Category Archives: Canada/Tungaska
Toddles and Peet Archer were hopelessly lost in the Heartland of Canada. They spotted a fisherman screwing a hole in the ice and decided to stop and ask for directions. “Hellooo!” Peet Archer called when they neared the tiny fishing shack on the frozen lake. No answer. “Howdy,” Peet tried again as they got within about 15 feet. Still no response. In fact, the man hadn’t moved — wasn’t screwing into the pond at all.
As Toddles and Peet made their way back to the blue car stolen from that Tungaske residence seen in photo-novel 23, they realized he was just a symbol, a prop. All he really represented in his Maple Leaf hoodie was the Canadian flag and the country itself through it.
They still had a fur piece to go to reach Picturetown way over in Ontario.
She went into the yarn shop and clicked on Tigertail to teleport. Soon she was with Archer, Peet.
“Aries is not the only one involved,” he reinforced to the psychic, precious toddler, soon not to be a toddler as he urges her to change before returning to Canada or thereabouts. Picturetown he thinks it is called, Pictown for short. Close enough. Maybe he’s not as involved, okay, but he’s a busy man, er, spirit… man. I remember it all ended with Oz, big loop completed. I asked him through the child.
“Return?” He drew back, took me in better. Smiling, he returned to his former position. He looked at his hands. I realized I saw him more for who he really was than a cartoon-ish shooter of arrows. “Okay, okay, I admit I controlled *some* things. The Stripe joint over in Post I think it’s called. That was for the other Peet. And you of course.” He spoke rapidly. I knew he was super intelligent, just like the partner. It would be difficult to keep up. Much like with the records. “Soooo, what are your plans *now*? Are you just going to move to Canada?” He got more into character, changed the accent to represent something more ridiculous and surreal. “Leave your old mawmaw to rot in her virtual grave? No no no no,” he said while shaking his head. “No go, no good. We have to keep you and your granny together. So she’ll have to go too.”
“Canada?” I ventured in my wee voice, just as cute as my looks.
“Listen, we’re going to have to reorganize this whole trip. It’s 3000 miles from Tugas- tugask…”
“Tungaske,” I finished for him.”
“Tungaske, sure, yeah… anyway to get to this Pictown or Picturetown or whatever, you’ll have to have a car. And, um, *you* can’t drive.”
I hadn’t thought of that.
“Anyway, forget all that forget all that,” he waved off the line of thought. He looked over at the pool table behind us and its triangle of spheres. “Soooo, this Homer, er, *Smipson* is the one ball, the round yellow fellow.”
“No,” I corrected, misunderstanding what he meant. “It *use* to be Homer in the jar but now it’s Hucka Doobie the bee-person, or at least the head of the original bee body — more bee. She took his place; more spher-oid.” As a toddler that was a considerable amount to say at once and with some odd words so I had to rest my tiny mouth a moment before talking again. Luckily Peet Archer had a lot to utter in the meantime. Here it is:
(to be continued)
“Things are breaking down here at Slot Mtn. my precious precocious child. You will not be able to hold me much longer in your net.”
Toddles thought of Canada, of the weakening of Our Second Lyfe. When was a breaking point? Perhaps *now*.
She decides to take action. The grandma will have to be drugged again, pheh. Always the bad headache in the morning for her when this happens. She never suspects. Her precious precocious Toddles! But the grammy also doesn’t understand the Boos collages and their inherent Canadian-ness and will always favor the earlier Red Umbrella works and not understand that if things change in them it is because of the future which is the now. *102* is trying to communicate with her. But Casey One Hole, the a-hole of a man sitting before her and stating he is about ready to be let loose upon this virtual world with no checks in place, wants or is seeking the same thing. The Dirty Little Wet Seed is Adam: Atom-man. This produces the Green Tree. And inside the tree is Lemmy. And Lemmy is the one that can end the 102 and the salvific effect if he stays pat, protection (safety net) withdrawn.
But whose head is in the jar now? That must be the next question before we proceed further. I can’t quite get the right match. It’s not Homer. Not any longer. I don’t think.
