Honestly Kid

by Daniel Damkoehler


Archive for March, 2010

Address Unknown

Thursday, March 18th, 2010

Any buzzer will do…

Man is equally incapable of seeing the nothingness from which he emerges and the infinity in which he is engulfed.
– Blaise Pascal

Like everyone, I have a few favorite ideas that I can’t help returning to. One of those is getting lost, wandering around somewhere that might have once seemed so familiar, and then finding my way home again from a whole new angle. Note: I didn’t say it was entirely original, just a favorite.

That’s why I usually laugh when I drive through a neighborhood and some clever bunch of vandals has done over all of the street signs. It reminds me that it’s all just made up anyway. The map is not the world. Change the signs on that intersection and three streets still meet, but are they the same three streets. If one was Dumbass Ave and the other Einstein Blvd and they change to Smith and Jones respectively, does it really feel the same? Maybe to you, but not to me.

There’s something besides names and things (or sign and signified, if you prefer a more formal construct) at work in the way we see the world. Names. Things. Those names you never remember. Those places you never forget. And the reverse. There is a thing between a name and a thing that makes it feel like it fits or doesn’t. Perhaps that’s simply our mind or our consciousness or our cultural baggage?

Go out and get yourself lost and you’ll begin to take notice of the perceptual filters you rely on to maintain your so-called coherent sense of reality. And maybe you’ll notice that reality is something we like best one step removed from ourselves, safely filtered. And maybe too, you’ll discover the ways that something that bothers you about the way world works is as much a matter of the way you’ve chosen to see things as the way things might actually be.

Planet Slum

Monday, March 8th, 2010

Caracas Venezuela at night by Jonas Bendiksen

“What I really wanted to focus on was not the extremities, the worst poverty, or the worst slums, but on how people manage to construct daily lives in the midst of such challenges.”

Planet Slum by Jonas Bendiksen