Outsideleft contributor Wayne Wolfson has just published the critically acclaimed Arrondissements, a collection of essays culled from the pages of outsideleft (and elsewhere). Meanwhile he's been working on his Christmas Wish List...
When I first saw "wish list" I instantly thought in terms of freeing a Djinn and being granted some wishes, it did not occur to me until afterwards that more likely it was a case of selling a painting, someone cutting a check and I go shopping. (or an admirer lavishing coveted things upon me) Less fairy tale magic more consumerism. A lot of my list is intangibles, actions over things. I know some of this may sound a little hippy/new age(y) but I assure everybody that I am not;
1) While far from an idealist I do think a lot of problems could be solved were more people not only better educated but in a more rounded way. With education fears, prejudice etc drop away and allow for the potential of actual discourse among all. My wish is this for everybody.
2) An end to all reality TV shows. Nothing good comes from any of it. It used to be a young kid dreamed of being a rapper, guitar God or athelette. No matter how far fetched that dream was, at least they had ambitions to do something/create something. The rise of these shows has made it so that now people just want a camera on them as they are rewarded for bad behavior no longer even tethered to pie in the sky dreams. These "celebrities" get money and attention for things we would be ashamed to watch in the past let alone want to emulate. Every time it seems we hit the ceiling with a show that has to be heralding the decline of civilization an even worse one pops up next season. We are maybe two seasons away from a show where someone stands in front of a camera with a big gulp soda in their hand and craps themselves as people applaud and throw money at them.
3) Every person that orders crazy complicated drinks at any of the major coffee places (Peets, Starbucks, Second Cup et al) to have to work at one for a week so they can so what a pain in the ass it is to make also maybe they will learn about coffee and how putting all that junk in it is a waste of good coffee.
4) OK, will dial it down a little,,,,Rotring makes some super fine tip drawing markers "Rapidographs" utilizing a special ink flow technology. They are perfect for uber detailed works. I would like set of those to try.
5) I need a new book bag
6) I would like to design a library for someone, not the bookcases etc but content. I think it would be stimulating.
7) I am always all for passion but feeling passionate about, say for example a work of art or artist is not a substitute for knowledge. There is a difference between an expert and a (passionate) fan. The blog culture has sort of allowed for talking loudly to be misconstrued with actual empirical knowledge of a thing/subject. I would like people to let their egos fall by the wayside and admit the powerful personal totems they make of a thing is not the same as someone who has put the time and work into gaining knowledge to be "an expert".
8) The Mosiac Records Chu Berry boxed set. All those big Mosiac boxed sets are limited edition numbered with meticulous liner notes. It is like functional art. Chu Berry is "obscure" now but when reigning tenor king Coleman Hawkins went to Europe (1934-39) Chu was stateside to grab the crown.
9) For people to be fined for using the words (in American vernacular) "brilliant" or "genius" way too freely. Ornette Coleman and Samuel Beckett are genius, the guy at the end of the bar who had been chatting you up for an hour and your chocolate ganesh dessert are not!
10) A bottle of ice cold flinty white wine and (at least) a dozen Locmariaquer Oysters at little place I dig in Paris.
Happy Holidays to all.
(Image "Blues For Marina (second refrain) Watercolor & Paper)
Get Wayne Wolfson's Arrondissements from Amazon now! For Christmas (whether you celebrate/tolerate or not) it's an excuse if you need one.