Saturday, January 31, 2015

Friday, January 30, 2015

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Monday, January 26, 2015

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Monday, January 19, 2015

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Title: The Holy Spirit Will Overshadow You

Medium: Oil on canvas paper

Size: 12 in. x 16 in.


You've got to be kidding me.

Turmeric stains freaking EVERYTHING!!!

Consider this FYI.

Holy Toledo.

Friday, January 16, 2015

One is better than none

Squirrels like them too.

I saw dandelions in flower today. Dandelions in flower in the middle of January. The snowdrops are not even prying yet. Though I'm sure those are just around the corner. If you think about it, only seeds contain time value; only seeds are a store of value - not money. Money is sterile. Begetting money from money is usury. The way our money comes into existence is through usury. As Bat said, we have "debtflation". In other words, we have both inflation and deflation due to debt. That is in fact what national debt is: inflation that is at the same time deflationary. A continuous back-suck on the public interest, on the common good. The bulk of the money circulating is money that has to be paid back, plus compounding interest, which compounds 24/7 without stopping for anything. In the meanwhile, this means that the very way that system works is that more and more money has to - has to - keep being "borrowed" in order for that system to keep going. This is why "austerity" will not only not work, but will further a "recession". Austerity will not work because we have deflation. This is why you see rising prices but no people wallpapering their walls with trash cash or people wheeling their wheelbarrows with mountains of trash cash to the store and not even able to buy a loaf of bread or people viewing their chequing accounts and seeing gazillions of worthless digital dollars therein. Our money is borrowed into existence with compounding interest. There are somewhat safer ways to do it than others, but all of them do the same thing: put a horrifically unjust burden on the labours, talents, productions and produce of man. Everything is not only devalued but is more and more enslaved, because our governments borrow the bulk of the money supply into existence at compounding interest, not because of mere overprinting. Debt is the invisible, multiplying thread that is woven throughout the entire economic structure, and one tug can bring it all down. The first step is to make sure that the thread gets as far woven as possible. This is done by incurring those in authority - like government - into the debt-money scheme. It really is a thin veneer of a puppet show being played before our eyes. The devil rides fiddle sticks. And he hands out fiddles galore.

"I am a shepherd who with his people has begun to learn a beautiful and difficult truth; our faith requires that we immerse ourselves in the world. I believe economic injustice is the root cause of our problems; from it stems all the violence." --Servant of God and Martyr, Archbishop Oscar Romero

UPDATE: The snowdrops are prying. I checked a location that gets more daylight.

Icon: The Blessed Silence

This icon was painted with oil paints.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The Unmentionable Restlessness

Like many of Rachy's other pieces, this one has grown on me (as opposed to being an immediate hit). At the first listening I never thought I would be coming back to it again and again. But alas!

Reading comments on Rachmaninoff's music on youtube, you learn a lot of music terminology and things! Never thought I would learn stuff from youtube comments. But alas!

Some people seem to think that chromaticism is from the devil, which I guess would make Rachmaninoff like the antichrist or something? I dunno.

Funny thing is, before I knew the term, what I identified in his music as wonderful "drop offs" and "sudden veerings" struck me not as discontinuous and broken, but rather wholeness, interior logic, of something deep underneath being carried along, being attended to with continuous attention; and this gives way to what others have termed the hallmark of Rachmaninoff: "the unmentionable restlessness".

Chromaticism strikes me as akin to the painter who, having established an order, penetrates further into it by setting paint over primary precisions somewhat off-kilter. For precision is imprecise. And at every turn you must turn. Ha.

But some people should maybe give a try at composing music themselves, like those who say that his music gives evidence of mental illness, and then see what they come up with, and then come back to say their retarded criticisms about Rachmaninoff, and then realize that they have nothing to say.

Anyhow, his cello sonata is more restful than restless. If you want a fine example of "the unmentionable restlessness" then listen to Piano Concerto #4 and Piano Concerto #2 and Piano Sonata #1 just for a few examples, of course. There are others.

Chow chow for now.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Title: Acedia

Medium: Oil on canvas

Size: 1.5 ft. x 3 ft.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Monday, January 5, 2015


-- First thing I noticed that I liked about the movie was the use of models instead of CGI, or anyways, the predominant use of models and any CGI clearly buckled in. I hate CGI - at least its typical execution in Hollywood films. It's amazing the difference that the use of models makes. There's an atmosphere. The moonscape feels moon-like. No surprise to read later on that the director was deliberately going for a retro look, hearkening back to sci-fi films of the 70s and 80s. I was wondering about that while watching the film.

-- I liked the soundtrack by Clint Mansell. It adds character to the movie.

-- There is a moment later in the film where we see the earth for the first time. We see it from the vantage of the lunar six-wheeler containing the first protagonist, who is lamenting/grieving inside, due to revelations about the corrupt practices of people, of those who are responsible, far away on earth. It is one of those images that only film can achieve, saying a thousand things together, and doing so with an ineffable elegance and grace, without having to lift a finger.

