Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Dr. Trump


Photo from N.Y. Times

I saw this yesterday and thought, "Yup, this is what America looks like to me, now."

I read today that the EPA wants to compromise ten national monuments, the same EPA that doesn't believe in climate change.  I want people who voted for Trump to eschew doctors as they do scientist.  Next time they get a serious illness, I want them to be diagnosed and treated by Trump.

Last night, in my semi-wakefulness, I realized that when I dream or think about things, I am alone, exploring.  Maybe it comes from being an only child.  I don't know for sure, but the first thing I did when I graduated from college was to take off with a backpack and travel for three months around the U.S. alone.

I wonder how other people think and dream.  I will ask them today.  I'm sure they will think I'm looney, or they will think I am prying, but I am seriously curious about this.

I think I know everyone in that photograph.  I'm sure of it.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Jan Bernhardtz



Jan Bernhardtz.  I've never met him, so I've never had to pronounce his name correctly.  In my head, it is Jan though I know it should be "Yon."  I think the last name correctly, though.  He is one of a group of photographers I met almost a decade ago on the old, fabulous "F Blog."  There were a bunch of good ones, and I began to comment on their photographs before I managed the courage to submit something of my own.  Here is what I wrote about some of Jan's.



Jan is a contemporary photographic genius. His images transcend normal vision. They are the stuff of cinema and dreams. His photography makes you see things as they were just before you turned to look for yourself. You are always just too late to see what he saw before you. And that is is why we need him.

Jan and I have written back and forth over the years, so I feel I know something about him, but any of you who have had correspondence with me know I am a recluse and not good at sustaining things.  That has never bothered Jan, I think.  Perhaps he is a bit like me in that.  I like to believe he just doesn't give a damn one way or another.  Here is his bio from the magazine "Der Grief" (link).

My name is Jan Bernhardtz. I come from Sweden. I attended a photographic school in Stockholm run by the famous Christer Strömholm. One of the teachers was Anders Petersen. Now a well known photographer. After leaving the school I never really worked as a photographer. Instead I worked at a hospital and later an electronics company. A few years ago I was retired and moved from Sweden to Berlin. My interest in photography restarted. I haven't exhibited my work. Yet.


Many of the old F Blog crowd migrated to 591 which shut its doors as a blog, too, though it has been revived through Facebook.  I am not one for social media, though, too paranoid and egotistical, so I don't do much there.  A blog, somehow, is a different thing.  Nobody goes to them any more, but they still are still part of the permanent record.  I have been thinking about trying to revive the old F Blog, wondering if it is possible.  I want to be a curator, I think, now that I photograph less and less.  


I envy Jan.  He is a street photographer and a stylist.  Maybe I will be like him when I retire and be more active in my pursuits.  


One day I'll get to Berlin and have a cup of coffee or a beer with him.  I'd really like that.  

Here are some links to his work (link) (link).  


Sunday, September 17, 2017

I Wonder If I'll See Another Highway



I was wrong yesterday about something.  I had the roof put on in October.  And fortuneately, the repairman came yesterday and fixed my a.c.  It was the capacitor, the same thing that they came to replace a month ago.  Selavy.

I have not been feeling "par" of late.  Last night I heard this song for the first time.  This version of the song, rather.  I like the amateur simplicity of it.

The lyrics, though. . . .

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Broke




Woke up hot last night.  I knew right away.  The a.c. is out.  I've had it repaired twice this summer, so I am afraid this might be the end of it.  I'm broke and about to break.  A roof, insulation, and a central a.c. unit all in a matter of months.

A woman I work with had her house flooded during the hurricane.  It undid the foundation.  She, her family, and her cats have nowhere to go.  She looks like a zombie right now.

Such tales are ubiquitous.  I am not big enough, however, to be less affected by what happens to me.  There are two types of suffering--mine and others.  Not proud of this.  Just saying.

