JULY 17, 2009 4:20AM

You Mean Like Our Little Floating Heads by the Text?

Rate: 13 Flag
The Clown Hates Himself in Mirror


Michael Bw (sings)

     Where Was Elvis when he died?

     He was poopin’, poopin’, poopin’!

Melissa Bw (laughs)

Michael Bw I wish songs could just be that long. I could make a million of them.

     (A) Elvis-lovers are gonna wanna lynch me.

Jeeves Bw (B) The smallest bit Of Elvis shit was in the possession of a woman who lived in a modest two-bedroom home in Garden Grove, California. Her name was Carol, and she graduated twenty-first out of a class of twenty-eight, an accomplishment for which she received a Velvet Elvis Pin. Thus began her obsession with the “King”. Her Prized Elvis shit was contained in a little green-capped vile filled with a mixture of vodka and Listerine, and it was the size of a pepper flake. It floated there like a potato chip in space, gracefully performing somersaults as Carol waved it to and fro. It was a piece taken from the sample obtained from the doctor who performed the chemical analysis on it to see what was In Elvis’s bloodstream.

Melissa Bw (E) Why is that capitalized?

Michael Bw (E) Because it’s a law. Every word that Precedes “Elvis” has to be capitalized.

Melissa Bw (E) Hahaha.

Michael Bw (B) (performing) “Oh, hey, wow, you wanna buy a speck Of Elvis shit? I got it from my sister who knows this guy who knew the woman who got it from the guy who took the original piece from the original shit that was in the original toilet That Elvis was sitting on when he originally died. But you can only buy today, ’cuz I’m not gonna be around tomorrow.”

     (C) We’re not gonna do our post tonight, are we? The birds know it. And I know it, too.

Melissa Bw (C) I think this is our post.

Michael Bw (C) What?!

Melissa Bw (C) If we can actually avoid too much metaing, we have a chance of this being our shortest piece yet.

     (C) That’ll give us more time to finish the epic post in which we work out our new system.

     (C) And after that, we’ll finally be able to publish the Tinkerbell post!

Michael Bw (C) (sings)

     (C) Do-do-do-doo-doo-do do-do-doo-doo

     (C) We sat on bean chairs and sampled sounds

     (C) Slowly destroying our backs, as we soon found

     (C) But still, when I look back on those days,

     (C) I realized the progress we made

     (C) The things that were become, what was to become, too late

     (C) Do-do-do-doo-doo-do do-do-doo-doo

(weeks later)

Michael Bw (D) Corporations have usurped culture. They are the ones who deliver culture to us, and it’s not culture that we’ve created. It’s culture that’s been manufactured for us. Corporations decide who rises, and who gets left behind. And the ones who rise are the ones who are not going to be a threat to them. Corporations are interested in making money, and so they’re always gonna pick somebody who’s gonna make a lot money. But someone like Bob Dylan can fuck their shit up, while someone like Madonna causes everything to sail right along. If anything, she became her own personal corporation. They discuss this in that Hal Hartley film.

Melissa Bw (D) Simple Men.

Michael Bw (D) Yes. How Madonna has progressed because, rather than being exploited by others, she was exploiting herself. That was progress.

Melissa Bw (D) Only a misogynistic society would think a woman being exploited—whether by others or supposedly by herself—is progress.

Michael Bw (D) Do you think Hal Hartley’s misogynistic?

Melissa Bw (D) No, that’s not what I’m saying. He isn’t even saying that. One of his characters is.

Michael Bw (D) But there is really no disagreement to this. I think it is the conclusion of the movie that Madonna has succeeded because she is no longer being used by others; she is using herself. And that reminded me of what we were talking about.

Melissa Bw (D) Which was?

Michael Bw (D) It’s interesting, because I can’t even remember now, my train of thought is just so fragile. It’s so easy for me to become lost in my own fantasies, the stories that I create in my mind and relate to you.

     (D) I guess they’re really scenarios, but I always imagine them finding a place in a story somewhere.

Melissa Bw (D) Maybe they are all part of one lifelong story. They’re all characters in our collective narrative.

Michael Bw (D) Mmm, I don’t know. What I’m talking about are the things I will speak of and then promptly forget. I don’t see how that’s a part of our life. It’s more like jotting down a note, but for me, it’s storytelling, and so notes for me would be something like, “A person who has a faucet fetish.”

Melissa Bw (D) Eeeiu.

Michael Bw (D) Well, that’s not something you may have thought of before. I just now picked it because I was searching my mind for something. I knew it was gonna be a fetish of some kind, because, of course, in storytelling, you have to use titillation to hold interest sometimes. And I just imagined an outdoor faucet and a person looking at it longingly. If I was making a movie, I would wanna show from that person’s perspective that they aren’t just looking at this, this person is in love with this thing. You would hear the love music playing. He would look at the curves of it the way a person looks at the curves of their lover. And then I imagine the wife coming out and almost catching him, and him having to explain it away. You see, that’s just a note to me. If I was ever writing a story, I would like to dip into those notes, giving the characters in the story life through multitudinous human eccentricities.

Melissa Bw (F) Hey, if we’ve got titillating content, maybe we’ll get on the cover!

Michael Bw (D) I just thought of an idea.

Melissa Bw (D) What?

Michael Bw (D) I want us to test something. We do know that color is possible, is that not true?

Melissa Bw (D) That’s true.

Michael Bw (D) I would like us to try color for this metaness. Each meta’s a different color. That way we can get rid of the labels—

Melissa Bw (D) Errr—

Michael Bw (D) We’d still have to have the legend, because we’d have to say what the order of the colors is. It occurred to me that when I read metaness, I really see how much enjoyment would come from it only if you could clearly see the metaness of it. A perfect example would be someting like where I say, “Let’s just do a short one,” and then I immediately say “Ha!” Now, that’s not funny in and of itself, but if we notice that the “Ha!” is the letter “(P)”, we know this metaness has gotten out of hand. It is just very meta-high.

Melissa Bw (D) And that is precisely why we can’t do away with the letters! The colors don’t indicate any kind of chronology or progression.

Michael Bw (D) Okay, you’re right, I agree. It was just . . . I saw it . . . that by having the text be a completely different color, it would be harder to overlook the fact that it comes from a different time.

     (D) Let’s put it this way, I think an ideal system would be the idea that older text is fainter, and darker text is the most recent thing said. So the original text would be the faintest text, hopefully still legible. Like you said, you would still have to have the letters, but it would give you more of a visual clue as to how early in the conversation this was said or how late it was said. Because it’s not just a superfluous detail. Sometimes the humor relies on noticing the metaness.

Melissa Bw (D) Right, but there aren’t anywhere near enough gradations to represent the—

Michael Bw (D) I know but, Melissa. I know that, I understand that. I was just saying how I could see it would be nice.

