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After Effects Enables Complex Structure of Thought™ — that we can implement, absorb and grow toward the Positive.

This is an excellent video posted by Jennie Hochthanner about the controversial Troy, Michigan Library debacle.  It’s the best example I’ve seen about a positive way to combat the Hegelian Dialectic that confronts us all on a daily basis.  And if you are not familiar with the Hegelian Dialectic, watching this video is a must. And this is incredibly important in understanding what is going globally today.


In order to make the larger point and teach an important lesson, the small group of Troy Citizens demonstrate a number of incredibly relevant things, especially now in this complex, woven tapestry of reality we share. I will let you draw your own conclusions about their actions and what they did – but it is brilliant, and I commend their valiant effort.

But Jeannie Hochthanner’s incredible visualization of the events, thru the power of Adobe After Effects and (I imagine) Final Cut Pro – weaves the visual tale in a way that compliments and enhances the explanation of the narrator, even more so than just canned footage of the Participants. Nice Job Jeannie.

This technique is so vital and incredibly needed today. And it is a great example that sets he table for all of us to hurdle barriers that keep us from understanding, on many levels.

We seem to be repeating history in varying degrees because we keep falling for all the same old ‘tricks’ – the most recent Anti-Muslim Film being the latest example. I believe this is because the people responsible for funding and putting out the film are attempting to achieve the desired response of Turmoil and Conflict.

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In this economy, you have to set yourself up to take advantage of every opportunity you can get… especially when you’re a Starving Artist. This is a quick story of how I was lucky enough to land a great commission, reconnect with an awesome family, and expand my horizons as an Oil Painter.

Last year around November I got a friend request on Facebook from a super-nice gal I knew from High School, who was a year or two younger than me. After the usual “normal” Facebook pleasantries, I noticed she was a runner, and a marathoner at that. In my glory days, I fancied myself a distance runner, and ran cross-country and track during high school.

But I also had an exceptional coach, who pushed my abilities well beyond my limited running talent. In my response to my new Facebook pal, I made the small talk of offering to critique her training schedule, and share some of my insights, pointers, etc, etc, based upon my coach’s superior training philosophies. With all of this friendly info, I also included a link to my blog, which has my artlinks off to the left. Much to my surprise, within about 72 hours I received a very animated response, with positive  aspirations of not only the running info, but also her digging on my artwork – both the digital and especially my oil paintings.

You know what ‘They’ say… ‘They’ say timing is everything… but luck comes into play as well. But I had put myself into position to “land” a potential Patron of my Art. She and her husband were in the middle of remodeling and expanding their house back in my hometown, and wanted to fill it with some original art. That was music to my ears of course, and we arranged a time to discuss the project after the first of the year. Even though I was anxious to start, they were not ready to chat about artwork until they were in the homestretch of finishing up the construction, which was pretty substantial. Read the rest of this entry »


Ray Noland: Blago / Banksy –

First, I made the following comment at Huffington post, you can see the article I commented on here –

Second, here is my embellished comment: I am / was a big fan of all the Blago/Banksy graffiti that were sprayed all around Chicago – and I covered it extensively in 3+ Posts on my blog “The Structure of Thought™ – this is the way it has always been®”. It’s my opinion that you cannot patent a “style” of art ( you can invent a style, however, so that something can be “Banksy-esque” so to speak, even tho he didn’t “invent” it ) just like a medical or big pharma company can’t “Patent” a gene or a chromosome – even tho the law says you can. Just because it is legal, doesn’t make it right.

That being said, the whole point of Art in its highest calling IMO is to generate positive Thought Structure™, discussion, and push society towards enlightenment. If you go back and read my posts on Ray’s Art it shows the noblest aspect to what the purpose of ANY art can do – call attention to issues, our culture, the flaws in our society, our misplaced values and dysfunctional aspects of the Pop Culture we have created. That is powerful, how one individual can help push society towards the positive.

If you think about it, one good idea can change everything. Hopefully for the better.

Check out the Blago/Banksy entries I talked about here & here – there’s at least 3 updates, with 2 being in the first link, showing pictures from Wicker Park, Bucktown, the Skylark fire pic with some shots of me warming myself next to the cold, empty fire that Blago is trying to start… pretty fun stuff. Check them out…

peace!


Okay, I am a giant football / soccer geek, not the most knowledgeable, but I try my hardest to hold conversations with those who know WAY more than me on any topic… and I know just enough about Futbol to be slightly dangerous. So before Friday’s matches are even played, I’ve got my final 16 bracket filled out, homer-ized, & Filled with upsets.

For reference, I have used my ESPN iPhone app to help me draw the brackets for the final 16. And I’m still not sure how these brackets shake out – but as you can tell by the whiteboard I enlisted at work, it was very confusing seeing how these play out.

