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marketable skills, workshops,and like that - or,

updated sat 25 feb 06


pdp1@EARTHLINK.NET on thu 23 feb 06

The erudition of Mr. "O", considered...and...

Hi Lili,



----- Original Message -----
From: "Lili Krakowski"

> Wall Street Journal of February 17, 2006

I like the Wall Street Journal.

I like how it is interested in those patterns which can be observed to form,
because of things people are doing, without the authors of their various
articles feeling obliged to pass judgement about either. Or, so long as in
the opinion of the Editors, such patterns, or as may be, have some kind of
bearing on 'investment', anyway...and of course, almost all 'patterns',

That, and I like it because it presumes in a friendly easy way, a literate
readership, and, has an undertone of amusement somehow in many of it's

> has article by Mark Oppenheimer

Not sprung from the loins of old 'oppie' is he?

( And not to be confused with 'Oh-Peee' or
Op-Eee, or
Opie or Oppie or Opy or whatever it was, the boy-child anyway, in

But know, the 'I am Lothar, Kind of the Hill People' guy?

Standing there like some new Poppa with old General whatshisface at them
twisted nubs of rebar?

All them Joshua Trees that burned in the horizons at dawn and so on?

Where Birds folded, and from various parts of the Sky, plummeted like
smokeing lumps of

That guy?

> ...about the cost of college education in the US today. One of Mr
Oppenheimer's points is that "There are thousands of under-employed Ph.Ds in
America who could be paid to offer college-level courses in your living

I would not let one of those guys IN my 'liveing room', let alone pay
them to keep me company there...

Can they Cook?

Can they Sew?

Can they pull 'Weeds'?

Can they change-the-oil in the Buick?


Can they "do" anything really?


"Useless Eaters"

Jeeeeeze, there are, you know, 'Models' and "Dancers" and other
entertainers, to which 20 pages of the otherwise 24 page 'local cultural
scene' Magazines are devoted, ("Hi! I'm LuLu! I'm new to town, and I like
to...!" and so on )
who for a lot less, say fifty bucks or something if they like you, or a
couple three hundred if they don't, can do some 'educating' of their own,
might be sentimentally moved unto blushing even, if asked to emphasise
the 'educational part', you know, to show you stuff...or, I mean, so you can

Kinda like how 'nceca'
is 'about' ed-yew-kay-shun maybe, if in their case in a more pedantic and
impersonal entrenched
corporate management long as you pay 'em puhhhhh-lenteeeee that is, and the price is the
same since they never 'like' anyone, ( nor do they blush if you say you
would like to 'learn' )...and...

This is one ( "1" ) amuseing fellow...truely.

If he is not related to old
'oppie' on the birth certificate, then, this is some haunting and down right
unsettleing of co-incidence...

> Mr. O says that students "who couldn't care less about football, don't
> need a Women's Center and have no urge to join Delta Delta Delta--...could
> hire two high-end intellectuals, pay them $50,000 each and get personal
> instruction."

I personally would not care to give anyone, who in "Mr.O"s opinion, is a
'high-end intellectual', the 'time-of-day', let alone fifty grand...

I'd let 'em bum a Cigarette on a street corner, or give 'em a Match to light
one, especially if it was raining and cold out, but...there
are limits...

How entirely depressing!

Institutionall production fodder, Intellectual 'call

I am embarassed for them...

Hell, for a hundered grand betwixt 'em for a year's worth, ( or maybe a lot
less, I mean, a LOT less even if they are desperate enough, you know, ready
to 'do' some 'Callendar' pictures or something, and, one
could haggle I suppose, or, 'negotiate' or something, but anyway...) I bet
the two of them
would even do
some nude 'Mud Wrestleing', and, if one could sell enough tickets, ( would
you buy one? for say, a couple bucks or something? I would not...) one might
make some of their dough back on the deal, (LuLu! would do the Mud
with another Girl for a couple hundred for crying out loud...and bring the
other Girl, for the whole
afternoon even, ) but you'd have to work 'em hard, those phd boys, and do
one hell of a lot of exhibition mud wrestle events to get your hundred grand
back, let alone, to make any real profit on the deal... you have to feed them, too?

Sounds like bad business to me...but then, I am no "phd" of course...

...did these guys get their degrees in 'business' by any chance?

Or in something else?

And just who is this "Mr. O"? - anyway?

Or, like he himself ( Mr. "O" ) would do that? - be a sort of embarassingly
long in the
tooth sort of au pair livingroom chat-boy? For the 'fifty grand' I mean? -
or the fifty
times however many suckers there were to pass the hat at 'fifty-G' each...?

