Perhaps I need a sockpuppet. I could work him with my left hand and he would follow me around and sing praise whenever I open my mouth or post something online. I can’t shower *myself* with praise. No way! That would be gross. But a good sockpuppet? No one will know it’s me. And everyone will hear all the great things he says about me and will join right in. More and more people will pile on. The likes and hearts and follows will explode. Maybe, just maybe, I’ll be propelled to the winner-take-all circle! Yes! That’s it, a sockpuppet.
This is now a Non-fungible Token (NFT) of an acrylic on canvas painting I created that was stolen from me in 1984. The original has not been recovered. This digital image is a copy of a photograph made before the theft, and I have edited and improved it myself with Photoshop, making the digital image unique. It has been stored on IPFS at ipfs/QmTgVWECtoYgLZj7m59LKgGST8sfqUdJ2Y9tJuGBPxfwDf/image.jpeg. The NFT was recorded on Ethereum at transaction 0x2b6559731eb9a4773af23aaf18de4743c20ee1be90c7e11c1489d13e2934ad77. The Rarible contract is 0x60f80121c31a0d46b5279700f9df786054aa5ee5 and the token ID is 966576.
Is it immoral to find beauty in these bleak woods? In invasive vines destroying ponderosa pines, slowly strangling them from the light, winding up and spreading out to take the sun, using years of tall majestic forest stands for selfish, greedy growth? Am I wrong? Am I wrong to love the grays and browns of spring without the glamorous celebrity floral flourish and bloom? Should I turn away from the icky twigs and twines of drying grass and seek more heroic views and spacious skies? I cannot do it. Beauty speaks straight on its own, immorally insistent on itself, its power, its freedom, its strength, its right – to be there wherever and whenever it so pleases.
A Los Alamos family! We were like every other happy Los Alamos family – unhappy in our own way. My mother, the brilliant, beaming center of it all! My father was brilliant too, ambitious but overshadowed by the Justice, fascinated by atomic science but ignorant of it, a gifted clumsy seeker, searching to make his mark. The eldest child, talented and unmoored at eight, already off the rails, was hurtling toward the cognitive abyss. The second, full of bullying fueled by grievance, later subdued to crushing gentle restraint, is now dead. My sister, beleaguered by brothers, is now a sparkling poet and tells her own story with crystal clarity. My youngest brother has turned away from me, not sure to what or when or if he will engage again. Then there is me, big saucer eyes, culturally void, I watched it all billow up in sensual mushroom clouds about me. So, now I see, “to survive, we must tell stories.” – and make pictures.
“Flash is about freedom; Flash is about expression. Flash is about just the joy of exuberant running and of freedom, and the moment you weight him down with too much Batman-like baggage… that’s not the Flash anymore.” – Mark Waid