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Monday, 18 November 2013



Woman mourning, Brentwood Street, Portland
: photo by Austin Granger, 3 April 2012

distance between viewer
and screen growing
ever greater, the coldness
of the space
intervening ever deeper,
the mourning
all that's lost
more remote
and diluted
with each minute
and second
that goes by

Children sleeping in Mulberry Street, New York City: photo by Jacob Riis (1849-1914), 1890; image by Dark Attsios, 18 December 2011

Untitled (Memphis, Tennessee)
: photo by
† Jack Davison, 8 April 2013

 In the rain. (In memory): photo by efo, 2 February 2006

Girl: photo by James Wainwright, 14 August 2008

Untitled: photo by Gina Maragoudaki (gina_m1), 20 September 2013

  Walking with Me: Jim Dine, 1997, charcoal, shellac, oil enamel and pastel on paper, 171.5 x 76.2 cm (Richard Gray Gallery)

University Avenue, Berkeley, at night: photo by Whyzee, February 2008


ACravan said...

I admire the way you express your pessimism also. Hell of a way to begin the week, but I always think that clarity is essential (even if I sometimes say something else). Curtis

TC said...


Funny thing, I had thought it was merely objectivity. Helps to have the outside perspective. I suppose I've been feeling more and more left in the lurch, can't keep up the pace & c due to, among other things, a steady failure to "upgrade" -- capital crime! -- that is, to keep current along with my fellow humanoids in following up on the stunning technological advances heralded with each new product launch and gizmo app.

I'm almost starting to think that the contributions of our epoch will be largely in the areas of security and (what really amounts to the same thing) protective distancing, or detachment from other warm living bodies. No distance from the human may prove safe enough in the long run.

manik sharma said...


All that distance covered to the moon,mars whatever..whereas the greatest separation comes to be from one another...known from the known..the unknown certainly feels a lot closer now..Wonderful composition as always

TC said...

Thanks very much Manik, and yes, that's exactly what was meant -- and would that it were not the case.

ACravan said...

I tend to use the phrase "so-called social media" instead of social media. BTP is social. Very little else that actually uses the name social media is. As far as "security" goes, a couple of weeks ago I attended several different continuing legal education presentations where security compliance (among health care providers, their vendors, their customers, others) was one of the principal topics. All of the new regulations that have been piled on top of the old regulations are confusing and difficult to execute. The unspoken "elephant" in the room during the presentation, I thought, was that none of these regulations applied to the government itself. It gets to know everything and have a quite free hand in using and abusing the information. Finally, at the end of the talk, one of the lawyers attending asked about this and the presenter agreed that that was indeed the case and she saw irony and felt concern about this. I no longer want to upgrade; it just ensnares you more. I just want to escape. Curtis

TC said...

Curtis, I believe we learned on 6 June 2013 that there are no avenues of escape from the invasive and transgressive attentions of government, nor any reasonable expectation that the liberties eroded and withdrawn will ever be regained -- if indeed they ever actually existed in the first place.

So it seems necessary to proceed now on the understanding that we are not alone, that whether or not we wish, we must "share" all our thoughts and feelings with god only knows who, and wish them well, and somehow try to go on as though they were not there, or, failing that (tall order), as though we did not know it.

ACravan said...

I just looked up the 6/6/13 date and will heretofore mark it in my Spanish calendar, which only records that every day is a saint's day. This will break things up, along with the usual birthday, doctor's appts., other anniversaries. I used to think of the "wider audience" along the lines of those cute-sounding extra-terrestrial auditors in the Byrds song CTA-102. Now I just see the world as being largely comprised of informers or, as we used to speculate as teenagers, "narcs." Curtis



a great sequence of photos here, connected to this --

distance between viewer
and screen growing
ever greater

Unknown said...

“Working with me” by Jim Dine sums it up very well. Humor is always helpful.

I didn’t find the post pessimistic at all, Curtis.

“Objective”, as you say, Tom.

Objectivity in the face of grim progression. “Progress” is what it is. A geometrical progression over a huge length of time.

“Grim” is not an objective adjective or evaluation.

The contribution of our epoch will be extinction, in my humble opinion. But Jim Dine’s rather endearing depiction of a one way ride on death’s back anchors me.

Extinction? Maybe “it’s a shame” from an emotional point of view, but the distancing will take all the emotion out of it.

Will we know when we’re dead? We do know we are alive so trying to make the best of it here while anything can be made of it.

The individual ride will get, is getting a bit thorny. Carpe Diem.

As to the concept of privacy, it might be nice to be on a small boat today, (it’s warm here) but satellites and the invisible Drug Interception Patrol Destroyers are tracking it and everything else.

Not necessarily even noticing it – just recording – making a record.

On the radar. Everything is on the radar now. So continue as usual as Tom suggests.

I wonder if the dead enjoy “rights” to privacy, liberty and the pursuit of happiness?

Inspiring poem, sequence of photos. Good read, the dialogue between Curtis and Tom, too.

Going to put on a lead suit and hide out under some large rocks now. LOL. Thanks!

Saludos Cordiales (cordial salutations).


Wooden Boy said...

There's an echo of recent Wittgenstein post here. How social subjects are shrinkwrapped through facebook and other forms of organised futility. Feelings are boxed and labelled with emoticons.

The Jacob Riis photo reminds us that these technologies were once used as a means of overcoming a distance.

TC said...

Thanks for hearing that echo, WB.

Steve, those three lines were the blasted germ from which this post gradually exfoliated.

Harris, if you squint a bit you will see that the title of that Jim Dine (the "one way ride on death's back", as you aptly put it) is actually not "Working..." but "Walking with me". Perhaps explained in Jim's introductory note to a 2006 edition of his Pinocchios:

"Thanks to Carlo Collodi, the real creator of Pinocchio, I have for many years been able to live through the wooden boy. His ability to hold the metaphor in limitless ways has made my drawings, paintings and sculpture of him richer by far. His poor burned feet, his misguided judgment, his vanity about his large nose, his temporary donkey ears all add up to the real sum of his parts. In the end, it is his great heart that holds me. I have carried him on my back like a landscape since I was six years old. Sixty-four years is a long time to get to know someone, yet his depth and secrets are endless. This book is for the Boy."

And so we gather in the chilly dark, timorously approaching the six-month-iversary (?) of the Feast of St. Norbert, who would hardly have been inconvenienced by any of this.

TC said...

Well, okay, I was merely parroting something I learned on the internet. Maybe St. Norbert didn't invent snowshoes for summerwear after all. You never know what your screen is going to tell you on any given day. Except, unfortunately, that you pretty much do, any more. There is no escaping it. Minute by minute and second by second, the hour glass watches the data being sifted. Any five minute sample will do as well as any other. And any thirty second sample will do as well as any five minute sample. For instance...

It had to happen. Now you can buy your own private privacy-invading security agency.

But don't go getting emotional about it, at this late "point in time". There was never going to be any hope of protecting yourself anyway.