-- (Spoiler) It was at this moment that I realized what a great idea this movie had: clones on the moon as workers (with "implanted" memories of earth life) of the machinery that harvests whatever it is from the moon that supplements energy for the earth. The issue of clones and how a clone is both removed from the marital act and family but still has all the self-awareness and consciousness as any other person, compounded with the horror for the clone to know and digest the revelation that he is a clone, with "implanted" memories - to take this issue and place it on the context of the moon, so that the inherent isolation of a clone from the human race is compounded by the physical isolation of the remote landscape of the moon...that is just, just...freaking genius.

-- And then the story slowly working itself from the inside out, until we see that shot of the earth from the moon, as though to say the inhabitants of earth use technology to remove from their sight (and consciences) their sins. It has many elements of The Island going on here, only better.

-- This film has such a great idea that it caused me grief to see it end where it did. They should have (and I understand they had a low budget) made this movie into an epic. Up to where the films ends, with the protagonist shooting towards earth, they should have made the first part of the film. They should have made its telling more visual, with even less explication. The second part of the story would involve whatever would unfold with the protagonist second clone landing on earth.

-- They could have made this the kind of film that governments would want to ban.

-- This movie cost 5 million. Maybe Hollywood could take some lessons from it?

Max Monday

Things like the following do happen to me: out of the blue one day I had the thought to google the words "Max Beckmann straw". Just very suddenly I had those words in mind, without any idea as to why.

And in the box to the right that has a collection of images, I saw a painting by Beckmann that I had never seen before, to my delight, (because, believe me, I have exhausted the search engine in finding new Beckmann paintings, and here and there I still find new ones) and so clicked on it, to find that the painting was by someone else, a woman who was a student of Beckmann back in Germany.

The word "straw" brought me to this article on the artist Marie-Louise von Motesiczky, owing to the word in both Self-Portait with Straw Hat (the image I mistook as being by Beckmann) and in the telling of how Motesiczky came to meet Max Beckmann:

During the summer of 1920, the German artist Max Beckmann, introduced by a family member, paid a visit to the Motesiczky’s.  By playfully entertaining the teenager with an impromptu dinner skit involving a piece of straw dipped in wine, he enthralled the 14-year-old Marie-Louise with his personality, and later his art, laying the foundation for their deep and lasting friendship.

One of the things about knowing Beckmann's work by eye is that you can easily tell a work that is by someone else closely imitating him, just like the way you can tell a work is not by Van Gogh, though the artist has employed his style and bent with great earnestness.

But with this lady I had been foiled! I thought for sure it was by Beckmann, and I was astonished to see further images by Motesiczky. While you can start to tell how they are different from Beckmann after some acquaintance, I had to remark that the close adoption of Beckmann's manner of painting seemed to disclose something somewhat disquieting, if not disturbing.

Reading a bit more about her life, it would seem there was a  disposition to want to be deeply coloured by the men in her life, as would seem to be evidenced by the pinning of her happiness on an affair with a writer later in her life, which was also, alas, her misery. This was perhaps compounded by her mother taking her away from potential suitors early in her life.

Anyways, I like the way her painting developed, her paintings of her mother.

Motesiczky made one of the most beautiful statements any artist has made about their work and its purpose:

"My longing is to paint beautiful pictures, to become happy in doing so, and to make other people happy through them."

That is saying a lot more than one may realize.

Now that you know something about her, maybe say a prayer for her soul. Maybe that was the reason I was led to read about her and share her work.

And say a prayer for Beckmann and Quappi too and Beckmann's first wife Minna.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Oil Painting: Third Luminous Mystery

Title: "Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing"

Medium: Oil on canvas paper

Size: 12 in. x 16 in.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Plug II

Lavazza makes the only good medium roast that I know of. Mostly I drink dark roast, of which there are many kinds, from local roasters, all wonderfully drinkable, but I also bib from the Lavazza medium. One of the worst things is an insipid cup of coffee. It should be a crime. And how did drip machines ever become the norm? All what you need is a kettle or something to boil the water, a grinder to grind the beans (if one does not have a conical burr grinder, then a mortar and pestle I suppose would also work, and work really well, since you are wanting to bust up the beans, or grind by cracking, so that you have grounds that are not uniform, which is what you get with those nasty electric "grinders"), and some kind of metal strainer. I use a french press. "French press" is just a fancy term for what my Uncle Peter called "trapline coffee" (he kept traplines way up north in his homesteading days). There are various methods, and each to his own, but all what it necessitates is pouring the boiled water (having cooled down somewhat from its boiling temperature) into some vessel containing the ground coffee, letting it steep for a minute or two and then stirring the brew (this step is absolutely important and cannot be ignored as the movement being introduced to the liquid releases all the good stuff - hence flavour - from the coffee beans) with a spoon or something and then letting it steep for a few minutes more before straining it off in some way (use a metal strainer of some kind, whatever). Then wrap a tea towel or something around the remaining coffee in the pot or french press glass or what have you. That way you are also being a good steward by not using all that paper for those nasty coffee filters and you can be a little bit more Catholic since Pope Francis is writing an encyclical on the environment, which everyone will be reading, especially those who are more Catholic than the Pope and who heroically and indeed miraculously find the time from their hours of devoted prayer life to engage courageously from behind their computer screens in the greatest fray the world has ever seen since the Arian heresy to save us fantard Ultramontanists from our errors by their authoritative parsing of Francis' words.

