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Thread: My Week

  1. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Arcopitcairn View Post


    It’s been a long time since I have been involved in a forum, a message board like this place. In the past, I often caused much trouble because I chafe under the terms of service. I never seemed to be able to function correctly within the confines of a site like this. I have to say that I am quite proud of myself for not getting banned from this site. It really is quite a feat for me, and I’m happy that I’m constructively contributing. I think it’s the electronically impersonal nature of these kinds of sites that compel me to cause trouble, but for some reason, not here. I felt before that I was missing some integral component that everyone else seemed to have in their make-up. Something that made me break rules, argue, troll, and perpetrate mayhem. It always felt before that there were no real consequences, because I didn’t really care if I got kicked out or banned, but there is, really. I like this forum, so I follow the rules. If you knew me at all, you’d be surprised. I haven’t told any of my friends.
    lol. for some reason i have the same problem on message boards. i've probably been permabanned from 90% of them i join, simply
    because i forget to keep a PC lock and key filter on my words before i type them. this place has given me more 2nd chances than most,
    in that regard. i enjoy your posts here also, though. i like people who aren't afraid to "cut loose" with what they really think.
    "Man, you should have seen them kicking Edgar Allan Poe.Ē

  2. #12
    I almost felt like I was challenging myself to be 'double true' with my last post. I had to delete a very personal secret at the end of the post, and I'm kind of glad now that I did. I guess I don't have to tell every little thing, just as long as I don't lie. Because it's so easy to lie on a message board. I don't want to do that. Even if the truth is boring, silly, or commonplace. It's real.
    If your art doesn't push, you won't get any pull.

  3. #13
    I like reading these updates also. They are well-written, in a distinct and enjoyable personal style.

    I am happy, when I post pieces, to get any sort of review, short or detailed. And there are times when I read something and don't have much to say, other than I like it.

    I haven't read Knights of the Dinner Table in years. I should reread.

  4. #14
    Got some Jim Woodring books this week. Got Weathercraft, Congress of the Animals, and The Frank Book. They are hardcover collections of sequential art. Comic books. Woodring’s comics have few or no words, opting instead to tell stories visually. Sometimes they’re hard to understand logically, but they created feelings in me when I experienced them. I recognized them. Recognized them on a strange level. There was truth there. I saw myself and people I know in the actions of his characters, his ‘funny animals’.


    Also read Nightmare of Ecstasy, by Rudolph Grey. It’s an oral history, anecdotal, of Edward D. Wood Jr. I’ve always had a fondness for Ed Wood. His single-minded, obsessive march to mediocrity moves me. His is an entertaining but ultimately sad tale of has-beens and never-was’. I love his entourage. Weird, sad people like Tor Johnson, Vampira, Bunny Breckinridge, and of course, Bela Lugosi. If only he could have put Betty Page in one of his movies, it would have been the zenith of the underbelly of the perfect 1950’s. Ah, the mondo bizarre, drag queen, drag race, stripperama, E.C., blacklist, beat poet, Jean Shepherd radio 1950’s. What an interesting time.


    Went to a Chinese buffet with Kristen on Friday night. It was raining. It bothers me to see people running from the rain, sprinting from their car to a restaurant or something. I feel like they’re missing a part of life, trying to cheat somehow. They also look stupid when they’re doing it. The buffet was pretty good. There were lots of interesting items to eat. I watch the people at buffets a lot, mostly hoping that they don’t lick their fingers and then go back and touch the common tongs or ladles. I also like to see what their choices are, and how they eat those choices. Then I imagine what their living rooms look like, or what the most perverted thing they’ve ever done sexually is. People stymie me. I never love people more than when I’m not around them, and when I’m around them, misanthropic tendencies bloom like a weed.


    I feel very imperious when I’m out in public. Like those times in the bible when Jesus would walk through a crowd and ‘no hand would touch him’. I feel like a lion, prowling, or royalty, surveying my subjects. Walking among the common man with my head held high, observing the unwashed. I love my subjects, as any good king would, and I’m rooting for them to succeed, but I’m not one of them. I’m not saying I am that, but I do feel that way sometimes.


    Watched some Duran Duran videos with Kristen. She said that their clothes were cheesy. I disagreed. In the time in which the video was made, those styles were cool. They were sincere and honest. I like them, just like I like the 70’s disco, ‘Soul Train’ style, the 60’s Mod look, the aesthetics of 1950’s kitchens, non-ironic 40’s Fedoras, gangster, rum-running 30’s, the roaring flappers of the twenties, and all the way back to the last gasps of Art Nouveau at the turn of the last century. To me, cheesy is weak style or pretentiousness, but never sincerity.
    Last edited by Arcopitcairn; October 21st, 2012 at 09:38 PM.
    If your art doesn't push, you won't get any pull.

