Probably one of the only parts of a dream I'll post here

This is probably one of the only parts of a dream I’ll ever post here, and I’m only posting it because it was so stupid.

I had it a couple of weeks ago when I’d caught some bug and was very nauseous for a few days but not throwing up. I wished I would throw up and get over it, that’s how yucky I felt.

That’s real life.

So I have this dream where I run to the bathroom and throw up and I felt so relieved, now I was going to feel better, except then some women janitors came in and were mad at me about it. Then the dream became kind of like “The Truman Show” but not. Had a same kind of feel as an early part in the Trueman show. One of those dreams where you’re stuck in the cycle of something happening over and over again, only I was witnessing it more than living it. And it turned into, over and over again, George Peppard, playing Truman Capote, going to a second floor window (I was watching from outside) and waving down at a car, and it was like a house and somehow also like the fake sky wall at the end of the Truman show, and then he’d run down and hop in a car to go with some friends to a party. And up above him in the wall part of the sky, on a kind of walk, was the real Trueman Capote looking over all this going on and after Peppard left then he’d go to his own parties that were like duplicates of the George Peppard-as-Trueman parties, except the Peppard-as-Trueman parties were like movies that came before Truman celebrating the success of those movie parties at his own parallel world parties.

It is weird when you dream of parallel worlds and George Peppard-as-Truman Capote resides in one and the real Capote resides in the other peering down on George Peppard playing like he really is Truman Capote because he does think he is him. The premise isn’t weird but the brain communicating via Truman Capote and George Peppard is.

In the end, I ended up getting in the car to go to the party. I woke up with the impression it was an old Ford Torino. We drove by a dream carnival that I’ve dreamt about maybe three times in my life, the last time over ten years ago at least. In the dream itself, I recognized the carnival from that last dream. I am usually on a trip on the dream when I pass by this purely dream carnival. It is always nearly empty.

Gossip, media, the rich, the poor

Until a few months ago I paid no attention to the gossip-papers-look-at-the-rich-and-famous side of the internet. Why should I pay attention when I’d not pre internet? Then one day I realized that this really was big business and that people who would perhaps never have looked at gossip sheets in the aisles of the grocery stores, too shame-faced to do so publicly, could be all over the gossip news on the internet. Plus, in the meanwhile, the internet and its blogs had made gossip kind-of-legitimate. Lots and lots of good color photos, I think, helped. The Enquirer couldn’t exactly boast good color on the news stands. Its air was that of the morgue. As for magazines like People and Us, yeah, those were popular, I guess. Well, I know they were popular. I’m just not familiar. But I imagine they also had the feel of archived news by the time they hit the stands. News that was still kind of alive and breathing but definitely for the album. Did and do they do candids? I don’t know. The internet loves its candids alongside the approved prints.

A few months ago I started looking at a few of these gossip blogs, curious about the phenomena. Some I looked at for a short enough while to decide the comments were too repulsive to continue scanning. So I looked for some to gossip blogs that were popular but less repugnant. Because I was interested in this huge acceptance of celeb gossip news and celebration of the rich. I wanted to read for a while what these bloggers were saying, how they presented the information, and I wanted to sift the comments and see what the milling populace had to remark.

I’m no researcher but the circus has a very Depression era feel to it, when women by the thousands swooned to Valentino. And I guess it should have a depression era feel to it, considering that these days the spread of wealth is back to as it was in the Roaring 20s. There are a number of aspects to take into account, such as the media’s part in selling and the part of PR (even bad news keeps your name afloat and making money), but then there is also the response of the public. And it seems to me that if you don’t have the money then the next best thing is adulating the aristocracy and vicariously living rich with every scrumptious bite of the media gossip meal. Clothes, houses, the romance of the ability to make seemingly big choices and do seemingly big things. One would think instead this disparity would result in outrage over the economic divide (and you do see some outrage expressed in vulgar comments that make the commentators seem gluttonous for more big rich news so they can vent some really revolting bile which seems more a matter of loving to wreck free-wheeling abusiveness anonymously online) but instead it seems to foster an acceptance of and assumed righteousness of the economic divide, just as there are people who really do believe that there is A Most Beautiful Woman In The World and That Woman Is She. Not only does it foster acceptance of that righteousness of the economic divide, granting a privilege of vicarious experience it casts a peculiar dust of wealth on those who have not. Middle Class individuals are able to make select choices, from that dusty menu, of how they’d like to resemble the wealthy, and pursue those choices. While those who Really Don’t Have end up even more despised, not just financially but in that sordid moral way that counts Those Obviously Without as less than human, which leaves them scrambling to find any small way that they can to emulate the Middle Class for sake of self-esteem and in order not to be so obviously without that they hope to not be immediately pegged as having No Value Whatsoever except as menial labor. Even though it’s nice to be wanted for the work force, it’s nice, after all, just to feel accepted as an individual with your own special eye on the world.

