not THE BOSS, but we get the point

A Letter of Apology From Bruce Springsteen for Letting Trump Win

Bruce Springsteen.

It’s me, Bruce Springsteen. Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images

My name is Bruce Springsteen, and one day soon, when the windows of your mosques are smashed and the synagogues lie in ashes, when the skies are gray with dust and the sea has risen to wash away the roads, when the stars and stripes of our flag stand for discrimination and fear, I will wonder, could I have made a difference?

I have had to look at myself in the mirror. More importantly, I have had to look at my children, and consider, uncomfortably, the world they will inherit. And I wonder.

Could I have made a difference? Did I do everything I could have done?

Meryl Streep and that speech she gave at the Golden Globes got me really thinking about this.

It’s all well and good for Meryl Streep to give rabble-rousing speeches on television, but unless she is hosting a benefit for each and every congressional candidate in her state running in the 2018 midterm elections—New York, California, Connecticut, I don’t know where she lives—it’s totally freaking meaningless.

At the end of the day, what did that speech of hers accomplish? A lot of people said, “Oh, great job, Meryl!” A lot of people patted her on the back, tweeted how wonderful she was and said, “You go, girl!” But it meant virtually nothing in terms of winning any elections, getting anyone out to the polls, changing any minds. I doubt it even made one single person register to vote, and it probably didn’t cause anyone to donate to a local congressman’s election campaign.

Unless she backs it up with some actual action, specifically geared toward the midterms, her words are just more self-serving, self-congratulating liberal fireworks. Sorry, Meryl. That’s what we liberals do: we set off fireworks at our own backyard parties.

I bet you felt just great and all proud of yourself when you re-posted Meryl’s speech on your Facebook page. I bet you thought, “Well, I just made a difference!” You didn’t. All you did was make it so your friends would go, “Oh, hooray for our side, you think like us, too!”

And I realized, well, that’s precisely what I’ve done. I’m getting press for saying some anti-Trump stuff from the stage in Australia. That’ll show him. That will impact the midterm election for sure! Boy, I really went out on a limb there, really took a risk.

So I ask again: Could I have made a difference in the last election? Some people think I’m one of the few people who actually could have.

Trump won Wisconsin by about 22,000 votes. Shit, 22,000? I sold 1 million copies of Human Touch—without the E Street Band—and even I can’t stand that record.

It’s been suggested that in the weeks and months leading up to the election, I should have followed Trump around from rally to rally, especially in September and October when he was hitting the Rust Belt states hard. After all, those are supposed to be “my” people, too.

Y’know, imagine this: just as he was getting up to speak, I’d pop out of a van right outside the venue, step up on the back of a pickup or something, and play a few songs. If I was playing across the street from a rally, at the same time, you’re telling me they wouldn’t have turned their back on Le Grand Orange—that’s what Garry Tallent calls him, he’s an old Mets fan from way back—and rushed over to wherever I was?

Imagine if I had done that for two or three weeks. If I had Just birddogged the man! I could have stolen his audience, stolen all the TV crews—you don’t think they wouldn’t have rushed to me, and wanted to hear my opinion on the big man? Not only would I have won over some of his supporters, but Trump almost definitely at some point would have come after me, and how bad would that have been for him? You think the new boss could’ve attacked the original and gotten away with it?

He doesn’t like being upstaged, you know he would’ve have come after me. Can you imagine if he attacked Bruce Springsteen? Even without doing the math, on just that alone he might have lost enough votes to lose him the election.

How hard would it have been for me to give up three or four weeks of my life this past fall or summer, and followed him in a van from rally to rally?

Shit, I campaigned with Obama in 2012, what happened last year?

Shit, I campaigned with Obama in 2012…what would’ve happened to Trump if I’d played outside his rallies in the Rust Belt? Getty

Let’s talk about numbers. Trump won Wisconsin by about 22,000 votes. Michigan by about 11,000. Shit, 22,000? I sold 1 million copies of Human Touch—without the E Street Band—and even I can’t stand that record. Eleven thousand? That’s the first night of a four-night run for me.

