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03-2021

January 16, 2021

230.2 lbs

01:08 PM – my studio

… working on my solo show this AM, not much time for journaling… really annoying interaction with H, who hates slurping and finds annoying ways to tell me i am… we are hunkering down, feeling anxious about what may happen this weekend, at the Inauguration this week, groups threatening violence, hoping they don’t mean it, know they do… tomorrow morning more work on the photography, have to choose the eighteen photographs in the show…

January 15, 2021

229.0 lbs

04:13 AM – my studio

… planning for my solo show continues, secured glass from R, ink cartridges printer, set date for artist talk, need to order frame spacers, have some, but not enough…

… not much new on news front, we wait to see what insurrectionists have planned, more troops in Washington than Iraq and Afghanistan, Biden laid out 2 trillion dollar plan to defeat the virus and lift the economy… will it get past the Senate?, who knows, hope so…

… a long discussion of the relationship between men and women in D. H. Lawrence, which de Beauvoir concludes is subjugation of the woman to man’s will, despite men’s need of completeness found in sexual union, it is not a bad relation between the sexes that she finds in Lawrence, men have the agency and woman are yielding receivers, giving agency a place to complete…

… Chas threw up, he’s not been feeling well lately, he was excited about treats, totally enthusiastic, now he throws up, H won’t be happy, i am not happy…

… a long article on the mental condition of 45 and his supporters, the overall gist, his pathology was ripe for spreading to people under stress in the country, the solution is to remove the leader (about to happen), prosecute the guilty (about to happen), and repair the damaged economic and social fabric of the country by government acting in ways that inspire hope, and ultimately deliver dignity to the majority of citizens…

January 14, 2021

228.6 lbs

05:37 AM – my studio

… 45 impeached, questionable Senate will convict, one can hope… possible that Republican legislators helped with the planning of the attack… H and the news media wringing their hands over the swallowing of the lies, this is not the story, the story is a group of mostly white voters who feel an existential threat to their way of life, black and brown skin people increasingly a larger part of the population, a multicultural constituency will soon outnumber whites, white privilege is under assault, this is true, the white piece of the pie is diminishing and will continue to diminish, higher taxes are coming for the wealthy, more regulations to protect the environment, public health, worker safety, the wealth of society will be redistributed, not in a completely socialist or communistic way, but in a way that egalitarianism demands… existential crises are met with whatever it takes to turn it back, lies believed because lies promise the preservation of the world as it is, or has been, justify the actions taken, sacking the capitol, take lawmaker hostages, possibly execute them, to keep 45 in office… it’s primal when it is existential, our minds are not built to be rational and fair, they are built to solve problems of existence and provide plausible deniability… an article in The Bulwark, Make. Them. Testify., we may not be able to get a conviction in the Senate, but this time around we can call witnesses, and there should be a long parade of them…

January 13, 2021

229.2 lbs

04:25 AM – my studio

… looking increasingly likely that 45 will be impeached and removed from office, Republicans, including Liz Cheney and Mitch McConnel, in favor of impeaching, though, i suspect, hoping he will resign rather than force Republicans to vote…

… a good salon last night, lots of people present, more and more women, a number of newcomers, all said they would return, one showed work…

… feeling happier these days, some dark days are ahead, but a corner is being rounded in the country, at the moment, democracy seems safe, though will continue to be challenged…

… happy with the work i am doing and very happy to be moving towards my solo show, even as expensive as it is, the government stimulus check came at a perfect moment…

… de Beauvoir introduces Montherlant, a Frenchman adopting “the arrogant Manichaeism of Pythagoras.”1… i turn to wikipedia to read up on him and learn that he was macho (served with honor in the First World War, in to bull fighting) and gay… this pops up to me:

A passage in The Girls is particularly telling. Before sleeping with Costals, Solange is preparing herself for the night. “She has to go to the toilet, and Costals remembers this mare he had, so proud, so delicate that she neither urinated nor defecated when he was riding her.”2

