STREAMING RADIO

If you use iTunes, like me, you may have wondered where the streaming radio went. Not the radio with Beats and all that, but regular stations from around the world. I used to use this a lot and just thought it disappeared. Thanks to Gary at MacMost (a pretty good YouTube show with small useful tips) he walks you through how to find the function. It still exists but Apple got tricky on where it’s located. Watch and learn and find those cool stations out there like KUSF, which I’m happily checking out now.

FV

 

MONDAY MUSIC - VITOR JOAQUIM

I’ve been feeling a bit down and off lately. Nothing serious but in looking for music to fit my moods or guide me through them so to speak, I just searched for “experimental music” on YouTube. I was looking for nonlinear, noise, abstract type of stuff and found quite a few good things.

Among the top were this guy Vitor Joaquim from Ukraine. I’d never heard of him but seems he’s pretty accomplished with some albums under his belt and being in the scene since the mid 80’s. He’s worked with a lot of dance troupes and collaborated with different kinds of people.

It was the right prescription for me. Definitely not for everyone but if you’re open minded I think you’ll find much to enjoy about this album.

FV

 

SELLING YOUR SOUL

I honestly don’t understand people. I’ve been back n forth in an online forum about photographers giving their work away for free. I guess Kodak is the latest one that wants you to do work and sign all the rights away to them. Kodakit I think it’s called. What does it matter? All these people flock to sites like them and give their hard work away for free or ridiculously small amounts of money.

For what? To say you’re a published photographer? To say you’re a pro? I’m getting tired of this argument. The photo industry is ruined permanently. Anytime you’re in competition with free I’d say it’s a safe bet to get the hell out and find something else to do.

This gig economy can kiss my ass. These will go down as some the most exploitative times in the history of labor. Nobody is impressing me with talk of being a professional [insert some easily exploitable gig here] anymore. Man, I’m so bummed out by all these people, I find it hard not to want to see the whole economy just crash and burn for good.

I can tell you one thing, the thing we’ve mutated into is ugly and doesn’t work anymore.

FV

 

FAITH

 
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The woman, likely in her 40's and average looking, stood in front of Reverend Bill with her head down. She was lost and scared. She shivered at the thought that the probability that everyone would be dead in a few weeks was high. She didn't want to die alone and was fixated on the void that loomed. 

Reverend Bill was yelling at the top of his voice as he held the woman's head with his left hand. He screamed of false prophets and demons that roamed wild outside of the hall. The twenty or so people that were gathered, save the trio of musicians, were lost in spastic movement, crying and shouting. None seemed to be aware of each other. 

The woman shut her eyes tightly and did her best to concentrate on Reverend Bill's words. As loud as they were, short montages of her life crowded them out. Her at the abortion center, 19 years old and numb from the weeks of turmoil to end her pregnancy. Next, sitting at her desk where she'd spent most of her adult life, shuffling papers and taking phone calls, all done with false enthusiasm. Then, at one of the hundreds of bars that she spent the second most amount of time, cradling a glass of red wine as a strangers hand slowly rubbed her thigh. Suddenly as a child, peering through the keyhole as her drunken father beat her mother about the house. The screaming; one of anger, the other of terror rang in her ears. 

The Reverend Bill slapped her across the face. The screams were real now. The others voices as they whirled, twirled and flopped about the hall. She raised her head and opened her eyes. Her entire field of vision filled with the greasy thick lips and oversized teeth of Reverend Bill moving constantly in all directions. She closed her eyes and opened them quickly in order to focus better. 

The Reverend Bill's mouth larger, louder and moving faster than ever. The images started receding as she grew transfixed on that mouth and the howls that came from it. There was nothing familiar about the sounds. They were disjointed, sometimes in a fast rhythm, others in a chant like fashion. Spittle flew forth as the incantations suddenly penetrated the woman’s mind. She found herself unconsciously moving her mouth. There were no words, only sounds, grunts and trill screams coming out. She started moving uncontrollably, shaking back and forth until she collapsed in Reverend Bill’s arms. She knew she had found a home. She would never be alone again. She looked up and Reverend Bill’s mouth once again was all she could see, now smiling broadly, from ear to ear.