Of course it’s nicer to be wanted for the work force in a way that pays you legitimate money that will make you self-supporting, because the work force that has to beg for salaries that will adequately meet their needs translates into many viewing them as a subhuman work force that has to beg because they’re not worth anything.

Certainly not worth what the Most Beautiful Woman in The World is getting. Or The Most Beautiful Man.

Trickster Fire and the Birth of Knowledge

My first and perhaps only attempt to make fire without virtue of a modern appliance such as matches was probably when I was around eight years of age and likely had to do with a show or a movie I’d seen on television or can be blamed on the Camp Fire girls manual, an organization to which I belonged first as a seven-year-old Bluebird and then for about a year as a grown up Camp Fire girl, and if you are puzzled by that statement then you have never been a seven-year-old Bluebird. As I was a good girl with a healthy fear of accidental arson and didn’t go around making fire with the aid of modern appliances when I was younger, then it may very well be that this was my first attempt with fire at all. And, as I was a good girl and cautious about things like that, it’s curious I don’t recollect an adult being involved, which means a movie or television show or the Camp Fire girl manual had convinced me that though matches were verboten, the attempt at proving myself a full-fledged human being with intellectual command over sticks and brush in brewing a flame was only natural, as I was human.

I knew rubbing two sticks together was supposed to do the trick, if you could rub them hard and long enough to evoke a spark that might fall to carefully mounded brush and ignite it with some blowing. Adults and children did it in movies. Certainly, it couldn’t be that hard. Early man possessed fire so command of that elemental force wouldn’t be that hard for a twentieth century girl who belonged to a cars and toasters world cooked up by complex chemistry. Whatever early humans could do, I could do better. At least I think those were my thoughts, but I believe I also may have had within me a healthy amount of doubt as to my ability, fire after all being mysterious even to a twentieth century girl, which was why that first attempt at making one au naturale felt like a momentous, almost sacred occasion.

A matter of decision.

I shall make fire with my own two hands and two sticks.

In the movies, one stick was always braced on the ground and the second rubbed furiously over it crosswise, giving the impression that the braced stick was the mother of the spark and the rubbing stick was in inviolate tool, which confused me as they were both wood so why couldn’t the rubbing stick give the first spark? Whatever, I braced the larger stick and dutifully rubbed the second, smaller stick against it. And I rubbed and I rubbed and I rubbed. I rubbed so hard my hands hurt, and rubbed some more. Every so often I’d stop to feel the point where I was struggling to rub those two sticks together, though they kept slipping. Was it hot? Was it even warm? In the movies, two sticks rubbed together made a fire pretty quickly, so why was nothing happening? Or had fire been about to happen but my stopping to check for heat ruined the effort? Back to rubbing and rubbing the sticks, but my raw hands were going to catch fire before those sticks produced any spark. When I stopped, I was no longer the master of my fate, confidant in human intelligence alone being enough to wrest a person, in the space of a life time, out of the primal mud into even a homely, wooden rocking chair beside a brick hearth.

Around that time, I also tried banging rocks together with the idea of breaking them down and forming a crude tool, an effort which was, again, only demeaning and made me finally scared that if and when one did shatter I might lose an eye to a flying shard.

A little later came another experiment with paper and a magnifying glass that did work, which it was going to in the desert with the summer sun beating down over your head. But it didn’t count because glass was a modern convenience.

I couldn’t break rocks and make a simple tool. I couldn’t make fire. I could read and write and do rudimentary math so what the hell did it mean about human beings that one could ably read a book, a supposedly higher intellectual task, but not be able to make fire, which I’d been led to believe was a taken-for-granted birthright of those with two legs and thumbs? What did it mean that the best tool I could manage to make with my own two hands was a gnawed down stick when I’d been taught that we far surpassed Stone Age peoples in intelligence?

