Monday, May 21, 2018

late to the party

This blog reviews images from my waking life that influence the images of my dreams.

This post reviews images from this entry in my dream journal maboroshi no yume.

Every once in a while, whenever I have some free time, I like to do drawings that I spend a little more time on. I draw slow. So I usually need a whole evening to draw something. Anyway, last night I made this drawing.

The drawing is of Abby Veiga and Olivia Magni dancing to the song "Together" at the Jump dance competition in Los Angeles. Here's the source image.

Here's the video I got the image from, on the Dancing with YT channel on YouTube.

This performance by Abby Veiga and Olivia Magni, choreographed by Jessica Monnig, is really incredible.

I feel like my drawing didn't do the dance, or the beautiful dancers, much justice -- mainly because I was a bit too heavy-handed with my pen.

Since I only draw occasionally, other than in my dream journals, I still have trouble putting together different parts of a drawing. So in this drawing, I feel happy with the bodies, the poses, and the proportions, as well as the gold parts of the costumes. But I'm not very happy with the faces. And I could even sense yesterday when I went wrong with them. And that stuck with me all night.

So I'm not surprised I dreamed of being in a sort of reclining position with a girl. I think I was trying to get into the moment of the dance. But I guess my preconscious took things a little bit further.

But I don't think the girl in my dreams looked like either Abby Veiga or Olivia Magni. There may have been a bit of a resemblance to other girls I have been thinking about a lot recently, though I'm not sure the girl looked like one of them, either.

One dancer I've drawn a lot is Olivia Taylor. I started paying attention to little dancers because of Maddie Ziegler in the MV for the Sia song "Chandelier." But the first little dancer besides Zielger that I paid attention to was Olivia Taylor. She's probably still my favorite young competitive dancer, though I don't feel like I see stuff of hers pop up on YouTube as often nowadays.

Taylor is an incredible dancer. But she's also incredibly beautiful. Here's a photo of her.

Another girl I've been thinking about a lot lately is Laneya Grace. One of the big reasons I think about her is because I feel like she looks a lot like Olivia Taylor. Here's a picture of Grace, which I think is by Amy Wenzel.

Anyway, I was thinking about Laneya Grace a lot because of her role as the little girl in the MV for Avicii's song "Wake Me Up."

But I think last night I thought of Olivia Taylor a lot because -- I've tried drawing her a lot and I feel like I never do her beauty any justice.

The oatmeal on the stove, by the way, came from a movie I watched recently, Nicholas Ray's film Party Girl, starring Cyd Charisse.

There's a scene right at the beginning where Charisse burns her hand on a pot of cocoa. That burn leads to a scene I was sort of shocked to find in a 1958 studio film like Party Girl. So that's why the oatmeal was burning on the stove in my dream.

There are some things, too, that relate to my family. Obviously at the end of the dream there's a relative of mine, who kind of makes the whole situation seem like a family situation -- which it very well could have been.

But I've dealt with some inner conflict over the weekend because of family stuff. And I've felt like a failure because of it. Yet, when I started drawing, I forgot all about the family stuff.

However, when I got so critical of myself for my drawing, I think that made me think about my family again. I think I felt pretty pathetic... worrying about some drawing, when I should really have been thinking about all the family stuff.

So I think the family imagery in my dreams comes from that. A lot of that conflict of wanting to resolve things with my family once and for all, so we can all just be happy together, but just messing it up all the time. And trying to find a way to make that immature amateur artist in me reconcile with my adult self so I can just finally be a good relative to my family.

But I don't think I'm totally there. Obviously, my brain didn't hit the mark with that goal. My preconscious had other problems to solve. I'm just not totally sure what those problems were.

Friday, May 18, 2018

dead mall renaissance

This blog reviews images from my waking life that influence the images of my dreams.

This post reviews images from this entry of my dream journal maboroshi no yume.

A lot of the imagery of my dreams has a distinctively late 1970s/early 1980s style, partly because, as I mentioned in a previous post, I've recently been leafing through photos in a 1983 book called Denver: America's Mile High Center of Enterprise, which I inherited from my grandparents last year after my step-grandma passed away.

But the deep blue coming through the windows in the first of my dreams from last night also, I think, comes from this dead mall video on Ace's Adventures YouTube channel. This video documents Shoppingtown Mall in Syracuse, NY.

This video is, in my opinion, one of Anthony's most elegantly filmed dead mall videos. The pacing has a Frederick Wiseman style. Throughout the video, Anthony films the skylights of the mall. In this way, we get a sense of the passage of time -- how much time Anthony spent inside the mall. At one point, there's a glimpse of some beautiful, deep blue late afternoon light. I think this is what influenced my dream so much.

My brain is pretty temperamental and lazy. So there are times when I just can't read. All I can do is look at images.

So I've been purposely feeding my brain imagery of dead malls and Renaissance Art, just to see what my unconcious and preconscious make of things. One book I've been looking through is this book from an old McGraw-Hill series on the history of art and culture.

One book I started leafing through last night was this National Geographic book, The Renaissance: Maker of Modern Man.

This is another book I inherited from my grandparents. And in the book has some elements that flowed through into my dreams. One comes from this page, which displays a beautiful lemon grove and building that belonged to Cosimo de Medici.

But the beautiful lemon grove and building did not appear in my dream, as I'd hoped they would. Instead, the story in the text influenced my dream. The story tells how Cosimo would settle down daily to read St. Gregory's Moralia, which is a 35-freakin'-volume commentary on the Book of Job. Yikes!

Here's an image from Alamy that shows an actual page from St. Gregory's Moralia.

I'm pretty sure I could imagine that kind of page without actually having seen it. And that's the kind of page that became the text in the architecture book in my third dream.

However, there was another influence from my leafing through the National Geographic's book on the Renaissance. It came from this page, which shows the Teatro Olimpico, by Andrea Palladio.

