Keckler on Flickr.

Untitled

Untitled by William Keckler
Untitled, a photo by William Keckler on Flickr.

someone has slipped out of your life

Thanks to the Great Staff at Flag Counter

Hey, a shout out to the great staff at Flag Counter!

I had a problem with my counter automatically resetting itself without my intent (I wasn't even online) and they solved the problem nearly as soon as I left a comment in a forum.

I expected I'd hear back after a few days.

Thanks to Jens for forwarding that to Jeremy and thanks for having such a great service.

If you don't have Flag Counter on your site, consider adding it. It will tell you not only how many people visit your site, but from which countries--and you might learn some new flags (visitors are counted next to a representation of their country's flag) so in case you ever o on Jeopardy, you can ace that "Name the Flag" category. ;-)




Untitled

Untitled by William Keckler
Untitled, a photo by William Keckler on Flickr.

026

026 by William Keckler
026, a photo by William Keckler on Flickr.

Untitled

Untitled by William Keckler
Untitled, a photo by William Keckler on Flickr.