Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Thoughts On Broken Brains- namely, mine

I'm crazy.
I'm crazy and I want to die.
Now, this is not an e-suicide note.
I have no intention of, or plan for, killing myself.
I was suicidal for so long that I've passed through to calmer waters on the other side.
Heh. I'm 'Super-cidal'.

Swinnyway. What brought this up?
I watched the film Serenity a couple of times recently. I'm a huge fan.
After watching the entire TV series of Firefly (on DVD), I saw Serenity with new insight, and less need to figure out the nuances.
I found myself completely focussed on the character of River Tam- and not because she's played by a hot young ballerina (Summer Glau).
Now, I don't claim to have but the most remotely similar condition to River's. Hers is induced, mine is all-natural. I'm bipolar with a dash of PTSD, she's a semi-delusional, psychotic psychic.

But River and I, we both crazy like... things.. that're.. crazy.. Yeah.
And Summer Glau is a much better actress than some may credit her.
During one of River's 'episodes' in the film, she mentions suicide. In an almost-sing-song, little-girl voice, she says, "Bullet in the brainpan- squish!," before disolving into giggling sobs. This is accompanied by a flash cut to a few quick frames of her raising a pistol to her head.

It was perfect. It was... true.

If you've never wanted to die, wanted it with all that remained of your broken, mouldering soul- and also found it funny, you might not understand how poignant, how powerful that line is.

So, big props to Joss Whedon for writing it, and more to Summer Glau for selling it.
I never really thought about how it might look from the outside. Probably because when my brain is operating like that, I don't care how it looks from the outside.
I'm not holding River Tam as canon- Ms. Glau's performance is not gospel- not even for me, let alone the rest of the loonies. But it was... close.
It was familiar. The anguish, the internalization, the absurdity of everything. Most of all, the giddy relief at the thought of release- of death.

Friday, December 16, 2005

What's a little art between friends?

I paint.
Well, I paint things. Don't know which end is up on a canvas.
That was a joke.
Here we have Frankenstein's Monster (Frank, henceforth), from Dark Horse's Universal Monsters line. A -mostly- fun piece to paint. It had it's quirks, but no serious flaws to speak of.
Frank's a 'cold-cast porcelain' statuette, about 10" tall by 10" wide. It came in 5 pieces (excluding chains, etc.) and assembled with little putty work.

I painted Frank for my friend Jeff Davis.

To the right, we see a quirk of my technique. I taught myself to paint with 25mm tall miniatures (Games Workshop, to be exact).

One of the tricks I learned painting minis is what I call 'light-keying'. I decide (or find out) what type of lighting the piece is going to be viewed under, and I paint it under that light.
Since Frank was most likely going to be viewed under standard incandescent light, that's how I painted him.

In the first photo, his skintone isn't, well, natural, but it's where I intended it. In the second, under a flash, Frank turns blue! Actually, Frank is blue/grey, with a yellowed-ivory-ish layer over to soften and 'naturalize' the blue/grey. Not a problem, just a little quirk with my style.

Ah, Pinhead.
I painted this guy for Chris Davis, and am happy to report that the manufacturer of this piece may no longer be in business.

Let me wander back an lay some groundwork. I'm not a big fan of the thin-wall PVC statues to begin with. I think it's a rotten media. PVC is for plumbing... and maybe dressing up girls in, but that's not important right now.

Next, the original sculptor fell prey to a stereotypical fanart-blunder. He only really gave the love to 'the important' part. See, this sculpt is really quite good from, say, the nipples up- hence, 'the important part'. The other 60% were not worth doing, evidently. If this were a bust, it'd be great. As it's a 20" (approx) statue, I want to throttle the perpetrating fanboy goober.

The hands, the center of the piece, are merely two mounts for ten sausage-like fingers with no sense of proportion. The skirt could have been acceptably sculpted by a leprotic monkey with cataracts. These apparently, were not. The texture is inconsistent, and- bah. Who cares? The paintjob turned out alright.


I paint stuff.
I'm gorram good at it.
I did these two for my friends, and I was kind of worried about how long it could take- it's been almost two years since I've done a lot of painting.
But, it seems I've got my hand back in, so I guess I'll have to add large pieces like these to my price sheet. ;)

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Philosophical Critique with a Wink and a Nudge

Towards the end of the 20th century, acclaimed novelist and philosopher Terry Pratchett presented to English-speaking world his theory of "The Trousers of Time".
In short, when a person made a decision of sufficient gravity, at a crucial turning point in their life, that person went down a trouser leg of reality, while the other trouser leg remains- a parralel reality based on the consequence of a different choice.
This begs the question of decisions made at knee-level: Does the trouser leg split again? What about a momentous choice right after that?

It goes without saying that the Cosmos summarily dismissed the theory- I'm sure there was a memo or email or something.
Facing a space/time cluttered with trousers that noone could wear -at least, noone who needed trousers- the Cosmos fell back on it's comfortable default, eloquently summed up as, 'Sometimes things just happen. What the hell.'

