i have nothing to say right now. i'm pretty bent out about the Stem Cell veto and hearing the media salivate over the possibility of even more war. I was taking a break next week anyway to travel so just consider me out now. I'm going out to the middle of nowhere to take a breath cuz right now i can't take this shit anymore. see you in a week...




another small practice painting. (terrible photo... couldn't get the glare out) No, it's not really called bloggers ... that's just what it reminded me of when i put it here...



oil on wood panel. 10 x 12"

These were a couple of small paintings i had done recently to get my hands moving again in the studio. I get urges every once in awhile get a little "realistic". Maybe just to remind myself to take my time, to mix colors, to really sit with something for a bit or feel a sense of investment. In these two i can say i was definitely feeling the need to paint images that had a lot going on, but i also wanted to stop just short of suffocation. They aren't much to talk about, but they did serve their purpose well and i am still amazed by how much learning there is in the smallest of paintings.



Everyone Must See This.

From Bradblog.

The 23% becomes the 51% with the touch of a button.


The president is always right.

More man club for today.... besides what is being said here, watch the suits behind the man being interviewed (who is, btw, good german Steven Bradbury, head of the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel...), particularly at the end... watch their little fascist mouths as their smug little message get's delivered. Fucking hitler youth... people were TORTURED...

This is the club. They wear the suits. They smile at torture.

clip thanks to CNL


King Kong part 2

That title is self referencing and stupid, but i'm so high on coffee right now i don't even care. Here's the deal: I'm posting this one late and i wanted to post it a long time ago but didn't want to follow up my Equality/Compassion post with a misogynist radio DJ calling a woman a bitch, especially when i agree with the DJ. (Oh, don't worry... you'll see)

Adam Carolla has made a career off being "a guy". People write him off pretty easy, but i have always seen more of a Colbertesque approach to his schtick. His work on "Love Line" was absolutely amazing... a knack for grounding people out of their own narrative or victimhood, he was able to deal with some of the worst problems i have ever heard in a voice that was compassionate and demanding... (some important characteristics of that deeper masculinity i was talking about before)

And then he left to try and become the next Howard Stern. How fucking honorable.

In the other corner: the blonde version of the alien black suit that took over Spiderman and made him do bad things.... Ann Coulter. (I'm sick of turning her name into puns... it's my newest pet peeve since "people who mention Nostradamus in conversation", though i am fond of Coultergiest.)

Let's use Ann as our "woman making career out of Daddy issues by wearing pant suits and calling for the execution of liberal commie scum."

As a man, i am going shed light on something that all men know just in case the women out there don't know: Even if you wear the pantsuit, and make yourself up everyday to look just spicy enough, and pour on the macho, and are able to mix it up with the boys at the big table... even if you are the CEO.... you are not in the club, and they still don't respect you.

Know this: No man at FOX News actually respects Ann Coulter.

Here's why it doesn't work: From the time men are born we are dealing with "macho". Dad, brother, grandpa, uncles, the boys at school, the gym teacher, media... Even if a man is not macho, he comes to know it inside and out because he falls somewhere on the spectrum of using it or getting beat down by it, daily.

It is for this reason, and i mean absolutely no offense by this (though i can't imagine who would be offended by this), that when we see women trying to employ macho techniques as their own and be "equals", it carries the same impact of your mom making you let your little brother take a turn at bat. You humor it, but you just want to get it over with quick so you can get back to the real game.

I guess my point is, to all those women that are trying to act like men in order to gain respect as an equal: Quit it. It's ridiculous. AND... it's not working even if you might think it is. I mean that kindly and i do understand that it is all really lame that the world is such that any woman would even feel the need to have to act macho to gain respect (trust me, those of us men who don't adhere to the bylaws know how it feels too... )

SO finally, EXHIBIT B... in which we see an example of what we are really talking about here: Macho male vs. Macho female. Experience vs. pastiche. This signals what will be the next phase of Ann's career, as she finally came up against a man who isn't at all plagued with PC (that's the only reason you thought you were winning those debates, ann). Once the Bully gets beat up, even the geeks aren't scared anymore.

I bring you...


Totally random

This just in....

i guess it was
just his time... um... too.

so, to update my conspircay theory: Yes I believe Cheato Lay is dead. As well as this guy and a few other people that may have been preventing some
other other people from getting the money they thought was theirs. (CUT TO: the assasination of the heads of the five families in the last moments of the Godfather)

Whatever. Fuck em. I have no idea what they think they are getting away with, but i do know that they will all be dead someday like the rest of us and this makes me smile.

Sweet jesus, could you imagine a world where you actually
could take it with you?



"uh, Suzanne..."

Exhibit A
from CnL

No mystery George W. Bush has no respect for women.
(Q:when you and your dad aren't talking politics, what do you talk about? GWB: pussy)
But consider this post a sidecar to the Equality post earlier... it's a splendid illustration. Condescending tone, big swooping hand gestures while speaking... READ: i'm so much bigger, like a pufferfish in a suit, and who cares what i say because hey... look at my hands. Bigger. Knowledgeable.

Nice backdrop by the way fellas. We are looking up at the president, who looks upon the earth from his seat next to god.

The whole scenario reminds me of something.... hmmm.....


Blogging realized.

I have to draw attention to an exchange between Deborah Fisher and Eric Larsen as the model for how and why blogging works.

The idea that a blog conversation is "virtual" has got to be outmoded at this point. It is just another form of communication now. (Who is to say that a face to face conversation is ever any more "real" anyway?) Granted the internet social scene has it's perils... MySpace being the biggest exercise in narcissism maybe of all time. But the energy of the dialogue going on now between real artists around the world just continues to blow my mind daily.

