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www.reverbnation.com/robash196…
  • Listening to: the voices in my head
  • Reading: the writing on the wall
  • Watching: the chaos unfold
  • Playing: at knowing what the hell is really going on
  • Eating: my words
  • Drinking: damn little, all things considered.
Be good to yourself. Reap as much from life as you can. Try to avoid telling yourself no. Treat the people you love as lovingly as you can. Be good to them because you love them, and they will love you back exactly the way you want them to.

Work hard. Work a little harder than you have to to get by, because getting by is not enough to be happy. But never work so hard that your work replaces your life. Your job is not you. Don't let work replace friends and lovers in your world. If you do, you may never get them back.

Play hard. As hard as you want, with no limits. But do not confuse play with competition. If you do, your friends may never forgive you, and may stop playing with you altogether. Compete hard, but be fair, Make sure everyone is aware that there is a competition before you engage. Make the field a level one, and both you and your friends will get more from the play, and from the competition.

Above all, love hard. As hard as your heart can handle. Love everyone you call friend, and make as many friends as you can. Love your lover most of all, and make love to him/her/them/it as often as you can. A breathless, sweaty, exhausted lover is a happy lover.

Good luck. You have an entire year ahead of you.



Now go surprise me...:)
  • Listening to: the voices in my head
  • Reading: the writing on the wall
  • Watching: the chaos unfold
  • Playing: at knowing what the hell is really going on
  • Eating: my words
  • Drinking: damn little, all things considered.
10 points to the first who can name the actor quoted above, and the movie from which the quote is drawn.

I deleted all the members whose pages I had begun to follow because of salacious content. I was pleased with myself to find that, of 37 people I had been following, a full 25 remained after the culling... implying that my taste in pages to follow has been in favor of the creative and artistic, as opposed to the merely prurient.

I deleted approximately 120 images from my favorites folder a few days ago. Just enough to show me I would be handling the removal process on stages. Deleting images is not all that difficult... merely tedious and boring.

But, the process of removal continues. I now offer one last warning to those fo you who followed me only because of the x rated nature of my favorites; get what images and links you want from my favorites while you can. If your interest has been only juvenile in nature, there will soon be little in my favorites to draw or hold your attention.

Ciao, my fellow deviants.
  • Listening to: the voices in my head
  • Reading: the writing on the wall
  • Watching: the chaos unfold
  • Playing: at knowing what the hell is really going on
  • Eating: my words
  • Drinking: damn little, all things considered.
  • Listening to: my two pugs bark at the ducks
  • Reading: "The Ship Of A Million Years"
  • Watching: NCIS, sunsets on the lake behind my house, and you
  • Playing: an Ibanez Saber and my ESP F250 solid body
  • Eating: once a day, whether I need to or not
  • Drinking: Modelo Especial
Most of you who read this will not remember that, a long time ago, I set up my favorites folder to reflect the fact that dA has, for almost it's entire existence, maintained amorphous, fluctuating, uneven, and by fiat application, totally, completely unfair standards with regards to all thing adult, erotic, and sexual, and most especially where photographic images are concerned.

In the early years, the way this would manifest was that "this" photo, of questionable, clearly erotic content, would be allowed, while "that" photo, with nearly identical content, would be tagged for removal by the admins. So, in the first year of my membership, I started using my favorites folder to highlight the constant and ongoing presence of images that should have been, at least according to examples of images dA had already tagged for removal, facing deletion themselves.

I've even written to the admins about this inconsistency once or twice. Just to ad my voice to what I knew (back then), was a chorus of confusion and disappointment over the way the site refused to standardize it's handling of adult images and material.

Well, I quit. I give up.

Lately, on any day, by doing an extremely casual search, I can find dozens, if not hundreds of images that are not just highly erotic, or sexually explicit, but are actually, by any reasonable standard, outright pornographic. Lots of them, Whole portfolios of them. Tens of thousands of them. Some members have galleries so graphic in nature, you used to have to pay to see such images on the net.

Listen, it's not that I hate porn. I'm a healthy, horny, liberal minded libertarian. If it feels good, do it, is my motto, as long as you don't do it on my property. I promise; I'm not against porn.

But for THIS site, which was, at one point, and is supposedly still ALL ABOUT ART and all things ARTISTIC... to allow what loose standards there were to erode to the point where, clearly, anything now goes, is ridiculous, disgusting, and above all disappointing.

dA is now just another fully commercialized, bullshit, whatever for a dollar, exploitation site. They don't give a crap about content, as long as their membership base keeps buying into the lie, and the numbers stay healthy so that their advertising revenue streams stay steady.

Every single aspect of what made this site SPECIAL 6 years ago, and from there all the way back to when it was first placed online, is gone. dA was quirky, eclectic, completely artsy, and totally non-commercial in presentation and format. Then the membership numbers got high enough to attract the attention of some big time online advertising conglomerates, and things went straight to hell.

What a load of total crap.

PS: for those of you who favorited me ONLY because of the juicy content of my favorites folder, you might need to plan on dropping me soon. I'm not closing my page here because it warehouses my portfolio. But in the next week or so, I'll be deleting my entire favorites folder. So if there is some salacious image in there that you just have to have, get it now.
  • Listening to: my two pugs bark at the ducks
  • Reading: "The Ship Of A Million Years"
  • Watching: NCIS, sunsets on the lake behind my house, and you
  • Playing: an Ibanez Saber and my ESP F250 solid body
  • Eating: once a day, whether I need to or not
  • Drinking: Modelo Especial
Lots of people are getting tagged with this. My friend and fellow deviant; Blades 123 posted 10 very fun questions after he got tagged, and then had the foresight to let everyone who wished to respond.

