G A N Z E E R . T O D A Y

It seems that at least once a year, Houston is struck by a freak weather incident that completely disrupts its power grid. Last couple of years we got “winter freezes” that lasted between 1-3 days each, and just a few days ago it was a tornado and accompanying storm, which only really lasted an hour at most. Was out with my kid when it happened (only received an alert on my phone just when winds were starting to pick up) and managed to shelter at a restaurant. Damage around my neck of the woods hasn't been too bad, but my street has been without power for several days now, which has turned my home into a far from habitable hellbox. Flashes from the opening heatwave scene in Kim Stanley Robinson's MINISTRY OF THE FUTURE strobed in my mind's eye in my first night of overheated delirium, house walls practically incandescent despite all the doors and windows I had wide open throughout the night (windows that were sealed shut until I had the landlord practically break them open upon signing the lease), which invited swarms of mosquitos I attempted to battle off my child's perspiring flesh. Power is still absent, and I have since sought refuge elsewhere.

It really wouldn't be all that bad if temperatures within the house matched temperatures outside. The problem arises from it rising to 10+ degrees hotter in the summer, 10 degrees cooler in winter. A basic failure of architecture, of habitat-construction. We'd be much better off living in caves at this point. But this is the nature of the vast majority real estate development in capitalist America: boxes built out of chip-wood, marketed as luxury dwellings because of all the amenities: central air, washer/dryer, open kitchen, microwave/dishwasher, and all the things that mean fuck all when the power is down.

It's hard not to foresee what the “end of civilization” will look like with each one of these freak weather events. And this one wasn't even that bad, a mere one-hour storm. How will the system withstand a storm that lasts multiple days on end? Throw in a new global pandemic that strains the healthcare system, an overstretched military apparatus, along with political upheaval, and you have a darn good recipe for complete collapse.

#journal

Very close to completing PROJECT OLDBOOK. It wasn't at all mapped out going in. All I had was a very general overarching concept, developing imagery as I went along, consistently surprised by the results as they came about. Despite images at the tail end of the book looking significantly different to the ones at the start, it all works I think, owing primarily to the vessel itself, the actual “old book”, bringing it all together.

Case in point. Rear-page:

Early front-end page:

#work

34 pages left on PROJECT OLDBOOK, after which I'm sure I'll come out the other end completely transformed. Can already feel my brain getting rewired.

“It is to Cubism that the next serious innovators are bound to return.” – John Berger, THE SUCCESS AND FAILURE OF PICASSO

I feel this, in a sense, is very spot on. Not so much Cubism's aesthetic, as much as its intent.

#journal #work #reads

Should've taken yesterday off. The image-conception part of my brain is on the verge of depletion. Could use a getaway, need to recharge, but too much to do.

Recent batch of Mythomatic orders fulfilled, groceries picked up, and coffee ingested. Time to work.

#journal

“Between 1884 and 1900 the European powers added one hundred and fifty million subjects and ten million square miles to their empires. By 1900 they had reached the stage where, for the first time, there was nothing left to claim—except by claiming from one another.”

16 years. A mere sixteen years that are more or less responsible for all the wars and struggles, independence movements, genocides, and border conflicts that have taken place around the world since, including within Europe itself. From John Berger's THE SUCCESS AND FAILURE OF PICASSO, which as the passage suggests touches upon much more than just Picasso. No one exists in a vaccum.

#reads

“Last year, British architect Peter Cook, who is involved in the project, called the city an 'amazing absurdity'”, commenting on NEOM's The Line, the overtly ambitious real estate development hawked by Saudi Arabia in recent years, a notion that has been obvious to literally everyone from day one. No amount of glossy propaganda can possibly make it not look like a dumb idea.

Not to mention “the Saudi government has said more than 6,000 people have been moved to facilitate its Neom project, but some human rights groups estimate the figure is higher.”

Displacing a native population (violently, I might add) to make way for a global elite of the uber wealthy? Sounds to me like colonial practices by way of capitalist strategies. Which would be bad enough for a sound real estate development, let alone a terribly dumb one destined for failure.

#news

Whenever I see this kind of headline pop up, I always imagine how the US might react if China were conducting military drills with, say, Cuba in the Gulf of Mexico.

Couldn't get to sleep before 3am last night and was wide awake by 6:30am for no reason other than hatred from the gods of slumber or some shit.

I have a deep disdain for police procedurals, they all strike me as nothing more than blatant cop propaganda. But, for reasons entirely inexplicable, an idea for a procedural graphic novella set in the world of THE SOLAR GRID came to me in my hours of insomnia. Attractive to me only because it would be something that flipped the genre on its head and was instead about many other sociopolitical stuff, all while dismantling the notion of policing altogether. Policing as we know it anyway.

Gotta remember to jot notes down later.

More Mythomatic orders to fulfill today. There's been a clear uptick in international orders. In particular from the UK, France, and Mexico.

Have done fuck all for next newsletter. Was hoping to get some of that in today, but am too much of a zombie to muster any straight thoughts. Will have to get to it tomorrow, cutting it extra close.

#journal

Bulk of the day went into admin stuff, and it's already 4:30pm with absolutely no creative tasks tackled at my presumably creative job. Only reason I have some hope for developments in A.I. is that I'm really hoping for day when a bunch of invisible robots will do all the many things that get between me and writing/drawing/painting.

But as far as I can tell, it seems to be going in the other direction: helping admin people have things written/drawn/designed for them.

#journal

Flattering review of THE SOLAR GRID #8 by Carson Grubaugh over at Living the Line on Youtube.

#coverage

Compounded fatigue and frustration beginning to creep in.

#journal #work

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