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Archive for the ‘mental concepts’ Category

The season finale was last night and I enjoyed myself greatly.  I think the creators of LOST have not “lost” it… they just keep getting better and better.

Now, I’ve looked at the show differently since I read www.timelooptheory.com.  It’s a website with a theory on the whole LOST world and what is actually going on… it’s really good stuff, go read it.  It basically says the whole show is about “fate” and fate correcting itself because of time travel.  The theory has been pretty damn correct up until this point.  They did reference time travel last night with the “time traveling bunnies” experiments… so the Time Loop Theory may be on to something…..  but, they were wrong about one thing, who’s in the casket… they predicted Ben.  Oh well.  But, their theory does explain a lot, and if LOST is not about what this theory thinks it is… it should be.  Or the creators are going to have to work really hard to “out do” this theory…

I suggest you take 15 minutes to read their “theory timeline” and have your minds, officially, blown.

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So I stumbled across a web site in which graphics/designer/animator Cassidy Curtis and friends document the ever changing landscape of urban graffiti. From the site:

Graffiti is the chameleon skin of the urban landscape. Equal parts public art and vandalism, virtuosity and subversion, it is among the most ephemeral forms of human expression. Graffiti walls are repainted frequently, as different writers compete and collaborate on the public canvas. A given piece may last years, weeks, or mere hours. For graffiti writers, this is expected and in fact fundamental to their process, which they perceive as an ongoing dialogue. However, most city dwellers experience this constant change only at a subconscious level.

Is the site interesting?  Absolutely, both conceptually and visually.  Is the subject interesting?  Absolutely, and on many levels.  However… I have always had personal issues with the idea of graffiti-as-art.  I am, admittedly, unschooled on the subject of art history and the connections, both direct and indirect, that may exist between gaffiti and “high art”.  So you’re reading the words of ignorance but also of gut reaction, which can be equally important.

Here are the things I think about when I meditate on graffiti:

1)  I was raised on the Golden Rule.  And that meant showing respect to everyone who deserved it, and if you didn’t know if they deserved it, you gave them the benefit of the doubt.  Everyone is innocent until proven guilty.  And graffiti feels like, with respect to being an “artist”, one of the most disrespectful, self-serving things I can think of.  I’d rather be insulted verbally by a performance artist.  I welcome every opportunity to exist beyond my own realm of comfort, but I don’t cotton to people defacing the property of other people.

2) As I mentioned above, one division I draw between what graffiti “artists” (I use that phrase in the same way Subway does) do and the oh-so-nebulous idea of “art” is intent.  Again, I could be completely wrong here, but my interpretation is that most folks using graffiti as some form of expression aren’t exactly trying to interpret the inner workings of human-nature, both good and bad.  I don’t subscribe to the “art must be beautiful to be art” school (see verbal abuse example above), but the impetus of art in my mind is to draw attention to the idea, not the artist.  I realize there are always ulterior motives, but graffiti, in contrast, seems focused primarily on drawing attention to the artist sans concept.

Obviously, I’m making some broad, sweeping statements that I would love to make less contestable had I more room (and interest…).  And there are plenty of artists using graffiti/guerilla style art with some modicum of intent beyond saying, “Dudes…  Check out the size of my balls.”  Banksy comes to mind, here.  But even Mr. Curtis has stated that he intends to keep the locations confidential on his site so as not to get the graffiti-ers in trouble with the law.  And my knee-jerk is to say, “Fine.  Let me spray-paint some genitals on the side of your home and car, and we’ll call it art…  You’re welcome.”

Finally… as a result of my meditation on graffiti, there’s this little part of me that wonders about the importance of it all; about graffiti, art, work, relationships, and so on.  The majority of all the art ever made is now gone.  We’ll never see it again.  And when the sun finally expands to engulf the entire solar system, what will it matter?  And I have to remind myself, that’s exactly WHY it matters.

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Living…

I saw this image of a residential development in Copenhagen, and it reminded me of a conversation we had recently on connecting with one another. These angular balconies make for a fascinating facade virtually moving and rotating in on itself while screaming “LET’S ACTUALLY TALK TO ONE ANOTHER!!! What a novel concept…” I’ll admit, I’m a pretty private person, so my knee-jerk to this kind of closeness is an uncomfortable shyness pierced with unending silence. But there’s that deep-down biological side of me where the caveman genes bang rocks and sticks while their developing minds realize it might be easier to take down one of those monstrous hairy things with more than one person. That part loves this idea, at least conceptually.

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So, a friend of mine was telling me about HBO’s John Adams mini-series, and it got me to thinking. This is by no means a new discussion or line of thought, but I hadn’t really pondered it this hard in my own brain. So, I began to wonder, were these men (our “fore-fathers”) actually “truly great” men? What are the odds of that many “truly great” people gathering in any one spot at any given time? Were the people involved in what was to become what we know as The Revolutionary War truly great people, or were they simply average people responding to extraordinary times? It’s fairly well documented, for example, that Washington was a pretty reluctant “hero”, and every new biography to come out seems to point an accusatory finger at our penchant for revisionist history. People naturally resist any kind of tarnish settling on the brightly polished silver that is our (the U.S.A.’s) history of struggle and overcoming great oppression to become a “free” land. Of course, historians nowadays never fail to mention the irrevocable stain of slavery.

I’m digressing here, but this is another interesting point to ponder for future posts: as we progress in time, do we also progress in our desire for absolute truth? If so, how far into our culture does this desire penetrate? Does it stop at issues of social policy and the wayward loins of our politicians? What does our ability to believe virtually any text written in email form have to say about this desire? Or is it merely the desire of historians to withstand the coals of any future inquisition(s)?

Anyhoo… were the people involved in founding this country any different from people today (notice I did not try to equate them with people RUNNING the country today)? Are there John Adamses and George Washingtons and Thomas Jeffersons and so on living today, running deli’s, running for public office, and running marathons that simply haven’t had to react to such trying circumstances and times? Are some of the world’s greatest minds and leaders busy plowing fields, spending silent days and nights in monasteries, begging for spare change, teaching our children, drilling for oil, killing the enemy, and on and on and on? Are they sitting in the senate chambers in D.C.? Are they sitting next to you at work? That guy may seem fairly innocuous with his collection of (pick your sci-fi movie) memorabilia, but given the right opportunity and the right kind of fire under his feet, and he very well may rule a world. Maybe two. And maybe neither of them will exist only in cyberspace…

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This is probably the best essay/ebook/manifesto/rant/piece of comfort I have read in years. The title is not terribly gripping or inspiring, but the content is awesome. It is called “How to Be Creative.” Written in 2004 by cartoonist Hugh Macleod (I am always the last to know).

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For anyone who is creative and has been slapped in the face by the real world along with the guilt and insecurity of perceived unrealized potential.

howtobecreative.pdf

Give it a shot. If you dig it, check out Macleod’s website

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i like boo yaw

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boo yaw

I like it

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turtles

I like ’em.

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