The Dance

One of the wonderful things about YouTube is how different fashion houses have embraced the shared video format as an opportunity to create and share some amazing video content.   This video I'm posting today in an amazing example.   

This film created to celebrate International Dance Day 2022.  Dance has always been about the creative tension between control and release and even explores movement through sounds that are created through movement.  The setting is the Palazzo Farnese in Rome.  Built for the Farnese family and was greatly expanded when Alessandro Farnese became Pope Paul III.   Famous for it's  sculptures and artwork (most which resides currently Museums in Naples) it is currently the home of the French Embassy in Italy.   The dancers represent sculptures come to life as the the dance tells the story of Nox, goddess of night, adding darkness and mystery to this place of power.  

The costumes are designed by Maria Grazia Chiuri, designer and creative director for famous fashion house, Christian Dior and highlight the sculptural elements of the dancers bodies.   Music is by various composers including (but not limited to) Ligeti, Bach and Vivaldi.

The camerawork and lighting are also quite amazing.  seamlessing weaving in and out between real time, slow motion and reverse slow motion.
Enjoy. 

An amazing video on the origins of paparazzi

From one of my favorite YouTube channels.   This video  not only traces the origins of Paparazzi, or what we would call tabloid journalism today and it's effects on celebrity perceptions.  Enjoy and have an enjoyable weekend.  

STOP THE WAR NOW!!!

Hopefully by time this posts the Russia's unprovoked, unjust war on Ukraine will be over.   These abstract images are inspired by the fact that Russia has now used chemical weapons (phosphorus bombs).   These phosphorus bombs glow in the night and cause severe burning.     They are illegal and were developed by Hitler's Nazi regime which dubbed them "the flaming onion".     

Like Edwin Starr sang "STOP THE WAR NOW!  Don't put if off another day."  https://youtu.be/rFv0gqIPAE4

When I scheduled this post back near the beginning of March I sincerely hoped that I maybe the nonsense of this foolish war would be over by now. Obviously I was, sadly, wrong to hope that. I’m so sick and tired of human’s and their stupid ideas of conquest. I honestly don’t think there is any hope for humanity anymore. I’m beyond cynical at this point. There is only absurdity. Wishing Putin dead or for regime change seems useless because like the great Hydra, you cut off one head there are two others waiting to replace it. Meaningless, meaningless, everything is meaningless…

From one of the greatest American songwriters….

Jim White is most frequently considered a storyteller first and a musician second.  You might compare him to Laurie Anderson and others of that ilk.   His songwriting has also been compared to David Byrne, Jim Croce and Bob Dylan. 
I've been a fan of Jim's stories-set-to-music since his first album (and subsequent film) SEARCHING FOR THE WRONG-EYED JESUS.  I was thrilled to see he had recently, independently, releases a new recording Titled MISFITS JUBILEE (released in 2020).   While I find all his songs/stories interesting I wanted to share three of them.   

First up is the last song on the album.  The Divided States Of America; a critical view of all things american including politics, social behavioral structures.  Jim grew up in  Pensacola, Florida which is frequently his muse.   Florida is known as a hotbed of weird contradictions which I believe gives him authoritative credence to his criticism.   I've also included his brief statement from the YouTube video description.   The chorus which goes "no one is at home anymore in America, in America, in the divided states of America" is somewhat ambiguous.  I want to suggest that the words "no one is at home..." not to be taken literally, but instead, understood in terms of comfort.   No one is comfortable in America anymore.   I certainly feel this conflict - I feel out of place and uncomfortable with life as it is.   And I love how this track ends quoting George Washington (a founding father), Emma Lazarus and Jesus Christ.  Things that used to be cornerstones of American thought and now, like Jim, I wonder "what happened to that America".    An open question that I wonder if it has not been swallowed up in commercialism - after all the last lines are "I'd like an order of fries and a Big Mac... uhh no man fries and a Big Mac what's wrong with you man..."

The second song is Smart-Ass Reply (# 5 on the album).  This song I can also relate to.   Love the punk chorus, "I'd sell my soul for a smart...  a smart-ass reply..." While I usually am not in want for smart-ass replies (as my co-workers would tell you - in fact they've given me a nickname because of smart-ass replies - they call me "the comedian" LOL).    But blogging doesn't really lend itself to smart-ass replies because they are often instantaneous.   And yet there are times I fall short and would definitely sell my soul for a smart-ass reply.   So there.    Put that in your pipe and smoke it!

Highway Of Lost Hats. This final track is also catchy and looks at a guy who's picked up a girl that is taking him for a ride as he says in the chorus, "Going nowhere fast, speeding down the highway of lost hats."  Of course the ride ends tragically as he gets pulled over by the cops which in itself is a critique of policing in America.  
Highway of lost hats is a poetic phrase and the song can be a parable of how Americans have been misled/gotten side-tracked and ended up "going nowhere fast, speeding down the highway of lost hats".   Hat are of course a protective head covering.   What happens when we lose that protection?   How many have lost their heads without a protective covering to sane thought and wisdom? 

