Posts tagged ‘ottawa’

February 29th

so much drama in the news these days!  while waiting for paint to dry:  so many strange things coming in over the wire:

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can’t open a cell phone without seeing “stuff”.  WILD stuff…

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made a late night drive to Toronto, as always, listening to CBC, and this one came on and holy SHOOT!  Pat said a few things in this show, good authentic gravy i thought she was talking about me…   (i had to pull over and make a phone call!!!)

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pop up art show:  on the corner of McCaul and Dundas, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.  24×36 inches on gallery canvas.  my Stevenson paint getting lower and lower…

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safely in the gallery on Dundas, across from the AGO.  that is a John Laford hanging with the twinravens.com.

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on Dundas W., Toronto:  everywhere you go these days!  and i’m not talking about Snoop!

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medicine bowl, at the corner of Rideau and Sussex, Monday afternoon, Feb. 24th:  protest/rally, downtown.  they had the hand drums there as well.

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signage at the rally/protest on Monday afternoon, corner of Sussex and Rideau.

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INSANE cbc news story cooking up over the past 18 to 24 months.  what is the world coming to when the so called Senate has someone like this on the payroll?

it’s getting to be that if you’re indian in Canada, you aint safe.

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you know the story?  (Found poetry book number 5, a work in progress.)

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“I was 14, She was 32”, found poem, Found poetry book 5, a work in progress, art therapy exercise number B.  it’s amazing, the fun you can have with a repurposed book, a few sharpie markers, and a guided exercise like black out poetry.  we’re using these fantastic art making exercises to cool many.

while in the storm: i try to use art and peace!  and love!

The Dream at the End of the World

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Opening pages of Found Poetry Book 4: The Dream at the End of the World.  I loved that title and to boot: printed way back in 1991, the paper is quality stuff that can handle the sharpie markers, highlighters and thinly spread dollar store acrylic paint.  I keep saying “thinly spread” as no matter how good the paper quality is in these old books, if you layer on gobs of acrylic, bad things are going to happen to your book project.  I’ve seen it happen with a few participants and yes it can get messy fast.  And that’s when the tears start…

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Remember: this is meant to be a long term art making project.  As you can see I started this one way back on September 4, 019.  Here we are at December 15th and I have 3 pages to go!  The opening “found poem”, is 2 pages of love…

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Found poems…  Love this stuff!  As I said to participants:  what literary surprises are waiting for us with every page?

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The End of Art School, found poem No. 3, is an 8 page beauty that goes like this:

in a dream, rising up through the tranquil sleep of a warm May evening, left in its wake a delicious sense of peace, of afternoon sunlight, the dream terrain, i felt the thrill of recognition, was offering, up to him again.  

his life was out of control, sidetracked by untidy passions, impulsive missteps, messy obsessions…

daring was in his art, and his ambition seemed limitless, he was an accomplished poet as well as a musician, still, he was beginning to feel like a hired hand, and he was weary of focusing his energy on works that were not his own.

disturbing, nihilistic, quietly bizarre…

its perpetual distraction.  as summer approached, the power of his stories, the dream had shown him the way.

flirtatious, seductive, she staged mad crushes, they had become favourites among the creative elite, they were famous among the famous.

his only refuge was his imagination, he invented his own planet, “I was always trying to get away.”

found his freedom, possessed of a diffident charm, and sensible in summer, thrillingly remote, was vital and clamorous, the ancient native, life burst through the seams, wonderfully excessive, costume balls, expeditions and martinis, cleanliness and efficiency.

steady, hot, with a moon that is like a sun when it is full, a madhouse: the piano in their isolated house was wildly out of tune…

trance dancing-all of it was part of the pageantry, Sahara, the sky had a life of its own, baptism of solitude, silent country, sensation of existing in the midst of something that is absolute: the absolute has no price.

mystical undercurrents ran deep, a man transforming, the supple nature of reality, on the other side of the looking glass, alienness intoxicating, insupportable jealousy, I shall be away. 

pursued the exotic, self indulgent, he kept up his creative momentum, he transported himself, an untamed twenty year old, the two began to spin fantasies.

a protagonist in his novel, restless souls who wanted to explore life outside, purpose and spirit, it was a mystery, She laughed: “You KNOW I don’t want you to go.”

a close friend of both, i dimly remember my own face and not yours, how psychosomatic can you get?

