1/31/09

If God Isn't Dead...

Why hasn't religion progressed? From the time the bible/koran were written (by some dude) there have been changes in medicine, technology and many other things. However religious people still dwell on ancient antiquated stories and knowledge to explain things. With each passing year religion gets left in the dust as the progressive thinkers keep making advancements.

1/26/09

Hitting the Books

School starts again tomorrow. After my first semester I am anticipating this one. I am taking two classes: Art after the War (Post WW2!) and Exhibition Analysis. The latter of the two is my first class in my interest, which is Museum Studies. This means that I will most likely be buried in books by tomorrow night!

I really hate more then anything when someone asks me well what do you see yourself doing with that. Do I fucking know what I am going to be doing tomorrow even? No. Well I can say that the reason I chose this area to study is because I am going to be good at it. I am going to be a good curator because my passion is art. I am an artist, which many curators, art historians and critics are not and therefore I am already at a more meaningful place then they. I think that to truly get on the level of a meaningful exhibition you need to get into the mindset of an artist. This is near impossible to do if your not an artist yourself. I have seen many exhibitions fail because they are so unorganized. Examples of which include a show at the MoMA which was supposed to focus on Kirchner's vision of a Berlin street but was filled with other drawings and paintings about the female nude that it became unclear as to what the aim was. That show to me was confusing in the simple fact they show a painting of the Dresden street at the entrance. I also felt that Kirchner's street scenes in Berlin really don't show the anxiety and loneliness that he probably felt, the Dresden scene seemed way more haunting...The Berlin scenes were just filled with hookers...I guess when your lonely the thought of a hooker can be very appealing, and in fact can symbolize a longing for something more meaningful like a relationship. Anyways I wasn't impressed. I believe that we need to move forward in general as curators. The whole paintings on a wall are nice but I want to see art that interacts or if not the artwork then the curator should decide how the theme or message can involve the viewer. Sometimes a painting is so massive and detailed that it does take the viewer into another world. That is why I love Bosch so much; his paintings start me off on a fantastical journey. Figurative painting has always been my favorite medium.

But I am talking more about contemporary art. I will say it now; I am not a great fan of conceptual art. Good art is not something that has to be explained through a curator's essay or a critic. Good art should allow the viewer to understand what. And about "Post-Modernism" Are we still in it? That’s the question that is still being discussed. I really think its a bullshit discussion though. Today's art is so diverse. Post-Modern in the sense that I think of it means that we are on the outside looking in because life is to tragic or complicated to actually live. Its saying lets not find any meaning in life lets just play with the absurdities then. If thats the case then we are fucked. But it is not the case because as I said before today's art is so diverse. While one asshole that will put a shark in a fucking tank and it will get into the Met, there are artists who are creating interesting work. And in the case of Damien Hirst, yes his art is stupid and boring but the man is a fucking genius and that is his art. I don't know if he is revolutionizing contemporary art or will be forgotten after he is gone. Painting is not dead its just alive in the underground. The mainstream media and the cultural elite will have the say on what gets to be in the museums. Very few serious galleries have "lowbrow", street art or any other D.I.Y underground movement and almost nothing has been written on these forms of art academically.

Some of the most interesting art is being made by those who aren't from the fancy art schools or the rich or well connected backgrounds. Most of it spawned from underground comix, punk rock culture and outsider circles. There is a strong focus on figuration and narrative which everyone can appreciate, understand and enjoy. Robert Williams one of the pioneers of the west coast centered movement once exclaimed that when he heard his art teacher call one of the great renaissance painter's work an illustration, he was in "deep doo doo." (I can't recall who it was, it was from a documentary on Lowbrow art). Its so true that the focus of most high level art institutions has shifted towards abstraction and conceptual art. It started with the The most famous piece of art right now is the Obama Hope screenprint by Shepard Fairey (http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2409/2228331745_8a8b55f1be_o.jpg)...It is everywhere its so famous but while most people have seen the print, they have not heard of the artist. He isn't as highly regarded in the mainstream as Hirst or the Chapman Brothers and hasn't gotten the attention of the Met or MoMA. But his artwork which blends the mass production and mechanical aspects of graphic design with street art, is far more relevant and important then the previously mentioned preserved shark in tank.

