Friday, February 28, 2014

Soggy Norton

The prison grounds at Angola are very much like a ranch. Once through the gate you travel a straight road, lined with oaks across flat grass...broken in a couple of places by creeks and ditches. There are horses.

When you leave you head for the hills. Unlike coming out of the Delta at Greenwood, where the initial rise is as steep and abrupt as a roller coaster's, this road skirts the hills, turns back toward the river before making  a gradual ascent. On one side you have these sheer red faces of eroding clay...on the other an incomprehensible tangle of vines, branches and brambles...briars in black wet dirt...and old houses and out buildings.

You'd never see this place in the summer. In fact I've driven by it several times and never noticed it there. It's just as well. I would never have stopped here when the ground was warm. And if there had been any flooding? I wouldn't even look in that direction.

The place is existentially creepy enough...

without our arch enemy curled up in the corner you're about to turn. I don't want to give the impression that we're always running from snakes like some kinda action movie...but, this...this, in the spring and summer, would be begging for it.

The floor boards were spongy enough downstairs...that's why I didn't go up...not because I was afraid a forgotten family member might be up there sitting next to a hole in the wall where the fire place used to be.

Our mold and moss are technicolor (almost a chrome yellow in person).

This must have been a very nice spread at one time (though it had to  have been prone to flooding). There were several of which, I'm sure, was a kitchen.

The roadside is littered with places like this. They'll all disappear here in a month or so...make a wobbly reappearance next winter...and next year and the next...until the vines finally pull them down and the ground swallows them up.


Monday, February 24, 2014

Mojo Hand

I'm gonin' to Louisiana...

Y'all know about my issues with that bastard Miro. I told you I'd fix him.

Step One - Go to Louisiana...where they have Mojo Hands.

Step Two - get Mojo Hand. *

This will destroy the power he has over my woman..Martha. Ostensibly I'm goin' down to Baton Rouge to sell Fried Green Beans and Chicken Wings. I will go Cotton Wood Books, eat at Zippy's Tacos and make myself sick on Beinget Fingers. I will not play the penny slots. I will not play the penny slots. I will get the Mojo Hand. I will not play the penny slots.

Then Thursday I'll be in St. Francisville and Angola Farm...Louisiana State Penitentiary. It's not as wretched as it once was...which says more about how bad it used to be than how lovely it is now. There's no more red hats. ...but your prospects aren't good if you find yourself there. It's an odd place with a culture all it's own...there's a feeling of immersion when you go through the gate. Rightly so...most of them aren't leaving.

They got their woodworking shops, their radio station, their football teams (last time I was down, one of the inmates was sporting a golfball sized Angola football championship ring. I imagine they could put together a team to challenge LSU..if not the Saints) but, it's the Rodeo they're famous for. Being in the infirmary means no work and pain pills...they ride hard as hell. I intend to get my hot dogs into the concession stands. Ha.

Step 3 - Learn to paint sneaky landscapes.

A little busy maybe...that's the thing about swamps but, dig it in detail...

Ha. I'm comin' for your stank ass Miro.

*Step 2 1/2 Send mojo hand to gentleman in England who's having a bit of a Ricky Gervais problem.

Friday, February 21, 2014

8 Hours!?!

Yesterday I worked for almost eight hours...EIGHT freaking hours. Can you imagine working like that five days a week?  &%$# on that!

This has been an exhausting week. Not only have I put in over 20 hours...but, I've done manual labor. Just let that sink in.

I painted my room. Well, I put colors on the wall. I spackled some of the holes and even sanded some of the spackling but mainly I just covered the walls with paint.

I spent about 8 years, off and on, as a house painter. Started right after I got out of the Army and while I was an undergraduate...between jobs after graduate school, and whenever I needed some folding money.

If my old boss was to come by and see the work...he'd probably try to retroactively fire me. We got color though and that's the main thing. Color and pictures.

Keep in mind I couldn't completely ignore my day job for this task. I spent time on the road this week...from up to French Camp and down to McComb.

This was taken just off the Natchez Trace between French Camp and Kosciusko.  The phone decided we were in McCool, Mississippi but, of course, any place I go in Mississippi is made McCool by my presence.

