The Second Stone (blog)

  1. The Idle Brain

    2023-05-27 14:18:00 UTC
    “The idle brain is the devil’s playground.”  That’s a good thing.  My best ideas come from an idle brain.  This is not a prescription for mental laziness, but something quite different.  It’s the habit of thinking freely, a habit that must be cultivated.  Rigidity of thought is a guarantee against…

  2. Human Resources - a Sketch

    2023-03-02 17:26:03 UTC
    Under capitalism, man exploits man.  Under communism, it’s the other way around.”  Alfred E. Neuman, MAD Magazine, ca. 1960.  I had this idea some years ago for a sketch – not a comic sketch, but something that people may take as the setup for a comic situation, but…

  3. Courtly Love in 1982

    2023-02-20 11:18:29 UTC
    Long before #MeToo, I knew how a gentleman was supposed to conduct himself with a lady.  As an adjunct professor of photography in a community college, I was absolutely scrupulous in not taking advantage of my position to “get anywhere” with my female students.  Although there were of course many…

  4. Mister Rogers and the Quiet Joys of Brotherhood

    2023-01-08 11:10:00 UTC
    A Wonderful Day in the Neighborhood I’ve made a couple of small objects in resin inspired by Mr. Rogers’ well-known episode in which, on a hot summer day, he invited Officer Clemmons to share his foot bath.  This, in 1969, was at a time of controversy over the racial integration…

  5. A Kookoolele for Krazy Kat

    2023-01-05 17:09:21 UTC
    In honor of the great cartoonist George Herriman and his immortal creation Krazy Kat, I have made a crude musical instrument, embellishing it with a haiku I composed, an illustration of Krazy playing the banjo and singing, and an emblem indicating that bricks are forbidden.  My reproduction of Krazy was…

  6. Leonardo’s Turbine Voodoo Missile

    2022-12-18 20:29:00 UTC
    The anal sphincter, drawing by Leonardo da Vinci, ca. 1508-09 (detail). My salute to Vladimir Putin. In my spare time this past spring of 2022, I made a few small sculptures out of scrap wood, as I’ve done now and then in the past. They aren’t bad, if I say…

  7. Andrea Brooks - Drawings

    2022-10-22 14:28:00 UTC
    Where are you, Andrea Brooks? I’ve got your sketchbooks, and I want to return them - better late than never. I also have two of those autograph books that kids get when they graduate from elementary or junior high school. I’ve had all these things 1973, when I graduated from…

  8. Oliver K. Zipp - Drawings for Islip Bowl

    2022-10-09 10:03:00 UTC
    This article extends what I featured of the artwork of my uncle Oliver in an earlier blog entry, the Big Islip Bowl Bowling Alley Pencil. My source for this is mainly a set of large photocopies that my father made and sent to me in the late 1990s. He was…

  9. The Big Islip Bowl Bowling Alley Pencil

    2020-12-17 19:01:00 UTC
    This work started by chance.  In the fall of 2018 we had a couple of guys come over to do a job terracing our vegetable garden.  It’s not very big, but the ground slopes down at a pretty steep angle, so there are basically three levels.  The terracing is done…

  10. Tom Rapp’s “Fourth Day of July”, a Great Independence Day Song

    2020-07-04 22:31:07 UTC
    Tom Rapp’s ”Fourth Day of July” is an antiwar song without equal.  Known mostly to Rapp’s loyal fans of fifty years ago, it deserves more attention, especially on the occasion of Independence Day, and as much in 2020 as in 1972 when the song was released on Rapp’s…

  11. Robert Frank, Harry Lunn, Paul Katz, and collector Arthur Penn

    2020-02-24 17:28:49 UTC
    A personal research into the story of the photographer Robert Frank and the dealer Harry Lunn brought me to a few pages from R.J. Smith’s biography American Witness:  The Art and Life of Robert Frank.  There I read of how Frank soured on the deal he had made with…

  12. Allen Ginsberg and Archy and Mehitabel

    2020-02-19 17:38:22 UTC
    Did Allen Ginsberg read Don Marquis’s Archy and Mehitabel?  Me-OWL! Was Allen Ginsberg influenced in some small way by the poetry of Don Marquis?  One poem in particular, “archy declares war”, reminds me powerfully of “Howl” and certain other poems by Ginsberg.  It is a…

