June 26th, 2002

abstract butterfly

that thing you do

Dear Computer Mouse:
I don't know why sometimes when I'm on line, you suddenly begin to function only on the margins of my computer page, so that I must depress you, and hold you down, as if I were a bully, to get you to skate over my LJ page. I am glad, though, that you are not like my wife's computer mouse, which will sometimes go on strike, without telling me, just after I have written a 3,999 character post, so that I cannot post it, cut it, paste it, or do anything but utilize words and phrases that are no mellifluous when issuing from my lips. Thanks for listening, and if I've helped you think about any life changes you wish to make, call me.

I'm stealing a last moment pre-raisin-bran and pre-running (into the office to gather a few things for my business trip today) before my flight. I am eager for this trip to go well, but mostly I'm eager to get all the things I need to do today notwithstanding travelling done.

When I kept wild guppies, I loved the way different generations of guppies showed "themes" of colors. I notice that journals show themes, too. My friend gregwest98 posted his left hand, which is roughly the third or fourth left hand I've seen posted lately. None of them look like hands of darkness. Heat and summer jobs as the twin destroyers of all happiness also are a bit theme.

Two threads on the problem of art exchanges have popped up simultaneously--one thread on the frustrating nature of dealing with people who don't do their part, and another exchange on the frustrating nature of people who get really frustrated with people who, for understandable reasons, don't do their part.

Note to self: take both positions simultaneously, finish the one exchange in your hand, try not to kvetch (hate that word) too much about the lmao that NEVER arrived though it was supposedly mailed months ago, and try to seek out horizons in which NOBODY to whom one SENDS ANYTHING has ANY obligation to oneself WHATSOEVER, save arguably the obligation to not feel guilty about any failure at all.

I am very sympathetic to the other side of this one, though.
What's the point of making an agreement if people can't keep agreements? I want my hobbies to be reasonably free of contracts, but I do believe in the "sanctity" of contracts. If one promises to do something in return for a consideration, then one should do it. So I "get" where both sides are coming from. I guess I just want to avoid contract altogether. But people "ought" to live up to their agreements barring extreme circumstances. It's just the right thing to do. The key? Make few agreements.

A similar problem I see discussed is what I call the My Little Pony dilemma. I feel peculiarly qualified to discuss this topic because I am undoubtedly the least talented artist on LJ, nervousness, or postcardx. The phrase "My Little Pony", to me, symbolizes a certain sort of cuteness that is not my own personal way of living my life. On the one hand, I want a world which is safe for cute people. I have been cute in bursts of five to ten minutes at a time. On the other hand, I sympathize with folks who want more from their "art intake" than glitter glued to a postcard with a quote by Richard Bach or a "collage" of TV cartoon material played without irony. I guess I come down on the "send me anything you want, just anything, just let me send to you" camp, but I completely get the position that wants time spent and thought exchanged. It's a problem, and as always, I see both sides.
I read one postcardx'er comment months ago "Hey, folks, not everything is worth a 21 cent stamp", but I must admit that I am happy to get most things. I merely live in trepidation that my own offerings are 19 cents short of 21 cents worth. At the same time, I totally get the people who don't want yet another cycle of Kinko's copies sent to them, with simple block lines and no thought.
I guess this is one more issue on which I fervently take both sides and believe every word I say for either position.
So I guess when it comes to cuteness (of which I can rarely but sometimes be guilty) and talentlessness (of which I am always guilty), I see both sides of this issue--gee,I must have a JD degree.

For some reason, the verse alteration comes to me:

"If we had but world enough, and time,
the delay in exchange would be no crime",

but that seems a little obvious, not to mention unduly suggestive (not that suggestive is always bad) and perhaps
I should focus on altering the Donne poem to
point out that the flea which bit both of us
completed an exchange which the whim of artists, the press of business and the postal service never seem to manage.

There is a limitless set of possibilities to parody mail art issues using romantic English poetry. Too bad I have to travel, before I can work out how Dover Beach is like nervousness.org.

I need to go read that article kenmora e mailed me about how the mimetic whole is the organism, and we are all merely cells. I am worried I am stuck in the appendix someplace or some similarly ambiguous organ.
  • Current Music
    "letter to Hermione", by David Bowie
abstract butterfly

colorado on line, fury in the ether

On the plane, one of the flight magazines was in Spanish. I muddled my way through a great article on travel to the Dominican Republic, yet another of the eighty five countries I'd love to visit but will only see through print and Discovery Channel. I am glad the word for park is parque and so forth, so that I can actually get a good idea of what I read in Spanish.

Somehow I assumed that as we flew near Denver, one would be able to look out a window and see a huge plume of forest fire smoke. That did not seem to be the case today, though. Here, it is very dry. Except for a few flowers, the hillsides look baked.

Business travel to downtown Denver is so easy. One can walk or mass transit everywhere, there are places to eat, during daylight hours there's no "weirdness", and there are copy shops and bookstores, my two travel essentials. I was amused by the fact that I remember virtually no Denver landmark from my last trip here, other than the location of the really good bookstore downtown. Other matters beckon first, however.

I'd like to come to Denver with some time to really visit some day, but this trip is another "fly out tomorrow when my meeting is done" day. Perhaps I will get a few moments outdoors late this afternoon, though, and enjoy a somewhat cooler climate than the Dallas I left.

The revelation that Worldcomm materially misstated earnings is devastating news for our economy. I feel as though the "culture war" that the "powers that be" in the House of Representatives proclaimed a few years ago is indeed in session. The problem is that I'm on the other, left side. You know, the side that spends less time trying to regulate other peoples' personal lives and more time regulating the integrity of financial statements. The very same people who are the first to pontificate about moral decline are also the first to play fast and loose with financial reporting. Somehow in our marketplace we've let financial folks forget that consequences attach to things you use to raise money from pensioners and working people. I am so bored of profit over integrity, and so bored of a regulatory climate in which genuine reporting is subordinated to "safe harbors" and "technical interpretations" which mask the true finances of a company. I haven't read much about this latest one, though, but knowing not to treat an expense as a capital investment is far from rocket science. Worldcomm already looked like it had few clothes, but now the mannequin is out of gown. The wires beneath aren't pretty.

As we watch the Dow edge down toward x,000, I hope the Republicans finally realize that an unfettered marketplace without proper regulation for investor protection will defeat the ability for anyone to raise major capital for anything. We'll all be hoist, on another misplaced right wing petard, i.e., the notion that unregulated markets are always good.
We got the Securities and Exchange Commission and the state blue sky laws during the Great Depression for a reason. The speculators had driven the economy into ruin. Now we have the apparatus in place, but it is still reactive and ham-fisted and lobbyist-beset. You can't run an economy when folks treat 3.8 billion dollars of expenses as "capital items" for the purpose showing a profit. I don't know what intent went into it all, so I'm not going to proclaim "fraud" as my internet news service today did. But I do know that we're going to have to move beyond this "cook the books to show a profit to get an executive bonus" mentality, or we are going to have an investment market in ruins. As for the auditors, words do not suffice. The thing literally speaks for itself, and it speaks volumes. But I see they've already got excuses, in a prompt press release. In this world folks don't think you have to "own up" if you can draft a good press release and hire a good attorney. But there comes a reckoning, and I am afraid all Wall Street will feel it.
  • Current Music
    god, Kinko's has bad doo wop music today