Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

anita carter & hank williams – i can’t help it

Sunday, January 29th, 2012

Beautiful, here Anita Carter and Hank Williams are the song they’re singing.

anna missed exhibition

Monday, October 3rd, 2011

I’ll be showing many of the works featured here at:

Linda Hodges Gallery

316 First Ave South (Pioneer Square)

Seattle WA 98104

Opening Thursday, October 6, 5 – 8 pm

And of course I (Jack Chevalier) will be there to help control the hordes and sign autographs.

As if.

the charleston (dance in the 20’s)

Saturday, November 6th, 2010

Put to contemporary music and….. works. Al Minns & Leon James dance. With the original music HERE.

overton window

Friday, October 15th, 2010

2010,31″ x 23″ x 2″, oil & spray paint on wood (click on image for closeup)

John Ballard at NEWSHOGGERS has a good piece up on how the Overton Window works.

checking in

Friday, August 6th, 2010

Thought I’d check to in see if the blog is still here, and it is.

As they say in Jamaica,  “soon come”.


jane, is that you?

Friday, May 28th, 2010


Unknown woman in the Butler Cafe Revue, Seattle. December 14, 1921.

Image courtesy Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

Must have been a former life.


Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

Currently, there are  four new anti-Islamic rumors  Barack Obama circulating out there.

1) Obama’s health care program will exempt Muslims from required participation.

2) Obama holds Islamic prayers at White House, and gives praise to Allah.

3) Obama cancels the National Day of Prayer Service.

4) Obama orders new stamps commemorating Muslim holidays.

I guess we can all breath a sigh of relief, that none of these accusations could be considered as racist.

This has become like a cottage industry.

the haunting of george wallace

Saturday, February 27th, 2010

Lots of folks in blog world are talking about THIS article in the National Journal, and how the Republican Party has evolved lately, as if it can now be defined as; ” in one sentence: Barry Goldwater and Nelson Rockefeller got into an argument and George Wallace won.” The article then proceeds to outline George Wallace’s particular brand of right wing populism, and to show the similarities to the modern Republican Party and, in particular Sarah Palin’s Tea party-esque political rhetoric. As the author points out;

Wallace’s national appeal came neither from the racial backlash he exploited nor from his program, such as it was. “It was a deep sense of grievance,” Carter says — a feeling that elites “are not only screwing you over but at the same time they’re laughing at you, they’re looking down their noses at you.”

Following with a comparison of both Wallace’s and Palin’s campaign rhetoric;

Palin: “The soul of this movement is the people, everyday Americans, who grow our food and run our small businesses, who teach our kids and fight our wars…. The elitists who denounce this movement, they just don’t want to hear the message.” Wallace: “They’ve looked down their noses at the average man on the street too long. They’ve looked [down] at the bus driver, the truck driver, the beautician, the fireman, the policeman, and the steelworker….”

Palin: “We need a commander-in-chief, not a professor of law standing at the lectern.” Wallace: “We have a professor — I’m not talking about all professors, but here’s an issue in the campaign — we got these pseudo-theoreticians, and these pseudo-social engineers…. They want to tell you how to do.”

Palin: “What does he [Obama] actually seek to accomplish…? The answer is to make government bigger; take more of your money; give you more orders from Washington.” Wallace: “They say, ‘We’ve gotta write a guideline. We’ve gotta tell you when to get up in the morning. We’ve gotta tell you when to go to bed at night.’ “

And finally, concludes with;

First, with the important exception of race, not one of Wallace’s central themes, from his bristling nationalism and his court-bashing to his anti-intellectualism and his aggressive provincialism, would seem out of place at any major Republican gathering today.

Second, and again leaving race aside, any Republican politician who publicly renounced the Wallace playbook would be finished as a national leader.

Third, by becoming George Wallace’s party, the GOP is abandoning rather than embracing conservatism, and it is thereby mortgaging both its integrity and its political future. Wallaceism was not sufficiently mainstream or coherent to sustain a national party in 1968, and the same is true today.

