Friday Homestead Dispatch
Diabolic Diffident Duffel
Quote of the week concerning the virus that seems to be in the news:
If you can’t see the virus, how’re you going to do it? How you going to do it? How can you stop it? You physically cannot see the virus. You don’t know if it’s in this room or outside or if it even exists right now in here. You have no clue. How’re you going to stop that?
— Treig Pronschinske, Wisconsin State Assembly representing District 92
Way before I stuck my first piece of tile on some surface I admired the art of Judy Onofrio. My first exposure to her work was, I believe, a mid-90s solo show at the Minneapolis Institute of Art simply titled ‘Judyland,” stemming from her lush garden filled with oddball sculptures, colorful treasures and flea-market finds. The pictures below are some works from that period.
I stumbled across the photography work of Brendon Burton this week. Not yet thirty years old his body of work is impressive. He gets out of the house…a lot.
In an interview in My Modern Met he says, I create because I don't really know what else I would be doing. Honestly, I don't have the slightest idea of where anyone would be without it. Human beings just instinctually make things as a byproduct of living with a consciousness and opposable thumbs. What's the point otherwise? And he goes on to say, I guess my style lately has been a mix of “Children of the Corn” with vaguely “Post Nuclear Fallout Exploration.” I'm so obsessed with adding ambiguity to my work now, if I can come up with more than one storyline behind the image, I've succeeded.
If I ever make it to Finland, the magic sculpture garden of artist Veijo Rönkkönen is a must. By the time of his death in 2010, Rönkkönen had covered his land with around 550 sculptures.
For you Tucson folks, check out these clips from the 70s.
And the drive on Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles is pretty dang cool…by the looks of the cars it appears to be early 50s, late 40s.
My postings today are a bit light as I’m trying to cut back on my weekly outrage over…most everything. I have to say that Kyrsten Sinema probably has her reasons for not supporting the change in the Senate filibuster but it throws a giant wrench in enabling legislation that would override state’s rules that are now restricting voting. The outrage is not totally about her…it’s more about the fact that no Republicans are on board with the proposals in The Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act, which is a trimmed back version of the For the People Act the House passed at the beginning of this congressional session.
What does it say about these lawmakers that they are against:
1. Setting national standards to protect and expand the right to vote.
2. Helping protect the integrity of elections and make it harder for partisan officials to subvert valid election results.
3. Prohibiting partisan gerrymandering and empower courts to invalidate overly partisan maps, an urgently needed change given that many states have already begun their 10-year redistricting process.
4. Reducing the power of big money in elections by, for example, shining a bright light on so-called dark money campaign spending and implementing a cutting-edge voluntary small-donor public financing system for House elections.
5. Making Election Day a legal holiday.
6. Guaranteeing at least 13 days of early voting, including on weekends.
7. Establishing nationwide automatic voter registration (AVR) through state departments of motor vehicles with grandfathering provisions for existing AVR programs and options to expand to additional state agencies.
8. Creating nationwide online registration and streamlined processes.
9. Setting up a nationwide system of no-excuse vote by mail with ballot tracking; prepaid postage; permanent mail voting for voters choosing to receive a mail ballot each election; due process procedures for signature matching and signature curing processes; secure and accessible ballot drop boxes, including on tribal lands; and prohibitions against requiring strict forms of identification or witness and notary signatures to obtain or cast a mail ballot.
10. Expanding access to and availability of voter registration and voting information, including for people with disabilities and people with limited English proficiency.
11. Restoring voting rights to formerly incarcerated people.
And these are only some of the highlights in the bill. The newly revised bill, trimmed down to suit Joe Manchin, is also in bed with Sinema *cough* saying “Ending the filibuster would be the easy way out. I cannot support such a perilous course for this nation when elected leaders are sent to Washington to unite our country by putting politics and party aside.” WHY THE FUCK NOT TAKE THE EASY WAY?!?!? WHY ARE YOU MAKING IT SO DIFFICULT, MR MONEYBAGS!!?!! ARE THE REPUBLICANS PUTTING POLITICS AND PARTY ASIDE??!?!?
OK, breathe….good. As Heather Cox Richardson says, It’s worth reading what’s actually in the bills because, to my mind, it is bananas that they are in any way controversial. Mmmmmm, bananas.
And last night she neatly lays out, relating to all this above, what’s at stake if the Republicans are permitted to rig the rules so that they will win the next election. The irony is that groups such as the Oath Keepers, an organization based on a set of baseless conspiracy theories that the federal government is working to destroy Americans’ liberties, are wanting to put a dictator back into office.
“Look,” Early said, “in case the first possibility is true, let’s not talk about her at all. Let’s say,” he stuck out his bottom lip, “there’s a castle. And a king is in the castle. And he’s an ass, because, well, kings are asses. Takes too much in tribute. The other knights and noblemen hate him. They say, This fella is getting rich off our fields and the tribute we get from the peasants. They scheme and plot and one day they slit his throat. Replace him with a new king. But pretty soon the noblemen say, Well, goddamn, the new king is as shitty as the last greedy son of a bitch. So they whack his head off, too, and put in a new greedy king. Kings killing kings. You know what that’s called?”
Rye shook his head.
“Shakespeare,” Early said. — “The Cold Millions” Jess Walter
I was saddened to read about a fire that heavily damaged Cano’s Castle, an amazing house made of native volcanic stone and scavenged scraps like hubcaps, screen doors and carefully cut beer cans. Supposedly the two towers are still standing and Dominic “Cano” Espinoza, the owner and builder, is safe. We drove through the town of Antonito (Colorado) in 2017 and snapped a few pics. We even chatted with Cano briefly that day.