Divine Masculine Art Installation Q/A

Denton Storm

In preparation for the Divine Masculine Art Installation that I am attending organized by my daughter and artist Pampi of alpoarrentao Productions, folks were asked to answer four questions.  Here are my responses:

1. If you could convey anything to your adolescent self, given all the experiences you have had since then, what would it be?

Don’t spend so much on albums because in 30 years you can get them for free on Spotify, (with ads)

2. Looking back, what are some people, advice, events – anything – you are grateful you had during adolescence? Why?

My sister’s advice to get and stay involved with whatever matters to me, and that translated into high school debate, which literally changed my life and way of thinking. I’m grateful to my mom for forcing me to take piano lessons even though I can’t play, because I can appreciate better what it really means to have talent when I hear it. Oddly, my love of keyboard music – all kinds, came from my own failed attempts. My dad introduced me to the concept of patience.  He’d always say “hang in there”.  And it made me feel better – that and music, my brand of thorazine.   My grandfather had a lot of patience too.  We’d fish all day and catch nothing and enjoy every moment on the lake.  It was good to know that it really wasn’t all about the catch.  While in college, my friend John was my visa to a world outside the Southern states – my ticket to Chicago, NYC, Europe and my eventual passport to Boston where I remain happily uprooted and rooted today; a domestic immigrant with documents.

3. Looking back, what do you wish you had had in adolescence to help you transition from childhood to adulthood? Why?

I didn’t have much guidance really – lots of good general advice, you know, do your best, follow your passions, work hard, do right, earn enough to support yourself, and all that, but the advice came without instructions – it was like “figure it out on your own”.  It took me a long time to figure things out.  Funny, to this day, I can’t understand instruction manuals.  I just try stuff out, “let’s see, this way – no that way, what does this do” and that sort of thing. I don’t like maps much either – I sense my way around.  I guess I could have used a map as an adolescent, or Google or Frommer’s Guide to Life or something.  I’d have gone to a different college too most likely, but I have no regrets and am thankful to my parents and grandparents for the sacrifices they made and support they gave to ensure I got an education.  And I met some great people along the way, including my wife and our children. Didn’t need a map or Match.com for that.  Al Gore hadn’t gotten around to inventing the Internet anyway back in my day.

4. What is something you are going through now that you think additional guidance in adolescence would have helped you figure out earlier or make easier for you now?

Environmental guilt. If only I had known about the harmful impacts of styrofoam, aerosols, plastic water bottles and those campfires and all that leaded gas my parents burned in the family gas guzzling Chevy Impala. As I kid, I didn’t recycle, or compost.  I ate genetically altered corn.  I carried a heavy carbon footprint.  Why didn’t I pay more attention to the Earth Day organizers?  Things changed a little for me after hearing Ralph Nader speak when I was 18 and I began to eat sunflower seeds and granola bars.  I became more environmentally conscious. But by then it was too late.  I could have saved the planet and I did not.  If only PowerPoint had been invented sooner, Al Gore might have really made a difference.

Mail Truck Makes Expressway Delivery

There was a time in our distant past, when snail mail was the only mail, long before e-mail and this thing called the Internet that Al Gore created.  According to the website truthorfiction.com, Gore did make the claim back in 1999 on the campaign trail, but realistically could not have invented the Internet, which dates back to the 60’s when Gore was just a youngster.  He did however, as a Senator, introduce an information technology bill to pave the way for an “information systems highway”.  This post is not about Al Gore, but rather the mail, something that has been around longer than Al Gore has been alive.

CNN reported that a tractor trailer carrying mail for the U.S. Postal system  inadvertently deposited a good bit of its cargo of bills and statements along a 70 mile stretch of highway near St. Louis.   Apparently, the 18 wheeler’s cargo door was left unsecured.  Imagine being a driver behind or near the semi and witnessing this maelstrom of letters, bills, postcards and bank statements blown about, perhaps even creating a temporary whiteout.  Who was behind the wheel anyway, Seinfeld’s Newman?