I enjoyed answering his questions quite a lot, so I figured I'd come up with 10 questions of my own and see who's still following my page. Thoughtful answers get extra credit.

There will be a test afterwards so pay attention!



1:  What song, or style of music, do you secretly listen to when no one is around, that would mortify you if people found out?

2:  Are you really that big of a trekkie, or do you just google the proper references because everyone on DA seems to be a major trekkie, and you want to fit in?

3:  If you were a car, what kind of car would you be and why? Give make and model, please.

4:  Was this the best season of DWTS or what?

5:  If you had to pick 5 books to save, and all other books would be destroyed forever, what 5 would you choose?

6:  What is your favorite historical period? This can be a time, an era, or a region in time, such as "Ancient Egypt", or a people, such as "The ancient Romans". Explain your answer.

7:  What is the answer to the question of Life, the universe, and everything?

8:  Name the three artists you feel have had the greatest direct influence on your art.

9:  Freud or Jung?

10:  Can I have a llama please?


My answers, for those who are curious....


1,    I'd say old school country, but I'm actually pretty okay with that. I guess, as a hard core rocker, I'd rather not admit to really liking Celine Dion.
2,    I'm a sick, freakish, idic loving, weird finger sign making, dialogue quoting, model building, seen every episode of every series and every movie (several times at least), proud TREKKIE!
3,    1972 Oldsmobile Cutlass 442 with a Hurst Slap Stick transmission. Bronze Metallic with a creamy white vinyl top and white racing stripes. All black leather interior, Captain's seats. Center shifter, of course. Mag wheels and 60's all around, raised white letter tires. An absolute bad ass of a rock and roll car.
4,    No doubt!
5,    Just doing this would kill my soul. I'd do it if I had to, in order to save 5 books, but I would hate it worse than just about anything. 1, The Lord Of The Rings (the trilogy counts as one story in my mind). 2, Dune, by Frank Herbert. 3, Ender's Game, by Orson Scott card. 4, The Collected Works of William Shakespeare. 5, Crime And Punishment, by Fyodor Dostoyevsky.
6,    Probably medieval Europe. Pre-Arthurian era. Between Celts, Moors, Druids and what have you, a hard fighting, mysterious time to live in for sure.
7,    42, of course.
8,    Michael Whelan, Frank Frazetta, and Boris Vallejo.
9,    Jung. The sex is better.
10,  Is it even possible to give yourself a llama???
  • Listening to: my two pugs bark at the ducks
  • Reading: "The Ship Of A Million Years"
  • Watching: NCIS, sunsets on the lake behind my house, and you
  • Playing: an Ibanez Saber and my ESP F250 solid body
  • Eating: once a day, whether I need to or not
  • Drinking: Modelo Especial
What's good, my fellow deviants?

Just wanted to get the toxic journal entry I had previously written off my main page.

Not much to say. I'm getting ready for a surgery coming up to repair a blockage in my right leg. After 6 major surgeries in 5 years, I'm getting to be an hold hand at all this, so no serious excitement or stress.

My music is going well. If you haven't been to check out my songs, go here:

www.reverbnation.com/robash196…

I'm a one man band, digital composer, singer, guitar and bass player, and producer.... if you like hard rock, you'll like my songs. Join the site for free and become a fan on my page! You'll be doing me a huge favor.

I am coming by regularly and checking out all the new stuff from the small but excellent group of artists and friends I follow here. Always know that you have my respect, my admiration, and my total support. And if you ever have a question about how things work in the greater world of commercial art, don't hesitate to ask. As an art director at the national and international level  for 18 years, and professional commercial artist for 34 years, if I can help you to advance your working knowledge or your career in any way, I am glad to help.

Take care, stay busy and creative, and above all, have fun!

Your biggest fan,

Darkmir
  • Listening to: my two pugs bark at the ducks
  • Reading: "The Ship Of A Million Years"
  • Watching: NCIS, sunsets on the lake behind my house, and you
  • Playing: an Ibanez Saber and my ESP F250 solid body
  • Eating: once a day, whether I need to or not
  • Drinking: Modelo Especial
How I feel about the presence of an ad on my front page that I can only get rid of by purchasing a membership?

Way too many people on this shit ball suck rotten ass. Karma is so screwed up for the human race we almost have to have some sort of epic catastophe just to balance the books.

I'm not sure what it would take for me to shell out a dime for a membership to this site, but I'm pretty sure Congress couldn't get it passed.

Way to go DA.
  • Listening to: my two pugs bark at the ducks
  • Reading: "The Ship Of A Million Years"
  • Watching: NCIS, sunsets on the lake behind my house, and you
  • Playing: an Ibanez Saber and my ESP F250 solid body
  • Eating: once a day, whether I need to or not
  • Drinking: Modelo Especial
Soon after I wrote my last journal entry, which lambasted DA for changing in ways I do not feel are positive, I began to receive a run of what amounted to some of the best comments, questions, remarks and other interactions with fellow DA members I have ever had the pleasure to enjoy since joining this site.

A very good friend who also happens to be a HUGELY talented artist, who is also a member here, urged me to reconsider my pending decision to leave DA.

