link [ guns in the hands of artists ]

Robert C. Tannen, “Four Barreled Handgun,” 2014. Decommissioned handguns. 8 x 6 x 3 inches.

The Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis hosts ‘Guns in the Hands of Artists’.  Artworks were created using decommissioned guns from New Orleans – guns reclaimed from street use in buyback programs.

for valentine’s day : Firewater & Pixie Dust

Karen Lillis gives us a noir amped with supersaturated language, a brittle ‘come here go away’, the long slow roller coaster of ambition and unevenly paired romance, and it’s delicious.

The language in this short fiction ~ detail accumulates, crisp quick specific images leave trails like the glittering light popping off sparklers. The narrator’s hyper sensual awareness prompted by everyday city life. Slick and brightly colored, crisp crunchy words from the mouth of a heart’s detective who sorts out exactly how it didn’t work.

Fantastic.

Firewater and Pixie Dust at Trip City literary salon.

the process of making : clint eastwood, 1988

Instead of running for cover in a sudden nasty rain a week earlier, he used the downpour to set a somber mood for a scene in Central Park in 1955, using Bird drenched to the skin as a metaphor. ”Ninety-nine percent of the directors I’ve worked with would have been screaming and shouting that they couldn’t work,” says Mr. Valdes.

”Things happen that you can’t control,” Mr. Eastwood says with a shrug. ”If someone throws a scene at me and says you must shoot this scene today because the set won’t be available tomorrow, I won’t say, ‘I haven’t thought about it, slept on it, meditated over it, so I can’t shoot it.’ ” Nothing that has gone wrong tonight will follow him home. He will, he says, ”jump into the shower, brush my chops real good, jump into bed” and be asleep in five minutes.

In Idaho, on ”Pale Rider,” Mr. Eastwood left 50 members of the crew and cast cooling their heels for several hours while he climbed up a mountain with his camera crew to get shots of trees with dying autumn leaves that he wanted for his title sequence. Something in the pit of his stomach warned him that the leaves would be gone by the next day, when he was scheduled to shoot them. ”The next morning, every leaf was off the trees,” says Mr. Valdes.

http://www.nytimes.com/1988/01/17/movies/clint-eastwood-s-riff-on-charlie-bird-parker.html

The Americanization of Mental Illness

Posted a few days ago in the New York Times. This article points to the social construction of mental disease diagnostics, and how American psychiatry is creating new norms about human consciousness on a global level.

“Swimming against the biomedical currents of the time, they have argued that mental illnesses are not discrete entities like the polio virus with their own natural histories. These researchers have amassed an impressive body of evidence suggesting that mental illnesses have never been the same the world over (either in prevalence or in form) but are inevitably sparked and shaped by the ethos of particular times and places …

In any given era, those who minister to the mentally ill — doctors or shamans or priests — inadvertently help to select which symptoms will be recognized as legitimate. Because the troubled mind has been influenced by healers of diverse religious and scientific persuasions, the forms of madness from one place and time often look remarkably different from the forms of madness in another.

That is until recently.

For more than a generation now, we in the West have aggressively spread our modern knowledge of mental illness around the world. … There is now good evidence to suggest that in the process of teaching the rest of the world to think like us, we’ve been exporting our Western “symptom repertoire” as well … we’ve been changing not only the treatments but also the expression of mental illness in other cultures. Indeed, a handful of mental-health disorders — depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and anorexia among them — now appear to be spreading across cultures with the speed of contagious diseases. These symptom clusters are becoming the lingua franca of human suffering, replacing indigenous forms of mental illness.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/10/magazine/10psyche-t.html?em