Only time can tell what will happen next in art. The next big thing is always around the corner. I can only hope that I am fortunate enough to have a part in any of it. Well if I am to start, I guess I better start off by getting ready for class tomorrow. So until next time I am signing off.

1/23/09

One Nation With No God

The one thing that always bothered me was saying the pledge of allegiance in school. I don't remember exactly when they stopped having us say it but I do recall that it was said in elementary school and during the large scale assemblies in the auditorium. I hated to have to stand up and recite the words: "I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands: one Nation under God, indivisible, With Liberty and Justice for all." I like many young and easily distracted kids always used to feel uncomfortable. I couldn't keep my hand over my heart or recite the words in such uniformity for the minute or so these words droned over the loudspeaker by some middle aged lady who worked for big brother. Looking back now I guess I had made my decision about god at a young age. I was never happy to go to synagogue, always procrastinating getting dressed, my parents would usually have to drag me along to the local place of worship. The services were short because we were the lowest of the low in the totem pole of Judaism. Even an hour and a half of monotone prayer with the standing and sitting in an itchy uncomfortably tight suit felt like a whole day. It was exhausting. The only thing that made it bearable was the fact that the Rabbi would play the guitar creating some really beautiful renditions of otherwise monotonous incantations (and he was a very cool dude).

I remember the high holy days when the services were longer my equally bored and ADHD diagnosed friends (thats what they said everyone had back then...typical cop out for authority, medicate the kids so they become 'manageable') and I would run around outside the prayer tent playing games like tag or letting our imagination run wild. I always remember the old women or men (it was different each time, but usually it was an old women...or sometimes even the teachers of the school) scolding us with such disdain for we were disrespecting god by having a childhood. I remember my brother and I playing baseball one Yom Kippur evening (I never fasted) and the old wicked witch who lived next door called our house to yell at my parents for letting us play on a high holy day. HOLY SHIT! Two loving brothers are having fun, getting along and not harming anyone but having fun...Gods going to be fucking pissed! Well yea it makes sense because religion loves sibling rivalry. We have Cain and Able in the very first book of the bible! Cain doesn't get a blessing so he murders his brother. Then there is Jacob and Esau who had a horrible relationship and then Joseph who was sold to slavery because his brothers hated him. So me and my brother who had a great relationship is going to make god pissed? That wouldn't even make sense if there was a god. Why should I be chastised for enjoying the beauty of being alive and forced to mourn? And why should I deprive myself of the delicious sponge cake that was just sitting on the counter just asking for it!? Why are we even wasting our time on a holiday thats all about asking for forgiveness? Sulking like lifeless goons. The notion of getting written into a book of life, what the fuck?

If something in my life is to blame for any of my previous faults, the reason I didn't feel free its this fucking fear that shit like the book of life puts into a young kids head. This is one of the sole reasons a religious person is hook line and fucked. Fear of god. I thought god was supposed to be all loving? People who are religious will never live a free life if they are afraid of going to hell. Hell and Satan are both crazy notions themselves. Its like a fairy tale that any 10 year old kid can write...Why is Satan the evil one when "god" allows for his people to suffer here on Earth? So its ok if you suffer now while on Earth. As long as you don't sin and confess to god in the end you can finally go to a better place when you die. But while you live on this Earth god is going to make it a living fucking hell for you. Don't fear what you don't even know. The sooner I realized this the happier I felt. I feel more free and more compassionate about others as well. Its a waste of flesh, blood and bones and dna, the things that make us humans (not some magic dust sprinkled by the hands of an old white bearded man) to be afraid of heaven or hell. The notion of god is really laughable when you start to learn. So religion starts you at an early age and puts that fear into you, its kinda like rape (this is not some stupid reference to the fact that priests have been fucking children...thats something completely fucked up all on its own. However it shows how oppression and strict obedience to the bible can lead to the worst ). Religion can rape your mind. If you perceive yourself to be a weak person to begin with your self perception "under god" is gonna be even poorer. Everyone wants to have fun in life...The so called sins are so fucking fun. There is lust...Who doesn't like sex or pleasure resulting upon physical attraction. Sloth, who doesn't like to sleep in? Gluttony, we eat a lot and drink a lot because food tastes great and drinking is fun. Your missing out if you avoid any of these things because you wanna go to heaven. Go good riddance. And pride is the greatest thing you have to live a great life.

