Flippant Remarks about the “Introspectives of Winter”

Owanda of Heart and Soul Institute in “INTROSPECTIVES OF WINTER” precisely and clearly explains the esoterics for “the reason for the season”:

Winter is a time of contraction and storage, introspection and hibernation. This is the time of the water element. In Chinese philosophy, there are five elements, which include fire, earth, metal, water and wood. Each element is assigned certain characteristics, including a season, emotions, and organ systems. The water element corresponds to winter, its emotions are fear and fright, and its organ systems naturally involve the kidneys and urinary bladder.

Now for those of us who have “Christmas unwrapped” it is clear why a ruling class would want the majority of “the masses” overeating and drinking alcohol during this time of the year—to prevent us from thinking about ourselves (and perhaps that abstract foot on our symbolic neck). It seems natural for a culture descending from people who naturally dread the real deadly aspects of the water elements in ice and snow to try to forget that another winter is coming with the change of the year. It seems more urgent and even necessary to help these masses in the snow to not think about the resources being taken away from them by the upper classes to make yet another winter even harder. Some fat dude sliding down a chimney must be the perfect distraction of abstraction—more existential candy to hide the taste of fear. Owanda writes:

Unbalanced fear is an emotion that completely stifles the capacity for creativity, and fosters a sense of separateness from one’s environment and one’s higher being. Fear is gripping, allowing for non-movement, non-action. A person may feel so completely stuck in fear so as to abandon any kind of hope in having the courage to rebalance or rectify the situation. What’s more, fear may perpetuate or even create the very thing or circumstance feared.

The “abandon” mentioned in the above quote is too, too often twisted to become a sense of “freedom” for the cowardly relationships I have had in what’s left of my life. When Owanda writes, “fear may perpetuate or even create the very thing or circumstance feared,” my immediate reaction is to be reminded of the very powerful, creative cowards that have crowded my “inner circle.” When one of these people become convinced that I want to be “evil” or that I want to do “harm” then the situation is quickly found to reveal “the truth”—me as that “evil” character.

You see folks, it’s easier for all parties concerned for me to be the “bad guy.” I seem to be the durable and confident one. So a little false accusation should not hurt me as much as the pain these cowards run from… And all of this running only increases the mythical and legendary power of this fear. Many assume that such a powerful system of confusion must be entirely supernatural (or “mental”) but Owanda writes:

Many people receive psychotherapy in an attempt to identify and dismantle deep insecurities. Though somewhat effective, this often is not enough because the kidney-adrenal complex has not been renewed. By restoring the kidneys to any significant degree, one typically feels a tremendous elation as the dark cloud of fear lifts.

So me being the “bad guy” is not that, well… “bad”—except when my children are involved. Now you have me scared that my children will see a part of themselves as “bad” (since a father to a child represents a “part” of the child). And it may just be more of a coincidence that my lower back went out on me shortly after 12/25 (from playing too much with my children at the family gathering).

Maybe I need to see Owanda over at her office in Westwood—1736 Westwood Blvd. Suite 202—for some kidney treatments. I’m getting up from this desk to drink a glass of water…

DJ Spooky in Mufukkin’ Antartica

DJ Spooky loves French CanadiansBefore I go off and say something “bad” about DJ Spooky, it must be said that he is the guy who turned me on to Amiri Baraka’s “Black Dada Nihilismus”—a spoken word piece that became a very creative Spooky remix that I am still unable to get (again) in MP3 format. This introduction to Amiri Baraka is very important to me. Sadly, no matter how many times I say what was important to me, my assumption is that DJ Spooky, being a “sensitive” American artist would be, “tuned out” to any critique coming from me—since it is clear that the value of my critique is not worth the paper most will not print this Blog post on…

Yes, DJ Spooky is not just an artist—he makes it editorially clear that he is a conceptual artist. And this means to me that the concept of Amiri Barka’s spoken word revived and updated for the “youth market” is a great idea from a great dude. So now, according to “Spooky ice,” the concept of DJ Spooky in Antarctica is also supposed to be great. These are the conceptual nuggets that I am supposed to grasp:

“I’m going offline for a while ’cause I’m shooting a film in Antarctica for the next couple of weeks. If you have a moment, check out the trailer for the film I’m going to shoot there: every sound in the film will be made from the sound of ice (environmental, geological, magnetic, atmospheric etc). I’m bringing a mini-studio with me to edit, shoot, and score the film. It headlines Sundance’s Digital Film section this January.”

