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Monthly Archives: July 2014

The Second Amendment to the United States of America Constitution: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

SECOND AMENDMENT SOFTWARE: A MODEST PROPOSAL
(First published in slightly altered form as a Facebook Note)

Proposed: That the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation devote their resources to reducing gun violence while preserving Second Amendment rights for all.

Now a thought experiment…

The above proposal is accepted, and all that money is thrown at The Problem. Software is developed that uses pattern recognition to find everything on earth that could possibly meet the criteria for being a gun. (This would require quite a bit of data mining and modern espionage, but you’d be amazed how cheap and legal that can be, given windborne surveillance devices, The Patriot Act, and other workarounds.) All the guns on Earth are identified and chiptagged via nanotechnology. Code is written that analyzes each gun’s destructive capability, and the least expensive means of rendering a particular gun harmless. The nanodrone magic wand is then waved, and the render-harmlessness begins: barrels are plugged, firing pins jimmied, safeties microwelded to permanent ON–or whatever else it takes. Second Amendment rights remain inviolate: by all means, keep and bear your now-useless arms. Try to render them unuseless, though, and the Dronomatic will kick back in.

So now the NRA tries to become the NBAAA (National Bow and Arrow Association). The drones go after the arrows. The NBAAA becomes the NKA (they didn’t like the baaing sound people were using to pronounce their name, anyway). Knives are rendered rubberized. The NKA goes back to being the NRA: National Rock Association. “OK, go ahead and throw rocks,” says the Foundation. But rock-throwers are identified and tagged, and their hands rendered 30-day gummy, necessitating assistance in certain private functions.

The day is coming, Good People! Hallelujah!

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This page started as an exercise in value range and composition. Then there was a revolution and the Occluded Notion faction won, but in the treaty full text was mandated, but upside-down so that though it was accessible it wasn’t excessively so. The Rule of Thirds and the Rule of Threes struggled briefly with the Signature-As-Element Fourmaker. The results speak for themselves, but inaudibly.

Here are the unoccluded words:

TREAT & release

The forces of nature go off on a tear
Releasing fell energies many a where
Endeavor adjusts with survival the goal
And healing well-bidden delivers some whole
The forces of nature respond to your pleas
And if you are patient along comes a breeze

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This hard-working, compassionate young man, who wears both Front Desk and Home Care hats on the swing shift at Sedona Winds, has just received his medical degree credentials. But when I asked “So, do I call you Doctor Burton now?” he smiled and said please don’t. “Sounds pretentious.” Make that Hard-Working, Compassionate and Modest. In the picture I took of him he was looking straight across the lobby. I tilted his head in this portrait so he could have a glimpse of his bright future. I think I subconsciously added a touch of “Richard Chamberlain as Doctor Kildare.”

Here are the words, which trade off a little metronomicity for heartofthematteritiveness:

‘S a turmoiled trail to get a man Doctor’d
‘S a hoop jump and slicer whilst prodded and proctor’d

Uphill pushing boulders–you slip?–down you go
Unending anatomies flung to and fro

Persistence will lead to an office or clinic
Perspective will keep you from being a cynic

 

 

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Kurt Vonnegut once gave himself a hard time about writing “the usual load of horsecrap about modern art.” Undoubtedly he made at least a few modern artists smile when he did that.

When I was 15 my sophomore English teacher, Mrs. Ann Dennis, asked me if I’d be willing to give a lecture about art. I said Sure, being then as now what my daughter and many in her demographic call “an attention whore.” I remember the thesis of my lecture was going to be that all artists go by rules, but “going by” rules is not the same thing as following them. The rules, either followed or violated, serve as the jumping-off places for works of art. And for an example I’d drawn an array of similar shapes in different sizes. The shapes were arranged so that some of the spaces between them provided relief for the eye, and some of the spaces were teemingly crowded, though none of the shapes touched. I was going to ask my classmates what an appropriate title would be, advising them that titling a work of art can be crucial in its public acceptance, and sometimes in its prominence.

Alas, the lecture was never given. Alas, I can’t remember why. But I remember IT, the basics of it anyway, and it helps me to understand my own latest work above:

Here is a drawing of shapes and shadows. There is some sense of near and far, but within a limited implied space. There is some indication of movement and energy, There is a lot of “here is what a pencil and eraser can do.”

