Thursday, March 30, 2006

Immigration - An Open Letter to President Fox of Mexico

Dear President Fox:

What draws illegal immigrants to this country are jobs and money and opportunity. This is the real issue that needs to be addressed. Fortunately, more and more governmental and corporate leaders are grasping this fundamental fact. Too much opportunity exists in this country. We have made too much money in our working lives for our own good.

Corporations like Walmart, General Motors, the entire Information Technology industry, and years ago the entire manufacturing industry, i.e. the Rust Belt industrial complex, and more and more multinational corporations have been downsizing their work forces (with the exception of Walmart which has taken a more proactive approach by hiring more and more low paid employees, eliminating small business left and right, and purchasing more and more goods made by even more underpaid workers in third world countries which leads to even fewer American jobs). Walmart is the real hero. Real income for workers in these and most other industries have gone down. The number of Unionized workers making decent living wages are at their lowest historical levels. Across the board, workers real incomes are in a downward spiral thanks to the genius and long-term thinking of these corporations. Only lower incomes for working Americans will solve the problem of those seeking greater wealth in America.

Governmental leaders are also working toward a solution. Ronald Reagan fired all those well-paid air traffic controllers and replaced them with lower paid employees. Thank God for those "Right to Work" for less states that have led the way to solving the Illegal Immigration problem. I am proud to say that Nebraska ranks in the lower third in the United States of per capita income for its citizens. Unionized Labor only raises the standards of living of American workers -how counterproductive is that? And thank God that the "Minimum Wage" has fallen in real purchasing power for decades. Farsighted Legislators have been in front on this issue from the get go. Certainly Nebraska can do better than 35th.

George W. Bush’s relentless shifting the tax burden to the lower middle class will only help with this income imbalance with Mexico. If only he could have moved more quickly. Time after time, his attempts to give the working class’s money to the wealthiest in the nation have been thwarted by the greed and avarice, the mistaken "upwardly mobile" thinking, that had crept into the nation ethos of the 1950’s, 1960’s, and even into the 1970’s. Thank God the tide turned in the 1980’s, only to be thwarted in the 1990’s by the actual rise in incomes overseen by the President Clinton. Any progress made prior to those years was quickly stopped by George W. Bush, and we should thank him for that. Our nation debt will soon be 10 trillion dollars --"Thank you Mr. President." And thank God for the repeal of the Death Tax. Even the wealthiest of the wealthiest of our dead are contributing to this battle against illegal immigration.

President Vincente Fox Quesada of Mexico be comforted by the fact that America is doing its best to lower the incomes of its citizens in as many ways as Corporations and Governments can imagine. Just be patient and give us a little more time. If the current trends continue, In just a few more years, Americans will be climbing that fence to get into Mexico!

Sincerely Yours,
As I go off the Deep End,
Bud Cassiday

Thursday, March 23, 2006

WalMart, China, Christianity, Jihad, and the Crusades

Newsletter, Vol. 2, #2 March 23, 2006 My Rant for the Day

WalMart, China, Christianity, Jihad, and the Crusades

Bear with me while I attempt to interweave several strands of contemporary craziness. The apparent rescue of the three peace activists in Iraq is in interesting juxtaposition with the other news about the chap in Afghanistan on trial for his life for converting to "Christianity." I know, I know, the Crusades and all that. Foreign domination. Long memories. Invasions.

Those three in Iraq are pretty lucky. I would like to hear more about why they were simply abandoned. Coffee break? Shift change? Random luck? Divine intervention? And I would note that the many Muslims in several countries in the Middle East speaking out on behalf of those activist Christians are taking a pretty big risk.

And at the same time, our country goes looney toons, when our best ally in the Middle East, The United Arab Emirates, the most open, democratic (sort of), commercially vibrant, country in the entire region buys operating rights for some ports in the US, and we go ballistic and poke them in the eye with a xenophobic short-sighted stick. Are we nuts or what? Especially Democrats who not long ago bemoaned the failure of the US to bring allies along with us in this fighting terrorism era we live in. The Hypocrite Inn had no vacancies that night. Jesus had to be borne in the musty sandy donkey stall out back.

However, I've always thought that Muslims, men in particular, need more hobbies - golf, tennis, fishing, orchid growing, something, anything that will lighten up their outlook, give them something to look forward to. And the way they treat women......not very nice at all. There is some Freudian thing going on there, too.

I know, I know, there are grievances going back hundreds if not thousands of years; 75% unemployment, madrasses preaching hate for westerners, etc. They are pissed off because Westerners invaded, up to and including Hitler and Standard Oil, partitioned their lands, installed brutal totalitarian Emirates (with oil), etc., etc., but get over it. Move on. Suck it up. Go play nine holes. Have some wine with dinner.

Enough with the beheadings, jihadist looniness, and infidel hunting. Get off the fundamentalist one-way trip to Armageddon. Talk about a self-fulfilling prophecy. Iran wants nukes. I'm glad Pat Roberston doesn't have any.

Another thought -- it seems Islamic fundamentalist mullahs are interested in seeking power, while most American fundamentalist nutballs are seeking money and/or sex. Why can't the mullahs be more like Jimmy Swagart, or Pat Robertson, or Jim and Tammy Faye and be more interested in sex like Jimmy or make up like Tammy Faye, or whatever it is that Pat is interested in, and money than power? Come to think of it, Pat Robertson on his one way fundamentalist armageddon train is the most like the mullahs!!

Any substance to my thinking here?

