|photo by Edward Thompson|
You don't just come by an image like this on a daily basis. I mean as a photographer. I look at this and wonder how much of it is staged, if any of it is, or if this was a mere chance, a walk-by. Thompson is a European who has been going to and photographing in Texas for a long time if I remember correctly. Jesus. I guess I've gotten paranoid. Walking around Texas with a big camera (this is medium format, so it is big) and taking photographs of Texas? I perused the rest of the images in his book, but nothing comes up to this level. But wow!
I have flag photos of my own, of course. People who fly flags are intrinsically interesting, I think. But my cojones shrivel enough just sneaking onto people's properties to take photographs like this one. I've walked around with a camera a lot. Maybe I should try Texas.
I sat down with my blog for an hour yesterday. I was just perusing, seeing what it looked like, jumping in from time to time to read some of what I had written, clicked on some links, listened to some of the music. I started with the most recent (I wonder how many people actually clicked on yesterday's link at the top of the page) and worked back. It was interesting. To me, anyway. I began with the post-Covid years when things began to pick up for me again--somewhat. Then back into the years of the pandemic. It is a different thing moving from present to past rather than going chronologically, and yet that is what a blog encourages by design. Of course, I didn't get very far in an hour. I mean. . . I started the daily blog just months shy of twenty years ago! It would take weeks, months--I don't know how long--to wade through it all.
But, what I waded through was encouraging to me. I was far from displeased overall with the photography, and I was fairly tickled by the writing. I told this to Q yesterday and he scoffed. I think that is what he did. Maybe he just snorted and farted at one and the same time. He was lying in his bed working when he FaceTimed me. That's what he said he was doing, anyway. Maybe he had just eaten lunch, and, if he is anything like me, was having a good wank. Whatever it was, though, wasn't encouraging. But I liked the blog and that is good enough for me.
O.K. I made a big error. I've had the blog for ten years, not twenty. Not nearly as heroic. Still, blogging ended in 2015. That was the last year. I didn't care, though. Writing is life's blood, and writing for any public at all puts you in a different mindset than writing in a journal for one. One should do both, of course, one where you perform and one where you tell the truth as well as you can. Totally different forms, totally different outcomes.
Journals have gotten me into trouble in almost every relationship I've had since I graduated college. I started journalling then. But nosy girlfriends, you know, have read them "because they loved me" but took the things I wrote there as the truth, the whole truth, rather than a meandering and exploratory journey. The blog has cost me too, but whatever. As good or bad as it is, I have to write. It seems that sometimes that is all I have. I've been shaping my life through writing it my entire adult life.
You'd imagine I'd get better, wouldn't you? I'll make a deep confession--I have! Hard to believe, isn't it?
Still, I send these letters to you every morning. We are pen pals. We are lovers. We are truth. We are fiction.
Whoever we are.
But that's enough about me.
Do you watch HBO's Perry Mason? That's a pretty good show. I'd recommend it. It is a strange twist on the old t.v. show from the 1960s, but I don't know how closely it parallels the Earl Stanley Gardner novel. Perry Mason is a detective turned attorney not by going to college but by simply studying for and taking the Bar exam. There was a time when that was allowed. There were many professions like that. Here's a big secret about my dead ex-friend Brando. He studied architecture at my own home state university, but he never graduated. He had a nervous breakdown and left college. He hadn't a degree. He became a surveyor for awhile, the profession of his father, but later he took the AIA exam and got his architect's license. Some time back, I found that you could be a judge in my own home state without a law degree. I don't know if that has changed or not, but I would assume it has. And, of course, there was a time when you could become a teacher with "some college" but without a degree. Robert Frost taught high school that way.
Perry Mason is set in the early 1930's, and becoming an attorney without a degree is in the realm of possibility. Mason is a sullen drunk, small and unattractive and malformed by life. His assistant, Della Street, is a lesbian feminist, but the the show doesn't make it a big deal. It's not a big deal. She just is. The same is true of Hamilton Burger, the D.A. He's gay. He just is. And Paul Drake, Mason's P.I. is Black. Again. . . I mean, sure, these things are political but the show never comes across as ideological. These are people. They just are. O.K. I know I've always told you not to trust any statement with the words "just," "merely," and "simply" in them. Whatever. I'm not trying to fool you. I just don't want to spend too much time on explaining this one, because this is getting too long and I want to tell you a bit more. Just this. The show's cinematography is gorgeous. Outstanding. The look is always textured and layered. The sets, the lighting. . . they've taken their time. The editing is languorous, never using quick cuts, the camera angles and movement complimenting every scene. And the soundtrack! Oh, the music. That plaintive, lonesome seemingly distant trumpet is quintessentially Philip Marlowe.
I just like to keep you in the loop.
Well that sucked. Really bad. I'm going to strike through it. I wanted you to know, but. . . I probably should have written something this morning; rather, I did this. Not living up to the hype. But there is always tomorrow, eh? Where else ya gonna go? The other blogs died long ago. They were weak and uncommitted. This one's the one, my peeps. If nothing else, it has staying power.