Meeting new and wonderful people, and the pleasure of such intelligent and well considered interactions as I have had recently are certainly sufficient to cause me to think long and hard before giving up on this site.

On the personal front, I and my associates in crime- ...er, music... are officially working on an album project. We are currently working two songs which are both among the best work we have ever done, either as a group or as individual players. Over the course of this project, we will likely develop 25+ songs, from which we will cull 12-13 for the album. Once finished, we will release the work online, as singles and as a collection, and we will probably have CD's printed as well.

Wish us luck.

I wish I could share some of this music with you guys, but it is likely no-one besides the band members and their wives will hear any of it until the album is released. If you take what you are doing seriously (and we do), it is better to store the songs until the project is complete, and not let any of the material be released prematurely.

A fact which may drive me full goose crazy before the work is done! I hate not being able to share my music with my friends!

Keep responding to my various remarks and comments with the intelligence, wit, enthusiasm, and sincerity all of you have recently, and I will continue to find it damned difficult to leave DA.

Besides, who could walk away from a mug like yours...? Look at that face... you're so cute! Come here and give us a big wet kiss...

Ta-tah for now...

The death of an old freind...

Journal Entry: Sun May 29, 2011, 9:44 AM


My awareness of DeviantArt goes back to around 2003, or possibly 2004... I don't remember exactly. What I know is that I was aware of the site's existence many years before I became a member. DA left a very specific impression on me back then. It felt like a place on the web that was different from the gaudily commercial sites that polluted the web then and now. It was a place that was all about a specific interest... unconcerned with anything so base as a desire to garner profit. It's purpose was to tell viewers and members that art was good. And that an appreciation of art, in any form, was good. It both saluted and supported that which was different. It celebrated the unparalleled, unending diversity of expression that is the very soul of the genius which is the human experience.

I was captivated by the site. At first purely as a voyeur. For several years, I only came to the site and stared, agape, at the vast and ever growing collection of ideas. Later, as a full member, I gladly became a part of the growing community, adding to the collection my small, personal and unique contribution. DA has always allowed all forms of art to be put on display. It has never judged any offering, no matter how simplistic, juvenile or amateurish, according to any measure of what any defined entity might deem unworthy.

Some entries have been censored over the years it is true; those that are vulgar only for the sake of vulgarity... those that have a hidden and disingenuous purpose... those that incite fear or bigotry, or inspire hatred. Then, as now, the criteria by which censorship has been applied was informal... so much so that it seemed ill defined, and at times, arbitrary. Looking back, I now realize that even this was just another aspect of what made the site special and unique.

Taken as a whole, DeviantArt was attractive because of it's informal, yet singular purpose. Because of it's egalitarianism... it's simple desire to provide a forum for any and all to express their individual creativity, and thereby, there individualism.

That has changed.

Somewhere along the line, someone, or some ones, having the power to make decisions regarding the course of this site and to garner profit from it, became aware that the shear number of members and visitors created an irr4esistable opportunity for financial reward. This, in and of itself, is not a bad thing. I am not speaking now in an attempt to shame the owners of this site for desiring to make an honest buck. I am a citizen of a capitalistic society. I not only support the owner's right to make a profit, I admire, for the most part, what they have accomplished here, in so far as their having grown the site from nothing to it's present form and scope.

I honestly believe, however, that DA is doomed. It will not last. That the site has become increasingly concerned with generating income for it's owners is merely a symptom of the disease which will kill DA.

The problem is that the same lack of concern for structure that in the early days helped to define the charm of the site is now the source of all it's woes. As profits soar, and the money rolls, the owners do not seem to notice, or be concerned by the fact that the site is rapidly and drastically changing in ways that are extremely distasteful to what I believe is a large portion of it's membership.

As the site grows, it also draws the attention of less scrupulous and less desirable members of the online community. Among them; hackers... those willing to resort to underhanded means to make a profit... those interested in causing chaos on the site for malicious reasons... and many, many others. I find it remarkable that a site that once concerned itself almost solely with encouraging creativity in all forms is now the vicitim of the creativity of those with less than honorable intentions and motives. You can almost judge the popularity of a given site by the nature of the attacks it garners, and the level of abuse it suffers. Facebook, MySpace... such examples of this are legion.

But even that is not what threatens DA. If the owners took the right approach to dealing with these issues, they (the attacks) could not, of themselves, bring about the destruction of the site. The real problem is that the owners seem to be interested only in protecting their ability to reap financial gain. When they make an effort to fight back against abuse, they do so in a way which does not feel as if it is in order to protect the original ideals upon which the site was founded. Rather it seems that the only reason any negative activity is even acknowledged by the site's owners is if it impinges on their ability to continue to exploit the site for profit.

This is why their responses seem so insincere when they make an announcement about how they are handling a problem. That is why they don't care about things like Page view merchants. As long as the bulk of members remain more or less silent about how they feel about such things, the administrators ignore them. As long as membership remains high, things which attack the very heart of the site, according to the views of more and more members, receive no consideration or attention.

Much has been said about page views, by many members, over the years. The general consensus is that page views have no real meaning. I agree. But, what strikes me as far more relevant is the fact THEY COULD BE HIGHLY RELEVANT.  The information could be both meaningful and useful to the members. It is by the decision of the administrators that this is not so. It is also obviously true that they are under no obligation to make it so. But, the decision having been made as it was, one has to then wonder: why bother to show page views at all? Going further, the behind the scenes data that a member can get on the activity of their page and gallery has only limited value.

