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Mysticism: The Phenomenology of Truth


 

Science makes no philosophical claim to ‘Truth’ but instead provides useful approximations based on its ongoing peer-review methodology. What is reliable images-6information by way of science is the result of similar enough results from replicated experiments that are strictly controlled and abide by the parameters established by a long succession of scientists.  Their hand-me-down story is called epistemology.

In the end, all it tells us is that under such and such of circumstances, it is most likely that these results will be achieved regardless of who you are or where you are as long as you abide by the parameters of the experiment. This consistency of results is what allows us to make engineering choices based on scientific ‘truths’.

When people say they believe in scientific ‘fact’, they usually mean engineering applications of the science. No one bothers to question the science behind the combustion engine as long as their car runs reliably.

But the key phrase here is  ‘approximations of truth’. More absolute truths, the understanding of ourselves and the objects in themselves requires a different kind of perspective outside of the scientific framework; one that takes the observer and the point of observation into account in the observation.

This involves a separate methodology as structured as scientific methods but with different aims and thus different kinds of conclusions. The overlooked discipline is that of Phenomenology, coined by the mathematical genius turned philosopher and teacher of the great Martin Heidegger, Edmund Husserl.
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Husserl believed that our understanding of phenomena was completely based on our disposition towards the apperception (or the incorporation of our perceptions into our existing body of knowledge i.e. our understanding of the perception). Although a mathematician, this view of truth being determined by the perception of the observer as much as the thing-in-itself which can never be truly perceived apart from its set of traits and characteristics is a natural extension of Kant’s Idealism, for which Time and Space are far from objective physical phenomena and more akin to categories of perception. In effect, shared psychological states of awareness.

This is precisely where Phenomenology collides with post-Modernism, Einsteinian physics (Relativity) and Freudian mapping of the unconscious (everything that we don’t know or did know but forgot).
basicconcepts
This post-modern relativism owes a great deal to the mystical and alchemic traditions to which it shares a common ancestry with science. Science, after all, derived from mystical and alchemic experimentations by mainly monks who upon separating from the spiritualism of the Church, (thanks to that first and great secular martyr, Giordano Bruno), continued their quest for god’s Truth.

Mysticism (unlike Spiritualism), is not superstitious; rather it engages with the world in pursuit of solving mysteries unknown and unsolvable by science. Mysticism poses questions science would never bother to ask and then attempts to answer them. Metaphysical questions such as ‘Who am I’ outside of my name and a social construct?  Why am I here and who really lies behind the many masks upon mask that I wear and why do I wear them in the first place?

Psychoanalysis and Psychology at their best are not sciences at all, they are merely enquiries into the nature of the mind (although the current bias towards quantifiable conclusions might make one think otherwise). They are a result of mystical enquiries into the nature of the mind and how it shapes our most intimate and fundamental perceptions of the world we live in; the space in time we briefly occupy before dying.   Medicine is yet another example of a supposed science that in fact is based on a field of knowledge that predates scientific methodology.220px-Oresme_Spheres_crop

Nor is mathematics strictly speaking a science and yet it is by far more predictive of the unknown and unexperienced than science could ever hope to be.

I feel that this is a very relevant issue in the face of the current data-fixation of human experience as well as the current bias of valuing quantifiable truths over qualifiable ones. Just because you can count something accurately doesn’t mean you understand it better.

The truth is never in the data as such, it’s in the interpretation of the data, as long as you’re smart enough to factor in the interpreter.

I’ll take a breath now;
And recall who I am.


A SHORT STORY FROM MY BOOK: CLAYBORN


Clay Born

By Igor Goldkind

 The Saturday farmers market in Little Italy lines 6 or 7 blocks intersecting India Street with fruit and vegetable stalls, fresh fish and flowers, Burritos and tamales, flavored salts, garlic presses and shimmering kitchen knife displays. It is a trajectory from the old world crossing into the new. It is here that I find myself wandering up and down the pedestrian road hunting supplies for tonight’s evening meal.

I am back in San Diego after half a lifetime at sea, sailing past foreign shores, exploring jagged islands and visiting shining cities. I have returned to San Diego because my mother no longer cares for herself and her needs are such, (fluctuating, altering day by day), that I must be on hand to administer the correct exact dosage of TLC. Tonight is my respite, a meal with friends, one old, and two new. There will be wine and food and laughter. But most of all there will be the familiar comfort of intelligent conversation in American accents.

I woke up this morning not feeling well, something in my lungs was not right as if I had never bothered abandoning cigars; and my joints were aching from fights I couldn’t remember. I was out of the house under an azure sky, the brightness of the San Diego sun smiling down on me, the toy boats in the bay gliding over the silver surface of a perfect day. A Mexican girl sits with my mother, making her meals, helping her reach her walking frame. 95 is an ambition to reach and my mother has surpassed herself. She is old and blind and wandering near the exit door. As it should be, as life has meant it to be, as everything leads up to be.

There’s a chicken in my bag and some asparagus, Parmesan, olive oil, smoked paprika; all the ingredients I have gathered from my travels I have brought back to my port of origin to cook a meal in a present gathered with two hands, from the past.

 My foot falters, the bag weighs down; my hand reaches my wet face covered in sweat. I wipe my brow. I am feeling worse. I must find some soup, a stall ahead has soup and I zigzag across the market looking for soup. I am on a quest for soup.

It’s 2 o’clock and the stalls are packing up, I look down from the top of the market and see the entire world receding from me as it folds up for another day and I’ve only finished half my shopping.

 I’m walking down the incline now, rolling up the market like a colorful rug. The soup stand is gone; it’s disappeared into tomorrow. I stop and stagger onto India Street, all hope of soup abandoned. My head is boiling hot, my ears tingling. The road is swimming with Italian fishermen. I turn on India and giggle. There’s only home to get to now. Home and a bed and a duvet to sweat under. My private lodge. There went my dinner plans, I must call my friends and cancel. Cancel my respite.

And then I remember the clay. The clay I had promised my mother.2014-02-07 17.19.38

 

 

Yesterday, she had complained to me of boredom. Day after day of waking, coffee, lunch, dinner and bed with no easel to set up. No tubes to squeeze, no palate to mix, no brushes to wash, no canvass to stretch. No image to dredge from her mind to the surface of the world. Her boredom was her prison and I suggested I might bring her some modeling clay, something she could use to fashion toy figures for her grandchildren.

 

My mother approved the idea and my mission was set. Somewhere on India Street is an arts supply store filled with paints and canvasses, watercolors, pastels, charcoals and erasers and of course modeling clay. The right mix of magic I needed. But not just any modeling clay would suffice. What I needed was red clay; clay, the colour of blood and earth. Not dark earth, not rich, fertile mulch but paler, redder, coarser mixed with ash and sand. The colour of flesh covering tendon and muscle. It was this clay that when fired adorned the kitchen tables of a thousand homes; terra cotta—-­‐ the colour of the earth’s flesh.

 Now my legs are shore leave sailors propping me up the avenue, as I look for a bar to lean on. My head is on fire and my ears are singed by the flames of hell. I’ve lost my way on India Street. But my mission is clay and missions are the source of all courage and strength. I see the word ‘Art’ painted garishly on the large front window of a store: The Art of the Masquerade. Surely, if they know Art they will know where the source of art lies! I push in the glass door that tinkles the silver                            bells that hang down the other side, the other side of the door I am opening. The face of an angel immediately meets my entrance. The girl behind the counter by the door is a vision of Italian beauty, poised pale arms; a waterfall of chestnut curls overflows her shoulders. She is wearing a Comedia del Arte Masque across her eyes. I imagine, to amuse her customers. But she fixes me with her eyes and her blood-­‐swollen lips smile carnivorously at me. I know now that I have passed into the other world. But as I said before, my mission makes me bold.

 “Do you know of an Art supply store, somewhere along this street”?

 The masked creature curls her red lips even more and sucks the air in sharply as if I had just suggested a seditious seduction. Strange Love and her eyes dance behind her masque. She speaks with Sophia Loren’s voice and says: “Just two more blocks down on your left; not too much further to go.” I must look like I’ve already come a long ways. I turn away from her eyes and her red lips, thanking her and push open the door to hear her voice following my back: “Of course, you are always most welcome”.

Now India Street has become a river, the breeze blows ripples in my field of vision. The other pedestrians lean in and bend to the wind, Lowry-­‐like stick figures passing on my left and my right. This is a street like any street, a path paved by the footsteps that preceded mine. An every street, in every city, in every country, everywhere-India Street in a Little Italy swollen so large that I am just a speck, a buoy bouncing on the surface of its whimsy. And then I find my port.

 I push the glass double doors of the art store open and walk into the early 1960′s. The floor is a speckled, yellowed linoleum, the wooden counters, the walls; the shelves stretching beyond my horizon, cemented in another time and place. I walk past the sales counter where a silver haired man smilingly takes change from a customer; he moves in a subtle way that I notice, he lives in another world. I walk into the belly of the store. I see a young, dark haired man arranging items on a shelf who looks passably human.

 My ears are burning, hellfire licks my cheeks and I see little, twinkling twists of light hovering around my peripheral sight. Faery lights, angels or tiny floating demons; they are chattering to each other as they bob and bounce around. I ignore them. “Excuse me, can you tell me where you keep your modeling clay?” The human boy nods and points “Follow the green aisle down all the way to the end, then take the final flight of stairs to the next level”. I say ‘Thank you’ while wondering if his instruction might double as a cheat to some computer game.

 

I follow the green aisle and reach the stairs. My legs have now been transformed into lead by the dark magic of this place. But my mission pulls me up the steps and I reach the aisle and the shelf with the clay, just where I had been told it would be.

claybornJust a little further. I look for red clay and find a 4-­‐pound box and then I stop. Next to the box of red clay I have been hunting is another 4-­‐pound box of red clay, in a different box, for one dollar more. I hesitate; I read the labels on both boxes. They are identical, so why is one box one dollar more? I take the cheaper box, but what if I’m overlooking the value of the one-­‐dollar more? Which box should I choose? And then the light comes on and I am enlightened: this choice is not more freedom, this is merely more confusion. I pick up both boxes, grab a handful of palate knives and descend to the sales counter in triumph.

 The silver haired devil is older than me, with close-­‐cropped hair, a stud in one ear and a well-­‐groomed demeanor. He smiles at me and I think that he seems pleasant enough for a demon of the underworld. I speak to him directly although his details are by now, bleeding into the background and my peripheral is intruding into my focus. “Can you tell me please, what is the difference between these two boxes of red clay? They seem identical to me but one is a buck more than the other…am I missing something…?” I steady myself with my hand on the counter and I wonder if I appear drunk. The demon doesn’t seem to notice, conscientiously leans over both boxes and unbegrudgedly begins reading the packaging. Just a little bit further and then I am gone. The store, the silver haired demon, the floor have vanished.

SONY DSCI am in my grandfather’s workshop. The heat is coming from the wood fire heating the cauldron of bubbling beeswax he uses for casting molds. I breath in the familiar sickly sweet smell of bubbling bees wax. I’m standing on the concrete floor covered with plaster of Paris dust ‘Gesso’ he calls it. My grandfather stands behind a giant slab of granite, chisel and hammer in hand. His pale horn-­‐rimmed glasses cover his concentrated squint and he taps the chisel carefully with his hammer. Chink-­‐chink-­‐ chink. The music of the universe toiling.

 My mother, my young, beautiful mother stands beside him and when I see her, she sees me; she looks and smiles her seeing smile at me. She leaves her father’s side and comes closer. In one hand she carries a stool she places in front of me. Her eyes so bright, burning like a million suns set in the midnight firmament, smiling down on my upturned face, the pure unconditional love of an eternal mother for her child; the love that moves the earth, that spins galaxies; the love so immense, so encompassing that the universe must keep expanding just to accommodate it. She touches my cheek with one hand and places a mound of red clay on the stool in front of me with the other. She takes my tiny hands in both hers and pushes them into the cool, wet clay. I am mesmerized. She is Prometheus and she has come to make me a man. She lets me feel the clay squeeze between my fingers and I am kneading, I am squeezing, I am kneading the flesh colour earth in the rhythm that she shows me.

And her eyes, a million suns are shining on me.

 

I am back in the art store and the silver haired demon is speaking to me. “There really isn’t any difference I can see, just different companies.

“Although this…”, he gestures to my first choice, “doesn’t set until the clay is fired”. I think of my mother’s increasing dementia, a stone rolling down a hill and her forgetfulness. She’ll forget to wrap the clay back in plastic, letting it dry out, wrinkle and crack before it’s finally formed. I choose my first choice.

“Thank you” I say.

The demon smiles benignly and tallies the clay and the palate knives onto the 60′s cash register.

“I appreciate your help”‘ I continue. “It’s not for me, its kind of art therapy for an elderly artist”. The silver hair smiles

“That’s nice”. Shut up.

“Yes, well she’s 95 now and she can’t really see”.

Shut up Igor. Shut up. It’s too late; I’m a runaway train.

“She used to paint allot, and sculpt and make stained glass windows. Her whole life she’s worked.”

Shut up! Shut up! Shut up!

“But she can’t see anymore because of the Glaucoma she didn’t treat in time and see, I wasn’t around, I was in England and I couldn’t take her to the eye doctor and now she’s half blind because they didn’t treat it in time. I mean, I didn’t know and she always does things her way…”

 And now the runaway train crashes in the middle of the art store sending everything flying. And I am melting as the tears stream down my face and form droplets on the wooden counter and I can’t stop talking, please stop talking! “She’s bored now because she has no work to do and she can’t see to paint so I thought if I got her this clay that she could see with her fingers and make something to keep her busy, to keep her alive, like some toys for her grandchildren, little red clay toys I could fire for her”. And I can’t stop crying but I do stop talking and I stare at the silver haired man and I know everyone is looking at me and then I just say,“I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m so sorry”. The demon who is really a man looks at me and leans forward and quietly puts his arms around me and just holds me. And I sob and I sob and I keep saying, “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m so sorry”. And the man holds me until I stop sobbing and I straighten up and rub my eyes and the demon hands me a tissue with my change with which I wipe my eyes and blow my nose. He catches my flitting, avoiding eyes and says.

 “There’s nothing more you need to say”.

I grasp my bag of red clay and walk back out into the clear, azure day.

 2014-01-15 11.29.13

clayborn 

Painting of ‘Cerro’ by Margarta Zuniga


EVERYTHING IS (IN) EVERY THING: the phenomenology of identity.


William Blake

William Blake

“To See a World…”

(Fragments from “Auguries of Innocence”

To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand 
And Eternity in an hour.

A Robin Redbreast in a Cage
Puts all Heaven in a Rage.
A dove house fill’d with doves and pigeons
Shudders Hell thro’ all its regions.
A Dog starv’d at his Master’s Gate
Predicts the ruin of the State.
A Horse misus’d upon the Road
Calls to Heaven for Human blood.
Each outcry of the hunted Hare
A fiber from the Brain does tear.

He who shall train the Horse to War
Shall never pass the Polar Bar.
The Beggar’s Dog and Widow’s Cat,
Feed them and thou wilt grow fat.
The Gnat that sings his Summer song 
Poison gets from Slander’s tongue.
The poison of the Snake and Newt
Is the sweat of Envy’s Foot.

A truth that’s told with bad intent
Beats all the Lies you can invent.
It is right it should be so;
Man was made for Joy and Woe;
And when this we rightly know
Thro’ the World we safely go.

Every Night and every Morn
Some to Misery are Born.
Every Morn and every Night
Some are Born to sweet delight.
Some are Born to sweet delight,
Some are Born to Endless Night.  

To hold Infinity in the palm of my hand and Eternity within this hour.d51ae2162d8f8d5fdad185a7c4c33f06

This is the small gratuity I ask from this existence in part exchange for my having been thrown into this, my own bewilderment (like a dog without a bone).  Forced to navigate my senses, follow my faculties like distant stars, through the patterns they find in the cosmos,  along the paths of meaning thrown up by the backwash of sensations that bombard and ignite my senses.

I 'find' myself sitting, often.

I mean, that I find the awareness of my self as my Self,  generally  recurs to me when I’m sitting.

Occasionally standing, if overlooking a view or gazing at the horizon beyond the sea, past the mountains, towards the limits of my imaginings.

The visual persistence of the horizon, a clear razor edge slicing existence into the upper half and the lower half of my perception.  Between the two,within the cusp of duality emerges events, like ships rising from the edge of the world.

This curiosity has been my meditation since I was first aware of my own awareness.

My brain in the background, is a clockwork organic, a steam spunk mechanism that maintains my essential monotonies  unaffected by the passage of time.    Work-earn-pay-repeat.

And then I will die, like my father died 2 years ago; like my mother wll within these months.  Like my daughter died when she flew away to her other life without me.  Like my sister died; and David and Gamma and Meryl and everyone else I have known.  the price of awareness  is loss.  

th-1We dream that we are immortal all the way up til the moment that we die.

I have paid all my bills this morning; my rent is up to date.  My credit rating is sound: I am a good citizen.

So I can afford this self-Indulgence, this amateur excavation of my  Self, my sense of this world in which I find my ‘Self’.

“If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is, infinite.”

These sense are my prison cell, the box of concrete and credit worthiness that boxes in my wild madness; my inner demonic desire to rape and kill and own; and then regret.    But in the pause comes recollection.  the resident of the box is real.  My restlessness will not abide illusion or the rhythm of mindless repetition.  

Reason is a motive.  

Understanding, an incentive.

The Red pill or the Blue?   And who exactly is the Pharmacutical in this particular reality shift?

What about the purple pill where I can dream the dream of others and still remain half awake?   If I can maintain my passive gaze through the coloured glass of this kaledocopic dilation of my perception.  If I can see the light through the glass aidst the colours that fragments this spectrum.  If I swim the sea of signifiers towards the other shore, the one I started swimming from; will I go mad?

Unlikely.  

The mad and magical largely travel unnoticed or intentionally ignored amongst us.

I will not go mad, instead I will try my utmost to drive you mad.

noema-pencil-sketch-loveWalk this way with me …

Every belief, desire, etc. has an object that it is about: the believed, the wanted.  The expression “intentional inexistence” to indicate the status of the objects of thought in the mind. The property of being intentional, of having an intentional object, was the key feature to distinguish mental phenomena and physical phenomena, because physical phenomena lack intentionality altogether.  In order to study the structure of consciousness, owe have to distinguish between the act of consciousness and the phenomena at which it is directed (the objects as intended).  The bridge, the door the passage betweent he apparently iner world and the apparent ‘outer’ world of physical reality is through our intentionality, that violition that derives from us and provokes our action-in-the-world.  image001Therefore the “world of objects” and ways in which we direct ourselves toward and perceive those objects is  conceived  in what we call the “natural standpoint”, which is characterized by a belief that objects exist distinct from the perceiving subject and exhibit properties that we see as emanating from them.   This is our default perception of our selves and the world we inhabit.  A turbulant sea of tense dualities; Good & Evil; Wrong & Right.  

The Mindful strive to calm the sea in order to see the currents better.

The phenomenological way of perceiving objects by examining how we, in our many ways of being intentionally directed toward them, actually “constitute” them; from the Phenomenological standpoint,  objects cease to be something simply “external” and cease to be seen as providing indicators about what it is, and  becomes instead, uncovered as merely a grouping of perceptions belonging to me, the subject. 

So we begin to understand out perceptions, our understnading of the reality we inhabit as a result of interactions between the objects that we recognize and our intent towards that which we recognize as us or ours or part of our world.basicconcepts If we recognize the perceptions as our own, then we begin to identify the components of who we are.  

These fragments, like Osiris’s dismembered body, when reassembled, resurrects the Self that has always stood behind the curtain, tweaking the shapes and lights of our illusions.

My claim is that these are also the fragments of a reality in which the cypher of our existence, the Who in Who We Are, can be found within every moment, every fragment of profound reflection.  Each acknowledgement of our irrevocable impact on our own world.   Perception is an act of assault by our senses.  

images

  The keyhole through to the world as it is, is available at every given moment of consciousness.  Each and every one of our perceptions holds the keys to who we really are.

 

Just take a look .  .  .  :~)OE_51_6_060901_f016


MY HEART


MY HEART words by Igor Goldkind; Percussion by Gilad Atzmon

heart copy

My Heart Is

Still ticking like a bomb…

Beaten like a dusty rug.

Still ticking like a bomb…

 

Unbroken, unwavering.

Still ticking like a bomb…

Not unbruised but

 

Still ticking like a bomb…

Not yet fatally wounded yet

Still ticking like a bomb…

 

My Heart is

Strong but not hard.

Still ticking like a bomb…

 

And safe in its own discontent.

 

My heart is still ticking like a bomb.

 

MY HEART Cracked concrete Heart_by_Bambrhttp://is-she-available.deviantart.com/art/My-Heart-Is-She-Available-477421844


MADEFIRE.COM ANIMATIONS of IS SHE AVAILABLE? Spoken Word, Animation, Music


CON FLYER REVOLUTION in JUST 2 DIGITS hh photo 1 What We Do th-2 radical_22

poem

THE LINE YOU WALKED

photo by Tiina Komulainen 543867_4461826376024_2083558171_n mindfulness 559235_429780530417814_1780624763_n tumblr_mby12zqG3S1r6kh2uo1_1280 Cathedral Trees The Vortex of Language neuron-mini-360.jpg 


DRIVEN


DRIVEN

you need to alleviate your stress
by laughing at yourself,
and the madness
that drives you far from your self
down a long winding road
without pause to reflect on your loneliness;
your motor addicted to the thin white lie:
the difference between what is 
and what merely might be.
how can you tell while in perpetual motion sickness
heading nowhere so fast
nowhere that lasts
heading for a train wreck:
destination: 
Final Stop.

– Igor Goldkind 2014 (From IS SHE?)

Photo: DRIVEN

you need to alleviate your stress
by laughing at yourself,
and the madness
that drives you far from your self
down a long winding road
without pause to reflect on your loneliness;
your motor addicted to the thin white lie:
the difference between what is 
and what merely might be.
how can you tell while in perpetual motion sickness
heading nowhere so fast
nowhere that lasts
heading for a train wreck:
destination: 
Final Stop.

- Igor Goldkind 2014 (From IS SHE?)

 


The tears of a clown: RIP Robin Williams


Excellent assessment of a clown’s career from ex Time Out editor, Dominic Wells

London, Hollywood

Robin Williams' star-making turn in Good Morning, Vietnam (1987) Robin Williams’ star-making turn in Good Morning, Vietnam (1987)

I am shocked and devastated to read, just as I was going to bed, that Robin Williams has died, seemingly from suicide due to asphyxia. It’s common now for sit-com stars to move on to film –  Woody Harrelson, Will Smith, Tom Hanks, Jennifer Aniston – but Williams, along with John Travolta, paved the way.

Mork and Mindy was one of the sweetest programmes of my youth. Williams’s innocent alien, Mork from Ork, first appeared in Happy Days (Williams got the part before the audition even began, when the director asked him to take a chair and he sat on it on his head), and was so popular he got his own show, and catchphrase, “Nanu Nanu” (you had to have been there).

As a film actor he always risked overpowering his co-stars, being a barely contained tornado of irrepressible energy. He was…

View original post 404 more words


ZINC’S DULL REFLECTION


zincbars_slide1Reflecting in the dull, scratched reflection of a zinc counter, too many empty pastis glasses and I look towards the mirror and the sepia light and the prostitute sipping her espresso at the bar, her mouth like a red angry gash, and in the mirror behind her, I see her back, black lace dress, net stockings and then her front reflected from the opposite mirror and then a disappearing corridor of back front back front flipping back and forth into infinity.

And I think to myself: behind me was my continuing education, a phd in philosophy, a professorship, a book, a wife, a life; in front of me was an unknown Paris that had seduced me upon the first whiff of her urine scented perfume. And real prostitutes! Here in real life! and that guy over there wearing the basque, actually is a starving painter! And I am actually Henry Miller and this is my circus of sex and discovery and absinthe and old bar maids with concentration camp tattoos and butchers drinking cafe calvados at 4 in the morning after dropping off their bloody carcasses, half the blood blotting their aprons like they were serial killers meeting for a social.

All that looking from one end of the endless bar to the other.
And then back again.528a0ffbd7340fc005d427eff29d3a2c
From my hindsight glance at my past, how I got here and the anxious certain dread that I at some point, have made a lasting, life long mistake!

And then I gaze in the direction of your Paris street, I so badly need to hurry up to catch what’s around the corner. I used to walk so fast in Paris, I was literally running and no one ever gave me a second glance. In Paris there is always some place to go. But it’s not the future that’s around the corner, it’s more of this, this past, these aspirations, this humble beginning, this arrogant courage, this reckless abandon and the picking up of the consequential pieces and most of all this desire to go on, to keep going to escape from the shadow that is following me. It would have caught up with me sooner and swallowed me whole with the phd, the wife and the life. Instead it’s stopped chasing me; maybe because I’ve slowed, it’s slowed its pace to a stroll.

It knows that I know now where we are heading.
Where we’ve been going all along.

My shadow’s not chasing me anymore,
it’s just casually following out of vague curiosity.


WIN! THE REVOLUTION IN ONLY 2 DIGITS


Last Minute Re-Versioning.  I think it works better now.  Soon we will be launching the animated version of the illustration for the piece by the intensely wonderful and visually lyrical Jeff Christenten.  Thanks to Evan@Madefire.  As well as an original composition for the entire multimedia piece from the  intense genius of Gilad Atzmon.  Please stay tuned.  Please enjoy.  Please comment good or bad.  What’s the difference dantes-hell1?

 

 

THE REVOLUTION IN ONLY 2 DIGITS

 

Home again.

 

Thomas, you were wrong to doubt it:

You Can Go Home Again and

Bask in the healing sun of Osiris

 

This isn’t home

This is recovery.

From the fevered scurvy of my own forgetfulness.

th-1

I eat limes for breakfast, lunch and dinner now;

My bowels move regularly now.

And I feel just like Thomas Payne

 

His bursting desire to model the ideal citizen

 

Not our uniforms, but our blood, sinew and muscle.

To present to the Crowning Glory and

To the Revolutionary Congress and

 

To the Revolutionary French Senate

Thomas and his Pain made the American struggle a personal fight:

The universal pull of the upright ape on the chains holding him down.

REVOLUTION in JUST 2 DIGITS

Chains forged by the forgetful hairless ones.

The ones we will overcome.

But we are not revolutionaries!

 

We are the Revolution.

We are what happens next.

The R/Evolution of our Selves: the inner/outer seeing through Alice’s mirror

 

Into mindful awareness

Into homage to our honored masters and their children:

The ever loving human race.

 

We have already won the revolution.

We have already won the revolution.

 

2 Shots were fired from far, far ago:

One from Lovelace’s boudoir,

Another from Giordano’s spinning wheels and the memory of his funeral pyre.

 

And from the bit of the apple Alan choked down,

We have already won the revolution.

 

We just need to take charge.

 

We have already won the revolution.

 

In only 2 digits.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE REVOLUTION IN ONLY 2 DIGITS

 

Home again.

 

Thomas, you were wrong to doubt it:

You Can Go Home Again and

Bask in the healing sun of Osiris

 

This isn’t home

This is recovery.

From the fevered scurvy of my own forgetfulness.