Look, if I had done that—if I had followed him around from rally to rally, stood on a park bench across the street, played “Kumbaya” or some Suicide song on the acoustic guitar and then gave soundbites to the 800 camera crews that were there—yes, I totally think I could have swung those votes. Between the media, and Trump getting pissed at me for stealing his thunder, shit, I could have gotten most of them on the first day.

Now in North Carolina the margin was 180,000, and I know that sounds like a lot, but what if I enlisted Garth Brooks and, oh, I don’t know, Darius Rucker? Oh, and are you telling me Dave Matthews wouldn’t have shown up? Of course he would have. And remember, 180,000 isn’t really 180,000—because you take one from Trump and put that vote in Hillary’s column, that actually counts as two. Even if we couldn’t get the venues, we could have played in parks. Like the cops are going to bust Bruce Springsteen and Dave Matthews for playing in the park? Yeah, that’llhappen. The cops will be standing in the front lining up for selfies.

Do I think if I had worked my ass off I could have changed the outcome of the election? I don’t know if I can say yes. But I can say maybe. And imagine if someone had said to you, “You take some action now, and maybe it can change whether your children will be able to have a legal abortion, maybe it will change whether your children will have healthcare, shit, maybe it will change whether my children will have a planet.” You’ll go, “Yeah, hell yeah. I’ll throw a little sweat, muscle and time behind that maybe.”

So I look myself in the mirror, and I ask, could I have made a difference?

And now I answer yes. I think I could have.

Now, just because you could have shot Hitler, that doesn’t mean you are guilty because you didn’t, right? I mean, probably 5 million Germans could have killed Hitler at one point, but we can’t condemn every one of them, right?

And by the way, I’m not suggesting we kill anyone! This is just a comparison—an analogy. Or is it a metaphor? Whatever. And I’m not comparing Trump to Hitler, either, no sir, don’t try to hang that on me. I’m just trying to make a statement about inaction—why is it a big deal that I didn’t do everything I could when I was one of the few who could have made a difference?

I’ve spent my life trying to tell a story about Americans that tried to do good when the easier route would have been to do bad, or to do nothing. But were those just words?

I guess this is the answer.

I’ve spent my life trying to tell a story about Americans that tried to do good when the easier route would have been to do bad, or do nothing; about an America where everyman was King, an America which was defined by its working men and women, not its oligarchs; an America where your children can look at you and say, just with their eyes, “Will our lives be as free as yours, daddy? Will we have the same rights and choices as you, will we have clean air to breathe? Daddy, will we have the ability to look the rich in the eye and say, ‘You may have more than us, but you do not have more rights than us.’ ”

I’ve told the story of an America where you asked questions, and even if you didn’t find answers, you were better for asking.

But are those just words? Are they just words that made me a hundred-millionaire many times over, or do I actually mean them? When my country called me to serve, was I on a book tour? When my country called me to serve, did I say, “I wrote some poems, I made some people happy, I gave a soundbite or two, wasn’t that enough?”

So maybe, just maybe, I fucked up. So here’s what I’m thinking: The 2018 midterm elections are going to be here in no time. The only chance for real change is if we vote more Democrats in, and flip control of the House of Representatives.

It’s O.K. if this stuff doesn’t matter to you, really, but if it does, whether you’re playing arenas or coffee shops, you need to be using your power to get Democrats elected in next year’s—NEXT YEAR’S!—midterm elections. That’s all that matters. That’s all that matters. Getting results in the midterms means more than all the petitions in the world, more than all the outraged Facebook posts, more than all the angry and sarcastic blog posts. The nuts and bolts of making people aware of their candidates, raising money for those candidates, and getting people registered and to the polls…that’s what matters, because everything, I mean everything, changes if the House flips.

So that’s why I’m committing, today, to make a difference.

Bruce Springsteen fans were freezed out on Ticketmaster this morning, but there are several solutions the site could implement so that doesn't happen again. (Photo: Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images)

What if I used my star power to influence the 2018 midterm elections instead of convincing you to buy my new record? Wait, this is America, can’t I do both? Ilya S. Savenok for Getty Images

First and foremost, that means electing Democrats to congress in the 2018 midterms. So, in the six months leading up to the 2018 elections—it might be just three or four months, haven’t confirmed the tour routing yet—I will be playing as many shows as possible, with the express purpose of doing everything I can to elect Democrats to congress in 2018. I will be introducing the candidates from the stage, making sure everyone coming to the concert knows who will be running in their district, registering voters, making sure voters know their voting rights, and putting money directly into the coffers and war chests of all the local congressional candidates.

