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Archive for the ‘Life experience’ Category

Why read…why expand your mind.  We all have questions, and we hope to find them somewhere, even by a chance read.

What if this has the answer you’ve always sought?  The solution to the conundrum that has eaten away at you for many many years.  Some answers are simple, others complex, but even more address the failures we’re now finding in a broken system…a system that enslaves someone through debt.  Mortgage, student loan, whatever, we pay for the right to live in boxes, then a final box.  We demand freedom, but are slyly manipulated into contracts that remove any chance of utter creative liberty.  There are many systems, and the voices promoting this one are the same ones who control and administrate us daily.

Be good, help others, and do not consider yourself to be more than you are…we are not kings but brothers.  Share with others what they don’t have and you own in abundance…this can be money or a kind word, as wealth is not always a monetary concern.

Sometimes, the right word can mean more than a fistful of diamonds.  The meaning of life has value, but the cause of your pain is personal and private…something only you can fix…perhaps the answer is in helping others without a second thought  to an overwhelming  ego that drowns you in a sea of selfishness.

Keep your life free from trouble and bite the bullet…there really is a better way, and a faith in the divine can produce  a positive nature that will carry you above life’s troubles…you shall mount up as if upon the wings of eagles.

 

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D. Fitzgerald ©.

 

Everyone hears of a better way, a better life, and a better world; however, that world has become a dream.  Reality is corrupted by violence, painted in gore and hidden by lies.  That better life is a world within ourselves, within our hearts and within our minds.  We all agree, yet fail to be free.  It remains a concept…an idea we cannot share.

The real world is ruthlessly beyond some philosophical notion…it is inundated with images of blood, endless acts of senseless terror, and murder is measured with a daily tally.

Hate is hard to kill…vicious ideas survive, for fighting words needs a universal truth, and that truth depends on what you believe.  As long as angry murderers poison young minds with their invective, that ugly attitude will persist.  Murder begets murder: a vicious cycle.

Reeling from shocking images of death…acts of human anger prove their is no global brotherhood…we are a world adrift in darkness, our existence marred by a religion of revenge…a religion of death.  Perhaps an alien intervention is the only alarm that might show us we are of one race, and therefore of one mind.  Another unrealistic dream…or one that is suppressed and denied, letting the industries of war profit on our dreams.

Instead of peace we see war…instead of kindness, we see malice.  CNN reports what is relevant, and bad men command media attention with acts of brutal insanity; actions that inflict suffering, and kill innocents.  Instead of love, we only see hate…a hate that leaves a vision of bloodshed ripped apart our righteous souls.

Brutal violence becomes a poisonous tonic fed to children…kids that grow with hate and mature among lies.  Blinded and taught murderous passions, they are schooled in death, and taught to destroy.  They are instructed to kill on a massive scale.  No man an island, they scour continents, their souls twisted into murderous machines intent on maximizing their kills.  Extermination becomes their goal, and their minds are manipulated to harbor disgust for non-believers and distaste for mercy.  They never forget and never forgive.  They maim and kill with no regrets…they live to hate and hate to live.

Through hate filled eyes, they hide behind children and wives…with blinded views and lying tongues, they seek to kill and use their young.  Steered and controlled by leaders in loss of life, the fatalities mount as new bombs are found, indoctrinated, and re-programmed. Names are replaced by explosive potential.   Their goal becomes the annihilation of angels.

Bloodshed burns their inner soul, as demolition delights their angry eyes; to kill the blameless, to burn all bystanders, to lay waste to the innocent and free.

The desolation of abomination begets a vivid image…an image that controls minds and forgets the words of God…the will and grace of God.  The world must follow their hearts and fight all brutal bands of bullies; of prime importance, do something to protect the children of the world, for only love can cure hate…only peace can stop war.  Throughout the world, our future will depend on what our children learn: hate falters when fighting love.

Teach a child to love and it will spread; train them to hate and war will remain a way of life. They hear what they are told, and see what they are shown…hence, they will never perceive love, nor will they hear compassion.  Brainwashing, molding, and influencing morality, words and ideas erase a soul…replacing all with aggression and deadly delight.  Only Man can value wickedness…a hate that inflames Earthly passions.  Inversely, only God has the power of His word….words that create moral strength, bestow grace, and allow the righteous to mount up with wings like eagles.

 

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Please find the following words of truth…moreover, a few words on the meaning of life.  Presented without euphemisms or pulling punches, I seek meaning and speak plainly about life…all life.  Accordingly, the reality of life needs an update once in a while.  Yes…life’s meaning really changes with the times, and yes, it changes often, but usually holds some basic tenets at its root.  This is a small dose of reality that exposes the lies and spin doctoring that currently pass for journalism, political insight, or select words from the sponsor that is exploiting you.  Sadly, truth can only be taken in small doses; to counter this, we have fiction, which sometimes becomes so interchangeable, people don’t know the difference.  An important distinction to make, so it behooves us to take care and pay attention.These truths were realized in the past, yet are blatantly ignored today.  Wednesday morning at five o’clock as the day begins…an important line that could alter the history we think we know, and change the structure of reality we think of when listening to music.  Number nine.

I’ll avoid war, terrorism, or gratuitous violence; they are indeed serious symptoms of an improper and destructive world view, yet solving these problems is an endless debate over solution, cause, and effect.  No one will accept the hard choices that must be made, so why bother hashing them around.  Our world must change; ultimately, that is all anyone can agree on.  Implode or change…simple.  Anyway, I’ll leave war to an advanced society and more enlightened majority to solve.  Perhaps aliens really will show up and demand that we become peaceful…who knows?  Unless the power of money is removed from society, that civilization will slowly erode from this monetary power that creates corruption, greed, selfishness, conspiracy, and a host of other ills.  When the love of money exceeds the love of life, a fatal rot will continue to thrive in elite groups that lie and cheat to be falsely empowered by a duped public.  Elect the poor, for they know the value of a dollar, the importance of a meal, and the need for equity in all business transactions.

Hey…this is your life…the decisions are yours…so try and use your time wisely – help others, or at least become sincere. This is universal, although your situation at birth affects your lot in life, as well as your hopes and dreams.  It takes a lot of fighting to break out of such situations.

People can tell you what to do, but when alone, only you can make yourself busy, and find something to do.That concept leaves people frustrated with life, and often falling back on past traditions.

This is why so many people follow social patterns that have worked for centuries: get married, raise a family, and struggle to support that family. It hopefully provides love, life, and meaning to your existence…at least you’re a mother or father, and you have children to raise.  Notable and necessary, some embrace this as their reason to live, and never look beyond for different things to do. Some jump into careers that demand total devotion, and often require extensive education or specific talents. We also have free thinkers and bohemian attitudes that push more into creative careers, music, art, or writing.

In today’s world, our society has evolved into a foreseen consequence of population growth: too many creative people face not enough patrons to support their output, removing their ability to make a decent living from their labors. Pre-warned by anthropologists and basic demographics, we’ve reached the finite need for archeologists, scientists, and artists, along with countless other specialties. We have amateur astrologists with enough training to be scanning the heavens and producing discoveries, and even physicists or other graduates that end up driving a cab because there are no jobs.

Another factor at play is the inability of those with august careers to step aside for younger talent, and throughout our complex society, there is now a tendency for people to work until they die. Longer life spans contribute to this phenomenon, but the bottom line is still simply explained by acknowledging there are not enough top jobs to accommodate the scores of graduates our universities are producing.

This fact of life has had its own affect on career planning; specialists are becoming even more specialized, creating areas of expertise that were once covered by one all-encompassing title. As our technological society advances in equipment and training, there are new areas of expertise opening that were not there before. The key to a thriving economy of labor in Marxian terms is successful only when the instruments of production and overall advancement maintain pace with the number of people ready to enter that field. A consequence of this reality is that education becomes more central to success, and without a long and carefully planned period of preparation, many intelligent and skilled people fall through the cracks and become over-educated for the job they end up with…just to pay the bills.

In our technological society, money is needed more than ever, and the only areas to live without money are far from the centers of industry or large urbanized dwelling places.   The last few centuries have drastically changed humanity’s way of life, but the greatest change has taken place within the last 60 years. Population increases have urbanized all land around a city, and living in isolated areas now requires a lot of money and an independent trade to maintain this life, or the ability to devise some method to make money from the land itself. Gold mining is again popular, as the price of gold makes a few ounces valuable.

These are our realities: they influence our lives, limit our choices, and dictate our responses.   Becoming a lone wolf or independent operator that scorns society is not possible in our modern world. Living off the land requires that you buy the land…with large acres of wilderness, our governments limit access, and squatting is now punishable by jail. Yesterday, we had sojourners and travelers: today, we have homelessness and abject poverty. Lack of money is a major part of our modern lifestyle; poverty now produces widespread depression, alcoholism, and drug abuse. Proverbs from long ago, the wisdom of the Bible, stated that we should humanely give strong drink to those who suffer, and wine to those in despair.   They didn’t have drugs back then, but what they had was legal. Modern attitudes have stiffened outlooks, and our evolved society has made the only cure for depression only legal by a doctor’s prescription. Everywhere you look, bureaucratic laws and statues exist for every conceivable situation, and we live in a society of rule, law, and paperwork. The pursuit of freedom in such a society is impossible. People need proper identification to exist, social insurance numbers so they can pay tax, and an economic powerhouse that controls all forms of wealth, and charge you for the privilege.