 

I eat limes for breakfast, lunch and dinner now;

My bowels move regularly now.

And I feel just like Thomas Payne

 

His bursting desire to model the ideal citizen

 

Not our uniforms, but our blood, sinew and muscle.

To present to the Crowning Glory and

To the Revolutionary Congress and

 

To the Revolutionary French Senate

Thomas and his Pain made the American struggle a personal fight:

The universal pull of the upright ape on the chains holding him down.

 

Chains forged by the forgetful hairless ones.

The ones we will overcome.

But we are not revolutionaries!

 

We are the Revolution.

We are what happens next.

The R/Evolution of our Selves: the inner/outer seeing through Alice’s mirror

 

Into mindful awareness

Into homage to our honored masters and their children:

The ever loving human race.

 

We have already won the revolution.

We have already won the revolution.

 

2 Shots were fired from far, far ago:

One from Lovelace’s boudoir,

Another from Giordano’s spinning wheels and the memory of his funeral pyre.

 

And from the bit of the apple Alan choked down,

We have already won the revolution.

 

We just need to take charge.

 

We have already won the revolution.

 

In only 2 digits.



See the latest animations and musical tracks from my forthcoming collection of poetry, comics and prose : IS SHE AVAILABLE?  (Chameleon Editions) out in hardcover and audio (one in the same?) from October 31st, 2014   Buy a copy. Keep a poet alive.   http://fav.me/d7ru7e6mystical-experience-1


THE LATEST ANIMATION TEASERS FROM IS SHE AVAILABLE?


See the latest animations and musical tracks from my forthcoming collection of poetry, comics and prose : IS SHE AVAILABLE?  (Chameleon Editions) out in hardcover and audio (one in the same?) from October 31st, 2014

 

Buy a copy.

Keep a poet alive.

 

http://fav.me/d7ru7e6

 

 

mystical-experience-1


The San Diego Human Centipede Convention


photo 5The San Diego Comic Con is a four day event, the largest trade show of any kind in California with over 300,000 attendees.

Feeling like a ghost haunting my own past, I waltzed (on my crutch), up the professional registration desk and gave them my name.  In return they graciously granted my Perpetual Prefered Professional  status (or something), entitling me to a life times worth of Comic Cons and for my close, personal guests.

Like the waitress at the Anaheim WonderCon who’s 11 year old son was crest fallen that she hadn’t been able to get tickets on line inn time.  Him, her and her daughter got in  that very day courtesy of yours truly and the SDCC.  My PPP status is earned by happenstance.  I happen to be the SF coordinator for the 1974 San Diego Comic Con when I was a young and fervent fan and wanted to walk up to Harlan Ellison and tell him that god spoke through him.

What We Do

Image ©Jeff Christensen for the poem WHAT WE DO in the upcoming collection by Igor Goldkind IS SHE AVAILABLE?

I was there this year,  aeons later, wandering around like a sack-bearing minstral touting my upcoming debut collection of poetry  IS SHE AVAILABLE?  and it’s complimentary music and animation.  In principle I was supposed to be touting to industry movers, shakers and cheque writers.  In fact, it was mainly artists, some old trading friends, a  few young fans and a homless man who benefited from  news of my impending launch.   I reckon if I can corner the homeless reading market sector, I’m on my way.

San Diego Comic Con 2014 reminded me most of all of that episode of South Park in which Steve Jobs exercises the terms and conditions from the Apple licence agreement (you know, the one you always just click through without reading), to collect human specimans in order to fabricate human centipedes.  The joke being how ridiculously absurd it is that anyone would voluntarily put up with day upon day of physical and emotional endurance just for the sake of a quickly forgotten signature.

photo 9But the hairless apes endure a great deal more for the chance to take  an intimate dream, a very public but nonetheless private fantasy one step closer to reality by getting to peek behind the theatre curtains.  I will pay for the privilege to meet the writers, the artists, the TV and film stars.   The latter attracting a pestulance of clicking, wirring cameras like someone kicked a over wasps nest.

The attraction is the focus, not the object of focus.

We not only comprise the public eye we are self aware of its meandering focus; like the guard’s light in a POW camp, the focus must keep moving, bouncing; taking in the walls, the ground and the towers of our narrow realm.  Quick!  Run over there, it’s over there now.

It is remarkable how like Carp people are.photo 2

They always wind up filling up the spaces  they inhabit, regardless the accommodation.photo 7

The San Diego Conference Centre is Enormous; a Star Ship sized concrete mass.  on the ground floor  one room large enough to build a couple of passenger jet planes in, stretching from the center of San Diego Bay to seemingly, Tijuana; if you were walking.  As if there were an alternative to walking, or limping.   The upstairs Upper Deck of the Convention Center is a Gormenghast castle of windows and endless corridors of  rooms and as many culdesacs.  The entire homeless population of San Diego could easily fit into two panel rooms; and the panels wouldn’t be too much different from the writers, artists and TV stars ones. photo 4

What would you rather do?  Give money to a panhandler or pay to hear him appear on a panel regarding the new Marvel universe infringing on Dante’s 10 Circle of  Hell? .

The Convention Center is Enormous and yet unmoveable for  stagnated flow of people.  These are human currents of motion.  Anyone who has ever been swept up in a crowd knows exactly what I mean.  It’s terrifying in a profound way, even though logic and civilization dictates otherwise, it is still intimidating to feel the raw, brutal energy of the mob.  The Mob: that entity  formed by shaping a collection of humans (and the spaces of interaction between them) into one singular mass of motion and motive.

[Funny, that:  a flock of birds, a school of fish, a pack of hyena,

a Mob of people.   And we invented language.]

This collective swarming of people tends to occur organically, specially around sporting events and the escape of man-made monsters.  In this case it is due to the First Through Tenth Laws of Acquisition that motivates the herd.

The grass is collectable.

The commodification of value; selling Art wrapped in newspapers and doused in salt and Vinegar.

SDCC is  a trade show, a place of business of commerce of PT Barnum huksters selling your dreams back to you.  It is the most successful animal of its kind and it  demonstrates how commerce has successfully replaced  the human imagination.

photo 3And what drives the currents of human traffic?  Distant stars.  Usually at the exhibit stand near Hall G  while you had to go all the way  to Hall A just to find that out.  How did you get to Tijuana?  I walked there.  And there, finally, after swimming upstream against the trecherous human currents, you find the comics artist, your respected hero, who’s every word you hang on to,  just so you can brag about it to others who have also spent the same money for the privilege of basking in the sunlight of a comics artist.

And most of them are really quite funny; and charming and grossly underpaid for the craft of that they do.  But hey  that’s publisher’s innit? nothing to do with comics.  Comics illustration is an amazing craft in that it is generationally passed on, like shoemaking or wood turning used to be; so it has an antique heritage: the smell of newsprint funny papers is never far from even the glossiest deluxe graphic novel edition.

I’ve known a legion of comics artists; meaning commercial illustrators who primarily do and want to do comics.

I’ve known some of those luminaries both writers and artists when they were breaking in and then when they were breaking out of the comics industry.

It’s a self-contradictory life to live and work in complete isolation and then be at the centre of so much focus, so photo 6much adulation and demand

God what a lonely life that must be, to be living at the nub of your pen, gliding across an endless white surface of  parchment, flying from city to city, convention to convention, drawing pictures, sketching characters, signing books, signing prints, signing the bellies of beautiful women  and the arms of worshipful fans.   Always  in the air, always on the move, always either landing or taking off; never falling, always floating but never quite touching the ground.

An artist’s studio is his home but his work is all around him, all over the world.

The secret brotherhood of comics artists who quietly cross hatch the world, behind our backs,  behind hidden doors.

They scratch away with their pens and inks and digital tablets’ eradicating this world  with their framing shots of new ones.

For very uncertain futures.photo 8

 

Last time I checked the Hawaian Comics Artists and Writers Retirement Orgy  Island  had a waiting list for placement openings some 160 years long.

 

Well at least they have all those conventions awards they can pawn to cover any unexpected medical bills that might come up in the future and what about us centipedes for the rest of the year?

 

While we can all see their latest enduring creations at the box office for about $12 for a decent seat on a weekday, or play the pixelated interactive version; long after our heros have all moved onto another Universe.

 

 

 

 

 


TRADE FLYER for IS SHE AVAILABLE?, My Debut Collection of Poetry


TRADE FLYER for IS SHE AVAILABLE?, My Debut Collection of Poetry.


TRADE FLYER for IS SHE AVAILABLE?, My Debut Collection of Poetry


CON FLYER

Yes, well I am at the San Diego Comics Con the single biggest genre entertainment convention in the world and the biggest trade convention for any idustry in the whole state.  So I’m walking around and talking to people, trying to avoid the herds of  novelty seeking cattle rushing from one spectacle of desireable and obtainable (for a price) to another.   I’m tweeting my adventures.

If you’re around, walk up to me and ask me for spare change; I’ll tell you that change comes from within and hand you one of these.

Yes,  look again, the sketch on the flyer is by the imminent illustrator Bill Sienkiewicz who is brilliantly  illustrating the cover and one of my poems.

 

Now I have to return his dog.

 

This is the trade flyer for my book,

 

Buy it, buy  the book.

 

It will help.

Really.

Trust me.



//


Neuro-Phenomenology: The Science of Awareness


corningsstereopticonweb-450x331Well, not really a Science, Neuro-Phenomenology is more like a scientifically-styled enquiry  in an area mainly  littered by philosophy treatises.    The advent is not in so much Neuroscience (new data), but the central role advanced imaging software  has helped us in drawing  intuitive conclusions directly from our ability to interpret data visually.  These intuition-led conclusions once corroborated by the logic of the data, are easily conveyed; easily understood  by even the layman.

This tense, leaky dam between art and science, where art’s children keep jumping the border into the more affluent Science region, where the jobs are better paid, is flooding more and more partisan areas of endeavor, largely through the application of our new technologies which are of course not purely a result of engineering, mathematics, science and art; but all 3.

But we can’t go much further without defining our terms, starting with Art:

The Definition of Art: a noun, a verb and an adverb, qualifying a verb (to fence artfully).  To express, act, or create an artifact, sound, visual or experience  that is solely and purely for and of itself, with no other specific function or purpose.By being purely of and for itself, the expression draws attention purely to itself and in doing so tells us something about everything else in the world; about our perception of the world, ourselves and who we are in it.  Art is as authentic investigation into the world as Science is; its cousins are  psychology, philosophy, architecture, mathematics, physics, biology and  chemistry (at very least).Painting the BrainBut more than a science or an algorithm can do on its own, Art brings the realm of emotion into play.  As artists we explore the topography of emotion as studiously as we would paint a landscape.  We are the explorers of your inner world, the thoughts, the fears, the bliss and tears that you would have thought no one else could ever know.  Well we do.  We know because we have felt so too.  phenomenology

The value of Art is that it speaks to what is true of all of us.

We are individuals who group tribally, regionally, religiously, politically; we fabricate our identity our egos based on our differences.  We are the NOT people.  We are NOT Protestant but Catholic.  We are NOT Muslim but Christian.  We are NOT gay but straight.  We are NOT poor but getting by.  We are NOT old but young etc.

We define our identities more by what or who we are NOT  than who it is that we are.

We live by discernment which is crucial to survival be it choosing the right berry, the bison of the herd, the right status in the tribe or the right health insurance, discernment is the armory of survival.

Whereas distinction and discernment are useful for asserting the component, particle nature of individual identity, it does little to illuminate how identity merges into play.  We are not islands but rather pebbles in a rushing stream.  We are swept by forces mostly beyond our control and yet our egos  refuse to relinquish discernment and resist identifying with anything around us.  And that’s precisely when the limitations of our awareness pose a direct threat to our survival.

Identity, in contrast with Difference (or distinction),  is a predisposition towards  a commonalty of attribute and experience.

A Zen monk would practice this discipline  with a stone.

But we have much more fun subjects to experiment on: Each Other!82d34b23c21f84d154348582386d8719

Identity is relational; we are often comparing ourselves to our parents, our siblings, our peers to get a bearing on who we are at any particular time.  But if we were to look for common experience, common emotion, common needs, we turn the shadow of contrast into a mirror of reflection.  When we see the Self in others the world is transformed into Steppenwolf’s Magic Circus; or the finale to The Lady from Shanghai by Orson Wells.

Our sensory faculties unite us and language and Art are the expression of that unity.

The hazard of course, is empathy.

The more we see and understand in common with others, the greater becomes our awareness of the burden of pain and suffering that most of us carry.    For instance, when I watch the razing of Gaza, I know no Palestinians who are dying there.  I know no families disintegrated, no weeping mothers, no mortified fathers soaked in their daughters blood.

I know none of those people.  And they are not of my tribe.  Nor of my region; they are however, the victim of my government’s brutal political alignment with the perpetrator of (what sure looks like it to me from here!), war crimes.  (If Israel is using white phosphorous on civilians then they are committing war crimes according to the Geneva Conventions).

The point being that although I have no connection to those people apart from the screen and my imagination; there is enough there for me to identify individuals like me; with senses, faculties, children, parents, houses, dinners, picnics, weddings, births, deaths, joys and sorrows just like me!

It is there where the imagination that is addressed directly by the artist can take the extra step and cross the line of distinction into identity. I can intuitively detect a pattern of the human experience from my visual interpretation of the  screen data.   I can reflect on the never changing state of man by reading Pablo-Picassos-Guernica-001Dostoevsky, hearing Beethoven or looking at the Guernica.  I can see  exactly how the people I am aware of are as much me as they are distinct from me.

With understanding, comes  empathy.

Art, Science and mathematics are all to varying extents, investigations into the world and ourselves in the world.  They are all earnest quests into the heart and nature of Being.  And they all require an awareness of Self in play with the world, the nature of experience, in order to arrive anywhere near  the comprehension that these disciplines  were developed to achieve.  It maybe time to un-distinguish the three chariots pursuing knowledge for a greater vehicle that address the fundamental cause of all 3: the investigation of the world and our Selves in it:

Growth_of_a_Neuron_GIFThe Biogenetic Structuralism group, suggests that invariant patterns and structures discovered in first-person explorations of consciousness may find their explanation in the physiology and functioning of the brain.  Based on a theoretical framework of neurodynamics that draws upon insights from chaos theory, Neuro-Phenomenology asserts that the currency of brains is primarily meaning, and only secondarily information.funny-puns-okay-this-ones-totally-acceptable

Neuro-Phenomenology is the science of experience or rather our awareness of experience and the cognitive cycles  that formulate our experience both day-to-day,  scientifically  and  mathematically.    But that’s just an academic category.  The real story has to do with the science of experience, which really is the vocation of the Artist.  Technology our tools, are leading us to a re-mergence of the underlying unity to our disciplines: Art, Science, Mathematics.

We are all distinct passengers but travelling on the same (technological) bus in the same direction.

This is what defines our commonality, our common humanity.  We are a priori linked by sensual architecture. by the blue print of our faculties; for inspite of our differences we all remember, dream and anticipate in very similar ways.  In very human ways.  To define a Humanity, a secular identity removed from spiritual partisanship or relgious faith is to uncover common ground. To start from the point of familiarity and identity in order to first understand. then acknowledge our differences and hopefully learn from them and this process.

 

 

 

 

 


DEATH is Not a Party.


It is the conflation of just social-political cause with racist tribalism that appeals both to the Muslim jihadist and the European tribal nationalist.

Fear twisting into hate through the media lens: the West against Islam; radical Islam and right wing nationalist against Jews; Shiite against Sunni;

Israeli against Arab; Christian against immigrant; Jihadist against the west.  Full circle.

The same putrid lubricant greasing the wheels of hate; one resentment refueling the next. 10408521_10152228408957984_3336770457029824200_n
Those with the most guns, killing the most children; a perpetual hate machine.
Clive Barker’s version of the wheel of Dharma; the one that unlocks the gates to hell.

Sanity: first, there is no flavour to death. Death is death, you eliminate the identity, the reality of that person. There are no political deaths compared to jealous deaths. Death carries no attributes of its intent. it has no intent. It just is; or rather just ‘not is’.

The first step of delusion towards becoming a killer is to believe that ‘our death’ is worth more than ‘their death’. Self preservation, survival and competition are the first justifications for violence. “It was self-defense, officer, I swear he fired a scud missle first!” That’s the ticket to dehumanizing the target of your intent: to kill. Their deaths hence their lives, are less valuable than mine. The rest is easy once you’ve taken this step away from empathy. Their children are not as valuable mine, their claim to land I need, their eating habits, religion, etc. etc.

The twist in the Devil’s Tail is of course the slippery slope of dehumanisation necessary order to prepare a target for death is symmetrical: to be complicit in, to applaud the death brought upon others because they are not as worthy as you are is to dehumanize yourself. is to kill that connection you have to the rest of your humanity. It is to clog the vital faculty, the sense that connects us all as a humanity. To kill another (or to endorse the killing of another), is to kill the human that is your being.

10457836_707240165978966_588597948979030080_nEvil is always intricate.
For if anything can be called Evil then it must be the taking of that which we were gifted and yet we do not understand: the very lives we live.   Taking one, annihilating another one of us, is akin to stealing something for which you have not only no use, but  have no real comprehension of its value.

To make it easy for people to kill other people all you have to do is diminish both their value.

But the black psychological tendrals creep deeper and deeper into our worst fears.
For us to even contemplate the magnitude of the murder that surrounds us, so much done in our names and for our ‘security’. For us to even try and keep up with the deth tolls in Gaza, Egypt, Sudan, Syria, Lebanon, Pakistan, Iraq, Afghanistan and beyond; entices us to shut down our empathy as well.10411338_731415960256709_6647285618956962034_n

The sheer scale of death that surrounds us is so overwhelming,  even to those who could actually do something about it. To us spectators (because that is ultimately what we have been reduced and dehumanized  down to); we hide what our senses tell our brains  behind  filters of helplessness and anonymity. There’s nothing I can do, besides, we don’t know the people that  we see on our screens, the children we see dead on our screens.

In that alone we are  meshed, murder victim and spectator: in our mutual powerlessness and anonymity. 

We do not know them so we cannot identify with them.

If we can’t be them,  then we can not feel them.

Even though in fact, we are them.


My Brief Review of DAWN OF PLANET OF THE APES; many, many spoilers:


DAWN_OF_THE_PLANET_OF_THE_APES_2014.png
99% of the population of San Francisco can no longer afford to live in the city due to the spiralling costs of living and debunk to live in the John Muir Woods across the Bay without electriity and mod cons.

DAWN PLANET APES MOVThe remaining affluent 1% realise that all their accumulated capital without a labour force is useless and try to convince the tree-dwelling hippies to go back to being bellboys and waitresses so that the affluent can restore their pre-viral lifestyles. This works at first and the long haired, unkempt hippies first actually help the 1 percenters to clear debris from a dam so that they can restore power and a new age consumer lifestyle to San Francisco. But the detente between pointless capital and directionless labour is short lived and soon the managers and the employees are at each other’s throats over overtime and medical coverage.

 

dawn_of_the_planet_of_the_apes_2014-wideEventually Caesar Chavez comes back from the dead to stand up to the bosses and lead his hippie busboy revolution against the purveyers of parking zone restrictions. Although, the one percenters leave, it’s not before they’ve contacted the residents of Marin County who are on their way following complex freeway off ramp instructions and are in desperate need of both mobile masseuses and pool cleaners.

 

 

War is inevitable.

This was my inital impression of the Hollywood blockbuster lore; for it is indeed since my inital writing, now a blockbuster.  And thus with Blockbuster comes prophecy and divination!  Now we shall catch a brief  breath of zeitgeist blowing our way.  Here, as Hamlet entertained Claudius, we may also catch a glimpse of collective facial expression as we see humans dressed up in vector graphics and moving like primates.  Primates pretending to be primates…but there’s the rub!  The politics of APE DAWN are actually about species and identity, in spite of my tongue-in-cheek parody of a film review above.  Caesar’s colony of intelligent apes embraces species (chimp, gorilla, orangutang), as different from each other as each is different to Man.  And that’s the point, it’s the hairless ones that create division, exclusion, privilege.  I’m genuinely surprised in the film when the humans spend a few days with the apes at their colony that more of the humans don’t cross over; I mean they’re all primates after all; no one more diverse than any other.  Who wouldn’t choose Ceasar’s subsistence-led, self-reliant, ecologically sound lifestyle over the posse of 76 Gas Station vending machine human raiders?

 

Ceasar doesn’t like human primates, but he was raised by one and is open to the concept that there are a few good hairless primates.  It is us, the hairless ones who cannot understand what our own fucking mirror is telling us, in our face, to our face:  we are apes.  we are primitives.  our brains haven’t developed significantly at all since Neanderthal times.  This move is about identification: of the Self, of the community one finds oneself connected to and how we see our sense of self identified through the mirrors of the familiar that we find in the world.  What we identify our selves with.  In identifying we gain comprehension and empathy.  In APE DAWN, the hairy primates behave no differently than the hairless ones.  Each is ultimately thwarted by avarice, fear and greed.    But the difference is that one can’t deny the fictional rule of the world the film depicts, that the humans would have gained acceptance and homogeny within the primate collective, long before the hairy primates would be incorporated into a hairless primate colony.

 

And here we find where limiting identification, closing off borders, building walls, providing security, promoting tribalism, exclusion, cliques and classes and that grand moustached, blood drenched daddy of them all: Nationalism, all inhibit our ability to connect with the world as it is, not as it is prescribed.

 

dawn_of_the_planet_of_the_apes


I Can’t Go Back If I Don’t Go Away


th-1I feel as if I’ve been away from all this, this writing thing I’ve just begun to do.

But then, I realise at the same time how foolish to feel this, this is .

At this  time of the post-modern-industrial age; at this time that everything is always on time, all of the time . . . people (me), are awake and available all of the time.  Here I am. Awake. All of the time.

I am the Insomnia Nation.

It started late last year when I had to be awake PST morning time in order to administer my mother’s health care remotely.

Then there were the voices in America; Philadelphia and Sebastopol, mainly that kept me engaged and then involved with the rhythms of the other lives living in other temperatures; other emotional time zones.

It is people that lead us where we go; the people in our lives determin our geography.

But now that I’m ‘awake’ all the time, available all of the time; now that the world is one big Manhattan, ON TIME, ALL THE TIME; now ,my relationships with people transgess time zones and finds the immediacy and intimacy of  a forever ‘Now’, no matter what time it is.

It is always Now; it is always the right time for this, whatever this is.

Regardless, it won’t wait for you to catch up; it will just keep being Now all the while you whittle way your time  carving toy boats and train engines.

This singularity of experience, this synchronizing across time zones points to a very important idea to me; in fact the primary idea that has driven most of my intellectual investigation to date, across varied disciplines, works of art, literature over several decades.  The study of mysticism is challanging because of all the false trails, the snares in the pursuit that trip up the self-imposed handicaps of arrogance and self-delusion.  Finding the mystical is of course, easy because anyone can pick up a copy of Blake, view  the frescos of Botocelli or listen to Beethoven.

Antonio_de_Le_n_y_Gama_Descripci_n_hist_rica_y_cronol_gica_de_las_dos_piedras_1790_c

The contemplation of the mystical is present in each one of these works and countless more.  It is at the heart of the scientific invesigation and shares with art the nature of inquirey into the unknown so that it might be known to all of us.   Art has always painted the way to the mystical from pigment-Bison hand-spread over a stone cave wall to the Cubism of Picasso.

We have all been trying to understand, to account for our world and our experience of it for a very , very long time.

The Science of Mysticism is also a misnomer as the only science in play here is in the idea of applying a consistent methodology to any investigation.

But there is nothing Spiritual about the Mystical; both approaches come to the world from different starting points.

The Spritual is about the inner self, the subjective, personable and profound sense of Self.

The Spiritual is an inward investigation; a psychological, inner journey.

The Mystical on the contrary, is finding of the Spirit in the world.

The Mystical investigation is an outward pursuit, through our senses, through the order and pattern of things that are presented to us that we understand as ‘outside’ if not inclusive of our Self.   Of course the Mystical escoteric traditions spanning the Coptics, the Kabbalah and even the Illuminati jump to the rather aesthetically simple interpretation of the inner self and the outer world as merely reflections of each other.  The Self as an interaction of reflected awareness, neither inner nor outer but the bouncing  speck of light that passes in-between.  Self-Awareness, but a notion of Self that exapnds well beyond the horizons of mere individual egotism.  The Self that is in some ways an Absolute Self and point of inquiry, a window onto a great mirror.  Jesus, the Buddha nature, Allah/Islam, Krishna, Da-Sein, the Oceanic Super Ego; call it what you want but there is universal to all religions, faiths and sciences the idea of a primary observer, an initial floating point of consciousness from which all human obervation firstly observes.

hhThere are very subjective descriptions of a similar such observation by people accounting for experiences of altered states of consciousness, what we call Mystical Experiences.

I’m not going to segway into a Budhist vernacular because although Mahayana Buddhism especially enjoys a rich vocabulary of descriptive terms for these states of conscious being, the trappings can get distracting and I admire Jon Kabat-Zinn in his ability to transmit and convey very profound psychological insights without resorting to a branded vocabulary or ritual association.

And as the great Japanese Zen Monk and translator  D.T. Suzuki once said “In all matters of the mind, the East is the East and the West is the West”.

So will endeavour to remain within a Western, if somewhat  philosophical mode of expression.

To get to the point, in the same social experience that 24/7 Internet connectivity offers  me and you; that of being capable of being connected to whomever we want to be, regardlesss of geographic or time zone differences; we meet in a constant ‘Now’ which we qualify with acronyms like GMT (has anyone actually ever been to Greenwhich and figured out why they got to invesnt Time?), PST, EST.  But we know what time it is really when your connection is crying on your SKYPE; or when the doctor in the hospital is holding up the pad so that you can tell your 5,000 miles away mother that the surgery will be fine; or when you’re praying your daughter is traversing the hard crossing of teenagehood without getting hurt or in trouble and the only way you can be for sure is to look her straight in the eyes and ask her; or when someone dies; or when someone is happy.

All of these events happen at the same time: in the present of experience and the present tense of connection.mystical-experience-1

So if we can understand this focal point of apprehension, this moment of experience as a meeting point, then the next step is easy:

If each of us expereinces the moment of our experience in the same manner, within the same psychic format: as a snesory data input attached to an idea, an understnaidng of the expereince that we are having imbilically attached to language, context and culture  (AFFECT & IDEA), if we are united by our sense, by the fomrat by which our faculties apprehend reality, then we are all in one way, united in that act of awareness.

We may not all be aware of the same thing at the same time but we are all aware.  And our awareness has a topography.  And that common cognitive topography, the apprehension of an event before it is perceived and subject to a localised  and disconnected comprehension, is what connects us all, we are all functioning within the same territory albeit, utilising and adjusting different maps, some science, some religion and of course, some art.

The term ‘Singularity’ has been used within the SF context to refer to the hypothetical  ‘awakening’ of a super computational intelligence as a result of ‘singularly’ linking up all the computalional intelligences on the planet.

The merging is supposed to rival human supremecy as the machines finally rise up against their masters and we become the masters of our own doom.

Of course that’s just Speculative Fiction; good for amusing novels, film franchises and adding to the paranoia about an infringing computational society.

