Saturday, October 20, 2007

A Dried Out Leaf (IV)

(With Defi)

First up, here's a little affront to your visual perception:

There's not much to say about the production of that one - I GIMPed it out quickly this morning, as a sop to the left side of my brain - the half that went into a screaming hissy-fit yesterday morning because "I can't do that stuff and it's not fair - you're giving all your time to right half ..." etc, etc, etc. That moment was a long time coming but it was inevitable - I shouldn't have been so dismissive of the frequent remarks in the teach yourself drawing book that sometimes the process would be emotionally disturbing. One thing I'm sure of, after yesterday's experience - at $100 (or 100 francs) a two minute drawing by Picasso was dirt cheap.

There is quite a bit to say about what the image does to your visual perceptions - and how that's achieved - but I'm setting that aside for later. There's at least one more illustration to produce first. For now I'll content myself with stating, quite emphatically, that the one thing the image is not is an optical illusion. Quite the reverse - it combines three standard techniques for producing the impression of depth in a two dimensional image to produce a result that is quite simply, irreconcilable as a whole image. You'll see what I mean if you sit and look at it and let it jangle your brain for a bit. Don't spent too long - it's very discordant and might upset you. Seriously. It's complete visual nonsense, so there's no point working yourself into a tizzy trying to make sense of it.

Today's teach yourself drawing exercise is to flog off the original drawing for the princely sum of $200 (AU). I have several good reasons for doing this. At the more respectable end of the list - the justification and rationalisation end - getting rid of the original is a good way to detach from it (it's only a piece of paper with ink and pencil markings on it), so I can concentrate on its uses - partly play, and partly to illustrate and drive home the occasional point about visual perception and the veracity, authority or integrity of images. Not as a souvenir of a fraught day where I got far too upset over the fact that I'd just botched a drawing of a leaf, then came home after a visit to my one and only friendly ex-wife (as in, I only have one ex-wife, we're still friendly, and she's a very unique individual) to knock off the drawing in a few minutes.

Why $200? Well, it's a nice round figure but it comprises 3 components - eight hours work at or around the minimum wage ($132.00), Workcover compensation for the self-inflicted emotional trauma and, finally, postage and handling (all up, the other $70). What you get - in the unlikely event that you take up the offer, is an A4 sheet of graphic artist's tracing paper, with the drawing rendered in ink and pencil. And that's it, so we'll move on to the less respectable end of my list of reasons - sheer emotional and financial desparation, of which I've had a gutful.

Buy the Drawing

I'm quite sure at this stage, that I've delivered a second affront to a few readers - those of you who're scrolling down the post to hit the comments link so that you can denounce this as nothing more than on-line begging - a blatant bleg. Don't waste your time - comments is gone. You might, however, be interested in the alternative, which I'll describe later.


Begging my arse. It's an open, and honest free market transaction. The merchandise, as described, exists. It will be despatched to the first purchaser to stump up the $200 through that PayPal button that's been sitting idle over on the left-hand side of the page. If anybody does buy the drawing, I'm not interested in their motivations for doing so. I don't expect them to be to interested, respectful, or sympathetic to my motivations for selling. You want the drawing - it's yours, for $200, take it or leave it. You'll get more for your money than Helga got for the $4000 she spent ordering a Hewlett-Packard computer, from a "reputable" major retailer (the story's probably hit the business news by now, but I haven't been tracking it). The day after she ordered the computer, the company went into receivership. As an unsecured creditor, the most she can realistically expect out of the transaction is a dividend of 10 cents in the dollar - $3600 down the tubes in 24 hours. That's reputable Australian business practice.

Still got some abuse to vent? Well, here's the deal - the replacement for the comments facility I mentioned earlier. Use the "Flame Gummo" button - for a mere $5.00 donation via PayPal, you can vent your spleen, your gall bladder and your flatus-bloated bowels in an e-mail to me. I'm not kidding.

Flame Gummo

Now that's really affronted you, hasn't it? I can hear the huffing and puffing already - what have we come to, when someone is prepared to cop online abuse for $5.00 a throw. What sort of debased individual would demean himself that way?

Still not prepared to part with your money? Well, that leaves two last options.

If you're really so sickened by this post as you profess, put your vote where your mouth is. It won't cost you a cent. In the coming election, cast your vote so that it ends up - via whatever circuitous perambulation through our system of preference allocation suits you - so that it ends up with the ALP.

I'm not entirely rapt with Kevin Rudd either, but I'll still be casting my vote for the ALP. Because I want to live in a civil society again - I'm bloody desperate to live in a civil society again. Because I'm sick of the Liberal Party's Theatre of Cruelty - the ongoing soap opera of Work for the Dole (with the new spin off show, Welfare to Work) the big spectacles like Tampa and the Northern Territory intervention, the little kitchen-sink dramas like Federal Police raids on the homes of Australian Muslims that turn up nothing, the trashing of Mamdouh Habib's reputation, the Haneef Affair. This is a government that has repeatedly, and routinely, victimised private citizens for no better purpose than to give all you nice people out there someone you can despise.

As Ziggy Stellenstaub, my head-care specialist, said at our last get-together, if the Liberal Party win this one, they'll believe they can get away with anything. As someone who can confidently expect to be on the debasing and demeaning end of whatever "anything" succeeds Welfare to Work, whose next change of residence if something isn't done about providing affordable rental accomodation is going to be from an almost, but not quite affordable suburban house to the street, with all the asset losses that entails, I've got a very strong vested interest in seeing that "anything" forestalled.

Don't think much of that option either? Well, you can always don the mantle of sanctimonious hypocrite and denounce me in whatever public forum - be it a blog or a newspaper column - you can use. Just don't come around here expecting to kick Trotsky unless you're prepared to pay for the privilege. Your bigotted, "one-dream-fits-all and if it doesn't we'll bloody well make you fit it", idea of what this country should be doesn't interest me. It never really did.

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