writing

The Last Anxiety Dream

roseworking

“Rose Left For Work This Morning With Her Nose in a Better Place” 2017. Acrylic on paper, 11 x 15″

Rose is my wife. Or, I am her husband. They say possession is 9/10 the law, and to anyone looking, it’s obvious that we are close—married to the hilt— bearing all the positive and negative of that attachment vice/virtue the Buddhists claim is soul draining. So, emotionally, we possess each other, for better or worse, like good/bad attachments. We “get it”, and flow fairly well together, through good and bad, in concert with fluctuating hormonal balances—her month, my month, hair loss, hair gain… We have nearly mastered the art of cohabitation, and she, whether realizing it or not, is primed and ready for a sweet nirvana, if she ever desires/not desires its potential awakening.

Me, on the other hand, is an anxious mess. The culprit (if I must ascribe blame. And I must because I am not healed) is culture, and the roles it pressures us into, wittingly or unwittingly. Rose is breadwinner. We eat and stay dry and warm because she maintains acceptable work outside the home. A steady job that pays well enough for me to stay home and keep life about us steady and content. I am literally bread-maker—stay-at-home cook and part-time butler, part-time painter, writer, curator. These are the chores separating me from Rose, for we are both very sensitive, full time spouse and parent, and there should be no comparisons made in these departments. I am an okay cook, decent butler, yet would fail the most basic Emily Post white-glove inspection.

Selective breeding among male Throops carried on fairly well without me for 56,000 years, and then Rose and I came along and upset the stream. Damned it up good and proper, I’d say, for I haven’t gone a day in my adult life without some manner of confusion about my place and role(s) in a society that worships nothing but abstractions—namely, money.

To say I am an anxious person would be a gross understatement. I am more like an outwardly successful squirrel, yet unsatisfied with myself in a world of squirrels that covets and adores a mutual abstraction. Squirrels around me who act like squirrels day after day, accumulating nuts, building impressive nests, braving seasons and storms, but underlying every accomplishment is the pressing desire to accumulate the abstraction that will make the squirrel a new squirrel, refined prince or princess in squirrel kingdom. I am infected with the abstraction also, which makes me a constantly dissatisfied squirrel. Let’s say this abstraction occupying us squirrels practically night and day is the desire to accumulate human manufactured snow-globes. Many generations ago, some wise and economically trained squirrel scribes thought to create a falling leaf money supply to ease and simplify transactions among squirrels of Squirreldom, however knowing the ubiquitous existence of trees, sought a limited, countable base currency to give an abstract value to something that was readily available in Squirreldom—leaves. Leaf banks opened up practically overnight, followed by upstanding squirrels founding colleges and universities, the development of a million acceptable leaf-paying occupations (none of them nut gathering), and finally a culturally devastating, squirrel-separating atomization.

Anyway, I had a dream last night, my last one about money if hope can help it. I was at Donald Trump’s next wedding and the cheapskate expected a gift. 60 dollars is a lot when you can’t make that in a month from painting. Rose’s brother from D.C. was there with his wife telling her in a false admiring, deeply condescending way, that it was “too cool” that I painted—Oh, but I could see the mockery in his eyes and hear it in the tone of his voice. Shamed again! And not for the last time that night. After the gifts were laid out for all and sundry to see, Trump had my gift, a painting, taken out and thrown in the trash. Rose confided to me that she provided a back-up without my knowledge—a Samsung® tablet for the new bride. I was so mad. I stormed out of the tent and went to sleep on a servant’s cot in some nearby dusty garage.

The end.

Faith that my marriage is secure, I intend to reach my end beating to death inside me this false god money. Whenever I have deep doubt, (and that is as often as dinner), I will take that negative energy and with it,  push as hard as I can into a positive dream.  This money god has got all of us squirrels absolutely frazzled. All my nuts aren’t secure, but I know where to find them. I had no faith in gods. I want no faith in money. I’ll play my faith at this marriage and focus my dreams on a persistent present moment. I will continue to write and paint erratically, like a squirrel caught both ways in the road.