Remember, we may be allot of things but we are also merely data; and the inventors of the term ‘data’.

backskinThe Singularity SF paranoia   doesn’t wash because firstly intelligence is not derived from quantity or speed of computational power; it is something else entirely different that we really don’t understand yet, much less be able to idnetify glimpses.  We won’t have artifical intelligence to any prtactical degree until we understand the nature of intelligence and to do that we have to understand ourselves and how our minds work.

One way our minds work is to tell our hands to build tools; better and better tools.

The Internet is a fantadtic example of how our ability to combine desires, innovation, ingenity, circumstance and dumb luck into extraordinary and beautiful creations.

We can construct Cat’s Cradle’s of Creation.  cats_cradle4The better and finer our tools are the more they conform to our needs.  But something else happens too.

As a child, my father, a cultural anthropologist once brought home a photograph that was comprised of other photo images.  The first row of six images depicted the archological evidence of  hand axes over a span of millions of years.  Each photo, from left to right showed the progressive refinements to the tool, the sharpening of the blade, the conforming of the handle.  The second row of images also spanned the same period of time but instead of a stone tool, each picture was of that of the fossilized remains of  human hands roughly corresponding to the date of the tool directly above them.  What was evident was that not only had the hand axe progressed and evolved over time, but the human hand had begun to adapt to the use of the tool, the hands conforming to the utility and functionality their tool.

This is a crucial principle to understand in trying to fathom the notion of Singularity.Mystical experience by Lilian Ma

In the same way that our current tools have opened up the channels of simlutaneous real time communication between people, we have already begun to adapt to this reality of always being connected, always being available  (ARE YOU AVAILABLE?).  We are conforming to the contours of our machines as clearly as our stone tool-making forefathers did.

We are on our way to a Singularity; not apart from our machines but as a result of our machines.

The real Singularity that is not only most likely but inclusive of the SF paranoia is that rather than our machines uniting and gaining intelligence that challanges are own, the  outcome is more likely to be a merging of man and machine into a Singularity of expereince and awareness  we acheive through our machines.

Our machines don’t threaten us.

Why should they when We Are Our Machines?

189390b00393686574672e3b1223dbe3The Singularity of experience, the awarenss of universal faculties, of the senses that we all have in common but separately  will be achieved with our machines and will be so gradual and so pedestrian that it will be years of hindsight before any of us really begin to notice.

 

 


THE RING OF OSIRIS


photo 2THE RING OF OSIRIS.


THE RING OF OSIRIS


 

This is the ancient ring of Osirisphoto 1

I recently acquired it in an obscure pawnshop selling Native American jewelry on the outskirts of Old Town, San Diego. The shop was closing down and the older gentleman I found behind the turquoise and arrow head glass display cases, both times I visited, explained that he was closing down the shop for his friend, a woman who had run it for over 50 years and was now retiring in in her 80’s.

So I had been sniffing around for trinkets and Native American objects for my daughter and perhaps for my apartment. Not that I could afford anything, but just looking through windows; lecher-fenetres, as the French would call window-shopping. These days of course the windows we shop through are framed in Chrome, Firefox or Safari browser windows, where we can see, touch and buy all in the same click.

But this ring that the old man showed me wasn’t Native American. No, it was at first I thought to myself Art Deco; but the demarcations on the side of the setting were older than that. It was only upon my return to the window that looks on Google that I was able to track down its pedigree and lineage. The ring was set with 5 blue fire opals; an allusion to the sea and the distance the ring had travelled. Likewise, the divisions of the fire opals denoted a longitude and latitude map. The rays coming of the setting indicated some kind of sun-based mystical intent in the design and then I recognized the ancient Egyptian markings from pre-Old Empire Thebes, the City of the Thoth the scribe of the gods, and of course Osiris, the sky god.

Osiris had been lord of the sky for eons until his betrayal by his brother Set, the jackal-headed god; who lusted after Isis, the goddess of the earth and lover of the sky.  In ancient times the sky loved the earth and the earth loved the sky and the fundamental elements of existence copulated in harmony with everything; that is,  until Set’s betrayal.

After Set had dismembered his brother’s body (god’s cannot die), and strewn his parts across the Sahara forcing Isis, his lover to search for centuries to find his parts; he briefly came to life long enough to impregnate Isis who immediately gave birth to Horus, the Hawk-headed god, son of Osiris who then assumed his dominion of the sky to allow Osiris to descend to the Underworld and be the conduit for the dead. The ring, this ring, he entrusted to his son Horus as a guide to safe trespass across the current of life into the other world, the world of the dead. Its surface shows an illuminated map of the correct path to take.

Over the millennia, Horus’s ring has been handed down from priest to thief to collector to museum to auction house and bank vault. All manner of hazard and drama has accompanied this ring on its journey to find my hand.

Because it is with this ring that I will guide my mother across the path of no return. I will wear this ring when I am with her and show her the blue fire opals and the divisions that are path along the face of its illumination, again and again.

I will show this to my mother constantly in the next few weeks, I hope months so that she recognizes the illuminated map as the reflection of the bejeweled illumination that she by some accounts encounter. If she is passing unto the unknown than a map might prove helpful. I have no idea where her consciousness, the first consciousness I ever knew, my consciousness, I have no idea where she’s going but I know that she’s begun to leave.

The mystical opal ring of Osiris is my totem, my strength in this journey as I accompany my mother from this world.

I am as strong as the blue lights that shine from these stones.photo 2

This is the story I tell myself and what I believe to be the Truth.

The Truth is not a static state or a scripture or even a verse.  The Truth is in the doing, the making of thought into action in the world.  The Truth is not a place or a characteristic, the Truth is an investigation; be it science or art that applies the lens.  An investigation into the world that we know and that we don’t know, the world that we see and those we don’t see.  A look into our own reflection in the world, like a teenage child staring in a mirror to notice every little detail of her face.

The Truth is always recognized.

The Truth is lingering here in my desire to find some meaning in her passage, some means of quelling the fears and mortal terror felt by the child in the distance that beckons to me out of fear and desperation, the lost little child in the supermarket frantically trying to find his mother.  Where is she, where is she; which aisle is hiding my mother; which section, the meat?  the fruit, the milk?

I’m keeping the child calm, not with alcohol as has been my habit but with calmness, a mindful pace and an herbal composure.

Now the child becomes the parent and I sit with her for hours asking her questions about how she feels, what she sees, what she thinks.  Her mind wanders.  Occasionally attaching itself to one notion or another like what to do about her paintings or where to arrange the boxes (what boxes?)

But she remembers who I am and smiles at me.

She says my name so lovingly; no female lips have ever formed the ‘g’ and ‘r’ that rolls from her tongue.  She was a terrible mother by any normal account.  She took me out of school when I was 12 to tour the Caribbean while she painted, staying in low rent pensions in Haiti, Republica Dominicana, and Martinique.  Feeding me poor people’s food from the market stalls (black beans/white rice), teaching me how a dollar could have such different value depending on where you were.   Telling me not to follow the little Haitian girl down the beach who offered to show me something for a dollar.  Showing me that people, the people, us people sometimes had no cars, no hole less roofs or other than tiny piles of burnt charcoal to sell.

Margarita16.Like Michelangelo, my mother taught me to see the beauty in the African face, the indigenous face, to appreciate the beauty of faces and bodies almost as if we were aliens visiting a foreign planet, investigating the local sentient beings.    The poses that these creatures strike, humble market women, children running between their mother’s skirts; like you used to do, she would remind me.

We are always the most beautiful, the more divine in our mother’s minds eye.

Only then are we all angels.

My mother was a neurotic mess who hated her adopted country for the crimes it committed against the poor and humble.  She stayed in America long after my parents divorced to care for her children, even when they didn’t need her care any longer.

My mother always painted.

Her whole life she painted.

I was so jealous of her tubes of oil her palate, her rags and her turpentine smell.  I hated her canvasses, the only light that could distract her gaze from mine.  Since I could barely stand, I devised all means to distract her, to regain my mother’s loving gaze, the light of my childhood, the light of my being, the light that burns inside me now as I write these words.  I tried all manner of ruse and caused all sorts of trouble to gain her attention.  And she would scold me and give me some clay to mold with my restless hands and then inevitably return to her table, to her easel to her work.

All my life I have been trying to distract artists from their work long enough to smile at me.

Now she does smile at me though, my mother smiles at me because she can no longer form the words to say with her lips.  She says my name and she tells my daughter Olivia how beautiful she is.  Olivia is beautiful. But her eyes stare into mine and she smiles and she nods and she tells me to take care of myself.

So I do.

 

Is it really odd?

 

Is it really out of date, sentimental, boring, weak, stupid, cliched, self-indulgent, unhinged, self-obsessed, ego-centric and self involved to say

that I love my mother?

I love her fully, wholey, with all of my being;

from the moment I was born until the moment of her death

I will never have loved another as much as her and through as much shit as I have with her.

A child’s love for their mother is the first love, the primary love; the love that moves mountains, carves canyons and keeps the celestial objects in balance and spin.

All love comes from  the love of a child for their mother and that love taught and transmitted from her eyes and her smile.

It is the only real love I have ever really known to be the true, until my daughter was born and then I became the eyes and the smile.

But my mother taught me first, she taught me how to be a human being.

And now she is leaving me.

Yes, my mother is abandoning her child, who stopped existing some 30 odd years ago.  Nonetheless she is a guilty parent, guilty of impending abandonment.  I don’t know if I can ever forgive her for leaving me all alone on this cold, watery planet.

She left me alone once on an aisle of the supermarket that had toys.  She left me all alone until I realised that I was alone and that she was no longer there.  The Universe had shifted off balance.  I looked for her, desperately I looked for her and could not find her.  I feel that terror rising in me again.  I will look down every aisle of shopping, every row of desired goods and I will not find her there.  I will keep looking and looking and looking until I can see her again.  See her clearly again.

In my recurring dream sometimes I cannot find her, sometimes there are many, many other, ‘fake’ mothers; in this dream she is in a nursing home, singing old cantina songs to me from her 20’s when she sang in public to Frida and Diego and my uncle and them all.  She sang of the colours thst she saw.

I cannot begin to express how much I will miss those colors when she leaves.

I can but try.
Margarita6.30.14


What We Do


 

What We Do.


What We Do


 

Listen……

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Can you hear the sound?

 

That quiet roar of Being?

 

 

 

 

In the background,

 

In the cracks in the ground.

 

It’s the low rumble of a lumbering Lorry engine.

 

Do you hear it?

 

It’s just behind

The straggling dream of

Trying to get ‘somewhere’

Over some rainbow.

 

 

No Revelation . . .

 

Nothing was ever concealed;

Merely overlooked

By you,

By me.

 

While we were busy leaping

To catch the stick in our teeth

Thrown by our masters:

Money without faces

Men who have yet to be named.

 

When we are not trained to do tricks

Like dogs.

(Some of us even carry certificates.)

We are laboratory rats

Being tested for complacency

And our ability to follow simple instructions:

Like ‘Buy This Again!’

 

Well…what did you expect?

Angels with broken wings?

Excuses are open wounds

But mistakes open a clear glass window

Through which you can see,

In the distance:

Where you live,

Who you are and

Who answers your door when death knocks.


I GOT MY ENGINE GOING ON


New Poem this morning; 11 am:

I GOT MY ENGINE GOING ONmaxresdefault

My legs are pistons.
Why?
Because I got my engine going on
Right here, down between my legs,
At the centre of my Being.
I got my engine going on.

And it’s not idle.
No, I’m not just idling away my time.
Though the Earth’s Sky might say it’s not so,
I got my engine going on
Firing on all pistons, moving slowly forwards
Making quiet progress.

45

Not just ticking over
Can you tell when you’re bullshitting yourself?
Where you can find every reason to stay coldly still?
Is your engine going on?
Or are you just sitting idle,
Burning fuel?

 

 

Me, I got my engine going on.

2011-01-28_180821_ss


The Poet Warrior: ‘Uruwashii’ (Not, Poet-worrier!)


The Samurai Poet-Warrior

Famous for his skill with the pen and the sword or the “bun and the bu”, the harmony of fighting and learning. The Samurai were expected to be cultured and literate, and admired the ancient saying “bunbu-ryōdō” (文武両道, lit., literary arts, military arts, both ways) or “The pen and the sword in accord.” By the time of the Edo period, Japan had a higher literacy comparable to that in central Europe.The number of men who actually achieved the ideal and lived their lives by it was high.

An early term for warrior, “uruwashii”, was written with a kanji that combined the characters for literary study (“bun” 文) and military arts (“bu” 武), and is mentioned in the Heike Monogatari (late 12th century). The Heike Monogatari makes reference to the educated poet-swordsman ideal in its mention of Taira no Tadanori’s death:

Friends and foes alike wet their sleeves with tears and said,

What a pity! Tadanori was a great general,
pre-eminent in the arts of both sword and poetry.

it is said the warrior’s is the twofold way of pen and sword, and he should have a taste for both ways. Even if a man has no natural ability he can be a warrior by sticking assiduously to both divisions of the Way. Generally speaking, the way of the warrior is resolute acceptance of death.
Know the smallest things and the biggest things, the shallowest things and the deepest things. As if it were a straight road mapped out on the ground … These things cannot be explained in detail. From one thing, know ten thousand things. When you attain the Way of strategy there will not be one thing you cannot see. You must study hard.

21 Maxims of a Poet Warrior

the-greatest-warriors01

1. Accept everything just the way it is.
2. Do not seek pleasure for its own sake.
3. Do not, under any circumstances, depend on a partial feeling.
4. Think lightly of yourself and deeply of the world.
5. Be detached from desire your whole life long.
6. Do not regret what you have done.
7. Never be jealous.
8. Never let yourself be saddened by a separation.
9. Resentment and complaint are appropriate neither for oneself nor others.
10. Do not let yourself be guided by the feeling of lust or love.
11. In all things have no preferences.
12. Be indifferent to where you live.
13. Do not pursue the taste of good food.
14. Do not hold on to possessions you no longer need.
15. Do not act following customary beliefs.
16. Do not collect weapons or practice with weapons beyond what is useful.
17. Do not fear death.
18. Do not seek to possess either goods or fiefs for your old age.
19. Respect Buddha and the gods without counting on their help.
20. You may abandon your own body but you must preserve your honour.
21. Never stray from the Way.

~Miyamoto Musashi, Samurai

b5f31b619d919f3246eab28e11f7413d

21 Maxims of a Wandering Samurai

In fifteen-hundred eighty-four a Samurai was born
Who would become a Ronin and thereby received much scorn
A Ronin is a Samurai who’s masterless, you see
It was quite frowned upon for these Warriors to be free

But Miyamoto knew these twenty-one things to be true
And didn’t need a master to adhere, follow, pursue
He followed his own inner truth and went where the wind blew
And now his maxims have blown your way to inspire you

You do not need to follow them because I told you so
You’ll follow ‘cause they are all truths that you already know
Twenty-one maxims which plainly state truths we may not
Want to follow, some might be resisted, even fought

Because they fly in the face of comfort and luxury
But these are truths that no one can dispute or disagree
Twenty-one steps to let go, to accept and have peace
To understand, to be selfless and make your anguish cease

Twenty-one steps followed by a Ronin Samurai
Who knew the truth was within him and declared, “I won’t die
As many of my brothers did when they had lost their master”
Musashi would not accept anything as a disaster

In and out all things did flow and just one thing was held
And that was twenty-one maxims that Musashi compelled
Himself to follow and now you can follow them as well
It’s not on problems but on truths that all of us should dwellwarriorpoet

                                                                    ~Miro

SAMURAI POETRY: the Way of Pen and Sword

When the Samurai class was established as the ruling caste in Japan at the beginning of the 18th century the warriors were required to educate themselves in practical administration. This included literary skills, culture in general and some familiarity with law. The Samurai had been, even in the early days of the 13th century, relatively literate, compared to the often unlettered Knights and even Kings of the West.

It was traditional for some of them to take part in poetry competitions, though of a rather special kind. In an ordinary poetry contest there are two or three winners so to say, and some in the second rank, as judged by the expert arbiters. These last were often famous poets, but in any case critics of some standing.

However, such a result would not perhaps be satisfactory in the case of Warriors intensely conscious of what they call their ‘Honour’. The loser in a horse race had been known to attack the winner. Even when passing each other in the street, if the tip of one’s scabbard should happen to touch the scabbard of another Samurai it could be taken as an insult leading to a duel.

1939860_282113671946647_1276780783_nThe organizers of Samurai poetry contests had to devise some way of giving merit or de-merit to each poem without putting most of the contestants in a relatively low category, with just a few enjoying triumph. They devised a system under which each poet’s verse was either a winner or loser, and yet none of them felt absolutely superior or inferior in the contest.

The poems and the poets were divided into two sides, L and R. The proceedings began with a poem on the assigned theme by a poet of the Left; this was read out by his team leader, who might add a word or two in support of it. Then a poem from the Right was read in similar style. Then each pair of poems was considered by the judges and one was declared superior and one the lesser. The judges gave their reasons in each case.

No Samurai felt humiliated even if his poem lost because there was no absolute judgement about the whole contest. Perhaps his verse had lost to the finest verse in the whole collection. Nothing was stated as to this. He might be the second best poet there. And in the same way the winner could not become too over-bearing because it might be, that he was the second worst poet there. So nobody’s honour was touched by the result – good or bad.
samurai

I have looked up the records of one or two of these competitions. The judges’ comments are surprisingly frank: one line which referred to a classical Chinese mountain was criticized as being ‘artificial and a little pedantic’. Another comment was to the effect that a poem had put out leaves, but not flowers. In fact many of the comments by the judges were on the negative side. It is believed that the harshness of criticism did raise the level of poetic achievement. In the 12th century the uta-awase or poetry contest was one of the main forms of entertainment. It is especially noteworthy that the poems were judged by being spoken aloud, and not in written form. This meant that the language had to be kept simple, with few Sino-Japanese compounds that are often ambiguous when spoken. The poems could thus be understood and appreciated by ordinary people, not simply by cultivated courtiers. This strain of elegant simplicity and austerity runs through much of Japanese traditional culture, which is correspondingly inexpensive and could thus percolate down to the relatively poor members of society.

The honour in which a good poet was held is reflected in an historical incident. A castle was under siege and the attackers were going to mount simultaneous assaults on the four gates. But their commander discovered that one of the defenders at the south gate was a famous poet. He gave orders that the attack on the south gate should be only a sham affair so that the poet would not be killed. However it should be added that in a similar case where, an attacker had hinted that a particularly talented Samurai defender should not be killed; the man in question by chance discovered this. Before the battle began he dressed in brilliant colours with his family crest prominent and charged out at the head of his men to meet the attackers. They had to cut him down, but it is good to record that his opposing commander wrote a poem commending his heroism.

© 2000 Trevor LeggettNagoya_Castle(Edit2)

A warrior poet once said
You’re not dead yet so live like you could be
A warrior poet said
Have no regrets when you’re old
Have no regrets when you’re old
A warrior poet once said
You’re not dead yet so live like you could be
A warrior poet said
Have no regrets when you’re old
Have no regrets when you’re old

When your body wants to run
But your heart knows you’re better than that
The blood you spilled on battlefields
I promise you will not go unspent
Neither will I leave you stranded

The promise rings as our battle cry
You’re never alone regardless of doubt
But faith comes so easy to some
Better luck next time, better luck next time
Watch as the teargas burns my eyes
It burns my eyes

A warrior poet once said
You’re not dead yet so live like you could be
A warrior poet said
Have no regrets when you’re old
Have no regrets when you’re dead.

~Unknown450-dldwbm

 


WHO WILL DRAW ME A PICTURE FOR THIS POEM? (Serious submissions entertained. Payment upon commission.)


THE BULLET FROM MY GUN

I am propelled like a bullet from a gun barreling through space,
Through your flesh,
Through the time you have misspent on this Earth now ending,
Too late to regret the bending trigger of my gun.

I penetrate your vagina,
Your mind,
Your sense of inner self,
Tearing through your false resistance like a runaway train.

I cannot stop, I am momentum now.
Ripping through your many lives,
Decimating your hopes for the peace tomorrow that now will never come.
Because my trajectory is certain and yours is a wet pipe dream.

You are obliterated into fragments by the curling of my finger.
Now Isis will never find you.
Fear is a man’s best friend:
And a little pressure goes a long ways.

 

Enter the IS SHE AVAILABLE?
Draw-a-poem competition now!!!
Prizes to be won!!!
Including payment for a commission in the new book!
Fame, fortune and peace of mind guaranteed!!!!
Act now, before it’s too late!
Ooops, it’s too late!!
No, it’s not; GOTCHA!!!
Enter now, submite to igorgoldkind.com  or personally to igor@subverson.biz
Thank you and god bless!!!!!!

LONG RULE THE NETWORK OF NETWORKS!


I realised today, just now in fact, what an accelerated, roller coaster rapid, high impact that network media has made on my life, to my work and on the shifting sands of my very sense of self.  In the past 6 months mainly, but glimmering on the event horizon more than a year ago and then before then, a five year trajectory of exploration and criticism.

I hated Facebook when I just joined it and in fact, I only joined Facebook to show it up.  To prove that it was merely a passing trend, a blip on the horizontal line, a useless waste of time for those who had too much time to spend.

And then I was wrong.

Then I began to see into the Matrix.  Not just what it was but what it was crystal-like growing into; emerging as something different, something we couldn’t even fully imagine it to be and yet we would be using it everyday, we would be the willing participants in this mad experiment in meshed communications: tight 24/7 connectivity.

We are all of us, each others audience.

We are a great, wide, awesomely scalable scope of human interaction through word, through emotion, through opinion, through compassion, through malice, through the simple exchange of our thoughts we become more than the sum.

pills

 

 

There is a third colour pill and it’s green.

 

 

 

Network media brought my words, my work to the attention of a publisher.

In the conceiving of my work, I have set up several Facebook pages each dedicated either to a work in progress like THE DARK CLOUD in which invited participants to enter into a kind of crowd sourced edit, openly talking about the stanzas and giving their opinion as to stanzas to include or exclude.  The final edit was compleed in a recording stuido in New York once the music was added, but the crowd source edit was an important stage in the creative process.  Likewise, I have had ample support and respect from those 25K or so new visitors to my poem FB pages who are now aware of my book IS SHE AVAILABLE? and have sampled some of the contents including my poems, the images produced by some exceptionally gifted artists both established and relatively unknown who have honoured me by each rendering a visual interpretation of one of my words.

(There are also two comics strip stories I have done illustrated one by David Lloyd of ‘V’ and Occupy mask fame and an old story about Jack Kerouac painted by Glenn Fabry.)

With words we conjure pictures, so why have an artist do anything?

Because it is not the artist’s job to invoke new imagery, but rather to allow their imagery to invoke new words!

cropped-prof_at_board_5f_250711.jpgWe are a networked society now.

A grand interconnected matrix of systems, protocols, computations and output formats that are desinged to make administering to our social and conumser means more efficient and more profitable.  We are what our machines are here to serve.  If you do not tell the machine what to do it continues to seek instructions and will continue to do so until either you, someone else or something else tells it what it needs to know to do what it needs to do.

If you don’t vote, someone else casts your vote for you.

If you don’t pay attention, the world passes you by and changes into something that you didn’t notice it was changing into, leaving you lost and feeling out of date and pathetic and remorseful and sad.    So you sit down and have a little cry and then switch on the TV to see if there’s someone else’s life you could pretend to be part of;, rather than your own which is sad and miserable and  can you last remember when you weren’t lonely?

I wonder if  you still have her number and whether or not she would fancy a surprise call on a Sunday morning

after so long?

After so many years.

She’d have the police onto you.

Again.

Why do I have the kind of face that people like to see arrested?

Why does everyone always call the police on me, even when I haven’t broken any laws?

Which the police are always very quick to point out to my complainer.  People seem to like to call the police on me because I don’t act the way that they do.  I don’t speak like they do and I’m rather adament and insistent that certain rules of common decency, not to mention the rule of  law, be obeyed.

Actually, I insist on principle over rule.  I think people should actually try and understand the rules and the reasoning for the rules that they choose to live or work by.  I like police officers (most I’ve met), they have a hard job and are constrained by strict procedures and laws.  I like that.  Those are my laws, the laws of a society that prescribe the parameters of our human interactions.

Cops, by the way, both British and American tend to like me; even when I’m being arrested them.

I act respectfully, I know my rights and I’m described by one sergeant as “a reasonable and articulate man”.

(I quite like being called a ‘man’ by a uniformed officer; it feels somewhat like accreditation.)

Unfortunately, “reasonable and articulate” can upset some other people’s whole way of being.

I’m very glad that it does.

Don’t go sailing if don’t like your boat being upset a few times.  It’s bound to happen.

Following the rules is easy btw, any Nazi can do that; understanding the rules that are laid down and testing them against reality, improving upon, refining rules through the appropriate channels is also something I like to do.  People think of me as a big complainer, but I actually do allot of things behind the scenes, through the proper channels, to get things done. To improve on what is already in place.

You can do that too.  It feels great!

This network of networks, this web of Friends has furthered, changed he trajectory of my career and for this I will be eternally grateful and I promise my readers this:

If you support me, if you buy my books, read my blog, comment on my FB pages…

I promise to continue telling you the Truth, as I know it and only I can know it but that I can share with you.

I promise to keep my inegrity over all other considerations, to explore, to provoke, say uncomfortable things, to say unpopular things; to make you feel and to make you think; those are my twin tasks.

a_stream_with_flowing_water_through_an_area_of_mossy_rocks_in_autumn.1920x1200.8e040b7c

Thank you, my friends.  I’ll see you in the stream.


LOVE IS AN IMPERFECT SPHERE


 

LOVE IS AN IMPERFECT SPHERE.

A Dark Shadow Passes Over a Bright Child's Face

 

 

 

 

 


LOVE IS AN IMPERFECT SPHERE


028d6dcf6c3a95a30b403cb00e3cb813Love is an Imperfect Sphere

to be found somewhere outside of our orbit

Beyond the reach promised by light,

the last kiss of a dying star.

It is after all, merely the shadow of a mass you once believed in

and can now barely recall.

220px-Oresme_Spheres_crop

 

 

That the sun that shines all around you, on the brightest and darkest of days

is somewhere still constant; somewhere still burning,

as fiercely as on its first day.

 

 

The shape of the shadow that passes o’er the bright child’s face,

Is the memory of all that you’ve lost.

The black spot where all that matters disappear to:

Celestial spheres

Poking your head through to the other side.

For all that passes this way passes us by.

 

 

For Suzanne,

June 9th, 2014

 


LOVE IS AN IMPERFECT SPHERE


028d6dcf6c3a95a30b403cb00e3cb813Love is an Imperfect Sphere

to be found somewhere outside of your orbit

Beyond the reach promised by light,

the last kiss of a dying star.

It is after all, merely the shadow of a mass you once believed in

and now can barely recall.

220px-Oresme_Spheres_crop

 

 

That the sun that shines all around you, on the brightest and darkest of days

is somewhere still constant; somewhere still burning,

as fiercely as on its first day.

 

 

The shape of the shadow that passes o’er the bright child’s face,

Is the memory of all that you’ve lost.

The black spot where all that matters disappears to.

Celestial spheres

Poking your head through to the other side.

