Saturday, September 22

Dappled Street Art

Musser Park, the Green Heart of Lancaster, sits fifty feet from our front door. It's the city's only central green space. Weather permitting, it fills with lunch-baggers, free-range kids, rallies, pick-up games, family picnics, music groups, holiday events, sunbathers, young loves or readers on benches, chess players, dog walkers: like that.

Sometimes it's where people assemble to do politics in the sunshine. Then, thousands come to learn and share beliefs. It's a civics place that allows for loud and quiet reflection. Over the last handful of decades we've renamed parks, now they're public spaces (as if they weren't before). Even among public tumult, even when hundreds or thousands of people swirl around... A man can sit in the grass, and try to figure out a moment in time. 

In Musser Park, more than sunlight dapples. 

Monday, September 10

Crystal Clarity

What's clear? Is anything doubtless? Anything? Look, there ought to be facts. Things that... are, correct? I know some deconstructionists. Literary scholars. Well, sort of. Each was once upon a time an academic... College instructors. None earned tenure. Literature departments gush green Ph.D.s into a collegiate labor market that's become a lot like the market for art. Which is to say, no market at all. Increasingly universities are contracting arts and humanities positions through attrition. So tenure-track demand has fallen below replacement levels. Supply of humanists way overwhelms demand. 

Markets require a price that will clear surpluses. Yet only a negative price will clear a market like art or deconstructionism. Meaning? Market entrants will have to give their services away or, increasingly, pay customers to take them. Now subsidies are effectively a way to pay customers to accept a product (think Tesla). And while there are significant heaps of government,  donor, or endowment subsidies to colleges and universities - they have not reached a level sufficient to clear the market (in fact they've fed the beast). Meaning? There will at first be a bulge in unemployed humanists, until eventually many leave the market, seeking to retrofit themselves to fit the demand for customers who are hiring. These are labor markets only tangentially (at best) in need of deconstructionidt scholarship.

To the market emigrants, deconstruction becomes perhaps a memory, a hobby, therapy, or a creed - maybe all. Trained to deconstruct... they do... in business, government, non-profits... in whatever port the storm's driven them. Which is different from critical or strategic thought. They are graduate critics - a lay priesthood. 

Nothing to them is clear. Subjective kicks objective's ass. 

They're trained to miss the point. They are driven by a faith in nothing. Nihilism. The critical question is: How acceptable are life options. If we take our eyes off of that for even a moment, we are at risk of allowing distractions away from the obvious. Like the numbers on a pay or assistance check... smiles on family faces... risk benefit results... Or risk benefit analysis at all. 

They are driven by a faith in nothing. Nihilism. Only to discover that hope is not a business plan. 

The GEEK STUFF?  Nothing special. Here's a grab-shot of  vessels cooling before packaging at Ireland's Waterford Glassworks. The golden light bulb cast turns mood into fact. Reflections spark the imagination. As in life, we confront each successive object through its foreground. Knowing even the nearest future through what the immediate moment permits us to know. Is reality what filters allow us to believe? Or is it crystal clear that here are three beautiful objects? Of course, beautiful's a weasel word, huh? Adjectives do that.