April 30, 2004 at 7:49 pm | In yulelogStories | 12 Comments

Admittedly, in my view, odd is the factory in the background being hit by what looks like lightning.

…Oh, hang on, that’s the struggle against sweatshops and globalised exploitation!

Happy pre-General Strike in BC Day, too! No school, no library, no garbage collection: nothing was on today. And that was a warning.

In lieu of an entry…

April 28, 2004 at 10:46 pm | In yulelogStories | 5 Comments

…an extended comment to the entry on April 23
about Al Tysick.  Go read that if you will.

I had a lovely offline
weekend and I also wasn’t able to access this blog for a few days (was
the server down?), hence the paucity of entries. 

I went on a rant
(albeit via email) about something I read elsewhere by a so-called
green anarchist.  It was so wrong-headed and full of idealist
synthesist fallacies as to make the head spin, a tract worthy of total
(critical-feminist) deconstruction because it is so very very
wrong-headed, and maybe I’ll have more to say about it here later, but
maybe I’ll just give up.  I know it’s passive-aggressive junk to
blog it like this, but the stupid tract I’m responding to is hooked
into a universe of discourse that’s so big, and I’m just so small: it’s
potentially thousands of guys all believing the same stupid blather,
and just a handful of smart women saying, “are you nuts?”  Like,
where does that get you, if you’re one of the women?  

Anyway, that little diversion took some of my attention, which
led to the loss of life.  No, wait, I’m channeling a Pentagon
spokesman!  That’s not what I wanted to say!  (I hate passive
voice.)  What I meant to say is “which meant I stayed away a bit.” 

Actually, I’m disenchanted also with the blogging medium. 
(And it’s going around.  The disenchantment, I mean.)  
Bored and disenchanted.

Fences and neighbours

April 23, 2004 at 11:45 pm | In yulelogStories | 18 Comments

The Victoria Conservatory of Music, located at the corner of Pandora Avenue and Quadra Street, recently installed fencing, which is over 2metres high, along its Pandora Avenue entrance. The avenue entry opens into a courtyard area, now barred, that apparently had become a hangout and sleeping area for some of the homeless people (up to 600 per day) seeking shelter and food at the Open Door Ministry next to the Conservatory.

Pandora Avenue is a one-way that runs East to West into downtown. Designed as an avenue, it has a large “green” that runs along an off-centre middle for about 3 blocks. Both the Open Door Ministry and the Conservatory share a block of this greenspace. While Open Door is doing backflips to meet the needs of the homeless, whose numbers are swelling, the Conservatory decided to build a fence to keep “undesirables” out. I understand the latter’s position — they are not in the “social services to the homeless” field, and, financially struggling themselves, they can’t afford to allocate steady resources to clean up after people who might abuse their entry area as a public toilet, a place for using alcohol or drugs, or for general camping out. Point taken; but the imagery really gave me pause. Here you have two service-providers — the Conservatory and the Open Door ministry — who are both under financial stress, who are both trying to find the money to continue providing their services. One place gets out of hand (or its clients do), and the other place (which, despite a financial crunch, has a bit more cash) puts up a big fence. In reality, they have much more in common, but the condition of neighbourness is playing out as a tragedy of enforced difference. When government ceases to spend taxpayer money on ensuring that this kind of fence-building need not happen, instead spending our money to enshrine cronyism or ram privatisation down our throats, then we’re all getting screwed over.

But what I really wanted to do with my opener on fences and such was to point to an article I read last week about the Reverend Al Tysick of The Open Door Ministry. This picture is from that newspaper article. That’s Rev. Al on the left, sharing a happy moment with Archie Alook and “The Cowboy.” The photograph doesn’t give a real picture of just how broken and beaten many of Tysick’s congregation is, or that it’s expanding to include more families, and women with children. I’m not religious, but Al Tysick had me clutching my stomach when I read this:

Crowned with graying shoulder length hair, and clothed in shirts he sometimes plucks from the donation box, he’s hardly a theological poster boy.

He doesn’t talk like a minister – throwing “ass” or “shit” into a conversation – and he isn’t afraid to vocally challenge his beliefs.
Tysick is constantly wrestling with his faith, writing in a religious journal every day and searching for God in the desperate faces of his down-and-out congregation.

“When I write, I don’t always write good things. Quite often I question why God’s not helping,” he says, launching into one of hundreds of stories about The Open Door’s ever-expanding “family”.