Fuck, shit piss, goddamn.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Not Normal



I go back to the factory today.  There is a surreal sense to it, but we must get back to manufacturing, I guess.  That is what we do.  People are still without power, without water.  Gas stations are still closed, grocery shelves empty.  Poor folks must go to work, but their traditional daycare centers, public schools, are still closed.  It has been a "get to know the neighbors" week.

The land is disheveled.  We long for the gentle blue beauty again.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Aftermath



I am not up to telling you all what you already have heard about the effects of the hurricane.  I was very, very lucky this time, but it was horrible waiting through the storm, thinking about what might happen.  There is much damage around me and worse.  Now it is just miserable.  A certain joi de vivre was taken away.  It will come back, perhaps, but it is too soon.

Just an observation here, and a wondering.  There used to be thousands of squirrels in the neighborhood.  There are networks of oak limbs.  They could run above the ground for miles.  They are gone.  Only here and there do I come across one on my walks, and they certainly looked stunned. Traumatized, really.  Strangely, though, I don't come across any dead ones, and I wonder. . . where did they go?  What do squirrels do when the wind blows a hundred miles per hour?

Conversely, there are butterflies everywhere.  Where did they come from?  Very strange after such a storm.

Yesterday, I watched and listened to a lone hawk.  It was crying out.  For its mate?  For its offspring? It called then flew, higher in ever expanding circles, a heart-wrenching cry.

I take the Vespa around town to look at the damage.  There is much.  But the old live oaks withstood the storm by and large, dropping limbs but staying upright mostly.  Past the graveyard, I took my only picture.  I do not have a good eye for human suffering.  It always looks banal, but it is truly something else.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

The Apocolypse



I saw the face of the Four Horsemen form in the clouds over the golf course yesterday as I drove my little Vespa around my own hometown for the last time before the rains.  On the Boulevard, the stores had boarded up their windows.  The bars and restaurants were open, but the only people about were under twenty-five.  There were some genteel retirees getting in one last game of golf before the storm.  Ili spotted Carrot Head teeing off, so I hit the shrill little Vespa horn on his backswing.  You could see his weirdly muscled body tighten up just before he shanked it.  He, I thought, is an arbiter of the apocalypse.  Things were getting very eerie.  That is when I saw the Four Horsemen.

The storm's projected path is the worst one for me.  I am now on the biggest,  most powerful side of the storm.  It is the worst path for the west coast of the state.  There will be massive damage due to flooding.  Across the state, trees will come down.  God knows how long some of us will lose power.  What makes it all worse is that some people will barely be affected.  One neighborhood will suffer.  Another street or two removed, the power will never go out.  One house will have bad damage.  All around, others will be fine.  Suffering is very particular.  I've gone through it before, and I know that others do not want to dwell upon your misery.  They will feel bad for a microsecond or two, and I mean those who know you, but they want to turn their attention to something better as soon as possible.  I know, for I am like that too even though I've been on the wrong end.  I spent more than my life savings and a year and a half of miserable labor recovering from Hurricane Charlie, and I still want to turn away from the suffering of others when I can.  I have more empathy, but what can you do?  College Football Saturday and NFL Sunday will still be more important to almost all Americans.  Before the games, they will pay some sort of tribute to all those who have lost their homes and loved ones, especially in Houston, and then. . . "Let's play ball!". . . and the crowd goes wild.

But of course, that is why we invented sports.  They are supposed to be a respite from personal suffering.

We have been awaiting this storm for a week now.  People are already exhausted.  I still have another day and a half of waiting.  Everything is closed now, the airports, the grocery stores, the amusement parks--everything.  I have run out of emotional steam.  There is nothing to do but to sit and wait.

This is probably my last post for awhile.  Maybe one tomorrow.  I don't know.  Hurricanes and earthquakes and nukes.

Yea, I'm worn out.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Grotesque



Things change in the night.  The hurricane models show the hurricane eye coming across my house.  When you look at the predictions, they show my address.  It is a eerie feeling.  Last night, I had dreams of helplessness and insignificance.  L says the first sin is private property.  But going back to the Creation Myth, the first sin is being.  There are many sins, and each of us takes one and keeps it for our own.  Our sins make us Grotesque.  I'm fooling around with Sherwood Anderson's idea of Truth in "Winesburg, Ohio," but I think it holds.  Thinking makes it so.

