Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Definitely Soup

I love to draw and make art.  I am by no means an art critic or aficionado. I know what I like and I know what I would hang in my house, and I know when I draw something that pleases me. I have no idea what makes something valuable.  
Since I collect animation cells I have a pretty good idea of the market and what they are worth and why.  Past that small area of knowledge, I am clueless.
This article/ad in the LA Times caught my attention this morning.  It is an acrylic on board 91 x 73 inches done by a  Japanese artist named Yoshitomo Nara.
I don't know the artist who is about 50 years old, nor do I know what else he/she has done. I suppose that Yoshitomo could have done something so outstanding that even his/her scribbles on a piece of board would be valuable, but until I do some research this is the only example of Yoshitomo's art I am familiar with.
Now here is where my mind gets completely blown. The reason this painting was in the paper is because it recently sold at auction for $935,991.00. Some one paid almost a million dollars for this painting. 
I know there are artists who read this blog.  I know that lots of people who might find this blog by mistake know more about art than I could someone please explain this one to me? 
I have to admit I am baffled. It seems to me that I could find similar "Art" in most any kindergarten coloring book. 
I am not trying to be boorish, critical, stupid or mundane, I just want to understand what I am missing here.  Someone? Anyone? 
As you were,

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Enter Laughing

Last night at the Mark Taper Forum an extremely funny staged reading of "Enter Laughing" was performed as a fund raiser.  Since the musical is based on a novel by Carl Reiner and is a semi-autobiographical story of Carl's life, he was an honored guest at the performance. At two months shy of 91 Carl Reiner is still on the short list of incredible talents.  He said, "This is a great dream of mine to attend my own Memorial service."
Carl's book was turned into a play called "Enter Laughing" and later that play was turned into a Musical called "So Long 175th Street".  This latest incarnation of the musical produced by my friend and former "Two and Only" Producer Dan Whitten, is called "Enter Laughing."  It truly is funny.
Stuart Ross directed with incredible timing and flow. Josh Grisetti played the lead character David with a disarming charm that kept you guessing which weapon he would choose in his loaded comedy arsenal.  And there was not a mis-step in the entire cast which was a dream team for this occasion.
Because of this, it was no small feat for the songs in this musical to stand out. In fact some of the biggest laughs came from the lyrics. The credit for this accomplishment goes to the late Stan Daniels.
Daniels who was a writer on the Mary Tyler Moore show and Taxi, crafted lyrics that are comedy routines on their own. To give you an idea of the way Daniels mind worked, here is a video of his treatment of the classic "Old Man River." It was preserved for posterity when it was filmed as part of the Mary Tyler Moore audience warm up.

Funny is Funny in the hands of an artist. 
Dan Whitten, thanks for a wonderful evening at the theatre.
As you were,

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Art and Soup

Most of what I do is drawing. I love to draw, moving a black pen across a white paper is a thrill to itself.  I have been drawing as long as I have been doing ventriloquism, which is a life time.
Once in awhile a drawing says something to me above what is actually on the paper.  When a drawing actually says something it can be considered art.  Of course it is not up to the Artist to determine what is art but to the people seeing the art.
Here we have a case of a drawing that I would consider worthy of being considered more.. more what I have no idea.
As you were,

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Just Ink Case

Find The Fish-
An eye witness is just a person that was there when something happened. Because what we see is based upon the attention we give it, eye witness testimony is sometimes not as flawless as we might expect. 

Monday, January 21, 2013

Newly Revisited Serial Selection - Feature

In a Playbill bio. I admitted to being a poet.  Brave admission for a man who also plays with dolls.  Nonetheless I do like the "wordsmithing"  of poetry. I find inspirational poems come easier than other kinds of original poetry.  Words take on more meaning when constructed in verse. They take on magic and spirit.  I imagine sometimes that angels speak in rhyme. It is the heavenly language because they have nothing but time to construct a perfect sentence to express a perfect thought. 

Modern Poets
By Jay K Johnson

A strange career in a computer age,
To be a poet, bard and sage.
To sit and think up stuff alone,
Without a fax or a telephone.
To look at life and what it means,
And not use graphs on video screens.
It seems an antiquated way,
To contemplate the world all day.
No one now does have the time,
To think of life and make up rhyme.
We live a life that goes unchecked,
No longer do we introspect
Of snowy woods and star lit nights.
We hyperspect on megabytes.