Just so he can hang out with 'em, in their liveingrooms, and you know, show
them how much smarter
than them, he is?

I mean too, if you paid the guy fifty grand, maybe he IS in that sense
kind of a lot smarter than the poor schlump that payed him to
with the real beauty of the transaction lost amid the 'stone soup' of
it...just 'as' that?- ie, he now HE has the fifty-grand, and you don't?

Rather than say, that he or other phds would do it, you know, just in
moderation, now and then, for an
experience of altruism or just plain old good will...?

I mean, would they walk amid the Elms or Sycamores or whatever they were,
'Acacias', while managing to arrange the most delicate and fragile
epistomological digressions, progressions, intergressions, and other
gressions, too, for that kind of dough?

Would they? could they? in-the-rain?

Or must they stay indoors...?

Idealists are they?

This is one ( "1" ) sad testiment to just how pathetic our society has

I am getting depressed now...

I will go eat 'worms' for a while...

( NB - best to wash them first in cool
water, you know, like you would hot pasta if you were wanting to make a
'cool pasta' dish, then, drain them neatly, otherwise
that 'grit' can jangle one's teeth-feelings
when one is masticating their wiggley little annular segmentated-self of

> I cannot comment on his idea

...why not?

I did...!

Felt good too...

Brightened me right up...

Mr. "O" is welcome to indulge in rebuttal of course...

> but we can translate it into "our" workshops.

Uhhhhhh...might not be any too easy...or in fact, desireable...

> I have not attended any beyond several offered at the Gibbes Museum Studio
> while we were wintering in Charleston. I not only observed, but
> volunteered to act as roustabout. And let me tell you: I can volunteer,
> but they could not pay me enough! One of the big differences between
> crafts --and this is not psychobabble--is the level of neatness and
. tidiness, and the labor involved in rstoring the place to normalcy.

I think one should see to it in some fun way, that those who make the
messes, also, clean them up.

Slightly rusty, dull silver color, 'long' triangular bayonettes, on the
ends of sweet-oil-smelling,
mellow, and well
field-worn Mosin Nagants work well for this...very well in fact, when in
the right
hands...a few judicious jabs, and you bet they get the 'idea', and
fast...few if any 'words' are needed...just a 'nod' in the direction of
whatever it is that needs to be cleaned up of the mess-they-made...

In fact all of Life would be every so much nicer and happier if this were
the norm,
politely insisted upon, and, firmly, too...with as few words as possible,
and, with the will to back it

There'd be a lot less useless, head-in-hands depressed 'phd's squinting at
the seat-left
loose want-ads at 'winchelsdonuts' noon formica tables, looking for local
room-and-board au-pair positions which happen to sport spaceous 'living

Really, too, the most salient instruction one likely could distill from
having spent fifty grand for some un-or-under-employed phd au pair boy with
greying temples to hang out with you day after tedious awkward heart
boreing day, in your liveing room ( what if you have something else to do?
or get fidgety wishing for SOME kind of seguay finally? - will they play
with you also? Make 'Cats Cradles' with string? Get the deck of cards out
and play 'Go Fish!' ? - play 'This Little Piggey'? AND put your shoes and
socks back
on for you? )
that an entirely uselss person getting fifty grand, or an entirely useless
person spending or keeping their fifty grand, is, either way, still a sorry
tale of wan...or worse...maybe much worse in fact...

> Weaving studios are immaculate. Potteries are not.

This tends to be true...

My Shop, Workshop, 'Studio', by some standards of reconning, could be
thought of as...well, 'complex' anyway...but never 'messy'...

> So a probable difference in the cost of a photo workshop and a clay one is
> that photographers are finnicky, clean, and careful with their costly
> costly tools and materials, while potters tend to be laid back and messy.

This makes sense...

> Just one example. I cannot imagine that the ladies loo has to be wasshed
> down top to bottom after a photo workshop. At the clay workshops there
> mud on the floor, in the most improbable parts of the toilet tank, all
> the sink, on the wall adjacent to the paper roll....Believe me. Enough

See above ( the part I mean where...those who make messes, ought to be
encouraged, or given inspirations, or polite insistances, and so on , to
clean them

> However. There are potters who are hero-worshipped. And people will pay
> good money to be in The Presence of the Great. It is amusing how soon,
> after a 3 day workshop, The Great One gets promoted into a good
> then a friend, then a close friend. A sneeze is met with an reflexive
> bless you" and soon, all too soon "As the Great One said to me once: 'God
> bless you.'" The audience being left to infer it was a comment on the
> (I am taking snuff with me if I ever go to NCECA!)

I am sorry Lili, I hate to mention this, but it is not pee-cee to anylonger
say, 'God Bless you!'

