Tuesday, July 30, 2013

More Bill and Mary

Dear Mary,
What are the names of our children again?

Dear Bill,
Put that thing back. I'm not in the mood.

Dear Mary,
I don't mind blue curtains, but do they have to have bunnies on them.

Dear Bill,
It's your turn to clean the toilets, and that means the inside too.

I need your help

Okay, so I'm still 39,000,000 behind in my quest to catch up with Justin Bieber's blog. I know I have to do something. So here are sme possible strategies I've come up. Which one do you think will work best?

--Reveal to the news that Justin Bieber is really my illegitimate child.

--Reveal that I am actually Banksy.

--Reveal that I have a video of me having kinky sex with Kim Kardashian.

--Reveal that I am the half-brother of Mitch McConnell and a former Afro-Cuban housemaid.

--Pull an Anthony Wiener.

If you have any more promising strategies, please let me know. Thanks.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Just in time for Christmas

Yes, the new line of toys for American kids is coming at us. As soon as we close the door on Halloween, you'll see these new toys on the shelves.

G.I. Barbie
Barbie sports her high and tight along with breasts like pectorals of steel. She salutes. She flexes. She comes with a set of  cammies, which includes a cammie bra and a commie thong. She's every inch a man, but woman through and through.

Junior Vigilante Kit
Every red-blooded 10 year old will want one. The kit includes a gun (not a real one of course), an instruction booklet describing ways to conceal the gun and a junior concealed carry permit. A set of paper targets reflective of the top five ethic threats is an extra bonus.

Baby's First Trophy
You know that any child of yours is destined to be a high achiever, a star. Birth is the child's first major accomplishment and deserves an award that sends the right message. The trophy is of tasteful design, inscribed with carefully chosen words and trimmed in either gold or platinum.

Mi Amigo
It's vital in our society that children learn a second language early in life. For many, Spanish is the language of choice. Mi Amigo is a robotic toy that teaches your child basic Spanish while it vacuums your floors. It comes in friendly colors, works long hours with inexpensive batteries and soon becomes just another member of the household.

Tired of same old critiques

Critiques can get tedious and predictable for students and faculty alike. So try some of these:

--Articulate your aesthetic and demonstrate how your work lives by it.

--Write an artist statement about your work, and keep critical responses focused within that.

--What were your goals in the piece? Focus discussion on how well you reached them.

--What demands or expectations does your work make on the viewer?

--What does your work give back to the viewer for the work the put in?

--What possibilities  does this work open up for future work?

--How would the work be resolved if time and money were not real issues?

--Explain why or why not this is work you stand behind.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Introducing Bill and Mary

Dear Mary,
I can’t believe I only just noticed that you have 6 toes on that one foot. I love you for that even more than that thing on your lip.

Dear Bill,
I’ve learned to tolerate your dirty clothes all over the floor, but please keep your underwear out of the sink.

Dear Mary,
You know I don’t like satsumas, especially with cottage cheese.

Dear Bill,
You left the milk out on the counter last night, and it’s sour. You’re such a dickhead sometimes.

Dear Mary,
I can’t help it. Your mother’s meatloaf does taste like a combination of Spam and plaster.

Dear Bill,
It’s not that I’m turned off by body hair. It’s just where yours happens to be.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Mini sermonette #8: Pleasure

Buddhists acknowledge and accept a universe filled with suffering. Christians take solace in the sufferings of Christ as a path to salvation. These insights on suffering are valid and give meaning to life. But this does not mean we must desire suffering, for suffering will come in our lives no matter what. And this does not mean we must avoid pleasure.

In fact, the opposite is true. It is essential to find pleasure and create pleasure in life. Pleasure in the senses, pleasure in food, pleasure in sex, pleasure in relationships, pleasure where you find it. But pleasure is not in the things themselves but in how these things are approached. Pleasure can cause pain and be destructive. It has to be seen in its affect on others and on the self.

The buddha knew great pleasure. Christ, in his human aspect, knew pleasure too. St. Francis gave up a life of pleasure to follow his spiritual path. All of them knew pleasure and enjoyed pleasure with intensity. They were willing to leave this deep pleasure behind, not to suffer, but to demonstrate a higher order of pleasure.

Most of us don't choose this kind of path in our lives, but we can learn from them the satisfaction of both pleasure and suffering.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

More social gedanken

Imagine you followed a resident of a third world garbage dump around for a day.

Imagine that every gun in America is replaced by a squirt gun.

Imagine you got a comfortable chair for a poor African woman, and sat her in it while you got the day's water for her.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Social gedanken

When Einstein was trying how to figure out how the universe worked, he constructed some thought experiments, which he called "gedanken." In this way he could imagine scenarios that could not possibly be tried in a laboratory experiment.

Here are some social gedanken which might imagine a way to a new social vision.

Imagine a young adult who lives in a third world garbage dump following you around for an entire day.

Imagine a country with a national "stand your ground" law and which provides a gun free to every citizen when they turn 16.

Imagine a chain of restaurants that serves the same meals that people who live on $2 a day eat.

Imagine having to sit in an uncomfortable chair each day for the same time that a poor African women spends getting a day's water.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Mini-sermonette #7: Praying

Do you pray for peace, love, justice? Forget it. As soon as God gave us free will, praying for things like that went out the window.