Notes on “Cimarron”

Not too too long ago we happened to catch on television the 1931 “Cimarron”, based on a popular book by Edna Ferber which romanticized the opening of Oklahoma Indian Territory to white settlement, her characters migrating from Wichita Kansas to the Osage, Oklahoma, obviously a fictitious rendering of Pawhuska. I’ve not read the book but in the movie we have the hero, Yancey Cravat, losing the land he desired to a woman who will become the town’s prime-interest prostitute, and having lost that land he takes his wife and settles in Pawhuska (if I remember correctly, Pawhuska is mentioned in the movie) becoming a newspaper editor. However, pioneer wanderlust is the main ingredient of his adventurer blood, and not-too-eventually he disappears, becoming a myth of a man, while his reluctant wife takes on the newspaper, builds it up, and at the apparent acme of the area’s remarkable oil boom becomes some sort of government representative.

I’ve since read that the 1931 version of the film has been thrown over in favor of the later remake with Glenn Ford, which is given as more sympathetic to the plight of the American Indians. Which surprised me, because I watched the one starring Glenn Ford directly following the original and thought it pablum trash in comparison that, rather than confronting racism, made every effort to avoid the issues exempting a brief nod to the good assimilated Indian who ought to be welcomed into society and not eschewed.

A supporting but principle character in the 1931 version is an African-American servant by the name of Isaiah, a youth who is, yes, more-than-less presented in broad strokes as the fool utterly devoted to Yancey, who unquestionably appears to be depicted as his master. Still, it’s obvious that the eagerness of the child to leave Wichita with Yancey, rather than staying in the service of Yancey’s wife’s family, is because of the appeal of the great western frontier and its promise of freedoms not to be found in Wichita. One watches in awe the manner in which the character is depicted but there seems always an edge that slips past the stereotype of the time in which the film was made. Laughs are provided a 1931 audience, and the townspeople, when Isaiah attempts to imitate his hero, Yancey, in dress and deportment, but Yancey exchanges the child’s fool’s clothing for the real thing, which raises the character a step out of stereotype. During a gun fight, the child slips down the street in an effort to reach a child of Yancey, in order to keep him from harm, and in this film he is shot, whereas in a lesser film he would have rescued the child and continued as the devoted servant with a heart of gold. I say “a lesser film” because now is when the character of Isaiah slips the most comprehensible bounds of the day. His self-sacrifice is at first literally overlooked. Yancey wins the gunfight and breezes right past the boy as he rushes home to find everyone safe. Isaiah dies without recognition or a world of farewell. Then his body is carried into Yancey’s house and now, as he is delivered to Yancey, the character fully breaks out of caricature into personhood. As Yancey stands holding the body of the child, his mute confusion seems to condemn not only the thoughtlessness of the previously rejoicing Yancey family, but those in the audience. Just who was the boy, the film begs, and demands that we question his presence in the film and the part he played, how he was portrayed and how the audience received it. What threatened to become maudlin, pulling a tear for the devoted clown of a slave stereotype, resists any easy resolution as Yancey doesn’t say a word, nor does he cry. He simply holds the boy, as if dumbfound at having received into his arms a tragedy too great and complex for commentary. Yancey’s gun battle bravery also takes a beating as one senses he comprehends himself as less the hero than this child who he knows will never have a statue built in his honor, as Yancey eventually will.

The child’s desire was to be released from the iron-bound social restraints of Wichita and is played out in the film with his escaping caricature, but not death, a death which seems to express the promise of the western frontier ends up not being for all, that even there its opportunities ended up belonging to the white individual.

The later film rejected the character of Isaiah. He makes no appearance.

The assimilated American Indian gets the most screen time in the later film.

Sarah Palin and the Amazing Aquasaur

Yesterday I saw something bizarre on the news that made my brain go to one of those last straw places you go to when your jar is filled with last straws and yet here is somehow another and it’s even more kinky twisted than the straw before it.

“Oh,” you say, “certainly you’ve seen some beyond crazy stuff in your life and are little surprized by the insanity that passes as piece of country pie good neighbor normal.  What about the last eight years of so-called democracy and free world righteousness?  Huh?”