And another thing: it strikes me as scary, interesting, and intriguing that WalMart is expanding in China at the same time China is financing our war in Iraq. The US is the world's largest debtor nation, with China loaning us tremendous amounts of $$$. WalMart, which has lowered the standard of living in the US, is raising the standard of living in China. WalMart, the John D. Rockefeller of our age, demolishes competition in the US on a grand scale, destroying thousands of small businesses, and is now using the Great Wall as a parking lot. Something is wrong with this picture.

Any thoughts from my far more enlightened brothers sisters nephews nieces and total strangers?


Saturday, March 11, 2006

Nephew Chris' rebuttal to Zeno's Paradox Sept. 2005

Sept. 2005
To Art of the Day Club:

I am now offering purchase incentives (not really) for anyone who purchases one my pieces.

Offer #1 - I'll cook you pancakes every Saturday for 3 months. I'll bring maple syrup but you provide the pancake batter. Bacon or sausage are optional.
Offer #2 - Free gardening service for next spring and summer, includes tilling, pruning, watering, and weeding. I get to take a few flowers home with me.
Offer #3 - I'll mow Susan's yard for a year.
Offer #4 - I'll walk your dog twice a week for a month. I will not, however, pick up your dog's doodoo. Except I won't walk my friends Jerry and Cassia's dogs; they nearly broke all his ribs and he couldn't golf for a month. He can walk his own dogs. Sorry, Jerry. You'll have to pick something else.
Offer #5 - Free listening for five months or 10 phone calls whichever comes first. I'll say stuff like "uh uh," "wow," "really?," "no kidding," " I can understand that," "gosh," and "you are really something for putting up with stuff like that."
Offer #6 - I am willing to negotiate.
Offer #7 - Under no circumstance will I wear one of my friend Matt's hats. I will wear his neck ties, however.You know the old saying about the glass being half full or half empty - it's all in how you look at things.

Well, right now the glass is either totally arid, bone-dry, empty, barren, dried up, and desiccated, OR there is still a tiny bit of residual water vapor clinging to a dust mote on the bottom inside of the glass. I'm trying to be positive and look at things as the latter instead of the former.In addition, remember the old saw about the frog who each time jumps half again as far from the bottom of the well and the question is how many jumps to get out? and the answer is the frog never gets out because he only jumps half of the remaining distance each time never reaching the top. Zeno’s paradox.

Well, I am interpreting this in reverse with a car driving over a cliff analogy. This ride has been exhilarating and creative and fun and exciting and if I subdivide the remaining distance to the bottom of the craggy rock strewn cliff bottom in half and continue to subdivide the distance to infinity, the car and I never crash on the bottom. I just experience time in ever increasingly small bits. So my ride in my Corvette artist convertible with the top down over the cliff of art with the wind streaming through my hair and my eyes watering and the car ever arcing downward in a graceful parabolic downward curve nearing the vertical but never becoming exactly vertical and never crashing..........into those rocks of nonart. This will be my glass is half full mixed metaphor.Just be aware that I was not in my right mind when I wrote this. And I will deny having any part in its creation or dissemination.

Thank you.


Dear Uncle Bud

I don’t mean to burst your bubble, but your logic is flawed.First of all, while the frog in a hole analogy is theoretically sound, in reality the distance to the top of the whole would become so infinitesimally small that, taken in relation to the size of the frog, he would not even need to jump and could simply step out of the hole, or wait for a strong breeze to come along and blow him out.

Second, this frog analogy cannot be applied to a falling object, because, pertinent to the laws of physics, any falling object accelerates at a rate of 32 feet per second per second. This means that for every second you fall, you will be approaching the ground 32 feet per second faster than you the last second until you reach terminal velocity at which point the friction of air will make it impossible to accelerate; so you will simply continue at that rate until your convertible encounters something that will provide a greater resistance to acceleration (i.e. an outcropping of jagged rock).

Third, once again, while theoretically sound, your parabolic descent hypothesis does not factor in variables such as wind resistance or initial velocity. A fifteen mile an hour head wind factored in with a tall cliff and a slow initial velocity could result in not only becoming vertical, but actually rotating BEYOND the vertical. Another problem with the parabolic decent hypothesis is that any quadratic equation with a negative lead coefficient (which it would have to be in this case) will cross the x axis on the Cartesian coordinate plain (which represents the bottom of the cliff) and continue on infinitely below unless it's vertex starts below the x axis, which would inherently make it inapplicable in this scenario. The point where the parabola crosses the x axis is referred to as the solution, but even those parabolas which do not cross the x axis have solutions: they are simply imaginary solutions.

So even if you were to incorrectly apply a parabola that didn’t cross the x axis to this situation, you would eventually smash to pieces in some parallel universe.Finally, even though time is relative and you may experience time in ever decreasing increments independent of the rest of the universe, you would have to remain alive infinitely for you get infinitely closer to the ground without actually striking it. Obviously you cannot remain alive infinitely, even if you find your perception of time different from that of the rest of the universe.With that I wish you the best of luck in the days to come.Remember, should you need it, you can always count on me for moral support.

