Gustav Klimt’s Golden Apple Tree, 1903

It’s amazing to me when an artist is able to craft a recognizable, signature style.  There are eight billion people on planet earth at the moment, yet I knew the artist before looking at the credit.

Not every day.

Howard Stern Comes Again, ©2019, is a collection of transcripts of what Stern considers his best interviews over the last several years.  The excerpt below with Paul McCartney is from January 14, 2009:

Howard:  I haven’t spoken to you since George Harrison died. How are you doing with that? That’s got to be major.

Paul:  Well, you know, how you deal with everyone dying. I mean, I lost both my parents. I lost John. Stuart (Sutcliffe, original Beatle’s bassist). Lost Linda. It’s very tough. You want them back. You want them back all the time, you know? But I think in the end, you do what I do, I think what most people do, which is just remember the great stuff. You know you can’t get them back.

Howard:  Are you sad? Do you wake up every day feeling like there’s an empty hole in your heart?

Paul:  No. Not every day.

Der Mussolini

There is something absolutely mesmerizing about their dancing.  I especially like the parts that aren’t synchronous.

Lyrics HERE, including the English translation, but they don’t really matter.

Your Unique Human Consciousness

“Stay the fuck away from that tabloid bullshit, reality TV, the news channels feeding you fear and hatred, lulling your unique human consciousness into a materialistic slumber only useful for selfish gain and the aggrandization of the ego which is ultimately an illusion and which will never be satisfied no matter what you buy.

“This gratification is and will always be transient, so don’t buy shit you don’t need, don’t hate people you don’t know, and most importantly, don’t spend your precious time on Earth consuming garbage styled as entertainment.” ~Terence McKenna

Me, too.

“He held himself to standards that left him discontented with himself.”  ~Leo Rosten, about Michel de Montaigne

Michel de Montaigne’s writings are in the public domain, and may be downloaded or read online for free at Project Gutenberg, HERE.

Lesser Of

Ignore his party affiliation for a moment, ignore the rhetoric, and just look at the things Barack Obama did.

He built over 800 miles of wall along the border with Mexico, and still holds the record for the most deportations. He built thousands of miles of  oil pipeline, declining only to build the last tiny connecting bit. His signature health care plan was first proposed by Republican Richard Nixon, first implemented by Republican Mitt Romney. He expanded Bush’s Gulf wars.  He kept Guantanamo Bay open, and refused to prosecute the torturers.  He negotiated trade agreements that favored corporations to the detriment of workers and consumers.  The stock market was the sole focus of his economic plans, and it soared.

Now look at the things he didn’t do. In eight years, he never proposed a single gun control law (although he did offer thoughts and prayers regularly). He didn’t raise the minimum wage. He did nothing about student debt.  Unions withdrew their support after he reneged on a promise to make union membership easier.

If the world made any sense at all, Democrats would loathe him and Republicans would adore him.

I believe he is the reason why the Democrats lost in 2016. There was no compelling reason to get off the couch.  Why bother supporting a Democrat if the only tangible difference between the two parties is style points?

But they are poised to do the same thing in 2020.  It looks like they’re going to nominate a candidate who will enforce the same basic policies, but with an aw-shucks grin and better haircut.

Their campaign slogan could be, “Yeah, but the other guy is even worse.”  And maybe that will get them the victory they crave.

Is that enough?


Life is beautiful, life is wonderous…

This’ll cheer you up.

Full lyrics HERE.

Less Civil

This excerpt from Leo Rosten’s People I have loved, known, or admired, ©1970, recalls an episode he uncovered while researching George Washington’s life:

But I cannot forget the episode involving Washington as he was being escorted down the street of a town in New York by an official. An old Negro saw the General and stopped and bared his head and bowed. Washington at once doffed his hat, and returned the bow. The flabbergasted politician expressed surprise that the General had bared his head to a slave. Washington replied, “But I cannot be less civil than a poor Negro.”

Presidents in my lifetime who I do not believe would bare their head and bow include Ronald Reagan, George H. Bush, and certainly not Donald Trump.

Presidents in my lifetime who I believe would return the courtesy would be Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, certainly Jimmy Carter, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama (once the press had been alerted).


A frame can be an important thing.

It forces you to stop a moment and really look at what’s inside the border.

Think Different

Invasion, occupation, bombing, assassination, torture; none of those things has brought peace to the Middle East.

Maybe the United States could try something different?

Peace came to Southeast Asia when America stopped killing people and went home.  Maybe try that?


“Krishnamurti said, ‘When you teach a child that a bird is named “bird,” the child will never see the bird again.’ What they’ll see is the word ‘bird’. That’s what they’ll see and feel, and when they look up in the sky and see that strange, winged being take flight, they’ll forget that what is actually there is a great mystery.”  ~Adyashanti

I knew a Buddhist couple who made a point of telling their child, “We call this a tree,” not “This is a tree.”

There’s a wonderful instructional book about sketching, Drawing On The Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards (she has a website HERE), which has an interesting exercise:  beginners are given a photograph which they turn upside down before copying.  The results are typically much better than when the drawing is left right-side up.   I think it’s because the change in perspective forces the student to really see the lines of the image in front of them, without competition from the preconceived image they instinctively formed in their heads.

’til you find the window

Full lyrics HERE.

I like loving songs that aren’t necessarily love songs.