Thursday, January 21, 2021

Pig art is some of the BEST art!

I’d be really interested to hear an art historian with a deep understanding of pigment and process look at this oldest known artistic depiction of the animal world and deconstruct why there are two slightly different shades of red.

Most of the figure is done in a dark burgundy, but then there is a warmer ochre tone which looks like it expanded on the original image perhaps (*) – and one (left!) hand print in the darker color, then a right hand print in the warmer color. And even the darker burgundy color – there are many more “brush strokes” along the back of the animal in that color, where the body is much less saturated. Was there more “coloring” as the artist got the shape and size just the way they wanted it?

* Was this image complete, and the second “hand” added to it, made the pig larger and more fearsome? Were two artists working together, and the second color representing something – an aura of the spirit of the animal, a ridge of hair raised as the pig encountered the other pigs (do pigs “ridge back” as other animals do? They are mammals after all, and even humans’ hair stands on end on our necks when we are on alert)? Is it possible one color was laid down, and long after, the second color was added by a prehistoric critic? Or are there two tones because one pot of mixed pigment simply ran out?

I am prompted to recall: many of these “hand print” paintings were studied several years ago, and a new conclusion was reached that researchers had never come to before: that they were women’s hands.

Friday, December 18, 2020

A collection of one ...

The blog's been pretty limp for a long time - unfortunately not the kind of infrequency that keeps a reader wanting more. I follow several others like that, but even my following of other blogs has been pretty poor of late. I don't read like I used to, don't write at all, really haven't blogged either. And am not even really thinking about "maybe I'll write again" and so on.

That said ... please go visit one of those I follow! Jeff Sypeck is such a good writer, and his observations about anything he uses *his* blog to point to are worth the stopover every time. In this case, too, the way he's pointing has me fascinated AND my mind is blown. Spoiler alert: Mike Tyson is fascinated by Clovis, the Merovingians, the Franks???? I mean ... Huh. It doesn't take me back, ahem, but does provide the unexpected imaginary mindpic of Mike Tyson reading my novel (had it ever seen the light of day). Huh.

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

What DID happen to them?



This is one of my favorite videos in a long time. 24 minutes and some change, but if you're interested in dogs and history, or the history of dogs, worth every bit of it. Carolinas of course do feature, and in this context pups like my girl are even more interesting.

Friday, July 31, 2020

OH THE DIRTY, STUPID PAST, said the patriarchy

Oh my good Lord, THIS. All of this, all day long. Stay tuned for 12:35, when I wanted to stand up and CHEER.

Monday, June 1, 2020

WFH Window

The day is impossibly beautiful and breezy. Dazzling.

Nekkid baby has returned to my strip of the sidewalk, on a tiny bicycle. Riding it like a scooter. One foot on a pedal, one accelerating heedlessly.

An hour ago, with his mommy, he had walked by wearing nothing but a pull-up diaper, holding a sippy cup, absorbed utterly by anything under his nekkid little feet. Leading with his lil' boy belly. Dappled in sunshine.

But now, on his bike, daddy along for the ride literally, he is dressed and helmeted and speeding. I hear no wailing; he must be good at not falling.

He fades down the road.

The passel o' boys across the street from me are outside playing some game, squealing with joy between yelling like angry badgers, all modulated by occasional, calm dad-voice.

It. Is. OSUM.

Oh man - another bloodcurdling scream! Kids at play so often sound so terrifying!!! It sounds exactly like my own neighborhood, circa 1978.

Between this, tweeting birds, and inviting breezes, I am hard put to finish part 2 of the month's reporting. Gah.

There is this very specific inflection to kids playing - an elastic up-and-down wave, nothing like so tidy as a sine - in which the sound of injustice resonates with purity. BUT WHYYYYY ... can't I go over here ... does he get to run to the next base ... am I not wiii-ii-iiiiiii-in-in-innniiiinnng?

The breeze in the maple outside the window, playing with the grass, scintillating in the treetops across the way. The beagle a couple houses away, Expressing Opinions.

It is ... beautiful.


Just a few miles away, filthy Confederate monuments I want to see for myself, updated for our age by people angry, and sad, and bereft for the several-millionth time in 400 years. The police chief here has been on the side of citizens. Just south of us, another chief stood with his people. It is not loaves and fishes The Beatitudes, and it IS optics and choices and amplification calculated - but it is good to see choices for those these polices forces are here to protect and serve.

One of my dearest friends, my best neighbor at work, a woman I love so much - I have heard the sirens, but she heard those and the sound of "no justice/no peace" and "I can't breathe" all this weekend. She is a living blessing.

The Daughters of the Confederacy could have done as others have - served history instead of themselves, as an institution. Why anyone would care to be institutionalized with a group of worshippers of the Lost Cause - people lionizing rebels, who broke away from and tried to destroy the United States - is beyond comprehension. Their existence is shameful, and their mission indefensible. They should relinquish their revolting relics to actual historians, donate their facilities, repent and make reparations. They are shameful. They burned - for a little while - this weekend. This is not looting, it is reprimand, and long past due.

Lee's tired horse, on an exalted platform of ridiculous loftiness - tail down and tired, while the old General still rides, ramrod straight and UNASHAMED, bronze and burnished, but shat on daily by local pigeons with more rectitude - is bedaubed with graffiti. Stuart's plinth, a little shorter, surrounded by a wrought iron bridge it could *not* have been easy to bring down - but brought down it has been, by living bodies who matter more than these rebels do.

Leave them desecrated, the echo of the desecration these insurgents brought to the United States, in dividing them. Remember them for the failures they were. Let the bronze and granite decay, the rot take them over. Leave them to rot, or take them away altogether.

Leave Kehinde Wiley's living horseman in their place - no traitor, but an AMERICAN man - pristine and strong and proud and standing for something. Let him tower over the others as they fall down.


It would take only minutes to see what has been done, and what has been undone, in my city. I will probably drive out - before the newly enacted curfew - to see what I need to know. To be a part of it.

To see the dazzling sun, perhaps, set ... on these newly-faced (hardly DEfaced - how do you "ruin" idolatrous monuments to traitors?) images.

To breathe the good air, and commit to using my privilege ... so that little nekkid kiddo can stay untouched a while longer.

Thursday, May 28, 2020



Say just one variable had been different, and I'd been 1/4 mile east, walking with my neighbors. Say the "KKK leader" who revved his engine and ploughed into the crowd had hit me and killed me. I'm DEAD.

You're going to feel good about that?

Say you found out tomorrow that I am dead today. You'd regret nothing?

You'd never wish I were still alive ... wish you could still turn to me ..

Great Zot, yes, boy. This is a cry for help.