“the answer is blowin in the wind…”

 

yes, Bob Dylan had it right..answers for life tend not to be empirical but rather instinctive gut level decisions based on the moment and circumstance…we TRY to have rules to follow, methods, reason, and sage advice…any of that really work for you? most likely instinctive decisions  seem to play the largest role for most of us…things seem to either go good or bad based as much on the alignment of the moon and stars as on any reasonable “planning”…there is no doubt that man has always tried to “stack the deck” in favor of good outcomes,  and surely this is a noble effort, but i think we all know that fate, whatever that is, has center stage…whatever actually happens can be justified or vilified by any number of philosophies, religions, political beliefs, and/or coins tossed into the fountain…

those of us who rode out hurricane Irene on the coast of North Carolina indeed did have the feeling that we had cast our fate to the wind…yes, we followed all the rules(well, except the “rule” to evacuate)….boarded up our homes, stocked up with food and water , extra candles and flashlights, and then just waited…and waited..and listened ..and felt….and finally became a part of the power of nature…a spectacular and most beautiful power…a power that was actually only destructive for those who had homes built in the known path of hurricanes..those of us who live here take our chances..this cost some their lives, others their homes…

yet all KNEW the worst could happen…intellectually likely to happen in fact…they just hoped and/or prayed it would not happen…Billy and Sandra Stinson are friends on my street and i suppose now ex-neighbors for they surely will not be allowed by town rules to build another vacation home out over the water where they were..their house was totally destroyed by a fast moving wall of water…last year i  photographed Billy and Sandra in their moments of best family joys  in their home and now also  of greatest despair,  but i will not publish this last moment without their permission on Burn , or  in National Geographic where my assignment is indeed right now the Outer Banks..maybe by next spring when my story is due in NatGeo will i seek to publish, for storms are indeed part of the story…but now my role is friend and neighbor more than journalist….the picture i took for  FB and Twitter of Billy and the destroyed house is not the picture to which i refer…

Michelle Madden Smith, above, lives just a few hundred yards from the Stinsons who lost it all…Michelle, who runs my workshop program and my son Bryan’s partner in life, also rode out the storm, but with a happier fate….here shown in 75mph winds in Nags Head….a joyful moment amongst tragic moments for others and part of a 10 picture series i did publish on FB and soon to be part of a new book….in any case, i have ridden out many hurricanes in my life and IF you are not in a vulnerable position from flooding or wind damage, then it is  truly one of the most dramatic living experiences one can have…so, exhilarating for some, and a tragedy for others….

indeed Mr. Dylan, the answer my friend is blowin in the wind, the answer is blowin in the wind…

236 Responses to ““the answer is blowin in the wind…””


  • Is it hot in here or is it just me?

  • a civilian-mass audience

    DAVIDMcGO…”is it hot in here…?”

    I don’t know…I don’t do temperatures…BUT I can call AKAKY the Grammarian or PANOS the travelerian…
    or …any BURNIAN familiar with these issues…:)))

    Goodmorning BURNIANS…may the reports from Perpingan start flowing…
    I understand you are all perfectionists BUT your poor civi …is here waiting damnit
    BUT no pressure…

    hiii…Don’t we all love your civi’s passive agressive b…?:)

  • CIVI –> fast report from Perpignan!
    YES!!!
    Yesterday there was the presentation of BURN 02 at the night slideshow in Perpignan Festival with an interview to David. Of course.. it was great… with at least 5 or 6 different essay.
    Now David and Anton has left… but here there are still a lot of Burnian (Diego first,Audrey, Eric, Laura, Patricio,….. )
    Perpignan is burning :)

  • a civilian-mass audience

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY PAUL PARKER(the optimist)…!!!

    LAURA,LAURA…YES!!!
    thank you for the insight…hmmm…I can’t see the pics

    please,keep reporting…cause BURN is the place to be…and safe travels…

  • a civilian-mass audience

    PAUL…bring and some wine and detox tea and some Spanish leather boots and a cake…

    wow…today,I am extremely needy…I guess,I am going through a face:)

    BURN 2 is here to view…!!!

  • CIVI!!!