Fred Vee

 

THE LATEST

My latest painting which I finished today. Again, very much enjoying the acrylics and charcoal combination. I like the contrast between them and the way the charcoal gets layered over or when used for a final bold black.

I experimented a bit with some different textures that I hadn’t used before. You see in the lower right and kind of mesh thing, the use of a palette knife with the red lines and using a dessert lid to make some circles down in the mix.

It was fun and as always I had no idea what would turn out. I’m pretty pleased with this though. I’m starting to understand a bit better what the paint is capable of and how to control it a little. But that’s boring to talk about. It was very relaxing and stress free to create. I can’t repeat enough that with painting and printmaking I really love the process. It’s full of unexpected turns and mystery. I can’t ask for more than that.

FV

 

THE DANCER

 
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She must be real. She is beautiful, dressed in white and moving with a grace that remedies the nightmares that attack me. They are not real, I hope. Look at her…the elegance of the hand, the triumphant leap, the eyes filled with compassion. All around her love emanates. Her feet, bare and graceful land with a whisper. The air blows outward from them and alight like a gentle kiss.

You can hear it. It sounds like an amplified muffled kick to a chest. You look in the direction and suddenly metal and smoke are everywhere. Everyone close to you covered in blood and pieces of flesh now. The ringing won’t stop in your ears as you look at the carnage. A foot here, over there someone looks ok although they’re crying and you notice there is nothing from the waist down, turn to look away and a lump of flesh greets you. A wayward eyeball. A clenched fist. The smell of hatred in the air lingers among the death and destruction.

She is spinning. It’s unbelievable the way the left arm slowly rises, then the right leg raises and tucks in. The spinning continues, a delightful whirl of white topped with a black rope of hair that resembles a propellor. Perfectly executed that your eyes cannot look away. There is nothing else to see. How does she stay balanced? Will she ever stop?

Black boots. Dozens of them all around stained with blood. They move methodically left to right, right to left. From the ground you see the barrels of the guns rise and fall. The shots are deafening. As the bodies fall to the ground some move about from the extra bullets they receive. Everything is dusty, hectic and bright flashes of light mix with crimson blood. The boots keep moving. Will they ever stop?

She has nearly stopped moving. Poetic gestures that surely heal all wounds flow from her arms and through her fingertips. Gentle and slow the movements continue as she folds into herself. Lowering herself to the ground, the air still, she unfolds until she is positioned on her side. Head propped up tenderly by her radiant hand and elbow, she looks straight ahead. Though her eyes remain still, it’s obvious she sees everything around her. It is pure bliss to look at her. Quiet, peaceful, her simple beauty is the embodiment of serenity. 

There is only fire in the sky. Unrelenting blasts of wind so strong anything that appeared to have physical form evaporates instantly. As far as the eye can see from east to west, from north to south there is only fires. Sonic waves of sound punctuate though the clouds. All is rapidly disappearing, leaving a barren, scorched patchwork where life was bustling moments earlier. A frightful silence fills the now vacant space, pulsing every so slightly. Perhaps it’s the millions of souls ascending from the ruins. There is no beauty, no peace…there isn’t anything. Not even a memory remains, only a void.

Where is she? Please! Come back and dance!

Fred Vee

 

PAINTING

“Untitled” Fred Vee, 2019

I’ve really been getting into painting more and more. I have about 7 or 8 of these style that are made with acrylics and charcoal. As of now I really don’t spend a shit load of time on any one piece. From start to finish maybe a couple of hours at most. The quickness of sketching, adding up layers and basically just reacting / improvising as I go along is the best part of it. Whether the final outcome is “good” or “bad” is irrelevant to me. Much like the printmaking I’ve been doing it’s a matter of process that gives me the most satisfaction. That’s really what’s it’s all about, isn’t it?

FV

 

CAMP

 
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The boy ran up to me weeping and grabbed me around the leg. I asked if he was sad because it was time to leave. He couldn’t speak he was crying so hard but through his sobs he shook his head yes. I could only tell him to be brave. I had only known him for a short time. He was quiet and frail for an eight year old but confided his fears to me for some reason. I guess I was his only friend.

