Month: October 2016

Al Smith Was Probably a Better Catholic Than Most Bishops Bishoping Today


“Fun Day at Disenfranchisement Beach” 2016. (After watching ‘debate’) Acrylic on press cleaning sheet, 7 x 15″

An anecdote from my humble life to explain the entire 2016 Presidential race, using a little tested hypothesis…

Several years ago I wrote an editorial to my hometown newspaper questioning the legality of a local lawyer in bed with a town council to use eminent domain to take an apple orchard away from a family that had been in business for over 60 years. All for a new road which would pave the way for more strip malls on property that the lawyer had purchased a year or two earlier. In the letter I mentioned that population of the area had decreased by almost half since I was born and raised there, and that these new businesses would only bring wage slave jobs, and none of any lasting substance. The lawyer would get rich, while the town and countryside acquired more low-paying second and third jobs for mothers and fathers to juggle.

The lawyer in question happened to be the son-in-law of my mother’s best friend. He was born and raised in New York City, and after college received a lump sum from his father to make a go at a side career in real estate development.

My editorial was published in the Sunday paper, and by Sunday night, my mother no longer had a best friend.

For five years she was shunned by this elder woman who laughed and cried with my mom over a long and lucky lifetime, all over a short article that my innocent mother had no part in, beyond giving birth in 1967 to a now grown son who heard through the grapevine that his old hometown was dying from the greed of a very few, and thought, however naively, that he could put the brakes on an out-of-control runaway civic train.


Last night on Facebook, Kevin, a friend of mine, posted his revelation that the Presidential election is all a ruse! I sensed this for a long time, as all ready, able, and willing part-time conspiracy theorists often do. Clinton and Trump have been in bed together all along. But I can’t prove it of course, and with our nation’s overtly corrupt national media, it wouldn’t matter if I could. However, Kevin’s epiphany while watching the news of the cheerful roast come in over the wire, was catalyst to my social psychology neurons hopping in bed with the recent memory of my mother’s unfair shunning.

The daughters of the candidates are best friends, who have both declared publicly that each will remain the best friend of the other even if their mom and dad continue to seethe with manufactured disdain and disrespect of the other. But jeez, c’mon! Look at the photo. Enemies do not sit down to dinner together one night after calling each other very dangerous names in front of a television audience the night before. Both proved their irresponsible, schoolyard childishness at the debate. Trump and Clinton are just bullies. And now I believe, also close friends. They’re feasting with bishops and priests and laughing with happy hearts. This is not another dimension in string theory. You could argue that leaders are supposed to do that from time to time. And I would agree, if the debates and these daily news round-ups were not so bottom-dwelling and debased.

My anecdote is enough to see into the reality of human relationships. Not only is it unnatural for two people who appear to hate each other so much as to rile a nation in like hatred and vitriol, but it is also quite rare for well-fed families not to feud over the most trivial social faux-pas. Two nights ago these two stuffed elites stood on a stage hurling insult after insult—so carelessly speaking of nuclear annihilation, nationwide misogyny, and even “ripping” babies out of wombs. It made a nation sick to watch. Now “we, the people” must wrestle with our “either-or” cognitive dissonance to an even higher degree. Which unloved, snot-smeared, dirty bully do we side with? They’re both wretched, but which one do we prefer to take the other kid’s lunch money?

In my story, all I I did was piss off an equally delusional old lady who once made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for me when I was a little boy. I believe now that the elite players of earth have decided that war costs too much to divide a nation. It’s cheaper to play one idiot group against another idiot group on TV. One group is always about 60%, and the other will hover near 40%. Have two candidates appear to hate each other before a studio audience. Afterwards, both step onto their private planes, and eat what the populace has never tasted, and see what we cannot even find in dreams. The people holding present power know… Vicious and cruel rhetoric exchanged by potential heads of state and witnessed by 100 million moms and dads to choose sides, bear results that are already well documented. In poll after poll, the U.S. electorate favors, even if by only 5% or more, progressive reforms across the board. The statisticians know this, as do the politicians, and also the high players in the military/medical/finance/educational “industrial” complex.

I understand this because no human children would remain friends if their parents brought an entire nation to its knees in fear. This isn’t Romeo and Juliet. But I could be wrong in the era of spoiled rich brats steering a nation to the brink. Has anyone thought openly yet that these two charlatans, Clinton and Trump, could be lovers?

Well, I have. But that’s par for the course with me.

Two April paintings I stand by still:

“The Last Time Donald Was at a Punky Reggae Party He Dreamed of Destroying Everybody’s Happiness As An Old Man Confronting Mortality” 2016. Acrylic on canvas, 11 x 14″

“Super-Predator” 2016. Acrylic on canvas, 16 x 20″






Please Remember, Painters Are People With Exceptional Personalities And Bureaucracies Are Ghostly Abstractions

Round Trip Stuckism

Alena Levina

Andrew Makarov

Alexey Stepanov

Lena Ulanova

Ron Throop

We are better people than painters. I would hope both a surgeon and plumber society would admit the same. They probably do. Bureaucrats, however, seem to have a knack at de-peopling the people. Does a Russian cat meow with a strong Russian language accent? Has a United States tabby memorized the numbers to open a nuclear silo hood in Nebraska, or coded a flight pattern for a personality-killing sleeper drone? I do not mind that bureaucracies exist. I just hate with an ear-reddening rage when they pretend to acquire a personality of their own. And, it makes my tongue loll.

The Internet has freed us from the propaganda grip. The artists, as usual, shall lead the way. Here is the news. The new news. The good news. Attractive painters with very positive dispositions will depose all power that threatens human existence. Since bureaucracies are incapable of love, then they are not allowed…

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President Kill and His Roast Turkey


2013. Acrylic on press-cleaning sheet, 7 x 15″

Wow. I just heard Benjamin Ferencz, a 97 year old man, speak on NPR about his experience at Nuremberg as a prosecutor. Eloquent. Articulate. Shaming in under four minutes these propagandists that lock us up in our insides day after day. NPR is the only talk-radio available that isn’t outright hate and blame politics, and I only listen to it because corporate commercial radio is horrendous, and I often get lonely in my carpeted projectile, seeking the human sounds.

The enemies are in charge. That is national politics in a nutshell. You, dear reader, unless Syrian or a close second, have never woke up with a thought of Syria until your weak government and its propaganda boot-lickers told you to think about it. And that was just because they began a campaign to mutilate its children. There are no proportions in death! The majority of our leaders are the enemies of peace, and all that you hold dear. They are puppets to a system none of us understands or trusts. But a system that kills—not at all like a Final Solution, no. Our leaders and their little pretend soldier boy army kill from the sky, like Hitler would if he possessed drone technology. Like Roosevelt did with big bomber planes, and would again and again, whenever poor, geographically unlucky, peoples got in the way of his nightly fireside bourbon and pie.

I hate power because it clears cowards of murder. Any man or woman who kills for a system is suspect. And any soldier of any nation who has ever harmed a non-soldier is the most base and decrepit human being ever to inhale and exhale life. Why? Because it is abuse of power on a micro level, with few watching, and nothing to be gained. Absolute cowardice!

NPR and its fifty like apologists of these criminals and their crimes are guilty Joe Goebbels’.

From the “interview”:

How has it affected the International Criminal Court that the United States is not a member of it?

The United States is a great democracy. When World War II was over, Americans were loved everywhere. They kissed me and hugged me and everybody loved the Americans. Not today, not today. Because now they say the Americans, look, they don’t want to go onto the court. It’s not the Americans. It’s a small minority group, and you need two-thirds of the Senate to ratify a treaty which created these courts. You can’t get two-thirds because you’re always a few guys from the south*. Entitled to their opinion, entitled to respect, but we don’t have to be guided by backward-looking thinking.

You’ve hit here on a great paradox because you’ve made it clear that you think that war is terrible.

War is hell. It’s not terrible. It’s awful. And in addition to being cruel and mean and rotten, it’s stupid, because look at what we do now. We take young people, if the heads of state can’t agree, you send young people to kill other young people they don’t even know, who may never have harmed them or anybody else, and they get tired of killing them and then they stop and each side declares victory, rests for a while, and they go back again and they start killing each other again.

You’re getting me wound up, and I feel very strongly about it.

I have boiled everything down into a slogan: Law not war. Three words. If you could do that, how you would change the world. You’d save billions of dollars every day to be able to take care of the students who can’t pay their tuition, take care of the refugees who don’t have homes.

And the next question is, how do you do it? I have also three words: Never give up. And that’s what I’m doing. And all I can do as an old man [is] sit here in a little bungalow in Florida and urge the world to come to its senses. Good luck, world.

* “…A few guys from the south

Maybe Benjamin and Ron are kindred spirits…

The Civil War and Its Aftermath Turned the People of My Country Into Retarded Ogres

1861 should be remembered as Confederate Independence Year. More good for the earth would have come from their temporary, destitute freedom. Less species would have suffered worldwide. Global warming might have slowed, and my nation’s people would have had the opportunity to progress over time into a more humble, less warlike mob of drugged lab rats.
The Confederation wanted out of creeping industrial fascism. An agrarian economy with cash crops cotton, tobacco and procreating slaves could support itself, at least for a decade or two before the procreating slaves, overwhelming in number, rose up and slaughtered their oppressors. The dark skins would have a window of opportunity of a decade or two before the light skins could develop their own industrial fascism. Meanwhile, fruits of the bell’s kitchen garden would not trade well for the metal things needed to quell an overwhelming rebellion. Snotty okra for Gatling guns? He-he. No way.
So the slow, independent South strolling into the 20th century would either be experiencing its own civil war of rakes and hoes and rotten persimmon bombardments, or the new Haiti would have already instituted its Tim Dove laws. Jeff Davis would be shining shoes for a Nat Turner penny outside Natchez City Hall. Either way, the old Southern white way would have got its just desserts without the help of Northern bankers, industrialists, and multiple farmer boy cannon fodder.
And the world would have been better off by far without the post Civil War Military/Media/Medical/Educational Industrial complex.
I imagine all the good and bad of Northern society at best would have developed into a modern day Netherlands, or for worse, a fascist Germany or Italy, long ago defeated by pretend morally superior nations without an atomic bomb.
Today we aren’t so lucky. The South won. Its leaders waited the prescribed ten to fifteen years of Reconstruction, traded their bull whips in for lynch ropes, and took back Congressional seats by pious campaigns of fear and force. Now the white elite of the South, who were half to blame for the carnage of the 1860’s, and all to blame for slave quarters, sat themselves in tall-back leather chairs, scheming,
“We’re gonna get our revenge on Boston and New York if we have to legislate against the negro and the North for all of Hell’s eternity.”
And they are.
So why did the North fight to the death to keep the South unionized?
Beats me.
Northern industry never invested much of its wealth in quaint Southern towns of violent racial pride. So it had nothing to lose and much to gain with a southern departure. New York already had enough destitute West African and Irish-Italian slaves to stuff into their air-challenged factories. What wealth the South enjoyed beyond cotton and tobacco was trickle down from Northern prosperity. Picturesque, Southern genial society was, and is, a ward of the Federal system. A powerful welfare culture. The result was an illiterate, brutal post Civil War generation, very poor and very bored.
Many joined the military. Many invaded the West. Washington’s justifications for heinous acts of the time, whether against the Sioux, African or Philipino, were made in a large part by defeated peoples with a tremendous axe to grind. Their influence grew and grew.
Today, people of the Netherlands are more tall, robust and gay than the saturated-fatty folk of the U.S.A. Their south is tulips and pot cafés. Their North is tulips and pot cafés. The majority supports sustainable methods of agriculture, pure juice drinks, pregnant mothers, and joining together to ride bicycles to save the earth (even with the knowledge that their near future is an undersea Atlantis).
In the Netherlands it is elementary that since the famous draw at Appomattox Courthouse, the U.S. Southern military elite pushed its Northern brethren to adopt Jerry Falwell’s Bible as Army field manual. Today the Pentagon is run mainly by children of an angry God. General babies, a lá Stonewall Jackson. They are fearful, racist, faux-christian bullies with rage issues, put in charge of nuclear silos and submarines.
The Netherlands knows about the hijacking of America by its military. All of earth’s leaders do. For example, how else to explain why an invasion of sovereign nations a half a world away (Iraq, Afghanistan) was not countered by world war?
Because the world’s leaders know damn well who has dominion over the earth. A five minute conventional war would not be tolerated by the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Soldier to soldier combat died long before Wilbur and Orville made their contribution to mammal extinction. “Killing babies from a very safe distance,” has been the U.S. military motto ever since General Sherman concluded that different colored peoples of any nation or tribe would fight to the death to keep their fair share of tillable earth. Today this modern industrial military is American just like apple pie and picking off an old person from a mile away. Its generals, via the gestures of a puppet government in Washington, have made it very clear to the rest of the world that any brave, armed resistance from other capable nations will result in nuclear Armageddon. Immediate annihilation of all the tulips in Amsterdam.
In the Netherlands, people are well aware of the Neo-Nazis holding the earth hostage. And they know how this came to be.
In 1861 Northern Christians in charge of weapon’s factories, sympathized with influential abolitionist movements. Southern Christians whipped black people like wild dogs and justified it with the teachings of a sadistic God. Both the North and South were reading the same editions of the New Testament which explained ambiguously how to deal with enslaved families of a different color. They got into a ferocious religious battle. The abolitionist God was victorious, although still very racist, and got so stupid forgiving to allow his ugly side equal membership into heaven’s situation room.
Wars around the world, the tidying up of native peoples and paving of their lands, the leveling of California, draining of the Colorado, the new construction of football stadiums and the re-reconstruction of McDonalds on the same exact spot of soil, among other industrial insanities, has finally lit the fuse of earth’s nervous breakdown. Along with the eager help of nuke-ready warmongers, Mother Earth is set up nicely to eliminate 75% of her species.
This scenario could happen under the rule of any modern, hell-bent psychopathic culture. It’s just that doom might have been postponed if the North left the South alone, to justifiably be murdered in its sleep by any desperate lobby with a conscience.
So merely a hundred and fifty years later, moments after a mass invasion of a very weak Iraq, slaughtering millions of living creatures, with the ignition of flora and fauna to make a sand dune Jehovah wet his pants from fear, the United States president was asked by a staged reporter if he trusted his faith at this trying time of exploding to pieces other people’s babies.
In the Netherlands the question would not be about a genocidal leader’s faux-faith in a fighter pilot God, but rather how to compost his drawn and quartered body properly in a flood plain. So not to toxify the tulips you know.
It is the Old South that has usurped political action in America. It has got its revenge. The Confederacy is ringmaster of this super silly circus nation, and all earthlings suffer dearly for it.

Dear Government Media—With All This Suffering In the World, Can I Please Stop Giving A Crap About Suicidal Astronauts?


2016. Acrylic on canvas, 11 x 14″

Posted from several months back… Reposting today because I am sick of government/media propaganda. Now that both leading Presidential candidates have loosely talked about nuclear weapons and their use, which translates as threatening all of life with very real (not pretend iPhone) power, and therefore admitting to premeditated mass murder, I have taken the proverbial gloves off and challenged each to a thumb wrestle. I shall easily defeat teeny-fingered Trump, yet I still need to assess Clinton’s opposable, which at last account was thirty inches into Kissinger, and threatening to tickle his duodenum…

It’s time to come down hard on the people of this nation. All of the post-pubescent ones anyway. Those who believe that any politician anywhere takes on the Jesus problems that all mid-level spiritualists  burden themselves with on an hourly basis. Politically, we, the dumb pick-up truck or hybrid car coolies of inertia, deserve exactly what we get since atrocious food supplements like Apple Jacks® first found their home on cereal shelves across America.

Donald Trump rises to presidential possibilities because people who pretend to be liberal or conservative in America are still allowed to procreate, and worse still, raise their offspring. As adults we repeat the stupidest run-on sentences sometimes. Such as, “I am all for no smoking in restaurants, but I think our government should make trade deals with China because Sam Walton cared a great deal for the less fortunate even if his bones should be dug up and ground into a dust and the dust smeared on the lips of a cross-dressing rear admiral who floats his greasy fat arse around all day and night on top of a nuclear warhead, ready to annihilate life because some dandruff-flaked old white or wanna be white colonial man ordered him to”.

Phonies say stupid things like that all the time.

All the time.

How about this grammatically correct one? “Life is suffering”. You would never know it from the way the Dalai Lama jet plane puddle jumps from one stage to the next. Like Mick Jagger dressed down with less obvious greed, but a similar desperate desire to be loved and craved, and a subsidized private cook supper every night for the rest of his life.

Grow up! Or grow down, you freakin’ phony clowns. Life is not suffering. Fortunate, healthy children don’t suffer unless their parents hate them enough to pick a favorite for president.

Joe in North Carolina drives a truck for septic removal. His dad ain’t a soft bigot like him, no; Joe senior is downright klu-kluxed—both of ’em wanna vote for President cause Trump’s a New York City Billionaire. Makes sense to me, but never to 12 year-olds because America has reached this unprecedented stage of total adult degeneracy. This morning outside Wilmington many, many houses are floating away because Trump is gonna pour America a great big Lake Agassiz while he flies in his mother’s arse jumbo jet eight miles high, laugh, laugh, laughing at all the bloating and floating finger-lip gibberers who voted for him.

Whoosh! Whoa! A near miss in the sky. The Dalai Lama was escaping too, hightailin’ it back to Lhasa where the oceans have not reached… yet.

Stop your snickering old Sanders and new Clinton supporters. Sure we have the collective power to stop the clouds from warming, or at best attach a giant vacuum hose into outer space and suck out carbon, while simultaneously feeding and educating everyone on earth and getting cheap insulin for the babies we stuff with poison-in-a-box brought to you by Business As Usual, Inc. God forbid we save ourselves from annihilation by enforcing the non-existence of nuclear weapon technology. We can’t even legislate against plastic grocery bags! It would take a few screw drivers to dismantle thermonuclear death for all of earth’s species. Screwdrivers! So, we’re going to tax billionaires to halt global warming— nature’s normal reaction to humanities’ lust for the path of least resistance, which is exactly how floating water would behave if it could stuff its mouth all night long with pizza and wings from Dominoes®. Why not? Let’s halt atmospheric warming with money. Always money! Fight global catastrophe with arbitrary coinage. What is money? It is metal and paper. It’s earth, for crying out loud! Oh, I get it! We’re gonna save earth with earth. As if earth gets no say in the matter. Brilliant lunatic human logic.

All vanities are insane. However, the narcissistic baby boomers and their spawn need to be locked up now. Me and you. Right now. Children, cuff us. The baby-boomers got us into this mess and we (present-day, child-raising adults) have kept humanity bogged down in the slime, lapping up every last grocery like voracious bacteria.

Is there a solution in this rant, oh ranting Ron? Please hurry, we all have delusional promises to keep.

Yes, but unfortunately for humans, it’s not a human one… Still, very acceptable among non-human populations. A human being wrote it out in picture poetry a generation or two ago. Here it is.

“O take heart, my brothers. Even now… with every leader & every resource & every strategy of every nation on Earth arrayed against Her—Even now, O even now, my brothers, Life is in no danger of losing the argument!—For after all …. (as will be shown) She has only to change the subject.” —Kenneth Patchen




Modern Painters Also Make Movies Promoting Painting

Exhibition video for Round trip Stuckism!

Round Trip Stuckism

Here is just another labor of love that the painter-peasant is qualified to perform in the modern age. I put together a video using the art of several others and myself. It is well worth the 37 minutes—or in snippets during coffee breaks. The exhibition will be an enormous success. All of Russia and America must attend. I’ll start baking now. Any gluten allergies?

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The Not Much Longer Reign Of The Ignorant Emperor Sloth


“Tuna Melts and Cabbage Soup While Channeling the Genius of Lupo Sol” 2016. Acrylic on canvas, 16 x 20″

Very early yesterday morning I went to the grocery store, like I do most Sundays, to avoid the weekend rush of harried afternoon shopping. Lately, I have been planning ahead dinner meals for the coming week to get all ingredients in one shot. I used to be a daily market visitor until I realized that I hated our supermarket, because it was making me enormously depressed—not good when cooking occupies a large chunk of my day. I have sought liberation and wisdom my whole adult life, and several hours a day cooking for children and wife, makes musing a regularity. More than a thousand life changes, both real and imagined, have been contemplated in the kitchen—Philosophy, for me, began when I got a hold of Nature, Man, and Woman, by Alan Watts, and during the same season, realized that a fabulous soup can be made with cheap, wholesome ingredients.

Picking up rice in aisle three I overheard three men my age talking about the virtues of bottled marinade sauce. All agreed that the Olive Garden brand was best. Of course, it isn’t, and I use the term “men” in strictly its biological sense. What would have been best for supper was if Zeus sent a blazing hot thunderbolt onto their processed conversation, charring them good and proper for Polyphemus the cyclops, to be eaten with sea salt and olive oil. These men were life-haters, non-appreciative, non-nurturing, non-dreaming, self-entitled voracious consumers of anything under the sun that their economic class could afford them. In a phrase, ignorant emperor sloths. To each there is no one wiser, no teacher, no greatness beyond a wife who puts up with their diarrhea moanings from the bathroom after a night of beer drinking and slurping a soup of Olive Garden marinade. Just as soon as the cramping is gone, however, the wife loses her status, and the ignorant emperor sloth is free to pretend all over again that his opinion matters, that diversity is a conspiracy to impoverish Caucasians, that guns don’t kill people, that because it snows in January, global warming is a monumental, liberal hoax.

All economic classes are caught up in illusions so thick, that they also share important opinions on marinade sauce. Once in a while the topic turns to saving the world one savior candidate at a time. But each still wants what the other one wants. That is, to have everything on a straight path without stumbling, and the bliss of ignorance, to cover up the gnawing despair which a linear path reveals. So, they discuss the virtue and vice of a Hillary Clinton, or Donald Trump, when one is a killer and the other a pervert. Even the the smartest book-smarters don’t see that a people gets the government it deserves. The media did not make these two cowards of the human race. Sure, it’s responsible for Olive Garden marinade, but it’s the individual, you and me fat charlie, who ate the world and now complain about stomach cramps.

I too am an ignorant emperor sloth. I think on it every day. I began thinking it 25 years ago while spooning the oatmeal into my toddler’s mouth. The ignorance and arrogance consummation of modern man has reached its climax. I only visit aisle three for my rice and beans, and occasionally a can of chipotle peppers when the feeling arises. You want to talk about choice marinades while your children watch presidential candidates practically have rough sex on an international stage? Go for it, since you(we) already do, every day, while obtaining choice stuff under the sun, and then blaming the other guy for it.



The Curators of the Smithsonian American Art Museum and Renwick Gallery Need A History Lesson


William the Farmer 1807-1883

Two years ago I set out to document the genealogy of Throops, of which I am the last male in my line. During the Great Depression my Great Grandfather Henry made genealogy his wintertime hobby, when no work was available to an engineer building roads and bridges. He amassed quite an impressive archive to pass on. Old tin types and photos, letters from the mid-nineteenth century, his grandfather’s handwritten autobiography, personal Civil War artifacts and stories handed down from his father, etc., etc. He was a born archivist, yet few in his circle of friends and family appreciated his side work, and boxes got stored in the attic over the course of three more generations. I took up his work in 2012, traveling to all the towns where the family settled since arriving to North America in 1660, and adding more detail to his archive, as well as a poet/painter’s imagination in paint, prose, collage and modern home video technology. I painted 11 portraits of the male line, pasted an eight foot long collage of time line detail, edited a video of my odyssey, and published a colorful book on the patronym, all on my own dime. No grants, no special presents, no expectation of reward. I had a show in October of that year. Good friends came, a few acquaintances, and my begging jar made $130.00 cash for the hundreds of hours put into the display. The book was an absolute joy in the making. I had my father’s handwriting made into a font and used it in many aspects of the design.

In late 2013 I was corresponding with a representative of the Renwick Gallery about acquisition of this work. My intention was/is to preserve in the American Painter archive my historical work as an American painter. At least there it would last as long as the United States remained a sovereign entity.
At first I was vying for a purchase of my work, but the assistant curator hinted that I should also offer it as donation to the museum. I agreed. My intention was/is mostly  archival. I want my great grandchild to have access beyond the thermostatically uncontrolled attic of the future. The assistant agreed to pass the request over to the curatorial team. And I got my reply of “no thank you” by the end of the week.
Ho boy. Now for the argument in favor of nullification.
My wife and I pay a federal tax of about $4,000 a year, maybe more, probably more, but we figure like children in matters of finance. Many people we know have made a touch upon the government till at some point over the course of their lives. Veteran’s benefits, disability checks, and recent Affordable Healthcare recipients to name a few. Many receive no benefit from paying federal tax, other than the illusory cover of protection from a military build up out of control. The Smithsonian is a subsidized institution, as are national parks, and federal highway programs. We pay our half-penny to curators in D.C. to oversee the archive of our history, and our 26th part of a penny to the overseers at the Renwick. Sure, my family can spend a couple thousand bucks visiting Washington D.C. and attend a full day in the Renwick for free, but it’s not for free, as the capital makes its dime on our visit one way or another. In fact our stay in D.C actually helps authenticate a system that has become corrupt beyond recognition of its original intention. I believe that as a living and breathing American painter my request to have the above work archived must be taken seriously. It is respectful payback for my yearly investment made to the coffers of this depleted nation. Just accepting a copy of the book for future reference would have been acceptable to me. A request from the last man in a Throop legacy dating all the way back to 1660 who also happens to be a professional painter! What excuse can the curators of the Renwick possibly give that is not grossly unfair as well as insulting? They represent an historical archive of American painters. How many alive today recently completed a thorough genealogy backed by individual portraits of each male member of eleven generations?  My guess is zero, which gives me some justification to make a claim for storage at least, by virtue of American originality. The Renwick has a basement and the basement can possess a bookshelf to house a Throop publication. I never wanted a floor show. I just expect the art archivists to do their damn job. There is room. The burden is on the curators to prove the contrary. Otherwise, the pink slips. Even I, without doctoral training, would recognize a work of historical significance.
A relative Deborah Goldsmith has some work in the Renwick. She painted several Throops in the Burned Over District of central New York in the early 19th century, making weekend portraits for a time before she married my Great Great Great cousin and then died young. She was a talented poet (my daughters and wife recite one of her poems in the video). There are about ten of her paintings surviving in museums around the country. Her work is very representative of an era in American history when no one graduated from universities as art curators. Therefore valuable historical artifacts weren’t compiled when the compiling mattered—when the work was fresh, available, and undamaged. Today we have multiple millions of dollars exchanged educating professional art archivists who act as if they have not learned a damn thing. They will let me die with a moldy basement stuffed to the ceiling of historically relevant yet significantly damaged lifetime build up of canvases. My children will contact an assistant curator at the Renwick to inquire about donating some of the work. Even then I think acceptance would be a toss-up. One has to be good and dead before a modern educated curator gets hit on the head with an understanding of historical significance. Maybe my great grandkids will have better luck. Maybe nobody in the line gets included in the American legacy. And then an old Whistler depicting a rabbit in the snow is found in someone’s attic, and the $6,000 banners go up around the Renwick calling out to the tourists to come see another ubiquitous painter of our blah-blah history.
And so the subsidized bureaucracy in America feeds upon itself. What’s new?

An Introduction to the Book That The Renwick Finds Unacceptable For Free

I remember the first time I got a hold of Throop/Goldsmith Ancestral Charts. My father had me borrow it, as well as Henry’s three unpublished manuscripts (History, Charts, and Photos) when I was 26 years old. I leafed through the pages at my makeshift desk of early sorrows, while dreaming of Henry Miller, Thoreau, Whitman, Kenneth Patchen, etc. I was going to become them, not myself, which, in a fact I could not conceive of at the time, was all I ever was going to be. The study of genealogy is not for the modern twenty-something. It is a very rare wonder, a young man or woman today delving into the world of their ancestors. Yet for Henry Throop it was an interest of his at an early age. Was genealogy a popular pastime at the turn of the 20th century? His book of local deaths, begun at age eleven, was most likely a professional duty left by a recently deceased country doctor to his son, and not a boy’s macabre fascination to be diagnosed by the Freudians of his day. Still Henry’s interest in the families of Lebanon, N.Y., even in his time, was probably a peculiar quirk for a young man soon off to academy and then college. His early journals are replete with accounts of local marriages, births and deaths. In hindsight this sheds light to a different career path that would have brought him uncommon joys. A successful engineer, I have no doubt that Henry was a born historian. Maybe he would have tossed into the ditch Macadam Road worries and transit dreams, provided there existed an economy in his day that encouraged the intellectual flights of fancy of poor country boys.
So I returned the books to my Dad, giving back no more than “Hmphh, imagine that!” out of the exchange, and continued on my own path of raising a daughter half-time as a line cook in a rinky-dink restaurant. I had dreams too. The literary life! A path of writing out my history as it happened; in the modern fashion a la´Henry Miller — the good, the bad, the private and often truly embarrassing. Unlike my great grandfather, I actually lived in an economy where I could choose any path I wanted, provided I paid my dues to the university that would graduate me to the career and/or income level of my choice. And yet unlike Henry I was raised in a community that worshiped its own immediate marvelousness and seemed to cut all ties to its past. It’s funny how Henry mentions with amusement in his autobiography that his children Ronald and Robert thought he lived in “Bible” times. And yet I think of my grandfather Ronald as the most conservative, traditional human being that ever walked the earth.
I am told by my father David that Ronald took little interest in Henry’s passion for the past. Yet I know now that by succumbing to the power of tradition, Ronald proved to be quite gifted in the art of the future. He and my grandmother Evelyn, funded the undergraduate educations of all five of their grandchildren. Both attended Cornell during the Depression years, and forged a will towards lifelong frugality. My living family owes a deep debt of gratitude to their gift, for although their hope was to secure a bright economic future for their progeny, they could not foresee the immense social and economic change that would spoil the be-Jesus out of successive generations. Still they deserve high praise for their efforts, for I believe that even if a college degree does not guarantee two cars and a garage, it can pull the individual somewhat out of ignorance in a world gone wrong. Eventually true education will pine for knowledge of the past, wherein lies the wisdom that those who cannot learn (the ignorant) or will not (the arrogant, formally educated fools), are denied. I cannot speak for my sisters and cousins, but I have been a carrier of the torch set by our ancestors. And I will (I already have) handed it over to my daughters. Henry funded Ronald’s education. The DeClerq’s did the same for Evelyn (college was a tool for her to find a rich husband, yet she chose Ronald, to her parent’s chagrin). William and Calphurnia set up James Mott for a medical degree. Dan and Sarah Throop helped their son William become a schoolhouse teacher. No government loans. No scholarship opportunities listed on the Internet. The next generation was to have a better life, but not without hard work and responsibility. Oh yes, and up to the discovery of penicillin, most held a deep respect for a god that would take their loved ones on an insidious whim. This kept everyone’s life on a less selfish, more communal trajectory. The boom economy of the mid twentieth century had the fathers working, the mothers starting to dream about work, and a new age where even their daughters could go to college to begin a career, and choose a husband who supported a wife’s ambitions beyond housework and the raising of children. Wow! Progress! The kids were left home to play all day, without fieldwork and disease. Praise the home inventions and affordable access to video and vroom-vroom. Forget about those old codgers of the past. Let’s party!
Well, we have lost so much in less than a century. Although I have not honored my grandparents with a choice career, at least I have gained the knowledge of whom to emulate for the next thirty summers or so.
My people.
Kurt Vonnegut wrote that there are more than enough world champions to fit into every category of human endeavor. The rest of us are poor imitators to the “great ones” of today. And we suffer a lifetime of familial loneliness for giving up the evolutionary
success of clans nurtured for thousands upon thousands of years.
A western genealogy going back several generations will pinpoint the dislocation for individual families. Modern technology has freed us to take a path back to a wisdom which was forgotten soon after so much of the world got rich so quickly. After discovering the contents of Throops past in stored boxes I now possess the desire to shun all imitation of fools. This private education got its jump start in the public institution. For this I am grateful. It is okay to be who I am. I am so much my father and mother and the sum of all family that came before. The future is my children. The past are my ancestors. Thoreau wrote that it’s “better to be a living dog than a dead lion.” I disagree. The dead lions live in us all, and because of this knowledge, I rise above “dog”, not by virtue of my own life necessarily, but as a result of the efforts of my forbears. They are me. I am a wonder of evolution, and my daughters will be even more suited to maneuver through life’s future challenges. It is to Henry, for his reverence of the past, and to Ronald, for his steadfast hope in the future, that I dedicate this book.


This is not a complete genealogy. Not even close. It is to be shown in an art installation this fall which centers around portraits painted of the direct paternal line of Throops going back to William of Barnstable Massachusetts, 1660. I know I have a mother and great mothers descending a million or so years back to equatorial Africa, and each of these human wonders had a father and mother. To think about the multitudinous lines connected in memory to just one person living today, is more the task for a math super genius than the hobbyist historian.
No, my method is for sake of congruity. I assemble the following pages with a loving touch to carry on a small portion of the work begun by my great grandfather.
So no hard feelings mothers and daughters!