    The things you do to please a CIVI… have signed up with this instagram thing, no clue what I’m doing, plus the quality of the iPhone 2 I have is CRP CRAP CRAP.. but here you go, Arles reporting.. from bottom to top:

    http://web.stagram.com/n/evambk/

    WHERE IS BURN 02 TO VIEW?????

  • a civilian-mass audience

    EVA…I can see FROSTY,MR.HARVEY…THODORI…I am in…!!!

    Keep reporting Italian crazy People,EVA,VIVA…LAURA…
    i am missing some French and did u know ANTON is going Dutch?

    oh,well…Where is BURN 02 to view…hiii…I am just a civilian…what do I know?:)))))))))

    P.S :
    ATTN:***MRS.KATIA ROBERTS…every time I am trying to send you a message,my computer freezes
    your request is granted…I will e-mail you the soonest

  • a civilian-mass audience

    EVA…thank you!

  • Eva, thanks; the second photograph – by DAH – is one of my favorites. I remember it from a Nat Geo Mexico special.

  • I’m following you Eva :-)

    Laura Montanari,

    as civi says….the link is broken.

  • a civilian-mass audience

    and as CARLO’S says…I am following too…:)))

    MIKER…we need update…TOM,how is TOM?

    VIVA BURNIANS…

  • Civi,

    I think I saw your chickens in one of Eva’s pics!

  • a civilian-mass audience

    oh,nooo CARLOS…I saw them too…BUT I didn’t want to start my whole chicken talk…

    because when I start talking about them…oime…I can not be stopped:))))))))))))))))))

  • Beautiful moment. I love standing in the wind as well, but not so much wind here in northern Sweden. I miss it.

    Btw, there’s something very appealing about the colors in instagrams. They’re just plain hard to dislike. (Why?)

  • I knew it would go like this.. am supposed to WORK.. instead I’m instagram-ing.. as in browsing through pics.. seems I need food and cat pics though (half naked boobs too).. hmmm.. chicken will have to do.. and I guess I’m fired as a burnian, didn’t think of Civi when shooting the pic.. :(

    Mike.. Tom’s ok?

  • Civi you should!! It’s a little quiet here! Time to ruffle some feathers :)

  • Why, I wonder, would I want to go to Perpignan when I can stay here and think about stuff like this?

    I am not sure when the boys down the street at the Eldon T. Johnson Volunteer Hook & Ladder Volunteer Fire Company decided to join the military-industrial complex, but I suppose that anything that appeals to their innate patriotism, sense of civic duty, and gives them something to do with their time besides drinking beer and playing pinochle into the wee hours of the morning cannot be an entirely bad thing. I’m sure Eldon T. Johnson would have approved as well. Mr. Johnson owned a hat factory here in our happy little burg back in the late 1890’s and made a small fortune selling straw boaters for the summer trade, a respectable fortune selling uniform caps and hats to the United States Army, an organization that regarded then, and continues to regard to this day, the public hatlessness of its membership in much the same way as your average evangelical clergyman regards adultery, fornication, dancing, and other forms of mortal sin. He made an even greater fortune in marrying his wife, the very attractive daughter of a prominent local brewery owner, which is always nice work if you can get it, combining, as it does, both sex and money.

    Mr. Johnson also made a grotesquely huge fortune selling campaign hats to the Army in the run-up to the Spanish-American War, and then, swept up in a fit of patriotic fervor, joined the Army himself. This was not the best business decision Mr. Johnson could have made under the circumstances, but his wife was proud of him anyway. He gained a captain’s commission in the Quartermaster Corps; his father-in-law’s influence with our local Congressman saw to that; and the Army sent him to Cuba after the fighting was over, where he saw no Spaniards to speak of, became one of the first Americans to taste a daiquiri, and died of yellow fever shortly afterwards. In his many long letters to his wife, he does not mention whether or not he saw any American soldiers wearing his company’s campaign hats; the subject never comes up. He did mention how beautiful Cuba was, however, and he complained a lot about the mosquitoes, which, given what eventually happened to him, was perfectly understandable. So, as I said, I am sure that he would approve of what the boys in his eponymous fire company are doing these days.

