Lest We Forget, Lest We Forget

I grew up reading military history and Rudyard Kipling. There’s some overlap there, given that Kipling wrote about wars, both official and unofficial, and about soldiers. Kipling’s “Recessional” served as a warning—this glory too shall pass, and there are limits to the power of weapons alone. I recall thinking, in the political back-patting after Desert Shield/Desert Storm, that we needed more “Recessional” and less “Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean.”

Memorial Day is to the US what Remembrance Day is to the Commonwealth. It is a day set aside to honor the men and women who died while serving in the US military. I get irked when people conflate it with Veterans’ Day and/or July 4th. No, it should be a sober commemoration of lives lost, and a day to give thanks for the men and women who were willing to die to protect their country and their comrades.

Image source: https://ivn.us/posts/5-facts-about-memorial-day-you-did-not-know

From Kipling’s “Song of the Dead.”

We have fed our sea for a thousand years
And she calls us, still unfed,
Though there’s never a wave of all her waves
But marks our English dead:
We have strawed our best to the weed’s unrest,
To the shark and the sheering gull.
If blood be the price of admiralty,
Lord God, we ha’ paid in full!

There’s never a flood goes shoreward now
But lifts a keel we manned;
There’s never an ebb goes seaward now
But drops our dead on the sand —
But slinks our dead on the sands forlore,
From the Ducies to the Swin.
If blood be the price of admiralty,
If blood be the price of admiralty,
Lord God, we ha’ paid it in!

We must feed our sea for a thousand years,
For that is our doom and pride,
As it was when they sailed with the ~Golden Hind~,
Or the wreck that struck last tide —
Or the wreck that lies on the spouting reef
Where the ghastly blue-lights flare.
If blood be the price of admiralty,
If blood be the price of admiralty,
If blood be the price of admiralty,
Lord God, we ha’ bought it fair!

“All gave some, some gave all.”


Speed, Skill, and Age

A friend of mine and I were discussing a musician colleague of his, and one of the third-party’s compositions. The runs up and down the scale are brilliant, but my friend does not do them as fast as some. He’s not trying to show off, but to be precise and do justice to the piece.

That led to mutters and grumbles about people who think that certain pieces *coughOrangeBlossemSpecialcough* are a race to get through. Especially some Baroque and classical compositions that are *coughWidorToccatacough* used as encores or to show off with. “You lose the power,” my friend sighed. I looked at my notes on the Toccata and Fugue in D Minor and agreed. It’s not a race. You have to be steady and precise. Bach is not Brahms or Durufle, where you emote all over the place and can mess with the tempo. Baroque is different.

Then we switched to grumbling about weather changes and mileage. My friend lamented a composition that he’d played frequently in his younger days, but now required checking the forecast before attempting. Otherwise, his arthritis made it too painful and messed up his finger pressure on the instrument. He’s at the point where his physical ability has peaked and is starting to fade a little, even though his knowledge of his craft and its history is still growing. We come from different musical traditions and instruments, but I love listening to him talk about technique and styles, because I always learn something I can use on my own instrument(s). He thinks he’s got four or five more years left, then he will have to retire because his hands and neck will have reached the point of interfering too much with his craft. He’ll still play for his own pleasure, but not as a career.

I do several activities where smoothness has to come before speed. Keyboard music. Vocal music. Shooting. Fencing (sword, not barbed wire). Carpentry. Yes, it is fun sometimes to see just how fast a choir can get through “And He Shall Purify” before the last vocalist crashes and taps out. Or to race through the Toccata of the Toccata and Fugue at top speed, leaving wrong notes scattered all over the place and not caring. But that’s after you already know the piece, know it well, and are funning around. More often, the instructor or conductor will hold you back, insisting on precision and smoothness. We’ve probably all heard choirs who accelerate through the “Alleluia” chorus, leaving the orchestra or pianist/organist two pages behind.*

My voice has peaked. I’m still gaining skill in technique, but I will soon lose more and more of the upper register. That’s what happens with ageing. Since I’m already a switch, meaning I can sing soprano 1, soprano2, and alto 1, in a year or two I will stop worrying about the high Bs and Cs. Right now, high B-flat is the effective end of my register. Yes, I can go higher, if all the stars align, and sound good. Not coluratura or bellcanto good, but “dogs don’t howl and people don’t flee” on pitch and clear. Given the damage I did to my voice when I was a teen, that’s amazing in and of itself. But time passes, and my instrument is not as young as I want to think I am. Technique can only balance time for a while.

