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Friday, October 30, 2009

The best laid plans...

Well, things did not go well in the North, so, I'm now considering my next move. I could stay on in SF, but I'm sort of interested in the South part of the state also, some place like either Santa Barbara or SLO. At this point, I'm tossing around ideas of exporting this business to other artists, but with a local business twist. My greater dreams are, to be generous, fantastical. I would like to organize a new business around getting a voting holiday, so that everyone has at least a few days off from Halloween to voting day. I would also like to create an international peace force that ends war on earth, but, like I said, I'm someone that is prone to fantasizing a bit too much.

I'm considering throwing more about other parts of my life into this, such as my social experiences, but I'm not sure if I will. So far it has been studiously about my business experiences and cartoons (save that last one about the desert).

I welcome any comments on that subject or any others.

Monday, October 19, 2009

on desert experiences when off work.

The other day, I had a very interesting time in the Mojave desert. I was attending a dance party in the far out desert, and decided to walk to a crag of rocks far off in the distance. When I got there, I found a pile of old rocks in the crag. Now, many of you may not know this, but in the ancient times, men used to carve rocks with faces and stories, and deposit them at certain locations. It turns out, this crag was one of them. I picked up one rock, and found delicately etched into it a mayan face, complete with an earring. Another, I found a seal. I found one rock, covered with dust, and withdrew it from the pile. I wiped the dust away to find the image of a frightening creature (which I will someday transmute into a figure in my cartoons) looking like he was crawling out of the dirt. I imagined a whole story of the creature attacking a sleeping bear (which was cleverly etched above the image). I decided that I had to replace the stone exactly as I had found it, but, when i looked, I couldn't find any dirt in the pile! How had the monster on the stone gotten covered with dirt when there was no dirt amongst the rocks? Then it hit me: the creator of the rock had gone down off the crag, gotten some dirt, and poured it on the rock long ago. So, I did the same thing. I went down to a snake hole and found some fine dust, brought it back to the crag and, while thanking the original sculptor, I poured the dust onto the 1.5 inch rock in the middle of nowhere in the desert and thanked the Great Spirit (or God or whatever) for creating the earth, the rock, the dust and myself to honor this ancient art piece.
Afterwards, I was walking back to the dance party, when I espied some movement on the ground. It was an ant colony. Then, low and behold, I saw a beetle, about the size of two adult thumbnails, digging with the same motions a dog would into the pile around the anthill, obviously either eating something, or getting moisture. I saw that many of the ants were carrying tiny little twigs into the hole. I began to impute personalities to the little creatures, when, suddenly, a tiny desert spider leapt out of the ground and snatched an ant about a third larger then it was! the hairy spider, which was about the size of a grain of rice, if not smaller, immobilized the ant in a tenth of a second, and then casually walked off with it's humongous prize.
I highly recommend staring at the movements on the ground: they can be a lot more exciting then you might first imagine.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Thursday, October 15, 2009

This Blog may be slower soon for a few weeks

I'm getting ready to travel north, to a job near Mt. Shasta. I'll probably be incommunicado for several weeks, if not months. I will try to load pictures from where I am, but I'm not sure they will have a scanner. I will probably be able to load a bunch of pictures every few weeks, so, if I can't do it regularly, I will at least do it bi or tri-weekly. I'll still be on for a few more days at least, and I hope you all enjoy these little comments and the cartoons. Have a nice day.

When did you stop being creative?

The other day, I was out and about, doing my work. 2 hours, only five bucks. But, the last few houses each gave me five bucks each totalling me to twenty. A few days earlier, I was walking some other streets, and I ran into a friend of mine, Owen, who suggested I don't ask folks for any money at all. This idea intrigued me. I started doing it immediately, and found that I made the same amount of money I had made earlier. So, as a few of you know, my new rap is only about my art, and I don't mention money anymore. Anyway, I was walking by one house, and the woman of the place was gardening. I started doing my rap, and she said no thx. Then she added, "I was an artist for many years." I immediately responded: "i'm sorry." She was taken aback. "why are you sorry?" I smiled, "because, i was hoping you would say you WERE an artist NOW." She smiled, "I AM an artist," she corrected her language. Or did she?

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Different neighborhoods and how the class system works

I'm not socialist, though some socialist ideas are interesting and possibly applicable to our society, but, it would take a moron to not see that there is distinct class divisions between neighborhoods. A glaring example is the the "frontage road effect." Lets say you are in a very wealthy neighborhood. Generally, the houses are on between 1/4 to 1/2 acre. But...if there is a road that is frontage road to a larger thoroughfare, usually houses right along that road are on 1/16 lots, smaller and more cottagy. I'm imagining that the rich people won't live near a road, but the town wants the property tax money, so, instead of allowing one house to build itself way in and have a large lawn, instead, the city zones that street for folks with less wealth, acting as a sort of bulwark from the road for all the richer folks in the interior streets.

favorite blow off recently: "We don't have enough money to do anything special at this time."

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Do not try this at home

Today was a good day cash-wise, and reminded me of a glaring defect in our entire system. I made double what I usually make, 75 bucks. I sold all my books, and had delightful conversations with most of the folks I talked to. I even bought some art from another artist, in a manner of speaking. But, the very fact that my emotions are in any way affected by money, whether it be depression because it is not there, or elation that I have made a great deal, makes me a slave, at least in some sense, to the idea of money as a "bringer of good things."

