Christmas Bankrupt

Decentralization / Deschooling /

A series of relatable memories just cascaded me. In high school, 1950s, I heard that the company that had won the contract to construct the UN building on the East River had gone bankrupt before the roof was finished. They hadn’t adequately budgeted for the roof. Ah, so that’s how come they were cheaper, that’s how come they won the contract: they forgot the roof! How could they have been so stupid?
But why, having been so stupid, should they have to continue to suffer? would you have thought to budget for a roof? How much can a roof cost? How many people buying the New York Times that day would have done better? been smarter?

Those memories first came back to me a decade later. I’d taken a teaching post at Colby College, Waterville, Maine. I wanted a change of pace. Coming hard up on thirty, I wanted to ski before my body tunred chicken (as well as clumsy), abandoned me quivering on the steep: and Colby was not only located in Maine (read Winter!), but had its own ski slope, near the campus: weekends I could go to Sugarloaf, weekdays I could ski right there in Waterville.
Other guys didn’t have to catch up on their early twenties in their late twenties: they’d proved themselves to themselves in their teens.

Dartmouth had its own ski slope, so did U Colorado, Denver. Colby responded, I went to Colby. And there, in the unforgettable winter of 1968-69, I encountered the snow removal company that was bankrupt not just by Christmas but before Thanksgiving! That company had played public roulette and survived in the past, but not in 1968-69. So that hell-of-a winter the roads weren’t cleared. Snow fell, people who knew how to drive in the slick, drove. People who knew how to drive in snow did just great. I had a Saab, Swedish car, front wheel drive, and free wheeling. Skis a-top, I’d drive like a maniac: I’d skid, so what? the back of the car would pass the front of the car, what a thrill, so what? I just keep driving, keep skidding: let the front end catch back up. I loved that Saab. I’d pass jeeps with 4-wheel drive! They were stuck, I’d whizz right past. As long as no lumber truck comes, also skidding sideways. the truck longer than the road is wide, I’m just fine, ahead of the game.

I post, to finish (or add) another time. At the moment I’m not remembering what my “deschooling” hook was. My anarchism bankrupted me.

Posted in deschool | Leave a comment

Art Stories / Personal / Stories / Theme / Work

2018 01 30 In 1970 I offered the world an internet. In 1974 my wife kidnapped our son so she could put him in school without discussing it with me: know the society would back her illegality, not my traditional rights. In 1974, having rent to pay, receiving no funding from the public, I went to work at an ordinary job, contemptible. So there I was, managing the Circle Gallery in its original locations, Madison Avenue, in the ’60s: The Whitney a door or two south, Sotheby’s diagonally across the street. The Circle galleries sold what they published: except for my store. My Circle had accumulated a decades’ worth of odds and ends. Circle didn’t publish Will Barnet or Jim Dine or Hans Belmer; but my Circle had drawers full of such. The one Jim Dine was a multiple original in a frame on an easel. It pictured an artist’s palette. Screwed into the plastic frame’s obverse surface was a pair of scissors. The palette sported colors, the colors were names: green, red, blue. (I would have been tempted, were the art mine, to mid-lable the colors.) In my yar there I moved the Dine of the easel toward the front, toward the side, in the back.
No one came to Circle to buy pop art. I didn’t think the thing would ever move. But one day a little old lady negotiated the entrance steps, stood in front of the Dine, sighed a few times, and finally said, “OK, I’ll take it.” She wrote out a check for the $1,200 plus tax or whatever it was: something in that neighborhood, low four figures.
“Jimmy’s coming over for diner tonight, and by now I really ought to have at least one thing by him.
I bit, she explained: this woman was Jim Dines’s grandmother. Or godmother. Or nurse. Something.

