This is most likely the last thing I’ll ever post here. I’ve finally finished my official artist website and blog, and that’s where I’ll be moving to. Come have a look. Read some stories.
You’ll need to use a device with some kind of cursor rather than a touchscreen for it to work:
This piece is inspired by a chapter of Moby Dick called “The Whiteness of the Whale.” Throughout the chapter the narrator, Ishmael, explores how white is simultaneously a color of purity and horror. Ishmael’s explanations of whiteness are themselves created out of the whiteness, and thus, through their inadequacy, saturated with a fear of the ineffable.
"Though in many of its aspects this visible world seems formed in love, the invisible spheres were formed in fright." - p180, Moby Dick
I am as disappointed as everyone else when it comes to congress’s recent failure to pass a universally favored, painstakingly bipartisan bill on background checks. This is a sign of the times. A moment of shame for a system growing more corrupt by the day. Americans didn’t have a say in this fight. Lobbyists did.
But that’s not the only thing bothering me about this issue.
The rhetoric in support of gun control is exploitative and false. Popularized by the liberal media is the idea that gun tragedies like Newtown can be fixed by gun control. How? By stopping the mentally ill from buying guns? The mother of the Newtown shooter bought the gun he used. Not him. Stop criminals from buying guns? Legislation won’t stop straw purchases or black market sales. If someone wants a gun in this country they can get it. Anyone who wants to hurt other people can do so. It’s not hard. Like it or not, the internet has a limitless supply of recipes for homemade explosives. Even if guns are harder to get, the killers won’t be stopped.
So who are the killers? How do we stop them?
Setting criminal violence aside, the issue of the day, concerning the tragedies in Tucson and Newtown and others, is the violence of extreme outliers, the designated mentally disturbed.
The individuals behind these tragedies do not represent the average person. Their logic is not the logic of the popular consciousness. They are extreme cases, the inevitable byproduct of a large population. There will always be outliers. There are geniuses and there are madmen in this world, and everything in between. Every dream has been, is being, and will be dreamed, and to each other sometimes our dreams look more like nightmares.
In other words, there will be killers. There will always be killers.
But right now there are more killers, worse killers, than is natural, not because it’s easier to get guns—that hasn’t changed in a while—but because the popular media is obsessed with killing.
Because politicians and pundits find it necessary to mention the unfortunate deed of one sick individual over and over again. Because the media publishes the name and picture of tragic shooters and their families, tells the story of their lives and attempts tirelessly to speculate on the state of their minds. The only other citizens who get such treatment are celebrities, but we shy from the term because we’re afraid what that implies.
The truth of publication and popularization is that, in this world, it is a good thing. To a sad and lonely mind, it is a reward to be on TV, to be recognized for perhaps the first time in a life, to be mentioned by the president of the United States. It is a smaller deviation from the popular logic than you may think to decide national fame is worth killing for.
People, why are we experiencing more acts of violence in this country? It’s not because of guns, I can tell you that.
It’s because we reward them.
This article just reaffirmed all of the conclusions I have come to about the contemporary arts.
In the debate as to the identity of the post-postmodern, Vermuelen and Akker propose the concept of the metamodern, using the idea of metaxy to describe a state in between modernity and postmodernity that creates something wholly new through the balancing of two poles, it “negotiates between a yearning for universal truths and relativism, between a desire for sense and a doubt about the sense of it all, between hope and melancholy, sincerity and irony, knowingness and naivety, construction and deconstruction.”
Our generation is defined by “informed naivety,” “pragmatic idealism,” and “modern fanaticism.” It is an acknowledgement of the irony of postmodernism, but also filled with modern enthusiasm. In other words it is about the desire for universal truth despite the knowledge of its impossibility, and the acceptance of faith as the best tool to pursue what we truly want.
Tune in this Saturday at 6:00 to hear the third installment. (Streaming in the top right corner)
The Wild You:
For two years Jay has forgotten his self and his past, hitching across the country. But when an ill-tempered train conductor breaks his leg, he’s forced to recuperate in a desert trailer park named Starport. While he struggles to hold his wild self at bay, Jay rediscovers music, friendship, and love. But is it enough to stop him from destroying himself and Starport with him? Written and directed by David Seamans. Music by Dustin Lowman. Recorded live with the Middlebury Radio Theater of Thrills and Suspense. Part two of four. 54 minutes.
Luz (Hebrew: ‘לוז’) is the name of a small bone in the human body, at the top of the spinal column (the seventh cervical vertebra) or at the base of the spinal column (the coccyx), according to different traditions. Muslims and Jews believe that this is the bone from which the body will be rebuilt at the time of resurrection, and share the belief that this bone does not decay.Arabic books refer to this bone as “‘ajbu adh-dhanab” —(عَجْبُ الذَّنَب).
There is an aggadah (legend) in the midrash that the Roman Emperor Hadrian asked how man would be revived in the world to come, and Rabbi Joshua Ben Hananiah replied that it would be “From Luz, in the back-bone.” “Prove this to me,” said Hadrian. Then the Rabbi took Luz, a small bone of the spine, and immersed it in water, but it was not softened; he put it into the fire, but it was not consumed; he put it into a mill, but it could not be pounded; he placed it upon an anvil and struck it with a hammer, but the anvil split and the hammer was broken. (Ecclesiastes Rabbah xii / Genesis Rabbah xviii).