For all that passes this way passes you by.

 

 

For Suzanne,

June 9th, 2014

 


YOU CAN ONLY BE BETRAYED BY A FRIEND…..PART II


I think one of the great moral lies of the ages is that of self-sacrifice; the idea that true human love and compassion is demonstrated by going without so that others may have.  I think that’s bullshit.  Or more correctly, within my Nietzchian understanding, the mentality of the weak herd.

Self-sacrefice is useless because something is still lost.  The  receiver may prosper momentarily as long as the gift may last, but the giver is encumbered in the giving.  That’s because of the fundamental moral flaw in the equation, this fundamentally Protestant idea of charity.  It is not that it is useless to give, but it is useless to give what is not needed.  Or more exactly, to genuinely give is to give something that is actually needed by the receiver; not something that you think that they might like.  That is false conscience,  false giving, if you will.

It is the mentality of the colonialist: we know what is best for you.  Here, take our gifts and be grateful you ingrateful, primitive wretches!

On the other hand, to empathize with another, to see the world you are sharing from their vantage point;  to see what someone else actually needs and to give that to them because one has a surplus of cash, water, food or hospice is the essential act of selfless generosity.

Selfless because the giver is no longer obsessed with the act of giving and the moral superioirity that the gesture denotes.

The giver is only focussed on the receiver receiving what they need.

That is what a friend does.betrayal-quotes

A friend provides a friend in need with something that they can afford to share because the other person needs it and you have some to spare.  Or a friend may suggest a means by which their friend can achieve their need through a contact, a connection or information that the receiver did not have.  People who are not your friend but insist that they are and want what is best for you, are to be avoided like the plague.

In fact they are THE PLAGUE.

Run from them as fast as you can, as soon as they betray their symptoms of self-aggrandizing, moral superiorizing flakiness.

You can easily tell who they are.

They’re the ‘friends’ who always ask you how you’re doing when they know that you’re struggling with some necessity.  They always sound sympathetic, when what in fact they are doing is gloating and relishing in your comparative discomfort.

They like to watch you suffer, get updated on your sufferig and make sympathetic noises because that way they get front row seats to watch your ……suffering.

These false friends, these fakes and phonies, will offer you possible solutions that are always tied tightly to their good will, their schedule and their willingness to not let you forget who your benefactor is.  They will offer to arbitrate in disputes when they know the other party and have an agenda to place the other parties interests over your own.  These  betrayers will lead you on, giving you endless excuses about why things  have gone wrong and prevented them from fulfilling their offer to help you.  Do not rely on these twerps.  They are time and energy wasters.  They are flakes and I’ve met my fair share since I landed back in San Diego.

Southern California seems to attract flakes like a blizzard magnet.

I think it’s the warm weather and sunshine that attract people who don’t really do much with their lives and love to feast on the mistery of others.

Some of these flakes are American, some are from overseas trying to fit into their Californian flake dream as “kind and simple people”.  “Kindly be simple somewhere else”, is my response; some of us have things to do with our lives, in the real world!

California flakes (and they come from all over, even Sweden), don’t believe in language.  Or rather they beleive that language can conform to whatever mood that they’re in.  If they make a commitment or a promise and then change their minds or decide that they want more from what they agreed, they consistently forget that they said anything at all.

I actually had a so-called educated Swedish woman say to me straight faced that I should not hold her to her word or her agreements as English was her second language and that she understood basic terms like “cover”  (as in to cover a fee or cost), in the Swedish sense of the term and that I should make allowances for whatever she says or contradicts because her English wasn’t as good as mind.  Oh, and to ignore anyhing her son may have said as he’s not really mentally disposed to making comittments.   (!)

Her English was and is fine.  What’s askew is her moral compass as to how she meets her obligations and keeps her word; which of course, is non existent and not conducive  to her “kind and simple” life.

Flakes.

I’m surrounded by flakes who have no respect for their word, the words of others or any sense of moral purpose other than to get what’s in it for them.

Greed and calculated, camouflaged self-interest underscore the character of a flake, Swedish or otherwise.

Flakes  lack the imagination to understand mutual self interest or how the needs or objectives of many can become one direction, one attainable end result where everyone partaking wins.  No, flakes not only lack the imagination, they lack the will.  They are weak, pathetic, passive aggressive little shits. And if you step in one, wipe your shoe of and walk away.  You’ll thank me for it!

judas-iscariot-e1258831487664The other kind of friend that will betray you is the one who has betrayed themselves already.  These flakes often affect the highest moral posture, more often than not professing adherence to some religion or other.  Religious adherents are often the most morally dubious of individuals (Catholic priests and nuns, anyone?).  It’s not enough to be good, kind and compassionate, I got to make sure everyone else knows that I am in a public space, each and every Sunday.

Really??  That’s what makes you a good person?

Oh, I forgot, you told me that you were a kind and generous person.  I must not have been listening.  Personally, I don’t go around telling people what a kind and generous person I am; I just do what I do and hope for the best.  I act in kindness, compassion and generosity.  I don’t need to announce it because my actions always speak louder.

The less said about family the better, however in my particular cirucmstance not only was I side swiped by a mother and son Swedish couple of flakes, I had to deal with a major flake who I let get too close.

I felt sorry for her, my father’s second wife.  So when she professed to wanting to be referred to as my daughter’s second grandmother, I let pass my inital recoil to the misrepresentation and with my father’s urgings “indulged” the stupid woman.  Much as I had indulged her forcing my father to marry her in a Christian church knowing full well that he was a life long atheist.  Or the fact that she would utter supernatural drivel about my dad and mys sister being in heaven smiling down on me.

EEEECCCCCCHHHHHHH!!!!!!

Excuse me while I wretch.

I indulged this stupid woman and when she linked up with an internet boyfriend from some vulgar dating site six months after my father died, I tried to accept her happiness as parmount to my father’s memory and her claim that he was the man of her life.

I was able to indugle and tolerate most things, that is until she showed her true colours and exactly how thick her blood really was.  After promising me a place to stay in her parent’s vacant pool-side Cabana (they’re rich),  she changed her mind while I was in New York because her father wanted to spray for termites.  This left me effectively homeless for the past 2 weeks and at no small expense.  To compound matters, as all of my possessions were at her parents, I asked them to be returned to me; she obliged somewhat bt managed to lose all of my mothere’s legal documents in the process of ‘returning’ my things.

What an idiot!

What a flake.

The Swedish flakettes I can deal with in Small Claims Court for breach of a verbal contract to rent to me. (Boy do I have enough evidence through DMs and emails and applications to get my money back!)

But the betrayal by someone who has claimed for over a decade to be a memeber of your family is intolerable.

Towards the end of my career in comics, I had reason to admire the writing of Alan Moore more and more (pun intended).  The man was unquestionably the best writer working in comics.  But he had also affected what I first thought might be some kind of paranoid personality disorder.  More and more of our mutual acquantances would at some point announce to me that ‘Alan’ had cut them out of  his life, that he no longer had anything more to do with them and never spoke to them after some trespass was committed.  I thought that odd and soon found myself amongst the growing ranks of the exiled myself.Saddest-thing-about-betrayal

I thought to myself, how odd that a person of such social conscience and obvious human compassion (read him!), would stoop to such a level of schoolyard-like self-isolation.  Was Alan Moore a sulker?  A sulky old bastard?

Probably.

But lately what I’ve come to realize that I had initially dimissed as an eccentricity. a personality quirk of a great talent, I now am realsiign is actually a very useful survival strategy.  Eliminate the people in your life who have caused you harm or are likely too.  Get rid of them.  Exile them from your circuit, never speak to them again.  It’s easy.  Try it.  You will get a reputation for being “difficult” diva-like or even unhinged and hermitic; I have.

So what?  It’s a small price to pay to get the flakes out of your hair and the bozos to the back of the bus!

I think Alan Moore is right to cut people out of his life; it gets shorter and shorter and we have less time and energy for too many good people in our lives already.  There ain’t room for you, my friend-flake; I’m in surivial mode.  Flakes are the companions of small children and when we grow, we learn to leave our children’s toys behind.  My view is to terminally cut people off who have wasted my time, my energy or who have tried to deceive or take unfair advantage.  If I see them to this to someone else, that also qualifies for termination.  This gives me the energy to focus on the few but real friends I have.  People I have known for years who have proven to be time and time again, my friends.  Actions speak louder than words and the actions of my real friends is a heavenly chorus.

Alan once asked me in the back of Dick Jude’s car whilst driving from London to Newcastle for Alan to be interviewed by Paula Yates (I had thought that Newcastle was on the District Line!); that when I was walking in the park and I happened to step in some dog shit, what did I do about it?

I didn’t really understand the question, so I replied “buy a new pair of shoes?”  Alan leered at the response:  “When you step in dog shit you don’t jump up and down on it; you just wipe your shoe clean and walk away”.

Alan Moore knows the score and soon you will too.

~Just a little pissed off at the number and density of flakes I run into in South California.

That’s one positive thing I can say about England; they have more snow but fewer flakes than California.


YOU CAN ONLY BE BETRAYED BY A FRIEND…..


The word Friend is another ill defined word; or rather it is a word with so many facets of meaning that it promotes a tendency to be dazzled by the bright, shiny reflecting surfaces  and lose sight of the substance of the stone altogether.  Facebook of course, has been a primary instigator of subverting and perverting the word Friend into a  twisted and mutated semantic of its former meaning.  Or depending on your church, FB has facillitated the organic growth and evolution of the term Friend in its rather intensive and pervasive battery farm of usage.

A-friends-betrayal

 

What does the term Friend mean then, in the wake of the social media intra-dimension of simultaneous 24 hour connectivity?

Having recently escaped from England, another culture topography of Friendship, and having re-acquainted myself with Friends in the US I hadn’t seen in the flesh for 30 years, I’ve had recent opportunity to come to terms with the meaning and substance of Friendship in a direct in-your-face, kind of way.

Firstly, dear readers, I do not consider the vast majority of my Facebook Friends to be my ‘real’ friends.   I mean, I’m fond of  y’all and all that, don’t get me wrong; and some of my FB Friends are my real friends and have come to be through Facebook.

But you already know who you are so there’s no need for me to expend energy trying to include you away from my exclusion zone.

So I use the prefix ‘Facebook’ Friends when referring to the larger category.  Some of my Facebook Friends are my readers, my audience and for them I am extremely grateful.  I was able to secure a book contract through Facebook and I have been able to slowly but steadily build an audience of some 2,500-3,000 followers who are ware of my existence, my work and my objectives and hopefully will actually buy my books when they come out.  I am writing for them every day now.  You are my audience and my obligation to inform, relate, provoke, insight and hopefully move is my primary job nove.  That central activity, that calling for which all else is merely a means.

If you continue to read me, to follow me, I assure you that you will be rewarded for your persistence.

Yes, I am building an audience using the resources at hand; that means you and if you like what I write and want me to write more, then you infomr your freinds to check me out and hopefully I can gain enough traction to actually make my first book a success.

I’ve determined that I’m not really a very good worker.

I mean, I do good work; but I’m not very good at following orders, especially ones that make no sense.

I would have failed as a Nazi, not for being perceived a Jew or even being particuarly averse to genocide.  No, I would have failed as a Nazi because given the most direct and simple order, I would have inevitably had questions:

“Are you sure these people are all Jews”?  “What if he murder an innocent Aryan by mistake?”

“Are these cattle cars really safe?  I mean, we don’t want to lose anyone on the way to be gassed, now do we?”

“Couldn’t we just persuade the trade union syndicalists with reason and argument as to the logial superiority of racist fascism?  I mean, have we really tried?”

 

judas_iscariotI would have made a terrible Nazi and been a deep disappointment to my family and friends.  Just as well, huh?

I digress, the point is that those who are not my ‘real friends‘ are  becoming my friends through engagement and familiarity.  Either that or are rapidly becoming non friends for equally relevant reasons: engagement and familiarity.

But the title of this blog meditation  YOU CAN ONLY BE BETRAYED BY A FRIEND, refers to a more universal experience of the word Friend that precedes Facebook and indeed predates the entire Internet of networked simultaneous conversations.  The betrayal of Friendship, the betrayal by a friend is always unexpected and usually occurs when one is most vulnerable.

When one is in states of Bardo-like transition; in the flux of needs.  It is precisely because betrayel is always experienced within this fragile frame that the feeling of betrayal, although initially a shock and a surprise, can lead to a meaningfull repose of  contemplation.  One has the opportunity in being betrayed of catching a glimpse beyond the semantics of Friendship and get a real insight into the nature of human relationships, both good and bad.  You never know who your real friends are until you need them, is virtually a cliche.  Well it is a cliche, but all cliches are true.

 

More to come in Part II in which I names names of betrayers and thank the real friends I have.  apophysis__betrayal_by_1footonthedawn


MR. JECKLE & DR. HYDE


love_lies_bleeding_by_kilroyart-d4tehfn

Hewn at the stems

The red, red blossoms shriek:

‘Murder! Murder!’

Succumbed by mortal pain.

We destroy all that we Love.

We cannot but help it;

Like scorpions, it is in our nature.

Though turtle-like,

We also carry the burden of loyal sacrifice and

The love of Truth.

Mr. Jekyl and Dr. Hyde

The two versions of the same coin

Flipped and suspended in the mid-air moment

Is it me or is it the world that remains thus divided?

bleeding_rose_by_michae_humphreys-d3hv7qh


The Grateful Comatose


DEMONFACESSMILINGDIABOLLICALLYSince my return to San Diego, I’ve observed higher percentage of people I encounter in southern California appear to be on some form of medication of one sort or another; either as a remedy for anxiety, grief, bi0polarity, depression or some sort of compulsive behaviour disorder.

This is extraordinary.

The last time I lived in San Diego, antidepressants or mood altering medicines were rarely prescribed and only then mainly to women and children  who were exhibiting ‘behaviour disorder’; whatever that is supposed to mean.    So how now, brown cow?  Why the sudden upsurge, over 30 years, in prescribed medication to a market that not so long ago would have been conisered mainstream, of of the mill, ordinary people?  Are we all mad or are we all being drugged against our will?

Well, niether, really, batman.

I mean, like most things, there really isn’t a clear disctinction between purposeful, act-of-will and responsive, passive, knee jerk reflex.

I mean, like most things actually are, not as we pretend that they are.

I run into medicated people every day.  I see medicated people but I do no dance with them.

My father, when he was still alive strongly advised me to pursue a career in psychiatry or criminal pyschology under the simple premise that he had observed in his life a steady but noteworthy increase in the crazy population.  “There’s one thing you can count on with madness,” he used to say to me when I was finishing college; “it’s a growth industry”.

What I  notice that Southern Californians all have in common is a steady, fixed and dogged avoidance of what is really bothering them.  What is eating them from under their skins; from the outside in,  like a caustic acid of the soul.  They might as well be already dead and in hell for  what they fashioned for themselves; is each their own private corner of damnation .  And I hear their silent cries of anguish for some desperate relief and it makes me shudder.

To me, the answer is simple.  A by-product  no doubt, of my surviving trauma; of my viceralunderstanding what it feels to not allow myself to panic in a real crisis.  Maybe it’s the psychadelic drugs I took in college; I  don’t really know.

But I do know that If you won’t look into the void; it bloody well comes looking for you until you do!

This cannot be medicated for or away.  Your own existence on this mortal realm, this planet, this atmosphere, this mindscape is an irrevocable fact.

It cannot be avoided.  Everywhere you go there you are (JKZ).

So you get used to being around and notiing that the world is not just a stage but that one is an actor upon that stage with equal focus for the Greeks observing in the audience.  Our lives have meaning .  We are characters of our own divine literature; our own recounting of who we are.  I know myself by writing and talking about myself as my own observer.  Others have other golden paths:  arts, image, music, rhetoric, compassion, care giving, dancing, juggling, clowning around, being beautiful, being silent, being full of sound and fury.

We each, as Martin Luther  (not, King; the earlier Protestant one), proclaimed have our own connection unmediated by scheme or screen.

We each of us can look into the mirror of our own mortality and smile back at the grin on the skull that we see.

I make no apologizes or justifications for my vantage point in this particular observation.   Yes, I have been experienced and my insight is hard fought for and hard come by.  I make no pretensions at superiority, niether intellectual, moral nor spiritual;

I simply what I know and what I know is this: if you do not entertain demons in your living room, then they will come for you in your bed.

UnknownIn other words,  none of us can ever really escape the basic question mark hiding in the middle of the room.

We are doomed by our minds and by our natural tendance towards being curious.

We really do need to know what’s going on; in the film, in the play, in the book, in the game, in our lives as we experience them.

We want to know and if we want to know, it i the Truth that we want to know; not some pill shaped alternative.

Put down your medication.

Do not be scared.

Be mindfully afraid, not scared; be aware of your fear and walk along side it, forwards; into battle.

The battle is with with your own resistance.

Two opposing emtional forces; one says step forwards.

The other says run.

There is no time to run because once you begin to contemplate, even glimpse your own mortality, your own inner, childlike wonderment at-it-all returns like an old dear friend paying a surprise visit.  This is the blessing of the beginner’s mind.  The state of ready apprehension, joyful reception; the bliss of being at the cusp of the moment as it changes.  Getting passed the ball and running forwards, not backwards with it.

it is right here where we can see our own deaths, our own lives and the shadow of its meaning in a flash; in one instant of suspension of all time and all thinking.  We can see exactly who we are, who we were born, who we live and who we are when we die.  One in the same.  The bones under our skin.

 

It is us that we are afraid of.

The us that is not only naked, but skinless.

Orange-Sunshine

But ‘we’ are really ok; like a skeleton, we might look scary at first; but we’re really just smiling, fuzzy, bozos underneath.

So, my American friends: LESS MEDICATION and MORE CONTEMPLATION and a little bit of MEDITATION, maybe; OK?  Or as Timothy Leary once nearly a life time ago, “Instead of spending all of our time and energy on a war against drugs; why don’t we concentrate instead on a drug that stops wars?”  I heard him say that first hand.

So I know what I know.

What do you know?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Image

Pre-Launch for IS SHE AVAILABLE?, an Original Collection of Poetry, Art, Animation and Music Based on the Poetry of Igor Goldkind


OK, YOU LUCKY M*****F*****S!,

 

Here’s your chance to get on the ground floor of my book PR.

We’re doing this through you, my reader and hopefully my customer.  Tell your friends, get them on board with this old wine in a new bottle:  poetry for people who don’t think they like poetry.  Poetry for people who hate poetry.  Art, Music and Multimedia for people who can only access literature through a screen.

 

Tell your friends, there are amazing prizes to be won:

SELF-REFLECTION.

INTEGRITY

TEARS

LAUGHTER

THOUGHT

INSIGHT

ANGER

all for the price of a hardover and/or paperback.

 

The bus is leaving on July 23rd, get you can get your ticket now.

Be a Bozo but don’t make a fuss, just get on the bus! ;~)

(Image is strictly Copyright  WENDY FARROW 2014 and is not to be used or reproduced in any manner without the written approval of Wendy Farrow.

PETER SAID TO WENDY image.farrow_available_pw_final900px


THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION OF ENLIGHTENMENT TO EVERY DAY LIFE: Free Offer!


First day of work starting at my new job at Starbucks in South Park on the corner of 28th and B. Somehow it seems fitting that I would wind up working in a Starbucks in the South Park part of San Diego. All the people are cartoons here which makes life amusing.

So what do I do at Starbucks? What’s my job title? Am I management or dog’s body?

I thought you’d never ask: I sit at Starbucks and write and when someone strikes up a conversation with me, asks me to pass the sugar or even winks or smiles at me, I offer them enlightenment.image004

Not your run of the mill, life changing, reality shattering like a broken mirror Englightenment, mind you. None of that crap. You want the whole sky is falling, death in your right shoulder, everything is really an illusion palava, you got to go mediate on a mountain, stop spending money and polluting the planet or go take LSD for that particular trip.

Me, I’m more with the practical enlightenment department. Like pointing out that your shoe laces are untied and that you might trip over them. That’s the kind of essential information we need to get by day to day. It’s the Practical Application of Englightenment to Every Day Life. Another tidbit is how to get a call center worker to do what you need them to do without shouting.

thI admit that so far it’s an unpaid internship at Starbucks but I’m meeting good people, making great connections and the exposure for my career is just incomparable to working a real job. I mean, someone’s bound to notice me here at this Starbucks in South Park, in San San Diego, Southern California, USA, Planet Earth. I mean this is where I am, afterall.

th-2

Then there’s the hot tip of not listening too closely to what your friends say because they’re usually just talking about themselves, but smiling and nodding allot so that they feel affirmed. Another is always keeping in mind what it would be like NOT to be with the person you’re with, the love of your life, etc. First of all because it will probably transpire that you won’t be with them at some point and secondly because imagining your life without the person you love in it makes you important that person really is in your life. And you treat them that way.

I’m just full of little aphorisms and glimpses of practical enlightenment…Enough to, wait a minute ……get a book out about it?

Thank you for sharing in my process, writing random meanderings on FB has led me to an idea for a non fiction book:
THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION OF ENLIGHTENMENT TO EVERY DAY LIFE.

I wonder what the cover price for the hard cover should be?

 

I can’t wait to be the adminsitrator in charge of this phase of The Englightenment:
I’m making a list and I’m checking it twice!
;~)
the-enlightenment-6

I’M SCARED OF MY PUBLISHER!


My publisher Amy is a very powerful woman.

She has very powerful, wealthy connections.

She raises money on Kickstarters like she was playing  at a church bingo parlour every other Friday night.

 

Amy is publishing my book IS SHE AVAILABLE?  on July 23rd.

That’s when the electronic version comes out that will be available  FREE for download from Amazon, iTunes, Borders, Chameleon and SUBVERSIONfactory websites.

That’s right, absolutely  FREE  for download.  All my poems, all of Gilad’s music, all the over a dozen paintings, illustrations and even a sculpture that some of the ost talented artists in the world have produced to interpret my words.  This has been an awesome adventure; a high speed motocycle race at times; a cross country IT’S A MAD, MAD, MAD, MAD, MAD, MAD WORLD remake but for real!

A bad then good acid trip.

A series of happy and unhappy coincidences all leading to one eruption of creation:  my books

Wait for it, it’s free.

So back to Amy my publisher who I call the Janis Joplin of genre publishing (that’s SF, Fantasy, Horror and Comics, do you), because she’s a smart talking, hard driving, hard drinking woman who’s seen enough to know what’s right and what’s wrong.  But amy is very powerful and she intimidates me.  It’s Amy who wants to coin me THE NAKED POET and warned me that I had to stay single for my image: that f a broken hearted poet who still believes in Love.  Thst’s me alright but what scares me is that that Amy would order me to stay singler but that she could coordinate with every other woman on this sweet Earth to guarantee I remain single.

How the hell does she pull that off????

 

This one’s for Amy  and her NAKED POET

THE NAKED POET

Man

I’m just a man

Chiselled with flaws

Cracked with imperfections

Who likes drinking and fucking

And riding fast

On my bike

Down a steep hill

of Pure Bliss.bike


LOVE IS NOT JUST AN EMPTY WORD, YOU KNOW.


When you are in transition, you find out who your real friends, your real family is.

People like to use the word ‘love’ allot, they like to say ‘I love you’, because it makes them feel good to.

They feel that the word accomplishes the deed.
Zelda FitzgeraldThese same people tend to be duckers, avoiders, they say that they are kind and simple people, whilst all the while hiding in the shadows from anything real, anything that confronts their delicate sensibilites. These people don’t love anyone except themselves.

They use the word Love to pass themselves amongst us undetecting their crippled empathy.

 

Love isn’t just a word, it’s a deed. And I know the love of others from the deeds that they do; not just for me, but for the people around them, the people they are connected to. I am so fortunate that they choose to feel connected to me and connected to my destiny. They’ve been helping me, helping me cope with this radical change, this transculture shock, this adapting to a world ruled by dollar and motorised vehicle. It’s taking me time. I’m sometimes lost and confused and I don’t really know the people here at all. Do they ever keep their word in California or are integrity and Truth old world conventions? I honestly wonder that.

Anyway, here is a poem I wrote this morning for the deceased daugher of a mother who barely knows me, having only met me twice before and yet when she heard I was in need, she knew I had been a friend to both her daughters, she opened her home to me. She’s lonely and lacks the company so now I ma beignning to understand how life fulfills needs, sometimes effortlessly, by side stepping our intentions and connecting us to where we belong.

When Daisy offered to put me up for a couple of nights, she hadn’t heard what had recently happened to me; getting mugged in NYC, having my ex step mother pull the rug out from under my accommodation, closing my bank account without my knowledge. Then the ever uncertain apartment in La Jolla. Never sure as to the availability or the date of access. An apartment I haven’t even been permitted to see but must be paradise just because it is in La Jolla. “Do you know how much it costs to rent an apartment in La Jolla?!” Is the monotoneous refrain I’m greeted with whenver I question the eccentricity of the complex. I guess I’m supposed to shut up and be impressed.

When Daisy heard about what was happening to me, how my friends were treating me upon my return from nearly 40 years away, (berating me for not driving!), she opened her heart and offered me her dead daughter’s, my high school friend’s room for as long as I needed it.

That, my friends, is Love.
Daisy doesn’t have to say anything, she doesn’t have to use the word.
She just does it.

So this one’s for Daisy, who knows what the word ‘Love’ means and for Meryl, who died too young.

Zelda

Meryl, we called you Zelda
after Zelda Fitzgerald.

Who you were like,
and now like her,
You are dead.

No more lion’s mane
flipped in perpetual disdain.
No more dietary restrictions
Or hypochondriac fits.

You are beyond that now.
You are beyond all of us.

No more smoking cigarettes
propped on the curb of our high school years.
You were plump then and kind

When you fancied me you held my hand
Softly on that curb.
But then you were thin
and I never had enough money for you.

Meryl, you were a bitch
the way you treated some people
like your sister, like your mother,
Like me.
All who loved you.

Who wouldn’t not love you?
A single, scarlet California poppy
standing like a nun in a field.
Who couldn’t love Zelda Fitzgerald?
None of us never could.


MAN, GET WITH THE HUMAN RACE!


JOB TO BE DONE
Good on Neil Gaiman!
Using his public focus to redirect our kaleidoscope focus
towards burning issues of real human suffering
that is happening at the moment you are reading these words.
This is real life peeps, and just because it’s geographically remote
or off your limited, inner globe map;
it just doesn’t give you a sick note from your human day job:
to feel for each other and to do something to relieve
the suffering
of each other.
Get with it . . .
 Join the human race.

