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Week 05

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February 01, 2020

223.8 lbs

10:53 AM – My Studio

… i have moved beyond impeachment… DT will be acquitted, he will crow, his followers will crow, and for a time, things are going to be worse, i know all this, but, i think those who want to replace him have been given a thousand reasons to organize and make sure he doesn’t get another term, and that there are now a bunch of Republican senators with targets on their backs, more so than before, i expect a hornets nest of indignation… i continue to think about Values In American Culture as enumerated by L. Robert Kohls, S suggested that they are outdated, more appropriate to winning the West, expansion across the continent, i suggested that conservatives continue to live by these values and behave accordingly, and in truth, i think we all do to one degree or another, whether we think we do or not… so many of them ring true to me and i can identify several of them as being significant problems… #1, personal control over the environment, this is problematic as we have reached the stage where we so damage the environment that we can’t continue to act any way we wish…

January 31, 2020

222.8 lbs

8:19 AM – Ella’s Bellas

… went to bed early last night, read for an hour or so, struggled to make it to 8 PM then decided to turn in… i was done with impeachment proceedings, witnesses or not, the result will be that the president is acquitted which he will turn into exoneration and further bad behavior… looked up the American Dream this morning and read a little bit about it, there are words about equal opportunity, hard work, but nothing about honesty, integrity, American Values is what i need to look into, what are American Values and have we really strayed from them?… i read a list of values Americans live by[1], from a Boston University page, there is little in them that suggests the Trump Administration is a complete aberration in American society, in fact, it becomes easier to see why many Americans view DT as representative of the values, partly the myth he has created, partly the way he looks to them, which is self made, successful, honest in his own way, not the honesty i respect, he says what he thinks, what’s provocative, agenda, truth telling has a small place in the values, other things are emphasized, self reliance, dominion over the landscape, individuality, informality, etc…

VALUES IN AMERICAN CULTURE

  1. PERSONAL CONTROL OVER THE ENVIRONMENT: People can/should control nature, their own environment and destiny. The future is not left to fate. RESULT: An energetic, goal-oriented society.
  2. CHANGE/MOBILITY: Change is seen as positive and good. This means progress, improvement and growth. RESULT: An established transient society geographically, economically and socially.
  3. TIME AND ITS IMPORTANCE: Time is valuable – achievement of goals depends on the productive use of time. RESULT: An efficient and progressive society often at the expense of interpersonal relationships.
  4. EQUALITY/EGALITARIANISM: People have equal opportunities; people are important as individuals, for who they are, not from which family they come. RESULT: A society where little deference is shown or status is acknowledged.
  5. INDIVIDUALISM, INDEPENDENCE AND PRIVACY: People are seen as separate individuals (not group members) with individual needs. People need time to be alone and to be themselves. RESULT: Americans may be seen as self-centered and sometimes isolated and lonely.
  6. SELF-HELP: Americans take pride in their own accomplishments. RESULT: Americans give respect for self achievements not achievements based on rights of birth.
  7. COMPETITION AND FREE ENTERPRISE: Americans believe competition brings out the best in people and free enterprise leads to progress and produces success. RESULT: Competition is emphasized over cooperation.
  8. FUTURE ORIENTATION / OPTIMISM: Americans believe that, regardless of past or present, the future will be better and happier. RESULT: Americans place less value on past events and constantly look ahead to tomorrow.
  9. ACTION AND WORK ORIENTATION: Americans believe that work is morally right; that it is immoral to waste time. RESULT: There is more emphasis on “doing” rather than “being”. This is a no-nonsense attitude toward life.
  10. INFORMALITY: Americans believe that formality is “un-American” and a show of arrogance and superiority. RESULT: A casual, egalitarian attitude between people is more accepted.
  11. DIRECTNESS / OPENNESS / HONESTY: One can only trust people who “look you in the eye” and “tell it like it is”. Truth is a function of reality not of circumstance. RESULT: People tend to tell the “truth” and not worry about saving the other person’s “face” or “honor”.
  12. PRACTICALITY / EFFICIENCY: Practicality is usually the most important consideration when decisions are to be made. RESULT: Americans place less emphasis on the subjective, aesthetic, emotional or consensual decisions.
  13. MATERIALISM / ACQUISITIVENESS: Material goods are seen as the just rewards of hard-work, the evidence of “God’s favor.” RESULT: Americans are seen as caring more for things than people or relationships.

