Sunday, December 31, 2006

About failure

"People are fond of spouting out the old cliché about how Van Gogh never sold a painting in his lifetime. Somehow his example serves to justify to us, decades later, that there is somehow merit in utter failure. Perhaps, but the man did commit suicide."
-- Hugh Macleod, How To Be Creative: 29. Whatever choice you make, The Devil gets his due eventually

Well, this is quite funny, well done Hugh.
On the other hand, I think Hugh's main point is misses its target. For one thing, it is either uneducated or disingenuous to hint that Vincent committed suicide because he was not selling well. If you read about him, it was clear that while he had existential angst out the wazoo, he was happy if he just had food and paint.

For another thing, if Vincent was actually a "failure" would anybody be using him as an inspiration? They use him because he was one of the biggest successes fine art has ever produced, only he died too young to see it happen. So the example is not "merit in utter failure", but merit in being highly successful even if it has not happened yet.

You can also see Vincent as an example of somebody who saw the bigger picture. Sure, he was agonizing about not being able to live the "real life" as he called it, with family, house, money, and respectability... and yet his art was so important to him that he sacrificed all that for it. And the world is much richer for it.
-----
Anyway, looking this up, I see that Hugh is being a bit quoted out of context on Quoteoftheday. His full point is more complex. (Or less clear...) Lo: (like usual, italics is quoted text)

"29. Whatever choice you make, The Devil gets his due eventually.

Selling out to Hollywood comes with a price. So does not selling out. Either way, you pay in full, and yes, it invariably hurts like hell.

People are fond of spouting out the old clich about how Van Gogh never sold a painting in his lifetime. Somehow his example serves to justify to us, decades later, that there is somehow merit in utter failure.

Perhaps, but the man did commit suicide. The market for his work took off big-time shortly after his death. Had he decided to stick around another few decades he most likely wouldve entered old age quite prosperous. And sadly for failures everywhere, the clich would have lost a lot of its power.

The fact is, the old clichs work for us in abstract terms, but they never work out in real life quite the same way. Life is messy; clichs are clean and tidy.

Of course, there is no one true way. Whether you follow the example of fame-and-glamor Warhol or poor-and-miserable Van Gogh doesnt matter in absolute terms. Either extreme may raise you to the highest heights or utterly destroy you. I dont know the answer, nor does anybody else. Nobody but you and God knows why you were put on this Earth, and even then

So when a young person asks me whether its better to sell out or stick to ones guns, I never know what to answer. Warhol sold out shamelessly after 1968 (the year he was wounded by the gunshot of a would-be assassin) and did OK by it. I know some great artists who stuck to their guns, and all it did was make them seem more and more pathetic.

Anyone can be an idealist. Anyone can be a cynic. The hard part lies somewhere in the middle i.e. being human."

-- Hugh Macleod

Church in sepia

Saturday, December 30, 2006

A Course in Miracles

A Course in Miracles

This may be the most advanced and powerful spiritual text I've found.

And O my, the whole book is available on the web!

It is very non-mainstream philosophy which takes some getting used to. But I warmly recommend giving it a chance. Or many.

Also, one might even start with the book The Disappearance of the Universe. It puts A.C.I.M. into fresh perspective, and is easier to read, very entertaining.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Making a good digital camera

One would think that a popular digital cameras enter their second decade, it would by now be pretty trivial to make one of those and get it to make good pictures. But it seems not.

John Lehet


Really nice photo art: John Lehet.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

It is a common delusion that you make things better by talking about them.
-- Dame Rose Macaulay

Pardon me, Rose, but it seems to me that you are either very cynical or very disheartened in life. If you include the broader range of expression and perception, then "talking about things" is practically the only thing which actually makes things better.

Greg O

For those interested a fresh debate about society and politics, I recommend my friend Greg O's blog on daylightforum.org

"Highly Sensitive People"

One more excellent new philosophy I've found in 2006. What a golden year for me.