Casey One Hole, formerly Taum Sauk of Bigfoot, Blue Mountain Urban Landscape (or thereabouts), US of Our A, continues: “If you place the right head in the jar, child, then maybe, *maybe* Your Second Lyfe can remain intact. I’ll allow that at least. Whose head did I hit with my mighty club to dislodge it from the body? Is it Homer still? The name certainly fits because they found it, bruised and battered, far over some left field fence. Think about that, child, while you stare at your Canadian images in your Canadian gallery with the 102 sister firmly set in place at a certain point.” Casey One Hole stops. He’s said too much. Must be all the caffeine for supper.
Sister? thought Toddles. Sister!
She knew this was the one. “I’m going in, Grammy. Wish me luck!”
“Hi Toddles! I’m Hucka Doobie! Grab a shovel and let’s start *digging*. We’ve got to get me away from that club!”
Oh dear, she thinks while shoveling and staring into the resulting hole at the corner of this western Canadian yard. What have I gotten myself *into*??
“Faster, faster!” the bug eyed, yellow headed bee-being who cannot dig himself commands from the side.
The ball comes. The hole is dug. Just in time.
It was kind of irritating how he never wore clothes in the hot tub but octogenarian Drew “Grumpy” Cleveland had information I needed to complete my school project. Pansy Mouse! The mouse history has forgotten. Perhaps I shouldn’t even be writing about it (!). Keep it to myself for later.
“Pansy?” he started after the prompt. “Yeah, I remember Pansy. That was before Mickey. That was before ‘Floydada.'”
What a goldmine!
“That’s very nice, Mortimer. Let’s stop there.”
Toddles hated to drug up her grandma to explore The City at night unless absolutely necessary. But she had to go back to Boos without her interfering *negativism* to investigate the first floor collages more and the perhaps clues she saw in them when they both visited the other day. Poor Grammy, the prescient (and precious!) toddler lamented. So fixated on the collages over at the Red Umbrella that she can’t see the advancement of all that interesting energy into the Boos series (exhibited) here above the Temple of TILE now. Toddles ganders at the toy action figure she knows later turned into Casey One Hole, another a-hole of a man, although she’s not suppose to say that word aloud. “Grammy be *damned*,” she dares while staring and glaring. “He *is* an a-hole. And what does he look over at in the other hand? A seed. A license plate that is a seed. A tiny car of a thing held by someone named Olive. Olive something. Kimball something… Oliver.” She was tuning in better, eliminating the rest of the static. “Oliver Wendell Douglas,” she speaks clearly. “And ‘A Dirty Little Wet Seed’.” We know what that is.
She thinks back to the rest of the series just viewed and how it progresses to this *point*, this seed.
The finish line is in sight and I don’t won’t to wander too far off the track at this point. The heart of the Tungaske town in “This Town Ain’t Big Enough” supplies a doorway into deeper dimensions. This goes beyond the Canadian hamlet itself by this point. In terms of Lisa Simpson or Lisa The Vegetarian, in order for the town to survive and thrive, she must make peace with those who are less advanced spiritually. The heavy meat-eaters of the town, the at least slightly homophobic ones, those that are more prone to violent aggression and just more backwards in general. All of these qualities could be embodied in her brother Bart, in kin with father Homer. As she did in the episode “Lisa The Simpson”, she must recall that the male part of the family has a defective gene which suppresses their progress. The female side is not affected. But as a true androgyny, able to transcend polarity to find true essence, true vision, she must apply it to a larger situation and embrace the male energy within herself and love it still. Only then can she ascend. Only then can the town be saved. The open doorway represents the possibilities of art itself. At the heart of it, Lisa is an artist and always will be. She is, moreover, a *heartist*.
So the question, “What is the ‘Big Book of Rust’?” must remain unanswered. It is several, maybe even a good number of books in one. It is “Winesburg, Ohio”, it is the history book for Tungaske, it is this collection of interpretation posts, even. That’s where we must leave it for now. The cabin with the Big Chimney must remain a heartfelt mystery.
Collage 30, a simpler work as stated, brings everything to a close. We return to historic Tungaske characters for this one, perhaps school chums or, otherwise, mates of some kind. To their left is a Bootle of Boos, which obviously doubles for alcohol. The Boos of the town, the hungry ghost spirits, have been bottled up/captured/rendered harmless. For now. Peter Gabriel appears to the right, head down. His body is that of Ray Davies, whose dismembered hand is placed in the inverted world making up the top of the collage. Is this the hand that unconsciously reaches for alcohol too early in the day? The rust colored sculpture seen on top of lake cliffs in “The Boos Brothers” returns to remind us of the feminine energy needed for completion. Perhaps the Boos Brothers did eat her there, render *her* harmless. Now the tide has turned. The Tungaske men of the past have a chance to live again in timelessness. But they must accept the female or all is lost.
And that’s it! I hope you enjoyed my interpretation of, by my count, the 30 collage works making up the Boos series and will come back for more down the road.
Almost all of these elements find a match in the second half of the diptych, separately called “Enough”.
So, collectively, you combine “This Town Ain’t Big” with “Enough” to get the diptych “This Town Ain’t Big Enough.” Simple enough.
Instead of Sherwood Anderson’s tombstone, we find the author himself walking the streets of the village, hat in hand [12/18/15: as an aside here and in reference to the cabin directly behind him, an original name of Hayes’ Mouse Island was Hat Island]. He is also a match for Rutherford B. Hayes, since both famously lived in the same Ohio county of Sandusky. We find the remainder of the blue-green horsie in the sky to his left. One, perhaps two same sized dark horses from the original photo are in the street below it. The rest of Bart Simpson in outline appears on the flat part of the Tungaske tombstone, along with the middle part of sister Lisa. And the rest of Lisa can be found to the left. The siblings are hugging, just like they did in some of the works (example) from the similarly lengthed Gilatona-Lis collage series. And then we have the other half of “The Big Book of Rust” attached to Sherwood Anderson, with another small town author, Edward Swift, perched on top. Toy avatar Taum Sauk looks on once more.
So let’s take it all together again…
It’s clear now that Bart and Lisa also hug in the center of the diptych, one on each side. This is the uniting of the two parts, fusing “This Town Ain’t Big” with “Enough.” What is missing from one side is usually found in the other. Many images find balancing images on the opposite part. And with this in mind, I believe the cabin with the large chimney in “Enough” I forgot to mention before is meant to be a double to the pentagonal structure in “This Town Ain’t Big”, with the chimney represented by the projecting top of the latter.
So let’s go deeper into the picture. What is “The Big Book of Rust”? Is it the same as Anderson’s “Winesburg, Ohio”? Rutherford B. Hayes, besides appearing in a number of my collages prior to the Boos series, also has seen spot action as a fictional character in the Sunklands blog. There he’s, “the first US president to never be US president”, borrowing a line from Firesign Theatre’s “Everything You Know Is Wrong” album pertaining to Benjamin Franklin. But I go a little further to state that the presidency actually ended with him, and he took the country into an alternate reality about
1880 1874 where a triumvirate of people ruled instead (called the Sandusky Pact), or at least that’s how it started out. He is very diminutive in size (in contrast to reality), or about the same height as Hucka Doobie in “Comparative Heights”. He loves corndogs — here we think back to 12 Oz Mouse’s Fitz being guided by a homing corndog to Roostre that really jumps the show up into another level. And then there’s the crucial line in that show where Roostre later reveals to another character called Spider that he knows Booger Hayes. Booger is the same as Rutherford “Booger” Hayes in my derivative fiction [another aside: the maiden name of president Hayes’ wife “Lemonade Lucy” was *Webb*]. There are actually many other links we can bring in to support the verisimilitude of this Booger Hayes, like the fact that Hays County, Texas contains conjoined 1450′ Lone Man/Lone Woman peaks near its center (Roostrer is stated in the show to know the reasons behind the creation of dual sexed character Man/Woman, collaged into my “2 Fer 1 01”), and, moreover, a historic place named Rooster Springs *and* (formerly) a production company called Rooster Teeth most famous for creating the “Red vs. Blue” machinima series (in Buda).