  13. Nude Photography on a Secluded Beach in Greece

    2019-09-10 13:22:07 UTC
    Some places let you really get in touch with your body, mind, and spirit – or wherever those three things come together as one.  The beach is that kind of place, warm and sunny, with the hypnotic, rhythmic noise of the waves, where the amniotic sea reminds us subconsciously of…

  14. Donald Trump, Cross-Dresser?

    2019-08-07 11:43:00 UTC
    Many people will have read of the allegations of sexual abuse by Donald Trump, the account that advice columnist E. Jean Carroll gave in late June 2019 after over 20 years of silence – that Trump had assaulted her in the fitting rooms at Bergdorf Goodman’s.  (A report soon to…

  15. The Blue Meanies Have Taken Over the World!

    2019-07-19 19:57:45 UTC
    In recent years it has occurred to me more and more that the recent trouble in the world can be explained by the simple fact that most of the planet has been taken over by the Blue Meanies.  Surely no one who ever saw the Beatles’ 1968 film Yellow Submarine

  16. Pietre d’Inciampo - Lest We Forget

    2019-05-14 16:45:53 UTC
    As an act of homage, I’ve been photographing all the “pietre d’inciampo” or “Stolpersteine” – the stumbling blocks or tripping stones – that have been installed around Torino in recent years to commemorate some of the people who were arrested by the Fascist government or by…

  17. Paris, Nov. 13, 2015, 11e Arrondissement

    2016-03-09 21:22:00 UTC
    I Love Paris – in the springtime, I Love Paris – in the fall… despite everything. We happened to take accommodations just a short distance from Le Comptoir Voltaire, one of the targets of the terror attacks of the evening of the 13th of November, and just a few…

  18. A Rather Queer Banknote

    2016-02-18 13:54:00 UTC
    An old Brazilian banknote represents a grand, historic scene, but reveals a surprising detail:  what appears to be a hermaphrodite.  Want to see?  Sorry to pitch like a sideshow barker, but we’re all grownups here, and there’s nothing wrong with curiosity.  Besides, I have a more legitimate theme or two…

  19. Io Leggo - I Read - a Declaration of Love

    2016-02-01 18:54:00 UTC
    A letter I sent to the New York Review of Books in March 2013.  The subject is a text (not mine), part riff, part rant, and part love letter.  It’s about books and the passion for reading, and it’s something worth sharing.  Warm thanks to ”Il Circolo dei Lettori”

  20. Humor versus Terror: Lord Buckley’s H-Bomb

    2016-01-14 19:30:00 UTC
    Soon after the terror attacks in Paris of Nov. 13, 2015, I wanted to share with Charlie Hebdo (and now with all) the inspiring reflection of Lord Buckley on the role of humor in confronting terror. In H-Bomb, Buckley suggested how we could learn to stop worrying, and just …

  21. William Carrick and Irving Penn - Kindred Souls

    2015-05-01 10:48:00 UTC
    No one who sees William Carrick’s photographs of “Russian Types”, who also knows Irving Penn’s “Small Trades”, can miss the uncanny resemblance. Appearances lead us to ask the obvious historical question:  whether Penn knew the work of Carrick and was thus inspired in his own portraits. As an admirer of…

  22. Moi aussi - a tribute to Charlie Hebdo

    2015-01-11 20:54:06 UTC
    The mass murder carried out by extremists against Charlie Hebdo seems exceeded in its vileness perhaps only by the stupidity and ignorance of the protagonists. What, exactly, did they think they were attacking? Charlie Hebdo spared no one its barbs – they gave it to the Israeli government as well…

  23. Scout’s Honor - Baden-Powell, Regimentation, Art, and Sexuality

    2014-10-10 13:01:20 UTC
    This essay relates mainly to Baden-Powell and scouting, while bringing in regimentation, indoctrination, civic and personal virtue, as well as sexuality, ideas about our bodies, recent historical and cultural tendencies, a lot about the the German art of the Nazi period, and other themes and tangents as well. The first…

  24. Stick It Back - An Anti-Advertising Campaign

    2014-10-05 18:24:18 UTC
    Advertising gives me a pain. I think we have to fight back however we can. If advertisers are going to stick it to us, we have to stick it back to them. I propose to put adhesive stickers on advertisements, or near the offending institutions, to counteract this perniciousness, to…

  25. U.S. Public Health - An Expatriate’s Perspective

    2014-07-15 19:23:00 UTC
    As an American living in Europe, for me it was bitter amusement to observe, in the public debate over the Affordable Care Act, the contortions of the American Establishment to avoid, if possible, any form of public health care. Many would have preferred to go on forever as we have…

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