Saturday, October 31, 2015

Thought for the day

Everyone is trying to be unique when they should be trying to be meaningful.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Christmas book ideas

Everyone can use a self-help book. Here are some new ones on the market for Christmas.

Safe Sex with Vampires

When Politicians Turn Good

Butt Cracks and Navels: Contemporary Fashion Talk

How to Write a Smash Hit in Five Minutes

How to Keep Your Sex Life Alive during the Zombie Apocalypse

How to Succeed in College without Thinking

How to Use People and Still Be Happy

Chicken Soup for the Sex Offender's Soul

An early start on Christmas

WWJS? What would Jesus say? Well, I'm sure it would not be "Shop joyfully," which was on the first ad I saw today for Christmas. So I thought I'd better get my message out early too.

Christmas shopping: consumables, consumables, consumables; least packaging possible; If it's an object, make sure it's got a long life. Or else make your gift a gift: a chicken, a goat, a heifer, clean water, something like that.

Whatever path you take make sure it doesn't leave you exhausted, broke and cynical, but rather fulfilled, generous and a bit more in love with the world.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Thought for the day

With recent public awareness and increasing acceptance of gay and LBGT lifestyles, we have come to realize that human sexuality is not what we control it to be or what we imagine it to be or what we want it to be. It is complex and human are. But this is just one facet of human life. We are also coming to recognize that human love, human grieving, human culture building are all complex and varied.

This awareness is significant and inexorable despite the efforts of many to hold to rigid beliefs with a death grip.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Thought for the day

Those who attempt to take away the dignity of others have just lost theirs.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

I have a question

What images do you keep in your mental art rolodex?

Monday, October 26, 2015

Our children

This morning's Enquirer front page showed an 8 year old who is being trained to give an injection which could save a drug addict's life. Let's see...we use children as sex slaves, contract them for marriage to older men, have them work in factories, bomb them, recruit them as child soldiers, abuse them, incarcerate them, let them starve to death, use them as human shields, dispose of them if they are the wrong gender. What is wrong with us?

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Thought for the day

Reality may not always be your friend, but it will always be your companion.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

The web

Throughout man's history, there has always been an attempt to see the world in one comprehensive metaphor: the human is microcosm, the machine, the Gaia Principle, the harmonious balance of Yin Yang. Modern science has come to the realization that the study of the object must give way to the study of relationships between objects. Hence the productive metaphor of the web or the network.

These webs are abstract and can't always been seen, but they attend to the relationships among things and people and processes. They allow us to "see" what previously we could not: the connections between the bee, the flower, the weather, the toxins, the gardener, the predator.

When I imagine God, I imagine a presence seeking human awareness. The timeless phrase, "Love thy neighbor," is the trigger. When every human person comes to see every human person as a neighbor to be loved, that web of relationships is God. Of course, in this world that seems like a complete impossibility. Still we can pockets of God all around us, even if temporary when we are met with great tragedies and catastrophic events.

Friday, October 23, 2015

I have a question

Is there an artist you know who's impacting your aesthetic life?

Thursday, October 22, 2015

I wish I were famous enough...

I wish I were famous enough to...

be the national spokesperson for toenail fungus medication

have millions of people tweet about my butt

become more beloved each time I acted like a flaming asshole

make millions of dollars because I dressed like a slut on stage

be above our petty laws.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

After all this

After all the love songs, the poetic odes to love, the stories and novels, the mythologies of love, the roses and chocolates and diamonds, the sermons, the wisdom of experience, the movies and TV shows, the hugs and kisses, the love potions, the powdered rhino horn, the advice columns, the psychotherapy sessions, the sighs and tears, the pledges and commitments, the words of Gods, what do we really know of love at work in the world? Look around.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

The more time

The brain records (though selectively) our personal sensory experiences. Retrievable or not, are they permanently recorded? Can they be found and released? They are frequently released as thoughts, ideas, concepts, dreams, images, and become collective human property. When transmitted, they link brains in an ever connected network through time and space. Is this the accumulation that becomes the cloud of human consciousness? Does it in any way scratch at the door of eternity?

Monday, October 19, 2015

The brain...again

Whatever reality is, we can grasp only a part of it. In fact, all the brains who have ever lived, can together grasp only a part of it. The brain is a filter that is blind to what it cannot see and deaf to what it cannot hear. It can stay rigid in its niches, pockets and categories, ignoring the round ideas that can't fit in its square compartments. Or it can be pliable, flexible and reconfigurable.

In the latter case reality is ever changing, and the brain is challenged to build new networks and pathways to adapt. It is alive. But even in its most dynamic state, awareness of the fullness of reality is never achieved.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

More brain

We can go to a good personal trainer, tell the trainer what our goals are for our body and how we want to use it. Every muscle and muscle group will get the attention it needs to accomplish the goal if we do the work.

Who are the personal trainers of our brains? They are our educators. And this is the dilemma of the current education system with its obsessive testing, metrics, rubrics and over administration. How much of the new knowledge of how the brain works, stores information, makes decisions, functions creatively, seeks patterns, visualizes the world, problem solves, and compensates for its own defects is incorporated into teacher education and teacher classroom strategies.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

But what about the brain?