Stories by Theme

Posted in stories, work | Leave a comment

I O Who

Personal / Business / Art Dealer /

Business Debts
mostly from the 1980s, 2018 01 31

I’m caught in the middle, and aren’t we all? Civilization sabotaged my talents, prevented me from being able to make a living. Civilizations stare stupidly, depending on myths, blind to experience, and woe to the truth tellers: few correctly identified by the alpha kleptocrats.
I owe a lot of people money, a lot of people owe me money. If God ever identifies facts, establishes chains of causality, then who belongs where in hell (or heaven) will be clear, but who other than God, and me, will care?
Anyway, I regret owing money to some people more than to others. I want to identify two otf them. Marcel, the artist. Dan and Sandy Berman, of Plainfield NJ. I don’t know if any of them are alive. Lacking a way to pay them, it’s academic anyway. But let me try to clarify what it’s about, what happened.
First, the Bermans financed my publishing Robert Vickrey. They were due 50% of whatever the company’s net was on the art. They received only a fraction of it For decades the Bermans have known how to get hold of the unsold inventory, if they want to bother. It’s worth something only if you know how to sell it. I will them all of my half to do with whatever they choose. Vickrey himself did not receive everything that he was entitled to, but he seized inventory he was not entitled to, so I and the Bermans owe him nothing.
Fortunately the Berman and Vickrey are more than rich enough to survive these glitches. Still, I owe the Bermans.

Marcel, Alexandria & the Torpedo Factory, Virginia
Nice girl, good printmaker. I bought all the inventory of her work for resale that I could afford or borrow on. I worked hard promoting her in Florida. I wanted to bring our accounts up to date in the 1980s so I could do the same further west: California, etc, only to learn that she had made a deal with a dealer who was flish. To Marcel, I owed her my balances, and screw my plans for the west. (I was writing my novel, pk the starving artist, and Marcel was almost my only income.
I’d given her a check for low four figures. I got pissed, was desperate, and cancelled the check and never gave her another. OK, I was mad. But, I also never returned the only partly paid for inventory! It’s still under the bed, in the closet. All these decades I haven’t had the money for shipping! don’t have her current address, if living!

So, when I croak, don’t have the money for cremation or burial, if seizing my stuff under the bed is worth anything, give it to Marcel. I owed her a smack, but not decades worth.
Marcel made a living, was comfortable as well as hard working. Vickrey and the Bermans didn’t need the money whether it was owed to them or not, but Marcel had only modest cushion. Bless her. One of the good ones.

And me? I want God to see that I get what I deserve: and you get what you deserve!

Consider though: maybe that’s what already happened. Maybe pk was their hell! They had it coming, had nothing to do with me!

There’s other art under the bed and in the closet that also doesn’t belong to me but I don’t remember who it does belong to: mostly tax shelter dupes in PA and NJ. They’ve already taken it off their taxes.

Meantime, there’s a gallery in PA that has several million dollars worth of art much of which does belong to me pk, personally (and includes the Vickreys. I’ll supply the gallery name when I can think of it. DeVorzon, John I think. My ears no longer work, my eyes can’t see, and my focus is kaput.

Stories by Theme

Posted in stories | Leave a comment


Monthly: scrapbook: reborn each month
(Monthly Note follows below)

2018 02 20
Last evening I watched the Pooja and Shanti story again, this time in the company of my beloved Jan. “I love that little girl!” I kept exclaiming.

And so I don’t doubt do we all.

Her parents, just off screen I presume, must love her: and boy, are they showing her off.
The camera loves her. Colors love her. Shanti the elephant’s mahouts love her.
Is there anything unclean about our love? How often does she get her bottom fondled as she goes by? By me? By the mahouts?
We’re a sexy species. And she’s one of the posters! Never mind how young she is: that youth is ancient.

She reminds me ot Emma Watson: beautiful at nine, beautiful at nineteen. And Reese Witherspoon. (Make sure you know her film The Man in the Moon: she, maybe eleven, maybe twelve, loves her neighbor: he, early twenties, sees jails, dungron, ruin … if he yields to nature, nuzzles her rump.
He’ll get a nose full of shit, and the enmity of his tribe.
PS Poohah lives half the year in India, the rest in Germany. Poojah refers to a prayer ritual in Hindu, honoring a god. Shanti, if I remember my Sanscrit right, means “peace”.