Adapted from “The Values Americans Live By”, L. Robert Kohls

January 30, 2020

224.4 lbs

8:07 – Big Mouth Coffee Roasters

… finishing up This Changes Everything, Naomi Klein, about environmental devastation by energy companies, the book talking about progress being made but there has been back sliding since publication… submission to CPW member show ready, signed up online, will deliver photograph this afternoon, have to work on a newsletter to go out this weekend, also publication for members show, opens next weekend… been in a detrital mood lately, doing lots of it… need to revamp portfolios on website… coffee without sweetener again today, trying to conserve calories… posting to FB, checking posts already made, not as addicted as some but more than i should be… long article on Liz Warren this morning, her candidacy loosing steam, a number of factors, not helped by having to be in impeachment hearings… H thinks toxic masculinity is doing her in, i think misogyny a factor, but not the whole story or even largest part of the story… a new barista today, wondering if i will like her, she seems a little detached… as i was getting my submission to CPW members show i was thinking that i like the work i do, and that although a lot of my work focuses on plants and nature, it’s more than that and successfully more than that… was thinking about the other threads that are building up too, cans, rock, by the sea, i am thinking i can put together a series of typology books, like Museum Bahvan, that sum up to my attentions, interests, thoughts about occupying space in the cosmos, seeing… more and more i don’t care whether anyone recognizes my work as valuable, more and more i simply make it, collect it, share it, if there is interest, great, if none, ok too, because at the end of the day i follow my compulsion to make it, which is all that can be done, all that art should be, because i am human, it will mean something, that is enough… homeless woman here, i have heard her name but forget it, i say good morning to her, she has stopped asking me for money, i never give it to her, but i do greet her… reading Walt Whitman, not readily getting into his poetry, possibly not reading in quiet enough conditions, undistracted conditions… probably should get going…

January 29, 2020
224.4 lbs

8:03 AM – Big Mouth Coffee Roasters

… new routines forming, got Fiona out of her crate when i got up, brought her down with me, worked pretty well, there was a period of puppy activity then she settled down and slept next to me while i read, the puss came and slept too… finished Invisible Man, wondered what is it about, communism, black identity, individualism, largely a polemic against black nationalism, communism, for individualism, multiculturalism… published in 1952… coffee without sugar this morning, trying to save calories, need to keep my weight down which keeps creeping up… Chas a little sluggish today, not feeling well?, depressed?, last night he never came up on the bed, which is not usual, wondering if he was being in solidarity with Fiona who we crate at night in the bedroom with us, seems more like he is not feeling well, didn’t want a biscuit when he came in from outside… need to sign up for member show at CPW and get my photograph delivered, ink arrives today, so i know i will have enough to make the prints i have to make… keep thinking about where my photographs are heading, trying to work out philosophical, intellectual underpinnings for what i am doing, the daily walks, the daily seeing, the daily writing, nothing more focused than that, except things emerge in the process, typologies, themes, some of them straight forward, some of them conceptual, some of them both… thawed out and roasted some of the turkey we raised last summer, was reminded how delicious they are, much sweeter, more flavorful than turkey from grocery stores, roasted sweet potatoes and brussels sprouts to have with the turkey, yum… it continues to look possible that there will be witnesses in the impeachment trial, at least one or two, we’ll see, conviction still seems unlikely… i have caught up with photo processing, next i need to post last week and start this week of the daybook… this morning thinking about the 50,000 foot view, what am i involved in, what is the American spirit?, the American ideal?, do they mean anything, not in Washington, i think, there was evidence of it in the Midwest, patriotism, god, country, troops, farms, simple expressions, though i know that is not all there is to it… starting in on Walt Whitman, The Complete Works, the first poem i read Eidolons, phantoms, everything is phantoms it seems to be saying…