From the article on the Pledge of Allegiance on Wikipedia (helping stupid people write a horrible research paper since 2001...P.S there are going to be T-shirts available if you want one. Let me know! I want money):

'"The Pledge of Allegiance was written in 1892 by Francis Bellamy (1855-1931), a Baptist minister, a Christian Socialist, and the cousin of Socialist Utopian novelist Edward Bellamy
Bellamy's original Pledge read, "I Pledge Allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation indivisible with liberty and justice for all..'"
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pledge_of_Allegiance)

So a Christian man creates the pledge and a Christian man gets it amended to include "under god."

"These words [“under God”] will remind Americans that despite our great physical strength we must remain humble. They will help us to keep constantly in our minds and hearts the spiritual and moral principles which alone give dignity to man, and upon which our way of life is founded."- Eisenhower (FUCKING-A)

The pledge of allegiance is an example why we as a society are setting ourselves up for a fall. The longer we accept what is not there, a belief in an afterlife with pearly white gates and angels who play golden harps. We are a "progressive nation" but can't get over arcane beliefs by a far more primitive group of humans then how the fuck are we going to progress?

Also before any of you who are devout get all forclempt, you can be a good person and believe in god. You can and probably are a smart person and believe in god (even if its because its out of habit or just simply the "unknown"). Its when you shove your beliefs down other peoples throat by the use of fear that you become an asshole. And don't say you pray for me. Waste your life without anything to do with me. Thank you, live and enjoy life everyone!

So has anyone else have an experience with a changing of faith? Did you keep the faith your parents/school gave to you? Maybe you went from religious to atheist or being born again like former President Bush?

1/22/09

Welcome to the Future America!

I was going to post something more personal later on but as I was doing some online maintenance (a.k.a facebook) I came across this article on the front page of Yahoo. http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090122/ap_on_go_pr_wh/obama_blackberry
Its an article on our President and the fact that he is the first ever president to use email in office. Well Obama certainly is compiling a shopping list full of firsts already but this came as a shock to me. No president before Obama used email? In reality email (the way we use it) was only around for 3 decades starting around the late sixties (it pre-dated the internet), however the email that we all use was really only around since the early 90's...Clinton never used it? It certainly would have been an easy way for him to visit many online personals and pick up women...Also it would have been so much easier for that annoying Monica Lewinsky and the even more obnoxious GOP party to bring up there allegations, we all know that email really isn't private. I will buy that Bush never used email. I still don't think he knows how to turn on a computer, let alone "do a google." But Obama who has been addicted to his Blackberry is the first to use email. So how is this going to play a role in his presidency? I have mixed feelings about this and the fact they are going to make his use "protected." I do trust Obama way more then I have any mainstream politician in my lifetime. I think that he has good intentions at the moment and his message for us to make the change is what needed to be said since JFK's brilliant speech (Obama's was almost as brilliant). However I know the game of politics and how easy it can be for someone in power to become swayed in the direction of an interest they may not truly believe in. I also know that the game of politics is a game and when you play games you can either win, lose or cheat (the latter two being the last 8 years). This is the way we are and that more then anything else our own inside policy needs to be changed in this country before we can change anything else. So the fact that Obama is using email to talk to his aids and close personal friends kind of scares me. No one wants the government or anyone outside of ourselves looking at our email messages and I sure as hell hope that they wouldn't pry into Obama's messages without a subpoena (if they must in the first place). But the fact of the matter is he is the president and should represent the people. Who knows what these emails could be about? Its just my general distrust of Washington that makes me wonder if this is going to be a good idea...I mean its 2009 and by all means we need to keep up the pace. Everyone with access to the internet uses email and why shouldn't the President? Obama seems like a different face in Washington and thats what made him so admirable to me (I still think Ron Paul is the much better choice). For now I do think that when he says that the use of his Blackberry will help keep him out of the bubble that is the presidency it is meant as a good thing. He is becoming a celebrity why should his personal thoughts regarding family and friends be kept in that bubble too? So as long as President Obama remains generally untainted by the game then I say text away!

Maybe with the money he will save us by pulling out of Iraq we can all get Blackberrys! Thats another post for another time though....I think I still prefer the iPhone.