Conservatism is wary of extremism and rage and anti-intellectualism, of demagoguery and incoherent revolutionary rhetoric. Wallace was a right-wing populist, not a conservative. The rise of his brand of pseudo-conservatism in Republican circles should alarm anyone who cares about the genuine article.

I think this observation is all well and good, but to better understand the phenomena of right wing populism we should probably look past George Wallace, and into the heritage of Southern society to understand the root causes that make these “deep seated grievances” possible in the first place. – as it seems counter factual, that such a political identity known for its overblown sense of patriotism, militarism, and all round embrace of anything authoritarian, could also harbor the necessary distrust of elite power to create the schism of “grievance” in the first place. But, it does. In spite of the essentially contradictory nature of the proposition.

The antebellum South was basically an agrarian society, and agrarian societies trend toward societies that are necessarily resistant to change and more dependent on established (extended) family units, where the reward/punishment structure for behavior is inherited or fixed, as opposed to negotiated and subject to change. This rigidity was further reinforced through the institution of slavery, where the maintenance of order, necessarily becomes an even more vulnerable, and all consuming task that must radically eschew any demands toward change.

Southern culture then as a result, became dependent on maintaining a massive status quo, the institution of slavery, as the primary agent of creating growth for that society. And as a consequence, the South became intellectually and creatively bogged down. This can be illustrated by comparison to the North of the same period, where the the rate of invention literally exploded into one of the most creative periods in history. Whereby the North led the industrial revolution with the inventions of the steamboat, sewing machine, the revolver, mass production, interchangeable parts technology, anesthesia, the screw propeller, and even the cotton gin, among others – whereas in the South, where change was discouraged by necessity, virtually nothing new was invented. This disparity of course, then went on to create a great tension in the whole of society that eventually precipitated the civil war, when the South’s grip on political power suddenly slipped away with the election of Lincoln. Simply put, the South became an intransigent drag on the emergence of a dynamic and modern American society.

From the Southern perspective, this dynamism itself, represented a mortal threat to the foundations of their “way of life”. The replacement of traditional values as societies engine of growth, with the much, much, more productive liberal values of science, technology, and the arts, as the engine of growth – then produced in its wake, a festering animosity or a “deep seated grievance” toward these agents of change. Or in other words, its creative intelligentsia, and their big government politically elite enablers.

The problem of course, with this “deep seated grievance” scenario is that it essentially based on an emotional inferiority complex that fails to admit to its own very real failings, both as a legitimate form of competitive governance and culture for society – which it clearly is not, and the fact that such a system of governance is itself controlled by its own silent party of elites. Namely, the economic elites that have transformed this grievance into a political machine that replaces the government functions of oversight and regulation with a system whereby the economic elites are free to carry out their feeding frenzy predation in the dark of night – moving, as it were, from consuming the last remaining drop of blood in the economy, toward devouring the tax base itself.

UPDATE (or reduction of the above)

The antebellum South was an agrarian based culture, that was by structural nature, resistant to change. The primary “instrument of expansion” (growth, promoting accumulation of wealth) was by consequence, the institution of slavery.

The static nature of agrarian based culture coupled with institutional slavery, basically removed all motivation toward invention, which is itself the more productive “instrument of expansion”.

Which is illustrated in comparison to the North where innovation proved to be the far more productive “instrument of expansion”.

This disparity produced in Southern society a sense of “grievance”, whereby the dynamic success of the liberal Northern institutions became a threat to their agrarian based society.

In modern times, this grievance is capitalized upon by demonizing the “government” as the “elite” agent of displacing traditional values with liberal values.

The problem with this scenario is that when the “liberal government” is rejected, government function and oversight is also rejected.

Which in turn liberates the true economic elite to fill the void of control and general operation of society.

To which we know, has absolutely no moral obligation to society what so ever.

And so thus, negates any vestige of legitimacy to the notion of a “deep sense of grievance”.

