Why is it that all folk art is such that no matter how talented you are, it isn't good unless you are in prison, an insane asylum, an agrarian reformer, a degenerate, a midget, deformed, illiterate, an infant, bodacious, or some such. Listening to folk music from "Blind Lemon Jefferson" and looking at paintings from my collection from asylums engenders this thought. What is the market analogy? The astrologist? The man from Nebraska? Harry Browne has an excellent chapter on strange advisers. The Delphic Oracle was good at creating a fog around its predictions. During my day, I got mileage out of Lobagola. It gave Jim Lorie a belly laugh.

Adam Robinson comments:

Perhaps for many of the same reasons "Why Comedies Rarely Win An Oscar For Best Picture And May Never Again." In both cases, the high-brow police and social scientists militia don't necessarily see either idiom as the best way to promote their agendas.





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2 Comments so far

  1. douglas roberts dimick on November 30, 2009 8:35 pm

    Reflections… Gravitas and Graviton

    After the first year of dad being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, we purchased a condo at Polo Island at PBPCC in Florida. Selling the farm in Falmouth for a backbay condo in Portland, the idea was to provide environmental stimuli that minimized environmental conditions not positively impacting emotional, mental, and physical wellbeing for someone like dad – happy in frame and outlook, enjoying the moment and the people where so he found himself.

    Cold weather and gray skies had a negative impact on dad’s emotional and psychological tendencies. Old and dark locations were likewise causes of uncertainty and fear relative to his disposition.

    After a year, the summer condo in Portland was switched for a lakeside townhouse in Naples (Maine). The problem was that the architecture of the backbay unit was complicated for entry and exit, though the four bedroom unit itself was elegant – formerly owned by dad’s senior, long deceased architectural firm partner, Royal Boston, an MIT graduate with an elevated view of life and art. The townhouse “enabled” dad to swim and sun daily with ease — same with Polo Island.

    As a result, father lived through 11 years of Alzheimer’s with an inventiveness and selfless ease that made me and others around him ourselves better folk. It is this sense of commonality that creates ecologies among groupings of people, as with that cognate found among or within a single regimen (or people such as nationalism or the occult), ethic (or philosophy or politic such as conservative and liberal parties), even movements (or cycles or patterns within markets long and short).

    China provides an interesting laboratory for such study. The Communists utilize folk art and dance to reinforce party doctrine in such a way to buttress nationalistic domains and trends. Examination of their WTO defenses reflect party leadership attempts to export that same psychology – defending cultural traditions (like corruption and divisive social-economic prejudices) against the “nothingness” of neutrality for international commerce and globalization when compared to nationalist customs and mores.

    Are the markets so different?

    The lobagola of that private-public nexus: repeal of Glass-Steagall to permit depository fleecing via toxic derivatives; political prejudice during taxpayer financed corporate bailout; pre/post-crisis selective due process in (SEC and other federal and state) regulatory enforcement and prosecutorial actions; media and entertainment industry-connective hype and backwash of individual and group constituencies based on a “be a good consumer, be a good citizen” themed debt-accumulation edifice fueling nationalist monetarism and fiscal plunder.

    Was it not Tolstoy: “We are products of our environment?” Yes, and it is so by the choices we make individually and collectively – such is market and exchange.

    Meaning here? Markets make themselves.

    Regardless of the day’s fashion, though, the relativity of markets is artificial (or manmade) – constructs that cannot escape the black and white (or red here in the PRC) of the human condition (or good and evil). Debt laden national and world economies, so enslaving folks from household finances to national treasury, and markets (debt, equity, currency, etc…) will find it inescapable eventually, captured by the lore of an implied social-economic realism (or truism) as defined in folk art.

    That phenomenon (or form of energy) is the graviton of Quantitative Relativity, operating (or mediating) within exchange systematics. Such then is the form (or idea in a Platonic regard) of a market… Polarity forever remains: war and peace; debt and equity, profit and loss; greed and fear; love and hate; pain and pleasure; birth and death.

    Sunny fleets of finance and oceans of unbilled acquisition: who will question?

    Put it in a dark place where they play the blues, and you shall become short with life’s despair and the ills apparent. Who, what, when, and how the tune comes to change makes for his daily speculations…

    The rest is academic.


  2. Mike Barton on December 2, 2009 5:28 pm

    With all due respect, people singing the blues need to have something glum to sing about. That is often found in heartbreak, oppression, deformities, etc. Or so it would seem as I'm not much of a fan. Would you want someone who grew up in Westport or the Hamptons or wherever singing your blues?


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