    That they were going to have to tell someone what they were doing sooner or later was inevitable; that the someone they had to tell was me only became inevitable when they damn near took my head off with the stupid thing. I am, usually, a fairly calm and unruffled person who does not get too excited about the passing hubbub of day to day life, but it is difficult for anyone to maintain their composure when a projectile came flying out of a firehouse at hypersonic speeds and comes perilously close to taking one’s nose off. And so it was that my composure decided to take a vacation while the next three words out of my mouth, a blasphemy with an obscenity sandwiched in the middle to improve the phrase’s aerodynamic stability, was heard over much of our happy little burg, as was the rest of my protest, which combined blasphemy, profanity, obscenity, and scatology in no particular order. I also wish to take this opportunity to apologize yet again to the mothers, living and dead, of the current membership of the Eldon T. Johnson Volunteer Hook & Ladder Fire Company. What I said about all of you was unfair, unjust, and unkind, as well as ungentlemanly, however sufficient I believe the immediate cause of such sentiments to be. Over the years, I have grown used to my head being where it is and I see no reason why this state of affairs should change at this stage of my life. Call me selfish and unpatriotic if you must, but there it is.

    The cat being out of the bag, the pig having escaped from the poke, and me screaming like a banshee—it is hard to keep any kind of secret hereabouts—the boys grabbed me and dragged me into the fire house, trying to get me to shut up and calm down, or the other way around, I’m not sure I remember the order at this point—I was pretty steamed at the time—but after several minutes of trying, during which time I uttered the slurs mentioned in the previous paragraph, and again, my apologies, ladies, I eventually calmed down a bit and even reacquired some small portion of my usual equilibrium, at which point I demanded to know what the hell was going on.

    At first the boys tried to pull the national security routine with me, but was in no mood for that sort of nonsense, and, let’s face it, how many national security secrets does any local volunteer fire department have? Not a whole hell of a lot, I’d say, although I’m certain that the ex-sailors among them would probably not want their wives to find out about any number of altogether vile and loathsome diseases our erstwhile swabbies picked up during shore leave back in their salad days, but that seems more a personal security issue than one of national security. So, as I said, the guys, they hemmed and hawed for a minute, but I was not going to take no for an answer, and so finally they all looked to Joe Finnegan, the fire company’s long-time lieutenant and a great guy [full disclosure: we went to high school together], told the others to go get the thing. There was a brief protest from some of the younger members of the company, but Joe told them to be quiet, everything would be all right.

    The thing, as Joe insisted on calling the thing, consisted of three lengths of black metal pipe about seven feet long all told that the firemen quickly screwed in each other. It was a cold, ugly looking thing, functional, utilitarian, relentless in its look, stripped of the martial fripperies that men use to hide the true purpose of many a weapon of war.
    “You built your own bazooka,” I asked. “What the hell for?”
    “The thing’s not a bazooka,” Joe said. “It’s a…thing, I guess you’d call it.”
    “You guessed wrong, guy,” I said. “I call it a damn bazooka. What’s it shoot?”
    Jim tried to mutter something quickly, but I didn’t catch what he said. “Try again in English, Joe,” I said.
    “Potatoes,” Joe Finnegan said.

    I was stunned. I was stunned because I did not realize that potatoes had any sort of offensive capability at all, unless you mash them and put scallions in them, which offends me greatly; if I wanted scallions, I’d eat scallions, and I prefer to have my potatoes without, if it’s all the same to you; and I was stunned because this crew of idiots had damn near taken my head off with an Idaho baking potato. I understand that this life is not forever, that we all owe God a death, and that we must all at some point join the silent majority of the dead. I refuse, however, to go because someone else chose to be an idiot that day, and I refuse to die in a manner that will cause chuckles to reverberate from one end of this our Great Republic to the other, and having my head blown off by a spud definitely comes under the heading of chuckle-inducing. You can talk about how tragic any death is, how, as Donne put it, “…every man’s death diminishes me, for I am involved in mankind…”, but if that person died doing something incredibly stupid, then the idiotic manner of his passing is all you’ll ever remember about this poor schnook. Sometimes even that doesn’t work; there were no horses anywhere near Catherine the Great when she died and see what good that’s done her these past two hundred years or so.

    To say I was furious underestimates the extent of my rage, but Jim, having thus exposed the Eldon T. Johnson Volunteer Hook & Ladder Fire Company’s greatest secret, now threw caution to the winds and began telling all about the thing, which apparently has an actual name: the Mark 10 [I kid you not; there are nine previous models of this gizmo] recoilless potato rifle. The Mark 10, which Jim now insisted on calling the thing when he wasn’t busy calling the thing a thing, could hurl your standard unpeeled potato some two hundred or so feet down range and still put a walloping big dent in the side of a metal garbage can, making the Mark 10 a very effective method of crowd control should metal garbage cans ever become a major threat to the peace, order, and domestic tranquility of the country. To fire the Mark 10, your standard Special Operations operator first sprays the barrel with a coating of cooking oil—WD-40 is good if there is no cooking oil in the battle space—and then inserts the spud into the breech, wrapped in a damp paper towel. The operator then sprays about fifteen seconds worth of hair spray into the firing chamber; Lysol works just as well if there are no teenaged girls going to their first prom in the neighborhood; the firing chamber is then quickly screwed on and locked shut. Having armed the weapon, our trusty operator then looks for a suitably offensive metal garbage can to put paid to. Finding one, which is easy to do today; the Sanitation Department comes around for the weekly pick-up tomorrow morning here in our happy little burg, aims his weapon and pulls the trigger. An electric spark from a standard AA battery shoots across the tiny space between two contacts in the firing chamber, ignites the hair spray, and the resulting explosion sends our spud hurling down the greased barrel and out into the open air to find some metal garbage can out to cause trouble, or my head, whichever comes first.

    There are, as you might imagine, several significant problems with the Mark 10, the first of these being that potatoes are in no way aerodynamic in their natural state; they are a root plant, after all, and aerodynamic efficiency was never an evolutionary necessity for them on their long biological march from simple tuber to potatoes au gratin. Second, modifying the potato’s DNA to make them aerodynamic is not cost-effective. Third, potatoes do not explode and there is, as far as I know, no way to insert a suitable warhead inside even a very large potato, and fourth, no one would ever take the American military seriously ever again if they deployed a weapon that shot potatoes at the nation’s real or potential enemies, with the always important exception of metal garbage cans. In the tribal regions of Pakistan, Islamic extremists are not hard at work developing mortars that fire bunches of broccoli into American airports nor are the Chinese trying to build a new generation of cluster bombs that lay down a carpet of fried wontons all over the battlefield. They just aren’t; it would be silly. I didn’t want to tell the boys this, but someone had to—despite the best and the very sincere efforts of the firefighters of the Eldon T. Johnson Volunteer Hook & Ladder Fire Company, their first foray into the arcane world of secret weapons development was a complete and absolute bust. And then, in a flash, in a moment of utter capitalistic clarity, I saw the investment possibilities of the Mark 10 open before my eyes and visions of pelf, ever-glorious pelf, roll down before me like a river and into my bank account like mighty waters.

    With only a few minor adjustments and some new attachments, the Mark 10 could make someone rich, and I intend for that someone to be me. Yes, I need to wrest the Mark 10 from these guys and make it mine. It can happen. David Sarnoff of RCA managed to keep Philo Farnsworth from earning any money from inventing television, even if Farnsworth had all the patents and managed to fight off the slavering wolf pack of Wall Street shysters Sarnoff turned loose on him. In the end, Sarnoff made the money and Farnsworth didn’t, and in a capitalist society, that’s what counts in the end. Yes, indeed, put a sharp grid at the end of that barrel and the Mark 10 and you can shoot French fries to a fan in any sports venue in the world, even a fan in the lousy seats so high up you wonder why they just didn’t stay home and watch the game on the television Philo Farnsworth never made any money on. I could even license the Mark 10 to McDonald’s; they’re always interested in new French fry delivery systems. With the right attachments, there’s no telling what an efficient Mark 10 operator can do; he could slice, dice, and julienne potatoes in their thousands, and why stop with French fries? Mashed potatoes might be beyond the realm of possibility, but perhaps potato salad is not, if there is some way of getting the proper mixture of vinegar, celery, and mayonnaise into the barrel.

