An extension of Watching Apocalypse


    Art As Therapy

    Share
    avatar
    Ren's View
    Admin

    Posts : 248
    Join date : 2016-09-16

    Art As Therapy

    Post by Ren's View on Thu Sep 22, 2016 5:34 am

    Alain De Botton on Art as Therapy:

    avatar
    Ren's View
    Admin

    Posts : 248
    Join date : 2016-09-16

    Chris Hedges Interviews Alain De Botton

    Post by Ren's View on Thu Sep 22, 2016 5:53 am

    Alain De Botton seems to be an interesting guy with some interesting thoughts about this topic of art (and some others, like religion for atheists, he's an atheist).

    I experienced some intuitive feelings of caution, however, while he was rolling out his ideas, and while I thought he had some very good and even humanistic thoughts, he also had some that touch a chilling area of thinking about institutions that I've been developing for quit a long time, now, that have me wondering about his exposure and experience with those social structures. 

    Subsequently to watching the above talk, I found this interview with Chris Hedges.  Chris is someone who has expressed similar doubts to mine about the nature of institutions and tends to see them in a more glass half empty way, like me, than the more hopeful glass half full way that Alain seems to see.  I guess it's good to have an optimist around once in awhile, but here's Chris and Alain, Chris Hedges: What Can Atheists Learn from Religion? Interview with Alain de Botton (2012) :



    In the interview, Chris raises some of the same questions about institutions that I would want to, so he is in a way my own voice by proxy in a discussion with Alain that I will never get to have over a cup of coffee in a cafe some day.

    While Alain openly calls institutions mechanisms, even saw the church institution as a mechanism, what he doesn't seem to have elucidated in his own mind is the danger of being part of such a human-contrived mechanism and then the nature of that kind of belonging.  A danger which in my mind takes us into the realms of inventing and then being part of the authoritarian mind set; which is not, in my own narrative, a belonging of a democratic nature. 

    And where I think he maybe hasn't developed his thoughts, and where it might be difficult for him to go now that he's espousing a kind of ideational program about institutions that he has in mind while he talks about these issues, I think reveals itself when he warns Chris not to idolize the value of the individual over the belonging to an institution. Chris, of course, is well aware of this, I happen to know from reading his works, but this is an interview, not a debate so he doesn't do anything overt to demonstrate this, thus what he does in his questioning becomes very subtle, and allows Alain to reveal what he thinks. Alain is making a kind of idea based comparison that I worry actually misses the mark of our deeper humanity and what that brings to any social association.  In saying that he sets up a choice: he warns of a danger in making the choice for the individual side because -- and this is a kind of truth I would agree with -- we are social beings,and need belonging.  Yes there's good argument that the idolization of the individual is a part of the mindset that's set loose this free market frenzy on the world that's in the process of seriously damaging the biosphere of the planet for very self-centered and short term purposes.  Yet what's taken place has not taken place because of the individual, but because of the power of institutions, where people are organized to be part of a machinery that does things they cannot individually decide is good or bad while they are taking part. 

    So it's important to recognize that the idea he's using is only a kind of propaganda tool, not an actual choice that's part of what's become modern civilization.  Where I get cautious is when I see him putting his warning in terms of a binary opposition, with the two options: the individual or the institution.  When placed in a binary opposition choice situation, I tend immediately move sideways and look into possibilities of other options, because I don't like feeling trapped that way. In this case I happen to already know there're more than just those two options.

    I don't know if he has not delved deeply into this issue or if he's so fixed on his solution that he's ignoring what I see as a third area of social possibility. He has not openly acknowledged, perhaps not even seen that possibility, which I think he needs to do if he's aware of it. And maybe this is what a background in anthropology helped me with long ago.  That third possibility is that human social organization was originally small and egalitarian, not institutional, therefore not hierarchically ordered.  Alain picks up the "good" of institutions in a part of history that's already taken in complexifying human society into hierarchical order. It's like he's ignoring a huge period of time that preceded this form of social order. So, I'm inclined to raise the point that there is another kind of possibility for being part of a social group, and that is a non institutional form of socializing with each other.  Others have argued this and it goes by different names which I won't bring up.  I don't think the naming is necessary, just the sense that there are more than two options we can think about.

    I don't think this distinction is made clear in the interview about art as therapy.  Nor does this mean that I don't see that Alain has good criticisms about the way things are going in the world, and certainly about the trend for devaluing art, literature, and the humanities in general, and how that value is not being openly recognized and properly valued by modern institutions -- the way he sees that it was valued, say, by the Catholic Church in past centuries.  I think he does have much good to say, especially seeing and criticizing how institutions are systematically removing these important human expressions from society.  But for me there's a potential flaw in where he may go with that criticism if he gives institutions too much positive credit for their existence, even if it was in the imagery he sees in a past time, then suggesting they only need to be "fixed" with a proper purpose so they do their job properly, and thus implying much potential good for humans taking when part in them -- if only they were working correctly. 

    What's missing, I think, in his machinery of fixing, is the fixer. Who is the fixer?  If the fixer is just another cyborg or robotic entity, then where does our humanity enter this picture? This is a real conundrum. To me that fixer would have to be something democratic, a common sense that arises from the grass roots; and what we've seen in the institutionalizing of democracy in so many nation states of modern civilization is the disappearance of that common sense-influence as the managers in the hierarchical structures of institutions use their positions in ways that contradict a broader human understanding that can only come from a democratically shared consciousness.  Rather than a common sense, I think we are seeing a common stupid-ification of the general populace.  And as much as Alain would like to see that fixed, I fear his appeal to the institutions themselves is to the poison, rather than the cure.


    Last edited by Ren's View on Wed Apr 19, 2017 7:57 am; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : Had to find a new link for the Hedges/de Botton video)
    avatar
    dleet
    Moderator
    Moderator

    Posts : 72
    Join date : 2016-09-18

    Re: Art As Therapy

    Post by dleet on Thu Sep 22, 2016 4:57 pm

    I was glad you put the hierarchic set definition in. Some things people want require an institution, like the US mail Franklin started, or the took-way-too-long-to-be- installed London Sanitary Sewage system.

    Kurds were a nomadic people forced into other means but still surviving, and without any hierarchic structure in their cultures, probably due to nomadic traditions.
    The Jewish communes must have a structure different than an institutional rule. Rules for rules' sake is a fascist characteristic, but against the no regulations and rules crowd of libertarians that want no drivers licenses to be required.
    An institution one can check into when needed, but out of whenever and as often as desired might fail the definition of an institution or at least a controlling one. In other words, the more free time one has, the less institutionally bound one tends to be. I may be just speaking for myself, but I've never had as much freedom in my life, and we don't have to lock our doors, the same way I grew up.

    I'll finish the video soon, in the meantime, our next president in his element: is ironic since I have often said fox is to news what WWE is to wrestling, and Colbert said Trump's campaign was similar to WWE because his campaign cannot be real. Is WWE art? The guy in the ring did Art of the Deal but he didn't write it.
    avatar
    Ren's View
    Admin

    Posts : 248
    Join date : 2016-09-16

    Re: Art As Therapy

    Post by Ren's View on Thu Sep 22, 2016 8:30 pm

    American anarchism has a rich tradition.  I was drawn to Thoreau's writing long before I ever heard the term 'anarchist'.  Libertarians are a kind of unnatural distant cousin of that tradition.  One that has the genetics of economics kind of inserted like GMO plants and animals get otherwise unnatural combinations of genes combined in their DNA in a laboratory.  A false individualism from the free enterprise gene got somehow embedded in libertarian DNA.  The laboratory in this case was industrial civilization. There is also a good argument for long term survival legitimacy in the need each individual has for the group and any efforts that group might make to maintain its coherence for survival. But that too can become a dangerous argument for precedence when those legitimized as enforcement cannot be questioned.  

    On the other hand, the very existence of large, complex societies questions the very potential of a workable questioning anarchy.  As Chomsky likes to say, from his anarchist background, all authority must answer questions of legitimacy whenever it uses its authority. That raises the specter of a never ending democratic reciprocation between everyone and any figure of authority. One solution to that was to come up with rules everyone can agree with, then play within the rules.  Kind of like wrestling. So then what happens when you allow the freedom to carry firearms? What happens when that tiny percentage of sociopaths get their hands on them? WWE?

    So then we have the intrusion of the automobile into the public domain. Several thousands pounds of lethal machinery driving around at high speeds on roads the public has put resources together to build for everyone's convenience. A driver's license is essentially people working together to make sure that they can be safe to use their own roads free from incompetent individuals who endanger everyone in their path while driving a vehicle on public roads.  In that way it answers that question of legitimacy for the license and enforcement.  However, that legitimacy can be contradicted by policing behavior itself. With the rise of policing institutions, all sorts of corruption of the rules and regulations can come about discrediting what was once given legitimacy.  Then we get to figures like Donald Trump arising in this chaos saying fuck you to figures of authority, while being an authority of sorts himself.

    Is Olympic wrestling real? Is any spectator sport real? What makes it any more real than WWE?  WWE can viewed as a kind of parody of that rule based wrestling sport.  Then we get parodies of reality like Donald Trump and his corporation parody reality television show, now turned a full fledged run for the Presidency.  Has U.S. politics finally achieved a level of parody, parodying democracy itself?

    Speaking of wrestling, the question of whether or not institutions can be constructed that can pass all tests of legitimacy is a big one.  One that does not seem to have a single, satisfactory answer for all the big brains that get involved in the wrestling match of logical legitimacy.  Can complex societies even exist without institutions?   Should they?  If not, who's to decide, and how's it to be agreed upon?  Can anyone say no, we don't want you here! to Gengis Khan and his Mongol hordes, and they'll just turn around and go back home to tend to their herds of cattle, sheep, goats, camels, horses, etc? (they were nomads of the Steppes, nomads tend to be warriors more than peasant farmers tend to be).  No, what tends to happen is an institution gets formed, it gets funding for arms derived of the latest technology, and then authorities are put in charge of sending a bunch of armed peasants out to meet Gengis and his horde.  All The Donald needs to do is convince enough people there's a threat and they'll willingly put him in charge... until of course the threat turns out to be real and then they actually will need to depend on this blow hard.  At that point all hell actually does break loose.  But while society is unraveling, what do people do?
    avatar
    dleet
    Moderator
    Moderator

    Posts : 72
    Join date : 2016-09-18

    Re: Art As Therapy

    Post by dleet on Fri Sep 30, 2016 2:44 pm

    Truth is not dead, it was just on holiday.
    avatar
    Ren's View
    Admin

    Posts : 248
    Join date : 2016-09-16

    Re: Art As Therapy

    Post by Ren's View on Fri Sep 30, 2016 7:02 pm

    I don't think it's even been on holiday.  Most of us know what's going on.  And that's what those gamblers are betting on.