I also loved how clear the film’s German seemed. Without the English subtitles I wouldn’t have understood many of the words, but listening and reading, paying attention, made for great practice. Hear enough of any language and it will start to seem to make sense, whatever it is: Chinese, Algonquin …

God’s Profits (I mean Prophets)

God tells Jewus to toss the money tables at the Temple. He does. We torture him, kill him.
On the cross Jesus asks God why he, God, has forsaken him, Jesus. He doesn’t seem to get a very good answer, but does it strike you as typical? That’s how it strikes me: as Edgar Lee Masters wrote in Spoon River Anthology, God standing idle while his son is tortured to death sounds exactly like him!)

New answer me this, how come Christian churches are still pretending to care about what God says? At what point does God chime in? make a statement?
And what’s our basis for believing that we’re competent to know what God said to Jesus? or what Jesus said to us?

Until God is heard from in a way that would convince an intelligent, cautious person, shouldn’t we all just hold our tongue?

This and that church holds up text they call the “Bible”. Do we have any basis for accepting (or rejecting) such statements?

God told me to offer you, the human world, an internet: a digital Who’s Who, What’s Where. I knew it was God telling me for one reason because God had clearly said it first to Ivan Illich: God talked to Illich, and me, and others, giving us a nudge to get rid of kleptocracy-controlled data bases, compulsory brain washing. Men were free once, sort of, we could be free again: sort of. Worth a try, anyway. No?

But you tortured me. Still do: these fifty-eight years later.

How do you know I’m telling your the truth? Same way you know anything: you don’t! Or, you know it because it makes sense. It has the ring of truth. Because nothing else makes sense. If God didn’t tell me, or Illich, then God should have told me, and Illich.

I’ll tell you another reason to recognize the inspiration as from God? Because no one understood a word I said! !!!
Did anyone understand Jesus? Did anyone understand Illich?
Can you show me one person who understood what I was talking about in 1970?
Or 1980? or 1990? Or since?

Is that in itself proof? Is everything you don’t understand from God? No, that’s not what I mean. But things not understood, things rejected out of hand, things triggering torture despite laws supposedly protecting speech, stand in pretty good company.

What Do I Believe?
I know one thing: if you think I mean what I say literally, Go straight to jail, do not pass Go, do not collect $200. Consider further: I might have meant something literally once, but no longer.
Could what I say be translated into someting literal? Maybe I could have once, but no longer.

Take religion, for example. Few writers define their terms as regularly or as carefully (or as creatively) as I do: but what I mean by “God” changes form day to day, minute to minute: use to use. It all flashes like a strobe light.

Or take politics: I believe in “freedom”.
But what is it?
Beware, I often mean things as a joke, and often as a trap.
Watch out.

Once my jokes were hopes that God would save you. or that I would save you. or am I trying to save God?
Some of what I mean is perverse. Taught as a Calvinist, as a wiseguy kid I was anti-Catholic. My weapon against the Catholics was to take their regimen literally.
I no longer know what that means. But I used to know, maybe you can guess. Maybe you don’t cafe, maybe that’s your downfall: God and I can laugh at you at Judgment. Or is it that God’s been laughing at me all along?
Yes, Robin Gibb, the joke’s on me.

Hell is still today wearing yesterday’s costume.

I believe in freedom. for individuals. I do not believe in freedom for centralized powers. I do not believe that Hitler should be free to murder 18 million fags, Jews, Commies. If he does, he should be stuck with his action. Hell is still today wearing yesterday’s costume.

Uh Oh
I just made a typo: a huge amount of text rolled into this file. I’ve corrected what I’ve seen, who knows what I haven’t seen. Be patient, be generous. Or don’t.

I scribble, I save some scribble. I make a typo, reams o ftext inserts itself somewhere before I know what I’ve done. I try to trim, but volume gets the best of me.
Well, maybe heaven keeps perfect records; the rest of us don’t. So hell.

