Choreographed Clocks

Time is the subject of the artwork, The Clock-Clock. Composed of twenty-four analog clocks, whose hands spin randomly every minute, until coming to rest and coalescing into a digital representation of the current time. In this case, the time is 13:35. Created by a group that calls itself Humans since 1982. This duo consists of the artists Per Emanuelsson and Bastain Bischoff. They describe their art like this, “information—like time—is transformed into an abstraction, an ever-changing pattern made by choreographed clocks.” The Clock-Clock is on display at the Nashville 21c museum-hotel.

Time marches on, just a wee bit slower at this time of the year than at other times. The end draws nigh, as the doomsday clock was adjusted to a hundred seconds before midnight. Its closest approach ever. Meanwhile, the clock is ticking as the tipping point for global warming approaches and a self absorbed Nero fiddles on Twitter all day, while Australia burns.

The timing on our trip to Nashville was perfect, tightly shoehorned in-between two winter storms. We left right after the first storm hit and returned home just before the second. Neither storm was really all that much to deal with, but would have been a hazard with travel. Now it is a dreary winter’s day, causing time to pass slowly and for me to dream of warmer weather. This weekend, Saint Louis preps itself to host the NHL All-Star game, another benny from winning the Stanley Cup last season.

Tennessee State Museum

Ernest Tubb Record Shop

We visited the Tennessee State Museum, which has a fine new building, but only a middling collection. Many exhibits dwell on war: Indian, Revolutionary, 1812 (In Canada known as the war of American aggression.), Civil, WWI and WWII. All of this warfare is fitting for the patron state of shooting stuff. In addition to war, both slavery and civil rights are well covered.

One fun topic that is covered is music, for which Nashville is deservedly known. Near the museum is the Bicentennial Park Bells, a beautiful carillon. We ate lunch at the next door Farmers Market. Its food court had a pretty good selection to choose from. Later for dinner, we got takeout at Slim & Husky’s Pizza Beeria, a historically black establishment. Tonight’s special was husky sized pizzas at slim prices.

As we were doing the pizza run, Rey told me about a book that he and Becca have. It is a YA novel by author Angie Thomas, whose first book, The Hate U Give, was a runaway bestseller, with almost two-years on the NYT bestseller list. It has also been optioned for a movie. Before Corwin was born, they attended a reading by the author of this new book, On the Come Up. What I found interesting in this book is that the young black female protagonist’s mother is called Jay and her sister is called Pooh. Making her sister, Auntie Pooh. Auntie Pooh is a good egg, although she is a drug dealer, but other than her choice of employment, she still has the family’s best interests at heart.

The rest of the day was consumed watching the Corwin show. He has an affinity for lights. He loves to stare up at them. Today, I tried running the ceiling fan, with the lights on. It appeared to be a hit. The day was the coldest day here yet, but the wind slackened, making it feel warmer than yesterday.


Bilateral Time Slicer Intermix, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, 2017

21c Museum Hotels is a combination contemporary art museum and boutique hotel chain. We visited the Nashville branch of this chain that was launched by Laura Lee Brown, heiress to the Jack Daniels fortune. There are currently ten hotels-museums in the chain. A venue in Chicago is opening soon and a Saint Louis branch is scheduled to open by the end of the year.

In all its venues, this is the only museum dedicated to collecting and exhibiting contemporary art of the 21st century. The museum is open free of charge 24/7. All of the hotels are built in salvaged and repurposed old downtown buildings. The one in Saint Louis is slated for the old downtown YMCA building.

The intermix of faces in the bilateral time slicer include Anne, Becca, Corwin, Rey and myself. Think of it as a photo-booth, with extra artistic help. Anne was the first person to use this machine and for the longest time, hers was the only one displayed. She was eventually able to coax the rest of us in joining her on camera. With each new face, older images (in time, not age), are then pushed outwards, I managed to snap this photo, before my face was acquired by the AI.

We had lunch in Germantown, one of the older and now trendier neighborhoods in Nashville. We ate takeout Thai for dinner. With the game Gizmos, Rey took the gloves off on us today. It wasn’t pretty and he wants to play Scrabble next.

Rey and Becca are in full house hunting mode. They are focusing on the area near where they rent, which is very cosmopolitan. Unfortunately, ICE is preying on this diversity. Trump is complaining about the homelessness in San Francisco and LA, but the homelessness in Nashville rivals what I’ve seen on the left coast. Here is a better photo of Corwin, the man of the moment. Left Off! Power to the people! Or am I reading too much into that little fist?


The Queen of Disco

Disco Ball Closeup – Photo by Paul Zoetemeijer on Unsplash

Last dance
Last chance, for love
Yes, it’s my last chance
For romance, tonight

Disco lives again! Anne and I attended Summer, the Donna Summer musical. This show was on regular rotation with our Fox Theater Broadway Musical Series. Donna Summer was the proported and eventually the self proclaimed Queen of Disco. This bio-musical tells her story, set to her musical sound track.

Bad girls
Talking about the sad girls
Sad girls
Talking about bad girls, yeah

Disco has earned a lot of derision, but it was also our courting music. Regularly on weekends, we would find ourselves dancing together to disco tunes in Grand Avenue nightclubs, adjacent to Michigan State University. Sweaty nights, full of glitz, glam and love. Most of the bars had no cover. The beer was cheap and the house’s only profit was derived from thirst quenching gulps, after sets of songs.

She works hard for the money
So hard for it, honey
She works hard for the money
So you better treat her right

Disco eventually died and unfortunately, so did Donna Summer, in 2012. We’re both now too old to go clubbing anymore, but we still like to dance together. Not that we are all that good at dancing. You never know when your last dance will be. That’s why you should always dance every dance as if it was your last.

Lookin’ for some hot stuff, baby this evenin’
I need some hot stuff, baby tonight
I want some hot stuff, baby this evenin’
Gotta have some hot stuff
Gotta have some love tonight



After the 2016 election, Anne knitted herself a pink “pussy” hat that she wore in protest. That was then, this is now, nevertheless she persisted. Her pointy needle activism remains unrestrained. Cue her latest creation, an M-Peach-Mint cap. I mailed it off to Carl, who Anne credits the idea. I asked and she has enough yarn for another. Plus her favorite yarn store, Knitorius, is going out of business and she feels compeled to shop there at least one more time. Anyone want to help her out here? There is no guarantee that any such hat would be finished before the trial is over, but it should be done well before the 2020 election.

This week, the Virginia legislature ratified the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). Making it the 38th state to have done so. Normally, this is enough states to add an amendment to the US Constitution, but the ERA’s has a long and checkered history. Passed by Congress in 1972, it was given a ten-year window to reach ratification, which it did not make. Its critics declared it dead then, but its proponents did not give up. By this self imposed deadline only 35 states had ratified it. Subsequently, five states rescinded their ratification, but three new states eventually ratified it. So, a total of 38 states have ratified it.

The US Constitution is one of the oldest and shortest constitutions. It does not speak to the idea of a state rescinding its ratification, which could make such an act unconstitutional. The only time an admendment was ever reversed, as with prohibition, it took another admendment to do so. Similarly, the statue limiting the ERA’s period of ratification was enabling legislation that was not part of the amendment and is an idea that also has no support in the Constitution. Now that the ERA is purportedly ratified, any legislation limiting it could also be seen as unconstitutional. Hey, I’m no legal scholar, but on this blog, I like to play one.