Our modern society does not represent all the people, but since the system includes the majority, the minorities that once had options in life are now subject to approval by politicians, police, and a court system without mercy and rules without exception. An absolute conclusion from all this is that yesterday’s decisions make today’s quality of life.  Advice can be helpful, but personal insight helps traverse life’s bumpy road.

This is our brave new world,  Orwell’s 1984 nightmare, our technological revolution. We are either in the painful early stages of a miraculous new order of life, or suffocating in an explosion of elitist expansionism and secular growth. The meek are trampled underfoot, the weak are exploited by the strong, and the poor indentured slaves of the rich.  Not much has changed, and as Solomon said, there is nothing new under the sun, except the gap between the rich and poor is now a chasm of galactic proportions.

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I do declare the following: on this day, November 27,2014, in response to the new Facebook guidelines and any other claim by blog sites and RSS post sites, under articles L.111, 112 and 113 of the code of intellectual property, I declare that my rights are attached to all my personal data, drawings, paintings, photos, texts etc… published on my profile. For commercial use of the foregoing my written consent is required at all times.
Those reading this text can copy it and paste it on their Facebook wall. This will allow them to place themselves under the protection of copyright. By this release, I tell Facebook and other blog sites that it is strictly forbidden to disclose, copy, distribute, broadcast, or to take any other action against me on the basis of this profile and/or its contents. The actions mentioned above apply equally to employees, students, agents and/or other staff under the direction of Facebook, and other RSS style blog sites and other posts.
The contents of my profile include private information. The violation of my privacy is punished by the law (UCC 1 1-308 – 308 1 -103 and the Rome Statute).
All my post are the exclusive property of myself, and any unauthorized copying or reproduction without my written consent is against copyright law. This includes all blogs, comments, posts, samples, or any and other pictorial media, such as paintings and photographs, are the sole property of Artidan/Artidan007, and the original author, myself, my name excluded for confidentiality. Several posts are from published books and are only shown for sample purposes, and possible sales. All material is subject to copyright, and any and all mention should be done with the author’s permission, or it is a breach of the copyright act. I’m not Shakespeare, but then again, he was an amalgamation of Elizebethan writers, and I dare anyone to prove otherwise. Again, copyright Artidan, and IdEgo Creations, Inc. 2008

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I must warn you, this is another do-good point of view on a problem, a sociology 101 textbook phenomenon. Word food for the starving reader. Something for those that care about others, or stuff I shouldn’t bother writing about…the same old lollipop, even coated in fruit-loops, still tastes the same. Whatever, however. But, if you don’t write about these things, they fall by the wayside…like cigarette butts flicked into oblivion by careless smokers…people who think if it’s out of their hands, it’s not their problem anymore…until the nightly news shows a massive forest fire, thousands of loving and friendly trees burnt to death…thanks to the careless butt of some unknown and nameless smoker. Regardless, the eternal question always raises its beaten face…who are you to tell me what to think. Hey, words are harmless, unless they hit home and reveal something you don’t like.

Without pointing fingers, naming names, or tossing blame around, it’s hard to explain or justify Vancouver’s homelessness problem. It’s warmer here…maybe that attracts more street people…but it’s an embarrassment that should be cleaned up. The Main and Hastings intersection is like junction of hopelessness and despair…the epicenter of a blatant drug problem that radiates out into a circle of destitution, misery, and endless torment. Hard done and done hard. A hard life is life that’s hard. Be nice and open your doors. Smile. Let someone camp in your backyard…if you have room. That’s what they did in the old days, but modern life is about property…and my property is private. No entry. Violators will be shot. How humane. One in the head would end a life of misery. Thank you. That sure solved things.

On the street, there is no responsibility, and no one has an easy answer to change this sort of attitude. Police walk by crack smokers and people shooting drugs…they’re like giant cockroaches…infesting every alley in the neighborhood, an infestation beyond extermination. When writing about this problem, caution is in order…you must not offend certain governing or socially interested parties, or they will have your balls for breakfast, and make sure your writing is boycotted, censored and stifled. Not too attractive to a writer…but, w.t.f., I’d like to put the pricks of the world on notice…I really don’t have your best interests at heart…if greed and human nature are to blame, I’m all for roasting the dickheads that perpetuate or profit from this problem…and yes, certain establishments fight over monthly welfare handouts…steady cash, and it adds up…the more bodies you cram in your hovel of a hotel, the richer you are…every month, like clockwork.