Do you believe in God?
In a serious religion that question would be a waste of time. and efort. and be rude to boot. Anyway, the much more important questions is

Does God believe in you?

When God asked me to offer you an internet, 1970, did he need Congress’s permission? Did I have to fill out paperwork at the court house? Pay a fee?

Continues as reverse chronology: Monthly Archive

Such archives date backwards: counter chronological: today, yesterday, the day before … (Continues in several archive choices.)

Posted in pk Personal, pk Teaching

Schooled Movies

/ DeCentral / DeGate / Deschool / Rants

Homefront (2013 film)
Jason Statham, James Franco, Winona Ryder, Kate Bosworth … Well, the cast sounds good. YouTube gives me a sample. Statham is called into the school his daughter attends. She’s punched the hell out of some bully, daddy is called on the carpet. Statham admits “Well, maybe that’s partly my fault: I taught my daughter to defend herself.”
No one accuses the school of having taught his daughter to defend herself: but why is he half defending his inalienable right as a parent? (as a human)? But she hit him so hard one bureaucrat complains.
In the school parking lot James Franco tries to pressure Statham. Statham puts him on the ground, fast and hard! Imagine me trying to lean into Joe Louis!
But did you have to take him down so hard? queries another upstaged bureaucrat, some sheriff. Ask Joe Louis not to hurt Max Schmeling!
But it’s ridiculous: Franco looks tough: until you see Statham!!!
Back in the truck with Kate Bosworth, she accuses Franco of being a “pussy”. Clearly the school system here represents Franco, and Boswoth; not Statham or the daughter!

One think pricelss: we already know how very very English Statham is: what’s he doing with these egregious rednecks? Clearly the idea of free markets, freedom of any kind, had nothing to do with it!

Deschool Menu

Posted in deschool | Leave a comment

Agitating Manners

/ Culture /

I just remembered a date from the 1970s. I was invited to a party by a client in Rockville Centre on Long Island. The party was in Balkwin. My client’s granddaughter would be there: a former Broadway show girl, a singer, dancer, actress, now unfortunately crippled. The girls at the party all were attractive and looked ripe for an affair. They looked non-plussed as I paid attention only to the cripple. I’m not sure what Grandma intended but I began to fantasize about the cute hips and round once-dancer’s-bottom of the girl I’ll call “Hair”, ’cause that’s the title of the show she had been appearing in when she became crippled. I invited her for a weekend and her family delivered her to me in Long Beach: she needed taxi service and they volunteered trip one.

I want to ponder one thing that made my attraction to her evaporate:

Who Is the Waiter Serving?
Women and Children; Not Work-A-Daddy.

Hair wants veal picata for diner, she requested a favorite restaurant. The waiter recognized her: fine: catereed to her: fine: ignored me; not fine.
The waiter brings menus, asks Hair only if she’s ready to order, ignores me. He finally takes my order too, as an afterthought. Mid meal the waiter asks Hair, not me, how everything is.
We eat, we have desert, the waiter shoves the bill by my elbow, still not looking at me.

I’m mad at the waiter, mad at the restaurant for having such an ill-trained waiter, but I’m also a little mad at Hair for so utterly cooperating with the waiter’s ignoring of me, the presumed Work-a-Daddy: the scmuck bill payer: the Daddy who not only knows not-best, but not-at-all: like the Romanoff’s during the Russian Revolution.

I’m with her, it’s a first date, I’m trying to be nice: but I was tempted to insist that the waiter present the bill to Hair! not me. What did I, 1970 inventor of the internet, have to do with the bill?

Hair and I were going to walk on the boardwalk later one. My apartment was 210 Shore Road, right on the boardwalk, open sky all around, left to right. I’d screw her brains out, then we’d have a nice walk. But the TV was on, PBS, and the announcer promised a documentary on Edvard Munch.