McComb was an especially taxing trip. I was so worn out by dinner that it took four bowls of banana pudding at The Dinner Bell just to get my energy back up for a few more hours of work.

Six or seven hours in the car isn't a lot in my line of work but, it is long enough to have your patience and sanity tested by idiot philosophers (as opposed to non-idiot philosophers who have the grace to spend most of their time driving a tractor rather than being a smart-ass). I found a series of podcast called Philosophy Bites put on by David Edmonds and Nigel Warburton. Each podcast features a philosopher being questioned by Edmonds or Warburton on a specific topic. 

One particularly irritating example...Ronald Dworkin on the Unity of Value. He takes two values that are commonly, and to my view rightly, believed to be contradictory...Liberty and equality. Then he shows how they are actually compatible. How? By altering the definitions until they are reasonable. How do you know they are reasonable? They no longer contradict each other. Ronald Dworkin has discovered the color green and mistaken it for the elimination of the colors Yellow and Blue.

As an aside, Spliff and I have argued about this on various occasions...all I can say about Dworkin is that he is no Spliff.

Then there are those who have interesting insights about the findings of neuroscience but don't really seem to be doing philosophy...hallucinations, personality disorders, etc. There are some delights like Emma Borg on Context Sensitivity and Language or Nick Bostrom on the insanity of Simulation Theory (you, me and Tom's house-cat are almost certainly computer generated's not that easy to dispute). 

It was Galen Strawson on Pansychism that took the prize. Strawson is a self proclaimed Physicalist. In this view everything is physical through and through...merely physical. Everything has a material explanation. He then addresses the big screaming, purple experiencing, problem with this view...Consciousness. You can't deny the existence of experience but to accept experience as real is to accept the existence of non-physical things...nevermind that, how do you explain the emergence of Consciousness from non conscious material. Science can't do it. It can explain the complex process that seems to accompany consciousness but we don't have access to the data of dosen't exist in any accessible way.

My favorite exchange was when the interviewer, I can't remember which one it was says..."it could be the result of some magic interjection but that's implausible." As if there were anything plausible about consciousness in the first place. 

Sam Harris provides an answer in The Mystery of Consciousness's "incomprehensible - a miracle, in other words." Something, non-physical has arisen from the purely physical, something has emerged from the absence of some thing. No problem for me the Theist...and, obviously Sam, the non-theist, has learned to live with it...not so Strawson. Strawson's answer is that because everything is physical and experience exists...everything must be experiential. Consciousness must be integral to all didn't emerge it was always there. A cardboard box, a wad of gum stuck under a desk are conscious on some level...dear God, that means there must be something it's like to be a urinal at a bus station or Adamparsons' toothbrush. 

I actually enjoyed his's a clever way of trying to deal with his problem.  After all, it can't be tested. 

The biggest bore of the week came, not from Philosophy Bites, but from an interview at The Whitney with Lawrence Wiener. What a silly ass. At one point, he states "good people can make bad art and bad people make good art...that's why I don't want to know anything about the people I'm showing with."
Yeah man, he doesn't place any importance on personal morality...that's so f****ing bougie. Unless..."they're racist, or sexist...or you know fascists."

That is the kind of shit that causes me to have acute visions, hallucinations almost, of beating a blazing, 50 gallon drum with a baseball bat over and over until I collapse from exhaustion.

Sunday, February 16, 2014


What started out as this...

...has ended up as this.

The top painting became increasingly garish...too garish, even for me. In fact, the last couple of ladies I've tried to paint have come off too heavy handed. This one may lack the high soap opera hamminess that I work so hard to achieve but, it's airy...and that's what I wanted. She doesn't lack drama completely*...her face is slightly off set. She's kinda cool...I think.

Enough of that nonsense.

I came across this today. It's been packed away since we moved out of the last house. Those are me and my Daddy's tickets. It was one of the funnest things I've ever of the funniest too. The marquee match ended in a disqualification...which led to a "random" spectator throwing a chair at Superstar Billy Graham...and all hell breaking loose.

I loved wrestling when I was kid. We used to get it on the TV out of Atlanta...filmed in what must have been a small gym. It wasn't the big porno-fireworks show it is now. Just fat men in their underwear kicking each other and smashing things. What's not to was awesome.