Every problem has a cause, then a symptom, and usually has several solutions. Seriously, are all the solutions just crap that backroom municipal mouth movers come up with? Just a lot of endless talk and no real action? Like any social creature, the homeless exist for many reasons…some enjoy kissing responsibility goodbye, thumbing their noses at collectors and banks…some are temporarily caught in unfortunate circumstances, some are medical patients who had the hospital stripped away and are still wondering what happened, some are textbook apathetic gentlemen that tilt at windmills, sell drugs and curse the damn wheel of fortune, while some actually want real homes. The major problem these poor people face are the well off, homesteaded families, groups that put their own interests first, and say to hell with all the lazy, no-good poor people that can’t afford a house. They have stories about hard work, scrimping and saving, doing without, hardship and personal sacrifice…according to them, that’s how they got their million dollar home in Point Gray or North Vancouver. Balderdash, they got help from rich friends or relatives. Uncle Joe’s 3 million estate? Got a loan from a rich family member? Gloating over high paying jobs to cover a high mortgage? Overpaid jobs they got from cronyism, pork-barreling, tutelage, patronage…never from personal merit. Or, get rich the old fashioned way, inherit.

The recent Vancouver blowup over a small, temporary winter shelter demonstrates a significant problem homeless people face…hubris and selfishness…the snobbish “not in my backyard” group. Homeless are considered pariahs, while smarmy, self-righteous, and greedy people only care about themselves. If it’s good for homeowners, they’re all for it…yet, as soon as there’s a tiny problem, some unknown situation they only heard about on the news…they instantly call foul…yelling and screaming about their expensive real estate…how less fortunate people are driving down the price of their property, infringing on their privacy, and disturbing their peace and quiet. Heartless and cruel would be a kind way to describe these people…I’d start wondering what God is going to say when asked about love, charity, and being the good Samaritan? Even ET’s believe in a God, according to reports.

Sorry, no one owns the world, we’re only temporary tenants, and the world is already way over-stocked with crazy people, some that actually run entire countries. Basically, we all have the same dignity and free rights we are told exist – somewhere.

These rights might only be philosophies of the mind, tasty brain food…concepts that exist on intellectual levels, problems that are debated from leather chairs over 18-year old scotch, and are buried in thick, College-only books. In reality, that’s where philosophy is, and they can philosophize about the existential nature of that truth until the cows come home. There’s many voices in the world, and there’s a lot of hoarse throats in Vancouver. Voices that backbite and whine…voices that cry, sob, or beg…pleas and reasons that fall on deaf ears…utterances that are merely whispers…untold realities of life that successful people ignore…these are the voices that matter. Hope slowly disappears through neglect, and the croaking for support eventually fades away, until there’s nothing but a D.O.A. to deal with at the local morgue.

This is when I often wonder…why do people still argue about this, or bother writing about it…political hot potatoes, hey, it’s big at election time…but normally, no one cares or wants to read about it…no one does anything, and people get bored hearing the same old, same-old re-purposed, re-packed social problems over and over. E-gads. Screw it. Live and let live. Vancouver has a large share of the homeless, poor, and addicted…all broken lives that implode nightly on the six o’clock news…yet no one listens, no one wants to interfere with their comfortable lives by feeling remorse…the same story heard everywhere…while these true unfortunates really need our help…genuine assistance that treats the source, not the symptom…help by people that actually care and have the power to help.

No one wants to get involved…watching T.V. is always a more pleasant family-oriented activity. Go downtown with the family and hand out hot soup. Teach the kids the reality of life. Only action groups throw it in society’s face, so when it hits home, people start to feel guilty about the poor, especially around Christmas…this makes them throw some coins in a relief can…or dig around cupboards for expired canned goods…donating this wealth of unwanted over-ripe edible crap to food banks, then feel like they have done their bit to pitch in.

Vancouver…the condo-capital of Canada. People here spend more on parking meters than shelters for the homeless – parking downtown is six bucks an hour, and shelters are merely one-night stopgap fixes that ignore the long term solution of permanent housing. Everyone likes a roof over their head…food in the fridge…money in the bank…high paying, secure jobs…all the stuff so-called normal people take for granted. As long as it’s not in their backyard, they don’t care…and if it is, they just build bigger fences.

