Archive for July, 2017

Too often we hear that people were raped, or are depressed, or are suffering from being a certain religion, color, gender, or orientation as a matter of choice. To say that suffering of any kind is a matter of choice is one of the most absurdly invalidating notions I believe I have ever heard. No one chooses suffering. Suffering, for the most part, is a result of history. Heritable and learned factors that we encounter as children, long before any developmental hint of “choice.” The good news is that what can be learned can be unlearned. Even if we never encounter true “freedom” we can learn what is healthy (to do more of this) and what is unhealthy (to do less of that). That’s science. That’s escape from culturally learned absurdity and invalidation. That’s what I call freedom.


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Cliff hanger

Until photography, all art was inscription, and showed the artist herself, honestly. Photography trades on the illusion of anonymity. An invisible gate to the noumenal. Bring back the inscribed surface by a mark and you can re-dis-cover the arrogance of its technology. Is this what we need?

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In probably the most famous speech by a fictional character in the English language, Shakespeare presented the problem of decision under uncertainty. “To be or not to be.” That is, to continue or to change? Hamlet is suicidal at the time, stuck in emotion mind. As are millions, still. Yet the question persists whether to step off any more metonymous cliff? The artist faces it. The teacher. The business person. The therapist. The student. I myself consider it every day and can’t find the courage. Self-hate lives there: “The itch for death is like a turn in a wire.” The death of what for what? To overpaint a prior joy? Wherefore? By the time I hear the knock on the door, I’m already under the bed.

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