Friday, August 29, 2014



Thursday, August 28, 2014


......using both hands. This is some stupid cracker bumper sticker I saw in Rock Hill. But after reading yesterday's news, it doesn't seem so stupid anymore. The gist of it is a 9 year old girl at a Las Vegas shooting range, accompanied by her parents, killed her instructor with an Uzi  sub-machine gun. If this is not the height of unregulated industry stupidity, i don't know what is. Given any state's freedom to control (or not) the sale, usage, and carry of firearms, certain states have welcomed the "shooting range" industry. According to the onslaught of articles after this tragic, and completely unnecessary shooting, these places are especially popular with European and Asian tourists. Shoot machine guns in the desert, after hitting the bars and strip clubs? Sounds wholesome to me.
   Here's the deal. Anyone who has ever fired a long gun and a pistol will immediately realize the difference. It's pure physics. The muzzle of a handgun or in this case, short barreled sub-machine gun, will jump way more than a rifle or shotgun.  You have to compensate for it with your wrists. It takes practice and control to hit anything. If you are weak (like a child) or not paying attention, the gun can jump right out of your hand. Or, as in this case, leap vertically as you fire, and keep firing in automatic mode. Oops. Dead instructor.
   Who's at fault? The girl? No way. The parents? A little. The instructor? Kinda. The industry? Yes.
The U.S.A. ? Without a doubt. How the fuck can you allow a business to legally exist that gives kids (with a paying parent or guardian) as young as eight, the opportunity to pick up a lethal killing machine, like an Uzi, and squeeze off a few rounds....just for fun?  Forget the fact that any customer can be drunk, drugged, or completely unhinged, but a kid is a kid. These "instructors" are probably paid $20 an hour and all the ammo they can steal. "Huh....did I load that gun......where's my coffee......"   BOOM!
   I know it's probably way down on the list of priorities after ISIS and Ukraine and Ebola, but come on guys. You wouldn't let a kid drive a race car or do circumcisions. I don't give a shit if these places let adults go in half lit and blast away at watermelons. But for God's sake, leave the kids at home with the meth-head babysitter. She'll have a better chance of growing up.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014


Bow season is a little over a month away. Hopefully by then I'll be able to put the "hunting" back in HWS. In the meantime it's been the Summer of Hate. Gaza, Ferguson, Ukraine, West Africa- all in turmoil....and it's still a couple of days before Labor Day. Who knows what the rest of the week will bring. There's been so much killing and suffering going on that it's a little difficult to put it all in perspective. Words fail me. I guess that's why I've been in the studio so much. Sometimes a goofy object can make more sense of what's happening in the world at large, than a narrative. Yet, one needs to use all the tools in the pencil box. I've resisted weighing in on the shooting of Michael Brown. I can resist no longer.

   Systematic, institutional racism is at epidemic levels in this country. We may have a mixed race President, and more African Americans in positions of power and visability than ever before, but the institutions that they represent have not kept pace with this demographic shift. That State Police commander may be black, but the State Police are still red, white and blue. And the bottom line is still green. Call it a race or a class war. Either is appropriate. In America it is a crime to be poor. To be White and poor is to be disenfranchised, inconvenienced, and waiting in line for government cheese. To be Black and poor can put you in jail or the graveyard.
    It may appear that these little places like Ferguson, Mo. are aberrations, where the chips are stacked against people of color and the rest of the country is cool. This is a false assumption. This climate of dispair comes from the very top. HOPE? Give me a fucking break. The Federal program known as 1033 has been supplying local police departments with used military equipment for decades now. The TV show COPS started the paranoia in the early 90's, showing all Blacks as crackhead criminals. Bush 41 cranked up the war machine in Desert Storm and set us on this surplus gear path. Humvees, body armor, Bearcats, automatic weapons and enough styling helmets and visors to make even the most out of shape cop look like Darth Vader, have been doled out for free from the feds. All with a simple caveat- use it or lose it. If the recipients do not use all this fun crap within a year, it goes back. Cat up a tree? Call out the SWAT team. War on bodegas selling loosies? Bring in the tear gas. Protesters? Open the barn door.
    As dangerous as it is to be a young Black man walking down the streets of America, don't try driving. Here is where the government makes everyone a criminal.  If all your papers are not in order, you will face fines, surcharges, for any number of non-violent, completely insignificant offenses. Can't pay? Go directly to jail. As Rabbi John Stewart pointed out in last night's Daily Show sermon: "You may be charged for staining a cop's uniform with your own blood, after they beat the shit out of you." I'm old and white and armed. I have little to fear from the authorities. That is until they check the clip in my 9mm. "Excuse me sir. You seem to have a 10 shot clip. Hands against the car. You are in violation. This is gonna cost you." I can't wait for deer season.  