     (D) I know what the solution would be. I just don’t know if we could implement it at OS. And I think it would be the size of the text. You can see that, can’t you? The bigger the text, the more recently it was said, or what. Even that, I can see having problems. We might as well face it, we’ve probably settled on our system. And so we should stop tinkering for a while and just see how it works.

Melissa Bw (D) That’s what we’ve been doing and why we’ve finally been able to start having substantive discussions that don’t center around the development of the system! But the problem is, we’ve got that one ginormous monstrosity of a post we’ve promised mamoore because we just happen to talk about the art in there.

     (G) She’s gonna be disappointed when she sees how little we actually say about it.

Michael Bw (D) I doubt very seriously we’ll ever be able to make that piece postable. It’s just too . . . it’s become like spaghetti prose.

     (H) How about this. What if instead of “Michael:” and “Melissa:”, we just had our pictures?

Melissa Bw (H) You mean like our little floating heads by the text?

Michael Bw (H) Why not?

(H) (two hours later)

Michael Bw (H) Look at this!

Melissa Bw (H) Hahahahahaha!

Michael Bw (H) (beams)



L  E  G  E  N  D
letters = sequential meta conversations
                   (C occurred after B, B after A, etc.)
numbers = mini-meta tangents within meta conversations
quoted letters = prior meta conversations










































 


 

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The pictures are great, but that must have been painstaking, and about changing font sides and colors???.

About Madonna, I wrote an extract about just that in my manuscript about critical thinking, the dumbing (or should that be numbing) down of culture being a sad reality of our time.

That extract I referred to:
Rather, the root cause of modern societal decay is inherent in the growing uncritical cult of happiness now, at whatever cost.
The prevailing hedonism being the most significant contributing factor responsible for the decay of basic societal values. Though more alarmingly, is that critical thinking is increasingly abdicated in favour of wholesale commercial conformity.
What the associated spiritual consumerism calls for is that value-driven ideals be replaced with self-serving valueless spirituality; with the likes of Madonna and Tom Cruise increasingly becoming our new-styled spiritual leaders.
That Elvis story - holy shit! (at least to some)

I love the floating heads - it makes the whole dialogue even more like watching/listening to people having a discussion.
@Newton:

Newton: The pictures are great

Melissa: Thanks, Newton! A little levity to brighten people’s day (or night).

Newton: but that must have been painstaking,

Michael: Click click click click click click click click click click click . . . :-)

Newton: and about changing font sides and colors???.

Michael: Just a fleeting insanity. Nothing to worry about.

Newton: About Madonna, I wrote an extract about just that in my manuscript about critical thinking, the dumbing (or should that be numbing) down of culture being a sad reality of our time.

Melissa: This reminded me of a cartoon we recently saw comparing George Orwell and Aldous Huxley based on text from Neil Postman’s Amusing Ourselves to Death. Postman boils down their dystopian visions to fear that people will either be controlled by pain (Orwell) or pleasure (Huxley) in the future. Truth is, it’s a bit of both.

Michael: Pleasure from within and pain from without.

Newton: Rather, the root cause of modern societal decay is inherent in the growing uncritical cult of happiness now, at whatever cost.

Michael: That’s interesting, because one of the things enshrined in the Declaration of Independence was the pursuit of happiness. Did this doom our country from the very beginning?

Melissa: No, the freedom to pursue happiness isn’t what’s wrong. What’s wrong is that definition of happiness, which is being controlled to maximize consumption.

Michael: For some reason, I just thought of that video we watched of the man, woman, and two children living in that isolated hut, and the way the report kept framing it as though, you know, these poor people, what they’ve missed out on, and they kept trying to elicit from them confessions of—

Melissa: Regret!

Michael: Confessions of regret, which none of them really supplied. Mostly, I just saw four really well-adjusted human beings. And I underline the word “human”. I mean, it was interesting to watch a dad, a son, and a daughter go off to go snorkeling. And this wasn’t a vacation or a backyard pool—although for them, it was. This is just one of the daily things they did, and what a rewarding life to be able to spend time with your children and time with your parents like that. Although they stressed very enthusiastically how much visitors meant to them. And my favorite part was when the dumb reporter asked if it mattered who visited, and the boy confessed not at all. Anyone, they’re happy to see you.

Melissa: I think the reason the media needs to frame this so negatively is their independence threatens the very concept of society. To think that a family could be so isolated from the media’s seemingly infinite reach undermines the power corporations hold over us through the compulsion to consume.

Michael: That just made me think of something else. You know that phrase, “What if they had a war, and no one showed up?”

Melissa: Mmm.

Michael: Well, what if they made some stuff and nobody bought it?

Melissa: That’s called a boycott.

Michael: Mmm, yes, but the operative word is “nobody”.

Melissa: Wow. That would be a revolution.

Michael: I just thought of an example.

Melissa: What?

Michael: The Segway.

Melissa: That’s not nobody, though.

Michael: Okay, well, but the thing is, people were saying, including Steve Jobs, that this was gonna revolutionize everything.

Melissa: That was why it failed. They SO overhyped it that people couldn’t help but be disappointed once the mysterious “It” was finally revealed.

Michael: Yes, but don’t underestimate the most powerful force in humankind. Not wanting to look foolish. In fact, wanting to look cool. Look at recumbent bikes. There’s probably benefits to them, they’re probably very comfortable, but you just look so silly on them.

Melissa: Right, and people do look ludicrous on a Segway.

Newton: The prevailing hedonism being the most significant contributing factor responsible for the decay of basic societal values.

Michael: I definitely agree with you.

Melissa: Yes, I think that’s one reason it’s so disturbing to see how the OS cover stories tend to feed on this aspect of human nature, rather than something more inspiring. Hence my jab about the titillating content.

Michael: Yes, but the people who have to make the bottom lines will just simply point to what the people want and shrug.

Melissa: Yeah, but they only want that because they’ve been inculcated into that desire. It’s planted. It’s not fundamentally natural. I mean, there is the Eros, that’s the positive expression of that natural tendency. But that’s different from the squalor people are taught to worship and celebrate today.

Michael: Yes. You mentioning Eros reminded me of one of its sister loves, Agape. And what it reminded me of was there was a finance company called Agape something that was recently busted for running a Ponzi scheme.

Melissa: Nooo!

Michael: Yes. And I just thought it was so ironic that a company that uses the name which means “godly love” was ripping off its customers. So typical of religion. The religion of money.

Melissa: Right, and I think it’s also because evangelicals are such easy targets. Suckers.

Michael: Mm, don’t call ’em “suckers”. Trust isn’t an evil thing. It’s abuse of that trust that’s evil.

Melissa: But willful naïevté—like the lack of critical thinking Newton is lamenting—is evil, in a way. Ignorance is dangerous.