Shakespeare, Browning, Frost, Meley.
I wonder what they did all day?
Can one rehearse philosophy?
Or practice creativity?
To bring about by concentration
Timeless thought - imagination.
How did they choose to wake the muse?
What was the spark that lit the dark?
I guess that we will never know.
Their work is all that’s left to show.

©Copyright and common sense applies to all 
Material on this blog. 

Sunday, January 20, 2013


A new revised syndicated feature will be highlighted tomorrow at this blog address.  I hope that you join us.
As you were,

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Saturday Re=Runs

Hand printing Blogs is evidently not a new phenom...


And then there is the fact that Carl Reiner is 91

Picture worth a thousand words.

As it was,

Friday, January 18, 2013

Editorial Corrections*

I actually consulted a dictionary for the spelling of the word equalibrim  in the drawing of the Geometric Patriot.  Even looking at the word I could not print equilibrium correctly.

Even spelling checkers can be fooled or ignored so the word "chelo", meant to describe a musical instrument, was spelled incorrectly. Correct spelling for the stringed orchestral instrument is Cello.

Thanks to my son for catching the drawing mistake and an anonymous  commentator for the musical misspelling..

Back to where we were,

*In the interest of preserving the written English language,  this writer will attempt to correct all grammar errors used incorrectly in this blog, when identified  and substantiated,  as soon as possible. Correct rules of standard grammar will always be used when ever possible.  Saving the English language is not a solitary task, you too can help by using correct spelling and construction in all the written communication you write. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Bye Cycling

I don't know Lance Armstrong personally, I don't know anything about the Tour de France, and cycling is a sport that I have never thought much about. 
I am also not one who places sports stars on a pedestal or refers to them as heroes because they can run, kick, or pitch extremely well.  So I don't know if that makes me totally objective or totally unqualified to comment on the Armstrong doping circus. But, hell, qualifications and objectivity never stopped me from having an opinion on anything else in this blog so why stop now.
I am not sure that I will watch the highly promoted Armstrong Confession to Oprah Superior on television tomorrow. If Lance Armstrong was going to admit that he lied to Judge Judy, that would be appointment television for me. If that were the case we all might feel a little better after Judge Judy chewed cycle-boy a new ass-hole not only for doping in the first place, but lying about doping and suing people who said he was.  
But, alas, it is not the "battle axe of television justice", Judge Judy he will face, it is the blessing from the Dame of Television he seeks, hoping her endorsement will sanctify him in the eyes of a very disappointed fan base.  Will this really work? If it does every lying cheater should immediately be let out of jail after making a public statement of guilt.  If we learned anything from the Nixon years it is this: it is not the original sin that gets you in trouble it is the massive attempt at cover up that is the down fall to the misuse of power.
It seems we have a hypocritical view of performance enhancement drugs in sports. Recently it was stated that the Miss America Contest has no rules about body enhancement.  Their rule is: The women are allowed to have any procedure (read enhancement) that will make them more beautiful from caps on their teeth, liposuction, breast augmentation, make up and hair color to flattering swim wear.  If winning is the only thing that matters in a contest then it would seem to me that anything goes to win.
Doesn't an athlete use nutrition, exercise, training and any other advantage to give him or her an edge. Why don't we let them use any chemical means available to make them a faster, stronger, bigger winner? If everyone was allowed to do what ever it takes to get the advantage, then the playing field would be once again level. The apex of the sporting world would be in line with the apex of the beauty contest world, anything to be the best.
What has brought on this sudden interest in the truth from Lance Armstrong?  It is okay for him to sue others for saying he is a cheater with the arrogance of one wrongly accused, but now that he has been found out... he wants to call "King's X" and start all over?  
Hero is, as Hero does, and it seems to me that the fundamental definition of a hero is the principle of putting principles ahead of one's own personal interest and safety.  Doping or not, winning or not, cheater or not ultimately Lance Armstrong was only doing what is best for Lance Armstrong. That is the definition of a narcissist not a hero. 
Legally the troubles are just beginning for Mr. Armstrong.  It is not a matter of admitting the decade long lie, you must also suffer the consequences. It is a matter of atonement in his life for sure, but he must atone in some way for destroying the lives of many others.
As I think about it there is nothing that I can gain from watching Lance and Oprah. The story is leaked, the doper is out of the closet, the altruist has been humbled; will it change my opinion if Oprah makes him cry?  I doubt it would change my mind if Judge Judy made him cry. No thanks. 
I will continue to look to real heros for my inspiration.
That's just my opinion, I'm sure your's is different. 
As you were,

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Inflated Circulation

Today the inflated circulation index for this Blog hit 71,000.  My thanks to the 71 people who read these posts a thousand times each.
We shall continue,

Title: Juke Ruby

This picture started out as an impression of the Juke Box in Jack Ruby's Carousel Club. The drawing became tainted by the Golden Globe broadcast on Sunday as I was drawing.  It is now more of a statement on the current status of entertainment than an attempt to portray the infamous Juke Box. Thus the reason for the title.