“My sincere prayer is that my fellow Americans will wake up and once more hunger for a kinder, saner compass, one that’ll lead us back to the pursuit of nobler intentions, ideals of freedom and fairness that were once our theoretical guideposts as a people. Such values have been all but abandoned of late. Time will tell if us Americans have the courage, resolve and moral strength to set things straight. There’s much work to be done and such ferocious resistance presently emanating from the darker side of human nature.” – Jim White

If you like Misfits Jubilee be sure to search out the following

SEARCHING FOR THE WRONG-EYED JESUS

NO SUCH PLACE

DRILL A HOLE IN THE SUBSTRATE AND TELL ME WHAT YOU SEE

TRANSNORMAL SKIPPEROO

SUNDAY VERSES #13

3 WINTER HAIKU

Winter ice on trees
glitters like festive tinsel
under morning sun

***

When days are shorter
fiercely blows the winter wind
piling snow in drifts

***

Frigid air on skin
Persistent chill burrows deep
Winter wet and cold

sunday verses #11

4 haiku for the end of Autumn.


(12/01/21)
Leaves begin their fall.
Colors changing while you watch
autumn's rich pageant.

(11/27/19)
Cold, dark, windy night;
trees shudder; dead leaves unchained 
make fierce their escape

(12/01/21)
Distant in the dark.
Sweet sounds the soft piano.
Music in the night.

(12/01/21)
Chill'd, damp autumn night.
Sleepless bare trees sway slowly.
Unwrapp'd, expos'd heart.

sunday verses #10

(untitled) 1/29/19 1AM

… with bigoted clam-shelled-shut heart
pinched accusation and fervent digit all gesticulation
their unctuous moral fortitude no reverence for creation
razes the standard none can achieve
happy to fail, happy to fall 
into the boiling cauldron of righteousness
reason lost

Who will avail the good, decent, compassionate 
and forgiving soil?
… planting seeds to each grow its own kind
fruit bearing and fruitless
watered by streams of untethered acceptance.

Virtues are best left in deep shadows
where they are not exposed to the light of…
…haughty self-aggrandizement,
bleached by self-promotion or discolored by false humility….
… left in the heavy darkness when eyes close 
and sound fades to sleep…
… perchance to dream.

sunday verses #8

PLAYERS SONG (date unknown)

what you lookin’ at?
what you laughin’ at?
what you makin’ fun of?

the end has come 
lights gone down
crowds are gone
strides across 
this sawdust clown

baggy pants
dirty shirt
worn out shoes
treading through
another broken town

hotel room
lonely bulb
peeling paint
dingy and dank
inhabited mold drown

what you lookin’ at?
what you laughin’ at?
what you makin’ fun of?

the naked man 
in the bathtub
smokes a cigar
wearing the painted 
face of a clown

milky surface
soapy water
shimmers like diamonds
one deep breath
he’s sliding down

what you lookin’ at?
what you laughin’ at?
what you makin’ fun of?

warm wet meditation
wraps up the man
mind quiet, at peace 
distant thunder 
smoking cigar lifeline 

rising up
paint-stained flesh
reveals the man
washed renewed naked
suffering reality frown

what you lookin’ at?
what you laughin’ at?
what you makin’ fun of?

sunday verses #7

11/6-11/16/21

EYE OF THE STORM

Dark brooding
sadness and anger
storm clouds swirl all around me
warning and threatening 
A shadowy pretense of power

I see the rain like spit from the heart
of those who should know better
pummel and drench and flood
loosing all the foundations of decency
get trampled in the mud

I hear the wind
roaring out of the mouths of fools
nostrils flaring like steeds being driven by demons
tearing and stripping away 
wounding and destroying all that was built

but I stand in the calm
sun blazing, giving countenance
to the peace within me
a centered solution to the storm
the hardest place to be

rage on, rage on o’ storm
you will not defeat me
I am within you and without you
and will remain until you sputter out and dissipate 
all your venomous energy wasted

---------------------------------------------------------
Ephesians 6:13 "Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand."
Some times just being able to STAND is all you need.  
https://youtu.be/zWhDbkTmJHA

all out culture war?

I don't know if the rest of the world has the problem we have in America.    We are in an all out culture war.    Tolerance has completely dissipated like water being poured on red hot steel.  
I am sick at heart to see what has happened and continues to happen in my country.  But it has to end.   Personally I'm reverting back to unwokeness and shunning cancel culture.  
You can be unwoke and not participate in cancel culture and still be a happy decent human being.    Don't you want to be happy again?    Are you tired of being woke?    Do you want to be more tolerant of those who differ from you and have different opinions from you?   Do you want to be more respectful?   Then join me now.    We can make a difference.  We must be the change that we would like to see.    

Like Eric Clapton sings in his new song - "THIS HAS GOTTA STOP" ...  enough is enough... I can't take this BS any longer....
https://youtu.be/dNt4NIQ7FTA
Let's remind ourselves of Plato's Cave allegory: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allegory_of_the_cave
In our time the cave is made of the walls we have built around ourselves as we stare at the screens of our phones iPads or other portable devices and shut everything out around us.  Things that keep us cooped up and blind to reality even though they do their best to try and convince us that what they are showing us is reality.  These devices only project shadows on the wall that people believe to be real.  And the more convinced people are that what they see on their devices is "real" the further the cords of bondage bind around them making harder to pull away.    It's time to put the device down and look around to come out into the daylight and be human again.   Come out of the Cave.   It's glorious out here in reality.  Sure it's not always pretty but it's REAL!

A great song and visual expression of this is in the song/video for A Perfect Circle's song DISILLUSIONED
"It's time to put the silicon obsession down"  (if you dare) 
https://youtu.be/BIsH686xWl0

sunday verses #4 (boo edition)

3 Haiku for Halloween

Halloween is here
Holy weaning light to fright
in a dark’ning time

Great pumpkin glows bright
Horror visage narrow'd eyes
Jack-o-lantern laughs

Little humans haunt
Costumed terrors are alight
Offer tricks or treats