These two Hays County “Roosters” apparently have nothing to do with each other. I would propose their strange entanglement points to 12 Oz Mouse’s Roostre instead.
I use to interact with a guy who dominated a former Yahoo board with his vast knowledge and stories about strange entanglements more commonly called synchronicities. He often drew “The Simpsons” into his woven tales; he was a big fan of the show. He lived in this Hays County at the time. We briefly discussed such map related synchroncities as his small hometown of Dripping Springs being first settled by a man named Fawcett, like a dripping or leaking faucet, then. We had some friction, and I regretted that later on. I distinctly remember him describing my first lengthy attempt at collage interpretation (Lime section of “Floydada”) as indecipherable. I’ve felt his spirit at times while working on various synchronicity related art and attached analyses since then. He died from an apparent heart attack in his Marble Falls home several years back.
And of course president Rutherford B. Hayes owned Lake Erie’s corndog shaped Mouse Island, which his 20 Century descendants drove darts (boats) into. Hayes’ Vice President was William Wheeler, seen in Boos collages 12 (and 14) trapped inside the black half of a yin-yang sphere. Hayes was essentially his boss, harking back to the images of Boss Moss (etc.) from early in the series.
Then there’s the cabin to deal with…
Okay, so here we go. Final stretch (!). When turning around in our steps from the diptych “2 Fer 1” on the 4th and top floor of the Boos gallery, this is what we are confronted with on the opposite wall…
Another diptych as I’ve stated, and one called “This Town Ain’t Big Enough”. As with the preceeding collage and also several other in the series, the base is formed from antique photos of Tungaske, this time of the town’s main street taken sometime in the early 20th Century. Here’s a website that shows the used photos.
This is the base for the left side of the diptych, then…
… and here’s the one for the right hand side.
So in looking closer at each photo, you’ll notice that the same side of the main street of town is shown in each case, but looking from opposite directions. You can tell this for sure by the presence of a prominent sign for a hardware store in each. So this is a little different from a lot of my other collage diptychs in that the left side does not directly continue a single base photo into the right side (or visa versa). Instead we have mirrored images, which brings to mind this:
The two photos are roughly cued to each other by matching up the horizon lines, and then, more precisely, by a similar single white line running across the road in the foreground of each, probably marking a walkway — but two different ones, if so. Then the left photo is copied, reduced by 50 percent, and inserted between the two to help bridge them together. That’s our foundation.
What’s then overlaid on top of the foundation? The larger building in the center has been altered by the introduction of a Tungaske grave image here…
… namely the part of the upright monument seen in the photo. This becomes the bottom of the building, making it pentagonal shaped and perhaps hovering in the air a bit. Looking closer, you’ll notice that a smaller version of the same building appears to its immediate right, but otherwise unaltered. When composing the collage, I envisioned these as like two gunslingers of the old west in a standoff, with one perhaps exclaiming the cliche movie line: “This town ain’t big enough for the both of us.”
So there’s the source of the title. As the collage evolved, this idea sort of fell into the background (literally), as new images appeared.
And we’ve visited the grave site before in the Boos series. It’s the same one with the rust colored book cemented to the top of the monument, unseen in the above photo. We first find it in “Goodwater Goodland 01” and then in “Goodwater Goodland 02” as well, but two different halves of the book. In the present work, we also find two halves of the same book, but this time split down the middle and not segmented. And just to complete this particular addition, we also have the flat part of the monument appearing on opposite sides of the diptych, or both the lower right and lower left hand corners.
Let’s deal with each side of the diptych separately for a bit. The left hand part is individually called “This Town Ain’t Big”, primarily referring to the diminutive size of Tungaske now.
The base photo presents a gathering of horse drawn wagons. Is some kind of race in progress down the streets of the village? Anyway, more a couple more horses have been added in now, seeming to emerge from the bulging suit coat of Rutherford B. Hayes, our 19th president and who served from 1877 to 1881. They, and the horses behind them in the collage, seem to be heading toward the Tungaske tombstone, but with a smaller, more irregular monument taking the place of the original upright one. This becomes the grave of “Winesburg, Ohio” author Sherwood Anderson.