Michael: But who says it’s willful? Not everyone is genetically blessed with the ability to excel at reasoning.

Melissa: No, it takes effort and thought to develop it. It’s just that people have become so intellectually lazy, they don’t even bother to develop it. In fact, they’re taught to fear it.

Michael: Once again, it’s not laziness if one is completely unaware.

Melissa: I’m not talking about the innocent.

Michael: I’m thinking of an individual in their thirties who has lived in the same house their entire life, has never read a book—

Melissa: Okay, is that because they don’t want to, or because they’re illiterate, or what?

Michael: Well, they probably tell themselves they don’t want to, but in fact, it’s probably because they are illiterate. But either way, you can’t expect everyone to be able to bring the degree of analysis to things that you do. It’s not even practical. When Joe has to get up at 3:30 to get down to the lift to take him down into the mine, and he’s gotta work his twelve-hour shift or whatever, I don’t think these are individuals that spend a lot of time thinking, “I’ve got to expand my mental horizons.” They’re probably thinking, “I’ve got to get the fuck out of this mine. I’ve gotta go to college or something.”

Melissa: So they are talking about expanding their mental horizons right there.

Michael: Not really. Because they’re thinking of it as a means to an end. A college education means, “I don’t work in the mine. I work in an office somewhere.” The problem is, when can they go to college? And how? With what money?

Melissa: What you’ve just described is all about “the System keeping people down”. People are born into unfortunate circumstances. They don’t get the opportunities to develop their gifts. So when they’re old enough to have to start earning a living, they’re forced into some soul-deadening job that doesn’t pay enough for them to escape. They’re too exhausted to pursue what they may have felt born to do. They’re stuck in that societal loop.

Newton: Though more alarmingly, is that critical thinking is increasingly abdicated in favour of wholesale commercial conformity. What the associated spiritual consumerism calls for is that value-driven ideals be replaced with self-serving valueless spirituality; with the likes of Madonna and Tom Cruise increasingly becoming our new-styled spiritual leaders.

Melissa: Yes! Terrifying.

Michael: Very. When we seek experts to answer our every question and allay our every fear, it’s no wonder we even turn to experts to tell us how to be good and spiritually happy people. What boggles my mind is we’ve started turning to entertainers for this expert advice.

Melissa: More than that, people literally worship them. I mean, I don’t know how much closer to literal idol worship you can get.

Michael: People beginning to sacrifice to these individuals? (performing) “Today, fifteen virgins were sacrificed on Michael Jackson’s altar in the hopes that this year, the crops will do better. Please, Michael, send us the rain. Here’s another virgin in case those fifteen weren’t enough.”
@Owl:

Owl: That Elvis story - holy shit! (at least to some)

Melissa: Good one, Owl!

Michael: (sings) Don’t be cruel, to a stool that’s true.

Melissa: (cringes)

Owl: I love the floating heads - it makes the whole dialogue even more like watching/listening to people having a discussion.

Michael: Thank you, Owl. When we came up with the idea about adding the little floating heads, we just thought of it as something temporary. But now I’m beginning to wonder.

Melissa: Yeah. So do you think we should keep them?
Keep the heads...keep the heads...I LOVE the heads! Who's head #3 up there near the top? I could totally visualize the text getting fainter which would be cool but maybe frustrating for people with poor vision. Elvis poo in a capsule = gross. Madonna exploiting herself vs. being exploited = so true . I was never good at number math but word math is easy. I love the drawing for this one, the more I stare at it the more I see. I would still love the art post someday but maybe some mystery surrounding your art is better and I will just learn to live with that.
I just noticed you guys are awake -or atleast one of you is awake. I just woke up and am starting my day. Get some sleep!
@Melissa:

mamoore: Keep the heads...keep the heads...I LOVE the heads!

Michael: I count three for, and none against, so far. Although maybe because your vote is so enthusiastic, that should count as two?

Melissa: What kind of -ocracy would that be? If people’s enthusiasm drove the votes.

Michael: Gameshowocracy? They used to determine the winner on a show called Queen for a Day based on audience applause.

Melissa: Yeah! My grandma was on that show. At least she was interviewed to be on it. But she was so mortified with shyness, she couldn’t utter a word. But she’d dreamt the night before that she’d been palling it up with Jack—what’s his name?

Michael: Palance—oh, um.

Melissa: Hahahaha.

Michael: “Pick up the gun.”

Melissa: I just realized how meta that is—when we think of Jack Palance, we don’t think of Jack Palance, we think of Bill Hicks doing an impersonation of Jack Palance doing a character in a movie. That’s at least three layers of removal from the actual person.

Michael: I’ve heard people can only handle seven layers of metaness before they go crazy. Does that mean all our metanesses that have gone beyond “(H)” should contain warning labels?

Melissa: That would be compassionate.

Michael: Jack . . . Paar? No. Why don’t you look it up?

Melissa: (looks it up)

Michael: Jack Bailey! That show was so depressing. Some of those women had such heartbreaking stories to tell. And it was even worse when they wouldn’t win.

Melissa: I found the production quality and poor everything, really, the most depressing. The artificiality of Jack’s interactions, the commercials being embedded into the very show itself, the horrible camerawork and crappy black-and-white film. Or was it videotape?

Michael: Videotape.

Melissa: Yeah, like those Twilight Zones they experimented with videotape on. They’re almost unwatchable in their original state, despite how good the acting, writing, and directing are.

Michael: I can remember the first time I saw one of them without the film treatment they gave them for syndication, re-recorded the videotape to film is what they did. In other words, they filmed the videotape. So it looked like the other ones, except they had this hard-to-pinpoint difference that was a little queer. One of the things you would notice is that anything that was shining would produce a black shine instead of a white shine. It was very strange. But then again, it was The Twilight Zone. And it was almost scary to watch it, because instead of that balming quality that film has, where it softens and soothes everything, it was like being there really and seeing these people doing this right then.

Melissa: Right, it was almost too real. That cinema verité doesn’t feel right when it’s a fictional genre.

mamoore: Who's head #3 up there near the top?

Melissa: You might’ve missed our last post, where we introduced the Narrator. We’ll see if anyone can figure out who it is. (Hawley? :-)

mamoore: I could totally visualize the text getting fainter which would be cool but maybe frustrating for people with poor vision.

Michael: Yes, out of all the ideas, that’s one of my favorites. But everything we’ve come up with thus far has its drawbacks.

mamoore: Elvis poo in a capsule = gross.

Michael: Hope you weren’t eating breakfast or anything. I was actually inspired by a scene from Slacker, where a person is trying to sell Madonna’s papsmear.

Melissa: The thing is, that was actually a real person trying to do that. Most everyone in that movie is real. They’re just being themselves on film is all.

mamoore: Madonna exploiting herself vs. being exploited = so true .