One Friday, Tysick – tired after a typical 14-hour shift – climbed into his van for the commute home to Sooke.

As he started to pull away, he saw a man lying next to the fence, covered with a thin blanket.

“I really just wanted to go home. I was beat, dead tired, but I got out and went over. I bent down and pulled the blanket away.

“His hands were beaten and bloody with abscesses all over them. He was crying and I did my best to help. It’s moments like that when I ask, where the hell is God?” he says, rising out of his seat and pounding his palm on the table.

“It wasn’t until I was driving home that I realized I was holding Christ’s hands in my hands. I pulled over and cried. He appears in the broken, the weak and the downtrodden.

“I don’t live in a church of candles, of crisp, clean cloths and gowns. I live in the church of filth, of the profane, of fear – of death,” adds Tysick, who buried 54 Open Door regulars last year.

“I live in a world where you struggle to find hope. But this is where I belong. In a way, it’s where I’m from.” [More…]

If I had to, I could go and see a movie (you know the one, The Smashin’ of Christ), but I doubt I could do what Tysick does, and I know I couldn’t do it day in and day out. He refers here to the 54 Open Door regulars he helped bury last year: people who died, sometimes in outrageous conditions. Several died in dumpsters, caught in garbage truck compactors. When asked what could be done, Victoria’s mayor, Alan Lowe, “suggested that recycling and garbage companies lock all of their containers in the future.” That sounds like a fence-building response, similar to the Conservatory’s, not a bridge-building one. Is this really the best we can come up with?

Some good things to do this weekend in Victoria:

April 23, 2004 at 4:06 pm | In yulelogStories | 2 Comments

First, the Fairfield Studio Tours kick off tomorrow (Saturday & Sunday — April 24-25). This has become an annual event (started in 2001, I think) in which local artists open their homes/ studios to visitors. It’s free and lots of fun, and there are always gems to discover. You can pick up a map at some stores in Cook Street Village and elsewhere in Fairfield.

Second, “Dirk Birk,” aka David Burke (aka David Jure), premiers his one-man play, The Fuel, Monty! on Sunday night (April 25) at 1923 Fernwood (near Vic High). Show starts at 7:30 pm, tickets only $5. I wanted to get hold of a poster to put on this blog, but haven’t managed to snag one. The play is a satiric commentary on (and all-around skewering of) our contemporary corporatist culture. Sounds good!

Talk to your pharmacist

April 20, 2004 at 6:55 pm | In yulelogStories | 6 Comments

The plot thickens, even as — I hope — the congestion thins. I should have done this sooner, but today I finally sought out my neighbour at her place of work. She is A Pharmacist. I brought her a webpage print out that describes Zephrex, with pencilled annotations that the Long Acting version has 120mg of Pseudoephedrine and 600 mg of Guaifenesin (regular Zephrex has only 60 mg of the first ingredient). She took one look and knew right away that pharmacies here don’t carry this product. But, and this is where it gets interesting, it doesn’t seem to be a case of banning anything in Zephrex, but rather that Zephrex’s competitor in Canada, Entex LA, formulated its product with Phenylpropanolamine (aka PPA), which is a banned substance in Canada. I’m speculating, but I would guess that Zephrex was never marketed here because Entex had the market covered, but when Entex was effectively banned sometime after 2000, nothing comparable took its place. Also, Entex didn’t formulate its “speed” (PPA, which is what Zephrex’s Pseudoephedrine delivers too) and Guaifenesin in the same ratio as Zephrex.

However, Entex has just reformulated its product, taking PPA out and putting Phenylephrine in. (Hit the Entex link in the first paragraph and compare to the one in the last sentence.) As it happens, my neighbour’s pharmacy is receiving its very first shipment of the stuff tomorrow. Saints be praised, sinners, too. Best of all, even though Zephrex was always by prescription only, Entex is OTC. Flying into Los Angeles, bringing in a couple of kilos of meds, la la la…

I’m convinced, and my pharmacist neighbour confirmed, that Zephrex LA’s high dosage is the key to its success. Unfortunately, and this is the bit that doesn’t bode well, the reformulated Entex LA has only 30mg Phenylephrine, which I suspect doesn’t quite compare to the 120mg of Pseudoephedrine in Zephrex LA. But I know the numbers that work for me, and will go from there. Perhaps my pharmacist will have some more useful information when I see her tomorrow. She told me today that Guaifenesin, for example, is available in liquid form and can be taken by the teaspoonful. …The local health-food stores should still have some ephedra (ma huang) lying around, eh? Maybe I can smoke and free-base my meds?

