Rants and raves, San Miguel de Allende, Writings

Sending a photo through artsy filters unearths emotions missed in the original — but is it art?

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This is what you get when you step out your front door around 7 a.m. in San Miguel de Allende. Not every day but when it happens you whisper a little prayer of thanks to the photography gods. (Then curse the limitations of your sad and old iPhone.) But taking the photo is just the beginning of what you can do.

I am not a photographer. I am a guy with a used iPhone who takes pictures.

I emphasize “used” because the newest phones seem to be veering awfully close to mimicking the abilities of a decent camera.

Mine is not in that class.

Even if I had a new phone with the latest camera technology, or even if I owned a halfway decent camera, I would never call myself a photographer. Continue reading

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Rants and raves, Writings

History is on the side of Nancy Pelosi

moses-cow“Whoa, man. Did you hear about Moses?”

“Hear? He hasn’t been around for weeks. I thought he’s split for the coast or something.”

“No. He was up on top of some mountain. At any rate, he came down the mountain last night and totally freaked out when he saw a bunch of the younger crowd idolizing a golden calf or something.”

“Yeah, definitely a golden calf. I saw it last week. Very realistic, considering we’re stuck out here in the desert and proper tools are hard to find. Somebody did a nice job on it. The people all made caps with a slogan like ‘Make cows great again’ which I totally do not understand. Continue reading

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Rants and raves, San Miguel de Allende, Writings

Hedrick Smith to i3 audience: U.S. political reform can happen but it is up to YOU, not somebody else

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Hedrick Smith speaks to a full house on “Reforming our ailing political system.”

Is there anything better than Nancy Pelosi tearing up the text of President Trump’s State of the Union speech as he basked in the golden shower of applause from Republicans on Tuesday night?

At the moment, no.

But Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Hedrick Smith brought some good news to San Miguel de Allende on Tuesday night: All is not lost.

In a brief speech and documentary presentation titled “Reforming our Ailing Political System,” Smith said to look to the hinterlands, to the grassroots, at the state level,  to see where real reform is going on.

And after three years of crisscrossing the United States, Smith reports that a real revolution is going on  — and it is transcending political parties and racial and economic divides. And it is being overlooked by most of America’s major media outlets. Continue reading

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Rants and raves, San Miguel de Allende, Writings

Think twice before painting a whole nation with broad strokes, avoid the ‘single story’ trap

am-dirtThe last thing I’m going to do is review a book I’ve not read.

Plenty of people are pouncing all over “American Dirt,” especially Latino writers. They don’t need another old white guy to wade in.

The major complaints seem to be around author Jeanine Cummins’ tone-deaf characterizations of immigrants, Mexicans mostly. Her characters could have been more nuanced, more richly detailed, less stereotypical, the critics say.

Some also resent that she made an extraordinary amount of money for writing this story, as though her seven-figure payoff sucked the oxygen right out of the cultural-literary writing room — money that maybe could have gone to authentic Latin/Mexican writers.

Continue reading

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Rants and raves, San Miguel de Allende, Uncategorized, Writings

Poem: A writer’s lament during the holidays

img_9813That moment when you realize the offbeat lead to a blog post that you have been struggling with since Thanksgiving isn’t really the lead to a blog post, but an offbeat poem that celebrates the particular insanity that grips us between Halloween and Boxer Day.

I say this, fully cognizant of the fact that I am not a poet.

So you must draw your own conclusions:

Continue reading

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Memoirs -- fact and fiction, Rants and raves, Uncategorized, Writings

Dream sequence: Walking the Length of the Erie Canal

map-erie canalI have been asked today to discuss the proper way to traverse the Erie Canal, the 363-mile waterway that links Albany, New York, to Buffalo and the Great Lakes. 

Before we go any further, it is important for you to know that I was asked to deliver this talk in a dream.

I know.

It shocked me too.

Continue reading

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Rants and raves

Art world goes bananas over Cattelan’s ‘Comedian’ and I want to cash in …

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What you see here is a merger of the sensibilities and artistic triumphs of Maurizio Cattelan and Andy Warhol, both of who saw the intrinsic (and financial) value in the humble banana as art. I do not expect much for this appropriation and mashup of their creativity. Contact me privately with your offer. Make my Christmas …

Long before there was Maurizio Cattelan and his $120,000 banana duct-taped to a wall, there was Andy Warhol and a whole bunch of bananas. And they both claimed them as art.

Like everyone else in the universe, I have been chortling over Cattelan’s “Comedian” which created such a sensation, if that is the correct word, at the Miami Basel earlier this month.

“Miami Basel is literally such a joke,” wrote one friend.

“It’s a party,” responded another, who actually lives in Miami. Continue reading

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