It also lends a hand to solving one of the great issues (in the US especially)... thinking before (and while) we speak. This is what a revolution looks like.

As to the discussion at HLIB and DF about blogging versus and in conjunction with artist statements, i imagine a show with a blog created just for that show, where the artist can talk about each piece in the show, and show references and link to images and texts and talk about process, and what is personal and what is universal in principle. Where viewers can read, perhaps on a laptop set up at the show, all of these things... and not just a simple paragraph. And even better, where the viewer can ask questions (even later when they get home) and the artist can actually respond. Then a discussion could form, the work can really work, and artist and participant can actually grow (and in the words of Bill Hicks, "we can learn, evolve and eventually get the fuck off this planet.")

I mean, am i nuts, or wasn't this the idea before it turned into the sterile environment art has become... where a gallery works as an adoption agency... separating artists from their work and the participant. Where the artist is "somewhere out there" and the work just "shows up" and the exchange goes as easy as possible for all parties involved. Maybe it was never any other way, but it's time to change that.

This exchange between Deborah and Eric is the key. It is beautiful not only for what is being said, but in its grace. A true connection between artist and participant, in which we are lucky enough to witness and particpate as well.



Equality: the lost leader

To riff off Ashes' post here...

I have also studied through the most important years with women teachers who were very keen to the simple truth that "Art remains always, at some very basic levels, a feminist project." The workshops i attended were filled with mostly women and several men (and even fewer that were "straight"). In my experience it seems a longer journey for the men to begin to tap into the deeper aspects of ourselves, having to wade through years of training in the other direction... that men deserve the most attention, that men fill the history books for a reason, that men have more to say. (The silly reality is that men usually just say it louder with less concern for anyone who might disagree. Example: those brash young jackasses in your MFA that felt they shit masterpieces and took up the most time in your critique.)

But there is more to it. For years in these workshops i would watch these women tap into a deeper feminine, one that - once located- would make them shine, radiant and energized, creating some of the best work i have ever seen (honest, brave and vulnerable while never sacrificing great sensitivity). Meanwhile i struggled for a long time as i watched some of the other men do, trying to locate that same place and failing... usually resulting in even more frustration.

I eventually had my "breakthrough moment" which doesn't necessitate details here except to say, simply, that it was reliant on my own acceptance of how the male figures in my life had also played a part (in really fucking me up... i kid, kind of). That the father wasn't perfect. This sounds almost silly, but i had no idea how much i was refusing to see this. And now i realize more and more that men are more likely to blame the women in their life than the men, mom than dad. (Psych 101 i'm sure, but hang with me for a sec...)

The question is why we do this? My own answer is that with women we can still distance the issue from ourselves. That distancing being a means of avoiding any accountability which might destroy our status as "victim". For example, as Antje Krog discusses in Country of My Skull, it is easier to say Hitler was a monster. By making him not human, but a monster, we don't have to accept that we are all capable of such evil. A further example of this is 9-11. The moments after 9-11 there was a great outpouring of grief and unity. As the world expressed sympathies, we all saw that we could be those people in those towers, or in that city, or in this country and even on this planet. And for a moment we were fully compassionate. The moment ended when we could not see ourselves as the terrorists.

So in my "revelation" i that i saw that i am a white male. (Crashing sounds.) Just like all those other white males in history i always read about. Just like my dad. Just like *gasp* George W. Bush. Now, one might say, "but you are nothing like him." I don't have to be. My skin color and my penis give me an all access pass the likes that many will never understand (even if they think they might). I have worked in the corporate world around bigtime CEOs with fat-ass wallets, and i will let you know that as bad as you think the club is, it is way worse than that. But that's another topic.

Where i was going with this is to say that for me art has been a feminine process to uncover a deeper masculinity, one that goes beyond machismo and even being a male. One that is honest and vulnerable and compassionate. Softer and more subtle... A long road. A long, profound and beautiful road. And i credit the mastery of my women teachers for putting up with me, and helping me to get there (with incredible notions like, "if you want to be a softer person, learn to paint softly... and vice versa"). Teaching men to find this place (as they often remind me) is incredibly difficult especially when on some level men are still not fully respecting what a woman has to say (i really thought i did!).

I also credit men that have worked hard to find this place... It may be easier to be a white male on many surface levels, but once the truth about the emperor has been revealed... the work really begins. Another reason i may not have wanted to see it in the first place. (Take note: the main reason your dickhead uncle is still a republican is because to accept any other truth means he has to give up his Golden Penis membership card that hands him every opportunity on a silver platter.)

Now, to tie this back to Ashes' gorgeous post: The quote that is gaining popularity now (that i heard Nelson Mandela say before anyone else so i will give him the credit) "in order for the oppressed to become free, the oppressor must also be liberated"... Well the second part to that is "or we all just change places". A big game of musical chairs (think Germany>Israel>Palestine). I realized when i finally saw what it is to be a white american male, that equality should not be the goal, but an entire paradigm shift toward compassionate living.

Anyone oppressed must be mindful of when equality with the oppressor becomes the cheese. Even as artists. I read a lot of disgruntled attitudes towards the "art scene" (especially in NY) here in Bloggopia. You wanna take over the galleries and be on the magazine covers? We must be mindful why, folks... Is it to sit on the top? To reverse the situation? So that someone might resent you next? The galleries aren't monsters. Mathew Barney (even with the friggin horns) is not a monster. And even George W. Bush is not a monster. It's all us... How simple and stupid (like most earth shattering revelations ex post facto). And as soon as we get that simple, stupid revelation: we might get to something deeper.