I've recently been reading about collectivism, which, as far as history has shown has led to all sorts of gross inequities, but has resulted in some interesting things, albeit in ways that so far are morally indefensible. In a collectivist state (so far only achievable in a state that is on a war footing), labor is more important then immediate profits, or, in the case of the fascist and communist models, more important then the pursuit of knowledge itself. However, the one benefit of collectivism is a very healthy and well fed population. So far, the nations that have collectivized have treated their workers like gold, making them into sort of quasi-soldiers, that attain rank and distinction along the same lines. They are always well fed and well cared for, as long as they tow the party line, whatever that is. Most collectivist states, during a war economy, have a SHORTAGE of workers. There is work for all, and then some.

I think one of the great "questions" of history is this: is it possible to create a "benevolent collectivism" that will not matastisize into a political and social cancer and a vehicle for military expansion? The biggest problem with the fascist and communist labor model is that, because labor is an actual commodity, like cows, they can be butchered with same sort of emotionlessness. Corporatism is not far behind this model. Thus, losing a "few hundred" men to bad plant management is no big deal, and complaining is punished by death. Only in a regulated democracy, so far, can workers protect themselves through legislation from these sort of practices.I think that mankind, forgetting for a moment the dichotomies of left and right, would be wise to analyze what was RIGHT with the enemies of freedom's models of organization, while at the same time continuing to attack the moral bankruptcy of what they led to. Even failed programs have kernels of useful information.

As a little digression, at one point I was in an apartment buillding today, and a knocked on the door of a large family, probably celebrating the football game. One of them, seeing me, became very agitated. The hostess said "no thank you," and shut the door. However, the other man was yelling, and quickly raced out the door. "What are you DOING HERE?," He said in a huff, with a very unhappy and aggressive tone. "I'm selling my cartoons." "YOU THINK YOU CAN JUST COME IN HERE AND DO THAT? WHAT, YOU JUST OPENED THE DOOR??"(he was referring to the metal door at the bottom of the apartment complex) "The door was unlocked," I replied serenely, "and there was no "no soliciting" sign present." I smiled at him with a lot of love. He suddenly looked sheepish and said, "well, I'm sorry, we have had a lot of trouble," and he started apologizing. "No problem brother," I said, "I'm taking off." He thanked me and we parted company. A slight tear came to my eye, I'm not exactly sure why. I know it was at least partially for him.

San Rafael and the Oakland Court story

The other day i was referring to San Rafael, not San Leandro.

the other day, I told a vagabond that had had his dog taken by the police based on what I believed to be a misunderstanding, that I would help him get his dog back. I had promised to do this 2 weeks earlier as well. I woke up very early and got to the train station at 7:30 AM, after about a 35 minute walk. My friend, who is generally coherent, had always treated his dog well, and it was friendly, well fed and loving to his master at all times. He arrived at about 7:40, telling me he had had to get some medicine.

Although he had expected six different people to show up, only me and another woman, who I recognized as a person who was "there" when things are going bad for the destitute of spirit (and sometimes mind). She had her own problems to deal with that day, but was taking some time to help this genleman, who I call "the Rev," because he sometimes babbles about the bible and has introduced himself as the "the Reverend ____ _____," using his real name, which I won't be publishing.

So, she gives the Rev a 20 to buy a breakfast, takes his papers and says she has to take a bus and "she'll be right back." It is 8:30. At 9:25, at my instigation, we finally leave, realizing she is not coming back with the papers we gave her to copy. We had told her that we needed to meet someone at 10:00 at the Ashby station, so, we took off. Luckily, she was there, and so was the other person, the owner of a local nightclub, who had a note also guaranteeing the Rev's ability to take care of his dog.

We go to the Oakland courtroom where the Rev has to address charges of animal cruelty, in the opinion of all of his friends unfounded, about some nonsense about him "forcing the dog to drag a cart," which is utter tripe.

Unfortunately, the Rev has a "bullet" in his lung, from some former shooting incident 2o years earlier, and he starts wincing in pain, muttering about the "transmission waves" coming from the top of the building. We sit in the pews for about 2 hours. He practically keels over in the court, and, when finally ready to deal with the judge, is limping along, moaning in pain, and talks incoherently to the judge. "receipt, paper, dog," he says with no connecting language. The judge, a grey haired woman with a sense of humor yet at the same time a surly and "no poppycock" personality, immediately tells the Rev to sit down in the jury box.

After another few minutes, we are escorted outside, where in the corridor, the Rev is informed through his anxiety hyperbole that he has to get finger-printed before any other action can take place. You can see the wincing nature of the DA informing him of these facts in his face. He is trying to be nice to the crazy, incoherent man.

As soon as we get outside, the Rev becomes totally coherent again, and, when we suggest he go into the police station and get his fingers printed, he says, "i will do it on Monday, right now, my stomach hurts too much." We are both at this point exasperated, and finally, I throw up my hands and take off.

The Rev is totally coherent, the courtroom actions in no way reflect on his capability as a person who can take reasonable care of himself and very good care of his dog, and the level of fear that he had that caused him to react in this anxious way is solely due to the harsh nature of the building and the charges leveled against him. On the other hand, I have only so much time to give to folks that won't help themselves, and i'd say it's more than most.

Later, the Rev bought me a lemonade and thanked me for showing up and showing the DA that others besides himself respected his ability to take care of himself and the dog. So, I hope I helped.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

they stole my bike!

Sadly, my nice bike was denuded of it's wheels last night. But, a good friend from the street built me another out of parts. Berkeley can be a tough place, but also a very friendly one.