Friends, family, and safe acquaintances, please continue to buy the paintings I paint and books that I write. Heck, $50 is “better than a sharp stick in the eye”, as my bodhisattva wife often proclaims. I leave you now with a few paintings by me and a song by someone else.

“The Bodhisattva Poses With Her Anniversary Pot” 2016. Acrylic on canvas, 16 x 20″

spirit animal

“Is the Squirrel My Spirit Animal Or Am I Just Hyper-Paranoid?” 2015. Acrylic on canvas, 14 x 11″

rosegoldfish

“In November, 2051, Rose Will Be Out in the Backyard ‘Digging a Goldfish Pond’. Just Wave, and Carry On” 2017. Acrylic on Alexey’s packaging particle board, 12 x 16″

Please look the other way, and just listen….

I Believe it is Inherent for the Artist to Doubt His or Her Own Face

Meenough

2017. Acrylic on (8) scrap canvas, 6 x 6″

News this morning says that the big penis bomb dropped on the subterranean  compound in Afghanistan killed 36 ISIS fighters. All bad guys according to the Pentagram, I mean Pentagon, upside-down crucifix… whatever the name for “Satan Central” is these days. So I get low some mornings down in the basement studio, knowing that, with a dead Constitution, we are all just a broken people without a country. And I paint emotionally.

The Pentagon thought a million Vietnamese were all “bad guys”. A million Iraqis too. 300 million dollars (cost of exploding penis) to kill 36 repressed suicide bombers, and our heavily armored, eye-brow-cured “leader” declares it a success. And yet, the ISIS gang can achieve equal success, and more by murdering innocents at an airport, or shopping mall, or public park—wherever the heck they want to. And all they need for it is some wires, TNT, an electrician, and of course a man or woman whose child was killed by the Pentagram, I mean, Pentagon, no, I mean upside-down crucifix.

My God, this broken war-mongering state has made so many psychologically sick persons that it wouldn’t be difficult to recruit a few, and for a million bucks a pop, strap some explosives to their bodies and drop them from airplanes onto any heavily ISIS’d desert military compound, or, tit for tat, an ISIS airport (Oh wait, they don’t have any of those), shopping mall (none of those either), or public park (nope, zippy, nada).  There are many American life failures who might offer up their bodies for a cool mil to be collected by loved ones after a successful mission. And it would simultaneously free up millions for home improvement. Infrastructure, housing, health care.

Nope. The corporito mafia wouldn’t get its cut.

Anyway, Happy Easter! In 2004, during the recent memory insanity of constitutionally illegal Iraq war, I wrote the following open letter and mailed 40 copies to all the religious houses in my city and countryside. Hummers were delivering their broken families to church, while the paid-for military was spreading disease all over the globe. It was time to scold the scared little preacher lambs. They weren’t doing their Jesus job. Cost me 40 stamps and I never got one reply. Oh well Mr. Vonnegut, so it goes…

An Open Letter to My Local Messengers of the Gospel to be Read Aloud This Easter Sunday….