Your Newphew,

A 20 second conversation at the Hilton parking garage 2002

Narration from an unfinished novel:

"Eat this," I heard as I caught a glimpse of a very large set of knuckles approach my face. Just as I registered the significance of the image, a sudden explosion of white impinged upon my senses. I felt my nose crunch and flatten to the right, the cartilage too compressed for my satisfaction. As I reeled back, tripping, I caught another glimpse. This time it was the floor out of the corner of my eye. I bounced a bit off the floor, not too high, but high enough to notice that someone was wearing very nice shoes. A kind of brogan. Very shiny - apparently recently polished and very nicely buffed - burgundy in color, and gray pinstriped trousers, probably a wool blend of some kind with an expensive appearance, with a cuff, about an inch just breaking over the tops of the shoes. I bounced once more, this time noticing the concrete floor. Gray patches of an enamel paint were beginning to loosen along the edges and there was a definite smell of old oil and industrial dust. On my second contact with the ground, I could feel that dust and oily mix forced up the one nostril I could still sense. By this time, maybe 5 seconds after our conversation started, I had been hit once and had hitthe floor twice. The white sensation was pretty much gone now, but I could feel a warmness on my cheek and mouth where the blood from my nose was moving.

"I told you to stay away from her" that same voice continued. "She’s my wife and I’m the only one who f**** her." "That’s what you think," I didn’t say. Sensing the logic of his postulate, I muttered, spewing dusty oil from my nose, "OK, OK, how was I supposed to know. She wasn’t wearing a ring or anything." Then, apparently for emphasis, one of those very nice shoes accelerated toward my midsection. I wasn’t sure if I wanted it to hit my ribs or my belly, but before I could decide my preference, the decision was made. I felt by bottom rib on my right side snap, although I couldn’t be sure it was a clean break or a fracture. And then I noticed all the remaining oily dust that had clogged my nostril go shooting outward in the direction my new nose was pointing as all the air in my lungs was immediately evacuated. Unlike the earlier white sensation, with the very bright spots, this was more of a black-out situation. My vision went dark, and for a moment I couldn’t hear anything. I felt myself convulsing for several seconds before I heard a very unusual sound - like some one with the dry heaves, really bad dry heaves. Then I realized that sound was me gasping for air. Fortunately I noticed the shoes walking away from me, apparently satisfied with my explanation. "Good," I thought, "I’ve had it with this conversation."

Trying to remember where I was, I pulled myself up, and noticed a really sharp pain in my rib cage. "Oh shit," I thought. My nose hurt too. There was a lot more of it visible through my right eye than normal. I didn’t think that was a good sign. I was now sitting down on an oily dirty concrete floor and looking around. Unless I was mistaken, it appeared that I was about to exit the parking garage by the Omaha Hilton Hotel when I was interrupted by the gentleman with whom I had just conversed.

It occurred to me that he wasn’t really a pleasant conversationalist and we hadn’t really gotten to know each other very well. Perhaps another day. I glanced at my watch, and through the grease I could see it was about 9:30 p.m. Now what, I thought.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Politics and Religion/The State of the Union Feb 2006

Religion, Politics, George (Orwell) W. Bush, the State of the Union, and Happy Dog job search:

I am throwing caution to the wind today and have a few thoughts on Religion and Politics.

As I watched the State of the Union Address the other night I found myself getting angrier and angrier at the rhetoric of the President. Here's a few snippets of his rhetorical techniques that I found all too Nixonian in the worst Nixonian ways.

Take the wiretapping of incoming and outgoing call to and from the United States by suspected individuals, both American citizens and foreigners. I'm really pissed off that Bush has successfully manipulated the language of the debate so that the issue has become whether or not we spy on bad guys, not on whether or not he should include judicial oversight of the process. He doesn't say that judicial oversight is a bad idea because.........of something.........he says we have to protect America from attack. Well, yeah, that isn't the issue. In his rhetoric, warrantless wiretapping is the only way to protect America from further attacks.

And that it is unpatriotic to question the prosecution of the war in Iraq which was justified by mistaken intelligence to begin with.

And that the only choices we face are support Bush or "cut and run."

I am reminded of George Orwell's essay "Politics and the English Language." I reread that essay the other day after hearing President Bush's speech. I kept thinking during the speech that President Bush's language and and its relationship to truth are very distorted and twisted and very appealing. To quote Orwell: "Political language -- and with variations this is true of all political parties, from Conservatives to Anarchists -- is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind."

My brother Dave sent me a quotation he found from President Dwight Eisenhower some 50 years ago that was completely prescient and also completely wrong. I am including it because I am on a rant and thought it fit quite well.

"Should any political party attempt to abolish social security,unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs,you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes you can do these things. Among them are [a] few other Texas oil millionaires, and an occasional politician or business man from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid." President Dwight D. Eisenhower, 11/8/54

President Eisenhower meant to say that their number will grow and they will someday take over a certain political party and the White House and they are stupid.

A few thoughts on religion for some reason generated by my current reading of Terry Eagleton's After Theory:

Implicit in statements that God is Dead is the belief that God did in fact exist.

I've always struggled to have faith in God; perhaps what I really want is for God to have faith in me. I'll work on it.

Maybe we invented God; even if we did, it was not necessarily a bad idea.

Happy Dog Job Search:

I have a final interview with Metropolitan Community College next week and may get back to teaching a couple of writing courses. Wish me luck!


The True Meaning of Christmas 2005

Although this may appear to be the third time and possibly last time I have sent this message, it is not -- it is entirely different and no portion of it is the same, and, once again, I'm hurt that you would think I would stoop so low as to do that. -Bud

And as I plan to double my prices in early 2006, you can now purchase my art at half off next year's prices!!!!

My art is currently displayed at Louisville Art Gallery, Adventures in Art in Benson, The Foundry Coffee House in Benson, The Meeting Place Coffee House in the Old Market, and First Central Congregational United Church of Christ, may very well be featured in the upcoming Dropped at Birth Movie Production of "Imitation Life," and, of course, at my web site, which by the way registered over 108,000 hits during 2005 from 28 countries and 32 states.