Why?

If only a partial, or token effort was going to be made to offer members statistical data on their pages and gallery, why offer the information at all?

Yet, there sit page views, front and center, on every front page of every gallery on the site. As meaningless as the statistic is, it is none-the-less unavoidable. And now that the phenomenon of page view merchants has become so pervasive, it is also unavoidably disgusting. Better that it remain simply moot. Instead, it now is a scar... a blemish that cannot be removed, on the front page of every member.

I describe this aspect of the site's ailments because it is one nearly every member is aware of, and one that all can easily consider and understand. But, again; the problem is not the poor way that the page view statistic functions, or page view merchants themselves. The problem is the attitude of the site administrators to these phenomena.

Ask yourself; why is it so, that a person who creates a membership simply to advertise the fact that he is a page view merchant gets permanently banned, but a group page, controlled by the very same person, which is solely devoted to advertising page views for sale is left completely alone? On this very same group page, the group administrators blatantly remonstrate those who are complaining to stop wasting their time. They (the page view merchants) openly state that the DA site administrators do not care, and will not take action of any kind against page view merchants.

Why do the site administrators uniformly ignore the torrent of complaints about page view merchants and their practices, even going so far as to openly admit they do so simply because they absolutely do not care?

What exactly, DO they care about? What is the reason that DA exists?

More importantly, what is different about the reason for DA's existence now, from the reasons it was created in the first place?

For any artist even remotely concerned with how their work is perceived by a larger audience, statistical data about who is coming to their page and gallery, and what those people are doing while they are there, would be EXTREMELY valuable. This is true for both professionals and amateurs. It is true of anyone who even marginally cares about how their work is being received. It is not difficult to make an argument that the delivery of this date, and the structure and form in which it is delivered, ought to be a far more important aspect of the experience a member gets here at DA. Regardless of how you feel about page views, it is undeniable that the way this aspect of the site is treated by the site administrators is a remarkable way to gain insight into what really matters to them as far the site is concerned.

DA is sick. If left as is, it will soon begin to lose members in a significant way. If left as is for long enough, the flow of those abandoning the site will become an exodus. Through it all, what will determine the future of the site is not whether or not the administrators respond to the problem, but HOW... and even more importantly; WHY... they respond. If they do so in the same callous, shallow, "profits above all" way they have dealt with various issues in the last year, I believe they will be signing the death certificate of the site.

It may not come to pass that membership drops to the point that the site is closed... more likely is that what actually dies is the original identity of the site. Everything that made DA special when it was first formed... everything that caused it to become wildly popular in the first place, is under attack... by the very people responsible for deciding the future course of the site.

Left as is, DA will continue to morph into something that is becoming ever more unrecognizable by a vast portion of it's members. Members who I believe, like myself, are beginning to seriously question whether or not the cost of a membership, or even the effort required to maintain a presence on this site, is worth it.

So, although it may not to come to pass that the site itself dies... the soul of DeviantArt... that which made it what it was in it's early years... everything that, in this member's humble opinion made the site so very special... WILL DIE.

Long before that happens, I will be gone. Many others will go too. A significant part of the community that helps to define the heart and soul of what makes DA special will leave and go elsewhere, in search of a forum that both allows and encourages them to concern themselves with all those things which once constituted the very best of what Deviant Art is, and what it should continue to be.

When that happens, DA will be no more.

What will remain will be just another site to be avoided by any intelligent person with the ability to involve themselves in an institution at a level deeper than that of the most shallow conformer.

Fan whores will still come here.

Children, and the desperately immature... those with no clearly defined sense of aesthetic or philosophical relevance... will still come here.

Lemmings will still come here.

Likely in droves... perhaps even to the extent that the money tree this site has become for it's owners does not whither.

I won't know, though.

And if things continue as they are, neither will I care.

Please take a look at my gallery.
  • Listening to: myself snore
  • Reading: The Romulan War by Maichael Martin
  • Watching: Sons Of Anarchy, Hawaaii 5-0, and my lovely wifey
  • Playing: Dragon Age Awakenings, Singularity, Torchlight
  • Eating: Crab stuffed Flounder, bar-b-qued baby back ribs
  • Drinking: sun tea, Sobe flavored water, Snapple

Only as it should be...

Journal Entry: Sat May 21, 2011, 9:42 AM
I've been a member of DA for about 4 years now. Shortly after joining, I received a minor accolade from a guy who lives in Scotland, also a member here. Nothing over the top, just as simple acknowledgement of respect for my work. I went and took a look at his gallery, discovering he is not only an illustrator but a writer. I queried him regarding his writing, and we began both a discussion and a friendship which continues to this day.

For all that time, my friend has lagged behind me in page views. Now, we both have the "right" attitude towards page views. They mean very little... image views mean a lot more. But, something is about to happen, and because of one simple fact, I think it is noteworthy.

You see, I "retired" from a commercial art career of 30 years about 2 years ago. Since then, I have done very little in the way of new art. My friend, on the other hand, is an artist's artist. Committed to his work, and to developing his not inconsiderable skills. He works as a commercial artist, and also pursues a range of creative (and potentially lucrative) endeavors when on his own time.

And, for the first time in 4 years, he is about to pass me in page views. I do not know, but I would suspect he also going to overtake me in image views, if he hasn't already.

