Friday, November 9, 2018

Revisited: The Art of Reality (DS)

9 November 2018

The Art of Reality (DS)” was originally posted on November 29, 2009, 9 years ago.

The inspiration behind this Dream Sequence was a 15th century triptych oil painting on oak by the studio of Dutch renaissance painter, Hieronymus Bosch. It is said the tri-paneled painting was intended to be an altarpiece, and as such, had been given no identifying title or official name at the time of creation. Over the course of the last five centuries, this masterpiece has been known by a number of names; today we call it, The Garden of Earthly Delights.

Being visionaries in our own way, we took great delight in Bosch’s visionary and relevant interpretation of the cycle of earthly life, displayed like a book of murals to be read on the wall from cover to cover.
Outer panels (detail), Hieronymus Bosch, The Garden of Earthly Delights, c. 1480-1505, oil on panel, 220 x 390 cm (Prado, Madrid)
 The story of life as depicted by Bosch begins with the outer panels -the book covers, if you will- which offer us a monochrome vision of what appears to be a holographic global flat earth and firmament dome, giving us the story’s setting.
Hieronymus Bosch, The Garden of Earthly Delights, c. 1480-1505, oil on panel, 220 x 390 cm (Prado, Madrid)
 Like reading a book from left to right, we begin with the left interior panel showing what looks to be Eden or Paradise (representing birth, creation, innocence). The large center panel illustrates in intimate and intricate detail what we might consider the passions and temptations of life within that Paradise (representing bliss, indulgence, revelry, communion). The story then concludes with the right panel and the notion of Paradise lost (representing last judgment, wretchedness, separation from the divine).

To us, this perceptive masterpiece reads like a modern day reality show. Courtesy of Operation Mockingbird, one look at the imagery of a current edition of any mainstream media news/entertainment outlet says it all.

So how close to reality were we?

Reality is in the eyes of the beholder. It’s a very individual thing. How to answer this question would depend upon one’s perspective because in the end, our interpretation of reality comes down to our personal perspective. And perspectives, like beLIEfs, can be indoctrinated. They can be programmed, controlled and manipulated by external influences. And they can also change when challenged.

Our entire world can transform forever when we embrace a new perspective. Whether the catalyst for change comes from listening to the whisper or from feeling the brick is somewhat irrelevant to the lasting impact it has on one’s personal perception of their reality. Everything may look the same on the outside, but nothing is the same on the inside. And that changes how we perSEEve everything. Most shifts in reality are a direct result of some form of Consciousness Quake.

What we really want to know now is could Bosch’s third panel portrayal of what many beLIEve to be a nasty afterlife instead be the behind-the-scenes underbelly of our present-day reality, with the center panel fa├žade acting merely as the illusionary projection screen?

Which brings us to the deeper question going forward: Was Bosch trying to show us that our world is a holographic simulation?
© Copyright by Artist, KAd Collins. Druid Goddess.
We had a dream......and in that dream we found ourselves strolling through the surreal terrain of Dutch renaissance painter H. Bosch in “The Garden of Earthly Delights,” and felt as though we were immersed in a modern reality feature film that only Tim Burton could direct.

Our voyage through this intoxicating dreamscape plunged us without thought of consequence deep into a world of art imitating life imitating art. To a place where we were incapable of separating fact from fantasy, for the reality is that there was no difference.

And like every true pageant of the masters where a two dimensional painting is brought to real life, we watched like voyeurs as the indulgent derangement of earthly pleasures before us morphed into a third panel reality war zone.

The reality wars being waged within our dream were inescapably dominated by the Balloon Boy posse and the D.C. No R.S.V.P. party crashers. We were rendered speechless as both competitors deliberately left in their wake a smoldering third scene battlefield fully decimated by outrageous exploits – all dramatically delivered with the flamboyance required of a successful reality show audition. A couple sets of felonious fingerprints were left behind in the scorched earth as well, with perhaps a couple more to follow.

Apparently in the real world, the end is meant to justify the means. This ostensibly translates for many to mean no rules, no boundaries, no limitations, no dignity and usually no talent. So when we see that big reality bull burst into a stampede through the china closet of innocent bystanders and carelessly shatter lives and livelihoods while screaming “me, me, me!”, we’ve bizarrely come to accept that even bad publicity is still publicity.

Well, psychology 101 has long asserted that negative attention is better than no attention at all. Yet to repetitively reward the bad behavior of attention grabbers with the media attention they're aggressively hungering for has not only helped create a ravenous monster always starving for attention, but has unquestionably sustained it.

As narcissism continues its incessant me-parade across our high definition screens, and Pavlovian conditioning reinforces the belief that anything and everything goes in the insatiable quest for notoriety, we can only wonder when going too far will just be going too far.

And then we woke up and realized that Bosch’s vivid, yet surprisingly realistic, illustration of life’s temptations and the human condition has lost no relevance with the passing of time and civilizations. Can we reasonably expect the master’s real life garden of earthly delights to remain as relevant in the coming centuries as it is today?

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Revisited: Which View is Witch (DS)

31 October 2018

Which View is Witch (DS)” was originally posted on October 29, 2010, 8 years ago.

The inspiration behind this Dream Sequence was the 2010 Delaware mid-term Senate election for the seat vacated by Joe Biden. After her win against party opponent, Michael N. Castle, Republican tea party candidate, Christine O’Donnell, was in the final running against Democratic candidate, Chris Coons.