I am definitely a "Highly Sensitive Person".
About 20% of the population are.
If you are not, imagine somebody turning up the volume on all your perceptions by 500%, 24/7. That's about it. For me anyway.
I'm reading this book, it's great.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Sopranos

I'm watching Sopranos season six on DVD. What an amazing show.
And never predictable.
With one exception: just as with movies, I can often predict who dies.
In the movies/TV, a guy is dead within five minutes if he is:
1: Sympathetic and
2: not essential to the plot and
3: getting scared and wants to back out.

And if also:
4: he has a cute family who loves him
... then he might as well put a bullet in his own brains right there, he's out.
-----
There is a character, an aging scientist who has cancer, who drops in some nice philosophical nuggets of truth: talking about two boxers on TV, he says that they appear to be separate entities, but according to quantum theory, they are not. Like two tornadoes which look separate, but they are part of the same wind.
And when Tony wonders about heaven and hell, God and Satan, the guy answers that that would presuppose a duality, which is not true.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Thanks

Thanks to all the readers and all the commentators for making 2006 a great year.

Merry Christmas and an even greater new year.

Eolake

Meryl Streep


Following up on my recent post about how awards like the Oscars are taken way too seriously by most, I found it refreshing to read about how Meryl Streep, after receiving her first Oscar, actually forgot it in a rest room! :)

She's a pleasure, isn't she? She clearly cares deeply about the art, and not much about all the hoopla.

Her films tend to be too "human drama" for me to be her central target audience, but Postcards From The Edge is one of my top-five favorite films ever. It is just really, really, really funny in a very clever and understated way. Warmly recommended.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Non-conformism


"You can't be a non-conformist if you don't drink coffee."
- Goth boy on South Park

Prickly art

Are these excellent or what?
I don't know the source, so if anybody know a web site or anything, I'd like to know who the artist is.








Idea/thing

I just love pictures like this.

Sadly it's not my own. It's from Imaging-Resource.com. Their Picture-Of-The-Day.

It takes two to fight

"Go kick his ass."
"Maybe he won't fight."
"Will he bleed? That's all we care about."
- Southpark

It takes two to fight.
Yeah, but it only takes one big one to beat me up.
- Me

Featured comment, by Pascal:
"I'll have to agree with you (once again) Eolake. One is enough to start violence, if they can pick a target. In reality, it takes two to make peace."

Actually, if we are gonna get all deep about it, I do think that metaphysically, if you are 100.00% pacifist at heart, nobody will ever attack you. But that is a high spiritual level. The reason I said the other thing is that the statement "it takes two to fight" is the kind of lame thing parents will say to a kid who is being bullied, and at the human level it is just not helpful at all.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Tony Robbins, an extrovert

Continuing on the fascinating subject of introverts and extroverts, I was reminded of this funny article by Dave Barry (definitely an introvert) observing at a seminar by Tony Robbins (the KING of extroverts. Enjoy.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Madonna's book "Sex"


Remember Madonna's book "Sex" from 1992?
Well, somebody posted it on a well-done fan site. In case you're interested.

I must admit that back then as well as now, I did not find the book hugely interesting, not as art and not as erotica. But I did find it interesting as a cultural phenomenon. It's important not because of any quality of the contents, but rather by its very existence. Madonna did something one could not imagine any other major cultural personality do, not even now. And she got away with it.

Of course "got away with it" is relative, because I did read an interview with Madonna later where she bitched intensely about how she got "the shit kicked out of her" because of that book in order to Create Freedoms for other people later to use similar ideas, like people apparently did in fashion photography and whatnot.
Sure, that can be argued. But really, what did she expect? Seriously? She obviously did the most confrontational move one could do in the USA, and she did not expect controversy? And the book outsold any other art book ever. In days. Surely she can't regard that as a failure.

Until Ray of Light, which was amazing, I did not find Madonna as an artist very interesting. But there's no doubt she is a trailblazer. Even before Ray of Light, when I saw the documentary "In Bed With Madonna", and saw her stage show, I suddenly understood where she came from as an artist, everything she did was about breaking down barriers. Which I can respect. And later she has grown beyond that.

Extrovert/Introvert

Outing Your Innie
By Susan Henderson

What's an Innie? Are you one?

