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Wildly Interesting Books

  • Adam's Task by Vicki Hearne
  • Anything by Colin Cotterill
  • Auguries of Innocence by Patti Smith
  • Big Box Swindle by Stacy Mitchell
  • Darwin: A Life in Poems by Ruth Padel
  • Gehry Draws
  • Human Smoke by Nicholson Baker
  • Out of Our Heads by Ava Noe
  • Stylepedia: A Guide to Graphic Design, Mannerisms, Quirks and Conceits
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larrson
  • The God of Small Things by Arundahti Roy
  • The Long Fall by Walter Mosely
  • The Martin Beck Series by Maj Sjowall and Per Waloo
  • The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski
  • The Wrecking Crew by Thomas Frank
  • Vermeeer in Bosnia by Lawrence Weschler

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Los Tomates


Currently working on a series of five in the tomato genre. Very small and will all go in a frame with 5 openings. Here's numero uno.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Crime Writer by Gregg Hurwitz


I spent a couple of wonderful days reading "The Crime Writer" by Gregg Hurwitz. I became forlorn when I was done. This is a helluva story written in the first person. Hero wakes up in hospital told he has had a begnin brain tumor removed and that he's under arrest for the murder of his ex-girlfriend. He is eventually convicted and then aquitted because of the tumor.

What I loved most about this book was how lost I got in the story. For example, the hero is a detective novelist. His fictional protaganist, Derek Chainer is mentioned several time. I found myself thinking periodically that I should get those books. And then realizing that there are no Derek Chainer books. Hola! This book is beautifully written. Gritty, noir, but very human. Kind of, but not exactly, like a white guy's Walter Mosley.
Good Review below.


Never Multi-task



I tried taking my pills this morning while reading my email. the box (pictured above) contains my morning and evening pill. But hello! If you hold the box upside down you can end up taking your evening pills in the morning. Since these contain the little gemmies that cause the drowsiness and the dizziness. Whoa. this can be a problem. Lord love a duck. I fell out of the dentist's chair. Slid down the plastic stuff and landed on the floor. Nothing else bad happened. Not that I know of.


Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Five Years of Lies


More than one million Iraqis killed. Four thousand U.S. soldiers killed.

The Nader/Gonzalez plan for getting out.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Maybe It's the Medication....


Two of my current medications have this intriguing warning on the bottle. Love the icon. (re-interpreted in pen and ink)

New Iced Coffee Season Poster in Progress

Click on poster to enlarge, see how truly lovely it is. Use back key to return to beloved blog site.
This is last year's poster. The new one promises to be a doozy.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Unbelievable Yellow House Reflects Yellow into House Next Door

My camera was not able to capture the true horror of the this yellow color. But get out your anteojos de sol if you're planning to take a look at it in real life.


Note how the yellow reflects into the windows of the house next door. Maybe the owners need to get on over to Tags and get some of those room darkeners.

Natural Instincts: Cover Art Chosen

No surprise here. It's the original first crab that I painted. Emily sent off the materials to the publisher on Friday. Now the plans are being laid for a show featuring the new chapbook and some of my artwork. We're looking for a venue. The show will probably be in October, 2008.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Jeanne was right, I was wrong...


The above illustration of her theory of history is my way of saying sorry.
Tom


Thursday, March 06, 2008

Different Other Theory of American History





It was with great interest that I read Tom's, or rather, Samuel P. Huntington's theory on progressive mass movements. I wish to present here today a different theory, one espoused by the German visionary and mystic, Hildegard von Bingen. Ahem, ahem,



Progressive mass movements are produced almost entirely by the rumblings of small burrowing animals beneath the ground. If Nader gets a bunch of votes, the stamping of feet by the liberal Democrats will produce even more movement underground, thereby setting off a new radicalization in the United States.

Don't forget to pick up some sheet music by H.von B. soon
By the way, what is Clio, the Muse of History doing with an ice cooler full of Molson's?

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Thomist View of History


The above is a picture of Clio, the muse of history. Below is another polemic from Tom in the Canel/Lafferty debate.
What is about to follow is a theory of American history and the emergence of mass movements that I hold. It is actually not my theory, but instead is based on a theory of Samuel P Huntington, who is not especially keen on progressive mass movements.
According to this theory, mass movements in America only emerge when liberal values are hegemonic and institutions/social reality does not live up to those liberal values. The way that liberal values become hegemonic is by having overt liberals elected in national elections, even if you don't like liberals very much. Therefore if you want a mass movement to emerge in the near future, you need to ensure that Obama or Clinton beat McCain in November. If McCain wins, there won't be any mass progressive movements even if Nader gets a bunch of votes.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Where is Tom's Faith in the Anti-War Movement?