Again, this was an image I was very interested in. First of all, this fish-eye lens reminds me a lot of this image, which serves as the frontispiece, so to speak, for the Denver book I've been leafing through.

But this image was also interesting to me because the ceiling in this image is a painted sky. But when I first looked at it I thought it was a real sky.

This trompe-l'œil effect of a fake sky reminds me a lot of the mall walkways in Las Vegas -- particularly in this case of those at The Venetian. Here are some images of those walkways from when I went to Las Vegas as part of a work trip last year.

So, again, I was hoping to see some images in my dream that reminded me of the Teatro Olimpico or my walks in Las Vegas.

But instead what influenced my dream was the actual book that Andrea Palladio wrote, The Four Books of Architecture.

I don't think I'd ever known about Palladio's book on architecture. And, of course, as soon as I learned of it, I wanted to have and read it. Hence my preconscious groaning in my dream about having to lug something like that around -- physically and psychically!

Here is a cool video from The School of Life's YouTube channel, where Dr. Hannah Roxburgh, PhD, discusses the life, work, and philosophy of Palladio.

In my third dream, where this whole architecture book imagery takes place, there's a discussion between myself and a current Denver-area political candidate about whether these books are meant for me or my mom.

There are obviously, as you can assume, a lot of emotional dynamics around this discussion -- from the family perspective and from the perspective of this conversation between myself and a high-profile Denverite. And a lot of that stuff relates back to conversations between my mom, my grandpa, and myself. But I would get too tangled up in talking about that stuff. So I'll just leave it to the side.

But I think it all leads, anyhow, to a question I'm always asking myself -- which, I'm sure, we ALL ask ourselves -- which is basically, What right do I have to success in my life? What right do I have to act in the world at all?

I, like many others, am confronted every day with that question, sometimes by myself, and sometimes by others. Usually people ask the question of "Who is this guy?" to give euphemism to the fact that they don't think a person should be acting in the world. Usually they believe that the person shouldn't be allowed to act in the world because they're biased against the group of people of whom that person is a part.

It's hard to call bullshit on that mentality. And so usually the person who's the object of that statement feels a need to be better and better. It's a vicious cycle. And I've been a part of of it since at least 2004, when I really started to assert myself in the social world. But it's such a powerful force on my life, I think, because I let it be, because of a lot of my emotional complexes from my youth.

Obviously I question my life every single day. I'm getting older. And I'm confronted with the fact that I'm closer to the day of my death than I am to the day of my birth at this point. And I think that's why I imagined myself as a seventy-year-old (my grandpa died in his early seventies) in my second dream. I do get upset at myself for acting like a child when I should be acting like an adult. But I can't seem to find a social foothold that will allow me enough permission in the world to claim my right to adult action -- and adult social and material standing, by the way.

Instead, what I keep on running up against is just social group after social group that is so annoyed by the most basic fact of my existence, apparently, that they just all immediately go into kid-mode and focus on nothing but annoying the hell out of me. Again -- that's not really something unique to my experience. It's a part of the way game theory has come to rule the world, unfortunately, in my opinion.

This is why, as soon as I reflect on my age, I go into another room, where I sit down next to my brother/nephew who immediately sets to annoying my by tapping his used chopsticks (i.e. slobbery eating utensils) against my shoulder.

The imagery of the Hit Stix -- I'm not sure how that relates to things. However, I keep on meaning to make this book, Toys of the 50s, 60s, and 70s, a part of my nightly imagery while I'm waiting for my brain to feel ready to read again.

I got this book a couple years ago while at the History Colorado Center's exhibit by the same name. This exhibit has traveled to a few different museums. Here's a video about the exhibit from The Senator John Heinz History Center's YouTube channel.

My goal has been to read about some of the toys and then look up YouTube videos on them. But I haven't gotten to them yet. I also reflected last night that the toys only go through the 1970s. That would mean I'd miss out on some of the toys from my youth, i.e. the 1980s and 1990s. I didn't think of any toys in particular. But my preconscious obviously chose Hit Stix as a good example. Here's an image of HitStix from the PicClick website.

And here's an old commercial for Hit Stix.

The commercial really sucks. It tries so hard to be cool. But it misses the mark so badly. And, as I remember, Hit Stix as a toy were themselves pretty disappointing.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

zombie fire

This blog reviews images from my waking life that influence the images of my dreams.

Today's post reviews images from this entry in my dream journal maboroshi no yume.

I had a lot of stuff to do today so couldn't really address my dream images in depth. That's probably better, as I think smaller entries are nicer than longer, ranting entries.

One big influence on my first dream is this YouTube review of Star Wars DroidWorks by Lazy Game Reviews.

A lot of the desert settings from this game play into my dream. The desert tunnels also probably inspire the strange, large desert buildings of my dream. Strangely, the desert buildings in my dream are supposed to be industrial outskirts of a large desert city. So they're supposed to be industrial buildings, I'm pretty sure. But they're more like ancient palaces or alien sci-fi buildings of some kind. Weird.

I feel like my view of the strange desert building from which the young girl makes her zombie announcement also comes from Raphael's painting of The Fire in the Borgo. The image below is from the Wikipedia entry on the painting.

I had been studying the painting last night. The picture on Wikipedia is better than the picture in the book that I was studying from. But even still, it's a strange painting. The fire itself is barely in the picture. And so much of the drama in the story is so spatially balanced that, for me, anyway, it's hard to feel any drama. I think all of this dramatic strangeness filtered into my first dream. But the space of Raphael's painting influence the space of the strange desert building,  as well.

The girl's announcement that she's a zombie reminds me a lot of an amateur fetish novel I wrote three years ago called Hallowgiving. In that novel, most of the characters become zombies and vampires. The zombies and vampires have a final showdown, which is filmed via drones by news stations. Here's a link to that story.

I think back to my story Hallowgiving a lot, as I feel like, in an allegorical sense, a lot of the stuff I described in that story is happening today.