    Personally, I think paying attention to Trump has about the same effect as paying attention to trolls when you want to discuss something.  It gives them legitimacy in the eyes of those who do take them seriously by the very fact of giving them one's attention, even when it's negative attention.  That's how they take over threads.  I watched it happen, year after year. 

    If we could actually discuss issues, maybe that itself would eventually change the nature of politics.  I don't know. Just wondering.
    avatar
    dleet
    Moderator
    Moderator

    Posts : 72
    Join date : 2016-09-18

    Re: Art As Therapy

    Post by dleet on Sat Oct 01, 2016 12:49 am

    STEM has been pushed so much that the humanities studies of linguistics, logic, and social sciences have lost out. Social commentary as fiction has a rich history from Voltaire to  Dickens, Orwell, Twain and some recent additions mentioned in the article as quoted below. None of them preached but they laid out the inequities, injustices, and horrors of their current societies. Shakespeare used The Fool.

    There might be a path for change originating in this hallowed tradition. http://www.salon.com/2016/09/30/the-power-of-pop-literature-why-we-need-diverse-ya-books-more-than-ever/?source=newsletter Btw, the quoted part is easier to read at the original source. I'm to lazy to edit the paragraphs displayed at the link.
    =
    "Books are dangerous things. But not reading enough of them can be fatal to civil society.  Given the high political stakes, it’s amazing that being called “bookish” has devolved into a sneer. Too often, kids who love to read are called dorks or nerds or some combination thereof, but definitely not high-school-hero athletes, as if mens sana in corpore sano — a sound mind in a sound body — has become an impossible contradiction in terms. To subvert negative stereotypes of bookishness was one of the genius maneuvers of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, which saw Harry pushing up his mild-mannered glasses and Hermione raiding the library in order to fight evil by reading spells aloud. That epic battle against Voldemort and the death-eaters began 20 years ago. Today, young people are the “most literate” demographic, with successful Young Adult titles now being routinely optioned for television series and films.  What makes a book “Young Adult” as opposed to, say, a novel for adults? Turns out, as YA author Emily Ross concedes after making a valiant stab at defining it, nobody quite knows. Typically, a “Young Adult” book features a teenage protagonist and a correspondingly angst-ridden worldview. But since more than half of the readers of YA are adults, the genre is arguably better understood as “pop literature” — or rather, books people will read even though they don’t have to.  Therein lies the source of its power, and the reason why it generates profound anxiety and territorialism. If this past decade has seen Young Adult literature becoming ground zero for the iCulture Wars, those furious Twitter fights and digital media think pieces calling out systematic marginalization, institutional racism, and cultural appropriation in the YA world are more accurately understood as the latest iteration of an age-old power struggle over who has the right to control the narrative regarding the way we see ourselves, and how the world sees us.  Suddenly, books are dangerous again.  ***  Vanessa Garcia, whose novel “White Light” won Best Popular Book at the 2016 International Latino Book Awards earlier this month, posted this conversation on her Facebook page:  Split second confusion at the post office.  Post woman: “Do any of your articles contain anything liquid, perishable, fragile, or potentially dangerous.”  Me (thinking about my “articles” i.e.–writing–and then realizing I was shipping two of my books): “ummmm”  In my head: wow: perishable, fragile, dangerous… I …ummmm  Post woman: Just press yes or no  Even as far-right populism continues its global rise, the written word has become vibrant with danger precisely because it has the potential to challenge the mono-think tendencies of hyper-partisanship and authoritarianism. Historically, wars and religious conflicts have led to censorship, confiscations and book burnings, the politics of which have driven dystopian plot lines from Ray Bradbury’s sci-fi classic “Fahrenheit 451″ to Sabaa Tahir’s bestselling 2015 YA novel “An Ember in the Ashes.” These and many other stories hope to remind us that the freedom to choose our own reading is a form of resistance against the looming threat of a totalitarian state, whether extreme Left (as in George Orwell’s “1984”), or extreme Right (as in Markus Zusak’s 2012 novel “The Book Thief”).  Seen in this light, the bookish are not dweebs but the baddest of badasses.  But there is a classed component to reading, which has not only contributed to elitist disdain for popular literature but also to the political blindness misreading populist anger in this country. In “The Seven Curses of London” (1869), journalist James Greenwood went to visit the boys’ section of a London penitentiary. His guide was the prison governor, who asked a repeat offender in solitary confinement:  Governor: …Can you read, lad?  Lad (with a penitential wriggle). “Yes sir. I wish as I couldn’t, sir.”  Governor. “Ah! Why so?”  Lad (with a doleful wag of his bullet-head). “Cos then I shouldn’t have read none of them highwaymen’s books, sir; it was them as was the beginning of it.”  “It” was a life of crime leading him straight to the gallows, to be hung as an incorrigible thief, for “them highwaymen’s books” were also known as penny dreadfuls. This was cheap, popular literature deemed to be corrupting the youth of the day, and its bad influence was commonly blamed for the very existence of urban criminality.  Today, we’d call this line of reasoning “victim blaming.” It follows that the strongest children would rebel against the horrifying conditions imposed on them by the capitalist exploitation of labor, and turn impulsively to crime for lack of a better understanding of the socio-economic reasons keeping them in poverty. The hardened lad in question was estimated to be no more than 13 years old. Insofar as compulsory schooling laws would not be passed until 1876, the young recidivist was not obligated to be in school and, in any case, the working poor were only educated only up to the age of ten. Hence the appeal of the penny dreadful for these children, and for the adults they would eventually become. They could read up to a fifth-grade level, but were not educated in any meaningful sense.  Basic schooling, then, was being used as a tool of social control, not individual betterment. For the ruling classes, made up of royals, aristocrats, and industrialists, the existence of a popular and populist literature was worrying, for it was getting the poorly educated to stick their noses in books and maybe start liking to read. And if they started to understand? The very possibility posed a dire threat to a geopolitical social order invested in the hierarchy of the races, the strict observation of class boundaries, and a gendered social sphere where a woman’s place was in the home.  A half-century earlier, the anxieties swirling around the power of pop literature had been brilliantly distilled by Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein.” Her nameless Creature did not terrify (upper- and middle-class) readers because he murdered in the name of revenge, but because he was literally made up of the body parts of the underclasses: the criminalized poor, sick, and indigent. Instead of knowing his (subordinate) place, the Creature ran away and effectively taught himself how to read. He had three books: “Plutarch’s Lives,” Milton’s “Paradise Lost” and Goethe’s “The Sorrows of Young Werther.” This last was a bestseller in the modern sense, meaning it was an instant hit that set fashion trends, and moralists worried it was a bad influence on the young people.  Shelley’s Creature embodied the greatest of existential threats to the British Empire, raising the unsettling possibility that if the great unwashed truly learned how to read, they’d figure out exactly how they were being exploited and, with their greater physical strength and numbers, band together and handily overthrow their social betters.  ***  Add an explicit racial component to that fear, and welcome to the 20th century. In “The Turner Diaries,” a fictional 1970 American diary written by a young white male protagonist, Jews and African-Americans have risen up and committed themselves to the genocide of Whites. A violent resistance movement springs up and, predictably, wins, re-establishing White Supremacy in the end. Hmm. Written by a neo-Nazi, this self-published bestseller inspired the Oklahoma City bomber, Timothy McVeigh. But was the book really to blame for what remains this country’s deadliest act of domestic terrorism, or is it just an easy scapegoat, used to shift blame and avoid examining the deeper social problems embedded in the structures of everyday life?  Meanwhile, Donald Trump Jr.’s now-infamous meme likening refugees to poisoned Skittles, prompted The Intercept to point out that this analogy is rooted in Nazi children’s literature. The book is 1938’s “Der Giftpilz” (The Toadstool), in which a boy named Franz learns about Jews from his mother:  “However they disguise themselves, or however friendly they try to be, affirming a thousand times their good intentions to us, one must not believe them. Jews they are and Jews they remain. For our Volk [people] they are poison.”  “Like the poisonous mushroom!” says Franz.  “Yes, my child! Just as a single poisonous mushrooms can kill a whole family, so a solitary Jew can destroy a whole village, a whole city, even an entire Volk [people].  The book’s Nazi author, Julius Streicher, also ran a virulently anti-Semitic newspaper, Der Stürmer, which he used to direct attacks against specific individuals while relentlessly promoting dehumanizing imagery of Jews. He was hung at Nuremberg for crimes against humanity. Not for writing “The Toadstool” but for publishing, under the spurious guise of journalism and with the backing of the Third Reich, words so poisonous that millions died as a result. It wasn’t one Jew that destroyed the German Volk, in other words, but his 600,000 subscribers, along with all those who conspired in the Holocaust with their silence.  Admittedly, “The Turner Diaries” and “The Toadstool” aren’t household titles in this country, but the same can’t be said of “Little House on the Prairie.” As Christine Woodside noted in her startling essay for Politico, “Little House on the Prairie” deliberately, and often didactically, advanced a Libertarian agenda while blasting away at the heavy hand of government.  The story of how “Little House” — one of the most beloved series of books in American history — entwined itself with the growth of free-market conservatism is one of the most dramatic, and little-appreciated, examples of the way literature can shape national politics. It might not be quite true that the “Little House” stories built the conservatism we know today, but it surely wouldn’t be the same without them.  In real life, Woodside explains, “Little House on the Prairie” was the story of Laura Ingalls Wilder, the Koch Brothers, and Ronald Reagan, who were directly connected in various ways.  Trump both inherits and exploits this ideological framing of real Americans who feel besieged by people of color on one side, and betrayed by the government on the other. The “Little House on the Prairie” series also illustrates how it’s possible for racism to remain invisible to so many well-intentioned liberals, because for centuries it’s been condoned by the books that shape their collective consciousness. The still-popular children’s book series, which would become a beloved television show, not only paternalistically disdains African Americans but is “brimming with casual racism about Native Americans,” observes Laura June Topolsky.  They are described as “savages” and “wild,” and both Ma and the family dog dislike them openly. “Why don’t you like Indians, Ma?” Laura asks on page 46. “I just don’t like them, and don’t lick your fingers, Laura,” Ma said.  The Ingalls family are Manifest Destiny personified. The Osage Indians they encounter are a brooding pack of inconvenience, and just one Native American even gets the role of the “noble savage” — a chief who supports the settlers against his own people to keep peace. Pa implies the worst about them (on page 146) when he tells Laura and her sister that if given the opportunity, the Indians would certainly off the family pooch, Jack, but “that’s not all,” he says. “You girls remember this: You do as you’re told, no matter what happens.”   Topolksy doesn’t remember “any of this” from reading these books as a kid. She also recognizes that she didn’t grasp the predominantly white Christian worldview that the series was deliberately advancing.  I can relate. Having grown up in the church, I used to read whatever was on the vestry’s bookshelves — bibles, hymnals, Paul Tillich, Emanuel Swedenborg, Edgar Cayce, the Upper Room, Corrie ten Boom, what have you — and worked my way through entire holdings of tiny-town libraries where most of the books were moldy pulp fictions donated before the Crash of 1929. It wasn’t until I was in college that I realized that these nameless thousands of forgotten books, plus beloved stories such as the “Little Match Girl,” “The Little Mermaid” and other stories by Hans Christian Andersen, were alike in that they were Christian morality tales, and that Charles Kingsley’s “The Water Babies” and C.S. Lewis’s “The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe” were not only terrific reads but skilled exercises in theology.  It’s not that any of these books are intrinsically not worth reading, despite the fact that they would now be accused of being politically incorrect inside today’s supposedly godless liberal New York City publishing world. I support creativity, not censorship, and my fight isn’t against Christian conservatism or even Trump, but against mindless obedience, credulity, and willful ignorance. Where you run into trouble is when there is only one book, the book, which turns into a mantra, an oath of loyalty, a talisman, a shield, and, when it all goes to hell, a scapegoat. An episode of classic Star Trek, “A Piece of the Action,” explored the consequences of a single book when a starship accidentally leaves behind a copy of “Chicago Mobs of the Twenties,” which the Ioatian people simply refer to as “The Book.” Following it slavishly, they’ve turned into gangsters, and things fall apart in the end, but it’s a comedic episode, so — ha!  Here’s the confusing part: In terms of cultural practice, The Book isn’t necessarily singular. It’s possible to read tens of thousands of books by different authors, in different genres and with various plot-lines, and still be reading the same book because they all share the same assumptions and worldview. (This epiphany happens in dating too, when suddenly you realize that you’re attracted to the same person over and over even though it’s technically not the same individual, and that’s why your relationships keep failing.)  What’s a stake now in Young Adult literature, which is the most popular of popular literature, is the chance to change a cultural status quo where a predominantly white industry still supports The Book being written over and over again. An opportunity for writers to shape political narratives that not only fully vests ordinary people with agency but allows them the (subversive) potential for humanity. For readers to understand themselves as heroes in the battle for ideas, not merely as consumers inside an ephemeral  celebrity culture. For all of us to grasp that to read, now, is to take risks, because a society without educated readers is on a suicide mission.  We need diverse books, then, not as a slogan but as a political reality, lest the Creature turn unwilling into a monster, leaving his former master in a bleak and frozen wilderness, lost in a sea of whiteness.  Paula Young Lee is the author of "Deer Hunting in Paris," winner of the 2014 Lowell Thomas "Best Book" award of the Society of American Travel Writers. She is currently writing outdoor adventure books for middle grade and young adults. Follow her on Twitter @paulayounglee  Follow MORE PAULA YOUNG LEE.
    Young Adults are more than a market for profit, they are a market for creating the changes sought to correct the injustices, as long as they recognize what is just, and wondering.
    avatar
    Ren's View
    Admin