I know, I know.  Still, Palin about sunk me when she appeared on the world stage.  There was something new and very wrong.  She was like a nail tossed in the blender.  On purpose.  In the hope you’ll be so overcome with horror at the sound of splintering metal you’ll automatically cover your ears and run screaming from the room.

But then there was the Sarah Palin look-alike in Iowa, standing right behind McCain at a rally.  With the do and the glasses.

McCain:  And thank you for your support of Sarah Palin as well…

At which point the woman touches her chest and bows her head humbly.

McCain:  I’m very grateful that.

People cheer.  Fake Sarah Palin says “Thank you” and waves to the crowd.

Rachel Maddow (I love her, she’s great, she and Olbermann have me watching television for the first time in uhm…like…decades) treats it here as intentional mockery, an amusing wolf in sheep’s clothing that’s managed to slip in with…well…all the McCain/Palin raging wolverines.

I’m not sure. I think if she was planted by anyone it was by McCain or his people.

Like the green people miniature happy faces camouflaged in the broccoli florets.

A paste-in with subliminal intent. Remember Steve Martin’s “The Lonely Guy” and the party that’s all life-size cardboard cut-outs of celebrities? No? The only reason I remember is because I watched the film for the first time on Netflix three nights ago, because my brain has rotted and I no longer believe in creativity, if you’re not making money it’s just another useless spinning hamster on the wheel (just kidding…kind of), which is what happens when you’ve spent your life writing and writing and painting and painting stuff (yes “stuff”…blank stare) that you hope will communicate, in which you’ve invested your soul, and about the only piece that people come looking for on your website, via Google, is something you wrote about the “amazing aquasaur”.

Seems some people were very interested, after the debate, in whether or not one can nail jello to a wall

Seems some people were very interested, after the debate, in whether or not one can nail jello to a wall.

I too was watching the debate and my ears lit up because of the Indeed, Virginia, You Can Nail Jello to a Wall (aka Jello Christ) posting I did in May 2007.

By the time the debate was over, I’d forgotten about the jello reference. Then when I checked my blog stats late in the night I was surprised to see a bunch of visitors. From where were they coming? Metafilter. Where were they heading? To see the Jello.

So, this is a welcome to all those people visiting my blog tonight who will never drop by to see the home page, but here’s my welcome anyway. Little did I know in May 2007, when H.o.p. and I were doing homeschool science experiments with Jello, and we conceived of Jello Christ (well, H.o.p. thought of Jello Man and I consequently came up with Jello Christ) that our project would, courtesy of Senator John McCain (kind of), find recognition (cough).

It’s a strange world.

Past is Prologue, Certainly

Because of this I now have Mary Poppins on the brain.

The hosts of Fox and Friends are concerned that a program in Ohio which allows same-day registration and voting could provide opportunities for voter fraud or manipulation. “Before you could try and actually prove where they actually live,” complained Gretchen Carlson, “if they’re actually residents, or they’re just Mary Poppins.”

I don’t like where it’s coming from and the direction it’s going, but “or they’re just Mary Poppins” has a certain lucky genius to it.

So, on Thursday (what a lovely day) I was now thinking about Mary Poppins and how the bank wanted Michael’s trifle of pocket money so clutching bad that Michael fled in terror while the Bird Woman sat on the steps of St. Paul’s begging pennies to feed the pigeons, there was a run on the bank by Michael demanding his tuppence back which somehow came to be called a defaulted loan and caused panic, banker daddy realized he worked for soul-stealing gluttons, reflected upon Poppins’ medicine and eased all cares with the admonition that all should just go fly a kite.

Trouble is I watched Fellini’s “Satyricon” Wednesday night, not having seen the film since it first came out, and then located The Satyricon of Petronius Arbiter at Gutenberg online books and had been reading that off and on Thursday afternoon (and been bored reading it), and so all these things were colliding in my head, the Big Bail Out and Mary Poppins and Michael and the bank and Satyricon.

