< > Alchemy for Dummies 2: February 2010

Friday, February 26, 2010

A Response To Someone Who Does Not Want to Pose In Sydney Because The Sponsors Of The Group Are Gay And Lesbian

One of our Tunick forum members who has been a member for a few years posted what I consider a rather odd post today. He does not want to participate in the installation due to it being sponsored by the gay and lesbian community. This is my reply to him with his online name redacted:
Having participated in many events for Spencer with gays and straights and people of all races, color and creeds I can only say that that is what Spencer is all about- showing that we are all human and all vulnerable. That is his art. Ages ago Spencer denied any political motivation or message in his art and I agree that he is not preaching right or left agendas. But he has been a staunch advocate for gay rights for as long as I've known of him. One only needs to look at his work for POZ magazine. I have heard folks say he doesn't have any African-Americans in his photos, when I know for a fact that they do participate. Since he asks for volunteers, he gets only those who choose to come. Not as many African-Americans do. ( In the photo of us on the balcony in Buffalo Central Terminal, Betsy thought she'd be able to find herself as there was a deep chocolate skinned man right by her with his head on her leg. You can't see him in the photo,so we can't find us.) People in the past have compared Spencer's works to the death camp photos from WWII. Spencer is Jewish- his work is the antithesis to those photos. He does not want to dehumanize people- he wants to show how human indeed we are. My point is: to Spencer we are all one race. He sees skin color only as pigment to be used. To not participate in Spencer's work because of not wanting to be associated with gays and lesbians is only depriving yourself.
** if you truly do find Spencer's art moves you or speaks to you allow yourself to take part in this once in a lifetime(okay, more than once if you are lucky), chance to be a part of a large art work. If you're still anti-gay rights after, then so be it.
To all of our new members who are participating I truly wish you well and also that I could be with you. I'm sure you will have a unique and surreal experience. Green with envy here in the US.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Where Does Time Go?

Is it because we kill time? What happens to it? Tuesday I heard an ad for the Intergalactic Bead Show here in Cleveland. Betsy and I had enjoyed a previous visit and I had occasion to refer to it not too long ago and even mentioned my Tibetan death beads. Now if you had asked me I would have said we went about 4 or 5 years ago at the most. Yesterday afternoon i found a bead we had bought then, a special year bead. It was for "2000" TEN years ago. As an experiment I asked Betsy how long ago had it been. She too said a few years, no more than 5 or 6. She too was surprised to find out it was 10! Just this AM I was surprised in a very small way. Last week I forgot to take out the trash on Thursday. I kicked myself for it later that day, only to remember last Friday that since Monday the 15th was a holiday then trash went out a day late. So I hustled and got it out. Today I totally forgot it was Thursday, even after hearing "Knuckleheads In The News" a Thursday AM feature of the Lanigan and Malone show on WMJI. When I came downstairs at a bit after 10 AM, when the show went off;after I had read a bit, and found my glasses, and Betsy's cell phone; I realized it was Thursday, checked and found no one's trash still out. They had come early today.

I guess what I am getting at is that there are far too many days we just forget as "background" unless something really unusual, very good, or very bad happens on those days. We need to do more to make our days stand out people.
Now it's not that we haven't been busy in those 10 years since the first (and only) bead show we went to. We've seen movies, plays, concerts, taken trips, been hired and fired a few times, had new cats, lost old cats, been naked in strange places (Bonjour!) and then had our portrait hanging in strange places as well, bought cars and had cars go, been to weddings and funerals. I couldn't begin to list ten years of even the highlight-good and bad. But why don't we have a better sense then of time having past? I just don't know.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Marian, Madam Librarian

So my friend Larry Sk on Facebook mentioned he is going to see Shirley Jones known for many roles, including that of Marian Paroo, the librarian in River City. This and reading about Spencer's upcoming installation in Australia lead my mind back to our trip to Milford PA to take part in the October 2004 event there. We were really low in funds as we had two car problems that ate up any spare money we had for the trip. But Betsy knew how much I wanted to go and decided we were going even if it meant we had to sleep in the car. (Which it did.) I was in a bit of a funk the Saturday morning we left, unable to think straight or plan very well, and I had left the directions to the location at home. I was upset but thought maybe we could stop at a library along the way and check my email, which had the info we needed. This thought came as we were in mid Pennsylvania, so looking for a nearby town, we spotted Clarion PA. We turned to head up to this collage town where I thought we could get a bite to eat and check my email. As we drove up we talked of going to the library in Clarion, which led us to sing the Marian, Madam Librarian song from the Music Man - with our own variations on the lyrics, such as "Going to Clarion to see Marian the Librarian" etc. We sang this for a good half hour or so as we drove. Well, we arrived just after the library had closed. But we had seen signs there was a Clarion University so we thought we'd see if they had a library we could use. We stopped at a Wendy's and pulled up to order and we figured we'd ask for directions there as well. Imagine our surprise when the speaker announced "Hello, I'm Marian. May I take your order?" We started laughing so hard we couldn't respond for a minute or so. I'm sure she thought we were totally crazy. Then after we got our order out and we got to the window, we asked for directions to the university. "It's right there" she said pointing up the hill. So we paid, thanked her, and drove off laughing like loons. We reached the library building after a bit of hunting but it too was closed and so we ate and went back to the freeway. But we had seen a beautiful little town and university campus set in the hills with wonderfull fall leaves and we got to meet Marian of Clarion-not the librarian!
We eventually made it to Milford after sleeepin part of the night at a rest stop near Wilkes Barre PA and part of it in a gas station parking lot waiting for them to open. I picked a station that had Sunday papers sitting in a bundle out front because I knew that meant they would open later that morning. When they did we got gas and were on our way, making it to the installation in plenty of time; met my friend Savvy, and new friends, and had a wonderful if exhausting time. When we were done, and after the "after party" we had dinner, slept in another rest area that night and drove home the next day. A wonderful trip.