Other than that, I was walking around my hometown of Denver yesterday. I walked through a kind of industrial area that is being developed more and more and is becoming a sort of fashionable neighborhood. It wasn't too long ago that the whole area felt like a desert. So I think my memory of the place came back in my dream, in a sort of strange way.

I think that the first dream also has a lot to do with the recent events in Israel and Palestine, which are extremely distressing, to say the least. I would probably imagine that the blonde girl in my dream is inspired by Ivanka Trump. Images below are from Business Insider.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

inherited architectural dispossession

This blog reviews images from my waking life that influence the images of my dreams.

This post reviews imagery from this entry in my dream journal maboroshi no yume.

In my second dream, there's a moment where I'm in a small desert town with some of my old friends. It's daytime, but everything looks really dark.

It's kind of funny, because I told myself yesterday that I was going to have a dream image like this. Yesterday I had been leafing through a 1983 book called Denver: America's Mile High Center of Enterprise.

I leafed through the book until the sun had almost completely set and there was no light in my house. Looking at some final images before getting up to turn on a light, I thought, Oh, now I'm going to imagine myself in some weirdly dark sort of area.

I also had a feeling I'd see myself in a desert. The book, written in 1983, i.e. 35 years ago as of this writing, documented a time when Denver was taking on some really interesting growth projects. But Denver was still a sort of desert town, as I think this photo, looking from Stapleton Airport toward downtown, illustrates very well.

This 1983 image struck me a lot, as it shows how downtown Denver used to be just this little up-sprouting of skyscrapers. But it also shows Stapleton airport, which no longer exists. In fact, all of the tree area in this photo would now be nothing but developed city sprawl, I'm pretty sure, if you looked at a photo today.

But I also looked at some other photos in the book, such as this image of the Johns Manville Corporation headquarters building.

As you can see, the building is surrounded by a desert mountain landscape. I honestly don't know whether the building still exists. And if it does, I wondered last night, is it still surrounded by desert? Or has the land around it been developed?

Another area the book talks about is Greenwood Village, which was just then becoming a center for Denver's tech industry. Nowadays Greenwood Village is so developed and overrun that -- I used to work there -- traffic into and out of the area is an absolute nightmare. It can take you an hour to get three exits down the highway on a bad day. But in this book, Greenwood Village was still a fresh, new, innovative, exciting, and pioneering idea.

As a side note, the little article in the image above discusses the John Madden company. When I worked in Greenwood Village in 2016, I was also involved with an art gallery in Denver. And through my interest in helping out the gallery, I reached out to the Madden Museum. In that way I ended up meeting some of the Madden family. Unfortunately I let those relationships die as my relationship with the art gallery died.

The Madden Museum, anyway, is a great museum, probably one of my favorite art spaces in the Denver metro area. Here's a link to their site. And here's an image from their website -- of this beautiful sculpture of a dancer. I love this work so much.

So this book got me thinking about desert imagery. But it also really impacted me emotionally for some family reasons.

Last year my step-grandma passed away. When she passed away I inherited about half of my grandparents' library. Over the past year I've been working my way slowly through the roughly 1,500 volumes I inherited.

As I work through the books from the 1970s and 1980s that are specifically related to Colorado history, however, I discover that my step-grandma actually had a hand in editing some of these works! This is something I did not know at all. My grandparents never discussed it, or if they did, I certainly don't remember. My mom would always mention, either bragging or as if annoyed, depending on her mood, that my step-grandma helped create a few Colorado-themed cookbooks. But she never mentioned her hand in editing some of these historical books.

And though he wasn't in the construction industry, my grandpa, through volunteer and community work, also had a hand in some construction projects in the Denver area, including Denver International Airport -- which, obviously, replaced Stapleton International Airport, the airport in the image above.

So my grandparents had a lot of connections in Denver and Colorado. But they never helped any of us grandkids out by leveraging these connections. I think that sort of stinks, honestly. But I also think it has to do with some emotional issues my grandpa had that prevented him from sort of thinking about his progeny in these terms.

Here's my thought on my grandpa and my family's emotional arc. My great grandma was a very strong woman. She grew up in the Colorado mountains in the 1910s. She survived a lot and was a brilliant person. But I think she ended up over-idealizing her husband, my great grandfather, who passed away before I was born.

I think my great grandma's over-idealization of my great grandpa led to my grandpa feeling maternally neglected, which, I think, led him to have an over-idealized conception of manliness (which he could never meet) and a sort of devalued conception of femininity.

My grandpa met my biological grandma, and, as far as I can tell, their having my mother led to my grandpa dropping out of university and marrying my grandma. My grandpa therefore -- it seems to me -- always devalued my biological grandma. But his only two children were also girls -- my mom and my aunt. And he just devalued women. So he didn't pass on any motivation for my mom and aunt -- both perfectly intelligent and capable human beings -- to make something out of their lives.

I think my mom resented this more than my aunt. And I feel like my mom has ended up having a number of anti-society complexes that are based on anti-father complexes because of all this. I think a lot of my mom's anti-society outlook has translated into my outlook. And I think that's partly why I tend to become extremely paranoid and belligerent as I detect myself finding any sort of foothold or success in the social world.

I have thought over and over this emotional dynamic over the past year as I've worked through the stuff I've inherited from my grandparents. But the emotional dynamic feels really painful when I look through the books that my step-grandma edited. I just think to myself -- couldn't my grandparents have helped me out in some way? I might never understand why they weren't able to open up this part of their life to me.

There's also a sense -- as I'm continually treated as a person who doesn't belong in Denver's business, art, and political realms -- that... I see all these connections my family has had to Denver -- ranging back decades, even before the 1970s. And I see how and where my family is connected. But I'm treated like a person who doesn't belong here. I'm treated like an upstart. But if my grandparents had put me in front of all these people they were friends with, I'd have the connections I needed. People would see me as someone who fit in. I wouldn't have the issues and problems I have today. But they didn't do that. And why? I just... don't understand...