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Of course there is room for drawing: “Fancy Shawl Dancer, who IS Mother Earth”,  sharpie marker, thinly spread dollar store acrylic.

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And room too, for experimenting with the draw and the subject of the draw:  black ball point pen with sharpie marker on acrylic paint.  Maybe there is an opportunity to create a new series of pictures from the sketches in these pages.

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Some days are tougher than others…  Sharpie marker on acrylic paint.

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“True Love: age 22, (I knew her name)”, Found poem, a 12 page extravaganza!

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Once into it, these sketches can be pretty telling…  (life on the road…  )

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And of course there is room for fun stuff!  The end page of a wildly sexual poem, from the Road Taken!

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Ah yes: room to explore, room to create, and maybe a new series of paintings in the development stages…

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Heavy duty and ultra supra TELLING!  Wow.  This drawing is from the last of the pages in the book, 384 pages of found poems, drawings, journals, love stories, memory brambles lane, black circles under blood shot eyes, spinning out in a parking lot, from soup to nuts, insanity before xmas in the city.

Yes the found poetry book project is a work in progress and an exciting exercise for the creative soul.  On Monday I’ll be back in the goodwill on the snoop, looking for another interesting title with high quality paper.

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Power Bird, acrylic on canvas, 18×24 inches, by anishnabe artist Mark Seabrook.  Made fresh this past week and using a new brand of acrylic paint!  The last of my Stevenson Professional Acrylic, and I mean the last, we’re down to the bottom of the barrels, I’m pretty sure we only have a half dozen paintings remaining in those paint barrels.  Very sad for me as Stevenson was my brand since all the way back in art school.

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Power Birds, acrylic on canvas, 24×36 inches, by anishnabe artist Mark Seabrook.  Originally it was a black and white but with this new brand of paint in the house, it’s time to explore and see what she can do.

Just ten days before Xmas and…  yikes: another year will be in the books.

 

Art Battle Tonight!

hey i was called up for tonight’s Art Battle here in Ottawa!  for those of you not in the know:  they give you a 16×20 inch canvas, acrylic paint, an easel and 20 minutes!  all you have to do as the artist is bring your own brushes and your own ideas!  i’ll tell you right now they have some pretty decent painters signing into this show, folks who can get it done fab style within those 20 measly minutes.  i am not one of them!  i can get it done in 20 but have never made it out of the first round.  maybe tonight is my night!

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that’s me back in April, thinking i had a great idea but nope!  (truth is: no matter how big the house i always come down with a serious case of the butterflies…   complete with shaking hands…  )

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that’s way back in 016, the Halloween version and big time NO GO to the 2nd round.

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in Ottawa on Friday night!

and that’s way back in 015, on my first visit to the AB, with NO DICE!

at any rate, it is a fun time, fun to be in with those other artists, and fun to be in the show!  we’re in a new venue this time, 250 City Centre, which is not downtown.  how it got the title of City Centre when its way out in the middle of nowhere is beyond me.

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Big Bucks = Happiness.  Acrylic on canvas board, 7×9 inches, by anishnabe artist Mark Seabrook.  maybe tonight i should stick with the basics.

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Indian Residential School, Hell on Earth.  Sketch.  Acrylic on canvas board, 7×9 inches.  Artist Collection.  or maybe i should attempt a “statement”.

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Stacey from Malibu, sharpie marker on 8.5×11 paper.  Artist collection.  one thing is for sure there is no time to call up Stace for advice on what to paint and what to wear.  i know what she would say though about what to wear:  You have one life to live, don’t put it off to tomorrow.

i’ll let you know how it goes!