According to Marti Olsen Laney in her groundbreaking book The Introvert Advantage: How to Thrive in an Extrovert World, introversion is a type of temperament. We are born with it; it is in our genes. She writes: "It is not the same as shyness or having a withdrawn personality, and it is not pathological. It is also not something you can change. But you can learn to work with it, not against it."

Extroverts (Outies) outnumber Introverts (Innies) three to one. Our cultural bias towards the outer-directed characteristics of this type of temperament has caused many an Introvert (Innies) to believe something is wrong with them starting in childhood where the rewards are given for action and speaking up - such as class participaton as 25% of your grade. The truth is one is not better than the other. The primary difference between Innies and Outies is where their source of energy comes from.

Outies are energized by the outer world and gain that energy by participating in activities outside of themselves. They enjoy talking, socializing and working around people; feeling refreshed by the contact. This is their fuel.

Innies, however, refuel their energy by the internal world of impressions, ideas, emotions, and thinking things through. Although they may like people very much, just being in crowds, classes and noisy social functions can be draining and they feel the need to escape to a quiet place to refuel.

December is probably the most stressful month for Innies with crowded shopping malls, office parties, and family gatherings, large or small. You do not have to attend every function that comes along, but if you can't avoid (or want to attend) a gathering, that you know will drain you, here are some tips offered in The Introvert Advantage to conserve your energy before you go.

Don't schedule too many social occasions in the same week. Take a walk, read, nap, or sit in nature before the get-together. Drink plenty of water and take deep breaths when you feel anxious about the party.
Eat some protein to boost your energy before you leave home. Have the sitter come early so you can get ready without a hassle. Listen to a relaxation tape of calming music on the way to the party. Set aside time the following morning to recharge.

Since I am a raging Innie, I have to gird my loins in order to get out amongst the masses. I know my limits and I do stategize a plan before I go. Once there I tend to find a place to plant myself and stay in one spot observing or entering into some deeper and more interesting conversations with whoever may show up. If things get too over-whelming, there is always the option of a bathroom break for quiet and a few deep calming breaths. When I have had enough, I unapologetically take my leave.

Happy Holidays!

Hugs, Susan

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Nerd or not


Occasionally somebody will think I'm a nerd/geek because I'm sort of interested in computers and gadgets, and know more about them than most people. But I'm really not, and I just found the explanation why.
In the excellent TV show Triumph Of The Nerds, Douglas Adams says with his usual insight: "A nerd is somebody who uses a telephone to talk about telephones. A computer nerd is somebody who uses computers in order to use computers."
That's spot on.
And it's not me. I use computers to communicate. That's the long and the short of my interest.

Art in a church


Was Michelangelo just a big ole pervert? Current debate about art in a church.

MS iPod package


"What if MS had designed the iPod package", a really well done spoof video.

Sony Ebook Reader




TidBITS reviews the new Sony Ebook Reader.

Sadly I am not surprised that Sony has, like everybody else, decided to price online downloadable e-books way too high. They are barely cheaper than paperbooks.
In Steven Levy's book about the iPod, he tells of an experiment done with pricing of online music. It turned out that when a song was set to cost 50 cents instead of a dollar, users bought six times as much! Did the big corporations learn anything from that? What do you think?

I hope Apple is working on an e-book reader device. I would like that so much more than the dang Apple mobile phone people have been babbling about for years.

Monday, December 18, 2006

SearchMash, a new search engine

I thought Google was the Ne Plus Ultra in search engines, but this new one actually has some interesting features. I'll be using it for a while, see how it goes.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Victim culture

There's many ways to victimize people. The most insidious is to convince them that they're victims.
-- Tom Robbins

The more you look, the more ways you find this is being done.
"Have you had an accident in the past two years, Sir? Please look at this brochure."
"Poor you, he is treating you evil."

If the media used as much ink educating the public as they use to pamper to their victim-culture, much would be different.

New blogger version?

Does anybody have experience with the new version of Blogger? The features do not sound compelling to me, but if it is faster and more reliable... ?