Melissa: Speaking of Madonna!

Michael: As long as it’s Madonna profiting off of her papsmears, it’s okay.

Melissa: Haha.

mamoore: I was never good at number math but word math is easy.

Michael: Okay. Say you had five oranges, two lemons, and a pear. And you had twelve children who each wanted a slice of each. But there’s not enough slices of each to go around. How many slices of each piece will each child get, and how many children will be upset and plot some sort of revenge?

mamoore: I love the drawing for this one, the more I stare at it the more I see.

Michael: Thank you, mamoore. This one’s called “The Clown Hates Himself in the Mirror.”

Melissa: I just realized that could be taken as a reference to Michael Jackson. But you actually made that piece about a month ago. It seems some of your pieces are actually prophetic. I’ll always remember the one you made right before 9/11: “The view in the small round window looked wrong somehow”.

Michael: Yes, I am Nostromichaels, predicting the future through my scribbles.

Melissa: Ha!

mamoore: I would still love the art post someday but maybe some mystery surrounding your art is better and I will just learn to live with that.

Melissa: We’ll get around to art eventually. If not that specific post, we also have some recorded sessions about it that just need transcribing and metaing.

mamoore: I just noticed you guys are awake -or atleast one of you is awake. I just woke up and am starting my day. Get some sleep!

Michael: Yes, we’re both falling asleep as we write this comment. We’re going to bed right after this, we promise.
You know, I 've been thinking about this obsession with relics ever since MJ died. I've been counting the days until toenails, pieces of shit, eyelashes, hair, whatall, becomes available on ebay. Perhaps a little phlegm he coughed up while dying, perhaps some blood on the carpet, urine off the toilet seat. Back in the middle ages, it would have been all good. When those saints were dying of consumption and all that shit, well, it was great to drink the leavings or to hold on to the bandages. Brought you closer to holiness. We don't do that anymore. Or we say we don't do it anymore. But we see madonna on a piece of toast. And I'm willing to bet money, big money, that some piece of Michael's body is going up for sale soon.
And then we'll have some evidence that he was more than human, that he was a god, and that those of us who judged him will burn in hell.
The heads look great! It gives my thoughts a comforting couch in which to better absorb the meta without having to 'read' the names. It really changed the feel of the conversations.

I wonder at the thoughts of the twelve hour shift worker doing repetative back breaking work day in and day out. What or who is 'looking' behind their eyes? Is this why relegion is better accepted by the masses that struggle each day in these mind numbing positions? Drugs for the spirit, perhaps, since the spirit was rubbed raw by the unforgiving day. For those that eschew relegion, there's always a bit of listerine soaked Elvis poo. Nothing soothes a sore spirit like leavings from an idol.

I wonder at our mass consumerism and coporate created culture of psuedo-philosophic idols . The world needs more good shephards and less deified poo and fingernails. There's plenty of followers. We need more metaness - I count myself lucky to get to know you guys through your posts and luckier still because you force the river of thoughts in my headz in all directions!

peece and love bombs!
dj
Love the talking heads...and as strange as this may be, you all reminded me that when we lived outside Seattle, I bought my husband a brass faucet (outdoor) with a beaver for a handle!!! I wonder where that puppy ended up?!! Dammit....
Love the drawing, Michael. You have a talent for a kind of palpable abstraction. ( I do; you do. ) The narrator looks like Stephen Fry to me. titillating content what is it about that word, titillate? I simply cannot read or hear it without an inner adolescent snigger. I love the floating heads, keep 'em. Must return later for my happiness rant. No, perhaps I'll spare you.
Elvis' poop and Madonna... interesting. I do like the images [floating heads], it adds flavor. Since I'm in a perpetual state of confusion, I read your posts seeking guidance. Now off to lunch with metacarpus.
Just looked at the Orwell/Huxley cartoon and thought of this:

SOME say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To know that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice. -Robert Frost
I know you're Cy Twombly fans, but do you like Klee? "Angel Serving a Small Breakfast".
This post, along with Newton's comment, strangely ties into a thread James and I have going in regard to my latest post, "The Intuitive Blind Man," particularly in regard to Newton's comment, here:

"The prevailing hedonism being the most significant contributing factor responsible for the decay of basic societal values. Though more alarmingly, is that critical thinking is increasingly abdicated in favour of wholesale commercial conformity."

Oh, and I just love the little cut-out floating heads! Now you are both truly "Cloud People"!
Meta,
Your art evolves...suddenly i can read it with more immediacy...

Indeed, the icons of Popular (Corporate) Culture
are all parts of our individual personal narratives....
I sometimes muse if there is some Overall Collective Narrative
somewhere, perhaps in "Eternity"....that keeps it all unified,
as in some Kantian "unity of apperception"...?

I should think so....

And i wonder if when we shake off our earthly coils
we shall be taken up into it...the whole
Narrative...beginning with that important stuff in, say,
Troy...or...if we please...Ninevah...or....San Francisco
on sept 11, 2001...or sept 21, the last day of summer in the last happy
year ...1968...

perhaps we can start anywhere...timetravel....as in some
Huge Virtual Reality Heaven....hm
i LOVE the floating heads!!! please keep doing that. it makes me so happy to see your faces all the way through. i do love the idea of the colors, michael. i see why it's not practical. well, no, i don't understand really. i just love color so much. that is so interesting about madonna exploiting herself. she surely does. and guy ritchie and her kids and alex rodriquez and everyone who works for her. she is a corporation unto herself. so many are now. oprah, etc. when this happens they then seem to be unable to relate to regular human existence. i've seen that with Oprah. just read about it with Madonna. it's as disturbing as Corporations creating our culture is. this is why it kills me that the arts aren't being taught in schools anymore. Art of all kind, writign, music, etc. is the best antidote and bloodless war against corporate culture. shit, does any of this make sense, guys? love love love and huge gratitude. i feel safe when i come here and i often don't feel safe anywhere, as you know, and often not safe here on OS. but HERE i do feel safe. is any of this meta? :) i'm still trying to understand this whole paradigm.
will you PM me please when you respond to my comment? i love the way you do taht whole thing. i just realized today that my new bipolar 2 meds are zoning me out. now i understand why my writing has been shit and fluff. i hate this. last one made me fat. now i'm dull and out of it. love lvoe love
@Lorraine:

Lorraine: You know, I 've been thinking about this obsession with relics ever since MJ died. I've been counting the days until toenails, pieces of shit, eyelashes, hair, whatall, becomes available on ebay. Perhaps a little phlegm he coughed up while dying, perhaps some blood on the carpet, urine off the toilet seat. Back in the middle ages, it would have been all good. When those saints were dying of consumption and all that shit, well, it was great to drink the leavings or to hold on to the bandages. Brought you closer to holiness. We don't do that anymore. Or we say we don't do it anymore. But we see madonna on a piece of toast. And I'm willing to bet money, big money, that some piece of Michael's body is going up for sale soon.