None of the concepts embedded in the ice above pique my interest. It must be because I am Black—therefore “limited.” So here are some more embedded devices:

  • Anything described as a “large scale multimedia performance work” depends on the word “multimedia” being “cutting edge” and interesting—unless, of course, this is “established” curatorial jargon designed to speak to a rarified world of gallery owners.
  • The trailer at djspooky.com does not have every sound “made from the sound of ice” unless this is a veiled racial epithet. At least the sound of whales under ice should have been used in “creative” ways.
  • “The Antarctic Suite follows Miller’s highly acclaimed performance work DJ Spooky’s ‘Rebirth of a Nation’” means that going to Antarctica is “proof” that DJ Spooky is not “limited” or “mired” in the “political muck” of “racial issues.” This is technique made famous by actors who are trying to avoid getting typecast. But for people often unwillingly described as “black actors” there is a fine line between being typecast and racially stereotyped. I will assume that Paul D. Miller is actually and genuinely interested in freezing his ass off in Antarctica because it would be quite an extreme move just to prove some shit to people.
  • From the artist’s statement we read, “As the only uninhabited continent, Antarctica has no government and belongs to no country.” So you could call going to Antarctica ‘a Black thang’—because this is how far a brother has to go to get away from Indo-European style of government colonizing the world over… However, any rudimentary view at a map of Antarctica will reveal the various “claims” made by European governments. So my attempt to see it as ‘a Black thang’ has to drop—but hey, dude, it’s a “human thing”… Can’t I just see something more “universal”?
  • Djspooky.com still does not have a news feed. This is just frickin’ annoying. But when a brother is working his ass off to go to Antarctica such technical minutiae surely is tertiary. And, by the mufukkin’ way, what the hell is going on with Blacktronica.com and Afrofuturism.net? Both of these “futuristic” sites seem abandoned in the past. This really disappoints me because my assumption is that Black people with advanced academic degrees presenting their organization online are really supposed to be kickin’ ass online.

R/Kain Blaze and Dr. Tae on Smoking that SD Sh*t

Buy this Camera at Amazon.com!So, like two battle-worn soldiers in a frozen fox hole, my homeboy, R/Kain Blaze, and yours truly were conversating on the Canon ZR800. This is a camera (actually the ZR series in general) that was the passionate object of my burning desire, just before my youngest son was conceived—well before the HD formats were released unto the unwashed masses.

Buy this Camera at Amazon.com!So, like my daughter hovering dangerously among the family holiday party candy dishes and bakery platters, my desire vanished (like the illusion it ultimately is) years ago and, after some disappointing results with a Michael Massenburg camera that I really, really appreciate him loaning to me for a project in the works—the camera is of the JVC Everio line, my sights fell upon the Canon XH A1. The XH A1 is the camera of choice for a person independently and completely devoted to “filmmaking”—since this is simply not true for me (because of my hovering among too many sweet treats of audio, information tech and video), R/Kain Blaze talked me down to the more realistic Canon HG10—but even this is too expensive for me right about now.

Buy this Camera at Amazon.com!Since I don’t have a religious experience with my burning desires, it often turns out that there is some wisdom inside all of that body heat. So it renders clear that the time has come for my ‘original’ desire for the Canon ZR800 to be satisfied. It is so not sexy to even care about the ZR800 right now but for my 2008 (and perhaps 2009) needs, the ZR800 is the way to go. Based on my free but extremely valuable consultation with Blaze, the ZR800 means:

