Tuesday, August 30, 2022

I look up at night...

Ramblings Post #404
They were right. We don't really know what we've got until it's gone. It's hard to miss something still there, or in some cases even understand it at that moment, but once something is no longer within our boundaries - something as simple as spot to look up at night and be awed - the loss becomes evident in ways we can hardly imagine. 

As a kid I spent time on grandparents farm, a place down three different bumpy dirt roads beautifully decorated by nature with a canopies of trees that made the trip feel magical to me. It was a quiet place, where they'd lived for fifty years, pumped water from a well and one of the barns was where my father was born. At night there was one light pole that was perpetually dim, I don't know why.

There the night sky was a tapestry. It was magical. Thousands upon thousands of stars.

At my parents house in a small southern town, with light poles here and there by request, looking up at the night sky I could see at best two or three stars.

I now live in the city. 

I want to see the sky of my childhood again.  

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

There is always time for Art...

Ramblings Post #403
Art is subjective. Those things that bring light to my soul, that sets off the seismic tremors in my brain and spark the avalanche of ideas for me, might just be blah to you. And vice versa. I think we all need to learn to appreciate that difference and what it means. Because to me it means that I grow and my tastes change, I won't have to wait for the world to catch up to provide inspiration. It might already exist, it's just that last time I saw it my mind wasn't ready. But then again to you...

Josep Tapiró i Baró was a Spanish painter; best known for his Orientalist watercolor portraits of the peoples of Morocco done in the late 1800's. I find his work fascinating in that his talent for capturing the essence of a subject practically leaps out of the image. And second, that a number of his subjects have to same skin tone as I. And I think his art is important, for it comes from a time when generally only rich European aristocrats were the subject of such works (or at least what has survived). 

His grasp of detail is fantastic. Some of his work looks like photographs, or something that might have been photo-shopped last week. After the death of close friend in 1874, Baró moved to Tangiers, at the time bustling city of people from around the Mediterranean. There he set up a studio and painted images of the people he saw, capturing a different kind of person than the normal portrait artist of the time.

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Florida man upset when Irony serves warrant

This is a political post. 

I will admit that I, like pretty much everyone else, did not see that coming. And while I've tried to defend Merrick Garland over the past year, to be honest the man hasn't given me much to work with. And then suddenly he feints and lands a solid haymaker, and the crowd goes silent for a second. Whoa.

Republicans want to scream about the weaponization of the Department of Justice, as though six months ago when they were sure they'd win back the Senate they weren't making sly remarks about using the tools of government in going after their own enemies along with those who'd betrayed Cheato. And they've completely forgotten or just pretended not to know about how the previous administration weaponized the IRS for those exact same purposes. Oh the irony of this situation, compounded by the fact that in 2018 the administration changed the penalty for unauthorized removal of classified documents from one to five years and turned it into a felony. (Public Law 115-118, Jan 19, 2018, Title II, Sec. 292)

And as much as Fox news and the Conservatives want the White House to own up to being behind this, the reality is Cheato has a copy of the warrant, even though he was in New York when it was executed. And that copy explains exactly what they were looking for, what statutes that the court thinks were violated, and what judge came to the conclusion that there was preponderance of evidence to proceed. And instead of releasing for the clarity that his supporters believe is being hidden, he has not.

Because, if you've been paying attention for the past few years the party that used to be the loyal opposition has transformed into something else much more dangerous. More cult than political party at this point, what an outsider can see as part con and part grift are blithely ignored by conservatives, who are probably more than a little scared that the world around them is changing at nearly every level and who are desperate to return to the "good ol' days," which weren't so good for any of the rest of us. And because the Democrats apparently weren't paying attention (or miscalculated) we came very close to end of our democracy just last year. Now caught out, the what used to be the party is grasping for whatever it can to stay afloat.

The real issue here is that half the country has been tricked into believing that "criminal" isn't a person who breaks the law, but a class of people. It's the good versus evil paradigm. The idea is a that a "good person" can do no wrong, even if what they did clear. The mass shooters weren't criminals, they have mental issues, they're good kids. The conservatives have associated good with a group (mostly themselves), not a set of actions, and the law is supposed to protect good people. It's why they felt they could attempt to overthrow the government and if they failed just could go home and nothing would happen to them. It's the fantasy where the hero breaks the law, but it's okay, because they had a good reason.

Merrick, my bad. You got a little something something. But you're not done, not quite yet.