“What do you think of the fellow in the freedman’s place? He has a good front, too, hasn’t he? And he has a right to. He saw his fortune multiplied tenfold, but he lost heavily through speculation at the last. I don’t think he can call his very hair his own, and it is no fault of his either, by Hercules, it isn’t. There’s no better fellow anywhere his rascally freedmen cheated him out of everything. You know very well how it is; everybody’s business is nobody’s business, and once let business affairs start to go wrong, your friends will stand from under! Look at the fix he’s in, and think what a fine trade he had! He used to be an undertaker. He dined like a king, boars roasted whole in their shaggy Bides, bakers’ pastries, birds, cooks and bakers! More wine was spilled under his table than another has in his wine cellar. His life was like a pipe dream, not like an ordinary mortal’s. When his affairs commenced to go wrong, and he was afraid his creditors would guess that he was bankrupt, he advertised an auction and this was his placard:




I guess Petronius was something like the Thomas Wolf of the time. I don’t know. But there is something about “Satyricon” that at least recalls the spirit behind the “Bonfire of the Vanities”, except the hero isn’t charged with running anyone over. No, the hero becomes impotent. More on that in a moment, but “Satyricon” became a whole lot more interesting to me as I read along.

So, I had “Satyricon” on the brain.

Then we watched the debate Thursday night.

Biden was what I expected him to be and I was impressed with how there was no trace of condescending in his manner, which was sadly pronounced by Palin’s tendency to smirk, which I think she realized after a while was going to go badly for her and she toned it down a bit. One of the surprises of the evening for me, however, was when he spoke of his experience as a father, and I thought it was as much a surprise for him, the anguish that struck him as he referred to his wife and child dying in the wreck and his two other children being critically injured. He recovered mid-heartbeat, that quickly. And then a subsequent surprise was when Palin blazed on without acknowledging what had just happened. As I watched I knew she’d hit uncharted territory, something for which she’d not been coached, and was trying to imagine what the wheels of her brain were dictating, Palin driving on her own.

Both Biden and Palin had just been asked what each their respective Achilles Heel was. Palin did not divulge her Achilles Heel. She instead chose to speak of strengths. Biden instead acknowledged that he may be said to have a lack of discipline as his Achilles Heel, and added excessive passion as well. Then, as Palin had spoken about her being a concerned mom, referring to it as a connection to the heartland of America, Biden reminded it isn’t just moms who have the job of parenting and feeling for their children, and a bit of his intimacy with passion slipped through in the form of anguish.

Palin was at least coherent and was very Palin, she doing very well at being the feisty outsider, the Alaska pioneer. And that’s one thing, but she was exhibiting a problem with answering questions, and though that’s come to be expected it’s still frustrating because she is so good at deflecting that about ten words into her responses you could forget what the question was that had been asked and few would fault you as senile, just as one can’t fault Palin as exhibiting senior moments in her lack of relevance.

Not two seconds after I remarked to Marty that she wasn’t answering questions, Palin said “I may not answer the questions that either the moderator or you want to hear” and, well, that did it for me for the moment, Palin having announced a non-debate, a commercial of talking points instead, and I got up and left the room for a bit and listened from the kitchen. But I returned, though it was physically painful listening.

I gazed amazed as she winked. And winked again.

Whenever Palin referred to herself as folksy Main Street I found myself flashing to “A Mighty Wind’s” faux folk band the New Main Street Singers.

As a matter of fact (if I remember correctly) Jane Lynch, as Laurie Bohner, the grand dame of the New Main Street Singers, does a fair amount of winking.

Of course, Sarah Palin might not appreciate the comparison with The New Main Street Singers. Though curiously Young Republican, the leads are also members of WINC, “Witches in Nature’s Colors”, who at one point in the film do honor to flame, which represents the light and the dark, the uncertainty of life and its delicacy….”and the penis”.

(Yes, I’m about to go *there*. Because I just must. But I think I do so tastefully, examining a few of the archetypes parlayed by the McCain-Palin campaign, if only to remind of the archetypes that have been embroiled with politics and leaders since, I bet, almost forever, as humans count time.)