There are people who can maintain peak skill until they die. There are people who should have quit a decade before they finally stop (or the Grim Reaper taps on the door.) Frustration is when the mind, ear, and heart want to keep going, but the joints get in the way.

*It usually traces back to the “For the Lord G-d Omnipotent Reigneth” section, and clipping the eighth-notes too short. That leads to shortening the quarter notes as well, and then it’s off to the races!

Vanished Local Traditions

It’s a running seasonal joke among long time residents of this region that ever since FunFest stopped, the weather’s gone to heck. You could guarantee that FunFest weekend would bring lots of rain. I remember helping run my church’s fund-raising booth in the rain. Since the booth involved water games, rain from above was sort of a moot point. FunFest happened on Memorial Day weekend, which is roughly the peak of thunderstorm season anyway, so the association wasn’t entirely wrong. The event ended twenty years ago and more, but the half-joking comment continues among those who know. We are growing fewer every year, but we still joke.

Certain rodeos have disappeared from the prominence they once had, and other national and international rodeo and Quarter Horse events have taken their place. The Tri-State Fair split off the fair side and the “tractors, farm equipment, ranch equipment, and other cool stuff” side, which now takes place later in the year. I liked oogling the huge combines, tractors, the portable calf chutes, and other things, as well as watching the livestock judging, looking at the giant produce and fancy quilts, and eating deep-fried-mystery-food. I understand the commercial reason for the change, but I miss being able to do everything on one visit.

The end of summer, back when, was the Amarillo Symphony having an open-air concert on Labor Day weekend. It was held out at the science center, which was located out past the edge of civilization, almost. If the fireworks caught a bit of grass on fire, it wasn’t that big of a deal. Then civilization expanded and surrounded the science center. Since burning down buildings is frowned upon, fireworks and the concert came to an end. The concerts might be having a bit of a revival, now downtown at the not-a-ballpark*.

I get the sense that major community events have become more professional and less volunteer-run. I suspect changes in liability rules, the need for someone with the knowledge of all the applicable regulations, and the ageing of the prime “let’s all chip in and do something” group have something to do with it. Part of me misses the old, rougher on the edges seasonal markers. I also acknowledge that it would be very, very difficult to bring them back in today’s world. The population of the region is also changing, demographically and culturally.

Things are as they are, but nostalgia still seeps in. Although, this year, we might get rain over Memorial Day, just for old sake’s sake.**

*When the structure-with-sward downtown was being sold to the city, it was vehemently “not a ballpark but a multi-purpose event center.” It has four bases, a mound, an infield, outfield, and scoreboard. Ahem. Quack, Quack.

**Well, El Nino is playing a role too.

Sci-fi and A. I.: or These People Don’t Read or Watch Fiction, Do They?

Back when I was in grad school, I was listening to the NPR news on the way to class, and heard a story about the military meeting with ethics profs to discuss using robots in war, notably autonomous robots. There was some mention of concerns about “rogue A.I.,” and I grinned a little as the closing music clip came on. It was the theme to the first Terminator movie. (That’s also when I discovered that my Advisor didn’t know about things like Terminator. I was mildly surprised.)

I’ve been listening to the last month’s breathless reportage about A.I. and what it can do and how it will eliminate jobs (for what, the tenth time already?) and how perhaps the singularity is coming soon and so on and so forth, and how A.I. will do it all. First, it confirms my belief that 99% of journalists don’t know anything about computers. How to use programs, yes, perhaps, but not how the things work and the basic way programs do their thing. Second, I get the sense that these people have never, ever read dystopian techno-fiction or early cyberpunk, or watched things like Terminator or that TV show for kids (with the interactive way to shoot at the bad robots on the screen.)

Very early on, Isaac Azimov developed the Three Laws of Robotics, and used various short stories and then novels to explore the ramifications of that. the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey guaranteed that no one of a Certain Generation will use “Hal” as a key term for a voice-activated system, unless they are warped. Really warped. When people started talking about how wonderful it would be to have computers in our minds and cybernetic augmentations to our bodies, along came the Cybermen from Doctor Who. And a few other things. All are about computers that got a “wee bit” out of hand, and either decided that humans were superfluous, or that humans were actively antithetical to the computers’ needs and should be eliminated. The Cybermen traded physical survival for their humanity, with really bad results for everyone else around them.