    Posts : 248
    Join date : 2016-09-16

    Re: Art As Therapy

    Post by Ren's View on Sat Oct 01, 2016 7:58 am

    dleet wrote:STEM has been pushed so much that the humanities studies of linguistics, logic, and social sciences have lost out. Social commentary as fiction has a rich history from Voltaire to  Dickens, Orwell, Twain and some recent additions mentioned in the article as quoted below. None of them preached but they laid out the inequities, injustices, and horrors of their current societies. Shakespeare used The Fool.

    There might be a path for change originating in this hallowed tradition. http://www.salon.com/2016/09/30/the-power-of-pop-literature-why-we-need-diverse-ya-books-more-than-ever/?source=newsletter Btw, the quoted part is easier to read at the original source. I'm to lazy to edit the paragraphs displayed at the link.

    ---------------->

    Young Adults are more than a market for profit, they are a market for creating the changes sought to correct the injustices, as long as they recognize what is just, and wondering.

    So, I'm inclined to wonder, what does this word "market" really mean? 

    In my language of ecology I don't see it having the most elegantly positive of literary meanings.  By its very nature, as a derivative of a specific social science, economics, and it speaks in the language of the global economy that's been structured, by scientific management, to look at people as statistically definable objects.  Literature, to me, is much more personal, much more subjective.  I don't even think of literature, or literary thinking, as fiction.  I think of it rather as figurative thinking, which involves both hemispheres of the brain, the way mythology once did. See: The Master and His Emissary: The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World  for further details about what using our whole brain is about, and what ignoring the right brain may be doing to people in our civilized societies who succumb to the dictatorship of reason.  Whole brain thinking may be far more real to us as subjective beings than any form of so-called factoidal science thinking that is purely objective and rational.

    Much of what is called social science -- politics, economics, polling and analyzing great numbers of people to determine something in the minds of those who pretend this is science, is, in fact an ultra rational process that divorces itself from the other domains of our incredible minds, and is devoid of the holality of the literary voice that speaks to us directly, and inspires in us all of our spacial and figurative capacities.  To me, the word 'fiction' applies more to that way of thinking than it does to literature.  To me these factoid based narratives are far more feigned and invented a fiction than the deeply intuited, imagined stories that good writers create figuratively creating a world in much the same way each of us is capable of figuring it as we make up our own narratives about what we see.  And that's much closer to what I think of as commune-ication.  We commune together as a form of mutually shared respect of each others minds, not learn from authoritarian dictum in a classroom how to behave, which includes how to respond on cue to multiple guess questions on a test.  Literary sharing demands that we share our thoughts, our perspectives, and the most devastating thing to a mind in the early stages of doing that is to be judged for that effort.

    So I'm inherently in rebellion against using that economic language because I find it so easily twisted to frame thinking in favor of objectification and away from a thinking where one comes to discover and know oneself.

    I'm working behind the scenes here, with parents I know, a couple of whom have signed on but have not yet contributed, who have young adults who are concerned about how their future has been stolen by industrial civilization.  I'm trying to get those young voices to come and share their thoughts, concerns and visions.  So far a stampede to sign up for this site has not materialized.  I'm working on patience.

    Meanwhile, I find this paragraph to be a worthy summary out of which much of the thoughts that follows in the writer's article can be derived, but also because I find seeds that can be a stimulant for even more, equally rich and diverse literary thinking from any of us.  I think that's good writing when I can unpack, or deconstruct a paragraph and a kind of Pandora's box of ideas flies out.

    Paula Young Lee wrote:

    Even as far-right populism continues its global rise, the written word has become vibrant with danger precisely because it has the potential to challenge the mono-think tendencies of hyper-partisanship and authoritarianism. Historically, wars and religious conflicts have led to censorship, confiscations and book burnings, the politics of which have driven dystopian plot lines from Ray Bradbury’s sci-fi classic “Fahrenheit 451″ to Sabaa Tahir’s bestselling 2015 YA novel “An Ember in the Ashes.” These and many other stories hope to remind us that the freedom to choose our own reading is a form of resistance against the looming threat of a totalitarian state, whether extreme Left (as in George Orwell’s “1984”), or extreme Right (as in Markus Zusak’s 2012 novel “The Book Thief”).



    That link to far-right populism leads to an article that begins with this sentence:

    "Donald Trump is not an accident."

    Now that's the beginning of a conversation about a phenomenon.  It's a "deutero" mental move, as Gregory Bateson might have called it.  A "thinking about thinking" move.  We can move from this endless reactionary babbling, aghast at the behavior of the individual, and begin to look at the figurative and emotional nature of the response to that behavior.  As Republican pollster and master framester Frank Luntz blasts at the reader on the front page of his site, Luntz Global:

    IT'S NOT WHAT YOU SAY.


    IT'S WHAT THEY HEAR.



    "Expert Communication Strategist" he calls himself.  And that's supposedly what we are watching with Donald Trump.  So why not look at it from that perspective?  And that's us becoming literate when we can do that with figurative thinking.
    avatar
    dleet86
    Moderator
    Moderator

    Posts : 83
    Join date : 2016-12-23
    Location : Sweden

    Re: Art As Therapy

    Post by dleet86 on Fri Dec 30, 2016 10:37 pm

    http://mymodernmet.com/sandro-casutt-andromeda-galaxy-photography/   Cosmic Art is in photographic medium here but looks surreal.


    http://www.cosmicartphotography.com/  I just thought of how I'm sometimes thought to live in my own bubble because I like my own perspective and my place in the universe and cosmos. But that's contradictory, isn't it? My friend has a huge telescope and I keep up with and tip her off to notable sky events that we get a better view of being farther north and with fewer city lights. The canvas is always changing and the museum in the sky is free. It is also everywhere and welcoming to the disabled.
    avatar
    Ren's View
    Admin

    Posts : 248
    Join date : 2016-09-16

    Re: Art As Therapy

    Post by Ren's View on Sat Dec 31, 2016 8:15 am

    After the feeling of awe, my first thought was to wonder about the camera, lens and light gathering capacity.  The exposure can't be too long because the earth is moving.  And I don't see any streaks that usually come with long exposure times.
    avatar
    dleet86
    Moderator
    Moderator

    Posts : 83
    Join date : 2016-12-23
    Location : Sweden

    Re: Art As Therapy

    Post by dleet86 on Tue Feb 07, 2017 8:08 am

    https://www.brainpickings.org/2016/07/18/e-e-cummings-academy-of-american-poets/

    When artists are shunned or how to explain haters to maintain creativity and the same perspective that launched the hate in the first place aka not mainstream.
    avatar
    dleet86
    Moderator
    Moderator

    Posts : 83
    Join date : 2016-12-23
    Location : Sweden

    Re: Art As Therapy

    Post by dleet86 on Tue Feb 07, 2017 10:22 am

    http://www.tasteofcinema.com/2014/the-18-best-philosophical-movies-of-all-time/  of course, any list is still an opinion and there are others in the comment section. The film summaries do a nice job explaining why each one made the list.
    avatar
    Ren's View
    Admin

    Posts : 248
    Join date : 2016-09-16

    Re: Art As Therapy

    Post by Ren's View on Tue Feb 07, 2017 10:51 am

    I see the second movie on that list of "best" philosophical movies is a version of Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead.  The write up doesn't have much to do with discussing the so-called philosophy supposedly embedded in the movie.  To say that I have a residual, sickened feeling in my stomach about that film that I saw many, many years ago would be a kind of understatement.  I don't really need to put it in a hierarchy of values. One of my philosophy professors, who had specialized in existential philosophy, argued that everything we think and do is philosophical.  On that basis, I guess it could be said The Fountainhead is a philosophical movie.

