This blog will chronicle my adventures in my favorite medium of art as I try to make my way in this world. You may also find posts about photography, writing, environmental conservation, and other subjects that I find interesting.
“In keeping silent about evil, in burying it so deep within us that no sign of it appears on the surface, we are implanting it, and it will rise up a thousand fold in the future. When we neither punish nor reproach evildoers, we are not simply protecting their trivial old age, we are thereby ripping the foundations of justice from beneath new generations.”
–Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago
I visited a local veteran’s memorial recently.
The monument depicts all of the major conflicts that the United States participated in from the Revolutionary War to the War on Terror. The individual bricks make up the names of people who fought, where they fought, and when they died.
There is a lot of names.
I have fretted over writing this. I don’t expect a good reaction. My countrymen seemed to whipped into a frenzy over this midterm election, but I think this something they need to hear. It is something that no one is saying, but its truth is no less sound.
Don’t vote, improve yourself.
Voting Won’t Save You
They have begun to realize that the difficulties confronting us are moral problems, and that the attempts to answer them by a policy of piling up nuclear arms or by economic “competition” is achieving little, for it cuts both ways. Many of us now understand that moral and mental means would be more efficient, since they could provide us with psychic immunity against ever increasing infection.
But all such attempts have proved singularly ineffective , and will do so as long as we try to convince ourselves and the world that it is only they (i.e; our opponents) who are wrong.
-Carl Jung, Man and His Symbols
Dear young people, "Don't Vote" - YouTube
I’m not implying that you shouldn’t vote because things are fine (like this pathetic, manipulative ad). Things are bad and will only get worse if we don’t improve as individuals. Voting is a distraction, not a solution. People think they can vote for a candidate, instead of actually bettering themselves. It is away to abdicate responsibility for their own heinous behavior.
Nothing is inherently wrong with voting itself, be an active citizen, but a vote will not save you from evil.
Shall I tell you what the real evil is? To cringe to the things that are called evils, to surrender to them our freedom, in defiance of which we ought to face any suffering.
-Seneca the Younger
People are not evil. I think ideology is evil. The memorial is filled with names kiled by ideology. Ideology incenses people with religious-like fervor to kill each other because of mere differences of opinion.
I have been alive for two years (approximately) where my country has not been involved in “major military operations.” President Obama was at war for both terms and it looks like President Trump will be too.
Both of our political parties are ideological and corrupt. It will not change anything if one or the other is in power, so we, the American people must save ourselves by improving ourselves.
There is no greater evil we face than the lie of a Political Savior, but luckily we can save ourselves.
Thanks for reading! This was difficult to write given our current climate, but it feels good to get it off my chest.
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Last weekend, I attended my first meeting of the Atlanta Bonsai Society. The guest speaker was Austin Heitzman, the renowned craftsman from Portland, Oregon, and he spoke about the bonsai presentation.
Heitzman explained why it is important to choose a stand that meshes with your tree. It it enhances the story that the piece is telling. My favorite example was a juniper that was collected while a mountain lion was stalking the collector.
He also explained how the stand can enhance the feeling that you want to convey with the bonsai. If it is a strong, thick tree you can use stark edges and a wide base to accentuate the tree’s strength.
Or you can use delicate detail to highlight the intricate foliage.
I really appreciate bonsai because of the attention to every little detail. Nothing is too unimportant to ignore with your tree. It resonates with me for the same reason that I like to write screenplays and shoot films.
I’ve heard people say, “What is the big deal with bonsai? They are just tiny trees,” and what I think they miss is the storytelling aspect. To me, bonsai is minimalistic storytelling at its finest.