(PS: This entry carries on from my Big Sinus Kvetch in Search of Drugs on April 19.)

Big important update: I just picked up a package of Entex LA today (Apr.22) and am delighted to find that it’s identical to Zephrex LA, with 120mg of pseudoephedrine and 600mg of guaifenesin. Won’t have to cook anything up myself after all. This is Entex LA distributed by Purdue Pharma Inc., General Partner of Purdue Pharma in Pickering Ontario.

Meanwhile, didn’t the French invent the bidet? I’m using a French product called Hydra Sense Nasal Care, which is basically the same old saline-solution-up-the-nose habit I pursued in the past. Ah, but Hydra Sense offers a totally different, sensually French delivery. The product comes in a pressurised, sealed, green-on-white container, and delivers French sea water (Atlantic or Mediterranean? Atlantic, I hope) via a detachable, cleanable nose-bidet: shaped like a dolphin’s snout, you can stick it waaayy up your nose, give a little squeeze, and wheeee, thar she blows!

Strangely satisfying.

Elizabeth Fischer and Dark Blue World

April 19, 2004 at 8:43 pm | In yulelogStories | 3 Comments

If you’re in Vancouver or the Lower Mainland, you have a great opportunity to see Elizabeth Fischer and her new band Dark Blue World this Wednesday night, April 21st at 9pm. They’re playing at the Anza Club, at 8th and Ontario. See poster for details. Elizabeth made that cool poster, by the way: she can make music, she can write, she can draw and paint, too! It expresses a certain Zeitgeist quite well, don’t you think? If you can’t go to the Anza Club, you can still listen here.

Can you help me score some drugs?

