Saturday, May 30, 2009

Thoughts on a Kingston Saturday Night

I HATE THIS PLACE! It is noisy- once again the folks at Backstage Productions, just down the block, are totally disregarding the lives of those of us who live here, they are playing loud, loud music with the doors and windows wide open. To put the icing on the cake when the gig is over, the street will be filled with loud, obnoxious drunks- oh joy. Most afternoons they also have drum sessions, again with the windows open so that everyone has to listen to the drumming. Calls to their office yield no results.
When the sidewalks are dirty, instead of using push brooms, the city workers use leaf-blowers- I guess their fragile male-egos can't take using something that is not energy-wasting and horribly noisy. There is a building behind me that has the noisiest air-conditioning unit on the planet- oh, and they are going to do a "green" roof to help curb air-pollution- that's great but how about cutting down on the noise pollution too?
Motorcyclists use these streets for their nightly "big, loud motorcycle=teeny-tiny brain" noise-fest.
I HATE THIS PLACE! It stinks- trucks making deliveries (4:30-5am) idle their engines for 20 or so minutes and my apartment fills with exhaust. I apparently am the only person living/working here who does not smoke- the sidewalks are always littered with cigarette butts- and then people wonder why no one comes here to shop, etc- who wants to walk through an ashtray?
I HATE THIS PLACE! The frigging street lights are on full all night and aren't capped so the light pollution is just horrid. They are supposed to be charming but mostly what they are is a nuisance. The street is so overly lit that skateboarders use the block as their playground at 3 in the morning. There are lights under the porticoes that run the length of the block, they shed enough light and that light does not shine up into the 2nd & 3rd storey windows. The street lights are totally superfluous.

I HATE THIS PLACE! I HATE THIS PLACE! I HATE THIS PLACE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, May 22, 2009


On Thursday I went down to NYC to drop off 8 pieces for a show of postcard-sized art at the APW Gallery in Long Island City (actually a section of Queens.) I have been trying to get someone down in the city to look at my work for a while now but to no avail. This show is a chance- a long shot probably but what the hey. I will not be able to attend the opening, but if I ever get a 3 or 4 person show or- gasp- a solo show, I promise I will attend the reception.
I took the opportunity to have lunch at Shopsin's, my favorite NYC eatery. I had to wait for about 40 minutes to get a seat but as always it was worth the wait. I also did some shopping in Soho- oh I am such a hick from the sticks...

Anyway, here are 7 of the 8 pieces I did for the postcard show (the photo of the 8th came out quite blurry, sorry.) I'm pretty happy with them, I like making the little cracked open rib cages.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Shooting My Mouth Off Again

Here I go again...

I got an email from the Graphic Artists Guild about a debate being held at The Economist website about copyright. I went and voted but since I also had to register, I figured I should add my 2cents while I was there:

Dear Sir,
As a creative- and copyright holder- I propose that the concept of copyright is invaluable to insure that artists like myself can benefit from their efforts. However, since the inception of the Works Made For Hire designation in the 1976 Copyright Act, creator's rights to profit from their works have been continually eroded by corporate interests. We now have 2 classes of copyright holders, creators-in-fact (artists) and creators-in-statute (corporate publishers and distributors who have used their power in the marketplace to grab the rights of creators-in-fact.) Creators-in-fact are being squeezed between two monolithic forces: the creators-in-statute and consumers who feel entitled to what they want when they want it. To remedy this, I suggest a simple solution: eliminate W4H from copyright law and recognize that all-rights contracts and the practices corporate creators-in-statute use to force them on creators-in-fact are monopolistic and patently unfair. Utterly pie in the sky, of course, but that is my role in society...

So, there it is. I fear the pro-artists' rights side will lose, the forces of consumerism and the utter greed of the publishers have joined to make art and creativity just another "thing" -a bit of cheaply produced and easily replaced consumer junk. In the "Alvin Maker" series of speculative fiction works, there is an image that best illustrates my feeling about my place in society: the character is building a neverending wall, patiently placing one stone upon another; while behind him, the wall is being collapsed and destroyed by the forces of entropy.

Ah, this stone will perfectly fit with the one I just set..