    I guess what I tend to steer clear of is the judgement/hierarchalizing aspect of it all.   Maybe it's my INFP personality acting out.  I left the literature department and ended up in Anthropology because those that tended to congregate in academic literature departments were predominantly of that judging type. Arrogance of knowing abounded. Kind of a natural selection process I suspect.  Nothing kills my creativity faster than taking judgement seriously.  But their academic careers seem to be made on the judgement pole.
    avatar
    dleet86
    Moderator
    Moderator

    Posts : 83
    Join date : 2016-12-23
    Location : Sweden

    Re: Art As Therapy

    Post by dleet86 on Tue Feb 07, 2017 1:21 pm

    https://yesmovies.to/movie/waking-life-12955/493074-8/watching.html Has many clips from Sartre to Kirkegaard and Gödel. Postmodern and existentialism are in there too. Each scene is kind of its own cliff notes with examples or Socratic ponderings depending on how the script affected you.   I have seen a few parts but am trying to absorb them one at a time. The self-destruction man was exactly as I see the current state but the actor in the scene was contributing to the profit-seeking spectacle of destruction by participating in destruction, even if it is his own. I avoid that result if only out of ethics or I won't give the destructive culture the satisfaction of being a member.
    avatar
    Ren's View
    Admin

    Posts : 248
    Join date : 2016-09-16

    Re: Art As Therapy

    Post by Ren's View on Wed Feb 08, 2017 11:19 am

    You might enjoy delving into this guy's thoughts: The Bliss Engine

    He's multi perspectival.  Top of his list of interests and study is Architecture.  Interesting long lecture series on PoMo: Lecture Series.
    avatar
    dleet86
    Moderator
    Moderator

    Posts : 83
    Join date : 2016-12-23
    Location : Sweden

    Re: Art As Therapy

    Post by dleet86 on Fri Feb 10, 2017 12:25 am

    Thanks, here is an anthropological POV  Progress can be viewed with perspective

    Addition prevents multiplication until it's too late.
    or if trump voters only count on their fingers and toes only boys will ride a 21 speed.
    avatar
    Ren's View
    Admin

    Posts : 248
    Join date : 2016-09-16

    Re: Art As Therapy

    Post by Ren's View on Fri Feb 10, 2017 10:30 am

    Because anthropology is the study of humans, just about anything can be said to be an anthropological POV.  Nevertheless I am going to proceed with a working assumption that you are joking when you drew from that portrayal of a bar scene from the movie Waking Life and called it an anthropological POV. The POV described does remind me of some thoughts I've looked at into in philosophy, however.  And I am familiar with the critiques of PoMo philosophers like Louis Mackey, the voice in the animation.

    While I was writing this I was also doing a search for Louis Mackey, just to verify my ad hoc intuitions about him and PoMo critique. My memories turn out to be true to the portrayal on the internet. Among an array of links, I found the speech represented in the video in several efforts to analyze the movie as both an artistic and philosophical effort.  Here's one such analysis of the movie: Waking Life

    Fast forward in the site to this page, which makes an attempt to unravel meaning: III. What It All Means: An Analysis

    Yours to peruse if you wish.

    I personally can see a perspective where human behavior as a group (now this is a kind of pseudo cultural anthropological perspective set within the sub discipline of ecological anthropology) can be understood as essentially different from other animal, insect and even plant behaviors.  I've already presented aspects of that view on this site, especially with my links to and discussions of Catton's work: Overshoot: The Ecological Basis of Revolutionary Changes.  I'm sure you can find it if you are interested.  The evolution of that homo sapiens group behavior is in essence the BIG problem facing humanity at this moment, from that ecological perspective.  Many others within the species, including the folks in the current Administration who can act on their own moral and ethical philosophy with regards to the problem, see it from a different perspective.  I might characterize that perspective as the 'human progress' perspective.  A perspective that dovetails with both philosophical and religious disciplines, which, of course, philosophers like Mackey, and even the evangelicals who may hold a lion's share of this current Administration's ethical and moral perspectives, share as a kind of topical interest, even if their explorations might lead them to draw different conclusions.

    Again, ecologically speaking, other animals inhabit niches in the various identifiable habitats, and they -- including all their variants of behavior -- are an integral part of ecosystems within some very identifiable limits of that habitat.  Those limits define their species' capacities to expand and contract within any given eco system. Eco systems themselves vary according to parameters described by levels of succession. I assume everyone who has any familiarity with the biological sciences knows something about levels of succession.  And their behavior, however free their individual choices may appear to be to a couple of drunks having drinks in a bar, within a group, are confined, by the macro features that describe biological survival on the biosphere of this planet, to their inherent biological restrictions.

    Essentially, humans as a group are able to defy many of those restrictions by creating a variety of technological prosthetics that enable all the humans within a group to become adaptable to an environment beyond their biological restrictions.   So while most humans excepting those rare individuals within a group may be no further along in their intellectual development than chimpanzees, the human group as a whole is doing something else that includes even an intellectually evolved individual capable of ruminating about individual free will.  Meanwhile the Machiavellians who believe they know what's best for all (ie, a Steve Bannon-like individual who manages to get into the management sector of an institutions) make free will decisions that effect how the whole of humanity will deal with its own prosthetic freedom to expand into the biosphere of this planet, and possibly even the scattered biospheres of the universe.

    Hence we have this historical process where we can see that humans are dramatically changing the natural successional composition of many habitats and thereby "outcompeting" (to use a term from evolutionary biology) many other species evolved to fit niches within those habitats, and thereby both reducing the evolutionary complexity of many successional habitats; within that reduction process goes an array of species extinctions.  Some are calling it a Sixth Great Extinction.

    Homo sapiens as a species has been doing this for a long time. Certain key technologies have enabled the species to expand into many niches where its survival would be difficult, beginning way, way back with the shared technology of fire. But its expansion into niches process has recently been accelerated with the help of certain technological discoveries, that include technologies we (a few of us anyway) see as social technologies; that is, specifically, the human institutional technology that was invented as a form of purpose-oriented machinery.  An extremely malleable and design-oriented machinery.  The genius of this social invention is often mistakenly compared to long term evolutionary achievements like the beehive.

    The film, Waking Life, it turns out, isn't really asking this broader, ecological question about individual restrictions.  It focuses on a very Western cultural tradition that involves a more existential exploration: the tension between the individual within any given group and that individual's society itself as a restrictive quality.  Questions like freedom of will, the importance of individual creativity, and so forth are explored within that tension.

    I personally was very fascinated with the philosophies of phenomenology and existentialism that arose to in the exploration of these tensions early on, beginning in high school. I am, I believe, as familiar as I can be, within my own inherent limitations, with that philosophical exploration.  In fact, doubting it, expanding it, probably led me to the discipline of anthropology.

    Human technological behavior, when viewed from a cultural group perspective, essentially turns all humans, not just the "special" ones looking for individual artistic evolution, like the professor, into an infinitely variable array of species within any habitat. No other group has ever shown this level of creativity.  It's led to what some humans refer to as human progress as the human species has expanded and taken over many complex . Sometimes those species can mimic other species, and sometimes they can become an entirely new species through shared cultural inventions (technologies) that transcend and out competes for habitat many of the other species within a given habitat. 

    This is apparently a perspective that Louis Mackey fails to acknowledge in his argument when he compares human technology to the chimpanzee "level' (a prejudicial judgement that reveals a particular cultural assumption of biological hierarchy of its own), to make his logical argument, which failed to convince me.  Within the argument he also reveals that he holds an embedded belief that evolution is a progression towards something ephemeral and even spiritual with regards to the human individual.  That in itself is an assumption worth questioning.

    Wow.  I had no intention of saying all that to begin with.  I simply had this feeling I wanted to explore when I listened to Mackey talking in that video snip.

    ogun
    Moderator
    Moderator

    Posts : 88
    Join date : 2016-10-14

    Re: Art As Therapy

    Post by ogun on Wed Apr 19, 2017 7:32 am

    I haven't gotten through the Mackey lectures yet, but art as therapy for curing what ails the human species I don't think is such a bad place to start. Or at least an appreciation of the artistry that surrounds us every living day in the natural world as well as that that grows from our own inner quirks of mashing things together to represent something we individually feel within.
    If a person is a fully realized self does it really matter what someone else thinks of their 'artistry'?

    And per post #8
    How is a future stolen by anyone or thing if that future isn't willingly handed over?
    avatar
    Ren's View
    Admin

    Posts : 248
    Join date : 2016-09-16

    Re: Art As Therapy

    Post by Ren's View on Wed Apr 19, 2017 8:04 am

    I can't seem to find a way to formulate a simple response to your question, ogun.  I'm really not sure what it means to willingly surrender.  I mean, often people don't even know they are in a battle, or if they do, what that battle is about.  I felt that way when I was 18 and I got a draft notice.  What the hell was I supposed to be part of and for what purpose?  I really had no context for understanding any of that at that point in my life.  Nothing I was exposed to up to then, none of my adult guides nor my adolescent peers helped me to understand.  My suspicion is the military preys on the young to join the battle because in that state of mind we are unable to recognize what we are in the midst of, and willful surrender is not even an option if we don't know. Getting sucked in by the entropy of our own ignorance, however, does happen, and if we later wake up to what's happened they have all these legal definitions and traps in place to make it extremely difficult to change the momentum of what the individual's generally confusedly agreed to go along with, as in go with the flow, as it may be seen one has done only after the fact.

    ogun
    Moderator
    Moderator

    Posts : 88
    Join date : 2016-10-14

    Re: Art As Therapy

    Post by ogun on Thu Apr 20, 2017 7:21 am

    Maybe I've confused something, you spoke as if the young adults you know realized they were going to battle with a faceless, soulless gullet of an insatiable machine like monster. Unless they step on that tread mill that monster has no control over their future. If on the other hand they see their future as six figure incomes, new suvs, brand new I-phones yearly, 3 kids and a newly build mac-mansion on a 1/4 acre plot then yes, I'd say their future isn't being stolen but given away.
    avatar
    Ren's View
    Admin

