Thursday, July 24, 2014

Where There May Be

On a train in France a couple weeks ago (thankfully, not this one), I dove into an unreserved seat beside a petulant clove cigarette - this fragrant, smoking thing named Zoé.

Seeing Zoé's golden legs up on the back of my neck the seat in front of her, spying the empty seat beside, I went sprinting down the train aisle toward it, only to be met by loud protestations as Zoé sensed her alone time getting squashed.

"There are plently of empty seats, Monsieur!" this angry bird actually snapped at me.

"Bone swa," I grunted.  "Like to sit here."

Once, twenty years or so ago, there wouldn't have been this French resistance ... my presence, and Zoé's together, would've formed a pièce de résistance!  Led to peace ... Would've spelled detente!

Of course, I was that much younger then ... and Zoé, newborn ... But the point I'm trying to make is that seasons, things and people change.  If I felt growing "old" back then, imagine being middle aged now - when in an equivalent number of years removed, I'll be pushing seventy ... then daisies ...
"The Death of Jeff Glovsky"
And so might you.

What isn't changing naturally, though, is the way strangers regard each other.  Like nuisances and interruptions ... With little real interest, attention or even eye contact ... With little compulsion felt to look away from whatever else they're doing, playing or listening to at the moment their worlds -- or Words with Friends -- are invaded.

I feel all ages feed this corruption.  It's no longer a "Millennial" thing.  Our need to be alone, in fact, be anti-social with each other, is as pervasive as it is desperate.  Ironic on so many levels:  when we're fed transparently empty "news", and have no one who's driving the apple cart as it careens ever faster toward onrushing traffic, the brakes and steering wheels useless, threadbare tires spinning off ...

We need each other!

Otherwise, no stories left to build upon.  No love, or lust -- potential! -- unrequited ... carried through the decades, firing dreams and weighting memories, and hope (yet hopeful.  Waiting);

for who or what will be there when our "friends" outgrow their sex machines?  "Devices", "apps" and glowing tubes ... their piracies, idiocies, "reality" (really?) ... forced "fails", "quirks", fakely "eccentric" idiosyncracies?

"Blu Jg (Blue.Period) ... in E Major"
Me, I prefer to tread cobblestoned streets of each city ... avoiding the parking lot choked  superhighways (especially our "information" one) to pave my own roads ...

For better or worse!  When young, or now old ... willing riders or empty seats beside me ... Not "alone"; ever lonely, though ...

I'll get there.

Wherever "there" may be.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Well Said

I "stumble(d)upon" a beautiful video the other day.  I've started exploring with video a little bit ... adding motion to the drama and emotion of my New York streets ... the questions for me, as always, being:

1) Is the artistic undertaking worth it?  If everybody is a "creator", and everyone CAN, then what's the point, why bother?  My work is decidedly, purposefully lo-fi.  Mainly because, the next question ...

2) Who has time?  I really don't ... to be tweaking, and editing, creating fantasies and adding filters. I'm not an artist ... although doing, being, seeing artistically comes naturally.  It's what I do ... when I'm not doing business or being with family, or hassling with people and work and life ... I do, and be and see, like me.  I'm unique in some ways (... I like to think) but I lack the deep talent, not to mention, the patience (or maybe, I just lack the balls) to full out call myself an "artist".

In sum, it's like this:  Ideas, check.  Creativity, check.  Vision, check.  sort of Style, Tone or Vibe, check, check, check.  Originality?  Guilty!  A body of Work and a name to go with it:  getting there ... check, check again.

But then, I check myself:  I'm a hobbyist.

The "art" enhances what I do, and am able to see, and lucky to be ... but I'm frankly more interested in experiencing life and regretting some dreams, than actually working to express them to you.

That said, there's a fine line between needing expression and needing attention anyway ... and too many in the cluttered online world of "creation" -- tragically, myself included at times -- take time, too much of it, chasing the latter!

Anyway, this is the video I started to mention.  "Unplug" is the message.  Really "share", not just virtually.

I couldn't have put it better, made my own WordSpeak louder ...

 words & video by Gary Turk

Saturday, July 12, 2014

News at 11

Via some mid-summer bleakness in Salon, here are "10 examples of 'European exceptionalism' and areas in which Europe is way ahead of the United States."