Fisheye



Like I mentioned, one of the first lenses I wanted in my yoof when I just started photographing was a super-wide, or a fisheye. But I couldn't afford one. Later when I could, I eschewed strong effects. But heck, what's wrong with just-for-fun? So when I read a review of fisheye lenses, and the very compact Nikkor 10.5mm one got great grades, I got one.

By the way, I am hoist by my own petard. I bought this lens mainly for use with the Nikon D40, not giving a second's thought to the fact (which I even mentioned below) that the camera does not have autofocus with all lenses, not even most. Only AF-S or AF-I lenses. And this one is neither, it turns out. It does not have a motor for AF, and neither does the camera... So manual focus it is, when using that combo. Fortunately for my sense of humor, focus is hardly an issue at all with such a short focal length. At F8 the depth-of-field goes from .5 meters to infinity! So I found it pretty funny when I finally realized why it was that the dang camera did not focus for me. :)

More Pogue


Another funny video from David Pogue, "proving" how Windows Vista is NOT just a copy of Mac OS X.

More fun is how many people take it literally.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

"Scary Mary"

I always thought that there was nothing fun or lovable about Mary Poppins. So I like this video remix-trailer.

Pentax K10D


I've praised Nikon's current DSLR cameras a lot, and with good reason. But they all still lack an essential feature which is gaining popularity: built-in anti-camera-shake capability, meaning you don't have to buy special lenses to have the camera help you in the fight against shaken pictures.
But Pentax is finally coming in very strong in the digital market with the new Pentax K10D, and that one has it. My first serious camera was an ME-Super, which I still love, so I hope Pentax will do really well with this camera.
(Oh, and like the ME-Super, it is just gorgeous, I like the look of it better than Nikon's and Canon's models.)

Ashley Olsen


Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen, famous since they were babies on Full House, are reportedly worth something like $200,000,000. Each. This, amongst other things, is from films from their own production company.
Does this make them worthwhile artists? I guess not. But on the other hand, does their main-stream appeal make them scorn-worthy? I don't think so either. Who are we to judge what "worth" is? If a Mary-Kate/Ashley film has changed the life of a teenage girl, who are we to call it "fluff"? How many people have you changed the life of?
Everything does not have to be Schindlers List. There is such a thing as just feeling good for an hour or two.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Opinions are like @$$holes

Any clod can have the facts, but having opinions is an art.
-- Charles McCabe, San Francisco Chronicle

I suspect this was meant to be humorous somehow. What I know is that it's about as wrong as can be. Go into any pub, and any clod you ask there will have the most amazing opinions on everything, but very little facts indeed.

In fact the interesting thing is that the really uninformed people often have no clue whatsoever what you are talking about, but they will have formed an instant opinion based on something they were reminded of when you spoke! (About which they also know next to nothing.)

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Loneliness

A reader wants a discussion on how people survive divorce.
Qouth the raven: "To me, there's nothing worse than being alone..."

Well... I've been living alone and celibate for the bulk of my life. Sure, occasionally there can be a pang of loneliness. But I really don't think it is very important. (And I know people living with others have the same problems, some of them much more than me.)

Many people will protest: "What do you mean? Surely there is nothing more important than love?"

That's true, but love between only two people is "special love" (as A Course In Miracles call it), and it is just severely limited. It is just a tiny, tiny bit of Everything. And if it seems fantastically important to you, you are already in trouble, no matter if you "have" somebody or not.

WordNet

I found an online dictionary which has a much simpler interface than others, and sometimes has words others don't. (Example: the delightful English word "pillock".) WordNet.

Windows Vista wins warm welcome, uh, verily

David Pogue writes:
Windows Vista is not, as the Web’s chorus of caustic critics claim, [woa, can you say "alliteration"? - Eolake] little more than a warmed-over Windows XP. Its more intelligent navigation and more powerful file-manipulation tools provide you with greater efficiency from Day 1.
That’s not to say, however, that Vista is worth standing in line for on Jan. 30. Moving to Vista means hunting for updated drivers for your printer, audio card and so on, not to mention troubleshooting incompatible programs.

... Hunting for updated drivers? Is he serious? I've use a Mac for twelve years now, and I don't think I've ever had to hunt for new drivers just because I updated the system. And I can't remember the last time I had to update software because of the system. (Except for changing between the old OS and OS X a few years back.)