April 19, 2004 at 5:53 pm | In yulelogStories | 6 Comments

Prescription, that is. It’s not a libido-enhancer or a weight-reducer I’m after. This is what I want, nay, what I need: Zephrex LA 120 Tablets by Sanofi-Synthelabo. I’m not interested in the weaker-dosed non-LA Zephrex (LA stands for Long Acting), nor in the generic product. I have years of experience taking this stuff, and only the real McCoy will do: big guns, 600 mg of Guaifenesin and 120 mg of Pseudoephedrine HCI, in combination. In the big orange tablet. No generic knock-off. This wonderdrug seems to be unavailable in Canada. Do any readers (or FOAF) have experience using online pharmacies in Canada? Can you recommend any? How can I use an American Internet pharmacy, i.e., which ones will ship to Canada? The few Canadian internet pharmacies I’ve checked don’t seem to carry Zephrex LA. I’m completely clueless as to what and who is out there, and whom to trust, and whether I can even use an American source. I have a secret and sadly shrinking cache of the stuff which I’ll probably have to use up in this, my renewed bout with sinusitis, and I am desperate to lay my hands on a fresh supply. I started to suffer from chronic sinusitis (the kind that doesn’t go away no matter how many rounds of antibiotics you go on) in 1992/93. I tried everything, especially after I gave up on the continuous antibiotics, which seemed to do diddly-squat. All I ever got from inhaling steroids up my nose were massive headaches. I tried naturopathy, homeopathy (my GP at the time, Len Horowitz, is a genius “regular” MD and also a certified homeopath — I highly recommend him, but neither the allopathic nor the homeopathic approaches served to budge this thing), acupuncture, even chiropraxis (to get the adrenal glands going, whatever that was). I sucked saline solution (warm water and Kosher or sea salt) up my nose 2-3 times per day. I tried chamomile steam inhalations. Everything. Finally, when the sinus infections started coming even in the summers, I had a CAT or MRI scan (can’t remember which) to find out what was going on, and talked with a Ear-Nose-Throat specialist. He recommended surgery, but frankly, I had heard about too many people for whom surgery hadn’t worked, and in my case it would have involved going under and behind the eyeballs to get at especially clogged up areas. Done at Mass. Eye & Ear, the surgery is usually uneventful, but if something does go wrong, you can end up with permanent double-vision or even blindness. Somehow that didn’t seem like a good risk for an art historian. Since I declined surgery, he prescribed Zephrex LA 120 instead. And so, from about 1997 until 2002, Zephrex LA saved my life — or at least my sanity. As any chronic sinusitis sufferer knows, there comes a point where you just want to kill yourself because you can’t stand the pain, the sense of having styrofoam-wrapped 16-ton weights in your head, and the resulting “blues” (ha!, try depths of hell-hole depression) any longer. Sinusitis is a slow but terrible killjoy, amazingly effective at throttling the life out of any happy tawts you might perchance conceive in your congested head. Like any low-level chronic disease that’s painful, it takes away perspective — you feel like you’re in a hole, and the disease IS your life — and because it affects your head, it has a profound effect on that “vision thing” and on emotions. Because it’s an almost constant infection and your body is constantly fighting it, you become prone to all sorts of other bugs and nuisances. In November 1998 I contracted a pneumonia that was so bad I nearly croaked. No antibiotics seemed to work. Dr. H. postulated that perhaps it was viral. But I still didn’t get better and instead I just kept getting dozier and quieter and thinner, just slipping away. At that point, he admitted me to hospital for 4 or 5 days on an outpatient basis to get a brand-new antibiotic (really new: just a few days on the market) which was administered intravenously for about an hour or two at a time. That did the trick. My x-rays, meanwhile, continued to show spots months after I “recovered.” All this thanks to being run-down over a five-year period by a snot nose. Did you know that you have sphenoid sinuses in your head? This fact, which I learned after my scan, just amazed me. That mine were clogged beyond hope was less amazing, just another brick in the wall, er, head. (And it’s the sphenoids which have to be accessed via the eyeball sockets in surgery…) I mean, really! What the hell is the point of cavities to the back of your temples, above your ears? Is that where the little pixies live, the little voices, that go and tell you to drown yourself because it’s all no use anyway? Did you know that chronic sinusitis, being a constant infection and irritant, eventually eats into the bones of your skull? This is not a trivial disease, and I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of people are on anti-depressants because, simply by virtue of where it lives (in your head), it wreaks havoc with your emotional outlook. Sinusitis, along with asthma, is one of the fastest growing chronic diseases in the industrial world. Zephrex LA 120 (by Sanofi-Synthelabo — they should pay me!) does this amazing thing: it liquifies the bricks in your head. Everything actually starts to drain — not dry up, which is one of the worst things that can happen, because it means the gunk turns into gluey, ropy stuff that you’ll never, ever expel, and which will instead provide the perfect “starter yeast” for yet another infection. No, you don’t want gunk, you want rivers pouring out of you. With Zephrex LA, things start to flow again, and as any groovy person knows, flow is everything. No flow, no go. In short, on my Ear-Nose-Throat doctor’s recommendation, I became a habitual drug user, taking this stuff every day (just a half dose, one tablet instead of 2, and only upping to the 2-per-day dose if I had another bout of something), and baby, things were moving again, yes! After the brand-new antibiotic kicked my pneumonia’s ass straight to hell in late ’98, I realised my sinuses were also infection-free for the first time in years. And because the Zephrex LA kept things moving, no stagnant pools formed as breeding grounds for new bugs. See, that’s the key: if your mucus production is happening because of allergies, say, there is wetness in those cavities. That’s not bad in itself, but with sinusitis sufferers, the wetness doesn’t drain or move, and instead becomes a breeding ground. Any other body in your vicinity with a common garden variety cold sneezes at you, and those bugs go “woo-hooo, lookit this! A warm pool, let’s play here, yeehaw!” and bingo, another round of sinusitis begins. Sometimes the rounds are so closely spaced, there’s no let-up at all. Your sinus cavities will be the most happening YMCA in the country! Remember when they’d close the Y’s pool, drain it to clean it? That’s what these meds do. “Sorry, bugs, pool’s drained, go somewhere else.” As you can see, I’m very fond of my Zephrex LA, and I was devastated when I learned that for some reason it’s unavailable in Canada. One MD here, after looking it up in her book, even suggested it was banned or something. C’mon. I don’t care if it kills me! Puh-lease! I stopped taking Zephrex LA on a regular basis when we moved back to Canada. I husbanded my remaining cache carefully, taking the tablets only when I felt another instance of sinus infection trying to take hold. I have been relatively free of sinus infection, and can manage a cold without having it throw me to the gound and nail my head to the floor. But since Thursday, I’ve been fighting off this particular nasty virus that’s making the rounds in these parts, and guess what? I have a sinus infection again — a nice side effect. So, I pulled out my remaining supply of Zephrex LA, took the first one yesterday — hallelujah!, quelle relief! — but now I’m really scared, too. I’m down to about 10 tablets. I don’t want to go back to that dark, bricked-up place. If anyone has any ideas how I can lay my hands on more — via Internet pharmacies, whatever — shoot me a comment. My GP here can’t give it to me.