I tend to be untrusting of technology in the first place, so I latched onto the dystopian-technology stories. Yes, computers and bionics and other things could do wonderful things in fiction. But … I’ve had computers die at awkward moments. I’ve had GPS systems get migraines when I really needed them (in the weather, when my hands were full of “first fly the plane”, just as the last ground-based beacon went out of range.) Computers are literal. Yes, we program them to deal with hundreds of variables, and some models for things look very good. But we programmed them. And truly complex systems? Go look at the percentage of success retrocasting weather and climate using climate models and supercomputers. I’ll wait.

So when the latest breathless “A.I will revolutionize writing! It will make cover artists obsolete! It will replace humans for [whatever,]”, I don’t believe them. Artificial intelligence programs are still programs. They adapt and process data quickly, but thus far, they can’t make the leaps people do. They can improve, as MindJourney has with anatomy (although human hands are still a challenge, among other things), but those are programs with inputs and patient corrections. ChatGPT likewise, and as people play with it, it becomes obvious that it can’t analyze literature worth a fig. It is programmed to have a certain bias and to have blind spots, because it’s a program. It’s a creation of humans who want it to have a bias.

Computers and robots work for some things, like delicate and repeating tasks (welding certain things, taking burger orders.) If you have a limited range of parameters, computers and robots are great. “Two beef patties, no lettuce, white cheese, no mayo, and a medium fry” the things can deal with, as long as a person is around to make sure that the right patties went into the hopper and that the other things are where they should be. Writing ad copy? Perhaps, since the psychology of advertising is fairly well known, even if it is not always aimed properly, as recent misadventures have shown.

Aritifical Intelligence dealing with weapons? Autonomous police robots that are programmed to deal with violent crime? Ah, I saw Robocop. I’ve read a few other things too. What one person can program, another can hack and reverse. Or too many variables will overload the system and it will react in ways the programmers didn’t anticipate. You know, like the in-flight computer that did a reboot after the plane experienced turbulence outside the program parameters. The software designers wanted to save space, so they assumed that he plane would never exceed X degrees of bank, Y degrees of roll, and a certain ascent-descent rate in cruise. The plane did (ah, CAT, how I hate thee) and the pilots became passengers until the system rebooted. Rare? Yes. Bad? Very yes!

A. I. is a program, or at least all the A.I. stuff I’ve seen and heard of to date are just programs. They process data quickly, and seem to think, but they don’t. Yet. I still have doubts about them. I’ve read sci-fi. I know what people are like. Terminator is just one possibility.

Putting Holes in Paper

I needed a break, I had a good-sized time gap between tasks, and the stars aligned. I packed my kit into my vehicle and went to the range.

One PM-ish on a weekday is a good time to go shoot. There are few or no other people putting holes in paper, so I’m not restricted to what I jokingly call “revolver corner,” the far right end of the row of bays. I don’t mind that slot, but I prefer to be elsewhere. Not with my back to the door, but elsewhere. I often get that slot because the guys shooting semi-automatic pistols don’t enjoy being pelted with their own rebounding brass as it hits the wall and comes back to visit.

My usual target was sold out, so I tried a slightly different one. It is still four pair of little bulls-eyes, but is simpler. I like the small, multiple targets, because it forces me to use a slightly different stance for each target. Better to shoot a more difficult round in practice than get surprised if I ever have to use my firearm in anger (rabid dog or other animal, for example.) I got my pistols and the ammo out of the range bag and stowed it in the proper shelf, mounted the target and sent it out to 4 yards, triple checked “eyes and ears,”* and started work. After observing my problem of the day (pushing, so my shots went a little high and to the left), I dug in to work. Two shots and check, two shots and check, two shots and check and reload.

Nothing existed except my hands, the pistol, and the targets. As I grew more tired, I shifted to a pistol with less recoil. I hurt, I was tired, and slightly hungry. In other words, not in perfect condition. That’s realistic, especially the wrist pain. I’d deliberately left my brace at work, because Murphy’s Law says I’ll be tired and sore if a rabid animal ever gets close enough to be dangerous. Shoot, study, adjust. Shoot, study, reload, start over.