Earlier today I heard over my car radio that a mosque in Fallujah, Iraq had been struck by three U.S. missiles. A Mosque in Iraq. Missiles. In 1938 rocks were thrown at Jews and their windows. The Night of Broken Glass.Today, April 8, 2004, forty Iraqis were blown to pieces by your government. A sacred house. A holy shrine. Today I believe this mosque to be the holiest place on earth. Little Jesus was one of those children inside, crouching, holding his tiny ears while your government assassins melted him.
This Easter Jesus will die and rise from the grave for Iraqi children. Why should he even bother with the Americans? Our children are not in need of any god or its savior. Our children have been orphaned by the holy spirit.
So now you know what has happened, and what will you do about it? Myself? I stuck my head out the car window and screamed a thousand curses on mankind. With all my vocal might I shouted out hate until I nearly passed out with rage. If war is crazy, then a church that is silent about war is criminally insane. Criminal to Jesus Christ. To men, to birds of the air and beasts of the land and of the sea. A mosque is burning and children are screaming for their mothers and fathers. Grief is destroying the families of Iraq and I must do my part to block your false Easter joy with cries of their suffering.
I am tired of crying my heart out to fallow fields, to oblivious trees and squirrels. It is time to confront the men of my village. The truth is that your church is partly responsible for the premeditated murder of human beings. I call on you to end the global murder perpetuated by your silence, your acquiescence, your tax dollars and those of your congregation’s. You have a pulpit and therefore a responsibility to God and the people to right the wrongs of your brothers and sisters.
The children of Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine… Are you not getting the story correct? Who is David and who is Goliath? If Jesus was walking the streets of Fallujah this morning, where would he run to when all hell broke loose? To the mosque of the holy spirit, or to the Bradley tank? Do I have the New Testament wrong? Have I been away so long that Christianity has warped into a reliable adjunct of the Pentagon? Do you ever wonder why people don’t pack full your churches? Do you speak for Jesus or the American emperor? Are you a Pharisee, a mobster, a coward? For God’s sake, stop reading Christ as if he were literate! You know as well as me when the gospel was written. You know who wrote it too. A good comparison would be the Indian Parliament in the year 2300 interpreting Gandhi’s message for the masses, with uplifting words as well as a massive arsenal of nuclear weapons.
Please now, the suffering people of Iraq are deserving of good news this Easter. Say something for them if you can claim understanding of anything Jesus. Why so many preachers live the better part of their spiritual lives in Revelations will always be a mystery to me. Maybe fear and impotence play a larger role than I had imagined. Maybe after all is said and done, the lot of you just suffer from spiritual envy. You can’t deny that those terrorized Muslims sure know how to feel!
I think regular doses of suffering would make us better believers too, but unfortunately Walmart doesn’t carry any of that in stock. In America, Sunday church is only as palatable as the brunch afterwards. The latter is always too cheap for real maple syrup. The former just gyps the spirit.
For Christ’s sake, go out into the streets this Easter! At least lead your congregation on a march through the parking lot. Point to the machines that are destroying their planet. Help them to understand what that means… to not have a sustainable planet. For contrary to present Christian representative opinion, global warming is a Jesus problem. Also nuclear weapons, the military budget, the Patriot Act… Jesus, these are all very good Jesus problems. I’m afraid that the real revelation these days is that most of you are so far gone from the teachings of Christ that American Christian spirituality is one of the world’s biggest jokes. You are good comedy. Funny like the Morris family in Uganda
preaching the gospel to unbelievers. I think that a Ugandan criminal has more Jesus in him than all the Morris family and their church sponsors combined. Why? because chances are that that poor sinner has actually suffered. Americans don’t suffer. They weep into their pillows and buy cars. And you, who could possess so much authority in your own house, allow them too many transgressions, even these mass murders of late. Why? For your own security?
For the sake of all God’s creatures, risk your jobs this Easter Sunday. Tell the people what they do not want to hear. Give to the Iraqi children who have died for you. Cease negotiations with the Emperor. Let the people come to your mosque for reasons of life and death. But first tell the people what they damn well need to hear. That Jesus Christ would not be proud of them. At least no Jesus of my heart would die for these hide-behind-missile child murderers.
The killing must stop now. It is your job to stop it. Make our Jesus proud! Imitate the Christ this Easter.

NPR Is U.S. State Media, Which Makes Sense. Every State Needs a State Media. Even an Outlaw State.

NPRIntellectual

“As a Leading Pretend Intellectual at NPR, I Know Privately That There are No Proportions in Death, But Publicly I Don’t Give a Crap Because I Am a Disgusting Opportunist” 2017. Acrylic on paper, 11 x 15″

There is no difference between the phony intellectual radio host at NPR and the phony “I am the common man bigot” radio host in “right” wing broadcasting. They’re both working the state’s angles. It must be so, for even the pretend Christian police and their talk radio aren’t espousing a moral code beyond that of “I am afraid of sex and good cooking culture”. Nor is “I Heart Radio” offering more morality than a Nicki Minaj ass crack to the world. So, if there is no moral bullhorn beyond the artist, and there is no artist community as far as I can see, then who or what dear reader is shaping yours and my deepest convictions? NPR? Fox News? The President? The Internet?