    Posts : 248
    Join date : 2016-09-16

    Re: Art As Therapy

    Post by Ren's View on Thu Apr 20, 2017 9:16 am

    I think that's a bigger picture than I was looking at.  I'm inclined to agree with you with that as perspective.
    avatar
    Ren's View
    Admin

    Posts : 248
    Join date : 2016-09-16

    Re: Art As Therapy

    Post by Ren's View on Thu Apr 20, 2017 9:56 am

    The question, I guess, was the thought you stimulated when you wrote "willingly".  That raises the issue of consciousness.  Something I think about a lot.  How conscious, for instance, is someone like Donald Trump, or someone I consider potentially even more insidious, Steve Bannon?  Do they actually understand their own nature?  If they don't, how intentional are their actions? Which then brings up the question of willingness.  I mean, if people truly understood they were destroying life on this planet by participating in civilization, would they try to do something different?  Or what if it's much more complicated, what if it looks like we might be destroying the biology of this planet, but we don't know for sure, what is the willingness factor in deciding what one should do then?

    ogun
    Moderator
    Moderator

    Posts : 88
    Join date : 2016-10-14

    Re: Art As Therapy

    Post by ogun on Sun Apr 23, 2017 7:43 am

    inre: Post #21.
    Au contraire my friend, me thinks it'd be a cold day in hell before I consider anything with a wider vista than you do. 
    I made a rather small box of choices for the couple of young adults. However it does seem to be the inevitable choice almost all choose even by those that are conscious of what they're doing. Those that do know what they do always seem to think they are going to change things from within and by that bargain morph into what they wanted changed one small step at a time and in the end becoming just another cog in the wheel. 
    For those that aren't conscious, what's to say? For them each day becomes a new low for the normal that can be expected for tomorrow. And they carry on as if nothing matters as long as it all remains normal. Case I believe may be on point:
    Yesterday as I was heading out the door for the shop my other half was watching a morning news program, as I was putting on my coat I noted they were broadcasting a segment from some zoo or another with the banner underneath making a statement about  a 'celebration of Earth Day at the zoo'. Eh yeah.  I walked out shaking my head.

    From post # 22,
    Are you sure you put the stooges in the right thread? Shouldn't they belong in 'If awake in a bubble......' thread? Any ways, I propose the sane of the world carve out someplace in the world or preferably out of this world (maybe we could call it Freedonia) for them and the like minded. I volunteer to pay their fare.

    Willingness is kind of loaded term isn't it? Perhaps I use it too loosely.


    ps.
    Did you attend any rallies of scientists for the world?
    avatar
    Ren's View
    Admin

    Posts : 248
    Join date : 2016-09-16

    Re: Art As Therapy

    Post by Ren's View on Mon Apr 24, 2017 7:00 am

    One of the things I think an individual will find out if he or she does not want to participate in civilization is just how limited we are as individuals, and how much we are a part of it all.  That is, if the individual insists on trying to be honest and makes a sincere effort not to indulge in fits of self delusion.  That latter is probably the biggest challenge of all.

    About the science rally on Earth Day.  Given whee I've chosen to live, it is very difficult for me to participate directly in anything without traveling a great distance.  While I cannot figure out a way to live completely without some sort of auto-mobile, I can minimize how much I use mine.  Bicycling gets me around my community, and it also seems to help keep me healthy for my age.  The Amish are much more successful than I am because they share a culture with traditions that make it easier to obtain the basics for simple living without motorized machinery and vehicles.  So no, I didn't directly participate, though I did keep tabs on what was going on in DC through the Internet, and I did spend much of the day meditating about the earth in the cosmos, how tiny we are, and about its biological evolutionary history.  I don't know if Amish think about that.

    As much as I appreciate the problem-solving tool that science is, I also recognize that science is a cog in civilized machinery.  It has its own evolutionary history within the ontological progression we recognize having taken place over the past ten thousand years or so -- and we probably wouldn't know much about that progression without science.  What we call science today is very much a part of that progression.  As one person said, science may try to be objective, but it cannot be neutral.  This discovery is perhaps what drove those scientists to march on Earth Day.  We would not likely even have the Earth Day we have in civilized cultures without the work of the ecological and biological scientists.

    Breaking intact, locally adaptive cultures apart and winnowing them down into individuals who are without a locally adaptive culture is the fundamental driving force of civilizations that have been periodically constructed and that have, phase after phase, rolled over the ecosystems of this planet through the past ten thousand years.  That's how these implacable, impersonal forces get these cogs in those civilized wheels that individually find they have but little choice to be other than cogs, once they get through with all their efforts to rebel.  Even the leaders are mere cogs in a much larger force than they want to admit, though they may be trying to pilot their respective civilized Titanics, even if they don't see the ice bergs.  I find it takes a lot of effort, pretty much 24 hours a day, not to succumb.  Or maybe it takes someone smarter than me to figure it out.

    ogun
    Moderator
    Moderator

    Posts : 88
    Join date : 2016-10-14

    Re: Art As Therapy

    Post by ogun on Thu Apr 27, 2017 6:09 am

    Living on and off the edges of 'civilization' is about all one can really do the colossus has grown so large. I found a quote from John Shuttleworth of Mother Earth News fame I somewhat raggedly remembered from back in my the days of building domes in the middle of woods and trying to figure out how to make it all come together. I could have and have tried in various ways over the years to iterate the gist of his statement but he said much better than I ever have or could. (thank you Wikipedia) From 1975:
     "For at least 20 years now, I've been getting an increasingly uncomfortable suspicion that all the major nations of the world — capitalist and communist — suffer from the narrow delusion that only people, and people alone, have any rights on this planet. Further, that human wants, needs, and desires — seemingly the more capricious the better — should be instantly gratified. And further still, that this can always be done in a strictly economic frame of reference.
    "In short, I think that we live in an unbelievably marvelous Garden of Eden. Surrounded by miraculous life forms almost without number. Kept alive by a mysteriously interwoven, self-replenishing support system that, with all our scientific 'breakthroughs,' we still do not understand.
    "And yet, as favored as we are by all this real wealth, we somehow perversely prefer to spend almost all waking hours interpreting the sum total of this reality in terms of the narrow and distorted, strictly human-centered concept of money." [7]

    The thing that has constantly puzzled and at times maddeningly confused me is one doesn't need to be a genius or have a particularly high iq to understand the basic fact that nothing can be thrown away.....nothing. Sooner or later the garbage can gets full and when it does one has to live with it and off of it. If the oceans, the streams and rivers, the soil, the air is used like a garbage can then the human species had better learn to live off of plastics and all the other kinds of crap they've 'thrown away'.
    How many brains does it take to understand there is only so much room for just so many people before we start needing to eat our own young to survive? How long before this myth of science to the rescue hits the brick wall at the end of the blind alley in the name of maintaining a life style? And why must we take everything else down with us?
    Seems to me the myth the human keeps repeating to himself that we're somehow something special is way overblown.
    avatar
    Ren's View
    Admin

    Posts : 248
    Join date : 2016-09-16

    Re: Art As Therapy

    Post by Ren's View on Fri Apr 28, 2017 7:45 am

    MOTHER EARTH NEWS editors wrote:

    Not advertisers, not distributors, not the “average” reader, not the pseudo-intellectuals. Us. And we wanted a periodical that would [1] help other little people just like us live richer, fuller, freer, more self-directed lives and [2] ease us all into more actively putting the interests of the planet over and above any personal interests."
    Years ago, Shuttleworth wrote to us to let us know he was keeping an eye on the magazine. His letter said: “The whole world has changed since I founded and published the magazine. So I thought I’d write and let you know that you’re doin’ just fine … I’d be doin’ a lot of things differently if I were putting the publication together today. But I’m not. It’s nice to see someone else still doing the heavy lifting. Keep on keepin’ on.”

    (source)


    Echoes your recent post about chain links on another thread.

    ogun
    Moderator
    Moderator

    Posts : 88
    Join date : 2016-10-14

    Re: Art As Therapy

    Post by ogun on Sun Apr 30, 2017 9:37 am

    Scenes from 'Cave of Forgotten Dreams' 

    Art as therapy.
    avatar
    Ren's View
    Admin

    Posts : 248
    Join date : 2016-09-16

    Re: Art As Therapy

    Post by Ren's View on Mon May 01, 2017 7:42 am

    Contratulations on getting that to work.

    I have a copy of that documentary.  I had a 32 inch 3D monitor when I got it, that I could watch it on, and I was simply mesmerized over and over by the scenes in the cave.  Of all the scenes that involve talking, you picked the one that I find the richest in wealth of expression, attempting, though never likely succeeding, an understanding of something done by our ancestors 40,000 years ago.  The vast cultural difference between modern civilized humans and our amazing ancestors can only begin to be approached through someone like that Aborigine, with fading remnants of a possibly similar cultural memory -- though, as the anthropologist points out, fast fading from human experience -- who was moved to touch up the paintings.
    avatar
    Ren's View
    Admin

    Posts : 248
    Join date : 2016-09-16

    Re: Art As Therapy

    Post by Ren's View on Tue May 02, 2017 6:57 am

    Chris Hedges wrote an essay the other day. Reminded me of a Laurie Anderson album from 1989 (I think we still called them albums back then), Strange Angels.  Chris quoted from Walter Benjamin, a German Jew and a leftist intellectual, an art critic who is being rediscovered in our own time of rising fascism, a man who fled the rise of German fascism in 1940, attempted to enter Spain, was turned back, and took his own life as he turned to face the onslaught of the German Reich headed his way.

    Chris Hedges wrote:

    Walter Benjamin wrote in 1940 amid the rise of European fascism and looming world war:


    A Klee painting named Angelus Novus shows an angel looking as though he is about to move away from something he is fixedly contemplating. His eyes are staring, his mouth is open, his wings are spread. This is how one pictures the angel of history. His face is turned towards the past. Where we perceive a chain of events, he sees one single catastrophe, which keeps piling wreckage upon wreckage and hurls it in front of his feet. The angel would like to stay, awaken the dead, and make whole what has been smashed. But a storm is blowing from Paradise; it has got caught in his wings with such violence that the angel can no longer close them. The storm irresistibly propels him into the future to which his back is turned, while the pile of debris before him grows skyward. This storm is what we call progress.



    One of the songs in Laurie's Strange Angels album is about that quote and the Klee painting...