In addition to all the above, I am now taking bids on purchase of my entire art inventory: current high bid - $35.00.

Dear Friends, Gentlemen, Gentlewomen, Patrons, Admirers, as well as skeptical bystanders:
With the Halloween (buy Bud's art), Diwali (buy Bud's art), Dias las Muertos (buy Bud's art), Thanksgiving (buy Bud's art), Christmas (buy Bud's art), Kwanzaa (buy Bud’s art),Chanukuh (buy Bud's art), Year of the Red Fire Dog (buy Bud's art), Tet Nguyen Dan gift-giving weeks now upon us and quickly going by, (buy Bud's art), and the time-honored traditions, pagan rituals, and religious ceremonies we blithely observe, whose origins are oftentimes obscured by clever marketing ploys including skillfully disguised subliminal messages (buy Bud's art), I'd like to thank all of you (buy Bud's art) who have purchased my art (buy Bud's art) during 2005.
However, tremendous quantities of unpurchased art crowd the walls of my apartment (buy Bud's art), my hallway, my garage, my sister and mother's house (buy Bud's art), my brother's house (buy Bud's art), my other brother's apartment, (buy Bud's art), many of my friends' houses (buy Bud's art), several of my neices and nephews dorm rooms (buy Bud's art), bedrooms (buy Bud's art), apartment walls (buy Bud's art), hallways (buy Bud's art), my church (buy Bud's art), restaurants, coffee houses, and vineyard shops (buy Bud's art), as well as actual art galleries!! and I could go on and on and on and on and on and on....

In addition, with President Bush's nomination of Ben Bernanke to replace Alan Greenspan as Chairman of the Federal Board of Reserve, and now of Samuel Alito to the highest court in the land (buy Bud’s art), it is incumbent upon each of us to support the nation's economy by an enormous burst of consumer spending in this last quarter of 2005. Give Ben a chance (buy Bud's art), let Alan retire gracefully with a roaring economy (buy Bud's art), give Samuel Alito his day in court so to speak, do your patriotic duty (buy Bud's art), show your love for others (especially me), and honor our religious, secular, and pagan traditions (buy Bud's art) by spending money furiously until the year's end.

In addition to my art itself, I now sell representations of my art in the form of hand custom made cards appr. 5 1/2" x 8 1/2". Let me know which pieces of my art you would like on a card and I can put that together. I sell them in a set of 4 for $10.00. They are really quite nice and would make wonderful gifts.


Ps. In the spirit of accountability, this message was reviewed be me three times now and I still stand by it.

Art Therapy Feb 2005

Dear Selected Art of the Day Club Members (those who i think can appreciate the humor):

Several people have commented to me that my year as an artist must have been therapuetic. I've been considering these remarks and the thinking behind them and while I acknowledge that they were made with all good intentions I have to set the record straight.

Painting for me is not therapy -- it quite actually probably has the reverse effect -- in that it is most likely driving me insane.

Golf is therapuetic. Watching NYPD Blue reruns on TV is therapuetic. Watching Law and Order or West Wing reruns is therapuetic. Playing cards or catch or hide and seek with my son is therapuetic. Riding a bike in the country on a nice day is therapuetic.

Painting is a perverse pervasive need/monkeyonmyback/compulsion/anarchic/addiction/chaoscreating, terror that I can't stop. Lightining thunder striking, will sapping relentless seizure activity. Hyenas fighting over the entrails of my spirit. Rats gnawing at the exposed liver of my soul.

Have a nice day :) .


July 2004 The Origin of the Heisenberg Principle

Monday, July 12, 2004 10:36 AM
Subject: artist cassiday newsletter Vol 1, No. 4 supplemental note
Art note of the day.

This whole enterprise began as a get rich quick scheme so I could make a million dollars. I figured I would paint a thousand pictures a day for a thousand days and then sell them for a dollar apiece. That would be a thousand pictues a day for two years and nine months. I kept pace for a while, but I've fallen behind now.

If I do a picture a day for 2,740 years I'll get to my goal. Calculating in those days where I've two paintings and the two where I did three, and subtracting the four and a half months since I began to do this in earnest, I figure I can finish this in 2, 638 years, 10 months, and 5 days.

So all is not lost. I have to get back to work.

Here's my theory of how the Heisenberg Principle came to be known.

Heisenberg Principle - A young apprentice approaches the professor and cautiously asks "What are you doing professor."

The professor replies: "I'm not sure." Thus creating the Heisenberg uncertainty principle.


June 2004 Art of the Day Club Newsletter Vol 1, No. 2

Because of the overwhelmingly positive response I got from my first newsletter (two replies), I have decided to send out number 2. In the event that I am murdered (several of my friends are conspiring to purchase my art, kill me, and destroy all but a few copies of my pieces), there will be no further newsletters.

In light of this, I thought I might continue with pre-contextual pre-paradigmatic agio-historiobiographical data:

I was born, as were many of you. More on this later.

