The Recursive States of Metamerica

Detail of Ascending and Descending, lithograph (printed from a stone) / 1960 / M.C. Escher. Image: pxleyes.com

SO FAR THIS YEAR THINGS HAVE GONE FAR down some brand of recursive “United States of America” rabbit hole that is simultaneously meta-referencing itself while being “shutdown”. How it manages this double-standard is a veiled mystery–or maybe just a mistake. At any speed, it sounds a lot like a broken record made up of the tweets of America that DJ Prez is disc Jocko Homo-ing (what a jock!)–and…the world is listening. In other words but not other worlds, there are Obstructionists Obstructing the Obstruction (with words as well as walls being types of obstructions). On top of this triple obstruction policy is added a 4th wall: a “shutdown” in which parts of the government itself is obstructing itself. If this is not recursive, fractal, or meta enough, some sort of not-so-lax nor laxative solution being administered by the Obstructionist Administration involves shutting down the shutdown.

“Alice opened the door and found that it led into a small passage, not much larger than a rat-hole: she knelt down and looked along the passage into the loveliest garden you ever saw. How she longed to get out of that dark hall, and wander about among those beds of bright flowers and those cool fountains, but she could not even get her head through the doorway; ‘and even if my head would go through,’ thought poor Alice, ‘it would be of very little use without my shoulders. Oh, how I wish I could shut up like a telescope! I think I could, if I only knew how to begin.’ For, you see, so many out-of-the-way things had happened lately, that Alice had begun to think that very few things indeed were really impossible” –From Chapter 1 (“Down the Rabbit Hole“) from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (gutenberg.org)

In other adventures, Alice goes Through the Looking Glass, in Chapter 2 (“The Garden of Live Flowers”) meeting the Red Queen:

“Alice looked round her in great surprise. ‘Why, I do believe we’ve been under this tree the whole time! Everything’s just as it was!’. ‘Of course it is,’ said the Queen, ‘what would you have it?’. ‘Well, in our country,’ said Alice, still panting a little, ‘you’d generally get to somewhere else—if you ran very fast for a long time, as we’ve been doing.’ ‘A slow sort of country!’ said the Queen. ‘Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!’” (gutenberg.com)

This must be what the 20/20 caucus race is actually going to look like: people trying to run as fast as they can to stay in the same place. Image: wikipedia.com

Towards the end of going Through the Looking Glass, in Chapter 9 (“Queen Alice”), Alice takes control of the mess that was a living game of chess:

“‘I can’t stand this any longer!’ she cried as she jumped up and seized the table-cloth with both hands: one good pull, and plates, dishes, guests, and candles came crashing down together in a heap on the floor. ‘And as for you,’ she went on, turning fiercely upon the Red Queen, whom she considered as the cause of all the mischief—but the Queen was no longer at her side—she had suddenly dwindled down to the size of a little doll, and was now on the table, merrily running round and round after her own shawl, which was trailing behind her. At any other time, Alice would have felt surprised at this, but she was far too much excited to be surprised at anything now. ‘As for you,’ she repeated, catching hold of the little creature in the very act of jumping over a bottle which had just lighted upon the table, ‘I’ll shake you into a kitten, that I will!’” (gutenberg.net)

And the furious Red Queen is shaken up into a kitten. This must be how you properly grab ’em by the pussy. Image: alice-in-wonderland.net

And at that, the whole chess nightmare was shutdown upon awakening…

“Confuse, O Lord, divide their tongues, For I have seen violence and strife in the city. Day and night they go around her upon her walls. And iniquity and mischief are in her midst”Psalm 55:9-10 NASB

Unfortunately, as of writing, these ad hoc pilings up of obstruction-on-obstruction and shuttings-downs ad infinitum (it’s turtles all the way down!) which could go on “for years” are not adding up towards moving the sludge which is a site of political impaction. As was reported on 1-9-2019 (townhall.com), the meeting about the wall/obstruction/shutdown was completely shutdown with a “Bye-Bye“–because “nothing else works“. Since “I can do it if I want” (globalsecurity.org) is shaping up to be an ongoing theme, 2019 might be the year of To infinity–and beyond!. As the “national emergency” which–like Schrodinger’s cat who might be both alive and dead, (or perhaps like the Red Queen-turned-kitten shown above)–is simultaneously real and fake (declared de facto but undeclared officially), there is the “absolute right” declared no less than three times a charm shortly in this video from Cartoon Cable News Network. Related themes are propagated in long-winded form in this video from the Star Wars Space Force News network. These repetitive affirmative efforts echo a lot like a Thomas the Tank Engine I think I can I think I can I think I can… theme. (And still even He knows accidents will happen!) Yet truly the only way any of this is going to “work” is with no strings attached as it gets *NYNSC with a triple Bye Bye Bye.

“TOP DEFINITION” of “broken record” from urbandictionary.com. Sounds like we are going to have to find that debris (obstruction?)!

“He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls” Proverbs 25:28 KJV

But don’t worry: A spoon full of sugar…and memes to the rescue!

Although it doesn’t look quite as catchy as the relevant American Gothic Schumer/Pelosi meme, this sketch of the King and Queen of Hearts is at least as on point, if not more so. Image: alice-in-wonderland.net
Although this statue metallically embodies the abstract concept of “Liberty”, it will not serve you your piece of the pie incarnate. This fact explains why the Lord God of the Old Testament forbade idolatry: it is ineffective

Besides all the obstructive shut down put downs already mentioned, the take-home message of Trump’s primetime video on 1-8-2019 is revealed at the very end when he says @ 9:26So help me God“. In this instance, the President doesn’t “God Bless America”–he instead takes a hot second to pray to God to help himself. Even God watches primetime TV! I’m going to infer that the “God” he is calling upon is the merciful yet angry jealous Lord God of the Old Testament (and Trump’s obviously personal alliance with Israel is perhaps the best testament to that end). Obstructionist Democrats in the House delivered a parallel message @ 4:28 when King of Hearts Schumer said “the symbol of America should be the Statue of Liberty“. Whether or not he knows that the Statue of Liberty was modeled after the Pagan mother goddess Semiramis is up for debate. It’s still up for debate whether or not the Wall would be “ineffective” at doing whatever its supposed to do; however, it is pretty sane to say that a statue is solidly ineffective at giving you the liberty (or death!) you so desire. These seemingly insignificant references to God, Liberty, symbols and statues are characters which are left uncovered by the Media–who is instead caught up in a repetitive whirlwind of “Fact-Checking” so painfully ingrown that the fact-checking needs its own fact-checking (one such instance can be read here). But what else are we to do in a post-9/11 post-fact society? If you don’t believe that, you must at least acknowledge that the Statue of Liberty originally came from France (of which there is a version in Paris near the Eiffel Tower)–a country in which things are either heating up or not looking too hot these days, depending on your perspective (which can perhaps be better understood via this video). In America We Trust in God to grant us Life, Liberty, and (the pursuit of?) HappinessSo isn’t there a third option written in the books somewhere?

With no other options, Princess Jasmine climbs over the Palace wall obstructing her inner world from manifesting in the outer one. Even though that wall was blocking her perception of the outside world, it turned out to be the least of her problems. The wall is an inert barrier in and of itself; jumping over it was the crossing of the threshold. Image: ohmy.disney.com

“For it is a day of trouble, and of treading down, and of perplexity by the Lord GOD of hosts in the valley of vision, breaking down the walls, and of crying to the mountains” Isaiah 22:5 KJV

From one cast statue, two shadows are cast upon the wall. It’s hard enough for Peter Pan to catch one shadow–let alone two! Never-the-less, its Never-Never Land now or never…
The everlasting child Peter Pan stubbornly and ineffectively tries to adhere his shadow with a bar of soap, and upon failing, throws a temper tantrum, waking Wendy Darling from her sleep. She then properly sews it on for him (which he takes credit for!). Image: animatedheroes.com

Aside Psyopinion: Although I hear many Americans entertaining the idea that America has degenerated into a Fascist state under a Tyrant, this is only a fancy thematic fascination and imagination. Successfully Fascist governments were streamlined and efficient in their machinations, excluding the possibility of obstructions and shutdowns. This is not (and will not be) Futuristic (archaic?) Mussolini’s Italy or Franco’s Spain. If there are flavors of these regimes they are but superficial colorings (probably propaganda) that is not totally what’s underneath the pixelation presented to you through the digital screen. America–if it is anything at all–is not totally a Democracy and/or not totally a Republic (factmyth.org). Whatever it is, it is high time to stop whining about real and fake ideological issues and do something other than feigning victim-hood in a first-world country. Instead of feeling sorry for yourself, do something productive! You don’t have to go out on a limb and build an obstruction–but could YOU make America great again? For we can be Heroes (for more than one day)! And if you’re not down with Nationalism, why not go fully Globalist and lets save the World! Because lets face it–sooner or later, it needs to be done. Even though Planet Earth is still a Beautiful World–whether you use your Freedom or Choice or notit’s not too late to Whip Itand That’s Good because it’s high time to be Through With Being Cool.

“Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven”Matthew 6:10 NIV

“For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me” John 6:38 NIV

Detail of a now abandoned unfinished oil painting featuring a politically divided brain with The Pentagon as the cerebellum on the White house South lawn in the shape of the Masonic square and compass and marketed by a bear and bull. The undisclosed painting is so compositionally incorrect that I gave up on trying to make it a great painting

For months and months I was working on a 40″x40″ oil painting featuring the detail shown above; but in late November I finally threw my hands up and threw in the towel by throwing it into a cardboard box, where it resides preserved although unfinished today. I had given up on a similar painting months before that–although just shy of setting that one on fire (or turning it into a cremation project), I ended up painting flames over the surface of the canvas (thinking that might actually be a good artistic idea!) before shredding it up completely like yesterdays news. The problems the painting has (represented by the detail above) are thematic as well as compositional–the former irredeemable; the latter irresolvable. In trying to redeem and resolve I wound up painting over the same parts of the painting over and over and over and again and again and again–and yet no amount of doing it over again was making the painting any greater. Nothing I was doing was getting it any closer to being finished either. The painting itself became its own obstruction. And since it is also a really really ugly and terrible painting (though not necessarily a terrible work of art?), I decided it wasn’t worth trying to finish it. And since I don’t want the eyes of the holy or the profane to see it, it won’t see the illumination of day. If ever again there is a reason–either in this season or the next–to try to make it great, I may do so. But until that moment strikes, I will point out that at this moment it is reported that The Pentagon is gearing up to do some maneuvering towards the beginning and end of building the Wall (eu.usatoday.com). Think about it: Use your pentagon–I mean brain! 

This year I’m moving on from painting fake brains to painting real ones like the one captured in this photograph

At any rate I have moved up from painting red and blue brains to something more real: namely, brain corals, which I thankfully went swimming with after Thanksgiving last year. Information on that cannot be disclosed at this moment, however: For as for me and my sovereign one-person country which is by default an absolute monarchy (it being both run by and composed of myself), I have my own transiting obstructions to my art agendas to deal with.

The paints I ordered the day after Christmas were one stop away from their final destination (my studio) when they were “damaged in transit”. Is this what happens when an orbiting planet gets hit with an asteroid? I hope we don’t find that one out…but it has happened before (there’s no bone’s about it: the dinosaurs bear naked witness!)

Sadly I still don’t know when this shipping obstruction is going to end so that I can resume my official governing body of art work. I also don’t know when I am going to get my W-2’s in the mail so I can get my taxes on and over with and subsequently get my tax return $$$ and have the paints pay for themselves in some roundabout way. However according to abcnews.go.com because of the shutdown “IRS offices are closed, tax questions are not being answered, and refunds to early-filers this year might not be issued on time if the shutdown drags on, financial experts say”. So in the meantime (memetime?) during these multiple party obstructions (such constipated party poopers!) I put together real articles such as the one you are reading while also wondering if the Wall in this Wonderwall land would really would pay for itself (an example of financial recursion?), or if it might just be another brick made up of Gates of Steel.

“In that day this song will be sung in the land of Judah: We have a strong city; God makes salvation its walls and ramparts”Isaiah 26:1 NIV

I also wonder if the President will stop beating his beautiful (to employ a word he likes to employ) head of hair (“Well I’ve never seen a king of beasts with quite so little hair”)–which will not fit through the doorway (to paraphrase Alice)–against the walls of the political sewer system, and just go get Walmart or better yet Wall Street to patronize his pet project. After all, obstructing the Obstructionists by obstructing the Government they are enslaved to work for is–counter-intuitively–not going to actually obstruct them, since the (partial) government shutdown

With a lighted candle, three Yucca brevifolia seeds were ceremonially planted in a tiny pot surrounded by water in a garden window against the backdrop a painting of a sprouting seed

doesn’t actually impact them–instead it is impacting more important people and also real places like the desert of Joshua Tree National Park (where there are not only archaic trees of the type I depicted in these paintings, but also some archaic rocks too!), which is supposedly being damaged because of being partially shutdown by the partial shutdown (abcnews.go.com) (nytimes.com). I just so happened to have picked up a package of Joshua Tree seeds at the Phoenix AZ airport on 12-1-2018–seeds which I have never seen for sale anywhere else, and which I planted today circa 9:02 am on 1-12-2019. Unrelated to that but still relevant enough to mention is that on 1-7-2019 I had a short dream in which I was ineffectively attempting to play a trumpet that had something like 5-8 keys–probably 7. After about 77 seconds of absolutely no sound at all, I put it down, and upon looking at it, annoyingly realized that I don’t even like modern trumpets.