    The song -- The Dream Before (For Walter Benjamin) -- disarms the listener by infusing it with a kind of fairy tale association, wrought from the story of Hansel and Gretel, transformed into a modern day European couple:



    Last edited by Ren's View on Tue May 02, 2017 7:34 am; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : Sloppy, hasty writing; intolerable)

    ogun
    Moderator
    Moderator

    Posts : 88
    Join date : 2016-10-14

    Re: Art As Therapy

    Post by ogun on Tue May 02, 2017 7:19 am

    If I had been the editor of course I would have handled the whole doc. differently (but aren't we all critics lol). Had I'd been doing it there would have been more about the art and a lot less about the securing of the site and I would have started and finished the film with (how should I name him?) the bohemian as the coda.

    My other half, the one that kicked my ass off the couch to the doctors, caught me rewatching it a couple of three days ago. She'd never seen it and even though as a general rule she has no truck with art she couldn't take her eyes off of the screen.
    avatar
    Ren's View
    Admin

    Posts : 248
    Join date : 2016-09-16

    Re: Art As Therapy

    Post by Ren's View on Tue May 02, 2017 7:42 am

    Werner Herzog's done some good stuff, but I don't know if that documentary is up there with his best.  Not as a piece, anyway.  However, the time he was allotted to film the art is something I personally will always treasure.  It's all I ever really watch.  So you could say I edit. The rest is just data, and I know people who value the data more than I.  It helps to know the circumstances, the anthropology that's led to it and efforts to preserve these precious bits of history.  But I don't know how else we can get to see and experience it without the visionary insight of someone with cameras, and Herzog did it better than many could have, given all that goes into his understanding of the technology of the camera.

    ogun
    Moderator
    Moderator

    Posts : 88
    Join date : 2016-10-14

    Re: Art As Therapy

    Post by ogun on Tue May 02, 2017 8:19 am

    Yeah, when I explained to her that this was the ONLY way we or 99.9 percent of the world will ever see those paintings she became a little more interested.

    My connection this morning is working extraordinarily slow for some reason, I haven't even gotten through Laurie Andersen's piece (one of my favorite artists) yet.

    Maybe it's time to let the NSA have the place to themselves.
    avatar
    Ren's View
    Admin

    Posts : 248
    Join date : 2016-09-16

    Re: Art As Therapy

    Post by Ren's View on Wed May 03, 2017 8:16 am

    I've been bit by bit withdrawing from the Internet.  Hartmann's was a "place" I could go and just compose a few thoughts about what I see going on.  I liked the interaction as a way to practice writing.  I've never had the urge to be a part of the writing industry.  My brother's partner, can't call her a wife since they've never tied any knots, is a writer's agent and I could have access easily enough if I wanted to go that route. Pretty much anything I have to say has already been said, and better. But I have an urge to keep writing, so maybe that's what I'll turn to now, just because I like to do it.  Doug urged me to put this site together because I'd done it before when the heart and soul departed from Hartmann's back in 2006.  They are now entrenched in Facebook.  To me, Facebook is a metaphor for masked entropy, where a culture of emptiness goes to die an eternal death of disconnected one liners.  Our sitting President now the fitting metaphor of that culture.  And the NSA mines it for data to feed their propaganda machinery.

    Isn't it odd that we can call this technological achievement that allows people to sit in their homes and communicate with others a "place" to go?

    ogun
    Moderator
    Moderator

    Posts : 88
    Join date : 2016-10-14

    Re: Art As Therapy

    Post by ogun on Sat May 06, 2017 7:29 am

    A place to go. It is an interesting euphemism substituting the physical action of changing ones location for a way of communicating. I have no idea or wish to know of any thing called Facebook, tweeter or anything else people seem to be using at the moment and one that's sure to change to something else tomorrow. 
    You sound like you're ready to chuck this whole site Ren. Wish I knew why there is so few of us that signed on have tried to say anything at all. One would think that even from as few as a dozen different thinking people there'd be more input from more than just three souls. Very puzzling if you ask me, both you and Doug bring to the table thought provoking in depth concepts and ideas that should be of interest to anyone whether or not they may agree with my, yours or anyone else's conclusions and worthy of at least some comment no matter, if like me, somewhat shallow. 

    I'm tempted to say to all that don't contribute that we're all students in life and without questions and questioning it's impossible to learn anything. So say something all you lurkers out there, anything thing at all.

    ogun
    Moderator
    Moderator

    Posts : 88
    Join date : 2016-10-14

    Re: Art As Therapy

    Post by ogun on Sat May 06, 2017 8:12 am

    Art as therapy.

    Surely writing counts as one of the great arts the human has devised for inner self-expression and of exploration of the individual spirit.
    That's why the powers that may exist at any one time in history has always tried to control it's ever changing flow, form and access.
    avatar
    Ren's View
    Admin

    Posts : 248
    Join date : 2016-09-16

    Re: Art As Therapy

    Post by Ren's View on Sat May 06, 2017 8:25 am

    As long as there is someone to respond to I'll keep the site going, but I can see it for what it is.  I hope I'm just going through a lull of my own.  I like to roll thoughts around and watch them bounce off each other.  I get inspiration when another soul articulates theirs.  It's nothing about meaning, but more just about life itself.  Thus my allusion to entropy with regards to these social media sites.  I appreciate your efforts here.

    It's weird. I mastered the technology of this Internet enough to be able to create a way for people to interact.  I probably did that because the technology of talking has always been such a strain, until I got these hearing aids and now I can hear all these sounds everyone else takes for granted.  Now I'm learning something new.  I can hear the words people are saying now but I'm not always able to interpret the sound as distinct words.  I've made up articulation of words in my mind to a great extent, and sometimes the way I hear the words I see isn't the same as the way people say them.  It's absolutely fascinating to ride to our local cafe, the Elixir, and just sit and listen.  Very weird.  I'm also learning to hear music with new sounds that, at first, I didn't appreciate.  In that regard, I'm learning about myself, my tendency to habituate, to like my habituations, and the urge to stay within them.  Extend that to the world of human beings and a lot of behavior that people like to call stupid in others makes a bit more sense.  I'm not ready to go to a city yet, too chaotic.  Maybe I'll never be ready.

    ogun
    Moderator
    Moderator

    Posts : 88
    Join date : 2016-10-14

    Re: Art As Therapy

    Post by ogun on Sun May 07, 2017 6:49 am

    First time I heard this was as a youngster, I forget how old, but at any rate I always felt it as a musical metaphor for the/a city.

    And pretty good therapy at that.

    ogun
    Moderator
    Moderator

    Posts : 88
    Join date : 2016-10-14

    Re: Art As Therapy

    Post by ogun on Tue May 09, 2017 7:16 am

    Had to laugh after looking at the finishing line of my last post. 
    Yeah therapy, these days while I still have friends (alive) that live for and feed off the city, for me that last master piece of music serves as some therapy for me to remember why I eschew the city as much as possible.

    Guess I'll just stay inside the garden gate.
    avatar
    Ren's View
    Admin

    Posts : 248
    Join date : 2016-09-16

    Re: Art As Therapy

    Post by Ren's View on Tue May 09, 2017 11:02 am

    Loreena McKennitt has been therapeudic for me since I first discovered her work more than 20 years ago now.  She has magic in her singing that can somehow bring me back to life when I get really down.  Love seeing here mummer's dance set to the visuals of those wolves.

    I wrote a whole piece about how I started out listening to classical, then got introduced to what I considered pop classical/jazz through Gershwin.  That was how I saw it then, coming from the classical music of Beethoven, Vivaldi, Mozart and so forth.  Crazy as my mother was, she had a deep feeling for music, especially deeply felt music. So I got into classical music, then Jazz.  Besides introducing me to the written word and arts, she also shared her love of music. I think it was a form of therapy for her.  She did not belong in civilized culture.  Whatever part of the brain we need to survive this insanity was missing from hers.  I think mine too, but I've got by, crippled, perhaps, but watching what they did to her put me on the defense and I've managed to stay out of those institutions at least.

    I went with her to see Gershwin's Porgy and Bess when it came out as a movie in 1959.  Her favorite from that movie was Summertime.  She she got a 33 album from that movie and played Summertime until it wore out.




    This was one of her favorite artists, she had several of her albums and played them over and over:


    ogun
    Moderator
    Moderator

    Posts : 88
    Join date : 2016-10-14

    Re: Art As Therapy

    Post by ogun on Wed May 10, 2017 10:26 am

    L. McKennitt made something of a genius leap when she melded what is now the obvious fit of the Mid-eastern and India instrumentation and rhythms within the beats and tempos of traditional Celtic music along with all the mystic sensibility of both. They mesh so seamlessly, sheer genius for her to have realized some connection between them if you ask me.
    avatar
    Ren's View
    Admin

    Posts : 248
    Join date : 2016-09-16

    Re: Art As Therapy

    Post by Ren's View on Thu May 11, 2017 10:28 am

    ogun wrote:L. McKennitt made something of a genius leap when she melded what is now the obvious fit of the Mid-eastern and India instrumentation and rhythms within the beats and tempos of traditional Celtic music along with all the mystic sensibility of both. They mesh so seamlessly, sheer genius for her to have realized some connection between them if you ask me.

    I didn't "know" that about how she created her music, but hearing it makes a lot of sense.

    As to the wolf aspect of that lovely video, are you familiar with this guy's works at all?

    Of Wolves and Men by Barry López

    ogun
    Moderator
    Moderator

    Posts : 88
    Join date : 2016-10-14

    Re: Art As Therapy

    Post by ogun on Fri May 12, 2017 5:42 am

    I've read various studies on wolves over the years, can't say I've run across that one though. It could be that some texts may have referenced B. Lopez but I don't remember running across his name.....As if that meant anything as I don't remember names all that well any ways and when I do remember I usually mix them up. lol
    If I had the means I'd have a wolf sanctuary. I'd even face the backlash that would surely follow in the wake of establishing the same. There's a man somewhat north of me that started a rescue for wolf dogs and if his case is any indication of what would happen I can just imagine the up-roar over wolves. On my way to my crossword puzzles one morning (in the NYT I think) I ran across a piece on the Yellowstone wolves that said something about how the animals were becoming inured to the presence of people........gee, what could go wrong there? 
    Guess it shouldn't surprise me though, for god sakes people still haven't even learned not to feed the bears. How long will it be before we've got people thinking these wolves are just large feral dogs instead of one this continents most successful predators that only look something like the doggie back home? Maybe I should highlight PREDATOR and that they defend territory and take offense for things we for the most part don't understand and willing to take it to the end when a decision is made.

    They deserve a healthy respect and admiration from afar.