(both laughing)

Lorraine: And then we'll have some evidence that he was more than human, that he was a god, and that those of us who judged him will burn in hell.

Michael: Heavenly Sequin-Gloved One, who art in heaven (isn’t that redundant?), hallowed be thy Moonwalk.

Melissa: Thy Neverland come.

Michael: Thy Thrill(er) be done. On stage as it is in Graceland. (Elvis being part of the Trinity.)

Melissa: So if Michael Jackson is the Son, and Elvis is the Father, who’s the Holy Spirit?

Michael: It’s obvious! Buddy Holly. And it’s spelled “H-o-l-l-y”. Holly Spirit.
@David:

David: The heads look great! It gives my thoughts a comforting couch in which to better absorb the meta without having to 'read' the names. It really changed the feel of the conversations.

Michael: Thank you! We’re so pleased with the response our floating heads have received.

Melissa: I wonder if they make everyone else laugh as much as they do us.

Michael: I dunno. Maybe it’s just a self-conscious thing. We look so ridiculous.

Melissa: No, because I laugh just as much at the Narrator’s floating head as I do at mine. Maybe even more.

Michael: That’s true.

David: I wonder at the thoughts of the twelve hour shift worker doing repetative back breaking work day in and day out. What or who is 'looking' behind their eyes?

Melissa: Intriguing question.

Michael: Yes. I know from the experience of doing manual labor—digging roadside trenches for cable—that no time for reflective thought is possible. I mean, maybe something breaks down and you’ve got some time on your hands, but then what’s really gonna occur is the guys are gonna start relaxing, and talk is gonna turn to sports and tits and how fecked the work is.

Melissa: I would think that digging would actually produce a contemplative state.

Michael: No, no, no. You can’t be daydreaming when someone’s arm or foot can be torn off. You’ve gotta be focused on the job. I had a 500-pound plate come crashing down on my thumb because I took my mind off of what I was doing for a second. The foreman that day just smiled at me like, “I bet that smarts!”

Melissa: Hahaha. I didn’t know about that.

Michael: I’m a man of mystery.

David: Is this why relegion is better accepted by the masses that struggle each day in these mind numbing positions?

Michael: That’s interesting. It makes me think of Vincent’s attempt to minister to the miners. He basically came away from that completely disillusioned with religion. The miners were struggling so hard to get by, they didn’t have time for his pretty words. And he sympathized with them.

Melissa: So that’s actually an example to the contrary.

Michael: I know it’s an example to the contrary. That’s why I thought what David said was interesting. Because I would immediately agree. But then I thought of Vincent, and how the miners he knew had no time for it.

Melissa: Yes, but that does seem to be more of an anomalie. I think in America, especially, the masses have been given the cake of religion to distract them from their circumstances. That’s actually why I identify with the Quakers so much—they didn’t ignore societal ills like slavery and war. They were right out there, still are, fighting on behalf of the oppressed, the suffering, the trampled upon. They aren’t about the cathedral sort of religion. They’re about living their faith in the form of helping others.

David: Drugs for the spirit, perhaps, since the spirit was rubbed raw by the unforgiving day.

Melissa: Beautifully put, David.

Michael: This makes me think of Matthew Slaughter’s character in Trust, explaining how he needed to watch television to deaden the inner core of his being, which made the daily sacrifices of his integrity possible.

Melissa: I think we actually quoted that in one of our earlier posts.

Michael: Mm. I don’t remember that.

Melissa: Haha. I think it’s funny that you don’t remember that.

Michael: Ha-ha. Is Alzheimer’s funny, too?

Melissa: Hahaha. Help.

David: For those that eschew relegion, there's always a bit of listerine soaked Elvis poo. Nothing soothes a sore spirit like leavings from an idol.

(both laughing)

David: I wonder at our mass consumerism and coporate created culture of psuedo-philosophic idols .

Melissa: Yes, scary.

David: The world needs more good shephards and less deified poo and fingernails. There's plenty of followers.

Michael: Amen!

David: We need more metaness - I count myself lucky to get to know you guys through your posts and luckier still because you force the river of thoughts in my headz in all directions!

Melissa: And we consider ourselves lucky, blessed indeed, to count you among our readers, and even moreso, among our dear friends.

Michael: Yes, absolutely.
@bluesurly:

bluesurly: Love the talking heads...

Melissa: Thank you, bluesurly!

Michael: Delighted to welcome you to metaness.

bluesurly: and as strange as this may be, you all reminded me that when we lived outside Seattle, I bought my husband a brass faucet (outdoor) with a beaver for a handle!!! I wonder where that puppy ended up?!! Dammit....

(both laughing)
@consonantsandvowels:

consonantsandvowels: Love the drawing, Michael. You have a talent for a kind of palpable abstraction.

Michael: Thank you, consonantsandvowels (see, I can do it! But now I would normally add some disclaimer about why it’s not really true, though ;-)

Melissa: Haha.

consonantsandvowels: ( I do; you do.)

(both laughing)

consonantsandvowels: The narrator looks like Stephen Fry to me.

Michael: (performing)

Annoying Host: “Ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner! Johnny, tell us what consonantsandvowels has won.”

Johnny: “Yoooou bet, Annoying Host! consonantsandvowels, you have won the satisfaction that you are able to recognize tiny little floating faces!”

Annoying Host: “Give yourself a big round of applause! Everyone who participated, let’s all join in congratulating consonantsandvowels!”

consonantsandvowels: titillating content what is it about that word, titillate? I simply cannot read or hear it without an inner adolescent snigger.

Michael: I bet it’s because it contains “tit”. “Titmouse” has the same effect.

Melissa: Or Lake Titicaca. But I think it’s more than that. I think the playful up and down of the syllables contributes to it, too. Like whoopdedoos. What was it that mamoore used to call those?

Michael: “Thank you, ma’am”s!

Melissa: Oh yeah! Like the linguistic equivalent of “Thank you, ma’am”s.

consonantsandvowels: I love the floating heads, keep 'em.

Michael: We’re definitely gonna keep them.

Melissa: Yes, thanks to everyone’s enthusiastic responses.

consonantsandvowels: Must return later for my happiness rant. No, perhaps I'll spare you.

Melissa: Oh no! Now we’re intrigued.

consonantsandvowels: Just looked at the Orwell/Huxley cartoon and thought of this:

Michael: When I first began exploring poetry (like many, I’m embarrassed to admit, after seeing Dead Poet’s Society), three poets stood out for me: Robert Frost, Carl Sandburg, and Stephen Crane. I had my first aesthetic poetry experience with Crane’s piece, “The candid man.”