Politics aside, action groups only come forward on their own behalf, picking a cause to champion, and something for them to get paid to do…they get the same treatment…asking for government handouts…getting results like unwanted cousins begging for money, and just enough is done to give elected officials something to say when asked what they are doing to solve this blight upon society. These grants are usually eaten up by staff salaries, office space and expenses, and when it comes time to put money in needy hands, there’s barely enough to order a super-sized meal at a burger joint. Their overall attitude was blatantly apparent throughout the 2010 Olympic games…authorities warned our multinational visitors to stay within certain boundaries, and never venture near the social blight at Main and Hastings… Vancouver’s dirty little secret.

Unlike a broken record, I’d like to offer a few observation on Vancouver’s homeless condition. Omitting labels like unfortunate, problematic, or other wordy presentations crammed with fanciful facts that end with a period, it’s time someone looked into the situation and gave an honest report. A truthful analysis that showcases what is really happening, discarding the previous useless and endless government reports full of euphemisms and incredibly self-serving studies. The crap that always makes the Government shine like a white knight…the metaphor that tells of a crazy man…the great Don Quixote tilting at windmills of the mind. Well, go big or stay home…if you have one.

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Marcel’s critical eye scanned the canvass. A homemade easel secured his painting at a rakish forty-five degrees. The background was spattered and roughly daubed in dusty lavender, accenting the random blue and red lines of various heights and lengths. His artistic eye probed the piece for that decisive coup d’oeil that would satisfy his artistic soul. This was how he finishing his abstract paintings. No one would notice any difference, but his artistic muse and inner Weltanschauung needed to be sated. Using a two-inch flat’s chisel edge, he added a straight line, blending the rough stroke with a fan brush. The purplish red complimented a series of similar slashes in the bottom corner. He felt an ethereal contentment that triggered a creative closure. The painting was concluded. His artistic essence was fulfilled; its form and function satisfied his strict creative principles. He would have to write another paper on form and function. He would share his unique insights with the uninformed masses that were unaware of the proper utility or art. Ravenous audiences could appreciate art with his inspired guidance. His convoluted thought process began to whir, as he scribbled a quick outline.

After capturing some brilliant insights, he got up and surveyed his work. The colorful mishmash of haphazardly placed lines atop the dappled background was agreeable. Everything seemed in proportion, and the finishing tangle of geometrically opposed lines seemed acceptable. He jotted down more notes about his methodology, adding them to a growing stack of notes on his creative processes. Writing, he believed, verbalized the artistic experience, and could teach a great deal. After he conducted his business at the bank today, he would finish the paper at once. Marcel’s apartment housed a great deal of writing, but it did not generate the paltry income his paintings received. His Magnum Opus was incomplete; when finished, it would reverberate throughout the art world and stun the ignorant critics. He was adamant that people that who enjoyed his art would agree with his opinions.

Mixing a watery black, he added his well-practiced signature. The buyer should be here with his cheque in an hour, and the quick drying acrylic would be dry in half that time. He hoped the man would show up; the money would help him pay his rent. The cramped quarters under the bar were dirty and rat-infested, but provided a base to promulgate his enlightened ideas the world desperately needed. Displaying his work near the Chicago Museum of Art, making a sale was always a financial juncture, as he was constantly on the move, being told to pack up and never come back. One day, he mused, my ideas and creativity will transform the art world.

The burdens of genius were onerous indeed. Strict bylaw governing sales without a vendor’s permit was a mere inconvenience. He could rant on about Van Gogh and the treatment of starving artist’s in general, but without a permit, the constables were limited in the leeway they could allow the poor artist. Explaining creative confluence, with the museum’s august location as its focal point, fell on deaf, bureaucratic ears. His overbearing attitude and promises to write scathing attacks upon the degeneration of society did not encourage pity.

His self-assurance predicted this misunderstanding would soon be settled. Upholding his principles and invaluable insights on the creative process would stand him in good stead when upscale galleries recognized his genius and clamored for the privilege to showcase his creative masterpieces.

His eye drifted back to his painting. The colors were soothing and peaceful. It was a creation he enjoyed. He did not want to venerate the piece. He was sufficiently detached from his useful handiwork; his creation could impress a viewer without disturbing his stubborn definition regarding the function of art. He adamantly endorsed Oscar Wilde’s view of art. Art is surface and symbol, and that it is the spectator, not life, that art really mirrors. He loathed pride and excess, believing that only humility could provide someone with an acceptable moral center. Like Wilde, he forgave a man for making a useful thing, provided he did not admire it: obversely, the only excuse for making a useful thing was to admire it intensely. All art is useless. Yes, he felt creating this piece propelled him to write a brutal attack on modern mores and aesthetic values. Like his art, they had become debauched. The world needed his advice to re-evaluate artistic values.

