Sunday, January 20, 2008

Art With a Single Sheet of Paper

Do you feel there is an artist inside of you just bursting to get out, but you don't know where to start? Why not start with a piece of paper?

The pictures below were entries in a contest - date unknown - at the Hirshhorn Museum and Scupture Garden, the Smithsonian's museum of international modern and contemporary art in Washington, D.C.

Each artist was allowed to use only one sheet of paper per piece of artwork.

Note: The images below came to me in an e-mail. I did a fairly exhaustive search on the internet for anyone claiming a copyright on these images. I found these images posted on other Blogs, but nobody claimed ownership. For this Blog, these images are intended only to entertain and, perhaps, inspire.

My Zimbio

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Great Lyrics #1

I must admit that when I started writing this Post about 24 hours ago, it was purely to vent. But, as I am on a spiritual journey of remebering, I am trying to get better at taking the path less travelled. Damn that unconditional love concept! :)

At the time I was ready to vent, one of my favorite lines from a song kept running through my head:
He's tellin' her the world is full of freaks and geeks and simples...

Do you know it? If not, then it's a sad day in Mudville. No peeking below either. You'll just have to wait. As my mood mellowed, I did get the lyrics to the whole song (which I already knew) off of the internet just for old time sake.

All writers know - or should know - the their words are rarely interpereted exactly as they were intended. And as it turned out, quite ironically, my interpretation of the words to the song in question basically hit that nail on the head for the topic I would liked to have vented on. Specifically, I'm referring to all of the "Richards with ears" that are in charge - be it the boss, the head of the company, heads of state, the waiter at the resaurant, the taxi driver picking the route, or the guy behind the glass at the drive through (and we know what they do to you there).

So without further ado, let us raise the curtain and move on. Drum role please. Tah-dah!

Martha's Madman - Manfred Mann's Earth Band

Martha has a madman

Standing hidden in the shadows

He's got a long curved Turkish dagger

With a bejewelled handle

He's tellin' her the world is full of freaks and geeks and simples and he's

Hiding like a leprechaun under stones and in the ripples

In the pool of time she thought she knew it - but someone threw a stone into it

Which breaks up the surface and it's making her nervous and it's true

What can she do --- yes it's true

What can she do ---

Martha yes I guess you'll have to wait around - another thousand years

So who is the madman? To me it's not a who, but a what. It's power, the absolute power that corrupts absolutely, the power that follows no rules but it's own, the teflon that no wrong doing can stick to, the underhanded tactics, the ability to side step the system or any process, the retrubution, the scapegoating and the behind closed door coniving and crafting of stories. The tactics are deceptive (the alluring, but deadly dagger) - draw you in, all of the bases are covered, make you feel safe and then throw you to the lions. The madman is telling you that everyone else is a fool, so you might as well play the game for the winning team. You see the truth through all of the coniving and try to make a difference (cast the stone, ruffle some feathers), but then you are afraid for yourself. The madman might come after you - what is a truth and what is part of a plan. At that point, you know you are helpless to stop the evil machine (what can she do). The eternity that you wait for, when the consequences eventually catch with the madman will seem like a 1000 years.

Now that is one hell of an uplifting story. None the less, a great song.

So, instead of a vent you get a small Literary review. How's that for turning a negative into a positive?

My Zimbio

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Lusting for Miss P

I saw Miss P again yesterday. For the first time, in person. As always, time froze (along with most of my bodily functons). She was stopped at a red light and I was a mere pedestrian; not even "just another face in the crowd" or a momentary blur on the periphery of her awareness. I had the staring role in a zen koan, "If you are not noticed, do you even exist?" None the less, that eternal brief moment with Miss P stayed with me for the day (and night). Oh, cold hearted orb. You provide little companionship in the early morning hours.

Miss P is no ordinary creature. She posses the classic simple elegance, grace, beauty and self -assuredness that makes comparisons to Grace Kelly or Audrey Hepburn seem woefully feeble. Age fears her, because she seems to drink it in and effortlessly blossoms even more. Oh, Miss P, my dreams!

To be sure, Miss P also possesses great taste and discretion. She does not chase fame and has no desire to. The paparazzi do not even bother to follow her, because they know that the tabloids will pay millions of dollars for pictures of farm animals, but not a penny for an original Monet or da Vinci. Oh, the nights without sleep!

