Thursday, August 31, 2017

10 steps to happiness

--Don’t expect others to think, act or believe like you want them to.
--Make friends with funny people.
--Get over yourself.

--Think of misfortune as a way to grow as a person.
--Do things you like, but that take effort and have meaning.
--Recognize that you work enough hours during your life that you have to find satisfaction in it.
--Don’t expect to get any more out of love than you put into it.
--Make money a means not a goal.
--Think of yourself as a human being, capable of glory and foolishness.
--Make one really good friend.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017


Treat hate like an addiction, because that's what it is. It feeds on itself and fills the moral emptiness of the hater.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Down with monuments

Monuments to Civil War heroes are being removed, covered, pulled down, and in most cases, justifiable so in cities of very different racial complexity than when they were erected. Civil War generals, the Canadian MacDonald, Christopher Columbus and even Washington and Jefferson are called into question.
As these scenarios unfold, though, these actions must be accompanied by opportunities for genuine dialogue aimed at changing hearts, or else they become, in the end, simply feel-good exercises.

Monday, August 28, 2017

The art world

More and more “the art world” seems a curious term. In its history, art has been in palaces, churches, parks, on streets, in indigenous villages, on bodies, in temples, on city walls, under the ocean, in outer space. It has colonized everything.
Yet the art world is made up of museums, galleries, curators, artists, critics, auction houses, entrepreneurs, collectors and art fairs. Yet in many ways, the art world is where art get locked away, pulled into this world. Most people don’t find serious art in their world, don’t find it meaningful, don’t find it accessible.
No retreat into the art world, but invasion of the world.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Two by two

In my teens I attended Pelican Boys State, a program to help young people learn about state government in Louisiana. At the same time Pelican Girls State was happening. For the Governor’s Ball, celebrating the conclusion of the programs, the boys and girls were lined up and paired randomly as dates. I liked to dance, but I was paired with a Baptist girl for whom dancing was prohibited. We had to work it out.

This experience suggests to me that when opposing protest groups come together, the same thing happen for them. That way each group is no longer a mob with the potential of acting like a mob. The groups become pairs of human beings talking to one another as human beings, breaking through stereotypes. I know this seems wildly improbable, but what else can work? Do you have a better idea?

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Some questions

Some questions;
--Why do people pay for performances and pay to eat/drink at them but expect art openings to be free with free food and drink?
--Why can singers perform their works over and over again, but once an artist shows a piece, it is generally unacceptable to show that piece over and over again.
--Why do people who write books which no one has yet read get invited on talk shows, but artists who make new work, which is visual for a visual medium, never do?
--Why do art works which are hopefully appreciated by many, owned by one person and seen by few?
--Why are writers interviewed as experts but visual artists rarely are?

Friday, August 25, 2017

The bigot and the egg

The bigot and the egg.
The egg is designed to be difficult to crack from the outside, but easy for the new chick to break through from the inside. So the bigot. The bigot builds a tough shell on the outside, one hard to penetrate. But on the inside bigots have, I believe, at least a seed of goodness. They love their children or would help a friend or attend church. This seed needs to be acknowledged and nurtured to help it grow. The result: the shell is broken from within.

Thursday, August 24, 2017


Lately it seems that Donald Trump supporters don’t just like him. They are like him. They are so rigid no argument can sway them. They are absolute in their rightness. In the other voices around them, they only hear themselves. They hide their fears behind muscle. You hear no compassion in them.
That is why quiet, persistent voices of compassion and non-violence are so important.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

A practical use of the penis

Only women can give birth. But men, here’s something only you can do. Stand in the shower with a full bladder and begin to urinate. You will observe that the arc of urination is a parabola. Then notice that as you vary the angle of your penis, the distance spanned by the arc of the parabola of urination changes. At an angle of 45 degrees the distance spanned is at its maximum.
This is a valuable mathematical use of the penis since it has implications for diving in pools, throwing a football, playing corn hole, shooting cannons and more. It is likely that this is how Leonardo developed his understanding of the calculus of weaponry. And this is only one of the many practical uses of the penis.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

A cahnging world

Life is complex, subtle and surprising, and so is every human being who lives it. As a consequence so are human behaviors and institutions. We can’t understand them from what we see on the surface. Stereotypes and labels may be comforting, but they don’t work. To make meaningful sense of the issues and dynamics we see around us, we must work at it, educate ourselves and be willing to adapt our beliefs and perceptions to a world constantly changing. It’s hard to give up long-held beliefs, to change with a changing world, but it is necessary and it is sign of courage and maturity.

Saturday, August 19, 2017


How can people live with such poison inside them?

Friday, August 18, 2017


Donald Trump has disgraced the Presidency and the Republican Party. How much more will it take for him to be designated unfit to govern? How much more will it take for Republicans to act from a place of conscience and not party loyalty?
Is it too soon to begin to ask what kind of President Mike Pence will make and how much of Donald Trump would he drag into a Presidency? Frightening to consider since so far he appears to simply be Trump’s trumpeter.

The soul

The Egyptians among other cultures fed and prepared the souls of the dead for the afterlife. Many today profess to believe in the soul, but do they feed the soul adequately for its journey after death?

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

I've said it before

I’ve said it before. Mature and genuine love is hard work. I know because I’ve so often failed at it. It must be strong and sure enough to break through stereotypes, personal comfort and prejudice. I don’t believe it’s instinctive. It must be taught and modeled. And this is where we so often fail.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Love is hard

News stories tell of calls for us to love rather than hate. But I wonder how many of those calls talk about how hard genuine love is. How much courage it takes. How big a shift in consciousness it requires to move past shallow, greeting-card love and accept both the sacrifices and the rewards of genuine, expansive love. Selfishness, fear and personal comfort can seduce us away from loving, but we have the great teachers to remind us how to love. Not in words, but in actions.

Hate fear impotence

We focus on the hate exhibited by these extremist groups. But they hate because they are afraid. And they are afraid because deep down they know they are impotent.

Sunday, August 13, 2017


Our dad is under hospice care--in that gray zone of mortality. For peace and comfort, drugs are dispensed regularly, with morphine leading the way. His shallow breathing is interrupted by congested gasps. Any flickers of coherence have since disappeared. His mind seems quiet. His body continues to do what it has done since birth, but with its life energy slowly draining away. We remember the vital man, reminisce and each hold in our thoughts the man he was to each of us. The hardest thing is watching him slowly become the figure in the coffin.

We all hope he is dreaming of our mother, whom he loved completely and whom he longed to join.