The factory has closed, and I have much to do in way of preparation today.  The gas stations are out of gas, the grocery store shelves are very bare.  It has just begun to rain.

Yesterday, I went to the beautician and got beautified.  What can you do.  Vanity.  Another sin.  I am Grotesque.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

A Momentary Respite



I'm breathing just a bit easier.  Mr. Tree came yesterday.  I asked how long the tree trimming would take, and he said five hours or so.  I said that I guessed that I would just take the day off from work, but he said not to.  He knew what I wanted, he said.  I thought about it.  What would I do if I stayed home?  Tell them how to do the job?  I couldn't go out and bully them.  They were all tougher than I. They would knock me out or just laugh at me, and neither scenario appealed to my sensibilities.  So I decided to go to work.

I was anxious all day because the work they were doing was dangerous and something might go wrong.  I imagined big limbs crashing into my roof, just the thing I was hiring them to avoid.  I stayed at work longer than usual.  I had work that needed doing, but I was in no hurry to be miserable or disappointed if things had not gone as I wished.  After work, I went to the photo store to get batteries.  The traffic was horrible, the roads crowded with people buying supplies after work.  On my way home, I stopped at the Chicken Licken' to get some dinner as Ili was having dinner with her parents that night.

When I pulled into the driveway, I saw the Mr. Tree's truck.  The owner was walking around the yard picking up little bits of debris.

"Did you wait to get paid?" I joked.

"No, sir. . . ."

It had taken longer than five hours.  He took me around the yard to have a look.  On the ground, there was no evidence they had been there.  In the trees, everything had been done just as we had discussed.  I felt better and even grateful.  But, I wondered, had I made a mistake?  Should I have had the entire tree next to my house taken down?

That night, the projected paths shifted to the east a bit.  Maybe. . . just maybe. . . .

When I talk to people, there are two reactions to the potential storm depending upon whether or not you own a house and upon what drugs you are taking.  For renters, this is just adventure.  For those with prescriptions to help fight anxiety and depression, there is a general sense of ease and a belief that things won't be that bad.  For the rest of us. . . well, not everyone worries the way I do.

I watched some YouTube videos on Vivian Maier last night.  Jesus Christ, I love the story.  I love the work.  As I've said before, I used to correspond with John Maloof right after he discovered the boxes full of her work.  I wish I'd done more.

Here's a picture Ili took of the dining room table one day when I was printing out proof pics of some NYC street scenes.  Makes me look like a real artist.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Cone of Uncertainty


Gary Issacs

I am living in the Cone of Uncertainty.  That is not a great place to be.  About death, Hemingway said, "Don't let it happen until it happens," but that is hard advice to take from someone whose life ended as his did.  But it is good advice.  I've been living with the PTSD these past days, but yesterday I took some action.  I paid bills.  I called and made sure my insurance was paid.  I took all of my money out of the stock market.  And I called Mr. Tree.  He came in the late afternoon, and I walked around the house with him pointing out what limbs I wanted gone.  It is a lot of limbs.  He is a very, very nice man, and he charged me handsomely.  They began work last night and will come back today to finish up.  This has made me feel somewhat better.  I think.  I could do nothing but watch t.v. last night.  I didn't have it in me to do anything but sit.  First I watched the weather news, but Ili made me turn it off.  We were both extremely tired by eight o'clock which was a sure sign of our distress, hers, mostly, due to worrying about me.  We didn't want to watch anything complicated or heavy or funny, so we went to Hulu and watched an episode of "The Rockford Files."  It is a show I used to watch with my roommate in college.  I had Ili watch the first episode, and for some reason, she was hooked.  When I mentioned it last night, she said, "Oh, I love "The Rockford Files."  Somehow, that stupid show holds up in the early episodes.

When we went to bed, I fell asleep without much anxiety, and I got up the same way.