His significant daydreaming was interrupted by a knock on the cellar door. The buyer he thought, scrambling to the door. He had a subconscious fear that his client might change his mind. That happened to him several times. He threw open the door, and was relieved to find the well-dressed gentleman that commissioned liked one of his works, but asked if Marcel could change the background colors. He disliked customers critiquing his inspired work, but dismal circumstances taught him brilliance endures darkness before illuminate artistic appreciation. Also, money excused many mistakes. He greeted the man warmly, brush in hand, and returned to his easel.
“Come in Sir,” he said”, I have just completed your painting, and was taking in the overall influence the piece displays. It projects a warm, almost morally soothing ambiance, but that is just my impression. Come, come, have a look and tell me what you think.”
The tall stranger ducked under one of the ceilings many pipes, working around the clutter to catch the light from the room’s grimy window. He rested his chin on his hand and appeared lost in thought.
“Yes, I can see what you mean”, the man agreed, “it does have a somewhat calming affect upon you – I wouldn’t say it had a moral effect, but it does reveal a sense of ease. You used the colors I suggested beautifully. I like the way it demonstrates a warm and engaging situation that gives straight strokes a sense of vitality.”
He moved towards Marcel’s kitchen table and pulled out his chequebook.
“Indeed sir,” he continued as he filled out the cheque”, I’m so impressed with your work that I shall give you 100 dollars for the piece, not the five we agreed upon the other day.”
“Oh thank you sir”, bubbled Marcel”, that is most generous of you. I could tell you had a fine eye for artistic display. Perhaps I can interest you in some of the essays I have written on the nature of current artistic appreciation. Art, along with fine writing, are the two mediums we artists have that can shift emotions, even return a soul to its moral center. The great masters enthused viewers from bouts of bathos to the pinnacles of joy, captured by the aura their work aroused. Marcel held up a thoughtful finger, formulating the thoughts that were swirled about his cavernous mind
The stranger noticed he was preparing another long-winded speech and quickly interjected, “No, thank you, I quite agree, but that’s okay, perhaps some other time”.
Marcel looked down, his crushed soliloquy draining from some mental orifice, realizing his brilliant visions were sometimes hard to grasp in verbal form. “I’ll just shuffle off to my shipping department”, managing a grin,” and wrap up your painting”. He disappeared in a portioned area that showed the edge of a bed peeking out.
The stranger glanced around the dingy apartment, noting stacks of dusty printing paper and thick books crammed in any opening. A flood of brushes and paint surrounded the strange easel, the overflow contained in a circular area around the stand. Several finished paintings leaned against the wall. The rest of the residence was being slowly crushed by the weight of numerous alphabetized binders and precariously balanced paper towers. The wide kitchen table held a series that had some sort of order. Every inch of the place was multifunctional; the kitchen acted as paint station and canvass stretcher department. Everywhere showed the signs of writing, reading or painting. He imaging the bed was the shipping and wrapping department.

Prominently displayed on a blank wall was a three by two foot sign of black lamacoid with engraved white writing. It was a quote from somewhere, some tidbit of wisdom that Marcel obviously held dear. He quickly scanned it.

The artist is the creator of beautiful things.
To reveal art and conceal the artist is art’s aim
The critic is he who can translate into another manner or a new material his impression
of beautiful things.
The highest as the lowest form of criticism is a mode of autobiography.
Those who find ugly meanings in beautiful things are corrupt without being charming.
This is a fault.
Those who find beautiful things mean only Beauty.
There is no such thing as a moral or immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written. That is all.
The nineteenth century dislike of Romanticism is the rag of Caliban not seeing his own face in a glass.
The moral life of man forms part of the subject-matter of the artist, but the morality of art consists in the perfect use of an imperfect medium.
No artist desires to prove anything. Even things that are true can be proved.
No artist has ethical sympathies. An ethical sympathy in an artist is an unpardonable mannerism of style.
No artist is ever morbid. The artist can express everything.
Thought and language are to the artist instruments of an art.
Vice and virtue are to the artist materials for an art.
From the point of view of form, the type of all the arts is the art of the musician. From the point of view of feeling, the actor’s craft is the type.
All art is at once surface and symbol
Those who go beneath the surface do so at their peril.
It is the spectator, and not life, that art really mirrors.
Diversity if opinion about a work of art shows that the work is new, complex, and vital
When the critics disagree the artist is in accord with himself.
We can forgive a man for making a useful thing as long as he does not admire it.
The only excuse for making a useless thing is that one admires it intensely.
All art is quite useless.
Oscar Wilde

The stranger saw the sign echoed the comments on life and art Marcel had enthusiastically explained when he first met him and bought one of his paintings. Indeed, this odd view of art and morality clearly formed Marcel’s inner core. He felt as if he had peeked into Marcel’s soul. Deliberately placed near the door, Marcel probably read this whenever he left this hovel. He looked around at the prolific stacks of essays. Long, pedantic inscriptions indicated theological and philosophical issues, with frequent references to modern morality. He noticed the source: a closet-like area embraced a rickety desk holding an ancient computer and ink jet printer. The painter would make an excellent subject for study.

