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Alex Baer

The Vanishing Art of Disappearing

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We are all time travelers.

I have come to this conclusion in a roundabout route, my usual method of making way from A to B, via a few scenic-tour handfuls of multi-cultural alphabets wrought from pen, paper press, and cuneiform tablet.

Art is the key. It is in art where most of us spend our free time, from soaking up opera to hand-tying flies for fishing, or whatever our fancy.  We are consumers of all things, now that we make almost nothing in this country, and art -- popular culture, if you'd prefer to call it -- is part of our voracious appetite.

(Even today's old-fashioned broadcast radio and television counts -- although, I am often unsure what it counts as -- buh-dum-dah.)

Art is where we go for relief from the routine world in which we find ourselves.  And, if we have any energy left over from just trying to survive, and have any interests to do so, we choose art as a platform on which we hope to stand, better understanding our world, ourselves, and trying to make some sense of this journey and this place -- maybe even other people, although we shouldn't get our hopes up too high.

Last Updated on Thursday, 18 June 2015 16:02 Read more...

All Freedom, All the Time

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Report from The Front:  We haven't been killed yet.

Frankly, I have no idea how to estimate the number of times the exact same phrase has been used throughout human history, or even American history by combatants -- and noncombatants -- during times of war.

America's wars have been fought almost exclusively overseas, except when Americans got excited for a while by the ability of Americans to actually own other human beings, and to further become agitated by the assorted economic truths surrounding that other embarrassing truth.  (Funny how that same one reared its head in the Constitution -- once steely-eyed and proudly, and nowadays stunned that it must be half-muttered, with eyes buried underground, requiring some winks and knowing glances to the knowing few.)

Well, the economic truths are all still in place, and still completely legal.  Only the crimes of banks and various corporations are allowed to become larger every year. These crimes now incorporate new entertainments; such as featherweight taps on the wrist and assorted penny-ante fines, to, you know, help us keep the lights burning in prosecutorial offices up and down the chain of our hamstrung governmental command and dissolving protections.  It's good PR, having those lights on, as it gives the impression someone's watching, and maybe even doing something.

Last Updated on Thursday, 11 June 2015 16:45 Read more...

Running on Empty, Zapped & Unplugged

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Pardon me while I smolder and sputter from somewhere within, in the penthouse of this body, up behind the eyeballs, where my subdued executive function strains and squints, scrambled sidelong a smidge.

It feels like The Really Big Bottle of Liquid Smote has been glunked out and loosed into the reluctant Jacuzzi of my brainpan, bubbled and fluffed up a tad with some stray napalm.  Sorry about the greasy haze.  With any luck, that soot'll come right out of your clothes, as well as these curtains.

The lingering blast-zone of ozone playing tag with bacon in the air ducts will probably vent out eventually.  We all tend to air out eventually.  The trick is to give it time, and be in no rush.  That seems to be the Big Message here so far, if in fact there is one at all hanging about waiting to be discovered, recognized for what it is, then hugged, and given a lemonade and a homecoming parade.

So, today, I am cooling my fizzy, sizzled nerve endings with the oasis of my imagination:  a home-made, inner-mind batch of an old family recipe, the Turquoise, Gelatin Blur and Silky Malaise of On-Purpose, Memory-Shunting Cool-Ice Bars, following a thumping, thunder-tackle of the trumpeting tsunami terror some have come to experience, and then personally call, a brain seizure.

My trip to Abby-Normal Land, or Brain Oz, or Mind-a-Palooza, was on April 9th, when a few stray lung cancer cells had a flash reunion in the Motor Function Jazz Lounge of my Control Room's brain, completely hosing normal function for a few moments of confused, mutinous body wonder while everything else on board was forced to participate in a sort of genetic kabuki theater thought possible only by Kafkaesque writers laboring to improve upon TSA scripts with rich Jungian pride, using thick, rich concepts from Samuel Beckett, The B-52s, Hamurabi, Heckle and Jeckle.