Listen, if you don’t care, that’s fine. I am not actually criticizing you if you don’t care. It is a free country, as of today, anyway, and that is your right. And if you support Trump or the Republicans, that is your business, too. But if you want a change, don’t act all outraged about what’s going on and then do absolutely nothing about it. Don’t post something on Facebook or say something in an interview, and get all your friends going, “Oh, you are so right! Right on, brother!” and somehow actually think that makes a difference. It doesn’t.

To quote John Lennon: “If you go carrying pictures of chairman Mao, You ain’t going to make it with anyone anyhow.” Be Mao. Don’t just carry his picture. I mean, not literally Mao, but you get the idea.

Because if I don’t do this after all that working man and “Born in the USA” stuff I’ve been doing for decades and decades, for the rest of my life I might as well open my set with “Mustang Sally,” close my set with “Mustang Sally,” and in between play three and a half hours of “Mustang Sally,” then come out and do four encores of “Mustang Sally.”

Listen, I’m not saying everyone who picks up a guitar has to put on a Ché beret and fight the power. I really mean that. “Mustang Sally,” after all, is a helluva song.

But don’t wear Woody Guthrie’s shoes unless you are prepared to walk in his footsteps.

I have to run. Little Steven and I are trying to convince Jann to put G.E. Smith into the Hall of Fame.

Thanks for listening.

Love,

Bruce*

*Not actually Bruce

Bruce Springsteen talking about immigration ban in concert
Hollywood Life
‘AHS’ Next Season Will Be About The 2016 Election
Autoplay: On | Off


We Get Our Armor from Everywhere

INSECT

UNGENEROUS BUT WILL LAST

CONVENIENTLY REFLECTIVE

SHE IS CONFUSED

UNDEFINABLE

IMPENETRABLE

IMPENETRABLE

SHE IS WOODEN

WOODEN

FROM A GRAVITATIONAL BLACK HOLE

NO CORE

NO CORE

NO DIRECTION

NO DIRECTION

SOUNDS LIKE POWER TO ME…

 

 


GLAMOURie performance exhibition January 2016

I am nostalgic around an exhibition I created early this year from my residency at Oxygen Art Center in Nelson, BC.  I thought I would share some of the performance that came out at that time. I created the set, directed and choreographed the movement and momentary stills of the performance called Glamourie. You can visit the intentions of the concept here-http://www.samtalbotkelly.com/news.php.

Artist: Sam Talbot-Kelly

Fantastic creatives: Architect and dancer Thomas Loh, Teyana Neufeld, Lynn Dragone, Ho Soon Yeen along with a giant teddy bear were the performers wearing specific costumes who bump into each other on a dilapidated, topsy turvy, insecure ‘vessel’.  Ships and vessels are typically with ends at the bow and stern. My ‘ship’ had signs of foreboding and comfort, dark and light, stable and insecure at either ends. The narrative wasn’t visually linear with characters moving in and out of space from a beginning act to an ending act. Rather the performance was happening before the audience knew it was happening. These characters pre-existed in the entire space before the audience came in, as if they inhabited it for an uncertain amount of time, as seemingly unrelated people with random connection. The audience stumbled into their space of ‘happening’ and together performers, audience, time and space collapse into a collective ‘real time’.

The  ‘vessel’ set jutted out on a diagonal from one corner and extended over to the opposite corner. The center of the vessel found the characters colliding and culminated into a vortex of uncertainty. None of the four knew what to expect from the other, none of the four knew if they could trust one another. They circled together ambiguously without trajectory, without destination, without fully knowing who each other were, yet the attraction to pull through and out of the culminating maelstrom peak was strong. A reliance on instinct came upon them, on that which they couldn’t perceive, not of each other’s powers but on some oblique acceptance and perhaps responsibility to that which is beyond themselves.

Enjoy.