I feel dispossessed. And I feel dispossessed... betrayed... by my own family...

So, getting back to my dream imagery, the place where this strange light occurred was a small desert town in Texas. That town is obviously Marfa, Texas, that strange town which a couple times each year serves as a gathering spot for some of the world's elite artists and celebrities. The Denver gallery owners I used to be friends with also have a gallery location in Marfa. I went to Marfa a couple times in 2016. And the place holds a lot of spiritual power for me.

Here's an image of Marfa's city limits, via Extreme Geographer.

And here's an image from an NPR article, the link is here, of the Chinati Foundation, Donald Judd's art institution that made Marfa a world-famous art locale.

The ramen place in my dream is like a typical Japanese ramen stand. But I think it actually comes from my memory of a phở shop in Marfa called Marphở. Here's an image of Marphở, from this article by the Mint Society -- though it sounds like Marphở is no longer in business.

Marphở I think connects the idea of a small desert town (what Denver honestly never was, though, among big cities, it's always been just that) with the image of Texas, but also to something else that's also resonated with me a lot over the past few days, the new MV for "Mou Setsunai to wa Iwasenai" by the J-pop group Gesu no Kiwami Otome.

In this MV, the band members play a group of four friends. It seems to me that the fourth friend, played by lead singer Enon Kawatani, has died. He was the boyfriend of the character played by drummer Hona Ikoka. The three remaining friends meet up and remember their old friend. At one point, the Hona Ikoka character, out biking like the Enon Kawatani character used to do, becomes very determined to carry out her boyfriend's beloved bike ride with a sense of happiness instead of sadness. This moment in the MV always makes me teary-eyed.

I seriously couldn't even paste the stills into this blog without becoming teary-eyed!!!

Hona Ikoka looks kind of unique in this video. I'm not sure why. Maybe it's her longer hair. But she reminds me of a girl I used to like when I lived in New Mexico. The girl liked me, too. And one night she even took me back home with her. But neither of us could get to the point she wanted to get to, which was us sleeping together. She wanted to be with me. At the party we were at, I overheard her talking with her friends about it. But when we got to her house, nothing happened. I ended up just saying goodnight and walking home.

I think the girl in my first dream relates back to my friend from New Mexico in this way. I've always personally had a really hard time initiating anything with girls -- simply because I've always had a horrible fear of doing anything to make girls feel like I think they're just sex objects. So a lot of my romantic relationships just die on the vine. And this one was no different.

But I always think... thankfully I don't think I impact anybody's life in such a strong way. But when I do, it's only in the bad ways. And I always think, what if I could just leave people with the happy moments only? And when they do things, they just think about me in a happy way? So when I see this moment in "Mou Setsunai to wa Iwasenai" I definitely wish I could only leave the people who care about me with the happy memories.

Since I first learned of Sigmund Freud, back in 1995, my life has been about trying to untangle the psychological past of my history, try and create some resolution to it, and move forward with my life in some functional way. Since about 1997, when I really started having dreams, my life has really been all about my dreams. And my dreams have related to all of this stuff -- trying to re-inherit where I've been disinherited and re-possess where I've been dispossessed -- trying to reclaim enough of my self-history as a foundation for my self-worth that I can stop self-sabotaging and stop allowing people to sabotage me; but also so I can expand and give to people, and so I can give in such a way that people want to take from me, from me fully, from me as I fully am.

But I'm not sure that will ever happen. I've recently felt like I'm pretty much washed up at this point.

Anyway, this all relates to my first two dreams. I only had a few images I wanted to discuss quickly from my third dream. I don't have any thoughts right now, honestly, about the fourth dream.

The third dream takes place in some sort of family fun center. When I was a kid, we had a place called Funplex, which was a combination of a huge arcade, a laser tag arena, a roller skating rink, a putt-putt golf course, and some other entertainment settings. I hardly ever went to this place -- maybe two times between my twelfth and eighteenth years -- because the place was so far away and so expensive. So there's always a sort of idealized feeling to the place.

Here's an image of the sign for the Funplex in Houston, Texas, via Fame City Waterworks. Even though this sign is from the Houston Funplex, it gives a good idea of the 1980s Funplex style.

I hadn't really paid attention to Funplex. But, according to this Denver Post article, the Denver Funplex went through a few name changes before finally closing down in 2015.

I think I thought of Funplex because of a couple images I saw in the Denver book I'd been reading last night. One is of Lakeside Amusement Park, the bottom photo in the image below. Unlike with Funplex, my family did go to Lakeside pretty often. We went at least once a year -- because my grandpa got free passes through his work once a year.

The other image is this image, of Aurora Mall.

I, like a lot of people nowadays, I think, look at malls with a lot of nostalgia. Malls are sort of in a transition phase right now. Many malls are dying, etc., which leads people to talk about the "dead mall" phenomena. But some malls are still successful. The Aurora Mall went through a transition in 2005, as can be seen from this photo from the website Labelscar, which looked at the dead mall phenomena before dead malls were cool.

However, the Aurora Mall became the Town Center Mall, an image of which is below. And I think it's doing pretty well.

Anyway, I'm not sure what to make of the imagery of the Aurora Mall translating into the imagery of a Funplex sort of place in my dream. I see the connection. But I'm not sure what it means.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

naked alex jones and the #metoo movement

This blog reviews images from my waking life that influence the images of my dreams.

This post reviews imagery from this entry in my online dream journal, maboroshi no yume.

I might have skipped today's analysis, as I am kind of pushing up against my work hours. But I needed to reflect a little on this dream.

Part of this dream relates, of course, to the #MeToo movement -- the movement where women are taking strong action against sexual harassment. And it's gotten some great results so far.

So obviously it feels weird for me to wake up from a dream where my preconscious is sort of complaining about the movement. I almost didn't want to post the dream. But that would have been a disservice to my dreaming mind.