I was under the impression that the groups cross-pollinate in the “elite 8” – meaning, winners getting into the final 8 “bracket jump” into the playing those from the “other side” of the draw – those from group A-B all of a sudden playing those from G-H or whatever. That being said, I guess this is how it is supposed to be – if not, I’ll amend next week. Plus I should also apologize for my “USA Centric” bracketing – having them in the top right corner. So you see what a homer I am.

So keeping this short, it’s my impression that the South American teams have caught up and zoomed past European players… France and today Italy’s shocking exit as example. If Italy would have played all three games like last 20 Minutes of the Slovakia, they probably would have won their group. But it doesn’t fall far from reality that we could see a final 4 of all-South American teams… Uruguay, Argentina, Chile/Paraguay, and of course Brasil. That is what my Head tells me – but as any good Homeresque philosopher type as I fancy myself, I filled out the bracket with my heart, not my head! (of course).

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PART I

The purpose of this particular post is to try to wrap my brain around a theory I have had in my head for quite awhile, and to try to explain it to you. The events over the past couple of weeks/months that we’ve all witnessed regarding to where things fall in the “Linear” political spectrum, ( mainly Glenn Beck and his Magic Chalkboard )  using the labels the ‘Left’ or the ‘Right’ in regards to politics, have started to touch on this theory.  This helped me pull down a semblance of this Idea Grouping, this Structure of Thought™ , that I have been trying to manifest for at least the past 5+ years.

And I’m not kidding when I say I’ve been thinking about this ‘Thought Structure’ for a few years… the proof is in the viewing of either of my 2 earliest digital collages here and here. This is where all these “types” of thoughts I have come from, and how they look to me. The Structure of Thought™ is what I call it… and it is really hard for me to put something so… etherical?  into words that even myself can understand.

In The Daily Show's brilliant parody of Glenn Beck, Jon Stewart mocks Glenn's pattern of drawing on the chalkboard similar graphics to what I've been working on in my own little brain.

 

So let me set the table by saying that it’s hard to articulate these Thought Structures™, for lack of a better term, or “theory of forms,” as I think Plato called them, at least for me, coming at it from the artistic viewpoint.

My goal for this fairly extensive post is to convey the idea of how the political parties and factions thereof can be labeled and analyzed within the Structure of Thought™.

First and formost,  look at the Banner ‘The Structure of Thought™’ above. You can see the graphics I put together for the title of this particular Blog. These are not just for decoration… they actually mean something to me, and hopefully try to explain my perception to you, fair reader.

When I look at them I know they convey a method that, if used with interchanging variables that is measured with absolutes, can help us Humans more refine, label and direct anything, from economics, policy, acts, thoughts, deeds… into a “more perfect” way to help measure decision and choice.

This procedure, in turn,  helps “sharpen our pencil” so to speak to more closely mimic nature, find solutions to problems, refine arguments, make better decisions, decipher right from wrong, etc. etc.

And as in Nature, there is Beautiful Structure of Thought™, and there is terrifying, paradoxical, repulsive Structure of Thought™… the thesis statement of this exercise could be said that the more beautiful, natural ways we shape our Thought Structure™, the more functional, effective, moral, ethical way it will effect all of us.

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Freezin' in September w Blago—Skylark

Freezin' in September w Blago—Skylark

Oh yea, Oh yea, Blago, your fire doth giveth little warmth

Oh yea, Oh yea, Blago, your fire doth giveth little warmth


First let me say I am so thankful that I remain busy and have tons to do… hence the sporadic nature of my Posts. I wish I were more consistent—I strive for at least one a week. But I gotta make hay while the sun shines.

That being said, one of the reasons I started this blog is to critique and ferret out video documentaries on the net for my friends and other intellectually curious that maybe “normal” people wouldn’t necessarily see. So I comb Video Google ( instead of YouTube, because they have full length videos ) and watch / listen to them while I work. Read the rest of this entry »


Just Spotted this one in a heavily trafficed area within walking distance of my office – same as the one that was painted over, but with the great added touch of the disapproving Barking Dog… such a nice touch! I was in the car as I drove by—I hurriedly whipped out my camera and snapped pics of some people posing with the graffiti. I wish I was quick enough to have snapped a pic of the main in the close up below when the girl was taking his pic… he posed in the Blago Jogging position himself, which was very hilarious to watch. I snapped my shots when he was taking the picture of his companion, returning the favor so to speak. BlogoTouristsC

There was a small crowd of people checking it out, seeming to be mulling over if they were going to engage with the piece, waiting to take their turn and snap a pic with the image.

Same as from my initial entry, but with the added flair of the disapproving pooch, representing the rabid voters of Illinois!

Same as from my initial entry, but with the added flair of the disapproving pooch, representing the rabid voters of Illinois!

Do any of my Fellow Chicagonians have any other Blago/Banksy sightings they’d like to share? Feel free to comment and leave a location… I’ll try to check it out or find any other blogs, articles or pics on the net that deal with it. I really think this is facinating… Art doing what it is meant to do, the highest calling of all, making people engaged and thinking about the true meanings of our own behaviors and that of our leaders. Really makes your head spin if you think about it.

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About ten days ago I was driving by the underpass where that hilarious Blogo graffiti was painted… and my heart sank—it was painted over! I was so sad. I had come to enjoy driving by it everyday, seeing Rod’s sunshiney face peeing over his shoulder at me as I drove by, saying hi. Hi Rod, I’d say. I wonder what you are doing today… where you are trying to shamelessly self-promote yourself, watching your wife eat a bug, and wishing, wishing it was your bug to eat. Man, what a missed opportunity!

For the next couple of days, that part of my drive felt… empty. Like a vaccuum void where something meaningful was taken away. I would drive by and stare at the now blank spot on the wall—I missed Rod. And in thinking in the bigger picture, I was mad at the censorship. Yes, the tried and true debate of the value of graffiti itself. Graffiti has been slow to grow on me, because when it is destructive of private property, that makes me angry. But this is an underpass on a public piece of transport! Plus it spoke to me… it carried a message, a meaning. It was a barb of pointed Thought Structure™ that poked my brain with irony, humor, and the knowledge of the “logos” of what that particular graffiti stood for… the sorry state of politics that exists in many factions today.

The BlogoBanksy ‘Strikes’ again!

The BlogoBanksy ‘Strikes’ again!

So last Thursday, as I’m driving by to get home, lo and behold – The BlogoBanksy strikes again! This time it was on the other side of the street – but directly across from where the first one was painted. This one is of Blogo lighting a campfire, with the same guilty look on his face as the ‘jogger’ Blogo. What does the lighting of the campfire represent? Feel free to chime in your own opinions… I’d love to hear what you think.

So now I feel better. I hope the city leaves this one up for longer than a month. Even in this form, this Graffiti is undoubtedly Art. It makes you think. At least it makes ME think.

What do you think? I think that this is one of the greatest callings of Art. Pushing the Structure of Thought™, even kicking and screaming, towards a more intelligent, more benevolent existence.

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I don’t know how many of these have been painted around Chicago, but someone tossed this new image up close by my office late last week. Is it the Real Banksy? Probably not… but you never know.

blago—banksy

blago—banksy

The provocative, elusive artist Banksy is a “legend wrapped in an enigma inside a paradox” to semi-quote Joe Pesci as David Ferrie from JFK. Check out both youtube video links I’ve placed in this blog entry  if you don’t know who he is. And this Chicago-style deep-dish example is not only editorially poignant but hilarious… constructive, and deliciously ironic. It captures the flavor of the whole ordeal in one simple image. Brilliant.

As many of you are aware, Rod Blagojevich is the much bally-hooey-ed impeached former Governor of Illinois… and old news at that, much to his narcissistic chagrin. Again, as a dyed-in-the-wool conspiracy theorist, it is my belief that he was dragged out of office and disgraced only because he went against the banking system… the day before he was busted by Federal Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald he came out at an impromptu press conference and started barking about investigating Bank of America and pulling all the state’s business with the Giant Bank—the next morning the Feds are at his door.

It was within that next week the press phalanx started to follow Blago and his giant hairdoo’s every move… trying to jog in the frigid cold of an early December day. By his gait, it was obvious that Rod rarely, if ever, jogged. He was really out sniffing about, trying to garner some much coveted attention. A clue to the media whore he would become. Republocrat or Demican, IMHO both are fair game and one in the same these days… those of you who know me know that I am non-partisan when it comes to exposing hypocrasy.

So it is in that light that the “Banksiesque” Chicago effort is again brilliant. It captures the complete awkward absurdity of the giant egomaniac former governor in an act of pure irony… himself barely a runner, looking over his shoulder, looking for the press to make sure they follow, looking for attention, ANY attention… and also approval.

what a tangled web we weave

what a tangled web we weave

Filled with fear that he is getting neither, he can’t help but to also be looking for the inevitable arm of justice to grab him by his furrowed neck like a bad kitten and toss him into the can. Much has been made about his mental state—as a seasoned veteran of dealing with mental wackiness, I diagose Blago as “suffering” from narissistic bi-polar… which is a main symptom of being in that state of mind of which I am very familiar.

That particular narcissistic Structure of Thought™, when you are immersed in it, blinds you to the obvious. And I can’t sympathize with his diabolical behavior. Blago is a symptom of our time, a pathetic example of what our system run amuck without principles, checks and balances, morals, ethics, compassion and logic produces. Hopefully he will get some sembalance of treatment and counselling when he’s paying his debt to society.

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