The best part though was watching it with my Daddy. Few things made him laugh that hard...he said it was cartoons for grown ups. The last time I remember watching an hour of wrestling...Rowdy Roddy Piper was flipping over a table, his face was purple and my Daddy, who had come in from work with barely enough time to loosen his tie, was in tears. I thought he was gonna fall out of his chair.

Y'all know where this is headed...

 Brace you'selves.

*Y'all tell me...what's going on here. What's she lookin' at...what's she thinkin' about. I thought maybe she was thinking about having the herpes but, I've removed the sore from her bottom lip.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Workin' It

Just some paintings and racket...

I need to finish his left shoe and then I think he's done.

The best that can be said about her right now is that she's survived the scraper. Her arm and hand are a little dead but I think we can fix it up.

Madonna's one truly great moment.

Funny...I got a great shape out of her that will reappear in various forms in the future. I had to paint over it though at some point. I guess I had to...damn. At any rate it's well documented.

Just because I feel like hearing it.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Failure to Communicate

It's not a profound observation to point out that words are imperfect representations thoughts. You can't exchange information with another person in the pure way that your brain communicates with your hand. Words are mere facts...pointing to a truth. They are fungible, subject to fashion, ignorance, internal censor, ironic use, poetic impulse, the insanity of the speaker and emotional damage of the listener...etc.

Recently I read a review of a Feminist work described, by the reviewer, as "seminal." Light a candle for the ragged intern of that publication tasked with reading letters to the editor.

Yesterday, on the itunes, I downloaded IZZO (H.O.V.A.) by Jay Z.* A song that is as infectiously ballin' as it is impossible to embed in a blog post. A song that goes a long way to demonstrate why people are willing (just barely) to put up with Kanye West's antics, the undeniable greatness of I Want You Back by the Jackson 5 and how JAY Z can almost get away with referring to himself as the Jayhova of mc's.

It's also a perfect example of how quickly communication can devolve into nonsense. I'm not talking about how he didn't "beat them charges like Rocky."...Rocky didn't settle out of court...that's just a fib.

"Niggaz akin like I sold you crack
Like I told you sell drugs
Hove did that
So hopefully you won..."

Stop right there. Let's back that up...

Niggaz have suggested that Jay Z sold us crack...that he told us to sell crack.
He says no...I haven't said that. He says what happened was that he sold crack so we wouldn't have to.

So he did sell us crack then?

Then there's Martha, clerical abbreviations and technology.

Yesterday while I was trying to sell some fried green beans in a bowling alley my phone buzzed...a text from Martha.

"Was place you had oral sx 
right down street from 
dentist in place that used
to be two story house?"

Let's just say it wasn't immediately apparent to me that she was referencing a root canal I had in dental clinic that's in a swanky converted two story home.

*I own the Blueprint...but I cannot get the idiot pc to communicate with my phone.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Now a Nemesis

Longtime readers of the various blogs will know that we have an who has, on various occasions, tried to kill us and one that we would seek out and destroy, no matter where he lay...if we were willing to go to places where he might lay.

The Cottonmouth...&5$#ER!

It's bad enough dealing with Satan's tennis bracelet there but now... I've got that bastard Joan Miro trying to ruin my life..

Earlier this evening, I was showing Martha some of my latest work...flippin through the phone.

Y'all know how hesitant I am to talk about myself but...I'm starting to take control here...I'm hotter than Georgia asphalt...I could touch the sky.

(In progress)

"These are really good honey."  Damn right they are. High Five...High Five. Next.

She let out an audible gasp...I could hear was loud.

"No Sugar...that's not me."

"Oh...OK...well it's just really good."

"Yeah I picked up on that."

The picture is on my phone because I love Miro. I spent a solid hour starring at this thing last Friday in the office. He seems to have effortless command over ever line every stroke. He's untouchable...but, now I have to destroy him...that's all.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Cookies are not Biscuits

A cynical person might think that there are elements among us who don't believe these particular people are capable of pondering Universal questions at a high level...all I'm sayin'...get the same shit with "Folk" art...and with Country music...only that's been a bald face con perpetrated by...anyway. We'll save it.

