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Exchange of Values

Exchange of Values
acrylic on board 48'X96'

"Structure of Color Perception"

"Structure of Color Perception"
48'X96' acrylic on board

Thursday, November 27, 2014

My son Daryl and grandson Jaxon



***  Conjecture of a Guilty Bystander: "We are already one. But we imagine that we are not. And what we have to recover is our original unity. What we have to be is what we are.  It is a glorious destiny to be a member of the human race, though it is a race dedicated to many absurdities and one which makes many terrible mistakes: yet, with all that, God is gloried in becoming a member of the human race. A member of the human race! To think that such a commonplace realization should suddenly seem like news that one holds the winning ticket in a cosmic sweepstake.   Thomas Merton, "Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander."

He assumed that I also celebrated the exoneration of officer Wilson.  He was grinning and laughing while pointing to the newspaper headline that shouted "NO INDICTMENT."  His wife's glee seemed somewhat tempered, but then she is from Canada so….you know.  But what kind of narratives about me, I wondered, had this man been constructing in his mind over the many months that I had been eating in his vegan cafe that caused him to think that I would share his opinion of the Killing of Michael Brown and that Brown "got just what he deserved."  It seems silly now, but for some reason I had assumed that he was some sort of a bleeding-heart progressive, I mean he was a Vegan for Christ's sake!  He also conformed to many of the identity markers often associated with sympathetic leftists such as opposing animal cruelty, driving a Prius, and expressing virulent scorn for Monsanto, etc..  In hindsight I guess I tended to downplay the fact that he was a pilot during the Vietnam war, perhaps because I knew lots of leftist veterans who criticized the Vietnam and Iraq wars, the 'military industrial complex,' or what have you.  But then he was a retired officer and I haven't known many vets who put in their 20 years and then spend their golden years reading Kropotkin, Noam Chomsky, or "The Little Flowers of Saint Francis" (the martyred monks of the Tibhirine being exceptions).  True we were both old, white, male, overweight, relatively affluent, amorphously Christianish, but surely he noticed that I never knew whether the Seahawks won or lost their Sunday game and that I didn't laugh at his jokes about Obamcare?  Apparently you can talk and eat with somebody for years and yet not really know them at all (or does he see deeper into my soul than I care to admit?).  Now that I think about it I wonder if he had known that I had a Black son if it would have made any difference in his assumptions.  I mean, why was he so damn sure that I shared his opinions (or should they be called racist ideologies, picking just the right language can be challenging).  Like at some point I guess I might have to talk with my Grandson about how to engage with police officers, like I told my son about how to be safer in the presence of armed cops, but i guess I was hoping that that wouldn't be necessary by the time my grand kids grew up (not my white grand kids but the brown ones that is).  I guess I was wrong about that, but I been wrong about a lot of things.

obliged.


Thursday, November 20, 2014




****  Klediments:

****  The first page of my rejected paper proposal for the AAR convention.  I had been intending to write a follow up paper on one of my earlier post on Derrida’s “The Gift Of Death,"  but I was home sick for a few days and instead I watched the entire second season of “The Walking Dead.”  This series got me again feverishly thinking, dreaming, and studying a bit about Zombies and why Zombies (and Vampires, post-apocalyptic dramas, memes, and spectacles) are so prevalent right now in proletkult consumption, political economy, and the united-statesian imagination?  Is death really this deconstructably undecidable?

****  “Purity of heart is to will one thing.”   S. Kierkegaard.

Some initial reflections/questions about Zombies for n.americans:
 
 1.  Zombies are mindless consumers.  That is, they pursue their consumptive compulsions without satisfaction yet they are relentless in their quest for human destruction, and thus their own destruction as well.  So perhaps something of their humanity abides after all?  Zombies are pure desire in collective form.

2.  Are Zombies evil?  Is it possible that their singular focus demonstrates a type of goodness?  Perhaps Zombies are equivalent to viruses or cancer cells?  If so, aren’t they still part of the ethical economy of creation, part of the balance that obtains when, for example, a lion kills and eats a lamb?  As Herbert McCabe argued, the lamb that is killed and eaten suffers real harm and loss, but the lion obtains real life-giving benefit, thus the badness that befalls the lamb is proportionate and necessary for the good of the lion (and in a big picture sort of way for the good of the Lamb as well, at least in theory as discussed by intellectual lions).  And this all seems so reasonable too, until one is actually hunted down and chewed on by a lion, a cancer, or a Zombie.

