I’ve always been a creative individual. A veritable idea factory, dishing out imaginings like a belching smokestack. My parents encouraged my creativity, but always on one condition. Be careful who you talk to. The idea being that ideas are valuable, full of potential, pregnant with promise. Therefore they were something to be guarded. Kept close to the chest. Nobody would steal my ideas and take credit for them, make money off of them, gain fame from them.

As Bill Hicks said;

It’s just a ride, and we can change it any time we want. It’s only a choice. No effort, no work, no job, no savings and money, a choice, right now, between fear and love. The eyes of fear want you to put bigger locks on your door, buy guns, close yourself off. The eyes of love instead see all of us as one.

This became a great excuse for me to not let my creativity loose, along with that ordinary fear of looking foolish. Its a kind of fear pincer attack, on the one side you might be too good and someone will take advantage of you, on the other you’re nowhere near good enough and a laughingstock for the world.

But what if its just a ride?

Creativity requires looseness, trust and lack of restraint. Collaborative art like film or larger scale works particularly.

Although I’ve applied the label of artist to myself for most of the past decade its only in the last few months that its started to have a more substantial ring to it, instead of the tinny echo of some rattling cans masquarading as churchbells. I look at the things I make, the things I conceive of as important acts, not only to my psyche, but to the outside world as well. Why couldn’t I sell some of my art or apply for grants? Why don’t I deserve to make a living off of my connection to my genius? No reason at all. Its just a ride. Choose love.

P.S.: Incidentally, if I spout out some idea that you think is brilliant and you go out and do it – awesome. Its one thing to create ideas, another to bring them to fruition. The great thing is that they can come to fruition so many different ways, and there’s no need to be greedy about “my way or not at all.” Though some credit is nice…

Burn, hee haw!

So I’ve got a bit of a hankering to build something and burn it since we’re not doing a regional this year in Montreal.

I’m thinking one option would be M00seman, though I’d also really like to do it with a bunch of Montreal peeps since it could help corrupt some malleable minds here in town.

Anyways… my ten-till-tent-itive plan right now is to ask people to watch out for and bring in found wooden objects – broken furniture, wood scraps, etc.  Moving Day here in Montreal would be great for that kind of shit. Then on-site of the burn (wherever that is) have drills, nail guns, saws, etc. to assemble something from whatever shows up. Anyone is welcome to work and construction of the thing will be do-ocratic.

Then torch it…

Not quite sure what’s going on here. The Internet is being freaky, becoming unstable and bizare. What would happen if this whole digital thing is alive? This creature into which we have vested so much of our information, so much of ourselves? What if this animal becomes fevered, begins to hallucinate? What happens to our information, to our representations of self? Its really nothing more than thoughts, ideas, memories, all of which is rather easy to miscontruct, dismantle, mangle and rearrange. And if that happens and we rely on it so… does our reality change?

I was trying to write about something else but first I appeared to be typing white on white. Digital invisible ink as it were, trying to trust and remember each keystroke, knowing that the only way to go back would be to count characters. What did I just write? Did I sp[ell it correctly? Did I miskey anything? Then it turned to lagging behind, words appearing seconds after they were completed, an invisible gestation period before an explosion of symantic life.

And now all is normal. Which is to say, things are operating as they do most of the time. That apparently is normal, so I don’t know that we should attach much value to it. Normal is just what happens most often.

What a distraction. I wanted to talk about how ear hair and thick toenails were indicators for the aging process. I also wanted a better word for indicator. What do they call it when environmental changes are first noticed in the biology of smaller critters? <sigh> The brain slows and the connections faulter as well. Though on the up side all is less frantic and concerned with being “right” – age at least brings with it some relaxation. The further into the journey the less concern exists over the destination.

And still an hour before anything happens at work…


While I am generally laid back and mild mannered, there are times when something manages to hit a spot deep inside of me like a gong that resonates up through my bones and flesh and demands that energy be expended. I call it my competitive bone. It doesn’t get hit often, but when it does, boy do I react.

For its 25th anniversary this year Cirque du Soleil is going to attempt to break the world record for stilt walking which they initially set in 2004 with 544 stilt walkers. In 2006 the Japanese beat Cirque’s record with 614. Last year Brandford, Ontario upped the ante to 625. Cirque is aiming for around 1000 next week, thinking that will stand for quite some time.

I probably can’t make it out to the historic attempt Tuesday (though I’m going to try) and in any case, records are meant to be broken. I’ll bet I can get 2000.

Whoa buddy! You’re probably saying. Kay, you’ve only walked on stilts ONCE and now you’re threatening to overturn Cirque’s world record?! Slow down!

No. I’m feeling competitive.

Besides, I don’t think it’d be all that hard. Because I know a place. An ancient alkili lake…

Playa stilts

Burning Man. Surely there are a couple thousand stilt walker at Burning Man, and likely a couple thousand more who’d learn if only to blow a record out of the water. Of course there are logistical issues, such as it being the most chaotic place on earth outside of a war zone, but with proper planning anything is possible. I worked it all out in the shower this morning.

Burners would be keen to do it, the only real obstacles are A) tabulating the results in a satisfactory fashion and B) dealing with flakiness.

A) This isn’t this hard. The route it obvious. Centre Camp to the Man. So, set up some pillars to seperate out “lanes” – then get volunteers to take responsibility for a lane and count every stilt walker that goes through. Now some people will try to double back – goddam tricksters. No problem, everyone gets a stamp on their way through – YAY! A stamp! What a wonderful souvenier! And a great way to keep track of you maniacs…

B) Flakiness. Burners are VERY easily distracted, because there’s a lot of distracting stuff out there. The solution is blunt, like a hammer. Hit them months in advance through Jack Rabbit Speaks, teach them how to build stilts, how to use them. Remind them again and AGAIN. At the event have stilt workshops a few days before. Finally, the day of send a squad of stilt walkers armed with megaphones down every street as town criers telling EVERYONE that the event is coming up fast and to get your elevated ass to Centre Camp. Finally, promise a big kick ass party for stilters only after the event.

With a population of 40,000 many of whom are circus freaks mustering up 2000 stilters should be a breeze, and an amazing sight.

Now it *might* be possible to pull this off in 2009. It would fit the theme well; humans have been consistently growing taller as we evolve and competition is one of the foundations of evolution. I wouldn’t do that to cirque though. It’d be really bad form to blow their record out of the water their anniversary year before the 2009 edition of the Guiness Book of World Records is even published. In fact it’d be a real asshole thing to do.

So 2010. Watch for the parade marshaller on steam powered stilts with a megaphone in his hand shouting out “Stilters assemble!”