Update: Lucid referred to this comic.

Quik Pod


This is one of those inventions which are either really silly or highly useful, history will tell.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Gary Renard

Review of The Disappearance of the Universe.
Interview with the author Gary Renard.

Jimmy Neon



If $28,000 is more than you had planned on spending over Christmas (see earlier post), how about a piece from another friend of mine who also uses Domai pictures for inspiration, Jimmy Neon.
(He uses a different kind of neon, for indoors use, so his works are much more affordable.)

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

"Diana" sculpture


Got $28,000 burning a hole in your pocket?* Got a dear friend who has a life-sized bronze nude on his Christmas wish list? You're in luck! You won't find any better than this, seriously. But you gotta hurry, deadline is Dec 15!

* Actually, the Diana sculpture is 40% off this week for Domai visitors. (Or visitors from this blog, I'm sure.)

Sure, these are not knick-knacks and as such rather luxury items, but actually Victor and I have sold several large sculptures before, and many small ones.

"Pain erasers"


These are hand-massage hard rubber balls (the purple one is softer) from Momentum98. I like them a lot. They call them "pain erasers". I'm not sure how they live up to that moniker since I don't actually have problems with my hands, but the massage feels good, and the spikes "hurt so good".

They are 5 centimeters (2 inches) across if you include the spikes. Fit nicely in a hand.

Edward Munch


Me, I use Google dozens of times every day, but some may not, so I point out their logo today, have you seen it? Gotta love that. Humor and art. Edward Munch's birthday.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Photos 2006

Many photos I made this year were not collected on my home site. Now they are.

And so are the old photos posted recently.

Aaaand mixed art of 2006

A luminous Quality

And old friend and veteran photographer once commented on "The Light" or "Luminosity" being a defining quality of good photography.
I think he is very right... but what do we mean by that? All photos have light, so what's the difference?
How do we define that quality of the light which makes some pictures stand out?

Trees and Spire


For thirty years I've been fascinated by pictures looking at something through something else. I think this is one of the better I've done.

Chaos/Order

-----
Note: when I was a young innocent amateur photographer, I was very enamoured with wide-angle lenses, especially super-wide. I think it was because of the dramatic effect. Now I find to my surprise that when working with my super-zoom, I take most of the pictures at the long end. (Very long too, 300mm equivalent. It would be very hard to take handheld pictures with it was it not for the built-in image stabilization.) I find that this can give tight, orderly compositions, and at the same time see things that we just don't notice in normal life because they are too far away, and we are distracted by all the near things.
(Looking at this picture now, I am amazed to realize that the far buildings here are so far away from where I was standing that it would take me like five minutes to walk there.)

Saturday, December 09, 2006

"Wilde"

I am watching the excellent film Wilde, about Oscar Wilde.
I am struck once again by how seemingly all strikingly brilliant men seem to also have areas of life where they are profoundly flawed or out of control.
I am sure it is not so because of their brilliance, but despite it. (In other words it is just more noticeable than it is in the ordinary person.) But it is just remarkable to me that there are always such stark contrasts in one person.

Truck And Cloud


(Also a super-long-lens picture, this subject was quite far away.)

Neo-dada poetry

Spammers are apparently using software to make random sentences, or more likely pull them from the web and string them together to make a plausible body of text in a spam email to fool spam filters. This sometimes makes for wonderfull surreal reading. I think the Dadaist poets would have loved these tools. Lo:

She pulled the razor across her left bicep and clicked the stopwatch. That sex automatically means you have STDs. Female characters, however, have one unofficial, arguable benefit: their armor looks like metal lingerie. Oh no, the aliens are too swarthy for that. I jumped into the shower, threw some clothes on, and ran out the door. This is not to say that this real life inequality is represented in the game. At your RTD job, the bus drivers labeled you the "pass around girl," a nickname you have embraced to a degree.
Some professional witnesses, albeit easily debunked ones, report having looked in through portholes and seen the beings working within. I've spent a better part of January nursing a very resilient head cold and cultivating some warm and fuzzy new relationships. In researching you and reading interviews you have given, what struck me most about you was your honesty and lack of illusion.
You know to post on your MySpace profile. When there isn't a scrumptious band playing there's always an in house DJ servicing your every sonic need as you sip moderately priced spirits. A partial answer to this is the idea that UFOs are not from space, but are rather the ships of extra dimensional or time travelers. We were going to hang out longer, but by the time we reached Amy's apartment we were all feeling a bit tired and so my friend and headed back toward my place.
You have participated in more than one polyamorous triad. That's a rough guess.
Who among you will run with the hunt?
This is a better method of getting money than having your workers make crappy knockoffs of consumer products. I know people who have fallen from you good graces frequently ask you what your parents think of your tattoos, but what do they think?
It stays crunchy in milk and can be used as a suppository.

Steel

Friday, December 08, 2006

Fences galore


I quite like this one for some reason. (My tendency would have been to zoom in more.) (Which I also did, but this might be the best one.)

Passion photographer

Here's a fun thing on Laurie's blog.

Related: the original short which was the basis of the great comedy Zoolander.

Doors of Heaven


I had to prove that I am not all talk, so I got the Nikon D40. Wonderful camera. Even with my 18-200mm zoom, it fits in my shoulder bag among the rest of my stuff. And it does not have the plasticky feel and slow reactions one might expect with an entry-level camera.

Ooookay, there is apparently a great appetite for my high-wire analysis of my pictures. So here goes.

This picture is of heaven's gates. The golden colors give promise of great spiritual riches ahead.

The many verticals symbolize the ascension of humanity and of the individual, or "you" if you will.

The shadow of the sign on the right shows the fading of language and symbols as being important in human life, transcending mere mind and entering spiritual realms.

The locks represent the barriers in our minds and our beliefs which each person has the key to if he chooses.

All Saints: Pure Shores

It's a pity that so many outside Europe don't know All Saints.
They have had several hits, I think the biggest one was Never Ever. But they also made the title song for the Leonardo DeVinci movie The Beach. Watch.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Picture from today


It seems from comments there is some trouble grogging this fine piece of art...

Can't you see, it's an artistic comment on the workers of today, who are getting younger, less educated, and more streamlined.
The worker who is eating is several steps in front.
The population in the backgrounds have their blinds closed to the situation. But not fully, because they are voyeurs after all.

The potted plant is the unborn generations.
The mail slot is communications media.
And the brick in the upper left the artist's ego.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

"We like the Moon"


I've visited this nutty thing several times over many years, and it never fails to crack me up!
(Warning, loud music.)

Update: apparently not everybody is on the floor. Color me surprised.
Somebody recommended Viking Kittens instead.

Nikon D40


If even the Nikon D80 is too big and too expensive a digital SLR for you, you should take a look at the spanking new Nikon D40. I can't believe it's selling for $600. And it is super-compact, something I always had a weak spot for. (I must have owned like fifteen compact cameras over the years.)
It also reportedly has excellent low-light performance. So if you combine it with for example Nikon's lovely 18-200mm zoom with Vibration Reduction, you will have a camera you can use hand-held in almost any light, even indoors, so combined with the small size this should be a wonderful travel and walk-about camera.
(Take note that not all Nikon lenses will have autofocus on this camera. If you have or buy any lenses for it, they must be "AF-S" or "AF-i" lenses for the autofocus to work. Those have built-in autofocus motor.)

I am so impressed with general developments in digital photography. Just five years ago you had to pay tens of thousands of dollars for performance like this. (And they weighed three times as much.)

Saturday, December 02, 2006

All Saints


All Saints are back. Hurrah!
They are one of the very, very few bands I think are real pop music and at the same time have profound artistic value.

If you think about it, it's not strange that it's rare: if you combine breath with depth, you get a big volume, and it's hard to fill.

Their new CD Studio 1 may have a lame title, but it's still the real All Saints.

Friday, December 01, 2006

American Gods


There is a joke -- not a funny one, the other kind -- about the difference between England and America. Wich is that England is a place in which a hundred miles is a long way, and America is a place where a hundred years is a long time.
-- Neil Gaiman

I've just read Neil's American Gods for the second time (this time as audio book, which lets me use my body and eyes for other things while reading). And it's a splendid book, warmly recommended. Rather demanding of the reader though, and rather gruesome in places. But funny and intelligent and intriguing.