  • Making video for DVD format—this could be the “new” “third-world” format for many years to come. Since many “first-world” pretensions are ridiculous, the DV format (a.k.a the SD format) may be the real world format for street-level sales and marketing for quite some time. And, yes, there are inconveniences but storing a bunch of DV tapes saves on hard drive space and disc burning time (for the short- to mid-term).
  • Making video for what’s left of the “open” Web—my instincts keep saying that this YouTube.com era of the Internet will be over very, very soon because the concerned upper classes won’t have it any other way…
  • Making video under rough conditions—dropping a $700 camera down a hotel escalator in a foreign country hurts to the bone. Dropping a $200 camera stings by comparison.
  • Making high quality audio—since the Canon ZR800 is supposedly compliant with the DV format, this means that this camera “…allows either 2 digital audio channels (usually stereo) at 16 bit resolution and 48 kHz sampling rate, or 4 digital audio channels at 12 bit resolution and 32 kHz sampling rate…” This may imply that I can avoid buying expensive little things like the Zoom H2 or something from Edirol. Using the ZR800 as an audio recorder of course means looking into shotgun microphones and wireless mics.
  • Making video under ‘informal’ conditions—the Canon HG10 is small and cute but can make me tense (for the $700 price tag) while the Canon ZR800 is small and cute on physical and financial levels. As soon as the Canon HG10 makes me feel the same way, my bling-bling ego will be sure to let you know…

Dr. TaeEnter Dr. Tae in his “Is SD dead?” Dr. Tae is YouTube.com famous for his physics of skateboarding series. His view is quite simple and direct for a college professor: “I have no idea which direction the professional world is going because I only produce content for myself.” And one of the comments from Matt Walker to his article is interesting: “SD is most certainly not dead… To me, HD is a buzz word simply to the consumer. Most people who buy a HD camera at a big box store, don’t have enough memory/space to even edit in HD… Just remember, you’ll always find people working in formats you thought were dead. There are tons of people working in Super 8, and 8mm formats, and that was said to have died with the advent of video…”

news from kintespace.com ::: Monday, December 24, 2007

Contents:

  • ::: William H. Watkins: The White Architects of Black Education
  • ::: Blacks in the Sciences at UCSB
  • ::: the rasx() pop music video collection (YouTube.com)

::: William H. Watkins: The White Architects of Black Education

::: ::: http://kintespace.com/p_william_watkins0.html

This historic interview of Professor William H. Watkins, produced by The League of Revolutionaries for a New America, reveals the classic problems associated with educating an historically oppressed people—when the educators descend intellectually (and sometimes physically) from the very dominator culture that produced these oppressed.

Much of this radio discussion, offered here in the kinté space as a streaming audio presentation, comes from the book (with a forward by Robin D. G. Kelley), The White Architects of Black Education. Dr. Watkins makes it perfectly clear that the No Child Left Behind Act is indeed an act, a performance staged by circus freaks endowed with the Byzantine authority to punish any federally-funded, K-12 education institution for failing standardized tests. This effectively encourages students to learn how to pass these tests and leaves these young people little time to develop the basic tools of consciousness.

::: Blacks in the Sciences at UCSB

::: ::: http://kintespace.com/rasx43.html

This little ditty was published in the UCSB Daily Nexus around May 18 1991 for something I marked nexus general. That year would make me about 21 years old and clearly (with an anger that would be incomprehensible to my fellow students who proudly assert that they enjoyed their time at UCSB) I was celebrating my graduation as physics major by celebrating all the other “Blacks in the Sciences at UCSB.” Of course none of my anger is made serious in my writing here. Since I was a serious student of Monty Python (and the flying circus) the influence was on me to be very, very silly.

::: the rasx() pop music video collection (YouTube.com)

::: ::: http://kintespace.com/p_popmusicvideo0.html

This is the first (and probably the last) pop music video collection assembled by me. Consider it a companion piece to the first major prose series by me in the kinté space “lines in the rasx() context” (2001).

This YouTube.com compilation has some of my teenaged/post-pubescent favorites: The Human League, Thomas Dolby, Gary Numan, David Bowie, The Eurythmics, Terence Trent D’Arby and Seal.

The InDesign 2.x Family Photo



The InDesign 2.x Family Photo, originally uploaded by rasx.

This photo of my youngest son prints just fine on an old HP Deskjet 932C (at certain, very high resolutions).

When scaled down to half its size, the 180 ppi density of the original camera image is upwards of 300dpi on the printer. It is strange to me that an ink jet printer needs more than 180ppi (=180dpi ?) to print something without blocky pixelation.

For this full-page photo, the original camera image should be 2048×1536 or greater to cover scale reduction.