    Edited to add;
    If it wasn't the animal that'd suffer in the end because of a human trespass I'd just shrug my shoulders and call it Darwin's law in action.
    avatar
    Ren's View
    Admin

    Posts : 248
    Join date : 2016-09-16

    Re: Art As Therapy

    Post by Ren's View on Fri May 12, 2017 10:20 am

    Barry Lopez wrote:

    II The Moment of Encounter

    The most beguiling moment in the hunt is the first moment of the encounter. Wolves and prey may remain absolutely still while staring at each other. Immediately afterward, a moose may simply turn and walk away; or the wolves may turn and run; or the wolves may charge and kill the animal in less than a minute. An intense stare is frequently used by wolves to communicate with each other, and wolves also tend to engage strangers--wolf and human--in stares. I think what transpires in those moments of staring is an exchange of information between predator and prey that either triggers a chase or defuses the hunt right there. . . .

    That moment of eye contact between wolf and prey seems to be visibly decisive. Here are hunting wolves doing many inexplicable things (to the human eye). They start to chase an animal and then turn and walk away. They glance at a set of moose tracks only a minute old, sniff, and go on, ignoring them. They walk on the perimeter of caribou herds seemingly giving warning of their intent to kill. And the prey signals back. The moose trots toward them and the wolves leave. The pronghorn throws up his white rump as a sign to follow. A wounded cow stands up to be seen. And the prey behave strangely. Caribou rarely use their antlers against the wolf. An ailing moose, who, as far as we know, could send wolves on their way simply by standing his ground, does what is most likely to draw an attack, what he is least capable of carrying off: he runs.

    I called this exchange in which the animals appear to lock eyes and make a decision the conversation of death. It is a ceremonial exchange, the flesh of the hunted in exchange for respect for its spirit. In this way both animals, not the predator alone, choose for the encounter to end in death. There is, at least, a sacred order in this. There is nobility. And it is something that happens only between the wolf and his major prey species. It produces, for the wolf, sacred meat.

    Imagine a cow in the place of the moose or white-tailed deer. The conversation of death falters noticeably with domestic stock. They have had the conversation of death bred out of them; they do not know how to encounter wolves. A horse, for example--a large animal as capable as a moose of cracking a wolf's ribs or splitting its head open with a kick--will usually panic and run.

    What happens when a wolf wanders into a flock of sheep and kills twenty or thirty of them in apparent compulsion is perhaps not so much slaughter as a failure on the part of the sheep to communicate anything at all- - resistance, mutual respect, appropriateness--to the wolf. The wolf has initiated a sacred ritual and met with ignorance.

    This brings us to a second point. We are dealing with a different kind of death from the one men know. When the wolf "asks" for the life of another animal he is responding to something in that animal that says, "My life is strong. It is worth asking for." A moose may be biologically constrained to die because he is old or injured, but the choice is there. The death is not tragic. It has dignity.

    Consider the indian again. Native American cultures in general stressed that there was nothing wrong with dying, one should only strive to die well, that is consciously choose to die even if it is inevitable. The greatest glory accrued to a warrior who acted with this kind of self-control in the very teeth of death. The ability to see death as less than tragic was rooted in a different perception of ego: a person was simultaneously indispensable and dispensable (in an appropriate way) in the world. In the conversation of death is the striving for a death that is appropriate. i have lived a full life, says the prey. I am ready to die. I am willing to die because clearly I will be dying so that the others in this small herd will go on living. I am ready to die because my leg is broken or my lungs are impacted and my time is finished.

    The death is mutually agreeable. The meat it produces has power, as though consecrated. (That is a good word. It strikes us as strange only because it is out of its normal context.)

    I have been struck, considering these things, by the difference between captive and wild wolves, and I think that much of the difference-- a difference of bearing, a dynamic tension immediately apparent in a wild wolf and lacking almost entirely in captive animals--lies in their food. The wolf in the wild subsists on his earned meat. The captive is fed on the wastes of commercial slaughterhouses and food made in factories by machines. Wolves in zoos waste away. The Naskapi, to this day, believe that the destruction of their people, the rending of their spirit, has had mainly to do with their being forced to eat the meat of domestic animals.

    The difference between wild meat and tame meat to a hunting culture is a matter of monumental significance. It was a fundamental principle of life that, in the case of the Indian, the white man simply never noticed and the Indians did not know how to explain. I remember the first time I gave a penned wolf a piece of chicken. And I remember the feeling in a Minnesota clearing the first time I came on a wolf kill, picked up the moose skull, and turned it in my hands.

    Whether wolf and prey act according to some mutual understanding, or whether they only unconsciously participate in a fundamental drama, is something we shall probably never know. All we do know, staring up at the paintings of game animals on the cave walls at Lascaux, is that the belief that there was more to hunting than killing, and that dying was as sacred as living, was not something that one day just fell out of the sky.[2]
    --Barry Lopez

    Barry Lopez has written extensively on nature and the environment. His books include Winter Count (Charles Scribner's Sons, 1981) and Crow and Weasel (North Point, 1990).


    ...and perhaps we can now add the paintings in the Cave of Forgotten Dreams to that meditation...

    ogun
    Moderator
    Moderator

    Posts : 88
    Join date : 2016-10-14

    Re: Art As Therapy

    Post by ogun on Sat May 13, 2017 7:22 am

    Yes, I did rather go off on something of a rant about people in my last post that when I started hadn't really intended and I'm not sure how I ended up there. I can understand why all those soulless blobs would want to be up close first hand but how many walk away with the spirit of the wolf while at the same time bleeding the spirit of the wolf away oozing slowly but surely until there is nothing left? 
    I want nothing short of them leaving the wolves alone, they are not an exhibit in some petting zoo.
    People that seek that kind of experience are the same kind of needy empty souls that rob all the oxygen in a room the moment they want in and still they walk into the night into tomorrow unfulfilled.

    The B. Lopez's quote sounds much like what I heard many years ago about an Indian hunting ritual of never taking a life of the prey unless and until hunter and the hunted stood looking at each other with the hunted not running away. Only then was the bow unsheathed and arrow notched as the animal had willing given itself to the hunter and his family so that they could live on. 
    Wish I could remember what tribe that spiritual story comes from.
    avatar
    Ren's View
    Admin

    Posts : 248
    Join date : 2016-09-16

    Re: Art As Therapy

    Post by Ren's View on Sat May 13, 2017 10:38 am

    In my view, I see that a disrespect for both life and death is a result of people allowing themselves to join civilization and all the addictions it offers.  That's a very general assessment that begs a deeper analysis, but I shall not indulge myself in that analysis for this moment, but it is a part of what I see in this process of apocalypse I feel I'm watching.  I see that, in general, people who are much closer to the processes of nature also seem to develop this sensitivity to the dignity of dying.  It makes sense because death is much closer at hand and a part of everyday life.

    I don't think any one particular indigenous culture had a corner on this sensitivity.  It may seem so because so few of their actual cultural awarenesses were preserved to ponder. 

    I've been reading this wonderful story by writer of indigenous heritage, whose ancestors were living in what has come to be called Nicaragua, that blends his people's mythology with a story about a contemporary individual in their community who had given up the traditions to join modernity.  In reading that mythology, the very language of ecology that I try to think with is present.  You'd have to read it to find what I'm saying, I don't wish to condense it into my own trivial thoughts and opinions.  It's just a feel that I can engage while I'm reading. 

    But for a time, the author was living in New Mexico, and I'd like to share a few of his thoughts about that time, just as a kind of illustration of this sensitivity and understanding that I believe comes from staying in touch with natural life processes:

    Martin Prechtel wrote:

    Unable and unwilling to climb down from the inebriated height of military victory to assume the unexciting everydayness of peace, instead of taking the time to grieve their losses and slowly grow accustomed to a non-war way of moving, after the second world war America decided it would “attack” all the country’s problems.

    Riding on the euphoric shock of what the country saw as the victory of technology over the world’s “evil” during World War Two, the country embraced a new type of machine-dependant civilization whose effective organization was developed during the war and was now applied to “civilian” peace-time population, an application in a new war to bring the “benefits” of America to the so-called outlying areas.

    After the second world war and with increasing frequency ever after, Northern New Mexico became a place where a particular version of this application came with its supporting economy, to rehearse its policies and experiments for the Third and Fourth Worlds without having to leave the political boundaries of the U.S.

    Well away from the controversial messes it had already made elsewhere in the country and would here foreseeably install, it advertised itself as an economic boost for our state which it claimed was unemployed because people ranched, farmed and worked for themselves, under-populated because there was still 80 percent open public land upon which they ranched and farmed, uneducated because New Mexicans spoke many languages besides English, and poverty stricken because every family had an outhouse, a milk cow and didn’t owe the bank.

    Once this clumsy, post-war new machine culture was in place a new so-called science-based education system was established throughout, ostensibly designed to train local individuals for the good jobs the machine people said they were offering, which would bring them cash, give them credit to get them installed with lots of mass-produced stuff into the American dream and thereby raise their standard of living. But whose standard was it? In the end it all disguised a kind of internal colonization.

    Ironically, in what had already become an established tradition in Northern New Mexico before my time, there was the parallel immigration of other outside peoples who were opposed to all of that, dissidents who were trying to escape the same cultural ravages rent upon their people in other parts of the country.

    But no matter what, regardless of their thinking or on which side of it they stood, all of these new-comers came out of what we used to call the “gray sky” area of the world.

    These gray sky people were not only white people, they were the descendants of many races and ethnicities who’d lived so many years or generations in an unexuberant world of functional brick buildings, smoke stacks, tasteless cold sandwiches, bad gray air, flat, practical language, steel and concrete, monocultural literalism; generations of women stuck inside unhappy, dark houses with their Hoovers and scrub brushes, an addiction to post-war science which they were positively certain would provide material cures for all the problems of their heavy hearts, which they didn’t view as some valid form of sorrow or generationally inherited depression for their own cultural losses of language, land, clothing, food and way of going, but as a purely mechanical problem like a burned-out clutch or broken pump that could be fixed or surgically removed like a malfunctioning tank at the front, and having lived under this for so many years as to think such a life was normal.

    It’s easy to imagine the exhilarating relief and hopefulness the newly-wed, post-war children of the gray sky people must have felt when they first saw the juniper-scented, clear blue skies of the snowy desert winters, the clean mountain streams and laughter of Northern New Mexico with what must have seemed to them as plenty of room for their suburban bubble of post-war expectation to spread and sink its wells.