It has been a phenomenologically discrete journey fraught with spasmodic imploding jargon of lexicon of argot by the riverrun. Reality perceived,considered,and expressed which becomes another reality perceived to be considered and possibly expressed anew. Layers of impressed and expressed cubist integrated molecular disintegration and abstract seeing intellect numbing critical paranoia ala Salvador Dali, Pablo Picasso, Matisse, Cezanne, Van Gogh, August Macke, Hans Hoffmann, Lichenstein, Liebermann, Mary Cassatt, Georgia O'Keefe, Franz Kline, Jasper Johns, Rembrandt, Rauschenberg, Warhol, DeKooning, Munch, Braque, Die Brucke, Chagall, Monet, Manet, Corot,Henri, Degas, Renoir, Pissaro, Kandinsky, Tanguy, Kirchner, Courbet, Chirico, Klimt, Leger, Michaelangelo, Calder, Modigliani, Mondrian, Watteau, Morisot, Duchamp, Turner, Seurat, Ensor, Ernst, Gauguin, Appolinaire,Klee, El Greco, Hals, Titian, Toulouse-Lautrec, Neel, Dove, Gorky, Hockney, Oldenburg, Parrish, Rosenquist, Stella Wood, Hopper, DeMuth, Marin, Wyeth, Wyeth Notteth, Eakins, Whistler, Prendergast, Childe Hassam, Davis, Avery, Sam Francis, Burchfield, Rossetti, Rothko, Rousseau, rubens, Sargent, Stuart, Pollock, Krasner, Winslow Homer, Hudson River School, the Regionalists, surrealists, the wild beasts, Pointillism, Bosch, the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, Raphael, Redon, the ash can school, the group of eight, the cubists, the orphic cubists, dadaism, French Academe, the impressionists, the abstract expressionists, the antwerp mannerists, the Albegenzian heretics, the Camden Art Group, New English Art group, Tenebrism, underparism, Norwich School, Barbizon school, art nouveau, tryptichism, pasticcio, perspectivism, linear composition, the neo-post modern retrospectivists, et. al. ( I looked up Van Gogh in an art history book I have and it says, "See, Gogh, Van.") Which I thought was interestingly but unnecessarily precise. Each of the above has influenced me in particular ways which I will get into later. So let's go.

My life has been a journey fraught with peril and puerile, much unlike the young boy victim/hero of Jerzy Kozinsky's novel, The Painted Bird, which coincidentally, myself and two others at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (Skau and Carroll) authored a fine critical essay published by The Polish Review. And much unlike too many others to mention such as Lewis Carroll, Carol O'Connor, and Kareem Abdul Jabbar to name just a few.

I grew up in a religious household in Oregon, Washington State, Wyoming, Utah, and Nebraska. My father was a Congregational minister which has roots in New England puritanism and the Pilgrims who the English were glad to see go. Four hundred and fifty years later, and a brush with Emerson and the Unitarians, this denomination became the United Church of Christ. My mother was raised Episcopalian. My mother's ancestors include the chief translator of the King James version of the Bible. My father's ancestors include Irish kings and vagabonds. My great grandfather's brother built the first oil refinery in Colorado in 1878? and my uncle was an electrician. In some ways not unlike the narrator of the young protagonist in James Joyce's Araby, which coincidentally enough, I also published a short critical piece about in The Explicator, along with Professor Skau at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, I have viewed life through a lens of religious belief and non-belief bordering on faith and non-faith. Wavering between faith and non-faith is a precarious balance of small proportions and daily effort. Perhaps the road to faith leads to the road of belief.

Music has also played a part in my life. More on that later.

Influences on and in my life and art include in no particular order other than this one:

Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Taos, New Mexico, Carlos Castenada, James Joyce, DH Lawrence, Tennyson, Byron, Keats, Shelley, Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, Joni Mitchell, Simon and Garfunkle, The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, Peter Max, Max Levy, Mahler, Tchaikovsky - especially the 1812 Overture, Dvorzak, Tolstoy, Bradbury, Arthur Clarke, Ramsey Clark, Jimmy Carter, General Patton, Relativity Theory, Hubble, Galileo, Leonardo DaVinci, Doestoevsky, Adam Smith, Adam and Eve, Mighty Mouse, Deputy Dawg, Rocky the Flying Squirrel and Bullwinkle, Perry Mason, Emily Bronte, thomas Hardy, the Hardy boys, John Milton, John Lennon, Thomas Jefferson, William Jefferson Clinton, Clint Walker, Johnny Walker, William Butler Yeats, John Bunyan, Jonathan Edwards, Rudyard Kipling, Richard Brautigan, e.e. cummings, William Ginsburg, Jack Kerouac, Neal Casady, Butch Cassidy, Shakespeare, William Golding, Goldie Hawn, Kurt Russell, Russell Means, Francis Bacon, Spencer, Katherine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy, Humphrey Bogart, HG Wells, Pierre Boulle, Sir Isaac Newton, Copernicus, Aristotle, Socrates, Abraham Lincoln, Atilla the Hun, A.O. Lovejoy, Sigmund Freud, Jung, Skinner, Karl Marz, Richard Nixon, Spiro Agnew, Jerry Ford, and others which will be named later.

timeliness (and/or timelessness) of art v. artlessness of time - I'm still working on what to say, but I thought it was a catchy phrase. I think it means something. Creation v. aging, permanence v. transience. Beauty v. chaos and entropy. permanence within transcience. Connection to the age and the disconnect of aging.

America Could be the Beautiful Shining City on the Hill. So far, the dream is greater than we are.

Oh beautiful for specious skies.
For iambic prayers for peace.
For people's fountains travesties above the towering trees.
America, America, God shed his blood for thee.
And gave his rood with much more good.
From thee to singing sea.

So endeth #2.