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

BOUNCY CAGE (hare type)


Friday, August 22, 2014

MEN and OM

Thursday, August 21, 2014


EXCALIBUR (late phase)

Wednesday, August 20, 2014



    Let me tell you, it doesn't shovel any easier than secular earth. Now that I've finally closed on the shul, the reality of owning Glen Wild's only 2 remaining sacred structures is sinking in. The consistency of theme between the Judeo and Christian traditions is apparent immediately. Both congregations let their sanctuaries go to Hell. I'm neither Christian nor Jew, so I have no vested interest in reaming either tradition. I find both belief systems confounding, filled with rules and rule breakers and followers. But speaking as a carpenter, I hate them both equally.
    When I bought the church it was listing to one side, a sad relic of the 1860's. The main roof leaked and rain literally poured through the steeple into the bell tower. The walls had begun to separate and large flat foundation stones were squeezed out onto the lawn. The first thing I did was grab a shovel, crow bar and pick ax. By hand, I dug footing drains around the entire church, dumping wheel barrow loads of drainage stone into the ditch. Then I jacked the side and laid new stone. Windows were re-glazed, and roofs followed,  until it was water tight. With the help of Al and bro Duke, it was functioning by 2010. Thank God I bought it 20 years ago.  I'd never be able to do it today.
   The shul was built in 1923. Around the time I was fixing the church, the congregation Anshei (people) held its last service, grabbed the Torah, locked the doors to 380 Glen Wild rd and never looked back. The rain poured in, destroying the tapestries, books, and anything else of value. Cinder block walls cracked and shifted. A river poured through the basement kitchen. Large chunks of plaster unkeyed from the arched ceiling lath, crashing onto the ark. By 2013 they decided to sell the shul and put the money into keeping up the cemetery. The dead now took precedent. The last thing I was looking for was another wreck of a building to pay taxes on. But like they say, they made me an offer I couldn't resist. The difference is, I'm only keeping it from falling down....not restoring it. Leave that for the next guy.

   The past three days I've been back in the ditch, bent over, trying to find a footing in the soggy mud. There's a hole in the cinder block wall you could drive a freight train through. I have to fix it before snow flies. Hunting season's right around the corner. I pray it doesn't come crashing down on my head.....and curse all believers who let their places of worship crumble. It's a shanda fur die goy. I hope their souls fare better than their property.