Pratchett's Trousers had elegance, though, and the underpinnings of truth- namely, that humans make important decisions somewhere between their navel and their groin. Says all that needs to be said about our species, really. We did it all because we were hungry, or because we were horny. Or sometimes both.

When examined more critically, however, the Trousers become a bit more shifty. Let's change perspective a bit. We'll take the upright Trousers of Time, and lie them down on the unrivetted side. Now, at the crux of a life-changing choice, you find yourself in the cavernous waist (that you tell everyone is two sizes smaller) of the Button-Fly's of Your Life. Standing beneath the Zipper of Eternity. Whatever works for you.
So, now what? On the side with the change pocket, you spot destiny, and on the other sits Fate? Now, I don't claim to be an authority, but I don't picture Fate as one to be hanging around a freeway on-ramp with a sign reading, 'Free to good home,' nor Destiny in a stupor on an off-ramp, his sign reading, 'Will manifest for beer.'

Anyway- the point is, life looks a lot different if you ever get a chance to knock it on it's arse.

Monday, October 31, 2005

That's all, folks...

Halloween is over. I'm gonna go put myself into a chemically induced coma for the next six months.


The Davis Blog

Thursday, October 06, 2005

You might say, "That's ironic,"

But I say, "This fucking sucks. And so do you, titface."
See, I'm a disabled vet. I get a pension. Uncle Sam gives me a little money for taking some knocks for him. So I've got that going for me- it's like a sick perk.
The downside, of course, is that I'm disabled. My back and shoulder are all fethed up.

So I've been working on this art project for Halloween- probably the most ambitious piece I've ever done.
Been kinda bummed because I recently came to the conclusion that I wasn't gonna be able to finish it solo. My crew are great folks- they helped me come to terms with that.
I've suffered intermittent artist's block throughout the project, got past that.
Now I'm dead in the water. My bad shoulder (the problem is actually in my spine, but manifests itself through the entire left side of my torso) has been bothering me a bit for the last couple of weeks, and today it went apeshit.

I can't sculpt because my entire left arm is trembling sympathetically with the muscles spasming in my back, shoulder and chest. So my big ol' masterpiece sits here, untouched, untouchable, and I feel like getting completely blotto.

Life sucks. At least I've still got the helmet I jacked from Uncle Sam.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Well, now that I've bitched about it-

I might as well do something about it.
I've turned on Word Verification for commenting my posts.
If they're able to spam me through that... well, at least they're putting some effort into it.

If it's a problem for you, if it makes your commenting experience less enjoyable, take comfort in this: I don't give a shit. Butch up, stuff a cork in the kid and move on, titface.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

I swear by the thousand faces of God....

Blog spam. For fuck's sake.
You may notice a couple of comments in my Blog have been removed.
That's because they were sales pitches or socio-economical tracts placed by entities with blank profiles. Blog spiders.
I wanna fucking kill and eat these motherfuckers! Not necesarily in that order!! Fucking Fuck!!!

I wanna create the ultimate webspider- a hunter dedicated to finding the people who do this silly shit. It'll dig, and dig, and dig until it gets their personal information, then send that info back for phase II.

Phase II will be my own set of more traditional spiders/trolls, looking for keywords and phrases, looking for ceartain heuristic tags on forums, newsgroups and blogs across the world.

Phase III is sort of a matching service. My herd-culling software will start spamming those people who posses the requisite personality traits- that is to say, friggin psychos- sending tailored emails suggesting that they go kill the bastard spammer at X address.

See- this is the real value-added part of the deal- the spam emails are artistically tailored to the recipient. If the potential exspaminator is a rabid religious-right, uberconservative Champion of God and McCarthian Democracy (and the Michigan Militia), then the spammer is described as a flag-burning, gay Liberatarian who works in an abortion clinic and reads Mao on his breaks.

If the intended spam-smasher is a ultramilitant tree-hugging bull dyke dick-scalper, the message would completely different.

And thus, in three simple steps, spamming would become a much more hazardous proposition.

I'll set up a Pay Pal account so y'all can start donating to the fund. ;)

A scrap of detective-noir, just for fun

She stalked across the room, slinky, sexy spring steel. Watching her pissed me off. She took a seat across from me, and that really pissed me off. I didn't bother to take my feet of the desk. I waited... waited, as she drew the moment out. Waited while she took a breath high in her chest, intended to emphasize her breasts, waited as she began to part her perfect lips, waited until the split second before the words oozed out of her. Then I burst in.
"Look sister- are we sleeping together, or just dancing? I'm a very busy man- never find time to do both. Quit tryin to seduce me, and offer me a payin' job, or I'll boot your exquisite ass outta here faster than you can say 'Good evening, Mr. Winglo,' in your no doubt husky, melodic voice! Waddaya want?"
I was on my feet, leaning across the desk, nearly shouting by the end, and I gotta
say- that felt better than she could've right about then.
I'd always wanted to do that.

She'd obviously never run into such a greeting before. Watching her gape like a carp was more entertaining than watching slink across my office. She was still gaping when the shooting started.