Forth went the candid man
And spoke freely to the wind--
When he looked about him he was in a far
   strange country.

Forth went the candid man
And spoke freely to the stars--
Yellow light tore sight from his eye.

“My good fool,” said a learned bystander,
“Your operations are mad.”

“You are too candid,” cried the candid man.
And when his stick left the head of the
   learned bystander
It was two sticks.


Michael: It was that last part, “And when his stick left the head of the learned bystander / It was two sticks.” That just blew me away for some reason. When I read that, it was like, I get this! I get poetry, man!

Melissa: I’m so glad you made us think about Carl Sandburg, as it led us to find this fascinating, slightly creepy video.

Michael: I don’t think I’ve ever really heard a person read poetry like that. I heard the pure music of the voice. It was a song. I saw that poetry is the song of human voice.

Melissa: Yes. And this other one we came across was just hilarious. “Yip!” “Nope!”

consonantsandvowels: I know you're Cy Twombly fans, but do you like Klee? "Angel Serving a Small Breakfast".

Michael: Thank you for the Klee. I hadn’t seen that one before! Yes, Klee, Dubuffet, Miro. They all seem to have discovered that wonderful childlike awe of creation. We also like Johns, Frankenthaler—

Melissa: Giacometti, Rauschenberg, Cezanne, Chagall, and obviously, van Gogh.

Michael: Don’t forget that mischievous enfante terrible, Duchamp!

Melissa: Of course. We’ll have to devote an entire post to him sometime.
@Mr. Mustard:

Mr. Mustard: Elvis' poop and Madonna... interesting.

Michael: In the director’s cut, we had Jim Croce’s mustache hair pellets.

Melissa: What are “mustache hair pellets”?

Michael: Little capsules of resin encasing a quarter-inch–long piece of Jim Croce’s mustache.

Melissa: Ohhh. Eeeiuu. Poor Jim Croce’s mustache.

Michael: Forever encased away in someone’s macabre collection.

Mr. Mustard: I do like the images [floating heads], it adds flavor.

Michael: I’m the pepper!

Melissa: I guess that makes me the salt.

Michael: Definitely.

Mr. Mustard: Since I'm in a perpetual state of confusion, I read your posts seeking guidance.

Michael: Oh my God! That seems like the Pope seeking spiritual advice from the Addams Family.

Melissa: Hahaha. I don’t know quite how that fits.

Michael: Well, imagine saying to Uncle Fester, “Fester, I find the tangibility of God slipping away from me. What should I do?” And his answer would be, “Shoot ’im in the back!”

Mr. Mustard: Now off to lunch with metacarpus.

Michael: Don’t let the III and II metacarpals sit next to each other. They’ll argue the whole time.
@Angie:

Angie: This post, along with Newton's comment, strangely ties into a thread James and I have going in regard to my latest post, "The Intuitive Blind Man," particularly in regard to Newton's comment

Melissa: Yes! I finally made it back over to comment on that poem, which I read and enjoyed when you first posted it.

Michael: When you say “enjoyed”, it reminds me of that almost cultlike Coke phrase, “Enjoy.” Like you can’t just simply drink it. You have to enjoy it.

Melissa: Haha. Well, I did, though.

Michael: (performs) Enjoy AngeliqueSimonetta. AngeliqueSimonetta adds life. Angelique is it! Things go better with Angelique. Always Simonetta.

Angie: Oh, and I just love the little cut-out floating heads! Now you are both truly "Cloud People"!

Michael: The witch doctor was right. Putting those little heads on there really did make us Chachapoyans!

Melissa: That makes me wanna read Aristophanes.
@Jim:

Jim: Your art evolves...suddenly i can read it with more immediacy...

Melissa: Oh, good!

Michael: Pretty soon, these are just gonna turn into animations with little happy bouncing heads.

Melissa: Hahaha.

Jim: Indeed, the icons of Popular (Corporate) Culture are all parts of our individual personal narratives....

Melissa: That makes me think of that article from a few years ago, where that guy was in a coma for like nineteen years, and when he came out of it, one of his first words was “Pepsi”!

Michael: James has got me thinking about something else, too.

Melissa: What?

Michael: Our part in contributing to the overall conversational pollution by mentioning popular cultural entities.

Melissa: Ah, but how can you critique something without mentioning that thing?

Michael: Well, that’s like police detectives covering child pornography cases. How do they shut themselves off from the horrors they’re having to witness every single day?

Melissa: Uggh. So you’re saying us having to mention celebrity names is comparable to that?

Michael: Not comparable. Just that you can’t expose something—

Melissa: Without exposing yourself to it.

Michael: Right.

Jim: I sometimes muse if there is some Overall Collective Narrative somewhere, perhaps in "Eternity"....that keeps it all unified, as in some Kantian "unity of apperception"...? I should think so....

Michael: A cosmic author? A comedian, surely. But a compassionate one.

Melissa: Yes, thankfully.

Jim: And i wonder if when we shake off our earthly coils we shall be taken up into it...the whole Narrative...beginning with that important stuff in, say, Troy...or...if we please...Ninevah...or....San Francisco on sept 11, 2001...or sept 21, the last day of summer in the last happy year ...1968...

Michael: When there was this little possibility of, “Hey, everybody’s becoming enlightened! Love is the answer, not war.” And the government said, “We’ll shut that motherfucker down right now.”

Melissa: And the Martin Luther King Jr.’s and the Robert Kennedy’s all get silenced. Or so they thought.

Michael: History proves again and again that making martyrs out of people is no way to win.

Jim: perhaps we can start anywhere...timetravel....as in some Huge Virtual Reality Heaven....hm

Michael: As long as someone keeps paying the server bills.

Melissa: Hmm. I wonder where I would time travel to.

Michael: Backwards or forwards?

Melissa: I don’t think I’d wanna go forwards. Things can only get worse from here.

Michael: This coming from the eternal optimist?

Melissa: Well, optimism doesn’t mean delusional.

Michael: Well, going into the past seems redundant. We already know what happened. Unless we went back to find out what really happened.

Melissa: Something tells me that wouldn’t be very heavenly.
@Theodora:

Theodora: i LOVE the floating heads!!! please keep doing that. it makes me so happy to see your faces all the way through.

Michael: We promise to never stop doing the heads.

Melissa: It’s gonna be kind of weird when we’re talking about some morose subject, and we have the little dancing happy heads next to our words.

Michael: Maybe we’ll have to make some sad-looking heads, and some confused-looking heads, and some hurt-looking heads. The whole gamut.

Melissa: Sounds time-consuming.

Theodora: i do love the idea of the colors, michael. i see why it's not practical. well, no, i don't understand really. i just love color so much.

Michael: I tried to talk Melissa into coloring the letters, but she’s such a design Nazi—should I say “Nazi” or “fascist”?