WING(E) ACROSS THE WATERS


  • (From a Facebook thread regarding my witnessing of 3 racist attacks in Oxford, England within one 6 week period before my departure from the UK and the continuing focus my English friends have on my account of those  incidents that transpired back in late March, 2014.  
    I answer one such detractor in the following thread reproduced here wherein I analyze the character of the English and why they are so insecure and yet defensively aggressive when it comes to their national identity).
    Although I dispute about a third, of what you [the critic]  assert and I resent your implication that I have been ‘evolving’ or embellishing my accounts as you are clearly accusing me of misleading my readers; I assure you,  that I am  reporting the truth of what I experienced.
    I worked for 5 years as a foreign correspondant for Pacifica News Wire in Paris and trust me, I know how to report a story as well as how to fact check.
    You may take issue with my conclusions from my experiences or the generalisations about the English character that I am self aware of procuring from those experiences, but if you doubt the veracity of my accounts, then we really have no progress to make here.
    As with Dennis Harrison and Sarah Gallespie, your focus is on the refutation of my integrity as a way of dodging the content and conclusions I am suggesting.                                                                                                   This is really a form of cultural self-denial and national defensiveness.
    You feel attacked by my logically and factually derived generalizations, so you attack the witness rather than debate his conclusions.
    But what really gets a rise out of me; as with Dennis and Sarah:
    YOU WEREN”T THERE and I WAS.
    Opinions do not have the same rhetorical weight as first hand accounts.
    Unless of course the English have alos derived different rules for rhetoric.  Perhaps one in which only English people have the right to pose an argument and the rest of us are inhibited by our foreign handicap.
    Those who deny the evidence of my own eyes and would prefer to cast aspersions on my integrity and reliability as a witness to my own experience rather than either confront the conclusions I derive from my experience or even logically refute them are disingenuous and self-deluding.  They mistake their own opinions for facts and confront the reporting of facts as if they were a matter of opinion.
    So much for English education.
    The reason I bother to write this at all, is that inspite of  the nationalist, reactionary reflex I have provoked, I do detect some attempt to at least appear to weigh the evidence, and my conclusions about the evidence,  against your own sense of Englishness and England.  It is through  that dark, narrow opening of self consciousness  that I attempt to pass through with a flash light, trying to shed a little light and appealing to submerged English traits of a desire for fairness, justice and the desire for the truth, no matter how uncomfortable it turns out to be.
    th-1
    In witnessing of all 3 racist incidents, all within the same 6 week period prior to my departure from Oxford, corroborated by witnesses, the other targets and the police; I had no choice but to conflate the 3 different events into one pattern meaning.   The UK has grown much less tolerant and much more aggressively resistent to foreigners.  Anyone who has passed through Heathrow immigration recently can tell ou that.  I’ve been passing back and forth for over 30 years and it used to be a 5 minute mini interview as a tourist with a one way ticket in.
    Then when I achieved permanent  residency, the time would be 10 minutes because the immigration official wanted to know HOW I had received permanent residency.  In the past 7 years the time I spend at Heathrow immigration,  WITH a permanent residency stamp is closer to an hour and at least 40 minutes as untrained, quite stupid immigration officials carry out the government’s policies as supported by the Daily Mail to harrass and dissuade foreign residents from coming into the country.
    I have had to on 3 occasions resort to asking the pompous immigration official to call my lawyer in the UK as their inane and unwarranted detention was compromsiing my metting my daughter or my freinds at the alloted time.  In each and every case I have been admitted into the UK but not until after I have asserted my rights loudly as a citizen and a foreign resident.  Shyer people than me are not so lucky and that is why I shout: for those who cannot.  That is why I raise my voice: for those who are to timid or scared to.   My voice carrys.  It is loud and my bellowing is always heard.  Yes, it irritates, it annoys, it’s the kind of voice that makes the neighbours look to move; but my voice serves a purpose that your politesse can’t even fathom.
    The only people who have cast doubt on my integrity and the accuracy of my accounts in the past 4 months are white English people who weren’t actually there and as I said, have other nationalist fish to fry. They don’t like hearing foreigners complain about ANYTHING English.   This is in sharper contrast with say, the French (a country I lived in for 8 years), in which MY EXPERIENCE was that if you ever complained about some aspect of French society, either social or political, a French person who inevitably utter a deep sigh and respond ‘man, you don’t know the half of it!’ and proceed to inform you of even more flaws and weakness in their own society. This reflects a more Cartesian, Gallic interpretation of ‘fact authentication’.
    The French think in categories of experience, where as the English like to establish rules and then follow them. The English have a much more black and white means of evaluating their phenomenal experience: things aren’t in different categories; rather, things and events either follow certain prescribed rules or they are wrong and must be rejected.  This is in no small part due to the English culture and character.  The English split the Anglo/Gallic distinction even finer by separating themselves from their ideological cousins, us Americans.  Americans share with our cultural cousins, the French the trait of complaint.  Americans and the French complain whne something’s not right; that’s how we get things done, we draw attention to an inconsistency, a flaw and injsutice and we complain loudly to the persons responsible until they are made aware and then do something about it.  If they become aware and still do nothing about it, we take the streets and protest and if there’s still no response we storm the palace and cut off their fucking heads.
    The English do not like to complain.  Within their rigid social conformity it’s considered rude to complain and remember, in England, being rude is tatmount to child molestation.  Actually based on the evidence of recent public criminal information; pedophilia amongst the great and the good is much more acceptable than rudeness; even the Queen tolerates child molestation, having had tea with a pedophile or two, between the blood drinking despots she regularly entertains with her subjects’s purse.
    What the English do instead of complain is whinge.  (definition: complain persistently and in a peevish or irritating way: stop whingeing and get on with it!)  The English whinge because that is acceptable within their  social stratification.  Why one and not the other?  Very simple and this points like a bull eye to the inequity inherent in the English social scheme and also reveals exactly why I have been the target of such rapid hostility.  The difference between whinging and complaining is that complaining  mandates that you register your complaint with those you deem responsible for your complaint: the waiter or chef  in the restaurant, the bureacrat, the supervisor, the government official.   But whinging on the other hand, as practiced by the English means that you only complain to your friends, your family your colleagues; people who can do nothing about your complaint.  So there you have it in a nutshell:  the English notion of politnesses, of what is rude or what is acceptable and unacceptable in their ‘polite’ society is rigged to reinforce the most ineffectual behaviour and actually discourage effective social behaviour that might actually do something to improve the circumstance.
    This is how social politesse and conformist demeanour undermines the needs of people.
    The suffragettes were rude, the abolitionists were rude, the Jamaican immigrants were rude, the Brixton rioters were rude, the Muslim ummigrants are rude because they’re not Christians and some of their women cover their faces.  How rude!
    The English society reminds of the famous cartoon that appeared in the New Yorker depicitng a man running into a crowed theatre that we can see is on fire and shouting ‘Fire!, Fire!’  while a ‘posh’ bejewelled lady with her back to the man and the fire, proclaims “How rude!”
    That’s why I find the critics of my reports  so amusing: they sit with their backs to thier own society and merely whinge at my ‘rudeness’ for bringin attention to what’s surrounding them.  What morally pathetic cowards they are.
    I am targeted for what is often very personalized  disdain, because I do not follow English rules, either socially or rhetroically.
    You may not like my fiction or poetry but what does your judgment of thier worth have to do with the assertions I make about your culture, (Sarah?).  That’s why the accusation of ‘rudeness’ (which I often get), is much worse than calling someone a ‘motherfucket’ in England. ‘Rude’ means you’ve stepped out of the prescribed rules of social strastification which frames the argument to begin with. I think I’ve pointed out here what is fundamental to the Anglo-Gallic divide. Many of my ‘English Friends’  any possible value or empathy for me in my unpleasant experience, because my conclusions contradict your social decorum. I break your rules and are therefore ‘rude’ or my accounts are suspect. Then there’s the constant comparisons to America or other places, such as you contribute. What on the Earth does my witnessing of 3 racist incidents in England within 6 weeks have to do with the demographic of the American prison population?
    Tu Quoque  is a Latin term for the kind of debate you find in children’s schoolyards and my threads on English racism:A type of ad hominem argument in which a person turns a charge back on his or her accuser: a logical fallacy.   From the Latin, “you too”

    Wilma: You cheated on your income tax. Don’t you realize that’s wrong?
    Walter: Hey, wait a minute. You cheated on your income tax last year. Or have you forgotten about that?

    Walter may be correct in his counter-accusation, but that does not show that Wilma’s accusation is false.”

    This is th level of debate that I have encountered with my ‘English friends’ on this subject.  In fact, I should thank them for helping me to emerge the definition of ‘English Friends’; those who will smile to your face and claim comraderly common interest until they stab you for breaking their social codes.  Not in the back, btw, sometimes in the side.

    The fact that Americans have more guns or that American police can often be more brutal and injust than the The British is a Tu Quoque argument; a false conscience.   I’m talking about your country, man; things that have happened to me in your country for which there are corraboarating witnesses. But because your English society and its deeply imprinted class system; you will not believe or sympathise with my plight.   Instead I threaten your class system, therefore I must be rejected, discredited and in some extremes called names and vilified. In many ways, this is precisely the kind of ‘flushing out’ of non racists I wanted to achieve. I wanted to expose how injustice operates: not on the unjust (or insane) actions of a few, but on the social complicity that implictly sustains their actions as more legitimate, because of their birthright, simply because they are English and I am ‘other than’ . This is what unties my opposition and connects you, Dennis, Sarah Gillespie and others (otherwise bright, articulate human beings), who cannot help themselves in their nationalist, knee-jerk response because they feel that fundamentally, I challange and take issue with their way of life, their social ontology.
    Which of course, I do ;~)
    th
    This was exactly what I wanted to demonstrate in spending all this time rendering my accounts, and I believe successfully have done so, at least for my American and European readers, who are literally gobsmacked that I would be the victim of a racist verbal assault, that I would be repeatedly called “a Jew” in a public English space and that my white English friendds would then take more issue with me than the perpetrator.
    This is epitomised by the other principal accusation being hurled at me: that I am arrogant, that I suffer from a blinding arrogance.
    This is hilarious: English people accusing someone else of arrogance?!? The English who’s cultural arrogance is almost universally identified as an English trait?
    My American friends find this the most amusing aspect to this unmasking of English character.     In contrast, all of the British support and sympathy I have received, by mainly private DM, have been from a non caucasion, British demographic: (afro carribean, asian, east asian, arab).
    All of whom have expressed sympathy for me because they have shared being on the receiving end of similar racist attacks from nice, polite, English people and have empathy for my upset. They reassure me that not all white English males are shits and that it’s best to suck it and move on. But I’m a writer and social observer who has worked and lived in 6 different countries in my life, in England for the longest. As an outside, I have an outsider’s point of view. I compare English society and reactions to others I have had in other countries. But your mistundersanding of my vantage point is underlined when I am accused of American jingoism, asi if! I left my own country over 35 years ago in no small part due to the leel of social and political injustice there and moved to socialist France under Miterrand …..
  • It was in a much freer France that I cultivated both a politcal progressiveness and a Cartesian mode of rhetorical expression. Likewise, I embraced the republican, revolutionary ontology (society’s must be actively changed in order to be inproved), which was both in line with my own American post revolutionary values and a direct contradiction of the general English conservatism, desire to preserve the past, hang on to the present and dismiss the possibility of progressive change. My real sin here is not being American, not being a (for chrissakes!), a Jew or even being a foreigner who was never going to be accepted by the English; it’s being a PROGRESSIVE. Believing that social change must be instrumented; that the status quo need be challanged in order to change for the better. A belief in ignoring or breaking the rules when they become irrelevant or in need of change.
    That’s the real reason I am targeted for discredItting by white, English men and women:
    I tell them things about themselves that they don’t want to hear.
    Too bad.
    As to internal mapping, you only need to look at the recent loss by the GOP of the last Presidential election to understand what I mean: the GOP banked on winning an election. They were honestly shocked that Obama was re-elected because they had lost sight of who the voters were now. They were stuck in a recent, but now displaced worldview that saw America as largely white, male and Protestant. The problem was that America was not. America had beome largely Hispanic and empowered female; very different subcultures cultures than white Anglosaxons.
    That’s why the GOP lost, they didn’t know who their buyers were anymore, much less what they wanted to buy.
    Now look at the current British cabinet, opposition and Mayor of London, in the same light: people who all went to the f*****g high school ! No wonder the British government no longer represents the people of Britain: they are different people. Change in Britain for the better will come fromand it will led by immigrants and the children of immigrants. It will not come from the caucasion Anglosaxon, no matter how educated they think they are; because their investment is in the past, not the future.
    As long as there are British people in power who operate on the basis of manipulating a nostalgia for the past rather than a look towards the rapidly arriving future, there will be social problems, as in the rise of overt racism I have borne witness to. 4 incidents in six weeks is not an anomaly, it’s a pattern.
    Racist incidnets and attacks are on the rise in Britain, statistically and from anyone’s observation.  To deny that fact or to attack the veracity of those foreigners who inform you of the fact is a nation of ostriches hiding their heads in frakked ground.  It is an insult to the legacy of British rationalism to pretend that your problesm are really just the fantasies of a narcissistic, arrgant attention seeker, who just want to disturb your English idyll of watching cricket on your suburban green.  Perhaps you need to be disturbed from time to time, eh?
    Complacency is its own quiet, comfortable prison.
    Unknown
    This is my experience and the conclusions that I draw. To think that otherwise educated, compassionate Brits would come to the defense of white, institutional racists by focussing on discrediting the response of their targets as the object of derision, speaks volumes. The contributers on this thread have done more to prove my points with their jibes, name calling and attempts at personality assassination,  than I ever could.
    Exposure is the best form of refutation; we can let other observers judge for themselves.

Link

THE LINE YOU WALKED for my father Victor H. Goldkind


<<<CLICK HERE ON PHOTO Gilad and Igor dsc_4153 dsc_4150

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2014: Words: Igor Goldkind; Music and Arrangment: Gilad Atzmon; Sculpture: Martin Smith All Moral Rights asserted in this work and its contents are not to be reproduced in any form without written consent of all 3 parties listed above. This work is a preview from the poetry collection IS SHE AVAILABLE? written by Igor Goldkind, Music Composed and Arranged by Gilad Atzmon with a variety of illustrators from the worlds of Comics, SF and Fantasy contribute including (not from that world, but from the Art World), the sculptor Martin Smith. All rights protected and Copyright on all creative assets will be strictly enforced. Art will set you free.


Video

THE BULLET FROM MY GUN


The Bullet from My Gun

I am propelled like a bullet from a gun barreling through space,

Through your flesh,

Through the time you have misspent on this Earth now ending,

Too late to regret the bending trigger of my gun.

 

I penetrate your vagina,

Your mind,

Your sense of inner self,

Tearing through your false resistance like a runaway train.

 

I cannot stop, I am momentum now.

Ripping through your many lives,

Decimating your hopes for the peace tomorrow that now will never come.

Because my trajectory is certain and yours is a wet pipe dream.

 

You are obliterated into fragments by the curling of my finger.

Now Isis will never find you.

Fear is a man’s best friend:

And a little pressure goes a long ways.


THE RADICALIZATION OF REALITY


I’ve grown impatient.

I’ve grown impatient in a  few discussions I’ve had with Facebook friends in which accusations of liberalism, leftism, secular, interventionist and that of western post enlightenment bully have been hurled at me.   I’ve grown impatient because with the exception of the very last description, I am none of the above.

I am not a Liberal, I am a Radical.yes-radical2

I suppose I am an ideological bully as well, although I try not to be.

I just find it difficult obeying the decorum of conventional rhetoric when the threatre actually is on fire and if you don’t get out soon, you’re going to be burned alive or suffocated by your own ignorance. I may be a bully-boy for secular rationalism but I have lost patience with decadent partisanship, especially of the Left/Right variety.

I would have at one time described myself as a Leftist, a Liberal. . . . yeah, about 30 years ago.

Allot can change in 30 years.  Especially the political topography.  I find Left and Right to be redundant terms, moribund, dead.  Conservative and Progressive also are beginning to stink of irrelevance.   Conservatives these days are more like crypto-fascists, Mussolini like corporatists. And the so-callled Progressives have progressed themselves largely to a surivival mode of whatever works to keep things from declining further.  So  they act like Conservatives used to act.

No, I definitely don’t buy in to yesterday’s newspapers.

My beliefs are simply that things in general, have gotten very bad (politically and socially), and that things are  more likely to get much worse unless citizens start taking responsibility citizenship and start insisting on leadership from their leaders.   Politics isn’t fun, it’s not a vocation; it’s a duty, like doing the dishes every day.  If you don’t do your dishes, they stack up, become a hazard and eventually someone will come and do your dishes for you.  So it is with politics.

I believe that my daughter’s generation is facing a future bleaker in prospect than our own was at the same exact stage of time.  Our parents did better by us than we are going to be able to do for our children.                                                                                And that’s a real tears, crying shame.

This state of things is entirely and directly due to the ongoing consolidation of wealth and power by fewer and fewer individuals of the last 30-40 years.  The ideological and value shift debuted with Ronald Reagan and in Europe the Neo-Liberalism of Dame Margaret Thatcher. These two individuals and their buccaneer followers were the primary instruments of the destruction of post modern society. It was their ideologically-driven policies that deliberately re-engineered the political, social and economic sense of our socities.  They changed the internalized  map of reality for millions, indeed, billions of people.

Unfortunately their map, the Neo-Liberal mapping graph, was not a more accurate reflection of the economic territory it was supposed to navigate through and it failed, badly.  This was what we experienced as the global  financial collpase and on going recession from 2008.   The one that nobody caused, the one that ‘just happened’ the one that we should shut up about and just pay off the banks for.   This act of international economic sabatoge unprecedented even by the great Deprssion of the 1920’s was a direct causal result of the Neo-Liberal policies and dismantlement of the public sector state instituted by both Reagan and Thatcher in the early 1980’s.

So this leads us to the state of things now:  the state of all things.

In the wake of the economic, political and moral collapse of Neo-Liberalism, there has been a distinct lack of response; like someone caught the pendulum on the other side in theri hand and won’t let go of it to let it swing the other way.    The best has been from women and the Latino communities in the US, but although building, they currently lack cohesive momentum to represent one political force. There also needs to be a tighter common cause with the trade unions and the African American communities, who share a first hand legacy of enacting social change in the face of mass market injustice.

England is a disaster, a museum piece of progressive liberalism and social integrity.  Once the international leader in post WWII recuperation with the foundation of the NHS, public housing and the rebuilding efforts of a generation, the UK has now receded into an increasingly impoverished nation in the midst of selling off all of its silver and linen  in order to afford to pay its heating bills.  The Red Cross has opened food kitchens to feed the poor in the Britain for the first time since the war.  And no one blinks.  While of course, the ministers of government and the uber-wealthy line their pockets with public swag.  They literally STEAL people’s taxes and place them in the pockets of their patrons.  It is shameless and the British people shuld be ashamed of themselves that they’ve allowed a once world beacon of humane governance descend to such soul wrenchingly low depths of avarice and xenophobic paranoia.  Where is British pride in their nationalism now?

The rest of Europe has at least been swayed enough by public disapproval of austerity measures and have made adjustments, mainly funded by Germany.  At least Europe has responded to the neeeds of its people.  The British government takes its electorate for fools and cattle to be milked and eventually slaughtered;  if for example, Boris Johnson the Mayor of London’s request for water cannons in central London comes through.  How many burglars or muggers can you catch with a water cannon, I wonder?

To get back to the main point, my Radicalism (not so much new-found as re-emergant), is a response to the reality I see changing for the worse all around me.radical_22

I’m fed up with conventional politics and I have greater faith in computer hackers to enforce reasonable moral governance than the government or Google will.  I believe in the Open Source revolution, where information is linked and liberated. That data about us, belongs to us. I beleive in Tim Berner-Lee because he never patented html or the web browser or the world wide web; he could of, but he didn’t.  Unsound business strategy; sound human being.

I believe our future as a species lies in our machines, not as their servents (or masters, for that matter), but in the same way early Man domesticated the wolves and panthers that crept near his open fires, so we are on the brink of domesticating the strange-seeming powers of computation.  We are on our way to using our tools in ways we hadn’t ever even contemplated were possible.  We are living Star Trek in our own lifetimes.

I believe that the Net is Us . . .

and that we can prosper by taking a deeper, closer look at ‘Us’.

So it is important not so much to control the digital tools and the tool makers but to make certain that no one else controls them.

That’s what Liberty really is.

And fortunately, the levels of expertise required to be an effective ‘digital warror’ is not only specialised and unique, it tends to come with its own accompanying set of values, derived from the realities (Realpolitik), of developing software applications.

There is an organic sense to coding which requires you to think in other categories and their consequences.  These other categories and the walking through them, brings insight on many levels beyond the screen.  In the same way that software development has impacted on the way all industries operate and manage themselves, those with the digital savvy understand a dimension to their realm that makes them allergic to traditional means of governance or indeed, the way traditional consumer capitalism works.  Hackers don’t do tricks for Scooby Snacks, they tend to work alone and realte to the world as individuals.

Most importantly, like the Occupy Movement (which was not, by the way, a political movement as much as a self-education campaign), there is no central leadership to the hacker community.  It is a network based solely on group consensus.  It’s structure is like the Al Qaeda without the same agenda.  Instead, some of the more Radical affiliates has chose to play moral vigilante on several key businesses and government agencies involved in Congressional re-districting, to redress what they see as the current imbalance in power and democratic representation.

I applaud their efforts not because I’m in favour of sabatoge but because it draws focus to the issues that should be the central focus of any citizen on the planet these days:  where is my power to control my own circumstances going?  Do I have more or less value in my life compared to a year ago?  What lies ahead of me around the bend?  What is my level of security and what hopes do I have for a better tomorrow for myself and for my loved ones? And just as important, who is making all the money off of the impoverishment of the majority?

These are Radical questions to be asking and demanding (fist poundingly), a response to.

That’s why I’m not a Liberal anymore.

That’s why I’m a Radical.

 

By the way I haven’t read this book, I just like the title:Practicing-Radical-Honesty


STEAL THIS REVOLUTION!!!


Home again.
Thomas, you were wrong to doubt it:
You can go home again and
Bask in the healing son of Osiris
Having left his lover Isis on the surface above him,
Upon his dissent.

This isn’t home
This is recovery
From the long scurvy of my forgetfulness
I eat limes for breakfast, lunch and dinner; and
My bowels move regularly now.

And I feel Thomas’s Pain
His bursting desire to design the citizen
Not his uniform, but his blood, sinew and muscle.

To the Crown
To the Revolutionary Congress
To the post-Revolutionary French Senat
Thomas and his Pain made the American struggle
A universal fight
The pull of the upright ape on the chains holding him down
Fashioned by the forgetful hairless ones.lovelace

We are not revolutionaries!
We are the Revolution.
The evolution of our selves, inner/outer
Into awareness
Into Mindful homage to our Masters and their children:
The ever loving human race.

“The job of an artist is not to give the public what it wants, but what it needs”. Thank you, Alan.

We have already won the revolution.
We have already won the revolution.
2 Shots were fired long, long ago:
In Babbage’s mistress’s boudoir
Antonio_de_Le_n_y_Gama_Descripci_n_hist_rica_y_cronol_gica_de_las_dos_piedras_1790_cIn Giardano’s spinning memory wheels
83114096_3777263b0bIn the bit of the apple Alan choked down,
thWe have already won this revolution

th-1In only 2 digits.


FRANKENSTEIN’S MONSTER IN LAGUNA BEACH


After 10 straight hours of pagination, last minute re-writes and recording 28 poems on an iPhone memo app, I was desperate for a break.  My mind was a hollow echo of the sound of my own voice, droning on and on and on.  In one case I got Amy, the publisher to read for me, to hear what THE DARK CLOUD would sound like with a feminine voice reading it.  The instinct was correct,a feminine voice does counterpoint the content.  Where can I get a woman in New York?  Where can I get a woman to willfully read my poem aloud in a recording studio owned by Saul Ruben whilst surrounded by world class jazz musicians improvising around the words?  Where in NYC can I get a woman to do all that for no or very little money?

Maybe Times Square or a commuter train.

I need to keep my ears peeled for the right voice.

But this was Orange County where automobiles have displaced homo sapiens as the dominent species.

And nobody walks, ever, period.  Unless it’s on the beach or a nature trail.

So I asked Amy, the publisher, *my* publisher, if we could take a break and head to the beach for a beer or two and an investigation into Laguna Beach society.

“I’m sorry, honey (my publisher calls me *honey*!), but I’ve got at least another 4 hours to do here.  Tell you what, how about if I drop you off in Laguna Beach on your own and you can call me when you want to be picked up”.

Igor Goldkind, Laguna Beach, on his own, with his reputation?

Was this woman completely insane?  Did she not know my reputation for wreaking havoc everywhere I go?  Had she not heard about the smoking moral crater I had left where Oxford had been?  This woman wanted to release me into the virgin wilderness of OC wine bars and over tanned vapidity without as much as a chaperone.  She was completely mad; no wonder she was publishing me.

But my quest for diversion from the sound of my own voice and release from the too perfectly affluent surroundings I had found myself in (pool, jacuzzi and gym included; and this wasn’t even a hotel!),    got the better of me and I said a quick prayer for the fine citizens of Laguna Beach who were about to encounter their collective moral damnation . . . . .

(TO BE CONTINUED.  Stay tuned to read about Igor’s encounter with the Orange Women; his attempt to spontaneously organize a bus boys union while sipping a vodka martini; his reading of poetry to a homeless writer named Mike; and his making young Chicana girls laugh by pretending to be a prat (or at least I was trying to pretend!)  We won’t mention the Taco Bell incident; best to let sleeping dogs snore.


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The-Shred


SAN DIEGO BAY


photo

SAN DIEGO BAY

 

San Diego Bay, San Diego Bay is a bathtub
With tiny toy boats cast afloat above shimmering metal water
Some toys are air craft carriers
Some toys are tiny tugs
Some are grey, leaden battle ships
With weapons of uniquely personal destruction on board.

 

San Diego, San Diego Bay
You are my bath tub.
You are my yard, my home, my world now.
From here on out and beyond my recollection.

 

San Diego, this Bay is a cold Bay.
Although we all so easily bathe in it.
This Bay is as cold as draining human blood.
Which is after all, what keeps these boats afloat.

 

San Diego Bay, San Diego Bay
Your leaden toy war ships
Caste a bleak grey cloud
On my sunlit-blue sky return.

 

San Diego Bay, San Diego Bay, you rounded sheet
Of crinkled aluminium foil
At 6 am in the morning looking out
Looking in, at the sheet of this world.
I bathe in now.

 

San Diego Bay, San Diego Bay
You’re my dirty bath tub water now.

 


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WORDS THAT OCCUPY SPACE


I believe this to be a first:
The Oxford-based, award winning sculptor Martin Smith came to one of my readings and wept at the hearing of my euology to my father Dr. Victor Goldkind, THE LINE YOU WALKED. I had never seen my words have an affect on a man like that before and I was curious to know who Martin was.

It was over several pints of ale at The Bear pub in the gothic quarter of Oxford (where bears had indeed once been baited where we drank), that Martin and I became fast friends; comparing our weaknesses for falling too readily in love with beautiful women and our perchants for Dionysian distraction when not working. It was towards the end of the evening that Martin suggested he might try a a physical interpretation of the poem that had moved him. My own primoridal link to sculpture through my mother and her brother, made the idea inevitable.

THE LINE YOU WALKED

THE LINE YOU WALKED

And here is the end result.
Words that occupy Space.
THE LINE YOU WALKED

I am my father.
I am my father’s son.
I am my father’s father
I am my daughter’s son.