This is a site dedicated, primarily, to an appreciation of the visual arts. It is therefor, in my opinion, only right that my friend across the waters begin to enjoy the respect and attention he so richly deserves.

I will not mention my friend's name. To do so would draw too much attention to his page views, which would be to give page views far more attention than they deserve. Upon reading this, he will know it is aimed at him. That is enough.

It is nice to see someone important in the sphere of your life... a friend or a loved one, succeed. It is one of the returns we receive from the effort we put into developing and maintaining friendships. For my friend, I am proud, and glad.

In one small way, in one small corner, the world is turning precisely as it should.

  • Listening to: myself snore
  • Reading: The Romulan War by Maichael Martin
  • Watching: Sons Of Anarchy, Hawaaii 5-0, and my lovely wifey
  • Playing: Dragon Age Awakenings, Singularity, Torchlight
  • Eating: Crab stuffed Flounder, bar-b-qued baby back ribs
  • Drinking: sun tea, Sobe flavored water, Snapple

REGARDING CRITIQUES

Journal Entry: Sat Apr 9, 2011, 2:51 PM
Briefly:

If I agree to give you a critique, I will follow up and give it.

Just be patient. After doing critiques professionally for 2 decades, I prefer to do them now when I'm in the right mind-set.

Also, if I have more than one request, I'll (usually) save them all, and do them all at the same time when I'm in the right frame of mind. But, this is not a fast and hard rule. Also keep in mind that this is not a professional service. I choose to provide a critique if and when I wish to. So, if I get to another before yours, or spend more time (write more) about another artist's work than I do yours, that's life. Again, let me point out that I am not providing a professional service. If you want to negotiate what I do and do not include in a critique, offer to cut me a check.

Regardless of when I get requests, be patient. if I promised to give you one, I will.

Harassing me is NOT a good way to get me to get around to your critique more quickly.

I promise, I won't let anyone down that I have agreed to provide a critique.

  • Listening to: myself snore
  • Reading: The Romulan War by Maichael Martin
  • Watching: Sons Of Anarchy, Hawaaii 5-0, and my lovely wifey
  • Playing: Dragon Age Awakenings, Singularity, Torchlight
  • Eating: Crab stuffed Flounder, bar-b-qued baby back ribs
  • Drinking: sun tea, Sobe flavored water, Snapple

What is a good critique?

Journal Entry: Thu Mar 31, 2011, 4:16 PM
Let's get personal and specific about what we each expect out of a critique...

My personal expectations of a really great critique are deeply affected by the fact that I was both a working class commercial artist in a creative field, and an art director, for almost 30 years.

I need a critique to be delivered in an intellectual, yet professional way. "Clinical" would be a good descriptor. It has to come from someone I respect as a professional doing the same, or similar, work to that which I am asking to have critiqued. They have to have a skill set, and a body of experience I believe allows them to render a critique that I will find to be applicable and useful to my work.

I need them to evaluate the image against a battery of professional standards, regarding presentation, originality, composition, use of and balance of color, and a hundred others. I need them to tell me, in a clinical way, where the image falls short of those standards. I need to be able to identify the specific weakness, or mistakes in the image, in a way that lets me see the corrections I need to make quickly and fully.

I need them to tell me what is strong and positive about the piece, as well. I need them to tell me what works so that I leave it alone. I need to know what is good about the piece, so I can fully, and exclusively devote my attention to correcting just the mistakes. Again, the best format in which to deliver this information is a clinical one.

The best, most useful critique to me is a TOOL. Anything that increases it's effectiveness for me as a way to improve my work and my art is good. Anything that limits it's use as a tool is bad. Feelings have absolutely NOTHING to do with it.

How about you?

Don't respond to this journal. Follow this link forum.deviantart.com/community… to the forum thread on this subject and respond there.

  • Listening to: myself snore
  • Reading: The Romulan War by Maichael Martin
  • Watching: Sons Of Anarchy, Hawaaii 5-0, and my lovely wifey
  • Playing: Dragon Age Awakenings, Singularity, Torchlight
  • Eating: Crab stuffed Flounder, bar-b-qued baby back ribs
  • Drinking: sun tea, Sobe flavored water, Snapple

Come Rock With Me...

Journal Entry: Tue Mar 1, 2011, 10:06 AM
Come check out all my new songs at REVERBNATION.COM

www.reverbnation.com/robash196…

Join the site (for free) and become a fan, and I'll send you a link to a free song just for fans.

See you there!

  • Listening to: myself snore
  • Reading: The Romulan War by Maichael Martin
  • Watching: Sons Of Anarchy, Hawaaii 5-0, and my lovely wifey
  • Playing: Dragon Age Awakenings, Singularity, Torchlight
  • Eating: Crab stuffed Flounder, bar-b-qued baby back ribs
  • Drinking: sun tea, Sobe flavored water, Snapple
Young people are learning. It's what happens when you are young, and is one of those aspects of youth that cannot be avoided. We are not born with a wealth of knowledge and experience. We are empty, and life fills us with what we need to become who we are.

Opinion is one of the things we develop. It is shaped by ALL KINDS OF FACTORS... who our parents are and how they feel about things, who we learn from and who our leaders are... who we choose as friends... where we go and what we see, all affect opinion. In all this, one aspect is key: to be able to say; "I like this, or I don't like this... and here's why..." is the essence of all opinion. To be able to do this honestly, you have to experience the thing about which you are rendering your opinion.