Melissa: “Fascist”. I’d rather be called a “fascist” than a “Nazi”.

Michael: Right.

Melissa: It’s not that I’m against color. I love love love color! Maybe we could try coloring the letters sometime. But I worry that if we start, we’ll end up spending hours trying to pick the perfect color for every single letter.

Michael: Perhaps it could just follow a logical progression using the color wheel as a scale.

Melissa: But it would always have to be a dark enough value to be legible. Here we go already.

Michael: Help.

Theodora: that is so interesting about madonna exploiting herself. she surely does. and guy ritchie and her kids and alex rodriquez and everyone who works for her. she is a corporation unto herself.

Melissa: Yeah, but at least she wasn’t able to buy an African baby!

Michael: (performing) “I want a dark-brown one with light hair and a light-brown one with flowing locks. Do you have any two-for-one deals?”

Theodora: so many are now. oprah, etc.

Melissa: Newton actually brought up Oprah in a comment on a previous post. He has a whole article about her that we still need to read. Sounds fascinating.

Theodora: when this happens they then seem to be unable to relate to regular human existence.

Michael: Yes! The one percent are so far removed from day-to-day concerns, we have another “Let-them-eat-cake” situation. Although I understand Marie Antoinette didn’t actually say that.

Melissa: Haha. I was just about to say that.

Theodora: i've seen that with Oprah. just read about it with Madonna. it's as disturbing as Corporations creating our culture is.

Michael: Soon, everyone will need to be incorporated just to survive. All of us little corporations in a cutthroat, bottom-line, winner-takes-all life.

Melissa: I pray not.

Theodora: this is why it kills me that the arts aren't being taught in schools anymore. Art of all kind, writign, music, etc. is the best antidote and bloodless war against corporate culture.

Michael: And with so much evidence of the humanizing effects of the arts on people, you would think it would be a priority.

Melissa: Aha, but therein lies its threat. If people develop empathy, it’s harder to rally them together against a hated minority.

Michael: Oh yes, the boogeyman. Don’t worry, though, we’ve got him on the run. But watch out, he’s an ever-present danger!

Melissa: I realized we had this conversation about the importance of teaching the arts with keenoctopus earlier. Speaking of, where is keenoctopus? She must’ve gotten trapped in Real Life again. Such a nuisance.

Theodora: shit, does any of this make sense, guys?

Michael: Even when you’re wasted on sangria, Theodora, you make perfect sense.

Melissa: Yes!

Theodora: i feel safe when i come here and i often don't feel safe anywhere, as you know, and often not safe here on OS. but HERE i do feel safe.

Michael: Your comment about feeling safe here makes me feel really good, like we are doing something right. You’re welcome here, anytime, Theodora.

Melissa: Absolutely.

Theodora: is any of this meta? :) i'm still trying to understand this whole paradigm.

Melissa: What you just said is meta! By asking if it’s meta, you metaed!

Michael: What’s a “paradigm”?

Melissa: Hahaha.

Theodora: will you PM me please when you respond to my comment? i love the way you do taht whole thing.

Melissa: No problem. (And anyone else who wants us to do that for them, too, just let us know.)

Theodora: i just realized today that my new bipolar 2 meds are zoning me out.

Michael: Is there any commercially sanctioned medicine that doesn’t cause more problems than it’s trying to heal?

Melissa: I thought you were gonna ask if there was anyone at OS who wasn’t bipolar.

Michael: Hahaha. Maybe we should start calling it “BS”. “Bipolar Salon”.

Theodora: now i understand why my writing has been shit and fluff.

Melissa: Not true!

Michael: More like fertilizer and cotton candy (I love love lvoe cotton candy!).

Melissa: Mmm. Fertilizer and cotton candy.

Theodora: i hate this. last one made me fat. now i'm dull and out of it.

Michael: It’s hard to imagine you ever being dull. Damn those medications!

Melissa: “Damn them all to hell.”
@mamoore:

Addendum: I looked at our response to you when I less bleary-eyed, and I realized I had misquoted the title of Michael’s piece. It should actually be “The view from the small round window looked wrong somehow.” And the image itself was evocative of a plane crashing. This was right before 9/11, so I remember being particularly moved when I looked at that piece a few days later.

—Melissa
I fear you'll grow weary of my comments. I won! I won! Recognizing floating faces may be a small talent, but beggars can't be choosers.

Melissa - Yes, the whoopdedoos of the syllables - it's fun to say. And aside from "tit" there's a vague sexuality to the sounds, I think, also: the harder t, the softer l, the closed i and the open a.

Michael - What a striking (I amuse myself) example for when you "got" poetry. It interests me that you were drawn to Crane's poetry. His poems, like Dickinson's, were vastly different from the poetry of his time. I love the very small ones - "you tell me this is god" - it is a list. And, oh help me, "because it is bitter and because it is my heart."

Those Sandburg videos were wonderful! Thanks for sending me there. Poetry is song. It began as song.

So my sister and I have a teensy, semi-ironic fetish for Hello Kitty. Lately I've been sending her an e-mail a day with a Hello Kitty masterpiece by Leslie Holt who did a series, being interested in cultural icons and cultural ownership. When I saw Duchamp in your response, I felt compelled to send you this. Yep. I'm letting everyone else handle the heavy stuff on this thread. I give you Hello Kitty.
Your flow of consciousness reminded me a discussion I saw recently.

Some reputable art historians debated the price difference between an original piece of art and its "perfect copy". They assumed that science can soon reproduce any object with molecular precision, thus making it impossible to practically differentiate between the two.

Their conclusion was that the price for the original should still be immensely higher than whatever the most perfect copy could get, because the value came from intangible factors like "the artist touched it", or "this is the only real one", etc. and not from the physical qualities of the object.

In their example they used a hypothetical $1,000 for the perfect copy and $10 million value for a minor classic -- by all means not the Mona Lisa -- which showed that the REAL experience the object could possibly create in the observer was worth just 0.01% of the rest of the value.

Now if we come back to your flow of consciousness

But before that…

Let us consider a newly popular scientific topic for which even Nobel prizes were awarded lately: for instance see: Daniel Kahneman for "having integrated insights from psychological research into economic science, especially concerning human judgment and decision-making". It is clear that the economic sciences started to realize that looking into the ways and means humans think is not trivial matter.

Now if we really return to your flow of consciousness…

We will notice that the Elvis sh… memorabilia … you mentioned may have zero (or even slightly negative) "experience value", but the intangible components would still apply: "the artist touched it", or "this is the only real one".

Therefore its high perceived value is unquestionable among intelligent humans.

I think what I am trying to say is this:

If you really have less than six degrees of separation from the Elvis sh… memorabilia … AND also happen to have a friend who is looking for an appropriate theme for his or her PhD thesis, the combination of the two may be quite useful for the scientific advancement of this pretty planet.

I suppose I should run now, or may end up as delicious cat food in your household :-)
P.S.: Oops! I forgot why I came for: Yes, I love the floating heads :-)
P.P.S.: Please, do NOT burden yourself by a line-by-line response to the above comment. We are old friends now, a simple "Buzz off!" would do :-)
@consonantsandvowels:

consonantsandvowels: I fear you'll grow weary of my comments.

Melissa: Impossible!

Michael: Comment away.

consonantsandvowels: I won! I won! Recognizing floating faces may be a small talent, but beggars can't be choosers.

Michael: Who knows? One day, you’ll be up somewhere really high, and you’ll look down, and there’ll be this face, and because of this amazing talent of yours, you’ll recognize it! And you’ll shout, “It’s him! It’s him! It’s Gary Busey!” And then you’ll wonder why you shouted that. You’ll calmly, but quickly, pick up your belongings, enter the elevator, and leave.

Melissa: Purposely refraining from facing the doors.

consonantsandvowels: Melissa - Yes, the whoopdedoos of the syllables - it's fun to say. And aside from "tit" there's a vague sexuality to the sounds, I think, also: the harder t, the softer l, the closed i and the open a.

Melissa: Yes, it’s amazing how sensuous syllables can be.

consonantsandvowels: Michael - What a striking (I amuse myself) example for when you "got" poetry. It interests me that you were drawn to Crane's poetry.

Michael: I’m afraid I was drawn to his poetry for the rather unflattering reason that it was shorter than the others. Not being much of a reader then, I gravitated toward the shorter works. But once I actually obtained a book of Stephen Crane’s poetry, I recognized a spirit very similar to my own. He put into words things I could not. But by reading those words, and in some cases even memorizing them, I found I was able to begin expressing better what was within. I remember one time, during a hellish stint as a shuttle driver at a private college, I was reading aloud from this same book of poems. It was really the first time I had ever publicly read poetry and expressed myself that way. It was only a small group, but still, speaking those words, they became mine, and I found myself a part of everyone there, which is quite rare for me.

Melissa: Very Whitmanesque. And we were reading quite a bit of Whitman at the time, too.

Michael: Yeah, I realize it’s ridiculous, I’m talking about being drawn to Stephen’s terseness by using a thousand words.

Melissa: You made a picture.

Michael: Haha.

consonantsandvowels: His poems, like Dickinson's, were vastly different from the poetry of his time.

Michael: I wonder if that’s because they weren’t academics. They were outsiders. Not classically trained. Like Vincent.

Melissa: They were authentics. Loners. Thinkers. Feelers.

Michael: Doubters.

Melissa: Hopers. “‘Hope’ is the thing with feathers— / That perches in the soul—”

Michael: Beautiful.

Melissa: (reading Wikipedia entry on Stephen Crane) “His first known inquiry, recorded by his father, dealt with writing; at the age of three, while imitating his brother Townley's writing, he asked his mother, ‘how do you spell O?’”

(both laughing)

Melissa: (reading again) “He would later look back on his time at Claverack as ‘the happiest period of my life although I was not aware of it.’”

Michael: I think that may be one of the saddest sentences we can say. Think of what it implies. You missed your happiest moments.

Melissa: It’s what “Willoughby” is about.

Michael: No, not “Willoughby.”

(together) “Walking Distance”!

Melissa: (still reading)Did you know there’s something called Bright's disease? Stephen’s sister-in-law died of it, and when I clicked on the disease to find out what it was, I noticed Emily Dickinson died of it, too. So there’s another connection between Stephen and Emily. Tenuously arbitrary perhaps, but interesting nevertheless.

consonantsandvowels: I love the very small ones - "you tell me this is god" - it is a list.

Melissa: Yes, “In Heaven” is one of our favorites.

In Heaven,
Some little blades of grass
Stood before God.
“What did you do?”
Then all save one of the little blades
Began eagerly to relate
The merits of their lives.
This one stayed a small way behind
Ashamed.
Presently God said:
“And what did you do?”
The little blade answered: “Oh, my lord,
“Memory is bitter to me
“For if I did good deeds
“I know not of them.”
Then God in all His splendor
Arose from His throne.
“Oh, best little blade of grass,” He said.


consonantsandvowels: And, oh help me, "because it is bitter and because it is my heart."

Melissa: Michael did a painting with that very title about sixteen years ago!

Michael: Those barely seem like paintings now. More like slabs with decals on them.

Melissa: Décollages.

consonantsandvowels: Those Sandburg videos were wonderful! Thanks for sending me there. Poetry is song. It began as song.

Melissa: Well, in a way, you sent yourself there, because your bringing up of Frost led us to rediscover Sandburg, so we were just sharing the roads taken.

consonantsandvowels: So my sister and I have a teensy, semi-ironic fetish for Hello Kitty. Lately I've been sending her an e-mail a day with a Hello Kitty masterpiece by Leslie Holt who did a series, being interested in cultural icons and cultural ownership. When I saw Duchamp in your response, I felt compelled to send you this. Yep. I'm letting everyone else handle the heavy stuff on this thread. I give you Hello Kitty.

:-)
@GalaxyMan:

Michael: Because we are old friends, you know we’ve gotta say something ;-)

GalaxyMan: Some reputable art historians debated the price difference between an original piece of art and its "perfect copy". . . . whatever the most perfect copy could get, because the value came from intangible factors like "the artist touched it", or "this is the only real one", etc. and not from the physical qualities of the object.

Michael: Maybe the operative word is “copy”. This makes me think of a discussion that Matta was having about the New York artists who were coming along and copying what the European artists were doing externally without really even understanding what produced it internally. It was superficial. Merely a copy.

Melissa: Right, that refers to the mimicking of another’s style.

Michael: Well, isn’t a forger just mimicking another’s style perfectly?

Melissa: Not just style, but the form, as well. The actual content of a specific piece. It’s like the instance versus the class. As for the “perfect copy” lacking something indefinable—it’s as if the work itself has a soul of some sort. It’s not just matter. But when it’s mechanically duplicated, cloned, it does become mere matter. Losing that ineffable connection with its creator.

Michael: This makes me think about the act of appreciation. Say you had an individual who had what they believed was an authentic painting by Rembrandt. And even though it’s not real, they appreciate that painting just as much as if it were. No difference in fact. So to that individual, because of their ignorance, there is no difference between an original and a copy. At least in terms of appreciation.

Melissa: Yes, that’s interesting to consider. Because what is “real” here—the subjective reality in the viewer’s mind, or the objective reality that the painting is a copy? Does it matter if it’s a copy when it produces the same effect on the audience, since for all they know it is real? That connection to the artist still exists in the mind, if not physically. But then we get into the whole tree falling in the forest nonsense, and I don’t think I wanna quite go there.