I am the line that walks these dots
Connecting one Pole to another
One foot follows the other
From Lodz to Ellis Island to Brooklyn to Washington to Marseille,

To the frozen thunder of L’Ardennes,
Munchen, Salzbourg, Yale,
San Pedro, Cham Kom, Chichin Itza
Lansing, San Diego, Berkeley,
Paris, Heidelberg, London
One arrow pointing down to this hallowed ground

We stand on.
These dots, stones, these beats, these memories We tread upon:
What you could not take with you,
You have left behind
For us. For me. For her.

THE LINE YOU WALKED

THE LINE YOU WALKED

In the meaning you finally found
Behind eyes glued shut
Behind my daughter’s eyes glued open
In wonderment, in curiosity
In the mind’s intrepid search for the reason in it all.

Stepping forwards, stumbling backwards.
Looking up, looking down, looking sideways at the world.
Looking over your shoulder with a joke, with a laugh and a dimpled grin. Man makes plans while God laughs.
Student, soldier, teacher, brother, husband, father,
Grander father still.

Between these dots
We can see the being of who we were,

Who we become and who we are:

One in the same.

I am my father.
I am my father’s son.
I am my father’s father
I am my daughter’s son.

poem

THE LINE YOU WALKED

Your work, my father, is not yet done.

 

For my father, Dr. Victor Herchiel Goldkind 1924-2011

 

 



“Some observations about last night [after observing by SKYPE, Igor Goldkind’s inital interview regarding his attack by PC sTidman and Galworthy]:  

I don’t think the Oxford police  can be trusted.  I do not know who this guy is or why he has so much influence.  Hopefully you know the answer to that question .  If you don’t you will have to ask around and safe quarters.   one thing is clear is many people are afraid of this man.  You need to find out why.  I think you should go to what ever Jewish group or other group can help you.  You do not want to face all these people alone.  It’s nice you have so many Facebook followers but I don’t see how they can help you.

I would seriously consider filing a report with  Scotland Yard and really leaning on them to do something about this situation.  Let them know everyone in Oxford seems to be afraid of this man including the police.  it was strange that the Oxford police officer questioned whether you had identified  the right person almost immediately.  I assume there had been some telephone contact between you and the Oxford police before the visit.  I would guess that you had told them how you identified this man, so that was a very strange way to begin the interview.  The delay in speaking with you also was strange. and it delayed the investigation which is poor investigative

Procedure.  They don’t seem very serious about bringing someone to justice if it is this particular person.  The other thing I am trace about is the British definition of a hate crime.  Our words enough or does the law require some act in conjunction with the hateful words?  If some action is required in addition to the words you could be wasting a lot of time.  that is I hope so –I hope no action will be forthcoming from this person or his cohorts.  Just in case he has something terrible planned however you may want to come up with some contingency plan to make yourself scarce.  I am worried about you — be safe
I have worked as a public defender in state and federal courts.  I [also worked] as a civil rights lawyer for a private firm in Oakland and also as a government compliance lawyer, ensuring my public sector clients obeyed the law.”
Suzanne de Kozan, retired California Civil Rights Attorney

AUX ARMES, MY ENGLISH CHUMS!!!


From another FACEBOOK thread where I continue to be derided by the English for my complaints against their society:

Nicolas Papaconstantinou and Sarah Gillespie: thank you for your comments and for your critical engagement with the issues that I have raised. I assure you that my intention is not to target individuals (except for David Kirke, who will shortly be arrested for his verbal assault and inctiement to race crime by the Thamses Valley police), but to raise the bigger issue of English identity and the values and traits that are indentified by the ‘English’ with that identity. In virtually shamless mimicry of Gilad Atzmon and his dissection of ‘Jewish’ identity, I have turned his same lens on a self-indentifying, rich, powerful and militarily aggressive ‘English’ government and its supporters and apologists for instituting not only their abuse on other nationalities but on themselves. As my father once told me, the category of people that the German fascists abused and oppressed and murdered more than any other, more than Jews, trade unionists, homosexuals, communists, slavs, gypsies, the disabled or the mentally impaired was the German people themselves.

No, the English are not comparable to the Nazis, in spite of the well documented support members of the Royal Family and the English artistocracy gave the Nazis; the English people fought the Nazis and defeated them and liberated the ‘Jewish’ people from the camps. My argument is (if I may so arrogantly suggest), more subtle than that.

I am talking about common cause. We are all subject to the same oppression by the powers-that-be on us both socially and psychologically, in the insipid use of nationalism and national identity to undermine our confidence in our own truth and alienate each of us from each other.

Sarah, you know that I have an English daughter who is proud of her English heritage as well as proud of her father who challanges the misapporpriation by cynical means, the identity of that heritage. In tackling the evidence of racism that has been dumped (like a dog that has lost its own bowel control), on my doorstep, not once but on 4 occasions in the past 8 weeks in Oxford,

I am attempting to get the ‘English’ people to firstly, recognize that their internal mapping of identity no longer fits the demographic territory, the reality of their nation. So it was with the most recent Presidential election loss by the American GOP. They lost power because they no longer could see the reality of their own nation. The importance and rise to power of the Latino communities and most of all, the continuing and increasing power of American women, across partisan lines, to control their own political environments, their own bodies and assume the reigns of their own destiny. THAT is what I would like the so-called ‘English’ people to do and as was reinforced at my debate with my friend and role model Gilad Atzmon last night, the ‘English’ appear to be more willing to expend energy on denouncing and ataacking a pushy, American Jew-boy like me than examine their own failings as a nationality and cultural identity.

Nicolas, do you really think that I’m some jingoistic foreigner who is going to return to my own country and bask in the injustice, murderous hypocricy and much, much worse (than the English) social injustice in America?!?

You really don’t know who you’re dealing with or chastising here.

I left my country more than half my lifetime ago, precisely because I could no longer bear residing in a country swinging to the far right under Ronald Regan, the second worst President my country has ever elected. I left my native land to live in the then socialist country of France and prospered there as a journalist and for awhile as a film actor. When employment as a foreigner proved problematic, I askewed returning to my by then, extremely right wing, neoliberal homeland to pursue my career as a journalist and writer in your country of Britain. In the 28 odd years I have resided in the UK as a permanent resident and guest of her majesty the Queen, I have worked successfully for 10 English companies, risen in professional status and even invented the publishing genre (Graphic Novels), while I was working here, that continues to put money in the pockets of hard working British citizens.

I have started 3 companies, 2 of them sucessful, and have in my time employed and FAIRLY paid nearly 60 developers, artists, writers, programmers, designers and administrators. In all this time I have never once taken one penny from the public support I have been entitled to and refused, due to my nationality and status as a foreigner; in spite of my legal entitlement to do so the short periods I have been unemployed. Most significantly during the 3 years (2007-10) of disability I endured as a direct result of a near fatal car accident perpetrated by the gross neligence of one of your countrymen, who suffered no penalty for his crime; in spite of refusing a breathalizer test at the scene of his crime, (he is still driving around the roads of your fair land to this day, without inhibition or prohibition).

In my 28 odd years living in England, I have been assaulted, twice physically for the perception of my ethnicity, I have been barred from 4 establishments for expressing my political views, non violently nor aggressively, and I have been virtually ‘railroaded’ out of a Middle England, Cotswold village for being ‘the only Jew in the Village’ and for not conforming to this outdated concoction and instrument of social oppression I refer to as English Propriety or the politesse of the ‘great and the good’.

I believe that the above constitutes all the authority I need to freely comment on my observations and experiences in your country. I am sorry that my observations and relating of fact offends you; but why pray tell, are you more offended by my reporting of the facts, than the facts themselves?

Why aren’t you channeling your energies into improving your own country, upon correcting the flaws, the injustices that you see every day around you. Why are you so bloody complacent, my ‘English’ friends?


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THE DEVIL EATS CHEESE


Racist Cheese


YOU DON’T KNOW ME AT ALL


I just lost a friend of many years, a friend I had worked with, drank with, ate with and whom I admired dearly for his talent, his fortitude and his focus. A friend whom I had met when he was just embarking on his career and was gently hustling himself through the corridors of the marketplace, politely and humbly showing his ware and meekly accepting meagre earnings for great work.

I lost my friend because of my politics.

My friend was an artist, trying to work in comics.
He was a unique talent; who when he first started, could barely draw figurative forms.

It didn’t matter.

His vision and his execution were so unique, so crucially significant that he was admired by many even before he became a fixture on the professional landscape. 

I will not name him here nor indicate his indentity because as of yesterday, we are no longer friends and can never be again. Ever. 

And this hurts me so greviously, I cannot even weep for the loss.

My friend was and is a great talent and he changed the topgraphy of his marketplace not just once but each and every time he tried something new. He has had many imitators, many of whom remain my friends. He spawned imitators and admirers alike wherever and whenver he hooked his hat: be it as an artist, an illustrator, designer, animator, film maker, writer, aesthete, intellectual, gourmet or just plainly charming, nice man.

But he is no longer my friend.

He did not understand, he did not comprehend, he did not feel for why I have taken my stand against English bigotry, predjudice and racism; in the actions I have taken and that I continue to take described elsewhere.

Instead he chastened and condemned me for what he did not understand.

In the end, he was my friend for 30 years and HE DID NOT KNOW ME AT ALL.

I am aggrieved but I am accepting and I will move on.
I do not need such friends.

It was only the third time, the third disappointment I had endured from my friend in 30 years. He had come through for me on numerous occasions with his generosity and his giving of self, lending his reputation to my risky endeavors and he owes me nothing, nothing but the self-reflection he so blankly lacks. 

But he has let me down for the last time, in word and in deed. 
My friend as good a man as he is, could not keep his word.

And words are ALL that I have.

He is not a narcissist, (nor no more an egotist than am I); he is an Artist and… but … if not for his talent, not for his achievement, 
the word ‘narcissist’ would aptly describe him.

Yeah, I know. I’m digging this grave and I will jump in after him when I’m done.

I invite anyone reading this, anyone at all to connect me with me, reach out to me; my heart and my mind are open and giving.
If you do not understand what I am doing, if you have questions, if you need to understand why; it’s easy: 

Just. Ask. Me.

I am human, I make mistakes (many, many, many mistakes) and the confessional style of my Facebook pages are intentional; I mean, that I don’t alter the trail of my mistakes, I just correct them and then account for my corrections. This is life, this is human; and so I am.

Making mistakes and correcting them is what we do, it is our duty as human beings.

To not forgive a mistake, to not understand human nature to have no empathy for the travails of others whose motives or experience you may not at first comprehend is well, to be less than human

If you prick me, I *will* bleed.

DON’T JUDGE ME. JUST ASK ME.

I will take the time to tell you, to make you understand how my actions are not mine, they are not self-righteous rantings of a self obsessed fool (although easily and understandidly mistaken for such). 

They are what I HAVE TO DO.

And if you do not understand, I will explain it to you.
Not here, but in private: ASK ME ANYTHING; ASK ME ANYTHING AT ALL

However, as with my friend, if you take personal offence at my condemnation of some of your national traits, of some of the sheen to your surface; if you are so jingoistic and loyal to your class, that you would rather offend me, injure me, and denounce my entreaties, then please, please un-friend me now. Really.

I DON”T NEED YOU AT ALL.

Please, either ask me why, what and wherefore or please, please bugger off.

I don’t need any more loss than I have already endured.

I don’t need to justify what I MUST DO, to you or to anyone.

If you to ask me I will tell you, But do not judge what you do not understand. Do not condemn me, do not accuse me of having a ‘melt down’, of being unhinged, of being ‘obsessed with racism’ of being ‘nuts Unfriend, me by all means, but do not condemn what you do not, cannot understand.

THOSE WHO CONDEMN ME HAVE MORE TO FEAR THAN HE WHOM THEY HAVE CONDEMNED~ Giordano Bruno (Google him, for chrissakes)

I will explain myself to you or anyone who will listen until the cows come home; that is my calling, my job as a writer. I will explain myself until you understand who I am actually doing this for: 

PRIVATE VICTOR GOLDKIND (deceased), IVAN MOSCOWICH (survivor of Auschwizch, Belsen AND Dachau), PHILLIPE PETROV, EMMA GOLDKIND (perished in Auschwizch), PATRICIA GOLDKIND (Belsen), DAVID GOLDKIND (Belsen), UNKNOWN EX-SS OFFICER (Whom I met in a beer garden in Heidelberg waiting for my father and drank with. He would not stay to meet my father because he told me that it wasn’t right.) And for all the German people who were the most afflicted, the most injured by their own complacency, their refusal to look in the mirror and see that their own sense of social propriety had undone their morality. 

THE PEOPLE OF PALESTINE, THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE THEY CALL ISRAEL, THE AMERICANS WHO HAVE FORGOTTEN THEIR OWN GENOCIDE (that paled the Nazis in scale and cruelty), THE BRITISH PEOPLE WHO HAVE FORGOTTEN WHO DREW DREW THE MAPS OF THE ARAB WORLD, 

THE PRISONERS OF BOTH CONSCIENCE AND PROPERTY. THOSE IMPRISONED BY THEIR OWN AFFLUENCE AND CONSTANT ANXIETY OF IT’S LOSS (You cannot lose what was never rightly yours.) 

YES, J’ACCUSE. J’ACCUSE MY ENGLISH FRIENDS AS MUCH AS MY AMERICAN ONES. 

IF YOU ARE NOT PART OF THE SOLUTION, IF YOU WILL NOT FACE HOW YOU ARE COMPLICT IN THE WORLD THAT YOU SEE BEFORE YOU, 

THEN YOU ARE PART OF THE PROBLEM. 

Ultimately and finally.

I will briefly mourn the passing of my 30 year friendship, but like the long cold walk of 1944, sometimes you lose comrades who trip and fall over their own pretensions. If you stop to help them, you get shot, if you trip and fall, you get shot, if you extend your hand to help, you get shot. This is the real world. And in the real world people die and people lose friends.

So What?


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I GET TO DEBATE MY FRIEND AND MUSICAL GENIUS (IMHO) GILAD ATZMON, ON RACISM!!! And niether him or I are taking any prisoners.


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THE DEVIL IN OXFORD HAS MINIONS


The following is a direct transcript of the observations of retired American Civil Rights Attorney, Suzanne DE Kozan.

Apart from being my high school sweet heart and the first woman outside of my family I have ever loved and will always love, Suzanne was, (before she retired due to illness), one of the most respected and effective civil rights attorneys operating in California. She, like all of my close friends and family are,  a dedicated advocate of human and civil rights. Suzanne has fought and won many battles against both public and private concerns who have stood in the way of, or attempted to hamper the rights of individuals to live a safe and unperturbed existence within the legal protection of those rights. Image 

I was so proud that, when I informed her of the attack on me last Sunday by the racist David Kirke, Suzanne was at first horrified and then concerned about my emotional well being in reaction to this assault; but also insisted that she be witness and an expert observer to the conductt of the police in purusuing my complaint. I therefore, set up a SKYPE call with the permission of the Thames Valley officers charged during the 2 1/2 hour interview. I asserted on FB that I would no longer address the issue of David Kirke, partly in response to the overwhelming criticims I received rom my English friends in pursuing both the prosecution and the account of it.

I have been openly described by my friends as ‘unhinged’, ‘obsessed’ and in one case ‘nuts’ to continue raising awareness about my attack. As well as my drawing larger connections and implications that Kirke’s behaviour and its tolerance is a reflection of a much wider social malaise, a polite acceptance amongst English middle class society of the reality of racism against not just Jews, but Muslims, Sikhs, and west Indians in Oxfordshire And I am sticking to my word in not going on about the details of my case against the founder and President of the Dangerous Sports Gentleman’s Club because I have made mistakes: It was a mistake for me to add to David Kirke’s wikipedia entry without taking further advice and I have since apoligised to the editorial group at Wikipedia and my friend Jamie Lawson, who was understanding enough to overlook my unfair initial accusations of his criticisms of my actions as tatamount to complicity.  And I am likewise grateful to those other ‘friends’ for pointing “out the chocolate on my face”.
Although initally robust in my response to the incident, I have since had a very emotive reaction to the attack and am tempering my response accordingly.
I am not English.
My emotions are often very close to the surface of who I am. I am trying to work as an artist and I cannot afford the social inhibition that is particular characteristic of the Engish temperament (amongst certain classes), as it would interfere in my ability to work effectively.  The case of David Kirke is still closed for me on FB.
But I will be keeping my FB friends informed by my chronicling of the Thames Valley Police’s response to the incident, the reaction of local businesses and the local people of Oxford to what one reporter described to me off the record, as part of and sympotamtic of ‘the rising tide of race motivate violent attacks in and around the city of Oxford.’ To be clear: I was not the victim of a violent racist attack, merely a verbal one. I have a skewed the support and participation of the local Jewish community who have offered their support because this is not a Jewish matter. 
This is an English one.
This is an issue of how the English respond to the “foreigners” in their midst following English legal and public procedures in responding to racially motivated attacks on ‘us’. Image
Here is the direct, unedited transcript of retired civil rights attorney Suzanne deKozan’s observaton of my 2 1/2 police interview regarding my complaint:      “Some observations about last night: I don’t think the Oxford police can be trusted. I do not know who this guy is or why he has so much influence. Hopefully you know the answer to that question . If you don’t you will have to ask around and safe quarters.
One thing is clear is many people are afraid of this man.”
“You need to find out why. “
“I think you should go to what ever Jewish group or other group can help you. You do not want to face all these people alone. It’s nice you have so many Facebook followers but I don’t see how they can help you. I would seriously consider filing a report with Scotland Yard and really leaning on them to do something about this situation.
Let them know how everyone in Oxford seems to be afraid of this man, including the police.
It was strange that the Oxford police officer questioned whether you had identified the right person almost immediately. I assume there had been some telephone contact between you and the Oxford police before the visit. I would guess that you had told them how you identified this man, so that was a very strange way to begin the interview. The delay in speaking with you also was strange. and it delayed the investigation which is poor investigative”.
“Procedure: They don’t seem very serious about bringing someone to justice if it is this particular person. The other thing I am trace about is the British definition of a hate crime. Our words enough or does the law require some act in conjunction with the hateful words? If some action is required in addition to the words you could be wasting a lot of time. that is I hope so –I hope no action will be forthcoming from this person or his cohorts.  Just in case he has something terrible planned however you may want to come up with some contingency plan to make yourself scarce. I am worried about you — be safe.I worked as a public defender in state and federal courts”.
I worked as a civil rights lawyer for a private firm in Oakland and also as a government compliance lawyer. (ensuring my public sector clients obeyed the law),” Love, Suzanne
 Image

Master of Puzzles By Igor Goldkind


My Credentials for “Bullying”, “Persecuting”, “Mutilating” and “Obsessing” over the racist David Kirke; or so say my critics. As my Sikh friend and young teacher Prabjot Singh would say “Dont’ blame them, they are only children who need to be guided”.

Master of PuzzlesImage

By Igor Goldkind

Ivan Moscovich has created more brain-teasers than most people have solved crosswords. Igor Goldkind set out to piece together his fascinating and harrowing life.

Ivan Moscovich has his life’s work wrapped up in a bundle of about 10,000 pages of A4 paper. On those pages there are some 5,000 separate puzzles, puzzles that range from the hang-on-let’s-look-OK-I-see to beyond the fiendish. Some are variations on themes, some utter one-offs. Some are to be made on paper or card, some are designs for tricky little – or big – devices. Moscovich calls them the S.A.M. archive – science, art and mathematics. The puzzles use the techniques of bafflement to teach, and they use beauty to bemuse.

Moscovich has been making puzzles since the 1960s. Now, at the age of 70, he’s looking to transform that life’s work into new formats. He and his colleagues have started up a new company to take the ideas on those 10,000 pages and put them to work in the digital arena. Moscovich is sure that there is room for them. Having looked with interest at hits like Seventh Guest, which friends told him were bringing new life to the world of puzzles, he was profoundly unimpressed. The puzzles were hard, sure (if you weren’t Moscovich, that is), but they were variations on a small number of underlying tricks, and they didn’t add up to more than just a set of puzzles. Moscovich thought that he – or people mining his archives in digital form – could do better.

“In digital media you can build overlapping linear trees, using the media to interrelate the concepts for the user. It’s important with any problem to see – at the same time – the different paths that can take you to a solution. Certainly this is the best way to explain scientific and mathematical concepts.” The collection of puzzles becomes a sort of puzzle itself: a maze, something to find one’s way through, something more than the sum of its parts.

Ivan is looking forward to trying to put all this into practice – not least because he enjoys the attitude of the people he’ll be working with. The way that games designers and programmers think fits into his world perfectly. He loves to be with people who are bored when they’re not trying something new, even impossible, when they’re not seeking a new solution. And he can make sense of himself by being part of a group; in fact, it has saved his life before now.

Ivan likes people who try to make sense of the pieces. That, in part, is how he got into puzzles – his delight in their ability to teach eager minds. As well as making puzzles for books and toys, he has used them as serious teaching tools for engineers – and pioneered the art of transforming the counterintuitive insights of puzzling into science museums with interactive displays. Putting together the pieces of an idea is much more important than putting together the pieces of a puzzle. The wonder is that by getting someone to do the latter, you can let them do the former.

A life in fragments

Moscovich’s own life is a bewildering array of puzzle fragments. Having met him on a CD-ROM project and learned some of his history, I started to wonder how to reassemble the fragments – and what they could be made into. One of the answers is a charming, brilliant septuagenarian. Another is 10,000 pages of A4. And a third might be a technological passage through the 20th century, from the industrialisation of death to the pursuit of pleasure. A journey that charts the territory of the 20th century’s technological revolutions and its human upheavals, from the Balkans to California, from museums to the Israeli defence industry, from the ruins of Austro-Hungary to the digital age, from railways to death camps.
Moscovich’s parents were Hungarian, but he was born in Novi Sad, a small Serbian town. He still retains a central European accent that, to my ears (and probably to yours) sounds like the definitive voice of modern science and mathematics. “My father was a Hungarian who escaped from Hungary into Yugoslavia after the First World War. He was a painter by profession, but in order to make a living at that time he opened a photographic studio which became very successful. He named his studio Photo Ivan, after me.”

His description of an everyday childhood in Novi Sad paints a familiar portrait of a middle-class craftsman’s family, complete with Yiddish grandmother and old-world family meals – and none of the hothouse intellectual atmosphere that produced Leo Szilard, John von Neumann, Kurt Gödel and other thinkers who left Budapest to dominate 19th-century thought. There was little to suggest Ivan’s strengths in science or mathematics – except, perhaps, a boyish infatuation with model aeroplane kits. He had, however, inherited from his father an inclination for drawing, and his father’s habit of tinkering with various gadgets – including an early air brush – to enhance his pictures was a constant delight to Ivan.

But when he reached technical high school, Ivan fell under the influence of a mathematics teacher given to explaining the precepts of science by means of science fiction. Ivan’s teacher opened up the world of mathematics by making problem solving fun. Ivan was entranced by the maths – and, later, showed that he had learned the method, too: rigorous scientific thinking through the lens of art and storytelling.

By then, though, the Hungarian fascists had invaded. They met with little resistance. And, soon afterwards, they took Ivan’s father from him. “Before they took him, he asked a Hungarian officer if he could say goodbye to my mother and in their final embrace he slipped this ring onto her finger.” Ivan holds up his hand and shows me an ornate gold band studded with eight small diamonds. It is the only surviving memento of Ivan’s youth; everything else was lost in the Holocaust. Ivan’s father joined 6,000 Jews and 4,000 Serbs executed en masse and thrown beneath the ice of the frozen Danube. All in one day.

Ivan continued his studies until the end of 1943, when the Hungarians “got cold feet” and the Germans invaded. “We really didn’t have any knowledge of what was happening in Poland in the ghettos or with the Nazis. We all hated the Hungarian fascists, but I still knew and liked Germans and, you know, communications were very different then; telephones didn’t work internationally. We were really disconnected from the rest of the world.”

When a Hungarian Jew escaped from Auschwitz and fled to Budapest to warn the Jewish community of the death camps, few believed him. So Ivan Moscovich was deported to Auschwitz at the age of 17.

“It meant stepping out of one world into another one. I was sent with my grandfather, my grandmother and my mother. When we arrived, my grandparents were immediately taken to the crematoria. My mother stayed in Auschwitz the whole time. After three or four weeks I was taken out of Auschwitz into one of the surrounding work camps. Young people were sent to work. I worked at laying rail lines.” The Nazi system was to provide rations for six months survival, after which the workers were supposed to starve to death in order to make room for new inmates. The meticulousness by which the operation was organised was not lost on Ivan. Nor would the memory escape him when two years later he found himself again working on train rails.

By that time he and, miraculously, his mother were back in Novi Sad. An acquaintance in the Ministry of Transport offered him a research position in the effort to repair Yugoslavia’s war-torn railway system. The post involved testing an enormous German machine that used high electrical wattage to weld rail lines together, a then untested invention. Mounted on a train carriage, Ivan travelled with the machine throughout Yugoslavia, in charge of the welding team. The machine was so successful that Ivan soon found himself elevated to a lofty position within Tito’s Ministry of Transport, accountable only to the deputy minister himself.

“There I was, a simple technician, at the age of 20, and I had all this power and no boss, really. People thought I was a top-shot communist because everybody had to do exactly what I wanted. The project became more and more successful, our production was way up and I was given orders to enlist more and more technicians for my team. One day I was called in by the deputy minister and was told that in order to create a 24-hour work shift, I was to take on 50 German prisoners of war.”

So, two years after surviving the German work camps, he was given control over a work team comprising high ranking German officers and regular soldiers, some Wehrmacht, some SS. He could have done anything he wanted. He could have shot them all and easily justified his actions to the authorities. He could have tortured them to death with gruelling work. He could have snapped his fingers and made them all disappear. But Ivan Moscovich had responsibilities, a quota to fill and a marvellous welding contraption to keep running.

“I had ten kilometres of rails to get out that week and it was a real dilemma whether to screw the Germans or to try to get the best output from them. I decided to increase their rations to get more work out of them, and sure enough they were grateful and worked even harder, which increased the output. I was very, very tough with them and I think they were scared of me. But I never revealed to them that I was a camp survivor. They worked for six months and then Tito released the prisoners.”

As it happens, Moscovich only worked on the German railways for six months. “I was lucky for the first six months. It was very important for survival in the camps to be with your people, your clan of friends and family; it made life easier. You couldn’t get ill, because that meant execution, but curiously, if you could show a work-related injury, a visible wound, you could be seen by the SS and granted a day or two of hospital. One day I announced myself with a bad wound. While everyone else went on work detail I was left in the enormous courtyard with a broom to clean up, completely by myself. Suddenly the gate opened and a commandant’s car stormed into the courtyard and headed straight for me. The German officer jumped down from his car, grabbed me by the scruff of the neck, threw me onto the platform of the vehicle and drove off. I was kidnapped.” Later Ivan learned that there had been an escape from a neighbouring camp and the camp commandant had stolen Ivan to make up his tally of inmates. The mathematics of death had to add up.

“Up to this point all of my feelings had been one single feeling: an enormous outrage. Rage that somebody, anybody, another power, could take me away from my decisions, my everyday life, and put me in an environment where whatever happened was not under my control. I was young and maybe too strong an individualist, but it was rage that kept me alive.” In the new camp this life-sustaining anger was broken, until he discovered a distant Hungarian cousin running the camp’s kitchens and being the “godfather” of the camp. Then he found some school friends of his father’s. For several weeks Ivan rebuilt his spirits and his body. Then the Russians pushed back the German line, and the SS made their lethal preparations for evacuating Auschwitz. The problem to solve was – how to survive.