As you were,

Monday, January 14, 2013

Writers Block

I don't think there ever comes a time when a writer can't write something.  The block is not on the process itself but a block on the ideas behind the process.  Even now I could fill a couple of pages with just stream of consciousness thinking and to all intents this would be writing.
The point is: I can not see past these mental blocks to what is happening outside myself. I am developing cabin fever in the private cell of my mind. It is my cell, my sentence and only I have the keys to get out.  Only a person who is paid to listen to personal ramblings would say anything but, "What have you got to be down about? It is a cell of your own design. Can't you open the door, step outside and put it past you?" Unfortunately to the one who is down, that question can't be answered.  
It is like the parable about a man seeking help from a therapist for his depression.  His life has no meaning, he doesn't know how to find his joy and all he can do is become more and more defeated by a life going no where. The therapist tells him he is much too serious. He needs to find joy in any place he can. The doctor tells him that there is a circus in town and the clown at the circus is a very funny man. Watching him might bring the joy for living back into his life. The therapist's suggestion for treatment is to go and watch the clown.
The man says to the therapist... "I am that circus clown."

As you were,

Friday, January 11, 2013

My Friend Bill

It was with great sadness that I learned of the death of an acquaintance of mine named Bill Tilley. He was bigger than life on so many levels.  He had so many great stories that he enjoyed telling particularly after he had a few cocktails. 

I have no idea how wealthy Bill was but he certainly lived a life that most people would have aspired to.  We had a common interest in San Francisco and on several occasions I would accompany him to the City by the Bay aboard one of his many private planes.  The last time I rode with him our flight was delayed so that he could walk across the tarmac and say hi to his friend Baron Hilton who's plane happened to be parked next to his at Van Nuys airport. The two Tycoons were duck hunting buddies.. a sport Bill loved. 
On the plane, Bill encouraged us to eat the Fritos and Lay's Potato chips  on board because he said, "They pay for the plane fuel".  He was a major stock holder in the Lay's Corporation.  It was almost a duty to eat snacks when one traveled aboard Bill's plane.

About a year ago we were coming back from an evening in San  Francisco and had taken off from the Oakland private air terminal.  We all had drinks ready to settle into the quick flight back to LA.  I remember I was holding a Vodka Tonic as I sat across from Mr. Tilley on the plane. I lifted my glass and said to the others, "Here's to Bill, Thanks for the plane ride today." 
Just as the others said, "Here, Here." and raised their glasses the plane hit a nasty air pocket at 38k feet. I don't have a clue how far the plane fell nor how long we were weightless, but it was very sudden and very quick. All conversation stopped as we prepared to see our lives flash before us. Fortunately everyone was wearing their seat belt so no one was hurt.  
I managed to hang onto the glass I held at eye level, but the contents emptied completely into the face and front of Mr. Tilley in one instant dip of the plane.  I toasted Tilley's kindness and threw Vodka in his face at the same moment.  Thankfully he started to laugh as did everyone else on the plane.  My humiliation was tempered by a boisterous guffaw.  It will now be the way I remember my times with Bill Tilley.
I am reminded of a quote by an unknown sage, "Time spent in Laughter is time spent with the Gods."
Rest in Peace, Mr. Tilley.
As you were,

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Artistic Intermission

This interlude is brought to you by the endowment for National Visual Radio.
As you were,

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Through my Window

Historic Oddities

U.S. Department of the Treasury  the worst forgery every attempted was the Kensonian Dollar Bill ( Shown Below)
Although an obvious forgery it was good enough to be accepted as currency by an unsuspecting cashier at the Sip and Suds convenience store in Mule Shoe, Texas during the cotton drought of naught 53. It was circulated in the small town for more than 10 years at the face value of a dollar.  The  forgery was only discovered when it was given as change to an out of town traveler. 
As a side line to history the Kensoian Dollar became so famous that the value of the art exceeded the amount of the attempted forgery.  In essence it became three thousand times more valuable than the actual US dollar it was supposed to replace.
Odd but true historic facts.
As you were,