P.S. Happy Birthday to my Sister

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Freud, Oedipus, Breast feeding, and Circumcision

Jan. 2006

For all you football fans out there, I am not happy to report that my son Jeremy is being placed on the Injured Reserved List and will not be playing in the NFL Playoff games or the Superbowl this year.

In what started out to be an innocent "Let's go out and play catch with the football" event, Jeremy's left thumb got fractured at the first knuckle. No surgery will be required according to team physicians, but Jeremy's thumb will be splinted for three weeks. The pass from Dad was right on target, but struck Jeremy's thumb straight on the end resulting in the fracture. A full recovery is expected and Jeremy should be ready for next season. Dad feels pretty bad, too.

Caution - personal details about to be revealed. Do not read any further if you do not want to know what comes next. It's all very Freudian. And I wouldn't even go here, execpt that I am embarking on an Autobiographical series of paintings and I find it hard not to be autobiographical while I do this. If you are squeamish (which word, incidentally, comes from the Anglo/Norman "escoymous," then do not proceed.....

Okay, here we go, but prepare yourself. I have titled today's painting Autobiography, Chapter One, Day One, Later in the Day - Tired and Sore. I am still reading Terry Eagleton's Literary Theory and finished the chapter titled "Psychoanalysis" last night. It was an interesting read and included a brief but insightful analysis of DH Lawrence's Sons and Lovers. By the way, do you think it is a coincidence that my full name is Donald Lawrence Cassiday? See what I'm getting at? Here's the point: on my first day in this world back in December of 1950 I was both breast fed and circumcised (this may be way more than you wanted to know - if so, please disregard). So I began this life by thinking, "Hey, this isn't so bad, things are looking up" and then - whack - "Yowee, what the f*** was that?" The Oedipal ramifications of this dual pleasure/pain event on my very first day may still be echoing through my universe like those cosmic echoes of the Big Bang reverberating through the vastness of the universe which were first detected by those two guys putting up telephone microwave equipment in the 1960's . However, I am choosing not to dwell on those events any more and plan in the near future to move on to Day 2 when my own universe started to expand.

In the weeks ahead, by the way, I should have my art exhibited at the Visiting Nurses "Art and Soup" event and also for the Omaha Lit Fest fundraiser at the Loft gallery in the Old Market. I should have additonal work at Louisville in March. And I still have work at Adventure in Art in Benson. More details to follow.

And I am in day 8 of hoping a good job lands in my lap! So far I have received one rejection letter which said I had many nice qualities and another which said my file would be looked at if a position opened up. That's progress!


Blind Date with Destiny Feb 2006

Art of the Day Club newsletter Feb. 28, 2006

As I sat in the Joslyn Museum cafeteria, waiting for a blind date who was a no-show, I was making a sketch of a large potted plant, I don’t know what it was, but it had several woody stalks and clusters of green waxy leaves. It was sitting by an entryway, next to a large brass art deco style arched gate. I was alone in a sea of empty tables. No rendezvous today. Then a cute little red-headed girl of 12 or 13 with braces on her teeth and freckles came up and saw my sketch and was quite impressed. I felt validated as an artist somehow.

Later, I toured the museum, I was in the modern art wing, and confronted original paintings by Matisse, Braque, Hoffman, Pollock, Stuart Davis (who I have been reading about - interestingly enough, the book is titled Stuart Davis), and others. I stood myself squarely in front of Davis’s "It don’t mean a thing, if it don’t got that swing" canvas which measures maybe 3’ x 4’ and one was one of Davis’s "jazz" pieces. I was "measuring" myself and wondering if somewhere sometime someone was or would be standing in front of one of my pieces measuring the lines, the colors, the shades, the shapes, and themselves against me.

I remembered George Plimpton’s performance in playing the triangle, gong, and bass drum, for the New York Philharmonic Orchestra - I think it was Mahler’s Fourth Symphony. And I remembered James Thurber’s "Walter Mitty" as a fighter pilot and as a race car driver. Thurber once said of his own art, "If all the lines of what I've drawn were straightened out, they would reach a mile and a half. I drew just for relaxation, in between writing." I thought that Pollock’s lines would be longer.

So am I Plimpton or Mitty, I wondered as I studied Davis’s syncopated rhythms, bright colors, and busy composition. Living in an imaginary world like Walter Mitty, or taking bold new directions like George Plimpton, or will someone someday look at my canvases like I am looking at Stuart Davis’s.

One Year Anniversary March 2005

Dear Art of Day Club (or as I like to imagine when combing my hair looking at myself in the mirror - my Fan Club):

I'm a few days early with my one-year as an artist newsletter, but I wanted to send this out just in case I got hit by an asteroid or a refrigerator falling from an airplane.

I began my career as an full time artist one year ago on March 1, 2004. It's hard to believe a year has gone by already. Time flies when you are having fun, and yet I remain optimistic in a "whistling past the graveyard" sort of way. One year is the paper anniversary. If anyone can tell my why paper is significant, let me know, and hand me a tissue please, my nose is running.

When I started this project, I told many of my friends that this was either the smartest thing I have ever done or the dumbest thing I have ever done. Which is it? It is still too close to call. But smartest or dumbest, it has been a good year. I apparently reached a threshhold at which I have to report sales from my art to the IRS. An art gallery sent me a Form 1099 regarding my sales there. Great. But I've had fun.

And having had fun for about a year now, I am pleased to report that I am still feeling the creative juices flowing and am looking for financial ways to continue. If anyone would like to send me money, I will send you a SASE.