I worked for almost an hour. When I called it a day, my right wrist hurt a great deal. I was tired. I had no tension in my shoulders or neck, because I’d been thinking about nothing but shooting. Things improved as I put holes in paper. I can’t think about anything else and shoot safely. I’m aware of my surroundings, but I don’t worry about what’s going on outside of the range. It’s almost a form of meditation, clearing my mind of anything except what my hands and body, the revolver, and the rounds are doing.

It was a good day.

*”Eyes and ears” means eye protection and ear protection. The range prefers full muff hearing protectors when we’re shooting, although I think the smaller, noise-cancelling ones might also be OK. The point is safety from loud sounds and flying brass (or worse).

Whaling and Things of the Past

For reasons that will be apparent tomorrow, I was musing about whaling. One of my favorite books growing up was H. C. Holling’s book Seabird. It is a history of ships and sailing, from the days of the whaling boats in the early 1800s to the steam liners of the 20th century, as told by an ivory bird that passes down through a family. I was also listening to sea chantys, many of which were sung or chanted on the whaling boats, or are about whaling.

People hunted whales for their meat (plentiful), fat (plentiful), teeth and baleen, bones, and other body products. Europeans shifted to industrial-scale whale hunting as a source of light and very light industrial oil until the desired kinds of whales had almost gone extinct. Then we switched to petroleum. A few places still hunt whales as a cultural preservation practice, or for research practices (and then eat some of the results because there’s no point in wasting the whale, right? *coughJapancough*) Back when I was growing up, “save the whales” was shorthand for environmental preservation, humpback whale songs were worked into music, and whales were sort of trendy. Now they are back in the news because it seems that the off-shore wind turbines produce harmonics that kill sea life, including lots of whales. Just like their blades wipe out birds and bats on land. Hunting whales is verboten, but humans seem to have found another way to mess with them. Alas.

Some time ago, as I was looking at books for Red 2.0, Seabird came to mind. The problem is not Red 2.0, but one of Red’s parents, who is rather sensitive to things like little sketch pictures of flensing whale blubber, slaughtering animals, and so on. Not that the parent has a problem with proper slaughter of animals, but, well, whaling is different. When I was Red 2.0’s age, whaling was just a thing people did in the past and didn’t do any more. It didn’t bother me. But then a LOT of things people used to do don’t bother me the way they’re supposed to. And yes, I’m one of those really strange people who read the whaling parts of Moby Dick because I thought the technical details were cool and interesting to learn about.

It’s a form of pragmatism, I suppose. People did things back then that we don’t do today. Some of those things society has decided are wrong to do, like hunt whales, wear egrets on our heads, own other people [unless they are adults and agree to it, and even then it is frowned upon by a LOT of western society], carve our names on everything, beat up on weaker societies, and so on. Not everyone agrees with these changes, and so slavery is still practiced, female children are still killed (in utero), and there’s always That One Dude who has to mess up the painting/statue/tree/whatever for the rest of us. Or who gives crayons to unsupervised small children and is horrified that they draw on the statues …

Whaling doesn’t bother me. It was in the past, the culture around whaling is fascinating, the songs and rituals are intriguing to learn. How exactly do you reduce tons of temporarily-floating dead mammal into barrels of oil and packable teeth and other things, while at sea, without motors and metal cables and electric heaters? Oh, and without catching your boat on fire as you do all this stuff? What skills were needed? What was the reward? It’s a part of the past, and I study it as such. Whale oil still has some uses, and the few stocks of the stuff are carefully guarded and doled out for specific purposes. We have not found an economical way to duplicate really good whale oil for a few specialty applications. Emphasis on “economical,” because the batches would be so small. Abergris has yet to be properly duplicated because of it’s chemical complexity. Plus sometimes, the whales got even, either on their way out, or like that rogue sperm whale in the Pacific that hunted down whaling ships.

Some people believe that modern people should be terribly upset and offended by things in the past. Like whaling, and child labor in the US and England, or slavery practiced by Europeans and Americans. Or by how certain laws discriminated against women before the 1800s. I tend to shrug and say, “Yes, that’s the way it was. We as a society decided that it was wrong, or was no longer needed, and so we changed. That was then, this is now.” I have trouble getting worked up over parts of the past.

I think I’m Odd.

“There Was a Time in This Fair Land …”

Do you hear the rest of the phrase?

How about, “The legend lives on from the Chippawa on down …”?

“If you could read my mind love,” …?

I grew up listening to, and singing along with, Gordon Lightfoot. And Ian and Sylvia, Odetta, and other folk-rock musicians. Lightfoot’s music is what I remember the most, and what I can sing at the drop of a hat, or without dropping the hat. The ballads sank in early, probably because MomRed sang the Child Ballads to me and Sib. (Which probably explains a lot about my morbid turns of plot and personality …) I could warble along with “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” or “Canadian Railroad Trilogy.” I didn’t always understand all the references in things like “Black Day in July” or “Circle of Steel,” or “Go-go Girl,” but I got the basic idea.

Lightfoot was a storyteller in song, catching current events and framing them in music. It’s an old tradition. He also critiqued society at the time, pointing out the flaws “see the soldier with his gun/who must be dead to be admired:” Vietnam-era anyone? Some of his songs ache, because he screwed up a lot of things with alcohol and bad choices. It was partly a generational thing, I suspect, given how young a lot of the folk-rock and folk singers of the 1960s-70s died. “Early Morning Rain” ranks up there with “Summer wages” (Ian Tyson) as odes to bad decisions and their consequences.

Gordon Lightfoot had a magnificent voice, which is probably why my parents locked onto him. He was a baritone, meaning I could sing along without hurting myself.

I also like his descriptions of nature. “Pussy-willows, Cattails” comes to mind.

Is it a ghost story? Is she a woman, or a dog?

The next one is probably the first of his I taught myself to sing. Growing up in a railroad city (Omaha – Union Pacific) had something to do with it, I suspect.

And speaking of children, this one ranks there with the Irish Rovers’ “Winkin, Blinkin,’ and Nod” and “The Unicorn” as a childhood favorite.

For some reason, this last one always haunted me. I think because it is a nod to the problems of communication, and to Lightfoot’s many personal problems, but made universal.

And of course, the one song everyone seems to have heard of, one that has some of the most effective use of steel guitar/pedal steel ever. The shipping museum in Duluth, MN has a great display about the Big Fitz and other ships of the Great Lakes.

Too Into Your Research?

I think I first voiced the idea when I was on Peter Grant’s blog some time ago, and the topic of people taking on roles came up. I pointed out the strange-to-me behavior of Martin Sheen acting as if he dictated foreign policy to the US. My guess was that he’d played the role of president for so long on The West Wing that he somehow thought he was the PotUS. And I know that people notice if I’ve been working in German a lot, because my Grammar more Germanic becomes.

Starting around 2015 or so, several historians who specialized in Eastern Europe or the Soviet Union, and some Russian escapees, began claiming that certain US politicians were dictators, or would become dictators, or were just like someone in one of the governments of Europe before 1940, or like Francisco Franco, and so on. I read their arguments, blinked a lot, and wondered what had happened to their powers of observation. I didn’t see that pattern in US politics. Populism, yes to an extent, political posturing of course, but not a slide into dictatorship or European nationalism. What was going on?

After a bit I caught on. Timothy Snyder, Anne Applebaum, and some Russian authors were seeing dictators in US politics because they’d seen so many dictators in their research that that had become all they saw. They had a mental pattern established based on their work. If something started to fit parts of that pattern, they filled in the rest without realizing it. And since the dictators they studied (or fled) were less-than-good, anything or anyone who started to fit that pattern was less-than-good. So Donald Trump was 3/4 of the way to being Putin or Peron, and so is anyone who gains a large populist following, no matter his or her politics.

I can sympathize to an extent, because I’ve had moments where I caught myself not leaving something in the past where it belonged. And it’s easy, when you have been immersed in something, to see bits of it in unrelated things. Too, politicians in the US and Europe copy certain things from Italian Fascism (so did the NSDAP in Germany, Franco, and the Soviets) because the aesthetics and technique work to get people stirred up and excited. No, I’m not seeing the swastika in everything. I do look at certain designs of the US eagle and sigh, because you can see the influences. I roll my eyes at some stage designs for the same reason. Mussolini’s people borrowed from the American Progressive movement, FDR’s people borrowed from the Italians, so did others, and it went back and forth.

The National Recovery Act blue eagle, used by the federal government in the 1930s. Source:https://fee.org/articles/world-war-i-opened-the-door-for-central-planning/

Now look at the example below. They are not identical. But you can see similar nods. The Progressives who became FDR’s cabinet and other advisors were impressed by what seemed to be happening in Italy in the 1920s, and wanted to borrow that success.

