Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Dumbest "controversy" of 21st century to date

The ongoing presidential primaries have certainly provided ample material that would fit the title of this blog entry, but I've decided that above all else, uproar over the cover of the current issue of Vogue magazine is the most idiotic thing I've ever heard. Announcement to people of all colors, creeds, races, religions, political parties, sexual preferences, and also to anyone who hasn't quite figured out yet that public funds are not intended for use by elected officials to subsidize extramarital affairs or trips to their brothel of choice: Black men and white women are allowed to be in each other's company without raising a major stir! This is the year 2008. Racism has not vanished from the face of the earth, but as everyone other than those who Barack Obama listens to on Sunday mornings should have figured out by now, we no longer reside in the era of Native Son or To Kill a Mockingbird. Within certain families trouble will no doubt be brewed if the wrong answer is given to the age old question - Guess who's coming to dinner? Nevertheless, the times they have already a-changed to a refreshing degree. As result it is actually possible to look at a photograph of a black man with a white woman, even one where the black guy is clowning (which apparently looks way too much like demonic scowling to some), and not automatically assume that the picture is a reinterpretation of a King Kong movie poster. I did not look at the accompanying photo and fear that the poor model was about to be raped or mugged or eaten alive by the primitive holding her captive. I did not conclude that LeBron was just begging to be lynched. What I thought was - there goes a picture of two young, attractive, famous, rich people, one of whom happens to be the girlfriend of the quarterback for the losing team in the Super Bowl. And then I moved on with my day. Anyone who gave this picture much more thought than that has way too much time on their hands and way too big a chip on their shoulder. I was not offended by the image in the slightest, but I am offended by anyone who takes issue with it because they are stuck in a past that is keeping us from moving full speed ahead into the future. A color blind world may not be right around the corner even if the right candidate is elected president, but surely we live in a day and age when a magazine should be able to blatantly peddle good old fashioned sex without inciting a race riot because the man and woman pictured do not look like genetic brother and sister. Reverend Wright was slandered endlessly for harshly criticizing this country, and Barack Obama was roasted by association. But aren't a few potshots warranted by a nation so obsessed with race that a pretty picture is able to distract us from the fact that we have (for starters) an economy in dire need of fixing and a weakly plotted war desperately in need of an ending?
- Roy Pickering (Author of "Feeding the Squirrels: A Novella)
p.s. - IMHO this is one heckuva speech:

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Making the most of my commute

In my ongoing quest to slot time into my day to sketch, paint, connect with my creative side, etc. I have tapped into my commuting time. I have found I can draw on anything - sitting or standing. Used to be I needed a lovely sketchbook, the right texture paper, a special pen, a peaceful setting, northern light – you get the idea. I needed the perfect set up and supplies. Those days are gone.

I fight tooth and nail for my creative outlet and have let all the trappings fall by the wayside. The result – I am doing it!

I drew this standing up on a packed train, in my 3.5x6.5” day-timer notebook, with whatever pen I had in my bag. None of that mattered. I had an idea and I acted on it… captured the essence of all 3 of us in that initial drawing. Then I started to get in my own way… Redrawing, fixing, adjusting, scanning, tweaking. All of that produced no better results then my original off-the-cuff, at-the-moment drawing.

Note to self: draw, don’t fuss.

PS – I just read "The War of Art" by Steven Pressfield yet again. I think it’s starting to sink in.