Monday, September 28, 2009

Thoughts on solipsism--an appreciation

So there is a moment in Kaufman's Synendoche, New York
That the hero's alter-ego throws himself off the top stage
And dies a horrible death, face down in the fake concrete
Skull crushed to oblivion for nothing more than the love
Of the box office.

Or is it the girl whose name is on your breath?
Or is it the woman whose house burns continually
And kills her, eventually, or the wife whose shower
Runs continually, who is never there for you to clean
But you clean, anyway, and sleep in the walk in
Hoping to avoid the disaster that is imminent

He cries, before he takes his deadly doppleganger plunge
"You don't see other people! You only care about yourself!"
Or something like that.

Where does that take us? What are we to say to such
A suicide plunge?

How do you feel about yourself these days?
Have your noticed skin lesions? Strange moles?
How are your bowel movements?

But it is all fine, because the hero survies
The hero moves on in his existence of me and me
And just a little bit of you
Until the little voice in his ear says

So you will die, earpiece in place,
And worms won't even consume
The last little bit of you sealed up
In some steel coffin.

Your pills will take care of the

You remain, just as you are
Just as empty
Just as tiny
Just as

Friday, September 25, 2009

Musing on Fairs of States

Butter Cows
Originally uploaded by ribizlifozelek

How could I miss the State Fair for 10 years in a row now? I used to like going to the fair--particularly visiting the animal stables, and admiring how their owners had preened and spiffed up beyond recognition their cows or sheep or pigs. Further on, the chicken house was always unbelievably noisy, given that chickens are perhaps the noisiest bird known to man (save perhaps the previously-mentioned magpie) and not only cackle, but crow, and guffaw, and screech through most of the day. I also quite enjoyed going to look at the prize vegetables and wondered how in the hell they could get them to last not just through a county fair but through a state fair as well. It was a wonder of modern agriculture to me. Of course I never considered that they put in different vegetables to replace their county fair winning entries, but that would take the magic out of it. Then, of course, there are the oddities of the State Fair--the butter cows and the two headed pigs and, yes, the bearded ladies. Top that off with a heaping portion of fried food of every kind (yes they do make fried Twinkies) and you are set for one memorable experience.

After ten years, it eludes me how I could miss 3 whole weekends of State Fair. Why was I not drawn by the buttery goodness of the butter cows? Why did the cackling of the chickens not call me home?

(Photo courtesy of ribizlifozelek.)

Thursday, September 24, 2009


I failed to expalin
That signigyingnothing
Is one long poem

Saturday, September 19, 2009

We are the land

331/365: I claim this land for everyone
Originally uploaded by Theorris

One of the best things about the Western United States are the vast tracts of public land. Those who live or have lived in other parts of the United States or other countries where public land is rare certainly can understand the crushing limitations when most of the land is privately held. While there may be arguments about its use, one would hope that the principal of public land and the freedom it represents will be continued in the West.

Public land, such as shown here up Big Cottonwood canyon near Salt Lake City at Solitude Ski Resort, can be put to multiple use. Not only is it a forest with a plethora of plants and animals, but it can support a ski resort and my beloved disc golf course. Of course, such multiple use of land use must be in moderation and conservation should be kept in mind, lest we lose this precious commodity. I do not use the term "commodity" lightly. One should be careful in talking about the spiritual qualities of land, given that the spiritual can be so easily discounted or refuted. To talk of value of the land (and perhaps spirituality) in economic terms is essential. The land does have intrinsic value beyond the minerals, the trees, or the recreational value it represents. It is difficult, however, to put that value in terms that don't sound hokey or hair-brained, but I attempt to.

We need such open space and non-owned land. It is a part of a full human life to wander the wild (or not so wild in my case.) My point is that we can conserve our natural resources and our open land and make use of it too.

As for the picture above, yes it is a joke, but I really do believe that this land belongs to us all. As Frost said, "The land was ours before we belonged to the land." In other words, we may think we posses the land, but it will, in time, posses us all.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A sad commentary on our times

328/365: Brightness of literacy
Originally uploaded by

The Philadelphia Free Public Library is closing (hopefully just temporarily): . SLC's Library System seems to be in fine shape, however.

Monday, September 07, 2009

And a Merry Labor Day Eve to Everyone!

318/365: Labor Day Eve!
Originally uploaded by Theorris

This is the eve that all good workers get a lump of coal for the upcoming winter from the Ghost of Samuel Gompers.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Inconsistency of folk schmolk or how Punk has failed us horribly

A friend of mine really hates "singer/songwriters."

My questions to you, oh reader, is

1) what exactly is a singer/song writer?


2) do you agree?

Is it just the solo act guy who stands up there on his own, exposed to the world, and strums or strokes his musical instrument for all the world to judge without the collaboration of other musicians that my friend objects to?

Is that really where we are in music these days? Is it the solo person who makes the difference?

I can see that. Not to get all pornographic on your asses, but that does seem like, at least, watching a Tijuana sideshow or, in the macro a modern-day bard who should have remained in the safety of his or her coffee shop.


But to retain the pornography, all that solo singing and songwriting is about getting laid now, isn't it?


Maybe that is the ultimate objection to "singer/songwriter" music. It is either self-indulgent or just about seducing whomever you want to seduce.


That is all fine and whatnot, but why do we really want to listen to such music? Isn't it really, oh reader, wish fulfillment at best?

Sadly, it isn't even that, because most solo love songs are about longing or the seduction itself. That last previous one I gave you a link to, for example. Catchy yes, and, like the Apple-esque cell phone hawker, I would be hard pressed not to used it as an excellent way to get laid or for people to buy the latest sweet sweet iPod-like cell phone devicenik.

Like the sweet November rain?

Isn't it all one in the same?




Perhaps it is just my friend's attitude (you remember him, right?) is just a bow shot on the whole of dreadful notion of folk music. (Now don't get me wrong--I have a very eclectic sense of music and don't really hate folk music, but I do feel that I should represent the expressions of my friend here and note that, as Cracker said, "we need another folk singer like we need another whole in our head.")


I can appreciate that.

La la la la la la la la la.

The greyhound was good, I thought. A smooth move to put a dog in a video. Dogs are universally loved and hated.


The wholesomeness that supposedly comes from being a "folk singer" seems weak. It seems to be appealing, overtly, to some political banter or some idealism that is entirely unattainable and yet representational of the system, and is, no doubt, why Bob Dylan decided to drop "the folk" like a bogarted bong.

One can believe in social justice and change, but is music particularly about that subject really going to work? Isn't it about integrating the ideal into the song and not making it overt?


Don't worry, reader, the irony of Woody Guthrie's son singing "This Land is Your Land" to the effete Boston crowd is not lost on me, particularly when Arlo was such a folk rebel himself.


See, my problem is with the whole idea that the individual singer can say a god damned thing.

We privilege the individual ad infinitum. We make the one man (and it usually a man, although in our more "enlightened age" the one woman ) the "voice of a generation," the "leader," "the chosen one."

Folk music was supposed to be about the collective force or people, singing about their travails and their triumphs. Instead it has been made into the "singer/songwriter" and how to make a buck.

Not to condemn poor Arlo and all of his hippie generation, but I think you goofed.

Not to condemn poor us, but I think we goofed.

It is not the "one" the "guy" or "gal" who makes it special.

It is us.

Can you give it up to us? Can we move forward and realize we can be individual beings and yet we are a part of the whole?