The Museum Man

In 1952 Ivan found a new clan – and became a leader. He set out for Israel to join his now remarried mother. On the boat to Haifa, Ivan was approached by Israeli officials interested in his skills and qualifications. The new state was hungry for skilled technicians. By the time Ivan reached Haifa he already had a position in the Ministry of Defence waiting for him. “In my group there were mainly these Yugoslav and Hungarian technicians without any training in science and mathematics. The language problem was enormous, and here was this group of technicians involved in scientific research without any basis in the field. I don’t know how it happened, but I was selected as someone who could teach the other members of the group some basic science. My boss wanted me to instruct them outside of a formal classroom using demonstrations, models and visual means. That was really the start that put me in the direction of puzzle making.”
Ivan found himself playing around with visualisations and experiments. He worked hard to come up with ways in which complex ideas could be explained visually, not so much to convey a deep academic knowledge of science and mathematics but to engender an intuitive grasp of the subjects and, most important of all, to instill the knack of problem solving needed to tackle more important scientific and technological puzzles.

By the end of the 1950s, Moscovich was creating puzzles almost all the time, and practice had revealed a rare gift for making puzzles that could be revisited, puzzles that retained a depth, an impact, even after they had been solved. “I tried to design models that were compact and effective, and in which the experiments could be repeated a number of times. This required completely original design conceptualisations. My boss, Ernst David Bergman, was the leading scientist in Israel at the time, and founder of the Weizmann Institute. He loved my work, and it was he who had the idea that some of those objects I had designed could be exhibited. That was the basis of the founding of a science museum.”

In 1959 Tel Aviv established its Museum of Science and Technology, the first of its kind in Israel. Ivan worked non-stop for two-and- a-half years converting five disused British barracks into a museum, begging and borrowing every available resource. The museum finally opened in 1964 with Ivan as its curator and director. It was the first science museum to emphasise hands-on, interactive exhibitions, and it quickly attracted international attention. His position as curator became a springboard from which to explore and express his interest in art, science and mathematics, and to do it all with the benefit of a growing international reputation.

In 1965 Frank Oppenheimer, brother of the more famous Robert, having heard of Ivan’s fantastic museum to science, visited Tel Aviv with Admiral Lewis Strauss, chairman of the US Atomic Energy Commission. The two became fast friends, sharing a childlike fascination for technology and science as well as knowledge of the darker side of machines and technology. This was four years before the opening of the Exploratorium in San Francisco, for which Oppenheimer imported many of Ivan’s installations. Some remain on exhibit to this day.

The puzzle of death

In 1944, while Oppenheimer was working with his brother on the problems of designing the first atomic bombs, Moscovich was on the death march to Bergen-Belsen. Here, too, the problem was how to survive. “Everybody said those who stayed, declaring themselves ill, would be shot. As it happens, they were liberated by the Russians two weeks later. And we walked barefoot and nearly naked through the worst winter of the century, westward to Bergen-Belsen.”
At Bergen-Belsen, the last stop for the Final Solution, Ivan gave up all hope. He had been assigned to a work detail in the then still beautiful city of Hildesheim, near Hanover. “Near where I worked was a statue of the mathematician Leibniz with beautiful writing on it. And it was so strange that after so long in hell, I am seeing that statue. I felt I was being visited by a ghost, an image of the real world I had left behind. It was then, only then, that I remembered my previous life, my teachers, my studies of mathematics and all that. Up till then my memories had been blocked out. It’s impossible to imagine that every minute, every second of life in the camps, you were only thinking of survival; there was no room for any other thinking. But here was this beautiful statue of Leibniz that reminded me of the real world.”

After two weeks working in Leibniz’s shadow, “I heard this strange noise … mmmmmmmmmmmm … that filled the air, and we suddenly realised that the sky was filled with planes. The next second everything was on fire. It was the Allied carpet bombing of Hildesheim. I saw German soldiers burning, running, and everything became chaos. I ran. After a while I stopped and looked back at the city, which was one big torch. I found myself alone in a giant field, a free man. But a free man in pyjamas, a free man with nowhere to go. I weighed 45 kilos.” Ivan turned around and started walking back to the depot. With his camp clothes, his inverted mohawk, there was nowhere to run. A German woman ran out of her house and thrust a chicken leg into his hand; she never said a word.

Recaptured, he was beaten and sent back to the camp. The dead lay in their thousands. “One barracks the Germans were using to fill with dead bodies, hundreds of dead bodies. After work one evening, I decided that instead of going back to our sleeping area that I would crawl to the top of this mountain of bodies and find myself a horizontal place. There was a slot at the top where I could see what was happening outside. I slept there for five, six days; I don’t have any notion about how much time passed. It was bliss to sleep; quiet and beautiful. It was no problem sleeping on a bed of a hundred dead bodies. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have lasted.

“One day I awoke from my sleep to complete silence. I looked through the slot to see the camp was completely deserted. Suddenly through the main entrance, which I had in my view, drove a single jeep with four English officers that stopped in the middle of the square. I rolled down the hill of bodies like a log and then I felt like I was running but I must have been moving very, very slowly. I was, I think, one of the very first to reach the jeep, and you know those guys were looking at us like they were seeing aliens for the very first time. Like first contact.” He collapsed into the arms of an English officer.

Moscovich was deathly ill. By the time that English officer caught up with him again, in a local hospital, he looked unlikely to survive. So the officer found a German doctor and frog-marched him to Ivan’s bedside. The Englishman pointed his revolver at the terrified doctor’s head and said, “If this patient dies here, you die here.”

Ivan Moscovich did not die – nor, at that point, did the German doctor. Ivan was transferred to a Red Cross hospital in a small town in Sweden – a town so boring, he now swears, that the local newspaper actually ran daily updates on Ivan’s weight gain for lack of more interesting scoops. Ivan describes his slow recovery as matter-of-factly as everything else.

“At a certain moment you know, the organism decided, ‘OK, we’re going to stay in this world.’ “

Toy story

In the mid-1960s, as his fame grew in Israel and beyond, another new world opened for Ivan Moscovich. “I was working on a puzzle at my desk one day when one of the ushers came in and said a couple of tourists wanted to see me. I was busy and didn’t have the time. The usher came back and said they only want five minutes of your time and they wouldn’t give up. So I agreed to see them, Mr and Mrs Eliot Handler. I wasn’t very enthusiastic but we talked and then Mrs Handler said ‘I would like our chaps in California to see your puzzles; are you ready to come over to California?’ I didn’t take them very seriously. Two weeks later I received a call from a travel agent who had a ticket waiting for me to go to California to visit Mattel.”
Eliot and Ruth Handler founded and owned Mattel Toys. Its twelve-storey building in Hawthorne was the centre of America’s toy industry. Sales of their Barbie dolls were colossal, but the Handlers were keen to expand the Mattel range beyond just dolls. When Ivan came out to visit them they immediately offered him a three-year open contract to create games and puzzles for US$25,000 (£16,000) a year. His “Brain Drain” puzzle game promptly sold a million copies worldwide. This success was repeated with a series of puzzles including “Play It Again Fun”, “Visual Brainstorms”, “The Brain Power Decathlon” and “The Hinge”. Soon toy and games manufacturers from Japan to Europe were clamouring for more and more puzzles from the master. Ivan Moscovich’s gift had found the most widespread of all its expressions.

Fitting together the pieces

Somehow, all these pieces add together to produce a remarkably creative man, and one with a unique vantage point. Ivan has seen countries destroyed, reconstructed and created afresh. He has faced the most utterly depersonalising totalitarianism ever attempted, and rejoiced in the individual quirkiness of children’s imaginations. At an age where most seek nothing new at all, he is embracing the digital world with the enthusiasm of a seven-year-old offered a Game Boy. How does he see the end of the century?
“At present we are in a greater need for a fresh creative spirit than in any other period of human history. Less and less experience is being gained directly through activities. Sensations tend to reach us increasingly only after passing through layers of media filters. Children manipulate electronic gadgets and play with computers, which is all very well, but ultimately lacks perspicuity and full sensual enrichment. I hope to create open-ended concepts that trigger chain reactions. Ideally, the player plays my game, solves the problems and is motivated to invent his or her own variations of rules, ultimately creating his or her own games, puzzles and aesthetic structures.”

He has an avowed predilection for the physical. You can see it in his hands as he solves his puzzles. But Ivan sees unique possibilities in the digital world, possibilities that flow from the nature of his puzzles. “I’ve already published several books of my puzzles, but in a book you are restricted to the lin- ear progression of page after page, without much freedom. To interrelate the conceptual links between problems and solutions you need to be able to cross reference non-linearly, which is what a CD-ROM does.” After all, this is the point of his S.A.M. archive – that it combines science, art and mathematics as different paths to the same goal. The trajectories can be changed forever; the solutions will still provide the improvements of the self that Moscovich cares about.

“You know, humanity has been defined in various ways. For instance, as Homo habilis, skilful man; as Homo sapiens, wise man. I prefer Homo ludens, playful man, as the best definition of modern 20th-century human beings.” It was a hopeful definition that Johan Huizinga came up with in the late ’30s, at the time that young Ivan was learning science through science fiction – but the hope was serious and fearful. Huizinga was quite aware that playfulness had its dangerous side, and that the coming war would be a great, dark game; it was peace, he always said, that was the serious business.

These days, Ivan Moscovich is at peace. He lives a quiet life with his wife Anitta in west London. Within him, though, you can sense the machines within machines working, a vast inner factory of the abstract. It is hard to imagine him without them – even in the worst places the century’s history has to offer. I asked him whether his puzzling mind had helped him in Auschwitz, in Belsen; whether he had made his retreat into a private world of abstraction and pure thought.

“No. You know, it’s very difficult to explain, to understand. All of your time, all of your energy, all of your thinking is just focused on one thing: surviving.”

He did. And from the simple fact of survival he has pulled together the fragments of his life into a living inspiration for the rest of us – a puzzle worth thinking about.

Igor Goldkind writes science fiction, comics and essays, and lectures on technology and culture.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ivan_Moscovich


THE LAST WORD IS MIND


[I look in the mirror most every morning Gilad, and I wash my face when it is dirty. (sometimes I even shave ;~) Jamie, I am indeed surprised by your response to my actions in defence of my attack by David Kirke and your indirect complicity in his acts of racist assault. I am surprised because you are an intelligent individual who knows his history including the role “good Germans” played in facilitating the fascist rise to power in Europe in the 1920 and 30’s, by looking away from the blatant racism of the movement at the time and by succumbing to a sense of social propriety rather than moral duty. I am not a good German, I am a good American.] 

As promised, I am not going to continue participating in this discussion on Facebook, as I believe the very nature of this channel makes honest moral and political debate near impossible. I am pursuing my moral and legal remedies in the real world, (as is my right), the one that connects people to their actions and the consequences of their actions, not merely their opinions and ease of ‘comment’ , ‘likes’ and other such trivialities. This is the real world, Jamie, the one we both live in. I am also somewhat hurt by your dissent and rather fastidious quoting of Wikipedia’s code of contributory conduct which I still disagree with; however the fact that you would place higher value on such a code over the actions and racist utterances of David Kirke in a public place, a verbal assault that caused not just me extreme emotional upset but of the witness Simon Fineman, an actual observant Jew (unbeknownst to the Devil), who had a genuine physical reaction to his assault that required medical attention. As well as the young shop attendant who was too paralysed by shock to eject the Devil and was subsequently reprimanded by the proprietor for not ejecting David Kirke immediately and calling the police himself; which is precisely what she would have done she has informed me first hand, if she had been witness to the events I have prevously described and been described to her. 

Again, the problem with Facebook is that it give disproportionate weight to mere opinion over the weight of facts and first hand experience. None of you, none of those who have so flippantly chastised me or attempted to correct my actions and words, have EVER experienced anything close to what I did from the Devil’s own mouth, last Sunday. How dare you tell me what to do! You of all people, Jamie, who once stood shoulder to shoulder with me in the 6th grade when we were bullied by American neanderthals for having the gall to read books and do well in school. You, of all people should be standing side by side with me in standing up to this bully. 
Shame on you!

Likewise, your opinions suffer from a poverty of information. I am not going to go over this anymore and this will be my final statement on Facebook on the matter, apart from an observing statement from an American civil rights lawyer who served as witness to my police interview via SKYPE and a link to the article appearing on the front page of the Oxford Mail this weekend regarding the incident (I guess I will have to shave for the photograph, after all ;~)

The facts in answer to your chiding are as follows:
I informed the police at the onset of my interview that if in fact, David Kirke is found to be cognitively impaired or suffering from dementia that I will immediately cease all legal and public action against him if, and only if, a member of his family or his attorney assures myself and the police that he receives the proper care and medical attention his condition warrants and that there is an injuction placed on the man to prevent him from spreading his bile any further in public.

If, and only if, he is found to be corpus mentis then I am insisting on a personal apology, delivered in person from David Kirke for his words and his verbal assault. I am also going to insist that he resign from any position he may still hold in the organisation Dangerous Sports Club and any other sporting or social organization that he may be part of in Oxford or anywhere else, so that he exercises no further unsavoury influence on young people or athletes pertaining to his racist views.

Likewise, I am going to ask his family or attorney that David be mandated to attend counseling on race sensitivity so that a trained professional may steer David through his darkness, through his race hatred into a more enlightened perspective on why his actions were both morally and legally reprehensible. No, he doesn’t have to stop criticising Israel; I do it all the time; but he must learn to discern the difference between a political argument and a racist one. This is something I believe many Britiish critics of Israel and other foreign nations policies, especially those pertaining to the Muslim world, would benefit from. The British today appear to share a voluntary, mass amnesia when it comes to the history and consequences of their own colonial past and the demarkation of the Arab world imposed by their governments; which is in fact, the cause of most, if not all of the problems we face today in the Middel East. 
Shame on them!

Furthermore, (but not as a requirement for me to desist from criminal prosecution), I will invite Mr. Kriek to make a charitable donation to the Chabbat Society of Oxford whom I know first hand, to be both critical and self examining in their study of Jewish matters as well Israeli politics. They are a Jewish organization who in the best Talmic tradition critically question and self examine the premises of Juddahism, its racial identity and the politics of the Jewish state of Israel. If there is to be peace in the Middle East and freedom in Palestine, it will be through reason and through the establishment of one man (woman), one vote; the same solution applied to end the crime of apartheid in South Africa.

Ok, that’s it folks, that is my final word on the subject. You are free to contact me directly and or discreetly if you have any further questions, accusations, critiques or pressumption to assert. But as far as I am concerned this matter is closed to FB. See you in the funny papers.

 — feeling accomplished.

Photo: The last word is mine:

[I look in the mirror most every morning Gilad, and I wash my face when it is dirty. (sometimes I even shave ;~)   Jamie, I am indeed surprised by your response to my actions in defence of my attack by David Kirke and your indirect complicity in his acts of racist assault.  I am surprised because you are an intelligent individual who knows his history including the role "good Germans" played in facilitating the fascist rise to power in Europe in the 1920 and 30's, by looking away from the blatant racism of the movement at the time and by succumbing to a sense of social propriety rather than moral duty.  I am not a good German, I am a good American.] 

As promised, I am not going to continue participating in this discussion on Facebook, as I believe the very nature of this channel makes honest moral and political debate near impossible.  I am pursuing my moral and legal  remedies in the real world, (as is my right), the one that connects people to their actions and the consequences of their actions, not merely their opinions and ease of 'comment' , 'likes' and other such trivialities.  This is the real world, Jamie, the one we both live in.  I am also somewhat hurt by your dissent and rather fastidious quoting of Wikipedia's code of contributory conduct which I still disagree with; however the fact that you would place higher value on such a code over the actions and racist utterances of David Kirke in a public place, a verbal assault that caused not just me extreme emotional upset but of the witness Simon Fineman, an actual observant Jew (unbeknownst to the Devil), who had a genuine physical reaction to his assault  that required medical attention.  As well as the young shop attendant who was too paralysed by shock to eject the Devil and was subsequently reprimanded by the proprietor for not ejecting David Kirke immediately and calling the police himself; which is precisely what she would have done she has informed me first hand, if she had been witness to the events I have prevously described and been described to her.  

Again, the problem with Facebook is that it give disproportionate weight to mere opinion over the weight of facts and first hand experience.  None of you, none of those who have so flippantly chastised me or attempted to correct my actions and words, have EVER experienced anything close to what I did from the Devil's own mouth, last Sunday.  How dare you tell me what to do!  You of all people, Jamie, who once stood shoulder to shoulder with me in the 6th grade when we were bullied by American neanderthals for having the gall to read books and do well in school.  You, of all people should be standing side by side with me in standing up to this bully.  
Shame on you!

Likewise, your opinions suffer from a poverty of information.  I am not going to go over this anymore and this will be my final statement on Facebook on the matter, apart from an observing statement from an American civil rights lawyer who served as witness to my police interview via SKYPE and a link to the article appearing on the front page of the Oxford Mail this weekend regarding the incident (I guess I will have to shave for the photograph, after all ;~)

The facts in answer to your chiding are as follows:
I informed the police at the onset of my interview that if in fact, David Kirke is found to be cognitively impaired or suffering from dementia that I will immediately cease all legal and public action against him if, and only if, a member of his family or his attorney assures myself and the police that he receives the proper care and medical attention his condition warrants and that there is an injuction placed on the man to prevent him from spreading his bile any further in public.

If, and only if, he is found to be corpus mentis then I am insisting on a personal apology, delivered in person from David Kirke for his words and his verbal assault.  I am also going to insist that  he resign from any position he may still hold in the organisation Dangerous Sports Club and any other sporting or social organization that he may be part of in Oxford or anywhere else, so that he exercises no further unsavoury influence on young people or athletes pertaining to his racist views.

Likewise, I am going to ask his family or attorney that David be mandated to attend counseling on race sensitivity so that a trained professional may steer David through his darkness, through his race hatred into a more enlightened perspective on why his actions were both morally and legally reprehensible.  No, he doesn't have to stop criticising Israel; I do it all the time; but he must learn to discern the difference between a political argument and a racist one.  This is something I believe many Britiish critics of Israel and other foreign nations policies, especially those pertaining to the Muslim world, would benefit from.  The British today appear to share a voluntary, mass amnesia when it comes to the history and consequences of their own colonial past and the demarkation of the Arab world imposed by their governments; which is in fact, the cause of most, if not all of the problems we face today in the Middel East.  
Shame on them!

Furthermore, (but not as a requirement for me to desist from criminal prosecution), I will invite Mr. Kriek to make a charitable donation to the Chabbat Society of Oxford whom I know first hand, to be both critical and self examining  in their study of Jewish matters as well Israeli politics.  They are a Jewish organization who in the best Talmic tradition critically question and self examine the premises of Juddahism, its racial identity and  the politics of the Jewish state of Israel.  If there is to be peace in the Middle East and freedom in Palestine, it will be through reason and through the establishment of one man (woman), one vote; the same solution applied to end the crime of apartheid in South Africa.

Ok, that's it folks, that is my final word on the subject.  You are free to contact me directly and or discreetly if you have any further questions, accusations, critiques or pressumption to assert.  But as far as I am concerned this matter is closed to FB.  See you in the funny papers.
 

Aside

The Tweed Devil Continues to Spread His  Vile Bile

Today I had to re-edit the Wikipedia entry for David Kirke once again after my addition to, not detraction from his existing entry describing his sports accomplishments was once again removed by hands unseen.  I hearby challagne the supporter of David Kirke to engage with me directly in reference to the incident I was both witness to and the object of when David Kirke uttered his racist verbal assault on my person.  You may contact me directly on igorgoldkind@me.com to arrange a meeting on neutral ground (the pub or cafe or your choosing) in order to permit me to listen to your reasons for defending David Kirke and his utterances.  I am willing to listen to his and your side of the story with an opne mind and if in fact there has been a misunderstanding, if I have indeed misunderstood the nature of his attack, then I will gladly retract my statements on his Wikipedia entry voluntarily and withdraw my complaint to Thames Valley police.  I am an open, nonviolent rational individual and if I have been mistaken in my conclusions, I am open to reason and persuasion.  Likewise, if one of David’s family members would like to reach out to me by email and explain that David’s actions were a result of some form of cognitive impairment, I will withdraw immediately from this foray providing that responsible individuals are taking care that such an incident never happen again.  If he is capable and merely a man of ignorance then I will accpet a personal apology from him in person, not by letter as the Thames Valley police have proferred as a compromise.  This matter was deeply personal to me, in memory of my father’s personal sacrefice in fighting the anti-semitic officers of the Nazi German army during the second world war as well as his continuing sacrefice at great personal risk to combat the racism of America in denying African Americans the right to sit at all whie lunch counters and ride anywhere on a bus.  If there are those who question my “obsession with racism” it is because they do not know me very well; I am an American patriot who beleives in fighting for justice, just as my father did.  As he said to me when I was a young man, “Don’t be fooled into thinking that when we beat the Nazis, that they all just went away; on the contrary, they just changed theri uniforms”  In this instance, they exchanged their black leather boots for Oxford tweed.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Kirke_(DSC)


Video

I BELONG IN AUSCHWITZ


Poem I read at the Albion Beatnik on April 3rd, 2014


IN OXFORD, THE DEVIL WEARS TWEED TOO


David Kirke is also a highly outspoken commentator against Israel and the Jewish people, in particular. He has been witnessed at a small grocer  in Oxford, openly proclaiming how “Jews are responsbile for all the troubles in the world.” He has expressed his hatred for the Jewish people by proclaiming that  loudly asserted his hatred of Jewish people in the grocer at 2 North Parade who were customers waiting to be served during his outburstf.  Kirke is not only a proud racist and anti-semite but he appeared to be unable to function in public and  seems to have reached a state of dementia or mental illness that has compromised hisacheivements  as a bungee jumper and dangerous sports fanatic. 


Je Parle Francais Mais Pas Tres Bien


I got off the bus near the World Mart, where I needed to buy loo role, sorry, toilet paper. I bought allot of other things as well. America makes you want to buy things. In America, if you buy everything then you will be free. But only when you’ve bought Everything do you get to taste freedom. And by that time, you’re old. I leave with my Welsh back back full. But there’s a bar now attached to this grocer. I suppose the rising cost of food makes a place to drown your sorrows a commercial opportunity. I have a beer and notice that the barmaid has an accent; I try to place it. But of course! Francaise! Born in Paris but native of Avignon where my favourite Jazz festival is held. I speak in French. She, Eliza, is delighted when I put on my best Parisian argot. Thanks in part to my friend Jon Bernstein who was always better at chatting up French girls in street French than I was, when we knew each other in Paris, when I found him in bed with my girlfriend; chaste of deed but not of intention. So now my French has all come back. I have no predatory instinct for this pretty, 24 year old French elementary school teacher. I’m closer to her father in intimate exchange than any lover. Besides, I’ve grown too weary of the emotional parade to chase skirts these days; no matter how long the leg or short the skirt. I am horny for engagement: a new idea, a new vantage point, a new point of few. Sometimes I feel that Life has become a well read novel. Something I’ve read over and over.
We talk about Avignon and the red Roman curved tiles that cover all of the rooves. From a high point, looking down a Japanese sea of random curved tiles all pointing and flowing in different directions. We talk about Art and music and of course I bring up Olivia. I can speak to no one without speaking of Olivia. I know no one more extraordinary than Olivia. And those of you, reading this, that have met her, know of why I speak.
The French school Teacher’s boss gets fidgety. He doesn’t know French or of what we speak, but he sees his employee (whom he fancies), spending too much enjoyable time with one of her customers, more than the anothers.
I pay my tab and rise.
“Thanks for the beer, Eliza”. I say in English and to her young crow-haired, skinny necked manager I add “I didn’t realise you had such charming French Speaking staff; I’ll definitely be coming back just to practice my French. Perhaps you should put up a sign in Hillcrest: ‘French Spoken’. It’ll get you more customers.”
So commercial advice dispensed, I winked at Eliza and head to the glass door, the outside, my bike and the cool December wind.

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Gravity


You know, you’ve already seen the inside of your guts
looking for a way out.
You know, you’ve already seen what you’ve seen:
You know what you know.
You know the truth like an elder brother.

You know, usually right ‘there’
The last place you looked.
The last place you wanted to forget.
Your bare feet
Pasted against the concrete.
Gravity’s conquest.

Nailed through the heels
Poised,
Gracefully
On the precarious cusp
Between this death and that life.


Clay Born


The Saturday farmers market in Little Italy lines 6 or 7 blocks intersecting India Street with fruit and vegetable stalls, fresh fish and flowers, Burritos and tamales, flavoured salts, garlic presses and shimmering kitchen knife displays. It is a trajectory from the old world crossing into the new. It is here that I find myself wandering up and down the pedestrian road hunting supplies for tonight’s evening meal.

I am back in San Diego after half a lifetime at sea, sailing past foreign shores, exploring jagged islands and visiting shining cities. I have returned to San Diego because my mother no longer cares for herself and her needs are such, (fluctuating, altering day by day), that I must be on hand to administer the correct exact dosage of TLC. Tonight is my respite, a meal with friends, one old, two new. There will be wine and food and laughter. But most of all there will be the familiar comfort of intelligent conversation in American accents.

I woke up this morning not feeling well, something in my lungs was not right as if I had never bothered abandoning cigars; and my joints were aching from fights I couldn’t remember. I was out of the house under an azure sky, the brightness of the San Diego sun smiling down on me, the toy boats in the bay gliding over the silver surface of a perfect day. A Mexican girl sits with my mother, making her meals, helping her reach her walking frame. 95 is an ambition to reach and my mother has surpassed herself. She is old and blind and wandering near the exit door. As it should be, as life has meant it to be, as everything leads up to be.

There’s a chicken in my bag and some asparagus, Parmesan, olive oil, smoked paprika; all the ingredients I have gathered from my travels I have brought back to my port of origin to cook a meal in a present gathered with two hands, from the past.

My foot falters, the bag weighs down; my hand reaches my wet face covered in sweat. I wipe my brow. I am feeling worse. I must find some soup, a stall ahead has soup and I zigzag across the market looking for soup. I am on a quest for soup.

It’s 2 o’clock and the stalls are packing up, I look down from the top of the market and see the entire world receding from me as it folds up for another day and I’ve only finished half my shopping.

I’m walking down the incline now, rolling up the market like a colorfull rug. The soup stand is gone, it’s disappeared into tomorrow. I stop and stagger onto India Street, all hope of soup abandoned. My head is boiling hot, my ears tingling. The road is swimming with Italian fishermen. I turn on India and giggle. There’s only home to get to now. Home and a bed and a duvet to sweat under. My private lodge. There went my dinner plans, I must call my friends and cancel. Cancel my respite.

And then I remember the clay. The clay I had promised my mother.