… the subject of women urinating has come up a couple of times in The Second Sex, and again, it leads me to the photograph that Emmet Gowins made of his wife standing just inside the door to a barn and urinating, dress lifted, a hugely compelling image for its defiance of the fastidiousness of performing body evacuation functions natural to all living creatures always out of sight, H insists that i not be able to see her when she is peeing, most women do, men pee in troughs together, women always in stalls, with privacy, even among other women…

In similar fashion, the blacks’ petty robberies and lies charmed the whites of Louisiana and Georgia, confirming the superiority of their own skin color; and if one of these Negroes persists in being honest, he is treated even worse. In similar fashion, the debasement of man was systematically practiced in the concentration camps: the ruling race found proof in this abjection that it was of superhuman essence.3

… ah, the patriarchy, the gift that keeps on giving…

Nazi mythology had a historical infrastructure: nihilism expressed German despair; the cult of the hero served positive aims for which millions of soldiers lost their lives.4

… here, i am led to think about the white supremacist claim to be “patriots” reclaiming the honor and glory of their country which, as supermen and women, they alone have the right to lead… we are culturally very close to making the tragic mistake of Germans under Nazism…

this superhuman mysticism justifies all kinds of temporal devastations.5

January 12, 2021

229.4 lbs

5:03 AM – my studio

… HCR, the sense that some kind of crest in the escalation of seditious behavior may be at hand, even as more protests, possibly violent, are being discussed on social media, reactions of the state and corporate America is beginning to change the course of things, unbelievably, M tried to maintain that Wednesday was not the actions of a seditious mob propelled by 45 and his enablers, but the actions of patriots who are pissed!, well, angry they may be, but they are not patriots, i told him they were delusional idiots, no reply…

… i ordered frames for my solo exhibition, though hesitant to spend the money, almost $700 that we don’t have, it’s a commitment that i need to follow through on, assuming most of the images won’t sell, i will have the frames for future multiple work shows, the big question being where to store them… i am getting closer on my omelet quest, my carbon steel pan is almost non-stick for scrambled eggs, or rather, scrambled eggs plus technique, i cooked two omelets at high heat yesterday, which seemed probably too high because the omelets browned, but maybe that was technique too…

… de Beauvoir…

Most of the feminine attributes we have referred to are found in these invocations. The Virgin is fertility, dew, and the source of life; many of the images show her at the well, the spring, or the fountain; the expression “Fountain of Life” was one of the most common; she was not a creator, but she nourishes, she brings to the light of day what was hidden in the earth. She is the deep reality hidden under the appearance of things: the Core, the Marrow. Through her, passions are tempered; she is what is given to man to satiate him. Wherever life is threatened, she saves and restores it: she heals and strengthens. And because life emanates from God, she as the intermediary between man and life is likewise the intermediary between humanity and God.6

… i am reminded of Pinker’s contention in The Better Angels of Our Nature, that women finally brought about the taming of the west, though he suggests it is through the withholding of sex to reign men in, get them to build schools and stop killing one another… this is certainly the way i view womanhood and the purpose for which i tend my inner feminine…

woman is an eminently poetic reality since man projects onto her everything he is not resolved to be.7

… while i am sure that de Beauvoir will get to the place of saying, this is not sufficient to deny woman a more direct place at the action table, the position she paints for women in society, their second sex role, is a powerful one, that, none-the-less, is failing to reign in the destructive agency of men…

The Cinderella myth, indulgently described by Philip Wylie in Generation of Vipers, thrives in prosperous countries; it is more powerful in America than anywhere else because men are more embarrassed by their wealth: How would they spend this money for which they work their whole lives if they did not dedicate it to a woman?8