Edvard Munch
after David’s Death of Marat, Munch and girlfriend modeling

thanx theculturetrip

“Oh, wait, I have to see that.””
But Hair never understood what I was talking about: and I was despairing that she’d never understand anything I said. Maybe I shouldn’t have pronounced the artist’s name in Norwegian. Maybe she wouldn’t have known Picasso either.

Her family picked her up the next day. And that was that.
No, A month later she called me, how was I? I wasn’t rude, not too rude, but I wan’t encouraging. She heard that and got off the phone. And that was that.

I don’t think I could ever explain to her what restaurant manners used to be once upon a time. We grew up in different worlds. But there was something else too, something I absolutely would not address with her:
In the 1950s and into the 1960s Barbara Streisand’s People was all over the jukebox. I’d get up and leave the West End when it came on. She was emoting, but it wasn’t singing, she was screaming: I couldn’t stand it. So, mid-meal Hair announces to me that Barbara Steisand is the greatest singer. I didn’t leap in to agree: so she insisted that I understand that she, Hair, a Broadway singer, was an expert, a professional singer herlself, blah blah blah. No, no: it shouldn’t be for me to introduce this barbarian to Billie Holliday, to Lena Horne, to a couple of really great singers.

If you don’t understand that I’m the founder of FLEX, a disciple of master Christian Ivan Illich, that my FLEX gave the world a chance to become Christian, at least to discuss a couple of the implications, you can’t know what I’m saying or who’s saying it.
I failed: before, then, since: but I join a host of failures (results not yet in).

A re-edit might help. There’s a zillion find points not yet mentioned.


Posted in culture | Leave a comment

Political Symbols

/ Scholarship / Symbols /

Symbols can be tricky. Don’t rely on the symbol user(s) to understand more than a fraction of the symbol. And absolutely don’t expect the symbol user(s) to fully aware or honest about their symbols. Do expect symbol users to assume that you will assume that their use is intelligent and honest. Expect them to assume it in the face of evidence to the contrary: take our present president for example”: is he inciting us to murder, to arson, to disorder; or is he talking us out of it?

His appeal to our being “Americans”, for example. Does that have any objective meaning? What’s the meaning of a mob or protest?

Charlottesville 2017 08 mid-month
What’s the meaning of people, mostly men, marching with torches? That has a long-standing meaning among Americans. Isn’t it so familiar as to be obvious? Doesn’t it mean “We’re a lynthing party? The law means whatever we say it means? and we can change our meaning thirty times an hour. It means We’re Christians! But God didn’t give us this land: we took it! We took it fro the natives, we built it by slave labor, we order it by terrorism.

We all have some idea what “cross”es mean; how well do we understand the burning cross. You wake up, there’s a seven foot wooded cross planted in your lawn, flaming. Is your piety being saluted? Or is your life being threatened? Have your “rights” now been revoked?
Those revoking your rights: how did they get the “right” to revoke them?

Whether or not you voted for Trump, does he now have the right (or power) to redefine the law? Does freedom of speech mean that you dare not speak? and if you do speak, do you dare not say anything challenging or difficult? or unconventional?

Aspects of Symbols To Watch Out For
School compels us to attend and to profess belief that forced attendance and free speech somehow go together. People seem to be so stupid that they can “think” that writing something down makes it true. Slavery is illegal now: therefore, all those people trapped in their cabins on this plantation (or in Chicago tenements, there’s not much difference) are free, not slaves: Christians, not robots.

You have freedom of assembley: that’s why the cops set off the tear gas.

Another trick is: if we compare our experience with what we’re told about ancient Romans, then we may seem free. No, no, compare yourself and your moviements with the humans who walked out of Afrida tens of thousands of years ago. I don’t know how well they were free; but I know perfectly that we are not.

scribble always needs revision, editing

To date I’ve commented on personal symbols, pk idiosyncracies; I’ve taken common understanding for granted. But some symbols which are huge, under our nose, escape detection, are more micro-understood than macro-understood: dwell in musunderstanding.

K. Teaching Thinking Tools
Posted in K-symbols | Leave a comment