July 14th, 2007

abstract butterfly


I pondered this evening why the conflicts that seem to me the most needless at the workplace or in other settings involving communicaton boxes larger than those at twitter.com are those based on one form or another of small-group-politics. Not the kind of one-person-one-vote thing that one might otherwise call politics, but the "I will try to get what I want indirectly by contacting x and saying y" kind of politics.

Yet this "politics", if politics is the word, keeps me in raisin bran, as business disputes often arise precisely because everyone is being so darn clever that the key issue is entirely unaddressed, or, two scoops of raisins, ambiguously addressed. I like the notion that many cases are more or less "math problems", in which, if one peels away the layers of emotion and explanation, then the answer requires only the resolution of an open issue or two and the application of a math model of one sort or another.

I wonder if some remnant of the playground resides deep within me. I played on the same playground many of you played upon. We had the rigged kickball game, in which one team was comprised of the "popular" grade schoolers, who, despite better prowess for games, routinely cheated by changing the rules so that errant kicks did not count. I was on the other team, which played on inexorably, as if we were icelandic heroes who knew we were doomed to fail, but proceeded on because of the sheer valor of the deed.

I no longer live on that playground. Those who tyrannized me years ago are apt, if I encouter them, to give a fond "hello". Ms. Plath's would-be-pithy-line was that every woman loves a fascist, but I find, with age, the playground fascists tend to democratize and sometimes even admit the ball was foul rather than fair.

I suffer from residual "can-do" syndrome. I like to solve problems. I am one of those slightly rare dreamer-types who really functions best hunting solutions to issues I can master. I am rarely the most creative, or the most talented, and I am never the most charismatic. But I can, within my competencies, see solutions and implement them.

This "can-do' means I have the kind of creativity which will always be just the slightest bit pedestrian. My sentences flow in predictable ditches, and the little blue heron dances there only in sporadic, unguarded moments. I like words and sights and sounds, but in a straightforward, rather explicable way. I have corresponded lately with a woman named Miel, and it delights me no end how much sweeter the name Miel sounds than its English equivalent Honey. Then my mind writes five paragraph essays which wonder if Miel conjures up the same connotations that the name Honey conjures in English. Words are slippery things, and mean so many different same things.

We went tonight to dinner with our friends who just closed on a home. My dhosa this time was huge, as if I had ordered large doses of dhosa. My wife's lamb boti masala, by contrast, was ample but moderate. I love the way that a potato and vegetable filling can be so rewarding, when it is encased on a thin=bread absurdity.

I played blitz chess on-line tonight, with the indifferent results common to my recent play. One opponent, after I made some egregious blunders in 3-minute chess, left me a parting taunt "next time you should focus on your moves instead of on just moving quickly". I started to write back a retort about unkind talk, but then the advice suddenly seemed sage. I take my medicine where I find it, and hope the after-taste is not too bitter.

I began working wth the ambient track by the artist from Mexico who asked me to remix for him. His samples are completely lovely-airy melodic drones and panning sawcut-buzz splendor. I am well along with a remix that I hope will amuse and delight.

Tonight I feel uneasy about having expressed an opinion out of frustration at an unkindness. I think that one way to deal with unkindness is with stealth--and compassion.
I will focus less on moving quickly next time, and try to play my position accurately.
abstract butterfly

Third Mondays

In Texas lots of small towns have regular "trades days". They usually take place one weekend a month, based upon the order of the particular Monday each month. The largest flea market of this type is in Canton, an hour from here, where first Monday is attended by tens of thousands of people each month.

This morning I drove to nearby McKinney's Third Monday. I walked the booths among hundreds of my fellow Texans. Here is what I saw:

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Imagining Toronto

Although I've visited Canada a few times, I've never been to Toronto. Yet when one of my virtual friends from ccmixter.org, cdk, ('the come down kid') used one of my odd drone samples as the introduction to his wonderful melodic downtempo song, I thought that I should do a video for the song. I like video about places, and I saw no reason why my unfamiliarity with Toronto should prevent me from doing a video about its charms. So I headed over to Creative Commons.org to hunt Creative Commons licensed flickr photos. I found that an artist named 416Style, a/k/a Sookie, had created an entire video's worth of Toronto shots. I therefore looked up some fun facts to intersperse into the film, and then assembled a simple video.

I predict that in the future, travel will become astoundingly expensive, and the we will tour locales as we once did, via alternative media like the mails, the internet and books.

I therefore offer these images, and ask if you wish to imagine Toronto wth me: