Flint

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I found the following on purpose:

Government Run Like a Business Poisons Children

...Last fall, after the state couldn’t deny the results of the independent studies anymore, Snyder’s administration agreed to come up with most of the $12 million needed to restore Lake Huron water to Flint. Had the state given Flint $12 million three years ago, the children of Flint would not have been poisoned.

Then last week, Snyder asked state lawmakers to allocate $28 million to help Flint. And he appealed President Obama’s denial of his request to declare Flint a federal disaster area and give him $96 million to fix it.

The President said federal law limited what he could do. He awarded Flint $5 million in response to what could be legitimately described as a federal emergency. But he could not make a disaster declaration because the calamity was man-made.

This was not a Hurricane Katrina or Superstorm Sandy. The tragedy in Flint was a choice. This was a values decision about what was important. Giving a break to big business was the top priority for venture capitalist Snyder. Operating a shoddy government, over-taxing pensioners and poisoning Flint’s children was the result.

And now Snyder is demanding a $96 million federal bailout. Just like Wall Street. When those capitalists mess up, then all of a sudden they think government works.

Zenzoe
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

reply #151

From a personal point of view I always started looking for the add drop option when a teacher talked about an open ended free forum objective. To me whatever point on the horizon I aim for when starting out, by the time the piece is finished it is 'found' because it never existed before and in many cases the original idea is somewhere over another mountain range and may never be thought of again. It's all 'found' to me from conception to the end result.

rs allen
Joined:
Mar. 15, 2012 4:55 pm

I couldn't agree more. The opposite is ignoring further pursuits or choosing to emulate a Terry Schiavo existance, or a religiously inspired brain dead life with no surprises, but never having to admit wrong. Allies in that life do exist, the SCOTX ruled a 68 IQ* is normal, in TX.

On another thread, this link was offered and trickle down curiousity is mentioned.I think an Eddie Bernays campaign for science funding vs billionaire tax welfare could be successful.

*aka Moron, but morons are better than imbeciles, and they are both better than idiots. A kind of goldfish in a goldfish bowl vs a goldfish in pond where a catfish might eat you. You're still a goldfish swimming in your own shit laden bowl of water, but a you're Texan.

douglaslee's picture
douglaslee
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

So many unique approaches to creative process exist as to defy any attempt to dictate a superior path. The only value of accepting the lead of other artists, as in school, is to unlearn the bad habits taught by a culture bent on disappearing singularity. Its value definitely is not in an instruction toward obedience.

I recognize the process you describe, if I read you well. To my mind, that’s the natural spontaneity, the opening to accident and non-intentional events, that happen as you work. It’s forgetting yourSELF. It’s intimate, egoless responsiveness to the present— well, I can’t explain it, but I know what you mean.

Zenzoe
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm
"Banana Pancakes"

Can't you see that it's just raining?
Ain't no need to go outside...

But, baby, you hardly even notice
When I try to show you this
Song is meant to keep you
From doing what you're supposed to.
Waking up too early
Maybe we can sleep in
Make you banana pancakes
Pretend like it's the weekend now

And we could pretend it all the time
Can't you see that it's just raining?
There ain't no need to go outside

But just maybe, like a ukulele
Momma made a baby
Really don't mind the practice
'cause you're my little lady
Lady, lady, love me
'cause I love to lay here lazy
We could close the curtains
Pretend like there's no world outside

And we could pretend it all the time
Can't you see that it's just raining?
There ain't no need to go outside

Ain't no need, ain't no need, mmm, mmm,
Can't you see, can't you see?
Rain all day, and I don't mind

But the telephone is singing
Ringing
It's too early
Don't pick it up
We don't need to
We got everything
We need right here
And everything we need is enough

Just so easy
When the whole world fits inside of your arms
Do we really need to pay attention to the alarm?

Wake up slow, mmm mm, wake up slow

But, baby, you hardly even notice
When I try to show you this
Song is meant to keep ya
From doing what you're supposed to
Waking up too early
Maybe we can sleep in
Make you banana pancakes
Pretend like it's the weekend now

And we could pretend it all the time
Can't you see that it's just raining?
There ain't no need to go outside
Ain't no need, ain't no need
Rain all day, and I really, really, really don't mind
Can't you see, can't you see?
You gotta wake up slow

Ain't no need ain't no need can't you see can't you see wake up slow wake up slow

douglaslee's picture
douglaslee
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

Whoa!!!!! Far be it from me trying to define anyone else path. From your story of your past teacher I only flashed on a couple of classes that I walked into and discovered the 'teacher' should have listed the subject as 'Tao 101 and the art of living' rather than as someone to teach some discipline toward depicting the individual journey, ie. what I call ART.

I'm sure you've seen some of the work that's come out of classes like I'm thinking about. You can find art just as good on any frig from any first grader the proud parents stick up. For myself when I go into a class or attend a seminar for one reason or another I intentionally put myself into a box and not for some vaporous whatever it's all good along with a gold star for attending.

Just something I flashed on is all Zoe.

rs allen
Joined:
Mar. 15, 2012 4:55 pm

Quote rs allen:

Whoa!!!!! Far be it from me trying to define anyone else path. From your story of your past teacher I only flashed on a couple of classes that I walked into and discovered the 'teacher' should have listed the subject as 'Tao 101 and the art of living' rather than as someone to teach some discipline toward depicting the individual journey, ie. what I call ART.

I'm sure you've seen some of the work that's come out of classes like I'm thinking about. You can find art just as good on any frig from any first grader the proud parents stick up. For myself when I go into a class or attend a seminar for one reason or another I intentionally put myself into a box and not for some vaporous whatever it's all good along with a gold star for attending.

Just something I flashed on is all Zoe.

Whoa, yourself, rs. I was just trying to be friendly, despite somewhat unfriendly implications of your response. And if my story of an experience in one class brought up the disdain you have for art education à la supposed “Tao 101,” then please let me suggest that belongs to you, not to my class or my teacher.

After all, even where imagined elites hang out, it might be possible to find authentic good stuff. For example, this month’s Harper’s has an article about Sabato Rodia’s solitary, great offering to the world, the Watts Towers. I think even a self-described “uneducated street urchin” would find much of value in that article:

Quote Excerpts, ”Something Big, The legend of the Watts Towers,” by Geoff Dyer:

...Those earlier mentions of Mingus and Cherry were not just circumstantial: in another passage in Underworld, the towers put DeLillo’s narrator in mind of “a kind of swirling free-souled noise, a jazz cathedral.” The improvised nature of the undertaking, of learning in the process of doing and making — of being in the grips of something without necessarily being sure what the outcome will be — seems intrinsic to it. But jazz, in essence, is communal, and by Mingus’s time there was a considerable history and a large body of theory to draw on — or reject. Rodia worked alone, building his intricate and epic solo inch by inch, without the benefit of architectural theory or the support of collaborators like Dannie Richmond or Roland Kirk. What he most wanted from the community — which may have been the motive for buying his plot of land here in Watts — was to be left alone, to go about the business of bringing this thing into an existence that would owe nothing to anyone else, but that would end up being for everyone else.

...The fence is doubly frustrating since the essence of the towers is that they are self-contained. Until a certain point, when he was quite high up, Rodia was able to work from within the safety of each tower so that the thing he was building — which grew around him — also served as a safety feature. Beyond that point, as the radius of the spire tightened, he had to step outside the spiraling cage, but no scaffolding was used. The towers were — and remain — scaffolding: a highly decorative exoskeleton for an absent interior. Built with simple tools, with Rodia’s own hands, from basic materials — rebar, steel twisted and bent together without welding, bolts, or rivets — the intimacy and intricacies of their construction are not concealed but laid bare. The sense is of something organic rather than planned: as if blood flowing through one of the main structural arteries ended up going through the smaller decorative radials. Tools used in the towers’ construction — hammers, the head of a garden hose — were imprinted into the wet concrete to form patterns and hieroglyphics. All of which adds to the impression of self-containment. If the towers are temples they are dedicated to their own construction. Our guide told us that the legal limit on their height was a hundred feet. That, she said, is why Rodia brought the tallest of the three spires in at 99.5 feet. She might be right, but Rodia’s story is adorned with sentiment — bits and pieces of good feeling that cling to the legend like the broken bits of crockery and glass that he stuck into the concrete of his towers. Given that the project seemed unfettered by ordinances it is possible that the achieved height created the ceiling beyond which they were officially forbidden to grow. Freed from bureaucratic interference they could implicitly have continued on forever, ad astra, in spite of their foundations’ being less than two feet in depth…

...Rodia’s ambition was merely “to do something big.” It wasn’t even an ambition — those are usually underpinned by a desire for acclaim, recognition, fame, money. Instead it was more like a hobby, something he pursued in his free time, albeit with unswerving single-mindedness. He did all the work himself, he said, because it would have been too complicated — more trouble than it was worth — to explain to someone else what he was trying to do. Possibly he didn’t entirely know what he was doing. Even his claim that “you’ve got to do something, they’ve never got ’em in the world” came after the fact, after he was done. So maybe there was something akin to Garry Winogrand’s compulsive credo — “I photograph to find out what something will look like photographed” — about the undertaking. Rodia built the towers to find out what they would look like built.

So he got on with it, went steadily about his work day after day, in spite of tiredness, periods of sickness, and the never-to-be-underestimated urge to lie down on the sofa and do nothing. My uncle built his own house in the evenings after working as a bricklayer during the day — and he said it nearly killed him. (This was before he killed himself, many years later, in the garage of the completed house.) Perhaps a cussedness was essential in enabling Rodia to stick to the task in the way that some people are able to sustain grudges over several decades. He had something to do and he did it until it was done. Even so, there must have been days when Rodia had to drag his aching legs to the towers and force his heavy arms to climb them, when it was only after several hours that the friction of dull drudgery gave way to the steady rhythm of ongoing accomplishment, when he no longer had to overcome the reluctance of his own body, did not have to force himself to keep going. Or perhaps, at some point, he was so habituated to working that it didn’t occur to him to do anything else.

...or every Cheval or Rodia there must have been hundreds of eccentrics who conceived the idea of devoting their energies to doing “something big” before running out of time, resources, energy, or will. Some got bored, fed up. Having committed themselves to doing whatever it is that keeps them off the sauce, the lure of the bottle at the end of a day — or a week or a year — of thirsty work proves irresistible and, on reflection, adequately rewarding. It doesn’t even need to be “something big.” The most modest ambitions go unfulfilled: a loft conversion, an extension to a house, a fix for a wonky front door that doesn’t close properly. The knowledge that there are things to do, tasks to be completed, is enough to keep postponing them, to give life a sense of projected purpose and improvement. Having made the long-postponed decision to go into the office just three days a week so that he can have more time to devote to his frustrated urge to play the saxophone, a lawyer discovers, in the two extra days at his disposal, that the main purpose of the musical dream was to blind him to the truth of his existence and identity: that he is a lawyer through and through. Or think of the person who believes that he has a book in him, only to discover that the imagined book is destined to stay in him, that it will not be written, will never be completed, let alone published. Such disillusion or resignation is not the exclusive preserve of those who dream of writing a single book. Writers are dogged constantly by the fear of not being able to do it anymore. The suspicion that each book might be their last is often what fuels their continuing productivity. Fear of future inability proves to be a powerful and immediate incentive. Along the way, however, they become conscious of the books they won’t or can’t write. At some point many writers contemplate doing their own version of George Steiner’s My Unwritten Books — though for most it, too, will take its place among their unwritten books.

There are other scenarios too. You can run out of time long before you run out of ideas or sanity. Some unwritten books are the result of unfinished lives, of premature deaths. Albert Camus had the manuscript of the novel he was working on, The First Man, in the car with him when he was killed at the age of forty-six. Camus had popularized the mythic figure of Sisyphus, whom, he said, we should imagine happy as he rolled his rock up the hill each day. But for anyone engaged in personal labor, Rodia is a far better model, for two related reasons. His labors were, like Camus’s, the opposite of futile — and they rendered the question of happiness futile, irrelevant. (Is the word “happy” ever part of the vocabulary of the cussed?) Each day, instead of starting from scratch, he made progress from where he had begun the previous morning. The protagonist of Richard Flanagan’s novel The Narrow Road to the Deep North thinks of Sisyphus as an example of “the Greeks’ idea of punishment, which was to constantly fail at what you most desire.” Two of these three terms (failure and desire) play no part in Rodia’s work — but the task he had set himself was nothing if not punishing. The punishment was all but indistinguishable from the satisfaction and success of his endeavors. With every passing day, either the towers grew or the materials for their continued growth increased. Setbacks, false turns, and dead ends became the precondition for keeping on, for making something. Mingus recalls that Rodia was “always changing his ideas while he worked and tearing down what he wasn’t satisfied with and starting over again, so pinnacles tall as a two-story building would rise up and disappear and rise again.” But every day some small improvement was made: mistakes are also essential tools.

In a famous passage about forgiveness in The Human Condition, Hannah Arendt writes:

"Only through this constant mutual release from what they do can men remain agents, only by the constant willingness to change their minds and start again can they be trusted with so great a power as that to begin something new."

Was there something deeply unforgiving about Rodia — unforgiving, that is, toward himself — something punishing (that word again) about his labors? He would see the error of his ways, change his mind, start over, and continue with the same thing. Always the same thing, the one thing.

Progress was made — but so incrementally as to have been imperceptible — as each day he climbed what he had built in order to build the as yet unmade. Every day (the contrast with Sisyphus is crucial) it took a little more effort to ascend to the point where he could start work. So his purpose was perhaps similar to that of people who climb mountains. Maybe the only answer to the question of why Rodia built his monument is a negative version of Edmund Hillary’s famous answer to why he had climbed Everest: because it wasn’t there.

“...because it wasn’t there.” That’s for you, rs.

Zenzoe
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

what the Corporate Media and even all Progressive Media has completely not reported on Flint MI... the SOCIALIST group the National Science Foundation is 100% the ONLY reason Flint MI was exposed. (honestly have any of you heard that reported? and if not it shows how completely corrupt our Media/information sources are).

you can watch for yourselves, Virgian Tech Team who "exposed" Flint MI say it would have never been done without the Emergency Grant from the National Science Foundation... without this Socialist Funding the Snyder and the Republicans would have sucessfully covered up Flint MI. in my opinion Obama and Hillary are 95% neocons.

Watch Virginia Tech's Flint Water Study team present on Flint water crisis

https://youtu.be/AVHE5ny0MBg?t=6m13s  (i set the time past the suits taking credit but you can start from beginning if you like. and in fact these suits could have shut this down if they were corrupt).

you will see VT Graduate Students who did the actual investigative work break down crying as they discovered Republicans and Obama Adm. purposely poisoning American children in the name of Satan's Al Mighty Dollar!

dArKeR's picture
dArKeR
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

Zoe,

Sorry you took any of my responses as unfriendly none it was meant as such nor was any of it a general critique of studies in art. Only as MY individual experience per a couple of classes that seemed kinda pointless to ME. And I thought I made that clear from the beginning.

And just because I didn't have the advantages of any kind of stable home life as a child or as a teen does not mean that since then I haven't pursued some passions but obviously I've neglected this particular canvas we paint with words as I've been sorely misunderstood.

So never mind.

rs allen
Joined:
Mar. 15, 2012 4:55 pm

Tears come before anger when the students find out their precious "Greatest Country In the World (or history)" is a farce, or myth. Police states always profess to be top dog, North Koreans know they are the best, too. Humility exists only within functioning democracies, something the US is not. However, it still is #1 in the world for imprisoned citizens, and in the top 10 for highest child poverty. corruption index, US improved from 19th in '12 to 16th in '15, so bought elections and legislation (tax law) is still the US government's primary funtion, or as Nader says, Corporate Fascism.

douglaslee's picture
douglaslee
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm
Quote rs allen:

Zoe,

Sorry you took any of my responses as unfriendly none it was meant as such nor was any of it a general critique of studies in art. Only as MY individual experience per a couple of classes that seemed kinda pointless to ME. And I thought I made that clear from the beginning.

And just because I didn't have the advantages of any kind of stable home life as a child or as a teen does not mean that since then I haven't pursued some passions but obviously I've neglected this particular canvas we paint with words as I've been sorely misunderstood.

So never mind.

Rs, here's how it feels to me: I’ve given you a story from a particularly difficult time in my life, and, rather than seeing my process in a positive light, that process gets compared to “Tao 101 and the art of living,” as opposed to what you call “ART.” Then you go on to underestimate the work “that’s come out of classes” that came to mind for you —classes like the one, apparently, according to you, I attended— as “first grader” work that “proud parents” stick up on the “frig,” and as “some vaporous whatever it’s all good along with a gold star for attending.”

Sorry if you feel misunderstood by that, rs, because I like you and will continue to like and appreciate you after this little diversion from the thread, but, really— I do believe you underestimate university-level art departments and the students that attend there, including me. I’m not going to boast about my own talents, but just to show an example of the quality of talent that my alma mater has nurtured, here’s one of my classmates, a friend back then (I am lucky enough to have one of his large paintings, btw): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Brandi

Also, I wouldn’t underestimate the art of children, either. In fact, most adults have lost touch with the authentic artist they once may have been as children. As Picasso once noted, “All children are artists;” the trick is how to protect that artist from the forces of culture that tend to kill the creativity in children; most people’s inner artist will be sent underground by the time they leave grammar school. Among the jobs of the university art instructor is to rescue that original artist, that is, if it doesn’t arrive fully intact.

And rather than university art instructors giving out nothing but gold stars for attending, as if “it’s all good,” well, that’s just ridiculous. Standards are high, and not everybody gets a gold star, not by a long shot.