“When you hear them sound a long blast on the trumpets, have the whole army give a loud shout; then the wall of the city will collapse and the army will go up, everyone straight in”Joshua 6:5 NIV

To remain productive within my minuscule sphere of recursive meta-awareness while I am obstructed from building paintings due to damage of supplies in orbit, I decided to go take a look-see at some Ninja Turtle (recursive remix) worthy  Renaissance art (I hope this isn’t Archaic!? I’m sooooooo not Contemporary!) at the Getty Museum. (Side note: while Donald J. Trump from 2004 tells you How To Get Rich, J. Paul Getty from 1986 tells you How To Be Rich. Question: To get or to be?!?!?). At this exhibit which is supposedly about “Nudity” as depicted during the European Renaissance, there was undoubtedly a Saint Sebastian bias–who I happened to have written about in this article–there being no less than 6 artistic representations of him (he’s almost as popular as Jesus!). In addition to that I found other worthy works relevant to both my self-referential one-person absolute monarchy and also the greater broken record Republic of America (and beyond!)…

According to the wall label at a separate illuminated manuscript exhibit at the Getty, this page depicts “The Wall of Heaven Where the Bad But Not Very Bad Are in Temporary Discomfort”, from the 1475 book The Visions of the Knight of Tondall
Saint Jerome scrapes himself with a rock because his carnal desires are obstructing his spiritual progress. This is an example of a better thing to do with a rock rather than turn it into a firearm, the contemporary implications of which I shot down in this article
No, Jerome is not going to throw that rock at you. Detail of polychrome wood statue from 1460-70 by Donatello. According to the wall label at the exhibit, Saint Jerome “lauded ascetic nudity”

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is an example of what might happen to you if you do bad things. Better get rolling with your rock scraping! Detail of The Fall of the Damned / oil on panel / 1468-9 / Dieric Bouts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is it any wonder that St. Sebastian is the patron saint of athletes? Even if you do good things, you might just end up being pierced with arrows (Roman ones, not Cupid’s!) and later beautifully depicted in an illuminated book like the one above from 1505-8 by Jean Bourdichon

I have to admit that throughout this show I found myself experiencing a fetish for the nude foot. After all–in cooperation with gravity, space-time, holographic projection and a host of other forces–feet are what you stand with to stand on the world!

The feet of Adam and Evein Wonderland! Featuring: Dormouse, Cheshire cat, and the White Rabbit. Adam and Eve, / 1504 / Albrecht Dürer
Jesus and John stand nudefoot in lavender-blue water as the latter baptizes the former. Detail from Baptism of Christ / oil on olive wood / 1498-1500 / Perugino
Vanity” is depicted totally nude–except for her feet which are strapped in sandals. This probably means that vanity disconnects oneself from the ground of being. Detail from Vanitas/Luxuria / oil on oak / 1485 / Hans Memling
The wing-ed and leaf-ed gilt bronze feet of an Earth Sprite aka “putti” by the “Circle of Donatello” circa 1432
Silver foot of Reliquary of Saint Sebastian from 1497 by anonymous
Different feet of St. Sebastian. Oil on panel / 1500-2 / Conegliano
Even more feet of St. Sebastian. Oil on canvas / circa 1478 / Antonello da Messina
The foot of “Christ on the Cold Stone“/ oil on panel/ circa 1530 / Jan Gossart. I’ll throw in the bone that if I had to pick the painting in the show that (I think) is the most technically skilled and artistically advanced, it would be this one

Over and best of all–and yet unrelated to nudity or feet–I was very pleased to have stumbled upon a real miniature (~10″x8″) oil on oak portrait of Salvator Mundi by Hans Memling circa mid-1400’s. Since I ended this previous article also with a Hans Memling painting (which I haven’t seen in person) of the same figure, I figured I would just repeat history and end this article in a similar revelatory fashion. He just can’t wait to be King: it’s coming into style, after all!

For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, For ever and ever. Amen.

Addendum on 1-13-2019 from 1984:Balls to the wall–Come on man, let’s stand up all over the world”