What you need to pray for is the courage and strength to make those things happen to the degree they can in your life and the lives of those you touch.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Even more hot stock picks

Genorama, Inc.

This company offers you the opportunity to turn your annoying mutations, disabilities and rare diseases into cash. Only you can own your own genetic material. for a small start up fee, Genorama will help you patent your own genes. And then for a small percentage of the earnings, they will research and market your genetic material to interested scientific venues.

3D Nails

3D Nails has a new and innovative marketing plan and the technology to back it up, attempting to reach the large population of women who compete to have the the most edgy nails in the neighborhood. Women can choose from a wide selection of in-store images or bring in their own. The nails are coated with a special polymerized material, the image is processed by a computer and a special device prints the image on the nail as a hologram.

Full Body Hair Care

Male and female hair care markets are saturated, at least in the traditional areas. This company sees new, uncharted territory in the area of body hair up-to-now ignored. Its products include "Pitstop," a combination underarm deodorant, shampoo and conditioner for men and "Pubessence," a shampoo specially formulated for pubic hair, "because it's important to always to look your best." Pubesence for men and Pubessence for women come in selected scents like: honeymoon, tropical paradise, peaches and coconut and pheromoan.

A few minutes with Eli

Permit me a little personal indulgence. Here's a few minutes with my grandson, Eli:

What is that?
I gotta pee pee.
Livi hit  me.
No. I not.
I farted.
Why hair on your legs?
Can I have gum?
I thirsty.
You farted.
Let me see your tongue.
See. I have Spiderman underwear.
Why you did that?
Give me a piggyback ride.
Where's Jackie.
I want a bike ride.
Livi, tickle my butt.
I hungry.
More grapes.
I not tired.

Friday, July 12, 2013

The measure of an artist

We often measure an artist by fame, celebrity, the notice of critics, the number of coffee table books. Those kinds of things.

But one can be an artist in the hands, the intellect, the practice, the heart, the soul, the vision--any or all of these. The measure of an artist is the degree to which the artist has allowed all of these elements of self to invade the work.

Thursday, July 11, 2013


Anyone can tell you what war is. Or hate is. Or anger is. Or cruelty is.

But after all the poems and plays and novels and films and short stories and flowers and sentiments and songs, we still really don't know what love is.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Why I like to hang out with young people

They don't talk about their bowels, their knees, their backs, their lugs or their cellulite.

They remind me of when I was invincible and knew it all, but was really just an asshole most of the time.

They remind me that the world is going to change, and there's not a damn thing I can do about it.

I like the flagrant display (through clothes, hair, tattoos, and cool smoking poses) of attitude as if this is what will get them where they want to go in life.

I like their openness to possibility in the face of what reality appears to offer.

I like their sense of humor.

I like the innocence behind their grown up masks.

I admire the way they juggle all that is thrown at them, most of which the adults didn't prepare them for.

They're fun to be around.


Before you make art, make yourself.

Before you expect to make a masterpiece, master discipline, skill, courage and intellect.

Before you ask hard questions of the work of others, ask them of yourself.

Before you get trapped in the snare of success, ask what success really means for you.

Before you learn how little you know, learn as much as you can.

Before you love your art too much, love your humanity more.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

July 4

"all men are created equal"
"and justice for all'
"of the people, by the people and for the people'

Phrases like these represent the ideals that America measures itself by. They both inspire us and challenge us.  The question is how close do we come to actually reaching them? In my own life as a human being, it is clear that these are things that we instinctively want, but don't seem in our nature deliver. History and contemporary global life affirm this. It takes work, sometimes dangerous and consuming work, to make these ideals real in the world.

Freedom should be a right. But it's usually a gift, one that comes with responsibilities that are not to be taken lightly and not to be squandered.

Monday, July 1, 2013

I can...

I can smell like an Alpine forest, a tropical jungle, a citrus fruit, a peppermint stick, a coconut, almonds, pheromones, a fresh breeze, an apple pie.

I can wear clothes from France, Italy, Bangladesh, China, Indonesia, Ecuador, Poland, Mexico, India, Pakistan, Guatemala.

I can eat at a Mexican restaurant, a Greek restaurant, a Thai restaurant, a Vietnamese restaurant, a French restaurant, and Italian restaurant, a German restaurant, a Peruvian restaurant, a Brazilian restaurant, a Spanish restaurant, a Caribbean restaurant, a Cuban restaurant.

I can watch people on TV being stabbed, shot, garroted, poisoned, tortured, blown up by IEDs and drones, starved to death, buried alive, run over by a car or truck, hung, mutilated, hit with a blunt object.

I can watch baseball, football, soccer, basketball, tennis, ice skating, hockey, poker, cricket, diving, swimming, track and field, ping pong, softball, lacrosse, billiards, boxing, wrestling.

I can choose from Doritos, Cheetos, Pringles, Fritos, caramel corn, taco chips, Sunchips, cool ranch, onion, pretzels, honey mustard pretzel bits, bar-b-que chips, kettle fried chips, baked chips, blue corn chips, veggie chips, low fat chips, low salt chips.

I can have eyes that sparkle, skin like a baby, private parts to die for, lips like Marilyn Monroe, nails that tell stories and have embedded gems, feet that never get tired, arms with no flab, a waistline to be proud of.


Here are some words you don't hear much anymore: