Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Quae furati sumus omnia quadrata currunt

Here is a curious thing. Amongst the scraps of paper I keep notes on, I found one scrap that had the single name "Lavoy Finicom" on it. Misspelled (Finicum) as I was watching the news with no text reference at the start of the botched Bundy Heist. I wrote the name down because I said to myself, this dumb fucker is gonna get them all killed.

(Yes, the Bundy Heist. It was a failed heist, a robbery gone wrong, due to the soft-headed poor planning of pudgy wobble-headed crackers who relied entirely too much upon faith for success. Couple this with your standard Western motif, and every single wrustler, bandit, and thief that ever stole anything in old West would sneer with contempt at the bumbling incompetence displayed. Americans generally will give practically anyone a second chance, but if there is one thing Americans have a hard time forgiving, it's incompetence).

Now, the fact that I wrote down this name on a scrap of paper with this particular insight isn't a case of amazing psychic ability. I remember I found the name interesting, and reading up on what this guy has said and done, I used plain old logical deduction that here is a guy who would rather face a hail of sharp-pointed bullets than a single lawyer with a single pointed question. He just knew he wouldn't be able to handle the court time and prison time without coming up wanting and looking a dumb yokel. I think there is a certain amount of presumption (we all have it after all, that core of iron in us) in what he did, and I respect as I would any human being, but it still means that he and the rest of the Bundy Gang deserve nothing more than mocking contempt and cruelest ridicule.

I mean, what a fucked-up venture this whole thing was! Not even clever in the least! And I am sure a bunch of dumb fucking jellyheads with the infantile authoritarian delusion of being in the right will make some kind of half-assed hare-brained video to try to color these buffoonish kleptomaniacs as patriotic citizens. And I'll tell you right now that this documentary on the Bundy Heist will be just the most ham-handed god-awful piece of crap propaganda piece that you will never wish to see.

Now, if you want clever? You want smart?

If you a fun and clever heist movie? Go rent Dope. That was a very fun, very smart, very funny heist movie. Not only are the characters attractive and engaging, the dialog smart and sharp, the action and pace spot on, but the protagonist competent, but the kids get away with the heist. They deserve to get away with the heist.

Can't say the same for the Bundy Gang. This, in a country with the sordid history of consistent force and fraud and that it has, a country that should have have as it's motto "We Stole It All Fair And Square".

Every single ruthless founder, grubby-handed city boss, corrupt governor, cock-blocking entrepreneur, cynical robber baron, debauched grandstander, and double-dealing mercenary that this nation of ours has ever produced must be looking up from Hell and shaking their heads in bitter dismay and disappointment at these incompetent fuckups.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Time to freaka 'bout Zika?

Back when everybody was squirting a stain about Ebola, Zika was quietly spreading from its haunts in Uganda to the New World. And the US looks like a prime target for Zika the way Ebola only wishes it could.

courtesy the
Stephen King probably banging his head on his desk he didn't come up with the Zika virus. A virus that mutilates fetuses and turns sufferer's children into pinheads? What a horror story. Almost as good as lead poisoning of children, which is much easier to do.

It has the horrifying aspects of attacking our major attribute as human animals - our big brains - and also throws in perhaps a little ecotopian Gaian revenge for effing up the planet. A nice little measure from Mother Nature to take of a pesky parasite with as little collateral damage as possible - certainly a lot better than a nuclear war.

So, let's trend outward 20 years, and let's say Zika mutates to that it is not just fetuses that get mutilated in their epigenesis, but everyone in their ongoing daily epigenesis gets mutilated. Why then, those areas that have mosquitoes that are the best carriers, Aedes aegypti, have the highest percentage of pinheads. Pinhead Congress. Pinhead White House.

President Pinhead

Friday, January 22, 2016

I'm Gonna Die

The second you start thinking of yourself as an animal is the second you become a lot less neurotic.

Couple of nights ago, I'm watching an episode of Nature entitled Natural Born Hustlers. This episode, the 2nd of 3 entitled the Hunger Hustle, had a segment that blew me away. Monkeys would steal stuff from tourists. The thing that blew me away was the monkeys would give up the stuff for food.

Meaning 1) monkeys could abstract reason the concept of value, 2) monkeys had a theory of mind that the stuff could be ransomed, and 3) the monkeys had a concept of reciprocation, they bartered the stolen items for food.

Is it really that surprising that animals could be so sophisticated? Hell, no. We are animals. We just have a hard time admitting it. But once you do, life gets a lot simpler, things get less scary, and you, my dear little fellow animal, can act with more ease and grace in your daily life.

Consider: I wrack my brain for ideas. What will I make next? It's not a question of finding things to make. There are tons of those. It's a question finding things that are cool to make. What do I want to devote my precious, precious time to? What if an idea doesn't pan out? What if thing is not how I envioned it, due to practicality or ineptitude? What if I waste my time?

Relax. Just fucking do it. And if you waste your time, it's your time to waste.

So, there's a competition coming up called Bullseye Emerge. It's for people who are not represented by major galleries, so I can participate. This juried entry, like the Corning Glass Review, is something I never get in. I considered submitting my usual cast glass piece, but then said Hey, hang on.

I went back and looked at my last and latest mold failure, and said, why not submit this? In fact, why not use the accident to create a purposeful failure?

I was staring at this image last night:
Tentatively Titled 'Crop Failure'
And I said, there's a lot of things I like about this. The glass flow is nice. The edges are nice. The fragile brittle thin (or broken and missing) sections look good against the thicker more solid pieces. I can't create this purposefully, but I can harness the mold failure to make a nice glass flow. (Bullseye actually has a video and a class called Harnessing the Flow that involves stacking glass on a ramp, and letting heat and gravity produce the forms). The flow can be controlled to some extent. So why not create a mold failure to semi-control the flow?

The other thing I like about the image, one that I use a lot, is frame breaking. Breaking the border of the piece. It makes it more interesting, especially the ragged bottom edge. I'd be hard pressed, once again, to come up with such an interesting line had I tried to do this on purpose. So, let the glass do it for me!

Third, it's true the piece is ephemeral and, actually, non-existent, now in the trash. So what? Nowadays, in our digital age, documentation and provenance of an art piece are worth more than the art piece. The metadata is worth more than the data.

I'm going to do this again, but build a plaster/silica tray to hold the mold and recover the glass, rather than it spilling all over the kiln shelf, and see if I can do an intentional mold failure.

If I make a series of glass objects that I document and then trash, what's the problem? There is evidence of a glass piece, even though it's gone now. Plus, there is a certain element of freedom in going against every stricture of glass casting. Molds aren't supposed to break. Glass thicknesses should be kept uniformly close, soaks and ramps must be followed to keep the glass stable.

I don't care. As long as it lasts long enough to be documented, what's the problem?

It's liberating, freeing myself of the collective neuroses of proper glass technics. And even better, since I'm well-versed in mold making, I can justify breaking the mold.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Sugar of Lead

Now, one way to explain the continued tardation of our culture would be the huge amount of lead in our blood. Wasn't that why Rome fell? Too much lead in the water? That's the folktale. Most say, true, the amount of lead in Roman tap water was 100 times that of the spring water sources, but the levels were still low. On the other hand, you can find a lot of scientists who say even ridiculously low levels of lead in blood are harmful to IQs.

An article on Vox points out, forget Flint, every major city has a lead problem. Think of all the urban gardens in shitholes like Brooklyn (now considered 'cool', if 'cool' is a synonym for shithole), where urban parents feed fresh lead-filled veggies to their children. Concentrated lead-filled veggies from the lead-filled soil, courtesy of automobile exhaust.

This is the result of the "no-knock" leaded gasoline. Don't you think it odd that, some 36 years or so later after they 'got the lead out', gas pumps still say 'unleaded'? Further evidence of cultural tardation?  And all that lead spewed out of tailpipes eventually sank back down to earth, into the soil and water, and then into your little developing baby brain. And mine, which is why I'm tarded too.

(This kind of sounds like, if only Rome hadn't fallen, we'd have had no Dark Ages and we would two hundred years ahead of where we are now. Which, I guess, means WWIII would have taken place in 1834).

Hey, speaking of which, don't you think all that radioactive fallout also tarded us up some? But I distract myself.

The hypothesis is that there is a connection between a drop in crime and the end of the use of leaded gasoline. I know this sounds like some of bullshit freakonomics thing, but it is compelling.

At the very least, don't you think that lead-filled water, or chewing lead paint chips, would go a long way to explain that dumb fucking whore Sarah Palin and her slutty, drunk, stupid kids?

Friday, January 15, 2016


I haven't had a glass mold failure in about a decade. I didn't get mad when I opened the kiln, just said "Whoops, got some cleanup to do". Glass all over the kiln shelf. Some glass on the bottom over the kiln brick, but that popped right off. It won't be that bad to clean up the kiln shelf. I'll do that Tuesday when I come back.

Managed to slice a pinhead-sized flap of flesh out of my middle finger manipulating the glass mold. It's amazing how painless and easy that is. Bled like a stuck pig.

So, I cleaned up the piece anyway to see how it went. Not good.

The jelly-monster was exactly as I wanted it, and the face and arm of the guy turned out how I wanted it. But the hat and shirt was no good. Shirt should be solid red, and the hat I think should be a light blue. Now I know what I have to do when I recreate this thing. Kind of like the ghost stream body on the guy. It was supposed to go with this piece.

I'll remake it next week.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Autism and Neoteny

Let's look at a baby skull.

According to some theories, evolution has a trick called neoteny, wherein juvenile or infantile characteristics are continued into adulthood.

The classic example is the comparison of baby chimps to adult chimps to adult humans. You can see that baby chimps look more human than adult chimpanzees do. So the idea is, there was a mutation, or a suite of mutations, that resulted in retaining baby chimp characteristics. (Or rather the baby characteristics of the shared ape ancestor of chimps and hominids).This resulted in the split between genus pan and genus homo.

David McCallum as the next step in human evolution, according to The Outer Limits

Which I guess means that the 'alien greys', the adult-sized fetal humans first seen in the sci-fi TV show The Outer Limits, is where our post-human future lies.

Yeah, no. Not unless a) birth canal and pelvis sizes change so that the already dangerous childbirth of humans is made less dangerous for giant big head babies (meaning big giant fat asses on women, the so-called steatopygian trend) occurs, or b) preemie babies allow for head growth outside of the womb, or c) the advent of artificial wombs.

But, no, when you consider that the brain already accounts for 20% of the metabolism of a human body, it's difficult to see how a bigger brain is possible. In fact, a lot of the neuro-psychological problems we see in anatomically modern humans suggest we've hit a design limit.

Of course, my theory is these neuro-psychological problems (schizophrenia, autism, bipolar, depression, etc), probably all sharing a root cause or cause are actually not bugs but features.

My theory is that autism is merely neoteny gone wrong. I'm hazarding, for lack of a better description, that we modern humans are autistic homo heidelbergensis. Autism, promoted through the wrong environmental cues, is embedded in the suite of mutations that resulted in modern homo sapiens, and thus, autism is probably as old as modern humans, some 200,000 years old.

In other words, autism is not a modern affliction, and not a modern plague. It's as old as we are, it is a neotonous result that, rather than manifesting as a physical neoteny, is instead a psychological one.

I, of course, am not the first to suggest this. Having a brain that remains plastic and adaptable well into adulthood would, for a generalist species, be of an advantage - in any environment.

This does not mean that people in the autism spectrum are superior mutants, not the X-men or mutated superheroes of our juvenile comic books. It just means that we humans, all of us, have innate savant skills as a result of this suite of mutations, and sometime this can go wrong, and one example is autism.

In case you didn't know, I am in the autism spectrum. And if you've reading my essays with any regularity, you probably are too. (I no longer use the term high-functioning Asperger's syndrome, as that is now defunct according to psychologists. But, I took the test, and I came up 'borderline', which I interpreted as 'normal', which of course is not true at all, I'm weird and quirky as hell, but allow me my conceits).

Well, I am now convinced that we becoming an autistic society. Our culture is more childlike, our institutions geared more towards accommodating people within the spectrum, even if they are not. We don't wear adult clothes anymore. We tolerate childish behavior. We adapt our materiality towards

I believe George Carlin called this the "pussification of America". I don't necessarily think that all of this is part and parcel to Carlin's complaint, but what I see could be interpreted as such.

So, is this a bad thing? The one thing I have noticed about people on the spectrum is, they can be adults, they can be productive adults, and in fact (if you look at Los Alamos, or NASA, or Silicon Valley) incredibly productive adults.

Where do we go from here?

Monday, January 11, 2016

Send Them All The Bullets And Gold They Can Eat

As if the Bundy Gang wasn't enough of a joke already, now they find they've painted themselves into a corner, and are requesting more paint.

Ammon Bundy's mommy sent out a request for them to be resupplied. She wants you to send them more free stuff to keep them going through the long hard winter... that apparently they didn't plan very well on living through.
On Saturday, Ammon Bundy's mother, Carol Bundy, sent an email to supporters asking them to send her son's group supplies from a list of more than 80 items, including sleeping bags, wool socks, cigarettes, toiletries, food, coffee and "French Vanilla Creamer."
Can't make this shit up.

...maybe the Bundy Gang should take lessons from REAL men, the Black Panthers that staged an armed protest within the halls of the California state capitol building.

Friday, January 8, 2016

"Sorry about that whole extermination thing": Time For Land Reparations?

The US government has a shitload of money sitting idly in accounts waiting for American Indians to take it. American Indians don't want it. They want the land.

The Lakota (nee Sioux) tribes have steadfastly refused a money settlement for the Black Hills. I suppose, if I were them, I'd want the land back, plus a money settlement to fix the vandalism incurred to Mt. Rushmore (irony, named after one of the first mooching land grabbers).

(Now, you know the deal about the Black Hills, right? I mean, aside from being sacred land, the hills are also act as a rain generator, and nice place to have in a land that can become quite arid).

We seem to forget that the Federal government set all these white settlers up to begin with - and with some major subsidies: cheap land, cheaper water, protection, roads, railroads, electricity, you name it. It's true it's a hard life, but compared to whose? Your average rancher lives a pretty soft life compared to pastoralists around the world, not to mention in the past. You don't see Mongols getting all this nice free stuff from the government.

Well, maybe it's time to give the Indians the land back. Well, maybe just land west of the Mississippi. Maybe this admittedly minor news item about the Bundy gang occupying federal land might come to some good after all.

Let me ask you this, if tomorrow, the Federal government turned over all its land to the various tribes, what would happen? Would anything happen? I'm guessing mostly no. I'm guessing the Indians would ask some people to leave some areas, but the existing bureaucracy does fairly good job of land management and stewardship, there would be no immediate reason to replace or abandon it.

My understanding is, yes, absolutely there is a little heavy-handedness in regulating on the part of the  Feds. But I also understand they and the ranchers have done a good job cooperating on land stewardship. So, part of what happens is the grazing fees could go into existing money accounts for the tribes. Government could actually work for a people that we tried to exterminate.

There would be problems, but honestly, how would this be a bad thing?

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

The White Horse Prophecy

When the radicalized Mormon terrorist Bundy Gang had taken over a bird sanctuary in eastern Oregon, I checked out the geologic maps of the region.

Is that paranoid? I figured gold was what they were after, or maybe oil or uranium or something, and that would explain the whole criminal enterprise, but no. Deposits of quaternary sediment, fine loess ground by glaciers, and that's about it.

There is gold further north in the lava plains, but nothing special near or around Lake Malheur. I've spent some time in that area. Camping out in the Seven Devils region of the Snake River further north, and driven through Burns on my way from Bend to Boise.

Sage country. High desert. Rolling hills. I drove through there about this time of year, sunlight glistening off ice-rimed sage bush. Pretty. I shot firearms from my vehicle on highway 20, because I got clued in by all the shot-up highway signs, and said what the hell if you can't shoot firearms from your moving vehicle out here, just where the hell can you shoot firearms from a moving vehicle?

Oh. Chicago. Never mind.

Anyway, because I do view the Bundy Gang as sanctimonious yokel amateur parasites*, the inevitable pitiful result of the Cheap Food for Cheap People policy the US of A has pursued lo these past 150 years, reaping obscene profits from public lands at taxpayer expense, I reckoned that was their angle. Just another scam to add to their lifestyle, but no.

I think these people buy into the White Horse Prophecy. Big time. So, not only are they mooching parasites, they are sanctimonious busybodies and buttinskies as well. Wannabe nannies who feel they know better than the rest of us about the perceived nanny state, what with the whole US Constitution hanging by a thread, which it is, but not for the reasons they think.

I don't think so. I don't think these jawless flipperlimbed jellyheads are going to save the US Constitution.

Let's face it. These dumb fuckers are pikers. They don't have the first fucking clue as to the political landscape, otherwise they would not have so drastically miscalculated the public's response to them.

Which so far, seems to be one of disdain, if not outright contempt. If these poor dumb fuckers with their peashooters think they can tactically paint themselves into a corner, and not be scooped up like so many inanimate pebbles at any time, they are even more delusional than your average chump religious fanatic.

I mean, great plan, guys. Isolate and expose yourselves to any and offensive measures, cut off your own supply lines, and have a boneheaded strategy that plans about two minutes into the future, while fantasizing that it's all a solid and good, once the imaginary calvary shows up... pretty soon... anytime now...

Hey, while you yeehawdist peasants are occupying CCC buildings, who is occupying your homesteads? Who been eating your porridge? Who been sitting in your chair? Who been sleeping in your bed?

Monday, January 4, 2016

My GREAT Holiday Break

Actually, my holiday breaks are always fantastic, so this one was not unusual. Ate too much, drank too much, slept in late. It was glorious.

The week before Christmas my niece came into town from KC, with her baby. We stayed up until 2am that first night, laughing and being stupid. During the week before Christmas, my brother and I fell into the habit of late night walks. We walked all over the place, visited the old neighborhoods.

At one time, we ran into an old neighbor of ours a couple of doors down from our childhood home, who didn't recognize us. Once we told him who we were, he got a look on his face, like, oh yeah, you hoodlums.

Probably the best walk was on Christmas Eve. Actually, a lot of stuff happened Christmas Eve. Earlier in the week, my niece wanted to go see Star Wars. I said sure, when. She wanted to do it Christmas Day, so I got online for tickets, and... sold out. How about Christmas Eve? We scheduled in the 9pm show.

We had our big dinner around 6. Beef tenderloin, baked potatoes and corn. Pineapple upside-down cake for desert.

Afterwards, we sat in the living room. My great-niece decided I needed prettying up. She kept a putting a plastic necklace on me, then stood back, looked, rearranged the necklace. Must have gone on for a half hour, and I was later praised for my patience. I later mentioned to my mom that it was kind of cute how she was kind of grooming my hair like a chimp. My mom told me... she was trying to clip a bow in my hair.

Star Wars I talked about. It was fun because I was with my niece. Afterwards, at around midnight, we went back home and my brother was waiting for a walk. "Let's go down to the swamp" I said.

I should point that I had an extremely fortunate childhood, in that the four street subdivision development we grew up in had forests and fields in every direction. South of us was a swamp that we used to fish and swim in during the summer, skate on and play hockey on in the winter. There was a patch of forest near the shore, where we built forts and tree houses. One big old oak we dubbed Big Moe.

Everything has been developed now, save for the swamp, which they are draining. Christmas Eve night was windy as hell. Clouds whipping by at an amazing pace, and the moon nearly full.
We walked down, and after a little disorientation due to the fact that the shoreline receded, we found the forest patch. Big Moe was gone. Just a huge upturned mound of black dirt where the rotted stump had been, and new path of new growth where the tree had fallen.

But the Cunt Tree was still there! Called such due to a large lightning strike gash on the side that had healed over into a vagina. We leaned up against the tree on the leeward side of the trunk, and watched the forest sway above us. (That wind was the remnant of the hurricane from Mexico). It was a magic, spooky, witchy moment.

Well, then Christmas Day, and everyone took off for KC. Went to dinner up in Michigan with friends of mine, and I had the most decadent fettucini steak alfredo I've ever had.

I wish for death by steak alfredo.