Art From Jeff Hanson, Visually Impaired Artist, Fantastic Texture and Color

I stumbled upon the art of Jeff Hanson. He rose to popularity earlier this year when he accomplished a goal of raising 1 million dollars for charity by his 20th birthday. He started painting at 12 and now his disease is cured and he's a full time artists.

The paintings are unique. I'm not sure if it's because his impaired vision gives him a unique relationship with color, but I don't think that can be ruled out. I've seen the way he paints and his face seems to be much closer to the canvas than is usual.

What is most fascinating about his art is that it's not because of his disease that he is a great artist, but because he is a great artist that his disease is made to look small. It's encouraging. It goes to prove the bible adage that pops into my mind "Why should any living man complain..."

Those of us with life still in us have been given an astonishing gift mingle our perception with reality, and that should never be taken for granted. This is a reminder that art at it's best is truly a celebration of life being lived resiliently.

Jeff gained notoriety by partnering with the Make a Wish foundation. One thing that is said about the children involved with them is that, like Jeff, they are often amazing examples of positive and radiant human spirits.

Jeff's art is really fantastic. It seems he would have been an astounding artists regardless of his life's story. His paintings, abstract and some impressionist, are largely about texture and vibrant color. It'll be great to see how his art progresses.


The Secret Behind "What Does the Fox Say"

I have to be honest. I didn't want to watch this video. Largely because I harbor an unfair amount of distaste for the way pop culture is generated. "What Does the Fox Say" now has hundreds of millions of youtube hits and will likely sell many iTunes tracks, but why?

People are already saying that "What Does the Fox Say" is this year's Gangnam Style. If we take a closer look at why these tracks are popular it's not that astonishing. The songs have three major elements. They are catchy, absurdly funny, and well produced.

This song is absolutely ridiculous and it catches you off guard, and frankly it's fun to sing. The way the internet works right now a well glittered and lubricated piece of media gets shove it down a million throats.

Will the brother's make a career off with this song. Well they've apparently been making comedy songs for a while, and were popular in their native land. Yes I actually did a little research on a video about fox noises. This will likely keep them in their business for a good while.

The Norwegian brothers should enjoy the ride to through the media circus, but get off as soon as they feel like throwing up.

Now if you're out there and you want to replicate their success, it might not be a lost cause. People obviously want up beat music that doesn't take itself so seriously. It might be like trying to replicate lottery success, but if you're passionate about it, and realistic, why not?

As for me, this is as soon a part of my past as last night's pasta. I might even delete this post by tomorrow evening.


Man of Tai Chi: A Few Things About the Movie... Kind of a Review

I watched Man of Tai Chi, directed by Keanu Reeves, last night on my laptop. The movie is set to release in American theaters in November. It is however already out in China and available through Cable's OnDemand service. I got it through other methods... It's 2013 people.

I have to say I really like the idea of movies being released through other outlets. It may not force as many people into the theaters to see the movies but it allows for options.

Keanu plays a rich guy, who is apparently also an allusion to Satan, he owns vehicles with the license plate "666" and frankly just seems a lot like Satan, who holds underground fights, and endeavors to corrupt Tiger Chen, a Tai Chi practitioner.

SPOILER ALERT: The movie's core message seems to be a cynical one. It all revolves around the idea that what we love best about entertainers is watching them lose their innocence. While stars like Miley Cyrus tend to prove that point, I don't listen to her music and it's definitely not true of me. It's an idea that definitely seems to hold weight in a time when it seems pop music has lost it's mind and soul, and we're left watching propped up personalities destroy themselves and claim it's provocative art.

Also there is a scene where Tiger Chen filled with rage knocks down the camera. It's a kind of 4th wall element rarely seen in big budget movies. Usually if a movie is going to interact with the audience it's a running gimmick, Man of Tai Chi used it as a one time dynamic to powerful effect.

The film in one line is essentially, "The Soul vs Satan", a very well depicted, not resolved particularly ingeniously, but entertaining tale.

All in all it was a good movie, and reminds us that Keanu has talent yet to display.


Why You Should Be Using Your Microwave For Every Meal

There is nothing that can't be cooked in a microwave. This morning I woke up and in a flurry of inspiration I made breakfast in my microwave.

Microwaves were invented in 1947, and yet somehow stoves have maintained dominance in homes. Which is unprecedented in the home appliance/electronics industry. We don't still use VCRs, some rarely even use DVDs, we don't use ice chests, or corded phones... When something new is invented there is supposed to be an upgrade. We are chained to our ovens by sentimentality and nostalgia.

I suppose the wide range of techniques available to one using a stove increase it's value. Microwaves have been held at arms length because the ease at which it is used allows for cooking that lacks finesse, and is often one dimensional. If there were ample research done into the area of microwave cooking we'd soon find that it has it's own repertoire of techniques.

