Friday, July 31, 2015

Thought for the day

If your goal is to develop a personal voice, first be sure you have something to say.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Thought for the day

I attended a wonderful performance of Turandot last night. The staging, lighting, singing, dancing, costumes, music all combined to create what might be called high art. The same happens in the rituals of cultures--whether tribal, religious, political or social. These are created with the expectation that something significant is carried from them by those who participated in the experience.

Is it possible that simply living a productive, engaged life could be the ritual in and of itself, not demanding all the pomp but creating all the circumstance?

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Thought for the day

Real heroes don't have super powers. The have super character.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Thought for the day

Everyone should own at least one piece of art that challenges them to be more deeply human.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Thought for the day

We live in a world where boredom and mindless entertainment are rampant, yet mystery is hidden under every rock.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Sound bite history

I'm reading a biography of John Adams. In the past, I've read about Genghis Kahn, George Custer, Chief Crazy Horse, Jean-Michel Basquiat and more. Each one of these is filled with revelations about the daily life, the human life, social and cultural dimensions of the time. Each one is a reminder of the     power and the frailty of the human person, the vortex of issues that affect human decisions, the unpredictability of consequences.

We live in a sound-bite world, with sound-bite news, sound-bite commentaries, sound-bite candidacies and sound-bite attention spans. How do we educate young people to take time, pay attention, evaluate, make good decisions beyond their noses?

I don't have an answer. Do you?

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Thought for the day

One more time we mourn for the victims and injured in a murder-suicide. The truth is, though, this is the price of doing business in America. In a country of incredible wealth, it's easy to find money for the sexy things like stadiums and entertainment developments; but the tough realities of life like mental health care, health care for veterans, homelessness, are much harder sells.

What manifestations can we expect from a culture obsessed with violence, guns, anti-heroes and rogue cops? What results from impotent legislators, comfortable in the pockets of the NRA?What encourages citizens to arm themselves and play at being vigilantes? What prevents our outrage at murder-suicides, children killing children, school shootings, violence in the name of religion and guns in the hands of the mentally ill from becoming effective action?

We've made this society, we pay the price.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Conversations with a work of art

I like you.
See you later.

Gee, you're pretty.
Thanks, I try to make my colors happy.
I could see you hanging on my wall somewhere.
That'd make me happy.

A friend told me to look you up.
What do you think.
Honestly, I don't know what she sees in you.
Wait, don't go away so fast.
Sorry, I've got a meeting or something.

You caught my eye for some reason. I don't know why.
Hang around for a bit. Can I suggest you pay attention?
That helps. I'm beginning to get it.
How about we meet again sometime, talk some more.
I'd like that, I really would.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Thought for the day

When is the last time you had a serious conversation with a work of art? I mean a serious conversation, one that takes time, argues, bumps into ambiguities, makes you see in a new way.

When's the last time you intended to make a work of art that engaged a viewer that way?

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The next flags down

Now that the Confederate flag is taking its place in the museum addressing its past in the history of slavery, the next flags need to come down and do the same. These are the flags of Nike, Philip Morris, Hershey's, Victoria's Secret, Toys 'R Us and the other corporations who employ foreign workers at slave wages and in slave conditions.

Just like slavery in the Old South, this is exploitation for profit, ignoring any sense of ethics or morality. And like 19th century slavery, it benefits, not just the slave masters, but all who benefit in working, investing and consuming.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Disney Death Cruise

As always, the Disney corporation is ahead of the curve in anticipating the needs of the American public with its newest venture, the Disney Death Cruise.

As your loved ones near death, why spend tens of thousands of dollars keeping them drugged in old people warehouses called nursing homes where the smell of impending death is everywhere? Now for less than $2000 a month, your loved one can spend their remaining time one earth cruising the sea. Fresh air, good food and contagiously happy Disney characters abound.

Just imagine, no doctors or nurses or surly attendants. Breakfast with Pluto and Donald Duck, oral sex from Cinderella and Prince Charming, a push around the deck by Pocahontas and more.

When death comes in this happy world, they are bundled up and sent splashing happily into the sea by Captain Hook and Wendy. Ariel and Nemo wave a final good bye. Tinker Bell arrives at your door with a keepsake memory book of this ultimate travel adventure.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Thought for the day

Why do we treat dogs like people and people like dogs?

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Sick America

People will complain about the waste of money to send a space probe to Pluto, but will demand that same amount of money be spent to build one NFL stadium.

There are actually people who believe Donald Trump should actually be president.

Justin Bieber has 39 million followers, whom he believes deserve a shot of his buttocks.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Thought for the day

At some point in life, we recognize that the opportunity to help others is a gift in and of itself. The sooner this happens, the better for us.

Friday, July 17, 2015

An egg and a peach

Today I ate lunch quietly by myself. I had the time to eat slowly. This somehow led me to pay attention. I watched myself crack and carefully peel the egg. The white had a familiar, cool taste and feel in my mouth that contrasted with the taste of the yolk, dry in its yellow and greenish grey color.