 

Life and Times of a Famous Native Canadian Artist, Vol. 3

ha ha!  joking of course.  we’re not booked to be at the MET any time soon nor do we have important pieces over at the NGC.  we are the classic:  legends in our own minds!  and so yes, with a chuckle:

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the “Black Framed Originals” we’ve been working on this autumn, preparing for a pop up flash art show in November.  that is an 18×24 inch canvas board, Mother Earth sketch,  and it is one of 20 we have ready go!  the painting just above it i have been looking at for about a year.

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the painting just above, Detail: Who Is She?, 30×48″, on canvas.  the original painting of the girl on the lake, winter, 1990, yeah it was a peaceful scene but i just had to HACK it!  5 years ago it came back from where it was on display and by that time i had opened up the “art bridge” and re read a few articles on Jackson Pollock!  so this canvas was just begging to be re worked.

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yes yes it is not the classically painted face but that wasn’t what we were going for then nor is it what we’re going for today!  fact of the matter is: hey i like this one.  like i said i’ve been looking at it for a year, hanging on my wall over here in Ottawa, and i’m starting to think maybe i’ll keep that one.

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Striking a Pose, in Whitedog, Ontario, sometime in the spring of 1991.  that was on the Toronto at Dreamer’s Rock National Tour, Debajehmujig Theatre Group, and we’re about half way into that tour.  i had friends who are now long dead and gone, dust and bones, from up there, who hadn’t been home in years, and when i told them i might be passing through their old starting point they told me to get some pictures.  this of course was not the photo they were expecting!  (story of my life, ha!)

i recently saw this old photo and others when muddling and “muggling” the idea about the next writing project:  Fighting In Hell, an anishnabe’s art journey.  the title for that writing project is still in the works and the stories within: an artist story, what to leave in, what to leave out?

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that is the great Gabor Mate and his lad, in Toronto on Friday night, October 18th.  they were in town to make a presentation on parents and their adult children and the business of healing.  very interesting!  but my question was and is this:  what if the adult child has had several sets of parents from bio parents to foster parents to adoptive parents of a different culture, all within the first 7 or 8 years of life?

175 participants signed up for that 3 day presentation and you can bet any time Gabe opened the floor for questions about 80 hands shot up, and usually the same 80 hands!  so i didn’t get to ask my question.  you see Gabe is a genius.  you have questions along these lines, he has answers.  google his name if you’re not in the know.

175 x 350 = 61 250.  nice work!

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half of the “artist uniform”, at the conference, front row.  you can bet the other half of the artist uniform had things to read/say and that place being 98% women participants, there certainly were a few readers!  Nature.  Cheaper than Therapy.

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back in Markham before the bug out: wiggling the toes!  the boss man is up on the 9th chilling and i’m in the lobby switching out of the artist wear black boots for some basics: the new car has a standard transmission and folks i like to have my barefeet on those three peddles.  this being mid October, black socks will have to do!

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blazing down the 401, east bound, Sunday night alone, in the brand new limo:  put the radio on and up came 10cc, I’m Not in Love.  it being the oldies FM station they weren’t cheap and played the 6 minute version.  sweet.  kooky too, riding through the mild autumn night, all those heavy duty thoughts from the conference stewing, all those heavy duty memories from what seems like another life time ago, stewing, the open road, the wiggly toes, and the here and now…

kind of peculiar how things work out…

as a refresh: here are the opening few lines of the original life and times of, Vol. 1, posted way back in the autumn of 2017.  ah but what a beautiful September it was in 2017:  6 weeks of Indian Summer on the open range, a paint brush in my hand during the day, a glass or a key pad at night.  30 C during the afternoon, 20 C at night, for 6 wonderful weeks, down in the cosy back country of Tehkummah: no light or noise pollution.  no neighbours.  nothing but a suitcase full of 20 dollar bills and the artist with an agenda.

