Monday, September 7, 2009
2008, Oil, acrylic, epoxy, metallic pigments, collage, and sand on canvas, 9 x 12 inches - collection Paul Bennett
To read more about the Battle of the Bulge and NUTS follow this linkhttp://www.thedropzone.org/europe/Bulge/kinnard.html
I was asked for advice from a younger artist who has fallen on hard times, and I thought what I wrote was the seed, or rather a nut (pardon the pun), of something profound that I thought I would share. I have expanded on what I wrote the other night, with a few more poetics, and examples.
For a long time I have always loved and drew strength from the Allied Commander's reply to the German Commander's demand for surrender, The Germans wrote a formal letter, and the Allied replied back on typed paper "NUTS". And then bravely fought and defeated the Germans, in a bitter battle that they perhaps should have lost.
I am a sucker for laughing in the face of death and defeat, but the actual word they chose, adds a number of levels and ideas to that laugh.
Think about the 3 different meanings of the word "Nuts", and that word should be your mantra, in most people's cases instead of Nazis is this just Life itself, Life is out to get you, it will not be happy till we are all dead, Life is the Nazis, Life has written and nice formal letter demanding your surrender, it is hopeless and you are going to die, and your reply should always be NUTS!
Let's look at the first meaning of Nuts, a meager food that is pulled from lowing plants and out of the dirt, but enough to give you what you need, all else is luxury. Get by with less, show the bastards that you can take almost nothing and live off it. Think of the mountain climber that takes a handful of nuts to give themselves the energy reach the peak. Often times a scoop of Peanut butter was all we had for dinner when I was a kid, my Dad said that a scoop of Peanut Butter had as much protein as a steak, so we each had a scoop with a glass of water or milk and that was that.
Nuts- to be crazy, rush in where sane people fear to trend, Life wants you fearful and docile slave that gives up, bold action is always best. Think of the Fool, the Trickster, often times the prime mover in creation myths, the snake in the garden, the raven steals the sun, "Please don't throw me in the Briar Patch, Brer Fox!", do the one thing that no one expects from you, stick out your tongue, throw a whoopee cushion under the teachers seat. Be El-ahrairah, "the prince with a thousand enemies" from Watership Down. They'll catch you and try to humble you, often they might hobble you in the process, but you still made they have to deal with you, you were not ignored, you got in there and did something, anything.
Nuts- Sorry to take a profane turn, but testicles, your balls (ovaries for women if you like) the most base and private part of your gross body, the whole reason you have a body, to carry theses seeds of Life, That divine spark, that is not floating out in some imaginary void, but here in your form, in matter, in your NUTS! Now tell those Nazi, they can suck your nuts, which is are also your family jewels, they carry your seed, plant your seed in Life, Teabag those Nazis and have them give birth to your visions, with your mindpenis (we all have one). Have children, teach them to believe all the crazy stuff you believe in, there is a great line from Send in the Clouds by the Silver Jews: "I am the trick my mother played on the world!". Life is amassing an army, of crappy jobs, lackluster romances, failure, old age, and death, and that is it, this is not a dress rehearsal. We float here in the wonderful green and blue gem, we have this amazing awareness, we can build amazing things, create music and bring impossible visions into actual form. Take as many of them out before you die.
Tell them NUTS!