Blue-green horsey legs appear to its right, and from the same horse we find in both sides of “2 Fer 1” just examined. We find more blue-green tinted legs in outline form in the lower left corner. These are of Bart Simpson, rambunctious brother of Lisa in “The Simpsons”. And you can see the outline of the top of his yellow head just below the pentagonal building above him. The middle part of the body is missing.
In the air directly above Hayes is found the right side of the Tungaske cemetery book, which is also the archetypal “Big Book of Rust”.
(to be continued)
While I’m not sure when the idea entered the picture, er pictures, I decided that the opposite perspectives for the 2 collages of “2 Fer 1” had to be kind of in synch with each other. This means that objects appearing in one had to either appear in the other, or else be explained away as hidden by something. We’ve discussed how in “2 Fer 1 02”, the absence of 12 Oz Mouse’s Man/Woman and toy avatar Taum Sauk seen in “2 Fer 1 01” could be explained this way. But at the same time, 2 *new* characters shown in “2 Fer 1 02” that don’t appear in “2 Fer 1 01” must be explained in similar ways, or Mr. Bean and golfer Tom Kite. If we compare the two collages…
… it’s *possible* that Marge’s hair in 01 hides both Mr. Bean and Mr. Kite in 02. Or it’s also possible that Mr. Bean is hidden by Marge’s hair and Tom Kite is hidden by the blue-green horse. Anyway, that’s the general idea: that the perspective between two must work in a somewhat plausible way.
What is the bigger meaning, then? Sometimes two people can view the same general scenario from opposite perspectives (perhaps one is calm and the other agitated, for instance) and come away with different memories and meanings. For one, a certain relationship with a person or object will be magnified in comparison to the other. It’s all relative. The concept draws ideas from cubism, where the artist attempts to capture all angles of an object like a vase full of flowers or a woman playing a mandolin. Another comparison can be made to the elephant in a room full of blind people, where one holds the tail and thinks it’s a rope, the other holds the trunk and believes it to be a tree branch, and so on.
In a bigger picture, the dual perspectives of “2 Fer 1” is a microcosm of sorts for the whole of the Boos series, or at least the Tungaske laden aspects that kick in at collage 10 and continue until its end. I’m looking at this artsy Canadian hamlet from all sides, trying to figure out its inner meaning; peer into its heart of hearts. Any one collage provides only a slice of the total — it’s only when you attempt to add them up (read: these *interpretation posts*!) that a true representation begins to take focus. And I think in this topmost, rather cramped room of the Boos gallery is where it all comes down. We are *standing* in the room with the elephant itself now, if I may be allowed.
With that in mind, let’s move to collage 28 of the Boos series exhibited on the next wall, a shorter dimension of the rectangular room holding correspondingly simpler works. I call this one “All Together Now”, and up until about mid-way through my interpretation of the series as a whole, it represented the terminal Boos artwork.
We have the reappearance of the Tungaske baseball team from “Bitter Rivals”, coupled not with flowers this time but a team of guitar players instead we’ve also previously seen in the Boos series (collage 3: “The Rock”). And they’re “all together now” instead of on opposite sides of the picture — a co-mingling. Two groups of players, then, one from sports and one from music or “the arts”, with Texan writer Edward Swift, feet resting on baseball bats, sprawled out between them. We’ve seen Edward a number of times before in my collages, and I’ll give an example here of the final collage of the Embarras series coming earlier this year.
As I describe in an analysis of the collage at the time, perhaps cryptically in retrospect, Edward Swift is combined with an image representing Kate Swift, a character in Sherwood Anderson’s “Winesburg, Ohio”. As Sherwood shows up in the next collage, along with E. Swift once more, let’s just move on to that one. The diptych “This Town Ain’t Big Enough” is where it all hangs out for the Boos series. If we don’t succeed in peering into the heart of hearts through that perspective, then our mission is incomplete. And of course we can’t succeed completely, since seeing from all angles at once is impossible in practice. It sometimes pays considerable dividends to try, though. Moving on…
(to be continued)