It appeared that O’Donnell’s unexpected victory in the Republican primaries, combined with her grass roots appeal throughout the constituency, created great concern among the power players expecting “one of theirs” to fill Biden’s empty seat. They countered their fears of an O’Donnell win in the usual ways, namely, character assassination and gaslighting. The secret weapon of choice seemed to be Democratic mouthpiece, Bill Maher.

While Maher was known for saying he thought Christine O’Donnell was a nice person, it didn’t keep him from making her look crazy as he executed his assignment of swaying public opinion and ultimately the vote. He had all the ammo he needed since O’Donnell had been a regular guest on the panel of his 1994-2002 show, Politically Incorrect. Maher had access to aired footage and un-aired transcripts, a national platform to blare it on, and the benefit of strategic timing and unlimited funding.

Once word hit the headlines that O’Donnell had openly admitted on Maher’s show many years earlier to dabbling in witchcraft when she was younger, she became the butt of every pundit joke. It also didn’t help that her father had been an actor known for playing Bozo the Clown more than half a century earlier.

In our humble opinion, it was like the pundit pot calling every kettle black because there is not one adult alive who didn’t start out as a naive fledgling, ready to learn and experience. And yes, make mistakes, lots of mistakes along the road to maturity.

Although we had no dog in this Delaware fight, we felt O’Donnell could use some help in pushing back against her detractors using the very weapons that they themselves were using against her. We, therefore, created a Sequence opportunity for O’Donnell to change realities in a way her assailants could understand, by pitting one talk show panel against another.

So how close to reality were we?

We were a lot closer than we initially thought as evidenced by the most recent witch hunt directed against newly selected Supreme Court Justice, Brett Kavanaugh, during his confirmation hearing. When the accusations failed to hold up under scrutiny and Mr. Kavanaugh was confirmed, a sponsored public hexing by witches in Brooklyn was organized for October 20, 2018. $10 tickets to the gathering were sold to those who wished to add their hex to the mix, with all proceeds going to Planned Parenthood.

What we really want to know now, though, is can the pundits and politicos who fiercely pounce on any newcomer seeking change with the intent to damage then discredit hold up under the same scrutiny when the tables are turned?

Which brings us to the deeper question going forward: How many witches have now gathered looking to influence the current mid-term elections by spirit-cooking up their chosen winners? 
© Copyright by Artist, KAd Collins. Integration.
We had a dream……and in that dream we found ourselves stepping over a troll bridge into the enchanted woods of Winterthur with nothing but the moon to light our way. The forbidden faerie ring to our right was veiled in a thick midnight mist, and slipped by unnoticed as the spirits of the woods urged us forward along a serpentine pathway.

It was the eerie sound of chanting, emanating from deep in the mist, that stopped us dead in our tracks.

Our dream then took a sharp right, off the beaten path, in the direction of the faerie ring where a yellow light was faintly glowing through the heavy haze. We sucked in our breath when we eventually caught sight of the chantress, and then we quietly crouched, hiding in the shadows of a mushroom to witness with morbid fascination her clandestine mid-term ritual.

While it should’ve come as no surprise for us to witness the magick making of Christine O’Donnell since she'd undoubtedly managed to cast a spell over the people of Delaware, it's just that we never really expected to catch her in the act in the woods.

Well, God works in mysterious ways and Christine truly believed she could secretly help Him help her win that seat in the Senate. And it sure helped that no one had ever officially mandated there be any separation between church and state. It also helped that she was a member of the FOXy Palin coven. This gave her the benefit of a direct line to the spirit of Ronald Reagan, and if an astrological roadmap could help him successfully navigate a presidency, then the Book of Shadows could certainly help her sideline all of the challengers and critics she'd encountered on the way to Washington.

In a rare "Ah-Ha!" moment, Christine realized the best way to render her detractors impotent would be to simply change their point of view.

On an altar dripping in blue hen’s blood, laid O’Donnell’s opened spell book, brilliantly lit by an arc of five blazing black candles. Next to the altar stood Christine, glistening with sweat in a red business suit, busily working her magick while stirring the bubbling cauldron before her with focused intent. Her spellbinding witches' brew appeared to be a simmering mixture of rich milk, sweet goldenrod, peach blossoms and holly berries, potently finished off with a transformational pinch of DuPont chemicals. The heat from the fire beneath the pot was so intense that it even reached out to sear us in the shadows.

Like the five points on a pentagram, we watched as Christine O’Donnell commanded the spirits of her naysayers to spend one episode inside the bodies of the five women of “The View.”

Dick Cheney got to feel with heavy dreads the caring heartbeat of Whoopi Goldberg.

Bill O’Reilly got to watch his pinhead explode through the patriotic eyes of Joy Behar.

Karl Rove got to learn how to skillfully navigate America’s crossroads with dignity through the filtered lens of Barbara Walters.

Mike Castle got to taste the bitterness of defeat on the gracious tongue of Sherri Shepard.

Eric Cantor got to shoot off his young gun while trying not to repeat the mistakes of the past as he admired a body that reminded him of his feminine side, and obviously, Elizabeth Hasselbeck.

Their special guest that day was Alec Baldwin who happened to know the five ladies of “The View” well enough to recognize when they weren’t themselves. And when Mike Castle in Sherri’s voice asked Alec to define what it meant to be unmanly, Alec quipped with annoyance that this was not a bake off and suggested that Mike go get his man-pants on. As Alec stormed off the set, stage left, he snidely told the others in passing to man-up.

And then we woke up and realized that anyone raised by Bozo the Clown has some pretty big shoes to fill; and just because one acts like a clown, doesn’t necessarily mean they don't have the instincts of a fox.

Have we too just been given a new view of extremism?