She moved well enough when the bullets smashed through the front of my office, I'll give her that. When I snatched my shoulder rig and scooted out the side door, she stuck to me like white on rice, but managed not to tangle me up, or trample over me. I started liking her right about then.

We hit the alley and the first goon in the same moment. He shouldn't have stood so close to the door. His buddy, though, standing back a bit, started to raise his cut-down scattergun.
My .45 was faster.
The Colt barked: *BRAAP!*. The goon said something between a gurgle and a splat- didn't scan well, but you could dance to it.
The dame speaks for the first time- "What the hell was that?" she asks, indicating the shots.
I'm likin' her more every minute. "Three or four nearly-half-inch-diameter bullets," I said with a shrug.
"The Colt 1911 can't fire like that! That was like a Tommy gun!"
I shrugged again. "Tell that to my gunsmith. Let's go, toots. It's a bad neighborhood after dark," I say, ushering her down the alleyway.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

A rant on Justice- as advertised

On Justice

I don’t even know where to begin.

I’m sick to my stomach, and I’m mad as hell, and I can’t even add ‘and I’m not gonna take it anymore’. Why? Because Dr. Phil-isms ProzacZen aside, I can’t do a single damned thing about it. So, I am gonna take it. Hell no, that’s not ok- but you know what? I can survive it, most likely. I’ll always have something to be angry about, but I’ll survive it. Probably.

In the immortal words of more folks than could ever be mentioned- ‘there ain’t no justice’. Why? Because man killed Justice with the scales of Law. Just as he slew God with the stone of Church, Man shackled and demeaned and distorted Justice to the point that it is non-existant, save through happenstance.

What is Justice, exactly?

Hell, I don’t know. I can freely admit that. I can say with some certainly that Justice is entirely subjetive, just like Truth, Belief, Freedom, et al.

But nearly any man, woman or child could tell what is not Just.

If a man steals from your home, and is caught, he is subjected to the scrutiny of the Law. Assuming the Law finds him in breach, he may go to prison, and/or pay a fine. The institute of the Law recieves said fine.

But what of your losses? How can the victim be reparated? The crime (against Justice, at least) of Insurance, of course! The victim has been paying against the possibility of such a loss. Assuming the criminal institution of Insurance deigns to return some of the victim’s ‘investment’ to recoup said losses, the Insurors are now going to up the victim’s rates- charging them for the sin of being victimized by a criminal.

Cost so far is entirely assumed by the victim. Any cost incurred upon the criminal goes the coffers of Law, which the victim also pays into in the form of taxes.

‘But I can sue the bastard!’ you cry. True. You could also lose said civil suit. At which point the victim faces further monetary losses. The system of Law can find a person criminaly guilty, but not liable for losses incurred by their crime. The inverse is also ironically true- one can be found innocent of a crime, but still liable for any harm done -not by the accused- civilly. I refer to the OJ debacle, of course.

There ain’t no Justice.

If Justice cannot be found in Law, where is one to look?

Time to pick on religion. I’ll focus on Christianity, because in fairness, I cannot claim enough knowledge of other religions to lay into them as I will the Christian churches.

Look to God for Justice! Divine Justice can be the only True Justice, anyway!

Your mother.

Setting aside my belief that Man killed God long ago, let me say this-
How can this omnipotent and omnibenevolent Creator of yours hold the child responsible for the sins of his father and pretend to even understand Justice?

If you haven’t noticed yet, I hold your God in the same contempt as I do your Law.

How can your all-loving God hold the murderer in the same regard as his/her one-year-old victim? If you can explain that, then explain where the Justice is. If the murderer of a child can find redemption in your God’s eyes, He can never be a source of justice.

How can an organization that rewrote one of it’s messiah’s companions as a whore because influential women didn’t jive with their worldview claim to know of Justice? An organization that builds lavish edifaces and encrusts itself with gold and jewels at the expense of the layman? That allows the hungry to starve, but protects it’s members who prey upon children? What can the Catholic Church know?

I’m spent. My anger has smoldered down, my heart grown too tired of this sordid topic to continue.

But remember- judge me however you like: there still ain’t no justice. Your curses will fall on deaf ears, as will your praise. Best get used to it.

Of all the wierd shit to say....

...a big shout out to UC Berkeley!
The university has some of the best and most comprehensive information on vertebrate flight that I could track down on the web.

Specifically, Chiroptera- and if you don't know what I'm talking about, you'll find out soon enough. If you do know what I'm talking about, but can't fathom why, well... you, too may find out soon.

Wierd and enigmatic enough? I think so.

Monday, September 26, 2005

The Davis House

The Davis House

The 'home blog' for the Halloween project, sponsored and driven by my dear friends Chris & Jeff.
Ongoing rennovation (also seen on the above) of Jeff's workshop has made for a bit of a trial - namely, every tool needed often demands a scavenger hunt- but morale is good and we're getting things done as industriously as ever.

Our Official Site

Our official home is still under construction, but as I know bupkis about web design, I'm blissfully ignorant of that process.

So there I was...

nah, really!
I was commenting a friend's blog, and I signed in on autopilot.
I had completely forgotten that I had this thing.