Did I mention I am paying a lot of money for the tree work?

The photograph is Gary Issacs by Gary Issacs.  Here is his website (link).  Cool dude.  I have admired his images for years.  I should write to him and tell him so.  In this picture, he is using a 35mm camera, but the image is square, meaning he does what he wants with his images.  They are made funky by digital manipulation so that they look like old film shots faded and disappearing.  I think that is ballsy, as is doing anything you like regardless of the critics.  I just read an article on David Hockney (link) which describes his work as having been outside critical favor because he painted figures during the height of abstract expressionism.  He can do the other.  Imagine what we would be missing if he hadn't done what he wanted to do.

Take a look at the Issacs website, especially the section about San Francisco's Chinatown.  It has been criticized as a typical western version of an eastern culture.  Really?  Again?  When will it end?  I think I can make the opposite argument, or at least a different one, but it doesn't matter.  Art is art which is always political (as C.C. tells me), and you either like it or you don't.  Art, in the end, must prevail.

I am waiting for the tree cutting crew which I thought would be here by now.  It doesn't look as if I will make it to work today, for I can't leave them here alone.  I need to make sure they get every limb of which I am suspicious.

The Cone of Uncertainty.  I'm sure I'll be freaking out again as the weekend approaches, but I'll take this momentary respite.  My body won't sustain the constant, abiding anxiety.  There may be misery in the offing. . . but I'll try not to let it happen until it happens.  

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

The Fear



The Fear.  That's what I have.  I am becoming more and more catatonic.  PTSD.  I understand it a bit more now.  There is nothing I can do.  It strengthens.  The weather reporters say it will be a Category 4 hurricane, and my house is still a bullseye.  I have a tree over my bedroom, a monstrous thing.  I will call a tree guy today to have it trimmed.  I did that last year.  It still looks dangerous.  In the stores, shelves are empty.  I've never seen people take a hurricane this seriously before.  I guess it has to do with Houston and the images they saw from there.  This is a slow motion nightmare that should not arrive before the weekend.  My mother says there is another one behind it.  I sit and stare at things despondently.

There is nothing to do but wait and prepare.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Labor Day Terror



Labor Day, the unofficial end to the summer.  No more seersucker, or so they say.  Time to put away the whites.  There is a season, though summer's end is nearly three weeks away.  It is much more than that here.  Out in the Atlantic Ocean, my nightmare brews, a giant hurricane headed right my way.  I've been devastated once, as any reader here well knows.  I am traumatized and almost incapacitated.  I am not afraid of wind and rain.  Were I a renter, I would have stocked up on beer and liquor last night instead of canned foods and water.  But for all the tree falling and tree trimming I've done here, I still have limbs that are dangerous.  I've just had a roof put on that I don't trust.  Beneath is is thousands of dollars worth of insulation.  My hands tremble.  My gut roils.  Every tracking model right now has a bullseye on my house.  Not some of them.  All of them.

Other people's troubles, however, are rarely interesting in and of themselves, and I have no desire to try to turn mine into art right now.

I sent this (link) to several friends this morning with a complaint.  Really?  This guy quit his job to photograph full-time in NYC for an entire summer and came up with this?  That is not what is so surprising to me, though.  It is that he is being touted in the NY Times while I am being told I'm "a hobbyist."  Fuck me, Mary.

I'm pretty certain I'll have to get surgery on my Achille's tendon.  I haven't been able to walk for over a month.  It felt better yesterday, so I gave it a go.  I can barely get across the room this morning.  I'll make an appointment to see a doctor tomorrow.  It will take weeks before I can get in, I'm sure.  I don't want any surgeries, but that is what they do there.  There are a lot of things I don't want.


Discuss amongst yourselves.