1/20/09

Plan 10 From Outer Space

"Greetings, my friend. We are all interested in the future, for that is where you and I are going to spend the rest of our lives. And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future. You are interested in the unknown... the mysterious. The unexplainable. That is why you are here. And now, for the first time, we are bringing to you, the full story of what happened on that fateful day. We are bringing you all the evidence, based only on the secret testimony, of the miserable souls, who survived this terrifying ordeal. The incidents, the places. My friend, we cannot keep this a secret any longer. Let us punish the guilty. Let us reward the innocent. My friend, can your heart stand the shocking facts of grave robbers from outer space?"

In other words welcome to my blog. Plan 10 is all about the future and the present and informing you of both worldly and otherworldly events. In other words I now have a place in the dimension known as the world wide web to publicly share the thoughts from the top of my head and the inside of my soul. You may be entertained by images, poems and other things that I have taken the time and effort to create because creating is what I do. Its really what we all do and the number one thing that makes us different from the rest of the animals in the kingdom. There will be political posts too such as my previous and inaugural post which is so relevant since today was the inauguration of Barack Obama or 44th president and the first one with black skin. But for the most part this is me in a nutshell...Almost everything I can think of and everything I can write will make its way here sooner or later. In the meantime to get a sense of what I am passionate about you can check out these links: My Art and My Noise

Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes.

So here is my letter that I am drafting to send to the 44th President of the United States.

President Obama, don't forget that you promised change. Please please please don't sit back and let the politics of DC continue to override logical and necessary course of action for America. Its going to be a tough road ahead, and I admire your strength and courage to take on the most important job in the world. I wish the best for you Mr. President, please keep up the fight! Here is a list of issues that I think need to be changed or at least fixed. (This list is in NO ORDER of IMPORTANCE mind you. Just what come off the top of my head and onto the "paper" so to speak). Also note that a bit of what I speak of may have already been said by an equally as intelligent man, Jello Biafra (http://firedoglake.com/2008/12/16/jello-biafra-writes-an-open-letter-to-barack-obama/). However just because I am a fan of almost everything he has done, this is no coincidence, nor am I trying to plagiarize Mr. Biafra. Our views intertwine because they are true, it is what America needs.

1) I know the Economy is the number 1 issue in this country and really strengthened your victory. However before its too late we need to crack down on the former administration and bring those responsible for the crimes they committed to justice. We have been lied to for the past 8 years, thousands of Americans have died as a result and sadly WAY more innocent foreign citizens have as well. Bush supported the big corporations who fuel the war machine and undoubtedly played the government like a game of chess. And George W. Bush is a war criminal I don't care what excuses he comes up with; he lied, got us into a pointless war and turned his back while "terrorists" were tortured.

2)Well that said, lets focus on the economy. The people who need the money are the poor and the average class. Most middle class families are still doing well enough to still live comfortably. Its the greed that causes them to become financially disabled (getting caught stealing from the cookie jar only makes you fat. Sometimes Diabetic). Everyone knows that when the economy is stimulated it does well. I think you had some great ideas during the debates regarding the economy. Certainly more so then any GOP candidate had. The min. wage should be increased even further because living costs have gone up and making the min. wage at least $12 should be satisfactory. A stimulated economy should start from the bottom. These bailouts need to stop (just more money to rich cronies), I know that these companies are important to Americas function but its obvious that these companies have no clue how to do things right. Otherwise they'd still be in business. A bailout today is just a "stay" of execution so to say, these companies will get used to the aid and probably will keep the same business plan that got them broke in the first place. Poverty is the source of most (if not all) problems in the world. Lets fight poverty at home and then abroad. Your appointment of some of the same old faces in Washington is what scares me and should scare most of the liberals who voted for you. Why are we still dealing with people who have been given opportunities with the GOP? Lets get some new intellectuals in there. Mr. Biafra mentions Stigletz from Columbia. I have heard nothing but praise of Joe Stigletz being in and around the academic circles of New York City. And yes he also mentioned Robert Reich who wrote "Supercapitalism." His blog http://robertreich.blogspot.com/ is full of suggestions and ideas that I think would be right for this country. Out with the old and in with the new...Change per say. This also goes in the section for the war on terror as we know you are inclined to keep many of Bush's appointments.

3)Education. This should actually be number one on the most important things. We have way to many Americans in this country that are not receiving a well rounded education. There needs to be much more funding for inner city schools and after school programs for continuing education in the inner cities and surrounding areas. I have friends who work and have worked with inner city school children and I have heard horror stories more so then success stories. We had tons of money before we went into Iraq and wasted it all. If we increase the education spending with the money we will save from decreasing our imperialistic spending, everyone in America will have an opportunity for a good education. College tuition is ridiculously increasing each year. Even state schools are increasing the fees to get in. There should be somewhat of a cap for college fees.