… de Beauvoir makes an interesting point about woman as muse through Kierkegaard, that the young woman admired, possibly also slept with, but not married, remains a kind of ideal that inspires, marriage brings the young woman firmly into the objective reality of life, she becomes person rather than ideal, apprehended not through projection of his ideals onto her, but through day to day relationship that recognizes her as person, even if subjugated… the muse offers no constraint, requires no obligation, and is consequently a vessel for dreaming… few women wish to remain the muse indefinitely, there is a very interesting movie, The Model, which puts a beautiful young woman together with an ancient artist, through the artist’s wife no less, she becomes muse, he creates a fine sculpture of her, she takes pity on him?, or has she learned to love him?, and sleeps with him in the end, shortly thereafter, he eats the barrel of a shotgun, he has achieved perfection, both in work and flesh, there is nothing left to live for?…

Woman makes man dream, yet she is concerned with comfort and stews; one speaks to her about her soul, but she is only a body. And the lover, believing he is pursuing the Ideal, is the plaything of nature that uses all these mystifications for the ends of reproduction.9

… one thing strikes me, focused as she is on the man-woman constellation, because it is, after all, the prevailing dynamic in society, the one that makes woman the “second sex,” there has been no mention yet, and possibly it is irrelevant to the discussion of this dynamic, of the much more fluid nature of gender that we are beginning to accept…

Man succeeded in enslaving woman, but in doing so, he robbed her of what made possession desirable. Integrated into the family and society, woman’s magic fades rather than transfigures itself; reduced to a servant’s condition, she is no longer the wild prey incarnating all of nature’s treasures. Since the birth of courtly love, it has been a commonplace that marriage kills love. Either too scorned, too respected, or too quotidian, the wife is no longer a sex object.10

… and this is the dynamic, Men believe in the myth of women and not the woman herself, he is not prepared for the commonplace of marriage… the marriages that survive are the ones that overcome this destruction of mythical woman and embrace her as person and partner… this supplies a whole new meaning to the “male gaze,” and, i suspect, all sexual gazes that objectify the person gazed at, there is always a glorious myth of the other that is constructed and persists well into daily commitment, but gradually replaced by an earthly partnership… and yet the muse is always out there, ready to inspire, ready to draw the ship onto the rocks, my infatuation with M is/was that, i would have foundered on the rocks if, impossibly, it had ever been consummated…

This is why man’s jealousy is so quick to awaken, and in legends woman can be suspected without reason, condemned on the least suspicion, as were Geneviève de Brabant and Desdemona; even before any suspicion, Griselda is subjected to the worst trials; this tale would be absurd if the woman were not suspected beforehand; there is no case presented against her: it is up to her to prove her innocence.11

… something about this resonates with the incomprehensible assertions of the radical conservatives, who level accusations that they cannot support with any evidence, and yet, it is up to the accused to demonstrate innocence, which is impossible, since the case has been founded on a profound belief in lies, lies that support a status quo that believers desperately wish to preserve, the only solution, from their point of view, is to put the offender to literal or figurative death… wow, there are so many fascinating quotes in this run of pages…

Man is not wholly devoted to the Good he constructs and attempts to impose; he maintains a shameful connivance with the Bad. But whenever the Bad imprudently dares to show its face openly, he goes to war against it.12

… if that one doesn’t blow you away!… a woman sinning (sex out of wedlock, adultery, etc.) is considered a threat to the order of society because she is the embodiment of the sacred, she cannot be desecrated and is banished if she is, while the refrain for men engaging in sinful behavior is, “boys will be boys,” they are forever secular, not sacred, of this world, and so, cannot, essentially, sin… wow, what a chapter, the feminine myth explained, very long, but so compelling, took days to read, but worth it… so much to chew on as i think through my relationship with J and C, and so many other women, H, M, and all the attractive baristas that used to cross my path when i was able to spend time in coffee shops, oh do i miss those days!, may they return soon…

January 11, 2021

228.8 lbs

05:02 AM – my studio

… rash continues to recede as does the pain in my neck on right side, diminishing…

