Life somewhere in the pile.


At some point after the conclusion of Monday’s post I began poking around my inbox and realized that there were several correspondences I had set aside like so many ill-fitting puzzle pieces waiting for a place to call home.

Life moved on, and in the inbox these various correspondences sat. Now that I live the life of a shut in, I’m thankful to have them, if even to serve as a portal to the outside world for me to enjoy as I sit next to an ever dwindling Netflix selection.

Firstly I have a couple of bits, the first being from a fellow named Brian. He used to live in the cold midwest before packing his bags and moving to Oakland, where he enjoys life as the Bay Area arm of the Knog Machine.

Anyway, he writes;

God, being house-bound is really, really the worst. Feeling for you. But seriously – I’m a good beer drinker. And am easy to laugh at. You say when.

Also, if your eye holes need something to fill them, you can probably get really, really lost here.

That’s a proverbial treasure trove of fantastic shit;
I guess syphilis was en vogue (to the extent that employers were concerned about their employees having it), and that people actually thought about buying art – let alone American art.

What I gathered from that selection of posters is that America has always been blatantly racist, but back in the day they were just really into musicals and preventing the spread of cooties as well.

Oh, and that bit about encouraging Americans to buy art reminded me of a fascinating piece I read about the US government funding domestic cultural endeavors. Not in a National Endowment of the Arts kind of way mind you, but in a way that was considerably more nefarious.

A slightly more condensed version than the one I originally read can be found here.

The short version is the CIA funded artistic endeavors in America as an additional weapon in their Cold War arsenal. Besides being a militarized global force, their effort was to become a cultural force as well. Sound insane? Before you breeze onto the next sentence, click on that link up there and read it for yourself.

So all those years I was calling bullshit on artists like Pollock and Johns, I was actually on to something;
Both high art, both in my opinion, total garbage.

However, as they say, tell a lie a thousand times, and it becomes truth. (By the way, Interbike is moving to Denver.)

The art industry is, always has been, and continues to be utterly full of shit, though because Pollock paintings have sold for millions on many occasions, to many people, and many institutions, no one will ever be willing or able to tell the proverbial king he’s wearing no clothes.

To further this point, I direct you to the saga of a man called Henry Darger called ‘In The Realms Of The Unreal’

This is a man who died broke and alone, and was such a recluse, there is still debate on how to even pronounce his name.

Yet just the same, in the above mentioned documentary, a critic/gallery owner/blow hard discussing his work described in some detail what his motivation was, and the meaning behind a specific piece. Of course she then mentioned that the piece in question was fetching an exorbitant price.

My cringing at all of this killed at least several million cells in my body.

Fortunately, there are at least some people who are willing to take a stand, as proven in this piece about Gerhard Richter.

Richter calls the industry out in a similar way that Banksy did in ‘Exit The Gift Shop’;

But even with people as high profile in their given disciplines as Banksy and Richter are, it still doesn’t even begin to chip away at the armor of total crap that protects the industry in which they operate.

Though Wolfgang Beltracchi did a fantastically good job of it;

Without a doubt, and it’s with no reservations whatsoever I say Beltracchi is both the hero we need, and the hero we deserve.

And thus concludes my perspective of contemporary art history.

Class dismissed.

Moving on to more bikecentric topics, I also have been sitting on a piece written by another art/bike nerd who goes by the name Snakehawk that can be found over on Superissimo;


First post in a while worth anything more than a dollar….
Would you mind a little share-around? I’d sure appreciate it.

Thanks, amigo.

I’m real sorry to hear about your physiological woes. Getting older may not be the myth that Steve Crandall is perpetuating;

That prose right there is proof positive that the best cycling related writing isn’t necessarily just found within the slick confines of printed publications, and I thank the hawk of snakes for sharing his inspiration with us.

Finally, from Robert I received the image of my Warner Brothers-esque spirit animal;


A still from Bugs Bunny, you may need;
Sir Osis

Looking up from the bottom of my current condition, though it’s of a slightly different sort, that image speaks piles.

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Leave a Reply

10 Responses to “Life somewhere in the pile.”

  1. Hurl Eversonic April 8, 2015 at 6:19 am #

    That CIA shit is somewhat fascinating, especially this sentence: “If any official institution was in a position to celebrate the collection of Leninists, Trotskyites and heavy drinkers that made up the New York School, it was the CIA.” Substitute “Interbike” for “New York School,” and, well, hey, wait a minute!

  2. Largo April 8, 2015 at 7:21 am #

    Syphilis as a fashion accessory, who knew? I wonder if it can be interwoven in a beard……

  3. East Bay Ed April 8, 2015 at 8:30 am #

    The new SF MOMA has always struck me as a corporate fund-raising playpen first, art museum last. I miss being able to visit all the great art in the national museums in DC for free.

  4. Joe Coradlo April 8, 2015 at 8:53 am #

    Great post! Get well soon.

  5. John Canfield April 8, 2015 at 9:06 am #

    Keep writing about bike stuff. Confirmation bias is one of the the ugliest heuristic traps.

  6. Case April 8, 2015 at 1:23 pm #

    Saw an exhibit of Darger at the Frye in Seattle. Nice little place, always free, by directive of the Frye family who founded the collection. Very interesting and sad work.

    I don’t quite agree with you about Pollock, though I’m less interested in the images of his work and more curious about the resultant texture on the canvas.

    All that being said, I like when you talk about art. It reminds me of you and my wife talking that morning at Club 21, and I just drank and listened. I likely wouldn’t read you word-for-word if you just talked about bikes.

    Good stuff.

  7. WORKINGOUTINJEANS April 8, 2015 at 3:45 pm #


  8. fupapack April 8, 2015 at 6:24 pm #

    thank you for introducing me to Beltracchi i can think of no finer gift on a wednesday night