3.  Zombies eat brains but their own brains are dead.  Yet no matter how many brains zombies eat it does not regenerate their minds.  Could it be said that zombie brain eating is a kind of false worship or materialist sacramentalism?  But if “false worship eats you alive" who are the real heretics here, the Zombies or their so-called “living” victims?  Is being eaten alive by a Zombie a judgement on the false-worship of the living or the heterodox worship of the un-dead?  Perhaps Zombies are just another kind of protestant?

4.  Zombie communities are an ideal model (and a critical example) for the Christian Church in the following ways:  Praxis supersedes dogma and doctrine.  Zombies have a unity of purpose.  Zombies don’t kill and eat each other.  Zombification can happen to anyone regardless of gender, wealth, class, beauty, age, nationality, or sexual orientation.  However, Zombies are easily distracted and misled and spend a lot of energy sniffing out those that don’t belong.

From Derrida’s The Gift of Death: "Christianity offers a new significance for death, a new apprehension of death, a new way in which to give oneself death or put oneself to death.  Christianity demands a gift that involves renouncing the self, this abnegation of the gift, of goodness, or of the generosity of the gift that must withdraw, hide, in fact sacrifice itself in order to give.  Thus, the genealogy of responsibility is interwoven with the history of gift and of death: in short of the gift of death. The gift made to me by God as he holds me in his gaze and in his hand while remaining inaccessible to me, the terribly dissymmetrical gift of the mysterium tremendum only allows me to respond and only rouses be to the responsibility it gives by making a gift of death...”(p 28).

Perhaps Zombies are the new gods of the coming age, but I wouldn't count the Vampires out in the next election!  I am looking fwd to seasons one and three.  God bless and much obliged.  

Wednesday, November 5, 2014



***  THE GOD IN WHOM I BELIEVE (English translation from http://iglesiadescalza.blogspot.com/)

By Judith Bautista Fajardo

'Rev, Judith Bautista Fajardo is Colombia's fourth Roman Catholic woman priest, she was ordained by ARCWP Bishop Bridget Mary Mehan. Rev. Fajardo now joins Colombia's three other women priests -- Rev. Olga Lucia Alvarez, Rev. Marina Teresa Sanchez Mejia, and Rev. Martha Aida Soto Bernal.  The 47 year-old native of Bogota says that her call to the priesthood was always present. Despite that, she spent her earlier religious life as a nun, a vocation she nurtured for nine years, ministering to women and youth. For the last 27 years, Rev. Fajardo has been working in spiritual direction and pastoral care. Trained in philosophy, theology and psychotherapy.'

"Behold, as the clay in the potter's hand, so are ye in my hand." (Jeremiah 18:6)

The God in whom I believe
is the one who gives me a reason to take each step.
The God who whispers that I'm not yet done,
that I lack a poem, a song perhaps,
that maybe I need a firm smile,
a willing hand and a friendly word.

That I still need to forgive an offense,
travel another mile, and share my coat.
That I yet need to create, to invent other worlds,
simpler ones perhaps, nobler and more sincere.

The God in whom I believe creates me and re-creates us
and also invents us anew each day
and feels and shudders with the people's pain
and sings and moans and cries in a thousand sister voices,
banished perhaps on the side of the road.

Today too, demanding cries of anguish rise
and the afternoon wind brings me their wailing
and again my God, heartbroken,
has lit a burning ember in a thousand breasts.

The God in whom I believe, like a patient potter,
from dawn to dusk gives Himself to His creatures
and celebrates their feasts and weeps for their sorrows,
His heart set on the work of His hands.

The God in whom I believe is a demanding flame,
a penetrating sword, deeper and more poignant,
that, though sweet on the lips, turns the belly bitter,
inviting to surrender in season and out.

The God in whom I believe, like a loving mother,
cradles her little ones with the pangs of birth.
And sets forth with them each day
behind the abundant life that proclaims Her Kingdom.

(a link:  http://arcwp.org/about.html)

*** My latest painting/experiment.  44 in. X 36 in.  Acrylic on canvas.

"Pitzut El Haolam Haba"   


Pitzutz means 'explosion' and El Haolam haba = to the next world!  (obliged Ethan for the title)    

I like to post this poem by Dan MacKenzie with the painting:

"So awestruck were we, by the falling stars, that we never noticed that the world was burning. And as the smoke filled our throats, our final words - we spoke without knowing we would forever after be silent - were thank you. Then we too were burning. With the plants, with the oceans, with the animals, we were all of us burning. Our lungs blossoming into flowers; the fire in our bones at last released to join the fire in the earth, in the air, on the water."

http://poserorprophet.wordpress.com/

Much Obliged.