A test for members of a pretend free state. Begin advertising today for an assembly of morally like-minded peoples to meet in your living room for discussion. No Internet. No TV, radio. No politics. Just morals.

If you’re a practicing atheist, cite from your gut, as if you came into the world that afternoon.

If you’re an old Christian or Jew, you may begin the conversation with, let’s say, the Ten Commandments.

A Hindu? Ask what would Rama do? No, make that Sita, who was obviously morally superior.

An old Muslim, Buddhist, Zoroastrian? Find a good moral base in scripture and begin from there. If you have initial success and get popular, enough so that maybe over 20 people stop in every Tuesday night to talk morality, then count the hours before NPR begins its reporting on your terrorist cell that needed to be raided by the authorities, for the informant on the inside leaked the moral thoughts being exchanged. And as everyone privately knows, it is a kind of state sin to barter morality, especially in secret.

Try it. You might like it, or not. It will reveal that beautiful human feeling we were given as children, but lost or replaced from neglect over time…

A conscience.

Seek it. It’s yours.

 

 

 

 

Capillary Reaction Serialization #7 is a Ghost Story

The Boar Thinks Benzene Poisoning is Funny

“The Boar Thinks Benzene Poisonong Is Funny” 2012. Acrylic on panel, 18 x 14″

France Paintings

These paintings were made during a brief residency in Southwestern France. There was a sixth, a trout “swimming joyfully in a river pool of toluene paint thinner”, that was bought last year at a show in Cooperstown. In America a purchaser of a trout can be a fish lover and a gas drilling supporter at the same time. Here it is not necessary to connect art with conscience. Hence the ridiculous Croesus wealth-building of perverts like Jeff Koons and Lady Gaga.
I do not speak or write in the French language. These translations are pathetic, but that’s okay because the fauna of France do not speak French either. But they are inclined to chew off our arms for the audacious move by the bad (rotten) apples among us who are encroaching upon their property rights.
These paintings and more aim to stop the hydrofracking industry from invading our beautiful upstate New York countryside. A tough front to form indeed. My local public radio station, WRVO, at the behest of fracking millionaires, is telling us to “think about it”. That is, accept the reality that propaganda is king, even among our supposed publicly funded institutions.
I had a nice time painting in France. For eight days I was hounded by an angry ghost in a 13th century bastide. It was late October and it drove me to bed down in the unheated studio. To be polite I told my hostess that I was keeping myself in a restless state to stimulate creativity. No. I was terrified, painting every waking moment while watching my back. Beside a farmer’s fallow field, I took one long walk down a Roman road, and visited a castle on the last day of my trip.

The Existential Worker Hornet Thinks It Might Prefer Euthanasia By Methane Gas

“The Existential Worker Hornet Thinks It Might Prefer Euthanasia By Methane Gas” 2012. Acrylic on wood panel, 14 x 18″

The Trout Swims Joyously in a River Pool of Toluene Paint Thinner

“The Trout Swims Joyfully in a River Pool of Toluene Paint Thinner” 2012. Acrylic on wood panel, 14 x 18″

 

The Roe Deer Wants Cheese to Taste Like Vanadium Curd

“The Roe Deer Wants Cheese to taste Like Vanadium Curd” 20112. Acrylic on wood panel, 14 x 18″

The Stone Marten Waits at the Pipe Fitting For a Sip of Napthalene

“The Stone Marten Waits at the Pipe Fitting for a Sip of Naphthalene” 2012. Acrylic on wood panel, 14 x 18″

The Slow Worm Hopes a Garden Soaked in Formaldehyde Will Bring Longevity

“The Slow Worm Hopes a Garden Soaked in Formaldehyde Will Bring Longevity” 2012/ Acrylic on wood panel, 18 x 14″

This last one has a translation error most likely because the ghost was breathing its hot 14th century bad breath down the back of my neck…

 

