38 if?


A Fifth of This and That


You Might Never Have Paris But You Can Always Have the Dinky Diner


Slight Repost: The Furious Beauty of Mireille Mathieu

I wrote previously (internal link) that the La Marseillaise was an anthem so stirring it could churn butter. But I never thought about why this performance by Mireille Mathieu was so compelling. (Besides those fancy, extended trills.) It’s because she’s beautiful. Furiously beautiful.

As all translations differ, the version below differs from what is on the video.

La Marseillaise – English lyrics


Arise children of the fatherland
The day of glory has arrived
Against us tyranny’s
Bloody standard is raised
Listen to the sound in the fields
The howling of these fearsome soldiers
They are coming into our midst
To cut the throats of your sons and consorts

To arms citizens Form your battalions
March, march
Let impure blood
Water our furrows

What do they want this horde of slaves
Of traitors and conspiratorial kings?
For whom these vile chains
These long-prepared irons?
Frenchmen, for us, ah! What outrage
What methods must be taken?
It is us they dare plan
To return to the old slavery!

What! These foreign cohorts!
They would make laws in our courts!
What! These mercenary phalanxes
Would cut down our warrior sons
Good Lord! By chained hands
Our brow would yield under the yoke
The vile despots would have themselves be
The masters of destiny

Tremble, tyrants and traitors
The shame of all good men
Tremble! Your parricidal schemes
Will receive their just reward
Against you we are all soldiers
If they fall, our young heros
France will bear new ones
Ready to join the fight against you

Frenchmen, as magnanimous warriors
Bear or hold back your blows
Spare these sad victims
That they regret taking up arms against us
But not these bloody despots
These accomplices of Bouillé
All these tigers who pitilessly
Ripped out their mothers’ wombs

We too shall enlist
When our elders’ time has come
To add to the list of deeds
Inscribed upon their tombs
We are much less jealous of surviving them
Than of sharing their coffins
We shall have the sublime pride
Of avenging or joining them

Drive on sacred patriotism
Support our avenging arms
Liberty, cherished liberty
Join the struggle with your defenders
Under our flags, let victory
Hurry to your manly tone
So that in death your enemies
See your triumph and our glory!


Come on Down to Wide Track Down!

Goldfield, Nevada. More field than gold. But, you’re Field of Dreams!


Goodbye to Etsy and Gooten and My Online Store

I’m about to kill my entire online store. My print on demand company is scared stiff of possible copyright violations contained in my photomontage work and will not print most of them. Long story but their side of the story is, of course, they cannot afford a lawsuit against them or their partners, even if that lawsuit is illegitimate. No one is on the side of the small artist, why would they be? Who wants to pay for a lawsuit? No, everything I have done online with Etsy and Gooten has been a complete and total waste of time.
I could detail how this all came about, how they disrupted sales for two of my customers after they had paid their purchases, but I am tired and have better things to do than beat up companies who never gave a damn about me to begin with.

To those that say to use my own images, sure, I do, but this advice ignores the role of parody, satire, and cultural commentary that art has always played a part of. American art has always included American images and that includes corporate and celebrity and political images. Think Mad Magazine, National Lampoon, Playboy, and the New Yorker. All of them in whole or in part, using recognizable images of famous people, businesses, or politicians. What do you think editorial cartoons are based on? Recognizable images that newspapers and magazines use to to sell copies to make money. Hello?! I enjoy producing work with images that I relate to and with familiar images of Americana that others relate to.

My last reply to Gooten:

Well, there’s always a possibility of getting sued anywhere at any time over anything. Yet, we proceed. As I understand it, though, as it has been since the dawn of copyright law, one can use the image of a public figure as long as one does not advertise or commercialize the image. General Mills could not, for example, use the face of Francis Hardy on the cover of a cereal box without permission from her. Since the days when photomontage and photography began, artists have always used photographs, original or otherwise, and made them their own. I hardly doubt that Andy Warhol got Campbell Soup’s permission to paint their soup cans, a letter from Coca Cola to paint their bottles, or permission slips from every one of the hundreds of celebrities he founded modern pop art on. Look at what Luc Best does today (and sells on Etsy):

Do you think this internationally famous artist is paying out licensing fees up front on everyone of those images? Getty Images charges three to four hundred dollars for every single image they control. There is no possible way his art could be done unless he charged tens and tens of thousands of dollars for everything he does. I think what has happened in the last few years is that people think that selling an artistic image is commercialization _itself_. We’d need an experienced copyright lawyer’s opinion on this, but any company scared of being sued, and not ready to defend the artists that support them, won’t even get a talk going with a lawyer, let alone go to court.

So, I will go it alone myself and kill everything I have online where I rely on someone else for help. I still don’t know how or why you printed that Briggete Bardot jacket that I am wearing now but I am no longer accepting consistency from Gooten. I think for the other fools that put this much time and effort into building a doomed online store, that you state even more emphatically that images will not be checked before-hand and that copyright law violations will be determined by Gooten alone and not Etsy or any other selling platform. In other words, tell anyone that everything they place online is at risk. Sorry for sounding so bitter, but, it’s because I really am. Thomas


Beauty Will Save the World

art Uncategorized video

A Virtual Art Gallery. Of Sorts.

Right click lower right for full screen. Yeah, it’s grainy. Conceptual video. Duh.


Then It’s a Gift

All gifts are from God.


In The Perfect Life