Ascension

Humans can't think in too positive terms, it's not real for them. So to make a glorious ascension, for instance, seem acceptable, you also stress the painful side of it if you want to talk about such things.

You'll also notice that in every story which has a person who achieves amazing powers and enlightenment (like Phenomenon or Stranger In A Strange Land), that person also has to die. Otherwise the audience rejects the good tidings as being pie in the sky.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Probverbs

If you refuse to be made straight when you are green, you will not be made straight when you are dry.
-- African Proverb

Mmm, OK.

And if you refuse to lie down when you're purple, you'll have to stand up when you're magenta.

And if you fly horizontal when you're happy, your feet will itch when you're educated.

If squares flirt with triangles at night, morning comes early on Mars.

Red skies in your mind means little rocks and noodles in the path of the righteous man.
----
Update: OK, I better confess, I do understand the African proverb. I imagine it means it is easier to learn when you are young than when you're old. Which is clearly true. But it still rubs me the wrong way, humans are not things. And to use the image "to make straight" for learning is offensive to humans as a whole. As if we are just wood to be used as tools for somebody else.
It is offensive, and it is important because many people actually have this attitude: young people are tools to be molded to fit into the great machine of society, to become perfect and pliable clerks and workmen, not to make trouble, only to be productive in an average and predictable way.
It is an insidious evil.
(OK, maybe the original proverb was not supposed to mean that, but there we are.)

Boy And Horse

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Bettina


My friend Bettina, who is as sweet as she looks.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Xmas busyness

All the shops seem to be about twice as busy in the whole of November and December as in the rest of the year. The same goes for online supermarket shopping, even now a month from Christmas, I have to order four days before I want delivery, instead of one day as normal.
I could understand if it was one week before Christmas, but two months?! What are all those people buying!? This is not a retorical question, I really don't get how anybody can consume two months shopping in the two days Christmas lasts.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Men on Round Tower


This was taken (by me) at the top of the famous Round Tower in Copenhagen, in the late seventies.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

How to avoid self-contamination

I'm thinking this (below) creates highly tense and neurotic people, who in the end will have only one thing on their mind, that which is forbidden.
Or people like the youth in Salt Lake City, who by many reports don't consider oral sex to be sex.
In any case... what's the f***ing point? I can understand that abstinence from intercourse prevents STDs and pregnancy, but what's the point of this? These poor, poor people.
Update: related is this article about erotica and the elderly.

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Mormon Instructions on Mas*tur*ba*tion
From a Guide to Mormon Youth

Enlist The Power Of Prayer

Pray daily, ask for the gifts of the Spirit, that which will strengthen you against temptation.

Pray fervently and out loud when the temptations are the strongest.

When the temptation to mas*tur*ba*te is strong, yell "Stop!" to those thoughts as loudly as you can in your mind. Then recite a portion of the Bible or sing a hymn.

Exercise Vigorously

Follow a program of vigorous daily exercise, which reduces emotional tension and depression.

Double your physical activity when you feel stress increasing.

Set Goals

Set a goal of abstinence. Begin with a day, then a week, month, year.
Finally, commit yourself to never doing it again.

Make a pocket calendar for a month on a small card. Carry it with you but show it to no one.

If you mas*tur*ba*te , color that day black. Your goal will be to have no black days.

The calendar becomes a strong visual reminder, and should be looked at when you are tempted to add another black day.

Keep your calendar up until you have at least three clear months.

Set up a reward system. Each time you reach a goal, award yourself a quarter. Spend it on something that delights you.

Work On Self-Improvement

Work daily on a self-improvement program. Improve your relationships with your family. Increase your service to your church.

Be outgoing and friendly. Force yourself to be with others and learn to enjoy working and talking with them.

Change in behavior and attitude is most easily achieved through a changed self-image.

Spend time every day imagining yourself strong and in control, easily overcoming tempting situations.