I want to deal with the most immediate influence on the dream from my dream day. Last night I went to a political volunteer meeting in a part of Denver I used to live in. As I was waiting at an intersection, there were two bicyclists, both women. One of the women made a point to bully me in a passive aggressive way as we waited for the light and then as we crossed the street.

I was annoyed by that. But I think the sense of annoyance was compounded by my feeling that I'd been bullied out of this neighborhood altogether about a year and a half ago. So that all stayed with me and ended up in my dream.

I was also dealing with some self-image issues. My washing machine needs a pretty simple part replacement. I'm waiting for it to come. But instead of taking my clothes to the laundry, I'm just waiting for the part to arrive. So all my clothes smell. So I'm terrified of any public situations right now.

At the political event I was at, two women sat next to me. And I was so freaked out by how bad I probably smelled that I was literally almost completely turned away from the women the entire time. I just wanted to shrink to the very back of the room, where nobody would be around me. I kind of embossed those two women in my mind because they stood for how I thought everybody in the meeting must really have thought I smelled so terrible. It's hard to express the level of mental anguish I was in, as funny and pathetic as that sounds.

So obviously the bicycle women and the two women at the political meeting found their way into my dream. But this same dynamic of being bullied and then feeling isolated in a political meeting come from a prior experience.

As political season was ramping up this year, I was thinking about helping out Faith Winter, a Colorado state representative who is running for Colorado's state Senate. Faith Winter has easily been Colorado's strongest proponent in the Me Too movement as it pertains to conduct by Colorado's politicians.

The big reason I wanted to volunteer for Winter was because she's in a really important swing district in the state. One of my political mentors also told me the most important thing I could do this year would be to volunteer my time for whoever ran in that district.

I started down the road of volunteering for Winter. But at her kickoff event, two women treated me mean before I even got inside the building where Winter's office is, then continued annoying me all the way into Winter's office. One woman thought she could just bully me because I was inconsequential. The other woman just went along with it. The main bullying woman ended up being an elected official.

Some other stuff happened after that that just made me feel that Winter's race was going to be pretty high-profile. There were going to be a lot of people around her who wanted to be involved in her high-profile race. Those folks would bully "inconsequential" people like me every chance they got. So I just decided not to be a part of Winter's race.

So there's this dynamic of being bullied by two women before heading into a political meeting a couple months ago that echoed into my experience from yesterday. I think this whole mental process says a lot more about me and my own inner life than it does about the women in my waking life that influenced my preconscious imagery.

The imagery of the naked women comes from a couple things. First, I was watching a Lazy Game Reviews video on YouTube yesterday. The review was for the PC video game Spore. One of the draws of the game is that you create your own creatures. So obviously a lot of people would just make creatures that had (or were) huge phalluses, etc.

Another image that I think influenced the imagery of the naked women was this image of Alex Jones that's been passed around the internet a lot recently. The image shows the controversial celebrity topless in a before and after photo which is supposedly touting the body-shaping effects of some product. But folks on the internet have basically claimed that the only thing the imagery shows is that Jones has gotten a tan.

For some reason, these photos of Alex Jones made me think of the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver's Shadow of Men, a solo show of the work of Cleon Peterson.

So I think the two white women turning into two naked women, one of whom is white, while the other is dark brown, relates to the naked phallic creatures in Spore and the white and "brown" Alex Jones and the white and black characters in Cleon Peterson's paintings. The tapered down look of the women also comes from the weird way Jones's posture makes him look like the characters in Peterson's paintings: kind of really wide at the shoulders and tiny at the hips and bottom.

Why are these naked women based on imagery of men? I'm honestly not sure. I definitely would say at least in part it has to do with homoerotic desire. I'm turning the women into men to turn them into objects of homoerotic affection. My sexuality tends to go back and forth that way, especially in my dreams. So I could imagine that my preconscious may have been tired of looking at naked women for a bit and may just have wanted to see some naked men.

But I think the making equivalent of women's and men's bodies in my dream is also saying something about the philosophy lying behind a lot of the ways I think the Me Too movement is being exploited by people who don't care about women's rights at all and just want to make a society that's as sexually conservative and frigid as possible. Women are behind this movement as well. Women have been just as active as men in movements to desexualize society.

If there's anything that I think characterizes the charged nature of touch, it's relation to homophobia, and how a lot of the misuses of the Me Too movement are eventually related to a anti-LGBTQ agenda, it would be yet another episode that has gone around on the internet recently: Philadelphia's state representative Daryl Metcalfe basically going into a homophobic panic attack when simply touched on the arm by his colleague, Representative Matt Bradford.

So... it's hard to say what exactly my mind was getting at with this dream. Basically, I feel like there's an image of these two white women who are happy about a "no touching," maybe even a "no looking," law that was passed. They passed the law by having a black, male legislator "in their pocket." They're happy they can use the law against men. Then, holding hands and becoming naked, they take on bodies that obviously were influenced by imagery of male bodies from my waking life.

The imagery of the clean apartment complexes and row houses comes from -- basically what the neighborhood I was in yesterday has become. That neighborhood is gentrified. And it's highly Democratic and ostensibly liberal. But it's also full of white people who don't like having brown people around, as well as wealthy people who don't like having not wealthy people around. It's... the kind of liberalism that really isn't liberal. Hypocritical liberalism in a now almost completely gentrified neighborhood.

I personally feel like I was bullied out of that neighborhood and that even when I go back there, I experience "spook tactics" to keep me feeling unwelcome in the neighborhood. By liberals. And I feel like those same "spook tactics" are par for the course for white people in the arts, business, and politics in general in the Denver metro area.

The imagery of the crowded street comes from another episode of Lazy Game Reviews, a review of the PC Game Cities: Skylines. In this video, Clint talks a lot about some weak parts in the game that make traffic in the cities really bad, and how the bad traffic issues can lead to really bad effects on the rest of the game, including the destruction of buildings and the decay of entire neighborhoods.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

the dramatic art of city planning

This blog reviews images from my waking life that influence the images of my dreams.

Today's post reviews imagery from this entry in my dream journal blog maboroshi no yume.

One of the strongest immediate images for me is the image of the bicyclists. This image definitely comes from the new MV for the song "Mou Setsunai to wa Iwasenai," by J-pop group Gesu no Kiami Otome. Here's the video.

The MV for Gesu no Kiwami Otome's "Mou Setsunai to wa Iwasenai" was very powerful to me because it's basically about a group of three friends who, upon reuniting, remember the life of their other friend, who has since disappeared.

It's very sad, as I think it is a not uncommon story in the world of art, but also in the world of pop music, that artists who are such beautiful creators and people will often disappear from the lives of people who care about them. Many times they disappear by dying -- of suicide, overdoses, accidents, etc.

Most recently I thought of this as some people (friends of friends, or friends of acquaintances, I'm not sure) were really upset on the day the death of Frightened Rabbit frontman Scott Hutchison. I didn't know who Frightened Rabbit were until that day. But it suddenly became clear that Hutchison's beautiful art had impacted a lot of people's lives for the better. And there were a lot of people who were devastated by his passing.

To see friends of people I respect in Colorado's art & media community so upset about the death of an artist also reminded me of a Denver-based artist I was personally connected to, Colin Ward, who passed away on January 31st, 2018.

My involvement with Ward just began as my involvement with the art world was ending. Essentially, I was pushed out of the Denver art scene, by people who negatively influenced the people whom I most trusted. So, just about as soon as my relationship with Ward started, it basically dissolved. When I heard of Ward's death... it was just... so horrible.

Over the past couple days, some of the exact people who pushed me out of Denver's art scene also started popping up in some of the Denver media sources I trust. So this adds a whole other painful level to some of the emotions I've been experiencing.

The annoying deli man in my dream also comes from my life in Denver. On Friday, just as a concerned citizen, I attended a city planning meeting regarding Denver's new green roofs initiative.

Denver's new green roof ordinance was passed as one of the strictest in the nation. Since its passage in November of 2017 there's been a lot of pushback. Work has been done since then to propose changes to satisfy the parties pushing back. There have also been changes to the language of the ordinance, which was kind of shaky.

But overall, this initiative is pretty cool and pretty necessary. And the person who created it, Brandon Rietheimer, is a great guy.

Anyhow, at the planning meeting I attended on May 11th, there were some folks from construction companies specializing in 35-unit apartment buildings. Some said that being required to put green roofs on their buildings will make the construction of these buildings cost-prohibitive. One of those people described a lot of stuff about zoning requirements and his buildings at the meeting. And I think a lot of his descriptions informed the building in my dream. Probably a lot of the dramatic element of the conflict in this whole city planning issue informed my dream.

The teacher in my dream relates to the SM Entertainment celebration in honor of the 30th anniversary of the Michael Jackson song "Man in the Mirror," written by Siedah Garrett. Quincy Jones produced "Man in the Mirror." And he plays a big part in the stories told during the celebration. But he also plays a pretty strong role at the end of the celebration. It seems he expected K-pop star BoA to be onstage with Siedah Garrett during the final performance. And for some reason that expectation of his -- which was very big-hearted and inclusive -- has stuck with me ever since I watched the video. So I think that's why Quincy Jones appeared in my dream.

The writing project in my dream is related to my having felt inspired to get to writing on a novel I've been thinking of for a while. But the whole image of replacing a middle part to the story that I'd originally edited out probably comes from this Brown University lecture on risk that was given by Kara Keeling, an amazing theorist. She mentions how the ideas of finance capitalism relate back to the slave trade and how, in our thinking on American economics, we need to put the "middle passage," i.e. the history of the slave trade, back into the narrative.

This talk has been a key part of a lot of my thinking since I first saw it back in February. It also became a sort of cornerstone for the ideas I was trying to express in a Twitter thread I wrote around automation in society and our increasing dependence on easy indicators and sticking to consensus instead of practical observation and critical thinking in our decision making processes.

Also, coming back to the imagery of the bicyclists, that definitely has to do with another person whose work I've been researching: Veronica O. Davis. She's a big advocate for cycling, especially for creating more visibility for the people who bike in the black community.

I haven't really managed to pull all these images together to kind of give a theme to my dream. I can see how a lot of this stuff deals with my own social struggles over the past couple years, as well as some of my thoughts about social and political situations in Denver and elsewhere. But I don't have a solid answer to it all. Probably because I'm just starting to work a lot of this stuff out in my life.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

rivalry of the golden children

This blog reviews images from my waking life that influence the images of my dreams.

Today's post reviews imagery from this entry in my dream journal Maboroshi no Yume.

The young drag queen in my second dream is a real person. He's an incredible performer. I'm just a little iffy on giving more detail, as I could see the whole "attraction" part of my dream being sort of uncomfortable and awkward.

The rich boy image comes from a few different places, I think. Probably the blonde boy that first came to my mind was Tom Felton as Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter series.

Image from via Pinterest

I really don't know much about Tom Felton. But he's been busy enough in the film world since Harry Potter that the whole "where are they now" thing in my dream doesn't seem to apply to him very well.

In fact, I had no idea that Tom Felton stars with Daisy Ridley in the new film Ophelia, a retelling of the Hamlet story through the heroine's eyes, directed by Claire McCarthy.

Here's a video where McCarthy, Felton, and Naomi Watts speak about Ophelia.

It's also interesting to see George MacKay in this vid. MacKay plays Hamlet in Ophelia and starred in the 2014 film Pride, which is probably one of my top ten favorite movies of this decade. Here's the trailer for Pride.

It sounds like Ophelia is still working on getting US distribution -- that is mind-boggling to me. Even if it's a so-so movie, it has huge star power and a pretty cool sounding story. Oh well...