I just gotta say that Nader sitting home on his duff will do nothing to get these ideas out there. So, okay. Tom does not use the spoiler label in the traditional sense. He could if he wanted to, but he doesn't. But...then why should Nader not run? Tom says because it will make liberals hate him and not listen to him. But...if he shuts up (doesn't run) then... I dunno what then.

Nader's support is not going to come from the traditional liberal population. Long dialogue could be had on this one. Another quibble that I have with Tom's argument is that it is (in my opinion) too focused on what happens at the top. But I think we have a serious dilemma that the 70% of Americans that oppose the war have not found independent avenues of bringing enough pressure to bear on either the current administration or on the front-running candidates.


I think my problem is that I just don't like some of these people who call themselves liberals. The insane attacks on Nader/Camejo were chilling. I recommend the movie, An Unreasonable Man. Finding someone else to blame your problems on is the great American past-time. This is not what Tom's doing here. But you know it's why the Nader haters are foaming.

I'm glad those liberals, Democrats- whatever you want to call them - didn't kill Ralph and Peter...at least not so far. Well, I'll end here after finding a suitable graphic to put up that represents my position.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Tom helps keep the debate alive.

Jeanne said we should keep our polemics short; so here goes...
I don't think that Nader running for President does much to propagate his ideas. Especially if Obama is the candidate, accusations (however unfair they may be) that he is functioning as a spoiler and his supporters' responses to said accusations are going to drown out his program.

I agree that Obama is compromised on a whole series of issues. I think that it is inevitable in a nationally viable electoral candidate in a capitalist society. I think that if the the Greens were to become a national force, they would become compromised in the process (look at the leadership of the German Greens and their attitudes to military intervention). FDR and JFK were if anything more compromised. But their elections were nevertheless crucial prerequisites I think for the social movements of the 30's and 60's respectively. (I know Jeanne disagrees with this historical analysis.)

The pressures on any candidate to perpetuate the war in Iraq are going to be enormous, and can only be resisted if it is politically unsustainable to continue the war. If an explicitly pro-war candidate wins, it's going to be more difficult to make it politically unsustainable to continue the war. Oops-too long. Sorry.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

My Response to Tom

First off, I want to say that it is not Tom who is trying to interfere with anyone's political self-expression. However, the Democratic Party in 24 states has done it's damndest to stop the Nader campaign by waging horrendously expensive lawsuits against his past ballot initiatives. Most of these, Ralph has won, so far.. I suggest the movie "An Unreasonable Man" for evidence of this. I will eventually post links to what I consider the perfidy of that party regarding Ralph's right to run. Voltaire is turning over in his grave.
And I agree with Tom that one of these two clowns (either Obama or McCain) will likely be the next president of what's left of what used to be America. However, without voices like Ralph Nader's. Matt Gonzalez's and Peter Camejo's, I believe that the "American political discourse" would indeed, be limited in a "profoundly conservative way".
If Obama is elected it is in no way clear to me that this is not in reality an "endorsement of attempts to carry on the war indefinitely" I don't think that Obama supporters know this or want to know it. I sympathize. Who the hell would want to know a thing like this? But if you are nuts enough to want to know, please examine Barack's positions on the war and other issues like health care reform, military spending and foreign policy, and his silence about the corporate takeover of America.
There is an impression of a reemergence of a sense of hope and a desire for change among Americans. This was also true in the mid-sixties (wow! my own age now!) when JFK was swept into office on the ashes of McCarthyism and a socially repressive society. The radicalization of my generation had already begun by then.
In my next post I want to take up some of the other points that Tom has raised But I am a firm beleiver in short statements. So stay tuned, dear friends, for more Lafferty-Canel sword fights in the coming months.
Jeanne
ps See Toms's entry on the post below. I'll try to keep these in order, tho it may not be possible in all cases.

Toom's Response to my Endorsement of the Nader/Gonzalez ticket

Far be it from me to interfere with anyone's political self-expression. However, I would like to present my analysis of the current electoral/political conjuncture. Assuming that OBama and McCain are the Democratic and Republican nominees, and assuming that one of the two will be elected president, the question of which may be profoundly important for American politics. A McCain victory would be an endorsement of attempts to carry on the war indefinitely and a reaffirmation that American political discourse should be limited in a profoundly conservative way. However progressive Obama turns out to be or not be, an Obama victory would establish the impression of a reemergence of a sense of hope, a desire for change in the American populace. Even if Obama were to betray all his promises, the possibility of progressive movements being stimulated would be enormously enhanced, I believe, by him winning. LBJ's victory in 1964 is an analogy here. Johnson betrayed those who voted for him by intensifying the Vietnam war. However, the anti-war movements, the women's movement, civil rights etc. movements did grow in the afterward of his victory. I believe that a Goldwater victory would have had a chilling effect upon these and other social movements. The same is true, I think, if McCain defeats Obama. This is obviously not the only factor to be considered with respect to the November election, but I don't think it should be forgotten either.Cheers,