  5. #15
    So I got a little horror story published in an anthology that came out last week. I received a copy of the book in the mail yesterday. I was pretty happy about it. Itís small press, but itís always nice being published. The story itself is just a fun little lark. When I write short horror stories, Iím just interested in something fun and punchy, something neat. When someone reads a story like this, all the reaction I want from them is a little smile, and a ďHmph. That was pretty cool.Ē


    The story wasnít meant to change the world, and truthfully wasnít all that important to me. The editor told me that he might make a few changes before publication, which was fine. But he made a lot of unnecessary changes. He really made the story clunky in some places. He honestly interrupted the flow of my language in some parts, and stalled scenes that moved and slid before his editing. I care about the story around a three out of ten, ten being the highest concern, so Iím not too shattered, but Iím slightly sad about it. In the story, my voice has been diminished, and now the piece is only about eighty percent me. He e-mailed me and asked what I thought about the changes. I lied and said they were fine because I want to keep the contact fruitful. But Iím going to have to find a way to delicately approach the subject of his editorial choices. I had two stories published in a previous anthology of his and he barely touched them at all, so hopefully I can find a way to gravitate him back to that mindset.


    Hung out with Kristen on Friday. She made vegetarian chicken sandwiches. They were very good. I think vegetarian cuisine has come a long way in the last ten years or so. I had a very bad experience earlier in the week, which Iíll get to in a moment. She could tell something was wrong with me, but I could not tell her what it was. I wanted to, but I couldnít. I didnít want to worry her. We watched Cabin in the Woods. It was a fine horror movie. Perfect time of the year for it.


    Spent the day with my friend Doug yesterday. Have not seen him in a little while, so it was nice to catch up. We went to a Mexican joint. I had Nachos Locos, which is what I always have. We were going to go see the original House on Haunted Hill with Vincent Price at a retro theater, but we decided against it. We went driving around to yard sales and book stores instead, which is always enjoyable. We ended out the day watching several recent episodes of the Big Fat Quiz Show, hosted by Jimmy Carr. Doug and I enjoy watching U.K. television, so we had a fine time. I think U.K. TV has lot more thought and quality than American TV. Even a show like Top Gear is compelling to me, even though Iím not a car guy, because of the personalities of the hosts and the production values of the program. I enjoyed shows like Sherlock, Secret Britain, and I had a particular fondness for James Mayís Toy Stories. Loved that show! Itís nice to be able to watch the unedited British airing of Top Gear and other shows, and not have to wait for the BBC America versions. Bless the Internet.


    On a serious note. I wonít harass you with unseemly and improper details, but I was mere moments from certain death on Wednesday. I had time to think about it. For a moment, death was a surety. It wasnít the first time I was sure I was going to die, but it was the first time I didnít care if I died. It frightened me, my uncaring attitude concerning my own end. I felt something in my mind nearly go away, something I need, something important. Iíve lost something, and I donít know what it is. I thought about it for a long time, and I took solace from the fact that I was sad about the situation. But then I realized that I was not sad that I almost died. I was sad that I was broken to a point that I didnít really care if I died. For a long time, Iíve felt defeated, beat. I feel like a shadow of a human, a walking ghost, separated from life. I donít want to die, but it seems to me that Iím not that interested in continuing to live either. Itís an interesting, if disconcerting feeling.


    The problem, or one of them, is that Iíve inherited sorrow from my family. The families of both my parents were the biggest bunch of joyless, stoic, resigned, sad people, down to the last, each and every one of them. So I guess I come by it honestly. My family tree must be a Weeping Willow. Heh.


    I need to get back on my Taoism. I wish they would make a patch for that. Minus any supernatural aspects, Taoism appeals to me as a philosophy. Itís a struggle (Not supposed to be) to apply Taoist principles to everyday life. Raised as I have been, in the place and time, eastern philosophy is not an easy thing to utilize. But itís the journey that counts, and all that. Yeah?
    If your art doesn't push, you won't get any pull.

  6. #16
    Congratulations on your publication and a hiss at that editor.

    Hope your near-death experience isn't repeated any time soon, though the self-evaluation such things engender is valuable. I also come from sad people; at a certain point I decided that I have to see happiness as something that I choose and build, because it is not some blessing or trait bestowed upon me at birth. It requires work on my part. Sometimes a lot of work, but that's better than the alternative. I don't know if this is useful to you.

    The journey is definitely what counts, because (speaking as an atheist) the end's no good.

  7. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by lasm View Post
    The journey is definitely what counts, because (speaking as an atheist) the end's no good.
    Amen, sister.

    I think that religious people don't get how difficult it is sometimes not to believe in supernatural things. Surrendering logic and reason is tempting sometimes. It would be easy, but false.

    Thanks for your useful words. I struggle with the same thoughts. It sucks coming from sad-sacks. Rising above genetics is certainly, as you say, very hard work.
    If your art doesn't push, you won't get any pull.

  8. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Arcopitcairn View Post
    Amen, sister.

    I think that religious people don't get how difficult it is sometimes not to believe in supernatural things. Surrendering logic and reason is tempting sometimes. It would be easy, but false...
    Part of being a conscious and intelligent living thing is finding your own answers to the very substantial questions this whole "life" paired with "consciousness" and "intelligence" thing brings for us. As you probably know, it's more than making up your mind about who serves the best pizza or whether or not micro-brews have any redeeming qualities.