Like everyone else, I have the day off.  If I could walk, I might go out and memorialize the crowd.  As it is, I'll probably stay home and shovel down Xanax with Aperol cocktails.  Hurricanes and nukes and the rest of it.  You can't control the world, they say, only your reaction to it.  Next thing you know, they'll be taking away the heroin.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Distractions from the Void



Grit City.  I am staying up here for the Labor Day weekend.  It is a funny, decrepit old town that once was a southern belle.  Situated on a lake that is really just part of a long river running to the sea, it used to be the economic hub of the state.  The streets are lined with fantastic old houses and million year old oaks.  There are impressive parks and more churches than I can count.  But when the highways were built, there was a political war that situated the crossroads in my own hometown.  Riverboats that used to haul lumber, citrus, and other produce had to compete with the rail lines.  Eventually, the money ran away, and the old southerners who were the fine, high rulers of this little corner of the world passed on less to their heirs than perhaps they might have.  And those heirs held on like pit bulls to the status that had marked their upbringing.  They became politicians and fought for state funds, but more than that, they ruled the city and the county and they allowed one another to do what they needed to make money in order to stay in power.  And that never works.

"I say, now, old Johnson comes from a good family.  He wants to build that little subdivision out on that old orange grove, and we've got plenty of orange groves and old Johnson would never do anything that wasn't on the up and up."

And, of course, there were the waste dumps and the cheap, ugly gas stations and mini-marts, and things got worse.

Now, though, there is a sort of renaissance taking place that may or may not have a positive effect.  Main Street still has a charm, and the old clothes by the pound and junk furniture stores are being replaced by specialty shops and restaurants.  There is a hipster crowd who all want to open craft beer bars and breweries, and now it is possible to get a good cup of coffee in several places.  But the waterfront is beat, and there are government buildings that will never look right.

Ili and I took a long, slow bike ride yesterday, me with my cameras as if I might actually photograph something.  It was hot and damp and no one was about.  We rode through the pretty part of town, then to the fallen part, then to the outskirts where cheap housing was built in the '60s and '70s, little bunny hutch homes pitched close together, where people keep boats and tractors or just tires and junk, where yards are sandy and unkempt and people with hangovers or worse sit shirtless on cheap, broken furniture.  Then we rolled down to the waterfront, peddling by the fishermen, mostly black, sitting on upturned buckets or cheap lawn chairs, staring into the still, oily surface occasionally disturbed by water bugs or methane bubbles coming from the mucky lake bottom.  We saw a fellow who caught a catfish and had left it lying on the bank.  We saw then smelled a headless turtle lying in the weeds.  Further down, past the fishermen, there was only heat and humidity and the metallic light and the big emptiness that was both out there and within.

This was the world I grew up in, I thought, the one that made me want to make something--music or pictures or stories.  There was a need to fight against the void.  There were those who could and those who simply sunk despondently into its morass.

I imagined Faulkner living in Mississippi, the nothingness all about, desperate to write something, anesthetizing himself with bourbon, the heat, the humidity, the void. . . .

I am unable to continue.  As always, I must pay attention to something else or I will pay the consequence.  There is the void against which to write, of course, then there are the distractions which is what most people use to counter the void.  I am called away by the distractions once again.


Friday, September 1, 2017

Kimchi



"I bought Ili a book called "Literary Cocktails."  It is a cute book that has gone into the library."

 I show a phone pic of the library, my new antique Indian liquor cabinet, all around.

"There is a recipe for margaritas that is tremendous--just fresh squeezed limes, Patron, a little Countreau, and a splash of simple syrup shaken like a martini.  They are delicious.  So last night we had a couple and decided to head up to the little hipster market on the Vespa to get some artisanal bread made with dirty little hipster hands."

"They're not wearing helmets," says one of the doomsayers.

"No, ho helmet, no shoes. . . ."

"Wearing pajamas," says another.

I give the big-eyed head shake and continue.  "Anyway, on the way their, we pass the little hipster coffee/cocktail place and its Monday and they are having the market they always have on Monday's in their parking lot, so we pull in.  At one of the stands, there are pretty, colorful jars lining the table, so we stop to see what they are.  One of the kids at the table smiles and comes up to see if we want anything.  'Kimichi," she says.  'I ferment it for five days,' and she offers us a sample.  It doesn't smell like the kimchi I'm used to in the sushi shops.  It is much milder."