“…workers in song” Leonard Cohen

 

I started this blog over and over. Can’t really sum this up or begin. To an artist so human, we have your material and love forever

in classy dark suits

to the deep dark voice

always inspiring

our soulful march


ABSTRACTION- by Ellsworth Kelly

ellsworth-kelly-art-400

 

People often get stumped by nonfigurative art. Ellsworth Kelly convinces us of the value of staying in the present, and abstract painting is his vehicle for attending to that larger mystery. Abstract art really does take time like he says in this interview with SFMOMA https://www.sfmoma.org . There is no story when looking at his work, our body and instincts respond. We can get lost in colors, shapes, feelings and memories when looking at abstractions. That is a beautiful thing.

 

Ellsworth Kelly Explains His Relationship to Abstraction


RADICAL DEATH- The Mushroom Burial Suit

Many of you have probably heard of the Mushroom Burial Suit conceived and invented by artist Jae Rhim Lee. It is brilliant and something to seriously think about. In fact I think I might have to re-write my will. If I believe humans as a species are intrinsically connected to the planet then I should eat my words around being responsible on how I leave this earth plane. Cremation is pretty toxic. But Can I forgo cremation? I love having the ashes of my parents, and I want my kids to have them of me. To decline on cremation the option of The Mushroom Burial Suit makes sense from an environmental perspective listen here…

 

Below is her experimentations of mushrooms that could decompose her nails, skin and hair which I believe are already outgrowths of biological waste we naturally eliminate.

MUSHROOMS live on and on and on and on

MUSHROOMS have this capacity to live on and on and on and on decomposing the world around us in a profound system of communication with co-habitors on this planet.

Mycelium Learning at the Edge says

The mycelium organism is the root system of mushrooms; an underground network that connects to the roots of plants and trees and distributes nutrients and information to support the health of the whole ecosystem. This adaptive, pro-health organism is a teacher for us as we ask, “How can humans more successfully interact with each other in ways that nourish ourselves, each other and the world.”  http://mycelium.is/about-us/

img_2_1366228209_73fa958ed31536b4babd8c39836bebbd

Mushroom suit

 

Well something to contemplate and imagine, right? Could you take this radical step? Perhaps in the meantime if we eat more mushrooms to boost our immune system an illumination will arrive.

mushroom-death-suit-sm1-300x336

suit at death

 

 


Because of the dress…

THE TWENTIES

art deco interior

art deco interior

A dream of mine is to costume dress and set design a film narrative or stage that takes place in the 20’s. That dream might be near or far, I don’t know, however in the meantime, I thought I would share some of my favorites from that time period. Now, if this dream doesn’t come true? Well, obviously I will then have to throw a 20’s dress up party.  That would mean everyone who attends the ‘partay’ is living in a 20’s fantasy as well. Just for a sec let’s marry and attend a je ne sais quois Great Gatsby-esque kind of decadence.

Great Gatsby theme

Great Gatsby theme

It is close to summer, a time for weddings; the ideal party that grooves at every hour, into everlasting forevers.

1920's wedding flapper dress

1920’s wedding flapper dress

The drape, the fall, the span of form with accessory, the heavy with light fabrics and the slight contrapposto take us into the 20’s mood of dress.

vintage wedding dress

vintage wedding dress

The details of pearls and appliqué, beads and feathers, the transparency and opaque, while loose and assembled offer a comfortable possibility and for the ‘partay’.

  To indulge you a little bit of vintage silver screen hollywood is here. Yolan Cris is a remarkable fashion house in Barcelona http://www.yolancris.com/yolancris/us/

The hair is a must with wedding cream and furs

 

INSPIRED BY THE 20'S

INSPIRED BY THE 20’S

http://www.weddinginspirasi.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/roaring-20s-fashion-wedding-dress.jpg

Subtle textures weave in and around the curved empire style with a gentle sweeping train. This is a visual experience of detail, shape and vintage taste. And….I want those doors!

wedding fashion

The light coffee color is a wonderful alternative to the stark artifices of white

http://www.weddinginspirasi.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/yolan-cris-wedding-dresses-2011.jpg

Divine

The Soft Divine

http://www.weddinginspirasi.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/1920s-wedding-dresses.jpg

1920's wedding dress- reclining figure

1920’s wedding dress- reclining figure

Her pose feels stiff and contrived, however her gown is more unfixed than those of today and carries a more detached allure. Ballet shoes might also indicate her identity with performance.