My son thinks it's pretty cool to have an artist for a dad. He's at the age, 10, where he still likes me. But he's beginning to want to look "cool" at school - which means having his underwear ride about two inches higher than his pants. Thank god my generation never did things to attempt to be "cool." Things like rebellion against authority, long hair, flowers embroidered on jeans, smoking po.... you get the picture. But my son is also at the age where he still likes to play hide and seek under the bed covers in the morning before heading off to school. "Come and find me, dad." This while I am standing in the same room.

So for the most part my life is pretty good right now. However, on the down side, a woman I actually worked up the nerve to ask out for a date declined, and I am falling behind the work pace I had set for myself. This was to be a get rich quick scheme: I'd paint a thousand pictures per day for a thousand days, sell them for a dollar each and be a millionaire! This is not going to happen. I've had to adjust. Now I think I'll get to the million paintings in approximately 2738 years, and 8 months, longer if I take Saturdays and/or Sundays off. But I will get there.

I have done more than 200 paintings this last year most of which are posted at my website. The "stats" page of my website tells me that my website has been visited by people in 12 states, the District of Columbia, and 6 countries including France and South Korea. But the internet being what it is it is also possible that viewers living in Ralston or York or South Sioux City have their internet communication channeled through Kuwait or the Netherlands or the Antarctic before landing in Colorado where my website lives. For a while, I thought I was the most popular artist in Utah but then noticed that whenever I added new pictures to my site, the visit registered as coming from Utah. Now I appear to be very popular in Virginia. Nevertheless, I received 680 visits to my web site in January and over 800 in Febuary. And if I subtract the 500 times I looked in January, it still was pretty good in February.

I have noted that I have gravitated toward some of the 2nd generation abstract expressionists who included a bit more representational attitude in their works. Lee Krasner and Karl Appel come to mind. Among the artists whose work I have admired, studied, and incorporated into my own work this year are not only abstract expressionists but also pre abstract expressionists and post a.e. including Raoul Dufy, Jean Dubuffet, Kandinsky, Matisse, Picasso, Pollock, Grace Hartigan, Hans Hoffman, Jack Tworkov, Mark Rothko, de Kooning, Gorky, Franz Kline, Motherwell, Karl Appel, Asger Jorn, Sam Francis, Helen Frankenthaler, Jasper Johns, and others.

Whatever happens next, this has been a great year.

Thanks. Later.

Bud Cassiday

Basquiat, Stanley Williams, and Jesus

Dec. 2005

"Some painters transform the sun into a yellow spot, others transform a yellow spot into the sun." Picasso

Here's another nod to Basquiat who died in 1988 as a young man. As I mentioned yesterday, I've been reading a biography of him that's been a pretty good read. I've also been thinking about Stanley "Tookie" Williams' execution in California and the celebration of Jesus' birth we call Christmas.

I find a strangely compelling coming together of several thoughts about these three I will share: Basquiat, drug addicted, creative genius died of self inflicted heroin and cocaine abuse; Stanley "Tookie" Williams executed for killings he claimed he did not commit (how many deaths were caused by gang violence directly or indirectly caused/inspired by him? dozens if not hundreds?) and finally, Jesus, who committed no crime we would recognize, crucified as we sometimes say for our sins.

One the narcissistic self indulgent self destructive waste of genius, one the execution of the gang leader who renounced and preached against gang violence, produced literature of quality promoting life and the value of life, and the last executed amidst the political cauldron of ancient Rome and the occupation of conquered territory.

Basquiat's sins were committed against himself. Could Basquiat have found redemption and continued the creative journey of genius he was so briefly on? I think so; I think redemption is possible. Did Stanley "Tookie" Williams find redemption? Did he truly renounce his prior life? I don't know for sure, but it appeared so. And if so, what value is there in executing one who has found redemption? And even if not, would there have been more life value in his continuing anti-gaing work in prison? And, finally, Jesus, who committed no crimes yet threatened an entire empire, and, perhaps like Williams, was executed/crucified with political motives in play.

Are these three deaths linked? Not directly. Not clearly. But I have an uneasy feeling that they are in some ways. It's interesting that all three shared a mixture of spectacle and celebrity and politics. Were any of these three deaths justified or merited? Jesus, of course not. Basquiat, he self destructed. Stanley "Tookie" Williams - I recognize the obvious difference, but still I doubt it. However, their deaths all occurred and somehow we are diminished by that.

Usually I try to find the humorous in life to dwell on, but I think I am getting ready early for my annual Christmas depression and thoughts about what might have been. It's like getting my shopping done early instead of at the last minute.


The Serpentine Belt Feb 2006

A few thoughts on the day.

The record breaking days in a row without a major $$$ car repair are now over. The record now stands at 108 days. From Oct 28 until Feb. 11.

They call it the "Serpentine Belt," a Biblical term, the serpent in the Garden of Eden having tempted Adam and Even to partake of the apple of knowledge, a Post-Lapsarian fallen world of sin ala the "Bible Belt." A long rubberized belt essential to the functioning of an engine; the water pump, the cooling system, the alternator which charges the battery, the power steering mechanism, are all dependent on this snakely named miracle of codependence. Sin makes my car run. Industry depends upon evil. Beware the Military Industrial Complex counseled Dwight D. Eisenhower.

When the "Serpentine Belt" broke it took out the water pump - or the water pump failure may have taken out the belt - a cause and effect mystery. A chicken and the egg conundrum. A Big Bang of ill fortune. A First Cause debate.