This morning I poached an egg in the microwave, I cooked diced potatoes in olive oil in the microwave, I made a couple sausages and even heated a sauce. The total cooking time including cooking time was under 15 minutes. If I had used a stove I would have invested an hour and a few handfuls of frustration.

The future is now ladies and gentlemen. If we want to make room for advanced tech, we have to put away the old stuff. I honestly have as much need for a stove as I do a typewriter. That's not sad, it's life. Now some people might like to have stoves, just like I, being a writer, would like to have a typewriter, but it should not be the majority. The benefit of technology is being able to minimize efforts in areas that are not your specialty and focus more time on doing things you like. Less stove time means more typewriter time, maybe I'll even buy a Gutenberg-esque printing press, it's all about specific priorities.

"Look Into My Eyes" The Honest, Alluring, and Intense Art/Poetry Collection From Modern Artist Kinyo

Photo of Model Rose with "Look Into My Eyes" 1 of 5
"Look Into My Eyes" is best described as a multimedia art project. It uses several different mediums to sketch a broad and yet somehow still very subjective idea to be shared. The collection is by Kinyo.

The artists/poet has been sharing his creations for a while this latest grouping is supposed to "reflect the distortion we experience when relating directly with one another". It's not a new concept but it is one that he plays with freely, and indirectly. In the end the project comes a cross as a sort of advertising campaign for eye contact.

The paintings border on pop art. I hate to throw around term abstract art because it seems someone overused and diluted, but that's exactly what these are. Abstractions of the reality of a human face with the intent of drawing out emotions one would not readily recognize in themselves in regards to how we all look at one another.

There is a special delight in having a poem to go with art. I expect that is something Kinyo is anticipating will add another layer of depth to the experience.

See more from of the project:


Electronica Group Plaid is Returning For Special Performance of the Tekkonkinkreet Soundtrack

I first heard of Plaid when I saw 2006's Tekkonkinkreet. The film is one of the greatest animation movies of all time. It is visually gorgeous, and the soundtrack was holistically shiny and metallic, airy and effervescent, urban and white washed; the production of a fantastic electronic group, Plaid.

Plaid is going to be performing their soundtrack to the movie on October 9th in London at Barbican. It might seem like I'm teasing you if you're reading this and are not from London, or able to get there, I kind of am. But you may, as I am hoping I will, get to watch some of it on youtube in the following weeks.

Plaid will be performing with the Elysian String Quartet.

Below is one of the tracks from the Tekkonkinkreet soundtrack.


National Parks Closed Down Because of the Shutdown, Fire Don Neubacher!

Yosemite Nation Parks superintendent, Don Neubacher should be fired, and that's just the beginning.

A Picture of Yosemite, That's Don Neubacher in the Top Right
I had said that the shutdown didn't matter. I suppose I was wrong, but I'm only finding that out one step at a time. All across America National Parks are being shut down. From the Grand Canyon to Yosemite, from Redwood to Carlsbad Caverns, some of America's greatest natural areas are unavailable to it's citizens. We are the government, and we are keeping ourselves out of our parks.

I'm sure there aren't many people more annoyed than those who have planned vacations, and spent money to get to these parks only to find that they are shut down. It's ridiculous that we are going about the business of making our life more difficult for absolutely no relevant reason.

The shutdown of the government is shameful enough, what's worse is that those reliant on the government don't have separate lines of credit or ways to exist without the governments funding. Should an argument in congress cause hundreds of thousands of indirectly related jobs to be compromised. Why do we allow politicians to use our lives as bargaining chips, and how is it that we let them think it's acceptable.

My brain is hurting trying to wrap itself around this nonsense. I'm not a legal expert, and I don't have political solutions, but I do have a few ideas. Someone, many people in fact, need to be fired. People who cannot solve problems should not be paid to. This goes beyond just the house members.

I am a Democrat, and I would like to fire many of my of leaders. This isn't good news for Republicans, just bad news for the Democrats in office. I want to replace my Democratic leaders with new and better Democratic leaders.

Who else should be fired? The leaders of all of these parks, siting on their hands, while they allow resources which are an intrinsic element of our humanity to be shut down. Fire them all, put the country in new hands. Not just the leaders of parks, but the leader of any government organization that stopped paying it's workers without searching for solutions. Yes it is fair! I expect people in those positions to be willing to put their jobs on the line and push the boundaries of their legal restrictions in looking for ways to do what is right. So fire them!

Kevin G Saunders Photography Gallery in Downtown San Antonio's Blue Star Art Complex

Kevin Saunders Photography Gallery is located in San Antonio's Blue Star Art Complex, in downtown San Antonio. I went there to check out another nearby art gallery, and found myself checking out a few other galleries and shops in the area. 

Kevin Saunder's Gallery is located behind the Blue Star Art Museum, near the Blue Star Apartments @ 107 Blue Star. I'm not sure why everything is named after Blue Star, but that's their prerogative. 