But I think the young blonde boy in my dream is also inspired by other boys I've seen in other images in my waking life.

One blonde boy I've seen and adored recently is Radley Wright, who plays the four-year-old version of Tommy in the Denver Center for the Performing Arts' current production of the 1992 musical The Who's Tommy.

Here's one image of Radley Wright, on the left, with the other cast members who play Tommy (counter-clockwise, from bottom): Owen Zitek, Samuel Bird, and Andy Mientus.

Does it look in this picture like Samuel Bird got to click the shutter? Hilarious and cute.

Anyway, the DCPA's production of The Who's Tommy is really great. It runs through May 27th, 2018. If you're in the Denver area during that time, I highly recommend checking it out. Here's a trailer that really captures the magic of the show.

Another blonde boy who inspired the rich blonde boy in my dreams is Hunter Carson, who is probably one of the most beautiful human beings I've ever seen in my life in his role as Hunter Henderson in the film Paris, Texas.

The scene in Paris, Texas where Hunter reunites with his mother Jane, played by Nastassja Kinski, is also one of my favorite scenes in movie history.

Here is the trailer for Paris, Texas. I definitely recommend checking the film out.

So I do feel like there's a lot of stuff related to all these images that filters its way into my dream.

I think the real determinant, however, of the image of the blonde boy came from Nastassja Kinski as opposed to Hunter Carson.

I had seen the movie Carmen Jones on Sunday, after having gone to see a new production of Carmen by Cleo Parker Robinson Dance here in Denver.

I was so intrigued by the story changes made to Carmen by Cleo Parker Robinson that I wanted to see a more traditional version of it again so I could refresh my memory of the story. So I watched the Otto Preminger version of Oscar Hammerstein's Carmen Jones, which is incredible. Here's the trailer.

Carmen Jones must be one of my favorite musicals. And yesterday, while I was thinking about the film again, I described it to myself as an old standard American musical redone with the film style of Werner Herzog. I was trying to think what the best Herzog film would be to compare it to. I settled on Aguirre: The Wrath of God, even though I think I really meant Woyzeck.

Here's the trailer for Herzog's Woyzeck.

Anyway, after watching Carmen Jones, I had been thinking about the style of drama that the Carmen story has. The drama is driven by character choice, which I always love. But it's also driven by the pitting against each other of two characters' ideals, choices, and desires. I felt like this type of drama was heavily inspired by Shakespeare, though it is a bit more academic and neoclassical, if you will (which probably smart people will not).

As I considered this, my mind went immediately to Georg Büchner's play of Woyzeck. Woyzeck was written in 1913, about forty years after Carmen. The two plays are very different in some ways. Some might argue that Woyzeck previsioned World War I in an already war-scarred Europe. The drama of Woyzeck may actually be seen as a midway point between dramas like Carmen and expressionist films like Murnau's Sunrise and Lang's Metropolis.

However, some of the key elements of the drama of Woyzeck are very much in common with those of Carmen and Carmen Jones -- such as, most easily recognized, the way in both dramas the heroine's new lover defeats her old lover and makes the old lover feel incompetent and inferior, and the way the old lover's inferiority complex leads him to murder the heroine.

What's odd to me is that -- I was thinking of all of this on Sunday. But on Monday, as I rethought Carmen Jones, Herzog's Woyzeck simply would not pop into my mind! Weird...

Anyway, all of these films by Herzog star Klaus Kinski, who is Nastassja Kinski's father. Nastassja Kinski would relate to Paris, Texas, in which  Kinski co-stars with Hunter Carson, the beautiful blonde boy who made me think of the other beautiful blonde boys who inspired my dream.

Carmen Jones inspired another image in my dreams -- the fence in my first dream. The fence appears in a kind of weird place -- inside a gigantic room that is part library and part political floor, and maybe part church sanctuary, but is also divided up into rooms in some way I probably never figured out in my dream. But the fence definitely comes from the fence which is so dramatically powerful in the first scene of Carmen Jones.

Image from 20th Century Fox, via my movie purchase from YouTube

The drama in my first dream is actually related to my trying to decide whether to have a girl on my team (probably some kind of athletic team) who is a star basically because she's so vocal and convinces everybody she's a good player, or to have a girl who is actually a good player but who nobody ever pays attention to.

This dream drama is a sort of echo of the dramatic conflict between Carmen and Cindy Lou in the film Carmen Jones.

But I think my dream has a different angle to that drama. I see myself sort of as Harry Belafonte's character Joe in Carmen Jones. But I have a different role from Joe that's related to my own life. I am set up in a managerial position, having to make a hiring decision. I go with the person I think will be the better performer. But the decision makes the people around me not like me. I have to justify myself. But I basically end up being even more disliked. The dream ends with me either kneeling and pleading or else crawling and groveling to the folks who are essentially the employees for whom I'm managing this project.

However, I honestly also think I see myself in the first dream as the Cindy Lou "good athlete" character in contest against the boisterous Carmen character. I have always wanted to offer the companies I've worked for top-level performance and haven't really wanted to be the flashy person who gets all the attention. But I've always ended up in a situation where, the better I perform, the more my coworkers hate me. And usually that hatred is driven by the loudmouthed people who don't perform well and want me out of the picture. But... with a couple exceptions... those loudmouthed people are usually men.

Really, I think these patterns in my professional life are based on my early life. I dealt with a lot of sibling rivalry as a kid. And I don't think I need to get into that very much right now. But I think unconsciously I kind of always put myself into professional situations where I'm facing the same kind of rivalry I faced with my siblings as a child. These rivalry situations are real situations. But in some ways I always manage to ignore the warning signs of these situations -- almost like I want to put myself into the situations.