    In they poured, parents and married children alike, bringing their gray skies and depression with them. Instead of trying something new, they reestablished the same brick-building way of life, with what was then a new and heartless assembly line, militarily derived technologies bringing mass production and creating cash to buy what nobody here knew they should want. For this, advertising was brought in and grade school policies inaugurated that mercilessly shamed the local way of life: their adobe houses, their mud barns, their rituals, their three cows, their little flocks of sheep, their goat cheese, their songs, their languages, their clothing, their food, their smoky fires, their methods of healing, their spiritual understandings, their religions, their slow, extended family way of doing things, until an entire generation of kids had grown up with a kind of self-hatred and cultural shame planted deep inside their bones, who, as adults, in order to cover up their origins, their color and their languages, adopted the lifestyle that the gray sky people were peddling and with whom they had to get a job to get sufficient cash for them to sustain and be respected by these people who only respected money.

    Coming from families with many diverse backgrounds, those of Spanish-speaking ancestry had been in New Mexico for 350 years, some of whom were descended from Sephardic Jews, who’d left Spain in the sixteenth century to elude the fires, dismemberment and forced conversions of the Inquisition. But no matter whether children of Basques, Andaluzis, Mozarabics, Gallegos, Catalonians or beautiful admixtures thereof, or with Native Otomi, Tepehuanes or Tiguex, all of the Raza farmed the river valleys, grazed their animals in the mountains living in beautiful little clannish towns sometimes close by and sometimes apart from the Native American population who had been here since the rocks stopped moving on their own and who continue living in nineteen culturally intact villages and five other tribal districts with over seven distinct unrelated languages between them. If any of these Spanish-speaking or Native American people wanted the gray sky people’s jobs, they had first to graduate in their secondary schools to get them.

    This meant learning to speak, think and walk like a gray sky person, while taking on their prejudices, buying and wearing their clothing and abandoning your own except on feast days; giving up weaving, drying fruit, covering yourself with silver jewelry, bells, buttons; getting a haircut which for certain Indians was traumatic, especially the girls. You would have to learn to shake hands energetically while looking away saying things you didn’t mean while grinning and agreeing to sell your farmland that you were told you wouldn’t need any more to suburban developers and your sacred things to collectors. It meant tearing down your beautiful, snug, mud ancestral homes painted with goat cheese and colored earths and paid for, to freeze, sneeze, roast and sink into bank debts in the gray people’s carpeted houses, while the gray sky people’s wealthy segment built ugly adobe mansions that conformed to building laws they had installed that no native New Mexican could afford and now no longer wanted.

    That’s when New Mexico became impoverished. Instead of jobs, honor, work and cash, they simply found out that they were poor and were going to stay there. Up until the gray sky people imported poverty, New Mexicans maybe didn’t have a lot of stuff but they knew themselves to be proud, ornery, able and rich because the land itself made them so and because of the rituals that each of their cultures kept alive, ensuring that the holy earth was fertile and giving. This was what New Mexico’s people had cherished and maintained. But now all this was trivialized and overlooked, eroded by the children of the smoke-stack civilization who declared it all unprofitable, impractical, unmodern and even backwards, while some of them sold what their presence was destroying to tourists as being quaint reminders of bygone days.

    The gray sky people were not all unfriendly, but only a few were ever friendly to what we loved.

    Prechtel, Martín (2013-09-24). Stealing Benefacio's Roses (pp. 110-114). North Atlantic Books. Kindle Edition.

     


    Last edited by Ren's View on Mon May 15, 2017 9:51 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : To correct a gobbledy gook sentence created through hasty editing -- Just in case someone ever reads this.)

    ogun
    Moderator
    Moderator

    Posts : 88
    Join date : 2016-10-14

    Re: Art As Therapy

    Post by ogun on Mon May 15, 2017 8:21 am

    What's happened in this area of the country is very a similar type of story. 
    Outsiders move in buying up all the once self surviving land, chop it up into housing projects then to be soon followed by many more claiming the want of trying to allow themselves and family to escape the empty dead end hallow existence of the suburban life only to then just turn everything into what they pretended they wanted to escape. I could go into details but the examples would carry me into night if I were to start. 
     It's obvious though there are large portions of the population sense someplace deep inside themselves individually that theres something vital missing and are searching for that some lost cord of connection. Meanwhile pushing themselves farther and farther away from the any kind of mooring they so desperately seek. How to explain it to them any other way than by pointing out their very direct actions? Still they blindly grope destroying everything in their path as the very house they reside burn down around them and yet they walk away so proudly strutting with their one dimensional picture card albums of what once was while pretending to themselves an actual experience with any more depth than the paper it's printed on and will then wonder why still so much emptiness within.

    The hang over I suspect is going to be very, very bad.
    avatar
    Ren's View
    Admin

    Posts : 248
    Join date : 2016-09-16

    Re: Art As Therapy

    Post by Ren's View on Mon May 15, 2017 9:49 am

    ogun wrote:What's happened in this area of the country is very a similar type of story. 
    Outsiders move in buying up all the once self surviving land, chop it up into housing projects then to be soon followed by many more claiming the want of trying to allow themselves and family to escape the empty dead end hallow existence of the suburban life only to then just turn everything into what they pretended they wanted to escape. I could go into details but the examples would carry me into night if I were to start. 
     It's obvious though there are large portions of the population sense someplace deep inside themselves individually that theres something vital missing and are searching for that some lost cord of connection. Meanwhile pushing themselves farther and farther away from the any kind of mooring they so desperately seek. How to explain it to them any other way than by pointing out their very direct actions? Still they blindly grope destroying everything in their path as the very house they reside burn down around them and yet they walk away so proudly strutting with their one dimensional picture card albums of what once was while pretending to themselves an actual experience with any more depth than the paper it's printed on and will then wonder why still so much emptiness within.

    The hang over I suspect is going to be very, very bad.

    I agree.  We're going to watch a lot of people go through a plowing hangover.  ("plowing" is a new {for me} euphemism I've been enjoying using in public lately.)

    The effort of detailing all this seems unnecessary if we each understand.  Which is generally the value that comes with a rich culture.  Within a rich culture there is a general and deep understanding that's shared, and because of that sharing their interactions are deeply dimensional.  In a more superficial, what I call a pidgin version of culture, which to me is most of civilization where Martin's "gray sky people" live, deep understanding is missing, and much time must be spent educating with extensive detail, but that inevitably is a waste of time because so little of it gets incorporated into a shared narrative.  That's because the narratives are always flat, technical and limited as all pidgin languages must be, because they are forever spoken at the edges, between people who don't know each other in that deep cultural way.  Anyway, things are moving too fast at the edges and who has time to listen?  To some extent that's how I see what you are saying with your own metaphorical narrative.

    ogun
    Moderator
    Moderator

    Posts : 88
    Join date : 2016-10-14

    Re: Art As Therapy

    Post by ogun on Tue May 16, 2017 5:31 am

    Therapy in art still echoes down through the ages for those with open eyes, open ears, open minds and hearts.

    An eleventh century a poem by Abu al-Hasan 'Ali bin Hisn

    Nothing has taken me
           more by surprise --
                    that dove, cooing
                           on a branch between
                           the islet and river,
                    its collar pistachio
           green, its breast
    lapis, its neck
    ashimmer, its back
            and the tips of its wings
                    maroon. Its ruby
                           eyes had flitting
                           lids of pearl
                    above, flecked
             and bordered with gold.
    Its beak was black
    at the point alone,
            a reeds tip
                    dipped in ink.
                            The bough was its throne.
                            It hid its throat
                    in the fold of a wing ----
            resting. Moaning,
    I startled it. And seeing me
    weeping, it spread
            its wings, then beat them ---
                   and as it flew
                            it took my heart
                            away. It's gone.....

    From the June issue of Harpers.
    avatar
    Ren's View
    Admin

    Posts : 248
    Join date : 2016-09-16

    Re: Art As Therapy

    Post by Ren's View on Tue May 16, 2017 7:50 am

    Beautiful, intimate moment with nature for someone to record, and so wondrously.

    What little time I've lived in cities (ten years in West Oakland pretty much sums it up), I never got to see anything like that while walking the city streets.  I did see cool things up in the hills above Berkeley and Oakland which remain open, public access park lands, safe from development, I don't know how.  Developers must slobber with anticipation when a crude creature like Trump gets into the White House.

    ogun
    Moderator
    Moderator

    Posts : 88
    Join date : 2016-10-14

    Re: Art As Therapy

    Post by ogun on Sun May 21, 2017 8:31 am

    I haven't been back west for nigh on more than 30 years ago now. Even then the area I was visiting (the southern end of the San Joaquin Valley) had changed quite a lot, didn't do a lot of exploring past there. While growing up though when I was living with my father I used to wander around and once in awhile do some camping in the Niles Canyon area. Sometimes now I wonder why my dad would even let me go off, never got to meet one but those days they still had pumas roaming around them dar hills.
     Much earlier in childhood when my dear mother (i hope she rots in hell) housed me and the sap she was hooking up with was trying to keep her away from the bright lights I was living about two miles outside of Big Basin State Park in the Santa Cruz Mountains. That was a cool place, the town of Boulder Creek was maybe 3 or four miles down the road but one could cut that down if you took some short cuts through the woods. But at any rate there was not that much in town to interest a young lad any ways, sometimes it was just a different thing to do and maybe catch a steel head caught in the shallows of a stream that had run low of water along the way. At that time the town had total of maybe 103 souls officially, they had one gas station, one hardware store, one grocery store and one motel that was also the town watering hole, throw in a four room school house and that was the town. Yep, that was it! 
     Loved that place and time, wish I'd never gone back so I could just remember it as it was. Before I shipped out I got in my little MG ( TD ) and made the trip to visit for the first time in about 8 or 10 years.......in the few short years I'd been away the place had changed drastically. What had been just a narrow two lane road had widened to a very generous two lanes to accommodate an occasional three lanes. Outside of the state park Redwood trees were being clear cut to make room for golf courses and housing developments. I talked to some people on my through and they said the winter pop. was 'only' about 2,500 but in the summer months ballooned to about 15,000 or more, they wasn't sure.

    Wish I'd never gone back.

    Time for some therapy.


    edited as there has been something nagging at me since I posted so now after rereading it later today sure enough I had to amend a couple of things like removing some extra zeros and identifying Big Basin as a state park rather than a national treasure (though I think it should be national, but forget that with the dumpster fire burning)

    Sponsored content

    Re: Art As Therapy

    Post by Sponsored content


      Current date/time is Mon Jul 24, 2017 11:51 am