Avoid Temptation

When on the toilet or showering, leave the door partly open.

Arise immediately in the mornings. Don't lie awake in bed -- start each day with enthusiastic activity.

Avoid people, situations, pictures and reading material that might create sexual excitement.

Use Physical Restraints

Wear pajamas that are difficult to open, yet loose and not binding.

Put on several layers of clothing that would be difficult to remove while half asleep.

Hold an object -- for example, a Bible -- even in bed at night.

In severe cases, tie a hand to the bed frame.

Be Alert To Emotions

Be aware of situations that depress you or that cause you to feel lonely, bored, frustrated or discouraged. These emotional states can trigger the desire to mas*tur*ba*te as a way of escape.

Plan to counter these low periods through reading a book, visiting a friend, doing something athletic, etc.

Employ aversion therapy. To cancel out the pleasurableness of mas*tur*ba*ting , associate something very distasteful with the act. For example, imagine bathing in a tub of worms and eating some of them.

The Third Child

The Third Child
by Stobblehouse

when the pale blood of the mother
runs freely on husky tiles
and the skies turn black and ultramarine
the third child will rise

when the white birds of the sea
coming calling far inland
searching for new minds
and night creatures shuffles
in the day time

when old walls grow stronger
against expectations
and the fields yield a mighty harvest

the third child will arrive
garbed in bright colors
bearing gifts of victory
for his people
but false gifts they are

the people will know him
and yet they will not

when the end of days is felt
and the moon and the sun becomes one
when the fear is greatest
and yet the hope is nascent

when the morning's orb is whiter than gold
when forests are pleading for their hordes
when the fires of man
compete with nature

then the beginning is near

and in the beginning
the real beginning
a hope was created
an eternal hope

the mind saw a glint
in the future
the falsity of time

the mind was the father
and the son
and yet the brother
the mind saw all that none saw

the vision was clear
and a quest was arisen
in the beginning

the end is near
and thus the beginning
the mind is the mind
and has done its work

the child of darkness
will rage and thrash
but all that will be naught
for the light sees all
and the third child is a shadow
cast by the light

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Supernatural

Inspired by a post by Hannah, I ask you: do you have any personal experiences of the supernatural? (Or rather "supernatural", since I think we know so little about how the world works that it is folly to think that we know what is "natural" and what is not.)

I have a friend whose wife always knows when her brother is coming to visit. She only ever asked him to put on the kettle in vain once. Her brother got a flat tire that day.

Ancient erotica


Maybe erotica isn't such a new thing?
Pompeii porn.
(Home of that site.)

Daylight Forum

My pal Greg is attempting to bring discussion of the issues of the day to the people with the Daylight Forum. See this video.
I try to stay out of politics, I don't like it, but Greg is a very convincing man, so I have helped with funding of his book and the site.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

How many megapixels

David Pogue tests megapixels and quality.

George Bernard Shaw

The longer I live the more I see that I am never wrong about anything, and that all the pains I have so humbly taken to verify my notions have only wasted my time.
-- George Bernard Shaw

... And some people think I have a large ego!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Jesper


One of my high school friends.
Blacks are and especially were pretty rare in Denmark outside the capital. Jesper was adopted very young, I think, so linguistically he is 100% Dane. Very pleasant fella, always fun and never a harsh word for anybody.
Sadly I've lost track of people from high school.
Oh, by the way, I have learned that things are not always as obvious to everybody as I think, so I better point out that he does not normally look like this; I surprised him with the camera right in his face (28mm wideangle) when he turned around, so he is making at face at me.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

The artist's career

Excellent interview of Caroll Michels about the fine artist and how build a business of it.
Selected quotes:
"...if you’re having difficulties with rejection, you also will have difficulties with success."
"You’re really running a small business. There’s no way around it, and to accept that not as a bad thing."
"Many artists are so exalted because, “Oh, a dealer asked for an exclusive.” I think it’s ridiculous. Unless they’re giving you something very interesting like a monthly stipend to pay all the bills against future sales, then there’s no reason someone should have an exclusive anymore."

Ochre1 and Whiteblue

Two paintings I did last week. Click for larger view.



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