You cannot render an opinion on faith.

Looking at images of naked women invokes a great deal of opinion in people. Young, old, good looking or fat and pimply, smart as a whip or dumb as a box of rocks, there is perhaps no other subject that causes people to offer their personal opinion than images of another human being without their clothes on.

It is a very good thing to be able to give your opinion freely. It is a freedom, and one of the ones we should be willing to fight to keep.

To close out this preamble before I get to the list of responsibilities one should have when offering one's opinion about images involving nudity, here is my opinion on opinions;

The saddest part of people and their opinions is the fact that most offer their opinion with little or no sense of responsibility for the words they speak, or the underlying attitudes that create a basis for the opinion. A person should never offer their opinion without first giving an issue serious, deep, and considerable thought. Young people fail to do this because of a lack of experience, and many adults fail to do it because of a lack of either education or rearing. And some people are just plain assholes, and don't care who hears their opinion, and more importantly, whether or not it (their opinion) makes any sense at all.





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Following is a short list of responsibilities a person should accept before offering an opinion on nude poses in photography or art.



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1: You should look at enough photos and illustration to decide from experience what you feel is acceptable and what isn't. You need to be able to describe, in a way anyone can understand, your personal values about what is okay and what crosses the line.

2: You should look at your own personal attitude towards nudity, and discover how much it affects your opinion about nudity in art. If you have what most people would consider an unhealthy self image, you should refrain from offering your opinion on nudity because your point of view is tainted. Being shy is not the same as feeling you are grossly overweight when you aren't, or hating to be seen naked or to be naked. If you have a psychological issue with nudity, keep your opinion to yourself, and seek help. When your self image, and attitudes are healthier, re-evaluate your opinion on nudity in art, and THEN offer it.

3: If, for social reasons, your opinion is skewed, you should, at the very least, STATE SO clearly, up front, before offering your opinion. People who fall into this category would be the deeply religious, victims of assault, teachers, mothers, social workers who work with those convicted of sex crimes. If your experiences have left you so jaded that your opinion is deeply and irrevocably tainted, you should keep your opinion to yourself. It is unfairly balanced, and therefor unjustly tips the scales in one direction or another. Above all, an opinion should be fair, and far too many of us give opinions we KNOW are skewed.

4: If your opinion is controlled or influenced in any way by a third party, you should avoid giving it if you can, because IT IS NOT YOUR TRUE OPINION.

4: Depending on the seriousness of the issue (and how we as humans relate to our bodies is a pretty serious issue in my opinion) you should STUDY the history of an issue before offering an opinion.

Study the history of nudity and art, nudity and photography, and pornography as it has been defined through time. For example: one of the great truths about the issue of what IS pornography, is that it's PUBLIC definition has changed and evolved through time. If you study the history of humans even only as a light enthusiast, you quickly learn such things as; the healthiest societies humans have established all had very liberal attitudes towards nudity and sex. Both were encouraged, seen an an integral aspect of a healthy life well lived, both were much more public, and even sometimes the center piece of important, shared social events.

On the other hand; the most damaging, controlling, ruthless societies we have created all had very rigid, puritan, negative attitudes towards nudity and sex. Such societies control their women, limit the rights of everyone except adult men, and crush out individual expression.

5: If you offer YOUR opinion, by default, you agree to listen to the opinion of everyone else without trying to limit what is said. Shouting down someone, being rude or crass, refusing to listen or participate in a discussion, NO MATTER WHAT SIDE YOUR OPINION FALLS ON, is unacceptable. If you can't accept hearing other people's opinion, DO NOT offer yours.

6: Power is best wielded lightly. This is an axiom, especially with humans. RESPECT the fact that your opinion carries weight. It has an effect. This becomes progressively more true when your opinion is one of a block of opinions all expressing the same point of view. Thus are elections decided. BE WARY of offering your opinion. Treat the moment when you do so with the respect and dignity it deserves. Because of this, young people should as a matter of WISDOM, be reluctant to offer their opinion if they are inexperienced in the relevant issue. If, for example, a young person has never been naked in the presence of another, other than as a child with a care giver or other children, they may not have the frame of reference required to speak knowledgeably on the subject of nudity.

7: If your opinion cannot be changed by discussion and exposure to new ideas, think twice about offering it. A rigid set of opinions and attitudes is, if nothing else, a DEAD thing. It does not grow or evolve. It is DEAD. The world, for all it's failings, is a living, evolving entity. The opinions of the dead, even the walking, talking dead should not affect it.

The correct way to respond to this essay would be to list what you think is important about the responsibility of rendering your opinion that I did not list here.

I look forward to a further discussion of this article.

My New Band Web Pages...

Journal Entry: Wed Feb 16, 2011, 4:00 PM


I'd like to share my new songs, and invite all my friends here to go to my new band pages.

Please take a listen to my music, feel free to watch a video or two of me performing live, and consider becoming a fan.

If you wish to become a fan, you'll need to join Reverbnation. It is absolutely free to join, and in addition to my page, you can listen to millions of original songs by artists from every style of music you can possibly imagine, so it's well worth joining for free!

My Page at Reverbnation:

www.reverbnation.com/robash196…

Make sure to listen to my new songs; THE FORGOTTEN ONE, a heavy rocker that tells a poignant story about elder abuse. And ALL THAT STILL REMAINS, a story about learning to live life on your own terms, and the power of love.

