In ordinary places…

Grant Snider sometimes seems more like a poet than an artist.  Visit his website HERE.

He has a book out that I’m saving up for.  You can read about it HERE.

Advertisements

“Nay, nay! I better understand!”

The Blind Men and the Elephant
by Sana’i (1080-1131)
Translated by E.G. Browne (1862 – 1926)
Taken from Persian Poems, An Anthology of Verse Translations, © 1954

Not far from Ghúr once stood a city tall
Whose denizens were sightless one and all.
A certain Sultán once,when passing nigh,
Had pitched his camp upon the plain hard by,
Wherein, to prove his splendour, rank, and state,
Was kept an elephant most huge and great.
Then in the townsmen’s minds arose desire
To know the nature of this creature dire.
Blind delegates by blind electorate
Were therefore chosen to investigate
The beast, and each, by feeling trunk or limb,
Strove to acquire an image clear of him.
Thus each conceived a visionary whole,
And to the phantom clung with heart and soul.

When to the city they were come again,
The eager townsmen flocked to them amain.
Each one of them — wrong and misguided all —
Was eager his impressions to recall.
Asked to describe the creature’s size and shape,
They spoke, while round about them, all agape,
Stamping impatiently, their comrades swarm
To hear about the monster’s shape and form.
Now, for his knowledge each inquiring wight
Must trust to touch, being devoid of sight,
So he who’d only felt the creature’s ear,
On being asked: “How doth its heart appear?”
“Mighty and terrible,” at once replied,
“Like to a carpet, hard and flat and wide!”
Then he who on its trunk had laid his hand
Broke in: “Nay, nay! I better understand!
‘Tis like a water-pipe, I tell you true,
Hollow, yet deadly and destructive too.”
While he who’d had but leisure to explore
The sturdy limbs which the great beast upbore,
Exclaimed: “No, no! To all men be it known
‘Tis like a column tapered to a cone!”
Each had but known one part, and no man all;
Hence into deadly error each did fall.
No way to know the All man’s heart can find:
Can knowledge e’er accompany the blind?

 

Dystopia

Excerpted from The Guardian’s article, ‘Our minds can be hijacked’: the tech insiders who fear a smartphone dystopia :

“The technologies we use have turned into compulsions, if not full-fledged addictions,” (Nir) Eyal writes. “It’s the impulse to check a message notification. It’s the pull to visit YouTube, Facebook, or Twitter for just a few minutes, only to find yourself still tapping and scrolling an hour later.” None of this is an accident, he writes. It is all “just as their designers intended”.

Read the entire article HERE.

Joanie Loves Mariachi

Probably the worst opening act I ever saw at a concert was the time The Mavericks opened with a mariachi band. Seriously!

I felt like my head was being split open. My earplugs were no match for the intensity of the horns. The lobby of the Grenada filled with patrons fleeing the assault.

As mariachi bands go, they were very good- but mariachi bands do not belong indoors.

Long Time Passing, Long Time Ago…

I seem to be coming detached from my culture.

I don’t enjoy shopping anymore. It’s become such a maze of tracking cards (they prefer to call them “loyalty” cards) and memberships and “special offers” that most purchases just aren’t worth the struggle. I make most of my non-food purchases now at garage and estate sales, person-to-person, with no corporate intervention.

I don’t follow a Local Sports Team. I don’t have cable television. I don’t own (or want) a “smart phone.”

WordPress is my sole remaining social media account. I used to have a fistful of them, but they didn’t bring me joy. I suppose there’s a certain efficiency in reducing thoughts to 140 characters or less, or slapping a line of text across a graphic, but I think I want my life to be more than just functional, more than just bottom-line.

I feel like the internet is offering me Pixy-Stix, and I’d rather have an orange.

Once the draft ended, most hippies bought stock and became Republican. In the second half of his life, Jerry Rubin argued that there was nothing more important than the creation of wealth; he called this “growing up.” Muhammad Ali– once he was too old for military service himself, of course– offered to take a machine gun and invade Iran. (President Carter declined his offer.) Long hair was cut short, blue jeans were traded in for business suits, love beads became a Halloween costume.

And the ones whose values were a little more persistent just sort of faded away.

I feel myself fading away.