Yesterday was thumbing through the Vancouver Zombiewalk 2005 photos at flickr and wishing I lived in a city that would spawn such spectacles. There are at least two Zombie Jesuses in the flickr footage, which gives me a warm tingly feeling all over.
News of the zombiewalk made me very happy, and I spent a couple of hours drawing zombies, revenants, animated corpses, ghouls, etc. Drawing the living dead is fun and easy. You can be real loose and scribbley, in fact, often tightening up the drawing often results in cheesy over-realized cartoony zombies, which are not as much fun as the scraggly, torn and filthy shamblers who look as though they pulled themselves up through six feet of mud and sod. Deformations in shape and proportion are obviously the result of decay and the particularities of each revenant’s death, rather than evidence of lack of skill or foresight on the artist’s part.
I highly recommend it. Thinking back, it seems that I drew nothing but zombies between the ages of 13 and 17. Well, there was one other common subject, but those drawing were all shaky because I couldn’t hold the paper with my other hand because it was– nevermind.
I just read Escaping the Delta: Robert Johnson and the Invention of the Blues. This is really an eye-opener for me, who so far have pieced Blues history together from various websites and cd inserts. The popular history of the Blues is quite different than what evidence suggests. The book has a lot of myth debunking, and at the same time, the author tries to be as upfront about his own ‘predispositions’– which are generally in line with popular history, and the romantic view of the bluesman as an outsider, or naive artist.
Throughout, the author reminds the reader of the danger of genres. The only purpose of genres is to make records easier to find in a record store. And yet we tend to apply them more universally, drawing arbitrary lines between artists and albums. Thus you end up with people arguing whether ‘Mississippi John Hurt’ is blues or country, rather than simply enjoying his music. We forget that we’ve arbitrarily and subjectively applied these labels, and treat them as if they were natural laws. We seem to do this more often than not, in most areas of our lives.
I’ve only been able to use 2 genres consistently and without confusion, and I wish to apply similar logic to other areas of my life as well.
My music collection is sorted thusly:
Genre 1: Music I like
Genre 2: Music I don’t like
Genre 1 I keep, Genre 2 I leave at the record store.
Works for me.
We’ve all been told at some point that two wrongs don’t make a right. Most of us have found proof of this in our lives as well. It makes sense. But the statement implies that at some point, some number of wrongs will, finally, equal a right. The question then becomes, “where is the threshold between rightness and wrongness?”
I don’t know where exactly the threshold lies. But I have seen proof that it is possible to cross over; to pile wrong atop wrong, one after the other, until the result– somehow– becomes right.
Last night I watched Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter. It is not so much a movie as it is a careful experiment to discover the wrong-to-right transformation threshold. Everything about this movie is wrong. The acting, the dubbing, the sound & visual effects, the editing, the choice of film and soundtrack– everything. And the result? To put it mildly, I was thoroughly entertained. As bad films go, this one is really good– because they managed to cross over that threshold.
It takes an incredibly strong determination to fail in order to make a film like this succeed. I hope they make a sequel.
I saw Santa Claus today. An old man, with a big belly covered by a red shirt, long white hair and beard. He had a baseball cap on his head, and a bag slung over his shoulder. The sack wasn’t full of toys though. It was a large clear garbage bag, filled with soda cans. I saw him picking through a trash can in front of the mall downtown, as I was driving to work. Looking for more cans, I’m sure.
I’ve got the “paintings for sale” section up and running now, see the right hand column. One of the pieces listed is this one: “Cogito Ergo Es”. That’s latin, loosely translated as “I think therefore you is”. Robert Anton Wilson quotes a philosopher whom I’ve forgotten in Maybe Logic, “All perception is a gamble.” He goes on to say that he’s amazed at “how often I can forget that in twenty-four hours.” Even still, I’ll bet he remembers it way more often than I do.