He enjoyed a moment of detached anticipation; this guy was committed in more ways than one. Morality was a big part of his life. As the bubbly man returned, his now wrapped painting under his arm, an incisive gaze bored into Marcel, piercing his very essence.

“Here you are sir, Marcel exhaled, “not proportionally exact – Christmas and birthday presents were not my forte - but it is protected from the elements”.
“Thank you Marcel. I will enjoy it on many levels. I must take my leave now, I have much to accomplish by tomorrow.”
Marcel had hoped for more insightful banter, but was thrilled that the extra fifty dollars gave him more than enough for his rent. He could only hope this might become a repeat customer.
“As you wish Sir. Feel free to call on me again, or look for me around the museum sometime if you might want to make another purchase. Thank you, and I hope to see you again.”
The stranger paused as he opened Marcel’s door, and replied, “I’m sure you will see me again. I bid you good day.” The door closed, leaving Marcel with his swirling thoughts.
He did not feel like venturing out today, he had made the month’s rent, and sat down to write more on his great vision.
The stranger squinted in the bright sun, his eyes accustomed to the gloom of Marcel’s dingy basement. He walked towards his BMW chirping it as he juggled his keys and his new painting. Fitting the painting in his back seat, he removed a digital voice recorder from the glove box. “7 Oct. 2007, Marcel Dupris, psychotic schizophrenia. Believes he is a successful author and painter and collect assorted magazines that he imagines contain his writing, art critic reviews and other signs of success. Marcel is entrenched in this world of delusion and believes he will soon be given a showing at the Chicago Museum of Art. I discovered the subject selling his worthless art on the street and commissioned him for a piece. I confirmed my analysis when I picked up my “masterpiece” today. The subject is self supportive, self reliant and self deluded.

***Stranger is Dr. Victor Fiske, famous TV psychiatrist, who sees an unorthodox approach is needed to help Marcel. Perhaps hired by a rich family or friend of Marcel’s. He sets him up, then shows up at the station to explain that Marcel is his patient and is being treated for psychotic schizophrenia. The police release him into his custody and he explains that Marcel needed to be jolted out of his delusional writing and painting fantasy, that the magazines didn’t have articles by him and reviews about his art.
He will do a paper on him.

The next day broke sunny and warm. Marcel decided the grubby sunlight making its way past the built up dirt was inspiration for a new painting. Securing a new canvas to his homemade easel, he pondered the blank space for a moment then began mixing paints. After several hours, most of the background was sketched in, and Marcel had an idea for the overall painting. Noticing the time, he began to prepare himself for the trip to the bank.

Tells him what bank he uses and what time he likes to show up.

The old turn-of-the-century structure made a formidable bank.
He loved these old purposely-designed buildings; modern glass towers, in his artistic eye, were tasteless glass rectangles that projected height and size over form and function.

Tastefully chiseled in a neo-gothic style, the large granite blocks gave the building redoubtable dependency and impenetrable strength. It offered a perfect fortress to safeguard your money. Tom Surrey climbed the broad front steps, firmly stacked to support the bloated, beautifully fluted columns, thoughtfully carved in the Doric tradition. In his early art studies, he had studied classical sculpture and architecture, and appreciated the older sections of the city for its eclectic array of Victorian and other, more time consuming styles of construction. Minimalist towers of glass with no taste had replaced early aesthetics, the modern shrine of capitalism.

Tom eased into paycheck Friday’s lengthy line and leaned forward to grab a deposit slip. He had sold four paintings this week, an influx of cash that would help him barely meet the month’s rent.

A quick take on the crowd ahead of him reminded him he should have brought a book. Unlike other waiting rooms, the only reading a bank offered were glossy pamphlets advertising financial services for which he had neither need nor any money. Cashing several cheques was a lot easier when you could take your time and use the check counter. He fumbled for leverage as he used the back of his chequebook to write on. A quick head count confirmed he had not missed the lunch hour crowd. His watch read 11:45: the bank thought it was 11:58. Damn. He reset his watch. After finishing his deposit slip and signing his cheques, he fell into the watching game, guessing how long each customer would take.

