Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Art Police

Click above for a larger image

Once again, who knows what this is, or why someone took the photo. It is another mystery, even though I committed the crime.

I was challenged by an art critic “on scene,” as a matter of fact. Evidently they are dispatched somehow. This one was cleverly disguised as a “drifter” or something. I had the 4X5 graphic on a tripod in the back of the Foods of All Nations parking lot. That’s the old sports center dome in the background, and the dumpster is there to serve the Market. It was way past closing, so it was just me and the mole from the art police. He asked me what I was taking a picture of. He was slurring a little bit, another clever cover maneuver.

Unfortunately, for me, that’s a button that gets pushed. I can’t figure out what I’m doing either, so I’d rather people don’t bring it up, especially when I’m caught red-handed, doing it. So, I prattled on about the lighting and the dumpster, and some nonsense about unintended architecture. He said, “Oh, Ok.”

He shuffled off slowly, and I saw him head back around “Foods.” That’s the Foods with the fool in the parking lot taking a picture of the dumpster.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Election Excitement Runs High (Not)

Taken on an early morning on the Charlottesville Downtown Mall.
Well, it looks like the “mall” CVS is also not able to summon much excitement in regards to politics, either. This was their window display on a recent Saturday.

I’ve voted in every election I could for many years now. Whoever I vote for doesn’t win, with the exception of very local elections.

As I mentioned in the sidebar, I don’t have a TV anymore. Nonetheless, I was at a friend’s house and saw a discussion between two news clones recently. Essentially, it was a discussion about how well each candidate would “sell” in various states. There was not a trace of any interest in either candidate’s agenda. It was a marketing analysis.

Well, one of them is going to be voted “off the island.”

Jill Bolte Taylor and "My Stroke of Insight"

I had my first session in a university class entitled “consciousness” recently. I figured I needed some help in this area.

A classmate mentioned the experience of Jill Bolte Taylor. She is a neuroanatomist. She experienced a stroke in the left hemisphere of her brain, and it radically changed her perspective on consciousness.

There is a video of her presentation made at T.E.D. She’s a very effective presenter and I recommend the short video for anyone interested in the theory of consciousness, and the evident bias of our evolution toward the left hemisphere.

Forgive me for dragging out my own brain, which appears above. The image is a fanciful spin on an MRI I had.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Fitzgerald Tire - Downtown Belmont - Charlottesville

Click above for an image large enough to see. please?

Fitzgerald Tire, Belmont

Do I love Fitzgerald Tire? Well, I’ve never had my tires changed there, but I like the building. It’s at the crossroads of beautiful downtown Belmont, which may have no uptown. What was the Fitzgerald building when it was built? Does anyone have some truly old photographs of the Belmont downtown? So many questions.

In any event, here is one of several shots of the building, taken from the thin traffic island that runs from the intersection of Rialto and Hinton.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Hell is Real

A few weeks back we were working our way upstream on a typical Friday at the Charlottesville Downtown Mall. Upstream is toward the Pavilion, at least when the beer concessions shut down.

We came upon a hellfire and damnation event in front of Zocalo. These kids were on something. The person pictured was sort of yelling directly at the rather confused looking person standing in front of him. Maybe half of the statements were actually questions, although not a moment was left open for a reply. It was like an enactment of some stereotype of fire and brimstone preaching. We continued on upstream.

I went to Catholic School in New York through the eighth grade. The nuns also tried to impress the notion of suffering for eternity on us. Some of the technical details; suffering in hell is not possible to become accustomed to. The nuns also had some nifty ways of allowing us to visualize damnation as eternal.

While reading a James Joyce story, many years later, it became evident these ideas might have even been taken from his writings. The quote below from “Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man” used the same metaphor (specifically, the bird) as I heard, to explain the notion of eternity. It was used in the same manner also: to impress on a young mind just how horrible eternal damnation is.

“Now imagine a mountain of that sand, a million miles high, reaching from the earth to the farthest heavens, and a million miles broad, extending to remotest space, and a million miles in thickness; and imagine such an enormous mass of countless particles of sand multiplied as often as there are leaves in the forest, drops of water in the mighty ocean, feathers on birds, scales on fish, hairs on animals, atoms in the vast expanse of the air: and imagine that at the end of every million years a little bird came to that mountain and carried away in its beak a tiny grain of that sand. How many millions upon millions of centuries would pass before that bird had carried away even a square foot of that mountain, how many eons upon eons of ages before it had carried away all?”

If you want the entire chapter, including the description of hell also, it’s shared here; http://www.online-literature.com/james_joyce/portrait_artist_young_man/3/ .

So, just putting “everlasting punishment” on a sign doesn’t impress me.

In fairness to the current Church, I doubt very much they talk about hell is this manner anymore.

It should be possible to update this for “modern times.” How about, you have to go to DMV to convince them that a speeding ticket added to your record was actually an error. . . .