… not diminishing is the crisis in the country, impeachment is likely, at least at the house level, what happens in the Senate is anyone’s guess at the moment, 45 loosing all social media contact, the ability to process credit cards, lawmakers who supported the coup by voting against certification of results are loosing funding… ominously, there are threats of a bigger and more weaponized crowd on the 17th and for the inauguration… we are not through this yet… i am contemplating a statement on FB aimed at 45 supporters, the few in my orbit, that i see no reason why any expectation they have about the country and how it should be run should be listened to until they denounce and disavow 45… if you want consideration, you need to let go of your delusions…

… H, the dogs, up, dogs went out, H checking on Chas who has not been well, still a little slow, but interested in treats, good… wash the dishes, remember K talking about Julia Child instructions on omelets and decide to read them as long as i am distracted from reading/writing, i do read them, for her, the seasoning of the pan is a simple matter, not requiring high heat, just warming the pan till too hot to touch, oiling it, letting it cool and set overnight, she also advises dedicating a pan to eggs… i try the method this AM, we’ll see how it works… she also advises cooking eggs over high heat, that it should take all of 30 seconds to make an omelet, this is what i will do this AM, and i will try to make individual omelets for H and me…

… Simone de Beauvoir…

… a long exposition on the position of wife and mother, stepmother and girlfriend, women in the cloak of motherhood…

Deprived of her magic weapons by nuptial rites, economically and socially dependent on her husband, the “good wife” is man’s most precious treasure. She belongs to him so profoundly that she shares the same nature with him: “Ubi tu Gaius, ego Gaia”; she has his name and his gods, and she is his responsibility: he calls her his other half.13

… the overall impression i get from de Beauvoir on the mythical place of woman, is that of immense power and significance and that this, in part, is what dooms her to subjugation, the fear of this power, the need to tame it as in taming nature, if woman is within man’s dominion, then all is well with man’s world…

January 10, 2021

228.8 lbs

05:16 AM – my studio

… my rash seems to be receding, wondering what it is about, been going on in more minor way for months, the latest round more major, i have adjusted my hygiene habits, daily clothes changing, more showers, in case it’s a hygiene issue, but i don’t think so, feels more like autoimmune something something, the debate in my mind about seeing/talking to my doctor…

… reading articles about events this past week, the major concern is that more violence is planned, that 45’s mob will return to the Capitol for the inauguration, that they will be more heavily armed and organized, 5K National Guard troops are to be deployed, i don’t expect that security will be caught so flat footed this time, but the stakes will be higher and the firepower more significant if we are to take seriously the postings and communications of the far right, as we certainly should, it’s going to continue to be a bumpy ride at best, until Biden and Harris are installed and they can begin to govern, one hopes that we make it there…

an article by Jonathan Blaustein, about the insurrection, about his marriage, sad, all of it, his hurt comes through in an honest way… i read about a melancholic book by Robbie Lawrence, if there were more money i would buy it, it’s up my alley and highly recommended, alas, i have a solo show to put on…

  1. De Beauvoir, Simone. The Second Sex (p. 214). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
  2. De Beauvoir, Simone. The Second Sex (p. 222). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
  3. De Beauvoir, Simone. The Second Sex (p. 223). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
  4. De Beauvoir, Simone. The Second Sex (p. 224). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
  5. De Beauvoir, Simone. The Second Sex (p. 228). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
  6. De Beauvoir, Simone. The Second Sex (p. 198). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
  7. De Beauvoir, Simone. The Second Sex (p. 199). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
  8. De Beauvoir, Simone. The Second Sex (p. 201). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
  9. De Beauvoir, Simone. The Second Sex (p. 204). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
  10. De Beauvoir, Simone. The Second Sex (p. 204). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
  11. De Beauvoir, Simone. The Second Sex (p. 206). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
  12. De Beauvoir, Simone. The Second Sex (p. 206). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
  13. De Beauvoir, Simone. The Second Sex (p. 193). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

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