Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Yesterday, in the early afternoon hours, a man I did not know walked into my work station and gave me a peach. I then ate the fruit and it was good. (I am not being metaphorical)

Today upon arriving at my employers building I found a plastic bag of tomatoes. Small ones, large ones in all manners of different warm hues. They were rather simply just laying around in the break room. Next to the 30 cent coffee machine and the Happy Halloween Avon-Calling informational mail order pamphlet. I assume these tomatoes are from the unidentified fruit distributor or the UFD for short.

I've begun to hypothesize. Who is the UFD? Is he an employee's husband? Perhaps he just gives the receptionist a ripe one and slips in. How old is he? He looks like he is just over half a century. I suppose we can't couldn't his rings. Nor will I ask him about his age. I have chosen to remain ignorant of the life and times of Mr. UFD. Rather than bother with the curiosities that are naturally embedded in these kinds of affairs I've decided to abbreviate him. Make a characature of a man.
Those kinds of simplifications seem unsettling and demented but I know I regularly engage in them. Stereotyping and generalizing on a individual scale.

Made to order. Fresh, neat and clean.

Every day I see hundreds of people. Most of them I do not know and may never see again. I know nothing of these wanderers. The woman who walked her dog yesterday near Monford is nothing more that that. I could make up a story for her. She may have been from Tampa. Born there in 1978, before it became the Emerald City, before the strip clubs. She tried college after her graduation from a private school but had an opportunity to live abroad with a Mission in Burma and left. Maybe she misses the Beach but not the sun. Who knows.
How difficult would it be to actually know the people we see? That would be a nightmare. To much information. Psychics must have a hell of a time just leaving their homes. If I could see into personalities and memories I'd be a shut-in.

I guess that makes the stereotype of the wild mystical hermit stereotypes much more believable. Some wild hermits live around here. Or they used to anyway. In Fairview somewhere off Highway 74. They shop at Ingles #111. They come in two or three times a year and nervously fill up a couple shopping carts with non-perishables like canned beans and dog food. These people don't enjoy the typical human-to-human contact that comes with average day-to-day grocery shopping. In all likelihood they only come into town to argue over tax issues, buy dog food and renew their fishing license. I like to stereotype the Appalachian Wildmen.

Hell, I like to stereotype.

I also like little histories. Each word has a one. Take "Stereotype". I learned of it's creator while reading about typography a few years ago. A man named Firmin Didot was the originator of the word. He was a printer's son in a family of printer's sons. Unsurprisingly the word was originally just a printer's term. Stereotypes are printing plates that were created for a single page as opposed to a layout with moveable type pieces. They were his invention. In the late 1700s this was quite revolutionary. But it isn't his accomplishments that make this man so unforgettable in my mind. Rather, it is just hard to forget a name like Firmin Didot.
I guess that just goes to prove my need for the stereotypical simplification as a shorthand for humanity. Although I understand much of Didot's history and relevance it is his rather unfortunate name that forms the core of my memories. Like a sun, it shines in the center. Around it spins a galaxy of useful information. A galaxy that is seen less because I'd rather look into the bright sun of a silly name.
What a cliché; remembering a silly fact rather than important volumes of valuable validates.

Coincidentally, "cliché" is an old printing term as well. Its an onomatopoeia generated from the sound made when molten lead hit the text matrix during the stereotyping process.

Everything is circular. Not unlike a peach.

Last night I drank four beers and watched A Cock and Bull Story with Johnson. It was very tangental, like this post I suppose. But that is what I've come to expect from anything Steve Coogan related. Rob Brydon was in it too. Somehow this goes to reinforce by belief that the two men are actually the same person. I will watch it again but will likely never read the book. It would be worthwhile though. After all, as I understand, the novel actually ends before the main character is born. Steve Coogan commented: "This is a postmodern novel before there was any modernism to be post about." Who wouldn't enjoy that?

Well that is about it for meandering words. Here are some pictures for the last couple nights.