Beneath the drawing are fifteen calligraphed words. Read left to right and top to bottom they say “May inelegance necessitate implemental eloquent correction concatenative interdisciplinary obbligati replicative synergistic reconstruction or disestablishmentarianistic daydreaming.” They form five lines of three words each. The words on the left start with letters that, top to bottom, spell “Micro.” The words in the middle have letters in their middles that spell “Glist.” The words on the right have letters on the right that spell “Ening.” Concatenating the three yields “Microglistening.” That is a word that yielded 181 search results in the search engine I used; though most of them were from the phrase “micro, glisten” there was at least one example of “microglisten” as the title of a blog post. But I had coined the word (or I thought I had coined it before I did the search) not only for its literal implied meaning but for its phonetic similarity to “Nitroglycerin,” a volatile substance that explodes when overnudged yet can save the life of a heart patient.

Long story wrap: I’ve created something that exploits patterns of light mimicking shapes yoked with a pattern of words following a strict set of limitations to yield an experience like none other, though akin to some of the other things I’ve done along these lines. All of which may be horsecrap, or horsecrap about horsecrap, or Other. That’s for you, the Viewer and Thinker, to decide.

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SOUNDS OF SILENCE and PARSLEY, SAGE, ROSEMARY AND THYME were two of the first albums I ever bought. And “Leaves That Are Green” is a song I played over and over. And a Christmas or two ago my brother Brian gave me PAUL SIMON: SONGWRITER, a valued part of my CD library.

And now I, too, wither with the wind. Mr. Simon’s insights, though, remain evergreen.

 

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In the words of my late great hero Isaac Asimov, “I don’t believe in false modesty–or any other kind.” I believe this drawing of mine defies gravity in a delightful way. There’s a safe buoyed by air, Dorothy’s house, the Wicked Witch, a Dumbo wannabe, and the cow on her way to the moon. And to the right of my signature there’s a guy lifting an unbelievable amount of weight. I drew all of this stuff without looking at any photo source, defying gravity by the seat of my pants.

Unfortunately, the more acrosticizing I did, the more my image got covered up. So I STOPPED. The poem would probably be good in that it solved the acrostic puzzle with a consistent rhyme scheme and meter, but would it be worth it when the tradeoff is the occluding of my lighter-than-airedness? I think not. I may finish the poem and publish it separately, but before I do, I’ll need to read BARTLEBY THE SCRIVENER and otherwise jump through the Get-It-Right hoops. It wouldn’t prove anything, since I’ve done that hundreds of times before; and I doubt if the result would change the course of Western civilization, let alone Global civilization–though my BODY of work may well do so, some fine time. (Now look at the top of the page. This IS a “blog for the aggrandizement of Gary W. Bowers,” after all. [smiles])

So Bubba and Sissy and I were drawing on the folding table. He did a Humpty Dumpty, she did a gazelle head, and I did this:

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I have it on good authority that “Derp” means Silly or Stupid, and is so named from the sound made by someone in that state or place. “Derpa” is a variant favored by Sissy, who also drew Derpa Face examples for me. Mention was also made of an exotic creature, the Tripa-Derpa-Huma-corn, which has a horse’s body, three horns, and a Derpa face.

Naturally I wanted my Inner Child to take over on this page. I think he shows up in the non-calligraphy (I won’t be using Calligraphy as a tag this time) and the fade-to-unfinished as we progress down to the bottom of the page. The words are also kid-influenced, but adult-conducted:

Dang it! sang it 20 times but they all sounded off
Dilly-dally helped the tally shower made me coff

Exit shower enter Power Drawing works like Sherpa
EW! to half-ing YES! to Laughing faces a la Derpa

Rigatoni or baloney shines like fine shellac
Roly poly holy moley skate that cul-de-sac

Point your pencil at a stencil fill & then erase
Place a Norn or Huma-corn where Ogres may give chase

Ah, we don’t need a Cheer to lead nor cloned John Philip Sousas
Ah, Wilderness–ah, filled address–ah, fine Derpapaloozas

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My childhood was brightened by the darkness of the Master of Horror, Edgar Allan Poe. His language, mannered and on the archaic side, softened the gruesomeness he explored. His poetry could be compelling, and its sometimes labyrinthine rhyme and metronomic meter set a good example for the poetry I myself would soon attempt. His life served as a cautionary tale.

Here are the mannered, on-the-archaic-side words of the double acrostic:

Persnickety in rhyme, I trow
Permits a subtext undertow

One voice would serve as Paraclete

Evocative and haunting–sweet

PS–the EAP quote is slightly altered via brackets and substitution. His word was “intervals;” I like “bouts” better.