    And now that I’m thinking about it, why stop with potatoes? Is there any fruit or vegetable a smart entrepreneur couldn’t put in the Mark 10 and shoot over to a willing customer? I don’t know, but I’m sure an engineer could figure out a way, and I’m going to have a boatload of those guys working for me figuring this stuff out and working out the kinks in the thing. For example, the hair spray has to go. It has to. Nobody wants to eat a French fry that tastes like someone just shot the fry through the girls’ high school gym teacher’s beehive hairdo; they just don’t. People are like that, the ungrateful wretches. So the hair spray goes, but what to replace it with? Propane? More cooking oil? Gunpowder? Honestly, I’m not sure, but I am sure I’ll find out once I’ve finished infringing on the firemen’s patents, assuming they have patents. Like I said, that’s what engineers are for. And lawyers…especially lawyers.

  • Civi!!

    Thanks again!!
    Been an extremely bad birthday!! Lot’s of bad news but what the fuck I’m alive and enjoying life even during bad times…
    always could be worse and stepped under a bus :)

  • Akaky, are you sure that the potato didn’t hit you? Maybe a glancing blow to the temple?

  • Eva…

    My apologies I owe a long Email. I will try my best before Monday, but I have no smartphone so I’m tied down to my laptop for anything online!

  • Civi, yes I’m sorry, but now you can see it (if you haven’t seen on Audrey’s wall, she was not sure to have correctly published)

  • a civilian-mass audience

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY DEAR PAUL
    HAPPY BIRTHDAY OUR PAUL
    may your days be full of smiles
    and your nights full of F…
    may your Spirit be bright
    and keep BURNING …
    like you do…
    VIVA!!!

    ok,I will be back in two days…(I am gonna be reading AKAKY)

    be back later

  • Civi, Eva, Tom is doing just fine: he is asleep (again) next to me on the sofa (again) in the catservatory. He has his stitches out on Sunday morning but has had a good go at pulling them out himself. He bears me no grudge; hasn’t bitten me once.

    I’m tempted to buy him a collar and a lead so that he can go out at night with me and Olly-Cat but I have visions of someone looking out of their window and seeing me stood in their garden with a cat on a lead who is having a crap. So maybe not.

    Mike.

  • a civilian-mass audience

    LAURA…I see,yes,I see…

    good that I have with me my reading glasses…:)))

    Don’t we ALL love those reportings…oime…
    COME ON BURNIANS…show me what you got…

  • Paul, Happy Birthday!

    Mike.

  • a civilian-mass audience

    MIKER…you know what to do…
    and thanks for reporting

    I have a glass of wine,a piece of Birthday cake for dinner and AKAKY…

    WHAT NOT TO LOVE!!!

    P.S please keep BOBBY and the other Academians…away for a day or two:))))))))))))))

  • Thanks Mike!!

    How’s Tom doing?

  • ” In the tribal regions of Pakistan, Islamic extremists are not hard at work developing mortars that fire bunches of broccoli into American airports nor are the Chinese trying to build a new generation of cluster bombs that lay down a carpet of fried wontons all over the battlefield”

    I lost it when I read that!

  • Frostfrog…

    if I remember well you wanted to publish an iPad book? children book? cat book?.. uhmm.. something like that?? have a look here, perhaps this could be of interest:

    http://www.thebookseller.com/news/penguin-offer-personalised-kids-books-new-app.html

  • To many more celebrations of your date of birth, Paul!

    Cheers.

  • Paul, see just above your post: Tom is doing fine. Thanks for asking on your birthday!

  • Eva – just logged on and the first thing I see is your message. Thank you! I hope to make my first ipad ap book by mid-November. This could prove to be a big help to me. I have changed the title slightly. Now it is:

    Fat Cat of Fort Yukon: Lost on the great Arctic river
    and other wild cat stories from Alaska

    Now I will scroll backwards and see what folks have had to say since my last visit…

    Paul… even before I could begin to scroll, I noticed the date of birth thing… must be your birthday… for hell’s sake, put your camera down and have a happy one… I jokes… about putting the camera down… do have a happy one…

  • Paul, a very happy birthday, and Mike R, no, the spud almost hit me, and almost don’t count in nothing but horseshoes and hand grenades…

  • Backed up and… Eva, again… thanks for shooting my protrait! I wondered who that lady pointing the iPhone at me was… why didn’t your introduce yourself?

    I see everyone seems to be getting into the instagram thing. I am not sure yet… one more thing to have to do every day… but maybe… once I get off hiatus and fire up my blog again… but I wonder why the ap is square, wasting perhaps 20 percent of the sensor space? Square is nice, but one can always crop square if square is what one wants…

    Laura, liked the David preparing shot…

    Panos… drinking again…

    Civi.. keeping everything alive…

    Akaky… being a night person, it is still kind of early for me… I could not pysche up my brain to take on all those words… maybe I can get back to them later… even so, I know they are all bright and clever, just like those quoted by Carlo and some would make me think of Mark Twain, others Cheech and Chong…

    Mike R … most important… good to hear about Tom…

    Seeing my prospective title here in print, I realize it is a bit too cumbersome… so, rework:

    Fat Cat of Fort Yukon: Lost On the Great River
    and more wild Alaska cat stories

    Now I must flee this escape and get back to work, so this is it from me for today…

  • Frosty, this is from the archives, but as it concerns your neck of the woods, you might be interested:

    There are no patio furniture retailers in the Yukon Territory. That’s right, not one. Nor are there any patio furniture retailers in the Northwestern Territories, and one of the many things the Inuit aren’t into in Nunavut is patio furniture; even if they wanted some there’s no place to get any. You could argue, I suppose, that the dearth of patio furniture retailers in these areas of Canada simply reflects the architectural and climatological realities of these regions. Patio furniture, as we have known it since Leonardo da Vinci’s invention of the patio as a way of evading his income taxes in 1502, is basically a summer phenomenon, and no sooner has the Inuit wife nagged her husband into getting the patio furniture out of the garage, where the dogs have spent all winter crapping on it, and cleaning the whole set off than it is time to put the furniture back into the garage for the winter. This is enough to put many an Inuit male off the whole concept of patio furniture, as does the general lack of patios in that neck of the tundra. It is difficult at best to put a proper patio on an igloo, since the kids will usually use it as a hockey rink just when you are trying to entertain your guests with that story about how your vacation in the warm sunshine of Yellowknife almost turned into a disaster when Grandma fell off the sled next to a polar bear that chewed her arm off for breakfast.

    This odd refusal to tap the market for patio furniture in Canada’s northernmost regions repeats itself in other areas as well. A detailed study of the Canadian Yellow Pages reveals that there are next to no retailers selling patio furniture in the Maritime Provinces or in Saskatchewan, and that Manitoba can barely hold its own; Manitobans who want patio furniture have to buy it online and pay prohibitive sales and VAT taxes for the privilege of sitting out on their patios and watching the sun set in Alberta. And yet Ontario is awash in patio furniture and retailers willing to sell the stuff. Even Quebec and British Columbia, which are no slouches when it comes to the mass use and abuse of innocent patios, find their appetites pale before Ontario’s incessant demand for patio furniture. It was not always thus, of course; once upon a time, proud Ontarians would hesitate to bring up the subject of patio furniture in mixed company, lest it shock their guests and lead the uninformed to mistake them for Newfoundlanders, or worse, Americans. This old prejudice has apparently gone the way of all flesh, however, as Ontarians today apparently have no qualms about hogging all the patio furniture for themselves and leaving none for Nunavut.

    Defenders of this clearly abhorrent discriminatory practice will, no doubt, bring up such irrelevancies as the population difference between Ontario and Nunavut. Ontario is a fairly large place, as places go, stretching along the border with the United States from New York in the east to Minnesota in the west, and has a population of several millions of people. Nunavut is also a large place, of course; in fact, Nunavut is damn near humongous; but its population consists largely of caribou, which, despite the best efforts of environmentalists everywhere, have not demonstrated any convincing need for patio furniture at any time during their evolutionary history. However, this simple explanation fails one crucial test; having explained away the lack of patio furniture retailers due to lack of population, with the concomitant lack of demand, the proponent of this theory must then explain why there are no fewer than two patio furniture retailers just across the border in Alaska. There are just as many Inuit in Alaska as there are in Canada, and a wide selection of other aboriginal Americans as well, plus an equally large population of caribou, and yet there are two stores catering to the Inuit/Native American /First Nation/ Politically Correct Euphemism for Eskimos and American Indians of your choice in Alaska and none in Nunavut, the Yukon, or the Northwestern Territories. Clearly, the population excuse cannot be the truth.