Hmmm, well, actually, come to think of it I do believe that same flame has its place in McCain-Palin’s campaign strategy. I’d watched the 1931 “Cimarron” Wednesday night and as I’d watched (personally, I think it is a remarkable film and deserving of a blog post) it was reconfirmed for me that part of the appeal that’s being sold via Palin is returning the American people to frontier hopes, “go west young man” becoming “go north to the land of the melting permafrost” and billions and trillions of barrels of oil, as many as the stars that sparkle the Alaskan nights (a state that has less than a million inhabitants), America once again offered as a land of infinite resources ripe for the picking, and Palin one of the gutsy individualistic pioneers who’s paved the way, turning and crying from the far edge of civilization, “Follow me, folks! Leave behind the decaying husks of the fathers and the effete silver spoons with which they feed their decadent selves! I, Sarah Palin, from the last outpost of maverick frontier spirit, a gun-toting wilderness woman down the line of the Unsinkable Molly Brown, will reinvigorate the wet and flaccid leather of the American Dream! I will save, from their accursed political and energy impotence, the citizens of the Titanic Lower 48 with, did I mention, the billions and trillions of barrels of oil the new Molly Brown is sitting on? Shall I mention again the billions and trillions of barrels of oil I’m sitting on and that we are the foundling twin of Texas and are ready for take-off, Houston!!?”

I’d already observed Palin being sold as frontier woman and a Molly Brown sitting on the pot of oil gold, but it had slipped past me that McCain was the new Priapus and just how literally we should take Palin as his political priestess, winking so feisty about that fertile frontier she commands.

“Drill, baby, drill!” as she said.

The chant is “drill, baby, drill.” And that’s what we hear all across this country in our rallies because people are so hungry for those domestic sources of energy to be tapped into.

They know that even in my own energy-producing state we have billions of barrels of oil and hundreds of trillions of cubic feet of clean, green natural gas. And we’re building a nearly $40 billion natural gas pipeline which is North America’s largest and most you expensive infrastructure project ever to flow those sources of energy into hungry markets.

Encolpius, the hero of “Satyricon” (if you could call him a hero) also suffered from impotence. He had troubles, thus, satisfying a woman named Circe.

In “The Odyssey”, Odysseus was by Hermes warned about a sorceress, Circe, that she would entice him to bed but steal his manhood. Circe had invited his crew to a feast and turned them into pigs. Odysseus won them back by having Circe promise she would not steal his manhood, then becoming her lover. When he seeks to leave, learning a year has passed rather than just a matter of days, he is told he must first visit the Underworld, a port that no ship can reach.

In “Satyricon”, Encolpius’ virility restored simultaneously (it seems) with a friend of his (Eumolpus) enjoying the virgin daughter a fortune hunter had given him as a student, that fortune hunter (named Philumene) having hoped to obtain some part of a legacy, we immediately after have Eumolpus, the man with the legacy, reading his will to a number of legacy hunters. The will reveals that if they wish to procure their fortune then they must feast upon him at his death.

Though the legacy-hunters were horrified, Eumolpus died shortly thereafter.

…the Crotonians, furious because the old fox had lived so long and so sumptuously at the public expense, had put him to death in the Massilian manner. That you may comprehend what this means, know that) whenever the Massilians were ravaged by the plague, one of the poor would offer himself to be fed for a whole year upon choice food at public charge; after which, decked out with olive branches and sacred vestments, he was led out through the entire city, loaded with imprecations so that he might take to himself the evils from which the city suffered, and then thrown headlong (from the cliff.)

Another Eumolpus was the son of Poseidon and Choine, and he, as one of the first priest of Demeter, was also one of the founders of the Eleusinian Mysteries. I did a quick Google and didn’t find, at least in the top search results, anyone making a comparison between Satyricon’s Eumolpus and the Eumolpus of the Eleusinian Mysteries, which surprised me. In other words, there’s probably no scholarly validity in comparing the two? But I must! I think they’ve quite a bit to do with each other and that there’s more going on to the suggested cannibalism of Eumolpus by the legacy hunters than first meets the eye and makes people go, “Eeeeeew!”

Anyway, we humans are funny creatures. We’re in a time of crisis and a lot of us humans are on record as viewing times of crisis as a dysfunction in the fertility department. Good leadership, or at least leadership upon which the gods smiled, was observed through good crops and a proud Priapus. Bad times and failed crops meant a challenged Priapus and sometimes required a scapegoat, a fattened fool imitating the king.

Palin several times decried looking to the past.

Say it ain’t so, Joe, there you go again pointing backwards again. You preferenced your whole comment with the Bush administration. Now doggone it, let’s look ahead and tell Americans what we have to plan to do for them in the future.

Preferenced? Never mind.

Biden reminded that past is prologue.