Friday, August 15, 2014



Thursday, August 14, 2014


 I've never been a big Robin Williams fan. He always made me a bit nervous with his manic delivery. A friend of mine attended Mill Valley high school with RW back in the 60's and said he was always like that. That said, I think he was a real talent and died way too young, by his own hand. According to all news accounts he was battling depression. A few months back a friend of the CLGM, Christine, also took her own life. Like Williams she hanged herself. Like Williams she was depressed. And very possibly like Christine, Williams was eating SSRIs. In Christine's case it was Zoloft.
   I know a little something about SSRIs. Around the turn of the century, I was broke, a bit lost, recently divorced, working a job i hated and dealing with a few personal demons. According to a couple of medical professionals I was severely depressed with bi-polar tendencies. One Dr. suggested anti-depressants. Why not? I'd self medicated for years with pot and booze and it no longer seemed to be working. I felt shitty enough to try anything. Prozac, Zoloft and Welbutrin were the popular SSRIs of the day. I'll take Zoloft.
   The medical community will tell you it's a lack of serotonin that's causing you to feel bad. They also will admit that these drugs may increase your serotonin....but they don't know how. Most of these drugs were designed to take care of some other problem. Welbutrin was developed to get people to stop smoking. They will tell you it may take as much as a month for them to work. In the meantime you should stop drinking. 14 years later, they now will tell you the opposite. It's a 20 billion dollar business. So what if they don't get it right immediately.
   After two weeks on Zoloft I was ready to stick the 12 ga. in my mouth. I was hyperventilating, on the verge of tears all day, and completely despondent. I called the Dr. and explained how i felt. "Give it some time." he said calmly. "It takes a while to work." I was at their mercy. I pulled the covers over my head and stopped answering the phone.
   I am blessed to come from a tight family. It wasn't long before Mupp showed up at my door. If he hadn't I probably wouldn't be writing this. In between wrenching sobs, blubbering like a baby, I rolled a joint and lit up. I'd stopped taking the pills the day before. I felt a little better. Mupp listened and nodded. My parents called. Ever the pragmatist, my old man suggested I get off my ass and exercise. I started running 6 miles a day in the April cold. Within a couple of weeks I was on the road to recovery.
   Depression is one of those maladies that feeds on itself. You become depressed. Then you continue to feel shame and more depression for being depressed. It's a lonely road. Sometimes someone else's perspective on the disease will make one feel a little better. But more times than not, it won't. I still can get depressed, but it never lasts. I'm very thankful for that. Pharmaceutical companies make big bank on depression. So there is little incentive for them to suggest alternatives to SSRIs. From my experience those fucking little pills only make things worse. But that's just me. Take it for what it's worth. As my suicide prevention hot line phone machine message used to say "Get your head out of the oven, and leave a message at the beep!" If you are depressed here's my prescription- twist one up and crack a cold one, after your run. You'll feel better. If not, keep running.




Finally someone credible stepped forward to claim responsibility for switching out the flags on the Brooklyn Bridge. German artists Mischa Leinkauf and Mattias Wermke sent a short video to The NY Times, showing the installation of the white flags. The Berlin based duo have a long history of public work in high places throughout Europe and even a previous balloon piece on the bridge. These guys have the cred. and the history. I believe them.
   This piece takes it's place in public art history along side other famous European works in NYC. Two pre-9/11 works come to mind. The first is by another German duo Hans Winkler and collaborator known as "Paint the Town Red" covered the spotlights, lighting the Statue of Liberty, with red gels, washing the lady in red. A photographer waiting in a boat in the bay snapped the money shot.
   The granddaddy of all illegal art acts took place in one of the World Trade Towers. Back in the day there was a studio program available to artists at WTC. Artists like E Team had access to space high in one of the towers. An Austrian architectural group Gelitin was granted a residency. The first thing they did was pile large cardboard boxes in the space, making a giant wall, allowing them to work in private. They then proceeded to remove a window, cantilevered a long plank out the window, stood on the plank (90 floors above the city) and hired a helicopter to take the shot. As a post script, a year later the Austrian team was to show the documentation at a NYC gallery, the Port Authority threatening arrest. The opening was Sept. 11, 2001.  

Wednesday, August 13, 2014


Tuesday, August 12, 2014


Monday, August 11, 2014


Saturday, August 9, 2014



SOLAR POWERED FIRE STARTER- engraved multiple ed. 8


Friday, August 8, 2014




As President Obomber authorizes "humanitarian" aid/bombing runs in the mountains surrounding Urbil in northern Iraq, the truce in Gaza ends and all parties pick up their guns and go at it once again, I wonder about language.  To describe the thirsty people on that mountain top in Kurdistan as "innocents" as America continues to arm Israel in it's systematic destruction of Gaza, seems the height of hypocracy.  Occupation seems the common theme. The US occupies Afghanistan and Iraq. Israel occupies the West Bank and Gaza. Within these territories war lords, terrorist organizations like ISIS and Al Queda, and sectarian factions vie for power. It's a gun runner's wet dream. The "innocents" suffer. Amerika! Fuck Yeah!