Friday, January 2, 2015


Works very well.

Selfied to Death

Two recent articles on the culture of selfie:

Thou Shalt Have No Graven Images - Including Your Own, by Heather King

The Scourge of the Selfie Stick, by Simon Tatz (H/T: Patrick Madrid)

I'm interested in the cultural climate or leaven; there is nothing intrinsically evil or base or narcissistic necessarily in the mere fact of "taking a selfie". One does not need to get doctrinaire in reaction to it; yet that does not limit the extent to which we can penetrate the phenomena (yes, I'm using the plural) in order to lay bare other things in our culture that we would not otherwise consider.

Twice now in the Christmas season during the consecration at Mass I was moved, spontaneously, to pray, "Lord, this new year break the chains of pornography in our world." The feeling with this prayer was for something that would break these worldwide chains irreversibly, in some way, by a great positive, a great grace. That was the plea. This was compounded by a general sense of a pervasive tiredness, of a mounting dull deadness in our society and culture. And I can say that this was not just me projecting personal depression onto the world, as some psychologizer would say, because personally I was feeling very much alive and awake and filled with peace (none of it owing to any merit of my own.)

I am no fan, really, of the propensity for "Let's talk about Pornography and HOW HUGE IT REALLY IS IN OUR AGE!!!" Not because it is not true; it is true, more than we realize, but because in another sense, pornography is not huge. It is infinitesimally small. At its core is the vacuity of the imploding star - more so, for it is spiritual.

Which brings me to the point I was wanting to make: that pornography really has infiltrated our society and culture, tainting our ordinary lives - yes, tainting the lives of people who are not bound by it. Not because pornography is some kind of super potent cultural brain-restructuring phenomenon, but simply because it is a deadly sin. Ultimately my feeling is that all the science that shows what porn does to a person and the evidence of how it destroys lives is not going to bring about change, but the realization that it is a mortal sin, and that mortal sin really is mortal, and that, lo and behold, there really is such a thing as sin, from which we need to be saved.

Which is to say, we are either sowing life or we are sowing death. The life, if we accept it, is the very end for which we were made; and it is life in abundance, over-brimming; it is nothing less than the inner life of Jesus Christ living in your own soul. The death, on the other hand, really is death: more so than physical death. (Say, maybe that's simply the reason for the cultural love affair with zombies! The culture is just reflecting the fact that, in reality, with spiritual eyes, when in mortal sin, you are in a sense a walking corpse.)

The climate, the leaven, of a society in which porn-viewing is common knowledge addiction, something more acceptable than alcohol addiction and the like, indeed, almost spoken of like it was a kind of trend, is a climate in which people are dulled and dead from mortal sin; and this dull death becomes the acclimation, the accepted ground on which we interact, or avoid interacting. Isn't it interesting how people who persist in sin become the very antithesis of the tolerance and plurality they preach, demanding more and more - and indeed getting what they demand - that the very ground on which we have our personal being, as lived out in all its aspects, must be defined by their sins?

A sort of yeah, you may be the Taj Mahal, but you're just the background to our selfie on the moral-societal plane.

Again, this is spiritual. When we say "spiritual" we do not mean "airy-fairy". Rather the opposite: that which underpins our very life, our breath, our everyday ordinary life, and bears an imperceptible influence, like a clear conversation going on beneath the noise. This dull deadness of mortal sin that has permeated our society on the ground of common interaction is not to be understood in some psychological sense, as in a lack of cheeriness or lack of engagement with life or whatever. But immediate, spiritual death.

Anyone who has had an encounter with this, by which I mean a moment of seeing it, so to speak, with the eye of the soul, knows what I am talking about. Spiritual death is immediate inversion and the loss of light, of isolating darkness, and the fact you are still breathing and walking and so forth is testimony to the fact that, as with all of us, the mercy of God continues to sustain you, not desiring the smoldering wick to be extinguished. The alarm bells go off in your soul when you see this though. There is no mediation or dichotomy. It is super real. And it underlies and threads all what we take for granted as ordinary life, ordinary conversations, ordinary interactions, and so forth.

Now, how did I go from selfies to pornography? Oh! Oh! There are more things, more underlying things to ponder than one would otherwise consider!

Thursday, January 1, 2015