Good Mourning, Dada: Nurturing The Contrived Nature Of Concrete Art

'Dada Saves' by Jay SchwartzEat your chocolate
wash your brain
dada
dada
gulp some rain.
– Tristan Tzara
 
 
I’m constantly amazed at the capacity some people have to fail as human beings, or more specifically as products of nature. We have such great inherent artistic talent, and yet we are so often contrived in our behavior. Nurturing, for some, is done selectively and with ulterior motives. Efforts to save the planet come only after we’ve all but destroyed it. The art of being fully human remains lost to many who are kept afloat by a flotilla of prefabricated and standardized ‘paint by the numbers’ ideologies and conventions.
 
I write this on the heels of my mother’s recent passing, so as I let the tides of emotion wash over my head, I’m a bit vulnerable to the often groaned about process of grieving. Whatever comes comes; whatever goes goes – the good, the bad and the inane. Good mourning to all, I say, especially to me.
 
Therefore, I have resolved to refuse any attempt to self-repress my emotions or self-censor my thoughts during this period of bereavement. Mind you, this doesn’t say much, since on almost any given day this notion is ‘par for the course’ for me anyway.
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Chronically Yours: A Sick Chronicle Of Sorts

Overture:

Two siblings, living on opposite ends of a great pond, catch up over the phone. Ill tidings of assorted aches and pains are exchanged. Morbid moroseness, often misspelled as ‘morosity’, ensues. Based on a true story from the Intrasomatic Conspiracy files. Written for those who enjoy listening to other people’s conversations.

Disclaimer:

Warning! Not for the hypochondria oriented! Please consult your physician or psychoanalyst before reading any further.

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Gil: Hello? Are you there?

Jill: Hey!

Gil: Oh! I almost didn’t see you there. How are you? I’m crappy.

Jill: Crappy or crabby? (laughs)

Gil: No, not crabby. ‘Crappy’, with a capital ‘C’. Sorry, you just caught me at a bad time.

Jill: Sorry to hear that. What’s up?

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Gobble Gobble Toil And Trouble: A Wooly Thanksgiving

wild-turkey
“Thanksgiving dinners take eighteen hours to prepare.  They are consumed in

twelve minutes.  Half-times take twelve minutes.  This is not coincidence.”
-Erma Bombeck

Thanksgiving: A time to give thanks for all good things in your life. To be honest, I do have many good things to reflect on in my life and to say thanks for. I’m glad that as an adult I can appreciate the sentiment of Thanksgiving in its proper context; a moment to be grateful for what you have. Over the years, however, the holiday has stood for different things, some of which I can only say ‘thank you very little’ for.

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The Wooly Hallows: A Freudian Halloween

‘Tis now the very witching time of night,
When churchyards yawn and hell itself breathes out
Contagion to this world.

– William Shakespeare

No holiday conjures up as much existential angst and ‘parental control’ conflict in kids as Halloween does. Really. It’s no wonder many kids have issues with authority and ‘role confusion’.

In the days running up to the holiday, most kids dream of toting home the sugar encrusted spoils from a night of ‘trick or treating’. On the morning before the ‘hallowed eve’, some kids are also trying to figure out how they can smuggle into their bedrooms the stuff they know their parents will most likely confiscate.

Then there are the ‘safety’ talks …

  • “DON’T eat anything until I can check it.”
  • “DON’T cross the street.”
  • “DONT go into anyone’s house. STAY on the porch.”
  • “DON’T talk to strangers.”
  • “HOLD your baby brother’s hand!”

… and the requisite stern lectures about kooks putting razors in apples and rat poison in popcorn balls.

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Not Born On The Fourth Of July

What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
– Francis Scott Key, The Star Spangled Spammer
Today is Independence Day for the United States of America. It’s also two days before my birthday. I thought I’d just mention that. Yes, I could have been a Yankee Doodle Dandy, born on the 4th of July. My mom had gone into the hospital on the day with contractions. I once asked her about being in labor on the holiday, but she just claims she remember being sick with nausea, and throwing up while a trailer for the film, ‘Mutiny On The Bounty’, was being shown on TV.
Meanwhile, a little rambunctious bouncing baby boy, yet to be born, bided his time and stayed put, opting to be fashionably late. Mutiny on Bounty, indeed! Actually, this wasn’t my mom’s first brush with near-holiday births; years before, my sister was born on December 30th, just missing out on a New Years birth by oh so little. So near misses was pretty much par for the course for our mother, as was our penchant to screw with her timing.