Life And Times Of A Famous Native Canadian Artist…

ha! i say that jokingly! because i’m out here on the range, going on 21 days now without a note of art conversation, idea expressed verbally, or hint of a hand to hold while under the mighty Milky Way. she’s new moon boys. and so, alone under the almighty, with eagles roosting down by the river (what music they make first thing in the morning!) and the great wide open: there is room to stretch the “art making arms”. we have some good looking pieces but we’re also getting down to the bottom of the paint barrels.

so last night around 7 i stowed the gear, set a table for one, lit a candle, cracked open a Paul Jaboulet Aine Cornas Domaine de Saint Pierre (2012), sparked up the youtube for a little dinner music and instead got attracted to a documentary about alien abductions. i watched the nutty scenes, heard the kook house stories, heard the so called experts blabbering on about all this stars and moon and space stuff and…

From the twinravens blog:  September 2017.

now i have no idea what i did to the comments section here,  see it is turned off.  but you can always email at twinravens at hotmail or twinravens at gmail.

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a walk around the block

and so!  a walk indeed!  and in this town…  oh my goodness there are mad capped scenes at darn near every turn and pretty much down every straight away.  the noise is what we can’t share here, online.  you have to come here to these mad streets.  five minutes will do it.  yes we are a long way from the river, the blue and the green.

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unknown artist and paint station, outside the Rideau Centre, November 3rd.  it was clear to me she had talent and if you took her up a notch, switched out the dollarama paint and canvas for some big leagues gear, i’m certain she could show something in one of the many indie galleries in this town.  she wanted 40 bucks for that little picture she was working on.

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invisible man?  around here you never know…   outside the Rideau Centre, November 3rd.

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spooky window display, Somerset West near Spadina, November 6th.

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more weirdness in the same shop window…  Somerset West and Spadina, on the mild night of November 6th.  me singing:  i’m an Anishnabe in the Capital City…  (sung to the tune of Sting’s Englishman in New York)

when you’re out walking and sporting the “artist’s eye”…  goodness gracious, so many “things”.

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what form!  with a silver hand…  shop window in the St. Laurent Mall, November 7th.  those super stretch fabrics, now i wish they had those when i was young!  (ha ha!)

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ah yes…  what form.  put some heels on there and you’d really have something.

if you have 8 minutes, here is a song i wrote and performed back in the summer of 1995, recorded on a 4 track Fostex, one night in a diff city, many moons ago.  before the internet.  back when my rock and roll band:  NR, was planning on being something.  ah but nothing makes the Great Spirit laugh more than a man with plans.

for the youtube video: i went out one night, twenty years after i wrote and recorded the song, in this very city, camera in hand, and shot those pictures:  headless figures (children too!), lifeless eyes, bare heads, flashy clothes, big lights, right next to the dispossessed, the have nots, the sick and the old, and the grey, placed next to a little First Nations “made in China”, thrown in for good measure.  military medals along side a public service message showing a cigarette pack filled with bullets and someone’s scrawl:  Funding natives to buy back their land 1 acre at a time…  yes it was my attempt at Anishnabe movie making/story telling.  (oh yes!  that first and very long 2 minutes of yours truly in his pow wow dancing gear-i plugged that in (just ahead of the Joseph Boyden scam which became an amusing and a down right hilarious news item right around Xmas 2016) as a confirmation that yes indeed, yours truly is an actual indian as defined within the terms and conditions of the indian act, and handled by indian and northern affairs Canada)

so where was i going with all this?  oh yes.  what i mean to say is i’ve walked these streets before.  and some things seem to never change, all we’ve done is switched out the characters and moved in some new ones.

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back to the walk around the block:  the cops on Blake, November 8th, where hookers roam, sometimes pimps, and men alone in all makes and models of cars cruise very slowly up and down the streets.  you don’t need warning signs to tell those boys to slow down on our quiet neighbourhood streets!  all we’re missing with this scene is the background NOISE.  the roar, the sirens, the continuous horn honking…  sheesh!