Past is prologue, which is why today I’m so struck by a few of the archetypes that seem to be smiling through the seams, archetypes that are exhibited in how we humans work and are thus also employed by humans both unconsciously and consciously. They aren’t always very clear in every day life but we sense their presence and appease them with ritual that gives boundaries to those archetypes and seems intended to keep them from breaking out of their shadow realm into the every day.

Art serves the purpose, too, of reminding us of the energy, of the force of archetype, while containing it.

These are seriously troubled times.

They are also interesting.

I would have it they weren’t quite so interesting.

Leigh Bielenberg's Testimony before the Atlanta City Council

This five minute segment is of Leigh Bielenberg’s testimony before the Atlanta City Council. The full 45 minutes of the Atlanta City Council discussion on starting an independent audit on the Arborist Division on the Bureau of Buildings may be viewed here.

Below is an image from the Atlanta Cyclorama in which is believed to be observed the tree Leigh discusses in the video, which she and her husband, Tab Bottoms, have been battling to preserve, the roots of which were recently bulldozed. The tree is believed to be the largest and oldest Southern Red Oak in metro Atlanta and is some 170-180 years of age. The roots were bulldozed immediately subsequent Tom Coffin’s being fired from the Arborist Division of the Bureau of Buildings (he was the senior arborist). This is the image Leigh was submitting in the above video.

Leigh writes,

The scan of part of the Cylorama is facing Northwest from the corner of Moreland and Dekalb Avenue. Our tree would had a 20 inch diameter at that point (the artists sketches of the local were done in 1882, about 18 years after the actual battle.) And based on the maps and GPS, our tree is depicted in the clump of trees above the second American Flag about half way up the image (below the white house which is now the Carter Center). Tab met with the Director of Cylorama and had a private tour to figure some of this out.

Former news on the tree may be viewed here.

Below is an image Marty took before excavation. As Marty points out, the stake indicating the tree line, which the developer’s themselves put down, is not in line with the tree protection fence, the tree protection fence violating the boundary.

The tree protection fence, by law, must be, in this case, a permanent chain link fence. It is instead a plastic fence with a movable temporary chain link.

Below are two photos from Leigh.

The first image shows how the oak tree roots were indeed bulldozed rather than airspayed.

The second image shows the destruction of an elm tree during the same excavation. Leigh states she and Tab said the Elm tree, which is on their property, would be destroyed according to the building plan of the development next door, but they had resigned themselves to this if the large oak tree was preserved. The elm is now dangerous and the developer has no plans to pay for its removal.

Link to Memorial post for Leigh.

Atlanta City Council Discussion on Starting an Independent Audit on the Arborist Division of the Bureau of Buildings

As the Creative Loafing article asks, Why Was Atlanta Arborist Tom Coffin Fired?

Tom Coffin has tirelessly fought to save Atlanta’s trees.  Why was he fired?  The Atlanta City Council meeting involves beginning an independent audit of the Arborist Division of the Bureau of Buildings.

Some friends of ours have been fighting to preserve an 170-180 year old oak, believed to be the largest and oldest Southern Red Oak in the metro area, for several years now.  We and others had endeavored to provide some assistance by holding a couple benefits.   Shortly after Tom Coffin was fired, the developer came in and illegally bulldozed the roots of the tree, going against a standing court order that the excavation must be done by air spade.  Tom Coffin had placed a stop work order but Paul Lekowicz had lifted it in spite of the fact that none of the code violations that caused the stop work order had been addressed.  Paul said, “It looks OK to me.” Leigh Bielenberg gives her testimony on this in this clip of the meeting.

I excerpted this video from a two and a half hour long Atlanta City Council Video.  It runs about 45 minutes long.  I tried a number of times to upload it in 10 minute segments on Youtube but Youtube would never finish uploading, so I dropped the quality even lower (it had already degraded some with conversion from a wmv file to avi to mov) and have placed the 45 minute segment here in Flash.

Update: I have since excerpted Leigh’s testimony before the Atlanta City Council. It may be viewed here.

The Recording Cabinet of…(part 2)

No one from Italy has been by my blog on an Elfo search, so Albert Callegari remains happily ignorant of what I think of his Bravenet message board and visitor counters.

But, you know, recording studios do this. They get caught up in the business of recording and forget to tend their websites appropriately.

Next I will write about the art of Frances Trombly.

Or probably not.