The new flowers of evil: bad news is, they don’t stink

April 18, 2004 at 9:02 am | In yulelogStories | 12 Comments

BBC News World Edition carried this item yesterday, Online affairs ‘are infidelity’, which refers to a study by Dr. Monica Whitty of the Psychology Department at Queen’s University in Belfast, Ireland. It was published in the November 2003 issue of CyberPsychology & Behavior. The abstract of Whitty‘s article, called “Pushing the Wrong Buttons: Men’s and Women’s Attitudes toward Online and Offline Infidelity,” states:

Despite current researchers’ interest in the study of online sexual addiction, there is a dearth of research available on what constitutes online infidelity. This paper attempts to redress this balance by comparing 1,117 participants’attitudes toward online and offline acts of infidelity. A factor analysis was carried out that yielded three components of infidelity: sexual infidelity, emotional infidelity, and pornography. More importantly, this study revealed that online acts of betrayal do not fall into a discrete category of their own. A MANOVA was performed and revealed a statistically significant difference on the combined dependent variables for the interaction of gender by age, age by relationship status, and Internet sexual experience. The hypotheses were, in part, supported. However, counter to what was predicted, in the main younger people were more likely to rate sexual acts as acts of betrayal than older individuals. It is concluded here that individuals do perceive some online interactions to be acts of betrayal. In contrast to some researchers’ claims, it is suggested here that we do need to consider how bodies are reconstructed online [emphasis added]. Moreover, these results have important implications for any treatment rationale for infidelity (both online and offline).

This is interesting, especially the bit that we need to be aware of how bodies are reconstructed online. For if it holds that “we write ourselves into existence” (attributed to David Weinberger, author of Small Pieces Loosely Joined), it seems also fair to say that we visualise ourselves into existence. And perhaps also into trouble. Maybe into calm freedom; who can say. But the visualisation of images can have an effect as effective as words: why else would entire industries be built on PR, marketing, and advertising? I found it interesting that Whitty‘s report doesn’t focus on cyberpornography as such: she instead analyses the data on reported effects (and how these effects are perceived in partnerships) of online flirting, cybersex activity, and “hot chatting.” (But here, too, images rule; it’s like the difference between reading Philosophy and seeing it on Triple-XXX tape.) It seemed to me that Whitty is pointing to this woven construct of words and voice coupled with visualisation and actual body-sense (the surfer’s or hot-chatter’s, recursively imagined in the cyberpartner[s], and so on, endlessly). It’s a construct that’s perceived as real, activated in the betrayed partner’s perception as “online infidelity”: the betrayer has flirted and orgasmed him- or herself cybernetically into a relationship with another cyber-“friend” or online lover. From p.8:

The findings from this study challenge the notion that acts that occur in cyberspace cannot have a “real” impact on an individual’s life. Many theorists have placed a strong emphasis on the absence of the body in cyberspace [2 footnotes here], focusing on cybersex as an action that does not involve the “real presence” of bodies. Such researchers focus on the importance of a “meeting of minds.” In contrast, this study found that individuals separate disclosing intimate details with another online (emotional infidelity) and engaging in sexual activities (sexual infidelity) online with another. This current study suggests that people at least perceive online acts of infidelity as authentic and real as offline acts. Certainly, there are no physical bodies present online; however, this in turn does not mean that the action is “unreal.” Instead, Internet relationships are better understood if we focus on the reconstruction of the body online, which is imperative to the success of many online interpersonal interactions.[1 fn] In line with this view, engaging in virtual erotic communications online with someone other than one’s partner can pose a real threat to couples.

Bodies reconstructed online, eh? Oy! Lads and lassies, this is a strange new world. I didn’t actually come across BBC or Whitty’s study first — I only found it because of something I read in my local weekly paper, The Victoria News, specifically yesterday’s Weekend Edition, which cited a parallel-in-topic study that was published by the same journal in which Whitty’s study appeared. The article in the local paper, by Mark Browne, is called Surfing sex not healthy — study. It reported on a paper by Sylvain Boies, Alvin Cooper, and C.S. Osborne, with the heady title, “Variations in Internet-Related Problems and Psychosocial Functioning in 207 Online Sexual Activities: Implications for Social and Sexual Development of Young Adults.” I can’t link to it except to CyberPsychology & Behavior‘s table of contents page for April 2004 where you can see it listed at the bottom of the first page. There is also another study by Boies available here, and this press release from UVic, where Boies works, gives a few more details. The study’s basic finding, cited in the press release, is this:

Respondents who did not use the Internet for arousal or information about sex were more satisfied and connected with their offline life than other groups. Students who only sought sexual information online had strong offline affiliations and those who only viewed porn or sought sexual arousal online didn’t show signs of being dissatisfied with their offline life either. However, students who used the Net for both types of activities found that their real-life relationships and overall functioning suffered.

