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Sunday, July 29, 2012

FINALLY! (original post on October 2012)

Before you start reading and wonder what's going on here, this is a re-post. I had typed "right" for "write" and upon updating the post, Blogger moved this from October of last year to today. If anyone has any idea if there's a way to get a post back to its original place, let me know. I don't know which is more embarrassing; the misspelling or the messed up chronology. Hopefully, I'll find a way to get this entry back where it belongs. In the meantime, here is your humble narrator at his most irascible. Viddy well....
First things first: TSA SUCKS!

En route to Cancun via Atlanta, Georgia. The first leg was in business class on AirTran and went without incident, except the TSA guy in Houston perplexed me and kind of pissed me off. “What's your full name, sir?” I told him. Then he asked me what my final destination was. My initial thought was to say look at the ticket. Of course, in this case first thought is not best thought. Then he asks me which hand I write with. I'm sorry but this is where TSA verges on harassment. I told him my right and he says “huh, looks like you write with your left”. I was good; I didn't ask him if he was a graphologist. I didn't say that maybe all these years, why holy shit! I've been writing with the wrong hand, thank you, sir, for saving me from a lifetime of error. I did say, “nope, right hand; my whole life”. Then he looks at me and I swear it was a smirk, not a smile and he wished me a good flight.

WTF is with this assholism? Leaving Houston (again) for Colorado back in September, the TSA officer asked to inspect my wallet. I'm sorry, what? This is not a matter of security. I need to remember to get to an airport much, much earlier so that when this kind of thing happens, I can question it and not worry about being delayed so much as to miss my flight. Every time I do arrive much earlier, though, nothing like this happens.

Most of the time, I don't mind being a sheeple and getting scanned (haven't gotten patted down...yet). I've been isolated with other people, randomly (never with an explanation or an apology – however, insincere – for the incovenience); once was flying out of Dulles, once was in Charlotte, and while in both instances, that was weird, I'm not disconcerted. But what I'd like, at least, is some sense from TSA or some assurance that this all random, that “hey, we're sorry, just doing our jobs”, but that doesn't happen. The level of prickitude and minor (major) Napoleon complex is pretty high with these folks.

This is not to say that I haven't encountered friendly and courteous TSA officials. But the norm is either apathy or outright - I wouldn't say hostility – implied threat that they have the power to severely fuck up your day. I'm going on about this because it might be time to call the TSA on not holding their employees accountable to some level of professional courtesy. I think we're all tired of the implication that we're criminals just because we want to catch a flight.

...and don't get me going on Bank of America charging its customers for using their debit cards....

Now That That's Over

Despite the above rant, I actually do like the Atlanta airport. When I was here last, it was snowed under and I wasn't altogether convinced that I hadn't landed already in Boston. This was in the midst of the northeast storm that crippled the South/Southeast and up the Northeast Coast. I wound up spending a couple of days waiting for my flight home and found exploring the airport pretty interesting.

For one thing, it's part of a city wide initiative to open up more spaces to art and following are some examples. Flying down to Belize last winter, I had to fly through Atlanta and thought this was a great idea well-executed and felt a little sorry that I wouldn't have time to check out the art more. The art gods must have heard me because I had a couple of days to enjoy some reading, meditating and taking in fine work, some of which follows.


These are some examples from the Center for Puppetry Arts, Atlanta, from all over the world including Cambodia, Turkey and Bali.
This first one is a souvenir shadow puppet from Cambodia, used to interpret narratives from the Cambodian Ramayana.
A rod puppet from Bali.
Shadow puppets from Turkey - 20th century

"Young Knight":  a rod puppet from Indonesia
"Petruk", a type of rod puppet from Java.
"Dr. Faustus", from Germany, c. 1950
"Devil", also from Germany, same timeframe. Could this be Mephistofeles to the Dr. Faustus above?
Puppets from the Czech Republic
An exceptionally cool pig puppet from Nigeria!
Vietnamese Water Puppet

Vietnamese Water Puppet

 To learn more about the water puppets (and others):

A "jing" puppet from China.

"Hippy" by Susan Moore, 1980; what would an exhibit of puppets be without Jim Henson's influence somewhere in view? This guy found himself a spokespuppet for Campbell Soup ads on TV in the early 80s.

 Martin Luther King

Sadly, most of my pictures for this wonderful memorial to Dr. King came out poorly. The only images that worked were these two. This was a small, very stirring installation. I don't know if it's still up, but if it is, I recommend checking it out. Even if it's not, pay a visit to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center. There's still so much work to be done and he stands as a beacon for all.


This is an exhibition of pieces from the High Museum of Art, Atlanta. Some nice work in the middle of the terminal!

Untitled, 1982, Dale Chihuly

Untitled from "Twelfth House Series", 1986, Michael Pavlik

"Shard", 1982, John C. Littleton and Katherine E. Vogel

"Dichronic Bowl", 1984, Steven Maslach

"Ola'a", 1989, Paul Manners

Sculpture from Zimbabwe and Malawi sculptors

I love this exhibit! The descriptions and information for the pieces follow the images. I took two pictures of each work in some cases because the flash would blanch some of the subtleties out and you lose the drama of the piece.

This is an installation from the Tellus Museum of Science on Minerals. I thought this was just really neat to see in an airport.

Well done, Atlanta!

Last Rant

I miss Steve Jobs already. Especially now that I elected to take my Netbook instead of my iPad 2. I want to be able to post stuff to the blog and I don't have the iPad set up yet for loading pictures from my camera; with no USB port, that's a light issue, but I'm pretty sure there's a workaroung. In the meantime, I'm dealing with crappy performance, programs that don't respond and in general, my own frustration that this little guy is not a proficient multi-tasker. It wasn't meant to be and I bought it so that I wouldn't feel bad if it got stolen or lost (whereas it's too early for me to deal with that post-partum if that happened with the iPad).

Yeah, I'm going to have to work out the photo transfer/upload issue before I head to India, for sure. Man, task manager doesn't even respond....

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