January 28, 2020
223.8 lbs

… frustrated, anxious, slightly depressed, irritated… the pack got up early again, Fiona got restless when i got up, woke H, peace and quiet gone, the new routines yet to be established, things in flux, i am ok with flux, but i need the routine, anxious to get back to it… almost done with Invisible Man, trying to decide if i think it as good as it’s reputation… i have liked it, but find it contrived as a story to make a point, which is what happens when points are to be made, when a novel is less organic and more the pursuit of an idea, an ideology, characters act against their nature to play their roles in the recitation of the ideology, i don’t think those kinds of novels always work the best… very gray, flat light day, walked with the Nikon, as usual, made a higher number of photographs with it, lots of things on the street, pavement, etc… thinking that i need to work on portfolio site to display the various collections i have developed… my mind operates on pathways of attraction, the typology studies that unfold from the walks are indicative of that… sturdy barista girl is here, i learn, from her conversation with another customer, that she is a masseuse and wants to go back to school for nursing, i had thought she might be an artist, art major, she has lots of tattoos, i wonder if that will hold her back in nursing?, they are more accepting of tats these days… Trump lawyers made their presentations yesterday, not convincing to me, off the point to me, on point only if part of the job was to take down Biden… no mention of Bolton bombshell, it appears to be the White House that actually leaked it… what is the game?, who knows, it seems possible there will be witnesses, i won’t hold my breath… H is hopeful, she is so desperate for a change, i am thinking that there is no more American Dream, i am wondering if there ever was one, i felt more belief in one when driving through the Midwest…

January 27, 2020
223.2 lbs

8:56 AM – Big Mouth Coffee Roasters

… sense of foreboding, fear, getting older , things will go wrong, wondering what effort is for, to write, make pictures, what is it for?… it doesn’t have to be for anything, this is what i tell myself, not for anything, i can just be and make what i make, what does it need to be for?… Invisible Man reminding me of Atlas Shrugged, not the same story, point, but similar manipulation, similar characters, puppets, vessels for a point of view… i watch a man with Middle Eastern terrorist beard walk in, feel it as a slightly threatening presence, then step back to observe the feelings, where do they come from?… Fiona continues to settle in, Rubie is trying to reclaim the first floor, coexist, Fiona really being a pretty good dog for a puppy… people coming, going, morning coffee then out the door to work, to the day, some find a table and conduct their day in the shop… barista with Amy Winehouse eye liner takes my order, demonstrates she knows i am a regular and what i am likely to have… John Bolton leaked, says Trump told him withholding of aid was to continue until Ukraine announced investigations, private meeting, he said – he said, will this make it necessary for Republicans to call witnesses?… we will see by the end of week…

January 26, 2020
221.2 lbs

8:40 AM – Big Mouth Coffee Roasters

… pleasantly surprised my weight is not up, down in fact, finding healthy lo calorie options on the road in the Midwest was not easy, lots of obese people, interestingly, they know nothing about seltzer water out there, which i assume contributes to the obesity, Pepsi, Coke, Mountain Dew… i enjoyed the trip, lots of driving, but we broke it up and didn’t get into any trouble, my fears about driving over the mountains yesterday were not realized, i think it was just warm enough to keep the roads from getting slick, the traffic moved well… T&Y’s daughter working at Big Mouth now, saw Y on Main Street who told me she was here… wrote a review of our road trip to the family email… feeling sad about being old, changes in taste, in eyes, feeling very much the brevity of time allotted, thinking that i will be 80 when Fiona approaches end of life, if i am still here, which it is possible i won’t be, that kind of thought depresses me, i try to think one day at a time, enjoy each day for itself, do the things i feel compelled to do, don’t worry about the passage of time, just be happy… i think more about panpsychism which i recently read about in Scientific American, it makes sense to me, i draw comfort from the idea that my atoms may be part of a larger consciousness whether gathered together to be me or not, perhaps we are just the eyes, ears, nose, tongue and hands of that larger consciousness, here to move its grasp of itself forward as we can… was thinking about corporate sameness that is so prevalent when traveling the highways of this country, hotel chains, fast food chains, coffee shop chains, wondering if this growing organization of the world through corporate hegemonic structure is an extension of de Chardin’s Noosphere concept, if we are entering into a time where being an individual doesn’t make sense, possibly being human doesn’t make sense either, a new sentience growing, subsuming carbon based, living breathing, seeing, touching, feeling things, billions of years from now carbon based life a footnote in the rise of intelligence… i seem to have gotten better pictures than i thought i had on the trip, at least a decent representing of some things along the way…

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