When you arrive here you can stay a maximum of twelve weeks. During that time one of three things can happen. You receive a pass from the Federation to continue to the next camp (closer to safety) and are provided transport. Or, if twelve weeks expire with no pass, you are safely escorted out for two kilometers, at which point you are left on your own to survive. Finally, the last option is euthanasia. This is mandatory for people over eighty, people with any illness or injury that requires serious care and for children ten or younger that are unclaimed after their allotted time here. With nearly a zero percent survival rate for them outside the camp, it would be beyond cruel to release them alone. Many who are simply tired of trying to survive request it.

Euthanasia is comfortable, quick and done with dignity. Everyone knows most of us will not survive long anyway, so it is rare to have anyone resist. If they do, we are compassionate and have "mercy therapists" to aid them in their existential crisis.

Each week we are able to transport a maximum of fifty people. Not nearly enough. If you receive a pass to proceed it isn’t a guarantee you will leave though. Even on the day of departure, if a scientist arrives or an agriculture expert, an electrician, any person with a specialized skill that will aid in survival overall, they get priority seating on the soonest transport. No–one is spared the loss of transit for these people. The old, the young, children and infants; all will lose to the skilled.

I looked at the boy and put my hand on his shoulder. I made it a personal rule not to hug anyone, though it is perfectly acceptable to do so. As he looked into my eyes, my hatred towards the men and women of the death cult, whose actions lead to these moments, outraged me yet again. You’d think it would have died down after thousands of these interactions for me, but it hasn’t. The boy had stopped crying and asked if I was scared. I smiled and told him there was nothing to be scared of, that there was only beauty and happiness ahead. I told him it was time for him to go, to be brave.

Fred Vee

 

CONTORTIONIST

This is a pretty wild x-ray I found on Reddit I think. The human body is an amazing thing. Contortionists are pretty amazing humans…at least their bodies are. I can’t begin to ponder my broken down body to do anything remotely similar unless it was involved in a car accident or some similar outside force put it that way.

FV

 

SOCIALISM FROM PAST TO FUTURE

If you are still unclear about socialism, what it is, the ideas behind it, why it’s good or bad; then here is another video from Professor Richard Wolff to help you out. Few people of our times, in my mind, break things down easier than the good professor.

This is by no means a video to make any of us an expert, but rather an excellent overview that clearly describes the ideas, history and mistakes of socialism in the 20th century. It should peak your curiosity to explore more if you feel capitalism is a failed system or if you just feel things are unfair in the modern world.

If you love capitalism, I suggest you listen as well. There may be things you weren’t aware of or maybe you’ve misunderstood what socialism actually is.

FV

 

THE ITALIAN WOMAN

Henri Matisse, “The Italian Woman” oil on canvas, 1916

I love the work of Henri Matisse and collect as many images online as I can of his. I found this one for the first time a few days ago. It’s impossible to have a favorite with the likes of Matisse but this quickly soared into those paintings of his that arrest me and are impossible to forget.

The simplicity, the subdued limited colors, the beautiful pensive face, the way the hair either makes her receding or emerging from the background and the unfinished hands. To me everything is perfect in this work. She will be in my dreams till I die.

FV

 

A PAGE OF MADNESS

This is a must see movie for any cinema fan. I can only write in adjectives and superlatives at the moment; it’s one of the best movies I’ve ever seen, amazing visuals, incredible acting (though there is no sound), completely inspiring, terrifyingly beautiful, mesmerizing!

From Wikipedia:

A Page of Madness (狂った一頁 Kurutta Ippēji or Kurutta Ichipeiji) is a silent film by Japanese film director Teinosuke Kinugasa, made in 1926. It was lost for forty-five years until being rediscovered by Kinugasa in his storehouse in 1971. The film is the product of an avant-garde group of artists in Japan known as the Shinkankakuha (or School of New Perceptions) who tried to overcome naturalistic representation.

Yasunari Kawabata, who would win the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1968, was credited on the film with the original story. He is often cited as the film's screenwriter, and a version of the scenario is printed in his complete works, but the scenario is now considered a collaboration between Kawabata, Kinugasa, Banko Sawada, and Minoru Inuzuka.

As there is no sound I watched it while listening to the Lo-Fi India Abuse album by Muslimgauze on repeat and it really worked for me. You might want to try a different album to set the mood for you.

Whatever the case, watch this masterpiece!

FV