My Band's Web Page:

robash1962.bandzoogle.com/fr_h…

Make sure to sign the guest book and let us know you came by, and feel free to use our forum to ask the band (or me) anything you want to know about us or our music!

Thanks in advance to everyone who goes by, and most of all to all who become a new fan. I started out at position 147 on the rock charts for Orlando and Volusia county Florida, three weeks ago. I'm now at position 49 and climbing.

Help me to get to position #1 by becoming a fan!

Much love....

Darkmir

  • Listening to: myself snore
  • Reading: The Romulan War by Maichael Martin
  • Watching: Sons Of Anarchy, Hawaaii 5-0, and my lovely wifey
  • Playing: Dragon Age Awakenings, Singularity, Torchlight
  • Eating: Crab stuffed Flounder, bar-b-qued baby back ribs
  • Drinking: sun tea, Sobe flavored water, Snapple

Musings on music and other juicy tidbits...

Journal Entry: Mon Jan 24, 2011, 4:19 PM


I enjoy the fact that I have online relationships that have weight, and meaning, and are important to me. I like that I am the kind of person who can have relationships like that.

But sometimes it's hard not to feel like I'm living vicariously. Sort of living this virtual existence behind a mask presented via the various personae I have online. And even scarier is how much enjoyment, and satisfaction I can achieve through just these relationships.

Don't get me wrong. I also have real life relationships. I play music in the flesh with other talented players. I hang out and go out with my wife and several of her close friends. I am friends with a couple of them on my own. Then there are my kids, and my grand kids. There are other real life relationships I have as well, at several different levels.

But several of my online associations are such that I would consider life style changes to keep them. Sound silly? Well, some of these people I respect, as men or women of truth and character, to a far greater degree than many I know in the flesh.  Those that are among the most significant figures are all highly creative, often professionally so.  Many are friends I have known and cared about for a decade or more... often a lot more. I trust these people and care about them. I laugh and cry with them, and tell them first when something important happens to me.  I know about them, how they live and what they want and need. I know them.

Looked at in that light, where does one draw the line? I may never meet some of these people face to face, yet I know them and like them and look forward to hearing from them.  Are the relationships any less real?

I'm buying new equipment and learning new recording techniques to improve how my song ideas sound. I'm doing solo work on my original tunes now.

Next journal I'll post links so you guys can go listen to something.

Ciao.

  • Listening to: myself snore
  • Reading: The Romulan War by Maichael Martin
  • Watching: Sons Of Anarchy, Hawaaii 5-0, and my lovely wifey
  • Playing: Dragon Age Awakenings, Singularity, Torchlight
  • Eating: Crab stuffed Flounder, bar-b-qued baby back ribs
  • Drinking: sun tea, Sobe flavored water, Snapple

New year... again.

Journal Entry: Sat Jan 1, 2011, 9:31 AM


Without sounding too cynical, almost everything in life that you can imagine becomes a bit less dramatic and flashy with time. Some things retain interest or attraction, but the glow fades with maturity. Such is the case with New Years. Best night of the year to stay home, stay sober, and go to bed early.

None of which I did this year.

We didn't exactly tear up the night here in Daytona Beach, but we did make it down to the block party on Main Street where all the biker clubs are. We went to Olive garden for a $75 dinner, then met friends at one of the bars there that had a particularly good band. We were home by one, and asleep by two, but I did drag my old ass out for a change and was outside and on the beach when the new Year rang in.

Hope everyone had a great Christmas, Honica, Lent, Yule, holiday, or whatever floats your personal philosophical boat. Personally, I could go with less Christmas, and less holidays all year long. Money is tight enough as it is without having to manufacture 8 or 9 reasons a year to spend a lot of it on stuff you can't afford anyway.

I like the lights, and the music is ok for a while. I love the way it gets my girl excited. She's cute all year, but she shines at Christmas. She really digs the whole scene.

At least she didn't dress our pugs up in silly shit like reindeer antlers and what not.

Get, do, or go after everything you really want with all your heart. Have every fantasy come true. Give yourself every break and every chance. Make THAT your New Years resolution, and you'll be lots happier, and people will like you a LOT more.

Have a great New Year everybody.

  • Listening to: myself snore
  • Reading: The Romulan War by Maichael Martin
  • Watching: Sons Of Anarchy, Hawaaii 5-0, and my lovely wifey
  • Playing: Dragon Age Awakenings, Singularity, Torchlight
  • Eating: Crab stuffed Flounder, bar-b-qued baby back ribs
  • Drinking: sun tea, Sobe flavored water, Snapple

Surgery update

Journal Entry: Tue Sep 21, 2010, 10:00 AM


I am now in recovery from my bypass surgery. I underwent a femoral bypass about 10 days ago, as many of you know from my last journal entry.

It went well. All of the symptoms directly associated with the reduced blood delivery to my right leg and foot have been relieved. The limb is rosy and warm. I have far less problems with my leg and foot "going to sleep", pins and needles, cramping, etc.

Some symptoms remain. They are from damage that was done to both the nerves and tissue in my right calf and foot last year when the femoral artery first became occluded (blocked off). My surgeon then related to me the likelihood that some damage would be permanent. The symptoms I still endure are from that permanent damage. If they remain the only symptoms I have to endure, they are quite manageable.

As I have related in the past, this disease is progressive and has no "cure". Eventually, no matter what is done, or what changes I make in my life style, the disease will cause further problems. In fact, I can feel symptoms in my left leg now which will eventually likely lead to additional surgeries in the future. Far into the future, it is to be hoped.