"They ferment that stuff for thirty days," says one of the gourmands of the group.

"Yea, this was mild.  And Ili, being a dirty little hipster, is all about it and she and the girl are flirting back and forth and we end up buying some.  I'm looking at the jar, though, and its got like a piece of paper and a rubber band holding the top, and I'm wondering who is inspecting this stuff.  It's surely being made in some dirty commune kitchen or something."

"Are you going to eat it?"

"Oh, I guess so.  We'll see."

"You lived a charmed life, don't you," said my old college roommate's wife.

I grinned.  "Sometimes."

I told the girl I would buy the jar if I could take her picture with my new film camera, and she said sure.  She gave us a card and wrote her name and number on it and told us about the commune they all live in.  Ili looked it up, and there is a lot of stuff about it online.  Life abounds.

We have her phone number, so I guess we can text her the photo, but it is nothing.  I wish I'd get better at this.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Not Even A Story



I've been a little sleepless which makes me sleepy, so I don't really understand it.  I wake up in the night and don't fall back to sleep.  I try not to stress about it for that only makes it worse.  But I think to myself, "Oh, I'll be tired tomorrow."  And sure enough. . . .

That's not much of a story, but I am not living the kind of life that generates stories.  I'm not even living the sort of life that let's me overhear stories.  It is not that my life is bad, it is simply story-less. The people I am around on a daily basis don't tell stories so much.  They say things like, "Last night, we drank some really good whiskey," or, "We went to Harvey's for dinner this weekend."  These are the verbal equivalents of Facebook postings.  We are not a story-ladened people anymore.

This is another Tri-X photo.  I know it is silly to use film and then scan it into the digital realm when I could just shoot with a digital camera, but the entire experience is different.  It is thrilling to find a good picture in a proof sheet.  It is also unusual.  I got back two rolls of film last night that didn't have anything I liked.  I'm throwing the negatives away.  I can't afford to store everything any longer.  Sometimes, by the time I get a roll of film to the developer's, I don't even know what is on it any longer.  I am hopeful.  And then. . . .

But when you find a good image, it is like finding a gem.  Maybe.  I've never found a gem.  Not a gem nor a truffle.  But you get my drift.

I'm going to keep shooting film for awhile, if for no other reason than I have a bunch of film cameras.

And that's not much of a story, either.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Shoot the Developers



I agree with Woody Allen--it is hard to have fun when people are suffering.  The images from Houston are terrible.  I've been to Houston, and I never liked it.  But man. . . .  I lost many, many tens of thousands of dollars and was ruined financially by Hurricane Charlie, so much so that I have trauma every time the skies grow cloudy and the wind begins to blow.  I know what it is like to no little extent.  People whose houses have been flooded will not recover.  The insurance money will not cover their losses.  Mine didn't come close.  For some, their homes will be repaired.  It will take a year or more.  And when they move back in, they will always be sniffing--"Do you smell mildew?"  Worse than that, nobody will buy a flood home.  They will never be able to sell their houses.

The developers who build in flood plains and the politicians who o.k. that will never suffer a penalty. In my own home state, you can build on a water recharge area as long as you set aside some mitigated property somewhere else.  People buy those homes thinking that it is o.k. because there were studies done and the state said it was fine.  The rich get richer and the rest get rising waters.

Don't buy a home in a flood plain.

But I can truly say that I don't see anybody having much fun any more.  People are mean now.  Even the left (link), or what we take for "left" now.  Faces are dour.  Nothing is pretty.

What happened?

That is a rhetorical question.

I've been shooting with film cameras.  The last two posts were shot with my Leica M7 and a 28mm lens I bought on eBay for a good price.  Film looks different from digital images for sure, but man, it is slow.  You can really pop out a lot of pictures with a digital camera.  It takes forever with film.  But people will let you take their photograph with a film camera much more readily.  Film cameras seem to make people happy.