In this current world there's lots to worry about: terrorism, plagues, global warming. violence, cyber attacks and more. But what about the brain.

Since the dawn of man, humans have experimented with substances that initiate new realities in the brain. But now we have the capacity to track brain activity, to map the brain, to experiment with drugs to mediate unhealthy functioning in the brain and to understand the brain own chemistry. We are trying to construct artificial brains.

This, to me, will be the century of the brain, and it began in the last half of the 20th century. I wish there was a way to image the brain so that we could see if is muscular or flabby, out doing things or sitting on the couch, eating a healthy diet or shoveling in the potato chips.

We exercise our bodies, try to look good, eat the right things. But what do we do to our brains? Do they get fed properly? Are they fed an all rap diet or do they know the great classical masters? Do they let themselves be marketed to by lick images or do they challenge themselves with art of quality?

The future will be what it will be. But it worries me. So many self-medicate in crazy ways. What happens when we can manipulate brain chemistry to our whim? What happens when we can choose our reality? What happens when others can choose our reality?

What happens if all our thoughts, theories, religious concepts, big ideas wind up being just brain chemistry?

Friday, October 16, 2015

I have a question

How many hours a day do we spend on our superficial selves, and how many hours do we spend on our selves of substance?

Thursday, October 15, 2015

The Emperor's new clothes

We affirm the value of contemporary art, but we don't acknowledge that the galleries are mostly empty.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015


We look at screens and miss the world.

We talk to screens and miss the person.

We believe the screens and miss the opportunity to think.

The screen is in our hands and the world is lost.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015


We may embrace love, but it is inescapable that we are mired down by hate. Sometimes it seems that love is too hard or too fragile too ephemeral. Hate, though, seems capable of sustaining itself over generations and even centuries. Though love can be dishonest, hate by its nature means to be destructive. While genuine love fills us, genuine hate eats away at all that is meaningfully in us.

Why does it last? Why does love seem so ineffectual against it? When is the seed of hate planted? Is the world of love and peace just pie in the sky? Do haters think they are loving their God? Are they provoked into hate instead of nurtured into love? What is the reward of hate? If God is love, how can they go so against the essence of God?

With every killing, every war, every terrorist bombing, every form of human abuse to other humans, I ask these questions. I get no answers.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Thought for the day

A rational approach to life ignores all the mystery.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

I have a question

Has any significant artist ever been considered  normal by the general public?
Would any significant artist want to be considered normal by the general public?

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Thought for the day

Life is the irrational surprise in a rational universe.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Thought for the day

Love is the panacea for perfectionism.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Put something in your hand

Put something in your hand and you gain power: a pencil, a gun, a child's hand, a piece of chalk, a taser, a scepter, a stick, a ball, a $100 bill, a needle...Each is an extension of yourself and your intent to use your potential for power.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

I have a question

What happens if we recognize that Mother Teresa, an ISIS militant, Mylie Cyrus, the neighborhood pedophile, Mario Rubio, the Marine corporal in Afghanistan, Kim Kardashian, Ayatollah Khomeni, the corrupt Senator, the disabled supermarket bagger, the child with spina bifida, the young lifeguard who saved a drowning child, the elderly woman dying in hospice, the first grader struggling with spelling, the porn star, the woman raising her grandchildren, the addict, the policeman about to retire, and you and I are all part of the family of human beings?


Art should not be an inside joke.

Monday, October 5, 2015

So what about love?

So what about love? Love conquers all? Ignorance, ideology, hate, envy, greed, power? These seem easy. They grow like weeds. They don't let go. They can propagate for centuries. Love takes nurturing and care. It's the Pope's message pushing aside the rubble, the death, the brutality of war, sowing seeds that will hopefully mature and bear fruit.

Who knows if we humans are really the beasts we sometimes appear to be. Who knows if love is alive in the  small places ready to live up to the hopes we have for it. But in reality, the only place you can be sure it is is within you.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Thought for the day

The sublime is not a form of entertainment.

Thought for the day

Life and death hold hands.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

You choose

At $1000 for dinner for two at Masa in NYC, you could pay for food for a Guatemala family for more than 3 months.

For the cost of a pair of Saint Laurent designer heels ($837) , your could pay for food for a Mongolian family for 5 months.

For the cost of a full beard transplant ($7000), you could pay for food for a family in Chad for 109 years.

For  $2500 for an eyelid rejuvenation surgery, you could pay for food for a family in Bhutan for almost 10 years.

**These are based on research by Peter Menzel and Faith D'Aluisio in Hungary Planet.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Thought for the day

Every artist is the alter ego of someone else. more time

Guns in churches
Churches as scenes of mass murder
Murder (rampant and bloody) as the substance of TV
TV to feed America's insatiable appetite for violence
Violence as form of communication.
How did we get here?
How do we get ourselves out?

Thursday, October 1, 2015

The Pope

Michael Jordan is a show salesman. Rafa Nadal is an underwear salesman. Novak Djokovic is a watch salesman. And we seem to be buying what they're selling.
What is the Pope selling, and are we willing to pay the price for it?