Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Swift Sands

Swift sands passing through
the hourglass.
Groping at each grain,
I move like a ghost
through the valley
of the dead.

A dead body cannot relocate
A dead mouth cannot scream.
Dead hands cannot grasp,
cannot pick up the world
and transcribe their meaning upon it.

I fade into transparency, 
the sand falls through my fingers.
I move like a ghost
through the valley
of the dead. 

Monday, 18 February 2013

Montreal Museum of Fine Arts

Okay, so this isn't really a post about the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (or le Musee des Beaux Arts), but I am going to talk a bit about it, and then I am going to talk more in depth about one particular work it holds.

I have visited the Museum of Fine Arts twice since moving to Montreal. It is a massive three buildings, containing a massive collection of art, ranging from ancient artifacts,  medieval works, through the renaissance, with a particular focus on Quebec art, and Modern Art (or Modern Quebec Art). It is at least a two hour trip if you want to look at it all (not including the special exhibition of the moment, which is usually pretty interesting. Still regret missing Renoir) and by the time you hit the gigantic display of chairs (yes, chairs) you're pretty exhausted.

Somewhere between the Renaissance and the collection of chairs, you hit a hallway of very abstract, very modern art (postmodern? my terminology is rusty). Off of these hallways are large galleries, containing more fascinating works of the weird and wonderful. I should say that I love modern/postmodern art (these are blurry blurry lines for me. Please don't be offended, art critics). I love interpreting it. I am drawn to it, in an effort to understand. And honestly, wildly paint splattered, multimedia, hectic presentations inspire more emotion in me than a well done rendition of a bowl of fruit. Just saying.

But then you come to this:

Old Enemy, New Victim by Tony Matelli
And your first reaction is one of absolute revulsion. I should say that it looks a lot more realistic an a lot more disturbing in person. The monkey are actually hairy, and in a yellow lighting that makes the wax look more like real skin.

Anyway, you stop, and feel absolute revulsion. This is cannibalism. This is murder. This is a bunch of monkey genitals and fat rolls all up in your grills. What the hell is this?

I'll admit, the first time I visited the museum, I quickly hurried off, not wanting to look at it any longer than I had to. The second time, however, was a different deal. I wanted to think about it. What the hell is this? And this time, I wanted an answer.

The interpretation of this piece is, I think, rather straightforward. These monkeys are society in a nutshell, the hate between classes. Poor social conditions, hunger, homelessness, drives some to commit acts of theft or murder against those that have more. The lean, through no fault of their own, can get mean, and begin to resent the affluent. This can be seen on a global scale as well. Why are first world countries so resented, America in particular? Because we are the world's morbidly obese apes. We get ALL the bananas.

And this moves in cycles, historically has moved in cycles--hence, I believe, the title of the work. Look back at the revolutions overthrowing monarchies over the centuries. Those without--the lean and hungry famine-struck apes--rebel against those with--the ruling class--destroying them absolutely (more or less). In the process, those leading the revolution, those demanding the most meat off of the bones of the bloated corpse of the overthrown become bloated themselves. Filled with power. And the cycle begins again.

I think that is what is so disturbing about these apes. They are us.
Or maybe its just the dangling balls.

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Mackenzie River

composite made of differing views of the same image of the Mackenzie River. Purdy colors. 

Monday, 11 February 2013


Introducing. . . my beautiful baby sister!

Monday pichers

because I'm too lazy to post a real post. Here's something I made out of images of a desert (the kara kum). Cubism seems to be a really good way to break images down into their palettes

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Monkey Bread!

So, I've been seeing this stuff all over Pinterest and tonight I decided to see what its all about . . .

IS this not the most beautiful thing you have ever seen?

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease pan. 
  2. Mix white sugar and cinnamon in a plastic bag. Cut biscuits into quarters. Shake 6 to 8 biscuit pieces in the sugar cinnamon mix. Arrange pieces in the bottom of the prepared pan. Continue until all biscuits are coated and placed in pan. Arrange nuts in and among the biscuit pieces as you go along.
  3. In a small saucepan, melt the margarine with the brown sugar over medium heat. Boil for 1 minute. SPREAD THAT SHIT ALL OVER!
  4. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 35 minutes. Let bread cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a plate. Do not cut! The bread just pulls apart.

Monday, 4 February 2013

Origins of Basketball, disambiguated

During my life, I have heard three separate places lay claim to the invention of the sport of Basketball, and do so with conviction. The source of this confusion lies with this guy:

James Naismith, who is considered the father of the sport.

Canadians will remember this video being played on the CBC (do they still do the heritage moments?) which features a rather cranky seeming Naismith explaining the game to a bunch of kind of derpy looking americans;

The reason Naismith features here as a Canadian is because he is one. Born in Ontario and educated at McGill, where he obtained his BA in phys-ed, anyone looking into this guy will soon come to realize that, although born a Canadian, the sport really wasn't invented here. Sure, it was rattling around in Naismith's head for years before he made it into a real game, but it wasn't as though he came from McGill with the handbook of Basketball fully formed in his McGill school sweater pocket. That's right, this Canadian heritage moment is just another government lie, boys and girls. Moving on.

Naismith moved on too, to Springfield Massachusetts, where he taught at the local YMCA (I suppose that explains the levels of derp in the above video), and it was there that the game became fully fledged, and started to catch on, spreading through YMCA networks like wildfire. WILDFIRE, I SAY. Okay, so probably nothing spread much like wildfire in 1892, (except for wildfires) but you get the idea. It seems that Naismith did not stay in Springfield long, moving on to Denver where he pursued a medical degree. However, Springfield Mass. is the home of the basketball hall of fame: 

Which features an appropriately gigantic basketball, so I think you could very validly make the argument that Springfield is the home of the sport.


After getting his medical degree, Naismith moved to Lawrence Kansas, where he taught at the University of Kansas for many years. KU's basketball program began in 1898, shortly after Naismith arrived on campus. Apart from training up the Phog, Naismith was, reportedly, a pretty shitty coach. HOWEVER, basketball caught on like crazy insane in Kansas (seriously, you should go there), and so that state, having possessed Naismith for longer than anyone, has also laid claim to the invention of the sport, or to being its "home" (I'm not sure which).


Anyway, basically, you can blame Naismith and all of his moving around for the confusion about where Basketball comes from. For me, I'd go with Springfield . . .but then, the CBC *did* put a lot of effort into that well done history minute, so I might have to rethink that . . .