Kevin Saunders started taking photographs under his dads instruction in 1968. When I checked out the gallery most of the photos were displaying a new project he's working on that features stunning up close shots of flowers from a florist he's partnered with. 

The photographs range in the thousands of dollars.

Saunders is also the founder of KGS bikes and online and San Antonio bike shops. The gallery also doubles as a bike shop.


Why Kings of Leon, Kanye West and John Mayer are the Best Artists of the Year

The reason these three artists are the best of the 2013, is because given the scale they operate on they're the only one's to put out album's that mattered. I'll continue on to prove my point.

John Mayer is the most talented popular musician of this era. Let's call this era "iPhone5MileyCyrus" for short. In the entirety of iphone5mileysyrus nobody else is offering up a good album. There's JT, and he could be the next Michael Jackson, but he's not, and Radiohead hasn't put an album out in two years so there you go. At the peak of Mayer's skill he put out an album that challenged music to be real and authentic, slow release, and good.

Kanye is the last standing icon in Hip Hop in the iphone5mileycyrus era. All those indie guys suck, everyone in the underground is garbage. Jay Z is insane, and old, and his flows are yucky. Kendrick is a cool kid, but he doesn't bring anything new. A big ego is not new. Mac Miller, is too high to be relevant. Drake is just.. Drake. That's that. At the peak of his career and life accomplishments West put out an album that challenged Hip Hop to push boundaries further, and be even more provocative. He could come down to earth with his next album or go further off into space, either would be cool.

Kings of Leon is the only rock band. Arcade Fire could probably churn out a good record though. Kings of Leon proved that selling out isn't the end, it's the beginning. Now they have the spotlight and they made an album as brilliantly calm and human as Mechanical Bull is. I saw them at Coachella in 2012, and the air was buzzing, because all the indie kids were mad that the band they took for granted became popular and made songs for everybody. Well now that they have become the language with which popular rock speaks, they've proven it was worth it by making music that is as honest as it is well-roundedly rock and roll. (The end of this paragraph got away from me, but you get it)

What about the other genres. There's classical, but they could stop making new classical and no one would really notice. Classical music used to have rebels now it has none. Jazz used to have technique professors now it has none. Dance music is not music, it's a soundtrack, nobody has put out a dance album that I would consider a real album of music. Indie gave us Lorde in the iphone5mileycyrus, and she makes music for television show soundtracks, thats cool but what about music. Keep in mind I'm talking about those with high levels of popularity.

So what am I saying? Learn from these guys and judge the rest.

5 Reason's The Shutdown Doesn't Matter/It's Actually a Good Thing

The United States Government is facing a shutdown. It's not a surprise. The two halves of our duopsinous* system of country management have been bickering for years now. They don't like each other, and they'd both rather see nothing happen than concede to the other side.

When I say "they" I also mean "I". Government is a reflection of it's people. As individuals we've accepted a strategy of thinking that doesn't allow us to compromise with those with opposing views. Democrats think they alone express the thoughts and heart of both the universe and God and republicans believe the same thing. Somewhere along the way many of us forgot that we are human, and it is only through cooperation that we thrive.

That said, Let this be said, I don't take this seriously, and here are the Top 5 reasons why.

5. I still have to make money: You still have to go out and make money today, that has not changed. If you don't make money and can't pay your bills, the actions of the government will matter to you even less. It's time we stopped mistaking the state of the government for our own personal states.

4. They will resolve it: Guess what? This is not a crisis. It's a strong disagreement that will be resolved. If it's not resolved someone will get fired and the person who replaces them will resolve it. The purpose of government is not to decide wether or not to do it's job. The Government cannot as a matter of fact actually "Shutdown". They are just falling behind schedule, because they're bad at their jobs.

3. "No Protein is Wasted When a Death Occurs:"What does that mean? Well this quote, spoken by Kevin O'leary on NBC's Shark Tank, is meant to emphasize that even errors, mistakes and yes.. deaths, have something to offer the universe. This shutdown may actually be a good thing, in the way that forest fire's aren't all bad. There are lessons to be learned. For instance perhaps we should elect more responsible leaders. As for the leaders I'm sure they'll learn that they can't brush their differences under the rug and try to deal with them at the last minute.

2. Ted Cruz: If you were to tell me that the Shutdown is a necessary piece of the grand puzzle that allowed Ted Cruz to get up there and do his dance of buffoonery, I'd tell you it was all worth it.

1. Who Cares: The "Shutdown" is simply the latest piece of government theatre from Washington D.C. It's not an issue, it's actually a non issue. Sure there are some real issues muddled up in there, like Obamacare. But the "Shutdown" itself is pure hyperbole, it's a cry wolf, it's a Hamet-esque soliloquy, written for the masses, lacking substance, it's elitist pop culture, and Nobody should care. (Except those whose paychecks are on the line, if I were you I'd do what I could about it and quick)


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