    When we "grow up", intellectually, we can no longer ignore that we exist and that life, for us as individuals, has some sort of meaning that is greater than the sum of its parts. Consider art... Art is a creation, something that an artist designed with the intent to communicate an idea that is greater than just the scrap of canvas and paint that the artist used in its creation. It is greater than the sum of its parts. As conscious and intelligent beings, we too are greater than the sum of our parts. We are more than just the heart, lungs, blood and tissue that enables us to not only move from the couch to the kitchen, but also enable us to experience linear time or the results of the aggregate actions of quantum particles like photons as they brighten up a room on Sunday morning. We are greater than the sum of our parts.

    When we come to grips with this, our intelligence demands that we answer for it. So, we seek answers. Some of us find them and are content with their world view. For some, we find our ultimate answers in religion and philosophy. For yet others, they find their answer in denial; Denial that we are more than just the sum of our parts and an affirmation that existence is nothing more than what's in the box...

    For myself, I find the idea that we are nothing more than ambulatory meat-bags with an over-inflated sense of self-worth distasteful, if not abhorrent. We're so much more than that and the denial by some that we are greater than the sum of our parts is just dodging life's biggest question. There's no "logic" or "reason" within that particular sort of idea that is tempting to me.

    But, that is my own path, my own way of seeking an answer to the Big Question that an intelligent and conscious existences poses for me. Others have to seek our their own answers. That's the burden of being human.

  9. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Morkonan View Post
    Part of being a conscious and intelligent living thing is finding your own answers to the very substantial questions this whole "life" paired with "consciousness" and "intelligence" thing brings for us. As you probably know, it's more than making up your mind about who serves the best pizza or whether or not micro-brews have any redeeming qualities.

    When we "grow up", intellectually, we can no longer ignore that we exist and that life, for us as individuals, has some sort of meaning that is greater than the sum of its parts. Consider art... Art is a creation, something that an artist designed with the intent to communicate an idea that is greater than just the scrap of canvas and paint that the artist used in its creation. It is greater than the sum of its parts. As conscious and intelligent beings, we too are greater than the sum of our parts. We are more than just the heart, lungs, blood and tissue that enables us to not only move from the couch to the kitchen, but also enable us to experience linear time or the results of the aggregate actions of quantum particles like photons as they brighten up a room on Sunday morning. We are greater than the sum of our parts.

    When we come to grips with this, our intelligence demands that we answer for it. So, we seek answers. Some of us find them and are content with their world view. For some, we find our ultimate answers in religion and philosophy. For yet others, they find their answer in denial; Denial that we are more than just the sum of our parts and an affirmation that existence is nothing more than what's in the box...

    For myself, I find the idea that we are nothing more than ambulatory meat-bags with an over-inflated sense of self-worth distasteful, if not abhorrent. We're so much more than that and the denial by some that we are greater than the sum of our parts is just dodging life's biggest question. There's no "logic" or "reason" within that particular sort of idea that is tempting to me.

    But, that is my own path, my own way of seeking an answer to the Big Question that an intelligent and conscious existences poses for me. Others have to seek our their own answers. That's the burden of being human.
    This is not the debate forum. This is a thread for me to tell you how my week went. If you enjoy my self indulgence, please feel free to let me know. Otherwise, I don't really care what you think. If I wanted to argue about it , I'd post in the debate forum, but I do not do that.
    If your art doesn't push, you won't get any pull.

  10. #20
    Congrats on being published. Sounds like you dealt with your editor's liberties better than I would have. Sometimes I think people who aren't artists don't fully understand how serious it is to go changing an artist's work. Like they think it's some trivial thing, and "Don't worry, he'll understand." It's a hard thing to deal with, in my experience, because your name's on the cover. If it sucks the perception is you suck, not your editor. I submitted some photos to a publication once, after asking if they wanted a specific size (they said no), and later discovered they had stretched the images until they were bitmapped pieces of junk. Made me feel terribly embarrassed, to the point that I didn't even want to look at them, or the publication which keeps them.

    What you said regarding loss and the feeling that you're missing something sounds familiar. Sometimes death seems like it might be a vacation, like the Bahamas or something. I didn't inherit sorrow from my family as much as I've just had a lot of practice over the years.

    Hope that spell gets better for you. I'd miss these weekly updates.
    "The only calibration that counts is how much heart people invest, how much they ignore their fears of being hurt or caught out or humiliated. And the only thing people regret is that they didn't live boldly enough, that they didn't invest enough heart, didn't love enough. Nothing else really counts at all. It was a saying about noble figures in old Irish poemsóhe would give his hawk to any man that asked for it, yet he loved his hawk better than men nowadays love their bride of tomorrow. He would mourn a dog with more grief than men nowadays mourn their fathers.

    And that's how we measure out our real respect for peopleóby the degree of feeling they can register, the voltage of life they can carry and tolerateóand enjoy.
    "

    Live like a mighty river: a letter from Ted Hughes to his son, Nicholas

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