I didn't cut the peach into slices, but just bit into it. It was juicy with a taste that try to recall through the fall and winter. The blood red of the pit stained the peach's flesh. These were the colors of summer.

How often do we sit down at lavish, fancy meals and then chat away, check our phones or ipads and have no sense of the pleasures of what we've just eaten?

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Thought for the day

There has been much discussion of the unequal distribution of wealth in America. There should be just as much discussion of the unequal distribution of justice, quality education, media attention and economic opportunity in America as well.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Fall reality show lineup

Dysfunctional Disney:
five dysfunctional families spend a week at Disneyworld overeating, breaking in line, screaming at one another and more.

Kill to Skillet:
Celebrity NRA chefs are followed as they stalk, kill and skin their prey and cook and share favorite recipes.

Celebrity Orgasms:
D-list celebrities discuss their favorite orgasms and tattle on former lovers.

Naked in Your Neighborhood:
Neighbors walk their dogs, mow their lawns, work in their gardens and sell Girl Scout cookies door-to-door all in the nude. Reactions of other neighbors are priceless.

Survivor: The Office:
Office temp workers are challenged to survive gossip, sexual harassment, racial discrimination, condescending management and bullying for a prize $10,000 and a date with Donald Trump.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Thought for the day

Life has only one guarantee...death. Everything else is, to  one degree or another, serendipity.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Thought for the day

Every lived life has a moment where one reaches a precipice. Then...

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Thought for the day

There are people of the body, people of the mind and people of the spirit. To be a person of essentially only one of those is limiting, even dangerous at times. Most people manage to find some balance of two of them. To achieve a harmony of all three is more rare. This is something artists are often most suited to achieve.

Saturday, July 11, 2015


Here's another triangle, the P-triangle.

At each vertex, put one of the following: passion, perseverance, process.

To ignite passion in others takes perseverance. But perseverance must be supported by a process that effectively works to bring passionate beliefs to life.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Thought for the day

You're a rebel.
So throw out all of the order, laws, rules, conventions, expectations, edicts, etc.
Then take back all that you would need to live a satisfying, productive human life.
What do you get?

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Thought for the day

What is the nature of all life?
What is the nature of your life?
What is the relationship of all life to your life?

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Thought for the day

Nurture the part of yourself that is childLIKE, not the part that is childISH.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

God spoke to me

God spoke to me. This is some of what he revealed and asked me to pass along.

He was not sure about his decision to give humans free will. It was sometimes entertaining and sometimes depressing, but was a questionable decision at best.

He created this complex, challenging and beautiful universe, and couldn't believe that anyone was stuck on his metaphorical picture of the world delivered to a nomadic 1000 BC desert tribe.

He still is flummoxed about how many humans embrace hate as a life commitment.

After all the times he's repeated "Love one another," he's saddened at how few people actually get it and live it.


Draw an equilateral triangle.
At each vertex put one of the following (in any order): grace, generosity, gratitude.
Move around the triangle starting at any point and moving in either direction.
Any one of those paths can be a life journey.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Thought for the day

Wisdom is a consequence of paying careful attention to life.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

My brain, my body

America the superficial. How much is spent on teeth whitening, weight loss, liposuction, botox treatments, eyelid rejuvenation, hair styling, breast and pectoral implants, jewelry, make-up, designer clothes, accessorizing, spa treatments, nail designs, personal trainers, body waxing, laser hair removal, just to scratch the surface. Above all, we must look good.

So what if my brain had a body? What would it look like? Would it be lean and svelt, ready to take on any challenge? Would it be buffed and chiseled, ready for a Calvin Klein underwear shoot? Would it be flabby and unkempt, thinking only of the next bag of Doritos? Would it be so ordinary as to be overlooked in its daily maneuvers? Would it be athletic and agile, ready to climb the top of the burning building?

Saturday, July 4, 2015

July 4th

This is a good day to think about the relationship between freedom and responsibility.

Friday, July 3, 2015


This is something I've been thinking about.

Since everyone is excellent and everyone gets a trophy, doe we really care about excellence anymore? Should we care about excellence anymore?

The entertainment industry rewards excellence freely and often, but we rarely see it rewarded in professions like teaching, policing and research.

Should excellence go by the wayside in a culture of most tweets, most votes, highest box office, people's choice and most popular.

Excellence is rarely a quality we seek in our elected officials or that they consequently seek in themselves.

Would we even be able to recognize excellence if we encountered it? Is excellence not an absolute as much as it too is a personal evaluation?

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Breaking news

Because of Donald Trump's remarks about Mexicans, members of the International Union of Hair Stylists will no longer provide the Trump comb over as an option to clients.

Tattoo artists in South Carolina have noticed a spike in requests for the Confederate flag to be tattooed on client's rear ends. Said one recipient, "I can't imagine a better place for it."

An Alabama man showed up at the local Justice of the Peace with his sheep asking to be issued a marriage license. "We really love one another," he said, " and we just want to make it legal."

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Thought for the day

The world makes most sense when it makes no sense at all.