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Installment #6 of Capillary Reaction To Record the Joys of Naphthalene for my District Congressperson

Primary

“Primary Fast Frack With White and Black” 2011. Acrylic on (3) paper, 30 x 16″

Superfly.jpg

2014. Acrylic on wood panels, (6) 6 x 6″

First the Sun and Then the Moon Waxes Poetic The Radium-266 Superfly

I learn something new each time I research the side effects of hydrofracking:
http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/11/09/fracking-and-radioactivity/
Radium-266 is bad for humans, but inspiring beyond words to its namesake mutant species “superfly”. All day and night the superfly sings lustily of days to come and gone by—the willow that stretched to the stars and cracked with the first big wind, the last squirrel to pack soil over a nut, pick its head up to the sun, and cough up a blood clot, the dreams of a mate to fly with over the lake counting the floating fish in the moonlight… The superfly is a poet and a visionary. He sleeps subterranean for seven years subsisting in a bath of charged radium ions. Then at pre-dawn on midsummer night he rises with the sun to sing the song of the world and find a mate to cuddle up with for the next long radioactive sleep.
It wasn’t enough to have a hundred toxic chemicals bubbling in a murky frack pool, so we opted for mining some well-known carcinogenics too.
With a three-year lease, Landowner Ted can now afford an F350 run on natural gas, a tiller with its own choke, and cash payments for his grandson’s chemotherapy.
Also, unfortunately, for the next 16,000 years, Landowner Ted’s descendants cannot step outside without a mosquito netting cage. The superflies’ bite is instant death, and no pesticide can kill it.

It’s About Water You Suicidal Turtles! Water!

2015. Acrylic on canvas, 16 x 20″

It’s About Water You Suicidal Turtles! Water!

Opening night in Hamilton is over. I am freed up to continue amassing the first local environment painting exhibition that will be the last ever necessary. All adults of earth shall pass through the gallery thinking, “What has happened?” and “Why was I not meditating like an old ghost after having babies and teaching them the Golden Rule”?
I am convinced that, in the West anyway, art and artist must become the moral bullhorn to check humanity’s penchant for cardinal sin. I remember back during the Iraq “war” when I wrote to 40 local ministers and priests chastising them for being scared little puppies to their congregations. It seemed not one of them had the guts to outwardly protest the slaughter. The SUV’s kept driving in on Sunday mornings to hear of their personal greatness—the holy men had bills to pay, bell towers to repair at exorbitant union wages. Either way, protest or not, there would be many more crimes committed by the lost sheep, so keep quiet and share the spoils. I scolded them with the knowledge of how the church became the Hummer became the church. Not one response. Of course I never supplied a return address (I was an artist not a prophet).
Environmental disaster, like war, is not a concern to the corporate God men and women. Heaven is hard work. Few have time to think about earth, water, and air anymore. A good economy will refurbish the church, and while so many are frantically busy applying themselves to bloating the coffers (by all means), little artists paint pictures hand-slapping the bad men, who include even ministers and priests!

Capillary Reaction Installment #5 and the Book to Purchase to Raise Money for my Self-Esteem/Sad

cardinaltumblr

2014. Acrylic on canvas. 32 x 48″

You can buy the book and join me in the catch-22 nightmare of never being freed from the poisonous web of “everyone pollution”. Unfortunately, Representative John Katko (The fracking lover) is me is you is brother-sister-mom, and dad. Multi-billionaire Jeff Bezos, the owner of Amazon and landlord of Createspace® which publishes this book on demand, is a leading dark lord overseeing the advent of environmental catastrophe. My wife and I must prepare our taxes today. I have made approximately $- 2658.00 in 2016. The nonplussed rabbit in the painting invented a dollar/despair converter calculator that uses the symbol ‰ (sad) to measure collective species despair for every dollar humans spend on global trade. Negative readings do not offset positive when converting to the sad. So, according to the calculator, in 2016, I contributed 3.7‰ to all of earth’s living things. John Katko, the U.S. Congressmen I intend to unseat in 2018, acquired 3780.00‰ from sad tax payers like you. Neil Young, the talented activist rocker, made nearly 69,000‰ to life on earth. And finally, the great Jeff Bezos, despair-creating delivery tycoon, added 396,000,000‰ (sad) to all of earth’s biological species.