One may say, "Yeeeeesh, oh man ! - did you much of that on you?" or, "Whoa!
Here, let me get you a wet towlette..."
or something, I
suppose...but not 'God Bless' no more...


Too, one could resort to the old 'Johnson Smith' Catalogues for Mail Order
'Novelties' and Gags of different kinds, and, order some 'Sneeezing
Powder'...or even 'Itching Powder', or combine them for that matter...once
they arrive...

Of course, their Hay-Day is long passed as for what once had been their
truely impressive variety of the really fun stuff, ( lawyers put the kaibosh
on most of it by the '70s, sadly...) but, they still have a few things...

I can recommend them, still...and do...

I think if I was an under-or-un-employed PHD, I would start up a small Mail
Novelty Business, have an Office in Santa anna on some quiet Business Street
or other, put ads in the backs of all the more obscure Comic Books, ship the
stuff from a P.O.Box in Mexico, and
dream up some great stuff no one else would dare
sell...get the stuff made in red china on the cheap, see if LuLu! wants to
learn to be a Secretary and sit there, in front of that big, black,
'Remmington' ( Office-Model with that w-i-d-e carriage) Typewriter...legs
( hers I mean, not the Typewriter's, )
crossed, in some killer skirt-blouse-hat-outfit, with a little bitty tan
emery board, blithely fileing an already perfect nail so it is just ( that
much more) 'so', between taking
dictation Letters or answering the ('Candlestick') 'phone, or parting the
Curtains deftly, and just a little, to see what those cars that just drove
up are about down there (second story office of course, frosted glass panel
door to the hallway, with gold leaf name, saying "Roscoe and Burns - Patent
Liability Law" or something on it, ) ...and, just have
fun...and watch the dough roll in like a 'tide'...

I would have some pride anyway...

But then, I am no PHD of course...

> Having said that, I think that for some people whose locale is not
> forthcoming with good clay classes, and those who want a three-dimensional
> experience with something [that to them] is complicated are well-advised
> find a learning situation. Yes, one can suggest to a potter known for
> in that aspect of the craft that one would like to hire that person, come
> her studio for a day or two, staying at a nearby motel, etc.---but would
> that work? And universities where c lay is taught could have an Open
> Week after classes cease in Spring and Winter and allow people to come
> to the Masters for a fee, of course, but a tiny one. Comments from the
> list might open up new vistas.

This somehow it has all the energy draining out of it...

> And yes, there are workshops that are opened on a scholarships basis once
> the basic cost to the giver has been met.
> I wrote the Basic Internet Glaze Course exactly because Glaze Calculation
> the topic of one of my workshops. Which I no longer give. Much of what
> taught in workshops IS available in books. And that info should be

Makes sense to me...

> But--and this is what I am driving at--if mainly, only, rich people with
> SUVS and TravelSmith jeans appear at the workshops whose fault is that?

Probably my fault...

> Are
> we, as potters, not responsible at all? I always have had a problem with
> time being paid for, since time is all we all have...but never
> I was young all MDs and dentists gave one day or afternoon a week to free
> clinics. Diverse forms of welfare have done away with that. But, as it
> unlikely Medicaid will offer clay classes, perhaps clay schools could
> clinics.

Well, I think....that one of the best things any neophyte or journeyman
practioner of anything can 'do'... to sometimes go out into the World, and visit the Workshop, Studio, or
place of practice, of some approximate peer or other who is occupied in some
similar Craft or Art...or, even, to visit others occupied in a dis-similar
Craft or Art...and, just visit a little and extend the offer to be the host
of them making some little visit themselves sometime also.

These kind of things can be very valuable, not only to moralle, but, to
learning by mysterious ways of unintended imagination, where, just to 'be'
in the presence of where something gets done, can inform the subtle rhelms
of mind and nourish them in lots of important ways.

Crowds, situations of too many people-presences, clamor, artificiality,
organized exposures
'to' some stimulous or exemplars, make it hard for a sensitive Artisan to be
'with' a space or a process in quite the same way...or to be with whatever
the mode in themselves is, of making...

Or, to be casually in a space in which someone else 'does' something,
whether they are there doing anything or not, where one wishes to be open to
that and to let it tell you things or show you things you might not even
know you are far closer to how one really learns, ( or how I
really learn, anyway, ) then sitting in chairs all together watching someone
'do' something matter how well they do it.

Practioners of various of the Manual Arts, or Any of the Arts, I think, do
well to visit one another now and then...

It is the best way to nurture important and hard to define things
for one's own occupation(s), and, it is hard to 'bottle'...

> Lili Krakowski

> Be of good courage

Best wishes...

Thanks for the fun...

Las Vegas