4)And now on to the environment. Along with education this too should be at the top of your agenda. Climate change is coming fast, we don't even have four or eight years to pussyfoot or examine the issue. We need to deal with climate change from day one and deal with it everyday. Look into the Venus project http://www.thevenusproject.com/. Its not science fiction its a solution. Bring back the Electric Car (GE should be ashamed of themselves, I will never buy from them), or greener fuel technology for personal cars. I will agree with the bailout when companies get with the picture...Until then they should get no further help. Lets make public transportation much better too. We should have much better train systems connecting more of America's countryside by rail rather then highway will lower harmful gas and exhaust pollution. Efficient housing should also be the focus of our urban planners. McMansions are environmentally wasteful and socially segregated as well. Once again it all comes down to education. Stupid people will always do stupid things and destroy us all. We need to increase awareness in schools regarding global climate change.

5)Gay rights. We are celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King day the day before your inauguration so its only fitting that you run a presidency that is focused on civil rights. First it was the rights for blacks and women to vote and have equal opportunities (yea yea, this is still not the case fully but a lot has changed the last 40 years or so), now its time for the next oppressed group to get our support. Being gay is a right that should be honored and seen as natural. Many men and women are afraid to "come out" because they live in an environment where to be gay is to be immoral and taboo. There needs to be a movement funded by the government to educate people about homosexuality (ei. its not a choice...etc, ect, etc). The main obstacle of the Gay Rights movement has been the Catholic Church and their sheep like followers. For years they have been spouting hate, calling gay people immoral and stating that being gay is a sin according to the bible. Why is it that these "religious" groups that openly spoke out against prop 8 are getting funding or tax exemptions? They should be stripped of all federal or state aid. Hopefully they will crumble without the support. Good riddance to bad devotees.

6) War on terror. Get the hell out of Iraq. Thats all I will say on that issue. We need to increase world wide awareness and address poverty and education in many third world and oppressed nations. We shouldn't support governments that oppress and imprison others. Yes Israel is a great ally but they have oh so smoothly incorporated our imperialistic foreign policy and we know how great it's working for us. Again why are we spending so much on this "war on terror" when the results have been less then satisfactory? We could have used these billions of dollars to stimulate the economy or fix our poor educational system. Also as mentioned before, whats with the appointees? These neo-cons can't solve any of the problem because they helped to create it. Many of us assumed that there would be an ENTIRELY new set of faces in Washington when you were elected.

7) I am going to make drug reform my last issue. The prohibition on drugs has done much more harm then good. Its very obvious a legalization on Marijuana would do way more good for the country. Marijuana is the biggest cash crop in America according to the DEA and they spend millions of dollars combating the drug. With the economy in this condition think about how much our federal government can make from the cultivation of Marijuana. We should model our program off of the Harm Reduction program in most of Europe (who by the way as way less drug related crimes then we do). Medical Marijuana has done a world of good for terminally ill patients, those with cancer, anxiety and numerous other cases. There have been no cases EVER of OD from the use of Marijuana, while our friends at big tobacco and the alcohol companies cause thousands of deaths a year. The only difference is they give money to elected officials to keep them legalized and popular. Aside from Marijuana there should be lesser crimes for harder drugs. More money should be placed into rehab rather then prison sentences for drug addicts. SMALL TIME DRUG OFFENDERS ARE WASTING OUR TAX DOLLARS BY WASTING IN PRISON! Rehab programs would cost a lot less! Furthermore, the de-criminalization would be beneficial in lowering the crime rate and gangs would lose a huge margin of their profit without the drug trade. Its common sense.

Anyways this is just a list of demands that would be beneficial to America's future. Im sure there is a lot on your mind and you may have many of these issues already under control. However you did promise change and starting off with a 144 million dollar celebration already worries me. Once again the best to you and Joe Biden. Make us all continue to be proud and feel important that we took part in the largest grassroots election of our time, and from which came CHANGE. Real change! You made history on Tuesday the 20th of January, I hope that your legacy continues to radiate and give hope to many young Americans who are the future of this nation.