He remembered the difference had something to do with the entablature at the top of the column. Some were plain, scroll-like or ornately carved. As an artist and old building enthusiast, he should study up on some of the city’s more colorful districts, the ones were he loved to go walking.

Ionic capital, column and entablature.
Doric: plain, first style.
Ionic: scrolls at the top
Corinthian: elaborate carving around top.
Gothic: elaborately carved, fancy flying buttresses etc.
Roman: arch, functional, solid.
Greek:

The soaring columns supported a stretched triangular frieze.

Chiseled granite blocks showed neo-gothic accents and regal Ionic columns.

A man that hand him a zippered leather folder joins him in line. He does not return. When John gets to be third in line, he opens the heavy folder to see if it is a gold brick or rolled change. He puts his hand on the handle of a gun. Fingerprints are now only his.
There are two letters. One to him, telling him to rob the bank, or be shot by the brown car he can see parked in front of the side door. The other letter is to be given to the teller and instructs her to lead him to the end of the counter and open the small door and lead him into the vault. He is to fill the case with the bundles of fifties on the shelf, have the staff lie on the floor, and lock the vault as he leaves, gun in hand. He is to then get into the car with the stranger.

The stranger is a robber, but a psychological nut who likes to push people to their moral limit and see if they will rob the bank or risk getting shot, or getting caught with all the evidence leading to him. The stationary is from his apartment/studio, printed on his printer, and probably has his fingerprints or other incriminating mark, and other personal trace evidence planted there by the robber.
His choice is to rob and leave with the guy, or shout out and hit the floor, in which case the robber would just drive away-it would be his word against the evidence…maybe he does that and gets thrown in jail, as the police find a plan written on his computer that shows he might not have the nerve to carry it out.
So, either he robs the bank, or gets set up and sent to jail for attempted robbery and conspiracy.
If so, he gets a letter from the guy at the end explaining why, or a visit or something.

Have it a surprise ending, like he yells about the guy in the car that is not found, but goes to jail when the police find all the evidence against him

Or, the guy calls his cell phone and tells him to do it or face the consequences…and just tells him he will go to jail, that he’s arranged everything so all he can do is go through it, get shot if he leaves, or goes to jail if he yells frame up.

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NEAT line OPENERS

Ultimately, you are what you believe. Questions hold half the answer. To question is to explore; recitation, while somewhat trustworthy, doesn’t explain the quotation. True understanding can create alternative answers, all relevant to the question, but demonstating there is more than one solution. Truth will stand on its own; impervious to alternative answers, able to withstand an examination of past convictions, producing an assurance of the moral imperative at the very core of our soul.

It can be a figurative slap in the face, to finally understand what you have become; something that you detest, something you are inherently ashamed of and something that rebukes your inner soul. These are discoveries that enhance depression, further an already burning hatred of yourself and don’t give you that necessary pat on the back you need to help you combat the world and become tough enough to withstand the ups and downs of everyday life.

To push through and become what you respect is a prerequisite for positive growth; an upbeat attitude will get you through the day and give you the foresight to plan a future you can live with. Self-respect and fortitude are essential traits to really change your personal outlook on life in general. To enjoy life, smile at the sun and have a spring in your step are the little things that help you appreciate your day; obversely, lingering doubts and a constant wariness of your environment complicates life and enjoy the present, and hopefully plan your future. Post Tramautic Stress hit when you least expect it, and can intantly ruin an otherwise plesant day.

When today’s troubles are overwhelming, when life itself is an unpleasant chore, foreseeing a happy existence is dubious, and carefully laid plans seem like uncertain attempts to accomplish a goal that is unattainable. Today needs a cause; tomorrow a future. You see your future as a continuation of past mistakes: life becomes a tumultuous merry-go-round of despondency, a state of progressively painful emotional torture that becomes horror without end, precursors of an ultimate and inevitable horrific end. To worry over tomorrow is an unwelcome burden, for today’s troubles are sufficiently troublesome in themselves. Your life generates a sense of hopelessness that never leaves – a recurring, doleful nightmare from which you never wake, so absorbing it mingles with your overall outlook and sense of reality.

Ultimately, depression and fear control your life, while happiness and joy are abstract concepts enjoyed by other people – people with families, people with jobs they love, people that have a full and happy life. I’ve become an observer, someone that can only watch a joyous crowd, while vicariously experiencing the good things in life…the things you want but have sadly passed you by.

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