Buying the book will give me the boost of self-esteem I require to increase my sad among sentient beings. Or, you can keep my sad at a break-even more or less, by reading for free from this 2010 Apple computer, charged by coal, oil, or gas, producing about .003‰ per month.

The Eighth Cardinal Sin Must Be The Pursuit of Happiness

Finished a painting yesterday, a study in the human justification of “happiness and all else be damned”. In the age of resources, it could be the great sin that fuels the other seven, and sadly, solely responsible for our final collapse. At least now I know why Jefferson declared it—so he could justify the Louisiana Purchase from a third party, own as many slaves as was necessary to seek happiness, and love make with the attractive ones whenever he got lonely from all that happiness finding.
Even well drillers just want to be happy. So do the anti-well drillers. The fracking protestor doesn’t want a company from Texas feeding subterranean New York State with toxic juices. He jumps up and down with a sign and some friends, and drives his Mexican made Volkswagen 30 miles north back to his warm cozy Christmas house, heated dutifully by fracking labor in rural North Dakota. Likewise, families in Puebla appreciate the pesos generated from the Volkswagen Jetta-making plant, but hate the smell and the silver metal dust cutting into their kid’s scalps. It’s a trade-off for happiness. How else will they afford cable TV and French wine?
A boom economy in North Dakota keeps Lewis and Clark State Park lodge stocked to the rafters with bottled spring water from Maine. The recycling plant in Williston runs 24/7, and nowadays all residents are familiar with the new parts per million science, and therefore happier.
There is no human moral high ground in this debate. Even photovoltaics have to be made somewhere, out of unnatural, non-renewable things. Factories are never earth-friendly even when producing giant rectangular sun-catchers. We could live under a tree by the river, like Ratty in The Wind in the Willows, or all cozy tea-like at Mole End with the frack froth seeping up from the floorboards.  Then we would pursue human happiness like rodentia in the wood, that is, with an amazing frack induced picnic luncheon of: “coldtonguecoldhamcoldbeefpickledgherkinssaladfrenchrollscresssandwidgespottedmeatgingerbeerlemonadesodawater—”
“‘O stop, stop,’ cried Mole in ecstasies: ‘This is too much!’
‘Do you really think so?’ inquired the Rat seriously ‘It’s only what I always take on these little excursions; and the other animals are always telling me that I’m a mean beast and cut it very fine!’”
Poor Kenneth Grahame was nervous about the future. No doubt he sniffed in the harsh, coal field stench of Nottinghamshire at some point in his life. Perhaps Toad was the pursuit of happiness amphibia incarnate. He was an ignorant spaz, buying up whatever was offered for immediate gratification, checking his many deeds off on the cardinal sin list, while thinking everyone else a simpleton. For it was only a matter of time before ratty, mole, and even cantankerous badger would want to race about the countryside in a newfangled automobile.
This painting shows nature finally joining those whom they cannot beat. I hate hydrofracking. I hate my pile of discarded packaging waiting to be recycled even more. A sack of oats and brown sugar would get the worst rat character through a hard winter. No need to drive over to the supermarket once a week for a 12 ounce box of already chewed Cheerios®. And any mole could tell you that the cooper would make a tub for the peanut butter if the cooper wasn’t long ago executed by the always boy Peter Pan, henchman for ConAgra. We, the glorious anti-hydrofrackers have not yet learned how to stay put and buy in bulk. We think it’s okay, this day-to-day world we participate in, as long as the water is as pure as our water factories can fake it.
The poisonous web connects us all. I am sticking with my hypothesis—that we need to go all mid eighteenth century with access to antibiotics before catalysts like nuclear winter and cancer water make it so without the hope of repair. Hence, follow through with my anti-fracking show in the spring. Keep the potable water flowing while pursuing our sickly happiness.