Unless of course they are willing to live as the Amish, in which case their point would be valid.

where’s the re-training?

Sunday, February 7th, 2010

Having lived through a half dozen recessions in the past, one peculiar thing I’ve noticed about the current one thats different from the others (aside from the severity of this one) is the governments public response and remedy. During all the other recessions (from the 70’s on) a major part of re-engaging public confidence involved an effort toward re-tooling the workforce to adapt to changing conditions. In spite of the fact that these earlier recessions were driven primarily by the price of oil and/or interest rates, the government initiated highly publicized education programs aimed at retraining the workforce to adopt to rapid changes in technology happening in the economy. Seeing that these recessions were mostly resource driven, I’m not sure these programs had much actual effect in reversing economic decline. But nonetheless, these programs had  important practical and psychological effects in highlighting education as the primary tool, in meeting the challenges of an unpredictable and changing world that would most importantly, establish a renewed confidence in the future.

By contrast, the current (dep)recession, now 2+ years and running, has seen absolutely no such programs. No re-tooling, no re-education, no re-adopting to a changing world. What does this not so subtle, but unmentioned, exclusion mean? Is someone trying to tell us we have no prospects for reversing economic decline, or a future that could benefit from education – or are they simply telling us we have – no future at all?

more on the structure of American power

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010

By happenstance, John Robb at Global Guerrillas unearths the 1961 book The Evolution of Civilizations by Carroll Quigley. Robb outlines some of the major points of the book, which caught my attention because the foundation on which the book is grounded:

Universal Empire

Quigley’s models for how civilizations function are also very useful.  One model breaks a civilization’s culture into six categories (there could be more, but these are useful):  Intellectual, Social, Economic, Political, Military, and Religious. These categories develop at their own pace, and often (depending on the civilization), get out of synch (some are advanced and others very rudimentary).  In Western culture (don’t think of this as related to any specific nation-state, but rather Western Civilization as a whole), Quigley maintained that the Intellectual, Economic, and Military cultural factors predominate.  The sophistication of political culture less developed.  Social and Religious cultural development is rudimentary.

These levels of cultural development play a roll in how a civilization advances through Quigley’s model (very similar to Toynbee and other historians) for a civilization’s development.  These are:  1) Mixture, 2) Gestation, 3) Expansion, 4) Age of Conflict, 5) Universal Empire, 6) Decay, and 7) Invasion.  His analysis confirmed that all civilizations progress on this path, with an occasional jump from stage 4 (conflict) to 6 (decay).   At the time the book was being written, our current level of development was 4, an Age of Conflict (the Cold War) and he was unsure about the final outcome.

What falls out of Quigley’s models is something totally unexpected.  Universal Empire has arrived for Western Civilization (stage 5), but in a form unique in history. Due to relative weakness of our political, social and religious cultural development, economics took control and vaulted to dominance.  Economics alone led the drive to Universal Empire (everyone has adopted financial capitalism, from China to Russia), and it is now firmly in control, while the other elements of Western culture wither.

Whats interesting here is that Quigley’s model (my bold above) of civilization is virtually identical to the William Domhoff/MichaelMann Four Networks Theory of Power that I’ve referenced several times before, HERE, and HERE. While the WD/MM four networks of power are modeled upon American culture specifically and the Quigley model is more generalized as Western culture – the primary structures, of the Economic, the Military, the Political, and the Ideological are essentially identical to the Quigley model of the Economic, the Military, the Political, should the Ideological be a combination of the Religious, Intellectual, and the Social, which is not inconsistent to Mann’s interpretation of what the Ideological network would include.

The good news from all this is that Quigley takes these networks (in their respective roles of American power) and (apparently) does a scientific critic of how they evolve and function – or fail to function/decay – as primary institutions of society.

I haven’t read the book yet, as it’s on order, but hopefully as it looks to be an important addition to creating a credible unified image of the  structure of American power. And what makes it “exceptional”.