I know what you're thinking. There's no dog in this month's masthead. But like the real Europeans they've become, Loki and Juno insisted on taking this month off from working, like everyone else. Don't worry, their regular photos will back this week. I convinced them that taking time off modeling for a masthead was like a month of vacation in dog time. Suckers.
So this month's masthead is inspired from Gerhard Richter, who exhibited a series of abstract paintings, "Cage" at Tate Modern in London. The series is a tribute to American Composer John Cage, who's quote "I have nothing to say, and I'm saying it" resonates with Richter's own ideas.
It sounds so Seinfeld. A painting about nothing. A song about nothing. Blogs about nothing.
Richter's series of paintings were built in successive layers, each one scraped back and painted again. When you look at them, you can almost make out a figure or an object. The paintings developed in ways that couldn't be anticipated by Richter when he started them.
Cage is also known for introducing elements of chance into writing and performing music. "I have nothing to say and I'm saying it," resonates most strongly in his controversial composition, 4'33."
Now if you're like me and aren't familiar with the piece, you'll go to iTunes, look it up and press play. Then you'll turn up the volume because you aren't sure if you can hear it. Then you'll play other music on your PC to be sure iTunes is working properly before heading over to Wikipedia to find out: WTF ? There's no sound played. It's a composition of 4 minutes and 33 seconds of silence---in three movements no less. Each movement starts and ends with the pianist opening and closing the keyboard.
But the beauty of this? It's sold on iTunes for 99 cents. Now that's genius. Why can't I think of making money for saying nothing? Life's not fair.
But seriously, when you listen to Cage, now deceased, talk about his theory on sound and silence, then it may not seem so absurd. But Mr. Wild Dingo, who overheard it, didn't exactly agree. I won't relay Mr. Wild Dingo's exact words. While Cage's theory seemed clever (to me anyway), I'm not sure I'd pay 99 cents for that piece.
True story: When I was a toddler, my mother took me to the doctor and told him: "She never speaks. Is there something wrong with her?" The doctor laughed and replied, "She just has nothing to say."
Well that all changed because now I "say nothing" all the time. Mr. Wild Dingo will be the first to agree that I talk a lot. Ridiculous? I talk about it. Trivial? I say it. Absurd? It rolls off my tongue. None of it has any real meaning. Yet, I feel the need to say it. And this blog is no less an extension of a whole lot of nothing and a whole lot of noise. It's quite opposite of Cage's original intention. Yet the quote fits it perfectly.
What I like best about the quote is how many ways it can be spun. Perhaps as one blogger pointed out that it expresses an attitude for allowing the viewer, listener or reader to form his own opinion. I can see that. Look at my painting, listen to my song, read my poem. Form your own opinion. What a welcome relief from mass marketing and politics thrust in our faces today.
Richter is equally as ambiguous as Cage when he claims: "I don't know what I want; I am inconsistent, non-committal, passive; I like the indefinite, the boundless; I like continual uncertainty." Welcome to the world inside my head.
I've always wanted to write a book. But I can never decide what to write about. If I publish a book of blank pages, do you think it will sell?