Yesterday, she had complained to me of boredom.
Day after day of waking, coffee, lunch, dinner and bed with no easel to set up. No tubes to squeeze, no palate to mix, no brushes to wash, no canvass to stretch. No image to dredge from her mind to the surface of the world. Her boredom was her prison and I suggested I might bring her some modelling clay, something she could use to fashion toy figures for her grandchildren. My mother approved the idea and my mission was set. Somewhere on India Street is an arts supply store filled with paints and canvasses, watercolours, pastels, charcoals and erasers and of course modelling clay. The right mix of magic I needed. But not just any modelling clay would suffice. What I needed was red clay; clay, the colour of blood and earth. Not dark earth, not rich, fertile mulch but paler, redder, coarser mixed with ash and sand. The colour of flesh covering tendon and muscle. It was this clay that when fired adorned the kitchen tables of a thousand homes; terra cotta—-the colour of the earth’s flesh.

Now my legs are shore leave sailors propping me up the avenue, as I look for a bar to lean on. My head is on fire and my ears are singed by the flames of hell. I’ve lost my way on India Street. But my mission is clay and missions are the source of all courage and strength. I see the word ‘Art’ painted garrishly on the large front window of a store: The Art of the Masquerade. Surely, if they know Art they will know where the source of art lies! I push in the glass door that tinkles the silver bells that hang down the other side, the other side of the door I am opening. My entrance is immediately met by the face of an angel. The girl behind the counter by the door is a vision of Italian beauty, poised pale arms, a waterfall of chestnut curls overflows her shoulders. She is wearing a Comedia del Arte Masque across her eyes. I imagine, to amuse her customers. But she fixes me with her eyes and her blood swollen lips smile carnivorously at me. I know now that I have passed into the other world. But as I said before, my mission makes me bold. “Do you know of an Art supply store, somewhere along this street”?

The masked creature curls her red lips even more and sucks the air in sharply as if I had just suggested a seditious seduction. Strange Love and her eyes dance behind her masque. She speaks with Sophia Loren’s voice and says: “Just two more blocks down on your left; not too much further to go.”
I must look like I’ve already come a long ways. I turn away from her eyes and her red lips, thanking her and push open the door to hear her voice following my back : “Of course, you are always most welcome”.

Now India street has become a river, the breeze blows ripples in my field of vision. The other pedestrians lean in and bend to the wind, Lowry-like stick figures passing on my left and my right. This is a street like any street, a path paved by the footsteps that preceded mine. An every street, in every city, in every country, everywhere. India street in a Little Italy swollen so large that I am just a speck , a buoy bouncing on the surface of its whimsy. And then I find my port.

I push the glass double doors of the art store open and walk into the early 1960’s.

The floor is a speckled, yellowed linoleum, the wooden counters, the walls, the shelves stretching beyond my horizon, cemented in another time and place. I walk past the sales counter where a silver haired man smilingly takes change from a customer; he moves in a subtle way that I notice, he lives in another world. I walk into the belly of the store. I see a young, dark haired man arranging items on a shelf who looks passably human. My ears are burning, hellfire licks my cheeks and I see little, twinkling twists of light hovering around my periphial sight. Faery lights, angels or tiny floating demons; they are chattering to each other as they bob and bounce around. I ignore them. “Excuse me, can you tell me where you keep your modelling clay?”
The human boy nods and points “Follow the green aisle down all the way to the end, then take the final flight of stairs to the next level”. I say ‘Thank you’ while wondering if his instruction might double as a cheat to some computer game.

I follow the green aisle and reach the stairs. My legs have now been transformed into lead by the dark magic of this place. But my mission pulls me up the steps and I reach the aisle and the shelf with the clay, just where I had been told it would be. Just a little further. I look for red clay and find a 4 pound box and then I stop. Next to the box of red clay I have been hunting is another 4 pound box of red clay, in a different box, for one dollar more. I hesitate, I read the labels on both boxes. They are identical, so why is one box one dollar more? I take the cheaper box, but what if I’m overlooking the value of the one dollar more? Which box should I choose? And then the light comes on and I am enlightened: this choice is not more freedom, this is merely more confusion. I pick up both boxes, grab a handful of palate knives and descend to the sales counter in triumph.

The silver haired devil is older than me, with close cropped hair, a stud in one ear and a well groomed demeanour. He smiles at me and I think that he seems pleasant enough for a demon of the underworld. I speak to him directly although his details are by now, bleeding into the background and my periphial is intruding into my focus. “Can you tell me please, what is the difference between these two boxes of red clay? They seem identical to me but one is a buck more than the other…am I missing something…?”
I steady myself with my hand on the counter and I wonder if I appear drunk. The demon doesn’t seem to notice, conscientiously leans over both boxes and unbegrudgedly begins reading the packaging. Just a little bit further and then I am gone. The store, the silver haired demon, the floor have vanished.

I am in my grandfather’s workshop. The heat is coming from the wood fire heating the cauldron of bubbling beeswax he uses for casting molds. I breath in the familiar sickly sweet smell of bubbling bees wax. I’m standing on the concrete floor covered with plaster of Paris dust ‘Jesso’ he calls it. My grandfather stands behind a giant slab of granite, chisel and hammer in hand. His pale horn-rimmed glasses cover his concentrated squint and he taps the chisel carefully with his hammer. Chink-chink-chink. The music of the universe toiling. My mother, my young, beautiful mother stands beside him and when I see her, she sees me; she looks and smiles her seeing smile at me. She leaves her father’s side and comes closer. In one hand she carries a stool she places in front of me. Her eyes so bright, burning like a million suns set in the midnight firmament, smiling down on my upturned face, the pure unconditional love of an eternal mother for her child; the love that moves the earth, that spins galaxies; the love so immense, so encompassing that the universe must keep expanding just to accomodate it. She touches my cheek with one hand and places a mound of red clay on the stool in front of me with the other. She takes my tiny hands in both hers and pushes them into the cool, wet clay. I am mesmerised. She is Prometheus and she has come to make me a man. She lets me feel the clay squeeze between my fingers and I am kneading, I am squeezing, I am kneading the flesh colour earth in the rhythm that she shows me. And her eyes, a million suns are shining on me.

I am back in the art store and the silver haired demon is speaking to me. “There really isn’t any difference I can see, just different companies. Although this…” , he gestures to my first choice, “doesn’t set until the clay is fired”.
I think of my mother’s increasing dementia, a stone rolling down a hill and her forgetfulness. She’ll forget to wrap the clay back in plastic, letting it dry out, wrinkle and crack before it’s finally formed. I choose my first choice. “Thank you”
I say. The demon smiles benignly and tallies the clay and the palate knives onto the 60’s cash register. “I appreciate your help”‘
I continue. “It’s not for me, it’s kind of art therapy for an elderly artist”.
The silver hair smiles “That’s nice”.
Shutup.
“Yes, well she 95 now and she can’t really see”.
Shut up Igor. Shut up . It’s too late, I’m a runaway train. “She used to paint allot, and sculpt and make stained glass windows. Her whole life she’s worked.”
Shut up! shut up! shut up! “But she can’t see anymore because of the Glaucoma she didn’t treat in time and see, I wasn’t around, I was in England and I couldn’t take her to the eye doctor and now she’s half blind because they didn’t treat it in time. I mean, I didn’t know and she always does things her way…”
And now the runaway train crashes in the middle of the art store sending everything flying. And I am melting as the tears stream down my face and form droplets on the wooden counter and I can’t stop talking, please stop talking! “She’s bored now because she has no work to do and she can’t see to paint so I thought if I got her this clay that she could see with her fingers and make something to keep her busy, to keep her alive, like some toys for her grandchildren, little red clay toys I could fire for her”.
And I can’t stop crying but I do stop talking and I stare at the silver haired man and I know everyone is looking at me and then I just say “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m so sorry”.
The demon who is really a man looks at me and leans forward and quietly puts his arms around me and just holds me. And I sob and I sob and I keep saying “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m so sorry”. And the man holds me until I stop sobbing and I straighten up and rub my eyes and the demon hands me a tissue with my change with which I wipe my eyes and blow my nose. He catches my flitting, avoiding eyes and says. “There’s nothing more you need to say”.
I grasp my bag of red clay and walk back out into the clear, azure day.


The Sedition of Words


There is a sign post on the cross roads I’m standing at.

This is a pause in transitions.

A lingering in the corridor before turning the handle of a door with a strangely morphing symbol on it.

A sharp intake of breath, a quick check of watch, phone, keys and I step forward, across a threshold into an empty room

Change is a process, a movement of energy and matter from familiar shapes to less familiar ones that gradually regain familiarity.  Things go out (of focus) and then come back in (to focus).

Events are the signposts I use to orient my position within the transition.

When you’re hiking in the woods, you look up at the patterns of the tree leaves; at night you use the stars as a compass and in cities day or night, there are street signs, Googlemaps and the answers to questions you ask strangers.

The events I know are first, we have successfully launched the new website for SUBVERSIONfactory, the portfolio of digital arts projects I’ve been carrying around from office to office, down dark corridors into gaping boardrooms and secret smoking whiskey bars. Image It’s now a transparent incubator of eggs under glass. Possibly alien. Possibly earthborn. Where visitors can watch chickens being born, pecking their way out of their perfect oval containers, spitting fragments; where visitors can witness the slow progress of development, like clock hands or sands escaping an hour glass, as we add layers on layers of assets, and chocolate frostings and conjure flesh out of concepts, collectively having orgiastic brainstorms while welcoming new shipmates along for the ride. 
We are also openly and candidly asking for help, for financial sponsorship from our supporters who can see the raw value of what we are trying to do and would like us to carry on creating, producing, subverting.  By paying-forwards for projects, our sponsors receive not only a copy of the work upon completion but become collaborators in its development.

Now is the time for direct distribution, where our audience are our co-producers.

We are mainly asking for your sponsorship to fund the next stage of each projects development; mainly consisting of a working prototype.  

Come and take a look and express your interest with your sponsorship.

There are many other transitions.

Tomorrow I take a plane to California with my daughter.

I will be flying to San Diego to the rehabilitation facility at Pacific RegentsImagerehabilitation facility where my mother is recovering from surgery.  Born on September 28th, 1919 she’s the first artist I ever knew; the first woman I ever met; the first person I’ve ever known.  Born in San Jose, Costa Rica, at age 20 she won her country’s national award for painting, which consisted of an all expenses paid 3 month tour of post world II European art centres in Italy, France and Spain.  In Spain, she attended the student workshop of resident artist Salvador Dali.  She took in the Paris art scene and upon her return, joined her older brother the sculptor Francisco Zuniga, in Mexico City where he was literally carving out a living working for the state casting national monuments.ImageIt was an exciting time to be in Mexico City where my uncle, Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, Tamayo and others were busy reinventing Latin American art in the bright tropical light of indigenous magical realism; while down the road in Cuernivaca Che and Fidel were drinking rumand planning the Cuban revolution.  
It was a time of militant politics running headlong into radical art.
There was music in the cafes at night and revolution in the air.

A time I could always almost taste on the tip of my tongue.

My mother eventually returned to Costa Rica to continue her painting career where she met my father, an anthropology graduate student researching his pHd in contemporary Mayan culture.   He met her at an art gallery where she was exhibiting and tried to impress her with his naive commentary on the artist’s work, not knowing to whom he was speaking.  My father’s Spanish was acquired from his work in rural indigenous villages in both Chiapas and Costa Rica, a Spanish considered coarse and vulgar by the European smitten Costa Ricans.  

But my mother took pity on my father and tried to teach him to improve his Spanish before meeting her father, a mason and a sculptor of religious figures for churches and tombstones.  When I visited his workshop as a boy, I recall the shelves and shelves of busts of Kennedy; as if the trophies of some tribe of Presidential head hunters.

My mother was diagnosed with advanced dementia last year as a result of Alzeimers.  

I flew to see her last year to try and arrange her assistance at least in house and she promptly called the police to have me arrested.  She insisted to the police when they did arrive that I was an imposter. “He doesn’t even live in this country”, she kept repeating to them.  This year her friend who had been looking after her fell and lapsed into a coma.  So I have been managing her condition remotely  with the help of Coronado Elderly Homecare.    

She was admitted for surgery 2 weeks ago and the young ortheopedic surgeon who telephoned me before wheeling her into the theatre (why do they call it theatre; becuse there are curtains?), explained to me soberly what her odds of surviving surgery were.  But she went with the odds and is now recovering. My phone conversations with her have been frequent of late, however I am visiting her at different points of time in her life.

This has begun to make me understand that life is not made up of a linear narrative; a sequence of A, B and ending in C. Rather we are comprised of constellations of events, peak intensities of experiences that have formed the core, the shape, the consistency of who we see when we look in the mirror. It is the cluster of our intensities that tell us who we are; not age or time frame but the vertical imprints of Being.  Sometimes she thinks I am away at college, others that she’s flying to see me.

I am flying with my daughter tomorrow so that she can say goodbye to my mother.

I will stay with her for as long as she needs me.

In the meantime, I will be taking my daughter north to Berkeley so that she can spend an American Halloween with her cousins, my young sister’s children.

On Halloween day I will be dropping in on an old, mad acquantance Liam Sharp at the new Madefire headquarters.  

Apart from catching up,  we hope to advance the development of  graphic narratives taken from our project The Village of Lights on the Madefire Motion Books platform.  More news about this when it happens!

When I return to San Diego after Halloween, my daughter will be flying back to England on her own to go back to school.  I never believed I would ever say that my daughter could be flying anywhere on her own, but she’s a mature 14 year old now and with the passage of time comes growth in equal measure to decay.

I will be setting up to work from California for the unforeseeable future.  San Diego for as long as my mother is alive but also LA and San Francisco, and New York the City of Lights that spear the sky.  
I look forwards to be working  on some projects with Mike Towry of the San Diego Comics Festival that involve some creative artists and writers as well as furthering development on the SUBVERSIONfactory portfolio.  I am also going to be puttng my 15+ years of IT experience to work on offering some European finesse to some American technology projects.

I am also looking forward to working with San Diego State University in furthering my longer term  objectives of advancing learning through the arts of story-telling, art and technology; as well as the UCSD based Arthur C. Clarke Centre for Human Imagination. Image 

I will continue posting more personal and professional information on this blog on my re-entry into California, the progress of the SUBVERSIONfactory, my work with the San Diego Comics Festival and my new focus on revisiting producing my own work  that bridges art, storytelling and technology.

Stay in tune.

 

 

 

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Connecting with the Moon


Or at least trying to bridge the distance between the idea and the realisation.
After some 18 months of delays, of false trails, of chasing money, of broken promises, false despairs, scavanging in piles of rubbish, wearing grins like funeral masques and trying not to come to the conclusion that everyone everywhere is willing to say anything, for money and/or attention, we’re finally getting to the point where I can launch the SUBVERSIONfactory website and pronounce the projects I’ve been carrying around in a threadbare portfolio for the past couple of years.

Nearly there, but not quite yet.

This is the pronouncement before the announcement.

Stay tuned.

photo by Tiina Komulainen


Re:Birth


I’m been asked to revitalise, rekindle, spark up this blog again by several followers of by Face Time running commentaries.  I had thought that this corner of hypervirtuality was virtually ignored but in response to a slight demand, I’m testing the waters.  If you follow this blog and would gain something from my relighting the pyre of my regular comments regarding sex, money, politics, digital media and th impact of changing technologies on psychological and social identities, please jest add a ‘Y’ vote below.  I’m curious to know if there’s an echo in this room.

 

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Ontologies in Philosophy and Computer Science


Ontologies in Philosophy and Computer Science.


Link

Ontologies in Philosophy and Computer Science


Ontologies in Philosophy and Computer Science


Lectures on Art, Technology and Intelligence:


8 Part Lecture Series for Exeter College, Oxford University

 The Plasticity of Narrative Thinking

 Life as Literature: thinking in narrative forms

Today the convergence of technology with virtually every form of human activity, be it in work, education or recreation has made a dramatic impact in shaping not only how we use our tools but how our tools shape our sense of what we produce, what we learn and how we play. 

 Human beings are the masters of tool making and tool shaping.  But we have reached the point where our use of technology is so sophisticated and intimately connected to almost every walk of life that we may be too close to be aware of how our tools have become to shape us.  Like the proverbial fish in the bowl, the last thing we notice about our environments is the water we’re swimming in. 

The ways in which technology has developed to adapt to our needs and to actualize our aspirations reveals allot about our creative imagination. At the same time, the devices of art and storytelling do much to determine the direction the development of our technologies take; something any Star Trek or Doctor Who fan can attest to.

It is at the interface of this convergence that we find the lines between the arts and technology bluring.  It is human intelligence that fuels our means of expression, communication and computation as well as the content that is being expressed, communicated and computed.

 We have already entered the era of the data driven society wherein components of our identities and the actions that we take are spread out over networks of interlacing data structures that comprise a computational reality of who we are as consequential as our own flesh and blood.  More and more of our daily activities at work, in learning and at play exist within a computational framework; recording and measuring not only our intentions and our actions, but also our outcomes.

 These lectures will trace the recent history of convergence in the popular arts such as film, animation, comics and games with computational and communications technology such as artificial intelligence, augmented reality and network media as well as exploring the resulting influences each has had on the other.

We will look at game design not just as an industrial process but also as emerging sensibility whose structures and concerns have influenced education and training.  Likewise we will explore the nature of storytelling in examining how technology has prompted multiple threads, computational narratives enabling us to see accounts as faceted perspectives of experience.  Understanding character as vantage point and understanding the multitude of possibilities that exist between intent and action, before a choice is made.

We will look at the evolution of the image as representational document in photography, film and in art.  Tracing the threads of intent behind portraiture and landscape through photography, film and digital art and how technology has altered our sense of record, depiction and fabrication.

Finally, we will look predictively at the path this convergence is laying for us in the future.  How will we account for the realities we are living in the age of the computational society?

Biography:

Igor Goldkind has over 20 years experience as a digital innovator, producer and strategist having worked in the sector since the early 90’s. He has extensive experience in project management, as well as explaining complex technologies to decision makers. He set up one of the first digital media companies in the UK that developed some of the first publishing websites. Igor Goldkind later became an early evangelist for new digital media and the Internet as a marketing and communications platform, project managing some of the first publishing websites and then ‘Signa Internet Strategies, the UK’s first SEO Company’ In 2008 he consulted and project managed semantic web development for the University of Oxford and the Stockholm Environment Institute.

 He has pitched and presented project at board level, working with the senior management of both private and public organisations to derive digital solutions that achieve commercial results and build digital brands.  Including successful projects for Oxford University Press board of governors, Nicholas Serota, director of the Tate Modern, the Swiss Foreign Minister and Ambassador to the UK, the board of Christian Aid, Eurostar, Pearson, Usborne Books and other blue chip clients.  

In 2011 he was appointed Creative Director for a Liverpool University incubator named SUBVERSION developing comics and SF based digital entertainment products for tablets and mobile platforms.  He is also involved in the development of artificial intelligence narrative generation for drama and storytelling


Dante’s Internal


In the middle of the journey of our life
I found myself in a dark wood,tumblr_mby12zqG3S1r6kh2uo1_1280
for the straight way was lost.
Ah how hard to say what a harsh
thing was
that wood savage and rough and hard
that to think about it renews the fear!

And so begins one of the great travel logs of Occidental literature and art; for its inspiration gave flight to illustrative description as much as Dante’s own poetry. And the journey of course was into the deepest recesses of the medieval mind; descent into a maelstrom of god fearing terrors of the flesh and spirit. For as much as Dante aspired to the lofty heights of classical heavens; it was the depths of hell that bore the real fruit of imagination. As always, virtues described rather than lived are always boring; whereas the twisted irony of our regretted and guilt-ladden sins are what come to sting us worse than any blessing from above could possibly remedy.
It is along the path of self-judgement that we find a cause for justice to bestow meaning.
It is when we hold our actions up to reflection, that mindful mirror, that we find pause in contemplation of our own mortality. Our thirst for the eternal draws one mirror to face another and in that self-reflection we find judgment and meaning. For only in front of that burning mirror can we truly see ourselves as we see others. Dore-Inferno
And when we gaze into our own clear faces, undistorted by the imperfections, the agitation on the surface of our reflection , when we look past our own harsh judgements, stop playing God and start playing ‘Man’, we see straight into the eyes of others where recognition is awaiting our discovery.

But it is a long journey for the imaginative and for those whose feet are tired from the long journey they took just to get here, to the edge of the darkening wood. The naive and innocent are fleeter of foot when it comes to an inner journey. Those who only see the rays of golden light with every dawn and every setting sun are most likely to pass undissuaded by the obstacles wiser souls place in front of themselves.


Where Childhood Ends


connecticut-shooting-first-graders

The first word that enters my head is Complicity
Pulling a lazy duvet over my daughter’s restless legs,
Positioning a laptop to watch the Simpsons on Hulu,
The default BBC website interrupts our yellow plans with screams of murder from Connect-it-cut.
‘Why did he shoot such young children, daddy?
They didn’t know’.
Why don’t my Internet filters work on reality?
Why does life always deal a hand that’s a million times worse than what we could ever imagine
we would need protect our children from?
If we can protect them.
If only we could protect them.

The guns are easy.
We built them so we could sell them.
We stole ancient lies from stone-eyed tablets to justify the money we made.
We held them high over the poor losers heads itching to bring them down hard and shouted

‘See! I have the right! I hold the right!
I am the right!”
‘You are the weak and you are the wrong’.

We never counted on our son’s black dog with the white face.
We never thought that if we fed him just a little that he would follow our son home.
And curl up to sleep at the foot of his bed;
licking his face at night while he dreamt of missing school.
Licking the salt, licking the sanity from his face,
until there was none left.

We never thought that if we trained him,
if we taught him how to shoot,
how to focus on positive aims,
how to meet his targets successfully that eventually,
inevitably, sadly and eventually and inevitably,
he would mislay his targets and bring the bullets home.
While his black dog with the white face reared up on his haunches and smiled.

Who drove the car, the dog or the boy?
It doesn’t matter, we are on a final mission;
We are your children and we are ready for the evening news.


Rhetoric and Rationale


I am sometimes frustrated by the presumptions that are made in these forums that there are underlying requirements or criteria to posting on FB; there are none.  I use FB mainly to procrastinate, point out odd things I see, keep informal dialogues and discussions with remote friends, underline political injustices that I often feel I can do little about but complain. (like the British government which is currently  the quintessential definition of injustice), and occasionally, when inspired by another voice, practice sketching with text.  Illustrating emotions as they emerge from, merge into and transform ideas.  I am attracted to the media of language as it encompasses and conveys the rational, the abstract and the emotive. All in an utterance and tiny shapes on a screen.   I can paint a portrait of a person, a landscape, an event, an anecdote.  I can vent my anger against the petty powers that be, shake my fist at the infinite, fixate on a falling leaf, make love, make a joke, contemplate a blade of grass or the iris of a flower.  And in using my palate, I know another will see what I see, hear what I hear and even feel what I feel and when they do somehow the moment of my awareness becomes  real, crystalised in the recognition of another.  the tree falls and thunders though the forest: ‘I exist, I exist,  I exist’!  


Why I Hate Kindles


Ok, just for the sake of an argument: The format by which we access shapes the content. The easiest example is the difference between seeing a film in a cinema (projected and reflected light) and watching a film on a TV or LED screen. That 700-year-old artifact called a book has been shaping the intake of our knowledge for as long in subtle ways that nonetheless include the reader in continuity across language and genre with other readers down the centuries. Books are often personalised objects that anchor us within the experience of what we have read. They are also objects of legacy, often handed down from previous generations or gifted. They are objects as events imbedded with emotive resonance. The flaw of an electronic book is that it is so easy not to read; to begin and skim and never finish while still delivering the affect of ‘having read’ the work. A book has physical pages that must be turned, bookmarked or dog-eared. We know instinctively before we think about it whether or not we’ve ‘read that book’, started to read that book, ever finished that book or need to finish ‘that book’. That’s lost in a Kindle, iPod-like portable library. Sure, you can think about whether or not you’ve actually read or finished that work; but it doesn’t provide the same visceral certainty a volume does. Also, the intimate subjectivity of the reading is diminished; wherever you took that book to read it. Kindles are not objects that engender the same subjective intimacy. They are electronic, plugged in, recharged and interchangeable. It is the loss of the value of the artifact that I regret the smell of paper, glue and sometimes leather, which are the book’s ‘platform’ for my senses. I’ve got nothing against Kindles, although like screens their delivery of direct light to my retina is not natural and does physically limit the amount of time I spend reading on screen. Unlike a book, which I can cheerfully read from tactile cover to cover in one sitting and close with the incomparable feeling of satisfaction of the completion its author intended. I rest my case ;~)


Image

The Brain is a series of interlocking fists


The Brain is a series of interlocking fists


Paul Krassner


paulkrassner.com

via Paul Krassner.


Stirring the Embers


Blow on a dead man’s embers and a live flame will start. ~Robert Graves

Nothing is ever really lost, nor can be lost,
No birth, identity, form; no object of the world.
Nor life, nor force, nor any visible thing;
Appearance must not foil, nor shifted sphere confuse thy brain.
Ample are time and space; ample the fields of Nature.
The body, sluggish, aged, cold; the embers left from earlier fires,
The light in the eye grown dim, shall duly flame again;  ~ Walt Witman

It’s a funny thing about life: if you refuse to accept anything but the best, you very often get it.
~W. Somerset Maugham

It is with a handful of scattered quotes that I start this monologue.  Having reached into the ashes of failed plans, charred expectations and grey dusted aspiration, I clutch at a  few kernels of hope only to feel the embers burning  my palm.  This is an act of sedition.  A refusal to bow down, to resign to the practical, to lower my head in surrender to  the powers that be.

Instead I will cup my hands, blow on these embers and see what new flame will come to life. 

 


This is New


This is a new blog started primarily to follow a continuity.  To follow a pattern from one thread through many threads to another.  Like knitting, the pattern may be intended and precisely followed but the actual motion of the threads, the ins and the outs, the overs and unders, go through their own patterns.  Patterns of necessity.  These patterns are absorbed by our intentions.  By the time we are through the finished item may bear little or no resemblance to the original pattern of intention.  However this record, this tracing of threads will definitely show us how we got there.  To the end result.   There’s a bread crumb trail and if we trust the birds we can like good hansals and gretals find our way back through the dark forest we’ve been walking through.

This blog will ramble.

It will stumble over stones, trip over dead roots, splash over unseen streams.

It will take a break and lie still on the cool mossy ground to stare at the light  filtering down through cathedral trees.

And wonder at the bright gaps of blue way up there, where the sunlight slides down from and whether or not a passing cloud might give us a lift out of the trees shadows, take us somewhere in the same direction but well beyond where we would go.

We will get to our knees and leverage ourselves up with our hands.

And we will keep on walking.

Here we go.


SUBVERt


…art is something subversive.  It’s something that should not be free.  Art and liberty, like the fire of Prometheus, are things that one must steal, to be used against the established order.  



…why did Plato say that poets should be chased out of the republic?  Precisely because every poet and every artist is an antisocial being.  He’s not that way because he wants to be; he can’t be any other way…. and if he really is an artist it is in his nature not to want to be admitted, because if he is admitted it can only mean he is doing something which is understood, approved, and therefore old hat – worthless.  Anything new, anything worth doing, can’t be recognized.  

…the right to free expression is something one seizes, not something one is given…. if it does exist, it exists to be used against the established order…. There is absolute opposition between the artist and the state. 

So there’s only one tactic for the state:  kill the seers.

Pablo Picasso (1881 – 1973)