I've also -- even though I dealt with years and years of appearance issues -- been called a pretty boy all my life. There are years -- decades -- of my life where I know I was not a pretty boy. But I was still called a pretty boy. In my professional life I've also constantly been called a golden boy and a boy wonder -- usually derisively, out of jealousy.

So I think a lot of this "golden boy" imagery in my dreams comes from this sense of myself. I project this sense of myself onto these actual golden children (blonde boys) from imagery in my waking life. And I set up a rivalry among golden children in both of my dreams. This professional rivalry of golden children in my dreams is based on the patterns of sibling rivalry in my early life.

And, I guess, as you can see, this dream continues to explore a lot of the conflicts that have been explored in many of my recent dreams. It really is a psychological problem that has been very strong over the past two months of my life. And I'm pretty sure I'll be morally paralyzed until I can find a provisional solution to this psychic conflict.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

neon gentrification

This blog reviews images from my waking life that influence the images of my dreams.

Today's post reviews images from this entry in my dream journal blog Maboroshi no Yume.

My first dream addresses eviction. Just scraping by and barely escaping eviction has been an occasional theme of my life. The fact that I discuss being evicted with my mom also relates to some of my own psychological issues.

However, the idea of eviction also comes from a recent discussion I was a part of with a member of the City Council for my hometown of Denver. The City Council team put together a legal defense fund for low-income people facing eviction. They partially funded the effort out of their own budgets. They are now trying really hard to get the city to get the effort fully funded.

The pink neon space in my second dream definitely comes from an apartment I always see as I'm driving in Denver. There's a ton of neon in this apartment building on the corner of a busy arterial street just east of downtown Denver. It's a real point of curiosity. I don't know who it belongs to. I may try to find out. I will hopefully post a photo of the site soon.

But I think the neon space also comes from the work of Signe Pierce. Signe Pierce did an installation in 2017 called Virtual Normality at the Galerie Nathalie Hagland in Vienna. It's a really good example of her work, and I think it shows the powerful effects it can have on people's imagination.

Images from Signe Pierce's Twitter feed

Here's a link to information on the Virtual Normality installation.

And here's a link to a 2015 PAPER magazine article about Signe Pierce and Ali Coates.

Image from PAPER magazine

But there's another neon-heavy exhibition I for the life of me can't remember right now. And I really thought it was from 2016 -- where a woman was livestreaming herself from a bed in her installation while people walked through the installation. I felt like it was at a biennial. I may be totally confused about this.

In 2016 and the first part of 2017, neon art was a kind of big part of my life. I was helping an art gallery in Denver get back on its feet. An art collective from New York came through town. Through them I was introduced to a DIY space in Denver. I quite honestly did a horrible job of maintaining my relationship with the NYC group and the Denver DIY group. And my social awkwardness with those two groups just echoed in cacophony through the first part of 2017.

The final big success milestone for the art gallery in Denver that I was helping out, however, was a neon/multimedia show which ended up being a huge hit. But the entire process of making that show happen was also a process, involving a lot of people in the Denver art community, of kind of getting me shoved out the door of the gallery.

The way I got shoved out of Denver's art world is very similar to the way I'm constantly ostracized in the Colorado business world. And it's similar to the way I'm currently feeling about Denver's political world. There's a lot of people who don't want me around -- in all of these spaces. It's hard for me to stay active in any of them. I keep finding ways. But probably I eventually won't be able to. And I really don't know what will happen after that.

Given that I feel like a lot of these shoving-out tactics in Denver's art, business, and political realms are based on color, i.e. that people of color like I are the targets of a lot of this group ostracism, I can see my social anxiety expressed in the dream imagery of this blonde, white woman wanting to re-brand retail spaces to make money off of K-pop (i.e. non-white culture) while not wanting to actually put this culture on any public-facing imagery.

A lot of the imagery about retailing in my second dream comes from my daily life, as I've been thinking a lot about retail spaces and branding over the past few weeks.

But I think the idea of putting imagery onto retail items definitely also comes from a YouTube video I watched last night, where Kelsey Lewin discusses the Sharp Nintendo TV, a TV with a Nintendo built into it that was sold in Japan in the late 1980s. The TV was scheduled for American sales as well, though it's unclear whether it ever made it onto American shelves.

In her video, Kelsey Lewin shows some of the research into retail catalogs from the time period to prove her belief that the Sharp Nintendo TV never actually made it onto the shelves. I found this image of Nintendo-branded pajamas so hilarious and cheesy and wonderful.

Image from Kelsey Lewin's YouTube channel

The apartment complex imagery probably comes from a couple things. On May 4th (Star Wars Day) I was browsing through YouTube. I found this video by Matt Stuertz, which references the legendary Star Wars Kid video, illustrates why stormtrooper blasters suck, and has a nice little Indiana Jones reference at the end.

The Indy reference at the end actually takes place in a balcony-like hallway in an apartment complex. I think this is what sifted into my dreams.

I also feel like the apartment balcony imagery came from the movie The Florida Project, which I love quite a bit and probably floated into my unconscious for a few reasons yesterday.

But I strongly feel the balcony imagery also comes from the imagery of the balconies of the Denver Pavilions, a sort of shopping mall on downtown Denver's 16th street mall. I go to the space occasionally, usually to see a movie at the theater there. And I think the space helped make that connection in my mind between retail spaces and apartment complexes. The space is sort of set up like an outdoor apartment complex for retail spaces, obviously.

Image from Denver Business Journal

Image from Denver Post

Image from Google Maps

At the end of the day, I feel like these dreams have a lot to do with my own fears of being pushed out of my physical space and pushed out of my social space. I feel like I've dealt with that so much in my life. But I think they also deal with my anxiety over seeing gentrification in so many Colorado neighborhoods, as well as seeing what I feel is the pushing out of people of color in the arts, business, and politics in Colorado, but specifically in Denver.

I may be trying in my dream to connect my selfish side with my social side, in order to make sense out of or unify both of these situations so I can come up with a creative solution to the problems. But I really can't say for sure.