More in the flickr account as usual.

Ok, bye.

Friday, August 04, 2006

I have a few staple colors that I like using for all kinds of different creative activities. They can usually be found in every painting I finish. One of most prominent is Prussian blue.

The pigment in the paint is generated by adding Fe(III) salt to a solution of [Fe(CN)6]4-. The color is that of bluejeans and cyanotype blueprints. Two things that to me are part of a grand American legend. The better part of what we have created. Durable clothing, bic pens and big dreams.

Making this fine pigment more interesting isn't difficult. it has quite a few unusual properties. It's electrochromic (changing from blue to white when charged), toxic (due to prevalent cyanide ions in it's raw state) and experiences all manner of molecular activity when exposed to light and magnetism. It is the first modern synthetic color and its creation was accidental.

Prussian blue is often used in color bleaches. The trick to making your clothing seem brilliant white is making them slightly blue. It fools the eye into thinking it is brighter and therefor, a little cleaner. The same thing happens to your teeth when you bleach them. Your grandmother might have it blue rinses applied to her hair.

Prussian blue is very valuable. It is a good name for a useful chemical compound.

However, a name is only that.

There are some things I despise about the name.

Take for instance the pop folk duo that bears it.

The two young musicians named Lamb and Lynx are, to put it politely, a "white power" band. They have also been described as "a sinister version of the Olsen Twins". I prefer to call them "the cute hate group."

Their music, according to their mother April Gaede, is about Vikings and German History. She has been home schooling using textbooks from the 1950's and her own uniquely bigoted perspectives to teach her daughters the way of the world.

She seems malevolent and domineering.

Here are some of the lyrics to Sacrifice:

"He fought so strong for our race. We're finally back in our place. It took his life, my dear son, and now it's over the war is won. Our Race was saved because the lives that were sacrificed: those men that died...
Sacrifice , they gave their lives. All those men who have died. Sacrifice, they gave their lives, all those men who have died.
Warrior poet, I sing his songs. Ian Stuart, with his voice so strong. Remember his words, as we sing along.
Rudolph Hess, a man of Peace. He wouldn't give up he wouldn't cease, he gave his loyalty to our Cause. Remember him and give a pause.
Robert Matthews he knew the Truth. He knew what he had to do. He set an example with Courage so bold. We'll never let that fire grow cold.
Dr Pierce, a man so wise, helped so many of us open our eyes, see the future for what it could be: a future for our Race’s eternity."

-Ian Stuart was the singer for Screwdriver, a racist punk band. A automobile accident did away with him after it was supposedly tampered with by London gangsters.

-Rudolph Hess was one of Hitler's deputies. A man of peace indeed.

-Robert Matthews robbed banks and an armored car and a porn shop to raise funds for his hate fledgling group. The FBI burned him alive in a house fire.

-Dr. William Pierce wrote The Turner Diaries and helped to found the American Nazi Party and Cosmotheism. He died rather peacefully four years ago.

Intolerance, elitism and unprovoked hatred are some of the unusual properties of this Prussian Blue.

I am reminded that though we live here as individuals, we do so together. Sometimes that is forgotten when the us vs. them mentalities abound.


A name is an abstract. Something intangible that is only real in the spectrum of our minds. Names are just reference points.
I like a specific shade of blue so much that I purchased tubes tubes of it yesterday and they will likely be gone soon. At the same time I despise the hatred laced into lyrics sung by two seemingly innocent adolescent girls. Now I find myself in a situation wherein I must refer to them both unfairly using a single moniker.

When I say I like Prussian blue I could be saying I have a pedophiliac yearning for an absurd little pop-fascist folk duo that frequents Nazi rallies and Renaissance fairs. Or I could be an aspiring architect. Or maybe I'm a mad chemist who spends all day electrocuting Iron/salt compounds then blogs about how much fun it was. Or maybe I came really close to picking a favorite color.

Does this seem strange to anyone else?

Oh well.