On top of Tokyo’s Asahi Beer building is a 300-ton stainless steel sculpture designed by French architect Philippe Stark. It was meant to look like foam rising from a beer mug. The Japanese have their own name for it, kin no unchi, Japanese for “Golden Turd. ”
Its within walking distance across the river from Sensoj, though I am not sure if the visual experience gets any better when you get closer but if you take a leisurely walk from Asakusa to Sky Tree, you will find it.
And in the window of the Sky Tree McDonald’s you might find enlightenment—McDonald’s uses a possessive apostrophe and “Finnegans Wake” does not— or wish you were not alone.
Earth is estimated to be 4.543 billion years old,
Life has been on Earth for about 3.5 billion years,
Homo sapiens about 300,000 years of that,
Automobiles been around since about 1900,
Personal computers since 1980s, and,
Smart phones (IBM’s Simon) since 1994.
Human beings have had a very minimal time on Earth.
Before humans this Earth was a “utopia,” a “Garden of Eden” one might say—oh, I guess someone already did. Humans with all their “intelligence” & “Superiority” are in the process of destroying their own “Garden of Eden.” And not just destroying it, but intentionally and knowingly destroying it.
Humans are the only species which knowingly, intentionally and enthusiastically, with an idealogy of justification—its now a political position— attempt to change their situation by changing their environment that gave birth to them—the Earth.
Basically other life forms are satisfied adjusting to the requirements of their existence while accepting their “natural” limitations and the slow adjustments and adaptions of evolution. They do not wax philosophically on race, or income inequalities or complain about not having things others have.
But humans have used their capabilities to carve tis earth apart, subjugate and destroy other life forms as well as the natural environment. Think about how much of this earth has been moved from one place to another —all these cars. trains, airplanes used to be bits of Earth in the ground. We get oil from the earth, burn it for energy, and release what is left into the air moving it from the under the ground into the atmosphere. We mine minerals from one place and use them to build concentrations of tall buildings in another.
Plastic is an example of some things which had a natural process on this earth being converted into to something unnatural, something much less bio-degradable which will not integrate as a part of Earth’s natural process for a very long time and its poisonous to many other life forms.
With all of this going on has the mass of the Earth changed or just the where the stuff is located. How about the distribution of that mass on the earth? while look at us??? Obesity, high blood pressure, war, hate, poverty, mental illness, some live in splendor while others starve, Oh!! The see me tree of it all.
Not an uncommon sight in Tokyo, authoritarian nationalists with their sound truck.
and just as common, people pay little attention to them.
Tokyo police just down the street from a sound truck but no heavy artillery, no riot gear, no guns and no large bellies hanging over the front of pants,
Japan has capitalism, a free market, democracy and a helluva lot less Japanese are murdered.
Waiting for Godot, a factory girl, enlightenment or a green light, not much different difference.
Or advertising makes you want to buy stuff you don’t want to help you communicate to others who you want them to think you are.
I would settle for a warm welcome from Plastic Man
It could be worse, you could find your loneliness on a windy prairie or . . .
in a two dimensional world where the sky is blue all day
and its still an EmptyPage—the page of no page.
Alameda Creek never goes away,
I have watched people progress through dementia along this creek, break the law, not pickup their dog’s poop, was present at the death of a friend’s dog,
Its a place to spend the pandemic . . .
And its a place to raise your kids . . .
while you let others take care of it . . .
while the cycle of life goes round and round while one day each us find ourselves on it, and later, off it, to never know again.
“To Judy who made me live with a broken heart”
When I lived in the Boston area I would go to Fort Hill, this image was made when the Lyman family had a presence there.
The section title-quote is from the dedication of Mel Lyman’s book Mirror at the End of the Road which I read, one afternoon while standing for about an hour at a bookstore sidewalk cut out bin—it was a moving book, and I couldn’t move until I I finished it. I like Mel’s harmonica, especially his cover of Will Shade’s Jugband Waltz.
Later I met a man who workedat the type house in the building where I rented my design office whose wife had been a part of the Lyman Family, lived at the house in Fort Hill, and raised he daughter there, who gave me a couple copies of Mel’s family music audio tape made in the 1960s— one was a collection of blues songs, and the other was a children”s tape ,both were outstanding music collections.
On a clear day you could see Boston without hearing it feel the wind blow on oyur face— a peaceful easy feeling. Once when mother visited I tookher up there for an afternoon, we sat and drank a class of wine and talked.
Now the second tallest building in San Francisco, it looks like an interesting challenge for a skateboarder.
At a farm auction it might be a bankrupt fellow farmer , or perhaps its after a death of a friend , and you watch the process, one by one, of someone’s life be publicly bargained off so the wife can have a retirement off her husbands efforts and the generosity of neighbors who may well find themselves in the same situation one day.
This Krishna image uses shape, repetition and a limited palette of flat colors, even though nothing in the painting resembles reality, you instantly visually understand the painting. Its not the same as if it were a photograph of two people, trees, flowers, fruit, leaves and birds. It has beauty to it, its feels good to look at.
You have a limited amount of time in your life and you take some of that time to look at this image. is it because you have nothing better to do? or do you choose to spend an amount of your limited time on this painting for a another reason? Note in the piece of cloth that runs from the tip of the head to the bottom where the little white crosses give a feeling of cloth.
Oh Yes, the feeling of happiness when you are with Krishna.
My hands off policy keeps my hands clean as well as keeps m from going insane, like a drop of paper on a sheet of water.
Excerpt from Heart Sutra brushed in Seal Script by Janney.