Like architectural space, the space of garment as container manipulates our behavior to move around in the world specifically. Garment is contingent upon context. Whether we are in the first photo or the one above sophistication and elegance is declared and has us piping a long cigarette in our satin robes lying languid on the couch in a never-ending daydream. Clearly we can’t wear athletic attire and arrive at the Carnegie smelling of sweat. What is appropriate or inappropriate become the codes of fashion that organizes our lives. If we decide to wear skirts, bodices, short or long hemlines, flared, sheath, slip, statement to gown dresses once again our behavior and the movement of our body will change depending on the occasion, the environment and our level of inner security.

 

wedding 20's

roaring twenties dress

Wedding Beauty

Natural motifs overlay a column of satin

http://www.weddinginspirasi.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/roaring-20s-fashion-yolan-cris.jp

so elegant and classy

http://www.sourcherry.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Yolan-Cris-Dress.jpg

Which time period would you see yourself in? Which cultural force do you identify with? Which figures would you like to have known? For me the allure of the 20’s is significant because women were freer from the constraints of history and the importance of the suffrage movement is radical. I would love to have been friends with the Lost Generation- F.Scott Fitzgerald, Earnest Hemingway, Gertrude Stein, lived in an Art Deco house, painted with the Surrealists, and Expressionists. Even though the Great Depression was around the corner, the 20’s zeitgeist explored new extravagant lifestyles and supported the fervor around industrial progress.  The appeal of the jazz buzz, the silent movies, the Charleston, the hair, Picasso, the travel all to lift humanity…and of course because of the recycling in fashion history, the fantasies of 20’s dress allows us to attend many more partay’s.

 


Conceptual Textiles: ‘FREE FLOATING ANXIETY’ where eco-systems collide

FREE FLOATING ANXIETY 1-4

Free Floating Anxiety 1 thru 4 is one of a series of drawings soon to be silkscreened onto textiles for my upcoming robotic interactive installation. This continuous field is an amalgamation of various eco-systems colliding, overlapping and interrupting one another in open space. It reveals a shared world beneath the surface of life where biological, fungal, granular, mineral, and industrial shapes forge, float, bump and transform with one another.

FREE FLOATING ANXIETY 1

FREE FLOATING ANXIETY 1

I marvel at the complexities of human and non-human eco-systems where the organic and industrial/artificial meet.

Free Floating Anxiety 2

FREE FLOATING ANXIETY 2

FREE FLOATING ANXIETY 3

FREE FLOATING ANXIETY 3

FREE FLOATING ANXIETY 4

FREE FLOATING ANXIETY 4

This is my imaginary world of these probing interactions. Miraculously there seems to be space for all.

Below are a few designs for some upcoming garment installations…I am inspired by eco-systems in nature specifically here -fungal life…

 

Fungal design 1

Fungal design 1

 

fungal design 2

fungal design 2

 

IMG_2310

garment construction

garment construction

fungal designs

fungal designs

 

More updates to come, always in process, baby steps make life happen…


VIKTOR & ROLF

VIKTOR AND ROLF

I don’t need to explain these incredible collections nor interpret them,  you might see glimpses of the Cubists, a few riddles, ironies and the nonsensical, regardless marvel in the human genius of our creative spirits….pretty darn kool.

 

 

and then turn this one up really loud, lay back and enjoy the purity of the entire collection, you might even weep it is amazing…it just gets better and better…

 

and notice how the artist is present in the first and last…what do you make of that?

IN this last fashion performance there is something about the ‘ordering’ of human and space in our daily life. The day is a contemplation as much as it is an interaction of forces, how we land and inhabit our human form and feeling in space, the memories a space contains whether they are of shared or isolated experiences. Space has lightness as much as gravity. I am engrossed less with the fashion here than I am with the construction of mood and invisible space.

Do you think about your relationship to space? How do you feel in open spaces vs tight spaces vs cluttered spaces vs highly ordered minimal spaces? Perhaps in heavy spaces we feel the lightness of being and in airy spaces we feel incredibly grounded…

Proximity to one another and isolation from one another takes on a whole other set of psychological implications and I am not sure DRESS has anything to do with that other than it can externalize inner pressures and expressions of the self in the variety of environments we move thru daily.