Blogging Status Check

This blog is becoming more and more challenging. There is only so much show-and-tell that I can (let alone want) to produce here. It takes time to write a post that is thoughtful and worth reading. And writing posts that are mere drafts just seems untidy. For the times when I don’t have a sufficient amount of time or a good enough topic, I could write a short and sweet piece within a set structure.

The Daily Post via is grand. I enjoy the global community that it helps foster. But many of the daily prompts get personal, which is the point, of course. It’s just that I don’t want to share so many personal bits of myself in this format. Some bloggers let it all hang out — a lot. For some bloggers, that can be empowering and even healing depending upon the topic and need to write. Such blogs have passion and a purpose. But this blog isn’t about such catharsis.

So then. I shall figure out a structure for short and sweet posts starting tomorrow. What will work? What won’t?

Koons Trumps van Gogh?

I had a brief conversation about art today. I had this conversation with a person who is only interested in (if I recall correctly) about the best contemporary art of today, and that’s it. From what this person said to me, no old art is worth revisiting; this includes the works of van Gogh to which I referred.

Unfortunately, we only had a short time to speak due to an appointment that I had to rush off to. But in that short talk, I learned that this person’s favorite artist is Jeff Koons.

Jeff Koons is not van Gogh. And their work has nothing whatsoever to do with each other – at all.

I never thought that I would write anything about Jeff Koons beyond a research paper for an art history class back in my undergraduate days. His work has never inspired me because it is not moving. However, it has garnered global attention (global attention within the art world, that is) and lots and lots and lots of money. Maybe he is really an artist at making people pay obscene amounts of money for his art works.

Back in November 2013, Koons’ giant, stainless steel sculpture Balloon Dog modeled after a folded balloon dog (the kind magicians and clowns sometimes make for the kiddy parties) but super sized to ten feet tall. It sold at an auction for $58 million. According to an Independent article, it is “the highest sum ever paid for a living artist.”

I was baffled that this person with whom I was speaking holds Jeff Koons’ work in such high regard. It confuses me. Wait. Maybe I misunderstood this person. Now I’ll have to seek out this Koon’s admirer and get clarification. After I do, then I’ll post an update.

Smoking Walkers

Lately I have been wanting to confront rude people whom I encounter while walking not the sidewalk or riding the subway. I struggle to understand why so many people are rude, self-absorbed and offensive to the people around them.

Let’s look at public smokers. I’m not so concerned with smokers who stand or sit i one spot when they smoke. But the mobile smokers, they are the worst. There are some smokers who will walk blocks with a lit cigarette in hand,  puffing occasionally, leaving a toxic wake behind them. If I’m downwind of them, sometimes I can smell them a block away.

Either they are oblivious or they are aware that their secondhand smoke is being breathed by the people around them. If they are oblivious, maybe they just need to be alerted to what their actions are doing. If they are aware, then they make a conscious choose to harm others.

I am flummoxed in the wake of their disregard. It baffles me that they  harm other people with impunity. They may argue that it’s just a bit of smoke in public. Here in NYC, it is common knowledge that first and secondhand smoke causes cancer. Public service announcements have been common ever since smoking was banned from bars and restaurants during the Bloomberg administration.

Maybe the sidewalk smokers are just so addicted to smoking that whatever empathy they have for their fellow humans  is temporarily paralyzed. I wonder what I could do to bring them out of their haze. But trying to teach empathy to some people is near impossible but it could be fun trying. More on possible methods another time. I just wanted to complain about it first.

Dueling Subway Ads

Dueling NYC subway ads, 2014.

“Be reborn,” and “Be fulfilled.” Dueling subway ads in a NYC MTA 1 train, 2014.

While riding an uptown 1 train earlier this week, I saw two subway ads posted just a few feet from each other. I found it to be a curious juxtaposition. The ad on the left is for the New York Lottery stating to “be reborn” with money.  The ad on the right is for the YMCA stating to “be fulfilled” by being yourself at a local Y community.

Which would you rather be?

If Everyone Were a Writer

I wonder what would happen if everyone wrote every day of their life. How  would we all treat each other and world around us?

The goal would be to just write. Write for five or ten minutes a day at the minimum. What would happen?

Would a person’s  voice (inner, outer, speaking, writing)  change?
Would everyone become more social to some degree?
Would all of the writers become more empathetic?
Would we become aware of when we are fooling ourselves?
Would we notice each other more?
Eventually, would we want to write even more?

It takes so little effort not to write. But, then again,  the same could be said once writing skills are learned.