Her movies are few and far between making the longing and the mystery that much more unsettling. She has exquisite taste in roles, but there is nary a leading man alive that can match her skill of the craft or presence on the big screen. One rarely sees Miss P on the television - and never in commercials. She does print ads, but only in the magazines where Rolex watches and the latest private Lear jets are advertised. All the worse for me, because I can not afford those publications much less fathom the lifestyle of a person that gets their Christmas gift ideas from them. Oh, cruel world! I am a worker bee and Miss P is the queen. She is my Black Widow Spider. At least I could have a moment with her. Then my life would be complete and I would pass with a contented smile.

I am Shakespeare's Romeo and Miss P is my Juliet. I am Goethe's Werther and Miss P is my Charlotte. She is the heroine and the villain in my nightmare that is always just out of my grasp. One my climb Mount Everest, but can one ever set their sights on scaling the tallest mountain on Venus? Oh Miss P, the Grand Canyon is but a ditch compared to the expanse that separates us.

I know I should stop this self-torment. Miss P is beyond me, above me, nowhere and everywhere. I am doing myself no good. I could bear my soul a million times more and it would not make anything other than how it is now. I am the dog poop that is missed, left to rot, being eaten up from the inside out by the larva of despair, longing and lust.

Oh Miss P, I know what I must do. One final act to end this madness. I must tell somebody, anybody, who you really are. I will excorcise the mystery. I will let the pen tell the paper and it will be done. Don't you know already? I know that you have seen her. She is the no longer lusted after 1975 Porsche 911 Carrera - silver, of course. Good bye, Miss P.

My Zimbio

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Don't Mess with Christmas Trees

The other day I was driving by the local garden center and their message board outside was advertising a sale on 'life like' Christmas trees. I was a bit boggled by this, because for the last 40 years of my life, we had always known the plastic conifers as 'artificial' Christmas trees. Clearly this was the work of the word smythes in the advertising industry, but the change makes no sense to me. The silver or blue Christmas trees are definitely not 'life like' - 'artificial', 'ugly as sin', 'tacky', or "white trash" are certainly more accurate adjectives. Why not 'faux' or 'imitation' Christmas tress? Apparently someone thought this would help sell more 'non-real' Christmas trees. I can just see the commercial now. The husband is reading the paper, looks up and says "Hey honey! They have these new things called 'life like' Christmas tress now. Maybe we should pass on the 'real' Christmas tree this year and get one of those." The wife comes over, sits on the arm rest of the chair and looks at the add. She responds "Oooh, that sounds neat! No needles to clean up. No fire hazard. Let's do it!" Did you get goose bumps, too?

Perhaps I'm being a bit hasty in blaming the jingle meisters. It could be that there is a group of people that find the word 'artificial' to be derogatory to their heritage; much like school mascots changing from the Warriors to the Golden Eagles in order to keep the American Indians happy. Goof balls, couldn't they see that it was not derogatory but instead a compliment. Nobody names their team the 'butt heads' because of it instills lofty competitive and victorious pride in ones team. No - I'm going to have to blame this one on the suits. The odds are that some Marketing executive had enough market research - accompanied by colored pie charts and graphs - to make the case that a 'life like' Christmas tree reasonably meritted a 10 percent price hike.

Last time I checked, they are not doing research with computers in 'life like' intelligence. Ironically, medical science must have found 'life like' to be derogatory, because they went right from 'artificial' limbs to prosthetics. A little game of liguistic leap frog in the evolution of medical science. Do we now need to buy 'life like' food coloring to make Christmas cookies? Perhaps there will be a 'peach' color. Try these caucasion ginger bread men. Yuck! A bad Crayola flashback to childhood.

Ironically, my wife and I had already decided that we were going to retire our seven year old "artifical" tree. It has served us well and next fall it will be replaced by one of its own - 'artificial' and green. Now that's Christmas spirit!

My Zimbio

Thursday, January 3, 2008

New Year's Resolutions - Why?

Did you make a New Year's Resolution this year? I don't want to sound like a curmudgeon, but why?

Did you come up with your resolution on New Years Eve when you were already half in the bag? Or, did you make it on New Years Day when you were horizontal on the couch and looking like the Poster Child for acetaminophen? Did you just borrow someone elses resolution becuase it "sounded" like a good idea. Good luck with that. Let me then ask, what made one of those two days different from the other 363 days in the year when you could have made the same resolution? How many resolutions did you make? Are there enough of them to make sure you'll probably dumb luck your way into accomplishing one of them?

I hope you get where I'm going with this. New Year's Resolutions are about as effective as Hallmark cards on bosses day. Perhaps you'll find a four leaf clover next time you cut your grass.

Just something to ponder.

My Zimbio