Yes:  It has been a rich and heady time, me spreading my atomic structure in one-mote densities across this end of the solar system, and waiting for it all to spring, sproing, splung, and splap back into recognizable shape once again during assorted re-entry procedures at the hospital, where gravity and I were reunited in the same room, and allowed to playfully slap one another on the backs in a pantomime show of trust, friendship, harmlessness.

All the right signs are there, all the right noises are being made -- my body coos along again at my beck and call.  The meds and staff and insurance guardians and gatekeepers, and my body and I, and a phalanx of auxiliary staff, are all on the same pages and parapets of Gregorian Medieval Prescription Chanting and Calendar Watching.

So far, so good.

Last Updated on Monday, 27 April 2015 15:08 Read more...

Fate Makes a Health & Welfare House Call

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Fate -- or The Universe, or The Hairy Thunderer, or Kosmic Muffin, or The Flying Spaghetti Monster, or The Formless Mystery, or Your-What-Have-You -- waited ten whole days before it dropped by to give me a little something extra to stew in my cracked, shoulder-high, neck-mounted crockpot with the rattling glass-top lid.

Frankly, I had come to lose track of Its notions of style, Its sensibilities on timing, Its fondness for the unexpected slip of a stiletto between the ribs, Its pleased sneer for the gleeful anticipation of the set-up, followed by the crack of the ambush, the deft yank on the rug, the flailing, slow-motion fall, the broken things scattering on the floor...

And the snickering, the idiotic sniggering of Its visits:  You can just hear the virtual chitterings of tittering, trickster demon vapor once safely idled off course somewhere harmless and stone-bound, and now allowed -- invited! -- to play Trick-And-Treat out in the small front yard, sparsely grassy and fresh-mowed, ringed by an ancient, ramshackle white picket fence more splinters and streaks than substance, and on the other side of this closed front door, where the buzzer just sounded, are snatches of voices on the dangle and swing.

Sometimes, the ability to simply keep up with the presentation, and take it up, real time, as you go, is the whole show -- the whole point, it seems, like a convoluted test, launched and sprung the exact moment your tester has prepped you to lean the other way, to commit your balance in the opposite direction, having aimed you not toward but away.

Which is where, of course, you either laugh until you cry, or else you cry until you can slowly manage to recover a dented chuckle here, from under the phone table, or else snag a fuzz-coated chortle that fell to the floor over there...

Not being able to penetrate all the potential patterns in this dimension of existence can be a royal pain in the ass.  Today pointed out that one again.  It's another looping, repeated lesson that's in very high rotation this week.

Personally, I'd prefer having the ability to slide along the secret slipknot rings of synchronicity -- content to just know the issues and events in play, the reasons for them, how they all connect up, whether they are fair or sensible, lame or sane...

But...

Watch anything long enough and the patterns start to slip and squeak out.

Last Updated on Monday, 20 April 2015 11:35 Read more...

Brainstorms, Lightning Rounds, Sparks, Shorts, and Mystery Melons

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It's been a week now, and I'm starting to experiment with concepts a bit longer than "Guhh," "Yow!" and "Uhh, I'm sorry -- were we talking just now?"

A while ago, my brain decided to take out a loan on my leftover lung cancer account, slowly piddling itself away in administrative account fees, apparently, as approved by some corporate raider gene I never knew I had lurking in my genetic banking system. Those break-out, cancerous seed cells were used to find, and dam up, a slower-moving chunk of the real estate river and eddies in my head.  Beaver-like, these cells were made into a cozy submarine-houseboat-lodge -- and jammed right against the part of my well-fatted head's control surfaces for my outer body's motor skills uses.

A week ago, this abrupt cancer-barricading in my mind meat caused a spectacular ground-out, a functional snafu and control loss sometimes called a hot brain mess in some circles, and a bounteous brown-out in others -- and just as accurately tagged as a brown-trouser day in still others.

In my case, some very nice, gentle medical people took me in, showed me around, and referred me to rafters of information regarding the far-gentler sounding circle of events:  Brain Seizures.

Last Updated on Friday, 17 April 2015 12:21 Read more...

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