A Postal inspector said that the cargo likely contained mostly bank statements and bills destined for the West Coast some of which had already been recovered.  If you receive a late bill with a tire mark, you’ll know why and if you don’t get the payment in on-time, I would think you’d have a good excuse, although I wouldn’t put it past a company to argue that you, the customer, knew when the bill was due and should have paid it on time anyway.

This is why I do everything on-line.  Snail mail is really out of date.  It’s like listening to music on a 8 track player, or walking around with a Walkman.  Many kids these days would likely never have seen a cassette player or an 8 track tape.  And not only is the mail system out of date, it is expensive.  If I were the President, I’d abolish the Postal system.  It might save us taxpayers a ton of money.   But that’s not my point, really.   Back to the story.

So the Postal Service has launched an investigation to ascertain how this could have happened to prevent it from ever happening again.  Come on, it’s takes an investigation?  Hey drivers – be sure to close and lock the door.  Oh, and every once in a while, look in your side view mirrors.

Day 3 at the RNC

The Republicans have brought back the L word – Fred Thompson used it to describe Barak Obama as the most liberal politician ever to run for the Presidency.  Liberal/Conservative; Blue States/Red States.  This labeling game is designed to divide, distract and demonize.  Elder Bush used the L word to brand Dukakis as a liberal, left leaning, eastern, urban extremist, out of touch with the mainstream.  What is the mainstream?  Who is mainstream?  Big business.  Certainly not the Christian right or the Progressive left.  There are those labels again.  Distracting from the issues.  What are the issues – are there any?  Is this election simply about taxes?  Sounds like this is the only thing that matters to Republicans.  Of course, no more taxes simply means, no more corporate taxes.  Tax breaks for the rich – corporate welfare.  Not at all surprising that the Republicans had a billionaire in Pat Whitman speaking to America.

Do the Republicans care about the middle class – the vast majority of Americans – who are struggling to pay the rent or mortgage; who struggle to fill the tank and to put money in the bank; who lack health insurance.  Is the soaring cost of college tuition of any importance to anyone out there?  Education – come on.  What do the Republicans plan to do?  Seriously.  We hear about accountability, but not about providing more resources. Teachers, students and administrators are blamed for failing schools.  Fire the teachers – just like the air traffic controllers back in the 80’s; privatize the schools – bring big business into the equation to educate the masses to SERVICE the corporate bottom line.  Accountability.  Replace the school signs with corporate billboards.  Plaster the school walls with advertisements; pipe in MUZAK – send subliminal messages designed to sell jeans, sneakers, Mickey D’s and Pepsi or Coke if you prefer.   Hire Madison Avenue executives to create an army of young consumers.

What’s wrong with the word Liberal?  Absolutely nothing.  It’s a good word – it means progress; an open mind – open to new ideas.  Aren’t the REpubs running on the reform Washington message.  Isn’t that a liberal idea?  The Dems don’t use the C word, but they could.  Are conservatives out of touch with mainstream ideology – more guns, less choice, more wiretaps, less civil liberties, tax cuts for the rich, more deficit spending, more military spending.  One thing the REpubs know well; create an imagined enemy, demonize that enemy – in this case fellow Americans (who dare to put people first) and turn the debate into the politics of fear and hate.

The Eastern elite.  Mitt, weren’t you the governor of Massachusetts?  Do you not hold a Harvard MBA?  There he goes.  Liberal.  The L word.  Throw out the liberals.  Now that’s a big idea.  And opportunity for whom?  Not for me and probably not you either Republican America.  Here’s another swell line:  “Keep Al Gore’s private jet on the ground.” No need to discuss Global Warming because it’s not really happening – or so the Republicans claim.  Or more aptly, keep the inconvenient truth grounded because it’s bad for big business.  USA, USA, USA!

Stay tuned for another installment of Day 3 at the RNC.