The "Serpentine Belt" brings forth a water pump gushing baptismal fount of worldly imperfections in a revelation: broken belt, broken water pump, worn brake pads, worn out "idler" arm: talk about our Puritan heritage and the sinfulness of "idleness" in a John Bunyan allegorical world under the hood. Bosch auto parts becomes Hieronymous Bosch in a "Garden of Earthly Delights" world under the hood wherein the delights of the world are quite offset by the everlasting damnations of the triptych’s right panel - The Christian Right? The "idler" arm which helps me steer my course failed. My God, my 1996 Blazer is a metaphor for the Fundamentalist Revolution. I had no idea of all this until my engine overheated and the power steering failed the Saturday night. Good Lord.

On the good news front, I will begin teaching a composition class at Metro Community College in March. I’m looking forward to getting back into a classroom. Now, if I can just move some art….. More good news - Jeremy’s broken thumb is healing nicely – the splint can come off in another week and he’ll be fine.

On Dick Cheney’s shooting his hunting companion, I’ve heard a couple of theories. One was that the Abramoff lobby scandal is implicated somehow. Another is that Cheney thought it was Scooter Libby sneaking up behind him. Whatever the case, just remember, guns don’t kill people, people kill people. All kidding aside, I’m glad the poor fellow Cheney shot wasn’t injured too badly.

I’m going to work on a painting today now that I have my car back.


"Some painters transform the sun into a yellow spot, others transform a yellow spot into the sun." Picasso

artbycassiday Newletter Vol. 1 #3 July 2004 "Line v. Form"

Dear friends, supporters, patrons, and art lovers everywhere:

After four months of my experiment in life, this Bohemian odyssey, this on-going tight-wire act on the precipice of creativity, I'd like to take a few moments of your time for serious discussion of an elemental artistic debate spanning the centuries. From Aristotle and Socrates to Thesophides' great treatise on line, to the "colony de artiste" at Sicily, to Dominicus' long lost letters to the "Brotherhood of Form" --a secret society that only recently has been re-discovered after being discovered in the fifth century by Boethius de lal Giotto and subsequently thought lost when the great library at Antiochus burned to the ground in 756 AD. And then later determined to have not perished in the great fire, but secretly smuggled by the artloving footboy to the Knight of the Piero della Francesca and secreted to be uncovered in an attic in Point de Arms, Connecticut in 1973 when the Antique Road Show passed through the village. It's an interesting story which includes heretofore unknown voyages of the Piero de la Velasquez de las Espanol and the development of the Mayflower Compact as well as interstices regarding significant battles of the American Revolution.

More on that later.

From Bacon to Whitehead to Yeats to Blumkin the argument has raged on through the ages:

"Line." "Form."
"Line." "Form."
"Line." "Form."
"Line." "Form."
"Line." "Form."
"Line." "Form."
"Line." "Form."
"Line." "Form."
"Line." "Form."

"Oh yeah?" "Yeah."
"Oh yeah?" "Yeah."
"Oh yeah?" "Yeah."
"Oh yeah?" "Yeah."
"Oh yeah?" "Yeah."
"Oh yeah?" "Yeah."
"Oh yeah?" "Yeah."

"Tastes Great." "Less Filling."

As formal element of art, line provides outline, boundaries, contrast, transmuted by the artifice of art to become content. Line supports content, line defines space, line becomes the signifier of perceived rational or emotive contextual Geistesgeschichte. Emotive linearality defines our iconographic hermeneutic - form-giving, life-giving artifice. In other words, "tastes great."

Wars have been fought, kingdoms won and lost, Arthur and Sir Gawain, Michaelangelo, Da Vinci, Picasso v. Titanicus, Jutes v. Angles, The Linists of Saxony v. the Formists of Debuque, and so on ad nauseum. Over and over again the great debates incited the passions and inflamed cultural tertiary typologies in an recurring periodistic camera obscura Medician epigram:

Oh! la belle statue! Oh! le beau piedestal!
Les vetus sont a pied el le vide a cheval!

or not to be outdone - Alexej Jawlensky (1864-1941), during his later period, more abstract, more Byzantine who said that "art is nostalgia for God." Who incidentally has his works both in Wiesbaden and Pasadena, California.

See my point?

Line delineates form - form provides line, line accomplishes form, form provides line.

"Tastes great." "Less filling."
"Less filling." "Tastes great."

Consider this question which I believe perfectly illustrates the contextual axiotelemetric megalographic elements of the argument:

If I draw a cow, is it a cow or a picture of a cow?

Clearly it is a picture of a cow and not a cow.


If I draw a line, is it a line or a picture of a line?

Not so clear now, is it?

Just remember what Plato wrote: "I do not now intend by beauty of shapes what most people would expect, such as that of living creatures or pictures, but...straight lines and curves and the surfaces or solid forms produced out of these by lathes and rulers and squares....These things are not beautiful relatively, like other things, but always and naturally and absolutely." Philebus.

More on this later.

On the death of Marlon Brando: I'll miss him. We used to hang out together in South Omaha along with Peter and Jane Fonda and Nick Nolte. We'd hang out in the alley behind the Phillips Department Store smoking cigarettes, the parking lot at the Stockyards Building, play basketball at the South Omaha Boys Club, and pray together at my dad's two small Congregational churches at 35th and R and 24th and Deerpark (this one is now gone). Growing up as kids together is a memory I'll cherish forever. Interestingly enough, Marlon and I called each other "Buddy." We grew apart later in life much to his regret which led to his overeating and weight problems. Remember - cherish your friends - you never know what the future will bring (or the past).

More on this later.

Thus endeth No. 3