Maybe that is what we need--more film cameras.  I would like to see people happy again.  I'm tired of the snotty intelligence we have created, intelligence that has been weaponized and used as an ideological battering ram rather than as a tool for understanding.

Whatever.  Tomorrow, perhaps, I'll tell you a story about the kimchi I bought yesterday.  But I must wait for the accompanying picture, and that won't be ready until tonight or tomorrow.  That's just the way it is with film.

Monday, August 28, 2017

The Fire of Righteousness and Goodness



No takers on my print sale.  Not one.  Fuck it.  Hard times.  I guess my critic was correct.  I am just a hobbyist after all.  But there was a time when I was thought to be Balthus.  At least that is what my friend C.C. tells me is true if his French is correct (link).  And that is no small accomplishment.

But times change and values shift and everybody plays turtle.  I'll write about the works of Jock Sturges and his coterie of followers at another time.  I have much to say about that.  But I'll write about me and what I've been doing instead right now.  That's why I have a blog.  One of the reasons, anyway.

I've been watching old documentaries on YouTube.  There is a treasure of old stuff there if you can find it.  I watched a long documentary on Helmut Newton a few nights ago.  Old Helmut changed the way people shot fashion photography.  He was bold.  I mean, he just didn't give a shit.  And he was good.  But he knew what he wanted--tall women with big breasts.  They needn't be beautiful.  He knew what he wanted.  And there he was in the 1970s, an icon of sorts, and watching it now was oh-so painful.  You just can't say what he said any longer.  You can't do what he did.  The past was wrong, so very, very wrong.

Since I'm pretty sure you won't watch it, I'll tell you how it ends.  He finds a twelve year old girl who, the narrator says, will one day be his next supermodel.

I shit you not.  Ili fell off the couch.

The next night, we watched a documentary on Peter Beard.  Same thing.  It is obvious that he should have spent his life in prison.  Most people alive back then should have.  He was a bad man living in bad times.

How do we fix the past?  Perhaps we can just delete it.

I might.  I might just delete my past.  Everything into the fire.  My god, yes.  The glorious and righteous fire.  The book burners were right, of course.  Better books than people, right?  Books, pictures, paintings. . . .

The Fire of Righteousness and Goodness shall set you free.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Only $100




I'll never do it again, I swear.  Never.  I was warned, but I didn't/couldn't listen.  I didn't get to bed until two o'clock and probably not to sleep until three.  I feel like shit this morning.  It is not a good thing for old men to do if they live on the east coast.  Nothing is good for your health on the east coast.  Every event is made for the west coast.  They never need to stay up late.  I should definitely move.

My friend told me not to do it.  I told him he was a sissy and that he should make sure he stays away from gluten.  He feels much better than I do today.  Plus, I'm out the hundred bucks.

To wit, here's the deal.  I have to recoup my losses in some way to even begin to feel better.  I'll sell you any two of my 16"x24" prints for $100.  That's right.  I'm losing money on the whole thing, but I have them and they are just lying around, so I've already lost the money, so to speak.

TWO PRINTS, YOUR CHOICE--$100.

Maybe I'll try selling some on Etsy.  Somewhere.  Anywhere.  I'm stupid and make bad decisions all the time.  I live on the east coast.  I stay up too late.  I spend money for pay-per-view.

And my takeaway is this--boxing is like badminton compared to MMA's tennis.  It's like the games we made up when we were kids.

"You have to keep your right foot on the yellow dot and you can't use your left hand except to block."

Whatever.

Please buy some prints.  I won't settle down until I recoup my losses.  I'll even throw in the Popiel Pocket Fisherman if you order before midnight (link).

Now. . . I have to go drink some water.  Water will be my friend.  It will help bring me back to good physical health.  I think I took more punishment than the white guy.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Cultural Travesty



A woman nice enough to let me take a picture with my new camera.  I knew the fellow she was sitting with for a long time, though I haven't seen him but a couple times in ten years.

"It's O.K.," he said.  "He's not creepy or anything."