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unknown young man who has clearly lost his marbles, sitting in the very cold wind outside a Rotten Ron’s, Montreal Road and St. Laurent, November 9th, at noon.  he was out there for an hour, smoking his stuff, listening to whatever he had on those flashy headphones.  it was like…  zero degrees out there.  and they might be his brightest years…

i was inside looking out, wondering if it was safe to show a photo like this:

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that’s me and what’s his name, on the movie set, back in June, in Scotland.  we signed a non disclosure thing about not posting but here we are after the release date of the picture so i hope its safe to post this!

they had me so uglied up over there i was sure i could never come home.  the look was totally Hollywood Indian.  the only way i got the gig was, well, beyond that i was clearly indian, was that face of horror:  they asked me to scowl and snarl into the camera at the casting (my interview was all of 15 seconds at the Native Friendship Centre in Toronto) and boom!  they called me up and so i went.  now that was a serious walk around the block!

that chrome dome of mine, it hadn’t seen the light of day in over 45 years!  over there though, those charming hair and make up girls shaved me a fresh one every morning around nine.  i walked out of there thinking the boys are going to have a field day with this when i get back to the club!

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that’s the photo i snapped with Joe’s camera, that he smuggled onto the set one day.  that’s the two stars of the show, chilling between takes.  not sure who that other young snot nosed punk is but he was main frame with the other two.

and so if you were reading my blog back in late May and June of this year, this is what i was going on about: making movies in Scotland.  a grand adventure, something i’d do again, but next time…  i think i’ll take a pass on shaving the dome.  yes, it is growing back, but we’re a long way from the look of confidence, when sporting the Dark City Boy outfit, which thank goodness, is back in rotation, out here on these mad city streets.  i lost the “gut” i was sporting on that shoot, but being away from the 9th and all the good cooking over there, certainly helps in the weight losing department!  ha.  kooky stuff.  silly stuff too but at the end of the day, if you’re going to run with the wolves, you have to keep up AND look the part.

photo of said Dark City Boy outfit!

artist in October

 

crappy grainy photo but that’s the idea (i’ll get an updated, soon).  super fun black boots to go with!  many moons ago, on another walking around the block adventure, i drew a picture of the then “dark city boy” outfit, an idea for some jackets i wanted to make, the idea stolen from the costumes department over at Debajehmujig Theatre Group (another story we can save for later!)

photo of said picture, drawn many moons ago:

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2000 Man, Dark City Boy in front of Treasure Island, Lake Mindemoya, Ontario, Canada.  March 1, 2000.  Bic ball point pen on 98 pound paper.  yes…  we need to maintain the maintenance department…

what i’m getting at through all of this is this:  if you’re going to take a walk around the block, you might as well do alright with it.

(psst: more movie set photos to come if i can get away with posting these!)

 

A Change of Scenery

Here it is Friday once again: and my how quickly things can be switched out!  Whoosh!  Last week it was the open range, the big blue, the mighty green and everything in between but just me.  This week we’re in with them:

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Thought I’d do a little sight seeing this morning and took a stroll down through the hornet’s nest!  10 a.m. at the fun house!

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There she is as seen from the east/north east.  I would have slipped a photo of the canal in there but the water at the locks was absolutely filthy and filled with this horrible looking Tim Horton coffee coloured foam…  Yucko.

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That’s the big house:  the National Gallery of Canada.  (I put my imagination to work and imagine that as a home on the south shore of Manitoulin Island, over looking the Great Lake Huron.  On of course about 500 acres.  What a summer cottage that would make yes?)

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Yes.  I could imagine that being the front entrance to my summer home!

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Well there she is: the National Gallery of Canada.  Maybe one day I’ll have a show in there huh?  Just like Norval, Daph, and now I see they have Alex booked for the new year.

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You’ll have to get past the U.S. Marines to get into that crib!

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Cranes:  part of the leadership clan in the old Ojibwe community!  Going to work in the downtown, just outside the Chateau Laurier!  Great morning for a walk, tourist style, through the quick part of the nation’s capital.

Well I’ve been here a week.  We’re a long way from those spider webs at sunrise in a field filled with crickets!  Gone for now, be the river and the waterfalls, the horses and the crows.

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Gone are the rough boards and the sweet wilds of the summer.  Now we’re in with the super concrete, sirens, close quarters and wild amusements.  Let’s see what we can do with it!