    We must assume, I think, that human nature is the same everywhere, despite the many cultural differences that separate us, except for the area around Fenway Park, and that if the Inuit of Alaska crave patio furniture enough to support two establishments dedicated to its sale, then the Inuit of the Canadian North share this craving just as much as their fellows across the border, but that the Canadian government is, for reasons of its own, thwarting their desire to buy some. It is difficult at best for any mind not completely taken in by the habitual doubletalk of politicians and bureaucrats in Ottawa to understand why the government loathes patio furniture so much that they would take active steps to keep the inhabitants of the country’s northern regions from getting a nice set of six chairs and maybe a couple of tables for their patios.

    Sociologists who have carefully studied the behavior of bureaucrats in situations where questions of life and death are totally irrelevant to the issue at hand have pointed out in study after study that bureaucrats will do almost anything in their power to adversely effect a nation’s seating habits, often for the sheer pleasure of doing so. In Paraguay, for example, under the long dictatorship of Alberto Stroessner, it was illegal for any chair produced in a Paraguayan chair factory not to have a large wooden knob placed squarely in the middle of the seat, the ostensible reason being that the knob would compel people to sit up straight, thereby promoting good posture and therefore good citizenship, and would prevent a nationwide outbreak of hemorrhoids, which Stroessner saw as deeply unpatriotic and suspiciously communistic in their nature. Stroessner and his secret police did not tolerate communists or piles in Paraguay and so neither officially existed anywhere in the country, although The New York Times did publish a secret Interpol report on the subject in 1981 that pointed out that the traffic in Preparation H and the collected works of Karl Marx in the capital, Asuncion, dwarfed the cocaine trade and the always popular Lufthansa Paraguay uber alles tours by a factor of almost five to one.

    Canada is a parliamentary democracy, of course, a proud bearer of the British tradition of the rule of law, and not some tin horn—pot—other metallic implement South American dictatorship, and so cannot arbitrarily order Canadian merchants not to sell patio furniture to the Inuit citizens of the country, and yet that appears to be exactly what’s happened here. There does not seem to be any rationale for this ban, no thirty year study by leading Canadian medical authorities that suggests that rattan, wicker, or, in a pinch, molded fiberglass, furniture causes appendectomal cancer in laboratory rats and related indigenous populations and as a consequence the government ought to keep the stuff off the Northern markets. What there does seem to be is a surfeit of Canadian bureaucrats who think watching Inuit sitting on blocks of ice is more than a little funny, especially when they jump up and start whacking themselves on the bottom after they’ve been sitting on the ice for too long. I’m sure this sort of thing is very funny, in its own sad sick way, particularly if you don’t get cable and the satellite dish never seems to work the way the salesman said it would, and it seems to me that Canadian bureaucrats must not have much to do, if thinking of new ways for Inuit to look silly is all they have to do with their time.

  • Hey, you all might find this interesting. It’s a 12-year-old’s photographs of his trip to Africa. It’s loose, natural, he never had any training. His camera is a cheap point-and-shoot You can really see the 12-year-old perspective. And to some extent the perspective of those who look at a 12-year-old. I edited and did a minimal amount of processing, but it was a light touch.

  • Speaking of child photographers, whatever happened to Circus?

  • Circus ran away from home and became a life insurance salesman

  • MW…. goddamn… whatever you do, do not let that boy take a photography class! Haha! Seriously, though, that kind of purity you don’t want to mess with.

    Number 2 is just wonderful, btw…. perfect!

    Tell Jackson someone said “well damn done!”

  • MW,

    Raw talent right there. Nice work!

    All,

  • MW

    Fantastic! Michael Kircher said it better than I could… #2 looks like it could almost be a DAH shot.

    As an aside, that Montero in the background of #8 looks just mine (same colors), except the spare tire cover. Oh, and another difference is that it is probably driven by someone skilled at driving in sand and I got mine stuck on the beach in OBX :-)

  • a civilian-mass audience

    97

  • a civilian-mass audience

    98

  • a civilian-mass audience

    99

  • a civilian-mass audience

    100!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    yes,it feels good…I had to do this

    I will be back…I am still reading

    BURN is HOT…
    BURN is COOL
    and I LOVE YOU ALLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!

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