Well, this is definitely a meander that I’m sorry for having instigated, if I did. Like I say, I like and respect you, and would probably go ape shit over your own artwork, if I ever saw it. In any case, you’re totally entitled to have a dismal opinion of certain art classes. If you had referenced private art classes taught by kitsch-artists, I probably would have agreed. But the thing is, you won’t find those in universities, at least as far as I know, not in my experience.

Zenzoe
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm
Quote dArKeR:

what the Corporate Media and even all Progressive Media has completely not reported on Flint MI... the SOCIALIST group the National Science Foundation is 100% the ONLY reason Flint MI was exposed. (honestly have any of you heard that reported? and if not it shows how completely corrupt our Media/information sources are).

you can watch for yourselves, Virgian Tech Team who "exposed" Flint MI say it would have never been done without the Emergency Grant from the National Science Foundation... without this Socialist Funding the Snyder and the Republicans would have sucessfully covered up Flint MI. in my opinion Obama and Hillary are 95% neocons.

Watch Virginia Tech's Flint Water Study team present on Flint water crisis

https://youtu.be/AVHE5ny0MBg?t=6m13s  (i set the time past the suits taking credit but you can start from beginning if you like. and in fact these suits could have shut this down if they were corrupt).

you will see VT Graduate Students who did the actual investigative work break down crying as they discovered Republicans and Obama Adm. purposely poisoning American children in the name of Satan's Al Mighty Dollar!

As we noted earlier (and I acknowledged your thread on the the Virginia Tech Live Report in my post #71), Marc Edwards and his students are heroes -- in Flint, and in Washington DC.

To say "purposely poisoning" is to take something mechanically organized, complex and inhumanly ambiguous and put a definitive intentional spin where probably no such intentionality will be found. Only insipid stupidity because the capacity for intelligence is factored out of the institutions involved.

What I think is more accurate, and what we must face, is what has evolved in this thread as a discussion of the complexity of our society, our very thoughts about the world and what they actually mean for us, and the institutional structures themselves that have this kind of built-in ontology that we all find difficult to avoid, even when we see it heading for that proverbial ice berg.

If I were to try to put it simply, I'd advance the notion that human beings have been experimenting with a process that produces a kind of studied stupidity in our organizational structures.

Once we put ourselves into the technology of civilized institutions, we give up our capacities for intelligence as we, through this kind of hierarchical chain of decision-making we've developed, let the management make their decisions.

The complexity of the world itself is probably far beyond any capacity of our human-derived institutions to manage in any logical and sensible way. Flint and even worse environmental consequences of the industrial process are a result we probably should expect, rather then expect that some intelligent alternative will come about. We should re-examine and question this delusion that we can elect managers who are visionary and competent, that is, those of us who believe in this ephemeral idea of democracy. For those who want a strong parent to rule the world, they maybe should question their expectations that an authority who knows will come along (say a Donald Trump, for instance) who can be both visionary and technically competent, a hero and a savior from this nightmare of institutional "technocratic" incompetence.

Now, if civilization is an experiment in socially dumbing ourselves down in this way, what would be a counter to that? (I think that's how we got to this counter culture discussion).

.ren's picture
.ren
Joined:
Apr. 1, 2010 6:50 am

Another institution losing respect (and gullible marks disappear when respect wains). Atheists are now 20%+ and religiosity fell to 80% from 96%. Is society dumbing down or waking up? Ted Cruz's court battle against dildos and autonomous sex was interesting. The culture fight is the cruz camp that is against sex for enjoyment or fun, like 90% of the world, but only 70% of Americans, vs Cruz's 30% that want to legislate sexual morality, just like Scalia and many other Catholics that are judges and legislators.

The young of today aren't buying the religious nonsense. Except maybe in red states with home schooling or church charter schools or church voucher schools --they all teach creationism.

Some institutions deserve to fail or at least get buried after being linked to and filed with the Salem burnings, the Inquisition, genital mutilation, stoning, state amputations, sexual intolerance, dietary intolerance, social intolerance, cultural intolerance, and intolerance of basic decency.

The link is a 10 min Bill Maher rant on big religion's tax exemptions, which I agree are bull$hit.

douglaslee's picture
douglaslee
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

We Know How Far Trump Will Go - How Far Will Republicans Go?

Thom plus logo Colonel Vindman's testimony pretty much proves that Trump was trying to shake down Ukraine for information on Biden, and that the Republicans are doing everything they can to cover up this extortion attempt.
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