Italian Fascist eagle Source:https://www.ebay.com/itm/Roman-SPQR-Italian-WW2-Fascist-Eagle-with-Fasces-Pin-Broach-Mussolinis-Italy-/252481946805

Likewise, the academics and others see patterns and assume that what happened there is happening here. Martin Sheen dictates foreign policy, Timothy Snyder sees Stalin lurking in American presidential candidates, and Anne Applebaum echoes him in her own way. Refugees from Russia hear echoes of Putin in President Trump’s hyperbole, or in Marjorie Taylor-Green’s rhetoric. We all do it, in our own ways, but it’s been especially striking among some popular historians.

It’s interesting. I will still read Snyder and Applebaum’s earlier work, because it is solid in those fields, but I ignore their most recent writings.


April 25 is honored as ANZAC Day in Australia and New Zealand, and in other places where the military from those countries happens to be. It recognizes the veterans and honored dead of Australia and New Zealand, and is as solemn as Remembrance Day for some.

Image Source: https://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/anzac-day-signals-election-truce-for-campaigning-politicians/l9gjwaw9a

Ceremonies to honor Australia and New Zealand’s war dead began in 1916, as the First World War still raged. April 25 became an official day of solemn commemoration and remembrance in 1927. Today there is a two-part commemoration. The dawn service is a very somber, quiet ceremony, often religious. Later in the day come marches and larger commemorations and perhaps celebrations, along with football and rugby games. It is a more sober day in some ways than is Memorial Day in the US, much closer to Remembrance Day in Great Britain and Canada.

Honoring the day has not been without some controversy as time passed from WWI and WWII, and culture changed somewhat. Recent years have seen a resurgence in honoring ANZAC Day by the general population.

Soldiers, sailors, airmen, and other military members from Australia and New Zealand took part in WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, and many other conflicts as part of the United Nations, and to keep peace or assist in restoring peace (East Timor) and to aid in disaster relief in the Pacific.

A salute to all Australians and New Zealanders who served, who are still serving, and those who fell in the field of valor.


Perfection and its Discontents

The on-line world has an excess of perfection. Now, before everyone who has wrestled with lousy code, bad web-sites, “AI” generated garble, and OttoCorrupt throws things at me, I’m thinking about a different part of the ‘Net. Various social media sites, and certain phone apps and functions, allow if not demand that everyone and everything be perfect. With Mary Poppins it was fiction, and readers sorted out that she was a wee bit more than human. For society today, it’s not so wonderful.

Back in the early 2000s, it was Instagram photos of meals. People graded restaurants and home cooks on the presentation, not the quality of the food, leading to complaints from the folks who actually cooked Ye Average Meal. Food had to be perfect, or else.

People have fussed about the unrealistic portrayal of others in movies and on TV and in magazines for a long time, especially once anorexia and body-image problems became better known. I remember one movie lady talking about how it took three hours of work for her to go from “I just got out of bed and am in pajamas” to “cover shot ready.” Vogue came under a lot of criticism, as did other fashion magazines. But most of us knew that those photos had been airbrushed, and the people were NOT your standard. 5’10” tall, 100 pounds, size 32 DD chest, wearing size 2 or 0 clothes is NOT standard.

Along came social media, with all the filters and built-in photo improvers in cameras. Landscapes can be more dramatic or colorful. And people as well. The pressure developed to be perfect when you posted on social media. First it was “pictures or you weren’t really there,” which contributed to ruining the southern European section of the Louvre Museum (for me at least) and to the “selfi-cide” problem. By 2021, “normal” photos were supposed to be improved, retouched, smoothed, and adjusted for near perfection. That’s not healthy.

Add in other parts of society, and a group of young people decided that they had to be perfect in all things, or they were failures. If they can’t do it right the first time, it is a disaster. If a person don’t look like his on-line presence – disaster. Life is a failure if at age whatever they cannot do everything flawlessly the first time. So people don’t try. They aim low.

I’m a perfectionist. I get it. But I also know that there are physical limits imposed by reality. I have never done anything right the first, second, third . . . time. But that’s in this reality, not the Internet. The Internet is perfect. Which is not good for those people who get caught up in it and think that Internet = reality.

Now we have all sorts of image processors, tools for manipulating videos to enhance or remove or adjust events and people. Art must be perfect, for whatever that means. Computer tools make that possible, or do they? How much of the imperfect artist is permitted anymore?

I don’t have a cure, or a solution.

Comments are disabled for this post. It is a think-piece more than for discussion.