“Young adults who overuse the Internet to a degree that limits their participation in real life appear to be at risk of developing sexual and relationship problems,” Boies explains. “This can delay or distort the development of their sense of who they are and their ability to form intimate and satisfying relationships.”

Browne interviewed Boies, and his remarks suggest a fascinating conclusion in which our “online reconstructed bodies” turn out to be excising us from our real embodiment — and just where does that leave actual sex?

Students who took part in the survey who “were doing the best, in terms of overall psycho-social functioning” weren’t using the Internet for sexual entertainment or advice. Boies said that would suggest that on-line sexual activities are actually not about sex [emphasis added].

“It’s not really what young people are looking for,” he said. “They’re trying to get a sense of being a competent person through their on-line activities, most likely because that’s something that they cannot do off-line.”

Young university students who have problems developing relationships and exploring sexuality “off-line” might be attracted to the Internet as a refuge for resolving the difficulties they’re having in those areas, he said. Those who sought both sexual entertainment and advice were negatively affected simply because they were so preoccupied with the Internet, Boies said.

“They wanted to go on the Internet all the time — it became their world,” he said.

Students who fell into that category, Boies said, didn’t have a strong sense of being competent people off-line. [More….]

What’s so odd, of course, is that a big source of this sense of incompetence in one’s offline life is fueled by the endless parade of manufactured, visualised bodies, legions of which are now headed our way via the Internet. And so it goes, everyone dancing virtually and actually in a chain of flowers without scent. (…How will you find your way home? Cyberspace has cut off your nose!) If we now think back to Whitty’s study, something else also suggests itself: in Whitty’s infidelity study, the betrayed partner, apparently more wedded to offline life with his or her partner than the always online partner is, seems to have a sense of real body (his or her own) and a sense of real grievance over the always-online betraying partner’s deliberate removal of his or her person into cyberspace. The betrayer, however, doesn’t seem to have a corresponding sense of having betrayed his or her partner. Does this mean that his or her offline coping capabilities are diminished, as per Boies study? Is “offline capability erosion” (let’s call it OCE, let’s say it’s a new psychopathology, let’s say I get to copyright the term!) linked to all kinds of other sociopathologies, like ethical deficits, body-image disorders, and various abilities to absent oneself from average life? I really wish that online activity and blogging and Voice and all that does have lots to do with writing oneself into existence, but what kind of meaning does it have for the so-called younger generation (god, that sounds so patronising!) in Boies’s study, given that so many are not going to the Internet for the privileged activity of honing their verbal skills? PS: I’ve fixed the Whitty link — it works now, opening the PDF to the article. Ditto for the April 2004 table of contents.

Holy Barbarians, Beatman, it’s Semina!

April 17, 2004 at 1:58 pm | In yulelogStories | 2 Comments

Inspired by Tom Shugart‘s April 12 entry Howling Recollections, I decided to revisit one of my favourite beats, Wallace Berman. I love Berman’s work, how it flies below the radar, side-steps co-optation, attracts and repulses simultaneously, destabilising the viewer and the society it was made in while still using all the flotsam and jetsam — and the hardwired mythologies — of the society at hand. It’s ephemera, but it’s semina, flowing outward, still fertilising minds everywhere. It’s way cool.

From this page, a wonderful tribute to Wallace Berman by his son Tosh — read the whole thing, but here’s a quote I especially liked:

My father was fanatical about perfection. That perfection means his artwork. Dad never took himself seriously; in fact he was really goofy. But when it comes to his art, he was extremely serious. Wallace was particularly picky about who buys his work. For instance a bank wanted to purchase a piece by my Dad for their corporate art collection, and he said sure. What he did was made a piece called ‘Bank Statement’ with an image of a woman giving a man a blowjob superimposed over a bank statement. For some odd reason, the bank refused to purchase the artwork. Too bad, because I am sure it would have been a great conversation starter in that bank’s next board meeting. [More….]

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