1. Lower Incarceration Rates
2. Less Violent Crime Than the U.S.
3. Better Sex Education Programs, Healthier Sexual Attitudes
    [3.5. Better Sex]
4. Anti-GMO Movement Much More Widespread
5. Saner Approaches to Abortion
    [5.5. Better Sex]
6. More Vacation Time
7. Universal Healthcare
8. Greater Life Expectancy
9. Mass Transit Systems
10. Europeans More Likely to Speak Foreign Languages
    [10.5. Better Sex]

11. News / Journalism

... sucks in the United States.

'Twas ever thus.

We should be ashamed.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Bad Lines and Inspiration

"Some might argue that it’s hubristic to write in the first-person.
"I (me, myself and … ) disagree.
"What I would argue is that the first-person, as a narrative form, should be retired. This would limit, if not eliminate, all the posers, pretenders and Starbucks dreamers who 'share' themselves like drunken cheerleaders. It would also pretty much lay waste to the 'blogosphere' … this, arguably, not a terrible thing.
"Several decades ago -- before our Facebook, cut and paste, 'open-source' world --  there were older siblings … also scribbling, pos(t)ing dreamily, into Barnes & Noble 'journals' the size of granny panties … or contributing to Fray."

Saturday, July 5, 2014


Photo(s) by Jglo
I'm a part-time expatriate.

I am not an ex-patriot.  Just because I spend time abroad, and maintain a little Schloß looking out over Bavarian rooftops, doesn't mean I belong here ... or understand, particularly, the workings of the Bundestag.

I don't (yet) speak German, cannot tzpe things easilz ... Canät get through a newspaper, could not compose a blog or story ... Can't get past amenities, or pleasantries about das Wetter auf Deutsch.

But I'm not in München for conversation.

I'm here because need for change brought me here.  And business ... The Erneuerbare-Energien-Gesetz (EEG) is what started the whole solar power ball rolling ... and though planned reductions in government incentives and an overall energy market stabilization quelled the schnell reich dreams of many by the time I made my move to Germany ... still, I felt overdue for a change.

From the loud desperation, the quietly screaming ... the more and more frequently tipped boiling points; the embarrassing "news", the incessant "discussions", the swiping of credit cards and dignity ... which the United States, 'tis of me, has come to embody;

I needed respite, from upwards of €12.5 T ($17 trillion usd ... that's TWELVE ZEROS, folks!) in national debt ... and from the recently confirmed worst U.S. president since World War II ... Certainly, of my own lifetime.

... I remember being with Milf-y Vanily one night back in the day ... and we got around to discussing Richard Nixon, like you do .... I guess it was because I was coming out from the bathroom making a peace sign, and Milf-y laughed and said I looked like him (?).  Or something like that was going on ...
Anyway, she suddenly became embarrassed, like actually blushed ... and I looked down to make sure I wasn't trailing any toilet paper.  She finally, after some (not so ;-) gentle prodding, said, "I actually voted for Richard Nixon!"

I remember thinking at the time, how sweet it was that that mattered to her ... Was it really such a point of shame (or playful pride??)?

Nixon's flameout in real time was just at the cusp of my cultural awareness - I was only entering Kindergarten then.  I knew he did something, and he was being replaced, and it was a darkly newsworthy time in America ... but I had nothing to do with electing him myself, of course -- at two, I was only along for the ride -- and I don't recall my parents ever saying much about him, or politics in general, one way or another.

They were probably ashamed as well, come to think of it ... and being from an earlier time than Milf-y, didn't bother speaking too much about things they felt they couldn't control ... America's first presidential resignation being one of these.

So when Milf-y Vanily played all coy, I started to think how sweet that was ... but also how little her shame (or embarrassed pride) really mattered in the great scheme of things.  It was history, and Milf-y really was from another era ...

I quickly put on my pants and left!

I relate this now, having grown into a Milf myself ... I'm a FILF!  I'm FILF-y ... approaching fifty ... and I empathize with the embarrassment, playful or not, which my companion shared with me that night:  I actually voted for Barack Obama.

And change is needed.

Photo(s) by Jglo - "Cumulative 4th"