But, for now, I am better, and healing nicely.

To everyone who had kind and supportive words for me during this process, my wife and I would like to say that there simply are no words to express how touched we were. The web is replete with so-called "communities"... so much so that to say the word is over-used is to understate the situation completely. Here on DA, not only have I made true friends that have real personal meaning for me, I have come, over the now nearly three years of my membership to the site, to feel a deep sense of belonging, to a real community, of like-minded, classy, intelligent... as well as supportive and dedicated people form all around the world.

I've said it before, but it bears repeating: I first began using the internet in 1991 in Tallahassee, Florida. I joined a service offered by Florida State University. It cost $25.99 a month then (about $50-60 dollars in today's money), and the maximum speed of data transfer when I joined was 14.4 kilobytes per second. Loading a page with simple text and perhaps a few very small images could take 5 minutes or longer! Most sites were text only, and the number of commercial sites was extremely low.

I was one of the first 10,000 people to have a profile on what was then a new and mostly unknown service called YAHOO... I've had a profile on Yahoo continuously since early 1991.

19 years on the web. Long enough to have been a member of hundreds of forums and communities. Only a few of which I still subscribe to.

In all that time, Deviant Art is my favorite, and the one that has come to hold the deepest meaning for me. I care about this site. I participate in it actively and regularly. I cultivate relationships with fellow members. From all around the planet. Checking my "inbox" here at DA is a permanent part of my daily routine.

In other words, the community here, and all of you guys, are a big, important part of my world and my life. So, when I say that your notes to me, of encouragement and support meant the world to me, I mean it with all my heart.

Thank you, my friends.

  • Listening to: myself snore
  • Reading: The Romulan War by Maichael Martin
  • Watching: Sons Of Anarchy, Hawaaii 5-0, and my lovely wifey
  • Playing: Dragon Age Awakenings, Singularity, Torchlight
  • Eating: Crab stuffed Flounder, bar-b-qued baby back ribs
  • Drinking: sun tea, Sobe flavored water, Snapple

Once more unto the breach, dear friends...

Journal Entry: Fri Aug 6, 2010, 1:37 AM


I finally have a date.

On the 13th, I have an arteriogram scheduled. On the 16th, they'll do a chemical stress test to make sure my heart can handle surgery. Within a week after that, I'll be headed to surgery. So, by the 20th or 21st, latest.

My surgeon confirmed during our consultation that I have to have a full femoral bypass this time. No more catheterizations. I just hope this one last me more than a year before it clogs back up again.

Several people asked to be informed when I actually have a date for the big show, so here ya go.

I'll probably be poking my nose in here right up to the day I go in for surgery, and probably will be back on here just a few days after the surgery, while I'm laid up in the hospital. If I happen to write anything stupid or rude, please forgive me. It'll be 'cuz I'm on some groovy pain killers, and I won't be responsible for what I might say.

A lot of folks here have had sweet, kind, supportive words for me in recent weeks. None of you will ever have a clue how much I appreciate it. Aside from my wife, my kids and grand babies, and a few close friends, I care about my associations and friendships on DA more than any other relationships in my life. I feel a real connection to many here, and your words of support have meant the world to both myself and my wife. Chaz, Bob, Armin, Blades, Jeremy, Jesse, Cat, Pxl, Doj, and so very many others... I love you guys.

In the event something... final should befall me during the surgery, my lovely, loving wife Laura has agreed to come on here under my name and let you all know. If that happens, I know you guys will give her all the love and support and kindness you can. For that, you will have my un-ending gratitude. Be sweet to her if that happens, ya'll... for some screwy reason she really loves me, and if I should not make it through the surgery, she'll be a real mess.

Man, am I looking forward to this. It'll be such a relief to have an end to the pain, and to be able to feel my foot again.

I'll keep you all informed.

  • Listening to: myself snore
  • Reading: The Romulan War by Maichael Martin
  • Watching: True Blood, NCIS, and my lovely wifey
  • Playing: Mass Effect, Torchlight
  • Eating: roast chicken sandwiches, homemade black bean soup
  • Drinking: sun tea, Pepsi zero, A&W, Avian

Update on my health...

Journal Entry: Fri Jul 30, 2010, 2:14 PM


Don't want to bring anyone down, or go on too much about what's happening to me, but I thought some of you might care to hear a minor update.

The medical community in the Daytona Beach area leaves a lot to be desired. There are no outstanding vascular surgeons in the entire county. And none at all that accept our insurance, which was absolutely golden in Texas.

We have found a team of surgeons in a small city called St. Augustine, about 50 miles from us, that has agreed to take my case. We see them for the first time this coming Wednesday. I expect, based on past experience, to be in surgery shortly after they see me. Probably in as soon as a week.

After that, I'm down for a month. I hope to feel much better after healing from the surgery. Once I feel even remotely human, I'll update everyone again. But, until then, this is probably my last journal entry for a couple of months.

I know...

You're welcome.

=P

  • Listening to: myself snore
  • Reading: The Romulan War by Maichael Martin
  • Watching: Spartacus Blood and Sand, The Pacific, DWTS
  • Playing: Mass Effect, Torchlight, LoTR-BfME-RoTWK
  • Eating: more salads...yeesh!
  • Drinking: non-alchoholic beverages of all kinds