"Nah," I said, "not any more.  The therapy helped a lot.  I got better."

I thought to myself, "What the fuck has happened?"  I used to live in a world of phone booths, where you always brought your hand away from the receiver wondering what the fuck the sticky stuff was.  The buttons were always gummy if not stuck, and who knows what tubercular sicko had used the phone before you.  You passed cigarettes around the group and shared soda out of bottles.  Now I hear people say things like, "Maybe you ate too much gluten last night.  Did you eat a lot of gluten?  I know that happens to me."

"I know what you mean," I"ll say in response.  "Jesus Christ, I brushed up against some wheat at the store the other day and my whole leg broke out.  They had fucking peanuts sitting out on an open stand!  I thought I might call the proper authorities."

I don't want to be mean.  I know people DO have a lot of food allergies now as a result of something. I can't remember what right now.  I'm sure Monsanto had a lot to do with it.  But with so many environmental disasters now, I just know its true.  I'm not blaming the victims so much as commenting on the modern world.  I am often culpable of micro aggressions, though, and need to work on that.

What scares me most is that Steve Bannon is saying something similar to what I and my old version of a lefty crew have been saying for some time--Trump is president because of the identity politics crowd.  Strange bedfellows.

I should have started this post with a trigger warning.

But I have bigger issues on my mind.  There is an H.S. Thompson-style weirdness going on tonight in the home of the American Dream, Las Vegas.  It is all macro aggression and giant male horseshit.  I swore I would have nothing to do with it.  It is a capitalist's dream and a cultural nightmare.  Two shits, one a boxer and the other a fighter, will square off to the tune of about half a billion dollars take-home pay between them.  And as this runaway train approaches the crowded highway, I just can't seem to look away.  I don't want to watch the fight, but I don't think I can not watch it.  How can I possibly justify paying one hundred clams to watch this on t.v.?  Well. . . one way is to admit that I could not stand to watch this in a bar.  Somebody would bump me and I would have one of my now shrinking testosterone dumps, and then sometime later I would wake up and get off the floor.  So there's that.  Another factor is that it was only the outside fan motor on my air conditioning unit yesterday causing my distress and that it was replaced fairly easily.  Maybe it was a capacitor, but I don't know what that is and I am not really sure.

And of course there is this--I was raised to watch such things.  We all know McGregor is going to get the shit beaten out of him. . . but what if. . . ?  I don't know how not to watch this twisted travesty.  It will be late, I know, and I will be wishing I had gone to bed, I know, but how can I not watch?

I'll be asking myself that all day long as I try to decide.  Maybe I won't.  That would be the thing, really, just to be smart and go to bed.

We'll know soon enough.  If I do watch it, I won't even know who to cheer for.  I don't like either of them at all.  It must be weird for Mayweather to realize that McGregor can kick his ass any time he likes, but that he will just fuck McGregor up in a boxing ring.  There is no way Mayweather is going to fight him any other way.  And so, to see someone like McGregor get his ass kicked is like seeing Virginia Gallagher chase down the fastest boy in the sixth grade and kick the shit out of him.  We were all stunned but somehow secretly pleased.  This fight makes no sense at all, but nothing seems to anymore.

No, I've convinced myself that I will have to watch this spectacle.  I will get some gluten free pizza and gluten free beer and sit right down and have myself a ball.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Cursed Again



The old cafe.  That is where I'll be living for awhile, I think.  I woke this morning to heat and humidity.  The a.c. is broken again.  I've made a call to the fixers, but they are slow in response.  The house is really warming up now, and it is time for the factory.  I'll be staying someplace else tonight for sure.  This is how it always works.  I buy something that I want that is fairly expensive and something very, very expensive goes wrong with the house.  It is as predictable as sunrise.  Here is a picture taken with the new camera, the cause of the problem I'm absolutely certain.

I wanted to write about other things today, but I may not be able to post at all for awhile, depending upon what happens with the a.c.  What's the worst that can happen?

I'll see you many thousands of dollars from now, probably.