Back here on this safe, quiet, bucolic mountain, with plenty of water, my lawyer is getting the final paperwork together for the opening of THE GAZA STRIP CLUB down at the shul. It was always believed that we here in Sullivan County were at critical mass when it came to strip clubs. There was JOHNNY'S and the JADE out on 17B and THE OFFICE in South Fallsburg. That was it. PEPPY"S was long gone and everyone thought that it was impossible to open another club here in the hood. Impossible you say? That's why people go to law school. It may have seemed impossible for a local lawyer, but they never met my martini swilling, knife throwing friend from West Virginia.  
     Quietly, behind the scenes, Milawyer has been working on getting all the ducks in a row, in order to make high quality "Gentleman's" entertainment a reality once again. In the words of local politician Tony Cellini "It wouldn't be so bad to have more strip clubs......if the girls were a little better looking." Well Tony, zip up your trousers and drop by sometime. The pole is going in, floor to vaulted ceiling, on that little island opposite the ark. Now that the Torah is gone those cabinets make for great liquor storage. I've given away most of the pews. Still some left. I've got a few local debutantes lined up to dance, and am always looking for new talent. Make sure to bring proper ID. This ain't LOLLYPOPS. Soft opening any day now. Stop by to check out the free kosher buffet. Shalom.

Monday, August 4, 2014



 I'm $orry I've been lax in writing these days. The Gaza Strip mess set the dog days of Aug. in a little early. Every morning Amy Goodman bums me out a little more. Gaza, ebola, Russia, Ukraine, Iraq.... planes and bombs dropping from the skies, as ethnic Kurds flee to the mountains, with no drinking water, ISIS on their tail. Then Chuck broke his hip and has been in the hospital for a week. It all sucks. So I go in the studio and try to make some sense of it visually, conjer up a little schadenfreude. Sometimes this works. Sometimes it doesn't. Outside the birds are chirping and fluffy little clouds slowly drift against a robin's egg blue sky. Inside it's angst driven turmoil.  How can i be so fucking lucky?
   In a little over a month I have plans to go out to SF, where I've been invited to lecture on my work at my old alma mater The San Francisco Art Institute. I'm putting the final touches on the lecture now. It starts in 1965 with a trip my grandfather and I took to Cooperstown to visit the Cardiff Giant. I'd tell you more, but I don't want to spoil it. Shewho is helping me put it all on power-point. I'm worthless when it comes to the tech. stuff. The last time I did a lecture they still had slide projectors. I select the images and she loads them into the format. Most are by me, but a few are by other artists. There's a Rauschenberg and a Duchamp and a Fried, and a Green. The first two you know. Howard Fried was one of my teachers and remains a big influence. I swear, one day I'll figure his shit out. The last is Rev. Bud Green.
   Every couple of days since the white flags went up over the Brooklyn Bridge I've checked the internet for info on who did it. Today I saw that someone took credit.  Rev. Bud Green is a self proclaimed Marijuana activist. He claims he hired a crew to do the actual work, while he remains the "conceptual creator". I emailed Chuck (now in rehab. in Calicoon) the info on Rev. Green and he warned me not to claim credit for hiring him (even if I hadn't). "All it takes is one NSA or FBI or NYPD or Homeland Security agent without a sense of humor, to stumble across your email or blog rantings and you'll be fucked." Chuck warned me. He's watching too much CNN at the home. That, and the Oxy probably got him spooked. Either way, I'll take his advice. I did not hire Rev. Bud Green to claim responsibility for the white flags.......but I sure wish I had.