Dada, Surrealism and This Blog

“Flyover Country” – R. Holoch, 2008

You might have noticed I have changed the name and tagline of this blog. When I started blogging, it was pretty much all Ham Radio, and all DXing. As I progressed through what I wanted to accomplish in that hobby, I found other things I wanted to write about. I’ve tried like the devil to stay away from political topics – but the last 3 years have been ghastly and the worst politically that I have witnessed in my lifetime.

Nancy – R. Holoch, 2008

As I mentioned a few posts ago, when I went through the 2008 Loan debacle and 8 years where Obama had to work his ass off to get my house price back from where the GOP induced Loan Debacle and Great Recession drove it – 1/2 its previous value, I looked to do something creative art wise – and turned to doing these Assemblage pieces. I gave all of them away – because what I found is that the photography – or taking pictures of these pieces as “still life scenes” is what I really wanted to do art wise. So – my Assemblage art was nothing but fancy “props”.

Man Ray – Metronome

I active in Ham Radio as a Novice from 1973 – 4 and then a General in 1975 and 6. Then I bought a car, met a few nice girls, and that was it until 2001 (but with several short and failed attempts to get back into Ham Radio in the 90’s).

From 1977 – 2001 I was much more into art – especially Dada, Surrealism, Photography of all genres. I also was into literature – especially Beat Poetry and stories, but also several other genres. I played in a rock band in San Francisco clubs and had my own darkroom during the 80’s, then the kids came along and so while I still enjoyed art – it was more as an observer. I also became addicted to cycling in 1995 – after back surgery – when the doctor told me no more running – either swim or cycle. I’ve been a Data Architect, Database Administrator and Programmer since 1981 – when I graduated college – so there has been that thread as well – very tech heavy here.

Raoul Hausmann – The Spirit of Our Times

I think the art that I am most attracted to were done by people who lived in “Surreal Times”. The “Lost Generation” is my Grandfathers generation – where they would have been traumatized by WWI – which was a brutal and bloody war – with new war machines used that made the killing and maiming machine all that more traumatic. Then, they had to live in the years of the rise of the Third Reich and ultimately WWII.

In between these wars, there was a parallel with technology, and yes, the furthering of radio. So now you might see the connection between Ham Radio and the art I like most. For me – the design and creation of say the National SW-3 happened close to the time of the surrealists and dada-ists. When you look at their art – many times – they were motivated by new technology and the changes taking place in society around it. Most pieces were created with tongue in cheek – some much more than others – and some were downright jokes (Marcel Duchamps work especially). I especially like the art where you can see the direct connection to technical things – like radio.

Between social and political upheaval and advances in technology it must have been hard to keep up – it could have been overwhelming and seemed “Surreal”, “Bizarre” or “Unreal”. I have enjoyed this art, literature and music since the 80’s – so really, much longer than my Ham Radio en-devours.

Truth is – I hate politics, and don’t really care for most politicians – and until The Great Recession, pretty much ignored politics altogether. As long as our leaders were even passably mediocre, I was fine with that. For me, just not doing any damage was good enough for me. But having my house price drop by 1/2 its value was truly traumatic. I figured if that happens in the US – we are in serious deep shit. We got through that and I thought “nothing will ever be as bad as that”.

Wrong. What we have gone through the last 3 years leading up to today is the worst by far than anything I have ever witnessed in my life. Yes, I want my 401K to be great – but since the 80’s my 401K has gone up and down like a yo-yo, and I just kept my money in the market. That was OK – and it will be OK – but the house price thing really really spooked me. I see Wall Street as one click above Las Vegas – but your house equity is the real deal – and the most important “Bell-weather”.

Politically, I’m actually quite middle of the road – so Wingnut Right and Looney Left persuasions find me pretty boring. But I despise dishonesty, greed / grift / graft, bullying, boasting, sexist, racist, etc – all of the things Trump does. I taught my two sons to never ever be that way – and I never tolerated any of that when they were growing up. I was one of the stricter dads in my area. My German father was VERY strict when I was a kid. My Father taught me to follow the Golden Rule – and that is where I was VERY strict with the kids. When one of my sons pushed a younger kid down at the skate park – I made him go to their house and apologize to the kid and the father (who was understandably angry that my son was being a bully). They accepted the apology and that sort of thing never happened again.

I at least want our politicians to be civil and follow the golden rule. Hell – in retrospect – George W Bush was that way – and bless his heart compared to the monster we have in the office now. I blame him for the Loan debacle – or at least his party and administration – but at least he was a decent guy – actually I’ve come to learn he is a very nice guy. I’ll forgive his shortcomings with the economy.

Anyway, I am going to try to tap more into the Dada and Surrealist art and my favorite literature – and see if I can “channel” more of their tongue in cheek artistic themes and stay away from direct political ranting. Its more of a challenge, will be more fun – and there are way too many other political rant sites out there – that’s why I (almost always) end up deleting my political rants. I like how the Dadists and Surrealists matched the crazy, insane times with what came across (intentionally) as “anti – art” or plain nonsense. Duchamps Urinal was the most crass of that genre.

I will continue to post antenna blurbs and maybe even some more QRP tidbits – but hopefully you see now how my life has never been ONLY Ham Radio – and it never will be – hence the Dada influenced new title and tagline. We live in crazy times – I plan on matching that craziness a little bit. I’m sure I will chuckle in the process.

In fact, I have something “cooking” right now – that hopefully lets me vent with a simple image or two and only a few words. It’ll be a fun challenge.

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