Beale St...Martha and the Boy a couple of years ago.

The Boy tries to convinces his Moma that he is indeed big enough to go into the bar.

Brace youselfs...this is the cut. When he hits the first fanfare you will think you're high. The Delta Force article named Junior Kimbrough as Fat Possums greatest discovery. No doubt, Junior Kimbrough was a balls out genius but, R.L. Burnside was capable, when he cared to, of making you feel like you've heard an echo of God's voice (and he knows it his face) affirmation of reality.

Maybe it's just me...that's possible too.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Phillips Gon Feel The Same Way in the Morning.

It's not just the fabulous that have problems you know.

No purist here...or non-purist for that nothing just the inimitable Hound Dog Taylor and his Houserockers...and the straight Universal existential angst that gives the Blues so much of it's power.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Hard as Freezer Meat

You don't have to listen closely to understand why Fred McDowell needed to keep Jesus on speed dial.

Fred McDowell did get a piece of the 60's blues revival. At the end of the decade, he shocked and horrified the "Blues Community" by hiring a white bass player and making one of the finest records since electricity....I Do Not Play No RocknRoll. Little ironic joke there...lost on no one except the "Blues Community."

I'm pretty sure those twats are guarding his wiki page . There's the obligatory reference to jungle...I mean African roots. It's so know? Best of all is the idea that McDowell would "occasionally" pick up an electric guitar. If that doesn't give you a case of the can put your Ray Ban's in your fedora and set them on fire.

R.L. Burnside, a protege of McDowell, also occasionally played the electric guitar. Here he is as George Mitchell presented him in the late 60's. These recordings are acoustic and they are fabulous.

But here's Burnside on his own time...thankfully, and merely, recorded in the late 70's by Alan Lomax. The bad-ass holding the snowcone is his wife.

There's nothing ideological about it...nobody can hear an acoustic guitar at a fish-fry or block party. The truth of the matter is that these folks occasionally picked up an acoustic guitar to take money from the "Blues Community" on college campuses and at folk festivals.

These were Mississippi Hill Country players. Unlike their ossified cousins in the Delta...they were uncodified, unfettered, unconquered. They were also mostly unknown to the world until the early 90's when Matthew Johnson started Fat Possum Records.

He was writing for Living Blues Magazine...and the label was an expression of his frustration with the "Blues Community." Johnson said "imagine waking up one morning to find that your life's love had been taken over by Dan Akroyd?" They wanted people to hear and know that the Blues was still very much alive...hear what it sounded like when the musicians returned from your coffee shops and tossed the acoustic guitar back in the closet....what he heard on the weekends as a student at Ole Miss. Here's this bit from The Guardian in 2003...a little bit of a leg puller but, not that much of one. *

Jessie Mae Hemphill...dig it.

Sell some onion rings and T-shirts behind that bitches!

Listen to this and tell me if it's the facts of the situation that matter...i'm poor, my woman left me, the bawsman's a dick, etc...or if these facts aren't pointing to a Truth about the poverty of existing in contrast to Existence. There's a reason that so many of them sing about Jesus too.

It's just hard music...that's all. Hard times, hard partyin', hard lovin and hard praying. Hard as freezer meat.

* People's imaginations tend to run wild when they're in The South...especially in Mississippi. It doesn't help that we like to tell stories. I don't know where Richard Grant got the idea that possession of beer in Water Valley is illegal (it may be a dry...but, there are no laws against possession any where) or the f****ing nerve to ask R.L. Burnside if Matthew Johnson was paying him right.

It was also in the Guardian that I read of the 30ft Storm Surge that hit New Orleans during Katrina. For those of y'all playing along....pull up of Louisiana and picture in your mind the &^%$ing wave that would still be 30ft tall when it hit New Orleans. It was the Mississippi Gulf Coast that was hit and erased by the 30ft storm surge.

EDIT: Even though I've given some qualification in the comment below...I've just read back over this and none of it makes much sense. It's like listening to a person having an argument over the they walk in and out of the room.

P.S. If any of you want to contact me by old yahoo email is dead. I have not been able to log on to it since Saturday morning. No keeps asking me for a new password. I can be reached at the new email... thevetcameron at gee mail .